Chapter 4 – The Yule ball

Harry awoke on Christmas day, deliriously happy. He scrambled to the foot of his bed and started ripping opening his presents. On hearing this, Ron woke too.

'Wow Harry, thanks for the new dress robes! I can wear them tonight instead of those mouldy old ones mum bought me!'

'It's alright, thanks for the dung bombs, mate!'

Harry also received a book on dark and defensive magic from Hermione, a small, furry object that was purring from Hagrid, a new jumper and a large box of mince pies from Mrs Weasley and a safety pin from the Dursleys. There was also a rectangular shaped present at the foot of his bed.

'Who's that one from?' asked Ron

'Dunno, I wasn't expecting any more presents'

He looked at the label. It was from Cho.

He ripped open the present and found a painting in a silver frame.

'Wow! Did Cho do that?' asked Ron.

'She must have, it's incredible.' said Harry.

The painting was a portrait of Harry, Ron and Hermione smiling up from the frame. Harry pinned it to the wall.

They whiled away the day playing wizards chess and having a furious snowball fight in the grounds until seven o'clock when they all went back up to their dormitories to get changed for the ball.

'I suppose we'd better go and meet the girls soon,' said Ron.

'Girls?' said Harry, 'are you going with someone?'

'Yeah. I asked her last week and she said yes.'

'Why didn't you tell me? Who is it?'

'Well you were upset about Cho, I didn't want to rub it in your face that I had a date. Its Fleur' said Ron, a huge grin spreading over his face.

'Wow congratulations mate!'

They walked down to the entrance hall and Fleur walked up to them.

'Hi Ron.'

'Hi Fleur. You look really beautiful tonight,' Ron said.

'Thanks, shall we go in?'

'Ok. I'll see you in a bit Harry.'

Harry was craning his neck, searching for Cho in the crowd. He saw Draco Malfoy walk past with a load of other slytherins, in black velvet robes.

Soon the entrance hall emptied, but Harry still couldn't find Cho.

'Make your way to the great hall please Potter,' Professor McGonagall told him.

'I'll be there soon; I'm just waiting for someone.'

'Well hurry up,' she said and walked off.

Harry was about to give up hope of Cho turning up until he saw her at the top of the marble staircase. She looked stunning in robes of deep turquoise and silver with a turquoise flower in her hair. She walked shyly down the stairs to Harry, who kissed her lightly on the cheek.

'You look beautiful, Cho.' He said.

'Come on,' she said, 'we're going to be late.'

They went into the great hall and took their seats at the top table with the other teachers and champions. They chatted over their roast chicken until their plates were clean and it was time to dance. The weird sisters took to the stage to rapturous applause and struck up a slow tune. They walked to the dance floor and Harry took Cho's waist. The revolved slowly on the spot until many other couples had joined tem on the dance floor.

After ten songs they were both exhausted and went to get drinks.

'Shall we go outside?' asked Harry.

'Good idea, I'm boiling.'

Outside, in the magical ice garden, Harry and Cho walked hand in hand through the ice sculptures and fairy bushes.

All too soon the ball was over and all the students milled around the entrance hall, saying goodnight to their partners.

Malfoy was walking past with Crabbe and Goyle.

'Nice robes Potter,' he smirked, 'pity you've got the ugly Chang hanging off them.'

Harry started towards Malfoy angrily, but Cho held him back.

'At least Harry has got a date, other than Crabbe and Goyle that is, and didn't have to make up that he had someone to go with,' she said, 'jokes on you Malfoy.'

Malfoy glared at them both and then swept around in the direction of the dungeons with Crabbe and Goyle at his heels.

Laughing, Harry and Co turned back to face each other.

'I've had the best night of my life tonight' said Cho.

'Me too.'

'Goodnight Harry'

'Goodnight Cho, I love you'

'I love you too'

They kissed goodnight before Harry walked up the marble staircase towards Gryffindor tower. He stopped just short of the portrait hole because there were a couple kissing in front of it, blocking his way. The boys flaming red hair told him that it was Ron and Fleur.

'I've 'ad a lovely time tonight Ron' said Fleur.

'Yeah me too,' said Ron breathlessly.

'Maybe you could visit me in the Beauxbaton carriage sometime?'

'Yeah, I'd love to'

'Goodnight' she said and walked away, smiling at Harry.

They climbed into the dormitory and into bed.

'Wow, what a night,' sighed Ron.

'Tell me about it,' said Harry, 'I have a question though. What happened to Hermione? I didn't see her there.'

Ron smiled 'She was with Viktor Krum. Who would have thought it eh? Us three getting the most sought after dates in the school!'

'I know, it's been one crazy year.'