This story was edited on 7-23-09 for grammar and minor stylistic adaptations. This is one of the few stories from 2006 that I look back on with some level of affection, so I hope you enjoy it, too.
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Ron's Point of View
I guess you could say I was a little jealous, the way she ran to him when she was upset. The way she gave him the kiss in our fourth year. The way she could hug him while only giving me, what? A handshake. She never seemed to notice how my eyes followed her every move, or the way I attempted to flirt with her. She was amazing in every way. I'm only ashamed that it took me so long to figure it out.
She was smart, brilliant, trustworthy, and noble—not to mention a little cocky at times, but I didn't mind. It was worth it just to see her smile when I did something stupid, or when I did something 'sweet' (which occurred far less often than it probably should). It was worth it just to see her at peace when she read in front of the fire on cold nights, wrapped up in a blanket, her feet tucked beneath her on an oversize sofa. I would watch her hungrily, never telling a soul how I felt. I was Ron Weasley, and she was something totally different. I was nervous, my grades weren't anything special, and I swore a lot—she was cool, confident, and just damn brilliant.
I didn't know what love felt like, so I couldn't say that I was in love. I figured when I was in love, I would know it, wouldn't I? I knew I didn't have love with Lavender—for the most part, she annoyed the hell out of me; nothing more than a distraction from what I was trying to avoid. It's not about kissing and touching or even having sex; it's about her and me. I was just afraid it would never be the way I imagined that it should be. From my brief time with Lavender, I'd developed a distorted perspective of love, and focused on it while, in the back of my mind, the actual emotion was beginning to grow. I didn't realize it at the time, but I was falling—and fast, at that.
I suppose you could say that it started in our fifth year—the love part, that is; I think I'd liked her already, even though I can't point out the exact moment. Before Harry arrived at Sirius' place, we would be stuck together for hours on end with nothing to do but enjoy each other's presence. We would clean together, and she would talk on end about random things: books, school, Harry, books, the Order, books… I wasn't really listening half the time. Mostly I was just staring and making comments such as, 'yeah' or 'uh huh'. The other half of the time, I would get into real conversations with her, and we would actually bond. It was kind of strange at first, but then it came naturally. I think it might Harry might have been a little weirded out by it when he first noticed. I know I was.
I remember one time we were cleaning in a rather disgusting room at Order headquarters, when she tripped over a huge book—and I actually caught her! She smiled at me, and I melted. All I could do was stutter, feeling stupid because I could feel my ears turning red and I was sure that it was obvious. From then on, things sort of changed. She'd touch my arm, and I'd tingle all over. Sometimes I'd get the chills, and I think she could tell. One time, I think she might have touched my butt, but I acted like I didn't notice.
I thought that I would die when I held her in my arms for the first time—at the funeral. I was sad—crying, actually—but holding her was more important than maintaining an image. After that, things were even more different that they had been before. I remember everything. It all seems to play in slow motion. I couldn't ever tell her how I felt; I was afraid of rejection, like I was afraid of spiders. (No, never mind, I'm not afraid of spiders. I just don't like them.) Anyway, I couldn't tell her how I felt, because love is a strong word, and I curse under my breath as I picture myself saying it; it just sounds so lame. Not like Ron at all.
I watch her now, at the reception of Fleur and Bill's wedding. She's standing there, stunning in all her silk and hair stuff, and George approaches her. I can't hear them—I'm too far away, but I can see as he holds out his hand, as she giggles and takes it. They begin to dance in a lively manner, and I can feel blood rush to my face in a combination of envy and humiliation. My own brother can ask her to dance, but I can't even bring myself to tell her that she cleans up well (although I can't see her reacting well to that comment anyway). Harry asks me why I'm scowling, but I just grumble about eating too much cake. He tells me I should ask her to dance, and I give him an awkward look, one that explains my horror at being discovered for the coward that I am. He tells me it's my choice, then gets up to ask Ginny to dance. I know he's right—maybe I'll do it later, when she's by herself.
George has just parted ways with her, and I am shaking. I want to tell her how much I care, but I can't just walk up to her and tell her. However, I suppose asking her to dance is the right thing to do; after all, I owe her a dance or two, after all the grief I've given her over the years. I get out of my chair and stumble slightly, my ears going red. I regain my composure and casually walk over to the punchbowl, pick up the ladle—no. I put it down again and shake my head. I can feel her eyes on my neck, and it sends a strange chill down my back and shoulders. I look up and see her chatting with Harry and Ginny, but as Harry catches my eye he pulls Ginny away and Hermione is alone again.
I am walking over to Hermione, and she sees me. I feel my face go scarlet as I ask her to dance, and she blushes. Then, to my surprise, she agrees.
I'm not much of a dancer; I step on her foot and she winces. I apologize, she tells me not to worry about it. I think of all the things I want to say; about my love for her, about how badly I want her. Instead, I talk about small things, like Harry, or Fleur and Bill. She talks back, and I like to hear her voice. I am just one big chill; her hand is on my shoulder, and my hand is on her waist, where the dress's silk seam meets the bare skin of her back. We've never been in such close contact before. Our other hands are entwined together, and my palms are sweating at our proximity.
I want to say something, something smart, but all I can manage is to compliment her dress. She blushes again, brown eyes on mine. I can't stand it anymore. Our faces are close, our foreheads are together; eyes upon each other. I tuck a loose strand of hair that has escaped from her bun behind her ear—it is all merely procrastination. I utter the words I want to speak the most very quietly, almost a whisper. Ashamed, I close my eyes, and prepare for the worst. To my surprise, I feel soft lips upon my own, I hear the reply I dreamed about coming from the mouth that had been on mine merely seconds before. I open my eyes and gape for a moment, unsure if I had heard correctly.
She giggles as I curse in disbelief, then as I apologize for cursing, and I can't help but smile. I kiss her, passionately, lovingly, with every emotion I have felt for her over the years, and she kisses me back.
And suddenly, without warning, I feel those sparks that I had wondered about before, felt the touch from the bookworm that I—Ronald Weasley—love with all of my soul. She tells me again, and we are wrapped in our own world, not even noticing the stares of the people, my mother smiling broadly, Harry clapping, Fred and George already preparing to make fun of us; my head is too full of a six year-built proclamation.
I love you.
I love you.
I love you.