Ron and Harry stood at the big Oak tree, waiting for Hermione and Ginny.

"For Merlin's sake! What are they doing in there? All they have to do is put on a bloody bathing suit and get in the water!" said Ron exasperated. He leaned on the Oak tree, tapping his foot on it every few seconds.

"Ron! Calm down. What are you in a rush for anyway? I thought you didn't want to go in the water."

"That was when I was afraid of giant squid," said Ron matter-of-factly.

"Oh, and I guess you got over that in all of……..12 hours?" Harry said, trying to hold in the smirk that was threatening to spread across his face.

"Haha," said Ron dully. "Oh, and great way you played the whole Ginny thing! 'Maybe Ms. Pomfry thought that if there was a fifth year around, we'd behave better.' What a bunch of rubbish!" shouted Ron with a wide grin on his face.

"Ok, so I felt bad. Hermione would have been all alone here. I thought that if Ginny were her, she'd have a better time," said Harry, hoping he pulled it off.

"Aha," said Ron. Harry let out a big sigh and turned back to the school to wait for the arrival of his best friend and his crush.

"This robe is really itchy," said Ron slowly, scratching at his robe. "And I can't get the part that really itches," he said pointing to his left side, where he broke two ribs.

"I know. It is quite itchy," said Harry, reaching over his shoulder to scratch the back of his neck.

At this, the door to the castle slipped open and closed again. Ron could hear it and stood up straight immediately.

"Twitchy, are we?" asked Harry sarcastically.

"Shut up," said Ron abruptly.

Ron and Harry spotted Hermione and Ginny walking up the field toward them. They were both tugging at the bottoms of their robes, feeling as if they were to short, the boys guessed. Ron could see Hermione's bare knees, and it made him very anxious. His reaction was to look at the ground and play with his toes.

Ginny looked like she had been getting ready for this all morning. Her hair waved in the back of her head every time she took a step. Harry was transfixed as she approached them.

"How long have you been waiting?" asked Ginny suddenly, sending Harry out of his daze, and Ron to look up.

"A good 10 minutes. What took you two so long?" said Ron, rolling his eyes.

"Well, as you can see, me and Hermione weren't given properly fitting robes," Ginny said pulling at the side of her robes violently, "I was rather mad."

"Yes. I don't like the size of them either," said Hermione, tying her string a little tighter.

"You're taking them off any second now anyway," said Harry turning to start walking to the lake. Hermione looked at Ginny, and they both shrugged. They hadn't realized that. 'He's so clever!' thought Ginny, blushing.

"Are you coming, or what?" asked Ron, as he turned to walk away.

"Yes, we are, Ronald," said Hermione snappily.

They all walked down to the lake and stopped at the doc. They all stood there, Ron next to Hermione, Hermione next to Ginny, and Ginny next to Harry. They all stared at the lake and sighed. Harry turned to look at his three friends, he shrugged.

Harry slipped off his robe. Ginny gasped, but covered it up by pretending she had seen something jump in the distance. Harry undressed quickly. He took off his socks and jumped into the lake. His bathing suit was blue and yellow. He had ducks on his.

"Nice bathing suit!" yelled Ginny slipping off her robe. Harry turned around to look at the three of them. His eyes widened at the sight of Ginny. She was wearing a green bikini, with orange around the borders. She jumped into the water, her long hair following her. She swam up to Harry and poked him in the stomach. At this she emerged from the water. "Hey," she said, removing the hair from her face.

"Hey," said Harry. It was the only thing he could think of saying.

"Are you guys coming in or what?" yelled Ginny. Tapping Harry on the shoulder, she whispered, "This is what took so long," she looked at Hermione and smiled mischievously.

Hermione looked up to Ron. Ron looked down at her feeling her eyes boring into him. She quickly looked away, blushing. Ron could imagine what she was wearing under that robe. An old lady's bathing suit. One that a mother would want their baby girl to wear forever. A plain black bathing suit.

Hermione looked at Ginny with pleading eyes.

"Come on!" Ginny yelled, still smiling.

"Okay!" screamed Hermione, letting her robe slip down. Ron was short of breath at the sight of her. She definitely wasn't wearing a granny suit. The bathing suit was like a tankini, but it came up a little higher. That's what Ron loved about Hermione. She would always try something new, but never out of her personality. The bathing suit was orange and purple. The border was purple, and the bathing suit was orange. The top ended right above her belly button. Not that Ron was looking.

"I see," whispered Harry to Ginny in understanding what took them so long. Ginny had been persuading Hermione not to wear her granny bathing suit and had succeeded. That is what Harry loved about Ginny. She helped people do things that never thought they would do. They have fun doing it to.

Hermione sat down on the doc, and lowered herself into the water. Ron looked up to the sky and sighed before he took off his robes.

Ron slipped off his robes; it was Hermione's turn to be transfixed. Ron wasn't as lanky as he used to be. He had now developed a bit of a four pack. His arms were not lanky in the least. He had biceps that were worth keeping in shape. Hermione couldn't help thinking that quidditch had done the boy some good. At this, Hermione realized something.

"Ronald Weasley!" she yelled from below the doc.

"What," Ron asked sitting down on the doc to hear her better.

"Where are your bandages?" she squeaked. She still hadn't gotten over Ron's sudden non-lankyness.

"Oh yea," Ron said looking around. When he settled his eyes back on Hermione, they were filled with worry. He suddenly felt as if he had a duty to explain, "They were itchy last night. I took them off, intending to put them back on today. I kind of just forgot," he said shrugging.

"This is not a shrug worthy issue, Ron. This is serious, you need those bandages!" Ron slipped down into the water and put his hand on her shoulder to balance himself. Hermione inhaled, but it didn't last long. She kept talking. "Ron, maybe we should go back and get them. I don't want you getting hurt, and…" Ron grabbed Hermione's other shoulder and whisked her around to face him. He was looking straight into her eyes seriously, but with a pleading look. She couldn't do anything but stare back into his blue eyes.

"Hermione, it'll be fine. They probably would've fell off anyway," Hermione didn't look satisfied. "Okay, if it makes you feel better, I promise I will never take them off again without the permission of Ms. Pomfry," He said tilting his head with a suggestive look.

Hermione thought about this proposal. She excepted it by nodding, she couldn't get a word out of her mouth.

"Good," said Ron, releasing Hermione. Hermione let a breath out that she hadn't realized she'd been holding.

"Are you guys coming, or what?" yelled Harry, still standing next to Ginny.

"On my way!" yelled Ron. He dipped under the water, and started pushing himself tword them. He didn't use his feet at all. Hermione guessed it was because of his ribs. All he did was move his muscular arms in front of him then push them back. He was at Harry and Ginny in no time.

"Come on!" yelled Ginny. Hermione swam out to them swiftly. Ron noticed that she swam like a mermaid instead of swimming like a propelled boat. She didn't move her arms or her feet. She just kind of………glided over. When she emerged from the water, she looked as if she had seen a ghost.

"Are you all right," said Ron, bending down into Hermione's face in a mock-ey kind of way.

"Yes, I'm fine, really," she said standing up straight and gaining her composure, "I just don't like water much," she said matter-of-factly.

"Are you serious?" asked Ron in surprise. "Hermione Granger, afraid of water! Why are you here then? You didn't have to come," asked Ron.

"I wanted to," said Hermione dipping into the water and gliding away once more to Ron's amazement.

"I'm gonna go check on her," said Ron defensively to Harry as he set his way over to Hermione.

"Alright," said Harry, holding his thumbs up sarcastically.

Ron ignored this and waded his way over to Hermione. She was now sitting in the shallow water, playing with the pebbles at the bottom of the lake. He watched her intently. For every few pebbles she found, she would levitate one or two to her bag. Before she did this, she would gasp. Almost as if she was basking in the beauty of a rock. At this, Ron truly thought he would never understand girls.

Even though what she was enjoying was extremely girly and deep, Ron found it very alluring. At this he waded his way to the shallow water and sat down next to Hermione.

"Having fun?" asked Ron, picking up a few pebbles of his own.

"Yes, actually. I found a pebble a while ago that was so beautiful. I wanted to find some more," she said looking down at her knees and blushing. Ron felt like he was intruding on some deep moment that was only for Hermione.

"I can leave. I mean, if you want to find your pebbles in peace?" said Ron starting to get up. Hermione grabbed his wrist and said:

"No. Stay. You can help me," said Hermione letting go and sifting her hand through the water again.

"I know it might be hard to believe, Hermione, but I don't have very good taste in rocks. Not beautiful ones, at least," said Ron, picking up a handful of pebbles and dropping it back into the water.

"Ron," Hermione said. She had a bit of exasperation in her voice. "What you think is beautiful, is beautiful to you. It doesn't matter what I think," Ron raised an eyebrow at Hermione. "Ok, let me rephrase that. What you think is 'wicked', is 'wicked' to you. It doesn't matter what I think."

Ron looked ahead of him. He seemed to be thinking about what Hermione had said. Was she saying that no matter what she thought, or whatever anyone in the world thought, what he thought was beautiful, is? Was she saying that even if she doesn't agree with him, what he thinks is wicked will always be wicked to him? Or, was she saying that whatever Ron thought was beautiful, she agreed? As he pondered, he looked at Hermione and grinned softly.

Hermione nodded when she understood and started sifting through the pebbles once again. They sat there for a good 6 minutes before one of them talked.

"I FOUND ONE!" screamed Ron!

"Oh, that's great Ron! Let's see it then!" she said expectantly.

Ron pulled his hand back into the water. He shook his head and murmured, "No. That's all right. It's ugly anyway."

"Oh, what rubbish," said Hermione, reaching over Ron and pulling the pebble out of his hand.

She studied it for a minute. When she was clearly done studying, she turned to Ron with a look of curiosity on her face.

"What do you find so wicked about this rock?" asked Hermione.

"If you don't know I'm not telling you," said Ron, slapping his hand in the water.

"Oh Ron. Make me understand," said Hermione with pleading eyes. "No one understood Vincent Vango's art until someone explained it to them. After that, they all thought it was beautiful. They held the art up on a high standard. The same thing can happen between me and this here rock," pleaded Hermione.

Ron rolled his eyes, and started to explain, "Okay. You see the orange part on the outside," Ron said pointing to the outside of the pebble. It had an orange ring around it.


"Well, then there is the brown inside, and then in the very middle there is a spot of green."


"And what?" asked Ron distinctively.

"What does that mean to you?" asked Hermione as if Ron should have already known she was going to ask.

"Well, It kind of represents friendship, doesn't it?" said Ron. He hoped this would have been enough, but Hermione's eyes were still boring into him. He suddenly had a flash back of Miss. Trelawney's classes."The center is what the friendship, kinda, revolves around. Obviously, that's Harry. The brown around the middle is kind of the person that just hangs around, the sidekick-ey person. Obviously me." Hermione rolled her eyes at this comment. Ron chose to ignore this and kept going. "And the ring around it is kind of what holds the friendship together. That's you," said Ron, dropping the pebble back into the water.

"That is beautiful, Ron," said Hermione blushing slightly. "You should keep the rock though!" said Hermione lunging over Ron to get the rock he had put back in the water. When she had achieved to retrieve the rock, she turned to Ron red in the face. "A symbol of our undying lo---friendship," Hermione caught herself getting ready to say something she would have regretted. Once she pulled herself together, she started thnking about what Ron said. "I don't hold our friendship together."

"Oh please, Hermione. Remember in fourth year when I got mad at Harry?" he asked looking at Hermione like what he said was obvious to the naked eye.

"Yes. What does that have to do with anything?" she shook her head from side to side. Her hair was slightly dry now. It was starting to frizz, but Ron didn't seem to notice.

"Do you not remember being the one that made me make up with him in the end?"

"Well, yae. But that doesn't mean I hold the friend ship together," she said shaking her head again.

"Hermione, you really are to modest," Ron said, splashing his hand in the water. "We better get deeper in. The water's not really doing anything for my ribs," Ron laughed.

"You're right. Let's go."

"So, when do you think Hermione and Ron will reveal their undying love for each other?" asked Ginny with the cutest grin Harry had ever seen.

"Oh, it depends. I think that we are going to have to work it out of them a bit. But, they'll come around to telling us," he said wading through the water towards Ginny.

Ginny looked over to the shore and saw Hermione and Ron sitting, talking, smiling.

"I bet you anything they are sharing a lovely moment that they'll just pass off as 'being best friends'," she put soggy finger quotes around the last few words.

"Agreed," sighed Harry. At Harry's random sigh a look of sympathy erupted on Ginny's face.

"What's wrong?"

"Oh, nothing. I was just thinking that if Ron never tells Hermione, tells himself," he added, "that he like her, then they'll never know that they could have had such a great relationship together," Harry didn't realize he was wading closer to Ginny.

"You're right. If Hermione never let's her feelings show, then she might not ever get to express her feelings toward Ron," she said, wading closer and closer to Harry.

"But, I understand Ron's position. He has no clue if Hermione likes him or not," said Harry finally stopping. He was standing so close to Ginny, he could feel her breath on his cheek.

"Same with me……I mean I understand Hermione's position," she saved herself, "She has no clue if Ron thinks of her that way at all," she said breathlessly. Harry's presence right in front of her was like a dream she had never before imagined would actually take place.

Harry started to lean in to Ginny's luscious lips when he was interrupted by a shriek and a yell.

Ron walked with Hermione into the water slowly. Hermione kept asking frequently: "Are you all right, do we need to turn back?"

Every time Ron would reply: "I'm fine Hermione, don't worry about it."

It went on like this until the hit water that was up to Hermione's chin.

"I didn't realize we went this far out," she said wobbling above water. She probably didn't notice because she was busy basking in Ron's presence; his manly-man-ness. She couldn't stop thinking about him.

Maybe he didn't notice because he was basking in her presence; her slender body walking slowly into the water next to him. Or, maybe it was just because he was about a foot taller then her and he was only up to his chest.

"Oh," Ron said stepping back so Hermione could get to shallower water.

"Umm…" she said struggling to step to the shallower water. Ron knew that a slight undertow was tugging at her. Slowly he placed his hands around her waist. Hermione gasped at the unexpected contact. Ron twirled her around so she was now in the shallow water.

They were now equal in height. Ron was up to his collar bone in deep water, Hermione up to hers in shallow. This gave both Ron and Hermione a new perspective on each other's faces. Ron noticed, from this angle, he could see three little freckles on her nose. They were to far away when he was a foot taller then her.

Hermione could see, from this angle, Ron's hair was tucked behind his ear on the right side but not on the left. She loved it about him. His messiness, his throw it together outfits every day. She loved everything about his personality. And if it weren't for her lame reason to finally feel this way, she would have kissed him right then and there.

They were so close that Ron could feel her breathing on hid cheek. Hermione started to lean in to Ron's luscious lips when she felt something clasp her ankle.

Her face was all the sudden frantic compared to her former deep eyes that bore into Ron. Now she was yelling hopelessly: "Ron! My leg! Something's on my leg!"

Ron looked into the water to see what it was but the water was too murky to even wish to see an inch deep into the water.

All the sudden Hermione let out a high pitched shriek, and was sucked under the water.

"OI!" yelled Ron spinning around in place in the water. He swirled around frantically until he dived into the water without even thinking about the pain that started shooting up his side.

"Heeergg—miiooon—geee!" he screamed under water. He started swimming toward the foot he saw disappearing into the murkiness.

As he swam, he started to hear soothing voices coming from all around him. They were singing.

To reveal the most secret lie

We must hide what he must find

If he doesn't find what is lost

Then love will surly be the cost

Ron had a surge of fear go through him. He knew what was happening. It was a tri-wizard tournament that went surging through his head. He remembered when he was the object of one of those catchy little rhymes. He almost drown when he figured they were talking about Hermione.

Ron went up for a breath of air and submerged himself under water yet again.

If only a kiss

We'll set this one free

But anything less

Sends her straight back to we

He followed the voices into the deep murkiness. He tried to ignore the pain on his ribs from the pressure of the water pushing him up. Ron felt himself running out of air. He could only think of one thing that could save him from drowning to death: the bubble head charm!

"Bubbligooormmoo," he yelled under water. He didn't know if it was going to work, him being under water, but it was worth a try. A bubble stretched over his face and he was relieved to be able to breath.

Closer he comes

To his prize so sweet

He'll find her awaiting

him fast asleep

The mermaids continued to sing their haunting, but beautiful verses. With every stanza, Ron could feel Hermione getting closer. He swam further and further into the dirty water until he reached it.

A huge cave sit in front of him. Hermione was laying on a cliff that pertruded out of the cave.

Here he approaches

His wonderful prize

If his task is completed

He'll collect in good size

She sleeps here sweetly

Awaiting his kiss

She breaths oh so meekly

Awaiting the bliss

Ron approached Hermione. When he sat on the cliff grasping his ribs, mermaids from all over rushed to him with spears at hand. He knew what he had to do from all the messages the mermaids had been telling him.

It wasn't hard for him to decide to actually kiss Hermione. He was dieing to do it for days now. What was bothering him was: Why did it take kidnapping mermaids to make him come to this?

Ron moved slowly down to Hermione's face. He saw air bubbles leaveing and returning to her mouth. Her skin was so pale. It gave her a creamy look. It made her more beautiful then she already was. He leaned into her. When their lip connected, Ron felt like he was poring himself into her. He felt the water flowing past his lips as he refused to release this kiss.

All the sudden, Hermione's eyes burst open. She started screaming and kicking her legs. Once she noticed it was Ron tugging her back to the surface, she scremed:

"RON!" he saw her gulp in to much water. He saw her close her eyes slowly. He knew what he was going to have to do when he got to the surface. Another trip to Ms. Pomfry's was in his future. The pain in his ribs surged again every time Hermione's knee bumped his ribs.

If he remembers

What happened hear

He'll finally render

A kiss much more clear

This is the last thing he heard from the mermaids as his head reached the air. Hermione's head bobbed on his shoulder. He was in a daze as Harry and Ginny rushed to him. Harry took Hermione off Ron's shoulder and started running to the castle. Ginny threw Ron's hand around her shoulder and tried her best to drag him/walk him to Ms. Pomfry's. Ron had a non-stop surge of pain running through him. It was taking all he had to walk to the castle.

What happened after this: Ron had no clue. What Ron did know was what the mermaids wanted to show him; what they wanted him to do. The only thing he needed to do was know if it were true. He needed to know why and how the mermaids knew about his deepest thoughts and dreams.

One thing he knew for sure was that, this was never going to happen again. He would make sure of it.