MISSING BOOK MOMENTS: Ron Defends Hermione ↳ Prisoner of Azkaban (page 172)
“That is the second time you have spoken out of turn, Miss Granger,“ said Snape coolly. "Five more points from Gryffindor for being an insufferable know-it-all.”
Hermione went very red, put down her hands, and stared at the floor with her eyes full of tears. It was a mark of how much the class loathed Snape that they were all glaring at him, because every one of them had called Hermione a know-it-all at least once, and Ron, who told Hermione she was a know-it-all at least twice a week, said loudly, “You asked us a question and she knows the answer! Why ask if you don’t want to be told?”
The smell of car exhaust, bloody palms, sparks under your heels when they hit the pavement. Swallowing ice, swallowing glass, tongue curling around cold water and mirror shards, grateful for both.
Pour gasoline in your suitcase full of clothes and remember the smell, heavy and dangerous and familiar. Pour gasoline on yourself, too, and then contemplate a box of matches.
You wreck your aliases when they start to look too much like you, so it’s time for your cyclical changing of names, changing of faces – shedding your skin, peeling it off in strips like bandages – no time to bury the body, not this time, but you can still burn the evidence if you move fast, baby, if you move fast.
You dye your hair in the bathroom sink and watch the color circle down the drain. I will be your alibi when the cops come, I will be your right hand man, I call shotgun in the getaway car if you’re driving, kick my heels up on the dash and say
Sorry about the bruises. Sorry about the skid marks. Sorry about the ambulance siren and the broken car radio and the thing we never said out loud.
And your fists tighten around the steering wheel. And I drag my hand down the passenger-side window. My fingertips leave four trails of smudges down the pane of glass.
We wash our hands in gas station bathrooms, but I put your fingers in my mouth and I still taste copper. We wash our hands in gas station bathrooms, but our sleeves and collars are still stained, and there’s a sticky red smudge beneath your left ear that I am watching and trying not to watch. Your reflection bares his sharpened teeth. My shadow pulls his hair out by the fistful.
We weren’t built for this, sweetheart, for this adrenaline rush – fingers interlocked over the stick shift, breathing in tandem, our eyes dead ahead. Our voices soft and bruised.
I wear your kisses strung together like pearls on a chain, but will you smear your mouth up my jaw, baby? Will you put on your green fatigues and carry me back to war? I can be your shoulder holster, your guardian angel, I can spit teeth like bullets, semi-automatic. And you can wear another man’s dog tags around your neck. I will even call you by his name.
It’s the same way it’s always been, the same I owe you, the same I told you so, the same Keep breathing, keep your goddamn eyes open –
And I’m trying, I swear I am –
But wolves are closing in, paws silent on the sand, and we know how it feels when teeth sink into a jugular. We know the way the skin gives, and we know that the wolves, unlike us, will not wince when they taste blood.
Try, you tell me, so I do. Breathe, you tell me, so I do. Take my name, here, take my name and i’ll take yours, you tell me, so I do.
And to be honest, my darling, when they call out to us in the same breath, oh, my love, my love. My soldier, my grave-robber, my runaway.
When they call out to us with both our names, I can’t tell the difference between them anymore.