Hermione had once again begun avoiding Ron, so it wasn't until that night in the common room that he was able to talk to her. He must have been quite fed up to begin such a conversation surrounded by other Gryffindors.
"You're not going to France' he said sternly, kneeling down in front of the arm chair she was siting on. Hermione, who had been reading a book, looked up at him in surprise. 'I'm not?' she said.
"No," said Ron, "I don't want you to go. So you can't."
Hermione frowned at him, 'I'm afraid your wishes aren't the be all and end all of the world, Ron."
"I like you too much to let you go," Ron said solemnly. Harry, who at that moment had taken a swig of Butterbeer promptly spat it out. Hermione blushed.
'Are you sure you want to talk about this here?' she said, closing her book.
"Yes," said Ron firmly, 'I don' care who knows any more. Everyone probably already does know," he glanced around the common room, "If Fred and George really saw us."
"Ron, you know I don't want to go," said Hermione sadly. "But…but…"
"but what?' said Ron angrily 'You think you can just take off? After all this stuff that we've done this year? You slapped Viktor Krum for me!" he took her hand and looked at her face earnestly. "See Hermione? I can't ever forget that. You cried for me when you thought I was going to die from squid poisoning. You- and Harry- you're my best friends, and…well, I just won't let you go. Can't you just, for once…just forget about rules and do what you want?" he sighed. "if you really don't want to stay then, I guess I can't stop you. But if you want to give me a chance, then I'll know that five years of being friends hasn't been wasted."
Of course Ron probably wouldn't have been so passionate about what he was saying if he had realised that the whole common room was listening. Hermione looked at Ron's face intently. She took a breath.
"Okay," she said. "I want to take a chance with you. I'll tell mum and dad I'm not going to France."
The common room burst into applause. Hermione looked startled but Ron grinned, wrapped his arms around her, lifted her off the chair hugged her tightly. Hermione laughed with delight, and then, in front of the whole of Gryffindor house, kissed him. The cheers were deafening. Harry, grinning came and hugged Hermione too. Fred and George clapped Ron on the back happily. Parvati and Lavender were almost in tears from the sheer cuteness of it all.
"Thank you," Ron said in Hermione's ear as he hugged her again. "Thank you so much."
"No," she whispered back. "Leaving you and Hogwarts would be the biggest mistake of my life. I don't know how I'm going to convince mum and dad to let me stay, but I will, Ron. I will."
Since Hermione had been going to Hogwarts, Mr. And Mrs. Granger had become used to an owl soaring through their window every week or so, delivering a letter from their daughter. It came as a surprise to them, however, when more than a dozen owls swooped through their living room window one day, each of them holding letters. Mr. Granger, just venturing out of his study with a very grave look on his face, had to duck quickly to avoid being hit by the barrage of birds. "What the-?" he gasped.
"Oh my goodness!" shrieked Mrs. Granger, as the tiny owl tiny owl that led the pack, hooting loudly performed loop the loops around the light fixture. A bigger, snowy white owl that had flown in after it gave one sharp hoot and the little owl stopped.
"Where are all theses owls coming from?' Mr. Granger said in perplexity, as owls of various shapes and colours dropped rolls of parchment on their living room table, and then flew off. The little hooting owl perched itself on the light fixture, gave a shrill peeping noise and sat there, watching them.
Tentatively, Mr. Granger picked up the roll of parchment that the little owl had delivered, and unrolled it. Mrs. Granger watched his expression anxiously. "What's wrong?' she cried, "Is she in trouble?"
'Worse," groaned mr. Granger, "She's got a boyfriend."
Dear Doctor and Mrs. Granger(the letter read),
I hope you're well. My name is Ron Weasley, and I'm a friend of Hermione's from school. we've met once, a few years ago in Diagon Alley, remember? I think my dad took you for a drink. Anyway, I'll get right to the point. Hermione says that you're moving to France and taking her with you, and that she's going to board at beauxbatons academy. First of all, let me say that Beauxbatons is expensive and the students don't have good dental records. Second of all, I admire and love your daughter very much, so I'm pleading with you not to take her away. We need her here at Hogwarts. I need her here at Hogwarts. Hermione is my best friend and more, and if you drag her off to France I will be forced to take drastic action.
Sincerely, Ron Weasley.
"Drastic action?" read Mrs. Granger nervously over he husband's shoulder. "Is he threatening us?"
"I don't know," muttered Mr. Granger, "But this is very bad. Very bad indeed."
"Look at another one," insisted Mrs. Granger. Mr. Granger unrolled another scroll of parchment.
Dear Mr. And Mrs. Granger,
Hi there, how are you? My name is Harry Potter, and I've been friends with Hermione since first year. Hermione has informed us that you want to move to France and make her go to school at Beauxbatons Academy. Of course, this will mean that we may have to take certain actions to stop her leaving. Entirely apart from my own reasons for not wanting her to go, Hermione has achieved such good grades here that you can't possibly take her to a foreign country and expect her to do as well there. Also, now that she and my other best friend Ron have started going steady, her moving away would make things even worse. So please don't make her go to France.
Yours faithfully, Harry Potter.
"Isn't he that famous boy who killed an evil wizard or something?' said Mrs. Granger thoughtfully.
"Are these all from Hermione's school friends asking us not to take her to France?" said Mr. Granger.
"Well, this one is...but it's from a girl this time."
"Let's see it!" said mr. Granger.
Dear Hermione's mum and dad,
We are two of Hermione'smany friends at Hogwarts, Parvati and Lavender. You can't take her to France because we'll miss her and that would be bad. Also, since she has started going out with Ron, it is so cute and if you broke them up by taking her away that would just be so awful. So don't take her to France. Sincerely yours, Parvati Patil and Lavender Brown.
"Here's another one from one from one of those Weasleys!" exclaimed Mrs. Granger.
Dear Mr. And Mrs. Granger,
We, the undersigned, hear you are planning to take Hermione to France. We implore you not to, as Hermione is just so easy to play jokes on. Aside from which she may be our future sister in law and it would be a drag going all the way to France at Christmas to visit her. Also it would really upset our little brother, and then we'd be expected to comfort him. So you see, our reasons for not wanting Hermione to go to France are entirely unselfish, even though we do really like her, as she helps us with our homework.
Regards, Fred and George Weasley.
Mr and Mrs Granger exchanged a worried glance.
"They really don't want her to go," Mrs. Granger said thoughtfully. "I always assumed she was popular, but I didn't think that it would be this popular.
"Who is the Ron Weasley boy?" growled Mr. Granger. "He seems to be quite an influence."
"Oh dear," said Ms. Granger, picking up another letter. "This is from her teacher."
Dear Mr. And Mrs. Granger,
While we did speak earlier about Miss Hermione Granger's transference, it has come to my attention that a petition of sorts to keep Miss Granger at Hogwarts has sprung up, and I feel it is my duty to implore you to let her stay on at Hogwarts. Not only my duty as headmaster, but also as a person who has had the opportunity to know Miss Granger and appreciate her intelligence and extraordinary talent. Miss Granger has shown on many occasions, the qualities and personality traits of a Gryffindor and her bravery goes unmatched by any other girl in the school. Not only that, she is the cleverest witch of her age I have ever met and has come top of her year ever since she arrived at the school. I have no hesitation in saying that her leaving would cause great unrest among the Gryffindor students, and other students at Hogwarts. Not only that, it would break a certain young man's heart. It would be an honour to myself and the school if you would abstain to let her stay on at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
With fondest and hopeful regards,
The Grangers read through each and every letter, most of which were from Gryffindor students. They were all asking the same thing though: Let Hermione stay.
"This one is from someone called "Hagrid". Dear me. He seems to be almost illiterate."
"And here's another one from a Weasley child. Her name's Ginny…"
"A boy called Seamus wrote this one…goodness me, he REALLY wants her to stay!"
"Lots of these wizard people have odd names, don't you think? Here's one from a boy called Draco Malfoy."
Mr. Granger made a harumphing noise as he leaned back in his chair, putting down a letter he had just read from someone named Neville Longbottom. "Well, and here was me thinking she was going to be disappointed about the deal."
Mrs. Granger looked up, quickly. "What about the deal, darling?"
Mr. Granger shrugged his shoulders helplessly. "It fell through. I was just on the phone with Monsieur Chauntemps then. Seems he doesn't want to sell up after all. I was just about to tell you but then all those owls flew in."
The minute owl, still sitting on the light fixture, hotted shrilly, to remind them that he was there.
"Oh, dear me!" said Mrs. Granger. "So…what shall we do?"
"What else can we do? We'll just tell her that she can stay," said Mr. Granger grimly. He picked up a pen, a piece of paper, and began to write a letter to Hermione.
A few days later, back at Hogwarts, Pigwigeon came bearing a reply. Fred Weasley was just delicately placing the last exploding snap card on a house of cards when Pigwigeon swooped through the window, and straight into the tower.
"Argh!" said Fred, as the tower exploded, littering cards everywhere.
"It's Pigwigeon!" exclaimed George. Ron and Hermione, who had been sitting nearby talking, both jerked their heads up. Pigwigeon, hooting happily amidst so much mayhem, came to rest on Ron's head.
'He's got a letter tied to him!" Hermione cried, grabbing Pigwigeon and untying the letter as gently as she could. She unrolled it and scanned it eagerly. Ron watched her apprehensively.
"What does it say?" he said anxiously.
"I can't believe it!" Hermione gasped.
"What? What?' said Ron, feeling his heart sink. "They're still making you go?"
"No!" she cried, looking up at Ron joyfully, "the deal fell through! They're not moving to France after all! I'm staying!" She laughed happily and threw her arms around Ron's neck. They hugged each other joyfully. Fred and George grinned and slapped each other's palms. Harry sat back and breathed a sigh of relief. "Thank bloody god."
Ron buried his face in Hermione's hair, feeling more shaky from relief than he had ever felt from getting stung by the giant squid.
"What's going on?" yelled someone.
"Hermione's staying!" said Fred.
"She is? Did you her that?"
"What did you just say?"
"No, really? That's fantastic!"
"She's not leaving, she's not leaving!"
"Granger's staying, she's not going to France!"
"Are you serious?"
"Hermione's not leaving, everyone!"
The joyous shouts of the Gryffindors rang around the common room, but Ron and Hermione were completely oblivious to it. Ron couldn't remember feeling this happy since Gryffindor won the house cup in first year. She was staying. Not only that, she was staying with him. they would never needed to be apart again. Ron just wanted to hold Hermione in his arms forever, right then- and now, it seemed he could. Because she wasn't going.
Hermione looked up straight into Ron's eyes. "I couldn't have left you anyway," she said breathlessly.
"And I wouldn't have let you go." Ron answered, lifting her up and spinning her around. She grinned at him as the rest of the common room broke into a tumult of cheering and clapping.
Ron set her down again, smiling, but unable to take his eyes off hers. "Stay with me forever?"
"You couldn't stop me if you wanted to." Hermione said. She took his face in her hands and kissed him tenderly. The cheers of the Gryffindors reached new heights.
Ron's ears went pink, but he looked pleased all the same.
(Thank bloody god.)