Ship: Ron and Hermione, Prompt: A Shopping Trip
There’s just something about watching Hermione read.
He’s noticed it ever since Hogwarts. At school, Hermione always had a book in front of her nose, whether it was for pleasure or homeworkor research for Harry. Ron remembers countless little moments, Hermione with abook open in her lap in the common room, Hermione poring over the day’s lesson in Potions class, Hermione snapping at him when he made fun of her idea of “light reading”.
He remembers doing all that research on magical law and hippogriffs in third year to help Hagrid with Buckbeak’s trial. He’d been reading just as much as her on those long afternoons, but sometimes he couldn’t help himself- he’d glance up just to watch her fiercely turning pages. He remembers thinking that up against Hermione, the Malfoys’ case against Buckbeak wouldn’t stand a chance. He remembers how she caught him staring, and ordered him sharply to get back to work. When she’d looked down, though, he’d caught the ghost of a smile before her concentrating look returned.
When she’s reading for research, she looks pensive, thoughtful, brow furrowed, biting her lip as she runs a fingertip across the page. When it’s serious, when it’s for a case at work, she gets the same look she always got at Hogwarts when looking up potions or ancient magic for Harry’s sake. Her face clouds over with worry, and if you interrupt her she glares at you with fire in her brown eyes before disappearing into her research once more.
But the best is when she’s reading for pleasure, or something that really interests her. She’s alive with emotion, her whole face lit up with delight, absolutely content, lost to the world. Now that they’re living together he’s gotten used to her not hearing him sometimes when he gets home and calls out a greeting, so engrossed is she in a new Transfiguration theory or a Muggle fiction book or in translating Dumbledore’s old copy of Beedle the Bard into English from the runes. He doesn’t mind having to come and find her, say her name several times, because those little moments before she notices him are the ones when he sees her and thinks how lucky he is.
He sees her happiness, and little by little, the images in his mind of Hermione’s face contorted in pain from Bellatrix Lestrange’s Cruciatus Curse, crumpled with hopeless tears as he left her in the rain and Disapparated, stricken with horror and heartbreak as Hagrid had carried Harry’s lifeless form out of the Forest and Ron had been certain for a sickening moment that his best friend was dead- all of the pain and sorrow and fear that he’d seen Hermione bear during the war, it’s all replaced in his mind with her little smiles down at the page, in another world, not afraid, not alone, just happy. And even better, her expression when she looks up and sees him there, and she smiles up at him like the sight of him standing there is a little miracle and she can’t hold back her delight, and he can’t help smiling back.
That’s why he loves to watch Hermione read.
Maybe all of that is why he doesn’t mind at all when they Apparate into her parents’ neighborhood to meet the Grangers for dinner, and they pass Hermione’s favorite used book store she’s patronized since childhood, and she suggests they go in.
Because when she’s in her element, surrounded by all these books, beautiful and happy, it’s impossible for him to feel sad. She shows him her favorites and he dutifully peruses the dust jackets and spends most of the time watching her, and he stops worrying about the Auror office and how out of place he feels at the Ministry. He stops worrying about George and how he’s coping with losing Fred, about Mum and whether she’s okay, about Dad and Percy working themselves to the bone to stave off grief, about Harry, coming to terms with a life after the battle, still blaming himself for everyone else’s pain. He doesn’t worry about Hermione and her nightmares, or his own old insecurities, because how can anything in the world be wrong when she looks so happy?
He could watch her here forever, he thinks. And he does- at least, until they realize that they’re late for dinner. He doesn’t mind that much. In fact, for the first time in his life, Ron is the one who doesn’t want to leave the bookstore yet.
I’d take prompts if you have them! :) (For any fandom I’m in, not just HP.)