The Sugar Quill
Author: Ninian Echo  Story: Because I Like You...  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.

“BECAUSE I LIKE YOU

Because I Like You…

 

“BECAUSE I LIKE YOU! I LIKE YOU ALLRIGHT?” He shouted at her across the room in a rampage that had been building up for years. Suddenly it was all coming out, and what was worse was, it was true.

 

“BLOODY HELL!!! YOU DRIVE ME INSANE! YOU’RE A MADWOMAN, A MAD-WOMAN. THAT’S WHAT YOU ARE! YOU’D TAKE 15 CLASSES A DAY IF IT WERE UP TO YOU. YOU’D PRACTICALLY BE ABLE TO TEACH THEM ALL TOO BEFORE SCHOOL EVEN STARTED! WHEN YOU’RE NOT SAVING BLOODY HIPPOGRIFFS YOU’RE OFF CRUSADING FOR HOUSE-ELVES!” Now that he had started, it didn’t seem he was going to be able to stop himself to save his life.

 

“YOU DRIVE ME UP A WALL WITH ALL THAT SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS YOU’VE GOT INSIDE YOU. YOU’RE ALWAYS RIGHT, YOU’RE ALWAYS DOING WHAT’S BEST EVEN IF YOU’RE BEING A BLOODY MENACE ABOUT IT! AND YOU DON’T CARE, YOU JUST DON’T CARE BECAUSE YOU’RE SO BLOODY SELF-ASSURED!” He barely knew what he was saying anymore.

 

“YOU DON’T NEED ANYONE! YOU’RE NEVER GOING TO NEED ANYONE TO HELP YOU, LEAST OF ALL ME, AND IF INTERNATIONAL QUIDDICH SUPERSTAR VIKTOR KRUM WASN’T WORTHY OF YOUR HOLINESS WHO THE BLOODY HELL IS GOING TO BE? A POOR BUGGER LIKE ME WHOSE ONLY SAVING GRACE IS A GAME OF CHESS?” His throat was closing off from excess emotion and screaming. He was flushed red to the depths of his freckles and his entire body was so stiff from clenching his muscles so tightly; he’d need a Locomotor charm to ever move again. All of a sudden his voice dropped to barely above a whisper, his body went slack, and he lowered his gaze.

 

“And that’s what I love about you Hermione…every day’s a surprise. I never know what you’ll say or do except that you’d go to the ends of the earth and back for any of us. I don’t know how on earth I could ever deserve you…I wouldn’t know the first thing about showing you…that…I cherish you….” His voice cut off and he shook his head exhausted from such an enormous display of emotion. Somewhere inside he wished he could shove it all back in (where was a blasted Time Turner when you really needed one?) but at least it was all out there, it was all out there and now he could go throw himself off the top of the Astronomy Tower and move on.

 

Shell-shocked by the unexpected assault from across the room, Hermione hadn’t moved for several minutes, maybe several hours, she didn’t know. She felt horribly as if she were underwater, the heavy weight of tons of water pressing down on her, the eerie silence closing in, the breath she held in her lungs depleting. She tried to use her voice but nothing came out. Her mouth was moving like a fish, without drawing breath and incapable of speech. It somehow seemed impossible that everything you thought you knew about a person, about yourself even, could change that drastically in a matter of minutes. How had this started? How had this even started? ---
“Writing again? Glad you’re doing something different for a change!”

 

“I’m trying to concentrate.”

 

“Potions? Transfiguration? Herbology? Hey! When you’re done, can I have a look at your Charms essay? I’m still a foot off.” He sat down across from her and rumpled his hair.

 

“Ron, when has asking to copy my homework ever gotten you a yes? Besides, I’m not doing homework.” She sighed and kept writing.

 

Ron leaned in, “Oh? Is that so? Liberating Snorkacks now are we?”

 

Hermione threw him a scathing look, “Hardly.”

 

“What then? Come on, when have you not indulged me in every ludicrous idea or bit of homework you’ve ever had?”

 

“When you’re likely to throw a tantrum like a two-year-old, that’s when.” She said in clipped tones.

 

“Well it would serve you right if you did something I didn’t approve of.” He mumbled under his breath.

 

“EXCUSE ME, RON WEASLEY! BUT SINCE WHEN DO I NEED YOUR ROYAL PERMISSION TO DO AS I PLEASE?” She looked absolutely fit to murder.

 

“When it involves Bulgarian Dung Brains. That’s when! And I bet this does, doesn’t it?! You’re such a girl.”

 

“Oh, well thanks for that Captain Obvious, just cottoned on have you?” She hissed out without taking her eyes off her parchment. “Frankly it’s none of your business who I talk to, or who’s girlfriend I may or may not be!”

 

“WHA-! GIRLFRIEND?! SINCE WHEN HAVE YOU BEEN SOMEONE’S GIRLFRIEND?” He bellowed like a maniac, colour rising in his face as well as in his voice.

 

“It’s called a hypothetical, Ron!” She blew out exasperatedly.

 

“You’re right brilliant, Hermione!” Ron continued incredulously, “Why not have a boyfriend in Bulgaria and a boyfriend here! You’re the cleverest witch of your age, I’m sure you could juggle two boys in different countries!”

 

“RON! HOW DARE YOU! THAT’S OUTRAGOUS! HOW CAN YOU EVEN SAY THAT TO ME?” She was livid! Is that what he thought of her? That she was some sort of two-timing temptress? It was too much even for Ron!

 

He pushed himself out of his chair hands spread on the table barking down at her. He was practically foaming at the mouth. “YOU KNOW FOR SUCH A KNOW-IT-ALL YOU’RE COMPLETELY BLIND TO THE FACT THAT YOU’RE JUST TOYING WITH HIM ‘TIL SOMETHING BETTER COMES ALONG FOR YOUR MAGNIFICENCE!”

 

“YES! YES THAT’S EXACTLY IT, RON! I’M JUST TOYING AROUND WITH AS MANY BOYS AS POSSIBLE! VIKTOR’S GETTING BORING ANYWAYS, I’M BOUND TO FIND ANOTHER SOON ENOUGH!” She yelled in exasperation pushing herself out of her chair so abruptly it nearly fell over.

 

“WHO’S NEXT AFTER VICKY THEN, HUH? DRACO MALFOY?!” He spat back at her across the table.

 

Now he had actually hurt her and she abandoned any and all pretenses with her next words. “OH PLEASE, RON! THAT’S MATURE! WHY DON’T YOU JUST STOP FEELING SECOND-RATE ABOUT YOURSELF SO YOU CAN STOP IMPLYING THAT I DO?”

 

“WHAT ON EARTH ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?” But she knew she had him, and what’s more was she knew he understood exactly what she was saying as much as his demeanor tried to deny it.

 

“IF YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND NOW, YOU’LL NEVER UNDERSTAND! HONESTLY RON, I CAN’T EVEN BEGIN TO CONCEIVE HOW YOU CAN BE SUCH A THICK INSENSITIVE JERK!” Hermione roared, throwing her hands in the air in a fit of frustration. “WHY DO YOU EVEN CARE?” She slammed her book shut with incredible force and stomped off towards the girls’ dormitories taking her book, parchment, and the rest of her dignity with her. She had just placed her hand on the ornate metal handle when Ron’s remarks had stopped her on her tracks.

 

She was looking at him now, mouthing soundlessly, speechless for the first time in her life. He might have been pleased had the circumstances been any different but at the moment he was incredibly ashamed of himself for deliberately hurting so dear a friend. What had he been thinking? He was positive that there would be no way to make it right and in attempting to remove his foot from his mouth he took a big breath.

 

“Hermione….” He exhaled.

 

“No…no…” her voice caught, there were tears in her eyes spilling over her lashes and onto her cheeks.

 

Damn it. DAMN IT! He’d made her cry. Facing six years of almost certain death warring against Voldemort hadn’t left her in a state like this. He suddenly felt like the monster he must have been for yelling at her in such a manner.

 

“No don’t--” she continued, hiccupping slightly with emotion. “You had your chance to speak now it’s mine.” She met his eyes and as much as he’d wanted to after saying what he had to her, he wasn’t going to look away.

 

“Ron…” she sighed and then continued, a soft sadness in her voice, “If ever I was hard on you, or overbearing about work, it’s only because I wanted so much for you. I wanted you to one day see all the things I see when I look at you. You can accomplish so much, I know it; I’ve seen you do it. There’s no one I know who is more caring for their friends than you are. You’d give your life, without a second thought, for any one of us. That makes you as much a hero as Harry or even Dumbledore in my books. You don’t have to be a Quidditch Superstar for me to like you. I’d like you for you either way. And I don’t know what kind of measuring stick you’ve been using to measure your worth, because it was never a case of Krum not being good enough for me, it was a case of you being better. I’m utterly exhausted of fighting, Ron, this war, my fear, you…and how am I to feel about my worth, when Eloise’s nose is off-center and only a Veela will do? I’m tired of not being able to say all the things I want to say to you for fear of being rejected. I guess I’m not a know-it-all in the end, because when it comes to you, I just never know. You’re my best friend and so much more, and it’s hard to want the latter without jeopardizing the first.”

 

A long silence met these words. Her words stung more effectively than an unexpected slap to the face. If it had been any other way, Ron would have been jumping for joy with the knowledge that Hermione returned his feelings. He hadn’t expected it to happen this way, he hadn’t expected it to happen at all if truth be told, but now it seemed more of an admission in the face of something that could never be as it might have been. He almost wished he could go back to feeling second-rate because this felt so much worse. He wasn’t a boy anymore…he could feel it, like it had just evaporated around him, and for all his griping to be an adult, to be respected and revered, he realized it wasn’t all that it had seemed. He had those things bunched up in one brown-eyed-bushy-haired-bossy-beautiful girl and he’d been blind to it.

 

“Ron…say something…” The whisper cut into his thoughts and he looked up at Hermione, he hadn’t remembered looking away from her. “This can’t be how it is from now on, this can’t be how it ends….” she barely managed.

 

“No, it bloody well can’t.” He said more forcefully than he had meant to. In three long strides he was across the room and pulling Hermione against him by her hips.

 

“Hermione…” he said matter-of-factly, “I reckon you’re the bloody love of my life.” Without waiting to register her stunned expression he bent down and kissed her full on the mouth. He pressed against her unwilling to be broken from her and ran his hands up her arms to cradle her face through her curly hair.

 

Before she could even register what was happening Ron’s mouth was on hers, his hair brushing her forehead and his hands on her face. When she realized where she was and what he was doing she began to return his kiss fervently. She slid her arms around his waist getting as close to him as was physically possible, running her hands up his back, and draping her arms around his neck.

 

When they finally broke apart and she had caught her breath Hermione let out a slow satisfied sigh against his chest. “Well what do you know; there is something better than a book after all.”

 

Ron lifted her chin forcing her to look up at him. “Well I never thought I’d live to see the day. And to think, that was only my first try….” He trailed off grinning wickedly at her.

 

She opened her mouth intent on deflating his oversized ego but he had already swooped down on her swiftly silencing her with another kiss. “No, no. No need to tell me to do my homework, I intend to practice this everyday.”

 

Why did she suddenly feel she had handed Ron Weasley a dangerous weapon? She stepped back from him crossing her arms across her chest. Arching an eyebrow she said “Is that so? And who do you intend to practice on? Neville’s toad?” She tried to bite back a smile, but it was no use.

 

Ron mimicked her pose playfully, “What a good idea! I bet it’s really a princess.” He said in mock-revelation.

 

She swatted him on the arm in haughty happiness. “You just be careful I don’t turn you into a toad, Ronald Weasley,” she laughed.

 

“Yes well, with your spell work, I’m not sure it wouldn’t be an improvement.” He joked, which made her laugh outright. Then instantly he became much more serious as his brows collected together.

 

“Hermione,” he took her hand and rubbed the back of it, “I’m sorry….about everything….how you put up with me, I’ll never know…”

 

She took a step towards him and looked up into his eyes “Well for the most part, you’re lucky I love you, and for the rest of the time,” she shrugged playfully “there are silencing charms and toad transfigurations.”

 

He threw his head back and laughed “Goodnight you madwoman! You know I really wouldn’t put it past you, you maniac!” He gave her hand a squeeze, planted a soft kiss on her lips, headed toward his dormitory and paused, “I love you too.”

 

Hermione flushed crimson with pleasure, picked up her book before heading up the stairs and muttered, “Much, MUCH, better than a book.”    ~Irene Velentzas July 3rd 2005
Disclaimer: If these characters, these ideas, or this universe was mine, maybe you could offer me tens of millions of dollars to mass produce my work in book, movie, and merchandise form. Since they’re not however, I ask you not to, and to instead pay eternal homage to JKR who is the true mastermind here. JKR I only blatantly steal and twist your life’s work out of utter respect for you. Thanks for letting us share in your world, it means the world to us.

 

A/N: I often thought that any of the characters that JKR has developed could very well write themselves. After reading my one hundred and eleventieth fan fiction I thought I’d give it a go and write one too. I always imagined that the only real way to do justice to the Ron and Hermione relationship would be to have a be all end all blow up fight that turns into an admission of their feelings for each other. I don’t think I did this half the justice I would have liked to. So if blame rests anywhere, blame the characters, because really they write themselves.

 

A/N Technical Stuff: This story was written before the release of book six. I have not changed it to accommodate the new book since Ron and Hermione’s relationship was approached much differently by JKR. Please consider this a whimsical anomaly in the Harry Potter Universe. Every break in this story signifies a change in POV or a change in time, as this fan fic is purposefully written out of chronological order. Thank you to my wonderful Beta Reader Felina for her patience and her insight. Felina, (I USED A COMMA WHILE AFTER A DIRCT ADDRESS! YAY!) you have become as much a part of my world as Harry has! Thank you so much for everything! To the readers: Enjoy!

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