Sobbing, screaming, rage, fear, and loathing.
At least, that's how she expected to be.
Instead of doing those things she just sat on the end of their bed. Completely silent and completely still. They had another one of their "fights" and this time Hermione was sure she knew where this was going. In her head she was throwing things around the room and crying her eyes out but on the outside, she couldn't do it. In fact, she hadn't cried since the end of the war when she claimed that she had no tears left in her any longer.
"Are you just going to sit there quiet and resigned?" Ron argued.
"What would you like for me to do?" Hermione questioned, cutting her eyes at him so sharply that he feared an otherworldly fire setting ablaze the flat.
"Why do I always have to tell you what to do and how to feel? This is exactly what we were fighting about!" Ron shouted, throwing his hands in the air in resignation.
Hermione just shook her head and stared at the floor. Aware that this argument was going exactly where she thought it was. It's been heading in this direction for some years now and she couldn't say that she was angry or surprised. It had been seven years.
"I don't know what to tell you, Ron. I can't explain myself to you and there isn't enough magic in the universe for me to be able to materialize into something that you'll be happy with!" She yelled before actually thinking through what she said.
Her life was completely falling apart but she acted as if it was something that happened on a day to day basis. She acted as though emotions were completely discarded from her life which, most of the time, was the truth. She had taught herself not to feel and not to become any closer to anyone than she had to be. All in all, she was the reason this relationship was in ruins. It's not that she didn't love Ron, she always would, but she couldn't force herself to show emotion when she had been so resigned from it for so long.
"I'm happy with you! Why can't you understand that?!" He argued with her.
"I understand perfectly! You are happy when I act like my old self or if I fake showing the slightest bit of emotion. I can't be that girl anymore. Why can't YOU understand that?!"
Ron just stood there in the doorway and couldn't take his eyes off of Hermione, at least, that he thinks in Hermione. She hadn't been the same and she was right. She wasn't the same girl. Not at all.
"I've noticed. I can see that you aren't the same girl any longer but why did she disappear?" Ron questioned.
Hermione just threw her hands up in defeat and shrugged even though she knew exactly what happened to her. She was there just isolated.
"Maybe we need to…take a break from this," Ron said, finally.
Hermione couldn't bring her emotions to cry at the words or to even act surprised at his words. Something inside her had told her the exact same thing but she wanted to take a step further.
"Or just end it all together," She whispered but she knew that Ron had heard her.
Hermione couldn't look at him directly but she watched his reaction through the reflection on the window that she was currently staring absently at. She watched him take heavy sighs and rake his hands shakily through his red hair that had darkened over time. She watched him reach for his empty suitcase that had been carelessly lying on the floor from his last trip. She wanted to laugh at the fact that after telling him many times to put it up that he still hadn't but it wasn't the right time and she couldn't bring herself to smile.
"Where are you going?" Hermione questioned, finally turning around to face the distressed red head.
"I'm going to stay at Harry's while I look for another flat. You can have this one," He offered but she held her hand up and walked over to take the empty suitcase out of his hand.
"No, I still own my other flat. You can stay here. I'll be the one to leave," Hermione told him.
Even though they had lived together for two years she couldn't stand to part with her flat that she struggled so hard to pay off. She kept everything she had in that flat and she wasn't going to let it go. She wanted to give her relationship with Ron the chance it deserved after years and years of pining after him. If anything, the emotions had swapped between the two. He was more emotional whereas she was more lifeless. Ron just nodded to her and went in for hug that she returned with a stiff stature. He was right. She wasn't herself and the years that passed only made it worse.
She waved her wand around the room and watched as several boxes filled up with her clothes and gift things that had been given to her by Ron over the years. She saw pictures and things fly about the room and land carefully in the boxes while Ron just stared absently at the ground. Hermione caught sight of the necklace that had their promise ring attached to it and reached up to grab it from the air. She took his hand gently and set it the ring in the middle of his palm while covering it up with his fingers.
Ron was doing what she should be doing. Crying.
"I hope you find everything you want," Ron said, reaching up to push a stray curl from her cheek and placed it behind her ear.
His hands that had been so warm had suddenly become so cold due to the situation. She heard the last box seal itself and she waved her wand once more to transport those things to her flat.
"I don't want anything. I want you to find everything you want. Someone that can be happy all the time and laugh with you like I once had." She said, leaning forward to kiss his forehead.
After she did that, he looked up to see that she had disappeared completely but he didn't know to what extent that she had disappeared.
Hermione stood in the middle of her flat that she hadn't set foot in for a couple of years. Everything looked the same and she still saw that the cleaning charm she had set had kept her flat free of cobwebs and dust. If anything, the flat looked lived in. The boxes had already begun to unpack themselves but she halted them from anything further.
Could she really stay here?
Everything felt so far from her now but not far enough. Her relationship had fallen to bits and her life was still moving on without her. She still couldn't cry but she couldn't even bring herself to feel relief. She needed a holiday. A very long holiday.
Her doorbell rang but she knew that it was either Harry or Ginny standing at her door. No doubt, Ron had already told them of their break up even if it had been only five minutes. Hermione unlocked the door from where she stood and watched as Ginny stepped through the door with her red hair thrown over one shoulder. Ginny just stared at Hermione but not in an angry way. She was concerned and she had every right to be.
"Hermione…" Ginny started but Hermione held her hand up.
"Tea?" Hermione questioned, going into the kitchen and realizing that her food preservation charm had also worked.
She started the hot water on the stove and sat at her dining table with her hand holding up her head but her mind so far away.
"Hermione, what is going on?" Ginny questioned, softly.
"Nothing," Hermione answered shortly.
"That's usually your answer but, for some reason, it seems worse than usual." Ginny answered.
The teapot whistled and Hermione walked quite sluggish towards her cabinet and doing all the regular things that you do when making tea. She sat one down in front of Ginny and Hermione had carelessly left her cup sitting on the counter.
"I fear that it is worse than usual," Hermione whispered.
"Hermione, I don't know how to help you if you don't tell me how…" Ginny offered, getting up to get Hermione's cup and placing it gingerly in front of her.
"That's the thing, Ginny…you can't help me. There's nothing that can but I've had a thought for a while that might sound crazy." Hermione said, sitting up a little taller.
Ginny eyed her friend carefully and watched her eyes that had once burned with such determination and light look so lifeless that they almost looked inhuman. Hermione just glanced at the tea in her cup and realized that she needed to do this. For herself and for everyone around her.
"I promised myself that I wouldn't allow myself to feel again…I have to break out of this, Ginny. I'm ruining myself and everyone else in the process." Hermione enlightened.
"So, what are you going to do?" Ginny questioned, sipping her tea but becoming fully entranced in the conversation.
"I'm going to leave," Hermione whispered.
Ginny almost spit her tea out but swallowed it before she had the chance so she just started coughing instead. Hermione mindlessly handed her friend a napkin.
"And where are you going?" Ginny questioned, her voice hoarse from coughing.
"Far away." Hermione answered, sipping her tea.
"What about your job?" Ginny asked.
"Give Harry my notice for me, I'm quitting" Hermione answered.
"You sound like you've been planning this," Ginny said, eyeing Hermione.
"I have. For a week I've been planning a getaway. I need to get away from the remainders of the war and the effects that I used to ruin my own life. I'll write to you, I promise." Hermione said, getting up from the table and walking toward the door.
When Ginny turned around to stop her friend she noticed that everything in the flat had disappeared. The flat looked completely empty and the only thing that remained was the chair that Ginny was currently sitting in. However, once she got up from the chair it disappeared like everything else in the flat.
Hermione always did know how to make an exit.
2 Week Later
Hermione fell onto her couch that was currently sitting in her new flat that she had been trying to unpack for that past couple of weeks. She had moved to Paris as part of her getaway and she didn't know how long she would stay there but she did notice how much relief flooded her body when she had finally unpacked everything herself.
She vowed to not use magic while she was living in Paris and having been muggle born she found it fairly simple but she forgot how tedious it was to unpack your very own apartment and job hunt. She felt normal for once and it reminded her so much of home with her parents…those parents that she would never have again.
She felt the wall rebuild itself and she kept telling herself that she can't do that. She can't think about anyone anymore. She can't think about what happened in London or any of her friends. Of course, she would write to Ginny once a month but otherwise she couldn't think.
Hermione, sore, got up from the couch and looked out her window to view the sun going down behind the Eiffel Tower. She took a deep breath through her nose and let it out through her mouth while closing her eyes. She could do this. She believed in herself.
Crookshanks meowed by her feet and begged for her to feed him which is something she did hastily after realizing that she would be late for her first day at work.
Now, you're going to think that what she does for a living now is quite unlike her but she had never felt more relieved to have a change of pace. To be able to study again was something that could bring out a side of her that everyone knew and loved.
"Welcome to Bar Elate, what can I get you?" Hermione questioned, forcing a smile on her face as she took the guys bar order.
She was the fastest and most knowledgeable bartender in the business and she had only been there two weeks. She had become a favorite among the regulars because they found her beautiful and charming which is something that she wasn't used to. Here, she wasn't known as the brainy Hermione Granger but rather the intelligent and beautiful Hermione.
"Alright, so let me get this straight, you want a Gimlet," Hermione said, pointing to the guy at the end of the bar.
She continued from one end of the bar to the next and spouted out orders like it was no big deal. Everyone was quite impressed that she never got a drink wrong.
"I have to say, I'm quite impressed…" said a voice that almost sounded familiar to Hermione.
She didn't look at the stranger and just smiled while she cleaned glasses to have them ready for the next evening.
"I hear that a lot. Thank you Mr…" She said, and looked up to meet a pair of steel eyes that were as icy as she ever remembered.
"Malfoy. Mr. Malfoy," He said, a smirk playing on his lips.
She gasped quietly and then cursed the fact that she had served him a drink at all.