Chapter 4: Revelations
Chapter 4 - Revelations
The shrieks of students ending their first day of classes echoed around the various corridors of the school. Hermione sighed contentedly to herself as she set about tidying up the classroom, straightening desks and chairs that had been left askew by children eager to return to their respective common rooms to report on their day to new friends and schoolmates. After packing away her bag, she took a last glance around the room to ensure all was put away before heading in the direction of her private room.
Her day had been a long one starting early with the staff meeting with the Headmistress and moving straight on to her first class with the first year students. She clearly remembered her first day as a young wide eyed student years ago yeaning to learn magic and she drew on that feeling to impart all her knowledge, enthusiasm and talent to the same bright faced students in her class.
Her morning passed in a blur and soon it was the lunch break. At lunch she remembered her promise to Mr. Weasley...Ron...she smiled as his name came to her... and she made her way to Madam Pinch to obtain permission for him to use the library. As she left, she made her way down to the corridors off the courtyard where she knew he was working and soon spotted him in discussion with the other two team members down one of the cordoned off halls. Feeling a bit self conscious, she had called out his name and was rewarded with one of his lopsided smiles as he recognized her. He was dressed as the day before and as he approached her taking off his hard hat and running his hand through his hair, she found herself once again wondering at the slight elation in her body and the sudden smile that appeared on her face. Trying desperately hard not to blush, she informed him of the arrangement she had made with the head librarian and quickly dashed away, barely giving him time to thank her properly.
Now in the comfort of her room, she threw herself onto the chair in front of her desk and grabbed some parchment, her quill and ink out of her bag as she settled herself to write her parents and Harry about her first day as a teacher at Hogwarts. For the next few minutes, she wrote continuously as she tried to capture all her thoughts and translate them into her letters. Stopping suddenly, she raised her head and gazed out of the window next to her desk as her mind drifted on Harry.
He was away on another of his extended auror missions and she hoped that he was safe and well. She had not seen him in a while and she hoped that her letter would reach wherever he could access his mail. Having been in her life for so long, she worried about him constantly albeit in a sisterly way. She had always hoped that he would find someone after the war who could truly love him in a way she could never but he had never let himself get close to any girl that she knew of. He deserved so much more for what he had gone through and though he could be a real brooding prat sometimes he really needed someone to keep a steady hand on him. Of course she had tried herself but he was too stubborn and would always either disregard her advice or just ignore her completely. He lived his life on the edge, volunteering for almost every dangerous mission that came along and having no one in his life to really care about (other than her), he seemed to know of no other way than to flaunt himself in front of danger as he had been doing since he was eleven years old.
She promised herself to make an extra effort to keep him company whenever he returned and although she hated to admit it, she missed him terribly when he was away for the simple fact that he was probably her only close friend and for all her advice, she was not any better with respect to steady relationships. It should have been so easy to fall into a relationship with Harry but what they shared was unique in its own way and they both knew that there was no other way to it. She just hoped that he would find someone one day...
Her thoughts were distracted by the movement of someone alone down by the field which her window overlooked. Her heart seemed to skip a beat as she made out a flash of red hair and she realized that it was Ron and he was running around the field next to the Quiddich Pitch. He was wearing a long track pants and just a cotton tee shirt even though she knew the weather was a bit chilly in the afternoon. He didn't seem to mind as he moved at a steady pace with his hair slicked to his neck with sweat and the muggle air phones stuck to his pale ears.
She stared at him unashamed from the comfort of her room on the fourth floor of the north tower. Even with his height, he moved gracefully and effortlessly along the edge of the field, his chest heaving slightly with every breath he took. At this distance she could not make out his expression but he appeared peaceful and calm and somewhat lost in himself. Hermione was not stupid. She knew that something about this man attracted her in a way that was foreign to her. Apart from the fact that he was unruly, rash and somewhat infuriating, not to mention mysterious, there was something about him that made her want to reach out to him. Something about him that appealed to her against her better judgement. She shook her head as she reminded herself that she had succumbed once before to loneliness and that had gotten her nowhere except between a fist fight involving her best friend. No. She would control whatever it was that threatened to surface within her. She had her life planned out for the next two years here and she did not need any distraction at the moment.
As she gazed back at the runner, she convinced herself that there was at least nothing wrong with looking at him was there?
Hermione was back at her office desk deep in concentrating checking all the teachers schedule for the upcoming month. She had spent a few minutes in front of her mirror trying to tidy hair and freshen herself before heading back to her office all the while telling herself that how she looked this evening had nothing to do with her meeting with Ron later. She had to admit that she was a bit apprehensive about their pending meeting having regard to his promise the night before, but she was also nervous just at the thought of seeing him again on another level. She hope the two were related for her sake. The sudden knock on her door startled her a bit before she nervously gave permission to the person on the other side to enter.
Ron Weasley entered her office with a smile on his face, sauntered over to her desk before flopping down noisily onto the chair facing her. He glanced at the state of her desk before looking at her with his blue eyes fixed on her face.
"Hey. How are you Hermione. Looks like you are deep in work. Not disturbing you am I?" he said casually with the grin still on his face.
For all her preparation and against her will, Hermione momentarily froze with a smile on her face. Damn it! He was dressed even more casually than normal with a plain white cotton long sleeve jersey loose over his jeans, the sleeves rolled up carelessly at his elbows. As the day before, he had obviously just come from having his after run shower and his long hair was still very wet. But it was the smell of him that stunned her. That distinct fresh bath scent that came along with him filled her room and made her giddy for a second. She found her voice as her senses cleared.
"In case you weren't aware, you can also use a towel to dry your hair Mr. Weasley. It really works. You can catch a cold with your hair wet like it is you know?" she informed him a bit sarcastically.
He gave a short laugh and settled deeper into his chair.
"Are you still on Mr. Weasley? I would tell you again that you sound like my mother but I already know your feelings on that so let's just say I prefer my hair to dry naturally, plus it saves me time to do other stuff." he replied with a smug look on his face. "Your hair on the other hand must take a large chunk out of your day to control eh?" he chuckled at her.
Her first instinct was to be insulted and defensive but it was not the first time he had made a remark about her hair and she knew it was said in good jest as before and she relaxed.
"What do you have against my hair? Can you try and leave it out of the conversation for once?" she said lightly with a smile.
"I already said I like your hair remember? So just consider anything I say about it as a compliment." he laughed softly again as he looked around her office.
And just like that, all her apprehension and nervousness slid off her. He had done it again. Deliberately or not he managed to calm her nerves with just a smile and a few nice words.
"Wow! I thought I had a lot of books. I should have known that all your free space would be occupied by them." he observed still looking around. "I can keep some for you if you want... then you can actually move around in here." he joked.
"You are exaggerating a bit...Ron...but I'll keep that in mind." she laughed at him.
It seemed that they were both evading what he had come to talk about but as she was now a lot more relaxed around him she breached the subject indirectly.
"You know Ron I did think a bit about what you said last night...about how similar we are, yet different...and I still for the life of me cannot make sense of it. I hope you feel comfortable enough to tell me...after all as you said...we will be working together for a while." she said cautiously.
He continued with his smile as he looked at her.
"I must have kept you up all night with that brain of yours churning away. It's what you would do I suppose. I didn't mean to worry you Hermione." he said. "And I didn't say different...I said we are opposite. Even though it's true we are very different..." he chuckled out softly. " You're a girl and I'm a boy and you with your Type A personality while I have a Type B...actually...opposite sounds better after all." he jeered.
"Hey! I do not have a Type A personality...whatever that is...I think." she laughed. "And stop steering away from the subject at hand please...do I really have a Type A personality?" she suddenly asked.
He suddenly launched himself out of the chair and looked around her bookshelf before pulling out a text on Psychology.
"Aha! I knew you would have a book like this here." he said with glee.
After thumbing through the book he stopped and raised his eyebrows at her before reading out loud.
"Type A individual are ambitious, rigidly organized, can be sensitive, care for other people, are truthful, impatient, always try to help others, take on more than they can handle, want other people to get to the point proactive and obsessed with time management. People with Type A personalities are often high-achieving "workaholics" who multi-task, push themselves with deadlines, hate failing and hate both delays and ambivalence." he read out.
"Does that sound like you?" he grinned. Hermione was a bit flabbergasted.
"Erm...well...I suppose I do have some of those traits...but...ok fine! so what about you?" she shot back.
He continued reading.
"Type B personalities are generally apathetic, patient, relaxed, easy-going, no sense of time schedule, having poor organization skills, and at times lacking an overriding sense of urgency. They work steadily, enjoying achievements but not becoming stressed when they are not achieved. They are emotional, express feeling and are also not indifferent towards others. These individuals tend to be sensitive of other people's feelings."
He stopped and thought for a second. "Yep! that sounds a bit like me. So I was right. We are opposites aren't we?" he pronounced with a degree of finality.
She sighed exasperatedly at him.
"Ok so now we have ascertained that, how is that relevant to what you have to say to me?" she pressed again.
He quickly went quiet and his smile left his face much to her dismay. He again avoided her question.
"I looked you up in the library you know...at least what was there about you and Harry." he said a bit seriously, "and thanks for arranging that for me by the way."
She was prepared to wait until he was ready to tell her his secret but she really was not in the mood to hear about the published nonsense about her and the war with Harry now.
"It must have been hard for you...with all the stuff you went through with Harry and all...It just seems that you missed the best years of school dealing with all that crap. You should have enjoyed your time here...you know...especially with your brains and all...I'm just saying. And then to go straight to work in that horrible ministry department with all those ancient mindsets. You never got a real rest Hermione. I for one am really glad you came here to teach...well I'm glad also that I got to meet you too." he finished softly on his last words.
She could do nothing but stare at him with her eyes open wide. She had not expected this. Her heart was beating a lot faster all of a sudden as she watched him. He was wonderful! A lump formed in her throat as she tried to speak. She swallowed first before trying again.
"Gosh Ron! I really appreciate your concern. Thank you. Everyone just seems to think about the glory and fame part. And I'm also glad I came back here. I finally feel a little at peace with myself and yes I'm also glad I got to meet you also." she said feeling her face flush.
She looked up at him and into his blue eyes. His face was serious again.
"I know you want to know what I came here to tell you but I just wanted to talk for a while to relax a bit. We tend to get wound up after a long day." he visible relaxed into his chair again.
"I really mean what I said Hermione. You need a restful period in your life and I will make it a personal goal to help you lighten up a bit. You do tend to be a bit..." he paused as she shot him a glare.
"Watch it Mr. Weasley." she warned.
"...oh oh Mr. Weasley again...I'm looking for a word here...one that will not get me hexed." he laughed. "you do tend to be a bit...a bit...Crisp?" he looked over at her with a grin. "Don't be mad. That's the best I can think of with you glaring at me."
Hermione had to shake her head.
"You certainly are a character Ron. A Type B one for sure. I look forward to being...lightened up... in your words. Now are we going to be here all night before you enlighten me or have you changed your mind?" she said with her still flushed face.
"I looked you up for a reason Hermione. To check on your character before I tell you...what I have to tell you. What you and Harry did was honourable and you both fought for a real cause. A cause against discrimination and prejudice against anyone not pureblood. Because after I tell you this, you will feel different about me but I am certain now that it would not make a difference to you...I hope. Actually I am a bit surprised that you haven't guess as yet with that brain of yours." he paused and took a deep breath.
She looked at him with her brows creased as he stood up directly in front of her. He raised his shirt over his jeans and she fought to control herself at his exposed stomach.
He turned all the way around slowly and faced her again.
"What is missing from me Hermione? What is missing? What am I not carrying that everyone here has including you right now." he asked.
Her mind was reeling a bit. Her power of concentration was shot from his exposure and she fought to consider his question. What was missing? There was nothing that she could see. What was he not carrying? The only thing she could not see was his wand but that didn't mean...Oh my God!" she let out a gasp as her hand flew to her open mouth.
"Yes I was born into a large wizard family Hermione. But I never went to a wizard school and I never had a wand because of the simple fact that I was born without any magical powers."
"I am a Squib Hermione. Have been and will be for all my life."
ok, all who guessed this take a bow. Now the real story starts