Chapter Thirteen: Bittersweet Victory
Ginny lay awake for a long time, looking up at the canopy of her four-poster and trying to clear her mind of the memory of her row with Ron. But to be honest, what she could not get out of her head was the expression on Harry’s face. He looked furious, just like Ron, but he also looked surprised and disappointed. It didn’t make any sense, though. She understood he felt like one of her brothers. It was natural that he should feel protective; natural that he should want to look out for her. But the truth was that she already had six brothers, she didn’t need another one.
As she drifted to sleep a different image came into her mind; an image of that same deserted corridor with her kissing Harry instead of Dean. She grunted and punched her pillow into a more comfortable shape.
“This is ridiculous,” she told herself grimly.
She shut her eyes tightly and tried her utmost not to allow her thoughts to stray anywhere near Harry. It didn’t work. She awoke the next morning feeling slightly dazed and confused by a series of dreams in which Ron, Dean and Harry all screamed at her for kissing Filch, and Harry even took her out of the team.
“That would be a good one for my dream journal,” she sighed. “I bet Professor Trelawney would love it.”
She got out of bed grudgingly and when she saw her reflection in the mirror she groaned at the sight of her puffy, tired eyes, and the paleness of her face that made her freckles stand out more than usual. She got dressed and exited her dormitory, hoping not to run into Harry or Ron all day.
But precisely Harry and Ron were standing in the common room when she came down the stairs. Ron shot her a murderous glare and bolted out of the room, Harry, however, remained in the same spot, staring at her, with a look in his eyes she had never seen before. She had no idea what was going through his mind.
She took a big breath trying her best to ignore her heart, which was beating so fast and so loudly that Ginny was sure Harry would be able to hear it.
“Hi Harry!” said Ginny, trying to grin as though the memory of their last meeting was funny as opposed to mortifying.
But Harry didn’t respond. He was still looking intently at her. It was like this was the first time he ever saw her.
“Ginny.” She turned around when she heard Dean’s voice, cursing inwardly for his bad timing.
Dean had just spotted Harry and had stopped dead in his tracks in the middle of the staircase. Ginny turned back to face Harry in time to catch the cold look he shot Dean. Ginny was looking from Dean to Harry, unable to say a word. Neither of the boys spoke either. Ginny had the impression that both had been frozen. It could have only been a couple of seconds, but Ginny felt like they had been standing there for hours. When the tension got so great that she was about to scream, Hermione came down the stairs, greeting everyone cheerfully, completely unaware of what had happened the previous night.
“Where’s Ron,” she asked Harry when she was next to him.
“Breakfast,” he answered simply.
“Are you coming?” Hermione asked Harry, giving Ginny a shrewd look, and without another word Harry and Hermione climbed out through the portrait hole, leaving Ginny and Dean alone in the common room.
Ginny had the impression that her day was going to be dismal, and she was right. She was in such a bad mood that she couldn’t restrain herself from snapping at Snape on Defense Against the Dark Arts that morning, what cost her twenty points from Gryffindor and landed her in detention again, this time with Filch.
Her mood didn’t improve that afternoon after being attacked by the Venomous Tentacula in Herbology. She had cursed loudly when the unfriendly plant seized her unexpectedly from behind. Professor Sprout had reacted fast, but still, Ginny got a nasty cut on her arm, trying to disentangle herself from the Tentacula’s grip. After class Professor Sprout sent her directly to the Hospital Wing so Madam Pomfrey could take a look at the wound, and, although reluctantly, Ginny got on her way, accompanied by Colin.
“You don’t have to go with me,” Ginny told her friend as they passed the tall entrance doors. “You can go to dinner,” she added pointing to the Great Hall.
“I want to go with you,” Colin said firmly.
They got to the Hospital Wing in silence. The place was completely empty and Madam Pomfrey was restocking a potions cabinet when Ginny and Colin entered the room. She rushed over and assessed the state of Ginny’s arm. She then covered the wound with a sticky, smelly unguent and bandaged it. She told Ginny she could remove the bandage the next morning, when her arm should be back to normal.
There were only a handful of students in the Great Hall when Ginny and Colin sat down at the Gryffindor table for dinner, and to Ginny’s relief, Harry, Ron and Dean were already gone.
Ginny realized she was not really hungry and by this time she was so depressed that she would rather be in bed with the curtains of the four-poster shut, but Colin had gone to the Hospital Wing with her and it was only fair that she kept him company through dinner. She served some pork chops and a spoon full of roast potatoes on her plate, and was pushing them around distractively with her fork.
“Does that hurt?” Colin asked pointing at Ginny’s injured arm.
“What?” She had been lost in thought and was a bit startled when he talked. “Oh! Not really,” she added when she figured out what he had meant.
“Then what’s wrong?”
“Who says something’s wrong?” she asked giving her friend an intent look.
“Your bad mood,” he said, starting on a piece of apple pie. “You’ve been edgy all day. Well, more than usual,” he chuckled and Ginny couldn’t help smiling too. “Something must be bothering you.”
Ginny let out a sigh. She didn’t want to tell Colin what had happened the previous night. She didn’t want to see the expression of satisfaction on his face when she told him Harry had seen her kissing Dean. She didn’t want to hear questions like “Was he jealous?” “Did he look like he wanted to hex Dean?” And more than anything, she didn’t want him to think she had planned the whole thing.
Because she didn’t planned it! It sort of happened because of Hermione’s stupid suggestion. Had she thought it thoroughly she would have never done something like that.
“I was just thinking about last night’s practice,” she decided to lie instead.
“Demelza told me about it,” Colin said. “She was a bit angry with your brother.”
“And she had every right to be,” Ginny said, her temper flaring up again at the mere thought of Ron. “The prat punched her in the mouth. She was bleeding and everything.”
“So that’s why you’ve been edgy today. You are angry with your brother too.”
“Yes,” said Ginny. She told herself that this time she was not lying. She was indeed angry with Ron.
After dinner they went up to the Gryffindor tower. There were quite a lot of people sitting around in the common room, but Ginny didn’t feel very social tonight, so she left Colin with Demelza and went to bed.
For the next few days Ginny had been about to hex Ron in a number of occasions. He was cold-shouldering her and Dean, and as the days passed he turned more and more aggressive. He was also performing awfully in Quidditch practice. Ginny could see Harry’s frustration and she shared it. It was one thing that Ron was a git, but he was a good keeper when his mind was on the game. If he kept acting like a prat, they would lose the match against Slytherin.
During the final Quidditch practice before Saturday’s match, Ginny’s patience was put to the test with Ron’s bad temper. He failed to save every single goal the Chasers aimed at him, but bellowed at everybody as though they were the ones playing like sacks of dragon dung. In a couple of occasions Ginny was about to take one of the Beaters’ club to aim a Bludger at Ron, but she restrained herself with much difficulty. At one point Ron yelled at Demelza so much that he reduced her to tears.
“You shut up and leave her alone!” shouted Peakes, who was about two-thirds Ron’s height, though admittedly carrying a heavy bat.
Ginny glowered at her brother, thinking about how satisfying would be to hit him with a Bat-Bogey Hex, when Harry intervened.
“ENOUGH!” he bellowed. “Peakes, go and pack up the Bludgers. Demelza, pull yourself together, you played really well today…” He stayed behind talking with Ron while the rest of the team went into the changing rooms.
Demelza was still sobbing and Ginny put her arm around her shoulders.
“Pay no attention to him,” she said comfortingly. “He’s an idiot. He’s just mad because he couldn’t block any of your goals.”
“He doesn’t seem to understand we’re all on the same team,” Demelza said, blowing her nose. She was not crying anymore.
“Like I said, he’s an idiot,” said Ginny and Demelza smiled.
“I just hope he plays better tomorrow,” Demelza said.
“You and me both,” agreed Ginny.
Later that evening most of the team –minus Harry and Ron- sat in a huddle in a secluded corner of the common room. They were talking about tomorrow’s game and about the possibility of Ron ruining their chances to beat Slytherin.
“If we lose because of him, I swear I’ll hex him,” said Ginny casting Ron a nasty look.
“Well, if he yells at any of us again, I’ll club him in the head,” said Peakes with such determination that Ginny almost felt sorry for Ron. Almost.
“It’s a good thing Vaisey took a Bludger in the head today during the Slytherin practice,” said Coote. “I don’t know if they have another chaser to replace him.”
“What I don’t understand is why Harry hasn’t done anything about Ron,” said Dean.
“What do you want him to do?” Ginny sort of snapped at him.
“He is the team Captain, isn’t he?” Dean said defensively. “Maybe he should start thinking about replacing him. McLaggen did a good job on the tryout.”
Ginny was about to tell him that he was not even a real member of the team, he was just covering for Katie. He was in no position to criticize Harry’s judgment like that. But Demelza talked first.
“That’s not a good idea. We have a match tomorrow. This is not the time to be thinking about replacing players,” she said decisively. “Besides, like you said, Harry is the team Captain, we should trust him.”
They abused Ron for a while longer, although this time Dean refrained from making any comment about Harry. Ginny then went to bed, hoping to have a good night sleep to be well rested for the match.
Breakfast was the usual excitable affair next morning; the Slytherins hissed and booed loudly as every member of the Gryffindor team entered the Great Hall. The Gryffindor table, a solid mass of red and gold, cheered as Ginny, Dean, and Demelza approached. Ginny had to resist the temptation to laugh when she saw Dean’s reaction to this. His walk instantly became something more like a strut and he was looking around as though he owned the world. As they sat next to Peakes and Coote, Ginny glanced at the ceiling and saw a clear, pale blue sky: a good omen. Feeling suddenly light-heartedly, she pulled a plate of toast towards her and started spreading generous amounts of raspberry jam on one.
They were on their way out of the Great Hall when Harry and Ron arrived. Everyone sitting at the Gryffindor table cheered again. Harry grinned and waved; Ron grimaced weakly and shook his head.
Ginny, Dean, Demelza, Colin, Peakes and Coote set off toward the Quidditch pitch. The frosty grass crunched underfoot as they strode down.
“Perfect Quidditch conditions,” mused Dean, taking a big breath.
“And it gets better,” said Colin, who was walking next to Demelza. “Malfoy is not playing. He’s sick.”
“How do you know?” asked Demelza.
“I overheard Harper telling his friends in the loo,” answered Colin. “He will play Seeker in Malfoy’s place.”
“Harper against Harry?” Peakes chuckled. “Well, at least that’s one thing we won’t have to worry about.”
When Ron and Harry entered the changing rooms later Ginny and Demelza were already wearing their Quidditch robes and waiting for everyone else to get ready.
“Conditions look ideal,” Ginny told Harry, completely ignoring Ron. “And guess what? That Slytherin Chaser Vaisey, he took a Bludger in the head yesterday during their practice, and he’s too sore to play! And even better than that, Malfoy’s gone off sick too!”
“What?” said Harry, wheeling around to stare at her. “He’s ill? What’s wrong with him?”
“No idea, but it’s great for us,” said Ginny brightly. “They’re playing Harper instead; he’s in my year and he’s an idiot,” she added and Harry smiled back vaguely and proceeded to put his Quidditch gear on.
Ginny noticed that Harry and Ron were having a hushed conversation, but she didn’t catch a single word of it.
“We’ll be starting in about five minutes, you’d better get your boots on,” Harry then told Ron in a loud enough voice for everyone to hear.
They walked out onto the pitch to tumultuous roars and boos. One end of the stadium was solid red and gold; the other, a sea of green and silver. Many Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws had taken sides too. Amidst all the yelling and clapping Ginny could distinctly hear the roar of Luna’s famous lion-topped hat, and she couldn’t help smiling.
Harry stepped up to Madam Hooch, the referee, who was standing ready to release the balls from the crate.
“Captains shake hands,” she said, and Harry and the new Slytherin Captain, Urquhart, shook hands in a sign of defiance more than one of sportsmanship. “Mount your brooms. On the whistle… three… two… one…”
The whistle sounded, all the players kicked off hard from the frozen ground, and they were away. Ginny was following Urquhart, who had the Quaffle at the moment, trying to take it away from him when she heard the voice of the new commentator; a voice that was annoyingly familiar.
“Well, there they go, and I think we’re all surprised to see the team that Potter’s put together this year. Many thought, given Ronald Weasley’s patchy performance as Keeper last year, that he might be off the team, but of course, a close personal friendship with the Captain does help…”
Ginny stopped in midair and turned around to look at the commentator’s spot where a tall, skinny blond guy with an upturned nose was talking into the magical megaphone that had once been Lee Jordan’s. Ginny grimaced when she recognized Zacharias Smith, a Hufflepuff player and all around git whom she heartily disliked.
“Oh, and here comes Slytherin’s first attempt on goal, it’s Urquhart streaking down the pitch and… Weasley saves it, well, he’s bound to get lucky sometimes, I suppose…”
As the time passed, Ginny started resenting the Quidditch rule that prohibited the players to use their wands during the game. She could have hexed Smith that day as he seemed so determined in talking trash about all the Gryffindor players, especially the Weasleys.
“That’s Weasley with the Quaffle,” he said at one point. “I guess it helps not only to be pretty, but also to be the sister of the team Captain’s best mate. It looks like skills were not a high priority in the process of choosing the Gryffindor team this year.”
“Do you want to see skills, you prat?” muttered Ginny before throwing the Quaffle though one of the hoops with such fury that the Slytherin Keeper didn’t even have time to react.
Ginny heard Smith’s voice again, but she couldn’t understand what he said due to the loud cheering of the Gryffindor supporters. She heard the roar of Luna’s hat and smiled again. She then decided she would concentrate on the game from now on and forget about Smith.
With half an hour of the game gone, Gryffindor were leading sixty points to zero, and Ginny had scored four of Gryffindor’s six goals. Ron had made some truly spectacular saves, some by the very tips of his gloves, and even though Ginny was still mad at him, she was cheering just like everyone else. This effectively stopped Zacharias’ taunting about whether the two Weasleys were on the team only because Harry liked them. He then started on Peakes and Coote instead.
“Of course, Coote isn’t really the usual build for a Beater,” said Zacharias loftily, “they’ve generally got a bit more muscle…”
Ginny, who was flying passed Coote with the Quaffle, clearly heard Harry tell him, “Hit a Bludger at him!”
Coote, grinning broadly, chose to aim the next Bludger at Harper instead, and the ball hit him in the stomach with a dull thunk.
It seemed as though Gryffindor could do no wrong. Again and again Dean, Ginny and Demelza scored, and again and again, at the other end of the pitch, Ron saved goals with apparent ease. He was actually smiling now, and when the crowd greeted a particularly good save with a rousing chorus of the old favorite “Weasley Is Our King,” he pretended to conduct them from on high. Even Ginny found herself humming the tune as she soared though the air with the Quaffle.
“And I think Harper of Slytherin’s seen the Snitch!” said Zacharias Smith through his megaphone. “Yes, he’s certainly seen something Potter hasn’t!”
All six Chasers stopped in midair when they heard those words, even Demelza who was holding the Quaffle. They, as well as the four Beaters and the two Keepers turned around to look at the spot in the sky where the two Seekers were.
Harper was indeed speeding upward, but Harry hadn’t moved. Ginny looked around and saw that Smith was right. The Snitch was speeding along high above them, glinting brightly against the clear blue sky, and Harper was already in pursue. Harry then seemed to spot it too and accelerated, but Harper was still ahead of him. Smith was now talking about how a Seeker must keep his head on the Snitch, but Ginny was no longer listening. She was holding her breath, following Harry’s flight with her eyes. He had to catch it; Gryffindor was only a hundred points up; if Harper got there first Gryffindor would lose.
Harper was feet from the Snitch, his hand outstretched, but then he did a double take; he fumbled the Snitch, let it slip through his fingers, and shot right past it. Harry took advantage of this and made a great swipe for the tiny, fluttering ball and caught it.
“YES!” Harry yelled. Wheeling around, he hurtled back toward the ground, the Snitch held high in his hand.
It took a couple of seconds for the crowd to realize what had happened, but immediately a great shout went up that almost drowned the sound of the whistle that signaled the end of the game.
The Gryffindor team got together around Harry in a mass midair hug, but Ginny just had a great idea.
“Ginny, where’re you going?” yelled Harry, as she sped right on past them in the direction of the commentator’s podium and, with an almighty crash, she collided with a flabbergasted Zacharias Smith.
The crowd shrieked and laughed, and seconds later the rest of the Gryffindor team landed beside the wreckage of wood under which Zacharias was feebly stirring. Professor McGonagall was yelling at Ginny in ire.
“Forgot to brake, Professor, sorry,” Ginny told her Head of House blithely.
Professor McGonagall looked like she was about to take some points off from Gryffindor or at least give Ginny detention, but she was miraculously saved again by Harry. Next thing she knew and to her utmost surprise, he was hugging her, laughing. She closed her eyes and hugged him too, wishing to be able to stay in Harry’s arms forever, but her wish was not granted; in fact Harry let go of her very quickly and, avoiding her gaze, he wheeled around and clapped Ron on the back.
The Gryffindor team left the pitch arm in arm –all enmity forgotten-, punching the air and waving to their supporters. The atmosphere in the changing room was jubilant. Everyone was talking at the same time, laughing and joking around, but all Ginny could think about was the brief moment when Harry’s arms had been around her body.
She kept telling herself not to get her hopes up. He hugged her the same way he hugged everyone else on the team. He did it because she was his teammate and because she scored most of the goals… and… -she chuckled as she changed into her school robes- because she broke Zacarias Smith’s nose.
“Party up in the common room, Seamus said!” yelled Dean exuberantly. “C’mon, Ginny, Demelza!”
Ginny and Demelza joined Dean at the exit door and he passed his arms over both girls’ shoulders and led them out of the changing room. They strode back to the castle and up to the seventh floor. When they climbed through the portrait hole into the crowded common room everyone cheered at them. Ginny looked around amazed. She had no idea where had all the food and the butterbeer come from. Soon she stopped wondering about it and decided to have a great time.
It was actually a great party and the members of the Gryffindor team were the guests of honor. Everyone wanted to talk to them, to congratulate them, to pad them on the back. Dean found a group of third and forth year girls that would listen attentively to the very detailed narration of every one of his moves. Ginny sat for a while with Colin and Demelza, but she started to feel like a third wheel when she heard the portrait open. She turned around, hoping to see Hermione walk in, but instead, she saw Ron. He was alone and looked more upset than ever.
Ginny watched him as he made his way through the packed room, barely paying attention to the people around him. He didn’t even cheer up when a group of second-years started singing “Weasley Is Our King.”
He was in the middle of the common room when Lavender Brown reached him and handed him a butterbeer. She then hugged him and gave him a kiss on the cheek in an obvious congratulatory gesture. Ron was staring at her quite expressionless while she talked and giggled. Ginny was looking at them transfixed; the girl was openly flirting with her brother and he was gazing at her, completely uninterested. Lavender then grabbed Ron’s arm with both her hands, got on the tip of her toes and whispered something in his ear. Ron looked at her with puzzlement on his face and a slight tint of pink on his ears. She led him to a corner of the common room, where they proceeded –to Ginny’s utter amazement- to make out in full view of the whole room. Ron was soon wrapped so closely around Lavender it was hard to tell whose hands were whose.
Ginny was startled for a second when she felt something brushing against her leg and looked down to find Crookshanks and Arnold, her Pigmy Puff. She picked Arnold up, fearing that someone might step on it in the excitement of the party and put him on her shoulder.
“I just hope Hermione doesn’t see this,” she muttered, casting another look in Ron and Lavender’s direction.
At that moment, Harry arrived at the common room and renewed cheers and clapping greeted his appearance, and he was soon surrounded by a mob of people congratulating him. Colin immediately left Demelza, and he and his brother Dennis ambushed Harry, talking excitedly about the game. Ginny could see Harry, trying to shake them off, but the Creevey brothers seemed to be the least of his problems; a large group of girls –Romilda Vane among them- soon encircled him, laughing at every one of his comments and batting their eyelids. Ginny thought she should go over there and save him, and she was on her way when at last, Harry got away from them. He appeared to be on his way toward the drinks when he walked straight into Ginny, whom he hadn’t seen approaching.
Standing in front of Harry, Ginny could almost feel his arms around her again.
“Looking for Ron?” she asked, smirking, so he wouldn’t notice her discomfort. “He’s over there, the filthy hypocrite.”
Harry looked into the corner she was indicating. He stared at Ron and Lavender for a moment, his eyes wide and his mouth hanging open. His face registered nothing but shock.
“It looks like he’s eating her face, doesn’t it?” said Ginny dispassionately. “But I suppose he’s got to refine his technique somehow.” She looked at Harry for a split second, fighting the tremendous urge to hug him. “Good game, Harry,” she said instead. Contenting herself just with patting him on the arm. When her hand touched his arm, however, Ginny felt a swooping sensation in her stomach, but then she walked off toward the drinks table with Crookshanks trotting after her. She grabbed a buttlebeer and took a big gulp, trying to steady the beating of her heart. When she turned around Harry was nowhere to be seen.
Ginny went to sit with Dean, who was still enjoying his protagonist role with the third and forth year girls. She sat patiently through the first and second recount of the game, looking at the girls’ faces, amused, with Arnold on her lap. They were all looking at Dean as if he were actually Harry, she thought, rolling her eyes. When he started talking about the same goal for the third time, Ginny decided she had had enough.
“You played very well today,” she said silkily, wrapping her arms around his neck and kissing him in the corner of his mouth.
He instantly stopped talking and turned to look at her.
“But you were the real star,” said Dean hugging her.
Through the corner of her eye Ginny saw Dean’s audience scatter, all of the girls with long faces. Come on! Ginny thought. Didn’t they have enough of Dean already?
Dean was about to kiss her when Ginny heard the portrait hole opening once more. She turned around, thinking that it might be Harry, and Dean’s kiss landed on her cheek. She saw a mane of bushy brown hair whipping out of sight up the stairs to the girls’ dormitory. With a sinking sensation on the pit of her stomach, Ginny turned around to the spot where Ron and Lavender were. They were no longer there. Ginny let out the breath she was holding. There was a chance Hermione hadn’t seen them. She might just have left the room because the party was a little too rowdy.
Dean was pulling her closer, but Ginny was not interested in that anymore.
“I’ll be right back,” she said, disentangling herself from her boyfriend’s grip, and went up to the girls’ dormitories.
She rapped on the door of the six year girls’ dormitory and didn’t receive an answer. She pushed the door open and stuck her head in, but the room was empty. Wondering where Hermione might be, she went to her own room to leave Arnold in his cage. When she opened the door, she found Hermione sitting on her bed. She was crying quietly, covering her face with her hands. She didn’t seem to have heard the door.
“Hermione!” Ginny put Arnold on the floor and went to sit on the bed next to Hermione. “Are you okay?” she asked, taking Hermione’s hands away from her face.
“I saw you with Dean downstairs,” muttered Hermione, sobbing. “I didn’t think you’d come up now.”
“I saw you,” Ginny explained. “I wanted to make sure you were okay. What happened?”
“Did you see Ron?” she asked, in an unnaturally high-pitched voice.
“Er… Ron?” Ginny stalled. Her mind was racing, looking for something else to say. As it turned out, she didn’t have to.
“Don’t start like Harry pretending you didn’t see him,” said Hermione bitterly. “He was snogging Lavender right in the middle of the common room.”
“Oh! You saw that,” muttered Ginny.
“He’s a git!” Ginny exclaimed, trying unsuccessfully to cheer Hermione up. “And a hypocrite,” she added resentfully. “You should have seen the way he screamed at me the other day when he and Harry saw Dean and me kissing. He went berserk.”
“Wait a minute,” Hermione asked suddenly. “Harry saw you kissing Dean?”
“Well, they walked in on us,” Ginny said dismissively and Hermione raised and eyebrow. “I know what you’re thinking and you are wrong,” she added firmly.
“Oh! Am I?” asked Hermione with skepticism, forgetting for a moment her own crisis.
“It’s not like I planned it,” said Ginny and this time Hermione’s eyebrow was so high up that it almost disappeared under her hair.
Ginny thought Hermione was going to pursue the subject, but instead, she let out a sigh, and sort of slumped even lower on the bed, with her shoulders dropped and looking at her hands.
“I don’t know what happened, Ginny,” she started, sounding completely disheartened. “Everything was great between us and we were going to go to Slughorn’s party together. It all changed a few days ago.”
“What do you mean?”
“He’s been acting weird. He’s been aggressive and hostile toward me.” She now sounded like she was on the verge of tears again. “It’s like he’s mad at me for some reason, but I have no idea what I did to him.”
“Oh Hermione!” Ginny said, comprehension dawning across her freckled face. “I think I know what happened and it’s all my fault.” Hermione stared at Ginny quizzically and she continued, “When Harry and Ron walked in on Dean and me, Ron and I got a bit carried away. We would have hexed one another if it wasn’t for Harry, but we did say some pretty hurtful things to each other.” She looked at her friend apologetically, biting her lower lip.
“What did you tell him?” Hermione asked tensely.
“Well, you have to understand that I was very angry with him,” Ginny started defensively and Hermione nodded impatiently. “I told him that the only reason why he thought snogging was a bad thing was because he hadn’t done it. I told him Harry had snogged Cho Chang and…” she swallowed hard under Hermione’s intense gaze and then added, “and that you had snogged Viktor Krum.”
Hermione didn’t react right away. It actually took her a few seconds to process the information Ginny had just given her. She remained sitting on the bed, with her hands on her lap and a bemused expression on her face.
“Let me get this straight,” Hermione said at last, getting to her feet and starting to pace around the room. “He’s angry with me because I kissed Viktor two years ago?” She was obviously not expecting an answer because she went on. “He hooked up with Lavender because I kissed Victor two years ago?”
“And it’s my fault, Hermione. I’m sorry,” said Ginny.
“It’s your fault your brother is a prat?” asked Hermione stopping her pacing and rounding up on Ginny. She now sounded more angry and hurt than sad and confused.
“Well, I was the one who told him you kissed Krum,” Ginny said, standing up and walking toward Hermione. “Actually, I sort of yelled it.”
“He should have known or at least suspected it,” said Hermione, drying the last tears on her face with the back of her hand.
“Like you said, ‘it’s one thing to know it…’”
“Oh! Stop it!” snapped Hermione. She then walked over to the window and gazed at the school grounds for a while. “I thought he felt the same way I do, but if he’d rather be with Lavender, then good riddance,” she finally said, walking toward the door.
“I think you should talk to him,” ventured Ginny, although she also thought Hermione would be better off. She was definitely too good for Ron.
“We have nothing to say to each other,” she said coldly. “And with the way he’s been treating me lately, I don’t think I’m interested in being his friend anymore.”
Hermione closed the door behind her, leaving Ginny feeling a bit guilty about her participation in the whole incident. She told herself that Ron was the only one to blame for all this, but an annoying little voice inside her head kept saying that if Ron and Hermione didn’t work things out it would be her fault.