Harry gets a reality check. With a little help from his other best friend Ron.
Harry never moved as Hermione made her way to the fireplace. With a toss of some flu powder she yelled, “number,” her voice cracked, “Number 12 Blackwood Street!”
In a flash she was gone.
The Fire had gone within a few seconds of Hermione spinning out of Harry’s life. He thought, ‘she will have an easier life now. No more rule breaking or getting hurt on some foolish mission.’ She could now go on with her studies and be the best witch. Since now she won’t be helping me along.’ Harry noticed the world around him was starting to distort. Harry made a confused face as he wiped the tears from his eyes. He had no time to reflect on his condition. He cringed Tonks yelled from outside.
In a singsong voice, “I hope you two have made up.”
Harry watched a she flung open the door. She almost fell, witch in any other circumstance Harry would have laughed, as her toe caught on the threshold. Her hands were waving wildly in front of her trying to find her way into the apartment with her eyes closed. Harry made no movement to make his presents known.
A mischievous grin spread across her face, “you to had better stop that. I am about to open my eyes.” Her eyes shot open hoping for a budding couple looking at her, “Too late…”she said excitedly, but the happy face disappeared.
During Tonks’ grand entrance Harry was watching her from the reflection of the silent TV. She had composed herself from the momentary shock of only having one person in the room. With a blank face she marched determined toward Harry. Her eyes tried to stare holes into the reflection of Harry’s. She stopped behind him motionless like a Grenadier, but her eyes stayed fixed on his. She was waiting for him to look her in the face. If he did not she would make him.
He exhaled, both in defeat and frustration, and stood to look her in the eyes. The tension was so thick in the room; it was like it took up all the air. Harry waited as Tonks only regarded him with an unreadable look. In a flash Harry flinched as Tonks moved. He watched waiting for the inevitable slap to the face that never came. He glance down to see Tonks hand outstretched waiting to be shaken. A look of confusion was on his face as he instinctively took her hand.
With a vice grip she pumped his hand accenting what she fiercely whispered, “Congratulations jack-ass, you shut out the only person that ever supported you.”
Harry wrenched his hand from hers. As he flexed his hand he retorted in the same tone, “At least she is safer away from me than with me.”
Tonks crossed her arms, “You know Harry not everything is about you.”
“I know that.”
“You must not, Hermione so wanted your support right now.”
“Wait,” he said defensively, “she said her life would be easier now, before she left!”
In a low growl, “you told her to get out of her life, like she would tell you then.”
Harry hung his head, “you think I should call her?”
“Like she would talk to you now.”
Harry hung his head in shame. Tonks could barely hear him, “I’m sorry.”
Tonks smirk, “yeah you are pretty sorry.” Harry’s head shot up with a look of offence. Tonks only giggled but then got serious again, “I am not the one you should apologize to.”
“Yeah, but she won’t talk to me. You already established that.”
“You sure you are a male.”
“Yes,” Harry bit back scathingly.
Tonks was unfazed, “because you sure act like a teen drama queen.”
Harry stood with his mouth agape. Only a small straining sound was coming from his throat. Tonks shock her head, “come on lets make some pizza while you try and think of a scathing reply.”
With his hand Harry pushed his glasses up and rubbed his temples, “ok sis.” Tonks had turned to go to the kitchen when Harry reached out and touched her elbow. She turned expectantly toward a nervous Harry. He quietly whispered, “Are we ok?”
Tonks looked pensive for a moment, but then engulfed Harry in a hug. While holding him, in a comforting voice, “I am still mad at you because of Hermione,” Harry tensed in her arms. “But I also know you thought you were protecting her.” Harry only nodded mutely against her. He clapped him on the back, “Come on I am getting hungry.”
With that they went to the kitchen and made another great pizza. The next couple of days were almost fun. Tonks and he would sit around pigging out on pizza and whatever they could throw together. In the mornings he would get up in time to see some one disappear from the fireplace. He would ask who it was, but Tonks would never give a straight answer. During the day they would watch TV and the occasional football match. They would give each other a hard time about what movie to watch. Tonks opt for some sappy girly movie, as Harry would put it. Harry would always pick out some Sci-fi with a lot of action and gore. They came to an agreement on what to watch, after a killer-wrestling match that left them both sore for a day. They would alternate on their choice of movies.
On the third night, while watch Tonks’ choice, Harry had stepped into the kitchen for another piece of pizza. He heard a roar of the fire and heard Tonks go and answer. The sound of the person was Ron. He could not make out what he was saying. Ron did sound not too pleased, to say the least. With out thinking Harry stepped into the room with plate in hand.
“Harry!” the red faced yelled from the fire. His face, redder than his hair, was an odd contract to the green flame. “I have a bone to pick with you!”
Tonks started, “Ron you are angry and I am not certain this is the right…”
Ron glared Tonks as he interrupted her, “This is the perfect time. We finally got Hermione calm enough to fall asleep!”
“Oh,” was all that Tonks said before she started biting her bottom lip.
“Do you mind if I come over and have a word with our friend?” Ron used the word friend with the most contempt he could muster.
She turned to Harry, “it is up to you.”
Harry set the pizza on the table, “like he would take no for an answer?”
Ron cut in, “you can say no. Just wait till I see you on the train.”
There was a shocked silence from both of them. Ron’s head was about to disappear, “Wait!” Harry yelled. “We can talk face to face.”
“Tonks.” Ron’s voice snapped at the woman.
“Hang on Ron let me unlock the floo.”
Ron’s head disappeared and the fire was gone. Tonks whipped out her want from her pocket and pointed it at the fireplace. “Pateo!” She yelled. An odd orange light shot from her wand and engulfed the entire brick structure. It glowed orange for a moment and was aback to normal. Tonks barely got out of the way of the grate when the fire erupted again. Ron slid into the apartment like a man sliding into home plate. Not caring if Tonks was in the way.
With out taking notice of Tonks, Ron sprang from the floor and advanced on Harry. Harry could not get “hi” out. Ron grabbed Harry by the front of his shirt (much to Harry’s surprise), picked him up off the floor and slammed him into the nearest wall. All the wind was knocked from Harry’s lungs. He struggled to free himself from Ron’s grip. All the while he was thinking, ‘Ron sure has been working out.’
Ron was stating daggers up into the elevated Harry. He did not notice Tonks come beside them and shove her wand into the jugular where it meets the jaw. IN an strangely calm professional voice Tonks spoke, “Ron, please don’t do something the three of us will regret.”
Before he could brace himself Harry was dropped to the floor. His knees buckled and landed squarely on his rear. “Oof,” was all he got out for the moment. Harry slowly stood bracing himself against the wall. Both Ron and Tonks were rigid where they stood. Ron with his hands on his hips his eyes were daggers as they followed Harry from the floor unblinking. Tonks face was oddly calm not truly showing any emotion. He wand seemed imbedded into Ron’s jugular.
Harry’s lungs finally filled enough to utter intelligent speech, “Hello to you too Ron”
The scene had come to a halt, neither Tonks nor Ron made a move to relax their posture. Fortunately the moment passed and Ron relaxed his posture after dropping Harry to the ground. He landed on his posterior with a thud. Paying no attention to Tonks, Ron spun out of contact with her wand and loomed over Harry as he slowly stood.
"To what do we owe the privilege of your presence Ron?" Harry said trying to lighten his friend's mood.
Ron was unfazed, "Don't try and act all witty, like Professor Dumbledore, with me." But his body relaxed letting Tonks lower the wand trained on him.
Harry exhaled in defeat, "I am sorry Ron…
"It is not me who you should be apologizing too," Ron interrupted, "What did you say to her?"
"She said it herself Ron," he said in a strained voice, "your lives would be easier without me."
"Our lives, or yours Harry?"
Harry caught a glimpse of Tonks as the front door shut. He was hoping to get a third party view of this. 'Great,' he thought, 'I guess she wants me to meet this head on.'
He looked at Ron confused, "What do you mean?"
"Sure Harry," Ron spat, "We are all here to help you but one of your best friends needs help and you sluff her off like she meant nothing to you!" Ron stopped in his tirade and a look of shock came across his face mixed with the anger. "What she does mean nothing to you?!"
Harry froze trying to form his retort. Ron had none of this, "I can't believe you are that selfish!" He turned and stormed toward the fireplace.
Harry shook himself out of his stupor and followed in Ron's wake. He grabbed his arm, as he was about to grab the floo powder, "Wait please Ron, I do care!"
Ron spun on his heals and came face to face with him, "well you have a shitty way of showing it!"
Harry paused to keep his emotions in check, "before you go off again," trying to calm Ron, "No one told me what is happening."
With the sarcasm dripping thick, Ron jerked his thumb toward the fireplace, "Would you look at that, a working floo network to call and ask!"
Harry let loose, he raise his voice, "I knew I could not talk to her now because she was mad at me!"
"Now!" Ron making a gesture pointing out this moment, "She wanted to tell you then but YOU DID NOT LET HER!" his voice echoing off the apartment walls.
All the excuses and arguments that Harry was forming went out the window. Harry felt deflated and beaten. Not caring if Ron followed, Harry made his way to the couch and slumped down in defeat. He cradled his face in his hands as he rested his elbows on his knees. In disgust he bitterly closed his eyes to keep the tears from falling. The rest of his body betrayed him as his breath hitched and his body shook.
Ron saw his reaction and almost left. The voice in his head, that oddly sounded like Hermione stopped him. 'Ron Weasley! Don't even think about doing to him what you did in our forth year and turn your back on him! I know he is acting like a brat, but he needs you.' The voice ended soothing. Ron blew out a large breath and moved across the room to where the broken young man was sitting. He stood over him for a moment waiting for a reaction. Seeing he did not realize he was there he fell back into the recliner. There was silence in the room. Even when Tonks came back in after about five minutes it seemed all noise was suspended.
She surveyed the scene. Harry was trying valiantly to stop crying and Ron sat across from him waiting for him to stop. She draped her arm around his back. She turned to Ron, "What's going on?"
Ron started to speak but they both jumped as Harry responded, "Ron helped me realize what an ass I have been, a real ass." Never raising his head.
Tonks had an odd look with her mouth twisted in a crooked smirk, "I thought I told you that."
"So having Ron tell you made you realize it?"
"No, Ron made me realize how much of an ass I have been."
Tonks smirked at the still silent Ron, "He is pretty good at that."
Ron said no word but a sly smile spread on his face.
Harry still unmoving continued, "These last couple of days… I don't know… I have had fun hanging with you. There has been something missing. I feel a void in my chest that I can't fill."
Tonks glanced at Ron wondering if she should keep the direction of the conversation going. She resolved, 'better to get it out in the open now.' "Why do you think that is Harry?"
Harry paused, the two waited in anticipation for him to finally speak. With a whisper, "I miss her." again silence. Harry took a deep breath through his hands, "She is my best friend the same as Ron, but I think… I don't know. The last statement was in frustration.
Tonks in a knowing voice, "you do know."
They could tell he was gritting his teeth as he replied, "Fine! You want me to say it. I care for her… More than a friend."
Ron rolled his eyes, "It's about bloody time you admitted it."
Harry's head snapped from his hands in shock and fear, "Ron!" he exclaimed. His next words a worried stammer, "I did not know you were still here."
Ron smiled at Tonks, "Some one in my head told me, I needed to stay and support my best friend."
The words were almost unrecognizable as he stammered, "You're not mad?"
"What that my best friend has a thing for my other best friend?" Ron pondered for a moment and laughed, "The only reason I would be mad is if my other best friend was a guy."
Tonks snorted, but Harry ignored the levity and found his normal voice, "But I thought you liked her."
"Harry… you have had so much on your mind the last year. With trying to find out what was going on with the Order of the Phoenix. You ignored us, Hermione and I."
Tonks interjected, "he has you dead to right there," Harry only glanced at Tonks from the corner of his eyes.
Turning his attention back to Ron, "I'm sorry Ron. What happened?"
"No harm done mate. Like I said you had other priorities." Harry hung his head. Ron continued trying to relate his story. "You know last year when you were still stuck at that awful place?" Harry nodded leaving him to continue, "Well Hermione and I spent a lot of time together, cleaning and fighting. Mostly fighting," Harry and Tonks snorted at his levity, "Well I tried to think of her in that way and the more I thought about it the more it grossed me out." He tried to mask a smile of worry and confusion as he regarded his best friend. Harry looked relieved with the next statement from Ron, "Don't get me wrong, I like girls. Hermione I realized is more of a sister to me."
"So this information you neglected to tell me? Your best friend?"
Tonks smacked Harry on the arm, "Harry…"
But Ron held his hand up to Tonks, "I'll field this." With a look of 'duh' Ron continued, "you were all head over heals for Cho. Besides you did not ask."
Harry's shoulder sagged as he lifted his gaze to the ceiling, "I get it Ron." He said annoyed, "I was a crappy friend."
"No you weren't!" Both Tonks and Ron spoke at the same time. Tonks gave a sheepish grin to Ron as he smiled back and continued, "Like I said you had a lot more important things on your mind."
"Well it is too late now," he looks to Ron who gave him a look of sorry.
"No," Tonks said reassuringly rubbing his back, "I know you really hurt Hermione, but I think if you start out slow and try to salvage the friendship… Who knows?"
"Seize the moment," the two looked at Ron in shock at this deep statement. "What? All I mean is in this time of uncertainty you have to go for it." Ron stood and started toward the fireplace, "which is what I am going to do now."
Harry came out of his stupor as Ron grabbed the floo powder, "Wait where are you going Ron?"
Ron smiled with a wistful look on his face, "To talk to Lavender." He gave a big smile and threw the powder in the fireplace, "The Burrow!" he yelled. In a flash of green flame Ron disappeared.