D/C: I don't own Harry Potter.
Well, first of all, I'd like to thank my friend, Michael, for writing so much Ginny/Harry stories, making me feel like I'm obliged to write one, too, and for beta-ing this story for me, as well! Thank you so much! I'm not sure if this story is good enough, but I thought it was fairly cute. Anyway, I'll leave you to read it now. Enjoy!!
If This Was Our Dance
Ginny had promised herself that she wouldn't put too much effort on her looks, and yet, her appearance clearly spelled "effort".
She looked into the mirror for what seemed like the hundredth time that evening, and did a quick twirl to see if there was anything she had missed. Certainly, this Ginny in the mirror looked nothing like the everyday Ginny who walked the halls of Hogwarts, with her silky green dress robes, and her red hair pulled up to the top of her head and let down to fall in curls to her shoulders. She thought she looked quite okay, which was a relief, especially after all those hours in front of the mirror. Now it was up to someone else to notice…
Ginny sighed and grabbed a wet tissue to rub off some of the excessive amount of make-up on her face; she knew she shouldn't have let the girls in her dormitory mess with her face. She thought she looked like some kind of hussy with all those thick layers of make-up; something she certainly wasn't aiming for.
Just then, one of her roomies popped her head in round the door. The girl was obviously trying to suppress a giggle. "Ginny, your date is here," she informed her.
Ginny rolled her eyes; all the girls had been making fun of her ever since she'd agreed to go to the Yule Ball with Neville, and she had been trying her best to ignore them; she wasn't in the mood to start an argument with the girls in her dormitory. And, after all, she wasn't just going with him for the pleasure of being in his company. There were…other reasons…
She hated herself for using Neville like that, and it made her feel rather guilty and ashamed of herself, but there would've been no other way for her to go the Ball and see...
"Ginny! Your date is getting impatient!" another girl teased her, and Ginny felt like lashing out at the girl at that instant.
She gritted her teeth, turned away from the mirror and stormed out of the dormitory without a second look back at the two girls who were already there. She slowly descended the flight of stairs, careful not to trip over her long dress robes. As she went, her mind wandered, as she imagined what it would be like if he was waiting for her at the bottom, his arms open wide, and his dazzling smile flashing at her. She paused at the bottom of the staircase, took in a deep breath and stepped out into the common room.
The common room was like no other day. Instead of its usual dreary array of greys and blacks, the whole place was vibrant with dress robes of all colors; green, blue, red…not to mention that it was even more noisy than usual, what with girls all squealing about how "cool" and "sexy" they looked, and the younger girls whining about how they would've loved to go. The boys were less noisy than the girls, but she had to give credit for her brothers, who had gathered a crowd around them as they set off several miniature fireworks which were lighting up the rafters above the gathering throng.
Ginny suddenly felt self-conscious in her plain green robes; they were pretty, but not a match for many of the other robes around here, such as that pearly white one, or the classy silver one Romilda Vane was wearing. She glanced around nervously for her date, and sighed in relief when she saw him standing next to the fireplace, fumbling nervously with the hem of his navy blue robes. Putting on her brightest smile, she strode over to where he was.
"I'm sorry to have kept you waiting, Neville," she said.
Neville only seemed to have noticed her when she'd stopped right in front of him. "No, that's..." he started, and stopped dead in his tracks when he got a good look at her. His mouth just hung slightly open while he stared at her, and only clamped it shut when Ginny cleared her throat. He grinned sheepishly and rubbed the back of his neck. "You...you look really beautiful, Ginny.
Ginny smiled as well as she could manage. Her mind was racing with images of someone else saying those words, as the reflection of the fire danced in his eyes. "Thanks, Neville; that's really sweet of you to say," she replied. "You look pretty good yourself."
Neville grinned sheepishly at her compliment, and she just nodded. She looked around the common room for a sign of her brothers, or Hermione, or even Harry...but none of them seemed to be there. She had been hoping to talk to them before they left off to the Ball, but it seemed that they had already gone. 'I guess I'll have to wait before I get to see him all dressed up,' she thought. 'I wonder if he'll ever be dressed up for me…'
Neville voiced her doubts. "I saw Ron leaving with Harry and Parvati a few minutes ago," he told her.
Ginny smiled nervously. "Right, okay," she said. "Well...I guess we should be going ourselves, right?"
Neville nodded. He held out his arm for her, and she placed her hand on it. They left the common room through the portrait hall, and walked in silence towards the Great Hall, where the Yule Ball was going to be held. They walked in silence, since neither really knew what to say to the other, although this just allowed Ginny's mind to wander once more. She tried to imagine what it would have been like, if she had been walking through the corridors with him, every girl jealous of her, wishing they could be in her place.
The corridors were packed, whether it was by young students, or by students attending the Ball. Despite her musings, Ginny was aware that everyone's eyes were on her, but sadly for completely different reasons; either it was people wondering why she would go out with Neville, or it was those who wondered why he would go out with someone like her. Someone young and ordinary.
They reached the Great Hall, and joined the crowds of students there, who were waiting for the doors to be opened. Soon, the front doors opened, admitting the Durmstrang students in, but Ginny was too busy scanning the crowds for a sign of a certain face, to even pay attention to them. However, she couldn't spot him amidst the sea of colours.
Finally, the doors opened and everyone poured into the Great Hall, which really didn't look like the Great Hall at all. The most noticeable thing would've been the walls, which were now covered with sparkling silver frost, and when Ginny looked up, she was able to see the ivy and garlands of mistletoe crossing the starry ceiling. It was like a palace of ice, beautiful and glistening, or like the fairy-tale palace from the Nutcracker. Ginny walked further inside with Neville, and headed for one of the smaller tables which had replaced the normal tables. They sat down at it, and were joined shortly by Seamus and Lavender.
"Hello!" Lavender said cheerfully. "This is absolutely divine, isn't it? I can't wait to see the Champions and their dates!"
Ginny nodded, with a forced smile; she really didn't like Lavender that much, but she was glad that someone had come to sit with them, since she really wasn't sure to as what she would be doing with Neville. But she had to admit that she wanted to see the Champions, too. Not that she was interested in all the Champions, but rather, just one.
At that moment, everyone in the Great Hall started applauding and Ginny knew that the Champions had walked in. She rose up from her seat and craned her neck over the crowds to get a good view.
Sure enough, there they were. Fleur Delacour walked in first with Roger Davies. Ginny thought Fleur looked really flashy in her silvery blue robes, not to mention bored. She couldn't help but giggle at Roger Davies, who looked completely stunned at having this girl walk next to him and kept tripping over his robes as they walked, much to Fleur's displeasure. After them Viktor came in, looking as surly as ever, with Hermione walking at his side. It was remarkable how pretty Hermione looked tonight, especially since she wasn't hiding herself behind ten or more books.
Ginny made a mental note to keep tabs on her friend, and encourage her to take care of the way she looked more often; she was really turning eyes in the Great Hall.
Cedric Diggory and Cho Chang proceeded after them, and Ginny glared at Cho, hoping her eyes would burn twin holes into her smiling face. It wasn't that she hated the girl for herself; it was merely the fact that the guy she liked fancied her.
Finally, the one Champion she wanted to see appeared. Ginny clapped loudest when Harry walked in.
She thought he looked really good looking in those green dress robes he was wearing; they really managed to bring out the color of his eyes. He was nodding and smiling nervously around, and in her opinion, it made him seem really charming. She wished dearly that she could've been in Parvati Patil's place, who was beaming and waving at everyone, while one arm latched so tightly onto Harry, it made him look as if he'd grown a whole extra body. She couldn't hate Parvati for going with Harry, especially since she'd been presented with a chance to go with him...if only she hadn't already agreed to go with Neville back then, she would've been the one holding on to Harry's arm, lapping up the applause, being looked at by the crowds for all the right reasons.
Ginny was grateful that she'd been able to come to the Ball at all. Most of the girls in her year were left back in the dormitories. Maybe...just maybe...she would be able to catch Harry's eye here. Maybe seeing her with other boys would make him realize that she's a girl, too, and not just "Ron's sister".
"Parvati is really lucky, isn't she?" Lavender said, with a dreamy sigh. "She got to come to the Ball with one of the Champions..."
Ginny felt she ought to throw some scathing comment at Lavender for her insensitivity, for she could already see the embarrassed looks on Seamus and Neville's faces, but she believed that would make her a hypocrite, since she wanted to be with "one" of the Champions, herself. Instead, she contented herself with watching the Champions and their dates walk towards the large, round table at the top of the Hall, where the judges were seated.
Her eyes just followed Harry around. She watched him as he pulled out a chair for Parvati, next to the chair which Percy had pulled out for him. She watched him as he talked with the occupants at the table, and just as he picked up something from the table, she felt a tug at her sleeve. She looked around, and saw Neville, shooting her a quizzical look.
She blushed, and diverted her attention from Harry to the people at the table. "I'm sorry, Neville," she said earnestly. "Um...did you want something?"
Neville held up something which looked like a menu. "Wouldn't you like to eat now?" he asked her.
"Ah...yes, of course," she replied, nodding her head. She picked up the menu next to her golden plate. She opened it and looked down, befuddled by the list of foreign names, which were dotted occasionally by a name of a familiar dish. "Erm...what are we supposed to do now? I can't see any waiters around, so who will take our orders?"
The other three just shook their heads, looking equally puzzled. In fact, everyone in the Hall seemed oblivious to as how one was supposed to order a meal. At that moment, Dumbledore spoke up, looking intently at his menu, "Pork chops!"
Ginny was able to see from her position that food had appeared on the Headmaster's plate. Slowly, everyone caught on, and numerous meal demands sounded around the bustling Hall. Ginny looked down at her menu again, and said, "Lasagna!" just as Neville said, "Chicken wings!" In an instant, the food appeared on their plates (Seamus and Lavender were still scrutinizing their menus).
Neville grinned at Ginny. "This is pretty neat!" he exclaimed. He then glanced worriedly at the Champions' table. "This means extra work for house elves...I really hope Hermione doesn't start going about SPEW now..."
Ginny laughed; Neville really had a point there. "I don't believe she will, Neville," she assured him, after casting a quick look at Hermione, who seemed quite engrossed in conversation with Viktor to even bother about SPEW at the moment. "Let's eat, shall we?"
The meal course was absolutely fine, and Ginny actually managed to maintain a conversation with her date and the other two at the table. She was honestly glad that she wasn't alone with Neville at the table, because as the conversation progressed, Neville became more and more subdued, until he just remained silent altogether and just listened to the others. It wasn't as if Ginny was enjoying talking to Seamus and Lavender; their talk mostly centered about possible Triwizard tournament tasks, who they thought would win the tournament, and occasionally a pipe up about classes and professors.
Neville looked very awkward when it was time to dance. Ginny had hoped that when Seamus and Lavender got up to the dance floor, Neville would be encouraged...however, it seemed to have the opposite effect on him, and he sank further down in his chair, murmuring something which distinctly sounded like, "I don't want to make a fool out of myself".
Ginny sighed, exasperated. She shot furtive glances at the dance floor, which many couples had already invaded, twirling around in streaks of different colours, to music played by the Weird Sisters. It was a beautiful frenzy of movements, and Ginny wished she was part of it.
Amongst the dancers were Harry and Parvati. Indeed, it seemed that Parvati was guiding Harry along the dance floor, while he, on the other hand, seemed to be awkwardly trying to keep up with her. She longed to be the one sharing that dance with Harry, but she knew that was no where possible, if Neville was just going to sit there and brood. Harry wasn't going to notice her if she was seated the whole time.
"Come on, Neville," she said, sweetly. "One dance wouldn't hurt anyone. You won't make a fool out of yourself."
Neville shook his head, and whispered something intelligible.
Ginny frowned, and leaned forward so she could hear properly. "I'm sorry; I didn't quite catch that," she said.
Neville looked up at her, looking rather mortified. "I once broke my Gran's toe while dancing with her," he said in a voice which was barely audible.
Ginny just stared at him for a few moments, bewildered, before finally settling back into her chair. She believed it was impossible to convince Neville to dance after this confession...and anyway, she really didn't want to get any broken bones before the night was over. She knew she could just go and find any dance companion, but she felt it would be an offence to Neville, and since he wasn't speaking at all now, she just slumped down against the table and watched Harry dancing. None of the other dancers attracted her attention; she had eyes for Harry, alone.
Of course, Harry was absolutely oblivious to her thoughts. She was pleased to see that he retired to one of the smaller tables, where Ron and his date, Padma Patil were sitting. She tried to talk Neville into joining them, but he resolutely shook his head, and said that he always felt awkward around the Patil twins. He didn't even tell her to go join them, if she wanted, which she thought was a bit inconsiderate. Her patience had almost reached its breaking point by then, but she said nothing.
Torn between wanting to attract Harry's attention, and not wanting to cause offence to Neville, Ginny could only sit and watch. And dream.
If only this was our dance, Harry...it would've been so special...we would've danced all night long...just the two of us...
A/N: Yes; that's it; it's done. I know it had an abrupt ending and all, but it was still rather nice, wasn't it? I hope you agree, because I'll be wanting reviews! Start sending, or I'll send my Death Eaters after you! (grin) Thanks for reading!
- S. N. B.