Winter was increasing in strength, Christmas was but a recent memory, and the first annual Hogwarts Ball was due to take place in only two months. The recent Hogsmeade trips had been taken over by the girl’s desire to purchase dresses, jewellery, and make up. The Marauders had even bought new dress robes, but only through the constant nagging of Remus. And the boys were looking for partners to ask to the dance. Our chapter begins at the Hogsmeade village, on a trip two months away from the ball.
“This one?” asked Emily, posing in a short pink dress.
“You’re completely disregarding these skirts, you know,” commented Lily, pointing to a rack of skirts in the corner.
“You could just go in jeans,” suggested Bex.
“We’re not allowed pants,” corrected Jess disappointedly.
“Well, I like this one,” finalised Emily, and she walked to the counter to buy it.
“It is very cute,” Jess said to Lily.
“And it looks amazing on her!” replied Lily.
“Hmmm…” Bex said approvingly. Lily led the way out of Belle’s Fashion Boutique and towards Envy Clothing.
“Nice miniskirts!” commented Bex, fingering one.
“Rather,” agreed Emily. Eventually Lily purchased a gorgeous, flowing green dress.
“It brings out your eyes!” said Jess. Bex and Emily grinned.
“You look amazing,” said Emily.
“James’ll go mental!” Bex said. Lily hit her playfully. Jess wandered out of the store, followed by Lily and Emily (sporting shopping bags), and Bex.
“Where now?” asked Emily.
“Segleburt’s, or course,” Jess said, referring to her favourite fashion stall. They flounced down the main street until they came to a rickety wooden market stand, with exotic clothing displayed on every available surface.
“It’s quite foreign, isn’t it?” said Lily.
“Hello, children!” said an accented voice, and a Middle Eastern lady emerged from the shadows of the stall.
“Afternoon, Seggs,” said Bex, referring to the shopkeeper by her nickname.
“Good afternoon, Rebekah, Lily, Emily, Jessica. How may I help you?”
“Just looking, thanks,” replied Jess, running her fingers over a silk kimono.
“Ahhh, that is from Asia. Woven by the hands of a thousand Kappas, native to Japan, obviously. But you knew that, didn’t you? After all, you are all taking Care of Magical Creatures this year, are you not?”
“Yeah, we are,” confirmed Bex.
“This is lovely!” interrupted Jess, gazing towards a contemporary version of a traditional Indian outfit.
“Four galleons! For you, Jessica. I’ll knock off the knut!” smiled Segleburt, displaying her crooked teeth.
“Thanks, Seggs!” Jess exclaimed, handing over the money.
“Now who’s left?” asked Emily, turning towards Bex.
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“Get on with it, Wormtail!” whispered James.
“Yeah, go on! If you leave it much longer…” Just then, Yu Chung approached Emily, perhaps going to invite her to attend the Hogwarts Dance with him, but Sirius stupefied the poor boy.
“See what will happen if you don’t go now?” asked James as Emily concernedly examined the still form beside her.
“I think I can, I think I can…” Peter muttered to himself.
“He thinks he can, he thinks he can…” James muttered to Peter.
“He might be wrong, he might be wrong…” Sirius mocked quietly.
“Padfoot, are you helping?” asked Lupin.
“If I am, it wasn’t intentional, Moony.” Sirius said. Peter rose from his crouch behind the couch, and walked unsteadily towards his crush.
“E... Em… Emi… Emil… Emily…” Peter said. Emily started.
“I was wondering if you might want to… er… go to the Dance with me.”
(“Say yes!” pleaded Lupin.)
“Give me a minute!” Emily said, surprised. She walked over to Bex’s seat.
(“Darn! If young Em gets advice from that monster, there’s no way she’ll go out with Pettigrew!” cursed Sirius.)
“Hey, Em!” Bex said.
“Um… Bex, Peter just asked me out!” Emily explained.
“He did what? How dare he!”
“I was… kinda hoping… I could say yes?”
“That’s the one.”
“Well… um… Emily, it’s no one’s decision but yours. If you like Peter, go out with him.” Bex said.
“Thanks, Bex!” Emily whispered, giving Bex a hug. Over her shoulder, Bex mouthed to Jess, ‘she wants to say yes? What did the Marauders feed her?’ Jess mouthed back, ‘Nothing, I don’t think…’
Emily rushed back to Peter enthusiastically to give him her answer.