Hermione's POV the afternoon before Bill & Fleur's wedding, a lost moment.
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Something about this journey into Ron's room was different. They were all downstairs cleaning and cooking and decorating for the wedding. Mrs. Weasley asked me to distribute the clean laundry to everyone's rooms so here I was – all alone nearly at the very top of the house that was my second home with Ron and Harry's clean clothes. Why did I feel like I had lead in my shoes?
I shook my head and straightened my back. Carefully shifting my weight so I wouldn't drop the folded piles in my hands I turned the knob. I gave it a firm push (I knew his door got stuck sometimes) and it opened. There were books and things all over Ron's side of the room, I tried not to slip and break my neck on my way to Harry's significantly cleaner side. My peripheral vision was kept busy by his Chudley Cannons posters. It was almost like being at a Quidditch match, the players zoomed from one poster to the next and back again.
I set both piles of laundry down on Harry's bed and turned. What a mess. I don't know why I wasn't annoyed that Ron couldn't pick things up. I actually smiled to myself and started cleaning. I picked up all of his books and put them in his bookcase, the older books on the bottom shelf; then I started re-folding the load of clean laundry I'd handed him in the kitchen two days earlier. He must have brought it up here and just tossed it all to the floor. I opened his closet, which was not nearly as much of a mess as I anticipated (probably because most of his clothes were now either in a neatly folded pile at my feet, or in the bag I had packed and waiting on my bed). After I hung his clothes on the empty hangers, I lined his trainers and boots up next to each other on the floor and closed the door again.
The more I cleaned, the more floor was exposed. I'd sat on the floor chatting with him and Harry many times. I became very familiar with my place on the burnt orange rug; I'd wound the fringed trim around my fingers. I knew the prickle of the wool on my legs; I loved every threadbare centimeter of that rug.
I felt my cheeks grow hot when I picked up a pair of his boxers from the floor. I folded them quickly and pushed them into his top drawer. Before I knew it, I had finished picking up the floor and I was dusting his room. With that done, I started to make his bed. I looked out his window and saw them in the yard putting up the tent where Bill and Fleur would become man and wife. Suddenly, my pulse was racing. I had Ron's pillow in my hands and the scent of him enveloped me like Harry's Invisibility Cloak.
I was still looking out the window as I brought the pillow up to my face and closed my eyes, smelling him. The mixture of his aftershave, freshly-cut grass, perspiration and…chocolate perhaps, was intoxicating. It sent shivers up my spine, just like whenever he brushed up against me in the hallway or that time he took me up on his broom last summer.
When Pigwidgeon arrived with Ron's letter, inviting me to spend the rest of the summer at the Burrow, I must have grinned. Mum by then recognized the expression on my face, even if she didn't see which owl delivered the letter.
"Hermione, can I ask you something?" she asked me, twirling her pearls around her finger.
"Sure, Mum." I replied folding his letter up and pushing it into my pocket.
I sat across from her at our kitchen table. She took a long sip of her drink before exhaling and setting it down in front of her. She looked uncomfortable and I squirmed in my seat.
"Is Ron your boyfriend?"
I blushed. "No, Mum…I mean he's...my…one of my best friends." I said quickly and looked away from her.
"But you want him to be your boyfriend?"
I hated how she could read my mind; how she knew things I didn't admit to myself.
"I…yes, Mum. I do."
She smiled at me and patted my hand.
"What about that boy in Bulgaria you used to write to?" She smiled.
"Viktor? I still write to him from time to time. But no, there's never been anything between Viktor and me. He probably had a…a crush or something on me but…"
"But you're too much in love with Ron to consider anyone else?" I raked my hands through my hair and folded my hands.
"Darling, he's a very nice boy. I just want you to be safe." I knit my eyebrows together and looked at her, studying her expression.
"Mum, I promise you there's none of that going on." I felt my face burning.
"I don't mean sexually safe, sweetheart, although as your Mum I'm relieved to hear that. I mean I don't want you getting hurt. Teenaged boys are complicated. I don't think Ron is the type to hurt you on purpose, don't misunderstand me but…boys can be a little…"
"I love him. I do."
"I know, baby. I know."
When we got back to the Burrow, Mrs. Weasley set about her never-ending task of trying to fatten me up. I'd longed stopped saying "No thank you" when she offered me something to eat – she always brought me something regardless of my response. She's a truly amazing cook, I loved watching her buzz around the kitchen. I couldn't imagine making three meals a day for such a large family but she could make a feast out of just about anything.
The afternoon after I arrived, Ginny and I were in the middle of a game of Gobstones when Ron popped his head in her room and asked if we felt like heading out to the orchard. Forgetting the game we were playing, Ginny and I followed Ron to the shed where they grabbed a couple of brooms and we headed off for the beautiful apple orchard adjacent to the house.
I sat in the shade of a tree and watched them fly, tossing a half-deflated Quaffle between them. Ron swooped down and deftly flipped off his broom landing perfectly on his feet right in front of me.
I'm not a confident flyer at all and he talked me into trying his new broom. He sat behind me and my whole body tingled feeling him there, his chest against my back, his hands on mine when he helped me steer and his groin pressed up against my bum. I squeezed my eyes shut when he leaned forward, making us accelerate. His hot breath in my ear made me bite my lip.
"Open your eyes, Mione." He'd said.
I couldn't open my eyes. Ron's heartbeat was echoing through me, the vibrations from the broom between our legs grew more intense the higher and faster he pushed us.
I was still thinking about that when I spotted the pink t-shirt tucked underneath his second pillow. I knew the second I saw it that it was mine. I thought it had gotten mixed in with Ginny's' clothes or Fleur's. How did it end up here? When I pulled it out, I realized it hadn't even made it into the washing machine – the stain from where I'd spilled my tea was still there.
Did Ron pull my shirt out of the hamper? A thrilled feeling spread all over me, down to my fingertips. He was sleeping with my shirt, there was no other explanation for it being there, hidden in his sheets. I came over dizzy and had to sit. I was gripping the shirt in my hands when I laid down on the squeaky mattress and cuddled into Ron's pillow.
I don't know what came over me, but I pressed my face into his pillow and smelled him there. My hand moved down in between my legs over my jeans. I imagined Ron's strong hand cupping me there, creating the glorious friction I craved so much. I sighed and reached under my shirt, gripping my breast over my bra. Remembering the dreams I'd had about him kissing me and licking my skin I bit my lip and willed it all to be real instead of in my head. I worked my hand back and forth over the crotch of my jeans and moaned into his pillow, biting it.
I never heard him coming up the stairs.