Note: I wasn’t going to submit any fic to the First Annual Sugar Quill
Fanfic Tournament, but I ended up submitting a small fic at the last possible
minute, called Leaning
And that was supposed to be the end of that particular plot bunny.
the bunny couldn't be put to rest, and a good friend of mine helped feeding
him and giving him strength. So, here goes the second installment on what
I think I may call 'The -ing Series' or at least 'The -ing Trilogy', since
I'm so found of those. *coughcoughSWcoughcough* ;) (Oh, yes, there'll
be a third installment. A couple of characters have been cutting their
way into my computer screen since the first fic, so I decided to let them
out to play.)
let's get this over with. This sequel to Leaning
is dedicated to my friend Clarisse Lupin.
She is the one to blame for the fact that I ever wrote this one! :)
I don’t own Harry Potter or anything related. Jo Rowling owns them. No
money is being made with this, so please don’t sue me!
had been able to feel Ron’s hot breath on her face tinged with a faint
smell of sugar, but her cheeks had been pink for another reason; he was
that, Hermione didn’t remember too well what had happened. Ginny had come
over and said something, and soon Ron and her had gotten to their feet,
just in time to see Harry approaching and making a smart remark as well.
then, the whole common room had roared with laughter.
were laughing at her, on her birthday, because of Ron Weasley.
had felt her face flush with embarassment, and had left the common romm
in a hurry.
was so inexplicably furious with Ron that she skipped breakfast and went
straight to their double-Transfiguration class, where she spent the whole
morning avoiding Ron’s eyes and trying to pay attention to Professor McGonagall’s
was something she had acknowledged long ago as very difficult to do whenever
she was angry with Ron. He made her lose all her coolness and logic, and
she always ended up losing her concentration in classes.
because she loved him.
had discovered that her feelings towards Ron were more than those of a
friend back in their fourth year, when she had been angry with him for
gaping at Fleur Delacour everytime she passed by, for not asking her to
the Yule Ball until it was too late, and for being mad at her for going
to the Ball with Viktor.
had realized the reason why she was so angry for such stupid and small
things at the night of the Yule Ball, when she had spent most of the night
awake thinking about the Ball and Ron. Well, mostly Ron anyway.
it hadn’t been a surprise when they had enganged in yet another argument
right in the middle of Snape’s class over that stupid Rita Skeeter article.
She had babbled about Viktor asking her to visit him at Bulgaria over
the summer, and Ron had been really mad at her. Hermione had felt increasingly
uncomfortable because of his reaction to Viktor’s invitation, and they
had never realized that Snape had reached their table.
that had been just the first of many classes since then that she had completely
lost her concentration in just because of Ron. During most classes, she
spent her time just thinking about their last argument, like today in
Transfiguration class, where she was forced to relive over and over again
in her head the embarassment he had made her feel that morning.
there were some classes where they eventually had some kind of argument
*during* the class, and she lost the lesson anyway. Of course, she had
begun to spend even more time than she already did in the library to make
up for all her lost lessons. And that had only given Ron more to tease
her with, saying that she would become a permanent resident of the library
was a wonder how she had succeeded in keeping her Prefect status after
a definite drop in her grades. It was a lucky thing that Malfoy had never
been able to get a better grade than she did at his exams, or she would
no longer be the cleverest witch in her year, and undoubtely no longer
a Prefect (at least in her opinion).
course, she was the only one worried about her grades. Whenever she said
something, Ron and Harry said that she was overreacting, that her grades
hadn’t changed much, and that it was something expected since the school
got increasingly difficult with each passing year. So she needn’t worry
she shuddered to think if she would be able to become Head Girl next year,
like Professor McGonagall had hinted to. If she and Ron continued to act,
or rather, react like that towards each other, she was afraid that she
would lose her concentration even more on classes, and that her grades
were going to drop as well.
surviving through McGonagall’s class, the thought of not becoming Head
Girl in the following year keeping her mind from straying too far away
from Transfiguration class, Hermione headed to the Great Hall to have
lunch, and pointedly ignored Ron.
had tried once or twice to catch her attention, and she had avoided him
by sitting next to Neville and talking about their Potions essays on Polyjuice
Potion due in two days.
of that, she completely missed when Ron, Harry and Ginny had talked rather
conspiratorially during lunch. Not even when Ron’s ear turned pink under
the scrutinizing eyes of his sister and best friend Hermione noticed them.
soon as she finished eating, Hermione left the Great Hall and headed to
Professor Vector’s class, thankful for probably the first time in her
life that Ron had Divination instead of Arithmancy.
not even her fear of losing the Head Girl badge the following year stopped
her from thinking about Ron during that.
the anger she was feeling towards Ron had drained away (she had never
been able to stay mad at him for very long) Hermione began to ponder his
reaction that morning.
had been clearly trying to hide something behind his joyful face when
he had congratulated her for dating Harry, and he had jumped up from his
chair ecstatic and grinning when she had said that she wasn’t dating Harry.
had given him that thought at the first place, anyway?’ She thought angrily.
Harry had just hugged her for her birthday, and Ron had came up with that
completely crazy talk about leaning and all that...
then... Why had he been so mad at that? What if Harry had really leaned
when hugging her? What if Harry fancied her? Why would Ron be so upset
sighed. She had had countless ponderings like that over the past few years,
especially after the ‘Viktor Krum incident’, and everytime she thought
about it, she had been sure that Ron had been jealous of her, that he
loved her, and that it would be just a matter of time before he told her
time had passed and Ron hadn’t said such thing. Hermione had tried to
forget him, to pretend her feelings towards him didn’t exit, that he was
just a friend, but she hadn’t been able to forget him.
all, they were best friends, and they spent most of their time together
when they were studying at Hogwarts.
spent the rest of her Arithmancy’s class thinking about Ron, and from
time to time muttering under her breath ‘Bloody Ronald Weasley.’
would undoubtely be proud to learn that he had not only succeded in turning
a perfect student like her into a prat unable to concentrate properly
in classes, but also in a cursing and swearing prat.
Ronald Weasley,’ she muttered again.
had been so engrossed in her own thoughts that she only noticed that the
class was over when Professor Vector came to her and asked her if something
was wrong, since she had been quiet during all afternoon. After all, it
was unusual for Hermione not to answer any of the questions asked during
said that she was feeling slightly ill, and that she thought that it was
just the beginning of a cold or something, and left before Professor Vector
told her to go and see Madam Pomfrey.
Hermione arrived at the Great Hall, she only met Ginny and Harry there.
Thankfully, Ron was nowhere in sight.
sat across from Ginny, at Harry’s left side, and began to eat her dinner
rather slowly and quietly, until she jerked up her head in response to
Ginny yelling her name for the third time.
glanced at Harry, looking annoyed. “Hermione, I’ve been wondering if you
could help me with Muggle Studies. I think we might have a surprise test
tomorrow, and I’m having trouble with some stuff.”
brow furrowed in surprise, “Sure, I can help you. But wouldn’t you prefer
stuttered for a moment. “I...I...I can’t help her tonight. Quidditch practice.”
He added, a relieved look on his face.
wasn’t buying any of that rubbish, but she thought that it would be easier
to get some answers from Ginny alone than from both of them. “Okay, I
will help you then. As soon as you finish with your dinner, we can go
up to the library...”
I’ve finished my dinner already,” Ginny added in a hurry, “but I don’t
think we should go to the library. First, because Madam Pince would be
really mad at us for talking out loud there, and second because I need
help with some Muggle equipment that we can only find at the Muggle Studies
shrugged and finished her dinner. Soon, Ginny and her were up the marble
staircase at the Entrance Hall, Hermione’s thoughts for once today not
focused on Ronald Weasley.
I need to tell you something.” Ginny spoke up suddenly.
Ginny?” Hermione glanced at her while they turned a corner.
hesitated for a moment, unsure of what to say next. Hermione looked at
her friend again with a quizzical look on her face.
you see...” Ginny was playing with her robes’ cuffs. “Hum, I guess there
is no better way to say it...I want to talk to you about my brother’s
feelings about you.”
turned defensive. “What makes you think I worry about your brother’s feelings?”
rolled her eyes. “Hermione, we can do this the easy way or the hard way.
I *know* you fancy my brother.” She said, matter of factly.
remained silent, but her cheeks were rather pink again, just like in the
I know my brother has been trying to tell you exactly how he feels about
you for a long time now, but he has been to afraid to do it, because he
thought you’d rather have someone famous like Viktor Krum or Harry Potter.”
Ginny stopped walking and searched Hermione’s eyes. “I think this morning
he actually thought that you were in love with...” she glanced at her
shoes, “...with Harry when he saw you both hugging.”
despite her friend’s obvious discomfort, was so nervous about Ginny’s
talk concerning Ron’s feelings that she had to laugh.
Hermione was surprised. “I couldn’t possibly be in love with Harry! He
is just a friend! True, he is a very good friend, one of my best friends
in fact, but he is just that.” Hermione looked pointedly at Ginny, before
walking again. “Besides, I couldn’t forgive myself if I ever tried to
steal Harry from you.”
jerked her head up, and ran to catch up with her friend. “You...you knew?”
smiled. “Yes, of course I knew! I know you’ve been an issue for quite
sometime now. You don’t think that my cleverness is limited only to books,
exams, and school stuff, do you?”
no.” Ginny smiled sheepishly.
don’t worry, I won’t tell Ron anything.” She placed her left had on Ginny’s
right shoulder. “I know you and Harry are hiding your relationship only
because you’re afraid of how Ron will react when he learns that his little
sister is dating his best friend.”
shadow passed over Ginny’s face. “Hermione, for being such a clever girl,
you can be pretty blind sometimes. But then again, even with all that’s
happening, I guess it’s a little difficult to really see how much in danger
we really are.” She gave a deep sigh, and added. “The reason why Harry
and I have been keeping our relationship a secret is because he is afraid
You-Know-Who might want to get to him by hurting me.”
felt ashamed for not thinking about that before. “Oh, Ginny, I had no
gave a sad smile, “Well, I can’t really blame you. We are living some
pretty rough times, and things are happening so quickly that it feels
almost unrealistic sometimes.” She brushed her eyes with her left hand.
thought she had seen tears in Ginny’s eyes, but she wasn’t sure. “Anyway,
this talk isn’t about You-Know-Who, Harry, and definitely not about me.
It’s about you and Ron.”Ginny looked deeply into Hermione’s eyes. “My
brother loves you, Hermione. I know he does, even though he has never
told me that. But the way he looks at you...it’s so obvious!”
stared at Ginny, open-mouthed. She was dumbstruck. Hermione couldn’t believe
her ears. She was so startled by this revelation that she never noticed
that they had reached the door to the Muggle Studies classroom.
I forgot my book at Gryffindor’s common room. Do you mind waiting for
me in here while I go and get it? Thanks.” And she left before Hermione
could say anything.
it would take a while since Ginny returned, Hermione entered the classroom,
and was startled by what she saw.
were dozens of floating candles lit around the room, just like every year
at the Sorting Hat ceremony. And in the middle of the room stood Ron,
with a box of Honeydukes’ best chocolate in his hands.
Hermione.” He said, a tentative smile tugging at his lips, his ears reddened.
didn’t answer. Hermione was still speechless by Ginny’s revelations and
by the decorated classroom she found herself in.
Are you listening to me?” Ron asked, worried.
nodded, unable to say anything, and unsure of what to say. She just stood
there, looking at Ron, a tingling sensation running though her body.
need to tell you something... Something I should have told you long ago.”
Ron began, almost in a whisper. He stepped closer to her. “I...I...” He
hesitated. “Happy Birthday.” Ron finally spilled out, and extended his
arms to her offering the Honeydukes’ chocolate.
took the box, muttered ‘Thanks’, and looked up into his eyes. There she
saw the confirmation to Ginny’s words. And seeing that Ron was still having
trouble saying it, she thought he could use some help.
love you too, Ron.” She whispered, and held one of his hands with her
own free hand.
looked dumbstruck. His mouth kept opening and closing like a fish would
do in a fish tank. Hermione rubbed her thumb on his knuckles, hoping to
show him that this was real, and not just a dream.
face split into a smile, a smile that melted Hermione’s heart away, and
the only thing that prevented her from turning into a pile of goo in the
floor was the fact that Ron’s strong arms were enveloping her. Soon he
was swirling her around in a bear hug. He put her down on her feet again,
and cupped her cheeks in his hands.
love you, Hermione.” He took a deep breath, and continued, “I have for
a long time now. But I was afraid to tell you and risk ruining our friendship.
I don’t think I could stand losing that. But I think I’m more afraid of
losing you forever. So, I decided to take a chance.”
think too much, Ron.” Hermione said, her eyes also sparkling with tears
had to grin at that. “*I* think too much? Last time I checked, you...”
rolled her eyes, “Ron, shut up and kiss me.”
blushed deeply, but lowered his face towards hers. Hermione shivered and
blushed as well. Their lips came together in a kiss, and a long time passed
before they returned to the Gryffindor common room to a very giggling
Ginny and a beaming Harry. They couldn’t wait to tell Hermione how they
had helped Ron prepare the Muggle Studies classroom for her, and how he
had gotten to Hogsmeade with Harry’s Invisibility Cloak and the Marauder’s
Map. After all, it was the least they could do after ruining their, er,
‘moment’ that morning.