"A ball!?" I shrieked when she heard the news in the Great Hall, instantly dropping the piece of toast she'd been buttering. "We're having a ball!?"
"What's wrong, Kates?" Fred asked teasingly. "Afraid you won't get a date?"
I shot him a say-that-again-and-you-die look, and he suddenly became very interested in the cereal in front of him.
"Come on Katie!" Angelina said, grinning excitedly. "It'll be so fun! We'll get to wear dresses, and do each other's hair and makeup!"
I groaned. "Oh yes," I said sarcastically. "I get to let you and Alicia play Barbie with me for a whole night."
"What's a Barbie?" Alicia asked curiously, crumbs falling out of her mouth as she spoke through a particularly large bite of toast.
"Say it, don't spray it, will ya Leesh?" George asked, exaggerating brushing crumbs of himself. She rolled her eyes.
"Muggle toy," I explained. They still looked confused, so I shook my head. "Never mind," I told them.
"So anyway," Alicia began, as if I'd just completely interrupted her for no reason at all. "We'll get our dresses next Hogsmeade weekend-"
"What!?" I cried indignantly. "But we always go to the Three Broomsticks on Hogsmeade weekends!"
Angelina and Alicia shot me a we-have-no-problem-with-dragging-you-there-by-your-ears look, and I just galred back, but I could tell they knew they'd won.
"We'll get our dresses next Hogsmeade weekend," Alicia continued. "But we're going to have to find dates."
Lee, Fred, and George instantly began talking to each other all at the same time about different random things, obviously to avoid Alicia telling them who they were supposed to ask.
Angelina and I rolled our eyes. "Fine then!" Alicia cried. "None of us will go with you guys! We wouldn't want to anyway."
Fred and George let out an extremely exaggerated sigh of relief, and I rolled my eyes again.
Angelina and Alicia's eyes drifted over to the Hufflepuff table, where Cedric Diggory was talking animatedly to Cho Chang, and sighed. I snorted. "Why would you want to go with him?" I asked.
"He's gorgeous!" Angelina cried.
"He's full of himself!" I retaliated. She opened her mouth as if to argue, but instead she just shrugged.
"So, Kates," Fred began casually. "Who do you want to ask you?" He wiggled his eyebrows suggestively.
"Well, it was supposed to be a secret," I said pursing my lips. "But I've always had a huge crush on George!"
Fred's ears turned pink as everyone else in our group laughed, including me.
But seriously, what was I supposed to tell him? The truth? Yeah, right, because I'm honestly going to tell my best friend I'm in love with him. Not likely.
"I love this one!" Alicia cried. Again. Seriously, she acted like every dress she touched was the most amazing one there was.
"Ooh, that one is pretty!" Angelina agreed. "What do you think, Katie?"
I barely glanced at it. "Oh, yeah," I said. "It's great."
"Come on Kates!" Alicia groaned. "If you try and have fun you might find you actually enjoy this!"
I snorted. "Yeah-huh, and Fred and George might become good students and stay out of detention."
They both rolled their eyes at me and continued browsing. I decided that it might not kill me to look around a little, and began quietly glancing at a few dresses on some of the racks.
I looked at one in particular. Compared to most of the dresses Alicia and Angelina were looking at, it was pretty plain. I almost kept looking, but then I really did like it. And even if it turned out that this dress was horrid and I had awful fashion taste, maybe then as least I wouldn't be forced to sit here.
"What about this one, guys?" I asked, holding it up.
"It's gorgeous!" Alicia cried.
"It's definitely you," Angelina agreed. "Go try it on!" They then shoved me into a dressing room in the back of the store.
I put it on and looked in the mirror. I had to admit it, I looked good. The dress was cream colored and strapless, with subtle designs around it. It was really pretty.
"Katie, come out!" Alicia said. "We want to see it!"
I opened the door and Angelina gasped. "You looked beautiful!" she said.
"You sound surprised," I said sarcastically. Alicia rolled her eyes at me. "Just get the dress," she ordered.
"Yes ma'am!" I said with a mock salute.
By the end of the Hogsmeade trip, we all had our dresses and even a little time to meet the guys at the Three Broomsticks.
Angelina's dress was…loud. It was a bright, vibrant shade of green with rhinestones at the top and on the skirt. Alicia's dress was various different shades of purple with sequins at the top. Both were strapless, like mine.
(AN: You can find pics of all their dresses on my profile if you'd like, cuz I'm not real good at describing them.)
"Hey boys!" Angelina called, grinning, as she sat down next to them. Unfortunately, they were at a four person table, so Angelina had just taken the last seat. Alicia squished next to her, and I scowled at them.
"Come one, Katie-Kates," Fred said, patting his lap. I knew he was kidding, but I sat down anyway, catching him off guard. I laughed as he made exaggerated noises as though he were being squished.
Alicia and Angelina were looking at me with their eyebrows raised, but I shot them a look and they instantly started up a conversation with Lee about the upcoming Quidditch game.
"So, you guys ask anyone to the Yule Ball yet?" I asked Fred and George. They shook their heads simultaneously, and said, "Not yet."
"Anyone in mind?" I asked playfully, wiggling my eyebrows suggestively, just as Fred had done to me a few days ago.
"Oh, I think Fred's got someone-Ow!" it appeared that Fred had kicked George from under the table.
I laughed. "Come on, then Fred, let's have it!"
I turned to face him and saw that his ears were turning red. I couldn't help but notice that they got even redder when he realized that my face was less than two inches from his.
"Who is it?" I asked, sticking out my bottom lip. "I'm your best friend, you can tell me!"
He shook his head, his hair hitting me in the face.
"Nope, I think I'll just keep you in the dark," he decided.
The Yule Ball was now three days away, and only one person had asked me. Marcus Flint. Slytherin, Quidditch Captain, and obnoxious git. Naturally I declined politely.
Well, politely meaning with less profanity than I would normally use when speaking to a Slytherin.
I still don't have a date!" Angelina complained during study hall.
I groaned. "Will you please stop it? Neither do I! Neither does Alicia!"
Alicia groaned too. "Yeah, thanks for reminding me, Katie," she complained. I rolled my eyes.
"Oi, Angelina!" Fred called from across the table and down a bit. She looked up, and he proceeded to ask her to the ball.
The git! The arse! The moron! The…guy who has every right to ask Angelina to the ball.
I mean, why would he ask me. I'm his best friend. It only makes sense that he'd ask Angelina. She was pretty, and Quidditch captain. And why wouldn't she agree? So of course she said yes.
That afternoon, in the Gryffindor common room, Alicia was complaining loudly about not having a date.
"Alicia, cut it out!" I called. "I don't either!"
"At least someone asked you!" she cried.
Fred's head snapped up. "Who asked you?" he asked.
"Marcus Flint," Alicia replied matter-of-factly.
"What did you say?" he asked eagerly.
"No, of course!" I cried. "I have better taste than that!"
He looked relieved before returning to his game of Exploding Snap with George and Lee.
"I don't want to go by myself!" Alicia wailed.
Lee sighed and stood up. "Alicia, wanna go to the ball with me?"
She grinned. "Sure, Lee!" she said happily. He sat back down, nodding as if he were closing a business deal.
Now it was my turn to be bitter. I had no one to go to the damn ball with!
The next afternoon, we were all sitting in the common room. Alicia and Angelina were discussing possible hairstyles for the ball. Kill me, please. Lee was nowhere to be seen and Fred and George were arguing about something quietly in the corner. I could only catch parts of the conversation.
"Do you?" George asked quietly.
"No!" Fred said, as if whatever it was should be obvious.
"Well then why?"
I didn't hear Fred's answer.
"Of course she does!" George yelled, and all heads in the common room turned to him. He looked guiltily at Fred, who scowled. "Nothing to see here!" he yelled to the people, who shrugged and went back to what they doing.
"Fine!" George whispered furiously, then walked away. "Hey Kates," he said, grinning as Fred shot him a warning look. What the bloody hell did that mean?
"Hi George," I replied nonchalantly.
"Got a date to the ball yet?" he asked, knowing full well I didn't.
"Nope," I said, popping the p, determined not to let him bother me.
He feigned shock, gasping and covering his mouth with his hand. "Well that simply won't do!" he cried indignantly. Then he knelt down on the floor, and made a big show of asking me to the dance.
I rolled my eyes. "Get up you idiot," I muttered.
"Katie, darling, your words wound me," he says sadly, his hands on his heart.
"Fine, I'll go with you," I said, laughing. He grinned like an idiot and kissed my hand, then walked back over to Fred, smirking. Fred, for some reason, turned a deep shade of maroon and made some excuse to leave the common room.
"This'll be so fun!" Angelina squealed, pulling out loads of cosmetics and hair supplies. Alicia squealed something unintelligible, but I knew she was agreeing. I just groaned.
"Oh come on Katie!" they say at the same time. I rolled my eyes as they began their hair and makeup. I didn't bother. I knew they'd do it for me if they really believed I wasn't doing it myself.
After a while, they looked gorgeous. Of course. They were beautiful anyhow, and with their makeup flawless, and their hair just so, it was almost depressing that I'd have to stand next to them all night.
Then they got to work on me. And it took them a bloody long time! They claimed they had to first straighten my hair to properly curl it, then the curling itself took at least an hour. I wondered vaguely if they were planning something, spending so much time on my hair and makeup.
"Give it up, you guys," I said when they moved from my hair to my face. "I'm just not as gorgeous as you guys are. I know that, and I'm okay with it."
They looked at each other, their eyebrows raised. "Katie," Alicia said slowly. "You're almost definitely the most gorgeous one in this room."
I snorted. "Uh-huh," I replied. "And Dumbledore's having an affair with Snape."
"Must you be so crude?" Angelina asked dryly.
"I really must," I said, matching her tone. Alicia rolled her eyes. Huh. We seemed to be doing an awful lot of that since all this ball business started.
Finally they were done with me, and they led me to the mirror.
Upon seeing myself, I reached out to the mirror in shock. No way, I thought. "Guys, who the hell am I staring at?"
Angelina smirked. "It's you, babe."
"No way," breathed. I looked…pretty.
Alicia was grinning like an idiot. "I told you so! Now, it's just about time for the ball, so let's go find out men!" she proposed.
I groaned. George was a good friend, of course, and I was truly happy to be going with him, but, truth be told, I'd much rather be going with someone who just so happened to look exactly like him.
We made our way down the stairs into the common room, and so did a bunch of other girls, into the waiting arms of their dates.
"Hey George," I said upon seeing him. I could definitely tell it was him, though few others would be able to, with their matching dress robes and, of course, identical faces.
"Katie, my dear, you look lovely," he declared, bowing deeply. I laughed and rolled my eyes as he kissed my hand.
I turned to see Angelina conversing with Fred, who kept giving me side glances and his brother death glares. Huh.
Once in the Great Hall, we watched as the four competitors had the first dances with their dates. Soon, everyone began to dance.
"Care to dance, milady?" George asked me, bowing deeply again. I held out my hand and he took it, leading me to the dance floor.
"So," I began, as soon as we were out of earshot from anyone who would be listening. "Why do you actually want to be here with?"
"I would rather kill myself than be in the presence of anyone other than yourself, dearest Katie-Kat," he replied.
I laughed. "Seriously George, I know you asked me because we're mates and I didn't have a date, but who did you actually want to come with?"
He blushed to the roots of his hair and muttered something unintelligible.
"What was that?" I prodded, my eyebrows raiser.
"Alicia," he muttered, a little louder. I let out a small uncharacteristic squeal.
"You have to go ask her to dance!" I cried. "She was so hoping you'd ask her to come with you, but you didn't, and Lee did, that's the only reason she came with him! Go!"
I shooed him away, not that he argued much, and I watched as he asked Alicia to dance, and she blushed profusely, grinning like an idiot.
"So, Katie darling, it appears our dates have run off behind our backs," Lee said, grinning. "Care to dance?"
I took his hand, and we began dancing. "Uh, Lee?" I asked tentatively.
"If I ask you who you really wanted to come with tonight, will I have to shoo you off to go dance with them like I did with George? Because I'll do it, but I don't really feel like losing another dancing partner.
"She doesn't want to dance with me," he protested.
"Who is it?" I asked. He just shook his head, and I knew I wasn't getting anything out of him.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Fred being yelled at by Angelina. Apparently he had stepped on her toes. He was blushing, but making no move to argue with her, and uncharacteristically gentlemanly move.
"Hey, Lee, you're a good dancer," I told him offhandedly.
"Uh, I guess," he shrugged.
"Go ask Angelina to dance, maybe she'll let off Fred."
Lee blushed deeply. "It's Angelina!?" I cried. "Seriously!?" I promptly shoved him toward her, and he nervously asked her to dance. She agreed huffily, but looked appeased moments later when she was gliding across the floor with Lee.
That just left me, and the guy I wanted to dance with definitely didn't want to dance with me.
I sighed as I walked outside.
"Hey Kates," a certain Ravenclaw Quidditch captain said from behind me.
"Roger," I acknowledged. This was the guy who'd broken my heart last year, whom I'd fallen in love with whilst trying to get over Fred.
"Care to dance?"
I sighed. "Why not," was the first thing out of my mouth. He took my hand and put his other on my waist, and we glided around under the moonlight.
"You look beautiful," he whispered in my ear. I giggled. I couldn't help myself.
"You filthy git!" a familiar voice called, stomping over to where Roger and I were dancing.
"Fred!?" I asked incredulously.
"Katie, what are you doing with this loser?"
"Dancing!" I replied indignantly.
"He broke your heart!"
"He's not the only one!"
"Doesn't matter," I mumbled, embarrassed by my little slip-up.
"I just saw him trying to stick his hand up Sarah Fawcett's dress!" Fred shouted, looking smugly at Roger, who turned instantly red.
"Katie, I-" I cut him off.
"You what!?" I cried. Then I slapped him and ran off.
So there I was, crying on a bench, thanking everything I could think of that I was wearing all water-proof makeup.
"Katie?" Fred asked tentatively, walking over to me.
"Do you know how it feels?" I asked fiercely.
"To think of someone you love with someone else? I think I have an idea," he muttered.
"No!" I cried. "To have someone you love go around defending your honor, when you know they only think of you as a friend!"
He looked taken aback.
"Why is it your business who I date anyway!?" I screamed at him.
"Because I love you!" He yelled. Then his eyes widened in shock, mirroring mine.
And for a minute, time stood still. Neither of us moved, or blinked, or breathed. We just stared into each other's eyes. Suddenly, without warning, he attacked my lips with his.
Honestly, I really think that's the only way to describe it. Because what was the first thing I thought when it happened? Wow, Fred is snogging me? Nope! Being me, the first thing that came to mind was, Huh. Weaseley's attacking my lips.
Yeah. I'm a little dense sometimes.
After, ahem, a few minutes (none of your beeswax! Although I'm sure it's not hard to imaging!), we walked back into the ball, holding hands, and wearing what I'm sure were identical dopey grins.
I watched in awe as I realized that we had come as follows: George and I, Fred and Angelina, and Lee and Alicia. But we would definitely not be leaving as such. What a right mess we'd fixed ourselves into.
But we got out of it, I told myself as I savored the feeling of Fred's hand in mine.