Chapter One – Help Needed

Fourth year for Ron Weasley was not turning out anywhere near what he had hoped for, and now it just seemed to be getting worse. First they cancelled Quidditch because of the Tri-Wizard Tournament. Ron had hoped to make the team this year, at least as reserve keeper, but that chance disappeared until maybe next year.

Second he and his best mate had gotten into a huge row when Ron couldn't believe that Harry hadn't put his name in the Goblet of Fire. It took several months for them to get sorted out and there were still some lingering hard feelings. Ron still felt bad about doubting his best friend.

Third he wasn't doing that well in his studies and his other best friend Hermione refused to help like she had before. It seemed that she only studied in the library these days instead of the Gryffindor common room so she wasn't even around. It even seemed like she was happy to be away, and when she was around it seemed she had grown tired of always bailing him out.

And then there was the most recent disaster. There was a Yule Ball coming up and he didn't have a date. And even if he did go, his mom had sent him dress robes that looked absolutely pathetic. But that wasn't worst part, not only did he not have a date, he had embarrassed himself completely not once but twice while actually trying to ask someone.

He still remembered the look of distain he received when he asked Fleur in front of the whole school, and he won't forget the further embarrassment of actually running away before she could refuse. More painful though was the complete mess he'd made when trying to ask Hermione to the Ball. Looking back realized what a prat he'd been about the whole thing and he absolutely ruined any chance that she might fancy him back, even just a little

So here he was, sitting alone in the common room about 4 weeks before the holidays trying to work on his transfiguration essay. Harry was off with Dumbledore doing who knows what that he couldn't tell him about. Hermione was off in the library. Ron threw down his quill in frustration leaned over and put his head in his hands. His life was shite right now and he was beginning to realize that it was up to him to get things sorted out, but he hadn't a clue as to what to do or how to do it. If he was going to try to make things better, he realized he needed help.

But who could he go to? Certainly not the twins. That would be a disaster. Harry and Hermione were out of the question too. He didn't think that his roommates Neville, Seamus or Dean would be any help either, they seemed as messed up as him, only in different ways.

He sat there with his eyes closed, still leaning over, still holding his head, still pondering his life when he heard a very familiar voice. He could pick Ginny's voice out of a crowd all his life. Ron opened his eyes and saw his sister coming through the portrait hole with some of her friends, laughing and joking, looking like she felt the complete opposite of how he was feeling. He looked up and gave her a weak smile.

"Hey Gin."

Ginny looked over at Ron and noticed that he didn't look his normal chipper self. She also noticed that his friends weren't there with him. Having known her brother her entire life she could tell that Ron was feeling pretty down so she said goodbye to her friends started to walk toward her brother.

Suddenly a thought popped into Ron's head. Maybe Ginny could help him get squared away? Back when they were little they were each other's best friends and always were looking to help each other out. They'd gotten a bit away from that since Ron started Hogwarts, but maybe, just maybe she might be willing to offer some advice and some help.

"You ok Ron? You look a little down, is everything ok?" Ginny asked quietly, trying to keep others from overhearing.

"Not really, Gin, not really. You probably already know how bollocksed up my life is right now and I know I need to get things sorted, but I realize that I need some help. I don't seem to be smart enough to figure out how to do it on my own. I just don't know what to do."

Ginny sat down next to Ron and put her hand on his shoulder. "Things will be ok, they always are you know."

Ron grimaced a bit and looked up hopefully. "Remember when we were kids, we always had each other's back when dealing with the twins or anything else? Remember how we used to always help each other out?"

"Of course I remember," replied Ginny. "At times it seemed like it was us against the world."

Ron smiled and then looked Ginny in the eyes and with as much sincerity as he could convey asked softly "would you be willing to help me out? Help me get my life back on track because I'm certainly making a dog's dinner out of everything. Please, Gin Gin, please?"

Ginny was surprised at the intensity of Ron's request. He was feeling this deeply and it was unexpected. She thought that Ron would just go through life making minimal effort and rolling with whatever came to him. This desire to be better was new.

"Ok Ron, I can help but I'm not sure what you need. What can I do?"

"First off, I just need someone to talk to about this stuff. It's not something that Harry and Hermione can really do. Harry wouldn't get it at all, and all Hermione would do is give me a list of things to do and some books to read."

"Second, here's what I'm thinking. I want to do better at my studies, and learn how to be a better student. I want to be a better friend. Starting with Harry and Hermione. I hated not being friends with Harry at the beginning of the term, and I really want to row and bicker less with Hermione. I also want to be better friends with others. You seemed to have a ton of friends and I wish I did too."

"And here's the last thing, and please don't laugh, but I need to find a date to the Yule Ball and then figure out some way to make my dress robes not look like they belong to Aunt Tessie."

Ginny gave a small laugh and then smiled at Ron. "I do know some glamour spells we can use to fix up your dress robes and make them presentable, they really are awful."

"Oh Gin, that'd be great. I'd hate to finally get a date to the Ball and then be too embarrassed by my robes to really go. That'd be great. Now all I need is to find someone to go with."

Hearing this, Ginny gave Ron and big smile. "I know just the person you should go with. She's a good friend and I know she'll want to go and I think you'll do well together. I'll get it all set up. I'll bring her over to the Gryffindor table tomorrow morning at breakfast and introduce you to each other. Will that work?"

"Ah, Gin that'd be wonderful. Thanks so much. Who is she?"

"Have you met my friend Luna Lovegood?"