Chapter XIII: finding out
“If love is such a ‘pure’ thing, then why do we all have to go through hell to find it?”
“Do you remember the last time we were here?” she asked him as they sat in the restaurant, each enjoying a plate of fish and chips.
“Yeah,” he told her with a smile. “You went on your little tirade about how fish and chips are the perfect, quintessential English dish—bloody hell you went on about that for twenty minutes, I must admit, though, it truly was most impressive.”
She let out a loud laugh. “Well it’s true, I firmly stand by that statement… you know, I totally forgot about that…”
“Then what were you referring to?” he asked her curiously, as he popped another chip into his mouth.
“That was the day you told me you were in love with Ginny… and could actually see yourself marrying her one day.”
He winced at the memory, letting out a pained groan as he dramatically threw his head into his hands. “Bloody hell, you remember that?”
“Of course I do, Harry, now I’d like to have that cleared up for me, please, because I don’t quite understand how you can go from that to breaking up with her a mere four months later…”
“What even brought this on?” he moaned.
“I don’t know,” she admitted, her eyebrows furrowing, and he could just imagine her trying to piece the puzzle together in her head. “I was passing by here a few days ago and suddenly I just remembered that conversation… then I thought about how you never really explained why you did it—so I just let it go since I figured it might be too soon to talk about it or something, but you just left it at that, never told me why you did it… and then, well here we are…” she told him as she toyed with her drink, twirling the straw in her soda.
“Bloody hell, Harry, stop shrugging! I’m so tired of that reaction from you, it’s annoying when you evade questions like that!” she chastised him, resisting the urge to slap the bastard.
He smirked at her. “Some things really never change, you know that?”
She chuckled slightly as she bit her lip shyly. “Don’t avoid the question Harry, it’s time for a walk down memory lane—a long overdue one.”
He sighed in defeat, no use avoiding it any longer unless he wanted to have the bullocks hexed out of him. “I don’t know… it just didn’t feel right anymore.”
“Well that was definitely worth the three year wait, I mean, wow,” she sarcastically quipped, rolling her eyes at his response as she huffily crossed her arms over her chest.
“Calm down, Hermione, I’ll explain, I promise.”
She smiled slightly at the reassurance, her tense body quickly relaxing. “Well go on then, I’m waiting.”
“It just felt as if—when we were young she was perfect for me, she was everything that I could have ever hoped for in a girl, but the problem was—well, we grew up.”
“And? You two were like an institution.”
“So were you and Ron,” he retorted with a smirk.
“Oh please, people made us out to be some great love story—it was mainly a ton of arguments and some raunchy make ups here and there, that was pretty much the extent of it, a healthy sex life.”
Harry didn’t know what to say that, he wasn’t sure whether to feel pained at the mention of her ex—and, more importantly, their sex life—or amused at her rather simple depiction of her former relationship with their best friend.
“You and Ginny—well let’s put it this way, neither Ron or I ever expected to marry one another, it was just one of those necessary relationships that helped us grow as people, we knew that. You and Ginny, however, you two expected to be forever.”
He shrugged. “I changed, she didn’t. I was no longer the boy that just wanted a fun time and a distraction, and she—she was still the little girl that would always be partially in love with the idea of being with the savior of the wizarding world.”
She visibly winced at that last mention. “I’m sorry,” she mumbled.
He shrugged, again, only that time it didn’t bother her as much, much to her surprise, as well as his. “You have nothing to be sorry for; it was what it was—like you said, a nice learning experience.”
She let out a small snort. “Using my words against me then, huh Harry?”
“Well you are the brains in this little trio of ours, I figure if I borrow from you I may finally learn a thing or two,” he told her with a smirk.
“Good on you.”
“So can you believe it? I mean, our little Ronald is actually getting married,” she grinned as she playfully pinched Ron’s cheek, well aware of how much the action would annoy him.
“You’re bloody annoying, you know that, Hermione?”
She beamed up at him. “I’m just teasing you; this is a monumental occasion—who would have thought that you of all people would be the first one of us to get married.”
He stared at her dumbly for a second before cocking his head to side as he eyed her wearily. “I don’t know whether to feel offended or not…”
Harry grinned as he patted Ron on the back. “It’s part of her talent mate, twisting it so we don’t see the underlying innuendo behind her words.”
“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, ‘brilliant, but scary as hell.’”
“Oi!” Hermione complained, trying to hide the smile that was tugging on her lips.
“Do you deny it?” Harry asked her, cocking an eyebrow at her as the waiter set their drink in front of them.
“Well, you know-”
“Don’t even try, Hermione, you know it as well as we do. Anyway, it’s how you kept us in line all throughout Hogwarts,” Ron told her.
“Okay, so I may be a bit bossy at time.”
“Well at least she finally admitted to it, almost makes up for the hell she put us through all of those years,” Harry quipped.
Hermione gasped. “Oh shush you.”
“And now it’s back,” Harry noted with a teasing smile.
“So anyway, reason why I called for this little get together is I wanted to talk about the hen party-”
He, however, totally disregarded the undeniable warning in her tone as she said his name. “I was hoping to go over the do's and don’ts for this whole affair.”
“Forget it, Ron, I’m planning it however I want to—I know Harry and there is no way my party can be any worse than his stag night.”
She turned to him, smiling as she raised an eyebrow at him challengingly. “Do you deny it?”
Harry paused for a second, frowning as he grumbled “no.”
“So wait… does that mean I really have no say?” Ron asked with a disgruntled look.
“Listen, I’ll make sure nothing happens to her, Ron, but I’m not going to stop her from having fun, I intend on being the best maid of honor I can be, and that includes planning one stupendously amazing hen party.”
Ron frowned, visibly deflating upon that tirade. “There’s no changing your mind about this, is there?”
“Not a chance.”
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