Ron and Hermione: Missing Moments
'"One simple incantation and you will enter a top-quality, highly realistic thirty-minute daydream, easy to fit into the average school lesson and virtually undetectable (side-effects include vacant expression and minor drooling). Not for sale to under-sixteens." You know,' said Hermione, looking up at Harry, 'that really is extraordinary magic!'
'For that, Hermione,' said a voice behind them, 'you can have one for free.'
Two days before Christmas
She stared at the box again. She didn't know why she didn't just use it already. Obviously it would never do to use the Daydream Charm in a lesson, but just because it was marketed for that didn't mean she couldn't use it at some other time.
Like now, safely shut behind her bed curtains with an Imperturbable Charm surrounding her.
But what about the side effects?
They don't sound serious. Okay, I don't necessarily want to drool, but who's going to know?
Yes, but…what if there are other, unknown side effects?
Fred and George test their stuff on themselves, surely the charm is safe.
But what if I get a daydream I don't like?
There, at the heart of it, was her dilemma. Because honestly, she didn't see how on earth she could have any good dreams, period, the way things were right now. She cast a glance in the direction of Lavender Brown's bed. Even without being able to see it, and the girl lying in it, Hermione stared daggers in that direction.
Lavender Brown. Lavender Bloody Brown, for god's sake! Hermione wasn't sure which was worse, getting her heart broken by Ron, or the fact that he'd broken it by sticking his tongue in Lavender Brown's mouth, the same girl who only the year before had actually believed Harry—Ron's best mate!—was a deranged liar trying to undermine the Ministry. The fact that Ron had taken up with her added insult to very painful injury.
I mean, at least if he'd taken up with Parvati, I could understand…she's nicer than Lavender, and smarter…she believed Harry all along and stood up to Umbridge…she…
Hermione felt the lump in her throat before she could suppress it, and tears welled up in her eyes, spilling over onto her cheeks.
It didn't matter who Ron took up with, because any other girl was not her. After all this time, all this waiting, all this patience and trying to get the point across to Ron, after finally reaching a point where she thought progress was in the cards for them—hadn't they already kissed once before? Weren't they to go to Slughorn's party together—Ron suddenly became beastly, treating her horribly for no reason whatsoever.
I hate him. I hate him.
I love him.
Hermione bit her lip but couldn't stem the flow of her tears. It just wasn't fair. Why couldn't she just forget about him? Why wouldn't he just disappear, go away, leave her in peace? Why couldn't she just hate him like she wanted to? Why did it tear her up inside just to look at him?
What, at long last, had gone wrong?
Every logical part of her screamed that she deserved better. Of course she did. Ron wasn't especially…well, he wasn't much of a hard worker, anyway. All he cared about was Quidditch and now, apparently, sucking face with bubble-headed twits who cooed and clung to him like a leach. His jokes weren't all that funny. In fact, they were very juvenile, now Hermione thought about it. His attempts at flirting with pretty girls—always with pretty girls—were sad.
I mean, look at how he acts around Fleur! Is that the sort of boyfriend you want?
He wasn't all that good looking, either. All right, so he'd grown a bit, and filled out a bit nicely and his red hair had always been shiny and thick and he had an appealing sort of smile and his eyes were a very clear, forget-me-not sort of blue and he looked rather handsome in his Quidditch gear but, really, all in all, he wasn't much to look at.
And his manners were horrible, and he was boorish, sailors used finer language than he did, and he was lazy and uncouth and rude and…
I love him anyway. I love that stupid, annoying, hateful, insensitive, shallow, adorable, loyal, funny, protective, lovable git and it's not fair because I'm bloody miserable and love shouldn't make people miserable!
She sobbed harder, forcing her tears out of herself, making her throat hurt, wanting to just get the crying over with so she could go to sleep.
Finally, her crying subsided. She lifted her head from her hands and saw it again, the box containing the instructions for her Daydream Charm. She suddenly decided she might as well use the damn thing. A daydream would surely cheer her up; weren't daydreams always a pleasant diversion? Yes, of course. They weren't like night-time dreams, when you had no control over anything.
She opened the box and found a small piece of parchment inside, and unrolled it.
'To use your Patented Daydream Charm, you must say the following incantation as you wave your wand in a quick circle above your head:
'Warning: correct wand movement and pronunciation are essential. In the event you make a mistake, be sure to seek medical attention within ten minutes, or risk dire, permanent damage.'
There was a drawing of a young wizard performing the wand movement. Hermione studied him for a moment, and then set down the little box with the instructions. She took a deep breath, picked her wand up from beneath her pillow, and pointed it upwards, above her head. With a quick, decisive circle, she said aloud, 'Somnium fortunare!'
There was a flash of light so bright Hermione worried she might wake her roommates, but just as she was about to check, she immediately forgot all about it, because Ron was there in front of her, on bended knee with tears in his eyes, begging her forgiveness as they stood in the empty common room…
'I'm so sorry,' he croaked, his voice choked with emotion. 'I was such an idiot, Hermione. It was always you. Lavender tricked me—she slipped a love potion in my pumpkin juice!'
'Oh, right,' said Hermione waspishly, folding her arms across her chest and turning away from him.
'Hermione, please,' Ron whimpered. 'I'm begging you. I love you. I've always loved you. I never said anything because I knew you were too good for me! Please don't hate me. I'll do anything to make it up to you. Anything you want!'
Hermione turned to him and eyed him. 'Anything?'
'Anything!' Ron begged, now throwing himself completely at her feet.
Hermione smiled down at him in satisfaction. He looked rather cute, lying prostrate before and begging her mercy. But then again, he had really made her suffer, so a little turn-about was in order. And there was Lavender to deal with…
'I'll think about it,' she said sharply. 'Meanwhile, get on your hands and knees, and stay like that.'
'Oh…oh, yes, I promise!' said Ron fervently, and he immediately got up on all fours. Hermione eyed him for a moment, all manner of wicked ideas stealing over her, some of them vengeful but some of them really quite scandalous. He looked very appealing in that position, with his bum sticking out, as though waiting for a spanking…
Stop that! Focus! Find Lavender!
So Hermione set off to do that, and naturally it was the easiest thing in the world, because Lavender was right there, gawping at Ron with a look of stunned disbelief.
'What's going on?' she screeched.
'What's going on,' said Hermione viciously, 'is that Ron is mine. He doesn't want you. Do you, Ron?'
'No!' Ron declared loudly. 'I only want you, Hermione. You and you alone!'
'See?' Hermione said triumphantly.
'But…but…' Lavender protested, pulling her hair out in tufts and crying in a way that made her nose run and her eyes puff up unattractively, '…Won Won…'
'Don't call me that, you stupid bint!' Ron snarled. 'I hate it, it's embarrassing! And by the way, you're a horrible kisser!'
'No!' Lavender wailed, stomping her feet and clutching at tufts of her hair (there were now some bald spots on her scalp).
'By the way, Lav Lav,' said Hermione coldly, 'Ron says you gave him some love potion. That's against school rules. I'm afraid I'm going to have to expel you.'
'You can't expel me!' Lavender shrieked. 'You're just a prefect!'
'You stupid twit, didn't you know I was made Headmistress?' Hermione snapped, and sure enough, there she was in Headmistress-type robes. 'Now get out of this school and never come back! Oh, and another thing…'
She pointed her wand at Lavender and waved it, and suddenly Lavender's face was covered in pus-filled boils.
Lavender gave a great scream and disappeared into thin air.
Hermione smiled triumphantly and turned to Ron, who was still on his hands and knees, looking a bit pathetic.
'Get up,' she ordered. Ron sprang up, wincing slightly at the pain in his knees.
'What do you want me to do?' he asked eagerly.
'You're going to the kitchens,' said Hermione. 'You're going to work with the house elves, for no pay, for a week. Then I'll forgive you. Maybe.'
'I'll go right now!' Ron cried, racing out of the common room. A week passed—very quickly, because after all, Hermione was somewhere in the Land of Perfect where everything was going her way—and Ron returned from the kitchens, where he had spent every moment there that he was not in lessons. He was grubby and tired but he beamed when he saw her.
'Hermione…' he said, his tone full of hope.
'You're a mess,' she snapped.
'You're right,' he said, and he took out his wand and said 'Scourgify.' A second later he was clean and no longer smelled faintly of bacon grease.
'Do you forgive me?' he asked.
Hermione eyed him critically, putting her chin in her hand, considering.
But suddenly Ron had grabbed her and pulled her close. She gave a squeal of protest and pushed at his chest but suddenly he was kissing her, kissing her so deeply and brilliantly and heatedly she could hardly stand.
'Oh, Ron…' she breathed, when they came up for air.
'I love you,' he said roughly, gripping her tightly as though never to let go. 'I need you. I'll never leave you again. Stay with me.'
'Yes…' she whispered, and he kissed her again and there was nothing sweet about it, it was hard and hungry and hot and she wanted more, she wanted everything…
'I need you,' he said again, and he suddenly swept her up in his arms. She gasped and then grabbed onto him, more excited than she'd ever been in her life, and then he suddenly tossed her and she landed on a huge, soft bed that just happened to be right there.
'Ron…' she said huskily, as he descended on her, kissing the very air from her lungs.
'I want you…' he murmured in her ear, before nibbling on it.
'Oh, god…' she moaned, and his hands were all over her and she didn't care, it felt so good and he was all hers…
'Say you're mine,' she said suddenly, her voice almost a snarl. 'Say it.'
'I'm yours,' Ron rasped, kissing her again. 'Always yours.'
'And you don't care about Lavender?' Hermione whispered, as he started to unbutton her blouse.
'Lavender who?' he said, pulling her blouse off and reaching around her back to start on her bra.
His hands felt so good on her bare skin; he was taking off her clothes and she was tearing at his and it was amazing…
'You're beautiful,' he whispered. 'So beautiful…I'm sorry for everything…I'll never hurt you again…I love you…'
Tears fell from her eyes. 'I love you, too.'
He was kissing her everywhere now, doing wicked things with his mouth that made her toes curl and her throat ache from moaning.
'Make love to me,' she begged, and he growled and descended on her again, he was inside her before she could stop him, not that she wanted to stop him, and he was moving with her and within her and she started to cry because it was so perfect, it felt so good, she'd always wanted him like this and there was nothing else but him and them.
'I love you,' Ron said again, right before they both reached a glorious climax that seemed to last hours and made every nerve ending in Hermione's body sing. He collapsed onto her and Hermione closed her eyes and breathed him in, holding him close, never wanting him to move…
She opened her eyes in her dark bedroom. She was alone. The daydream was over.
She felt a weak stab of pain in her heart, but she was simply too tired to cry now. Instead, she played over the daydream in her mind, every glorious minute of it, culminating in her and Ron making mad, passionate love…
Hermione felt her cheeks heat up, and then a giggle escaped her lips. Her first real giggle in a long time. Her heart still hurt badly, but the Daydream Charm had given her a little reprieve.
As she turned over and felt sleep dragging at her, she made a mental note to buy more of those Daydream Charms. They really were quite extraordinary magic.