Chapter 1 : The Ball
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When Professor McGonagall first announced the Annual Masquerade Christmas Ball, I just sighed. I knew it would just be another night of me sitting in the seventh year girl’s dormitory, while the other occupants were down having a good time. Dancing had never been my specialty. Or that’s what I said anyway.
There was another thing. Something I had never told anyone. The real reason was that I didn’t have enough money for some dress robes. I had always covered it up with the dancing excuse. And everyone had believed me. Before this year, Lily would most likely be with me. But, unfortunately for me, this year she had finally realized that Potter wasn’t such a jerk and had got together with him. So this year, it was going to be just me. Little did I know that the Ball was going to start a chain of events that were going to change my life.
“Are you sure you don’t want to come?” Grace asked for the millionth time.
“I’m fine Grace! I don’t think injuring me and everyone around me will improve the night. And I don’t want to intrude on yours and Remus’s date.” I said with a smile and a sigh.
“Ok, if you’re sure. Don’t wait up for us.” She shut the door behind her. My smile drooped. They didn’t know how much I actually wanted to go. But it was to late now. They will all be down there with there dates having a good time. Lily with James, Grace with Remus, Selena with some Ravenclaw bloke and Alice with Frank. Peter never had a date and Sirius ….. Sirius. Unknown to anyone, I had, had a major crush on the prince of the school since fifth year. But who was he going with tonight? He had the snow prince title in the bag, but who would be his princess? I let myself drift into a daydream of me dancing in Sirius’s arms; he leans down, his lips millimeters away from mine …..
BANG! The sound of the door being thrown open brought me back to harsh reality.
“HA! Take that door! God, you seventh year girls like to keep your doors shut tight don’t you” a familiar voice said.
“Emma! What are you doing here!” Emma was my elder sister. She had graduated from Hogwarts four years earlier and now was an apprentice for one of the most renowned fashion designers in the wizarding world. Not important enough to get free clothes unluckily, or very much money. She was very flamboyant, with gestures and zebra stripes being her favorite things in the world.
“Can’t a girl come and visit her little sister anymore?”
“Not when you are not allowed in the school! And unannounced! How’d you get in the castle?!”
“I know about a secret passage but that isn’t important. Now Immy, don’t get in a tizz, but I remembered about the Annual Christmas Masquerade Ball and how you said once that you never went because you never had anything to wear and I was on a errand in Hogsmeade and so I decided that I was going to come and dress you for the ball!” she got faster and faster. My jaw dropped.
“I never said anything about the Ball at home!”
“You talk in your sleep. Now, are you going to let me work my magic or did I come all this way for nothing?” I looked at her in her zebra striped coat and pink horn-rimmed glasses, then at my homework, then back at her.
“I’m in. Where do we start?” But she was already getting her wand out of her pocket, an evil smile on her face.
What had I gotten myself into?
“Ok, one, two, three, open!” I kept my eyes shut tight.
“Come on! Don’t you trust me?” she poked her wand at my cheek. I opened my eyes.
After the few mishaps we had had, it had turned out amazingly. In a time of ten and a half minutes my sister had performed a miracle. My normally dead straight brown hair was piled on top of my head in little ringlets that cascaded down my neck. The dark blue skirt I had been wearing was lengthened up and down until it was an amazing strapless ball gown. Spurting out at the waist in a bell, it just covered what used to be my summer sandals. Now they were silver, short heels with straps crisscrossing all the way up to the top of my ankles. The bodice was intricately beaded in swirly vines that shimmered in the light. The girl in the mirror was beautiful. I could hardly believe it was me.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you!” I whispered over and over again, unable to take my eyes off the mirror, afraid if I did it would all disappear.
“I did quite well didn’t I! Sirius will not be able to take his eyes off you!”
“How do you know about that?!” I demanded.
“I told you, you talk in your sleep!” I must really stop that!
“Now for the finishing touch” She pointed her wand at my glasses. I watched in the mirror as they transformed in to a beautiful white, eye mask, embroidered with sequins. It still had the same effect as my glasses, amazingly.
“Now you’re all set. Oh wait; just remember that most of this is done by magic so make sure that you blow everyone’s mind with your beauty, have the time of your life, get the guy and be back up here by midnight, ok!” She sounded so chirpy. I took a deep breath.
“Ok, but why didn’t you tell me about all of this magic before?”
“Because I didn’t know I could do it! You were my experiment. Guinea pig, if you wanted to call it that. Now go! GO!”
I would have to get her back for that sometime.
You can do this, I told myself. Just don’t trip. I turned down to walk down the staircase to the entrance hall. It was nearly deserted apart from one third year boy who held the dance cards. Dance cards you ask? The teachers wanted to get back to the how it was in the founders days. Same with the ‘snow prince’ title.
“Can I have a card please?” I tapped him on the shoulder. Mouth open, he fumbled with the cards.
“H ...here you go” he stuttered, slightly breathless.
“Thank you, and it isn’t polite to have your mouth open like that” I snapped his jaw shut and entered the Ball.
Eyes were immediately on me. Jealousy from the girls, stunned silence from the boys. I stood up straighter, chin held up. This is your night, I told myself. Live it to the full. The students parted in a wave. The further I walked in, the more attention I got. But I didn’t concentrate on that. I was searching for that soft brown head, those broad shoulders, those beautiful grey eyes, and strong arms that would whisk me away in a whirlwind. But I couldn’t see him. He wasn’t anywhere in the great hall. Lily was dancing in James arms, Grace was snogging Remus in the corner, Selena was probably in a broom cupboard somewhere and Alice was getting a drink with Frank. I had made two rounds around when someone finally got up the courage to talk to me. This was so different to what I was used to. No one ever paid me any attention.
“Excuse me, would you like to dance?” Kingsley Shacklebolt shook everyone out of there daze.
“Yes please” I let him lead me on to the floor. We got interrupted twice by people signing my dance card, and as soon as the song ended there was a whole stream of them. By the end of the second song, there was only one left. I didn’t let anyone sign it. That one was Sirius’s.
“And now, I would like to announce the winner of the snow prince title. Would, (drum roll please) …….. Sirius Black please come up here!” the D.J for the night announced the winner. Out of nowhere, the one person that I had wanted to see all night long walked up the stairs to the stage. Where had he been all night? Had he noticed me? Had he even been at the Ball? But the one thing I knew was that this was my only chance. I quickly ducked and dived my way through the crowd until I was waiting by the stairs of the stage. But he was already gone.
“Alright everybody! There are two more songs left tonight, so make the most of them.” Two more songs! I knew from previous years that the last dance ended at approximately midnight on the dot. Another old tradition. I looked at my dance card. The last person on it was the other Black, Regulus. But I decided to blow him off. The disappearance of Sirius to be able to cope with his brother. He looked too much like him. I sighed and started towards the door. But before I could get that far, Regulus stopped me.
“I believe you promised to accompany me in a dance.” And I was stuck. I let him lead me on to the floor. It was extremely awkward. I didn’t want to look him in the eyes, and he kept trying to make me. I was just about to try and make a stupid excuse to try and get away when my savior came.
“Can I cut in?” his soft voice said politely.
“Of course!” I had trouble trying to keep myself from sounding to happy. I pulled my hands away from Regulus and placed them in the firm, safe hands of his brother.
“I thought you might need someone to get you away from him.” He said, while leading me away from Regulus over to the other half of the floor.
“I was getting desperate. I was about to try and fake a twisted ankle when you stepped in.” he laughed.
“I’m sure that would have been quite entertaining”
“Yeah, but I am glad you came. I’m not a very good actress so I don’t think that he would have brought it”
“Ha! You think you bad at acting? You haven’t seen Peter! He can’t act for his life!”
“Now that would be entertaining!” It carried on, friendly chatting and laughing through the rest of that song.
“And now it is time for the last dance. Choose your partners carefully; remember we will be watching for the best couple on the floor tonight. Oh …” The D.J got interrupted by Professor McGonagall.
“A reminder from the Professor that everyone should promptly return to there common rooms as soon as the Ball is finished.” He finished and turned it up.
“Would you care to dance again?” I smiled and nodded. Leaning there, against his chest, I was in heaven. Truly magical. Sirius leaned down, but instead of putting my lips to his, he went to my ear.
“You have everyone twisted around your finger, yet it doesn’t go to your head. Everyone is enchanted by your beauty, but no one has ever seen you before. Who are you and where have you been all my life?” he breathed in my ear. I went on the tips of my toes.
“Right in front of you. My name is ….” The clock started to strike at the worst time. The effect was immediate. The heels of my shoes shrunk and my dress started to transform back into the skirt it really was.
“I have to go!” I backed reluctantly out of Sirius’s embrace and started to run.
“Wait! Don’t go! I don’t know who you are!” but I didn’t stop. I had to get back to the dormitory. Heads turned as I ran past, couples breaking apart. Damn! The hidden pocket on the inside of the dress had broken and my wand was now lying on the floor five meters away. But I couldn’t go back.
“Wait!” one last call from Sirius floated up the grand staircase.
“I’m sorry!” I yelled back, tears starting to stream.
Cinderella had left the Ball.
A.N: You will be pleased to know that this is only part one! The second half will be put up as soon I can. What do you think so far? Do you like Immy and her sister? And what about Sirius? Please review and tell me what you think, I really want to know.