Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter. Just this very short plot, which came into my mind about… say 11:39 last night.

Inspired by the break-up of a friend, and the initials of an ex. Don't ask.

A Ron/Hermione one shot, post-HBP. Enjoy.

Summary: It's after Dumbledore's funeral, and Harry, Ron and Hermione have decided to start their journey. During their stay at the Dursleys, a suggestion to kill the times leads to some very interesting events in which Ronald Weasley uses his ignorance to do something he's always wanted to.

ILY, HG
By Darkwing731

-

"Oh bullocks, Ron! Do you actually expect me to believe that?" Hermione spat. Her fingers were clenching her waist rather hard, and her face was screwed up in anger, her eyes cold.

Ron looked like a sputtering fish. He mouthed words that he couldn't form at Hermione, turned to Harry and gaped at him a little bit too until he looked back at Hermione, flustered.

"Honestly, Hermione, it's the truth," Ron said weakly, clenching his fists, his ears going red. Harry knew his palms were sweaty; the redhead was determined to hide this fact.

Hermione's face scrunched up, and her body tensed so much that Harry thought she would break from her brittle form. Her figure shook, and suddenly she let out a scream of rage.

"YOU—FILTHY—LIAR!" she shrieked. In her fit of rage, she aimed a wild kick at Ron's stomach; he shrieked and ducked down, and her shoe went flying into the opposite wall. She stormed out of the room, the tension thickening with every step she took.

A second later, Ron raised his head and looked up at Harry, his face screwed up in humiliation and sadness.

Harry lifted up the shoe from the floor and tossed it at Ron. It hit him over the head and landed behind him.

"Well, at least you have an article of her clothing that she willingly gave," Harry said, smirking.

"I TOLD YOU I DIDN'T KNOW THEY WERE HER KNICKERS!" Ron bellowed at Harry's retreating back.

Really, when was this stupid boy going to learn? Ron obviously was framed!

-x-x-x-

"So… so you forgive me then, right?" Ron asked cautiously, peering over Harry and looking at Hermione.

"Don't push it, Ronald," she answered testily.

"She called you Ronald," Harry pointed out. "You know what that means: it either means she's mad at you, or she fancies—"

Harry was abruptly cut off as Hermione slapped a hand suddenly to his mouth. She gave him a dangerous look, and Ron couldn't help but notice the flush in her cheeks.

Whence Hermione took her hand off, very slowly, Harry gave her a sullen look. "I was just going to say that you fancied giving him a hit round the face," he said, rather flatly.

Her cheeks were red again. "Oh, sorry," she muttered quickly.

Ron turned and gave Harry a look that almost suggested watch this. Harry audibly groaned.

"Really now, Hermione?" Ron asked, with a heavy implication of obvious sarcasm. She narrowed her eyes at him. "Because it sounded as if you were going to sa-ay—"

"Don't even finish that sentence, Ronald," she warned. Her face suddenly froze, before— "Ron," she corrected hastily.

Ron grinned at Harry and nudged him; Harry was quite sure that Ron had no idea how deeply he had hit Hermione's true emotions. Honestly, why wasn't he blonde?

Harry, Ron and Hermione were all sitting on the Knight Bus; it was taking them out to Privet Drive. Harry was taking Ron and Hermione for three days, whether his Uncle or Aunt allowed them or not. Dumbledore's last wishes had been for him to return before he set off on his journey for the horcruxes.

Harry planned on spending only the evenings there, but taking Ron and Hermione out so they wouldn't have to spend it with the Dursleys. And he hoped to be able to skip off alone every once in a while, and see what he could instigate from Ron and Hermione when they were left alone.

But of course, the last time that happened, Ron had ended up with a pair of Hermione's knickers… and that hadn't gone so well.

Harry could still remember Ginny's brown eyes gleaming with amusement as she and Harry exchanged grins. Both of them knew the real culprit behind the situation, and Ginny wasn't stepping forward anytime soon.

And it wasn't like Harry was going to turn her in, either. At the thought of doing that, he let out a snort.

"What's so funny?" Ron asked immediately. Harry shook his head, looking at the sky with an almost nostalgic look on his face. Ron and Hermione exchanged glances, each worried in their own way.

The Knight Bus came to one final stop, and the three of them stepped off the bus, Harry pulling his truck steadily along the pavement, Ron and Hermione following him, side by side and casting each other anxious looks every few moments. Neither of them had a feeling this was going to go well.

"Harry," Hermione said, a bit timidly; "what do you suppose we'll do if they don't let us in?"

"Oh, they'll let us in, all right," Harry said grimly, not looking back. Ron looked at Hermione and shrugged, and her eyes were cast down at the pavement.

Number Four, Privet Drive looked like any other house on the block. In fact, it looked like every other house on the block. Every single one was the same model, same colors, same lawn that was the same shade of green. Ron even thought he spotted a plant in every north window. Hermione thought she saw a birdbath in every yard. But at Harry's pace, they could not be sure, for he dragged them along nicely without pausing.

He turned abruptly, causing Hermione and Ron to almost run into each other. They each blushed and followed Harry Potter up the pathway.

Harry unhurriedly reached down under a particularly suspicious-looking plastic turtle and withdrew a key, shoved it in the door and unlocked it. He deposited the key back where it belonged and shoved open the door.

He stepped inside; "Home sweet bloody home," he muttered sarcastically. Hermione and Ron tentatively followed.

"Oi! Freak, what are you doing home?" Dudley sneered. Harry gave his cousin a sickly sweet smile; Hermione shuddered at Dudley's obesity and automatically hid behind Ron's tall, lanky figure.

Hermione's movement attracted Dudley's attention, and he peered at Hermione and Ron as if he were observing a strangely grotesque, yet amusing object.

"Are these your freak friends?" Dudley asked Harry rudely.

Harry bounced on the balls of his feet, smiling broadly. "Yes, Dudley. That would be Ron, and Hermione." Harry pointed them each out.

"Oh, Hermione? A girl? A girl that'd want to be friends with you?" he sneered.

"Hey!" said Hermione sharply, pushing Ron aside and glaring at Dudley, whose eyes lit up at the sight of her. "Harry's a much better person than you, so I'd keep your mouth shut!"

"Well, then, please forgive me, Hermione." Dudley's voice was oddly soft, and he was staring at Hermione quite openly. She gaped at him, and hid behind Ron again, who looked suddenly possessive.

"They're dating," Harry said casually.

"We are not," Hermione snapped back, though she was blushing furiously. Harry smirked as she grabbed hold of Ron's elbow unconsciously, as if for asking for him to help.

"Um um um…" Ron mumbled, his ears red.

"So you're single, then, Hermione?" Dudley inquired, leering at her.

"Hey, Dudders, she wouldn't go near you with a fat suit on. And even if she did, she could borrow yours," Ron spat, suddenly regaining a vicious voice. Then he grinned. "But of course, that's not a suit, is it?"

Dudley flushed.

"Come on, my freaky mates, let's get our stuff upstairs and out of this hell hole," Harry instructed, pushing Dudley out of the way and starting up the stairs.

The kitchen door opened, and Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon came out. They stopped in their tracks and stared at Harry as if he were a ghost; Hermione grabbed Ron's arm again in anxiousness.

"BOY!" Vernon roared.

Harry was tempted to scream "MAN!" just to see what would happen… but he knew better. "Yes, my dearest uncle?" he said flatly.

"What in Hades name are you doing here! Get out!" he bellowed.

"Really, the way he's treated," Ron muttered to Hermione; she clutched his elbow tighter in response. He had an insane urge to touch her fingers to help calm her down. However, his desire was suppressed as Vernon caught sight of Ron and Hermione.

"Who're they!" he demanded of Harry.

Hermione stepped out timidly, slowly, and offered her hand to the aunt and uncle.

"Hello, I'm…" she dropped off quietly at the glares they gave her; "shutting up," she muttered once she was safe behind Ron, and he chuckled.

"They're my friends," Harry said coldly. "They're staying here for about… three days. And so am I. Then, I'm leaving, and thank Merlin I'll never have to see any of your faces again."

Hermione looked appalled at Harry's words. He grinned at her astonished look, and she shot him a motherly glare; honestly, had the boy no sense?

"But why are you here?" Aunt Petunia asked, the contempt in her voice rather obvious.

"Because," Harry sneered, suddenly sounding like Malfoy; "Albus Dumbledore is dead, and his last wish was for me to be here in the filthy hellhole for a while, until I decided this was my home no longer."

"He's dead?" Petunia whispered. Harry nodded stiffly, and Hermione, right on cue, grabbed Ron's arm, once again. This time, though, he touched her hand in comfort for a moment, before hesitantly pulling his fingers away.

Uncle Vernon opened his mouth, predictably to bellow at Harry and his friends to leave, but Petunia grabbed his arm and shook her head. Uncertainly, he closed his mouth and grumbled something. He turned around and went straight back into the kitchen.

Dudley came suddenly into view; Hermione jumped, and the obese teenage smirked before going straight into the kitchen too.

"Harry, Dudley goosed me!" Hermione cried. Harry said nothing, but smirked at the suddenly ferocious look on Ron's face.

"Hey mate, cool down," Harry said, and turned and went up the steps.

Ron and Hermione looked at each other, and scrambled up after him.

-x-x-x-

"So err, yeah… there's only one bed, and only enough space for one to sleep on the floor," Harry said, sounding awkward. He rubbed the back of his neck and looked between his friends.

He noticed they were both looking at absolutely everything but each other and each were quite red. Harry couldn't help but grin; he knew exactly what was drifting through their minds.

"So, err, who gets the bed?" Hermione asked uncomfortably.

"Well, I do suppose it could fit two people, and I don't mind sleeping on the floor one bit," Harry said offhandedly. Hermione nodded slowly, but then realized what he had implied.

"Harry," Ron said, his voice strangely squeaky. "This is an almost impossible predicament! There's one girl and two blokes! We can't have you and me on the bed, Harry, because well—"

"Poof," Harry coughed. Hermione shot him a look.

"And well, me and Hermione— I… erm, well that's just not a good idea," he mumbled quickly.

"But then that just leaves Harry and I," Hermione said, looking a tiny bit crestfallen.

Harry commented while he could. "Why do you look so disappointed, Hermione?" Harry asked curiously. She turned scarlet and whacked him.

"I do not, shut your face," she mumbled. "Honestly, I'm the butt of everyone's jokes lately…"

"But you just get so cute when you're mad, so it's funny," Ron said. Hermione and Harry looked at him in astonishment; Harry, rather, in stunned amusement while Hermione was flat out surprised.

"What?" Ron asked confusedly. Hermione shook her head and muttered under her breath.

"All right, so it's settled: I'm sleeping with Harry tonight," she declared. Harry raised his eyebrows at her, and she blushed again. "I didn't mean it like that! Pervert!"

That night was very awkward. Ron settled best he could on the floor, Harry was smooshed up against the wall, and Hermione hanging off the edge of the bed. It seemed that Hermione was not at all comfortable in the same bed as Harry. Their bodies were forced to be in contact at one spot or another no matter where they shifted; this moment, it was their ankles. They next, her fingers has brushed his back by accident, and she had nearly fallen out of the bed.

Slowly, very slowly, sleep was granted upon the brunette, and Harry could watch her visibly relax. He sat up, very slowly, and peered outside. The sliver of the hazy moon shone in through his window, sending a glare off of his glasses, and a curtain of silvery whiteness about the room in patterned sections.

"Can't sleep either, mate?" Ron asked quietly from the floor.

"Not with Hermione in my bed, no," he said quietly. Ron mumbled something to himself, and despite if it was in his favor or not, Harry smiled.

An idea suddenly struck him: carefully, he put his foot in the small of Hermione's back. The girl was perched on the edge of the bed anyways, so the fall wouldn't be a huge surprise if she woke up.

Yawning, Harry said, "I'm so tired, I wish I could just do this."

"Do what?" Ron asked. Promptly, Harry shoved Hermione off of the bed, and she rolled over and landed on top of Ron. He let out a girlish shriek and immediately grabbed his mouth afterwards, as if he had killed someone and just announced it publicly.

"Harry!"

Harry was suddenly snoring loudly, tucked deep inside his covers and whisked off into his own little dream world.

Highly uncomfortable, and denying that he was immensely pleased, Ron tried to shift the sleeping girl off of his makeshift bed, so he could fit her too. He guessed he could do without a pillow.

For one night, at least.

-x-x-x-

Hermione rolled over, yawning, and smiled as she stretched around a bit. She had gotten a curiously good night's sleep, and wondered how on earth she could've if Harry was right beside her.

She rubbed the sand out of her eyes, blinking drowsily. Her eyes fluttered, and for a moment, she was met with red hair. She closed her eyes again, reprimanding herself not to keep dreaming about waking up next to Ron.

But when she opened her eyes again, making sure to rub them very hard and blink hundreds of times, Ron Weasley was still sleeping next to her. In fact, he had an elbow bent on one of her thighs, while he drooled onto his forearm.

It was no surprise when the entire house woke up to Hermione's screaming.

"WHAT THE BLOODY HELL IS GOING ON?" Harry bellowed, taking his pillow and shoving his head into it.

"Harry Potter! I was on that bed when I fell asleep, and now I wake up on the floor! Don't you ask me what's going on, when you know perfectly well!" Hermione shrieked.

Harry groggily raised his face and looked at her, his vision blurred. His glasses were somewhere on his nightstand, and he groped for them before speaking to her.

"So, your problem is that you woke up next to Ron instead of me? Seriously, Hermione, I never thought you would have a problem with that," Harry yawned, stretching. The next second, he yelped as Hermione grabbed his ankles and flung him off the bed.

"I am sick and tired of your insinuations! You know what I feel, and so do I, and if Ronald was clever enough, so would he! But I do not appreciate being the punch line to jokes, and being made a fool of myself every moment with your stupid implications!" she shouted. Her face was slowly crinkling up, and Harry had a sudden feeling of guilt as she began to cry.

"I mean, how would you like it if I started making fun of you and Ginny's relationship, and how you can't be together anymore? Would you appreciate that?" she cried, and hiccupped. Her shoulders shook, and a second later, she had collapsed against Harry's bureau, sobbing.

Harry's door slammed open, and Uncle Vernon had a spatula in one hand, and a salad fork in the other. Petunia and Dudley were crowded behind him, looking rather curious.

"WHAT THE DEVIL—"

"Get out!" Hermione screamed suddenly. The three Dursleys backed away in horror as Hermione, a red, sniffling, sobbing mess, pounced up with her wand out. How she had attained her wand so quickly was a mystery.

She slammed the door shut as soon as the hallway was empty, and looked around at Harry. Her lips were trembling, and her eyes were filled with tears again.

"I don't particularly like being made fun of for something I can't have," she croaked, her voice barely above a whisper.

"I-I never meant it like that, Hermione," Harry said at once, his eyes wide. He sat up a little straighter on his bed. "I meant it to be—"

"I know, Harry. I know," she whispered and cast her eyes downwards.

He awkwardly stayed motionless, very unsure of what to do. He slowly lowered his eyes, not being able to look at her red face without feeling a very familiar stab of guilt, and his eyes landed on Ron.

"How in Merlin's name is he still asleep after your screaming?" Harry asked, hoping that this would cause her to laugh instead of provoke more tears.

It caused what he had hoped for; she smiled rather fondly down at Ron and laughed under her breath. She stepped forward, and kicked him in the back, fairly hard. He gave a grunt and shifted, rolling over so his snores were more subdued.

She looked back up at Harry and smiled faintly, and the enigma of why she adored Ron so much was suddenly clarified.

-x-x-x-

"Harry, this is boring," Ron mumbled. They were in the park that had been full of children when they entered, but after the mothers caught sight of "that freakish boy" Harry Potter, they snatched their children up and fled.

Ron was currently entertaining himself on the swing, though his enthusiasm at such a wicked Muggle object was steadily draining. Hermione was slowly spinning on the merry-go-round type object that neither Harry nor Hermione could remember what it was actually called. She was slumped up against the bars, rotating slowly.

Harry sighed, walking over to the park bench and picking up a slightly damp newspaper and flipping through it. He snorted half way through.

"What?" Hermione asked quickly. Harry shook his head; determined to find out what was funny, she marched up to him and snatched the paper away.

Big Brother, Big Sister: a program for teens 13-15 to gather, with older teenagers 17-21 to share experiences, laugh, give advice, and virtually anything on an appropriate subject. Open to the public; teens 17-21 encouraged to come.

"We're going," Hermione said at once. Harry gaped at her.

"No way!" he said after a moment. She smiled, and nodded resolutely.

"What're we doing?" Ron asked wearily.

"Moving our fat arses," Harry muttered, and Hermione shot him a look.

"Okay," Ron yawned. Hermione beamed.

-x-x-x-

"So um, refresh me again. What are we doing here?" Ron hissed.

"We're teaching," Hermione hissed back.

"Technically, Hermione, we're mentoring," Harry said, with a hint of sarcasm. She growled.

There were only about eight kids in the recreation room, nearly all around age 13 or 14. Hermione, Ron and Harry were the only older kids, and it left them to look after this group of kids.

The lady at the front desk was thrilled; usually, no one came, so an adult was forced to give up precious time to entertain these children.

"We're actually not stupid, you know," a particularly blunt girl said to the lady as she introduced the trio. "We don't need older kids here; it's not like we've got drugs or anything. We can look after ourselves." All the kids heartily agreed.

"Annabel, then why are you here?" the lady asked, rather rudely. The girl named Annabel blushed.

"Hey," another boy spat. He had a scruffy look about him. "Bell, ignore this oldie. She can't remember what it was like to be a kid."

Harry and Ron started sniggering, and Hermione shook her head at the disrespect.

"Good luck," the lady said coldly, and walked out of the room.

Ron, Harry and Hermione stood very awkwardly, and all eyes were on them. Hermione was the first to speak.

"Um, my name is, err, Hermione," she said, her voice very high-pitched. There were giggles from the girls.

"Did your mother like Shakespeare or something?" a girl with a plait down her back asked. Hermione noticed the condescending looks she received from the others. She also noticed that the girl was sitting alone.

"Yes, she did. Very much, in fact," Hermione answered proudly.

"Swot," one of the boys coughed loudly, and the whole room broke into laughter.

Hermione sighed. She turned and pulled the two boys into a sort of huddle. "Remember, these kids are Muggles. So Ron, don't go rambling about the Chudley Cannons, and Harry… well, you know."

"How come you give me rules but not him?" Ron asked, frowning.

"Because you're pureblood, Ron. Harry and I have lived in Muggle environments out whole lives," she answered promptly. He wrinkled his nose at Hermione, but said nothing.

When they turned back to the group of kids, they were sitting on their desks and talking. It was almost like a schoolroom, but everyone was in clumps.

"Hey, hey guys," Hermione called. No one listened to her.

"OI!" Ron shouted. Silence fell. Hermione glared at him.

"I-I was thinking it would be a clever idea to push all the desks together so that way… that way it's easier to talk without having to turn about every moment," Hermione said timidly.

"Um, no," another boy said, and his friends burst into muffled sniggers again.

"How about yes," Hermione snapped. The friends went silent, and the boy raised his eyebrows at her.

"No," he sneered back. Hermione gritted her teeth.

"Do it," she spat.

"No!" he said back at once.

"Yes!"

"No!"

This continued for several minutes; Harry and Ron looked at Hermione with grins on their faces. She was snarling at the boy, very flushed, and it was obvious the boy was having a good time arguing. His buddies were whispering and nudging the arguing friend.

Ron tentatively put his hands on Hermione shoulders in an attempt to calm her; however, it seemed to make her jump a mile, and put her nerves on end.

"Ronald!" she shrieked. He looked bemused.

"What? I was trying to help!" he said defensively.

"Are you dating?" the argumentative boy asked curiously.

"Yes," Harry said the same moment Ron and Hermione both cried, "No!"

This tension between Ron and Hermione seemed to stir the room into life, because everyone was pushing their desks together and giggling about something.

"C'mon, Herminny, sit down," the boy coaxed.

"It's Hermione," she said coldly. Ron grinned at the boy; Hermione was obviously flustered and angry… and she looked rather cute when she was angry. Nevertheless, she went and sat down, Ron and Harry on either side of her.

"So who're you?" Harry asked the boy who had argued repetitively with Hermione.

"Tucker," he said arrogantly. "And you are?" he asked Harry expectantly.

"Harry Potter," he said lightly; he was happy to be in a place where people didn't gape at his name.

"Hey, I live down the street from you," one of Tucker's friend said suddenly. "My mum says you're a freak." Giggles ensued at this statement.

"Then you also must know my hugely obese cousin Dudley," Harry said dryly. The room was suddenly tense. Harry looked about the room; all of the boys looked terrified.

"Dudley's hurt all of you, hasn't he?" Hermione asked sympathetically. There were a few cautious nods.

"You aren't going to set him on us, are you?" Tucker asked cautiously. Harry and Ron looked at each other and snorted with laughter.

"As soon as Dudley becomes anorexic, I might," Harry joked. There was more laughter.

"This is very confusing," Ron said suddenly. "Despite the fact that this is such a professor-like cliché… can all of you introduce yourselves?"

After a while, when the eight teenagers had introduced themselves, things were simple. Tucker had his four mates: Colin, Andrew, Asher and Derrick. There was Annabel, Leah and Caitlin, three girls who had grown up together. And the loner, the smart one: Maggie. Although it was hard to keep up with who was who, the three Gryffindors thought they could manage.

"So yeah, what are we doing now?" Ron asked, scratching his head.

"We could do that letter thing," Andrew suggested. There was an uproar at this, and most of the girls said no while the boys jovially agreed.

"The what thing?" Hermione asked.

"Acronyms," Maggie said quietly.

"Ooh," Hermione chirped. "Let's see what you guys can come up with then."

"Wait wait, slow down, Hermione," Ron said hastily. "Please explain what we're doing."

"You come up with a phrase, like I love chocolate, and you take the first three letters. So I love chocolate would be ILC, and from what I gathered, you have to pick a phrase and everyone tries to guess. Right?" she asked the room. They nodded.

"Okay…" Ron said uneasily.

"Wait, let's break into groups of three," Harry said. "That way, we can do teams and have like a tournament or something."

"Yeah!"

"Wicked."

"Yes, let's!"

"Okay, then, choose teams. Only three to a group." There was a rush and a lot of laughter. In moments, Tucker, Asher and Derrick were in a group, and Caitlin, Leah and Annabel. That left a very reluctant Andrew with Maggie, and Hermione felt a surge of anger.

"You know what Andrew, go with your friends. Maggie and I can be a team, and we'll kick your butt!" Hermione said, trying to keep her anger at bay. He looked delighted and ran over to his mates.

"Harry, Ron, one of you should go with the boys and the other with the girls," Hermione instructed. "And let's separate these desks!"

There was a loud scrape, enthusiastic voices and suggestions of phrases already. Hermione and Maggie pushed two desks together, Ron and the three girls, and Harry and the five boys. It was quite an uneven and very unfair mix, but no one was complaining, since they were with friends.

Maggie was a plain looking girl with very curly brown hair (much like Hermione's) and light green eyes. She hadn't any spots, braces, or a gap in her teeth. No excessive freckles or anything bad about her. It was her intelligence, apparently, that had her shunned from the group.

Hermione smiled at the fourteen year old. "Maggie, I've got a feeling we are going to show these guys up." The girl grinned.

-x-x-x-

Ron felt very uncomfortable with three fourteen year old girls, because they were whispering behind their hands, giggling, smirking and exchanging significant looks.

"So, your name's Ron right?" the girl named Caitlin asked. Ron nodded slowly. "What's your surname?"

"Weasley," he said cautiously. Caitlin pointed to Harry. "And he's Harry Potter, right?" Ron nodded again. "And Herminny's surname, what is it?"

"Her name is Hermione," Ron said through gritted teeth. "And her surname is Granger." The three girls looked at each other and grinned.

"Do you wish her last name was Weasley?" Leah asked slyly. Ron blushed.

"That's absurd! Hermione's one of my mates, not anything more!" he said at once, though he noticed his voice cracked, giving him an uncertain tone.

"Sure thing," Annabel said with a wink. Whispers ensued.

-x-x-x-

"So, Harry, what sports do you play?" Tucker asked him. Harry nearly said Quidditch, but remembered these were Muggles he was dealing with.

"Erm, well I don't play much. At my school they, err, don't approve of them," he invented wildly.

"Really? That's sad," Andrew said.

"Yeah…"

There was no further conversation. The four boys just looked at Harry, almost cautiously, and the Boy-Who-Lived almost wished he had chosen the girls instead.

He was saved by Hermione clearing her throat and speaking. "All right, let's get started. You have to choose a phrase no more than five words, and the guessing teams have a minute to guess. First team that guesses correctly wins a point. First team to reach five points wins, I dunno, a pound. I can chip in that much," Hermione said offhandedly. "The category is rhymes and popular phrases."

She sat down.

-x-x-x-

Ron continued to look at Hermione for several moments after the three teams had started on their phrases, and he wondered why Hermione had actually chosen this event. It was fun, he mused, but these girls were acting sly and their words implied things that he didn't know about. He felt like they were speaking their own language and he had no idea what in the world was going on.

"Okay, so what's our phrase?" Annabel asked.

"How about, ILY, DW?" Caitlin suggested loudly. The girls burst into laughter as the boys overheard.

"What?" Ron asked, completely lost.

"It means: I love you, Derrick Waters. That's her boyfriend," Leah said, and the three girls promptly giggled.

"Oh," Ron said. He couldn't help but think that substituting a few letters with HG would be a bit nicer.

"Now really… hmmm…" The girls broke off into words and giggles and suggestions, and his eyes wandered over to a curly brown head; Hermione's back was to Ron, and he could stare freely at her without her catching his gaze.

-x-x-x-

"Okay, how about: curiosity killed the cat?" Hermione suggested. Maggie nodded.

"But I do like girls rule and boys drool," Maggie said, and giggled. Hermione smiled.

"That's such an Americanism, though. We are British! We must be proud!" Hermione said, and they both laughed.

"What about don't count your chicks before they—oh wait, too many words," Maggie said dejectedly.

"Too many peas in a pod?" Hermione said. Maggie shook her head.

"That's six words," she pointed out.

"Oh." Hermione fell silent, and the two girls continued to think.

Maggie looked about the room for an inspiration, and suddenly, the boy with the red hair, Ron, she remembered, caught her eye. He was openly staring at the back of Hermione's head, and this was being currently observed by Caitlin and her two friends.

Ron looked like he was on cloud nine; his eyes were dim, and the curve of his smile sang love struck! in her mind.

"Hermione," Maggie said slowly.

"What?" Hermione asked, aware that Maggie's tone was low and careful.

"Ron's staring at you."

Hermione turned around sharply and looked at him; he seemed to look back at her fondly, before he realized he was looking at her face. He turned a bright scarlet and turned away quickly.

Hermione faced Maggie again, biting her lip and trying to conceal her secretly thrilled smile.

However, the young girl saw her expression, and smiled to herself.

-x-x-x-

"Guys, GUYS!" Harry called. The room fell silent. "Let's start. We'll do my group first. Ours is: TMCITK."

The room was quiet, before Annabel said, "That's six letters, Harry." Harry shrugged.

"One letter doesn't do any harm, does it?" he said.

Maggie and Hermione pulled their heads apart quickly; they had been discussing this row of letters in hushed voices.

"It does when you choose an easy phrase like: too many cooks in the kitchen," Maggie said, folding her arms across her chest and smirking.

"Damn!" Harry muttered, and the boys started laughing and suggesting quietly.

"Okay, then, ours is: TMPIAP," Hermione said, and sat down. There was a rush of debating, and Hermione watched the clock as it neared a minute.

"Too many peas in a pod!" Ron called out suddenly. The girls looked at him funny. He grinned.

"Ron, how did you know, you're—" But Hermione had to stop, because the word pureblood would raise inquiries right away.

"I'm just intelligent like that, Hermione," Ron said proudly, smiling at her. She quirked an eyebrow, but ended up laughing at his lopsided look.

"Fine fine, your group goes now," Hermione said.

Ron went to speak, but Leah hurriedly cut him off. "Ron came up with this clever phrase: ILY, HG."

"Hey! I wanted to say that!" Ron snapped. The girls burst into laughter, in which Harry joined.

"What?" Ron said. Hermione was gaping at him, as Maggie was too. The other boys had no idea what was going on, so when Harry whispered to them what it meant, they chuckled.

Ron looked at the girls. They grinned at him and laughed.

He looked back at Hermione, very confused. "Wait, what the hell just happened?"

"Excuse me," she murmured, and hurried out of the room, the door slamming a silence onto the teenagers.

"Wow," Harry said quietly. "I thought she would've liked that."

"WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON!" Ron screeched.

"Your phrase was ILY, HG Ron, and when she—Leah, I think—said that, you—you—" Harry broke off.

Ron suddenly seemed to understand. "I said I wanted to say that," he whispered in a low voice, his throat suddenly very dry.

He pushed back his chair and walked out of the room, his heart beating against his chest. Could his ignorance really lead to this? The one thing, the one girl he had always wanted?

Hermione was at the end of the dim hallway. She was leaning on the window sill, her head bowed, and Ron had a pang in his heart. He hoped she wasn't crying.

He approached her cautiously, and reached out and brushed her shoulder. She jumped and turned around, flushed and gave him a nervous, jittery smile.

"Hi," she said quickly. "It—it was just really warm in there, and err, I wanted—"

"Yeah, same here," Ron interjected. She let the smile fall awkwardly, and she turned and faced out the window again.

Ron stood behind her, wringing his hands anxiously. He couldn't seem to form words, and his head was blank. This was so surreal; he never thought he would be in this situation, despite the many times he had dreamed of it. Could this really form the relationship he wanted?

"I—that phrase, Hermione, those girls made it up, not me," Ron said quietly. He watched as her shoulders tensed, and her grip on the window sill tightened.

"Oh," she uttered, her voice oddly tight and forced.

Why the bloody hell did I just say that? he asked himself. He had to make it better, right now.

"But—but— it didn't mean it was a-a lie," he sputtered.

This was it, their moment of truth. His hands had never felt so big, his heart had never raced so fast, his head had never been racing full of thoughts, and yet he couldn't grasp a single concept of any of them.

She turned around slowly and looked at her. Her eyes were narrowed slightly, her lips parted; she was blinking slowly, and suddenly she seemed like she didn't fit in that time frame, like the beautiful color of her eyes was too bright, too godly to fit in his mind.

"What?" she whispered. Her expression, he could place it now. She was in utter disbelief, stunned even. But he knew that she was feeling the same was as he was.

He couldn't say it again. He didn't think he could say anything, for that matter. He raised his arms to gesticulate, failed and tried again. He tried pointing to himself, to her, but it appeared as if he was epileptic and severely twitching.

And during this bout of a mild seizure, he took a shot at the one action that could answer her question; he leaned forward, clumsily, and attempted to kiss her. His nose rammed into hers rather hard, and he had to grab her face to keep from tripping over his two feet.

He let go of her, suddenly, and took a step back. She looked at him, frightened almost. She slowly touched her lips and stared at her fingers, as if the saliva was unearthly instead of just plain old Ronald Weasley's. She opened her mouth to talk, but ended up with a gaping hole and huge eyes.

"I'm gonna go… over there," he mumbled, throwing himself into his twitching fit, and pointing over his shoulder. He ran back to the room.

He wrenched open the door, slammed it shut and slumped against it like he was drunk, his chest heavy and his breath loud and jagged. He was wide-eyed and unaware of the eight teenagers staring at him, waiting for him to say something.

"Well?" Harry asked.

"I kissed her," Ron squeaked. There was cheering and hasty questions. The girls wanted to know what he had said—and the boys wanted to know what it was like.

He ran out of the room hurriedly, and then right back in again.

"She's out there, Harry," he croaked, his voice high.

"I know this, Ron," Harry said calmly.

"I can't go out there."

"Yet again, I know this, Ron."

"What do I do?"

Harry looked at his watch. "Guys, when does this thing end?"

"It ended fifteen minutes ago, Harry," Asher said. Harry grinned.

"It was nice meeting all of you, we might do this again. But right now, I've got two mates to hook up. Bye!" Harry called, and ushered Ron (with a lot of force) out of the room.

As the door shut, he could hear complaints of "But our game! Who gets the money?" He had forgotten about that, but at the moment he had more important things on his priority list.

"Hermione," Harry called down the hallway. "We're leaving." There was a shuffle of feet, and he heard her whine for a moment.

"Let me say goodbye first," she mumbled, coming quickly up the hallway, keeping her eyes cast down. She entered the room, and everyone started bombarding her with questions.

"How was the snog?"

"Did he french you?"

"Are you dating now?"

"BYE MAGGIE," Hermione yelled, and slammed the door shut. She continued with several actions that mimicked Ron's after he had come into the room from the kiss.

"Let's just… go."

So they did.

-x-x-x-

It was awkward, even for the few moments they walked down the hall. Harry could sense how thick the tension was; he could literally hear Ron's heart pounding in his chest—well, he could hear the heavy breathing… so he knew that Ron's heart was racing.

And he knew Hermione's was too; her hands were twitching, playing with a bit of fabric on her shirt, in her hair. She couldn't sit still. Her fidgeting was actually very noises, and he could see her glancing to and fro as if someone would offer to wipe her memory.

"You, boy!" It was the lady at the front desk; she curled a claw-like finger at Harry, who looked bemused and pointed to himself. She nodded and with a snarl, summoned him over.

"Erm… be right back, I suppose," Harry muttered. Hermione nodded, and with a very flustered glance at Ron, went outside.

Ron seemed to stay there, swaying on the spot, as if he was fighting viciously with himself about whether he should remain safely with Harry, or venture into the unknown with Hermione.

Cautiously, his legs jerked, and he started moving slowly towards the door, his heart leaping into his parchment-dry throat. He could feel all the blood pounding through his body gather in his ears and face; he knew he was flustered, nervous out of his mind, but he kept going. Somehow, he kept going.

It was dim outside, but not dark. There was an orange lamppost at the end of the street, the colors pulsing, flickering over her features and casting an orange glow over her hair.

She turned and looked at him, slowly, as he approached her with jerky, unskillful movements. He reached her, after what seemed like an eternity, and stopped a foot from her. They looked at each other silently, the glare of the lamp burning a neon pattern into his eyes, making him squint.

"Ron," she said quietly, and sucked in her breath as if speaking his name was forbidden. He shook his head after a moment.

"I-I just…" don't know what to say, he thought miserably. Her eyes lowered slightly, and the urge to grab hold of her, to press his chapped lips to hers in a messy, chaste kiss overwhelmed him.

She reached up, carefully, and put a hand at the top of his chest, her fingers brushing his shoulder. His eyes widened, and he seemed to stop breathing for a moment. She bit her lip, her eyebrows furrowed for a moment; she looked scared, hopeless.

But even so, she leaned forward slightly, and looked at him pleadingly. He wondered what the look was for, but then, he didn't have to wonder. His body was urging him to lean forward, to kiss her, to push his mouth on hers in a greedy fashion.

And he was not one to resist an urge, no matter what it could mean.

So slowly, he leaned to meet her, and the breath of her tickled his lips for a moment; they looked at each other, their eyes nearly crossed from their closeness. When he moved that inch that fused them together, it was how he had wanted. Messy, dry, chaste. His lips were chapped, and the cold feel of her moist mouth was unnerving, but welcoming.

It did not last long, but to him it meant more than anything. He was hesitant to touch her at all; his hands tried to settle on her waist, but he was struck with a fit and his hands had to be moving about the air around her. When his hand touched her body, he was electrified; his nerves jumped and sent the fatal tingle through his hand, burning it into sweet numbness that he would kill to take away, just so he could touch her again.

The door to the recreation center slammed shut, and under the moonlight of the streetlamp, their kiss illuminated by the eerie glow, Ron and Hermione broke apart, as if caught committing treason.

"H-Harry," Hermione stuttered. Harry stepped into the glowing shadow, lighting up the smirk on the face and the twinkle in his eyes.

"Yes, my name is Harry. Now, let's leave." Harry said nothing more, but merely smiled and walked on.

Ron and Hermione tentatively looked at each other and followed. While they walked so closely, their hands kept brushing.

When they reached Number Four, Privet Drive, their fingers were laced together.

-x-x-x-

Three days had gone by when Harry finally decided that Godric's Hollow was calling to him, and it was a primal urge that he had to answer. He gathered Ron and Hermione, pleasantly ignored and refused bid goodbye to his aunt and uncle and, quite coldly, told his cousin to loose some weight before he walked out the door.

Ron and Hermione pulled their suitcases along, frowning. Harry never once looked back, and his face was set in a cruel, almost frozen expression of anger, of distaste.

Harry lifted his wand, ignited the tip, and the Knight Bus appeared, abruptly shoving a violent color into the very blasé, very plain street that none of the three seemed to fit into. Harry said nothing as Stan collected money, but merely boarded the bus.

Hermione stopped, and turned around to look down the street. Ron had a foot on the steps, and the other was held out for Hermione.

"Come on, Hermione," he said. She looked at him, and he was surprised to see tears glistening in her eyes.

"It's strange; Harry's lived here his whole life, and he's so happy to be gone. It's like the biggest burden to be lifted from his shoulders. But… I don't understand how he can just… just leave it all behind like this. It's where it all started, and it's ending his beginning, and starting a new one," she said softly.

Ron looked at her. "You think too much," he said after a minute, smiling fondly. Her trembling smile was adorned with a tear or two that drifted down her cheek.

"I'm just afraid that… that…"

"That what?"

"That he'll really miss this place. That he had come to love it after all he's been through here, and he'll want to come back."

"He won't, Hermione," Ron said quietly. "He's never going to look back into his past again. He's always going to be moving forward, and forgetting how hard it was on him to get this far. He's getting his reward, after all."

Hermione slowly took his hand, and squeezed it. "Just like us, Ron."

He smiled at her. "Just like us."

-
-x-x-x-
-

Author's Note: WOW that was like 20 pages long! I didn't intend for it to be this long, but apparently, the words kept coming out of my fingers! (You know… typing!) I didn't know where to end this exactly, but I had a general idea. If this is too much of a cliffhanger (which I don't think it really is) say something and I can explain it to you!

My first Ron/Hermione one shot! Yay!

Please review!