The Sugar Quill
Author: Miss Gypsy (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: The Other Side of Love  Chapter: Default
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

Disclaimer: The world belongs to JKR – the song belongs to Third Eye Blind

 

 

The Other Side of Love

 

Disclaimer:  The world belongs to JKR – the song “How’s It Gonna Be?” belongs to Third Eye Blind.

 

A/N:  I know, I know, it’s been done many times before.  A Ron/Hermione fight and make up story, but I just wanted to give it a shot.  So here you go, a slightly angsty, fluffy songfic to “How’s It Gonna Be?” by Third Eye Blind.

 

~~~***~~~

 

I’m only pretty sure,

That I can’t take anymore,

Before you take a swing,

I wonder, what are we fighting for?

When I say out loud, “I wanna get out of this,”

I wonder,

Is there anything I’m gonna miss?

 

“I can’t take this anymore!”  Her shout rang through the common room and she leapt to her feet.

 

He ran after her, calling her name and pleading.  “Hold on.  I’m not trying to make you mad.  Would you just stop blowing up at me, and try to listen to me for once?!”

 

“I have tried to listen to you for seven years.  This is not working, don’t you see?”

 

He bit his lip.  In spite of himself, he knew it wasn’t working.  There was too much tension, too much pressure from everyone.  There was so much being lost in the war, and yet, he was losing the one he loved the most.  He saw it every time her eyes skimmed a newspaper article and her face fell, learning of the deaths of yet another Order member, or another family member of a classmate. 

 

He tried to make her smile as much as he could.  Ever since, through a series of events that he would never exactly understand, both of them had realized that their feelings were not quite as unreciprocated as they’d thought, he had done everything he could to please her.

 

For a while, it worked.  She would laugh and roll her eyes at his jokes and would put up with his immature snickering, but lately, her patience had worn quite thin.  It broke his heart to watch her turn from a young, independent girl with hopes and dreams to a guarded, frightened adult, who buried her fears in the piles of homework that she worked on every night without prevail.

 

“We can make it work,” he finally said. 

 

Tears welled in her brown eyes and she stepped forward and wrapped her arms around him.  He clung to her tightly, knowing that he was on the very brink of losing her, and also wondering how it had gotten this far.  What had happened?  Didn’t she remember what it was like?

 

Of course she did. 

 

And yet…

 

They were going to lose it all.

 

~~~***~~~

 

I wonder, how’s it gonna be,

When you don’t know me?

How’s it gonna be,

When you’re sure I’m not there?

How’s it gonna be,

When there’s no one there to talk to,

Between you and me,

Because I don’t care?  How’s it gonna be?

 

An exhausted Ronald Weasley stumbled into his quiet, slightly run-down flat on the skirts of London.  He tossed his cloak on an old chair and sank onto the couch.  His eyes closed and he sighed.

 

Whump.

 

He sat up, startled, and saw an owl plastering itself to his window.  Standing, he let the bird in and took the piece of folded parchment from its beak.

 

It was an invitation, and his brow furrowed in curiosity.  Who would be inviting him anywhere?  The war was over, so there was not much left for the Order to do.  In the end, they had prevailed, but it was at a devastating cost to the wizarding world.  Harry had defeated the Dark Lord as the prophecy had predicted and was now Professor Potter - teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts, and Ron was fumbling about with a new internship in the ministry. 

 

Dear Mr. Weasley,

 

            You have been cordially invited to the Warlock’s Day Gala, which is being held in honor of those who fought against the late Dark Lord.  The Gala shall be held on the Nineteenth of April at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  Formal attire will be required, and your presence would delight us all.

                                                           

                                                                                    Yours Sincerely,

                                                                                    Timmeline Startchky

                                                                                    Order of Merlin, Third Class

 

Ron chuckled, feeling cheered up.  A gala?  This could certainly prove interesting.

 

He set the invitation on the coffee table and headed for the kitchen to pour himself some tea.  It never even crossed his mind that she would most likely be invited as well.

 

~~~***~~~

 

Where we used to laugh,

There’s a shouting match,

Sharp as a thumbnail scratch,

A silence I can’t ignore,

Like the hammock by the doorway,

We spent time in,

The swing’s empty,

I don’t see lightning like last fall,

When it was always about to hit me.

 

He could see her sitting on the bank of the lake all alone.  She looked so small and vulnerable out there, completely isolated.  It wasn’t smart to be alone at a time like this.  He trudged along the grounds toward her, but his heart wanted to turn back.

 

He knew what was going to happen here.

 

When he reached her, he sat beside her on the grass without a word.  He rested his elbows on his knees and looked at her patiently.

 

“Hello, Ron,” she whispered tiredly.

 

“Hi, Hermione.”  He could tell she’d been crying.

 

There was a long silence where he sat there, trying not to look anywhere in particular and praying that he was wrong about their meeting tonight.

 

Eventually the silence stretched so long, with her hiccoughing softly every now and then (she must’ve been crying hard) that he could no longer stand it.

 

“So you wanted to talk with me?”


”Ron…”

 

“Just say it, Hermione.”

 

She sniffed and said in a trembling voice.  “I don’t want to do this.”

 

“Then don’t.  Ron turned begging eyes on her and touched her hand.  “Please.”

 

“I have to.  You know I have to.  We can’t carry on like this.  Ron… you mean more than anybody else in the world to me.”

 

Ron nodded.  Hermione was not one for sappy words, and it meant a lot to him to hear her just say it so directly. 

 

“But I…” she continued then paused and bit her lower lip.  “I think it’s time.”

 

“Hm,” said Ron intelligently.  He couldn’t say anything.  He was afraid he’d lose it if he did.

 

She swallowed hard.  “Ron… we just lost it.  You know we did.  The war, the stress of trying to protect Harry and everyone else – we just didn’t take time for the little things, I guess.”

 

Ron just looked at her pleadingly.

 

She turned away, staring out into the water, as if willing herself to continue.  “So, of course, we’ll stay friends.  But it’s just… it’s time.”

 

Ron threw a pebble into the lake.  It splashed and then sank.  Just like the pair of them.

 

“I’m sorry,” Hermione whispered, took to her feet, and ran back to the castle without another word.

 

Ron dropped his head and squeezed his eyes shut.  How did he let this happen?

 

~~~***~~~

I wonder, how’s it gonna be,

When it goes down?

How’s it gonna be,

When you’re not around?

How’s it gonna be,

When you find out there is nothing,

Between you and me?

‘Cause I don’t care how it’s gonna be.

 

Upon entering the Great Hall, Ron’s eyes traveled around the room in amazement.  It was every bit as spectacular as his memories led him to remember it being.  The enchanted sky was a brilliant purple, to match the cool spring evening.  The guests waltzed about - socializing, dancing, and sipping punch as they mingled under the stars.

 

Ron made his way over to the spot on the floor where the Gryffindor table usually sat.  Swallowing hard, he stared solemnly.  So many images washed over his mind.  How many breakfasts, lunches, and dinners had he shared with Harry and Hermione here?

 

As if called on cue, he heard a very familiar voice.  “Hey, Ron!” 

 

Harry was striding over to him, smiling widely.  “Long time no see, eh?  How have you been?”

 

Ron smiled sadly.  “Ah, you know.  Considering the circumstances…”

 

“Ron, it’s been four years.  I think this is some sort of record.  Look, I know you and Hermione are stubborn people, but this is ridiculous.”

 

Ron scowled at his best mate.  “Easy for you to say – off chasing Dark wizards all the time, with someone to come home to.”

 

Harry shook his head.  “I don’t know why the two of you are putting yourselves through this.  You would have someone to come home to if you would just come over and eat with Ginny and I, and Hermione.  I’m sick of having you over for dinner one at a time.  Ginny is getting tired of it, too.”

 

“Ginny’s just being… impatient.”  Ron was not at all pleased that his baby sister had gotten happily married before he had.  Though he was happy for both his best friend and his sister, it made him sad to think of how close he had come to the same happily ever after.

 

“She’s coming, you know.”

 

“What?”  Ron stared at his best mate.  “Why?”

 

“Do you really think they would throw a commemorative gala and not invite Hermione Granger?”

 

Ron sighed in relief.

 

Harry, noticing this, frowned.  “What, are you glad she’s here?”

 

“Absolutely not.  But…” Ron shook his head.

 

“But what?”

 

“It’s… it’s still Granger, then?”

 

Harry sighed quietly.  “It is, but you’re running short on time there, mate.”

 

“What do you mean?”

 

Harry just shook his head.  “You need to talk to her, Ron.  Really, you do.”

 

Ron nodded, but then Lavender Brown appeared at his elbow, squealing over how handsome he was and how she was now Lavender Finnigan.  Ron smiled and chatted with his old classmate for a good fifteen minutes, but he found his mind was elsewhere.

 

Where was she?

 

His stomach was twisted with the anticipation of spotting her on the dance floor, and yet, a separate part of him hoped and prayed that he would run into her somehow.  The air in the Great Hall became stifling, and he decided to take a stroll down to the lake.  After telling Ginny that he would be back later, he headed out the doors.

 

It seemed funny that the Hogwarts grounds were exactly as they had always been.  Ron half expected to find his own oversized footprints in the mud along the path down to the bank.

 

There was someone standing at the water’s edge, gazing sadly into their own reflection.  Ron had no idea who it was, but he felt bad for walking in on their moment of thought.  He turned to leave, but whomever it was heard him and let out a soft gasp.

 

There was hardly a moon in the sky that night, and in the darkness, neither could make out the other.

 

“I’m sorry,” Ron said automatically.  “I did not mean to interrupt – “

 

The person, obviously a woman, sucked in another, even more terrified gasp.

 

Hearing this, Ron shook his head in exasperation.  “I promise you, I’m not here to cause you any harm.”

 

“Are you sure about that?”

 

The voice was so overwhelmingly familiar and brought on such an onslaught of memories that he almost had to sit down.  Yet he did not want to believe it – no, he did not dare to believe it.

 

Hermione?”  It escaped him before he could stop himself.

 

She did not speak, obviously having realized who he was before he had made the connection.  She sighed sadly and then finally spoke.

 

“I wondered if this would happen.”

 

“I didn’t know you were coming.”  Ron’s voice was shaking.

 

“I didn’t know myself.  I almost didn’t.  My…” she trailed off, and Ron did not press her.  He stepped forward so he could see her more clearly.

 

She was beautiful.  The image in his mind’s eye was that of a crying seventeen-year-old girl, not the elegant young woman she had become.  Her face was thinner, but her hair was just as bushy as it had always been. 

 

“So how have you been?” Ron asked, walking toward her.  She clasped her hands together behind her back and stared nervously at the ground.

 

“Oh, I’m doing well.  You?”

 

Ron’s voice was horribly hearty.  “I miss you, you know.”

 

Hermione nodded.  “Me too.  I miss you too.”

 

“Why did you do it?” Ron whispered, years of buried painful memories rushing over him.  “I loved you, Hermione.  And I-“

 

“Stop, Ron.  Just stop.” 

 

“Why?”  He found himself biting down on the old Weasley temper.  He knew that if he yelled at her… well, there would be no going back.  No matter what happened, he had to keep his cool.

 

“Please, don’t bring it back.  I couldn’t stand it if you brought it back.”  Her voice shook and she reached up to swipe at her eyes with her left hand.

 

Ron almost got sick.  There on her left ring finger, glittering even in the darkness, was a ring.  There was no mistaking what it meant, either.  He took a few steps back, stumbling on the dark grass and stared at her.

 

She was getting married. 

 

Everything seemed to stop for a second.  He wondered who the bloke was.  He wondered why it wasn’t him.  He remembered all those times they had sat together at the lake, sometimes arguing, sometimes laughing, sometimes not even talking.  Was it really supposed to end like this?

 

Hermione stared in puzzlement at his shocked expression, and then followed his gaze to her hand.  She sucked in a sharp breath.  “Oh, Ron – “

 

He swallowed an enormous lump in his throat, willing himself not to scream at her.  “How long?”

 

“I didn’t mean for you to know… but I mean, I didn’t want to hide it from you – didn’t Harry tell you?”

 

“How long?”  Ron’s gaze and tone were both of steel, glaring at her in the shadowy night.

 

“He’s such a sweet man, Ron, you’d like him.”  Hermione was crying now, hard and loud, and babbling like a madwoman.

 

“How long has it been, Hermione?” he demanded again, his voice shaking.

 

“Four months.  Since he proposed.”

 

“I see.”  Ron turned and walked away, willing himself to just leave her there standing on the bank, dressed to outshine the queen, with that stupid ring on her finger.  He didn’t know what he would do with himself now, but all he knew was that if he were around her one more second, he would go mad.

 

“Ron, wait!”  Hermione cried, hurrying after him.  “You wouldn’t answer my letters, what was I supposed to do?!”

 

“Your letters?!” Ron repeated incredulously.  “Your letters?!  Hermione, what about seventh year?  That was your doing.  Don’t make excuses, don’t try to make this better.  You didn’t want it.  Just say it.  Because…”

 

“Because?” Hermione prodded gently, still crying.

 

“Because I couldn’t stand it if you lied to me.  Congratulations, Hermione.  I hope you have a wonderful life with him.”  And he turned and left her there, hurrying inside, storming past Harry and Ginny, and leaving the Gala and his last hope behind him.

 

~~~***~~~

 

How’s it gonna be,

When you don’t know me anymore?

And how’s it gonna be?

 

At the graduation ceremony, he could hardly talk to her.  It was not as if they would see each other anymore out of Hogwarts, and he knew he could not go back to being her friend.  It was just too much to ask of himself at the moment.  He did not know how he could stand to be around her – knowing what they could have had – without losing his mind completely.

 

But he also knew that he would not be able to live with himself if he did not at least say goodbye.

 

“Hermione!”

 

She turned from where she was walking alongside Neville and frowned at him, her gaze turning icy in a split second.  “What, now would you like to be my friend, Ron Weasley?” she snapped.

 

“Can I talk to you for a second?”

 

She sighed and followed him, walking behind him until he abruptly turned around.  “Hermione, I just want you to know that… I’m sorry.”

 

She nodded.

 

“And that I’ll really miss you… but…”  he shook his head.  “I don’t see how we can be friends anymore.”

 

Her sad face turned angry in an instant.  “Why not?”

 

“We just can’t, okay?  It’s not going to happen.”

 

She shook her head.  “You’re making a mistake...  But… I’ll really miss you too.  I really, really will.  Hopefully this isn’t forever.”

 

“Maybe it will be.  Goodbye, Hermione.”  He kissed her on the cheek before he could change his mind, and then turned and walked away.  Maybe the wind was playing tricks with him, but he thought he heard her sob.

 

He did not talk to her again.

 

~~~***~~~

Wanna get myself back in again,

The soft dive of oblivion,

Wanna taste the soul of your skin,

The soft dive of oblivion,

Oblivion…

 

A few weeks went by after the Gala, and Ron recovered (to some degree) from the shock of Hermione’s engagement.  She apologetically sent him a wedding invitation, because it was only polite of her to do so, and that was how she was.  Always polite.

 

He did not plan to attend, of course, but he figured she knew that.  He felt like an irrational teenager again, furious at an old girlfriend for finding a new date.  It was ridiculous, but he could not help it.

 

Hermione was getting married.

 

The day of the wedding, Ron sat in the living room of his flat, staring at the wall and absent-mindedly twirling his wand between his fingers.  Pig hooted softly from his cage in the kitchen, and Ron got up to let him out.

 

“’Lo, Pig,” he said heartily, swallowing a lump in his throat.  “Aren’t I the biggest prat you have ever seen?”

 

Pig hooted reassuringly.

 

“Nah, s’too late,” Ron sighed.  “She’s already married him.”

 

Pig fell silent and Ron was left to his own thoughts.  So this is it, he thought, this is why some people don’t believe in this sort of thing.  It’s the nastier aspect of it all - the other side of love.

 

A soft knock filled the heavy silence and Ron looked up in surprise.  He crossed the room quickly and opened the door.  He could not believe the sight that awaited his eyes.

 

HERMIONE?!”

 

She was standing in front of him with a tragic look on her face.  And she was a mess.  She was wearing white wedding robes but they were dirty, and her make-up streaked down her cheeks in heavy, black lines.  Her eyes were puffy and swollen, but somehow, she was the most beautiful sight he had ever seen.

 

“Hermione, what the hell are you doing here?  I thought –“

 

“I cancelled the wedding.”  Hermione’s voice was nervous and shaky.

 

“What?”  Ron just stared at her, wondering if he just might be dreaming.

 

“I cancelled it.”

 

Why?” 

 

“Why?” Hermione repeated, frowning at him.  “You’re asking me why?  Ron Weasley, did you fully expect me to date you as a teenager, stop seeing you because I thought it was for the best but realize I made a horrible mistake, then realize that you never want to speak to me again, get engaged, meet you unexpectedly, and carry through with my marriage?”

 

Ron continued to stare at her.  He had not understood a single word she had just said.  He was simply mesmerized by fact that she was here, standing on his doorstep.

 

“Did you?” Hermione put her hands on her hips.

 

“Uh, no?” Ron was not sure how he was to answer her question.  If, that is, she was asking a question.

 

“Good, you prat,” she said, smiling, and threw her arms around his neck.

 

He hugged her tightly, wondering why on earth she had come back to him, after all that had happened and how he had refused to communicate with her for years.  It shocked him that she considered him to be even remotely good enough for her, when she was brilliant and beautiful and ten times better at everything than he was. 

 

It dawned on him, standing there clinging to her on the doorstep, that they could have everything now.  They could get married, and both join Harry and Ginny for dinner.  They could play chess, and he could get her to play Quidditch.  She could sit in his flat and read and he wouldn’t care, even if she read Hogwarts, a History out loud to him, page by page.  They could go to Diagon Alley and buy Christmas presents for the family, dragging each other into Flourish and Blotts and Quality Quidditch Supplies.  They could still fight, and he knew they would, because that was who Ron and Hermione were.

 

But most of all, they could be together, and Ron knew that this time, he was not going to make any mistakes.  He would not let Hermione make decisions that she thought were for the general good of everyone when they were not, and he would try to prevent himself from being a complete prat every day of the week.

 

And it would be this way forever.

//
Write a review! PLEASE NOTE: The purpose of reviewing a story or piece of art at the Sugar Quill is to provide comments that will be useful to the author/artist. We encourage you to put a bit of thought into your review before posting. Please be thoughtful and considerate, even if you have legitimate criticism of a story or artwork. (You may click here to read other reviews of this work).
* = Required fields
*Sugar Quill Forums username:
*Sugar Quill Forums password:
If you do not have a Sugar Quill Forums username, please register. Bear in mind that it may take up to 72 hours for your account to be approved. Thank you for your patience!
*Comment:
The Sugar Quill was created by Zsenya and Arabella. For questions, please send us an Owl!

-- Powered by SQ3 : Coded by David : Design by James --