Harry reluctantly watched Ron walk towards the waiting plane, his heart berating him for not telling his best friend how he really felt. He squirmed at the thought of voicing his deepest feelings because he knew that Ron didn't feel the same way and it would break his heart to be rejected by him. He thought it would just be safer to keep his feelings a secret and therefore keep Ron as just a friend.
He pressed his forehead against the smudged window of the airport waiting area and sighed, sadly watching the shining red hair disappear through the plane door.
"Alright Harry, what's going on?"
Harry turned his head to the side, his forehead still pressed against the glass, and looked into Hermione's suspicious face.
"Don't play innocent with me Harry Potter. I've known you for nine years and I know when you're hiding something."
He sighed again and shifted his eyes back to the silver plane as the engine started to rumble.
"I'm just going to miss him, that's all." He shrugged.
"What? What do you want me to say?"
"That there's something you're not telling me, and it has to do with Ron. I know that whatever it is has been bothering you for some time now. I'm not blind."
He closed his eyes and leaned heavily on his forehead, the frames of his glasses cutting sharply into the bridge of his nose.
"Harry?" Hermione said tentatively, placing a gentle hand on his arm.
He turned around and slid to the thinly carpeted floor, his arms resting on his knees and his green eyes staring unseeing at his hands.
"Do you love him?" he asked softly.
"Who? Ron?" Hermione asked in confusion, sitting cross-legged next to him and leaning forwards to hear his strangely quiet voice.
Harry nodded mutely.
"No." She chuckled in amusement. "He's just a good friend. Why?"
"So you don't think about him when he's not around?"
"You don't think of little ways to touch him in passing or think up funny things to say just to hear him laugh?"
"You don't wish that every second you're with him you had the courage to tell him that you loved him and desperately wished that he felt the same way? Knowing deep down that he would be disgusted by it and remove himself from your life forever, and the thought of never seeing him again hurts more than keeping unrequited love to yourself ever would, so you just go on pretending that it's enough just to be near him, but it does hurt. It hurts so much.."
Hermione watched in shock as Harry Potter - famous quidditch hero and defeater of Voldemort - broke down in the middle of a crowded Muggle airport over Ron Weasley. Poor, insignificant, Ministry worker, Ron Weasley.
She quickly came to her senses and wrapped her arms around Harry's shaking body, smoothing his hair and leaning her head on his shoulder.
"I'm sorry," he apologized sheepishly, wiping his eyes and flashing her a watery smile. "It's just that I've kept all that bottled up for so long and it just kind of burst out."
"That's okay, Harry. What are friends for?"
Harry gave a shaky laugh and leaned his head back against the wall.
"So you don't think I'm crazy?" he asked after a minute.
"Of course not. Ron is a great guy, and not to mention how extremely good looking he's become. He's very popular at work."
"Don't remind me," Harry groaned. "I don't know how he's managed to stay single for so long. I know they're all dying to shag him."
"I think he's just waiting for the right one."
Harry nodded and frowned thoughtfully. "Hermione?"
"Do you think...well, do you know if...if..."
"If Ron's gay?"
"Yeah." Harry blushed, turning to look at her.
"Well, I couldn't really say for sure Harry, but I think he might be. He never misses one of your quidditch matches, and I know it has something to do with fact that whenever he looks at Oliver Wood his eyes take on a misty, glazed look."
"Great, so he's in love with my quidditch captain," Harry erupted angrily.
"Oh don't be so dramatic, Harry. It's just a little crush or harmless admiring from afar, everyone does it."
"Well who could blame him," Harry raged on. "Oliver's fucking gorgeous and I'm...well look at me!"
"You're not ugly, Harry."
"Oh, well, thank you very much," he snapped sarcastically.
"Well, you could use a few minor adjustments," she stated as tactfully as possible.
"Well for starters, you really should start to dress better. You have a fantastic body but no one ever gets to see it underneath all those baggy track pants and t-shirts."
"But they're comfortable."
"Also," she continued, ignoring him. " You have got to do something about your glasses."
"What's wrong with them?"
"It's just that they're a little out of style."
Harry turned to her and opened his mouth indignantly.
"Harry, you've had the same pair since you were eleven!" she exclaimed.
Harry took a deep breath and nodded his head in resignation. Hermione bit her lip and studied Harry's miserable face thoughtfully.
"Listen Harry, I have an idea. Ron's going to be away for a whole month, right?"
"Well, what if I give you a complete make-over? I'll take you shopping for a whole new wardrobe. I'll take you to the hairdressers, the optometrist, some dance lessons-"
"Some body-care treatments, facials, moisturizer, a gym membership-"
"The gym? I thought you said my body was just fine?"
"It is," she assured him, "but everyone can use a little definition; pecks, abs, biceps, butt-"
Hermione jumped up excitedly and tugged Harry to his feet.
"Please Harry? I've been dying to make you over and you'll look great, I swear."
"I don't know."
Harry rubbed a hand through his ruffled hair and turned to face out the window. Ron's plane was taxing down the runway and lifting into the sky. His heart gave a twinge at the memory of Ron standing at the gate in a pair of grey trousers and a white shirt, a sexy lopsided smile on his face as he said goodbye.
Harry sighed and turned to face Hermione again.
"Alright," he relented. "This is my only chance to get Ron to notice me, but don't go too crazy."
"Yes!" Hermione exclaimed happily, bouncing up and down. "I promise you will look totally normal, now let's go."
Hermione pulled on Harry's arm as she led him towards the exit to the parking lot and to her waiting car.
Harry glanced over his shoulder at Ron's plane one last time as it grew smaller and smaller on the horizon.