A/N: not mine. Still no service. If you want to see what I look like go to is a waterfall,

We're one in the river,

And one again after the fall.

-Aerials, in the sky,

When you lose small mind,

You free your life.

Aerials, so up high,

When you free your eyes,

Eternal prize.



Harry laid Ron's bags down against his bed before flopping onto his own. Even now, door closed ad pillow over his head, he could hear the screaming match below him.

"You want to WHAT?" It was Ron. Harry had a funny feeling that he wasn't going to take it well.

"Oh Ron! I'm so sorry, it's just that I have so much on my plate at the moment-"

"Is there someone else? DAMN IT HERMIONE LOOK AT ME! Is there someone else?"

Ron sounded angrier than Harry had ever heard him before. For a moment he considered joining them downstairs so no one would get hurt, but he wanted to respect their privacy.

"No Ron, I can swear that there isn't! Look, I still want to be best friends. Seven years of friendship Ron, we've been through everything-"


" Ron, stop! You know how much I love you! Please just understand- of all people I thought you'd understand the most-"

" Yeah- yeah I understand just fine," there was a nasty pause. Harry stood up, getting ready to go join them, when he heard Hermione beginning to sob, and stopped. Ron began to speak again.

" Yeah. I understand that I didn't have enough for you. We'll, that's what I get. Yeah. That's what I get for being for being a Weasley. See you later Hermione."

Harry heard Ron running up the stairs and quickly and Hermione crying, " Ron-" Wanting to respect Ron's privacy, he quickly arranged himself so it looked like he was unpacking his stuff. Ron came in moments later, slamming the door shut and locking it.

" Temper temper," said Harry looking up, pretending that he didn't hear a thing. Ron didn't respond. He walked from the door to his bed (kicking his trunk on the way) and sat down shaking.

" What's up?" said Harry.

Ron covered his face in his hands. Harry knew he wasn't crying, and that he wouldn't allow himself to. It was a moment before Ron looked up and said, " She dumped me."

Before Harry could say anything Ron jumped up and kicked his trunk.

" She fucking dumped me! ME! Can you friggin believe it?" he started cursing heavily and pacing. " If anything I thought I'd get rid of her first! That little bitch!"

" Ron?" said Harry weakly. " Come on, mate .. let's not talk about it.."

Ron didn't hear him.

" This is un-friggin- believable! I swear... do you know what she hit me with? The whole ' its not you its me' act! 'We just need some time Ron, I have a lot to deal with at the moment..' BULLSHIT! We're all taking our N.E.W.T.S! What makes it different for her?"

" Come on Ron, you know Hermione, grades are everything to her-"

" Yeah, who would have thought she'd actually give a damn about her boyfriend!"

Harry really didn't want to take sides, but Hermione's sudden change in heart made it hard. Ron was right; N.E.W.T.S were no different to her then it was them.

" Look Ron, you can't let her see how much it effects you. Just act like you don't care. You gotta act like everything all right, just smile like everything ok. C'mon I bet you'll have a new girl by next week... Keeper for a undefeated Quidditch Team... what else can you ask for here?"

It seemed enough to calm Ron down. His breathing reduced greatly, and he took a step towards his bed, sitting down.

He laughed and took a look towards his shopping bags.

" What friggin day.."


After a half-hour of talking over Hermione calmly and carefully, Ron got in the shower. Harry took this as the perfect opportunity to talk to Hermione. Walking down the stairs, he saw a small, huddled figure by the fire, clearly crying.

" M'ione?" he asked, walking over to her. The tip of her head buried itself inside her robes.

" Go away."

" Hermione listen-"

" GO AWAY," she said, not yelling, but demanding it of him.

"Listen to me Hermione, I'm just as much of his friend as I am yours! You can't just sit here crying by yourself this near to Christmas. Talk to me."

Hermione shivered and pulled her frizzy head out of her robes. She sniffed once or twice before wiping her eyes on her sleeve.

What was she thinking, not wanting Harry's help and comfort? After all they had been through she would have been insulted if he didn't come straight to her after this ordeal. She looked into his green eyes, which were looking extremely concerned. She threw herself into his arms, wanting him to take all this unnecessary pain. He was temporarily shocked at her sudden change of heart, but patted her back all the same.

" Come on, it's only Harry," he said in a baby voice. She giggled.

" If Ron saw you talking to me..."

" -He'd join in. Hermione, I had a chat with Ron. He doesn't really care. He just got caught up in the heat of the moment-"

Hermione felt hurt with what Harry said. 'He doesn't really care..' It's not like she wanted to dump him- she just wanted what was best- and she had left a note from herself saying it was best. She needed him to care... even if he didn't show it.

" Harry, it's alright. I understand what you're trying to do. But I sort of need... well.. a girl to talk to."

" 'Course I understand. Let's see here ... where's Ginny?"

They looked around the deserted common room.

" She's not upstairs," said Hermione frowning. "I was there awhile ago, and no one came in since I left... did you see her in Hogesmede?"

" Yeah, maybe she's still there..." he glanced out the window, but doubted it. The sun was setting; reds and oranges coloring the sky.

" She's probably at dinner or something."

Harry nodded and just as he did, his stomach growled angrily. All he had today was a Butterbeer. He looked at Hermione. She giggled.

" I'm hungry too. Join me in dinner, won't you?" she looked at him as if begging. She smiled.

" Of course. Let's wait for Ron, he should be getting outta the shower any minute."

" Umm, maybe I'll just meet you guys down there," she glanced at the boys stairway.

"Whatever you want," he said, not wanting to push her. She walked off, tying her hair back as she left and fixing her robes.


" No way! I'm not eating dinner with her."

" Come on Ron, remember what I said? Just act like it doesn't bother you. She's hurting too."

" She's the one who made this mess. I'm not going," he said flatly, towel drying his hair.

10 minutes later, Harry and Ron made their way down to dinner, Ron mumbling under his breath.

As they approached the doorway to the Great hall, Harry held him back.

"You don't care, remember?"

Ron mumbled something and they entered.


The Hall was set, just as it was in their third year during Christmas. Except there was no one there except Hermione, Madame Pince, Professors Flitwick, McGonagall, Sprout and a fourth year Ravenclaw with a short bull cut.

" We were afraid you weren't going to join us!" squeaked their tiny Professor, drawing up two chairs.

"Where's Dumbledore?" asked Harry, noticing his Professors' chair unfilled.

"The Headmaster is gone for the holidays Potter," said McGonagall at once. " he'll be back before the New Year."

" Oh.."

Hermione could see Harry and Ron felt slightly nervous. She knew they were thinking the same thing a she was. Did this mean their side was taking a bad hit, and needed the help of a busy Headmaster?

McGonagall must have noticed the worried expressions on their faces as they sat down.

"Everything is alright," she assured them shortly, and handed Harry a plate of steak.

" My, my, look at that snow falling!" said Flitwick, looking out the windows, clearly wanting them to get their uneasy minds off of Dumbledores absence.

"Suppose to snow all night," said Sprout, joining in. " going to make it a bit difficult for those darn Gillberworbms.. hard enough to take care of as it is..."

They continued to chat about the weather and about the homework they had assigned, before McGonagall turned to Ron.

" Speaking of over-due papers, Weasley, when you get back to the common room, have your sister see me in my office. I need to discuss the absence of her Tea Cup report."

" Alright," he said without looking up from his pudding. Harry and Hermione glanced at each other. They had completely forgotten until now.

" Um, Ginny isn't in the Gryffindor tower," said Hermione slowly. McGonagall put down her fork and looked at Hermione as though she just realized she was there.

"She isn't?"

" No, we -ER- thought she was with you."

" Has anyone seen Miss. Weasley?" McGonagall interrupted the rest of the table. Hermione noticed an unusual look of concern in her eyes.

"Probably in the library or something," said Ron, swallowing his pudding thickly.

" Certainly not!" said Madame Pince at once . " you don't think I'd leave my books unprotected, do you?"

All eyes were on Professor McGonagall now. She rose from the table with a short "excuse me" and left the hall. Harry and Hermione exchanged a worried look while Ron kept eating.