Some Friendly Advice

By Duck Goddess

Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or anything. I only own the plot.

Thanks to basketball15, Lossenrhos, justanormalgirl357, gymnast92, angel6 aka trinigyal, Winona Corinne, BrokenRain, Lalita15, justawritier, IluvLost9393, The O.C. Addict, Amanda, AllIWannaDo, old-crow and eatingmania for reviewing Some Sisterly Advice. To rebec – if you can't write a review that will encourage me or help me improve my writing, don't review at all. 'I've seen better' does not do anything.

Hermione was doing her Ancient Runes homework in the Common Room. Merlin, it was hard, even in the brightest witch in the year's eyes. This year was definitely harder than first or second year, especially if you had to go back in time every day. She fingered the Time-Turner. Flattered as she was that Professor McGonagall thought that she could handle it, Hermione knew that she wouldn't be able to do it next year.

She had to work twice as hard as anyone, do more lessons than anyone and balance that with dealing with the fact that Ron and Harry weren't talking to her and researching for Buckbeak. Hermione sighed. She knew she was exhausted but she was just too proud to admit it.

Hermione looked across the room at Ron. She knew he was doing his Defence Against the Dark Arts essay on Kappas. Normally, he would ask her for help but not now. Not when he was ignoring her. Merlin, Ron was such an idiot! How could he think that Crookshanks ate Scabbers? Did he not think that she would have more control over her cat?

After all that they've been through, Ron was just throwing away their friendship over some stupid pets. Hermione felt tears well in her eyes as she saw him look up and glare at her. It didn't help that she had feelings for him either. She hated this – fancying someone who hates you.

Why Ron, though? He called her a know-it-all at least once a week, tried to copy her homework and currently wasn't speaking to her. What was so good about him? Well, he was brave, smart, funny, loyal…stop it!

"Don't you get tired of this?" She looked up. It was her only female best friend, Ginny, who was Ron's sister.

"No. Ancient Runes is fascinating," Hermione replied, smiling as Ginny sat down. She was really grateful for some company, especially a girl's.

"You say that about every subject you take. I meant this whole thing with Ron," Ginny said, looking over at her brother. He was staring at the fire now, sucking on his quill, not knowing that it was a normal one, not a sugar quill.

"I don't want to talk about it right now," she said quietly, continuing translating the runes.

"Hermione," Ginny said exasperatedly, "This whole thing is pointless! Just go talk to him!"

"Why bother talk to him when he won't talk to me? He'd probably just say some rude thing and tell me to go away," she said angrily.

"My brother's an idiot. You should know that," Ginny scolded.

"Which brother? Bill, Charlie –"

"You know which brother I mean."

Hermione sighed. She had never gotten used to talking to people about her feelings. Ron would never understand how she felt – he was such a BOY. He would laugh at her if she told him how she felt about him.

"My advice," Ginny said, looking at her closely, "TALK to him. Apologize about Scabbers and just…well, be his best friend again."

"Why should I?" Hermione said stubbornly, "Crookshanks didn't even eat Scabbers!"

"Hermione. I know you want to. And I know you fancy him."

"I – I don't – how do you know?" Hermione spluttered. She hadn't told anyone about how she felt about him!

"Well, you have that LOOK on your face when I talk about him, you go bright red when he catches you staring at him and you drool when you think about him," Ginny explained, smirking.

"I do not!" Hermione said incredulously. When she looked away, she quickly touched the sides of her mouth. It was dry.

"Now go talk to him! He's alone! Harry's at Quidditch practice! This is the perfect time!" Ginny encouraged her.

"I – I can't," Hermione replied softly, looking down. What if Ron told her to sod off because he was doing his homework? What if he said to her face that he hated her and he didn't want her as his friend?

"Ah. I know what's wrong. You fear rejection," Ginny said, leaning back in her chair.

"No, I don't!" she argued.

"Yes, you do. You're scared that he'll say that he never wants to be friends with you or go out with you. You're scared that he'll laugh at you if you tell him how you feel. And you're scared that you'll be alone forever because Ron has a wife and kids," Ginny said.

Hermione gaped at her. Could Ginny read minds? What was it called? Oh, Legilimency. Maybe Tom Riddle gave her some powers – no, no, Ginny was fine. She was just an extremely perceptive person.

"You know what? If you don't talk to him, I will. And if you're still not talking to each other, I'll hex you two with the one that Fred and George just taught me. The bat bogey one," Ginny growled as she stood up and walked over to her brother.

Hermione saw him look up as his sister sat down and look at her. She felt the heat rise in her cheeks as Ron caught her. She quickly looked down and continued her Ancient Runes homework. Why was she in Gryffindor, anyways? Hermione felt like a coward. She had to rely on her best friend who was Ron's sister to talk to the boy she fancied. She should have been in Ravenclaw.

Hermione ran up the stairs to her dorm, feeling the tears stream down her cheeks. She opened the door and slammed it. Ron's an idiot, Ron's an idiot, Ron's an idiot, Ron's an idiot. She jumped onto her bed, sobbing into her pillow.

How could he not see how she felt for him? How could he not take all the hints that she dropped? Instead, Ron went off, asking out Veelas and not people who actually CARED about him. People who, in his eyes, were ugly and not worth going to the Yule Ball with.

Hermione felt more tears well in her eyes and sobbed even more. She had done all that she could so that he would notice her. She took two bottles of that Sleakeazy's Hair Potion, even though she swore she would never use it when Lavender gave it to her, she chose nice, pretty dress robes and shrank her teeth. She even went with Viktor Krum? But, no, Ron STILL didn't notice.

How could she have been so stupid? How could she think that maybe Ron DID have feelings for her as well? Then, Hermione realized something and sat up in her bed. He HAD been glaring at Viktor all night and he DID say that she was 'fraternizing with the enemy'.

No, she thought sadly, Ron goes for pretty girls like Fleur Delacour. He wouldn't like bushy-haired girls like me. Hermione sighed. She would have to face him tomorrow. Oh Merlin, after she told him to ask her first! She basically told him that she fancied him to his face! She buried her face in her pillow.

"Hermione?" she heard a voice call. She looked up. It was Ginny. Well, at least SOMEONE apart from her parents and Harry cared about her.

"Hi, Ginny," Hermione replied quietly, putting her pillow back in place.

"I just talked to Ron," the red-haired girl said, sitting next to her, putting an arm around her comfortingly.

"Oh? What did he say? That I should never go to another ball again? That I shouldn't dress up for him because he would never notice?" Hermione asked bitterly.

"He thinks you're pissed at him because he didn't realize that you were a 'girl'," Ginny explained, using air quotes, "I shouted at him. I told him that you wanted to look good so that he would notice."

"Ginny!" Hermione whined, "Now he knows I like him!"

"Nah, it'll take a few more attempts to get him to realize that. Ron just knows that you're a girl now, that's all. So what are you going to do tomorrow?"

"Well, I guess I'll have to act normal around him," Hermione replied, sighing, "It would be really awkward if I brought it up."

"I guess you're right," Ginny agreed, "Don't worry, he'll realize in time."

"Hopefully," Hermione said sadly. She really wanted to believe her friend. But there was a chance that he wouldn't. Then, Lavender and Parvati burst in, wanting to know all the details about how Viktor Krum asked her to the ball.

After telling them how, Hermione lay on her bed, sighing. Yes, she would have to act normal around Ron. Maybe Ginny was right. Maybe he WOULD realize after a few more attempts. She smiled and slowly fell asleep.

A/N: Please review!