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Ron shifted nervously from foot to foot, wringing his hands together furiously just to have something to do with them. He was scared to death, but his jaw was locked and his eyes were bright. He was determined that he would say it…finally.

“I’ve tried to tell you for over a year now,” he admitted. He looked down at his feet, and then cursed himself. No, no, don’t look at your feet. Look at her. With all the bravery of the Gryffindor he was, he forced his eyes back up. “The truth is…The truth is…” What was the truth? “…that I…” Was that biscuits? Yes, that was most definitely biscuits. His mother was cooking biscuits downstairs and they smelled delightful! “That I… biscuits…” Biscuits! Focus, dammit! You’re pouring out your heart here!

He cleared his throat and started again. “The truth is that I…well…”

Spit it out, Ronald!

It rushed out in a flood. “Ireallyreallylikeyou.”

His face flushed in such relief that he had found the words. He smiled proudly to himself, even as stress continued to cause sweat to bead across his forehead. It wasn’t until after a long moment of silence that he realised how confused those words would make her. Honestly, they’d been friends since they were first years. Of course, she knew he liked her.

He gritted his teeth and tried again. “I mean, as more than just a friend. As a girl, too. Well, no, that’s not what I mean…not that I don’t like the fact that you’re a girl… I think it’s great, in fact, I love it, but I … oh, this is rubbish!”

Throwing up his hands, he glared, not at the girl he was confessing his feelings too, but at his own reflection in the mirror. The girl he practiced the words for was in a room down the stairs, putting on a dress.

She would look beautiful. And he wagered he would be too tongue-tied to admit it.

He sighed, sent himself another loathing glare, then moved towards the bed where the book lay. Twelve Fail-Safe Ways to Charm Witches had taught him so much, and he thought it had finally prepared him to get things going with Hermione. He spent weeks prepping himself to say the words. Of course, he had said them once, last year at school. But he had said them so casually and thoughtlessly he hadn’t had time to question if he meant them. Now, that he was sure he did mean them, he would say them again. He would do it the right way this time, so she would never again doubt how he felt about her.

He had decided to tell her the night of Bill and Fleur’s wedding. After all, it was romantic, and there was dancing and flowers. Besides, it would be their last chance before they set off to help Harry find the Horcruxes. The point was that Ron was really trying.

And he was failing miserably.

He sank down on his bed, cradled his head in his hands, and moaned. “I’m hopeless.”

“Ron!” he heard his mother calling, her booming voice somehow carrying from the first floor. “Get down here at once! You’re supposed to help seat the guests!”

“Coming!” he called. He rose to his feet and squared his shoulder. I’m a Gryffindor, for Merlin’s sake! I’m not supposed to be afraid of anything! Least of all, not telling a girl my feelings. He nodded firmly. “Let’s do this.”

He started out of the door and down the stairs confidently, but he had to run back up to the loo.

It was perfectly natural. All brave, young Gryffindors were sick in the toilet before they told a girl they fancied them.

Perfectly natural.

Really.




She looked beautiful.

He was so caught off guard by her sudden appearance he forgot to be tongue-tied. “Wow,” he said, “you look great!”

She looked more than great, really. She was beautiful. Beyond beautiful. But he couldn’t speak those words, because she was already replying.

“Always the tone of surprise,” she said, with a smile.

Surprise? It wasn’t to him, but then, he had never done anything to let her know that, had he? But tonight she would know; he was determined to tell her.

That was, if her bloody ex-boyfriend didn’t ruin everything.

Bloody Krum and his blooming skill at turning up at the worst moments. Ron had the right mind to shove his excessive comments right where the sun couldn't reach. All right, so truthfully, Krum had only said she looked “vunderful” which wasn’t much of a compliment; it might not have even been English. But still, Ron saw right through his so-called invitation. Krum was here to steal Hermione from him again.

Harry offered to escort Krum to his seat, and they moved in that direction, but not before Ron sidled close to Krum and hissed so low that he was sure no one else would hear. “Not this time, mate.”

Krum gave him a strange look, but Ron only glared back. He didn’t care if all Krum had got from his words was an earful of spit; Krum knew exactly what he was talking about.




Hermione didn’t dance with Krum, not once.

Of course, Ron didn’t really give her a chance. The moment Krum plopped down next to Hermione, Ron had dragged her on the dance floor. In all his tact, he hadn’t even bothered to ask, only seized her hand and demanded a dance.

“Ron, you’re hurting me,” she complained.

“Sorry,” Ron said. He quickly released her.

They stood awkwardly facing each other, before he reached toward her. He quickly pulled his hands back, realizing he would actually have to touch her. Her waist, her hands. His heart thudded uneasily.

“Oh, honestly,” Hermione said, as she stirred his hand purposefully to her waist.

He was so distracted by the curve of her waist beneath his hand that it took him a long moment to grasp her other hand and move his feet into the dance.

From over Hermione’s shoulder, he saw Krum watching them forlornly, and Ron grinned victoriously that he was not the one slumped in a chair, knowing Hermione was dancing with someone else.

“Stop doing that,” Hermione said.

“Doing what?” Ron asked.

“Stop…” she searched for the word, “gloating at him.”

“I’m not gloating at him,” Ron insisted, pulling her a little closer so she could not see the grin that appeared on his face. I am absolutely gloating at him.

She huffed, not fooled for a second. She attempted to push herself away from him, but he held on a little tighter.

“This is just like Yule Ball,” she grumbled.

“This is completely different!” Ron snapped, a little offended.

She squared her jaw and lifted it challengingly, the way she did when she was preparing to fight. “How so?”

Because you’re dancing with me. Because you’re not a last resort anymore. Because now, you’re so much more than a last resort.

That was it. Those were the words. At least, it was a good way to start. He bravely opened his mouth.

A shoulder bumped into his so roughly that he stepped on Hermione’s foot. She winced and Ron turned angrily to see who had done it. Fred sent him a cheeky smile.

“Sorry, didn’t see you,” he said, though his voice was far from sincere. “I must have been so distracted by this beauty.” He nodded to one of Fleur’s Veela cousins, who he was dancing with. The girl gave a melodious giggle that made it clear that Fred’s words were only for her benefit. The next words, however, were for Fred’s own.

“And I see you found a…” He eyed Hermione, who glared at him, daring him to replace beauty with anything else. “Always a beauty, Hermione,” Fred reassured with a wink and then finished his original sentence, “Of your own, Ron.” He paused as though considering his words, then opened his eyes wider to question. “Is she your own?”

Ron’s ears burnt red, and if his hands hadn’t been so tangled with Hermione’s, he would have ensured that George wasn’t the only twin who was missing an ear.

With a wink, Fred dipped his giggling partner, spun her about and disappeared into the crowd of other dancers, leaving Ron with a red face, still trying to untie his tongue in a hot retort.

“Ignore him,” Hermione said. She turned her attention back to Ron, and as though nothing had occurred, she promptly returned to their previous conversation. “I believe you were about to tell me how this is different from last time.”

Typical Hermione. She was utterly unswayable. Of course, she had no idea that he had actually been about to profess something that would change their relationship forever, for better or for worse. And of course, she had no idea that he had been reminded that he absolutely could not do that here. Not when all of his brothers and his family were all standing within earshot. He could imagine his Aunt Muriel’s reaction: “Professing feelings in public places! And to a girl with such skinny ankles!”

Ron felt the blood beneath his face begin to boil once more. “No…no, I wasn’t,” he insisted. She opened her mouth, and he knew an argument was about to ensue. “Don’t, Hermione. I don’t want to fight. Not tonight.” Tonight is for other things.

She cocked her head at him thoughtfully, considering his words, and then she nodded. “You’re right.” But after a brief pause, she added a sincere promise, “There will be plenty of time for a row later.”

Ron gritted his teeth.

Darn Krum.




He made a quick plan that he found quite ingenious, an evidence of the sheer brilliance that lay beneath his carrot-top head.

He would ask her to go for a walk.

It was brilliant. They would be alone, under the stars, with the beautiful music of the wedding in the background. That would be the sort of setting girls thought was romantic, according to Twelve Fail-Safe Ways to Charm Witches. Walking beside her, he could take her hand, and then tell her how he felt. He might even try to kiss her.

At that thought, he stumbled, stomping once again on Hermione’s foot. “Sorry.”

She huffed. “Are you trying to maim me?” But she smiled to let him know she only jested.

“No,” he said, with a crooked grin, “only a happy accident.”

She laughed, and he let her spin under his arm, so that she could not see when he once again went pale. Kiss her? Why did I have to think about that? Not that I would mind. I think it’d be brilliant…but what if she thinks I’m rubbish…what if I think she’s rubbish…don’t think that’s possible, but…Merlin’s hairy backside, just ask her!

She turned back to face him, and he opened his mouth, even as his eyes fell to her full red lips.

He suddenly found it hard to breathe. His heart hammered and his tongue felt as though it had swollen to the point it threatened to suffocate him. Next dance, he decided quickly and he began to breathe again. I’ll ask her during the next dance.

But the next dance turned into the dance after that and the dance after that turned into watching Hermione ooh and ahh over the cutting of the cake. She laughed as the phoenixes that had sat on top of the cake took to the air and flew circles about her head. Her eyes reflected their sparks. “It’s miraculous spell-work,” she marvelled, and then she turned back to Ron as the music started again. Her face was bright and her eyes were shining.

She’s beautiful.

Just say it.

Say it!


“You’re beautiful.”

The words startled them both. Her eyes flung wide as she stared at him, quite as though he had lost his mind. He wondered if he truly had. And then a smile pulled her lips apart, and he felt his own smile spread.

“Not even a note of surprise?” she asked.

“Never been more certain of anything,” he replied.

Her smile widened even as colour flushed in her cheeks. “Thank you, Ron,” she said softly, sounding truly touched.

Ask her now.

Just open your mouth and ask her.

Just…


“I don’t think I can dance anymore,” she said, when he had remained silent for several minutes.

He gave a nod and said nothing as she walked off the dance floor.

He cursed himself, aiming a kick at a misfortunate tent pole. It was reinforced with magic and didn’t even wobble, but his toe screamed out in rage and protest. Cursing colourfully, he hopped on one foot and clung to his toe.

It was only three words. Three tiny words. It should have been the easiest thing in the world. Yet, it wasn’t. It was the hardest thing he had ever done in his life. But why? Why was it so hard to say something that had been his heart for so long?

He groaned and pulled at handfuls of hair. Why can’t I just say it?

He let his arms drop, and his eyes went of their own rebellious accord to where she was. He stared at her beautiful frame, dressed in purple, and eyed her sleek and shiny hair, wondering what if would be like to touch it, just once. He felt his heart do that strange jig, and he pressed his hand against his chest, as though to ensure it didn’t break through. Looking at her, feeling his heart do such strange and wonderful things, he knew why he was too scared to speak.

What if she doesn’t say it back?




Death Eaters ruin everything.

He was supposed to be having a romantic night with Hermione—well, he was if he could ever find a way to make his mouth work—but instead, he was lying on a dusty floor in Grimmauld Place. This was far from how he had imagined tonight going.

Harry’s soft breathing filled the air, but Ron found himself unable to sleep. Hermione lay on the sofa cushions next to him, slightly raised so all he could see was the lightness of her skin against the dark. Her hand hung off the edge, her fingers resting in the dust of the floor. For a moment, he imagined stretching out his hand to touch it.

Dreaming again, Ron.

Or maybe not. Maybe it wasn’t too late.

He opened his mouth daringly.

“Hermione...” he whispered, so as not to wake Harry. “Are you still awake?”

She was quiet for a moment, and then her voice rose from the darkness, soft and sweet. “Yes.”

He didn’t speak for a long moment, searching in the darkness for the words. But he couldn’t see them. All he could see was her hand, her smooth skin, her slender fingers. His hand crawled across the floor towards it, almost of its own accord. When the tips of his fingers touched her fingernails, he froze, pulled back an inch, waiting, wondering what she would do. Her hand moved towards him, her fingers fanning out as though to make room for his own. Without thinking, he laced his fingers through hers.

They’d held hands before, when they ran together and didn’t want to be parted; or in the brief moments she would offer a reassuring squeeze; and when they’d danced that day, their hands had been joined. But this was different. There was no danger, no need for comfort, and no dancing. There was only the pleasure of touching her and being touched by her. And so skin cradled skin, their hands connecting them together in something new and wonderful.

And Ron knew this was the moment.

“Hermione,” he said again, because he liked her name.

“Ron,” she said, because maybe, just maybe, she liked his name too.

“I…” he said, and then he choked. The words were stuck, somewhere in his throat, and no matter how he tried he could not get them passed. He closed his mouth and began again. “The truth…” Again he choked, and this time he closed his lips, knowing he had indeed failed.

Gryffindor, indeed! He couldn’t even tell the girl he cared for the truth.

“What’s the truth?” she pressed softly.

The truth was he was only fooling himself. Hermione could have no feelings for a complete git like himself, who had done nothing but argue and hurt her over the years. The truth was a girl so smart could never fall for someone like him, a daft, tactless idiot. The truth was he should keep his big mouth shut, before he destroyed their fragile friendship.

The truth was, he was a coward. A big stupid coward.

And the truth was…

Well…

It was…

He sighed, closed his eyes, and let his heart speak the words his lips couldn’t.

The truth is I love you more than I ever found the words to say.

But then…she would never believe that, would she?

She squeezed his hand. “Ron?”

“The truth is I don’t really like dancing.” It wasn’t the truth. He loved dancing, if it meant dancing with her. It was just one of those tactless, hurtful things that he said because he didn’t have the courage to say what he really meant.

“Oh?”

“Yeah.”

“I think it’s wonderful.”

“You would,” he said, without thinking.

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

He recognized the harsh tone in her voice and the way her hand had tightened until her fingernails dug like claws into his skin. He knew he would do well to shut it. He quickly murmured, “Nothing” and pressed his lips closed.

With a sigh, she pulled her hand away and he let it go. His hand tumbled to the cold floor, empty and alone. Just like him. Her hand still curled towards him, close enough that he could have touched her again, but never had she been so far from his reach.

“Good night, Ron.”

“Good night,” he swallowed, her name getting stuck in his throat, “Hermione.”




She fell asleep, dreaming that he might one day tell her he loved her.

And he fell asleep, praying he would one day find the courage to say it.

But for now, there was only silence.




Author’s Note: Did Chante’ write Ron/Hermione? *gasp* Yes, she did. Does this mean I ship them now? No, not really. Ever since the release of Deathly Hallows, especially the movie, I liked the chemistry they had during that time. I still don’t love them as a couple or think they’re soulmates. But they loved each other at this time, and that is something pretty special.

Certain pieces of dialogue and events are from the beginning of Death Hallows. Those are of J.K. Rowling’s creation, and all credit goes to her.


“I love you more than I ever found the words to say” is a paraphrase of a line from Ben Folds’ song “The Luckiest”. I don’t particularly love the song, but I found this line beautiful. I found it very Ron/Hermione-ish and it inspired this fic. Therefore, I must give credit where credit is due. Thanks, Ben Folds.

Also, a huge round of applause goes to my betas, Soraya and Sarah. They are amazingly talented at what they do, and they helped this story out so much.

And please, please, leave a review. This is way out of my comfort zone and I would love some feedback on it.

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