Disclaimer: I own nothing you recognize.
A/N: My muse has not been very cooperative lately. Here's a little something that I was able to slap together, I hope you at least find it amusing. Harmony ahead.
Special thanks to the good folks at See'vor's House of Fanfiction. Without their input, the story would be even worse, if you can believe it.
"What do I think of Hermione? I can't believe you have to ask that. I mean, really, we've known each other since we were firsties. She's been with me through thick and thin…" unlike some people, he thought unkindly.
"So, you think of her like a sister, I reckon." The other one said hesitantly, almost as if he was trying to justify it to himself.
"Ron, you're delusional." Said Harry very slowly; it was a tone a mental patient would recognize coming from an orderly who was trying to help the patient with an 'episode'.
"You saw me the first time I saw her at the ball." He explained, a wistful expression on his face as he remembered the way she looked descending the stairs. She was like a vision out of a randy teens' daydream. "I knew instantly who she was and wow, how I stared…" The grin was still on his face. So caught up in his recollection was he that he inadvertently mumbled, "and the panties with my name on them were a nice touch too."
Ron's eyes suddenly opened much wider.
Harry continued after shaking his head briefly to clear the daydream. "Besides, how could I think of her as a sister? I'm an only child, after all, I don't have the slightest inkling what having a sister is like."
Ron's jaw was working but he couldn't seem to form words. Finally, he said, "Hadn't thought of that…"
Harry was now happily recalling the actual dance. He vaguely recalled Ron getting beyond angry with Hermione just because she gave her first dance to Krum, but then he stormed off and all Harry could remember were all the dances he and Hermione had shared afterward; then disappearing under his invisibility cloak only to reappear later in an empty classroom. He was mentally reliving the amazing experience of undoing the clasps of Hermione's gown when he realized Ron hadn't said a word in quite some time; a quiet Ron is an unsettled Ron - Harry regretfully returned his attention to the present before he got to the point in his memory where he discovered the emerald green knickers with Reserved for Harry Potter embroidered in golden thread.
Ron's mouth was hanging open, his eyes were vacant but still very wide and an annoying whine of desperation or despair could only faintly be heard. None of these things separately would have signaled any problem with Ron. If he was honest with himself, then he could even admit there was nothing too troubling about these things even if they happened concurrently. What was troubling was that none of these things were happening with Ron anywhere near food, or chess, or chess playing food. Harry decided he had better say something to get Ron responsive again.
"When put right to it, that's how I think of your relationship with Hermione." Harry paused to gauge Ron's reaction. He didn't have to wait long.
A horrified expression had appeared over Ron's bland, freckly features. His mouth closed and then opened with a silent 'WHAT!?' while his forehead was scrunched incredulously.
"Yeah-" Harry continued as if Ron hadn't just been struck with a mental thought grenade. "You're the one with a sister, after all. Plus, you're the one who likes to torment Hermione, calling her names, making fun of her interests and habits, AND you're the one who has repeatedly made her cry with your constant arguing over essentially nothing. Basically, the way you act with Hermione is the way you seem to act with Ginny - in other words you fight like brother and sister."
"B-Bu-but… I thought I was showing her I fancy her! My parents do it all the time, just like that! Isn't it normal? I thought I was showing her I wanted her to be my girlfriend. I thought that was how boys show they're interested!" Ron protested.
"Not that I'm aware of, but maybe things work differently for Wizards than for Muggles." Harry looked thoughtful. "In any case, that's not how they do it in Hermione's books on healthy relationships."
Ron's look of anguished disappointment vanished as his face seemed to radiate a feel of, 'I've got a great idea, the likes of which you would never expect me to have, because it's so brilliant!'
"Ron…" Harry cautioned. He thought he recognized that look. He'd seen it when Ron got him involved with the duel against Draco and when Ron thought he should try and hit Draco with a slug spewing curse.
"No, it's brilliant, Harry! And I have you to thank for it! Hermione's parents are Muggles, so of course she wouldn't know how we Magicals do things, would she? She doesn't know I've been chatting her up all this time and once I tell her, then she'll realize she fancies me too!"
Harry winced, but Ron didn't seem to notice, so caught up in his own little dream world was he. "Sorry, mate, but there's a flaw in your plan."
Ron jerked his head to look Harry square in the eye. "Flaw? Where!?" He demanded.
Harry cleared his throat and looked suspiciously uncomfortable. "Well… you see, the thing is…"
"Oh no," moaned Ron. "Don't tell me you beat me to the punch and she's now your girlfriend!"
"You've got it wrong, Ron." Harry said with hands raised in a placating fashion.
"Then what's the flaw?" Ron honestly wondered.
"She thinks you're a berk." There, he said it.
Ron blinked. "Huh?"
Harry held up a hand. "And that you're poxy." He continued while ticking off the various words Hermione had used to describe Ron of late using the aforementioned hand. "Also a git, a tosser, a twonk, a shite, a twat, a hobknocker, and an arse."
"But I was only having a little bit of a laugh with those sheep!" Ron argued.
"Really?" Harry asked amazedly. "After all of that, the part you object to is being called a hobknocker? And by the way - Ewww! That is definitely something about you I did NOT need to know."
Undeterred, Ron persisted. "Don't you see Harry? Even if she doesn't realize it, she must fancy me right back! Why else would she talk about me so much?"
"Maybe, because I was trying to convince Harry to not invite you to our wedding?" Hermione asked rhetorically from behind the aghast redhead.
"Harry, please tell me that's not Hermione standing behind me."
"I can't do that without lying to you, Ron."
"Bollocks." Ron said sulkily. "How long have you been standing there?"
"Not long. Only since just before you admitted you were a hobknocker." She turned to Harry. "I believe I win the bet." She extended her hand and Harry pulled out his money sack and dropped it into her waiting hand. "Pleasure doing business with you, sucker." She said smugly to Harry.
Harry looked back at her and smirked. "And here I thought you were the absolute authority on sucking…"
Hermione's face colored instantly. "No bedroom talk around the hobknocker, you know better than that."
Harry had the good graces to look slightly embarrassed.
"Hold on a minute you two," Ron said in a shaky voice. "I thought Harry said you weren't his girlfriend, so what's all this then?"
"I haven't been his girlfriend for months," Hermione explained, "I'm his fiancée now. Why else would we be talking about not inviting you to the wedding? Knowing you, you'd probably show up in Quidditch gear instead of dress robes."
Harry had to agree with his former girlfriend's assessment of his friend.
Ron's brain seized and he fainted.
"Think he'll remember this time or dismiss it as a dream again?" Hermione asked her fiancé.
"His track record is against him. What is it, the 3rd of 4th time he's repressed it?"
"Fourth." Hermione said after a moment. "Do we have to invite him to the wedding?"
"If he remembers, then yes. He's been really useful in drawing enemy spellfire over the years. We do owe him something."
"All right," Hermione conceded, "but only IF he remembers."
End Notes: Please review. It really helps the creative process. Things you like, things you didn't, things you'd like to see happen, and anything else. It's all good. Thanks.