Neville Goes To The Ball
Note: I do not own anything. My second fanfiction. Inform me of any spelling or grammar mistakes in review please. Enjoy! :)
"The Yule Ball is a tradition that began with the Triwizard Tournament itself, over a thousand years ago," informed Professor McGonagall in Transfiguration class. "Only fourth years and above are allowed to attend the ball on Christmas Day, but you may invite a younger student to accompany you."
Parvarti and Lavender squealed behind Neville, who groaned. Great, he thought, Now I will be the only loser without a partner. He seemed to be the only student not excited by the upcoming ball as the fourth years got up to leave Transfiguration.
Two weeks later...
Neville sweated profusely from the heat of the smoking Potions classroom and from Snape bullying him over his abysmall potion.
"Longbottom, " said Snape, clearly enjoying himself, "you are obviously incapable of producing even the most elementary potion." Snape threatened to test the potion on Neville's toad at the end of class.
"Help me!" he begged Hermione. Hermione gave him wispered instructions to fix the potion as much as was possible, keeping her eye on Snape to make sure he didn't see. At the end of the lesson Snape put two drops of Neville's potion ontop of Trever, who merely gave a ribbit, hopped off of Snape's hand, and just sat there on the table. Neville sighed with relief.
"Ten points from Gryffindor," said Snape tonelessly. "Their is no cheating in my classroom, Miss. Granger. You and Mr. Longbottom have detention. Be in my office tonight at seven. Class dismissed."
"That's completely unfair!" said Hermione once out of earshot of Snape to Neville, Harry and Ron.
"I'm sorry I got you in trouble, Hermione," Neville mumbled, still red in the face even though he had left the sweltering classroom.
"That's all right, Neville," said Hermione. "I'm glad Trever's OK."
"Thank you," said Neville, pocketing the toad. Hermione, Harry and Ron left. Neville stood there, thinking about the ball. What if I asked Hermione to go with me? he thought to himself. But what if she laughs in my face? Neville couldn't imagine Hermione being that mean...
Without thinking any furthur, Neville broke into a run to the Arithmancy classroom, which he knew was Hermione's next class. As he turned the corner he almost walked strait into her, standing in line waiting to go in.
"Oh!" she exclaimed. "Neville! Don't you have Divination? That's all the way on the other side of the castle. What are you doing here?"
Neville opened his mouth to speak, but the moment he looked her in the eyes, he was lost for words. "I-uhh..." Maybe this wasn't a good idea after all, thought Neville.
"Neville?" said Hermione, sounding concerned, "Are you all right?"
Neville realized that his mouth was still hanging open in mid speach. He quickly closed it. He was very aware of all the older students who had the same class as Hermione staring at him. Well I'd better get this over with. Neville guided Hermione away from the sixth and seventh years. Now Hermione looked really confused and concerned.
"Neville, what is it?"
"Will ball you go with me?" Neville blurted out. The older students sniggered. Neville felt himself go red in the face. "I mean...will you go to the ball with me?"
Now it was Hermione's turn to go red. "Oh...that," she said. "Um, I'm sorry, Neville. I-I'm already going with someone."
As the Arithmancy door opened and the students walked in Neville felt he would die of embarrasment. "Oh...OK. J-just thought I'd ask..."
"I'm really sorry, Neville," Hermione repeated. She brushed his arm briefly before fleeing toward the door, her face as red as his.
Neville stood rooted to the spot feeling miserable before realizing he was five minutes late for Divination. He ran in the opposite direction all the way to the other side of the castle. Five minutes later he climbed the ladder into Professor Trelawney's classroom.
"You are late, my dear," said Trelawney, swooping in front of him like an overgrown bat.
"Sorry," Neville mumbled hoarsly.
"Well, take a seat then, dear." Neville crossed the room to the group of tables, chosing the only emply seat left with Seamus and Dean.
"Are you OK, Neville? You look like you've seen a ghost," said Dean, using a muggle term that was completely normal to wizards.
Neville nodded and the class began.
An hour later in the Great Hall, Neville sat a few seats away from Harry, Ron and Ginny, who where talking about the Yule Ball. Hermione was most likely in the library.
"Seriously, Harry," Ron was saying, "We need to get partners for the ball, or else we'll be the only ones left without one."
"Yeah, at least you don't have to dance with your's in front of the whole school," said Harry. "If I don't get a date then I'll be a laughing stock."
"At least you get to go," said Ginny. "I'm too young and no one I want to go with has asked me."
"I know!" Ron blurted out. "Harry, you can take Ginny and I'll take Hermione!"
"Hermione already has a partner," said Neville without looking up. Harry, Ron and Ginny looked over at him.
"She does?" said Ron in disbelief. "Who?"
"I'm going to the library!" said Ron, and he took off without another word. Harry shrugged and followed.
That night Neville headed down to Snape's office for his detention. He took his time, hoping Hermione would catch up. He didn't really want to be alone with her after being humiliated by her just hours before, but he'd rather do that than be alone with Snape, even for just a minute. As he reached the dungeon stairs he heard feet walking down the marble staircase and looked up to see Hermione coming toward him.
"Hello, Neville," she said as she walked up to him.
Neville glanced briefly at her before saying, "Hello," then they descended the stairs to Snape's office.
Snape made them clean the classroom tables of dried potion and stuck on ingredients (including squished spider eyes and rat dung). Snape left them alone, which was good because he couldn't intimidate Neville, but bad because this made it free for Hermione to mention anything akward about earlier. But the only thing she did say was, "Could you pass that sponge, please?" Other than that they where silent the rest of the time.
One week later...
Neville sat in a chair in the Gryffindor Common Room two nights before the Yule Ball. He overheard Harry talking to Ron at a corner table. Apparently they where going with the Patil twins. Great, thought Neville, Now I am the only one without a date for the ball. At that moment Ginny plopped herself into a chair next him. "Hello, Neville," she said.
Emediately Neville had the idea to ask Ginny. He did not want it to go the way it did with Hermione, though, but this was his last chance...
"Ginny," he said without thinking. She looked up. "Has anybody asked you to go to the Yule Ball yet?"
"No," Ginny sighed. "Not yet. With their being only two days left I don't think anyone will."
"Will you go with me?" said Neville. At least I didn't say it backwords this time, he thought to himself.
"Oh..." said Ginny, clearly surprized. She went red like Hermione did, but not as much. Neville knew her answer, and he sat back in his chair, ready for the rejection. "Um...sure, why not?" Ginny finished.
"Really?" Neville sat up, surprised.
"Oh! Ok, great!" Neville sat back in his chair again, smiling.
The night of the Yule Ball, Neville stood at the bottom of the girls' staircase with the rest of the Gryffindors waiting for their dates. Ron stood next to him and looked at him briefly, then did another take. "Neville?" he said incredulously.
"Hey, Ron," said Neville. He looked Ron up and down. He was wearing dress robes that he would expect his, Neville's, grandmother to wear if she were a man. "Er...nice dress robes."
"I didn't think you would-I mean-who are you going with?"
"Ginny." and as though on que, Ginny walked down the girls' staircase. Kids moved aside to alow her to get to her date. Neville saw that she was wearing a pretty, bright dress with a flowery decoration at the waist.
"Ready?" she asked Neville when she reached him.
Neville nodded. He hesitated, then offered his arm. Ginny hesitated for a fraction of a second also, but took it, and they climbed out of the portrait hole, the Gryffindors looking after them in shock, and Ron with his mouth hanging open.
In the Great Hall Neville and Ginny sat at a table and watched as the champions and their partners opened the ball. Neville saw Harry with Parvarti. Parvarti was all smiles, but Harry looked like he didn't know what he was doing. Cedric Diggory was dancing with a girl Neville didn't know and they looked like they where having fun. Fleur danced closest to Neville and Ginny at their table, and she was waltzing with a boy who looked astonished that Fleur Delacour was dancing with him. Victor Krum came into view. He turned and revieled who he was dancing with. Neville's jaw dropped. Was that-?
"Is that Hermione?" said Ginny in shock. "She looks great!"
That's an understatement! thought Neville. She looked beautifull.
Other students began to dance with the champions. "Neville," said Ginny. "Do you want to dance?"
Neville hadn't thought about this part. "Umm...OK," he said uncertainly. They both stood up and walked a few feet away from their table. Neville took Ginny's left hand in his right and put his other on her waist. They began to waltz. Neville stepped on Ginny's toes a few times, but eventually got the hang of it. They danced for a few songs and stopped at the end of the seventh one.
Dean walked up to them and asked, "May I cut in for a song?"
Ginny looked at Neville. "Do you mind?"
"Not at all," said Neville, and he went off to get a drink while Ginny danced with Dean. At the drink table, Neville looked around the Hall; Harry and Ron where now sitting at a table by themselves. Parvarti and Padma had left to dance with someone else. He looked toward the doors and saw Hermione and Krum talking.
He couldn't hear what they where saying, but Hermione looked disappointed about what Krum was saying. Krum kissed her hand and left the Great Hall. Hermione walked toward Neville and got a butterbeer.
"Hey, Neville," she said. "You look nice."
"Thank you. You look nice, too." Neville's voice cracked on the word "nice" and he hastily took a sip of butterbeer to cover it up. "Erm...what was that about?" he pointed toward the door.
"Oh, Professor Karkaroff needed Victor on the ship for some reason. He had to go."
"I'm sorry," said Neville. Their was a silence and Neville took to looking around the room again. He spotted Ginny and Dean, who where still dancing even though a new song had started. "Hermione?"
"Would you like to dance?"
Hermione smiled. "Yes." Neville and Hermione walked back onto the dance floor. Neville took Hermione's left hand in his right and put his other on her waist and they began to dance. Neville didn't step on Hermione's toes once. Infact, they where getting a lot of attention. They eventually made it to the middle of the dance floor and only stopped when the band stopped playing for a break.
"Wow Neville," said Hermione breathlessly, "I didn't know you where such a good dancer!"
"Hello, Neville." said a voice behind him. It was Ginny. "I'm sorry. I hadn't realized how long I was dancing with Dean."
"That's all right. I was dancing with Hermione."
"I saw. You're really good!"
Once again Neville blushed.
"Well, I think I'm going to go back to the Common Room," said Hermione. "Thanks for the dance, Neville."
"Good night," said Neville and Ginny together. They watched her leave the Great Hall. Harry and Ron followed.
"This is the last song of the night," said the lead singer from the stage.
"Do you want to dance?" asked Ginny for the second time.
"Sure," said Neville.
As they danced the finall song, Neville realized how little people where left. Hagrid and Madame Maxime where waltzing close to the stage. Dumbledore and McGonagall where doing the same thing in between Neville and Ginny and Hagrid and Madame Maxime. Their where a few couples left from Hogwarts, but other than that, the Great Hall was empty.
Neville kept glancing at the doors where Hermione had just left when facing it as he and Ginny danced in a circle. Ginny kept glancing toward the drink table. She then looked where he was looking and asked, "Why do you keep looking over there?" she grinned as though she already knew.
Neville blushed once again and followed Ginny's gase by the drink table. Dean was standing there, obviously waiting for her. "Why do you keep looking over there?"
"Touche," said Ginny. Then the song ended.
"I think Dean wants to walk you up to the Common Room," said Neville. "I don't mind," he added when she gave him a questioning look.
"Thanks Neville," Ginny briefly squeezed his hand before going to meet Dean. Neville walked up the marble staircase to the portrait hole. "Fairy lights," said Neville, remembering the password for the first time. He walked in to find Hermione sitting at a table in a corner of the room. She was crying.
When she looked up and saw who it was she hastily tried to wipe her tears away, but her face was still red.
"What's wrong, Hermione?" said Neville, sitting down opposite her at the table.
"Oh" Hermione croaked, stifling a sob, "It's nothing-it's just-oh, he!-all he had to do was-Ron!-Why?-Why do they have to be so-Boys!" Hermione slammed her head into her arms. She started to cry again. Neville touched her hand, not sure how to calm her down. Eventually she looked up and smiled at him. "Well, I guess not all boys are like that," and without warning, Hermione stood up, kissed Neville on the cheek, and ran up to the girl's dormitories without another word.
Blushing for the fourth time that night, Neville exlaimed, "Girls!"