Bianca, Liz, Luna, and Ginny continued their walk to Hogsmeade, laughing and enjoying each other's company. The scenery was breath taking once Bianca and Liz managed to get their first look at the place. Stores with their most luring products in windows, owls soaring over head to deliver mail, the gracefulness of the smoke dispersing from chimney’s, all of it was admired by the two newcomers.
"Wow" said Bianca and Liz in union
"Yeah, it's great isn't it?" spoke Luna in her everyday dreamy tone
"It really is, so where's the dress store?" questioned Bianca eager to beat the other girls
"Yeah I don't want to claw any one's eyes out if we have the same dress that make our eyes pop" said Liz
"Yeah cause that would be bad" said Bianca sarcastically
"Just follow me" said Ginny between her and Luna's laughs
They continued on down the path, Bianca's eyes flashing left and right. The tiniest hint of color and movement would draw her attention. She knew there was no other way to describe it other than she felt like a little kid in a candy store. Upon reaching their destination, she immediately regretted being in such a hurry. There in one of the windows stood Cho smiling as if it would save her life, surrounded by a group of friends. Liz's eyes fell upon her looking for worry.
"I'll be fine, but if someone calls for clean-up on aisle one, it wasn't me" said Bianca as she bravely headed inside.
The tiny bell rang above, signaling to the store owner, more customers had arrived. Liz and the others were quite ready to start looking around, however a very loud conversation managed to put the dresses on pause.
"Yeah, I knew he would come back to me" said Cho
"It was only a matter of time" she finished
Bianca's spirit sank low. Harry had already asked her. She wasn't sure whether to be understanding about his hastiness or disappointed. She knew she couldn't be mad at him; the only reason he took a dare was for her, her and her incapacity to tell Logan the truth about their summer spent together. There really was no reason for her not to tell him, he probably would have already figured it out, but she knew saying it out loud would make it real, it would hit him hard in the heart. In the few still moments spent, Cho finally noticed the group that had just entered the store.
"Oh look an audience to hear my ending" said Cho devilishly
"Shut it toe" ordered Liz
"But don't you want to hear how this fairytale ends?" asked Cho
"Unless it includes you breaking a mirror, not really" said Liz
"It must hurt to know I've got both your men huh Aqua?" asked Cho
Bianca couldn't have hated her more at that very second, even if she tried. The sound of her ancestors’ names being used from such an ungrateful disgrace disgusted her to the very limits.
"What are you talking about?" asked Bianca through gritted teeth
"Well Harry asked me to the dance today, surprise.......surprise and then before leaving the great hall my owl leaves me with a very delicious letter from Logan" said Cho pausing between her favorite words
"Did your bird have a hard time with the delivery, cause that letter's full of shit" said Bianca making Cho's eyes widen
"Now now jealousy is a deadly sin" said Cho attempting to re-gain composure
"Trust me I have no feel for jealousy, but Logan only wrote that letter because he had to" replied Bianca
Suddenly Cho's face turned a bright red from whether it be anger or embarrassment. Waiting for her to make the next move, Bianca didn't move a muscle. Turning around to face her friends Cho spoke incomprehensible words and shoving Liz and the others aside exited the store in a hurried manner. Bianca released the breath of air she had been holding in, and turned to look at her friends, who were grinning with encouragement.
"Nice one B" said Liz before going to the right side that held dresses.
Luna and Ginny both nodded and then went off in another direction. Bianca decided to take the left side of the store to see what it held. She slowly studied each rack of dresses and found one in the corner. With her hand brushing each one, she only pulled out the ones that she thought she might like.
Coming upon a deep purple one, she examined it closely. It had sequences along the strap that would tie behind her back, giving her neck a v-shape. Under the chest area laid another set of sequences that added to its stunning look. Holding it up to herself she saw that it would fall right above her ankles, a length she saw fitting for the dress. Not seeing anything else that caught her attention, she went up to the owner, realizing that the other girls had already found their dresses and were waiting patiently.
"So am I going to see any of those dresses?" asked Bianca
"Not a chance, we're all going to wait until the day of the dance to see them" said Ginny sternly
"Yes Mrs.Weasley" said Luna humorously making them all laugh
After purchasing her dress, the group left the store off to find a few drinks. They made their way into the Three Broomsticks to find the place swarming with their fellow classmates. There weren’t many table options. It wasn't until some students left the area blocking the entrance that she could make out their only choices for sitting down and getting a drink. In the far right corner there sat Hermione, Ron, and Harry chatting and enjoying their butterbeers. Then on the opposite side of the pub were Logan, Seth, Draco, and Blaise.
Not knowing how it happened, both groups managed to spot them out and were starring directly at them. The pairs of eyes both silently asked the same question, 'Who will you sit with?’ Bianca had never felt so on-the-spot before, at least not since coming to Hogwarts. Ginny and Luna, both feeling torn looked to Bianca hoping for her understanding. Bianca nodded slightly with a smile, before the two made their way to sit with Ron and the others.
Liz too had already decided against sitting with Ron, and not wanting her to be the only female surrounded by the boys, Bianca went to sit with her. It was if their connection continued to grow even at such distances, for Bianca could feel and see Harry's eyes fall with sadness. The appearances of Logan matched very differently, for his face was filled with light and happiness.
"Got room for one more anybody?" asked Bianca as she took a seat by Seth
"Of course, but will you please explain to Seth that he cannot see my dress" said Liz with amusement
"I'm merely trying to get a visual" defended Seth making the boys laugh
"Perhaps Liz would prefer you to draw a picture or something" spoke Blaise
"But if you make her head bigger than her body she'll hex you trust me" said Bianca making everyone laugh
"You know I think I like waiting" said Seth with his grin
"Drawing your best friend must have been hell huh Bianca?" questioned Draco
"You have no idea, she threw my pumpkin juice out the window" said Bianca
"You made my hair ugly" replied Liz
"It was drawing for fun" said Bianca as the group burst into laughter
"Hey so what's wrong with this picture?" said Logan
"Oh make sure you have my good side?" said Blaise
"Finally a man that's not afraid to take a good picture" said Liz with admiration making Draco and Bianca laugh
"No, I mean you ladies need some drinks, and we men need refills" said Logan as he headed over to grab a drink from Madame Rosemerta
"Yeah well you may need some help there manly man" teased Bianca as she went to help him
"Umm Blaise and I have to check on something, so we'll be right back" said Seth as they excused themselves from the table
It took Liz awhile to realize that only her and Draco were left at the table. The awkward moment that had once been there the first night she had seen him slowly crept its way back to her. Not making eye contact, she surveyed her surroundings until a voice brought her back to the situation.
"So you can talk to me when we're in a group, but not when we're alone?" questioned Draco
"I'm not proud of what happened, so why even speak of it?" said Liz meeting his eyes, which held understanding
"Can we put it behind us, is what I wish to know" responded Draco
"Yes we can" spoke Liz urgently worrying Malfoy a bit
"Besides, how else would Seth have friends who would make sure he doesn't run into walls?" added Liz
"That was my job, I thought it was yours?" said Draco making her spread a smile
"He really cares about you, you know" he continued after a short moment
"Seth has always cared for me, in ways I wasn't even sure was possible, but you can't force love, you just can't" replied Liz
"Believe me, I know what you mean" whispered Draco
After leaving the table Logan and Bianca had made their way to the counter to order some drinks. There she had an even better view of Harry's circle of friends having a good time. She shed a small smile when she was able to make out his laugh through the crowd; it was one of those sounds that touched her heart to the very core. His black hair, still with its same disheveled look as always sent the hairs on her neck high up. Logan had managed to track down Rosemerta and was already carrying three drinks over to the table, leaving Bianca alone for a second.
She rubbed her left arm with her right hand for no apparent reason, there was no draft and she had nothing to protect herself from or so she thought. Then, watching the space between her and Harry close with each passing step he took, she prepared herself mentally. Trying to predict what the topic would be about was no use, because before she knew it, he was right beside her.
"Well well what do we have here, a vella at a pub" said Harry with a smile
Bianca couldn't hold back her laugh. It was just too much to keep in, she remembers when she explained to Harry the sexiness of two people meeting at a bar. He questioned what happened after the strangers drank and laughed at jokes that weren't funny without the drink in hand. Rather than explain to him, she instead how showed him. The thought of the passion that night was making her feel dizzy and in the need for a repeat of the love-making.
"So I guess this is the part where I ask you who's buying tonight right?" asked Bianca
Harry grinned, one that he hoped would send to her his apology and the need he held to be close to her. Slowly however the light in his expression faded away as Bianca's eyes became something far from happy. She instead began biting her lower lip, a sign Harry was able to read clearly.
"How'd you find out?" questioned Harry
"That girl's mouth is so big, you'd think she was trying to catch flies with it" said Bianca
"I just didn't want to make a big deal about it" answered Harry
"Trust me, I'm not mad about it, really" responded Bianca lifting her head to meet his emerald eyes
"I only did it to protect you" spoke Harry
"I wish you'd trust me to protect myself" said Bianca
"Then explain to me why you're so afraid to tell Logan about what happened?" said Harry with a hidden anger in his tone
"I'm not afraid of telling Logan anything" defended Bianca as she stood up straight
"But you were before, is that what you're saying?" asked Harry
"Harry it doesn't matter whether he knows or not, what I care about is how much I want to be with you, but can't" said Bianca
It had been a long time since she had admitted her feelings. For awhile Harry had thought she was falling out of love with him, but now hearing those long-awaited words it took everything he had not to kiss her right there. Bianca's nostril's were flaring, both because she was angry with herself for not assuring him earlier how much she was still in love with him and also because things weren't getting any easier. Harry began reaching his left hand out to touch her, but quickly retreated when Logan came back.
"Hey Potter, I heard you went crawling back to Cho" said Logan
"Yeah well when a dumbass dares you to do something stupid, what can you do?" replied Harry
"Looks to me like the dumbass is going to have a better time at the dance" said Logan
Harry was growing angrier by the minute, as was Bianca who refused to meet Logan's eyes. Rather than continue with the bickering, Harry starred Logan in the eye, shook his head, and returned to his table. Bianca released another big breath of air, grabbed the drinks and went back to the table followed by Logan.
"So did we miss anything?" asked Bianca to Liz as she handed her a butterbeer.
"No, you ok?" asked Liz quietly
"I'll tell you later" explained Bianca before taking a sip of her drink
The conversation continued falling upon the Quidditch match that would take place between Slytherin and Gryffindor before the dance. The girls talked about how many girls they heard talking in the bathroom about how much they'd love to go with Malfoy. Draco merely shrugged it off as he turned his attention towards Hermione, an act that went unnoticed by all, but Bianca. After about a half hour in the pub, the group headed outside to be greeted by blankets of snow. Seth still hadn't arrived, but Logan assured them that he was fine.
Continuing their way through the streets, the group was torn between going to Zonko's and the bookstore. Bianca managed to persuade Logan that they'd meet them at Zonko's later. He agreed, but not before he gave her a quick kiss on the cheek. Liz and Bianca entered the bookstore, making their way to the back so that their conversation wouldn't be overheard.
"Sounds like somebody's tense over their lack of sex" suggested Liz as she looked through the rows of stories
"I am not tense, just frustrated" argued Bianca raising her tone
"So, at least he knows that you still love him" continued Liz
"Knowing something doesn't do anyone any good, it's about what you do with that information" said Bianca
"Do you know who you're talking to?" questioned Liz raising an eyebrow. Bianca merely chuckled
"I am the queen of doing what your heart tells you to do, but I'm failing miserably in what it tells me" spoke Liz
"I know you're about hearing and seeing, but maybe with Ron you should just give it time" said Bianca
"When you've only got one life to live, how much time are you willing to waste?" asked Liz
"Ok you really sounded like a quoter of the lessons for life right there" joked Bianca
"Well what can I say those fortune cookies really know what they're talking about" spoke Liz
"So then your colors would be blue and purple and the best days for you 21, 13, and 4" continued Bianca
"Of course" laughed Liz
The door to the store was opened and Bianca could make out the sounds of feet shuffling around. She paused for a second to see if she could identify who they were. Waiting she heard familiar voices, smiled to Liz as she too took in the voices. The two teens made their way over to the newest arrivals of the shop. Bianca stood waiting to see how long till they noticed their appearance. The curly haired bookworm was attempting to point out top books on her list to an uninterested dreamer, who merely placed back the books that had been taken out for their spot. The red head instead was looking out the window, her eyes searching for someone.
"Is there a problem here?" spoke Liz giving away their position
"I believe Hermione is trying to fill my mind with reading but she's not really making any sense to me" said Luna bluntly making Bianca laugh
"Well can't say that I didn't try" replied Hermione
"So were you able to find your dress?" questioned Bianca to Granger
"Yes, what're you two doing here?" said Hermione
"If you're looking for the Hornshack sections, I've already checked and people these days just don't know what they're missing" said Luna
"Oh we've got that poll going already" joked Liz
"Quite the nail-bitter I suppose" added Luna making everyone laugh
Bianca smiled to herself, knowing this was just another reason why she felt so comfortable around her new found friends. They were the type who could laugh at themselves and not feel cornered or whinny at such petty comments. She turned to Liz, knowing she too felt the same comfort. Such an emotion only increased her longing to have Harry with her at times like these. As if one cue when her mind feel upon him, a loud commotion outside grabbed her senses. Peering through the window she could see Logan facing Cho who was holding onto Harry. The group too looked to view the scene, but only for a second due to Bianca leaving the store and going outside.
As she walked closer and closer to where the event was taking place she was able to make out the expressions of Harry, Cho, and Logan. Cho seemed to be demanding something from Harry as she gripped his jacket tightly with her right hand. Logan had the calm aura engulfing him, as he placed both his hands inside his pockets. Harry looked frustrated beyond all, but also defeated. She came beside Logan in-between the conversation taking place.
"Come on Harry tell him he can't have me, because we're together" urged Cho
"Cho, you're making a scene just stop" yelled Harry
"Don't worry Harry, I can handle the truth" pestered Logan
"Oh look you can have that thing" said Cho raising her finger to Bianca
"Fine by me" spoke Logan wrapping his arm around Bianca's shoulder
As Bianca shrugged Logan's hold on her off, she looked deep into his Harry's eyes. There she saw the love that was forcing itself to be controlled. She took her sight away from that look, unable to accept the pain she was putting him in. Feeling a surge of energy, she grabbed Logan's hand steering him away from the crowd that was forming.She ignored the confused looks that Liz gave her as she continued to her unknown destination. Finally she came upon a quiet spot with few people.
"Do you really want to know what happened?" she asked Logan
"What are you talking about?" said Logan with a puzzled look
"Figures, you think you've got me and there's no need to worry about anything else" spoke Bianca
"Bianca, I don't understand what you're saying" continued Logan
"Yes, Harry and I slept with each other over the summer" replied Bianca, her voice sounding tired
Logan's face was hard to read. Though cursing was not his immediate reaction, Bianca knew it was no reason to celebrate. Not dropping her strong gaze, she waited for him to speak once again. It was as if his sudden knowledge was expected and yet still unexpected.
"So you decided to get back at me then?" questioned Logan
"What we shared was not due to my anger towards you, anyone who hurts someone intentionally should consider themselves pathetic" spat Bianca
"Tell me what you want me to do with this?" said Logan
"Oh please, I know you're smart, but even that was a sorry way of stating the obvious of us attending the dance together" spoke Bianca her eyes narrowing with resentment
"I'm tired of feeling like I've made things hell for you!" shouted Logan
"You suggesting truth or dare and smacking Harry isn't exactly my idea of a picnic" added Bianca with sarcasm
"Well you stringing me along and making me wonder if there's any hope for us isn't what you call a musical number either" said Logan
Bianca paused, accepting her blame for the way things were turning out. No one was a winner in the game of love, hurt was inevitable.
"Dammit Bianca I'm still in love with you, and what happened to that promise we made the day we came to Hogwarts huh?" asked Logan
"Well consider this from the one you love, because you're making me regret ever giving you that second chance" said Bianca before leaving
As she walked back to where she passed Liz she was greeted with the sight of Hermione and Draco sneaking glances at each other across the main street of Hogsmeade. This only confirmed her suspicion about there being more than just a friendly acceptance of one another. She smiled hoping that relationship would run smoothly, but she somehow doubted it. When she came beside Luna, she asked her about Liz's whereabouts.
"She went over there I think" said Luna pointing to the area by the woods
"Are you sure?" wondered Bianca
"Yeah, I think she went to talk to someone" answered Ginny
"I've got to go talk to someone too" continued Luna excusing herself from the group
"There's somewhere I need to be, see ya Bianca" said Ginny
Bianca was a bit sad about their departure, and now without Liz she was feeling alone more than ever. Deciding to not let anyone see her during this point of disappointment, she headed into the white woods. She took her time, enjoying each small step allowing the cold to greet her. Every now and then she would turn at smile at the impact her feet were making on the ground. Only after a few minutes of silence, when she turned around she was met with the sight of Harry.
"How'd you manage to escape?" asked Bianca
"I have my ways" replied Harry
"An invisibility cloak is not a way, it's a gift" said Bianca
"Why, that's an even better explanation" spoke Harry
"You are too modest Harry" joked Bianca
"Where were you headed?" questioned Harry
"Figure I'd find a yellow brick road and see where it takes me" answered Bianca with a smile
"Ahh yes those munchkins do know a thing or two about romance" continued Harry
"Of course it's only obvious that little men with big lollipops and tight pants really drive me wild" said Bianca
"What happened to us Bianca?" whispered Harry
"We forgot that summer ended" said Bianca in a barely audible tone
"I could never forget our time spent together" said Harry as he made the space placed between them smaller
Finally he managed to stand only a few inches from her. Gently, but with much longing he wrapped him arms around her waist and pulled her closer. Careful not to loose herself in those eyes of his, she replied keeping her gaze upon the snow beneath her feet.
"But maybe you should" began Bianca
"What?!!" questioned Harry lifting her chin to meet his look
"Harry, we're not going to be attending the dance together...." said Bianca
"Then we can start over after the ball" interrupted Harry eagerly
"You can't start a future that's only based on memories" replied Bianca
"And you can't ask me to just let you go" shouted Harry running his hand through his hair
"Do you understand what my parents expect of me??....Do you?" said Bianca
Harry was silent, he hadn't expected that kind of response. He could see tears forming in her dark brown eyes.
"Right now I don't have a choice with the one thing ever little girl has dreamed of when it comes to a dance. I can't be with the man I love" spoke Bianca
"Bianca...." continued Harry
"Sometimes when you love someone so much, you have to let them go" said Bianca
Biting back her tears, she turned her back on the scene. Taking only a few steps she stopped. Without facing Harry she said one final line before leaving.
"We've got a dare Potter, and for now that's my hope"
At the same moment Bianca and Harry were having their conversation, another one was taking place. Liz had managed to corner Ron with the aid of Hermione who acted as the look-out guard, though she could have sworn instead of patrolling the path to where she and Ron stood, Hermione's sole focus was upon Malfoy who was talking to a stricken pale Logan. Pulling him along his sleeve she led the way until they were in the middle of the alleyway. Her breath was near its end as she tried to prepare her heart for yet another possible rejection.
"I'm tired of wondering if you feel what I do when I touch you, or think about you, or see you" she began giving him chances to jump in at any second.
"I don't know what we could or couldn't be, but there's only one way to find out" continued Liz
"Say something....please" she pleaded hating herself for falling this hard for Ron
"You deserve better" spoke Ron
Her eyes held a frightful shock, one that made it's way from the tip of her toes to her fingernails. It was if he hadn't parted his lips at all when speaking these words. She never noticed his gentle way of speaking until now. Here she was wearing her heart on her sleeve, something she had advised others to avoid, looking for love in the one place she apparently shouldn't be. His eyes, the most adoring thing she had ever known were kindly forcing her eyes to keep the connection. Unable to accept what she was hearing, she ran. She ran past Hermione, past Logan and Draco, not stopping for a second. Finally though she stopped, trying to catch her breath.
"Liz are you ok?" asked Bianca coming up beside her
"Where the hell did you come from?" she asked quickly wiping her tears with her mittens
"Just from trap door number four" replied Bianca creating a muffled laugh from Liz
"What happened, Luna told me you went to go talk to someone" said Bianca
"Yeah I did, but it doesn't matter, I can tell you later" spoke Liz
The two turned their attention towards the groups of students that were making their way back to the castle. Smiling to each other, both knew the other had some explaining to do, but for now, the linked their arms together and silently joined their classmates in the return to the school grounds. The snow was beginning to fall ever so slowly. The weather pattern continued all through the walk. As groups scattered out, the two friends could see clearly the returned Blaise looking much happier than before accompanied by Draco. To the left of them was the Golden Trio, including Ginny, Luna, and Neville whose face was clearly seen as it was a deep red.
Upon reaching the entrance to the school grounds, Liz and Bianca could see the students forming a circle around two figures. Eager to see what was happening they managed to squeeze their way through. The sight they met was both humorous and warming. There in the middle of the square was Seth in a knight's armor sitting on top of a gorgeous white unicorn. Standing by him was Logan smiling a sincere smile. Spotting out Liz Seth, not so gracefully, came down from the creature and walked right up to her.
"Seth how hard is it to walk in that thing?" asked Liz controlling her laughter
"Just tell me where I can find one too" said Bianca
"I'll give you the business card" winked Seth
Clearing his voice he said "Liz, will you be this knight's date to the ball?"
The girls all 'awed' at this sweet act taking place before them. The boys felt somewhat proud and humiliated for the need to decide on another way to get a date. Liz could see Ron across from where she stood. His expression was blank, and not knowing it was happening his last quote continued replaying over and over in her mind. Here she was next to a guy who was placing his heart in her hands, an act she had done with Ron. Not wanting someone else to feel such pain she replied.
"Of course, just don't wear that" spoke Liz
Seth smiled as he kissed her forehead. "Oh no way, besides this is Logan's outfit" he said
"Oh and this is for you" said Seth as he opened his palm revealing a rose
Taking it, Liz lifted it to her nose, drinking in its soft scent that filled her nostrils. Wanting to feel the true comfort she had longed she wrapped her arms around Seth. Bianca strode forward to Logan. He smiled, took her hand and kissed it.
"I'm not giving up on us" he said
"You just wouldn't be Logan if you did" replied Bianca with a weak smile
"Hey Flame, give her this, always gets the girl" said Seth passing him a rose
"Look here a rose from me to you" joked Logan
"More like from Seth to you to me right" said Bianca
"Didn't I say that?" continued Logan
Bianca merely laughed as she playfully hit his arm. From her position she could see Harry searching her eyes for signs of their love. She closed her eyes, remembering once again how there were no winners in the game of love. The weather was beautiful, something far from the disconnection of those who were meant for each other.
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