Disclaimer: This no belong me.

a/n: I always forget to say this, but I'm remembering today: nit-pickers (most especially brit-pickers) are welcome to comment, as long as they do it in a reasonable, non-flaming way.


Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger were screaming at each other across a roaring campfire. Harry Potter leaned quietly against a tree, trying to make himself invisible by sheer force of will.

"If you hadn't kicked Crookshanks," shrieked Hermione, strands of bushy brown hair streaming across her face, which was streaked with tears and dirt and an expression of combined grief and rage, "He wouldn't have needed to escape!"

"I honestly don't care about your stupid cat, Hermione!" screamed Ron, "It's a bloody cat, not your firstborn child!"

Ow, thought Harry, flinching as Hermione screamed at this insult.

"I prefer him to you, anyway," she shrieked, the flickering light from the campfire casting strange shadows across her face, "But that's not saying much!"

"He's still just a bloody cat!"

"He wasn't bloody until you kicked him!"

"For all you know he's another one like Wormtail!"

Harry winced again. They were supposed to be discussing search techniques for locating Horcruxes, but Ron had gotten frustrated about the difficulty they were experiencing in finding anything useful and taken it all out on Crookshanks, who had then climbed Ron's leg (claws fully extended) and used his head as a launchpad to jump into Hermione's arms. Harry tried willing himself to sink into the ground, but that didn't seem to work either. He returned to the world outside of his lack of telekinetic powers.

"And I suppose you're such a judge, you and your 'The Half-Blood Prince isn't so bad, he just did it for a laugh'!"

Ron opened his mouth, then shut it again. He sat down sharply on the wet grass. His face crumpled slightly, and he bit his lower lip. Hermione's shoulders shook, then she too collapsed onto the cold ground, sobbing.

Harry stood speechless. As far as he was concerned, Hermione's last shot was way below the belt, to the point of being in a whole different league from anything she and Ron had been through in years. Then, finally, after far too long of putting up with them both, something snapped, and he was screaming as loudly as any of the times during fifth year which he was now so ashamed of.

"Would you two give it up!" he screamed, taking a deep and strangely satisfying breath, "Just admit you fancy each other and get it over with! You're wrecking our chances of finding the horcruxes and stopping Voldemort, you're wrecking everyone's morale, and you're wrecking your chances of ever actually admitting anything every time you fight like this!

"Whatever happens, even if you break up, it can't be worse than this!" He broke off his screaming, panting slightly. Ron and Hermione stared at him, then glanced at each other, looking shame-faced. Ron's ears were practically glowing in the dark, and Hermione was looking at Harry as though she'd never seen anything quite so terrifyingly fascinating in her life.

Harry took one deep, final breath, and stomped off into the darkness of the trees. If there had been a door to slam, he would have slammed it. As it was, he could just barely hear Ron say, "He has a point..." in a very small, slightly forlorn voice.

He stayed out there for quite a long time, half afraid that when he came back he would find his two friends snogging each other in a highly embarrassing way, half afraid that he wouldn't.

He returned to the campsite, quietly slipping between the trees, wondering what he might find. He listened; he couldn't hear anything. He emerged into the campsite. Their were Ron and Hermione, sitting side by side on a log, one of his arms around her shoulder, both of them toasting the marshmallows which Hermione had gotten so good at conjuring.

Ron glanced around at him.

"Sorry about this whole mess, mate," he said. Harry never bothered to find out what had happened while he was gone. He wouldn't have had the nerve to ask, even if he had really wanted to know.


There ya go then. I wrote this really late at night sometime last year, after getting really annoyed about all the fics where Ron suddenly admits everything without the slightest bit of embarassment. So there you have it, what I hope is a reasonable stab at how things might happen. The campfire, however, is probably dead wrong. Also, I recently checked the number of hits my stories get, versus the number of reviews. The fraction of reviewers is tiny. Shame upon them who read a story and think something about it and don't review. If this made you laugh, cry, or want to strangle me, drop me a line. I'll take anonymous reviews.