Today was the day she planned to tell him everything. Well, not everything but enough for him to know the reason for her ridiculous behavior while he was dating Lavender all those months ago and the reason she’d pushed him away since Dumbledore’s funeral. She had made this resolution more than two dozen times since fifth year, of course, but today was different. She could feel it in the way her tummy rolled and her palms sweated and her heart raced as she looked at him.
He looked up and gave her a crooked smile when she sat on the chair near where he was lying on the floor. His smile faded into a frown as she tried to collect her thoughts. This was awkward and none of the books she’d read for research had said she’d feel like this. Why couldn’t it be simple? She could master any transfiguration but couldn’t think of the words necessary to tell Ron that she fancied him and wanted more than just friendship.
What if he said no? What if he laughed? What if he looked horrified at the idea? What if he couldn’t see her in that way? What if he cursed and said something insensitive in that annoyingly clueless way of his? What if she messed up and couldn’t get the words out?
All these questions and numerous others ran through her mind as she tugged on the hem of her skirt and tried to keep her hands from shaking. It had been years of unrequited crushes and arguments and flirting and moments when she thought he wanted to kiss her or that she’d finally tell him. She had promised herself that she’d confess how she felt before they went on the Big Old Horcrux Hunt, as he and Harry had taken to calling it, and she couldn’t break this resolution, not again.
Hermione licked her lips as she met his gaze and opened her mouth, but the words failed to appear. She tried several times and each one was a failure. He blinked at her and sat up, looking at her as if she were possibly possessed by some odd alien creature, which is really how love felt, she decided crossly. She managed to get out his name before she blushed and looked at the floor. The house was quiet for once, everyone outside or busy with chores, and she knew she had to hurry if she didn’t want an audience for her inevitable humiliation, but it was so bloody difficult to try to put these odd feelings and intense longings into words. No words seemed sufficient for how she felt about Ron.
Fingertips, rough and warm, hesitantly brushed across her jaw and chin. She looked up in surprise at the touch and found Ron’s face far too close for her to be able to think clearly. He smelled like pumpkin juice and peppermint as his breath blew softly against her face. His hand shook as he looked at her as if waiting for her to tell him to stop. When she just stared back, he slowly grinned.
“Me too, Hermione,” he whispered as his hand moved into her hair and he lowered his face. When their lips touched, gentle and shy at first before mouths opened and tongues touched experimentally and things became warm and intense and oh so wonderful, Hermione realized that sometimes words weren’t necessary at all.