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Chapter 15 : Mouth Shut
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Kept my mouth shut for too long
All this time you got me wrong
Now we’re in this way too far
I’m about to break your heart
Tear everything we had apart
“Mouth Shut”- The Veronicas
Harry flung himself limply over his couch. He could hear Ginny making noise in the kitchen, probably preparing dinner for the both of them. Ever since Hermione went to stay over at the Burrow, Ginny had been acting uncharacteristically friendly. Her newly found attitude was making it hard for Harry to break the news to her. He knew for sure he did not want to be with her any longer, but he also did not really want to hurt her. He was after all his best friend’s sister, and despite the grief she had been causing him recently, he still had a soft spot for her.
“Dinner will be ready in a few.” said Ginny taking off her oven mitts, which she wore for no reason since she did everything by magic.
“Where’s Kreacher?” Harry asked.
“Cleaning the bathroom, I told him he did not have to do anything today but he insisted.” said Ginny smiling. “You know how he can be.”
Harry kept pensively staring at the ceiling. Unaware that Ginny was closely observing him.
“You okay?” she asked concernedly.
“No not really.” Harry replied.
“Anything I can help you with?” said Ginny.
Harry sighed heavily. It was now or never.
“Actually, Ginny I’ve been meaning to talk to you.” said Harry sitting up.
“What about?” Ginny asked curiously sitting back on the couch opposite him.
“About us.” said Harry.
“Okay…” said Ginny, starting to feel slightly uncomfortable. “Let me just check on the pot roast-”
“No!” said Harry firmly. “No, please just…just stop avoiding it.”
Ginny reluctantly sat back down on the coach, her eyes were slightly stinging her.
“Ginny, I think it’s time we faced the facts. This isn’t working out.” Harry said simply. “You must see that.”
“Well, if it isn’t working, it’s not because I’m not trying.” said Ginny. “I’m all alone in this. You’re not putting in any effort.”
“Exactly. And why do you think that is?”
“Because Hermione spiked you with some potion that’s making you love her instead of me.” said Ginny whiningly.
“Okay, for once can we have a civilized conversation where you don’t go off accusing people of ludicrous things?”
“What do you expect me to do Harry?” Ginny asked. “Ever since I left to go to Hogwarts, nothing between us has been the same. You never kiss me anymore and when you hug me it feels forced.”
“What happened to the Harry that kissed me passionately in his sixth year after winning a Quidditch match?”
“That Harry finally realized that he was confused.” said Harry seriously.
Ginny’s lip quivered.
“Please don’t end this Harry.” she said. “I love you.”
Harry felt terrible that he was breaking her heart but he knew that saying with her while not feeling the same would be just as bad.
“I know.” said Harry grasping her hand. “But I don’t. I’m sorry.”
Ginny pulled her hand away.
“The roast will burn if I don’t get to it.”
Harry watched her go as she turned to the hallway leading to the bedrooms instead of the one that led to the kitchen.
“Harry sir, I turned off the stove.” said Kreacher bowing slightly. “I hope that was okay.”
“Yes Kreacher.” Harry replied. “Help yourself; I doubt anyone will be eating it tonight.”
Harry walked heavily towards his bedroom. A huge weight had been lifted off his shoulders but he did not feel as well as he had hoped. There was still the emptiness and he disappointment he had for Hermione. He knew ending things would be hard on Ginny but he also knew that with time she could get over it, the sooner it was done with the sooner everyone could get back to their lives. He only wished Hermione would see her situation like that, instead of torturing herself by staying with a guy who she did not love and who she would end up ruining a friendship if she kept the charade.
Harry flung himself unceremoniously on his unmade bed. It was much too early to sleep but he had a feeling it wouldn’t be so hard for him to drift off. He turned over and spotted a picture of himself and Hermione. It had one he had taken himself with a self-timer. It was taken during all those days they spent alone together, while Ron and Ginny neglected them. It was during that time they both-unfortunately- fell in love with each other. The image of Hermione and himself playing in a stack of brown leaves replayed itself, making a small smile appear on Harry’s face. They had taken the day off from studying their N.E.W.T’s due to Harry’s persistence. He did not know why, but he always felt a warm and tingly sensation whenever he thought of her. It was something that had never happened with anyone else. He remembered all the kisses they had shared. The time when he had kissed her when she was crying, the kiss she planted on him to snap him out of the ridiculous idea of proposing to Ginny, and of course, the kiss they had shared under the mistletoe. He sighed as he realized that it would all just remain a memory.
Harry turned around and closed his eyes. He did not care that he had not even changed. He just wanted to hurry off into dreamland, where there were no rules, no right and wrong, no Weaselys'. Just Hermione and he, together, alone, as it should be.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
“Well that’s the last of it.” said Ron dusting off his hands.
“Thanks a lot for your help Ron.” said Hermione genuinely.
“No problem Hermione.” said Ron. “You know I’d do anything for you.”
Hermione smiled uncomfortably.
“So now all that’s left is to say goodbye to Harry and move my stuff.”
‘His stuff?’ Hermione asked herself. ‘Surely I heard him wrong.’
“Yeah, what you thought I’d stay with Harry while you lived by yourself?” Ron asked. “No way. Besides, this could be a practice run for when we’re married.”
“Woah, married?” Hermione asked. “Aren’t you thinking a little too far ahead?”
“Not too far ahead. We’ve know each other for a while, why wait any longer?”
“Ron we’re far too young to think about that and besides I want to venture out on my own for a while” said Hermione “You know….living alone? Stuff like that.”
“You don’t want me moving in?” Ron asked sorrowfully.
“Ron don’t take this the wrong way but I…I just want to see what it’s like on my own.” Hermione explained. “There has to be a life outside of the trio for me. I just want to be and feel independent.”
“Are you trying to say it’s over?” Ron asked dejectedly.
“I…” said Hermione in breathless anticipation. “Yes. That’s what I want.”
“Hermione just tell me what I need to change, I’ll do anything.”
“Ron no.” said Hermione. “There’s nothing for you to do, I just don’t feel the same way I used to.”
“I’ll do anything, I’ll even dye my hair black for you” said Ron desperately. “I don’t care if I have to become Harry’s clone, I just don’t want to be without you.”
“Ron, you shouldn’t have to change who you are to keep the one you love.” said Hermione. “This is not easy on me. Do you think I enjoy doing this to you?”
“Then why did you fall in love with Harry?” Ron asked. “You should’ve had eyes just for me.”
“This was because I left you alone while I worked with George right?” he continued frantically. “I’ll quit it. I’ll do anything just please don’t leave me.”
“Ron!” said Hermione firmly, he had just dropped to the floor and clung tightly to her legs, almost toppling her over. “Why can’t you see this how unhealthy this is?”
“I don’t love you,” said Hermione as she pried herself away from his grip. “I tried so hard to stay in this because I know how hurt you’d be…but I can’t keep lying to you….I can’t keep lying to myself.”
Ron looked down, tears of anger and hurt spilling out of his eyes and into the linoleum floor.
“I just can’t win. Ever!” said Ron defeated. “He’ll always be better than me.”
Ron groaned loudly and punched the floor with his tightly clenched fist.
Hermione looked helplessly at Ron. She didn’t really known when she decided to finally put a stop to it all, but when Ron had mentioned moving in, and marriage…she knew it had gotten too far. Things were serious and she could not toy with her best friend’s emotions.
“Ron.” said Hermione tentatively reaching for his shoulder.
Ron shrugged her hand away roughly.
“Don’t touch me!” said Ron dangerously.
He looked up at her with a mixture of hatred and hurt in his eyes.
“I don’t ever want to see you again. You’re dead to me, you and Harry.”
Ron got up brusquely and walked out of her flat, slamming the door loudly.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Hermione stood by her window watching the rain drops slide down her windowpane. Harry had sent a message via the Floo Network to not apparate. She was supposed to go back to say her goodbye to Harry and Ginny, but the atmosphere at Grimmauld Place was not a friendly one. Ron was noisily and roughly packing his things, he had not said a word to Harry and Harry had a feeling why. Ginny had written a letter to McGonagall asking to be let back into Hogwarts, something she had reluctantly accepted feeling slightly annoyed that Ginny kept changing her mind.
Hermione was deep in thought until a loud noise shook her out of her reverie. It was Harry. He had just Flooed in from her fireplace.
“Harry, you startled me.”
“Sorry, but since you can’t come over to say goodbye I thought I would.” said Harry nervously.
It was the first time the two were face to face after they talked at the Burrow.
“So you have all your things then?” Harry asked anxiously.
“Yeah. Everything’s here I just have to unpack everything.” said Hermione awkwardly.
“I can help if you want.”
“No, I’m okay.” Hermione replied.
Harry dug his hands into his pockets.
“Well I guess this is goodbye then…”
“I broke up with Ron.” Hermione sputtered.
“Yeah…I kind of figured. That would be the only explanation for the way he’s acting.” said Harry. “Why did you do it? I thought you were going to hold off a bit longer?”
“He mentioned marriage…it was enough for me to realize this had gone far enough.”
“I broke up with Ginny like I said I would.” said Harry.
“How did she take it?” Hermione asked curiously.
“Surprisingly, not as bad as I thought she would, but at the same time… it was more painful than I thought it’d be.” said Harry pensively.
Hermione sighed heavily.
“So what now?” she asked. “We got over the hard part…what happens now?”
“I don’t know” Harry answered genuinely. “I get now what you were saying…about feeling guilty to feel happy.”
“For once…I actually saw the vulnerable girl Ginny once was before we got together. It was hard for me to tell her that I didn’t feel the same way she did.”
“I guess it’ll never be us will it?” she asked looking at him softly. “There will always be something to make us feel guilty.”
“Why does everything have to be so intense with us?” Harry asked jokingly.
“I honestly don’t know.” said Hermione grabbing his hand gently.
“You know,” said Harry looking down at her hand. “When I said that’ll be waiting for you when you’re ready…I was serious.”
“One day, this will all pass and Ginny and Ron will get over it and all the guilt of being happy will be gone.” said Harry looking into Hermione’s brown eyes. “And I’ll be there ready to take up where we left off.”
Hermione smiled at him. “I know you will”
“Hermione?!” came a frantic voice from the fireplace.
Both Harry and Hermione turned around and sprinted to the fireplace, George’s head was sticking out of the brilliant green flames.
“Hermione you need to come down to St Mungos immediately.” he said worriedly.
Hermione’s stomach churned over.
“Why?” she asked.
“It’s Ron…he’s been hurt.”
Hermione clutched Harry’s arm tightly.
“I’m on my way.”
A/N: don’t worry this cliffhanger will not a be a long one I promise. Your feedback is always welcome.
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