Disclaimer: The characters portrayed in this story do not belong to me but the Harry Potter series, the great J.K. Rowling, and everyone else over there with the copyright and distribution laws. Don't sue me, please. ^^;
Author's Note: This is in their Fifth Year. I kinda mention it later but… just in case ^_~*
"Oi, Hermione! Did you hear?" Ron's voice called as he strolled into the common room with Harry at his side.
Hermione didn't look up from her Arithmancy chart, but answered with a patient "Hear about what?" acknowledging that she was listening.
"There's a ball coming up the first day of the holiday. Lavender Brown was gushing about it during lunch," Ron said, watching for Hermione's reaction.
Hermione looked up, looking at the two boys in front of her. She was almost expectant, "And?"
Ron flushed slightly, "And I'm thinking… " Hermione held her breath for him to finish. "I'm thinking about asking Parvati."
Hermione's face fell, and she turned back to her Arithmancy chart, feeling slightly disappointed. Of course. Of course he won't ask me.
"Oh," Hermione snapped.
Ron was slightly taken aback, but recovered, feeling slightly agitated at her response, or lack there of. "Is that all you can say? I mean, aren't you even going to offer to help?"
Hermione glared up at Ron for a second, trying to figure out why he was so blind, then gave up, shaking her head.
Ron stared at Hermione, almost in disbelief. He was about to say something but Harry pulled him aside. "Come on, Ron. It's not all that hard. I'll help you, if you like."
Ron sent a last glance at Hermione before turning to find a spot in the common room with Harry.
"To start off, what do you like about Parvati?" Harry asked, sitting on the carpet by the fireplace.
"Well, she's very pretty, " Ron turned slightly scarlet.
Hermione snorted from behind her pile of books, rolling her eyes.
"Not to mention she has a personality to match a peacock," she muttered.
Ron glared at Hermione, "I thought you weren't helping."
Hermione ignored him, turning to Harry, "So, who do you plan on taking to the ball, Harry?"
He felt his face grow warm at the thought of Cho Chang. Harry shrugged, feeling secretly glad that neither of them can read his mind at that moment.
Hermione caught Ron's glare, which she ignored again, returning back to her books. Ron shook his head, trying to keep his temper down.
"Come on, Harry," Ron stood up. "I think I'm going to go find Parvati now."
Harry glanced at Ron, then back at Hermione before standing up. "Alright, Ron. Let's go."
Hermione sighed as she stared at the two figures leaving the Gryffindor common room. Is it possible to be cursed with Murphy's Law? Well, in her case, it must be. It seems that every time she expects something, the opposite happens; like the past summer, for instance. She had visited Viktor, as she had promised him, over in Bulgaria. It was funny how things turned out for her. She was pretty sure she was ready to get serious with Viktor and have a relationship but… something completely unexpected came up. Her feelings changed towards him and someone else's image became clear in her mind, no, her heart. It was the freckled red-headed boy that was her friend for so long. The one that she fought with so constantly and at times that she hated so much that she actually grew to like him… a lot. Ron was special to her as more than a friend.
It was probably one of the hardest things to tell Viktor how she felt, but it was better to have told him then than later. Damn Murphy's Law to hell. Why couldn't things just work out with Viktor as she had planned? Feeling can't be helped, however. Hermione's fifth year came directly after the summer, of course, and she was pretty sure Ron didn't have any sort of fancy for her. Rotten luck, in any case.
Stupid Murphy… Hermione sighed, I'll be going to the ball alone this year, I suppose… Hermione thought glumly to herself.
After Herbology, in the Great Hall during dinner, Ron had timidly gone up to Parvati, who was chatting excitedly with Lavender about what she was going to wear to the ball. It turns out that Parvati had a certain fancy for Ron as well. When Ron (scarlet in the face and stuttering) had asked her, she said yes right away and tossed her arms around his neck, pulling him into a tight hug. Harry had looked longingly towards Cho for a few seconds but snapped out of it, fortunately before anyone had noticed he was staring. Hermione huffed at the display of affection and jabbed angrily at her roast beef.
Harry, who happened to notice Hermione's disgruntled demeanor, said to her, "Is everything alright, Hermione?"
Hermione's head snapped up, "Oh, just fine!" She stood up, stomping out of the Great Hall.
Many of the students, Fourth Year and above were staying behind at the school because of the occasion of the ball. Girls ran about, getting ready in the dormitory when Hermione strolled in. Lavender and Parvati squealed and giggled about their dates (Lavender was going with Seamus again). Hermione shook her head slightly, gathering together her dress robes of maroon. She headed towards the bathroom, shutting the dormitory room behind her with a sharp snap.
Two hours later, the time had come for the night to begin. Ron nervously checked his dark blue dress robes that Fred and George had bought him when they had gone to Diagon Alley to get their school supplies for the start of the new year, much to Ron's (but not to Harry's) surprise. His flaming red hair was slicked back and out of his eyes.
Harry rolled his eyes, "For heaven sake, you look fine."
Ron gave Harry a smile through the mirror, "I do hope so."
Harry shook his head. He had put some gel in his hair, spiking it, as it was impossible to keep his untidy hair down anyway. He straightened out his dress robes of black once and started down the stairs. He had managed (through his stammering and blushing) to ask Cho earlier that day. She smiled and said that she would love to go to the ball with him. Harry blushed, thinking about Cho in nice dress robes and her hair done up.
Parvati looked very pretty indeed, in her robes of baby pink and her hair cascading down her back in perfect curls. Ron beamed at her from the bottom of the main stairs as she climbed down to meet him.
"Hello, Ron," she said, giving him a smile.
"Hello, Parvati. You look great," Ron said. He held out his arm, "Shall we?"
Harry hurried past them, "See you, Ron." He was going ahead to meet Cho at the entrance of the Great Hall.
Harry had met Cho, in her robes of creamy white and her hair up and strung with pearls. He gave her a stunned grin.
"Cho, you look beautiful."
Cho gave him a modest smile, "Thank you. You look great yourself."
Harry held out his hand, "Care to join me, my lady."
"Why, of course, good sir," Cho said, laughing softly and taking his hand.
The Great Hall was decorated with the usual Christmas tree. The fairy lights twinkled like multi-colored stars in the bewitched ceiling. The tables were cleared out of the way and replaced with little circular tables with the center of the room clear. The walls were strung with holly and poinsettia flowers, bringing out the holiday spirit.
Hermione was already there, in her robes of dark scarlet. Her hair wasn't as elaborate and elegant as it was the year before, however. But it was let down and made into large curls that fell wistfully down her back (thanks to a quick charm that she had read in one of Lavender's beauty magazines that she found on the ground in the girl's dormitory). She caught a glimpse of Harry and Cho. She sent a smile their way, waving. Harry said something into Cho's ear and started his way towards Hermione. He smiled.
"Looking nice today, Hermione," he said, leaning against the wall next to her.
"Thank you, Harry. Not so bad yourself. See that you got your hands full, " she looked over in Cho's direction then gave him a wink.
Harry smiled, shrugging his shoulders, his face turning slightly pink. "So, you didn't come with anyone?"
Hermione, however, didn't hear his question. Her eyes were fixed on who just came in. It was Ron and Parvati, laughing together happily as they strolled into the Great Hall. Harry studied her face, noting the look that crossed it.
She snapped out of it, looking at Harry again, "Did you say something, Harry?"
Harry shook his head, "No. Listen, I'll catch you later. But try to have to some fun tonight. Dance with as many people as you can. You know what I'm trying to say, right, Hermione?"
Hermione studied Harry's face for a few seconds and nodded, "Alright, Harry."
Harry turned, making his way back to Cho, who was chatting with a couple of her friends.
Hermione tried to keep to Harry's advice, dancing with Dean Thomas, Neville Longbottom, and a couple of boys from Ravenclaw. However, her eyes kept wandering towards Ron and Parvati's forms, who would be dancing happily. The night wasn't so bad, except one encounter with Draco Malfoy while she was dancing with Neville.
"Well, if it isn't Mudblood Beaver-tooth Granger and Duffer Longbottom!" Draco sneered, his hair oiled back with more grease than usual (if that's even possible) and in his dark green robes. He was dancing with Pansy Parkinson, who was in her dark purple robes with her usually wavy blonde hair straight as a board. Crabbe and Goyle stood nearby, alone, like the brutes they ever were.
Hermione ignored the snide comment, inching her way away from the Slytherins, while at the same time trying to avoid getting her feet trampled by Neville.
"Don't mind what they say, Neville," Hermione muttered to him as soon as they were out of earshot.
Ginny had come to the ball with Colin Creevey. She had swayed her way over to Hermione with him while Hermione was dancing with a Ravenclaw boy named Terry Boot. She beamed at Hermione. She looked very nice in her pale blue robes that were made of a wispy sort of material (which had once belonged to Mrs. Weasley) and her hair twisted in a nice up-do. Colin smiled politely at Hermione; they were only acquaintances through Harry (him being the fan and Hermione being the friend). The girls chatted for a little while, grabbing a seat to sit down in, while Colin had gone to get Ginny some punch.
"So, having a good time, Ginny?" Hermione said, smoothing out a wrinkle in her robes.
Ginny nodded, smiling, "Yes, indeed. Colin is very nice. How about you, Hermione? Enjoying yourself?"
Hermione smiled looking down at her hands, "I suppose so," Hermione said vaguely, looking back into the crowd, catching glimpse of Ron and Parvati again.
Curiously, Ginny followed Hermione's gaze. She nodded slightly in understanding. "My brother is a dolt."
Hermione looked at Ginny, her eyebrow raised, "What?"
Ginny shook her head. Colin had come back with their punch. She stood up before finishing, looking back towards Hermione, "Don't let that ol' prat get you down. Cheer up, 'Mione."
She waved goodbye before following Colin back into the dancing crowd. Hermione sighed, deciding after a bit to go back out on the dance floor.
The last song was a slow song. Hermione had decided she needed fresh air and made her way out to the garden. Couples were hiding in the bushes and in shadowed corners, one she recognized as Fred Weasley and Angelina Johnson. She adverted her gaze, finding an empty bench by a beautifully chiseled ice sculpture of an angel with her wings spread out and her hair blowing in the wind. She gazed wistfully at it for a moment, losing herself in thought.
Hermione felt the presence of a person sit silently next to her on the bench. She turned her head to see who it was. Surprised, she let out a soft gasp.
Ron smiled at her, "Hey."
"What are you doing out here? You're missing the last dance."
Ron shrugged, "Needed some air."
Hermione looked down at her lap, "What about Parvati? You two seem to really be hitting it off."
Ron looked up at the sky thoughtfully, "Yeah, she's really nice and pretty."
Hermione felt disappointment rise in her throat, "Yeah…"
"But, that's all. She's nice and pretty," Ron said, gazing at Hermione's profile, "she's not really the one I like anyway."
Hermione looked up, turning to meet eyes with Ron, "She's not?" It's probably someone like Lavender, or something…
Ron gave her a smile, "No. You're the one I like, Hermione."
Hermione was speechless. A tiny gasp was emitted from her lips, her eyes wide in surprise. Ron took her hands in his, still gazing deep in her eyes. He leaned in slowly, closing his eyes. Hermione shut her own as she felt his soft lips press against hers.
However long the kiss was, it still felt short to Hermione as they pulled away, gazing into each other's eyes again. Hermione broke into a smile.
Heh ^^; this is my "debut" at fanfiction.net! I do hope you like this story =)
And to my pre-readers! Lumiosoleth, Serendipity, Bejamina, Alieas, Morgana, April, Phoebe, and Naomi! Thanks, guys. ^_~*
-Lemkotiasa ^^ (review?)