It was crazy how quickly the days went up to Valentines day, and before I knew it, it was the day of the big dance. Ginny and I were, again, in mine and Ron's tent and were getting ready. I didn't have much experience at doing this kind of thing before, but Ginny seemed practiced enough. I was so excited I couldn't keep still.
"I can't believe I'm actually going to this dance with Ron Weasley. I mean, if I told myself I would be doing this a couple of years ago, I would have scoffed and said no chance! But things have changed so much - oh my goodness, what's happening to me?"
"Hermione, calm down," Ginny said, whilst trying to do my winged eyeliner. It was proving her difficult as I was jumping around so much. "I don't even understand why you're so excited - I mean eurgh, he's my brother!"
"Yeah well I like him. Imagine if Harry was my brother! You would be acting just the same!"
"Yeah I geuss so. Anyway, lets not argue about this. Lets just focus on getting ready."
After I had finally managed to calm down a bit we had managed to make my face actually look quite good for once. I had my hair in a sleek but pretty up do at the back of my head. My skin looked nice and smooth. I had minimal makeup on my lips, just some clear pinkish gloss, but on my eyes was dark eye shadow, big eyeliner and lots of mascara. I don't know how, but somehow instead of making me look like an emo, Ginny had actually made my face look quite elegant and beautiful.
I smiled as I looked at myself in the mirror. "Thanks Ginny - I love it!"
"Right," said Ginny, as she plopped herself down in the chair in front of the mirror. "My turn now!"
I gasped at her in horror. "Wait... you want ME to do your makeup?"
She looked quite serious and I started having a meltdown.
"No, really Ginny, I am grateful for what you've done for me, but I'll ruin it if you let me do it! I've hardly ever used makeup myself in my life before. I mean you want to look good don't you? Oh please Ginny I really can't..."
She then burst out laughing.
"Yeah right, like I'd ever let you come near me with some mascara. You'd poke my eye out!"
I felt a looked of relief wash over my face.
"No, for tonight I'll be doing my own makeup thank you!" she said as she began on her face.
For most of the time while she was getting ready I just watched, sometimes giving my opinion, but only when she asked for it. I knew I was good at most things, but this certainly was not one of those things.
After about forty-five minutes of makeuping and getting readyish stuff, we were finally both in our lovely dresses and ready to have a good time.
"Oh my goodness, I'm so excited to see Ron!" I said, and I started jumping up and down again.
"Oh my goodness, I'm so tired of hearing you say that!" laughed Ginny. We were walking down a corridor that lead to the big staircase into the great hall, which was where the dance would be taking place.
"I know, I'm sorry," I said, trying my best to calm myself down as much as possible. "It's just that, I haven't seen him all day, and it is Valentines day..."
"Why haven't you seen him all day?" Ginny asked, looking confused.
"Well," I said pausing and furrowing my eyebrows. "I saw him this morning and he said he was going to spend the day with Harry, Dean, Seamus and Neville, just like I've spent the day with you and Luna. He told me he would be waiting for me by the staircase at eight o'clock."
I looked around for a clock, and when I saw that it was two minutes to eight, I gave little scream.
"Hermione, you really need to chill!" Ginny said, finding my obvious nervousness humorous.
"Come on, we're going to be late," I yelled, a little frustrated.
We made it to the corner before the staircase at exactly eight o'clock, and I saw him waiting at the bottom, facing away from me. Ginny gave me an encouraging smile and I took a deep breath.
I couldn't hide the fact that I was nervous to see her. I knew that Harry could see it. He had already made his way into the Great Hall and was meeting Ginny there, leaving me feeling extremely jittery at the bottom of the grand staircase. I heard footsteps behind me to see the most beautiful girl ever.
It was Hermione. That was easy to see, but at the same time it wasn't her. She looked quite different, and just stunning. My mouth opened wide as she walked towards me, and I took in all of her beauty.
After a few seconds I pulled myself together and shut my mouth, but it was tricky. She came closer and closer until she was standing right in front of me. She looked very nervous as well, which comforted me a little. We just stood looking at each other, with nervous smiles on our faces.
"Hi," I said, breaking the silence.
"Hi," she said, biting her lip.
"You look... amazing," I mumbled whilst fidgeting.
"Erm... thank you," she muttered just as awkwardly.
"Ha ha, oh my god you two are so awkward," Ginny's loud voice interrupted our little moment. However I was grateful for it, as it broke the tension and huge smiles broke out onto our faces and we laughed a little.
"Come on, lets go inside," I said, putting my arm around her shoulders. She smiled up at me, and I felt really lucky to have her.
When we opened the doors, our eyes were met with everything pink and purple. It was quite an overwhelming site; the place was completely packed with people. At one end of the room lots of round tables to fit about ten people around them had been set up, and they had bright pink and purple table cloths, pink puffy cushions on all the silver seats, pink hearts and glitter sprinkled everywhere and a huge vase of pink and purple flowers in the middle of each. At the other end of the hall, a raised platform had been set up where the band were getting ready to play, and there was also a huge area for dancing. The hall had been completely decorated with pink and purple hearts and flowers wherever you looked.
"Wow," said Hermione, when she was looking around.
"I know what you mean," I said with my eyebrows raised. "They've certainly made the theme of the evening clear, haven't they?"
She chuckled, and then pulled me over to where Harry and Ginny were chatting away happily.
"Come on," Ginny said. "Lets grab a table quickly so we don't have to sit all at different tables."
"Good idea," said Harry, and the four of us made our way over to the table where Neville and Luna were sitting, talking quietly.
"Hey everyone," Luna said airily as Ginny popped into the seat next to her. Harry then sat next to Ginny, and I sat on the other side of Harry and Ron on the other side of me, leaving four more seats next to Ron before it got around to Neville. Suddenly, I found myself looking around, trying to work out who would be good people to sit in the spare four seats, and I saw Lavender eyeing up the seat next to Ron. The boy she was going with for the ball was a tall, good looking Slytherin, but he looked extremely bored, and she was tugging on his sleeve trying to pull him over to our table.
Immediately a surge of anger rushed through me. I would not let her sit at this table and hurt me again. She was NOT going to ruin my night with Ron. I wanted this to be perfect.
I quickly stumbled out of my chair and tripped over to the first people I saw who I recognised. It was Seamus and Parvati, who had come together, and Dean and his date, who was a short Hufflepuff girl with crazy, curly blonde hair which added about four inches to her height making her look taller than she actually was. Even with 6 inch heels she was a head shorter than Dean. Dean himself, however, seemed preoccupied, and seemed to be staring at Ginny.
"Hey guys, I was wondering if you wanted to sit on our table?" I said loudly and in a rush.
"Erm, yeah sure!" said Seamus with a confused look on his face. Parvati gave me smile and followed me to the table. Dean seemed just as eager, and his date, turning out to be a massive, chatty extrovert seemed fine with the idea as well. To my relief, we got over to the table before Lavender and her date, and Seamus sat down next to Ron, then Parvati, then Dean and then his date filled the last place in between him and Neville. I breathed a huge sigh of relief, and turned back to where Lavender was staring at me with an extremely cold look in her eyes. She looked like she wanted to kill me.
I gave her a huge fake smile, and she gritted her teeth.
"Are you okay?" said Ron, with an unaware smile on his face. "You seemed pretty eager for these four to sit at our table."
"Oh yes, I'm fine. I just thought the evening would be even better if I was surrounded by my friends the whole night."
"Good plan," Ron smiled, putting his arm around me again and starting a conversation with Seamus. I looked over his shoulder to see Lavender still glaring at me. I don't think she had properly realised that Ron and I were going to the dance together until now. Her cynical looking date looked bored as ever, and she seemed to be having a bad time. Her date directed her over to a table of Slytherins, and she agreed to sit with them, hanging her head.
I immediately felt a little bit bad, but then remembering what she did to me I smiled to myself, hoping she would have the worst night of her life tonight.
I tried to distract myself from thinking about her by tuning into the conversation happening between Seamus and Ron next to me.
"So your saying Fred and George have bought lots and lot of fire whiskey and are going to try and pour it in all the drinks secretly?" Seamus said, looking impressed.
"Yep!" said Ron. "That's what they told me."
"Cool," said Seamus.
"No it's not cool," I said forcefully. "It's stupid and against the rules."
"Hermione, just relax," said Ron smiling at me. "Sometimes it's okay to break the rules a bit and have fun."
I looked at him sternly for a minute, before a smile broke out onto my face and I relaxed into his arms. "Okay," I said sheepishly. I wanted to have fun tonight, and I especially didn't want to argue with Ron, so it would be best to just agree with him and relax.
Soon Dumbledore made the hall go quiet and gave small speech about how well we had all behaved given the new sleeping arrangements, and that he was very impressed at how well we had handled it. Soon afterwards, the feast began and the food magically appeared on our plates. The food was delicious, and I couldn't help but completely fill my plate to the brim. Ron obviously took second and third helpings, and I was genuinely having a really fun night. The group we were sitting with were all so lovely and knew each other really well (apart from the Hufflepuff girl, who seemed friendly and looked like she was enjoying herself), so I felt comfortable and able to relax. My relaxed sensation may or may not have had something to do with Fred and George spiking the drinks.
Soon enough the meal was over, and many people were getting up to dance. I saw Lavender an her date across the hall getting up and moving to the dance floor, but I tried to take my mind of her as much as possible. However, I couldn't help but feel a surge of fear whenever I looked at her.
"Want to dance?" Ron said to me with a large smile on his face.
I felt pleasantly surprised. "Yes, of course, I would love to!"
"Well, I'm sorry in advance if I break any of your toes whilst stepping on them - I have two left feet," Ron admitted sheepishly, still smiling. I giggled and grabbed a drink from the table. It really did taste good.
After gulping down the contents of what was my third or fourth glass of the night, I took to my feet and Ron twirled me to the dance floor, which made me dizzy and my brain went all fuzzy.
We stumbled into the middle of the crowd where Ginny and Harry were already jumping around wildly. The music was extremely loud, and I could feel the thumping beat ringing in my ears. Ron and I began dancing just as wildly and shouting out the lyrics to the song which was playing, and I kept on accidentally on purpose falling over into Ron's chest. A bored looking waiter was squeezing his way through the crowd, trying to keep two glasses full of liquid balanced on his tray. As he came towards us, I snatched the glasses off the tray and yelled over the music, "We'll make life easier for you!" He gave me a relieved look before going back into the crowd and I began giggling hysterically before gulping down the contents of both glasses. It was really delicious stuff and made me feel so happy!
It was strange - where this extremely loud music and over excited crowd would usually have made me feel anxious and panicky, for some reason I wasn't feeling nervous at all, and was beginning to feel a little over confident. I just couldn't stop laughing. Ron was definitely having a good time as well.
I turned around and was face to face with Lavender. She wasn't dancing around like the rest of the mad crowd, but was standing with her arms folded and had a look of loathing on her face. Before I knew what I was doing, I slapped her full on in the face. No one seemed to notice though, as they were all too busy dancing.
"HA," I screeched over the music. "Thatwasforeverythingyoudidtome," I tried saying, but all the words came out in an odd slur. I could feel my heart pumping very loudly in my chest and I was breathing heavily.
A string of emotions took place on Lavender's face, going first from hurt to anger to confusion and then finally stopping at smugness.
"Your drunk." It wasn't a question but a statement.
I opened my mouth wide in a look of horror. "No I most certainly am not drunk. How dare you!" I then began giggling again, as I sounded like a teacher.
"Yes, you are, and you're going to come with me now."
Terror suddenly stopped me in my tracks as she grabbed hold of my head and dragged me through the crowd towards the open doors that lead outside into the night. My screams of panic and terror were drowned out by the yelling and the loud music. No one even noticed I was screaming for help. My breathing became heavier and heavier and my eyesight began to go a bit blurry. Suddenly I couldn't see anything clearly, but I was still screaming and screaming for help. Tears tumbled down my cheeks from the pain in my head and my fear of Lavender, and I felt myself go out of control.
I cold hand then cupped over my mouth, as I felt the two of us leaving the warm Great Hall and making our way into the cold, dark night outside. I quickly bit down on the hand that was stopping my screaming and heard Lavender swear. I could barely hear anything though, as it was all muffled. All I could hear properly was my loud, loud breathing. I kept tripping over things as she was leading me further and further away from the castle, but I couldn't see anything. Everything was quiet now, the music far behind us and all that could be heard was the rustle of the leaves and the howling wind.
Suddenly, I was dropped down and pushed backwards. I fell, landing on the ground, and felt thick tree roots cutting into my back. Tears were still cascading down my face and sobs kept on erupting out of my chest.
I tried my best to focus on steadying my breathing and keeping calm, although the pounding in my head hurt and everything felt heavy and fuzzy. Very slowly, as I began to calm down, my vision became clearer and I managed to look around at what was happening.
Lavender had dragged me all the way down the hill into the middle of the forbidden forest, and I had no idea where we were. Everything was quiet and still, apart from my heart rate. And then the devil herself came into focus. She was standing right in front of me with a sick grin on her face. She had a giant rock in her hand, and she advanced towards where I was on the ground. All attempts of me trying to calm down were lost, and panic washed over me and froze my brain, not letting me do anything but stare at the rock Lavender was holding in her hand.
"You crazy BITCH!" I managed to yell.
"Oh, shut up, you stupid mudblood," Lavender said calmly and quietly, with a look of revenge on her face, still coming closer.
She lifted the rock above her head, I screamed, she brought it crashing down.... and everything went black.