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Chapter 1 : Invitations and Red Roses
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He hadn’t given much thought to this beautifully engraved invitation that lay on the desk before him. There was no need; he knew whom he was giving it to before he had received it from Headmistress McGonagall a few short hours ago.
“This invitation permits one guest per Champion to participate in the first dance of the Yule Ball.” She had said as she handed said invitation to each of the three of them in her office. He still remembered the mortified look on the face of Durmstrang’s Champion, Ivan Kurog, as he heard the words “first dance”. Beauxbaton’s Champion smiled brightly as she reached eagerly for her invitation.
The French blonde danced past Ivan and looked at the third Champion with a twinkle in her green eyes. “I know someone who would love to be asked to zee Ball by you, Owen.” He smiled as nicely as he could without meaning it and she danced along. Ivan stared at the blonde as she left the room. “I don’t know about you, my friend, but I’m asking every one of her friends. One of them is bound to oblige.”
Owen sighed at the parchment on his desk. The ornate font and designs on the square page glared up at him and he ran a hand through his short light brown hair. How was he going to ask her? Had she already been asked? Owen pushed out of his chair and paced around his room shared with his friend and fellow Quidditch team member, James Potter II. Those questions swirled through his mind, intimidating him more as every second passed. What was going on? He was never this nervous, even before the House Cup final match. He hated the way she did this to him.
That night he dreamt about her. They were alone in the corridor outside of the Great Hall. The way she twisted her honey locks around a slender finger made his breath hitch. But he had managed to spit out his invitation and her lips curved upwards into a smile. She threw her head back with a crazed laugh. “Why would I ever go to the Yule Ball with you?”
“B-But I’m a Triwizard Champion,” was all he could manage to stammer when suddenly the entire school was behind her, laughing at him. From the crowd emerged a white-blond haired boy, a fellow housemate of hers, Scorpius Malfoy. He sauntered up to her, his eyes cold on Owen’s, and roughly pulled her into a kiss. Owen lunged at the pair, embarrassment and anger boiling under his skin. But his hands went completely through the two embraced Slytherins as though they were ghosts.
He woke with a start and sat up, slowly realizing that it was just a dream. A horrid, terrifying dream. His mind was running wild with the images he had just imagined in his sleep. He could see an aura of light surrounding the drawn curtains and looked groggily at the clock on the wall.
“Today’s the big day, eh?” James asked with a grin, elbowing Owen in the side harshly. He rubbed the spot where his best mate had impaled him and groaned an answer. The two Gryffindors walked down the hallway on their way to breakfast.
“Come on, O,” the dark haired boy encouraged brightly, “You’re going to need a better attitude than that if you want to land a date to the Yule Ball with my cousin.”
“I’m nervous, James,” Owen began, quickly correcting himself. “No, no, horrified is a better word for it. What if she’s already been asked?”
“I heard from Gwyneth, who heard from Lily, who heard from Rose that she hasn’t been asked yet,” James reassured his mate. With a wink he patted Owen on the back, “I also heard that she likes red roses.”
The sky was a flawless blue, no clouds blemishing the endless stretch of color. A brightly burning sun lightened the Saturday afternoon, shining down on a sparse crowd of students lounging in the castle’s courtyard, indulging in the unusually warm day. Rays of the rich light entered the Gryffindor tower through tall glass windows and buttered the walls of the common room where Owen sat, a large bouquet of red roses and the ornately engraved invitation directly in front of him on the table.
He smoothed down his black blazer and swallowed audibly, his nerves beginning to catch him. His blue-grey eyes were fixed on the gifts in front of him. He had to make sure every rose was placed perfectly before he could even think of presenting them to her.
“She’s there!” a small voice echoed in the empty common room. Owen jumped slightly, retracting his hands from the bouquet and looking over his shoulder at a petite redhead hanging through the portrait hole. “Rose has her occupied in the courtyard, it’s time!”
Owen inhaled through his nose and exhaled deeply through his mouth, standing up and straightening out his khaki pants before placing the invitation gently in the rose bouquet, taking care not to disturb their arrangement. He turned to face the small girl with an anxious smile on his face.
“Thanks, Lily,” he said, his voice nearly cracking. He coughed deeply in an attempt to prevent any future cracking. The girl smiled brilliantly at him and placed both hands over her heart, cocking her head slightly.
“Oh, this is just so romantic,” she sighed, closing her green eyes. “The roses, the surprise… She would have to be completely thick to say no.”
Owen thoroughly hoped Lily’s words were true.
When Owen saw her through the courtyard’s many arches he froze. She was the epitome of perfection. She was with her cousin Rose on the grass, her golden hair gleaming in the sun. An infectious laugh passed her parted lips, nothing at all like the maniacal laugh he had heard in his dream. A small group of girls, some standing and some sitting, outlined their area in the courtyard and Owen’s chest got tight. He wasn’t expecting such an audience. His grasp on the roses tensed and he blinked slowly before starting on his journey once more.
His gaze was fixed on her; she was his prize at the end of the road. The other girls looked at her with such admiration as she spun around carelessly, giggling all the while. They joined in, as her laugh was contagious. Rose saw him approaching them with his offerings and smiled largely. He felt the eyes of all the students he passed on his back as he marched towards the blonde in the center of the courtyard. She had stopped spinning and her back was to Owen as the steps between the two of them dwindled. With his last five steps or so, the courtyard grew silent until all that remained to be heard were her panting laughs and the soft sound of his shoes on the grass.
She spun around and saw Owen standing there, the bouquet of red roses in one hand and the invitation in the other. His smile was stretched across his handsome face and she furrowed her brow slightly, looking at the roses then at the invitation and back. She breathed out in disbelief.
“These are for me?” she asked before Owen could speak. Her clear blue eyes burrowed into his and he nodded his answer, raising his eyebrows. A bright smile overcame her delicate features and she raised her hands to her mouth to stifle an excited laugh.
“Dominique Weasley, will you go to the ball with me?”
The two weeks until the Yule Ball had passed with tremendous speed. James stood in front of the mirror in his room, turning from side to side as he examined himself in his sleek black dress robes. He raised his eyebrows in approval and ran his hands through his hair a few more times until he was satisfied. He placed a pair of white roses on his lapel to finish his look. “Gwyneth won’t be able to keep her hands off of me.”
Owen rolled his eyes at his roommate as he pulled on his outer dress robes, making sure to adjust the collar correctly. He, too, wore black dress robes, but donned a single red rose on his lapel. The two boys glanced at each other, nodded in a silent understanding, and made their way down to the common room and out into the corridor.
The foyer to the Great Hall was bustling with students all dressed in their best robes. Girls stood in clumps while their dates tried desperately to discern them out from the crowd. James and Owen trotted down the large stairs and found an empty space of wall to stand near while they waited for their dates.
“Mr. Wood!” a shrill voice called through the foyer and Owen snapped his attention to a hurrying Professor McGonagall. “Thank Merlin I’ve found you. Once you have your date, might I ask you to join the other Champions in the Triwizard Room?”
“Of course,” he replied, nodding eagerly. She smiled kindly at him and quickly at James before departing and chasing after Durmstrang’s Champion.
James was about to say something witty, no doubt, when his eyes caught sight of his date, Gwyneth Davies, descending the stair case in a completely sequined, form-fitting white dress that flowed around her feet. Her blonde hair was swept back in a loose bun with hanging ringlets that framed her face. James was drawn to her side as she stepped onto the main floor and into his arms. Owen watched them with anticipation of his own date’s arrival. The foyer was nearly full now, and Owen was becoming nervous that he had missed her entrance. As he searched frantically for Dominique in the crowd the students grew quiet. Mumbled gasps and “bloody hells” were the only sounds as she had reached the top of the staircase and slowly floated down. Owen turned around to find the majority of the attendees staring at his date as she blushed slightly, covering her giggling mouth.
Owen made his way to the bottom of the stairs, his hand stretched out to meet hers as she neared him. Half of her golden hair was pulled back and her porcelain skin still had a tint of red to it when he pulled her to him. The scarlet dress she wore flowed away from her delicate frame eloquently and moved fluidly when she had stopped. Owen looked at her in amazement. “You look stunning.”
“You clean up pretty well, yourself,” she said, looking him up and down, pulling casually on his robes. She pushed a stray curl behind her ear. He caught her eyes and smiled before grasping her hand lightly.
“We have to meet in the Triwizard Room before the Ball starts,” he informed her as he led the way through the crowd and to a secluded corridor where the entrance to the room was. He opened the door, ushering Dominique through and following close behind.
They were the last couple to enter the room and the four other students looked at them, studying their formal robes. Apolline Laurent, Beauxbaton’s Champion gave Owen a particularly nasty look before moving her brown eyes to his date. She snorted slightly when she saw Dominique.
“Now, Champions,” McGonagall began, gesturing to the students in front of her, “And dates, of course. You will be performing the first dance of the Yule Ball, so I hope you’ve all been practicing. I can’t imagine the embarrassment that would accompany a misstep with all of the faculty and students watching.”
An audible groan came from Ivan and his date rubbed his arm with a reassuring smile. Apolline and her date, Lysander Scamander, a seventh year Ravenclaw, stepped forward, arm in arm.
“We ‘ave been practicing every day to assure zee best possible performance for tonight,” she announced, clutching Lysander’s arm tightly. He made sure to smile largely when she glanced up at him, but it soon faded when she looked away.
“Wonderful news, Miss Laurent,” McGonagall murmured indifferently as she glanced at her watch, waiting for the exact moment when she needed to escort the Champions and their dates to the dance floor. After a minute had passed she jumped and rushed to the side door that led to the Ball Room. “Now, will Mr. Wood and Miss Weasley please lead the Champions out tonight, as Mr. Wood is the home school’s Champion?”
Owen slid his arm through Dominique’s and they walked to the door, waiting for Ivan and Arielle Renoir to take their places behind them and finally for Apolline and Lysander to take their places in the back. When all of the participants were in proper position, Professor McGonagall motioned for them to enter the Ball Room.
The large dance floor was placed beneath a night sky littered with shining stars while a dusting of pure white snow dropped down from overhead. The Champions marched to the vast dance floor, spreading out to their places. The rest of Hogwarts, Beauxbatons and Durmstrang surrounded the floor, readily waiting for their chance to join in the dance. The band began to play a spirited tune, perfect for waltzing and the Champions started off the Yule Ball gracefully, all in perfect sync with one another. Owen couldn’t help but beam when he placed his hand on Dominique’s slim waist and took her hand in his. She laughed as they danced and spun around one another. Suddenly, pairs of faculty and students trickled onto the dance floor until the majority of the school had joined in the first dance.
When the music came to a slow stop, Owen and Dominique bowed gracefully at each other, as did the other couples. They met eyes and stood up slowly. Owen’s smile faded, and so did hers as the distance between them closed. Their eyes stayed connected until Owen placed his hands on the sides of her face, pulling her lips to his. Dominique’s hands rested on his chest as she pressed herself into him, intensifying their embrace.
They had danced, eaten, danced again, stopped for drinks, and danced more throughout the night. They laughed and danced crazily when the band played rock music, and slowed down and kissed lovingly when the slow songs were played. Nearing the end of the night, Owen had led his date outside for fresh air, and they sat on a stone bench facing the fountain. The soft babbling of the fountain’s water collapsing into itself was relaxing, causing Dominique to rest her head on Owen’s broad shoulder. He smiled to himself when he felt her weight leaning on him. She breathed out with satisfaction, and then giggled faintly before closing her eyes.
“I hope that wasn’t a sigh of relief,” Owen joked, raising an eyebrow as he looked down at the girl of his dreams. She giggled harder and looked back at him.
“Absolutely,” she smiled, wanting to kiss him again. She eyed his lips then bit her own. He feigned a hurt look, then placed a strong hand over his heart.
“Ouch,” he whined. “And I thought we were having such a lovely time. Then you go and drop this bombshell on me. I suppose there’s no point in asking you anymore…”
Dominique’s ears perked at the latter part of his words and sat up straight on the bench. Her brows furrowed and she glared up at the Hogwarts Champion. “No point in asking me what?”
“Oh, nothing,” he said, brushing it off. “I wouldn’t want you to be bothered.”
“Tell me!” she begged with a chuckle, pulling on his robes. “Please?”
“No, you’d never even want to –” Her warm lips brushed his, cutting his train of thought and words. His hands pulled her closer to him and refused to ever let her go. After a few busy moments, she managed to pull away and smirked at him.
“I would love to be your girlfriend.”
So this is my first one-shot, I hope it wasn't too bad. To those of you who read it and enjoyed it, I'm thinking of writing a few more based on the Next Generation characters.
Let me know what you think and if there's anything I could do to improve future creations! :]
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