A/N Sorry to keep you guys waiting so long! 3 Seeing your comments about me abandoning this story and all hurts my soul :( I WOULD NEVER.

But I did tell you that I won't abandon this story and I intend to 100% stick by this statement. :) With that being said; I'll get around to writing a little bit before my semester starts up again in October, and by that point I'll be relatively busy with University. Again; I will 100% finish this story (and this is by no means not everything I have written in the time since the last chapter) but the intervals between chapters getting uploaded WILL just be several months each time. This is a pretty big chapter! Hope you enjoy for now! :) So 1 of 2 things is either gonna happen; A small chapter BEFORE October + another bigger one at Christmas time OR just 1 huge chapter at Christmas time. IF there is no new chapter by Oct. 1st expect the next one around the holiday season :)

CHAPTER 11 – Valentines Day

Valentines day was approaching and Ron and Harry were sitting in the Gryffindor common room after having returned from Quidditch practice. To both boys' joy they had completed their homework beforehand and had the night off, so to speak. Hermione, who was taking several N.E.W.T. classes more than Ron and Harry, still had had a bit of homework to do. She entered the common room, quickly putting away all of her school things in the girls dormitory, before returning downstairs to join Harry and Ron in their favorite spot.

"Ugh," huffed Hermione, plopping down onto the couch next to Ron. "Ancient Runes is beginning to annoy me."

"I would willingly embrace Aragog before I take Ancient Runes, and that's really saying something," said Ron.

"Aragog? As in the giant spider?"

"Yep," said Ron casually.

"I wouldn't say Ancient Runes is that bad…" said Hermione.

"How was practice?" added Hermione, suddenly remembering where Ron and Harry had been.

"Okay, I guess," said Ron calmly.

"Okay? It was brilliant," said Harry. "Ron saved everything. It was as if he had shield charms up before the goal posts."

Ron flushed and waved his hand dismissively.

"And by the end, Ginny was trying so hard to score because she was getting annoyed that you were saving literally everything," added Harry enthusiastically.

"Obviously," said Hermione matter-of-factly. "Ron's played absolutely amazing in the past. It's not doubtful he'll be playing amazing again in the next match. He's even better than Oliver Wood was."

"Are you mental?" said Ron incredulously. "Wood was one of the best Keepers Gryffindor's ever had and—"

"And that means that you are one of the best as well then," said Hermione casually, but smiling at Ron, who was blushing furiously.

After fifteen more minutes of Quidditch talk, Hermione was beginning to feel strained. As if Quidditch was all there could be?

"I have been thinking…" started Hermione, determined to change the topic of conversation. "That I want to join the Ministry after I'm done with school…and after everything with Voldemort, obviously."

"I think you'd be turning the place upside down, then?" said Ron.

"Excuse me," said Hermione indignantly. "What's that suppos—"

"I mean that you'd be changing a lot of things for the better!" said Ron quickly, but Hermione could see the honesty in his eyes.

"You're certainly…forceful enough to bring about a lot of change," said Ron matter-of-factly, causing Hermione to blush.

"I mean, look at Harry and me. Our homework's all done for the night. And I doubt that'd be the case if you wouldn't have pushed us to do it over the years. Having a night off of homework is quite the achievement. The credit's definitely not all due to Harry and me."

Hermione tucked some of her curls behind her ear slowly, as to cover her blush whilst her hand was covering Ron's line of sight to Hermione's cheek.

Harry simply nodded along encouragingly, softly smiling at Hermione. Hermione shot Harry quick and genuine smile, but went on to beam at Ron, who was giving her one of his trademark lopsided grins. He really could be quite sweet couldn't he?

The Trio spent the remainder of the evening chatting away in front of the slowly dying fire, before Harry retreated to the dormitory, leaving Ron and Hermione by themselves. Ron peered around the room to notice that it was completely deserted. Harry must've been the last to leave.

Hermione noticed Ron looking around and realized for herself that the common room was empty, and that it must therefore be late.

"Oh, I should probably go to bed too," said Hermione getting up from her spot on the couch, but Ron took her wrist.

"Wait," he said quickly, releasing her wrist in embarrassment and this action.

"What is it?" said Hermione earnestly, sitting down next to Ron again.

"I—I have to tell you something…and I—"

shit. shit. shit. shit. I can't do this today.

"Yes, Ronald?" said Hermione, looking into his eyes, a gentle smile on her lips.

"I—er—" stammered Ron. "I forgot…maybe—maybe I'll remember by tomorrow," said Ron, doing his best fake-chuckle. "Good night, Hermione," said Ron trying his best to not flat out run up to the dormitory and scream into his pillow.

"Oh, okay," said Hermione, slightly disappointed. "Good night, Ron."

She sought his eye contact one more time as he walked towards the dormitory stairs at a brisk pace, but he didn't look back.

Ron walked up at, what he felt like, was a reasonable pace, cast Muffliato in his bed and then screamed into his pillow.

The next morning, as Ron and Harry arrived in the Great Hall, Hermione was already having breakfast.

"Morning," they all chimed at the same time. Ron instinctively took a seat next to Hermione and began loading his plate.

"Harry…must you have the book out at breakfast," said Hermione in an annoyed voice.

"Oh, er—well…maybe not, you're right," said Harry, and put his edition of Advanced Potions back into his bag. Hermione kept her gaze on him carefully as she drank a sip from her pumpkin juice.

Shortly after, Lavender Brown bumped right into Hermione, spilling pumpkin juice all over the table.

"Woah!" yelled Ron and Harry in unison.

"Oopsie, sorry," yelped an awkward Lavender Brown. "Sorry, Hermione, oh—I—I got distracted." She peered directly at Ron, who was focused on getting his wand out to clean up the pumpkin juice. Hermione thought she'd noticed Cormac McLaggen furtively gazing her direction.

"Oh, it's alright Lavender, no worries!"

"Here, take this," said Lavender after handing Hermione a new goblet of pumpkin juice.

"Thank you, Lavender," said Hermione courtly, having, with the help of Ron of course, cleaned the rest of the juice of the table.

Lavender left their part of the table to sit with Pavarti.

"What d'you reckon the weather's going to be like for practice today," chimed Harry.

Here they go with their bloody Quidditch again…

Hermione began drinking her pumpkin juice as her best attempt to drown out Ron and Harry's fascination with the weather and ideal Quidditch conditions for this evenings practice session. Apparently she hadn't drowned out as much as she had wanted from their conversation.

Hermione noticed Cormac McLaggen peer her way again as she made eye contact with him and began to blush.

Oh my…he noticed me hihi…

Hermione had been acting weird and distant towards Ron and Harry all day ever since breakfast.

After practice in the Common Room, Ron was sitting at the fire, staring into it and mouthing words. He was trying to pluck up the courage to ask Hermione out for Valentines day.

Harry got up from sitting next to Ron and made his way over to Hermione who wasn't sat far from them near the window.

"Hermione…" started Harry. "Everything–"

"Harry, not now…I'm…I'm caught up thinking about him…" she said, lowering her voice.

"About whom?" said Harry, unable to contain his curiosity.

"I—I can't tell you, I—no, I won't tell you," whispered Hermione.

"O-kay," said Harry, furrowing his brow.

"Is it anyone I know?"

"Well…yes, but that's all I'll say," whispered Hermione, now giggling.

Harry had to suppress a laugh of his own at seeing Hermione giggle over Ron.

"Sod it," said Ron, getting up from the couch. "Harry, can I have a moment with…"

"Uh, er— yeah, mate" interrupted Harry, instinctively knowing about whom Ron was talking about.

"Hermione," started Ron. "I remembered what I was going to tell you– I mean ask you yesterday." Hermione sighed and looked up at Ron, slightly annoyed.

"If you really have to ask…" said Hermione, her eyes now fixed on another spot of the common room. Ron's heart began pounding.

Fuck, I should have asked her yesterday, less people around…and she seemed more…more what's the word? Receptive! Right…she seemed more receptive yesterday…

"Right, er– so uhm– I was uhm– wondering," stammered Ron, his face crimson and his palms now clammy. "I was wondering if– uhm– maybe you– wanted to er– go out with me on Valentines Day." He had blurted out that last part relatively fast.

fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck

Hermione's eyes were glazed over. She blinked several times and then made to look at Ron.

Oh shit, oh fuck why is she looking at me like that now, this was easier when she wasn't looking at me

"What?" asked Hermione incredulously, unable to suppress a small giggle. "You want to go out with me on Valentines Day?"

Harry's head jerked slightly into Ron and Hermione's direction and he couldn't help but watch them from the corner of their eye and listen to their conversation.

"Uhm…yeah…" said Ron defeatedly.

Bloody hell…why did she have to laugh…

"Me? Go out with you?" Hermione was now having a full on laughing fit.

"Forget it," said Ron quickly, his face now draining of all color. He began walking away.

Harry now turned his head fully towards Ron and Hermione to watch what was happening. But Harry wasn't the only one. Others in the common room had began watching the pair.

"Wait, Ron," said Hermione. "You actually thought you had a chance with me?" Ron stopped in his tracks and turned around.

W—what is she— why is she—

"You…Ronald Weasly–" Hermione broke off into a mirthless laughter again. "You thought I would actually go out with you? What woman would want you? What are you next to Cormac."

"W—what," stammered Ron, his eyes beginning to water at what he'd just heard.

Harry got up from the couch.

"Okay, Hermione," said Harry. "That's enough–"

"Oh shut up, Harry," hissed Hermione. "You know it's true as well."

She turned her attention back to Ron.

"Cormac is a man, Ronald. A man. You're only a boy" she waved her hand up and down Ronald in some kind of cruel gesture. "…and…I don't really…" she broke off into laughter again. "…date boys. I date men. I'll probably be spending Valentines Day with Cormac anyways."

Ron blinked and tears streamed down his cheeks. He began wiping them off feverishly and made a run for the dormitory.

"What is the bloody matter with you," hissed Harry.

"Harry, Harry, Harry," started Hermione, shaking her head, whilst still laughing. "You don't stand a chance against Cormac either,"

"What's all this rubbish about Cormac?" said Harry waspishly.

"I think—I think I love him, Harry," said Hermione, her laughter now turning into a silly giggle. Harry's eyes went wide with realization.

"Come on, Hermione, we're er– going for a walk to talk about Cormac," said Harry, firmly grabbing Hermione by her forearm and pulling her out of the common room, a dozen prying eyes still fixed on Hermione, some students shaking their heads, others with their mouth ajar.

Harry knocked on Professor Slughorn's Office door.

"A moment," chimed a booming voice from inside the room. Harry still hadn't let go of Hermione's forearm.

"Are we meeting Cormac now?" asked Hermione.

"Yes," said Harry simply.

There was some ruffling and clicking at the door and it swung open.

"Harry m'boy!" boomed Slughorn. "You should be in your common room at this hour! Let alone wander the halls!"

"Sorry professor, I wouldn't be bother you if it weren't absolutely necessary.

"Oh, Miss Granger! I didn't see you there! Alright there?"

"Better than alright, sir! I'm about to meet the love of my life!" she beamed.

Slughorn merely blinked and smiled awkwardly at her.

"What's the matter with Miss Granger?" whispered Slughorn towards Harry.

"Love potion, sir…and…maybe a jinx of some kind as well."

"Oh dear, oh dear, well come on in, boy." Slughorn stepped aside and gestured Harry and Hermione into his office, Harry, still firmly grasping Hermione's forearm, pulled her into Slughorn's office.

"I'll quickly mix an antidote to the potion, but please, Harry, tell me about this jinx?" said Slughorn, as he began rummaging around some cupboards in his office.

"Well, sir, er–" said Harry, switching glances between Hermione and Slughorn. "She insulted a friend of mine out of nowhere and wouldn't stop with the insults…"

"Who did she insult?" said Slughorn, who was holding an empty glass in one hand and a few ingredients in another.

"Ron Weasly, sir," said Harry.

"She brought him to the Christmas Party, didn't she? Ah yes, I remember…well…this is a jinx alright…" said Slughorn darkly, making his way over to his desk, where he began mixing ingredients. "It is a jinx, or rather curse even, known as Lovers Quarrel. It is extremely difficult to perform…one must really want a person's love life ruined in order for it to take effect."

"Like with the Avada Kedavra curse?" asked Harry, furrowing his brow.

"Similar, yes," continued Slughorn, who turned around whilst still mixing a red liquid in the glass. "It does fall under the category of dark magic. Should one be cursed in this manner, they will begin to detest, insult and deject the person they truly love. This curse is particularly cruel as it isn't just one person that's being harmed…" Slughorn stopped mixing the red liquid and blankly stared an empty armchair. "You see, Harry, whoever put that curse on Miss Granger must want her to lose the person she truly loved. It is a horrible thing to wish upon another…here," added Slughorn, as he handed Hermione the antidote.

Hermione didn't question what she had been handed. She simply drank.

"What–what's…Harry? Professor?" said Hermione, looking startled, bewildered and embarrassed at being in Slughorn's office so late.

"Love potion, Miss Granger," said Slughorn. "The effects of the potion are gone, but you'll feel a bit empty until you've had some sleep I'm afraid. Oh and Harry, please be so kind and escort Miss Granger to Professor Snape."

"Snape?" said Harry and Hermione loudly in unison.

"Professor Snape, yes," said Slughorn. "He is after all the defense against dark arts teacher. And as this is a fairly nasty curse–"

"I haven't been curse–," said Hermione indignantly.

"Denial is part of the curse," interrupted Slughorn. "It is to ensure that the curse isn't willingly lifted. Harry, please ensure she sees Professor Snape,"

"Yes, sir," said Harry, once again grasping Hermione at her forearm. "Thank you, Professor." he added. Slughorn merely nodded as he stared into the fire of his chimney.

"Harry–" started Hermione, but Harry grabbed her by her arm quite forcefully and she felt too tired to put up a fight.

"Mister Potter, what an unpleasant surprise." drawled Snape after he'd opened the door for Harry and Hermione. "Miss Granger…if you're here to hound me about this week's essa–"

"She's been cursed, Professor," said Harry.

"Really…I see no difference," said Snape, not looking at Hermione.

"It's Lovers' Quarrel, sir," said Harry. Snapes expression immediately changed. His cold demeanor seemed to have changed into something…more angry. "Professor Slughorn sent me to come to you…he said you'd know how to lift the–"

"In my office. Both of you, now," said Snape forcefully. Harry pulled Hermione inside and Snape had already glided over to his desk to retrieve his wand.

"Let go of Miss Granger's arm, Potter," said Snape.

"Nolite amantis discordiam," said Snape in an almost whisper, his eyes closed.

"How, how do you feel?" asked Harry to Hermione. Before she could answer, Snape interrupted, "She doesn't feel a difference that is the whole point, Potter. She will now no longer continue with her behavior, but even after the curse is lifted a person does not feel any shame or disgust in their actions," said Snape, looking at Hermione as he said that last part.

"Only if the person she truly loves tells her what happened, will she have the ability to feel sorry and remember what she has done."

"And there's no other way to really lift it?" said Harry.

"Well…if…whomever she was made to hate…died…then she would also remember everything."

Hermione stood there, looking perplexed, yet also horrified. She truly had no idea what she had done and whom she had supposedly harmed. This must all be some big prank.

"But, professor, I've never insulted anyone?" said Hermione.

"My point exactly," said Snape, now looking back at Harry. "Do you have any idea who might have cursed her, Potter?"

"Hey, what about me?" said Hermione indignantly.

"Quiet, Miss Granger," said Snape as he flicked his wand and the door of the office flew shut.

"This spell is one of the few very evil curses that somehow has not made its way into the unforgivable section. It's quite…an offense, Potter." said Snape slowly.

"I don't know, sir…who could've done it I mean," said Harry.

"When did she first show signs?" Snape said, now whirling around to his desk.

"In the morning perhaps, during the first classes, she started to…act differently towards– er–," said Harry, scratching the back of his head. So Ron was the love of her life…

"Who ate breakfast with you," asked Snape.

"Err–" started Harry. Suddenly something clicked. "Wait a minute…Lavender Brown bumped into Hermione this morning and she must have also slipped her the love potion!"

"Love potion?" asked Snape, turning back around from his desk.

"Yes…" started Harry. "That's why we came from Professor Slughorn."
"And who might have been the," Snape looked at Hermione. "Object of Miss Granger's affection after she'd been slipped the potion.

"Cormac McLaggen," said Harry.

Hermione's eyes widened as she stood frozen to the spot. Cormac?

"McLaggen and Brown…" said Snape quietly…"Go back to your house. I'll see the headmaster as soon as he is back."
"Wait, why would we need Professor Dumbledore?"

"Potter…" started Snape, his expression angry. "This curse is an offense not just worthy of expulsion from this school, but also a lengthy visit to Azkaban…lest of course Brown or McLaggen had no idea what they where doing, which I doubt, as pretty much all material on this curse describes in detail that one must want the other person's love life to be destroyed. Any and all mentions of the curse also include a statement about it's legality…"

Harry's mouth stood ajar.

"One more thing, Potter," said Snape, not looking at him nor Hermione. "Should the person that's been dejected…die…will the spell also reveal itself to whomever was cursed. Meaning…the person who had been cursed will realize all they have said and done to push their loved one away…and ultimately feel responsible for their death…In the wizarding world couples and marriages fell apart with the use of this curse. And sometimes the dejected would…commit suicide. Leaving the cursed person with all the memories and guilt of what they had done…many would soon follow their loved ones into the grave by also taking their own life. So when I tell you, Potter, that this is serious…you don't go questioning me again, do you understand?"

"Y-yes," said Harry, audibly gulping.

"Ten point…" Snape started. "to Gryffindor. Perhaps…for once, you've done the right thing, Potter." Snape turned around, flicked his wand to open the office door and he strode past them.

"Go to your house," said Snape as he turned outside of his office, on his way to Dumbledore's.

"C'mon Hermione," said Harry, grabbing her by the arm again. "You need to talk to Ron immediately!"

"But, Harry!" started Hermione. "It's late…I'm absolutely knackered…besides, so is Ron probably."

"Hermione. You are talking to Ron." said Harry.

"Fine, if you insist," said Hermione waspishly, pulling her arm out of Harry's grasp and beginning to walk.

"Ron, mate, Hermione was cursed," said Harry as he banged open the door to the dormitory. Besides Ron, everyone was still downstairs in the common room. Hermione had asked Harry why everyone had watched her so intently when they walked through the portrait hole into the common room just moments ago. He hadn't answered her.

"Go away, Harry," said a dreamy voice from one of the windows. Ron was sitting next to the window, peering into the darkness, a box of chocolate cauldrons (emptied) next to him.

"Mate, I just got back from Snape, he lifted some curse from her!"

"Ron?" asked Hermione softly. Ron got up.

"What's she doing here?" he directed at Harry, not daring to look at Hermione.

"To speak with you, mate," said Harry.

"She is the last person I want to talk to Harry!" screeched Ron, much like a little girl. "I want to…I want to talk to Romilda…"

"To whom?" said Harry and Hermione in unison.

Ron looked indignant.

"Romilda Vane! I love her, Harry! My heart aches for her!"

"Blimey…not this shite again," said Harry, who at once, strode over to Ron and grasped him by the forearm.

Hermione's eyes began watering. Harry took a quick look at Hermione. "Bloody hell, Hermione," he whispered so Ron couldn't hear them, even though he was standing only a mere two feet away, Harry holding his arm. "…he's under the effects of another love potion, just like you. So suck it up!"

Hermione blinked and wiped away a tear. Of course Harry was right…it was just another love potion…why Ron had no interest in talking to her however, she couldn't quite understand.

"Come with me," said Harry to Ron.

"W-where are we going," started Ron.

"To see Romilda Vane," said Harry. "You stay here, Hermione. I expect you two to talk when we get back."

"Oh, okay," said Hermione, now worried about Ron, but equally as confused what all that fuss with Professor Snape had been about. Whenever the mentioned some curse her thoughts suddenly wandered off to nowhere. And that after Snape had said he had lifted some curse off her. Whatever the hell that was about, Hermione didn't think too much about it. She felt quite serene, but slightly confused by Ron's behavior.

"Harry?" said Slughorn, his eyes wide at Harry's recurring presence.

"Suppose you don't have any antidote left, do you?" said Harry, now pointing toward Ron behind him.

"Oh dear heavens," sighed Slughorn. He opened the door for them. "In the season of love no less…" He walked over to his cupboard again, shaking his head. "…all students become randy and begin smothering love potions to one another. A crazy thing… love…isn't it?" said Slughorn, more so talking to himself than Harry.

"Sure is, sir," said Harry…his thoughts trailing off to a redheaded 5th year on his quidditch team.

Her returned from his cupboard with another goblet filled with red liquid, that reminded Harry of the one time he had snuck a bottle of kool-aid into aunt Petunia's shopping basket.

"There you go, my boy, drink up!" said Slughorn, handing the goblet to Ron, who took the goblet, but looked confused.

"What's this?"

"A tonic, for the nerves…for when…she gets here…" said Slughorn, looking at Harry side-eyed.

"Brilliant!" said Ron and he downed the goblet at once.

Ron's good mood and cheery attitude faded immediately after he had finished drinking. The goblet dropped from his hands.

"What…what happened…" stammered Ron, now looking at Harry. "Harry! What happened…it's like…"

"Oh, dear boy," said Slughorn, bending down to pick up the goblet, but Harry was quicker and picked it up, handing it to Slughorn

"Oh, you need a pick-me-up my dear Wallenby!"

Slughorn poured three glasses of mead and handed one to Ron and Harry each.

"I had other intentions for this, but given the circumstances…"

Ron had already taken a sip before them, but once more he dropped the glas and crumpled to the floor.

Harry stood frozen for a moment.

Ron began convulsing with foam forming at his mouth.

Harry dropped his own glas at once and jumped to his friend's side.

"Ron! Professor! Do something!"

"I don't understand!" shouted Slughorn.

Harry jumped up and began rummaging through Slughorns cupboard himself, whilst Slughorn kept repeating himslelf. Harry's first lesson had imprinted itself in his memory to the point where he had had nightmares about it in first year and remembered everything taught in that particular lesson. Including the anti-poison life saving qualities of a –

"GOT IT!" yelled Harry at once, grabbing a small rock that resembled a white walnut. A bezoar. He shoved it down Ron's through as far as he could and to Harry's relief, Ron began breathing again.

As Hermione sat in her chair near the fire in the common room, waiting for Harry and Ron to return, as instructed by Harry, she suddenly felt an odd sensation overcome her and memories she didn't know she had suddenly filled her mind…

"Me? Go out with you?" Hermione was now having a full on laughing fit.

"You actually thought you had a chance with me?"

"You…Ronald Weasly–"

It was all Hermione could hear for a solid minute. It was her own voice, broken up here and there by laughter or…Ron's voice…she had said all those things to him. She had laughed at him. Belittled him. Insulted him…and maybe even broken his heart. She also remembered why Harry had taken her to Slughorn and Professor…Snape…and suddenly images of Snape mentioning some evil love curse that…that she had been cursed with…a spell that was only truly lifted through a few scenarios…either her true love told her about or…or Ron was to die…

Hermione's mind raced trying to remember when Ron had told her about the curse, but all she could remember is him and Harry headed off to Slughorn…so why was the curse now suddenly lifted–

"No…no…no…" yelped Hermione, tears forming in her eyes. She jumped up immediately rushing to Slughorn's office as fast as she could. She found it to be empty with…broken glasses…

"No, no not Ron," squeaked Hermione and she made a run for the next best place she thought she could find him. The hospital wing.

Hermione rounded the corner and saw Ron being lifted onto a hospital bed by Madam Pomfrey via Levicorpus. Harry and Slughorn, along with McGonagall and Dumbledore were also already present.

"He needs rest…and you…Mr. Potter, do too," said Madam Pomfrey.

Hermione began walking towards the hospital bed surrounded by teachers.

"Ah, Miss Granger," said Dumbledore. "I take it the curse has been lifted then…"

"How did you–"

"I know a few things, Miss Granger…at least things that are important. Like my students being cursed and poisoned."

Dumbledore's somber and soft expression, despite everything she had just been through, and the wave of emotions she had felt, was enough to make her burst into tears…

A/N Tell me...was it worth the wait?:) I hope it was:) Probably diverted some of your expectations right then and there. Not much fluff in this one (this is more of an angst story, hence the category), but for all fluff fans...you've got one thing comin' in the next couple of chapters. Just the right amount. Again; I won't abandon this story :D Trust me! Even if it takes me another half year to upload another chapter; There will be chapters coming until the story is done!