"Settle down" Flitwick told his rowdy charms class "I have an announcement to make."
This caused the class to quiet down. Once they were silent, he began his announcement "On Christmas day, Hogwarts will host a Yule Ball for all the competing schools. It is a chance for everyone to 'let their hair down.' It is open to all in their fourth year and above. If you choose to attend, you are expected to wear dress robes."
Students began whispering among themselves as Flitwick continued "The Ball will consist of a feast and a dance. The champions and their dates will do an opening dance and afterwards, the dance floor will be open to all."
Harry wasn't paying much attention. That was until, Flitwick mentioned champions and dates. His new reality slowly set in. He needed to find a date.
Flitwick dismissed them so everyone began filing out and as Harry, Rishi, Padma and Hermione walked, the Boy-Who-Lived groaned "Great. I need to find a date. That's gonna be impossible."
Rishi shrugged "It shouldn't be that hard."
Harry cast Rishi an annoyed look "Easy for you to say. You have a girlfriend."
Rishi chuckled "Here's the thing, we all know Ginny Weasley likes you. So that's at least one girl who'll for sure go with you. Plus, you're the boy-who-lived and Lord Potter. Lots of girls will probably ask you."
Padma nodded "You should hear what they say about you in the bathrooms."
Hermione shuddered "I couldn't look in the eye for a week after listening to some of the older students."
Rishi gestured to the girls "See! It's not like no one will go with you!"
"I guess you're right" Harry sighed "Anyway, I gotta go. I'm going to tell Cedric the clue."
His friends nodded and waved as he set off for the library, where he and Cedric planned to meet. Getting there, he found Cedric sitting at a table. He pulled out a chair and smiled "Hey."
"Hey" Cedric smiled back "You've got the clue?"
"I do" Harry replied "I won't tell you it though."
Cedric looked a bit annoyed so Harry leaned it closer to whisper "Our foreign guests may think that we are working together on every task. We are already on thin ice with the fourth champion shit so it's best not to push it."
Cedric seemed to get it "Makes sense. What's your hint?"
"Take a bath with the egg" Harry smirked "It sounds crazy but it works. Trust me."
"Thanks" Cedric suddenly lowered his voice even more "I guess you've heard about the Yule Ball?"
Harry nodded "You plan to take anyone?"
"I've thought about some people" Cedric whispered "What do you think of Cho Chang?"
Harry snorted "Can I be honest?"
Cedric nodded so Harry began his rant "She seems a bit narcissistic to me. She thinks of herself as really great and amazing. Before Quidditch tryouts, she'll brag about how she'll start at seeker. Every year, I beat her out. She also bullies my friend Luna, which I can't stand."
"Thanks for the input" Cedric said "Why is it so hard to find smart, pretty and nice girls?"
Harry rolled his eyes "The girls probably say that about boys. Besides, no one's perfect. Why don't you ask Fleur?"
"Fleur" Cedric repeated "Beauxbaton's champion?"
"Yes" Harry told him "Like I said, no one's perfect. But, Fleur's pretty cool. She's undeniably pretty. She's also very smart. We had a very nice conversation a while back on transfiguration laws. Most probably focus on her looks but she has a very nice brain. And finally, she's pretty nice. She was a bit standoffish at first to me, but after a while, was nice."
Cedric thought about this "She does seem nice. I guess it's worth a shot. Thanks Harry."
He clapped the younger boy on the back and left the library, probably to ask Fleur to the ball. Harry waved goodbye as he suddenly remembered that he had to find his own date.
Rishi clapped his hands "Okay everyone. We are here today to help Harry find a date since he can't for some reason."
"Before we start" Parvati looked at her friends "Did you hear? Cedric and Fleur are going to the Yule Ball together. That's such a power couple!"
Harry smirked "I set them up. I told Cedric that he should ask Fleur."
Parvati smiled "Good job! I didn't know you had it in you!"
Draco chuckled "I have a question for Harry. Has anyone asked you to the Ball?"
"About..." Harry began counting "13 people."
Neville's eyes widened "13?! I've gotten asked by 2!"
Padma raised an eyebrow "Really? Who?"
"Hannah Abbott and Susan Bones" Neville answered as he turned to Harry "I plan to reject them both. I won't let their treatment of you slide."
Harry grinned "Thanks man. Also, when you reject them, hand Susan the document."
"What letter" Hermione asked.
"My revenge on her" Harry rubbed his hands together "But that ain't important. Who has dates so far?"
Daphne looked at everyone "Draco's going with Tracey. Rishi and Parvati are going together. Hermione has a mysterious date that we'll find out later. Is that all so far?"
When everyone agreed, she turned to Neville "Who do you plan to take?"
Neville blushes "I-I want to ask Luna."
Harry patted him on the back "Good for you!"
Padma smiled "She's nice. Good match."
At her sister's voice, Parvati turned to her "Padma, who'll you go with?"
Padma shrugged "I'll go alone, I suppose. Maybe I'll ask Terry Boot. He seems nice enough."
Harry groaned "So that leaves me alone."
Daphne shook her head "I'm still available. We can go as friends, if you want."
"That'd be great" Harry smiled "Daphne Greengrass, will you give me the honor of accompanying you to the Yule Ball?"
"I will" Daphne smiled.
Padma didn't need to ask Terry since the Ravenclaw asked her. And after waiting a few days, Neville asked Luna, who responded by asking what took him so long. Neville also rejected Susan and Hannah which Harry got front-row seats for.
Harry and Neville were leaving Herbology class when Neville saw the two Hufflepuffs. Neville groaned "I should probably get this over with."
Harry nodded "Best of luck."
As they approached them, Neville received flirty smiles from both of the girls. Once they reached them, Neville greeted the pair "Susan. Hannah."
"Hi Neville" Susan tried to look seductive "Have you made up your mind yet?"
"I have" Neville nodded "Hannah, I apologize but I do not wish to attend the Yule Ball with you. Best of luck in finding a date."
Her best friend's rejection made Susan tad bit happier. Neville would say yes to her!
Neville then turned to Susan "I also regret to inform you that I will not attend the Yule Ball with you. I wish you luck in finding someone else to take."
Both girls looked crestfallen at their rejection. Then, they realized that the other asked Neville too without telling each other. Neville smirked at the new animosity the girls had "I also have a letter for you, Susan. It relates to House Bones business. I have placed two copies if you wish to send one to your aunt. Good day."
Neville and Harry then walked away, silently laughing at the girls' anger and Susan's frightened expression as she read the letter
Christmas morning was quite calm at Hogwarts. But, the afternoon was a sight to behold.
With the Yule Ball only mere hours away, everyone began their preparations for it. Girls would stay in their dormitories for hours while boys played outside.
Rishi and Harry understood the importance of the ball, and were not part of the boys who went gallivanting outside. They read quietly and when it was an hour and change before the ball, they got ready.
Both boys would attend in dress robes, though both were of different origin. Harry wore British dress robes while Rishi wore Indian ones, which was similar to an Indian kurta. Harry's robes were black and white whereas Rishi settled on a red top with black pants.
Once they were ready, they went down to the common room where they found Padma and Parvati. Padma was dressed in a Sari while Hermione wore blue dress robes which appeared to be made out a floaty material.
After greeting them, Padma and her date, Terry Boot, went down the Ball, with Hermione also going down. Harry decided to accompany Rishi to pick up Parvati and to also bring Luna to Neville.
They walked for a bit, and then reached the outside of the Gryffindor Room. They waited for a few minutes, then finally, Neville and Parvati emerged. Parvati was wearing a sari like her sister, but her sari matched Rishi's in color. Neville was wearing dress robes which Harry suspected belonged to his dad.
Neville took Luna's hand "Ms Lovegood, are you ready to attend the ball?"
"I believe so" Luna giggled.
Rishi grinned "You look as beautiful as ever Parvati."
"And you look good as well" Parvati gave her boyfriend a sly smile.
The portrait hole opened once more and this time, its occupants weren't friends. Ginny Weasley came out of the hole. She didn't pay them much attention until she saw Harry. She then squealed and tackled Harry "Harry! I'm ready to go!"
Harry fixed a cold glare on her "What do you mean?"
Ginny snorted "We're going to the Yule Ball together, remember?"
Harry laughed but there was no kindness in it "I would never. I plan to attend with my friend Daphne Greengrass. Not you."
Ginny steamed "You're going with that slut?!"
Harry clenched his fists "She is not a slut. One more bad word about her and you'll pay."
The youngest Weasley stomped off, angry about yet another rejction. Rishi patted Harry on the back "You need to go for the opening dance."
Harry nodded "See you guys later."
Harry ran to the hall which the champions were supposed to meet and found everyone but Daphne waiting there. He also found Hermione holding the arm of Viktor Krum.
Cedric smiled as he stood next to Fleur "Harry. Where's your date?"
"She's right here" Harry turned around and gazed at Daphne. And for the first time, he realized something: she was a girl. She was wearing dress robes just like everyone else. It was a green which matched Harry's eyes. It also had a slight v-cut which hinted at the bust which Harry suddenly noticed.
"D-daphne" Harry stuttered "You looked great!"
Daphne chuckled "You sound surprised, Harry."
"I-I didn't..." Harry gaped "I meant that..."
Daphne smirked "Don't worry about it."
McGonnagall looked at the 6 students in the hall "Now that everyone is here, let's begin. I will announce you and your date. Once I announce you, you can go out and complete the dance. When all have finished it, the dance floor is open and you can sit."
Upon receiving nods from them, McGonnagall opened the doors and yelled "Champion Cedric Diggory and Champion Fleur Delacour!"
Their elbows linked, Cedric and Fleur stepped forward to whispers of "She looks so pretty" and "Why don't you look as good as Cedric?!"
The two champions began their dance as McGonnagall said "Champion Viktor Krum and his date, Hermione Granger."
This caused actual gasps to be emitted across the hall. And once Hermione was in view, the number of gasps increased. Parvati looked angry that Hermione never told her that she was going with Krum but still looked happy with how her friend looked. Some Slytherins girls also got peeved but that was because their dates looked at the Muggleborn instead of them.
Finally, McGonnagall announced "Champion Harry Potter and his date, Daphne Greengrass."
This got all the Slytherins, not just the girls, annoyed. Even though Draco supported Harry, there was still a number of Slytherins who resented Harry since he sent their parents to Azkaban by defeating the Dark Lord. No one could deny however, that the pair looked good together.
Harry and Daphne began their dance, moving in sync. Rishi was eagerly awaiting Harry's dance since his friend had never taken lessons. Unknown to Rishi, was that Daphne gave Harry dance lessons, so that Harry wouldn't embarrass her. The lessons crafted a talented dancer out of Harry, who caused many girls to ask their dates if they can dance as well as him.
After their dance, Harry and Daphne sat at the Champion's table with the others and ate their meal. The food tasted quite good but Harry hated the table. Mostly because Dumbledore looked like he was sucking on a lemon and Percy Weasley was there.
Apparently, Crouch Sr was sick so Percy, being his assistant, attended in his place. Harry didn't care for the most part until Percy began talking. The boy would not shut up. To avoid him, Harry and Daphne quickly finished their food and went back out onto the dance floor with their friends.
The friends simply danced as a group and had a good time doing so. All their worries began disappeared, and was replaced with the joy of hanging out with friends.
Draco was having fun with Tracey. She was a fun, outgoing girl. The kind that he didn't meet often. Sadly, that fun didn't continue for long.
He and Tracey were taking a break when Snape strutted over to them. He then leaned over to Draco's ear and quietly whispered "Your father is here."
Draco's eyes widened and with an apology to Tracey, he and Snape went over to the Potions classroom. When he entered, he saw his father standing against a table "Draco."
"Father" Draco greeted politely.
Lucius nodded at Snape "Thank you Severus. You can go now."
Snape left his classroom, allowing Lucius to turn back to Draco "We need to talk."
Hermione also left the Ball. She was having fun dancing with Krum. Both had agreed that no relationship would come from this. It was just two friends having fun together.
She was getting a drink when she heard someone growl "Traitor" behind her.
Upon turning around, she saw one Ronald Weasley standing behind her "What?"
"You're a traitor" Ron snarled.
Hermione willed herself not to cry "I am not."
Ron gave her an evil grin "Oh really? Your date is a Durmstrang student. Their champion! You really don't care about Hogwarts! You're fraternizing with the enemy."
"Shut up Weasley" a new voice said.
Both Hermione and Ron saw Cedric and Fleur appear near them.
"C-cedric!" Ron stuttered "Thank god you're here!"
"Shut it" Cedric angrily said "She is not a traitor. The point of this tournament is to help unite the schools, not tear them apart. She is a better person than you'll ever be!"
"B-but" Ron stammered "She's going with a Durmstrang student!"
Cedric gestured to everyone dancer "Same as so many other people, including me. Are you saying that I'm a traitor?"
Ron couldn't think of anything to say and just ran as a smile crept onto Hermione's face "Thanks."
After dancing for a long time, Harry and Daphne decided to escape the noise. Both of them said their goodbyes and headed outside with the other.
Harry stuck his hands in his pockets. He was unsure of what to do right now. He had fun hanging out with Daphne and didn't know where to go from here.
Daphne was having similar thoughts. At the time, she had offered to be his date since he needed one. But as time went on, she had trouble imagining not going with him. Even harder, was the thought of Harry was going with someone else. Now, she had no clue why she had even offered to be his date. She had an inkling why but wasn't sure whether it was entirely accurate.
Eventually, both of them settled onto a bench, where they sat in silence for some time.
Finally, Daphne said something "I had fun today."
Harry smiled "I had fun too."
The two scooted closer together due to the cold. Dress robes were not very good for the cold. To get more warmth, Daphne leaned into Harry, who placed his arm around her shoulder.
The both of them stayed in that position for much time and would steal looks at the other when they thought the coast was clear. Finally, both of them caught the other looking.
They stared at each other, subconsciously leaning closer and closer until Harry captured her lips onto his.
Neither intended for this to happen, but once Harry initiated it, Daphne melted into, kissing back furiously. After a minute or so, they broke it off, staring at the other in shock.
"Um" Harry began "Wow."
"That was" Daphne fumbled around for words "Unexpected."
"Look" Harry scratched the back of his head "I'm sorry if I overstepped and..."
Daphne silenced him with a kiss, which Harry gave right back. This kiss lasted longer, about 3 minutes until both of them separated, shocked once again.
"Will you be my girlfriend?" Harry asked nervously.
"I will" Daphne smiled.
Both of them were about to kiss once again but were irritated with a buzzing black beetle. Eventually, Harry cast Petrificus Totalus on it, and upon looking at it, he noticed something weird. Just like Pettigrew's hairstyle stayed consistent with his rat form, this beetle appeared to glasses. Glasses which looked suspiciously like the ones owned by Rita Skeeter.
Seeing the connection, Harry whispered to the beetle "Write shit about me and you'll pay."
With that threat delivered, Harry and Daphne kissed for the first time as boyfriend and girlfriend.
:) Thanks for reading. Please leave a review.