Disclaimer: I do not own these characters, so brilliantly created by J.K. Rowling. Most situations are based on those previously created by J.K. Rowling.

Chapter One: Hermione

Hermione Granger didn't like to admit this but she actually looked forward to summer vacations. She actually liked having no homework to do. Sure, she still enjoyed reading, but it was nice not to have the pressures of school and tests to overwhelm her. Of course, she'd never let on to Harry and Ron.

Hemione's best friends. Harry. and Ron. Ron Weasley. They had met their first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. They were instant enemies, but that all changed when Ron's quick thinking had saved her from a troll attach. Okay, so Hermione knew that Harry had played a large part in that as well, but somewhere along the line she remembered more of Ron's presence than Harry's.

If asked, Hermione couldn't place when her feelings for Ron went from friendship to more. She tried. She thought perhaps it was during third year, when he was being dragged into the Whomping Willow. She had felt a lurch in her stomach then, scared she'd never see him again and also scared she herself would die if she didn't. Or maybe it was at the Quidditch World Cup, when Ron was overcome by the power of veelas and Hermione was consumed with fear that she would never get such a reaction from him. Then maybe it was fifth year, when he was so despaired from not doing well at Quidditch. She felt his distress with him, desired to do more for him than a quick kiss on the cheek. Or perhaps it was simply knowing that when they were together, she never wanted them to be apart.

Still, though her heart yearned to get even closer to Ronald Weasley, she said nothing about her feelings. She had her reasons. She was afraid that pairing up would ruin the friendship that they shared, not just between the two of them but also their friendship with Harry. She also had a reputation to keep up, as the bookwormish girl with no time for boyfriends. However, the real reason Hermione didn't say anything to Ron was because she was scared, scared that he'd reject her, laugh at her. But mostly, she was scared because - what if - just what if he returned the feelings.

Hermione suspected things. She thought that maybe Ron had some of the same feelings she did. She remembered - always with a small smile - his reaction whenever she talked about Viktor Krum. And while she'd never tell Ron, a small part of her giggled inside whenever he called him Vicky. If only her knew that her relationship with Viktor was never a relationship at all. They were friends, sure, but nothing more. Hermione always had to remind herself that it was the same way with Ron: they were friends, nothing more.

Still, whether or not the feelings were returned, proximity was something Hermione craved and cherished. For now, being close to Ron was enough. Which is why she was excited to be leaving for the Burrow. Just three weeks into the holiday, her parents had received a formal owl from Mr. and Mrs. Weasley requesting their permission for Hermione to come and visit. Her parents had consented right away. They had always been happy that Hermione had made such good friends at Hogwarts. Before, she had always been a bit of a loner. Plus, they adored both Harry and Ron, and were happy for Hermione to spend time with them. With the promise that she would spend Christmas at home, they sent a reply and accepted the invitation.

Now they found themselves saying good-bye to Hermione yet again. They stood at their fireplace and hugged her, handing her some money and giving her their well wishes.

"Just write if you need anything," Mrs. Granger assured, knowing that telephones were a rare occurrence in a wizard home.

"I will mom," Hermione assured her. With one last hug and kiss on the cheek for each of her parents, Hermione stepped into the fireplace and traveled by Floo Power to the Burrow.