This fell out of my fingers as I work my way back into writing fanfic... I know, I have three unfinished fics. I'm a very naughty writer ;)

And I absolutely don't care how fluffy this is. Too many of the fics I've read recently have been...horrible to my OTP. I should stay away, but they keep finding me... *sigh* So I want fluff. Oodles of it. Sue me.

But don't sue me about who owns Severus Snape et al. Just saying...

The door to the sitting room of 12 Grimmauld Place closed with a soft click. Hermione looked up from her book to find Ron standing there his fingers tapping the doorknob, shoulders hunched and his face mottled red.

Hermione's stomach turned over. The Daily Prophet had broken the news that morning. A marriage law, ratified by the Wizengamot, with some foolish idea to bind couples and secure magic in a diminishing magical population. It was a hold over from a medieval practice -it was in her book- and she'd just come to the interesting part about the convergence of powers. Now there was Ron.

"Morning, Mione." He gave her a half wave.

Not the best start and she'd said, repeatedly, that she really did dislike that shortening of her name. But nothing seemed to penetrate his skull. Unless it was quidditch. Or food. Still...he was no doubt here to propose -probably shoved into the room by his mother- so she would be polite.

A murmured spell saved her place in the dusty tome and she carefully closed it. "The kitchen a bit much?"

He huffed a laugh and padded across the room, all gangly man-boy. "Too right. Every inch of the table is covered with every name in the Order...and a few more. Mum has some spell-"

"Pura Concursum." Hermione twitched a smile and tapped her book. "It's in here."

Ron's lips pulled up, but no humour reached his eyes. "Yeah. That." He shrugged. "Anyway, I asked her to wave her wand over a name for me and it flared gold. Or Mum said it was gold. Looked sort of silver to me."

Hermione held back a frown. She'd flicked her wand over a number of names in the past hour. Only one had flared anything other than dull bronze for her and that wash of gold wasn't Ronald Weasley. Had she been right not to rely -she didn't want to admit trust- Mrs Weasley to work in her best interests? She did have a handful of single sons, after all.

"Oh, don't worry, Mione, it's not you!" Another of Ron's half laughs grated across her nerves. "Because we didn't do well together, did we? I mean, I like physical...stuff and well you..." He waved his hand to her book, held now in tightened fingers. "We weren't compatible at all." He leant forward, his voice dropping to a confiding whisper. "You don't really like that sort of thing, do you, Mione?"

Something much have shown in her gaze, a slice of the mortified anger that was twisting her gut, perhaps? Because he sat back and held up his hands. "I mean that's fine. You're happiest with a book. You need someone happy to sit and read and not do much else. Percy? Or Snape maybe?" His laughter increased. "Though come to think of it, I didn't see his name on the table. Must've already be sorted, lucky git."

Hermione stared at him. Severus Snape wasn't on the list? But she'd heard Mr Weasley tell his wife to send out the owl, asking for his participation in the Great Marriage Match, as George declared it. Her heart thudded. Had he refused? Was he waiting on the Ministry to make a decision of last resort?

She flicked a glance at the ashes in the fireplace, where she'd incendio'd the names she'd written down. Or was it more of Mrs Weasley's manipulations?

"Who have you decided on, Ron?"

She had to get him out of the room so she could slip away.

"Oh, a Hufflepuff, Gillian Osset. We met up again last month."

When Ron was supposed to be going out with her. Though after the end of the war, with everything being so hectic, they'd not grabbed more than a few kisses. And the groping. How could she forget the groping?

Hermione stopped her mouth from thinning. From what she remembered of the girl, Gillian was mad for wizard chess. At least they would have that in common. And a Hufflepuff had the patience to put up with Ron's moods. Yes, Gillian was a good match for him.

"That's great. You can play chess together."

His face flushed and he wouldn't meet her gaze. So he'd done with Gillian everything he demanded from her. "Yeah. I suppose." He was on his feet and halfway to the door. "Mum'll be going through your suitors this afternoon, she said." He stopped at the door. "Look, Mione, I hope you didn't think it'd be me and you. Mum said I should tell you I'd chosen someone. Someone else." He scratched at the back of his neck. "I mean, you didn't even like kissing."

I didn't like kissing you. But the words burned unsaid on her tongue. "It's fine, Ron." Hermione patted the tome in her lap. "And I'll be here with my book. As expected."

His face mottled further, then he was gone from the room.

Hermione slumped back. Git. But she couldn't dwell on what an unfeeling idiot Ronald Weasley was. She had a plan to set in motion.

Love it, hate it, let me know what you think! :)