Setting: The Great Hall, during the Hallowe'en Ball
Summary: Trio!Angst deepens. Not much else to say on that.
The Hallowe'en ball was in full swing, and Harry was actually having fun. As much fun as he could have under the circumstances, at least. He had trod on Ginny's feet once and she seemed to be paying a tad more attention to the Bewitched Boys lead singer than he would've liked, but he was enjoying himself for the most part. He was, however, slightly distracted and rather annoyed by Ron and Hermione, who were laughing together as Hermione tried to teach Ron to waltz. Harry was beginning to feel slighted – they didn't seem to care that he wasn't their friend anymore.
Hermione shook her head and stopped Ron from mutilating her feet any further. "You've got a long way to go before you win any competitions," she said, smiling.
As she pulled her stray hairs back into her bun, she couldn't help noticing Harry scowling from across the room. She sighed and tried to give him a friendly smile.
"Hey, I only tripped a few times!" Ron protested. "And that bit with the punch bowl...really not my fault..." He followed Hermione's gaze.
Harry saw Hermione and Ron glancing his way, and he glared at them for a bit before turning his back to them.
"Blimey," said Ron. "Is he still angry with us?" He forced a smile. "I mean...yeah, 'course he is—but really wouldn't you think he'd at least try to be polite on Hallowe'en?"
"Let's just try to enjoy ourselves, all right?" She tried to manoeuvre Ron so that they had a few couples between themselves and Harry.
Unfortunately, Ron's voice was clear and carried across the room, and Harry caught every word, partly because he'd been straining to hear what they were saying.
"At least I don't badmouth people behind their backs," he said, not troubling to lower his voice.
Hermione clenched her jaw and tried to keep dancing as nonchalantly as possible.
"Harry!" Ginny said urgently, tugging on his arm. "Leave it, please? Don't worry about them."
"Fine." Harry tried to keep his voice pleasant. "I'm better off not associating with them anyway."
"Some people just seem to think they're better than the people they used to call friends," Ron commented to Hermione rather loudly. "Sad, isn't it?"
"Yeah," Harry said just as loudly. "People like Ron Weasley, for instance."
Hermione put a hand to her forehead, clearly aware of the stares they were getting.
"Oh," and Ron stopped dancing mid-step and looked shocked, "is the Great Harry Potter speaking to me? I feel so privileged."
"Ron!" Hermione tugged on his arm. "Don't."
But Ron had clearly hit a nerve with Harry. "At least you're being mean to someone to their face," he snapped, striding over. 'That's an improvement. Maybe next time you'll actually be nice to someone."
"Don't start something?" Ron said to Hermione. "I haven't started anything. That's the Boy Who Quarreled, right there. He's the one you want to be telling that to. Oh, look, he comes our way!"
Hermione threw up her hands. Some arguments just had to happen.
As Harry opened his mouth to speak again, Ginny came rushing over. "Harry, don't do anything rash, please," she begged.
"He's asking for it, Gin," Harry snarled. "Why don't you just go. I can manage myself just fine."
Ginny glanced nervously between Harry and Ron. She certainly didn't want to get mixed up in an argument between her brother and her date. "Yeah...I'll just...I'll wander over and listen to the band," she told Harry. She turned to leave.
"Wait just one minute." Ron's voice had reached a low growl. "You do not tell my sister what to do."
"Yeah, well, it's between Ginny and me and it's none of your business, so why don't you shut up about it and sod off?" Harry snapped.
"You must think I'm really thick to just leave my sister alone with someone like you," said Ron angrily. He motioned to Ginny, who was already weaving her way through the throng of people clustered by the stage.
"No, just really thick in general," Harry said, trying to resist the urge to punch Ron in the stomach. "You don't own Ginny. She agreed to come with me."
Ron made a face. "Of course she agreed to come with you. She doesn't know you well enough to realise what a git you really are."
"Oh, will the both of you just give it a rest?" Hermione cried. "Ron, Harry's right, Ginny can make her own decisions. Harry, Ron's right and you shouldn't have been so rude to her. Now can we please just work things out without adding more fuel to the fire?"
"I don't see how that can happen," Ron said sullenly.
"Of course not, if you're going to take that attitude!" Hermione snapped.
"No we can't," Harry said flatly.
"Harry, after all we've been through, how can you possibly say that?" Hermione sounded extremely hurt.
"Just face it, Hermione. He's not who he used to be."
"Funny, I was about to say the same thing about you," Harry retorted. "Except that you were always this much of an arse." He turned on his heel and marched off, elbowing his way roughly through the crowd.
Hermione slumped, feeling defeated.
An apologetic look on his face, Ron turned to Hermione. "Want a drink?" he asked.