A/N-My first attempt at a song fiction. My apologies go to both J.K.R. and Barry Manilow. If you get a chance, listen to this song on Barry Manilow- 2 Nights Live. It's a really good song.
A/N#2- Ron let Hermione off too easily. I felt he had more to say. What do you think? R&R please!!!
Disclaimer- J.K. Rowling owns the Harry Potter universe. Barry Manilow owns his music. I own a 6 year old VW Passat. Go figure.
Every Single Day
Every single day
I'll remember what we do today
Words we didn't say,
we'll remember every single day...
Ron looked up from his parchment and glanced across the room. Hermione was busy writing, her lips pursed with concentration. He watched her write a sentence, then stop and cross it out. He wondered what question she was on. Knowing her, she was almost finished. She went back to writing, smiling to herself as she completed the answer. She put her quill down and began to read the next question. As she read she played with her hair, pulling a curl out straight and then letting it bounce back into the brown bushy mass. Ron loved to watch her when he knew she wasn't looking. Unfortunately, those times were few and far between. Hermione was aware of almost everything around her. Nothing got by her. Nothing, except for one small, insignificant thing. Ron Weasley was in love with Hermione Granger. He didn't know how or when it happened, it just did. It hit him like a ton of bricks dropped off the top of the astronomy tower. He knew if he didn't tell her soon, he'd be reduced to a quivering mass of jelly. He had trouble concentrating and even more trouble completing his assignments. He hated having to study with Harry and her because every time she'd smile at Harry he had to stifle the urge to punch his best friend in the face for flirting with 'his Hermione'. Ron heard someone cough next to him and turned to see Harry giving him a look that meant "go back to your test you prat. You can tell her how you feel after the exam." Harry shook his head and Ron and looked back at his own parchment and sighed.
"I can't believe it. Our last N.E.W.T. Did you get the answer for question 31?" Hermione asked Ron as they walked back toward Gryffindor tower.
"Hmm...What Hermione? Sorry I was just thinking about something."
"Really, I didn't see any smoke coming out of your ears." Ron looked at Hermione sharply but she was grinning at him. Ron noticed the grin lit up her whole face and her brown eyes seemed to twinkle as she teased him.
"Come and sit for a minute. Something has been bothering you these last couple of weeks. Do you want to tell me about it? I have great ear for listening and a shoulder for crying on. What are best friends for?" Hermione pulled Ron off the path and over to a large oak tree. She sat down against the tree and patted the grass beside her as she motioned for Ron to sit. "So talk."
Did he want to tell her? This was a question he could ponder for days. In his mind he knew just what he wanted to say but would he be able to get out the words?
"Hermione, I have something I need to say to you."
"Ron, you can tell me anything. Go on." Hermione smiled at him.
Ron took a deep breath and continued. "I know we are only 17 and this may be really sudden and will probably come as a complete shock to you, but I love you and I want to spend the rest of my life with you."
Hermione's smile fell from her face and stared at Ron with an expression of shock. "Are you kidding me?"
"No, I've never been more serious in my entire life," he said quietly.
Hermione stood up and whirled around to face Ron. Her eyes were blazing. "How could you do this to me now?" she asked. "I am still trying to get my life back in order after what we went though this past year and now, with no warning, you are telling me you love me and want to marry me? That is the most insensitive thing you have ever done. I am worrying about where my life is going and you want to marry me? MARRY ME?"
"Hermione, I'm sorry. I didn't think you'd take it like this, but I had to tell you now before it made me any crazier than I already am."
"So again, all you were thinking about was yourself. Ronald Weasley you are the most annoying prat that ever walked the face of this earth." She wiped her eyes and Ron could have sworn he saw tears and something that looked like regret. But as fast as he saw it, it disappeared and in its place he saw a closed, empty look.
"Hermione, why are you so upset about this?" Ron figured he might as well jump in the whole way. He'd gone this far. "I thought you loved me. I mean really loved me. I honestly thought you did. I guess I thought wrong."
She looked down at Ron and answered him in a soft, determined voice. "You don't understand, Ron. I have plans for my life. I have things that I need to do... for me. I know that sounds cold and cruel, but I can't explain it any other way. After going to battle and seeing your friends and teachers die, your outlook on life changes. Please understand. I care about you. A lot. I really do, but I can't care about you or anyone else more than a friend right now. I only have enough strength to take care of me. It wouldn't be fair to you."
Ron looked at her intently. "So are you saying that one day there might be a chance for us?"
"I don't know. I really don't."
They gazed at each other for 30 seconds without moving a muscle or breathing too hard. In her mind she was screaming. Hermione, tell him how you feel. Don't do this to him. "I can't," she answered herself. "Not now, maybe not ever."
Ron stood and looked down at her, his blue-gray eyes filled with unshed tears. "Hermione Granger, I love you. Just remember that. Take my love with you wherever you need to go. Just remember, I'll wait for you." He looked her straight in the eye, and as a single tear started to fall down his cheek, he softly said something else, which was almost Hermione's undoing.
"I have to go finish packing." As she walked away, she whispered though her tears," I love you, too, Ronald Weasley. More than you'll ever know."
Then years go by
To wonder why
And wonder what we learned.
Is that the bridge we should have crossed?
The one we burned...
27- year- old Hermione Granger walked into her flat and straight into her kitchen. She opened the refrigerator and looked for the bottle of wine. She took it out and poured herself a glass, went out into the darkened parlor and sat on the sofa. Hermione took a sip of wine, stretched out her legs and sighed. She liked this quiet time after a hectic day at St. Mungos. She was the best healer there and had breezed through the University and graduated with honors. With her muggle background she was able to heal people that would have normally died. The medi-wizards and witches were in awe of her abilities. She loved her work, and every day was a new adventure.
She had a great apartment in muggle London. She blended in and liked it that way. She had friends, a good social life, money and even a boyfriend now and then. Now and then because every time one of them would start to get to close she'd back off. Hermione knew why, too. The hair wasn't a brilliant red, the sense of humor wasn't the same, and not one ever gave her shivers when he looked at her. Even so, she had everything she had ever wanted and planned for. Except one thing.
Every empty night
To regret a life that could have been
Maybe you were right
Just forget that emptiness within
So if you go
Before that moment's gone...
Ron. She needed him. She knew this now just as she knew it 10 years ago and she still ached at how she had hurt him. Hermione would never forget the look on his face and what he had said to her as she left...
"Look at me the way, I'll remember every single day, from now on"
Hermione couldn't deny what she was feeling anymore. She needed to see Ron. She needed to apologize to him, to talk to him, to be with him, to love him. She stood up, and with a mixture of urgency and fear went to the phone to ring Ginny.
Hermione apparated with a soft pop into Ginny Potter's home. She looked around and saw Ginny sitting on the couch with her arms folded in front of her. She wasn't smiling. The phone call Ginny had received from Hermione bothered her. She remained friendly with Hermione much to Ron's dismay and had tried not to play sides. She understood what Hermione was feeling because Harry had the same issues after the battle with Voldemort as well. The only difference was he was strong enough to work through them. Privately she thought Hermione was a bit of a coward for running away. Quickly, Hermione explained what she wanted Ginny to do. "You want me to invite him over here so you can talk to him? Hermione, I don't know if that is such a good idea. Don't you know he goes out of his way not to run into you? He was a mess before my wedding and that was three years later. He didn't know how he was going to be in the same room with you- let alone talk to you. It was a good thing you didn't come. He's pulled himself together and I don't want to ever see him like was then ever again. I couldn't handle it. He couldn't handle it. Hermione, I think it's time you know what happened after you left..."
Four hours after Hermione had come bursting into the Gryffindor common room with tears streaming down her cheeks, packed her trunk and went to Hogsmeade to wait for the train, Ron had not returned. Harry and Ginny were worried.
"Did Hermione tell you what happened?" Harry asked.
"No. I know Ron was going to tell her how he felt."
"It must not have gone well at all."
"Probably not. He hasn't come back yet and I'm worried. I think we should look for him." Harry and Ginny started to search the grounds. It had begun to rain and Ginny was concerned. This was not like Ron. He hated being caught in the rain. As they walked the path Harry saw a form slumped by the oak tree. "Ginny, look over there." She and Harry ran toward the form, and as Harry reached the tree he could see it was Ron. Or maybe someone that used to be Ron. "Ron, Ron are you alright? Ron, look at me." Ron turned his head to look at his best friend. He said nothing, but the blank look on his face said everything. He turned his head back and continued to stare out into the distance as the rain poured down on him. Ginny reached her brother and stifled a cry as she saw him. She sat down beside him and took him in her arms. "Ron, what happened?" Ron answered in a mechanical sounding voice. "I told her to take my love with her and that I'd wait. I'd wait forever if necessary. Oh crap Ginny. What am I going to do? Why wasn't I enough?" Ron broke down, sobbing into his sister's shoulder.
I don't know what
The man I'd love to be
That's not the way it turned out.
No, you fell in love with me.
...Ginny finished her story while tears streamed down Hermione's face. "Harry and I finally got him inside and dried off. He was mostly incoherent for the next couple of days. I don't know how he got through the end of school, but he did. We warned people not to mention you, but he didn't seem to mind. I think he kept waiting for you to come back. He went home to the Burrow and didn't come out of his room for close to four weeks. He didn't even want to eat." Hermione was horrified. Ron never passed up food. "Finally, mum had enough. She went storming upstairs, and although we didn't hear what she said, we heard things hitting the floor and what sounded like someone punching the wall. Then we heard Ron scream- not a hurt scream," Ginny clarified when she saw the look on Hermione's face, "but it was kind of like a catharsis- type scream. Mum came downstairs five minutes later with Ron. He didn't look so awful anymore. He started to eat again, he began Auror training and picked up his life, but the sad look in his eyes stayed with him for nearly a year. I couldn't bear to see him hurt again, so listen well, Hermione. You better be doing this for the right reasons, otherwise I may have to hurt you myself."
Everything you doubt
I'll fight for every single day
Help me work it out
Make it right for every single day...
Ron didn't know what Ginny wanted to see him about. He was hoping she'd tell him he was going to be an uncle. He couldn't wait to spoil another niece or nephew. Ginny and Harry's baby would hold a special place in his heart, even though every time he looked at them he was reminded of what his life could have been. Standing up for Harry at their wedding was the hardest thing he'd ever had to do. The thought of standing across from...bloody hell it was a good thing she hadn't shown. He didn't know what he would have done. When he reached the flat he practiced the shocked expression he would use when they told him the good news. As he stood outside the door he couldn't help but wonder why Ginny had asked him not to apparate inside. He rang the bell and waited for Ginny or Harry to open the door. The sight that greeted him was one he had seen only in his dreams for the past ten years. Hermione was there...standing right in front of him and Merlin forgive him, she looked beautiful. Her bushy brown hair was tamed into soft curls, and her brown eyes were sparkling as she smiled up at him. Her body had changed as well. She had soft curves now and her face had matured. There were more angles than there had been, and she was wearing a small amount of make-up. Ron stared at the beautiful woman standing in front of him.
As Hermione opened the door she felt her heart drop down to her knees and then slam back up into her chest. Ron had changed. No longer was he a gawky, tall boy. He had grown into a broad-shouldered, well-built man. He wore his hair a little longer, and its windblown style suited him perfectly. His face was less round but the eyes hadn't changed. They were still an amazing shade of gray-blue that Hermione could lose herself in. "Do you want to come in?" she asked.
Ron walked into his sister's flat and, without stopping, went to the other end of the parlor, as far away from Hermione as he could possibly get.
"I guess you're wondering what I'm doing here."
"You could say that."
"I need to talk to you."
"You need to talk to me?"
"Yes I do."
"Ron, stop echoing everything I say. You're making me nervous."
Ron eyed her from across the room. "Of all the incredible nerve," he thought, "Ten years and now she wants to talk." Give it up Weasley, you can't deny it. You felt it the minute you walked into the room. You still love her, you know you do. The voice in Ron's head kept speaking. She loves you, too. She always has, she just had to find her way back. "I know that, but I'm not going to make it easy for her. She has to know how she hurt me," he thought to the voice. So, tell her. "Hermione, you wanted to say something?"
"Yes, well..uhm...there is no easy way to put this so I'll just say it. I'm sorry."
Ron looked at her. All of the anger he'd had for the past 10 years rose to the surface. "That's it?" he said.
"Well, I figured that I'm sorry would cover it."
"You're sorry. You reckon that will cover it? You're sorry. Do you know what you did to me? You almost killed me. I almost killed myself. For four weeks I lay in my room wasting away. My life was nothing without you. I had to learn to live again and try to get through a day without you. You weren't there, and I needed you, Hermione. I missed you so much I thought I would die from missing you. All you can say is you're sorry?" Ron stalked back toward Hermione. "For years I hoped I would bump into you just so I could tell you how much you hurt me. Then I hoped that you would show up for Harry and Ginny's wedding even though I didn't know what I would say to you. I was so angry when Ginny said you weren't coming. Were you too much of a coward to face me? Don't you think I deserved the chance to tell you how I felt? You never once asked me how I felt. You just gave me your choice and left. Don't you think I understood what you were going through?" He had now come face to face with Hermione and stared down at her. "I was there too, or did you forget that? Who stood right next to you during the entire battle? Who took down five death eaters at once when you were hit by an unspeakable spell? Who held you in his arms and pleaded with you to wake up and not be dead? It wasn't Harry or Neville or even Draco for Gods sake. It was me, Hermione, ME!" Hermione tried to answer but Ron didn't let her as he grabbed her by her shoulders. "God Hermione, I loved you so much I would have done anything for you; I would have died for you. Instead you almost killed me." Ron dropped his arms and took two steps back from her. "How could you do that? To me?"
"Ron, I don't know what to say. I was wrong about so many things."
"Damn right you were wrong."
Hermione wasn't sure how to respond so she kept speaking. "I regretted many of my choices but always remembered one thing you said."
"What was that?"
Hermione wiped the tears that had started flowing down her cheeks and answered. "You said I could take your love wherever I needed to go and that you'd wait for me."
If you go or stay
I will love you as I do today
And I'll love you,
Every single day... From now on
Ron didn't react and for a moment she thought he hadn't heard what she said. Suddenly, she was pulled into a tight embrace. She felt the heavy thudding of Ron's heart and then she heard him speak. It seemed to come from deep within him. "I never stopped loving you, no matter how much I tried. I loved you every single day. Please say it, Hermione. I need to hear it. Then we can go on... together."
Ron held his breath as he waited for her to speak. After what seemed like an eternity to him, Hermione raised her head to look at and answered, "I love you Ron. I have always loved you. I will always love you." Ron bent down and kissed her sweetly on the lips. It was enough. It was a start.