Chapter 1 : Love Lessons With Lavender
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“He's been asleep every time I've gone to see him, Parvati,” I said as I threw myself dramatically onto my bed. “Don't you think that's just a bit strange?”
Parvati didn't look up from her Transfiguration book, despite the gravity of the situation. “I don't know, Lav. I mean, he did get poisoned. Sleep is probably required for recovery from that sort of thing.”
“But Harry and Hermione have gone to see him and he's been awake when they've been there,” I pointed out, sitting up. “And Ginny, too.”
“It's a coincidence, Lav. Look, I really need to get this essay done. Bugging me about Ron is not going to change my opinion on his sleep habits. Why don't you just owl him?”
“Owl him?” I exclaimed. “We're in the same castle!”
Parvati let out a huge sigh. “Well, I don't see any other way to contact him if he's always sleeping. He's got to wake up to eat, so he'll read your owl and get back to you.”
“Fine,” I said, getting up from the bed. “But I really shouldn't have to owl my boyfriend to talk to him when we live in the same castle. Just like someone should have told me he was in the hospital wing in the first place.”
“You're never going to let that go, are you?” Parvati asked.
“I shouldn't have to!” I shouted as I stomped out of the dormitory.
Why didn't Parvati just understand how awful it was to not know your boyfriend had been poisoned? Probably because she was desperately single, but that didn't mean she should take out her singleness on me, her very not single best friend.
Nevertheless, I headed to the owlery. Despite Parvati's moodiness, her idea of owling Ron really was my only option. Madam Pomfrey was always adamant about not waking her patients unnecessarily. Personally, I thought a visit from me would be a perfectly necessary reason to wake Ron, but the nurse disagreed. Honestly, she really doesn't understand love.
I stopped by the hospital wing on my way to the owlery in hopes that Ron might be awake, but he sadly wasn't. Parvati was wrong. This was more than just a coincidence and I was going to find out what was happening.
I really dislike the owlery. Okay, dislike isn't a strong enough word. I loathe it. I loathe the owlery. It's stinky and there are owl droppings everywhere. It's impossible not to step in them, so I find it's best to avoid the place, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
When I finally arrived at the stinky place the owls call home I realized I'd forgotten parchment, a quill, and ink. Luckily, there was a little first year feeding a few of the school owls and clasped in his left hand were a roll of parchment, a quill, and a bottle of ink.
“Can I borrow your quill and ink and parchment?” I asked.
The boy jumped, clearly not aware that I had entered. I'm not sure how he could've missed me, considering the string of swears I let out upon stepping on a fresh pile of droppings.
“Erm, I suppose so,” he said timidly.
I snatched the writing supplies out of his hand and walked to an empty perch. It was disgusting and would surely get the back of the letter gross with owl poop, but getting a smelly letter would serve Ron right. If he'd just be awake when I visited I wouldn't have to resort to gross measures like this. I poised my quill and wrote.
My dearest Won-Won,
When I finally found out that you were in
the hospital wing, my heart sank. You are my
world, Won-Won, and I don't want anything
bad to happen to you. This was a close call.
I have tried to visit you multiple times since
you were first poisoned and every time I
try, you are asleep. I am so sad about this,
not only because I want to see you, but I am
sure a visit from me will help your recovery.
Please owl me back as soon as you get this
and tell me when you will be awake so I can
visit you. I think it will cheer us both. I love
and miss you, Won-Won, and I cannot wait
until I can be back in your arms.
There, I thought. I smiled and rolled the letter up, sealing it with a spell. I called one of the school owls down from the rafters and gave it the letter. “Take this to Ron Weasley.”
I expected to hear from Ron the next day. The owl probably got the letter to him within ten minutes and he could've written me back within a half hour, but I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. He was probably “sleeping” again. But when three whole days passed and I still hadn't gotten a reply from him, I began to worry. I think Parvati was ready to throw me off the Astronomy tower, but she just didn't seem to understand that this was a Big Issue.
Then, when I heard from Dean who heard it from Seamus who heard it from Ginny that Ron was out of the hospital wing and he still hadn't owled me back or come to talk to me, I really “had a hippogriff” as Mum would've said. I don't think Parvati was very appreciative that I had said hippogriff in the dormitory while she was attempting to finish her Herbology homework.
“He's avoiding me, Parvati!” I shouted as I stomped around the room. “I just know he is!”
“Did you ever stop to think that maybe, just maybe you aren't suited for each other?” Parvati asked.
“Ugh!” I groaned. I stopped next to her bed and glared at her. “I know you don't like him. Is it because he acted like an arse at the Yule Ball with Padma?”
Parvati burst out laughing. “That was over two years ago, Lav. Padma and I both found nice Durmstrang blokes to dance with. Fourteen-year-old boys are notoriously immature. Neither Padma or I hold anything against Harry or Ron for that night.”
“Then what the hell is it?” I exclaimed. “You always get moody when I talk about him.”
“It's because you talk about him all. The. Time.”
“He's my boyfriend. What do you expect?”
Parvati sighed and set her book down. She patted the spot next to her. I reluctantly sat down and she stared me right in the eye.
“Lavender. Don't you see it?”
“See what?” I asked.
Parvati sighed again, this time shaking her head as well. “You really don't, do you?”
“I just said that I don't.”
“Ron likes Hermione,” Parvati said flatly.
“What?” I shouted, standing up again. “He does not! If he did, he'd be going with her!”
“It's more complicated than that.”
“No, no it's not,” I said, swallowing hard. “He'd break up with me and go find Hermione.”
Ron couldn't like Hermione. He just couldn't! Why would he agree to go out with me if he did?
“Lav, he's liked her since fourth year. The Yule Ball. When he saw her with Viktor he realized he did. That's why he was so rude to your sister. Well, that and because he was fourteen. But the Hermione thing, that had a lot to do with it.”
“Then why doesn't he just tell her?” I asked quietly, still not wanting to believe it.
“Because there's history. They were friends first. Hermione likes him, too, but neither one of them want to admit it because they're afraid if it doesn't work out they'll wreck their friendship. What you and Ron have, it came on fast and strong, and it's not long-lived, Lav. I don't say that to be mean. I just don't want you to get hurt. What Ron and Hermione could have, that could last.”
I sat back down and stared at the bed. “How do you know all this? I can't see Hermione talking to you about it.”
Parvati smiled. “My older sister, Prema. She's fallen in love with a lot of the wrong men over the years. She always tells Padma and I about them so that we won't make the same mistakes.”
Lavender nodded, wishing that she had a big sister to talk about these things with. But all she had was an older brother who still liked to make fart noises with his armpits, despite the fact that he was 21 years old.
“I'm still going to talk to him,” Lavender said adamantly. “I refuse to believe he's in love with Hermione until I hear it from him.”
The next few days turned into weeks and I still had yet to approach Ron about the owl I sent him whilst he was in the hospital wing, or about Hermione. Parvati urged me to do it soon and insisted that it would be far worse the longer I waited, but part of me just didn't want to. So long as I didn't ask him about it, I could still say that it was me he loved, not Hermione.
Still, during those few weeks we might as well not have been going together, for all I actually saw Ron. He was constantly busy with Harry and Hermione, as if there was something more important going on than the state of our relationship. It wasn't like before, when we spent more time snogging than talking. Now we spent more time avoiding each other than snogging, and we didn't talk at all. The whole thing was very awkward, but I refused to believe it was over. I loved him too much.
“Oh just do it already!” Parvati groaned as we sat in the common room one night. “The one night I've actually got all my homework done and you're staring at the dormitory door as if Ron's going to just materialize there!”
“I can't, Parvati!” I shouted. “Don't you get that? I still love him!”
“Oh for God's sake,” Parvati said. “If everyone waited until they didn't love someone to break up with them no one would ever break up with anyone and we'd all still be with our first boyfriends and girlfriends.”
“But I still want to be with him,” I said, sinking down into my chair.
“But you aren't with him,” Parvati pointed out. “He's up in his dormitory doing who knows what and you're down here-”
The boys' dormitory door opened and I let out a loud gasp, cutting off Parvati's tirade. Ron had just emerged, alongside Hermione Granger. They were alone. My heart plummeted. Parvati was right. I'd been denying it for weeks, but here was the evidence, right there in front of me. My eyes welled up with tears as I glared at the two of them.
“What were you doing up there with her?” I shrieked, standing up and running toward Ron.
Ron darted across the room as Parvati let out a loud groan. Hermione remained near the entrance to the dormitories, a pained look on her face. The look of guilt, no doubt.
“Ronald Weasley, you get back here!” I shouted, just as Ginny and Dean entered the room. They froze upon seeing me chasing Ron.
Ron circled the room and dashed back up to his dormitory, as if somehow forgetting that girls could go in the boys' dormitories. As if he could forget. He'd just been in his dormitory committing sins with Hermione Granger. I hurried up after him and slammed the door behind me.
Ron stood in front of his bed, his face as red as his hair. In that moment I didn't love him at all. I hated him. I hated him for avoiding me, for “sleeping” when I came to visit him in the hospital wing, for not returning my owl, and most of all, for cheating on me with Hermione Granger.
“So it's true,” I said in a surprisingly calm voice. “Parvati was right. You are in love with Hermione.”
“You know, you could've had the decency to break up with me before you started things with her,” I said, crossing my arms and stepping closer to him.
Ron shifted uncomfortably. “Er, well, the thing is-”
“You've been avoiding me for weeks. You had the nerve to pretend to be asleep whenever I would visit you after you'd been poisoned and then when I owled you, you didn't even owl me back! Why didn't you owl me back, Ron?”
“Oh, spit it out,” I shouted.
“I didn't know what to say!” Ron replied.
“Oh, you didn't know how to tell me you were in love with Hermione?” I asked, glaring at him. “Well, I can tell you one thing, Ronald Weasley. You and me are done. Over. I hope Hermione's happy, but I really don't get what she sees in you.”
I turned and stomped out of the dormitory. Ron made no move to follow me, which disappointed me only because I'd wanted to slam the door in his face. I wanted him to experience just a fraction of the pain he'd caused me over the past few weeks. But no, he couldn't even give me that. Instead, he got Hermione, and I had no one. No one and a broken heart.
A/N: Lavender's quote in response to Ron and Hermione coming down from the dormitory is from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling. Page 478 of the U.S. edition.
Please let me know what you thought! It's very different from what I usually write. Big thanks to my sister Linda for betaing and caomoyl for the challenge that inspired me!
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