A Sudden Realization

by She's a Star

Author's Note: Harry Potter's not mine, I'm afraid. It all belongs to a certain Ms. Rowling, who has a certain book 5 coming out in a certain 39 days. Ecstatic? Moi? Oh, yes.

Disclaimer: I wrote this ages ago, not so much because I wanted to post as because I wanted to envision how this conversation would go, but I just came across it and thought it was rather funny (yes, I'm pathetic; I amuse myself), so I decided to post it.

Anyway, this is set post GoF during the summer - Harry's staying at The Burrow, and Ron's dwelling a bit on a certain Know It All. :-)

*

"We're having a great time, aren't we, Harry?"

"Erm...sure, Ron."

"A bloody damned good time without her. She can prance off to Bulgaria with that git if she wants to - we don't need her company! Obviously she finds him a lot more bloody important than us. But we don't need her, do we, Harry?"

"Erm."

"'Next time there's a ball, ask me before someone else does and not as a last resort!' Honestly! What the bloody hell was that?! Like she thinks I...I fancy her or something! What's she going on about? I didn't want to go to the ball with her! I don't...." Ron paused; a look of utter horror suddenly came over his face. "Oh my God."

About time.

Sure enough-

"I do, don't I?" he asked, aghast. "I do fancy Hermione! I...I...Harry, stop me! Harry, tell me I'm wrong! Tell me I've gone mad!"

"Er...Ron," Harry said, a bit testily, "I think you do fancy Hermione."

"I do!" he said, looking as though he'd just discovered the answers to all of the world's secrets. "I...and I don't just suddenly fancy Hermione either, do I?" He looked downright miserable.

Harry shook his head weakly.

"I've...God, Harry, I reckon I've liked her for ages!" Ron looked very alarmed. "Since...when?!" Looking positively desperate, he asked, "How long, Harry?"

"Erm...a while?" Harry suggested weakly.

"The slugs!" Ron howled. "The slugs! It made me so mad, and I...you know why I did that, Harry?"

"For Hermione?" Harry inquired.

"For Hermione!" Ron exploded. "I didn't want Malfoy to hurt her feelings! I just wanted to kill him, because no one should be allowed to talk to Hermione like that! And...and...when she was Petrified...the spiders! The goddamn bloody spiders! I followed the spiders for Hermione!"

Harry nodded.

"And..." Very meekly, he asked, "Harry...I wasn't mad because she was fraternizing with the enemy, was I?"

Harry shook his head. "I reckon you weren't. I reckon you were jealous."

"Jealous!" Ron cried. Harry cringed - perhaps he shouldn't have said that. But no - "I was jealous, Harry! I was going bloody insane! And I've hated Krum, and Lockhart, because...because Hermione liked them!"

Harry nodded again.

Ron now seemed to be ranting madly. "And d'you know what I was thinking about at the ball last year, when Padma got all sulky??"

"Hermione?" Harry suggested delicately.

"Her hair!" Ron exploded. "I was sitting there, and thinking about her hair, and how did she get it like that? And I was hoping it wouldn't bloody stay that way, because I...I like her hair the way it is! And if her hair was just all silky, it'd be like she was just going all...normal, like Parvati, or Lavender, and I don't want her to be like that, Harry, because she's Hermione! Parvati and Lavender, they're supposed to do that, you know? Because they're girls. They're meant for us to gawk at and stuff. But...but Hermione...she's different, ya know? She's...so intense, and smart, and funny, and she's such a know-it-all, and she's Hermione! She can't be pretty like them! She's not pretty, she's beautiful, Hermione. You know, when her eyes go all bright when she's just understood something, and how her cheeks get all flushed when she's angry, and how she pushes her hair out of her eyes when she's concentrating, and doesn't really give it a thought? And...." Ron suddenly looked painfully aware of what he was saying. "Harry, stop me."

"Stop," Harry instructed obediently.

"Harry," Ron said, very miserably. "I don't...just fancy Hermione, do I? I...it's more than just liking her, isn't it?"

Nodding weakly, Harry said, "It seems that way."

"I...I lo..."

The tips of Ron's ears had gone red.

"What do you say we go play a game of chess?" he suggested, eyes fixed firmly on his awful orange bedspread.

"All right," Harry agreed, and they went downstairs.

FIN