The Yule Ball

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Cassia's POV

The next day, we all sat together at breakfast. Cedric was sitting with us again, and as usual, I sat in between his legs.

Hermione was furious at Rita Skeeter's latest edition of Me, Myself, and I. "I can't believe it! She's done it again!" she snapped, "'Miss Granger, a plain but ambitious girl seems to be developing a taste for famous wizards. Her latest prey, sources report, is none other than the Bulgarian bonbon Viktor Krum. No word yet on how Harry Potter is taking this latest emotional blow.'"

I rolled my eyes. Rita sure likes to gossip a lot.

"Dad's peeved at Rita because she overshadowed Harry in her article on the tournament," Cedric chimed in.

"That woman is so on our enemies list," I muttered.

A first-year boy walked up to us, holding a large brown package. "Parcel for you, Mr. Weasley."

"Oh, thank you, Nigel," Ron said, taking the package.

Nigel just stood there, looking at him expectantly. Hermione glanced at him and then at Ron.

Ron then got the hint and whispered, "Later, Nigel. Later."

Nigel walked away. When he was out of earshot, Hermione looked at Ron suspiciously.

Ron sighed. "I told him I'd get Harry and Cassia's autographs." He turned his attention to the package. "Oh, look, Mum sent me something!" He unwrapped the box and opened the lid to reveal very frilly-looking robes. He looked surprised. "Mum sent me a dress?"

"Well, it does match your eyes," Harry complimented.

I giggled. "Is there a bonnet?"

Harry rummaged around in the box and pulled out a lace collar. "Aha!"

Cedric started to chuckle.

"Nose down, guys," Ron warned. He went over to Ginny. "Ginny, these must be for you."

Ginny looked up from the bowl of cereal she was eating, and glanced at the dress robes. "I'm not wearing that. It's ghastly."

Hermione covered her mouth to muffle the stream of giggles coming out of her mouth.

"What's so funny?" Ron asked her.

"They're not for Ginny. They're for you," I told him, laughing.

Everybody at the table started cracking up.

"Dress robes," Hermione jumped in.

"Dress robes?! For what?" Ron asked.

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Transfiguration class was a lot different than usual today. All the desks had been cleared away, and a phonograph sat in a corner of the room. We were instructed to sit on opposite sides of the room, with the boys on one end and the girls on the other end.

"The Yule Ball is approaching--a traditional part of the Triwizard Tournament since its inception, and an opportunity to socialize with our foreign guests. On Christmas Eve night, we and our guests gather in the Great Hall for a night of well-mannered frivolity," McGonagall explained while Filch stood near a phonograph. "The ball will be open only to fourth-years and above. Now, as representatives of the host school, I expect each and every one of you to put your best foot forward, and I mean this literally, because the Yule Ball is, first and foremost, a dance."

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