Harry Potter Hermione Granger Parvati Patil Ron Weasley
Romance Drama
Multiple Eras
Philosopher's Stone Chamber of Secrets Prizoner of Azkaban Goblet of Fire
Published: 05/29/2003
Updated: 06/11/2003
Words: 119,713
Chapters: 25
Hits: 162,459

Dance With Me Harry


Story Summary:
COMPLETED. During the summer after his fourth year, after Uncle Vernon beats Harry, the only thing that keeps him going is thinking about Hermione's kiss at the train station. But once the authorities intervene, he is sent to live among the Muggles, where he learns about life and love. But will this help him win Hermione's heart? Or will Voldemort strike first?

Chapter 19

Chapter Summary:
During the summer after his fourth year, the only thing that keeps Harry going amid the Dursleys’ neglect and abuse is thinking about Hermione’s kiss at the train station. But when the authorities intervene, he is sent to live among the Muggles, where he learns about life and love. But will this help him win Hermione’s heart? Or will Voldemort strike first?


By Aerie22



The thunder rumbled ominously in the distance as Ron walked into the dorm room. "What the hell is wrong with you," Ron asked mildly as he sat on the edge of Harry's bed.

It had been nearly a week since the incident in the library, and Ron had noticed how miserable Harry was and Hermione's near total absence from the common room. He had figured that he would give them both time to work things out before intervening. Harry had missed every meal and, although Ron had noticed the remnants in the dorm from sandwiches that Harry had brought up from the kitchens, he was worried about Harry's physical, as well as mental, health. Ron, being Ron, let the gloom go on until he started to panic. That panic was only increased when Ginny began nagging him. When the nagging began to get loud on the fourth day of Harry's self-imposed exile, Ron finally resolved to act. It took him another day to put this resolve into action. But act he finally did.

Harry turned away from Ron. "Leave me alone."

Ron leaned back against one of the posts on Harry's four-poster bed. He sighed, using the post to scratch his back. "Hmmm, this is pretty comfortable right here. Since all I have to work on tonight his our history assignment, and Colin is doing that as payment for me beating him in wizard's chess, I guess I can stretch out here all night," he said casually. "Or at least until you tell me what's wrong." Ron started using the post to scratch the back of his shoulder.

Harry didn't stir.

Ron moved his neck back and forth, eliciting tiny creaks from neck joints. "You know, they had fresh ham and mashed potatoes for dinner tonight. Isn't that one of your favorites? Too bad you missed it."

Harry grunted, pulling the blanket over his head.

Ron sighed again and leaned back, lost in thought. His eyes suddenly widened and he got an evil grin. Then, recomposing his face into a serious mien, he took a deep breath.

Ron grabbed the blanket and ripped it off Harry's body. Harry started and looked up to see a furious Ron. "This is about Hermione, isn't it!!!" Ron screamed. "I know just what happened, you son-of-a-bitch!!! You screwed her and then walked away, leaving her broken hearted, didn't you!!! You filthy..."

Harry looked up at Ron in horror. Ron's face looked purple with rage. Harry tried scrambling back as his friend loomed over him with fists balled.

"No, Ron!!! I didn't do anything!!! I just kissed her!!! On the cheek...not even on the lips!!! I didn't know she hated me!!! I didn't know....!!! Is that what she's saying?!?"

Ron instantly calmed down and smiled. "So that's what this is all about," he said mildly.

Harry's eyes went wide as saucers. "Whaaa....???"

Ron smiled, contritely. "Well, you weren't saying anything when I just asked you as a friend, so I figured I'd try the fear of instant death, to see if that would work."

Harry's eyes narrowed angrily. He turned quickly to reach for his wand, but Ron's hand clamped on his wrist, twisting it until he had Harry it behind Harry's back in a wrist lock. Ron leaned over, putting his weight on Harry's back, pinning him.

"Harry, I'm your friend," he whispered in Harry's ear. "We can talk face-to-face as friends, or we can talk like this. But we are going to talk. I'm tired of seeing you torturing yourself. I'm worried about you and Hermione. And, if this doesn't work, I'll grab you both by the ankles and dangle you out the window if I have to."

Harry grunted a couple times and then did something Ron didn't expect. He began to cry.

"Harry, mate. Are you all right?" Ron said, turning Harry around and grabbing him by the shoulders, holding him at arm's length, looking closely at his friend's miserable face.

Harry tried to recover, humiliated in front of his best friend. He sniffed a few more times and took a series of deep breaths. "She hates me, Ron. I've loved her forever and she hates me," he said, looking down, tears once again forming.

Ron continued to stare at Harry. "Tell me, Harry. Tell me what happened," he said soothingly.

Harry took several more deep breaths before returning to his normal breathing. "We were in the library ..." He paused.

Ron nodded. "You were in the library...then what?"

Harry continued to look down, not wanting to meet his friend's gaze. "I don't know...I just wanted to tell her I liked her." His chest was beginning to heave again but he brought it under control again. "So when she caught me staring at her, I told her she was pretty and how stupid I was for not noticing it before last year..."

Ron nodded again. "And then you kissed her...?"

Harry nodded miserably. He shrugged. "It was only a quick peck on the cheek...you know, something affectionate to show her I liked her...nothing passionate." He was breathing rapidly again.

"What happened then?"

For the first time, Harry looked up into Ron's eyes. "She acted like I slapped her," he said pleadingly. "She wouldn't look at me. She wouldn't talk to me. She didn't react at all." Tears were reforming in his eyes. "I asked to walk with her back here. But she refused. Even though the library was closing. She didn't want to be near me. I wasn't going to do anything to her. I just wanted to walk with her. Maybe just hold her hand. Like Hannah and Ernie. But she didn't want to be near me. She doesn't want to be near me now. She hates me."

Ron leaned back against the bed post again and looked up, blowing air out of his cheeks. "I'm sure she doesn't hate you, mate." He paused and pondered. "You know Hermione. She probably was just surprised. She's not the most spontaneous person in the world. She probably hadn't done her homework in girl-boy relationships and felt she hadn't researched enough to get the correct answer," he said with a faint smile.

Harry looked up at Ron. "This isn't funny, Ron," he said miserably.

"No it isn't, mate. What I'm saying is for you to give her some time."

Harry lowered his head and shook it sadly. "I don't know."

Ron leaned forward to look at Harry. "Listen, Harry. You're not the first guy to get hurt by a girl. And I'm sure it does hurt...a lot. But you're strong. The strongest guy I know. You'll get over it."

Harry again lowered his head and shook it. Then he shrugged. "After this, how can I take any kind of chance on someone. I've known Hermione as long as I've known you. We've been through so much together. We've talked together through all sorts of stuff. I thought I knew her. If she said thanks but no thanks, I would have been disappointed, but I would have been able to take it. But I never expected to be treated like I didn't even exist, that I was something not worth even looking at." He began crying again.

Ron grunted, not knowing what to say. "Harry...?"

Harry looked up through his tears. "You don't understand. Thinking of her was the only thing that got me through the summer. All I could think about was her. All I could talk about was her. Here I was spending a lot of time with a really beautiful girl--Sara--and all I could do was talk about Hermione. I even risked our friendship over her when I wrote to you about the way I felt."

Harry took a deep breath. "Since the beginning of the term, since you guys picked me up to go to Diagon Alley, I've been trying to find a way, an opportunity to tell her I cared about her. I knew it was a long shot, and I was prepared for her to say she wasn't interested. Hell, I even told you that if she liked you that way, I could accept that. But I didn't expect her to turn around and hate me for it, to treat me like something she couldn't even look at. I didn't expect it to cost me her friendship."

"I know. But it's Hermione. She wouldn't go out of her way to hurt you. I'm sure that things will work out. But you can't spend the rest of your life up here in the dorms. Harry, it's time for you to return to the land of the living."

Harry sniffed. "But I can't face Hermione."

Ron looked serious at Harry. "Sure you can. Just tell her you're sorry you upset her and let it be. Things will work themselves out eventually."

"It's not just that...You don't understand. During the summer, I had so much fun. People liked me. Girls liked me. I felt like, I don't know. Like I was okay. For the first time, I felt like I was worth something to people. That I was important to them not just because of the scar, but because I was a good person. Then Hermione..." he began weeping again.

"Hey, mate. It's okay. You are worth something. Everyone who knows you thinks so. I think so. My whole family thinks so. Hell, you're as much a brother to me as Fred or George or Percy or Bill or Charlie. I mean it."

Harry looked up and grabbed Ron's arm and gave it a squeeze. He heaved a sigh. "But you don't understand. Everything I did or was during the summer was aimed toward being close to Hermione. If she didn't love me...okay. But she...I wasn't worth a response...I thought she cared. All that during the summer...it was all for nothing...all a delusion."

"Okay, Harry. If you want to be pig headed and feel sorry for yourself, fine. Maybe she'll come around. And if she doesn't, bugger her. You came back here smarter, stronger, funnier. You came back after this summer knowing that you'd kissed Sara and gotten kisses from all those other girls. You are special Harry. And it doesn't have anything to do with your fame or your battles with You-Know-Who. And you're special enough to be my best friend."

Harry gave a resigned shrug and wiped away the tears. "Thanks, Ron. You won't tell anyone about me...you know..."

Ron did a quick cross-your-heart movement. Then he very obviously peered over at Harry's alarm clock. "Harry, is that the time? I'm late for my weekly appointment with Rita Skeeter" and made to rise.

Harry looked blankly at Ron. Suddenly Ron's joke registered, and Harry burst into a fit of giggles and threw his pillow at Ron, who dodged it and settled back into the foot of Harry's bed. "See, there's life in the old boy, yet," he said with a smile

Harry lay back in the bed and stared blankly at the ceiling. He smiled ruefully. "Well, if nothing else, I found out when I went out running, I was so worn out when I went to bed that I would fall asleep immediately and not have any dreams...at least none that I remembered."

Ron looked seriously at Harry. "You know, you've got to get over that. You are not responsible for Cedric's death. Hell, if his family can accept that, if Cho can accept that, why can't you?"

Harry shrugged. "Maybe I've got a screw loose."

Ron laughed. "Probably more than one, mate. Now look, it's early. Go wash your face and come down to the common room, will you? Your children are worried about you."

Harry's eyes widened. "Oh, my God! The first years! I've been so preoccupied, I forgot about them."

"So we'll have to add child neglect to your list of sins," Ron said with a grin.

Harry winced, remembering the past summer's problems with the Dursleys.

Ron's face fell as he realized his mistake, but Harry smiled again. "Thanks, Ron. Thanks for being the best friend I could ever hope for."

Ron blushed, but nodded his appreciation for Harry's remark.

Harry took a deep breath and headed for the boy's bathroom to prepare to face the world again.