|All I Really Want
Author: Technicolor PM
Hermione has decided it's time to return to the world of the family and friends she loves. When she can't find a place to stay, where will she turn? And will anything happen with that Weasley she's had her eye on?Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance - George W. & Hermione G. - Chapters: 5 - Words: 11,001 - Reviews: 37 - Favs: 8 - Follows: 6 - Updated: 03-27-05 - Published: 08-06-04 - id: 2000110
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: Thanks to everyone for the awesome reviews! I can't tell you how much they mean to me. Also, here's a little explanation of the chapter titles:
The first two are self explanatory.
The second one, if you've read the Author's Note in chapter 4, is from Say Anything. It's Lloyd's, a.k.a. John Cusack's, way of describing rejection from Diane.
"Must be a twin thing" doesn't make sense because during a re-write, I cut two of the lines that said "must be a twin thing". It originally appeared three times in the chapter, but since I'm anal retentive and go through the text at least twice (fixing things) before I put it up, I must have left them out. My bad. The new title is "good taste", because the phrase appears in two of the three sections.
Props to anyone who can figure out what movie this chapter's title is from and the beginning of this quote. No google-ing allowed!
Dislaimer: I don't own a damn thing, except Putnam Berkley. Everything else is property of J.K. Rowling & Company.
- & -
A month had passed since Hermione and Fred's confrontation in Diagon Alley and although they were speaking, neither of them was ready to completely forgive the other. Deep down, Fred knew he was wrong to judge Hermione and her new guy the way he did, but he just couldn't get over how into her he really was. Didn't she feel the way he felt? How could she ignore the electricity when they touched?
Tonight was Hermione and Berk's one month anniversary, and they were going out with Ron and Lavender and Harry and Ginny. Harry was in town for a few days, at Ginny's request. Hermione was pleased that he had come, because she could see that Ginny was really suffering without him. Hermione didn't want to miss out on a chance to have three of her best friends (and her boyfriend) in the same spot. It was too good to pass up.
Now, the hardest decision she was going to have to make all evening was what to wear. She had narrowed it down to two dresses: a gold knee length or an electric blue satin mini. Her plan had been to be spontaneous, but she had given that up was beginning to make a pro and con list for each one.
She had just decided on the satin mini when she heard her bedroom door open. Fred gently shut it behind him and crossed over to the bed.
"Did you do my laundry?" He asked. His shoulders looked tense and his voice spoke as though it pained him to ask her. He knew this was a completely ridiculous question, but he wanted to talk to her, and this seemed to be the easiest way. He didn't want her to think he was prying into her life or anything.
'Um, no. Why on earth would I do your laundry?" she asked shaking her head. The last thing she wanted to go through was ruddy underwear and dirty socks that belonged to anyone but herself. Even then, it was sort of gross.
"Just wondering," he replied shortly and turned and left. He had played this scenario out in his head and the Hermione in his mind was really a lot nicer than the real one.
"Hey, Fred! Come back!" She was tired of this little game. She didn't want things to be tense with her flatmate. Not just her flatemate, but her friend.
"What is it?" he asked impatiently. He hoped it wasn't laundry related, because he had realized how lame that sounded and just wanted to get off the topic altogether.
"I just… you know, feel bad about what happened that day. You know, in Diagon Alley. I don't want things to be weird with us anymore," she said, the last part as soft as a sigh. It was true. She wanted to be friends again more than anything in the world.
Fred's body relaxed. He was ready to put everything behind him and be supportive of Hermione. For now, anyway. If she wanted to see that Berkley character, that was her prerogative. He would no longer stand in her way.
"I want to be friends again, too, Hermione. More than you know." The volume of his voice dropped to match hers. For a few seconds he just looked at her, without anger or sadness, just a kind of hope. He brushed her forearm gently before turning to go.
"Yes?" he answered, turning around in the doorway to face her.
"If you ever want to talk to me, you don't have to make it about laundry," she said with a smile.
Men could be so lame sometimes.
- & -
"And so the witch goes, thanks for the barricudas!" Berk delivered the punchline of his joke, causing everyone in the table to erupt in laughter.
Things are going so well, Hermione thought. Ron and Lavender really seemed to like Putnam, despite Hermione's misgivings that Ron might take Fred's side in all of this. Ron, however, being completely oblivious, just thought it was nice that Hermione had a boyfriend and Lav would finally get off his back about them being romantically involved.
There was only one tiny hitch in the evening. The two couples had been having drinks at the bar for more than a half hour and there was still no sign of Harry and Ginny. Hermione felt particularly disappointed because she was only one who hadn't seen him yet, and she wanted to catch up on his life. She had missed two years and she wasn't about to miss anymore.
"You look stunning tonight," Berk whispered into Hermione's ear. Maybe it was the way he said it, or the martinis, or both, but she felt particularly feminine at that moment. She had let her hair down in long sleek curls around her face and was confident that the blue minidress was the right decision. The only thing that would make her feel better was if Ginny were here.
"You don't look so bad yourself," she said. It was true; he did look devastatingly handsome in his pale blue shirt and tailored pants. He looked expensively dressed, but not at all flashy. A perfect first impression, she thought.
Berkley was one of the reasons she was still at St. Mungo's. She dreaded the filing she did day after day, but he promised that it was all worth it, because the research center was absolutely amazing. The best in the wizarding world, he'd told her.
Plus, she got to see him every day on her lunch break, which made the time pass so much faster.
The couples sat for a few more minutes, drinking and having some laughs, before Hermione felt the alcohol make its way towards her bladder. She excused herself and headed for the bathroom.
The bathroom was really beautiful. Gilded gold walls, with marble flooring. A row of sofas and armchairs lined the wall facing mirrors.
The first thing she heard when she entered was sniffling, as though someone were crying. Not wanting to intrude, Hermione went about her business. It was only when she was washing her hands that the sniffles broke into full on sobs. The sobs unmistakably belonged to Ginny.
"Ginny?" Hermione whispered softly in the direction of the sobbing stall.
"Hermione?" Ginny asked, hiccupping slightly from her crying.
"What are you doing in here? Come out with me to the table…"
"No! I don't want anyone to see me like this," Ginny said. /Ginny certainly did value her pride, Hermione thought with an inward smile. She finally managed to coax Ginny out of the stall. She led her over to one of the armchairs in front of the mirror and had her sit down.
"Start from the beginning," Hermione said gently, brushing away a piece of hair stuck to Ginny's face by the tears.
"I… don't know how, really. Our relationship is in shambles, Hermione, it really is. I keep saying that it's fine, that I love it for its casualty and I don't mind him being gone all the time, but it's a lie really. A really elaborate lie so complicated that I even believed it for a while."
Hermione nodded for Ginny to go on, not wanting to interrupt her confession.
"Yesterday, at the awards dinner, Harry just seemed so distant. I love him more than anything in the world, you know that, but I just can't seem to get him to really see me. I'm there, and we're together, but I don't have all of him like he has all of me. There's no other woman, I know that, but it's not even a consolation really because all that really means is that I'm a terrible girlfriend."
"You're not a terrible girlfriend, Gin," Hermione said quietly.
"No, I probably am. You know something? I told him to meet me early here today, so that we could talk. I figured it would be better because if we fought, at least his best friends would be there to cheer him up a bit and soften the blow. But he never fucking showed up. I waited out in front for twenty minutes before an owl dropped off a message that he was leaving and he wouldn't be back for at least a month, and that I probably wouldn't be able to contact him. That's when I started to cry. He's leaving and he couldn't even come here on the way to the station to kiss me goodbye."
"Maybe he had to go right then…"
"No, Hermione. You know how Harry is and if he really wanted to see me, he would have. I waited out here like an idiot, like I always end up doing, for nothing. This is all I ever wanted, Hermione. This is what I based my life around. And it's falling apart around me and I'm just sitting here, crying in some bathroom, letting it happen."
Hermione hugged Ginny tightly. She wished that there were something for her to say, but there wasn't. The truth was that she had been so absorbed in her own life, she hadn't even noticed how sad Ginny was. It seemed to be becoming a trend with her, missing people's pain because she was so tied up in her own.
"Come on, let's get out of here," Hermione said. She went out and kissed Berk goodbye without explanation.
- & -
Hermione dropped Ginny off at her apartment. They talked a little bit, mostly Hermione assuring Ginny that everything was going to work out fine. By the time it was over, Hermione's express desire was to kick Harry's ass when she saw him.
She set her bag on the table by the door and collapsed on the couch, wanting nothing more than a good book and maybe a cup of coffee. She felt kind of bad leaving Berk during their anniversary dinner, but it was high time she did something for someone else, and Ginny had really needed her. She considered calling Berk, but thought better of it. Ron wasn't home yet, so she didn't see why Berk would have gone home either. He was probably out with "the boys", or something.
She laid her head back against a throw pillow, her skirt getting tangled and messed up, but she didn't care. No one was home, so it didn't really matter what it looked like.
Just as sleep was drifting over her, she heard a key in the door. Looking up, she saw it was only Fred and put her head back in the pillow.
"'Mione are you feeling all right? You look really pale.
"You wouldn't believe the night I had," she said.
"Try me," he said walking over to her and furrowing his brows. "When was the last time you ate anything?"
She took a momentary pause to think about it.
"I don't even know. I missed dinner, though," she said sitting up.
"Come on," he said, "let's go get something then. You need it."
And just like that the two fluttered out into the night air.
- & -
A/N: Next chapter is going to be all fluff, but you'll just have to wait a week because I have a dance competition in Disneyworld. I've spoiled you lately with a chapter a day, so here's a taste of what my six month long hiatus was like, for those of you who've just started reading. Adios and wish me luck!