A Magical Roleplaying Experience 

The region encompassing England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland while the Triwizard Tournament is under way at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry.
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 #39767  by Hermione Granger
 
Hermione set her flute of champagne down at the table, fanning her flushed face. Hermione wasn't used to dancing this much - and the adorable trio of nine-year-old Weasley cousins in matching princess dresses had certainly put her through her paces. Hermione only had the strength to break their precious hearts and quit when she was quite sure another round of ring-around-the-rosy would kill her for lack of breath.

The cool champagne helped, bubbling right to her head. Hermione rested against the table and fingered the stem of her glass, taking a moment to absorb it all. The dancers, in their strange and exotic wizard's robes, spun around the dance floor like multi-colored birds. Twilight's last rays of purple and orange were slipping slowly beneath the Burrow's distant orchard, and above the marquee, stars were beginning to shine. Hermione's heart felt incredibly light. In the middle of all this fighting and fear, a wedding - true love! - was just what they all needed to celebrate. She didn't notice the small smile playing at her lips as she watched, idly wondering who might join her at the table.
 #39768  by Ron Weasley
 
With two butterbeers in his hands, Ron weaved his way through the maze of tables, chairs, piles of presents, and crowds of guests, apologising as he went. Making his way past the dance floor, he collided with a large, muscled body with a curved nose and black hair. Once again, he went to apologise until he saw the young man's face. Viktor Krum, what was he doing here? Ron thought. He could feel his face turning red in annoyance, thinking back to his 4th year at Hogwarts. I am sorry, excuse me, Krum made his apology to Ron and left, a curious expression on his face. Before he had chance to become any more angry at the International Quidditch player, he spotted Hermione at the table and a grin stretched across his face.

"Here," Ron slid one glass of butterbeer over to Hermione. "You look like you need it after all that dancing you've done." Ron couldn't help but stare at Hermione, her usually frazzled hair now neatly curling around her shoulders, her light red dress making her look even more stunning...
 #39770  by Hermione Granger
 
Hermione looked up, and took a moment to register that the cold, frothing butterbeer in Ron's left hand was meant for her. "Thank you, Ron!" she said, accepting the chilled mug with a slightly surprised, but genuine smile. It was touching that he had thought of her.

"Are you having a good time?" she asked happily. "Your little cousins are quite the serious ballerinas. Darlings, but I couldn't keep up."

She took a sip of the butterbeer and rubbed her hands around the perspiration on the glass, pressing the cool water to her neck. Hermione felt Ron's eyes trail her bare shoulders, and she flushed even redder than before.

"See anyone we know?" she asked.
 #39785  by Ron Weasley
 
Ron snapped out of his trance at Hermione's question, immediately taking his eyes up to meet hers and taking a sip of butterbeer to hide his glowing red ears.

"Yeah the food's great," Ron said with a smile and catching the waiter as they passed by, grabbed another cauldron cake. "I'm not surprised, every time they come to visit they charge up and down the stairs in the house for hours. Mum has a fit if she catches them."

Ron stuffed the cauldron cake in his mouth in one go, munching on it before finally washing it down with a gulp of butterbeer.

"Yeah," Ron peered over his shoulder to see if Krum was still lurking about. "Viktor Krum. What's he doing here?"
 #39788  by Hermione Granger
 
Hermione flashed Ron half-reproving, half-amused smile, her eyes flicking from his chewing cheeks to the crumbs of cake he was spilling onto the front of his dress robes. "You're so charming," she chided.

She reached forward to dust the crumbs from his collar, but withdrew her hand at the last moment, blinking in surprise.

"Viktor?!" she said, going pink. "Oh, I wouldn't have expected - I suppose Fleur would have invited him, no?"

Hermione whirled around on tiptoe, craning her head to get a look around the heads of the dancers. Indeed, there was Viktor Krum on the other side of the marquee, surrounded by an admiring gaggle of Veela cousins. He was as tall and sullen as Hermione had remembered, though she noticed he'd grown a tiny goatee. One of the Veela had a particularly fawning look about her.

Cognizant of Ron's scowl beside her, Hermione touched the back of her neck. "He certainly looks busy."
 #39789  by Ron Weasley
 
"Yeah," Ron muttered. "Busy getting all the girls to chase him."

Ron tried not to notice the way in which Hermione had leapt off her seat at the mention of Viktor Krum. He sat hunched over his butterbeer, thinking how the evening had been going so well, considering there was a war going on and all, until he'd turned up. Trying not to think of the infamous Quidditch player anymore, he wondered where Harry had got to. A quick glance around the room and he'd spotted his best friend talking to Luna, who seemed to be dancing in a very Luna-ry way. No surprise there.

"Your hair looks nice by the way," Ron spouted awkwardly in an attempt to get Hermione's attention away from Krum. He tried to remember the other things from the book he'd been reading last night, but conveniently he'd managed to forget most of them.
 #39791  by Hermione Granger
 
"You think so?" Hermione said, the pink hue in her cheeks deepening even as her lips quavered in a smile. "It was awful to do up, really. Far too much time and potion for any old regular day. Especially with all the packing I've been doing -- " her small beaded bag gave a disproportionately large clunk as she set it on the table " -- to get us, well, you know. Ready."
 #39792  by Ron Weasley
 
"Well it was worth it," Ron muttered, unsure of what to say now. He took another gulp of his butterbeer to try and avoid the awkward silence. He frowned at Hermione's bag as it sounded like it would collapse the table, she was always full of surprises.
"Blimey, Hermione, what have you got in there? Half of Hogwart's library?" Ron said. They'd all been preparing to leave for the last few days and now it just felt like they were waiting for the opportune moment to make their exit. He just hoped that when they did leave, his family would be safe.
 #39794  by Hermione Granger
 
Hermione smirked and raised an eyebrow at Ron's joke -- he always teased, but there was also always a compliment half-baked into them, too. "Would that I could," she said fervently -- knowledge was their most powerful defense, she felt. "But even an Undetectable Extension Charm's got its limits. It's some of mine, and yours and Harry's as well. Spellman's Syllabary... Rise and Fall of the Dark Arts... anything that could help us, really."

Hermione unclipped the beaded bag's clasp with a faint snap and peered inside.

"A bit of food, extra clothes, Essence of Dittany, Mad-Eye's supply of Polyjuice Potion -- It's just the essentials, but even so. Heaven forbid anything happens, I want us to be ready to go at a moment's notice."
 #39799  by Ron Weasley
 
Ron's mouth fell open as Hermione started listing off books he'd never even heard of. Surely they wouldn't need all of that, would they?
"An undetectable what... Hermione, we're not entering some sort of essay competition you know," Ron shook his head in disbelief but soon replaced it with a smile.

"Well I'm glad you've got it all sorted, as always," Ron glanced around before asking his next question. "When do you think we'll have to, you know, head off?"
 #39814  by Hermione Granger
 
The corners of Hermione's lips twitched, detecting the admiration buried in Ron's sarcastic remark. But her expression faded at his next question.

"I don't know," Hermione said pensively, looking over across the dance floor. Her eyes fell on Harry, redheaded and disguised, deep in conversation with an elderly man and Ron's aunt. His stormy expression, even on a stranger's freckled face, was unmistakably Harry.

"I expect it will be soon, quick as we can escape out form all the wedding fuss. I can't picture him wanting to wait much longer than he has to, can you?"
 #39815  by Ron Weasley
 
Ron followed Hermione's gaze to where Harry was sitting, in his disguise of 'yet another' member of the exhaustive Weasley family. He thought they did pretty well with making that up, it didn't look like anyone recognised him or questioned the guise, although there was still time for that to happen yet.

"Nah," Ron said, "It was hard enough to get him to stay for the wedding. I have to say though, all the waiting is putting me on edge so I don't blame him for wanting to get going."
 #39817  by Hermione Granger
 
"Me as well," Hermione nodded fervently. "Has he -- er," she blushed slightly. "Has he told you anything? About what he's got planned? Where we're going, what Dumbledore told him?"

Between the horror following Dumbledore's death, the separation of summer, the insanity of their journey from Privet Drive to the Burrow, and the fervor of the wedding, Hermione had barely had the chance to speak to Harry at all, let alone about their plans for pursuing the Horcruxes. But she knew well how close Harry and Ron were. Surely Ron knew something of what Harry was thinking.