|elfflame (elfflame) wrote in true_revenge,|
@ 2007-09-20 19:41:00
|Entry tags:||lost love 4|
Lost Love ch 7: New Worries
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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When Hermione and Stephen returned to Hollyhock from the Weasley’s on Boxing Day, Ron had traveled with them, to get to know Stephen a bit more before he left again. He and Hermione had also spent a bit of time alone together, with the help of Harry and George, who were “Happy to sit for them anytime.”
With the Christmas holiday over, Ron returned to Romania. But “Only for a bit,” he told Hermione. They had already made plans for when he returned to England. Harry had offered Ron a room in his flat, and Arthur was already looking into a job for him at the Ministry. Hermione wanted to take things slow, but knew that it was only a matter of time before the subject of marriage came up. She didn’t want Ron to feel obligated to marry her, though she hoped in her heart that he would ask her soon. But how could she be sure that he wasn’t simply asking because of Stephen?
Though they wrote letters to each other every day, she still worried that he was only staying in contact for his son’s sake. After that first night at the Weasley’s, he had never brought up the word “Love” again. Perhaps he was just being kind? Maybe he’d found someone in Romania, and hadn’t wanted to tell her after hurting her so badly that night.
By the time Ron had been gone a month, Hermione was a wreck.
Harry came over with George one afternoon to take Stephen for a night. He was horrified to discover the usually tidy cottage a mess. There were dishes stacked in the sink, clothes and toys strewn about the house, and Stephen looked like he had about ten meals worth of food coating his face.
“Hermione! What’s happened?”
Hermione sat on her couch, surrounded by books, but not really looking at anything. “Harry?” When she looked up at him, Harry thought she looked dazed. “Oh, right. You wanted to have a night with Stephen. Well…you know where everything is.”
Harry pulled George aside and gave him instructions for what Stephen would need for the night, so that he could talk to Hermione while George packed. George picked up Stephen and took him into the bathroom to try to clean him off a bit.
Harry walked around the couch and crouched in front of Hermione. “Hermione…”
“Hmm?” she said, distractedly, looking over his shoulder at the mantelpiece.
“Hermione, are you okay?”
He grabbed her shoulders. “Hermione, look at me! What’s wrong? You should be dancing for joy! Ron’s coming back, and he still loves you. Why are you acting like nothing in the world matters anymore? You look like you haven’t slept in days, and Stephen looks like he hasn’t had a bath in at least that long. Let me help you. What do you need? How can I help you?”
Hermione closed her eyes. “You don’t know that,” she said quietly.
“What? What don’t I know?”
“That he still loves me.” Harry thought he had seen her hit rock bottom after Ron had left Hogwarts, but this was worse. She looked as though her world had ended.
“What the hell did he do this time?”
Finally those brown eyes focused on him. “What? Ron? No, it’s nothing like that Harry. He just…” she paused, and seemed to fold in on herself, like if she could just get small enough, she could avoid the pain.
“Just what, Hermione?”
“In all that time he spent here with me and Stephen, he never really said that, you know?” Harry could see the tears in her eyes. “We made plans, we spent time together, but never once did we talk about marriage, and never once did he tell me he loved me.”
“Not at all?”
Hermione looked down at her lap. “Only that very first night. But even then he only said that he might still be in love with me. It’s not the same, Harry. What if he’s decided that he doesn’t? What if he had someone in Romania, and he didn’t tell me cause he didn’t want to hurt me? But he’s still coming back so he can be with Stephen? What if he asks me to marry him just because of Stephen?” She looked at Harry again. “I couldn’t handle it, Harry. I…I still love him…so much.” The tears began to fall. Her body began to tremble with the sobs tearing their way through her throat.
“Hermione,” Harry pulled her into his arms. “This is Ron we’re talking about. The guy who couldn’t even hide the fact that he was trying out for the Quidditch team. The one who always blushed when he was lying about doing his homework. He’s always been completely transparent.”
“I know,” she mumbled into his chest.
“So believe me when I tell you that he is still completely and totally in love with you.”
She pulled back and looked at him. “You don’t know that.”
“I do, Hermione. I saw the way he looked at you while he was here. He adores you. I’m sure he’s just terrified that he’ll do the wrong thing and you’ll refuse to see him ever again.”
“I do. But you could write him a letter to find out for sure…” he smiled at her.
Reenergized by this idea, Hermione was in a much better mood by the time Harry and George left with Stephen. She soon had the house sparkling again, and spent a great deal of the night in the tub relaxing a bit.
After a warming meal—tomato soup with basil and garlic, and a grilled cheese sandwich—she sat in front of the fireplace in her terrycloth robe and wrote a long letter to Ron about all her thoughts and fears. After three pages, she soon realized that she wasn’t going to stop any time soon, and instead wrote him a short note asking him to floo her soon so they could have a long talk. Ron was in an area where the floo network reached only a few locations, so flooing others had to be pre-arranged.
Upon receiving Hermione’s owl, Ron immediately began to panic himself. He immediately owled Harry to ask if anything was wrong with Hermione. Unfortunately, Harry’s response, that she was just lonely, only made things worse. Ron was sure that Hermione just wasn’t willing to wait any longer, and was going to tell him she’d found someone else.
He arranged a floo date, but worried the entire time, certain that Hermione was going to tell him to just stay in Romania. That she never really wanted to see him again. After all, he’d hurt her so much. How could he expect her to stay in love with him after everything he’d done to her?
The night he’d arranged to have the fireplace, he settled down to wait his turn, behind a warlock who was traveling home for the weekend, and a witch who wanted to check in on her sister who had just given birth. Unfortunately, the two women got caught up in their visit, so by the time he got the fireplace, it was nearly midnight.
He called to her for several minutes, frustrated and scared, but soon Hermione appeared, tousle-headed and covered in a robe. He tried to relax, but her letter kept him tense. “Hi, Hermione. You wanted to talk?”
She smiled shyly. “Well, I was starting to get worried…”
“I’m sorry it took me so long. There was this lady ahead of me…”
“No, I figured you’d floo sooner or later, but I…well, I was worried about us.”
Ron felt as though his throat had closed off, and from the fluttering there, it was possible his heart was trying to climb out through it. “Us?”
“I’ve been really worried, you know? About how you feel about me, and whether you’re not just being with me so you can be with Stephen. Harry suggested I write to you, but the letter I wrote didn’t want to seem to end, so I thought that it would be easier if we could talk face to face, you know?”
“Hermione! How could you even think that?”
“Well, you know…” she looked down, blushing. “We spent all that time together, and you talked non-stop about Stephen.”
She looked up quickly. “Oh, don’t think that that didn’t make me happy, Ron. I’m so glad you love him. And he took to you faster than he’s ever taken to anyone before. I just…You never said…I mean, well…”
Ron had never seen her so flustered before. “Hermione, what are you asking? Whether I…love you?”
The hope in her eyes was so undisguised that for a moment, Ron forgot to breathe. “Hermione, you know that you’re the best thing that ever happened to me, right? I mean, without you, there’s no Stephen, no happiness, and most of all, Hermione, no love. I’ve been living that for three years, Hermione. I want it to end. I want to be with you and Stephen. I…I just didn’t want to push, you know? I thought that maybe we should take it slow this time.”
She sighed, but there was a grin on her face. “I was thinking that too, Ron, but maybe we’ve already taken it slow. I mean, seven years at Hogwarts before you even deigned to notice me…”
“I noticed you!”
“…And another three before I even saw you again. I think we’ve spent enough time waiting, Ron.”
“Yeah, you’re right,” he sighed. “So what do we do?”
Hermione took a deep breath. “When are you coming back?”
“I have to be here two more weeks. But after that…”
“So, maybe we should start planning now?”
He grinned. “I’d like that.”