Chapter 5 : The Approaching Yule Ball
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**********A/N: I'm looking to make/receive a banner for my story. I also don't know how to put it up once I get it though. Help with both of those things would be appreciated. If you know how to put up a banner so it shows up with my story summary, or could help me make one… please contact me or leave a review.**************
"What is it Harry?" Ginny asked kindly.
Harry looked at her face. She was not exactly welcoming, but she wasn't scooting away from him either. He was close enough to see her cute freckles across her nose, and her green eyes looking at him.
"Oh, right." Harry said, having been distracted by her freckles and eyes. "Err.. how's your paper coming?"
"Harry, its coming along just fine." Ginny said knowingly. "What do you need?"
"Have you been avoiding me lately, Gin?" Harry asked quickly, then looked to the floor.
"No, why would you say that?" She replied.
"It's just that, I haven't seen you around anyways, and it seems like you have. Maybe we're just busy. To be honest Ginny, I kind of miss seeing you around."
Ginny smiled at his last comment, and caught his eye.
"Well, if I can be honest too, then I guess I have been avoiding you a bit. I'm just confused about…things."
Harry pinched himself, and forced himself to think logically. It was just those eyes, they caught him so off guard.
"Right, well, while your thinking about whatever it is your confused about, will you still talk to me? I mean, I'd like to still be friends if you would." Harry said sheepishly
Ginny smiled again, and said. "Of course. If that’s okay. I mean, I know I'm Ron's little sister and everything…."
Harry peeled his eyes off the floor and dared to look at her. "You're not just Ron's little sister. You're my friend, too."
"Really?" Ginny asked.
"Of course." Harry said. Then laughing slightly, and killing the tention, he asked, "So how many inches have you grown, Ginny? You're almost as tall as me."
"I'm nowhere near you, Harry." Ginny said. Then as Ron called Harry over for a game of chess, and Harry walked away, Ginny muttered quietly again, "Nowhere near."
***while Ginny and Harry are talking… Hermione and Ron are too.****
"Ron, now that Ginny and Harry are talking, maybe we should too." Hermione said somewhat bashfully.
"We should?" asked Ron, with a confused face.
Hermione chuckled. "Yeah Ron. I just wanted to talk about, you know, what happened in Lupin's class. All your memories that we saw, I knew about. I'm sure it was a shock to everyone else, but I knew." Ron motioned Hermione to a couch, and she continued on with more confidence.
"And all the things you saw in my memories, you had shared them all with me, or had heard about them. And now I realize more than ever, that we do know eachother so well. Even though I'm somewhat embarrased about everyone seeing, I'm glad we saw those pictures, because it reminded me. And, I didn't know that you were afraid of our friendship, or whatever, dissapearing. I'm glad to know you care as much as I do, even though we fight and everything."
"Hermione," Ron said, still rather shocked at what she had said to him, "Of course I care. Me fighting with you doesn't mean that we're not good friends or that I hate you, but almost the opposite. If you think about it, Gosh Hermione I can't believe your actually getting me to be serious for once, anyway what was I saying? Oh yes, If you think about it. It means were good enough friends to fight, sometimes cruelly, because we know that we're close enough that yelling or having a row won't change anything, and one will never let the other go, because we are best friends you know, and have been since first year."
At that, Hermione's eyes started welling up with tears. Before he could stop himself, Ron interjected, "Oh no Hermione, not again!"
Thankfully Hermione just laughed but then Ron, feeling stupid, said again, "It's just I don't know what to do when you cry.",
Hermione wiped her eyes, but to know avail, with tears still pouring, and said, "Ron, its just that I've never heard you say anything like that to me."
"Well," Ron said, feeling himself again, "Don't tell anyone I did, because I've never said anything like that to anyone, and it could ruin me if anyone found out!"
"Oh, Ron!" Hermione said, laughing, resting her head on her shoulder, tears pouring out onto it. "You never change."
"Err, right," Ron said, unsure of what she meant. "Umm, are you okay now?"
"Yeah," said Hermione, giving him a watery smile. "I think I'll head off to the library."
"Well, umm, bye then," Ron said, "And study hard! You're almost failing!" He called after her.
Not missing a beat, Ron called out to Harry for a game of exploding snap.
"Ron, why is your shoulder all wet?" Asked Harry, as they sat down for exploding snap. But if Ron responded, Harry never heard, because he was busy watching Ginny exit the common room, who unbeknownst to him, was going off to find Hermione. Then, a loud voice that Harry recognized as Seamus Finnigan rang out among that common room.
"Gyffindors!" He called. "Just in case you didn't know, The Yule Ball is coming up in two weeks, December the 20th, before we all go home for the holidays! Proffesor McGonagall has just informed me, as I just came from transfiguration, that I was to personally make sure that all you know that it is formal, as always, and she will tolerate no, oh how did she put it, riff raff in her classes or in the corridors no matter how, err, excited we get or she will punish you with restriction to go to the ball. So, err, tell all your friends. Carry on!"
A mumble of chatter buzzed through the common room, as Ron frantically grabbed Harry's arm.
"Harry! I forgot all about the yule ball!"
"Me too! But we still have two weeks to get dates," Harry said. "You should ask Hermione."
"Oh, I don't know about that," said Ron, with a dumbfounded look on his face.
"Don’t be a coward," said Harry, leaning forward. Ron kicked Harry under the table, and said, "Fine, but only if you ask Ginny!"
"That would be okay with you?" asked Harry, incredulously.
"I'd rather have her with you, then say, Michael Corner," Ron said with a shudder.
"All right then," Harry said with a nervous laugh, trying to hide the relief from his face. One road block with Ginny had just been removed. "I'll ask Ginny today."
Ron, who couldn't hide his friendly competitive nature especially with Harry, stood up with a smug smirk, pushed in his chair as if he had no anxiety at all and said, " Well, you'll ask her today? That is nothing! I'll ask Hermione right now!"
"Ten sickles says you'll chicken out," Harry called after him.
Ron was more nervous than he let on, but he sauntered out of the common room.
"Shit," He said as soon as he passed the fat lady. "What have I gotten myself into?"
"Language!" said the fat lady, as Ron went on his way.
There she was, Hermione, as expected, sitting in the library studying dutifully. He smiled seeing her, doing as she always was faifully, her homework. But what Ron did not expect to see was Ginny. He could't ask Hermione with Ginny around! But it was too late, as Hermione caught Ron's (frantic) eye.
"Hey Ron!" she called. "Aren't you allergic to the library?"
"Ha, Ha," Ron said dully. "Err, Ginny, could I talk to Hermione alone for a second?"
At first Ginny put on a pout face, but then she looked excited.
"No matter!" She said, as she wisked her books into her school bag. I'll hear from Hermione what you said the minute you leave!" And Ginny skipped away.
Ron, who was feeling considerably worse than before, said down next to Hermione. "Err, she will?" Ron asked Hermione.
Hermione sensed Ron's anxiety. "Don't worry about that," she said. "It must be rather important if you risked being seen in the library. Whats going on?"
"Well," Ron said, stalling for time. 'Ten sickles says you'll chicken out' Ron heard, Harry's taunting voice in his head.
"Right." He said, now determined to get it all out. "Hermione, I-Came-to-ask-you-about-the-Bule-Yall-I-mean-the-Yule-Ball-if-you-want-to-go-with-me-just-as-a-friend-I-mean-you-don't-have-to-if-you-don't-want-to-but-I'd-like-you-to-and-Hermione-I-swear-your-the-first-girl-I-asked-not-as-a-last-resort.(Ron was still nervous about Hermione blowing up at him last year for "just noticing she was a girl")
"What did you say?" said Hermione.
Ron moaned loudly. "You didn't get any of that?"
"No," said Hermione laughing, (though somewhat nervously). "I'm just kidding. I heard you, and of course I'll go to the ball with you. We'll have fun!"
"Oh, settled then" said Ron as he sighed a huge sigh of relief.
There was an awkward silence then suddenly Hermione grabbed Ron's hand in fear, as out of nowhere popped a figure shaking their shoulders.
It was Harry. Hermione dropped Ron's hand, feeling rather awkward, and they looked at eachother then looked fiercly (and quickly!) away.
"HARRY!" Said Hermione. "You scared me to death!"
"Sorry," said Harry honestly. "So, I couldn't help but overhear you two have yourselves dates to the Yule Ball! Well, I'm off to get a date myself." Said Harry, and he stuffed ten sickles into Ron's hand then walked over towards Ginny.
"What was that?" Hermione hissed. "Please tell me that you two weren't BETTING over that you could get me to say yes, because then, well, I'd be horribly embarrased. And I'd kill you in your sleep." Hermione added as an afterthought.
"No," said Ron quickly. "He just bet that I'd chicken out, and not ask you at all. I swear." Ron said.
"Oh, right then." Hermione said, and awkwardly pushed a stray hair behind her ears.
"Shall we watch Harry ask Ginny to the ball then?" asked Ron with a mischeivous grin on his face.
***A/N: Sorry for leaving you on a bit of a cliffhanger… but Please review especially for this chapter! I worked hard on it and I'm feeling pretty accomplished and good about this particular chapter, so please review to tell me if I'm right, or some constructive critisicm to help me make it better. And just reminding you, as in the begining of the chapter…I need banner help!! I need to know how to put it uP! And, some help with actually making it would be appreciated as well***************
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by Isabel Black