"Ron, you've spoiled everything!" Hermione yelled, now not trying to hold back tears anymore, but letting them freely fall.

Her beautiful hair was coming undone slightly from the elegant and rare twisted braid at the base of her neck, and small tendrils were hanging in her face. He had ruined the whole night. It had started out wonderful—Viktor was nothing but the gentleman, despite occasional lack of conversation. He kissed her hand when she had first come down the stairs, and stayed with her the whole night, with the one exception of going to get drinks. Then Ron came along and destroyed it.

"You know what the solution is, then don't you?" she continued, one particularly brutal wisp of hair dangling in her eyes.

"Oh yeah?" he retorted. "What's that?"

"Next time there's a ball, ask me before someone else does, and not as a last resort!"

He could not seem to utter a word, which did not make Hermione happier—in fact, it just made her angrier that he couldn't say anything. "Well," he spluttered, "well—that just proves—completely missed the point—"

He took Harry and ran up the stairs into the Common Room. Hermione herself then fell down sobbing on the bottom step, though no one around her made to give condolences. Vaguely, she heard Harry talking to someone other than Ron, but she could not figure out who it was.

"—have to say goodnight." The voice said, and a tall but built boy came walking briskly past her. She looked up and saw Cedric Diggory saying goodbye to his date, Cho, giving her a small kiss on the cheek. She blushed and hurried off to probably go tell her friends about it. Hermione scoffed through her tears.

Trying to repel her slowly defeated curls, she brusquely brushed it behind her ear. She suddenly had the eerie feeling that she was being watched. Expecting it to be another goggling onlooker, she ignored it, used to stares by now. She heard purposeful footsteps walking in her general direction, but was not ready for Viktor to miraculously appear yet.

Somewhat regaining her composure, but without looking up, she said, "Not now, Viktor. Please. Just—Just leave me alone for right now."

She heard a small laugh from the person in front of her—not a mocking laugh, just one that she knew the bearer would have a smirk on their face. "Well, I'm not Viktor, so does that mean I can stay?"

Her head shot up, only to be met by the most penetrable blue-gray eyes she had ever seen. The eyes of Cedric Diggory. Shocked, but vastly embarrassed, she flushed a deeper scarlet than she would have thought possible given her coloring. She gave a weak smile, but was shamefully all too aware of her tear-stained cheeks, red eyes, and no longer contained hair.

"C—Cedric. What—What b-brings you here?" she stuttered, hastily brushing her cheeks.

"Well," he started, sitting on the step below her, "I was saying goodbye to Cho, and I saw you crying. Well, naturally, as nice and good-natured as I am, I came to go see what happened. And here we are." He delivered eloquently.

She laughed pitifully. "Yeah, I must look a sight. No offense, Cedric, but you really wouldn't understand." She said, finally looking up into his eyes. She found she couldn't keep his gaze for very long.

"Yeah? I've been told I'm the 'strong, silent type'…I'm sure I can handle whatever you throw at me."

It was a rather lame joke, she had to admit, but somehow, coming from him, it just made it all the funnier. She resigned in defeat. "Alright, alright, you win. You know Viktor Krum?"

"Of course. Who doesn't?" he answered softly.

She didn't know why this "Pretty-Boy Diggory" as everyone called him, could make her want to talk about all her troubles; to spill them all out to him. Of course she had heard of him, and even said hello occasionally in the halls, but never had she actually had a conversation. She was starting to get concerned and apprehensive at the feeling of her heart rate getting faster and knots forming in her stomach. This was not good.

"Well, my friend, Ron Weasley is just about his biggest fan ever recorded. Trust me, that's vital!" she defended at Cedric's almost undetectable snicker. "Anyway, Viktor had asked me to the Yule Ball, but I had only told Ginny, because I knew how Harry and Ron would react. So, basically, to put it in simplest terms, Ron completely threw everything in my face and said that apparently I was 'fraternizing with the enemy'. He's just an ignorant jerk and I don't know why I let him get to me."

She laughed scornfully and looked down again. Cedric didn't say anything for a few moments. Finally, Hermione gazed up at him in confusion and expectation. She had anticipated that his eyes hold a feeling of ridicule or even indifference. She was strikingly surprised that they held something more fierce and mesmerizing. It was an odd combination, but somehow those dark gray pools could house a span of emotion. She saw hate and astonishment; they held sympathy and remorse for her, but, beneath all of that, she could detect strong flickers of laughter and playful sarcasm.

He took one of her hands in his, but she didn't expect his to be so warm. Frighteningly, she found that hers seemed to fit perfectly with his, like she could sense his emotions just by their connections. Slowly, he brought hers up to his lips and brushed them ever so softly over her hand. Her skin tingled at the touch, but she could not help but notice how sumptuous and sensual his lips were…

"Hermione." He said so sincerely she had to look up at him, only to be blinded pleasantly by those eyes. "He's just jealous, is all. Don't take him seriously; he just didn't realize what he had until he lost you to Krum. Believe it or not, Granger, but I think Mr. Weasley over there has taken a liking to you."

Hermione would have giggled at that proposition if Cedric hadn't been so serious. "You think?" she asked.

"Of course. Why shouldn't he be? You're beautiful, insanely intelligent, a great and loyal friend, braver than most, and you don't take anything for granted. What's not to like?"

She blushed an even deeper crimson, if that was possible. "Why, Mr. Diggory! Don't flatter me so; you're making me blush!" she replied formally.

"And it suits you, Miss Granger. You need a bit of color in those cheeks of yours. Now, what would you say if I asked you to take a walk with me?" he proposed.

She smiled—the first real one since Viktor had first met her on those very stairs. "Well, I would definitely have to say yes. Believe it or not, you've been rather enjoyable company, Cedric."

He grinned broadly, revealing perfectly straight, white teeth. "Excellent." He replied, standing up.

He reached out his hand and pulled her up. Placing his hand on her lower back, he urged her towards the door. His warm touch on the sensitive part of her body sent voluptuous shivers up her spine. It was bitterly cold as she stepped outside, after having walked through the giant doors he held open for her. Cursing herself for visibly shaking, she was appalled that he removed his hand.

"Cold?" he asked, rather rhetorically.

"No." she replied defiantly.

He raised his eyebrow in stark contrast with his shining gray eyes. "Nonsense."

He took off his suit jacket, revealing a black, warmly-lined coat underneath. He wordlessly put it around her, though she could detect flashes of a smirk playing on his mouth. Much as it had to be compared to a Malfoy-type smirk, this one fitted him much better, and instead of making him look eviler, it made him all the more strikingly attractive.

"Thanks." She mumbled, giving him a faint smile.

They walked around the lake slowly, barely needing words to converse. It was as if they were on the same mental wavelength—Cedric would know when Hermione suddenly got a big emotional thought, and would say exactly the right thing to cheer her up. Conversely, she could tell that something was conflicting in his mind, and she would lightly touch his hand, somehow alerting him to one train of thought.

Suddenly, as Hermione was gazing at the glistening surface of the lake, she tripped over something in the ground, and started to fall. Cedric noticed horrifyingly, and caught her around the waist, so it looked like he had just dipped her in a slow dance. She smiled in thanks, but also in embarrassment.

Something flashed dangerously in Cedric's eyes, and before she knew it, his lips were on top of hers in one swift movement. At first she went slightly rigid, but relaxed into his strong arms. His lips were everything she had ever dreamed for. Soft, with a hint of sweetness on them. There was intense passion behind them, and like every part of his body was in lust for more. She could vaguely feel his warm breath on her face, and smiled into the kiss. His lips twitched, and she realized she had reached a sensitive area, but, wanting to continue, she only deepened their connection.

Hermione wasn't sure whether it was hours or few seconds that they had passionately and sensually bonded in the moonlight, but she had no sense of time or space anyway. Feeling daring, Hermione abruptly placed her arms around his neck, pulling him in deeper. He seemed to catch on fast, and he lightly trailed his hand along her back where her dress was open. Barely touching her skin, he traced it from the lowest point on her back up to her neck, all the while deeply engaged with their kiss.

Then, he unexpectedly pulled away from her, leaving Hermione confused. She searched his eyes for explanation, but they were infuriatingly and mysteriously devoid of an answer.

"Hermione, I—I can't take advantage of you like this, I just—it doesn't feel right…" he trailed, though never once losing contact with her eyes. He was worried about her. She smiled, realizing that he was refraining himself from indulging in his wants. A moment later, she answered…

"Shut up and kiss me."

For some reason, I had an idea at 4 a.m. this morning to write this, and I typed all in one sitting. I know it's probably bad, but I had to get it out of my head and post it anyway. But if you like it, fantastic! Please don't flame, though, because this story really has no purpose except that I think I literally love cedric. lol. Later!