Ron's 21st Birthday

Written By: Freckles Weasley

Disclaimer: I don't own characters blahdiblah

A/N: I didn't mention that Ron was 21, but it sort of shows. Plus, that's why I titled it how I did: to explain it. Wow. I'm making no sense. Just read the story.

"Here ya go, little brother," Fred and George said together, thrusting a giant bottle of firewhiskey with a red bow on it at Ron. He grinned widely, laughing slightly at them. He had always wanted to taste firewhiskey.

"Thanks, guys," he said gleefully. Ginny gave him a small envelope and he eyed it suspiciously.

"What is it?" he asked her, his smile now gone.

"Just open it," she said irritably.

"I don't trust you. You open it," he said, knowing the capabilities that Ginny possessed. She simply rolled her eyes, snatched it from his hand, and ripped it open, handing him a small orange slip of paper. Ron took it and read it aloud:

FREE COUPON!!

Nice For A Day

From: Ginny

He laughed and turned it over.

Can only be used once. Attempt

to use again will result in a painful

bat bogey hex. USE WISELY!!!!

Ron laughed yet again. "Thanks, Ginny," he said, rolling his eyes jokingly.

"All right, dear, this one is from your father and me," Mrs. Weasley said, handing him a rather large box wrapped badly in blue wrapping paper.

"Wrapped it myself without magic, just like a Muggle," Mr. Weasley said, smiling proudly. Ron tore at the paper mercilessly. A gleaming glass chess board lay before him. It even had a drawer for the pieces.

"Wow! This is amazing! Thanks Mum and Dad!" He opened the drawer and fingered the pieces, who protested the abrupt awakening. Mrs. Weasley gave him one of her tight, bone-crushing hugs. "We knew your other board was little old so…" her voice trailed off.

"Here, Ron," Harry said, thrusting him a package wrapped in green and yellow paper. Ron tore it open to find a broom-cleaning kit.

"Thanks, Harry. I've been needing one of these for while. My old Cleensweep's been losing some twigs and the handle's all splintery. Thanks, mate." Lastly was Hermione's gift. She handed him a medium-sized box wrapped in orange paper. When he opened it, he found a mirror. He looked at her, puzzled.

"Uh…thanks, Hermione," he said, smiling unconvincingly. But she pulled one of her own our from behind her back. Harry flinched. He knew what it was and it reminded him of the last real caring family member he had lost.

"It's a method of communication. When you want to talk to me, just tap the green gem at the top three times with your wand, and you'll appear in my mirror. Same with me, I just tap the orange gem three times and I'll appear on your mirror." Ron beamed and Hermione looked as though she were feeling very impressed with herself.

"Thanks, Hermione," he said, giving her a one-armed hug. Hermione blushed slightly in response. "You never cease to amaze me." She shrugged, her face a very interesting shade of pink now.

Now that Ron was finished opening presents, everyone started to get up to go ear dinner. While Ron was gathering his presents together, Fred and George looked at each other, nodded, and walked over to Ron while everyone else was in the other room.

"So," Fred remarked casually. Ron looked up suspiciously. "You gonna spike Hermione's drink with some of that firewhiskey?"

"Yeah," George added. "Get her in a good mood?" They both chuckled until…

SLAM!

Ron took them both by the collar and slammed them into the wall. They immediately shut up.

"Don't ever ever talk about Hermione like that. You understand me?" They nodded, still surprised by his reaction. Ron let go of them violently, scowling at them and leaving the room. Fred and George looked at each other and gave a low whistle. They followed Ron into the kitchen.

Ron was sitting next to Harry and Hermione sat across from him. By the look of it, he was still fuming. Both of his friends have him curious, concerned looks.

"Is there something wrong, Ron?" Hermione asked him caringly. He looked at her, trying to act like nothing was wrong and failing.

"Oh. Nothing. No. Nothing's…wrong." he stuttered. Hermione looked unconvinced, but didn't question further.

"Okay, everyone, the feast is ready. We have turkey and gravy, chicken, stuffing, steamed carrots, peas, mashed potatoes, biscuits, and Merlin knows what else I've fixed!" Mrs. Weasley said in a jolly tone. She waved her wand and the food started to disperse itself onto their plates. Ron started to dig in, along with everyone else. No one could resist Mrs. Weasley's cooking.

Ron got comfortable and rested his foot on something that he assumed was a post supporting the table. He was in the middle of a bite of potatoes, when the said post moved underneath his foot. Whatever it was, it was definitely not a post and was most likely someone's foot.

He glanced at Hermione who was eating her food with a smile on her face right across from him. But everyone else was smiling, too. Who wouldn't smile while eating Mrs. Weasley's cooking? The other foot came out from underneath his and traveled up and down his foot, tracing unkown patterns affectionately. What made it more awkward was that he, and apparently the other foot, had no shoes on. Ron remembered that Hermione had no shoes or socks on earlier. Ron was utterly confused.

Surely, Hermione wouldn't be playing footsie with me? Would she?

He looked up at her again, frozen, but she seemed to be having a conversation with Ginny about some potion she had made that can get rid of bug bites in an instant and it only took fifteen minutes to make a gallon of it. This game of footsie went on all through dinner and Ron couldn't keep his thoughts off of it.

He made sure to pay attention when everyone got up. The foot moved away and stopped only two seconds before Hermione got up.

No way, Ron thought. Hermione really had been playing footsie with me all through dinner. She must not have noticed. She could have thought that my foot was the table post as well. Nothing interesting there. She's just my friend after all. My best friend. It's not like she likes me or anything…

Ron had convinced himself of this as he, Harry, and Hermione headed out the door. They were going to a place called "Uncle Firecracker's Bar and Grill." Fred and George were going to meet them there because they had received a call from the shop concerning some escaped Pigmy Puffs that decided to put themselves in the oven and turn them on. Apparently, it wasn't pretty. Once they had Apparated, they found a table for five. Ron sat in between Harry and Hermione and they left two spots open for Fred and George. The waitress appeared only moments after they sat down. She was good-looking with blonde hair, blue eyes, and a very skimpy outfit.

"Hello, my name is Miranda. I'll be your waitress tonight." She eyed Ron and Harry. "What can I get you?" She looked at Ron who was closest to her, a huge smile playing on her lips. He looked at Harry.

"Do you want a firewhiskey, Harry?" Harry nodded. Ron looked back at Miranda.

"Okay, two firewhiskeys and a…?" He looked at Hermione.

"Make that three firewhiskeys," she said to Miranda. Ron and Harry both gawked at her. "What? Can't I have some fun as well?" She smirked playfully at them. They looked at each other and shrugged. Ron glanced back at Miranda, but his fixed gaze was on Hermione.

"Alright then, three firewhiskeys it is," he said. Miranda slightly frowned. She obviously knew she looked good and was trying to flirt with Ron and Harry, particularly Ron, and was disappointed to see Ron staring at Hermione. She moved her gaze to Harry.

"Alright then, I'll be back in a moment," she said.

CRACK!

Fred and George Apparated right behind their seats.

"Hello, young partiers," they chimed together. Ron gave them a dirty look as they took their seats. The waitress reappeared with the three firewhiskeys. And smiled again as she noticed Fred and George.

"Oh, hello," she said sweetly, eying the twins. "What can I get you two?"

They answered together. "Two firewhiskeys please." Miranda smiled widely, standing extra tall as she walked away. They noticed her grab the arm of another waitress and whisper something to her before they both looked over at the twins, who waved simultaneously.

"So," George remarked. "I see you all have firewhiskeys as well." He eyed Hermione in particular, who was now taking a swig of her drink.

"Of course, George," Fred added. "they won't be able to handle more than one of course, especially Hermione." George nodded in agreement. Hermione glared at them both.

"What do you mean, 'especially Hermione'?" she said, slightly irritated. She was not only irritated by this statement, but she also had gathered that they were the reason for Ron's grumpy state earlier.

"Oh, nothing," the twins said together. Hermione scowled, looking very much like Ron for a moment, which made Harry chuckle.

"So, is anyone planning on participating in good ol' fashioned Muggle karaoke?" Fred questioned. "The owner apparently got a hold of a karaoke machine from this old Muggle friend of his. Ron?"

"No," he answered icily.

"Harry?"

"Not gonna happen."

"What about you, Hermione?" Ron glared at them for torturing Hermione.

"I don't think so," she said plainly, taking another swig of her drink.

"Well, you disappoint me," Fred remarked, shaking his head. "Harry? Can we talk to you alone for a moment?" Harry looked confused, but followed them anyway.

"Okay," George said. "You're annoyed with Ron and Hermione being oblivious to each other's feelings of adoration, right?" Harry laughed at their choice of words, but nodded.

"Well, we have a plan," Fred said and Harry smiled.

"Really? What is it?" he asked eagerly.

"Ron gets jealous easily, right?"

"Right," he followed.

"Well, George is going to flirt excessively with Hermione until Ron gets so angry that he has to admit his feelings in front of her."

"That's brilliant!" Harry exclaimed. "But what if he doesn't say anything and just sits there fuming?"

"Oh, he won't, Harry," Fred assured him. "George will go as far as he needs to. Too far for Ron's liking. And we know that he'll respond because, even if he didn't like Hermione, which he does, he's also protective of her and wouldn't let us go near her in any way he doesn't like." Harry looked around at Ron and Hermione.

They were chatting casually, Ron's ears a little red. They all knew that the mere presence of Hermione made him feel awkward and embarrassed.

"So anyway, Harry," George continued. "We just wanted you to know so you didn't get all protective or anything either. We didn't think you would, but we wanted our plan to be full-proof." He straightened his dragon skin jacket and looked at Fred.

"Ready George?"

"Ready Fred."

They all walked back to the table. Ron and Hermione looked at Harry questioningly. He just shrugged dismissively as George took his seat next to Hermione. Harry tried hard not to smile. And so the show began.

George scooted his chair closer to Hermione who didn't seem to notice. Then, he leaned closer on the table. Hermione turned her head to look at him. "Yes, George?" she asked curiously. He gazed at her as though he had just fallen in love with her. Fred grinned and Harry stifled a laugh. Ron wasn't paying attention at the moment.

"Sorry, Hermione. You are just so beautiful." Ron's head snapped up. "You know, you just brighten my day every time that I see you. Your eyes, your hair, your smile, your lips…" He placed his hand over hers on the table. Ron glared daggers at him threateningly. Hermione just looked completely confused. "Oh, Hermione…" He kissed her hand. "I love your name, too." He kissed her hand again. "It just rolls off of my tongue like a beautiful river." He started to kiss her up her arm. Hermione tried pulling away, but George was too strong and kept hold of her.

CRASH!

Ron had accidentally knocked his glass off of the table. His ears were an extreme shade of scarlet and his face was getting there, too. He pointed his wand at the mess. "Scourgify." The glass repaired itself. As soon as Ron looked around, George kissed Hermione fiercely on the lips. Hermione, shocked at the sudden action, tried to pull away and fell backward onto Ron's lap. Fred smirked evilly. Harry did, too.

"Ron," Hermione said, trying to gather herself together. She scrambled to get up, pulling herself up to Ron, still on his lap. "I'm sorry, I just…he…I swear I don't feel the same about him, I like you, not him." She said all of this very quickly and was surprised to see George, Fred, and Harry looking shocked, but happy. Ron just looked plain shocked.

"What?" Hermione said innocently. "Why are you all looking at me like that?"

"Well," Fred said. "You only just admit your feelings to Ron, while sitting on his lap. That's all. We figured Ron would say something first, but it looks as though we calculated wrong. We'll just leave you to your business." Fred and George stood up.

"Would you like to come along Harry? We'll show you the burnt Pigmy Puffs at the shop. Quite nasty really." Harry stood up as well and they all three Apparated away.

"Hermione?" Ron broke the silence.

"Yeah, Ron?" she replied, looking at him, her face a bit pink.

"I think we've just been set up," he said, looking more confused still. Hermione turned to look at him, turning pink again.

"Is that a bad thing?" she asked. Ron looked astounded.

"No, no, no! That's a good thing…I...feel the same as you…" This last part was very quiet, but Hermione heard it nevertheless.

"Really, Ron? You really…like me?" Ron didn't have time to respond. The next thing he knew, he was engulfed in a sea of curly brown hair. Hermione had kissed him full on the lips, her hair flopping in front of her face. Ron was taken aback, but soon snaked his arms around her and kissed her back.

When they pulled apart, Ron looked at her seriously. "Hermione, I don't like you." Hermione's eyes widened with tears and her face went red. But then Ron smiled, and she knew what he was going to say.

"I love you, too," she responded to the unsaid three words, kissing him again.

Outside the window

Fred, George, and Harry watched, grinning.

"Wow. That was amazing how Hermione caved first, Fred."

"I know, George. When we tell this story of our superb plotting, we'll have to say that we were planning on Hermione caving first so that no one knows we miscalculated." They turned to Harry.

"You won't ruin it for us, will you, Harry? We'll keep this little secret between us?" Harry nodded, still grinning and watching the new couple happily.

"No problem. Thanks, guys. They've both needed this to happen. As have I," he added, remembering all of the times he would just curse Merlin for not making one of them fess up. He smiled at the memories. No more of that now. Now, they were together and wouldn't be all oblivious anymore.

Back in the restaurant

When they finished their snogging session, Hermione looked Ron in the eyes and smiled. He smiled back.

"Happy Birthday, Ron."