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Next Time by FAHIM
Chapter 3 : Chapter Three
 
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Next Time

Chapter Three

The next day letters from Hogwarts arrived, whilst everyone was excitedly eating their breakfasts. As usual the yellowish parchments, addressed in green ink had the list of books they had to buy for their fifth year. Hermione had received the news she’d been waiting to hear for over four years. She was being made a prefect. She couldn’t stop smiling, thinking at last that all that hard work had paid off. Ron was still recovering from the fact that yesterday Hermione seemed to be staring and smiling at him all the way through dinner whilst sitting next to him. He still felt things were awkward between them. Sometimes he felt so sure she thought of him as more than a friend but then he would convince himself he was just being dumb like Neville Longbottom. Since their school letters had arrived Mrs Weasley had decided everybody would go to Diagon Alley for school shopping. Ron had been looking forward to going to Diagon Alley as he had decided he would buy a present for Hermione that would let her know how he felt about her. He had discussed his options with Harry and they had both decided this was the safest option. He knew he could never tell her face to face exactly how he felt. It would be too embarrassing. Way too embarrassing. He could just imagine himself making a complete fool of himself.
‘You know Ron, you always seem to daydream. Thinking of some girl?’ Harry said still taking every chance he could to tease Ron, as they both sat on the floor in Ron’s room, having finally started their homework.
‘What, err, ummm what were you saying?’ said Ron, not quite catching what Harry had said but from the grin on Harry’s face he knew it was obviously something embarrassing.
‘I was just saying you always daydream. Thinking of some girl? Hermione perhaps?’ Harry said with an even bigger grin, as he saw Hermione heading towards the room.
‘I wasn’t daydreaming, I was just thinking of what to get Hermione from Diagon Alllll…..’ Ron said as he just noticed Hermione walk into the room, whilst finishing his sentence. He instantly went red and blushed, hoping that Hermione hadn’t heard what he’d just said. He couldn’t believe she’d walked into the room at that precise moment. It was all Harry’s fault he thought. Teasing him all the time.
‘What was that Ron, what are you getting Hermione from Diagon Alllll….’ Harry said mocking Ron relentlessly, knowing all to well Ron would get his revenge this time. He looked at Hermione, who seemed extremely embarrassed. There was complete silence, with neither of them knowing quite what to say or do, whilst Harry couldn’t stop laughing.
‘Erm, we’re all leaving for Diagon Alley.’ Hermione just about managed to say, not knowing quite where to look.
‘Great, lets go,’ Ron said breathlessly, whilst literally running out the room, thinking how he would get his revenge on Harry and what was Hermione thinking of him now.
‘Harry, why’s Ron getting me something from Diagon Alley?’ Hermione said, relieved that Ron was out the room and she could at least compose herself again.
‘How am I supposed to know? But Hermione do you like Ron? I mean more than just friends?’ Harry said, thinking how weird things would be if Ron and Hermione started dating.
‘Harry, what’s wrong with you? Why are you asking these questions?’ Hermione said, sitting extremely uncomfortably on Ron’s bed. Anything reminding her of Ron caused endless butterflies in her stomach.
‘Come on Hermione, its pretty obvious you like him. I mean, the way you two are really uncomfortable around each other. Do you like Ron?’ Harry said, eager to know the answer.
‘I’ll tell you Harry if you promise not to tell Ron and stop teasing us,’ Hermione said, not quite believing she was going to tell Harry her biggest secret.
‘Ok I promise not to tell Ron and I’ll stop the teasing. Now just tell me will you?’ Harry said with a hint of desperation in his voice.
‘Ok, yes I like Ron,’ Hermione mumbled, ‘but you can’t tell him cos I don’t now if he likes me or not. I don’t suppose you would know that, would you, Harry?’ Hermione said pleading whilst desperate to know the answer.
‘Hermione I can’t tell you that, but if Ron does, he’ll tell you in his own time. Now come one everybody’s waiting for us downstairs,’ Harry said singing ‘Ron and Hermione, sitting up a tree, K I S S I N G……’ whilst skipping down the stairs with Hermione chasing him and trying desperately to shut him up.

************************************************************************

Harry, Ron and Hermione had split up from the rest of the family, as soon as they arrived at Diagon Alley. Harry was even more certain he hated travelling by Floo powder, but thankfully this time he had managed to not turn up in Knockturn Alley. They decided to go to Flourish and Blotts to buy their school books. Things between Ron and Hermione were even more awkward than before thanks to Harry’s constant teasing.
‘I can’t wait to buy our books. I mean The Standard Book of Spells, Grade 5 should be good reading, if Grade 4 is anything to go by,’ Hermione said, finally breaking the silence. She still felt she couldn’t look into Ron’s eyes.
‘Oh yeah Hermione, even more reading, I mean I don’t think I can take the excitement!’ Ron said sarcastically. He felt he needed to tease her, to make things between them at least normal. He was expecting Hermione to say something back, to perhaps start an argument, but she just smiled at him, causing him to turn crimson and not know where to look, causing Harry to let out a loud snigger. Both of them just looked at Harry, who couldn’t stop smiling.
‘Anyways, I need to go and buy something. I’ll meet you two at Leaky Cauldron in an hour. Ok?’ Harry said. The look of desperation in both their eyes, begging him not to leave them by themselves, was almost too much for Harry to ignore, but he couldn’t help himself.
‘Erm, Harry what about your books? You need to buy them. We‘re here now. You can buy whatever you need later,’ Hermione said, trying desperately hard to persuade Harry not to leave them all alone. She didn’t think she could cope with just Ron by herself. Ron wasn’t her just her best friend anymore. He was so much more.
‘Here Hermione take this money and this letter, and just buy my books for me? You two will be ok, won’t you? Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do,’ he said sniggering, as Ron gave him a look of pure evil. Harry started walking away, looking back every ten seconds, laughing.
‘So, Ron…’
‘So Hermione…..’
They had both started talking at the same time. Ron couldn’t take this uneasiness between them for much longer and decided to at least try and act normal with Hermione.
‘Sorry, you go first, what were you saying?’ Ron mumbled, at last daring to look Hermione in the face. He thought how beautiful she looked, how much he wished she was his girlfriend and how he was getting butterflies in his stomach just looking at her.
‘Erm, well I was just going to say maybe we can get our books later, when Harry gets back. Do you want to go and get some Butterbeer somewhere?’ Hermione replied.
She finally plucked up the courage to look into Ron’s eyes and was surprised to find Ron looking at her. They looked at each other for a few second before quickly looking away, both mumbling about how hot it was and that they really should get going.
They walked into the Leaky Cauldron and both ordered their Butterbeers. Hermione couldn’t think of what she should say. She thought about how nice it was for those few seconds when they had looked into each other eyes. She thought about how handsome Ron looked. She didn’t think she could handle this situation with Ron for any longer. She thought how ridiculous it was that the one person she really wanted to talk to, she found she didn’t know what to say.
‘So, you’ve finally become prefect. Now you can stop working so hard!’ Ron said, trying to start conversation, hating these awkward silences.
‘You’ve got to be joking, Ron, I still want to be head girl,’ Hermione replied, smiling at Ron.
‘You know Hermione, I’m really worried about Harry. He keeps having nightmares during the night. I think they’re about He Who Must Not Be Named. He’s always screaming out Cedric’s name.’ Ron said, thinking about how hard life was on Harry.
‘When did all this start?’ asked Hermione, putting down her Butterbeer. She hadn’t realised Harry was having nightmares. She also felt relief that at long last Ron and herself were having a normal conversation, silently thanking Ron for putting the effort in.
‘Well ever since he’s been at the Burrow. He doesn’t really like talking about it though,’ Ron said
‘I wish there was someway we could help him,’ Hermione said.
They talked about Hogwarts, what they were going to do for the rest of the holidays, about how he was worried about how He Who Must Not Be Named was getting stronger according his father, her about prefect duties and before long Harry walked in, immediately spotting them both.
‘Hey, you two. Did you get our books?’ Harry asked, smiling as he thought about Ron and Hermione and how they both liked each other but wouldn’t admit it to each other.
‘No we thought we’d wait for you,’ Hermione replied.
‘Look I want to go and buy something. Why don’t you two head towards Flourish and Blotts and I’ll meet you two there,’ Ron said, blushing ever so slightly as he thought about what he was going to buy Hermione.
‘What are you up to? First Harry, you say you have to buy something and now Ron. Are you two going to tell me what’s going on?’ Hermione demanded.
‘Look it won’t take me very long. You two go ahead, I don’t know what Harry went to buy, probably a present for Cho’ Ron said, smiling as Harry seemed to blush.
‘Don’t be dumb Ron. But I guess your going to buy that present for Hermione you were talking about earlier?’ Harry said, unable to contain his laughter at seeing both Ron and Hermione look extremely embarrassed.
‘Come on Harry, lets get going. We’ll meet you there Ron. Ok?’ Hermione finally managed to say.
‘Ok,’ Ron just about managed to say, whilst also mumbling something about Harry going too far this time.
Harry and Hermione headed towards the bookstore, whilst Ron walked in the opposite direction thinking about what he was going to buy for Hermione.

Please review and encourage me to continue. We writers need an ego boost once in a while. nazma1983@aol.com
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters in this fanfiction. All characters and others included in the story are owned by J.K. Rowling.
Ple


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