Hermione Granger sat alone in Ron’s room, her face covered with tears, thinking, something she’d been doing a lot over the past week; ever since the final battle. Hermione had been so conflicted on everything- her feelings for Ron, her family, and what her place was. She had was staying at the Burrow, on Molly’s insistence, but she felt oddly out of place. Everyone was grieving, and she felt like she was in the way, an outsider of sorts. Harry seemed to feel the same way, hiding out in the corner of the Burrow’s living room when he wasn’t off with Ginny near the lake of the village. At least they had one another.
She was so unsure about Ron. Sure, they had spent the last year getting closer, and they had kissed. Oh that kiss… Hermione blushed just thinking about it. Part of her was still mad at Harry for interrupting. She had waited seven years for that kiss, and Ron hadn’t even mentioned it since. In fact, she was sure, had it not happened, that Ron didn’t even realize it had happened.
She sighed, looking around. She was glad she had chosen this as a hiding place. She had been found in Ginny's room crying more than once, which led to either Ginny or Mrs. Weasley crying while hugging her, which made her feel worse. She figured no one would come up here, except Ron, but she could deal with him.
Hermione looked up quickly as the door opened, spotting Ron standing there awkwardly. “Hermione…I didn’t think you’d be up—where have you been? Mum’s been looking for you? She’s worried sick.”
“I… I wanted a moment alone.” She said, looking away so she could wipe her eyes, realizing this was the first time they’d been left alone since the battle, since that kiss.
Ron watched her, biting his cheek. He too had been thinking a lot about her. Did she feel the same for him as he did about her? Ron never had been one for tact, or to talk about feelings, but he’d thought that kiss had told her all she’d needed to know. Ron had ignored her because part of him feared she’d only kissed him in the heat of the moment and she had no feelings for him other than friendship. He wasn’t sure he could handle rejection like that, not from her anyway.
Hermione felt guilty, thinking about Fred. She had no right to be worrying about her and Ron’s relationship when he was dealing with his brother’s death. She sniffled, about to cry again.
Ron bit his lip, moving over to her, and then stopping, unsure of himself. He hated that she had been so upset lately, having taken to brooding lately, upset about Fred.
Hermione looked away from him, sighing. She had come to a decision about things.
"I--I think I--" she bit her lower lip, about to cry again. She wanted to say she wanted to go home, but what home did she have really? She had parents who barely paid her any mind. Who would let their only daughter go traipsing off every holiday without a word? Parents who didn't notice she was gone obviously. Hermione had always worked hard to exceed in everything in hopes they would notice her for more than five minutes, but it had never worked. She wondered if they were better off where they were, forgetting her.
"I want to bring my parents back…" she said finally, knowing no matter what, she had to. If they didn't want a daughter, fine, but she at least wanted to see them, they were her parents after all.
"Oh." Ron replied, furrowing his brow slightly since he'd forgotten about that whole situation. He'd gotten so involved with the battle and Fred's death that he'd pushed back the stuff about Hermione's parents. He thought about asking her if she needed help but then thought better of it, unsure she’d want him there for that. "I suppose you miss them of course…and they’ll be safe now…” he said awkwardly.
She gave him a nod. "Um...I think I'll be leaving tomorrow then. I'll expect I'll be back after a few days, if your mum will have me," she said, knowing full well moving back in with her parents wasn't going to happen. It had been seven years since they'd been under the same room for longer than a week, and she knew as much as she loved them, they weren't really a family. They would also most likely be upset with her for the Confoundus Charm she'd done and upset about the war when she told them, knowing this was not to go well. She knew they'd always assumed after Hogwarts she'd return to the Muggle world, but that wasn't what her life was to be, she was meant to stay in the Wizarding World, and she'd made the choice to choose it over her parents, as much as it pained her.
Ron smiled for the first time since Fred’s death. “Well, you know mum, she loves you and Harry.”
"I know... but I mean... your family doesn't need some outsider hanging around," Hermione replied, never having fully appreciated how much the Weasley's loved her since she wasn't used to that kind of affection from her own parents. Though, she was dearly fond of Molly and Arthur, and their whole family. She wished, more than anything to become part of it by marrying Ron, but she knew she was being silly, Ron…she wasn’t even sure Ron knew what he wanted.
Ron scoffed. “Hermione… please, you’re hardly an outsider. Mum thinks of you like a daughter, she adores you, and Harry.” He said, thinking ‘I adore you’.
“I know… but, Harry’s more family than I am, he’s with Ginny after all. It won’t be long before those two get married…” she said, knowing full well those two would rush into it with everything they’d been through.
Ron tried not to get upset at that comment, Ginny was still his sister after all, and he didn’t want to think about her and Harry at the moment, still sour at him for ditching her last summer, even if his intentions were good. “Well, your family enough for mum.”
“And what am I to you?” She asked, looking over at him, finally getting the nerve to bring it up, wanting to sort this out before she left.
“What?” Ron asked, turning red.
"Oh really Ronald, I'm not going to pretend it didn't happen, " Hermione retorted, feeling much more like herself now that she had a reason to be upset with him.
Hermione started to tear up again, convinced now he had only kissed her back because of the situation and not because he had any feelings for her.
“Well… I mean, you’re my girlfriend now, right?” He asked, in his mind, thinking that this was the best way to go about it.
“So that’s how you ask is it? I suppose I am, took you long enough.” Ron was just tactless, but she loved him anyway.
Ron smiled, a big relief off his shoulders. “Well… I would have gone about it sooner if you hadn’t been going ‘round with Viktor.”
“I did not go ‘round with Viktor. We’re friends. Unlike you and Lavender.” She said haughtily.
“You snogged him!” Ron yelled in an accusing tone.
Hermione’s mouth hung open, her face red with anger. “First of all… Ronald, Viktor kissed me after the ball, and I politely told him I’d like to only be friends. You were the one groping Lavender all over the common room. You two might as well have been shagging in the Great Hall.”
“Don’t change the subject,” his tone guilty. He wasn’t proud of what he’d done with Lavender. “And why was he asking about you at the wedding?”
“I don’t know, and I don’t care, I have no interest in Viktor except that he’s a good friend and a kind person.
Ron gave her a snort, thinking Viktor had just been playing her up to try and have a go at her.
“At least Viktor respected me and wasn’t a complete arsehole to me!” Hermione snapped, sick of the way Ron treated her when he was upset with her, thinking about their sixth year and having it in her right mind to walk out right now, or attack him with canaries again.
“If he’s so much nicer than I am, why don’t you just go to Bulgaria and date him then!”
"Because I'm in love with you, idiot!" She yelled, sick of fighting with him about Viktor. Was he so blind he just couldn't tell that after all these years she was madly in love with him?
Ron looked at her, his mouth open, having been ready to throw back an insult at her, but her words had shocked him. She loved him? Really… loved him? He stood there, unsure what to say, not wanting to mess this up anymore than he already had.
Hermione instantly regretted telling him that. The look on his face made her think he was thinking of a way to turn her down. He didn’t love her back…. He was either going to laugh at her, or tell her she mad.
“I should go…” she whispered finally, needing to be out of there, now. She was in no state to deal with his rejection. She shouldn’t have said ‘love’. Blokes were afraid of that word. Even if Ron did like her enough, love was something else.
“NO! Don’t go…” Ron cried, getting his wits about him.
“Why not?” She asked, having already stood to leave.
“You know…” He began, expecting her to read his mind. This was Hermione after all; she was supposed to know everything.
Hermione’s breath caught. Did this mean…
“I love you,” Ron mumbled, looking away from her, blushing so much his neck was even red.
Hermione smiled widely. “What was that Ronald? I didn’t catch that.” She said, amused with how embarrassed he was. So this was it then, Ron was just too much of a dimwitted boy to admit he loved her all this time. How could she have thought otherwise? This was Ron… it wasn’t as if there weren’t signs, she was just dumb, for lack of a better term, when it came to him.
Ron sighed, looking over at her. “I love you,” he said a bit louder, looking her in the eyes.
In a heartbeat, not even waiting for him to finish speaking, Hermione hurled herself at Ron, her arms tightly around his neck and her lips pressed firmly against his.
Ron didn’t even have time to think. He wrapped his arms around her tightly, kissing her back, holding her slightly above the ground since he was so much taller than she was. Ron held her as close as her possibly could, not wanting to ever let go of her. He could feel his desire for her, thinking he had been mental not to tell her how he felt sooner. There were so many years that had been wasted.
Hermione clung onto him like she had when they'd first kissed, before Harry had rudely butt in. She never wanted to let go, wanting to pour every emotion from the last seven years into this kiss.
There was a faint knock at the door, causing Ron to pull away.
“Ignore it,” Hermione breathed out, having lost her breath during the kiss, wanting to be alone with him, and make up for all the snogging they had missed out on.
Ron smiled, leaning in to kiss her again when the door opened.
“Ron, mum’s---oh, sorry,” Charlie smirked. “I’ll tell her you’re busy.” He said, leaving the room and going downstairs to tell everyone what he’d seen, sure they’d all get a kick out of it.
Ron looked mortified. Charlie would tell everyone.
Hermione, on the other hand, didn’t care. She used her wand to lock the door and cast a silencing charm on the door. She moved a hand to Ron’s neck, moving his head to look at her. “Now, I think we were in the middle of something.” She said, pulling him closer and kissing him again, very intent to spend the rest of the night making up for lost time.