"Ginny!" Hermione called, running as fast as she could, in the four inch heels a sales assistant had forced her to try on.
Hermione and Ginny were shopping in Hogsmeade for ball dresses. So far, Ginny had found about a million, and Hermione had found none.
Up until now.
Rounding a corner, not forgetting to trip, Hermione ran straight into Ginny, who had her arms full of dresses. The impact caused Ginny to to stumble a bit, dropping everything she was holding.
Dresses flew everywhere and loose change in Ginny's hands rained down, bouncing off solid objects before hitting the floor.
The two girls stared in shock at the mess a simple bumping-into had caused.
"Ginny I-" Hermione started, but the sales assistant interrupted her, having come to see what the commotion was about.
"Merlin! What has happened here?!" she cried, her eyes focused in horror.
"This is entirely my fault, ma'am. I am so sorry!" Hermione said, feeling horrible.
On the other hand, Ginny looked like she was fighting back extreme fits of laughter. Hermione shot her a deathly glare, and the laughter soon stopped.
"I expect you will clean up this /mess/ immediately?" the lady said, looking coldly at Hermione and then at Ginny, who was biting her tongue with an amused expression on her face.
"Yes, of course." Hermione said quickly, dropping to her knees to gather dresses.
The sales assistant pursed her lips and left with a superior glance.
"Well, she's something, huh, 'Mione?" Ginny said, smirking as she began to collect her coins.
Hermione looked up at her friend, smiling slightly. "I guess." she said.
The two friends quickly cleaned up their mess. It took a while, but they still had enough time to show each other the dresses they had found.
It was Hermione who went first. She stepped out of the dressing room, turning slowly on the spot.
"Wow, Hermione! You look amazing!" Ginny breathed, staring at her is shock.
Hermione was wearing a pale ivory dress; tight at the top but coming out at the waist; with a simple, thick, diamonds snaking around the waist. Her shoes were plain, cloth, ivory pumps with a strapped back.
Hermione smiled a bit. "You really think so?" she asked, her eyes on Ginny's eyes.
Ginny nodded vigorously, smiling. "That's the one, right there." she said, gesturing to the dress.
"Alright," said Hermione, "I'll get it. Just let me change."
Hermione changed and then allowed Ginny to showcase her dress. Ginny's was an ankle-length, navy blue dress. Although it didn't come out as much as Hermione's, it still had a wide skirt.
The girls paid and left the shop quickly, not wanting to draw attention. They decided to have lunch at a local cafe. As they sat down to eat, the gossip war started.
"Lavender told me that Padma Patil got a troll on their last test." Ginny said.
Hermione shook her head, sipping chicken soup off her spoon. "Don't listen to Lavender, he's so full of it."
"I saw Padma crying as she came out of her second class, last week. Our second classes are just across from each other."
Hermione shrugged. "Maybe. I saw Roger Davies purpose to Alicia Spinnet today. It was in the courtyard after lunch!"
"Really?!" said Ginny, grinning.
Hermione nodded. "This is their last year, and they have been dating." she said, smiling a bit.
"I heard Harry gave you a /promise/ ring!" Hermione continued, grinning.
Ginny blushes scarlet, twirling her spaghetti around her fork. "Yes, he did..." she said quickly, with a hint of guilt.
"Where is it?" Hermione asked anxiously, wanting to see the beautiful ring.
"I - I lost it, Hermione." Ginny said in a whisper, her eyes beginning to fill with tears.
Hermione's eyes widened. "You lost it?! Ginny... That's horrible! I'm so sorry." she said.
Ginny quickly wiped the tears away, trying not to think about it. She picked at her spaghetti, staring at it as though it was the most interesting thing in the world.
After a few minutes, Hermione became aware that Ginny wasn't eating much. "Why aren't you eating?" she asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Not hungry." came the barely understandable mumble.
Hermione sighed. "You're thinking about the ring." she said. "It will turn up soon, Gin. Promise." she smiled slightly. "Now eat."
Ginny nodded and did as the elder girl said, eating most of her lunch. They paid and left the cafe, wandering the streets to window shop.
A deathly silence engulfed the two witches as they strolled down the roads. Finally, Hermione broke the silence.
"I can help you look for the ring, Gin..." she said, avoiding Ginny's gaze.
"really?!" her best friend asked, voice rising with excitement.
Hermione nodded, still averting her eyes.
"Oh, Mione!" Ginny sighed, quickly hugging Hermione lightly.
Hermione forced a smile, wondering why it was so hard for her to want to help Ginny. She blamed it on her post-break up depression and her paranoia about Malfoy.
"We should start soon, though." Hermione said as they reached the path leading back to Hogwarts castle.
Ginny nodded. "Yes, now."
"Then let's go," said Hermione. "we have a lot of places to look."
And so, they walked back in another round of silence. This time, though, Ginny was smiling widely. This made Hermione feel worse and worse. What was this feeling, she wondered. It couldn't be /jealousy?/ No, of course not. That was selfish and so unlike Hermione. But, she has no other explanation for the gut-wrenching ache in her stomach and deathly look on her face. She had no explanation for her annoyance towards the way Ginny hummed a bit as they walked. And certainly no explanation for the way she felt towards Ginny.
Three hours and a snack break later, the girls flopped onto the floor in front of the fire in the Gryffindor common room.
"Still no ring." Hermione said in a dry voice.
Ginny swallowed and blinked back tears. "What will Harry say?" She fretted, a few tears escaping from her eyes and leaking down her cheeks.
Her minor sat up quickly and moved towards her best friend, engulfing her in a hug. "Don't cry," she whispered, trying to comfort a trembling Ginny. "You'll find the ring."
Ginny pulled away with a pained expression. "I'm just going to go to bed, Mione." She said, getting up and walking up the stairs to her dorm.
Hermione sighed, biting her lip. She had to find that ring.
"Malfoy! We need to talk." Hermione yelled, flinging open the door to Draco's room and flicking on the light.
Draco stirred in bed and sat up, shielding his eyes from the light. Thunder crashed outside ad rain beat agains the windows. "What, Granger?! Turn off the light!"
Hermione did so and crossed the room to stand next to his bed, glaring at him.
Draco sat up and stretched. "Yes?" He asked, raising an eyebrow.
"I want the ring."
"What ring?" Draco gave Hermione a confused look.
"Don't play stupid! Give me Ginny's ring!" Hermione yelled.
"I don't have any bloody rings!"
"Yes, you do! Stop lying! You're the only one that hates Harry and Ginny enough to take the promise ring he gave her!" Hermione yelled, poking him hard in the chest.
Draco closed his eyes and took a deep breath, trying to remain calm. "I never took the ring. I swear. Potter can give the Weaselette anything he wants, I don't give a damn. I never took her promise ring." He said, his eyes snapping open to look down at Hermione. He couldn't see her, as the room was dark.
Suddenly, thunder roared and lighting flashed, lighting up the room. Hermione's face was livid. "I know you did it. And I'm going to prove it." She hissed.
Hermione turned on her heel and left. She slammed the door and the echo was louder than the thunder that rolled across the sky in anger.
Draco stared at the door as he stood in the darkness, listening to the rain pour down outside. A part of him felt as though he had lost Hermione, even though he had never had her in the first place.