It was...stressful, in a way, even when we got along, even when we were enjoying ourselves. Stressful, because being together was like dancing on the edge of a knife- you never knew when you'd get cut or fall off the edge completely.
But when Harry got added in...things changed. Not badly, of course, but things were different. Maybe even better.
When it's just two people, it's definitely easier. Three people requires a bit more work, if you want the relationship to last.
The biggest problem is jealousy, of course. Harry won't ever admit to it, but he does get jealous when Ron and I do something without him. He'll try to hide his feelings, and end up being irritable or dour. And then it falls to me to take him to task, while Ron is the one to assure him that he does belong.
Ron gets jealous, too, when I spend more time with Harry than with him. And when Ron gets jealous, he is completely impossible to be around. And then it's back to the yelling and snapping...unless Harry is nearby.
We don't fight in front of Harry. He's had enough conflict in his life. Isn't it odd, how Harry's the hero, but Ron and I always feel the need to protect him? To me, Harry's always seemed so fragile...and I know Ron sees him the same way. Fragile, but with an iron will.
The funny thing is, as hard as it may be to make us and our strange relationship work...well, I think we'll last. I love them both, and I know they love me and each other. We've survived everything else, after all; we can survive love.
Yes, we do have our tense moments, our bouts of anger. But there's also a peace to our relationship that was missing when it was just me and Ron.
Take right now, for instance. We're in the library, mostly because I wanted to brush up on the Inexcusables (just a few steps down from Unforgivable), and where one of us goes, the others follow.
I'm pretending to be entirely absorbed in my reading, but I'm actually watching them. They're playing chess at a nearby table, staying mostly quiet in deference to me. Ron's winning, of course, and is cracking some of the stupidest jokes I've ever heard. Harry smiles every so often, and once even laughs.
He doesn't laugh often; he normally doesn't even smile anymore, unless he's alone with Ron and me.
There's a feeling of lazy contentment in the air, and I can't help but smile. Harry looks up from the board and catches my eye and grins crookedly, in a way I haven't seen him do for months. I grin back, pleased, then return to my reading.
For a moment, I think I can almost see into the future. The three of us, when we're old and graying, just existing together in the quiet, content and full of love. We'll be sitting around a table somewhere, Ron occasionally cracking a lame joke, Harry smiling, me watching.
The three of us, all belonging.
And I think, this is the way we are. This is what we'll always be. Three parts of a whole.
As we were meant to be.