1994-10-31: Halloween Feast


Braeden_icon.gif Donner_icon.gif Dumbledore_icon.gif Elizabeth_icon.gif Ginny_icon.gif Harry_icon.gif Kevin_icon.gif Luna_icon.gif McGonagall_icon.gif Melissa_icon.gif Moody_icon.gif Ophelia_icon.gif Oscar_icon.gif Perpetua_icon.gif Ron_icon.gif Siobhan_icon.gif Zarina_icon.gif

Scene Title Halloween Feast
Synopsis There's the Halloween Feast, then the names drawn from the Goblet. Ooh!
Location Hogwarts, Great Hall
Date October 31, 1994
Watch For The naaaames. Also, maybe something at the end. MAYBE.
Logger Ginny

Decorated for Halloween, the ceiling of the Great Hall is brightly lit with glowing pumpkins of every shape and size. Faces carved into them ranging from happy to sinister looking. The ceiling itself reflects the cloudy sky outside which, at times, allows a half moon to shine through. The tables themselves have been decorated in Halloween fasion, with miniature pumpkins grinning up at students while flame flickers inside them.
At the Gryffindor table, Harry was taken a spot near where he normally sits, and watches the rest of the hall fill up with other students. After a moment, his gaze flicks up to the Goblet of Fire, situated in front of the staff table where the flames atop it burn a bright blue.

Braeden takes a seat at the Gryffindor table in front of Harry Potter and his usual crew, if they were there with a clap of his hand down on the shoulder of another young man next to his position. "This is gonna be interesting. I wonder who'll get drawn for Gryffindor eh?" He exclaims before grinning just a bit and turning his head to look up towards the Goblet itself with an almost musing expression. "I wonder just how that thing works. If it chooses by capability… or if it's just random in general."

Elizabeth's black heels click firmly, precisely in her quickened pace as she walks into the quickly filling great hall, turning to approach the Ravenclaw table before lowering herself on to the bench, ignoring a few of the protests from the younger years as they are forced to make even more room. Releasing a patient sigh, she sets her book on the table, a bit to the side in order to avoid the appearing food that will no doubt be appearing within a few minutes. Leaning back slightly, her sky blue eyes behind her glasses glance up to the head table, looking over each of the Professors before stopping to linger on Professor Dumbledore. She watches him steadily for a moment or so before glancing back to the Goblet of Fire, the flames from it still a constant, steady blue."
Zarina has arrived.

Ophelia makes her way tot he Ravenclaw table, chatting with a few other girls in her house. They break off to sit with others, suggesting they're from different years. She settles down on the bench, lacing her fingers and resting them against her chin. She seems more interested in watching the ceiling than the front of the hall and the Goblet. At least for now.

Seating himself next to Harry, Ron's stomach gives a rather large growl as he gets settled on the bench. Giving those around him he knows a nod in greeting, he puts his hand down to his stomach. "I hope the food gets here soon…" he mutters. Glancing over at Harry, Ron looks in the direction Harry is, watching the Goblet of Fire for a few moments before turning back to his friend. "Who do you think is gonna get chosen?"

Ambling into the Hall in the middle of a group of girls - a mix of all the other Houses save her own - Siobhan's eyes are drawn to the decor as they are every year without fail. With a ready smile and a wave, she splits off from the group and heads for her own table, seating herself at the long table. Brown eyes scan the room, but never rest on one thing for long. She's a little restless, but manages to hide it well.

Ginny overhears Braeden from her seat farther down the table, where she's been sneaking looks at Harry when she thinks he's not looking. She clears her voice before speaking, but despite that, her voice cracks a little. "I - I read all sorts of speculation about it. No one is entirely sure how it works. It's a mystery." Between sentences, she gives little glances towards Harry, Braeden, and Ron. The latter two are much easier to focus on.

Zarina watches the other tables with some interest, the talking between students a quiet roar as the excited tension is more than apparent in the air. She narrows her sapphire eyes slightly, flicking up to the Goblet before leaning slightly to murmur to a Slytherin next to her. The boy smirks instantly, her own lips parting with a comfortable smirk of her own as some chuckles briefly pass through some of the Slytherins at her table.

One of those filing into the room was Luna Lovegood. Schoolbooks and Quibbler left back at her room, Luna arrives alone, a vague little smile upon her lips. Spotting Ginny, she waves a little bit in her friend's direction - whether or not Ginny actually sees, it's pretty busy in there. Regardless of whether or not her friend responds, Luna gives her a smile, and starts towards her House table, finding an empty spot and settling herself down into it.

Oscar strolls into the hall at an easy pace, acting as unbothered as if it were any usual day's dinner. His keen gaze flickers over the other tables as if sizing them up - but then, there's little doubt one of them will produce someone worthy of being actual competition, now is there. Without pause, he goes straight to the Slytherin table, ordering a first year to move down so that he can sit there; never mind that there are still plenty of other places he could sit. He wants to sit there.

"I don't know." Harry replies, grinning as he hears the growling of his friend's stomach. "But I heard lots of people entered. It'll be interesting for sure." He darts a glance at Ginny's words and nods. "No one really knows how it works. But I know I've put in to help out with the support team."

Donner reluctantly turns his feet towards the Slytherin table. He is not a fan of things delaying his dinner, no matter how exciting the rest of the castle finds it. Climbing over the bench to have a seat, he makes sure to sit well down the table from Zarina, though he does shoot her a wary glance.

At the high table, all the familiar faces are there, and a couple of folks who weren't present last time. One is a semi-familiar face with a shock of Red Weasley Hair (tm), the latest Head Boy from that family coming back and sitting next to his boss, looking quite pompous and important. The boss, on the other hand, is the unfamiliar face with an unfortunate resemblance to a certain notorious Muggle dictator from 50 years ago. Bartemius Crouch actually hardly notices Percy Weasley sitting next to him, although both men look toward the headmaster of the school when he stands up and waits for the students to settle in and somewhat pay attention for once. He moves forward, around the table, to the candle-lit owl-shaped podium and absently runs his hand over one of the candles, the flame extinguishing itself on one pass and then relighting on the other. "Before we get to our excellent feast tonight," he says when the dull roar of arriving students reaches a suitable level, "let me introduce you to Mr. Bartemius Crouch of the Department of International Magical Games, which has loaned the school a most excellent device for choosing the champions tonight." Crouch twitches a grimace of a smile when he's named, and Percy Weasley can't help but puff out his chest due to the importance of his boss.

With a sharp flick of her fiery eyes, Siobhan sends Oscar a quelling glare. "Houlihan," she snaps, just enough volume in her voice for him to hear. "Learn some subtlety or I'll teach you some." She doesn't take well to bullying of any sort, but such public displays of the despicable habit undermine their House and she Will Not Stand For It.

Melissa looks very excited as she enters the Great Hall. She was ready to see who would be competing for the "Dumblecup". She sits close to the other Ravenclaws, grinning widely and staring at the Goblet. "I never even saw it before today," she says in an awed hush. "Mostly because I knew I couldn't enter or anything, so… I just didn't even look. I did wonder how many people were going to try to break the rules…" she continus, adjusting her glasses thoughtfully, "but from what I've heard it didn't work out for any of them."

Luna's given a slight smile when she's noticed and Ophelia lowers her arms and turns to the front when it's apparent that stuff is going to happen. There's a slight noise when she notices the redhead puff up, and she just shakes her head. A hand covers her mouth so she doesn't make the mistake to actually start laughing.

Glancing to Siobhan, Zarina quirks a brow as she smirks to Siobhan, her approval apparent as her rich sapphire eyes flicking to Oscar. The smirk only grows as she shakes her head lightly to herself, absently reaching up to brush a long white lock of hair behind her ear.

Oscar flashes Siobhan an amused grin, not quelled in the slightest. "Oh, come now, Noble, he's just fine. Aren't you?" That's posed to the first year in question, though he's not given much chance to answer as the much larger Oscar gives him three rather hard 'reassuring' pats on the back. "Though if you fancy such a lesson, I could probably make some time." He's kept from further comment as he finds his gaze sliding towards the head table, taking in those in attendance on this special occasion.

Ginny notices Luna's wave out of the corner of her eye, and returns the wave with a smile. She twists in her seat somewhat to properly see all of the students, taking in every face. Siobhan and Zarina both get the same treatment as Luna - a smile and a wave. A few of the girls next to Ginny notice her waving to /Slytherins/ and start whispering among themselves. Ginny gives them no mind, turning to the staff table as she spots the familiar hair. Her lips twist into another smile, though this one is ever so slightly sarcastic. Oh, Percy.

Perpetua is settled in with her fellow Hufflepuffs. So far, her attention is fixed mostly at the front of the Great Hall, Dumbledore and the Goblet of Fire. Looking up and down the table, she's curious as to which of her housemates will be competing.. That and if it's as dangerous as Walter said it is.

Elizabeth arches a brow, spying Luna not too far from where she sits herself at the Ravenclaw table as the other girl clasps her hands over her mouth. One of the very few students still silent as she watches for a quiet moment before flicking her bright sky blue eyes back to the main table itself. Seeming much more interested in the Professors themselves instead of the gossip that seems to be milling around.

Braeden smiles at Ginny before offering her a nod of welcome, "That's what I heard about the Goblet too. I tried to look into it with someone else but we couldn't find anything ourselves." He turns his head afterward to look up at the teachers, particularly Dumbles with that particular musing look in his eyes though his attention would drift towards the Slytherin table. Surprisingly, there's a small grin on his lips when he does that, though as to why only he could know.

"I wasn't questioning whether he was fine or not." Siobhan's tone has fire in it. She hasn't survived this long in the Snake House for nothing. Leaning closer to the younger boy, she lowers her voice accordingly. "That display was unseemly. They have a hard enough time with the rest of the school without you making it harder." Shifting to a more motion-ready position, her jaw sets firmly. "If you really want that lesson, Houlihan, I'll give it to you." She smiles as she sits back up straight. The expression is anything but her usual happy expression. "Just don't say I didn't warn you."

Zarina blinks once as she gets an inexpected wave from the Gryffindor table, her smile growing slighlty as she sees the brilliant red hair of Ginny as the younger girl waves happily to her. The corner of her full lips tugs with a grin as she lifts a hand, as carefree as the other girl as she waves back to Ginny.

Grinning at his sister, Ron takes a look around the Great Hall at everyone present. "I hope we get someone good…" Pausing for a moment, he leans closer to Harry. "Hopefully not from Slytherin," Ron adds in an undertone. Turning his eyes back to the high table, he watches Percy for a few moments, then shakes his head. "Bloody— he's such a prat," he says, rolling his eyes.

"And now, so you don't have to wait any longer and have something to chatter about during the feast, make sure you save room for dessert, by the way," continues Dumbledore blithely, "If we could please have a bit of quiet while I call out each name as it's presented. Champions who are selected will meet with Mr. Crouch tomorrow to hear more of what you will be doing during the tournament, and we are still accepting requests for volunteers to make up the squads that will be permitted to assist a House champion in their Tasks, and NOW…" With that one loud word, the entire Great Hall falls into blackness, with only the half-moon shining down on the Goblet of Fire and its blue flames, making for a rather pretty low-light glow that filmmakers would sell their unborn children to create without paying a bunch of nerds with CGI software to make.

Oh yay, it's dark. The moon does look pretty, as do the blue flames. Ophelia glances towards the sixth and seventh year students, as if trying to figur eout which one will be picked to represent their house.

Not being that tall, Perpetua cranes her neck and almost stands from her seat to see what's going on at the front of the room. Aside from it going dark with a blue light show that is. "What's it going to do? Call out names? Shoot sparkling lassos at those chosen?," is asked of no one in particular at her neighboring sides. She has no idea how this works, obviously.

As if encouraged by the lack of candles blazing down upon it and detracting from its glory, the crackling of the fire in the Goblet goes on a red shift of epic proportions, faster than a police box in a time vortex. A slip of paper shoots out of the fire and up into the air, flittering down and around lazily like a feather, the paper obviously scorched and still smoking as the Headmaster snatches it out of the air like a born Seeker on a Quidditch field. Squinting at the paper in the backlight of the once-more blue Goblet, Dumbledore calls out, "The Slytherin Champion is Miss Siobhan Noble."

Satisfied that the matter with Oscar is settled - for the time being - Siobhan turns her attention to the Headmaster and then to the flaming cup. When Dumbledore catches the slip of charred paper, she squints her eyes as if trying to recognize something. So intent is she that the sound of her own name seems to startle her. Slowly, that rather brilliant smile splits her face nearly in half. Oh, this is going to cause several heart-attacks. She just knows it.

Braeden frowns at the choice there with the Slytherin woman but nods all the same, offering his own round of applause in tune with whoever chose to do so. After all, even if it was a Slytherin member, she had been chosen for the competition that he himself had entered in hopes of joining. "Wonder who'll get chosen for the other houses." He muses quietly before looking towards Ron, Harry, and Ginny. He doesn't say anything beyond that though.
Kevin is applauding more for the effects than the champion. That stuff is neat, man. He envies.

Ginny looks positively awestruck at the effects just before the name is drawn, and when it is drawn, she beams. Of course, Ginny had been worried that one of the more loathesome Slytherin students would end up as the champion. Happily, it was not so. She brings her hands together with true enthusiasm, smiling and squirming eagerly. Who would be announced next?

Oh, Siobhan. Ophelia tilts her head, then shrugs, and applauds with the others. At least it wasn't someone openly vicious from that house.

Melissa claps as the name is read out. Definitely a dramatic show, she thinks, and wonders who's next.

Watching the display from the Goblet with wide eyes, Ron squints slightly at the sudden burst of light— when Dumble catches the piece of paper and reads out the name, Ron looks a little taken aback, his head ducking down slightly. It seems he still isn't quite over what happened that day in the DADA classroom. "She's… not so bad," he says to Harry, voice kept to a whisper.

As people are still reacting to the Slytherin choice, the Goblet clears its throat once more, bathing the Hall in the red light often used in horror flicks, quite appropriate for Halloween and trick or treating. With a 'thoom!' sound, another slip of paper is launched into the air, and this one takes its time to flutter on down, so much so that the headmaster clears his own throat and the paper suddenly zips into his aged hand. After a goodly squint at the handwriting in the blue firelight, the old wizard announces, "The Hufflepuff Champion is Ashley Wickham."

Perpetua heartily cheers on her own House champion, her own voice drowned out by the multitude of badgers who rise up. Tis a proud moment! It takes Pet a few moments to quiet back down before she's watching the goblet and Dumbledore again.

Harry shakes his head at Ron. "Not as bad as some of the others." he grins, watching the goblet choose the next victi….err….champion. When it comes up with the Hufflepuff one, he grins. "That'll be interesting." It's only a matter of time before it gets to their house.

Elizabeth lifts a brow as the second champion is called out loud, her sky blue eyes behind her glasses looking up to the Hufflepuff table as its students roar and clap with their approval. She barely purses her full lips together in thought before glancing back to Professor Dumbledore, silent, patient and certainly curious.

Recognizing the name called out for the Hufflepuff champion, Siobhan applauds with her usual enthusiasm. Considering how badly the boy seemed to want this the last time they spoke, this is a decidedly good turn of events. One more glance around her table - just to ensure peace - reveals that most of her House is too captivated by the show to cause trouble. Still… With people so cunning, it's never safe to be sure.

Braeden turns on the bench and leans back, letting the edge of the table support his lower back as he gazes off towards Hufflepuff. "So Wickham got the second Champion slot. This'll be interesting indeed." He offers before looking back at Harry. "You're right about that." A grin is offered to him before raising a hand to his hair, fingers slipping through it idly only to have him look back down at the ground. "Still. We've got a lot of good people in Gryffindor. I wonder which of us will be the Champion."

The Goblet's red shift seems almost unwilling this time, because blue is its preferred mode of operation, and this scrap of parchment seems to be trying to escape the slowly changing flames just as they're almost more of a purple than red or blue, but finally the scrap achieves escape velocity and flutters around like a demented butterfly until it's captured by Dumbledore's wrinkled hand. "The Ravenclaw champion shares the name of an excellent military medical facility in America," the aged man reports. "Walter Reed."

Perpetua /blinks/ as the Ravenclaw champion is called and she whirls around to look for Walter at his table. Holding up two fingers to her mouth, she blows out a piercing whistle to cheer him on. That's the cute Ravenclaw who spoke to her!

Ginny claps for each announced champion, though as she's not particularly familiar with the Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw champions, there is less of a personal glee. Suspense builds steadily once there is just one House - /her/ House - champion to be announced. Her lower lip is captured between her teeth, and her knee jiggles a little of its own accord.

All this politely clapping for the others' champions almost gets Ophelia to reply to their own champion with the same enthusiasm. Wait, What? Ravenclaw? Ophelia's eyes widen and there's more enthusiasm tossed in her applause. She turns to glance to wherever he may be sitting, cheering loudly.

The newly-proclaimed Champion for Ravenclaw hardly even notices that his name has been called for the first couple of moments after Dumbledore speaks, realizing what's happened only once a couple of other sixth years sitting around him start thumping him on the back. He grins crookedly and shifts a little to sit sideways on his bench, fist pumping into the air once or twice. Or maybe three times, just for good measure. Alright, four. The whistle aimed his way doesn't miss his notice either, and a wink is shot across the tables at Perpetua.

Kevin applauds, and hoots and hollers as well. If it can't be him, Reed is an acceptable choice. He supposes.

"Walter Reed… Walter Reed." Braeden mumbles to himself, not quite sure who that was as he hadn't met him but maybe once or twice in classes. "Not sure if I know the guy." He lounges back after saying that before letting his head tilt back upward. Only one house left. "Hope it's me." He says, his gaze intense for those few moments afterward before leaning forward in his seat. The young man was quite literaly on the edge of it.

Luna, having clapped politely for most of the champions so far, clapped a little louder for the Ravenclaw champion, turning her head to beam a smile towards Walter.

Elizabeth lifts a brow, glancing towards her own table as she lifts her hands and claps politely. Not as enthusiastically as some of the other Ravenclaws, but she shows her support, clapping happily before her sky blue eyes flick to the remaining Gryffindor table.

Melissa claps most enthusiastically for the Ravenclaw champion, with a big grin. "Go Walter!" she shouts. "Only one more…" she says with giddy anticipation.

Zarina glances to each of the tables in turn, clapping as each champion is declared, leaving the last to be the Gryffindor table. She lightly bites as her bottom lip, looking a bit more anxious than she was just a moment ago. Releasing a breath, her eyes flick to the Goblet of Fire, nervous and excited.

Donner is too young to really care about the Champions. Beyond Siobhan anyway, and that's only from vague feelings of house identity. He claps politely after each name is read, but having never seen the others (not even now, with all the rowdiness in the hall), can't bring himself to larger displays of enthusiasm.

The Goblet's still churning away, its fires not dimming in the slightest as it actually makes everyone wait for just another few moments as it considers which of the names to choose. Gryffindor choices are always corkers, and this one's no different. Good thing the Goblet and the Sorting Hat couldn't sit and have a little talk cuppo-to-hatto. Finally, however, it ROARS! out its choice this time, the fire shifting to red almost as quickly as it had done the first time around, the tips of the flames slightly golden as normal fire is wont to do. The slip of parchment thus presented arcs up into the air like a cannonball launched from the deck of a fierce pirate vessel to land with a sizzle in Dumbledore's hand. "You really need to lay off the sugar," the headmaster murmurs to the Goblet in a quiet aside, before raising his voice to address the students again. "The Gryffindor Champion is… Braden McCauley." And as soon as that announcement's made, the Goblet's fire goes out with a ffffffft!, and Dumbledore waves the candles back on so people don't stomp on each other accidentally in their cheering.

Braeden listens and is almost taken aback by the sudden roar from the fire. It seemed the Goblet was a Gryffindor graduate! He almost grins though a bit worried before falling back against the table from his seated position with a look of relief..and an almost dumbfounded expression. It seemed he was the Champion for the cup on Gryffindor's team. He doesn't speak though that expression turns into a rather large grin.

If the other tables didn't erupt in cheering, it's pretty certain the Gryffindor one does. Don't they always. And Harry joins in with the cheering. A look of 'congratulations' is tossed towards Braeden, since he's probably not close enough to hear it. "Definitely going to be an interesting tournament." he says towards Ron and Ginny, as he waits to see what else is up the old professor's sleeve.

Once the final name comes out of the Goblet and the Gryffindor champion is revealed, Ron claps enthusiastically for his house alongside Harry and the others, turning his eyes towards Ginny for a few moments, grinning at her. Turning the same grin on his friend, he settles down into his seat to get more comfortable. "Definitely. I wonder what they're going to line up for them."

Zarina blinks with some surprise as the name is announced out loud, her hands reaching up to cover her mouth as the Gryffindor table erupts with even louder cheers and congradulations. Several of the Gryffindor students at the table patting Braeden on the back as the cheering continues for several minutes.

Ginny literally bounces in her seat as Braeden's name is announced, clapping and cheering loudly. She puts two fingers in her mouth for a piercing whistle, and she's too caught up by excitement to blush or stammer when Harry speaks to her. "/Most/ definitely!" She cries out loudly in agreement to her brother and Harry.

With all four Houses assigned their Champions, Siobhan sits back; a little more relaxed. One thing down, she can afford a time of easy breathing before the first task. Zarina's reaction to the final choice is noted with surprise and a little curiosity. "You alright?" she asks quietly, leaning across the table to the other girl. The boy isn't familiar to her in anything more than passing, so she certainly cannot fathom the problem.

Once the applause is sorted out, Barty Crouch gets to his feet and collects the Goblet, glancing at the students in the similar sort of disdainful way one would except hooligans and truants to be looked at by proper authorities. Percy Weasley once more puffs up with pride as he assists his boss in the removal of the extremely valuable magical artifact, and then Dumbledore smiles and claps his hands. He doesn't need to say it as the feast appears magically in front of everyone. "Oh go on, tuck in," he says with shooing motions toward a couple of first-years looking a bit hesitant about doing just that without actually being told to. Just about everything succulent under the half-moon can be found on the various tables, enough of every item for everyone on each table to have some… if someone else doesn't get it first. And then the headmaster returns to his ornate gold-leafed chair to settle in, tossing his beard over his shoulder and helping himself to several items within reach that each smell just divine and taste better.

Zarina blinks, her eyes looking to her own champion with some surprise as she blinks again at Siobhan. "What?" Pressing her lips together for a brief moment, she just shakes her head, lifting a hand to brush a snow white lock behind her ear as she releases a breath. "Nothing. Its nothing. Don't worry about it." she answers, only for the next moment to pass as the spans of the halloween feast appears before them. Releasing another breath, Zarina helps herself to the food, spooning helping onto her plate as every once in a while flicks upwards at the other tables.

Luna doesn't quite start on the food right off. Instead turning towards Ophelia, she says, "Oh, how very exciting." she says with a bright smile. Idly, she reaches out a hand to snatch up a biscuit, to set upon her plate. "Do you think you will sign up for the support team?" she pauses a moment, and frowns some, scratching at the tip of her nose. "…although I do remember reading something about Daddy finding out a Tri-Wizard conspiracy…"

Braeden slumps down into his seat afterwards with a small smile on his lips. It seemed this was a good day for him. He'd end up going for his plate and loading it from the things laid out across the table in front of him with the occasional glance up at others around him that had converged to talk. "Who in Gryffindor is going to be on the support team? It's obvious none of the champions can do this alone." He asks to those in his immediate vicinity. That would include Harry and Ron if they were going to or not. He looks at them with the tilt of his head, "Both of you probably have the most experience from a lot of us with a lot of things you know. I wouldn't mind. Or Hermoine either."

Harry glances up at Braeden with a grin. "I've already volunteered for the support team." he mentions, nodding. "I'm sure Ron and Hermione have as well, and if not would. But you've got my support." All this is said while the 4th year is heaping food onto his plate.

Melissa grins. "Food time!" she says, collecting several food items on her plate. "All right, some of this… and that looks good!" she says, looking it over. "I still wish they'd say some more about what the competitions were actually going to be…"

Tiny Professor Flitwick, sitting on Dumbledore's left, quietly murmurs something to the headmaster, whose eyes go round, and Dumbledore laughs merrily. "How could I forget?" he asks, putting his silverware down and rising to his feet. "Your pardon, students," he says, his voice projecting naturally to the far ends of the Great Hall. "Filius has reminded me that we will also be having a special event this Christmas. Those of you who choose to stay over the Christmas holiday had better take some time to visit Hogsmeade and get some dress robes if you don't already have some, because third-years and above are all invited to the Yule Ball!" With a grin, he adds, "Champions, you should take the time between now and then to learn how to dance if you don't know how already, because you will be expected to lead the procession and the first dance. That is all." And he plops right back down and resumes his meal. "Pudding!" he carols gleefully as it appears next to his plate.

She tilts her head a little bit to Luna. "A conspiracy, hm?" Ophelia offers to the third year. She works on dealing with her food, but she nods. "I plan on it. I'm not one for so much the limelight, but I don't mind bein' part of the support network. B'sides, t'is good to support your house."

Oh right, support teams. Scooping food onto her plate, Siobhan attacks the various delicious dishes with a relish that may almost match Ron's. Apparently her lessons in deportment never got to table manners. That or it just didn't stick. As she chews, she glances around the table, contemplating; calculating. After a bit of silence, she leans across to Zarina again. "Round up the older students for me? I want to find out just who I'll have behind me." Her voice is quiet, but the sixth year should hear it well enough. Why discuss anything important in such a public locale? At least in her mind, that just asks for trouble.

Oh jeez.. a dance. Perpetua is the essential late bloomer, and sinks down into her seat as she picks at her plate. She's only had to dance with /her/ brother. How embarrassing is /that/? Well, she won't worry about this now, she'll worry later.

When the food appears on the tables, Ron dosen't waste any time whatsoever in attacking anything nearby. Better watch your fingers. Heaping food onto his plate, he takes a large drink of Pumpkin Juice before digging in, practically stuffing his mouth to the brim before swallowing. It's both hard to look, and hard to take your eyes away at the same time. Only when the announcement about the Yule Ball comes does he pause in eating, swallowing a large amount of food in one go. "Blimey," he says, turning his eyes to Harry.

While everyone seems to be getting their food groove on, the doors to the Great Hall creak open. And while one would expect it's either Filch or a Halloween prank, some would know that it is not.

For through the tall doors bounds the silvery image of a lynx. It stops for a moment, glancing around at the students gathered before continuing up to the staff table. A moment later the patronus speaks, using the voice of Kingsley Shacklebot that almost echoes in the room.

"My apologies for the interruption, Dumbledore. But this couldn't wait. Minister Fudge has been ousted. Senior Under-Secretary Umbridge removed him just moments ago, citing legislation that Fudge passed allowing her to remove him if he was deemed unfit for the position. I can't tell you how this is going to go down, but there are already rumors floating among the departments." *the lynx looks around* "I have to go, she's coming this way."
And in a puff, the patronus disappears.

"Oh, yes. I don't know much about it, but that they killed a troll scholar." Luna says. "I'll have to ask daddy for dress robes, too." she says, the happy sound of 'pudding' reaching her ears, and causing her to perk up. "Oh, they have pudding here?" she asks, although her hands were already reaching out for the bowl when that Patronus slips into the room. "…hmm."

With a spoon in her mouth, Zarina blinks up at Siobhan as the other girl murmurs to her across the table, frowning slightly as she glances to the main Slytherin table itself. "I suppose I could, though everyone is already here." she shrugs a shoulder. "I will support you. I can help with whatever you need, so you can count on me." Her sapphire eyes look up at the Professor Dumbledore at the announcement of the Yule Ball, which doesn't seem to be of any surprise to the Slytherin girl. Her attention is pulled yet again as the doors of the great hall open, the Patronus enters and delivers his news to Professor Dumbledore. She blinks, her lips parting in her surprise as she holds onto her spoon.

Moody's vivid blue eye zooms in on the incoming patronus, and his expression gets as grim as it's ever been. He shoots a look at Dumbledore, and says a very unprofessor-like word. Oh he knows of that name and what it means. He doesn't even care that he just said a very rude thing in hearing range of faculty and students close to the High Table.

Distracted from Zarina's response - if the girl even gives one - by the sudden opening of doors. That lynx lopes into the room and the color starts to slowly drain from her face. That's… When the thing starts to talk, she swallows hard and sets her jaw. The message is heard clearly and her wand slips down to be gripped tightly in her right hand. She too knows what that name means. Bad News. Unlike Moody, however, she has the grace not to swear. Even so, her eyes scan the room, meeting familiar eyes and waiting for the opportune moment to flee. She has several loved ones involved rather thigh-deep in that Ministry. Finally, she settles her gaze on the Headmaster. If he has nothing further to add, she's out of here.

Dumbledore shoots a glance at McGonagall and then to the other teachers as the patronus comes in and announces its news. And then, with a sigh, he pushes the bowl of chocolate pudding away and props his chin on his folded hands, blue eyes not twinkling in the slightest, but already adopting the look of a grandmaster chess player planning his next few moves. "Alastor," is the only chiding comment to usher out of Dumbledore's mouth for the very rude thing Moody just said. Then, he mutters quietly, for the teachers' ears only, "I so dislike being right sometimes."

Dress robes… Oh she'll have to find something extra special. "I wonder if—"But then there's that silvery thing. "Strange. What's a Patronus doing here.." She didn't think one could just walk around. Ophelia furrows her brows a little bit at the echoing message.

Melissa pushes her glasses up her nose and frowns. "Umbridge?! The werewolf person?" she says. "She'd better not end up in charge… any more than usual anyway…" She keeps eating, but a bit less enthusiastically than usual.

Moody utters a grunt in response to Dumbledore. That's the closest he's going to give to an apology. "Meant every word of it," he grumbles to the Headmaster. And more equally rude will follow later behind closed doors. He shoots a glance to Dumbledore, as if checking for orders.

Finally getting to a point where's somewhat full, Ron begins to eat at a slower pace, pulling some dessert pudding towards him and heaving a few great spoonfuls onto his plate. He turns his head when the doors to the Great Hall open, watching the Patronus as it moves toward the head of the hall. After its announcement, he slowly swallows, turning his eyes to Harry, and then searching for his sister a few seats down the table, trying to catch her eye. Fudge being ousted? That can't be good.

Her own appetite quite soured as well, whatever was on her plate is ushered aside while McGonagall settles her green eyes on Albus, then anyone in her line of sight, all in turn. Moody may be checking, but she, on the other hand, is questioning, at the same muttering volume, for adults' ears only. "What do you propose we prepare for, Albus?"

"I volunteered for support, too." Ginny tells Braeden, and is about to make some sort of delightedly girly comment about the Yule Ball when the patronus appears. She recognizes it as what it is - thank you, Hermione, for making her read so much - and the words give her chills. And not the good kind. Her brown eyes lift, shifting nervously over her fellow Gryffindors, and she catches Ron's eye. Lifting her eyebrows at her brother, she gives him a very pointed look. 'This is so not good in any way,' that look says.

Donner is more aware of everyone else's reaction to the silvery lynx than any significance to himself. "That's… not good, is it?" He observes, settting down his fork.

Dumbledore still keeps his voice down, his words for the teachers only, and in fact, his folded hands are perfect for hiding the movements of his lips from those lip-readers amongst the students. "We prepare for an attack on everything we hold dear. Not through magic and duels, but through legislation and /rules/. And you should also be prepared for personal attacks upon yourselves, calling everything from your expertise to your parentage into question. However, I will not allow this school to become the plaything of a misguided Ministry." His words are firm, polite, and simply matter-of-fact, although his blue eyes blaze with a fierceness that only a few in the Great Hall have ever properly seen before. "Hogwarts will remain as it is," he says louder, his words meant to be heard by the students. "A bastion of magical learning and open-minded thinking."

Donner's observation is met with a grim shake of Siobhan's head. "No, mate. It's definitely not good." And Dumbledore's audible words on the subject don't seem to sate her in the least. There's a second's hesitation, but then she stands, still at her place, and turns to the head table. "With all due respect, Professor, Hogwarts isn't everything." Images of loved ones keep flashing behind her eyes; Jack, Ali, Tonks, Da, Liam… The list grows until she shakes her head again to rid herself of them. "What about the rest of them? The world outside the school?" For most of the assembled audience, this school was the world, but that wouldn't stay so forever. For her and the other seventh-years, that wouldn't last but mere months.

Ophelia just pokes idly at her food. Considering her lineage, she's only vaguely familiar with Umbridge. Maybe that's something she should be worried about.

There's a snort heard from Moody. Figures Dumbledore would say something like that. He admires the Headmaster and respects him greatly, but sometimes the idealism has to be replaced with reality and a healthy dose of paranoia. "No, it's not Noble, but it's a step towards the outside world," he growls aloud as he spears a sausage with his knife and proceeds to eat.

Melissa nods approvingly toward Dumbledore. "That's right!" she says, clapping her hands. "We're not going to look down on people for things they can't change… Not even if they're Slytherin!" she says.

Luna wasn't terribly familiar with Umbridge, but it was easy to take the implication that she was bad news. Regardless, she had pudding. Spooning a few scoops into her bowl, she starts to munch away, her eyes, for the most part, staring unblinkingly towards Moody.

Dumbledore seems mildly surprised that one of the students speaks out for the people outside these hallowed halls. "Rest assured, Miss Noble, that those who have since graduated Hogwarts, and even those who have not had the opportunity to study here, are in my thoughts. They are not forgotten." But he doesn't speak of what those thoughts might be, not openly anyway.

And were she - perhaps - in Gryffindor, the Headmaster's assurance quite possibly could have soothed her worry. As it is, Siobhan has difficulty trusting in such vague assurances; they sound far too much like empty platitudes to the slightly cynical Slytherin. Torn between her desire to press for concrete assurance and her own dislike of revealing any information in so public a venue, she merely stares at the Headmaster for a long moment before nodding. Pushing back from her place, she carefully sheathes her wand and steps away from the table. "I really hope it's a quick step, Professor Moody. It's our families out there." And she doesn't trust Umbridge any further than she could toss her. She can't even bring herself to look at her own Head of House. She'll likely hear it later for this display, but right now she can't be bothered to really much care. Quick strides carry her to the doors left open from the lynx. Suddenly this student doesn't have much of an appetite.

After a last few mutterings reach his ears and the meal ends a bit less happy than it had started, the food is whisked away by the same magic that brought it to begin with, and the headmaster says, "Now off to bed, all of you. There are classes tomorrow. The Champions will meet in the waiting room across the hallway with Mr. Crouch tomorrow after breakfast. Due to the extensive research required for the tournament, they will be excused from exams this year as well. Their support teams, however, are not. Off you go now."

Well, it's been some night. First the name drawings. Then food. It was almost too much for Harry at that point. Then….the Yule Ball. Hopefully his glance towards someone at the Gryffindor table wasn't noticed, or else there might be words later. And then….the news. What a wonderful way to round out the night. "This is all going to change things now, Ron." he says, glancing at his best friend before starting to stand up.

It kind of petered out at the end, yes. It did.

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