Title: Septuplets

Author: purplemud

Rating: PG

Category: H/Hr and R/Lu

Sub: A bit of angst, fluff and humor

Author's note: Er, the usually weird fics that I'd always come up with. A real nightmare fic that is: (1) Un beta-ed, (2) No clear plot, (3) Weird time line, (4) Even weirder characterization and lastly, (5) A very silly ending.

Many thanks to those who have read and left their comments and reviews, I hope that you all enjoy this bit. Do let me know what you guys think!

And now, to Chapter 3, shall we…

Chapter 3

The Cold War

I didn't talk to them for a whole month. He never did left Hemione's side and I remember thinking to myself what a selfish bastard he was. I never did realize how hard it was for him to be with Hermione after what I told him. I didn't quite care if they were both suffering, as far as I was concerned, it served them right. I had other friends. Friends who won't take me for granted and won't brush me off.

It was hard avoiding them, being in the same house and all. I missed them terribly of course but as weeks went by, I learned to like the independence that it gave me. I wasn't reduced to Ronald Weasely, Sidekick. I mean, sure I had been with Harry and Hermione on a lot of adventures but I had definitely missed out on some of the bigger, more life-altering ones. Hermione is more of his sidekick anyway, they work good together, even without me. Like in Second Year, we had been both so lost without Hermione's help. We'd never figure out about the Basilisk if it weren't for her. But they did just fine when they rescued Sirius and Buckbeak and it had been just the two of them.

Hermione's more like Harry's other half. Like a partner. They compliment each other: Harry's impulsiveness tamed by Hermione's need for getting the facts first, creating a plan to follow. Hermione's fears calmed by Harry's courage.

Ginny finally came to me one day and said that I was being bloody unfair and selfish. That if I was a real friend, I'd accept whatever it was that would make Harry and Hermione happy, that friendship and love is not at all about sparks and chemistry, it's about making sacrifices and learning how to let go when the time has come.

To be honest, I really don't know what she meant by all that. She must've picked it up from one of those teen witch magazines. Or it might be she was already growing up and there I was, being a total prat.

Well, either way, that was when I realized what a bloody awful mess I have created. It wasn't exactly what Ginny had said that made me realize that being friends with Harry and Hermione was worth losing whatever romantic ideas I had in my head concerning Hermione. I think it was because I decided to actually grow up. Which wasn't as easy as opening locked doors with a simple spell. It took me one bloody sleepless week to get everything in perspective.

So finally, I decided to move on, swallow my damn pride and apologize. I may not be happy about it, but I might as well learn to accept there are some things that I cannot change and cannot have.

Besides, I can be alone. I mean, I can be without Harry and Hermione. I have my own identity. I didn't have to be with them always to be friends with them. They have their own lives to live, their own destiny to fulfill together and I have my own.

I was really so proud that I actually made sense that day and I wanted to tell them how I figured everything on my own. Until I realized that I couldn't tell them because we we're arguing. It definitely drove home the truth that it was time I get my friends back.

I found Harry at the Quidditch field and since I promised myself that I would apologize but not be a fucking sap about it, I simply walked up to Harry and told him that everything was ok between us.

He briefly looked like I had hit him in the head with his Firebolt. I thought I might have to resort to being dramatic, which I didn't know how to be, so I decided that the best way to do this was to be sincere.

I told him that first and foremost, I was a git. A total wanker (well not really, really a total wanker…but, er, I think he got the point). An awful friend. I was confused, miserable and I felt betrayed.

"But I'm over all that and I had realized, thank God, that our friendship is more important to me. Few people will ever find friends willing to die for them and keep up with their nasty mood swings." I said all in one breath, trying not to let my voice quaver and shake. Very manly, I silently told myself, giving a bit of mental pat on my back.

"What about Hermione?" Harry asked, his voice all broken.

"Well, you tell her not to worry, I'm fine. We're all fine. I know that she isn't so keen about me right now, especially with the way I acted and I can understand that." I added slowly with a shrug, although I truly wish it wasn't the case.

Harry had been silent for a long time, taking in everything that I have said. I shifted nervously from foot to foot, a little hurt that it was taking him this long to realize that I am sincerely sorry. But after everything that had happened, I couldn't blame him either.

"I think," Harry began, smiling slowly, finally showing some sign that everything was on their way to being ok. Not immediately back to normal, but we're definitely on our way there. "Hermione would love to hear what you've just told me."

"Good. I… uhm… I'll go look for her." I said, wondering if Harry was right. If Hermione was still willing to talk to me. "So, we're ok now?" I asked.

"Yeah. We're ok now."

Relieved, I slapped him in the back, he punched me lightly in the arm and I pushed him back. He was grinning and so was I. If it hadn't been such an awful Cold War I would've joked about making a blood compact, but as it was, I know I still had a lot of making up to do. Harry, I could tell was still a wee bit wary of me.

I guess I would be too, I mean, if I was him and all. I knew Harry still wanted to know what I told Hermione that day, but I couldn't tell him that yet. So I told that if Hermione thinks that he should know, then Hermione will tell him. It was after all between him and Hermione.

"And when you finally find out," I said, offering a truce of some sort, "You can still punch me in the nose."

To my surprise and horror, he agreed.

My poor cute freckled-nose (a sure girl magnet) was on the line, but it was a small price to pay.

I asked him if he could get Hemione for me and tell her to meet me at the Common Room, he made me swear that I wouldn't make Hermione cry. I assured him that it was the last thing that I wanted to do.

I spent a few good minutes wearing the carpet out, endlessly pacing and practicing what I had to say. When they finally entered the room, I immediately noticed the protective stance. They both have it. I hated it that they both had to come in feeling like they have to protect each other from me. I didn't have to ask Harry if he could leave Hermione with me for a few minutes, he just gave me this last warning glance and left the room.

The gesture was not lost to me. It meant that he trusted me with Hermione and I was thankful for that, I knew at once that we're back on the right track and I was quite happy about it.

I apologized to Hermione and gave her vague reasons for my sudden psychotic outburst. I blamed it on hormones, on stress, worrying too much about my grades, what I'll do next year after we graduate and before I knew it I was actually telling her everything that I felt... well almost.

I never exactly told her that at some point, I had been a little in love with her but I knew she understood what I meant. She listened all the time and when I was finished, she was shaking her head and all that she said was: "Oh Ron!" before bursting into tears. Typical of Hermione.

Frankly, I get all scared when she starts crying, especially at that time when Harry had just threatened to bust my nose open if I ever make her cry again. I just sort of awkwardly patted her head and let her sob on my robe, with any luck, Mum might let me buy a new one when she sees how worn out it had become from Hermione's tears. When Harry finally came back, I handed her to him.

I told Harry, "She's all yours mate. Make her stop crying, she scares me when she's like that."

I think he got what I meant although I can't be certain of that. He just sort of gave this big sigh of relief and then nodded solemnly. I left the two. I still wasn't comfortable seeing him holding her like that.

I don't know how exactly Harry did it, but when I saw them at the Great Hall before dinner started Hermione was all smiles. We sat together again after a whole month of avoiding each other that Hagrid actually stood up, clapped his hands and openly sobbed. That was one embarrassing moment that I'd sure like to forget.

That had been the end of our short cold war although unfortunately, everything just went back to the way it was before. They still tip-toed around each other, still blushed when they get too close, still stuttered whenever one is caught staring at the other. I had planned on confronting them with The List, and make them see that they're obviously both in denial but I didn't want to butt in. It was after all their personal business.

Love is a tricky thing not meant to be messed around it. I've seen Ginny do it loads of time with her girl friends, pairing them up, match making, she calls it. I call it mass suicide because most of the time it would end up in a one big hexing free-for-all. Besides, I thought that with the Cold War and all, it would have given them enough opportunity to be together, but apparently, it wasn't time yet.

So I decided that I'll give them time.

It had been quite amusing during the first few months and then it got tiring and then finally, just plain irritating.

I never thought the day would come that I'd actually wish that they would both just shut-up, lock themselves inside the broom closet and snog each other senseless. Just to end the Harry and Hermione Contest of Denial. Who will win? Who will finally admit their feelings? Who will they drive insane next week when they start smiling at each for no apparent reason?

Denial isn't such a bliss, frankly, it's one big pain in the arse.

I had hoped that Harry and Hermione will realize that they're in love with each other soon enough. After all, practically everyone in the whole school knew about it: the subtle teasing had become more direct. Harry and Hermione had even stopped denying that they were a couple every time some freshman git would ask them about it. They'd just sort of look at each other, blush, shrug and walk away. Of course, if anyone asked me, I was always more than happy to share my personal anecdotes, proof to the budding love between the two.

One great big secret, that I pray will be kept as a secret for bloody forever, was that I anonymously tipped Rita Skeeter regarding the "rekindling" of Harry and Hermione's relationship.

It started a month-long daily "investigative" articles featured at the Daily Prophet entitled:

Hogwarts Romance: An In Depth Investigative Report on the Dynamics of Harry Potter and Hermione Granger's Relationship

That Skeeter woman, no one would deny this, had her moments of brilliance.

And thanks partially to Ginny's list, which I submitted along with my countless testimonies, including the one where tea cups in divination class spelled out the initials H and H, everything was published for all to see.

Unfortunately it stopped when both Harry and Hermione threatened to hunt down the anonymous tipper, chop off his or her or their heads and make them into paper weights.

Seeing them say that, burning eyes and all scared me for three days straight. Eventually, Rita got tried of examining every possible angle of Harry and Hermione's relationship that she decided to switch the topic to: An In Depth Exploration of Draco Malfoy's True Love.

It wasn't such a hit. No surprise there.

The thing that bothered me the most was that we're all about to graduate and Harry and Hermione were still stuck to their non-relationship-status-despite-the-obvious.

After complaining to Ginny what an absolute torture it was, seeing Harry and Hermione smile and blush at each other for a whole day, jumping apart whenever skin touched skin, we both decided that it was time for a plan. Not just any plan, but The Plan to end all the dancing and beating around the bush.

End Chapter 3.

Hope that went well.

And now, a sneak peak on Chapter 4! Hehehe.

Chapter 4

The Plan

After much planning and endless hours of debating, Ginny and I finally agreed on a strategy. We will employ both force and subtlety. We already had a list of possible situations that we can set-up to benefit our project.

The night the plan was to commence, I asked Ginny if we were doing the right thing and she answered gravely that our valiant efforts and brilliant ideas will not be in vain.