SHORT RON/HERMIONE STORY:

She watched the snow fall down, and lie gently on the ground, just outside her window. It seemed to be the only thing that could calm her at the moment. The tears were falling tenderly down her cheeks, releasing the swelled balloon of emotions inside of her. Hermione had just seen the one redheaded person that meant so much to her lightly kiss and hug Lavender Brown in the common room before saying goodnight. It didn't matter that they were going out, she felt something for Ron. She couldn't just ignore it either. Christmas was tomorrow, and she didn't see a change in their relationship going to happen before next year, or at all for that matter. She couldn't stand just moping around; she needed to get out of her room, away from her friends. She walked down to the common room, knowing it would be empty at this late hour of night.

The fire was still cackling, hours after the Gryffindors had been residing there. She curled herself up on the couch, knees to her chest, and started slowly sobbing. It had been six years of being friends with Ron. Six long years of having to hid her true feelings for him. There wasn't a time when he walked in the room that her heart wouldn't skip a beat. She loved the way he smiled, and couldn't see herself without him. He was too busy with Lavender though, to develop feelings for her. What had Lavender have over her? She isn't that smart, and at least Hermione is naturally pretty. Maybe Ron didn't think that though. Maybe he liked girls like Lavender; he must if he's going out with her. It was like a curse to care for him. She remembered the first time she ever came to realization with these feelings for him.

It was during their second year at Hogwarts. Hermione was looking for a book that might have the Polyjuice Potion recipe in it at the library. Ron had infuriated her, complaining about his homework, and then making fun of her for actually trying to accomplish something. She found a rather big leather book, torn at the trim of it. She was flipping rapidly through the pages when she heard someone's shuffling footsteps come in, getting louder and louder until they stopped behind her. She didn't know why someone would be at the library this late, yet again, she was.

"Hermione?" A meek voice said, tapping her on the shoulder.

"What?" She turned around to see a short redheaded boy standing there, hands in his pockets. His ears were bright pink; his cheeks flushed a light red.

"Listen, I'm sorry about what I said to you. Please don't be mad at me." He sat down next to her and took her hand, his eyes pleading for forgiveness.

She didn't want to accept his apology; instead, she wanted him to stay there, holding her hand. She was mad at him but couldn't resist him.

"Its fine, thanks for the apology." She said, smiling at him. She couldn't defy him being so sweet.

"You're not mad at me?" His eyes lit up, and his cheeks (if possible) turned an even darker red.

"Of coarse not." She said, both of them standing up. She wrapped her arms around him, and they hugged for a moment. That moment was all it took for her to know that these were the arms she wanted to be in all her life.

Now, years later, she was sitting in the common room, knowing that those arms would never hold her like that again. She would never be able to feel something for him when he had a girlfriend. And yet, she did. She loved him with every fiber of her being. Her world would fall apart if he wasn't there, even if it was just as a friend. Her eyes were red, and the tears seemed as though they would never stop. She felt as though she would drown in her own misery, as the water gushed out of her eyes, leaving spots on the pillow she was holding. She heard footsteps coming from the boys' dormitory and peered over her should. There he was, standing at 5 feet, 7 inches. His red bangs lay swiftly over his forehead, and his baby blue eyes were just visible under them.

"'Mione? Is that you?" He walked over to where she was, and sat down next to her.

She didn't trust her voice, knowing that if she even uttered one word, it would shake. Instead, she just nodded her head, which was buried into the pillow. She couldn't let Ron see that she was crying, because that would lead to other things that she didn't want him knowing.

"Are you okay?" He put his arm around her shoulder, bring her into his torso. His body felt warm against her, and his arms were reassuringly wrapped around her.

"Do you want the truth?" She finally looked up at him, his eyes gleaming in the light of the fire. They looked questioningly down at her.

"Of coarse." He had to know what had upset her, and beat the git that had done it.

"Well, there's this absolutely amazing guy that I've liked since first year. He's sweet, funny, nice, and basically the other half that I've been missing. Every time I think of him, I can't help but smile. And I think about him all the time, even when I don't want to. The only thing is, he has this girlfriend who is prettier than I am, and I know he would never like me back. It's hard to see him around school because I'd want nothing more than to be in his arms, or to be the one he kisses goodnight. It just seems that that will never happen. Love just isn't supposed to happen to me I suppose." She let fresh tears roll down her cheeks. Ron brushed them away gently with his thumb.

"Hermione, I doubt that is possible, you're beautiful." He said, his cheeks getting flushed.

She smiled at him, and thanked him for the compliment.

"It's just too bad that he probably doesn't like me the way I like him." She couldn't believe she could be talking about him, to him, and he didn't even know it.

"How would you know that bloke doesn't like you? Just because someone has a girlfriend doesn't mean that they can't like other people." He replied, trying to cheer her up.

"Easy for you to say, you have a special someone." She said, emotions rising.

"What do you mean? I broke up with Lavender." He said, confused.

"Huh? But you were hugging her today before bed!" She was completely dumbfounded.

"Yes, that was when I broke up with her. I told her that I didn't have feelings for her like she does for me. I had to dump her, and she agreed with me; we were better off friends anyway." He stared right into her eyes, smiling as his cheeks turned a light pink.

They were quiet for a few moments, just feeling each other's breathing. Ron was the first to break this silence though.

"Who's the bloke anyway?" He asked her, as she sat up, feet on the ground.

"Promise you won't laugh?" She asked him, knowing that this was the moment of truth.

"Why would I laugh?"

"And we'll still be friends no matter what I say?"

"Why wouldn't we?"

"Just promise me!"

"Okay, I promise."

"Its you. It has always been you Ron." Her voice shook as she finally told him, after all this time, how she truly felt. He was completely speechless.

But before Ron could say anything, she was already half way up to her room, crying more than she had before. She had felt so stupid for telling him how she felt because he obviously didn't feel the same way. Now, she had just destroyed their friendship. She lie in bed, praying to God that she didn't just let her whole world fall apart. Soon enough, she fell asleep, not ever wanting morning to come.

But, nevertheless, the sun had shone through her window, telling her that morning was here. Rather reluctantly, she got up, and started to get dressed. It was a cold morning, so she figured a casual red v-neck sweater, and a pair of skinny jeans. She straightened her bushy brown hair that now was soft and silky. After putting on some natural colored make-up, she walked downstairs to the Christmas tree.

It was six o'clock, and rather early to be opening presents, but this was how she liked it. Harry and Ron had decided that they would open gifts in the Room of Requirement, to make it more private. She hoped they were up by now, and really didn't want to go see Ron in his room. As she walked down the stairs to the Common room, she found it deserted, and had no other choice than to go up to the boys' dormitories to get Harry and Ron to come open presents.

She was very quiet, taking mouse-like steps until she reach the top. She opened the door to find five beds, and five bodies sleeping, Ron snoring loudly. She went over to Harry's bed and nudged him awake.

"Let's go." She breathed, making sure not to wake the others up. Harry got up, fully dressed. Hermione couldn't bring herself to wake up Ron, so she told Harry that she would be waiting for them in the Common room.

It took the boys ten minutes until they were ready to go. She couldn't bring her eyes to meet Ron's, so once they got down the stairs she headed towards the painting of the Fat Lady. Harry hid them under his Invisibility cloak to make sure no one saw where they were going, even though it was morning. She was extremely uncomfortable, standing next to Ron like that, because she had basically ruined their friendship completely. He was so warm next to her, his forearm brushing against hers with every step they took. Finally, they were in the Room of Requirement.

It was a sight for sore eyes. There were red and gold silk hangings around the room. The center attraction was a real tree, standing at twelve feet high. There were red and gold bulbs hung neatly off its branches, sparkling in glow of the stringed lights looped around it. The garland had been strung perfectly around the tree, bringing out the morning sunlight, streaming into the room. And for the "cherry on top", there was an angel, floating at the tip of the tree.

"This is amazing!" Hermione was the first to rip the cloak off of her, and run towards the tree. There were at least twenty presents under there, and she was mesmerized by its beauty.

"Well, let's start opening them!" Harry followed Hermione to the foot of the tree. Ron walked over to the two of them, and they sorted the presents together.

"Tell you're mother I said thanks." Harry said as he unwrapped a sweater from Mrs. Weasley with a huge "H" on it. He had gotten one every year since he became friends with Ron.

Hermione had opened a few of her gifts. A book from her parents, a sweater from Mrs. Weasley, a box of chocolate frogs, and a new set of quills were given to her. It pained her, though, to have to sit close to Ron, in a moment that should be happy, but wasn't at all. She gave a half smile when Harry made a joke, and that was only to amuse him. She couldn't stand having to be there, having to fake emotions. She wanted Ron to feel something for her, to be able to comfort her in the way she needed most, to be held. She didn't even get a gift from him; apparently he was over being friends with her.

"I'm going to the bathroom, I'll be back." Harry left the room under the invisibility cloak, leaving Hermione and Ron alone. Weeks ago, she would have died for the chance to be alone with him like this, but now, she wanted nothing more than to have someone else with her.

"Would you like to open your gift?" Ron asked her, reaching under the tree for the last gift, a small box. Her face lit up; maybe he really did want to be friends, if only more. She wasn't going to get greedy though, at least he cared for her as a friend.

"Thanks Ron." She took the package from him, and began to open it.

She was astonished. It made her want to cry, but she held it in. It was the greatest gift she had ever gotten by far. He had gotten her a picture of him and her, hugging and then smiling at the camera. There was a frame holding the picture, silver and shining in the light. It said, "Memories last forever" on it, in gold letters at the top. She almost forgot to look at the note that was attached to it:

Dear Hermione,

I'm sorry about last night. Don't think I don't care about you, because I do. I was just surprised that someone as perfect, and wonderful as you would like stupid old me. I really like you Hermione, it's hard for me to do this, and I know it was hard for you to tell me last night, but I'm glad you did. I'm really not good at this kind of thing, so I'm just going to leave it at that.

Love forever,

Ron Weasley

She couldn't hold it in any longer, and let the tears escape, running freely down her face.

"Sorry, I didn't think it was that bad, I thought you might have liked it." Ron's face had turned so red, she thought he accidentally turned himself into a tomato.

"No, its not that," She smiled, and looked him straight in the eye, "It's just wonderful, it's…" She was lost for words. She moved closer to him and melted into his arms.

She had never gone through so many emotions in so little time. She was angry last night, upset before she went to bed, uncomfortable earlier in the morning, and now, she was feeling something that was just indescribable. She wanted the world to know what it was like to feel this way. To have someone who wanted to be around you and it didn't matter what you looked like, or how smart you were. Having it not matter how much money you have saved, or your blood status. All that mattered was how they felt for each other.

She now could say she knew what love felt like, and loosing it would kill her.