Chapter 7 : Chapter 7
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“Hermione Granger!” she shrieked. “What were you thinking? Why didn’t you come back with Ginny?”
“I’m sorry Mrs. Weasley,” I apologized. “I was talking to someone and just lost track of time.” I could tell by the look on Ron’s face that everyone, but Mrs. Weasley knew who I was meeting. I cringed when I saw Ron’s ears go red. That was never a good sign.
“Oh, well what’s done is done,” Mrs. Weasley said a little more calm. “Although I thought you were the responsible one. You have never done anything like this before.”
“Yeah, Hermione,” Ron hissed. “You are the responsible one.”
I could hear the condescension in his tone. I knew that my being friends with Draco was going to be hard for him to understand, but this was enough to make me tear up. I didn’t want to stop being friends with Ronald, yet he wasn’t making things easy for me.
“I know,” I said sheepishly. “It won’t happen again.”
“We’re running late,” Mrs. Weasley said. “You lot still need new robes and I wanted to stop in and see George.”
We decided to skip lunch that day so that we could everything done. After getting new robes at Madame Malkin’s we headed down the street to Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes. I hadn’t been in the shop since our trip to Diagon Alley before sixth year.
The Weasley twins knew what they were doing when it came to their joke shop, but it just wasn’t the same since Fred had died. George seemed like an empty shell. He didn’t know what to do without his other half and it broke my heart. Fred didn’t need to fight, but I understood why he did. It had been the right thing to do, but that didn’t make it any better.
George came out of the back room to greet us. “Hello, you lot,” he said smiling. The smile was wrong though. It didn’t reach his eyes. I couldn’t stand to look in George’s eyes as they were empty of all emotion. “I was wondering when you would be in.”
Mrs. Weasley could see the same thing I did and started fawning over her son. “George,” she said lovingly. “You need to stop hiding out here. Come by the house tomorrow for supper. I’ll make your favorite. We’ll make it a little celebration.”
“Sure, mum,” he said. It didn’t seem like he really wanted to come to the Burrow, but he wasn’t going to break his mother’s heart like that. He would show up and smile and try to act as though nothing was wrong, yet he would really want to stay in his flat above the store.
I couldn’t take it anymore. I was almost in tears just listening to his empty words. I walked up to Mrs. Weasley and told her that I would wait for them outside. She nodded in acknowledgement, but never didn’t turn toward me.
As I was exiting the shop I could feel someone following me. My instinct told me who it was and yet I kept walking. I knew that is was a conversation that needed to be done and I wanted to do it in private.
Ron came up on me as soon as I walked out the door. Gently grabbing my elbow, he led me around to the back of the shop. I could almost hear the thoughts running through his head, but I waited for him.
“Hermione,” he finally spoke. “What do you think you are doing? Can’t you see how George is?”
“Yes, Ronald,” I replied. “I can see how he is. I hate seeing him like that. It breaks my heart.”
“It breaks your heart,” he repeated my words. “If that’s true then how can you be friends with Draco Malfoy?”
“I’m not friends with Malfoy,” I lied. “I just think the best way to get past all of this is to try and forgive.”
“I still don’t understand, Hermione,” Ron seethed at me. “How can you forgive him? It’s because of people like him that Fred isn’t here anymore.”
“I don’t need you to understand,” I said. I could feel my anger rising but I knew better than to start a fight right here. “I just need my friends to support me. I’m not asking you to forgive him, but please support me while I try.”
“That doesn’t make any sense,” Ron yelled. “I can’t support what I don’t understand. How can you just forget everything?”
“I’ll never forget,” I cried. “I can’t forget, but I can forgive. Forgiveness helps a person heal.”
“What do you have to heal from?” he shouted at me. “You didn’t lose a brother!”
“No, my loss is worse,” I yelled back. “My parents are still alive, but they don’t know who I am. They are healthy and together. But here I am holding myself together with tape and glue. I loved your brother as though he was my own, but at least you know that he knew who you were before he went. My parents will never know how much I miss them.”
“You made that choice,” he said quieter. He knew deep down why I had made that decision so he had no other arguments. “I’m sorry Hermione, but if you forgive Malfoy I don’t know how much longer we can remain friends.”
“I don’t want to choose,” I said crying. “I feel like this is something I need to do, but I still need you in my life. We have been through too much to end our friendship over something like this.”
“I know,” he said drawing me into him. I knew it would take him some time but he would come around eventually. “Come on. I’m sure mum is having a fit because we aren’t out front.” And with that we went to meet up with the others.
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