Ron Weasley, known to his friends as Redwing, looked at himself in the mirror and gulped.

"You need to breathe," his best friend Harry Potter said calmly.

"Breathe?" Ron yelped. "I don't have time to breathe!"

"Then you'd be dead."

Ron glared at Harry's reflection, but it was half-hearted at best. "I don't have time to die either!" The sound of hysterical laughter prompted him to widen his glare to include Harry, Harry's brother Draco Black, and their friend Neville Longbottom. "I hate you guys! And I hate this bet! I'm going to go out there and forget the chords or my voice is going to crack or…"

"Ron."

"…or everyone is going to laugh or…"

"Ron!"

"…or maybe even she is going to laugh and then…"

"RON!"

"…WHAT, GINNY!" He spun around to face his sister, who promptly sprayed him with cold water. Sputtering and coughing, he managed to catch his breath and stop his tirade.

"Better now?" Ginny asked, drying him off with her wand.

"Actually, yes," Ron admitted sheepishly.

"Good. Now," she continued sternly, "Neville has practiced with you for weeks, and you've practiced by yourself for longer. If anyone laughs, it'll be with you, not at you, and she would never laugh at you."

"Yes, she would. She does all the time," Ron snapped.

"Only when you make her by doing something stupid," Ginny snapped back.

"I consider this stupid."

"It's your own fault you lost the bet," Luna remarked vaguely as she slipped through the curtain of their makeshift stage, constructed in front of the fire in the Gryffindor common room.

Ron had no argument to that, so instead he gripped the acoustic guitar in his hands tighter. Neville had worked and worked with him until he could – and sometimes did – play the song in his sleep, and he knew all the lyrics…

"Let's do this," he said resignedly.

Draco smirked and went over to his keyboard, while Neville took backup guitar and Harry settled in behind the drums (Ron had had to work with him on that part).

"Ladies and lions," Ginny's amplified voice said from in front of the curtain. "I give you…what happens when you lose a bet."

"Ginny!" he yelped, and there was scattered laughter and applause.

Hands shaking slightly, he hung the guitar around his neck and started playing as the curtain swung aside to reveal two-thirds of Gryffindor tower looking at him, big smiles on their faces.

And, right in the front row, a certain bushy-haired, hazel-eyed girl who this song was for…

Please let her like it, he prayed to whatever deity could hear him. Please let her not laugh. Please let me do this well.

Ron closed his eyes, took a deeper breath, prayed quickly that his voice didn't crack, and came in on his cue.

"We go out to a party somewhere

The moment we walk in the door

People stop and everybody stares

She don't know what they're staring for."

There were whistles and clapping as the crowd began to get into it. Ron began to relax a little.

"She don't know she's beautiful."

Harry leaned over to sing backup. "Never crossed her mind."

"She don't know she's beautiful."

Draco joined in from his place behind the keyboard. "No, she's not that kind."

"She don't know she's beautiful

I always want to tell her so."

Had to change the words a little there, Ron thought with a small smile. But it is truthful.

People were really getting into it now, whooping and wolf-whistling. A few smart-arses had even lit up their wands and were waving them in the air, showering sparks, the non-burning variety, Ron hoped.

"There she goes just walking down the street

And someone lets a whistle out

A girl like her she just can't see

What the fuss is all about.

They swung into the chorus again.

And she don't know she's beautiful

(Never crossed her mind)

She don't know she's beautiful

(No, she's not that kind)

She don't know she's beautiful

I always want to tell her so."

Ron smiled fondly as they segued into the next part, pictures of early mornings after Den-nights flying through his mind.

"Mornin' comes and her hair's all a mess

That's the time she thinks she looks her worst

It's time like this she don't know why

I can't take my eyes off of her."

Gathering all of his Gryffindor courage, and with surety that his face was probably as red as his hair, he locked eyes with Hermione, whose mouth was open in a little "o" of surprise.

"And she don't know she's beautiful

(Never crossed her mind)

She don't know she's beautiful

(No, she's not that kind)

She don't know she's beautiful

I always want to tell her so."

Ron suddenly got an idea. This is going to be the most embarrassing thing ever. But what the hell. Go big, or go home.

He slid to his knees, right in front of her, and put his whole heart into the song.

"She don't know she's beautiful

(Never crossed her mind)

She don't know she's beautiful

(No, she's not that kind)

She don't know she's beautiful

I always want to tell her so.

She don't know she's beautiful."

They all finished off, Ron breathing heavily and a sort of spell keeping him looking straight into her eyes. A second or two later, or possibly a century, applause and cheering hit his ears, breaking the spell.

So he did what any sane boy who'd just embarrassed himself in front of the girl he fancied would do.

He ran.


He lay on the grass on the Quidditch Pitch in the den, staring at the ceiling, trying to forget what had just happened. Soft footsteps announced someone's arrival.

"Ron?"

"Hi Hermione," he said listlessly, sure that a tirade would follow. He heaved himself up and around to face her. Sure enough, her eyes were blazing.

"That was probably the most embarrassing, idiotic thing you've ever done in your entire life," she began heatedly.

Resigned to his fate, he started to apologize, but couldn't. His lips wouldn't move. Hermione's were right against them.

So he did what any sane boy who was being kissed by the girl he fancied would do.

He kissed back.

It was Hermione who broke the kiss first. "Thank you," she said, smiling. Then they returned to their previous occupation.

All in all, in Ron's opinion, bets weren't so bad.


Disclaimer: I own nothing. All belongs to JKR, some to Anne Walsh (whydoyouneedtoknow, who also beta-ed this for me. Thanks Anne!) and to Kenny Chesney, who owns the song "She Don't Know (She's Beautiful)".