Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or Cinderella
Ginny sat down next to me, I moved slightly pulling the book I was reading closer in an attempt to avoid conversation but she didn't get the hint.
"So who are you going to take to Slughorn's party now?"
I glared at her "I'm not going to Slughorn's party."
"Oh yes you are, you're going to get dressed up look stunningly gorgeous, show my idiot brother exactly what he's missing and then spend all night snogging some other guy, just to make a point."
I sighed and put the book down "What good will that do Gin?"
Ginny shrugged "It's called revenge it's not meant for good, it's meant to show Ron he wasted his chance and you're over him and moving on."
"But I'm not over him, or moving on. So what's the point?"
Ginny gave an exasperated sigh I knew she was getting annoyed "Look two years ago you gave me some excellent advice, move on, get on with your life and show Harry the real you. Well that's been working quite well so thank you, it's now my turn to repay the favour."
"It doesn't need repaying!" I was slightly panicked now at just how much Ginny may have interfered with this stupid party.
"Fine, plan B then, me an Dean are obviously going together, so how about you add Seamus as your plus one and we can all go together."
I groaned louder, but Ginny again failed to pick up the hint.
"Look I'm not taking no for an answer, you are going to this party one way or another."
She stood leaving me to ponder which was the lesser of two evils.
"Stop squirming." Ginny yelled in my ear as she once more tried to tame my hair into some elegant style.
"I can't believe you talked me into this." I stared at my reflection a look of amazement passed my face. "Merlin Gin you're a miracle worker."
My usual mess of hair was scrapped back with a few wispy tendrils hanging round my face, the make up she'd put on was subtle but just enough to emphasise my eyes.
Ginny grinned "Well it's like those muggle fairytales every girl has a fairy Godmother to transform them into a princess."
I grinned back "Usually the princess actually wants to go to the ball though!"
Ginny pouted "Details, details."
As we headed down to the common room I felt my stomach flip, what would Ron think if he saw me? Part of me, the part that wanted to hex him to oblivion ever time I saw him snogging Lavender, hoped he'd be struck dumb with jealousy and regret and resentful that I was so amazingly strong and I didn't need him or care who he was with, the slightly more rational side however, realised the danger of looking this good and going to a party with one of his room mates, it just may be the final nail in the coffin, as it were.
"Wow you look great." I grinned at Dean's reaction to Ginny, it was obvious the guy was smitten.
I smiled nervously at Seamus who grinned back "You look great, thanks for inviting me."
I let out a quick sigh of relief, he wasn't totally devastated to be going with the school brain. "Thanks shall we go?"
Seamus nodded and he and Dean led the way out of the common room I refused to look at Ron but Ginny grinned at me as we went through the portrait hole, I took this as a sign that he had noticed me and grinned back. The worst part was over, now I could just relax and try to enjoy myself.
When we arrived at Slughorn's office, we grabbed some drinks and chatted for a while before Dean dragged Ginny off for a dance. An awkward silence fell between me and Seamus, this is ridiculous I've known him for years, sure were not close, but I'd count him as a friend, so why is this so hard.
Fortunately Slughorn chose that moment to intervene.
"Well Miss Granger looking lovely as usual, and who might this be?"
"Oh this is Seamus Finnegan a friend of mine from Gryffindor." Why am I introducing him like Bridget Jones?
'This is Seamus Finnegan, a friend of mine, he's half blood and good at Astronomy, Seamus this is Professor Slughorn a fat pompous git who likes to collect trophies.'
I don't think so.
Luckily Slughorn is rambling about some famous person he once knew, I quickly excuse us and drag Seamus towards a table holding food "Sorry but once he gets going we'll be stuck there all night."
Seamus grinned "Don't apologise, I'm glad you got us out of there, just didn't think I'd see the day Hermione Granger disses a teacher."
I felt myself go red and quickly mumbled "There's more to me than just school you know."
Seamus looked mortified "Oh God I know…I mean, I didn't mean… you know what I mean?"
I burst out laughing "I know exactly what you mean!" I managed to say with a thick slice of sarcasm.
His face relaxed "Knew you'd understand, after all you are the brainy one!" the grin on his face told me he was joking, I just shook my head still giggling.
Ginny chose that moment to reappear "Dean's gone to get some more drinks you two alright?"
"Yeah I'm having a great time." Seamus smiled.
"Yeah? Having a great time insulting me?!" I threw back with a grin.
"Well if you can't take a joke it's not my fault."
I laughed, then noticed the look on Ginny's face, she was smiling like the cat who'd got the cream. I gave her a questioning look but before I could interrogate her further Dean appeared.
"Guess who Harry just showed up with."
"Who?" me and Ginny asked simultaneously.
"That Luna Lovegood."
"No way." Seamus swung his head round trying to spot them, me and Ginny just smiled at each other, Harry could be so cute sometimes.
We continued chatting for a few more minutes before Ginny loudly declared "I need to use the bathroom." before grabbing my arm and dragging me with her.
"Gin I'm sure you can cope with going to the toilet on your own now, you're a big girl." I protested but to no avail.
"Hermione honestly, needing the bathroom is girl talk, it means I need to talk to you away from the boys."
"Right, you may need to lend me the 'girl talk' dictionary because I'm not that fluent." I grinned.
"Ha Ha." She pulled me into the girls toilets and quickly checked we were alone "So what's going on with you and Seamus?"
"Erm, we were talking, you know, like this only obviously we weren't hiding in the ladies!"
"Don't give me that you two have been flirting all night."
I think someone's been spiking Ginny's butter beer.
"Look we've just been having a laugh, I mean that was the point of me inviting him wasn't it so I could have a good time?"
Ginny rolled her eyes "You know what I give up with you sometimes. I'll believe you when you say you weren't flirting but answer me something else, when was he last time you thought of Ron?"
I gaped for a second before smiling slightly "I don't know just after we left the common room."
"And that my friend was a good two hours ago." Ginny smiled triumphantly but I couldn't help thinking I'd missed the point completely.
We returned to the party and I headed over to have a quick chat with Harry and Luna, thinking it would be rude to ignore them all night.
"Hey you two having a good time?"
"Oh yes thank you I'm having a wonderful time I'm so glad Harry invited me, we were discussing the Rotfang conspiracy."
"Really that sounds interesting." I rolled my eyes at Harry who grinned back.
"So." Harry glanced at me as Luna engaged Professor Trelawney in conversation "Seamus huh, didn't see that coming."
I rolled my eyes again "It was Ginny's idea I wasn't going to come at all."
"Okay, but just to be clear it's just as friends right?"
"Of course, what do you think?"
Harry shrugged "You might want to make sure Ron knows."
I felt myself get angry, why am I suddenly the bad guy, it was Ron that ran off with Lavender and insists on sucking her face whenever I'm in the room.
"I'm just trying to have fun with my friends or is that not allowed, do I have to sit crying in my room just so Ron can realise how much he hurt me? He was the one who chose Lavender, who treated me like crap for no reason so if you think for one second I'm going to compromise my life just so he feels better about that you're very wrong."
I stormed away totally pissed I knew Harry wouldn't fully understand but I expected a little support.
"Hey what happened?" Ginny grabbed my arm pulling me over to the boys.
"Gin not now I just need…" I could feel tears welling and just wanted to go to bed and cry.
"Are you alright Hermione?" Seamus sounded so concerned I couldn't hold it in, tears began to silently run down my face luckily I didn't break down completely.
"Come on lets head back."
I shook my head at Ginny "No point in me ruining your night as well, stay have fun I'll be able to get back to the common room."
"Are you sure?" Ginny's concern was touching but I really just wanted to be alone.
I smiled weakly "I've been at this school for six years I think I can find my way."
Ginny still looked unsure but Seamus stepped in.
"I may as well head back with you, I mean my dates bailing so there's no point in staying."
He smiled at me and I rolled my eyes. Ginny agreed to the compromise so we left her and Dean and made our way towards the common room.
"Sorry your date bailed." I said quietly.
He smiled at me "It's alright, that party wasn't any fun without her anyway."
That made me smile and roll my eyes.
"I'm sure it would have been."
"Sure watching Dean making goo goo eyes at Ginny all night."
I conceded that wasn't my idea of a good time either.
We chatted about everything and nothing whilst we walked and by the time we arrived at the fat lady I was a lot calmer.
"Thank you." I shuffled uncomfortably as we both just stood there.
"I know it may seem like a stupid question but did you have a good time?"
I thought about that for a minute and sighed I had to be honest. "Yes I did have a good time I'm glad Ginny talked, well bullied, me into it, but at the end of the day it doesn't change anything. When I walk back into the common room the nights over, things will still be the same Ron will still be with Lavender and I'll still be heart broken. The pumpkin was always just a pumpkin."
He raised an eyebrow at the last comment "You might get your happy ending Cinderella."
I smiled. "Thanks for coming with me tonight. I'm sorry if you didn't have a good time."
Seamus shook his head "I never said I didn't have a good time, surprisingly I actually enjoyed myself."
He sighed sadly to himself as he looked at me.
"For what it's worth I think Ron's an idiot."
I looked up in surprise. As he turned to the portrait.
The portrait swung open and he turned back to me "Goodnight Hermione." he bent down and gave me a kiss on the cheek before heading into the common room.
I stood there like an idiot for about five minutes.
"It's fine dear I'll just stay open all night." the annoyed voice of the fat lady brought me back to reality.
I smiled slightly and headed back in. Ron was sitting by the fire alone Lavender having obviously gone to bed. He looked up as I came into view and his eyes narrowed slightly.
My heart sank when I saw him, breaking into a million pieces again.
"Have fun." his voice was spiteful.
I smiled slightly, honesty was still the best policy.
"Yes thank you."
"Your back early."
I glanced at the clock, it was nearly midnight. My smile widened. "Didn't want to risk losing a glass slipper."
I turned and headed to the dormitory, leaving a very confused Ron behind.