Hermione had never considered herself a very emotional person…well, unless you counted her angry rants. But other than that, she considered herself horrible at showing emotion, which wasn't always a bad thing. For example, when it came to Ron Weasley, all she could do was yell at him about his faults, even though all she wanted to do was throw herself at him and snog him silly. But of course, that would probably horrify him and ruin their friendship, so she had to pretend that she didn't see him as anything more than a best friend. And he bought the act…or at least she really hoped so.

She supposed she had started really liking him in their third year. Of course, that was also when they started going at it on a more regular basis. She put it down to hormones. There was something about him when he got all worked up. And those freckles of his were absolutely charming. And he had the best smile ever…But she had to pretend she didn't notice any of that. He fought with her so much that he couldn't possibly feel the same way. It always killed her when he got really mad at her, and it was always all she could do not to cry. Sometimes she did cry over him, though she wasn't sure why. Once again, she put it down to hormones. But she really wished she and her hormones could've fallen for someone other than Ron Weasley.

Today had been a usual day. Hermione found herself in a quiet corner of the common room working on her Ancient Runes homework. She was finding it hard to concentrate as Ron was standing nearby and every time he laughed Hermione's stomach would flip flop. Oh why did she have to like him? Why? Why?

Okay, Hermione, concentrate! She told herself. Just translate the runes and move on to Potions. You can do it! Just block it out. Ignore him, no matter how cute he is. Ignore him, ignore him, ignore him.

Needless to say, she wasn't very successful. She was finally able to concentrate when Ron decided to call it quits for the night and go to bed. Hermione sighed as she watched him climb the stairs. Why did he have such a weird effect on her? Why did she have to fall for her best friend?

Somewhere between working and daydreaming, Hermione decided that she would just have to do it all tomorrow. She climbed the stair to her dormitory slowly, thoughts of Ron running through her head. If only he knew…If only he liked her…

In the middle of the night, Hermione woke with a start as thunder roared overhead. She propped herself up on her elbows so she could peer out the window and found that it was raining extremely hard. Lightning forked across the sky and rain continued to pelt the window. Hermione shivered. She never could sleep during storms. She got up, pulled on her dressing gown, grabbed a book, and headed down to the common room. When she got there she gasped, for it wasn't empty like she had suspected.

"Ron?"

He looked up from his chair in front of the fire.

"Hermione! What're you doing down here?"

"I couldn't sleep," she replied, making her way over to the chair next to his.

"Me neither," he replied. "I can't stand storms."

Hermione shivered and drew her dressing gown tighter around her. Thunder roared overhead again, shortly followed by a flash of lightning. The awkward silence between her and Ron was broken only by the noise of the rain.

Hermione drew her knees up to her chest. She really didn't like storms. It had been that way ever since she was a little kid. She glanced at Ron. He was staring at a worn spot on the hearthrug. Hermione had the sudden desire to leap into his arms, for him to hold her until the storm blew itself out. But she remained firmly seated where she was. It was times like these when she showed no courage that she wondered why she'd been put in Gryffindor in the first place.

Ron yawned as thunder rolled overhead again. Hermione glanced at him just as he turned to look at her. They both quickly averted their eyes, but Hermione's heart still leapt. Maybe, just maybe…

"Hey Ron, could you ever think of us as more than just friends?" The words were out of her mouth before she even realized it.

"What?" he asked quickly.

"I…I was wondering if you could ever think of us as, you know, more than friends?" She wasn't so sure of herself now.

Ron just stared at her blankly. Hermione's heart sank. She knew he wouldn't like her back. She knew she should've just kept it to herself.

"Oh…well, it's okay…I mean, I understand…I mean why would anyone like me…" She rambled on and on, not even really sure of what she was saying, until she was silenced by Ron leaning over and gently pressing his lips against hers, sending chills up her spine. He pulled back slowly and looked at her, smiling that quirky half-smile of his that always made her melt. Somehow, Hermione managed to get past her amazement at what had just happened and smiled back. Ron then proceeded to lean in and kiss her again, only this time he didn't pull back. Hermione threw her arms around his neck and Ron entangled his fingers in her hair as the kiss deepened. The thing that broke them apart was the thunder, which chose a very inopportune time to roar loudly.

When she pulled back, Hermione realized that she had somehow migrated from her chair to Ron's lap. However, as he didn't seem to object, she stayed put. She shivered again and Ron wrapped his arms around her. She leaned into him and sighed, gazing into the fire. Eventually, they fell asleep like that, drifting peacefully in their dreams while the storm raged on.