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A/N: Well, well, well: I’ve been looking forward to this chapter. I’ll admit, I’ve just been putzing along, letting the story go where it goes, but this has been planned since the beginning. Enjoy.

Chapter Five

My Darling Annika,
How are you, dear? I am well. Training in England has been wonderful, all I expected and more. I even ran into my old friend, Hermione Granger. I believe you two met once when she visited me in Bulgaria. She is a very nice girl, but you know that my heart belongs to you, Anni. I hope to see you very soon. Perhaps you could come to the match against Puddlemere United? I will see what I can do about transportation. I have a surprise for you.

I open the drawer of my desk. From its depths I remove a sparkling diamond engagement ring in a velvet box. Smiling, I finish my letter:

Love always and forever,

I begin to tie the letter to the outstretched leg of Annika’s owl. As I do, the door to my apartment bursts open and a sobbing Hermione Granger bursts in. I jump and Anni’s owl flaps away, hooting angrily.

For a moment I stand there and stare like an- oh, what is that word? Oh yes, like an idiot and stare at Hermione. Hermione is a very polite and proper girl, and it is a very rare thing for her to just dash into someone’s home without even knocking. I am, well, shocked. This must be about Ron.

“Come. Sit,” I say, gesturing towards the couch. Hermione collapses onto it, still crying. I sit beside her. She flings herself at me and hugs me around the waist, bawling into my new maroon robes. I can only make out the words “magazine”, “Lavender”, “fight”, and, sure enough, “Ron!”

I let her sob into my chest for a few more minutes, patting her on the back a little awkwardly. Not long ago, I would have given anything to be in this position, but the times have changed. I see Hermione only as a close friend, and I have a lovely girl waiting for me at home; Annika.

Finally, Hermione pulls away, wiping her brown eyes with the backs of her hand. “I’m s-s-so sorry,” she sniffles.

“It is alright,” I say, with a wave of my hand as I examine the streak of- how do you say it - bogeys down the left breast of my robes. “What happened?”

Taking, a deep, shuddering breath, Hermione recounts the whole sorry tale. I shake my head in disbelief. Her and Ron- they are just to much sometimes. Never a more perfect couple, I think, but such a difficult relationship. “Ron,” I say, trying to comfort Hermione, “is a good man. He loves you, Herm-oh-ninny.” I am still struggling to pronounce that name after all these years. Why must it have so many syllables? “He wants to be with you. He just does not know how to express his feelings.”

Hermione looks at me, clearly amazed by my wise words. “You’re right, Viktor. Thank you.” She brushes the last of her tears away and blows her nose. When she looks back up at me, there is a scary gleam in her eyes. “If only he had an example of a good boyfriend . . . or rather, an incentive.”

I scoot away from her on the couch. I do not like that glint in her eyes. “What do you mean, Herm-oh-ninny?” I inquire, tripping over the word and not even caring.

“I need a favor,” she says bluntly, “from you. Or rather, you and Annika.”

I am even more confused now. “But Anni is not coming to visit for two months!”

Hermione grins, showing off two rows of dentist-and-magic-perfected teeth. “Exactly.”


I invited Ron back over to my place later that night. He had jotted me a quick owl earlier that day, something about a fight with Hermione, and I figured he might need a pick-me-up.

Ron apparates in the middle of my kitchen that night at seven o’clock, as planned. Even though I have been expecting him, the sudden pop makes me slosh butterbeer down my front. “Blimey, Harry,” Ron chortles, “You look as though you’ve wet yourself.” Behind his wan smile, he looks pale and there are dark circles underneath his eyes, so I merely grimace and use my wand to dry myself off.

“Would you like one?” I ask, gesturing at the butterbeers on the counter.

Ron looks dead tired, and he replies quickly “Yeah, that would be great. It’s been a hell of a day, I’ll tell you that.”


“So what?”

Can’t he ever take a hint? “So what happened with you and Hermione?” I ask delicately. Well, sort of delicately.

Ron brushes me off as though the question is of no merit. “Nothing, nothing, mate.” He takes a gulp of his butterbeer. “Where’s Ginny?”

“At your Mum’s.”

Ron nods distractedly and gazes off into the distance with a glazed look. I study him as I plot my next move. In spite of what Hermione thinks . . . and Ginny thinks . . . and Mrs. Weasley thinks . . . Okay, what everybody thinks, I can tell when Ron needs to talk about something. After all, I care about him. Blimey, that sounded girly. I mean, we’re like brothers. And even though I desperately wanted to, I was not going to let him keep me in the dark about the fight he’d had with Hermione today. It was obviously bothering him, and I had to be the shoulder to cry on. Not literally, I mean. Ron and I are men. We don’t cry!

“C’mon Ron,” I sigh heavily, “Just tell me what happened and I’ll help you figure out how to apologize.

Ron bristles immediately. “Hey, it wasn’t my fault! It was completely her fault. You know how Hermione gets.”

I roll my green eyes. Typical Ron.

But he must not have seen my surreptitious eye roll, because Ron spends the next ten minutes recounting the whole sorry tale. Taking a deep breath and a big swig of his butterbeer, he begins.


I met Hermione at her office. She sent me a memo earlier that day. So, I thought, no big deal, right? Probably, I dunno. . .I’d forgotten to do something. That’s the sort of thing Hermione does, just nag, nag, nag- oh, what? Sorry, I’ll stay on topic. Wait, what was I talking about? Oh yeah, the fight.

So I arrived in the office on time, or close to it anyway. Then Hermione gave me this dumb girl magazine, and I was confused, you know? Until I saw the headline. Wait, no, Lavender came in first. . .I think. I guess it doesn’t matter.

The headline was “Witch Weekly’s Cutest Couple: Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger”.

I thought it was kinda presumptuous, but not entirely a bad thing. Maybe it was what we needed. A push, in the right direction. But I couldn’t say that of course. I wasn’t really upset. Surprised, yes, but not upset. Hermione did seem annoyed though.
“This is ridiculous, Ronald,” she said in that really peevish way she has of saying things. You know. . .you don’t? Well, she uses it when- okay, okay, back to the story. Don’t get your knickers in a twist mate.

I was getting kind of pissed too, not because of the article, but because of the way Hermione had reacted to it. I mean, what was so wrong about going out with me? So I told her, and Hermione said some other stuff back at me. I don’t remember the exact wording, but the point is we were getting really mad at each other, yeah?

I was fuming by now, and I said, “So you don’t think I’m good enough for you is that it? Don’t want some loser to tarnish your perfect head editor reputation?” Hermione tried to interrupt, but I just kept going. “Or maybe you don’t want your precious Vicky to see it? Might ruin your relationship!” I spat the last word. Hermione was sobbing by now. Don’t shake your head at me like that Harry! It’s all her fault.

I was leaving, when a particularly loud sob made me turn around, and Hermione flung a picture at me! Frame and all! Good thing I ducked, or that could have really hurt. It hit the wall and broke. It looked like it was some picture of me and her. I ran out and slammed the door behind me . . . and that was it.


Ron looks up at me nervously as he finishes. I shake my head again in disbelief- would they never learn? “That’s too bad mate, too bad.”

Ron took another jittery sip from his butterbeer. “Not really,” he says with a failed attempt at casualness. “I mean, it’s not like there was anything between us.” At my incredulous look, he amends his statement. “Okay, there is -was- something between us, but nothing lasting.”

“You call a ten year friendship ‘nothing lasting’?” I laugh mirthlessly.

Ron ignores my last comment. “Besides, I’m pretty sure she’s going out with Krum.” He wrinkles his nose at the name, as if we were back in Care of Magical Creatures and Hagrid was making us shovel dragon dung.

I groan. “For the last time, Ron, they are not dating!”

“Yes they are!”

“No, they’re not!”





By now, we’re half yelling, half laughing, doubled over in our seats, tears pouring down our faces. The butterbeer makes us giddy and slap happy.

We’re silenced by a knock on the door. “Come in,” I yell, wiping my eyes and still chuckling. The door opens, and it’s Hermione. Ron stands up, toppling the chair he had been occupying seconds before. They both cringe. I watch, half-amused, half-nervous at my two best friends’ uneasy interactions.

“Hello, Ronald.” Hermione twists her purse strap awkwardly.

“Hi, Mione.”

A dead silence falls, stretching longer and longer until I am tempted to break it. Instead, Ron pipes up. “I was, um, wondering if we could. . .” The words die on his tongue when Viktor Krum appears in the doorway beside Hermione. Ron’s eyes narrow and he hisses, “What’s he doing here?” in a completely different tone.

Hermione steps defensively in front of Krum. I stand up, prepared to grab Ron if he lunges for the Qudditch star’s neck.

Hermione straightens her spine and clenches her fists. “V-Viktor is. . .” she takes a deep breath. “Viktor is my new boyfriend.”

A/N: So, what did you think??? Drop me a review PLEASE. Also, check out my non-HP story on Check my author page for a link. Chapter Six = more drama! “Lav-Lav” cuddles up to Ron, we learn more about Viktor and Hermione, and Ginny threatens to leak a secret. What can I say in her defense? She’s very hormonal right now.

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