Chapter 22 : Chapter 22: Best Friends
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When Ron entered the Common Room he spotted Hermione sat cross-legged in front of the fire place glaring at the dancing flames with such intensity it could have been her gaze that started the fire in the first place.
“Hermione,” he said softly as he sat beside her and placed his hand over her own. She looked up at him with sad eyes and pulled her hand away reluctantly.
“How can you come here looking to comfort me after all the pain and heartache I put you through? Why don’t you hate me? How do you still care for me so much after what happened with us?” Hermione asked him desperately looking for some sort of explanation for their friendship which suddenly made no sense to her anymore.
“Do you not still care about me?” he asked her softly.
“Of course I do. Just because I wasn’t in love with you didn’t mean I didn’t love you. You will always be one of my closest friends and a brother to me. I will always care about you and worry about you but you never caused me any pain like I did to you. I broke your heart, Ron,” Hermione stressed her last sentence as if Ron was just simply not understanding it.
“It only broke my heart because I loved you, Hermione,” he told her. “It wouldn’t have hurt if you had broken up with me and I wasn’t in love with you. What broke my heart was how much I cared for you and whether you loved me in that way or not that care wasn’t going anywhere.”
Hermione didn’t know what to say nor did she know what to think anymore. No matter how he explained it all Hermione could think was how much of a terrible person she must be to have caused so much pain to her best friend. None of it made sense. When Ron had suffered the way he had, the idea that he still cared for her and wanted her in his life seemed so impossible. She stared at him. Simply just examining him as the thoughts swirled through her mind. Her eyes moved from the fiery hair to the blue eyes that watched her so intently and worriedly. He moved his hand back and took hers once more. She trembled slightly and looked back to the flames.
“It’s the same as what you said, Hermione. The fact that you didn’t love me didn’t make me hate you and I would never let it. Just because you aren’t my girlfriend doesn’t mean I don’t love you as my best friend or sister and you should know that. Listen, look at me,” he told her seriously and gently turned her face towards him
“I know what’s going through your head and I know the way it’s eating you up and killing you. I understand exactly what thoughts and emotions are flashing through you right now, okay? Because I went through it too. When we first broke up and all through the time I was with Lavender, I went through this. I loved you but I wanted to hate you because it hurt too much to love you. And then as time went on I realised that I couldn’t hate you because that hurt even more. I tried not talking to you, avoiding you, I tried a lot of stuff but none of it worked because the truth is I wanted you around. Even if we weren’t together I knew I missed just being friends and I realised having you in my life as my friend was worth a little pain because you’re important to me. And now here we are. Me and you are friends again and you’re happy with George. Things are the way they should be and nothing Jane could say, or anyone for that matter, would change that because I know what you are to me and I know what George is to me and I’m not going to let anything change that.”
“Oh Ron,” Hermione said softly and he squeezed her hand before pulling her into a hug. “Thank you so much.”
“There’s nothing to thank me for,” he smiled at her. “I’m sorry about Jane. Don’t worry I set her straight.”
“I’m sorry things didn’t work with her,” Hermione sighed.
“Don’t be. She wasn’t the right girl and I think I knew it from the start but she asked and I thought why not,” Ron shrugged. Hermione nodded and hugged him again finally feeling that she and Ron were back to the way they used to be. Best friends. The only thing that really had changed was the fact that Ron no longer had the emotional range of a teaspoon. Judging by what Ron had said and what he’d been through there was no doubt that Ron’s emotional range had easily multiplied by a hundred at least. And upon telling him this he had just laughed whilst shaking his head at her.
“You know considering I’m supposed to be the brightest witch of our age you are so much smarter than me. Your logic and reasoning behind not hating me is flawless,” Hermione smiled.
“Well I guess you’re finally rubbing off on me then,” Ron grinned. “You know I don’t ever blame you for anything. I’m happy about the way things turned out.”
“I know,” Hermione nodded. “I was just- I don’t even know what I was thinking to be honest. I let Jane get to me and I was so worried that what she said really was true and I was just heartless and cruel.”
“You, Hermione Granger, have never and will never be either of those things,” Ron told her seriously. “And I could never think that of you.”
“I know,” Hermione smiled at him. “Thank you.”
“Don’t mention it,” he said.
“It’s been a very long road for us, hasn’t it?” Hermione said thoughtfully.
“You could say that,” Ron agreed but as far as he was concerned that was an understatement. “But it was all worth it in the long run, wasn’t it?”
“Yeah. I guess all in all we ended up in the same place we always should have been,” Hermione realised. “Even though we took a lot of different turns on the route we still came out as best friends.”
“You’re right,” he smiled. “And I honestly wouldn’t rather have it any other way.”
“Me neither,” Hermione said gently as she watched Ron. He really had gotten over her, hadn’t he? The look of sadness had disappeared from his eyes and the lost expression that used to haunt his friendly face had also gone. When he glanced at her it was no longer with longing or regret but with real happiness and a friendly love.
“Now I think we should get back down because I reckon you have a very worried boyfriend down there,” Ron told her.
“You’re probably right about that,” Hermione laughed and followed him down. As they walked in George’s head shot up.
He smiled and stood as she neared him, “Hermione,” he breathed as he wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her close.
“Are you okay?” he asked her softly and nuzzled her neck.
“I’m fine, George,” she murmured. “I have the best boyfriend and the best friends in the world,” she smiled and looked at them all.
“Thanks again, Ron,” Hermione said to him and placed a hand on his shoulder.
“You’re welcome,” he told her.
“Ron’s been a bit of a hero today,” George grinned at his youngest brother who turned slightly red and looked away. “Thank you.”
“I didn’t do anything that anyone else wouldn’t have done in the same position,” Ron pointed out.
“Either way we really appreciate it,” George said seriously.
They returned to the Common room and Hermione and George sat together talking quietly.
“Thank you, George,” she whispered. “For everything today. For watching a muggle film with me just to cheer me up and for sending Ron after me. I’m guessing that was you?”
“You never miss anything, do you?” he chuckled. “To be fair I didn’t send him. We both got up to follow you so I told him to go. I thought it would be good for you.”
“It was,” Hermione nodded. “To talk to him properly about it was really good. I feel like we really are best friends again now.”
George smiled at the way Hermione’s eyes lit up. He knew that she’d missed having that close bond with Ron. As much as she and Ron would fight and argue he knew how much they enjoyed each other’s company and how well they got on. They had one of those friendships that really had become stronger over time with everything they’d been through together.
George somehow expected himself to be more worried, jealous even, of this bond but the fact was that he respected it. He loved that Hermione cared so deeply for her friends and he was proud of the person Ron had become. He trusted both Hermione and his brother as well so there wasn’t even the slightest concern to him and he surprised himself by it. Maybe just as Ron had grown he had too and he no longer had problems with jealousy or trivial things like that.
“I’m really glad,” George smiled. “Didn’t I tell you all along that he’d come around?”
“Yes on that fateful day when you found me crying in the corridor,” Hermione grinned. “I remember.”
“Fateful day, huh?” he laughed.
“Was that not the day that started all of this?” Hermione asked. “That started us, more or less. It was when we first became really close.”
“It was,” George said. “Just before the Christmas holidays.”
“Yeah. Just before you kidnapped me and dragged me onto the Hogwarts Express,” Hermione added.
“You never let anything go, do you?” he joked.
“Well Mr. Weasley I’m definitely not letting you go anytime soon,” she said.
“I wouldn’t want you to,” he smiled. “I didn’t drag you anywhere by the way I very lovingly carried you.”
“I’m so sure you did,” Hermione teased.
So, what did you think? I know that this chapter was actually quite short so I'm sorry but I just felt like it was the natural place to end the chapter. I really hope you liked this chapter!
Thank you all so much for taking your time to follow the story and I hope you're enjoying it so far. As always it would mean a lot if you could just drop a quick review and I always love to know what you think of the story. Plus reviews just make us writers happy and you want me to be happy, don't you?
Thanks again for reading it is greatly appreciated! Jenna :)
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