Chapter 1: Lonely
As I woke up this morning, I was met with the beautiful sight of my wife, looking down at me lovingly.
"Good morning love" she says to me happily.
I smile at her, pulling her in as I give her a kiss on her forehead "Happy anniversary sweetheart" I reply to her.
We had been married for one year already, and it was the happiest year of my life so far. The war was over and I was married to my best friend who I loved above all other things. Some say that we married too early, as we both weren't even twenty yet. But I disagree, if you know who you want to spend the rest of your life with, why would you wait? Besides, my parents married when they were very young as well, and look where they are now. Still happily in love with each other. And I know that will be the same for me and Hermione.
I pull her in for a hug, laying in our bed in complete bliss, holding on to the love of my life tightly.
"I love you so much Mia. You've made me the happiest man alive. If this second year brings me half the joy this first year has done, I would still be the happiest man alive" I whisper to her.
A small tear leaves her eyes, and I brush it with the back of my hand. "Are you okay love?"
She nods with a smile on her face "Yes, I'm just very happy to be with you as well Ron."
I slightly nuzzle her neck, breathing in her sweet scent. "I'm gonna have a shower, I have a big day planned for us!" I tell her. She shuts her eyes and smiles, rolling over to her back.
I make my way over to our en-suite. Life couldn't be more perfect than this.
Sure, we've had our ups and downs as all couples do, but we've always pulled out stronger than before. As we started our marriage life together, Hermione had become somewhat quieter than she had been. When I asked her if everything was alright, she told me she was just happy and content. I felt the same way, and have done since.
I look at the man lying asleep next to me, a small wisp of red hair covering his right eye, listening to the gentle, steady sound of his breathing. This same time last year I was getting ready for my wedding. My wedding... I've been married for a year, and my life is not what I expected it to have become.
I was empty. I was lonely. I was... unhappy.
I never expected myself to be feeling like this. This is the way my life is meant to be. I married my best friend. The war was over. Those closest to me had survived, and I was surrounded by family and friends who loved me unconditionally. My life is meant to be wonderful! Perfect even. But it isn't. And nobody knows the pain I go through. I can't tell him
, he would never understand. He's never been able to understand me or my feelings. He lives in his own perfect bubble that he's created, oblivious to everything around him.
He stirs slightly in his sleep, looking as if he is going to wake up soon.
Time to put on my fake smile.
"Good morning love" I say cheerily to him.
Ron smiles at me and gives me a kiss on my forehead "Happy anniversary sweetheart."
A year. We have been married for a year, and I have hated every single day of it. We married a year after the war was over. Ron waited till I had finished my N.E.W.T's, while he and Harry went off to find the remaining Death Eaters.
It seemed right at the time. We had finally made our feelings known to each other, but looking back at it now, I realise it was just the act of fear that made us do it. Or me at least. Fear that I would never see him again. Fear that I would never see anyone again after the battle. I felt I had to tell him something, after all I did
towards him then.
Everyone was thrilled that we were together finally. Everyone had expected it. Ron proposed to me the night of my N.E.W.T results. We had thrown a small party to celebrate my results, just family and close friends. And there, in front of everybody he got down on one knee and brought out a ring. I was horrified.
Before I could even answer, I was being hugged by Ginny and Molly, while Ron was being patted on the back by Harry and Arthur. They were congratulating us and I hadn't even given him an answer! Of course they assumed I would say yes. Even I had always imagined I would say yes, but as soon as I saw that ring, I was hit with repulsion. To spend the rest of my life with one man? A man I wasn't even sure I loved! I wasn't even twenty years old. But I still married him. Why? Because we were meant to be together... according to everyone else.
But that's the past. I just have to live with my life now. I should
be happy, and although I wasn't, I'd be damned if anyone else knew otherwise.
We lay in bed for a couple more minutes, Ron hugging me and whispering how much he loves me. I try not to cry, but a tear escapes. I replied with the appropriate things to say, the words he wants to hear, shutting my eyes and wishing he would just stop talking. Wishing that he would stop loving me.
Ron walked to the shower, while I remained in bed, staring at the cracked ceiling.
We had been living in the Burrow for the past three months. Our home had been burnt down by a few remaining death eaters, and so to save on rent, Ron decided to move back into his bedroom. I was ok with it, as I imagined it would only be for a couple of weeks while we looked for another house. But since moving in here, Ron had been no help in finding another place. Any house or flat I would show him, he would shoot it down without even hardly looking at it. It was as if he was content to be living here. Here with his family again.
Don't get me wrong, I love his family. But it's so much more harder to have to put on my mask all day long to more people, rather then when I return home to just Ron.
The first month we moved in, Ginny and Harry were here as well, but they moved out pretty quickly as the house was getting too crowded. And then Fred decided to move back home as George had decided to move in with his girlfriend and Fred didn't want to live alone on top of their shop. So now it was Arthur, Molly, Fred and Ron that I constantly had to keep up appearances to. I was also constantly reminded of how happily married Arthur and Molly are. Theirs was real love. And I've had to see it every day for three months.
The only good thing about living here has been Fred moving in. At first I was slightly annoyed that he had to pick the same time as us to move back with his parents, but after the first week, I was overjoyed with his presence. He made me smile. He made me laugh. He made me feel alive.
It only took one month. One month to realise that I was in love with my husband's brother.
It's their one year wedding anniversary today. I lie in my bed, mulling through emotions and thoughts that were currently passing through my mind. Ron was very much still in love with Hermione. I wondered what plans he had for her today. Ron had turned into a sickly romantic sod, and was completely unaware that his wife had no feelings for him, whatsoever. How do I know this? I just do.
Moving back home seemed a good idea at the time. George had decided to move in with Angie, and living on top of the shop had become lonely and boring, so moving back home seemed right. I actually missed living with my parents. Mum's cooking and yelling, and dad's eccentric fascination with Muggles were missed by me sorely.
I didn't know that Ron and Hermione had moved in though, but I didn't think much of it at the time. The burrow used to contain nine of us at one time, so just the five would be no trouble.
I still remember seeing Hermione when I moved in. I hadn't seen her in a couple of months. She had become very thin and drawn-looking. She didn't seem that pleased to see me at first, so I thought it could just be her time of the month.
I still remember the exact words I said to her when I moved in and saw her.
"Mia, how are you?" I asked, giving her a kiss on the cheek.
She looked weakly at me "Fine, thank you Fred."
"You're looking very... tired. Work been keeping you busy?" I asked, looking her over. I noticed her clothes hanging loosely over her shoulders, her collarbones were prominent even under her top.
"Yes, it's just a busy period at the moment. And obviously with our house gone, it's been difficult."
"Oh, of course, I didn't think about that!" I replied, mentally slapping myself for being such an inconsiderate fool.
"I didn't realise you were moving in as well?" she asked me, the annoyance plain in her eyes.
"Yeah, I only decided a couple of days ago. I was getting lonely in that room by myself!" I replied, smiling at her, wondering why she hadn't returned any of my smiles so far.
She looked at me intently. "I don't think you know what lonely means Fred."
At the time, I had no idea what she meant by that sentence, and left it to the fact that she was upset about her house. But now, I know exactly what she telling me.
In just a few days time I noticed the drastic changes in Hermione. She hardly spoke a word to anyone, apart from when she was asked questions. She would sit in the living room most evenings, curled up in a corner and read a book. Why was I the only one who noticed these things?
"Ron, is Mia ok?" I asked him one evening.
"Yes, I should think so. Why?" asked Ron, looking over at Hermione.
"It's just that I've been here for a couple of days now, and every evening when we're all sitting here and chatting, she'll be there in that corner just reading, never including herself in our conversations."
Ron laughed "Fred, I thought you knew my wife by now. It's Hermione, she loves to read! She'd give up food before giving up a book."
"Well, it seems to be she has already given up food."
Ron frowned "She has lost some weight, but I think she's just been upset about the house. And things at the Ministry have been tough, there are still death eaters out there, we've all had to put in extra time!"
Ron seemed satisfied with his answer and ended the conversation there. I wasn't so sure though. This is Hermione we're talking about. She's a strong girl, she wouldn't let something like a house bring her down, surely!
I noticed that Hermione seemed to act like a robot to Ron. She'd give him a kiss hello when she got in from work, she'd say a couple of words to him here and there, but I couldn't see any real affection from her.
As the days went on, I made an extra effort to talk to Hermione. She didn't seem to mind my company. In fact, very soon she had become quite her normal self again. Around me at least. She'd laugh at my obviously hilarious jokes, and she seemed to talk more. But I still wasn't satisfied. Something wasn't right.
I noted the way she would avoid having to be around Ron too much, and I noted the way she would stare into the distance at times, a pained expression on her face. Hermione was unhappy. She was surrounded by people, but she was lonely.
My heart went out to her. She was going to be twenty-one soon, and she was already in an unhappy marriage. Was there something I could do for her? I did the only thing I knew - I made her laugh.
As the weeks went by, I found myself more and more drawn towards Hermione. I'd wake up in the morning and want to speak to her, want to make her laugh before her day began. I'd think about her at work. When I came home, I wanted to see how her day was. I found myself speaking to George about Hermione constantly.
We became close in just a few weeks time. We had always been close during our school days, but once me and George had opened up our shop, we had drifted away naturally as I hardly saw her. But we seemed to be back to our old relationship. Except our new relationship was somewhat different. Our previous relationship consisted of me teasing her or her scolding me for playing pranks. But now, it was us telling each other our dreams and ambitions, the minute details of our day-to-day activities, and just enjoying each other's company.
After one month I found myself in a very precarious situation.
I had unwittingly fallen in love with my brother's wife.
AN: Hi, pls let me know what you thought of my new story! What you liked, what you didn't etc. Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed it xx
Lovely CI by AranzA @ TDA