A/N : Hi Guys! So This is actually a companion to Affectionate. It can be read alone, but it started because I've been struggling with Affectionate, and I think it's because I haven't fully fleshed out the behind the scenes stuff to it. Hopefully this will help me work out where I'm going with it exactly. So if you're new to this, I would encourage you to read Affectionate as well - though you don't have to. (This chapter corresponds to the first chaper of Affectionate)
Disclaimer: I obviously don't own Harry Potter
Ron had been on edge all day, he had phoned Hermione at midnight yesterday and she had told him what she was about to do. They had created their own code, something that they hadn't even shared with Harry (as they often taked about him through it), and earlier this week Hermione had used it to inform him that she urgently needed to speak to him. He had managed to sneak sout to his father's shed and, using the clearly detailed instructions Hermione had passed covertly into his hand when she visited earlier that summer, he had dialed her number, which she had hastily picked up.
It had been strangely intimate that phone call; they had both been whispering to avoid being caught plotting, and it meant that in the silent dark of the terrifyingly spider-filled shed, he could hear her every breath. It was almost as though they had been sat close together in a dark room.
She had answered the phone with a quiet, "Hello? Ron?"
"Hi." He had been so nervous that he was going to do something wrong and not be able to speak to her that he let out a relieved sigh, the sound of her voice so close to his ear instantly putting a smile on his face.
"Hi." She said quietly, he could hear the smile in her voice.
They both started to speak nervously at the same time, and ended up in a game of 'you, no you.' ending in them both laughing at themselves. Ron felt a warmth fill him, one he only felt when he was alone with Hermione, and one he now - finally - admitted was love.
"When are you coming?" He asked trying (and failing) to keep the desperation out of his voice.
She suddenly became sombre, he felt it in the tension between them, it worried him.
"Hermione? What's wrong?" He heard a gentle sniff.
"Well, that's what I wanted to talk about. I - I'm going to have to alter their memories, I have to make them forget me."
And that was it, she had explained what she was going to have to do and he tried, and failed miserably to comfort her over the phone, wishing he could be sat right next to her and give in to the overwhelming urge to wrap his arms around her. Then she was saying goodbye and he was left sitting in the cold, dank shed, suddenly aware of the thousands of spiders that must be surrounding him. He quickly stumbled out and up to his room, comforted by the thought of her presence tomorrow, with a new determination to make her feel better and resolved to begin his plan to finally make his feelings clear.
Now he was waiting, sat terrified on the sofa staring out at the apparition point. What had seemed like a good idea now seemed like the scariest thing in the world; Hermione could never love this bumbling ginger idiot who makes her cry. But then she had been jealous of Lavender; and she had cried on his shoulder and kissed his cheek; and she had sought out his company and blushed at his brother's teasing about them when she had come over earlier this summer. The turmoil was running through his brain over and over until suddenly, in the middle of the chatter of his family sat around him (who he continued to ignore), she appeared in a flash outside. He jumped up, his heart beating ten to the dozen, and in without thinking, his legs carried him outside.
He was breathing heavily by the time he reached her. He could see the tears she was struggling to hold in glistening in her eyes. She was about three seconds away from a full breakdown. He grabbed her hand and she stared gratefully into his eyes, her lip trembling, he nodded and she nodded back. It was strange how after so many years of being woefully out of sync when it came to their feelings, it now felt like they could almost read each other's mind. In a moment of clarity he lost his nervousness. She was here now. He had her and he'd be damned if he was ever letting her go. He led her to the door, they both took a deep breath and he led her in.
it was all in vain however, as the second she saw his family, who were all smiling warmly at her, she burst into tears. They all looked rather shocked and before his mother could fuss over her, he stole her away up to his room, slamming the door behind him.
She was stood in the middle of his room shaking, and sobbing, and staring at him like a lost puppy. Instinct took over and he strode up to her and took her in his arms. He'd like to say it was smooth and romantic, but he had awkwardly trapped her arms against his chest and they had to do an awkward extraction, but then she looked up at him, and he shrugged, and she laughed and he rubbed the back of his head nervously.
"Oh come here, you." She half laughed, half cried.
This time they came together slowly, tentatively wrapping their arms around each other. His heart was beating in his ears and he wasn't sure whether or not he could feel hers beating just as quickly into his shirt, or if his was just that loud.
They held each other for far too long of a time for it to be remotely platonic, and as she rested her head on his chest, he let himself believe that maybe this was the start of something between them. "Are you okay?" He asked, leaning back to look down at her fluffy hair.
She looked up and met his eyes, some kind of static buzzed between them.
"I am now." She replied softly.
Then as though they were being pulled by some imaginary force, they started to lean towards each other , and Ron's brain was going into a mad, panicked, silent buzz. This was it. he was finally going to kiss Hermione Granger, they girl he had loved since he first knew what love was.
Suddenly, just as their lips were inches apart and they were grasping each other tightly, nervously, their eyes fluttering shut, the door burst open and they jumped apart. Flustered Hermione tugged at her jumper, Ron glared into Fred's grinning eyes, his face burning with anger and embarrassment.
"Lunch is ready kiddlies." His voice dancing with amusement. Hemione ran out of the room with a nervous chatter.
"I hate you." Ron managed to get out through gritted teeth.
"Wow, if not for me and my wonderful book you wouldn't even have had a nearly kiss Ronnie, so how was that? Did you gaze into her eyes and see your future ickle babies..." He continued making fun while Ron stormed out of the room and shut himself in the bathroom to compose himself.
Hermione made her way down the stairs, but as she was passing Ginny's room, she got dragged in.
"Ginny! What are you doing?" She exclaimed.
The girl in question smirked at her before launching herself at the already flustered Hermione.
"I've missed you so much, I've been going crazy not having anyone to talk to and with Phlegm... but anyway, are you alright?"
Hermione panicked for a moment thinking that Ginny had heard George's teasing from the hallway, before she realised that the last time she saw Ginny she was in floods of tears.
"Oh, yes... yes, i'm ... fine." In truth emotions were still in a whirlwind, Ron had nearly kissed her, or she had nearly kissed Ron? Did it matter which way? Of course it did because Ron could just have been letting her kiss him because he liked being kissed, but if he had nearly kissed her then it meant he wanted it too. Hermione wasn't sure what to think and she had never been this confused in all her life, she could barely remember what had even happened, one minute she was crying and the next she was in his arms.
"Are you sure Hermione? You seem a bit... red." Ginny contemplated for a moment before her eyes lit up, "Did something happen Hermione?!"
Hermione wasn't sure what to say, something had obviously happened, but what she really didn't know.
"I think so. I mean maybe, he might have nearly, but then maybe it was me and I'm just presuming. I don't know it all happened so fast and then George was bursting in before he could get to it. I'm very confused. Anyway your mum wanted us to come down to tea so we'd best..." She was still quietly muttering to herself as she made her way downstairs, only to find Ron right in front of her.
They caught each other's eyes and had an awkward moment of intense eye contact before the hubub of the kitchen broke them out of it. Most people were already seated, so they had to sit next to each other, Ron pulled out her chair and she looked at him in shock, he was never this gentlemanly usually, so did this mean he had wanted it? Or was she just reading into things? But then he winked at her and her heart started pounding and her head spun with questions.
Throughout the meal she could barely talk, he kept doing things, like gently touching her shoulder as he leant across to reach the potatoes and glancing at her in a very obvious way. She thought she was going crazy but she didn't seem to be the only one noticing, everyone kept giving them strange looks and she swore she saw Fred exchange a meaningful glance with him.
When the dinner ended and they made excuses to leave the table (they were really going to plan what they needed to do before Harry arrived) Bill made a comment about leaving the door open and Hermione was mortified, though she wasn't sure he was really that wrond with the way she was feeling at that moment. So she raced up the stairs with Ron, who had grabbed her hand, something that he had done only a few times before, and each time she wondered what it would be like to have those hands on her face, and in her hair, and... she was getting ahead of herself. He had thrown her into a frenzy and she didn't think she could handle it for much longer.
Ron couldn't believe how good it felt to show Hermione his feelings, especially with her responding so well. He never dreamed he'd be able to make her blush or feel her heart race because of him, as he could through her wrist. He had succeded in making her more flustered than she was by an exam, or by breaking the rules, and he did love a flustered Hermione. They came to his room and he dropped her hand, and suddenly he was scared. He thought about the near kiss earlier and he wanted so desperately to continue it, but something stopped him.
"Harry'll be here soon." Hermione said softly, almost regretfully.
His heart stuttered and he felt a jab of jealousy, even though he knew it was wrong and he knew that Harry and Hermione would never happen, some part of him hated that Harry was inbetween them. He loved Harry just as much as he did his brother's, he definitely got on with him better, but some small voice in his head was bitter that Harry had to share even this part of his life. Even the part that he didn't want to share with anybody; not Viktor Krum, not Cormac McClaggen and not Harry Potter. He just wanted Hermione to be his, or more realistically he wanted to be hers.
So they talked about Harry, and they started to pack that little beaded bag and he told her she was a genius and she blushed and they went round in the same damn circles they always did, where they came close to admitting how they felt and then one of them brought up Harry, or Voldemort, or the war and they realised that nothing could happen while they had other priorities. Then it was time for bed, and he decided that he would give her that kiss one way or another.
She had nearly left and he pulled her back (quite romantically he might add) she was shocked, looking up at him with those big brown eyes and Merlin! He was dying to give in and plonk one on her, but he resisted and gave her, what the book described as a charming, gentlemanly goodnight kiss on the forehead. He savoured the feeling of her soft skin on his lips and allowed himself to stay there a few minutes too long, allowing him to take a deep breath of her heavenly smell (that he was sure he had smelt last year as he walked past the amortentia). As soon as her stepped back he had to force himself to quickly retreat to his room and shut the door behind him, or else he'd have let himself get carried away and say something stupid.
As he was lying in bed, his heart still racing, he thought about what it would be like when they left and were alone (well, with Harry). Would they have more of this oddly charged moments? if they did he was sure that he would eventually give in. Or would they not have another oppurtunity as they became too busy defeating horcruxes. He sighed and turned over, awaiting the dreams of Hermione's soft skin against his lips.
Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed it!