Chapter 10 – 12 Fail Safe Ways to Charm Witches


Christmas holidays at the Burrow had turned out to be a rather uneventful affair.

Nonetheless, Ron had chatted up Harry on numerous occasions about improving his communication skills with girls. Harry found himself to be very inexperienced in the field as well and decidedly came to the conclusion that he really didn't know much himself. After a short conversation with Fred and George, who had stopped by the Burrow a day before Christmas, they asked Harry what Ron might want for Christmas.

As Harry visualized the dreamy and tender face that Ron had on when he was staring at Hermione — when she wasn't looking, of course —Harry confided in them that there was a girl in Ron's life he needed help with.

"It's none of my business either, so I can't tell you who it is," stated Harry firmly as the Twins went on to pester him about "who had stolen Ronniekins' heart."

George shot Fred a mischievous glance.

"Fred. I think we know who Harry's talking about, don't we?" said George cheerfully.

"Certainly, brother. She's spent a good chunk of her last summer holidays here, hasn't she?" responded Fred, in the same cheery tone.

"Certainly, she has," said George, snapping his back to Harry.

"Ronniekins has his heart set on dear Hermi—"

Harry hissed loudly like a snake to drown out the name George was going to say.

"Now that's not polite, Harry," said Fred. "We didn't get to hear him say Herm—"

"We know who it is, okay!" said Harry loudly. "And that's why I'm telling you this! Just—just give Ron something to help him out a bit…not a love potion! Blimey," added Harry quickly as Fred grinned mischievously at his twin brother.

"Oh, Harrykins, my dear practically-adopted brother, that's not what I was thinking!"

"What then?" said Harry impatiently, crossing his arms in front of his chest.

"We're getting him a piece of literature."

"Literature far more worth than gold," added George.

"Indeed, it is, George," said Fred grinning at Harry in the meantime.

"He shall receive the sacred texts by the 25th!" said both Twins at once.

"O-kay," said Harry hesitantly. "Brilliant."

When owl post arrived the next morning, Harry was glad to see that Hermione's letter to Ron was extensively longer than the one she had sent to Harry. And Ron, to Harry's amusement, had written back a letter close to the length of Hermione's. The two seemed to be on good terms again.


A day later, Ron awoke on Christmas Morning and began unwrapping presents underneath the Tree in the living room, with Harry kneeling down next to him.

"Here, this one's for you. From Fred and George," said Harry handing a present, in the shape of a book, to Ron. As Ron unpackaged his present his eyes widened considerably.

"Blimey…" said Ron absentmindedly. "How did they…"

Ron shot a quick glance over to Harry who pretended to be very interested in the jumper he'd received from Mrs. Weasley.

Ron fluttered through a few of the pages, his mouth gaping.

Ron quickly hid the book within his new jumper as his mum entered the room. He knew she'd scold him for having this type of literature.

12 Fail-safe Ways to Charm Witches…what are Fred and George on about? It's perfect…just what I need, bloody hell…did Harry?

"Hey, Harry…did you? Fred and George, I mean…did you…speak to—"

"Well, mate…I talked to them and they both…" said Harry in a low voice, hesitating for a moment. "And they both sort of…mentioned what they were gonna get you since—since they asked me what you needed…and Hermione spent nearly the entirety of her last summer holidays here."

Ron blinked a few times, his face's expression remaining blank.

Ron gulped.

"Thanks, mate," said Ron in genuine gratitude, to Harry's bewilderment. "It's brilliant!"

Ron set the jumper with the book hidden inside aside and took hold of a small envelope labeled "To Ron, from Hermione." Instead of a dot over the "i" Hermione had drawn a small heart in its place.

Fuck…instead of a dot she did this…

Ron opened the envelope and pulled two tickets and a small card out from it.


Merry Christmas, Ron!

When I got this present for you, I wasn't exactly sure if I'd have the chance to give it to you…but that's behind us! I am so incredibly thankful to have you in my life, Ronald! Honestly…I wouldn't know what to do without you.

I'm going to take a guess and predict you will have noticed the ticket before reading the card? Yes, they are Chuddley Cannons tickets! You can bring whomever you want to bring, that's up to you! They're yours! The game is set to take place during the easter holidays next year!

Love,

Hermione

PS.: I know it's only been a few days, but I can't wait to see you and Harry again!


She had drawn yet another heart over the "i" in her name.

"Bloody hell…" said Ron after re-reading the letter for the 3rd time.

"What'd she get you?" said Harry, not turning to Ron.

"Cannons tickets…" said Ron, still in disbelief. He was very excited about the tickets, but Ron somehow felt that the card held more value than the tickets.

"What?" said Harry incredulously, now turning to Ron, carefully inspecting the tickets.

Ron was in the process of re-reading her card again. Her handwriting…

Ron had had the awkward thought of smelling the card to see if it smelled like her, but he became aware that Harry and others were in the room.

"Ron?" said Harry.

Ron jerked at being addressed by name and he blinked several times before turning his attention away from the card.

"Hm?" he replied.

"You know…you should take Hermione to the game," said Harry.

"But—but she doesn't really…you know…enjoy Quidditch as much as you do, does she?"

"Yeah, but I mean…c'mon Ron…you have to. You should, really." said Harry, putting the tickets back in Ron's lap.

"I guess you have a point…" said Ron, who now grew anxious yet excited at the idea of taking Hermione to the game. But would she say yes if he asked her? Or would she say to take someone other than her because she doesn't enjoy Quidditch as much?

"Thanks, Harry…" said Ron, giving him a lopsided grin.

"Yeah…sure," said Harry, grinning at Ron who was now excusing himself from the room with his jumper rolled up underneath his arm.

Ron flopped down onto his bed, pulling the jumper up to his pillow and wrangling the book from the midst of it.

He propped his chin up on his pillow and leaned the book against the headboard, beginning to read.

Ron soon found it wisest to take notes. So he made to sit up, snatching a new notebook from underneath his bed and scrabbling along as he turned the pages of the book, his tongue sticking out in concentration.


Christmas at the Grangers also hadn't been that exciting of an affair. On the 25th, Hermione woke up hoping Ron would love his present, completely forgetting that he had also gotten her something. Aside from having received lovely gifts from her muggle relatives, her very own Weasly jumper…she'd received an elegant scarf and beanie by Ron. A card came with it.

Merry Christmas Hermione!

I hope your holidays have been going well so far! I'm glad I'm able to give this to you after all! Since my "skills" in transfiguration and charms have really improved (small credit goes to you of course), the hat and scarf are enchanted! If you're wearing either of them, and feel cold at any point, they will heat up until you're warm again! I feel like you might even know this charm yourself…if not; I'll teach it to you once we're back at Hogwarts! Can't wait!

Yours,

Ron


He put "yours" on it…usually Ron would only add his name…my god I love the sight of this…"yours"…he's mine…gosh I want him to be mine…

"So…" started Hermione's mother. "They heat up when you're cold?"

Hermione had explained to her parents that the beanie and scarf were both enchanted.

"Yes, mum," said Hermione. "That's the idea."

"Neat!" said Hermione's dad. "And this is from…Ronald, I presume?"

"Yes…it is," said Hermione, looking away as a blush began to creep up her cheeks.

Her dad shared a knowing glance with her mother.

"Oh, I have always liked him, Hermione," said her mother. "Such a sweet boy…"

"Mum! Stop," squeaked an embarrassed Hermione, her cheeks now flared up scarlet red.

"We're just friends…" said Hermione in a small voice.

"Yes, I know," said her mother. "But I also know that…or at least I think that you probably want it to be more than that, dear."

Her father raised his eyebrows.

"That—what—nuh—well—how would you—how do you know…?" said Hermione, losing the internal battle to continue fighting her parents on this point.

Every time the subject of Ron had come up, sooner or later one of her parents began to infer there might be more to their friendship than met the eye. Hermione had denied this to her parents time after time, ultimately even to herself. But after this year's summer, a part of it spent at the Burrow again, she could no longer deny it.

Not to herself at least. Hermione herself hadn't been to smitten about it around her parents either as a lot of the time her letters did often contain stories of her everyday life at Hogwarts, and those would often include Ron…of whom she spoke very fondly in her letters. Especially this year after their first potions class.

"Well, dear, you do spend quite a lot of time with Ron," said her mother. "and…I can see the way you look at him…it's the exact same way I look at your father, that's how I know…"

"Oh god…" started Hermione. She buried her face in her new scarf. However, Hermione had suddenly gotten an idea.

"and how…" she said, her voice muffled by the scarf, "and how did you two become a thing if all you ever did was look, mum?"

"Well…" began her mother. "I started spending a lot more time with your father, whenever I could. After a while I took up most of his time and he had no way around asking me out."

Her father chuckled.

"So that's why you suddenly spent so much time with me? Go figure…"


By the end of the winter holidays Ron had finished the entire book and made notes in the length of nearly twenty pages, containing the most crucial and important details.

Ron and Harry stored their things in a compartment on the Hogwarts express. Hermione had seen where Ron and Harry had entered the train and quickly followed suit towards their carriage.

"Hey!" said Hermione from the doorway of the compartment, her trunk and Crookshank's cage behind her.

"Hey!" said Ron and Harry in unison. Hermione made to enter the compartment, but Ron jumped quickly…

"Here, let me," said Ron, who was now heaving Hermione's trunk upwards into a storage compartment above their seats.
"Oh, uhm, I— thanks, Ronald," said Hermione, looking bewildered but quite pleased nonetheless.

"No problem," said Ron simply.

Harry and Ron took turns hugging Hermione, although Harry noticed that Ron and Hermione hugged for a considerably longer amount of time…

Afterwards, Ron's eyes lingered a second on Hermione's lips before they shot up to her hair and then finally rested on her eyes, holding his gaze.

"Your hair looks amazing, d'you change it?"

Hermione blushed furiously.

"Well," she started nervously. "I—I just used a few hair-clips to hold it in place in some areas…"

"Looks great on you," said Ron casually. "Should probably get to the prefect's carriage then?"

Hermione blinked rapidly a few times, her cheeks still flushed.

"Uhm—well—er," stuttered Hermione. "Thanks, Ronald—and—yes, we should—er– see you later, Harry."

Harry nodded at the two and they left for the prefects carriage.

Hermione was leading the way to the prefect's carriage and was glad Ron couldn't see the wide grin on her face. He thought her hair looked amazing!

But then again, Ron had already called her gorgeous before, hadn't he? But did he really mean it then, or was it because it was a social convention to compliment one's date to a party, dance or ball? Maybe, maybe not, thought Hermione. But this time Ron had no obligation to compliment her whatsoever, but he'd done so anyway, hadn't he? And what other reason would he have, other than actually liking her hair?

Hermione bit her lower lip in joy.


A/N: Don't worry, I will never abandon this story, no matter how long it takes. I promised you guys more and here is more! Sorry for it being such a short chapter, but I've (nearly) finished a giant chapter that follows this one! These Christmas moments serve to set up some later moments :). I'm really short on time at the moment as I've finished this chapter today finally and haven't really been writing in weeks, as I've just been studying.

This next chapter tho...without giving anything away, that's where we'll start to really tap into some solid AU. The kind that's just the right amount AU!

But don't expect that Chapter to be here anytime soon though! I'm thinking March/April at the earliest! But I've been getting the urge to write again lately and I've also got some really great ideas I've added to the story and I keep fleshing out this giant chapter. There's just so much I wanna put into it and I have to find a way to fit it all in and connect it with the canon storyline.

Thanks for being patient! To any 6th year AU / AU Romione shippers, this fic will be worth the wait! Trust me! I'll be back with A LOT more!

Oh and Happy belated New Year to you all haha. :D