This is a Ron/Hermione one-shot and takes place during chapter ten of TOWARDS TOMORROW (also published on this site), but can stand alone and is told from Ron’s POV (for all of you who wanted to know more details about Ron finally getting his act together!)
RON KNOWS THINGS
I may not have visions of what the Dark Lord is up to - like Harry does. I may not have received twelve "Outstanding" O.W.L.s - like Hermione. I may not be able to spout off one hundred uses for mimbulous mimbletonia (as Neville undoubtedly can without blinking an eye) but I’m not stupid.
I know things.
I know that there are 700 possible ways to commit a foul in Quidditch, all of which occurred during the World Cup of 1473.
I know that the last time the Chudley Cannons won the league was in 1892.
I know that a Quidditch Pitch is 500 feet long and 180 feet wide and that only one Golden Snitch is on record has never having been caught. The game (which was held in 1864) was called and the Snitch is rumored to be living wild on Wildon Moore in Scotland.
I know that there are those who are saying that I may very well turn out to be one of the best Quidditch captains Hogwarts has ever produced. It’s very nice of them to say so, but we’ve only played one game so far this year and our win was a bit overshadowed by Ginny’s nearly getting killed there at the end.
I know things.
I know that when it comes to Ginny I’ve been a bit of wanker. While we were growing up she was always my responsibility. "Watch your sister," Mum would say, "make certain she doesn’t get hurt." Well, when I was able to skive off to Hogwarts somehow I thought that meant I didn’t have to be a big brother anymore. Second year, when Ginny was so lonely that she confided in that shite’s diary proved me wrong though, didn’t it? She needed me then. She needed someone to talk to and I was so wrapped up in Harry and Hermione and our adventures that I didn’t notice that there was something wrong.
I know that if Ginny’s injuries had been permanent (as they were until she and Harry pulled off that minor miracle) that I would have killed Crabbe with my bare hands - consequences be damned!
I know things.
I know that there are roughly five hundred students attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and that over three hundred of them are girls.
I know that there are three girls in Gryffindor sixth year, which makes Gryffindor sixth year the smallest class currently attending Hogwarts.
I know that of the three Gryffindor sixth year girls, one, (Lavender) has been shagging my dorm mate (Seamus) regularly since the end of last year. I know this because sometimes he sneaks her right into our dorm (thank Merlin for silencing charms, eh?).
I know that as a school prefect it is my responsibility to curb this sort of behavior and see to it that we sixth years set a good example for the younger students.
I know that I could care less if Seamus and Lavender shag all night, every night and that if I made it an issue, say if I gave them detention or some such rubbish, that it would only be out of jealousy over the fact that I’m not the one with the girl in my bed (not that I’d want Lavender in my bed. Lavender may be beautiful and all of that, but she isn’t the girl for me).
I know things.
I know that there is only one girl I would ever want in my bed. That would be Hermione Granger - she of the bushy brown hair and book fetish - the bloody brilliant witch who is top of the year in nearly every subject and whose acidic sarcasm has been known to stump even the silver-tongued devil - Draco Malfoy himself.
I know that I love her. I’ve known I loved her since that day that Harry and I walked into the hospital wing and found her lying there - still as death - petrified by Riddle’s Basilisk.
When I saw who it was on the bed my heart sank so fast I felt as if I’d fallen off of a broom. Hermione was gone. She was gone and so was my reason for living. I knew then that I loved her, but I didn’t know what that meant, not at the age of barely thirteen, and if someone had asked me, then, if I loved her, I would have denied it with my dying breath.
I know now what it means to love Hermione Granger. It was made perfectly clear to me the night after the Yule Ball when she stood across from me in the common room - her hair all coming down in wild tangles and her cheeks flushed with anger as she yelled at me for being a hypocrite. I knew exactly what it meant when I saw here there - all disheveled hair and furious temper - for in spite of her wrath I wanted nothing so much as to shut her up once and for all by just grabbing her and snogging her senseless in front of god and everybody. The thing is, she probably wouldn’t have minded.
You see, I may not be a genius, but I’m not stupid and I’m not blind.
I know things.
I know Hermione fancies me. I’ve suspected it since she revived me after the white queen knocked me out during our first year. The first thing I heard was her voice — so soft and full of earnest concern — calling my name, begging me "please don’t be dead, Ron, please don’t be dead!" And then her hands were on my face, my neck, cool and smooth and trembling as she tore off a sleeve of her robes to bind up my head wound — but oh, so gentle! I’d never been touched like that before by anyone except my Mum, and Mum has never looked at me with that mixture of concern and admiration that were in Hermione’s eyes that night. Her eyes were the first things I saw when I came to, and for just a moment, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.
I know things.
I know that I’m not blind.
I see how she watches me out of the corner of her eye when she thinks I’m not looking. I know why she’s there, right now, in the stands. She says she comes to lend all of; Harry, Ginny and myself moral support, but I also see how she’s almost always looking in my direction - even when the action is on the other end of the pitch.
I see that she’s waiting for me when I come out from the changing room (my hair still damp from my shower). I see the drop-dead looks she gives the giggling girls who are always hanging around outside. It’s always the same girls. They ogle us, bat their eyelashes and try to catch our eye.
Some blokes lap up that sort of attention. I know for a fact that Malfoy has shagged his share of the Quidditch groupies. Even Colin has managed to bag a bird or two, and Harry (who could have his pick of the lot — you should see them drool!) has eyes only for Ginny, which is just as well, since best mate or no, if he breaks her heart I’ll have to break his head.
Regardless of what Hermione thinks, I’ve never taken any of the groupies up on their offers (and believe me, there have been offers — rather creative, too, some of them). It’s not that I don’t notice them (I’d have to be blind not to what with the way they wiggle and giggle and lean over to give you glimpses of cleavage). It’s humorous to watch actually - or it would be if Hermione didn’t take them so seriously. I’ve told her I don’t know how many times that these girls are a running joke among the Quidditch teams, but all she does is sniff and look long suffering.
So I ignore the groupies as I emerge and smile when Hermione catches my eye. She falls into step beside me. We always head up to the castle together after Quidditch practice. It’s a sort of silent agreement that we have, something we’ve been doing instinctively all year, well, since Harry and Ginny got together at Halloween, anyway. To be perfectly honest, I don’t know if she does it because she wants to be with me, or because she doesn’t want to be alone. I’d like to think that it’s because she likes my company, but I’ve never been able to get up the nerve to ask.
My heart does a back flip as I feel her hand slip into mine. This has been happening a lot lately - not that I’m complaining. Her hand fits inside of mine completely and feels so right there that I have to wonder why we never bothered with holding hands before. Was I ever concerned of what other people might think if they saw us?
I know things.
I know that I could turn around and kiss her right now and it’s a good bet she wouldn’t put up a protest. In fact, she’d probably kiss me back. I know she wants me to kiss her. I see how her eyes travel to my lips whenever I’m talking to her, how she unconsciously moistens her own lips with her tongue. It’s an incredibly erotic gesture and never fails to send all my blood rushing south.
Fact is, we could probably have a bloody decent time snogging each other while on patrol or (if we let ourselves go) shag each other senseless in unused classrooms (I have to admit that the idea has appeal). But there’s a problem you see, because I know things. I know that a good snog or even a decent shag is not all that I want from Hermione Granger.
I want her love. I want her respect. I want her to know, deep in her soul as I do, that we are meant to be together, forever. And there’s the rub you see, for why would someone as smart and clever as Hermione want to cast her lot in with a penniless loser like me?
I shoot a sideways glance at her as we walk. Merlin, she’s beautiful! She’s beautiful and she doesn’t even realize it! She may not be stunning - like the Patil twins. She may not have Lavender’s delicate, china-doll beauty or Cho’s exotic appeal, but she’s beautiful all the same. It’s in the way she holds herself, head up, back straight, looking the world in the eye and telling it to go to hell if it gets in her way. It’s in her perfectly sculpted features and the wild tangle of hair that she doesn’t bother trying to control. It’s in the way she sticks up for hopeless causes (and nags this hopeless cause into getting his homework done). It’s in the way she hides that magnificent body of hers under bulky jeans and jumpers, not bothering to call attention to curves that people like Hannah or Pansy would kill for.
It’s in the way she looks at me - see? There’s a tiny half-smile hidden in that look. Her eyes sparkle with desire and suddenly something snaps. Damn the feelings of inferiority! Damn the fears of rejection! I can’t live like this anymore. After what happened to Ginny . . .what if something like that were to happen to Hermione and I’d never told her, never showed her, how I felt? What if I never told her and I lost her to someone else?
The enormity of this realization hits me like a hammer blow and, letting go of her of her hand I stop dead on the path.
"Hermione?" my voice sounds odd to my ears, rather ragged, as if I’ve been running uphill.
She’s several steps ahead of me when she turns to see why I’ve stopped.
"What is it, Ron? Did you forget something? Do you need to go back?"
Yes! Yes, Hermione! I need do need to go back! And I need to have been the one to ask you to the Yule Ball fourth year, and then it would have been us out in the rose bushes and maybe Snape would have found us and deducted house points, but we would have been together, damn it!
"It’s something I’ve forgotten to do, actually," I manage rather croakily.
She’s looking at me with that crease between her eyebrows, the crease that says she doesn’t have a clue what I’m talking about. I know that crease well. She’s standing there, face turned up to mine, looking puzzled and absolutely adorable when an errant breeze catches a lock of her untamed hair and whips it into her face. Before I know what I’m doing I’ve closed the distance between us and am tucking the curl behind her ear, letting my fingers linger against the soft skin of her face.
She looks startled, but she doesn’t flinch and, more importantly, she doesn’t pull away. Instead, her eyes lock onto mine and in them I see the promise of more than I could ever have imagined. Encouraged, I let my fingers run through her hair until my hand is resting on the nape of her neck.
"Ron?" she breathes, and my name on her lips is a caress. I can feel her breath on my face; she smells of chocolate and cinnamon. Her lips are parted and as I focus on them she unconsciously wets them with her tongue.
I drag my gaze up until I meet her clear, penetrating gaze. If only I could say something suave and elegant that would sweep her off her feet. Malfoy’s good at that. I heard him hitting on a fourth year Ravenclaw last week and I’ll give the son of a bitch credit, he’s one smooth mother.
"I should have done this a long time ago, Hermione."
And then I’ve leaned in and am kissing her, and the feel of her lips moving beneath mine is so incredibly brilliant that I lose all track of place and time. She pulls back far too soon for my liking and I brace myself.
What have I done?
You’ve kissed Hermione, you great prat! You’ve gone and snogged your best friend!
I’ve put our friendship on the line with that kiss. Will she be so mad she hauls off and hits me, like she did to Malfoy when he insulted Hagrid? Or will she simply hex me into the next millennium? Or will she downplay it by making some sort of sarcastic comment or - worst of all - apologize?
But she surprises me - bloody brilliant witch - she’s wrapped her arms around my neck and is kissing me back! She’s pressed so tightly against me now that I can feel every curve and contour of her even through her robes and damn if that wasn’t her tongue I felt brushing my lips!
I question with my own tongue and she parts her lips in reply, sighing into my mouth, inviting me deeper . . .the taste of her! Sweet Merlin! And I thought Honeydukes chocolate was addictive! I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get enough of her!
One of my hands is still tangled in the hair at the nape of her neck, the other is encircling her waist, I use it to pull her closer and I swear - it’s as if her body goes fluid! She’s molded herself so perfectly against me that I can’t tell where her body ends and mine begins. There’s no way she can miss the full extent of my arousal (which is growing more insistent by the second) should I shift away from her? I don’t want to scare her off after all . . .I move my hips slightly, but instead of the intended effect of moving away from her, it somehow brings us closer, and instead of scaring her, she shifts her own hips, even as she moans into my mouth.
Merlin, she’s killing me!
My hand has slipped from her waist to her backside. The soft curve of her fits my hand perfectly. I should stop now . . .I should . . .before things go too far . . .but . . . damn! The things she’s doing with her tongue are bloody brilliant! Where did she learn to kiss like this? No! I don’t want to know!
She breaks off the kiss and for a second I think I’ve gone too far, but then she nips at my earlobe, catching it in her teeth, and then her tongue is tracing the rim of my ear. It flicks inside and I can’t suppress the moan that escapes my throat or the way the hand on her backside instinctively clenches. This elicits a sexy sort of growl from her and then she’s kissing me again; so deeply, so willingly that I’m certain that I’ve died and gone to heaven.
A sudden clatter from the direction of the castle brings us both back to earth with a jolt.
"Was that what you forgot to do?" she asks innocently as she pulls away.
I nod stupidly, unable to tear my eyes away from her face, from he sparkling eyes, her flushed cheeks or the way her lips are swollen from my kisses.
She smiles up at me - a slow, seductive smile that makes my heart beat a double-time tattoo inside my chest.
"Merlin, Hermione!" I manage finally. I feel winded, stunned, and happy as hell. "That was bloody brilliant!"
"It was, wasn’t it?" she says thoughtfully, then, "I knew it would be."
Would be? Bloody hell . . .
"Then — then you didn’t mind?" I’m stammering now, not a good sign.
"Did that feel as if I minded to you?" she says coyly (Hermione? Coy?) and looks up at me through her long, curly lashes.
"Hermione Granger, are you flirting with me?" I ask, unable to keep from grinning. I guess she can’t have roomed with Parvati and Lavender for nearly six years without picking up a few of their tricks!
"I guess I am," she says, tipping her head to one side. "I’ll stop if you like."
I shake my head in the negative, afraid that if I open my mouth I’ll say something stupid and break the spell that seems to have been cast on the pair of us.
"Good, then kiss me again before I forget how."
I oblige. No arguments.
I told you, I’m not completely stupid.
I know things.
I know that I love this girl.
I know that the girl I love is snogging me senseless out in the open on the school grounds where anyone could see us, but who am I to argue?
I’ll tell her I love her one day, but right now, with the feel of her lips on mine and her body beneath my hands, right now — this is enough.
The rest will come.
I know it will.
*For those of you who want to more about Ginny’s accident or how Harry and Ginny got together, I recommend reading TOWARDS TOMORROW also on this site.
*Number of students in Hogwarts? I guestimated at 500. Cannon is contradictory (she speaks of the sounds of hundreds of feet and a solid 200 Slytherins dressed in green at the Quidditch match, but there are only five Gryffindor boys and three girls in Ron and Harry’s year) and the Lexicon is inconclusive. Estimates say anywhere from 300 — 1,000, so I put it right in the middle.