A/N: This story will not span any longer than five to seven chapters.

This story is a response to the Declining a Date Challenge on the HPFC.

Disclaimer: Harry Potter belongs to JKR.

Pairing: Harry/Hermione

Summary: Ginny, insistent on Hermione getting together with Harry, strikes a deal with the bright witch. Now, Hermione can reject Harry for only four times. The saying third time's the charm never did apply to Harry, but what about the fifth?

"Ginny, I really insist on not going out with my best friend, who also happens to be your ex-boyfriend." Hermione said with an exasperated sigh as she took out the newly dried laundry from the drier. She could hear Ginny's foot taping the cement as she stood by the door.

"Who cares that he's my ex?" The redhead asks with some incredulity. "We agreed to split." She says, taking the now filled laundry basket from Hermione and taking it to her room to be ironed.

Hermione, who was following the redhead, rolled her eyes. She's heard it a million times. Not just from Ginny, but from everybody else in the Wizarding World.

"But that doesn't change the fact that I see him like a brother." The brunette said, opening Ginny's door for her.

The redhead gives Hermione a gratitude-filled smile before going in. She places the laundry basket beside a small closet before opening said closet and pulling out the ironing stand. She sets it up and takes the first piece of garment. She lays it flat and begins ironing.

Hermione, after closing the door, sat on Ginny's bed to fold each garment Ginny finished.

"I don't get it, you know," mumbled Ginny, earning Hermione's attention. She handed Hermione a pair of jeans and turned back to her task as she spoke. "Every Witch and Wizard thought Harry and I would end up married, while you and Ron would end up together as well…You know…" She trailed off.

"One big Weasley family," Hermione whispered with a small smile. "You have to admit though," said Hermione, placing the jeans on a hanger. "They were pretty imaginative." She stood to hang the jeans on the small clothes rack, since the said garments were hers, and she didn't want to go out and place it in her room only to come back in.

"I know," said Ginny, handing Hermione the next garment. "They even planned out when, where and who was to be invited to the supposedly, 'Biggest, Grandest, Most Joyous Wedding of the Year'." She quoted the Prophet's exact words. Of course, the writer of the article was none other than Rita Skeeter, The Golden Trio's most loved reporter. Take note of the sarcasm used.

Hermione laughed, "Don't forget their poll on what we'd name our children!"

"True, true," said Ginny with a chuckle. As their laughter died down, Ginny regained her seriousness. "There's another thing I don't understand, though…"

"What is it?" Hermione asked halfheartedly. She knew what was coming. It's probably about how she and Harry aren't dating.

"Why the two of my very best friends aren't dating," responded Ginny calmly. "I mean, come on! You're the Brightest Witch of the Generation and he's The Boy Who Lived to Kill You Know Who!" Hermione rolled her eyes. "Add to that that you're both aurors, and that you've gotten a few months of healer training and…" Ginny trailed off. "You'll be great together!" Hermione snorted in the most un-lady-like way.

"Why?" The brunette asked, placing a newly folded shirt on top of another, effectively grouping them together. "So that I can research the Death Eaters for him and he'll be the one out there, capturing them?" Ginny grinned.

"Not really," replied the younger lady with freckles. "I was kind of thinking along the lines of you two together on a mission and when there's too many research to be done and you're up late in the library working your ass off, he'd go up to you, maybe bring you a cup of tea and then have a midnight snog with you."

"Yuck," replied a now disgusted Hermione. "I know for a fact that Harry sees me as a sister, like I see him as a brother." She noted in her matter-of-fact voice.

"That's where you're wrong, Hermione." Ginny said, shaking her head. "I'm the one he sees as a sister. What, with my red hair, he was bound to think I looked too much like his mum for him to even consider marrying me." She hands Hermione the last piece of garment. "But you," she remarks. "You're smart like his mum, but fun and beautiful in your own way as well. You're also his best and closest friend. Add to that the fact that he came clean to me about his feelings for you and…" She paused. "Oops."

Ginny stares at Hermione, hoping to Merlin Hermione didn't hear her. Luckily enough, Hermione was indeed paying her no attention, and from the looks of it, she's been doing so for a while now.

"Hermione," she called out. No response. "Hermione," none again, "Herms," That got Hermione's attention.

"Don't call me that!" The older of the two scolded.

"I wouldn't have to if you weren't in dreamland." Ginny retorted, before adding as an afterthought, "What were you thinking about?"

"Work," Hermione replied in a dazed tone. Ginny raised a brow to her friend's sudden change of mood.

Could Hermione possibly like one of her coworkers? Ginny thought, If so, then who?

"Work," Ginny drawled. "It's your freaking day off and all you think about is work." Hermione's brows furrowed as she looked at the redhead. "That's it, Hermione!" Ginny groaned. "You're going out with Potter whether you like it or not!"

"Why does it have to be Harry?" Hermione whined. Ginny groaned.

"Do you have anyone else in mind?" Ginny shot back. Hermione opened her mouth to retort, but Ginny cut her off, "That knows you well enough to handle your temper, to know your tastes, to not get mad when you have your know-it-all moments, to see the real you through your tough, independent façade, to…" Ginny trailed off, stopping herself from saying, to love you enough to reasonably talk his ex-girlfriend out of a relationship.

"Very well…" Hermione relented, albeit reluctantly. Her eyes slid out of focus, as she was deep in thought. She blinked and then grinned, "But what if I had… valid reasons as to why I wouldn't want to go out with him?"

"How about if you had valid reasons to not going out with at that moment," Ginny said, sensing the wheels turning in her friend's mind, "Four moments to be exact."

"What?" Hermione asked, clearly dumbfounded. Ginny smirked.

"I know what you're thinking, Hermione." She says it with an accusing tone that Hermione can't help but scoff. "You were planning on burying yourself with work, so that you'd be too busy to even think about dating." Hermione sighed in defeat.

"Fine," She huffed. "I get four instants to reject him, right?" She asks the younger girl with a pout.

"And they should be legitimate." Ginny added with a look so stern it rivaled their former Transfiguration Professor's.

"Yes, suitable," said Hermione, using a synonym in place of the word that had suddenly become their vocabulary for the day.

"So it's a deal?" Ginny asked, holding out her hand for Hermione to shake. Hermione nodded and shook it.


"Stop that, Hermione," Ginny said suddenly pulling her hand away, making Hermione blink in surprise and turn to the redhead.

"Stop what?" Hermione asked in perplexity.

"You've got that thinking look," said Ginny with mock fright. "And the thinking look has always been scary to everyone, except Harry."

Hermione just rolled her eyes.

A/N: Haven't placed one in yet, next chapter has one though.

Reviews are highly appreciated.

Criticism is apprecated too.