|elfflame (elfflame) wrote in true_revenge,|
@ 2007-09-20 19:28:00
|Entry tags:||lost love 4|
Lost Love ch 4: Apologies
Title: Lost Love
Pairing: Ron/Hermione, George/Harry, lots of other pairings of the Weasley sort
Summary: What happens when Ron disappears the last day of school, and only returns years later? Will he be forgiven?
A/N: See chapter 1 for comments and warnings.
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Harry came to their room about a half-hour later. She had calmed by that time, and her face was dry. “Hermione?”
Stephen was sleeping in the other room, so she shushed Harry, then crept to Stephen’s door, and closed it nearly all the way. “He’s sleeping. Don’t want to wake him. He was so exhausted, but I couldn’t get him to sleep.”
“I’m sure it didn’t help that you were so upset.”
She closed her eyes. “I’m fine.” She turned to Harry. “George, huh?” She couldn’t help but grin. “Why all the secrecy? The Weasleys are the most accepting people I know.”
“Yeah, but they were so sure you and I were going to get together, and it was just easier than explaining things, you know?” He sat down on the bed, and she sat next to him.
“I know.” They were silent for a moment. She looked down at her lap. “Does he…hate me?”
“Hermione.” Harry took her face and turned it to him. “Look at me. This is Ron. He’s angry, yeah. But at the moment, he’s actually angrier at himself than anything else. And believe me, he wouldn’t have run away if he had known…I mean, there was no way to know, but he thought he was doing the right thing. Don’t be too angry at him, okay?”
Hermione smiled sadly. “I don’t think I’ll be likely to get a chance, but if it comes up, I’ll try to control my temper.”
Harry hugged her. “Good.” He pulled away, then blushed. “Um, Hermione, I hope you don’t mind, but I, uh, made other arrangements tonight…”
“Oh?” She looked puzzled for a moment, then her eyes widened. “Oh! George, you mean?” She smiled. “I’m glad you know. He was always nice when we were in school. Does he make you happy?”
Harry smiled, and Hermione had never seen him look so quietly at peace with the world. “Yes.”
It was Hermione’s turn to hug Harry. “I’ll be just fine. You go enjoy yourself, all right?”
He grinned and stood up. “See you in the morning, then. Night.”
As Harry closed the door to their room, she thought she heard him speaking to someone out in the hall, but couldn’t tell who it was. She turned to the closet and was pulling out her nightgown when the door opened again. “Did you forget something, Harry?”
“It’s not Harry, it’s Ginny.” Hermione turned to see Ginny standing in the doorway. “Can I come in?”
Hermione nodded. “Of course.”
Ginny crossed the room and sat on Hermione’s bed. “Look, about my brother…”
Hermione closed her eyes. “Do we have to do this right now? I know you have to defend him…I mean, he is your brother and all…”
“But that’s just it, Hermione. Right now I’m ready to strangle him. How he could say that about you—and Neville, too. And right in front of everyone. I thought Neville was going to implode!
“So, I wouldn’t blame you if you never talked to him again, Hermione.”
Ginny smiled. “I guess us Weasleys are a tad transparent?”
Hermione nodded. “Just a bit. And mostly to those of us who know and love you all.” She smiled, but it quickly faded.
“Look, it was obvious to everyone downstairs tonight that you still love him, Hermione. And he still loves you. You know how Ron is…”
“I do. But I can’t turn back time, and neither can he. We can’t just start from square one, Ginny.”
“You don’t have to. You have a chance here, Hermione, that most people don’t get. You have a beautiful son whose father still loves you.”
Hermione turned away. “About that…I mean, that’s why Harry and I came this year. But I didn’t want you all finding out like that…”
Ginny laughed. “Hermione…Hermione, look at me.” She turned to see that Ginny was grinning. “How could we not know? Even without ever looking at him, whose child could it have been? I mean, Fred, George, Percy and I were all at school with you. We know how you felt about Ron. And you’d never really even looked at anyone else.
“But even without all that, Hermione, except for his hair, he’s the spitting image of Ron at that age.”
“But…you hadn’t seen him until tonight…Maybe there was someone, and you just didn’t know?”
Ginny looked embarrassed for a moment. “Well, actually, Harry’s been giving us pictures. Mum and dad have a whole album-full.”
“Harry sent you all pictures?” Hermione’s mind was reeling. Too much for one night. “…And he looks like Ron?” she said in a small voice.
Ginny nodded. She pulled out an old battered picture and handed it to Hermione. A small redheaded little boy sat on a chair with a baby in his lap. He was grinning and waving as he held on to the smaller form that covered his legs. “That’s me and Ron shortly after I was born. He was about a year and a half in that picture.”
Hermione blinked. It was amazing. Except for the hair, the child in the photo could have been Stephen. She was about to ask Ginny if she had any more pictures when there was a knock on the door. “Who in the world is that? Is everyone going to come and visit me tonight?”
Ginny looked puzzled. “Well, do you want me to get it? Just in case, I mean.”
“Please.” Hermione looked down at the photo in her hand, and was startled when she heard Ron’s voice coming from the doorway.
“Gin? Did I go to the wrong room?”
Hermione looked up. Ginny was blocking her from Ron’s view. Her arms were crossed. “Yes. Go away.”
But before Ron could respond, Hermione stood up and walked to the door. “No he didn’t. Hi, Ron.”
Ron looked from Hermione to Ginny. “Um…” Ginny glared at him, her arms still crossed. “Look, Ginny…”
“Yes?” Her voice was hard and cold.
“I’m, uh…sorry about that about Neville and all…”
“Are you? Are you really?” Ginny pulled herself as tall as she could, still only up to Ron’s shoulder, uncrossed her arms, and pointed at him. “If you ever so much as look cross-eyed at Neville again, Ron, I’ll flay you alive!” She turned to Hermione. “You sure you want to be alone with this—what did Harry call him?”
Ron flushed. “I think he called me an unbelievable wanker,” he grimaced.
Ginny turned to her brother once more. “And he’s right! How could you do that to Hermione? She’s not the one who disappeared for three years, you insensitive asshole!”
“Ginny, it’s okay. We need to talk. It might as well be now.” Hermione opened the door, then turned to her friend. “I’ll be fine. I dealt with him for seven years. I don’t think there’s much he can do that would surprise me.”
“Well, if you’re sure. Neville and I are just down the hall, so give a yell if he starts acting up, okay?”
“Right. Night, Ginny.”
“Night, Hermione.” She looked pointedly at her brother. “Ron.” She walked from the room, but made sure to leave the door open, glaring at her brother the entire time.
Ron sighed. “I really put my foot in it tonight.” He grimaced. “Hermione, do you mind…I mean, can I sit down?”
She nodded, peeked out the door, and when she saw that Ginny was gone, shut it behind her. She turned to see Ron sitting on the bed, looking down at the picture Ginny had given her.
“…I don’t know how I didn’t see it before. Hermione…”
“Ron, stop. Before we really start talking, I need to say that no matter what happens tonight, we’re not going to sleep together. Stephen is in the next room—and I’m not ready. You have a lot to answer for.”
Ron’s ears reddened immediately. “I’ve got a lot to answer for?”
“Ron,” she shushed. “Keep your voice down.”
“Or you’ll wake Stephen! He’s a very light sleeper.” She moved to the door of the room where her son was sleeping, listening intently. She heard a small sigh, then relieved, closed the door all the way.
“Well, I wouldn’t expect you to be used to it. Don’t worry about it.” She turned to see that Ron had come to stand right behind her.
“Hermione, don’t you see? That’s the problem. I haven’t been there for any of it. And he’s my son! I want to know him. How could you keep this from me?” He looked so hurt, it took a moment for Hermione to respond.
“Well, maybe you should have thought of that before you disappeared.”
“What, I was supposed to know that I got you pregnant that night?”
Hermione flushed, and moved back to the bed. “Well, no, but…but you didn’t think at all, did you? I mean, you know the facts of life, Ron. You had to know there was a possibility.”
Ron looked stunned by this, but said nothing for a moment. “Well, I suppose…If I’d thought about it.” He walked to the other side of the bed, and Hermione wasn’t sure if she was hurt or relieved that he hadn’t come to sit next to her. “But you don’t understand. That morning was the best of my life, Hermione.” He looked pleading now. “I was so sure that everything would be perfect from that moment on. And then Harry showed up. And we all joked around, but I could see how hurt he was, you know? I thought…” As Ron spoke, his voice became quieter. “I thought he was sad because he loved you, and I didn’t want to stand in the way.”
Hermione didn’t know what to say to this. “Ron…”
“No, Hermione, just listen. I loved you. I still do, I guess. But he was my best friend. He’s the reason we made it through the war. And he’d lost so much. His parents, Sirius, Cho…Dumbledore…” She could see the tears in his eyes. “I just couldn’t stand in the way if he wanted to be with you. And you know Harry. He never asks for what he wants. He just suffers in silence. So I left.”
Hermione was lost for words. She’d forgotten this side of Ron existed. It had been there all through school, but he’d always hidden this side of himself well. Finally she realized there were no words, and moved to sit next to Ron. She hadn’t touched him in three years, but it was like he had never left. His hand was clenched on the bedspread, so she took it and smoothed out his fingers, though she looked at his face the entire time. “Ron…” He refused to meet her eyes. “Ron, look at me.”
His eyes were sparkling with unshed tears, and through them she could see the three years of loneliness he had endured. For her. For Harry. “Ron, I know this isn’t going to be easy. I love you too, you know. I just think that it’ll take time to get back to where we were. I mean, it took me this long just to come here with Stephen.”
Ron looked surprised. “Stephen’s never met my family?”
Hermione smiled and blushed. “Well, apparently he knows George. But I was actually under the impression that I was keeping it a secret from your family.” She took a deep breath to calm herself. “I guess it was silly of me. But everyone seemed so sure I was going to marry Harry, and I was scared how your family would react if they found out Stephen was yours.” She turned away from him. “He was all I had left of you…of that night.”
Ron looked unsure of what to say.
Hermione turned away, and saw her nightgown on the bed. Realizing how late it must be, she looked at her watch. Eleven-thirty. “Ron, it’s late, and I really need my sleep…”
He stood quickly, and muttered something about seeing her in the morning, but she caught his arm before he could cross the room. “You don’t have to leave.”
Ron looked startled. “But…you said…”
“I know I said not tonight. But that doesn’t mean you can’t stay. I’d like to talk. If you want to, that is…”
He smiled. “I’d like that. I want to know everything there is to know about Stephen.”