The day of the Yule ball came faster than Harry expected, in a blink of an eye, the whole school was top to bottom decorated in winter team. Even the weather was perfect with its time for snow for the ball, making everybody in school getting in the holiday spirit. Harry especially was in a good mood when he woke in the early morning of Christmas eve, greeted by a mountain of presents just for him, from everybody close to him. His grandparents, cousins, friends, and their family. His uncle even sent him a present too. A small package, wrapped in a dark red wrapper, kept together with a dark green band. With a letter written in very messy handwriting that was a little hard to read, congratulated him for passing the first task, and the whole potter family was happy for him. It warmed his heart to know that his uncle even made the time to send him a present and a letter. The day passed by, and Harry could feel himself getting nervous when the night came closer while checking himself in the mirror in the bathroom to be sure he didn’t look like a messy clown when he walked down to the entrance to meet his partner, Ember. It was still unbelievable for Harry that he was going to the ball with the one person that could have anybody, but she said yes to him. But he couldn’t make himself look decent enough before he left the bathroom to somebody else.
" What are those?!.” Ron screamed at Harry the moment he walked out of the bathroom, staring at Harry like he has betrayed him in some way.
“It’s my clothes for the ball,” Said Harry looked down at his clothes, confused what got Ron so worked up until he saw what Ron’s clothes.He was wearing a traditional brown robe, with red laces around the hands and the shoulders. White shirt with lace ruffles in front of the chest with a black ribbon, while wearing black pants.
" But they are alright. ” Said Ron looking more panic. “No lace or weird color.” He pulled on the robe, breathing heavily.
Harry walked closer to him, study Ron’s clothes more closely.
" I thought you wanted, traditional.” Said he with a calm voice, but Ron was not happy with that answer.
" Traditional!!. These are ancient. I look like greataunt Tessie.” Ron lifted his arm and sniffed on the fabric and looked more afraid than ever. ” I smell like greataunt Tessie.”
Harry could only stand quiet while his friends turned to the big mirror behind him, look like he lost all his will to live. ” Murder me, Harry.”
After a long while of convincing, Harry finally got Ron to leave the dorm and follow him down to the reception of the ball to meet their friends and partners. Delta and his sisters were waiting for them, dressed very fancy at the end of the stairs.
" Hey, you two.” Delta waved at them happily. ” We were wondering if you would come down to join us or not.” His eyes landed on Ron, who looked down embarrassed. ” Oh, let me guess. Parents miss understood the word traditional?.”
" Yep,” Said Ron tiredly until his eyes widen and stared at Delta in confusion. ” How did you know?.”
Terisa and Rose chuckled between each other and turned to Ron.” Our grandma did the same to us three when we asked for something traditional for a feast. She sent us clothes that could have been worn by our great, great grandparents.” Terisa said and laughed loudly and pointed at Delta. ” Delta even had a hat with his clothes.”
" Really?.” Harry stared at Delta and tried to imagine him in traditional clothes like Ron with a hat. While Delta stood there dressed perfectly for the ball with his hair combed back, standing in a perfect posture.
" Yeah, it’s true. The good thing was that I gave everybody at the feast a good laugh.” Delta said with a small smile, before looking over his shoulder. ” I better go. Roosa is waiting for me at the entrance. You better find your partners too. The ball is starting soon. ” Delta walked away and was gone the second he walked into the sea of people that entered the great hall.
" Roosa is Delta’s partner?.” Asked Harry in surprise.Rose nodded.
" Yes, Delta asked her weeks back.” She grabbed Terisa’s and Ron’s arms. ” We better go too. ” She smiled at Harry before dragging Terisa and Ron with her. ” Good luck Harry.”
Harry smiled back at her while watching the sea of people die down. It didn’t take long till it was only him and the other champions with their partner left outside the closed door to the great hall.
" Hey, Harry. Where is your partner?.” Asked Roosa when he walked past them to get a glance outside to see if Ember was on her way.
" I don’t know.” Answered Harry and got worried that Ember was not going to come. ” Ember said we were going to meet here.”
Delta and Roosa looked at each other, surprised look on their faces.” You asked the headmaster to be your partner for the ball?.” Asked Roosa, with a trace of surprise in her voice.
Harry nodded, turning to her. ” Yes, I did. But I am worried that she changed her mind.”
" Change my mind about what?.” Asked a gentle voice behind him. Harry immediately turned around and saw Ember standing right behind him, dressed in a beautiful white dress with light blue color at the end of the skirt with silver snowflakes decorated on the flowing skirt. Her hair was up in an elegant hairstyle. Making Harry blink at her a few times to be sure it was her, she looked so different with her hair up.
" You came,” Said Harry with a low voice, feeling his face getting warmer the more he looked at her.
Ember smiled at him. ” Of course, I did.”
" Alright, champions stand with your partners in a line!.” Said Professor McGonagall with a hard voice and motion, Cedric, with Cho to stand at the front. Viktor with Hermione behind them. Fleur with her partner after them. Delta with Roosa, and at last Harry and Ember at the end. Professor McGonagall nodded in approval before opening the door them to walk into the great hall.
Harry felt Ember gently grabbing his arm, standing close to him.
" Are you ready, Harry?.” She asked in a whisper and looked at him.He gave her a small nod before they walked after the other into the great hall. But it was decorated like a winter wonderland ballroom, with ice sculptures everywhere, white tables filled with things to eat and drink. All the students and teachers were standing around them, leaving a big circle so Harry and the campions with their partners could start the first dance. Harry could feel all the eyes staring at him, all around him, making him scared to look up, while Dumbledore had a small speech until he announced the champions to start the first dance.
" Harry.” Whisper Ember so only he could hear. He looked at her, seeing her smiling at him before she moved closer to him. ” Focus on the music, nothing else.”
The next second the music began, and Harry quickly grabbed her hand and put the other on her hip and tried to dance. Harry felt weird when he waltzed around with Ember. It was nothing like when they danced in the forest. Back then, he was calm, didn’t feel any stress at all when he danced with Ember. Now he felt stiff and confused when they danced around. The other looked like they had danced all their life, didn’t look confused as he did. More people joined the dance, soon the whole floor was filled with people dancing to the music.
" Harry.“Harry turned to Ember, seeing her motion her head to the side like she was signal him something.” Want to get out of here?.”
Harry stared at her in surprise and looked, around wondering how she planned to sneak out when they were in the middle of the whole dance floor.
" How?.” He asked her and saw her eyes changing from her emerald green color to gold, like the first time he meets her. But he thought it was his imagination back then.
" Close your eyes.” She said with a calm voice. He stared at her for a long while till he slowly closed his eyes, wondering what she was going to do. And before he knew it, he felt a small tap on the shoulder, making him open his eyes to see himself standing in the middle of the long bridge to Hagrid’s house.
" What!?.” Harry looked around, confused how they got there.” How did you do that?.”
Ember smiled at him with a finger over her lips.
” Its a secret, but I promise I will tell you one day.” Harry laughed a little before looking both left and right of the bridge.
" Okay. Why are we here?.”
Ember put her hand behind her back and began to walk down the bridge, the way to Hagrit’s house and the forest.” You felt stiff during the dance I thought if I took you somewhere else where you didn’t feel watched, maybe you would feel better.”
Harry looked down, ashamed of himself. ” Am sorry.”
Ember’s eyes widen in surprise.
" Why are you apologizing?.”
" For being the worst dance partner in history.” He answered without looking at her.
“Harry, you were not a bad dancer. Everybody gets stressed when they dance in front of people.” Ember put her hand on each side of his face and made him look up at her. She smiled gently at him.” You have nothing to apologize for.”
Harry stared at her for a long time, her emerald eyes staring gently back at him, didn’t show any trace that she was mad or disappointed in him.
" Thanks.” He finally said, looking down, still feeling bad over the dance. ” Just wish I danced as you taught me in the forest.”
" It was your first ball, Harry. The first ball makes anybody nervous. I was nervous on my first ball, and made a complete fool of myself.”
" What?.” Harry stared at her like she just told him that she was an alien. ” Is that true?.”
She nodded. ” Yep, and let me tell you, you did much better than me. I accidentally stepped on my partner’s feet during the whole dance and made him fall into the food table.” Ember’s face turned bright pink. ” It was a big disaster.”
Harry stared at her, wondering if all this was a dream. There was no way, Ember the headmaster of the Raxora school, could have ever made a fool of herself. There was no way. But just seeing her face flustered in embarrassment, something he has never seen from her was proof that she was telling the truth.
" But still, your partner may be had a great time back then, even if you made the wrong steps. I think your brother would say that too.”
Embers shook her head, hiding her face in her hands.“Let’s just say my brother wasn’t pleased,” Ember said with a low voice, before smiling at Harry as nothing had happened. ” The point is, everybody makes mistakes. It’s not just you.”
" I guess.” Harry looked out at the view over the Hogwarts ground from the bridge, thinking deeply. It was nice to hear that anybody could make mistakes. But he still was not happy with himself. He wanted this to be a great night, a night he could be proud to remember. Too bad it didn’t turn out that way. Harry wished that he had a Time- turned in his hand, right that moment so he could have a second chance to make it a better night.He glanced at Ember, who stood right beside him, looking happy with no trace that she was disappointed. Maybe he had one more chance to make it a night to remember.
" Ember.” She turned to him when he said her name and looked surprised when he bowed with his hand out to her. ” May I have this dance?.”
He glanced up at her, unsure if this was the right way to go or not. He only tried to copy the gesture from one of the many movies the Dursleys watched during their Friday family night. He felt stupid the second he bowed and said those words. But to his surprise, Ember put her hand in his the second he held it out, smiling brightly.
" Yes.” She said with a calm voice. Harry stood up, his eyes locked with hers while putting his hand on her waist a second time. No stress appeared, his body didn’t become stiff, as he did in the ballroom. It was the opposite, he felt calm, confidence, to dance, maybe it was because he didn’t feel watched. He took a deep breath and started the dance slowly with Ember following his lead. This time everything that Ember taught him seems to have come back to him. All the steps, when to lift, and most importantly, enjoy the dance.
Ember smiled at him. ” You look happier this time.”
" Well,” Harry put both his hands on her waist and lifted her in the air. ” I wouldn’t mind if this dance never ended.“He saw her eyes widen in surprise before he put her down on the wooden floor of the bridge, still leading her in the dance. Without even realizing it, Harry led her down to the end of the bridge while they danced, and stopped at the opening. He stared at her emerald eyes while gently touching her cheek that was slightly pink from the cold weather. His heart, started to beat faster and faster the more he stared at her beauty that was still mind-blowing and tried to think of something to say. But nothing came.Ember stared at him with her head tilted to the side, while his hand was still on her cheek, and her eyes turned up, staring at something that was over them.
" What is it?.” Harry asked, looking up to see mistletoe growing on the roof over them. ” Oh.”
" A mistletoe.” Said Ember with her face turning darker pink when she said those words.
" Mistletoe,” Harry said turning his eyes at her to see her staring back at him. After what felt like an eternity, Harry slowly leaned closer to her, feeling his heart beating nervously. Until he felt her soft lips against his, and sparks were ent through his body, waking a feeling inside of him that he never felt before. It was a feeling he couldn’t describe it was just magical. Sadly it was only there for a second.
" Harry!.” Both Harry and Ember backed away from each other and turned to the voice to see Ron walking on the bridge, looking annoyed.
" Ron?.” Said Harry surprised, touching his lips to be sure what happened a second ago happened. ” Is everything alright?.” He asked, wondering if Ron saw them.Ron stopped in front of him, breathing heavily.
" Okay?. I am far from okay. I become the laughing stock because of these awful clothes. And you just left me behind while you and Ember were hiding here. Did you even think of me?. ” Ron turned to Ember who stood with her back to them. ” Are you alright?.”
Ember turned to him in suprise, and Harry could see her face was fire red like her hair.
" Yeah, it’s just a little cold out here.” She said with a low voice, before smiling.” How about we go back in and have something to eat?.”
Ron frowned, with his arms crossed, but before he could say anything, a small growling sound came from his stomach.” Alright, but you two better not leave me behind.”
" Why weren’t you with Terisa and Rose. They weren’t on the dance floor.” Harry asked.
" They were to busy with their partners, and I already feel left out.” Answer Ron before starting to walk back to the feast.Harry glanced at Ember, who glanced back at him, and they both quietly laughed and walked after Ron, and enjoyed the rest of the night.