I guess it is part of a journey when you start to fall in love with someone--from the first eye-contact to the electrifying kiss that lets you know that there is something there that is worth exploring. One such event happened to Hermione Granger at the beginning of her seventh year at Hogwarts, though at the time she would have never dreamt of such a thing happening.

Hermione had always assumed that it would be the youngest male Weasley that would own her heart, but it was more than apparent that that would never come to fruition. Sure, at the end of the war, he had made his promises to be a better friend, to try to be a good partner for her, but it had only lasted until she had decided to go back for her final year, something that he was not keen on doing. The few months that they had tried a relationship had been rocky at best, and those that knew them well, soon discovered that this was not the love match all had assumed. At the end of the summer, just before classes were due to commence, Harry had prodded her to do right by herself and just end her relationship with Ron before anger consumed their friendship. Surprised by Harry's advice, she followed through with it, knowing that things would turn out alright in the end. After all, she did trust him immensely and he kind of had a sixth sense when it came to relationships - who knew.

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Two weeks before classes would start, she decided to make her move and talk with Ron to see where he stood in all of this.

'Ron, might I have a word with you?' Hermione said, trying to sound as calm as she possibly could.

'Sure, love, take a seat and we'll 'ave a little chat.' Ron gestured to the seat next to his in the kitchen at the Burrow.

'Perhaps somewhere more private would suit better, Ron.'

'Oh ok. How 'bout we take a walk in the garden? The weather is fairly nice today for a walk.'

Outside suited Hermione just fine, mainly because she knew that this conversation could take a turn for the worse and she did not fancy all of the Weasleys hearing a potential row. They both exited the house, and as soon as they were outdoors, Ron tried to take her hand in his, but she withdrew.

'Mione, what's goin' on? You almost always take my hand when we go on walks,' Ron said curiously.

He mildly shook his head at her odd behaviour and said, 'Then talk.'

'I am not really sure of how to say this, but this... us... it doesn't feel right,' Hermione choked out.

'I'm not sure what you mean.' Ron said in a disbelieving voice.

'Us, Ron. I am not sure that we as a couple make much sense anymore.'

'That can't be true, 'Mione. We make as much sense as Harry and Ginny do. I know that they were made for each other, and we could be too if we take a bit of time.'

'No, Ron, we are so very different from each other, and we constantly row at the drop of a hat. Don't you see that is not normal for a couple to do?'

'I-I can change, I promise,' Ron said, pleadingly.

' have no doubt that you can, Ron, but the thing is, I am not sure that I can.'

As soon as the words left her mouth, she knew that she had spoken the truth. Just too much had happened for her to change to make this work between them. 'Why not? Everyone can change if they want to, so I guess the better question is, Hermione, why don't you want to change to make us work?'

'It is not that I do not want to change, Ron, it is the fact that I have changed too much for us to make sense anymore. We want different things, we fight too much, and the space between us is too great to bridge. Why do you think it took so long for us to even try to have a relationship? These reasons have always been there for us... our issues are the same as when we began. Nothing has changed for us, except for perhaps the war.' Hermione desperately wanted him to see the truth of the matter and not think that she was just tired of being with him. So far it was a losing battle.

'That may very well be true, but I thought that we could evolve past those issues, Hermione. We are not kids anymore. Things change all the time and just because we have those problems now, does not mean that we will always have them≈we can work through this.'

'There are just some things that cannot be worked though, don't you see that? Those issues cannot be repaired.'

'I see what is going on, Hermione, you just don't want me anymore. You have evolved past me because you think that I cannot be enough for you!' Ron nearly screamed.

It is not that at all! Don't you see, it is all of this anger that is tearing at us, and you always assume the worst of me. You think that I did not want us to work?' Hermione was getting very upset.

'It certainly appears that way!'

'Haven't you learned that things are not always what they seem, Ron? Did it never occur to you that I actually wanted us to work out, that I had plans on being with you, and maybe one day if I was lucky, to be your wife? I wanted that, Ron, I really did, but there is just not enough here to make a life for us.'

'I never knew. But we could still try for that.'

'The thing is, we have tried, Ron, and it is just not there for us. Can't you just be content with being my friend?'

Ron hung his head and stared at the ground, trying to avoid the tears welling in his eyes. He did not want to believe that this was coming to an end. Sure, they fought, and had different goals, and there were times that the distance between them could fill an ocean, but he thought that could be gotten around or would work itself out in time, but it had not. Now she wanted to be rid of him because it was too hard, but weren't couples supposed to stick together through things like this? Hadn't his mum and dad been a shining example for him of what a life with a partner could be? He wanted to have that with someone, and thought that if it was truly possible, that person could be Hermione. But after the words that had just tumbled from her lips, that dream slipped away into the ether.

'I just don't know if I can, Hermione. How can I go from holding you and kissing you, to just being your friend again? How could I even look at you with nothing but platonic friendship in my eyes when I have been through so much with you?'

'I don't know, Ron, but we have to. I can't lose you as a friend... I don't want to lose you just because we failed at a relationship.' Hermione was feeling so utterly helpless. 'Look at me, Ron, and tell me that we can get past this.'

'I can't look at you right now, Hermione. I just have to go,' Ron spoke in a low crumbling and defeated voice.

'Ron, don't go, please.' Tears were streaming down her face as he Disapparated to some unknown location.

If she had known that things would have turned out like this, she would have found another way around it, but somewhere in the back of her mind, there was a reassuring voice that told her that it was less painful to do it this way then to wait until they were further attached to one another.

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This had not gone well, not at all. She thought that he would understand, that he had felt all that she did, but judging from his reaction, he did not. She had counted on him being able to be strong and set aside his romantic feelings in favour of saving their friendship, but she had expected too much from him.

How could he have thought that they could evolve beyond such problems in their relationship? Sure, they were strong, but they were not superhuman. Some things could just not be fixed, and this was one of them.

Hermione was hurt by him leaving on such a note, but he had to do what was right for him. If he could not bear to be around her for a little while, she could deal with that, but for him to stay away would nearly eat her alive. She hated to think it, but this felt surreal and very permanent, though emotions had a way of distorting facts. Maybe if he was given a little time, he would come around and things would be alright again. She could only hope that she was correct in making this decision, but only time would reveal the truth.