Hi. I haven't written a story for here in almost three years, so please bear with me. I think it is better than some of my others stories that I wrote oh so long ago.

The Dance

I don't even know where to start. How do I describe the last few days? Let me first start with the background information. Today is December 10. The Yule Tide Ball is in fifteen days. No, there is no Tri-Wizard Tournament. McGonagall decided to have another one, to lift the spirits of everyone here, since before, everyone's mind had been on all the death and evil that is inhabiting the world nowadays. The whole school has been talking about it since it was first announced, which was ten days ago. Ginny is going with Seamus Finnigan. Ron is not too pleased with her choice. Ron. He is part of the reason why I am writing all this down.

You see, I've known for a while now that he likes me. How could I not? It was sort of obvious, what with this jealousy of Victor and trying to get me jealous with Lavender. The thing is, though, I could never see myself with Ron. I can only see him as a friend. He would drive me positively insane if we ever dated. All of his idiosyncrasies make me want to slap him. Plus, he has absolutely no idea how to treat a woman. Just look at how he treats poor Ginny, granted, she is his younger sister, but still. She is sixteen years old; she can take care of herself. I really do feel bad for her; I cannot imagine having six older brothers. That is why I am glad I'm an only child.

But anyway, I digress. Ron came up to me last night, and asked if I wanted to go to the ball with him. I hated to say no, yet I hated to say yes, too. So I did what any girl would do, I told him I would tell him in the morning. Luckily, I rose early this morning, ran to breakfast, and brought it back to my room before Ron woke up. So I still have some time before I have to give him a definite answer.

I would not mind going with him strictly as friends, but I know that Ron would consider it a date, even if I specifically said it was not. And then he would tell Harry that it was a date.

Harry is another reason why I'm writing all this down.

Harry. What do I say about Harry? What can I say? Ever since the end of sixth year, I have started having feelings for him. I wish I had not fallen for him. Not only is he my best friend, but he is also Ron's. And then there is the whole thing about either he or Voldemort dying. But I can't help how I feel. I have tried to ignore the feelings. I even hoped that they would die out over summer, since I did not think I would be seeing him. I was planning on going to Spain with my parents for most of the vacation. However, my dad had to have emergency surgery on his back, so the trip was cancelled. He is fine, though. Mrs. Weasley then asked me to spend most of the summer at her house, where Harry was also staying. So therefore, my feelings did not die, but in fact, only grew stronger. It is horrible, because I cannot keep my mind off him. I've tried, really, I have. I just don't know what else to do.

After I got back up here with my breakfast, Lavender woke up. We started talking about the ball, because that is all she will ever talk about nowadays. She told me she was planning to ask Harry to go with her. I wanted to hit her over the head with my breakfast plate, but I refrained. I do not know what I will do if she and Harry go together. I want to go with Harry. She can go with Ron. No, wait. That would probably not be a good idea, now that I think about it.

Anyway. Now I really do not know what to do about anything! What if Lavender asks Harry before I get the chance? Wait. Am I going to ask Harry? I can't do that to Ron. I guess I should just suck it up and go with Ron. Okay, I'll go tell him now.

I saw Ron in the common room and told him I would go with him. I also clearly stated it was as friends only. However, I have a feeling people will be coming up to me soon asking when the wedding is. I found out later that Harry said yes to Lavender. Lavender has been skipping around the room exclaiming how she is going to the ball with "The Chosen One." That is what really gets on my nerves. Lavender doesn't even really like Harry. She just wants everyone to know that she is with him. She wants his fame. It makes me sick.

Parvati just came dashing in here, asking if I was really going out with Ron. I sighed and closed my eyes. I cannot deal with this. I just can't. I calmly said "no." Parvati just gave me a quizzical look, but then started jumping up and down with Lavender, excited that her best friend was going to the ball with none other than the famous Harry Potter. I think I will try to avoid Ron until the ball. Harry, too.

So tonight is the ball. I spent most of the intervening time in the library or up here in my room. I only really saw Harry and Ron during classes and at meals. The good part of that is that I got a lot of my homework done. The bad part is that I miss spending time with Harry. I'm not sure if I want to look my best, or just average. I don't want Ron to think I'm trying to look good for him, but I don't want others to think I tried to look good and failed. I think I will try to look better than average, but not my best. I'm wearing a turquoise colored dress robe that sparkles in the light. My mother let me borrow her pearl necklace that my father gave her for their first anniversary together. I'm going to put my hair in ringlets and let it all down. I found a nice charm for de-frizzing it. I think I look all right; good enough for Ron, at least. If I were going with Harry, however, I would have put a lot more time and energy into my appearance. But alas, I'm only going with Ron. Hopefully the night will go okay. I hope Harry and Lavender do not dance too many songs together. I hope Ron doesn't ask me to dance to many songs, either. I do not think I'm in a dancing mood tonight. Again, if I was going with Harry, I would be dying to dance all night long, though.

I do not even know how to describe the events of tonight. I'm still in shock of everything that happened. It is 3 o'clock in the morning, and I cannot fall asleep for the life of me. The ball ended three hours ago.

I met Ron down in the common room. He and Harry were waiting there. Lavender was still in our room arranging her hair. I could not help but see how handsome Harry looked; he made me melt inside, like butter on a hot summer day. Luckily, Ron was not wearing the dress robe of fourth year. Instead, he was wearing a dark blue one. However, he could not compare with Harry and his emerald green robes that matched his eyes exactly. I sighed a little and walked down to meet my date.

The beginning of the ball went smoothly. Ron went to the bathroom, and that is when everything turned upside down. Harry came over, seeing me alone, and asked me to dance, and of course, I said yes. The music started softly, a slow, romantic tune. It was my dream come true. I rested my head lightly on his shoulder as he placed one hand on my waist, and held my hand with his other. We were slowly swaying to the melody, me in complete and utter bliss, when Ron came back from the bathroom. I saw him from the corner of my eye, but continued dancing as if I had not seen him. I did not want him to ruin this perfect moment.

But, of course, he just had to. He walked right over to us and tapped Harry on the shoulder. We stopped dancing, and Harry turned to face him.

"Yes?" Harry asked.

"What do you think you're doing, mate?" Ron replied through gritted teeth.

"We were dancing…" I cut in.

Harry nodded in agreement, and we both knew that Ron was going to cause a scene.

"And why were you dancing with my girlfriend?" Ron said, clearly trying to remain calm.

"I was not aware she was your girlfriend, Ron," Harry responded.

That did it. I completely lost it then. "I'm not your girlfriend, Ron!" I screamed at him.

"Yes, you are," Ron replied softly.

"No. I'm not. You never asked me to be your girlfriend. You asked me to the dance. I told you we were only going as friends. I made that perfectly clear to you. You cannot trick me into dating you. We would never work you, you and I. We are way too different," I exasperatedly told him.

"Opposites attract, Hermione. You should know that, you're smart," Ron retorted.

I closed my eyes for a minute and counted to ten. I did not want to blow up again. "Ronald Weasley. I have tried to be subtle. I have tried to be nice. But apparently you only respond to direct frankness. I'm sorry, really I am. You're a terrific best friend. But friend only. We will never be more than friends. Please understand this. I do not want to lose your friendship, but if you insist on thinking we will be together, you will lose me in every way."

Ron turned slightly red at this. He then turned and looked at Harry. "Look at what you did," he said.

Harry simply looked at him. "I did nothing. I asked her to dance, because I like that song, and neither you nor Lavender was around."

I tried not to cry. Before, I had a glimmer of a hope of his returning my feelings, but then I realized there was no way he could ever love me as I love him.

Ron then said some things that I will never in my entire life forget. "I know you like her. And you knew that I wanted her. You knew it, and you still tried to get her. You were supposed to be my friend, Harry. My best friend. You have ruined my life."

"Harry has nothing to do with my feelings for you, Ron!" I choked out, unable to breathe from what Ron had just said.

"Of course he does. Harry has everything to do with everything. He always gets what he wants, even if it's what I want. Even if I want it more. I love you, Hermione. I always will. If you cannot love me back, then I cannot be your friend. I cannot stand being her for you, without you ever feeling anything for me," Ron said sadly.

I started to cry then. I could not help it. I tried desperately to stop, but I couldn't. "If you cannot be my friend because of this, then I do not think I want you as a friend," I blurted out.

Ron had a sad look upon his face, but he then turned around and walked away. Harry walked over to me and said softly, "He'll get over it."

I turned and looked at him. "Is it true?" I asked.

He knew what I meant, for he replied, "I've loved you for a while, now, Hermione. But I could never figure out how you really felt about Ron. I was going to ask you to go to the ball with me, but then Ron told me that he asked you. I thought that maybe I still had a chance, because you didn't say yes right away. I tried searching for you at breakfast, but I couldn't find you. When I caught up with Ron later, he told me how you said yes. Then Lavender asked me, and I said yes, since you were already going with Ron…"

I stared at him in utter astonishment. He noticed. "What is it, Hermione? I promise I won't bug you as Ron did. If you don't like me, I understand. I still want to be your friend. I would not be able to stand it if I was not your friend. You have always been there for me, when I needed it most. You've been my rock. I need you in my life, whether as a friend, or something more…" he trailed off.

I could not speak. For the first time in my life, words had failed me. Since I could not say a single word, I did what any other girl would do. I leaned in and kissed him. He kissed me back, and I was once again in total and complete bliss.

He led me outside, where the prying eyes left us alone, fortunately. We talked throughout the rest of the ball, of how I had loved him, and he had loved me.

Just as the clock was striking midnight, I saw Ron slowly approaching us. I felt Harry squeeze my hand tightly. I felt reassured.

"Can we talk?" he asked plainly.

I tried to read the expression on his face, but because it was dark, I could not determine what his motive was. "It's a free country," I said softly.

"I'm sorry for the things I said, and how I acted. It was childish. Harry, I know you really like Hermione, and you weren't just trying to steal her away from me. It just seems as if you are always beating me at everything," Ron said, looking at both Harry and myself.

"Don't see it as a competition. I never have," Harry replied quietly.

"It's hard not to," Ron replied.

"Look. I'm sorry, too. I did not mean to fall for Hermione. I knew that you liked her, and I really did try to forget about her. But you of all people should know how difficult that is. You can't blame me for liking her," Harry responded.

"I know. Can we be friends again? The three of us?" Ron asked hesitantly.

"Only if you promise to stop acting like a child. And find someone else. I'm not the right girl for you, Ron; you know that, deep down. You only like me because I was the first friend you had that was a girl. You're going to meet someone else who will make you fall head over heels in love," I said gently.

"I hope you're right," Ron responded.

"I always am."

We then all walked back to the Gryffindor common room together, arms linked.

I still cannot believe all that happened tonight. I am so incredibly happy that I cannot even properly describe it.

I think I will try to fall asleep again.