Title: Odd One Out
Category: BTVS/Harry Potter
Disclaimer: All of this belongs to other people. I own nothing. My neighbour’s dog owns more than I do.
Summary: In his fifth year at Hogwarts, Ron deals with one of the bigger challenges so far –Valentine’s Day.
Feedback: This is my first HP crossover. Let me know what you think. Please?
Ron Weasley hated Valentine’s Day.
He wasn’t sure what it was about that one day of the year that drove him absolutely nutters. He just knew that there were a whole bunch of things that happened that he just couldn’t stand. Like the way girls began to giggle endlessly about the silliest things, like a pink chocolate frog. What was so cute about that? It was chocolate, for crying out loud. Doesn’t matter how pretty it looked, either way it wound up looking all mushed up when you ate it.
There was also the way everyone became all mushy and lovey-dovey. People fawning over each other, it was sickening. And all the friggin owls! Posts just about doubled during that period, with the birds clutching outrageously large cards and packages in their claws. There was one year when Ron was nearly whacked in the head by an owl carrying a large singing guitar.
But as much as he hated the past Valentine Day’s, he knew this year was going to kill him.
Because now there was a dance.
A *dance*. Good grief. As if it wasn’t bad enough, now they had to hold a dance to celebrate the damn day! Held on a Hogsmeade weekend, the dance was to take place on a nearby field where it was ‘unofficially’ stated that one should be accompanied by a partner.
This year was really going to suck too, because Ron would be alone in his dislike of the day. Normally, Harry and Hermione would join in on his mocking of the ridiculousness the school succumbed to on such a silly day, by nooo. . . not this year. This year they both had dates.
Harry had originally been right by Ron’s side to ditch Hogsmeade that weekend, but Cho Chang had conveniently turned up and within seconds, Harry had become all gooey and stupid. A dopey grin plastered on his face, the boy who lived all but jumped with eagerness as the pretty Ravenclaw asked if he wanted to go with her to the dance. Ron had watched as all of Harry Potter’s fan club just about wailed with grief when they heard he accepted. But Harry hadn’t noticed; he was too busy staring at Cho with admiration.
Ron had no idea Harry could be so mushy. It was almost shameful. This was the boy who had faced You-Know-Who on a number of occasions and lived, yet still turned into a blubbering sap whenever a pretty girl smiled at him. Ron knew Harry liked Cho, but geez. . . he was so head over heels for her, it was just dumb. The other day Harry actually fell down a flight of stairs after she waved at him. Madam Pomfrey had kept clucking her tongue as she mended his broken wrist, asking how he could smile so dreamily while the eye he’d banged against the rail continued to swell and blacken. Harry just shrugged.
And Hermione. . . she was even worse! She’d received a few owls from Ernie Macmillan asking her to save him a dance on Valentines Day and all of a sudden, she was whispering and giggling with Lavender and Parvati. It was so wrong. She was acting like such a *girl*.
When Ron confronted Hermione on her odd behaviour, she’d snapped at him, saying that he was only grumpy because he’d never had a Valentine before. He bellowed back that if having a Valentine meant acting all stupid and pansy-like, then he’d leave it up to her. Within minutes they were engaged in a blown out row until Professor McGonagall was forced to separate them and sent the two stomping away.
Of course, Hermione did apologise fro her remark later that day, but not before Ron battered his brain dry, wondering if she might have been right. It was true; he’d never had a Valentine before, so he really didn’t know what it felt like. Sure, it was easy for Harry. That boy attracted crowds wherever he went and would have girls adoring him until the day he died.
But Ron. . . Ron was just a Weasley. Sure, a Weasley who could play a mean game of wizard chess, but a Weasley nonetheless. He wasn’t a super smart good boy like Bill and Percy, and he’d never been on the Quidditch team like Charlie, Fred and George. He was just Ron.
Not to mention the fact that there really weren’t all that many girls at Hogwarts that he was interested in. Sure, lots of girls were pretty, but the second the date flipped to February, they all became a great giggling mass of silly prisses.
Except for one. . .
This one girl was a bit of a strange one. Reclusive. Dangerous. And absolutely beautiful.
Her name was Willow, and had only come to Hogwarts when Ron was in the third year managing to work her way through to her fifth year already. With brains that rivalled (and more often than not, irritated) Hermione, Willow was proving to be one flaming good witch. Clever to the core, it was no secret that it was her sinister approach to potions which made her Snape’s new favourite.
But academics aside, this girl was weird. Pretty, but weird. With hair so red it could not have been natural, her green eyes pierced those who looked directly at them. Maybe that’s what made everyone wonder about her.
Ron remembered the day she arrived at Hogwarts. There was a mad rush amongst the male population to learn more about the new girl, each hoping to be the first to befriend the redhead. Admittedly, the young Weasley had also been part of that crowd, but gave up upon discovery that she was to be in the Slytherin house.
Pretty or not, he wasn’t about to chase after a Slytherin. Let Draco have her.
Actually, now that he thought about it, Draco did ask her to Hogsmeade, only to be turned down flat by the strange redhead. What Ron wouldn’t give to have seen the rejection take place. Served him right too, that over gelled pansy of a Malfoy.
On the extra upside, at least he knew that Malfoy might be alone on Valentines Day, too.
Ron just wished he wouldn’t be.
* * * * * * * * *
“Hey, Neville! Wait up!”
The chubby boy turned around. “’ello, Ron. Going to the Hall?”
“Yep,” Ron answered. “But there’s something I need to talk to you about first.”
He led the other boy through the mass of students heading to the Hall for lunch. It was Valentines Day, which meant the Hogsmeade dance was the next day with Ron still a dateless Weasley. Dammit, this was fourth year all over again.
Ron pulled Neville next to a statue by the door of the great hall. His hand snuck out and pinched a candy piece from a second year student walking around with an open box of candy. Popping it into his mouth, he looked straight at Neville.
“I hear,” Ron began, mouth full of toffee, “dat you’ve got a date fer Hogshmeade.”
“Um. . .yes?”
“And dat I know de pershon.” Ron swallowed, eyes glittering at his friend. “Neville, did you ask my sister to the dance?”
“Um, I –uh –“
“I’m sorry, I couldn’t help it!” the tubby boy blurted out nervously. “I like Ginny, I really do. I –I didn’t think it would upset you or anything, but I –“
“Neville,” Ron cut in. “It’s okay. I just wanted to know, that’s all. You’re my buddy, ‘course I ain’t upset.”
Neville let out a sigh of relief.
“But you do know that if you make her cry or touch her in any way bad, I will have to hurt you. I might even be forced to make you cry.” Neville began to tremble again and swallowed nervously.
Ron broke into a big smile. “Now that’s settled mate, let’s go eat lunch!”
Ron entered the dining hall, a trembling Neville following hesitantly behind. The young Weasley looked around the hall with horror and disgust.
Pink. The Hall was *pink*.
Plonking down next to Harry, he helped himself to some food. “Hey Harry. Hermione,” he said, looking at the brunette sitting across. Neville had decided to sit on the other side of the table, a safe distance away from Ron.
“Hey Ron,” Harry replied. Hermione didn’t say anything; she seemed to be in a daze, trying to conceal a letter she was reading. Her cheeks were pink.
Ron nearly snorted. He couldn’t wait for this to all be over.
“Hey Ron,” his brother Fred asked. “You got a date for the dance yet? It’s tomorrow, you know.”
“Yeah, I know and I don’t.” Ron answered, taking a big bite of Shepard’s Pie.
“Don’t want one,” he mumbled.
“This isn’t right, Ron,” George said. “This ‘independence’ junk is for the girls. What’s wrong with you? Ask someone already.”
Harry spoke up. “You know, I could always ask Cho if she has a fr –“
“No no and bloody hell, no!” Ron exploded. “I don’t need a stupid date for some dumb dance!”
“We’re just trying to help –“
“No, you’re not! You’re trying to pity me because I’m the only one without a friggin date, just like at the Yule ball. I don’t want any help!”
“Well, with that attitude, I can see why you’re the only one without a partner.” Fred shook his head. “No girl would want to go with a temper tot.”
“I don’t care what the girls think!” Ron snapped. “If they don’t want to go with me, then fine. I don’t care. And I’ll tell you this – if any of them gave me a Valentine, I’d throw it back in their face!”
“Is that so?” a voice behind him asked.
Ron spun around and his jaw dropped in shock as he stared at the person who had spoke.
It was Willow.
He’d never seen her this close up before. Gosh, she was pretty. Around him, the entire Gryffindor table had fallen silent. They’d never heard the redhead Slytherin speak before.
She had this secretive little smile on her face as though she knew something no one else did. Ron finally closed his mouth, swallowing hard.
“Maybe it’s a good thing I heard what you said,” Willow went on. “Makes me wonder if I should still give this to you.” She drew out a small enveloped out from her robes.
“I –um. . . you –I didn’t –“
She laughed, obviously enjoying the effect she had on him. She leaned over and placed the enveloped on the table in front on him. She tilted her head so that her lips brushed his ear, and Ron felt his heart thump.
“Happy Valentines Day, Ron,” she whispered silkily into his ear. His mouth was dry. He needed a drink. Desperately. And was that fruit he could smell, or just her shampoo?
She straightened up, and with a devilish smile, went to leave the Hall. Ron stood up quickly, nearly tripping over the bench. “Wait!”
She stopped walking and turned back to look at him. Ron’s brain was working furiously to say something clever. Think, dammit, think! It seemed to be taking a while, so he just said the first thing that popped into his head.
Willow grinned and winked at him. She pushed the door open and left.
Ron sat back down, numb. The Gryffindors were still staring at the door where Willow had just left.
“’You’re pretty?’” Fred repeated. “The girl who never speaks to *anyone*, who’s turned down offers from half the guys in school comes to you and the only thing you can say is ‘you’re pretty’? You are not my brother.”
“I was stuck,” Ron said defensively.
“Obviously.” George rolled his eyes. “And all that rubbish about throwing the Valentine back in her face. You say one thing, then you do another. Maybe you should be a girl.”
The letter! Ron had been in such shock, he’d forgotten about the letter. Ripping the envelope open, his eyes scanned over the neat print on the parchment inside.
I don’t like Valentine’s Day either. Save me a dance at Hogsmeade.
Happy Valentine’s Day, cutie.
Ron read the short letter five more times before Fred snatched it away and passed it along the table.
“She thinks you’re cute?” Fred looked at George. “We must be gorgeous, then.’
Ron grinned goofily as Harry nudged him. “Guess you’ll be going to the dance after all, hey?”
“Wouldn’t miss it for –oh, damn it!”
“What is it?” Hermione asked. “What’s the matter?”
“I don’t know how to dance.”
And thus came the next dilemma.