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Ficlet: Bickering in circles - The_HP_love

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February 22nd, 2011

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12:54 pm - Ficlet: Bickering in circles
Title: Bickering in circles, hopelessly trying to reach the centre
Author: otterandterrier 
Pairing: Ron/Hermione
Rating: PG
Word count: 906 words
Warnings: None
Notes: This was a prize request; I was asked for a RHr story with a pinch of arguing and a happy ending, pre-DH and missing moment. So, I went for this, which is placed during HBP... exactly the day before that infamous Herbology class where Hermione practically asks Ron out (and my heart breaks of tenderness). If you pay attention, you might be able to guess what was Hermione actually saying to Ron while he wasn't listening.
Thanks a lot to tristelamar_23  for being an awesometastic beta and even providing the super long title, which I love anyway ^-^

For the second time, Hermione moved the parchment with her finished Herbology homework, due to the following day, away from Ron's reach.
Ron grunted, exasperated.

'Hermione, I don't want to copy! I just want to have a general idea, I'm stuck with the beginning!'

'Oh really? That's funny, because you're always stuck with something, or in most cases, with all of it,' Hermione replied harshly.

'That's not true, I can do things for myself, you know,' Ron retorted, not in any way less heated. 'A little faith in me, will you?'

'I don't think you're incapable of doing things, I think that you don't want to do them, which is as bad. I won't always be around to solve your problems and do your homework!'

Ron stayed silent for a couple of minutes; he then replied, in a conciliating tone, 'At least you don't have to help me out with Quidditch, you wouldn't like that.' Hermione dived under the table to recover her fallen quill, hiding her increasing blush from Ron.

'I wonder whose memories Dumbledore will show to Harry tonight,' she piped up, sitting up straight again.

'Dunno, Hermione, he'll tell us when he's back.' Ron looked slightly annoyed all of a sudden, at her unexpected mention of Harry. 'Do you miss him already?' Before Hermione could do more than arching her eyebrows in surprise, he added, 'I bet you wish he'd go with you to those Slug meetings.'

'As a matter of fact, I do wish he or Ginny would stop being so daft and come with me. I barely know anybody there, other than by sight.'

'Well, I wish they won't, because then maybe I'll miss Harry,' Ron said, in a tone that sounded too forced to really be called casual. He grabbed his quill and started scribbling on his parchment. 'Besides, I don't think they ever will, we have a lot more fun here.'

'Doing what?' Hermione asked almost distractedly as she worked, although she internally knew that she would have rather joined them in whatever they did.

'Having a laugh about you, of course.'

Hermione looked up and saw him smirking across the table.

'Excuse me?'

'Joking, Hermione.' Ron shook his head slightly and focused his attention on his homework again, although she thought she saw the faintest hint of embarrassment written over his face.

'You're an idiot,' she spat, trying not to give away that she felt hurt along with furious.

'Keep treating me like scum, don't you?' Now it was Ron who looked hurt. But then he hardened his features, and the hurt was gone as if it'd never been there. 'I don't need your help, thank you very much.'

Unexpectedly, he snatched his saggy, old bag and his homework from the table, crumpling his parchment and almost spilling his bottle of ink, and sat in an empty table... right next to Hermione's.

'That's—that's not a really long distance,' Hermione said in a little voice.

'I think so, too, since I can still hear you.'

'I don't treat you like scum, Ron.'

He knew that she meant it, or at least she meant to have meant it, but he didn't care that much, after all. If it wasn't her intention to insult him whenever she had a chance, then she hid it pretty damn well.

'I beg to differ,' he mumbled, not giving up and still avoiding her eyes.

A giggle broke through their moment of silence: a few feet away, Lavender and Parvati gathered their bags and prepared to go to bed. Ron couldn't help but looking at them. Of course he had noticed them before, especially Lavender. Having developed quite early, she had always attracted open admiration, and Ron had even caught Seamus thinking about her rather enthusiastically in the boys' bathroom.

This year, though, the girl seemed to find something funny, or interesting, in him, in Ron, for she kept stealing glances at him and blushing whenever he caught her.

'I'm sorry, I didn't realise Lavender's rear had something more important to say,' Hermione's irritated voice reached him. Ron turned and found her immersed again in her long essay, ignoring him again.

'I was listening to you,' he lied.

'What did I say?' she asked coldly.

'You said, "I'm sorry, it won't happen again, and I know you'd never make fun of me", didn't you?'

'That's none of what I said.'

Her self-control seemed to fail somehow, though, and she looked at his pleading expression. Hermione raised an eyebrow, but a twitch in the corner of her mouth made him wonder if she was trying not to laugh.

'Maybe not to the letter, but it was something similar.'

'It had nothing to do with that.'

Ron examined her as she smoothed out her shirt and bent over her homework once again. There was a soft frown and a slightly disappointed... sad expression on Hermione's face.

'Come on, Hermione, I'm really sorry. I wasn't looking at anybody, it was more like—'

'Ogling?' She snorted.

'Of course not!'

He ventured to pat her arm softly, although his hand lingered for the longest of seconds, feeling the warmth of her skin under the shirt. Hermione didn't look up again, but just as he thought she was about to speak to him again, they heard a familiar, excited voice coming up to them as Harry drew near a chair and joined them. Eager to talk, as Ron had been eager to hear... her.

(4 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:February 23rd, 2011 11:42 pm (UTC)
Oh, this is absolutely perfect! The angst, the wistfulness, the misunderstandings on both sides are spot on. GREAT JOB!!!
[User Picture]
Date:February 23rd, 2011 11:50 pm (UTC)
Really, thank you!! ^-^ It was a challenge, but I did miss the old times, glad to know it's good!
[User Picture]
Date:February 24th, 2011 07:38 pm (UTC)
This is fantastic, Dessi!
The characterizations are great and the moment seems just extracted from HBP!
And I can´t avoid feeling sad for the two of them :(
[User Picture]
Date:February 24th, 2011 08:14 pm (UTC)
Oh my, thanks!
Haha, me too, but I felt sad all the time in HBP ^-^

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