I had run. On the night when the rest of the Wizarding world was celebrating the defeat over Voldemort, I was left crying alone with the news of my parents' death at my feet. Being the high-profile friend of Harry Potter had its' price and it was a price that had followed me ever since I met the boy but it was only then that I had truly felt like I had reaped it. I watched the Healers look up at me solemnly with dirt and blood smeared on my cheeks, torn clothes, and an overall disheveled appearance as my parents lied still in the magical beds…beds they looked so out of place in I stood contemplating the guilt I knew I would forever feel for having gotten them involved with such things. So that night, without saying goodbye to those I held most dear, I packed up minimal amounts of my belongings, and ran like a coward to the furthest place from England; I ran to the States.
Two years later and I still don't remember how I ended up in this little town of Texas, applying an extra coat of paint to my back-door as the heat had chipped most if it away from the poor paint job it had previously received. I hadn't touched magic since that night two years ago and found I settled quite comfortably into a muggle life without the constant fear and strain of what magic came with hovering over me. I had some music on low and even with a light breeze and shorts on I was still sweating heavily as I stood barefoot on my back porch. The people had taken me in warmly and with a bit of curiousness at my accent but soon the novelty wore off and I was simply a member of this quaint town but I still was unable to call it home as I knew pieces of me weren't able to live in this new little house I had bought and fixed up. I worked as a math teacher at the local, actually the only, high school and had a small group of companions I could call on now and then but it was always late at night when memories of my old life resurfaced, namely of the man I had fallen in love with. Ronald Weasley. It was with sadness, however, that I realized such feelings weren't returned when I happened upon him and Rhiannon, a woman he worked with, snogging out back of the pub a group of us frequented on certain nights. Even after that night I was unable to just set my feelings aside for the man, it was like a constant ache that I grew accustomed to whenever I saw him, spoke to him, or heard his name in passing. I knew my love for him would have to be tucked away some day in order for me to fully give myself a chance at a full life but I knew it would never diminish.
Now and then I'd consider going back for a brief visit, just to see and make sure he was going on alright without me and my unannounced departure and that he was happy. And then the memories of that night would surface and I'd find myself rolling back over and bringing the covers up tighter around my chin to ward away such thoughts, myself unable to determine why I wasn't able to face him again. He was my friend after all, one of my closest, and although my love was unrequited he was still Ron Weasley, the boy I first met by looking for a toad. Sighing and telling myself these things were meant to be thought of only at night, I wiped my forehead free of sweat with my arm and let the paintbrush fall back into it's can before making my way back inside my cozy home.
A knock on the door had my eyebrows furrowing together as most who knew where I lived just helped themselves in, a fact of this small town that had taken me time to adjust to given my back ground. Wiping my hands on my shorts, I leaned forward and opened the door and my last thought before I saw who was on the other side was that I really needed a screen door. My heart stopped and sped up all at once as my eyes widened and watered for some reason as I stared at the angered face of Ron who was leaning against the side railing of my porch, jaw clenched and body tense as he stared at me heatedly with anger in his eyes.
"Ron…" I whispered in nothing less but quite more than shock.
"Hermione." He bit out and my body started at my name coming from his mouth…Merlin how I had missed his deep voice.
Unable to think of anything else to say, I just flapped my arms around for a bit as he stared unflinchingly at me and I noticed his form was nicely outlined in a simple white shirt with dark trousers.
"What are you doing here?" I finally asked breathlessly and my eyes widened when his narrowed and he all but growled out,
"I could ask you the same bloody question, couldn't I?"
Without waiting, he pushed off from the railing and was standing entirely too close to me a moment later and I was able to fully see the fury in his eyes with his arms still crossed over his chest.
"Ron…" I began again but was unable to say much else before he raised his eyebrows and said with a nod towards my house,
"You going to invite me in then, or are we going to wait out here all night?"
Clearing my throat I went back inside my house and held the door back for him, sucking in a breath when his body brushed against mine as I was able to see how tall and broad he had become. It was such an insignificant thing, but I felt like if I just had a pair of trainers on, I'd be much more competent and secure at the moment. Without waiting, he took a seat on the couch and leaned forward still intently staring at me causing color to stain my cheeks when his eyes traveled my legs and then back up to meet my confused eyes.
"What are you doing here?" I asked once more, leaning against the wall as I was too afraid of the effect he had over me to sit down next to him.
He didn't answer and continued staring at me making me shift uneasily as the soft music and heat wrapped around us making things seem slightly dazed. He leaned back slowly and I saw his jaw tense even more before he told me,
"You left. You didn't even pluck up the damn courage to say goodbye, why?"
Feeling anger stir in my chest that the one person who could remind me of all reasons why I felt the need to leave had come to my house unannounced and drudge up old memories I replied testily,
"Need I remind you that you are in my house and that entitles me to be making inquiries, not you?"
His eyes narrowed again and I felt heat come to my stomach at such a look that I turned on my heel and left for the kitchen to get a glass of water but was stopped, shockingly at the speed, when his arm cut out in front of me and slammed onto the other wall effectively blocking off my movement.
"I think you've done enough running for the both of us there love."
Turning, I glared at him before ducking underneath his arm to get away from his nearness as I opened my fridge to grab a bottle of water and as I went to close the door, I could feel him standing directly behind me, sending my body into frenzy.
"Why did you leave?" He asked and I could hear his voice had lowered quite a bit.
"I just needed to get away Ron, that's all." I whispered and turned around, my eyes wide when I saw how close he indeed had become.
"And from what exactly was that?" He asked forcefully, taking a step closer to me so we were almost nose-to-nose.
"My parents died that night Ronald and I just wanted to get away alright!? I just wanted to get away from all of it and finally live my life without the ever pressing burden of death and pain hanging on our shoulders!" I shouted defensively but sucked in a breath when his arms came up and he slammed his hands onto the fridge against either side of my head effectively trapping me in.
"No, it's not bloody alright Hermione! I was left there wondering what in the hell had happened to you, not knowing if you had died or worse and then I find you had ended up here in the States of all places."
"It was my choice and I don't need you permission to make my choices." I seethed at him, not liking the way my body was heating up at his proximity.
"You could have said goodbye, could have written a letter before you left, could have sent an owl…" He began angrily but I cut in sharply with,
"I don't use Magic anymore."
He stilled and his eyes focused on mine, unblinking and hard before his mouth formed into a tight line and we were left standing there for a few moments with just the sound of the music and our harsh breathing filling the room.
"So that's it then eh? You just decided to wash your hands from everything pertaining to Magic and move on while the rest of us about lost our bloody minds with worry."
"I'm sure you were fine and well after a few days, don't extend such a tale just so you can make me feel like I owe you an apology…"
"Two years Hermione. Two years I sat at night on my bed wondering if I'd ever see you again, if I'd ever hear you voice, or hold you again. I felt like I had died that day when no one was able to find sight of you and your belongings were missing."
"I didn't intentionally set out to hurt you by not saying good-bye Ron, it was just something I needed to do." It was the only thing I was capable of thinking to say at this moment.
"It wasn't you not saying good-bye that pained me and even if you had said good-bye it wouldn't have hurt any less Hermione, you fucking leaving is what killed me. It's what will always damn well kill me no matter the distance, time, or advanced notice."
It wasn't his language that caused me to pause; it was the intensity of his statement as he looked down at me with dark eyes causing my heart to race as I let my mouth open a bit in surprise. I had thought I put away the feelings I harbored for this man in front of me, but with him looking at me the way he was they all came rushing back to me that I had to lean against the refrigerator in order to remain standing.
"I'm sorry Ron, I didn't mean to put you through…" I began but he stopped me by wrapping his hands around my waist and pulling my upwards and crashed his lips against mine in a demanding and needful kiss that took my breath away. He controlled the motion of my body as he demanded submission while all I was able to do was cling to him for support at the avalanche of emotions that came pouring down on top of me. He pulled quickly and looked me in the eyes while breathing heavily,
"I love you, don't ever put me through something like this again."
Gripping his arms for balance from shock of his declaration, I felt his arm muscles flex underneath my touch as he backed me up further against the refrigerator and pressed his body closer against mine to hold me still. His lips softened slightly against mine as fire sizzled in my stomach from having him so close while his hand came up and gripped the back of my neck with his thumb pressing lightly against my ear. Groaning as his lips swirled around mine, I opened my mouth a bit and licked the seam of his lips causing the possessive hand on my waist to tighten and his teeth to nip at my own lips. My arms came up and wrapped securely around his neck as he pressed against me fully while we memorized the taste and feel of each other while my bare legs pressed against his clothed clad ones and the firmness of his chest held fast against my own curves.
He pulled away to breathe but out lips remained lightly touching as our chests heaved against each others and our hands continued to run over each others' body, not willing to lose contact.
"That was nice." I whispered dazed against his mouth and closed my eyes when he chuckled and I was able to feel the vibrations against my own body.
"Where's your bedroom?" He asked huskily making my heart begin to race as my body throbbed.
"Up the stairs on the right, why?" I asked breathlessly, clinging to his shoulders before squealing in surprise and delight when he bent one knee and scooped me up over his shoulder telling me,
"Because I've got two years worth of issues I need to discuss with you. And I don't suspect many words will be used to do it."
A thrill went through me as he continued upwards towards the stairs, me still hanging over his strong shoulder, helpless to do much but hold on for the ride.