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Other Evils In This World

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The Yule Ball

Lilia winced as she watched Cedric dodge the blast of fire thrown into his face. She bit her lower lip, not in worry over the boy, but just at the tension building up as he narrowly avoided death in the face of a dragon.

The dog Cedric had turned from a rock in order to distract the dragon was barking considerably still. This caused the dragon to momentarily be distracted again while Cedric went to retrieve the golden egg from the nest, thus successfully completing the challenge, seeming for the moment to forget about his burned profile judging by the enormous grin on his face when everything was finished and the arena was bursting with cheers.

Up next, was the girl from Beauxbatons. Fleur Delacour, Lilia remembered. She watched the blonde young woman come from the small entrance where Cedric had previously come out through.

At first she seemed a bit delicate and unsure of how to go about ensnaring an egg from a dragon's nest, but as soon as the oversized reptile made its presence known, she enchanted it to sleep and from then on traversed her way up to the dragon's nest in the arena. Of course, it wasn't nearly so boring for the onlookers. The dragon let out a ground rumbling snore and a jet of fire found its way to Delacour's skirt, setting it aflame.

Dawn, seated nearby Lilia burst into laughter along with much of the arena as she watcher Delacour try to put out the flame, eventually doing so, though sniggers and giggles still remained even after she had retrieved her egg and completed the first task.

Then came Victor Krum. Lilia sat up a bit more, knowing his dragon, a Chinese Fireball was a nasty one to be dealing with. She wondered how he would do. He seemed intelligent enough to manoeuvre through the arena below and get his egg, but she wondered what sort of challenge the dragon would pose for him.

He came in through the same entrance the previous two champions had come through and almost instantaneously was greeted by his selected dragon.

The dragon put up quite the fight for Krum, but eventually the Northern student used what Lilia thought she recognized as the Conjunctivitis Charm to blind his dragon and retrieve his egg.

It would have seemed easy enough to get his egg and just win outright, but the dragon ended up stomping around so much it ended up crushing half the eggs in its nest, thus resulting in docked points for Krum, much to Lilia's inner amusement, though she merely watched with a straight face the entire time, save for the occasional wince when fire spewed from a dragon's mouth or one was close to being squashed against the rubble beneath the dragon's feet.

At last, Harry Potter was to come out and attempt to get past the Hungarian Horntail. It was a nasty looking piece of work, and Lilia herself wouldn't have wanted to be down there in the same arena as that overgrown angry lizard.

When he came out, Harry looked around hesitantly, not looking the least bit enthused to be going up against an angry Horntail. Especially without the assistance of anything but his wand.

He was foolish enough to step out without really checking his surroundings, but Lilia figured he knew that as soon as a horned tail smashed into the boulders right next to him.

Immediately the task was begun and Gryffindors as well as other students alike were on the edge of their seats to watch the 14 year old run around, desperate to, for the moment, stay alive within the arena.

Someone yelled out as a reminder to Harry to use his wand from somewhere among the spectators, and in a moment he waved his wand around, shouting out some sort of spell… which didn't really seem to have any effect.

Dawn laughed. "What a ninny! His spell didn't even work!" she said, clearly amused by Potter's predicament, as was - it seemed - Ariel.

Within seconds however, Potter's Firebolt came soaring down from the sky and he seized the moment, flying around, just out of the dragon's grasp, when the binds on it's neck snapped and the Horntail was free to give serious chase.

The Grryfindors looked horrified by this development as Harry did all that he could to stay out of the Horntail's line of fire, the flames just barely missing the young boy when he soared towards the outer limits of the arena and flew over the tops, outside to get away in a moment of desperation. With that little move there, he nearly put the Hogwart's teachers and guests in danger, the Horntail's tail swooping down and tearing through the roof of that area in the arena, demolishing it and barely missing obliterating several people.

Lilia's heart dropped, having noticed Professor Snape was seated there, but was relieved when she saw him sit back up after ducking to the side to avoid getting hit along with other teachers. And of course, there was that same irritated look that he almost always had when dealing with anything Potter-related. It nearly made Lilia smile. Nearly.

The arena quieted when they realized Harry had sped off rather far, the roars of the dragon barely even heard from the arena anymore.

Several people were looking around in confusion, Lilia among them, wondering if Potter was weak enough to get eaten by a dragon in the first task.

There was a loud roar from somewhere far, but a little closer a few minutes later, causing the Gryffindors to look rather uncomfortable at the thought of Harry out there, alone, trying to escape the clutches of a vicious dragon.

Suddenly, Harry appeared over a hilltop, his Firebolt practically sputtering as he struggled to manoeuvre it towards the arena and in the direction of his goal; the golden egg.

He did it. He swooped in and managed to snatch the golden egg, thus completing his task, and the arena bursting into another round of cheers for the final champion having completed his task.

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.

.

Snape had only been half watching the tournament from where he sat, his gaze occasionally scanning against his better judgement for a certain green eyed student. When he'd found her amongst the third year Slytherins, he felt slightly elated, but that was short lived when Victor Krum stepped out and she, along with the majority of the other girls leaned forward and sat up a little more to watch the well built, handsome young man duel his way past the Chinese Fireball dragon.

He frowned, watching as he was nearly stomped upon, a slight smirk tugging up on the corners of his lips during the match. However, once Krum had blinded his dragon and retrieved the egg successfully, he was back to frowning, watching as the onlookers were roaring with cheers over the Durmstrang boy. He felt slightly better when his points were deducted due to his dragon stomping over half the nest of eggs. He nearly chuckled at that little incident, though he merely smirked.

Curiously, he glanced at Lilia again, finding her gaze upon him for a moment. He was surprised about that, but her line of sight moved away from him so quickly he couldn't truly say whether she was looking at him, or just around at the other spectators in general. He simply ignored it; no reason to fuss over stupid things like someone catching his eye. Especially a child like her.

When Potter stepped out he took a slight bit more interest in the boy's match, one, because he shouldn't even be in the tournament to begin with and two, for reasons very personal to himself which he would never in his lifetime admit to.

There was an alarming moment when the Horntail escaped its bind and soared after Potter, its tail smashing through the suspended roof and rafters above the professor's seat box, nearly injuring a few people on the way past.

Snape sat up, a most irritated expression upon his face as he brushed off debris from his black cloak, fixing his hair as he straightened up alongside McGonagall and anyone else who had quickly ducked off to the side to avoid the tail of that nasty Hungarian beast.

When everyone was more put together and calmed, he turned to see a pair of green eyes watching the teacher's box in relief when everyone straightened up. Of course, it must have only been concern at the teachers in general. Why even think otherwise?

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The morning after the first task in the tournament, Snape entered the potions dungeon, the class already assumed with third year Slytherins on one side and third year Gryffindors on the other.

"Get out your cauldrons and get the same ingredients from yesterday," he ordered immediately.

"Professor, what did you think of the tournament yesterday?" asked one of the Slytherins from the back of the class.

Snape turned to regard the boy who'd spoken and narrowed his eyes. "I believe I gave you instructions to begin your potion, Mr. Colfe," he said, emphasizing each word carefully like he always did.

The class dropped their gazes as everyone got up to get their things.

"I heard the Gryffindors had one hell of a celebration after. Was quite a scream," said someone from the front while everyone was getting up.

A few people laughed as the Gryffindors glowered at whoever had said it, while Dawn rolled her eyes, coming to stand next to Lilia while they waited to move up to get their ingredients.

"Why are boys always such pee brain morons?" Dawn asked no one in particular, but did glance at Lilia as she said it.

Lilia shrugged, picking up her things and going to her desk again, recoiling inwardly when she saw Quinn taking up a seat next to her.

"Good morning, Lily," he smirked, patting her seat, as if it were some privilege to sit next to him, in her seat nonetheless.

She sat down and moved her stool a little away from him.

"So, this morning when Professor Snape was telling us Slytherins about the Yule ball, before classes and everything, I was wondering…"

"I'm not going," she said, cutting him off before he could even dare to ask her.

He looked at her sceptically. "But, isn't it every girl's desire to attend a dance whenever they can?" he asked her.

She frowned. "Not every girl has such mundane things to worry about," she said coldly.

He looked at her curiously and frowned. "Well… alright then, I suppose Ariel will want to go with me then," he said, thinking it might make Lilia jealous and take back her cold attitude.

"Perhaps she will, you'll have to ask her yourself," she replied quickly, wanting to end the conversation as quickly as possible.

He swallowed and then without another word, turned to his cauldron, setting up his own station, feeling rather uncomfortable suddenly around Lilia.

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Snape glanced up from where he sat writing upon a piece of parchment, a satisfied smirk tugging up at the corners of his mouth, watching Lilia tell Quinn to essentially go away and leave her alone.

He found it amusing how that boy could be foolish enough to think Lilia even liked him the remotest bit. How could she? She was quiet and introverted, preferred to be alone and wasn't a very sociable creature. Like him.

He paused in his writing for a moment and frowned. She was like him. The thought made something in his chest puff out with some sort of unnamed pride, but also recoil inside him at the thought that a thirteen year old student had so much in common with him. He reached up to pinch the bridge of his nose and inhaled a breath, returning to his writing for the time being, choosing to ignore the odd nagging sensation at the back of his mind.

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A few nights later, after the students had had ample time to practice their dances, the Yule Ball began to commence. The four Triwizard Champions made their way into the hall where the décor had been transformed into a winder wonderland of sorts for the occasion.

Lilia stood amongst the crowd inside the hall, clapping mechanically as the champions entered, Fleur in first, followed by Cedric, then Krum and lastly Harry, all four having their dates in tow.

They began to dance and soon everyone was making their way onto the dance floor with a partner.

Lilia had worn a black dress that had a hint of deep blue as an undertone. It was strapless, a corset top with a flowing bottom made out of different layers of fabric. Her hands had lace gloves which reached her wrist, and her hair had been tousled into loose waves which hung down her back and over her shoulders, her short straight cut bangs pinned to the side a little for a touch of elegance with a silver hairpin.

When more and more people began to dance, she managed to evade them and stand watch from the sidelines, simply there to witness a most un-Hogwarts like moment. After all, she might never see another ball in her life. Atleast she should know what all the fuss was about.

It wasn't that Lilia disliked balls or dances because she herself couldn't dance. She supposed if led by a decent partner she could do just fine. But she didn't like large groups of people. She wasn't scared or intimidated; she merely felt out of place amongst the other cheerful and happy students. Even Potter seemed to be doing alright for the first half, even if he wasn't the most graceful dancer to ever grace the earth.

Eventually, she had her fill of drinks and watching couples glide across the dance floor, then jump around as bands began to play.

She turned to go, heading towards the exit when she saw him. That familiar man in black.

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At first, he didn't recognize her. He simply saw out of the corner of his eye a lovely young lady clad in a elegant black dress with lace black wrist gloves. Her hair was wavy and her makeup done to perfect, not enough to overwhelm her delicate features, but enough to add that touch of brilliance to those green eyes he'd come to think about unwillingly for several months now.

But as soon as he realized it was her, he turned to look right at her, catching her eye almost immediately.

They looked at each other for longer than was probably appropriate, given the circumstances. He didn't do anything though except watch her. No betrayal of surprise upon his face when he saw her, no awe over the way she looked, only watched her as she paused in her walk towards the exit, tucked a bit of hair behind her ear, then looked away after a few long seconds and left.

The moment had come and gone.

He cleared his throat when her figure disappeared through the open door out into the hall, headed to the Slytherin common room no doubt. He turned back to watch the other students calmly like he was required to do as a Professor. However, though he seemed serious in watching the other students enjoy themselves for that night, he was stunned on the inside at the way Lilia had looked that evening in her dress. The image would certainly be difficult to forget anytime soon.
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