A/N: Sorry the long wait for this chapter. RL is all I will say for the reason for the delay. Also, I apologize for any grammar and or spelling error's in this chapter as I am a bit impatient on uploading this chapter therefore it has not been proof read. If there are any error's please let me know and I will fix the error as soon as I can and as fast as I can. Okay here is the new chapter...I hope you enjoy it...
After the elf left with the letter Hermione had written the witch flopped on her bed with a sigh. Feeling quite sure that she had indeed figured out how to aid the Malfoy family in healing Lucius, she just had to look over her notes. With the letter she had written to Snape, Hermione was thinking about her father's side of her family. Though she was frustrated that she had not found anything about the Denali's she was also just as determined to find something about them. Hermione knew that the Denali side of her family was bad, dark but did not, could not think that they were that bad to not be in anything. Hermione was sure that she just had not found the right book.
After several minutes had passed Hermione got up off her bed to head back down to her friends before anyone was sent up to see what was wrong or going on. The witch had barely taken a few steps when the elf she'd had deliver a letter to Snape appeared before her.
The elf handed Hermione a letter and then disappeared as though it had never been there. Hermione blinked a few times and then looked at the letter in her hand. She recognized the handwriting to be Snape's and quickly opened it.
You have made the right choice in waiting a bit longer to complete your self-set project even though time is an issue. I would like to discuss something with you in regard to said project as I think I might be able to help you if you need or would not mind help from another but after the holidays and of course before term begins.
Hermione was smiling and excitement began to fill her but not to the point that she was going to insist that they talk immediately. Instead, the witch was looking forward to hearing what Snape had come up with. Hermione then put the letter away and returned to her friends who did not ask her anything about her sudden departure and how long she had been gone.
As the time passed what Neville had said about the Yule Ball being upon they students knew it was sinking in. The more time passed the more it sunk in. Though most of the student body currently at Hogwarts had acquired a date for the ball the frustrations, stress and nervousness increased. It was even worse with the ones that were still searching out their prospects and even worse still with those that were waiting to be asked, hoping to be asked.
One evening while in the Gryffindor common room Hermione's mind wondered to a few days ago, Fred and George were giving Ron a hard time about not having a date. The twins had stated that if he didn't get on top of it all of the good one's would be gone. The following second George had tossed something at Angelina Johnson and asked her to the Ball. Angelina had eagerly accepted the invite. With a heavy-ish sigh Hermione shook her head clear of the evening and began think that she had made a mistake in declining offers while waiting for a specific wizard to ask her to the Ball.
"Hermione what's wrong?" Harry asked concerned knowing that something was indeed wrong.
"I'm an idiot for thinking that a certain someone would have asked me to the Ball by now and turning down other wizards that have asked me." Hermione grumbled.
"Hermione…there would be nothing wrong with you asking him. There is nothing set in stone stating that only a wizard can a witch. In fact the past several hours I've witnessed quite a few witches asking wizard's to the Ball. You and I both know how Ron is and can be. Besides I've never known you to be one that would wait around."
Hermione nodded in response. Seconds later her eyes landed on Ron sitting with a group at one of the tables.
"Harry, you're right." Hermione said as she stood up and began walking in the direction of where Ron sat.
Harry smirked knowing that Hermione was going take it further than just simply asking Ron to the Ball.
"Ronald Weasley." Hermione said as she reached the table.
"What?" Ron asked with his eyes wide open and his complexion rather pale.
"You are taking me to the Ball. You will wear something that compliments my dress." Hermione said in a tone of authority and that there would be no argument and then strode off to the girls dormitories.
Several in the common room began to laugh while others whispered. Fred and George chuckled with smiles on their faces as they shook their heads. Harry and Ginny worked really hard to not laugh, though they never erupted into fits of laughter the only signs of hilarity they showed were the smiles on their faces.
Ron sat frozen in place, his cheeks flushed crimson. Roughly a half an hour later Ron bolted to the boys dormitories.
Within a few hours of Ron's departure the rest of Gryffindor house headed off to bed. Upon entering the fourth year's dormitory Harry and Neville were full aware that the other two housemates were giving Ron a bad time about the incident in the common room with Hermione. Harry and Neville glanced at each other and shook their heads before making their way to their respective beds.
"Would the two of you give it a rest already!" Harry yelled having enough of their teasing. "I don't see either one of you asking anyone to the Ball." Harry added and received the desired result: the other two shut right up and went to bed.
"Thanks." Ron said about two hours later when he knew that Dean and Seamus were asleep.
"No problem." Neville said.
"Well, neither one of them have a date so they shouldn't be giving you such a bad time about it. And by the looks of it they won't be going to the Ball." Harry said as though it was no big deal.
"Did she have to do it in the middle of the common room with everyone there, though?" Ron asked.
"You're really asking that question? For as long as we've known her, Ron, it should not be a surprise that Hermione would do something like that, I mean we're talking about Hermione after all."
"Did you know she was going to..?"
"No, Ron, I did not know she was going to do that. I did mention to her that she could ask you to the Ball. I did not suggest that she tell you that you are taking her to the Ball in front of everyone in our house." Harry answered. "Just be glad that it was only Gryffindor House and not the entire school." Harry added.
Ron's eyes opened wide as a gasp escaped him once what Harry had said had sunk in. Ron was quite relieved that Hermione had done that only in front of Gryffindor House. It was bad enough that Fred and George were there and heard. Ron knew that Fred and George wouldn't let him live it down, ever.
It Ron quite a while to finally get some sleep and it was only due to the wizard passing out from being so exhausted.
In the morning Dean and Seamus didn't say a word to or about anyone. The two remained silent while everyone dressed and as they all headed on to the common room. Murmured whispers could be heard but not exactly what was being said. Harry did catch a certain gleam in the twins' eyes and knew what was being said in hushed tones.
Though no one was saying anything out loud it still did not help. Harry was surprised to so many of their housemates in the common room. Breakfast had started to be served almost a half hour ago and there was no way that that many of their housemates could have already been down to breakfast. It was in fact quite clear to Harry that no one had been down to breakfast. After a few glances around the common room, Harry realized that Hermione was nowhere in sight. Harry wondered if Hermione was still up in her room though it did not seem likely or anything like Hermione. It was only logical and practical that Hermione would be down in the Great Hall or somewhere on grounds.
The hushed whispers were starting to be not so hushed and Harry caught a snippet of what was being said. Harry glanced around the common room again to see that several where making the same comments and statements. The young wizard was becoming quite angry as it was also obvious that those that were making comments and such had something in common.
"SHUT UP!" Harry yelled becoming furious.
Everyone in the common room became silent and stared at Harry.
"So what about what happened last night." Harry growled with a frown on his face. "Just about every one of you saying shit about it aren't going to the ball as of this moment as you don't even have a date to the Ball. Some of you haven't even been asked and the rest haven't even perked up the courage or found the balls to ask someone." Harry finished receiving complete silence in response.
"To add…" Neville began. "Most of you blokes saying crap when you have no date…you could get a date with a blink of an eye due to your cockiness but yet can't even ask a witch to a Ball. That is pathetic. It's completely ridiculous how everyone here thinks. Where is stated that only wizards can ask witches? Personally, I admire what Hermione did last night. I mean she finally got sick of waiting decided to do something about it. I don't see any of Gryffindor's witches gearing up their Gryffindor pride and doing something instead of waiting around." Neville finished confidently.
"Who are you going with then?" Someone blurted out insinuating that Neville wasn't going at all.
"He's not even answering." Another blurted.
"Some nerve…" Again, another blurted.
"You know what I don't care. Not that it is anyone's business, but I am going to the Ball with Luna Lovegood. I don't want to hear one bad word or thing about her as it will take the strength of Merlin himself to stop me." Neville said in quite a dangerous tone.
Harry smiled proudly. He was quite impressed with Neville at that moment and knew that more was to come. It was also nice to see that Neville's magic was indeed growing and blossoming despite everything he had gone through in his life that held him back as a wizard and causing his magical ability to show late in life. Harry had no doubt that Neville would and soon show that though things showed late in his life, the young wizard was not slow and that Neville was indeed strong and powerful.
As Harry, Neville and Ron left the common room Fred and George glanced at each other. In that instant they decided to not give Ron such a bad time about Hermione telling their little brother that he was taking her to the Ball. Though the twins jumped at every opportunity to give another a bad time or take the mickey of them all in fun knew that this was not one of those opportunities. Between Harry and Neville's outbursts made all the difference.
The rest of Gryffindor house sat in silence briefly before heading out for a late breakfast. Most if not all were not going to say a thing about Ron and what had happened the night before as it really didn't matter. Eventually Gryffindor house realized that it didn't matter, for many it took a while of thinking on the whole thing before this happened. It also resulted in those in Gryffindor house that did not have dates to get off their behinds and do something about it. It wasn't just wizards getting to it and asking, but also witches were no longer sitting around waiting to be asked to the Ball and took matters into their own hands but not in the fashion of Hermione Granger.
Three days until the Yule Ball
"Hermione." Ginny said on the verge of freaking out as she pulled Hermione off.
"It has been long enough since you sent my mum a note in regard to my dress for the Ball. It's not here yet."
"Ginny relax and stop freaking out…"
"Hermione…" Ginny whined.
"I received a note, moments before you drug me off, from your mum letting me know that some final adjustments were being made and your dress will be here in time."
"If doesn't fit right then what am I going to do? I mean there won't be enough time to have more adjustments made…"
"Ginny…I'll be able to do that. I am quite talented with charms, you know."
"Right." Ginny sighed. "I'm sorry, Hermione." Ginny said with her head slightly hanging.
"It's okay Gin." Hermione said brushing off the apology.
"It's not okay…"
"How about this, I sort of understand and apology not necessary." Hermione said cutting off Ginny.
"Are you sure?"
"Quite sure." Hermione said with a smile.
"So…we're still good?" Ginny asked nervously.
"Of course we're still good. Now, how about we do something about taking the Ball off of our minds?"
"Sounds good to me." Ginny said relieved that things were just fine between her and Hermione.
Later that evening as Hermione and Ginny walked around the grounds talking about random things a familiar voice was calling out to them. When they turned around they saw Mercedes slowing to a brisk walk from a run.
"Tonks is amazing!" Mercedes gushed. "Sometime this summer we're going to meet up and she's going to explain everything in more detail." Mercedes said excitedly.
Hermione and Ginny could not think of anything to say. They were happy and surprised that Mercedes looked like herself or at least what they were used to. Hermione and Ginny were also excited for Mercedes.
"I mentioned to Tonks what Harry said about keeping my ability a secret and she strongly agrees. I did have to go to Draco's mum so she could replace the glamor for my protection." Mercedes said to interrupt the silence that fell.
"Are the two of you alright?" Mercedes asked as the silence fell once again.
"Yes." Hermione replied shaking off the surprise.
"It's great to see you again looking…" Ginny trailed off.
"It's okay Ginny. Now that I am myself, I do find the whole thing quite funny actually."
"So, how are you doing in regard..?" Hermione began but stopped herself from saying anything further and mentally kicked herself for even beginning to bring up the biological situation.
"Doing my best to deal with everything from my ability to parentage, I mean they're great and wonderful and there's no pressure and I like them…I just…I don't know I just need time still. I know I'm being silly about it and it irritates me to no end, I just need time." Mercedes replied.
"Mercedes, I'm really sorry for bringing it up." Hermione said sincerely.
"It's okay. Really it's okay Hermione. Honestly, I think that I need and should talk about it and that it will help. Of course I won't talk about it with just anyone."
"Are you going to the Yule Ball?" Ginny blurted out feeling the need to change the subject and then cringed once realizing what she asked.
"Actually, yes, I am going. I will be attending the Ball with my best friend." Mercedes answered.
"Oh, sorry…you were calling out to us…" Hermione began.
"Oh, right. Please forgive me. I was looking for both of you, before I say why…no running off right away."
"I promise to not run off right away." Hermione and Ginny said together.
"Okay, you each received a package a little while ago."
Hermione seemed to be patiently waiting for what else Mercedes had to say. Ginny on the other hand was suddenly consumed with fear as to what her mother had picked out for the Ball.
"I don't know if there is a note with your packages, but mine did come with a note. Ginny's mum contacted Marie almost freaking out. So, my mum, Marie, Ginny's mum, your mum Hermione and Draco's mum got together and went shopping for all of us. And Mrs. Weasley also picked up something for Ron." Mercedes explained quickly.
Ginny barely muttered a thank you and tore off through the castle to find out what she was stuck with to wear to the Ball. She hoped desperately that it wouldn't be anything embarrassing or plainly screaming how young she is.
Hermione remained a bit longer in case there was more and she didn't want to take off in the same fashion as Ginny.
"You can go Hermione." Mercedes chuckled before leaving.
Hermione turned and calmly, rationally walked off towards Gryffindor Tower as she knew that is where the package would be. Once the witch reached the seventh floor she shook her head and sprinted to the portrait of the Fat Lady. After a speedy given password Hermione entered through the entrance and on into the Common room in time to catch a brief interaction.
"Real funny Fred, George." Ron said sarcastically.
"What are you going on about?" Fred and George said at the same time.
"Granted the dress robes are decent but…"
"But what little brother?" Fred asked.
"Yeah and step it up or the Ball will have come and gone." George added.
"There's a note supposedly from mum saying that she hoped she got what Hermione had written to her about right."
"It wasn't us." Fred said.
"We wouldn't write mum about something to go with whatever Hermione selected for the Ball." George added.
"And we certainly wouldn't have written a note as though it was from mum." Fred added.
"Oh, your dress robes have come in." Hermione said excitedly.
"Ron it's not like I didn't think you would actually write to your mum and ask her pick something that would complement my gown. I just know how you really don't like to write anything. And since I had an idea as to what I want to wear I included that with my letter to you mum. And as it turns out your mum and a few other women including my mum all went shopping for the gowns and since they were out your mum picked up your dress robes." Hermione explained. "Now, let's see."
Ron couldn't be upset with Hermione writing to his mum with the explanation Hermione had given. It made sense and she was right about him not liking to write anything. After a sigh, Ron pulled out his dress robes.
"He only brought down the letter from his mum." Harry informed Hermione.
"Well, I want to see your dress robes. I am going to see what my mum sent me and then I want to see the dress robes you mum sent." Hermione said in the same tone and manner as she had when informing Ron that he was taking her to the Ball as she headed on up the staircase to the girls dormitories.
The instant Hermione entered the dormitory her eyes fell on a package that was designed for gowns. In a blink of an eye Hermione was standing next to her bed and opening the package. Hermione gasped in surprise and delight.
The dress was made out of Satin in a light Sage Green color, sleeveless over the shoulder with a V-neck but not too low. Once Hermione held up the dress she could see that it was floor length and could see more detail. The dress was obviously formfitting but would not be supper tight. It was gathered at the waist under the bust with fellen ripples cascading down the front and sides.
"Mum you out did yourself on this. It is absolutely beautiful." Hermione whispered to herself.
Hermione quickly and carefully put the dress back in the package and penned a short note of thanks and gratitude to her mother. The witch had just finished the note and jumped at hearing a shriek from the hall. Hermione quickly left the dormitory through the door she had left open to find Ginny with a similar package.
"Ginny…is something wrong?" Hermione asked nervously.
"No, not at all. You have got see the dress my mum sent!" Ginny said excitedly as she darted past Hermione and on into the fourth year dormitory.
Hermione quickly followed Ginny into the fourth year dormitory.
Ginny laid the gown package down, opened the package and pulled out the dress holding it up to her body. The dress was Forrest Green in color and made out of velvet. The sleeves were off the shoulder with an Empire waist and a tiered A-line skirt flowing from the waist to the floor.
"Ginny it's perfect." Hermione said as she breathed out.
"I know." Ginny said still quite excitedly. "Now let me see yours." Ginny said in the same excited tone and manner.
Hermione quickly pulled out her dress and showed Ginny.
"The next Ball or dance I attend…I want something like that." Ginny said mesmerized by the dress.
"Your dress is just as breathtaking as mine and appropriate."
"I know, I just…I just want to wear something like your dress one day. Your dress is sophisticated, mature and you could even go as far as sensual."
"Stop." Hermione said in a firm but soft tone.
"I wonder what Mercedes, Violet and Luna's dresses look like." Ginny thought aloud. "Luna's…eccentric I am sure. I mean she is quite eccentric, you can't deny that."
"True. Though, I do have a feeling that her dress may very well be more conservative than her usual. Neville's recent influence has had quite an effect on Luna." Hermione added.
"I do know that whatever Luna is wearing will put a bit of a spot light on her and Neville." Ginny said with a soft chuckle in her voice. "Not much longer and we will know."
"I agree…with both points you made." Hermione said with the same soft chuckle.
"Merlin!" Ginny exclaimed. "Hair! What are we going to do about hair?" Ginny said with a hint of panic in her voice.
"Not to worry. My mum sent me some ideas for hair for each of us." Hermione said quickly. "I like all the ideas but I am going to go with what my mum suggested for all of us."
"No offense, Hermione, but your parents are dentists. What would your mum know about hair styles?"
"No offense taken. Yes, my parents are dentists but they know some really good hair stylists plus your mum, Marie and Mrs. Malfoy…well I'm not going to be one to argue with all of them, are you."
"You have a good point there." Ginny conceded. "So, are you going to show me the hair ideas?"
"Of course. But you'll have to wait until we can round up the other girls."
"Well, what are we waiting for? Let's round them up." Ginny said _.
"Ginny it's getting late and we'd be out after curfew." Hermione said with a gentle laugh.
"First thing in the morning then?" Ginny said clearly impatient.
"After breakfast." Hermione stated.
"I guess I'll have to accept after breakfast to see the hair ideas." Ginny said as though defeated. "I wonder what my mum decided for Ron's dress robes." Ginny wondered aloud but quietly.
"Let's go see." Hermione said with the beginnings of excitement in her eyes. "He should have it with him in the common room by now." Hermione muttered while heading out of the dormitory.
Ginny quickly returned her dress to her dormitory and managed to not be too far behind Hermione.
As the two witches reached the main staircase Hermione quickly glanced around the common room but did not see Ron.
"What's wrong?" Ginny asked confused as to why they weren't heading down.
"Your brother isn't in the common room." Hermione said in an irritated tone.
"He's probably in the dorms." Ginny offered.
Hermione and Ginny then headed off for the boy's dormitories.
It did not take long for the two witches to reach the fourth year boys dormitory. Hermione wasted no time with knocking and walked right in. Ginny followed without any hesitation.
"Bloody hell!" Ron yelled. "Someone could have been changing. Don't you know how to knock?" Ron lectured.
"No one is changing so no harm has been done." Hermione retorted.
"And if anyone was changing I'd be questioning a lot of things." Ginny added.
"Ron you know why Hermione is here…she wants to see your dress robes." Harry reminded.
"Oh, right." Ron said while immediately digging in his trunk to pull out the package.
"Ron you can't be serious!" Hermione barked. "You know there are closets in the dorms." Hermione added knowing that at least Ron did not know of the closets.
"What does it matter?" Ron asked indifferently.
"Dress robes or any really nice articles of clothing are to be hung in a closet not crammed into a trunk. At least we have magic to dispose of the wrinkles." Hermione said not hiding her annoyance.
"Really good thing that we have magic for that as it will make it a lot easier and less time consuming to get rid of the wrinkles." Harry added in agreement. "The alternative, the Muggle way takes an awful long time to get wrinkles out of clothes."
Ron sighed and rolled his eyes as he just did not understand what the big deal was regardless of the explanations given while unwrapping the package.
Hermione was quite pleased to see that Ron's dress robes were dark chocolate in color. Hermione's eyes widened some at seeing a flat but silky stripe on the sides of the robes. She was certain that Ron's dress robes would indeed compliment her and her dress.
"My dress robes only differ in that they are black and the silk stripes on the sides are more of a velvety silk." Harry stated knowing that Ginny was curious.
Hermione smirked as she cast a spell to rid the wrinkles that had already begun to show. She then took the dress robes from Ron and hung them up in the closet next to Harry's dress robes.
"Where's Neville's and Seamus' dress robes?" Ron asked in a ruffled tone.
"Their robes are probably in the other closet near their beds." Hermione replied as though it should have been obvious.
"What are girls doing in here?" Asked a Seventh year Prefect.
"Just discussing the Yule Ball." Ginny said in a flat tone.
"Ron was showing Hermione his dress robes that his mum sent." Harry added quickly.
The Prefect huffed and warned them that the girls had better be gone soon as he left.
"What a git." Ginny growled. "I mean we obviously weren't doing anything inappropriate." Ginny added in a plainly irritated tone.
"Regardless, we should go." Hermione said calmly. "We don't want him returning and finding us still here and going to Dumbledore with some ridiculously false story. I for one do not want to get into any trouble and not be able to attend the Ball."
"Night Harry." Ginny said over her shoulder as she followed Hermione out of the dormitory.
The following morning Hermione, Violet and Ginny headed on down to the Great Hall. All three witches were looking forward to the Ball, and Hermione to her surprise was becoming excited and anxious for the Ball to arrive. During the night Hermione woke and could not get back to sleep so she looked over the hair ideas her mother had sent her. The more Hermione looked over the hair ideas a heavy weight began to settle throughout the witch. It took a moment for Hermione to realize that it was nerves and not having any idea as to how to achieve the hair styles. After calming down Hermione resolved to try to find a book in the library on magic having to do with beauty, something Hermione never really cared about. Of course the witch always wanted to look nice but it was glamorous side she never cared about, until now.
Though Hermione had been quite caught up on her thoughts, she did not miss the rest of her dorm clamoring about. With a sigh Hermione set the hair ideas aside and began to get ready for the day. As the witch left the dorm she nearly walked right into Ginny.
"Sorry, I shouldn't have been standing right in front of the doorway." Ginny said softly.
"Trying to not just run into the fourth years dormitory in a manic state due to the fact that I had not searched you out earlier?" Hermione asked.
"Pretty much." Ginny said a little embarrassed.
"I think I understand." Hermione said with a smile. "Shall we head down?" Hermione asked.
"Violet is already down in the common room, so we just have to grab her and get to the Great Hall and find Mercedes and Luna." Ginny said as excitement further engulfed her.
"Something like that." Hermione said laughing.
As the three Gryffindor witches entered the Great Hall they did not spot Mercedes or Luna but were not worried that the two had left already. The Great Hall was pretty packed due to the visiting schools so it was not out of place to not spot someone you were looking for. Hermione, Ginny and Violet silently decided to have their breakfast and then search for the other two witches.
Before the Gryffindor witches had completely finished their breakfast two fellow students came over and sat down at the Gryffindor table across from the three Gryffindor witches. Hermione, Ginny and Violet quickly looked up as they caught the yellow and blue colors of two of the other houses.
"We were going to look for both of you." Ginny said relieved that they wouldn't have to waste time searching for the two witches.
"We saw you three enter and look around for a bit at both Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff's tables." Mercedes began.
"So we decided to come over here and see whats up." Luna finished. "We were sitting together." Luna added at seeing the questioning looks from the others.
"Really?" Ginny asked.
"With the tournament it really doesn't matter where anyone sits." Violet stated.
"That's right, I can't believe I forgot about that." Hermione muttered.
"So now that you don't have to go looking for us…" Mercedes started.
"Right. My mum sent me some hair style ideas, one for each of us. I want to show each of you what style is recommended…"
"I sense there is a 'but' coming on." Violet commented.
"I don't know how achieve the desired look of the hairstyles…not by Muggle means or Magical. I know there is a section in the library…there should a book in the library that explain how to create a spell…okay, okay I'll stop and leave it that I need to look in the library."
The four witches started laughing. It was weird but yet refreshing to see that the Hermione they all knew and cared about could still surface with all stress and excitement surrounding the Yule Ball that was literally right around the corner.
Hermione showed the girls the hairstyle's that her mother had selected for each of them. Though all the girls liked all the styles, they were satisfied with what was recommended and suggested for each. Hermione then stood to head out to the library to only be followed by the other four girls.
"Hermione you're brilliant and all, but wouldn't it be more productive if we helped? I mean you're not just looking for something to help with your hair, it's for the rest of us as well." Mercedes explained.
Hermione smiled. She appreciated the help. Briefly Hermione could not think of why she had not asked the girls to help and then it hit her. Normally when in the library the witch was by herself with a few exceptions here and there.
With all five looking for specific book it did not take long for the book to be found. Hermione immediately began perusing the book. Not much more time passed and Hermione found what she had been after. She was relieved and excited as it wasn't as complicated as she had thought it to be. It was still going to take some time as she had more than one hairstyle to work into a spell.
"Hermione…" Ginny said anxiously.
"It's not too complicated or intricate, the hardest part will be working in the spells. There will have to be a different spell for each different hairstyle. There's a little more to it that but I will spare the four of you." Hermione said smiling. "I'll have to work with each of you individually and once I have the spell for the hairstyle I will let each of you know the spell. I will work with you if you need the help, meaning practicing. Although, Mercedes, you will be quite easy and simple to get your hair done." Hermione added.
"My ability?" Mercedes asked unsure.
"Yes, your ability." Hermione confirmed. "With the glamor…added more magic could cause a reaction…"
"I understand that…I…"
"Mercedes, you can do this using your ability. I have faith in you and believe in you." Hermione reassured.
"How about this, let's go on up to the Room of Requirement. We can work on your hairstyle first." Hermione suggested.
"Okay." Mercedes sighed.
Not long after breakfast was over for everyone, the five witches made their way to the seventh floor. Hermione volunteered to create the room as she already had an idea on how the room should be, relaxing being the main focus.
Once inside the room Luna, Violet and Ginny sat down on a couch. As Hermione sat down on the smaller couch she encouraged Mercedes to sit next to her and relax a bit.
"How am I supposed to do that? I'm…terrified that I'll mess up and…" Mercedes said sounding frantic.
"Find a comfortable position, the most comfortable position. Close your eyes think of nothing and breathe slowly. Take slow deep breaths in through your nose and slowly exhale out of your mouth." Hermione explained, instructed. "Trust me."
Mercedes nodded and did as Hermione said. Soon Mercedes felt quite relaxed almost to the point of sleep.
"Now what?" Mercedes asked calmly with her eyes open.
Hermione had handed Mercedes the picture of the hairstyle while saying, "Concentrate and focus on the hairstyle only. When you are ready close your eyes and do the breathing technique all the while keeping the image of the hairstyle in mind."
Mercedes looked at Hermione with a questioning look on her face.
"No, I've never assisted anyone like this…trust me, this will work." Hermione said honestly and reassuringly. "I just figure that the calmer and more relaxed you are that it will be simple."
Mercedes closed her eyes and slowly shook her head from side to side with a faint smirk.
"Now that you've said all that…Tonks said the same thing." Mercedes shared with her eyes still closed. "Give me a second." Mercedes muttered.
Mercedes leaned back into the couch with her eyes closed and focused on the breathing technique. After a few minutes she sat up and looked at the picture. After about a half hour, Mercedes closed her eyes and with the image of the hairstyle clearly in mind she continued the breathing technique.
Mercedes eyes flew open the instant she heard several gasps.
"What?" Mercedes asked a little anxiously, hoping that she had succeeded.
"You did it." Hermione said somewhat subdued.
Mercedes hair was now in a half updo. Her hair was perfectly divided from the back of her temples with a bun in the back. The rest of her hair hung freely in soft ringlets. The hair at the crown of her head looked as though teased or backcombed giving some volume to her hair. The short stray locks on the sides at her temples were in the same freely hung, soft ringlets.
Hermione quickly conjured a mirror and handed it to Mercedes who gasped at seeing her reflection.
"It's beautiful." Mercedes whispered.
"Oh." Violet gasped excitedly. "If we can get some pins or hair comb things that stay in the hair…"
"I could transfigure something into a hair comb pin or pins that have what looks like little white or iridescent pearls." Hermione offered.
"Perfect." Violet and Mercedes exclaimed together.
"Yes, Violet I can do the same for you…for all of us if desired." Hermione added knowing that Violet was about to ask since her hairstyle was the same as Mercedes'.
The girls discussed more about hairstyles for another hour or so before finally leaving the Room of Requirement.
Time seemed to go by rather quickly for everyone. Emotions, stress and tension were on the rise for most of the inhabitants of the castle as it was the last night for everyone to make any changes or go over details for the Yule Ball as it was to start in roughly twenty-four hours.
Hermione and Ginny decided that they could do Ginny's hair in their house; Hermione agreed on a time to meet Violet and Luna in the Room of Requirement to help with their hair; Mercedes chose to join them in the Room of Requirement as she was not confident enough yet to attempt to use her ability to do her hair, or anything for that matter, alone.
Breakfast and lunch went by in a blur leaving only a few hours until the Ball began.
"Hermione you really should get going so that you will have enough time to get yourself ready…"
"No, Ginny. It won't take me that long to get the girls' hair done or for me to get ready. I need to get your hair done first…" Hermione argued.
"If it won't take you that long, then you can…help me with my hair when you return." Ginny argued back with a smile.
"Stop arguing with me on this Gin. I am making sure that you are ready, completely ready before I head out." Hermione said in a no-argument fashion. "You are Harry's date and you cannot be late, not even a second late. Harry's a Champion in the tournament, the champion's dance first."
"Alright fine." Ginny said giving in and as to not waste any more time.
Once Hermione finished up she quickly sprinted off to the Room of Requirement where she knew three witches were waiting for her. Two of the witches Hermione knew were more than likely freaking out for two different reasons; the third witch, Hermione knew would be the calmest person in the castle going to the Ball. Hermione had no doubt with the third one being Luna Lovegood.
"Not a word about why I am late. There is no time to go over the details as to why I am late." Hermione said as she entered the room. "So, who's first?"
A response wasn't needed as Luna was perfectly content in her own little world. While Hermione began working on Violet, Mercedes sat nearby and watched for a while. Mercedes began working on her hairstyle once Hermione was nearly finished.
"Lovely, it's my turn." Luna said softly with an excited look on her face at seeing Violet and Mercedes' hair done.
Mercedes and Violet thanked Hermione before sprinting out of the room and on to their respective houses.
Hermione smiled at the two that left before turning around to face Luna. It did not take long at all to do Luna's hair. In part Luna's was the easiest style to do, but mostly it was the fact that Luna remained still allowing Hermione to do what she needed to do effortlessly.
"Okay, Luna I'm done." Hermione said sweetly. "Now, all you need to do is go get in your dress." Hermione chuckled.
"Thank you, Hermione." Luna said almost in more of a song. "You should go too. Not only do you have your hair to do but you also need to get in your dress." Luna said smiling.
"Yes, that is true." Hermione stated smiling, knowing that Luna meant well.
Hermione did not run to Gryffindor House as it wouldn't save her much time, not enough time to really mention and it would not have made it worth the run with only saving a mere few seconds. Though Hermione did not rush herself, she also did not dawdle along the way to Gryffindor House or through the common room and on into the girls dormitories. Upon entering the 4th years' dormitory Hermione went straight to the closet, pulled out her dress and hung it off her four-poster bed. Hermione then proceeded to gather other items she was going to need to get ready. It did not take her as long as she had thought to get ready, so it had taken next to no time at all for her to get ready.
With a contented feeling with how she looked, Hermione made her way down to the main entrance to meet Ron.
A/N: Sorry to leave it like this. I really wanted to post a new chapter and I have not yet finished what happens after this point so I have decided to make it a separate chapter. It will take some time for me to finish it up as my right wrist is in a brace...bad sprain :(