Ron forced himself to open the doors to the library. Gritting his teeth,
he slouched past Madam Pince at her desk and peered down the row of tables.
Sure enough, a mop of bushy brown hair hid a face engrossed in a large,
dusty book. Ron’s stomach lurched. Gritting his teeth he headed for the
empty seat next to her.
“Uh, hello…” he ventured sheepishly. Hermione’s head turned to regard
“Hi,” she replied shortly, turning sharply back to her book. Ron clenched
“Look…” he began slowly. “I’m…Oh bloody hell. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t
have gotten angry again. You’re not a bossy know-it-all. You didn’t deserve
Hermione turned again, her expression still almost suspicious,
but her eyes soft. She pursed her lips.
“OK,” she said simply.
“OK?” asked Ron incredulously,
having been expecting a long drawn out speech. Hermione smiled
slightly. Ron felt his ears heat rapidly. Damn
“Hermione, I really am sorry,” he said fervently. Hermione lost her suspicious
look and threw her arms round his neck in a tight hug. Ron’s insides heated.
She drew back.
“Are you staying?” she asked softly. Outside the windows, rain pelted
down on the castle and the sky loomed black and ominous above them. Ron
felt a surge of sympathy for the Gryffindor Quidditch team, currently
hard at work on the pitch.
“Why not?” He smiled. They smiled at each other for a long moment. Hermione
broke the silence.
“Be right back,” she said indicating a shelf of large and dusty volumes
situated at the back of the library. Ron grinned and watched her for a
while as she crouched down inspecting the shelves. His gaze turned to
the book that she had been reading.
Sixteenth Century Developments in Arithmancy
Fascinating he thought dryly. He noticed a piece of parchment
sticking out from between the pages of the heavy volume.
Curiosity took hold and he began to tug the parchment slowly out. Checking
that Hermione was still engrossed otherwise, he read what he could make
out at the bottom of the page.
“…Bulgaria is barren, desolate and lonely compared to England with you.
You remain with me constantly in my thoughts. Please reply soon Hermione,
love always, Viktor”
Ron felt a painful twist at his heart. Fury, red-hot boiling fury burst
through his veins. He clenched and unclenched his fists. Hermione returned,
a large leather bound book in tow.
“Ron I…Ron? Are you alright?” she asked
concernedly. Her gaze fell from his face to the table and the telltale parchment.
Crimson crept slowly up to her hairline and her face set in fury.
“How dare you.” She hissed acidly. “How. Dare. You.”
Ron merely glared at her. Before he could open his mouth, Hermione had
grabbed the letter.
“You…” she spat. “That’s private! My private…”
“Love letters?” retorted Ron spitefully. “From Vicky I see. Bulgaria
is desolate without you!” he mimicked.
“Oh SHUT UP! JUST SHUT UP,
RON!” shrieked Hermione and fled the room, nearly knocking over a severly
vexed Madam Pince in her haste.
Not knowing why, not knowing how, not knowing anything except that he
had to follow her retreating back, Ron found himself in hot pursuit of
her all the way outside into the downpour. He followed her further, until
they had reached the fathomless black lake. Ron wondered if she knew he
was there, if she cared. He wasn’t aware of the rain beating down on his
back, numbing his face and soaking his robes. All he was aware of was
his desire to reach Hermione, turn her round and tell her everything…about
his fury, his jealousy and to – to what? He stopped as Hermione ground
to a halt at the waters edge.
Something inexplicable pushed him forward till he was at her side. He
was alarmed to see her eyes rimmed in red and tears mingling with the
raindrops coursing down her cheeks. She turned to stare at him sadly.
“Why are you here Ron? Come to give me a hard time?”
“Fraternising with the enemy am I? Well let me tell you, Ron Weasley,
nothing, NOTHING romantic is happening between me and Viktor and I, believe
it or not. Anyway you clearly don’t care enough about me to respect me
or my privacy or…”
“Look Hermione, I’M SORRY ABOUT READING VICKY’S DAMNED LETTER!”
“Don’t call him Vicky,” she muttered angrily. An awkward silence
enveloped the air between them.
“Don’t,” Ron began, starting to squirm inwardly, “don’t say I don’t care
Hermione. I do.” Hermione stared straight out into the lake.
“In fact,” he blurted out. It’s all or nothing he thought. “I’ve
only just realised how much.” Hermiones face twitched.
“Krum…I just - God Hermione! You’re just amazing. I mean, he doesn’t
even know you, not like I do. You’re clever…you’re stunning; you’re so
many good things,
Hermione, and I…I know I don’t
always…” he faltered. He couldn’t look up. “Oh bloody hell, I think I’m
jealous of him.”
Hermione remained silent. Ron wished fervently that the giant squid would
pull him away from this awful embarrassment.
What was worse? What he’d said? Or the fact he’d meant every single
word of it? He stood awkwardly and chanced a glance at her. She wore a
very faint smile.
“Bloody hell Hermione, please say something!”
“Ron you are such an infuriating prat sometimes.” Oh no.
“But other times you are the sweetest infuriating prat I know. I like
you Ron. I like you beating me at chess, I like you furious, I like you
like this.” Slowly she turned to face him. He swallowed and waited for
the “but” – it didn’t come. He forced himself to meet her gaze. He brought
a hand up to push a strand of hair away from her cheek. He rested it there,
feeling the heat rise up from her, shocked to hear the breath catch in
her throat. Slowly, nervously he bent his head to – to kiss her,
he realised. Oh. Bloody. Hell. He choked back his panic and slowly shut
his eyes. The soft bumping of their lips set of a shockwave of electricity
in Ron. This was amazing. He moved his hand from her cheek and took her
hands in his. She pulled back slightly.
“I definitely, definitely like you this way,” she said softly. They both
began to grin, water dripping down their faces. The black sky didn’t seem
so ominous, Ron thought, when he was stood like this with Hermione.