As the night went on, my conversations with Viktor were becoming less and less awkward. I finally got him to (at least attempt to) pronounce my name correctly, and we had been dancing for a very long time when I admitted to needing a break. Viktor promised to go get drinks as I found an empty chair next to Harry, Ron, and Padma. I found myself thanking Merlin quietly that Parvati had seemed to find some other people to hang out with. I really just did not want to deal with her quiet moping that Lavender had gotten a date with the boy she liked. She was with Harry Potter, couldn’t she be a little happy?
Either way, I didn’t want to tell Harry or Ron about that, as they never seemed interested (and rightly so) in immature girl drama at Hogwarts. They had better things to worry about, and they deserved to have fun tonight.
I plopped myself into the chair next to Harry, fanning myself and mentioning that Viktor was getting drinks.
“Viktor?” Ron said, completely surprising me with a tone of complete disrespect and, I thought, jealousy. “Hasn’t he asked you to call him Vicky yet?”
Ron leaned over Harry to look at me spitefully.
I simply looked at Ron; astounded that he would be so rude to someone he had never had a two-word conversation with. I asked him calmly what exactly his issue was, and responded with malice and not the nicest words he’s ever used. Something about “fraternizing with the enemy?”
I was utterly shocked. And insulted. And, and, and just plain upset that my best friend couldn’t be excited about who I had gotten a date with. And mad! Mad that he had to be so dimwitted that he would insult someone he didn’t even know just because I had gone to a dance with him.
Since when did Ron even care about Harry winning, anyway? He had been cheering on Cedric just weeks ago, he didn’t even believe that Harry had been telling the truth when he said he didn’t put his name on the goblet. He’d been a terrible friend right up until the first task! And now he was giving me lessons on how to be a loyal friend? No. No, I don’t think so.
I glared at Ron, shaken, and spit out a retort as calmly as I could. The last thing I wanted was to make a scene in the middle of a ball.
“Don’t be so stupid! The enemy? Honestly! Who was the one who was all excited when they saw him arrive? Who was the one who wanted his autograph? Who’s got a model of him up in their dormitory?”
And on it went. Ron, of course, continued insulting Viktor, accusing me of siding with him over Harry, who was of course, completely ridiculous, and ignored my attempts at defending myself with logic. As was typical of Ron, he wouldn’t listen to sense, and continued to argue simply to argue.
The discussion ended when Ron called Viktor “Vicky” again, and I stomped off across the dance floor. I found Viktor after a fashion; he said he had asked Ron and Harry if they had seen me.
I shook my head and kept my mouth shut, not wanting to bring Viktor into our senseless argument, and simply took hold of his hand and marched back onto the dance floor to dance, which Viktor didn’t seem to have much of a problem with.
In my blind anger, I wasn’t paying attention to who I was dancing next to. All I could see was Ron’s bright red face in my head, yelling at me for coming to a dance with another boy.
I knew that was what it was about, only I would never have the courage to admit that to Ron, it would cause way too many awkward conversations that I just couldn’t deal with.
I had wished that Ron would ask me to the Yule Ball, that was what I hoped would happen ever since McGonagall mentioned the Yule Ball in the first place. Ron and I were – well, let’s just say I had a bit of an exponentially growing crush that had started way back in first year.
I knew, however, when Krum asked me to the ball, that Ron was never going to ask me and that even if he did get jealous, we would have plenty of time in our lives to figure out any sort of romantic relationship that might show itself between us. This was nothing threatening, what Viktor and I had, it was just for fun. And anyways, did I want my first boyfriend to be my last boyfriend?
Okay, so maybe I hoped that Ron and I would be together forever and would one day end up married with kids who would call Mr. and Mrs. Weasley “Grandma” and “Gramps”. But I knew that that was way in the future and worrying about it now was just going to confuse me and probably break my heart if we decided that we didn’t like each other that way.
As all of this ran through my head, and I flailed my arms around, eyes closed, feeling an occasional hand on the small of my back which I knew belonged to Viktor. I was thinking intently and dancing like an insane person, trying to get the thoughts I was thinking out of my over reactive brain.
Then, I felt a tap on my shoulder and I came out of my trance, looking around to see who had poked me.
Lavender was standing behind me, face red and a broad smile on her face, with a boy from Durmstrang behind her with his hands on his hips.
I raised my eyebrow at Lavender, amused and questioning, and she simply giggled.
“Hermione!” she yelled, the music pounding in our ears. “This is Marko, he’s from Durmstrang!” she pointed her thumb behind her, indicating the boy who was latched onto her. Lavender giggled again.
I smiled in Marko’s direction, glad for something to distract me from thinking about my fight with Ron, and I said, “I’m Hermione!” to Marko. Then I turned around, searching for Viktor, who was standing right behind me looking menacing and protective. His hands were at my waist and I hadn’t even realized it!
“Lavender,” I said, putting my arm around Viktor’s waist as he placed his arm on my shoulders. “This is Viktor. Marko, Viktor, do you two know each other already?”
Viktor and Marko nodded at me, and then towards each other, then Viktor pulled me away and whispered in my ears, “Let us dance,” and I nodded and turned away from Lavender.
“We’ll catch up in the common room, okay Lavender?” I yelled over my shoulder. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw her nod excitedly and then turn to Marko and jump up in his arms. I smiled as Viktor and I moved our way through the mob of dancers to find a place to settle.
Viktor and I continued dancing the entire night. We didn’t run into anyone else to disturb us, for which Viktor was thankful and I was a little disappointed. My mind kept jumping back to Ron’s furious face and his accusations, and I couldn’t help but feel bad for him, knowing it was jealousy that caused his outrage.
Towards the end of the ball, Viktor announced that we should leave, and without me saying anything, strutted towards the Entrance Hall and began to walk me towards a corridor near the Gryffindor common room.
“Thank you, Herm-own-ninny, for coming vith me to this ball of yours. I had a very fun time, I am thinking.” He said, just as we reached the closest point to the portrait of the Fat Lady that I felt comfortable being at.
I blushed. “Thank you for asking me, Viktor. I’m so glad I came!”
I smiled up at him. Throughout the night, I had become less embarrassed by looking at him in the eyes, and now was able to do it while smiling, without blushing or shaking. I glanced at his lips, wondering if he would expect me to kiss him.
I really wanted him to, especially since (and I know it’s rotten of me to think this) I knew Ron would explode in anger if he knew that he had kissed me.
“I vill see you tomorrow, in the library, Herm-own-ninny?” he asked, taking a small step closer to me. My neck ached as I stretched it upwards in order to keep my eyes on Viktor’s as I took a small step closer as well. I had just finished saying, “I wouldn’t miss it for the world,” when his lips touched mine softly.
I had never been kissed before, but I had read about it in the romance novels of my mothers. I knew what to do, for the most part, and I had known what to expect. I knew that when Viktor leaned back and smiled, that didn’t mean the end of the kiss. I knew that at that point, getting on my tiptoes and reaching around his neck to pull his face down closer to mine was not unexpected completely.
This time, I kissed him. And I didn’t let it be as fast as Viktor’s first kiss had been. I pressed into his lips and opened my mouth slightly as his hands wrapped hesitantly around my waist. I pulled back to tilt my head the other way and kissed him again, our noses brushing slightly and my fingers nervously brushed his hair back.
I knew what to do here, but I had always thought that kissing was supposed to be more enjoyable. This was just me doing what I was supposed to do, nothing more. I didn’t feel a jolt of electricity through my heart and head or butterflies in my stomach like my trusty books had taught me you would feel during your first kiss, and probably all the ones after.
My brain was exploding in happiness, mostly because Viktor kissing me meant that he really liked me and also, of course, because Ron would be furious if he found out about this.
But I figured, maybe those Harlequin Romance novels of my mother’s were just over exaggerating.
I pulled back and smiled at Viktor and said, “I’ll see you tomorrow!” before turning on my heel and disappearing into the corridor, climbing the stairs to reach the Fat Lady mind flooding with questions. I went straight to the girls’ dormitory, hoping that, even though the Yule Ball was still going on downstairs, Lavender would be in the room by herself, waiting for me to tell her all about my night and excited to tell me all about hers.
I didn’t usually worry myself with trivial girl issues, as was obvious by my superior attitude and my bookwormness, but after tonight, all I wanted to do was giggle until the sun went up.
I entered the dormitory, however, to find it completely empty.
Disappointed, I huffed and dumped myself onto my four poster bed, without even bothering to take my shoes or dress off. I simply lay there, going over the events of the ball in my bead, smiling at the thought of Viktor kissing me and frowning at the thought of Ron eventually finding out.
Eyes closed, I hummed the tune of the slowest song that the Weird Sisters had played during the ball, the one that Viktor and I had danced to slowly and romantically. I thought about how I felt with Viktor’s hands at the small of my back, my arms reached around his neck and my face nuzzled into his chest. He had told me, then, in that position as we turned slowly to the music, how beautiful he thought I looked, then he had kissed me on the forehead.
I smiled at the memory, and then opened my eyes to search, still disappointed, for anybody to share my excitement with. Of course, nothing had changed and I was still the only girl in the dormitory.
Frustrated, I huffed and got up to go down to the common room, where I found Ginny Weasley sitting alone on a couch, her hair down and her bare feet propped up on the arm of the chair next to her, her silver heels discarded a few feet from her. She didn’t hear me approach, so when I plopped down next to her with an excited look on my face, she jumped up anxiously and crossed her legs in front of her, facing me, waiting.
I grinned, sort of embarrassed, and ducked my head down and plunged into the cushions of the couch, my face suddenly bright red.
I muttered into the couch, face still hidden from Ginny’s wondering eyes, “he kissed me.”
Ginny squealed. “Oh my god, Hermione!!!” and she pulled me up from my comforting position where nobody could see my face.
“You were kissed by Viktor Krum!!!!!”
“Shhh!!” I said, covering Ginny’s mouth with my hand. “I don’t want the whole of Gryffindor House to know!”
Ginny’s eyes bugged out of her brain and she pushed my hand away, whispering, “You were kissed by Viktor Krum!” she squealed again. “I am sooo jealous of you!”
I smiled again and covered my face with my hands quickly, then pulled them away and looked dreamily into the ceiling and bit my lower lip.
“How was it?” Ginny probed, poking my sides excitedly and watching me, waiting for an answer.
“It was…” I began. “It was amazing.”
I knew it wasn’t really amazing. I knew that, my brain told me that, but my insides squirmed whenever I thought about it, my emotions were out of control and I couldn’t help but say that it was the best moment of my life.
The thing was, being a human, I knew that emotions would run their course and I would be logical again tomorrow, or at least in a few days. But as of that moment, I couldn’t make the distinction between my hormones and my brain.
Ginny bounced up and down on the cushions. “I still can’t believe it, Hermione!” she said. “Your first kiss was with a famous Quidditch Player!” She reached over and hugged me tightly, squealing still.
I pulled back from Ginny, still smiling like a lunatic, and shook my head. “It’s not that exciting,” I said, trying to calm down and take the focus away from me. “How was your night with Neville?”
Ginny’s eyes widened again and shook her head, rolling her eyes. “He kept stepping on my toes, the twit. But….” She smiled, abashed, and bit her bottom lip. “I did sort of meet someone else.”
My eyes popped out of their sockets, and I was shocked that Ginny hadn’t told me about this yet! “Who??” I asked.
“His name is Michael Corner,” Ginny said, blushing. “And he’s your age, he’s in Ravenclaw.”
“Oh, that guy?” I said, the name sparking a memory in my head. “Yes, I know him, we’ve talked a few times. What happened with him?” I asked, but then, of course, before I could get an answer out of Ginny, someone came bursting through the portrait hole.
I tried my best to ignore him, sending a measly wave in his direction and turning back to Ginny, but Ron didn’t get the message and he plopped down on the couch between me and Ginny.
He looked over at me, and then over at Ginny, and sighed. “How was the ball for you two?” he asked.
“Great!” Ginny said, unable to see my expression of warning on my face. “Hermione had a good time with Viktor Krum!” she said. I wasn’t able to stop her.
“Did you now?” Ron said spitefully, anger returning to him and blood flooding his face and ears, making him look a bit like a tomato.
Ginny seemed to realize her mistake and stood up quickly, bending down in her magnificent silver and white dress robes to pick up her shoes off the ground. “Alright, well,” she said. “Time for me to go to bed, I’ll see you both in the morning!” and she ran off.
There was an awkward silence between me and Ron. He glanced over at me, my hair still mostly perfect and my shoes and make up still on. I knew I must look good to him, I had gotten plenty of stares and compliments at the ball.
“Nice dress,” he spit out, then looked away and glared towards the fireplace. “I bet Vicky liked it.” He said spitefully.
I scoffed. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
Ron rolled his eyes and refused to turn to look at me. “You know exactly what it means.”
I looked at him. “No, I really don’t, Ron. Please, enlighten me.”
He rolled his eyes again and stood up from his spot on the couch, walked over towards the fireplace, then turned to face me again, red in the face.
“You don’t ever make an effort to look good for anybody!” he said. “And now all of a sudden you dress all nice and put make up on like some common skank and make your hair all different just because a famous bloke asks you to a ball! It’s disgusting.” He trudged over to the boys dormitory staircase and said, while I was stuttering and attempting to understand why he was being so rotten, “I’m going to bed.”
“Wait just one minute, Ronald Weasley!” I roared, standing up, suddenly furious.
How could he say something like that?
A/N: A couple quotes from the wonderful JK Rowling, Goblet of Fire, Chapter 22.
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