Summary: 'Hermione flung her arms around Ron's neck and broke down completely. Ron, looking quite terrified, patted her very awkwardly on the top of the head.'
by She's a Star
"They can't do this," said Harry. "They can't. Buckbeak isn't dangerous."
"Malfoy's dad frightened the Committee into it," said Hermione, wiping her eyes. "You know what he's like. They're a bunch of doddery old fools, and they were scared. There'll be an appeal, though, there always is. Only I can't see any hope. . . . Nothing will have changed."
"Yeah it will," said Ron fiercely. "You won't have to do all the work alone this time, Hermione. I'll help."
-Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling (who also happens to own everyone who appears in this story), page 292
I was pretending not to miss you. Doing a bloody good job of it, too. Wasn't even pretending most of the time. I didn't miss you. Who in his right mind would miss all the nagging and the scolding and the unbearably haughty "I told you so, Ron!"'s?
No one, that's who.
Which is why I must be a complete nutter. Because I did miss you, Hermione. Not only that, I was haunted by memories. Memories. How sad is that?? I'm turning into a downright whiny emotional bloke, and it's enough to make anyone a little loony, let me tell you that.
But your voice kept ringing through my head, even when you weren't really talking.
"Is that a real spell? Well, it's not very good, is it?"
"It's Wing-gar-dium Levi-o-sa, make the 'gar' nice and long."
"But there's no wood!"
"Ron! Ron! Are you all right?"
And I almost went bloody insane.
And if that wasn't enough to land me in St. Mungo's, this definitely is. You've flung your arms around me now, sobbing like one of those emotionally distraught scarlet women in the cheesy romance novels Mum reads. I never woulda thought it...Hermione Granger, Closet-Scarlet-Woman.
I'm the tiniest bit scared.
. . .
All right, Hermione, I'm starting to worry about you. It's been over five seconds and you haven't moved. Nope, you seem perfectly content with your arms wrapped around me, sobbing like there's no tomorrow.
And now I've surpassed scared and I'm officially bloody terrified.
You're maybe five, six inches shorter than me, Hermione. You could lean your head on my shoulder casually, if you ever wanted to, and it'd fit just right. And if you ever felt like crying, you know, like you are now, then you could just come over here, I suppose, and I'd hug you and kind of stroke your hair like I'm doing now.
This is kind of nice, Hermione. I don't know why I haven't hugged you before.
. . .
What the bloody hell am I talking about?!??!
You're Hermione Granger! You're an unbearable know-it-all who talks like she swallowed a textbook! You nag me to the point of no return, and once I get there (the point of no return, I mean) you nag me even more! We argue about bloody everything, and I don't even know how our friendship has lasted this long! It's a bloody Goddamned miracle! You're Hermione Granger, and you're just my best friend.
. . .
How am I supposed to look at you the same way now, Hermione? Now that I've held you while you cried and you've looked up at me like you're doing now, and I'm just noticing that your eyes have little flecks of gold in them - I've never been close enough to you to notice before.
And now I wonder if I'll ever hug you again, and I'm kind of hoping that I will.
This is stupid. Complete bloody rubbish. I don't even know why I'm thinking this.
It's almost like...like I've fancied you all these years and I've never even realized it. It's almost like...
It's almost like I'm in love with you.
. . .
Someone lock me in St. Mungo's, because I've gone completely nutters. And you still won't let go of me, and you're still crying, and I'm still patting your hair.
I'm not supposed to think like this about you, Hermione. If you're going to end up with anyone, it's Harry. He's the hero, after all. I'm just the sidekick.
Me and you, Hermione? It just isn't done.
So what the bloody hell am I supposed to do?
Well, one thing's for sure.
I'm absolutely bloody terrified.