Title: Falling to Pieces
Disclaimer: I don't own anything with the expectation of this plot.
Spoilers: None. Nothing is parallel to Half-Blood Prince or Deathly Hallows.
A/N: July 13, 2008. Once again, I rewrote all these chapters. Thank you to all that have reviewed earlier. Cheers!
Chapter One: Always Forgiving
Hermione looked at the nearest window to see a bronze colored owl tapping against the glass for entrance. She sighed and opened the window; the owl hopped in and lifted its leg with a package attached. In return she gently unraveled the tied package and letter, stroking the owl with her index finger once they were removed.
"Thank you, Brownie," she smiled affectionately. She then unwrapped the package, studying the gift presented before her. Hmmm, a silver ring with a ruby. That's awfully nice, but no matter the cost of the trinket, it still shouldn't replace an apology; let alone make for what he had done. With those harboring thoughts in mind, she unwrapped the letter and read to herself:
I'm truly sorry for my actions yesterday, I should have stopped. I'll admit I was out of hand by not allowing you talk to that... Finnigan boy at Diagon Alley. Please take this ring as a sorry gift. I hope that you can forgive me with all your heart.
Hermione sighed, refolding the letter. Sure, she would and always forgive him, no matter what he did. But how could she not? He was gorgeous with his shaggy brown hair, his stunning electric blue eyes, his built figure, and brilliant white teeth. He would always buy her gifts to temporarily fix his mistakes, which were usually him degrading her if she had done something – anything – without his consent. But that still didn't matter because he was Kevin, perfection. The farthest thing she was from. And if she had to glance past his mistakes to keep him, then she would. She picked up a parchment and began to write:
Of course I forgive you, thank you very much for the lovely ring. I'll see you soon.
She wrapped the flimsy piece of paper to Brownie's leg and carefully watch it disappear into the horizon. When the owl was fully out of sight, Hermione buried her head into her hands, questions hazing over her mind.
Once again she had allowed him to win. And once again she forgave him. Why did she always forgive him? Because she always fooled herself into thinking he would change.
But she was very well aware he wouldn't.
Incidentally, she had left out her plans of going to the Burrow tomorrow and residing there for the remaining of the summer, but she knew telling Kevin was simply out of the question. He would have a fit if he knew she was staying with boys and she didn't bother of thinking of the consequences. They'd be horrid either way. With that final worrying thought in mind, she slipped under her bed's covers, letting dreams devour her.
Hermione was suddenly running toward a door with blank walls to her sides. Once she was able to open the door, peeking into the room she found nothing in it. Kevin came from another entrance, smiling slightly.
"Hello Hermione," he said with his enchanting voice, slipping her small hand into his.
"H-hello Kevin," she greeted feebly, blushing as he smiled down upon her. "Where are we?"
Kevin shrugged good-heartedly in response. "Dunno," he answered, looking around the blank room, his eyes finally landing on her, blush erupting across her cheeks. Maybe this was why she liked him, simply for his looks. No, that can't be right, she wasn't about to deem herself as shallow, taking her own mildly plain looks into account. She had no right to be. And she supposed he was also kind too… when she wasn't around another boy.
Hermione was snapped out of her thoughts, another hand gently grasped onto her empty one. She turned around to see…
"Hermione dear, get up!" called Mrs. Granger from down the stairs; waking Hermione from her confusing dream. She moaned into her pillow, feeling as if she hadn't gotten any sleep at all. With a heavy mind she slowly slipped off her bed and dragged herself toward the bathroom, surprised to see her hair frizzier than usual. Lazily, she tied back her hair and pulled on a pair of jeans and a long shirt. Though she was a little less than enthused by her sloppy appearance, she climbed down her stairs and into the fumed-filled kitchen.
"Ready," she informed groggily, flicking some strands of hair off her face and took a cereal bar in the room' cabinets.
"Dear, is that all you're going to eat?" asked Mrs. Granger, a crease forming across her forehead. Hermione sighed and rolled her eyes in return.
"Yes mother," she scoffed. "I'm not hungry today." In fact, she was hardly ever hungry. She assumed it was just because she was excited that she would be attend Hogwarts within a few weeks. Though, she was a little worried when she studied herself in her mirror and saw an abnormally skinny self staring back. But she shook off her worries, once again blaming it on anxiety and stress.
Hermione's attention perked when the doorbell was rung, immediately bolting from her seat to the main door, opening it to greet a slightly balding and stocky Arthur Weasley. "Oh! Mr. Weasley's here!" She informed, turning to her mother and father to give them one last goodbye hug and kiss.
"I'm assuming you'll take good care of my daughter, Mr. Weasley," her father had greeted, extending a hand to shake Mr. Weasley's. Though Mr. Weasley was too preoccupied ringing the doorbell happily, fascinated by the result of the accompanying sound made when he pushed it. Mr. Granger's hand still lingered in front of him.
"Oh yes, yes," Mr. Weasley finally said happily, shaking Mr. Granger's offered hand. "We'll be sure to take good care of Hermione." He then took Hermione's suitcases and threw them in his trunk while carefully placing Crookshank's cage in the backseat. After hugging her parents one last time, Hermione happily flopped in the back of the Weasley's car, more than ready to journey to the Burrow.
"Oh," she said softly to only find one boy in the car instead of three boys and one girl she usually would see. She gave a fake smile, clearly masking her disappointment. "Er, Fred, nice to see you again… where's Ron, Ginny, and George?"
"It's George," George corrected her, giving her a smile. "And Fred, Ron, and Gin are serving their punishment." He explained evenly, secretly and reluctantly a bit hurt that Hermione didn't really want to see him. But then again, she was Ron's friend after all, and certainly not his.
"Punishment?" repeated Hermione. "What exactly did they do?" She paused, adding quietly, "and why didn't you help?"
George laughed. "I wish I could have been apart of the prank, but sadly I was under the weather that day. Anyways, they sorta… changed the water per say."
"Into rum?" she smiled, fondly remembering her fellow Gryffindor, Seamus, trying to turn his water into rum back in their first year and only managed to blow the liquid up instead.
"Not exactly," George smirked. "I reckon mum would of liked rum better than cheese." She giggled softly, turning his mischievous smirk into a genuine smile.
"That's too bad," she smiled. "I wish I could've witnessed your mother yelling at Ron." She paused hesitantly, the word 'yelling' suddenly pulling horrible memories into her head and her smile faded into a uncharacteristic frown. Her gaze then fell from the Weasley twin before her and onto the nearest car window.
George raised an eyebrow, taking notice in her sudden mood change, questioning her in a voice filled with concern and sincerity. "Anything wrong, Hermione? Something seems… wrong."
Hermione snapped her head toward him, the familiar flare of annoyance flashing before him. "No," she hissed, adding rudely, "besides, I believe it's none of your business either."
"Well excuse me," George rolled his eyes, "I didn't think I was being that nosy." He frowned and crossed his arms at the girl across from him.
"No, sorry it's my fault," sighed Hermione, "I just… I just have a lot of things on my mind right now." She bit her lip, feeling George's hand pressed suddenly on her shoulder.
"Hmmm, well, this is the first time I ever heard Miss Perfect say it's her fault," he informed lightly, a signature Weasley smirk gracing his face, and broke the manifesting tension between the two. Hermione blushed slightly in return and immediately looked out the window again.
It seemed like it was ages until she finally spoke. "George," she said quietly, "I…" she looked at him silently desiring for him to see, anyone to see she was in distress. That their beloved Gryffindor Princess had fallen into a consuming predicament that none could easily fathom. George peered at her, returning his earlier attention upon her. "I think that we're almost at the burrow."
And within seconds they arrived at the Burrow, she glanced at George once more before she climbed out of the car. The Weasley family greeted Hermione with bone crushing hugs and asked her how her summer was. She answered fine as always and felt herself going through the same motions she had at home. She always answered fine and it was almost too clear that she wasn't.