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Chapter 23: Mistakes and Apologies
Hermione quickly sat upright in the bed, lifting the blankets up to her chin as she did, feeling Draco’s reassuring hand on hers. “R-Ron….” She choked, watching her friend’s face go from red to a dark red.
Ron opened his mouth a few times not being able to find the right words--either that--or refraining from cursing at the pair of them. He had his wand out and it was pointed at Draco, his hand noticeably shaking. He glared between them. First his eyes on Hermione and then on Draco, narrowing his eyes so low that it looked like they were closed.
“Ronald, please…” She said, edging in front of Draco, blocking her friend’s view of him. “Listen to me. It--It’s not what it seems.”
“Oh, really?!” Ron blurted out. “Then what is it Hermione?! Because it bloody looks like you were snogging Malfoy!”
Hermione’s face turned red at his remark--and not because of his mention of her snogging Malfoy--but rather because he was right.
Before she could say anything else, Draco spoke up from behind her, pushing her back so he could get a good look at Ron again.
“Weasley, I--” He started.
“Shut your bloody mouth, Malfoy!” Ron shouted so loudly that the moving persons in the photos were frightened. “I don’t want to hear a damn word from you! I swear to Merlin, I’ll hex you!”
Draco didn’t seem hesitant at all from Ron’s threats, but nonetheless, he went quiet when he felt Hermione’s hand grip his tightly.
Hermione let out a deep sigh and tried to reason with her redheaded friend. “Ron, just listen to me.”
“No, Hermione.” Ron shook his head. “No bloody way am I going to listen to how you lied to me.” With that, he barged beside the door and without turning back said in a menacing voice, “Get out of here. The both of you. I don’t want to see the either of you ever again.”
Hermione quickly pulled out her undergarments and clothes from somewhere inside the bed, and saw Draco doing the same. She slipped on her bra and pants, and as she slid down the bed covers, threw on her shirt.
She stood up from the side of the bed and stepped on flowers that were sprawled on the floor. They had fallen from the breakfast tray, along with other items. Beside the flower, she found a card. Hesitantly, she picked it up and read in her mind, I’m sorry.
Hermione bit her lip, trying her best to hold back the tears that threatened to come forth to her eyes.
Draco came to her side now, and softly laid a hand on her shoulder. “Are you alright?” He asked in a concerned voice.
Even though she wasn’t, she still managed to nod her head without saying a word. She inhaled a sharp breath and let it go after a few seconds. She turned to look Draco in the eyes.
“I have to talk to him.” She whispered.
Draco met her gaze, his eyes gentle and kind. “He’s not going to listen to a word you have to say.”
Hermione averted her eyes to the ground on the breakfast tray. “But I still have to try.”
Draco wrapped his arm around her shoulder, placing a kiss on her temple. “If that’s what you want. I‘ll be right here beside you.”
Hermione pulled herself away from him, shaking her head. “No, no. I don’t think it’s a good idea for you to be here right now.” She bit down on her lip, her eyes wide. “The last thing I want is for Ron to send you back to St. Mungo’s.”
A smirk played on Draco’s lips. “Well at least this time I’ll be able to see my nurse.” Adding on as an after thought, “And know who she is.”
Hermione frowned and said, “Please Draco. I don’t have time for this. We’ll talk later. For now, all I want is to fix my friendship with Ron.” She sighed deeply, fidgeting with her hands, rooted on the spot.
“Where do you want me then…if not here?” Draco asked.
Hermione bit her lip. “I guess the only place that we both know of.”
Draco raised a skeptical eyebrow. “You mean--”
Hermione dismissed him with an impatient wave of her hand, “Yes, yes. That’s exactly what I mean. Now go.”
Draco disappeared within seconds, but was suddenly back with a ‘crack’ in front of Hermione. Before she could react to his sudden appearance, he took her in his arms and gave her a long, passionate kiss.
When Hermione pulled away from him, they were both breathing heavily. “Draco…” She started in partial shock, “What was that for?”
Draco smiled kindly. “For luck.” He let go of her and stood only a few paces away. Looking her straight in the eyes with a small smile, he said, “Don’t take too long,” and disappeared into thin air once more with a ‘pop’.
Hermione smiled softly at the spot where Draco previously stood, and brushed her fingertips past her lips. She cleared her thoughts and took another long breath before heading into the other room to confront her angry friend.
She found Ron in the kitchen, picking up pots and pans and random items, as if finding an excuse to do something--anything--with his hands.
She bit down on her lip and approached him hesitantly. Standing beside the table in the kitchen, Hermione spoke up lightly. “Ron.” She whispered.
Ron’s head suddenly shot up in her direction, obviously surprised by her appearance there. His surprised expression immediately went grim, and he went back to his chores.
“I thought I told you to leave.” He said in a cold voice.
Hermione swallowed uneasily as she gripped the table chair firmly. Her knuckles had turned snow white, but she continued tightening her hold.
“I-I don’t think it’ll be fair for me to leave without telling my side of the story first.” Hermione said in the same small tone similar to when she first spoke up.
Ron dropped a saucepan into the sink, causing a loud metal clatter to fill the kitchen. He didn’t look up, but instead, bowed his head down. “Just leave, Mione.” He said so softly that Hermione had to lean in to hear his words. “Just go away. I don’t want to see you right now.”
Even though a tear slid down Hermione’s cheek, she still didn’t give up. “Ron, I--”
“Damn it, Mione!” Ron cursed, banging his fist hard on the counter.
Hermione shook from his anger. She had seen Ron upset before--many times, mind you--but this time wasn’t like any of those.
When Hermione didn’t move an inch, but only shook at the spot she stood, Ron continued yelling.
“Didn’t you hear me?!” He shouted. “You’re smart enough to figure out other things, but you can’t understand when someone says ‘go away’?!” He turned his back toward her once more, this time his hands finding a small towel nearby, which he twisted and scrunched in his hands.
“I told you, Ron.” Hermione said, her hands now loosening on the chair, her arms falling to her sides. “I’m not leaving until you’ve heard my side to the story.” Unexpectedly, she took a seat at the kitchen table, folding her hands on the table as if preparing for a quiz.
Ron looked skeptically at her, his mood only worsening, but Hermione thought she saw a flash of panic in his eyes for a second. That made her feel a little better.
At least this way, he’ll have to listen to me eventually. I’ll never leave this spot until he does. But as she thought this, Draco’s last departing words came to mind, Don’t take too long.
Luna sat in her office, obviously daydreaming. Even with the loud chatter outside her office quarters about Dean being under the influence of some curse without knowing, she still managed to daydream pleasantly.
Suddenly the door burst open and in came a flush Seamus. He looked disheveled from his expression, but nonetheless, gave the blonde a small smile.
“Did you hear?” He asked.
Luna beamed back at him. “About what Seamus?”
“About how Dean was under the influence of a curse.”
Seamus scratched his head and scrunched his face in confusion. “It’s yet to be determined. Don’t know for sure, but some say it must have been an Unforgettable. Dean said for one moment he was talking to you and then all of a sudden, he found himself outside without any memory of how he got there.” He folded his arms across his chest.
“Does anyone know who it was?” Luna asked, putting a sugar quill to her lips.
“Someone from outside must’ve sneaked in and put him under the curse.” Dean said with a satisfied look on his face as if he had solved a decade old mystery.
“Well, where is that someone now?”
Seamus’s smile faded completely. He unfolded his arms, scratching his head once more. “Don’t know for sure. Looks like he--or she--escaped.”
“Hm,” Was Luna’s response as she turned to her paperwork.
“Where’s Ron?” Seamus asked. “I’ll be he’ll get a load of this.”
Luna’s gaze met his once more. “Ron has a few days off.”
Seamus raised an eyebrow. “Really? What for? There’s no point in having a day off alone.”
“That’s just the point.” Luna said, her expression blank. “He’s not alone. Hermione’s staying at his place for the rest of the summer.”
“Ah.” Seamus said, with a look of understanding on his face. He stared at the blonde, trying to gaze into her eyes, and read her thoughts. “How are you doing?”
Luna smiled. “I’m doing fine.”
“Are you sure? I mean--’cause--you can find a better guy--”
“I’m doing fine, Seamus.” Luna repeated, her eyes boring hard into his as if trying to get the message across telepathically.
“Uh--okay.” Seamus stumbled backwards into the door and left without another word.
Luna sighed deeply and put her sugar quill down, her thoughts drifting around her once more. She had only wished that her daydreams would come true someday.
Hermione watched as Ron’s expression loosened some of the anger, but not all of it completely. He sat across from her now, his eyes down at his fidgeting hands. He was dissolving all of the information she had just told him and trying to find a response for all that he heard.
It was lunchtime when Ron finally gave in and sat down at the table across from Hermione, his anger somewhat controlled, when he said he would hear her story. She was glad to have told him everything--well, excluding the intimate parts about her and Draco--but everything else. How she was shocked to know that she was caring for him. How she only treated him like a patient, but overtime, learned a lot about him. And how they slowly fell in love with each other. She also mentioned the part about how she ran away from him to forget the memories of him, but he ended up finding her because he loved her for who she was. She specifically tried to make an emphasis on this part for she wanted Ron to know that Draco actually loved her and didn’t care anymore that she was a muggle-born.
And now, Hermione waited patiently--and nervously--as she watched Ron react to her story. He stopped fidgeting with his hands, but didn’t look up.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” He finally asked in a low voice.
“Because I was afraid of how you would react.” She responded, murmuring afterwards, “Like the way you did today.”
Either Ron ignored her response or didn’t hear it, he continued. “When were you going to tell me? Or were you planning on keeping this a secret forever?”
“No, Ron, I swear!” Hermione said in a panicky tone. “I was going to tell you…”
“When?” Ron’s anger was getting the best of him again. “When I found out for myself?”
Hermione bowed her head down and sniffled noticeably. “I-I’m sorry you had to find out this way.”
Ron took a long, deep breath, shutting his eyes momentarily. Ever since he encountered his best friend and former enemy snogging, he had gotten a very throbbing headache.
Upon hearing a sniffle once more, Ron opened his eyes and looked across the table at Hermione. Her hair was tied up, away from her face. Her cheeks were burning red from crying so much, as well as her eyes, which were still wet and dripping teardrops. He noticed how there lie a puddle on the table in front of where Hermione sat. His heart ached seeing her this way.
A voice of reason spoke in his mind. You love her so much, yet you put her through hell.
Well, she’s the one who put me through hell in the first place. I think it’s only fair. Ron responded to the voice.
There’s nothing fair about hurting the one you love the most. If you truly did love her, then you will stop this madness. You will forgive her and move on.
She slept with Malfoy! Something like that cannot be forgiven. Not in a million years.
You say this because you’re jealous. You loved her so much that it pains you to see her happy with someone else.
I loved her more than anything else and she didn’t feel the same way about me.
It is natural to hurt. That is a part of love. There will be heartbreak. But remember, there will be love again.
Ron cleared his mind and watched as Hermione wiped her nose on her shirt sleeve. Ron conjured up a handkerchief and handed it to her.
Hermione looked at him in surprise, but took the handkerchief nonetheless. She thanked him under her breath.
“Ron,” She started once again, when her nose and tears were wiped clean, “I know that I shouldn’t have lied to you and I’m so deeply sorry--”
“It’s okay, Hermione.” Ron found himself saying.
Hermione looked at him in surprise again, blinking her eyes several times, hoping she heard him right.
“It is?” She asked.
Ron smiled softly. “Honestly? No, it isn’t.” He said with a chuckle. “But I can’t stay mad at you forever. You’re one of my best friends Hermione.” His smile faded and his expression went sad again. “It did hurt to see you with Mal--Draco--but I shouldn’t have acted the way I did.”
Hermione quickly slid her hand over his. “No, you had every right to be upset. I didn’t tell you the truth when I should have. I swear it won‘t happen again.” Ron put his other hand over hers, looking down at their hands instead of her face. Hermione bit her lip anxiously and asked, “So does this mean you forgive me?”
Ron stood up, sliding his hands away from hers, “No, I don’t forgive you…” He watched as Hermione’s eyes blinked back tears, “…yet.” He folded his arms across his chest, a smile playing on his lips. “It’ll take some time to heal, you know.”
Hermione smiled and stood up as well now. She rushed toward him, wrapping her arms around his back, hugging him tightly. “I’m so lucky to have a great friend like you, Ron,” She mumbled against his shoulder.
Ron didn’t smile at her remark, but merely replied, “Yeah, I know.” He slowly pushed Hermione away from him to get a look at her. “You should go now. You don’t want to keep Malfoy waiting.”
Hermione’s eyes widened in surprise, “How did you--”
“I overheard.” Ron said, shrugging his shoulders. “Now go.”
Hermione smiled once more. “You’ll make a lucky woman very happy some day.” With that, Ron watched as she disappeared into thin air.
Ron went into his office to find the loads of paperwork waiting for him on his desk. Sighing, he went to his chair and started flipping through all the paper in front of him, carefully dipping his quill in the ink bottle.
The door opened and two persons slipped in, walking a few steps until they reached the desk. Ron finally looked up.
“Seamus.” Ron said, smiling at his friend. “Hey, Luna.” He said. Even though he had a pretty lousy day so far, seeing the blonde’s face, he felt loads better.
“Hey Ron. Dean told me he saw you slip in your office.” Seamus said, grinning. “I thought you were taking a few days off, you know, to spend time with Hermione?”
Ron looked at Seamus and then in Luna, in turn. Seamus looked as normal as usual, with a mischievous look on his face, but there was something off about Luna. She had a small smile on her face, but it looked as if it were forced.
“Yeah, about that.” Ron said, brushing his hair back. “Some things came up, so I decided to come to work.”
“What things?” Luna asked curiously.
“Nothing, really. I don’t feel like talking about it now.”
Luna’s expression fell, but she continued to force a smile. “I guess I’ll go finish up my paperwork.” She said.
“Okay.” Ron said without looking up.
As soon as the blonde left out the door, Seamus turned to his friend, tusking disappointedly.
“What?” Ron asked.
“How blind are you, mate?” He asked, folding his arms across his chest.
“What do you mean?”
“Can’t you see what’s going on with Luna?” He shook his head. “You’re tearing her apart. Poor gal.”
“What are bloody talking about?” Ron cursed, standing up now.
“Damn it, mate!” Seamus pounded the desk with his fist. “She’s in love with you, mate!”
Ron collapsed back onto his seat, staring blankly at his friend. “Wh-what? But--how do you--did she--?”
Seamus shook his head again. “It’s obvious the way she acts around you. Everyone has known for ages, but you’ve been too bloody blind to see it!”
“Luna’s in love with me?” Ron repeated.
“I told her she could find a better bloke than yourself--”
“You what?!” Ron nearly yelled at him, standing up again.
Seamus put up his hands defensively. “Hey, Luna’s a great gal, mate. I just don’t want her to wait around for you to come to your senses for the rest of her life.” He left out the door, a huge grin plastered on his face.
Ron paced back and forth in his office, the words racing in his mind over and over again. Luna’s in love with me.
The door opened again and without looking up, Ron said in an annoyed voice, “Damn it, Seamus. What other news have you brought me?” When he looked up, he saw that it was not Seamus, but rather a flushed Luna standing in the doorway.
“Oh, sorry.” She said. “Seamus said you wanted to see me.”
Ron cursed in his mind, and swore to get Seamus for this later. “Yeah, sure. Come on in, Luna.”
She took a seat at the chair across from his desk, watching his nervously. “Is everything alright?”
Ron finally took a seat on his chair, and tried to keep his heart and breath steady. “I--um…” He took a long breath. “Luna, what do you think of love?”
Luna’s face flushed once more and she bowed down her head to hide it. “It’s a beautiful thing to go through…but can be hard and painful, too.”
“I know what you mean.” Ron said. When Luna gave him a curious look, he continued. “Hermione’s with Malfoy.”
Luna’s eyes widened in surprise. “Draco Malfoy?” Ron nodded his head. “Wow, that must be painful.”
Ron nodded his head. “You have no idea.” He looked at Luna and sighed. He walked around the desk, standing just beside her chair. “Listen, Luna. I just want you to know that you can tell me anything.” He paused for a moment as she continued staring at him. “I know I can be a major git sometimes, and definitely blind to others’ feelings--” His sentence was cut off with a sudden kiss on his lips.
Luna held his face in her hands and kissed him ever so lightly. Ron immediately kissed her back willingly, his lips curling into a smile. He never dreamed he would be this happy to kiss someone besides Hermione. Life was full of surprises.
When they pulled away, Luna smiled her genuine smile at him. “You’re right. You can be a git and blind…” She leaned a little forward, “But that’s what love is all about.” They embraced in another heartfelt kiss.
Hermione had awoken from the couch inside the house she remembered so well from spending most of her summer there. She rubbed her eyes and remembered being outside by her favorite oak tree with Draco, but she must have dozed off and he carried her inside. She smiled at the thought.
Upon hearing dishes clattering in the kitchen nosily, she followed the sound and opened the swinging kitchen door, and saw so many things swooshing and flying and moving around the area with magic.
The table was set to perfection with a rose right in middle of the table and a few candles that lit the room. Draco approached her, wearing an apron, and gave her a loving kiss.
“Draco, what on earth are you doing?” Hermione asked, chuckling at the sight around her.
Draco smirked. “You said so yourself that you like a man that can cook.”
Hermione wrapped her arms around him. “At least you haven’t burnt or broke anything.”
“Not being blind helps.” Draco wrapped his arms around her back, kissing the tip of her nose. "And having my nurse with me."
A/N: Okay, this is the end, folks! I'm sorry to disappoint everyone, but I thought a cute little ending like this fit this story. :) I know I said I would have an epilogue, but since I'll be pretty busy, I decided to collide the epilogue along with this chapter. (The epilogue was basically going to be Ron/Luna's part). Hoped you liked it! I'll be posting more Dramione fics in the future so be sure to check them out! ((And once again any mistakes will be sent to my beta to fix))