Lily was going mad in the weeks leading up to the Halloween Ball, I mean literally mad. She could be seen shouting and screaming at the prefects who were caught slacking, to her slacking was taking more than one ten minute break in a period of three hours work. But at least she wasn’t just working herself to death, oh no, she was dragging the rest of us down with her. It’s crazy how much work I’ve been doing, Lily decided that she needed to delegate. That left Remus and me to look after the Gryffindor prefects who didn’t seem to know a thing about what they were doing. We were in charge of decorations, and that on top of schoolwork was a lot of my free time just gone. My professors didn’t accept ‘but I was helping the fifth year prefects to decide between pink and orange balloons for the Halloween Ball’, which is fair enough because EVERYONE knows that Halloween is orange and black, not white and pale pink.
I just didn’t know what else I had to do, I had already been researching spells and charms to speed up the decorating process and given out lists of them to the Gryffindor prefects to learn. I had sketched out what the hall was going to look like and it had been approved at the last meeting. I had nothing left to do, and neither did the prefects. She wasn’t giving me a moment’s peace, I hadn’t spoken to my friends since the train ride, and I wasn’t with them for long because I had to go to the prefects meeting. They’d stopped bothering to try to talk to me because as soon as we sat down Lily would be there to send me to do some meaningless little task that she was just too lazy to do herself.
James was off limits now because he was always at Lily’s side, not through his own choice but because Lily would go bonkers when he wasn’t close enough for her to panic to. But despite the fact that it was her own fault that they were constantly together she was still treating him like he was an idiot. Remus thought that she just didn’t want me to be spending time with him, having a good time when he was supposed to be in love with her. He thought that she’d gotten so used to the idea that he would always be there it came as a shock when he really did stop asking her out. And as a result of her treatment of him, I started to hate her. And although I hadn’t spoken to him, I could see that James was either getting fed up of it, realising that we were all right, or starting to get slightly depressed. I really hoped it wasn’t the latter one.
It was finally the day of the Halloween ball and everyone had the day off to get ready for the ball. Well everyone but the prefects, we were getting the ball ready for everyone.
“HUNT, WOULD YOU DO SOME WORK?” I rolled my eyes, ok so my wand had been drooping for like half an hour, but my arm was tired. She would know about it if she were actually helping, instead of just yelling at me the whole time. I grinned as James caught my eye and came over.
“Merlin, she’s annoying.” He nodded and grinned at me, he had that look in his eye. The one he would get when he was planning something with the boys. I wasn’t sure but I figured this was probably a good thing for him. He’d been being distant with them for a while now, and they were starting to get a little peeved about it. He winked at me and turned to the hall. It was nearly done; there were just a few finishing touches to be made.
“Everyone, can I have your attention? Since the hall is nearly done to perfection I think it would be best if we let our lovely ladies make a move and go to get ready for the ball.” Lily’s face was priceless as all the girls grinned at James and piled out of the doors. I gave him a hug and a kiss on the cheek and left to get ready with Susie and Gabby.
Gabby and Susie waited for me before getting ready, they knew that they only had to do their hair and make up since I had told them about the nifty little charm I found. All you have to do it walk through your gender’s door and it will dress you in a costume complete with a matching mask, and the clothes will be flattering to your body because the charm takes that into account. It was perfect, I had already tried it out as had Lily and her little friends. Lily was happy with the results but she was pretty peeved that I found it before her, since charms was her best subject. Everyone was having trouble with how to keep the ball anonymous, there was no other way.
They were surprised to see me; I had told them that I would be back about half an hour before the ball started but there I was at least two hours before expected. They grinned at me when I came in, “Where’s Lily?” I shrugged; my guess was she couldn’t bear to leave the hall for the boys to finish.
“Probably watching the boys to make sure they don’t mess up the hall. You didn’t think it was her idea for us to leave early did you?” we sat just talking for about an hour before Ella jumped up realising that we were there to be getting ready, not to be sitting around talking like old times.
By the time we were all ready the doors of the Great Hall had already opened so we didn’t have to wait around for too long before we got through the doors. We went through holding hands because I found a loophole to the charm when I was researching, it would mean that were would all be put in costumes but we would be able to find each other inside, we would still be holding onto each other. It would also mean that we would be in similar style costumes, which happened to be Disney films.
Gabby was in a tight fitted ankle length green skirt and a purple tube top, which left her stomach on show, her skin stayed its usually pale colour and her hair turned a gorgeous red colour, she was clearly Ariel from the Little Mermaid.
Susie was in a short green strapless dress with wings attached to the back, and matching green pumps, her hair was changed from its usual deep brown colour to blond and it was tied up in bun at the back of her head, with a thick side fringe hanging down, she was Tinkerbell from Peter Pan.
I was in a long purple skirt with a darker purple shawl tied around my waist, with a green and yellow corset that came up just under my bust and a white off the shoulder blouse underneath it. I had gold bangles on my wrists and a gold anklet on my ankle, I wasn’t given shoes but I had a feeling that would be fine. My hair was turned black and changed to big curls, with a pink scarf tied in, my eyes were big and green and my skin was a light caramel colour. I was Esmerelda, the gypsy girl from the Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Since the ball had already started that band was already playing but people were still milling around trying to find their friends, something, which probably wouldn’t be an easy task. But because we already had each other we went to dance straight away. After only about ten minutes we each had a partner to dance with but they mostly stuck together. An hour or two in Susie stopped to catch her breath and Gabby and me followed her over to get drinks, both of us were desperate for drinks.
I had just set my down my empty cup when someone grabbed my hand and pulled me back towards the dancers. Since we were seventh years the dancing was pretty intimate but also because it was a school event there was only light grinding going on, it wasn’t like what happened on the dance floor of the marauder’s parties. I was having a great time with him when the song changed to something a lot slower, but instead of walking away like I assumed he would he spun me around so and started swaying me to the new beat. We started talking during this slower song and I knew it was James as soon as he spoke, I figured he must have known it was me, considering we’d been best friends for a good six years.
Even after that song finished we kept dancing, and talking, neither of us danced with anyone else. It was amazing because during that first slow dance I saw realisation and recognition flicker in his eyes, he knew it was me. after about twenty more songs we both needed a breather so we went to sit at one of the little tables and kept talking and laughing, I wouldn’t have thought it would have been that comfortable to talk to him like that, like a couple.
The band announced the last song of the night, it was a slow one and James led me back onto the dance floor, in the six years we’d been friends he’d never mentioned to me that he could dance, he was so graceful and even though I didn’t know the steps to what he was doing it didn’t matter because he knew how to lead it.
It was nearly time for the unmasking and at the end of the last song of the night he looked straight into my eyes and drew me closer to him, when he kissed me it was the most amazing thing I’ve ever felt, it was like fireworks were going off in my head, I know it sounds clichéd but that’s how it was. As the countdown to midnight started Gabby and Susie whisked me away from him, so that we could all be changed back together.
I lost sight of him in the crowds of people counting down to the moment they would find out who they’d spent the night with, their new friends, who they would probably be embarrassed to be seen with the next day. But that was ok because he knew it was me, so I would just have to talk to him in the morning and see what was going to happen next.
Gabby and Susie were excited for me when I told them what happened in the dormitory that night, we were all sitting on my bed with the curtains drawn and a silencing charm cast over them so that Lily and her friends wouldn’t be able to hear us, they both started squealing with delight. I went to sleep happy that night and I dreamt about what was going to happen the next morning when I saw him again and we talked about what was going to happen with us now.
In the morning I got up early and showered and got dressed, I wasn’t usually a morning person but once I woke up I couldn’t get back to sleep, I was too happy. Finally he knew how I felt and judging from last night, he felt the same way, I just hoped that it wasn’t just because of the dance, but because he actually liked me. I got down to the common room before anyone else and waited for James to come down from the boys’ dormitory. I didn’t have to wait long because only about half an hour after I sat down James came down the stairs grinning like a fool; it was the same grin I knew was plastered across my own face. “Morning Riley.”
“Morning James.” For some reason I couldn’t think of anything to say to him, something that had never happened to me.
“Good night last night?” he was going to play it that way, pretending nothing happened to make sure I like him, he could never just talk outright about things like this. I played along,
“It was really good thanks. How was your night?” he sighed in dreamy contentedness,
“It was amazing Riley, so good you wouldn’t believe it if I told you.” My grin widened, I hadn’t thought I could get any happier than when I woke up that morning, I was wrong. Hearing him say that made me ten times happier than that.
“I’m sure I’d believe it, why don’t you try me?”
“I danced with Lily all night, she knew it was me. I know she recognised me, I could see it in her eyes. She looked amazing, well more amazing than usual. She had this big curly black hair and tan skin, but it was her eyes. They were bigger but still the same colour of green…” my eyes are blue-green, not the colour they were last night, not the same as Lily’s “…and she kissed me back!” I missed a lot of what he was saying, I felt my eyes fill up with tears but I was determined not to let them fall in front of him. I smiled and he didn’t notice the tears.
A/N: I'd like to take this oppertunity to thank those who have reviewed my story :) so thank you guys.. it means a lot that you liked it enough to review, I hope you enjoy this one too :)