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Chapter 1 : The Woes of Ronald Weasley
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Disclaimer: Thank you Merlin, for not making me JKR, and therefore, not giving me rights to any of the characters in this fic. I am quite content to write fanfiction, because I really, really, don’t want this to happen! ;-)
I love her.
I know that not everyone believes me when I say it’s love-the real deal, I mean, and not just a crush or anything, but it’s true. I love her and I suppose I always have in a sense; I just didn’t figure it out right away. By the time I figured it out, I couldn’t pluck up the courage to tell her, and well…you know the rest. Who doesn’t? It’s constantly advertised in the Daily Prophet, gossip magazines…I never thought I’d end up hating Rita Skeeter more than I did.
I know you probably don’t care about me, the lowly sidekick of Harry’s story, who hardly gets any attention for what he did for Harry. I’m just the lowly sidekick, and even Hermione gets more attention for all she’s done than me, when, once-upon-a-time, she was a sidekick too. Well, she’s always gotten more attention for everything than me-she’s bloody brilliant-and I don’t envy her for it. How can I, when I love her for her intelligence, her fiery temper, and even that bushy brown hair that she hates so much? Hell, I wish she hadn’t straightened it; I liked it better before she had.
I’m in the papers too, but not like they are. I’m just an afterthought, like they edited it later and remembered to add me. “Harry Potter’s Wedding Is Announced” and I barely have a sentence about me; just that I’m Harry’s friend from school and that I’m going to be his Best Man. Never mind that I played a big part in the war too; I didn’t play as big a part as Harry did and nothing will change that.
Even Ginny is more well known than I am. Not that that’s so strange-Harry’s ex-girlfriend is much more interesting to the press than a sidekick who no one is even aware is in love with Harry’s soon-to-be wife. If I weren’t so mad at Harry for getting with Hermione, I’d be angry at him just for breaking Ginny’s heart. Ginny’s liked him since she was ten-years-old and what does Harry do for her? He gets engaged to someone else! The worst part is that he let her think she had a chance with him. Maybe it was just for a couple months in her fifth year, but I bet Ginny hoped it would lead to more. Ginny was miserable when she heard that Harry and Hermione were going out, but I bet she thought it was just temporary-that she’d have her Harry back soon enough. I thought so too, for a while, but gradually, I learned to accept the truth. Ginny cried for days after she found out about their engagement. I was too busy trying to comfort her that I didn’t get to concentrate on my own feelings of anger. The damn press wouldn’t even let her have any privacy, hounding her every so often and asking how it felt to have Harry marrying someone else; the biggest headline I ever got was when I yelled at them for not giving her peace and quiet.
Ginny is practically the only one who knows I’m in love with Hermione. We’ve never exactly discussed it, but I know she knows. She’s got eyes, that Ginny-always has. We’re two peas in a pod, two miserable, love-struck peas in a pod, watching as our only loves get married to someone else. Dammit. You’d think Harry and Hermione would give their best friends a thought, before deciding to get married, right?
I don’t even know how their relationship got started. I guess they had a couple of times when they got together, without me, and then it eventually led to more. Maybe it’s for the best that they got together. Even though I sometimes think, when I’m feeling more confident, that Hermione did like me, once-upon-a-time, other times, like right now, I think that maybe Hermione does deserve someone better than me. Harry certainly fits those qualifications. After all, Harry’s saved the world for Merlin’s sake-and what have I done? Nothing. Ditto. I just helped save the world. Harry did the real thing. Yes, Hermione definitely deserves someone better than me.
I can’t believe everyone but Ginny is so oblivious to the way I feel. The Daily Prophet has enough of a story concentrating on Ginny’s feelings, and Harry and Hermione are happy enough getting married. Maybe Mum suspects, but I don’t really know-she’s constantly pestering me to get out more, date more, get out of my bachelor rut…even if she suspects my feelings for Hermione are there, I don’t think she knows how deep my feelings for Hermione really are. But then again, who does? I don’t think anyone but myself really knows that.
It was painful enough when I found out they were engaged. That forced smile, pretending to be excited for them…”That’s great, Hermione, Harry. You were meant for each other-really." Ginny wasn’t there, thank God. Do they have any idea all they’ve been putting her through?!
Still, lately, Ginny’s been taking it better than I have. She’s even gone out a couple of times-Dean, Seamus, couple boys who were in her year (her date with Colin Creevy ended up depressing her, because all he wanted to know was Harry’s wedding plans), Neville, even…Mum’s sympathetic, but quite proud that she’s managing. I wish I had half her strength. My eyes are only for Hermione.
I’ve been on a couple of dates since Hermione started going out with Harry, but none of them went that well. The date with Luna was an absolute nightmare, her dreamy voice beginning to seriously get on my nerves to the point that I even wanted to strangle her, but the date with Parvati was even worse. Parvati! What was I thinking? She’s still best friends with Lavender, even after being out of Hogwarts for at least five years now, and I’m sure she just wanted to go out with me so she could report to Lavender that my snogging techniques were as good as Lavender had probably bragged. Merlin. Some people. And the worse part is, my last good snog probably was with Lavender, when I was barely seventeen…wow. That is embarrassing to admit.
I suppose I should have seen it coming before I fell for Hermione. I mean, Harry’s the hero, Hermione’s probably the heroine (don’t mention that little fact to Ginny; she’d freak). They’re supposed to end up together-right?
It’s torture being in Harry and Hermione’s presence these days. Not that it wasn’t before-what, with them constantly being physical and ignoring me completely (not that physical. Don’t remind me that they’re living together now. Bad thoughts), but it’s even worse now! Wedding this and wedding that…I might as well not be Best Man, for as little as they mention or pay attention to me. I’ve been avoiding them for the last week. Got my suit, got my girl to walk down the aisle (my sister. How lame is that? She’s Maid of Honor)…I’m dreading facing them tomorrow, at the rehearsal dinner. Really dreading it.
But as it turns out, I don’t have the luxury of avoiding Harry and Hermione until tomorrow. Hermione ends up calling me (she’s the one who made me get a phone), with some pre-wedding jitters. “One of the bridesmaids got sick. Ron, I don’t know what to do! Harry’s occupied with other things and I can’t get in touch with Ginny…”
Stay calm, Ron, stay calm, I tell myself. She doesn’t need to know how much of an affect her voice is having on you. “Isn’t there-anything you can do? Like, I don’t know, cut one of the men out or something?” It’s lame, I know, but I don’t know what else to tell her. Remember, this is Hermione asking me what to do, of all people-the person I copied homework from in school; the person I usually ask for help.
“It’s okay, I’m sure there’s another thing you could do,” I say quickly, as Hermione begins to complain that she can’t do that, she already got his hopes up. “Why don’t you…have one bridesmaid walk two men down the aisle or something? Or-or, I dunno, get another bridesmaid?”
She’s still irritated, but Merlin, even when she’s irritated, she’s beautiful. I can just imagine her cheeks more flushed than normal, looking wonderful with her brown hair. “But that’s the problem, I don’t know who-oh, never mind Ron! I’ll just ask Harry what I should do.” Click. I put the phone down.
“Well, you do that!” I want to shout into the phone. “You do that! See if I care.” Harry probably will help her and she’ll forget she ever asked me, kissing him fondly and leading him into her…
Lay off, Ron. Don’t think about it. It’s bad enough to think about them snogging, not to mention anything else. Does anyone wait till marriage these days?! Well, except for me. Not that I would, probably, but that’s the way it’s going to be, at least at this rate anyway. Wait. What am I talking about? I’m not going to wait till marriage, because I’m not even getting married. Sorry, Mum. I just don’t think it’s gonna happen.
I’ve been obsessed with muggle T.V. lately; it’s rather addicting, really. I don’t know why we don’t have anything like that in the Wizarding World; it’d sure be easier to see Quidditch games that way, without getting tickets. Well anyway, after pondering the curiosities of how muggles created it, I ended up getting my own T.V. and I watch it whenever I need the biggest distraction. There’s this one show I really like-Hermione would too, I’m sure, it’s really sophisticated-where this guy is in love with this girl, only he doesn’t tell her until the day before her wedding night. He’s not really like me-too prissy, and he doesn’t like sports or anything-but I can really relate with him not being able to pluck up the courage to tell his girl how he feels about her. Well, you know what happens-he tells her and it turns out she’s been fighting her own feelings for him, they share a good snog, she decides they can’t be together, they end up running off together anyways…you know the rest. They even get married themselves! If I had one wish, it would be that my story could end up as happily. Sometimes, it’s hard to watch that show; as sweet as it can be at times, I’m rather jealous of that guy, for his story coming together so happily. Get that-I’m jealous of a fictional character! Well, it’s not that strange, I guess. No stranger than me being jealous of my best mate.
Finally, I decide to go to Ginny. I’m sure she’s not any happier than I am, so I decide to go check on her. Besides, I need some “Ginny” support.
Ginny lives in a flat in London, right in the middle of the city. City life has always appealed to her. Though I’m farther away, it only takes a few seconds for me to apparate and then I’m there.
Ginny sighs when she sees me. Though I’m definitely not as bad as Fred and George are, it can get annoying with me to constantly apparating in on her, out of thin air. I know I walked in on a bad moment, too-I can see that her eyes are slightly swollen from crying. She really is getting better, is slowly getting over Harry, but it’s gotta be hard to ignore the feelings she’s had for him for at least twelve years.
“Are you feeling all right?” I ask her, and she nods slowly. I can tell she definitely isn’t, because Ginny cries so infrequently. She rolls her eyes as I raise my eyebrows at her.
“I’m fine, Ron. As fine as I can be, anyway. I just-well, I’m just mad at both of them right now. For betraying both of us.”
I raise my eyebrows once again at the mention of “us”.
“Oh, come on, Ron,” Ginny snaps impatiently, seeing my eyebrows raised. “It’s pathetically obvious that you’ve been in love with Hermione for practically as long as I’ve been in love with Harry! The only difference is that you refuse to tell her how you feel.”
My blood runs cold. It is the first time Ginny has pointed out my feelings for Hermione in the open. I mean, like I said, I’ve always known how she felt-but she’s never said it aloud, at least not before.
“What-what makes you so sure of that?” I ask her, but Ginny snorts as my ears turn red. Damn her for being my sister. She knows me too bloody darn well.
“Come on, Ronald,” she says, empathizing my full name, “don’t try to deny it. I have eyes-it’s plainly obvious how lovesick you are whenever Harry and Hermione walk into the room.” Seeing the expression on my face, she quickly adds, “Don’t worry. It’s only obvious to me because I’m sure I look the same way whenever I see them.”
“Yeah, you do,” I mutter, wondering how red my ears are right now. She does look pretty lovesick whenever they walk into a room together; damn. Do I really look like that too?
She throws me a look, reminding me why she’s my annoying, feisty little sister. “Whatever. But Ron, I still think you should at least talk to Hermione or something. If you don’t take your chance now, you’ll never get it.”
I stare at her. “Ginny, are you crazy? She’s bloody in love with Harry, I can’t tell her that! She’ll-she’ll just reject me, so what’s the point?”
“The point is that you tried and maybe she was only waiting for you to make the first move!” Ginny is shouting now, crying, and suddenly I know why she’s bugging me to do this. It’s because of causes of her own.
“You just want Harry back,” I accuse, and suddenly I’m mad, furious, at what my little sister is trying to do. It’s none of her business if I prefer not to be rejected by Hermione. It’s not like Harry didn’t try to console Ginny when it happened-telling her he was sorry, but for him it was just a teenage fling. No, I’ve seen what confronting someone will no doubt put me through-Hermione did try to make sure I was okay with her being with Harry and all, but I easily denied any harsh feelings, and she relaxed. She was just being nice-she probably didn’t suspect I had any bad feelings or anything. If Ginny wants Harry so much, she should talk to him again; she shouldn’t force everything on me.
“Of course I do!” Ginny exclaims and now she is crying even harder. “Of course I want him back; wouldn’t you kill to make Hermione your own? If you do it, we’ll both be happy-both of us, with the loves of our lives! Darn it, this nightmare has been going on for too long-I just want to wake up.”
I watch Ginny awkwardly for a few moments, but I am not nearly as awkward as I was as a teenager. I am better at comforting people now. “Ginny,” I say sadly, “I know. I just want to wake up too, but it’s not going to happen. They’re in love, they really are; I can see it. I don’t want to ruin their happiness by telling them about us.”
Ginny looks at me as though she’s going to make a retort, but finally she closes her mouth, and shakes her head. “I know,” she says, equally sad. “I know that, Ron. It’s just that sometimes I can’t help hoping that there was a way we could get out of this together.”
I know my little sister is right.
Before I drift off to sleep I remember that tomorrow will be another day of torture and misery. I wonder how many other days like this I have to look forward to after Harry and Hermione get married. I wonder how Ginny is feeling.
I turn on the muggle T.V. and watch my favorite show. Just my luck, but today happens to be a romantic episode between that bloke and the girl he confessed his feelings for before her wedding day. Another reason to be jealous of a fictional character.
I lay there in bed, staring at the T.V. Two days from now, Harry and Hermione will be married. The beautiful girl who I’ve loved since probably at least Fourth Year, will be married to someone else. No doubt Harry and Hermione will have a family together, and their children will see me as nothing more than their parents’ friend, Ron. Wait-that’s practically all I’ve ever been seen as. Why is it bugging me now?
I wonder if Harry loves Hermione as much as I do. I know I’ve loved her for longer. How can he possibly? Does he love ever little detail about her like I do-even her fiery temper? Is he as exciting for her as I am-since Hermione and I both have such a good time arguing sometimes? Maybe that’s why Hermione’s with Harry in the first place. It’s less dangerous to be with someone sane and calm, than to risk they might get into a relationship with a lot of arguing.
I watch as the characters share a snog on my show and look up at my ceiling. I wish I could put all this behind me. I wish I didn’t love Hermione so much and I wish Harry and I weren’t as good friends as we are. I wish a lot of things. Most of all though, I wish I had gotten up the courage to admit my feelings to Hermione before it was too late. Because I know for sure I would have felt a lot better if I’d only tried to admit my feelings. After all, how could I feel worse than I do now?
As I close my light, I say a silent prayer. Let Harry and Hermione and mum and dad and everyone else be all right. And let Ginny and I not grieve too much and get through his hell we’re living in.
Sometimes dreams come true. Sometimes it’s like that T.V. show and you end up marrying the love of your story. But most of the time, it’s not like that. You have to face a lot of heartbreaks before you find the “one”.
Except when you’re perfect, brave, heroic Harry Potter. But me? I’m just a normal person. I’m just the sidekick, the comic relief of Harry’s story. I have no real purpose. Every story needs a hero-but a sidekick? Why bother?
And with these thoughts in mind, that’s when I close my eyes and fall asleep.
Another stupid, depressing day gone.
By now, I’m bloody used to it.
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