Chapter 1 : Enchanted
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It was just another ordinary night for me. The women were dressed in long, elegant sweeping dresses, the men in their best suits. We were in the ballroom which was glowing in the candlelight; the low chatter accompanying the violins was making a calm, peaceful sound. I greeted the people that my parents forced me to talk to, and I was faking smiles when they complimented me on my dress, and forced laughter when they told jokes I had heard so many times before. The ripple of the waves were bouncing on the side of the ship, causing the chandeliers to sway slightly, from side to side. My mother and father had decided that we were to travel to New York, for a better business opportunity. I never saw the point, we had a beautiful home in England, that I was most likely never to see again. I had never wanted to travel on the ship, I despised the things, and I had always thought that they would sink. But my father kept reminding me, “Nonsense Hermione, the Titanic is unsinkable, we’re probably safer on this boat than on dry land!” I doubted that very much, but kept my mouth closed.
We had boarded the Titanic two days ago, on April the tenth. My mother and father led the way, walking around the ship like they owned the place. They turned their noses up at the steerage passengers, as they ran around in what they called rags, with dirt on their noses and cheeks. I always thought that it would be intriguing to live life the way they did, but I never told my parents that. To them, third class was the lowest of the low. To be third class, was worse than to be homeless and living on the streets. I had turned my neck, watching them, but my mother quickly dragged me away, to the first class staircase to find our rooms. I had a separate suite from my parents, something which I was very grateful for. The room was quite satisfactory, flower patterned wallpaper adorned the walls, a four poster bed stood in the centre of the room, chests of draws and a separate bathroom. I knew that I should have been thankful for all that I had, but I had wanted a different life. A life that I found out about when I was eleven years old.
It was a breezy September morning, the morning of my eleventh birthday no less. I had woken to a lavish pile of presents, and a breakfast cooked by the maids. My parents and I were due to go out for a meal that night but we never got to, because of a piece of news that disturbed them greatly. Just after we had finished eating breakfast, just my mother and father and I were gathered round the long table, sipping tea and reading the morning papers. Suddenly, there was a knock at the door. One of the maids rushed to get it, and returned soon enough with an odd looking character. She said, “Mr and Mrs Granger? This woman here says that she is due to talk with you?”
My mother looked confused, but my father smiled, and said, “Oh yes, thank you Maria. Why don’t you and the others get to the dishes?” The maids scampered off, as I eyed the character curiously. She was fairly young, with dark hair and a dazzling smile. But what made me stare were her clothes, I had never seen any like them. Father announced brightly, “Sit down, and sit down! Now Jean, this is Professor Rea. She comes from a school in Scotland, and she says that Hermione has a place!”
I froze instantly at that news. I didn’t want to go to a boarding school at all! But I kept my mouth shut, as I knew that it was disrespectful to interrupt. My mother didn’t look to happy either, but she too kept quiet, as Professor Rea began to talk. “I have talked to Mr Granger before about the school that I teach in, but I have not told him what kind of school it is.” My father looked startled; for once he was in the dark about something! “This may come as a bit of a shock to you, but Hogwarts School is no ordinary school. It is a school of magic. Your daughter is a witch.”
I just sat there, my mouth couldn’t open and my hands were clenched nervously. For some reason, it didn’t come as much of a shock to me, but my parents, well that was a different story. My father turned a bright red, and my mother stood up and started yelling at her. “Who do you think you are doing, saying our daughter is a witch? That is completely out of order! Everybody knows that there is no such thing as magic!”
My father, no matter how red he was remained silent. Professor Rea replied calmly, “Has there ever been a time, when Hermione has made something happen, when she was scared, angry, or sometimes even surprised?”
My mother stopped to think, but timidly I spoke up. “Mother, father, there was the time that three of our horses ran away, and nobody was there except me, and I never touched them. I was angry because I didn’t want to go to France on one of your trips.”
Professor Rea just stood there smiling, but suddenly father shouted at her, “If there is such a thing as magic, show us some then!” Calmly, she drew out what I later worked out was a wand, and set the table on fire.
I got up from my seat as quickly as I could and ran to the other side of the room with shock, and my mother shrieked. With another wave of the wand the flames were gone. I thought it was amazing, the most magical thing I had ever seen. But to my parents, she was a freak. Father shouted at her, “GET OUT! HERMIONE WILL NOT BE ATTENDING THE SCHOOL; SHE IS NOT TURNING INTO A FREAK LIKE YOU!”
Mother repeated the same thing, and after ignoring many protests from the Professor, they shoved her out of the door. From that day on, I had always wanted to go to Hogwarts, to learn to be a witch. I knew that I was one, as from then on, strange and mysterious accidents began to occur. My parents could never look at me the same way again, and I wasn’t treated the same. But that was eight years ago. It wasn’t my life, this was my life. Living like a princess, and riding on unsinkable ships on their maiden voyages.
Sighing, I looked around, craning my neck for a better view. I was the only one not dancing, all of the first class passengers were gliding across the dance floor with their partners, and all of them looked happy and content, they looked like they were enjoying themselves. They were deeply in love, something which I could only dream of. I watched as the diamonds and jewels from the dresses glimmered and shined in the light, as the colours of the dresses, red, blue, purple and green turned into a rainbow for my eyes. I smiled as I saw my mother and father in each others arms; they were still in love, even after a long twenty years of marriage. I knew that they didn’t love me as much as they should, but I still loved them, more than anything else in the whole world. For a while, I watched the musicians, as the wooden bows glided softly over the violins, the violas, the cellos. The music was beautiful, so soft, so unlike anything I had ever heard before. I swayed in time to the music, and returned the smile that one of the violinists shot me when he caught me staring at him. I flushed a light pink, and went back to watching my parents. I stretched my fingers, and pulled up my gloves. I needed some fresh air, so I picked up the bottom of my long sweeping dress and went on a walk around the decks of the ship.
I went out to the deck, and stared out at the open blue sea. It was so blissful, and so quiet, I was alone. There was nobody else there, and I liked that. I watched as the calm waves bounced against each other, and stared up at the magnificent full moon, which was floating proud and mighty next to all of the stars which hung around the coal black sky, shining, almost guiding the boat along on its travels to a faraway land. The night was sparkling, I could almost see the fairy dust floating in the air, the angelic fairies laughing and joking with each other. I wondered if there were such things as fairies, after all, there was such a thing as witches and wizards. I gazed up, and watched the moons alluring rays shimmer down onto my pale skin.
Suddenly, I heard loud footsteps, coming my way. I turned around, shocked to be interrupted; I was so used to the peace and quiet. I felt insecure, so I wished, hoped and dreamed that the person was just passing by the deck to get to somewhere else. But all of that vanished, when I saw his face. He was a third class passenger; there was no doubt about that. But his face was what drawn me straight to him. He had kind, caring sapphire blue eyes, and fiery red hair. He had freckles, tens upon hundreds upon thousands of them, and if one was to count them it would take hours on end at the least. He was tall, a lot taller than me; I was only tiny and delicate, easily breakable. I would only come up to his shoulders, if that. His eyes began to whisper to me, it was like they were saying, “Have we met?” He must have thought I looked quite familiar, but he didn’t to me. I would remember him, his mysterious eyes, and that kind smile.
He began to make his way to me, not taking his eyes off me once. I turned to face him, we were really quite close, and I could feel his hot breath against my cool neck. I asked him quietly, “I don’t mean to be rude, but you realise that this deck is for first class only? You’ll get into lots of trouble if you get caught.”
“I don’t mind that, if it means that I get to talk to you,” he replied softly, as I blushed, and looked down at the floor. “What’s your name?”
“I’m Hermione. Hermione Granger.”
“I’m Ron. Ronald Weasley.”
I replied playfully, “Well Ronald Weasley, why do you want to talk to me?”
He grinned. “I couldn’t help but notice how beautiful you looked, under the stars. And besides, you looked lonely, and I couldn’t let that happen to a young lady like you could I?” After looking deep into my eyes, he picked up my hand, and after looking at me for permission, he kissed it, softly, but enough to send shivers running up and down my spine.
I smiled at him, as he lowered our hands, but kept his hand pressed firmly in mine. “Tell me about yourself,” I said to him. “Why are you travelling to New York?”
He grinned, and said, “There isn’t much to tell. I have my mother and father, I have five older brothers, all of whom are married or engaged. Two of them have a child, and three are pregnant. Then there’s my younger sister, Ginny. She’s just a year younger than me, and she has a boyfriend, called Harry, and I’m nineteen years old. My father has been brought to New York by his work, and he said he wasn’t going without the whole family. There’s seventeen of us altogether, all of my brothers wanted to come to New York as well. And, I went to a boarding school in Scotland called Hogwarts.”
My eyes widened, and my grip tightened on his hand. Hogwarts? It couldn’t be! He was a wizard. He saw my alarmed face, and said to me, “What’s the matter Hermione? Are you okay? He genuinely looked concerned, and I felt a flutter in my heart when I heard the alarmed tone in his face.
“I need to tell you something, but you need to promise not to tell anybody.” He nodded, and searched my chestnut eyes for any clues. “I- I know that you’re a wizard. I got a visit from a woman named Professor Rea on my eleventh birthday, asking me to go to Hogwarts, but my parents refused to let me go, that I would be a freak if I went. None of us knew that magic existed beforehand, and now we never talk about it. I wanted to go so badly, but they refused, and- and,” I burst into tears.
Ron threw his arms around me, and engulfed me in a hug. He brushed the tears from my eyes, and smiled kindly at me. “I am a wizard. I did go to Hogwarts, and I would have met you there if you had gone. But you know what Hermione? I doesn’t matter, because I’ve met you now haven’t I? Everything will be okay.” And for some reason, I believed him.
“Thank you Ron,” and hardly daring to believe what I was doing, I kissed his cheek. He touched it mesmerised, probably not daring to believe that first class lady had even talked to him, let alone kissed him. I took a deep breath, and said, “I have been rich all of my life. My parents have well more money than they need, more than enough for about ten lifetimes. I am an only child, but I wish that I wasn’t. I’ve came on the Titanic to New York because my father wanted to expand his business further and insisted that my mother and I accompany him. I wanted to stay in England, but I was told I had to come with them.”
“In all honesty, it must be nice to just have three of you. Do you know how hard it is to have seventeen people around all the time?”
I laughed. “I can imagine.” For a while, we just stood there in silence, just watching the sea, (though I was sure that Ron was looking at me rather than the outside world.) Not fully thinking through all of the consequences, I blurted out to Ron, “Come with me.”
Looking at me curiously, he followed. Being careful to make sure no first class passengers or the staff saw us, I led him up the First Class Staircase, and down the corridor to the outside of my mother and fathers room. I took a pin out of my hair, and fiddled with the lock until the door swung open. When I took him inside, I said, “This is my parent’s suite.” He looked around in awe; he probably hadn’t seen anything like it before. “Ron, I want you to come to the ballroom with me, so you’ll have to borrow one of my father’s suits and hope he doesn’t notice.”
He looked shocked, and said, “But Hermione, if I get caught, I could get my whole family kicked off the ship!”
“You won’t, I promise. I’ll just say your another First Class Passenger, and besides, everybody believes me because I’m a charming young lady.” I grinned, laughing at the thought.
He laughed, and said, “Okay then.”
So I went into the wardrobe and pulled out a suit, and a pair of shoes. I shoved them to his chest, and told him, “Go through to the bathroom and get changed, quickly.”
He did as he was told, so whilst I waited I went to straighten my hair, and re apply my make up. When he came out five minutes later, I gasped. He looked amazing, so smart and so Ron. “What do you think Hermione?”
“I think that you look amazing Ron, honestly.” I led him out of my parent’s room, and put his other clothes in my suite. He continued to grin wildly, as we made our way to the ballroom.
He gasped in appreciation when we got there; it was a truly stunning place to be. Everyone else was still dancing, though it was just before midnight. He offered out his hand, and asked me, whilst bowing, “May I have this dance my fair lady?”
“You may my kind Sir.” We both laughed, as we glided effortlessly onto the floor. He had never danced before, so I shown him where to put his hands, how to lead, and in no time, we were dancing just as well as the other couples who had years of experience. Though I had danced with many other men before, that dance was different. I felt like I actually enjoyed it, I was dancing with somebody who I actually liked, not somebody who my parents thought was suitable. It was perfect.
We danced for hours on end, as couples drifted away from the ballroom, one by one, until there was nobody left except for us. We were still dancing even though the musicians had left, and in a way, I preferred it like that. His hand was still wrapped around my waist, and my head was on his shoulder.
When the clock struck two am, I stopped, and took hold of both of his hands. I had to ask him something, it hadn’t really bothered me before, but I had to ask him. “Ron?”
“I- I think that I’m in love with you, and I know that it’s only been a few hours, but I swear it has been the best few hours of my entire life. And I have to ask you, who do you love?”
His face softened, and a little smile formed on his face. “You want to know who I love Hermione? I love your hair, I love your eyes, and I love your smile. I love your lips, I love your tendency to ramble on for quite a long time, and I love the way you blush when I say your name. And yes, I know it has only been a few hours, but they have been the best hours of my life too. I love you Hermione Jean Granger, nobody else but you.”
Tears fell down my cheek, and before I had the chance to even remind myself that this was completely stupid, we kissed. Our mouths moved in sync, my hands roamed his hair, and his were around my waist. His lips were soft, and he caressed my face, gently, a beautiful sign of affection. I never wanted the moment to end, and for a while, it didn’t. We stayed like that for what seemed like hours, and when we finally broke apart, I looked at him, and said, “I love you Ronald Weasley.”
“I love you too Hermione Granger.” And we started again exactly where we had left off, our lips on each others, where they belonged. When we finally retired to bed, we made plans to see each other again later on in the day, and after a final kiss, he left. I changed quickly into a nightgown, but I couldn’t sleep. I got out of bed and paced back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, oh how I wished he was at my door, to save me, to whisk me away. Suddenly, I heard a knock, and I quickly swung the door open. It was Ron. My Ron. He threw his lips back on mine, and without even saying a word, I let him in, and we shut the door, leaving the world behind us, for it was our moment, and nobody could ever change that. The night was flawless, it was sparkling, and I was wonderstruck. We discovered more things we had never known about each other, and I felt like there was no one else in the world except us. All I knew is I was enchanted to meet you. I was enchanted to meet Ronald Weasley.
It was April the fourteenth, and it was twenty minutes until midnight. I was in the lounge with my parents, desperately missing Ron. I was bored out of my mind making small talk with my mother and father, and I couldn’t wait until one am when I was to meet Ron again. I had met all of his family, and suffice to say, they were shocked that they had brought a girl from first class to meet them. They were lovely people, and I hoped that I would get to know them better. Out of the blue, a loud scraping noise appeared from nowhere. I looked up worriedly, and so did many others, but my mother and father thought nothing of it and went back to talking to each other about New York. I didn’t dismiss it quite so easily though, I knew there was something wrong, but after a warning look from my father I sat back down.
But just a few minutes later, a group of male staff shouted to us all, “Please, ladies and gentlemen, come and collect a life jacket, the captain has insisted that you go up to the boat deck.”
People began to get out of their seats and scramble to the door, but my mother and father didn’t move. “Mother! Father! Come on, we must go!”
“I am not leaving Hermione, there won’t be anything wrong,” my mother said, waving her hand dismissively in the air.
“You heard the noise before, please!”
“Please, imagine if their really something is wrong. I would need to make sure that you get to the boats safely. Please.”
Rolling their eyes at each other, they reluctantly agreed, and we went to get a lifejacket. When we got there, we heard an announcement. “Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m sorry to say that the Titanic has hit an iceberg, and we need all of the women and children to get into the lifeboats. Second and Third class are getting to the boats if there is space later, so please stay calm.”
My mother began to sob uncontrollably, and I began to do the same. Ron, Ron, Ron! No, it couldn’t happen! There was no way that him or his family were going to survive, and I loved Ron more than anything else in the whole world. I began to scream, “Ron, Ron, Ron! Where are you?” My parents thought that he was a man travelling in first class on his own, and they approved of him. My father was whispering in my mother’s ear, comforting her, saying she would be fine, I would be fine, and he would be fine, he would make sure that he stayed alive, for us.
“Father, I need to find Ron!”
“I’m sure that he will be fine Hermione, I will keep an eye out for him. Nothing will happen to him!”
“No, he won’t be okay! I’m sorry Father but Ron isn’t who you think he is! He’s from Third Class, and I love him so much! And I don’t care if you say he isn’t suitable, he’s far kinder than any of them men you have tried to make me marry before!”
Mother and Father just stood there, shocked. I think because of the situation they didn’t make a big deal of it, but I could see the hurt, pain and confusion in their eyes. Suddenly, I heard a yell. “HERMIONE!” I whipped my head round, and there was Ron. He was running towards me, and I ran to him. Straight away our lips met, and I didn’t even care that my parents were watching us. I was crying so hard, tears were streaming down my face like a waterfall, and I could see some in the corners of his eyes too. “Ron! How did you escape?”
“I wasn’t with the other third class passengers, I was looking for you, and so I just slipped away. Hermione, I love you so much, and I promise that we’ll be okay.”
“We won’t be Ron! You know that their only letting women and children in on the boats, you have no hope at all!”
He hugged me tightly, and wiped the tears from my eyes. “I promise Hermione, we will see each other again one day, whether that be tomorrow, in a week, in a month, in a year, in a lifetime. I swear. Now please, promise me that you will get on the boats with your mother.”
“No! I can’t leave you alone!”
“Hermione, please. This is every bit as hard for me as it is for you. I love you so much, and it would hurt me to think that you had died because of me! Please.”
I noticed the tears in his eyes were running down his face too, and I knew that what he spoke was the truth. Even though it hurt me so much, I agreed. I took him over to my parents, and I hugged my father close. “Father, please. Look after him. It’s the one thing I want,” I said to him, with pain and heartbreak in my words.
Sighing, he said, “Normally, I wouldn’t agree to it, but I can see how much he means to you Hermione. I’ll stay with him.”
“Thank you Father,” I said planting a kiss on his head. “Now say goodbye to mother.”
As my parents said their goodbyes, I said to Ron, “It wasn’t supposed to end like this. The story doesn’t end here.”
“I know Hermione, I know.” And we kissed, and as our lips met for what would have been the last time, he hugged me close.
When we broke apart, my mother was waiting for me, so I gave him one last fleeting glance, and said, “I love you.”
“I love you too Hermione. Forever and Always.”
My mother took me by the hand, and led me to the boats where she managed to get ourselves to the front. We were allowed in at once, and when our boat was lowered, and pushed away from the sinking RMS Titanic, I finally managed to see how great of a tragedy it really was. It was half past one and the captain had predicted that the boat should have sunk fully by half past two. An hour. That was all that Ron and my father had left. Oh how I wished that my father had kept his promise and would stick by Ron until the end.
I felt so sorry for all of them men who worked at the bottom of the ship, working with the coal making sure the boat travelled. They were probably already dead, and just thinking about it made me burst into a fresh set of tears.
My mother wrapped her arms around me, and kissed the top of my head. I began to look at who else was in the boat with us, a lot of women that I recognised, and a few children. There was a young woman who looked heavily pregnant, and I gulped, I couldn’t imagine how she must have felt; her husband was most likely going to die. The baby would be fatherless, and the mother alone in New York. There were little babies, crying their eyes out, and not even their mothers could get them to calm down because they were crying heavily themselves. There were no men in the boat at all; the closest being was a boy of about fifteen, how just sat there silently with his head in his hands. There was nobody with him, and I wondered if he had no mother, and his father was forced to stay behind. The thought almost broke my heart, so I told my mother that we would have to take care of him when we got of the ship. She agreed, and went to talk to him for awhile, and my assumptions were correct. His name was John, and he hugged my mother when she said she would take care of him, and you could see tears, from both of them.
For a little while, I just sat there, silently, ignoring the pleas of my mother trying to get me to talk to her. I couldn’t, I really couldn’t. My Ron was going to die, and he wouldn’t even be with his family because he left them to find me. I loved him so much, and even though we had little time with each other I treasured each moment, because I knew that they would mean so much to me later on. The hour we met, when he kissed my hand, when I poured out my life to him, and when I kissed his cheek. When we stole one of my father’s best suits and pairs of shoes, when we went dancing together, when he said he loved me, when we kissed, and the moment that I became part of him, and he became part of me. When I met his family, when I made friends with his sister and sister in laws, when we went on an adventure through all of the decks, and when we kissed, for the last time.
I hadn’t realised how long I had been daydreaming for, because somebody shouted out, “NO!”
Anguished, I looked up, and I too began to scream. The ship was almost completely underwater, and there was painful screams coming from people falling from the boat. I could barely cope with the trauma of it all; I knew that one of those people would be Ron. Someone started to row the boat a little further away, just to make sure that we were safe. There was not one person on the boat with dry eyes, and I had a horrible headache. When it finally went down, it was almost silent. There were few cries, and I could see a few lifeboats dotted around the place. Suddenly I saw somebody just by the boat, gasping for air. I took a closer look, and not daring to believe my eyes, I noticed that it was Ron. “Mother! MOTHER! It’s Ron! Please, we have to help him!”
A woman said kindly to me, disappointment in her eyes, “I’m sorry darling but we already have more people in the boat that we should, it’s really not safe!”
“Hermione!” I heard Ron calling me, and more and more tears fell from my eyes.”
I shouted, “PLEASE!”
When nobody responded, I knew that my battle was lost. Nobody was going to help him. Ron was my life, he was my everything, and if he was going to die, so was I. Ignoring the cries from the Ron, the women, my mother, the children, and John, I stepped off the boat, and into the freezing cold sea.
I heard cries, and shouts, but I ignored them all. The water was freezing, and I knew that it would kill me in a matter of minutes. Choking from the water, I made sure that I was right next to Ron; I was staying with him until the end. He said, in between coughs, “Hermione! What did you do that for? I love you so much, but why have you done this?”
I responded, “I couldn’t live with myself knowing that you had died and I hadn’t. I wouldn’t be able to live. We’re staying with each other until the end.”
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