The Sweetest Punch

By Hannah Davenport (slytherin_punk@hotmail.com)

Rating: G

Summary: Ficlette. What was said before Harry walks in on Hermione and Ron's argument after the Yule Ball, and what that arguement leads eventually to later on in their lives. Ron's POV.

Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by J. K. Rowling. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended. It's just fan fiction!

~

< >"Hermione..."

< >She looked at me quietly, her face very, very closed. I hated not knowing what she was thinking. Itís just always bugged me. She looked beautiful, her hair falling out of the knot she had put it in and her periwinkle robes swishing around her as she stared at me. I was very grateful Harry wasnít there.

< >"Ron, you really need to grow up." she snapped. "You act like a child."

< >"I said I was sorry, Hermione!" I cried indignantly. "What do you want from me?"

< >"I want to know why you would ever be so cruel, Ron." she said firmly. "I want to know what makes you explode like you did tonight. I hate it when you do that, Ron!"

< >I stared at the ground for a moment, trying to decide what to say. Hermione always made me seem ignorant when we argued. I scratched the back of my head, still thinking. I then looked up. "I dunno, Hermione..." I replied. "I guess... I guess I was just jealous that you went with Krum and not me, is all!" By now I was very, very angry. I get angry easily when provoked. Especially when provoked by Hermione. She began to blush violently, and I could feel the heat in my face, too.

< >"Well," she said loudly. "if you donít like it, you know what the solution is, donít you?" She was outright yelling now.

< >"Oh yeah?" I said, which was a very idiotic thing to say, now I think about it. "Whatís that?"

< >"Next time thereís a ball, ask me before someone else does, and not as a last resort!"

< >I stood there, gaping like a thick git as she stormed elegantly up the stairs, which is entirely possible for Hermione. I turned, and saw Harry. I nervously wondered how long heíd been there.

< >"Well," I stammered, feeling extremely stupid. "well - that just proves - completely missed the point --"

< >Harry gave me a funny look. My stomach lurched, and I tried not to let it bother me.

< >It bothers me worse as it happens now.

~

< >Hermione looks gorgeous in a wedding gown. Blast, Hermione looks gorgeous in anything. I stand by Ginny and Harry as the bouquet gets thrown. I donít even know why Iím here. I know Iíve got a drink in my hand, and that everyone is looking almost painfully happy. I know I donít want to be there. Harry dragged me along, Ďto show supportí, he said. The only thing I want to show support for right now is the blasted deck I recently added onto my flat. Crookshanks is here. What on earth possessed her to bring an old, obnoxious cat to a church is beyond me. Itís one of the mysteries of Hermione, which there seem to be more of these days.

< >"She looks happy, eh Ron?" Harry asks me quietly.

< >"Yeah..." I reply absently. I take a drink from my glass, even though I discovered hours ago that I didnít like what was in it. It would be much easier if time stopped when we noticed we were screwing up, and we were allowed to fix it.

< >Seamus and Lavender approach, smiling. "Since when díyou have a goatee, Ron?" Seamus asks with a laugh. Itís very obvious he had been sampling the Irish whiskey at the refreshment table.

< >"Hullo," I say, pretending to be cheerful. Iím not.

< >The conversation turns to Harry - how heís doing, what heís up to... Doesnít the conversation always turn to Harry? Heís like another brother to me (except nicer...), but sometimes I wish...

< >"Iím not feeling so well," I say, with the aid of some acting skills Fred and George had shared with me. "Harry, Iím going home... Tell Hermione hello for me, will you?"

< >"Sure," Harry replies, suspicion layered in his gaze. "Iíll be there in an hour or so," Harry and I share a flat.

< >I begin to walk out the door, cursing myself and my inability to take emotional tension. I want to dig a hole and hide in it... I want to gouge out my -

< >"Ron? Whereíre you going?"

< >I turn around, and my spirits sink even further. Hermione stands on the top step of the church, looking at me in a puzzled way. It was a very recent acquirement of expression for her.

< >"Home, I reckon," I say, running a hand through my Ďspikedí hair. "Iím not feeling so well...."

< >"Ron, youíre such a liar," she says with a smile. My knees buckle. I want nothing more than to have Harryís Invisibility Cloak with me.

< >"Why do you say that?" I ask, feeling very uneasy. Technically, I reason, I am sick.

< >She looks at me with concern. I look away. I canít take it when she looks at me like that. "Ron, whatís wrong?" she asks.

< >"Nothing," I say, my voice cracking slightly. "Nothing. I just - I just donít want to be here. Thatís all. I want to go home...."

< >She comes down the remaining steps, and is now near enough that she takes my hands. I pull away. I chew my tongue angrily. Itís a habit I recently adopted.

< >"Ron," she says quietly. "Ron... whatís up?"

< >"Nothingís up." I defend myself firmly. "Iím absolutely overjoyed, Hermione. Ecstatic." She can tell Iím being sarcastic now. She frowns at me, as if she knows what Iím thinking. That thought disconcerts me. "I donít get why youíd think something was up."

< >"Ron, please..."

< >"Iím excruciatingly happy. See," I smile widely, so widely my cheeks began to hurt. "I mean, Iím an actor, for goodness sake! Arenít we always happy? Or maybe itís that weíre always drunk...." I pretend to think for a moment. "I never can remember."

< >She looks away, trying not to get angry. "Ron..." she says again. "Ron, stop it."

< >"Iím not going to stop it!" I cry, scowling around. A particularly Snape-like scowl. "I am allowed to be upset, you know, Herm. Just because itís your wedding day doesnít mean I have to pretend that everything in the world is perfect, because itís really not. Especially for me!"

< >"Ron, STOP IT!" she shouts, facing me once again. Tears are running down her cheeks as she gazes at me, imploring calmness with her gorgeous brown eyes...

< >I loose it. I forget sheís married for a split-second. Later, I know I will hate myself. But, acting like the thick I am, I take her by the shoulders, and kiss her. I can feel her shock, her instinct to pull away. But she doesnít, and I hold onto her like death. I love her, and thatís all there is to it.

< >Finally, my brain begins to work again, and I let go, unable to believe what I just did.

< >"Blast," I say, staring determinedly at the ground.

< >"Oh, Ron..." she whispers, sounding depressed.

< >I walk quickly away, swearing at myself and trying not to cry. After I round the corner, where the Apparation safe-point is, I Dissapparate, back to the flat Harry and I share. I lock myself in my room, and I donít come out - not even after Harry breaks the door down so he can see what the matter is. I can tell he saw. I can tell he didnít mean to see, but that doesnít change anything. Hermione is still married, I am still a lonely actor, and Harry is engaged to be married.

~

< >Ten months later, I receive a letter with a large gray owl. It reads:

Itís a girl!

Name: Gwendolyn Elizabeth Krum

Born: March 1

Weight: 7 pounds, 7 ounces

Height: 21 inches

< >I look at the moving photograph of the small child, my heart aching. I can tell sheíll look more like Hermione than Viktor (which is good news for any child of theirs). I can already see Hermioneís adorable nose... her face shape, her eye color, even though itís usually a while before you can tell about that with infants.

< >I look at the picture a little longer, and then shove it under my bed, which is where I hide various things I donít ever want to see again. I stand there, looking at my bed for a while. The doorbell rings, and Harry isnít home.

< >"Coming," I call.

< >I walk into the hallway, knowing almost immediately who it is. I open the door, to see my sister Ginny, Neville Longbottom, Draco Malfoy, Colin Creevey, Hannah Abbott, Ernie MacMillan, Padma Patil, and Roger Davies.

< >"You going to perform tonight, Weasley?" Malfoy asks, drawling in a very familiar tone. "Or are you just going to have Ginny here be your substitute?"

< >"Ron," Ginny says, quite seriously. "I am not going to play Othello, just so you know."

< >I smile wearily. My friends, my fellow actors... The Mixed Nuts Theater Company. Too bad Harry couldnít act to save his life.

< >"Hold on a minute, would you Iago?" I say to Malfoy. "I need to get my coat."


- fin -


Author's Note:
< >Ahem. This was a very hard ficlette to write, seeing as I was in a very good mood when I wrote it. For those of you curious enough to know, I was happy because I found out theyíre making a movie of my other favorite book-series, Lemony Snicketís A Series of Unfortunate Events, Count Olaf is most likely going to be played by Jim Carrey, and the first two chapters of the ninth book in the series (The Carnivorous Carnival) are available to read on a certain website. And for those of you who havenít read Shakespeare, Othello, is a play, and Iago is the bad-guy while Othello is the main character.And remember, curiosity didnít kill the cat - - the butcher-knife did. ::grins evilly, and innocently wonders who was holding the butcher-knife::


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