Status: I am a terrible human being who went on hiatus without telling anybody! But I'm back now and writing more for you wonderful people!

In Her Eyes Lies Her Heart

The Yule Ball

The entrance hall was packed with students too, all milling around waiting for eight o’clock, when the doors to the Great Hall would be thrown open. Those people who were meeting partners from different Houses were edging through the crowd trying to find one another. Pavarti saw Padma and walked to her sister, Ron and Harry in tow. Her Durmstrang date hadn't arrived yet, and she seemed a little nervous when she saw Ron.

“Hello, Ron,” Padma said, somewhat sheepishly.

“Hi,” he said pleasantly, not looking at her, but staring around at the crowd looking, Harry suspected, for Hermione and her date. “Oh no…”

Ron bent his knees slightly to hide behind Harry, because Fleur Delacour was passing, looking stunning in a dress of silver-gray satin, and accompanied by the Ravenclaw Quidditch captain, Roger Davies. When they had disappeared, Ron stood straight again and stared over the heads of the crowd.

“Where is Hermione?” he said.

A group of Slytherins came up the steps from their dungeon common room. Malfoy was in front; he was wearing dress robes of black velvet with a high collar, which in Harry’s opinion made him look like a vicar. Pansy Parkinson in very frilly robes of pale pink was clutching Malfoy’s arm. Crabbe and Goyle were both wearing green, though not as fine as Ron's; they resembled moss-colored boulders, and neither of them, Harry was pleased to see, had managed to find a partner.

The oak front doors opened, and everyone turned to look as the Durmstrang students entered with Professor Karkaroff. Krum was at the front of the party, and began looking around for his partner. Over the Durmstrang student’s heads, Harry saw that an area of lawn right in front of the castle had been transformed into a sort of grotto full of fairy lights - meaning hundreds of actual living fairies were sitting in the rosebushes that had been conjured there, and fluttering over the statues of what seemed to be Father Christmas and his reindeer.

A Durmstrang student broke away from the crowd and hurried over to them. When he reached Padma, he was beaming. He took her hand and bowed to kiss it, “You look beautiful.” He was looking at Padma with a look of utmost admiration, and Harry felt a little less upset at her for abandoning Ron.

Then Professor McGonagall’s voice called, “Champions over here, please!”

Harry felt like his stomach was trying to climb its way out of his throat. Where was Eve with his date? He was going to look like a fool, out on the floor without a date. Professor McGonagall, who was wearing dress robes of red tartan and had arranged a rather ugly wreath of thistles around the brim of her hat, told them to wait on one side of the doors while everyone else went inside; they were to enter the Great Hall in procession when the rest of the students had settled into the Hall. She was so frazzled, she didn’t seem to notice that Harry was alone.

Fleur Delacour and Roger Davies stationed themselves nearest the doors; Davies looked so stunned by his good fortune in having Fleur for a partner that he could hardly take his eyes off her. Cedric and Cho were close to Harry too; he looked away from them so he wouldn’t have to talk to them. His eyes fell instead on the girl next to Krum. His jaw dropped.
It was Hermione.

But she didn’t look like Hermione at all. Eve had done something with her hair; it was no longer bushy but sleek and shiny, and twisted up into an elegant knot at the back of her head. She was wearing robes made of a floaty, periwinkle-blue material, and she was holding herself differently, somehow - or maybe it was merely the absence of the twenty or so books she usually had slung over her back.
She was also smiling - rather nervously, it was true - but the reduction in the size of her front teeth was more noticeable than ever; Harry couldn’t understand how he hadn’t spotted it before.

“Hi, Harry!” she said. “Where is Pavarti?”

“With Ron,” he said, still stunned. “Padma cancelled, so Eve told her to go with Ron and promised me she’d find me a partner. But I don’t know where she is,” He added this last part with unbridled distress in his voice.

Once everyone else was settled in the Hall, Professor McGonagall told the champions and their partners to get in line in pairs and to follow her. They did so, except for Harry, who stood at the back of the line alone.

Everyone in the Great Hall applauded as they entered and started walking up toward a large round table at the top of the Hall, where the judges were sitting. The walls of the Hall had all been covered in sparkling silver frost, with hundreds of garlands of mistletoe and ivy crossing the starry black ceiling. The House tables had vanished; instead, there were about a hundred smaller, lantern-lit ones, each seating about a dozen people.

Harry concentrated on not tripping over his feet, trying to ignore the whispers that were following him, remarking on the absence of a partner. He caught sight of Ron and Pavarti as he neared the top table. Ron was watching Hermione pass with a look of shock.

Dumbledore smiled happily as the champions approached the top table, but Karkaroff wore an expression remarkably like Ron’s as he watched Krum and Hermione draw nearer. Ludo Bagman, tonight in robes of bright purple with large yellow stars, was clapping as enthusiastically as any of the students; and Madame Maxime, who had changed her usual uniform of black satin for a flowing gown of lavender silk, was applauding them politely. But Mr. Crouch, Harry suddenly realized, was not there. The fifth seat at the table was occupied by Percy Weasley.

When the champions and their partners reached the table, Percy drew out the empty chair beside him, staring pointedly at Harry. Harry took the hint and sat down next to Percy, who was wearing brand-new, navy-blue dress robes and an expression of such smugness that Harry thought it ought to be fined.

“I’ve been promoted,” Percy said before Harry could even ask, and from his tone, he might have been announcing his election as supreme ruler of the universe. “I’m now Mr. Crouch’s personal assistant, and I’m here representing him.”

“Why didn’t he come?” Harry asked. He wasn’t looking forward to being lectured on cauldron bottoms all through dinner.

“I’m afraid to say Mr. Crouch isn’t well, not well at all. Hasn’t been right since the World Cup. Hardly surprising - overworked. He’s not as young as he was – though still quite brilliant, of course, the mind remains as great as it ever was. But the World Cup was a fiasco for the whole Ministry, and then, Mr. Crouch suffered a huge personal shock with the misbehavior of that house-elf of his, Blinky, or whatever she was called. Naturally, he dismissed her immediately afterward, but - well, as I say, he’s getting on, he needs looking after, and I think he’s found a definite drop in his home comforts since she left. And then we had the tournament to arrange, and the aftermath of the Cup to deal with - that revolting Skeeter woman buzzing around - no, poor man, he’s having a well earned, quiet Christmas. I’m just glad he knew he had someone he could rely upon to take his place.”

Harry wanted very much to ask whether Mr. Crouch had stopped calling Percy “Weatherby” yet, but resisted the temptation.

There was no food as yet on the glittering golden plates, but small menus were lying in front of each of them. Harry picked his up uncertainly and looked around - there were no waiters. Dumbledore, however, looked carefully down at his own menu, then said very clearly to his plate, “Pork chops!”
And pork chops appeared. Getting the idea, the rest of the table placed their orders with their plates too. Harry glanced up at Hermione to see how she felt about this new and more complicated method of dining - surely it meant plenty of extra work for the house-elves? - but for once, Hermione didn’t seem to be thinking about S.P.E.W. She was deep in talk with Viktor Krum and hardly seemed to notice what she was eating.

It now occurred to Harry that he had never actually heard Krum speak before, but he was certainly talking now, and very enthusiastically at that.

“Veil, ve have a castle also, not as big as this, nor as comfortable, I am thinking,” he was telling Hermione. “Ve have just four floors, and the fires are lit only for magical purposes. But ve have grounds larger even than these - though in vinter, ve have very little daylight, so ve are not enjoying them. But in summer ve are flying every day, over the lakes and the mountains -”

“Now, now, Viktor!” said Karkaroff with a laugh that didn’t reach his cold eyes, “don’t go giving away anything else, now, or your charming friend will know exactly where to find us!”

Dumbledore smiled, his eyes twinkling. “Igor, all this secrecy… one would almost think you didn’t want visitors.”

“Well, Dumbledore,” said Karkaroff, displaying his yellowing teeth to their fullest extent, “we are all protective of our private domains, are we not? Do we not jealously guard the halls of learning that have been entrusted to us? Are we not right to be proud that we alone know our school’s secrets, and right to protect them?”

“Oh I would never dream of assuming I know all Hogwarts’ secrets, Igor,” said Dumbledore amicably. “Only this morning, for instance, I took a wrong turning on the way to the bathroom and found myself in a beautifully proportioned room I have never seen before, containing a really rather magnificent collection of chamber pots. When I went back to investigate more closely, I discovered that the room had vanished. But I must keep an eye out for it. Possibly it is only accessible at five-thirty in the morning. Or it may only appear at the quarter moon - or when the seeker has an exceptionally full bladder.”

Harry snorted into his plate of goulash. Percy frowned, but Harry could have sworn Dumbledore had given him a very small wink.

Meanwhile Fleur Delacour was criticizing the Hogwarts decorations to Roger Davies.

“Zis is nothing,” she said dismissively, looking around at the sparkling walls of the Great Hall. “At ze Palace of Beauxbatons, we ‘ave ice sculptures all around ze dining chamber at Chreestmas. Zey do not melt, of course… zey are like ‘uge statues of diamond, glittering around ze place. And ze food is seemply superb. And we ‘ave choirs of wood nymphs, ‘oo serenade us as we eat. We ‘ave none of zis ugly armor in ze ‘alls, and eef a poltergeist ever entaired into Beauxbatons, ‘e would be expelled like zat.” She slapped her hand onto the table impatiently.

Roger Davies was watching her talk with a very dazed look on his face, and he kept missing his mouth with his fork. Harry had the impression that Davies was too busy staring at Fleur to take in a word she was saying.

“Absolutely right,” he said quickly, slapping his own hand down on the table in imitation of Fleur. “Like that. Yeah.”

Harry looked around the Hall. Hagrid was sitting at one of the other staff tables; he was back in his horrible hairy brown suit and gazing up at the top table. Harry saw him give a small wave, and looking around, saw Madame Maxime return it, her opals glittering in the candlelight.
Hermione was now teaching Krum to say her name properly; he kept calling her “Hermy-own.”

“Her-my-oh-nee,” she said slowly and clearly.


“Close enough,” she said, catching Harry’s eye and grinning.

When all the food had been consumed, Dumbledore stood up and asked the students to do the same. Then, with a wave of his wand, all the tables zoomed back along the walls leaving the floor clear, and then he conjured a raised platform into existence along the right wall. A set of drums, several guitars, a lute, a cello, and some bagpipes were set upon it.

The Weird Sisters now trooped up onto the stage to wildly enthusiastic applause; they were all extremely hairy and dressed in black robes that had been artfully ripped and torn. They picked up their instruments, and Harry, who had been so interested in watching them that he had almost forgotten what was coming, suddenly realized that the lanterns on all the other tables had gone out, and that the other champions and their partners were standing up. Harry thought he was going to be sick.

Harry tripped over his dress robes as he stood up. The Weird Sisters began to tune their instruments; Harry walked onto the brightly lit dance floor, carefully avoiding catching anyone’s eye (he could see Seamus and Dean waving at him and sniggering), and he stood in the middle of the floor, alone.
He could hear the Hall buzzing about him, and he was about to run for it when the doors to the great hall opened, and a figure walked in. Harry’s breath caught.

Eve was striding through the crowd like a glittering shadow. She was showing more skin than Harry had ever seen from her; she wore black gloves up to her elbows, but her dark auburn curls were tumbling freely over exposed shoulders and back. Her elegant dress, with a tight corseted bodice that flattered her curves, and full skirts that flared around her, was deepest black. Rather than making her seem sallow and pale, it made her ivory skin seem to glow. She wore a simple pendant that fell just below her neckline. It was an uncut stone the exact shade of her scarlet eyes, down to the flicker of gold when the light caught it just right. She was striking.

The entire Hall had turned to look where Harry was staring, and now they were staring too, watching her every move as she walked towards him. When she moved, her dress seemed to be made of ash and smoke, floating and swirling around her. She seemed to glide rather than walk. She came towards him with such dignified grace and purpose that her lateness seemed inconsequential, perhaps even intentional. She stopped before him, and Harry, though dumbstruck, knew what to do. He took her hand and bowed to kiss it; Eve sunk slowly into the most elegant curtsy, her dress flaring around her in a pool of inky black. When she stood, Harry spun her and began the dance.
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I am so incredibly sorry I took so long. I'v been working on school stuff and its been insane.
I hope yall enjoy :) please comment and subscribe if you havent already, and I'll keep writing. Summer is here! so my pace should pick up dramatically :)
Love, Cherry
p.s. If anyone finds the layout difficult to read, please let me know
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