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Chapter 21 : Firmness, Disbelief and Amazement
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Really get you down
“Now you listen here, Hermione Granger,” Ginny said firmly, leaning towards me and prising my hands away from my face and revealing rather tear-stained and puffy eyes, “You are not running away from this, ok, this is Ron’s mess, not yours. Now, I know it’s hard, but you can’t give that vile cow the satisfaction of seeing you leave behind all your friends and family, the people that you love and the people that love you, all because of her. She is bitter, and selfish, and not who Ron really wants. He’s just too stupid to see the great person he’s got right in front of him.”
“Ron doesn’t love me,” I spat, glaring at a picture hanging on the wall of us laughing together. Looking away as my heart squeezed so hard I thought it was going to burst, I continued, “He hates me. Why would he do this to me otherwise?”
“Because he’s a git and because he’s afraid.”
“Afraid of what?! That I might not enjoy his company anymore if he doesn’t reduce me to tears nearly every time we’re together?!”
“No. He’s afraid that you’ll reject him.”
“What?! Reject him?! Shouldn’t I be the one afraid of that? I mean, it’s not like he hasn’t done it before! Why would-”
“Oh, what, no, I didn’t mean-”
“You’ve made a move on Ron?! When?!”
Oh, crap, oh crap, oh crap!
“No! No, I didn’t, it wasn’t-I mean, we-it-”
“Hermione, shut up and tell me the truth! Has something happened between the two of you?!”
“Ok!! Ok, I’ll tell you!”
And so I told her about mine and Ron’s tiny little liaison after the war had ended, and what I witnessed at Number 12, Grimmauld Place.
“… And so there you have it. Ronald Weasley rejected me. Are you happy now?”
Ginny looked absolutely gobsmacked.
“He didn’t…” she whispered disbelievingly, her eyes wide. “He-he wouldn’t! Not to you! Not to anyone!”
“Well, he did. I pretty much managed to piece my heart back together, but I have a feeling that he may have taken some too, so my heart is a bit on the broken side, to say the least.”
“That two-timing little git! Ooh, when I get my hands on him, he’s going to wish he was never born!”
“No, Ginny, don’t!” I said, panicking. “Please, please, don’t! You’re the first person I’ve ever told about this, and if he knew that you knew… Ginny, I’m begging you. If it got out… what happened… I could never live it down. Ginny, please!”
Ginny gave me a hard look, but then nodded her head.
“Ok, I promise I won’t say anything-”
“Or do anything!” I cut in.
“Or… do anything… too bad.”
“Ginny! No, you can’t!”
“Look, I’m sorry, Hermione, but he deserves some punishment for what’s he’s done to you! I won’t make it obvious, and he’ll never know about what you’ve told me, but he doesn’t deserve to get off scot-free.”
Sighing, but knowing that this was probably going to be the best I’d get from her, I nodded.
“Alright, fine. I should go and get ready,” I sighed, getting up and heading for the door.
“Ok,” nodded Ginny, “I’ll wait here.”
Just as I reached the door, I turned around and said to Ginny, “I… I love him so much, Gin. And he’ll never know.”
Ginny smiled sadly at me, and I continued out of the door, wiping away the fresh tears that were sliding down my cheeks.
I wandered back downstairs, rucksack in hand, around fifteen minutes later, and was met with the sight of Ginny’s confused face.
“I know you said you were going to get ready,” she said, her brow furrowed, “But I didn’t realise you meant ready to leave! Where on earth do you think you’re going?!”
I stared at her, slightly taken aback.
“Well, Harry, Ron and I are following a lead about the Draco Malfoy case…” I began, but got no further, because Ginny screamed, “What?!”
“Er…” I stammered, realising I’d made a major faux pas. “Harry didn’t tell you?”
“Harry didn’t tell you what?” said a voice from in the hallway.
Ginny span around and rushed out to meet her soon-to-be-dead husband.
Following her out, my ears were assaulted by her hysterical yell of, “You’re going away?! When? Why? How?!”
“Erm, ‘how’…?” asked Harry uncertainly, backing away from his wife.
“Yes, ‘how’,” growled Ginny, advancing on him. “How did I not know about this?!”
“Look, Gin, it was just a last minute thing! Even Ron and Hermione didn’t know about it until about an hour ago!”
“Well that was a damn-sight earlier than me! We’re supposed to be visiting your brother tomorrow!”
“I know, Gin,” said Harry, looking nervous, but determined. “But this is really important!”
“And your family isn’t?” cried Ginny, looking close to tears.
“Ginny, listen to me,” said Harry, as calmly as he could. “This mission shouldn’t take any longer than a couple of days, and if it does, I promise you, I will take an entire week off work and spend it doing whatever you want.”
Ginny looked like she wanted to say more, but was distracted by the door opening, smacking Harry in the back.
“What the…?” said Ron’s voice, as he tried to get through the door.
“Ow!” said Harry, moving out of the way, and glaring at Ron in a ‘you’ve-just-saved-my-life’ kind of way.
“Woops, sorry mate,” said Ron, shutting the door behind him.
Catching sight of Ginny’s monstrous expression, and Harry’s anxious demeanour, he cleared his throat, and said gruffly, “Er, I’ll be upstairs…”
“Me too!” I squeaked, cursing myself instantly for having said such a stupid thing.
Now I had to spend time with Ron!
Harry, Ron and Ginny all looked at me in some surprise.
Bowing my head, I rushed past them and up the stairs, and quickly ran into my room, where I hastily slammed the door shut, and slid down it as I got my breath back.
Days away with just Harry and Ron for company?!
Oh, I am destined to lose all of my hair.
Don’t get me wrong – I love my friends more than anything in the world (excluding my parents), but, well…
Harry will be on a huge power-trip, because it’s been years since we’ve had a good mystery to solve.
And Ron will be… well… being Ron, I suppose.
And I would much rather cope with the former, rather than the latter, thank you very much!
A creak on the landing and a knock at the door caused me to emit a little squeak and jump up.
Staring apprehensively at the door, I prayed that it wouldn’t be-
“It’s Ron! Open up!”
Sighing slightly, I walked over to the door and opened it.
“It wasn’t locked,” I said disdainfully, as I headed over to my bed and furtively straightened the covers on it.
“Yeah, I know,” replied Ron, loftily, “I just didn’t want to injure anyone else today, that’s all.”
“In all fairness, I think Harry was relieved that you did,” I couldn’t help but smile, as I turned round to face him. “Harry is such a dead man.”
“Oh, I know,” grinned Ron, walking towards where I was standing. “Sod Voldemort; Ginny’s the real danger!”
“So, so true. Maybe the bat-bogey hex will make a come-back!”
Ron laughed too, and I felt my heart flutter.
Oh, why is everything so complicated?!
As Ron drew closer to me, I couldn’t help but notice all the cute little freckles on his face, and how alive his eyes were when he smiled.
Ron was now towering over me, and I could feel my palms getting sweaty.
He wasn’t going to kiss me, was he?!
“Hermione… I-I’m sorry… for everything…” he said softly, his face inches away from mine.
As my heart began to beat as loudly as twenty bass drums, I couldn’t help but think that maybe everything was going to work out after all.
As his lips inched ever closer to mine, I found some invisible force pulling me closer to him, and my arms wrapped themselves around his neck of their own accord, just as his lips met mine…
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