"Where's that stupid bracelet?" I mumbled to myself as I rummaged around in the small bag I'd shoved almost half of my jewelry into. It was finally the day of the ball and me, Draco, Ginny, and Harry had gathered at the Burrow to get ready since Molly and Arthur were watching Chance and Victoria. I had already done my hair and just finished my makeup when I started to look for the jewelry I wanted to wear tonight. I hadn't decided on what accessories I wanted to wear by the time we left the house so I just tossed half the contents of my jewelry box into an unused makeup bag. Of course now that I knew what I wanted I couldn't find it.
"Dammit!" I upended the bag on the bed in Ginny's old room. Necklaces, rings, bracelets, and earrings went everywhere and I just started digging through the pile.
"Do you need some help?" Ginny's voice sounded behind me. I stood up from my pitiful stance over the bed and gave her a pleading look. Ginny laughed and walked over to sort through the mess with me. "By the way, you look great. I'm so envious," Ginny handed me the bracelet I had been about to give up on. I thanked her for both the help and the comment.
I put the diamond bracelet on my left wrist and gave myself another look in the mirror to make sure everything still looked okay. Ginny was right, I didn't look half bad for once. My hair had been straightened with a simple spell and pulled back in a tight bun on the top of my head. I had taken a little more care with my makeup than I usually did. My everyday look was some mascara, eyeliner, and lipgloss. Tonight I went all out with a smokey-eye, foundation, blush, and a deep red lipstick. I topped the look off with a diamond choker around my neck and the diamond bracelet that had almost eluded me.
Now all that was left to do was put my actual dress on and some shoes.
"Do you need me to help you with your dress as well?" Ginny offered, walking over to the plastic bag laying across the bed and unzipping it to reveal deep purple fabric. I accepted her help and took my pink fuzzy robe off.
Ginny pulled the dress out of the bag and helped me slip it on. As she zipped it up I adjusted the straps. This dress was probably the most risqué thing I owned. The dress was a-line with chiffon fabric and a deep plunging neckline. It had an empire waist with the fabric rouched, diamond beaded straps, and a flowing skirt that swept down to the floor. I strapped on the black strappy heels that I bought to go with it and was ready to go.
Ginny needed some help getting her dress on. She was wearing a black Chanel dress that was made of a material that sparkled every time she moved. It was backless with a slit up the side that went up just above her knee. Her silver peep-toe heels glittered in the light and the only jewelry she wore was diamond stud earrings.
After she was ready we grabbed our handbags and went downstairs to find our husbands.
Everyone was in the kitchen when we went downstairs. The second we walked in, the room went silent and everyone stopped to stare at us. Harry rushed to Ginny's side to tell her how beautiful she looked, while Draco took his sweet time getting out of his chair and walking over to me.
He smirked as his silver eyes traveled down the length of my body and back up to meet my brown ones. "You are absolutely stunning," he said as he gathered me in his arms and kissed the crook of my neck.
I felt my face go warm and I looked over at Ginny, who was glowing with joy, and Harry as he looked at her adoringly. Ginny smiled and gave me a thumbs up.
"Are we ready to go?" Harry asked as soon as he was able to take his eyes away from Ginny.
Draco took my arm as the four of us headed towards the fireplace.
"Have a great time!" Molly and Arthur waved us off, with the kids grinning at their sides.
When we arrived the ballroom was already packed with several ministry members and their dates. We quickly found the table where our names were assigned and sat down. Draco and Harry went off to grab us some champagne while Ginny and I stayed and admired everything.
The room was beautifully decorated with magic. The ceiling was like at Hogwarts and mirrored the night sky with thousands of stars scattered across. The tables were covered in white cloths and tall square glasses sat in the center with assorted flowers sitting at the bottoms and candles floating above the flowers. People, everywhere, were holding champagne flutes that would refill themselves once they were empty. Music filled the room but there was no visible orchestra anywhere. Couples happily danced in the middle of the room.
Ginny was trying to hide how excited she was and failing miserably, "This is absolutely amazing. Everything is so beautiful."
I nodded in agreement and a few seconds later Draco and Harry came back with our champagne.
I took the flute from Draco's hand and took a small sip. It was delicious and I couldn't help myself but finish it off with just a few more sips. The glass automatically refilled itself but I refrained myself from drinking anymore until we had dinner.
Draco got up from his seat and offered his hand to me. "Would you like to dance?" he smiled at me, revealing those perfect white teeth.
"Y-yes," I managed to get out, completely distracted by how handsome he looked in his formal dress robes.
He swept me out onto the dance floor and placed his hand on my lower back, pulling me in close. We started to sway to the music and I was completely caught up in the moment. We danced to each new song as they blended into each other, not able to pull away.
"I'm so glad you came with me tonight."
Draco's words caught me off guard. He couldn't possibly believe that I would rather be with someone else right now, not after all we'd been through in the past couple of months.
"Of course I came with you. I can't imagine being anywhere else right now."
Draco gave me that crooked grin I loved so much. "I know. I'm just so glad I have you back now. You had me worried there for a second."
I gave him a weak smile and went back to focusing on dancing. I didn't like to think about what would have happened had I not at least fallen in love with him again.
After the next slow song the music turned fast and Draco led me back to our table. I didn't realize how out of breath I was until I sat down.
Ginny had pulled Harry onto the dance floor several minutes before we stopped and they continued to dance to the fast songs that were now playing, Ginny completely lost to the rhythm and Harry looking utterly lost. I took a sip of champagne from my glass and leaned back to rest for a moment. Draco sat next to me, his attention seemingly on something else. That something turned out to be Amber bounding over to talk to us.
"Merlin, I can't believe how incredible this place looks. Everyone looks great too. I've only been last year and it wasn't as amazing as this. They've really stepped it up this year-"
"I'm glad you're having a good time," I laughed, cutting her off as she took a breath.
Amber nodded, a huge smile on her face, "Me too."
As I was about to say something else the music switched back to a slow song and I couldn't help but feel a little bad for Amber. Her date had canceled at the last second but she still insisted on coming because she couldn't return the dress she'd spent a fortune on.
Draco seemed to read my mind and stood up. "Amber would you like to dance. I would really appreciate it if you'd give me the honor," Draco offered his hand to her.
Amber's face went bright red and she gave him a look of awe. "O-Okay," she took his had and he led her away, looking back to give me a wink. I smiled, happy that he did that for her.
When Ginny and Harry came back they were just as worn out as I was. We started to talk about maybe going out for dinner the next weekend when there was a huge boom somewhere far off, then the next thing I knew I was being flown across the room. I hit the wall nearby and heard a sickening crack as my head took the blow. When I tried to sit up the room was spinning and it took everything I had to keep myself from being sick all over the place. There was splintered wood and glass all around me.
People were screaming and running around, tripping over each other. I couldn't find Ginny or Harry as I crawled over to the place where our table had been sitting. Decorations were lying in pieces and it was hard to avoid the glass. I spit up some blood before I managed to make myself stand again.
"Draco," I croaked. He didn't even seem to be in the room anymore as I looked around to see what was happening. There wasn't any visible threat and I couldn't see who or what had attacked us. The ballroom was completely destroyed. The wall where the entrance was had been blown apart and the ceiling didn't look stable anymore. There were scorch marks all over the floor and remaining walls. A small fire had started near the back of the room where the refreshments had been.
The room was almost empty when I started to move. The first step I took I stumbled and had to remove my ruined shoes in order to go any further. I got over to the demolished entrance and continued on until I was out in the Main Hall.
Everyone had gathered there, where people dressed as guests, but with decorated masks, were brandishing their wands and attacking anyone within distance.
I didn't know who those people were or what to make of the situation.
When I turned to my right I saw Draco a few feet away, a stricken look on his face. He saw me as well and started to make his way toward me.
"Draco," I breathed.
Before I could take two steps toward him I felt someone grasp my arm with a tight enough grip that I knew I'd have bruises there.
I was dragged along as the masked man pulled me towards one of the fireplaces that lined the wall. I started to scream and try to break away but my head was still swimming. All I could really do was go along and hope that Draco would catch up to us. I could see him running towards us but we were too far ahead of him.
I tried one last time to loosen the mans grip and get away but I was shoved in the fireplace and a second later I felt the pull as we were sucked into the floo network, heading towards Merlin knew where.
The last thing I remembered before I blacked out was hearing the mans voice mutter some obscure location and how familiar the voice was.