Igniting A Spark

Hormones have the worst timing in the entire world. More times than not, those tiny, buzzing feelings inside of you tend to bring more trouble than they're worth. If I could rid them off forever, I'd most likely be better off. But, alas, once you think they've gone and retired, they show themselves at the worst possible times.

Yet, if it weren't for those microscopic cells of emotion, those miniscule droplets of angst, I wouldn't have realized. You see, those stupid little buggers are in part responsible for what I have come to refer to as 'Granger Grippe'.

She's always been overly intelligent, a walking, talking, functional brain underneath that bushy hair of hers. I've always known I could rely on her, even when the two of us were having one of those infamous rows we're known for. The first time I met her, the first time I set my adolescent blue eyes upon her omniscient grin, I knew she was someone to look out for.

Of course, as children, we snubbed one another. To her, I was that grubby half-wit, Ronald Weasley. There was no way in hell that the two of us were to work aside one another, to actually form a relationship of any sort. And why would I want to, anyways? She was a perfect beyond words know-it-all with so much intuition it scared me. She was far more intimidating than she could ever know. I wasn't ready for someone that fearless.

When we became friends, when Harry and I accepted her for who she was, I began to realize that perhaps she was more than I'd expected. She wasn't perfect, simply a human attempting to find her way through such a challenging existence. But, I must say, she was still a know-it-all. I can't really fault her for it though, Harry and I have come to find it as an entirely endearing quality. Most of the time, that is.

Yet, those hormones of mine didn't feel the need to come out until the middle of my fourth year. And, of course, they were late. I mean, why did I have to be a late bloomer? Perhaps I should have noticed these feelings back in third year, back when life was so simple. Well, actually, it wasn't. We were rowing about our bloody animals. I'm sure the hormones could have resolved the issue in time before it escalated into what it became. But, as said, these hormones simply hate me.

It was in my fourth year at Hogwarts that I began to see Hermione. By seeing her, I don't mean just passing by and stating, "Wow, your hair looks wonderful today, Hermione." I mean that in my fourth year, those hormones came out and well, I soon began to realize that Hermione Granger was in fact a girl.

I'll be the first to admit that yes, I am a bit thick. I mean, I am a Weasley. Not one of us can be considered the most poised members of society. We're all over the place. With our ginger hair, bright eyes, and disheveled clothing, we're the epitome of oblivious. For the longest time, I felt our family was as normal as any. Yet, when I reached Hogwarts, I finally became aware of the fact that perhaps we weren't beings of normality.

The Hogwarts castle, high and mighty as it is, has brought about several realizations over the years. Not only can I be a right git and completely ignorant to what is right before my eyes, but well, I'm also rather foul when I'm jealous.

Back in my fourth year, back when I was in the prime of my youth, the school held this semi-important dance so affectionately coined as the Yule Ball. The month preceding that ball was certainly hell on those withholding the Y-chromosome.

I mean, Harry and I had been interested in girls, yes, but we certainly didn't have any experience with them. There were flocks of girls, all traveling in packs of three or more. It was impossible to get one alone with you long enough to ask them to the bleeding ball.

I remember asking Fleur Delacour, a vision of divine beauty. She was a student from Beaxbatons visiting Hogwarts to participate in the Triwizard Tournament. Of course, as stunning as she was, she held a certain power over the entire male population. I can't really blame myself for asking her, considering she was a Veela. Yet, it wasn't my finest moment. She's going to marry my brother, Bill, this summer and for laughs, my family loves bringing it up at the dinner table.

If it wasn't for Harry, I probably would have gone to the ball alone. Harry's a good man under pressure. I'm glad one of us could contend to the issue that was at hand. We were to go with the Patil twins, my date having been from Ravenclaw. She was as good as any, but well, it didn't set right with me. I guess I was just grateful to have a date, considering the horrid dress robes my darling mother had bought for me that summer.

I remember getting ready in our dorms and cursing under my breath as I got lost in the lace and frills that accompanied the mess I was to wear. It was tight in the collar, a bit short at the ankles, and horrible on the eyes. Of course, Harry had normal, respectably emerald dress robes and he didn't look like a fool. To this day I never underestimate my mother's ability to mortify me.

Padma Patil, a short girl with long, shiny black hair, a girl I barely knew, mind you, was on the arm of my maroon dress robes, most likely less than pleased with the way I looked. I was a bit disgruntled, considering Hermione had shared the fact that she apparently had a date.

It's not that I doubted her ability to acquire a date, it was just that no one at the school really gave her a fair chance. Other than Neville Longbottom, myself, and Harry, truth be told. She was misunderstood by guys and girls alone. I should have realized that the budding curiosity within my mind was the starting stages of those hormones at work.

The Great Hall was decked with delightfully frosty d├ęcor, the dance floor surging with dancing teenagers and slightly tipsy professors. I remember thinking to myself that perhaps the night wouldn't be so awful. It's amazing what a decent band, a pretty girl, and an enchanted ceiling will do to your spirits. Harry, along with Parvati, had to go and open the ball with the first dance. I took a seat with Padma, her vibrant blue robes quite fetching. Yet, I couldn't entirely concentrate on the date at hand as Hermione and her mystery date were still roaming around in the back of my mind.

Sure enough, as the four Triwizard champions made their way out onto the dance floor, I spotted Hermione. Attached to her hand was Viktor Krum, a bloke I used to consider a god in terms of Quidditch. Not only was Krum famous and talented, he was always the center of attention. He was a Durmstrang champion and sadly, he was good looking.

It wasn't even the fact that she was with Viktor Krum that seemed to annoy me. It was the fact that she seemed to have completely changed who she was in a matter of three hours.

Her hair was no longer bushy and falling to her shoulders in a heap of brown frizz, but it was now sleek, shiny, and pulled into a subtle, yet sophisticated French twist. Since when did she have time, patience, or energy to do anything with her hair?

Due to a mishap earlier that month concerning Draco Malfoy and his two blockheaded cronies, her teeth were no longer large and bucked, but small and quaint. Her grin, the grin I'd grown so accustomed to, was now shy and devious. The difference was remarkable.

I sat there, my intense eyes resting upon her as her dress robes of floaty periwinkle material swayed swiftly as she danced, and suddenly, new thoughts began to enter my normally hormone-less brain.

I began wondering what she could possibly see in Viktor Krum? He was quite obviously just using her to make some sort of statement against Harry. He was a student at Durmstrang, most likely fully trained in the Dark Arts. And how long had it been going on? Had I been so wrapped up in myself that I hadn't even taken notice?

Yet, the most striking response to the sight before me seemed to immediately indicate that I was being abducted by hormones; how was I supposed to compete with a Quidditch legend?

I refused to dance. I refused to speak. I refused to acknowledge that perhaps I'd been wrong about Hermione for the past four years. I refused to believe I was jealous. Yet, the truth of the matter was, I was insanely jealous. I had the chance to ask her, the chance to change things between the two of us, and me, being the stubborn mule that I was and still am, let the opportunity pass me by.

That entire night, a spark in her brown eyes, a spark that has since etched itself into my memory, symbolized how happy she was with Viktor Krum. I've had to live with the fact that I've never been the person to put that spark into her eye. I began to feel I never would be.

But now, things have changed. Despite the darkness that has attempted to seep into our lives, I've begun seeing that spark more and more. Our rows, although they're still existent, are now considered petty and meaningless.

Upon realizing back in fourth year that Hermione Granger was quite a girl, I've wandered upon more realizations. I am now fully aware that life is not to be taken lightly. It can be stolen from you and the ones you love in less time than a heartbeat. Perhaps that's why she allows me to see that spark in her eye. Although I tend to believe it's me and only me that brings out that side of her, I always know that, well, maybe she's strayed upon some realizations as well.

Or, perhaps, she's come to terms with her own hormones. Either way, I'm not complaining.

Just a short little one-shot I wrote. Hope you enjoyed. Please review.