The Calm Point of View

Chapter 54

Christmas is coming and prefects have to help decorate. I may have bribed Peeves to disrupt their decorating since it was simpler than finding slimy things.

I am looking forward to Christmas. We are hosting another ball and we get to invite more people than normal. Briar is inviting "His Rose", I plan to invite Daphne and Milli. Dates are allowed of course. I think Daphne is planning on inviting Theo.

Since we are going home for Christmas, Grandfather has told Briar and I to plan decorations early. We were thinking of holly instead of the traditional mistletoe. Mostly to avoid any magical mishaps with the plant. What if I ended up trapped with Briar? Plus, red works better with the colour scheme.

We are going to have an ice sculpture made out of the punch so that as it melts it will not take any flavour from it. We are also going to charm it so it melts evenly and keeps the basic form of a large thorny rose. I am also thinking to have it snow lightly but have the snow vanish 7 feet above the floor. We are going to have similar drinks to what we had a couple years ago but we also need to have a hot cocoa fountain or two. The rose punch shall be at the centre of the tables and the fountains shall be spaced evenly away from it.

Briar also wants to open up our winter gardens so we need fairy lights. Grandfather is taking care of the tree. He started growing it last year in the middle of the ballroom. I think it should be the perfect height in time for the ball. Decoration colours this year are red, white, and frosty ice blue. Grandfather plans to wear a white robe, Briar is going in with a white muggle suit with bright red dress shirt and a white tie. I still need to find a good dress. Briar says I should go for ice blue. We will see. He also told me to bring a date or he will invite one for me; anything to keep the French boys away. I wonder why he doesn't trust them, I can read intentions easily enough, so it isn't like they can just take advantage of me. I am purposely not going to invite anyone to see if he actually does invite someone on my behalf.

I went with an ice blue dress in the end. It is floor length and sparkles nicely. It looks like it is actually made of ice. It has these long flowing sleeves. Briar says it is too low cut, it is a low V neckline but it stops above my cleavage. Grandfather got me a set of teardrop earing and a matching necklace in the same colour as my dress. Grandfather also had a house elf named Leena do my hair. She was dismissed from another family's home because the daughter had gotten too fond of her. Grandfather says we are only safe keeping Leena until the daughter is of age. Leena is quite good at hair, maybe she can teach me what she did before she returns to her true mistress. My hair is down and flowing in loose waving ringlets yet it is done in a way that ensures even after it gets messed from dancing it will still look done.

Before I continue farther into the night. Neville brought Hannah Abbot, Daphne did bring Theo, Milli brought Pansy, Draco declined formally than sent Discordia later saying he was needed at home right now despite wanting to be anywhere else. He also sent me a present which I have to wait until later to open. Blaise never responded nor did Tracy, she is a quiet one though, maybe we should try to spend more time with her. Pansy had so much jewelry on that it was hard to see her skin, Milli looked pretty for once. I think Pansy talked Milli into taking her in exchange for doing her hair and make-up. Briar was allowed to invite more Gryffindors but declined saying that he knew Neville could behave himself where others could not. He also mentioned that he trusted Slytherins to behave properly at a ball, Gryffindors would probably try and spike the punch. Although he did invite Hermione she declined due to a skiing trip with her family.

Briar and I entered the ball together with Grandfather a few paces behind. We did our Happy Christmas speech and Grandfather added something about friendships transcending old hatreds in the holiday spirit. It reminded me a bit of the sorting hat but I knew it was really a veiled threat for everyone to get along. He said it first in French than in English just to make sure everyone understood. Neville's Gran was talking to some of the locals and Grandfather. My fellow Slytherins had claimed a corner and were doing that "hiding in plain sight" thing. I had to tell them that some of these people come from rich French families and connections are never a bad thing. That got them to mingle more. Even Milli found someone to dance with.

After helping them mingle I went to say hello to Rozenn. I was surprised to find her talking to not only Neville and Hannah; who I politely introduced myself to; but also to Shae. Briar let me know silently that he hadn't been joking about inviting a date for me. Rozenn had dressed in a red dress that perfectly matched Briar's shirt, in a similar manner Shae was wearing an ice blue dress shirt with his black muggle suit. I am ashamed to say I actually blushed when Shae asked me to dance. I enjoyed myself a lot more than I did at the Yule ball. Shae was even civil to Pansy, no one is ever civil to Pansy. I will admit that I find it enjoyable to talk to someone, other than Briar, that can actually understand when I go into the deeper mechanisms of potions or spells. I know Draco could understand, but he gets bored to easily, and Theo just silently listens and never contributes.

I probably wasn't the best host. I was supposed to mingle with everyone but Shae almost never let anyone else ask me to dance; Briar approved. I have a feeling he told Shae to make sure the local boys didn't dance with me since he did let both Neville and Theo have one dance. He didn't seem to be jealous, and we are not a couple so he would really have to reason to be jealous. Just as I have to reason to be jealous of girls that asked him to dance.

Briar tells me I am lying to myself, but it is true. We are not officially a couple and I will not be the one to ask him. Briar says I am being old fashioned but I know he is just teasing me. Until Shae can see me as someone he isn't embarrassed to be seen with, until he can defend me from his friends, we will never be a couple. Hence why he needs to be the one to make the decision to ask me.

Happier note: the ball was a success. I even saw Milli, Daphne and Neville all politely talking with no hexes or verbal swordplay. Neville seems more confident than he used to be. Briar believes it is the secret club. Neville is proving to himself and to everyone else that he isn't a useless squib.

Off topic but what an amazing society we wizards and witches have. Muggles are a plague, muggle-borns just barely better than dirt and squibs are only fit to be ignored. Some muggles can see magical things though, they are also highly advanced. I bet that no one has ever asked "What if Neville has so much magic that he can't control it?" Briar is telling me that anger is good but I should calm down now so I don't accidently light things on fire. I am angry, but I am also sad. All because we are part of an elite society that has to classify everything and everyone. I made friends in Slytherin, a house that doesn't make friends. I know they have my back, we do protect our own. Yet I am classified as evil because I am more cunning than I am brave, more ambitious than I am loyal. We are all magical, we have skin and eyes, legs and arms. We even speak the same language.

Briar came and gave me a hug, a long hug. He believes my sudden onslaught of emotions has to do with Shae more than injustices that have always been. People's views never bothered me much before. Briar says that I am experiencing three separate emotions at the same time, and all on my own. It is no wonder it is confusing me. We are going to help the elves with clean-up and see if that helps me manage better. I hope it does.