Everything We Didn't Learn in Chemistry
A HariPo oneshot
Note: The Harry Potter characters belong to J.K. Rowling, not me. This was a graduation present written for a very dear friend. :3 Read, review, and enjoy!
~~And you, Miss Akeiba, shall be immortalized forever in this story. In two years, a friendship flourished and science—not Chem or Physics—will never explain how it happened…or how we managed to get those As in Chem when most of our labs wouldn't work, *lol*. You will be sorely missed, but email and the phone still exist, so just because you graduated doesn't mean you'll never hear from me or the others again. I'm very proud of you. You're a smart girl and you will do so well in the world that people will have their socks knocked off! As Mr. P said, "You bet your bippy!" XD~~ Congrats, grad of 2010. ;)
"Sometimes it's a form of love just to talk to somebody that you have nothing in common with and still be fascinated by their presence." —David Byrne
It was the time of the Yule Ball.
Despite the excitement of the Triwizard Tournament going on at Hogwarts, all any of the Hogwarts, Beauxbatons, and Durmstrang students could talk about was the upcoming December dance. Usually, such fraternizing wasn't allowed. In fact, it was very uncommon at Hogwarts, but the tournament had brought an air of delightful companionship. Naturally, a ball was the epitome of such companionship.
Harry Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived, sat uncomfortably with his best friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. Hermione was in a fine and dandy mood, which only further highlighted Harry and Ron's abysmal ones.
"I still can't believe you're going to the dance with bloody Viktor Krum," Ron hissed at the genius witch.
For the umpteenth time, Hermione rolled her eyes and sighed. "Oh, come off it, Ron. I thought you were his biggest fan? Before he asked me, all you did was ask me for his autograph since he kind of became my friend."
"Doesn't mean you had to agree to go with him, just because you're friends."
"She's right. Just drop it, Ron," Harry said as he pushed his food around on his plate. "Lunch is nearly over for today and the dance is only three days away. You and I still need dates."
"You could try the Patil twins," Hermione suggested.
Harry shook his head. "Can't. Two Durmstrang boys already asked them."
"Well, who else is left?"
"Not really anyone," he answered. He looked up and down their table. "Well, Ron could ask Lavender…"
"Aw, hell no!" Ron stated. "There's no way in a million years that I'd ever do anything with her!"
Hermione pursed her lips. "Well… There's Akeiba. She has another Gryffindor friend, if you don't want to dance with her Slytherin friend."
"Akeiba who?" Ron asked, brow furrowed.
She hit him with her text. "Ron! Really! She's in our year and in our House! How can you be so thick as to not know who she is?!"
"Um, who is she?"
"Oh, Harry, not you, too…" Hermione sighed exasperatedly and pointed to a group of three girls at the end of the Gryffindor table near the door. "I mean Akeiba Johnson, Sae 'Grace' Young, and Kira Walker."
Harry and Ron followed Hermione's thumb and looked at the trio. There sat a black girl with light coffee skin and soft, dark brown hair and matching eyes. Beside her was an Asian girl with the same Gryffindor robes. She had brown–black hair and black eyes and a loud laugh. The Slytherin girl had sepia hair and jade green eyes and skin so pale they could've sworn she was a ghost, but she wasn't. She just happened to be damn near lighter than her white napkin.
"Wait… Johnson?" Harry asked, turning back to Hermione while Ron still watched the girls. "Is she related to Angelina?"
Hermione nodded. "Yes, she's Angelina's younger half-sister. That's why she's so much lighter than Angelina…er, not that there's anything wrong with that," she added, afraid of being misunderstood.
"And she hasn't been asked yet?" Ron asked, incredulous and still staring. "Bloody hell, if I could go to the dance with someone like her…"
"Ron, you should go to the dance with someone because you want to, not so they make you look good."
"And what about Viktor?"
"Two owls, one spell," the witch quipped nonchalantly, returning to her book.
"Well," Harry started, "I say we steer clear of Walker. No Slytherins, mate."
"Then I think I'll ask Akeiba," Ron said, something curious in his blue eyes. "I really can't believe I didn't know she was in our class…"
Hermione scoffed. "Boys."
After lunch, Akeiba grabbed her rucksack and left the Great Hall with her friends in tow.
"Oh, darn it," Akeiba grumbled. "We have that test today in History of Magic."
Grace groaned and cursed in Korean. "Did you have to remind me? I didn't study at all last night! I don't even remember it being said that we had a test!"
"Just goes to show that you need to stop chatting during class," Kira reminded her two friends with raised eyebrows and a mischievous smile. "Well, I'll leave you two to fret about that. I have to get to Potions so I can blow something up."
"Oh, shut up," Grace said teasingly. "You're like another Granger. You can't blow anything up."
"Ugh! I'm not a Hermione Granger!"
"Well…," Akeiba said with a smile, "you might be worse than her… You do study a bit much…"
Kira shot them a venomous look and then sweetly smiled. "Right… Have fun flunking your test, girls! Ciao!"
"Hey!" the other two yelled in unison. Akeiba and Grace watched Kira stroll down the hall before turning to each other.
"We are so screwed," Grace complained as they made their way to Binns' room. As usual, the ghostly professor was at the front of the room, talking as if no one had ever left his class to go to their next period.
Akeiba frowned as she and Grace grabbed two seats behind two fellow Gryffindor boys. The black girl—well, she was really part Jamaican, part British, part Greek, and a bunch of other exotically pretty things that made her friends jealous—sat down and fished out her quill and ink. However, her ink bottle was empty. She turned to Grace. "G, do you have any extra ink? I'm all out."
Grace shook her head. "No, I've got just enough with me to churn out one of Binns' long-winded essay answers. Sorry, girl."
"I have some extra."
Akeiba looked up and saw the redheaded boy in front of her turn around and place a little bottle on her desk. She blinked when she realized that it had come from Ron Weasley. Her mouth popped open, forming a perfect "O."
"'S no problem," Ron said with a lopsided smile.
"U-Uh, thank you…" Akeiba blinked. She knew Ron wasn't one to be forwardly nice, so she was just so utterly surprised that he would do something like that.
"Since when do you carry around extra ink?" Ron's friend—Harry Potter, she recognized—asked to him with a quiet snicker.
Ron kicked him, mumbling, "Shut up, you bloody git." He turned back to Akeiba. "Akeiba Johnson, right?"
Grace raised an eyebrow. "Actually, I'm Akeiba."
Ron looked confused. "What? Oh…"
Grace laughed, and Akeiba shot her friend a look. "No, she's not. She's Grace Young. Yes, I'm Akeiba. You're Ron Weasley."
He smiled. "Yeah. …it blows that we have to have this test today, huh?"
She laughed a little, nodding. "Yeah… I am not prepared at all for it… I was working on another assignment. It doesn't help that so many of the teachers are trying to squeeze in a few more projects and tests right before the Yule Ball and the Christmas break."
He nodded eagerly. "Yeah, sucks completely… Speaking of the Yule Ball, are you going with anyone?"
Again, her mouth gaped open in an "O." She ignored Grace's kick to her leg under the table. Had Akeiba really just heard him right? Had he—Ron Weasley—really asked her to the dance? Well, almost asked her to dance?
"Er, hello in there…?" he asked, waving a hand in front of her face and looking a little confused. Harry swatted his hand away, telling him that was rude.
"U-Uh, sorry." Akeiba blinked a few times, a healthy blush dusting the apples of her cheeks. "Um, no, no, I'm not going to the dance with anyone."
"Oh. Then…would you want to go with me?"
"Yes!" she answered a little too quickly. She winced as Grace kicked her leg again under the table. But Akeiba wanted to kick herself, too; she didn't want to sound too enthusiastic. That just wouldn't sound right, considering this was the first time he had ever talked to her.
Ron's goofy smile broke the ice, and she released a little giggle. "That's great. I'll see you outside the Great Hall, then, say right before the dance?"
All Akeiba could do was nod.
He waved two fingers at her before turning back around. Harry nodded to both of them and faced front, too, as the tests floated down before each student.
Grace gave Akeiba a sly look. "Nice one," she said before snickering and focusing on her first essay. Akeiba tried focusing, too, but it wasn't the lack of studying that made her mind go blank—
Finally, after liking Ron for four years, he had finally acknowledged her presence. And he had done it in a big way! There was no way this test was going to look like even a B when all she could do was think about the history of ball dresses and hairstyles and not the history of Centaur rebellions from the fifteenth to nineteenth centuries.
"I'm proud of you, Ron. That was a very brave thing you did—and very kind."
Ron looked green, though, despite Hermione's kind words. "I just—I can't believe she agreed! Me! Is she mental?"
"Apparently so," Harry said, snickering. He dodged the maroon pillow Ron threw at him.
Hermione smiled. "No, really, Ron. Maybe you even made her day. Aren't you a little excited for the dance now?"
"Well, I guess. I mean, bloody hell, she's gorgeous. I can see why Fred asked Angelina. It must run in the blood."
Harry and Hermione laughed at Ron's thick-headedness. The witch turned to the black-haired wizard. "Why are you laughing? You don't even have a date yet. Ron got one before you!"
"No, I asked her friend, Grace, after class. So I do have a date, Hermione."
The witch quirked an eyebrow. "This should be very interesting."
"Oh, crap!" Ron exclaimed. He jumped up from the couch in the Gryffindor Common Room. "I only have hand-me-down dress robes!"
Harry winced. "Ohh, sorry for you, mate…"
The night of the dance, Grace and Akeiba headed down to the Great Hall. Akeiba had to grab a hold of Grace's arm to keep from nervously tripping and falling flat on her face.
Grace bitched about it. "AkeibaAkeibaAkeiba! Let go! Relax! It's just one ball! You'll be fine!"
"What if I get too nervous and puke?! It's like public-speaking. No one wants to feel as if they're up there, all alone with all the attention on them."
"That's what happens when you date someone, Akeiba."
The black girl paled. Maybe this had been a bad idea after all…
"What's up, peoples?" came a new voice.
Akeiba looked up. She and Grace found Kira and their other two friends coming over, Corrine and Nicole. Corrine high-fived Grace and Nicole waved. Kira looked at all of them. "Why aren't any of you with your dates?"
"What, it's a date I'm on?!" Nicole asked, gasping as she glanced back at Neville. The other girls laughed.
"I left Draco by the drinks," Corrine stated. "I had to show you guys that witches don't need to wear beautiful dresses. See? I found a sequined jumpsuit."
Grace laughed at that. "I haven't seen Harry yet. Have any of you?"
"He's probably coming down late with Ron," Kira stated. She scratched her head. "I'm thinking of turning in early. Dances aren't my thing. I have no idea why I ever agreed to come with Anthony Goldstein…"
Akeiba gasped, bringing everyone's attention to her. "Eek! There he is!"
"Wait—you actually did agree to come with Ron?" little Becca asked, appearing with their other friend, Vickie, who was wide-eyed despite always sleeping through her classes.
The gaggle of girls backed off as Grace and Akeiba met up with Harry and Ron. Harry offered his arm, which Grace took. Grace gave Akeiba a little wave over her shoulder as she and Harry disappeared into the crowd. The black girl faced her date—and had to fight down a laugh at his dress robes. "You, erm, look special…"
Ron grimaced, something which Akeiba thought was very cute. "Shall we go in? I'm a little famished."
She laughed aloud now. Yes, this was the Ron she'd admired from afar for so long. "Yes, I'm hungry, too. Let's go."
Inside, it was as if the Great Hall had grown three times its size to accommodate for the decorations, dance, and dining space. There was snowing falling from the ceiling, and the walls were covered in white and pale, ice blues. There were several evergreens lining the walls, and the tables were moved to the side to give plenty of dance floor. Already, Harry and Grace and Harry's fellow Triwizard champion competitors were dancing, and others were joining in. Akeiba fidgeted with the hem of her gunmetal-colored silk, strapless gown. She turned to Ron, who looked just as nervous.
"Food first," he said, avoiding her eye. He led her over to the serving tables, and they grabbed their dinner. They found a seat near the edge of the dance floor so they could watch the others. Ron dug in and paused after a moment, for once realizing that he'd done something rude. "Err…"
Akeiba laughed. "It's fine! I can see you're hungry." She took several mouthfuls of her own dish and swallowed. "So do you like Quidditch?"
Ron looked at her as though she had three heads…not as if he hadn't seen that before. "Are you kidding? I love Quidditch! My favorite team's the Chudley Cannons!"
Her smile faltered a little. She shouldn't have opened with that question. She knew he liked it, but it wasn't her favorite thing in the world. But she paid attention to what he said and learned from it. How he explained it made it seem really exciting, so Akeiba thought at least something had been accomplished. After his plate was clean, she asked him, "Do you want to dance?"
He blinked, obviously unsure. Actually, judging by the look on his face, it appeared that he hadn't really intended on truly dancing with her. He had only wanted someone to come with him. After an odd moment, he acquiesced. "W-Well… Why not?"
He had made her day days ago by asking her to the Yule Ball. Now he was making her night by kind of going out of his way to make her happy. In the end, even he enjoyed dancing, especially once the Weird Sisters came out on stage.
They stopped and sat a few times at their table to catch their breath every once-in-a-while. During those moments, Ron and Akeiba would talk about anything and everything. It wasn't hard, despite that they shared none of the same interests. But Akeiba was curious about his likes and dislikes, and he seemed just as curious about her.
"Ickle little Ronnykins? You got a date? How the bloody hell did that happen?" Fred asked when he and Angelina stopped by.
Ron went red as he glared at his brother. "Bugger off, Fred."
"Ooh, a potty-mouth, too. Mum's gonna love hearing about her baby boy's antics!" With a laugh, Fred dragged Akeiba's older half-sister away for what Akeiba was pretty sure she'd heard was to be a "snog session."
"Sorry 'bout him," Ron grumbled. "My brothers all pick on me. It can be really annoying sometimes."
"I know how you feel. Angelina can get in quite the snit when she's up for it." Akeiba paused. "It looks as if we found common ground," she remarked with a smile about their both being younger siblings.
Ron stared at her before he eased into a big, soft smile. "Y'know, I don't think this dance was such a bad idea after all."
Akeiba kept her mouth shut, for fear of saying something stupid. Her cheeks were hot despite the cold from the snow in the ceiling.
They danced a few more times before retiring a little bit before most of the other students. Grace was alone by the end, after having ditched Harry for some time for a much cuter guy who wasn't at all mopey or stupid about girls. Kira had reconciled a bit with Anthony, and Nicole, Vickie, and Becca were all ready to head back to the dorms early, as well. Corrine was nowhere to be found. The girls suspected that she wasn't exactly tired yet; either she was finishing off the rest of the desserts, or she was swiping Draco's…if he hadn't persuaded her to become his.
Akeiba's friends all went on ahead of her. To her surprise, Ron walked her back to Gryffindor Tower. She even took his arm. At one point, Ron stopped her a little ways away from the portrait hole.
"I had a really great time tonight. Thank you, Ron," Akeiba said. She gave him her sweetest smile, hoping that it conveyed her sincere feelings.
"I was really nervous," he admitted. He leaned against the wall. "Like, really nervous. I thought all girls were mental—"
"I'm a girl, Ron."
"Well, yeah, but—well, you've seen 'Mione. Can you blame me? And then there's Ginny. And those Beauxbatons girls are just as loony as some loony in St. Mungo's and—"
"Ron, shut up." Akeiba raised her eyebrows, giving him a look. She grabbed the front of his hideous dress robes and planted a small kiss on him. She was amazed she had even gotten up the courage to do that, but, really, she could only feel herself falling harder for him. "I loved tonight and I had loads of fun. Goodnight, Ron. Sweet dreams." As the witch entered the portrait hole, she had a funny feeling she would be able to do even more now.
As the wizard hopped through after her, he had a funny feeling that maybe it was okay and rather…exciting for girls to drive boys mental by being mental themselves. Ron also thought Akeiba had to have been insane to have kissed him.
Well, that's it. 12 wonderful pages that will be burned into the Internet's mind forever. I loved writing this and I hoped those of you who read it liked it, too. Drop a review if you want, but my main point was to write this for my friend, so I don't care that Ron was a little out-of-character. I still think I managed to convey his lovable stupidity.
Akeiba, one more thing: I wanted to tell you what Houses I put all of us in! You, Grace, and Becca are in Gryffindor. I think it's a perfect fit. Kira's in Slytherin, because, well…y'know. Gotta have the Death Eaters. Corrine's in Ravenclaw because she's sharp and loony like Luna. And Vickie and Nicole are in Hufflepuff because they're sweeties; Maureen L. would be in Hufflepuff, too. Oh, and though Ryan didn't make the cut for a cameo (well, neither did Maureen…sorry), he's in Ravenclaw because he's a smartass. It all fits, right? XD
Once again, congrats, grad! :D Grace laughed as she glanced at this, and Corrine's all "YEA-EAH!"
Thanks to my twin, Morghen, for beta'ing on such short notice! -w-
2016 note: Oh, wow… I actually still think this is cute, and it makes me smile, knowing I captured my friends here in this fic. I'm also kind of tickled pink, knowing that this has gotten several favorites over the years, but mostly I'm glad I put a smile on my friends' faces. c: