Chapter 1 : The Perfect Present
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Cedric wandered through Hogsmeade looking at all the shops. It was late in the afternoon, and the sun would be going down soon. Some of the shops were about to close, and Cedric was beginning to feel a vague sense of despair. As usual, he had left his Christmas shopping to the last moment, and as it was the final Hogsmeade weekend before the Christmas holidays, this would probably be his last opportunity. He had found gifts for his mother and father easily enough, as well as some small things for his mates. Those were all tucked securely in his schoolbag—wrapped already, as he’d paid extra for that. However, there was one last gift he was uncertain about.
Should he buy a Christmas gift for Cho? They hadn’t actually gone on a real date yet, although she was coming to the Yule Ball with him. He wasn’t sure if it would be too pushy for him to buy her a Christmas present, but he didn’t want to chance her being upset if he didn’t. He had never dated a girl over Christmas before. Should he get her chocolates? That seemed too predictable. Jewelry? That seemed too serious. A book or a scarf? But how would he know what she liked? It was too late to try to ask her friends, and he wasn’t sure he had the nerve anyway. Why did things have to be so bloody complicated?
Cedric paused outside Spintwitches to stare in the window. There were a couple of racing brooms displayed in the window, as usual, along with an assortment of other sporting equipment. In deference to the season, some sort of greenery was strung up inside inside the shop. Perhaps Cho would like some Quidditch supplies, he thought. After all, she was quite a good Quidditch player. Then again, maybe she’d prefer something that showed he noticed her for more than just her Quidditch skills. The problem was, he wasn’t sure what else she liked.
After a moment’s hesitation, Cedric pushed the door open, and a little bell tinkled as he stepped inside. He was greeted by a gentle rush of warm air, quite welcome after the chill outside. The shop was quite empty this time of day. He loosened his scarf, pulled off his gloves, and wandered farther inside. A moment later, the proprietress emerged from the rear of the shop, wiping her hands on an apron.
“Is there anything I can help you find?” the witch asked.
“I’m not really sure what I’m looking for,” Cedric said. He hesitated a moment before deciding his desperation outweighed his embarrassment. “I’m trying to buy a Christmas present for a friend of mine, but I don’t know what to get her. She plays Quidditch, so I was thinking something related to that.”
The witch smiled kindly. “We do have some clothing, as well as memorabilia and other smaller items. Let me show you.” She led Cedric toward the back. “Why don’t you look around? If you have any questions, let me know.” With that, she left him there to stare at the shelves of items. How could he possibly choose a gift from among so many different things?
Well, he already knew he wasn’t going to get her any clothing, so that eliminated some of his choices. He also rejected the Quidditch posters, as well as anything that promised on the package to be noisy or flashy. That didn’t leave him with so many choices after all.
As he shifted a sloppy stack of scarves, a smallish object fell to the floor. Cedric bent to pick it up. It was a hair clip. He turned it over in his hands. It was sky blue, one of the colors of the Tutshill Tornadoes, which Cedric suddenly remembered might be Cho’s favorite team, since he thought he had seen her wearing a Tornadoes badge before. As he watched, a pattern of tiny Golden Snitches began to appear. They slowly brightened and then began to fade again. A charmed hair clip in Tornadoes colors!
A triumphant grin spread over Cedric’s face. He had found Cho’s gift. It was perfect.