Author's Note: I wrote this back in August, first attempt at fanfiction and
Does the world really need another ficlet about Hermione and Ron saying good-bye
at King's Cross post-GoF? Probably not after the other wonderful ones that already
exist. But I wrote a little one anyway. Hee. There are a couple of lines that
still crack me up when I read them. Thank you to Arabella, B Bennett and Elanor
Gamgee for the inspiration-their fics are simply lovely. Go to http://www.sugarquill.net.
Now. Read everyone there. Now.
Rated borderline PG-13. Just because I'm cautious. ;-)
DISCLAIMER: Gosh, I really wish it were mine. Really.
But it's not and it never will be. Everything belongs to JKR.
* * * * *
Ron was always startled when Hermione hugged him. It
seemed so girly of her. And Hermione wasn't a girl. Well, technically
she was, but you know. She wasn't all giggly and she was tough and lots of other
things that Ron just couldn't imagine those irritating girls in Trelawney's
class ever being like. Sure she'd looked like a girl at the Ball, and gosh,
she certainly did, as his mother would say, clean up nicely. His mind pondered
how very nicely she cleaned up for a moment before going back to its original
point-it was Hermione.
Why couldn't Krum see that it wasn't anyone that special?
Not that Hermione wasn't special or anything,
but she wasn't one of those other girls. For example, you could talk to Hermione.
You couldn't talk to girls. And he could hardly imagine any other girl
he knew smacking Draco Malfoy across the face or catching that evil little beetle
of a reporter or walking boldly into Snape's office and swiping ingredients
behind his back. All with a mischievous glint in her brown eyes, surprising
Ron with how damn brilliant and clever and completely shocking and pretty
she could b-However, that had absolutely nothing to do with anything.
The point was Hermione wasn't really a girl.
And he didn't think about her in that way.
He really didn't.
That would be simply ridiculous.
So he hoped that she wouldn't kiss him on the cheek,
like she had Harry. That would just be weird, in front of his family
and all. He could already see the twins' faces if they were ever to see something
like that. God knows what his mother would think. Hugs weren't great,
but they certainly were leaps and bounds ahead of cheek kisses.
And then it happened.
Right there as she was hugging him. One second it was
just regular old Hermione wishing him a nice summer and squeezing him around
his chest (she could barely reach any higher, he was so tall) and he was kind
of awkwardly hugging her back. The next he was noticing-no, not him, something
else-that wasn't him noticing that Hermione was soft in all the right places
and smelled vaguely of oranges and mint. Or that her, well, her bosom
was against his chest. Hermione would die laughing if she ever heard him say
that. She had nearly split a side over that "scarlet woman" comment
he'd made after that stupid article.
But it wasn't the noticing that was the problem.
It was the reacting. Of course, it wasn't him reacting; it was
that something else. But still.
And no matter what anyone said about perfectly natural
biological occurrences for a fifteen-year-old boy, Ronald Weasley was having
none of that. He jumped back and pulled away from her. Hermione looked a bit
And was that a flash of hurt that crossed her face?-but
no, he was imagining that, because she was hugging Ginny and grinning at the
twins and grabbing her trunk and waving jauntily to all the Weasleys as she
disappeared into the crowd to meet her parents.
She didn't seem to notice that Ron was standing there,
ears pink, and scuffing his foot on the cement. Or that his shoulder bag had
somehow slid round to cover his front. Or that Ginny was looking at him, perplexed.
Or that George was smirking broadly at him and was elbowing Fred hard to get
his attention. He gave them a withering gaze and turned his back. From behind
him, he could hear his mother.
"What has gotten into that boy?"
And he heard one of the twins; he wasn't sure which one,
"I believe, dear Mother, that our Ickle Ronniekins
is becoming a man." That was it for Ron. He wheeled around, furious.
"Sometimes I really hate you, d'you know that?"
he hissed at them. The twins nearly fell over laughing. The other Weasleys looked
at him with bewilderment, amusement or some combination of the two. Of course
they would all be here. Because it was important that every damn Weasley ever
in his bloody family be at King's Cross right now, because it wasn't like any
of them had ever seen people get off the Hogwarts Express before.
Charlie arched an eyebrow at him.
Great, Ron thought, he gets a vacation from
those bloody dragons and suddenly he becomes a human behaviourist? That's bloody
great. He tried to get control of himself.
Quidditch. Think about Quidditch. Think about Snape
playing Quidditch. Naked.
That image helped. All right. Situation over. Entirely
stupid in the first place.
This was really unfair. Why did he have to be related
to such a group of gits?
Shaking his head, he turned, storming through the queues
of people and nearly tripped over a figure sitting on a trunk. Ron almost snapped
at the figure for being so thick as to sit down directly in the path of traffic
when he recognized the person sitting on the trunk. It was Hermione.
"I thought you'd gone," he said, rather
"They're not here yet," she said. She didn't
look up at him. "I hate this."
"Don't you want to see your parents?" Ron
"That's not the point." Her voice sounded
smaller than usual. "The point is that all of this stuff happened,"
she flung her arms out to indicate how much, "and then I have to go back
and pretend I don't know anything about it-pretend that this is just another
summer. Sometimes I just wish I was an ordinary Muggle and never had
to know anything about it." Her arms dropped back into her lap.
Ron forgot that he was completely angry with his entire
family and sat down next to her on the trunk. He patted her knee in what he
hoped was a comforting gesture.
"Tell you what, Granger, I'll trade you. You
can have an entire loud, nosy, obnoxious family of wizards and witches, and
I'll take a quiet summer with a pair of nice Muggle dentists. Sound like a deal?"
Okay, he had almost forgotten he was completely angry with his entire
She smiled, still looking at the cement floor. "All
right. You go with my parents and pretend you're me. I'll go with yours and
pretend I'm you. No one will ever catch on. After all, we're practically as
identical as Gred and Forge. Except for the gender difference, the tremendous
height gap, the hair colour, and practically anything else you could think of.
Certainly the brain power." He laughed, putting his arm around her shoulder
in a reassuring, friendly squeeze. Hermione finally met his eyes, grinning.
"Worth a shot, though, eh?" She shrugged,
with that mischievous and perfect smile. Where did that observation come
from? Had he gone mad? This was really not happening. And then of course
that blasted something noticed how very close their faces were.
And it-he-whatever was noticing that they hadn't
broken eye contact at all, even though neither of them was speaking anymore.
And that they weren't smiling now and that he was starting to lean closer and
that her head was tilting and that he couldn't believe that he-no, that something-had
ever felt threatened (threatened? He'd felt threatened? What was this, the day
of random epiphanies?) by stupid Viktor Krum because he was sure Krum had never
gotten the opportunity to do this or he hoped not but he wasn't thinking
about that because his other arm was reaching for Hermione's waist and he was
There was a bright flash. Ron's head snapped up. Behind
him stood the rest of the Weasleys. Bill was grinning; Charlie was flashing
a thumbs up. Even Percy appeared to be suppressing a smirk. Fred was holding
a camera and saying
"That'll be a nice action shot, don't you think,
George? I think it would go nicely with the Gryffindor décor when we
get back to school."
"Have it framed, Fred. It can hang next to
the Fat Lady." Ron stood up, ears bright red, bent on cold-blooded fratricide,
right there in the station. Hermione buried her face in her hands.
"I'm done," he heard her mutter. "A
scarlet woman forever. I cannot believe this." Ron, or rather, that
something, hoped she only was talking about the fact that they had just
been interrupted by eight people and one small impertinent owl, all of whom
were very interested in what was going on and that she wasn't talking about
the actual (or what was to have been the very near future) goings on.
But even if she was, well, then he didn't care.
He really didn't. Not a bit. It really would not bother
him one teensy iota if-
That was the moment that the Grangers decided to
"Hermione, dear?" said her mother. Hermione
peeked between her fingers. "Is something wrong?"
"Nothing. Is. Wrong. Mum. Let's. Go. Now. Please."
Every word was precisely enunciated as the Weasleys watched, deeply interested.
Hermione's mother looked at them, bewildered.
"Ah, Hermione's friends. Nice to see you all
again. Did you have a safe trip and a good year?"
"Yes," grinned Fred. "It was lovely.
We'd be happy to show you some of the pictures we've taken." Ron jumped
him. The scuffle lasted a few moments, but Fred managed to keep hold of his
camera. George took the opportunity to add
"It appears that perhaps we'll see more of you
in the future." Ron turned his attention and his fists to him. Mrs. Weasley
glared at all of them.
"Boys." She spoke to Mr. and Mrs. Granger.
"I'm glad you arrived safely. It's always a pleasure to see you. Perhaps
we'll see each other over the summer. As always, Hermione is welcome to spend
time at the Burrow."
"I'm sure she'd like that." Mrs. Granger
"I'm sure Ron would, too." Fred snickered
under his breath. This time, Ron got the camera.
"Right, well, we need to be off. Have a safe
trip! Hermione?" Hermione nodded and picked up her trunk and Crookshanks'
carrying hut. She did not look at Ron-she resolutely kept her head down. For
someone who not two minutes ago had seemed to want anything but to return to
a Muggle existence, she wasn't showing it.
Maybe she was embarrassed. No, that wasn't it.
She really didn't care, did she? Just one of those flukes,
to her. Fine. Whatever. He really could care less. But he watched her
bowed head and he could almost swear she looked back over her shoulder.
At him? At the utter idiots surrounding him? He hoped
it was at him. No, he didn't hope it was him, because that would imply
he cared. And he really didn't. Not at all.
It was only a few seconds before the Grangers were lost
in the crowd of people in the train station.
Ron looked his family over.
"I really hate you. I'm not kidding."
Eight people, all redheads, beamed at him. Pigwidgeon
hooted. His mother was smiling knowingly.
"Of course you do, dear. When shall I invite
Hermione to stay with us?"
Ron turned around and ignored them all for the second
time in less than fifteen minutes.
* * * * * *
A/N: Those pesky family members.