Her Golden Star

DISCLAIMER: I could give you a long spiel about how I don't own Harry Potter, or his friends, or the money that he takes in, or the world he lives in, yaddah yaddah ya. Or I could just say "I don't own Harry Potter."

There.

Dang it, I did it again.

A/N: For those who don't realize whats going on, this is set during Harry's fourth year while everyone's getting ready for the Yule Ball. I've had some people ask if it was AU because J.K. Rowling didn't say they all got ready together, that it wouldn't make sense if this happened before the ball, etc. HELLO PEOPLE! Of course she didn't write that, but I'm writing that! She didn't say they didn't. Isn't this called a FanFiction?

Continue reading. :)

"Oy, Neville!" Ron yelled across the busy dormitory of dressing boys. "Exactly why are you going to the ball with my sister?" He was suspicious, and as much as he liked Neville, he didn't want him to think Ginny was "easy". Oh Ron.

"What?" Neville replied, looking up from the bow on his neck he was trying hopelessly to straighten. "Er, well, I- I guess it was because she's a girl who I know, wh- who might want to go, and since she's third year and c- couldn't without someone, I thought I'd ask."

"Kay then," Ron said, nodding, still unsure about the nervous boys intentions. He went back to the buttons on his dress robes, with were tangled in the peachy lace on his collar.

But then another interpretation of what Neville said popped into his head, which, having come out of Ron's mind, was completely wrong.

"Wait, so you just thought, hey, she has to be asked to go, if I ask, she's got to say yes? You asked her just to have someone to go with? You don't even like her? You're disgusting!" Ron bellowed, throwing his tangerine orange tie to the ground, half out of insensible anger towards Neville, as well as frustration with trying to create a bow.

The other boys, who had slowed their actions to listen, were baffled at Ron's logic. First of all, the fact that he had enough to create such a psychologically complex (by his standards) explanation, second of all that he could yell at such a sweet person as Neville, who would never do anything of the things Ron said he did, and third that he didn't realize that he was going with a girl that he hadn't even asked, or been asked by, but was thrown at because he desperately needed a date.

"Ronald Billius Weasley!" Hermione shouted, walking in unexpectedly in her sweat pants and t-shirt, which were wet from the shower she had just taken. "How dare you say such hateful and untrue things!"

"Mione!" Ron gasped, suddenly ashamed, but probably not of his deeds. He held a towel up to cover his chest, which didn't actually need covering. The rest of the bystanders, most of them having shirtless bodies, followed suit quite quickly. "What are you doing here?"

"I was just " She stopped abruptly mid-sentence as though remembering certain events which led to a certain situation that meant that under the certain circumstances of the relationship between Ron and herself, she really shouldn't have been doing whatever she was supposed to be doing here. "Just heard you being foul to Neville and thought I'd shut you up."

"Oh yeah?" he retorted, as though this were some genius, completely unused sentence. "Yeah, well... I'm still talking, so there."

"Ron, stop being a prat!" Dean called in the middle of it.

"Yeah, just say sorry to Nev and be done with it," joined Seamus.

But it didn't end there.

"You think you're so amazing, that you know everything, and you're a shining bloody star. You're so stuck up you can't even accept an invite to the ball because it's last minute and you don't want to look second class!"

"Oh, absolutely, and you're much better because you're too cowardly to ask a girl to the dance, and when it finally occurs to you that the answer's right in front of your dim-witted face, you're too pathetic to admit you missed your chance!"

"I missed my chance?" Ron asked sarcastically, stepping towards Hermione as to better explain the "situation". "You're the one who won't admit that you're not perfect. You always have to get top on this, highest at that, and now you've missed your goal, and you won't let it go!"

"I " But she decided against finishing. Instead, "You'll see."

With this she whipped around, water flicking from her damp hair into everyone's face, somehow excluding Neville, and left.

Harry, all finished dressing, walked over cautiously to his friend, who stood glaring at the door to the Gryffindor common room. "Let's go down a bit early."

"One sec, my tie "

Harry, agitated by Ron's overall behavior so far, interrupted sharply. "Just forget about the tie Ron."

"Kay," he replied, following Harry down the stone steps, which had small wet footprints from Hermione's shoes.

As they pushed through the Fat Lady's portrait, Harry broke their short silence. "Those robes look better without the tie, if it helps."

Ron grinned. "it doesn't"

By the time they got to the great hall, Ronald had given some thought to what Hermione said. What did she mean by "you'll see"?

But in a few moments time, all was revealed as the triwizard champions walked gracefully down an isle created by the pack of students practically pushing to get a closer look. Because there, her hand draped gracefully on the arm of the greatest Quidditch player in the world, was a beautiful girl in a periwinkle gown known as Hermione Granger.

And as Ron stood watching, not paying attention to the cheers ushered by his date and friends, he thought. About how Hermione had reached her goal, yet again hitting the top, while he stood there smiling from the bottom.

And he knew she was right, about how he had been to late. It made him realize that all the thing's he'd said to Neville were really meant for himself.

But what he didn't realize was that while Hermione had reached the tallest wrung of her ladder, she hadn't reached the golden star that hovered above.

The golden star that was Ronald Weasley.