Until You Love Me

Chapter Eight: Expectant Intruder

General POV

He wouldn't have done it, Ron simply knew he wouldn't have… he wouldn't have been able to really go through with it. He would never really be able to rape Hermione. He was just trying to see that, if, maybe she did posses any feelings for him. He never meant to scare her the way he did. He never meant to hurt her the way he did…

He loved her, and he just wanted to show her. He would have stopped before it went too far, but now how could he possibly explain that to anybody when they had all seen what he meant for no one to witness? When they had seen what he had never meant to let happen?

If she had just kissed him, once, or told him she loved him, once. That would have been enough, he would have stopped. All he wanted was to know was that she felt if at all, a little bit of the same thing towards him that he felt towards her. But after that… after all of that it was beyond one-hundred percent clear that she had absolutely no romantic feelings towards him whatsoever, hidden or surfaced.

She loved Cedric, Cedric was the one she wanted… perfect Prefect, Quidditch Captain, Seeker, tall, handsome, older, dreamy-eyed Cedric Diggory. So why would she want simple red-haired, chess-playing, insignificant Ron Weasley? She already had as perfect as you can get…

Ron rolled onto his side and opened his eyes and looked at his darkened drapes surrounding his bed and let out a sigh; he had to tell Cedric, before anyone else had the chance to explain to him something that was completely inaccurate. He was never able to tell anybody what he was really doing; they never gave him the chance to finish what he had begun saying…

"Hermione, you know I love you… you know I would have never really gone through with it, don't you? I would never do anything to you like that. I know what it looks like, and how I was acting… but you have to understand, all I wanted was to know that, if maybe you felt a little bit of the same thing for me that I feel towards you. All I wanted was to hear that you loved me, or even if only once feel your lips against mine, and because you wanted to. Not because I asked you to or because I forced mine onto yours… I just wanted to see if you loved me at all the way you love him. I would have never let it go any further than what had already happened, see, I would have never actually raped you Hermione. I just wanted to see if you, at all…

"But now I can see you don't. You love Cedric, and I know he loves you… and I'm just going to have to be alright with that from now on, and I promise I will be. I am so sorry Hermione… please forgive me… please."

Maybe they would have believed him, maybe she would have… but there was no way of knowing anything now. And besides, her wrist was probably sprained because of him, so why should they?

He was so stupid! She was crying, begging, screaming for him to stop, but he didn't… Why hadn't he? Why did he have to be so bloody thick in thinking pushing her farther would change anything when there was in the first place clearly nothing to change?

She loved him, Cedric, and Ron knew it. He had known it since the two of them had gone out on that picnic together; since she came back beaming from it. She looked so happy ever since Cedric had come into her life, and Ron just refused to believe it. He had loved her, too, only the problem with him is that he just spoke up too late.

He'd yelled at her, told her she was being stupid and selfish, when really he was being the stupid and selfish one. He couldn't stand to see her happy with anybody else… and so he tried to make her suffer with him.

And as many times he'd tried convincing himself he hated Cedric, he didn't. There was no denying it anymore; if anything, he loved the guy like he loved any of his other friends… maybe even more so. He was able to make Hermione smile when that was the one thing he was never able to do for the past three years of knowing her. I mean sure, he could make her laugh, but Cedric could make her smile. He could make her smile after only a second of being with her, after she had been crying for hours…

And how could you hate someone who had the ability to do that?

Ron sat up slowly and pulled the curtains open while dropping his feet to the floor, and placed his feet into his untidily-laced shoes and stood up, and then made his way down the spiral staircase and headed for the common room.

Cedric's POV

"Still garden," I repeated shrilly to the dozing off fat lady. "STILL GARDEN!"

"Yes, yes, yes! I heard you the first half dozen times dear." She mumbled sleepily.

"Then why won't you let me through?" I demanded with shaking, clenched fists.

"Because, I can't have people sneaking in here that do not belong. It is my duty, as guard to those in Gryffindor House to sustain a safe environment for them, and to be sure no one is using that clever little trick of polyjuice potion, of course. And, so, I have devised a new password, which will take effect twenty minutes ago!

"Now, run along to your own house! It is late, and not just you living breathing humans need rest, you know. Now off you go!"

"Really, you have seen me a hundred times, you know who I am and I know the old password. Now let me through!"

"A hundred times is it?" She wondered. "Well, then, clearly I have not changed it enough have I? Perhaps a more frequent change is in order; I seem to have been going lax on security lately."

"Honestly, you big, stupid, fat, ugly, woman," I had lost my already too-thin patience. "You know bloody well who I am, so let me through. My girlfriend was almost raped in there, and I need to be there for her and t-"

"Raped, you say?" She wondered. "But you also said almost, did you?"

"Yes, but-"

"As I said earlier, it is my duty to protect those who belong within these walls behind me. I have no grounds or rights to go poking my nose about in their business which has no right to be mine. Say no more of the matter, but understand this: You do not belong in here; you are not a Gryffindor and you are doing nothing more than wasting my time and neglecting me of sleep. So, you insignificant, small, silly boy, go back to where you belong, and bother me no longer."

"Say no more?" I asked her, and she gave me a snooty and temperamental smile and nod. "Alright, how's this for silence?" And I took my already balled fist and meant to land it hard against her flat, pudgy face. But was taken aback and almost fell back as the portrait hole swung open, causing my fist to swing through empty air and throw me momentarily off balance.

"Bloody hell!" I said before I was able to see who had come through the opening. "You've no idea how long I've been trying to get in there, won't let me in, says the password has changed. And no matter how many times I tell her I'm not trying to kill anyone, she just won't let me in."

"The passwords' changed?" A familiar voice asked as he stepped into the light; the portrait swinging shut behind him. "Balls! Now we'll both be stuck out here, and I'm a Gryffindor! That's rotten luck that is…" He trailed off while looking down at the floor between our feet.

"Um… it was actually you I wanted to come and find." He added while rubbing the back of his head and bringing his eyes back up to meet mine, "Something I wanted t-"

"I know perfectly well what it is you're about to say Ron and frankly I don't give a damn." I spat. "I know what you tried to do to Hermione, and how dare you? I mean really! How dare you? Who was the one coming to me with warning about not messing with her heart, not hurting her? Who is it claiming to be her best friend?

"I never imagined something like this would ever happen to her, but out of all the people in this entire school you were the last on the list to sink this so stupidly low! Now I admit I have been more on guard about you even since your little polyjuice potion stunt, but never did I think you would try something this extreme!

"I have tried to be nice to you Ron. Really, I have tried to be your friend. And all you have done back to me is give me side glares of hate, jealousy and loathing that you think I have not noticed, well guess what, I did noticed. And even when you try to act like you like me I can still see in your eyes that you don't, and I have never done anything to you or anybody else to deserve that kind of behavior.

"You tried to rape Hermione. And now I ask you, give me one good reason to not rip your throat out, and I may consider it." I was fuming and could hardly keep my stance without throwing myself at him, but I had to force myself to to stop any accidental deaths happening.

He swallowed hard. "Okay," He began. "As I can clearly see you've heard word that I tried to rape Hermione." I nodded stiffly. "But that's not exactly what happened…

"If you want the truth…"

'Why do you think your still breathing?' I wanted to ask him, but stopped myself.

"From the outside, see, it would look like that was what was happening. What with her screaming and all and the fact that I was on top of her…

"But if you knew the truth… The truth is that I was just trying to force a confession out of her that I was sure she would admit. I wanted to get her to admit she loves me, or, kiss me… just some indication that she may have some feelings for me.

"But she never… popped, if you will.

"I'm mad jealous of you, to tell the truth. And to see you two all the time: kissing and hugging and snogging and holding hands… whispering to each other and looking at each other, it bloody well kills me. I wanted that so bad with her, still do… and I was so sure she had some of the same feelings for me that I have for her. But turns out, she just doesn't.

"All of those feelings she has, well, they're for you. And I don't understand it.

"I mean, why would she fall so hopelessly in love with someone she hardly even knows, instead of someone she's known for years?

"Is it, is it because he's better looking than me? Or taller? Is it because he's smarter or more athletic or braver?

"I just… jealously drove me mad.

"It drove me mad because, she doesn't love you because of just any of those things. She loves you for, well, you. Not your looks or special skills or talents, or, charm or wit. She just loves you…

"And if she can just love you, without any of your attributes really mattering, then why can't she just love me?

"I tried to make her love me. I kissed her, and she pushed me off of her and told me not to; she screamed at me. But it just made me want to try all the more. And so I just kept kissing her, and she kept pushing me away.

"Eventually it got to the point where I had her down on the couch; I was kissing her all over. And by that point she was crying and begging me to stop… to get off her and let her go. But I didn't.

"Then, after a very impressive fight from her, we were on the ground and she was crawling away from me. I thought I'd let her go then, but, again, I just didn't. I pulled her back by the ankle and that's when she screamed the loudest.

"I was on top of her again, after forcing her to face me. I was screaming at her I'd make her feel it, and she was screaming at me to stop…

"And that's… that's when Harry and Ginny and the rest of them came in.

"Neville pulled Hermione into his arms and held her while Ginny and Harry went off on me.

"And even as they were screaming at me, and after Ginny had thrown herself at me and Harry had punched me… asking how I could ever try and do anything like that to her, I knew I wouldn't have been able to really do it.

"I would have… I would have got close, I think, but when it really came down to it in those last few moments, I would have just told her I was sorry. And I would have begged her to forgive me." He looked over at me again as he finished; sliding his hands into his pockets.

I was breathing slowly and deeply as I looked over at him. I wanted to hit him so bad, and everything inside of me was telling me to, but I couldn't force myself to. After all, I was facing a dragon tomorrow, and I could just take it out on it.

What I really wanted right now was so close yet so far away…

I wanted Hermione in my arms. I wanted to see that she was okay, and if not, then to help her be. I just wanted her… because I loved her, ever since the first moment I ever saw her, I loved her. And knowing how much she loved me… it made me want her in my arms all the more.

But I was just an expectant intruder, thinking he could go into the… wait…

I lifted my head, which had been resting irritably on my hand from the sickening presence of Ron, and looked over at the fat lady, who was watching us both with strained nervousness. Probably expecting one of us to take the first swing. But instead of doing anything, I opened my lips and curled them into a half smile and said with a polite manner: Expectant Intruder


And the portrait hole swung open, and I stepped inside.