The Trouble with Secrets

Is That They Eventually Come Out

Author's Note:

When this idea came to me I realized it was completely alternate universe to some extent. When the story begins it is the end of June and Harry is 20 years old. The only changes from the book is that Harry and Ginny never dated at school. Sirius, Fred, Remus, Tonks and Snape never died. And Harry dated Cho in fifth year for half the year.

I have also taken some of my own characters from my Beginning Series and applied them here such as that of Alexis O'Bryan and her job as the Ancient Runes professor at Hogwarts and her relationship with Sirius as well as my character of Emma from Montreal and her relationship with Charlie - but it DOES NOT connect to the Beginning Series in any way.

This is a Harry/Ginny Ron/Hermione story.

There are no secrets that time does not reveal ~ Jean Racine, French playwright and dramatist.

Chapter I:

His mouth moved down her neck and her hands fisted into his hair as she arched her throat, giving him more access. It had been days since they had last stolen a moment together and she had been aching for him. He ran his hands up her sides, brushing her breasts as they moved into her hair and he tilted her chin to deepen the kiss.

"Mmm," she moaned, slipping her arms around his neck.

Harry grinned at her and pushed her back against the wall of the broom cupboard they were in. He had cornered her in the library after her last exam and tugged her into one of the broom cupboards at the back. "What am I going to do without you all summer? What were you thinking moving back in with your parents?"

Ginny grinned cheekily up at him and pressed herself closer to him. "That is a very good question, Mr. Potter. I don't know what I am going to do without you either." She kissed him deeply until she felt him surrender just a little bit and she pulled away. "This isn't fair."

He nodded, his forehead against hers and his eyes closed. "I know. But we both decided that this was for the best. Do you think we should change our minds?"

Ginny shook her head. "No. I know this is the best decision but it hurts. I want to be with you all the time."

Harry smiled and held her hips. "I know the feeling. It's just that with me being who I am and you being who you are and not to mention having so many angry brothers, secrecy seems to win out, doesn't it?"

She laughed at that and kissed his cheek. Secrecy had won when they had began seeing each other. It still blew her mind to realize that they had been dating for six months and no one knew about it. Six glorious months filled with secret dates and hours filled with groping, long kisses in broom cupboards, romantic evenings full of lovemaking at Harry's flat and full of laughter and study dates. Time had flown. Now summer had arrived and she physically felt ill at the thought of not being able to see him every day. She had been living in a London dormitory in the Healer's Academy with a horrible roommate while she attended school but now that the year was done she had to move back home with her parents for the summer or find her own flat; something she was very seriously considering because living back at home with her parents could either be very good or very bad. Especially since her parents had no idea that she was dating Harry Potter. He had become such an important part of her life that she didn't want him to not be around.

The problem was that her boyfriend was famous.

He had defeated the darkest wizard of all time at seventeen years old. The Ministry of Magic had then given him more awards than any sane person could remember. Harry had also come into all of his trust funds and property that his parents had left him. This then made him not only incredibly famous but also very desirable by the female population because he was very, very wealthy.

Since Voldemort had fallen, the world was a better place. The war had officially ended six months after the defeat of Voldemort. School had ended and the world was safe again. Harry had lived at the Burrow for a while, gladly not returning to the Dursleys, but now he had bought his own flat in London. He had moved in officially during the Christmas holidays but this summer would be the first time he was actually living there. The Quidditch season involved a lot of travelling and when he was home he tended to spend most of his time with his godson, Teddy and with his godfather. Now that the season was over he planned to actually get his flat organized.

Merlin knew the flat needed to be organized. Harry hadn't done anything with the place except move his stuff in. He didn't even own any dishes. Ginny knew that the summer would give her the opportunity to spend a little more time with Harry but it would also entail her having to come up with an excuse for her parents.

No one knew that they were dating and Ginny knew that no matter how much her parents loved Harry and considered him part of the family she was pretty sure she would not be allowed over there on a regular basis without coming clean. Not to mention that she was going to have to be very careful. She may be almost twenty years old but as long as she lived under the Weasleys' roof it meant that she was restricted to some degree.

Ron was another matter altogether as well. As Harry's best friend, Ginny knew that he presented another obstacle when it came to their being together. Harry was afraid that when he found out that his best mate had been hooking up with his baby sister behind his back he was going to lose his mind, which was putting it mildly of course. Ron was the most overprotective of all six of her brothers. Being Harry's best friend on top of that tended to make things worse.

Then of course there was Harry's ex-girlfriend Cho Chang. She seemed absolutely determined to get Harry back and she was the only real reason why Ginny considered coming clean about their relationship - to get her off of Harry's back.

Ginny was a very easy-going person. She had always considered herself to be polite and friendly and most people agreed that while she had a short fuse, there was no one she really hated.

But she hated Cho Chang.

The girl had been nothing but a bitch to her since she had first met her.

It had all started when Harry and Cho had first broken up at the end of their fifth year. Ginny had been in the bathroom attempting to tame her wild curls after sleeping later than she should have so that her boyfriend Michael Corner would think she actually looked presentable rather than the terror she was looking at the moment, when Cho had walked in.

She had sneered at her attempts and Ginny had simply raised an eyebrow at her.

"Can I help you?"

Cho smirked. "Pul-lease, like I would even ask for you help!"

Ginny turned then. "Excuse me?"

"You heard me."

She took a deep breath and decided that pursuing Cho's comment would not be in her best interest. Ginny turned back to the mirror and continued to fix her hair before applying some moisturizer to her face and Cho snickered.

"Okay, what is your problem?" Ginny demanded, turning now to look over at Cho.

Cho shrugged and tucked her long straight black hair up into a ponytail. "I don't understand what Corner sees in you."

"That's none of your business."

"I think it's plenty of my business."

Ginny crossed her arms in front of her now. "Why is that exactly?"

"I think he could do better. Your family is poor and cheap and dirty. You're not exactly pretty and I know you don't put out or he wouldn't have turned to me for some help."

Ginny's mouth dropped open at those words. "You don't even know me!"

Cho shrugged. "I know enough. I do know that Corner deserves better and I AM better!"

"I thought you were dating Harry Potter."

"We broke up. I was just too much woman for him."

It was Ginny's turn to snicker now. "Too much woman for him? Really Cho, you think pretty highly of yourself, don't you?"

"What's that supposed to mean?" Cho demanded, tossing her hair over her shoulder.

Ginny reached down to grab her book bag and smiled. "Well, you believe yourself to be better than me and you don't even know me." She turned and pushed open the bathroom door. "If Michael wants you, he can have you. But I think he's making a bad choice. I'm a lot nicer than you."

She stepped out into the hallway and smiled at Harry and Ron who were walking by. "Hi guys, how's it going?"

Harry smiled at her. "Pretty well. How's it going for yourself?"

Ginny shrugged. "Could be better. I just heard a rumour that you and Cho broke up because she was too much woman for you."

"What? That's ridiculous! I broke up with her because she's a bitch." Harry demanded, crossing his arms in front of his chest.

Ron laughed at that. "And Mione and I both hated her. A lot."

Cho stormed out of the bathroom and grabbed Ginny's arm, unaware of the audience behind her. "I am so much better than you, Weasley! How dare you even accuse me of being not nice? I'm prettier and smarter and I know how to keep my man happy, unlike you!"

Ginny smiled sweetly now. "Well, at least I've got boobs." She tugged herself out of Cho's grasp and walked away humming, grinning at the sound of laughter coming from Harry and Ron.

It had definitely been worth it.

The memory still made Ginny smile. Cho hadn't been able to return with a comeback for that and it made Ginny smile. She had of course confronted Michael Corner about sleeping with Cho and then had soon broken up with him upon his admittance. Cheating was the one thing that she did not tolerate.

Cho had stepped back for a while but once the school year had started up again and Harry had defeated Voldemort, she seemed to find him desirable again. Then when he had started playing professional Quidditch she had definitely fallen into the 'fangirl' category and she had been following him around like a lost puppy. It pleased Ginny immensely that he hadn't fallen into her trap. But she still seemed to think she stood a chance with him six years later and whenever Ginny saw her flirting with him she desperately wanted to smack her and stake her territory.

Everything was normal otherwise now that the war had ended. She had graduated from Hogwarts with honours and gotten accepted into the Healer's Academy much to the happiness of Molly Weasley as well as been offered a position for the Holyhead Harpies. Gwyneth Jones had been even nicer about it and allowed her to play while studying to be a healer. It allowed her to experience her Quidditch dream and help pay for her dream to be a healer. The program was four years and she now had two years behind her. She enjoyed playing chaser for the Harpies, especially when she got to play against Harry.

She and Harry had always been friendly.

He had saved her life in the Chamber of Secrets when he had been twelve and her eleven and they had been mutually polite to each other since Harry was best friends with her brother. But they had never been close.

But then things had started to change between herself and Harry.

Ginny had always had a small crush on Harry Potter. It had been more of a fairy tale until she had met him. The crush had grown a bit as she learned more and more about him. But she had always put it out of her mind as one of those fantasies that would never happen. But then to her surprise, Harry had also began to have a bit of a crush on her.

It had been around Christmas time when she had began to notice.

The Burrow was quiet, everyone was sleeping and she decided to creep downstairs for a cup of hot cocoa. She was surprised to see Harry sitting in the common room on her way down.

"Harry, what are you doing up?"

He shrugged and leaned back on the chesterfield. "Can't sleep. Want to sit with me for a bit?"

"Sure." She took a seat next to him and smiled. "Want to talk about it?"

He shook his head. "Not really. I'd like to talk to you though. Take my mind off the dreams."

She smiled at him. She knew that even though the war was over he still often suffered from terrible nightmares. She could relate as well as sometimes she still woke in fear of Tom Riddle coming out of a diary. "Of course. What would you like to know?"

Harry grinned now and leaned a little closer to her. "Are you single?"

Ginny blushed to the roots of her hair. Had he really just asked her that? "Yes."

His grin widened and he stood up, brushing her thigh when he did. "Good." He was half way out of the room before she found her voice.

"Why does it matter to you?"

Harry winked at her now. "Let's just say my dream wasn't exactly a bad one."

She had watched him walk away with her mouth slightly open.

She had started to notice it really the next day. He paid more attention to her. She had caught him staring a few times. But it hadn't been until the first week back at school that anything had happened.

It still made her smile to think about how they had ended up together. Ginny had been in the Wizarding Public Library of London when Harry had walked in.

Ginny liked to sit in this deserted back corner where the books were almost never disturbed. It was quiet there and peaceful as no one took a detour in that direction so she was able to get more work done. Not to mention that she was forced to live in the library to avoid her roommate.

It had surprised her to hear a chair move and turn to see Harry taking a seat next to her.


He grinned at her. "Hi. I hope I'm not disturbing you."

She shook her head and tucked her hair behind her ear. "Oh no, just making notes on potions for a test I have coming up. What are you doing here? As a Quidditch player I've never had to come to the library for work before."

He grinned at that. "This seems to be your corner?"

"Yeah. No one else comes back here. Why did you come back here and how did you know this was my corner?"

Harry smiled at her now. "I remembered that during the holidays you mentioned you liked to study here. I thought I'd see if you were here."

The blush crept up into her cheeks then and she turned back towards her potion books. "Oh, so what can I do for you?"

He reached down and took her chin in his hands, turning it towards him. "You can tell me if I'm out of line." Then he had leaned in and kissed her lips.

It had all started that afternoon. The secret rendevouzes and the sweet dates. It had been romantic and she didn't want it to end.

"Did I lose you somewhere?" Harry asked, bringing her attention back to him.

She laughed and snuggled into his arms, resting her head over his heart. "No. I was just thinking about us and how we got together and why we're keeping it a secret. I do think it's for the best, at least for now."

He nodded and kissed her again. "Good." He glanced at his watch and grimaced. "We should get going. You have still have to go pack for home and I'm supposed to meet Ron and Hermione at the pub. Tonight, meet me at my flat. I want to be with you one more night before summer begins."

Ginny smiled up at him at those words. It sounded perfect to her. "I can't wait."

Ron Weasley was excited for summer vacation to start. He knew that he should be more concerned with what the professor in front of him was saying because being an Auror was a serious business and it was important for him to be paying full attention in all of the training and exercising courses, but it was the last hour of the last day of class until September. He just wished it would end. He was more excited now because he was finally dating the girl of his dreams; the love of his life; the one he had been dreaming about since he had been fourteen. It had all started only three months before and it still blew his mind to think about it.

They had been painting his new flat, the muggle way because Ron had been interested in trying it out. Harry had been helping but he had ran off with a date for the evening. Despite Hermione's constant begging he had refused to tell either one of them who it was with.

"It's not fair," she muttered, blowing her bushy curls out of her eyes as part of her hair had fallen from its elastic band. "I was the one who told Harry that he should start dating again. There hasn't been anyone since Natalie Davis back in November. I just want to make sure he's making a good decision is all. So many girls are just after him because he's Harry Potter not because he's our Harry."

He had grinned at her. That was partly true but Ron also knew that Hermione liked to know everything; she enjoyed sticking her nose in places where it didn't belong. It was something he and Harry knew about her and loved about her while at the same time finding it extremely frustrating and annoying.

"Mione, you know Harry is probably only doing it to drive you crazy. Besides, didn't he say it was a first date? Let him decide if he likes the bird or not first."

"Women are not birds, Ronald." She demanded, sending him a dirty look over her shoulder and making his stomach clench. She was so beautiful when she was annoyed or angry.

He rolled his eyes. "Right, sorry."

"I've actually got a date myself tonight."

Ron's heart sped up a bit in his chest. Every guy she had ever dated was a douche; at least in his opinion. Okay, Victor Krum had been alright, Ron was ready to admit that he had overreacted in that sense but Cormac had been a catastrophe and David Cunningham, the guy she had dated after the war for six months from the Ministry had just been the worst possible choice. He had not only dumped her for not having sex with him but had actually slapped her once. Ron had only found that part out because Harry had beat the guy to a bloody pulp in Finnegan's Pride and Ron had confronted him. Harry was not normally an angry person so he had been surprised. As far as he knew, Hermione still didn't know that Harry had told him about David.

"So who's the guy?" He asked, hoping he sounded friendly.

Hermione smiled at him. "His name is Roberto Bottolini and he's an Italian painter. He's a muggle and I have an art history class with him at Oxford. He's really sweet and he's been bugging me about going out with him for a few months now and I thought well, why not. I haven't really dated anyone since David; just the odd date here and there. So tonight will be our first date. I'm meeting him at this fancy Italian restaurant in Piccadilly's Circus at seven."

Ron nodded. "I see. Well, have a nice time."

"Thanks, I hope I will. Are you still dating Laura Addison, the keeper from the Harpies?"

Ron shook his head. "Nah, she was kind of boring. You think I'm obsessed with Quidditch, she's crazy! All she talks about is past Quidditch moves and how amazing and groundbreaking they were and how she's tried them out. I had to either break up with her or curse her."

Hermione laughed at that, feeling a little smug at the thought. "Oh, well that's too bad."

She turned back to her painting and Ron watched her. He wanted her. No other woman had ever drawn such desire from him the way she did. She was his best friend and he knew that there was no possible way that she felt the same about him. Sometimes he would catch her watching him and he would wonder on it, thinking maybe he was wrong and that she did feel something but then she would look away and he would be left wondering if he had imagined it. She stood on her toes a bit to reach the one part of the wall and Ron's eyes moved down to her firm bottom in the khaki shorts she wore.

She really was beautiful and he wanted her.

Before he had fully comprehended what he had intended to do he was dropping his brush, spinning her around him and lifting her up against him, planting his lips on hers.

The sound that erupted from her throat made him rock hard and he deepened the kiss, turning his head just a little to give access to his tongue. Her hands fisted in his hair but to his relief she wasn't pushing him away but pulling him towards her. She tasted like raspberries and honey and he wanted more. He moved his hands down to her waist to grip her hips tightly and slowly pulled away, letting her fall back down to the floor.

"Don't go on this date tonight with the Italian."


Ron's eyes met hers. "Okay? That's it? No lecture, no yelling?"

She stood up on her toes and tugged his head down to hers so that she could kiss him again. When she pulled back she smiled at him. "I've been wishing you would kiss me like that since I was eleven years old."

"You have?"


Ron grinned at her. "Well, I'm an idiot then."

Hermione laughed and wrapped her arms around his neck. "Well, yes, you are sometimes. Kiss me again, Ron."

And he had.

The memory still made him smile when he thought about it. The sound of movement around him brought his attention back and Michael Corner grinned at him.

"Paying attention I see."

"Shut it," Ron muttered as he gathered up his things. He was free and he felt good about that. He checked his watch and grinned. It was just about time to meet Harry and Hermione and for his summer vacation to begin.

"So, met any nice girls lately?" Hermione asked as she drank her butterbeer.

Harry rolled his eyes at her. "You never give up, do you?"

"Well, you never did tell me how your date was with that mystery girl, I'm curious."

"No, you're nosy. I'm fine, Hermione."

Hermione smiled at him and reached across the table to take his hand in hers. "I know you're fine, you're always fine. But a friend's a got to worry every now and again."

Harry laughed and brought his beer to his lips. "Now and again? You worry twenty-four seven. I thought maybe once you and Ron realized that you've been in love with each other for ten years it would mean you would stop paying so much attention to me."

"Of course not. You're my best friend. You've haven't dated anyone since Natalie Davis. A date here or there doesn't count and please don't tell me you're taking after Sirius. He's a total cad!"

He laughed at that. A cad was probably not even the right word to describe Sirius Black. Once the war had ended he had really come back into himself and slept with more women then should have been possible. He was a total man-whore and proud of it. "No, I'm not taking after Sirius. I love playing Quidditch and I love being able to get a girl when I want one and to just be on my own. I'm only going to be twenty-one next month, do I need to be married with kids?"

She smiled at that and leaned over the table to kiss his cheek. "You deserve to be happy more than anyone else I know. I just want to make sure it happens."

He grinned at that. "It is. I've never been happier these past six months in my whole life. I'm content. Now stop trying to set me up."

She sighed. "Okay, okay." When his eyebrows rose slightly she grinned. "I promise."

Harry laughed. "Good. So are you happy to be done school?"

Hermione shrugged and took another sip of her butterbeer. "I don't know. I loved going to Oxford University. It was nice to be back in the muggle world; to be learning muggle things. I think it will really benefit me to have a muggle degree when I work at the Ministry as well."

"I suppose it will. I can't believe you graduated last week."

She grinned at that. "Me neither. But now I have a degree in history and criminology. The background in the muggle political system will really help me when I work at the Ministry I think. I was accepted into the Wizengamot internship by the way. I will start that in September and hopefully one year from now I'll be working in the Ministry of Magic."

"Good for you. I think you would be really good at it. We both know you're going to love it." He replied honestly. Hermione working in politics just seemed to fit. She wanted so much change and working as a lawyer would definitely give her that opportunity. Ultimately she wanted to be a judge in the Wizengamot and Harry knew that she would get there.

She smiled at him. "What about you? What are you going to do when you're finished with Quidditch?"

Harry shrugged and brought his bottle to his lips. "No clue. I'll figure that out when the time comes I suppose. Hopefully, it won't be for a few years yet. I've only been playing Quidditch for two years."

"Puddlemere is lucky to have you."

He grinned. "Don't I know it. That last match we had before the finals against the Harpies was a great one. Ginny is an amazing Quidditch player. It's going to be a real shame when she leaves the team. If any team had the chance to beat us out of the finals it was hers."

Hermione nodded at him. "I know. She really loves it too, you know. I don't think Molly understands that. She's just so happy that her daughter is going to be a healer. I think she looks at Quidditch as the job that's getting her through the Healer Academy and not as a career. Molly's a bit old-fashioned in that sense. I think she hopes Ginny will quit as soon as she graduates."

"I see. I was just surprised at the match. I remember she was good when she took my place as Seeker back at school but what a chaser. Anyway, with the finals done and complete I'm hoping I can use the summer to make my flat a home."

"Good idea." Hermione said making him laugh. "It's a bit dreary in there. Everything is white and none of your furniture matches. It's almost scary."

He laughed. "You know that furniture will look a lot better when I paint. I have the paint picked out and everything. I just need to do it. I think I might get it done tonight. Unlike Ron, I've done enough muggle painting in my life time. Merlin knows my uncle made me paint the tool shed every summer along with the deck and the common room walls. I think I'll just use magic and start setting up house."

"Sounds like a plan to me. The two of us are going to have to go out to lunch or something this summer. I'm taking the summer off completely, staying with my parents. Hopefully that will work out."

"What do you mean by that?" Harry asked, looking at his friend carefully.

Hermione shrugged. "Do you remember my neighbour? The one you met last year when you came to pick me up for George and Katie's wedding?"

"Yeah, Donald Thornton. He's a bit of a douche."

"A bit of. He's still hitting on me all the time! Now my mother told me that he asked my parents if he could have their blessing to date me and eventually marry me! Can you believe that?"

Harry grinned at bit at the exasperated sound in his friend's voice. "Well, you really are a very beautiful and intelligent woman. It doesn't seem too far-fetched that some guy would want to marry you."

Hermione rolled her eyes. "You know what I mean."

He nodded. "Yeah, I do. Well, last year when he was hitting on you, you weren't seeing anybody. Now you are. Just tell him you have a boyfriend."

"I guess. I thought I had made myself clear last summer when we spoke but after my mum told me this I was just blown away! I mean I go home at least once a month and he always somehow knows when I'm there. He's nice; he just can't take a hint."

Harry grinned. "You broke his heart, babe."

Hermione laughed now. "Right. Well, I'll see if I can talk to him again. I just wish he would take a hint is all. Not to mention that Ron can be pretty jealous."

Harry's eyebrow rose. "Really? I had no idea." He answered a little on the sarcastic side.

She laughed. "I know right, shocking. I just don't want anything to screw this relationship up."

Harry smiled at her. He knew that she had been in love with Ron since they were eleven years old. He had found out in second year and it still blew his mind a little to realize that he hadn't seen it earlier. Ron had been clearly oblivious until the Yule Ball in fourth year. But neither one of them had been brave enough to make a move in that direction. Now it had been three months and they were really happy and quite perfect for each other.

"You won't."

She smiled at him. "Anyway, Ron will be working part-time with Fred and George often this summer so he'll be a lot busier than we'll be. I know Ron mentioned something about maybe the three of us just taking a week or two and hanging out at the Burrow like old times."

Harry grinned. "He just moved out and he's already home sick?"

Hermione giggled at that. "I think he just meant the old times as in the three of us being together and I think he might be a bit home sick. It means he has to cook for himself."


They grinned at each other just as Ron took a seat at their booth next to Hermione. "Hi guys, what's so funny?"

Harry grinned at his friend. "Nothing mate. How was your last day?"

Ron rolled his eyes. "Did not come soon enough. I'm very happy that I don't have to go to school anymore. The last year of the program is complete on-the-job-training so that will be nice. I'll really get to start working as an Auror."

"Good for you, mate."

"Of course it would be great if my best mate had decided to continue to be an Auror, but I suppose I can handle myself without him."

He laughed. "Good. After the war, no offence but that's the last thing I want to be doing. I love my job."

Ron grinned. "Fair point. Who doesn't love playing professional Quidditch? Anyway, have you guys been here long?"

Hermione shrugged and leaned over to kiss his cheek. "Not really, no. About half an hour. Harry and I decided to come by a bit early and chat. I promised him I wouldn't pick on him anymore about dating. I think we've come to a mutual understanding.

Ron laughed at that. "Well, it's about time. Did Mione tell you she got accepted into the internship program?" Pride beaming from him.

Harry nodded. His two best friends really looked so happy together it never failed to make him smile. It had taken them forever to make a move but now that they were together it was perfect. "Yeah, she did. It's pretty great news. I'm sure Molly will be even more pleased."

Ron grinned at that. "Mum is in a planning everyone's futures right now. You should have heard her last night at dinner. With Ginny moving back home for the summer, apparently Mum has her eye on this bloke from the Ministry who would be perfect for Ginny. I can't wait to see Gin's face when she finds out Mum is trying to set her up."

Harry tried not to grimace at the thought. "I would imagine she wouldn't be pleased. The way she threatened Charlie at Christmas time is enough to scare me."

Ron laughed. "Tell me about it. Well, we'll see what happens. Oh, I got my information about September too and for the summer. The training program starts officially in September but twice a week throughout the summer we have to meet with a partner where we do an exercise routine and a test our defence skills. My partner is Scarlett Hodgens. She's alright so we'll see how that works out."

"What do you mean by 'we'll see how that works out'?" Harry asked. "Is she incompetent?"

Ron shook his head. "Nah, not so much it's just she's such a girly-girl you know? She's always freaking out if there's a spider somewhere and she's a real flirt. She pays more attention to the guys around her then what she's supposed to be doing. I just hope they don't score me based on her." He stood up. "I'm going to grab a beer and tell Seamus we're ready to order."

Harry nodded as he watched his friend walk away. He winced when Hermione kicked his shin. "Ow!"

"His partner is Scarlett Hodgens!"


Hermione glared at him. "Don't you remember her from school?" When Harry shook his head she sighed. "Tall, thin, honey blonde hair and big blue eyes. She's beautiful! She looks like a freakin' supermodel! Not to mention that Scarlett is really a perfect name for her - she's a total slut! She slept with over half of the guys in our year! Not to mention that she's also wanted Ron since we were fifteen."

Harry rolled his eyes at her. "And Ron's wanted you since he was fifteen. Do you really think he's going to blow it with some girl he can't even stand? I don't care how beautiful she is, Hermione, he's not stupid."

She twisted her hands together nervously. "You don't know her, Harry. She's very good at seduction."

Harry leaned over the table so that he could whisper to her. "Ron loves you. Now get a grip on yourself."

But for the rest of the night, Harry couldn't help but notice that Hermione had lost a bit of her self-confidence and he really hoped that when they were alone later on, Ron would be able to bring it back to her.