Chapter 7 : The Drama with Dancing
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The first song ended and the newly-weds were joined by Ron and Hermione, Luna and Neville, Molly and Arthur, and, finally, Remus and Tonks. At that point, Agnes reached out and grasped her mother's hand. The older woman turned and gave her daughter a sad smile. "Don't worry, mom," whispered Agnes. "It'll all be-"
"Elle, may I have the pleasure of having a dance with your daughter?"
Fred shoved his twin out of the way. "Excuse me, sir," he said, with a gallant air. "You're an absolute scalawag, and I could not possibly let you take advantage of this fair maiden."
"Oh, shut up, you sod," said George.
"George!" said Agnes, trying to hide a giggle. "Don't swear in front my mother!"
"Oh, it's fine," said Elle, smiling slightly. "Just dance with both of them."
And that was how Agnes Insontis ended up in the arms of both the Weasley twins, who were spinning her across the dance floor, bumping into other couples as they went.
Meanwhile, Ron, who had been chuckling at Neville and Luna dancing, was being smacked over the head by Hermione. After she'd given him a good whacking, Hermione pried Ron's hands off her waist and stormed off. "Don't bother me, Ronald!" snapped Hermione. "I don't want to talk to you."
"Why not, Hermione?" grumbled Ron, following her. "I was only laughing."
"You are an insensitive wart."
"I am not," he insisted, trying to put his arms around her waist. "I just think it's funny that Neville and Luna can't dance."
"You're one to talk," said Hermione. "Neither can you. And you're immature."
"Hermione," groaned Ron.
"Ronald, we are leaving in two days," said Hermione fiercely. "I don't think you're ready for this."
Ron's jaw dropped and a look of indignation came over his face. "That's what this is about? What do I have to prove to you?" he said almost viciously, grabbing her waist and pushing her against a wall. "Haven't I shown myself just as much as you? I will die, Hermione, if need be. Maybe it's you who's not ready for this."
"Ron, you're frightening me," whispered Hermione, turning white.
And she certainly looked terrified. Her lower lip was trembling and tears were welling up in her eyes. "Don't cry," muttered Ron guiltily, stroking her cheek. "We're prepared, no matter how immature you say I am."
Hermione started crying and buried her face in his chest. I guess I know how to make her forgive me, thought Ron, stroking her hair.
Remus watched the pair holding each other and muttered to Tonks, "They're leaving, you know."
"Yeah, I know," said Tonks absently. "It's common knowledge."
She was too busy looking over at Elle Insontis, who was still standing by herself. "You should go ask her to dance," said Tonks, nodding her head towards her. "She always looks so lonely."
"You mean you could bear to be away from me for more than a moment?" said Remus, smiling at her. Truth be told, he didn't really want to dance with Elle. He didn't want to tempt himself.
"Maybe just a moment," said Tonks, kissing him lightly.
Remus released her and headed over to where Elle was. She looked up quickly at his approach and flushed red. "Would you care for a dance?" asked Remus, extending his hand towards her.
Elle looked down and then nodded slowly, which left Remus to take her hand and lead her to the dance floor. "Is this a pity dance, then?" asked Elle, after they had been dancing for a little while.
"No," he said quickly. "Of course not."
"Last time we danced together was at Lily and James's wedding," said Elle softly.
Remus seemed to instinctively pull her closer to him. "It never should have gone that way," he muttered.
"The wedding?" asked Elle. "Or us?"
Remus sighed. "There is no 'us' anymore."
"Why not right now?" asked Elle. "Tonks isn't here right now."
Remus was silent.
Ginny was leaning against a wall in the corner of the room. She was very annoyed by the fact that Harry had been sitting moodily by himself the entire party. She had watched as Fleur's friend, Genevieve, had asked him to dance with her, only to be turned down. Finally, Ginny had marched up him and stood, facing him, with her hands on her hips. "Come dance with me," she said.
Harry looked up at her. "Excuse me?"
"Get up," she said. "We're going to dance."
Harry, looking as though he didn't know what to do, stood and said, "Well, now what?"
Ginny rolled her eyes and grabbed his hands, placing them on her waist. "Now, we dance."
They swayed in silence for awhile, until little Gabrielle Delacour interrupted them. "I wondered if I could 'ave a dance with 'arry," she mumbled.
Ginny smiled kindly at her. "Of course," she said. "But he can't dance to save his life."
The party ended and Bill and Fleur had been seen to their honeymoon Portkey. The guests had left for home and the lawn was deserted except for two figures, standing together in the dark. The moon was gone from the sky, so Neville and Luna had only faint wandlight to guide their way. "Careful where you step," said Luna. "When there isn't a moon, the Moon-shy Bumpinks come out."
Neville smiled slightly and took her hand. "Thanks for the warning."
There was quiet in the darkness.
"Luna, are we dating?"
She stared at him with her bright blue eyes. "Yes," she said. "Why?"
Neville shrugged and they continued walking, until Luna stopped in her tracks. "Did you ask because we don't kiss?" she asked bluntly.
If it hadn't been so dark, Neville would have been completely red. "My father always taught me that unmarried people shouldn't give in to things like that," said Luna softly.
Then, Luna threw her arms around Neville's neck and kissed him gently.
In that moment, both felt that love could conquer all.
Inside the house, Ron, Hermione, and Harry were packing all the necessities for their journey to Godric's Hollow. Hermione had snuck into the kitchen for non-perishable food, while Ron bummed some products off of the twins. Meanwhile, Harry was throwing their extra clothes into a pack that had been charmed to hold much but was still extraordinarily light.
Ron and Hermione came back to join him, each carrying as much as they could. They threw it all on the bed, and Hermione packed it all in gently, not trusting either of the boys to do it properly. "Have we got everything we need then?" she asked, looking up at the two boys.
Ron looked to Harry, who nodded solemnly. "Lighten up a bit," muttered Ron.
"Lighten up?" said Harry, giving him a dirty look. "We're leaving tomorrow and we've only found one of the four missing Horcruxes. It was just luck that we happened to find Hufflepuff's cup among Sirius's things."
"It's not your fault that the locket was gone," said Hermione comfortingly. "We don't even know that it was the right locket."
"Well, we still need to find that," said Harry, looking extremely aggravated. "And Gryffindor and Ravenclaw's I-don't-know-what's-"
It was at that point that Ginny, Neville, and Luna burst into the room. "You're leaving?" asked Ginny accusingly.
"Go away, Ginny," muttered Ron, not looking at her.
"Does mum know about this?" she asked.
"They all know," said Hermione softly. "He's right. You better leave."
"But we're coming with you," said Luna hopefully. "Aren't we?"
They all looked to Harry, who stood silently, before shaking his head.
"You can't do that to us!" cried Ginny. "Haven't we got the right to go with you?"
"This is my battle," said Harry.
"That's where you're wrong, Harry," snapped Ginny, rounding on him. "You always think that it's up to you to save the world. This is the war of the whole wizarding world. It's not only for you."
"Dumbledore left it to me!"
"He never said that!"
"He wasn't given a chance!"
At that, the two stood breathing heavily, feeling the tension in the room.
"Go, Ginny," said Harry finally.
The red-head stood glaring at him for a moment before turning on her heel and heading out the door, with Neville and Luna behind her.
"That wasn't the way to handle it, Harry" said Hermione, when the three had left.
"They couldn't have understood it any other way," said Harry, shutting the door.
Ron and Hermione exchanged a look. "Maybe we would be stronger in numbers," suggested Ron.
"I'm not asking you to come with me," said Harry, glaring at him. "If you're afraid, you don't need to come."
"Shut up," snapped Hermione. "Don't act like you're not afraid, too."
Harry stared at her, at loss for words. After a moment, he dropped his gaze and walked back over to the window. "We leave first thing tomorrow."
"Arthur, please," implored Molly Weasley. "Be reasonable. They're just children. They can't go off by themselves."
"Molly, they're not going to listen to us," argued Remus. "When have they ever listened to us?"
Molly looked pleadingly at her husband, who looked down at his hands. "He's right," he muttered. "We've no choice but to let them go."
"It's not like they're completely unprepared," said Tonks. "Dumbledore made sure they were ready for this."
"Dumbledore's plans didn't always go the way they should have," snapped Molly.
The others were silent. They all had their doubts about what Dumbledore's intentions had been. "I'll place a charm," said Remus, finally. "While they sleep. It will let us know if they're in danger."
"What use is it to us if we only know that they're in danger?" asked Molly.
"We'll be able to find them," said Arthur. "They will come home."
Meanwhile, Ginny Weasley was stomping around the girls' room and had been for the past hour. She had been trying to think of a way to get Harry, Hermione, and Ron to let them come along. She kept repeating, "It's not just their fight."
Finally, Neville spoke up, "They're not going to let us, Ginny. No matter what we do."
"It's not their job to protect us," she snapped, giving Neville a look that immediately silenced him. "I'm following them."
"We will, too," said Luna quietly, squeezing Neville's hand gently. "It's our right."
"The day after they leave," said Ginny, with a melancholy smile. "We'll be there, too."
Elle had been listening to the other adults argue about what to do about Harry and his friends. She had smiled slightly when she had heard Remus take charge of the situation. He'd always done that, even when they were younger. Her smile faded again when she remembered that it was his sense of responsibility that had sent her away from him.
She gasped when the door behind her opened quickly. "What are you doing, mom?" asked Agnes, her expression accusing.
"I, um, nothing, sweetheart," said Elle, not sounding convincing at all.
"For God's sake, mom, will you please just do something?" said Agnes.
Elle didn't know how to respond to that. Her daughter had just suggested that she steal the only man she had ever loved from his fiance. "You need to," insisted Agnes.
"I know," whispered Elle. But what if I can't.
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