Chapter 4 : A Snowy Day
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As always, I own nothing.
“Are you enjoying the party?” Hermione asked, giving Harry a glass of butterbeer. He smiled.
“It’s nice. Thank you, guys.”
“Thank Fred and George. They put this all thing together.”
“My brothers sure know how to throw a party,” Ron said, downing his second glass of butterbeer. Hermione shook her head.
“Ron, take it slow with that stuff.”
“Ah, Hermione, liven up. It’s a party.”
“I’m really proud of you,” she told Harry, quickly kissing his cheek. Ron gagged.
“Do you two have to do that in front of me? It’s disgusting.”
“Aw, Ronnie-Kins jealous that he doesn’t have a girlfriend?” Fred said, coming up behind Ron.
“Poor Ronnie-Wonnie. He’ll never get a girl.”
“Shut up, you two.”
“Thanks for the party, guys. I’m having a blast.”
“Anytime, Harry. You deserve it!”
“You sure do, after taking on that dragon the way you did.”
“Harry Potter, the youngest champion, the fastest to get the egg!” Fred said.
“He’s going to win this tournament!” George cried, causing the common room to erupt.
“Who knows what’s to come, but we know he can overcome anything!”
Hermione sat her drink down, got up and walked towards the window. Harry excused himself, sat his drink down and walked over to the window.
“Hey,” he said, walking up next to her, “is anything the matter?”
“It was hard enough seeing you take on that dragon. I don’t even want to think about what’s to come.”
“I can’t promise you that I won’t get hurt,” he said, taking her hand in his, “but I can promise you that I will do my best not to.”
“Seeing you in that bed…it scared me, Harry.”
He leaned down to kiss her head, unaware that people were watching them. He sighed. “Don’t any of you have anything better to do?”
“Nope,” they chorused. Harry laughed.
During transfiguration, Professor McGonagall announced the Yule Ball, an annual Triwizard event that occurs on Christmas. It’s an event open to fourth years and up, even though someone may invite someone younger.
As soon as she said it, Hermione started imaging how Harry might ask her. Would he ask her? She assumed, since they were dating, but maybe Harry didn’t want to go.
Class was dismissed it. Just as Harry was about to leave with Ron and Hermione, Professor McGonagall wished to talk to him. He bid goodbye as Ron and Hermione walked out the door.
“I wonder what she wants,” Hermione said, as she and Ron returned to the common room.
“It’s probably nothing, Hermione. Might just be information about the next task.”
They reached the common room and sat in the chairs near the fire.
“What did Professor McGonagall want?” Ron asked, when Harry had caught up with him and Hermione.
“Just congratulated me on the first task,” Harry said. He didn’t want to tell Hermione about the ball yet. He was still thinking on how to ask it and make it memorable.
“Well, you did do a good job,” Ron said, clapping Harry on the back.
“Speaking of, have you figured out that egg yet?” Hermione said, giving Harry a stern look.
“Hermione, he has ‘till the end of February to figure it out.”
“Ron, it’s obviously a complicated clue! They wouldn’t give them a hard task and not a hard clue!”
“I’ve been trying, Hermione. Every time I open the thing it screeches like a banshee.”
“Maybe that’s the next task.”
“I don’t think so. I think I have to figure out that darn screech.”
“Whatever it is, we’re here for you, mate.”
Harry had asked Fred and George to meet him in the common room at midnight. He wanted to know where the kitchens were at. It was the first part of his plan.
“Fred, George,” Harry greeted. They nodded.
“What’s the matter, Harry?”
“Where are the kitchens located at?”
“The kitchens? Why?”
“Ok, please don’t tell anyone this, especially Hermione. I plan on asking her to the ball by giving her a romantic dinner.”
“How romantic,” George grinned. “Much more than you were planning on doing, huh, Fred?”
“I was just going to ask,” he laughed. “Look at little Harry, all grown up.”
“He’s not that little guy we use to know,” George said, shaking his head.
They told Harry how to get to the kitchens. It seemed complicated to find, but maybe after he found it, it would be easier to get there.
“Thank you so much, guys.”
“-If you ever need our help-”
“-Just let us know.”
“Thanks again. I really appreciate it.”
“So, has loverboy asked you yet?” Ginny said, sitting across from Hermione. They were both alone in Hermione’s dorm.
“No. It looked like he didn’t want to go.”
“Of course he wants to go!” Ginny cried, jumping off the bed. “He’s messing with your head.”
“I know! He wants you to be surprised when he asks you. I bet he’s planning something big.”
“He’s too sweet,” Hermione replied, smiling.
“So what’s it like, being with him?”
“Amazing,” Hermione said, leaning back against her headboard. “I’ve never been happier.”
“It shows,” Ginny smiled. “Harry’s been a lot happier, too, even with everything that’s going on.”
“I’m really worried for him. I wish he didn’t have to do any of this. He doesn’t deserve it.”
“You really do care for him, don’t you?”
“I think I love him, Ginny.”
“That’s not something you think, Hermione. It’s something you know.”
“Then I know I love him,” she replied.
“When did you find out?”
“After the first task, when I saw him lying injured in the hospital bed.”
“What about you? Are you going to the ball?”
“I can’t unless I’m invited.”
“I’m sure someone will invite you.”
“So, what are you going to wear to the ball?”
Hermione walked over to her trunk, pulled out a few items, and then pulled out a periwinkle-color dress. It was beautiful. It seemed like it was shining in the light.
“Oh my gosh! That’s beautiful! You’re going to have Harry gagging!”
“You think?” she asked, studying the dress. Ginny nodded.
“Oh yeah. You let me do your hair and make-up and I bet Harry will be speechless.”
“Where have you been?” Ron asked when Harry walked through the portrait hole. It was close to ten and he knew Harry had left in his cloak.
“The kitchens,” he replied.
“The kitchens? Why? Were you hungry?”
Ron studied him. He knew that Harry was hiding something, but couldn’t figure out what.
“Nothing,” Harry shrugged, sitting on the couch.
“C’mon, mate, something’s up.”
“Fine,” Harry said, looking around. “Please don’t tell Hermione.”
“Tomorrow night I’m taking her down to the kitchens. I found out that Dobby works down there. He’s going to have a romantic dinner set up for us. I’m going to ask her to the ball.”
“Oh,” Ron replied, looking into the fire.
“Ron, I hope we haven’t made you feel uncomfortable. It was never our intention. I, and I’m sure Hermione as well, don’t want you to feel like a third wheel.”
“So you guys are dating,” he replied. “You’re still my best friends. And I don’t feel like a third wheel. You guys never act like a couple while I’m around.”
“I just hope you’re not uncomfortable about us.”
It was snowing the next morning when Hermione awoke. Looking out the window, she saw the ground partially covered and smiled. It was a nice day to go out on the grounds with Harry and Ron.
She changed quickly and walked down to the Great Hall. She saw Ron and Harry talking and eating and sat beside them.
“Morning,” Ron replied. Harry was staring at her.
“Good morning, Harry.” Harry was still staring at her. Ron quickly nudged him. “Is anything the matter?”
“I’ve-I’ve got to go,” he stuttered, getting up from the table.
“Did I do something?” Hermione asked a little hurt. Ron shook his head.
“He-um-he had a rough night.”
“A rough night? What happened?”
“Bad dreams. He didn’t sleep well,” Ron lied.
“Is he ok?”
“He’ll be alright; he’s just tired.”
They finished breakfast and returned to the common room. They saw Harry sitting on the couch, staring into the fire. Hermione went over and hugged him.
“Ron told me what happened last night. Are you ok?”
Harry quickly looked at Ron, who was shaking his head.
“Oh, yes, I’m fine.”
“That’s good. What were they like?”
“Harry! I need your input on something,” Ron quickly butt in. Harry nodded.
“We’ll be right back, alright?”
“Ok,” Hermione said quietly.
Harry and Ron walked up the stairs to the dormitory. Ron poked his head in and made sure it was empty before he and Harry entered.
“What is she talking about, Ron?”
“Ok, before we answer my question let me ask you one. What the bloody hell happened at breakfast?”
“I’m sorry, ok? I took one look at her and I instantly got nervous. I’m not ready for tonight.”
“Harry, you’re asking her to a ball not to marry you. Relax, mate.”
“I know, I know. I don’t know why I’m getting nervous, but I am.”
“You’re putting too much pressure on yourself. Just relax.”
“You’re right, I’m sorry. Now my question.”
“I might have told Hermione that you didn’t sleep well last night because you had some bad dreams.”
“Of all the things you could have told Hermione,” Harry replied, shaking his head.
“I’m sorry. She needed an excuse and it was the first thing that came to my head.”
“Let me go sort this out,” he replied, walking out of the dorm. Ron followed.
“Hey,” Hermione said, smiling at him. He took a seat next to her.
“Hermione, I want to clarify something. What Ron told you-it was a lie. I slept well last night.”
“A lie?” she said, turning to Ron. He shrugged. “Why would you lie to me? What’s going on?”
“He made up an excuse for me. See, Mione, I really want some alone time with you tonight. What do you say?”
“Was this what all that was about? Harry, what on earth-”
“I got nervous. I didn’t want to embarrass myself in front of you.”
“Well, then, I say yes.”
“Great,” he grinned.
“How about the three of us go outside to enjoy the snow?” she said, getting off the couch.
“Sounds good to me!” Ron said, standing up. Harry nodded.
They all went upstairs to change. Harry and Ron were talking as they were dressing.
“You have no idea how hard that was,” Harry laughed. “I almost blew it.”
“I thought you were going to, at first.”
“Thanks for the help, mate.”
They met Hermione in the common room then proceeded outside. As soon as they got out there Ron collapsed in the snow and made a snow angel. Harry and Hermione laughed.
“What? It’s fun!”
Harry gave Hermione an interesting look. When she turned to look back at Ron, he quickly grabbed some snow, formed a ball and threw it at her. She squealed, grabbed some snow and started the snow fight.
That was how they spent their afternoon. They all three initiated a snowball fight. It became so intense that even some of their friends, including Neville and Seamus, joined in.
They stopped at lunchtime and went to go eat. Harry still cound;t figure out why, but his nerves continued to twist around inside his stomach. And, as it got closer to eight, he almost felt like he didn’t want to go. He just hoped Hermione wasn’t catching on to the way he was acting.
“Just relax,” Ron said, watching as Harry quickly grabbed everything he needed.
“I’m trying. I don’t know why I’m so nervous.”
“Just get down there and everything will be ok. She has no idea what’s going on.”
“I know, I know. Alright, how do I look?”
“Well, I would say ‘fix your hair’, but we both know that’s not going to happen.”
“Shut up,” Harry laughed.
“Really, though, mate, you look good. Now get your arse down there.”
Harry nodded, turned, and walked out the door. He went down to the common room and stood waiting for Hermione. He didn’t wait long. She arrived downstairs at five-till-eight. Taking in the sight of her, he felt his nerves multiply. He couldn’t help but to smile, though.
“Are you ready?”
“Are we going somewhere?” she asked, confused. He nodded.
“It’s a surprise.”
He wrapped his invisibility cloak around the two of them and led them out of the dormitory. They remained quiet the whole trip; he was too nervous to talk and she was wondering what was wrong with him.
They stopped in front of a painting of a bowl of fruit. Hermione turned to look at it, confusion written all over her face.
“Before you say anything, close your eyes.”
“Close my eyes?”
She did. She had no idea what Harry had planned, but he obviously had something up his sleeve if he doesn’t want her to know about it.
She felt him gently push her forward. She them felt the cloak slide off and felt Harry’s lips gently on hers. She smiled against him and wrapped her arms around his neck.
“Can I open my eyes yet?” she asked, as he pulled away. He chuckled.
She opened her eyes and immediately gasped. They were obviously in the kitchens, but in the middle of the kitchen a table was set up. There was a red cloth covering the table. On top there were two plates, some silverware, glasses and a candle in-between them. She turned to Harry in shock.
“Harry, what is this?”
“I want to ask you something, but I’d prefer to ask you after dinner.”
Now she knew why he didn’t eat that much at dinner. She felt foolish-she should have caught on right then and there.
“When did you put all this together?”
“Fred and George told me where to find the kitchens. And I had a little special help from a friend.”
“Harry Potter!” a little voice squealed. Hermione jumped and turned around.
“Oh, hello,” she said, bending down to see the house elf eye-to-eye. Harry joined her and smiled.
“Hermione, this is Dobby. He saved my life back in second year, and how he’s a good friend. Dobby, this is my friend, Hermione.”
“Dobby is pleased to meet Miss. Hermione! This is the Hermione that you like, Harry Potter?”
Harry coughed, and Hermione smiled. She wondered what Harry had told Dobby about her.
“Did you have Dobby set all this up? You know how I feel about that, Harry.”
Harry pulled her up, wrapped his arm around her waist, tucked a strand of her hair behind her ear and smiled. “Hermione, Dobby offered to set this up. When I came down here, I had originally planned to set all this up. When I discovered Dobby down here, he offered to do it. I let him only because I was afraid you’d catch on if you had noticed I was gone for quite a while.”
“Is true, Miss Hermione! Dobby wanted to do this! Get seated, dinner’s ready, Harry Potter and Miss Hermione!”
Dobby disappeared. Harry led Hermione to the table, pulled out her seat, pushed in her when she sat down and set opposite of her.
“He’s a cute little thing, isn’t he?”
“Yeah. He use to work for the Malfoys.”
“The Malfoys? Oh, poor little guy.”
“When I found that diary that controlled Ginny, Lucius Malfoy showed up. I didn’t want Dobby to work for them anymore; they were so cruel to him. So, I hid one of my socks in the book, gave it to Malfoy when I confronted him, and he, stupidly, gave it to Dobby. Dobby became free.”
“Oh, Harry,” Hermione smiled. “That was really sweet of you.”
“I just couldn’t let him go back to them.”
“What you did was right, Harry. They didn’t deserve to have him.”
“Yeah, I know.”
The food suddenly appeared in front of them. Hermione gasped-she couldn’t believe what Harry had done. What happened to that shy little boy she used to know?
He had chosen chicken parmesan on a bed of penne noodles. She had to smile-he had asked her yesterday what her favorite meal was.
“I should have guessed,” she laughed. Harry smiled.
“I was hoping you wouldn’t catch on. I really wanted to make this a surprise.”
“Well, you did. I was not expecting this. When did you get all romantic? The Harry I remember was a shy and quiet boy.”
He smiled. “I honestly don’t know. All I know is that I wanted to make this special for you.”
“Make what special, Harry?”
She had a strong feeling that he was going to ask her to the ball. She kept wondering if he was going to; he had continued to throw her off track. The incidents at breakfast, the snowball fight, it all added up. Ginny had been right-he messed with her head.
‘No wonder he had been acting all weird today,’ she thought.
“Hermione, will you go to the ball with me?”
He started at her, hoping she would say something. She was making him nervous with her silence. Did she not want to go with him?
Then, suddenly, she stood up, walked over to him, pulled him up and pressed her lips against his. He felt her smile against him and couldn’t help but pull her closer.
Breaking away, she kept the smile on her face as he hands found themselves in his hair. His stayed wrapped around her waist.
“Is that a yes?”
“Of course. There’s no one else I want to go with.”
“There’s a catch, though.”
“And what’s that?”
“As a champion, I was told we have to dance first, along with the other three champions.”
“Ah. Something tells me you’re not too happy about that.”
“Not at all. You know I don’t like being the center of attention. Plus…” he continued on, muttering something.
“What was that? I couldn’t hear you.”
“I, um, I don’t know how to dance.”
“Oh, Merlin, you’re already embarrassed,” he said, turning away.
“No, Harry,” she said, grabbing his wrist and pulling him back towards her. “I’m not embarrassed. You shouldn’t be, either. So you can’t dance. So what? We have plenty of time to practice.”
“You’ll really do that for me?”
“Of course. Harry, do you trust me?”
He was taken aback by her comment, but quickly said, “With all my heart.”
She smiled and said, “Then let me do this for you. You spent all this time making this night memorable for me. Let me repay you by helping you dance. By seeing how we dance, the Yule Ball won’t be as bad.”
“You’re wonderful,” he said, picking her up and spinning her around. She laughed. He then put her down, wrapped his arms around her waist, put a strand of her hair behind her ear and said, “I mean it. You’re wonderful.”
The look in his eyes almost made her say “I love you” to him. She stopped herself, though. She was still unsure if he loved her and she didn’t want to scare him.
“Why don’t we go finish dinner and I’ll start teaching you how to dance.”
He nodded, led her back to the table and counted himself lucky that he had her as a girlfriend.
Up next-The Yule Ball
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