Disclaimer: I don't own HP, never will. Definitely not making money from this.
I haven't figured out the length of this yet. I'm thinking there will be a few more chapters though.
"When we get back to the common room tonight, we'll both have partners – agreed?"
The question rang in Harry Potter's ears, as he strolled down the Hogwarts corridors, long after he left his best friend, Ron Weasley. He couldn't help but feel he was being challenged. Merlin, he was a Hogwarts Triwizard Champion! How hard could it be to find a date to that bloody Yule Ball anyway? And it was alright for Ron as well. No one would be looking at him if he couldn't find a date. He wasn't the one who would be dancing alone at the beginning of the ball. Harry couldn't help but feel that he always ended up drawing the short straw.
He let out a sigh of frustration. If only he had the courage to ask the one girl he fancied to come with him. He'd just faced and defeated a Hungarian Horntail, surely she couldn't reject him now? But finding the courage to ask Cho Chang to the dance was near on impossible. Not only was she incredibly pretty and smart, but she was a year older than Harry was as well. Not to mention the fact that she didn't seem to be able to go anywhere in the Hogwarts castle alone. Harry had caught glimpses of her throughout the day and she always seemed to be surrounded by a posse of giggling girls.
"Maybe I should have just been that Hufflepuff's date…" Harry mumbled to himself. "I can't go up to Cho and ask her in front of her friends…"
"Cho?" a familiar voice whispered in his ear. "Sorry Harry, I just heard that she's already going to the ball with Cedric".
"Hermione!" Harry exclaimed. "You almost gave me a heart attack…- wait, what? Cho's going to the ball with Cedric? Cedric Diggory?"
"Yes, that Cedric. Apparently he just came right up to her in front of all her friends, conjured a bunch of roses out of thin air and just asked her…" Hermione continued.
"Well that's just great…" Harry intoned. "I should have let him face that bloody dragon without any warning…"
"Yes, yes I know. Ugh, what am I supposed to do now? Hermione, help me, please?"
"Well I know that Lavender doesn't have a date yet…" Hermione said with a smile.
"Oh please," Harry replied. "I'd rather go with Parvati. At least she has two brain cells to rub together!"
Harry peered intently down the corridor. Ah hah! There was Parvati. Surely she wouldn't say no? Now he thought about it, she was always giving him lewd glances in class… wasn't she?
Hermione smiled. "I don't have a date yet…" she replied cautiously.
"Yeah, that's great 'Mione. Look I'll meet you at dinner in 10 minutes, there's something I need to do." He called back, as he sped off after Parvati.
Hermione stood rooted to the spot. She had spoken out loud hadn't she? Surely he must have heard her… Hermione, being a witch of logic, was left with two conclusions. One, that Harry was so dense he hadn't understood the implication behind her statement. Or two, that he had understood what she was trying to say, but instead of hurting her by rejecting her, he pretended that he hadn't. The latter seemed much more likely to Hermione. Lost in her thoughts, she continued on her way to dinner.
"Mione!" Harry's voice shouted from in front of her.
She looked up, and saw that he was running towards her.
"I was just about to ask Parvati to the dance when I understood what you said! You don't have a date, I don't have a date…. Why don't we be each other's dates?" Harry grinned.
Hermione looked shaken. So people really could be that dense, she thought to herself.
"Just as friends of course!" Harry quickly added, mistaking the sudden look on her face for confusion.
Hermione's face fell, but she concealed it quickly. Of course it was just as friends, she was Hermione Granger after all. She was and always would be the nerdy sidekick of the hero, just like in the romance novels she pretended not to read. But maybe for just one night, she could be the heroine.
"Sure Harry, why not?" Hermione replied.
They grinned at each other and headed off to dinner.
Dinner was a rather frivolous affair at the Gryffindor table. Ron spent most of the meal attempting to avoid any eye contact with Fleur Delacour, or any of the Beauxbatons students for that matter. His twin brothers, Fred and George, kept the table in stitches as they took turns acting out Ron's ball proposal to Fleur.
"Give him a break Fred, George," Harry said through peals of laughter. "She's part Veela, no bloke stands a chance at acting rationally when she's turning on the charm!"
"Men…" Hermione huffed quietly to herself. "Are definitely from Mars".
"Did you say Mars is bright tonight?" Lavender asked. "Professor Trelawney said there was a definite possibility that it may or may not be. She's always right, she's marvellous. I thought you hated Divination anyway, Hermione?"
Hermione rolled her eyes at Harry.
"That's that one brain cell we were talking about." He smiled.