-- Harry Potter
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 Chang to the dance, but when he finally does finds that she already has a date with Cedric Diggory, so Harry arranges to go with Parvati Patil instead.
Calendar and Dates
The chapter takes place after the end of the first task (24 November 1994) in December during the days running-up to the Yule Ball on Christmas Day.
Interesting facts and notes
In a way, the "unexpected task" - asking a girl to the Yule Ball as a dance partner - really could be considered an unofficial Triwizard task, since the Yule Ball is a traditional part of the Triwizard Tournament. The chapter is mostly about Harry and Ron's trouble with girls.
....they all seemed to Harry to be obsessed with the coming ball – or, at least, all the girls were, and it was amazing how many girls Hogwarts suddenly seemed to hold; he had never quite noticed that before. Girls giggling and whispering in the corridors, girls shrieking with laughter as boys passed them, girls excitedly comparing notes on what they were going to wear on Christmas night …
At this age (14-15), girls often do walk around together in "packs".
It seemed to be fact, however, that he had booked the Weird Sisters. Exactly who or what the Weird Sisters were Harry didn’t know, never having had access to a wizard’s wireless, but he deduced from the wild excitement of those who had grown up listening to the WWN (Wizarding Wireless Network) that they were a very famous musical group.
Despite the name of this wizarding band, the Weird Sisters are not female witches. They band members are: Heathcote Barbary, Gideon Crumb, Kirley Duke, Merton Graves, Orsino Thruston, Donaghan Tremlett, Myron Wagtail, Herman Wintringham (FW).
But every time he glimpsed Cho that day – during break, and then lunchtime, and once on the way to History of Magic – she was surrounded by friends. Didn't she ever go anywhere alone? Could he perhaps ambush her as she was going into a bathroom? But no – she even seemed to go there with an escort of four or five girls.
Harry should have tried to ask Cho Chang to the ball much earlier....
"She's part Veela," said Harry. "You were right – her grandmother was one...."
When Ron, to his own surprise, asks Fleur Delacour to the Yule Ball, she looks at him as if he was "a sea slug or something". Harry forgot to mention before about Fleur's ancestry, which explains why Ron now feels dazed.
"So what about Ron?"
"Well …" said Parvati slowly, "I suppose my sister might … Padma, you know … in Ravenclaw. I'll ask her if you like."
Finally, Harry and Ron end up with dates for the Yule Ball - Parvati and Padma - the Patil twins.
Exceptional character moments
McGonagall, who yells at the boys for having a sword fight with fake wands in her class when they should be listening to her, but doesn't punish them.
Harry being afraid to ask Cho Chang to the Ball, but leaving it too late - and then feeling resentful/jealous of Cedric Diggory.
Ron suddenly realising that Hermione is a girl. When she turns him down as a Yule Ball date, his curiosity starts to rise. It will soon turn into jealousy.
Hermione and Ginny both being more mature than Harry and Ron.
Harry had a sudden mental image of himself in a top hat and tails, accompanied by a girl in the sort of frilly dress Aunt Petunia always wore to Uncle Vernon’s work parties.
"I'm not dancing," he said.
"Why do they have to move in packs?" Harry asked Ron.... "How're you supposed to get one on their own to ask them?"
"Lasso one?", Ron suggested.
Binns hadn't let his own death stand in the way of continuing to teach, they supposed a small thing like Christmas wasn’t going to put him off. It was amazing how he could make even bloody and vicious goblin riots sound as boring as Percy's cauldron-bottom report.
"We should get a move on, you know … ask someone. He's right. We don’t want to end up with a pair of trolls."
Hermione let out a splutter of indignation. "A pair of … what, excuse me?"
"Well – you know," said Ron, shrugging, "I'd rather go alone than with – with Eloise Midgen, say."
"Her acne's loads better lately – and she’s really nice!"
"Because – oh, shut up laughing, you two – because they've both just been turned down by girls they asked to the ball!"
"Can't you think of anyone who’d go with Ron?" he said, lowering his voice so that Ron wouldn't hear.
Words and phrases
From the Web
Writing by J K Rowling on WizardingWorld (Pottermore):
Harry Potter Wiki: Patil family
WizardingWorld (Pottermore) features: Wisdom from the wizarding world: Romantic relationships