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Chapter 1 : I Wish I Knew How.
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Random one-shot. I don't know what's going on with my mind today. (: I'm in a writing mood. Read and review!
Loving her has never been easy. It has been, by far, the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life; the kicker is that I love her willingly, by choice, and with all my heart. It is something I cannot control or cut off, and it grows stronger every single day in which I breathe. I will never want it to end, nor will I want it to get any easier. To get easier would be to change the beautiful person she is. She is difficult and stubborn, and she is very critical. She loves to point out flaws and mistakes, especially my own. She fusses at everyone, for everything. She does not care about her appearance one tiny bit, nor does she believe you when you tell her she looks beautiful. Her nose is always buried in a book, and she always has an answer for everything. She is difficult, and I love her because of it and despite it.
It only gets harder when I remember that my own brother loves her as well. He loves her, and he always has. It does not seem to be as hard for him as it is for me. It is almost as if he has a claim to her that I do not possess myself, because he was there for her first. Maybe that is why he so easily handles loving this woman, while I struggle so much with it. He has been there from the beginning.
That seems to be what she has based her decision on up until this point. I can see how hard she is fighting it every day, when she walks into a room with his arm around her waist and forces her eyes away from mine. I am not being conceited, but I know what I see. I know what she feels, because I can feel it too. I can feel the desire when we talk together, no matter who else is around us, and whenever she embraces me in as friendly a way that she can manage, I can feel the sudden desperateness in her posture. I am not the only one who struggles so much with this. It appears that loving me is as hard to do for her as loving her is for me.
When I tell you loving her is hard to do, I am in no way trying to express that I dislike loving her as much as I do. In fact, I wish I could love her more. More than my brother loves her, and more than anyone else will ever be capable of loving her. However, despite how much I want to love her, loving someone like her, someone who fills your heart, makes you feel whole, and completes you with all of her perfections and her flaws while she belongs to someone else, is the most impossible thing a man could do in his lifetime. Truthfully, every single day I see her almost breaks my heart in two pieces. If it was not already severely damaged, I do not think I could live without her at all.
Sometimes, I want to fall out of love with her. But if I did, I would have nothing left for which I could live.
It becomes even more difficult for me to love her when I see his arm firmly wrapped around her waist. And there they are, sitting right across the room from me in my mum’s living room. She is perched on his lap, with his arms around her thin waist to prevent her from leaving. His eyes are fixed on her profile, but her eyes? They are set on mine, and their fiery amber orbs could burn a hole through me if given enough time. I try not to look at her much, because when I do, I tend to stare. She is just so beautiful. I love the porcelain white shade of her complexion, the gentle slope of her small nose, the way her curls are unruly and wild at all times, even when she tries her hardest to tame them into a loose knot. She is practically a goddess, she is that beautiful. I tell her that whenever I have a chance to. I have never heard my brother call her beautiful. I wonder if he ever does- surely he does, since he so obviously won her heart. It is so hard to sit here, surrounded by my family members, with her eyes on me and my brother’s eyes on her. Oh, I wish loving her were not so hard.
“You okay, mate?” my brother, Bill, asks, putting a comforting hand on my shoulder. I am often distant and out of awareness when in the same room as her, especially when he is with her, and my family usually believes that I am still bothered by my twin brother Fred’s death. However, while the reminder of such does occasionally haunt me, it is only seeing her with him that brings such a morose feeling about me.
“Oh, yeah. I’m fine, Bill,” I tell him. “Though I believe I might go upstairs and take a look at some of the shop’s papers. I haven’t managed the books in a while, and they’re stacking up.” I speak those words in Hermione’s direction, and she acts as if she barely hears me, but I watch her eyes light up ever so slightly. Just noticeable to me, no one else.
Bill nods. “How’s the shop been, George?”
It is a common question from everyone, even people who are in the family and really know how well Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes has been doing since its reopening. We have returned to full production and our profits are even higher now- the only real change brought with our reopening was the loss of Fred. I reiterate this to Bill before standing up and leaving the room. Not one more second can be spent with him looking so adoringly towards her. It might make me sick if I stay.
As I make my way towards the stairs, I hear her voice say, ever so subtly, “I’m going to give George a hand. You know how miserable he is with numbers.” My heart starts to beat a little faster; even with the insult we both know is not true. She is coming to meet me. Thank Merlin. It has been too long.
He protests, but she remains firm in her decision. I begin to ascend the staircase as I hear her leave the living room and walk in my direction. Once I reach the floor on which is my bedroom, I turn around. She is walking up the stairs now, a smile on her face when she notices me waiting for her. She speeds up, throwing herself into my arms once she reaches the landing. I am not the only one who found it difficult to sit that far apart and act as if we are merely acquaintances, I see.
“Come along,” she whispers after pulling herself from my arms. “Before someone sees us.” She takes my hand, pulling me through the open doorway that leads to my bedroom. She drops my hand, pushes the door closed, and pulls her wand from her back pocket, waving it at the door to lock it and cast a silencing charm. When she finally turns to look at me again, her eyes are glinting excitedly.
“It’s been too long,” I murmur as she returns to my arms. I draw her even closer, and she presses her face against my chest. Surely my heart is beating fast and loud enough for her to hear. When she lifts her head towards me, she smiles. She can hear my heart. That is how ecstatic I am to be alone with her again, as wrong as it is. “Merlin, Hermione. You look beautiful.”
Oh, yes- did I forget to mention? She just so happens to be Hermione Granger. My brother’s girlfriend of three years. The bookish, crazily intelligent, slightly obnoxious Hermione Granger. She is all rules, she is my polar opposite, and she chides me for my playful demeanor and my childish pranks, but I am desperately and irrevocably in love with her- even though she is not mine in the least. It is a thrilling and confusing thing.
Hermione does not respond. She pulls on the collar of my shirt, tugging my face down to her level. She has always been petite, and like most of my brothers, I am rather tall and gangly. It makes it difficult for her to reach me, but we manage. Very well, if I do say so myself. We have had enough practice.
I pull her even closer to me, her lips automatically finding mine quickly and without hesitation. She puts her thin arms around my neck, and before I break my neck bending over like this, I wrap my arms around her waist and lift her up into the air. Without breaking the kiss between us, I carry her across the room, sitting her down on the high table at which I usually maintain the shop’s accounts.
Her hands move quickly over my chest as we kiss, and her lips move against mine with an odd sense of desperation. Usually she is the gentle one, while I am the one moving with desperation and urgency. The tables have turned today. It is something I should question, but I am thoroughly distracted by the feeling of her lips on mine and the slight curve of her waist under my hand. She presses even closer, closing the very small gap left between our bodies, and one of her hands knots itself into my hair. I reach down to knock everything off the table, barely noticing the loud clatter of books and quills and bottles of ink colliding with the floor.
We have done this before. Way too many times before.
“I have something to tell you, George.”
I am sitting at the end of my bed, staring at her. She has a blanket wrapped around her bare flesh, and she is staring somberly at me, her wild curls falling over her bare shoulders. If I thought she was beautiful earlier, it has nothing on how she looks right now. I smile absently, just looking at her, almost missing the gravity in her tone for a moment until I realize how serious her expression is.
“That sounds bad,” I say softly, my hand on her knee under the blankets, stroking her skin with my fingertips. “What is it, love?”
She will not look at me as she had looked at me just a few minutes before, as her lips pressed against mine desperately. She glances around the room, refusing to land on anything. If there is anything truly difficult for Hermione Granger, it is not making eye contact. It is a true sign that the words she wants to say are going to have a devastatingly prodigious effect on us both.
Hermione lifts her hands to her face, shaking her head furiously. “It is bad. It’s… absolutely horrid.”
“What, Hermione? Did you kill someone?”
She drops her hands in her lap, glaring at me past the tears that fill her brown eyes. “That isn’t funny, George.”
No, she is right. It is far from being funny. Not even in the same realm as funny. But the seriousness in her tone has me truly worried, and the way she is acting implies something far worse than anything I want to imagine. Not to mention she is preparing to cry, and that alone has me scared to death. As she and I both know, I react to things like this with jokes- whether they are funny or not.
“Just tell me, Hermione. Please.”
“He proposed,” she finally tells me, her voice breaking over the final word as if its definition has finally struck her. She buries her face in her hands again and lets out a heartbreaking sob. Since my brother Fred’s funeral, when the two of us cried together by his grave long after everyone left for their own homes, I have never seen Hermione cry like this. I barely notice the words she spoke; only focusing on the broken way she is now weeping into her hands.
I lean forward, wrapping my arms around her slumped figure and pulling her against my chest. Her warm tears soak the front of my shirt almost immediately, and I pull her even tighter against me. Still, I have yet to realize the words she spoke. All I can think of is that she is sobbing, and I must fix it for her. Somehow.
She tries to speak through her sobs, and I release her slightly so she can pull away from my chest. “H-h-he pro- he- he pro- he proposed,” she stumbles through her words as if she is not sure of how to say them, even though it is not the first time she has said it. “He proposed!” She repeats the words a few more times, and finally, they hit me all at once.
I fall away from her, my arms dropping from her body as if my muscles have been rendered useless. In fact, my entire body feels like it is now useless. Yes, the affair between Hermione and I has gone on for quite some time, and knowing that she was still with Ron never bothered me, although it should. My brother always loved her as much as I do, surely, and I never minded sharing her; I never believed it would be fair to take her from him, and so I never tried. I never asked her to leave him. I remained the paramour, nothing more or less than such. However, hearing that he, unaware, of course, of how much I love her, is going to take her for him completely, makes me feel utterly empty and useless.
I had missed my chance. The girl I love is going to promise herself to someone else, because I never tried to take her for myself. My brother has proposed to her. She loves him; she will say yes. She will marry him. I never fought for her, despite how worth it she would have been. I never tried. The girl that makes me feel complete belongs to someone else. Now, it will be permanent.
“You’re going to marry him,” I state lifelessly.
“He asked me to marry him,” she answers. It is as if she is avoiding saying the words, “Yes, I’m going to marry him.” She would try to avoid words like those.
“You’re going to marry him.”
She closes her eyes. “He proposed to me. And I said yes.”
“What am I going to be to you now?”
Hermione opens her eyes once I say this. She pounds her hands on either side of her into the mattress, as if I should know the answer to this question. However, I do not. I am scared to assume. I could be nothing to her, we could continue our romantic affair, or she could leave him for me. The first would kill me, the second would tear her into two pieces like it has been doing for so long, and the third would kill my brother. There is no easy answer.
“I don’t know.”
Am I able to control this? Her words seem so vaguely hopeful, and yet I am not sure if there is any truth lying in them. Can I control this? Can I change her decision to marry Ron? Do I love her more than he does, and will that even be enough to change her mind? He has been there since the very beginning, I know. I have been there for a few years, after our younger years spent in dislike of each other. Yet, I am almost completely sure that my heart belongs more to her than his ever will, only because she is the only person that has made me feel alive since I lost my other half.
I pause and stare at her. I cannot control this. “Hermione,” I begin.
“I will always love you.”
She closes her eyes for a moment, and then reaches for the pile of clothes on the floor by my bed. We both know the truth. There is no point in trying to control a situation that cannot be controlled. She loves Ron, and he loves her. They will get married, and they will be happy for the rest of their lives. And forever, no matter what I do, I will be the same to her then as I am now. I will never fall out of love.
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