Ron Weasley lay on his back on his bed in Gryffindor Tower, completely
lost in thought. He wasn't even sure how long he had been laying there.
All he knew was that he wasn't ready to go downstairs and face Hermione
Granger anytime soon. He rolled over onto his side, sighing. He couldn't
believe he had almost asked her to the Yule Ball. It was a good thing
he hadn't, he thought bitterly. How incredibly embarrassing it would have
been when she turned him down.
Several weeks before, Professor Dumbledore had announced that the school
would have another Yule Ball. At first, Ron had been overcome with an
immense feeling of dread. The previous year, the Yule Ball had been a
complete disaster for him, what between almost not having a date, ignoring
the girl whom agreed to go with him, and spending the entire evening staring
at Hermione with Viktor Krum. He had spent several days grumbling with
Harry about the injustice of having to go through another night like that
again. Harry too, it seemed, had been rather annoyed with the plans for
a dance. However, Harry seemed mostly concerned about who to ask and how
to go about doing so. Ron had claimed he was worried about the same thing,
and the boys had gone through the names of most of the girls in the school,
trying to figure out whom to ask. Of course, deep down Ron knew and had
always known whom he wanted to ask this year. It was just a matter of
working up the courage.
It had taken awhile, but slowly Ron had come to realize that he had more
than platonic feelings for his best friend, Hermione. It explained his
immense jealously of her "relationship" with Viktor Krum, why
their constant bickering got to him so much, and why he couldn't ever
get her off his mind. In reality, he realized all of their fighting was
just a pathetic attempt at flirting, something he clearly wasn't very
good at yet. However, Ron had decided as soon as he'd learned there was
going to be another dance that he would use it as an opportunity to finally
let Hermione know how he felt.
He had been fairly certain she would agree to go with him. After all,
she'd told him last year to ask her first next time, and not as a last
resort. Plus, Viktor had seemed mostly out of the picture this year. Hermione
hadn't visited him over the summer, rarely mentioned him, and, as far
as Ron could tell, hadn't written or heard from him this school year.
Furthermore, she had seemed much more friendly and warm towards him this
year. Many nights Harry had gone to bed early, and the two of them had
stayed up studying, playing chess, or just sitting on the couch by the
So finally after weeks of frustration and anxiety, he had decided that
today was the day he would ask Hermione to the dance. Nervously he had
gotten up, showered, and walked with Harry to the Great Hall for breakfast.
He had sat down, and Hermione had touched his arm, asking if he was okay.
He had shivered under her touch but assured her he was fine. Hermione
had replied that he looked rather pale, like he was going to be sick.
He had smiled weakly at her, feeling his heart flip-flop in his chest
as she smiled back at him. Taking a deep breath, Ron had taken Hermione's
hand in his own and told her that there was something important he needed
to talk to her about. She had looked at him questioningly, and he had
opened his mouth, trying to get the words out to ask her to the dance.
Unfortunately at that moment, the owls flying into the Great Hall delivering
the mail had interrupted him. An owl flew over Hermione, dropping a letter
in her lap. She had turned away from Ron to open her letter. The moment
lost, Ron had asked casually whom the letter was from. Hermione had replied
nonchalantly that it was from Viktor Krum. Ron had suddenly felt like
a bludger had hit him in the stomach. To think he had almost asked this
girl to the dance. Like she would ever go with him when she had the world-famous,
rich, and talented Viktor Krum still pursuing her. Wanting only to get
out of the situation, Ron had stood up, ready to walk out of the Great
Hall. Hermione had looked up, startled at his sudden retreat, and asked
where he was going. He had whirled around, glaring at her and asked Hermione
what Vicky had wanted. Hermione had replied that they were just friends,
and it was none of his business why Viktor was writing her. Feeling jealousy,
anger, and frustration churning inside of him, Ron had retorted that he
didn't see what Viktor saw in Hermione because she was so annoying, but
he hoped they had a grand time at the dance. He had seen Hermione's face
start to crumple up at his words. At that moment, he was too upset to
care, and he had spun around and quickly marched out of the Great Hall.
So that was how he found himself, miserable, laying on his bed, feeling
sorry for himself. How could he have even thought for a second that Hermione
would ever be interested in him in that way? How could she be, with the
Viktor Krums and Harry Potters of the world in her life? He could never
compete with that. He was just another Weasley, too tall and poor to be
wanted by any girl, especially one as extraordinary as Hermione.
Suddenly, a creaking sound interrupted Ron's thoughts. He realized the
door to his room was being opened. He sat up and saw Harry walking into
Harry looked at him carefully before finally saying, "So..."
"So?" Ron replied back.
Harry sighed and sat down on his bed. "Hermione's really upset about
what you said. She's been crying ever since you stormed out of the Great
Ron felt a pang of guilt but quickly brushed it away as images of Hermione
and Viktor dancing crossed his mind. "Honestly I don't know what
Viktor sees in her. I mean, her hair is so bushy, and she always has to
Ron glanced up in time to see Harry rolling his eyes.
"What?" Ron exclaimed.
Harry glared at him angrily and said, "You had no right to insult
Hermione the way you did. You really hurt her feelings. She is a great
friend to both of us, and you know any guy would be lucky to be with her."
Ron snorted, "Oh what, now you like her? Won't that make an interesting
competition - the world famous Harry Potter versus the world famous Viktor
Krum! Bloody brilliant!"
"For goodness sake, Ron! Just admit you are jealous and that you
like her!" Harry shouted.
"What? Are you crazy? Like HER?" Ron exclaimed.
Staring Ron directly in the eye, Harry replied softly, "Ron, the
two of you may fight a lot, but I see how you look at her when you think
no one is looking. Don't even try to tell me there is nothing between
the two of you."
Realizing he was at a crossroads where he either had to admit his feelings
aloud or lie to his best friend, Ron threw himself onto his bed. He mumbled,
"I really blew it, didn't I?"
Smiling, Harry said, "Not necessarily. She's forgiven you for worse
before. Besides, I think she has a soft spot for the Weasley charm."
Standing up, Ron replied, "Well, I guess the least I can do is go
downstairs and apologize." As he started to walk out the door, he
turned to Harry and nervously said, "You know, I was going to ask
her to the Ball today. Too bad Viktor beat me to it, huh?"
Confused, Harry responded, "Beat you to it? Who said she was going
to the dance with Viktor Krum?"
"Wasn't that what that letter was about? Their plans for the Ball?"
Ron inquired sadly. He looked up to see Harry laughing at him. "It's
not funny, you know! I really like her!" This only seemed to make
Harry laugh even harder. Starting to get angry again, Ron yelled, "What
is so damn hilarious about the girl I like going out with another guy?"
Gasping for breath Harry managed to say, "You are such a prat, Ron.
What Hermione got this morning was a Christmas card from Viktor wishing
her Feliz Navidad, a Merry Christmas from Spain. He isn't coming to Hogwarts
for some dance. He is with his family on vacation in Spain."
Looking sheepish, Ron merely replied, "Oh."
With a smirk on his face, Harry patted Ron on the back, "C'mon,
let's go downstairs. I think you have a person to apologize to. Furthermore,
as far as I know, Hermione does not yet have a date to this lovely ball
of ours, so perhaps you have a question to ask her as well."
Blushing, Ron turned towards Harry and asked, "Speaking of not having
a date yet, have you decided who you are going to take?"
Looking at his feet, Harry replied, "Yeah."
"Have you asked her yet?" Ron questioned.
"Yep," was Harry's short reply.
"Who is it?" Ron prodded.
Finally looking up, Harry declared, "That, my friend, is a secret.
You can find out at the dance."
On that note, Harry walked swiftly past Ron and headed downstairs. Shaking
his head, Ron walked out the door and followed Harry to the Common Room.
Ron's eyes scanned the Common Room as he entered, searching for Hermione.
He finally saw her sitting on a couch isolated from the rest of the students
in a corner of the room. Swallowing hard, Ron slowly strode across the
Common Room towards Hermione and then sat down next to her. Hearing someone
sitting down, Hermione looked up and briefly met Ron's eyes before diverting
her gaze back down to her hands. Ron felt a mixture of guilt and confusion
washing through him as he saw how tear-stained Hermione's face was. Why
was she this upset about something he said? He'd been pretty harsh, but
it certainly wasn't the worst thing he had ever said to her. Staring at
her, as the silence between them became increasingly more and more awkward,
Ron wracked his brain for something, anything to say to her. His thoughts
were interrupted when he heard Hermione begin to speak.
"So did you come down here to tell me in more detail about how horrible
I am?" Hermione muttered.
Glancing up at her, Ron said, "Hermione, I am so sorry. You didn't
deserve what I said to you."
"Maybe I didn't deserve it, but that didn't stop you from saying
what you obviously feel, did it?" she retorted bitterly.
Ron couldn't believe what he was hearing. Did she honestly believe that
he had meant what he said?
"Hermione, you don't think I meant what I said, do you?" he
She looked up again; meeting his eyes, and nodded. Then he noticed her
eyes start to tear up again.
Shocked, Ron pulled her into a hug. "Hermione, you have been one
of my best friends for the past 5 years. I know we fight a lot, but of
course I know what Viktor sees in you. You are an amazing witch, and I
am very lucky to have you as a friend." He felt Hermione relax into
his embrace. They sat there like that for several minutes, just content
to be in each other's arms.
Finally, Hermione pulled a way a little bit and said, "Not that
it's any of your business, but I am not going to the dance with Viktor.
What I got from him in the mail today was just…"
"A Christmas card, I know. Harry told me." Ron finished.
"Oh." Hermione said.
"Look, I am really sorry about what I said earlier. I just jumped
to the wrong conclusion and…"
"Ron, why does my relationship with Viktor Krum matter so much to
you?" Hermione interrupted. "He and I are just friends. Why
does it all bother you so much?"
"Because…" Ron halted, unsure of what to say next. He knew
why it bothered him so much, but to tell her why would require admitting
how he truly felt about her.
"Because…" Hermione prodded.
Sighing, Ron quietly stated, "Because, I don't think he is good
enough for you, and…"
Taking a deep breath, Ron prepared himself to tell her that he liked
her, when suddenly loud voices and a hand on his shoulder interrupted
him. He whirled around to see Fred staring at him.
Grinning wickedly, Fred exclaimed, "Why, Ron and Hermione, what
are you two doing alone in the corner like this? Weren't getting ready
to snog, were you?"
"Oh sod off, Fred." Ron yelled, knowing that his face was heating
"Geez, relax, little bro. I was just coming over to tell the two
of you that everyone in Gryffindor is heading down to the lake to have
a snowball fight. Didn't want you two to feel left out. So, c'mon let's
"Actually, I am not feeling much like participating in a snowball
fight right now, Fred. Thanks, though." Hermione stated.
Fred shrugged. "Very well. Coming, Ron?"
"Err…actually, I think I will stay here too."
Smirking as he left, Fred replied, "You two alone in the Gryffindor
Common Room … don't do anything I would do..."
Ron looked at Hermione and rolled his eyes. Hermione smiled at him, and
he couldn't help but stare at her for a moment. He loved how her brown
eyes twinkled when she smiled and how it lit her whole face up. She truly
was beautiful. Ron entwined his fingers with hers, and she looked at him,
surprised. Then she leaned back against him, resting her head on his shoulder.
Ron carefully put his arm around her, and she nestled closer to him, sighing.
"I am really sorry for earlier, Ron. I should have told you what
Viktor's card was about." Hermione whispered into his shoulder.
Ron replied, "I am the one who should be apologizing. I didn't mean
to hurt you. Can you forgive me?"
Hermione squeezed his hand and said, "Of course I can."
They laid in each other's arms for awhile, until finally Ron felt he
had the strength to do what he had been trying to do all day.
Trying to keep his voice as steady as he could, Ron declared, "Hermione,
I really need to ask you something."
"What?" Hermione asked nervously.
"Look, the thing is…er…well…I mean, would you go to the ball with
me?" Ron asked feeling his ears turning red.
Shifting his eyes to look at her, he saw her looking at him suspiciously.
"And how many girls have you already asked before me?" Hermione
"WHAT? I haven't asked anyone else."
"Ron, the dance is in four days. I find it very hard to believe that
I am your first choice." Hermione retorted stiffly as she stood up
However, Ron was too quick for her, and he grabbed her arm, pulling her
back down. "You were my first choice, I promise. I knew I wanted
to ask you as soon as Professor Dumbledore announced the dance. It just
took me awhile to work up the courage."
"Why would you need to work up any courage? It's just me!"
"Just you? Hermione, I probably could have asked any girl in this
school easier than you."
Surprised, Hermione muttered, "Why?"
"Because I really like you, Hermione," Ron whispered as he
ran his hand up and down her arm slowly.
Shivering under Ron's touch, and sure this was too good to be true, Hermione
had to ask, "Really?"
"Yeah," Ron answered softly. "So you still haven't answered
my question. Will you go to ball with me?"
Shifting her head so that she was gazing up at him, she took her hand
and rested it on his cheek as she responded. "Yes, of course I will.
I had been hoping you would ask me."
"You were?" Ron replied.
"Yes, I was." Hermione admitted.
As they stared at each other, Ron was suddenly aware of how close he
and Hermione were. That he had one arm around her with the other caressing
her arm. That her hand was resting on his cheek. And there was some strange
force that seemed to be pulling them closer and closer together. He began
to panic as he realized they were about to kiss. He had never kissed a
girl before, and he had no idea what he was supposed to do. He started
to pull back, but then decided that was stupid seeing as he had been dreaming
of kissing Hermione for nearly a year. Just as their lips were about to
touch, he heard shouting; the voices of lots of people entering the Common
Room. They jumped apart quickly, blushing profusely, and darting their
eyes away from each other.
Ron looked at the entrance and saw Fred, George, Harry, Seamus, Dean,
Ginny, Lavender, Angelina and the rest of the students in Gryffindor walking
in. Many of them looked soaked and had rosy cheeks. The girls had looks
of triumph of their faces while the boys looked as if they had been handed
a surprising defeat. He heard Dean and Seamus grumbling about dirty tricks
and cheating. Ron figured that the girls must have won the snowball fight.
Then George was standing in the middle of the Common Room, requesting
everyone's attention. The room got silent to hear what he had to say.
"May I have your attention, please? While many of us may question
the sneaky tactics of our female competitors, one has to respect their
willingness to win at all costs. So without further ado, I present to
the ladies their prize for winning the Gryffindor snowball fight. I give
you a quill, but not just any quill. George Weasley once owned the quill
I give you. Try not to fight over it, ladies." George declared as
he handed the quill to Angelina.
Ron grinned as heard many of the girls in the room groaning and rolling
their eyes. His brother was a real nutcase, that was for sure.
Ron's attention was brought back when he realized Fred was announcing
a party in the Gryffindor Common Room for later that evening. Looking
down at Hermione, he smiled. This day was certainly turning out better
than it had started.
Later in the evening, Hermione and Ginny were up in Hermione's room,
getting everything together for the party. Glancing over at Ginny, Hermione
noticed her socks. They were dark blue with green Christmas trees knitted
all over them.
"Ginny, where did you get your socks?" Hermione asked.
"Oh, do you like them? Harry had Dobby knit them for me." Ginny
explained. "Aren't they cute?"
"Harry had Dobby knit them for you?"
"Yeah, well, Dobby wanted to knit Harry more socks, but Harry didn't
want any more. He was trying to convince Dobby to knit them for someone
else this year when I happened to walk by. Personally, I am glad. These
socks are so festive, and besides, one can never have too many socks!"
"You and Harry seem to be getting closer lately," Hermione
Ginny looked at Hermione for a moment as if trying to decide whether
or not to tell her something. She finally replied, "Don't tell anyone,
but Harry and I are going to the Yule Ball together. Harry hasn't told
Ron yet because he is afraid Ron will kill him. So, please don't say anything."
Hermione stared at her in shock, but finally managed to get out, "You
Blushing, Ginny quickly changed the subject by asking, "So, has my
brother asked you to the dance yet?"
"Yeah, finally, this afternoon." Hermione replied, picking
up a plate of cookies as she started to walk out the door.
"Where did the cookies come from?" Ginny asked.
"Oh, my mum baked them and sent them to me for Christmas. I figured
they would be good to bring to the party." Hermione responded.
"With the boys in this house, they won't last five minutes!"
Ginny replied. Giggling, the girls headed downstairs to the party.
Ron surveyed the Common Room. The party had been going on for several
hours. Music was blaring loudly, and some people were dancing to it. Mostly,
people were talking in groups. Ron had spent most of the night near Hermione,
though they had been constantly surrounded by all of their friends. Thinking
of what had almost happened that afternoon, Ron had been wracking his
brain most of the night for a way to be alone with her. She knew he liked
her, and yet she hadn't slapped him or run away screaming. In fact, she
had seemed quite receptive and interested. He knew they had almost kissed,
and though nervous, he was eager to kiss her for real.
Feeling brave, Ron lightly took hold of Hermione's hand. Surprised, she
glanced up at him quickly with a question in her eyes.
"Uh…err…I mean, it's getting kind of loud in here. I am starting
to get a bit of headache. I think I am going to head outside for a bit
to get some fresh air."
"Outside, alone at this hour? Ron, are you crazy?" Hermione
"Well, you can come with me if you want." Ron replied.
Hermione stared at him for a moment. He could tell she was considering
Surprisingly, she agreed a moment later. Still holding hands and grinning
stupidly at each other, they walked towards the door. Ron had every intention
of making the most out of his time alone with Hermione.
They were almost out of the door when a voice stopped them. "Wow,
Hermione! You are looking quite nice this evening. Either that, or someone
has spiked the egg nog."
Blushing, Hermione turned around to face George Weasley. "Thanks,
I think," she muttered.
"Then again," George continued loudly, "I guarantee my
little brother here thinks you look quite nice this evening, and I promise
he doesn't need spiked egg nog to think that."
Blushing madly, Ron and Hermione both looked down at their shoes. Grinning,
George whispered, "Ron and Hermione, I think the two of you need
to look up and see what you are standing under."
Slowly, they raised their gaze above them to see mistletoe hanging. The
realization of the situation they were in hit them, and they lowered their
eyes to stare at each other in horror. Sure, Ron wanted to kiss her, but
not like this. Not with everyone watching.
Suddenly they heard George proclaiming, "Ladies and gentlemen, Ron
and Hermione are standing under the mistletoe. You know what that means."
Then he started leading everyone in the room in a chant of, "Kiss,
Ron gazed at Hermione, trying to read her eyes, trying to figure out
how he should proceed.
Hermione quietly stated, "We have to do this. If we don't, they
will just a make a bigger deal out of it."
Ron nodded. He knew she was right. A quick peck on the lips, and it would
all be over.
Slowly, they leaned towards each other, trying their best to ignore their
friends' chants around them. His heart beating madly, Ron had every intention
of making this fast. A quick peck and then an escape out the door - that
was his plan.
However, the moment their lips touched, his plan went out the window.
He gasped at how soft her lips were. He was astounded at the sparks that
were shooting through his body. He had never felt something this wonderful,
and suddenly he knew a quick peck wasn't going to be enough. He needed
Hermione in a way he never even knew existed before. Apparently, she was
feeling the same way because she wrapped her arms around his neck, pulling
him closer. As they continued to kiss, Ron wrapped his arms around her,
gently rubbing his hands up and down her back. He no longer heard the
chants from his friends. He was only aware of himself and Hermione - the
amazing way her lips felt on his, the calming yet arousing feelings she
was creating in him by lightly running her hands in his hair. She sighed
against his lips, and Ron felt an overwhelming sense of power in knowing
he was responsible for her reaction. Ron could have kept on kissing her
for hours, but Hermione suddenly seemed to realize where they were. She
reluctantly pulled back from Ron, still gazing into his eyes.
"Wow!" she said breathlessly.
Ron, grinning and out of breath replied, "Yeah."
They continued to gaze at one another in wonder until they realized the
Common Room had erupted into applause. Turning bright red, Ron turned
to Hermione and whispered, "Why don't we get out of here and continue
this somewhere a little more private?"
Beaming, Hermione nodded, grabbed Ron's hand, and pulled him out the door.