Reunion of Friends
by She's a Star
Disclaimer:Harry Potter belongs to J.K. Rowling. :-) The title is borrowed from one of the songs on the Chamber of Secrets soundtrack.
Author's Note:Ah, the handshake. The non-hug. Or, as I personally, like to call it, The R/H Moment. (With capitals.) It was lovely. Too lovely. I cried both times I saw it (we just got the film the day before yesterday, and I saw it opening night and yesterday night). The first time, I also yelled out, "My heart's just stopped! Oh my God! That is too beautiful!" (And severely embarrassed my friends....mweheh.) And so naturally I had to do a bit of a fic piece about it.
One little note:This isn't word-for-word from the movie. Since JKR left the book version so vague (she just mentioned that Hermione came running up to them screaming, "You solved it! You solved it!"), I decided to do a bit of a book version, borrowing the brilliant idea from the movie. So basically, we're taking something from HP-Movie-Universe and sticking it into HP-Book-Universe. Ya following me? :-) Good. I've been rambling for a freakishly long time now, so I'll just be going.
Wait! Not yet!
Dedication:For my Dream Team darlings: Milla, Crys, Dia, Twixxa, and Stormie. You never cease to inspire my writing and brighten up my day - you've enriched both my writing and my life. (Aw, aren't I a sap?) Happy holidays, girls - I love you!
* * *
It was a very strange sensation, walking. The stone floor felt odd and foreign on her feet as Hermione Granger made her way toward the Great Hall. Delighted voices spilled from it, seemingly beckoning her toward them.
She couldn't shake the feeling of having just awoken from a dreamless sleep, in which countless ages and yet no time at all had passed. Her eyes hungrily drank in the sight of the corridors as she passed through them, a smile involuntarily making its way onto her face.
Grinning, she realized that she was almost to the Great Hall. Oh, she couldn't wait to see Harry again! Madame Pomfrey had told her at once that he had saved the day once again (though she'd sounded rather miffed about it, perhaps because battling basilisks was quite the hazard to one's health). And Ron, of course. She'd found a note on her bedside table when she'd awoken reading, in his familiar scraggly script:
We miss you. It just isn't the same without you.
...And let me tell you, the little holiday away from the library has been bloody great. Well, all good things must come to an end, I s'pose.
See you soon,
Short, sweet (...kind of), and absolutely insufferable.
Excitement coursing through her veins, she broke into a bit of a half-skip-half-run, grateful that the halls were deserted and therefore she wouldn't be spotted acting so foolishly. She wanted to see her friends, to find out how they'd defeated the basilisk - and who knew? Maybe she'd see Professor Lockhart at the feast as well.
. . .
To ask what she'd missed while she'd been in the Hospital Wing, of course. After all, she didn't, as Ron so Ronnishly put it, "go completely nutters every time that smarmy bloke came within a twenty foot radius".
What did Ron know anyway?
He simply couldn't grasp the fact that when people were as courageous, intelligent, charming, witty, talented, and handsome as Lockhart, they deserved recognition.
But still, she couldn't bring herself to get worked up at Ron now. Knowing their dysfunctional friendship, she would be by the end of that night. But it didn't matter. Now, she just wanted to see him.
She paused in front of the doors to the Great Hall momentarily, taking a deep breath. Her heart thumped almost violently against her ribcage, though she wasn't quite sure why.
And then, slowly, she pushed open the doors. As soon as she did, she couldn't help but burst into laughter. The Hall was filled with students standing in clumps as well as sitting at the long tables; everyone was clad in their pajamas, and seemed much more excited than usual.
Her eyes hurriedly scanned the crowd for Ron and Harry, and in no time she'd spotted them. She'd already taken a few steps forward when she stopped, as though held back by some invisible force. Harry was grinning widely at her, waving vigorously, but that wasn't what had stopped her. She had expected that, she had been counting on that. But Ron wasn't beaming at her in the way she'd expected. No, Ron was looking at her in a way that was utterly bewildering.
His expression was one that she couldn't even begin to read; it seemed so completely...thorough. She could see almost overwhelming relief, a giddy sort of happiness, and so many other things that couldn't all be picked out at once.
A very strange feeling had taken over her at this - her head seemed oddly light and hazy, a fleet of butterflies had apparently made their way into her stomach, and she couldn't even begin to stop the ecstatic grin that was spreading across her face.
And suddenly her feet allowed her to move again, and Hermione bounded across the Great Hall, grinning almost insanely.
"You solved it!" she screeched delightedly as she approached them, flinging her arms around Harry without thinking twice. "You solved it!"
Looking decently embarrassed, Harry wrapped his arms awkwardly around her and patted her on the back. "I s'pose so."
"How did you do it?" she asked, pulling away and studying him. "I wasn't sure that you'd be able to figure it out without me, but-"
"It'll take ages to explain," Harry replied.
"I suppose I can wait a bit, then," Hermione said, smiling at him.
And then she turned to Ron, prepared to envelop him into a hug as well, when she realized something.
She'd never hugged Ron before.
Though it was, from a logical view, completely insignificant, she suddenly felt her pulse quicken as she stood, quite foolishly, with her arms paused in mid-air.
And then, feeling her cheeks flush horribly, she dropped them.
He looked the same and yet so different - he'd grown at least an inch (did he ever stop growing?) and his flaming hair was a bit longer. He wore one of Mrs. Weasley's infamous maroon sweaters, and too-small pinstriped pajama bottoms that revealed his ankles.
He was Ron. He was Ron.
So why couldn't she hug him?
...Because he was Ron.
Alarming thoughts flew through her brain at a frightening speed, and without thinking she stuck out her right hand.
Oh. My. Goodness.
Could she have done anything worse? Cringing inwardly, she watched Ron in dread. Why did she have to be so stupid around him sometimes? No doubt he'd just scoff at her and say, in that horribly sarcastic tone that he got sometimes, 'Oh yes, it's great to meet you, Hermione.'
But then an amazing thing happened.
Instead, he took her hand and shook it for a moment. Her fingertips suddenly felt frighteningly sensitive - little volts of energy seemed to dance all the way up to her elbow. His fingers were lightly callused, and felt strange against hers.
A nice kind of strange.
And suddenly everything seemed to come back into clarity; the voices of her fellow students filled her ears with an almost deafening rush, and she realized that Harry was still standing next to them, smiling.
Forcing a weak smile, she pulled her hand from Ron's.
It suddenly felt very cold.
He smiled at her a bit - she noticed that the tips of his ears had gone scarlet.
"Hullo Hermione," he said, almost sheepishly.
She felt her own smile grow more genuine.