Today was an abstract day.
Today she stood in the kitchen of her flat and waited for her tea to boil and thought about Ron, and Draco, and what they were doing and what they would think if they could see her now, standing in her kitchen thinking about them.
She thought about the differences between them and what she would say to them to make things right or start things off. When the water boiled, she wasn't thinking about them, or the water, but how she would like to write thinking about them because writing yourself as a character is easier than understanding the real part you play.
Writing is her solace. It's her living, too, which she finds slightly amusing because parts of her are selling and pieces of her soul, parts of her reality that she's written away are things that remain to keep her alive.
Sometimes she wonders if people are watching her all the time. She's used to people watching her, used to the crowds and fans and tonnes and tonnes of people who know her name when she doesn't know theirs. She'll look at herself in the mirror and wonder who's seeing her, and if they were what would they think? She doesn't live her life to dance to other people's music, but she wonders what they think when they see her dancing to her own.
When Draco showed up late at that Ministry function she caught herself wondering why it was important because he could like someone else and someone else could like him. When Draco kept showing up behind her, close enough to reach out to, she didn't know whether to flinch, to freeze, to touch him or to smile.
When Draco showed up late, she wondered why she wasn't thinking about Ron and- what she would say to Ron about this moment? She imagines herself in a moment that will never happen, Truth or Dare with Ron, and he's asked her who she finds attractive.
"I've always thought you were good looking," she says in this dream-moment, "and I've thought of that for a long time. But-" and time changes and mutates and she doesn't know if she's talking about looks or something else "- Draco is good looking too. Not second on my list. I can't judge people that way, like there's an order of preference. That's too confusing and too wrong." And if Ron were to ask her in her head if she preferred "that bloody prat," she just would shake her head and not be able to answer.
Later she's talking to Ron in her head again. She does that a lot, because since the war and the kiss they've grown apart, and he's grown together with someone else.
"I've liked you for a long time, and I still do," she says, boldly and calmly, how she would never say it in real life, but can always say it in her head, "but maybe that isn't the best thing for everyone. You never like me back, and I could move on if I wanted to." Letting go in her head is easy, but she doesn't ever know how to get that chance with him, face to face, in real life.
And when he asks her what if he liked her, and he wants to give it a try, she restarts the scene in her head to tweak it because she can't imagine that happening, that's when she knows it's not real and how would she deal with it anyways if it were true? He's with someone else, loves someone else, and she just has to deal with it.
She can sometimes kiss Draco in her head and sometimes she just can't because of a bunch of reasons twisted up and tied together in a knot.
Today she sat against the base of the courtyard wall at Hogwarts, and watched people climb up, feeling the coldness in her heart and her cold toes and wondering why she can't climb anything at all.
Simultaneously happy and sad about Harry and Ginny, who are glowing so much she wonders why they don't give off light and the way he's looking at her is exactly like people who are in love look and she hopes that they can stick it out because people who look at people like that shouldn't be disappointed. She knows, but maybe she was too young and that's why it all screwed up. And she's beginning to know a second time, know this with Draco, and she's scared to screw it up a second time, because she's too old.
And Today she looked across at Draco and half-closed her eyes and imagined him asking her what was wrong, sitting down and putting his arm around her and holding her until her head was on his chest, his face in her hair, and like it was nothing abnormal, just natural, and nobody told them they had to climb, just smiled and said a surreal sort of "awww". But her toes were too cold, so she couldn't hold on to the ridiculous imagining for long.
She hasn't really thought of two people like this before, and she doesn't like it because it's like betraying one while thinking of the other, or betraying Ron while she's thinking of Draco but not being fair to Draco (even though she barely speaks to him, she thinks most of their understanding is through their looking at each other) because she's thinking of Ron. Neither of them probably gives a crap, but she's a hopeless, hopeless romantic and it does feel like they're trying to tell her things in their own strange ways. Draco never looked at her that much or that long or appeared behind her so much before, or has she just never noticed until now?
She hopes she's not wrong about Draco like she was so wrong always about Ron. She hopes that Ron will talk to her, one last time, so she can sort things out in her head. She doesn't know if putting him to rest or getting what she's wanted for so long is that "something", and she doesn't think one will be easier than the other. But she's beginning to think that Draco should show up behind her more often.
Today she decided that something needed to be done about them. But she's never been very good about decisions and deciding things, or following through on the parts that could be hard or confrontational. This is a girl who pretends to stop and look at a map on curbs so that people can just pass through, who won't retrieve a quill she's dropped till the person sitting above it is out of their seat.
Tomorrow she's going to spend time with her female friends, with Ginny and Pansy and Padma and maybe one other girl, and she knows that gossip's going to happen and she figures that would be a good time to ask questions and present herself in the open. Nothing like getting it out there to motivate you, because now other people know, and other people will pressure you to at least decide.
Not like anyone's been good at talking to her about Ron or Draco, but she has a sneaking suspicion that all her friends are secretly girly romantics just like her and Ginny would probably help more, even just in the solidarity of knowing, than anyone else could.
Ron's gone, moved on, like he was planning to do long ago when they were still just out of the war, just babes in the cradle really, though Hermione considered herself to be old beyond belief even then. With him a part of her has moved on.
For a while she considered herself to be not just old, but empty, and with that thought came days where she just sat in the courtyard and her toes were colder than ever before.
Draco's behind her again, close enough to touch, and for a moment that old fear grips her; of rejection because he likes someone else, of hurting someone else that likes him.
Then she takes a deep breath. While the water boiled, she already knew which one she was going to choose.
So she turns around, looks him in the eye, touches his arm and says:
"I was waiting, but now I'm not anymore," and he just looks at her and smiles.
Her head is on his chest and his heartbeat is in her ears and she knows, she knows that she's finally grown up and grown on and she knows…
She's come home.
Hello everyone! If you're following my other multichapter, I apologize, I'm kind of stuck in it right now and I have no TIME.
I actually wrote most of this in relation to something that's happening in my life, it was kind of a journal-story entry in a way, and I saw how I could connect it to Draco and Hermione in a way. Even tweaked, this is something really personal to me, but I decided to share it with you guys. That's the wonderful thing. You guys can relate to it, hate it, love it, or see what it means to me, but really in the end it's just a story and some writing. I have given it to you.
Emotions aside, I do not own Draco, Hermione, or any one of their pals.
Review if you want, or don't, I hope you enjoy it.