Sometimes life is hard.
Sometimes a girl takes over your life.
This was the case with Ron Weasley, who was in his last year at Hogwarts. He had scruffy ginger hair and liked nothing better than to lay on the sofa with his shirt buttons undone.
At present, he was in the Gryffindor Common Room.
"…and then Parvati said her mother made her eat her greens," a young boy from the second year was saying into a telephone. "I don't know why. Greens are bad for you."
Ron's fingers nipped at a piece of parchment, wanting so desperately to fold an aeroplane so he could hit the boy on the head. Ron had lost all regard to the school rules. He was a rebel at the moment, excited about finishing his school education.
Ron gasped. He knew that voice. But where was it coming from? There were no girls in the room, unless one girl was hiding. And if so, why was she calling Ron her honey?
A slim girl with pearly-white teeth, Hermione was stroking her brown hair. She was scared. Why had she called out like that? Would it ever be the right time to tell Ron how much she loved him?
"Who's that?" Ron muttered, tapping his foot. He sounded annoyed. Hermione was attracted to that and everything else about him. Everything about him was perfect.
Hermione had fancied him for as long as she could remember and her memories would take her as far back as the first year when Ron, a shy boy then, had got off the Hogwarts Express with a visible lump in his throat.
"It's me," Hermione called, from behind an armchair next to the fireplace. "I've found my earring, at last."
"What?" Ron asked. He was obviously puzzled.
"My earring, I thought I lost it," Hermione mumbled, blushing. She stroked a bit of her hair back, behind her ear, and then stood up. She smoothed the creases off her skirt and smiled.
"Oh," Ron said. "You've found it, then?"
"Yes, of course, otherwise I would still be looking," Hermione said, looking at the floor. She couldn't face Ron. Her eyes were full of tears from not being able to tell him that she loved him.
"Something's wrong, isn't it?" Ron inquired, instinctively. Hermione was one of his best friends, and he could tell when she was worried. Now was one of those times.
Hermione swallowed. "No, of course not."
"Well, you come to me when you feel that you can talk about your problem," Ron said, his voice soft and kind. "Not that you have a problem, like you said. But I know you, Hermione, and something is bothering that sweet little head of yours. You tell me soon."
"I will do," Hermione promised.