Tip, Tap

Tip, Tap

Ron woke up at the tapping sound Pig made when trying to enter through the glass of his bedroom window in the Burrow. He was curled up comfortably under the sheets. His hair was all shaggy, standing up in different directions. He had spent all night tossing his pillow against the matress, trying to find a comfortable sleeping position. Unfortunately, he had only slept for about three hours.

Ron squinted up at the window through bleary eyes. 'Bloody bird! Why can't he enter through the kitchen window? It's probably open! Git,' muttered Ron, standing up. When Ron stumbled towards the window, his bare feet slipped on a copy of a comic book, The Adventures of Martin Miggs, the crazy Muggle. He had been reading the comic last night when he couldn't get any sleep. To avoid taking a fall on the slippery pages, Ron pushed himself against his bureau, but he ended up hitting his head hard against the bureaus' knob. Much to Ron's horror, a small bruise appeared in the middle of his forehead.

'Bloody hell! This can't be happening to me, not today,' protested Ron, standing in front of the mirror and looking at his bruise. He could see the red spot getting darker and bigger, and the pain increasing. He grimaced. 'What a way to start the day,' he thought. A loup tump brought him out his misery.

Pig kept hitting against the window non stop. Grumbling again about how idiotic the bird can be, Ron opened the window and took the parchment from the little owl's leg, and glanced down at the sender. It was from Hermione.

Ron swallowed hard, not realizing his heart rate increased significantly. Today was going to be their first date. Well, he was calling it a date, even if he hadn't actually said those words to her. He invited Hermione out because he wanted to tell her something very important, and he did not want anyone or anything to interrupt them this time. Ron had been trying to tell her his feelings since Dumbledore's funeral something always that ruined the moment.

Ron almost couldn't sleep the night before because he was trying to choose the right words to tell Hermione how he felt about her. He wanted tell her since last November, and tried and failed so many times. This time he simply could not make a mistake. He could no longer stand just being her friend. He had to take the next step, and Ron was determined to do so that afternoon.

Looking at the letter Pig had just delivered; Ron sat down on the edge of his bed and stared at it before opening it. I hope this isn't bad news. Hermione couldn't have cancelled our date. Ron finally knew he was in love with Hermione, but constantly wondered if she felt the same way about him. At least he knew she had forgiven his stupidity. When he had been poisoned and had stayed for a week in the hospital wing, they talked and he promised to fix things so they could have a chance to become a couple. Unfortunately, it took longer that he anticipated, because Lavender was always hanging onto him. Lavender seemed more like the giant squid than a normal girl. Really, it was quite scary! Thank Merlin, Lavender had dumped him; it saved him the trouble. Ron sighed at the memory. I'm such a bloody coward.

Another reason Ron could not talk honestly with Hermione about his feelings for her was because he wasn't sure he could make her happy. She's great and deserves the best. His brothers offered advice, and Ron was more than willing to give their words a try. Bill insisted that he should stop procrastinating and just tell her. That sounds simple enough, but it's not as easy as Bill makes it seem. Charlie told Ron that it was obvious that he and Hermione were meant to be: As obvious as the moon having four possible different shapes. Charlie also told him that just by looking at Hermione; one could tell she wanted Ron and no one else. All Ron needed to do was to find the courage to tell her. Right.

Heaving a sigh, he opened up Hermione's letter and read.

6th July 1997

Dear Ron,

I am expecting you in the ice-cream parlor 'Toffee and cream' at 3pm. This parlor is the one that has the world's best apple-cinnamon ice cream.

I'm very curious as to why you actually agreed with to meet me in a Muggle place.

Missing you,

Hermione

He cringed slightly at her last sentence. I sure hope Hermione isn't angry at me for wanting to meet her in the Muggle place. I just don't want any interruptions.

Ron tucked Hermione's letter inside a pocket of his denim jacket that was hanging on his desk chair and decided it was time to get ready for what could easily be the happiest day of his life.

Ron entered the loo to shower and shave before going downstairs for breakfast. Afterwards he went back upstairs and got dressed in his new Muggle clothes that he had asked his mother to buy him: black denim trousers, a blue shirt, a black denim jacket, and blue sneakers. Ron had asked her mother to bought those clothes because he was afraid his taste was even worst than his fathers´s. His mother had given him the new clothes with a teasing look, but he had decided to ignore her.

If Ron was having trouble choosing the right words to express his feelings for Hermione, then explaining them to his mother could be even more embarrassing.

Ron took his time getting dressed because he wanted to look his best and he did not want to stick out like a sore thumb in a crowd of Muggles. He briefly considered asking Ginny for help but decided against it since his nerves could not handle any teasing.

When he was finished, he looked at his watch. Merlin, I can't waste any more time.

'Ron , where are you going?' asked a suspicious Mrs. Weasley to her youngest son. It was 1:30 pm and she was washing the lunch dishes, while her wand was chopping the vegetables for tonight's dinner.

'Er, Mum, I'm going to the twins' store.'

She was quiet for a long moment.

'Don't worry about me, okay?' stuttered Ron.

'When will you return? Or should I be asking your brothers?' said Mrs. Weasley, looking at Ron from the corner of her eye.

'No, Mum, really. You don't need to ask Fred or George anything. I 'l be back by dinner time.'

Nodding slowly, Mrs. Weasley came closer to her son and gently touched his forehead.

'When did you get that bruise? You need a healing charm. It looks ugly, you know.' She took her wand from the kitchen counter and performed a healing charm on Ron's forehead.

'Thanks much, Mum. I was thinking of asking you to do it for me. I have to go before it gets late,' said a grinning Ron, and then he gave his mother a kiss on her cheek. 'See you later, Mum.'

Mrs. Weasley smiled wisely at him, 'See you, son.'

When Ron was about to exit through the kitchen door, Mrs. Weasley called him. 'Ron.'

'Yes, Mum.'

'You know I always buy wool to give myself plenty of time to knit the jumpers before Christmas,' said Mrs. Weasley looking straight into his eyes.

'Yeah, so?' asked Ron, confused. What's the point of this conversation?

'Well, the wool for Hermione's jumper is blue. I hope that this time that she'll be able to open mine and your father Christmas' present, and I won't need to use magic to undo the sweater like last Christmas,' said Mrs. Weasley, winking at him.

'Mum, you could have given her the jumper instead of undoing it. ' I know I only slept just 3 hours she's not making any sense.

'Ron, you know I love Hermione and Harry, too. But I want to be able to give her a jumper when she's officially your girlfriend. Last year, I was wrong about that, but now I'm not, am I?' Her eyes twinkled. 'By the way, give her a hug from me, will you?'

Ron blushed and ran his hand through his hair while thinking of what to say to his mother. Merlin, what can I say about it to my own mother? Why is she so clever? Yeah, I know, she´s the mother of seven children, nobody tricks her.

'Er , Mum, who said I'm going to see Hermione?'

'Your eyes, son, they are sparkling. I'm really happy for you. It's about time,' said Mrs. Weasley with a wink

And Mrs. Weasley left the kitchen, leaving behind a very embarrassed Ron who stood close to the kitchen door.

Ron was late. He had gotten lost in the web of streets that the city of London had, for it was so different from the place he lived in. He walked quickly, immersed in his thoughts.

Merlin, Hermione is going to kill me! It´s 3:45 pm and I was supposed to be there at 3:00 pm. Bad start, Weasley! Why is everything going so wrong today?

When Ron finally arrived at the street where he had arranged to meet Hermione, he saw her walking back and forth in front of the ice cream parlor. Oh-oh, I'm in trouble! I'd better apologize. Ron crossed the street, trying to control his breath and calm down his racing heart.

Hermione was wearing a sleeveless blue dress and sandals. She had her hair up in a ponytail with some curls falling around to frame her face. Ron's eyes widened as they swept up and down her pacing form. Wow, she's so beautiful, but so angry with me. I've got to change her mood, or I won't be able to say anything about my feelings.

'Hi, Hermione,' said Ron anxiously. 'I'm sorry, I'm not used to these streets and I ended up in the wrong block.'

'That's fine, Ron.'

But her words were cold, and it made Ron felt uncomfortable and guilty. He decided to try his luck, and he made a move that surprised her. He got closer to her and gave her a kiss on the cheek. It was a slow and soft kiss. Hermione looked at him very surprised but also very pleased. She blushed deeply and stood up in her tiptoes to kiss Ron back on his cheek. They looked awkwardly at each other. Hermione smiled timidly at him.

It felt good to be so close to her, to be able to smell the scent of her skin and see her eyes up close. Ron felt his heart leap. Wow, I did it! And she did the same, and she doesn't seem angry with me anymore. Merlin, don't let me lost the nerve to tell her everything, please, I beg you!

'How are you, Ron?' asked Hermione while she was playing with a curl of hair, twirling it around her finger.

Ron gulped. After that kiss, I'm great. Yeah, on the cheek but it was an amazing beginning. 'Er, fine and you?' Ron suddenly became very interested in the buttons of his jacket.

'Great,' replied Hermione very enthusiastically and with glee in her eyes. Then, she looked everywhere but him and blushed again

'Er, shall we go in the parlor?' asked Ron.

'Yeah, come on, you will love that ice cream I told you about.'

Ron approached the door before Hermione and held it open for her to enter first. Her eyes widened and she smiled again. He almost couldn't remember how to breathe properly. They chose a table close to a window. As soon as they sat down, a waitress came to take their order.

'Good afternoon. What I can get for you?' She was a young blonde girl with a pleasant smile.

'Ron, what do you want? The apple cinnamon ice cream? Or would you prefer another kind?'

'Anything you choose, really.'

Hermione nodded and said to the waitress, 'We would like some apple cinnamon ice cream in a cup with a vanilla cookie, please.'

'Do you each want a cup, or do you want one to share?' asked the waitress, winking and smiling at them.

Ron and Hermione blushed so deeply, it was enough to match a strawberry field.

This time, Ron got the nerve to talk. 'Er, you see, we both love ice cream. I don´t think a cup is enough for the two of us, unless the cup would be big and then you can add two spoons.' I can't believe I said that. How will Hermione react to my hint? Ron was looking everywhere but at Hermione.

'Well, the cups are small so I'll bring two of them.' The waitress left, smirking.

Hermione smiled, looked to him, and asked, 'Ron, what did you want to talk with me about?' Her eyes were almost pleading him to tell her already.

Here goes nothing. He cleared his throat and began speaking in a practiced manner. 'Hermione, the reason I agreed to meet you in a Muggle place was because I wanted to talk to you without interruptions from anyone or anything. So I want…'

The waitress came back, bringing their cups of ice cream with her.

'Here they are. Enjoy!'

"Thank you," said Ron, but after that, he seemed to have lost his voice…or his ability to speak.

Don't lose the nerve, Weasley, don't lose it.

Hermione started eating her ice cream in silence. With nothing else left to do, he also started to eat. He caught her giving him several glances but chose not to acknowledge them. His Gryffindor courage was suddenly lacking.

Hermione was right, this is the best ice-cream I've had in a long time.

As though sensing his discomfort Hermione said, 'We can talk after we eat the ice cream. It would melt if we wait.' She gave him an adorable smile that made him shiver.

'Okay then.' They ate ice cream silently. Ron enjoyed the ice-cream so much that he ate quickly, savoring every spoonful. When Hermione finished, Ron started talking again. 'Hermione, when I was poisoned and you visited me in the hospital, we talked about all the things that had happened between us.' Ron sighed heavily and looked at her earnestly, 'Especially about the reasons why I dated Lavender. You told me why you said certain things. You told me the truth about Krum and McLaggen. I promised you I will fix things so we could be, you know ….a couple.' Ron could feel his ears heat up. 'I wanted to talk to you since Dumbledore's funeral, but there were always interruptions and I just couldn't do it.'

Ron took a deep breath and continued. 'What I want to say is, well, you know I'm not as good with the words as you are. I'm not a good student, if you didn't help me so often, I couldn't get the grades I haveRon hung his head and said in a quieter voice,I don't know if I could one day have an important job or make a great career as a Quidditch player. I'm not good in Quidditch either; sometimes I'm very hopeless -'

'Ron, you know that's not true,' interrupted Hermione.

Ron sighed heavily, 'Please, Hermione, let me talk before I lose the courage. I have wanted to say this since you invited me to Slughorn´s party.' He smiled ruefully and said, 'Yeah, that long ago.'

Hermione's brows inched up slightly, but she only folded her hands and looked at him intently.

Ron cleared his throat. 'Well, you know what happened back then. You're my best friend and I have always cared about you but I've come to realize that my feelings for you are different than friendship.' He forced himself to continue, 'More than friendship. Back in fourth year you accused me of not noticing you were a girl, but that wasn't true. I did notice.'

Ron smiled slightly. 'I noticed since our third year when you threw yourself at me after I offered to help prepare Buckbeak's defense. But I always thought you didn't feel something for me because you should fancy... well, a great guy, not one that is a prat most of time.' Ron sighed heavily as he waited for Hermione's response. What a relief, it feels good to tell her. Now, I just hope it's all worth it.

He was talking in a calm tone. He looked at Hermione and he realized she was looking straight into his eyesShe didn't try to interrupt him again

'I didn't know what to say to you, how to show my true feelings.' Ron dropped his eyes. 'Even now, after thinking about this moment for months, I reckon I sound like a barmy git and I'm afraid I'm not making any sense.'

Hermione leaned in towards to table, getting closer to Ron and she said, 'You're not barmy, Ron, and you're making perfect sense. Go on.' Now she seemed more confident when she grabbed his right hand with her left.

Her hand feels so good, could it mean what I think it means? Now is the time to tell her…

'Hermione, I… I want say that I… I love you. I have always loved you, but I'm also in love with you.'

Ron forged ahead bravely, before she had a change to say anything. 'Forgive me for being a prat and for taking so long to find the courage... the courage to tell you how much I love you.' He rubbed her fingers against his. 'I know I don't have anything to offer you. I don't have money to buy amazing things; all I know is that I can't imagine my life without you.'

Hermione had tears in her eyes. She took a deep breath and said, 'Oh, Ron, those were the most beautiful words you could say to me. I have been hoping to hear them since, well, I don't know, maybe since you saved me from the troll. I knew back then we were kids and it was probably silly, but you always were very special to me.' She swallowed hard and then said shakily, ' You are Ron Weasley, the guy that has occupied my mind all the time. The only guy that drives me crazy because he's lazy and stubborn. But you also make me feel so happy with your loyalty, your friendship, the way you care about me and the others.' Hermione's eyes shone earnestly as they met his.' Ron, I don't want money or amazing presents. I don't want a very well behaved guy or an extraordinary Quidditch player, because he wouldn't be you. I only want you; just the way you are, nothing more, nothing less. The thing is I have always felt that you would never be interested in me because I'm not pretty, not like Lavender.'

'Hermione, you ´re so beautiful, don't say that.'

She gave his hand a strong squeeze. 'Don't interrupt me please. It's my turn. I'm good with books and facts, but hopeless about expressing my feelings to you. I tried to hide the fact that I fancied you because I never thought you would fancy a girl like me. I'm sorry if I nag you all time and I'm not very pretty and…'

He laughed and entertwined his fingers in hers. 'Hermione, I should confess one thing. If I talked about good looking girls, it was only to hide how much I fancied you. Yeah, I'm really a prat. How could I not fancy you? You changed my life when you noticed I had dirt on my nose the first time we met, remember?'

'Yeah, but we were a kids back then. A know -it -all and a clueless one. We both needed to grow. I've got to admit that I don't only think about books and spells, but also I think very much about a boy, about you. Ron, I love you too, and please don't ever change anything about you, okay?'

'Okay. And you are the most beautiful girl I have ever met. Don't say the opposite, okay?' Ron touched her chin with his thumb and started to lean in closer to her. I want to taste her marvellous lips.

'Ron? Why don't we go somewhere else?'

No! Doesn't she want me to kiss her?

Hermione must have noticed his disappointment because she quickly added, 'I know a perfect place where we could have more privacy, you know, without interruptions.'

'Okay. Let's go.'

Ron paid for the ice cream, but not without a complaint from Hermione. 'Ron, it isn't fair! I chose the parlour so I should pay for the ice cream too.'

Ron grinned. It doesn't make sense to row about who pays for the ice cream. Then again, our rows never make sense, but I love to see her flushed and biting her lip. I think I will love making up with her.

'Next time you'll pay, okay? And you can ask for one cup of ice cream with two spoons to share.' He winked at her and she threw her arms around him, holding him tightly.

It's so great to have her in my arms, her hair smells so good, I want kiss her but I think it would be better to wait for that special place.

Ron didn't need to wait because Hermione raised her head and started getting closer to his face. He didn't remember who began the kiss; all he knew was that he, Ron Weasley, was kissing Hermione Granger on the lips. He put his arms around her waist bringing her closer to him. She answered by putting her arms around his neck, and running her fingers through his ginger hair.

He kissed her lightly at first but then his need grew and he began kissing her with more enthusiasm and she responded in much the same way. Then he deepened the kiss and they forgot that they were in front of the whole parlour.

Ron stopped the kiss to come up for air. 'Wow, Hermione, it was so…great! And you even forgot that we're in a public place.'

Hermione was noticeably embarrassed and smiled shyly. 'Sorry …but I…'

'Don't apologize, it was amazing,' said Ron and he grabbed her hand. 'So, where is this special place?'

'It's just across the street, in the park.'

They crossed the street holding hands, and Ron felt like the happiest bloke in the world. The park was small, surrounded by big trees and there was a little lake in middle where some swans were placidly swimming.

As they were approaching the lake, Hermione turned to face him and said, 'It's beautiful, isn't? It's been my favourite place since I was a child. It was always the place I hope to one day bring my first...' She blushed and looked down to avoid his gaze.

'Your first boyfriend?' Ron felt his heart racing fast in his chest.

She smiled slightly. 'Yes, and I should add my first kiss, but we already took care of my first kiss outside the parlor.'

Ron's eyes widened. 'First kiss? But you had your first kiss with Krum.'

'Ron, I'm talking about my real first kiss. What I had with Krum was a peck on the lips, very different from... our kiss.' She smiled shyly and grasped his hand close to her.

Ron laughed and held her tightly against him. She leaned her head against his chest and started stroking his back. He was stroking her hair and planted a kiss on her hair. 'Yeah, I know. Even if you weren't the first girl I kissed, I want you to be the last, okay?'

She looked up at him and grinned while she moved the fringe of hair away from his eyes. 'Okay.'

Ron took a deep breath and looked straight into her eyes as he asked, 'Do you want be my girlfriend?'

'Yes, I do. And do you want be my…'

'Of course, you don't even need to ask. Hermione, I have something for you.'

Hermione raised her brow in surprise when Ron gave her a little box he had hidden in his pocket. 'This is the present I didn't give you last Christmas. I bought it last January, when I was hoping to be able to make up with you. Well, I hope you like it.'

Hermione kept the small box in her hand and opened it carefully. It was a pair of earrings in a shape of little daisies. Her eyes were sparkling, 'Oh, Ron, they're beautiful! I love small earrings. Thank you, love.'

Ron froze. Did she call me love? Oh, that sounds so good!

Hermione kissed him but then took a step backward, with a sad look in her eyes. 'I'm sorry I didn't buy you anything for Christmas.'

Ron chuckled and pulled her close to him again. 'That's okay. Today you gave me the best present of my life. I feel so happy, as if today could be Christmas. Thank you.'

'You're welcome, sweetie. Now I'll think about Christmas twice a year. These earrings are the best presents I have ever gotten, the earrings and you.'

They looked happily at one another, and they gave each other a smile with a future in it.