Summary

"Harry's snogged Cho Chang!" shouted Ginny, who sounded close to tears now. "And Hermione snogged Victor Krum, it's only you who acts like it's something disgusting Ron, and that's because you've got about as much experience as a twelve year old!" - These words of Ginny Weasely's sparked Ron's "relationship" (if you can even call it that) with Lavender. But what if she had never them? Ron and Hermione were planning to go to Slughorn's Christmas party together. What if they had? What would have happed? Please read and review! By Ronsgurl92 of Hufflepuff.

"Well, I'm off to meet Luna," Harry said to Ron as he left the common room, "see you at the party."

"Yeah, see you," answered Ron nervously. He had been anticipating this night ever since Hermione had first invited him during Herbology a few weeks ago. And now here he was, waiting for Hermione to come down so they could leave together.

As he glanced at the door to the girls dormitories for the fifth time, he saw Ginny and Dean smirking at him from the nearby sofa where they sat.

Hermione checked the mirror one more time before she left. She hadn't really done anything too differently with her hair or makeup, but she wanted every detail to be perfect tonight. She had been so nervous about asking Ron in the first place, especially after he had been so mocking of the name, 'Slug Club.' But he had said yes! And now, they were finally, in a way, having their first date! She felt like the luckiest girl in the world.

As she entered the common room, Ron stood up. She couldn't help but smile as she realized that he was just as nervous as she was. Ron walked towards her and held out his hand. "Ready?" he asked. She nodded. Right before they stepped through the portrait hole, Hermione thought she saw Lavender Brown scowling in a corner while Parvati tried unsuccessfully to console her.

They walked through the corridors in silence for a while, both too nervous and elated to speak. Finally, Ron spoke up. "You look really great tonight," he said quietly. Hermione blushed slightly, "Thank you," she answered.

"So what should I be expecting tonight?" he asked.

"What?" she said, startled. What did he mean 'expecting'? "From Slughorn. What are his parties like?"

"Oh," said Hermione, secretly hoping he hadn't been able to tell what she was thinking, "Well, um, mostly he'll just be introducing us to important people and praising our talents, hoping to be remembered once he makes us 'big stars'," Ron laughed at the sarcasm on the last two words, "and when we're not being harassed, we can hang out and talk to people. There's butterbeer," Ron's face lit up at this, "and music. It's actually pretty fun."

At this point, they reached the door to Slughorn's office. As they walked in, Hermione noticed that Harry had already been roped into conversation with one of Slughorn's 'connections.' She chuckled as she saw her friend struggle to hide his look of disgust at the words "biography of Harry Potter."

"Come on, let's go save him," she said, leading Ron over to Harry and Luna. "Oh, Harry! Luna! There you are! We've been looking for you!" Harry gave her a look of immense gratitude, and Luna turned away from her conversation with Professor Trelawney.

"Thanks," said Harry once they were out of earshot.

"No problem. You looked trapped," Hermione answered, taking the butterbeer Ron offered her.

"Hi Neville," she said as he joined them.

"Hello," said Neville quietly, while stealing a glance at Luna, who was looking dreamily around the room.

"Hermione," said Luna, "why is that boy staring at you?" Hermione and Ron both turned. Cormac McLaggen was glaring at the pair of them from across the room. Hermione blushed, and Ron's ears went faintly pink. This all went unnoticed by Neville and Luna, but it was not lost on Harry. He grinned slyly.

"Hey Neville, I think Professor Slughorn was wanting to talk to you."

"Really?" he turned and looked uncertainly at Slughorn, who was completely absorbed in conversation with a few reluctant-looking students and did not look in any way at a loss for someone to talk to. "Well, I d---." Harry quickly nodded toward Ron and Hermione, who were watching the scene with obvious bewilderment.

"Oh!" he said with sudden understanding. "Oh yeah, he said he wanted to, uh…introduce me to someone." He hurried off in Slughorn's direction. Harry then casually turned to Luna.

"And I believe we rather abruptly interrupted your conversation with Professor Trelawney. Why don't we go and apologize to her?" With that, he left them standing alone by the refreshments table.

At about the same time, the Weird Sisters, whom Slughorn had miraculously convinced to come, got up and started playing. It was a slow song. Hermione recognized it, but she couldn't quite place it. Of course! The Yule Ball! This exact song had been playing when she and Ron were outside the Great Hall shouting at each other. Ron remembered it too. He looked down at Hermione to find her looking back at him. Maybe it was time to attach a good memory to this song.

"Want to dance?" he asked smiling nervously.

"Sure," she said. Ron took her hand and led her out onto the dance floor, where a few other couples were already dancing. She placed her hands behind his neck, and he wrapped his arms around her waist. As they gently swayed to the music, Ron said, "I'm really glad you asked me here tonight."

"I'm glad you came," she answered with a small smile.

They stayed like that for a little while, until the song ended. Hermione started to turn away, but Ron stopped her. He looked into her eyes, the eyes of the girl who had always been there for him; who had never given up on him, even when gave up on himself; the eyes of the woman he loved.

He took one of her hands in his, and cupped her chin with the other. He bent his head and gently kissed her lips. When he pulled away, he could see Hermione's eyes shining with joy.

"I love you," he said. It wasn't a low, romantic whisper or a dramatic, overwhelming confession. It was an honest, firm assurance. And to Hermione, it was all the sweeter because she knew he had no doubts.

Just then, she looked up, and she suddenly began to laugh. Ron looked too, and he started laughing as well. Sure enough, right above their heads was a piece of mistletoe.

"Well," he said, shrugging, "Merry Christmas."

"Merry Christmas."

They walked over and sat opposite the sofa where Harry, Neville, and Luna had finally settled.

"Well it's about time!" Neville exclaimed.

"Probably good I stepped in, or who knows when you two would have gotten it through your thick heads," said Harry.

"Yea, thanks mate," Ron said, speaking to Harry but smiling at Hermione. She moved over a little and grabbed his hand. He squeezed it once and leaned over to kiss her on the cheek. She settled herself leaning against his arm as the conversation quickly turned to Quidditch. Hermione shook her head. She grinned at Luna and rolled her eyes, mouthing, "Boys!"

A/N: Well, what did you think? Please review. I know it takes time, but if you're a fellow author you know how much it means, and if not, believe me, a few minutes of your time makes a big difference to us. I hope you enjoyed it, and please review!