Chapter 7 : Chapter Seven: Shock
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I slowly turn around and standing in front of me, having just walked out of Weasley Wizard Wheezes, was Ron.
I blink twice, in complete and total shock.
He couldn’t be here. He was in Scotland.
I was surely hallucinating; my price for thinking of Him too much.
“Hermione, wow.” The hallucination says softly, “it really is you.”
I drop my bag of Quills and my purse and take a tentative step forward. He looks so solid…
Ron, or my mind’s picture of him, had changed. He was, if possible, taller. His nose more freckled. His trademarked hair fell over the tops of his ears and covered his eyebrows, but not those eyes. His blue eyes, the ones that had haunted my dreams, stared back at me. Those eyes almost convinced me that he really was there; those eyes couldn’t lie.
He smiled that lopsided smile as I continued to inch towards him.
Finally, I’m standing in front of him. I reach me right hand up slowly and place it on his cheek. His face was warm and he smiled even wider as I touched his cheek.
It was there.
He was real.
Ron was really standing in front of me. So much for forgetting him.
But what the hell was his problem? Did he think he could just approach me after three years in the middle of Diagon Alley? Did he sodding know what he did to me?
I withdrew my hand with lightening speed and began to pound on his chest with both of my hands, “What – is – your – problem!” I yell with each blow to his hard chest, “You – think – that – you – can – just – come – and –” his shock had worn off and he trapped my small wrists in his mighty hands.
“Hermione! Wait, let me…” he looked from my fierce eyes to my hand as something caught the sun and reflected it into his eyes.
His face fell, a mixture of hurt and anger shown in his eyes as he stared at my engagement and wedding rings.
Now would be a really good time to insert a long string of curse words. Well, at least I didn’t have to tell him…
He dropped my right wrist and brought his second hand to my left one. He straightened out my fingers, still staring at the ring; taking it in.
Then he released this hurt-filled face on me. He looked into my eyes, “I – I…” I struggled to find the words as a bell dinged in the background.
Apparently today was Hell Day #2 for Hermione, because at that moment, I registered my husbands voice calling out to me. I pulled my hand away from Ron’s with strength I didn’t know I had and turned as I took a giant step away from Him.
Viktor was practically running towards me; I bet the only reason he wasn’t running was because he was still carrying a sleeping Teddy, “Hermione, I heard yelling, are you okay?” he said to me. The fierceness of his voice did not go unnoticed.
I don’t know how many times I opened my mouth and closed it before I spoke, “I’m fine.”
I glanced back at Ron and saw that he was staring at, much to my surprise not Viktor but Teddy. Well, I guess it’s been a while since Ron had seen Teddy, but I guess I thought he’d be staring at my husband. I blushed as I realized how narcissistic I was being.
“Oh,” Viktor said.
I twisted my hands as I stood awkwardly in place. I glanced up at Ron, he looked mad. I noticed that he and Viktor had now connected glares.
“Did you get what you needed?” I asked trying to break the tension.
“No, They don’t have what I need here, they won’t get the kit in until tomorrow,” Viktor said, looking at me and readjusting Teddy. He whined in his sleep and Viktor instinctively rubbed his back. Ron glared at them.
“Oh,” I said, “er… you remember Ron?” I asked stupidly.
Viktor nodded to acknowledge him, and Ron nodded curtly back.
“I have go,” Ron said as he looked at me one more time before turning on his heel and strode away, hands in fists at his sides.
He walked away from me, again. Ironically, this was over the same subject, too: marriage. I looked up at Viktor, “I guess we should be going.” I said, my voice cracked and I tried to cover it up with a smile. I don’t think it worked. Viktor looked from my face to the retreating figure, “Go talk to him.” He sighed, trying to hide the hurt that was apparent in his eyes. Had I mentioned that I hated this?
“Viktor, it’s okay, really,” I mutter.
He shakes his head, “You have to do it or else this will never work,” he says seriously. I know that by ‘this’ he means our marriage. And that hurts not only him, but also me. I didn’t want to hurt Viktor, but I really did want to go talk to Ron, to explain. But I was afraid that if I ran and caught up with Him that it would be the opposite of what Viktor had said. That if I talked to Ron, my marriage wouldn’t work out.
As much as that idea of hurting Viktor and possibly destroying my marriage terrified me, the pull of explaining myself to Ron; of looking into those eyes at least one more time, was stronger. I was fairly sure that my will power would crumble, but I couldn’t help it.
I nodded to my husband and he said, “Meet you at home.”
I watched as he carefully bent over, took my Quill bag but left my purse and began to walk the other direction.
I watched as the two men in my life went opposite ways, and with unsettling ease I grabbed my purse and followed the one that was not my husband.
“Ron!” I called to him, his name coming to my lips easily for the first time in a long time.
He kept walking as if he hadn’t heard me, but I was sure he had.
“Ron!” I call, louder. Still nothing, “please!” I try. There is a frantic sound in my voice as I realize that this was exactly what I had done and said that horrible night nearly three years ago.
Maybe he realized that, too, and that’s what made him stop. I felt relief wash through me as I continued to run towards him. He stood still, not turning around and not moving. But this was already better than That Night, he had stopped this time.
I step around him so that we are face to face, “Ron,” I breathe. I’m a bit out of breath from my little run, and I’m sure my cheeks were a bit flushed. He doesn’t say anything. Just looks at me.
“I can explain,” I tell him lamely. He looks at me in disbelief, then shakes his head slightly and looks away. After knowing him for so long, I could see right past what was supposed to be his emotionless face to the hurt and anger that he was really feeling. Ron had always denied that I could read him like a book, but I think that he knew it was true.
After a moment of silence in which I gather all my crazy thoughts, I spill, “You left me,” I accuse him, looking pleadingly into his eyes, my voice soft, “you weren’t here! You left even after you promised!” I order my eyes that under no condition are they to tear up. I don’t think that they’ll listen.
What I had said was true, after he left when we were searching for Horcruxes and then came back, one of the conditions under which I had forgiven him was that he had promised me. “I’ll never leave you again,” he had told me, “I promise.” Then he had hugged me.
“That’s not fair, ‘Mione,” I hear him whisper. My heart does this weird thing when he says my name; well, the name that he has for me. Sure, Ginny and my parents call me “‘Mione” but Ron said it best. Viktor never calls me “‘Mione,” and if he did, the name wouldn’t fit coming from him.
I struggle to respond to that, as my brain had basically shut off, “Y-yes it is! Any way you look at it, you broke your promise.” I manage.
He narrows his eyes, “Fine, I broke a promise!” he shoots at me, “I broke a bloody promise so you went out and made a huge one to Krum!”
I didn’t say anything; I looked at the ground.
“You got married!” he practically yells, “how long did you wait? Did you say ‘no’ to me then run off to marry and shag him? I mean you had to have done it pretty quickly in order to have a what, four-year-old baby?”
I blinked, what had he just said? A baby? My brain turned in circles then it clicked, Teddy looked like Viktor and I. But even so, what he was implying was ridiculous. Didn’t he know how much I love… loved him? I angrily set my jaw and meet his gaze, “Ron, you are so sodding thick!” I told him, “first of all, that’s not my baby, it’s Teddy! Remember him? I know you might not, as you haven’t been back in three years but remember that he’s a metamorphous?”
I paused as comprehension hit him. I rolled my eyes and crossed my arms over my chest. But what if that had been my baby? I shudder inwardly at the thought. Only because I wasn’t ready for a baby. I wouldn’t want to put a child in a home that wasn’t completely filled with love; love that was the same both ways.
“Still!” he said pulling me from my thoughts, “you’re married to him.” He accused.
“Well spotted!” I said sarcastically raising my left and wiggling my fingers.
“Don’t you get all mad at me! You’re the one that started this conversation!” he growled.
My anger was replaced with a bit of hurt, “Well, sorry,” I muttered back somewhat angrily, “I’ll just go, then.”
I attempted to step past him, but he caught my shoulder and pushed me back to my original spot, “Wait.” He ordered.
I looked right at him, “Why? What do you want me to do, Ronald?” I challenge… loudly.
“I want you to explain to me why the hell you married that git one second after you said ‘no’ to me. Were we all a joke to you, Hermione?” he yells back.
So we were having this out in the middle of Diagon Alley, a very public place. Fan-bloody-tastic.
“I didn’t say no, Ron!” I’m not yelling anymore, but I’m pretty close, “I only told you that I couldn’t leave my family then you pulled an ultimatum and left. What was I supposed to do?”
“You could have said ‘yes!’” he pointed out.
I scoffed, “Because I’ve always been so spontaneous!”
“How was my proposing a year after we’d officially been dating ‘spontaneous?’ But even if it was, you could have done something! You could have told me that you didn’t want me to go, or I don’t know!” He says, his anger rising, “I guess ‘we’ weren’t important enough.”
Is. He. Serious. That was below the belt. He should know how important he is…was to me.
I throw my hands up, “I did chase after you that night, Ron! I called for you but you didn’t listen! You left me, Ron, not the other way around,” I end up yelling, my eyes disobeying my command as tears poured down my face, “So don’t act like this is my fault. I married Viktor because he was there. He, unlike you, has always been there for me.” And, to my relief, I mean those words. I really am grateful that Viktor was always there. I know that was one of the main reasons I married him.
We looked at each other for a long moment, I finally shake my head at him, tears still leaking out of my eyes, then turn on the spot and was gone. I apparated into Ginny’s flat.
“Ginny!” I called. It was then that I realized that she wasn’t here; we were watching Teddy. I sank to the floor and folded my head into my hands. How could he think that I just got over him like that? How could he even imply that I had been even thinking about anyone else after he did that to me? I sob into my hands, out of anger and frustration and sadness, for what seems like the millionth time this week.
“Hermione?” I lift my head and see Harry at the top of the steps looking a bit frightened. Well, I can’t blame him, he had just walked on me sobbing on the floor of his flat.
I hastily wipe away my tears, “Sorry, I came to talk to Ginny, then I remembered…” I trailed off.
“Oh, I just had to get something for the office,” he holds up a small bag in his hand as he walks down the stairs. He sets it on a nearby table, “Are you okay?” he asks.
I start to nod, but then I shake my head, “No,” I whisper.
“Wh-what’s wrong?” He asks as he sits on the floor beside me. I could tell that this was not a comfortable place for Harry to be, even if I had been his friend forever, but it made me feel good that he was trying.
And, hell, I needed to talk to someone or I would explode and Harry was the only one besides Ginny that I would talk to about this, as I was a bit angry with the Weasleys at the moment and even if I wasn’t I think this conversation would be a bit biased.
“Oh, Harry!” I sob as he takes me in his arms, “He was there! He knows I’m married! He thinks… he thinks…” I say before I just start sobbing.
Harry pats my back awkwardly. Well, I don’t know if he did it awkwardly, but I can guess, “Who?” he asks.
Men are so thick! “Ron!”
The patting stops abruptly, “You ran into Ron? He’s back?” he asks.
I nod into his chest, “He saw me with Viktor.”
“He knows,” Harry repeated, “I’m guessing you two rowed?”
I nod again, “It was horrible!” I sob, “Viktor was so great, after Ron walked away, he told me to go talk to him,” I explain trying to stop crying, “so I did and we rowed and He broke his promise, Harry!”
Harry just pats my back again. I’m sure he doesn’t know what to do, Ginny very rarely gets upset so it’s basically only me that he has to ever deal with.
“So then you apparated here?” Harry asks.
I nod again.
We sit, on the floor behind the couch, in silence for a while. Harry giving me time to compose myself.
“HARRY!” I hear someone suddenly bellow from the other side of the couch I was behind. A very familiar loud voice.
Harry’s eyes widened in horror as I jumped up. He followed but his incredible Seeker speed was nothing to mine when I was this angry.
“NO!” I yell stomping around the couch to see Ron stepping out of the fire as the flames change back to the normal orange, “this is my place! You can’t be here!” I yell at him tears pouring down my face, again.
Harry and Ginny’s flat was my safe haven, and dammit, Ron was not going to screw that up. He could go somewhere else: the Burrow, George’s shop, Shell Cottage, anywhere! I had nowhere else! I couldn’t go home like this! Here is where I come when I need to talk or vent or cry about something and Ron could not. sodding. be. here!
“What’re you doing he–” Ron starts as I advance on him.
“Leave!” I cry, “I’m trying to get away from you!” I push my hands against his chest, not expecting to do anything to his tall, muscular figure.
Unfortunately for me, Ron was already off balance so my push sent him falling backwards. I watching in absolute horror as he threw his hand behind him to catch himself and said hand landed in the fire with a sickening snap.
My hands flew to cover my mouth as Harry jumped over the couch and pulled Ron’s torso upwards to get his hand out of the fire. Ron didn’t say anything, he just stared at his hand that was now angled a weird way and incredibly red.
And then I was on my knees, still in shock about what I had done. I tasted the tears that were running down my face and onto my hands that still covered my mouth. Harry carefully grabbed Ron’s elbow and examined the damage. The damage that I had done. To Ron.
“We need to get you to St. Mungo’s,” Harry told him.
Ron wasn’t looking at his hand anymore, from about a second after Harry had pulled him away from the fireplace, he’d been staring at me. He was still doing so as he nodded in response to Harry’s question.
The last thing I saw was his face a second before they apparated away. And though I’ll remember that look forever, it was one of the only times that I had no clue what He was feeling.
A/N: Okay, so another little cliffhanger. Sorry about that. But look on the bright side, I updated quickly!
But, other than that, THANK YOU! I am awed about the reveiws that you guys leave me, they make me feel sooo happy and awesome and in the mood to update! haha. But really, thanks so much. You don't even know how grateful I am. =]
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