One of my favorite chapters in The Goblet of Fire is appropriately titled "The Unexpected Task" in which Harry and Ron learn that they will need to find dates for the Yule Ball:
A week ago, Harry would have said finding a partner for a dance would be a cinch compared to taking on a Hungarian Horntail. But now that he had done the latter, and was facing the prospect of asking a girl to the ball, he thought he'd rather have another round with the dragon. (388)
Harry and Ron have so much difficultly figuring out how to act around girls in regards to the dance. Of course, they are only 14 years old, so it is to be expected, but it produces some pretty comical results.
"Why do they have to move in packs?" Harry asked Ron as a dozen or so girls walked past them, sniggering and staring at Harry. "How're you supposed to get one on their own to ask them?"
"Lasso one?" Ron suggested. (388)Fred Weasley has no problem securing his Yule Ball date though, leaving Harry and Ron mystified at the ease with which the older Weasley handles this great and terrible challenge:
"Who're you going with, then?" said Ron.
"Angelina," said Fred promptly, without a trace of embarrassment.
"What?" said Ron, taken aback. "you've already asked her?"
"Good point," said Fred. He turned his head and called across the common room, "Oi! Angelina!"
Angelina, who had been chatting with Alicia Spinnet near the fire, looked over at him .
"What?" she called back.
"Want to go to the ball with me?"
Angelina gave Fred an appraising sort of look.
"All right, then," she said, and she turned back to Alicia and carried on chatting with a bit of a grin on her face. (394)
The young teenage boys are met with disappointment then, as they are turned down by Cho, Fleur, Hermione, Ginny, and Lavender. It's interesting that Harry's future wife Ginny, and Ron's future girlfriend Lavender and his future wife Hermione all turn them down for the only school dance they have during their time at Hogwarts.
This does lead to conflict for Ron and Hermione at least, though neither of them is quite ready to express interest in the other:
"Well, if you don't like, you know what the solution is, don't you?" yelled Hermione; her hair was coming down out of its elegant bun now, and her face was screwed up in anger.
"Oh yeah?" Ron yelled back. "What's that?"
"Next time there's a ball, ask me before someone else does, and not as a last resort!" (432)Compared to the first task where Harry successfully evaded a dragon, it does seem that he and Ron had much more difficulty with this "Unexpected Task."
Tomorrow is the final day of the A to Z Challenge! Join me for Z is for Zonko's Joke Shop.