Chapter 7 : Chapter Seven
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A/N: Some of you (very few of you, judging by the lack of review) may have noticed that the two one-shots I posted recently are a little…well, dark. This is intentional. Chapter 7, the chap you are about to read, is one of the fluffiest things I’ve ever written. And I’ve written some pretty fluffy stuff.
So, if this chap gives you a toothache, please check out “Ghosts in the Graveyard” or “I Will Wait”. Even if it doesn’t, please read and review them.
When I was six, my daddy taught me how to skate. And, well, I took to it like a duck to water. Since than, I’ve always loved skating.
At least, that’s what I tell Ronald. He seemed suspicious as to why I wanted to take him ice-skating on our first date, especially since it’s bitterly cold. The truth is, I overheard Hermione telling a co-worker that she and Viktor Krum were going there on Saturday. Hey, she’s the reason Won-Won and I broke up the first time! I couldn’t resist the opportunity to rub it in her face a little.
To make matters even better, Hermione is a terrible skater. Imagine! Something Little-Miss-Perfect-Granger can’t do. She’s trailing after Krum, who skates backwards, dragging Hermione along. Every time she falls, he scoops her up again with a laugh. Krum is actually pretty cute; too bad I can’t understand a word he says.
Ron and I are skating hand in gloved-hand. His nose is as red as his hair, and when I lean over to tease him about it, I notice that his ice-blue eyes are glued to Hermione and Krum. I swallow hard and break away from him.
“Watch this, Won-Won!” I managed a small figure eight, causing a few people skating by to stumble. I don’t care—Ron’s finally torn his gaze away from Granger and her unflattering cranberry pea coat. He smiles at me, and laughs when I curtsy. Hermione attempts to turn around, stumbles, and falls. Both Krum and Ron make to help her up. I can’t believe her! It’s obvious that Hermione deliberately fell on her fat ass to draw the attention back to herself. Finally, she regains her balance and she and Krum are off again, at a turtle’s pace. I perform a graceful pirouette and accidentally-on-purpose slide my right foot in front to Hermione. She trips and goes down hard on the ice, hands-first. “Whoops,” I say lightly, “Sorry, it was an—“
Before I can finish my sentence, Hermione grabs hold of my pant leg and yanks me down beside her. My knee slams into the ice, and pain shoots up my leg. “Whoops,” mutters Hermione, her face expressionless. I lean forward and grab two handfuls of her bushy brown hair. She shrieks and claws at my face like her disgusting cat, Crookshanks. When she finally manages to break free, she lunges at me, sinking her gloved fist into my stomach.
“Oof!” I grunt, smacking her rosy face in retaliation. Soon we’re rolling across the ice, a confused mass of fingernails and sharp elbows. Onlookers gape at us, but I’m not worried about what they think. I can feel my lower lip swelling, and I reel back to slap Hermione again. Someone grabs my hand. It’s Ron. He and Krum, who had been standing to the side with their mouths open like stuffed fish, have finally come to their senses and are dragging us apart. “Get off me! Won-Won!” I shout, and I can hear Hermione protesting as well a few feet away.
Ron leads me off the rink and sits me down hard on a bench. Krum and Hermione sit down as well, the bulky Bulgarian player creating a barrier between myself and my bushy brown nemesis.
“You…Sit…Here.” Ron addresses us both through clenched teeth. “I’ll go get some ice.” He marches off.
I lean forward and glare at Hermione. Krum mutters something that sounds threatening, and gently pushes me back into my seat. Ron returns with the ice momentarily, and presses it to my lip. I giggle and grin at him, hoping all is forgotten. Clearly, it is not.
“You should go,” he says quietly, but firmly.
“Please, Lavender. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”
I thrust out my swollen lip in a dramatic pout, muttering “She started it!” under my breath. Viktor says something to me but I’m not good with accents, so I don’t understand him. I just stalk out of there with my nose in the air, as if the bruise on my face were a badge of honor.
After Lavender marches off, I am left alone with Hermione and Vicky. The awkward silence stretches on and on until I finally break it by bending down and press the ice pack to Hermione’s rapidly swelling ankle. She winces in pain, but smiles at me. We blush. I don’t know what to say; why I am always such a prat when it comes to girls? “I haff Quidditch practice,” says Viktor, “Goodbye Ronald, Hermione.” Krum walks off without another word. For some reason he’s grinning--- oh no! Is Hermione going to deliver bad news.
Guess what Ron? Viktor and I are getting married! In two weeks! You’re not invited, we just thought you should know.
It’s gonna be great! The Honeymoon will be in Hawaii. We’re going to an all-inclusive resort with a hot tubs, champagne, and huge, sound-proof suites! Perfect for…well, you know. Ha ha!
“Ron? Are you alright?”
We’re going to move to Bulgaria and have lots of little smart, talented Qudditch players while you stay here and London and rot in a musty old bachelor pad until you finally decide that you want to move on and settle down but it’s hard because you don’t have any teeth left and you’re bald and fat and most women aren’t looking for—
“Ron!” Hermione bellows in my ear. “Have you heard a word I’ve said?”
“Whaaaa?” I mumble, sounding remarkably like Lavender does anytime Vicky says anything to her. “No, sorry, just sort of spaced out a little.” Hermione rolls her eyes.
“You were saying?”
“I was just saying that I was sorry.” Hermione blushes and stares at her skates.
“Oh…it’s fine. I’m—“ Hermione cuts me off.
“I don’t think you’re inferior to me. I think you’re a great wizard!”
“Yeah, thanks, and I’m—“
Hermione is babbling, her words tumbling over each other. “I’m glad that we’re friends. I like spending time with you. I like being around you. I like everything about you, really, and I’m in love with you.”
“Hermione!” I shout. “Will you shut up long enough for me to say I’m—“ Her words finally hit home, and the last bit of my sentence dribbles out like that nasty stuff Muggle babies eat, “Sorry.” Hermione nods, eyes still glued to her own feet. “Wait…what did you just say?”
“I’m in love with you,” she repeats, only she seems to have lost her nerve, so it comes out sounding like “Hi d'ovpu.”
Wow. Wow wow wow wow. WOW! I mean, bloody hell, I’ve been waiting for this moments for years. And now that it’s arrived, I can’t think of a single thing to say. My brain seems to have been replaced by “dead flies and bits of fluff”, like in the Hogwarts song.
Just say it! I tell myself. It’s only four little words. Say it before this silence stretches on any longer! Say it before the girls of your dreams goes running back to Krum! Say it: I LOVE YOU TOO.
“Ron?” There are tears in Hermione’s eyes. Great; another magical moment I’ve screwed up.
I open my mouth but nothing comes out…
Instead, I lean forward and kiss her.
Okay, that works too.
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