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HP stories following Canon after Deathly Hallows >> It's Called Sweet Vengeance by Ginny_WP

Simple Text - To view MORE chapters use the chapter jump box to the right.
A/N: Hey all!

I just remembered today that I had an account in this site. :p Anyway, I'm a member on Mugglenet Fanfiction, and this was my submission for a contest out there. Hope you enjoy it! Please let me know of your views once you're through! :)

Ron Weasley yawned and settled on his bed, rubbing his sleepy eyes vigorously. He was tired— the long, hard day at work had taken all the energy out of him. He was also grumpy, because he hadn’t had dinner yet and his stomach was practically growling. Unfortunately, he couldn’t do anything about it. Hermione wasn’t home from her grocery shopping and Ron couldn’t cook for nuts.

He lived with his two best friends— Harry Potter and Hermione Granger in a flat that all of them had rented together just recently. A few months had passed since the war and Ron and Harry were working as Aurors for Kingsley while Hermione was planning to return to Hogwarts to complete her studies come September.

Ron yawned again and his tired eyes watered up for the umpteenth time that day. Swearing in a low voice, he wiped them and lay down, shutting them and letting the sleep carry him away for a while.

“Ron… Ron!” He awoke to see a frustrated Hermione stand over him. “Thank Merlin that you woke up,” she said, putting her hands on her hips. “How many times have I told you not to sleep before having something to eat? Now wash your face and come for dinner. Harry is waiting too.”

Ron sighed. “Okay. Give me five minutes.” As Hermione left, he stretched and stumbled to the bathroom, where he washed his face. When he looked into the mirror, he saw a red haired, blue-eyed, freckled young man of eighteen stare back at him. Technically, there was barely any difference between how he had looked during his days at Hogwarts and how he looked now, but Ron could see the change very clearly. A few years ago, nobody would have seen the knowing that covered every inch of his face. But now he had seen too much… done too much, and though he knew that he was still the very same Ron deep inside, he had changed with time.

He dabbed at his wet face with a clean towel and headed to the dining room where Harry was setting the table. Harry too hadn’t changed much in his looks— his black hair was as untidy as it always had been and his eyes were still a brilliant green beneath the spectacles that he wore. The lightning bolt shaped scar on the centre of his forehead had remained as it was; except that it did not hurt him anymore.

“You know, you can help too, Ron,” said Hermione wearily, handing him spoons. “Go on, set the table.” She swore softly as the bun she seemed to have made with much difficulty out of her impossible hair unknotted, sending her bushy brown locks cascading down her shoulders.

Ron grinned as he took the spoons. “Serves you right for making me work.”

She raised an eyebrow at him and then broke into a smile, her brown eyes twinkling. “Oh Ron…” She touched his face lightly, sending his heart into a frenzy. Then she returned to the kitchen without another word.

As Ron returned to the table to set the spoons, his eyes met with Harry’s— and he saw the very obvious question in his best mate’s eyes. When are you asking her out?

Ron shrugged. It was true that he and Hermione had shared a kiss during the war not very long ago, but neither of them had spoken about it to each other ever since. Perhaps it was all the loss and despair mixed with elation… perhaps it was the fact that Hermione had gone off to Australia within a couple of weeks after the end of the war to find her parents and had returned with a boyfriend whom she dated for exactly two weeks, sending Ron into a jealous shell… he didn’t know what it was. But Ron had never had the courage to ask Hermione to so much as coffee so they could at least discuss their relationship. There was attraction from both sides; but Ron decided that perhaps neither he nor Hermione were prepared to work on their feelings for each other.

And whenever Ron reasoned with this, one question always came up to his mind— what was that kiss, then? Where did that put the two of them…?

A few minutes later, Ron was enjoying Hermione’s delicious macaroni and cheese while all three of them chatted about work and other things. Hermione was halfway through a funny incident that had taken place at her department that day, when Ron remembered something. “Hey—” he said suddenly, “I got George’s letter today. He’s been asking to see you guys for a while now. I said we’d tentatively go visit him tomorrow. Should I confirm our plans with him, if you two are all right with it?”

“Sure,” said Harry at once. “We’re off work anyway, so I’m okay with going to Diagon Alley.”

“Actually, he’s planning to go to the shop in Hogsmeade tomorrow, to spend some time with Lee too. We can all Apparate there in the evening… What do you say?”

“That’s fine with me,” said Hermione.

“Yeah,” agreed Harry, grinning. “And then we can go meet Hagrid too. It’s been so long since we’ve met up with him …”

Ron and Hermione nodded in agreement. They had not seen either George or Hagrid since the war. George had withdrawn into his world for a while after the loss of his twin, but now he was more or less back to his own self though he stayed in Diagon Alley and took care of the joke shop for most of the time in the day. Hagrid, on the other hand, had just been out of reach. Happy with their plans, the trio continued with dinner, each of them anticipating a very enjoyable and nostalgic upcoming evening.


The next day, Harry, Ron and Hermione were all very, very excited about their visit to Hogsmeade. Hermione almost burned her hand while cooking, Harry nearly poked Ron in the eye with his wand and Ron simply stayed out of the way of his over-excited friends, until a pan that Hermione was Summoning hit him right on his head. Somehow, the morning and the afternoon passed quickly and by four-thirty in the evening, they were all ready to go.

Hermione handed Ron and Harry their bunches of keys before locking the flat. Then they all Apparated to Hogsmeade together. Fred and George’s joke shop was right where the old Zonko’s joke shop used to be. Grinning at each other Harry, Ron and Hermione entered it one-by-one.

It was not very crowded inside the shop and they spotted Lee Jordan immediately; he was selling Nosebleed Nougats to a few eager customers. After a quick hello and some small talk, he led them to George, who greeted them cheerfully.

“Hello Harry, Hermione, Git!”

“Hey!” objected Ron, before grinning at his brother. They shared a brief, rather awkward hug.

“So… how’s everything going?” George asked, beaming at the three of them.

“Great, actually,” replied Hermione. “I’m all prepared to go back to Hogwarts and sit for my NEWTS this year. Transfiguration seems to be rather tough in the seventh year… I wonder how I will be able to get full marks. And Charms…”

George stopped her midway through her speech. “Hermione, I must tell you again: There is no use for sitting through exams when you can just escape them so easily!”

“NEWTS are very important to build a well-defined career!” Hermione objected. “In fact, I think Harry and Ron should come back to Hogwarts too.”

George yawned. And Harry and Ron gave each other exasperated looks. “Fine. Have it your way. I will not argue with you. So… would you three like some Firewhiskey?”

“Yes please!” They chorused together and George took them inside to a private room in the shop where they all sat with bottles of Firewhiskey and chatted gaily.


In a dirty, run-down flat somewhere in the busy city of city of London sat a man and a woman— both tied up to a pair of chairs with tight black ropes. The man was not in a conscious state of mind at all, while the woman kept drifting in and out of consciousness. Both of them looked tired and dishevelled; their clothes were dirty and soiled as though somebody had dragged them to the room through a lot of dust and grime.

However, in the same flat was a third man. He looked at the other two people in the room and chuckled as he tied a rolled up piece of parchment to the leg of an owl and sent it flying into the dark skies.


Harry, Ron and Hermione returned home, all three of them drunk on the Firewhiskey that they’d had with George. They had also gone to Hagrid’s after visiting George. He had been very happy to meet them and had served his home made rock cakes which all three of them accepted in their drunken states and which Harry had almost puked out on Hagrid. The latter also showed them his now improved pumpkin patch. The only problem was that it was slowly getting infested with gnomes. With a shriek, a drunken Hermione had lifted one of the gnomes, spun it round and round until it had been incredibly dizzy and had flung it hard. They had a good time with Hagrid too and then they had realised that it was quite late and that Harry and Ron had to report to work the next day. Reluctantly, they had said their goodbyes to Hagrid.

Presently, Hermione made some strong, black coffee and poured it into three cups: two of which she gave to Harry and Ron. The three of them sipped their coffees, each holding their aching heads with their hands.

“An’ why di’ we get dwunk again?” Ron slurred hoarsely, grimacing at his throbbing head.

“Memories, I guess,” sighed Hermione, trying to keep her vision from clouding over.

“I think I’m going to puke,” groaned Harry. Ron and Hermione both burst into giggles, neither of them knowing why. Harry gave them a drunkenly angry look. “Not funny.”

“I don’t know what’s funny!” Hermione squealed, unable to control her giggles.

“I think we shou’ awl go to sweep,” said Ron pushing aside his cup of coffee.

Hermione giggled again. “You haven’t swept the floors in a long time.”

Ron, however, did not reply to her as he exited to his bedroom. Harry followed soon after, leaving Hermione giggling with her cup of coffee at the table. Five minutes later, Hermione too got up from the table and not bothering to clear up anything, she stumbled straight to her bedroom and passed out on the bed.


Tap. Tap. Tap.

Hermione awoke suddenly, her head throbbing terribly and her eyes straining to open to the brightness of the room. She had forgotten to extinguish the lights before falling right asleep. However, the lights hadn’t woken her up. Something else had. She wondered what it was…

Tap. Tap. Tap.

Hermione sat up looked at the window with a start, realising that the sound was issuing from there. That’s it. That was what had woken her up. Groaning, she walked over and threw open the window. An owl flew in and perched itself at the window sill before holding out its leg. Hermione untied the scroll from the leg and kept it on the table. The owl had flown away before she had reached to shut the window again. Then she heard another sound.


She turned around to see Ron at the door. What was he doing here? He entered the room, grinning at her. “What’re you doin’ up s’ill?” he slurred, the effects of Firewhiskey not having gone yet. Hermione eyed the clock on her bedside table and realised that she had been asleep for only a few minutes. Merlin! And she had thought it was almost dawn.

She smiled at him involuntarily. “I got a letter.”

He did not reply to it. Instead, he stepped closer to her. “You’re vewry pretty, ‘Ermione…”

She burst into giggles. “Thanks, Won Won!”

“Lavender cawled me that,” he said, breaking into giggles too. “Lav Lav!”

And then before they knew it, they were kissing fiercely. Hermione felt his red hair as she moved her hands through them and then slowly, moved them down to his back… up and down his spine. He stopped kissing her mouth and slowly placed his lips on her neck and slid apart the sleeve of her shirt, kissing her clavicles and her shoulders…

Hermione responded to his kisses with her moans and finally, the two of them fell on her bed as she finally put off the lights with a wave of her wand.


The sunrays filtered through Hermione’s window, falling directly on her eyes. She gave a disagreeing moan and opened an eye. She then sat up on her bed just to see something that startled her. Ron was sleeping on her bed! And right next to her at that!

She sat like that for a while, her head pounding while she listened to his snores and tried to remember what had happened the night before. One consolation was that she was fully dressed— and so was Ron. So… what had happened?

She gathered her hair and tied them into a bun before stretching and padding to her bathroom to brush her teeth. It was then that she remembered something— hadn’t she received a letter last night? Had she read it?

She rinsed her mouth and washed her face, realising that she didn’t remember the contents of the letter even if she had read it last night. So she might as well read it again, anyway…

Hermione showered and emerged from her bathroom, only to realise that Ron was still asleep on her bed. She pulled out her clothes from the wardrobe and marched back into the bathroom to put them on. She was terribly hungover: she decided to fix herself coffee and quickly brew up a Hangover potion once she was done reading that letter. When she was out of her bathroom, she strode straight over to her table, where she had kept the letter and smoothening it out on the table, she read it. As she read each line, a sense of dread filled her. Oh no… this couldn’t be happening… This couldn’t be happening!

She had to act immediately… she had to do something… How would she do it alone? She licked her lips and pocketed the letter before grabbing her wand. There was silence all around— Harry seemed to be asleep too. Gathering all her courage, Hermione stepped out of the flat, clutching both the wand and the letter in her sweaty hands. But just as she was outside her home, the piece of parchment glowed blue. It was a Portkey. Before Hermione knew it, she was going somewhere… and where it was going to be, she had no clue.


Harry woke up to find himself on the floor of his room with the mother of all hangovers. He couldn’t remember a single detail of what had transpired after the visit to George’s joke shop the previous evening.

Clutching his aching head, he walked to the bathroom and brushed his teeth. Then he washed up, shaved and dressed hoping Hermione could fix a potion for the massive hangover that he was having, and was sure his best friends would be having too. Then he entered the living room to find it deserted. He checked the kitchen. Deserted again. Three half-finished cups of black coffee stood on the table, untouched since the night before.

Realising that Hermione was probably still asleep, he cleared the table and made himself some more black coffee. After taking a sip of it, he knocked at the door to Ron’s room, deciding to wake him up so he could get ready for work.

There was no answer to Harry’s knocks. “Ron?” Harry called, knocking harder. To his surprise, the door swung open to reveal an empty room. Bewildered, Harry entered it. The bathroom door was open too; so Ron wasn’t there either.

Harry was quite surprised and confused. Where had Ron gone off, so early in the morning? He stepped over to Hermione’s room. “Hermione? Are you there?” There was no reply. He knocked again, only to find Hermione’s room unlocked too. Carefully, he pushed the door open to find a startling vision. Ron was on Hermione’s bed! Harry made to shut the door. Obviously, he had invaded on something private. But a grin spread on his face when he returned to his coffee. Ron and Hermione were back together. Nothing could make him gladder.

He waited fifteen minutes, but Hermione did not come out. Hell, there was silence in the house; as though he was the only one who was staying there. He finished his coffee and fixed some more for Ron and Hermione, before knocking at her door again. “Hermione!” he called out loudly. The coffee hadn’t quite cured him of his hangover. He felt dehydrated and fatigued. Plus his head was still pulsating lightly.

“Ron!” he called out again, hoping to wake his best friend up. Thankfully, it worked. Ron came to the door and opened it, his eyes red and tired.

“We have to report to Kingsley in fifteen minutes,” said Harry, checking his watch. “Get ready fast.”

“Where’s Hermione?” Ron asked, yawning and scratching at his stubble.

“Well, you should know that,” said Harry grinning.

Ron chuckled. “Why would I—” Suddenly, his eyes filled with horror as he recognised his surroundings. “What am I doing in her effing room?”

Harry shrugged. “Would I know?”

“I’m fully dressed, though…” said Ron, relaxing a little. “Maybe I just went and slept next to her in my drunken state.”

“Maybe…” grinned Harry.

“Awh, shut up,” yawned Ron. “Nothing happened.”

“Right,” said Harry again, his eyes twinkling.

“Don’t do that,” snapped Ron. “You’re only increasing my headache.”

“Speaking of which,” said Harry, “I have made coffee. Get ready and have it fast. We don’t have much time.”

“Hmm,” replied Ron, walking over to his room. He turned around before shutting the door. “Where is Hermione, though.”

“No idea. Isn’t she in the bathroom?”

He sighed. “Nope, I’d have realised. Maybe she’s gone to buy extra books to study so she can get three hundred percent in her NEWTs or something. She’s just like that Ernie Macmillan— crazy about exams.”

Harry sniggered at Ron’s words. “Where did Ernie Macmillan come from?”

“I just remembered how mental he’d gone before the OWLs. You do recollect how he rambled on about studying ten hours a day, right? Sheesh, what a prat!”

Harry sniggered more and said. “Go get ready, now, or we’re going to be really late.”

“Right. In a minute,” said Ron, before vanishing into his room. He emerged soon after, fully dressed and drank up the coffee, groaning. “My head still hurts,” he complained as Harry poured out Hermione’s coffee into the sink. “I feel terrible.”

“I know, I do too,” replied Harry. “I really don’t know how to brew the Hangover potion, though and Hermione isn’t around. Guess we’ll just have to adjust like this for the next few hours.”

“Fine,” said Ron as they got out of the flat and locked it. “Let’s go.”


“I got news about a group of Death Eaters who have been spotted in parts of London recently,” said Kingsley, pointing at some parts in a map of London. “These Death Eaters have not yet caused trouble, but I know they will soon if we don’t capture them fast enough. So—” he looked at a group of senior Aurors whom he had summoned. “I want you all to make a clean job of capturing them.”. He paused and looked at Harry, Ron and Neville. “Would you three like to go?”

“Yes,” they chorused, eager to get set on a task.

Kingsley nodded. “Okay. You must at any cost stay with the senior Aurors. Try not to get separated from them. We do not yet have an idea of the identity of the Death Eaters, and they can be very dangerous. Is that understood?”

The three of them nodded eagerly.

“All right, then,” replied Kingsley, handing them a pen. “A source confirmed their whereabouts last evening and here’s a Portkey to the location. Get them all alive, as far as possible. All the best.”

Harry, Ron and Neville walked into a circle with the six other Aurors and caught onto the pen, before it glowed blue and transported them away from the Ministry of Magic.


Hermione pulled at the tight black ropes that bound her, trying hard to free herself. Beside her she could see her mother and father; both tied to similar chairs, unconscious and covered in dirt. The letter she had received the previous night had informed her of their kidnapping and asked her to come along with Harry— to give him up to the Death Eaters if she wanted to free her parents.

Get us Harry Potter, and you’ll get your parents back alive.

Of course, the letter hadn’t been signed: there was only a fake address scrawled at the bottom. She hadn’t really seen the faces of any of her captors, but she knew that they were Death Eaters. When she had arrived by Portkey, she had been immediately blindfolded and tied up. When the blindfold had been removed, she had just seen a figure in black Death Eater robes and the characteristic mask exit the room hurriedly. However, Hermione had realised that there were a group of Death Eaters and not just a single one of them because of the different whispered voices that she could make out from the other room.

Presently, a Death Eater entered the room again. He had pulled his hood over his head and worn the mask too. “Where is Potter?” he asked, and Hermione recognised him as Yaxley.

She could feel fear boil over her senses, but she decided to pretend to be cool. “In case you haven’t noticed, I didn’t bring him along. You will never understand friendship and loyalty will you?”

He raised his wand at her. “You called the Aurors didn’t you, Mudblood?”

Hermione felt relief flood into her. Harry and Ron must have realised she was missing and alerted Kingsley! “Well,” she said, pretending to be calm, “you aren’t so smart yourself, are you? You thought you could threaten and kidnap Harry Potter’s good friend and get away with it.”

“And we will,” said Yaxley in a deadly voice. “Harry Potter will regret defeating the Dark Lord. It’s called sweet vengeance.”

“Right, I’m shaking in my shoes,” said Hermione, truthfully. “You haven’t done anything to me in the last hour, and I doubt you even have the courage to hurt me. You’re on the run from the Ministry and you don’t have the guts to give them any idea about your whereabouts.” She knew she was probably talking utter nonsense, but she knew that this was the first principle to adopt when faced by a stronger enemy. Keep talking, Harry had taught her. It always buys you more time.

“KEEP QUIET, YOU MUDBLOOD!” the Death Eater screamed. Hermione grimaced as her head pounded. She should have really had some coffee before coming here. She knew she had to be very quick with her hands, feet as well as wand if need be; but how was she going to do it all with that colossal headache?

She looked up at the angry man, maintaining her act of nonchalance. “Yeah, scream all you want. You’re probably only going to half damage my ear.” Oh Merlin, let the Aurors come fast. Let the Aurors come fast…

Just then, another Death Eater entered and spoke to Yaxley in a low voice. The latter took a deep breath and looked around the room, first at Hermione’s parents and then at her. He then took off his mask and smirked at Hermione, while speaking to the other man. “So maybe we will kill them all, Rabastan.”

Hermione’s heart began to beat fast. No… no… please let the Aurors come… please let them come right now…

Yaxley looked at her rapidly paling face. “Not so brave now, are you? You alerted the Aurors and they’re coming here to catch us. Now all they will find here will be your Mudblood body with those of your Muggle parents. Enjoy your journey.” He raised his wand at her and with a menacing smile, he prepared to utter the Killing Curse. “Avada—”

However, before he could complete his curse the wand had flown out of his hand and he turned around just in time to see a tall Auror catch it. Then all Hermione could see were flashes of light and in a few moments, both Rabastan Lestrange as well as Yaxley were unconscious at her feet. The Aurors barged into the next room and began to fight the other Death Eaters as Harry, Ron and Neville came into the flat behind their seniors. They saw her immediately.

“Hermione?!” exclaimed Ron, rushing to untie her at once. “How did you get here?”

Harry and Neville untied Hermione’s parents as she spoke. “The Death Eaters kidnapped my parents— and then they sent me a letter to get Harry along and surrender him to them in exchange for their release. I had to come.”

“Why didn’t you tell us?” Harry asked, supporting Mrs Granger and trying to get her out of the door. “We would have helped.”

“I just thought I should do this myself…” said Hermione.

“Nonsense,” said Ron, rushing over to help Neville with getting Mr Granger out. Just as he got hold of the older man, there was a sound and before they knew it, Neville was unconscious.

Ron and Harry turned around, shocked, to see Rabastan on his feet with his wand aimed at them. Harry opened his mouth for an incantation, but he was too late; Rabastan had disarmed him. He handed Harry’s wand to Yaxley and pointed his wand at Harry with a smile. “Crucio.”

Harry fell to the ground, screaming in agony, as Ron and Yaxley fought, quick flashes of light issuing from both their wands. “Hermione, do something for Harry!” said Ron through gritted teeth. Hermione looked around desperately, trying to find a way to help Harry. She didn’t have her wand, but surely, there was some way she could help. Harry was still writhing in pain and she wanted to stop Rabastan…

Suddenly, a broomstick standing against one of the walls caught her attention. She ran to it, grasped the handle and without waiting a moment, she whacked Rabastan hard on the head. He staggered, his spell discontinuing and giving Harry time to get up. Clenching her teeth, Hermione hit Rabastan for a second time and then turned to Yaxley, who stopped fighting with Ron for just a moment to send a jet of red light flying at her. Then she lost consciousness.


Hermione’s eyes opened and she looked around, recognising her own room. Groaning, she turned to her side and curled up, wondering if she had just seen a really convincing dream or if she had really been held hostage by the Death Eaters.

“Well, hello, sleepyhead,” said a voice and she sat up to see Ron enter the room, with a smile on his face. He seated himself on the bed, right next to her.

“So was I seriously just asleep?” she asked, grinning a little herself.

“What do you think?” asked Ron.

“Well, that was either really a wild dream or…”


Hermione thought for a while. “Well, I think it was just a dream…”

“It so happens that it wasn’t just a dream,” said Ron earnestly. “The Death Eaters made a last, desperate attempt to punish Harry for killing You Know Who. Thankfully, there wasn’t much damage.”

Hermione sighed, remembering how Rabastan Lestrange had cast the Cruciatus Curse on her best friend. “How is Harry?” she asked Ron. “That Cruciatus Curse looked horrible.”

“Well, he has been better,” said Ron. “He was in considerable pain— he just downed a pain potion with a bit of Sleeping Draught. Now let’s hope he’s fine when he wakes up…”

“And what did I get hit by?” asked Hermione.

“Thankfully, it was only a Stunner,” said Ron. “Bit odd of Yaxley to use a simple charm on you, actually, but thank Merlin that he didn’t do something worse.”

“So how long has it been since…?”

“An hour. Harry, Neville and I were sent home. And before you ask, Neville is fine too. And so are your parents. You can go visit them in the evening if you want.”

“That will be good. I’ll do that.”

There was silence. Both of them looked into each other’s eyes, the same question playing in their minds: What had happened last night?

Hermione decided to go for it. “So… any idea about last night…?”

He shrugged. “Nope. I really don’t know how I got here… I barely remember any of the things I did after our visit to George’s joke shop.”

“I did have all my clothes on, though…”

“And so did I…”

“Well, obviously nothing happened,” said Ron.

“Of course not,” said Hermione, but she could still sense some doubt in Ron’s mind along with that in hers.

There was more silence, pressing on them like a blanket. “I… should go,” said Ron, getting up and stretching. “You can continue with your rest.”

Hermione got off the bed too. “Okay, see you later.”

Then incredibly, before either of them could realise it, they were kissing. Hermione put her arms around him and held him tight, not ready to let go of them this time. He kissed her back with equal passion, his hands playing with her bushy brown tresses. Then they parted, panting hard, but their eyes twinkling with happiness. And then, a memory flashed in Hermione’s eyes. Ron entering her room last night… all the kissing… and both of them passing out almost at the same time. She looked at Ron and burst into giggles, going red at the same time.

His ears reddened too. “What happened? Was I that terrible?”

“No!” she said, controlling her giggles with great difficulty. “I just remembered— we really didn’t do anything last night. Well… except for some kissing…”

“We kissed?” he asked, trying hard to recollect the previous night.

“Yes. Then we passed out.”

A relieved smile spread on his face. “We were all so drunk on the Firewhiskey, weren’t we?”

“We definitely were,” said Hermione.

Ron looked at her for a while before clearing his throat. “So… um… will you go out with me for dinner…? Tonight?”

She smiled and nodded. “Of course! What took you so long to ask?”

“Guess I wasn’t very prepared,” he shrugged. Then he bit his lip for a second, before making a daring move and taking her hand in his.

She did not object. Instead, she squeezed his hand and said, “We’ll take this slow and steady, okay? Let’s not ruin our friendship with this.”

“Of course,” he said. She looked at him, adoring his blue eyes and his freckled face. She couldn’t tell him about how long she had dreamt of this… how long she had waited for him to at least ask her out once… She leaned in and kissed him again.

This time it was softer and yet more passionate. She couldn’t believe how kind life was finally being to her… for a really long time now; she had been having feelings for Ron…

Suddenly, Ron pulled away mid kiss. Hermione, bewildered, looked at him only to find his face covered in a mask of fear. “What is it?” she asked, worried.

He pointed at the wall behind her and she turned around to see a spider scuttle about, building a web between the wall and her bedpost. “I’ll get rid of it,” she said, looking around for her wand, but Ron was quicker. Before she could find her wand, Ron had gone into his room and come back with his Cleansweep. Then with a deep breath, he brought the broomstick crashing down on the poor spider, causing it to fall down and scuttle fearfully across the floor.

“Ron!” Hermione cried, amused and exasperated. “Don’t—” she made a face as the broomstick landed on the spider again. And again. Ron continued to hit the dead spider, while Hermione got up and pulled him away, Vanishing the arachnid with her wand. “What’s with you?” she asked Ron, putting her hands on her hips.

“It was a spider, in case you didn’t notice.”

“Yes, I saw that, Ron, but you didn’t have to hit it like that!”

He grinned at her. “I was only taking a leaf from your book.”

She looked at him, her expression of anger changing until she burst into laughter. “Oh Ron!”

He snorted, breaking into laughter too. “I’m sure Rabastan Lestrange is never going to want to look at another broomstick.”

“Come on! I had to do something to protect us!”

“Yes and the broomstick was just perfect.”

“May I remind you that you are standing here because of that exact broomstick?”

“Yeah. Right. Hermione, the hero.”

“Shut up, Ron…”

Two rooms away, Harry opened an eye, the intense yelling having disrupted his sleep. But as he heard Ron and Hermione’s bickering voices, he shut his eyes again, smiling. Those two would never put a stop this stupid bickering of theirs would they? So he might as well sleep. There was absolutely no need to worry. Everything was as normal as it could get.

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