The Stand @theactualrealone
Electives and A Crush

In an earlier chapter, I posted a class schedule. Don't pay attention to it. Upon review, I've realized how stupid it is. It no longer holds any meaning.

"Aren't you guys excited" Parvati squealed "We finally get to go to Hogsmeade!"

"What's even in Hogsmeade" Rishi asked. In the Ravenclaw common room, most did not discuss Hogsmeade. Many students would go, but only a small group of people talked about it. Plus, that group included Cho and Rishi made a point not to listen to her.

Parvati rolled her eyes and began rattling off a list of shops. Rishi aptly listened while Harry stared out the window.

The return to Hogwarts was still very exciting for Harry. This year, would be even better. As a ploy to get on Harry's good side, Dumbledore hired Lupin as the Defense teacher. And of course, there was Hogsmeade and new classes.

"Which classes are you doing" Harry suddenly asked "I have Ancient Runes, Arithmancy and Care of Magical Creatures." It had slipped his mind until now.

"Divination and Care of Magical Creatures" Parvati replied, though she looked annoyed about Harry interrupting her.

"Ancient Runes and Arithmancy" came from Rishi.

"Care of Magical Creatures and Arithmancy" Draco told them.

Neville went next "I have COMC and Ancient Runes."

"Ancient Runes and Arithmancy" Daphne stated, gazing out the window.

Padma nodded "Same."

"I'm taking COMC, Divination, Arithmancy and Ancient Runes" Hermione said breathlessly.

The rest of the train ride went peacefully* with Parvati returning to her rant of Hogsmeade. When the group finally arrived, they left the train and eventually, were back at Hogwarts. At Ravenclaw, they saw Luna. When Padma asked where she was on the train, she smiled "I was looking for dabberblimps."

It was chalked off as Luna being Luna and nothing more was said (though Hermione gave her an exasperated looks). The sorting flew by and before Harry knew it, he was in his bed, sleeping.

The next day, the gauntlet of classes began. Charms was as fun as ever. Care of Magical Creatures, wasn't.

Harry, Draco, and Hermione all walked down to the grounds together, and there, met up with Parvati. From there, everything started going downhill.

"Gather around" Hagrid, the new COMC teacher, said gruffly "Today, we got a real treat."

Hagrid gestured to the pen which was filled with winged animals "These are hippogriffs. They're half-eagle and half-horse."

"If they're half-eagle and half-horse" Harry asked, harnessing his inner Rishi "Why is there a 'hippo' in their name?"

This was ignored by Hagrid, who continued "Anyone wanna ride 'em?"

Harry raised his hand, and since he was the only one who volunteered, Hagrid called him up. Following Hagrid's instructions, Harry bowed. The hippogriff, named Buckbeak, bowed back. Harry slowly climbed onto its back, eager to keep the beast at bay. Buckbeak then took him up into the skies. It wasn't as great as a broom but it was pretty damn close.

Theodore Nott snorted after Harry came back down. When Hagrid asked for more volunteers, he raised his hand "I can do better than that half-blood." He walked over to Buckbeak, ready to go. But, instead of bowing like Harry, he decided to insult Buckbeak.

"It shouldn't be hard to tame such a disgusting creature like this" Nott sneered at Buckbeak. This attitude pissed of Buckbeak, so when Nott went to mount him, Buckbeak went off. He threw off Nott and bit him, which caused Pansy to shriek and Draco to laugh.

Nott wailed at the blood while Hagrid paled. Nott grumbled "I'll tell my father about this a nd..."

"He'll do what" Draco asked "We have a multiple eyewitnesses. Plus you can't fake memories Nott. Face it. You can't win."

Nott wisely shut up. Hagrid let Pansy take him to the hospital wing but not before deducting 30 points from Slytherin. While he left, Nott was still grumbling about what his dad would do to "that oaf of a teacher,"

Nott was still telling all who could hear about how Hagrid would be fired. From what Draco told him, Slytherin was split on him. A small group thought that Hagrid would get fired while the others believed that Nott couldn't win this case. The only true thing Nott said was that he got hurt.

This made Nott even more annoying in class since he had a legitimate reason not to do work. In potions, he sat around lazily and forced Ernie MacMillan to do all the work. Harry wasn't there for it but Draco told him of it. Even Snape got irritated and he loved his Slytherins.

Harry finally experienced this during Lupin's first DADA class. Lupin started by taking them to an empty classroom bar a wardrobe "Today, we will combat a boggart. Can anyone tell me what a boggart does?"

Hermione's hand shot up and Lupin called on her "Boggarts take the form of your worst fears."

"5 points to Ravenclaw" Lupin gave her a nod "Who wants to go first? You don't have to go unless you want you to."

When no one volunteered, Lupin asked Hermione to go. Hermione walked up to the wardrobe, curious to see his fear. Lupin began instructing him "When the wardrobe opens, the boggart will change to like your fear. You combat it by imagining that fear in a form which doesn't scare you."

Lupin opened the wardrobe and the boggart changed. It suddenly looked like Flitwick. This fake Fliwick then began speaking "Hermione, I regret to inform you that you have failed all you classes and..."

"Riddikulus" Hermione said, unwilling to let the scene continue.

Fliwick then continued talking "I am proud to give you this award for being the top of your class."

"Good" Lupin said "We need to move quickly in order to defeat it. When I call your name, go! Daphne!"

Daphne went up and saw her sister, lying dead on the ground. Daphne said the incantation and Astoria suddenly got up and smiled. Next, Padma went and was faced with a giant Cobra. Once the spell was said, the snake was a giant Jack-In-A-Box. After a few more people, Lupin added "Good job. It's getting confused. Rishi!"

Rishi went and found himself suddenly up high above ground. He yelled Riddikulus and suddenly, he was on a slide, going back down. A few more people went, not Harry however. Draco went and saw his dad. Finally, Harry was the only one remaining. Before Harry could go, the boggart was defeated and Lupin closed the wardrobe.

The rest of the days flew by like they always do. Ravenclaw wanted to defend its Quidditch championship and as such, got right into practicing. Add in the fact that Roger was graduating, and the Ravenclaw team began working tirelessly.

The day before Halloween was when things got interesting. Harry and Rishi were heading to the library when they overheard Lavender Brown talking with Seamus Finnigan. They almost walked right past them when...

"Is Parvati going to Hogsmeade" Seamus asked the female Lion.

"Yeah," Lavender replied "Why'd you ask?"

"Dean is thinking of asking her to go with him" Seamus shrugged.

At this point, Rishi had stopped moving and was listening. Harry silently smirked. It seemed Rishi does like Parvati after all.

"That's great" Lavender squealed "I totally ship them!"

Rishi looked crestfallen at that. He began walking back to Ravenclaw tower. Realizing what his friend was doing, Harry raced after him. He caught back up to him in their dormitory "Dude..."

"I'm fine" Rishi said curtly "She doesn't like me anyway. I just need to move on."

"How do I put this" Harry tapped his fingers on his desk "She does like you."

Rishi sat up straight up "What?"

"We've all noticed it" Harry explained "Me, Draco, Neville, Hermione, Padma and Daphne all saw it. She likes you."

"Wha-what do I do then" Rishi stammered. In his mind, he was way out of his depth.

"Ask her out to Hogsmeade" Harry told his oldest friend, giving him a small smile.

"What if she says no" Rishi asked.

"What if she says yes?"

Harry and Rishi walked back down from their dormitory. Harry was praying for his friend. Rishi was praying that he wasn't too late.

Eventually, the duo made it to the library where they saw everyone else. Harry looked at his friend and saw that his calm, cool exterior was still there. But inside, he knew that Rishi was nervous as hell.

They got to work, with minimal conversation. And when Parvati said that she was going to find a book, Rishi decided to take his shot "Want some help?"

Parvati gave him a grateful smile "That'd be great."

The two then went into the shelves. Harry watched them, hoping to figure out what was happening. He certainly couldn't hear them so body language was his only hope. When Draco asked why he was watching them, Harry explained what was happening. This led to everyone watching Rishi and Parvati.

After a few minutes of looking, Rishi decided to ask "Hey Parvati..."

At her name, Parvati looked at Rishi, who continued "I was wondering if... if you'd to go to Hogsmeade with me? Like a date?"

Parvati was silent for a moment. When Lavender started looking a bit at boys near the end of last year, she dragged Parvati with her. That's when she realized it herself: she liked Rishi Gopal. That energetic kid who she grew up with that'd do anything for his friends. She had a crush on him.**

She denied it at first, thinking that he was only a friend. But, a talk with her friends helped convince her of the truth. Finally, she smiled at Rishi "I'd love to."

* No one knows that Peter is still out there. So in the ministry's eyes, there is no need for dementors yet.

** I finalized the shippings for this story and did some digging. Most kids start dating around 12 and 13. In canon, Harry starts around 4th year. I wanted one pair to represent the actual numbers for dating so I chose Rishi and Parvati.

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