Who: Ron and Hermione
Where: Kensington Gardens
What: Ron has to take some photos of (and for) Hermione
Rating: 14A again for some swearing
Summary: Things... don't go well. There is yelling. And tears. Oh my.
Hermione was pacing in front of the South gates to Kensington Gardens. It was ideally the perfect place to shoot the flowers for her piece. She knew Ron would be the best photographer -- his work was flawless even if it was incriminating material. And so, she had struck up enough pride to ask him. Of course... all of this was before she had gotten Ginny's owl about her confession to her brother.
All day, Hermione seriously debated whether or not to show up but, if she didn't, she wouldn't meet her deadline and that was simply unacceptable. Checking her watch, she hoped that maybe he would be unavailable and perhaps sent someone in his place. That was wishful thinking, of course, but after the week she'd had, no one could blame a girl for that much.
Ron took one last deep breath and tried to shake off his bad mood. He knew he really couldn't delay anymore; he was already a few minutes late because he'd been trying to collect himself, and the sun was going to start setting soon. So, he grabbed his camera and apparated to a shadowy corner just inside Kensington Gardens that he'd used before when he'd come to take pictures. He spotted Hermione by the gates as he walked out onto the path and quickly strode towards her.
"Sorry I'm late. We should get started. Tell me what you need," he said in lieu of a proper greeting. She didn't want to be friends, fine. He could play at that game, even if he wasn't ready to let her cut it off.
What she wanted was to be so much more than friends. She thought it was one thing when he was completely oblivious as to the way she felt about it, but it was entirely another when he had outright been told by his own flesh and blood and still was treating her as if she was worthless which anyone could conclude from his greeting.
Professional. Right. Fine by her. And if he was going to act short, then he could expect her to do the same.
"Right. Over there," she said pointing to a large display of gorgeous yellow and white daffodils, coincidentally her favourite type of flower. They were supposed to reflect calmness as her studies had shown. Well, so much for keeping her calm now under the circumstances. She was a right mess.
"Right," Ron said, beginning to set up his camera. "What do you want, exactly? You haven't given me any guidelines to go by. Are you going to be in the shots, or is it just the flowers?" he asked idly as he got his equipment ready. Looking up and giving her a pointed sort of look, he added, "Just tell me what to do, Mione."
"Both," she said simply. "I have to be in a couple for the column introduction piece," she explained, idly tracing her fingers along the front row of daffodils before glancing up to regard him momentarily.
"I've never worked with a photographer before for one of my articles. I've only used their credited works. So... So I don't know what to do from here. That's why I asked you."
"Right," Ron said, feeling more frustrated than was really necessary. He knew he was projecting their personal differences into the situation so he took a deep breath and then raised his camera to snap a few random shots of Hermione and the flowers. "Okay. So what's the article about then? I mean, what are the pictures supposed to be showing people?"
"You're taking them already?" she asked, stepping away from the flowers instinctively upon realizing that he was snapping photos. Hermione was never one to want to be in the spotlight. Whenever she saw Colin Creevey with his camera, she would shy away instantly.
"I just... need the flowers. By themselves. The article is about how flowers affect emotions in people, whether by their appearance or their scent or what have you. I wanted to have a photographer take photos here in London so that my readers will be close to the actual flowers displayed in the piece and inspire them to take advantage of them," she said calmly, avoiding his eyes as she spoke.
"Relax, Hermione," Ron said, smiling a little and snapping one of her face.
He was so used to her shying away from the camera that things felt normal for a second. He remembered all the times he'd tried to trick her into posing for pictures--fully clothed, of course. Despite the fact that Hermione was one of his oldest friends, he hardly had any pictures of her. Or, well. She used to be one of his oldest friends. Now he wasn't sure what they were.
His smile turned a bit sour and he asked distractedly, "Can you sit there at the edge of the path? Facing me, please."
"Here? Just... just sit here?" she asked nervously as she lowered herself to the ground and folded her legs beneath her. She had on a yellow dress with a simple white sweater over top. She knew she would have to look nice for her article introduction photo and so she put some effort into her appearance. Incidentally, she seemed to blend right into the mess of beautiful flowers behind her.
"Er... what do I do?" she asked, feeling absolutely ridiculous as she faced him, looking quite similar to a deer in headlights if there was to be a comparison. Biting her lip, she glanced around at some of the passers-by who stopped to curiously watch what was going on.
Of course, this only made her a good ten times more nervous.
, Hermione," Ron said again. "You're going to look scared in all your photos. Here," he said, dropping to his knees next to her and carefully positioning her hands in the flowerbeds behind her so she could lean back without damaging any of the plants or getting her clothes dirty. "You look nice. I mean, the pictures will turn out great if you just smile."
With that, Ron leaned back on his heels, still crouched down, and took another few pictures. The pink light of the beginning of the sunset was making Hermione look a little flushed. It was a nice effect, and Ron snapped a few more pictures, focussing on her face. He cast a quick look around and then picked a bright coloured flower from a different flowerbed, cleaning it off before dropping it in Hermione's lap.
"Don't think about the camera, just think about the flowers. The article is about how they can affect your emotions, so let them," he said, offering her another smile. If she was uncomfortable, the photos wouldn't turn out, and above all else, Ron was working right now. Besides, if things went well, maybe things could
go back to normal, no matter what Ginny said.
He rarely ever complimented her on her looks and so she couldn't help but to smile, which, of course was good considering he was snapping photographs. Surely, he had to have gotten at least one good one. At least, Hermione hoped so because after a minute or so, she found herself feeling stupid for letting her cheeks blush ever so slightly when he spoke sweetly. After all, he must have told Lavender she was gorgeous on a daily basis.
Frowning, Hermione feared that through the lens of his camera, he would see the very beginnings of tears littering her chocolate-coloured eyes. And could you blame her? She had been rather sensitive as of late -- naturally any thought of Ron and Lavender together would hurt her more than as per usual.
She couldn't ignore the prick in her heart that she was growing awfully familiar with as well.
Getting to her feet, Hermione shook her head and cleared her throat as she smoothed down the skirt of her dress. "I think that's enough," she said stiffly.
Ron frowned. He knew he had some good shots, but he liked to take lots, just in case. Of course, Hermione's expression didn't really leave room for argument, and Ron was quite suddenly reminded of their fight. He got up, brushing his knees off, and said, "Yeah, fine. Anything for a friend
. I'll just wander around the garden then and take some more photos. I'll develop them all tonight and owl you the best ones tomorrow. You can use whatever you want. You don't have to stay."
"It's my job
to stay," she said pointedly, crossing her arms over her chest and strolling over to a gorgeous path lined with red tulips that were in full bloom.
Red. Red was supposed to ignite passion. Passion or anger -- two opposites that were so devastatingly close to mixing with one another. Funny--it really resembled the relationship of the two of them.
Well, at least the anger part. As far as passion was concerned, it only existed between the two of them in her dreams which, she was quite sure, was the only place it would ever occur.
"Fine," Ron snapped and began walking, stopping almost immediately to get a good shot of the very same tulips Hermione had been looking at, with a blossoming cherry tree in the background filtering the red light. Ron took a few different versions, fiddling with the exposure time and angle in each shot and already thinking of some dark room techniques he could try to tweak it a little. It might look cool if he used a contrast filter to brighten the brights and darken the darks. "I'm surprised you can stand to stay, seeing as you can't
be my friend anymore. I thought you'd jump at the chance to get away from me early."
That was it.
Hermione's eyes were furious when she whipped around, her dress swirling about her legs while she did so to face him. She had a feeling this might arise sometime during the evening for the photo session.
that!" she snapped. "Don't act like you don't understand why! I know about your talk with Ginny. She told me everything. She told me she
everything. I don't know what else you want me to say, Ron!"
Ron hadn't really meant to say anything. It had just popped out halfway through thoughts of flowers and photos. Things had been going relatively well until then; he always thought avoidance was a pretty good way to deal with things. He was a bit surprised at himself for being the one to bring it up. Though, perhaps he shouldn't have been surprised. The indignant anger at being dismissed, the hurt, the confusion, all the emotions Hermione seemed to think he didn't possess, they didn't encourage silence. They made Ron want to lash out, to do something, anything
, to feel a little less helpless.
"Whatever you want! I want you to say whatever you want. To ramble on about the scientific classifications of the flowers, because I know you know them. Or even to recite all of your stupid, sodding, boring
research about flowers at me and tell me all the things you learned that didn't fit in the article. I want things to go back to normal!" Ron shouted suddenly, wishing his voice sounded more angry and less betrayed. "You don't get to just decide one day, out of the blue, that we aren't going to be friends anymore and that I don't get a say in it, Hermione. That's not fair."
"Fine!" Hermione shouted back, stepping until she was almost right in his face. She tried to seem intimidating but seeing as he was so much taller, it didn't have the effect she would have liked.
"Everything Ginny said was true
. ALL of it! I hate the fact that you're dating Lavender. I hate that you're sleeping with her. I hate that you write about her all the time in your journal and she takes up nearly all the free time you have when you're not working. I hate that she doesn't appreciate you. I hate that you're so... blinded
by her. But most of all, I HATE
that I'm jealous! Yes, Ron. I'm jealous! Of her. Of you. Of her with
you. Is that what you want me to say? Because it's the truth. I don't know what else I can possibly do to make you see it!"
Hermione's face was so flushed pink that it seriously rivalled the roses that were next on his photography list. She hadn't expected herself to go off like that but there was no taking it back now.
"Oh, yeah, really? Because it's all fine and dandy to shout that at me, but are you going to go home and cuddle up with Vikki
, after this, Mione? I meant to say, you know, congratulations. I hope you two are really happy together," Ron snapped, his voice cracking on the last word and he quickly took a few steps away from Hermione. In his haste to put some space between them, Ron nearly ran into an elderly couple passing by.
"Fucking bloody hell," Ron growled to himself once the couple had walked out of hearing range. Ron rubbed a hand through his hair, a habit he'd likely picked up from Harry, and turned to Hermione. "I think you should go. I think you should go now before we both mess it up even worse than it is because I don't know what to say to you right now, Hermione."
Hermione literally felt her heart break at the moment.
There was a dull pain in her chest that was ten times worse than the prick she felt whenever she heard him talking about another girl, Lavender included. Everything she was too afraid to say to him, she had just exclaimed in the middle of a crowded park without thinking twice.
... Only to be rejected.
"Okay Ron," she said, her bottom lip trembling slightly. She turned away from him just in time to keep him from seeing the tears falls down her lightly freckled cheeks. There was really no use in preventing them anymore. She didn't bother to look up at any of the crowd that was staring at the two of them.
Instead, she did something she always swore she wouldn't -- Hermione ran away.
Ron almost called after her; he almost stepped forward and took it all back. Of course, things were just too weird between them right now. She was probably going to run straight to Krum anyway. Ron couldn't help but feel like Hermione didn't want Ron to have a place in her life anymore, no matter what she said about anything. She was dating Krum and she didn't even want to be friends with Ron. How could she say she was jealous of Lavender when she was dating Krum
and she didn't want to be friends with Ron
? It didn't make sense to him.
"Bugger off, then," Ron growled at the few people milling about. He still had pictures to take and pretty soon it would be too dark to get anything decent. All Ron could do was swallow around the lump in his throat and try to put Hermione out of his mind, something that had been increasingly hard to do lately.
Flowers. He had to focus on the flowers. And then go home and develop a bunch of pictures of Hermione. Fuck