Ronald Weasley plopped his tall lanky frame loudly and heavily on the couch next to his best mate with a wide grin on his face. He beamed at Harry and flashed a smile at the bushy haired girl who was curled up on the armchair across from the couch reading a rather large book precariously perched on the armrest. She looked up at him and returned his grin with a slight blush before going back to her book. Ron felt a warm tingle travel from his chest to the top of his unruly red hair. His mood only got better.
He was free of Lavender's tentacles and his beautiful best friend was talking to him again...even smiling at him. Life was good. He felt good...and the night held the promise of something good to come. He could feel it in the air. Not even the slight scowl on Harrys face would spoil his mood.
"What's it tonight mate? Detention with Snape or another meeting with Dumbledore? he asked lightly. "It seems like you never get the chance to hang out again."
The scowl on Harrys face only got worse as he pushed up his spectacles with a grunt. He really seemed to be in a foul mood. The problem with Harry was that he was always in a mood so it was a little difficult to determine just how bad it was at any given time.
"It sure as hell feels like it. I never get any damn time to myself. Between all the detentions and meetings and catching up on all my homework I never get any time with Ginny." he growled. "We barely get time to talk and to do...other stuff." he suddenly caught himself as he realised his ranting may have contained a bit more information than he wanted to.
The smile on Ron's face lessened but he refused to let Harrys slip of the tongue change his mood.
"Hey I definitely do not want to know what...other stuff you're talking about but maybe I am not so sorry that Snape and Dumbledore have kept you busy." he half laughed at his friend.
"It's just not fair! I finally get up the nerve to be with her and I still have to deal with all this shit. It's not fair. You got to snog that squid all over the place and you had gods knows all the time in the world to do all the other stuff too. And you didn't even like her. You shouldn't be giving me a hard time." he was almost shouting now.
Ron bolted upright and knocked his friend's arm as he turned sharply away from his other friend who seemed to slink ever so much behind her book.
"Will you shut it! She's right over there!" he hissed at Harry.
"Who? Lavender?" Harry asked as he looked around him.
"No you bloody git!" he whispered as he nodded slightly over his shoulder. "And I never did any other stuff with Lavender! Why would you think that?" he ended with another knock on Harry's arm.
"Well the way you two used to carry...ok...she used to carry on...I just thought that you went pass the snogging stage that's all. Are you telling me you didn't?" he asked a little incredulously keeping his voice down now.
"Well yes...kinda...I mean nothing else really happened...well I never let anything else happen you know...you were right I never really liked her and...and I always thought about..." he snuck a quick glance across to the armchair before stopping himself. Harry followed his gaze and visible relaxed. He lowered his voice again.
"Look I'm sorry Ron. I should never have assumed...what I assumed. I'm just a bit stressed out. I know how you feel about...well about...things." he said vaguely before standing up and grabbing his bag. "I've got to go now. I hope I didn't spoil your mood. I'll see you guys later." He shouted a goodbye to the girl behind the book before heading out through the portrait hole.
Ron slumped back into the couch and now wished he could start the night over. So much for something in the air. The only thing that hung there now was an awkward tension and regret on his part. His mood only worsened as he noticed that the object of his regret seemed to shuffle more behind her book and he could swear he heard a light sniffle over the turning of a page.
Great! She had heard some of the conversation of course. What an ass he had been! He had never meant to hurt her in any way. He had never meant to carry on like he did with that stupid bimbo. If he hadn't gotten poisoned he wasn't too sure where he would have been today. Actually he did know. He would have broken up with her at some point. The girl across from him was worth too much for him to continue on the way he did.
As for the...other stuff. Well he definitely knew where he stood with that. The day before he was poisoned, Lavender had dragged him into an empty classroom, jumped onto a desk and pulled him into a serious snogging session. He had tried halfheartedly to respond with his mind instantly switching to his more petite brown haired friend and the hurt he saw in her eyes...that is whenever she allowed him to even see her. He would have given anything for her to be the one holding him at that instant. His mind had suddenly returned to the classroom when Lavender had grabbed his hand and put it just under her skirt to rest on her upper thigh. He had frozen momentarily as she had never done something like that before. A part of him had reacted like the sixteen year old boy he was and he briefly savoured the soft feel of her skin under his hand. What surprised him was his next thought.
Would Hermione's skin feel the same way? He had obsessively thought about that for years and now that he actually felt something like it under his large fingers he could not stop himself from imagining her in the same position. Somewhat frustrated by the lack of movement from him, Lavender had grabbed his other hand and raised it to her covered breast. He had stood like a statue with his hands positioned on two wonderful parts of the female anatomy and despite the slight swell under his pants, he had known instantly that what he was doing was not what he wanted. In all the months with this girl he had never pictured doing anything like this with her. All his fantasies over the past two years were always with the same girl and that girl was not even speaking to him.
When he felt her reach forward and touch him through his pants, he had jumped like he had been bitten by a dragon and jerked himself away from her, finally moving his hands away as he stumbled back. It had been so wrong on all levels. He had mumbled some excuse and rushed out of the classroom. He had felt rotten and cheap knowing he was hurting both girls at the same time and not having the guts to do anything about it at the time.
Now that he was back to some form of friendship with the girl of his fantasies, the last thing he wanted to do was to bring up any reference to his ex-girlfriend but it seemed he or Harry more rightly had already screwed that up for him tonight. Would it really matter to her? She had actually consented to being his friend even before the breakup. As long as they were friends what he did with Lavender didn't seem to matter to her did it? He wasn't too sure. Hell he wasn't too sure of a number of things but he was sure that he did not want to hurt her anymore. If it were him on the other side and knowing that Krum had done...other stuff...with her...well some part of him would surely die. Just the thought of her snogging that sweaty foreign git had made him senseless.
He closed his eyes with a loud sigh and wondered how his good mood had been lost in a matter of minutes.
Hermione had given up on reading anything in front of her from the moment she heard Harry shout out from the couch. She had tried not to think about it but it would not leave her mind. She tried to tell herself that Ron was now her friend again and she should be happy for it. She should savour the smiles and the sight of him again. They were together again...not like with the stupid cow but together as they used to be. He was her friend and that was enough. She would still be in love with him but that had never changed.
What had changed was this sudden burning in her stomach. She had pushed it away and had managed to ignore it but hearing Harry tonight had lit a small tiny flame and it was burning away inside her. She had long accepted the sloppy snogging with Lavender as part of Ron's stupid and immature way of dealing with his feelings of insecurity and she knew after awhile that he did not really have any romantic feelings for the blond squid but had he done more than snog? He was a sixteen year old teenager after all and judging from what she did see, Lavender was most up to the task of going further. While she never confessed to anything definite in her nightly rambling up in her dorm with the other girls, she always hinted at it and never refuted the many rumours that went around. She had never really believed any of it but now the burning in her stomach was becoming unbearable.
She had strained her ears to hear what the two boys were whispering after Harry's outburst but she was sure that they were discussing the more intimate details that she was not to be privy to. What if they had really gone a lot further? God! How could he! How much more could he hurt her? He was meant for only her...all of him...and she for him alone! But he didn't know this did he? The thought of him touching or being touched intimately by anyone other than her sent her into a sick spin. She had blocked it out but all the horrid thoughts were here tonight and the ache was getting bigger the more she lingered on it. Her tears inevitably welled in her eyes and she let out a soft sniffle as her chest burned in the fire now within her.
She had to move and get away from him but her legs felt like stone. She tried to gather herself with the sole purpose of bolting as soon as she was able. She dried her eyes with her sleeves as inconspicuously as possible and was about to gather her things.
"I never meant to hurt you Hermione. You have to believe me." his strangled voice sailed over her book as she felt the tears threaten to return.
Guilt. That was what it was. He had blurted out his stupid shallow apology before it registered in his head. He knew. He just knew she was hurting. Like a sixth sense he had developed about her and the way she was just sitting still and not daring to move her book away. He had to keep trying even if he couldn't see her face.
"I never liked her you know that. I was just being a total ass and I'm sorry that our friendship suffered like it did. That was the worst part. I never want to lose that again Hermione...please look at me." he begged.
After what felt like an eternity she slowly moved the large book away from her face which looked weary and red eyed. His heart dropped to the floor as she stared at him with that look from before his poisoning. How could he possibly make this up to her?
She couldn't help herself. Seeing his guilty face finally snapped something inside her.
"Does that mean you never did anything more than snog her?" she blurted out.
As soon as she asked she regretted it. She appeared weak and affected and she was not that way...well except with him of course. She scrambled to collect her things looking away from him.
"I'm sorry Ron...I didn't mean to pry. It's not my concern. Whatever you did with Lavender is your private business and I have no right to ask. I...I have to go." she stuttered as she felt the tears now falling on her face. She turned quickly and went to move pass him when he held her arm. She looked up at him
"Please Hermione. Please don't go like this. Nothing else happened. I only snogged her that's all...and I didn't even enjoy it at the end. Please believe me. Nothing happened I swear. I only did what you saw..." his eyes moved away from her briefly as he said the last part and her heart sank. He was lying! She knew him too well.
She felt devastated but his lie kept her from falling apart. She could concentrate on that and remain in control.
"It's alright Ron. You don't have to tell me anything and you don't have to lie about it to spare my feelings. I can handle it." she stared into his eyes knowing full well that she could do no such thing.
"I'm not lying! It's the truth! Nothing else happened. You have to believe me. I never asked about you and Krum but I would believe you if you told me nothing happened...nothing happened right?" he asked meekly brushing his free hand through his hair. His other hand was still locked on her arm.
She could not believe him! Turning this around to suit himself. She was now properly riled up.
"I don't have to believe anything you say. And I do not have to tell you anything about Vicktor as they are two completely different things. For you information Vicktor gave me one innocent kiss two years ago and he was never my boyfriend! Now Please let me go Ron." she tried to sound threatening but it came out as a sad plea. He hesitated for a few seconds as he took in her words.
"Ok. Ok. You're right. Something did happen..." he released her arm as he brushed his hair roughly again. She wanted to move. She wanted to run far away and not hear what he was about to say but her feet felt rooted into the worn red carpet as she held her breath.
"It's not what you think. She just wanted me to do some...stuff and I couldn't." he was staring at his feet but she could hear him breathing rapidly. His ears were bright red and his hands were stuffed into his pockets.
"She let me put...well actually she was the one who put my hands on her but it felt all wrong. and then...then when she touched me...you know...I ran. And the next day I was poisoned so that was it. That's the truth." he glanced up at her with his face in a twist and she almost relented.
Could she believe him? Was it really true? That...that devious horrible slut actually threw herself at him and he refused? She was finding it difficult to believe even though some part of her was rejoicing.
"Ron...I know it's none of my business but are you telling me that Lavender more or less made herself...available to you and you ran away because it felt inappropriate? Should I believe that?" she asked quietly.
Ron was now caught in a horrible quandary. He had told the truth...well most of it...the only thing that he had really left out was that he had refused Lavenders advances only because he actually wanted to do the exact thing with her instead. How perverted was that! He definitely could not tell her that.
"Well yes...that's it... it was definitely inappropriate...at that time." he answered but he could not look at her. He heard her gasp loudly and he looked up.
"God! you're lying again! I can't believe I'm still standing here having this conversation! You say you're my friend then you go about lying to me all over the place! It's better you not say anything like I asked than to lie to me Ron." she was starting to lose control and it was killing her.
Surprisingly Ron deflated in front of her and he quietly let himself sink back into the couch. She wondered why she had not left as yet.
"You're more than a friend to me Hermione. That's the bloody problem. That's why I cannot tell you everything. I don't know how to." he sighed to himself. "What I told you was mostly true...at least the first part."
"There's a second part? God! Please Ron. I don't understand..." she was now thoroughly confused.
She was more than a friend to him but he still could not tell her the truth. Did he have feelings towards her and was that why he was having difficulty telling her? Oh Lord! something did happen and he just did not want to hurt her again. Did she really want to know?
"I know I'm confusing you but I just don't know how to tell you." he cried in anguish.
Hermione knew that she should let this go here. It was beginning to kill both of them and she should be satisfied with the easy status quo of before. They were best friends and it could remain so. But something inside her wanted more. If she really was more than a friend to him then she wanted to know in what way. She wanted him to tell her...then she could be honest too and let him know her true feelings. But Ron would never open up to her on his own. He had already said as much as she could hope for and she knew it would be almost impossible for him to say anything more...unless...unless she used the occasion to push him into telling her.
"Show me!" she said loudly as he raised his head in confusion as she explained.
"I don't believe you and you won't tell me the truth...so show me exactly what she did that day and how you really reacted." she dared.
"Wha...what! Are you mental! I'm not going to show you anything you crazy woman." he shouted as he stood up again facing her with a fierce look on her face. She did not back down an inch.
"Well then tell me the truth. What really happened and why you can't tell me." she continued knowing full well she had cornered him. "You have a choice...let me walk away knowing that you are a liar, tell me the truth or show me what really happened."
Ron could not believe her daring challenge. They would always play this game when one of them wanted something but this...this was too much. She surely had gone mad. Then again as he turned it over in his head, she was always better at this game than he was. If he kept his mouth shut then nothing would have been resolved and he would risk his recently mended friendship with her for sure. If he told her the truth he also stood to lose everything...unless...unless she did feel something for him. No! that was highly unlikely. How far could he go to make her back out and maybe believe him. He stood with his mouth open not knowing exactly what to do.
Hermione was slowly losing her resolve and after a long silence she huffed loudly and turned to walk away. He was such a thick prat!
"Alright...alright you win." she heard behind her back.
Panic took over and she instantly realised that she may have unfairly pushed him too far. This is not how she wanted things to go. She back-peddled.
"Look Ron.. I'm sorry if I pushed you...It was stupid of me...I don't have to know...you don't have to say anything..." she started.
"No. You misunderstood me. I'll show you...what happened that day. That's what you wanted isn't it? Then you can believe me." he was staring at her with a steely resolve and she knew that he had turned the whole table upside down on her. She never expected him...Ronald blushing Weasley to take up this part of the challenge! He was deliberately goading her on and she could not back down now especially as she was the one to instigate it. She could do this.
"Right...er...how shall we do this then? You're the one who was there so tell me what to do first." she stalled for some time to gather her nerves. Surely he would back down soon.
Ron's heart was beating like a drum. Was she really serious?
"Hermione...you really want to do this? Because I will you know...I'll do it. Just to prove to you that I'm telling the truth...I really would." he tried to say it with a straight face that looked dead set on continuing but his body was shaking inside. Surely she would back down now.
"Ron I'm here and I'm waiting for you to proceed. So go on. Are you backing out? What should I do?" she asked again with a blank face.
This was getting ridiculous he thought. If she wanted to be stubborn then so be it! He would be the one getting some pleasure out of it anyway. If she hated it then it was her fault. Let's see how far she could really go. He looked around and pulled a table near them.
"Right. Well as I said she was on a desk so I guess the first thing you have to do is get on this table." he said.
Hermione glance around at the common room and was relieved that it was now empty. She didn't want anyone getting the wrong idea after all. With all her resolve she turned around and jumped up onto the table facing him, her legs now dangling off the floor. She thought she saw a fleeting smirk pass over his face but that could not be...right?
"What next?" she asked arching her eyebrows in a show of confidence but her heart was thumping loudly in her chest and she felt herself sweating a little under her shirt.
She watched as Ron took a deep breath and slowly approached her.
"Well as you know, we were...you know...so we were close...very close of course. So I just have to show you." he croaked out as he continued to step forward. Soon he was brushing up right against her and standing between her legs before placing his hands on her waist. Her eyes widened right before him.
Her heart was surely going to explode from her chest! Merlin! How had she reached this place. She could feel him all around her, his smell making her weak and completely immobile. This was her wildest dream unfolding and yet she could not move an inch. If she was not seated she would surely tumble to the ground. She was sure that her face was as red as the carpet around them. She looked up at him and all recent thoughts flew out of her head. She couldn't care less about any game or anything he did or did not do with the stupid cow. All she wanted was for him to continue what he was doing...for her to enjoy this moment.
"You have to put your hands around my neck Hermione. That was how...it was." he whispered above her.
She gazed at him again and while his face and ears were also flushed, his blue eyes looked straight into her and she felt the strength within her return.
"Like this?" she replied shyly as she raised her arms and laced her fingers around his neck pulling him even closer to her. Their heads were almost touching now and she felt his hands tighten around her.
Merlin's saggy bullocks! What the hell was he doing! He was so close to losing all control. He frightfully realised that she was not going to back out and soon he would not be able to control himself. This was his fantasy coming true and he had no intention of stopping. She felt like something from heaven under his hands. This felt too right for him to stop.
She was now actually playing with his hair behind his neck as she leaned against him their foreheads now touching. How far could she go without losing all her control.
"Ron?...what happened next?...show me." she asked with a sultry voice that she barely recognized as her own.
She saw him take a gulp before answering.
"Hermione...we don't have to continue...if you want to stop I..." he stuttered.
"Show me Ron. Please." she asked again.
"Take one my hands" he said quickly. " And I will show you."
She didn't stop to think as she took one of his hands from her waist. He hesitated for a second then slowly dropped it below her skirt before moving inside to rest on her inner thigh. She gasped loudly as a shiver ran over her.
"Oh!" she could only cry out as she felt his large fingers gently rest on her skin. She felt branded as a hot flash shot up between her legs. They were both breathing heavily and her eyes were now glued to his lips. The urge to pull them towards her own was now overwhelming.
"God Hermione!...I don't have to tell where she put my other hand but I swear I didn't respond. I can't show you that. I can't do that to you." he cried out.
"Do you want to?" she had to know.
"Hermione!...please! Why are you doing this?" he cried out as he finally pulled his head away to look at her fully. He sighed deeply but he still held her against him.
"I...I lied about the second part ok. You win again. I'll tell you but please don't be mad at me." he pleaded gently.
"Oh Ron. I don't want to hear anything about that again. Especially now. It's ok. Whatever you did it's in the past. I should have never..." she was stopped when he put a finger against her lips.
"Will you shut up for a second. The first part...this part was all true. I never responded to her and when she reached for...you know...I bolted. That is all true but I lied to you about the reason. You see the truth is...the real reason I couldn't do it was...was because...the only person who I have ever thought about doing something like this...the only person who I ever wanted to be doing this with was...you." he hurried on without waiting in case she misunderstood. "and not only this...I want to do everything else...normal things you know...everyday things with only you...and that's the truth." he closed his eyes and waited.
She was soaring. Over the moon. Did she really hear him right? Was her heart now beating with joy and happiness beyond her wildest dreams? She reached for his hand and drew it to her face.
"Ron?...are you saying that you..."
"Do you really..."
He let out a light laugh, his breath hot over her face.
"Much too long. You have been driving me crazy for a long time Hermione. Look I know it's awkward but I don't want to lose your friendship now. Especially with all that's going on with Harry. You don't have to worry. I won't let it get in the way...I promise. I'll just carry on like before..." she stopped him this time with her finger on his lovely lips and a wide smile on her face.
"Will you shut up for a second. I feel the same way Ron but I don't want to continue like before." she got it out before she pulled his lips down to meet hers.
This was what she always wanted. The feel of his lips against hers. It felt like she had finally found her way home after being lost in the dark for a long time. It felt a thousand times better than she had ever dreamed about. She moaned loudly as she let him deepen the kiss, her hands flying everywhere over him. This felt right and she never wanted it to stop.
God. Kill me now and I'll die a happy man! Ron was lost in her. He couldn't have enough of her lips. This was it. Lavender who? He had never felt anything remotely close to how his mind and body was reacting. He moved away from sucking her top lip and slipped his tongue inside hearing her moan against him. This was the real thing and he never wanted it to end.
Amazingly, Ron's hand was still perched just under her skirt and as he instinctively moved it across her skin, she gasped against his mouth and flinched in surprise. They broke apart quickly.
"Shit Hermione...I'm sorry...I didn't realise..."
"It's ok. I was just surprised. Don't move Ron please...that was...amazing!" she giggled at him.
"Yeah. Bloody incredible. I was so right." he laughed
"About what may I ask?" she grinned at him.
"You're the real thing Hermione. The one for me that is." he grinned back at her.
"And you for me Ron...I can't believe this. I can't believe that we..." she was interrupted by the loud slam of the portrait door as Harry came running inside.
Ron pulled himself completely away almost tripping over himself at the hurried action. They both turned as Harry spoke.
"I have to leave with Dumbledore. Wait here...I have to get something from upstairs. I need you both to do something for me. I'll explain...just wait." he rushed upstairs as they both turned to each other now with fear in their eyes. Ron glanced up at the stairs before taking her hand.
"Look Hermione...this may not be the right time for...what just happened to us...but I swear when this is over...or before...depending on how long it takes...I want to let this happen again and I want it to last forever. Please know that." he said in a long breath.
Hermione could only nod as tears filled her eyes.
"I know Ron. We have to wait but please know that I also want everything that just happened to continue...with you. We'll wait but we'll still be together through this." she assured him as best as she could.
Harry soon returned and explained what had transpired and what he wanted them to do in his absence. They accepted his instructions without question and soon the black haired boy nodded at them and raced out of the room.
In his haste he never noticed that throughout his short time in the room his two best friends were standing arm over arm holding each other's hands.