DISCLAIMER: NONE OF THESE CHARACTERS BELONG
TO ME, THEY'RE ALL J.K. ROWLING'S. THIS IS JUST
A BIT OF FUN. THANKS!
After one of his more particularly grueling
practice sessions, Harry climbed through the portrait hole carrying his Firebolt,
threw his muddy sweatshirt on a chair,
and made a move toward the boys' staircase.
"I wouldn't, if I were you," came an amused,
but warning voice from the window. Harry looked up, surprised. Seamus was sitting
there, working through a heap of their holiday assignments. Usually, at this
point in the Easter week, Seamus began to lose
his grip. But today he looked positively cheerful. He spoke again. "Like I said,
Harry," he grinned. "I wouldn't."
"Hermione Granger's up there."
Harry's facial expression shifted from surprise
to shock. Hermione had been known to come into the boys' dormitory on one occasion
only- Christmas morning of their second year- when the Gryffindor house had
been almost entirely deserted. What was
she doing up there on a regular Thursday afternoon, when practically the whole
house was sitting around?
"Why?" was all Harry could think of to say.
Neville looked up from his Potions essay. "She
got in a row with Ron. A bad one. And he tore up there, and she.... went on
after him." He gulped. "She looked fit
"She'd be right to!" said Ginny hotly, suddenly
whirling from her place before the fire. "He was on her again about Krum, and
it's really getting old! Why don't you
ever DO anything about it, Harry?"
Harry had never seen Ginny quite so volatile.
"What am I supposed to do?" he asked. "I've told him to shut up about Krum a
"Well," snapped Ginny, "try again." And she
turned back to her work with a humph. Harry turned to Seamus, open-mouthed.
"It wasn't good," continued Seamus, grinning.
"You should have heard them. Cats and dogs those two."
"Always have been," said Parvati wisely, shutting
her Divination journal and giving Lavender a superior nod. "Always will be."
Lavender giggled. "WE know what it's all about,
though," she said conspiratorially, looking delightedly from Parvati to Harry.
"It's so OBvious, isn't it? It's-"
"None of your business!" finished Ginny, whirling
again. "Is it, Lavender? How would you like it if I said that you and Sea-"
"Never mind, Harry!" squeaked Lavender in a
hurry, narrowing her eyes at Ginny. "Just never mind!"
"Good." Ginny moved her eyes from Lavender to
Harry, and he felt himself grow rather hot under the scrutiny of her gaze, which
did not waver.
"What?!" he finally exploded. "I'm s'posed to
go and do something, then?" Ginny nodded, her face set. "Unless you think I
should go up into the boys' dorms, too,"
she said, a touch of humor in her voice. Harry looked at her quickly. Somehow,
according to the expression on her face,
he thought she might go ahead and do it, and for some vague reason, he didn't
want her in their dormitory. "Fine," he
muttered presently. "I'll go tell Hermione to come down."
"And then tell Ron to stop bothering her," Ginny
insisted. "He hasn't any right to say what he does about Viktor. It's embarrassing
for her, Harry. She has every right to be-- to be dating, if she likes somebody."
Ginny looked away finally, slightly flustered.
"Anyway," she said quickly, "Ron's only upset about Viktor and Hermione because
he wishes-" But there, she cut herself
short and blushed. "Well," she said shortly.
Harry couldn't help but grin, both at Ginny's
confusion, and at what she had been about to say. He had a pretty good idea
why Ron wouldn't leave Hermione alone
about Viktor Krum. "Yeah," he returned. "Well." Ginny blushed even harder, and
turned back around in her chair.
Lavender and Parvati looked positively triumphant.
"Go on then Harry," Seamus said from the window,
his eyebrow raised in Lavenderıs direction. "Come down and give us all the
details. We'll want to know if they've managed to strangle each other."
"Honestly," whispered Ginny, without turning
Harry shrugged at Seamus and Neville and flicked
his eyes back over toward Ginny once, but she avoided looking back at him,
so he turned and took the stairs up to his dormitory two at a time. He imagined
he'd be walking into quite a pretty scene.
They were bound to be pulling each other's hair
out by this time. But five years' experience with Ron and Hermione's fights
gave him confidence that he'd have them
off one another in a moment. It couldn't be any worse than usual.
He crossed the hall to the door marked 'Fifth
Years' and would have walked straight inside, but what he saw within was so
unexpected that he spun counter-clockwise,
and stayed without.
Ron and Hermione were standing, a body's length
apart, pointing their wands directly at one another. Both their faces, Harry
had seen in an instant, wore deadly determination.
He crept his body along the wall until he could see them through the crack in
the door, and felt panic rise up in his throat at their expressions. This didn't
look like a joke. He had never seen two Gryffindors
pointing wands at one another, except in Lockhartıs dueling club, second year--
and he'd certainly never seen his own
friends threatening one another with magic. Harry felt for his own wand underneath
his Quidditch T-shirt - he'd had a habit
of keeping it there ever since his third year - pulled it out, and held it before
him at the ready, just in case.
"I'm serious, Ron." Hermione's voice was steel.
Clearly, this was the middle, or perhaps the end of the conversation. "One more
word about him, and I'll snap. I'm THIS close." She held up her free hand, keeping
her thumb and index finger a fraction apart.
"Just stop it. Right in front of everybody-- do you KNOW how embarrassing that
is for me?" Her voice wavered, but she
caught it up again and continued. "Don't you EVER say another word about him
"Him and you," hissed Ron, clenching his wand
even more tightly. "I've had quite enough of him and you. You say you're embarrassed--
well, you should be. Lording it over everybody all year-"
"Oh, don't act like you don't know what I'm
talking about." Ron put on a fake, high voice. "Bulgaria was just AMAzing, Viktor
taught me SO much, I've never had such
a nice HOLiday!" Ron narrowed his eyes. "Sickening."
"Shut up!" Hermione's eyes flashed dangerously.
"Shut up! That's exactly what I mean! All year, in front of everybody-- in the
halls, at meals, in class, in front of
our teachers-- what do you care whether or not I liked Bulgaria? What do you
With a sharp snap, Hermione flicked her wrist
and sparks shot out of her wand, just missing Ron. He jumped, and outside the
door, so did Harry.
"Go ahead!" shouted Ron recklessly, "Shoot your
worst! Canıt be worse than listening to you go on and on about Vicky, the great
"He's incredibly intelligent-"
Ron switched back to the high voice and mocked
her, "He's incredibly intelligent!"
"Shut UP!" Hermione cried, her voice cracking.
"YOU stop it!" bellowed Ron. "I don't want to
hear one more word about your bloody boyfriend!" The last word was a low snarl.
"Makes me want to-- you should never-"
"What, Ron? I should never what?" Hermione hollered
back, tears edging into her voice. "Tell me! Whatever it is that's making you
like this, just tell me!"
"LIKE YOU DON'T KNOW!"
"I DON'T!" Hermione was now extremely close
to tears, and her voice lost some of its bite as her shoulders began to slump.
"All I know is, I'm so tired of you making
fun of me that I.... I..... Ron, please," she implored. "Please-you've just
got to stop it. You're taking something
out on me that isn't my fault."
Ron glared at her fiercely but said nothing.
"Just TELL me what it is," Hermione entreated.
Still, Ron was silent, eyeing her narrowly.
Hermione waited another moment for an answer,
but none came. Harry, who rather thought he knew why Ron was behaving so
unkindly, had to hold himself back in the tense silence, from shouting, "Say
it!" But he bit his tongue and watched as a defeated
Hermione dropped her wand arm to her side, looking suddenly tired. "Okay," she
said quietly. "That's all I can do, then,
But a second later, as though making one last
appeal, she looked up at Ron swiftly and all the heat was back in her voice.
"Tell me," she said again. "Please, Ron.
Whatever it is, really, whatever, even if it's...." she blushed a little, and
looked at her feet.
Harry raised his eyebrows. Hermione, it seemed,
knew what the matter was with Ron. "You can tell me, I swear," she finished,
stepping a foot closer to him.
But again Ron said nothing, nor would he meet
her eyes, and Harry could see that Hermione's tears were now threatening to
fall. In an effort to hide this, she turned
quickly, tucked her wand hastily inside her robe, and brushed her fingers under
her eyes as she strode toward the door.
Now did Ron speak-- so abruptly that he startled
Harry, Hermione, and himself. "No. YOU tell ME. You TELL me what you really
feel about Krum."
Hermione turned back slightly and gaped. "What--?"
"Is this all-you know-serious-with you and him?"
Ron continued, in the same quick, low voice. "Just tell me, and get it over
with. Go on."
Hermione was too much taken aback by this sudden,
intimate interest in her love life to form a response, and now that Ron had
finally begun to speak, he had grown too impatient to wait for her answer. He
threw his wand behind him on the bed suddenly,
stepped forward and grabbed Hermione's hands. If her face had held surprise
before, now it held utter disbelief.
"Ron," she began slowly, looking at her hands
in his, "I don't under-"
"Because if you really like him-" Ron winced,
as though this small group of words had caused him some physical pain-"then....then
I'll back off. But if you don't...."
Hermione blinked. "Yes?" she whispered. "If
I....if I don't...?"
Harry held his breath and waited. This was a
rather spectacular moment, and though he half-way knew he shouldn't listen,
he felt an incredible curiosity to know
who would say what. The tension was palpable and he shifted edgily from one
foot to the other.
"Well, if you don't, then..." Ron trailed off.
He looked like he was trying to work up the nerve for something. His face was
slightly drawn, and very nervous. He was
"Then?" Hermione's voice came up a notch in
volume. "Well?" Ron seemed stuck in his unease, and Hermione let out a sigh.
"Either come out with it right NOW, Ron" she
said finally, "or don't. But either way, you've got to stop being so mean to
me all the ti-"
But Hermione didn't get to finish her ultimatum.
Ron had made up his mind. Harry watched his friend's face change from nervous
indecision to gritty determination, and in a flash of long arms, Ron had grabbed
Hermione and pressed her mouth with a
swift, unmistakable kiss.
Harry had to stick his fist in his mouth to
keep from yelling at this tremendous event. He looked rapidly both ways down
the hall to make sure no one was coming,
then turned back, glued, to the scene beyond the crack in the door. Ron had
released Hermione and was standing back
from her, waiting to see what she would do, looking rather wild.
Hermione, for her part, was absolutely stunned.
When Ron let her go, she swayed on the spot. Her mouth was partly open, and
she put her fingers to it, as if testing to see if what had happened was real.
"Oh...." she breathed. "Ron...." And then she flung
herself forward and kissed him in the same impetuous manner. When
she drew away, Ron let out a sort of breathless laugh. "Hermione!" he managed.
They both stood there a moment, breathing
rather strangely, and then, in an instant, Hermione had turned and fled the
room, barely avoiding smacking into Harry on
her way down the hall, looking flushed and beaming and frightened. Thankfully
for him, she was far too caught up in her own
thoughts to ask him if he'd seen or heard anything. She ran down the boys' staircase
and out of sight.
Harry listened a moment, heard the sound of
voices in the common room- Parvati's instant questioning, Lavender's giggle.....then
a low murmur from Ginny that sounded like, "Everybody just hush. We're going
up-- leave us alone."
Harry shook his head slightly, to clear the
thoughts that were whirling about in it, and then faced his doorway. Ron had
just thrown himself down on his bed in
there with his eyes shut, an expression of shock on his face. Ron had just kissed
Hermione. Right on the mouth. Harry felt
a wave of shock pass over him as well, but he shook it off. He wanted to see
just how much Ron would tell him, without
his having to ask. Resolutely, he stuck his wand back under his T-shirt, assumed
an expression of innocence, and entered
"Hey," he said casually. "What's up?"
Ron kept his eyes shut and didn't move. Harry
paused, wondering how he could approach the subject of what he had just seen,
without revealing he had seen it. "You asleep, or what?" he said loudly.
Ron opened his eyes and stared at the canopy
above him. "Awake," he said.
Harry considered, then said, "Er-was Hermione
in here? I saw her in our hall."
Ron turned his face away. "Yeah, she was in
here," he barely muttered.
"How come?" Harry asked, desperately hoping
this still sounded offhand. "What was she doing in the boys' dorms?"
Ron was still. Harry became impatient, but strove
to keep the edges out of his voice. "You going to answer me?" he said, in what
he hoped was a normal, indifferent tone of voice. "Did something happen?"
Ron laughed. "I'll say," he said under his breath.
But Harry caught it. "What then?" he said, a little too quickly. But Ron didn't
seem to notice. He rolled over and sat
up suddenly, facing Harry, his hands clenching the bedcovers. "I
don't know how to tell you this, Harry..." he said slowly. Harry held his breath.
"...but I....well, Hermione.... we were fighting...
she was getting upset...." Ron shook his head sharply, and it seemed to clear
his mind. "I kissed her, Harry."
"What.....Hermione?" said Harry slowly, trying
to sound amazed. It wasn't difficult. After all, it was... Hermione.
Ron laughed again, shortly. "Yeah. Can you believe...
I reckon.... I reckon I LIKE her!"
"I guess!" snorted Harry, letting out a deep
breath of relief. Ron had told him. He wouldn't have to pretend not to know.
He wasn't being kept in the dark. It would
be bad enough to have his two best friends going 'round kissing-but it would
be far worse for him if they were secret
about it. At least it wouldn't be uncomfortable between the three of them. Feeling
suddenly very charitable, and really rather
impressed with what Ron had managed to do, he fell flat on his own four poster,
looked over at Ron, and grinned. "So...?"
Ron's ears turned an incredible shade of purple.
"So?" he muttered. "What?"
"Did she..." Harry had to choke back a disbelieving
laugh, for even though he knew the answer to the question he was about to
ask, it was still pretty amazing to hear about it from Ron. "Did she- er- kiss
you back, or anything?" Harry's mouth was twisted
in a sort of lopsided, suppressed smile as he regarded his friend. Ron looked
"D'you know what, Harry?" he said, his eyes
turned inward as though watching the scene again, "She... she did." He opened
his eyes wide, and blinked hard, forcing
himself to focus outward again. Face slightly bemused, he looked at Harry. "Reckon
she likes me back," he mumbled, looking
at his fingers, which he kept clenching and unclenching.
"Guess so!" said Harry again. "She looked, er,
pretty happy-you know, when I saw her in the hall."
"Did she?" asked Ron immediately, looking highly
grateful for this news. "Oh, good. I mean, I'm glad... I mean..." Ron took a
deep breath and blew it out, then suddenly
looked petrified "What do I do now?" he moaned. "I haven't got the first bloody
"Me either," said Harry, grinning. "Maybe you
should write her a poem," he suggested, in a not-at-all serious tone of voice.
Ron looked at him quickly, and grinned back
before he could help it. "Oy, shut up, you," he retorted, throwing a pillow
at Harry, who caught it easily and threw
it back at Ron, who let it knock him backwards and cover his face. He lay there
a moment and then in a muffled voice,
Harry heard, "You know, Harry, you ought to give it a try. It's brilliant."
Harry smirked. "What?" he said, "Kissing Hermione?"
Ron shot up from under the pillow and gave Harry
a look that told him not to try that joke again. "No," he said briefly,
"Right," laughed Harry, rolling his eyes, shutting
them, and settling back in his pillow with an image of one particular girl in
his mind. "Cho?" He sighed derisively.
"Forget it. We know that's not going to happen."
"Somebody else then," repeated Ron, shrugging
and falling back easily onto his pillow, as though now that he had done it,
it was the easiest thing in the world
to grab a girl up and kiss her. "There are a million girls at this school, I'm
sure there has to be at least one other
good one. Anyway, you've practically got a fan club."
But with that comment, Ron sat up again suddenly,
a thought seeming to occur to him. "Just stay away from my sister, right?" he
said, crossing his arms and raising an eyebrow of mock-warning at Harry. His
tone of voice was very light. But Harry knew Ron
well enough to know that his friend was not entirely in jest.
Harry flinched imperceptibly, feeling somehow
guilty. The moment Ron had said that, Harry's usual mental image of Cho Chang
had been replaced without warning. Into his mind's eye had come, unbidden, a
picture of Ginny Weasley, blushing stubbornly
at him from her chair by the fire. He felt his heart give a funny jump, and
he blinked his eyes in surprise. Ron was still
looking at him, arms folded, awaiting a response. Harry felt at a loss, but
didn't want to betray it. Instead, he forced a laugh.
"Right, Ron," he said carelessly, waving a hand as if to dismiss such an idiotic
idea. "I'll keep away from Ginny." Ron looked
satisfied, and returned to his position on his back, staring up at his canopy,
presumably musing about what to do next about
Hermione, now that he had managed to kiss her.
Harry, on the other hand, was highly unsettled.
Another memory of Ginny had just occurred to him - she was pale, and cold, barely
alive, the way she had appeared underground in the Chamber of Secrets. The thought
flashed across his mind- not for the first
time- that Ginny Weasley was the only person he knew, aside from himself, who
had faced Voldemort alone and come out
of it alive. His heart gave another queer knock.
Harry took off his glasses and shut his eyes,
feeling a bit apprehensive of Ron. For suddenly, though the thought surprised
him utterly, he wasn't entirely sure that
he would stay away from Ginny Weasley after all.