“Andre, you’re incredible! Look at these outfits!” I praised his work while looking at the outfits he prepared for me. “I’d be lucky to wear any of them to the Celestial Ball!”
“But you can only choose one of them, so start trying them on!” He replied. “And hurry! I didn’t tell McGonagall I was moving ‘style headquarters’ into the Great Hall.”
There is not much time until the ball starts. In just a few hours, the Great Hall will be filled with students eager to dance and have a good time. I checked all of the outfits Andre prepared for me and started trying them out. To be fair, all of those were good. Their fabric felt really nice and they were not just stylish, but also comfortable. In the end, I settled for the classic outfit. I am almost sure Merula will like it.
“This is the one! I’ll wear this outfit to the ball!” I said to my friend once I’ve made up my mind. “Thank you again for everything, Andre.”
“You look smashing, Dylan! I’m glad I was able to help,” he replied. “It’s wild! One day I was just a wizard giving my Quidditch teammate a hard time for wearing mismatched socks...”
“Now you’re Andre Egwu: Style Wizard and it’s all my fault!” I said while chuckling slightly. To be fair, I’m sure he can consider a career in fashion should he decide to do so.
“Now I have to quickly shut down style operations and get ready myself! The ball will begin soon!” He reminded me.
“Thanks again, Andre! See you at the ball!” I replied to him before leaving the Great Hall.
It didn’t take me too long to get myself ready for tonight’s occasion. While I was leaving my Common Room, I noticed that everyone is happy and cheerful. Most of the students were on their way to the Great Hall, eager to have some fun time with their friends. The corridors were, perhaps, the merriest I’ve ever seen so far. There was so much laughter, chat, and happiness around. Once I entered the Great Hall, I noticed Dumbledore near the entrance, greeting students as they arrive. Everything looked so lively.
“Wotcher, Dylan! Smashing outfit!” Tonks approached to greet me. I have to admit, she looks quite different than her usual self, and in a good way!
“You look great too! And thank you, this outfit is all thanks to Andre!” I commented.
“Very nice!” She replied. “You know, rumor is, you’re only one of the few among our friends here who has a date to the ball! Likely because you’re the only one brave enough to ask someone.”
“Choosing an outfit at the last minute has made me ‘fashionably late!’ I should go find my date now!” I said.
I slowly started making my way through the Great Hall, still stunned by all of its magnificence. The decorations sure made it look spectacular. I noticed Ben and Rowan standing near one of the tables.
“Hello!” I greeted them. “So, aren’t you both glad you decided to come to the Celestial Ball?”
“Yes! And I’ve gotten so many compliments,” Rowan answered excitedly.
“Double yes! Everyone wants my hat,” Ben replied with a smile. This was one of the rare occasions I saw him smiling. And honestly, I’m glad both of them are having a nice time.
“Apologies, I need to steal Dylan for a moment!” Penny said as she arrived to greet us.
I followed her to the dance podium. We stopped there and she smiled at me.
“It may sound soppy, but I feel like you’ve been part of my Celestial Ball journey from the start!” She thanked me.
“And I feel the same way about our ‘Celestial Ball’ journey! The whole decoration committee situation has caused such drama! Has your name been announced yet?” I asked.
“Oh look, I think it’s about to happen now!” She replied.
Just as she said that The Headmaster started his speech. “Students, may I have your attention, please? I’d like to take a moment to recognize Penny Haywood, head of the Celestial Ball decorating committee.”
I could notice Penny jumping with excitement when she heard the praises.
“The Great Hall has never looked as stellar!” He continued. “Congratulations on a job well done. Enjoy the ball, everyone!”
“AAAAAAAH! I may explode with joy right now!” I could notice her grinning from ear to ear.
Shortly after, Bill arrived and joined us.
“Bill, you stopped by after all!” I greeted him.
“I promised Rowan I would. You look fantastic, by the way!” He replied.
“Thank you so much!” I was quite happy with his compliment. Hopefully, Merula will like it too.
“I was just complimenting Dylan, too!” Penny added.
“And did things work out for you with bringing a date, Dylan?” He asked.
“They certainly did! I’m here with-” I was about to answer that question, but I got interrupted before I could finish my sentence.
“Hello, everyone,” a familiar voice interrupted me. We turned around and noticed Emily Tyler approaching us.
“Emily, what are you even doing here?” Penny asked, completely surprised by her appearance.
“I came to see if your decoration theme turned out better then mine would have. It didn’t,” she answered arrogantly. “But mostly, I was looking for Bill and saw him walk in here.”
“Looking for me? Why?” Bill was caught surprised.
“To rescue you from these kids so we can spend some time together,” she started smirking.
“Kids? We’re not that much younger than you, Emily,” I replied. Now that was way too rude, even for someone like her.
“You want to spend time with me, Emily?” Bill curiously asked.
“Yes, I made a mistake rejecting you, Bill. And I don’t make mistakes often,” she admitted. “So let’s get away from this Celestial Ball nonsense you’ve gotten involved in. We can go to Three Broomsticks for a Butterbeer. What do you say?”
I noticed my friend standing there, thinking. He isn’t really considering accepting her offer?
“I say...” He started talking after a while. “Not if you were the last witch on the planet, Emily. You’ve been too rude to my friends and to me. If you’ll excuse me, I see Rowan.”
That said, he went to meet Rowan who was apparently, very excited about it.
“Bill would rather spend time with Rowan Khanna than me? Even if I were the last witch on the planet?” She was definitely not expecting that kind of reaction from him.
“Wasn’t ‘Planets’ your decorating theme? I much prefer Penny’s stars,” I replied.
“I’ll walk you out, Emily. And by the way, nice hair,” Penny said while grinning at her.
“Now I can’t tell if you mean that sincerely or not?” Emily was shocked by Penny’s compliment.
The two of them then left towards the entrance. Penny was really serious about escorting Emily out. Now to find Merula in all this crowd. I can’t wait to see her…
“Edwards! I was about to give up on you. I thought maybe you changed your mind,” I heard her voice and immediately turned around. She looked absolutely stunning. Her hair was neatly styled, which made her look really cute. She also wore an elegant black dress paired with black long gloves. She also had a nice looking green ribbon tied below her chest. It perfectly matched with her necklace and shoes. In one word, she looked – gorgeous.
“Merula! That’s quite a dress! You look beautiful!” I praised her, completely mesmerized by her beauty.
“Well, I made an effort,” she couldn’t hide the smile of satisfaction while saying that.
“You did, too. I mean, you look nice. Very nice. Now let’s check out this dance together.”
We slowly moved to the dance floor. I was holding her hand along the way. She seemed to like it, I could notice that she was smiling slightly and blushing on the way there. I couldn’t help but notice some of the other students staring at us. I am quite sure that none of them knew about our relationship. Many of them were whispering each other while pointing at us, but honestly, I didn’t mind it at all. She wasn’t as comfortable with all that like me, but I could say she wasn’t bothered too much.
The dance floor looked marvelous. While standing on it, I felt like I was among the stars. It really felt magical.
“I didn’t know what to expect tonight! All the planning and prepping and fretting… But the Celestial Ball has been quite special. And I think Tonks is right. Of our friends, we’re the only ones here who decided to go with a guest!” I said with a cheeky smile.
“I don’t know if I’m more surprised that I’m your date, or that you just lumped me in with your group of friends,” she pointed out.
“Well, we certainly gave them something to talk about. But I don’t regret it! I am happy that you agreed to come with me to the ball.” I replied.
“And I’m glad you’re my Celestial Ball date,” she added.
“Look, Flitwick is dancing! Hagrid has some moves, too!” Both of them were on the dance floor, having a great time.
“C’mon! Let’s go and dance the rest of the night away!” I suggested and she quickly nodded.
The two of us then started dancing to the music. I was surprised at her dancing skills. She had such elegant moves. I had just let myself go with the flow, so to say. This is the first time I ever danced with someone, so I was completely clueless, to be honest. Still, that didn’t prevent me from having a good time. Quite opposite, in fact. I was having a time of my life with the person very dear to me. And it wasn’t just us. Everyone was having a blast. This is perhaps one of the happiest times I’ve had at Hogwarts.
We danced like that for quite a while, until we both got tired and decided to rest a bit. We sat on one of the tables near the fireplace. There was plenty of food neatly decorated and placed there. Everything was… perfect. I couldn’t keep my eyes off Merula. I was so happy that I decided to ask her out. Snape was definitely right when he advised me. I am sure I would regret not asking her to be my date.
“That was a nice dance, I have to admit. You really have some moves.” I praised her.
“Well, I like to dance, I find it very enjoyable. Even more enjoyable than hitting you with the Knockback Jinx,” she grinned at me.
“Look, it seems that Sickleworth is having a lovely time too,” I pointed out. The Niffler was dancing surrounded by Penny, Tonks, and Tulip. It looked hilarious, but rather heartwarming nonetheless.
We spent the next few hours talking about all sorts of things. We discussed our past adventures and the moments we shared together, and before we knew it, the ball was nearing its end.
“I guess that’s it, Edwards. I had a nice time tonight, but it’s time to go back to my Common Room...” She said once everyone started leaving.
“Wait...” I said just as she was preparing to go.
“Yes?” She turned to me with a curious look.
“Let’s go to the Courtyard first. I want to watch the night sky with you...” I suggested.
“…Okay,” she agreed.
I grabbed her hand and we went outside. The night was very peaceful. Thousands of stars were decorating the night sky.
“It’s… beautiful...” She said while gazing at the sky.
“Often I would find myself coming here, observing the stars and thinking about you...” I turned toward her, gently holding her hands.
“Flatterer! You’re trying to make me blush,” she tried avoiding my gaze, but despite the night, I could see that she was all red.
“And it seems I am pretty successful at it,” I replied with a chuckle.
“Shut up Edwards!” She said with a grumpy voice.
I touched her cheek with my right hand and embraced her with left. She turned her gaze toward me. Her eyes were glittering with happiness. I could see the stars reflecting their light on her mesmerizing face. I gently patted her hair and slowly started approaching her lips with mine. Suddenly, she grabbed my head with both hands and kissed me passionately. Her lips were so tender, so sweet. I could feel all of the stars reflecting on us at that moment. Funny enough, the stars were a theme of the ball. My heart was pounding so fast. I felt as if the time had stopped and that all of my problems had vanished away. We remained like that for a while longer. I was so happy…
“There!” She said after our lips separated.
I embraced her in my arms and held her tightly against me. “I don’t ever want to let you go,” I said. “I don’t know what would I do if I lose you...”
“Well, since I am the most powerful witch at Hogwarts, you never will,” she replied.
“You know, it’s a funny thing...” I said.
“What?” She asked.
“Who knows what would’ve happened if Jacob never disappeared. I would probably never look for the Cursed Vaults and the two of us would likely never end up together… It’s a sweet irony of things…”
“Well, I am glad things turned out the way they did. If it weren’t for you, there would be no one to challenge me. This way is much more interesting.” She added.
“Anyway, I am glad you’re by my side…” I said while gently stroking her hair.
She then leaned against me and we sat near the fountain. We remained like that for some time, observing the stars and forgetting all of our troubles… at least for a while…