The first time she said the words, it was merely annoying. He brushed it off as easily as her attempts to get him into a conversation outside of class. Then she said it again, persistent this time, as if squeezing his hand and saying it in that urgent whisper would inspire the urge in him to say it back with just as much forced passion. The third time, Ron was caught off guard. She'd been on his lap for an hour, promising a hell of lot more than they could get away with in the common room and he may have mumbled something back when she asked if he felt the same. He wasn't sure of anything at that point except that a head of bushy hair ducked down and came back up quickly, the face impassive. Her eyes were crinkled at the corners. She was laughing at them, at him.

Ron frowned. Before he could let Hermione's amusement get under his skin, Lavender distracted him again. It was just as well. He was done worrying about her.