A/N: JK Rowling owns HP and is probably currently relaxing on a pile of money somewhere. I however do not, and am therefore cuddled in bed with a candle and my dinner/late night snack consisting of a few chocolate truffles from Sees. What a life.

This one is a tad short so I apologize.

Chapter title and song lyrics belong to The Black Keys Lies

"To hell with the day, the sunlight is only gonna take love away.
Raise up suspicions and...and alibis
But I can see through tear-blinded eyes

Lies, lies, lies

Oh, lies"

Ron didn't seem to have any trouble staying awake now.

Almost as if discovering each other for the first time (for in a way, they were), the pair laid for what felt like hours, in each others bliss. It remained innocent and pure as their lips met each other in perfect rhythm. Hermione wondered briefly how awkward, clumsy Ron Weasley seemed to be an expert at this.

Hermione held his palm between her hands, and began to trace the lines softly.

"Do you believe in lifelines Ron?"

"I.. er. I don't know I've never thought of it before now." he mumbled.

"It's just... Sometimes I wonder if everyone's lives really are planned out for them. Can something as simple as a palm line really determine how long you can live?"

Ron's only reply was the stare at her in confusion.

"Don't look at me like that! You know I usually think this stuff is Trelawney rubbish. But look at Harry? His whole life is planned for him. Now he either has to go into battle and win... or he dies. And I'm just wondering. Is the outcome predetermined? Or do we really get a say?" She sighed.

"Malfoy's the same way really." she added, giving Ron's hand a soothing squeeze as he tensed at the mention of the Slytherin. "I mean he is expected to grow up, marry a pure blood, become a death eater. Not necessarily in that order. Maybe all this was a part of that? All his years of making fun of me, just a natural progression into... whatever this is. But where does that leave people like you and I? Are our lives planned out and pre-set, or are we just a part of the paths set for people like Malfoy or Harry?"

"Hermione, I don't think you should look at it like that. If you constantly think of yourself in relation to everyone else then you'll always underestimate yourself. That's why it gets hard for me being in Harry's shadow all the time. I forget to look at myself as Ron instead of Harry Potter's best friend Ron. That will never be enough for me to feel good."

Hermione flung herself onto him, and pressed her lips into his with increased passion. She straddled him and pulled him up to a sitting position to wrap her arms around his neck. When they finally pulled apart, Ron looked simply awestruck. His cheeks flushed red, and his skin felt heated.

"Merlin Hermione, what was that for?" he breathed, finding his air with some difficulty.

"You have the potential to be so much more Ronald Weasley. Just the fact you just said all that proves how much you've grown up.

Ron chose not to reply, but to lean down and press a soft chaste kiss to her lips. When they pulled apart he simply rested his forehead upon Hermione's. They closed their eyes and for the moment everything was perfect.

Harry, Ron, and Hermione spent Sunday night in the room of requirement. So it came as no surprise to any of them when they entered the great hall for breakfast to be met with what felt like hundred's of eyes.

Hermione put her head down as they made their way to their usual seats at the Gryffindor table, but it didn't seem to prevent her from hearing the whispers coming from all around. Harry seemed relatively unfazed, this not being the first time he experienced the inquiring gossip from his classmates and so called friends. Ron just fumed silently, unable to mask his bad temper at the situation.

Hermione still refused to make eye contact with anyone as they sat. She picked a few pieces of fruit out of a nearby bowl but made no effort to bring the food to her lips. Harry sighed.

"Hermione, I know this feels awkward and terrible, because... well it is." he tried. She shot him a bitter look.

"I know that's not exactly comforting but what I mean to say is, they will get over it. I wish I didn't speak from personal experience, but I do. Everyone wants to be your friend when things are going awesome, but they turn on you just as quickly."

"I know. This is so stupid. I hate Malfoy." she replied, daring to glance over to the Slytherin table. Malfoy was nowhere to be seen (to Hermione's relief), but Pansy caught site of her and made a show of leaning over to Astoria Greengrass to point and whisper. The other girl turned red and burst into giggles. Hermione sighed. Well at least being tormented by Slytherin's was nothing new. In fact, after the whole Malfoy debacle, the efforts of the other Slytherins seemed dull and pathetic.

The appearance of a new presence at their table broke the trio out of their thoughts. Neville took a seat next to Hermione, attempting to hide his grimace with a grin, but only managing to look mildly constipated.

"Okay Neville, just say it. What is everyone saying?" Hermione asked him, wanting to just get the whole thing over with. Neville looked conflicted for a moment before giving in.

"Alright, if I must." he began wearily. "Lavender spread it around that you were trying to seduce Malfoy and when he rejected you, you invited Harry and Ron back to your dorm to try and make him jealous. She kind of let everyone else make their own conclusions." he blurted out all at once, desperate to rid his mouth of the foul rumors. Hermione paled and sunk down in her spot, trying to make herself as small as possible. Neville gave her a sympathizing look and sighed. Harry couldn't control his anger.

"How in the hell does anyone even believe that! Especially coming from Lavender. Bloody hell."

Hermione finally seemed to gather her wits.

"Because it's something they can talk about. They get so bored with their own lives so they take to speculating over ours. Muggles do the same thing with celebrities that are always in the public eye. Unfortunately, our involvement with this war makes us easy target."

"You mean being friends with me makes you easy targets." replied Harry bitterly. Hermione straightened at his words, letting a resolve take over her features.

"Harry James Potter." she said sternly. "We would not trade being friends with you for anything in the world. Whatever that means, good or bad, we will just have to deal with it."

Harry gave her a meaningful look. She didn't need him to respond with words. The look said everything. A silent thank you, an unspoken reassurance.

Charms was the first class they all shared that day. When they walked in the room, it silenced. The trio kept each of their heads held high and entered the room showing no fear or uncertainty. Only defiance.

Hermione led both boys to 3 seats in the very front. They boys sat, flanking her from either side.

Suddenly the silence broke. Lavender let out a shrill giggle and "whispered" quite audibly to Parvati.

"Well I think if I had been caught with two men at once I'd show a bit more shame. And after trying to jump into bed with someone who clearly hated me. Kind of pathetic."

Parvati did not respond. In fact she rather looked like she wanted to be anywhere but that classroom at the moment.

Hermione took three deep breathes and remained looking forward. Harry and Ron pulled their books out and laid them upon their desks. Clearly their lack of acknowledgment did not sit well with Lavender, as she resumed her gossiping.

"I mean honestly, it's one thing to hook up with one guy but three? I mean Malfoy might not have gone for it, but I'm sure even if he had she STILL would have gone after Harry and Ron. She's trying to make herself feel better. Can't say I blame her though. If I had hair like that I'd want to prove I could get a guy too. Though I'm not sure I would be so cheap about the whole thing."

Parvati just continued to sink lower into her chair as Lavender prattled on.

Hermione's hands clenched into fists in her lap and a silent tear fell down her cheek. She would not, could not let her win. She remained facing forward, silently praying that professor Flitwick would get there all ready and put a stop to this insanity.

Luck did not appear to be on her side that day however, when Flitwick failed to show up early. Or on time for that matter. The minutes were barely crawling by as Lavender showed no attempt at ending her attack. She was no longer even attempting to feign a whisper.

"Hey Draco!" the blonde girl exclaimed cheerily. Hermione stiffened at the name. Besides the fact that she failed to notice he was in class, his first name sounded dirty coming from the mouth of a housemate. Even if it was Lavender. 'I suppose they are best friends now' she thought to herself.

"What was it like to have to witness such a sad display?" she asked sweetly.

Despite themselves, all thee of the trio turned to Malfoy, awaiting his answer to this question.

Malfoy simply rolled his eyes and sneered.

"I'm not sure Brown. The only sad display I can recall is you."

This shut Lavender up immediately, a sense of haughty indignation masking her features. Hermione simply gaped at him. He took the interested stares of his classmates as license to continue.

"I mean honestly. Trying to spread rumors that scarhead and weasel had a three way rendezvous with the Gryffindor princess? As if either of them could manage to make good with just one person involved." he humphed. "Though I'm sure it would have left mudblood as a third wheel anyhow." he added for good measure.

Ron's ears turned pink and Harry shook his head and turned away. Well at least Malfoy hadn't played along with Lavenders game. Though no one could figure out why exactly.

Hermione was still staring at him with an open mouth. He turned to look at her and she definitely caught a satisfied glint in his eye. She turned from him quickly, not wanting to hold eye contact for any longer than necessary.

At last Flitwick arrived, apologizing profusely for his tardiness, and diving right into his lesson.

Hermione did her best to immerse herself in her school work, but she could feel Malfoy's eyes burning into her from behind. It caused the hair on the back of her neck to stand up, and she could have sworn if she'd turned around he would be much closer than she knew him to be.

Her feigned concentration broke even further when a small paper bird floated into her vision and landed on her desk without a sound. She needn't risk a glance backwards to know it's origin.

Taking a would be calming breath, she unfolded the parchment.

Couldn't have people thinking those two morons touched what was mine.


Hermione's hands shook slightly as she made to pass the note to Harry. It was no use though because it burst into a pile of ash the second she picked it back up.

This was going to be a long day.

"I'll leave this town, break all my ties,

There'd be no more use for any disguiseLies, lies, lies
Oh lies."

Well hellllooo. Did you miss me? Because I sure missed you! And me truthfully. I'll been trying to get established in the big city and it can be a tad overwhelming. It's hard to make friends. I miss college. Everything was so simple and you had people to hang out with even by default. You go home and your roommates are even your friends and it's like the party never stops. Not that I don't love my roommates here but they kind of have their own things going on. But enough about me, how are you all!? Probably beautiful and wonderful as always. I realized while I was reading an update of a fic I'm subscribed too, how frustrating it is to have to go back and reread chapters to remember what was happening in the story since the update had taken forever. Then I realized you guys probably have to do that with me. And I feel terrible about it. I'm not going to try to make any more promises about an update schedule, though I would like to be better about it but each time I've made a definite plan I've ended up not following through. And that makes me feel sucky for treating you guys that way. So while I can't make any promises I will try to improve. Laziness and writers block BE DAMNED! :)

And as one last thing, I'm going to try something new. I read someone on a review for another fiction I was reading that they hate it when the A/N's are long because it makes the word counts look longer and is misleading. I never even thought of it like that! So from now on I'm going to try to keep them short and to the point. I will also try to do shout outs and thank you's to PM instead of on here to sort of help out with that.

But for this one I kept them here!

MsApricot: I definitely don't hate you! In fact I love you more for giving me constructive feedback and being honest with me! (Not to mention I was picturing a montage, so cheesy was definitely the correct word lol :) my main worry was that it takes the reader out of the moment which from the sounds of it, it does so of course I appreciate the feedback! I'm not sure I liked it as much as I thought it would anyhow so as you can see, I've reverted back to lyrics in the beginning and end. Glad you're still with me lady :)

Vampire Lady: Sick but hot. I like that description. So I'm keeping it :) I think that's what I'm going for anyhow.

Moonbee, Mapleleaf, Yankee, ExTaCy, Loveinthemadness, AZU, and guests: Glad you are all along for this crazy ride!

Until next time loves.