The Sugar Quill
Author: Artemay  Story: A Fighting Chance  Chapter: Chapter 2: Advice
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Hermione ran hurriedly up the stairs, not daring to look back at Ron, and into Ginny’s bedroom slamming the door behind her

A Fighting Chance

Chapter 2:  Advice

 

Hermione ran hurriedly up the stairs, not daring to look back at Ron, and into Ginny’s bedroom, slamming the door behind her.  She leaned on the wooden door, closed her eyes, and sighed deeply. 

 

“Been with Ron, have you?”  

 

Hermione’s eyes snapped open.  Ginny was lying on her bed propped up on her elbows looking at her with twinkling brown eyes.  “Yes.  Yes, I have.  We played chess in the gardens,” she said huffily. 

 

“Oh really?” Ginny said as her eyes widened.  

 

“What?” Hermione said defensively. 

 

“Nothing,” said Ginny airily, her eyes falling back on the Daily Prophet in front of her. 

 

Hermione could see the small smile at the corner of her lips.  She sat on the springy trundle bed opposite that of Ginny and said yet again, “What?” 

 

“What, what?” Ginny repeated stubbornly. 

 

“What was the smile for?” Hermione asked, her voice rising. 

 

Hermione watched Ginny shake her head and smile a little, definitely acting as if she thought there was something wrong with both her and Ron.  “If you were with Ron all day, and correct me if I am wrong, but you are friends, right?” Hermione nodded her head, agreeing wholeheartedly.  “If you were with Ron all day, then why are you so nervous and look so stressed out?”

 

“I was beat a lot at chess today, okay?  You know me, I am not used to being beat,” Hermione said. 

 

“That’s not it,” Ginny replied, grinning yet again.

 

“Yes it is!” Hermione said angrily.

 

“Come off it, Hermione,” Ginny began.  “You two have had feelings for each other ever since third year and maybe even before that.  You can’t honestly say that you don’t have any feelings whatsoever for my brother.” 

 

Hermione was silent. 

 

“Yup, I knew it,” Ginny said quietly while nodding her head in confirmation.  “Not that it was obvious, of course.” 

 

Hermione laid back on the fluffy feather pillows in deep thought.  It isn’t that simple.  It has never been that simple.  Never.  How am I supposed to face him after what I just did?  We would have kissed if I hadn’t chickened out… 

 

“Time for dinner!”  Molly yelled from the kitchen. 

 

Oh no, oh no, oh no…

 

Ginny tugged on Hermione’s arm.  “Come on, you’ll be fine.”

 

“No, I won’t,” Hermione moaned in desperation.  “I can’t face him after what we just did!  It’s too…well…weird.”

 

“What did you do that was so horrible?” Ginny asked. 

 

“We almost kissed,” Hermione started as she watched Ginny’s eyes enlarge as she continued.  “If I wouldn’t have been so stupid to run inside he would have kissed me.” 

 

“Why can’t you two just be normal?” said Ginny.  “Come on, you can’t hide up here forever.”

 

Hermione reluctantly followed Ginny downstairs and sat next to her at the table.  She didn’t dare look up for fear of making eye contact with Ron.  Once everyone (Ginny, Hermione, Ron, Molly, Fred, George, Remus Lupin, Nymphadora Tonks, Bill, and Fleur) was seated, eating began. 

 

“Hermione, could you pass the potatoes?” a voice said from across the table. 

 

She had no choice now.  Looking up she saw that Ron was sitting directly in front of her.  He looked at her questioningly. 

 

Why didn’t I kiss him?

 

George looked at both of them and grinned.  “Hey Hermione!  Do you mind passing the potatoes?” 

 

George’s loud voice tore her away from Ron’s gaze.  She looked over at George and saw him smirking at her.  “Well?”

 

“Here,” Hermione said as she passed the bowl containing the potatoes to the gleeful twin. 

 

She ate her meal quickly, politely excused herself, and rushed to the door.  Outside she found the solitude that she desperately needed.  Hermione sat on the old, creaky deck, her feet dangling a few inches from the ground.  She looked up at the stars and watched as one shot across the black canvas. 

 

Why did this have to be so complicated?  I like him and I think he likes me.  Is it even worth it?  Is he ever going to see that I feel for him?  Does he know that right now? Is he just as afraid as I am? 

 

The door leading outside opened, shining a bright ray of light into the inky darkness of the night.  It was Tonks. 

 

Hermione turned around quickly.  “Don’t worry,” Tonks said, realizing that she had startled Hermione.  “I was just coming out here to join you.” 

 

Hermione looked at Tonks, taking in every feature of her young face.  She knew that Tonks was young, but she no longer looked it.  Her face was drawn and thin, her once bubblegum pink hair was now a mousy brown, and there were deep creases in her face that had not been there before.   

 

“So why are you out here then?” Tonks asked Hermione tiredly. 

 

“Just needed to find somewhere quiet to think,” Hermione admitted truthfully.  She wanted to avoid the subject of Ron at all cost.  “Can I ask you the same question?”

 

Tonks smiled revealing small wrinkles near the corners of her eyes, “What if I gave you the same answer?”

 

Hermione smiled back and then sighed for what had to be the hundredth time that day.   “Thinking about someone?” Tonks said. 

 

“How did you know?” Hermione said. 

 

“Because we’re both sitting out here looking for solitude, and I know that I am thinking about someone so I just figured you were too,” said Tonks, looking older than ever. 

 

“You guessed right,” Hermione replied.  “Who are you thinking about?” 

 

“Can’t tell you that,” Tonks said.  “First of all, because this person doesn’t return my feelings, and second, I don’t think this person wants anyone else to know.” 

 

The crisp night wind ruffled both women’s hair as the stars twinkled above them.  “How about you?  Why are you out here when your friends are inside?” 

 

Hermione struggled to bring herself to say it, “Yes, they are in there, but… well…”

 

“It’s Ron, isn’t it?”

 

Hermione turned to look at the auror, “How does everyone know about this?”

 

“It is very obvious and well…I was sixteen once too, Hermione,” Tonks said.  “So why are you sitting out here?”

 

“I can’t bring myself to face him.  I don’t know if I should tell him how I feel or not.” She trailed off. 

 

Tonks smiled understandingly.  “Just do it, Hermione.  He probably feels the same way.  Someone has got to get it out in the open.” 

 

“But if for some reason it doesn’t work I still want to be friends with him.  When we had a row in third year I couldn’t take it.  It was like a piece of me was gone and if it were ever to happen again I just…” 

 

“I have seen you three.  I don’t think that anything would tear you apart for very long.  You, Ron, and Harry are too close for something like this to ruin the friendship you have with them,” Tonks reassured her. 

 

Hermione was silent for a long while until she made her decision, “Thanks, Tonks.” 

 

“No problem, Hermione,” Tonks said. 

 

Hermione turned to go inside the Burrow.  She had to tell him, there was nothing for it.  As she opened the door she took a deep breath.  Hermione saw Ron at the kitchen sink wiping dishes as they were magically cleaning and rinsing.  He looked up to see her standing stock still in the doorway gazing at him.  Just tell him… tell him now…  

 

“Hey, Hermione,” Ron broke the uncomfortable silence. 

 

“Hi,” she said breathlessly as she grabbed a towel to help him. 

 

Another gap of silence followed their greeting. 

 

“What happened tonight-” Ron began. 

 

Hermione nervously finished it for him, “-Was nothing.”

 

“Right,” Ron said his face falling in disappointment. 

 

Why did I have to say that?  I like him and I want him to like me back and all I can say is that I don’t want anything to come of what happened tonight?  Why, oh why did I have to open my mouth?  Why didn’t I just let him finish what he was going to say?  Maybe it was for the best though, what if I were to lose him as a friend? 

 

Hermione’s fear got the best of her.  She put down the orange striped towel with shaking hands and slowly made it up to Ginny’s room. 

 

 

 

 

 

Author Notes:  A special thanks goes out to the four people who reviewed my first chapter!  (AmandaB, AllyLovesHP, amelia, and Katie Bilius)  I love reviews and I appreciate the time that you guys took to write them!!!!! J

 

    

 

  

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