This was my second entry for #Ron-x-Hermione's Pick-a-Prompt Fest over on deviantART! The prompt was, "Excuse me, I don't like people just because they're handsome!"

A great big lovely thank you to HermyandRon for beta-ing for me again!

Disclaimer: don't own the characters, Jo does.

"Excuse me, I don't like people just because they're handsome!"

Ron's following cough of "Lockhart!" did not go unnoticed by Hermione. How ridiculous, she was only thirteen at the time! She liked to think that she'd grown up in two years' time and moved beyond silly crushes on teachers.

And she had moved beyond that! She was quite focused on her schoolwork, unlike a couple of her friends that she could mention. Her classes didn't leave time for her to ogle boys, unlike a couple of her roommates that she could mention. So it was completely ridiculous for Ron to suggest that she liked Cedric Diggory just because he's handsome.

If she was going to be honest with herself, Cedric certainly was good-looking. Strong jawline, nice hair, tall – though nothing about his appearance really stood out to her. Yes, he was attractive, but he didn't have that extra… something. Hermione didn't know what that something was. Was it charm? No, Cedric certainly was charming (she had heard enough about him from Lavender and Parvati's whispered comparisons of the cute Hogwarts boys). Whatever it was, Hermione was sure Cedric didn't have it, otherwise she would have turned bright red when Ron accused her of liking him.

As soon as his name swept through her mind, she felt her heart flutter and her stomach flip just a little. It had been happening more and more often now, since the beginning of the school year. Hermione didn't know if she liked that this was happening or not. She wasn't even quite sure what they meant yet! Was it just because she spent so much time with Ron, both inside and outside of school? No, it couldn't be, she spent the same amount of time with Harry, after all. And if she thought of Harry, there were no accompanying heart flutters or stomach flips.

Suddenly, she realized she was standing outside the portrait of the Fat Lady. She told her the password and went to her room to take a quick break before her afternoon classes started. Naturally, Lavender and Parvati were already in there, poring over the notebook in which they kept all their notes about boys – who they liked, who liked them, who was dating at the time, who might be dating next, who just broke up. Hermione found this all very dull and usually was able to shut them out by diving into one of her textbooks. This time, however, she chose to listen in on their whispering. Trying to be covert, she took out Hogwarts, A History and pretended to read.

"Have you heard about Cedric and Cho Chang?" Lavender was saying. "I overheard a Hufflepuff sixth year in the bathroom, and she reckons he's got a thing for her."

"Are you serious? No way! Here, write it down."

"Oh, speaking of gorgeous boys, have you seen Harry lately? He's actually turning into quite the looker!"

"Ooooh you're right! I hadn't really noticed before, but now that you mention it…"

"Pity we can't say the same for his best mate!"

And the girls started giggling hysterically.

Hermione slammed her book shut, grabbed her bag, and stormed out of the dormitory, leaving Parvati and Lavender looking a little bemused.

How dare they! Those cows! Hermione had never heard them mention Ron before in their chats, but of course, this was the first time she had actually listened in. Is that really what they thought of Ron? The nerve of them!

She sat down in her favorite comfy armchair in the common room and took a few deep breaths to calm herself down. The fact that she had reacted so strongly to hearing two silly little girls call her best friend less than attractive was now starting to worry her. It's not like she felt proud or happy for Harry when they said he was good looking – in fact, she hadn't reacted at all! But Ron…

And again, thinking of Ron caused that little flip in her stomach and her heart to skip. Ron, her best friend, the one who always knew how to make a situation better. The same one who could also completely mess up everything without even realizing it. Ron, with his lovely red hair, his cute long nose, the hundreds of freckles that covered him from head to toe –

She stood up suddenly. Where were all these thoughts coming from? Truthfully, they had all popped into her mind once or twice, starting last summer, but never all at once, and never quite this strongly. She grabbed her bag and started making her way to Arithmancy, finding it hard to keep an image of a reclining, laughing, shirtless Ron out of her head.

Keep it together, Hermione! she thought as she entered the classroom and pulled out her quill to take notes. She was unsuccessful, however, and spent a good deal of the class doodling R.W. on the sides of her parchment.

As she thought about Ron, she also thought about what a good father he would be. She realized this was, of course, a completely ridiculous thing to think about, but since when did her brain listen to her? He'd be so kind, she could see that sweetness come out in him sometimes. He'd tell them jokes when they were sad, he'd teach them all how to fly on a broomstick.

And just as the bell boomed, signaling the end of classes, another thought struck Hermione: even if she did like Ron as more than a friend, no one could ever accuse her of liking him just because he's handsome; it's because he handsome, and sweet, silly, loud, hilarious, brave, shy, and so many other extra somethings that no other boy had.

And that's that! Please leave a review, it would mean so much!