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Thing for a Ginger

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Hermione's Pov

I exhale a short breath and try to focus on reading the book in front of me. I’m in the library with Harry. He’s working on an assignment for Snape last minute. Meanwhile, I’m supposed to be reading about the Aguamenti Spell. Professor Flitwick said that we’re going to be learning about the charm next. I want to be prepared for class but keep re-reading the same section without processing its content. Something that I can’t stop thinking about is on my mind.

“Hermione, are you okay?” Harry asks suddenly.

“Hmm?” I say, looking up from my reading. “Yeah, I’m fine,” I tell him, knowing that he won’t believe me.

He raises an eyebrow.

“Really? Then, why did your voice just go up an entire octave?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Harry smirks as my voice is still unnaturally high.

“Hermione, something is obviously bothering you. You’ve been on the same page for several minutes now,” he says, cocking his head towards my book. “What’s wrong?”

I let out a sigh, not saying anything for a moment.

“You can’t tell anybody, okay?” I say tentatively.

Harry nods. “Not even Ron,” I add.

“Not even Ron,” he repeats.

I lean forward across the table and whisper into his ear. His brows are furrowed when I withdraw, sitting back in my chair.

“Well, of course, you like Ginny,” he says, his expression bemused. “She’s one of your closest friends.”

I shake my head and groan in frustration.

“No, Harry, I like her,” I repeat quietly, “as in I have more than platonic feelings for her.”

“ Oh. ” Harry’s eyes widen slightly in surprise. “Luna was right.”

“What do you mean?” I ask.

“Well, Luna was telling me earlier that she thought you felt that way about Ginny,” Harry says. “She’s very perceptive but I didn’t know if she was right… she said it’s the way you act around Ginny and the things you say about her.”

A grin starts to spread across his face then, and he suddenly turns away from me. I raise an eyebrow.

“What’s so funny?”

“Oh, just something that Luna said,” he replies, laughing a little. “Remember how you used to like Ron too? She suggested that you have a thing for gingers.”

I roll my eyes but don’t say anything.

“You’re not denying it,” Harry teases, laughing much more.

I kick him lightly under the table.

“I have a thing for a ginger not gingers,” I clarify, feeling a blush rise to my cheeks.

Harry smiles at that.

“You should tell Ginny,” he advises.

“I know, I’m just nervous is all,” I admit. “I mean, we’re good friends and I’m worried that if I tell her, things might be different between us.”

“Well, maybe that’s a risk worth taking. What if she feels the same way about you?” Harry reasons.

I consider the possibility for a moment, recalling how she confided in me about why she broke up with Dean Thomas recently. She revealed that her feelings for Dean have faded and that she likes someone else.

“I guess she might feel the same way,” I concede to Harry. “Although she seems mainly interested in boys, I won’t know for sure if I don’t say anything.”

Harry nods in agreement.

“You should go for it,” he encourages.

“Yeah?” I squeak.

Harry reaches for my hand across the table, giving it a squeeze. I give a small smile. I have done something like squeeze his hand several times before when he needs reassurance. This is the first time he has returned the gesture.

“Yeah,” I repeat more confidently. “Thanks, Harry.”

***

Ginny's Pov

I wake up to a crash of thunder in the middle of the night. After tossing and turning for a while, I resign myself to the fact that I won’t be able to fall back asleep due to how loud the storm is. Quietly slipping out of bed, I decide to go down to the common room and read by the fire.

I’m surprised to find Hermione sitting on the couch in front of the fireplace. She looks over her shoulder at the sound of my approaching footsteps and smiles.

“Storm wake you up too?” I ask, returning the smile. I put my book down on a nearby armchair and sit down next to her.

“Yeah. I’ve just been thinking,” Hermione says, staring at the flames across from her.

“About what?”

 

Hermione's Pov

I turn to face Ginny, looking into her brown eyes. I could get lost in those eyes. They are so pretty. This isn’t the first time I have felt content to simply admire them. I abruptly look away. It seems I do so a second or two late as Ginny stares at me quizzically.

“Hermione, is everything ok?”

“Ginny, there’s something I have to tell you.” I feel my heart start to beat faster from nerves and fear. I can’t find the words to say what I have been keeping from her. I’ll have to convey how I feel without speaking.

I look back at her and purposefully let my eyes drop to her lips. After a moment, I slowly return my gaze to hers, trying to gauge a reaction. To my surprise, her eyes slip down to my lips and then back up again. She moves closer and leans in. I tilt my head slightly and placing a hand on her cheek, I kiss her. Her mouth feels soft and warm against my own. I feel her place her hands on my shoulders and then she’s easing me into a lying down position. We continue kissing intently, our bodies pressed together. Ginny eventually pulls away and slides farther down against me to trail kisses down my neck. I moan and gasp with pleasure; she chuckles against my skin, kissing me faster. I arch my back as she kisses her way down to my collarbone and back up the length of my neck. She then presses her lips to mine again and climbs off of me.

“Glad you told me,” she teases with a grin.

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Hermione's Pov 

In the morning, I wake up with thoughts of Ginny swirling around in my head. I don’t get up immediately, choosing instead to stay in bed and reminisce about the previous night. It’s after several minutes of doing so, that an unpleasant possibility suddenly strikes me.

What if Ginny had taken me kissing her to mean that I want to experiment with her? Oh, I feel like such a dummy for kissing her before telling her that I have feelings for her! What was I thinking? I might’ve started something casual with Ginny that isn’t really going to go anywhere.

I have to clarify with her that last night wasn’t about experimenting for me. So with a nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach, I head down to the Quidditch pitch in the afternoon. I sit in the stands and watch Ginny, Harry, and Ron practice for the upcoming match. Ginny smiles when she sees me and discreetly glances my way every so often. This makes me feel slightly better. Perhaps, she does have more than platonic feelings for me. It will be disappointing if she doesn’t. I push the thought away, thinking about what I’m going to say to her.

When Harry finally calls the end of practice, Ginny flies towards me. She dismounts her broomstick and takes a seat next to me.

“Hey,” she greets, grinning. I fake a smile despite feeling uneasy. “Whatcha thinking about? You seem pretty pensive over here.”

“Why did you kiss me last night?” I blurt.

Ginny looks taken aback by my question.

“For the same reason you kissed me,” she says slowly.

“Right,” I say, laughing nervously. “Do you um know why I kissed you?”

“Because you wanted to kiss me?”

This is proving to be harder than I expected.

“Well, yeah but-” I groan. “Can we talk about what happened last night when you’ve changed?” I ask.

Ginny nods.

“Yeah, I’ll meet you in the common room,” she mumbles. With that, she grabs her broomstick and turns her back on me.

I let out a small sigh, seeing that I have upset her. She must be worried about what it is I have to tell her. But how am I supposed to make her feel better if I don’t know what she’s worried about me saying? Feeling helpless, I watch as she leaves for the changing rooms.

 

Ginny's Pov

Hermione is waiting for me in the common room, standing near the couch. I think back to the kisses we shared on that couch and can’t help giving a small smile. It quickly vanishes though; I’m sure that Hermione is going to tell me that last night was a mistake. Why else was she acting weird earlier? What other reason would she have for wanting to talk about last night?

Hermione grabs my hand and leads me into her dormitory. She shuts the door behind us and looks around the room, presumably wanting to make sure that we are alone. It seems like we are as all five beds around us are empty. Hermione lets go of my hand, walking over to the bathroom. She knocks on the door.

“Is anyone in there?” she asks.

No one answers. Hermione lets out a breath of relief. She climbs onto her bed and gestures for me to sit down next to her. I do so reluctantly, not really wanting to have this talk.

“So, you wanted to talk about last night?” I prompt quietly.

She takes a deep breath.

“Yeah,” she says hesitantly after a moment. “Ginny, last night was great,” she begins, “but I just want to clarify something.”

It was just a one-time thing, wasn’t it? I think bitterly.

“I kissed you because I have feelings for you,” she rushes to say.

I cock my head to the side in confusion.

“Why else would you have kissed me?” I ask, my brows furrowed.

Hermione laughs nervously.

“Well, it’s a really fun story actually. I thought that I gave you the impression that I just want to experiment with you," she explains quickly. 

I shake my head, giggling a little.

“I didn’t think that at all,” I assure her.

“And you kissed me back because,” Hermione starts-

“I like you,” I finish for her.

Hermione jumps on top of me, engulfing me in a tight embrace. I laugh, hugging her back.

“You know you’re pretty adorable when you’re all flustered,” I murmur into her hair.

Hermione lets go of me, grinning. I love seeing her so happy like this. Leaning forward, I kiss her. Her hands go up to caress my cheeks. After we stop kissing, I note that her cheeks are tinged a light pink. Hehe. I must have caused that.

Hermione reaches for my hands, holding them in her own.

“Ginny?” she starts, smiling.

“Yeah?” I say, squeezing her fingers.

“Will you be my girlfriend?” Hermione asks.

My heart stumbles a beat and I pull her closer, hugging her again.

“Yes, I will be your girlfriend!” I exclaim enthusiastically, squeezing her tight.   

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Ginny's Pov

Only a couple of people know that Hermione and I are dating. We told Harry and Luna together. They congratulated us (“I told you they had to be dating,” Luna said to Harry.) Her voice sounded as dreamy and distant as ever. Harry nodded in agreement. “Yes, you were right,” he whispered to his girlfriend, kissing her. We left the pair alone after that.

At first, it's kind of nice not having many people know about me and Hermione. It makes our relationship feel even more special. Whenever Hermione holds my hand or kisses me on the cheek, I give a small smile; I’m the only one who knows why she does this. Hermione has made a habit of doing little affectionate things like that whether we are around my fifth-year friends or with Harry and Ron. No one seems to really think it’s out of the ordinary.

When we want to be alone, Hermione and I usually turn to Harry for help. Ron is like a lost dog that we can’t shake off but he never refuses to play a game of chess with Harry. Hermione and I will then find an empty classroom or go into one of our dormitories. This is enough for a while but after a couple of weeks, I grow tired of it. Right now, Hermione and I are snuggling in her dorm and I can’t keep quiet about it anymore.

“Mione?” I whisper. She opens her eyes, shifting slightly in my arms.

“Hmm?”

“I want to tell Ron about us,” I say.

Hermione is silent for a moment.

“Gin, I don’t think that’s a good idea. You know he has a crush on me.”

“Yeah, but he’ll get over it. He’ll realize that we’re happy with each other and accept that we’re dating. We can’t keep it from him forever,” I remind her, lightly stroking her hair.

“You really want to tell him?” she asks, leaning into my touch.

“Yes.” I speak the words I have been waiting to say: “I don’t want to hide what I feel for you. I don’t want to have to think twice about being affectionate with you around others. I want to cuddle you, kiss you, nuzzle you and not just when we’re alone."

Hermione turns around to face me.

“I know, I’m just afraid,” she says softly.

 

Hermione's Pov

Ginny wraps her arms around me protectively, kissing the top of my head.

“So am I. I’m scared that my friends will think it's weird that I'm dating a girl,” she admits. “If they don't support us though, then they aren't really my friends and we'll stop hanging out with them. The same goes for Ron.”

“You're right,” I say, taking a deep breath.

Ginny touches my hand.

“If you’re not ready we don’t have to, okay?” she tells me.

“No,” I say adamantly. “I shouldn’t be ashamed and I’m not. I felt happy when we told Luna and Harry. I won’t let anyone make me feel differently.” I take Ginny’s hand, intertwining our fingers. “Let’s tell them.”

Ginny grins, quickly kissing me. She climbs down from my bed and pulls me by the hand over to the door. We continue holding hands as we descend the stairs to the common room.

“My friends and Ron?” Ginny clarifies only loud enough for me to hear.

I nod, causing her to smile. We make our way over to Ron, who is bent over a table, working on an essay for Professor McGonagall. Ginny taps him on the shoulder with her free hand. He puts his quill down, looking up at us.

“What’s up?” he asks.

 

Ginny's Pov

“We have something to tell you,” Hermione answers. She pauses, looking at me. I squeeze her hand and she smiles. “Ginny and I are dating,” she says to Ron finally.

Once the words are out of her mouth, I can tell it’s like a huge weight has been lifted from Hermione’s shoulders. I see Harry smile at us out of the corner of my eye from his spot on the couch. I smile back at him. Reverting my attention back to Ron, I note that his ears are red.

“Well, I already knew that Ginny is dating Dean Thomas. You have a boyfriend now, too Hermione?” he asks, his cheeks flushed.

Hermione shakes her head. She holds our hands up for Ron to see.

“I have a girlfriend,” she tells him proudly. “I’m dating Ginny.”

Ron’s jaw drops in disbelief.

“You-you and my sister?” he stammers. “For how long?”

“A couple of weeks,” Hermione answers honestly.

Ron's eyes widen and he approaches us with a hostile expression on his face. Harry holds him back by his robes.

“Ron, don’t say or do anything you’ll regret,” he says quietly.

Ron doesn’t seem to hear him. He points a finger at me accusingly.

“My own sister! You stole the girl that was supposed to be mine!” he says angrily.

“Don’t speak about her as if she’s some sort of toy to be claimed,” I snap. I take a step towards him but feel Hermione’s hand on my arm.

I suck in a breath, trying to calm down for her sake.

“Ron, I thought your reaction would be better than this,” Hermione says quietly. “You’re supposed to be my friend, after all.” She frowns and lets go of my hand. She turns her back on Ron, walking away. I glare at him before hurrying after my girlfriend.

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Hermione's Pov

I hear footsteps behind me and know it’s Ginny. I feel her take hold of my hand, gently pulling me around to face her.

“Are you ok?” she asks.

“I’m fine,” I lie unconvincingly.

“Hey, I’m proud of you,” she whispers, wrapping her arms around me.

These words are all it takes for tears to well up in my eyes. I can’t hold them back anymore as they trickle down my cheeks.

“I should’ve told Ron sooner,” I whisper.

Ginny pulls back from me, shaking her head.

“Honey, you weren’t ready,” she says, wiping away my tears with her thumb.

“I know,” I begin, my voice shaking, “but maybe if I had told him sooner, he wouldn’t have been so upset.”

“Mione, this isn’t your fault,” she tries to assure me. “He would’ve reacted poorly either way.”

I blink back tears, clenching my jaw. 

"You're right. Why would I think for even a moment, that he would be supportive? He's always so insensitive.”

 

Ginny's Pov

I wrap my arms around her again. 

"I know, sweetheart. The way he acted was messed up. I’ll talk to him, ok? He’ll come around."

She nods as I let go of her.

"I hope you're right." She gives a small smile. "Sweetheart?"

I grin, taking her hand and pressing a light kiss to her knuckles. 

"You like it when I call you that?"

She nods happily, kissing my cheek. 

I intertwine our fingers and lead her back upstairs to the girls’ dormitories. I cuddle her, pulling her into my lap and wrapping my arms around her. Kissing the top of her head, I hope that Harry is trying to talk some sense into Ron. I would do it myself but I don’t want to leave Hermione alone. Ron’s reaction clearly upset her and I feel guilty, having been the one to suggest we tell him. The least I can do is stay with her until she’s feeling better.

 

Harry's Pov

I open the door to my dorm, closing it behind me. I see Ron standing by the window, his arms crossed, looking outside.

“Do you wanna talk about it?” I ask, carefully approaching him.

“They kept it from me for two weeks,” Ron huffs.

“Can you really blame them?” I say quietly. “They were nervous about how you would take the news.”

Ron doesn’t say anything in response, still stone-faced.

“They were only trying to protect your feelings,” I continue.

Ron’s expression starts to soften at that and he unfolds his arms.

“It’s not much of a secret that I like Hermione, is it?” he says sheepishly.

I shake my head.

“It’s no secret at all,” I tease, the corners of my mouth twitching.

Ron shoves me to the side but laughs slightly.

“You’ve known for a while that Hermione and Ginny are dating, right?” he asks, suddenly serious.

I nod.

“Have they seemed happy?” Ron continues.

I give a small smile.

“Yeah, I’ve never seen either of them happier.”

“Good.” Ron smiles. “Bloody hell, did I mess up,” he murmurs after a moment, rubbing his neck guiltily.

“It’s all right, mate. It’s never too late to apologize,” I assure him, clapping him on the back.

 

Hermione's Pov

There’s a knock on the dormitory door.

“Hermione, Ginny, are you in there?” Ron asks from the other side.

“Yes,” I call back tentatively.

Ron slowly opens the door, coming in with an ashamed look on his face.

“I’m sorry for reacting the way I did,” he apologizes. “I shouldn’t have said what I said. I was just jealous,” he admits sheepishly.

“I realized though, that all that matters is that you guys are happy. Are you happy?” he asks.

I shift in Ginny's arms, turning to face her with a smile. She takes my hand and intertwines our fingers, looking at me with affection. 

“Yeah,” I say, replying to Ron’s question. Ginny nods her agreement.

“Then, I wouldn’t be a very good friend if I tried to ruin that,” Ron says with a smile.

My own smile grows wider and I get up to hug Ron. I hear Ginny giggle quietly to herself as he pats me on the head awkwardly.

“I’m sorry if we hurt your feelings,” I say, pulling back from him.

“It’s ok,” he replies. “I know that you didn’t mean to.”

I quickly hug him again. This seems to make him as uncomfortable as it did the first time. He comes up with a hasty excuse to leave the room, making it so Ginny and I are alone. I hear Ginny come up behind me.

“This calls for some celebration, don’t you think?” she whispers in my ear.

“Oh, you want to celebrate?” I ask, smirking.

“Well, it’s pretty early in the evening,” she says innocently, moving my hair so it rests on my shoulder.

“Hmm, that means we shouldn’t be interrupted much…” I trail off as she begins kissing my neck.   

I moan softly. She kisses my skin harder and then starts sucking on my neck. I gasp with both surprise and pleasure. It feels utterly amazing. I don’t even care that it is bound to leave a mark. My hair will cover it up anyway… I never want this to stop.

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Ginny's Pov

After I finish sucking on Hermione’s neck, I gently pull her around, so we are facing each other. Her eyes flutter open, and she closes the distance between us, kissing me passionately. I wrap my arms around her waist, kissing her back with the same intensity. Unfortunately, the dormitory door abruptly swings open, cutting our moment short. Hermione and I jump apart to see my friend Demelza Robins standing in the doorway.

“I-I’m so sorry for interrupting,” she stammers with a stunned expression on her face.

“Er, hey Demelza,” I say quietly, rubbing the back of my neck nervously. “We um we’ve been waiting for the right time to tell you and Anthony... Luna already knows-”

“Oh, you told Luna?” she says softly.

I nod.

“Yeah. Demelza, Hermione and I are dating,” I say slowly. “I’m sorry for not telling you sooner.”

“Would you have told me if I hadn’t caught you two kissing?” she asks.

“Yes, of course, I would’ve!” I rush to assure her.

“Right, I’ll just be going then,” she mutters, leaving the room.

I sigh, looking back at Hermione in silent question. She nods her approval and I leave, stepping out into the corridor.

“Demelza, wait!” I call. She stops at the stairs that lead to the common room, turning around to look at me.

“I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings. Can we talk?” I say.

She nods and I approach her. We descend the stairs to the common room and sit together on the couch in front of the fire.

“Why did you tell Luna, but not me?” Demelza asks. “Is it that you trust her more?”

I shake my head.

“No, that’s not it,” I reply. “Hermione and I told Luna because she already knew that Hermione likes me. Because she didn’t think that Hermione liking a girl was weird, we knew that she wouldn’t act weird about us dating.”

“Ginny, I don’t think it’s weird that you and Hermione are dating,” Demelza tells me.

“Well, I know that now but I was nervous that you would. Your parents are really homophobic, and I was afraid that you might be too.”

“I’m not,” she assures me, touching my hand. “Love is love. I couldn’t care less whom you date, as long it’s someone who deserves you and someone who I’m not interested in dating.”

“Glad you feel that way,” I say, grinning and laughing slightly.

She grins too, pulling me in for a hug. I hug her back, squeezing tight.

“Now get back to your girlfriend,” she says as we break apart, wiggling her eyebrows suggestively.

I giggle.

“I will. I’ll see you later.”

 

Hermione's Pov

I’m sitting on Ginny’s bed, reading a book of her’s that I found, when I hear the sound of the dormitory door opening. I look up just as Ginny steps into the room and shut the book. She makes her way over to me, sitting down on the bed.

“Now, where were we?”

I smirk at her antics, leaning in and pecking her on the lips nonetheless.

“I take it your talk with Demelza went well?” I say.

Ginny nods.

“Now that Demelza knows, can we tell Anthony about us?” she asks.

Anthony is in her year and one of her closest friends.

“Yeah, of course,” I say, smiling.

She smiles too and quickly kisses me again. We head down to the common room, hand in hand and make our way over to the couch; a head of neck length brown hair is resting against it. This is suddenly no longer true though as Anthony looks over his shoulder at us.

“Ginny!” he exclaims, beckoning to us. “Demelza says that you’re seeing someone. Are you?”

Ginny laughs, nodding her head as we stop in front of him and Demelza, who is sitting in a squishy armchair.

“That’s actually what I’ve come to tell you,” Ginny tells Anthony. Demelza smirks at him.

“See, I told you,” she says smugly. “He didn’t believe me,” she informs Ginny.

“Yeah, yeah, you were right,” Anthony says, waving a hand dismissively in Demelza’s direction. He leans forward, looking at Ginny. “So, who’s this you’re dating? Tell us about them.”

Ginny grins, turning to me.

“Well, she’s brilliant. I couldn’t be happier that she’s my girlfriend.” She rubs the pad of her thumb up and down the outside of my hand as I feel my face heat up. “She’s really adorable when she’s blushing like this,” Ginny adds, caressing my cheeks. I smile and pull her closer for a kiss.

“Aww, you’re dating Hermione!” Anthony says with a smile after Ginny and I are done kissing. “I’m so happy for both of you. I ship it.”

Demelza nods in agreement

“You two are so affectionate and sweet to each other,” she says, beaming. “I wish I had a boyfriend that treated me that way.”

“Me too,” Anthony says, sighing slightly.

Ginny’s brow furrows.

“Wait, Ant, you like boys?” she asks.

Anthony’s blue eyes widen.

“Yeah, I thought you knew,” he says, staring at her with an amused expression. “Girls make amazing friends, but I’m attracted to boys. I never came out to either you or Dem I guess. I just thought it was obvious.”.

“It is. Haven’t you ever seen him stare at that guy in class?” Demelza says. Her eyes narrow and she looks at Anthony. “What was his name again?”

“Sam,” Anthony replies, his voice sounding as dreamy and distant as Luna’s suddenly.

Ginny giggles.

“Well, if I had known that you like boys,” she says, “then, I wouldn’t have worried about telling you that Hermione and I are dating.”

“Oh, you didn’t have anything to be nervous about,” Anthony assures her. “C’mere.” He gets up from the couch and pulls her into a hug. He holds his arms out to me once they break apart and we embrace too. As we finish, I hear footsteps behind us and look over my shoulder to see a tall figure with dark hair. I quirk an eyebrow and tug on Ginny’s hand. She follows my gaze and frowns.

“Dean, what are you doing here?” she asks her ex-boyfriend.

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Ginny's Pov 

“Ginny, can we talk for a moment?” Dean asks.

I raise an eyebrow.

“Um, I guess… I’ll be back in a minute,” I tell Hermione.

She nods, seeming just as puzzled at Dean’s request as I am. I follow Dean over to a vacant corner of the common room.

“So, what is it that you want to talk about?” I prompt.

“I wanna get back together,” he blurts out. 

I guffaw but instantly regret it; Dean looks genuinely hurt.

“Dean, we’re not right for each other. You were too protective when we were dating and wouldn’t let me do anything myself,” I explain as delicately as I can.

I’m unprepared for Dean’s response. His hands are on my shoulders and his lips are on mine all too quickly. I don’t have time to move away before he has kissed me.

“What was that?” I demand, pushing him away. “You’re not my boyfriend anymore; you can’t just kiss me like that! I’m seeing someone else!”

He chooses to ignore this.

“Tell me you didn’t feel anything, just now,” he says.

“I didn’t feel any sparks,” I snap at once. “I think we’re done here, Dean.”

“Fine,” he says glumly. He throws up his hands and backs away from me. I stalk off huffily.

 

Hermione's Pov

Whatever Ginny and Dean talked about clearly upset her because she has her hands on her hips when she comes back to the group.

“What was it that Dean wanted to talk about?” I ask.

“He wanted to get back together,” she scoffs.

“Oh,” I say, laughing slightly. Really that isn’t very surprising as many boys fancy Ginny. “What did you tell him?”

“That we aren’t right for each other,” she answers.

“How’d he react?” Demelza pipes up.

“He tried to convince me to take him back and I told him I was seeing someone else,” Ginny replies, turning towards her friend.

“That’s all that happened?” I confirm. I feel as though there is something else bothering her.

 

Ginny's Pov

Should I tell her? It’s only going to make her feel upset. Maybe I should just keep it to myself… it’s not going to happen again anyways. I nod.

“Yeah, that’s all that happened,” I say.

I feel a pang of guilt as Hermione smiles and kisses me on the cheek. I hope I made the right decision.

***

 Hermione's Pov

The door creaks as I slowly open it. I tiptoe to Ginny’s bed, carefully pulling back the curtains around it. Ginny is still sleeping. She looks so peaceful. Smiling to myself, I climb into the bed and draw the curtains back around us again. Laying down next to Ginny, I wrap my arms around her and nuzzle her neck. She smiles with her eyes closed, turning to face me.

“Morning, Mione,” she whispers sleepily.

I kiss her forehead.

“Morning, Gin,” I whisper back.

We stay like that for a while, cuddling and kissing before Ginny gets up to get dressed and shower. I’m about to tell her that I’ll meet her in the Great Hall when something that I didn’t notice before catches my attention.

“Wait, Ginny,” I say, walking over to her nightstand, where a box of chocolates has been left. “Who gave you these?” I ask. She shrugs her shoulders.

“Check to see if there’s a note,” she suggests.

I look and indeed there is a note sitting next to the chocolates.

“Ginny, I’m sorry about yesterday,” I read out loud. “I shouldn’t have kissed you. Can we please work things out and try again?” I pause, slowly turning to Ginny. “It’s from Dean. You lied to me,” I say, folding my arms.

“I did,” Ginny answers calmly, not meeting my eyes. “I was only trying to protect your feelings. I knew you’d be upset and-”

“That’s why you didn’t tell me?” I interrupt sharply. 

She nods, looking up at me again. 

“I didn’t keep it from you for the reason you might think. I wasn’t happy when he kissed me. I told him off for it and pushed him away.”

I know she’s telling the truth. If she wasn’t, she wouldn’t have been angry earlier when she came back from talking to Dean. Nevertheless, I feel that I have to say something to get a message across.

“How do I know you’re not lying to me?”

Without giving her a chance to respond, I leave the room.

 

Ginny's Pov

I let Hermione’s words sink in. She’s right. How will she know that she can trust me in the future? I go down to the Great Hall for breakfast. I don’t see Hermione sitting at the Gryffindor table and she hasn’t come down by the time I finish eating either. Because Harry scheduled Quidditch practice to be right after breakfast as he usually does on the weekends, I don’t have a chance to find her.

Around an hour later, having changed out of my Quidditch uniform, I go back down to the common room. Hermione is sitting on the couch in front of the fire. I sit down next to her, leaving a small space between us.

“How was Quidditch practice?” she asks, staring straight ahead rather than looking at me.

“Fine,” I say. “Well, actually there was one problem. I kept thinking about how I messed things up with my girlfriend. It kind of affected how I played. I threw the Quaffle at Ron once accidentally.”

I see Hermione smile slightly and she finally turns to me.

“Stop trying to make me laugh when I’m upset with you,” she scolds, half exasperated, half amused.

“Sorry, you’re right. I’ll act more serious,” I tell her, putting on a very solemn face. “Is this better?”

Hermione giggles a little and shoves me lightly to the side, rolling her eyes.

“I confronted Dean,” she says. “I told him that you’re my girlfriend and that he better leave you alone because you’re not interested in dating him.”

“How’d that go?” I ask.

“He seemed pretty intimidated,” Hermione says, smirking. “I reminded him of your skill when it comes to using the bat-bogey hex.”

I laugh, grinning at her.

“I should’ve told you that he kissed me. I’m sorry for keeping it from you,” I apologize.

“It’s ok. I would just rather you tell me the truth than spare my feelings. I want us to be honest with each other.”

“Me too,” I say, smiling and taking her hand. “I promise to never hide anything from you again.”

“Thank you.” She smiles and wraps her arms around me. I hug her back, kissing the top of her head.

Chapter Text

Hermione's Pov

“Ginny, Hermione?” a voice says behind us. We break apart, turning to look over the couch. Ron is approaching.

“You wanna come to Hogsmeade with me, Harry, and Luna?” he asks.

I’m about to say yes but before I can, Ginny speaks.

“Actually, I was thinking that Hermione and I would go together,” she says, looking at me again.

“Aww really? We’ve never gone just the two of us.” I smile, squeezing her hand.

She grins.

“Yeah, I was thinking we’d wander around the village and look at the shops. I could take you to Tomes and Scrolls.”

“I would like that very much,” I say, leaning in to kiss her.

Ron coughs pointedly as if to remind us of his presence.

“At least wait until I’m out of the room, will you?” he grumbles.

“Leave then,” Ginny tells him, glaring.

Ron turns to go; I close the distance between Ginny and me, bringing my hands up to cup her cheeks as we kiss. After we pull back from each other, we go up to the girls’ dormitories to get ready.

***

We meet up at the Entrance Hall. Ginny wears one of the maroon sweaters that Mrs. Weasley knitted for her with a pair of jeans. I don’t see her in muggle clothes very often. She has told me before that wizards own muggle clothing as there are times when they have to blend in with the crowd. Ginny is also wearing mittens that match her sweater along with a winter hat.

We hold hands and make our way into the village of Hogsmeade after checking in with the caretaker, Filch. We decide to go to The Three Broomsticks first as it’s very cold outside. We go up to the bartender, Madam Rosmerta and ask for two butterbeers. She goes into the back to fix up our drinks and comes back with two hot butterbeers in foaming tankards. Ginny and I find a table and sit down, contently drinking our butterbeers. It doesn’t take us long to finish them and we are ordering another round pretty quickly.

 

Ginny's Pov

We probably shouldn’t have had any more after the second round, but it’s freezing outside. So after wandering around the village for a while, we pay for another two butterbeers at the closest pub. Surprisingly, after drinking mine I feel much more comfortable than usual kissing Hermione in front of others that might not know that we’re dating. It isn’t until one of the times that I’m doing so in Zonko’s Joke Shop that we are interrupted.

“Well, well, it would seem that the rumors are true,” a cool familiar voice says from behind us.

I pull back from Hermione, looking over my shoulder to see Draco Malfoy.

“There have been many accounts of you two having passionate make-out sessions. Been fooling around with the youngest Weasley have you, Granger?” he sneers.

Hermione giggles which she has done for no apparent reason many times today. It seems that she isn’t used to having so much butterbeer…

“Ginny’s my girlfriend, Malfoy,” she answers calmly.

Malfoy’s jaw drops.

“She’s your girlfriend?” he says, all the arrogance in his voice lost.

“Seems like you’re jealous.” I smirk, noting that his cheeks are now tinged a light pink. He flushes even more at my words but quickly masks his embarrassment, bursting into derisive laughter.

“Jealous? Why would I ever be jealous? If Granger wants to date a poor little mudblood-loving Weasley, that’s her choice. I mean, after all, someone has to make you feel better about yourself,” Malfoy drawls.

I push him up against a wall in an instant, pointing my wand at his throat.

“Take that back,” I growl.

He gives a twisted smile.

“Out of all the Weasleys, I take the most pleasure in riling you up.”

I’m about to hex him into oblivion when Hermione speaks.

“Ginny, let him go,” she says quietly, placing a hand on my shoulder. “He’s not worth it.”

I stay silent and motionless for a moment before releasing my grip on Malfoy.

“She’s got you on a leash, doesn’t she?” he sneers.

I suck in a breath, resisting the urge to wipe the smug look off his face.

 

Ron's Pov

I’ve been watching the exchange between my sister and Malfoy and feel like it’s time for me to cut in.

“Leave them alone, Malfoy. C’mon, why don’t we get some butterbeers?” I suggest.

Malfoy turns to me, looking very bewildered.

“Yeah, right like I want to get a drink with you,” he says scornfully. He strides past me and out of the shop. I tell Harry and Luna I’ll catch up with them later before leaving too and dashing after Malfoy.

“Look, I get it,” I say once I have caught up to him. “I wasn’t so happy when I found out that they were dating either.”

“Oh, I wonder why. Could it possibly be because you have a crush on that mudblood Granger?” he says snarkily. “Weasley, why are you following me?”

“Don’t call Hermione that,” I say as calmly as I can, feeling my face heat up. “I was mad when Harry tried to talk to me too but I felt better after he did.” We reach The Three Broomsticks and I hold the door open for Malfoy, stepping into the pub after him. “I just thought it would be nice if you had someone to talk to,” I continue.

He doesn’t respond immediately, going up to Madam Rosmerta and asking for a butterbeer instead. I do the same.

“I don’t need to talk to anyone about how your sister and Granger are dating,” Malfoy says coldly as Madam Rosmerta goes to the back to make our drinks. Despite his claim, when she comes back with our butterbeers, he hands her three sickles and chugs his. She asks if he wants another one and he nods, putting another three sickles down on the counter.

“Yeah, that probably would have been my reaction if I had found out near a pub,” I comment. “You clearly fancy one of them and I’ll bet that it’s Ginny.”

“Oh shut up, I don’t fancy her,” he mutters, sounding exasperated and rolling his eyes.

I raise an eyebrow, taking a large drink of my butterbeer. He does the same as Madame Rosmerta has come back with his second one.

“Really? What was that back there about how you take pleasure in riling her up?” I ask, smirking. “I know why you but heads with her all the time. It’s for the same reason that I bicker with Hermione.”

“All right, even if it’s true that I do fancy her, I don’t need to talk to you about it. I don’t want to be seen in your company. What if people start thinking we’re friends or something?”

He shudders at the thought and I angrily take another drink of my butterbeer.

“You know you don’t always have to act all high and mighty,” I say, glowering at him. “Just because you come from a rich family doesn’t mean you should go around treating everyone else like inferiors. That’s why you don’t have many close friends. Ever think of that?”

“Oh, please,” Malfoy says, waving a hand dismissively in the air. “The only reason there are people who call you their friend is because your family has too many kids and not enough money. They pity you.”

I clench my fists at my sides, shaking slightly with anger.

“They don’t pity me, you arrogant twat,” I say through gritted teeth.

“Oh yes, they do. You’re simply too much of a prat to see it.”

“At least, I’m not a cynical-”

“Impulsive-”

“Selfish-”

“Tactless-”

“Materialistic-”

“Obnoxious-”

“Bleached blonde-”

Maybe it’s under the influence of the butterbeer, but suddenly Malfoy grasps both sides of my face and kisses me fervently. I react without thinking, a moan escaping from my lips and wrap my arms around his waist, pulling him close against me. I feel his hands roam my body as I begin kissing him in a way that I have never kissed anyone before.

A while later, we are lying on top of a table, our mouths swollen and hair disheveled. Fortunately, the pub is relatively empty; only a few students not in our year were present for our long embrace.

“We should do that more often,” I say, breathing heavily.

Malfoy grins.

“Anytime you want, Weasley.”

Chapter Text

Draco's Pov

The only unlocked empty classroom I come across is Professor Flitwick’s.

“Psst, Weasley!” I whisper, beckoning to him.

He turns away from a room he had been about to check on the other side of the corridor. After looking around to see if anyone is watching, he hurries towards me and we step into the room. I shut the door and pull Weasley to me, capturing his lips with my own. I have had the desire to do this since we parted ways yesterday at Hogsmeade. Though I’ll never admit it aloud, Weasley is a good kisser, better than Pansy. I like fooling around with him more than I do with her. It’s surprising how satisfying it is. I can forget about the upcoming Quidditch matches, all my school assignments and even the high expectations of my parents.

How is it possible that I enjoy this so much? I ponder as our bodies intertwine. Perhaps Weasley is wondering the same thing as he abruptly pulls away; my eyes fly open and I stare at him with a quizzical expression.

“What are we doing?” he asks quietly, stepping back from me and avoiding my eyes.

“I don’t know,” I say truthfully, understanding what he means. “Does it matter?” I step closer and press my lips to his again but he withdraws and turns away.

“I don’t feel right about it,” he says, rubbing the back of his neck. “I’m kissing someone who’s always making fun of me, my friends and my family.”

I roll my eyes; it’s clear that he isn’t going to want to keep snogging until his guilt has lessened. Well, I’m certainly not going to start being kind to him but that doesn’t mean I can’t fool him into thinking it.

“All right,” I say, giving an exaggerated sigh, “if it bothers you that much maybe we could um… be nicer to each other.” I make sure to hesitate before saying the last part.

“Ok, why don’t we practice?” Weasley suggests, facing me.

Practice? He wants to practice. Could he be any harder to please? No matter. The faster we get back to snogging, the better.

“Yes, fine,” I say curtly.

His eyes narrow in suspicion; he must’ve been expecting me to protest.

“What?” I snap impatiently. “I see how much this means to you.”

Weasley smiles a little at that. He’s so bloody easy to convince.

“Right, then how about we compliment each other?” he says.

I look him up and down, pretending to think about it. If I have to do this, I can at least have some fun with it first.

“You don’t make me feel utterly repulsive.”

Weasley scowls and I resist the urge to smirk.

“First of all, I don’t even believe that’s true.” He presses his lips together in annoyance. “Second, you know that compliments are supposed to make you feel good, right?”

I cock my head to the side in confusion.

“That didn’t make you feel good?”

He grumbles to himself, shaking his head. I hold in my snickers, greatly enjoying this.

“All right. Let me try again.” I’m silent for a moment, thinking. “Oh, you’re not someone I’d pretend to not see in public.”

Weasley sighs loudly to my delight, evidently not satisfied with this ‘compliment’ either.

“Malfoy, are you even trying?” No, of course not Weasel. “You only wouldn’t pretend to see me so you could point me out and make fun of me.”

“Well, yes, fair point,” I concede, “but there are many people I wouldn’t bother with. They’ll be too ugly and I can’t bear to look at them.”

“Right… so you don’t think I’m ugly?”

I shake my head and correct,

“I don’t think you’re too ugly.”

He makes a face.

“Forget this shit. Just shut up and kiss me.”

I smile mischievously and snake an arm around his waist, pulling him closer.

 

Ginny's Pov

“Thanks for agreeing to help me study,” I say to Hermione as we walk down the Charms Corridor. I kiss her on the cheek once we have stopped in front of Professor Flitwick’s classroom.

“It’s my pleasure,” she assures me with a smile. “Now, where’s your book?” she asks, opening the door and looking along the rows of desks. “Isn’t that it over…?” she starts but abruptly stops speaking. I see where she is indicating and go to pick up my copy of The Standard Book of Spells, Grade Five.  

“What is it?” I say to Hermione. When she doesn’t reply, I follow her gaze and my eyes widen. We aren’t alone; in a corner of the room, Draco Malfoy and Ron are locked in a tight embrace, kissing each other fervently. I gasp. This seems to awaken the boys to our presence and they quickly break apart.

“Ginny, Hermione, we didn’t hear you come in,” Ron says breathlessly. Malfoy’s cheeks turn pink as his eyes travel to me and then to Hermione.

“I’ll see you later, yeah?” he says, looking back at Ron. Ron nods and whispers something into his ear. Malfoy gives a small smile before pinning me with a cold stare and then Hermione. “Don’t you dare tell anyone.” Neither of us answers and he briskly leaves the room without another word.

“What the hell are you doing snogging Malfoy?” I demand, finally finding my voice.

Ron shrugs in response, looking rather pleased.

“Why were you eating Malfoy’s face?” I repeat louder with my hands on my hips. This time Ron seems to snap out of his giddy state.

“We were only fooling around, that’s all!” he says, flaring up at once.

“Oh, is that all? Does it no longer matters that he’s always insulting our family, Hermione, and Harry?” I challenge.

“Of course it does, but you’re acting as if Malfoy and I have become best mates!” he bellows, his cheeks turning red. “If you would just stop overreacting-”

“Oh, I’m overreacting?” I say, bursting into derisive laughter. “Weren’t you the one who lost it that time you saw Dean and I snogging?”

Ron sputters angrily.

“Weren’t you the one who told me I should go out and get a bit of snogging done?”

“Yes, Ron, I’m sorry that I assumed that you wouldn’t take that to mean, ‘you really should snog Draco Malfoy because he’s such a great guy.’”

“I can snog whoever I like!” Ron thunders and with that, he marches out of the room.

 

Hermione's Pov 

I remain silent for a moment before approaching Ginny.

“I’ll be in the common room if you want to talk, okay?” I say, gingerly placing a hand on her shoulder. She nods and I quickly kiss her cheek before leaving. I come through the portrait hole and catch sight of the back of a head of fiery red hair resting against the couch.

“Mind if I sit down?” I ask a fuming Ron. He shakes his head without looking at me, his eyes boring into the flames of the fireplace across from us. “How did things start between you and um… Malfoy?” I say warily, sitting down. My intention isn’t to come off as judgmental. Ginny has already given him a hard time so I attempt to keep a neutral expression.

“Yesterday at Hogsmeade after he found out that you and Ginny are dating, it didn’t seem like he was overly excited at the news,” Ron says, turning to me. “I suggested that we get a couple of butterbeers because I knew how he was feeling and thought he’d like to have someone to talk to-”

“Just like Harry was there for you,” I interrupt, understanding.

“Exactly,” Ron agrees. “Crabbe and Goyle weren’t around so I stepped in. We went to The Three Broomsticks and ordered a couple of butterbeers. Malfoy chugged his and ordered another one. I commented that I would’ve done the same if I had found out you and Ginny are dating at Hogsmeade and said that I could tell he has a crush on Ginny. He denied it; we started arguing and insulting each other. In the middle of that, he kind of… grabbed me by the face… and kissed me.”

I nod, feeling slightly nauseous as the image of him and Malfoy snogging flashes in my mind.  

“And then what?” I ask tentatively.

“You know… I kissed him back,” Ron replies awkwardly, looking down at his feet.

I remain silent for a moment before blurting,

“You couldn’t have been thinking straight. Were you both drunk?”

Ron laughs bitterly.

“I knew it. Why would you be taking my side? Of course, you agree with Ginny. If you only came here to tell me that she’s right, then-”

“Ron, this is Malfoy we’re talking about. He’s not particularly nice. Ginny and I think you deserve better is all,” I say gently, placing a hand on his shoulder.

“We’ve only been kissing,” Ron mumbles, his ears turning red.

“You have so many better options for who you could be doing that with.”

Ron sighs, running his fingers through his hair.

“I know. It’s just Malfoy is the first person that has kissed me since Lavender. Once we started snogging he was keen to continue and I liked that.” He hesitates before continuing, “It made me feel wanted, you know?”

“There will be others that make you feel wanted in that way. Ron, you’re such a loyal friend,” I say earnestly with a smile. “Malfoy, on the other hand, strikes me as the player type. He’ll be the one who will have a harder time finding someone else, not you because others will figure that out.”

Chapter Text

Ron's Pov

I nod, faking a smile.

“Thanks, Hermione. I’m going to tell him I don’t want to do what we’ve been doing anymore.”

I stand up and awkwardly pat her head, mentally scolding myself for doing so afterward. Then, I go through the portrait hole and descend the stairs outside the common room. I’m going to see Malfoy but not to call things off between us. I felt butterflies in my stomach when we had our first sober kiss earlier. It was odd because I don’t have romantic feelings for Malfoy. No, I’m sure that wasn’t the reason. If it was then why didn’t I experience the same thing any of the several times Lavender and I snogged? It was something else. I just can’t put my finger on it and that only makes me want to keep meeting Malfoy. I prefer for Hermione to be convinced otherwise, though so she tells Ginny. I don’t want them to get involved. I want to figure out what gave me the butterflies by continuing things with Malfoy without their knowledge. That way I won’t be dissuaded by their thoughts about it. It really isn't their business anyway.

I reach Flitwick’s classroom and carefully crack the door open wide enough that I can peek inside. I don’t see any signs of Ginny and assuming she has left, I slip into the room, closing the door behind me. I immediately hear the sound of shoes impacting with the floor. I turn my head towards the noise and see Malfoy leaning against a desk that I suppose he has just jumped off of. Seeing that he has my attention, he approaches with a mischievous glint in his eyes, stopping once we’re within arm’s reach of each other. My heart speeds up as he pushes me back against the door. Leaning forward, he whispers in my ear,

“We were so rudely interrupted before. I want you now.”

A shiver goes down my spine.

“I’m all yours.” I breathe those words without thinking, and then we’re holding onto each other tightly, kissing fiercely. I’m swept away by the intensity of it, gripping his white-blond hair in one hand and running my other up and down his back. When he eases my lips apart with his own, and his tongue slips into my mouth, I’m pleasantly surprised. What happens next is new and such a turn on, one that I haven’t ever experienced. It’s so great that when Malfoy pulls back after a couple of moments, I nearly demand to know why he has stopped. I realize there’s no need to, though as he only unbuttons my shirt before we resume french kissing. I feel the butterflies in my stomach again as his hands begin exploring my torso and suddenly remember I did get butterflies the first few times Lavender and I kissed. They had been caused by a combination of pleasure and nerves. I had felt happy to be kissing her because I liked her so much and had been worrying about whether or not I was a good kisser.

I know I can’t be getting butterflies while kissing Malfoy for the same reasons. I suppose I’m getting them because kissing a boy is something new and different. Either that or Malfoy is simply an amazing kisser. At the very least, I know I’m not straight. I don’t think about it too much. I can’t. Malfoy is all I can focus on- the feel of his slender body against mine, and the sweet smell of his cologne.

***

Ginny's Pov 

“C’ mon, can’t we take a break? We’ve been at this for hours!” I complain to Hermione. We are sitting in her dorm, having finished studying for my charms test a while ago, but Hermione had insisted that we do other class assignments. I had reluctantly finished writing an essay for Snape on the properties of Moonstone and its uses in Potion making. After also practicing vanishing charms for Transfiguration, I decided that I want to spend my Sunday afternoon doing something other than more work. Hermione, on the other hand, seems to be so focused on writing her essay for Arithmancy that she didn’t hear me.

“Mione?” I prod her with my foot. She mutely continues what she is doing, and I’m about to prod her with my foot again when she finally says, “Hmm?” without looking up.

“Can we take a break?” I repeat.

“You can,” she replies after a moment. “I haven’t finished my essay for Arithmancy yet.”

“But I want to do something with you,” I say, moving closer to her. “C’ mon please, just a short break?”

I hear the scratch of her quill stop and suppose she’s thinking about it or she doesn’t know what to write next. Unfortunately, my second guess is right as the scratching of her quill resumes. She shakes her head, murmuring something that sounds like ‘maybe later.’

“There’s nothing I can do to persuade you otherwise?” I ask innocently, leaning forward and moving her hair to her shoulders. I wrap my arms around her waist from behind and begin trailing kisses down her neck. The scratch of her quill stops again.

“You aren’t going to convince me with kissing,” she says. Despite her claim, she holds up her hair with one hand to give me better access. Separating my lips, I gently move my mouth up and down her neck. This causes her to moan softly and I hear her start to put her books away.

“I thought you said I wasn’t going to convince you?” I say, pulling away with a triumphant grin.

“I said you weren’t going to convince me with kissing,” she corrects as she gets up from the bed. I watch as she places her quill and ink bottle along with her unfinished essay on the nightstand near her bed. “You weren’t kissing my neck just now,” she continues, “you were breathing on it.”

“So what you’re saying is I don’t have to kiss you, I just have to breathe?” I ask, smirking.

“No, that’s not what I’m saying.” She sits down again next to me. “The neck is simply a sensitive area, and when you breathe on someone’s neck it gives them a pleasurable feeling,” she says matter-of-factly.

“Mhm, c’mere,” I say, pulling her into my lap. I wrap my arms around her, squeezing her affectionately, but this time instead of kissing her neck, I tickle her middle. She bursts into a fit of startled giggles.

“Ginny!” she squeals. “Nothing about this is productive!”

“Who said we were going to do something productive?” I say incredulously, continuing to wiggle my fingers over her skin. “We’ve been being productive for hours. Now is the time to have some fun!”

Rather than responding, Hermione squirms around the best she can in an attempt to evade my quick fingers. I don’t let up, tickling her sides. Hermione made the mistake of recently admitting that she likes being tickled, causing me to do this more often. It’s fun to see her let loose like this, smiling and laughing her head off. Not everyone gets to see this side of her, and I’m glad I do. With these thoughts in mind, I stop tickling her and kiss the top of her head.

 

Hermione's Pov

I shift in Ginny’s arms so I’m facing her.

“Your face is red from laughing so much,” she says, smiling. I stick my tongue out at her and breathe deeply. I have to get her back. Fortunately, I know all her ticklish spots. After I catch my breath, I push her down on the bed, and she gasps in surprise.

“Did you think there wouldn’t be any consequences for tickling me?” I ask pleasantly, straddling her hips.

“Wait, no, Hermione, I’m sorry! Can’t we talk about this?” Ginny trails off into giggles as I run my fingers along her underarms. Now, she’s the one to squeal and laugh uncontrollably, squirming underneath me. We roll around on the bed for a little while, tickling each other. Eventually, both of us are out of breath and call a truce. Ginny climbs down from the bed and pulls me by the hand over to the door. She’s reaching for the doorknob when it’s turned from the other side, revealing a girl with auburn hair and hazel eyes.

“Hey, Demelza,” I greet, frowning slightly; she looks simply furious.

“Is something wrong?” Ginny asks her friend, concern on her face.

“Yes,” Demelza says irritably, but she suddenly stops seething, cocking her head to the side. “You two are rather flushed and your hair is disheveled... What’s that about?”

“We were tickling each other,” Ginny says quickly.

“Oh.” Demelza nods, not saying anything more about the matter. “Anyway, I just spoke to Lavender Brown,” she continues, speaking sharply with her arms folded. “She told me that Parvati Patil heard that Hermione is toying with your affections and seeing someone else at the same time that she’s seeing you.” Demelza rolls her eyes, evidently not finding this believable. “I asked her how many people she has told this to and she replied idly, ‘Oh I don’t know, a few.’ I can’t believe she has the nerve to shamelessly relay such offensive gossip.”

“Yes, I would appreciate if others didn’t speculate so much about my relationship with Ginny,” I say, sighing.

“I know, it’s none of their business,” Demelza agrees.

“Well, it’s all right,” I say after a moment. “There’s no point in obsessing over things I can’t control.”

“Well, I’m glad that the rumor doesn’t bother you,” Ginny says, “but it definitely bothers me.” Indeed, she looks very displeased. “I say we find out who started this rumor and confront them.”

“All that would do is give them satisfaction,” I reply calmly, squeezing her hand.

“The thing about us Weasleys,” Ginny says, smiling and squeezing my hand back, “is that we always show loyalty to those we care about. No one messes with my girl.” And I know that she isn’t claiming possession of me when she calls me that; she’s merely expressing how fond of me she is. Her words melt my heart, and when she kisses me tenderly, I kiss her back with passion. It’s without regret that I watch her step out of the room after we break apart. I don’t feel the need to stop her. 

Chapter Text

Ginny's Pov

I descend the stairs that lead to the common room, stopping at the foot of the staircase and looking around for any signs of Lavender Brown. I spot her leaning over an arm of the couch in front of the fireplace, whispering into Ron’s ear. My brother gives her a bewildered look when she withdraws and I see them converse for a while longer before he leaves through the portrait hole, looking furious. Seeing another person to tell, Lavender rushes over towards them.

“Lavender!” She turns at my voice as I approach, glowering at her.

“Oh, Ginny,” she says, playing with her hair and fidgeting. “I’m so sorry. You must have heard already. I can’t believe Hermione would do that to you.”

“Oh, stop playing games,” I snap. “I know that you’ve been spreading around a rumor about my girlfriend.”

She avoids my eyes.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she claims, laughing nervously, “and even if I did it’s just harmless gossip right?”

“No, it’s not,” I assure her firmly. “It’s not nice to talk badly about someone behind their back. If you continue spreading this rumor around you’ll have me to answer to. Mind your own business.”

Lavender nods sheepishly, her cheeks flushed a light pink.

“You said you heard the rumor from Parvati Patil?” I ask.

“Yes, but she wasn’t the one to start it,” Lavender reveals quickly, jumping to her friend’s defense. “She said Draco Malfoy told her.”  

I clench my fists at my sides. Of course, it was that cold-blooded snake and of course just when I need to know his whereabouts, Ron is no longer of any help. To think if Hermione hadn’t convinced my brother to stop fooling around with Malfoy, he might know where I could find the Slytherin.

”Where is he?” I demand to Lavender. 

She shrugs her shoulders.

”I think Ron went to confront him. Why don’t you wait for him to come back?” she suggests. 

I nod and mutter a dark ‘thank you.’

Draco's Pov

Zabini, Pansy, Crabbe, Goyle and I are sat around the crackling fire in the Slytherin common room. Well, I had been sitting but at the moment I’m lying down on the carpet with my head in Pansy’s lap. She’s stroking my hair as I ordered her to while I listen to Zabini and Goyle argue loudly. I haven’t intervened because the things they are saying to each other are so hilariously stupid that I’m entertained. It’s while I’m sniggering that I hear Weasley’s voice behind me.

“Malfoy,” he growls. Feeling slightly apprehensive, I sit up and look over Pansy’s shoulder at him.

“Weasel, have I done something to provoke you?” I say coldly. Pansy snickers to herself.

“I want a word with you right now,” Weasley says angrily, clenching his jaw. I stand up and gesture towards the stone wall. He walks through it as one would go through the magical barrier to get to platform nine and three quarters and I’m about to follow when Pansy speaks.

“What? Where are you going?” she pipes up indignantly.

“I’m going to assure that the Weasel never sets foot in here again,” I reply idly. She gives the slightest nod of her head, seeming satisfied enough with this answer and I go through the stone wall. Weasley is waiting on the other side. I prepare myself; father has said that Weasleys have an awful temper. This won’t go well...

“Did you think I wouldn’t find out, is that it?” Weasley says sharply, folding his arms.

“Find out about what?” I snap. It’s likely that he’s upset for the reason that I think he is, but still, I have to be certain.

“Stop fooling around Malfoy. I heard about the rumor!” I swear under my breath. Why had it reached Gryffindor ears? “I knew it. You know what I’m talking about. Admit it! Admit that you’re the one who started the rumor that Hermione’s cheating on Ginny!” Weasley points a finger at me accusingly, his face flushed.

“All right, all right, calm down,” I hiss. “Yes, I started the rumor about Granger. It was Pansy’s idea. She thought it would be funny. What was I supposed to do? I had to go along with-”

“No, you didn’t. Are you being serious right now?” he demands incredulously. “Parkinson practically worships the ground you walk on. You could’ve gotten her to drop it.”

“Look, it’s not my fault it reached Gryffindor ears! I didn’t tell anyone who I knew would spread it around to the other houses. Pansy must have.”

“Oh, is that supposed to make me feel better?” He doesn’t say anything else for a moment, running his fingers through his hair aggressively. After a moment, he opens his mouth again and hesitates before speaking. “I don’t want to fool around with you anymore,” he says finally. It’s in a quiet but furious voice. I laugh.

“I don’t believe you. You wouldn’t, not over one little thing.”

“Oh yes, I will! You’re acting like it doesn’t even matter that you tried to ruin Hermione’s reputation. You knew I wouldn’t approve of-”

“We never established that your friends are off limits!” I argue, cutting him off.

“I shouldn’t have to establish that. When we were kissing this morning I told you that I felt uncomfortable because you’re always insulting the people I care about! You aren’t even nice to me either. I deserve better than someone who only wants to snog occasionally but is otherwise a git. We’re done Malfoy.”

He turns his back on me and it takes a moment for me to register what has happened. Once his words have processed, I refrain from hurrying after him. Under no circumstances, will I beg for him to not walk away. He’ll regret this in no time and come back, pleading for my forgiveness.

“Don’t kid yourself, thinking you’ll find better!” I shout after him.

Chapter Text

Harry's Pov

Luna and I are sat down in squishy armchairs near the fireplace in the Gryffindor common room, doing our homework. Meanwhile, Hermione is cuddling an irritated Ginny on the couch. The display of affection seems to slowly be improving Ginny’s mood. I was told she’s upset because Draco Malfoy started a nasty rumor about Hermione. Ginny is waiting for Ron to come back from confronting Malfoy and then she will ensure the dirty little ferret gets what he deserves. I bet she’ll use the bat bogey hex on him.

As I’m working on an essay for McGonagall, a sudden inquiry from Ginny distracts me.

“Where is he?” I hear her bark and look up to see that Ron is back.

“Who?” he asks quietly, his head down.

“Where’s Malfoy?” Ginny repeats impatiently.

“Slytherin common room,” Ron mutters.

Ginny makes to get up from the couch, but Hermione’s still holding onto her.

“Hey, promise me that you won’t do anything rash. I don’t want you to get into trouble,” Hermione says.

Ginny’s face softens, and she hooks her pinky finger around Hermione’s.

“I promise,” she tells Hermione. Hermione nods and smiles, letting go of her.

“Now, let’s get that filthy little cockroach,” Hermione says, revealing the more rebellious side of her that is reserved for Malfoy. I’m reminded of the time she punched him in the face; Hermione is certainly not someone you want to cross, I muse, as Ginny grins mischievously and the two of them leave.

“Harry?” I hear Luna’s dreamy voice and feel her tugging on my hand. I look around at her, and she motions to the stairs leading to the boys’ dormitories that Ron is walking up.

“What?” I ask, looking back at her, my brow furrowed.

“Can’t you tell?” she says, her eyes widening. “Something’s wrong with Ron.”

“What gives you that impression?”

“His body is droopy and he’s quieter than usual,” Luna says plainly. Girls always have this way that they talk to you as if you’re stupid when they pick up on something that you don’t. Luna’s isn’t as bad as Hermione’s but still kind of irritating. Luna’s voice will lose its dreamy quality and she’ll simply stare at you until whatever she’s explaining clicks. If it doesn’t click, well you’ll be amazed at how long she can stare at you without blinking. Probably uncomfortable too in my experience.

“So should I check on him?” I suggest, truthfully wanting an excuse to take a break from homework. Luna nods and I quickly get up, keen to avoid another one of her long stares.

When I reach the dormitory Ron and I share, it’s empty except for Ron sitting on his bed.

“Hey, what’s wrong?” I say, sitting down next to him.

“Nothing. I’m fine,” he mumbles without looking at me. I see what Luna was talking about. Man, it’s like girls have a sixth sense.

“You’re not fine. C’mon. What’s up?” I bump my left leg with Ron’s right one. “You know you can tell me anything,” I add when he stays silent. “We’re best mates.”

 

Ron's Pov

I finally glance at Harry sideways.

“Promise you won’t be upset or judge me?”

“I promise,” he answers. I don’t say anything for a moment and my hesitancy prompts him to hook his pinky around mine. That makes me smile slightly and I take a deep breath before telling him the story.

I confide in him everything that happened. I tell him about how Malfoy and I had a couple of butterbeers at Hogsmeade yesterday and ended up kissing. It takes Harry a minute to process that part, his eyes widening in shock but eventually, he nods for me to continue. I tell him that Malfoy and I kept kissing today and that at first, I felt guilty about it. I got more into it after Malfoy agreed to be nicer though. The last thing I open up about is deciding to stop fooling around with Malfoy because of the rumor he spread about Hermione.

“Well, you made the right decision,” Harry assures me with a clap on the back. “You’re a loyal friend and you deserve someone who treats you right and respects your friends.”

I nod in agreement but can’t help frowning still.

“Is there anything else bothering you?” Harry asks.

“N-no, it’s dumb,” I stammer, looking down and away.

“Ron,” Harry says firmly. “Tell me.”

“I feel left out,” I admit and then continue speaking quicker. “You have Luna. Ginny and Hermione have each other. For a while I had someone and it was nice to be with him while you were busy with Luna and Hermione and Ginny were together. Now, I don’t have anyone again.”

“Hey, I know it’s not the same but you have me as a friend,” Harry says, wrapping an arm around my shoulders. “I’m always here if you wanna hang out, girlfriend or not. That will never change.”

“Thanks, Harry,” I say, smiling and clapping him on the back.

“Anytime, mate,” Harry answers, squeezing my shoulders slightly before letting his arm drop.

“There’s one other thing,” I blurt, scratching at my neck nervously.

“Yeah?” Harry asks, tilting his head to the side.

“I haven’t told anyone else but I think I’m bisexual.” The moment the words leave my mouth I feel a weight lift from my shoulders. I feel free. I’ve known since kissing Malfoy but I hadn’t said it out loud until now and it felt great. I wasn’t even paying attention to Harry’s reaction. Wait. Harry’s reaction.

“You know this conversation feels familiar,” Harry says, smiling and I let out a breath of relief.  “Oh, yes, I talked to Hermione about this recently,” he recalls. “My friends just keep coming out to me.”

I laugh uncomfortably, my eyes darting around the room. Harry seems to notice my discomfort and reaches out to touch my shoulder.

“Hey, I’m only messing with you. I’m happy for you and I support you. Snog a bloke, snog a girl. It’s cool. Either way, you’re still my best mate.”

Grinning from ear to ear, I thank Harry and pull him into a quick hug.

Chapter Text

Ron’s Pov

We go back downstairs to find Luna and weirdly enough, Ginny’s friend, Anthony talking to her.

“How long ago did they leave? I want to hear the story of how their confrontation with Malfoy went,” Anthony says.

“I know, so do I!” Luna agrees enthusiastically, the dreamy quality of her voice magnified. “How much do you wanna bet that Hermione punched him in the face?”

Anthony laughs and so does Harry next to me, sitting down next to Luna on the couch. I watch as he kisses her before wrapping an arm around her waist. She smiles, taking his hand and leaning her head against his shoulder. He leans his head against hers in return, and they both close their eyes, staying quiet.

I look away, feeling out of place and wondering if Malfoy ever would have done that with me. I wish I had someone that would do what Luna and Harry were doing with me. Harry was right. Although he's there for me as a friend, it isn’t the same. He's never going to do the things he does with Luna with me. Not that I want him, in particular, to do those things with me. Still, I frown, considering going back upstairs to my dorm bed. However, Anthony interrupts my thoughts by tapping me on the shoulder.

“Hey, I know this might sound kinda weird,” he starts, “but I’m feeling tired, and when I get tired I like to have someone to cuddle with-”

“Is that what they are doing?” I interrupt, nodding my head in Luna and Harry’s direction.

Anthony nods.

“Yeah, if you feel uncomfortable doing that, it’s fine… I just figured I’d ask.” He pauses, looking at me with uncertainty, a light blush creeping onto his cheeks. “Would you like to?” he says quietly, looking at me hopefully.

“Yeah,” I agree, feeling genuinely curious and wanting to further explore my sexuality. I remember the way I felt kissing Malfoy for the first time. I had butterflies in my stomach and didn’t want to stop. I feel like it wasn’t because of Malfoy in particular, but rather because he’s a guy and I had never done that before with a guy. What would it be like cuddling a boy? Not that I have ever cuddled with a girl, but still I want to try this out with Anthony. He seems like a nice bloke, and the way he was acting while he asked was cute.

Beaming, Anthony takes my hand and pulls me over to the couch. I feel excited but nervous at the same time cause I’m not sure how to do this. Anthony seems to feel comfortable taking the lead though and motions for me to sit down. He then sits down sideways across my legs which doesn’t really hurt since he’s rather small. Still, he asks for confirmation that it’s ok and I nod. Seeming happy, Anthony tucks his feet under my legs, wraps an arm around my neck and leans back against me. Mimicking what I saw Harry do with Luna, I wrap my arms around Anthony’s waist. He’s short enough that I can nestle my head into his neck too. As I do so, closing my eyes, I hear him whisper,

“I didn’t know if you were straight. Straight guys aren’t usually comfortable doing this with their mates.”

“I’m not straight,” I whisper back, “and I like this.”

“Hmm, perhaps we should do this again sometime then,” he suggests, kissing my head. I smile.

"Yeah, I'd like that." 

"Glad to hear it. Oh, by the way, I'm Anthony, Ginny's friend," he introduces. 

"I know. I think we've met once or twice before."

"Oh, I figured you didn't remember me. I only remember you cause I thought you were cute."

I open my eyes and look over at him, grinning. He winks at me. 

"Ginny never mentioned you were gay though," he continues in an undertone. 

My eyes widen. 

"Oh, I'm not. I'm into both boys and girls."

"Blimey, I'm sorry! I shouldn't have just assumed."

“No, don’t worry. It’s fine,” I assure him, laughing. “I always thought I was straight, but then I kissed a boy.”

Anthony giggles.

"Me too, hon." I feel my cheeks heat up at that last part. I wouldn’t mind hearing him call me ‘hon’ again. "So is this your first time cuddling someone?"

I nod. 

"Yeah, no one has ever asked me except you."

"What do you think of it?" 

"It's really nice actually." I nestle my head back into his neck, feeling content and relaxed. "How could anyone not like doing this?" 

"I know right. I'm getting cuddle sparks," he whispers. 

I open my eyes again, moving my head from his neck to look at him with a raised eyebrow, smiling. 

"Cuddle sparks?"

Anthony's eyes widen. 

"You have to know what those are," he says seriously. 

I shake my head, the corners of my mouth twitching.

"Afraid I don't."

He gives a little gasp, causing me to laugh slightly. 

"No, that's unacceptable!" He sits up, no longer leaning back against me. "Cuddle sparks," he begins, "are when you feel a different way cuddling someone than you would cuddling a friend."

"Different in a good way? Like you're more into it?"

"Exactly!" He leans back against me, giving a satisfied sigh. "Now you get it. Thank the Gays."

I can't help laughing at that, having to take a deep breath to regain my composure before speaking again. 

"Well, since you got cuddle sparks, we'll have to do this again. I have second period free tomorrow."

"Oooh, perfect!" Anthony claps his hands together before putting his arm back around me. "I have Divination then, but I can skip."

Chapter Text

Ginny's Pov

I sigh, looking sideways at my girlfriend as we walk. Hermione hasn’t uttered a single word the whole way back to the Gryffindor common room. I stop as we reach the portrait of the Fat Lady and rather than giving her the password, I turn to Hermione. 

“Sweetheart, are you still mad at me?” I ask, taking her hand in mine. 

“Don’t you 'sweetheart' me right now,” she says angrily, pulling her hand away. 

“Password?” the Fat Lady interjects. 

“Not right now,” I tell her and return my attention to Hermione. “Mione-”

“I don’t have all day,” the Fat Lady interrupts again, rolling her eyes. 

“Yes, you do actually!” I snap. “All you do is stand around and wait for students to give you the password. Just give us a few minutes.”

The Fat Lady gasps, indignant. 

“With that attitude Missy, you’ll be lucky if I let you in at all,” she warns. 

Before I can retort, Hermione groans loudly in annoyance at our bickering.  

“Abstinence!” she says shrilly. The Fat Lady swings her picture backwards, and Hermione enters through the portrait hole. I hurry after her before the Fat Lady can swing forward again. 

“Mione!” I exclaim, grabbing her hand. “Can we please just talk about this?” 

“We already did earlier!” Hermione says sharply, turning to me, her face flushed. “You promised me you wouldn’t do anything rash!”

“And I didn’t!” I argue back, my hands automatically going up to my hips. “It’s not like I gave him a bloody nose or a black eye. You're acting as if I made it so he had to go to the infirmary!" 

Hermione raises both eyebrows. 

“Oh, of course, I’m the one who’s overreacting, how daft of me!” she remarks with awful sarcasm. “It’s perfectly acceptable how Malfoy spread one little rumor about me, and you slapped him across the face, used the bat bogey hex, and kicked his…” she looks around to see if anyone is listening before whispering, “penis!” 

I can’t help laughing at the scandalized look on her face, but I quickly master my composure as she scowls. 

“Sweetie, I’m sorry,” I start, “but he was challenging your loy-”

“No, Ginny you’re not sorry,” Hermione huffs, cutting across me. “You aren’t even taking this seriously.” With that, she turns away and storms off. I sigh but don’t follow her, thinking it best to give her time to cool off. Instead, I make my way towards the couch only to find it occupied by two couples cuddling… Harry with Luna and wait is that Ron with Anthony? I smile, glad my brother seems to be hitting it off with someone who is actually worth it. Anthony will be much better for him than Malfoy. I decide to hold back on the teasing for now so they can have their moment, taking a seat in the armchair near them. 

However, the sound of it creaking draws Ron’s attention to my presence, and he cracks an eye open.


Ron's Pov

My body tenses as I notice my sister sitting in an armchair next to me and Anthony, looking at us. I feel my ears grow warm as I look away, staring at the rug at my feet. 

“Aww, please, don’t let me interrupt you two sleeping in each other’s arms,” Ginny says, grinning. My cheeks now start to heat up too.

“Oh, hey Ginny, don’t worry, we won’t let you ruin our fun,” Anthony pipes up, shifting in my arms to face me and smiling. “Right?” he asks but frowns suddenly, as if sensing my discomfort. “Unless you want me to move?” 

I don’t say anything, not really wanting him to stop cuddling me. I mostly don’t like the way Ginny is drawing attention to us or how much attention she is paying to us. 

Ginny rolls her eyes, seeming partly amused but also partly exasperated. 

“Ron, it’s just me. You don’t have to be embarrassed. I was just joking around,” she tries to assure me, speaking quietly. Perhaps she has caught onto how I would like her to be more discreet about this. 

“Wait are you not out?” Anthony whispers. I nod my head.

“Only my close friends and Ginny know,” I murmur, looking down. 

“Hey, it’s alright. Being open about your sexuality is hard at first,” Anthony says in an undertone. He tilts my head up with his thumb, so our eyes meet. “It was brave of you to still do this with me, though.” He gestures to my arms still around his waist before continuing, “However, if you would like to stop, I understand.” 

Yeah, that’s just it. I don’t want to stop. I like this. All that's keeping me from continuing is worrying so much about what others think. Why do their opinions matter, though? What's the point of pretending I don't feel anything for Anthony? To please those who don't approve of it even if it means shutting part of myself out and sacrificing my happiness? Putting up an act isn't worth it, and I know if anyone gives me a hard time, my friends have my back. 

“No, stay, I like you here, with me," I say finally to Anthony, smiling shyly. I hesitate before adding, “I wanna try something different though. Could you sit in my lap?” 

Anthony nods, beaming and moves off of my legs. I spread them apart, and he sits in between, leaning his head against my neck. I wrap my arms around him again and rest my chin on his head. Next to us, Ginny wiggles her eyebrows suggestively, causing me to laugh slightly. I suddenly don’t mind her teasing. It doesn't make me feel uncomfortable anymore. It actually makes me happier. Anthony is so sweet and polite, and I like holding him. 

“So how’d confronting Malfoy go?” he asks Ginny. Luna’s eyes suddenly fly open as if these words have woken her up. Harry, however, doesn’t stir. That is at least not until Luna tugs on his hand.

“Hmm? What did I miss?” he murmurs, looking at her sleepily. 

“So did Hermione punch him in the face?” Luna inquires, her voice even dreamier than usual.

Chapter Text

Ginny's Pov 

I shake my head. 

“Nah, I knew that she wouldn’t stand up for herself so I retaliated for her,” I explain plainly, looking towards the girls’ dormitories stairs. No signs of her. I turn back to the group, faking a smile. “I slapped him in the face, and now she’s pissed with me.”

“Why? That bastard deserved it,” Ron pipes up. “Personally, I would have done much more than that…” 

“Yeah, because you’ve been so mean to him lately,” I snap without thinking. Shit. I just exposed my brother and why? Simply because I’m fighting with my girlfriend? I look over at Ron apologetically. He’s no longer holding Anthony, his arms crossed. His ears are red again, and he’s glaring at me fiercely. He can't do much else without exposing himself further. I sigh. 

“Sorry, what I meant is that I did do more than slap him,” I correct. “And Ron hasn’t been on friendly terms with Malfoy. I just made it up because I’m in a bad mood.” Ron mouths thank you, still looking slightly annoyed and resumes cuddling Anthony. 

“Oh, really, is that so?” Luna asks in her dreamy voice. “I heard differently-”

“Perhaps we can discuss this another time, Luna,” I interrupt swiftly. “Aren’t you more interested in what happened with Malfoy?” 

“Oooh, yes!” Luna exclaims to my relief. Close call. How does Luna know about Ron and Malfoy’s hook-up anyway? 

“So you slapped him in the face,” Anthony says. “And then what?” 

“Actually, slapping him wasn’t the first thing I did,” I admit, bowing my head. I smile sheepishly as I remember Hermione’s scolding. “When we got to the dungeons, Malfoy was sitting in front of the stone wall where you give the password. He had his head buried in his arms. As we reached him though, he stood up and seeing Hermione, he spat, ‘What do you want mudblood?’” I clench my fists as I recall, “I growled and tackled him to the ground. He shrieked and flailed around everywhere like a pathetic little fish. That was when I slapped him in the face. Then I kicked him in the dick and-”

“What’d I tell you?” Harry says suddenly to Luna, smirking as Anthony and Ron shudder at my revelation. 

She groans and takes out a couple of sickles from her pocket, passing them to Harry. He laughs slightly, kissing her. 

“Babe, I was kidding,” he tells her, holding the coins back out to her. She shakes her head, and they start to argue light-heartedly. 

“Wait a moment,” I interrupt impatiently, pointing a finger at Harry accusingly. “You had a bet on how I’d react?” 

Harry nods his head unashamedly. 

“Yeah. I bet that you’d kick Malfoy in the dick and Luna bet Hermione would punch him,” he answers simply. 

“Doesn’t this matter to any of you?” I demand incredulously, looking around at all of them. Harry appears to be confused, his eyes narrowed. Luna has leaned forward, staring at me unblinkingly and expectantly as if waiting for me to continue. Meanwhile, Anthony is frowning, looking at me with sympathy and Ron has raised both eyebrows, glowering as if I’ve insulted him. “Do you even care that Malfoy spread a nasty rumor about Hermione?” I ask, raising my voice. “Or is it just a joke to you? Just a bit of entertainment, hearing about how confronting him went?” 

“Ginny, of course, we care about Hermione and what Malfoy did. We were just having a bit of fun, betting on what you or Hermione would do,” Harry explains slowly, his brow furrowed. 

“Whatever,” I snap, rising from my armchair. “I used the bat bogey hex on him in case any of you had a bet on that too.”


Hermione's Pov

Knock. Knock. 

“Who is it?” I call from my bed. 

“It’s me, sweetheart,” I hear from the other side of the door. 

“Come in,” I reply after a moment, turning the page of my book. I don’t look up, but I know it’s Ginny as the door opens and she steps inside the room. 

“May I sit down next to you?” she asks quietly, her footsteps slowly approaching. 

I nod, and it’s only as the weight of the bed shifts as she climbs next to me that I shut my book. She smiles nervously as I look at her. 

“We’ve never fought like this,” she says. “I mean we’ve argued before, but it’s not usually so serious… I haven’t managed to make you laugh even a little.” 

I frown slightly and reach for her hand, holding it in mine briefly. Although I’m still kinda upset with her, she’s my girlfriend, and I feel the need to comfort her. 

“It’s nothing to worry about. Girlfriends fight sometimes,” I assure her as I let go. 

She nods, staring at my hand on the bed momentarily. She frowns and looks back at me.

“You were right. I’m sorry. I wasn’t taking your feelings about what I did to Malfoy into much consideration,” she admits. “I realized that after hearing that Harry and Luna placed bets on what we’d do to Malfoy. It felt like they weren’t taking Malfoy spreading around the rumor seriously and it was-”

“Irritating?” I supply, smirking. She nods again, looking down as a light blush creeps onto her cheeks. I smile, pinching them and she scowls, waving my hand away. “I rarely get to see you like this. You’re always so confident and stubborn. It’s kinda adorable when you get embarrassed.”

She smiles now too, kissing me on the cheek. 

“To be fair, I didn’t really give you a chance to talk about the way you felt either,” I continue. “You said he was challenging me?” 

“Yeah, he was challenging your loyalty to me,” Ginny says. “I couldn’t let him get away with that when you’ve been nothing but an amazing girlfriend. However, I shouldn’t have been so extreme. I took it too far. I should’ve kept my promise to not do anything rash.” 

“I’m sorry too,” I apologize, moving closer to her, so our legs are touching. “I shouldn’t have yelled at you. I know you had good intentions. I was just upset because I don’t want you to get in trouble for me. I guarantee Malfoy is going to tell Snape or Dumbledore about what happened. I don’t want you to get detention or have house points taken off.” 

“Yeah, I probably should have considered that. I got caught up in my emotions and acted without thinking. I’ll be more careful and control myself next time,” she promises, taking my hand. I intertwine our fingers and lean in, brushing my lips to hers.

Chapter Text

***

Ron's Pov

Monday Afternoon

Now is the perfect time. Hermione is too busy scolding Harry for using the Halfblood Prince’s notes in his potions book again. She won’t be paying attention. Just sneak off. Neither of them will notice. I start to walk in the opposite direction as them. Slowly now. Wait she is looking over her shoulder. Shit. Maybe I should just run. 

“Ron!” Hermione snaps. 

Nope too late. 

“What are you doing?” she demands. Bloody hell, she’s in a good mood. I blame Harry. 

“Well, we’ve gone to the library the last few times we’ve had a free period. So I was thinking that I’d do something different today,” I explain cautiously. She shakes her head fervently, but I continue, “Anthony has a free period, too and we’re uh planning on... doing classwork together.”

Hermione rolls her eyes, her hands on her hips. Blimey, Ginny has been influencing her way too much. 

“Ron, you’re a terrible liar!” she exclaims shrilly. “You never do your work unless I force you, and Anthony is in his fifth year. He doesn’t get free periods.”

“Ok fine. He has divination, but he’s skipping to-” 

“Stop encouraging students to cut class!” Hermione interrupts sharply, causing me to take a step back. “You’re a prefect, Ronald!” She prods her finger into my chest. “You will get him in trouble. Not to mention fifth year is the most important year!” 

“Hermione, it’s Trelawney’s class. You don’t even like her!” I argue back, folding my arms across my chest. 

“That’s not the point. You should be studying, and Anthony should be in class doing his-” 

“I bet you’ve done this with Ginny before!” I retort before she can finish. Her expression of anger vanishes, to be replaced with one of embarrassment. Her cheeks flush pink, and she turns away, stammering how she would never be so irresponsible. “That’s what I thought! Now if you will excuse me, I’m going to go see Anthony.”

Hermione nods sheepishly, and Harry grins, mouthing good one. I smile back and leave them, heading to the Gryffindor common room. 

“Abstinence,” I say as I reach the Fat Lady. She swings her picture backwards, and I go through the portrait hole. Anthony is waiting for me on the other side. He beams as I approach, and I can’t control the grin that takes over my face. He’s so cute.  

“Hey, sorry I'm late,” I say. “I had to convince Hermione to let me see you instead of studying.” 

Anthony laughs slightly, nodding. I notice that the movement causes bits of his wavy brown hair to flop around. My smile widens as I nearly reach out to touch one dangling strand. I stop myself, though, not wanting to seem weird. 

“No problem, I understand,” Anthony tells me. “Demelza would be mad at me too if she knew. She doesn’t take divination luckily.” 

“Do you like the class?” I ask curiously as we make our way out of the common room. We descend a couple of flights of stairs that lead outside to the Hogwarts grounds.

“I’m not particularly fond of Divination, no,” Anthony answers. “Although, I enjoy comparing it to Arithmancy because the subjects are so different.” 

My brow furrows. 

“Oh, really? I don’t take Arithmancy. How are they different?”

“Well, you see Divination involves predicting the future through concentration of the mind. Arithmancy, on the other hand, involves using reasoning and numbers to predict the future.”

“Which do you like more?” I ask as we sit down in a patch of grass near the Great Lake. 

“Oh, definitely Arithmancy. It’s far more interesting.”

“Yeah, I’m pretty sure Hermione feels the same way. Divination was a joke class to her and Harry and me.”

“They were the close friends you were talking about yesterday?”

“Yeah, they were both supportive of my coming out.” 

Anthony claps his hands together. 

“Aww, I’m so happy to hear that!” 

“Although, I guess I didn’t tell Hermione. She just found me snogging a bloke.” I think back to when I was hooking up with Malfoy. Strangely, I broke things off with him just yesterday, feeling lonely after. Yet, here I am with Anthony. I thought I wouldn’t find another guy that would make me feel wanted like Malfoy. Anthony makes me feel wanted, though in a nicer way than Malfoy did. Anthony wants to cuddle and talk to me. Malfoy only ever wanted to snog when he wasn’t insulting me.  

“Oooh, so you’ve had a boyfriend before?” Anthony asks, bringing me out of my thoughts. 

“No, I’ve only ever hooked up with a boy,” I clarify, frowning and looking away towards the water. His question makes me feel a little uncomfortable. Was he hoping that I had experience being in a relationship with the same sex? Is it ok that I don’t? 

“Hey, I don’t mind, no judgment,” I hear him say gently and feel his hand on my arm. He rubs it comfortingly. I reluctantly look back at him, and he gives a reassuring smile. I smile too, feeling silly for being embarrassed. 

“What about you? Have you ever been in a relationship with a guy?” I ask him. 

“Yes, it was a pretty short one, though. Lasted a month or so.”

“Well, I hope your next one lasts longer than that,” I say softly, gazing into his sapphire eyes. 

He smirks, nudging me before responding, 

“You hinting at the one we’re going to have?” 

I resist the urge to smile, raising an eyebrow instead. 

“Oh is that what you think?”

He’s sitting in front of me so when he leans forward our faces are very close. I can feel his breath on my chin. 

“Think? Honey, I know. You felt those cuddle sparks."

I laugh softly. 

“It always comes back to the cuddle sparks, doesn’t it?” 

He waggles his eyebrows suggestively. 

“No one ever forgets cuddle sparks, hon.”

“Never stop calling me that.”

“On one condition,” he whispers, smirking.

“Which is?” 

“Kiss me.” 

I smile, closing the distance between us and brushing my lips to his while threading my fingers through his hair. He brings his hand up to my cheek, his thumb caressing the skin there. As I wrap an arm around his waist, pulling him closer, he cradles my head with his other hand. The sweetness and gentleness of our embrace surprise me. 

Snogging Malfoy was always so heated and intense. At times it was enjoyable, but kissing Anthony is different in a good way like how he described the cuddle sparks. I prefer this type of kissing over Malfoy’s aggressiveness. It brought a warm fuzzy feeling in my chest. I have never felt that before while kissing anyone else. If Anthony knew he’d probably tell me I got kissing sparks.

Chapter Text

Draco's Pov 

Friday Morning

It’s been a few days since Weasley decided he didn’t want us to fool around anymore. I expected that he would have come back by now, begging for me to hook up with him again. He hasn't, though and that's not the only odd occurrence. 

Crabbe and Goyle have been saying that I’ve seemed down lately. Me? Down? I’ve never been better. They don’t know what they’re talking about and neither does Zabini. He and I were arguing yesterday because he claimed that I was acting “irritable” which is such a lie. I’m absolutely alright without that poor bastard Weasley. He’s missing out on all of this. Who does he think he is? He’ll be back. I know it. 

Until then, Pansy has been quite eager to snog lately, and I do it with her even if it’s not my favourite. What other choice do I have? My mates are always congratulating me, saying I’m so lucky that she wants me. They would give anything to kiss a “hot witch” like her. I guess she’s hot. 

She pulls me aside after we have both finished eating breakfast. We still have a while until class starts, and she knows exactly how she wants to spend that time. She leads me out of the Great Hall and into Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom. She knew there wouldn’t be any other girls there. Moaning Myrtle leaves us alone as she’s learned to do because whenever she interrupts us, Pansy gets pissed. She usually threatens her, so Moaning Myrtle just floats by the windows, watching us while glaring. 

Pansy wraps an arm around my waist, pulling me close and whispering,

“Finally, I have you all to myself.” 

Her finger traces my lips. My mouth remains in a flat line. She intends to tempt me, but she’s boring me. I guess she doesn’t notice as she doesn’t say anything, merely kissing me softly. She threads her fingers through my hair, and although it feels nice, I wish it was Weasley doing that. I push the thought away though and attempt to get more into snogging her. I tangle one hand into her hair, and rest my other one on her hips, kissing her hard. She tightens her grip around my waist, applying the same pressure back before licking my lower lip. I open my mouth to her and her tongue dances with mine. I don’t like it as much as I thought I would. It’s ok, but I felt more french kissing Weasley. That makes me panic, so I’m relieved when Pansy withdraws after a moment. My relief quickly turns into shock, though as she lifts her shirt up and over her head. 

I breathe heavily as I take in the sight of her black bra. My eyes linger on the hardened state of her nipples. Shit, she’s enjoying this far more than I am. Why is she going so goddamn fast? She didn’t even ask if I wanted to see her like this. She seems to mistake my reaction for being turned on. Suddenly, she smirks, taking my hand. She slowly trails it up to one of her breasts and cups my fingers around it. 

I gasp. The skin is so soft, but it doesn’t feel right. I don’t feel the way I felt touching Weasley’s chest. I quickly pull my hand away. 

“I-I don’t feel comfortable doing that,” I stutter out, my hands shaking. 

She giggles. 

“Stop being such a gentleman, Draco. It’s ok. I like you touching me there.” 

I shake my head. She wasn’t comprehending. 

“No, I don’t like touching you there.”

Her eyes widen, and she stops reaching for my hand. 

“Oh!” 

She picks her shirt up from the dirty, wet floor. Using her wand, she performs a cleansing spell before slipping it back on. She looks away, her cheeks turning pink. 

Fuck. I don’t want her to feel like I’m personally rejecting her. But what am I supposed to say? I can’t exactly tell her I might be gay. 

“Pansy, there’s nothing wrong with them. I just don’t feel ready,” I blurt out. The last part is a lie. I can’t find the courage to tell her the truth. 

She slowly faces me again and nods her head. 

“Right. I’m sorry for pressuring you.” She covers her face with her hands. “I’m going to leave now.” Her voice is muffled, and she moves her hands down, hurrying out of the bathroom. 

“What was that about?” a voice asks from behind me. I turn to see Moaning Myrtle floating there. She is frowning. 

“I think I might be gay,” I whisper, trying to steady my still shaking hands.

“Really? I heard you had a crush on that redhead girl, though.” 

“Weaselette! I did, didn’t I?” I let out a breath of relief. “Of course, I’m not gay. How could I think for a moment that I’m into blokes exclusively? Father would be so disappointed.”

Moaning Myrtle sighs.  

“Your parents are homophobic too?”

I nod. 

“Deeply so.” I’m quiet for a moment, my eyes narrowing. “Are you… ?” 

“Yes, I’m a lesbian,” she asserts. Her revelation is so nonchalant. She seems to be perfectly comfortable with and confident in her identity. I envy that about her. 

“How did you know?” 

“I knew I was different from other girls from a young age. Before I came to Hogwarts and I was in muggle school, I would hear girls talking about boys they liked. I didn’t feel anything for those boys, but I was attracted to a few of the girls. The first time I told someone I liked a girl was in fourth grade. The boy I talked to thought nothing of it. As I grew older though, and my attraction to girls became clearer to those around me, they shunned me. So, I kept it to myself…” she trails off, looking down. 

I frown, nearly reaching out to touch her comfortingly before remembering she's a ghost.

“That's terrible. I can't imagine what that must've been like. I’m so sorry that happened to you, Myrtle.”

She looks up at me, a small smile on her face. 

“It’s alright. I’ve stopped caring about what they think.” 

“That’s good.” I pause, hesitating before adding, “If you don’t mind my asking, how come you told me?”

“Because I see part of myself in you. You seem to be questioning who you are.”

I nod. I kinda am. 

“Myrtle… did you ever feel like you liked someone of the opposite sex?” 

“Yes, there was this guy. He had similar traits as a girl that I had deep feelings for. I liked her so much that it terrified me. I didn’t want to admit it to myself, so I projected the way I felt onto him. For a while, I was convinced I had a crush on him.” 

I let her words sink in, thinking back to Weaselette. What did I like about her? I remember liking her fiery red hair. I liked how fierce she was. I liked riling her up. But as I flashback to when I told her that at Hogsmeade, I flashback to Weasley and I insulting each other back and forth as well. I thought I had feelings for her, yet I kissed him. I could have kissed her when she pushed me back against the wall. I didn’t have the desire to. At the bar with Weasley, though it was different. I can’t picture doing what I did with him with her. 

They have similar qualities like what Myrtle described in her experience. Oh god. I never had feelings for Weaselette. She only reminded me of her brother.

Chapter Text

Ron's Pov

End of Second Period on Friday

The bell isn’t going to ring for a few minutes, but Slughorn doesn’t seem to mind us stopping work early. Harry, Hermione, and I start to put back our copies of Advanced Potion-Making and to clean up the mess of ingredients from attempting to brew Drop of Living Death. Harry was the only one to succeed in making it which Hermione doesn’t seem too pleased about. She’s scolding him right now. Wait she just said something about a Draught of Living Dead. What’s that? When did we learn how to create that? I shrug. Definitely wasn’t today. 

“Hey, I was thinking Anthony could eat lunch with us today?” I ask them, interrupting their arguing. 

Hermione’s face softens, and she nods. Harry grins. 

“Yeah, that sounds good,” he agrees, “as long as he sits next to you so you can hold hands under the table.” He says the last part in a whisper, playfully nudging my arm. 

I feel my cheeks grow warm as I give a small smile. 

“Harry!” Hermione exclaims, shoving him slightly. She shakes her head. “Whatever. I think it’s really sweet that you’ve been spending more time together, Ron.” 

“Oh, don’t get me wrong. They’re adorable,” Harry says. “It’s beyond me why you haven’t asked him out yet mate.” 

I laugh slightly as Hermione hits him. Although I’ll never admit it to them, I like it when Harry and Hermione tease me like this, and I appreciate how they have been speaking quietly. 

“Leave them alone. They’re taking it slow. Don’t pressure them to get together,” Hermione lectures Harry.

“It’s fine, Hermione. He’s just joking around,” I assure her. 

Harry shakes his head fervently. I chuckle as that seems like something Hermione would say. 

“No, mate. Seriously, tell me you’ve at least gone on a date with him,” Harry insists. 

I grin. 

“Well, I don’t know if it counts, but when he skipped class on Monday, we talked by the Great Lake…” I pause, knowing my cheeks must be red. “We kissed too.”

Hermione squeals which is honestly so unlike her that it concerns me a little. I’m too happy to care that much, though. Harry’s expression turns mischievous. I swear being with Luna has made him so much less awkward. He jokes around more often and feels more comfortable with affection. 

“How was that? Did it lead to anything else?” Harry wiggles his eyebrows suggestively. 

“Oh my gosh, Harry!” Hermione’s eyes have widened, and she pushes him away again. 

I guffaw as the bell rings. 

“It was great and no, we didn’t do anything else.” Harry nods, still smiling. “You two can go. I’ll meet you there.”

Hermione starts to drag him off, but not before he has the chance to ask if I’m waiting for “my boyfriend.” I shake my head, giggling. 

“Oh, hey Harry and Hermione,” I hear a familiar voice greet outside the classroom. They both respond, Harry saying that I’m waiting in Slughorn’s room. Anthony giggles, replying that he knows. Slughorn swings his bag over his shoulder before leaving the room.

“Just make sure to lock the room up on your way out, Rupert.” 

I roll my eyes. While I love his easy-going attitude, it’d be great if he could remember my name for once. Harry’s one of his favourite students and he’s mentioned me to him before. Whatever. 

I look around to see if anyone else is still here. All clear. A handsome wizard with wavy brown hair and blue eyes steps inside the room. 

“Hey, hon.” Anthony beams, moving closer to kiss me on the cheek. He really has been always calling me ‘hon’ when we are alone now. It still makes me smile every time. 

“Hey, I’ve been waiting all morning to see you.”

He takes both of my hands in his. I hesitate a moment before intertwining my fingers with his. I want to be affectionate with him, but it’s still relatively new for me. I only ever snogged with Lavender and Malfoy, but Anthony likes to hold hands sometimes, cuddle, and hug too. I’ve been trying to get comfortable initiating those things. It’s always nice to do with him, but I worry about making a mistake. It seems that he liked what I did, though as his smile is even wider. 

“Well, lucky for you, the wait is over.” He squeezes my fingers slightly. “However, I’m afraid I will have to momentarily leave you to change. I spilt something on my robes.” He lowers his voice to a whisper. “I’d offer to let you come with, but I feel like it might be tempting for you to see me undress.” 

I feel my ears heat up at the thought as I grin mischievously. 

“Now that you mention it, I am curious to see how you look shirtless.” 

He smirks.

“Oh, deadly sexy, hon.”

I raise an eyebrow. 

“Really? You better show me someday.” 

He winks. 

“As long as you return the favour.” 

I laugh, nodding my head and letting go of his hands to quickly hug him. He wraps his arms around me but seems surprised as I pull back. 

“You’ve never done it first,” he gushes. 

I wince, rubbing the back of my neck. 

“I know, I’m sorry. Still trying to get used to it.” 

He nods.

“It’s ok. You’ve been doing well with the hugs. Don’t apologize.” 

I smile. 

“Ok. Meet me in the Great Hall after you’ve changed?” 

“Of course, hon. See you soon.” He kisses my forehead. This time I reach up to touch the place his lips were. I wasn’t expecting that. It was rather cute... and sweet.

Chapter Text

Draco's Pov

Beginning of Lunch on Friday

I look around to assure that no one is watching before opening the door and slipping inside. I never thought that I would find myself going inside of a girl’s bathroom alone. Going with Pansy is different. My mates wouldn’t make fun of me for that. They’d just be jealous. 

No one ever comes in here right? That’s what Pansy always said, and no student ever interrupted us when we hooked up in here. I push the worry of being discovered in a girl’s bathroom away, scanning the stalls for any signs of Moaning Myrtle. Most of them are open and empty except one. I knock on the door of it and hear someone sniffle from the other side. 

“Who is it?” I recognize her voice. Although, it is shaky and high pitched.

“Moan- I mean, Myrtle, it’s me, Draco.” 

She opens the door at once, her eyes red and puffy. She gives a small smile as she looks up at me, though. I try to return it despite feeling uncomfortable. Crying has always made me feel uneasy. My father taught me that it was for the weak, and I believed him for years until Pansy sobbed in front of me once. I didn’t know how to make it stop so I just put an arm around her, but looked away. That was what father always did when my mother cried. He said that girls are more emotional and allowed to cry. Men are stronger, he’d say. Pansy told me that that’s rubbish. She said that men are people too with emotions that they should be able to express. I know now that crying is ok. Nevertheless, I don’t know how to deal with it. That’s why I don’t meet Myrtle’s eyes when I ask her what’s wrong. 

“Oh, it’s nothing.” She wipes the tears from her eyes, shaking her head. “I’m fine. It’s just lonely to be a ghost sometimes.”

I nod, still looking down. 

“Right. Well, um I came here to talk to you… about everything.” I don’t want to say it outright. That will only make it more real, and I really don’t want it to be. Why can’t I just be normal? Father would kick me out of the house if he knew… 

“Myrtle,” I start quietly, “have you ever felt like you’re different? Like not in a good way? Do you feel like you don’t belong sometimes?” 

“Because of my sexuality?” she confirms. I nod. “Yes, I wasn’t only bullied because of my unattractive appearance and glasses. Boys, in particular, would harass me for staring at girls in class. They said I wasn’t allowed to look at them the way guys were. They called me a dyke and a creep.”

I fidget, running a hand through my sleek white-blonde hair. Would my friends judge me if I told them? Is it really so wrong to be attracted to the same gender? It never made me feel guilty when I was fooling around with Weasley. It felt good. It felt right. And what about that mudblood Granger and Weaselette? When I found out they were dating, I was surprised, but I didn’t think it wasn’t ok. I just felt envious. 

“Did you believe those boys or feel ashamed?” I breathe, feeling so confused. 

“At first, yes, I did,” she admits, wringing her hands. “It took a while for me to realize that love is love. A girl loving another girl isn’t wrong, and neither is a boy loving a boy. No matter what anyone tells you, Draco, remember that,” she urges. Her gaze and expression are earnest. I nod, letting out a breath of relief as she continues, “We are no different than anyone else. Everyone just wants to belong and to be loved. There are others like you and me.” 

“Yeah?” I repeat. 

“Yes.” She beams, her eyes twinkling. “You’re wrong if you think I haven’t seen a boy kissing a boy in here or a girl kissing a girl. It’s rare, but it still happens.”

The corners of my mouth twitch up into a small smile. 

“That’s rather comforting. We aren’t alone.”

But as I play back Myrtle’s words in my head, I think back to snogging Weasley and how it made me feel. I would probably die of humiliation if anyone ever knew, but kissing him was blissful. It was relaxing. All of the pressure of classes and upcoming Quidditch games vanished. All of my focus would be on him. I would get caught up in him and the intensity of fooling around with him. It was nothing like I’ve ever felt before. Pansy never had that effect on me or anything close to it. Damn, I fucked up bad.  

“What do you mean?” Myrtle’s question suddenly pulls me out of my thoughts. Shit. Did I say that out loud? She’s floating in front of me with her head cocked to the side. 

“Oh, nothing. It’s whatever. He- I mean, it doesn’t matter at all.” 

Her expression turns mischievous. 

“So this is about a guy?”

I shake my head fervently. 

“What? No… You wouldn’t understand!” 

Myrtle giggles, dancing around in the air. 

“This is totally about a boy.” 

“No, it isn’t,” I say again, but it doesn’t come out as coldly as I intended. Oh, what’s the point of pretending? Who is she going to tell anyway? “Even if it was, how would you be of help?” 

“I wouldn’t help when you take that tone!” Her remark was angry, but I could still see tears forming in her eyes before she turned away. I rub the back of my neck, a horrible feeling settling in my stomach. What is this? I don’t remember the word for the feeling, but I hate it. Whatever the feeling is, it has me calling back for Myrtle. 

“Wait! I- I didn’t mean it like that… I suppose.” 

“Oh really?” Myrtle sniffles, still not facing me. “You know the Golden Trio has-”

My eyes narrow. 

“Golden Trio?” 

“Yes, Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley?” she clarifies. 

I frown slightly at her mentioning of him. I merely nod, not even scolding her for referring to them as the “Golden Trio.”

“Anyway, they have talked about how mean you are before in here. After talking to you today, I thought they must have been lying. Clearly, I was mistaken.” She starts to float back towards her toilet. I sigh, reaching for her arm, but my hand slips through her and I hastily pull it back. She turns to me, nonetheless. 

“Perhaps I got a tad defensive, but…” I take a deep breath before continuing, “but fancying this guy is embarrassing.” 

“How come?” she asks, her brow furrowed. 

I blink at her before realizing she’s serious and burst into laughter. 

“He and I are exact opposites.”

“Well, don’t they say opposites attract?”

“Yes, but you don’t understand. We’re far too different.” I smirk, holding my head high. “My family is wealthy, and I’m a pureblood. His family is poor, and he’s a blood traitor.”

“Don’t use that term,” Myrtle scolds, folding her arms across her chest. “How would you feel if someone called you a fag?” 

I clench my jaw. 

“Quite offended, to say the least.” 

“That’s the same way people feel when you call them a blood traitor. You make them, and muggle-borns feel like they’re different or inferior.”

“Good, they are.”

“Why? Because you perceive them to be different than you?”

“They are different.”

“Well, homophobes think you’re different too because you’re attracted to the same gender.”

“But that’s not something I can control.”

She blinks, staring at me. She is doing that thing girls do where they act superior as if they know something you don’t. And then it occurs to me. 

“Being a muggle-born isn’t something they can control,” I say aloud. “I can’t be upset if someone calls me a fag if I call them a mudblood or a blood traitor.”

“Precisely.” She tilts her head, pressing her lips together. “May I offer a wild guess as to why it didn’t work out with this boy you fancy?” I nod and she continues, “You aren’t always comfortable expressing the way you feel. When someone makes you feel an emotion you don’t know how to handle, such as anger, you resort to insults.”

My eyes widen. 

“No, that’s definitely not it.” I shake my head, snickering. “He was the problem. He was the one that couldn’t see that he’s never going to find someone like me.” 

She raises an eyebrow. 

“Have you ever said something like that to him?”

I feel my cheeks flush and look away.

“N-no.” 

Myrtle shakes her head, rolling her eyes. 

“This is why I’m glad I don’t like boys,” she murmurs to herself. Now, I’m the one to roll my eyes. 

“Draco, if you want this boy back, you have to swallow your pride,” she says firmly. “Admit your feelings and stop acting like being with him would be below you. You obviously miss him.”

Chapter Text

Draco's Pov

Second half of lunch 

I’ve never pictured myself sobbing in Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom. Imagine how pathetic father would think I am right now if he knew that I’m crying in the girls’ bathroom with a ghost comforting me. I guess Myrtle’s not just a ghost. I suppose she’s sort of one of my friends now. She’s nice to me even if I feel like the last thing I deserve right now is someone’s kindness. Still, it’s bittersweet of her to assure me that I’m not an idiot or a bad person and that I’m working on myself. I don’t know how much I believe her, though. I feel like absolute shit at the moment. I hate myself for not being able to pull it together. I hate myself for spiralling so much like this. It’s so stupid and frustrating. 

I rarely break down like this. Myrtle’s right. I don’t know how to handle my feelings sometimes and right now is one of those times. That’s why I’m silently grateful when she sits next to me and wraps an arm around my shoulders. I forgot that ghosts can touch people and things if they focus on it. Father has said if they aren’t focusing, they’ll just float through them. The thought only momentarily distracts me from the dreadful feeling in my stomach. 

I let the tears trail down my cheeks as I attempt to lean my head on Myrtle’s shoulder. My face nearly plummets into the ground, but Myrtle uses a spell that makes it so she can have human contact for a short period of time. She refreshes it every so often, and I quietly thank her. I apologize in advance for making her robes damp. She shushes me, repeating soothing phrases like “it’s going to be okay” and “you’ll get through this.” I almost believe her. I appreciate the sentiment. 

I spend the rest of lunch in the bathroom. I never ate any food, but I don’t feel particularly hungry or like eating in front of people in my current emotional state. When the bell rings, signalling the start of third period, I wait a few minutes before standing up, thanking Myrtle again and leaving for class. 

 

Half an hour ago… 

I had more or less taken Myrtle’s advice. I’ll admit that I didn’t, at first. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to talk to him. I thought it would be easier to just avoid the issue altogether. That proved to be difficult, though when I saw him laughing and talking with another wizard. He had short wavy brown hair (that paled in comparison to my sleek blond locks) and blue eyes. Who even prefers blue eyes to grey? Anyway, they were smiling and holding hands under the Gryffindor table. I huffed to myself, stalking over to them without a second thought. 

“Weasley! There’s a professor that wants a word with you,” I snapped. He jumped a little in his seat, and I snickered as he looked over his shoulder at me. His eyes were wide, but he still glared at me. 

“Which professor, Malfoy?” he asked coldly. 

“Professor… Raven. She’s a new teacher this year,” I replied quickly while still managing to sound uninterested. 

He raised an eyebrow but still rose from the table, letting go of the hand of the boy sitting next to him. He told him he’d be back in a moment and the boy nodded, still beaming. Without meeting my eyes, Weasley walked out of the Great Hall. I followed, and although he was waiting for me, I knew it was only because he needed directions. 

“What’s her classroom number?” he prompted. 

I rolled my eyes. 

“There’s no Professor Raven, you prat. That was just an excuse to talk to you.” 

“Well, I don’t want to talk,” he growled. “We’re done here, Malfoy.” 

I grinned mischievously, grabbing his arm and pulling him close before he could turn away. 

“Oh no, Weasley, we’re just getting started. I know you’ve been dying for us to be alone again. Now is your time.”

He gave an exasperated sigh, pushing me away. 

“You had your chance, Malfoy and you blew it. Leave me alone,” he said firmly. 

I groaned, thinking back to Myrtle’s advice. Swallow your pride. I took a deep breath and tried again. 

“Look, can you just hear me out, first?” I asked as calmly as I could. My tone was sharper than I would’ve liked but marginally better than usual. 

“Fine,” Weasley growled, folding his arms across his chest. I thought about the last time we had been hooking up when I unbuttoned his shirt and felt my face grow hot. He stared at me expectantly, and I snapped out of it. Focus. 

“I’m sorry, alright?” I murmured. “I shouldn’t have spread around that rumour about Granger, okay? I won’t ever do that again, but… but I kind of… fancy you. Can’t we start over?” 

Weasley’s eyes had widened. They were so big I wouldn’t have been surprised if they fell out of their sockets. 

“T-thank you for apologizing,” he stuttered. “But we can’t just start over. I’m with someone else now, and I like what I know about him so far. I couldn’t do that to him.” 

There was an insult on the tip of my tongue, but I held back the words. I remembered what Myrtle said. There wasn’t any point in fighting. Weasley had made his decision, and I had said my part. So I just nodded and walking briskly towards Myrtle’s bathroom, I held my head high even though I felt my eyes start to water.

Chapter Text

Hermione's Pov

Friday, Second Half of Lunch for Gryffindors

“Hermione, I need to talk to you.”

I look up to see Ron standing in front of the table, having just come back from supposedly speaking to a new professor. However, I have not heard of any teacher with the surname Raven. Malfoy must be up to no good again. I wish he would stop getting involved with Ron. After all, Ron ended things between them unless he was lying? Are they still hooking up? No, they cannot be. Ron would not do that to Anthony. 

Ron jerks his head in the direction of the entrance doors to the Great Hall, farther away from the tables and students. I squeeze Ginny’s hand before rising from my seat. 

“I will be back in a moment,” I tell her and the others, following Ron away from all the chatter where we can talk in private. “What is it?” I ask him. He remains silent, and my eyes narrow as I fold my arms across my chest. “You better have not done anything stupid. If you have gotten yourself into trouble, you are going to have to get out of it yourself.”

He seems to snap out of his thoughts and shakes his head. 

“No, no, it’s nothing like that,” he says quietly. 

“Well, then what is the matter?”

“Malfoy f-fancies me,” he stutters out slowly. I raise an eyebrow, and when his expression does not shift to be less serious, I laugh slightly. 

“That is what he told you after claiming that there was a professor that wanted a word with you?” 

He nods, causing me to roll my eyes. 

“And you believed him?” My voice is louder this time and more incredulous sounding.

Again he nods, and I let out a sigh, shaking my head.  

“Ronald,” I say gently, “you know he was not telling the truth. He was just saying that to get you to agree to hook up with him again.”

Ron presses his lips tightly together.

“No, you don’t understand!” he exclaims defensively. “Malfoy was acting so genuine. No tricks. He was vulnerable and asked if we could start over again.”

“What did you tell him?” I inquire slowly, holding my breath. 

Ron cocks his head to the side. 

“I said no, of course. I like Anthony.”

I let out a breath of relief. 

“Thank-” I start to say only for him to interrupt-

“Yes, yes, I know, thank the Gays.”

I giggle at his substitution for god.

“I never thought that I would ever say this about something that you said, but that was sort of amazing,” I admit, smiling. 

Ron grins. 

“I know, it’s funny, right? Anthony came up with it.” 

“Aww, it is cute that you say it too. Why did you want to talk to me about Malfoy if you are not interested in him, though?”

“Well, I guess I feel kinda bad. He seemed so disappointed, but more importantly, should I tell Anthony?”

“First, you have no reason to feel bad,” I assert. “Malfoy is an arse, and he deserves your rejection. He did not treat you respectfully, and now that he sees you with someone else, he is abruptly being nicer. He is two-faced.” I pause, my expression and voice softening. “Second, aww you are mostly thinking of Anthony, in all of this!”

Ron nods before lowering his head, his ears turning red. 

“So, what should I do?” 

“Oh right.” I tilt my head and press my lips together, remembering how I felt when Ginny kept it from me how Dean made a pass at her. “Yes, I would say you should tell him just to be safe. If you do not and he ever found out, he might feel like you had something to hide.”

Ron nods his head quickly. 

“Ok, thank you, Hermione.” And with that, he runs off back to the other side of the hall where Anthony, Ginny, Harry, and Luna are sitting. I watch as he motions to Anthony for them to have a word alone. As they approach the place where Ron and I just talked, I return to my seat next to Ginny. 


Ron's Pov

After explaining to Anthony that Malfoy is the bloke that I hooked up with and that he approached me about hooking up again, I anxiously wait for his response. I almost apologize. I really don’t want to mess things up with Anthony. I feel a pang of guilt as he frowns.

“Oh,” he starts softly, “and now you want to go back to him?”

I fervently shake my head. 

“Oh, no! I’m sorry, I should have led with that. No, I’m not interested in him at all. Hermione just advised that I let you know what happened. I didn’t want you to hear from someone else and feel like I’m hiding something from you.”

Anthony gives a breath of relief. 

“Oh, well, thank you for telling me.”

“Yeah of course.” I smile, reaching for his hand, but he doesn’t beam or take it the way he usually does. “Is something wrong?” I ask tentatively. 

“Yeah,” he says slowly, “I just- was Malfoy your first kiss with a boy?”

I nod and mimicking the way Hermione speaks when she is trying to be supportive, ask gently,

“Does that make you feel jealous?” 

“Honestly, yeah, I guess it does,” he replies, bowing his head. 

“Anthony, look at me,” I say in the same tone. His eyes travel back up to my face, and I take his hand in mine, intertwining our fingers as I did earlier. I don’t even care that there are people around us that might be paying attention. Comforting him matters more to me. “Malfoy was my first kiss with a wizard, but it was different kissing you. It was different in a good way. I never felt the way I felt kissing you, kissing him. There were no feelings involved with Malfoy. It was purely experimenting and physical attraction. I never shared tender moments with him like the one I had with you. I know we’ve only been talking for a few days, but I like what I know about you so far.”

“I like what I know of you, too,” he reciprocates softly, squeezing my fingers slightly. His face starts to light up. “How did you feel when we kissed?” 

I smile, recalling the moment we shared by the Great Lake. 

“I felt this feeling that I would describe as warm and fuzzy if that makes sense. Actually, no, I think saying that I felt kissing sparks would make more sense to you.” 

“Aww.” Anthony blushes. “It’s like how I felt cuddle sparks with you.” 

I laugh, not because I think what he said was funny, but because I feel happy. 

“Yeah, exactly.” I feel a strong desire to kiss him, but I tell myself to wait. The more we kiss without getting to know each other more, the more likely this is to just turn into a hookup. I don’t want just another hookup. I want this to be meaningful. That’s why I cut the moment short, giving his hand a small squeeze before letting go and leading him back to the table.

Chapter Text

Anthony's Pov

Saturday Morning

“Yeah, that’s right, you fag! You deserve this for bothering my mate. Stop looking over at him during class all the time.” He flushes the toilet, and I feel the gross water rush forward into my face. I shut my mouth in time, but it doesn’t keep the water from going up my nose and getting in my eyes. I frantically try to lift my head, but I can feel him holding me down and roughly pushing every time I try to escape. He continues to flush the toilet while belittling me, his voice muffled. 

“My mate wants attention from the pretty witches, not from you! He doesn’t swing that way so take a blimey hint! Drool over someone else who wants to suck a dick like you!” I finally stop squirming, feeling like succumbing to tears as his words ring in my ears. He flushes the toilet one last time before gripping my head forcefully and lifting it up. I gasp for air, coughing out dirty piss water. He laughs maliciously, murmuring something about how he’s probably taught me it would be better if I acted more “normal.” I remain silent as water drips from my face onto my robes. He slams the stall shut, and I hear the sound of his retreating footsteps. I wait until I hear the sound of the bathroom door closing, before I burst into tears, sobbing uncontrollably.

“Anthony?” A familiar voice interrupts my crying, and I open my eyes, sitting up abruptly with the covers still wrapped around my body. I wipe the tears from my face, letting out a shaky breath of relief as I realize that my face isn’t wet. It wasn’t real. The curtains around my bed suddenly swing open to reveal a tall, lanky figure with fiery red hair and a freckled complexion. Ron just stands there awkwardly for a moment, cursing under his breath. I hear him asking over and over again, “What would Hermione do? What would Hermione do?” Finally, he takes a deep breath and climbs into the bed next to me. Slowly he pulls me into a hug, whispering tentatively, “Shhhhh, it’s okay. I got you. You’re alright. I’m here.” My body steadies as I wrap my arms around him tight, taking deep calming breaths in and out. We stay in the same position for a few moments until I’ve calmed down and stopped crying. I pull back from him, and he quickly lets go of me. 

“Sorry,” he murmurs, moving away. “Was that too long?” 

I shake my head, smiling slightly.

“You’re cute when you blush.” Ron’s face flushes a darker shade of red at my teasing as he looks down at the sheets. I giggle, reaching for his hand and holding it in mine. That causes him to smile and look back at me. I lean my head against his shoulder. “Thanks for comforting me, hon.”

He wraps an arm around my waist.

“Yeah, of course. I’m glad you’re ok now.” He’s quiet for a moment before continuing in an undertone, “If you don’t mind my asking, what happened?”

“Oh, I just had a nightmare, that’s all,” I mumble, no longer meeting his eyes.

“Do you want to talk about it?

I shake my head.

“Not really, no. I would rather just forget about it.” I trust him, but that nightmare was very similar to a memory I have of being bullied last year. I feel like it’s better to move on from it rather than relive it for the third time. I’m safe now. Dumbledore expelled the bloke that was harassing me. I’m glad that Ron doesn’t seem bothered by me preferring to keep the details of the nightmare to myself. He continues as if nothing happened, which makes it easier for me to do the same.

“Ok. Well, Harry, Luna, Hermione, Ginny, and I are getting ready to go to Hogsmeade… I was hoping you’d want to come too.” Now he’s the one to break eye contact as he gives an adorable sheepish smile. I pretend to think about it and ask,

“Oh, you’re sure you don’t want to third wheel two different couples?” 

Ron laughs slightly. 

“I’m absolutely sure. Actually, I was hoping now that I’ve met you that my third-wheeling days would be over.”

The corners of my mouth twitch.

“Is that so? Could you possibly be hoping for what I think you are?”

“I don’t know depends. What is it you think I’m hoping for?” 

I smirk, shifting on the bed so that my body is facing him.

“Although we aren’t official yet, you’re hoping that I’ll be your date and hold you when it gets cold.”

Ron chortles.

“Alright, the date thing I implied,” he admits, “but you brought up the hugging part. I think you’re just saying that because you want to cuddle more.”


Ron's Pov

Anthony leans closer.

“Maybe among other things…” 

I can feel my face growing hotter, but still, I play along.

“Hoping there’s mistletoe in one of the shops?”

“I’m afraid you’ll have to discover the answer to that question, yourself.”

“That’s the way it’s going to be, huh?”

Anthony nods mischief dancing in his eyes. I raise an eyebrow, letting go of his waist without thinking to slowly and gently push him down onto the bed. Once he’s lying down, I try to gauge a reaction. His eyes have widened, but he’s watching me intently. The desire to lay on top of him, and snog him senseless grips me hard. I nearly act on it, but at that moment there’s a knock on the door, and I quickly jump back. 

I let out a breath of relief as I realize that it’s just Harry on the other side.

“You lovebirds almost ready?”

Fuck. We were in the middle of something Harry!

“Yes, we’ll be out soon!” I shout back as I climb off the bed. Once I hear Harry snicker then the sound of his retreating footsteps, I mutter an apology.

“Sorry, I don’t know what came over me…”

To my surprise, Anthony grins.

“Don’t be. I know how hard I am to resist. There will be another time, I promise.” He winks, and I simply stand there for a moment, dumbfounded while he nonchalantly goes to the bathroom to change. Bloody hell. How am I supposed to control myself around him?

Chapter Text

Ginny's Pov

My girlfriend (I love calling her that), Harry, Luna, and I wait at the Entrance Hall for Anthony and my brother. Hermione is wearing a long black button-up coat, a Gryffindor scarf with matching mittens, and a cute red beanie. She reaches for my hand, smiling up at me and I kiss her on the cheek. She blushes slightly, causing me to giggle at how adorable she is. However, the sound of a familiar voice momentarily distracts me. I whirl around to see Demelza Robins waving to us, and my eyes widen. I hardly see her anymore. 

“Demelza! Where’s Andrew?” I ask, my brows furrowed.

She waves a hand dismissively in the air, and I cock my head to the side. Demelza recently acquired a boyfriend and typically she spends every possible waking moment with him. It’s unlike her to be away from him, especially on a weekend. 

“Forget him,” she mutters and then her face brightens a little bit. “I miss hanging out with you, Anthony, and Luna.”

“Aww, well we’re going to Hogsmeade, if you want to come,” I offer. 

She nods, smiling and agreeing, 

“I would love that, thank you.”

“Of course,” I reply as she approaches to stand with the four of us. Luna pulls away from Harry, who had his arms wrapped around her to wave to Demelza. She and Demelza share a quick embrace, and at that moment, Ron and Anthony finally join us. Anthony seems just as stunned to see Demelza as I was, blinking multiple times in quick succession. 

“Well, look who it is! Has someone grown tired of her beloved boyfriend?” he inquires teasingly. 

“Wait, wait,” Demelza says, gasping, her eyes on Ron and Anthony’s intertwined hands. “Does someone now have a boyfriend and he didn’t tell me!” She squeals at the pair of them as they both look away. Ron scratches the back of his neck with his free hand, and Anthony drags his foot back and forth slowly across the floor. 

“No, we aren’t dating,” Anthony murmurs after a moment. I see Ron smile slightly out of the corner of my eye despite his embarrassment. 

“Not yet at least,” he adds onto Anthony’s statement. Anthony beams and just like that the two of them seem to relax more. They face each other, moving a little closer together and Anthony leans forward to swiftly kiss Ron’s forehead. 

“Awww,” the rest of us chorus, causing Ron to look over and glare. Anthony simply chortles, and I wonder if they would kiss if they were alone, but they move apart again while still holding hands. 

“Well, I suppose we should get going,” Hermione opines, and we exchange knowing glances because we expect that the boys will be snogging later. 

We leave the Entrance Hall, skipping past the line of third years waiting to check in with Filch, and enter the village of Hogsmeade. All seven of us agree to go to The Three Broomsticks first. We find a table and pull chairs from the other ones so everyone has a place to sit. Harry volunteers to order us hot butterbeers in foaming tankards so we can keep warm. We all pass him sickles to pay for them, and he approaches the bartender with Luna at his side. They come back shortly, making a few trips back and forth to hand out butterbeers. We thank them and sit down, drinking our butterbeers contentedly.


Hermione's Pov

Demelza is the first to speak after everyone has taken a couple of drinks of their butterbeers. 

“So,” she starts, grinning as she turns to Anthony and Ron, “how long has this thing between you two been going on?” 

“Blimey, you have missed so much,” Anthony answers as he takes Ron’s hand resting on the table in his. Ron intertwines their fingers, smiling and informs Demelza, 

“It’s been going on for around a week.” 

“How did it happen?” she questions, leaning forward.

Anthony giggles a little. 

“Well, there were cuddle sparks,” he replies to her, but his eyes are on Ron, who surprisingly winks at him. Who knew Ronald could be such a flirt? 

“There may have been kissing sparks too,” he whispers into Anthony’s ear, just barely audible. Gosh, I have never seen this side of Ronald before. Well, I suppose it must be reserved for Anthony, which is rather cute... if you don’t think about it sexually.

There’s an abrupt sniffle, and I look around the table before linking the sound to Demelza. She sniffles again as her bottom lip starts to quiver and tears form in her eyes. I instantly move my chair closer to hers, wrapping an arm around her shoulders. 

“Honey, what’s wrong?” I ask gently, feeling all eyes at the table turn to us. Ron and Anthony stop their flirting as Luna pauses her cuddling with Harry to pass a napkin across the table for her friend. Ginny reaches across me to rub Demelza’s arm comfortingly. 

“What’s the matter? Have the blibbering humdingers been influencing you with their negative energy?” Luna asks in her innocent dream-like voice. “They become rather cranky when it gets cold like this.”

Her bizarre theory causes both confusion and amusement around the table. Anthony’s eyes have narrowed while Ron is roaring with laughter. Harry is shaking his head, but leans forward to kiss Luna on the nose, and tells her he loves her. Ginny has part of her fist in her mouth to keep from laughing, and Demelza most importantly lets out a watery giggle. 

“Yes, Luna, it must be those gosh darn humdingers,” she agrees, smiling slightly. Despite my bewilderment, I am secretly thankful for Luna’s knack of lightening the mood. Demelza takes a deep breath, wiping her eyes with the napkin. “In all seriousness though, Andrew and I are um... kinda fighting,” she admits quietly. “Seeing all of you paired up like this reminded me of him and our relationship.”

“Oh hon, it’s ok. Arguing is normal whether it’s in a romantic relationship, or a platonic one,” I assure her. “Just give him some time to cool off and then you two can work things out probab-”

“Wait,” Ginny interrupts, withdrawing her hand from Demelza’s arm. She laughs softly, but it’s a bitter sound rather than a humorous one. “So would you be hanging out with us if you weren’t having problems with your boyfriend?” 

Demelza shakes her head slightly, biting her lip nervously. 

“W-well, I mean,” she stutters out slowly, “no b-because Andrew was supposed to t-take me out, just the t-two of us. We were g-going to come here t-together before we started fighti-”

Ginny rises from her chair, her hands on her hips as she cuts Demelza off. Oh, dear.


Anthony's Pov

“Oh, so we’re just a fucking last resort to you?” Ginny snaps. I cross my arms over my chest, feeling just as fed up as she is.

“Yeah, we’re just supposed to be here for you when you’re having trouble with Andrew, but otherwise, you don’t want to spend any time with us?” I demand sharply. 

“No, I didn’t mean it like that!” Demelza rushes to claim. “I had no idea you two felt this way. You could’ve talked to me about it.” 

“Oh, believe me, we’ve tried,” Ginny retorts. 

“You just never listened, and we stopped trying,” I add.

“It’s true,” Luna pipes up, her voice having lost its dreamy and distant quality. “The three of us are meant to be your close friends, but lately you are rarely around. Even in the classes we share, all you do is talk about Andrew. And I’m not just saying that because of the blibbering humdingers lurking around here.” 

Ginny does not match Luna’s calm voice as she asserts, 

“I second that. What I’m about to say next, I say with my own volition, not because some blibbering humdinger is getting in my head.” She gives an exaggerated gasp, covering her mouth with her hand. “Maybe if you suck Andrew’s dick, he’ll forgive you! I bet that’s what you’ve been doing all of this time, instead of being a good friend.” She smiles sweetly, before turning her back and walking out of the pub. The words of the bully from my nightmare echo in my mind. 

Drool over someone else who wants to suck a dick like you! 

I attempt to block out the memory, looking around the table. Hermione and Harry seem deeply uncomfortable. Harry’s eyes have widened, and he is looking at the door intently as if he wants nothing more than an excuse to leave. Hermione’s jaw has dropped, and she keeps gasping, presumably in disapproval of Ginny’s remark. Demelza is weeping with her head buried in her arms on the table. 

Drool over someone else who wants to dick like you!

No. Focus on the present. What is happening now? 

Hermione seems to have recovered from her shock for the most part and is rubbing Demelza’s arm in an effort to console her. 

“Alright, what Ginny just said was completely uncalled for, and I’m sure she didn’t mean it,” she says, her voice far more high-pitched than usual. “I would stay here with you, but Ginny’s my girlfriend, and she’s hurting right now. She’s just expressing it through anger, and I should be there for her.” 

Ginny’s words and the bully’s words now both echo over each other in my mind. 

Maybe if you suck Andrew’s dick he’ll forgive you… Drool over someone else who wants to suck a dick like you!

I feel my heart racing in my chest. My head is pounding. My legs are shaking underneath the table. I’m hyperventilating. 

Drool over someone else who wants to suck a dick like you! I feel as if I’m back in the bathroom stall with him. He’s holding my head down in the toilet, and my face is submerged in the disgusting water. I’m helpless. Scared. Struggling to escape, to breathe. Let go of me. Let go of me! 

I feel someone take my hand.

“Anthony. Shhh, it’s okay. You’re safe. No one is taking you away or holding you hostage. I’m here. It’s me, Ron. I got you.” 

The voice stops echoing in my head, and the bathroom stall fades, being replaced with my normal surroundings at The Three Broomsticks. Ron is sitting next to me at the table, his hand in mine. There are empty butterbeers in front of us. Luna is nowhere to be seen, and neither is Hermione. Harry is awkwardly patting Demelza’s head as she cries, but watching us closely with concern. 

I breathe deeply and move closer to Ron, hugging him tightly. I feel him wrap his arms around me protectively, rubbing my back. He kisses the top of my head and whispers,

“Everything is alright. You’re safe. I’m never going to leave your side.”