Chapter 2 : What Now?
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Well, it finally happened. Ron kissed Hermione.
(Or rather, Hermione kissed Ron, but he came to his senses rather quickly enough to react appropriately.)
It was an all around glorious moment that could never be replicated nor outdone in a million years. It was thrilling and urgent – for, as Harry so insightfully pointed out, there was a war going on – and it was superbly dramatic, what with the cascading of fangs and broomsticks all over the place.
Merlin’s pants, he even lifted her off her feet! It was the moment most women want and very few actually get – and Hermione Granger, bushy hair and large teeth and all, was one of those few.
Well, you could stick that in your cauldron and brew it!
But the war ended, and the adrenaline levels returned to normal, and the sense of frenzy and urgency was replaced by relatively clearer thinking. And once they got past the obligatory What was I thinking? phase, and the phase in which they grudgingly admitted to themselves that they actually enjoyed it and would theoretically like to have another go, they were each faced with a question as old as time itself.
It was a question that had plagued generations (centuries! millennia!) of very good friends who had randomly and suddenly broken down and snogged each other senseless.
They couldn’t just go about their lives acting as though it never happened, of course – they were grown wizards who had just defeated the darkest forces of all wizarding time! It was obviously something they would have to deal with like two mature adults.
Naturally, they each had their own ideas of how they would like the situation to proceed from there.
Hermione, I’m sorry I’m so insensitive all the time, and that I don’t ever think about anything that comes out of my mouth before I actually say it, even though it wouldn’t kill me to take an extra ten seconds out of my life to do so. I’m sorry I always start rows with you over every little thing. Lavender was a moment of total insanity and I’d really rather not think about it. I love you, and I always have, and I think we should snog some more – like right now.
But Hermione was much too reasonable to believe that would ever happen.
Ron, I’m sorry I don’t ever shut up about anything, even when I’m obviously wrong, and that I project my overly high expectations of myself onto everyone else. I’m sorry I always start rows with you over every little thing. Vicky was a moment of total insanity and I’d really rather not think about it. I love you, and I always have, and I think we should snog some more – like right now.
But Ron was much too reasonable – or jaded – to believe that would ever happen.
So, quite at a loss for what to do, they formed an unspoken agreement to approach the situation in the most rational way possible.
They would go about their lives acting as though it never happened.
It was a brilliant idea, and each of them congratulated themselves for coming up with it, but it had its obvious drawbacks after a few days. Either they allowed themselves to be in one another’s presence without actually speaking, and always in the presence of another person, or they took shifts spending time with Harry. Seven years of experience should have taught them that these tactics were unsuccessful more often than not, but some lessons are learned slowly.
But even more importantly, there existed two people who had a vested interest in resolving this dilemma. Ginny was, after all, Hermione’s friend and Ron’s sister, and she decided she would not stand for this behavior. Harry would have been perfectly happy to stay out of it, but Ginny insisted on his cooperation - and really, he had just defeated Voldemort and was now about to help rebuild the Wizarding community, so could he honestly be expected to get into an argument with his girlfriend too?
Ginny felt it incumbent upon her to try the delicate approach first.
“Ron,” she said one day, cornering her brother in the kitchen at the Burrow, “stop being an idiot.”
She could tell, judging by the tone of his voice, that he knew exactly what she was referring to.
Hermione was just as perceptive, and much quicker on the uptake.
“Hermione - ”
“Not going to talk about it!”
At Ginny’s direction, Harry halfheartedly inquired of each of his friends whether they could just behave normally. He received a resounding “I don’t know what you’re talking about” from both parties, and that was that.
This tack was clearly not working, so Ginny threw all delicacy out the window. She lay in wait one day until Harry and Ron returned to the Burrow and shut themselves in Ron’s room. She then grabbed Hermione unceremoniously by the arm, hauled her into Ron’s room, and hovered next to Harry, tapping her foot. Harry did some rapid calculations in his head and decided that his best course of action was to disappear behind today’s edition of the Daily Prophet.
“So,” said Ginny, glaring at her brother and her friend. It was no easy feat to glare at them both, considering they had situated themselves at opposite corners of the room.
“Oh, good, Harry,” blurted out Hermione, “you’ve got today’s Proph - ”
Ginny cut her off. “All those present who have snogged each other and are now pretending it didn’t happen, please get over it, go on a proper date, and learn how to behave like normal people!”
All ears were then met with ringing silence, as two faces in the room turned bright red, Hermione seriously considered modifying all memories present, and Ron struggled to understand why two people would need to go on a date when they had known each other for nearly a decade and already knew everything about one another.
Ginny then hauled Harry out of the room by his sleeve and slammed the door. A shocked silence followed in their wake until Ron, closest to the door, attempted to wrench it open again, but to no avail, even after using alohomora.
“Oi!” He pounded on the door. “Ginny, what the eff did you do? I swear, if you don't...” He allowed himself a few excellent swear words and then sighed. “Hermione, can you see if you can have a go at this? I don't know what she's done to it.”
She blinked. “That’s the first time you’ve talked to me in two weeks.”
“It’s not. I said ‘good morning’ once.”
“Oh, was that what it was? Sounded like you were speaking troll.”
“Well, fine, I won’t say anything, then.”
Ron threw himself back down on his bed, crossed his arms, and stared at the door. Hermione, sitting on the floor, wrapped her arms around her legs and stared in the opposite direction. Barely half a minute had passed in silence before a pitiful sob erupted from her corner of the room.
“Hey!” he exclaimed, jumping up in shock. “No, no, it’s okay! What’s wrong?” He sank to the floor next to her and patted her on the shoulder. “We’ll get out eventually, Ginny’s just being stupid…”
Hermione sobbed even harder, and Ron, at a momentary loss for words, cast around for a handkerchief but found he didn’t have one nearby. Before he could find a suitable alternative, Hermione flung her arms around him and sniffled into his shirt.
“Oh…well…it’s okay, I don’t really like this shirt anyway.”
She made a noise that almost sounded like laughter.
Ron held Hermione for a very long time, and each of them was forced to once again acknowledge that, in spite of their chagrin at being locked in the same room with the person they cared about most in the world, it felt quite nice this way. And neither of them realized it as it was happening, for these things tend to creep up slowly when two people are so close to each other and attempt to willfully ignore it, but soon they were kissing - differently than before, this time slowly and softly and carefully, as though they were each afraid to break each other.
This, too, went on for a long time, until Hermione finally pushed Ron away, looking very pink in the cheeks and also very cross.
“Is this all we have in common, then? Snogging?”
Ron failed to see the problem, but he gave some thought to it. Then he shrugged and leaned in again. “I’ll take it.”
“I’m kidding!” He put on his most serious face possible at the moment. “Sorry, okay? I’m kidding.” When Hermione’s glare softened, he leaned closer, and then stopped abruptly. “But don’t ignore me again, okay? You can’t just snog me and then pretend I don’t exist. I’m very delicate, you know.”
Hermione laughed in spite of herself. “Well...alright.”
“Good.” Ron hesitated, looked at the door again, then jumped up, pulling Hermione to her feet. He strode over to the door and kicked it, and a startled squeal issued from the other side of the door. “Go away, Ginny!” he yelled.
When the footsteps on the other side of the door disappeared down the stairs, Ron and Hermione shyly but surely resumed what they had started. For they both knew that it was not all they had in common, but at this moment it seemed the most important order of business. After all, they had spent seven years talking and getting to know one another, and only about four minutes snogging, and it hardly seemed the desirable ratio of one to the other. The clear, rational, mature approach, they decided, was to continue with the snogging until all awkwardness had dissipated, and they could then continue alternately pestering and snogging each other in total comfort.
And then, they both knew, all would finally be right with the world.
A/N: Highly advisable to see your dentist after consuming this. Also, I hate to think that this disclaimer is even necessary, but I want to mention that this particular one-shot is supposed to be tongue-in-cheek. I'm hoping it doesn't come off as simply poor writing. XD
Thanks for reading!