"G'night," I said, waving to my friends. It was still early, but I was exhausted.
A big group of girls sat in the middle of the common room, whispering to each other gleefully. They giggled and laughed and blushed non-stop, ever since Dumbledore announced that we would be holding a ball in annual of the tournament. We were all nervous, and eager to see if any of us would get dates for the ball. Of course, we all would - naturally, the boys of Hogwarts have even crazier hormones than a Muggle - but it was exciting to gossip about who was asking who.
'Can you believe it?'
'I can't believe she's been asked, and I haven't yet!'
'No! You're kidding!'
"Cho! Are you going up already?" one of the girls asked. I nodded in reply, beginning to yawn at the same time.
"Goodnight then!" she said, waving and turning back to the girls. A large chunk of them - namely my best friends - giggled and whispered to each other excitedly, all the while watching me walk up to the dormitory.
"What?" I asked as I got near top of the staircase.
"Nothing!" the girls replied together, huddling together once again.
I had the nagging feeling that they were discussing me and who would ask me to the ball - the watching me walk up the staircase was a big hint. It was obvious to everyone who Harry Potter fancied - though I hated admitting it myself. I didn't want to believe it... but it was hard to ignore the obvious. It wasn't that I didn't like Harry... on the contrary, I found him quite cute. But he was just cute, like my aunt's new baby, and nothing more. It was a bit ridiculous really...
"Do tell when I wake up tomorrow," I told them with a smile. I continued up the staircase and through the door.
As I opened the door, I kept my eyes behind me, in case the girls decided to plot something against me. I noticed nothing until I realized I had walked half way across the room already. I froze.
On my pillow - no one else's pillow, but mine - sat a rose. Propped up against it was an envelope addressed to me - not Hannah or Mary or whoever else shared the room with me - me. Cho.
The note was short and simple - Meet me in the Great Hall. 9 o'clock, tonight.
I tilted my head. Who would do this? No names came to mind.
"Okay then," I said to myself, a shy smile sneaking its way out of my face. I bit my lip and held the rose up to my nose, inhaling its sweet scent. "Nine it is."
When I got to the entrance of the Great Hall, there was no one there. The doors were locked for the night. The only place for me to meet my stranger was right where I was standing... and it was completely empty. The rose that I had decided to bring along to identify myself with hung limply in my right hand. I sighed.
"Oh well," I said to myself softly.
"Oh well what?" someone asked from behind me. I jumped and turned.
"Hey Cedric," I waved. "Hallway patrol already?"
"Almost," he answered. He held out his arm. "Come on you trouble maker, I'll take you back."
I laughed and answered half sarcastically, "Why, thank you. Who knew I could be such a problem?"
We laughed along together and were halfway to the common room when he tugged on my sleeve.
"What is it?" I asked him.
"What's this?" he asked, holding up the beat up rose that I had nearly forgotten I was carrying. I blushed and winced.
"Just... something," I grabbed it from him and hid it from his view. I smiled back and tried to distract him from it. "Hey... do you remember that one time when we stayed up this late to go practice Quidditch plays?"
"Yeah," he laughed and smiled. It was his signature smile that made girls melt... the one that never seemed to be there unless it was with his close friends. "Do you remember how we got in trouble for it?"
I laughed. "And the time we had to go scrub tables clean for Filch?"
"And the time we snuck out and had a party in the kitchens afterwards!"
"And when you dirty Hufflepuffs decided to sneak into the girl's dormitories!"
"And the time I asked you to the ball without you even noticing!"
"And -" I stopped. My smile dropped as what he just said clicked in my mind. "What?"
He smiled. "I was just kidding."
"You knew I was asking you," he said from behind me. He had stopped walking while I had continued to walk. I turned on my step to face him and was met with a bouquet of red roses.
"To make up for the flimsy one I gave you earlier," he said softly, nodding at it.
"How did you..." I stared at his hands. They both held on to the roses in front of me. Two seconds earlier, they were empty. "Where did they-"
"Magic," he said with a smile. He chuckled a bit, nodding again. "So what do you say?"
I tilted my head, a smile growing evermore present.
"Do you remember how I decided to go with the ball with you even though you asked me in the weirdest yet most romantic way ever?"
He burst out laughing as I took the roses from him.
"Yeah, I think I do."