Chapter 2 : The End of the Beginning
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Disclaimer:: See Chapter 1.
They had started dating five years ago, a strange beginning indeed. Directly after Harry defeated Voldemort, Ron and Hermione made their romance public. The wizarding world was ecstatic, but nothing could compare to the joy of the Weasley family. Hermione was already like family to them and for their youngest son to fall for her…well they saw it as a completion of their family. Especially since their youngest child and only daughter was in love with Harry Potter, another unofficial member of the family.
The Ron and Hermione romance started slowly, both unsure of how their friendship would be reflected in a relationship. They relearned things about each other and new things were shared. Ron couldn’t believe someone so smart and so beautiful would want him. Hermione couldn’t believe someone actually wanted her for more than her book-wormish intelligence. Harry was just glad they weren’t bickering all the time. He was also glad that Ron was distracted enough to not pay attention to the courtship between his best friend and his sister. Harry, Ginny, Ron, and Hermione went out together almost every other night. Hermione and Harry introduced their significant others to the Muggle world, venturing out beyond Diagon Alley and into mainstream London. Other nights were spent gathering by the fire in the Weasley house, chatting and laughing about everything. Once Ginny returned for her final year at the newly restored Hogwarts, Harry went out and purchased his own flat. His new living room with its comfortable couches and beautiful fireplace became the new gathering place of the famous Golden Trio.
By the time the one year celebration of Voldemort’s defeat came around, the three friends were ready to move on and begin careers. Hermione had finished her final year of schooling through many owls and private sessions with Headmistress McGonagall and the rest of the Hogwarts professors. She decided to pursue a career in the Ministry of Magic, expanding the small Department of the Mistreatment of Magical Creatures. Harry and Ron both still had their hearts set on being Aurors, taking private lessons in order to fulfill any school course requirement they had not met during their six years at Hogwarts.
Once they had all successfully begun their careers, Ron began pressuring Hermione to make their relationship as intimate as possible. As much as she wanted to, there was still some small part of that was hesitant. She was afraid it would completely change what they had together… that it would no longer be about holding hands and sharing romantic moments, but about rolling around in bed as often as possible. He had told her that he loved her months before he began pressuring her about all of this, and they had gotten quite physical during their heavy snogging sessions… But still. Hermione just couldn’t quite put her finger on why exactly she would not let Ron touch her that way. On one hand, they had been together for a little over a year. They were both legally adults and could make their own decisions. He loved her and she was willing to do anything that made him happy. She remembered how her body felt when he did softly caress her through her clothes during their alone time…beautiful. She felt beautiful and wanted. On the other hand…she discarded all her stupid reasons for saying no.
Thus Ron and Hermione consummated their relationship. All was happy in paradise. Ron had become one of the best Aurors the Ministry could boast and it took no time at all for Hermione to greatly expand the small department. She had been promoted to Head of the Department within only months of starting there, but there was obviously no other person intelligent enough or strong enough to be in charge. With her promotion came a wonderful pay raise, enough to allow Hermione a chance at finding her own place to live. Three days after her grand promotion, she arrived at Harry’s flat for a celebration dinner only to find a very grim faced friend. A series of questions about what was wrong issued from her mouth but stopped suddenly as Harry handed her a small, folded piece of paper. Her mouth went dry. She had opened it right then and there, Harry’s eyes upon her face as she read the first breakup letter from Ron.
You are probably reading this with a confused expression on your face, standing in the middle of Harry’s living room but I could think of no other way to get this to you. Bottom line is…you’re too good for me. I don’t deserve you. You deserve someone better than me. What we had this past year or so was amazing, but I can’t let us continue it. You need to find someone better than me, someone who can give you what you need. I can’t be with you anymore.
She had crumpled to the floor, Harry’s Seeker reflexes caught her head before it crashed upon the wood. It was her first emotional breakdown. She kept turning the page over and over, looking to see if there was more to the letter. Those few sentences were all that was there, but they didn’t explain anything. What had she done wrong? What made him suddenly feel this way? What about everything they had been through together? Didn’t he love her?
As Harry’s hand ran through her hair, his mouth whispering words of comfort, Hermione bolted upright. She would not allow him to do this to her, to them.
“Where is he?”
Harry looked startled. “I don’t know, Hermione. He just dropped this off, told me to give it to you, and then apparated away.”
“Don’t lie to me Harry. You know where he is. Tell me.”
His green eyes showed his hesitation. “I don’t think it’s a good idea for you to see him right now. You’re upset. Let me get you some hot coffee and a sleeping draught. You can crash here in the spare bedroom tonight.”
“No. I have to talk some sense into him. I can’t…won’t let him do this. If you won’t tell me where he is, then I’ll just have to find him myself.”
With that declaration, Hermione scrambled up to her feet. She straightened her coat and ran a hand through her hair. Just as she was about close her eyes and concentrate on her apparation, Harry put a hand on her arm.
“He’s at home, in his room. I had just apparated from there to here only two minutes before you arrived. Don’t be too harsh on him.”
Hermione only nodded in response, shook off his arm, and turned. Landing directly inside Ron’s bedroom, she looked around for him. He was sitting on his bed, plans for his next Auror mission spread out in front of him. He did not raise his head in response to her appearance.
Now as Hermione lay on her couch, her windows still open to the thunderstorm, she recalled their conversation that night. She pleaded, he gave her cold eyes. She begged, he shook his head. Only when she had begun to cry did her look up at her. Hermione gave a very un-ladylike snort at the memory. Ron never could bear to see or hear someone cry. Once he had finally looked at her did his heart begin to soften. They talked for almost two hours that night. The result? Hermione was back in Ron’s arms. She told him of her love for him, how he was good enough for her. It seemed that all he wanted was a confirmation of her feelings. Peace was restored to paradise. Again, Hermione snorted even as tears kept rolling down her cheeks.
There was something about one breakup that brought back memories of all the other breakups. Here she was in present day, reliving the first time Ron broke her heart. She relived the second time he broke up with her when he told her to her face that everything was a lie, nothing he had ever told her was true, and that she deserved better. She relived the third time he broke her heart when he suddenly just stopped talking to her. She did not exist to him all of a sudden. Each time he left her, she fell deeper into a sort of depression. A whirlwind of thoughts about how she was the one not good enough, that she had done something wrong, enveloped her mind each time. Then as she slowly picked herself up and declared to herself that she was going to put him behind her, he would reach out to her. He always started his apologies with an owl. They would communicate through letters and eventually in person. They always ended up back in each other’s arms.
Hermione always blamed his brother’s death for the dark hole eating away inside of Ron. She tried to get him to talk about it, but would give up as soon as he shut down and began to draw away from her. She eventually gave up, figuring that when he was ready to talk about it he would come to her. He never did. She was left in the dark. Now she was left alone in the dark, lightning sending its white light through her flat. At least the phone had stopped ringing.
It was silent inside her flat, with the only noise coming from the thunderstorm outside her window. Her tears were silent as they flowed down her cheeks. Maybe this time was final, maybe they were really over and neither one would turn back. Would he come back in a few months to apologize to her? Would she accept the apology? Was she ready to shut the door on him? Was she willing to wait for him to come to his senses and realize how stupid he was being? Truth was, she didn’t know. She just didn’t know what she was going to do with him, with herself, with anything.
She sat up. Something or someone was outside her door. Hermione knew because her wand had let out a little tinkling of noise, the alarm when someone who intended no harm was here. Seconds later, a faint Knock, knock, knock came from the door. She sat up to answer or at least unlock the door with her wand, but that meant walking over towards the table. The letter was on the table. Damn. The concern of who was outside her door was forgotten as Hermione sank back down to the couch, buried her face into the cushions and began a whole new stream of tears.
A/N: Reviews please : )
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