I know, I know! Bad N.C., very bad girl! Sorry, college and stuff got in the way again. But no worries, it's summer now, so the only thing keeping me busy is my job! For all my readers who are aching for some naughtiness, this fic WILL be getting rather toasty in upcoming chapters (actually starting with this one). You ain't seen nothin' yet, kiddies.

Timeframe (in case anyone was starting to get confused):

4:00 p.m.: Hermione starts working on the Potions essay in her room.

4:30 p.m.: Ron, Harry and the rest of the Gryffindors start playing Quidditch.

6:00 p.m.: Dinner bell rings. Ron and Harry head for the Great Hall. Hermione is still in her room hard at work.

6:30 p.m.: Hermione takes her essay down to the common room. Ron and Harry are still in the Great Hall.

7:15 p.m.: Hermione falls asleep on the couch. Ron leaves the Great Hall to head back to the common room while Harry and Draco take a ride on the RoR Pleasure Town Express.

7:30 p.m.: Ron enters the common room, finds Hermione, and gets swindled by two mysteriously familiar-looking first years.

Disclaimer: (to the tune of La Cucaracha)

Oh Harry Potter, oh Harry Potter

I bet it's worth a lot of cash…

Oh Harry Potter, oh Harry Potter

But not for my non-owning ass! Olé!

Author's Note: In case you didn't read the previous Author's Notes, this story contains references to SLASH. That means male/male relations (Harry/Draco to be specific). If you do not like to read slash or if you find it offensive in any way, please click the back button conveniently located near the top of your computer screen. You have been warned. All flames will be disregarded and/or used to toast marshmallows. Thank you and have a nice day!

Dedication: To my beloved and ever-patient reviewers, my girl Tygrressatheart doin' the Buga-shuffle this summer with her Billy-boo, and all my true Ron/Hermione shippers out there.

Concentration is Highly Overrated

Chapter Four: An Apple a Day

If Ronald Weasley knew the song "Let's Get It On" by that great late Muggle singer Marvin Gaye, it would most likely be playing in his head as he gazed over at Hermione, who slept peacefully by the fire. Unfortunately for our would-be hero, he'd never heard of the song or even the man who sung it (which sucks for him because Marvin was clearly the MAN of '70s R&B soul). Instead, the pounding silence of the now-empty common room bore down on Ron's tousled red head.

Predictably, a thousand and one thoughts wended their way through his brain as he tried to force himself over near where Hermione lay. Come ON, Weasley, get your nerve up! You're not in Gryffindor for nothing and who knows when'll be the next time you get an opportunity like this? Just take it slow…and for heaven's sake, try not to pee your pants. Definitely a turn-off.

He crept quietly over, careful not to make too much noise so as not to disturb her. Not surprisingly, all the air whooshed out of Ron's lungs when he'd finally made his way around the couch to stand in front of her sleeping form.

"Merlin, she's beautiful…" he mused aloud without knowing it.

She shifted slightly at this, muttering something almost inaudible which Ron could just make out to be the word 'freckles'. He quirked an eyebrow at this and concentrated on the threadbare hearth rug. What is she on about? Freckles…wait, she couldn't be dreaming about ME, could she? The infamous Weasley blush had already started coloring his cheeks before he could regain control of his emotions. No, no, that's just stupid. Don't go getting your hopes up, Ron. Plenty of other much more attractive blokes in this ruddy castle with freckles too, y'know. Still, kinda wish she was dreaming about me…

Ron pulled himself out of his somewhat depressing train of thought by deciding to stare aimlessly at the first thing he saw. Unfortunately (although that's a matter of opinion), his eyes landed on Hermione's lap. It seemed that when she'd moved in her sleep earlier, her formerly-knee-length skirt had scrunched up against the couch to reveal a rather generous portion of her thighs. The tall boy reddened brilliantly at this sight and forced his traitorous eyes to look elsewhere. Being the hormonally-driven 16-year-old male that he was, "elsewhere" ended up being her chest, which only served to further the blood flow to his head. Both of them.

Okay, just breathe, mate. Breathe…and stop staring! Your second-in-command will be standing at full attention if you don't quit it! Don't look at her hair…soft bushy brown curls you want to run your fingers through. Don't look at her lips…smooth pink lips you want to make red and swollen with kisses. Don't look at her thighs…pale creamy thighs you just wanna grab and then—STOP! Dammit, why couldn't I just be a poof like Harry? thought Ron frantically. However, he had a nasty little habit of thinking out loud without realizing it, and so every word he'd thought from 'STOP' onward had actually been spoken.

Hermione moaned lightly and started to sit up. Ron's eyes widened at this and he did the first thing that came to mind: plop unceremoniously onto the floor with his back against the couch as if he'd been there for hours instead of ten minutes. The petite girl yawned and rubbed her brown eyes drowsily before opening them. Luckily for her, Ron didn't notice the blush that rose on her cheeks when she saw him (and how high up her skirt had ridden), since he was too busy concentrating on his "I've just been sitting here thinking and not staring at your body" façade.

"Er, hello Ron," said Hermione quietly. I wonder if he saw up my skirt…er, I mean I hope he DIDN'T! That's what I meant! Yeah…right…

Ron made a failed attempt at restraining his own blush from deepening as he moved up to sit next to her. "Hi 'Mione. Have a good nap?" Wish I knew what you were dreaming about…

"Oh yes, it was quite—hang on, what time is it?"

"Relax, it's only…" Ron checked the Muggle watch Harry had given him for Christmas. "…7:50. Why?"

Hermione pouted unhappily. "I slept for over half an hour! It was only supposed to be a ten-minute nap and then I was to get right back to concentrating on that horrid Potions essay."

"I'm quite sure you'll be able to finish with days to spare as usual. An extra twenty minutes of sleep never hurt anybody," said Ron, chuckling softly.

"Yes, but still, I wanted to—" A low rumbling growl cut her off.

Ron glanced around the common room warily before turning back to the girl next to him. "What the bloody hell was that?"

Hermione laughed half-heartedly. "That was my stomach. I missed dinner, remember?" If he wasn't too busy shoveling food down his throat to notice I wasn't there, that is.

"Oh yeah, that's right…" said Ron thoughtfully. Honestly, how could I forget? I only sat there the entire time griping over her absence and driving Harry up the wall with questions.

"Yes well, I'm obviously hungry now," said Hermione simply, sitting up a bit straighter and drawing out her wand. "Pomum Exorio." She swished it twice and a large red apple appeared in her palm.

Ron raised an eyebrow and grinned. "Handy little spell, that is. I could use that whenever I get hungry during Professor Binns' class." Or for ammo to start a food fight with, whichever comes first…

"Which is only every day," teased Hermione before taking a bite. Ron was just about to respond with his version of a clever retort when a drop of juice hanging from the corner of Hermione's mouth caught his eye. He became quite aware that the fabric of a certain area of his pants didn't stretch enough for his liking when a small pink tongue darted out from between her lips and licked them clean. She took another bite, still innocently unaware of the effect she was having on Ron's mind, which had just bought its new summer home in the gutter.

Hermione looked over only to see Ron staring back and forth between the apple and her face, his lips parted. Thinking he wanted some (of the apple, that is), she swallowed and smiled politely.

"I'm sorry, did you want a bite?" she offered, holding out the other side of the apple to him. Why wouldn't he just ask instead of gaping at me like that?

Ron shook his head and gently moved the apple back towards her, allowing his hand to remain on hers perhaps a bit longer than necessary. "No, that's…that's okay 'Mione, I'm fine. Thanks though." Thank God for robes, that's all I have to say. Or think…whatever.

She smiled again and took another bite. Ron silently cursed whatever fate or being was trying to torture him when another wayward drop of juice fell from the apple to just below her collarbone. What was worse (or better, depending on how one would look at this situation) was that she did not seem to notice, but instead continued munching happily as the droplet slowly wended its way to more intriguing territory.

"Uh, 'Mione? You got a…" he started, voice cracking. He cleared his throat and added some extra-manly baritone to compensate. "Ahem, what I meant was you got a bit right there." He pointed unnecessarily, but from a safe distance so as not to further tempt himself. Must…not…touch…

"I can't see it, could you get it for me?" said Hermione casually.

Ron's eyes flew open. "Could I g—huh?" Did she just ask what I think (and hope) she just asked?

She raised an eyebrow, grinning, and leaned closer to him. "Could you get it for me please?"

"...okay…" He moved her hair behind her shoulder with one freckled hand and rubbed the spot where the drop had settled none-too-quickly with his thumb. Luckily for Ron (or so he thought), it was still a few inches above what might be considered touching the more-than-friends zone. "There we go."

That same grin stayed on her lips. "Thank you." She hadn't gone back to her original spot either.

"Anytime." Seriously, ANYTIME at all is fine with me. He moved a bit closer in a moment of daring.



"You know your hand is still on my shoulder, right?" Nice job, Hermione, now he's gonna move it and never touch you again! Stupid girl…

"Oops, sorry." Idiot. Just cause you got the drop off doesn't mean she wants your hands all over her!

"No, that's fine. You can leave it there, I don't mind." Oh, don't pull away just yet…

"Oh…okay then." Wicked…

It was only when Hermione found herself staring up past Ron's fiery bangs into the depths of his blue eyes did she realize just how close they had gotten. His large hand was still on her shoulder, although now she could feel it starting to inch toward her neck and found that she had no qualms with that at all.

Ron subconsciously licked his lips, an action that immediately caught Hermione's attention and kept it. Her dark eyes lingered on his mouth, which was slightly parted again. This time, however, the apple was nowhere in sight, but they had gotten close enough now to where she could almost feel his warm breath on her lips. There was something in his eyes she had never seen before as he gazed down at her. Oh my God, he's going to kiss me…Ronald Weasley, my best friend and the boy who has been driving me crazy since our first year, is going to kiss me.

He leaned down a bit more…

Hoo-yeah! This is getting interesting, eh? Can't get ahead of myself though, gotta save some for the next chapter! Thanks to all you guys who reviewed. I would do a personal shout-out thing like I did a couple chapters back, but it's 3:00 a.m. right now and I gotta get up for work in five hours. So until next time, show your true R/H fan colors and review, please!