To better understand this story, I'd strongly suggest you read my one-shot called Psychopath - before or after this. Psychopath is from Pansy's point of view and this is from Ron's point of view.
I put the paper down, feeling my heart sink even further.
I sighed and massaged my temples with my fingers. I wasn’t surprised to hear the news, but it still hurt me in some way. I was a little lost and felt as though the world had become foggy.
I took another look at the front-page of the Daily Prophet. The picture said everything, you didn’t even need to read the headline (though it wasn’t possible to oversee the large letters), she looked so beautiful, so in love and laughing, as he picked her up and swung her around, put her feet gently on the ground again, kissing her lips as he smiled. The flashes from several cameras lit up the picture as they kissed. I could see the reporters’ hands and notebook on the sites of the picture, shouting questions at them.
Hermione and Draco announced their engagement yesterday.
Of course I got an owl from her a week ago, where she told me he had proposed to her. Hell, Draco even showed me the engagement ring he’d bought a month ago. But to see the picture of them together, officially announcing their engagement, made it all so much more real.
She could never be mine.
It’s not that she and I ever stood a chance. I loved her with all my heart, but the continuous fright of losing our friendship was too great. I never told her how much I loved her. Perhaps it’s my entire fault, I was too big a coward to admit that telling her my feelings and possibly making it awkward between us the rest of our lives, was better than never telling her at all.
I sighed once again, glanced at the clock on the wall of my office. Not long till I could head home, hide from the world, just for tonight. Even though I was invited to the engagement party tonight, I didn’t feel like showing up at all. I didn’t feel like faking a smile for a whole evening…
I love her enough to let go. Boy that sounds so grown-up. I grinned a little; she would have been impressed if she knew this. I loved her enough to let her marry the Slytherin Prince. Draco Malfoy, blonde and handsome, came into her life a little over two years ago.
I was bloody pissed, to say the least. Went mad and scared the living shit out of Harry and Ginny. But somehow, as time passed, I got used to the fact that she and I would never be.
Of course I allowed myself the occasional fantasy sometimes. When there was nothing much to do at work, I’d put my feet up on the disk, lean back and close my eyes. I imagined her walking towards me, her eyes fixed on me and she smiled happily. When she comes close enough, I bend down and lift her up, her legs around my waist and our lips meet, her soft delicious lips on mine.
And sometimes I allowed myself to pretend that I’ve won over Draco in a duel, people cheering on me and Hermione running towards me, the winner of her heart - but only sometimes. I like Draco, he treated Hermione right. I never thought I’d say that. If anyone had told me in our sixth year in Hogwarts, that one day Draco Malfoy would have a relationship with my Hermione and even treat her right, I would’ve told them that they were mental and to bugger off.
But honest to Merlin, he was a nice bloke after the war. Harry and I became friends with him shortly after the war, forgiving him for all he’s done. A truce was made.
There was a soft knock on my door and Harry appeared. “Hey mate, I just wanted to see if you are coming to the party tonight?”
He looked a little careful; he knew how hard this was on me. I looked at the front page picture again, Hermione looking deeply into the eyes of her new fiancé. I could barely stand it from the picture, how was I supposed to keep myself sane at the engagement party?
“You know, I think I’ll just stay home tonight, I’ve got some big cases to write reports about” I finally answered, watching Harry making a reassuring smile.
“I understand,” he replied, “I’ll see you on Monday” and then closed the door.
I locked the door, took off my shoes and for a moment, took in the silence of my home.
I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. Why was I so restless? Something was wrong.
I opened my eyes again, nothing unfamiliar about my place. Everything looked as I left it this morning. I walked into the living room, my eyes darting for something unusual. What was I looking for?
I had never felt like this, as if there was something wrong and I didn’t know what.
Was it possible it was something about the Nora Twilda case? Maybe I had overseen something. Maybe something that could finally proof that she killed her husband with a –potion. I have been working on that case for months now.
I sat down on the couch, exhaled loudly. I should try and relax, perhaps read a good book and have some butterbeer.
One hour later, I could confirm that reading a book and drinking some butterbeer didn’t help at all. Why was I so worried?
I hadn’t forgotten any of my families birthdays, so that wasn’t the problem (with a mother like mine, it is very dangerous to forget ones birthdays) and I hadn’t forgot any burning candlelight at home. The owl was fed, the house was clean and I was pretty sure I hadn’t forgotten any anniversaries.
Deep in my thoughts, I nearly jumped when I heard small pecks on the window.
A rather large owl watched me from outside, holding a small envelope with its beak.
It hooked friendly when I let it in; I recognized it as Hermione’s owl Herrold. It accompanied my own owl when I took the envelope. Hermione’s hand script was easily recognizable – all the essays she’s been writing in Hogwarts had given her the most beautiful hand script. I touched the dry ink, imagining in what mood she was when she wrote to me.
I looked at the clock, almost 9 pm, the engagement party was soon over and it probably took 20 minutes for her owl to fly to my home from hers, I’d guess she was disappointed in me for not showing up.
My eyes rested on the envelope again, I watched my fingers touch the paper and the ink softly.
The uneasy feeling I’ve had all evening, suddenly fired within me.
Was it something about her that I could feel was wrong? That something was going to happen?
It couldn’t be because of their engagement, I’ve known it for a week now that she said yes to Draco. I slowly opened the envelope, pulled the paper out.
I was hoping to see you at our party; it’s been a long time since I’ve seen you.
Hope you’re okay, Harry told me about the case with the husband-murderer.
I’ll see you soon.
I miss you. And love you.
I quickly pulled a paper from my drawer at the desk and began scribbling an answer to her letter. The need to tell her how much I love her overwhelmed me. The owls watched me as I wrote.
I’m so sorry I couldn’t make it to your engagement party.
I hope you’re all having a good time.
I love you with all of my heart and wish you the best of luck with Draco.
Perhaps we could meet over a cup of coffee in Diagon Alley, with Harry. I can on Wednesday at lunchtime, if you’re interested.
Miss you too.
Say hi to Draco from me.
I re-read the letter twice, sounded fine. I folded the paper and put it in an envelope and gave it to Hermione’s owl. It gave a muffled hoot and flew out of the window.
I watched as the owl flew in the direction of Draco and Hermione’s house. I didn’t feel so restless anymore. Maybe it was because of the engagement party after all…
The pain of not having Hermione in my arms could be great at times, but not tonight. My body was slowly, very slowly, accepting that she would never be mine. I would never kiss her plump red lips and have her eyes look at me, full of love.
I did not hate Draco for having her. He gave me no reason to do so. I sometimes wished he’d do something stupid, making them break-up and she’d realize what she’s been overseeing all the time… me.
But what I never understood was why I was in so much pain and missed her, when I never have had her? She’s never been mine to hold, to love and to kiss. The heart works in mysterious ways.
I closed the window and went to bed.
Hoping to face a more bright and easy day tomorrow.
There was a loud bang and I was abruptly woken up. Alarmed, I rose up from my bed, wand ready.
I could see Harry standing in the dark, by the door to my bedroom, he was panting heavily.
Then I noticed his face, the pain and sorrow painted all over it. He was crying.
I suddenly felt my world fall down. A huge lump was taken from my chest, I couldn’t breathe.
I walked closer, the silhouettes of people becoming clearer. I speeded up my pace.
How I managed to walk and move my legs was beyond me. I felt empty and cold. This could not be happening.
I could hear Harry walk beside me; he hadn’t said anything since he told me that… that…
I felt tears roll down my cheeks, the empty hole inside me growing, becoming a bottomless pitch.
I wished for it all to be a bad dream, the worst kind. I wished this wasn’t happening, that it all was a joke – a very sick prank pulled by my friends because I didn’t come to the engagement party.
I could see several workers from the ministry outside their house, the light from inside the house showed several black silhouettes of other people. I was now running, running as fast as I could.
I heard crying, a horrible heart breaking crying from inside the house.
I pushed past the ministry workers.
“Weasley, you shouldn’t-“
“Ronald! Don’t go in-“
I slammed the door open. There was a sudden silence because of my entry – but the crying never stopped.
Several of my colleagues watched me as I walked past them, to find who was crying. My eyes wide open; I could feel my jaws tense as I drew nearer. My heart felt like it was clenching, as if trying to protect itself from the worst.
I found Draco, sitting on a chair. His face paper-white, his eyes dark-red from crying, his lips trembling and he were wet with tears. Blood covered his body, her blood… The blood made it look like he wore red gloves… his chest and neck bloody.
So it was true.
My world collapsed.
The greatest sorrow I’ve ever felt rushed through my body, my legs gave up. I landed on my knees.
She was gone… killed… murdered. And I wasn’t there to protect her.
Draco kept crying.
“We forgot to put the charms back on the house after the party” he sobbed and cried even harder. “She wouldn’t wake up… she was lying there… blood everywhere...”
His words felt like daggers. Hermione was dead, killed by his jealous stalker – in the middle of their sleep.
I felt Harrys arms wrap around me and I burst into tears.
Three months later. Here I am, standing by her grave. The sun was shining and it was one of those days were the graveyard didn’t feel gloomy.
I sighed and gently put the bouquet of lilies, her favourite flowers, on her grave.
It felt like the world was celebrating. Celebrating the dementor kiss Pansy Parkinson just received this morning. I was there as a witness, with my family, Harry and Draco.
The burden from my chest had lifted a bit; it wasn’t so hard anymore – accepting Hermione’s death.
I watched the sky above me, blue and cloudless. Birds were flying after each other, singing songs.
I heard footsteps come towards me and I recognized them immediately.
He stopped next to me, looking at the sky as well. We stood in silence for what felt like half an hour.
“I never thought it would end this way…” he said, breaking the silence, “I build these dreams with my bare hands – she and I, exploring the world and when the time came, we’d have children. Growing old together, like your parents”.
I felt a great lump in my throat. Sadness washed over me again. None of us expected this to happen.
“I should have been more serious when I dealt with Pansy. I should have told the ministry that I was having problems with her…” his voice broke, he inhaled deeply.
“No one could have foreseen what she did, Draco” I slowly said, “don’t beat yourself up for it.”
He turned his face to look at me, “but you felt something was wrong, Ron, I didn’t…”
My heart ached. “Yes I did, but I didn’t even understand why I felt like that. I couldn’t have stopped Pansy from killing… Killing Hermione, if that’s what you mean.”
He turned his face again, hiding the tears. He bended down and put his bouquet of lilies on her grave.
“I’ll see you later,” he whispered, he gently put his hand on my shoulder, squeezed a bit and then left.
The silence was back, I could hear the wind running through the trees and the birds singing.
I looked at her tombstone, reading her name.
“In a perfect world, this would never have happened… you’d still be here” I whispered.
“If you’d chosen me instead of him, she would never have had a reason to kill you…”