Sorry about the formatting, but I'm too lazy to fix it right now
By Jim Caple
The newest book in the Harry Potter series -- "Harry Potter and the
Half-Blood Prince" -- goes on sale at midnight Friday. As usual, the
book's plot has been carefully kept secret from mere Muggles but never
fear -- the Page 2 spies obtained an advance copy. As the following
chapter shows, the Hogwarts student wizards are another year older and
beginning to show interest in more adult pastimes. ?
Hermione lit the votive candles on her night stand, followed by a stick of
incense. She turned off the light, turned up the R&B music and turned
toward Harry. She removed his glasses and stared longingly into his eyes.
"You have such beautiful eyes. I'm not sure why it took me so long to
notice," she said, kissing him softly on the lips. She backed away
slightly and pulled off her sweater, revealing her recently developed
bosom. "Is that the new Nimbus 2000 or are you just happy to see me?"
whispered breathlessly in Harry's ear ?
Harry opened his eyes. Just a dream. He wiped the sleep from his eyes, put
on his glasses and looked toward the doorway. Hermione stood there
impatiently. And, he was sad to see, she was fully clothed.
"What's the matter?" Harry asked, imagining he and Hermione performing
act We Must Not Name, or at least not until Book Seven.
"I'm worried about Ron," Hermione replied in the supercilious manner that
made Harry want to lick her shoes and whimper with delight. "He spends
hour after hour at Hagrid's every afternoon and evening but when I ask him
what he does there, he gets very uncomfortable and evasive."
"Perhaps he is just surfing the net for pornogra--" Harry suggested,
stopping himself before he revealed too much about his own personal
habits. "I mean, maybe he's just doing some research for our Double
Hermione peered into the hallway for spies and Harry took advantage of the
opportunity to get a good long look at her rear end. He noticed how it was
so much more appealing than Aunt Petunia's. What fat butts all the
"I think he's in serious trouble," Hermione said in a whisper as she sat
next to Harry on the bed. Harry cupped his mouth with his right hand and
exhaled, trying to smell his breath. Oh, why hadn't he brushed his teeth
the night before? "Why do you say that?" he squeaked.
"Because I heard Draco Malfoy tell him, 'You owe me 20,000 galleons and if
you don't pay up by Friday, I'm going to cut off your ears and bury them
Draco Malfoy. The very thought of his blonde-haired rival made Harry
cringe. And yet, for some reason, it also made him imagine his rival from
Slytherin wearing a leather vest and chaps.
"C'mon Harry," Hermione said, "We must find him immediately."
The two raced to Hagrid's hut where their great, burly friend wore a
worried expression when he answered the door. He looked as if he hadn't
slept since Book Three. Spiders, cockroaches and mice crawled through his
"Thank heavens you've come," Hagrid rumbled. "He was at it all night
"At what?" Harry asked.
Hagrid let loose with an amazing fart that rattled the windows and peeled
the wallpaper. "Why, online poker, of course. He's been doing little else
the entire semester. There he is now."
Ron was sitting in his underwear at a computer, staring at a Texas Hold
'em game on the monitor and eating paste from a jar. He was pale and
smelled faintly of sour milk. Hermione grabbed his hand and attempted to
drag him out of the room. "We're taking you home before Professor
Dumbledore finds out about this and expels you."
"Hold on, Hermione," Ron replied, picking at his toe jam. "I'm about
win this hand."
The three students peered anxiously at the computer screen and saw the six
of clubs pop up on the turn, followed by a jack of diamonds on the river.
"Drat," Ron complained while digging out lint from his belly button. "I
was so close again. If only it had been a five of spades on the turn and a
three of hearts on the river, I would have won!"
"Ron," Hermione cried, "you've got a serious gambling problem. How
have you lost so far?"
"Not that much, Hermione. Only about 58,000 galleons. All I have to do is
win a couple hands and I'll be fine."
Harry whistled at the amount. Fifty-eight thousand galleons! "Where did
you get all that money to gamble? Your family is poor."
"Draco gave it to me," Ron responded. "He's really not such a bad
after you get to know him a bit, Harry. Why, he's giving me a 16.9 percent
interest rate and I don't have to pay him again until the 19th."
"Ron, this is the 22nd. You're three days overdue."
"I am? Oh, dear," Ron said, wetting himself at the thought. "What
I to do Harry? If I don't pay Draco that money, he's going to cut my ears
"There, there, Ron. It will be all right," Hermione said. She put her
around her friend and rocked him gently, making Harry so jealous he
considered gambling his way into a debt of 58,000 galleons.
"But what can we do?" Harry wailed.
"There's only one thing that can be done," Hermione said. "We'll
our money together and then place it on Slytherin for the next Quidditch
"Bet on Slytherin? Why? They're not going to beat Gryffindore."
"Not if you throw the game," Hermione said, winking and running her tongue
over her top lip. "You wouldn't have a problem doing that, would you?"
Jim Caple is a senior writer at ESPN.com. His first book, "The Devil Wears
Pinstripes," is on sale now at bookstores nationwide. It also can be
ordered through his Web site, Jimcaple.com.
My favourite bit is the line about Draco in leather and chaps. :D