Chapter 6 : The Chair by the Fire
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That night Hermione lay in the spare bed in Ginny’s rom, mulling over the day’s events. Ginny, who had arrived with Harry in time for dinner, was snoring loudly from the other side of the room. The girl could rattle the windows some nights.
Hermione, on the other hand, couldn’t sleep. Insomnia had been an unwelcome side effect of the night terrors. She was scared to sleep. Every time she shut her eyes she relived the horrors of the war as if they were just now happening. Her mind also kept turning over the conversation and broom ride with George that afternoon. Finally giving up on sleep entirely, she tossed aside the quilt and quietly left the room.
She headed downstairs to the kitchen where she made herself a cup of cocoa. With her cup of comfort in her hand, Hermione went to the cozy living room of the Burrow where she promptly set a fire in the hearth and curled up in one of the oversized armchairs that she swore could swallow a person whole. Her hands wrapped around the mug, Hermione tucked her feet beneath her and stared into the crackling flames as she let her thoughts wander.
George had surprised her earlier when he had sought her out by the pond. She had caught him watching her earlier over lunch, but she hadn’t accounted it to anything more than the concern everyone else was showing her. Now though, she wasn’t so certain.
She had found him surprisingly easy to talk to. There was something kind in those blue eyes and his honest face that made her open up to him. He was a good listener too. He didn’t interrupt, judge, or try to offer advice. He just listened. It was hard to find a good listener and she needed that more than anything else. Someone that could listen to her talk and hear her tears. Someone that could listen to her silence and hear her screams.
There was something else about him though. Things she had only started noticing about the third youngest Weasley recently. The way his arms had felt around her by the pond, arms she had caught herself admiring many times. The way his blue eyes would twinkle, especially when he and Fred were up to no good with one of their pranks. That easy smile of his. He was rather handsome now that she went back and thought about it.
He was also Ron’s older brother. While they had both decided after their kiss that they were better off as just friends Hermione suspected that Ron may still harbor some residual feelings for her. She knew from experience that he could become quite the overprotective, jealous type.
She couldn’t help but think of George though as her mind continuously replayed the evening, refusing to be redirected. Hermione had to admit, it was the best time she had had while sober in a while. It had been terrifying being up on the broom with George, but it was a kind of exhilarating terror that made you feel alive. Of course, she was still angry with him for that stunt, but she was willing to be forgiving. It was hard to be angry at that boy for any extended period of time.
She also had to admit that today was the closest to his normal self that she had seen him since Fred’s death at the Battle of Hogwarts. That was the George Weasley she had known and loved since her fifth year when they had started really talking at DA meetings. He was really quite a genius and very handsome and quite funny. What more could a girl ask for? If there was anyone Hermione could count on for a laugh it was George.
After he and Fred left Hogwarts though, Hermione had shelved her feelings as she figured that he would find someone better than her and Voldermort’s increasing power left little room to think of such things anyways. As she helped Harry and Ron fight Voldermort and his supporters, George became more and more distant in her mind. Her memories of him and anything else happy pretty well disappeared after her ordeal with Bellatrix at Malfoy Manor. After something like that she felt like she would never be happy again. It was like having a dementor hovering over you every minute of the day. Hermione sometimes caught herself wondering if she even deserved to be happy. She knew it was a stupid thing to think of course she should be happy, but she just never seemed to be able to convince herself of that though. If she started to feel that way she always seemed to find a way to bring herself down. It was a highly self-destructive tendency of hers.
For instance the more she thought about her favorite redhead, the more she realized there was no way he could possibly reciprocate her feelings. He was funny and handsome and a few years older. To him she was probably nothing more than his younger brother’s best mate. He dated girls who were pretty, enjoyed sports, and the life of the party. She was a bushy headed bookworm no one paid attention to most days. There was no chance in hell that he would ever take a second look at her. No, it was better to keep these thoughts and feelings to herself. She would leave them on the shelf where they had a place.
Hermione sighed and shifted to place her now empty mug on the table beside her chair. She settled farther down into the chair as she stared morosely into the fire. Why is life so complicated, she wondered to herself before falling into a dreamless sleep.
A/N: Alright you all probably should know by now what I'm going to say here, but I'm going to say it anways. Please, please review, they mean ever so much to me. Also I have a new short story up entitled "Three Days" so head over to my author's page and check it out. Thanks for reading~Naomi
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