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HP stories following Canon but PRE-OotP >> After the Ball by merlinsaprentice

Simple Text - To view MORE chapters use the chapter jump box to the right.
Disclaimer……….. All characters are the copyright of JK Rowling

After The Ball

Hermione screamed as the curtains of her bed flew open, “you evil wicked old cow. How could you? I told you he loves you and you, you, I hate you Hermione Granger” Ginny screamed at her before storming out of the room.

“I told you, didn’t I tell you?” Lavender said to Parvati as they both stared at the open door.

Hermione sat in her bed stunned, unable to think why her best female friend had just yelled at her. A small tear formed on her cheek as she too stared at the open door.

“What did I do?” Hermione asked feebly.

Lavender looked at her, incredulity all over her face. “Don’t tell me you didn’t notice how hurt Potter felt when Cho the girl he fancied turned him down for the ball?”

Hermione still stared at the open door way “what’s Harry got to do with it?” was all she could think to say.

Parvati gave a disgusted look at Hermione “perhaps you should ask Ron or his sister”.

Hermione took her eyes off the door and looked at her room mate.

“You make me sick, and my sister had to” she stopped mid sentence. “Oh don’t talk to me” Parvati shouted then pulled shut her curtains.

Hermione looked at lavender confusion all over her face. Lavender just sniffed then she too pulled the drapes of her bed closed.

Hermione got up and closed the door before getting back into her bed and closing her curtains. She wondered what had happened just a few short minutes ago she was sitting quietly thinking of the wonderful night she had been having till Ron Weasley had spoiled it for her by saying she was fraternising with the enemy.
She was just thinking of how much she enjoyed dancing, all the fun she had been having. Then Ron and now Ginny and her room mates seemed hell bent on ruining it all.

She thumped at her pillow hard before placing her head on it. It was quite a while before she finally fell asleep.

The following morning the room was empty when she woke up; it seemed somehow odd that she did not have to wake her two room mates as she usually did.
After a shower and her ritual tooth cleaning session she headed down to the main hall for breakfast.

There was a lot of whispering going on as she approached the Gryffindor table; it suddenly went very quiet when they noticed her walking toward them.
Neither Ron or Harry were there so she decided she would sit next to Ginny and find out what the previous night was all about.

All eyes on the table were on her as she turned to sit, then they all got up and walked away. The only one who remained at the table was Neville engrossed in his reading, good old reliable Neville she thought as she watched all her class mates leave the hall.

“Morning Neville” Hermione said as cheerfully as she could.

Neville looked up from the paper he was reading, stuttering a little “is that the time” he said getting up to leave.

Hermione grabbed his sleeve as he tried in vane to cock his leg over the bench and to avoid her. “What’s going on Neville? What did I do that’s so awful no one will sit with me?” she asked feeling the way she had in her first year when no one had been her friend.

Neville looked stunned, stuck for words for a while he just looked at her. Then taking a deep breath “you expect me to think you don’t know?” he asked “I know I’m not too clever Hermione but how stupid do you think I am?”

Hermione was now totally confused, still clinging to his sleeve she said “honest Neville I don’t know”.

“Ginny said she told you how Ron felt, we all thought you felt the same. Till last night that is. Even so you should never have done it”.

“Done what for Pete’s sake?” she asked anger beginning to show.

“God! Hermione for some one so clever you are such a fool” Neville answered snatching his sleeve from her grasp and storming away from her.

Hermione sat alone at the Gryffindor table wondering what just happened. Even Neville some one she always helped had treated her like she had done something terrible.

A slight cough made Hermione look around. Cho Chang sat down beside her with her back resting on the table. “You really are a foolish girl Granger. You know when Harry asked me to the ball, I was honoured but I had to turn him down, I know it hurt his feelings but I did apologise to him at the same time. But what you did was just plain nasty”.

“What the hell did I do that was so bad Cho?” Hermione asked as a tear developed.

“You really don’t know, do you?” Cho said. “How about taking a walk with me, its not exactly private here”.

Once out in the grounds Cho began to talk “you know girls mature faster than boys so they are unsure about themselves?”.

Hermione looked at Cho wondering what this had to do with the way she was being treated. “Of course its common knowledge” she answered.

Cho continued “every one in the school knows how Weasley feels about you, from what Neville just said even you knew”

“What that he loves me, that’s rubbish we are just best friends” Hermione answered.

“Well Hermione it may well be that you just lost your best friend for good, and who would blame him. You should have known he wanted to ask you to the ball, you should have known that one of them would have asked, but you never gave him the chance then when he finally worked out a way to ask you, you were just plain nasty” Cho said.

“He should have asked me first” Hermione said defiantly.

“He did ask you first, unless you count that horror episode with the Veela” Cho replied.

“How can you say he asked me first, Viktor asked me first” Hermione pointed out.

“Viktor did not ask you first, he asked me and he asked Pansy Parkinson we both turned him down” Cho said as she shrugged her shoulder. “Actually you were the only one Ron asked, Harry got Parvati to bring her twin”

“Well Viktor asked me before Ron”.

“That’s the part no one understands, every one expected you to wait. We all know how he feels about you but none of us thought you were just leading him on. You of all people should know how hard it is for him, all ways in the background always second to Harry. If comes to that, you of all the girls in the school should know how hard it is for any boy to ask a girl on a date, they are still immature they still have that huge ego thing, don’t you know they have so much to lose if they get turned down”.

“I never did anything to lead him on” Hermione fumed “besides Ron’s not like that”.

“Not like what Hermione, not the type to get jealous or to feel mad when you turn up on the arm of your best friends opponent, you think he would just ignore the fact that his best friend the girl he wants, is dancing and cavorting with the enemy?” Cho asked.

“Viktor is not the enemy” Hermione gasped.

“Of course he’s the bloody enemy you stupid girl. Even Cedric thinks of him as such, even Harry is the enemy when it comes to the tournament, it’s a bloody competition where they could lose their lives, a competition, blimey even in a game of chess the opponent is the enemy till the game is over. Just how stupid are you” Cho shouted then stormed off back to the castle.

Hermione stood staring after Cho her mind was in turmoil ‘was I wrong, was I so insensitive? No I bloody well was not, like Dumbledore said we should-’ her thoughts along this line stopped abruptly. ‘Ron loves me, how can Ron possibly love me, no it’s the other way around I love Ron- oh what have I done?’ She thought.

Hermione did not remember how long she had been stood there all she could remember were Cho’s last words before she stormed off ‘even Harry is the enemy when it comes to the tournament. His best friend the girl he wants is cavorting with and dancing with the enemy’. The words kept echoing in her head as she stood and stared at where Cho had vanished from sight.

Slowly she pulled herself together and walked back up to the castle, she had to speak to Ginny, if Ginny would even speak to her.
She made her way up to the common room to find it empty so she climbed the stair to the floor Ginny was on.

Her knock on the door was answered by one of Ginny’s room mates who shouted over her shoulder “the traitor is here”

“Well tell her to naff off” Ginny shouted back.

Hermione pushed her way into the room; the girls in there gave her evil looks before they all left after saying bye to Ginny.

“What do you want?” Ginny snapped”

“Ginny you knew I was going to the ball with Viktor” Hermione said.

“Yeah but I never thought you would rub Ron’s nose in it, nor did I think you would say the things you did” Ginny snapped again.

“What did I do that was so wrong?” Hermione asked.

“Oh come on, even you can’t be that stupid, first you are a nasty git when he asks you to the ball, then you rub his nose in it by showing off about being with Krum, then you make him look a fool by yelling at him in the common room” Ginny was fuming.

“I was not showing off” Hermione said indignantly.

“Oh isn’t it warm in here, Viktor’s gone to get drinks. Sound familiar” Ginny said.

“You have hurt my brother enough so why don’t you just shove off” Ginny hissed as she pushed Hermione toward the door.

“Ginny I love Ron” Hermione blurted out.

“My arse you do, you’re always trying to make him look stupid, always telling him how thick he is, if not in words you do it with your eyes, always rolling them when he speaks. Well I’ve had enough” Ginny gave a final push “he’s better off without you”.

Hermione was feeling numb when she went back down to the common room. ‘Did she really try to make Ron look thick ‘I know he’s a prat sometimes but he’s a very cute prat’ she thought.
Harry bid her good morning an eager look in his eye. Hermione looked at Ron but he said nothing and did not look at her.

Ron was being civil with her just as he would be with a stranger, even when he joined Harry in telling her about Hagrid being a giant he did not actually look at her.

That evening Hermione made her excuses and went up to bed early, as soon as she had pulled her curtains shut and placed a silencing spell around it she began to cry.

She had hurt Ron deeply she had seen it in his eyes on the odd occasion she had glimpsed them during the day. Usually when they had a fight she new that one of them would say sorry and everything would be ok, but she knew she had done more than sorry would fix this time.

Hermione did not sleep that night she had a great deal to think about. She wanted her Ron back she wanted to make it right.

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