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Ginger Snowflake

Every snowflake is supposed to be unique. One of a kind.

At least that's what his mother tells him all the time, her best hope offered to a child almost overshadowed by six other siblings. She mistakenly thinks that her youngest boy doesn't feel as good about himself as her other children… then again, Percy must have had something wrong with him, what with him abandoning his family for his work in the Ministry.

Ron thinks that he understands himself well enough. He's not all that much special, but he's Ron, and that has to count for something. The only problem is how Hermione must see him, especially when there are so many freckled faces topped by red hair at the Burrow during Ginny's seventeenth birthday party.

There she is talking animatedly with Charlie – probably something about dragons and magical theory… then she squeals over Bill and Fleur's newborn baby girl, flashing a smile at the father and making Ron wonder if she's never seen a baby before, what with all the noise she's making. Fred and George tease her for a bit, and she laughs with them, even though her cheeks are reddening.

Ron tries his best to look at the scene with good nature, but she had spent the whole evening with the other members of the family without one quick glance at him. When his mum announces it was time to cut the birthday cake, Ron lets out a longsuffering sigh and trudges over to the cake.

As he stares at Ginny's cake, decorated with fluttering frosted Snitches and blooming candy roses, he hears her speak into his ear.

"You're cross with me."

Trying not to flinch at her words, he mumbles, "'m not."

"If you aren't, then why didn't you speak to me all this time?"

"Not my fault. You were busy fawning over the others."

He hears her stamp her foot. "I was not fawning over anyone – I just hadn't seen your family for some time, and I see you practically every day."

He remains silent. Everyone else has gathered around the table, all ready to sing over the cake. When the song starts, he barely mouths the words, his eyes flitting over his family members, taking in the different lengths of red hair.

He feels a sudden warmth closing over his hand, and he sees Hermione's hand covering his.

When the last chords of the song are sung, Ron's distinct off-key voice is the loudest one of all.

-end.

Author's Note: Written from MP119's prompt: "R/Hr, 'snowflake.'"