Published: 06-12-05, Updated: 03-29-07
Chapters: 63, Words: 192,076
Previous Reviews: 1387 Hits: 312,323 Favorite: 300
Summary: Ron catches Hermione with Draco and takes off for the Romania Dragon Preserve to get over it and find himself. While Hermione finds out why she needs Ron. A very slow Ron/Hermione ship with plenty of romance, action, humor, and a bit of everything. [Re-Post] [Pre-Book6]
Author's Note: First and foremost, this is a Ron Hermione ship fic. The problem is that it's a very slow ship. So please read the first 16 chapters without critizing me that everyone, especially Hermione is Out Of Character. In fact if you read more than the first ten chapters then you will see the characters become more in character as you read. My reasons for writing Hermione and Ron a bit OOC at the beginning was more for storytelling and plot. As often to tell a huge story like this you have to weave a little outside of the lines.
Also, I've seen too many idiots post flames thinking that this is a Hermione and Draco ship fic. Read the story first.
Disclaimer: All characters are the property of J. K. Rowling, and Time Warner. This is strictly for non-profit Internet entertainment use and if they sue me, I do not have a dime to my name.
Chapter 1 – Love is Blind
To Ron, the image that burned in his mind didn't match what he believed to be true. In spite of all the evidence that led him to be standing outside of an empty Charms classroom and watching two people passionately kissing one another, Ron didn't want to believe it. There simply had to be another reason: Polyjuice potion, mistaken identity, love potion or something, anything other than his Hermione kissing Draco Malfoy.
Draco's smirk as he drew back for air and the small smile from Hermione that he had seen thousands of times quickly extinguished his last remaining hopes and started a tidal wave of heartache and pain. He could recognize evil and arrogant Head Boy Draco Malfoy, his arch-nemesis since the first day of attending Hogwarts, wrapping his arms around her and squeezing tightly for another embrace. What was not so clear to Ron was the why the Head Girl, Hermione Granger and the secret love of his life, was passionately returning the kiss. Why would Hermione, the brightest, bravest, and most beautiful witch in Hogwarts kiss a boy who for the last six years had done everything in his power and family money to make life miserable for her, Harry, and himself?
Can't she see through the lies of this arrogant and evil ferret? Ron thought to himself.
Hermione giggled as Draco reached into her robes causing Ron to brake from his thoughts. Without hesitation Hermione quickly re-consummated the kiss with a sexual passion that Ron had never seen from her before. The realization of this moment had finally arrived. Hermione was in love with Draco. No longer was she the one that Ron had hoped to spend his life with. She chose another, in spite of his undying love, the life-saving trust between them, and the six and a half years of friendship. In the end, power, money, looks, and extreme confidence were victorious.
Power was something that Ron could never offer her; neither he nor Harry were chosen for Head Boy. Head Boy was a position that offered its own private and shared common room with the Head Girl. Ron was merely a seventh year prefect delegated to do nightly patrols with Filch and Mrs. Norris, while Harry had the honor of being the Quidditch Captain. Not that he minded.
As for money, his family barely made enough to keep him in school. Even his older brothers Bill, Charlie, Fred and George had to contribute to the family so that Ginny and he could buy much needed new school robes. Malfoy had more Galleons stacked at his Gringotts vault than most of the wizards and witches in England combined.
As for looks, Malfoy managed to generate the biggest of smiles from the girls in Hogwarts. His straight blond hair, to his blue eyes, combined with his Quidditch physique made him a heartthrob among the girls. While Ron's lanky body of 6 ft 2, thick messy red hair and second hand clothes had none of the girls turning their heads at him.
Lastly, extreme confidence or in Ron's view of Malfoy, arrogance was wholeheartedly in Malfoy's corner. Ron couldn't dare tell his feelings about Hermione to even his closest friend, Harry Potter. The fear of rejection and ultimately losing her friendship kept him silent for years. He had always known that Hermione could have any bloke in Hogwarts or out, and it scared him more than anything that if he came out with his feelings, she would run to another.
Ron looked in to see Hermione was leaning into Draco for another deep kiss. This sight was the last thing that Ron could bear as he felt the need to find the men's loo. He held his mouth shut as he dashed through a crowd of 3rd years students, past Peeves throwing ink pellets at him and down the staircase to the 2nd floor boy's bathroom, just in the nick of time. His stomach, as if taking marching orders from his heart, violently heaved his breakfast and lunch into the toilet. To make matters worse, after fifteen minutes of trying to recover he realized that he was late for his NEWT Potions class with Professor Snape and immediately sprinted to the dungeons.
Ron opened the Potions' classroom door quietly, and seeing Professor Snape lecturing the class while facing the chalkboard he quickly made his way to Harry and Hermione's station that had an empty seat beside them. Unfortunately, Ron seated himself beside Hermione, while Professor Snape was still lecturing on the uses and benefits of Dragon's blood.
"Now that I've explained everything, except to Mr. Weasley; who thinks he can sneak into my class whenever he likes," Snape snarled, turning around from the chalkboard and looked directly at Ron with a scowl. Fortunately, after six years of taunts from Professor Snape, Ron could easily raise his head and looked at his scowling face with disdain.
"You shouldn't have been late," Hermione whispered softly to Ron.
"Well Mr. Weasley, are you going to at least offer a feeble excuse?" Professor Snape asked, as he moved closer and looked directly in his eyes.
"I was feeling sick and had to throw up in the loo," answered Ron.
Ron almost willed Snape to use Legimency to see the disgusting image of him throwing up in the bathroom earlier. After a brief second, Professor Snape broke the stare and looked disgusted at Ron's answer and the truth.
"Yes, well, be that as it may, 10 points from Gryffindor."
After returning to his desk, Snape tapped a glass sand-dial with his wand, causing the sand to move up from the bottom against gravity to collect upside down on the top.
"You have an hour to complete your Potions." he finished, folding his arms and starting his parade around the room.
Ron just wanted to complete the potion and get out of there. The mere presence of Hermione being so close to him made his heart and stomach ache even more. To make matters worse, Ron caught glances of Hermione smiling at Draco across the room. It was the same glances and smiles that he had been noticing Hermione giving in the Great Hall toward the Slytherin table, for the last few weeks. This led up to a secret note that he saw her reading in NEWT Herbology, that made him follow her after class to the empty Charms classroom.
Draco lifted his head from over his cauldron and returned another smile back to Hermione. Hermione responded by biting her lower lip before she even looked down and across toward Ron.
Ron could really feel his heart and stomach rolling all over again.
"Ron, you haven't put anything in your Potion. Honestly, do I have to do everything for you?" Hermione said exasperatedly, while reaching her hand over to Ron's arm to get his attention.
Ron couldn't even hear what she was saying but could instantly feel the cold touch of her hand as she touched his arm. The image of her touching Draco with the same hand less than an hour ago flooded back to him. He instinctively, jerked his arm away from her, but the damage had already been done, as he raced out of the Dungeon classroom for the men's loo once again.
After spending some more time in the bathroom, he decided not to risk another encounter with Hermione again, so he skipped the rest of his classes. Instead, he ambled to the sanctuary of his four post bed in the Gryffindor's seventh year boys' room.
"Ron! Ron, are you okay?" Harry asked, after climbing the stairs with a worried look on his face.
"No, Harry, I'm far from okay." Ron whined, as he was looking up at the ceiling from his bed, trying to make sense of it all.
"What's wrong with you?" Harry asked, then jumped into his own bed next to Ron's bed.
"I... I saw Hermione...," replied Ron, not able to put the scenes he witnessed into words.
"You see Hermione everyday... Hello?" Harry cracked, as he was lying on his side and looking strangely at Ron.
"No, not like that... with another guy," Ron finished, trying to hold his voice on an even tone.
"Are you sure?" Harry asked, with a 'not-too-surprised' look on his face.
"Yeah, Malfoy," Ron replied.
"Maybe you thought you saw something else." Harry remarked, rolling over and away from Ron.
Ron twisted around his bed to a sitting position, to look at the back of Harry lying on his bed.
"I just said I saw Hermione with Malfoy, and all you can say is maybe I thought I saw something else?" Ron said, in total disbelief at Harry's reaction. "Malfoy, the Death Eater wanna-be, who has tried to make our lives bloody miserable ever since we got here. That git-faced Malfoy, ring a bell?"
"I know who the ferret is, Ron. I'm just saying are you sure you really saw it?" Harry replied, still not looking up in Ron's direction.
"Yeah, Harry, I saw Hermione and Draco in an empty Charms classroom going at it like it was their honeymoon!" Ron snapped as he wanted Harry to believe him while he tried to hold back the rumbling in his stomach.
An awkward silence settled in between them as Harry exhaled and rolled back over to look at Ron.
Ron immediately noticed the sympathy in Harry's eyes versus the anger he expected to see.
"Ron, she's old enough to make her own decisions."
"You knew –YOU KNEW!" Ron screamed at his best friend.
Harry groaned in exasperation and spun around on his bed to look directly at Ron.
"Ron, she swore me to secrecy when I found out."
"You're my best mate and you had to a known how I felt about her. HOW COULD YOU BLOODY NOT TELL ME!" Ron said lividly.
"Ron, listen, I don't like it any more than you do, but I've always stayed away from getting involved between you two." Harry pleaded compassionately, with guilt written all over his face.
"Well, thank you, Harry, and just how long have you been keeping this to yourself?" Ron asked angrily, as he looked straight at Harry to hear and see his answer.
"Er… about... about a month..."
Ron couldn't reply as he had to race to the seventh year boy's bathroom to throw up again.
"Ron... I'm sorry," said Harry apologetically, as Ron continued heaving up everything in his stomach.
"You can keep your apology and you can take your knife out of my back. –Blaugh! - Mates don't do this to one another. –Blaugh!- So you can find a new one!" Ron yelled, with his head in the toilet.
"Ron, you don't mean it. She said you wouldn't be emotionally mature enough to handle this," Harry explained logically, as he tried to calm Ron down from breaking their trusted friendship.
"Mature?... Emotionally mature to handle my best mate lying to me about Hermione and her betrayal for the love of Malfoy?" Ron bellowed, while sticking his red and green face out of the toilet. "She's right again, because I can't handle it. Because, I don't want to handle it!"
Ron stood up and stuck his head under the shower to wash his face and hair.
"Ron, why don't you just tell her how you feel and I'm sure she'd dump the ferret for you," Harry pleaded with Ron, along the running shower.
"Little late for that, wouldn't you say Harry? I mean, I don't have the emotional maturity like Hermione and you have, but it seems to me that after witnessing them this afternoon that I'm willing to say that SHE ALREADY LOVES THE FERRET!" Ron screamed at Harry.
Ron walked out of the shower, soaking wet while still in his school robes and headed straight for the door. He immediately started climbing down the spiral staircase to the Common Room, with Harry trailing behind.
"You know you're right. This is my fault. I mean, I cared and was in love with her for over six years. What I really should've been doing was calling her Mudblood and hoping that a Basilisk would kill her, or hoping that Sirius Black would do her in, or even try to hex her outside the Potions' classroom. Heck, I even forgot about the time he tried to get her expelled when they raided the DA meeting and then last year when he told his old dad on us and watched as we almost got killed. Yeah, that's what I should've done instead. All that evil shit, so I could win her heart and have emotional maturity. I mean Hermione can't help it; chicks just dig evil, twisted monsters." Ron said bitterly.
"Ron, will you slow down?" Harry pleaded, reaching the bottom of the Boys' dormitory spiral staircase, as Ron briskly made for the Portrait hole.
"You know, I should've been a Slytherin bad boy, then I could've been the one to date whomever I wanted." Ron cracked madly, while slamming the portrait on Harry's face.
Harry said nothing as he came to a complete stop and simply looked at the back of the Portrait entrance.
"What's wrong with him?" Ginny asked, coming up behind and alongside Harry.
"Oh... I better go talk to him before he does something rash," said Ginny, brushing up against Harry to get out.
"No, Ginny. He just needs some time on his own. He's in a lot of pain." Harry said, as he grabbed Ginny by the arm to stop her.