I.

The day begins when you wake up. A feeble protest in the back of your mind occurs; you know that this is not true. What lives in your dreams accounts for the day just as much, muffling you with a sweet promise of him that you cannot even began to comprehend with your eyes wide open.

Typical is a word that rests in every fiber of your being, explaining the way you stretch your limbs like a gruff cat, retrieving a robe from an adjacent cupboard before walking towards the showers. 'Typical' accurately illustrates the way you turn on the taps; the cold water first, followed by the sweltering heat of the hot water tap, and turned at an alarming angle. Fifteen minutes at the most, and then you collect yourself quietly, mulling in the silence of a dormitory that you do not control.

II.

Lavender is fixated before a charmed mirror (it now settles its pegged feet on the floor rather than resting against hinges on a vanity), delicately running her wand along a thick lock of hair. You know she's using a Hair Straightening charm because of the pronunciation of the spell; you can trace the words back to their Latin roots with ease.

Parvati stands beside her, overshadowed by her friend's glossy mane but nonetheless making up for it. A thin line of kohl graces her eyelid, turning at a precarious curve against the milky brown of her skin. It's a token of her heritage; you know this because you can vividly recall that documentary about India on the telly that you practically begged to watch, even though your Mum patiently reminded you that it was well past your bedtime. You wonder if Parvati is well aware of whom the Taj Mahal was built for, and this idea of having the upper hand in knowledge makes you feel safe and secure.

The feeling does not last long.

A hand snakes towards your own bushy crown of hair, unruly and wild and going against the laws of nature completely. Only recently has it crossed your mind before; the idea of having sleek hair, shiny and straight though manipulated with magic. Lavender and Parvati would have kittens if they knew you were considering something remotely similar to a makeover. Two giggling, foolish girls that seem to understand every crevice and nook of vanity; something that you hardly harbor an interest for. Your nose is upturned haughtily and smudged ink decorates your hands like a tattoo but you simply don't care because you're quite certain that he wouldn't, either.

You effortlessly knot a Gryffindor-themed tie at the base of your neck, lining the collar of your shirt. Black robes, starched and pressed without a trace of lint, are firmly clasped. It is not the attire that matters, but the way one wears it. You want to look presentable, though he would disagree. Arriving to class in the nick of time and remembering the appropriate textbooks is an extraordinary feat all on its own. And though he doesn't voice the notion, you know that this is where he draws the line. A thought, so quiet and faint that it's almost easy to ignore, surfaces. Where does he draw the line with his feelings?

The Gryffindor crest adds a motif to your robes, inches away from your heart. Bushy, brown tendrils are pushed aside without a glance for another day.

III.

The way the class is tittering and ignoring all inclinations make you wonder if Professor Binns is merely a daft, old fool. Perhaps it's the ghostly pallor that prevents him from truly comprehending the lack of interest any of his students show for the History of Magic. Still, Binns continues to drone in a monotonous voice that could do wonders in putting an irritable child to sleep. You think wryly to yourself that perhaps this is the weapon vital in defeating Voldemort once and for all; two hours at the hands of a ghost with absolutely no personality whatsoever.

Dipping your thirsty quill into a pot of ink, you continue to take diligent notes all the while attempting to ignore the impromptu game of Exploding Snap in the corner. You can't deny that it's better than the previous week; Seamus' undeniably clueless owl arrived in the dingy classroom under the pretense of the chamber being the Owlery. Rather than shooing it away, Seamus opted to send poorly written limericks to everyone in the classroom.

And when he snorted after receiving his, you couldn't help but look up.

He's sitting next to you right now, although under these circumstances, 'sitting' isn't exactly the most accurate word. His entire torso rests against the flat desk as he burrows his face into a cradle of arms. His untucked, white shirt stretches just so; the flat expanse of pale skin is completely foreign. And when Parvati catches you looking with a knowing glint in her eye, you turn away immediately, adapting that well-worn expression that practically screams your indifference.

It's a shame that no one has seen right through that facade.

IV.

You can't help but wonder what it'd be like to move just a bit closer. It'd begin with your shoes, lightly pressing against his scuffled trainers; trailing up towards knees that knock together almost out of coincidence. Thigh to thigh, so that the firm material of his trousers meets the languid fabric of your skirt. Calculating your movements carefully, you visualize leaning just so over the desk, allowing your bent arms to make delicious contact with his. Eventually, the constricted pose would settle itself into a more comfortable one, and the entire class period would pass by gloriously.

You're absolutely sure of this.

You can't help but think that these subtle moves and tricks are not necessarily your forte. It's a type of bravery that you certainly don't possess, although it explains why Lavender and Parvati got Sorted into Gryffindor (to a certain extent, at least.) Besides, he would probably respond to your poor attempts in a way that could hardly be considered suave. The most you could possibly expect would be a 'Hermione, are you feeling alright?' or 'I think all those books are finally getting to you!', the latter which would be said in a particularly smug tone.

You're absolutely sure of this.

V.

But it's not necessarily a crime to think this way, right? These thoughts that spiral out of control, towards a completely unfamiliar territory. This lust doesn't comply with the Laws of Transfiguration, nor can it be solved like an Arithmancy problem. And when your cheeks tinge red and your smile stretches so wide your face could split, a tiny part of you feels foolish. Foolish for succumbing to this unnatural thrill; foolish for believing that he could feel the same. You've read him from head to toe, just like a particularly thick novel, and you find no signs. Nothing.

The chase isn't worthwhile.

VI.

But then he catches you off guard. He always does. It's been a draining afternoon, and even though he and Harry have decided to go flying (and he's no longer in sight), you've been driven to the brink of insanity with a head full of thoughts, all centered on him. It's gotten to the point where you find him beaming at you in your dreams; faded images of him shimmering in your sleep. It's an anomaly and it's driving you absolutely mad.

So you find yourself embracing one of your typical idiosyncrasies, and head to the library. Dinner begins in an hour, but you have no appetite to appease. And if you're lucky, you'll claim the best seat in the entire room - the one that turns its back to the gloriously large windows, ignoring the Quidditch Pitch entirely. It's the perfect antidote.

VII.

Minutes have elapsed, melting away into what seems to be hours - and you find you have completed nothing. A fresh stack of parchment remains untouched without the signature scribble of your hand. The Advanced Potions textbook you eagerly lugged all the way to your desk (claimed in all but name) sits ignored; you've flipped through the pages halfheartedly before settling on one and idly staring at it.

The Art of Brewing Amortentia.

As the title dawns on you, a ferocious scowl masks your features. You slam the traitorous book shut with a type of fury you normally reserve for the boy himself, tiredly leaning against your elbows and rubbing your temples to alleviate it all. To feel something different - not this constant torrent of pleasure and lust and cheeks tinged pink; only to be replaced by frustration and chagrin and that damned feeling of betrayal.

VIII.

But half of the time, it seems so right.

Those little quirks that once drove you to the sheer brink of insanity - now, they lure you towards him. It's as if a morning isn't complete without him shoveling a ghastly amount of food into his mouth. The day feels odd if he doesn't make an offhand comment about how Snape is very well the bane of his existence, and those crude swears he's constantly spitting with vigor almost sound endearing from time to time, even if you do chide him for his colorful vocabulary.

And he has the biggest heart, even if it's not aimed at winning your affections. You've seen it in his eyes; these oaths he has selflessly taken to protect his family and friends. There's not a speck of hesitation - and when Harry says jump, Ron obliges. And you often find yourself wishing that you could be strong and sure like that, even when there's no guarantee of coming out unscathed. Hell, even alive.

Now, all hope is lost for that revision you seemed so determine to tackle not too long ago. Even though the windows aren't in your line of vision, you can tell it's become quite dark and dinner has probably started. But you don't feel compelled to leave just yet, as if you're stuck in this limbo - and thinking about him is the only option.

IX.

And like a bucket of icy water, this takes you completely by surprise. This sheer amount of control he has over you - and you bet he's so daft he isn't even aware ofit. How vulnerable he makes you feel, how he can unfold you with ease; and before you know it, you've been sent into a spiral of anger once more.

It's not fair that he can do this to you. Day after day, without so much as an ounce of effort, he makes you feel so small. And praise is nothing but dust if it isn't delivered by him. You could receive full marks on a baffling exam and it wouldn't mean a thing - unless he voices accolade. Still, it's absolutely maddening and it defies the laws of magic and logic and humanity and sanity—

And with a heavy sigh, you realize that you can no longer fight it. Gradually, you've succumbed to it; all of the signs point in that abominable direction.

You've fallen for him. Hook, line, and sinker.

X.

"Hermione?"

His voice is deep and pronounced, a low rumble in the stillness of the library. Your back stiffens at his presence but you hide your discomfort with ease. Just like always.

"Hello, Ron." You feel slightly foolish, being surrounded by such a grand litter of parchment, quills, and textbooks - only to have no evident signs of work done. With a defeated shrug of your shoulders, you began to pack your things away.

"Harry and I didn't see you at dinner." He sounds slightly worried. The mere notion gives you a fleeting sense of hope.

"I suppose I lost track of time," You answer in an offhand manner, putting away the last of your quills and an intricate-looking inkwell. "I didn't think you'd notice." An unnatural, nervous giggle. "I know I didn't."

He gives you a puzzled look, as if you've been speaking in Finnish all along. You shrink away from his calculating gaze and it practically stings like a well-timed slap in the face. He can read you so easily, and even you, bookworm-extraordinaire, cannot return the favor.

"Of course I'd notice," He says, though now his tone is much lighthearted. "We're mates, right? Speaking of which..." He digs a large hand into the pocket of his trousers, revealing a large, lumpy serviette.

Suddenly, his face changes into an all too familiar shade of Weasley red as he hands the messy-looking napkin to you. "This is for you," He grunts casually.

The stark change in his demeanor causes you to blink a few times - and with good reason. Now, it's as if you have the upper hand; you can no longer make an obtuse comment, as he is already feeling asinine enough. Sense kicks in, though, and you accept the token. It feels warm, and your face breaks into a thoughtful smile as you find the corners of a pasty peeking through the folds of the cloth.

Your absolute favorite.

"Oh, Ron..." You trail off, finding yourself at a loss for words. It's such an infinitesimal act of kindness, but it means the world when it's from him. And that's what he does, in a nutshell. He's a right prat, and he's thick, and he's such a boy. And when you find yourself fed up beyond belief, he goes off and does something so lovely—

"... I noticed that you barely picked at your food during lunch, and you love Cornish pasties - I remember you telling me about your Mum's special recipe, so I just nicked one before the platters were cleared..." He's stringing his words into endless babble and rubbing a hand casually against the nape of his neck - traits of nervousness that you find positively charming. With a subtle smile, you decide to give him a break and ease the tension. Just this once.

"That was very sweet of you, Ron," You say genuinely, unable to hold back the large grin threatening to make its way across your face. "Although I must say that I'm surprised. Anyone would think that with that voracious appetite of yours, you would have managed to eat it yourself. After all, it is a long walk here from the Great Hall." You speak in a teasing manner, and to his credit, he picks up on it rather quickly.

"Oi!" He exclaims, now leaning comfortably against an adjacent wall. "I refuse to take lip from you, Hermione. Besides, I'm not that cruel; especially since I highly doubt that hunching over textbooks all day is good for your posture. I suppose you're used to it now, though, considering that I always manage to find you here whenever you don't turn up in a day or two."

You roll your eyes and scoff vehemently, and he begins to chuckle. And without another word, he retrieves your bag and adjusts the strap so it rests comfortably on his broad shoulder. Stretching across the desk, he grabs your textbook, sardonically arching an eyebrow in your direction. "Advanced Potions, Hermione? Bloody hell, woman!"

Before you can retort, he merely chuckles again. In fact, as the two of you walk, side by side, towards the Gryffindor Common Room in a relatively comfortable silence, that's all he does. He laughs. And you're aware of the fact that it's at your expense - but you let it go.

After all, there's simply no point in extinguishing this fire.


A/N: After writing this, I now have a strong urge to devour a Cornish Pasty. And Ron. Both of them, really, would be lovely.

Review? Prease? That would be lovely, too. (: