Chapter 9 : Blind As a Bat
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He walked over to a small table with a 'reserved for The Perfect Match' sign placed upon it and pulled Hermione's chair out for her. She glared at him and sat down in it, scooting it in herself before he could push it. Ron rolled his eyes. He was so bloody sick of Hermione's rude behavior, like it cost her physical pain just to look at him. He tried not to think about it. He instead looked around the place for a camera man, but found that he couldn't see one. How strange. Still, it was making him feel secure. Maybe the camera people weren't there yet. Maybe they wouldn't film the dates... but then what would be the point of the show? Ron himself had never watched 'The Perfect Match', but he pretty much got the gist of it. 'The Perfect Match' showed couples on their dates and what lead them to get together. There were a few couples on per season, but they never actually met up with each other. Ron also knew that some shows were live and some shows were not. This show, Colin had told him, was not live, because they had to add interviews in. Most of the live shows were the shows filmed in the studio.
A waiter walked over to the table and smiled at Hermione and at Ron.
“Good afternoon.” he said. “Can I get you anything to drink?”
“A firewhisky and lemonade, please. And a water.” Hermione said.
“Just a water, thanks.” Ron responded.
“Wonderful.” the waiter beamed. No doubt he knew who they were. Oh, joy.
They sat in silence until the waiter brought the drinks to them. Then, after a sip of his water, Ron asked the question that had been threatening to burst all day every time he talked to Harry, Ginny, Colin and now, Hermione.
“So.” Ron leaned toward Hermione. “Why are you doing the game show?”
Hermione didn't look at him. She was torn . Should she tell him that she was doing it because there was a chance she might still love him. Okay, that she did still love him but wouldn't admit it to anyone but herself, and the game show was so maybe she could learn to trust him and possibly for him to earn back the love that he had lost by kissing the model-like lady at Harry and Ginny's house.
“Ginny said she'd bat-bogey me into eternity if I didn't.” she responded dryly after a few moments, taking a sip of her drink.
Ron felt slightly disappointed, but didn't say anything.
“Why are you doing it?” Hermione asked, in a voice Ron couldn't decipher.
“Because I know you don't want to hear it, but I love you.”
“No, I don't want to hear it, so save it, will you?” Hermione said angrily. She furiously wiped a tear away from the corner of her eye and stirred her straw.
“How's work?” Ron asked.
Hermione's eyes zoomed left, right, then to Ron. She could be annoyed, she could act like a bitch, or she could be relax and show Ron exactly what he was missing. Relax, Hermione, She told herself. It's just a date. You've been on plenty of them before, and no doubt you'll be on many more in the future. She laughed.
“Did you really just ask me that?”
“It's the only thing I could think of.” Ron shrugged.
“Work... is good.” Hermione said lightly. She felt as though she had loosened up as she laughed. She did enjoy laughing. It reminded her of a muggle movie she'd like to watch when she was little, before she'd ever heard of Hogwarts or Ron or Harry Potter. Those were the days.
“Have you ever heard of Mary Poppins?” she blurted out of the blue.
“Er... no.” Ron said. “I haven't, actually.”
“Oh.” Hermione said.
“Erm... what is it?” Ron asked despite himself.
“A movie. Muggles watch it all the time, it's a classic.”
“Right.” Ron said, his brow furrowing in confusion. Hermione laughed.
“Oh, Ron. Didn't I ever explain movies to you?”
“You mean like when you crazy muggles go to the Cinnamon?”
“Cinema, Ron.” Hermione said, laughing harder still.
“Right, Cinnamon!” Ron said, exasperated.
“May I take your order?” the waiter asked, coming back up to their table.
“Yes, thank you.” Hermione said.
“I'll have a BLT.” they both said at the same time. Ron and Hermione glared at each other, then decided instead to shake it off and pretend nothing had happened.
“Don't forget the mayo!” Ron called after the waiter for lack of anything better to say. He knew that the tips of his ears were turning pink with embarrassment, and he tried with all of his might to make them go back to normal, but he never did master that subject. He wondered if there was a spell for it. There probably was. There was a spell for everything, it seemed.
“How's your work?” Hermione asked, being polite. Ron, however, was not one to take being asked about his job lightly. She'd forgotten. He always started with 'Well, I can't tell you too much, really,' and then go on to tell people more then they actually wanted or needed to know.
“Well,” Ron said after drawing in a deep, excited breath, “I can't tell you too much, really.”
Hermione bit her lip to try to stop herself from laughing and saying 'At you, not with you'. She felt as though it wouldn't go over well on camera.
“We've captured nearly all the remaining death eaters by now, and-”
“Ron.” Hermione hissed. “We're on camera. Or at least I think we are. And I don't think it would go over all that well with your boss if you gave away your missions to the general public. Aurors are supposed to be good at keeping secrets.” she tried to keep the playful grin off her face at the look of alarm in Ron's eyes when he realized what he was about to reveal.
“Right. Thanks.” Ron said, and he reached across the table to take Hermione's hand. Hermione felt as though something had exploded in her stomach, like fireworks, more commonly known, she supposed, as sparks. They hadn't done so much as touched each other since the last time she slapped him, and the feeling was back, stronger now and better then ever before. Both Ron and Hermione froze, and they stared at each other in positive alarm as they realized what had just happened. Luckily, they were saved by the waiter coming back with their matching sandwiches.
“Enjoy.” he winked, sweeping his hand toward the table and backing away. Ron slowly moved his hand away from Hermione's, keeping his eyes on her fingers instead of her face. Hermione's heart was beating wildly in her chest, and she felt hot tears springing into her eyes. The date had been going so well, and Ron had to ruin it by taking her hand. First the BLTs, now this... it was mortifying. No. I'm not going to do this. Not today. Not now. Hermione thought to herself.
“Dig in.” she advised Ron in a falsely cheery voice that she knew he knew, but he luckily didn't call her on it. They ate in silence, both savoring the taste of the sandwich. Ron couldn't stand the silence. The viewers were going to be bored out of their minds.
“Wow, we must be a boring pair to watch, eh?” he teased half-heartedly, his eyes not much into the joke.
“Yeah, I guess we must be.” Hermione murmured. She listened to the crunch of the lettuce. “Maybe this was a bad idea...”
“You can't back out now.” Ron said in the same false-cheery voice Hermione had employed just a few moments ago. But his eyes. His blue eyes were serious, digging holes into her. Hermione check the ground to see if she had turned into a puddle yet, but it seemed dry. It looked as though she was still above the floor. Well, in a physical sense. In an emotional sense, she wasn't so sure.
“Do you want to take a walk on the beach?” Ron asked suddenly.
“Yeah, great idea.” Hermione breathed. Ron stood up, threw a few galleons onto the table, then scooped them up when he remembered that 'The Perfect Match' was going to pay for everything. He led Hermione once again out of the restaurant and back onto the beach, where she took off her shoes and left them at the side of the restaurant where she hoped no one could find them. Then again, she wasn't so sure that she ever wanted to see those bloody high heels ever again.
Ron laughed as he watched Hermione run onto the beach in all her glory. She looked like a little girl, like a large child who was just discovering the world. She ran all the way to the water and waded in until she was a little bit above her ankles. He took off his own shoes and followed her cautiously into the sand and water, stopping a few feet behind her. He stared at her, fascinated, as she threw her arms back, closed her eyes and sniffed the air, breathing in long and well. He closed his eyes as well, and let the scent of the ocean mingling slightly with Hermione's scent overwhelm his senses. Usually, Hermione's smell was stronger, but the ocean was bigger and more powerful then she was. It seemed endless, really, the ocean. Beautiful, but endless.
“This was where you asked me to move in with you.” Hermione said suddenly. Ron's eyes flew open. He felt his ears turn red, but he dared a look at Hermione's face. She looked like she immensely regretted her words.
“Yeah. It is. You had vanilla and orange twist ice cream and I had-”
“Coffee and Dulce Delache mix, yeah.” Hermione said quietly. Ron desperately wanted to kiss her, but he knew that he didn't have that right. They stood there, in the Ocean, for a few more minutes, then Ron said quietly
“Do you want to go home?”
“Let's.” Hermione said, in a stronger voice then she'd had a few minutes previously. They walked back to the portkey rose and put their fingers on it. It immediately took them back to the studio.
“Well... it's been real.” Ron said, for lack of anything better to say.
“Yeah. G'night.” Hermione said, and a crack told Ron she'd apparated back to their- her- flat. Ron walked over to his dressing room and slowly opened the door. He felt overwhelmed by their first date, but not disappointed. It wasn't terrible. It had actually been quite fun. Except for all the places where he'd embarrassed himself, of course.
As expected, Colin was sitting on the leather couch in his dressing room, waiting for him.
“Well, Mr. Weasley,” Colin said, “How do you think the date went?”
“Well, it was a bit of a catastrophe, but I think it went reasonably well.” Ron said, grinning at the camera.
As soon as Hermione got home, she threw her dress over her head and slipped into a navy blue holyhead harpies sweatshirt and a pair of black sweatpants. She twisted her hair into a messy bun and grabbed her cloth headband and shoved it into her hair. Then she scrubbed the red polish off of her nails (but left it on her toes, she didn't have enough energy right now), grabbed a toothbrush and begin to vigorously brush her teeth.
Halfway through the ritual, however, there was a popping noise and that announced Ginny had apparated into her flat.
“In the bathroom!” Hermione called as she spit, then she shoved the toothbrush back into her mouth and kept brushing.
“How did it go?” Ginny asked excitedly.
“Uuuuhhhrrrhgggg, Ginny, it was a mess!” Hermione said, waving her hand around dramatically.
“A really huge mess.”
“What happened?” Ginny demanded angrily.
“It was at the beach, Ginny, our beach!” Hermione said. “Not just any beach, our beach!”
“So,” Ginny said, shrugging. “That means you must like it.”
“And we both ordered a BLT... at the same time, on top of it all.”
“Hey, what's so bad about BLTs?” Ginny asked defiantly. “I like them.”
“Yes, but BLTs are our sandwich.” Hermione stated hysterically.
“What d'you mean?” Ginny said.
“Well, on rainy days we used to dress up in our warmest rainy day clothes, make BLTs and listen to the wireless.”
“I thought your favorite food was triple chocolate ice cream.” Ginny stated, amused.
“Favorite dessert, Ginny.” Hermione said, spitting out her toothpaste for a final time.
“And on top of everything, Ginny... we talked about us.”
“You mean, like... your relationship?” Ginny sounded thrilled, putting emphasis on the word, relationship, her eyes sparkling excitedly.
“Yes, our relationship.” Hermione responded.
“What did you two say?” Ginny asked, barley able to contain her excitement. Her body was calm, granted, but her lips were curved upward in a devilish smile and her eyes were sparkling madly. She looked like she was about to burst, as though Christmas had come at least 4 months early. Hermione, however, was saved from answering as a owl flew to her window. She hurried over it, glad to temporarily abandon her over-excited best friend, and opened up the window.
A handsome brown owl was carrying two large packages, and Hermione wondered who the other was for. The owl flew in, dropped one heavy package on Hermione's bed, then flew right back out. Hermione shut the window, while Ginny crossed the room over to the bed. She let out a squeal of delight as she read the back of the package. Hermione hurried over to her to try to grab the package, but Ginny held it out of her reach. Finally, Hermione snagged the package from her hand.
“You know I could arrest you for looking at my mail?” Hermione teased as she turned the package over to read the back. In the background of the white envelope, the words 'The Perfect Match' were placed in neat, cursive, silver lettering. A hand had scribbled Ms. Hermione Granger in smaller, black handwriting over it.
“The other one must be for Ron.” Hermione mused aloud.
“Who cares about Ron?” Ginny cried. She huffed impatiently, danced on the spot for a moment like a little girl that had to go to the bathroom, then opened the envelope with a swish of her wand, and reached in and pulled out a square shaped object.
“What's that?” Hermione asked. Ginny shrugged.
“Is there a letter?” she jabbed. Hermione shot her a look a reached into the package. There was, indeed, a letter.
Dear Ms. Granger,
Here is the film footage from tonights date with Ronald Weasley. You have the right to ask us to cut out anything you don't want in there FOR A GOOD REASON, but we daresay that you'll find it most enjoyable. Henceforth, please, enjoy. Your Servant,
Sweet Wizard Studios
'The Perfect Match'
As Hermione read the word 'footage', the square object flew out of Ginny's hand and faced a bit of blank wall above Hermione's bed. Ginny bounded onto the bed and sat upright and watching, facing the wall. Hermione blushed and bit her lip through the footage, but she couldn't find anything to take out 'For a good reason'. Besides the part about Ron talking about his job. She knew for a fact that they would not be taking the hand part of, no doubt it would be played over and over in advertisement for the episode. When the footage was done, Hermione looked over at Ginny, who was looking dumbstruck at the wall.
“Well.” she said after a few moments. “It could have been worse. Much, much worse.”
Hermione nodded blankly.
"We've done good!” Ginny cheered. “And my outfit looked amazing. You looked amazing. Ron looked like he was about to start drooling all over your dress, although he wouldn't actually because he knows that I would kill him for ruining it.” Ginny sprang up, then kissed Hermione once on each cheek. “Go to bed. You need your sleep.” then she bounded to the door frame, and with a crack, was gone.
Hermione reached over and saw the everlasting rose slash portkey with the tag that said 'The Perfect Match- date one' on it lying on her dresser.
“Accio rose!” she said, and then conjured a vase for it as it flew into her hand. She placed the petal in the vase, muttered “Agumenti!” then slowly reached a finger out to stroke the rose, the rose that she would have forever. If only she knew what forever would be. A few months ago, forever was in front of her, loud and clear. She had 20/20 vision of what the future would be like. Now, she was blind as a bat.
And with that thought, Hermione slumped against her pillows and promptly fell asleep.
A/N: Chapter Nine. Wow, that went really fast. I can't believe I'm already posting chapter nine. Twenty will be up in no time, lol. Anyway, I know at the end of the last chapter I said it was a dinner date, but I lied, lol. It was lunch. I wasn't about to rewrite this whole chapter and the other one was already up so here it is. Anyway, I hope you liked this and if you review it'll make my day, and I'll love you forever. PS: If you're intrested in graphics, check out my gallery on TDA. Same name...~writergirl8
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