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Chapter 2: Christmas Day

When Harry awoke on Christmas Day, the usual feeling of Christmas joy and excitement was marred by nervousness and anxiety. Not only did he have to dance in front of three famous Wizarding schools, he had a date with his best mate’s sister. If anyone would have told him that this was going to happen months earlier, he would have declared them mad. Although Ginny was cute, she wasn’t really a pretty girl, like Cho Chang or the Patil sisters. Not that it mattered to Harry. He had realized that if he’d gone with a girl like that, he would never be at ease, and both his and his date’s night would have been ruined. He lay awake for another half hour, pondering about how the day would be, before a pillow hit him rather hard in the face.

“Merry Christmas!” Ron shouted. “Come on, move your arses! There’s presents!”

Neville, Dean, and Seamus rather grumpily got out of bed, but still looked eagerly at the pile of presents at the foot of each bed.

“God, Harry, you’re a life saver! This must be the best present you’ve ever gotten me!” Ron exclaimed as he held up the dress robes Harry and Hermione had got him.

“Oh, they match your eyes, Ron! You’ll look so handsome!” Seamus gushed in a falsetto.

“Shut it, Seamus.”



The morning passed by quickly in the common room, where they enjoyed their presents while hanging out with Hermione, Parvati, and Lavender. Harry noticed that the people in his year got along much better than other years. Parvati and Lavender had always distanced themselves, thinking that Hermione was weird for hanging out with boys, while Neville had been an outcast to others because of his low self-esteem and inability to form friendships. The other guys had taken him in, and although they laughed at his clumsiness and awkwardness, they would always stand up for him.

The entire group went down to lunch together, and had a massive snowball fight with Ginny, the twins, Lee Jordan, and the Creevey brothers afterwards. Truly, it was the best Christmas Harry had had at Hogwarts, even better than his first year.

“What’s McGonagall doing by the lake?” Colin suddenly asked.

Professor McGonagall seemed to be enjoying an afternoon walk around the lake, warmly clothed with a tartan scarf and hat. She was facing away from the group, walking slowly along the bank of the lake.

“10 galleons says that I can hit her from here,” Fred whispered.

“No way,” Seamus said. “She’ll bury you alive, mate. No one has the guts to do something like that to McGonagall. Not even you.”

“I smell a wager!” the twins sang.

“Terms?”

“If I hit her, you wear Ron's dress robes to the ball tonight. To be clear, his original dress robes.”

“Forget it,” Seamus spat. “I've got a date with Padma Patil. Do you know how long I've been looking forward to this?”

“Weren’t you just so sure of yourself?”

“All right, then. . It's a bet. . But you can't use your wand, alright?”

“Deal,” Fred said with a devilish grin.

“You're not actually going to do this, are you?” Hermione said, more than a little frightened.

“Hermione. We have a chance to see Seamus wear those ghastly dress robes in front of the whole school. It's too beautiful to give up now, isn't it?” He made a snowball, carefully aimed, threw, and hit Professor McGonagall right on the back of her head. Absolutely livid, she marched up to them, and shouted, “What do you think you are doing? If you want to badger each other with your childish behavior, then go ahead! But this is a show of severe disrespect! From my own house, as well! Now, who threw that snowball?”

“I did, Professor,” Fred admitted rather proudly. “It was for a bet, you see.”

“Of course you did,” McGonagall snapped. “Well, if that bet is worth a month’s worth of detention, then good for you. If not, too bad.”

With that, she marched back to the castle, still fuming and muttering under her breath.

“It certainly was,” Fred muttered back. He suddenly turned and shot a devilish grin at a pale Seamus.

“She didn't take points from Gryffindor,” Harry noticed.

“She didn't?” George seemed rather surprised. “Would she really be getting a soft spot?”

“Speak for yourself. I just got detention for a month!” Fred shouted. “But that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make for the show we can all enjoy tonight.”

 

“Honestly Ron, you're more nervous than I am. You don't have to open the ball in front of the whole school!” Harry exclaimed. Ron had been pacing around the boy’s dormitory for the past hour, nervously fiddling the neck-piece of his dress robes.

“Harry, if tonight doesn't go well, It’ll never work out between me and Hermione. And, our friendship would be ruined, too!”

“Nonsense,” Harry said firmly. “You guys have been best friends for over three years. That doesn't just end because of a bad date. Relax, she likes you. Just be nice and don't do anything stupid. Well, too stupid.”

Ron grinned and visibly relaxed. “You make sure you behave yourself around my sister, Potter. Or I might have to reconsider my decision about not killing you. Now, come on, let's go.”

Laughing, the two friends descended the stairs to see Hermione and Ginny already waiting for them. Hermione was wearing nice periwinkle dress robes that accented her figure. Her hair was tied elegantly in a knot. Even Harry had to admit that she looked rather pretty. It was a spectacular change compared to the Hermione who carried a dozen books over her shoulder. Ginny was dressed in stunning light green dress robes that complimented her long red hair. She smiled at Harry, who was happy to see she didn't look too nervous at all. They went down to the Great Hall together, where they met a still irate Professor McGonagall at the entrance.

“Good evening, Potter, Miss Weasley. If you could please wait with the other champions. Mr. Weasley and Miss Granger, you may proceed into the Great Hall.”

Harry and Ginny joined Cedric and Cho. Harry was surprised and pleased to notice that he didn’t mind Cho and Cedric together. He actually managed to have a civil conversation with the two, but were snapped out of it by the arrival of Krum and – was that Eloise Midgen?

“You have to be kidding me,” Harry muttered. Cedric looked just as flabbergasted as he was.

“Hey. Just because she’s a bit heavier than most other girls doesn’t make her ugly. I think it’s great that Krum asked someone that’s not a perfect model. Heaven knows that he could have asked whoever he wanted. Except Hermione, that is,” Ginny retorted.

“Well, at least he doesn't go for looks alone, you've got to give him that.” Harry smiled at his own words.

“You can say that again,” Cedric mumbled.

“Oh don't be such a prat, Cedric,” Cho scolded.

“Hello, everyone.” Fleur Delacour had arrived and by her side was none other than…

“Surprise!” shouted Fred.



A/N: Many thanks to JoonBang for helping me edit! Please review, as I value your opinion very much. Any criticism is welcome, as it can only improve my writing. Thanks for reading!

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