Chapter Title: Of curses and discoveries

Part 3/3

Disclaimer: I wish I owned them, I really do. Sadly, I don't. No infringement is intended, and I am not making any money out of this.

Neville Longbottom never knew how he got away. Years later he would laugh as he recalled being hit by several curses before managing to get away from Ron. Thankfully Madam Pomprey had been instructed by Hermione not to let Ron anywhere near him, so once he was comfortably installed in the infirmary he was safe.

Minutes later there was a loud banging on the door and Neville could clearly hear Ron yelling to be let in. Madame Pomfrey told him to stay quiet and went out to take care of Ron and Neville had to suppress a grin when he came to the conclusion that Madame Pomfrey was not letting Ron in.

"But ..I HAVE to see him." Ron was saying, loud enough for him to hear.

"You won't get into the hospital wing without my permission Mr. Weasley. And you don't have my permission. So I guess you should just turn around and go back to your classes. You do have classes, right?"

Ron had left shortly after that, clearly not happy with the way Madame Pomfrey had treated him, but Neville had been thrilled.

Still, it was not a pleasant visit. Madame Pomfrey asked several times how he managed to get hit by a jelly leg curse, a pepper breath curse and a leek curse, among others and she had laughed heartily when she had heard the tale. No, it was not a pleasant visit. He was sure Harry and Ginny were safe and happy, maybe even snogging right now. And he was in the nursery …because Ron thought he was going out with Ginny!

This was royally unfair, he decided. He was going to have a talk with those two. So he sat very still while Madame Pomfrey fixed him up and when she told him he could go he stood up so fast she took a step back.

"Take it easy dear," she instructed before laughing at him again "And try to stay away from Weasley, I would not want you to come visit me in five minutes again."

Neville did not find it funny. Not at all. He opened the door to the nursery and looked around before stepping out on the hallway. He looked around again, and took a couple of hesitant steps towards Gryffindor Tower. Then he thought better about it and started to run.

He stopped in front of the Fat Lady and thought about it for a moment. What would he do if Ron was in the Common Room? Was running away and option? He steeled his resolve.

'Come on Neville, you are supposed to be a Gryffindor' he told himself before whispering the password and taking a step in.

The Common Room was filled with people. It was usually the busiest time of the day, right before dinner. Everyone was talking and the noise level was pretty high. He let out a relieved sigh when he realized Ron was nowhere to be seen. But the two people responsible for all this mess where right there in the corner. Predicatable.

He walked to where they were sitting and cleared his throat. They separated and looked at him in surprise. It was so unlike Neville to interrupt them.

"What's wrong Neville?" Harry asked with a smile "Need help with anything?"

"Ron thinks I am going out with Ginny." Neville blurted out and he was shocked to see Harry and Ginny start laughing. Why was it that everyone found it funny but him?

"I don't think it's amusing," he informed them with a frown "He has been chasing me around all day. I've been hit with more curses than I can count and if this continues I'll have to tell Madam Pomfrey to set up a permanent place for me in the hospital wing."

Harry stifled a laugh. "I'll go talk to him." he said and Neville felt relieved right away. Harry would make this right with Ron. He smiled.

"Thanks Harry." he said and turned around to give them some privacy.

"Are you telling him the truth?" Ginny asked, her voice small.

"I don't know Gin," he said. "I just don't see that there's anything else I can do. We can't let him go around cursing everyone in Gryffindor. He'll find out sooner or later, because I'm not letting you go." And with that he kissed her, something totally opposite their usual behavior in the Common Room. They were always very cautious, after all you never knew when Ron could come in.

Ginny offered him a small smile and he cupped her cheek before softly kissing her nose and standing up. "Neville," he called and Neville quickly turned around "Please stay here with Ginny. I'll take care of Ron."

Harry took a deep breath and started walking. He was so focused on what he had to do that he didn't noticed Hermione until he bumped into her.

"Oh, I am sorry," he said before looking up. "Hermione! It's you …" he told her, once he managed to stand up again and help her to her feet.

"I'm aware of that Harry," she told him with a smile. "What's going on?"

"I'm telling Ron the truth."

"You are?" she asked "Do you want me to go with you?"

"No," he responded "Stay here with Ginny and Neville. Just in case Ron gets here before I find him." he smiled at her and headed towards the exit again.

Once in the hallway he concentrated on finding Ron. He looked in the usual places, and even in some of the unusual ones but Ron was nowhere to be seen. He started to think that maybe Ron had gotten back to the Common Room before him but when he was about to go back he spotted a familiar red-headed boy sitting just outside the hospital wing.

He took a few hesitant steps towards him "Ron, are you all right?"

Ron stared at him "Have you seen Neville?"

"Yes, but I need to talk to you …" Harry told him and he had to take two steps back because Ron was on his feet before he could say another word.

"He is in the Common Room, isn't he?" he asked and before Harry could answer Ron was running in the direction of Gryffindor Tower.

"Ron, wait up …I need to talk to you." Harry yelled but Ron was already gone. He took a deep breath and started running after Ron.

Unfortunately he caught up with him too late. Only later would Harry realize that leaving Neville with Ginny was not exactly a good idea. Especially when you considered the thoughts going through Ron's head.

The Common Room was very, very quiet. Everyone was looking at Ron, who was staring at Ginny and Neville with his mouth open. Hermione took a few steps towards Ron, in an obvious attempt to get him to calm down. But it was not to be.

No one was sure how it all started. In the end they all agreed that it was probably Colin, who had been sitting in the farthest corner of the room and was still recovering from Ron's first attack, that drew his wand first. They all remembered hearing a voice yell:

Rictusempra!

And just like that Parvati was on the floor laughing hysterically. Of course, as Colin would confess later, he had not meant to hit Parvati, he had been meaning to hit Ron.

But it was Parvati the one who ended up on the floor. It did not end there though, because Parvati managed to get out her wand and yell:

Conjunctiva!

Everyone's eyes were fixed on Parvati, so everyone saw the spell leave her wand, glance of the House Cup and hit Hermione and Ginny.

Hermione fell to the floor and quickly stood up and started talking in what she must have thought was a calm voice "Don't worry ..everything will be all right. Just stay where you are and don't panic."

Ginny was another matter. She fell against Neville and Harry saw Ron get out his wand as soon as Neville placed Ginny against the nearest armchair. Neville's eyes grew large and he quickly fled from Ginny's side, Ron close on his heels. Harry knew he needed to stop Ron, but he first needed to make sure Ginny was safe.

Before he could get to Ginny though, he was intercepted by two figures everyone had forgotten about.

"Harry, mate," George said "Remember that conversation we told you we wanted to have with you about Ginny? Now it's the perfect time."

Harry wasn't sure if George was kidding or not, but he had to admit he and Fred did look a little menacing today. He looked around and noticed that now almost everyone was now involved in the fight. Ginny had her wand out and was firing spells everywhere, but since she couldn't see she was hitting people who had nothing to do with the problem. Hermione was trying to get everyone to stop, but no one seemed to be listening to her and she stumbled around the room unnoticed.

In the corner he could see Ron and Neville trading curses and he had to fight back a smile when he noticed Ron was winning. Again. Katie and Angelina were both on the floor and they now seemed to be yelling at Dean and Seamus, both of whom has been hit with the conjunctivitis curse and had hit the girls in their haste to defend themselves.

"So ...Harry," Fred's voice brought Harry's attention back to the twins, who were standing in front of him, wands ready "Are you ready to battle for Ginny's heart?"

"Battle?" Harry asked with a smirk, vaguely aware that this was all a big prank the twins had prepared for him. "I don't have to battle for her heart, it's already mine."

"Yes, indeed," Fred answered with a chuckle "But you do know you need the family's blessing, right?"

"I thought I'd get the third degree from your father …"

"Oh, you will," George told him with a smile "But it's our duty to rough you up a bit before you get to him …We wouldn't want to ruin our reputation."

"Of course not," Harry told them with a smile "So, are we dueling or what?"

And it started. A mini-fight in the middle of a big fight. Harry was too busy trying to curse Fred and George and at the same time avoid the curses they were throwing at him to notice what was going on around him, but and innocent bystander would have been amused. The whole room was filled with people screaming and hexing each other. Ron had managed to hit Neville with a few curses but he had not escaped unharmed because there were leeks growing out of his ears and just seconds before he had been forced to perform a crazy dance, to the amusement of everyone who could see him.

Lee Jordan was in the middle of a hexing duel with Seamus Finnigan. No one could remember how it had started but they were both in pretty bad shape. Katie was lying unconscious on the floor and Angelina was still busy with Dean. Alicia, who was the last person to enter the Common Room that fateful day was quietly sitting on the corner. She would later explain that she had been hit by a conjunctivitis curse and she did not want to cause more trouble.

Colin Creevey was still trembling in the corner, and his brother Dennis was lying unconscious beside him. But he was not the only one. Numerous other Gryffindors were lying unconscious on the floor, the armchairs, everywhere. It seemed like Stupefy was the favorite curse of the Gryffindors.

But Hermione was without a doubt the one in worst shape. She had been hit by the conjunctivitis curse that glanced off the House Cup. Then, as she tried to calm everyone down she had been hit with a silencing charm. After that, she could not remember anything else. She wandered around, trying to get people to notice her, but unable to do anything to defend herself. She would later proclaim this the worst day of her life.

Even the mostly friendly duel between Harry and the twins had gotten a bit out of hand. Harry's ears where three times their normal size and Fred had purple hair instead of red. George meanwhile had been hit with a silencing charm and he had left the whole intimidating business to Fred, who was doing a very good job of it by the look in Harry's face.

It was until hours later that the Common Room fell silent again. There would be many questions and detentions later and more than one Professor would marvel at the fact that no one had heard the fight going on. But it was not until Professor McGonnall stumbled into the Common Room almost three hours later to see why the whole Gryffindor House had been absent from dinner that it was all discovered.

She stared at the mess in the Common Room and looked at the unconscious body lying near the entrance. For a moment she thought about Death Eaters, but when she bent down and noticed the boy was alive she started to suspect the real truth. In the corner of the room four figures lay asleep. Ginny Weasley, curled up in Harry Potter's arms. And Miss Hermione Granger, resting her head against Ron Weasley's arm.

She had to fight hard to suppress a smile as she looked at them and once she had managed to put on her strict face once again she cleared her throat.

Four pair of eyes stared at her in amazement, as they noticed the mess. Potter was about to open his mouth, to offer an excuse probably, but she beat him to it.

"I see Mr. Weasley finally found out you are dating his sister Mr. Potter."

Ron's opened his mouth to speak, then closed it again. He looked at Harry first, then at Ginny, then he looked up to stare at McGonagall, then at Harry again. He was only able to manage one word

"What?"

Harry rolled his eyes. He smiled. And he said, "I am Ginny's new boyfriend, you prat."

Ron stared at him.

"You?"

"Yes, me. You are so bloody blind." Harry told him before turning around to smile at Ginny and collapsing against her. She smiled and rested her head against his and soon they were both sleep.

Ron was still staring at Harry.

"I don't understand," he whispered.

Hermione glared at him, and if she had been able to talk she would have told him that he never did understand anything. But since she was not she merely rolled her eyes and turned around to rest her head on his arm before closing her eyes again.

Ron was still staring at Harry. Professor McGonagall was already on her way to the hospital wing when a confused scream made her chuckle in amusement.

"WHAT??????"

The End

A/N: This fic is for Danielle, my big sister. For hearing me out, for coming up with the idea for the big Gryffindor fight, for the editing, for pointing out my mistakes, for the 3:00 am talks. For everything …YOU ROX! :) And of course …a million thanks to Bela for the being the best beta a girl like me could ever want.