Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or any of the characters.
Full Summary: Every year at the Anniversary Ball something happens to Hermione, a ruined dress, a broken arm, and getting into an argument with an ex-Slytherin classmate. But this year she isn't going, but will something bad still happen? And who will be there to save her?
I Hate the Anniversary Ball!
"So Hermione, what time shall we pick you up for the Anniversary Ball tonight?" Her best friend Harry Potter asked as they ate lunch at a cute outdoor café in Diagon Alley. There was a big group of Hogwarts alumnae and war heroes dining with them. This was their weekly get together. It included Harry, Hermione, their best friend Ron Weasley, Harry's wife Luna Lovegood, Ron's wife Lavender Brown, Ginny Weasley, Ginny's husband Blaise Zabini, Neville Longbottom, Neville's wife Susan Bones, the twins Fred and George Weasley, and Draco Malfoy. During the war Blaise and Draco turned spy for the Order and have since became great friends with everyone over the last four years since the war.
Hermione looked up and rolled her eyes at Harry and Ron, "You won't have to because I will not be going. End of discussion." She said firmly looking at Ron who was opening his mouth to argue. But being Ron, he doesn't always heed what Hermione says.
"But Hermione you have to go. Everyone expects you to be there, you the entertainment!" after saying this and seeing murder in Hermione's eyes he quickly backtracked, "Besides everything bad that could happen has already happened."
By now everyone at the table was listening and the twins sensing a chance to annoy their favorite brunette spoke up laughing,
"Oh yeah, like the first anniversary when little Colin Creevey was following you around trying to get you to go out with him and to take a picture with him!"
"Yes George! That was so much fun! I enjoy being cornered and then falling onto the punch table." Hermione hissed. "That was so enjoyable and not the least bit embarrassing. Oh no, everyone just thought I was drunk!"
Everyone at the table was holding their breaths and not looking at each other trying not to laugh. That is until a little giggle escaped Susan, then the entire table except Hermione burst into loud raucous laughter. Hermione just glared at them all.
"What about the second anniversary, when Krum insisted that she takes a ride with him on his new broom and she fell off." Fred said chuckling; not seeing the hand signals to stop everyone was throwing his way.
"Oh yeah, as I recall falling off a broom in the AIR and breaking my arm in several places was hysterical!" Hermione whispered furious. Ginny leaned past her husband and smacked Fred upside the head.
"I told Krum that you wouldn't want to do it, but the idiot wouldn't listen to me. I also thought he knew to hold onto you better. If I had known I never would have told him what to say to influence you to go up there with him." Ron said apologetically.
Hermione forgot about her anger with Fred and turned to Ron.
"You were the friend he was talking about. I thought he was lying!" she said stunned. Ginny not being able to reach this brother asked,
"Lavender, if you would please? Thank you." After Lavender hit her husband upside his head.
"Ron, you had better watch yourself. I will get you back." Hermione promised glaring at him.
"Granger, it's not Ron's fault that your dates are always exceedingly thick." Draco spoke up with a smirk.
During and after the war, Hermione and Draco built up an unusual friendship. They still called each other Granger and Malfoy. They were constantly teasing each other. But it wasn't hurtful, or at least it wasn't until last year's Anniversary Ball.
Hermione inelegantly snorted, "My dates thick? Hmm…. Who was it that you took last year? Oh that's right, Parkinslut." She sneered.
By now everyone at the table except Ron, who was just grateful to have Hermione's attention off him, shifted uncomfortably in their seat. Harry quickly cast the Muffliato spell so the other restaurant patrons wouldn't hear the blow up that was a year coming.
"No Cormac, I really don't want to go find a broom closet. I'm not interested in that!" Hermione stated annoyed.
"Well if that isn't what you want then why did you invited me to come with you?" Cormac McLaggen asked confused.
"Believe me I've been asking myself that since we got here!" she muttered, and then a bit louder, "I thought you would be a fun escort. That we could dance or laugh about our times at Hogwarts. Not find some random closet and snog!"
"If that's all you wanted you should have just come with your friends." He said getting up in her face, annoyed that he clearly wasn't wanted, she tensed thinking there was going to be a scene.
"Problem Granger?" a deep masculine voice asked from behind her. Hermione instantly relaxed and turned to look at Malfoy.
"No Malfoy, Cormac was just leaving. Isn't that right?" she asked turning toward him with her eyebrow raise.
"Yeah whatever, I should have known better than to come with you. You haven't changed at all, your still such a bloody tease!" he then stormed off but not before bumping into Hermione hard enough where she fell back into Malfoy who put his arms around her to catch her.
"I don't really want to talk about it Malfoy." She said as he opened his mouth to tease her.
"All I was going to ask is would you like some punch?" he said smirking at her.
Hermione mock glared at him and grinned up at him, "Oh yeah I'm sure you were going to." He chuckled while she continued, "But yes I would like some punch." He took his arms from around her and Hermione immediately missed them. 'Hmm that's strange, I've never felt that before' she thought. He then put his hand on the small of her back protectively and guided her to the punch table.
"So where's your date Malfoy?" Hermione asked taking a sip.
"Oh, uhm she's around." Draco answered vaguely. Hermione looked at him closely. He almost looked uncomfortable and embarrassed.
"Drakie! What are you doing with the Mudblood?" an annoyingly nasally voice asked from behind them. Draco closed his eyes in exasperation and Hermione whipped around.
"Excuse me! Oh Parkinson, it's just you, I thought it was someone important." With this Hermione turned back to Draco dismissing Pansy. Draco opened his mouth to apologize on behalf of his date to Hermione when he was interrupted.
"You better watch your back Mudblood. We wouldn't want anything to happen to that pretty dress of your tonight. I suppose we could always reintroduce you to the punch." Pansy threatened angry that she was so easily dismissed.
Hermione turned back to Pansy and said, "I would tell you to watch your back but you spend so much time on yours there's no need." She smirked. At this Draco choked on the punch he was drinking. Pansy glared at Hermione while grabbing Draco and dragging him off somewhere but before she left she hissed,
"Well at least I still have a date and I didn't push him away because I'm frigid." Pansy then grabbed Hermione's cup of punch and dropped it onto Hermione's gown. Hermione turned away hurt. Why would Malfoy just stand there? He didn't help at all.
End of Flashback.
Draco's warm amusement quickly disappeared and he no longer showed any emotion. His deep voice icy, "That is none of your concern Granger."
"Oh, it was made my business when she verbally attacked me for no reason." Hermione yelled then got softer almost in tears she asks, "Why didn't you do anything, why did you just let her be nasty to me, to pour my own drink on me, and you just stood there?" Hermione walked away sadly. She turned around and said quietly to everyone,
"I'm afraid I won't be going tonight. I'll see you on Sunday for brunch at the Burrow. Have fun tonight." And with that Hermione went back to St. Mungo's where she works as Healer.
Harry turned to Draco and was opening his mouth to reprimand him when he saw Draco's expression. He looked utterly devastated.
"Well, uhm... I guess we'll see you tonight." Neville said. He and Susan left and everyone quickly followed.
"Ginny, could you stay, I need to ask you something. Don't worry Blaise; I'll make sure she gets home." Draco asked.
Once everyone was gone, Draco turned to Ginny and said, "I don't know if Blaise has ever said anything but I have always deeply admired Granger. I would really appreciate your help in getting her to come tonight."
Ginny wasn't surprised, in fact she had already suspected. Draco was always concerned with Hermione's safety, and he never got along with any of her previous boyfriends, especially Viktor Krum.
Ginny smiled and asked, "Of course I'll help you, but what do you need me to do?"
"Thank you, first I was going to pick a gown for Hermione but I need your help with her size. Then I will need you to go over to her house before the ball and convince her to go. I'll have the dress delivered, but I don't want her to know who bought the dress just yet." He said confidently.
The two friends spent a couple of hours at an expensive boutique trying to find the perfect evening dress. Ginny was getting a bit frustrated with Draco. 'Who knew he was so finicky.' She thought.
"Ok, you have said no to everything that I have pulled out. Let's start over, do you have a specific color or style in mind?" she snapped.
Draco apologized, "I'm sorry Gin. I know you must be frustrated. I'm thinking that emerald would be beautiful on her. As for style, I have no earthly idea."
"Well that's a start," she smile and pulled him over to another rack that was almost hidden and pulled a couple of dresses. He shook his head at each of them; out of the corner of his eye he saw a very vivid emerald gown. He went over there to look at it. He smiled at Ginny who had followed him, both saying together,
That afternoon when Hermione got home from work she sat down on the couch to think about her argument with Malfoy. 'Well it really wasn't much of an argument, he didn't even fight back!' she though annoyed. Just then she heard a peck at her window, she looked up and saw a beautiful owl waiting to be let in. The owl was carrying a beautifully wrapped present with a small note attached. She gave the owl some treats before it flew away. She started to open the note when she heard someone calling her name from the floo.
"Yes Ginny, I'm here, come on over." Hermione said and less than a minute later, her best female friend was stepping out of the fireplace.
"Hello Hermione, how are you?" Ginny asked after giving her a big hug.
"I'm okay, a bit annoyed with myself for getting all emotional and ruining everyone's lunch." She said feeling a bit down. "Oh Honestly! That is enough of that! So what brings you here? I would have thought that you would be getting ready for tonight."
"Well I cam to see if you would come tonight. Hermione, you can't not come! I mean your Harry Potter's best friend. He needs your support. You know how hard this day is for him." At this Hermione's resolve to not go softened, then Ginny slyly added, "Plus Draco will be there, dateless, and you know he has always fancies you! Plus he feels really bad about upsetting you earlier."
Hermione looked taken aback, "Malfoy fancies me! Ginny have you been drinking?"
Ginny just grinned knowingly, "You didn't see his face after you left. He looked so sad. Harry didn't even yell at him for upsetting you. Plus he is always worried about you, always asking where you are. Don't tell me you don't think about him like that. Why else would you be so upset about Pansy?"
Hermione snorted, "He's always asking where I am because he wants to come and tease me. And what do you mean, he's worried about my safety, please, you're just making that up!" Her mind was racing, 'Is that why I was so upset? Because I fancy Draco? Wait! When did I start calling him Draco? That's beside the point, was it because I was jealous of Parkinson and hurt because he didn't do anything? Oh Merlin! I fancy Draco Malfoy!'
Ginny sat there watching the emotions cross her friends face. First there was confusion, then panic, comprehension and finally acceptance, she knew it was time to bring out the big wands (so to speak).
"As for your safety, Hermione, he is always worried. Whenever we are all out he always makes sure someone picks you up and takes you home, usually himself, but there is always someone. How do you think he knew Cormac was giving you a hard time? He was watching you; you should have seen his face when Cormac got into your face. He was livid. And didn't you ever wonder what happened to Krum, plus Draco paid for your bill at St. Mungo's!"
"He was the one who paid; I thought Viktor did it out of guilt. And I always thought that Harry was the one who hit Viktor." Hermione would never forget the way Viktor looked when he came to visit her at St. Mungo's. He had a black eye with a cut over it as well as a broken nose and a split lip. Since Harry had been so furious with Viktor for taking such a risk with Hermione's safety she just assumed it was Harry's doing or maybe even Ron but never Draco.
"Harry wanted to but you forget, he was the one that took you to St. Mungo's and he stayed with you. But you should have seen Draco! He was furious, of course everyone was, no one even bothered to restrain him. Krum never stood a chance against him. But even before that he and Krum never really got on well! They were always arguing and trying to get one up on the other." Ginny stated, "But enough of that you are going tonight, no question about it!"
"Ok, but not because of Dra-Malfoy! I'll be going for Harry." Hermione said hoping that Ginny didn't hear the slip up. "But I have nothing to wear." Ginny did notice but decided not to comment, she stood up from the couch and was pulling Hermione to her bedroom when she saw the gift that Hermione never got the chance to open. Knowing exactly what it was, Ginny asked,
"Uhm, 'Mione, what's with the gift?" Hermione looked confused, then remembered and said,
"Oh, I forgot, it came right before you did." With that Hermione opened the card and it read in an elegant script,
A beautiful dress for a beautiful woman.
Hermione rushed to open the gift and gasped as she pulled the beautiful gown out of its box.
"Oh, it's gorgeous!" she whispered almost reverently. Ginny smiled, pleased that Hermione was so happy with the gift.
"So I guess this solves your dress dilemma for tonight doesn't it. So who sent it?" she asked.
Hermione answered, "I have no idea, the card was only signed, yours." She blushed. 'I can't believe someone did this for me. I can't wait to put it on!' she thought excitedly.
Ginny picking up on her friends excitement, quickly encouraged her,
"Well what in Merlin's Beard are you waiting for? Put it on."
Hermione smiled and quickly went to her room to put the beautiful gown on. It fit her like it was made for her, hugging her curves in all the right places. The emerald color was perfect for her skin tone. She practically floated to the living where Ginny impatiently waited for her.
Ginny in her excitement blurted out, "He is going to die when he sees you!" then immediately covered her mouth shocked that she had said that and looked at Hermione who had immediately narrowed her eyes suspiciously and said,
"You know who got me the dress don't you? Tell me who it is or I'm gong to hex you!"
Ginny sheepishly said, "Your right, I do know who it is, but I promised him I wouldn't say anything to you. I'm going to go ahead and go home. I still need to get ready. Just remember that he really cares for you a great deal." She gave Hermione a quick hug and then apparated home.
Meanwhile in Knockturn Alley a group of rebel Death Eaters was gathered to discuss their latest scheme.
"So tonight after everyone has already arrived at the ball we grab the Mudlblood and make her pay!" the leader concluded.
"But why her?" one of the not so bright followers asked.
"Because you bloody twit! She's Potter's best friend. She means a lot to him. Plus she lives alone, makes it easier for us to grab her. If the Dark Lord was still alive he would be pleased with us. Potter took the Dark Lord from us; we'll take his precious Mudblood from him!"
Hermione put the finishing touches on herself with a freezing spell on her hair, not knowing that at that same moment an evil man just apparated onto her street and was walking towards her townhome.
Meanwhile at the Grand Ballroom, Draco stood with Harry while greeting all of their friends. He saw Ginny walk in looking quite beautiful in a silky navy gown, with Blaise. Ginny looked over at him and winked to tell him that Hermione is coming tonight.
"So I owled Hermione right before I left to see if she changed her mind about coming tonight." Harry commented watching Draco out o the corner of his eye.
"Oh, so is she coming?" Draco asked keeping his expression light on the outside but inside he was a bundle of nerves.
"Hmm... oh yes she is. Apparently Ginny went over there and worked her persuasive skills and got Hermione to change her mind about this evening. She should be arriving any minute now actually." Just as Harry finished saying this Malfoy's family ring heated up slightly catching his attention. Wondering what could have caused it he asked,
"So did Granger mention if she was bringing anyone with her?"
Harry looked surprised at the question, "No she didn't mention anyone. But I don't think she is. Why?" At this Draco's ring heated up almost unbearably, he quickly put his drink down and turned to Harry quickly,
"Harry get everyone together and bring them over to Granger's. She's in danger!" He exclaimed starting to run off.
Harry, confused, "What, how do you know? What's going on?"
"There's no time, I'll explain later, just get help!" Draco said running out of the ballroom.
Meanwhile back at Hermione's, she was just about to grab her invitation which was her port key to the Grand Ballroom when she heard a knock at the door. Thinking it was one of her friends to come and pick her up she opened the door without looking through the peephole. She saw that it was a homeless man and started to say hello when he pulled his wand and quickly disarmed her of her wand.
"Hello there Mudblood. You are going to pay for what you did in the war!"
Hermione annoyed, spat out "What? You mean help get ride of Voldemort and put scum such as yourself in Azkaban." She saw him flinch when she said Voledemort. He put his wand against her neck and shouted,
"Never say his name! You are not worthy."
Her pulse racing in fear, but still wanting to annoy him she sneered, "You mean Voldemort, " at his grimace she sang, "Voldemort, Voldemort, Voldemo-" he slapped her hard enough to knock her to the floor of the entrance hallway. He roughly pulled her back up by her hair and put his hand around her neck choking her.
"I said don't ever say his name you stupid Mudblood bitch!" he screamed in her face.
Hermione's mind was racing. 'How am I going to get out of this mess? Nobody will even know that I'm missing for a while yet. Thank good I owled Harry. At least he's expecting her to show up.'
The Death Eater grabbed her arm hard, she winced, 'that's going to leave a bruise' she thought, and he started pulling her inside where here fireplace was. Hermione fought him not wanting to go in there where they could floo anywhere. But on the other hand there are lots of things that can be used as weapons.
Not wanted to alert him of her plan she continued to fight him. Seeing the vase that Bill Weasley bought her for her last birthday out of the corner of her eye, she started to reach for it when he saw her and punched her in the face. 'That is definitely going to leave a mark!' She was going to try and reach the vase again when she heard the front door bang open and a familiar voice yell,
"Incarcerous!" The Death Eater fell to the ground wrapped in rope furious.
"This isn't over yet. There are more of us, we will get our revenge. You ha-"
"Yeah, yeah" Hermione said as she got up off the floor and kicked him hard in the stomach then turned and ran to her rescuer and threw herself into his arms. Now that it was all over she was shaking and crying.
"Thank goodness you came, I couldn't get away, and he wanted to kill me. Oh, Draco, I made him mad though!" Draco just smiled and let her prattle on and on. He held her against him protectively her head buried into his chest and his chin resting on the top of her head. He just wanted to hold her in his arms reassuring them both that she was safe.
This was the scene that their friends came upon as they all ran into her home wands out ready for battle. Everyone stopped stunned.
"I had no bloody clue, did anyone?" Ron asked turning to look at the group. Fred, George, Neville shook there heads no and everyone else nodded. The women looked at them as if they had two heads.
"You didn't!" Lavender exclaimed, "How could you not?"
"Well how did you?" Fred retorted back.
Susan who usually let everyone else talk spoke up and said, "It's in their eyes whenever they look at each other or when you talk to them and the other is mentioned they just light up. It's been that way since during the war."
"Wow, we had no idea" Fred and George said together. Having heard enough from everyone Harry really wanted to find out how Hermione was. Rushing forward he gently pulled her out of Draco's arms to hug her tightly.
"Are you ok? What happened? Did he hurt you?" Harry asked questions barely stopping to breathe. Draco chuckled.
"Harry, mate, slow down." He said as he pulled Hermione back into his arms. Harry ignored Draco; his full attention was on Hermione. As he looked at her both he and Draco finally saw the bruises that were starting to form on her face and her upper arm. Harry turned around and headed toward the Death Eater who was still bound and laying on the floor, mumbling worthless threats to everyone. Blaise grabbed Harry to stop him from doing anything and Neville leaped forward grabbing Draco's wand before he could Avada Kedavra the man.
Seeing the woman they though of as another sister beat up and frightened, Fred and George turned in true Weasley form almost as red as their hair. They hunkered down next to the Death Eater.
"Do you know who we are? We are the Weasley twins. You know, Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes."
"And we just so happen to be in the market for a guinea pig."
"You know someone that we can try out all of our experiments. We haven't found anyone to do it. They don't think the pay is worth all of the pain and humiliation."
As they were talking, going back and forth in the way only they could the Death Eater was getting paler and paler.
"Alright, Fred, George, I need to take this git to the Ministry and fill out all of the paperwork. Mione, we'll be back later to get your statement and to make sure your ok." Harry kissed her forehead and quickly left with the Death Eater and Blaise who is his partner Auror for the ministry. After checking to make sure Hermione was ok, everyone but Draco left.
Still not willing to let each other go they went into the living room. There was an awkward silence then Hermione being impatient blurted out,
"How did you now what was happening?" Draco looked down not able to meet her eyes and blushed. Hermione looked on in amazement, 'Malfoy is blushing! I can't believe it.'
"Uhm, well actually-"he paused and took a deep breath and then looked her in the eye, "I put up a few wards around your house and the yard. There is also a charm on your wand that lets me know if your wand has been forcibly taken from you."
Hermione was speechless, "Why would you do that?" He again took a deep breath. He sat them down on the couch and grabbed her hand and said softly,
"Because I could not bear the thought of you in danger, I want to always be around so I can protect you. And before you say anything, I know you can take care of yourself. But that doesn't make me any less protective, just like it doesn't help my jealous and possessiveness around other men." At this he stood up and started pacing, "I hate seeing you with them like Krum or McLaggen, even that little one, oh what's his name, oh yeah Creevey, when your co-worker would join us for lunch I would have to restrain myself from telling him to get lost. I guess what I'm trying to tell you is that Hermione, sometime over the last four years I have fallen in love with you." Draco looked at her so intensely. Hermione could see the vulnerability that Draco never shows.
Hermione stood up and went up to him and said, " At lunch today, I was so angry with you, but when Ginny came over to talk to me she made me see something that I had been blind to, she pointed out that I really had no reason to be angry at you about Pansy. Which made me think, why, and before I could come to a conclusion, she told me that you're the one who fought with Viktor, and then this beautiful dress came. So while I was getting ready I continued to think about the Pansy situation and I realized that I was jealous. I was jealous of Pansy because somehow I have over the last four years fallen completely head over heels in love with you Draco Malfoy." Hermione finished with a loving smile at him.
Draco sat down on the couch and pulled her into his lap. He wrapped his arms around her and leaned forward to capture her lips in a kiss so intense and passionate that Hermione wouldn't have been surprised if her couch had caught fire, that is if she could think at all.
"Sorry to interrupt but we really need to get Hermione's statement." Her best friend said amused. Blaise stood behind him chuckling and whispered to Harry, "It's about damn time." Draco just glared at the interruption and pulled her closer.
About an hour later after Blaise and Harry left. Draco and Hermione were laying on the couch her back to his front and his arms wrapped tightly around her when Hermione turned around to face him, "By the way thank you for the gown. I feel wonderful in it."
He smiled at her, "You looked beautiful in it, love. I'm sorry that your time in it wasn't at the Anniversary Ball so everyone could see you." As he said this his eyes narrowed and he possessively ran his hands over her sides to rest on her hip and lower back and continued, "then again, I would probably have to beat a couple of people up because they can't keep their eyes off of you." He playfully nuzzled her neck leaving hot open mouth kisses up her jaw line towards her mouth, slowly nibbled at her bottom lip before sliding his tongue along the seam of her mouth urging her to open up, she allowed him entry and he thrust his tongue into her mouth, savoring the taste of her, the texture of her tongue against his, the curves of her mouth. He pulled away and went back to her neck.
Hermione sighed in contentment, moving her neck so he has more access. "I love you so much, but Merlin, do I hate the Anniversary Ball!" he just chuckled and pulled her into another kiss whispering against her lips, "I love you too Granger."
Hermione was just finishing getting ready to go to the Burrow for brunch when she heard someone floo in and call for her.
"Granger, where are you love?"
"I'm here." She shouted back. Draco appeared in her bedroom and smirked at her. She smiled back and thinking about the revenge she had in store for Ron got a mischievous look in her eye. Draco recognizing it asked,
"What are you up too? Am I in danger?" She winked at him and shook her head no. Walking into the living room she handed him a Daily Prophet.
"Read the headline."
St. Mungo's expanding children's wing due to anonymous donation.
"So what about it, I don't know who the benefactor is." Hermione continued smiling, tapped the paper with her wand and said again, "Read the headline." Draco rolled his eyes, but decided to humor her.
Chudley Cannons No More!
His eyebrows raised and he looked at her questioningly.
"I charmed the paper to say that so only Ron will see this, that way when he freaks out and hands the paper off nobody will see what he is seeing. Maybe then he'll think twice about making me go flying again. She finished with a devious wink at him. Draco just chuckled and pulled her close.
"Merlin I'm glad I'm on your good side."
At the Burrow:
Everyone was welcoming as Hermione and Draco walked in. Hermione was thrilled when she saw the two eldest Weasley sons and ran over to hug them.
"Oh, it's so good to see the both of you!" She exclaimed hugging first Bill, then Charlie. Charlie winked at her and said slyly. "So I heard that you once again had an eventful Anniversary Ball experience!" She rolled her eyes and playfully punched him in the arm. Bill turned to Draco, who had followed her over and said,
"Take care of this one Draco; she's definitely one of a kind." Draco just smiled and nodded, shaking both men's hands. They both hugged her again and told her that they were glad she was ok as everyone walked into the dining room for brunch.
After a fabulous brunch everyone was chatting and enjoying each other's company when Hermione pulled out her charmed Daily Prophet. She put it so Ron would see the headline. There were startled cries from those around Ron when he suddenly lunged across the table to grab Hermione's paper.
"Ronald Weasley! That is not how we behave at the table!" Mrs. Weasley lectured. Draco inwardly laughed and beside him Hermione couldn't keep it in and giggled.
Ron's face was turning red and his mouth was hanging open like a fish. Then he burst,
"Can you believe this? I mean the nerve! With some people it's all about money, I mean how could they do this its horrible!" he handed the paper to Charlie, who looked confused,
"But Ron, it's a good thing, they obviously needed the money."
"What no they should have asked all of the fans. They would have gladly funded them."
Mrs. Weasley not understanding asked, "How are you a fan of St. Mungo's?"
"I don't know what you're talking about Mum. I'm talking about the Cannons. I should boycott Quidditch! No that would never work." He continued mumbling to himself.
Everyone looked on thinking Ron had lost his mind. Finally having enough Ginny blurted out, "What you on about Ron?" He looked up surprised and shoved the paper into his sister's hands and shouted.
"There's going to be no more Cannons. That's just impossible." Ginny and Lavender who was sitting next to her husband looked over the entire paper trying to figure out what Ron had read.
"Ron, honey, there is nothing about the Cannons here. What are you talking about?" his wife asked gently. He looked confused and pointed to the front page.
"Its right there in bold print, Chudley Cannons no more!"
Mrs. Weasley walked up to Ron and felt his forehead for fever. By this point Hermione couldn't contain her laughter any longer. Everyone looked at the hysterical woman wondering what was going on.
"Ron, I-"she said in between laughs, "I told you I would get you back!" She laughed some more and grabbed the paper from him and said, "I charmed the paper just for you."
"Brilliant!" Fred and George exclaimed jumping up to kiss Hermione on her cheek. "We have been a good influence on you!"
Everyone but Ron was now laughing as hysterically as Hermione. Bill leaned over to Draco and said, "I told you she was one of a kind."
"Bloody hell, Hermione." Ron slumped down in his chair, relieved it was all a prank. Hermione got up from her chair and went to Ron. She gave him a tight hug and a kiss on the cheek.
"Oh Ron, its so much fun to prank you. You are so wonderfully gullible sometimes." He just smiled at her and said as if he just realized something.
"Bloody hell Hermione, you must really hate the Anniversary Ball!" Everyone just looked at him as if wondering 'Did he really just now realize that'
Then the room erupted into laughter once again.