Smart Girl, That
“Hermione told me to get on
with life, maybe go out with some other people, relax a bit around you, because
I never used to be able to talk if you were in the room, remember? And she
thought you might take a bit more notice if I was a bit more – myself.”
“Smart girl, that Hermione,”
said Harry, trying to smile. “I just wish I’d asked you sooner. We could’ve had
Harry Potter and the
Half-Blood Prince, American Edition, pg. 647
Heaving her bag onto her
shoulder, Ginny Weasley exited the Great Hall one bright winter day after lunch
and collided with a very pink Hermione Granger.
“Ginny. I’ve been looking for
you,” she said, as she took Ginny by the arm and drew her away from the crowd
pouring into the hallway. Ginny stumbled along behind Hermione as they made
their way past an old tapestry and down an empty corridor.
“Hermione, slow down. Where are
She came to an abrupt halt and
Ginny stopped short. Hermione looked around self-consciously. The flush in her
face was now very near red and she was shifting from one foot to the other.
“Hermione, are you alright?”
Ginny asked, now growing concerned. She had never seen Hermione behaving in
such a way. She watched as Hermione opened her mouth, shut it, opened it again,
and then pressed her lips together in a very thin line.
“Viktor Krum asked me to the Yule
Ball,” she squeaked suddenly, her eyes wide.
Ginny felt her own eyes widen and
she stared at Hermione. There was a thud as her bag fell off her shoulder and
landed roughly on the stone floor.
“Krum?” she asked breathlessly.
Hermione nodded. She looked
caught between disbelief and embarrassment. A thousand questions ran through
Ginny’s mind, and she asked the first one that came to her lips.
“Just now, in the library.”
“What did he say?” she asked,
feeling a small smile tugging at the corners of her lips. It only made sense
that Hermione would find a date in the library.
“He said that he’d been coming
there everyday trying to work up the courage to ask me to the ball,” she
answered, still not blinking.
“And?” she prompted, almost
afraid of the answer.
“And?” Hermione repeated.
“And what did you say?”
Hermione’s eyes were now the size
of saucers. Ginny wondered vaguely if she were breathing at all.
“And I said yes,” she whispered,
now so red that Ginny could feel the heat coming off her.
She leaned against the wall. “I
said yes,” she whispered again, sliding down the wall and coming to rest of the
Ginny glanced around the corridor
again; making certain it was still deserted. She settled herself beside
Hermione and clasped her hands in her lap.
“So,” she began hesitatingly.
“This is a good thing, isn’t it?”
“Of course it is,” Hermione
answered quickly, her voice sounding odd to Ginny’s ears. “He is terribly nice,
and interesting. He even seemed a bit embarrassed when he asked me, if you can
“That’s great then, Hermione.”
Ginny said, feeling deflated somehow. There was a long pause. The voices in the
main hallway bounced off the walls, echoing down the corridor.
“Ginny, he doesn’t even see me.”
Ginny looked over at her best
friend, knowing specifics, like names, were unnecessary between them.
“He’s an idiot,” Ginny said.
Hermione flashed her a rueful
“A bit,” she answered.
“So that’s it then, is it?”
“I’m not saying that’s it,”
she said with a deep sigh. “But I can’t sit around forever, waiting for him to
realize that I’m a girl, can I?”
The dull ache that suddenly
filled Ginny’s chest had nothing to do with her brother and she forced a tight
smile at Hermione.
“No,” she answered. “I don’t
“Oh, Ginny,” Hermione said, as
she reached over and took one of Ginny’s thin freckled hands in her own. “I
“No. You’re right, you are. At
least you and Ron are friends. What am I to him? Nothing.”
“You’re not nothing
“I am to him,” she said with a
slight shake of her head.
“Maybe….” Hermione shifted
uncomfortably, “Maybe it’s time for you to get on with it too, Ginny, you know?
Maybe go out with a few other boys. You’re smart, and funny and beautiful-”
“I’m nothing of the sort,” Ginny
interjected, feeling rather pink herself.
“You really are. And I can see
the way Dean and Seamus are looking at you in the common room, even if Ron
“He’d have a fit if he heard you
talking like that,” she said with a small giggle.
“I just think he might take a bit
more notice if you were a bit more, well, you around him, Ginny.”
Ginny sighed, knowing Hermione
was probably right.
“Oh!” exclaimed Hermione
suddenly, glancing at her watch and jumping to her feet. “It’s five minutes
until the first bell. We’d better get to class.”
Ginny stood and picked up her
bag, brushing off her robes.
“Hermione,” she said, “I am happy
for you, about Krum. And I hope you have a wonderful time at the ball.”
“Oh. Er- Ginny, about the ball. I
think, well, I think Neville might ask you.”
“Me?” she said, surprised. “I
thought Neville fancied…”
Her voice trailed off and
Hermione flushed pink again.
“He asked me after Potions, but
I’d already said yes to Viktor.”
“Oh,” said Ginny, feeling very
odd indeed. “Right.”
“So…” said Hermione with a small
shrug of her shoulders. “Think about what I said, alright?”
She nodded and they exited the
corridor, returning to the crowd in the main hallway.
“Hey, Ginny.” Neville appeared
beside them, slightly breathless. “Hey, Hermione,” he said, lowering his eyes
to the floor.
“Hello, Neville,” she said
kindly. “I’ve got to get to class.”
She took her leave, flashing
Ginny a look over her shoulder. Ginny watched as she joined Ron and Harry, who
was staring intently at the bottom of the staircase. Ginny followed his gaze
across the hall. On the bottom step stood a gaggle of giggling Ravenclaws. And
in the center of them, Cho Chang.
“Listen, Ginny, I was wondering,
well, what I mean to say is, I didn’t know…”
Ginny watched him shift
nervously, his hands thrust deep into his pockets. She grinned at the top of
“What I mean to say is, I didn’t
know if you were, er- going with anyone. To the ball, I mean. And if you –er –
well, if you weren’t, if you might want to. Go. With me, I mean.”
He coughed nervously, scuffing
one foot on the floor. “As friends, of course.”
The bell rang jarringly and
Neville jumped. The students in the hall scattered and Neville gripped his bag
“Class,” he said with a tight,
nervous smile. He tilted his head in the direction of the transfiguration
“I’m headed that way as well,”
she said, turning and falling into step beside him. “And Neville?”
He turned towards her, a hesitant
look on his face.
“I’d love to.
A/N: Many many thanks yous to my wonderful Beta Reader,
Felina Black, who keeps me from putting commas where they don’t belong, and
helps me remember how to spell peoples’ names. Standard Disclaimer belongs
here. I own nothing. JK Rowling owns everything, including my soul.