Title: This Tornado Loves You
Rating: M (for language and strong sexual content)
Pairings: Ron/Hermione, Harry/Ginny
Summary: Girl meets boy. Girl falls head over heels. Boy barely stumbles.
Authors' note: So, we've received such amazing feedback regarding our first story, Popping Cherries on a Sunday, that we've decided to write a companion piece from Hermione's POV. However, it isn't necessary to have read Popping Cherries on a Sunday to understand and/or enjoy This Tornado Loves You. That being said, we'd love it if you did read Popping Cherries on a Sunday. After all, it's a piece of the overall puzzle we're trying to put together.
Oh, and we'd like to thank the wonderful KariAnn1222 for all her support. If it weren't for her, we'd have a lot less people reading our stories. She gave us a lovely rec in her R/Hr story Coming to Term (if you're not reading it, you should be!), and, for that, we will be eternally grateful. Thanks, Kari! This story is dedicated to you.
Huge events take place on this earth every day – earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes…even glaciers move. So, why can't he just look at me? I don't understand. I mean, it's been ninety minutes already. Ninety minutes of quaking torture. I know it's cruel of me, but I think he does this on purpose. The idea is to humiliate me. There it stands, the undeniable fact. Humiliation – he wants it for me.
I sit back, watching him closely over the steeple I've made with my hands in front of my face. He's sitting on the sofa next to Seamus, the corners of his mouth drawn upward and his eyes rolling so far back in his head, all I can see is a glimmer of white in the lamplight. Daydreaming about Lav-Lav and her remarkably pert breasts, no doubt. Urgh. What rot!
For some reason, I start thinking about his eyes and how much I like them…how much I want them on me. They're odd, his eyes – the unblemished mix of blue and orange, made even more speckled in the garish yellow lamplight. They're the only thing about him that hasn't changed since we met. I suppose that's why I like them so much.
Sometimes, I wonder what Ron would say if he knew how much time I spent thinking about those odd little granules in his eyes. Knowing him, it would probably be something along the lines of —
"Oi, Weasley! You gonna say somethin' or what?"
I press my lips into a thin line. Seamus Finnigan is obnoxious. I just don't understand why he feels the need to talk that loudly. After all, some of us are trying to pretend to study.
I take a slow, calming breath and return to my book: a dog-eared copy of Victor Hugo's Les Misérables that my godmother gave me for my thirteenth birthday. I've read it at least six times already, but that hardly matters. I usually read things two or three times, just to be safe. I suppose it's a bit like going to the cinema. Every time you sit there with your too-big popcorn and too-big soda, you notice something new, something you never would have looked for the first time.
I lower my eyes fractionally, willing myself to ignore Seamus' profane monologue. Killing two birds with one stone? Lovely. Now, where was I? Oh, yes, that's right —
"…Marius sprang up from the bank on which he was sitting, and took her wildly by the hand. 'Oh! Come! Show me the way, tell me! Ask me for —"'
"— some pussy?"
I close my book and pull my hair forward quickly, before anyone can see that my ears are now a violent shade of pink. At least, I think they are. After all, they're burning like mad! I screw my legs together, huffing in what I can only hope is an annoyed fashion. No one can know what that word did to me, what hearing it come out of his mouth did to me.
I clear my throat. "With all due respect," I snap, fixing Seamus with the nastiest glare I can muster, "some of us are trying to study. So, if you could just keep your voices down, we'd all appreciate it, I'm sure."
The smallest shift in my gaze brings me Ron's face, but he's staring at Seamus and seems determined not to meet my eye. For a second, I find myself swept away by the thought that he's trying to distance himself from me. It makes me mad, and I want to stand up and throw my book at his head. I want to smack him across the cheek like Joan Crawford. I want to crunch him against me and snog him as though I can breathe through my ears. I want to —
"Oi, Granger," Seamus says from across the room. "Why don't you go shove a sock in that swotty mouth o'yours and then cover it with some Spellotape, yeah? We'd all appreciate it, I'm sure."
I open my mouth to say something, but decide not to at the last minute. Instead, I allow the image of Seamus cleaning my parents' septic tank to enter my mind. He's not worth my anger, and I'm too tired to retort. Sighing under my breath, I peel open Les Misérables and thumb my way back to page 241. Marius and Eponine were just about to —
I glance upward without moving my head. From beneath my lashes, I can see Seamus, that stupid crew cut of his suddenly seeming far too big for his tiny head. He looks an absolute fool, and I feel my stomach drop at the thought of engaging him. There's nothing I can do, nothing I can make him do, and suddenly, I feel the pointlessness of argument.
Evidently, Seamus is surprised by my silence. When he continues, it's in a softer, less irritated tone. "…it's somethin' I've always fancied doin'," he says. "Figure if I was rich, I could hook it up. Most birds have an eye for blokes with money."
Pfft. Not true.
For the first time all night, I can feel Ron's eyes on me. I take a sharp breath and look up at him, sitting ramrod straight in my chair. The moment my eyes touch his face, however, he looks away. Typical. Just typical. He's been doing this for weeks now, the giant prat! Ever since Lav-Lav and her perfect breasts and her perfect hair and her perfect teeth came sucking and fondling into his life, he's been, well…a giant prat!
"There you are, Won-Won!"
Speak of the Devil and she appears.
"Hey, Lav," Ron says, his mouth twisting into a bizarre half-smile. He looks rather put out, and I can feel my tongue prickling with the impulse to speak, to tell Lavender that she's not welcome here, that she's making Ron upset. However, before I can contemplate the foolishness of this idea, she pins me with a wintry stare, almost like she knows what I'm thinking.
"I swear," she huffs, turning the full force of her noxious presence on Ron, "I've had the most horrid day! First, I tore my favorite jumper on Parvati's necklace. You know, the cashmere one with the purple stitching. And then, when I was doing my Divination homework, I drew the two of wands. You know what that means, don't you, Ron?" She doesn't wait for him to respond. "It means I have a difficult decision to make, that I'm coming to a fork in the road. Trouble is, I don't know what the fork could be. I've been trying to figure it out all day, but nothing's come to me." She pauses momentarily, and then says, "Oh, and I've been looking all over the castle for you. I saved you a seat at dinner." She rocks back and forth on her heels in that infuriating way of hers. "You never showed up."
"Er…sorry," Ron says, his eyes snapping from the floor to Lavender's face in record-breaking time. I've seen this little maneuver before. It's Ron's trademark 'This lecture is boring, but I don't want anyone to know that I think it's boring' face. Too bad the stupid cow doesn't recognize it. Then again, she wouldn't, would she?
A very large thrill runs through me. She doesn't know him at all. She doesn't know that little cuts bother him more than gaping wounds, or that he thinks white chocolate is too sweet, or that he likes to sleep with his socks on. She doesn't know any of these things, but I do. I know him better than anybody, and he's still with her.
Suddenly, I feel myself being pulled to the window, and there it is – the huge, happy face in the sky. I can see it from my chair, shining like a flashlight and breaking up the darkness. It's just too much. When I hear Ron and Lavender start kissing behind me, my face gets hot and I can suddenly hear my own breathing. I try to focus on it, to tear myself away from that soft sound that's drumming on the outer edge of my ear, but it's difficult. Without meaning to, I glare at them. And then, it happens.
"Oh, Won-Won!" Lavender cries, pulling Ron's hair so hard, his head snaps back. He's got Cherry Combustion smeared all over his face, and his hair is an absolute mess.
I shudder. Why is he doing this to me? Does he want to chastise me? Rub my nose in my own folly? What? It's not like I'm blind. I know Lavender's prettier than me, and I know she's popular. But I also know Ron, and I refuse to believe that he feels something real for her. He's too smart and too funny and too infuriating to be with someone as puddingheaded as Lavender Brown.
"Oi, you randy git, if you plan on keepin' this shit up, I suggest you retire to a broom cupboard or something!"
I look over at Ron just in time to see him make a very small sour face. "Fuck off, Gin!" he yells, clutching that harpy to him like a lifeline.
Ginny obviously doesn't care. If anything, she's just glad to have gotten a rise out of him. I nod at her, and she nods back, a tiny glow of accomplishment illuminating her face. She really is a wonderful friend, standing up for me like that.
"Come on, mate," Harry says a moment later, looking to Ginny while Ginny's looking to me. "We'd all fancy keeping our dinners down, if you don't mind."
For the briefest of moments, my eyes are stuck on Ron's face. He's gulping on nothing, and his cheeks are completely colorless. He looks miserable and, at the same time, terribly, terribly turned on. Although I know what Lavender's doing to him, I don't want to look. Looking makes it real, and I don't want it to be real. I just want it to go away.
"Come on, Won-Won," Lavender says, grabbing Ron's hand and yanking him up off the sofa. "Let's go for a walk." She takes several steps, dragging Ron behind her like a frightened child before adding, "There's something I want to show you."
At that precise moment, Parvati starts giggling loudly, and realization strikes me like a slap to the face. That unbelievable tart! She's going to have…relations with him! Sexual relations! And to think, the planning was going on right under my nose this whole time. I mean, they were practically mapping it out last night while I was brushing my teeth! How could I have been so stupid? They weren't talking about shoes. They were talking about Ron…my Ron!
I can still hear Lavender's sing-songy voice echoing in my head: 'I don't buy a shoe until I try it on…no matter how good the shoe looks.' I think I'm going to be sick.
Burying my face in my hands, I take a deep, calming breath. I can feel my eyelashes start to prickle, and I know I'm about to cry. He's finally done it. He's finally ruined me. After years of making me wonderfully miserable, he's gone and murdered our friendship. Because there are no adequate words left to express my hurt, frustration, and, most of all, anger, I do the only sensible and rational thing I can think to do: I hurl my copy of Les Misérables at the empty sofa and stomp upstairs.
Right now, I'm fairly certain the pain in my head would split a cantaloupe, and I can barely make out the doorknob to my room as I jiggle it back and forth in my hand. However, after several seconds of struggling, I hear a soft click, and the door swings open. It's a good thing too, because I barely have enough energy to make it to my bed in one piece. I've never been this upset before – not ever!
I turn away from Ginny and rub my cheeks with the sleeve of my jumper until they start to needle. "Yes?" I say.
"Are you, y'know…okay?" she asks, sitting down on the edge of my bed and fiddling with her hands.
I roll over to face her. "I'm fine," I lie, curling up like a pillbug and gritting my teeth against the hot tears trapped behind my eyes.
Ginny raises a cupped hand to her face. "It's a lie, y'know?" When I don't respond, she continues. "There's no switch you can turn off, Hermione. Sometimes, you just have to pretend."
I draw myself up a little and fight the impulse to laugh. "It's not that easy, Ginny. I mean…it's like…if Ron is nearby, my entire body knows it. I feel this strange lightheadedness, and everything suddenly becomes ten times sharper. It's like being up close to something so large, you don't even see it. And then, one day, you take a step back, and for the first time, you know it's there, because it's made you behave ridiculously."
Ginny makes an odd face: compassion and pity competing for space. "I know what you're feeling," she tells me. "I feel it every day. You just…you find this one person, and you can't get enough of them." She smiles, almost as though she's embarrassed to go on. "It's like everybody else is in black and white, and they're in color. You just…you wanna eat them up, live in their bed…kill anyone who looks at them."
I laugh, grabbing Ginny's right hand with my left and squeezing tight. "You have no idea how good it feels to hear you say that. I was beginning to think I'd gone mad or something."
"Oh, I think we've both gone mad," she says, her expression comically brooding. "You a bit more than me, though. After all, Ron's a fucking twat. A bit dim too, if you ask me."
I huff dramatically, fixing Ginny with my best haughty pout. "Ginny Weasley," I say, "your brother is not dim. He's just —"
"But not dim?"
"Certainly not," I say, blinking several times before looking Ginny straight in the face. It's strange; she has the same eyes as Ron. Or, at least, the same orange flecks. Suddenly, I feel my body bursting with warmth. "Ron has a surprisingly shrewd mind," I tell her. "He's strategic and impulsive and clever and…well, he just has the quickest wit I've ever seen. I mean, yes – sometimes he can be a bit thick, but he's not stupid. He just needs direction…or – or discipline."
"Discipline, eh?" Ginny says, making the same sour face Ron makes when she's getting off with Dean. "I'll take that as my cue to leave." With that, she squeezes my hand one last time and heads for the door. However, before she disappears, she shoots me a glance over her shoulder. "By the way," she says, "Harry an' I? I think...I think it might happen." She looks happier than I've seen her in a long time. "Just…have some faith, yeah?"
"Faith?" I say. "Isn't that just another word for ignorance?"
Ginny shrugs. "Maybe, but it's all you've got."
I nod, giving Ginny my best happy smile before flopping back against my pillow. Easier said than done. After all, everything Ron does nowadays is designed to distance me. There's no stability, no ease, no closeness between us anymore. Instead, our conversations are riddled with ill will and awkwardness. I've gone from his almost invisible sister to the perpetual thorn in his side, and I don't like it. I don't like it at all.
Sighing, I push myself up on my elbows and fling my legs over the side of my bed. I feel a bit dozy. Perhaps a warm bath might do me some good. After all, no one's holding me back, no one would care particularly if I left. Standing on wobbly legs, I make my way over to the dressing table and grab my shampoo. Then, I head downstairs, snatching up my knapsack and bidding Harry a quick goodnight before disappearing through the portrait hole.
Alone, I move beyond the light, stepping further and further into the shadows. The corridor is empty, and my shoes sound heavy against the stone floor. With every step that I take, I feel as though I'm about to disappear between the walls. And then, it happens. The soft, wet sound of snogging tickles my ear, and I feel instantly sick. My throat constricts, and I pause. That horrible trollop is molesting him not five feet from me!
I draw a deep breath and try to bring myself under control. Suddenly, walking isn't good enough, so I run. I run until I see Boris the Bewildered and skid to a stop. I don't remember huffing up the stairs or passing chatty portraits. I just remember that sound – that disgusting, slippery sound.
I swallow hard and press my fingers into the corners of my eyes. "Pine fresh," I say, clutching my side with both hands.
The bathroom door swings open, and I shrink inside, still seized by the unpleasantness of what I heard in the corridor. Suddenly, I feel like my bemused twelve-year-old self again, hiding in the bathroom because of some silly boy. No…the silly boy.
Without even realizing what I'm doing, I turn on the tap and peel off my clothes. So much emotion – so many emotions – are engulfing me right now, and, before I know it, I'm in the water. I could be tortured all night and for days to come by brooding; I know I could. But that's not what I want. I just want to forget what I saw and what I heard. I want to be consumed by nothingness.
Slipping beneath the rainbow bubbles, I still feel a little sick, slightly dizzy, and uncertain. I don't like this feeling of having feelings; it's a barrier to rationality, and that unnerves me. After all, nothing makes you feel quite as barmy as admitting that your violent, borderline masochist fantasies are more than just a spoke in your menstrual cycle.
Even so, I can hardly feel sorry for myself. I mean, it was me who cut ties with Ron, not the other way around. He may have been the instigator, but I'm the one who consigned us to week after week of passive misery. Whether that was the right decision or not, I can hardly be sure. I hope it was. After all, I can't have been imagining that there was something between us – some sort of familiarity teetering on the brink of transforming into a delicious strangeness.
Sighing, I try to push this idea to the back of my mind. It's just too painful to dwell on, so I won't. Stretching across the cool tile of the bathroom floor, I grab my knapsack and pull it to me, reaching a hand inside and groping for my book. The longer I dig, however, the more flustered I become. Where, in Merlin's name, is my book? I could have sworn I'd packed it this morning. I mean, I –
"I threw it," I mutter, realization switching on like a light.
Dejected, I pull my hand back, pausing as my fingers brush against something small and unfamiliar. Without hesitation, I pull it from the depths of my knapsack and stare stupidly at it. It's a Patented Daydream Charm, of all things.
Suddenly, I feel even sillier than I did five minutes ago. The longer I stare at the tiny object, the more I contemplate how deliciously self-destructive it would be to just shove it in my mouth and let the pleasant sinking sensation in my stomach overtake me. After all, anything would be better than lying here and groaning.
No, it wouldn't. It would be worse. But I want it to be worse.
All of the sudden, I feel over-interpreting and jittery, almost as though I'm about to commit a crime. With a clarity I didn't know I possessed, I scrub the bubbles from my arms and legs and climb out of the bathtub. I'm dripping onto the floor and shaking like mad, but I don't even care. Resuming my inexorable pace, I pad over to the sink and fetch myself a glass from the tap. Then, I place the Patented Daydream Charm on the tip of my tongue and take a long gulp of water.
There…it's done. No time for second thoughts.
For several seconds, I just stand there, hot and flummoxed and utterly shocked by my own boldness. But the feeling dies almost as quickly as it sprung to life. Suddenly, I feel a tremor along my shoulders and look down to discover that I'm still dripping wet, naked, and alone. I haven't been transported to some golden beach or presented with a Ron Weasley that suddenly has couth. Instead, I've been made to feel like an absolute fool.
Choking back tears of embarrassment, I take a few hopeless steps towards the corner of the room. When I reach the neatly folded pile of red flannel, I pull it on as quickly as possible. I don't even care that I'm still wet. I just want to go to bed and forget that I was ever stupid enough to think this would work. However, before I can tug my trousers all the way up, I hear the familiar slap of shoes on concrete. Someone's coming, and I'm a complete mess.
I want my mother. I want to put my arms around my mother's neck and bury my face in that dingy old jumper of hers. I want to pull her lovely face close to mine and cry until she tells me that everything's going to be just fine. I want her to be the only witness to my sorrow, not some prefect or Quidditch captain.
Oh, God. This isn't happening. This can't be happening.
I squeeze my eyes closed and turn away from the door. A second later, I hear the lock click, and I go cold. I'm standing in the middle of the prefect's bathroom, clad in a pair of shapeless flannel pajamas, and I'm relatively certain my hair now resembles a damp bird's nest. Perfect. Just perfect.
I look up to see Ron, his lips elongated in an innocently cruel smile. Unconsciously, I bleat out the first thing I can think of. "Excuse me?"
"Hi," he says again. "It's like 'hello,' only shorter."
There's a pregnant pause, and I can feel my cheeks pinken. Why does he always have to do that? It's like he's not happy unless he's wrong-footing me! "You're rude," I say, trying my best to seem unfazed by his ill-timed appearance.
This only makes him smile bigger. "Y'know," he says, closing the distance between us in two easy strides, "…the meaner you are, the more I like you."
Ron is so close now, I can feel his breath stirring through my hair. Leaning away from the field of his body warmth, I screw my face into a grimace and say, "Can I ask you a question?" Ron opens his mouth, but I don't give him the chance to respond, plowing forward with mock-gusto. "Are you insane or just stupid?" I ask.
For a second, he looks genuinely hurt. After all, slights to his intelligence have never gone over too well. "Is there a third option?" he asks.
I cock my head to one side, reveling in his discomfort. "Actually, I don't think there is."
Ron slides a shaky hand through his hair. "Don't be mouthy, 'Ermione. I'm…'M trying, okay?" He looks frustrated and embarrassed and, well… unbelievably adorable, although I would never tell him so. "It's just…I've never really hurt anybody this bad before, y'know?" I nod, and he continues. "Hard to believe. I mean…it's just…but I s'pose you can't hurt somebody this bad unless you really matter to 'em."
Instantly, I have an idea what he means, but I push it away. "Is this your idea of an apology?" I ask. I'm not trying to be tactless or cruel. I'm honestly curious. Unfortunately, Ron doesn't see it that way.
"Well, excuse me all to hell!" he snaps, backtracking to the sink. "We can't all be good with words like you." For a moment, he turns away and finds something of interest to stare at near his shoe. "…And yeah, this is my idea of an apology," he says. "S'not as good as the one you deserve, but it's all I've got."
I want to speak up, to tell Ron that I'm sorry, too…that I think about him in the most romantic way possible. Still, I can't help but be afraid that all my assumptions are wrong, and that with each word I speak, I'll isolate myself further, and he'll think I'm a fool. So, instead of speaking, I stare at him – we stare at one another – in confusion.
Finally, after what feels like an eternity, Ron pushes off the sink and says, "I dunno what it is about you, but I feel like I'm myself when'm with you…" His voice sounds thin, and his sleeve is touching my arm now, and I'm not sure if he knows how these two things are making it immensely difficult for me to stand, but I'll assume that he does. "…only it's the way I've always wanted to feel," he tells me, "'cause I'm in love with you, and I think I have been for a while."
This would be the perfect moment for me to kiss him…for me to anything him. Only, I can't. "You say things and you don't mean them," I whisper. "You can't do that."
"Oh, bloody hell, here we go!" Clearly, that wasn't the response he was hoping for. "Look, 'Ermione," he says, trying to bring his voice under control, "I don't wanna have a fight."
"Then stop talking," I say.
For a long moment, Ron just stares at me, our shared childhood becoming a barrier. I can tell that he's afraid he's given me a weapon to use against him. Shifting from one foot to the other, he makes a wet clicking sound, almost as though he's trying to unglue his tongue from the roof of his mouth. Then, he grabs the hem of my nightshirt and crushes our mouths together. He tastes like those sour candies I hate so much, but I don't even care, because it's him, and I've been waiting for this since I was thirteen.
Aside from all the films I've seen and all the novels and lyrical poetry I've read, my romantic experience wouldn't fill a thimble. Still, it surprises me how clearly my body knows its own needs. Drawing away for a second, I snake my arms around Ron's neck and kiss him with greater confidence. What was self-conscious a moment ago is now greedy and direct. Everywhere we touch, I can feel my body come to life, and the sensation is unbearable.
Without speaking, Ron guides me to the sink, hoisting me up by my bum and placing me on the basin. "I couldn't do it," he says, pulling his mouth away from mine. "I couldn't fuck her first."
I force my eyes open. "First?" I ask.
Ron starts to retort, but bites it back. "You know what I mean," he says, pushing me backwards until my spine hits the faucet. "I couldn't fuck her at all…Happy?"
I smile. "Very."
"Good," he says, leaning forward and biting me on the neck, not quite playfully. My spine goes rigid, and I pull his hair. "Fucking hell," he murmurs, forcing back my head and kissing the corner of my mouth.
Clumsy, but far too selfish to be embarrassed, I begin plucking ineffectually at Ron's clothes. At this point, there's no thought left in my head, just obliterating sensation. I try to move closer, mesmerized by the swelling sound of fabric on fabric, but it's impossible. We're too close already, our bodies smashed so tightly together, they hurt. For a moment, I wonder whether or not it's possible for me to pass out.
Lacking both oxygen and common sense, I pose this question to Ron, who snorts loudly before saying, "Who cares?" I usually find this response less than satisfactory. However, considering the circumstances, I'll accept it without complaint.
Daringly, I move my hand from Ron's hip and slide it underneath the hem of his jumper. His muscles tense under my fingers, and we both shiver. Despite the cold, stale air surrounding us, Ron's skin is burning hot. When he shifts beneath me, I look up at him. His jaw is set so hard, I can't help but think his bones might snap through his pale skin.
"Hermione," he says with a thick tongue, "just...just keep kissing me, okay?"
The second the words leave his mouth, I can feel my blood start to sing. I try to shake my head, but can only manage a slight wobble. Fighting my way through the fog, I move back to Ron's mouth and split the seam of his lips with my tongue. I've never done this before, but it seems to be coming quite naturally. Almost too naturally, if I'm being honest.
With a petulant shake of the head, Ron breaks away from me and jerks his gaze, well…downward. "Tell me I can touch you," he says. It's less of a question and more of a statement, really.
I take a soft, uneven breath. "Please."
It's all the consent Ron needs. Before I can even guide his hand to an appropriate spot on my body, he's pushed his face down against my breasts. I tremble violently. Even through the thick flannel of my nightshirt, I can feel the wet heat of his mouth, and it makes me squirm. The washing machine at home really is a poor substitute for the real thing.
Next thing I know, Ron and I are kissing again, our heads rolling against one another, our teeth clashing. I feel like I'm in some sort of inescapable fever dream. Before long, things become too frenzied, and I have to pull away to breathe. Sucking in a lungful of air, my eyes settle on Ron, who looks just as dazed as I feel. His mouth is pink and swollen, and his hair is standing on end. I don't think I've ever found him more attractive than I do right now.
"Ron," I say, something very close to desperation in my voice now, "…Ron, take off your trousers."
Until now, Ron's gaze has been fixed on the wet spot coloring my nightshirt. However, the sound of my voice seems to pull him from his stupor, and his eyes meet mine. "You're not jerking me off, are you?" he says, wrinkling his nose as if asking this question is causing him physical pain. "'Cause if you are, I think I might die...like, actually die."
I look up and see Ron's eyes again – blue and orange flecks, like a little boy's marble. Tightening my legs around his hips, I pull him into me and lean forward, my mouth opening against the warm skin of his jaw. I need to make him understand. I need to make him feel what I'm feeling right now.
Beneath me, Ron teeters, nearly falling by the wayside as I breathe sluggishly into his face, my trouser-clad middle rubbing firmly against his stomach. "I'm not fooling with you," I say, scraping my teeth up the side of his face. "I want to do this, and I want to do it with you."
Ron makes a strange gurgling sound and pushes me hard into the sink, between the mirror and his body. The way he's kissing me now is sloppy and frantic, and it makes me jolt against him. We've lost something, yes, but we've found something too – something forcible. Greed. It's present in everything we do – in the way we kiss, in the way we touch, in the way we breathe. I can feel myself becoming lightheaded, and break away from Ron, my chin coming to rest on his shoulder, my arms wrapped tightly around his middle.
"Hermione," Ron says, and I can feel the word against the back of my neck. "I need you to know that…that you mean something to me, okay?"
I pull back and tilt my face up. "Okay," I say, reaching forward and brushing the fringe out of Ron's eyes. For the first time, I notice that the roundness in his cheeks is gone and that the bow of his mouth is somehow different. He's sixteen now and certainly no boy. I don't know whether this fact bothers me or makes me love him more. "Ron," I whisper, running my finger along the bridge of his nose, "do you think we'll still be friends when this is all through?"
I can feel Ron's body go rigid, like a matchstick in a box. "Well, I sure as fuck hope so," he says, raising his head to look at me and taking two full breaths. Then, without an ounce of warning, his hand shoots into my hair, burrowing deep and fisting tightly. I want to cry out, but resist the urge, instead focusing on the tug of Ron's lip. As his face draws closer to mine, I realize that, all day long, I've been feeling strangely, seeing strangely, and now, I understand why: we're on the verge of knocking down our friendship…breaking it like an old habit.
Just as I'm about to tell Ron to stop, that we can't do this, he tilts my face up, kissing my eyes and parting my lips with his tongue. For a second, I want to spring away, to tell Ron that the idea of having his face so close to mine is ludicrous, but I don't. Instead, I bite him again and pull at his jumper. We're not that good of friends, anyway. And even if we were, this kiss is like an act of murder, killing our careful relationship with teeth and spit and tongues.
"Ron," I pant, placing my hand over his mouth when he leans forward to kiss me again. "Ron, I thought I told you to take off your trousers."
The moment the word 'off' leaves my mouth, I can feel Ron groan against my palm. It's the most wonderful thing I've ever heard, and it pierces down the length of my body, settling right between my legs.
Biologically speaking, I know that I've reached a plateau, that my body is swelling with blood, and that I have to push myself further to find release. I take several sharp breaths, brushing the back of Ron's hand with the pad of my thumb. Almost immediately, I can feel the muscles in his arm bunch and tighten, and I know only secondhand that his blood pressure and heart rate must be accelerated. We're too far-gone, Ron and I. We need to keep rubbing, kissing, and gnawing if we're ever going to experience relief; I've read enough books and watched enough late night television to know this for a fact, but that doesn't make it any less scary.
"Ron," I whisper, moving my hand from his mouth to his hair, "just…let me, okay?" Very slowly, I reach for the waistband of his trousers, my fingers shaking so badly, I can barely hold on to the material. "I've…I've got this," I tell the window over Ron's left ear, "…everything…everything's fine. We're good."
"Hermione," Ron says, pulling my hand away from his zip, "…you don't 'ave to do this." He looks so young and frightened and like I've always wanted him to, his cheeks glowing a perfect pink. I have to see this through to the end. I have to know what it's like to be with him, even if it's only this once.
"No," I say, touching the side of his face and feeling, for the first time, that he's awash with fever. "I want to keep going. We need to keep going. Just…let's take care of our own trousers, 'kay?"
Ron nods, taking a step back from the sink and grabbing for his zip. Without his arms to hold me up, I slip further into the basin, my legs dangling off the side, my tailbone pressed uncomfortably against the drain plug. Straightening to my full height, I begin untying my flannel trousers, my fingers still shaking badly. After a second or two of fumbling, I manage to pull them halfway down my legs.
I feel rather silly, sitting in an empty sink with my trousers wilting around my ankles. However, when I look back to Ron, everything goes fuzzy, and I don't feel silly anymore. To be honest, I don't feel anything anymore. I can't…not when he's looking at me like that.
"Her-my-nee." He says my name slowly and deliberately, almost like a child sounding out a new word. It makes me shiver. "Are you…scared?" he asks.
I nod, and he moves back to me, his large hands sliding over my naked thighs. I've never felt so cold and so hot at the same time, like I'm melting inside a block of ice. Partly because I'm terrified, and partly because of my blossoming need for stimulation, I lean forward and press my mouth against Ron's. For maybe a minute, we kiss with too much teeth and too little tongue. Then, I break away from him, the dull ache between my legs splintering into pain. "Ron, I – I can't wait anymore," I tell him, too desperate to be embarrassed. "I – I want you to just…just do it!"
"Do what?" Ron asks, his voice growing thin.
I roll my eyes. "Honestly, Ron – it!"
"Oh," he says, his ears going from pink to red in the space of a nanosecond. "Wait – ooooOOHH!"
I want to laugh – because, really, Ron can be so terribly thick sometimes – but I don't. Instead, I suppress my grin and look away. Comedy would destroy us; I know that much for a fact. After six years of building Ron up, the last thing I want is to knock him down. That would be rather …unfortunate, to say the least.
Ron shakes his head lazily and moves his hands over my hips. His breath is coming in rasping heaves now, and when I rub my wet knickers against the front of his pants, he whinges deep in his throat and jerks against me. Slowly, I can feel him begin to rotate my hips against his, angling them so that the only thing separating him from my insides is a tiny scrap of fabric.
I'm dimly aware that Ron's right hand has slipped to my bum, and it makes my skin flush with excitement. When he runs it back and forth over the thin cotton of my knickers, I squeak rather loudly and feel him smile against my neck. "Like that?" he says, his tone pleased, but not quite arrogant. Without waiting for my response, he brushes his thumb upwards, skimming underneath the hem of my now embarrassingly soaked knickers and humming his approval. My entire body shudders at the contact and, for a split second, I feel like I'm not a little girl anymore.
Gripping Ron's shoulders, I shift my knees against the cool marble and open my legs for him. He obviously takes this as an open invitation because, next thing I know, his right hand has left its post on my hipbone to press into the front of my knickers. When I don't push his hand away or cuff him upside the head, as I'm sure he's expecting me to, he proceeds to slide two fingers back and forth against the sticky material before curving them slightly and pressing hard into me.
Without thinking, I open my mouth and whimper. "Get them off me!"
Ron lifts his head to look directly into my face. When our eyes meet, his cheeks begin to redden, and he licks his lips wet and shining. "Okay," he says, his voice oddly thick, "just…y'know, gimme a few seconds." Ron takes one, two, three breaths before reaching between us with both hands and removing my knickers.
As they fall to the floor, I can feel myself shiver…down there, and panic overtakes me. I slam my legs shut and grab for the hem of my nightshirt, tugging it down as far as it will go before sandwiching it between my clamped thighs. I don't know why I'm only just starting to feel self-conscious; after all, we've been at this for several minutes. It's just…I can't help but fear that my vagina looks like a flashlight right now, because that's how it feels – all warm and bright and pulsing.
Oh, God. I really hope it doesn't look like a flashlight.
"Bloody hell, 'Ermione!" Ron says, prying my legs open and palming me with his cold hand. "It feels like you've cast a warming charm over your…your bits!"
I open my mouth to say something, to tell Ron that he's being rude, but the moment I start forming my vowels is the moment I forget how to speak entirely. "Urgh," I groan, slumping against Ron as his index finger floats into me with little or no resistance. I'm so well-lubricated, I can barely feel pain. In fact, all I'm able to register is a dull prickling sensation, almost like a pinch. Encouraged, I scoot forward and yield, with a little sob, to the safe enclosure of Ron's free arm. I've never felt so exposed, so open, so cared for.
"This okay?" Ron asks, kissing my forehead and twirling his finger inside me.
I nod, grabbing his wrist with one hand and bracing myself against the mirror with the other. His finger is so long, and it feels like he's tickling my insides. "Keep going," I tell him, pressing my thumb against the pulse in his hand before kissing his ear. I feel him start against me and remember, with some fondness, that he's incredibly sensitive. Leaning forward, I run my tongue along the shell of his ear, squeaking loudly when he almost drops me to the floor.
"Ron," I say, wiggling back and forth against his probing finger, "be careful."
"It's okay," I respond, thumbing through his hair as he pumps his finger in and out, in and out. At this point, I feel so connected to him that my body is actually mimicking his. He trembles. I tremble. He releases a battered breath. I do the same. We're completely in sync, our bodies moving together like two pieces to the same machine. Just the idea has me teetering on the edge. "Ron," I say, wrapping my arms around his middle and squeezing tight, "I'm really close."
With a strangled groan, Ron shifts me from one arm to the other and begins sucking on my neck harder than is pleasurable. "Goddammit," he says, sticking a second finger into my body and breathing like a suction pump against the side of my face. "You're so—fucking—pretty." Each word is punctuated by a deep, jabbing thrust, and, before I have time to comprehend what's happening, I'm coming harder than I ever have before.
"Oh, my God!" I scream, clawing at Ron's jumper as my vision goes from white to red. My arms and legs are fluttering like mad, and I feel as though a hundred or more fireworks have just been set off in the pit of my stomach. Still, I've never felt so relaxed in my whole life. "That was…amazing," I say, rubbing my watery face against the wool of Ron's jumper. "Completely and utterly amazing."
Ron draws in a deep breath. "You're tellin' me."
For the briefest of moments, our eyes meet – blue on brown. Or maybe it's brown on blue; I'm not really sure. Then, Ron leans forward and touches his lips gently to mine. Unlike our previous kisses, this one is soft, timid even. Ironic, considering his index and middle finger are still knuckle-deep in my…you know.
"Ron," I say, slipping my hand beneath his jumper and rubbing wide circles on his back, "it's…it's your turn."
Immediately, his spine curves beneath my fingertips, and we both sigh, blowing warm air over one another's faces. "Hermione, look," Ron says, brushing a piece of damp hair off my forehead, "I'm…'M not expecting anything from you. This isn't, y'know, tit for tat or whatever you wanna call it."
"I never thought it was."
For a moment, Ron looks startled. Then, he shakes his head, almost like my aunt Beatrice's pet Spaniel, his hair flopping in front of his eyes. "Okay," he says, settling between my legs and fixing me with a weighty stare. "How are we gonna, y'know…do this, then?"
"Well," I say, kissing the corner of his mouth very slowly, "we could start by having you remove your fingers from my, well…private area, I suppose."
"Oh." Ron lurches, pulling his fingers from my body much too quickly for my liking. "'M sorry," he says, wiping his hand on his jumper. "I…I s'pose I just forgot they were in there."
Before Ron can say anything else to spoil the moment, I reach my hand daringly inside his pants, smiling when he makes a strange keening sound against my shoulder. Although I've read numerous books and medical columns – not to mention several of my mother's grocery store romance novels – nothing could have prepared me for this moment. Nothing. "Oh, my God," I say, grabbing Ron loosely in my hand. "It's…it's really soft, isn't it?"
"No," Ron whinges, squeezing my naked thigh with all his might. "It's hard, 'Ermione. Super—fucking—hard!"
"That's not what I…it's just…I mean…it's different than I thought it'd be," I say, my grip tightening marginally. "I don't know how to explain it. It's just…really smooth or something. Not at all like I —"
"Buggering shit!" Ron cries, his short nails biting into my skin. "Stop fucking talking 'bout it like that! Unless you want me to blow my load in the next ten seconds, in which case –"
I have no desire to hear the rest of that sentence. Grabbing the hem of Ron's jumper with my free hand, I fuse my mouth to his. For a brief moment, he remains motionless above me. Then, he folds in on himself, tucking me against his chest and kissing me with enthusiasm. As he palms my bum, I stroke him slowly and thoroughly, my tongue driving in and out of his mouth. Things are escalating rather quickly, and I have to rub my thighs together to relieve some of the tension that's beginning to crest in my middle. "Ron," I say, breaking away from him and scooting to the edge of the sink, "I want you to put it in me now."
"Uugghhh." Ron drops his head to my shoulder and shifts, pushing himself deeper into my hand. He's been immensely patient, and I want so badly to give this to him. I want him to feel how much I care for him. "He–Hermione." He breathes my name against my neck, and then says, "I don't think I'm gonna last long."
"That's okay," I tell him, shifting so that he's poised at the entrance to my body. "Just…go slow. And remember to kiss me a lot. I've heard that helps."
Ron nods, pulling me closer and placing his forehead against mine. I'm still so sensitive from my orgasm, and I can feel everything: Ron's large, calloused hands caressing my bum; the cool marble of the sink beneath my twitching thighs; the sharp tickle of Ron's fringe against my hairline. Shuddering, I lean forward and allow gravity to take the next step for me. As I pull Ron into the circle of my arms, I slide forward, using his body for leverage and lowering myself onto him. The feeling is indescribable, and we both suck in air.
"Son of a bi-AGHHH!" Ron wraps his body around mine, almost like he's trying to absorb me.
"I know," I whisper, kissing his face over and over again. I'm in so much pain, but I don't want him to know. I don't want him to feel guilty for giving me this. "Just…give me a second to get used to you, okay?"
Ron nods, hugging me closer than I'd have ever thought possible, his muscles turning to steel beneath my hands. I know I'm asking a lot of him, but I need this time to adjust. After all, he's much bigger than anything I've ever contemplated putting in my body. Straightening to my full height, I encircle Ron's head with my arms, pulling him flush against me. "Okay," I tell him, kissing the side of his face. "You can move now."
He doesn't need to be told twice. Grabbing me under my knees, he hoists me up and off of him, and I squeak in protest. Then, he drops me back down, his body fusing with mine and very nearly splitting me in two. I've never felt anything so painful, and I bite him hard on the chin. He whimpers, and I shriek, and we both slam our eyes shut. It's all too much – the pain, the closeness, the lack of oxygen. I flail against Ron, relatively certain that I'm about to lose consciousness. "Ron," I say, digging my fingers into his arms. "Ron, I think I'm gonna —"
"Come," he babbles, pressing his too-big hand against my back. "I think I'm gonna come."
At hearing his words, I release a heavy whigne, my hands moving to cradle the back of his head. I want him to lose control. I want him to scream my name and bite my shoulder and shake violently against my limp body. I want him to burst inside of me and know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he can never treat me like his second sister again. I want so many things, and I'm shaking like a tree because I can't believe I might actually get them.
As Ron continues to move over me, against me, and in me, I smooth my hands over his back and kiss the sharp line of his jaw. He's swearing at the top of his breath now, and I want to push him just a little bit further. I want to watch him topple off the proverbial cliff and break every bone in his body. Pressing the tips of my fingers into the small of his back, I begin to whisper, almost as though I'm attempting to comfort a small child. "Shhhh…" I say, squeezing his middle between my knees. "It's almost over. You're almost there, Ron. All you need to do is let go."
Ron starts against me, and I can feel him everywhere. "B-but…but, 'Ermione, you h-haven't –"
"I don't need to," I tell him, shifting so that he slides even deeper inside me. "I can still feel the last one. It's making me tingle all over."
I cuddle into Ron's chest, grinding my hips against his and taking his tongue into my mouth. With each forward thrust, I suck on it hard. Then, when Ron pulls out of me, I release it with a loud pop. For several seconds – although it seems like several minutes – we rotate against one another, our mouths working feverishly. Then, out of nowhere, I feel Ron seize up, his muscles knotting beneath my hands. He's finally reached the precipice, and all I can do as he flings himself over it is kiss him and hug him and stroke the wet hair at the nape of his neck.
"It's okay," I whisper, grabbing his face between my hands and kissing him square on the mouth. When he jerks against me, I bite down on his tongue, and he whimpers in the back of his throat. I can taste the blood on his lips and pull away. "I'm so sorry," I say, wiping his mouth with the corner of my sleeve. "I don't know what came over me. I…I didn't mean to. I was just —"
"Hermione." Ron says my name with a drowsy smile, and I watch as his teeth turn pink. "S'alright, really. It…it didn't hurt."
"You promise?" I whisper, running my thumb over his teeth.
He shakes his head. "I promise."
For the next few seconds, we remain motionless, our bodies drooping against one another and the mirror. I can't explain it, but I feel as though we've placed our signatures on an unseen contract, our words and actions binding us together better than any spell. Kissing Ron's jumper-clad shoulder, I slide – or, rather, melt – off the sink, groaning in disappointment as our bodies separate. I've never felt so empty, so wonderfully…hollow before.
"Hey, Ron," I say, swaying on my feet as I turn my back to him and pull my trousers up. He doesn't respond, so I continue. "You know how you said that you, well…love me." I swallow the lump in my throat. "Well, I…I love you too."
Ice water hits my veins, and I can sense a dull burning in my lungs. The great reservoir of wisdom I've just confessed shrivels up in the pit of my stomach as I turn to face the sink again. Ron's gone, and I'm…alone. For a second, I'm too confused to move, my arms and legs frozen in time. Then, it hits me. I feel one eyelid twitch in irritation as I glance down at the wet floor. Staring back at me – taunting me! – is that stupid little pirate and his stupid little grin. The Patented Daydream Charm.
Experiencing a flash of outrage, I stomp on the box with my bare foot, wincing when it collapses with a sharp poke. Fred and George have gone too far this time, stealing my most private wish and then brandishing it like a weapon against me. I can feel tears stinging my eyes. It's downright cruel, what they've done, propelling me from the depths of my own ignorance and bringing my silly imaginings to an abrupt and permanent halt.
In this shrinking moment, I realize what it truly means to hate someone – someone other than Ron, that is – and I'm surprised at how rational it feels. There's nothing personal about this kind of hatred; I would feel it toward my own mother if she did this to me. And yet, for some strange reason, I can't help but feel the most obscure hint of betrayal as well. Never, in a million years, would I have imagined that Fred and George could outwit me. It seems that's one more thing I was wrong about.
Eyes narrowed, I blow a damp curl off my forehead and peep up to face my reflection. Plain. Ordinary. Alone. How could I have been foolish enough to believe that Ron wanted me? I'm a study guide as far as he's concerned. The idea of me as his girlfriend – or anyone else's, for that matter – is probably laughable to him. After all, I'm no Hannah Abbott, all starch and blonde curls; or Parvati Patil, with her gunpowder eyes; and I'm certainly no Lavender Brown.
I sniff, blinking my vision clear before gathering up my knapsack and stumbling towards the door. I can't be in this room any longer; it's like the scene of a crime, all dirty and disrespected. I honestly don't know if I'll ever be able to look at it the same way again. Even worse, I don't if I'll ever be able to look at Ron the same way again. After all, imagining us together is one thing, but experiencing it is quite another. I can't just erase the memory of him being inside of me, even if it wasn't real.
When I step out into the dimly lit corridor, I glance left, then right, hoping beyond hope that I don't run into Ron and his precious pincushion. Considering the kind of evening I'm having, I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest. Thankfully, they're nowhere to be found. After all, they're probably far too busy enjoying a nice roll in the cupboard.
Before I know it, I'm standing face-to-face with the Fat Lady, almost as though my feet have been working independent from the rest of my body.
My limbs tense and then go sluggish. "Abstinence," I say, rolling my eyes and trying to seem casual. All the while, my mind is flooding with images of Ron's bottom lip being pulled through my teeth. For the second time this evening, I can feel my knickers stain hot and sticky.
Thankfully, the Fat Lady seems oblivious to my…situation, dismissing me with a quizzical tilt of her head and swinging open to admit me inside the common room. I clear my throat as I pass the threshold, trying my hardest to appear brave – not that it really matters. I mean, I'm not exactly a focal point for these people's attention. After all, they have better things to do than worry after the state of my knickers.
Before I have time to scan the room for Ron's familiar face, Ginny calls out to me, shifting against the Harry Potter-sized lump glued to her side. "Hermione," she says, her voice barely above a whisper, "where have you been?"
"Taking a bath," I say. After all, it's the truth, isn't it?
"Oh." Ginny looks disappointed, and I feel as though I've let her down somehow. "Well, you forgot your book on the floor," she says, absently fingering Harry's scar. "I put it over there, on the table."
I nod. "Thanks."
This whole situation is so deeply and personally unfair that I can't bear to dwell on it any longer. So, I do the only thing I can do; I grab my copy of Les Misérables off the table and drag myself across the room. Then, I fall into my favorite armchair and crack my book open to page 241. Marius and Eponine have been waiting far too long, and so have I.
For the next five minutes, I wander the streets of France, oblivious to the people and noises surrounding me. Then, I hear a soft clinking sound and look up. Lavender's bracelets are slamming against each other as she jumps up and down, clutching Ron's arm awkwardly at the elbow with both hands. Apparently, they've finished doing…whatever it is they were doing.
Ron's face is perfectly red, and his hair is standing up in clumps. He's obviously been the victim of a quite a fondling, and my heart just about snaps in half at the thought. Suddenly, the wetness between my legs feels impossibly thin – like water. I can't help it; I feel anger burn heavy in the pit of my stomach. Why would Ron give her his virginity? She doesn't value it…she can't possibly know how much it means, how special it is.
I feel as if I'm watching everything through a window now – there, but not really. When Parvati launches herself across the room and into Lavender's arms, I can't help but think of the end to a cheesy romantic comedy. You know, when the heroine and her best friend rejoice over the prospect of domestic bliss and the overwhelming power of true love. Yes, that scene.
"Weeeeeellll?" Parvati waggles her eyebrows in the most infuriating way. "How was your walk? Anything interesting happen?"
Shut up, for goodness sake! Shut up, shut up, SHUT UUUUP!
"Weeeeeellll," Lavender echoes back, leaning into Ron's side and nestling her head on his shoulder, "I…I can't seem to remember. Maybe you should ask Won-Won."
Is it imagination on my part, or malign intent on hers, that's making this whole conversation seem staged? Either way, it's rotten, and I don't want anything to do with it. Apparently, neither does Ron. Instead of answering Lavender's question, he splutters hopelessly for a few moments, his ears turning bright red. Then, he shrugs noncommittally and stares down at his trainers as if they've suddenly gained the ability to sing. "Umm…well —"
"Oh, never mind," Lavender says, nudging Ron's shoulder like the tiresome little prima donna she is. Then, she grabs Parvati by the hand and drags her, giggling like a lark, up the stairs to the girl's dormitory.
By this point, I'm seeing red. I don't want to talk to Ron. I don't want to look at Ron. I don't want to share the same breathing space as Ron. I just want him to vanish. Go away. Leave me alone. So, naturally, he sidles up to me, his adorable face twisted into a grimace, and I can't help but feel hurt. This boy is the reason for 99% of my misery. I don't owe him anything. I don't need to coddle him or pretend that I'm happy he shagged that insufferable harpy. I'm not, and so I won't.
"Hey," he says, toeing the carpet as though he possesses even a shred of modesty. "I just…I was wonderin' if you —"
I don't allow him the chance to finish; I have far too much pride for that. Instead, I tuck Les Misérables against my chest and storm past him as dramatically as I can manage, my nose stuck in the air, my shoulders held high. I may love Ron, but Hugo will never hurt me.
A/N: Phew! That was loooonnngggg. So, future warning: If you're going to read one of our stories, get yourself a snack, maybe a pillow, and something to drink (preferably a fine liquor), 'cause things are about to get lengthy. When we started writing this story, we were shooting for around 2,000 words. Obviously, that didn't work out. As we're sure you've noticed by now, we can't seem to write anything that's less than 4,000 words.
Anyway, we'd like to take this opportunity to thank all of our readers, especially those who take the time to leave us such wonderful reviews and words of kindness. You really do make our day. We can't possibly say that enough.
So…about the story. There are several things we wanted to clear up, in case they caused any confusion…
1. The book Hermione is reading in this fic is Victor Hugo's famous French novel Les Misérables. In the story, one of the main characters, Eponine, is desperately in love with her best friend, who doesn't love her back. We thought it was quite fitting, considering Hermione's feelings for Ron at this point in time.
2. One of the reasons we chose to write this fic was because we noticed a rather disturbing trend amongst Patented Daydream Charm stories: Characters are always being transported to bizarre locales, where they proceed to have porn-star sex and come five times in a row. Lame! It's like reading a bad Dramione story; it's OOC, and, therefore, we ain't havin' it! Also, Hermione's one smart cookie. She knows that girls don't come the first time they have sex, and that's what she wants – real sex with real Ron. Not to mention, beyond the things she's read, she doesn't know what good sex feels like; she's going off of the research she's done about a girl's first time. Therefore, her subconscious wouldn't be able to create some porntastic fantasy scenario.
3. Oh, about the whole Hermione/washing machine reference? We promise, we're going to address that ASAP. In fact, it will be one of the first chapters in our upcoming fic Late Bloomers, which chronicles Ron and Hermione's life together through the tiny, seemingly insignificant moments that helped them realize they were in love with one another.