Hermione's wedding is fast approaching and she is having second thoughts.
"I'm tired of trying, sick of crying, I know I've been smiling, but inside I'm dying"
"You're not happy," he said plainly. Hermione winced. He said it so frankly as if he could read her mind.
"Why do you say that Viktor?"
"I can tell Hermione, the eyes are the windows to your soul, Dumbledore told me that once," he said honestly.
She knew she wasn't the master of deception and for once, wished that Dumbledore hadn't taught Viktor so much. Ever since he had moved to Hogwarts in her sixth year, Dumbledore had taught him fluent English among other things.
She could still remember the day he had pronounced her name perfectly, she had been happy then.
Hermione's years at Hogwarts had been blissful and full of wandering and exploring with her two best friends, and later her boyfriend. Viktor was in some ways just like Harry and Ron, he was loving, overprotective and very understanding. But in other ways, her best friends Harry and Ron could not be replaced, they were irreplaceable.
It was hard to believe that six years had passed since her graduation from Hogwarts. She was sure she could still remember the password to her seventh year head dorm. All in all, Hermione had aged significantly over the last six years mostly mentally and emotionally. She found new friends and lost some old friends. Ron, in particular was one friend she had lost who she knew could never be replaced.
At first, the news of Viktor Krum, the famous Bulgarian Quidditch player coming to the Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry had made London abuzz with gossip. Students had petty quarrels over what house Krum would be put in. Teachers began asking Dumbledore to schedule the celebrity in their classes and teenage girls in sixth and seventh year started giggling in hallways.
On the other hand, Harry, Ron and Hermione were a fluster of emotions. Hermione was excited and obviously pleased with her friend coming to Hogwarts. Harry was neutral and was acquainted and friendly with Viktor because of the Triwizard Cup.
Ron decided to hide his feelings, and only let his true feelings show when he warned Hermione not to 'fraternize with the enemy.'
Ron's jealousy only grew worse by the time Krum actually came to Hogwarts for he was sorted into the house of Gryffindor because the Sorting Hat thought he had great courage and was pleased. Harry was surprised. Ron was mad.
It was true that Hermione always knew that Ron had a crush on her but she never knew how much he actually cared for her. She found out eventually though as Ron's attitude toward her began to increasingly change. Harry seemed to be the only person who stopped Ron and Hermione from clashing head-on and causing chaos.
Hermione could not even bear to think of the day Ron found out about her and Viktor. He had been furious. She recalled that Ron made no attempt at being friendly to Viktor and constantly made nasty comments directed towards him such as dog, foreigner, enemy, oaf, giant, and so on.
Ron even found some followers who hated Krum as well but he never found enough to actually hurt Viktor.
Hermione and Viktor hadn't initially thought of keeping their budding relationship secret at Hogwarts, it just sort of happened. It was probably because of Ron. She remembered that he had stopped talking to her for weeks after he found out. But she knew that he still cared for her, for he was always dropping little hints here and there. There was one incident for example, when Malfoy had transfigured her into a beaver. It had been humiliating. The next day, she found out that a transfigured ferret Malfoy had been seen bouncing around Hagrid's garden.
It was Ron's work, she was told.
"Earth to Hermione," shouted a familiar voice. Hermione looked up. She had completely forgotten that Viktor was talking to her.
"You were thinking about something that you want to tell me?" he said calmly and hopefully. "I want answers Hermione; do you really want to have this marriage?" Hermione sighed again. She didn't know what to say. That horrible last day at Hogwarts kept replaying over and over in her head. Ever since, Viktor had proposed to her, the day just kept reappearing in her dreams and daydreams.
It had been the last day of Hogwarts, the very last day with Ron.
Ron had been clearly upset on their final goodbyes at Hogwarts. Hermione had spent the graduation dinner and dance with Viktor but she wasn't blind. Ron had sulked. He hadn't bothered getting a date or even shaving. He had been a trainwreck, as his mother put it when she wrote her a letter.
Ron's been awfully sad these past few months. I can sense it, I know he's had a couple of downs but it's never been like this. He's a trainwreck. I tried to get it out of him on Easter Break but he wouldn't tell me what the matter was. He's my son, and I am his mother. Someday you will understand that a mother's ultimate goal in life is the happiness of their children. I want Ronald to be happy and I am sure you do too. Please coax his problems out of him and help him. Please, Hermione, I believe you are the only one who can.
Tears had fallen upon the letter when Hermione had read it. In fact, she still had the tear-soaked letter and wished that she had done what Mrs. Weasley had asked. Instead, she had gone back to her joyous life with Viktor.
Ron had loved her, it had been obvious.
"What's you problem Ron? Telling Viktor to go away was very rude!"
"I wanted us to be alone"
"I can see that, what do you want?"
"To talk to you, Hermione"
"There is no us, Ron, there's me and there's you, no us!"
"Well, there used to be, before that dog came"
"His name is Viktor"
"Interesting, most people name their dogs…."
"Listen to me…"
"I don't want to listen to you insulting Viktor"
"I won't then. I just want to tell you something real important"
"Say it then, Dumbledore's about to make his graduation speech"
"I love you Hermione Granger, always did, always will"
Hermione had been shocked momentarily for he never mouthed the words. After her brief shock, she had snubbed him and Viktor had come to the rescue. Ron had argued and cursed, the teachers had to break up a fight between Ron and Viktor. Hermione had watched sadly, and then forgotten about it.
She had taken Ron's friendship and love for granted.
He had sworn his love and loyalty to her and she had slapped him in the face.
"Please tell me Hermione. We promised to tell each other everything. Tell me what's on your mind," Viktor said impatiently. Hermione sighed for the third and last time.
"It's Ron, I can't stop thinking about him. It was my fault. It wouldn't have happened if I had just been more …." Hermione broke down into tears as Viktor tried to desperately comfort her.
"It's not your fault, he had other options. Ron's suicide was his own choice. You couldn't have stopped it from happening."
"It was not your fault," he repeated.
Hermione broke into fresh tears. It had been her fault and she knew it.
Author's Note: I actually don't believe Ron would do something that rash, he's a strong character! Obviously this is non-canon! Anyway, please leave a review and tell me what you thought! :)