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Chapter 1 : Flying Lessons
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Ginny and Harry had become very close about half way through the summer when somehow she got him to talk to her. He was beginning to converse with everyone again, but still spent much of his days in the company of only Ginny. Ron and Hermione were left to spend time with each other, something that was very difficult for them both.
Hermione was sitting on the lawn watching Ron flying around on his broomstick and avoiding the bludgers his twin brothers were throwing at him. Hermione sighed to herself thinking about how unfortunate it was that she was not a very skillful flyer and would never be able to relate to her two best friends when they went into Quidditch mode. She feigned reading a book as she watched the fluid beauty of Ron’s movements in the air.
Ron, from his broomstick perch looked over to see Hermione with a book. He would never understand her love of knowledge. He just wasn’t interested in it; too bad it was the only thing she was interested in. She’d never notice how good he was getting on his broom. He wished Harry was around so someone would appreciate his practice. Or maybe that’s not what he wanted. Maybe, he thought to himself, it’s really Hermione, whose appreciation I want.
At that moment Ron almost got hit by a bludger and Hermione gasped. What was it about that boy that made her worry so much about him? It must have been his clumsiness; you had to worry about him because one of these days, he was going to get himself hurt. Who am I kidding? she thought to herself He’s not all that clumsy anymore at all; He’s graceful, and fluid as a bird in the air.
As if to echo her thoughts Ron gracefully glided down to the ground near her. He was done for the day; it just wasn’t the same without his best friend to practice with. He walked over to Hermione hoping maybe talking with his other best friend would make him feel better. In the last few weeks he had been really confused by her though. Being with her made him feel better and worse at the same time. He was happy yet jittery at the same time. He just couldn’t put a finger on what it was he felt.
“Hey ’Mione” he said sitting down next to her”
“Hey Ron” she said with her nose still in her book.
“Why are you always reading?” Ron asked a little hurt that she didn’t seem interested in his presence.
“Because I have nothing better to do since my intelligent conversation will only talk to Ginny,” she snapped as an answer.
“What’s wrong with you?” he questioned. “Am I really all that terrible? Why do you hate me, ’Mione?”
“I don’t hate you Ron, just strongly dislike,” she said jokingly. When she saw the dejected look on his face she felt bad, but couldn’t understand why he would be so upset by her joke. “I’m sorry" she stammered, "I’m just a little annoyed because Harry won’t talk to me and all you ever seem to want to do is wiz around on that broomstick and I get left to sit by myself.”
“Wow, ’Mione, I never realized you felt that way,” he said. “Why don’t we go for a ride together?”
“Oh, Ron, you know it’s no use! I’m utterly useless with that piece of wood between my legs.
Ron turned away from her to hide the blush on his face at the thought that had just crossed his mind. How could he be thinking of Hermione that way? It was ridiculous! She was, well, she was Hermione! She was his best friend! Not a girl whose legs he wanted to put his “wood” between.
“What’s wrong?” she asked confused by his reaction. “I’ll give it a try if it really means so much to you.”
His face brightened some more. Stop it Ron! Get a grip on yourself. He regained his composure and turned back to her. “I’ll teach you to fly better. At least give it another go,” he said surprised at how much the thought of spending the afternoon teaching Hermione to fly excited him. “You can borrow Ginny’s broom for now.”
About a half hour later, they were ready for their flying lesson. Hermione was a little nervous, because flying just wasn’t something you could learn from a book, Lord knows she’d tried.
“All Right Hermione,” Ron said. “Put the broom in ready position and hold on like this” he said straddling the broom behind her and putting his arms around her to show her how to hold the broom. Ron felt a wave of something he’d never felt before wash over his skin as he became so physically close to Hermione. It was something they didn’t do often. While Hermione and Harry were comfortable with friendly hugs, it just wasn’t something she had ever shared with him. He wondered if she had just felt the same thing he had.
Hermione was shocked at how strong and protective Ron’s arms felt around her. He really had matured in the past few years. She hadn’t really noticed it that much until right now when she felt solid muscle wrapped around her body. Her heart quickened. It was something she had never experienced. She didn’t know why she just felt awkward about any physical contact with Ron. Maybe it was to avoid the wave of dizziness that was now washing over her. “Ron, I don’t know if flying is such a good idea right now. I suddenly don’t feel right.”
She had felt it! he thought jumping off the broom. “Maybe it’s just your nerves,” he said trying to control the blush spreading across his face. “Why don’t you try it on your own this time,” he said. He watched her hold the broom correctly. “Now, relax yourself- that’s your problem you know you’re too uptight- you need to just relax.”
How can I relax she was wondering. how after that wave of whatever it was she had just felt. She was further from being able to relax than she had ever been before in her whole life. “Ron, I can’t! I’m too tense.”
Ron came closer too her. “What’s the matter Hermione?” he asked.
“I- I’m not exactly sure. I- I’m just really tense.”
Ron couldn’t believe what came over him next as he walked closer to her and put his hands on her shoulders and began to massage her neck and upper back. “Does this help?” he practically whispered in her ear.
“I-I’m not exactly sure. It makes me feel better and worse at the same time it’s hard to understand.”
“Hermione?” he asked. “Do you really strongly dislike me?”
She dropped her broom, not knowing what to do. Of course not! She was beginning to think she understood this feeling and and she didn’t know if she wanted to reveal to him what she was feeling. Was he feeling it too? He couldn’t be! He was too calm and cool for Ronald Weasley to be experiencing the same thing she was. “I- I- um-” she stuttered unable to bear the way his strong warm masculine body felt so close to hers.
“Hermione” Ron breathed as he gently turned her around to face him.
She looked up into his face and saw that it was glowing red, and he looked as awkward as he felt and realized that he was feeling what she was. “No Ron, I don’t strongly dislike you. I think my emotions are very far away from dislike”
“Oh so you strongly loath and despise me?” he asked a grin spreading across his face.
At that moment Hermione finely gained control of her courage and gazing into his eyes she stretched up and kissed him. She couldn’t believe what was happening. She felt a fire building inside her, and as he wrapped his arms tightly around her cradling her head in his hand, she knew that this is what she had wanted since the first moment she had seen him with his endearing freckles and that adorable bit of dirt on his nose.
Ron held Hermione close and gently parted her lips with his tongue. He was sure that this was the most perfect moment of his life and he was so happy that it was that obnoxious little girl with her frizzy hair and insufferably intelligence that he was sharing it with.
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