Chapter 24: The Spring Ball

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The Awakening Power

by Sib

Chapter 24: The Spring Ball

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"How do I look, Harry?" asked Ron nervously, peering into his mirror. "God, I'm glad Fred and George bought me these robes. If I'd had to wear those old ones..." He shuddered.

Harry chuckled. "You look fine, no worries." Harry had to admit his robes that Parvati had picked out were very nice. He'd selected primarily on color, but the cut made him appear much less skinny than usual.

"Ready? It's just about time," Ron said, glancing at the clock.

"Yeah, about as ready as I'll ever be," Harry replied.

They headed down the stairs into the common room. Many boys were milling about, waiting for their partners for the Ball. Harry and Ron scanned the room, but didn't see Parvati or Hermione.

Harry and Ron shuffled around silently, every so often glancing up the stairs. Finally Hermione and Parvati came down together. Both looked very pretty; Hermione wore a very elegant dark red robe, while Parvati had a matching robe to Harry's.

Ron's jaw dropped almost to the floor as he stared unabashedly at Hermione. "You... you... look beautiful!" he said.

Hermione blushed and appeared extremely happy, giving Ron a wide smile. "You look quite handsome yourself, Ron. And Harry, you look great!"

Parvati looked at Harry expectantly. Harry felt like he better say something at least close to Ron's reaction, which wasn't all that difficult, since Parvati did look extremely pretty. "Hi, Parvati. Wow... you look pretty."

Parvati beamed at him. "Thank you, Harry. You look utterly fantastic!" she said, causing Harry to feel a bit of heat.

"You look great, too, Hermione," Harry said.

"Thanks, Harry," she said, smiling. "Well, shall we go down?"

Harry had been hoping to catch a glimpse of Ginny, but so far she hadn't shown up anywhere. He was very curious about who was taking her to the Ball. They headed out the portrait hole, joining many excited couples in the corridors.

They entered the Great Hall, which was decorated with an undersea theme. Harry could see a variety of sea life apparently swimming above them, while the walls were decorated with seaweed and coral. The seaweed seemed to sway in water; it was so realistic that Harry actually took a breath to make sure he wasn't underwater. He looked up, marveling at the life-like colorful, tropical fishes, sea horses, dolphins and even a few sharks swimming around. Every so often one of the fishes would dive down, move between a few students and swim back up.

As he took in the decorations, Harry furtively scanned around the room, trying to find Ginny, but didn't see her anywhere.

"Let's find a table," Parvati said to Harry, looking very excited. Instead of the normal long tables, there were many smaller tables decorated with sea-green tablecloths. Each table was lit with a glowing dolphin lamp.

"All right," Harry said. He glanced over at Ron and Hermione, who were whispering to each other with small smiles, seemingly oblivious to anyone else. "Ron? Hermione? You coming?"

"What?" Hermione said. "Oh, yes, let's find a table."

They headed over to one of the nearest unoccupied tables, in about the middle of the room. Harry sat down in a seat facing the door so that he could possibly spot Ginny when she came in.

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