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Chapter 1 : The Demon Within
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Ron looked at Hermione across the Gryffindor Common room. There she was sitting in a high back chair, legs hitched up beneath her, engrossed in a spell book in front of the open, roaring fire. She was perfect, in his eyes, funny, clever, spontaneous and yet sensible at the same time, with sparkling eyes and a beautiful smile to match. He stared at her, a far away expression on his face, eyes glazed over. She was what he wanted, she was what he needed… if only the right moment would arise for him to tell her of his feelings, and how that she was what he lived for.
Ron left the comfort of his beanbag, brushing himself down and flicking his fingers through his hair as he did so. He cleared his throat, gulped down and nervously walked over to the fireplace. He sat down in a large, comfortable chair opposite the girl of his dreams. It took her a few seconds to notice him, she was obviously finishing the end of a chapter, or memorising a charm.
"Hi Ron." She said, smiling at him. A tingling sensation ran down Ron's spine as he looked at her, happy to see him, with cheeks gently reddened from the warmth of the fire, a slight shine from the smoothness of her perfectly shaped nose, glinting at him. "What's up?" She smiled again, looking deeper into Ron's eyes. But Ron could only sit and look at those pearly white teeth, the long, delicious rings of fair golden hair and eyes as bright and beautiful as a star. He was drowning, lost in the depths of Hermione's eyes, his imagination running wild and free. "Ron?" She said inquisitively. She moved her hand towards his eyes and waved it about in his line of vision. "Hello?" She moved her head right up next to Ron's, their lips now merely a few inches apart. "Boo" she said in a semi-mocking way. Before winking at Ron and smiling again.
"This is my chance." thought Ron, captivated by Hermione's features, so close to his, close enough to touch. Ron raised his hand and placed it on Hermione's cheek. The smile dropped from her face, her usually smooth visage now became furrowed with a look of disapproval, and slight worry.
"What are you doing Ron?" she said, her voice quivering nervously, she was frightened, "she always blinks when she is scared" he thought, breathing deeply. Ron slid his hand down her neck and onto her shoulder. He slowly asserted more pressure, pulling her towards him, ever so slowly, caressing her delicate shoulder with his fingers as he did so. They were getting close now, he could feel her short, stifled breath upon his lips, he could smell the sweet scent of her skin. She wasn't putting up any sort of fight, so Ron closed his eyes and pulled her ever closer. Just as he felt her soft lips meet his there was a hard impact on the side of his face, and a loud clapping sound, followed by an immediate, red hot stinging sensation.
"What the Hell are you doing Ron?" she shouted, lowering her hand and clenching her fist. Ron sat bolt upright in shock, softly touching his throbbing red cheek. Hermione may have been the most feminine person he had ever met, but she slapped like a man.
"B..But…it's..it's just that I really like you Hermione and I thought you liked me too, and I think about you a…all the time…..and I just want us to be together…you are perfect. I….I love you." Hermione blushed slightly, and smiled also, thinking that his romantic truth had won her over.
"I love you too, Ron" Ron's slapped face broke into a broad smile. "But not in that way." The smile dropped to the floor. "I love you, as a friend Ron. You mean a lot to me, you support me, and you've always been there for me. And that's the way I want to keep it. We are good friends, it should stay like that." She smiled at him, tilting her head slightly, as if asking him if he understood.
Ron felt like he had been stabbed, stabbed in the heart. He felt all his hope and content slipping out of him, as if his very life-blood was leaking on to the cold, stone floor. He looked into the fire and swallowed hard. "But…you are everything to me…I can't get you out of my head," he said, turning back to her. "I close my eyes and you are there… you are all my dreams come true." He was breathing quickly and sharply, a strange feeling was rising in his throat. "I need you, Hermione, I need you!" A tear welled up in his eye. "I need you to be my girlfriend!"
Hermione looked into the fire, and sighed, as the lone tear cascaded down Ron's still red and stinging cheek. "But Ron," she paused, sighing again. Her sea-like eyes looked straight into his. "I can't be your girlfriend. I can't because I am already someone else's girlfriend. I was going to tell you this sooner but, I couldn't find the right moment. It's just that…Harry and I have been together now for a couple of weeks. And I love him more than anything in the world." She wiped the tear away from Ron's face with her soft, smooth fingers. "But you'll always be my best friend." She said, smiling again. Ron looked away and sniffed. She placed her hand against his face and turned it back to hers. "OK?" A tear had now formed in her eye. "I'm sorry Ron, I'm so sorry it had to be like this". She turned away as the tear fell, and ran out of the Common Room. Stifling back the sobs.
Ron collapsed back into the chair. His whole world had been shattered within a couple of minutes. "She doesn't want me." he thought, more tears welling up in his self-pity. "She doesn't want me" he repeated, shaking his head in disbelief of the whole situation. Ron eyes were drawn to the fire once more. The flames darted in the reflections of his eye. The tears stopped. "She doesn't want me". He said, in a slow, deliberate manner. "She wants…..Potter". His voice had now become calm, his brow creased in a frown. His voice became harder and menacing. "After all I've done, she wants him! She's probably crying in his arms right now. Well, I'll make him pay, 'Perfect Harry Potter' won't be perfect much longer, I'll make her want me! Yes….revenge. Once Harry is out of the equation, how can she refuse me?" A wry smile had taken over his lips. He chuckled dryly, still staring into the flames, imp like shadows flickering across his face. "He'll pay for this," whispered Ron, the smile spreading across his face. "My God he'll pay."
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