A/N: Don't even bother cursing at me... I already know I'm a terrible fanfiction writer. How long has it even been? Who the hell knows! Anyhoo, consider this an early Christmas present if you've still been following this story. If not, you're probably better off anyways. Who knows! I might even finish this story before the end of this year. But who am I kidding xD! "Here goes nothing!"

Chapter 19

It wasn't until we touched back onto the ground that I snapped out of my thoughts. I had been weighing the pros and cons if I were to accept Wood's propositions. Never would I have guessed that I'd be doing this, that I would actually consider even telling him that I liked him back. Did I even? Oh bugger! What's the use of lying to myself again and again? All it has done for me is give an excuse for Oliver Wood to kiss me over and over again!

"Well?"

My chain of thoughts are interrupted by a soft, hopeful voice. I look up into his eyes again. Gosh, his eyes are so distracting. I can't get my head to think straight and give a truthful answer. I drop my head again. Just say something, bloody hell!

"I.."

"Yes?" His response is immediate. I can only imagine how hard he's been trying to maintain his patience. Merlin only knows how much I've put this man through and expected him to be alright with it.

"I can't..."

Again, his reaction is immediate. The glitter in his eyes vanishes. His shoulders slump. Even his broom drops from his hand. My heart sinks. It isn't until now that I realize there is no way I can hurt this man without hurting myself. We're connected now. There's no going back. The feelings his body revealed is mirrored in my own. I felt the high that I developed with flying seeping from my fingertips. The ache in my heart from seeing him disappointed expands each passing moment. Tears, meant for this man, are brimming to the rims of my eyes.

Wood is right. Maybe just this once. To know that saying yes would bring the glitter, the strength, and the Wood I know back, there is already no doubt in my mind. However, I hate the stubborn side of myself. I hate the side of myself that needs to always be right. I hate the side of myself that won't just give myself over now. I hate the side of myself that is going to say what I am about to say.

"I need some time," I spoke cautiously. I don't want to hurt him anymore but I also need to be honest with myself. Just this once.

Wood looks up. The hope in his eyes return slightly. "Of course! All the time you need!"

I smile softly in appreciation. This is the last time I will make him wait. I swear to myself and to him.

"Perhaps you can give me an answer at my party? I'd love for you to come!" His smile is so heartbreaking that there is no way I am going to say no.

"Just tell me when and where." I return his smile with as much enthusiasm as I can muster.

"It's this Saturday. Seven o'clock in the Great Hall." He leans in and kisses me lightly on my cheek.

I sigh, unable to deny how good that feels. My eyes flutter open as he leans in closely again and whispers, "Hopefully it won't be the last time I'll be seeing you."

He pulls away and turns to walk back to the sheds without a second glance. I look after him longingly. There is no denying it anymore. The feeling is there. It may even be mutually as strong. But telling him on the other hand, is a whole other story.

I'm going to kill that Ginny Weasley! I grip the fabric in my hands ferociously. I can't believe I let her do this to me again! I look up into the mirror again and groan. Red?! Really?! RED!

I look at the red gown in the mirror. It was sleeveless and with an embarrassingly low sweetheart neckline. It was an empire waist gown with a really tight bodice, leaving nothing to the imagintation. Two thick pieces of a darker red fabric covered with intricate beadwork crisscrossed under the bust. From there, the soft, flowing fabric draped down to the floor in two layers.

I let go of the gown and let it drift to the floor. I trudge to my bed and collapse in a heap. I can't do this! I let out a frustrated scream into my covers. I grab the note again and read it over.

A promise is a promise, Luna Lovegood. This gown is for you to wear at Wood's party. He's going to die when he sees you!

Thanks for the encouragement, Ginny.

I already have it all figured out. Just follow the spells I've written down below and your hair and makeup will be done! I also got you shoes to go with the gown! I need you to wear the entire ensemble. A promise is a promise, Luna Lovegood!

So you've said, Ginny Weasley. I cast a death glare at the pair of strappy gold heels strewn among the Christmas gift wrappings.

The spell for the hair and makeup will be undone at midnight so there's no washing it off once you've recited the spell! And one last promise, Luna!

The quota of promises for this girl was way over since the day I met her.

Remember to have fun! And to tell Wood how you truly feel. I mean it Luna!

All my love,

Ginny xxoo

P.S. Happy Christmas and New Year!

I push my head as far under the covers as I can and let out another loud groan. I'm going to rip my hair out before I put all this crap on! I sit up and stare at the gown on the floor, my hair messed into a rat's nest. I sigh as murderously as I can and as loud as I can as if Ginny can hear. She'll never hear the end of this so long as I live. The punishment will be swift. It will be without mercy. I'm going to find that girl the moment new term opens and I'm going to Crucio her to hell and back and then to hell again! I pick up the gown and look at it one last time in the mirror. She is as good as dead, I think, as I head to the girls' loo.

"A promise is a promise," I mimic Ginny's singsong voice as I put everything on as quickly and without thought as I can. I cast the spell and didn't even dare look into the mirror, afraid of what I might see. All I felt was my hair being lifted up and off the nape of my neck. I slip on the heels, nearly breaking my ankles on two occassions. Of all the well thought plans Ginny thought she made, she forgot to tell me how to walk in these. I keep adjusting the the neckline, trying to pull it higher and higher. Although it never seems to have moved in the first place, it keeps feeling like it's slipping past where it's supposed to be, which is at my throat.I stumble out of the lavatory and back into my room. I deliberately avoid looking into the full length mirror and rummage through the wrappings. Did she not give me at least a scarf or a covering? I'm going to freeze in this! As if on cue, goosebumps formed from my bare shoulders all the way to my wrists. I shivered. To hell with this! I stomp out of the room and down the stairs to the common room with as much flair as I can manage, only tripping three times.

As I make my way down to the Great Hall, the music coming from within becomes louder and louder. Did Wood manage a live band for his going away party? I peak in through the crack in the doors and confirm my own thought. The four long tables for each house and its accompanying benches have vanished. A stage is set up at the end of the hall for the band and a large empty space is left directly in front of it acting as the dance floor. At least ten circular tables are set up for dining and another five tall cocktail tables are placed closest to the entrance for drinks. This is one going away party.

Almost everybody has arrived already. They are either drinking at the cocktail tables, settling down in their seats for the meal, or dancing already. I'm surprised so many people had actually stayed at Hogwarts this holiday. Great, more people to witness me making a fool out of myself. I inhale a deep breath and let it out slowly.

"Here goes nothing," I mutter as I push open the doors.