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One, Two, Three, Four - A Place for the most Rare of Loves
Find it in the Room of Requirement

Boca. posting in A Gift Exchange for HP Rarepairs
User: hprare_exchange (posted by msqu)
Date: 2007-10-19 03:01
Title: One, Two, Three, Four
Security: Public
Tags:charlie, charlie/hermione, hermione, het
Title: One, Two, Three, Four
Gift for: potter_wars
Pairing: Hermione/Charlie
Rating: PG
Summary: It was just a kiss. One kiss. Not even a real kiss.
Additional Notes: Hope you enjoy this, potter_wars! The request included having two people in love but being forced to separate. I used lyrics from the song 1 2 3 4 by Feist (lyrics here). Thanks to my beta and to the lovely mod for running this awesome exchange!

One, two, three, four, tell me that you love me more…

one


He kisses her cheek. It’s just a friendly kiss. One kiss. Chaste.

She smiles and kisses his cheek back. She says good night to everyone else, congratulations to Bill and Fleur, and when she goes up to her room, she falls asleep with her hand pressed against the spot where she can still feel his lips.

She wakes up the next morning. He’s been in her dreams all night.

Stop it, she tells herself. It was just a kiss. One kiss. Not even a real kiss.

two

She isn’t there at Christmas.

Everyone is unhappy at Christmas that year. They are missing too many people, too worried. He feels bad for being most concerned about her, when his brother is out there, too, but he finds himself thinking about her more often than he should.

He wonders where she is, if she’s safe. He wonders if she’s happy, or as happy as is possible. Sometimes his thoughts wander to his brother and he wonders if Ron treats her well. Sometimes he wishes that he had met her first, that she had been just a few years older, that he had fallen in love with her before Ron did.

Sometimes he can’t sleep. He thinks of her and wonders if she’s okay and stares up at the ceiling for hours.

three

Things don’t go back to normal when it all ends, not for awhile. She stays at the Burrow, knowing she needs to go find her parents but knowing that she couldn’t deal with their disappointment and anger when she takes the charms off them. She tells herself that she’ll go when she’s finally strong enough to get past everything. She ignores that she knows she’ll never be strong enough to forget the past year.

Ron doesn’t talk to her. No one really speaks to her, except Mrs. Weasley. Sometimes she cries, sometimes they both cry together and then totter around the kitchen and make dinner without speaking. She knows Mrs. Weasley cries for her lost son and her lost friends; Mrs. Weasley doesn’t know that Hermione is crying for more than that. She cries for her parents, she cries for the dead, she cries because Ron is so lost in his grief that she’s nearly sure whatever relationship they had is over. Sometimes she cries because she’s not sure that she wants Ron. She wishes that Ron’s kisses would do for her what that one kiss on the cheek at Bill and Fleur’s wedding did for her.

four

He stays with his family for far longer than he should after the final battle, but he can’t bring himself to leave. He tells himself it’s because his family needs him and he needs them; after awhile, he knows it’s because he won’t allow himself to leave while she’s still there.

Things are different between everyone. He knows she is unhappy. He knows that Ron is being selfish and absorbed in himself and that she needs him right now.

He wants to tell her that it will be okay. He wants her to tell him all the things that she silently cries about. He wants her to know he loves her more than anyone could love her.

You’re changing your heart… you know who you are

The sitting room is completely dark except for a little patch of moonlight coming through the window. He doesn’t see her, doesn’t even know she’s there until he hears a soft little sob coming from somewhere behind the patch of light.

“Hermione?” he whispers. “Why are you sitting in the dark?”

“I don’t know,” she says. Her voice is shaking. “It wasn’t dark when I started.”

He squints and tries to find his way to her in the dark. “How long have you been in here?”

“After dinner,” she replies. “You’re the first person who’s come in.”

He walks through the patch of light and stands in the darkness behind it. “Why are you crying?”

“Every reason. No new reasons.” There is a hesitant silence. “We never talk much, do we?”

“No,” he agrees. “I wish we did.”

“I do too.”

More silence.

“You know it’s always been you, Charlie.”

“Me?”

“I loved you first.”

He hesitates. “I never knew.”

“I’m sorry.”

“I’m sorry, too. I wish I had known before.”

“Why?”

He sits next to her on the sofa. “You know why.”

Her hands move behind his neck and pull him closer. He lets her kiss him, lets himself kiss her back. One of his hands brushes her cheek, where her tears are still wet.

She pulls back and pulls his arms around her, resting her head on his shoulder.

“Do you think things would have been different if this had happened before?” she whispers.

“Yes,” he replies. “Very different.”

“I can’t leave Ron.”

“I know. I wouldn’t want you to.”

“I love you, you know.”

“I know. I love you.”

“I wish it were different.”

“We can’t be together.”

“I know.”

There is silence, hesitance.

“Will you kiss me again?”

He strokes her hair and kisses her again. They kiss for much longer than they should and sit on the sofa in the dark. She falls asleep against his shoulder and he stays for longer than he should before gently laying her on the sofa and covering her with a blanket.

Sweetheart, bitter heart, now I can’t tell you apart…

He makes plans to go back to Romania the next morning. She smiles sadly at him across the breakfast table. He knows she understands.

He lets her kiss him goodbye before he leaves.

The next time he sees her, he is the best man at her wedding to his little brother. She smiles when she sees him and kisses his cheek. It’s just a friendly kiss. One kiss. Chaste.
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[Love Me Do]
User: potter_wars
Date: 2007-10-19 11:13 (UTC)
Title: (no subject)
Wow. Now that was just AMAZING. The style was really beautiful and restrained; just as their relationship was. Their conversation near the end was wonderfully written as well: the short answers and the use of silence and hesitation in this worked so well.

I also really liked that she cried with Mrs Weasley, that communicated her closeness with the entire family, and therefore why she can't upset everyone by leaving Ron for Charlie.

Finally, I loved that mirroring of the beginning and end...it was the perfect finish. Understated and full of meaning.

Gah! I loved this so much. Thank you!! And I even listened to 1234 while I was reading. :D
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CA: amazing
User: piartemis18
Date: 2007-10-19 22:31 (UTC)
Title: (no subject)
Keyword:amazing
Okay. This story is awesome. I, too, am thrilled at the way you made the parallelism at the beginning and end work out so well. And the way you incorporated the way cool song worked really well too.

I don't know what else to say. It's just a good story. I love it.
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delicatevenom
User: delicatevenom
Date: 2007-11-02 01:33 (UTC)
Title: (no subject)
Hey! Just wanted to let you know that your fic has been recced at thegoldenseeker =]

The Golden Seeker
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pop_the_toaster
User: pop_the_toaster
Date: 2008-04-11 17:36 (UTC)
Title: (no subject)
oh this was heartbreaking. how it went in full circle back to the chaste kiss was very bittersweet.
given me the urge to read more charlie-centric fics..have you got any recs??
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Pining for...
March 2008