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“So, it’s like this. I like you.”

Ron frowned and shook his head. “Bloody hell. That’s not what I mean. I do like you, but it’s more than that. Hermione, we’ve been friends for years now and we have a good relationship, yeah? Well, mostly good except for the times when you’re cross because I’m a prat or you’re dealing with those monthly woman issues that I really don’t want to think about much less talk about so, right, where was I?”

He grimaced and a ran his hand through his hair. This wasn’t going well. “I fancy you. There. I’ve said it. I fancy you and might very well lo-lo-well, that other word that I’m not ready to say yet. Would you consider going to Hogsmeade with me this weekend? I know we go to Hogsmeade all the time together but, uh, without Harry this time. Just us. You and me. Not that Harry can’t go, too, of course. Just not with us. Because I want you to go with me. You know? With me?”


Ron sighed and cursed under his breath. “You’re right, Pig. It’s awful.”

Pig blinked at him and cocked his head. “Hoooot?”

“She’ll never say yes when I stammer like a stupid oaf.”

“Oh, I don’t know about that.”

Ron stared at Pig and frowned. “Wait. What did you just say?”

Pig looked behind him and flapped his wings in greeting. Ron turned bright red and muttered, “I was afraid you were going to say that,” before he turned to find Hermione leaning against the doorframe. “I, uh, was just---”

“Honestly, Ronald. Why don’t you just ask me?” she asked in her bossiest tone that made him gulp and feel warm in all the worst (or best, if he was alone and could indulge in a bit of wanking) ways.

“Uh, I, um, you might say no?”

She rolled her eyes and scowled, but he could see her lips twitching like she was fighting a smile. “You won’t know until you ask. Or, if you prefer, I can leave you and Pig to your conversation.”

When she made a motion as if she were turning to leave, he hastily said, “WouldyouliketogotoHogsmeadewithme?”

She stopped and looked at him, arching a brow. “I’m sorry. I didn’t understand what you said, Ronald.”

“Bloody hell, woman!” He sighed and glared at her when she simply glared back. He smiled suddenly when he realized there was nothing to be scared about. “Would you like to go to Hogsmeade with me?”

“I’m not sure. I have to revise for Charms and there’s an Arithmancy project due in a couple of months,” she said thoughtfully. She finally nodded and smiled, just slightly. “Okay.”

“Okay? You’ll go?” He wanted to clarify to make sure. When she nodded, he grinned. “That’s great. We’ll go, just us without Harry. Saturday.”

“If you’re finished stammering like an oaf now, I came upstairs to tell you that it’s time for dinner,” she told him.

“Hey now! Watch who you’re calling---”

“I happen to find stammering oafs irresistible,” she mused before she smiled and turned. “Come along, Ronald. Harry is waiting for us.”

Ron stared after her and grinned at Pig. “Didya hear that? She finds me irresistible.”