Regret... if there is one word to describe Ron Weasley at this point in his life, it would be regret. After the war, he stood by and watched as the girl of his dreams married his older brother. When he finds out that Hermione and George are expecting their first baby, Ron sits down and writes her a letter, finally confessing his true feelings. Inspired by David Bowie's "Letter To Hermoine"
“Who’s it from, Gin?” Harry didn’t even look up from his breakfast or the Daily Prophet he had spread open on the table.
Ginny was glad that he hadn’t looked up. She drew her lower lip between her teeth and then she smiled slowly. Anyone looking at her could have seen she was torn between feeling broken-hearted and overjoyed. “Oh, it’s just a letter from Hermione,” she said.
“Hermione?” Harry perked up at the mention of news from their friend. He exchanged smiles with his young wife, gazing thoughtfully into her clear blue eyes. “And?” he prodded. “How is she?”
"She's well," Ginny swallowed. She was happy that Ron wasn’t at breakfast with them to hear the news she was about to share. She took a deep breath and then she let it go, “She’s expecting.”
Ginny nodded slowly, “They just found out yesterday. Mum will be so happy.”
“Yeah,” Harry agreed. “Ron will be. . .”
“Devastated?” Ginny tried.
“Yeah,” Harry repeated. “Maybe we shouldn’t tell him?”
“Don’t be daft, Harry,” she smacked at his arm. “He’ll find out sooner or later. Better sooner than later, as Mum always says.”
“What do I always say?” Molly Weasley seemed to enter on cue, her graying red hair knotted in a loose bun atop her head while fiery wisps danced around her face with her movement.
“Better sooner than later,” Ginny said. “We’ve gotten a letter this morning from Hermione and George.”
“Oh, have we?” Molly approached the table and took the letter her youngest child held out to her. “What have they got to say?”
“Good news,” Ginny replied. “I’ll let you read it though. It’s a surprise!”
Molly’s eyes darted deftly across the parchment. Harry and Ginny both watched her read, and occasionally she would squint, as though she needed her glasses, or the words didn’t sit well with her. “Oh my,” she finally said, a small grin starting at the corner of her mouth. She folded the parchment back up and tucked it into the envelope. “Well, that is good news.”
“Do you think they’ll have twins?” Ginny wondered aloud.
“They very well might,” Molly sighed. It was strange where her mind went next, as though she had had the same thoughts Ginny herself had entertained. “Where’s Ronald?”
“Oh, uh, I think he’s still asleep,” Harry said.
“Well, in that case, maybe you can help me, Harry. I want to move some furniture around so the kids have more room to play when Charlie comes later.”
“Of course,” he agreed.
“We’ll both help, Mum,” Ginny decided.
Molly laid the letter there on the table, because perhaps that was the best way for Ron to find out, and the three of them went to work, rearranging furniture.
It was several hours before Ron made his way downstairs. He worked nights for the Ministry and often spent much of the social hours of daylight sleeping. It was better that way, he told himself, but on the inside he was horribly lonesome.
The Burrow was empty, and the note his mum had left behind explained that she, Ginny and Harry had gone to the Train Station to meet Charlie and the kids. Ron tossed the note back onto the table, his eye catching on the familiar looping beauty of penmanship he was sure he’d never forget. His heart lurched just a little in his chest as he reached for the letter and untucked it from the envelope. He felt his chest broaden with the depth of his breath, and then his hand dropped to his side.
Did he really want to know? Could he really stomach reading how blissfully happy Hermione was with his brother? He had put his best face on when they’d announced they were getting married, and through it all he’d convinced himself that her heart was just too big for the likes of him. Sometimes he liked to tell himself that Hermione had obviously married George to help fill the void in his life after losing Fred, and yet, no matter how many times he told himself that, it became harder and harder to believe.
He realized he was still holding his breath, and only when he released it could he bring himself to read the letter.
To Our Dear Family,
We are doing well here in London, however we miss you all terribly, and wish we could be with you more than you could possibly imagine. We make the best of things here though with both of us working in the shop now. Business is doing rather well and we are both continually surprised at the range of customers, both Muggle and Wizard alike, who frequent the shop. Fred would be so very proud, as would Arthur, and not a day goes by that we don’t wish they were still here with us. I’m sorry. I promised myself I wouldn’t cry while I was writing this, but I feel so far away from you all.
We would both like very much to spend the holidays at the Burrow, but the increase in business makes it near impossible for us to get away. . .
Here Ron smirked. He knew the real reason they stayed away. They had guilt, and right they should. George had known all along how much his youngest brother had loved that girl, and yet he’d gone and made her his wife to spite him… why? Ron could feel his face growing hot again and took another deep breath to try and stay his anger. He blinked furiously to clear his vision and then he started to read again.
. . .however, we have recent news that is best celebrated and shared with family, so we will be coming home for Christmas dinner.
I know you’re probably anxious for the news, so I won’t keep it from you, even though George and I would much rather tell you all face to face. We are expecting our first baby and only found out yesterday. I wished you could have all been here with us to celebrate, our family, for I feel that we have all grown so very far apart since the war ended, and this is why we’re coming home. Dash the shop, dash business. We love and miss you all very much.
Look for us on Christmas morning.
Hermione and George
Ron felt like he was choking, his breath caught at the back of his throat, and though he tried several times to breathe in it felt impossible. A baby? George and Hermione having a baby? This was too much. Marriage, he could live with… there was always the hope of divorce, but a baby? There was no taking back a baby. Damn her. Damn him! Damn them both to hell, he snarled, crumpling the parchment and throwing it down on the table.
He wouldn’t be there Christmas morning. He wouldn’t bask in the bitter light of their happiness, the happiness that he still believed on the inside should be his.
Everyone was disappointed that Ron had managed to land himself rather conveniently at work on Christmas morning. He couldn’t get out of it, he insisted, passing across the table and grabbing a handful of biscuits.
“Leave them, Ron,” Molly slapped at his hand. “They’re for the little ones.”
“Why didn’t you ever let me have any when I was a little one then?”
“Oh you!” she reached over and squeezed his face adoringly. “Are you sure you can’t owl-in, Ron? It’s Christmas. The whole family will be here. Who knows when we’ll all be together again?”
Ron looked away. The whole family wouldn’t be there. His father wouldn’t be there, nor would Percy or Fred. All three of them had been casualties of war, and losing so many had left his mother more overprotective and suffocating than ever. Ron understood. She had lost so much, they all had. “I can’t, Mum. They need me.”
“Malarkey,” she slapped lovingly at his fingers again when he snuck back in to steal another biscuit. “We need you more.”
“Awe, Mum,” he kissed her cheek. “I’ll try to get home early, how’s that?”
“If that’s the best you can do, what else am I to say, Ronald?”
“I’ll try, Mum, honestly!”
In the end, he hadn’t really tried very hard, but even his best effort hadn’t been enough to spare him the agony he was avoiding. He apparated outside the Burrow just around four that afternoon and peering like a burglar through the windows, he saw her for the first time in three years. Hermione. . . She was laughing, her brilliant smile lighting up the entire room, just as it always had. Ron felt a pang of sorrow as he looked away. George had been sitting devotedly beside her, no doubt the cause of her merry laughter.
Ron turned and walked off, disapparating again without any idea where he would go. He wound up in Hogsmeade, at the Hog’s Head Inn, where he drank away his heartache.
Everyone in the Burrow was asleep when he finally went home, and he was glad. He didn’t want to face any of them, to hear how wonderful it all was, how beautiful she was, how happy. . .
In the kitchen, he sat down in his fathers chair and with quill and parchment he began to write to her. Over the years, Ron had written her many letters, but he hadn’t sent a single one of them. It had started in school, when he’d first realized how he felt about her. He knew that if he had only found the courage then to say what was in his heart, maybe he could have spared himself the pain he now felt. He hated himself for being such a coward, and yet she had been so beautiful, so smart, so wonderful. . . why would she ever want him?
In his letters he had revealed his every thought, feeling, and grievance over the years. Many of the latter letters started with the words “How could you marry my brother?” and ended with, “How could you not know that I loved you? Was I really that unclear?” What could he have done differently? What could he have said? Merlin! How he hated being so tragic and pathetic. He told her this in letter after unsent letter.
For some reason, that night he felt strong, and as he sat down to write to her, he let everything in his heart pour out. Perhaps it was because he had drunk too much at the pub, or because seeing her through the window—a part of his family without being a part of him—that finally pushed him over the edge. He rolled the parchment stubbornly and tied it to Pigwidgeon, and then he sent it off into the night.
Six hundred miles away, Hermione Weasley couldn’t sleep. She’d been disappointed returning from the Burrow without seeing Ron. She missed him. George snored softly beside her, and barely noticed when she slipped out of the bed. She tucked the blankets around him and after wrapping in her bath-robe, she went out into the parlor with a book to pass away the hours until she couldn’t hold her eyes open anymore.
She had been reading for no more than an hour when the sound of the tiny owl’s scrapes upon the window captured her attention. Who would be owling so late, she wondered, throwing up the sash.
“Pigwidgeon!” She gasped. She felt the color rise to her face; the excitement of seeing the little owl there leaving a giddy feeling inside her. “What have you got for me, Pig?”
The tiny elf-owl was barely able to keep still long enough for her to take the letter he carried. She rewarded him with a treat that was nearly as big as he was, and contented, he settled on the windowsill, waiting while she unwrapped the letter. Hermione thought her heart might explode, it was beating so fast, and with every centimeter she unraveled, she felt herself growing more anxious.
What would the letter say? Would he finally have at her for marrying his brother? Would he finally say what was on his mind? She’d waited so long for him to tell her how he felt, and after years of longing, years of waiting, she’d finally given up on him. Perhaps marrying George had been impulsive, maybe even uncharacteristically foolish of her, but she would never deny that time had sparked love between them, and she had actually stopped thinking she had settled over Ron.
She closed her eyes and stayed her emotions. No matter what that letter said, whether it was angry or cruel, full of emotion and truth, she was George’s wife now, and soon to be the mother of his child. No matter what that letter said she was over Ronald Weasley! Her breathing felt asthmatic; her hand wouldn’t stop trembling. She drew in a shaking breath and opened her eyes.
The hand that wrote this letter
Sweeps the pillow clean
So rest your head and
read a treasured dream
I care for no one else but you
I tear my soul to cease the pain
I think maybe you feel the same
What can we do?
I'm not quite sure what we're supposed to do
So I've been writing just for you
They say your life is going very well
They say you sparkle like a different girl
But something tells me that you hide
When all the world is warm and tired
You cry a little in the dark
Well so do I
I'm not quite sure
what you're supposed to say
But I can see it's not okay
He makes you laugh
He brings you out in style
He treats you well
And makes you up real fine
And when he's strong
He's strong for you
And when you kiss
It's something new
But did you ever call my name
Just by mistake?
I'm not quite sure what I'm supposed to do
So I'll just write some love to you
Lyrics © David Bowie