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22 July 2006 @ 03:34 pm
Title: Set Alight
Author: ayellowumbrella
Fandom, Pairing: Harry Potter, Ron/Hermione
Rating: PG
Warnings: none
Summary: how Ron sees Hermione

Constructive criticism is much appreciated! 

In the library, reaching for a book that was too high up; haughtily ignoring one of Dean’s inappropriate remarks; picking up her quill in Transfiguration.
When Ron was safe behind the curtains of his bed he would look back at the moments like he was shuffling through Chocolate Frog cards. Each moment was preserved, golden as a dragonfly in amber, and Ron could feel the weight of the images pressing at his eyes all day. But he had to wait to look back at them, to examine their details, covet their glow. The moments made him feel raw and exposed but in the still dark he could let their density break his ribs and settle into his chest. 
Biting her lip, brow crumpled, while she scoured a book for anything that might save their lives. There had been so many gritty-eyed nights of scrambling for salvation. There had been so many nights Ron had clenched his hands and hoped he wouldn’t die. The sharp edge of peril was always waiting.  
And her hair shone just so as she rounded the bend in the stairs ahead of him. 
The moments made a hotness creep across his face and a coldness press at his sides. It would kill him, he was sure. They were slowly wearing his heart thin, like jeans at the knee, and it would tear in a spiraling mess of frayed string. 
Once Ron had seen them, they were all he could see.  
Her vulnerable eyes on the morning of a test that she would, of course, pass. She always passed. She always passed and Ron always tripped and stumbled into something close to alright. 
He noticed it for the first time at the Yule Ball, of course—when everyone else had noticed. Part of him cursed his predictability (though most of him cursed in more general self-deprecation). It was like a stain on his vision that he sometimes tried to rub away until his eyes itched angrily; he could see it all the time after that. 
Her flushed face as another row dropped from its meaningless climax to hit the ground with a damp smack. 
Hermione hadn’t been pretty before then. Well, Ron had to admit, he hadn’t really seen her as a girl before then. After the Yule Ball, though, her beauty flashed in in-between moments. 
The arch of her fingers around her spoon
Lavender was so willing, so soft and covered in skin, so girl---circles and leaves and petals---that the boy of him---angles and avalanches and rust---was drunk on her. She was a fascination he gladly and greedily moved his clumsy hands and lips over. Because he could. Because she was warm and soft and girl
Yet a look at Hermione left his heart a swollen screaming blister. The ache was winning and Ron felt his body dying in concentric spheres from his breastbone outward. Desperate, he raged against her and resented her and blamed her and burned his want down. And the want was charred into fear and the fear was cremated into an ashy uncomfortable feeling in Ron’s shoulders that could be ignored. 
Then Hermione had had to shoot that bloody flock of canaries at him, her face savage and reddening from her nose out. And as she raised her arm and flicked her wand, the hurt in her had rushed up, a jettison of white bleaching smoke curling over and dissolving her blush and in the moment before Ron threw his arms over his head in panic, Hermione’s soul was all bare and shining on her face.  Her pale features were an altar the small and blackened part of Ron wanted to throw itself before.  Weeks after, when the stinging scratches of the sunny birds had faded, Ron’s incinerated heart still scalded in his chest, desperate to be laid on that altar to appease the Deity that tormented him: Love. Each singed beat was a screamed prayer. 
Her taut, sad look at Harry as he slipped up to bed. Ron had to look away because it seared; honey burning down his throat, gumming the back of his mouth, catching and stringing in his lungs, swimming languid and hot in his stomach.   
The desperate fire Ron had set in himself subsided to a golden molten burning that cast the amber moments, which he had taken to wondering at again, rosy and devastating. 
The look when she knew the answer ever before the question was finished, her hand shooting up and her lips pursing in anticipation of her victory; a small but evanescent smile some Wednesday during Herbology; pushing her hair behind her ear absently, her hand hovering indecisively for a moment while she squinted at something. 
He admonished himself from his seat across from her when he found himself glancing at her for the hundredth time.  He told himself she was agreeable-looking at best. Even though each glance made his stomach and line of sight swirl. 
Her back falling away from him, shaking, at Dumbledore’s funeral while he held her was the most perfect line he had ever seen--the noble bend of a tall blade of grass, a horizon seen from lying down. If the funeral hadn’t been enough to make him want to cry, Hermione’s back was going to destroy him. But Ron, ever manly, clenched his eyes shut and clung, sinking into the sunset-colors of death and love that were exploding inside him. 
Ron stumbled into the Burrow’s kitchen for a glass of lemonade that stiff sad summer of bracing for the inferno of battle and almost tripped over Hermione in his muggy distraction.
She was so beautiful in her moment of surprise, lilting in the feverish air as if the moment had been cut from a dance and spliced amidst her steps through the kitchen. 
Ron bent down to her in a moment of hot copper courage but Hermione, in the middle of her ephemeral twirl, turned her head and their two instants glanced off each other with Ron’s mouth meeting softly with the edge of her hair and Hermione walking away without realized how they had missed each other. 
The vacuum created left Ron gasping. 
But it was so beautiful in-between their isolated moments where it might all have met. Ron was sure that everything would have been set alight if he had caught that kiss.   
Current Mood: pleasedpleased
apapercraneapapercrane on July 24th, 2006 07:53 pm (UTC)
"She always passed and Ron always tripped and stumbled into something close to alright."

oh so characteristically RON.
(Anonymous) on July 24th, 2006 09:39 pm (UTC)
But he's so damn CUTE!
ayellowumbrellaayellowumbrella on July 24th, 2006 09:39 pm (UTC)
Er, that was me...
apapercraneapapercrane on August 13th, 2008 10:01 pm (UTC)
I've found myself rereading this over and over, so I can remember the way you write. It's so beautiful... your metaphors and details...

I miss it.