The week of October 31st was a very anxious, impatient week for the students of Hogwarts. Students third year and above were anxious for the dance. Students below third year were anxious for sneaking in. Professor Dumbledore’s face appeared young and festive, even with the increasing power of a dark wizard of the name Voldemort.
Friday night was the dance, so teachers basically felt as though it was completely useless to try and teach. The autumn leaves strolled past the windows, looking particularly beautiful in the October sunlight. The air grew slightly colder, but the weather was still fair.
All in all, the day was perfect for a dance. James smiled to himself as he recalled the plans he and Lily had made only a month before. They had come alive the night before. The Great Hall was decorated extravagantly, a band was hired, and the usual amount of chaos leading up to it had already been diminished.
As James and his fellow Marauders headed onto the grounds to sit beneath a willow tree they had affectionately dubbed their own, the topic of the dance sparked.
“So Padfoot, who’s going to be your date?” Peter asked. Sirius grinned, letting out a bark like laugh.
“Wormtail, Wormtail, Wormtail. Date? You obviously don’t know me well enough,” Sirius told his friend.
“How many are you bringing?” James inquired.
“Four as of now,” Sirius informed them. “Yet, we still have four hours until the dance. Who knows how many I could be taking by then?”
Although it was too cold to dip their feet in the lake, Lily, Alice, and Sydney sat the shore, feeling the waves let off a nice breeze.
“So Syd, who’s going to be your date?” Alice casually asked.
Sydney’s bright blue eyes filled with laughter. Her smile was so wide all her sparkly white teeth were being shown.
“Date? Innocent Alice. How much you have to learn,” Sydney replied. Alice looked over at Lily for explanation.
“What she means is that there is more than one,” Lily correctly interpreted.
“There is three right now,” Sydney reported. “Should be an interesting evening.”
“Do you even know all their names?” Lily asked, raising an eyebrow.
“Does it matter?” Sydney retorted. “It’s a masquerade.”
“That it is,” Lily muttered.
“So, Lily, you’re the belle of the ball, who’re you going with?” Sydney asked.
“No one,” Lily answered.
“I like that move,” Sydney deduced. “She’s planning on finding someone at the dance. It’s understandable.”
“I’m not going because my hormones are out of whack like yours are,” Lily insisted. “I’m going to make sure that there is no fighting, drinking, no indecent exposure…”
“No fun,” Sydney finished for her. Lily laughed sarcastically.
“Well, I don’t have a date either,” Alice said. “But that doesn’t mean I won’t leave without one.”
“Atta girl,” Sydney commented, smiling.
While Sydney and Alice took lots of time to get ready, Lily had simply thrown herself together in twenty minutes. She had worn the dress she had picked out the weekend before, put on very little makeup, and thrown her hair up into a messy up do. She really didn’t have much reason to look extravagant.
Sydney was busy doing Alice’s hair into an elegant French twist. Her dirty blonde hair was now sleek and shiny. Her makeup was done and her pale blue dress was neatly on. Sydney hadn’t even done her own makeup yet or put on her dress.
Her hair was curled loosely and her dark midnight blue dress was hanging on the door.
“Voila,” Sydney announced, the finished touches completed on Alice. “You look marvelous, darling.”
“You look really great, Alice,” Lily insisted. Her own mask was on and she was ready to go.
“The two of you better not wait for me,” Sydney said. “It’s going to be awhile.”
“Alice, are you ready?” Lily asked. Alice nodded. The two of them walked down the stairs and into the Common room. Only a couple of stragglers were in there, most likely waiting for Sydney, but otherwise, everyone else had already gone to the dance.
When the two of them arrived, they pushed open the door, revealing the sound of music and the sight of hundreds of people in masks. It was almost breath taking. Lily smiled at the sight of her and James’ plan. They were brought to life and they were startlingly amazing.
“Prongs, won’t she recognize you?” Sirius asked as he repeatedly kept switching partners. There were seven girls in all who had claimed the right to be his date.
“I don’t think so,” James answered, adjusting his mask. “She’s very naive when she wants to be.”
Sirius rolled his eyes. “Whatever you say, Prongs.”
James looked over towards the entrance and his breath was quite literally gone. He was speechless. The most beautiful creature he had ever seen had stepped into the Great Hall. He knew at once it was Lily. Her bright green eyes behind her black silk mask gave her away. She had on a satin white dress that was simple and elegant. Her hair was wild, but neat all at once. The red curls made her look like some sort of goddess. Her bright smile at the sight of the dance was alluring.
He wouldn’t rush into things, but instead wait for the opportune moment. Timing was indeed everything.
Lily had lost sight of Alice almost immediately. The amount of people in the hall made it hard to keep track of someone. There were so many people in masks that it was confusing as to who was who.
She steered towards the punch bowl. She watched as her fellow classmates danced away, hopefully not as shallow as they would have been at a normal dance. She felt someone touch her shoulder. She turned to see a tall guy with a black mask on.
“Would you like to dance?” he asked her in a deep pleasant voice. It was somewhat entrancing.
She had nothing better to do so she agreed.
He took her hand and led her out to the dance floor. They danced through the entire song, having fun and laughing merrily. She felt really connected to whoever was behind that mask.
When a slow song came on, he thrust her body to his and danced closely to her. She wasn’t sure how much she liked dancing that close, so she tried to step back a little, but felt his hand on her back. His hands started to travel and she was immediately disgusted. She tried escaping his grasp, but found it difficult to do so. She then tried pushing. Soon, she was at the point where she was losing hope of ever escaping that guy’s grasp. At that moment, she felt him being thrown off of her. Another guy in a red mask had pushed him out of the way. Lily smiled gratefully. She looked at all the people staring at her and felt embarrassed. She decided that she needed some fresh air away from everyone.
Another small smile crept across her face as she thought of that guy in the red mask.
Sydney had had quite enough as she pushed another random guy off of her. This one’s breath smelled of alcohol. She would not put up with a drunk date. Things always got messy in the end.
The dance had been fun when it started, but after awhile, she had grown bored with all the guys who had approached her. They all seemed the same. She thought the masquerade would be a time of mystery. She was all about surprises.
She walked out of the Great Hall and up the stairs, her heels clacking as she did so. When she had reached the Astronomy tower, she pushed open the door. Surprisingly, there weren’t any couples making out by the stars. She walked over to the balcony and breathed in the air. She opened her eyes and looked up at the stars.
“It’s beautiful at this time of night,” a voice said from behind her. She saw a man sitting at the end of the balcony. He grinned. “You needed to get out of there as well?”
She nodded. “All my dates were drunk and noisy.”
“As were mine,” the man said. “Things get far too predictable at dances.”
Sydney smiled, hearing her own feelings escape from this mystery man’s mouth. She sat beside him. He took in her smell of lilacs and smiled. Her black hair was curled loosely and her bright blue eyes were penetrating into his own.
She rested her head on his shoulder, hoping that it was Evan Rosier underneath that mask. She had always found his hair quite irresistible. The two of them sat watching the stars for some time. Only when the masked man turned his head did they feel friction. He leaned in and kissed her softly on the mouth. He then turned his head back to the stars.
Sydney turned her head also, somewhat curious about this guy. Normally, she would never meet anyone content with only a kiss. For that, she felt comfortable.
Alice sadly walked out of the Great Hall and into the hallway. She took off her mask and stared at it in her hands. She saw someone else come out of the Great Hall, sit on the wall beside her and take off his own mask. He looked over at her in surprise.
“Guess you’re not a fan of the masquerade either?” Frank Longbottom asked. Alice smiled.
“Nope,” she answered. “I’m always afraid that I’m dancing with someone who will end up becoming a Death Eater or something.”
“I don’t really like the whole mask idea,” Frank confessed. “It may work for some people, but I don’t feel you’re really getting to know the person that way. I mean, where’s the truth in hiding behind a mask?”
“There isn’t any,” Alice replied. She smiled and blushed as Frank’s hand touched her own.
As Lily stood outside, she heard leaves crumpling behind her. She turned and saw the man in the red mask smiling at her.
“Why’d you leave? I was just going to ask you to dance,” he told her in a suave, smooth voice.
“It was very stifling in there,” she told him. She realized that she had taken off the mask as she came out of the Great Hall.
“Don’t worry,” he insisted. “I won’t tell anyone.”
He seemed strangely familiar, but she couldn’t really find a face for him.
“Would you like to dance?” he asked her, holding out a hand for her to hold.
“Here?” she questioned.
“Yes,” the man told her. “Here. We can still hear the music from the Great Hall.”
She reluctantly took his hand and rested her head on his chest. He smelled fresh and clean, always a good smell on a boy. They danced for what felt like hours, until there was no more music.
Then, slowly, he leaned down and kissed her tenderly on the lips. Lily was surprised to find herself kissing him back. This was not the Lily Evans she was used to, but she kind of liked it.
A/N: Please review. Well, what do you think? I’d love to hear what you all have to say.