Title: Worry
Author: Aeryn
Characters: The Trio
Summary: Some part of you always worried about him. About her and him.
Author Notes: Written once upon a time for mieystrapurore, who asked for Trio!H/Hr, but didn't specify whether it was to be angsty or not. *g* So this is a Ron-POV angstfest. Written pre-TDH, though I'm pleased to see that TDH validated certain concepts put forth in this story.
Disclaimer: It's Jo's sandbox, not mine.

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Some part of you always worried about him. About her and him.

You'd notice how it was always so much easier for her to run and hug him than you, to take his hand or kiss him on the cheek. But it wasn't until fifth year that that niggling began to unbury itself just a little bit more.

Harry finally had a girlfriend. Despite his celebrity he'd always been just as lousy as, if not worse so than, you with girls. It was a comfort, a way to commiserate together. But somehow, he'd succeeded this time. You knew he could get a girl if he wanted to - an older, very good-looking one, no less. And some part of you deep down had thought that that was one thing in your favor, that Harry didn't seem to want Hermione. If he did decide he'd wanted her, you knew you wouldn't have a chance. Because it was still him she talked endlessly about over the summer, still him she nearly knocked to the ground hugging, his present she gushed over, him she disappeared into the woods with during your shining Quidditch match.

Even in sixth year, when you'd thought things might finally be starting to come around for you and Hermione - when Harry was otherwise distracted by your sister - it was still Harry she ran to, who ran to her. It was him you'd found in the room with her when you'd "stumbled" in there with Lavender, his praise she beamed and blushed under (and vice versa) while she easily ignored you, him she ran to when you two weren't speaking, him she ran to and embraced after Dumbledore had died. Ginny had been inches away, but Harry made no move back toward her, no move to push Hermione away.

Holding Hermione at the funeral... that had been nothing like you'd ever felt. She'd hugged you before, but never like this. To have her open up this way to you, have both of you put aside the walls of pride that always bristled painfully against each other, let you just hold her... you thought this was the start of something you were, finally, able to admit you wanted.

Then Harry told you he'd broken up with Ginny. But the memory of the weight of Hermione's head on your shoulder still lingered fresh in your mind, reassuring, so you tried not to worry.

Then you'd watched her dance with him at Bill and Fleur's wedding - handing her off to him to get yourself a butterbeer, trying not to notice the pain in Ginny's eyes as you walked past. Harry had stepped on her feet and Hermione had kicked him, prompting the first laugh from Harry you'd heard in weeks. Your eyes didn't miss her hands, her thumbs idly moving against his bare wrists.

There were mornings you'd wake up at Grimmauld Place and find the two of them huddled together over some dusty volume, mugs of butterbeer next to them sitting cold and forgotten, Hermione pointing excitedly at some piece of text and utterly beaming at him, while he smiled gratefully back. You'd force a smile of your own as they finally noticed you and filled you in on whatever it was they'd discovered, and you'd all continue on like normal. You were still a trio. The three of you spent nearly every waking moment together, you and Hermione still bickered, and Harry still brooded.

On Christmas, though - whether it had been the butterbeer or the mistletoe, or some combination of both - she'd finally kissed you. That way, on the lips. Not Harry - you. It was brief, even a little bumpy, but it was still you and her at last, for once less part of a trio and more YouAndHermione. You remember beaming down at her... and fading when you saw the look on her face.

She was not beaming back - she was looking, no, staring, at Harry. For obvious reasons, you hadn't noticed him come in, but somehow she had. She'd disengaged her hand from yours so quickly you wondered if it'd been there at all - even taken a step towards him, mouth open, before he'd forced a smile and too-hastily bowed his way out, and she'd followed, not even sparing you a backward look.

And you realized no matter what happened with her, above all else you were still part of a trio. YouAndHermione would always be secondary to that.

She may have fancied you, cared about you. But in the end it was still his opinion, protecting his feelings, that mattered more than anything to her.

And you weren't sure you could accept that.

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