A Dragon and a Phoenix

Chapter 11

The Great Hall looked magnificent as usual, but instead of the house tables there was a dance floor with many smaller tables lining it. They were each covered with a black table cloth and in the center there were carved pumpkins. When everyone was seated at a table the food appeared as always and everyone eagerly began to eat. Our table was much more relaxed than I would have ever imagined that it could be considering the people that were seated there weren't normally very companionable.

Kat, Sara and I normally didn't associate ourselves with Blaise, Crabbe, and Goyle. They weren't on the top of our social list. Blaise was very conceited and Crabbe and Goyle could hardly complete a sentence between the two of them, but tonight it seemed that everyone had decided to be friendly. Draco didn't seem to notice anything out of the ordinary and joined in our complaints of different classes and discussions of who might win the house cup this year. It was a strangely normal dinner. Once the spectacular desserts had cleared away the flames in the pumpkins dimmed and a band that had come seemingly from nowhere began to play.

I had spent the entire night dreading this moment. I didn't want to spend the entire night sitting with a sulky Draco that probably wouldn't ask me to dance or allow me to dance with anyone else. Just as Sara was getting up to dance with Michael, Blaise turned to Kat and asked her to dance also. She seemed mildly shocked by this but quickly recovered and took his hand with a smile. It was no small wonder that he was somewhat interested in her. Kat was very pretty and Blaise had very high standards. However, it was a very sudden change. He'd not shown any interest in her until now. Although I suppose whatever girl he'd been dating was history. Obviously it was time to start girlfriend shopping again. While I pondered this I realized that Draco had been saying something to me and was now looking me as though waiting for an answer. I shook my head a little to bring myself back to earth and said, "Sorry, I was just thinking about something, and I didn't actually catch what you said."

"Well I had asked you if you wanted to dance with me, but since you're so disinterested I guess I should take that as a no."

Seeing that this may be my only chance to dance at all I quickly replied, "No, no! It's not that I'm disinterested I was just wondering what suddenly sparked Blaise's interest in Kat that's all. He's just never really seemed to care for her company before. Of course he's never really cared for our company in general. But to answer your question, yes I would like to dance."

The moment we stepped out onto the floor the fast paced tune that had been playing gave way to a much slower song. I hadn't anticipated that I'd find myself having to slow dance with Draco. Then again, I hadn't' thought I'd be dancing at all. For a moment I thought that he was going to change his mind and take me back to the table, but I was wrong. He spun me into the middle of the dance floor and pulled me close to himself. Grudgingly I admitted to myself that he was a good dancer.

"You're looking particularly beautiful tonight," Draco commented.

I didn't know what to make of the compliment. Just the other day he was cursing me and now he's telling me how nice I look. Talk about having multiple personalities. But I suppose I might as well make the most of the night, right?

I pulled back enough to look at him as we continued to move gracefully around the dance floor. "Thank you, Draco. Look, I don't know what's going on here, but I have to say I'm enjoying this nicer side of you. I didn't think you even had one. All I've ever seen is the evil, angry side."

He chuckled and answered, "I would hate to keep you too miserable. You might decide to do something desperate. Besides, I find that I'm quite enjoying having you around right now. You're making all of the other guys jealous."

We danced with almost every song they played. I had seen Blake only briefly. He seemed a little concerned with how things were going. And I know that I don't blame him. Who could after all of the things that Draco had done. But tonight at least he was behaving like a normal person. If I'm going to be stuck in this then I should at least make good of the few pleasant moments that I could find.

While Malfoy was getting drinks I happened to see Blake sitting at a table on the other side of the room. I wasn't able to talk to him, but he smiled and raised his glass in my direction. I returned his smile and winked conspiratorially.

The feast ended, the music stopped and the last of us were leaving the great Hall. As we were walking toward the corridor that lead to our common room Draco spotted Crabbe and Goyle lingering in the shadow of a statue.

He glanced at me and said, "You go on to the common room. I'll be right behind you." He joined them. As soon as he reached them they began speaking in hurried whispers. I was suspicious of what was going on but I just shrugged it off and continued down the now empty corridor. Suddenly someone grabbed my arm and spun me around. I looked up to find Blake smiling down at me. He laughed at the look of surprise on my face and hugged me.

"Sorry, I didn't mean to startle you. I didn't get to talk to you at the feast. I had hoped that I might get the chance to dance with you. I can't believe that you and Malfoy danced the whole night. I thought for sure he wouldn't even get out of his chair and you would be bored. You looked like you were actually having a good time though," he grumbled somewhat sulkily.

I grabbed his hand and pulled him into an unused room. The only things in there were a few chairs and a broken desk. "Would you dance with me?" I asked.

He laughed and wrapped his arms around me and we began to dance with no music. "You're right I did enjoy the evening. I didn't think that I would either, but I thought that I should take advantage of whatever friendly personality decided to surface today. There's no point in making misery for myself. I took his good mood and went with it. Although I hate to think about what price I'm going to have to pay for the pleasantness. But this is nice too. I didn't think I would get to dance with you."

He pulled me closer and kissed me lightly on the forehead. Shocked by the sudden sweet gesture I looked up and found myself staring into his gorgeous eyes. We had stopped dancing and I hadn't even noticed, because his lips were slowly descending upon mine. I stood frozen, waiting. When our lips met it was a gentle kiss at first, but the longer we kissed the more passionate it became. We stood in the middle of the room holding on to each other and the moment. We finally broke apart; I sighed contentedly, resting my head against his shoulder.

He held me for a minute more before saying, "You'd better get back to the common room before they send out a search party. We've been in here for a while. I'm glad that I got to dance with you, though."

Reluctantly, I let go of him and stepped away. "You're right. I do need to get back. Aren't you coming though?"

"I don't want to chance someone catching us coming back together. I'm going to take a detour before I go to bed. I'll see you tomorrow," he replied with a smile.

"Okay." I turned to go, but as I got to the door I looked back and said, "This was an unexpected end to the night, but I'm happy it did end this way. Thank you for the dance. Goodnight, Blake."

I returned to the common room and went straight to the stairs leading to the girls' dorms. I crept into the room to keep from waking any of the others. I doubt a marching band could have woken them, though. Some of them had been so tired that they hadn't even bothered to let their hair down from the formal styles they'd worn to the feast.

I changed quickly into some comfortable clothes and got into bed. It had been a really long day. But the day had also had its perks. I was really happy about what had happened with Blake and pleasant memories of kissing him slipped into pleasant dreams as I finally found sleep.

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