Ron had a headache. He'd had one for a week, since Hermione had left the scene of the crime. Or, as Ginny so fondly called it, the Place of Passion. God, he wanted to smack her. It was bad enough that Hermione had run away just when they were about to kiss. It was another thing that Ginny and the whole world had to see it. It wasn't as if Hermione had been discouraging Ron! She'd seemed completely on deck until the bloody camera man had to run out of film. Ron wouldn't have cared if the whole world saw that kiss as long as it got him back together with Hermione. Now everyone probably thought he was trying to take advantage of her when she didn't want to be kissed. He'd have to see the fan mail to see how many people were rooting for him.
He was getting tired of going to Harry and Ginny's house. They were too lovey-dovey, and they barely payed attention to him. Ron suspected that soon they would start calling each other pet names. This he most certainly would not be able to stand. He was not made of stone. Of course, if Hermione called him a pet name he'd probably just wince and leave it alone. Or, ehem, take it like a man. Of course.
Anyway, back to how much he hated visiting Harry and Ginny. He'd come over today out of pure loneliness, because although their old house was nice and big, it was also pretty empty with no one but him in it. Ron wished Hermione were there. They would joke about how gross Harry and Ginny were. Of course, if they were still together Hermione would probably be throwing pointed looks at Ginny's wedding ring.
Ginny had gone to visit Hermione soon after the almost-kiss, but Hermione had been leaving for someplace. Running away, no doubt. Ron would have, too, but if he ran he might run the risk of running into Hermione. Or never seeing her again. What if she came back to make up with him and he wasn't there? The thought was horrific. Then again, Ron wasn't sure if this stunt was the final straw. He couldn't stand Hermione stomping all over him, toying with his emotions, etc cetera, etc cetera. In fact, if she came back to take him back, he might just have to say no.
Okay. Scratch that. There was no way in hell he was going to say no. But he could play hard to get. And the coming up party at Hogwarts presented him with an opportunity to make Hermione jealous with Lavender. Then again, last time he'd tried to make her jealous with Alyssa it hadn't worked out very well. Actually, he wasn't really sure if he'd been trying to make Hermione jealous. He honestly couldn't remember a thing. Unfortunate, because the next day he'd woken up with a hurt cheek, a deadly headache and an unsympathetic best friend.
Why was it that everyone always rooted for the sensitive woman? All the movies he'd seen had been about the woman's feelings, how hurt she was when the man broke up with her, or cheated on her, so on and so forth. Why didn't any script writers ever try to write to story from the point of view of the person who was doing the cheating? Maybe they had a perfectly good reason. Maybe they weren't the bad guys after all! Why was everyone always making the guys seem like the bad guy? Ron thought he would possibly have to contact some big-shot Hollywood producer and ask him why the bloody hell he was trashing the masculine gender. Yes. He would do it next week. Or in a month. Maybe ten years. Or perhaps on his death bed.
The doorbell rang. Harry and Ginny looked up from their little giggle match (“No, you have sexier hair!” “No you do!” “No, no, you totally have sexier hair.” “Do you really think so? 'Cuz your hair is pretty damn sexy.”) to give Ron a pointed look that clearly said, 'We are in the middle of a giggle match. Kindly go get the door or we will disown you as a brother/best friend.' Well, Ron wasn't going to take that. If he wasn't man enough to contact TV producers or keep a woman, at least he could stand up to his bloody little sister.
“You get it, Ginny.” Ron barked. Ginny was so taken aback she got up and went right to the door. A second later Ron heard shrieking. Loud, high pitched shrieking, and someone laughing the most beautiful laugh Ron had ever heard. Ron saw a flash of red hair as Ginny darted across the room and pulled Hermione into the kitchen, where she firmly shut the door behind her. Harry and Ron both sat there, listening to hear anything that resembled a human sound. They stood in complete silence until they heard the tea kettle going off, then Harry shrugged and turned to Ron.
“Fancy playing a game of Quidditch?”
“Sure, mate. Give me one second.” Ron said, inching towards the door.
“You're going to spy, aren't you?”
“You can bet your broomstick I am!” Ron said.
“Usually when Ginny participates in girl talk she'll cast mufflaito. However, when she's really excited she forgets.” Harry said helpfully.
Ron inched closer to the door until he could hear Hermione and Ginny chatting happily.
“Any spells?” Harry asked.
“Nope.” Ron said.
“Oh, I'd better cast mufflaito.” Ginny said. Ron heard a scooting of a chair and flattened himself against the wall just time. Then he swore.
“Ron, how bad do you want to hear this conversation?” Harry asked carefully.
“Pretty damn bad.” Ron said.
“Well, if you're sure- because honestly, I think it's a bad idea- I've learned the counter curse for mufflaito. It will remove the charm without Ginny knowing. Are you sure you want to hear?”
“Positive!” Ron said enthusiastically. Harry approached the door and cast the counter curse, then crept quietly away so Ron could eavesdrop in peace.
“So I went to m childhood friend, Rose, and she said 'I think you know already what you want just by being here.'” Hermione was explaining.
“Wise one, that Rose is.” Ginny said, laughing. “Go on.”
“Well, then she told me that I'd never find anyone like Ron again, so I should be with him. Or, at least, that's the condensed version. The truth is, I ran away because almost kissing Ron scared me the most that time because of everything that had happened, and all of our attempts to be friends. But then I realized that we can't be friends, and I love him so much it hurts to not be with him, even when we're together in the same room.”
Ron could almost hear Ginny nod, she was doing it so fast.
“So when are you getting back together with him?” Ginny asked.
“Well... I was hoping to talk to him now. But I don't know how he's going to take it.”
“He'll be thrilled!” Ginny exclaimed. “Harry and I will leave for 4 hours to do an extensive shopping trip and go see a muggle feature. When we come back, you two had better be done snogging.”
“Ginny!” Hermione said, her voice reproving and embarrassed.
“Good Merlin, you know your face turns bright red when anyone mentions snogging.”
“Yes, I know that, Ginny.”
“I'm so happy for you, Hermione. You've finally realized what you wanted.”
“I'm happy, too.” Hermione said softly.
A few seconds later when the two girls burst out of Ginny's kitchen, Ron was seated in an armchair, reading an updated version of Quidditch Through The Ages.
“Hi, Ron.” Hermione said, her voice shy. Ron looked up.
“'Ermione!” he said, using a short version of her name Hermione had told him he muttered in his sleep. He had hoped it would come out casual and offhand. Instead, he sounded a bit drunk. “How are you? What are you doing here?”
“I've come to talk to you.” Hermione said, her head cocked in the most adorable way. Behind Hermione, Ginny was standing there, her eyes open wide, her mouth in a goofy smile, giving Ron two enthusiastic thumbs up. Ron gave her a look, and Ginny folded her hands into little mouths and stuck them together, moving them around to simulate snogging while jumping up and down.
“Are you feeling well, Ginny?” Ron asked. Hermione whipped around. Ginny had stopped jumping and was staring innocently at Hermione.
“Come to think of it, Ginny, your face does look a little flushed.” Hermione said, looking concerned.
“Oh, you're right, I'll have Harry bring me over to the Healer, I feel quite ill. HARRY!”
Hermione and Ron covered their ears as Ginny said Harry's name once more.
“He's outside, Ginny.” Ron managed to say.
“Oh, merlin, must I do everything around here?” Ginny moaned. “HARRY!” she yelled once more, before stomping past Ron and out of the house. After the door had slammed shut behind Ginny, Hermione walked over to the couch and took a tentative seat on it.
“So...” she said. “What are you reading?”
“It's an updated version of Quidditch Through The Ages.” Ron said, not bothering to look at her. Hermione turned bright red for no apparent reason.
“Oh. Really?” she said. “Is that the one I gave you for Christmas last year?”
So much for acting like he didn't care.
“The very one.” Ron said, his tone uninterested.
“I'm surprised you haven't lost that yet.” Hermione said, laughing nervously. “It's rather uncharacteristic, don't you think?”
“Very.” Ron confirmed.
“Listen, Ron, I've been meaning to talk to you about something.” Hermione said.
“Go ahead.” Ron nodded.
“Well, I went home and I visited my mum over the last week-” Hermione started.
“Did you really?” Ron asked, looking up from his book. “How is she, then?”
“She's great,” Hermione said, her features arranged into an adorably confused look. Sweet Merlin. Ron had to stop comparing Hermione to adorableness in his head. It was compromising what he was trying to do.
“That's lovely.” Ron said, returning to his book.
“And I also went to visit my childhood friend, Rose. We talked, and I decided that-”
“Rose? That's a beautiful name, isn't it?” Ron said, looking up once more. “Your face is adorable when you get all flustered, you know.”
DAMN his head. By swearing not to say adorable on the inside, he hadn't meant to say it on the outside, either. He'd meant not to say it at all!
“Oh. Er- thank you, then.” Hermione said. “So, anyway. Rose helped me realize that-”
“Do you fancy some tea?” Ron said, getting up and placing his book on the armchair. Hermione, looking like a deer caught in the headlights, stared at the book until all the pages had flipped to one side and the book had flipped closed. Actually, she looked more like a reindeer caught in headlights. Her face was redder then Rudolph's nose.
“I... I already have tea.” Hermione said, holding up her cup.
“Cucumber sandwiches, then.” Ron said, whistling as he walked into the kitchen. Hermione scampered in nervously behind him and took a seat at the table, drumming her fingers against the tea cup.
“Sorry.” Ron said. He conjured a white flag with his wand and threw it onto the floor.
"Hey, your sandwich is ready! Come get it!"
“Fine.” Hermione said, getting up to go get her sandwich. Ron held it above his head so Hermione couldn't reach it. “Ronald!” Hermione said, her voice warning him. She placed her hands on her hips and stuck her bottom lip out. Then Ron leaned down and acted like he was about to kiss her. Their bodies were touching, Hermione was leaning on him. He could smell the delicious scent of tea coming off of her breath.
“Oh, two o'clock already?” Ron asked, walking away from Hermione. She fell onto the floor. “Time for my afternoon date with the Cannons.”
He sat in the armchair and turned on the wireless. He tried to engross himself in the game (Cute, pretty, beautiful, enticing, magical, magnificent, amazing, lovley breath taking, adorable, delicious, engrossing.) but he suddenly heard sobs. With a pang, Ron realized that he had gone too far. He turned off the wireless and started into the kitchen, but a loud crack announced to him that Hermione was already gone. Ron sighed dejectedly and sat back down in the chair.
The movie script writers were damn right.
A/N: *Hides from angry readers* Hey, guys. Yeah, I kept them apart again. Sorry! I thought I'd give you a hint about the next chapter, so that you wouldn't be too mad. Ehem. Something huge happens. There's a Hogwarts party. And there's a special room that means a lot to Ron and Hermione... hints completed. If you have a guess, tell me in a review! If you hate me, tell me in a review! But be nice about your hatred hey, you can also tell me you love me! By the way, I have a new Ron/Hermione novella called 'On The Edge of Insanity', so I'll be putting chapters in of that, then this... so it will be an every other chapter thing, validation wise. If that makes any sense. ~writergirl8
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