A Tale of Two Prefects
Ron sighed quietly as Professor McGonagall continued going over their Prefect
assignments for the month of December; apparently with the holidays approaching
they were going to be busier than ever. He wondered how they were supposed to
keep up with their homework and patrol the halls with that git Filch. It was
already after nine and he wished she’d hurry up so he could finish his Potions
essay before it was due tomorrow morning. Out of the corner of his eye he saw
Hermione bite back a yawn, and realized she was desperately trying to stay
awake. After what seemed an eternity to Ron, Professor McGonagall finally
finished and dismissed them with a stern look, bidding
them all goodnight before taking her leave.
Ron stood up and stretched his muscles, which had tightened from sitting still
for so long. He was exhausted, and he was surprised to see that Hermione hadn’t
moved an inch.
“Hermione, are you ready to head back to the
tower?” he asked, frowning down at her.
“Not really.” She sighed heavily and continued,
“I’m not sure I’m ready to go back and deal with Harry.” She hung her head as
if ashamed of her thoughts.
Ron sat back down and muttered, “He’s so angry. I’m not sure what to do.” He
turned his head so he could look at her, reading the anxiety and concern on her
“I know, I guess it’s to be expected. . .” she said as her voice trailed off
into the stillness of the room. Hermione frowned slightly and met Ron’s eyes.
“I just wish he’d stop taking it out on us.”
Ron nodded his head in agreement. Harry was angry and he had every right to be.
“I don’t think he means to. I think that we’re the only outlet he has.” He paused a moment before continuing, “I don’t
blame him for being angry. He feels like he’s being kept in the dark, and after
what happened this summer--well, I guess it hurt him.”
“We didn’t have a choice, Ron. . . We did what Dumbledore asked, but I can’t
help wondering if it was the right thing to do.” Hermione’s eyes filled with
tears and she looked towards the window.
“Do you ever regret making friends with Harry?” he whispered, meeting her eyes
in the glass. “Do you ever think you might have been better off if you’d never
come into our train compartment?”
Ron had often wondered after last year if perhaps she wouldn’t be better off
not knowing either of them.
“No! I wouldn’t take one minute of it back,” she whispered furiously as she
turned her head to look at Ron. “Do you wish you hadn’t wandered into his
compartment that day?”
“No, he’s my best mate. .. and, well. . . he’s family,” Ron said earnestly. “I
just wondered if you might have been better off not being friends with the boy
They stared silently at each other for a while, and finally Ron had to ask,
“Hermione, do you ever regret being friends with me? I know I’m not much of a
friend to you.”
“No, I don’t regret being your friend, Ron,” she whispered, her gaze never
leaving his. “But, sometimes…”
“Sometimes what?” he whispered back. He suddenly wanted to grasp her hand in
his and never let go. His heart pounded as he waited for her response.
“Sometimes it’s hard being your friend,” she answered, biting her lip as if
expected him to blow up.
Ron felt his heart plunge as an overwhelming wave of regret hit him. Memories
of the rotten things he had said to her washed over him and he suddenly wanted
to apologize. He opened his mouth to speak but nothing came out, and he was
left gaping at her.
“I mean, we get into a lot of rows.” She shrugged her shoulders and looked
“We haven’t really rowed since last Christmas, have we?” Ron asked, “Let’s be
honest, Hermione, our disagreements aren’t that horrible. You and I enjoy
challenging each other, admit it.”
She turned and looked at him, seeming quite thunderstruck as the truth hit her.
“You’re right, we haven’t. We don’t really argue. It’s more like bickering.”
The surprise in her voice was evident.
“For your information, Hermione, sometimes our disagreements get me through the
His heart beat faster as she settled in beside him again and
“Me too,” she admitted, stifling a yawn, “and I don’t want to hear you say you
aren’t much of a friend again.”
He felt his palms go sweaty as she laid her head down on his shoulder; he could
feel her soft curls tickling his neck, and the vanilla scent of her shampoo
filled his senses.
“What are you getting Harry for Christmas?” she whispered sleepily as she
snuggled closer to him.
Ron tried for several moments to compose himself; his
heart was racing, and he was sure she could hear it pounding from her position
against him. He willed his voice not to crack and had to stifle a groan when it
did. “I was thinking, maybe several different
types of sweets.”
He waited for her to reply and briefly wondered why she didn’t. He risked a
glance down at her and found her sleeping with a soft smile gracing her
features. The urge always to protect her, and
the need to continue to see that smile every day overwhelmed him. He fought the
desire to reach down and entwine their fingers together. Even more startling
was that he was desperately fighting the need to kiss her. He was stunned at
the tidal wave of feelings that washed over him, and before he could stop
himself he bent his head slightly and kissed the top of her head. He grinned
when she snuggled closer to him and sighed in her sleep.
They should get back—he was going to have to wake her in a moment because at
this point they were seriously out of bounds, but for a few minutes he was
going to be content to let her lie there sleeping against him.