Author Notes: One shot. Ron X Hermoine / Victor X Hermoine. This story takes place during Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Enjoy!
Hermoine Granger's handwriting was annoyingly tidy. Her fist moved in tight circles while the nib touched the paper leaving trails of black ink. Her motions were smooth but somewhat slow. She chose her words carefully when committing them to writing, perfectly aligning the words two centimetres from the left edge of her scroll.
Save for her, the common room was empty and peaceful. Even the picture frames on all four walls of the Gryffindor common room were vacant. It was past midnight and they had retreated into privacy. They had to rest in preparation for a new day of posing as they were expected to.
Hermoine alwaysdid what she was expected to do. She sat in front of the ornamental fireplace taking up only a fraction of the large comfortable chair; she shared her space with many textbooks she had borrowed from the library.
"My God, Hermoine, did you leave any books for anyone else to borrow?"
The room wasn't as empty as she had realized. Ron Weasley plopped into a nearby chair wearing blue and brown striped pajamas he had inherited from Fred (or had it been George?). She wondered how long he had been in the room but she didn't ask.
Her quill continued bobbing slowly but her words were quick to reach him: "You haven't started your paper for Moody's class, have you? If you had looked over that assignment, you'd know why I have all this in advance."
"Well, I looked over it a little." he said, sounding unsure, and glanced across the spines of books at her side.
She looked up from her work as a shadow passed over her scroll. "You're blocking my light," she said but was startled to discover that Ron was reaching towards her. She dropped her quill and pulled her hands close to her face. "What are you...?"
He didn't seem to want her hand after all.
He pulled a thin hardcover book from the pile, the one closest to her body. "Don't, I'm responsible for that as long as my name is recorded down by the library!" Hermoined rushed to snatch it back. "If you want it, you'll have to wait your turn and go through the checking-out process like the rest of us!"
Ron raised the book out of her reach and flipped open the cover to read the synopsis on the dust jacket. He read in his most matronly voice, "Hogwarts and the Influence of the Traditional Yule Ball on Student Relations: Within this well-researched text, famous scholar Dorothea Grandalberry documents a chronology of historic yet romantic events stemming from the Yule Ball. She also outlines tips and tricks for landing the perfect date, choosing outfits — it goes on like this!" His voice cracked from his impersonation losing momentum. "Is this seriously a textbook by a scholar? It sounds like something Ginny would read!"
"I can read whatever I'd like," said Hermoine, crossing her arms over her chest.
"Well, you may be needing those tricks so I'll give this back to you," he said with a grin. "You only have four days left to get a date."
"Speak for yourself, Ron. Maybe your attitude is why no girl would ever defy gender roles to ask you to go with her." She slid the book back into her pile, nestling it between two Defense against the Dark Arts texts; all the other books were rightfully on topic, as all of her book choices should always be. She was Hermoine Granger.
"Have a date? You? I don't believe it."
"You are so tactful. Yes, I do in fact have someone who asked me, but I'm uneasy about it. He's coming to the Gryffindor wing at 1:00 A.M. tonight to see if I've decided. I was waiting for someone I know to maybe make a realization." Hermoine looked at Ron pointedly and he audibly gulped, nervous.
He glanced at the clock. 12:46 A.M. "Did you learn that look from Dorothea Grandalberry?"
"I haven't read that book yet. " Hermoine returned to her work, her eyebrows furrowing slightly from frustration. She tried to complete the sentence she had previously abandoned halfway through but she couldn't remember what she was trying to write. Ink funnelled from the tip of her quill forming a small blot.
"Go to bed, Hermoine," Ron said, "I can see the size of that mistake from here."
"I'm waiting for him. Go to bed, Ron." She crossed out the incomplete sentence. She would start a new one.
"This is so silly! Why are you even down here?" She rolled up her scroll and tucked her quill away.
He leaned back in his chair. "I'm enjoying the warmth of this fireplace, thank you."
She piled her books in a neat stack, recovering one that slid between the armrest and the cushion. They were both stubborn. They sat and stared at the fire. Finally, Hermoine stood up with her books and supplies in tow.
"I win," said Ron awkwardly. "Have a good night, Hermoine."
"I'm not a framed lady, Ron."
She didn't say anything more and neither did he. His eyes darted to the many empty frames around him.
Hermoine did not walk towards the girls dormitory. Instead, she left the common room through the hinged frame and snuck out after curfew. She was not Hermoine Granger.
A grandfather clock adorned with the Gryffindor crest tolled one softly. Ron wasn't sure if he should move from his seat. Hermoine was not meeting a boy. Hermoine never meets up with boys. The fire flickered steadily. Moments later she returned to the common room. Ron stood up and walked to boys dormitory's staircase. Hermoine walked to hers, and as they both wearily climbed the steps, she declared, "You lose, Ron Weasley."
Hermoine Granger decided to attend the Yule Ball with Victor Krum.