Chapter 5 : Cause and Effect
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“Seeing as you hate my brother so much, I decided to sign you up for a game show called the perfect match.” Ginny said again.
“Oh my god, Ginny, how could you! I can't go onto a game show... it's against every single one of my principles!”
“Hermione, if you are going to get married and get me nieces and nephews before I'm 81 then you'll need to be getting the perfect match about NOW!” Ginny said. “And if you're stuck on my brother, that isn't going to happen.”
Hermione, as panicked as she was, completely failed to realize that if she gave Ginny nieces and nephews it would have to be with Ron because Hermione was in no way related to Ginny. She also failed to note that Ginny had plenty of opportunities to have nieces and nephews, as she came from an abnormally large family. However, Hermione, so caught up in the thought of going on a game show (oh, the horrors!) did not notice these facts, making Ginny immensely relieved and able to move on.
“I'm not going on a game show.” Hermione said. “That is that.”
“Okay... listen Hermione. At the end of the game if you haven't fallen in love with Ron again, I won't get married at just-barely-20 years old.” Ginny said craftily.
“Wha... fine. It's a deal.” Hermione said. “Wait- I thought the wedding was planned for before the end of the show?”
“Hermione just let me get married to the man I love for merlin's sake! I'm overage and I can make my own decisions!” Ginny roared.
“Fine.” Hermione said. “But I will not go on the game show.”
“Hermione... I swear I will do anything just please do the game show! You're already in!” Ginny pleaded.
Hermione took one look at Ginny's face and told her,
“MERLIN'S PANTS!” Ron bellowed as soon as Harry told him the news. Harry nearly fell down at the yell.
“Harry, I don't have time for this. I need to win Hermione back! Don't you get it?”
“Yes, er, here's the thing. Ginny and I kind of fixed the results. You and Hermione are the perfect match because of our answers so you'll have to go on dates with Hermione.”
“Oh god.” Ron said, turning pale.
“You'll also be sort of a special edition of the show because usually the people don't know each other before-hand.”
“Merlin. Harry, I can't date Hermione on a game show!” Ron said, growing more panicked by the second.
“Why not?” Harry asked defensively.
“Because... because then everything I say and do will be on camera. It will be mortifying!” Ron exclaimed. “What if I say something wrong... what if there's spinach in my teeth! What if I kiss Hermione and it looks all sloppy?!”
“On the off-chance Hermione will actually let you near enough to her to kiss her, I think the cameras can neaten it up a bit.” Harry said helpfully.
Ron sat on the bed, put his head in his hands and groaned.
“Everybody is going to know who I am!”
“Everyone already knows who you are. Remember, you're apart of the Golden Trio!” Harry said sarcastically, a smile playing at his lips.
“Don't remind me.” Ron said warningly. Harry patted him on the back.
“It'll be okay. Hey, there're worse things in life, mate.”
“Like what.” Ron asked, deadpan.
“Like the fact that Ginny and I are getting married a week after her 20th birthday.” Harry said. Ron looked up at him, shocked, then said,
“Merlin help me. This must be a really bad dream. And when I wake up I'll still be together with Hermione, I'll have never heard of a game show called 'The Perfect Match', and you and Ginny will be broken up and far, far away from each other.”
And just to prove his point, Ron grabbed a sturdy looking vase and banged it over his head, promptly knocking himself out.
“I'll take that as a yes.” Harry said, grinning and rushing out of the room to go tell Ginny.
Hermione walked confidently into the corner store, the one where she did all her shopping. Despite the name 'The Corner Store', it was actually a rather large store, but in a discreet location so only the locals could find it. The cashiers knew every single person that walked into the store, and vise versa. Meaning they knew both Hermione and Ron, but had yet to find out they were broken up. Which was why Hermione had literally been living on bread and water for the last 3 days. She had been putting off going to the store for so long she had absolutely run out of food, and she was stuck with the bare essentials. But now, she couldn't hold off any longer. So, making her first public outing as a single woman would have to be to the store, and Hermione was determined to make a good impression.
“Hello, Hermione!” smiled Riley, the manager of the store, who had always had a crush on her. Now that she was single, Hermione found herself thinking the Riley was sort of cute in a nerdy sort of way. But he was nothing compared to Ron.
No, No! NO! Hermione couldn't compare every man she saw to Ron! Sure, Ron had been the perfect man after the war, but he had changed. He wasn't the same Ron anymore and they weren't together. Hermione was moving on, whether she wanted to or not.
After she smiled flirtatiously at Riley, Hermione walked over to the refrigerator section, thinking that maybe she should find a man that was almost the exact opposite of Ron instead of someone like him. Maybe it was best to completely clear him from her system. But then... she'd never really found herself attracted to any man quite the way she was attracted to Ron. Sure, she thought they might have good looks, sure she sort of liked Victor Krum, but when it all came down to it, she really never loved anybody as much (or as long) as she loved Ron. So should she find someone just like him? It struck Hermione then that Ron was one-of-a-kind and she probably couldn't find him anywhere else, causing her to reach into the store's fridge and pull out a box of triple chocolate ice cream.
“Triple chocolate ice cream. You only eat that when you're upset.” Hermione closed her eyes at the sound of his voice, then, remembering her charade of a happy, confident woman, started striding down the isle.
“For example,” Ron continued, “You ate 2 cartons when you were too sick to take your lawyers test, and you'd have to take the rain date.”
“Did I?” Hermione said airily. “I don't remember.”
“I do.” Ron said. “You ate 4 cartons and dipped each spoonful in your Nana's special fudge sauce when she died. You tried to watch old re-runs of 'Friends', but they were making you laugh instead of cry so you switched to 'The Notebook' and 'Moulin Rouge', during which you both laughed and cried. I came into our room and I held you during the sad parts. When it was over I asked you why you were watching muggle movies and you said 'Because sometimes, even though your future is full speed ahead, you need some things from your past to keep your feet on the ground and keep you sane, otherwise what is the point of the past or present?'”
Hermione had to stop listening to him; if she kept on she was going to cry, or worse, get back together with him.
“I don't have time for you, Weasley.” she stated coldly, pushing her cart into the produce section.
Ron drew in a sharp intake of breath at the sound of her saying his surname.
“Funny. I have all the time in the world for you.” he said, recovering.
“My mother warned me about men like you.” Hermione said, bending over and inspecting a apple. She drew up, looking Ron strait in the eye, being careful to melt on the inside and instead of the outside. “I just didn't listen.”
“And see where it got us.” Ron said, thinking of the happy, blissful times when they had been so in love and happy.
“Hmmm. It caused you to trash my home and cheat on me with some woman I don't even know.”
“No. The one time you didn't listen caused us 3 years of love and our perfect life.” Ron said, not bothering to tell her that they hadn't actually been together when the kissing incident happened.
“Perfection is overrated.” Hermione stated blandly.
“Hermione, why don't you get it? No one can or will ever know you as well as I do.”
“You don't know me at all.” Hermione told Ron. “If you did know me we wouldn't have gotten into this mess in the first place.” she grabbed a box of Wiz-O's and inspected the number of calories.
“You have a heart shaped scar on the side of your neck, almost invisible, from the time you cut your skin open with a cookie-cutter while making sugar cookies un supervised when you were 6 years old.”
“How do you know about that?” Hermione breathed.
“Because I used to kiss you there. It is your favorite place to be kissed, drives you crazy.”
“So what if you do know me!” Hermione screamed suddenly. Her hair seemed to be standing up on end as she whirled around to face Ron. “So what if you do know me?” she repeated. “So what if you loved me better then anyone has ever loved me in my whole life. You hurt me, Ron! You hurt me badly and I don't know if I can ever be repaired. I loved you. I was willing to give my life for you, and look how well you re payed me! You took to drinking just to prove to your mum that you could! You took to trashing our flat just to prove to everyone that you were a big boy. Well, yippee, good for you! But NOT in my flat! Not on my heart anymore. I'm DONE with guys like you. I am going to move on and I am going to be happy. I am going to completely forget that some stupid boy named Ronald Weasley was ever in my life. And if I can't forget, if I can't forget, maybe I'll keep it near to me so I won't make the same damn mistake again. I don't know. But what I do know is that you are just a minor speed bump in my life. I've found a different highway to drive on, Ron. Sorry. And now, I am going off in the world to look for a man, not a boy, to love me and marry me and father my children. I am going to find the perfect match. And, hey, maybe I'll never find anyone that I love as much as I loved you, operative word being loved, by the way. But you know what, I'll try damn hard. I will move on. I will forget you. And I really hope that you'll be happy proving to everyone that you're much more grown up then you ever were instead of focusing on having a relationship with someone who really, really, loved you.” Hermione said the last bit in a fit of tears. She turned her cart around and had just given in a extra hard push when she heard Ron's voice again.
“I HAVEN'T PICKED UP A DRINK SINCE YOU LEFT ME, HERMIONE GRANGER!” he bellowed. Hermione let out a manic laugh. She turned around, throwing her hands up in the air in a surrendering position.
“GOOD for you, Ron! Good for you!” then she left the store. Outside, her hands shaking, she took out her wand and called Ginny on it.
“Hello?” Ginny said.
“I'm in.” Hermione said, her anger still trapped in her voice. “I'll do the show.”
A/N: I love this chapter, it was one of my favorite chapters to write, one of the ones I'm most proud of, and one of my favorites I've written so far to read, just because of that one scene. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did and, since it's my birthday, can you please review and tell me what you think? They make my week, day, month... so thanks in advance. ~writergirl8
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