[Harry], [Ron], and [Hermione] head to the [Owlery] to send [Pigwidgeon] to [Sirius], and then head back to the [common room].
Back in the [common room], the [Gryffindors] throw a party for [Harry], highlighted by Harry's first attempt at opening his egg and [Neville] briefly turning into a canary. [Hermione] also cunningly learns from [Fred] how to get into the [Hogwarts] [kitchens], and finally Harry goes to bed, happy with the way his day has turned out.
December begins with a [Care of Magical Creatures] class that doesn't go very well as the students try unsuccessfully to see whether [Blast-Ended Skrewts] hibernate. The poor class is punctuated when [Rita Skeeter] arrives, asking to do a story on [Hagrid] and his creatures.
[Harry] even manages to enjoy double [Divination], joking with [Ron] again about [Trelawney]'s absurd predictions (though [Lavender] and [Pavarti] still manage to be horrified again).
Down in the Kitchens
[Ron] and [Harry] are searching for [Hermione] when she comes rushing up and drags them to the [kitchens]. There, as it turns out, they find [Dobby], who is thrilled to see Harry again. However they also find [Winky], who is absolutely miserable. Finally they turn to go, loaded with free food from the [house-elves].
On the way back from the [kitchens], [Harry], [Ron], and [Hermione] discuss [Dobby], [Winky], and the things Winky told them about [Crouch] and [Bagman].
Chapter 22 - "The Unexpected Task" - In which the Yule Ball is announced, and Harry learns that he is expected to have a dance partner. Harry tries to get up the nerve to ask Cho to the dance, but when he finally does finds that she already has a date with Cedric, so Harry arranges to go with Parvati Patil instead.
The Yule Ball is Announced
At the end of [Transfiguration] one day, [McGonagall] tells the students of the upcoming [Yule Ball]. She then makes [Harry] even more nervous, holding him back after class to let him know that he not only needs a date, but needs to begin the dancing.
[Harry] and [Ron] talk nervously about the prospect of inviting girls to the [Yule Ball], and Harry is surprised when three different girls he doesn't know ask him to the ball.
With [Harry] feeling better as his life at [Hogwarts] improves, he also talks with [Hagrid] about his interview with [Rita Skeeter].