A/N: Okay, a Ron/Hermione fic, which I'm not usually into, but the plot bunny wouldn't leave me alone until I wrote it. Enjoy, and review!
She came into the Common Room, holding the two customary butter beers. She passed me one, then set her own on the table and flopped down opposite me on the couch.
"Hey." I said. I considered making a joke about her breaking the rules, but decided against it. It had already been done.
"Hi." She answered with a small smile.
"How are you doing?" she asked, though I had a feeling that she knew the answer already.
"I'm okay." I answer.
"Are you sure?"
"Yeah. I think we're finally over now." I said, and it felt strange to say, probably because it was actually true this time.
"Just like the last four times?" she teased, and I smiled back.
"No, it's really different this time."
"Oh, Ron, I'm sorry." She said, and I knew she meant it.
"I'm not." I grinned, and took another sip of butter beer. "I never really liked Lavender all that much anyway."
She smiled again. She has a beautiful smile, you know.
"Then why did you stay with her so long?" Good bloody question. I wish I knew.
I shrugged. "I have no idea."
There was silence for a few minutes, excepting the crackling of the fire and the occasional sound of glasses clinking against wood, as someone would put down their butter beer.
"Did you ever love her?" she suddenly asked. Where that question came from, I'll never know. But I'll always remember the way she looked straight at me – no, straight through me when asking it.
"No." I met her gaze and she looked away.
More silence. The fire crackles.
"Have you ever been in love?" I asked with a bitter smile.
I was surprised when she answered "Yes.", sounding so sure of herself that I had no choice but to believe her.
"How did you know you were in love?" I asked. If anyone would know how to figure out love, it would be Hermione Granger.
"I don't know." She admitted. "I guess I never really had to think about it. I just saw him one day and knew that I loved him, and that I had loved him for awhile."
"Was he doing something absolutely brilliant to catch your eye? Curing some terrible disease? Winning the World Cup for Britain, maybe?" I joked, and she smiled again, her eyes dancing.
"No." she laughed. Even more beautiful than a smile. "He was eating dinner, and he had potatoes all over his face, even a bit of gravy in his hair."
She smiled at the memory, and I laughed, because I've never met anyone else who had the same talent I did for getting food in my hair. Well, other than my brothers, but something told me Hermione wouldn't look at my brothers the same way she was looking at me right then.
"What about you?" she asked. "Have you ever been in love?"
"No." – it was on the tip of my tongue. But as I watched her watch me her eyes held some kind of secret and she seemed to tell me her secret right then, and that was when I knew that I loved her. And I had to know for sure if she loved me, I had to try, because if I didn't I would always wonder what could have happened.
"Yes." I said instead.
"When did you know you loved her?" she asked. That damned smile seemed to be in her voice, and I was left no choice but to tell her. I wondered if she knew I loved her before I did. It would hardly be unusual for her to figure things out before me.
"Just now." My heart was pounding in my chest and I was so nervous I wanted to bolt out of the Common Room door, but I couldn't have gone even if I had tried, because she seemed to hold me in place without even trying.
"Tell me about her." She grinned.
"Well," I said, and I made a big show of clearing my throat as if preparing for a speech- because really, I was.
"She's the smartest with I've ever seen. No, that word doesn't do her justice. She's brilliant. Beyond brilliant, even."
"Brilliant enough to know when someone is talking about her." I thought, and judging by the knowing look on her face, I was right.
"She sounds great. What else?" she asks.
"Oh, she's fantastic. She's beautiful, too." By that point I was too far in to back down. "She has the most beautiful brown eyes and her hair is probably three times the size of her head. But her hair is beautiful too."
We looked at each other for a minute, and there was no longer any doubt as to who I was talking about. She smiled broadly, and my heart seemed to melt. It's much more pleasant than you would imagine.
"Now tell me about the one you're in love with." I said, "He sounds interesting."
Her smile widened, something I didn't believe was possible until she actually achieved it. But again, Hermione has always been good at doing things previously thought impossible.
"He's amazing. When he looks at me, it's like…" She faltered. I looked her straight in the eye and smiled, hoping to look encouraging.
"It's like everything will be alright, no matter what. It's a bit lame, I know." She finished.
"I don't think it's lame at all." I said, and I meant it.
She gave me yet another one of her smiles. "And he has blue eyes that make me feel so safe and warm, I could look into them forever and never get bored." She said.
"And what else?" I said, hoping that I didn't sound as nervous as I felt. And as nervous as I felt was very nervous, as you would know if you could feel how fast my heart was beating.
Her voice wavered again, and she looked almost as frightened as I was. "And he has brilliant red hair that always sticks straight out in every direction." She ruffled my hair, and it was like an electric shock.
"I love you, Hermione." I said, but I've never had any memory of deciding to say it.
"I love you too." She said, and I kissed her.