A Darker Shade of Red

Dance Dance

The months following that day were creeping along nicely and, before anyone noticed, May 1st was tomorrow. Which meant only one thing for tonight: partying, drinking, and dancing

At that moment, most every student in Hogwarts was pouring from their common rooms down to the dungeons for one of the biggest parties of the day; the Finale. It was the party for only sixth and seventh years. But Katie was the only exception.

Katie began to twirl and dance around the legs of her half-brother. "A party! Can you beleive it, Draco? I've never been to a party... Is it fun?"

Draco allowed a grin to crack across his face and he raised the girl into his arms. "Actually, Katie, it is quite fun. Very amusing when those Hufflepuff Quidditch players get smashed and stagger around bellowing out show tunes."

The girl made a face. "That doesn't sound fun."

"But there's lots of dancing, Kay." Nicole said.

"Yeah, I bet Drake would dance with you."

Draco rolled his eyes at them and continued walking.

"Password?"

"Slythenclaw." they all chorused.

The door handsome door guard nodded and allowed them to pass.

"Thanks Terry." Cole called over her shoulder to the blue-green eyed seventh year.

"You know him?" Greg inquired as everyone else made their ways to different places.

"Yeah, he's my study partner in Divination."

Nicole had decided death wasn't going to stop her from continuing school. Greg just nodded.

"I'm sure."

Cole glared at the teen in front of her. "Why did I ever like you?"

Greg turned on his heel towards the bar. Cole growled in frustration and threw her hands in the air. She looked out at the dance floor to see Kate standing on Draco's feet, dancing to a slow song with him.

She giggled and smiled at this. That boy never ceased to amaze her.

"Hey Gin." Nicole said, gliding up to the girl.

She turned. "Hey Cole, how do you like the party?"

"It's pretty cool." Cole replied, "Did you see Katie and Drakie dancing together?"

"Oh yeah, they're so cute." Gin sighed, "He'd be a great dad."

The raven-haired girl smiled at the love in her friend's eyes. Soon the song changed and most of Nicole's friends filed out onto the dance floor whilst she and Katie sat at the bar, smiling out at them.

"Mum, why are you cryin'?" the child asked, regarding the pearly tears trickling down her mother's face.

"Hmm? Oh! I hadn't noticed..." she muttered, wiping the tears away.

In all honesty, Cole had forgotten that her daughter was there next to her. She'd been remebering the time after she kissed Greg in Hogsmeade that they were supposed to be studying in the Slytherin common room (despite the glares) when a song she'd liked had come on the radio she'd brought and he'd stood her up and they'd began to dance.

Actually it was this very song.

"And I'd give up forever to touch you

'cause I know that you feel me somehow

You're the closest to heaven that I'll

Ever be

And I don't want to go home right now

And all I can taste is this moment

And all I can breathe is your life

'cause sooner or later it's over

I just don't want to miss you tonight..."

Nicole felt the tears in her eyes again as she saw the images of Greg bowing as they stopped dancing and he kissed her. She put a hand to her mouth and continued to let the tears fall. She'd had her love, and she'd lost him over stupid, stupid, stupid pug-faced nag. Now she was forever a spirit and she couldn't touch him.

"Tracey?"

The brunette boy turned and looked at Cole. "Yeah?"

"Couldya-Could you wa-watch K-Katie for a b-b-b-bit?"

"Sure, luv. I wasn't feeling like dancing anyway."

"Okay, th-thanks. I'll b-be b-b-back."

Cole nodded and floated right through the wall nearest her and into the hallway, making her way down to Severus' office.

Severus Snape was a very frustrated man. The thumping of the walls from the music in dungeon five was certainly NOT helping. He'd been in his office since seven o'clock that morning, only leaving to get some breakfast.

He was researching a theory he had come up with while trying to get rest the night prior. It was that since Nicole was a spirit she would still have a soul, and if Severus could just find the right spell; He could restore said soul into the girl's body. True, it would take lots of power and could possibly kill him, but he would do anything for one of his best students. He didn't like her personality at all... She was too mouthy and proud. But she was a good student...

Then was when Nicole float through his office door, startling him.

"Could you at least give some kind of warning before you do that?" he snapped, a hand over his heart.

"I'm s-sorry, Professor, it-its just th-th-that I needed t-to ta-talk t-t-to some-some one." she said shakily, wiping tears from her eyes and cheeks.

"What's wrong, child?" he asked regarding her tears.

"I was th-thinkin' 'bout Greg an' this song came on tha radio... " her voice trailed off and Snape felt a twinge in his heart.

"I'm sorry, Miss Black."

"S'all right, s'all right." she muttered, waving her hand about, "What're you doing anyway?"

"Research." he said stiffily.

"Well, thank you, Captian Duh, I meant what're you researching?" Cole retorted, feeling bettter. He smirked.

"A spell that could get you into your body again." he replied, "It's complex and everything I've found is rather vague."

"I'll help!" she said cheerily, "Let me go put Kate into bed, I'll be back in a bit."

She popped out of the room before he could object. Severus could feel that the next night of research ahead were not going to be peaceful.

The pair were in his office for a long time, searching all of the prophecy, history, and ancient artifacts texts and tombs the man had and at 4:34 am the next morning; They finally found the book they'd need tucked behind a box of shrunken heads and a jar of beatles.

"I don't even want to know." she had said at noticing what was in the box.

The book was rather thin, only about an inch or so thick, and was bound in black velvet with only a silver lock holding it closed. It reminded Nicole of a child's diary. There was no title or author name on it, no writing or markings at all really.

"It says here that there must be five powerful people present for the ritual to work. So that would be you, Dumbledore... Damn! I don't know anyone!" she said, clearly frustrated.

"Ginevra, Taylor, and Laura." he said quietly, "They don't know it, but they are all very, very powerful girls."

"Then we're good." she said with a slightly stunned look, "'When the new moon wanes is the only time the ritual will truly work'... Huh?"

"The morning after the new moon." he said, "In July."

"What day exactly?" she questioned.

Severus approached the calender on his wall and flipped it around a bit before annoucing, "July eighteenth at six o'clock am exactly."

"Damn."

"I know."

Cole ran a hand through her raven mane and sighed. "Two months." she muttered, "And I'll be me again."

Severus stood and stretched his arms. "I don't know about you, Miss Black, but I am going to go get some sleep."

"Okay, goodnight, Professor." she said through a jaw-breaking yawn.

Ginevra Weasley sighed and snuggled up against her boyfriend's chest. They'd left the party early due to the fact that the loudness was giving her a headache. Draco had taken her up to the deserted hospital wing, with the exception of a very tired Madame P, and gotten her some drugs for the headache. She'd given him a kiss, thanking him, and things had kinda gotten out of hand and before she knew it they were - ahem - bare-assed naked, in a position that would have embarassed the hell out of her if anyone knew.

And now here she was; entwined in her boyfriend's strong, protective arms, still bare-assed naked, smiling like a Cheshire cat.

"I love you, Ginevra Weasley." he murmured against her hair.

Her smiled was widened at that.

"I love you too, Draco Malfoy."

End Story

...for now