"Going to bed so early, Ron?" Harry asked, surprised, as he looked up from the first homework he'd had to do in months.

Ron glanced quickly at Hermione, who was absorbed in her Defense Against the Dark Arts homework. Whether she really was absorbed or was pretending to avoid awkwardness, he didn't know. Ron put on a fake yawn. "Yeah I'm real tired. I'll do DADA on Saturday."

"We were going to visit Hagrid Saturday," Harry reminded him.

"Yeah, well, why don't you two go without me?" Ron said. He was getting fidgety, wanting to be able to escape to his bed.

"But it's *Hagrid*," Harry said in disbelief.

"And I'm *tired*," Ron insisted. With that he turned to go up the stairs before Harry had another chance to protest.

The minute he was gone Hermione looked up at Harry who was staring at the staircase, confused. He noticed Hermione staring at him. "Do you know what's up with Ron?"

"Nope," Hermione answered briskly. She gave Harry a big smile and went back to her homework. Ron had been avoiding them for a week now, ever since they started their seventh year. Actually, Ron had been avoiding her. Harry didn't know it was only her, and she felt a little sympathetic -- he obviously thought it was his fault Ron was acting aloof. But there was no way Hermione would tell him the real reason.

"Did I say something again?" Harry wondered aloud. "I mean, maybe it was those first years. He always gets jealous and he knows I don't like all of that fame!"

"Harry," Hermione interrupted, looking up and giving him a look. "It's not you. Or your fame."

"So you know what it is?"

"I didn't say that," Hermione said awkwardly.


"You know, I think I'll head off to bed too." She yawned an obviously fake yawn. "Tired. Long day. 'Night, Harry."

"Good night," Harry called as she practically ran up the stairs.

Ginny came up and filled in the spot where Hermione had been sitting. "They took off in a hurry."

"I know," Harry said absently. "Did I do something wrong? Maybe they're both mad at me. Can you remember something I did?"

Ginny looked deep in thought before shaking her head slowly. "I don't think so. But you know how you three are."

Harry looked at her blankly.

"I mean, you're always not speaking to one of you. At least once a year you can go for weeks not talking to one or the other, or they won't be talking to each other, and then you make up and everything's fine and dandy again. I wouldn't worry much."

"But usually I know what I did to make them mad. This time I don't," Harry said, exasperated.

"PMS?" Ginny suggested.

Harry abruptly stood. "I think I'll head off to bed too, see if I can get something out of Ron."

Ginny laughed out loud and pulled his arm so he sat back down again. "I was only joking. Stay and do your homework so at least one of you gets to see Hagrid on Saturday."

"How did you--"

"Harry, it's a small room for the number of people in it. Inevitably, I overheard your conversation," Ginny said. "Especially easy since I was sitting so close."

"Oh," said Harry, unable to think of anything more intelligent.

* * * * *

The next morning the three were sitting at their house tables, eating the usual delicious breakfast. The only difference was that nobody was talking except Ginny, who was chattering, about a dream she'd had the night before.

Harry, finally overcome with the awkwardness his friends were putting on him for no reason, or at least no reason that they informed him of, he interrupted Ginny. "Look, I know this isn't out of the ordinary, but usually you two tell me what you're fighting about."

"We're not fighting," Hermione mumbled, eyes downcast and cheeks a faint crimson.

"Yeah," Ron agreed in the same position.

"Well then what's wrong?" Harry asked, losing his patience.

"Really, Harry, I don't believe it's any of your business," Hermione said in a firm way that meant he shouldn't bring it up again.

Harry tried to catch Ron's eye, to get sympathy from him, but Ron seemed to agree with Hermione and simply stared at his plate as he began to eat faster. Obviously he couldn't wait to get out of the Great Hall.

Harry stared between the two, dumbfounded. "We've told each other everything for practically six years now, and now all of a sudden we stop? I at least want an explanation. I'm asking nicely."

But Harry didn't get an answer from either of them. Now angry himself, he simply stood up and left, heading for the common room.


Harry turned around, hoping maybe it was Hermione, coming to make peace, but instead Ginny was running after him. "What?"

"I was thinking . . . you're upset?"

Harry gave her a look that plainly said 'duh'.

"Well, you could put together a truth potion. They aren't hard to make and you could slip some in their butterbeer next time we go to Hogsmeade or something."

Harry wondered why he hadn't thought of that. "But . . . I mean, won't they be even madder at me if I invade their privacy?"

"You could do a memory charm?" Ginny suggested, grinning to show she was kidding. "If it's important enough to do the truth potion then I'll help you. If it's not, then I understand. I know how those two can get."

"I'll think about it," Harry finally decided. They began towards the common room, Harry trying to think whether something had happened that he'd skipped over. "Ginny, do you think something happened when we were in London? Ron and Hermione were both there for a couple of days before I came."

"I don't know. If that's when it happened then it's been about a month now, hasn't it? They should be talking again soon."

* * * * *

But talk, they did not. In fact, if possible, they became even more distant to each other. Before they had talked a little for Harry's sake, and Ron still seemed okay with this, but Hermione was now avoiding everybody, not just her best friends.

Ginny was getting a little annoyed, but she realized something was clearly wrong when she had no other choice but to go into Moaning Myrtle's bathroom. She took a huge sigh and then pushed the door to go in.

There was the usual sobbing, but it seemed double as loud as usual. Ginny realized in a second that there were two people crying. "Myrtle?" she whispered. A grunt was her response. "Hermione?"

There was a sniffle and then Hermione, caught, came out of the stall. "Hello, Ginny." She tried to smile but ended up frowning and more tears spilt down her cheeks.

Ginny gathered Hermione in a hug. "What's wrong? You can tell me, I won't spill to Harry or Ron or anybody else and I can be sympathetic too."

"I'd rather not," Hermione said. But the look on her face told Ginny the exact opposite.

"Come on, let's get you cleaned up. In a different bathroom, of course. Then we'll go get some butterbeer from the kitchen and find an empty classroom and have a nice long chat, sound okay?"

Hermione nodded, not even caring that she didn't like going down to the kitchen and seeing the house elves working for nothing but the pride and image they wanted to keep.

Within ten minutes Ginny and Hermione had found a room with some old dusty couches and settled down with their drinks and a few snacks the elves had insisted they take along.

"Do you want to start?" Ginny asked gently.

Hermione shook her head. "Not really. But I suppose I should. It will all come out eventually anyways. Soon, unfortunately." Hermione sighed, pausing for a moment as she took a sip of her drink. This seemed to make her feel better and she began. "Ginny, this is most uncomfortable talking about with you, so can we just pretend you're my friend and not Ron's little sister for the time being?"

Ginny nodded, confused, but agreeing to anything to let Hermione get her chip off her shoulder.

"In London . . . that week we were spending so we could shop at Diagon Ally . . . well, as you know Harry didn't come till the middle of the week. During that time . . ." Hermione looked as though it was difficult to say "This is so embarrassing, but Ron and I . . . had relations during that time."

Ginny's eyes went wide and her face scarlet. Nothing had prepared her for this. She had expected it a silly little fight between them that seemed much worse to them. "Oh, Hermione," she breathed. "You aren't angry at one another -- just embarrassed!"

"Exactly," Hermione said. "It was okay afterwards, but lately it's been getting worse because . . . well, that wasn't all of it, Ginny."

Ginny couldn't even begin to guess what could add on top of what Hermione had just confessed.

"The reason I was crying in the bathroom . . . Well, you know how very organized I am and I keep track of everything . . . Ginny, I'm three weeks overdue for my . . . monthly visits."

"You mean you're pregnant?" Ginny asked, her voice unbelieving and shocked.

Hermione nodded meekly. "Oh, Ginny, please don't tell anyone! I simply don't know what I'm going to do. My reputation will go down, I'll have to face the shame of going to classes with a big bump for a belly that I'm sure people won't believe is just holiday over eating. And I do like your mother so much -- what will she say? What will my own parents say? They'll disown me sure! And my future . . . I won't be able to complete this year, ever. I'm thinking of just leaving now so Ron will never know and--"

"Oh, don't do that," Ginny interrupted. "Hermione, you make the top marks in the history of Hogwarts, you can't possibly not finish school here. I'm sure the professors will think of something you can work out. Or--maybe there's a spell to make people think you aren't pregnant! And then you won't have to tell anybody."

"I don't think so, Ginny," Hermione said sadly. There was a long silence before Hermione finally said: "I guess I am a bit mad at Ron. He's equally as responsible as I am and he gets to stay in school."

"You don't have to just leave," Ginny said. "Besides, your robe will cover you for a couple of months if you simply get ones big enough, and we won't even have to worry for around another three months before you actually start to show at all. Is that right? Maybe we should get books out on pregnant women."

"I doubt I'll find a copy of What to Expect When You're Expecting here," Hermione said.


"Never mind, it's just a famous Muggle book," Hermione said.

"What are you two doing here?" a low, evil voice asked from the doorway.

Hermione and Ginny turned to see Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle coming into the classroom. The two girls jumped up and Hermione quickly cleaned up their mess with a spell.

"You know, Granger, I noticed you and the Potter and Weasley had another fight. I'm sure if you stopped hanging around them and instead around people more -- sophisticated, you wouldn't have that problem," Malfoy said silkily.

Hermione simply ignored them as she and Ginny left the room, pushing the guys out of her way with another spell. Ever since sixth year when she had come back after a summer spent growing a womanly figure, Malfoy had begun to give her comments like that. Of course, he only said them when she was alone and without Ron or Harry, for he knew one of them would surely hurt him -- sans wand and even with Crabbe and Goyle protecting him.

Ginny and Hermione came into the common room, and Ginny added one more thing. "Hermione, you at least have to tell Ron, that's your responsibility."

"I know," Hermione said in a defeated voice as they sat down automatically around Harry and Ron.

"You know what?" Harry asked.

"Everything?" Ron suggested out of habit.

Hermione felt a little easier with Ron after his quip -- which he hadn't been doing since London -- so she simply smiled and shrugged at Harry.

"Ginny, can I talk to you in private for a moment?" Harry asked Ginny, motioning towards the way out of the common room. Ginny nodded and followed Harry out of the portrait.

"What is it?" she asked. She was nervous with a secret she had to keep from Harry -- especially with one as huge as she knew.

"Look, I'm tired of the way their acting," Harry said. "And I've battled with my conscience, and I've decided that I think the best thing to do is to use to truth potion. Maybe you can distract them tomorrow at dinner and I'll slip it in their drinks. I can whip it up fast tomorrow instead of eating lunch."

"Oh, Harry," Ginny said uncomfortably. "I really don't think that the truth potion is such a good idea anymore."

Harry's eyes narrowed as he scrutinized her. "Ginny, why is nobody telling me anything?" he said finally, exasperated and throwing his hands in the air. He went back through the portrait of the Fat Lady before Ginny could stutter an answer.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Author's Note: This is rewritten and better than ever! *cheers are heard from crowd* No, it's just corrected. Nothing else changed. Actually, above, when I had Malfoy being a git, I was planning on having some point where Malfoy went too far and Ron beat him up -- just to show how sweet Ron was and how much he loved Hermione: ) Then it got sidetracked and I forgot completely about that. I do that alot - - there will be subplots I'm planning on going through, but then I forget about them.