Summary: Ron and Hermione run out of the Room of Requirement, hide from Malfoy and have to come up with an "excuse." (OotP Missing Moment/ Romance)

Disclaimer: Everything (including my soul, apparently) belongs to J.K. Rowling, who I am not worthy of.

Author's Notes: Rated PG. I'm not one for fluff, honestly, but I couldn't resist this. I needed a break from all of the drama coming up in "The Man Who Lives" which will be updated soon! Please review!

Thank Merlin for Umbridge
By: PenPatronus

Ron Weasley didn't know that Dobby the house-elf had wandered in until he heard an odd tone in his best friend's voice. Ron had been in the far corner of the D.A.ed Room of Requirement, trying desperately to tell what form the silver mist of his Patronus Charm was taking. He hoped it was something with large teeth to aim at the uppity little otter galloping over his head.

Ron could nearly decipher the shadow of an animal ("A dog? Now wouldn't that be ironic…") when he'd looked up at the urgency in "—what's wrong?" and spotted Dobby with a death grip on Harry's robes. The room had hushed eerily along with the candlelight, save Dobby's sudden holler of "Yes, Harry Potter, yes!" The next thing he knew, Harry was shouting at them to run, and Ron sheathed his wand and took off for the door. He nearly trampled Hermione who had suddenly stopped in the middle of a panicked Dumbledore's Army.

"Harry, come on!" she called. Ron pivoted around and caught Harry's eyes as he picked up Dobby. In an instant of indecision Ron, didn't know whether to push Hermione out the door or double back for Harry, but the pleading look in those green eyes, though they automatically gave Ron a stomach ache, begged for him to keep going. Ron shot a semi-apologetic, partly encouraging but mostly desperate last look at Harry before latching onto Hermione's elbow and squeezing into the hall.

Ron had Hermione by the hand as they dashed down the corridor. They heard footsteps echoing in every direction but from behind they heard a body hit the floor and a very familiar "AAARGH!" followed by "Trip jinx, Potter!"

"Oh no!" Hermione gasped, jerking away from Ron. "HARRY!" But voices were echoing, and they were surrounded. As the shadows of Crabbe and Goyle loomed in the candlelight around the corner, and Umbridge was closing in on Harry, Ron hoisted Hermione by the waist, and pushed them both through the nearest door (right before Pansy Parkinson turned the corner), which happened to be a boy's bathroom.

"Check all of the closets!" Malfoy started shouting orders at every Slytherin within earshot, and boy was he enjoying it. "See if anyone in the Owlery is out of breath, I'll check the bathrooms!"

"Whatta we do? Whattawedo!" Ron hissed, panicked as he leaned against the door as if it wouldn't be suspicious enough to find Hermione in a boy's restroom.

Hermione did an awkward little twirl, her wand unsheathed as if to blast a hole in the wall, "Ron, we need to hide!"

"What? Where? In the toilet?" To Ron's left was a line of stalls with a row of sinks perpendicular. Behind Hermione was a wide mirror above a waist-high counter jutting out from the wall. Not even a cupboard to enlarge.

Hermione twirled around the way she came, her eyes wide. "Lock the door!"

"There's not even a doorknob, Hermione!"

Hermione hiccupped, flexing her fingers and twisting back and forth between Ron and the door. Ron threw his hands up in the air, "Hermione, whattawe—what the bloody hell are you doing?" In a smooth jerk, Hermione had unzipped her outer robe and was loosening the maroon and gold tie around her neck. She then flipped her head forward and flung her hair over. It multiplied in bushiness as she tangled her fingers through the unruly curls. When she raised her eyes she found that Ron had paled and backed up several steps, clawing at the door for dear life. "Her—Hermione…?"

Footsteps echoed from outside the door. Hermione raised her wand and conjured a stick of lipstick out of thin air, managing to mutter a sentence while she blotted the magenta on, "Ron, don't ask any questions, just follow my lead." She reached up and practically gave Ron a headache as she messed up his red hair. While his hands frantically tried to flatten it down again, Hermione grabbed his cheeks and planted a half dozen kisses all across his skin, leaving lip marks up and down. Her touch automatically stunned and froze Ron long enough for him to be yanked over to the mirror. He was about disintegrate into a puddle or start yelling or check her temperature or kiss her back when the door behind them began to open. Without hesitation, Hermione pushed forward and nearly bent Ron in half over the counter as she pressed her lips to his.

An aching procession of sparks burst from Ron's lips. The sensation was new and traumatizing and utterly spectacular and Ron was promptly deafened to everything save the gasp of horror from the now open door. Ron didn't have to open his eyes to see the expression on Draco Malfoy's face.

"Grang—oh, gods!" A snort of amusement from Hermione flitted across Ron's open lips and he able to open his eyes to see her twisting towards the bathroom door with an impressively accurate expression of mock surprise. Draco Malfoy had his forearms crossed over his eyes, his wand shaking in horror. "50 points from Gryffindor for public display of affection!" Malfoy announced as he tried to retreat out the door but merely succeeded in smacking into it out of blindness. "Bloody Gryffindors, I know you two were with Potter tonight!"

"Malfoy, what are you talking about?" Hermione asked as she ever so slowly maneuvered herself out of Ron's lap.

Draco risked a peep through his fingers, "I know I heard someone run this way! And you're both out of breath—"

"Well wouldn't you be if you'd been kissing a girl this beautiful for the past hour?" Ron managed in a voice he hardly recognized as his own. He flashed a grin at an all the more horrified Malfoy who threw one last disgusted glare at them before retreating into the hallway. As soon as the door settled back into its threshold, Hermione leaped off the counter and started fumbling with the zipper of her robe, bushy hair still askew. Ron's cheeks had suddenly remembered to blush and the heat of it woke him up from staring at Hermione who was apparently unable to maneuver the zipper. Frustrated, she bit her lip, her own cheeks red, and it occurred to Ron that he'd never noticed how cute she looked when flustered.

"Well…at least we know how to piss off Malfoy if we, er, want to." Ron's voice had reverted back to normal, but with that sentence it was suddenly in a hushed, husky, oddly gentle tone and pitch. He ran his fingers through his hair and readjusted his own clothing as he stood.

Hermione shifted her weight away from him, refusing to meet his eyes as she continued to struggle with the zipper. "We got lucky."

"No kidding," Ron was suddenly absurdly aware of his hands, "But in the future that might not be as…convincing."

Hermione stopped struggling at the insinuation. Ron took a step toward her and she intercepted his eyes. But then her gaze drooped, "Ron I'm sorry, I shouldn't of—" But Ron reached and took her hand, feeling it trembling as fiercely as his own. The touch of her fingertips warmed him all the way through his eyes.

"I'm the one who should be sorry for not having done that ages ago…"

"Ron…that wasn't…weird..."

He nodded, "I know. Do you think it should be?"

"Well, I guess maybe we just need a bit more…more practice?" She blushed and Ron's own deepened.

"Yeah, that would, help. We should be experienced at it, so we don't, you know, get in trouble."

Hermione nodded and lowered her eyes to stare at their intertwined fingers. Every rift of his fingerprints felt sharp and warm. "That's certainly a good reason," she whispered, "But I can think of a few more…"

Ron leaned his forehead against hers, his voice low and hoarse, "Hermione." She gulped and closed her eyes, instinctively slipping her arms around his waist as he placed his gently at her neck. When she sighed and her breath grazed his lips, Ron felt something essential in him shift, a puzzle piece realigning itself into an even better fit. And for a moment he held an odd sense of déjà vu, not like he'd been in the situation before, but that he belonged there. Ron, with no clue what he was supposed to do, but somehow possessed with the confidence to do something, anything, stroked a finger up Hermione's throat and tipped her chin until she stretched against him again…and soon he was leaning her over the counter…

When their embrace paused long enough for Hermione to glance at her watch, she saw that it was nearly 9:30 (We've been in here for a half hour?) "Well," she began at a whisper, and Ron didn't like the finality of the word. He'd had never noticed how warm, womanly, her voice sounded. Like wind chimes in slow motion. "I suppose we'd better get back to the tower and see if Umbridge expelled Harry."

Ron blinked, "Barry Bridge who?" Hermione frowned at him for a moment, but then a grin sprouted when Ron nuzzled his lips against her neck. She leaned into him with a sigh, "I never thought I'd say this, but thank Merlin for Umbridge…"

The End