Title:Day To Day
Author: Kitty Neko
Series: Harry Potter
Summary: No one ever warned Hermione that everyday life could be so… monotonous.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Harry Potter.
I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.
Hermione closed the drawer for the G-files and sighed. It was Thursday and they weren’t even halfway through with everything. She supposed she would have to skip lunch again and stay late. That was the only way she could foresee making the deadline.
Still, this wasn’t entirely unfortunate. It gave her more excuses to not go home. Things were awkward as arse between her and Ron. When they got home from dinner at the Weasleys’ house the day before, he hadn’t said much before crawling into bed. A dark cloud seemed to have settled over their small apartment and Hermione was at a loss as to what she could do to get rid of it.
Hermione felt like she had come up against a brick wall and the only thing she could do was bang her head against it.
“Granger, how long are you planning on staring at that cabinet?” Draco’s drawl interrupted her internal musings.
“However long it takes for me to learn how to make something spontaneously combust without magic.”
“Do it on your own time,” Draco grumbled. “I’d like to get this stupid assignment done some time this century.”
“You sure are wound tightly this morning,” Hermione noted. Draco furrowed his eyebrows and was about to respond, but she beat him to it. “Oh, who am I kidding? You’re always wound tight.”
Hermione expected he would get annoyed at this comment, but he only smirked.
“What?” Hermione asked, beginning to grow uncomfortable. There was something about the way he was looking at her that made her insides squirm. His gray eyes were dark and hooded as he took a step towards her.
Hermione instinctively backed up, but she had forgotten that there was a box behind her. Her foot stopped, but her bottom didn’t and she lost balance. Positive that she was about to fall on her arse and make an idiot of herself, Hermione was surprised when warm arms shot out and wrapped around her waist, holding her steady.
Draco paused for a moment, before allowing his arms to drop to his sides and the corner of his mouth to twitch upward. “I think it’s you who’s wound tightly.”
Hermione’s pulse had picked up, but she unceremoniously squashed it and shuffled sideways, away from Draco. “I imagine most people who are stuck in your presence for an extended amount of time get that way.”
The smirk didn’t leave Draco’s face. Hermione was suddenly wistful for the days when her insults would wipe that smug look off his face and replace it with rage. She must have been losing her touch.
“Yes, but they usually also get a…” Draco met her eyes in such a way that Hermione couldn’t misinterpret what he was saying as something besides innuendo… “Release.”
“Or they pretend to.”
Hermione was horrified with herself. The words had left her mouth before she had even had the chance to think them. Why was her voice betraying her?
The moment was interrupted by an extremely familiar voice.
“Ron?” Hermione asked, genuinely surprised. Her boyfriend had only been to her office a few times, after all. Not to mention the awkwardness that had settled over their relationship over the past couple days. The last thing she had expected from him was a spontaneous visit to her work.
She was actually a little thrilled. This meant that he was ready to talk and they could put this whole proposal thing behind them. Things would be normal again.
“Are you busy?” Ron asked.
Hermione laughed nervously, not sure why she was feeling so jittery. “Well, kinda, but I could take an early lunch probably.” It was only ten in the morning, but she was hungry enough to eat already. She glanced at Draco, who shrugged. Obviously, it made no difference to him.
Ron’s lackluster response was beginning to make her uneasy. She didn’t understand why though. He may have been saying the bare minimum, but it was still more than he had said to her the last couple days.
“Just let me grab my wallet,” Hermione said as she moved over to her desk. It felt odd, her being the one doing most of the talking. The two men in the room said nothing.
The walk through the ministry with a silent Ron wasn’t helping the butterflies in her stomach one bit. With each step they took, a feeling of dread settled deeper within her.
“What do you want to eat?” Hermione asked, attempting to get the focus on one of Ron’s favorite topics – food.
“It doesn’t matter.”
That was a total failure.
Not feeling in the mood for cafeteria food, Hermione led her boyfriend out of the Ministry and to a nearby sandwich shop. It was somewhere she came often and had always thought Ron would enjoy.
The store was empty except for the workers behind the counter. Hermione figured she would get her usual turkey and cheese sandwich. She was feeling too odd to enjoy perusing the menu.
“What do you want?” she asked Ron, hoping against hope that he would have some enthusiasm in his answer this time. She knew something was wrong, but didn’t want to believe it.
“It doesn’t matter.”
Hermione felt a lump gather in her throat, but forced it away and turned towards to the teenager waiting to take her order. “Two turkey and cheese with everything on them.”
Hermione was terrified to turn around. She just knew this was it. This was the moment she had refused to imagine happening ever since this fiasco had started. Deep down, she had known it was a possibility, but her brain wouldn’t let her even consider it. She didn’t want it to happen, but knew that it was far too late to do anything about it.
She couldn’t turn around.
Maybe if she didn’t look at him, he couldn’t say it.
“…I’m moving out.”
Hermione stared at the menu behind the counter, her eyes not really seeing anything. Ron continued talking, despite the fact that she hadn’t acknowledged hearing the first part.
“I talked to George. He’s going to help me move all my things out while you’re at work today. I’m going to move in with him.”
It was an odd sensation for Hermione. To have someone calmly explain to her that her life was changing and she was powerless to stop it. She couldn’t wrap her brain around it. She had always loved Ron. She’d been with him for years. And it was just ending?
“I thought I should tell you in person. I didn’t want to do this when you were at work, but I also didn’t want to wait until you got home and saw my stuff was gone,” Ron said. “I’m sorry, but I can’t be with someone who doesn’t want to marry me.”
“But I do want to marry you,” Hermione said, surprising herself.
“You keep saying that,” Ron said, anger starting to creep into his voice. “But, you don’t really. Otherwise you would have said yes when I proposed.”
“I already explained my reasons,” Hermione said and finally was able to turn around. She stared up at Ron’s familiar face, her stomach clenching painfully.
“They weren’t good enough.”
And that was it, really. What else could she say to that? Demand that he consider her feelings for once in their relationship? Yell at him? They were in public. Making a scene was something she would never do.
“Look, I have a lot to do today.” Ron scratched the back of his head, uncomfortable with the situation. “I’m going to go. I hope you get whatever it is that you want.”
What she wanted? At the moment, Hermione couldn’t seem to remember she had ever wanted anything besides the man walking away from her. Something seemed to break inside her at that moment, but Hermione refused to acknowledge it. She had things to do; things that didn’t involve her crumbling love-life.
Because, even after everything, she did have things she wanted and she would do whatever it took to make them happen.
Hermione spun around at the teenager’s timid voice. By the look on his face, Hermione guessed that he had just heard that entire exchange between her and Ron. She paid for the food and left quickly, not wanting to eat there, with him giving her that sympathetic look.
She had a lot of work to get done still. She would just eat at the office. The thought was unappealing however, since the thought of food made her stomach flop. She had an extra sandwich too. She seriously doubted she was going to be able to eat one. Two was impossible.
Struck with sudden inspiration, Hermione shoved the extra sandwich in Draco’s hands when she returned to the office.
“Here. I bought you lunch.”
“Did you poison it?” Draco asked, raising his eyebrow at the unexpected gesture.
Hermione shrugged, not in the mood for their usual banter. She tossed her own uneaten sandwich on her desk and started where she left off on the filing.
Hermione could feel the silence in the room more than she heard it. Nevertheless, Draco didn’t say anything. She was extremely grateful.
“Aren’t you going to eat?”
“What?” Hermione asked, not really paying attention.
“Eat. You know, when you put food in your mouth, chew it, and swallow?” Draco asked, sarcasm creeping into his voice.
Hermione turned and stared at him. She blinked. Why was it that the only thing she heard him say was ‘swallow’?
Noticing her blank stare, Draco pointed at her desk where her uneaten sandwich lay. “It’s already two o’clock. Aren’t you going to eat lunch?”
“Oh.” Hermione looked away, willing her face not to flush. “No, I’m not really hungry. I had a big breakfast. I’ll just take it home with me and eat it later.”
It was a lie. She had no intention of eating when her stomach was feeling so queasy, but didn’t feel the need to tell him. There was a feeling of dread at going home that Hermione couldn’t shake. She wondered at those feelings; it wasn’t like she was going to have to face Ron when she got there. All the same, she wasn’t looking forward to it.
“Fine,” Malfoy said, irritation lacing his tone. “Do what you want.”
“I will,” Hermione said and went back to her filing.
It was at eight o’clock that evening that Hermione could no longer justify staying at the office. Draco had left at five and the building had been practically empty since six, save for the cleaning crew. Her stomach was awfully angry at her too and was being very vocal about it. She wouldn’t have been surprised if they could hear the growling in the next building over.
She had briefly considered eating the sandwich she bought for lunch, but ended up tossing it in the trash after deciding that it didn’t seem very appetizing anymore.
Deciding that she was in no mood to cook, Hermione dropped by her favorite take-out restaurant on the way home. The smell of it only made her stomach rumble more in excitement. She couldn’t believe she had allowed herself to get so hungry! She was just relieved that the queasiness had eventually gone away.
Actually feeling less nervous, Hermione unlocked the door to her apartment and swung it open. Shock hit.
The kitchen table was gone, as were all the chairs around it. She should have realized that Ron would take it, since his mother bought it for them, but it was a shock all the same. Hermione set her food down by the door and went to inspect the rest of the rooms. As she looked around the apartment, she noticed more and more things. The coffee table, lamp, the silverware, the desk, and even the dresser in their bedroom were gone. Hermione’s clothes had been laid out in neat piles on the bed.
At least she still had a bed, Hermione thought wryly. Even as she thought it, she realized that Ron leaving the bed was being generous. It was a huge king sized thing that Ron had insisted they needed and bought with his own money. In fact, the more she thought about it, Hermione realized that everything Ron had taken had rightfully belonged to him. They were either things his parents had bought for them, or things he had bought with his own money.
Basically, the only things that belonged to her in that apartment were the sofa and bookcase. The really sad thing was that those were both gifts from her parents. How had she ended up living like that? And what was worse – she hadn’t even realized it until it was all gone.
Hermione trekked back over to the entryway and retrieved her food. There was nothing she could do about her situation now. Once seated on the sofa with her food in her lap, Hermione became aware of a kink in her plan. There was no plastic silverware in the bag… and Ron had taken the silverware.
At least I’m alone, Hermione thought as she began to shovel rice into her mouth with her fingers. It was very undignified.
Hermione froze with her fingers in her mouth and rice all over her lap. The voice had come from the fireplace, and when she turned to look she saw Ginny’s head.
“What are you doing?” Ginny asked, but kept going before Hermione could answer her. “Nevermind that! Thank Merlin you’re home! Harry and I have been flooing you for hours! We were just about to go to your office! Ron told us what happened! Are you okay?” She was talking so fast and firing off questions one right after the other. It was a miracle that she managed to say it all in one breath.
“I… uh…” Hermione stumbled over her words, not quite sure what to say.
“Oh! You don’t have to answer. We’ll be there in a second!”
“No, Ginny, wait!” Hermione sputtered, but it was too late. Ginny’s face had disappeared from the fire and someone was already knocking on her door.
Hermione sighed and set her food down before getting up to open the door. It wasn’t as if she could pretend not to be home.
“Hermione!” Ginny cried as soon as Hermione opened the door. She tossed her arms around Hermione’s neck and the curly haired girl stumbled backward a couple steps. “This is awful!” Ginny exclaimed, burying her face in Hermione’s hair. Over Ginny’s shoulder, Hermione saw Harry enter the apartment and close the door behind him.
“Are you alright, Hermione?” he asked.
“I’m not sure,” Hermione answered truthfully. She was actually kind of relieved to see the two of them there, even if she would have preferred to be alone. At least this way she knew that they weren’t angry at her.
“I can’t believe this is happening,” Harry said.
“Me either,” Hermione agreed.
“You can still get him back,” Ginny chimed in, letting her arms drop from around Hermione.
Not liking the direction this conversation was going, Hermione laughed nervously. “No, I don’t think so. It’s kind of a done deal.”
“No it isn’t!” Ginny argued, looking imploringly into Hermione’s eyes. “I know my brother – he can be stubborn sometimes, but he’s not unreasonable. If you agreed to marry him, I’m sure he’d forgive you!”
“I can’t do that,” Hermione said firmly. There was no way she was going to back down on this issue. She refused to get married when she was having such huge doubts.
“Isn’t there something else you can do?” Harry asked, treading lightly. “I mean, I just can’t believe that it would end like this. You two have been in love for years! Can’t you do something?”
Hermione opened her mouth to respond, but stopped. She could understand why they were pushing this so hard, since they all had close ties and a break-up like this would make things awkward for everyone, but it was still irking her.
“Look, if you care so much, go bother Ron. I’m tired and I have a long day ahead of me tomorrow. I need to get ready for bed soon.” It was a bit of a stretch, but she couldn’t think of another way to get rid of them.
Both Harry and Ginny looked taken aback by that ‘bother’ comment, but not angry. They sent loaded glances at each other and seemed to come to some kind of mutual agreement.
“Okay, Hermione, we can take a hint. We’ll leave. Just let us know if you need anything,” Harry said kindly.
His kindness only irked her more.
“Thanks,” Hermione said, trying to mean it. She saw them to the door and waved until they had Apparated away.
Breathing a sigh of relief, Hermione returned to the sofa. She was about to finish her dinner, but realized that she was no longer hungry.
She threw the food away without another thought.
To Be Continued.