Disclaimer: Not mine ever. *sobs* Potterverse is JK's, and Warner Bros.', and her publishers'.

A/N: I had a minor plot bunny for just a little ficlet. So here it is. Just a ficlet. Complete in its form. Ficlets are all I can write as of now. R/Hr. Enjoy.  :)

Open Your Eyes, Ron

Ron never intended to snoop on anybody, especially not on his friends. He simply picked up the parchment that Hermione left on the table after dinner. All he really wanted to do was to keep it for now and hand it over to her as soon as he saw her. But alas, fate could be such a tease. Viktor Krum's loopy signature peeked from the bottom of the parchment. Ron was sure that it was Viktor's writing, because Ron had his autograph. But after accidentally-on-purposely glancing at the contents of the parchment, he sure wish he did not have the hulk's autograph. What Ron wanted now was Krum's blood.

The parchment was a bloody letter from Krum. It went like this.

Dear Hermione

            Thank you for expressing your concern. I have just recovered from my injury. I am very glad because I can play Quidditch again next season.

            How are you? It has been a long time since I last saw you, but it seems that you are here because of your letters. But of course, I would like to see you again. I would be celebrating my twentieth birthday nest month and I decided to host a dinner party at my house. I do not know the details as of yet, but you are definitely invited. Most probably I can have a Portkey arranged for you to use by then.

            Take care.

Your friend,

Viktor

Who are they kidding? Your friend??? Yeah right. Ron knew a lie when he saw one. And he definitely did right now.

'I thought they already stopped seeing each other. Who knew that their sordid affair stretched out up until now that we're in sixth year?' Ron thought, annoyed.

What was Hermione thinking? Krum was far older than she was—and so far more experienced than her sixteen years. Ron was sure that Krum was some sort of a fast bloke, and he would not be surprised if Krum would try to pull anything unpleasant on Hermione.

Ron decided to give Hermione some warning on what kind of man she was seeing.

*~*~*~*~*

Ron did not see Hermione until late at night. After dinner, she immediately went to the library. Ron decided that having a talk to Hermione in the library was not a good idea, since she had the tendency to overreact and go hysterical.

Still, he decided to wait for her to come back. This was not something to be postponed until tomorrow.

Hermione went back at half past eleven. The common room was almost deserted except for Parvati, Lavender, and a couple of second year students.

As soon as Hermione climbed in the portrait hole, Ron stood up and walked purposefully towards her.

"Here, you left this on the table after dinner," he said as evenly as possible. He held out the parchment to her, all folded nicely and neatly.

Hermione reached for it quickly and unfolded it. She scanned it with her eyes, and a moment later, a relieved smile lit up her face.

"Thank you so much, Ron! I looked for it among my things earlier, and I thought I've already lost this. I was rather distracted from studying because I kept thinking about where I placed this. Thanks, really," Hermione said. She tucked the parchment in a book. "I'm rather tired, so I'll go to bed now," she said as she started to walk towards her dorm.

But Ron was determined to talk to her, and he was very annoyed at the relieved smile on her face when she got back the letter. You would think that it was something precious with the way she was acting. To top it all off, looking for that bloody letter distracted her from studying!

"Why, so you can read Vicky's letter in private, before you go to sleep?" Ron said to her retreating back with deadly calm. Oh no, he did not mean to say that, but somehow he felt really, really bothered and angry. Angry at whom, he really did not know.

Hermione stopped in mid-step and turned around. There was static silence in the air. Her face became pale, then red blotches started to form on her cheeks moments later.

"What did you say?" Hermione asked with equal deadly calmness.

'Get a grip on yourself, Ron! Don't say it again!'

"You're going to bed so you can read Vicky's letter in private, and maybe you'll tuck it under your pillow afterwards," he said in a monotone. This was worse than he ever imagined, but his mouth had a life of its own.

Hermione walked towards him and said in disbelief, "You read the letter? My letter from Viktor?"

"Yes, but that's not the point—"

"Not the point?  Not the point? You overstepped your bounds, Ron! That was invasion of privacy! And how dare you say that about me! You know I'm not like that!" Hermione said shrilly. Her face was all red now and Ron would not be surprised if steam came out of her ears.

"Hah! I remember back in second year! You wouldn't let go of Lockhart's get-well card!!!" he bellowed.

"I was twelve then! Twelve!" Hermione shouted. "And don't you change the subject! You have no right to read that letter because it's not yours!"

"Look, I didn't mean to, okay! It's not my fault that you leave your things for the whole world to see!" he said out loud. Before Hermione could say anything, he said, "And you should be grateful because I found out before it's too late!"

Hermione's angry expression gave way to a slightly puzzled one. "What's too late?" she asked. She still looked angry, but not quite as she did a minute ago.

Ron grabbed this opportunity to express what he thought. "Somehow, you're still seeing Krum, yet it never occurred to you that he's bloody four years older than you are! I've got brothers, Hermione! I know what goes on inside older blokes' twisted heads! Have you ever thought that an international Quidditch player will ever be serious with anyone at that age? At twenty? Have you ever considered the legions of girls following him around, all willing to take your place?" he said in a passionately angry and breathless rush.

By this time, Parvati, Lavender, and the couple of second year students were watching and listening intently on their blazing row. By tomorrow every Gryffindor would know about this—nothing escaped Parvati and Lavender—but Ron simply didn't care.

From being puzzled and angry, Hermione's face took on a peculiar expression which Ron could not read. It almost looked like an expression of understanding mingled with amusement, but he was not sure. Girls are very complex creatures, after all.

"Viktor and I aren't going out, Ron," Hermione said quietly.

"Who are you kidding? Why would I believe such a thing?" Ron roared.

Hermione drew out an exasperated sigh. "Viktor and I are friends, but it's obvious that you won't believe me. Who'll you believe, then? Not me, your own friend? Is that it?" she said evenly. "We're just friends," she said very sincerely.

Well, Ron was not prepared for that. He was sure that Hermione and Krum were going out again.

"Look, I think I understand where you're coming from, but you don't have to worry about me. Viktor and I are just friends," she said. A shadow of a smile formed on her lips.

"It's not that I'm worrying about you or anything," Ron sad defensively. Somehow, he felt his ears turning red.

Hermione simply snorted. Then she said, "But I still haven't forgiven you for reading that private letter. You have to do something about it," she said. This time, a big smile was on her lips.

"Well, er, I'm really sorry. You know me, Hermione, I don't really snoop around. It just happened," he mumbled.

"Nope, sorry doesn't work this time, Ron. All the time, whenever we have a row, all we end up with is a sorry. Sometimes, sorry just isn't enough," Hermione said seriously. The unreadable expression was back on her face.

Ron was at a loss this time. A sorry always worked before. He looked at Hermione worriedly.

By this time, it seemed that Hermione was trying very hard not to smile. "You can start making up for that by going with me to Hogsmeade this weekend, and treating me to a butterbeer, and maybe even lunch," she said. "Just the two of us, since Ginny just asked Harry out for the weekend, and he said yes. How about that?" she continued.

He was not surprised that Ginny asked Harry. His sister had a crush on his best friend since she was a child. What surprised him, though, was Hermione's suggestion. Just what did Hermione say? He never thought of taking Hermione to Hogsmeade, and with just the two of them. It almost sounded like a… a date. But now that the prospect was shown to him, he realized that it was not such a bad idea. In fact, it was a very good one, and he suddenly found himself getting excited with just the thought of going on a sort-of date with Hermione.

"Wha…ah, er, yeah, of course," Ron said, stuttering.

Hermione smiled back. "Good. You've got a lot to compensate for," she said good-naturedly. "Good night," she said to him, and then said the same thing to Parvati, and Lavender. After that, she walked away and went to her dorm.

Ron was left standing alone near the portrait hole, a stupid grin on his face. Parvati and Lavender were already whispering together in a corner, but he didn't care. All he cared about was going to Hogsmeade with Hermione. He wondered why.

The End

A/N: I've always believed that Hermione will be the first to figure out what's going on between her and Ron, and consequently, she'll be the one to make the first move. It's because Ron is blind. *sighs* But that's why we love Ron. :)  So that's it. I hope you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading.  :)