Halloween

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Malfoy couldn't believe his eyes when he saw that Rain and Ron were still at Hogwarts the next day, looking tired but perfectly cheerful. Indeed, by the next morning Rain and Ron thought that meeting the three-headed dog had been an excellent adventure, and they were quite keen to have another one. In the meantime, Rain filled Ron and Hermione in about the package that seemed to have been moved from Gringotts to Hogwarts, and they spent a lot of time wondering what could possibly need such heavy protection.

"It's either really valuable or really dangerous." Ron deduced.

"Or both," chimed Rain.

But as all they knew for sure about the mysterious object was that it was about two inches long, they didn't have much chance of guessing what it was without further clues.

Neither Neville nor Hermione showed the slightest interest in what lay underneath the dog and the trapdoor. All Neville cared about was never going near the dog again.

Hermione was now refusing to speak to Rain and Ron, which kind of hurt. Hermione was Rain's first girl friend and they seemed to get along so well on the train and in their dorm. Rain had been looking forward to spending time with her when they got sorted into the same House.

As the owls flooded into the Great Hall as usual, everyone's attention was caught at once by a long, thin package carried by six large screech owls. Rain was just as interested as everyone else to see what was in this large parcel, and was amazed when the owls soared down and dropped it right in front of her, knocking her bacon to the floor. They had hardly fluttered out of the way when another owl dropped a letter on top of the parcel.

Rain ripped open the letter first, which was lucky, because it said:

DO NOT OPEN THE PARCEL AT THE TABLE.
It contains your new Nimbus 2000, but I don't want everybody knowing you've got a broomstick or they'll all want one. Oliver Wood will meet you tonight on the Quidditch field at seven o'clock for your first training session.
Professor McGonagall

Rain had difficulty hiding her glee as she handed the note to Ron to read.

"A Nimbus 2000!" Ron moaned enviously. "I've never even touched one."

They left the hall quickly, wanting to unwrap the broomstick in private before their first class, but halfway across the entrance hall they found the way upstairs barred by Crabbe and Goyle. Malfoy seized the package from Rain and felt it.

"That's a broomstick." He said, throwing it back to Rain with a mixture of jealousy and spite on his face. "You'll be in for it this time, Potter, first years aren't allowed them."

Ron couldn't resist it.

"It's not any old broomstick," he said, "it's a Nimbus 2000. What did you say you've got at home, Malfoy, a Comet 260?" Ron grinned at Rain, but she just bit her lip softly, not wanting to antagonize anyone. "Comets look flashy, but they're not in the same league as the Nimbus."

"What would you know about it, Weasley, you couldn't afford half the handle." Malfoy snapped back. "I suppose you and your brothers have to save up twig by twig."

Before Ron could answer, Professor Flitwick appeared at Malfoy's elbow.

"Not arguing, I hope, boys?" He squeaked.

"Potter's been sent a broomstick, Professor." Malfoy tattled quickly.

"Yes, yes, that's right," said Professor Flitwick, beaming at Rain, "Professor McGonagall told me all about the special circumstances, Potter. And what model is it?"

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