A/N: A huge thanks to Krissy and AnnHarrisForever for both looking this over. I appreciate it. Thanks to everyone who's leaving reviewings, favorites, and followings!
Disclaimer: JKR owns the world and characters of Harry Potter, not me. I am making no money from the posting of this story.
"Hermione, I'm worried about you," Harry said, setting his teacup down on the table.
She shook her head. "There's really no need to worry, Harry. I'm perfectly fine." She took a sip of her tea, not liking where the conversation was heading.
"Hermione, you're not okay and everyone can see it," Harry said as gently as he could. It was obvious Hermione was hurting, even if she didn't want to admit it to anyone.
"Is that why you're here Harry? To talk to me about how terrible I look? About how my lifestyle is slowly killing me? Because I already know that, I'm not stupid," she snapped, before standing and carrying her teacup to the sink, dropping it inside. The teacup shattered.
Wrapping her arms around herself, a sob escaped her lips.
Harry immediately went to her side and pulled her in to a hug. "Hermione, that's not why I'm here, I'm here because I'm your friend and because I care about you. I hardly see you anymore, and I miss you."
"You're so busy with work, and besides you have a baby on the way," Hermione sighed, wiping the tears away on her sleeve. "I just think that maybe if I had done something different, I'd be like that too."
Harry's eyes widened. He knew she still blamed herself about Ron. Hugging her tightly, he shook his head. "Hermione, that wasn't your fault. The only one to blame is Ron, and he's the biggest prick that I have ever met."
Hermione shook her head. "If I had acted differently, then maybe he wouldn't have—"
"No, don't even go there, Hermione. You can't live your life with what ifs. Yes, that happened, but it's in the past now. It's time for you to move on. You deserve to be happy, Hermione," Harry broke away from the embrace and quickly repaired the broken teacup in the sink.
Hermione just looked at him. "All a relationship would do is distract me."
"Distract you?" Harry asked, a puzzled look appearing on his face.
"Yes, it would only serve as a distraction to the work that I really need to be doing," Hermione explained as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.
Harry sighed. "You're using your work as a distraction! Hermione, look at yourself! You've lost more weight than I can count, you don't go out anymore, and you barely return anyone's owls." He moved over and cupped her face in his hands, forcing her to look at him. "I'm worried about you. Hell, we're all worried about you."
"Don't," she said sadly. "I'll be fine."
"No, you won't be unless I step in and do something. Hermione, do you know how painful it is for me to watch my best friend, the brightest witch of this age, wither away to nothing? I won't stand by any longer. I can't," Harry stated.
Hermione pursed her lips. "I'll think about going out."
"Good," Harry said with a smile, "because it's Fred and George's birthday this weekend and we're going out to celebrate."
Hermione pulled a sour face. "Do I really have to go?"
"Yes, you do," Harry said, crossing his arms and looking sternly at her. "I'm not taking no for an answer."
"Fine," Hermione grumbled. She knew Harry and Draco were both right. She was miserable and she needed to go out more often. The only way she was going to do that was if she actually went out.
Harry grinned. "Wonderful! I'll stop by on Friday night and pick you up. Draco's been invited so he'll be there too." Harry and Malfoy hadn't gotten along at first, but when they realized that they both cared about Hermione's welfare more than anything, they started getting along. The issue with Ron unified the two boys even more.
"I'll see you then," Hermione mumbled. She gave Harry a hug goodbye.
"Alright, and do stop by sometime Hermione, Ginny really misses you," Harry said, looking at her. Harry hugged her once more before disappearing into the fireplace.
With a groan, Hermione threw herself onto the couch. She knew she had to do this, she just didn't want to.
Ron had hurt her in more ways than one, and Hermione knew she was having a hard time getting over it. Despite the fact that it had been a year ago, she was still hurting.
But maybe the only way she would heal was if she found someone else?
She hadn't dated anyone since Ron, so wouldn't know unless she tried.
With a moan, Hermione put a pillow over her face. She didn't have anything to wear for tomorrow.
"Potter, did you talk to her?" Draco asked, poking his head into Harry's office at the Ministry.
Harry looked up and met his gaze. "I did, she's going tomorrow night."
Draco smirked, pleased with Harry's answer. "Good, it's about time."
Harry sat back, shaking his head. "I didn't realize how bad things were."
Draco nodded. Hermione was getting worse and something had to be done. He had already started formulating a plan to get his father and Hermione together.
"Thanks for calling me, by the way."
Draco grinned at him. "No problem. When it comes to Hermione, there isn't anything I wouldn't do for her."
Harry nodded. "I feel the same way."
"She keeps using work as a distraction so she doesn't have to face her feelings," Draco stated.
"Yeah, she said the same thing to me," Harry replied, frowning. She would be alright though; he would make sure of it.
"She'll be fine, I've got a plan." Draco said, grinning mischievously.
Harry arched his eyebrows, "Do I even want to know?"
He shrugged. "Probably not."
Harry shook his head. "Then I don't want to know."
Draco winked at him. "See you tomorrow night, Potter."
Draco had it all figured out. He would ask his father to meet him for dinner at his favourite restaurant, and then ask Hermione to meet him there as well. They would both go, expecting to meet him there for dinner, and voila, a match made in heaven. It was perfect. Since they were going out for drinks for the twin's birthday, he figured Thursday would be good.
"Ginny?" Hermione asked, poking her head through the Floo system.
"Hermione?" Ginny's voice rang out.
"Can I Floo over?"
"Yes! Just give me a moment and you can come through!"
"See you soon!" Hermione pulled away from the fireplace, running to the bathroom to check her appearance. She was wearing a light blue cardigan and some khaki pants. Her hair was pulled back into a loose bun and some pink lip gloss was dabbed on her lips.
Checking her watch, she decided she would Floo over. Taking a deep breath, she stepped into the fireplace shouting, "12 Grimmauld Place!"
Stumbling out, Hermione brushed the soot off her clothes. Looking up, she saw Ginny run over to her. She held her arms open, allowing Ginny to crash into them.
"Oh Hermione, I've missed you!" Ginny sobbed, holding her close.
Hermione sniffled, hugging her tightly. "I've missed you too." Pulling away, she looked her up and down. She smiled when she saw the bump. "How far along are you?"
Ginny touched her stomach. "Four and a half months, it's a boy!"
"Oh, Ginny!" Hermione exclaimed, squeezing Ginny's hand. "I'm so happy for you."
"Thanks, Hermione," Ginny said, smiling at her friend. "I'm so glad you decided to stop by!"
Hermione blushed. "I actually need your help."
"I figured as much. What can I help you with?" Ginny already had a feeling, but wanted Hermione to tell her. She was quite pleased that her husband went and spoke with Hermione earlier in the day.
Hermione stared at her hands. "Well, I told Harry I'd go out tomorrow night, but I don't have anything to wear."
Hermione felt Ginny slam into her for another hug. "Say no more!" she cried. "We're going shopping!"
"Good because, Ginny, I desperately need your fashion advice."
Ginny nodded. "We'll go right now. Let me just grab some money and leave Harry a note."
Hermione pulled the dress down. "It's too short, Ginny."
"Nonsense," Ginny called from the other side of the changing room. "Come out and show me."
"I'm practically naked!" Hermione protested.
"Then it's perfect!" Ginny replied cheekily.
Hermione checked her appearance once more in the mirror. The dress was red, stopping mid-thigh. It had a scoop neck, which showed far too much of her cleavage, and three-quarter length sleeves. There was a black flower made out of lace right on the hip.
"Hermione, let me see it!" Ginny exclaimed impatiently.
With a sigh, Hermione stepped out of the dressing room. "Here," she said, twirling round quickly.
Ginny's jaw dropped as her eyes widened. "You look stunning!"
Hermione blushed, tugging at the bottom of the dress. "It's too short."
"Nonsense," Ginny said with a wave of her hand. "It looks perfect on you.
Hermione chewed on the inside of her mouth. "Fine, I'll get it, but I want to get another dress as a backup just in case."
Ginny looked quizzically at her.
"I don't have anything in my wardrobe apart from work clothes, Ginny. If I'm starting to get my social life back on track, I'm going to need some new clothes."
Ginny nodded, a huge smile lighting up her face before she left the dressing room to find Hermione some more dresses to try on.