Harry Potter and all characters, etc. belong to J.K. Rowling, not me.

Alternate Universe

Learning to Dance

Chapter 4 – The Yule Ball

Set in GoF. Harry is trying to find someone to go to the Yule Ball with. Neville has not asked Ginny to go with him yet.

Harry awoke very suddenly on Christmas morning, with Dobby looking into his eyes waiting with a present, a unique pair of socks that he'd made just for Harry. Once Dobby had left, Harry opened his presents from Mr. & Mrs. Weasley, Ron, Hermione, and Hagrid. He then noticed a small package from Ginny. It was a pin the shape of a dragon that was made of genuine imitation gold. It was still beautiful anyway, and a note with it suggested he wear it to the ball. He mentally kicked himself for not buying anything for Ginny. He immediately decided to give Ginny the vast box of sweets Hagrid had sent him. He called out, "Dobby," and the house elf immediately reappeared.

"Harry Potter sir is calling Dobby back. What can Dobby do for the greatest wizard Dobby is knowing, sir?"

"Thanks for coming back Dobby," said Harry, looking surprised that calling Dobby actually worked. "I would like you to rewrap this box, label it from me, and deliver it to Ginny Weasley, if it's not too much trouble."

"Too much trouble?" Dobby looked surprised. "Nothing is too much trouble for the wizard who is freeing Dobby. Dobby is doing what Harry wants immediately." With that said, Dobby and the gift disappeared.

Harry hoped that Ginny was still sleeping so that she'd believe that he had bought her a Christmas present. He cleaned up and dressed quickly, putting on the sweater (with a picture of a dragon) Mrs. Weasley had sent him.

He walked down the stairs to find Ginny sitting at a table with two identical packages that looked like the box Hagrid had sent him, and an amused look on her face. His countenance fell and his head hung down as he approached Ginny and said, "Er, Merry Christmas."

Ginny smiled too broadly and said, "Happy Christmas Harry! Thank you for this thoughtful gift. Imagine my surprise when Dobby appeared in front of me and handed me a package from you that looked just like the package Hagrid had sent both Hermione and me. I just hope I don't get fat from eating all this candy."

"Er, I'm sorry, Ginny. I should've bought you a present. Even before I asked you to the ball, but especially after. I promise I'll get you something the next time I go to Hogsmeade. As happens to me quite frequently, I didn't think."

Ginny giggled a little and said, "Honestly Harry, I'm not mad. But you have to admit it's kind of funny." She then handed one of the boxes to Harry and said, "Here's your box from Hagrid back. I honestly don't need that much candy. I know that when you did your Christmas shopping you weren't expecting to want to buy Ron' annoying little sister anything, and you were hoping she wouldn't send you a singing Christmas card that would wake up the castle at two in the morning."

"I never thought you were annoying, Ginny. Honestly, I…"

"hoped you wouldn't have to slay another basilisk for me?" suggested Ginny, grinning. "By the way, I never said how wonderful you were in the first task. I never doubted you'd beat that dragon for one second!"

"Well that makes one of us," said Harry, smiling shyly. "I promise I'll get you an appropriate Christmas present soon. Thank you for the pin, by the way. It's beautiful!"

Ginny looked down and said, "It's just imitation gold." Then she looked up defiantly and said, "But I thought it was pretty."

"It is, Ginny, and so are you," said Harry, causing Ginny's face to turn scarlet.

Stubbornly refusing to hide her face, Ginny continued looking at Harry. "Nice sweater, by the way. Did mum make it?" Harry nodded. "I wish she'd make us sweaters as nice as what she makes you. That's not a mean-enough looking dragon on it, though. The horntail was much more vicious-looking. How did you, the youngest champion, end up fighting the worst dragon anyway? I mean, you were incredible, but that just wasn't fair. You all should've faced the same kind."

"They had all the champions pick a small model out of a bag, and the horntail was the only one left when I finally got to pick one." A big smile suddenly appeared on Harry's face. "Hold on!" he said excitedly, as he dashed up the stairs two at a time. Two minutes later he ran back down the stairs straight to a confused Ginny. He was holding his model of a horntail, and handing it to her saying, "Happy Christmas, Ginny!"

"What? No Harry, you can't give me this…"

"Yes I can, and I want to, Ginny. Please accept it with my apologies for lateness."

"Well," Ginny said, smiling while looking her gift over, "I do like it, so if you're sure…"

"I am, Ginny."

"Then I would love to keep this on my nightstand!" Ginny giggled, "to scare any other monsters away." She then looked him in the eyes and said, "Thank you Harry," and kissed him on the cheek. Ron had joined them a few minutes later, and then Ginny took her dragon up to her dorm and came down with Hermione. The four of them went to breakfast together and then got in a snowball fight which the Weasley twins joined while Hermione watched. At five o'clock, Hermione and Ginny left to get ready for the ball, leaving the boys wondering why it took so long for girls to prepare. Ron was upset that Hermione still hadn't said who she was going with.

At about seven o'clock, the boys went back to the castle to prepare for the ball. As Harry was putting on his dress robes, he noticed that Ron was just sitting on his bed looking miserable, and didn't appear to be changing clothes. Harry, while continuing to dress, asked, "Aren't you getting ready for the ball?"

Ron, with a big frown on his face, shook his head. "No. I've made up my mind Harry. You've seen my dress robes! I'm not gonna do it. No one can make me do it!" He crossed his arms in front of his chest and looked at Harry, expecting an argument.

Harry, who secretly agreed wholeheartedly with Ron about his dress robes, simply said, "If that's how you feel, mate. Maybe you can get caught up on some homework. I'll see you later," and walked out the door toward the common room, wishing the Weasleys would let him give them money so they could afford nice dress robes.

Harry didn't have to wait long for Ginny, who came down the stairs wearing a simple yet beautiful dress with a pastel-green bottom, and a light pink top with red buttons. Her auburn hair was arranged in a way Harry had never seen before, but hoped he'd see again. He immediately said, "You look beautiful."

Ginny's face turned a light shade of pink as she looked down at her dress. "Thank you. I'm glad you like it."

"Not just the dress, although it is beautiful. I mean you are beautiful," Harry said as he took her hand. "Shall we go?"

When the champions and partners were preparing to dance, Harry's jaw dropped when he realized who the beautiful girl Viktor Krum had brought was.

Hermione smiled nervously and said, "Hi Harry! Hi Ginny!"

Harry said, "Hermione, you look beautiful."

"You really do," added Ginny.

Hermione blushed slightly and said, "Thank you," and went back to Viktor to prepare to dance.

Harry whispered, "Ginny, you knew she was going with Viktor, didn't you?"

She smiled, "Of course I did. She just didn't want Ron to know. You know how he can be. She didn't think you would keep it a secret from Ron, so she wouldn't let you know either."

Before Harry could respond to this, it was time to start the ball. They were led up to the round table where the champions were to sit, along with the judges of the tournament. Percy immediately joined Harry and Ginny, bragging about his promotion and warning Harry about mistreating Ginny, jokingly threatening to arrest him before Ginny started arguing with her brother, causing him to drop that subject all together. As dinner progressed, Harry found himself really enjoying himself, once he learned how to successfully tune Percy out. He also found himself looking forward to dancing with Ginny. As he saw the Weird Sisters troop onto the stage, he turned to Ginny and said, "It looks like it's time," then took her hand and said, "Shall we?"

They walked onto the brightly lit dance floor and began waltzing, just as they'd practiced. When the next song, which was a faster one, started playing, Harry was happy to keep dancing.

After about five songs, a good-looking boy from Ravenclaw came up to them and introduced himself as Michael Corner and asked if he could dance with Ginny. She asked Harry if he minded. He looked down and said, "Er, well I'd really like to keep you to myself, but if you want to dance with him, you can."

"Ginny looked at Michael and said, "One dance," and then they left together.

Harry started to walk towards the table when someone tapped him on the shoulder. He turned to see Cho Chang. She smiled and said, "Cedric is with one of his friends from Hufflepuff. I was wondering if you'd like to dance."

Harry said, "Ok," surprised at the fact that he wasn't the least bit nervous around her anymore. They made their way back to the floor and began dancing.

"Harry, you dance very well," said Cho.

"Ginny's been teaching me," Harry said, motioning toward where she was dancing with Michael. "She's a very good teacher. It didn't hurt that she knew everyone would be watching her dance with me."

"So are you two going out now?" asked Cho.

"I'd like to. Yesterday we admitted that we both like each other."

Then you should ask her to be your girlfriend, like Cedric," Cho sighed. "Cedric just asked me to be his girlfriend a few minutes ago."

"Did he? That's great Cho! I'm really happy for you," said Harry, genuinely happy for her now that he liked Ginny instead.

"Thank you! Now remember not to keep her waiting. If you want her to be your girlfriend, ask her tonight before someone else does."

They continued in silence until the music stopped. Then Cho walked away and Ginny approached Harry, looking nervous. She said, "So, I saw you dancing with Cho."

"Yeah, she told me that she and Cedric are going out now," said Harry nonchalantly. He knew that Ginny knew he'd asked Cho to the ball, and wanted to make it clear that he no longer liked Cho.

She appeared a little less nervous. "Oh. Michael just asked me if I'd go out with him some time," said Ginny.

"What did you say?" asked Harry very quickly.

Ginny looked him in the eyes and said calmly, "That I'd think about it. What do you think I should do?"

Harry decided that it was now or never. He said, "I don't think you should go out with him."

"And why not?" said Ginny, trying not to seem too hopeful.

He took a deep breath to calm himself and said, "BecusIwanubglfrd."

Ginny smiled and said, "Sorry. I didn't quite catch what you just said."

He took a few more breaths and then tried again, slowly articulating each word, "Because I want you to be my girlfriend."

He looked hopefully into her eyes and watched as she started to smile and then put on a serious expression. She said in a business-like tone, "Alright then. I'll tell Michael," and started to walk away.

Harry put his hand on her shoulder and slowly turned her around. "Not so fast, Ginny," he said, as he pulled her closer for a quick kiss.

When they parted, Ginny's eyes were closed and her cheeks red. She said, "What was I just doing?"

Before Harry could answer, Hermione and Viktor had walked up to the new couple. Hermione almost squealed with delight as she said, "Judging by that kiss, I'd say you guys are now going out." Both Harry and Ginny were now blushing. "I'm so happy for you. By the way Ginny Weasley, this is Viktor Krum. Harry, I know you two already know each other. Why don't you join us for drinks. Isn't it hot in here?"

After they'd had a drink and talked for a few minutes, Viktor asked Ginny to dance and Harry asked Hermione. While they were dancing, Harry told Hermione, "I know I already said it, but I can't get over how nice you look tonight. Viktor Krum is a lucky man."

"Thanks Harry, that means a lot. I'm sorry I didn't tell you I was going with him, but I just couldn't stand the way Ron was going on like nobody but a blind man would ask me to the ball. Where is he, anyway?"

"In the dorm, moping around. He couldn't find a date and his dress robes are ghastly. He figured he'd be better off not coming. He's probably right. I for one am glad he wasn't here to see me kiss Ginny," said Harry, chuckling.

Hermione giggled at that. "Can you imaging his face though, when he finds out that his dog-faced friend went to the ball with his favorite Quidditch player while he couldn't find a date at all?" They both had a good laugh at this while the song ended. Viktor and Ginny returned to their respective partners for the rest of the dance.

After dance was over, Krum shook Harry's hand. After that, hn kissed Ginny's hand, saying, "It vus a pleasure meeting you, Gee-ney. He then turned to Hermione, kissed her hand, and said, "Herm-own-ninny, thank you for allowing me to escort you. I had a vonderful time."

Hermione blushed and said, "So did I, Viktor," and then he walked toward the main doors toward the Durmstrang boat. The others began walking towards Gryffindor Tower.

They hadn't gotten far when they heard Neville's voice calling to them. They stopped walking and Ginny said brightly, "Hi Neville. Did you have a good time?"

Neville smiled shyly and said, "I had a great time!"

Hermione asked, "Who was that girl you were with? She had an, er, unusual outfit."

Neville chuckled slightly and said, "That's Luna Lovegood. She is a little unusual, but she's a very nice girl."

"I'm sure she is," said Hermione, sounding embarrassed.

"Where'd you meet her?" asked Harry. "She's not in Gryffindor, and I don't think she's in any of our classes."

"That's cause she's my year," said Ginny. "When Neville was having trouble finding a date, I suggested that he ask her."

"The best advice you ever gave me!" said Neville brightly. "We're gonna go for a picnic tomorrow."

"In the snow?" asked Hermione.

"Well, yeah," said Neville, looking nervous. "She said we might spot some strange creature that only comes out in the snow."

"That sounds like Luna," said Ginny, smiling. "I hope you have a really good time."

"Me too," said Neville. "I see that you and Harry had a good time tonight."

They both blushed and said together, "Yeah."

"So are you two, a, a couple now?" asked Neville.

"Yes Neville," said Harry. "I'm very lucky."

They approached the portrait door and Ginny said the password. The door to the common room swung open in front of them, revealing a livid Ron in the middle of a crowded common room. Neville slipped past Ron before the shouting started. He shouted at Harry, "You KISSED my sister in front of everybody!" He turned to Ginny and shouted, "You let Harry kiss you in front of everybody!" Then he turned to Hermione and shouted, "And YOU fraternized with the enemy!"

Harry smiled and said, "That's right Ron. I kissed your sister in front of everybody. In fact, I'm gonna do it again." He then put his arms around Ginny, who responded by putting her arms around him. Harry then kissed Ginny for all he was worth while everybody was watching. When they separated, both were short of breath and Harry said, "Goodnight Ginny, I'll see you in the morning." He then turned to the crowd and said, "Goodnight everybody," and proceeded toward the stairs of the boys dormitory.

Ginny was finally able to speak and said, "Goodnight Harry," and walked to her dormitory, leaving Hermione to face Ron alone.

She glared at Ron and yelled, "Fraternizing with the enemy?" She then took a few calming breaths and said, "Forget it! I've had a wonderful evening, and I'm not going to let you spoil it!" She then proceeded toward the girls' dorm, leaving a very upset Ron all alone.

He shouted towards the girls' dorm, "Vicky is just using you to get information on Harry!" but got no response.

Harry had just gotten into bed when Ron came stomping up the stairs into their room. He shouted, "Harry, I trusted you! How could you?"

"I took out your sister at your suggestion," said Harry, doing his best to remain calm. "And then I found that I genuinely like her. I asked her to be my girlfriend tonight, and she said, 'yes.' I hope that's not a problem Ron, but if it is, then it's your problem. If you want to stop talking to me for another few months, that's fine. It'll give me more time to spend with Ginny."

"I suppose she'll be going out with someone anyway," said Ron. "It might as well be you. Just remember that if you hurt her…"

"I'll have to face you, Ron. I know. I'm sure you'll be much tougher then Voldemort or that horntail. I'm really scared," said Harry sarcastically, earning a dirty look from Ron. Harry then looked at Ron seriously, "Don't worry mate. I would never do anything to hurt her, but it's not because I'm scared of you or your brothers. It's because I genuinely care about her." He then put a smirk on his face and said, "Besides, I once saved her life. In some cultures that means she belongs to me." Ron threw a pillow at Harry to shut him up.

Ron then said to Harry, "You and Ginny dating doesn't bother me nearly as much as what Hermione did. I'm sure you at least know that Krum's using her!"

"I don't know that," said Harry, looking slightly amused. "Ginny and I spent a lot of time with them, and he seemed to genuinely like her. I can't blame him, either. Hermione looked spectacular tonight."

"I guess she looked ok, but she wasn't dressed like that when he asked her." Then Ron started shouting. "It sounds like he got his wish though! I can't believe you're defending him, Harry! Don't you know he's your enemy!"

"You know what Ron? I'm tired and I want to go to sleep." He then closed the curtains of his bed closed.

The End

A/N I did my best to describe the outfit Ginny wore in the movie since the book didn't seem to give any description. However, being a man, I'm not an expert at describing dresses or hairstyles.

This story will be continued later. I'm currently working on several others, and when I finish one, I'll continue this.

Please review.