Disclaimer: Not mine.
For tomanyletters of the Sober Universe Forum
Ron did not understand what had just happened. One minute everything seemed to be going fine, the next she was telling him they would always be friends and that it was nothing he had done, she just did not love him anymore.
Anymore? He had thought as he had watched her walk away, not understanding how falling out of love could be so easy for her.
For him love was meant to be forever. One had only to look at his parents to see that it was possible and the way things should be. Even his older brother had married the first girl he had ever really wanted, the first he had ever admitted to loving. Now, Ron was not only at a loss that he felt through his whole being, he was confused and hurt at the ease at which she had said anymore.
It would have been better is she had said not enough, or even that she had never loved him, he thought, thinking of all the comebacks he should have thrown back at her. He should have at least laid the blame at her feet, telling her it wasn't his fault that she wanted to see new people instead of tied down with him.
With a deep sigh, he headed for Diagon Alley to pick up his new dress robes. All of a sudden, he was not looking forward to Harry and Ginny's wedding. The single witches would cluster together and give him looks of pity while the wizards, including his brothers, would make him the butt of their jokes. He would again be the single male that confused seating charts and made gatherings such as this one uncomfortable and tiresome.
The day of the wedding he had made a point to arrive as Ginny walked towards the alter. Not wanting to give his mother time to quiz him on Brenda's absence, or to hear his brother's snide comments, he decided incurring their anger for a late arrival was best. Half way through the service, he felt a hand on his arm and looked down to see Hermione standing with him. Waiting until the service was over, and the new couple had turned to greet their guests, Ron turned and smiled at her.
"Ron," Hermione smiled back and gave him a hug. "I expected to see Brenda here."
"Yeah, well…she's working today," he said uncomfortably, not able to say aloud that she had left.
"Would you mind if I sat with you? I hate functions where everyone is paired up. I always wind up sitting with the kids or the over one hundred crowd."
"That would be fine," he smiled thinly.
"There is a table over there," she said, pointing to back of the yard. "It's far enough from the music we should be able to talk."
They made their way though the crowd and slid into seats that afforded them a view of the festivities. Ron pulled out his wand and signalled for two glasses of Champaign to be levitated to them.
"Ginny was gorgeous today," Hermione said, sipping her drink.
"Harry looked like a nervous cat. I thought he was going to get sick." Ron watched as Harry spun Ginny around on the dance floor, hearing anymore echo in his mind. "I hope they make it."
"They'll be fine, they both know what they want and they love each other."
"Now. How do you know they will ten years from now? Five…even one."
"Look at them," she said softly. "They've both gone out with other people. They know what it takes now."
Ron looked at her oddly, seeing her smile at his sister and new brother in law. "What does that mean?"
"Perhaps nothing," she sighed and leaned back in her chair. "I guess I'm not one to talk with all the guys that have dumped me or that I have…never mind."
Ron chuckled, seeing her neck begin to turn red. "No, really, go on."
"Do you think Ginny is only marrying him for his money?" Hermione asked. "Or…perhaps because he is the-boy-who-lived?"
"What kind of question is that?" Ron said, beginning to feel angry.
"That's what some people are saying. Only…think about it. If he didn't have his vault, he may not be as confident that he could make a go of it. If he wasn't the one that lived, his life would have been different and so would he. So…in a way she loves him because he is rich and because he is a hero, because it made him who he is."
"You lost me," Ron admitted, looking back at the dance floor.
"Everyone we meet changes us. Everyone we talk to, every book we read, every one we fall in love with. It makes us who we are."
Ron looked back at Ginny, remembering how infatuated she had been with Dean and remembering when Harry had been smitten with Cho.
"Sort of like…we are the sum of the parts that made us. Take away one part and we are less," Hermione sighed.
"How about dancing with an old friend," Ron said softly. "I promise not to step on your toes."
"You've been practising," she grinned, standing up and holding out her hand to him. "Remind me to thank Brenda."