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Chapter 9 : You Shall Go To The Ball
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The Christmas Ball was only a week away, and though Jen had a beautiful dress ready to wear, she seemed to be the only one without a date. As she had not spoken to Warren since the accident with Remus, she had not had a chance to accept his offer. She thought of how he couldn’t have been desperate to go with her otherwise he would have asked again.
Lily was going with Amos Diggory, a sixth year Hufflepuff. He had romantically asked her in front of the whole school at dinner one day. Her cheeks had blushed furiously and she couldn’t help but tell anyone who would listen how amazing she thought he was.
Tess – of course – was going with Kai, though his presumption that they were automatically going together didn’t sit well with his girlfriend. She had wanted to be asked officially like Lily’s proposal which he finally did after realising what it was that would make her speak to him again.
Remus had been asked by Mary MacDonald, a girl that shared the dormitory with Jen, Lily and Tess. Remus being Remus couldn’t say no, though he had been planning on asking Marlene McKinnon, another girl who shared a dorm with the girls. He didn’t mind, however; there were plenty more years, balls and times left that he could ask her out.
The boys had, after encouragement from Jen, helped Peter to gain confidence so that he could ask out a shy Ravenclaw – Annabelle Harris – he had had a crush on since the middle of forth year. She readily agreed and occasionally joined their group at the Gryffindor table at breakfast.
Sirius and James had been bombarded with requests though they didn’t want to make a choice. They both had the perfect person to ask but they knew it could never happen. It was impossible. Finally, they agreed on two best friends from Ravenclaw – Jade Harrison and Laura Walker. Jen didn’t think much of them; they had already got a bad reputation with a few of the older (and younger!) boys of Hogwarts.
This left Jennifer dateless. She kind of wished she hadn’t turned down one of the many requests but it was too late for that now. They already had dates of their own as well. Even Warren hadn’t asked her again since the incident with Remus.
“Are you sure you don’t want me to stay? It’s just a stupid ball; there will be plenty more,” Lily said standing next to Jen’s bed in her beautiful green ball dress that contrasted immensely with her red hair.
“No Lily. Go! Go to the Ball. You’ve been on about it for weeks and after all, you are going with Amos Diggory! How many girls can say that?” Jen was sat on her bed in her comfiest sweats. Everyone would be at the Ball so she didn’t need to worry about people seeing her. Using her hands, she roughly put her hair in a messy bun.
“But you’ll be all alone.”
“Lily Evans, you will go to the Ball if I have to drag you kicking and screaming! I’m only going to go and study in the library anyway.”
Reluctantly Lily left to meet her date in the Entrance Hall. Jen wished everyone else a good time and headed to the library with some work she had been neglecting to complete.
She reached the library without meeting another student so she assumed they were all already at the Ball with their dates. Madam Pince had headed to the Ball, leaving the library open for any students who weren’t going. Jen was thankful. She didn’t know what she could be doing with her spare time if it was closed.
Positioning her work on a table near the back of the room, Jen went to search for the books she would need for help. “Uhhh, I wish I could go to the Ball!”
**MEANWHILE AT THE BALL**
“You look amazing Lily,” Amos said, eyes wide, after watching his date glide down the grand staircase to meet him.
“Thank you.” An obvious blush crept up on her cheeks. She always did in his presence. James stormed past to meet his date making sure his shoulder collided with Diggory’s. Lily noticed but chose to ignore it. It would only ruin her night. Amos led Lily through the big doors into the Great Hall and introduced her to his Hufflepuff friends.
When everyone was happily seated at one of the small tables situated around the hall, Professor Dumbledore clapped his hands and the music started. “Would you care to dance?” Lily readily agreed and followed Amos’ lead to the floor.
Suddenly everything stopped and all heads turned to look at the doors. James and Sirius suddenly appeared with an air around them. Only they could stop a ball in its midst to have all eyes on them. And their dates though both of the girls looked plain against the two best looking boys of the school. There wasn’t a way they could look as glamorous as them.
“Pathetic!” Lily muttered under her breath. However, she had vowed not to let them ruin her night so she went back to dancing with her date.
Remus and Peter followed behind them with their dates leading them to the already dancing group of students.
Tess was in a similar situation as Lily with Kai. As it was nearly their one year anniversary he wanted to use the special occasion to celebrate early. H had gotten her a beautiful gold chain with a letter ‘K’ to represent that he was hers forever and always. She had loved it. Tess knew how hard it was for him to be romantic – he believed a relationship was enough without all the extra stuff – and felt grateful that he had done these things for her to make her happy.
Leaning his head down, Kai whispered in her ear, “I love you!”
She’d never told her that before. Gobsmacked, Tess stood in his arms with her eyebrows raised.
“It doesn’t matter if you don’t feel the same way. Just forget it.” he loosened his grip refusing to look her in the eyes.
“Look at me! Kai! I love you too damn it!”
He looked like a child you had just been told Christmas had come early. “Really?”
“Of course you big dope. I have from the start. How could you think otherwise?”
**BACK IN THE LIBRARY**
“Why aren’t you at the Ball?” Jen’s head shot up sharply to search for the owner of the voice. She knew it from somewhere yet couldn’t pick it out from her brain whose it actually was.
“I didn’t get an offer I could accept so here I am left studying as I had no one to go with.” Jen turned back to her work at the table to hide the forming blush on her cheeks. Why wasn’t he at the Ball?
“You never gave me an answer to my offer.” What Warren said was true but he hadn’t given Jen a time where she could have accepted. She was definite that if he had asked again she would have said yes.
“Well you never gave me time to answer your offer!”
Warren scoffed. Trust Jennifer to come up with that reply. This was why he was here now and not at the Ball. “So you would have said yes?” Warren asked suddenly finding something more interesting on the floor.
“Maybe . . . Yes.” Jen also suddenly found her pile of work more interesting. Her cheeks blushed bright crimson.
“W-will you please escort me to the Ball?” He stammered on the first word causing Jennifer to look up in alarm. She had learned from past experience that many stammer when nervous. Warren was nervous and she didn’t know why. She needed a way to find out.
“Y-yes. If that’s what you want?”
“Of course it is.” Warren took Jen’s hand without hesitation and led her out of the library. They neared the Great Hall until they could hear the music escaping the large iron doors.
“Wait. I can’t go in there dressed like this. Have you seen me?” she gestured down to her sweats and hair. There was no way she would feel comfortable going in there looking like she did.
“What’s wrong? You look amazing, you always do!” Warren had his head down. Jen was most certain she saw him blush.
“Thanks, but I’m sorry I can’t go in there.” Jen started to play with a loose part of her hair.
“I have an idea.” Warren held on tighter to Jen’s hand and led her away from the Great Hall, up the first flight of stairs of the Grand Staircase. “Ha-ha, Warren where are you taking me?” By now Warren was running. She figured there was something exciting about where he was taking her but she didn’t know what. She was curious.
They danced in silence, in time with the music which could be heard creeping through the balcony doors of a first floor abandoned class room. Warren had made sure the room was directly above for the full effect of the Ball.
You know I can't smile without you
I can't smile without you
I can't laugh and I can't sing
I'm finding it hard to do anything
You see I feel sad when you're sad
I feel glad when you're glad
If you only knew what I'm going through
I just can't smile without you
“I know you probably don’t agree with me, but you look really beautiful tonight.”
Warren tightened his grip around Jen’s waist, pulling her closer to his chest. She mimicked him, tightening her grip around Warren’s neck.
“I don’t get you Warren. You’ve just about ignored me since the first day of class and the next thing I know you’re suddenly asking me to the Ball and telling me I’m beautiful. Please, help me to understand.” Her hand gently caressed his cheek.
Warren sighed. He had hoped she had forgotten about his behaviour towards her earlier in the year. It wasn’t something he was proud of. “I was scared.” Jen waited for more but he didn’t speak. Yet, she waited. He would speak when he was ready. “From the first time I saw you I was attracted to you. Probably more than anyone can feel for someone after first impressions. I haven’t had the best upbringing. I didn’t know how to react to you so I improvised. I always figured girls were attracted to the bad boys.”
“Haha!” Staring into his eyes as Jen’s laughter filled the room she noticed something she had never seen before: Love. Yes she had seen love in people’s eyes before but not with the intensity of Warren’s. She’d fell for him and it was too late to change that.
A raised voice below announced the last dance of the night. The conversation ceased as Warren and Jennifer finished off their night with one last dance. Warren closed his hand round hers, holding it tight against his chest so that she could feel the faint thumping of his heartbeat. Through the whole song, they danced, eyes locked together, and their hand joined as if nothing in the world could separate them at this moment.
The song ended and Warren paused in his step, still in the same position they were for their dance. Then without pausing, he leaned down to Jennifer’s height and kissed her full on the lips. It was a kiss unlike any other she had experienced. Fireworks were going off inside her head; nothing could make her pull away now. It was magical.
Before, she could realise anything else that was going on around her, he pulled away. He smiled at Jennifer shyly before finally murmuring: “Jennifer, will you please be my girlfriend?”
“Y-yes. Of course,” she stuttered holding back nervous laughter that was threatening to appear and ruin the moment.
“Come on, I’ll walk you back to your common room.”
Finally Jennifer could be comfortable having a boyfriend, someone that she could be close to and not care if he found out her secret. Someone that would make her wishes come true for once. She knew this was true for he had already granted her the one wish she had made that night – her wish to go to the Ball. And that’s exactly what she did - attended her very own Ball.
[A/N] I know I’ve been quite quick with my updates lately so this slightly late update will have made some of you sad that you’ve had to wait longer.
I’m eager to know what your opinions towards Warren are now – do you still feel bad towards him or are some of you getting soft spots. I know I am :D for those of you who like him I might have bad news for how much longer he will be a big part of Jennifer's life. I’ve not quite made up my mind about that yet.
On an ending note I have even worse news. I’m going on holiday on Saturday for two weeks. That may mean no updates until I get back as I’m yet to write the next chapter and I’ve got a lot of work to do which means I may not have time to write it. However, I am planning on writing on holiday so that means a quick update for when I get back. Hope that’s summed everything up for the next couple of weeks x
Amazing chapter image by SiriuslyInspired @ TDA! :)
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