She didn't really stand out, much. Harry was sure she'd seen her in the halls sometimes but had mostly ignored or avoided her. She had a Slytherin tie on her neck, and he'd had a bad impression of Slytherins since Malfoy became his bully.

So when Harry saw her over Padma's shocking pink, dancing with Cedric at the Yule Ball with a snake belt on her silver and amber, moving quickly and laughing on every spin, he was somewhat surprised.

The song ended too quickly, and Harry hadn't spent nearly enough of that time focusing on his own dancing partner.

He and Padma bowed to each other, and Padma ran off to find her sister. Harry was rather grateful he could blend into the crowds easily enough to get some of the blue punch.

"Wouldn't if I were you," said a smooth tone behind him that made him jolt. "The blue one's been spiked."

"... Thanks," Harry said, putting aside the ladle and the already-poured drink.

Cedric blew a bit of bang out of his eye. "The red one's fine, though, I think." he sniffed the ladle. "... Nnnnnnnnnnnnope, that's firewhiskey. Strong, too, damn those shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirrts?" He blinked. "Shirts. There are literal infants here! Hey, Havier! Where's all the pure shit?"

"Purple tablecloth!" came a voice from an unknown direction.

"A hundred thousand!" Cedric called again and dragged Harry to the purple tables on the other side of the room.

The first Hogwarts Champion was radiant, looking happier than Harry had ever seen him. Loose, relaxed, and he felt weird even thinking he was bubbly, but the title sure seemed to apply.

"Who'd you bring?" Harry asked casually.

Cedric brightened even more, if that was even possible. "Her given name's Zem Berrytwist, but everyone calls her Fizzlepop."

The woman nearly tackled Cedric when she caught him in a hug from behind. "I was summoned?"

Cedric chuckled and turned her so she was standing at his side. "Fizzie, this is Harry Potter. Harry, Fizzlepop Berrytwist."

The bubbly woman turned her gaze towards Harry, but the smile never faltered. "Hey! You're the one who keeps beating my boyfriend in Quidditch! You must be really talented! Don't you dare call me 'Zem' and we'll get along fine, ahkay?!"

"Uh, okay?" Harry said, somewhat confused. "You're-" he bit his tongue where he'd been about to say 'loud'.

"Unlike any other Slytherin you've ever met?" Fizzlepop continued in place of his pause, still smiling. "I know. But being a Slytherin's all about ambition. And from the beginning, my ambition is to be the greatest candlemaker in the world!"

"That's quite the ambition," Harry said hesitantly.

"I know!" Cedric squealed. "Aah, Fizzie's is just the most amazing, isn't she?"

"Erm, question," Harry said.

Fizzlepop muffled a laugh in Cedric's shoulder.

Cedric kissed her forehead, hiding the light dusting of red around his cheeks in Fizzlepop's wild black curly hair. "Yeah?"

"Why's Fizzlepop your nickname?"

Fizzlepop suddenly had a wicked grin on her face. "I had purple hair when I first came to Hogwarts. The shade was called 'Fizzlepop', and the nickname stuck too well with my family name."

"Ignore her, that's a lie," said Cedric with a huge grin. "No one really knows the real reason. Started when she was in first year, no one can figure out who called her Fizzlepop first, and she changes the answer every time someone asks. It's a huge bet in our year to figure out who has the most outrageous answer by the end of the year and see who can figure out the truth, but we're both out cause Fizzie's probably accidentally told me the real answer and she's factor X."

"Aw, stop, you're flattering me," Fizzlepop laughed.

"You two are so gross," Harry said without thinking.

"Thank you!" they both answered in unison.

Fizzlepop stood on her tiptoes to kiss Cedric's cheek, her smile only losing radiance but none of the sweet affection. "Hey, listen. Do your illegal thing. I'll be with my friends."

Cedric caught a gloved hand and kissed her knuckles. "Don't get run over."

As Fizzlepop disappeared into the crowd, Cedric pulled Harry to the side.

"So, hey, did you figure out the clue on your egg yet?"