Ahem. I've had a craving something rather fluffy in my stomach lately, so I chose to revise this one...
Title: Not Exactly to Plan
Fandom, Parring: Harry Potter, Ron/Hermione
Summary: Breaking the news to Hermione didn't go exactly how Ron had planned...
She suddenly stopped her writing with a final jab of a period that echoed through the library. Her back straightened as she stretched still keeping her eyes on her writing, contemplating her finished work. Shocked by the sudden movement he forced his eyes to return to his own parchment:
“Boomslang’s most important function in potion making is” –
Well that’s a start, he told himself. He remained motionless for a moment, his eyes glued to the dried ink staining the paper. Impulsively, his body fidgeted again. He bit his cracked bottom lip and closed his eyes. Upon opening them, the redhead glanced across the table. To his horror there was a pair of brown eyes waiting there to meet his gaze. She was sitting somewhat slouched in her chair, her arms folded loosely across her chest, with a gently scornful look on her face.
“Have you written anything?” she asked with a slight smile.
“Yeah,” he said defensively gathering up his sentence of an essay.
“We’ve been sitting here for an hour --”
“Forty-five minutes more like.”
“ – I’ve been able to finish Transfiguration and Charms--”
“Charms was easy this week.”
“—and you haven’t even started your Potions essay!”
“Let me see it then.” She held out her hand across the table with an ‘I dare you’ look hidden in the corners of her smirk.
He looked away, stating weakly, “I’m still working out the kinks of it…”
“Honestly, Ron! This is really getting out of hand. You’re never able to finish your work! I don’t know what to do. I try to help but it doesn’t seem to be doing any good at all. You are a very capable wizard – why can’t you just apply yourself? Why don’t you at least try?”
“I do try, Hermione!” he slammed his fist on the table and jumped out of his seat. “I try everyday. I sit down and focus and plan, but why should I? I’ll never be good enough! I always end up second place – or worse. There’s always someone to live up to, someone’s shoes to fill – and I can’t do it! In Quidditch, I could never be as great as Charley was. And – and I could never be as funny as Fred and George.”
“And – Harry…” he sighed and laughed somewhat bitterly shaking his head, “who could measure up?” As he paused, she shook her head and made to reassure him. But he interjected harshly, “And you! I’ll never be able to do what you do. I’m not as clever as you are. And don’t you think I know that every time we sit here studding? You there writing a novel and me over here searching for an opening sentence? I can’t do it! You deserve more than that – you deserve someone who is smart, and witty and good at what he does. He needs to challenge you, to help make you better. I can’t do that – I could never be that for you! Merlin, I’ll never be good enough for you, Hermione!” he nearly yelled the last sentence. He felt his voice reverberating off the stone walls and all motion in the hall stop. All eyes were on him as he hovered there awkwardly holding his parchment in his arms, breathing heavily. She had a look of horrified surprise on her face. A moment they remained, staring at each other. He blinked and looked away, glanced quickly around at all the faces in the library, then backed into a hasty retreat from the room.
Ron hurried down the hallways putting as much distance between himself and Hermione as possible. How could he? Just exploding everything all at once that he’d been keeping inside of him for ages – had he actually said he would never be good enough? Yes, he did. Ron tried his best to ignore the droning pound in his ears and tried to block his outburst from his memory. The scene did not play out as he had planned.
He had planned it out, in fact, down to the last detail. On the day he was going to tell Hermione what she meant to him, he was to wear his best sweater – the one his mother had actually bought for him last year, as apposed to the plethora of hand-me-downs he owned. His plan was to take her outside by the lake, saying there was something he needed to show her. It had to be something rather silly – like a rumor that there was a new species of rigeworm discovered on the east bank; knowing Hermione, she wouldn’t resist investigating it.
The instigation the conversation, however, always eluded his plan. No matter what he imagined saying, Ron couldn’t imagine the first words he was to say: “Hermione, I have something to tell you” … “Hey, remember that one time you called me a good friend? I’d like to be more than that to you” … “You’re really – pretty today” … His first words always failed in his mind.
It was the words that followed that came to him with ease. He would tell her that she was perfect. She was beautiful, in every meaning of the word. Her presence in a room filled the space, making everything hot and stuffy… captivated him and stole his attention away from anything. He would tell her how ingenious she was at times, brilliant and sharp in times of need.
And she knew him. Inside and out, she knew his deepest fears and his worst memories. She knew what could make him laugh and what subjects to avoid in conversations because they made him uncomfortable. It scared the living hell out of him how well she knew him. Didn’t she realize? How couldn’t she?
He was thrown from his daydream as if he was punched in the stomach. It was her. Of course it was her. She was running up the corridor behind him.
“Ron, wait please…”
He stopped but didn’t turn around. He could hear her slightly labored breath that came with running after him. He closed his eyes tight again trying to shut out the sound.
She was at a loss for words; he could tell from the awkward silence. She couldn’t usually stand awkward silences.
“I can’t do it.” She whispered quietly.
His eyes flew open and he looked straight down the hall.
“I – I never wanted… I could never… I never thought of it as a competition. Between you or any one. Least of all me. Ron, you’re …” she paused, searching for a word, “amazing.”
He turned his head slightly, his back still to her.
“You— ” she broke off, then continued so softly, he could barely hear, “you’re always there – something strong to rely on. You’re the most… courageous person I’ve ever met. And I know you would think of Harry before yourself, but…” she took a timid step closer, “you never waver. No matter what you’re strong for him – you’re his perfect friend. You’re my perfect…” her voice dropped so much he couldn’t hear the word.
He turned to face her. She was standing, eyes tight shut just as his had been, but her head was dropped toward the floor. She was trembling. She seemed so small.
His parchment slid from his arms as his hands reached purposely to cradle her beautiful face. He closed his eyes and pressed his lips softly on hers. He pulled back slowly, keeping his lips inches from hers. His heart was racing wildly as she reached up and kissed him in return.
... guess what I had for breakfast today...