If Only

By: Judy
Summary: AU future fic of the Weasley family.
Pairing: Ron/Ginny deliciousness.
Rating: Pretty tame. PG.
Disclaimer: I don't own characters, blah blah blah.

--

If only they were born in different families, different places, different times. It would have saved them from years of longing looks, and fright at being discovered. The Weasley's have always been close. Just how close? Nobody ever bothered to find out.

If only they were first cousins, second cousins, third cousins. It was no secret that in the arrogance of the Malfoy with their pure blood, that close relations were often betrothed to each other. It was just the way things were after all, and tradition was something to be carried out faithfully down through every generation. Still, what they had was taboo, and she knew that forever was going to come crashing down.

If only their family wasn't the way it was; loving, and caring, and one big happy bunch, with kisses and hugs and affection. Ever since she was old enough to walk she realized her family was different than the others. By the time she knew what the sinking, falling feeling was when she regarded her closest brother – it was too late. All of the shared embraces, the millions of touches and intimacies, all of it added up to a final inevitability that still struck them with a shock like lightning.

If only he were anybody else, Harry or Michael or even Seamus. They were all different from her brother, without his insecurity, his awkward ways. Of course it was because of that she found no attraction to them, no electric chemistry between them because of their lack of these little characteristics. He retained a certain air of pretend masculinity around her of course, like all teenage boys and their pride. She bore it as a girl could, with the acceptance that it was the way things were - except he was different. It was afterwards he would become so overwhelmed with guilt that he left a package of chocolate frogs by her bed – his favourite. She didn't have the heart to tell him that she secretly gave them to her friends, and that chocolate was not her thing. She never told him that she hated chocolate frogs because she liked the thought of him worrying about her feelings. When they laughed, cried, dreamed, it was together. She was as close to him as a freckle on his hand, a skin cell, a strand of flame red hair. In summer they were light and shadow, and she was happy to be behind him, to peek around his shoulder as that unknown girl. Together they were everything.

If only he had enough courage to announce to the world – damn what they thought of their relationship, damn them all, because it was wonderful and good and beautiful. Isn't love supposed to be beautiful? But he only said sorry, only looked at her with sorrow and a thousand apologies as he married someone else. And some part of her died that day, and she refused to feel, refused to cry because she was afraid if she did, she would never stop. She was the one who held mum when she bawled her eyes out at her Ronnikins growing up. And she learned that to care for him meant sacrifice, so she did not cry that day.

If only the baby did not look so much like his mother. If only his sister looked a little less like Hermione and a little more like her own brother. If one of them inherited the red hair, the freckled face, to remind her of the babies she would never carry, with pure blood in their veins…She would have squeezed until she took their lives away. But during the ceremony she smiled and nodded and said the proper words a godmother should, while he beamed at everyone until his sister walked past him in the crowd sending their congratulations. His grip on her hand was solid and warm and even though she wished it so, she could not bring herself to hate him.

If only he hadn't padded quietly into the guest room in his home afterwards. If only the box of chocolate frogs wasn't laid out on the rose-coloured pillow that was Hermione's touch. She discovered the present later, after she was spun dizzy by Harry who had a bit too much to drink, and pleaded off with a headache. Twenty-seven years, four married to Hermione. She acknowledged that it was finally time to let go, to allow him to love his wife as he was meant to. If only the box wasn't placed with such care, the pink ribbons an attempt at a message hinting of long ago. If only they were not linked heart to heart, siblings and best friends and pretend lovers. Before, he knew every tear she shed as if he wept them himself. He knew every true laugh, every forced lie, every fear and worry and joy she carried within her. If only wishes came true more often than not. If only things were as simple as that, as words and secrets whispered into the night made real. That night, for the first time, while Ginny cried in her bed - Ron never knew.