A/N: Thanks so much to my wonderful beta, EmmaleeWrites05. I forgot to thank her last story, and I felt like such a jerk! Thanks to all who read and reviewed my last story, A Slap in the Face. You've inspired me to keep writing, thanks! Also, thanks to all of you guys who added alerts for me. Wow, I'm so flattered!!! Now, on to the story...
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter, but I do wish I owned Ron... even when he acts so moody and irrationally.
"You go!" said Hermione, blinking back tears. "I'm sick of Ron at the moment, I don't know what I'm supposed to have done…" HBP, pg. 355, UK edition.
More than angry, she was confused. Ron's behavior was sharp and unwarranted… at least in her eyes. Hermione brushed the tears off her cheeks, and instead of reaching for a trusty book, she stared at the canopy of her bed. The longer she thought about how Ron had be acting over the last few days, with pointed silences and a certain air of misery, the more she couldn't make sense of it.
She had caught him staring at her several times at the Gryffindor table. He often had an unreadable expression on his face. Whenever he'd catch her looking back, he would jerk his eyes away quickly and scowl at the table.
Hermione just didn't know what on earth she had done. What she might have said. Especially in the wake of her invitation to go to Slughorn's party together. He had accepted. He had seemed so… pleased, and so was she. At least she had been. Now, it hurt, dreadfully. The excitement and anticipation had faded away, and the hope she'd held of them becoming… something… had very nearly died. She wanted to believe that this thing with Ron was just a temporary setback. But something told her that wasn't it.
This was worse than any other fight they'd ever had before. Except this wasn't a fight. There had been no melt-down, no combustion, no burst of anger that culminated in any row or battle of words. Hermione now found herself in tears almost daily, alone in her bed, silencing charms cast around her so no one could hear her. It was worse than if he had shouted at her. It was nearly worse than if they'd had a falling out, an explosive fight.
She just couldn't figure out his anger. It ate away at her. It hurt in places it shouldn't have… her heart, her body, her soul. What she didn't realize was that the ache would deepen and the hurt would cut even more sharply after a fateful Quidditch match.