"Just because it's taken you three years to notice, Ron, doesn't mean no one else has spotted I'm a girl!"

The main characters are now fourteen years old, on the brink of adolescence. Sexual tension becomes a prominent point in this novel. Beginning with the great male drooling over the Veela at the Quidditch World Cup and continuing when Hagrid explains the distinctions between male and female Skrewts, this inter- gender strife heightens in this passage from Chapter Twenty-two, when Ron is dumfounded that Hermione has been asked to go to the ball as someone else's date.