"Summer vacation was invented for a reason, Hermione. You can't lean over that stupid Ancient Runes book for the rest of our remaining weeks, just because your teacher loves to assign extra work." The tall, redheaded boy leaned back beside the window of his room, watching the newly-risen sun and the faint outline of an owl by the scene.
"And my work in Ancient Runes is none of your business," snapped the girl seated at the study table, poring over a huge old tome and scribbling hastily on a piece of parchment paper. "Plus, it's not stupid, Ron. Maybe if you took it – "
"I'd be saddled with even more work than I can take," he yawned. "Whatever."
Hermione gave him a glowering look. "You're hopeless. If I can get this out of the way, the more fun I'll be having without my conscience badgering me to finish my Ancient Runes homework before school starts again and I have to cram."
"Suit yourself," said Ron with a shrug. "But if I were you, I'd have a little fun first, because when we get back to Hogwarts, there won't be much time for fun because of those N.E.W.T. tests waiting for us. And I think Mum's already up making breakfast. Maybe you'd like to recharge after getting up at five in the morning to study…on a summer day like this?" He added extra emphasis on the last few words.
"You're still hopeless," was the indignant reply. "You may be my boyfriend, but you're still hopeless. Oh, and I'm not hungry yet. I'll follow."
Ron gave her a strange look before walking out the room, muttering about how strange girls have always been to him.
"You didn't even go down to eat," said Ron, raising his eyebrows. "I decided to bring you up some toast though." He drew his wand from his pocket and summoned a plate that zoomed all the way up the staircase and through the doorway, followed closely behind by a jar of boysenberry jam and a small knife. Everything settled on the study table, next to a couple of parchment scrolls and a closed book.
But it took him a while to see that Hermione was not seated on the table, but lying on the camp bed and music played softly beside her. Apparently she had decided to summon the magical radio from downstairs, and he wondered if she had to ask his mother to part with it.
"Are you okay? I knew you'd overwork yourself," Ron couldn't help adding smugly.
"Oh, shut up. I'm just taking a break," said Hermione, pointing lazily with her wand and turning up the volume before sitting up to face him. Now Ron could clearly hear the tune – a young woman and a man singing to the strains of acoustic guitars and violins. Judging from the lyrics, it sounded like a love song.
"You know, I heard those two are making waves in the Muggle entertainment industry too," said Ron.
She nodded absently. "I know. I only learned that they're also popular around here too…and they were actually Muggle-born wizards."
For a moment none of them spoke and listened. Hermione lay back down, and she seemed to be daydreaming, something she didn't always do, especially not in class. But she instantly snapped out of it when she saw something suddenly appear before her eyes.
Ron stretched out his hand before her and said the most un-Ron-like words he could possibly say.
"May I have this dance?"
Hermione was probably also thinking the same thing, but despite being quite taken aback, she got up stiffly from the camp bed and looked at him. He didn't look sarcastic or mocking, which was a very good sign. She stood up, and slowly placed her hand into his.
In a few moments they were slowly rocking back and forth in tune to the music, Hermione's other arm on his shoulder, and Ron's clutching her waist. At first she felt uncomfortable, even strange, but it took no time for her to finally let it all go and trust in Ron. He said nothing and yet his mellow smile and gentle touch was enough, and Hermione didn't mind at all even when he accidentally trod on her toes or nearly moved out of tune. She forgot all the questions she was itching to ask, and just embraced him as the song slowed down a bit.
And just before it came to an end, Ron took her chin into his hand and kissed her. It wasn't a hard, dominating kiss, but a soft one that told her to put all her doubts aside and just trust in him.
Still, she couldn't help but ask after the song ended and the two of them were sitting back down on her camp bed, "Not that I'm complaining, but…what was that?" Hermione was more enthralled than surprised now.
"Remember when you told me that you used to daydream about dancing with a handsome prince when you were younger and you didn't know that you were going to study in Hogwarts someday?"
Hermione nodded. "Yeah, but – "
"I want to fulfill you, Hermione," said Ron softly, looking into her eyes passionately, as though he wanted to kiss her again. "I want to make all your dreams come true. You're my girlfriend, and I promised that I would give you everything, even though I know I'm not exactly the handsome prince you once dreamed of."
"We're older now," she answered. "I don't fantasize about rubbing shoulders with royalty as much as I used to, and to me you're a prince, my prince. Some people don't see it, but I do. I do!" she repeated with conviction. "And you didn't have to just pick me up out of nowhere and spin me around to prove it."
Ron raised his eyebrows. "I didn't? So I made a complete fool of myself for nothing? Hermione, you're hopeless!"
"What? I didn't mean it that way, Ron!"
He laughed, hugging her tightly. "Hah, I was only kidding. You're hopeless, Hermione. You can't take a joke."
"Shut up," she said, picking up her pillow and chucking it at him. "You're more hopeless!"
Ron was about to throw it back at her when they heard the instrumentals of a new song on the radio. He put it down and stared at her, and she answered by flicking her wand towards the door, which shut itself.
"You know, you do need a little more practice in dancing," said Hermione calmly, keeping her face straight as she stood up.
"So I do," said Ron, taking her hands. "Of course, I'm going to need a little help."