Title: Infatuation Part V

Author: Amethyst

Author E-mail: AmethystJackson@hotmail.com

Category: Romance, Drama

Keywords: Pansy, Ron, Harry, Hermione, Draco, Gryffindor, Slytherin

Spoilers: For all four books

Rating: PG-13

Summary: Pansy deals with the repercussions of lying to the Slytherins; Ron makes a few discoveries.

Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended

Author's Note: This is it. The big ending. I'm afraid it might leave you with a bit of an, "Oh." feeling, but let's hope it's good, just the same.

Thank you to my reviewers. You keep me writing.

***

Witch Weekly

Volume 593, Issue No. 2

Week of December 29, 2002

Hello again, dear subscribers to Witch Weekly Magazine. We hope you enjoy the final segment of Amethyst's saga, in which everything is resolved and the subscription rate goes up two sickles. Happy reading!

Infatuation Part V

By Amethyst Jackson

I stretch and yawn as the clock in Gryffindor's common room chimes, signaling ten o'clock. Harry and Hermione are off to the side, conversing in whispers. I don't bother trying to listen. Ron has nearly nodded off over a sheet of History of Magic questions. I smile slightly, feeling simple contentment.

I've been in Gryffindor for a month or so now, and the Gryffindors are all getting used to me. I still lock my door at night, but out of habit rather than necessity. The Slytherins aren't very suspicious yet, thank God. Harry and Hermione still haven't snogged. I mentioned this to Ron one day. The look on his face was priceless, realizing Hermione happened to be in love with his other best friend. Since, we've been working on a way to get them together. No luck as of yet.

Ron and I, sadly, are at about the same point we were before. He does trust me now, and possibly even likes me, but it seems as thought there's little chance of anything more. At one point, all I wanted was his friendship; I thought that would be enough. In this easy state, however, I find myself wishing I could have his love. I know I'm asking too much, but… Oh, blast it all, this line of thinking never gets me anywhere.

I look at Ron again, who's very near falling asleep on his paper and getting ink all over his face.

"Perhaps you should go to bed," I tell him, startling. He sits up quite straight, and blinks at me.

"What about my bed?"

I roll my eyes. "I want in it. Really, what do you think I said?"

Ron blushes slightly, and I hear faint snickering from the general direction of Harry and Hermione.

"Fine," he says, "I'll go to bed. But I'm blaming you for my homework not being done."

I chuckle as he disappears on the stairs, rather glad that Ron and I are making stupid jokes.

"So, you and Ron are getting along well?" Hermione ventures, getting that solving-an-Arithmancy-problem look in her eyes. It's a bit scary.

"Yes, but we're nowhere near dating, so don't bother."

"Oh, come now. He likes you. There's no reason for him not to fancy you."

"Well, he likes you, Hermione, and there's no reason for him not to fancy you, but he doesn't."

"Actually, he used to," Harry informs me with a triumphant smirk.

I shake my head. They'll never understand. "It's not that simple."

"Oh? Tell me, why are you two always going off by yourselves?"

Uh oh. They can't possibly be told that we're playing matchmakers. "Now that is something you'll never know."

They each raise an eyebrow simultaneously, quite comical from my perspective.

"If you'll excuse me," I announce, stepping out of the conversation, "I'm going to bed. Good night."

***

I'm at the end of the steps when suddenly I come out into the open and crash into Ron, my bag falling, books scattering. We both blush, and bend down simultaneously to pick up the fallen objects, our foreheads knocking together in a cliché fashion.

I sit back and begin to laugh, thinking we belong in a bad romance novel, except lacking in romance. Ron is chuckling as well. Eventually he reaches forward and gathers up my quills and notebook, as I go for my books -- more carefully this time.

Once everything is safely back in my bag, we manage to get off the floor, and stand watching each other awkwardly.

"Are you going down to breakfast?" Ron asks suddenly.

"Yes," I answer, fidgeting.

"I'll go with you, then," he says, and we head for the portrait hole.

We walk in silence. Several things run through my mind to talk about, all equally moronic. Honestly, what a Gryffindor I've become, unable to think of one witty comment. After years among Slytherins, I suppose one becomes wary of candid conversations. Now seems to be the time for one.

"Why is it more awkward now?" I ask, giving him a brief glance.

He considers the question for a moment. "I suppose," he says, "that things have changed."

"What things?" I start to ask, but our conversation is cut off by a giggle. Ron frowns and pulls me in the direction of the sound. Another giggle. The voice does seem awfully familiar, though I'm sure I've never heard it giggle before.

Ron is pulling me in the direction of the Charms classroom, now empty, except for the giggler and, presumably, the person making the giggler giggle. The door is slightly ajar. Ron motions to me, and we peer into the room, finding what we least expected.

"Harry and Hermione!" Ron hisses, jerking me away from the door and down the hall a few paces.

I bite my lip. Harry and Hermione. I suddenly feel out of place. This is a major change within the Tremendous Trio. And there are three people in a trio. Not four. I shouldn't be here, not when they come out, not when they speak with Ron about it. They've been friends for six years, after all. I've only been around them for a month.

"I'm going to go on down to breakfast," I say, glancing at the door to the Charms classroom.

"But you've been trying to get them together as well," Ron says, grinning, "Don't you want to jump on them as soon as they come out?"

I shake my head. "They're your best friends. I don't belong in this scene."

Ron stares for a moment, frowning. "All right," he agrees eventually. "Just…be careful."

I nod, knowing what he's getting at. It's impossible to tell how many Gryffindors still hate and mistrust me, or how many Slytherins have begun to figure out that I have no plan. The transition, so far, has been altogether too easy, and I've probably been lulling myself into a false sense of security. Best to stay on my guard.

I head off to the Great Hall, fingers gripping the wand in my pocket. Hopefully I can use it well enough in self-defense, if push comes to shove.

My worries increase considerably as I reach the Entrance Hall, only to find Draco standing there, Vincent and Gregory on either side. This could go well, or it could ruin the fragile peace that was somehow created. Draco Malfoy was once a very useful ally. He could now be a very formidable enemy.

"Well, if it isn't Pansy, the newest member of the Trio -- or, should I say, the Quartet now."

Make that formidable enemy. He suspects, might as well know. I can't lie my way out of this one.

"Something you wanted, Draco?" I ask with a bit less confidence than I used to have.

He begins the Walk. I've seen him use it on many others, a slow saunter, circling his victim like a bloody vulture. Disconcerting, but I know how it's done, and can find some amusement in it.

"Tell me, Pansy. If you've got a brilliant plan, what is it? And why, exactly, must it be kept a secret from your former housemates?"

He stops in front of me, one eyebrow raised.

"Took awhile for you to figure it out, didn't it?" I say as nonchalantly as I can.

"I've had my suspicions all along," he replies. "Thought I'd give you a chance. Time's up, now. What I can't understand is why you'd ever want to hang about a bunch of Gryffindors, especially Potter and company." He smirks. "What did you do? Fall in love with Potter or something?"

I give a genuine chuckle at this. "Potter? Not quite."

"Wait a minute…not quite? So you did it for love, did you? Well, that is the Gryffindor thing to do, but… if it's not Potter, then it must be Weasley." He pauses. "Weasley?" The look on my face says enough, I imagine, because he continues. "You've got to be kidding me. You'd rather be with trash like that than us?"

"He's not trash," I begin to say, but I'm interrupted by a familiar voice.

"What's going on here?" Ron asks, approaching, Harry and Hermione behind him.

"Just having a chat with Pansy," Draco says, smirking. "It seems she's developed a fetish for victims of poverty."

Ron comes up beside me a grabs my arm, startling me. "Leave her alone, Malfoy," he says, and he steers me into the Great Hall, Draco and I both goggling at him.

"Thank you," I manage, as we enter the Great Hall. And I am thankful, and amazed that he cares enough to defend me, and that he trusts me enough to believe I wasn't plotting something with Draco. And perhaps, just maybe, it shows that there's a real chance, if I wait for him.

"It was nothing," he says as we sit down at the Gryffindor table.

***

I can't sleep. It's a growing problem. It used to be that I was afraid to sleep, afraid that I'd talk in my sleep, or that I wouldn't be able to escape the dreams. Now I can't sleep because of distraction.

There is a fine line between love and infatuation, you know. And I just happen to live on it. Love sometimes turns to an obsession, when it is not requited.

A knock on my door halts my train of thought on my one-track mind.

It is obscenely late, or early, I should say. Two in the morning. I go to the door warily. If it is an attacker, he or she would probably not be knocking. Unless, of course, he or she thought that by knocking, I would not be on my guard.

I pull out my wand, unlock the door, and peek out. If it is, in fact, an attacker, he or she was definitely trying to get me off my guard, because the large amount of freckles and blob of red hair lead me to believe that Ron is standing outside my door. Granted, I could be delirious from a severe lack of sleep and a one-track mind. I open my door a bit more, one eyebrow raised questioningly. I'm too tired to question any other way.

"I'm sorry to come around at this hour -- did I wake you?"

I shake my head, blinking and stifling a yawn.

"Good. Well, the thing is, I couldn't sleep, because there's something on my mind, and it's driving me mad."

"All right," I say, stepping back so he can come in.

He shifts nervously, standing just within the room.

"Well?" I say, staring. I love him, but I'm still impatient.

"It's just that…it seems silly, being nervous about this; it's not as if…" He sighs and looks at me. "Would you mind if I showed you?"

"Go ahead," I say, waiting, still impatiently.

He kisses me. His lips on my lips, his hands in my hair, Ron kissing me. Fireworks. I understand that one now.

"Oh," I whisper as he pulls away, almost unbelieving.

"Will you go to Hogsmeade with me this weekend?" he asks.

I smile. "That's not fair, that you kissed me and then asked a question. You've muddled my head. What if I make the wrong decision?"

Ron frowns. "Um…?"

"Well, I was going to make a joke about going with Seamus, you see. But I can't think clearly. So yes, I'll go with you."

He grins, and I grin with him, and we both stand there, grinning like idiots for a moment, before he gives me another quick kiss. We both got some sleep after that.

***

I can't say we lived happily ever after. We did spend two great years together. Ron's crush on me eventually turned to love, and I slept much better during that time. Eventually, my deep infatuation faded, and with that, Ron's love wavered as well. We split up, a mutual decision, and also a wise one. We were just getting into our twenties, and we weren't each other's true loves. You're very lucky in life if the first person you fall in love with is the person you're destined to be with.

We were each other's first loves, however. Ron will always have a place in my heart; love never disappears entirely. But I moved on, and he moved on. We're still friends, and we still talk. And we're both very happy.

So, I guess you would say it's a happy ending. Perhaps not happily ever after, but close enough.

The End