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Ron’s Talent

Picture the Great Hall, will you? Can you see the four house tables? Can you see the staff table? Oh, looky there! It’s Professor Snape! Oh how I’d love to stuff those scrambled eggs up his nose! Erm, sorry. That’s just a tad off topic I suppose? Anyway, you can see the Gryffindor table right? Can you see the boy with red hair who’s…um. Merlin! Stuffing his face?

Oh well, yes, I suppose that was me at the age of sixteen. But I can assure you, I’ve grown up in the space of five years. I used to be a frightening ordeal at the dinner table. Well, heck! It didn’t really matter! Breakfast! Lunch! Tea! You name it! I was a pig whenever food was involved. But I’m happy to say that I’ve tamed myself (much to my fiancé’s approval).

Who’s my fiancé you ask? Ha! I’m not telling you just yet. But, at the moment, I am going to tell you how it all started…

I was sitting at the Gryffindor table stuffing my face as usual. I was in pure bliss. Nothing made me happier than a fork, a certain kind of food and an empty stomach. Yes, many people have told me to sit up straight and put reasonable amounts of food in my mouth, but I say: Who cares? I don’t understand why people fuss.

As I was finishing my bacon and eggs, Harry came and sat down beside me. “Hey Ron!” he said as he pulled some kippers towards him.

“Hey!” I said as I scanned the table for a napkin. I may eat like a pig, but that doesn’t mean that I carry around the past crumbs of breakfast, lunch and dinner around with me. When I had finally found a napkin and wiped my face and hands I turned around to Harry who was just getting started on his kippers.

“Where’s Hermione?” I asked.

“No idea.” said Harry in between mouthfuls. “Library probably.”

I stared at him for a moment. “What, and not have breakfast? Classes start in ten minutes.”

Harry laughed. “Why do you care anyways? Hermione can manage all by herself. People don’t have to have breakfast you know.”

I stared at him unbelievingly. “No way! How could anyone survive without breakfast?”

Harry laughed and pushed away his empty plate. He turned to me with a grin on his face. “You know Ron, people can survive without breakfast. It might not be in their best interests, but trust me, it can be done.” Again he laughed and then stood up. “Come on. Transfiguration first.”

I had to bid all the wonderful food farewell as I picked up my book bag and followed Harry. Just as we were starting to climb the stairs, we walked into Hermione who looked thoroughly disgruntled. We tried to talk to her, but she didn’t see us. Instead, she rushed into the Great Hall.

“She’d better hurry.” said Harry as he continued climbing with me right behind him.

“Yeah…” I said. “She’ll make it though. I mean, she’s Hermione Granger. She’s just not capable of being late for class… is she?”

Harry chuckled and shook his head. “Nope. She definitely isn’t capable of missing class. You’d have to chain her to a wall before she was late for one.”

Our conversation ended there, because we were right in front of McGonagoll’s classroom. When we entered, almost all the class was already assembled. Harry and I crept to the back of the classroom where we usual sat and took our seats. A couple of minutes later, Hermione walked in.

She scanned the classroom and when she saw us, she scampered over, her book bag flailing around. Quickly, she took a seat next to me and started rummaging around for her transfiguration textbook. “Oh I can’t stand those girls sometimes!” she muttered to herself.

“Who?” I asked.

Hermione’s head whipped around to face mine. “Oh you know, Parvati and Lavender. They were up ‘til midnight discussing their secret crushes! I couldn’t fall asleep!” Hermione all of a sudden smiled at me. “You and Harry are particularly popular with them.”

She giggled at the look on my face. Pretty soon, Harry asked what was the matter, but he just got Hermione to giggle even louder. Finally, when Professor McGonagoll walked up to the front of the class, Hermione ceased giggling. Her usual manner had finally kicked in.

The lesson was about Animagus’ and how to become one. I thought it was rather more of a ‘How to’ kind of thing. All I can say is that I was definitely considering getting together with Hermione and Harry to try and become Animagus’.

My thoughts were put on hold, because the lesson had flown by and McGonagoll was now assigning homework. “Twelve inches on the history of Animagus’!” she said. It was greeted by groans from the class. Not surprising though, because people very rarely enjoyed homework on the week leading up to the Christmas holidays.

Yes Christmas was around the corner and I still hadn’t gotten anything for Harry or Hermione. It was easy for Harry. Stroll into a Quidditch store, grab any random item off the shelf and he’d love it! Hermione on the other hand, was a bit more difficult. Books? Nah! One can only go so far with books. I need to give her something else this year.

The thought of what to get Hermione stayed with me all through the day. All through Charms and Herbology! It was all I could think about! Why on earth was I thinking so much about one measly present? Anyway, it wasn’t as if I could give her anything big anyway. I ampoor.

Finally, I was shook out of my thoughts at dinner. Harry was poking me hard in the shoulder with the blunt end of his fork. “Ron! Dumbledore’s about to make an announcement. Listen up!”

I must say, I was annoyed by my sudden drop back into reality, but nevertheless, I listened. Dumbledore was standing up, his arms spread wide as he beamed at the students. “I know that these are hard times.” he began. Harry’s eyes all of a sudden took on a cold appearance. “I’ve decided to break a limited amount of tension by holding a ball. A Christmas ball to be exact. It will be held on the twenty-fourth of December from eight to twelve o’clock at night.” That must have been it, because he soon resumed his conversation with Professor Flitwick.

The hall erupted with the loud giggling of girls. Well, Dumbledore sure has done it, I thought. He’s just piled more worries onto my mind. Now I’ve got to worry about You – Know – Who, Death Eaters, and…girls. It was true, if I didn’t go with a girl to the ball, I’d look like a complete prat, but then again, I’d be saved from unnecessary pain. Tough decision.

All of a sudden, something drifted into my mind. A memory. It was the memory of the row I had had with Hermione after the Yule Ball. She had said something to me and it had stayed in my mind. “Next time there’s a ball, ask me before someone else does and not as a last resort!” Yes, I’m not sure if those were her exact words, but that had been the general idea.

I suddenly became aware that Hermione was talking to me. “Hey Ron, are you OK?” she asked. “You’ve barely touched anything on your plate.”

I mentally shook myself. “Sorry.” I said quietly.

“Sorry? What are you apologizing about?” asked Hermione uncertainly.

I shook myself again. What was happening? I could no longer think straight! “Nothing.” I mumbled. Well, at least you didn’t say ‘sorry’ again.

That night I went to sleep with my mind full of questions. The main one being: “How on earth am I going to ask Hermione to that ball?”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Two days passed and it was now Thursday. Still, I had not asked Hermione to the ball. I never got the opportunity. Now that I thought of it, I didn’t even have the courage. I knew that if she rejected me, our friendship would never be the same again. But I knew I had to try. Finally, one evening I got my chance.

I had just wandered into the common room after dinner and I could see her sitting in a secluded corner. As usual, she was surrounded by many books and those woolen thingies she called ‘hats’. My heart was beating really quickly. Walk up to her. Ask her to the ball. Simple. Uh-huh, sure.

Finally, I pulled myself together and set off towards her. She was writing. I hoped that it wasn’t for a certain Bulgarian Seeker who I had nicknamed: Vicky. As soon as I was right in front of her she looked up at me and smiled. “Hi Ron!” she checked her watch and laughed. “It’s only six-thirty. Shouldn’t you still be in the hall eating?”

I desperately tried to laugh along with her, but I just couldn’t. She thought I had just come over hear to talk about everyday stuff. Somehow, it made my task all the more difficult. Here she was, her laugh fading away slowly, while I just stood there like a git. Ask her now! said a voice inside my head.

Hermione seemed to have noticed my discomfort, because she cocked her head slightly to one side and looked me with worry. “What’s wrong?” she asked.

I dropped into an armchair across from her. “Nothing.” Ron! What are doing!? Ask her! I was just too scared. Never had I ever faced anything so terrifying in my life. Sure I had faced death before, but somehow, the prospect of Hermione Granger’s rejection scared me more.

I was quickly brought back to the ground by Hermione’s voice. “Are you sure?” she asked, still looking at me in worry.

It was unbearable! The moment was perfect! Not a soul in earshot, a roaring fire and snow gently falling outside, but I chickened out. Slowly, I stood up and told Hermione that I was going up to bed. She looked at me in surprise, but she didn’t try to stop me, as I raced up the stairs.

There had been a time when I could have sat down anywhere with Hermione and had a normal conversation, but that had changed at the end of fourth year. The Yule Ball had really woken me up. I had realized that I really did love her, and it wasn’t just a stupid crush. From that moment on, it had become harder for me to have a normal conversation with her.

As soon as I had reached the safety of the dormitory, I dragged myself to my bed and sat on the edge. I let my head fall into my hands as I once more debated with myself on the subject of Hermione. My mind had been in the middle of a mental wrestle with itself when the voice of my best friend broke into my head.

“Hey Ron, what’s wrong?” asked Harry.

“Nothing.” I mumbled. Harry wasn’t at all satisfied with my answer because he rolled his eyes and plopped down on his bed beside me.

“Ron, you’re being a real thick-headed git. I know there’s something wrong. Hermione thinks so to.” said Harry irritably.

I tried my best to glare at Harry, but he just kept staring at me with a serious expression that deflated my glare extremely quickly. I didn’t want to tell Harry about my wanting to ask Hermione to the ball. I didn’t want to hear him chuckle. I didn’t want to see him smirking at me when I talked to her. But, this was my best friend. He’d never do that to me. So, after much consideration, which I suspect, lasted five minutes, I told him.

“Iwannagototheballwith’mione.” I said extremely quickly.

“Slow down Ron!” laughed Harry as he patted me on the back.

“Alright…” I took a deep breath. “I… want… to… go… to… the… ball… with… Hermione…” There! I had said it! I don’t know, but I felt a whole lot better after saying it. I felt as though a weight had been lifted off my chest!

At first I thought Harry was going to laugh, but he didn’t. “Well, I’m not surprised.” I looked at him quizzically. “Well…” he continued. “You know, Ron, you’re not exactly… subtle when it comes to hiding your feelings about Hermione.”

Was I really that obvious? “Ohh…” I said with a sigh.

“And,” continued Harry. “She’s not very subtle either.”

I felt as if something had exploded inside me. Could it be? Does she feel the same way? “What!?” I said hurriedly. “Did she say anything?”

Harry smiled at me mysteriously. He seemed to be enjoying leaving me in the dark. Then I began wondering. Who was it that he was going with? “Harry… Who are you going with?” I asked, trying to stifle a laugh.

Harry’s mysterious smile changed abruptly into a sheepish grin. “Umm… Ginny…”

I couldn’t help it! I had to whoop in triumph! This was the guy that I had always wanted Ginny to be with! That was why I was so angry when she was going out with that Corner guy. “Yes! Yes, yes, yes!” I danced around the room in circles, but as I did so, I tripped on something and fell. It was Harry’s turn to laugh as he went to pick up whatever I had tripped over.

“Hey Ron! It’s the homework organizer Hermione gave you last year. I wonder how she would react if she knew that it was on the floor.” said Harry as he waved it in front of my nose.

“Give me that!” I said as I yanked it away from him. I hadn’t purposefully let it drop to the ground. As a matter of fact, I usually kept it neatly in my trunk, because it was… well… from Hermione. Hermione… even if she did like me, she’d never agree to go to the ball with me as her partner. Dejectedly, I opened the homework organizer and listened to the squeaky voice that sounded very much like her. “Do it today or you will pay.” it said.

Some thing clunked into place. Do it today or you will pay! I had to do it now! I had to do it before Hermione got asked by someone else! Quickly, I brushed passed Harry, flew down the stairs and arrived in the common room. Hermione was still in the same secluded corner as before, pouring over her parchment. Confidently, I marched up to her and plopped down on the same chair as before.

“Hi Ron.” she said as she looked up at me. My confidence was punctuated immediately by her gaze.

“Umm… Uhh… Umm…” Yeah, yeah, yeah She’s got the gist of it! You’re a mumbling idiot! Strangely, that voice was really getting on my nerves.

“Yes?” said Hermione. Was it me, or did I hear a note of hopefulness in her voice.

“Uhh… Are you going with anyone to the… the… ball?” I asked.

“No… I’m not.” she said.

“W-Well, would you like to g-go with me?” That was it! I had asked her! Now, all I had to do was wait!

Her eyes seemed to explode with happiness. “Oh yes! Yes I do!” she cried as she flung her arms around me. I was really shocked. Brainy, practical, mature Hermione Granger had her arms around me! Plus, she was squealing like a little girl! I liked the fact that she was hugging me, but it felt a little awkward. Finally, she let go. Her eyes were sparkling with joy as she looked at me. Never, I repeat, never had I seen Hermione looking so happy in my whole entire life.

That night, as I lay in my bed, I wasn’t tossing and turning. I wasn’t devising ways to ask Hermione to the ball. I wasn’t fretting over the idea that somebody might have already asked her. I was smiling.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The next morning, I woke up feeling better than ever. Gone were the thoughts of Hermione rejecting me! Gone were the thoughts of another guy asking her to the ball! I felt so great that I could’ve run down the stairs and yelled in the common room. But, I was wearing my boxers, so… well, I thought better of it.

A little while later, I was down in the Great Hall, bolting down cereal. Later on, Hermione and Harry came to sit with me. “Hi Hermione! Hi Harry!” I said happily.

Hermione blushed a deep red and muttered a hello. Harry, on the other hand, shook my hand hard. “You finally did it! It took long enough!”

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Hermione’s blush grow even more. I had a sneaking suspicion that I blushed as well. As best as I could, I tried to change the subject. “S-so,” I said. “When’s the next Hogsmeade weekend coming up?”

Harry laughed. “Tomorrow.” he said after he had calmed down.

“Tomorrow!?” I said, with every evidence of surprise in my voice.

“Yeah,” said Harry. “You’ll have enough time to get Hermione something for Christmas.” he laid heavy emphasis on her name. Ever so subtly, I kicked him under the table.

“Oh!” said Hermione unexpectedly. “I need to get something for you guys! I almost forgot!”

“Nice to see we’re so high on your priority list.” said Harry. He got a death glare from Hermione.

As soon as breakfast was over, we trudged down to the dungeon for Potions. It passed the same as usual:

Sit down in the chamber of certain doom. Shoot death glares at the Slytherins. Draw cartoons of Snape in Neville’s grandmother’s clothing behind his back. Throw random items in a cauldron and hope it doesn’t explode. Shoot more death glares at the Slytherins. Same old, same old.

I had more classes and then, all of a sudden, I was back up in the common room doing homework. Suddenly, the thought of what to get Hermione strayed into my mind once again. I had thirty-six galleons to spend on her (I got a loan from Fred and George). Money wasn’t the problem any more. It was the gift. Books? No, I already had ruled that out. Candy? Come on! That’s too cheap! Jewelry? I’d love to, but it’s rather expensive. After quite a long time of debating with myself, I decided that I would go into Dervish and Banges. They always sold all sorts of interesting things.

Why did buying gifts for Hermione all of a sudden become a problem?

***

Hogsmeade was indeed beautiful during the winter. All the houses looked like they were smothered in white icing. The sweet scent of chocolate radiated from Honeydukes. The noise of friendly chatter came from The Three Broomsticks. I would’ve loved to enjoy it, but now I was running to Dervish and Banges, hoping that there would be something that Hermione would like.

When I arrived, I found that the store was empty, except for an elderly wizard sitting behind a polished wood counter. As I entered, he looked up and smiled warmly. “Now then, what can I ‘elp you with?” he asked.

“Umm… a Christmas present. For, um, a… girl.” I mumbled

The wizard clapped his hands together and walked out from behind his counter. “Well, I’ll ‘elp you find whatever you need for your girl.”

I blushed as I followed the wizard down the aisles of merchandise. He passed various racks of magazines, rows of magical quills and ink, assorted articles of clothing, house hold wizarding items like doxy spray, broom handle polish, and many types of hair potions, but still nothing seemed perfect for Hermione.

When we reached the next aisle, I had to stop abruptly to avoid walking into the wizard, for he had halted right in front of a shelf that held various boxes of all sizes. I gaped at them. They were beautiful. Some had glittering patterns of gold winding their way along the surface of the box. Some had twinkling silver lights embedded in the wood. They were simply marvelous!

“These are Memory Boxes.” said the shop keeper. “The owner simply puts their wand to their temple and says ‘Memoremus’ and the they transfer their wand to the box where the memory is stored. A bit like a Pensieve.”

“Wow…” I said in wonder. This was exactly what I was going to get Hermione. “Um… How much does… this one cost.” I said as I picked up a medium sized rosewood box with a golden otter winding its way along the smooth surface.

“Well… Let me see… Twenty-seven galleons.” he said.

“I’ll buy it!”

The elderly wizard clapped his hands together and seized it out of my hands. “Right good choice!” he exclaimed as he hurried to the counter. As he hobbled around to face me, I forked out twenty-seven galleons. It was a lot, but, hey! It was for Hermione.

Later that day when I was walking back up to Hogwarts with Harry and Hermione, I felt proud of myself. Hermione would surely love my gift. A memory box was just what she would need in the future, especially since You-Know-Who is back and thirsty for blood. More specifically, Harry’s blood…

***

The days seemed to slip by as I waited for the ball. The teachers seemed to be pulling out all the stops this year, much to the misfortune of the prefects. Because for us, it meant extra time decorating and more time with people you despised. Funny, why does Malfoy come to mind? Anyway, the day of the ball snuck up on me and…

Excited chatter filled the common room as I walked down the stair case, looking for Hermione. Instead of the clustered groups of black, there were now multi-coloured groups all around the common room. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Harry standing in front of Ginny with a rose in his hand. I knew that I should have left them alone, but I was dying to do something to speed up the process. Quickly I conjured some mistletoe and levitated it over them.

Just then, before I could see the result of my plan, a hand gripped my shoulder. I turned around to see Hermione before me. She had on beautiful, soft, light green dress robes that fitted her perfectly and a thin golden chain around her neck. I could see that she had tamed her hair with that weird hair stuff she used last time there had been a ball. Nervously, I held out my hand. She took it and together, we started making our way to the portrait hole.

As we walked down the hallway many people stared at us. I couldn’t blame them. If I saw two people who regularly fought with each other, I’d be a tad confused as well. Finally, the staring eyes left us after we rounded a corner.

“You look… um… beautiful.” I said. Corny alert! Say something else! I couldn’t think of anything else.

“You look beautiful to…” said Hermione softly. “Um, I mean… you look handsome.” she blushed brightly.

That was the end of our short exchange of words, because we had finally made it to the marble staircase. Beyond the entrance hall, I could see the Great Hall. The walls were draped in shimmering golden drapes and wreaths of holly were hung every few feet. At the front of the hall, twelve Christmas trees were decorated with all the usual ornaments. Inside, I could just make out the Weird Sisters setting up their instruments, which were adorned with holly. But, I think the most stunning thing of all, as we walked into the Great Hall, was (as corny as it sounds) the girl right next to me.

As soon as everyone was gathered in the Great Hall, music started playing and right before I started dancing with Hermione, I thought, This will be a night to remember.

… And that’s how I got my fiancée. If you haven’t already guessed, it’s Hermione. It doesn’t take a whole lot of brain power to figure out…

“Ron?”

“Yes?” I replied to the familiar voice.

“What are you thinking about.” she said as she came to sit on my lap.

“The ball in sixth year.” I replied.

“Oh… The one when your ears were red for the whole time we danced?”

“What? They were red for that whole time?”

“Yes. They got even redder when I kissed you on the cheek though.”

“What?”

“Well, I like it. I like it when your ears go red. It’s your own unique thing. It’s your… shall we say… talent?”

La Fin


Author’s Note: Author here! Like my one-shot? As you’ve probably guessed already, I’m a Ron/Hermione shipper, as well as a Harry/Ginny shipper. If you didn’t guess, then I think you missed some of the key points in my story. Anyway, this is the first romance fic I’ve ever written, so go easy on me! I’d really appreciate it if you left a review! ~Me

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