Yule Ball: Draco and Philadelphia

Ever since their first encounter, Draco and Philadelphia's relationship has been a whirlwind of emotions. With Philadelphia's compromising blood status, it is impossible for these star-crossed lovers to ever truly find solace. Luckily, the Triwizard Tournament is in full force, so both can advert their attention towards more exciting matters. The Yule Ball, in particular, has caught the minds of all those at Hogwarts, and Philadelphia is not an exception. With a perfect dress and some Hufflepuff eye candy on her arm, how could the night be anything less than perfect? It'll be an evening to remember! Little does Philadelphia know just how memorable the night will be.

This is just a short snippet of a larger fanfiction I plan on writing. I hope it's not too hard to follow :) !

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1. Philadelphia: The Beginning of the End

I hold onto the stone railing as I make my way down to the Hufflepuff common room, careful not to skip a step and tumble down the winding stairs. With me being accident prone I take the extra time to place one high-heeled foot in front of the other. My stomach feels unnaturally light, as though all the pie I ate two hours ago magically vanished. I'm not complaining, though. God only knows how bloated I would have looked in this dress if I would have eaten just one slice more. 

"Delphi, I swear if you take any longer to get down these bloody stairs we won't even reach the common room by morning," Annelise groans. I can tell she's smiling while she says it, but her comment makes me speed up none the less. 

"You have seen me fall down hills, trip over desks, and run into walls multiple times. Have some patience and compassion for ungraceful sobs like myself. Not all of us can be as elegant and perfect as you," I say with a sarcastic grin. I still never take my eyes off the descending stairs beneath me. 

"Oh, get off it! You're fully capable of walking at a normal pace! And yes, I am perfect and elegant, thank you very much!" She begins to nudge me down the stairs, and I can't help but start laughing. Annelise may be the most commanding and stubborn girl in all of Hufflepuff. I still can't fathom how and why I chose her as my closest girl friend. 

By the time we reach the common room we're both laughing hysterically, mainly due to the fact that Annelise's rushing resulted in her own tumble down the staircase. I stand up straight and adjust my hair so it cascades in long, loose ringlets down my back. I had spent hours enchanting my hair to resemble ocean waves during high tide, and I had to admit I did an outstanding job. My gold locks shimmer like iridescent sea water on a clear summer day. 

"Oi, ladies! I understand that you're in no rush to attend this ball, but I look too damn good to waste the night in the common room giggling like a bunch of retched old hags," a baritone voice booms from the far right corner. Orion leaps off the couch he was stationed at and walks over to me and Annelise. He has his usual crooked smile playing across his lips as he runs his hand through his purposely disheveled jet black hair.  

"I'm not sure what you mean by 'retched old hags', Orion. Delphi and I were just commenting on how stunningly perfect I am," Annelise counters jokingly. 

"Perfect and you? Never, my dear" Orion says, “But onto more important matters, are we ready to leave? The rest of the crew left decades ago, and I've been sitting here all by my lonesome due to your inability to dress yourselves in a reasonable amount of time. Plus, don't we still need to stop by the Ravenclaw common room to get your ever-so-handsome suitor for the evening, Annelise?" 

"You try and enchant hair like mine and squeeze into a dress like this, and then tell me we didn't get dressed in a decent amount of time. And no, Adrian is meeting us in front of the Great Hall, so stop your complaining," Annelise barks. Adrian was a quiet but witty Ravenclaw boy and Annelise's most recent love interest.

"Great, that means we can go!" Orion exclaims while grabbing both mine and Annelise's hands and forcefully dragging us through the common room to the hallway. 

"You look truly stunning, by the way," Orion whispers in my ear as we duck through the Hufflepuff passageway. I look up at him and smile. I sometimes forget how beautiful his coloring is; he could easily get any girl at Hogwarts with his deep black hair, light olive skin, and smoky taupe colored eyes. Well, he could if he wasn't such an aggravating prat. 

"Where's Ced, Orion? I thought we were all going down together," Annelise calls back. She's a couple steps ahead of me and Orion, twirling in circles as she glides underneath the golden candle light. 

"He, uh, had to go down early for Triwizard stuff. You know how it is..." Orion answers quickly.

I knew he was lying before he even spoke. Cedric had been avoiding me for weeks now. Ever since his encounter with me and Draco outside the Room of Requirement, things have been tense. I still remember the look of disbelief and confusion on his face when he saw Draco playfully pulling me out of the alcove, and his look of rage when I leaned over to kiss Draco. I didn't notice him standing in the hallway until it was too late. 

"Ri, you're a terrible liar. Plus, the secret feud of Delphi and Cedric is still in full force, so we all know he's not here in order to avoid her. Sure would be nice if we all knew WHY she was being avoided, but SOMEONE is still refusing to inform HER BEST FRIEND," Annelise says while staring intently back at me. 

I just roll my eyes. Neither of them could possibly understand how confusing the situation was. I had feelings for Cedric, and Cedric had feelings for me; this fact was clear to everyone. Before the Draco indecent our relationship had been easy and comfortable. Cedric made me feel beautiful, intelligent, and safe. If we were together I know he could be my best friend and my lover with out any complications. In fact, that was all I wanted for the longest time, and I made my desires known to both Annelise and Orion. Until about a month ago, Cedric and I were supposed to attend the Yule Ball together. This is part of the reason why Annelise was so confused and frustrated by mine and Cedric's current standing.

Luckily, Annelise knows not to press the issue. She and Orion continue their casual banter as we pass through the hallway towards the Great Hall. I can't help but feel anxious about the whole night. I had never been to a formal dance before, let alone a wizard ball. I mean, being a muggle for a significant amount of my life allowed me to partake in school dances, but never anything as extravagant as a 'ball'. I was glad to have Annelise and Orion as company. 

As we near the hall more students begin to appear, some in large groups and others just in pairs. Everyone looks truly stunning. It's so strange how different people can look just by putting on a suit or a form fitting dress. As I look around I feel as though I have been transported to an ancient and foreign country. The castle walls cast a medieval backdrop for the girls in flowing gowns and the boys with crisp white ties. I can't help but be mesmerized by the beauty of it all. Hannah Abbott, a usually plain but attractive Hufflepuff, is breathtaking in an emerald green number with her hair intricately pinned to one side, allowing a shower of curls to tickle her collar bone. 

"Jesus, she looks amazing," I mumble.

Annelise follows my gaze and nods, "Us Hufflepuff's know how to clean up."

As I scan the rest of the crowd for Annelise's date, I see Cedric standing near the hall entrance with his date, Cho Chang. She looks beautiful like always. Her raven black hair contrasts with her ivory skin and shimmering silver dress. Although we have never gotten along, I can't help but appreciate her unique loveliness; no one at Hogwarts resembles Cho in the slightest. 

Just before I look away to continue my search for Adrian, Cedric casts his eyes towards me. For a short moment our eyes meet, and we both freeze. I'm suddenly overly aware of Orion's hand on my waist, even though my relationship with him is purely platonic. Cedric stares back at me with a flat face, one seemingly void of all emotions. Unfortunately, I know Cedric well enough to see the contempt shifting shallowly beneath his hazel eyes. God only knows how long it's going to take him to forgive me for Draco. To be honest, I'm not sure I'll ever forgive him for abandoning me the way he has. Cedric is so set in his ways, and he always thinks he knows what's best for everyone, me in particular. 

"Don't fret, lovely. He'll get over it. Plus, ever since he told me why you two stopped talking I have tried to be the voice of reason. I see no problem in your secret yet slightly disturbing relationship with Draco. To be honest, it's better kept a secret since I'm pretty sure you would be shunned from Hufflepuff if anyone else ever found out. Plus, it sounds kinda kinky," Orion whispers in my ear, and I quickly drop my eyes to the floor to cover my newly blushing cheeks. I had no idea Orion knew about Draco. I should have expected he would find out somehow; he always knew everything about everyone. 

"When did he tell you?" I mumble quiet enough for only Orion to hear. 

"Two weeks ago, but I had already overheard you two arguing in the common room the night it happened. I have to admit, Delphi, I never would have expected something like this from you. Annelise, without a doubt. But you? I'm not passing judgment because I know how you are and how you always feel the need to fix people. I can only imagine how you see him, like some sort of damaged and misunderstood boy. I almost didn't believe my ears when I heard you standing up for him to Cedric. You and Draco treat each other like complete rubbish in public. Out of all people, Delphi... why him? You had Cedric wrapped around your little finger, hell you still do, and yet you stick around Draco." When Orion looks at me and I can tell he's genuinely curious, but I'm not sure how to answer.

"If I said he isn't as he seems, then it would be a lie. He's just as thickheaded and closed minded as everyone thinks. But there's something underneath it all. I can't explain it, Orion. The first time we were alone together... there was this fire. God, it was like a god damn inferno. It's as if all this passion is hidden behind that stereotypical Slytherin persona. And anger. He's so angry at everyone and everything, and it is so intriguing. I never know which Draco I'm going to get because he's so hot and cold, but strangely enough that's what I love about it. I never know what to expect next, let alone whether to expect anything at all. There is honestly no--," I stop mid sentence.

Draco is standing across the foyer with Pansy Parkinson at his elbow. He is surrounded by a dozen other Slytherin and Durmstrang students, but he stares at me as if there is no one else in the room. His gaze looks and feels so different compared Cedric's. Where Cedric appears calm and collected, Draco is unrestrained and fearless. I watch him as his eyes travel up and down my body, pausing at the curve of my hips and chest. I swear it's as if he is physically touching me. A wave of chills runs down my spine, but I continue to stare back. I raise my eyebrows and smirk, as if to say I knew he was enjoying what he was seeing. You can never show a hint of weakness with Draco because he just takes advantage of the power. No matter how flustered I get around him I always manage to keep a nonchalant and slightly cocky facade. 

Orion quickly interrupts our connection. I had completely forgotten we had even been talking. 

"Ahhh, I see now. He brings out that side of you that no one else can. The 'dark' and 'wild' Philadelphia. Let me warn you, love, playing with emotions you don't understand never ends up well."

I look back at Draco, and find him glaring pointedly at Orion. I can't help but laugh; Draco can always turn emotions on and off like a light switch. I shake my head, and Draco glances back at me with a quick wink.

"Let's make our way inside before Annelise notices that dog undressing you with his eyes. I swear to god Philadelphia, I just don't understand you," Orion grumbles as he puts his arm through mine and guides me to the Hall's entrance doors. 

If only Orion knew just how much I enjoyed Draco's scrutinizing gaze.  

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