A/N It is now Ron Weasley's 27th birthday in England. He is my muse. It is also ShyGryf's birthday (though in America it's not the 1st yet!) and she told me she'd like to see an outtake from my Lost in Parasomnia Universe.
Isn't the world a better place with Ron in it?
It was such a simple movement, pushing the floating silver hoop up Ron's arm and letting it hover around his bicep, and yet it was coming to mean more and more to her each time she did it.
She had always frowned at the idea of wedding rings, a symbol of ownership that told the rest of the world 'This is mine' rather than a symbol of love. She didn't think ownership had anything to do with true bonding. She hated hearing people talking about their boyfriends or 'their man'; you found a partner and shared a partnership. It was a loving union of body and soul and not a claim on somebody.
Lavender had practically peed around Ron, kissed him at every opportunity, and draped herself across him like a shawl and all for what? It was all a display of ownership. Ron was hers and everybody had to keep their distance while still looking enviously and wishing they had what she had with her Won-Won.
It had made Hermione burn inside to witness the display.
Ron didn't belong to her. Ron couldn't belong to anyone. Ron was wild and untameable. He had so much fight and energy and passion that couldn't be contained. Ron wasn't one for fences or walls, he didn't adhere to restrictions or limitations, and watching him with Lavender was like watching a mighty Golden Eagle having its wings clipped so it could never soar the skies.
Ron so loved to fly.
She had loved his free spirit and rejoiced when he escaped Lavender's controlling embrace. Now she was becoming just as bad, no...worse. She was ten times worse and she was craving every second of control she had over him. It was as if she was going through withdrawal symptoms when the silver hoops weren't binding them together through the magical bond of blood.
He could be spirited away from her again if she didn't have him tethered to her. He was able to leave her when he wasn't wearing that floating hoop around his arm. He would leave her and come back hurt, terrified, broken and every night that passed a little piece of his seemed to disappear. Her beloved Ron was still there, smiling tiredly at her, but inside he was dissolving away. He'd become an empty shell and still she would cling to him.
He was hers you see? He belonged to her. Hermione Granger owned Ron Weasley.
She had put in too much time, hard work, and so much of herself that she felt as if she was emptying at the same rate he was. He was drained inside and out and she would lift that silver hoop to his arm and he would let hr put it on as if he was just shaking her hand in a friendly gesture.
It was the look of trust in his eyes that broke her heart. He would give up his freedom without a second thought because it was her asking him to do it.
"Why are you pullin' that face Min?" Ron's tired voice rumbled as his long finger stroked between her eyebrows and down her nose.
"What face is that?" She asked him with a sad smile at that new pet name he'd picked up from Ivor in Wales.
"The one that makes your eyebrows touch in the middle."
Ron cupped her face with his large gentle hand. She kissed his palm, still rough from the digging he'd had to do not so long ago, and her eyes stung at the reminder of how bad things could go when she didn't have him bound to her.
"I'm thinking about what I'd do if you ever left me," she said with a crack in her voice.
Ron leaned into her hand and sighed deeply.
"I don't want to leave you."
She fell into him and they held each other until Harry came back and settled down upon his sleeping bag. That was another thing she hated about her addiction to the hoops, her overwhelming need to bind Ron to her so tightly that some mornings he woke up unable to move at all, the look Harry would give her as she breezily made up some silly reason to put the hoops on.
He would watch her with narrow eyes and pull her aside to demand to know why she was treating Ron like a dog on a short lead. She had no answer. She was frightened of what she felt when they weren't bound together and hated how complete she felt when they were.
She'd kept him in his bed back at the Burrow while she was on the other side of the country and didn't even know she was doing it. She'd seen him in the doorway and wanted him in her arms so much he had been magically dragged across the floor on his knees until her arms were around him. Every time Harry would throw a look at her; warning her that her control over Ron was not in control at all; while Ron would laugh and make some comment about feeling wanted.
She did want him. She wanted him safe. She wanted him at her side and she wanted never to lose him as it seemed she inevitably would do.
"Um..." Ron said, slightly awkwardly into her hair, "Planning on letting me go any time soon Min?"
Hermione released him from their hug but Ron was still sitting up and leaning at an odd angle, his face contorted in discomfort.
"Oh my...I'm sorry!" Hermione said as she made her subconscious release Ron from the frozen state she had forced him to hold with the power of the bond of blood.
Ron relaxed and loosened his shoulders.
"'S okay, I'm getting used to it!" he said with a grin.
"No," she said quickly, "you shouldn't have to get used to it. It's like a choke chain around your neck and I hate it! I hate that I can't stop myself from tugging on it every few minutes to reassure myself that I've still got you under control."
She hid her face in her hands.
"Oh I just hate myself for what I just said, for who I've become...I'm worse than Lavender!"
Ron looked stricken and his hand dropped away from her back where it had been gently rubbing in a comforting motion.
"Why? You didn't get me jewellery did you? I mean the hoop's one thing but..."
Hermione looked up through tear filled eyes and saw him smirking at her. She choked out a relieved laugh and hear Harry chuckling behind her.
"Oh come here you twit!" Hermione said as she melted back into his chest and held him until they drifted off to sleep.
There was one big difference between her and all those control freak girls who claimed ownership of their partner.
At least she felt guilty about it.