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Chapter 1 : Jar of Hearts
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“I mean we have been together forever, and I think it’s time to make it official, and get married,” he finished quietly, barely glancing at me while he was talking.
He thought, and I might have too at one time been jumping for joy. I had been complaining for a while that our relationship had not been going anywhere, and I was slightly sad about that. That was all before though, before I got the devastating news, before I really knew what was going on, and before I knew what kind of a man Ronald was. I looked down at my hands and realized that I was shaking. The old Hermione, the one that didn’t know about it, would be so happy.
But I was the new Hermione and I was mad. I wasn’t going to be afraid to say something, that old Hermione was gone. I was going to tell him, and get it over with. The Hermione that was holding this relationship together was gone for good. She was done being trampled over. Although I wanted to be done with him, and with the sham of our relationship, I was going to be nice to him.
“Ron, how could I marry you? What about Hannah? Were you going to just give her up for me? Or how is this going to work?”
I had just found out a few days earlier that he was seeing Hannah as well. I thought that we had made it clear that we were in a relationship, but obviously not. I mean, we had been living together and it was pretty much known that eventually we were going to get married.
At least I knew that anyhow. Ron seemed to be lacking those details or the details that when you are in a relationship with somebody usually you don’t try to have another girlfriend or anything like that.
“I can’t do this anymore. I have been here for you, through everything. When things were bad after the war, to good times and with your work problems, I have been here for you. I can’t be with you anymore if you are going to have somebody else around you. I just can’t. Why in the world did you cheat on me? How could you do that?!”
By this time I had started to cry, and I was getting even more upset than I already was. I was planning on talking to him tonight about it, but I didn’t realize that he wanted to get married. It hurt so much to think that he just proposed. To think that we could be together and happy, but not now. I couldn’t stand being near him, and I decided that if I was going to stick to what I just said then I was going to have to leave our house together and go someplace else.
I ran into the bedroom and grabbed the bag of stuff I had packed up before he had come home from work. Ron was not very happy that I had a bag ready, and his face started to turn funny colors, like it did every time he was mad.
“Oh so you had this planned did you? I see how it is. You were planning on leaving me anyhow, and now you are trying to make up this stuff about Hannah? You know what, you go ahead and leave. See where you get. You better know though, you will never be with me again if you decide to leave. Just remember that if you walk out this door I will never let you back in. You would be giving up a great part of your life.”
He had been standing to block the door, but then he moved out of the way and made a motion with his hand for me to leave. Before I could leave though, I had to grab something out of my bag. I threw all the things that I pulled out at his feet. They were pictures of Hannah and Ron, doing all sorts of things that people in relationships would do.
“Before you get mad at me Ron, you can’t lie. I have proof. Do you see those pictures? You didn’t sneak around very much with her. The only reason I didn’t notice was because I was so busy at work. Now you remember this, I am leaving because of you. Don’t fool yourself.”
“And by the way, I loved you. And I still do. But I don’t think that I can stand for this, and I don’t think that you are going to ever change. You aren’t the person that I thought you were, and I don’t think that you were ever that person. I let what I thought was you cloud everything. I refuse to be that girl anymore Ron. I am not going to be the person that you can walk all over and say whatever you want to, and just take it. Forget it; I am not going to let it happen. I didn’t say anything for a while, and I realized that I just didn’t love you, not anymore. I really don’t know if I loved you at all, or if I just thought I did.”
With those words I walked out of our bedroom, where there were so many memories. I took a quick glance around the house and realized that I didn’t have all that many happy memories there. The house was beautiful, but that is all it was. I walked out and shut the door, and started walking to the gate. I almost turned around, and went back to him though.
I was wondering why I was doing something so outrageous, and I was really worried that I was screwing up. Squaring my shoulders, I lifted a hand and gave a slight wave to the window where Ron was sitting and watching, and then I lifted my arm for the Knight Bus.
I didn’t know how this was going to work out, but somehow someway I was going to make it happen, and I would be better for it in the end.
I cut off Stan as soon as he started talking. I really didn’t want to know how much the bus was going to cost me, or any of the upgrades. I just wanted to sit in the silence and let my mind wander. I couldn’t believe quite yet that I had left Ron and I felt like I had cut all of my ties and was floating around free, not knowing where I was going to get.
“Stan, I don’t really care. I just want to get out of here.”
I handed him my money, told him where I was going, picked my bag back up and then headed to the back of the bus where hopefully I would get some quiet time to myself. The action of the bus really didn’t bother me any. I sat there with all the thoughts that were running through my mind and I wondered if I had made a wrong choice and if I should turn around and go back to him. Despite what I said, I still loved him, or so I thought. I don’t think that he really meant what he said either, he would take me back. As all these thoughts ran through my head I sat and watched out the window. It was a really pretty day, and although that usually helped my mood, today I could care less.
I was in for a long ride; there were quite a few stops before I would get to where I was going. To spend my time out of my head I decided to people watch. I love just watching how people react, and sometimes people create the most amusing situations.
I stared off into space and was shocked away when Stan came and yelled right in my ear.
“Hey lady! This is your stop!”
I snapped out of what I was thinking about, and I glared at him. It was a horrible time for him to come yelling for me, and besides I knew that this was my stop. He didn’t have to be rude and annoying. I climbed through the bus and then off it. I was about a block away from my childhood home and I took a deep breath and organized my look a little bit. It would not be good to walk in there with my hair all a mess and looking like I did.
I was hoping that they would not be mad that I was coming home right now, but they were great about most things and I think they were going to be okay about this. I opened the door and hauled all of my stuff into the living room.
“Mum, Dad? I’m home.”
I walked into the kitchen, and to my shock Ron was sitting there. I was surprised, and didn’t resist when my mother put me into one of her giant hugs.
“Sweetie! It’s good you got home safe. Ron and we were very worried about you. You just sit down here and have some tea and I think that we can all talk.”
I was just staring at Ron, and I heard what she said, but I wasn’t really listening to all that very much to what she saying. I looked over at Ron, and realized that I needed his hug, and that I wanted to say sorry.
That made me think though that I had to be stronger than that, and I had told Ron that I was done and I wasn’t going to change my mind.
“Mum, Dad, Ron and I got in a fight today. By fight I mean a fight that was bigger than we have ever had before. I don’t know how much he told you, or what he even told you. I broke up with him and I am not going to get back together with him. Right now though, I hurt, and I don’t want to see him. So if you guys could, please kick him out of the house. I guess I should ask if I can stay here a couple of days, until I get things figured out.”
I was worried that they were going to say no, I know that they loved the freedom they got when I moved out of the house. With their nods though, I relaxed and smiled for the first time since the fight.
“I guess I am going to take my stuff to the room, and freshen up a little bit. Can we talk a bit later?”
Again with their nods, I headed up to what used to be my old bedroom and started to unpack what I had brought with me. My new life was starting in a familiar place, and I was hoping that this would help me move on.
After I finished unpacking I knew that sooner or later I was going to have to answer the questions that were waiting for me downstairs. I made sure of course that I cleaned up and was ready to go. There was no reason to be upset with them, and I needed the time that it would take to calm me down. I decided that a bath would be great and I ran the water.
Usually I was not one for a bubble bath, but I did enjoy them when I was in a stressed out mood and needed to calm down. I turned the water up as hot as I could, let the bubbles formed and then slipped into the tub up to my nose. It was a very relaxing time and I was able just to shut everything out and not have to listen to it.
My brain kept telling me that I was doing the right thing, but my heart was struggling with that concept. I wanted to be with him, and it felt wrong, but I knew this was the best thing for me.
After finishing up in the bath I realized that I couldn’t keep stalling. I got dressed and went into the kitchen. There was my mother and father, just waiting for me. My mother had made her special tea, which is a treat for anybody to get. She will never tell me what is in it, but she did say that it was a calming blend. She had also laid out small treats, and was sitting there.
I guess my parents did remember what got me to talk. It was so nice of them to do this to me, and I decided to tell them the full story.
I think we all sat around that table for three hours, talking and just generally being together. My parents listened and put some comments in here and there but overall it was just them listening to me. I had needed that so much and when I was done talking I felt a million times better. Who knew that just talking could help. It was so nice that they were so willing to listen to me. I was sure that Ron had gotten to them, and told them all sorts of lies.
They both came and gave me huge hugs. Both of them told me that I had made the right decision for me. It was nice to have somebody on my side, and they were both there. They told me that until I got things settled, I was more than welcome to live with them, or anything else. I had thought that they would be more upset about it, they had loved Ron quite a lot, but my as my mother said, they loved me more.
The time that I spent at my parents was so great for me, and at the same time it was really rather horrible. It was awesome to be able to live with them, and they let me do what I wanted. I didn’t have to answer to anybody anymore, and I could do what I wanted. Of course the freedom was wonderful but all I ever did was nothing. Of course I had work, and I threw myself into the work, doing as much as I could whenever I could.
I really lost contact with most of my friends. I was living more in the Muggle World, and was worried that Ron was doing his best to spread rumors of what happened. I lived in my little world for a few months. It was just me, my job and my parents. They left me alone most of the time but sometimes they talked to me or tried to get me to do something.
“Sweetie, you have been in the house constantly for the last weeks. Don’t you want to go out and hang out with your friends?”
She asked me this about once a week, and time and time again I refused. I just didn’t want to see them, I wanted to sit around the house and miss him. I missed him all the times, it hurt so much. When I did something that reminded me of him, or a tradition that we had always done. Our relationship wasn’t always horrible; there were a lot of good time. I missed him and time and time again thought that I should go back to him and apologize. I had fought so hard though, to get even this far, and I was stubborn. I wasn’t going to give up no matter if it killed me.
Slowly my friends started to get in contact with me. It was little things, like a short letter or a phone call from my more Muggle friends. It was really nice and I realized that I missed them a little bit. This was what I started to see, but I was not ready yet to insert myself fully back into life. Still I was not ready.
Ginny and Harry changed that all though. They came around and started to bug me, and didn’t let me hide. They were great friends, and they were not going to let me wallow in whatever it was I was wallowing in. They called and came around, and even managed to drag me to dinner a time or two.
During one of these dinners our conversation got very serious on my life.
“Hermione, you need to get away from this all. Do you realize what brooding is doing to you? You are ignoring all of your friends, and just living at your job. You need to do something, anything to get out of this funk.”
Harry was talking, and you could tell that he was very serious. I thought about it for a couple of days and decided that maybe he was saying the truth. I decided to take the first step that would make my life restart, I got my own place.
I wanted to make my little place into something that was completely me. Pictures went up on the walls that were colorful and bright. I brought in all sorts of colors that made the rooms look light an airy, almost an exact opposite of what I lived in before. To really make it into my place though, there had to be a party. I invited a few people, my friends. Ginny, Harry, Neville, Luna and Pavarti to name just a few.
I promised to keep in contact with all the people that I had met, and I was going to keep that promise. It was great to finally be going again. As the days kept turning I found myself going out with my friends, talking to people and just generally living. I stopped thinking about Ron as much, and realized that I didn’t need him.
One of the people that I owled the most was Neville. He was great to talk too! He understood what I was talking about, having gone through a bad relationship himself. Never pushed me to talk about something I didn’t want to, and I found myself looking forward to every owl he sent me.
Usually when I hung out with friends, I just hung out with a few. Mostly Neville, Harry, Ginny, Seamus and Padma. I really didn’t hang out with anybody else or with large crowds. I got invited to a party though, that included all these people and a few more.
Who knew that I would go to this party and it would finally change my life into something that was so different.
“Come on Hermione! You know you want to go, and you are just being a chicken. If you can handle that little party that you hosted you can handle this. We are just going out as a big group of friends and having drinks. You will survive.”
Ginny was over at my place, trying to pep me up for this party. We were in my bedroom, doing all the things that girls do. I had a long time ago stopped caring about what my hair did, but Ginny was all over getting it to look good.
“Okay, Gin. Okay, I’ll go. And I’ll dress however you want me to, so you can stop glaring. If I have fun, I’ll love you forever, but if I don’t, well you know what I will do.”
You could never win against her; it had to be something to do with her bat bogey hex. So we hurried off to the party, because of course we were late. There were people everywhere, and it was a great time. We talked and drank and just generally acted like a bunch of kids.
It was great, until the idiot showed up. That was horrible. I was so happy just to finally be having fun, but Ron showed up. He brought Hannah with him, and although I tried to hide it, I was hurt.
I went and hid at a back table, and Neville brought me a drink.
“You know, it’s not that bad. You know you don’t love him anymore, and are ready to move on.”
Neville was rather wise on things like this, and I just wanted to leave the Leaky Cauldron. It was great talking to everybody, but I was not ready to see Ron and his new squeeze walking around.
“Hey I just need to go home.”
Well I wanted to go home, but I was just a little bit tipsier that I though. Neville was kind enough to take me home, and when I got there I went straight to bed and didn’t think about anything.
I was awoken by a knock at my door. I got up and dressed and opened the door. Surprise of all surprises it was Ron. I barely opened my door and he was barreling in like he owned the place. I realized that I was not going to be able to get him out before he finished what he was going to say, and I closed the door and headed to the kitchen. There was no use to do this on no tea, I poured myself a quick mug and followed Ron into the living room.
“Why did Neville take you home?”
Ron whirled around and looked at me. He was mad, and I do believe a bit jealous.
“It was really nothing, I swear. He brought me home because I was drunk, and he wanted to make sure I was safe. Not that really it’s any of your business, but there you go. So is that all you wanted?”
“No that is not all what I wanted. Just because you think we are done you go and cheat on me? I saw the way you were looking at him! I was waiting for you; I want you to come home with me. Please would you come home to me and us? We can get married and everything.”
He even had tears in his eyes and it was hurting me. I was stunned and speechless and really didn’t know what to say. I wanted to say yes, give him a hug and leave with him. Before I could say anything though, an owl tapped on my window. To let myself think I let the owl in, grabbed the letter and read it. I knew what I had to do after I read that letter.
“Ron, I loved you. I don’t love you anymore. I would like you to leave and never come back.”
I opened the door for him, and he walked through. I set the letter down on the table and went to find an outfit in my closet. Who knew that just a few sentences would finally make me realize.
Do you want to go to dinner tonight? Meet me at the Leaky at 6.
Thank so much guys. This originally was going to be a song-fic, but as it developed I found it becoming its own story. This is my first chapter, so if you would like to leave reviews that would be awesome. Thanks to Selene for looking over this and helping me catch a few things :)
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