Worth The Risk
Disclaimer: None of this belongs to me and I make no money from it.
A/N: This is my first attempt at fan fiction. I would like to thank Zsenya, my wonderful
beta-reader. It is because of her
reassurance that I have the courage to post this. I would also like to thank all the SQ authors whose stories have
given me endless hours of entertainment and inspiration.
it is none of your business who I correspond with!”
he went to Durmstrag, Hermione. You
know what they say about that school.”
is not into the Dark Arts. . .”
shut his book with such force that everyone in the common room stopped what
they were doing and looked around, including Ron and Hermione. Shoving the book into his bag, Harry stood
up and began walking toward the boys’ dormitory.
“Harry? Is something wrong?” Ron called after him. “Where are you going?”
obvious that I’m not going to get my Potions essay done with the two of you
bickering,” he said as though he was on the verge of losing his temper, “so
I’ll finish it upstairs. See you in the
turned back to Hermione. “Now look what
“ME?! You cannot be serious!” she
could feel the anger rising inside of her.
She didn’t usually have trouble controlling her temper but staying calm
around Ron had recently become a challenge.
Lately, Ron seemed to always be looking for an argument. If he wasn’t questioning her about Viktor
then he was teasing her about her choice in books or her library habits. What made Hermione angriest, however, was
the fact that she knew what Ron was doing and she still let him get to her.
dead serious. You. . .”
can this possibly be my fault?” she cut in.
“I swear, Ron Weasley, sometimes I just want to. . . sometimes you make
me so. . .OH! NEVER MIND!”
had completely lost the ability to put her thoughts into words. Raising her hands in the air she fought
every urge to smack some sense into Ron. Instead, she clenched her fists, took a deep
breath and grabbed her book bag. Ron
stared at her with a mix of fear and amazement.
conversation is over,” she added calmly, turning to the girls’ dormitory. She could feel the stare of Ron’s eyes on
her. She hated leaving things this way
but she was far too angry to hold a civil conversation.
took every ounce of self-control for Hermione not to slam the door behind her
as she stepped into her room. She had
hoped to find it empty, or at least quiet, but Lavender and Parvati were
involved in their usual evening ritual.
Spread out on Lavender’s bed was a collection of Teen Witch magazines,
fingernail polish, and an assortment of makeup. Hermione couldn’t help but roll her eyes. She just didn’t understand how these two
could take that sort of stuff so seriously.
hoped that Lavender and Parvati would not notice her walk in. They seemed to be deeply involved in one of
the magazine articles, as they kept pointing to something and giggling loudly. Hermione walked over to her own bed and sat
down but her roommates’ attention quickly shifted to her presence.
the matter, Hermione?” snickered Parvati.
“Did you have a row with your boyfriend?”
is NOT my boyfriend!” Hermione stressed through clenched teeth.
and Parvati exchanged glances and tried to suppress a fit of laughter. “Who said we were talking about Ron?”
gave each of them a menacing look and tried to think of a clever retort. Too frustrated and angry to think of
anything, she flung herself face down into her pillow and let out a muffled
scream. Hermione had never been close
with either Lavender or Parvati. She
didn’t expect them to understand, or even care, that she was so upset. She was surprised, therefore, when she heard
a soft voice from across the room.
sorry Hermione,” said Lavender. “We
didn’t mean to make you so mad.”
did you know I was upset about Ron?” she asked, face still buried in the
pillow. But she knew the answer. They’d probably heard the argument from all
the way up here.
Hermione, Ron is the only person you let get to you like that. But there’s no point in getting worked up
about it. It’s obvious he’s just
jealous,” said Parvati
sat up stiffly and turned to face her.
“What ARE you talking about?”
question prompted an unexpected fit of giggles from both girls. Hermione, who failed to see the humor in it,
shot each of them an angry look.
stared at her is disbelief. “Don’t tell
me you can’t see it?”
what exactly?” asked Hermione.
he still fancies you, of course,” said Lavender. “Why else would he give you so much
Ron ever does is pick a fight with me over something ridiculous or bother me
about Viktor. I don’t see how that
means he fancies me.”
always fancied you Hermione,” added Parvati.
“Padma told me all about the Yule Ball.
How he ignored her but couldn’t take his eyes off you.”
hadn’t thought about the Yule Ball in a long time. It had ended with an awful row between her and Ron. For awhile she actually thought Ron was
interested in her but if he did have any feelings for her, however, he never
acted on them.
“That was a long time ago,” she said finally,
“and Ron has had several opportunities to ask me out. If he ever thought of me as anything other than a friend, well,
he doesn’t anymore.”
you want to know what I think?” asked Parvati.
Hermione answered adamantly. Then she
realized Parvati wasn’t asking her, she was asking Lavender.
think,” Parvati began excitedly. “Ron fancies Hermione and Hermione
fancies him but just won’t admit it!”
not true!” Hermione exclaimed. She
noticed the suspicious looks from both Lavender and Parvati. “It’s not! I don’t think about Ron in that way. He’s a friend.”
and Parvati were trying not to laugh.
They each cupped their hands over their mouths in an attempt to suppress
to me like she’s trying pretty hard to convince herself of that”
threw up her hands in frustration.
“There is nothing to admit!
There are no feelings. Ron and I
are friends. Being anything more would
just be too complicated.”
felt as if she’d said too much. She
left the room to prepare for bed, quite angry with herself for even starting
that conversation with them.
The Great Hall was noisy when she went down for breakfast. Feeling refreshed and well rested (a good
night’s sleep had erased Ron from her thoughts), Hermione made her way to the
Gryffindor table. It was rather crowded
but she easily noticed Harry and Ron, and squeezed into a seat across from
them. They were busy comparing their
Potions essays. Ron’s appeared to be
“Good morning everyone,” Hermione said cheerfully. She eyed Ron’s essay-in-progress as she sat
down. “Are you still working on that?”
“Well, you certainly are in a chipper mood this morning,” he replied in
a dry, sarcastic tone. “What? Don’t have anything else to say about my
Hermione was taken back by Ron’s attitude. “Well, I wasn’t going to say
anything but if you hadn’t left it until the last minute then it would
be done by now.”
“Well spotted, Hermione. Leave
it to you to state the obvious. You are
always such a big help.”
“I could do without the sarcasm Ron.
Are you trying to pick a fight or. . .”
Hermione noticed that all eyes at the Gryffindor table were focused on
her and Ron. It was strangely silent,
with the exception of Lavender and Parvati who were giggling softly. Hermione felt her cheeks burn and was
certain they had changed to bright red.
Ron must have noticed the attentions as well. He said nothing more, just picked up his quill and began to
concentrate on his essay.
After a minute of awkward silence the rest of the table returned to
their own business. Harry stared at Ron
but said nothing. It was Ron who spoke
“Sorry Hermione,” he muttered, without looking up.
Hermione looked at Ron is disbelief.
This was unexpected. She could
never remember a time that they had apologized to each other after an argument. Usually, the row was quickly brushed aside
and forgotten (or they both pretended it was forgotten). Never in all her years of knowing Ron had
anything like this happened.
“Apology accepted,” she replied kindly. “And I’m sorry too.”
Harry looked speechless. He
raised a hand to Ron’s forehead. “Are
you feeling all right?” he asked jokingly.
“So, that’s it, is it? One of
you isn’t going to stomp off somewhere or burst into tears?”
Hermione gave Harry a piercing look, hoping he wouldn’t say anything
else about the situation with Ron, which was making her strangely
uncomfortable. She didn’t understand
why Ron had been so mean to her earlier but didn’t feel like talking about it
and moved quickly to change the subject.
“I heard Malfoy got detention from McGonagall yesterday,” she said,
hoping it would provide the distraction needed.
Both Ron and Harry looked surprised and pleased. It seemed to do the trick.
“No way,” Ron said. “I wonder
what he did?”
The remainder of breakfast passed quickly and Hermione was grateful
that she and Ron were no longer arguing.
Soon students were making their way to morning lessons. Harry, Ron and Hermione gathered up their
things and headed for the door. As they
were about to walk through Harry stopped.
“I think I left my essay at the table,” he said, searching his book
bag. “Wait in the hall; I’ll catch up
“Come on Hermione,” Ron said, nodding his head in the direction of the
corridor. “We can wait for Harry out
here.” He placed his hand on the small
of her back in an effort to guide her thought the door.
Hermione stopped at his touch.
She looked up and unexpectedly caught Ron’s eye. A warm sensation rushed through her body and
she was almost frozen; unable to move.
She spent a moment gazing at Ron until someone bumped her from behind,
dragging her back into reality.
Students were trying to get through the doorway, which she was blocking.
“Watch where you’re going,” Ron yelled at someone who had just knocked
him in the arm.
Hermione didn’t quite know what hit her. She wasn’t sure what had just happened but knew that she needed
to get out of there.
“I. . .er. . .You wait for Harry.
I need to see Professor McGonagall before class.” Clutching her bag, Hermione raced down the
corridor and didn’t look back.
Nearly out of breath as she entered the class, Hermione sat down and
laid her head on the desk. What had
happened a few minutes before had caught her by surprise and she needed some
time to collect her thoughts. Ron
and I are friends, she reminded herself. Get a hold of yourself, Hermione. Is this really the
time to notice this?
Hermione didn’t have time to answer her own question. Harry and Ron had taken the two seats next
“Hermione, are you OK?” asked Harry.
She tried hard not to look at Ron.
She didn’t want to ignore him but she was afraid of what would happen if
she caught his eye.
“I’m fine,” she told Harry.
Thankfully, Professor McGonagall walked the room to begin the
lesson. “Good morning class,” she
said. “I’m afraid I have an urgent
matter to attend to. I shouldn’t be
long. In the meantime, each of you please
begin reading Chapter Twelve from your textbooks. We will be reviewing that material when I return.
“Miss Granger will be in charge during my brief absence. Everyone on your best behavior and that
means no talking.”
As soon as Professor McGonagall left, whispers began floating through
“Professor McGonagall asked that we read silently,” Hermione reminded
the class. Soon the whispers stopped
and everyone reached for their books.
Hermione knew that the class was unhappy she had been left in charge,
but also knew they wouldn’t act up out of fear that she’d report their behavior
back to Professor McGonagall.
“Damn!” Ron whispered, emptying his book bag onto his desk. “I forgot my book!”
Hermione rolled her eyes.
“Here,” she said as she scooted her chair a little closer to him. “We can share.”
She quickly discovered that being so close to Ron made it difficult to
concentrate. She found herself reading
the same sentence over and over and still not remembering what she had
Ron placed his arm on the back of her chair and leaned in a little
closer. “I can’t see that page.”
Hermione closed her eyes and tried to gain some composure. Being close to Ron had never been this
difficult before. She tried her hardest
to concentrate, but failed miserably every time.
“Thank you for following my directions.” Hermione hadn’t even noticed that Professor McGonagall had
returned. She and Ron shot apart like
an explosion had taken place between them.
“Now,” Professor McGonagall continued, “who can provide me a brief
summary of Cross-Species Switching Spells?”
Hermione was unusually quiet for the entire lesson.
The rest of the day was not any easier for Hermione. Dinner had come and gone and she hadn’t even
started on homework. Whether she was
near Ron or not, her thoughts always drifted back to that morning and the spark
she felt when they were sharing her book.
Hidden in the library, Hermione worked very hard to sort out these new
feelings she was having. The most difficult part wasn’t coming to terms with
them, it was admitting to herself that Lavender and Parvati had been
right-she’d had them for a long time but was too afraid to act. What frightened her more than anything,
however, was the idea that, no matter what happened, she was risking her entire
friendship with Ron. Things would never
be the same between them.
Hermione reluctantly left the library at closing time. Though it was nearing curfew, she wandered
the corridors slowly, taking detours and lingering in front of portraits and
paintings. She wasn’t ready to go back
to Gryffindor Tower and risk face Ron.
She didn’t know how she would act or what she would say. It was much easier to take her time getting
there and hope he had already gone to bed.
As she was rounding the final corridor to the common room, lost in her
thoughts, someone came around the corner and knocked her to the ground.
“Excuse me,” she said, rather irritated. She looked up to see Ron standing in above her.
Ron extended his hand to help her up.
“I’m really sorry about that. I
was just coming to look for you.”
“Oh?” she questioned. Every
possible scenario ran through her brain but Hermione couldn’t help but wish
that the morning’s interaction had stirred something in Ron as well. “What’s so
important that you need to talk to me so late?”
“Well, about our conversation last night. . .”
Any warm and fuzzy feeling Hermione had been having towards Ron quickly
transformed itself. Ron, who had so
nicely apologized at breakfast that morning, who had unknowingly occupied her
thoughts the entire day, wanted to talk to her about Viktor Krum, again. She looked down to see that Ron still had
her hand and yanked it away in anger.
“I can’t believe you Ron,” she hissed. “I have told you a million times that my friendship with Viktor
is none of your business. Honestly,
finding me to tell me that.”
Ron rushed to put his hand over her mouth. “Will you please keep your voice down!” he said
sternly. “I didn’t want to talk to you
“Well, what is it then?” she asked, angrily pushing his hand away. She was about to give Ron another piece of
her mind when a terrible thought occurred to her. “It’s not Harry, is it?
Ron, please tell me if something’s happened.”
“Harry’s fine. Everything is
fine,” he said. “What I wanted to do
was tell you I was sorry about arguing last night and. . .” Ron looked down the hall over to the
portrait of the Fat Lady. She appeared
to be busy dusting her canvas but Hermione noticed the quick glances she shot
in their direction. Clearly, she was
“Do you mind if we go somewhere a little more. . .private?” he asked.
“Ron, it’s already past curfew.
We can’t really go anywhere.”
“I realize that but there are still people in the common room and,”
Ron’s voice dropped to a whisper and he nodded in the direction of the Fat
Lady, “we’re not exactly alone here.”
Hermione opened her mouth to respond when she noticed the distinctive
glow of yellow eyes coming from the dark corner. A scrawny, brown cat stepped out from the shadows and dashed down
“No, Ron, we’re not alone,” she whispered. “It’s Mrs. Norris.”
“Filch will hang us by chains if he catches us out here,” Ron said in a
panic. He turned to Hermione and looked
her straight in the eye. “But I need to
talk to you and it’s important. Will
you meet me tomorrow morning? Somewhere
we won’t be interrupted. How about in
the Owlery? Early.”
“Can’t you at least tell me what’s so important?” asked Hermione. There was a hint of anticipation in her
voice. “Can it really wait until
The unmistakable sound of footsteps echoed in the corridor.
“ It’s Filch,” said Ron. “There’s no time now.”
Ron pulled Hermione by the hand toward the portrait hole. He gave the password (“Gingersweet”) and
they both scrambled noisily into the common room. Several heads turned as they walked in. Harry, who was sitting by the fire, eyed Ron strangely but Ron
ignored him. Hermione wondered if he
knew why Ron went to find her.
Before walking to the girls’ dormitory, Hermione turned to Ron. “Tomorrow morning,” she said quietly and
then disappeared on the stairs.
Hermione opened the door to her room and was grateful to find it dark
and her roommates sound asleep. She
tried falling asleep herself but found it difficult when she saw Ron’s face
every time she closed her eyes. Hermione
realized at that moment that she would have to be honest with Ron about her
feelings and her fears. Though she
hoped for the best, she couldn’t be sure what his reaction would be.
The sun was just beginning to show above the horizon as Hermione made
her way to the Owlery the next morning.
She felt a sense of relief knowing that Ron would soon know the truth
about her feelings, but the nagging fear of losing his friendship wouldn’t
leave her. Revealing her feelings to
Ron was a big risk and she only hoped that when everything was over it had been
As expected, the Owlery was nearly deserted. Many of the owls were returning from their overnight hunting
excursions, while others were resting comfortably in the rafters. Hermione saw Ron at the far end of the room
with Pig flying excitedly around his head.
“Hi Pigwidgeon,” she said quietly, reaching up to ruffle the little
owl’s feathers. “Good morning Ron.”
“I’m glad you came,” he said walking over towards her. “I. . .”
“Wait,” interrupted Hermione. “I need to say something first. If I don’t do it now, I probably never
will. So, please let me say this and
then you can tell me anything you like.”
Ron looked at her a bit wary.
He was clearly confused, and looked a bit worried, but indicated for
Hermione to continue.
Hermione hesitated. She was
about to bare her heart to him and it was the most frightening thing she had
ever done. Forget fighting a mountain
troll; forget facing a so-called murderer.
This was enough to make her run from Hogwarts and never come back.
Finally, she forced herself to speak.
“I know we’ve been fighting a lot recently and I want you to know that I
don’t like it.”
Ron reached out to grab her hand but stopped himself. “I told you I was sorry about that. . .”
“No, wait. I’m not done,” she
said. “It’s frustrating because we’re
supposed to be friends, right? I want
you to be my friend. But when we fight,
it’s like we’re not friends. . .”
Hermione paused as Ron stepped back and shifted his gaze to the
window. She could tell things weren’t
going well and searched for the right words to explain what she was
“Ron,” she continued, “your friendship means the world to me. You and Harry; you are both the best friends
I’ve ever had and I would never want anything to change that. Lately, though, I’ve noticed these. . .well.
. .feelings. Feelings for you, I
mean. I know that it could put a big
strain on our friendship but I can’t go on keeping this inside myself. I just needed you to know what I’m feeling.”
Hermione kept her eyes on Ron, who was still facing the window. He said nothing at first, but then slowly
turned back to face her. He stared into
her eyes so deeply that she was sure he could read her soul. She waited patiently for Ron to speak, never
taking her eyes from his face.
“Why did you decide to tell me this now?” he finally asked.
“I don’t know, really,” she said.
“I guess I’ve felt this way for some time and I’ve always tried to
ignore it. I can’t do that anymore. I’d flunk out of school if I tried.”
Ron smirked. “We can’t have that now, can we?”
Hermione tried to keep her composure.
It was more difficult than usual to concentrate. “Listen,” she pleaded, “whatever happens
between us, I think we need to take this slow.
There’s so much at stake if this doesn’t work out.”
“Right. We’ll take it slow,”
replied Ron. He reached down and
grabbed Hermione’s hand. Shivers pulsed
through her spine and she felt weak in the knees. She closed her eyes and tired to collect her thoughts. Ron was making this much more difficult than
she had imagined.
“And,” she added, “I think it would be best to keep this between
ourselves for now. We don’t need
everyone to know.”
Ron pulled her closer. “Of
course. We’ll keep it to ourselves.”
Hermione could feel her heart pounding. From her head to her toes, there was a sensation unlike anything
she had ever experienced. She looked
into Ron’s eyes as he bent his head towards her and pressed his lips onto
hers. She reached her arms around his
neck and pulled him closer. The kiss
was soft and sweet; it was tender and much too short.
When they parted, Hermione laid her head on Ron’s shoulder. “So much for taking things slow,” she sighed.
They stood in silence for a few moments when Hermione realized
something. “So, you said you had
something to talk to me about. Was THIS
Ron calmly stroked the back of her hair. “No, actually. . .”
Hermione sprung back from him in shock.
“I’m joking, Hermione,” he laughed, grabbing her hands and pulling her
back to him. “Really, it was a joke.”
Ron looked into her eyes and she knew it was the
truth. She pushed onto the tips of her
toes and placed a gentle kiss on his lips.
The invitation accepted, Ron wrapped her in his arms again. She felt a rush of heat throughout her body
and forgot the rest of the world.
Suddenly, though, she was distracted by a noise. The owls began fluttering wildly through the
rafters and Hermione heard a quiet voice coming from the doorway.
“Oh, so sorry,” the voice mumbled.
Hermione and Ron turned to the door, only to see Dennis Creevey turn
and walk back down the Owlery stairs.
“So much for keeping this between ourselves,” Ron said with a smile.