Chapter 1 : A Spoiled Engagement
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Of all of the parties that Harry was invited to for New Years, Hermione talked him into going to a stuffy Ministry cocktail party. Harry was alone for a split second while the Minister of Agricultural Mishaps went to refresh his brandy so he took the time to look around. His eyes landed on Hermione, she was busy listening to a very short woman speak to her, but when he looked at her she seemed to sense it and looked back at him and smiled. Harry walked over to her.
“Hello you two, I was going to get a new drink? Would either of you want anything?” Harry offered politely to Hermione and then to the other woman.
“That sounds divine, I think that I will accompany you Mr. Potter,” Hermione said as she thanked the other woman for the conversation and practically ran away whilst dragging Harry behind her.
“Alright then, nice to meet you” was all that Harry had time to say. While at the bar, Harry fixed them up with two screwdrivers apiece. Hermione’s favorite drink was screwdrivers. Harry’s favorite person was Hermione. They loved each other.
Hermione sighed, “Thank you for ending that for me Harry,” Hermione said with relief as she gave him a half-drunk kiss on the lips. She stumbled a little as she leaned in and Harry caught her. She scorned her heels and took her wand out of her pocketbook to help relieve her pain.
“Anytime ‘Mione,” Harry replied as he steadied her. “Oh I almost forgot to thank you for talking me into coming here. Just think, we could be... oh I don’t know... at Grimmauld Place... alone,” Harry said sarcastically into her ear.
Now that you bring that up, I immediately regret my... where is Ron?” Hermione asked. They spotted him at the other side of the Gala on the other side of the dance floor. He was talking to Seamus Finnegan and was drunk out of his mind.
“Oh, there he is, hanging out with Seamus,” Harry said while gesturing toward Ron. When Harry pointed at Ron, Ron looked up and threw the two of them a furious look. In the next second, Ron was staggering toward them with a glare that would petrify a basilisk.
“I don’t think he wants to ask you to dance Hermione,” Harry said while bracing himself and gripping Hermione’s hand. What had they done to make Ron angry. Finally, after what seemed like an hour of waiting, Ron reached the bar.
“I can’t believe you two! You are sssstanding here at the bar, sssipping on ackahol and kissing each other!” Ron looked like he could set the place on fire. Instead of snickering at how badly Ron was slurring his words, Harry decided to place the drinks on the table and make his face look serious.
“Ron come on, it’s New Year’s Eve for Merlin’s sake!” Harry said while Hermione gripped his hand harder.
“My baby sister is dead!” Ron said while collapsing to his knees. People started looking at them from across the vast ballroom. Hermione was getting visibly upset from the Ron’s condition, so Hermione, Harry, and Seamus took Ron out to the balcony to get some fresh air.
There was a crisp, chilling wind and the lights were still on the trees in the park. Ron looked over at Harry and tears sprung into his eyes.
“Don’t you dare look at me like that Harry Potter!” Ron shouted at Harry. Harry took a step back and put his hand on Hermione’s shoulder. She was crying now and the cold wind was blowing straight through her skirt.
“Ron why don’t we just talk about this... I know how you must be feeling...”
“No you don’t, you have no idea what it’s like to lose your family,” Ron shouted at him. Harry was shocked and infuriated by this comment.
“Seamus please take Hermione inside, I will be inside soon.” Seamus lead Hermione inside and shut the sliding glass door. Once he was sure that Hermione was out of earshot, Harry told Ron what was on his mind: “HOW DARE YOU! HOW DARE YOU MAKE THAT CLAIM! Of all people! You know me better than anyone! How can you say that?!” Harry asked while stepping closer to Ron. It was dark out and he wanted to be able to clearly see his eyes.
“It’s just what I always think Harry, I’ve never had the heart to tell you,” Ron said as he wiped the tears away from his eyes. “I am sick and tired of just being another member of your posse. Face it, you think you’re better than any of us, and that is how you want it to be!” Ron’s eyes were glazed over but they were full of passion.
“Is that what you really think? Do you really think that I am just some power hungry child star that doesn’t know what love is? Do you think that you are the only one who lost Ginny? We all lost her Ron. I feel just as alone if not more alone than you do...”
“That will never happen! No one can possibly be more alone than I am...”
“LIAR! I don’t know what happened to the Ron I knew! Ever since I was a baby, members of my family; my parents! Dumbledore! Lupin! Mad-Eye! Cedric! Even Ginny! Have you forgotten that all of my family is GONE! Has that completely slipped past you? You and Hermione are the only people that I have left!” Harry felt himself becoming more and more vulnerable when he stated this last fact.
Ron looked defeated but did not look at all like giving up. Instead of opening his mouth to speak he just turned on his heel and apparated. Harry headed back inside and sat at an empty table. Hermione sat down next to him and the two of them sipped their screwdrivers and watched Seamus snog Pavarti Patil passionately on a table across the ballroom.
“Well it looks as if this party is shaping up,” Harry said sarcastically as Hermione hugged him to her. “Come on let’s dance.” Harry led her to the dance floor and they had fun dancing until the band stopped playing for the countdown.
“10....9....8....7....6....5....4....3....2....1....HAPPY NEW YEAR!!” Everyone yelled with bright cheery faces. Harry and Hermione kissed each other. When they felt the kissing become to heated for public display, they broke apart and smiled at each other.
“Happy New Year princess,” Harry said while tucking a stray piece of her hair behind her ear. Then he turned slightly more serious, “this year should be....interesting.” Hermione caught on that he was talking about Ron.