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He vaguely recognised the hangings of his old four-poster in Gryffindor Common room, but he could not understand why he was there. He lay there; pondering how he had gotten from the tent he had spent the last year in, to Hogwarts, without knowing it. He furrowed his brow in concentration, trying to place what had happened, when he was woken from his thoughts by voices, voices, I know those voices he thought, he was sure it was Ron and Hermione he could hear, just metres away.
Then, Harry understood. They had fought last night, Hogwarts had fought, he had defeated Voldemort, and then, with a pang, he remembered the losses, Fred, Lupin, Tonks, Colin… He sat up abruptly and pulled the hangings apart to see Ron and Hermione sitting on the edge of Ron’s bed, eyeing him apprehensively. He gave them a small smile, which they returned, relief etched across their faces. What did they expect? Harry thought irritably. “Hey mate, how you feeling?” Asked Ron, a grin spreading across his face.
“M’alright I guess” Harry muttered groggily, not really looking at them, “How about you?” he asked, Ron to Hermione. He was unsurprised to sense Hermione watching him closely, looking for signs of distress or hurt. They both smiled and assured him they were fine, a couple of injuries, they said but nothing Madam Pomfrey wouldn’t put right. Harry made to get out of his bed, and instantly regretted it, he felt a surging pain across his chest, on which he had fallen whilst being tortured in the Forbidden Forest, thought to be dead. Harry pulled his t-
shirt off and saw an offensive-looking purple and green bruise there, he could also feel his jaw swollen, and his right wrist felt stiff and painful. He slowly got out of the bed, and when doing so, saw his friends clearly for the first time since he had woken up. They weren’t fine. Ron had a swollen, black eye, and his left arm was in a sling, and Hermione had a bruised neck, as though someone had tightly grabbed it, she also had a swollen cheekbone. Harry felt sick at the sight of his injured friends, they had fought like heroes last night, they all had. “Harry,” Hermione said softly, “you
should come and haves something to eat” “I think I might just have something up here actually” he said, and answered their inquiring looks with a call “Kreacher!” the house elf appeared instantly with a pop, “Yes Master Harry?!” “Kreacher, could you bring some food up please?” he asked, ignoring the scolding look Hermione was giving him. “Yes Master Harry” said the house elf, bowing low, “after Master Harry’s great defeat over He Who Must Not Be Named, Kreacher will do anything!” he finished enthusiastically.
Hermione began, but Harry cut
her off “I just need some time, I’m not ready to face everyone yet okay? I know we have to talk about it all, I know I have to explain a lot, and I will, but just not right now…by the way, have either of you two seen Ginny?” Harry saw his best friends glance at each other, before Hermione said “Yes Harry, she’s downstairs, we’ll send her up” smiling. Ron’s eyes narrowed slightly, and he looked to open his mouth in protest, but sighed and said nothing under Hermione’s warning look.
They left Harry in the dormitory and made their way down the winding staircase. Hermione reached for Ron’s hand absent-mindedly, and he smiled, taking hers at once. They found Ginny at the bottom of the stairs waiting for them expectantly. Hermione smiled at her friend, and gestured towards the staircase; Ginny returned the smile slightly and proceeded upwards. As Ginny climbed the stairs, she filled with nerves, this was the first time she would be talking to Harry since the Wedding, and she didn’t know how it was
going to go. As she reached the dormitory she paused, thinking, should I give him a chance? She knew what she wanted, but the question was: Could she forgive him for leaving her? As Ginny contemplated her options, the door in front of which she stood opened, “Ginny” he said simply. Ginny looked up at Harry in shock, his appearance was not only dishevelled and rough, but he was injured, badly. Her eyes lingered on his bare, bruised chest for a moment before she met his eyes and suddenly she was filled with love for the man in front of her.
“Hey stranger” she said, allowing a small smile to play around her lips. “Hey…I missed you Ginny” he said in a low voice, and she was startled to see his eyes fill with tears. He looked away, embarrassed by his sudden emotional display, and Ginny took the opportunity to slide past him through the door, and sit on the edge of his bed. Harry pulled his t-shirt on, and hastily wiped his eyes, before smiling broadly at her. He crossed the room and took her hands in his, still smiling. “Okay, so we need to talk” he said, looking directly into her chocolate
brown eyes. At his gaze, Ginny began to melt; she had missed those piercing green eyes so much, the feel of his hands holding hers…. She nodded at him and began “Harry, you have to understand, you hurt me, you really hurt me. And I am fully aware that you broke up with me for my sake, and you had to do it, but it didn’t make it any easier, you left me alone, when I needed you most. I was so angry with you, and so upset, but most of all Harry, I was terrified I would never see you again; never get the chance to tell you how I really feel. And this war…this war has shown me how
important it is that you know how I feel. I am still angry with you Harry, and I am still hurt, but I am ready to move on, and try again, we have all suffered as a result of this war, and I don’t want to continue living in pain now that it’s over. I want to move on Harry, I want to tell you that you are so important to me, and I don’t think I can be without you anymore. I love you Harry Potter.” She finished, with tears in her eyes. Ginny took a deep breath and tried to regain control. She looked up at Harry, who was looking at her with those eyes, the eyes she would never tire of
seeing. He had let her say everything without a single interruption, and he had listened to what she had said intently. After a lifetime, he nodded at her, and softly wrapped his arms around her. She felt herself melt into him, all of her emotion just seemed to pour out of her, she was thinking not only of the man who held her, but of Fred, her shoulders began to shake, as waves of emotion threatened to overcome her, but Harry just held her, and she knew he was there for her, he wasn’t going anywhere now, he was hers, her Harry. CHAPTER 2
“They’re coming downstairs!” Ron whispered harshly, nudging Hermione. She looked up at once to see two of her best friends make their way to the doors of the Great Hall, hand in hand, smiling broadly. Hermione smiled at the pair, they were perfect for each other. “He better not have shagged her!” Ron muttered angrily. Hermione looked scandalised and made to reprimand him when she saw that he was smiling. “I think I might be okay with all of this”, he said pointing to Harry and Ginny as they approached them, “you might just have my blessing…for some
reason, you two seem to fit…” he finished, going slightly red. Fantastic! Hermione thought irritably. He can come up with that sentimental rubbish for those two, but it takes him seven years to even work up the courage to shake my hand! But she was interrupted from her thoughts by Ginny. “Oh thank you Ron!” she said sarcastically, “because god, I just don’t know what we’d do without your blessing!” she laughed. They all laughed at this, except Harry, who she noticed was looking over them
to Mr and Mrs Weasley, who were sitting on the floor of the Great Hall, next to the fallen form of Fred. “Ron,” Harry began, “I am so so sorry about Fred and you too Ginny, I…I still can’t believe it really….” Ron’s eyes filled with tears, as he held his head in his hands, his shoulders shaking. Hermione rubbed his back, whispering words of comfort in his ears. Ginny looked at the pair sadly. “Thank you Harry” she said, looking up at him and trying to smile. When Ron had pulled himself together, the four of them got up and made their
way to the rest of the Weasley family. Hermione had both of her arms round Ron as they walked. She was worrying about how he would get over Fred, as they walked; she continued to rub his back, the only source of comfort she had to offer him. At their arrival, Mrs Weasley looked up and cried harder than ever, hugging each of them in turn. As she enveloped Hermione in an embrace, Hermione felt tears sting her own eyes, and when she saw Fred’s body, she fell into sobs. The whole family, including Harry and Hermione were now in tears, as they all looked on at Fred, holding each other,
trying to find some comfort in their grief-stricken states. George was looking at Fred as though he had never seen him before, and for once, they looked nothing alike. After what could have been days, they slowly started to discuss what to do next. Mr Weasley took care of everything. Harry and Hermione would be coming to the Burrow, he had insisted, at least for the time being. Hermione had looked at Harry at this, and saw her uncertainty reflected in his face. She nodded at him, and turned to Mr Weasley.
“M-Mr Weasley” she said quietly, “I’m not sure Harry and I should come, it should be just family for now, you have to…you have to g-grieve” she finished, gazing into the blue eyes that so resembled Ron’s. To her surprise, he smiled at her. “Hermione, you are perfectly right, it should just be family, and it will be, you and Harry are just as much a part of this family as any of the rest of us are. I see you as my children. You will be coming; it is not up for discussion.”
“Thank you Mr Weasley” smiled Harry, knowing Hermione was beyond words. At this, the sitting stood, and made their way to the nearest fireplace, all of which had been connected to the Floo Network temporarily. Mr Weasley helped up his inconsolable wife, looking at her devastated face. “One moment please” Harry said to them all “Hermione, we need to speak to McGonagall.” He said directly to Hermione. “Oh right, I’ll come too” said Ron, getting up unsteadily.
“No” Hermione said firmly, “you wait here Ron, please.” Seeing he was about to protest, she whispered in his ear “your mum needs you Ron. I’ll be right back I promise” She kissed him on the cheek, wiped a tear from his face, and walked towards McGonnagal, who was standing with Denis Creevey and his parents. Harry looked at Hermione, and she understood that he wanted her to do the talking. She took a deep breath and approached them. “Excuse me Professor, Harry and I are
just about to leave for the Burrow, and we were hoping for a quick word” she said quietly, “Mr and Mrs Creevey, Denis, we are deeply sorry for about Colin, we fought with him last night, and he was a hero, he fought for his school gallantly, you should be extremely proud.” She said to the devastated family. They nodded at her, all crying silently. She nodded at them once more, then beckoned to McGonnagal, who followed her and Harry to a corner. Ron watched as his friends talked to McGonagall. Harry seemed to be doing most of the talking, however Hermione seemed to be agreeing with what he was
saying, as she kept nodding enthusiastically. She looked over at him and smiled. He returned the smile sadly. He was so frustrated. He was meant to be happy right now, blissfully happy, he was finally with Hermione, but everything had been ruined by the death of his brother. He felt love for Hermione, but he was overcome with a grief he could never see himself getting out of. Ron thought of how much his sadness must be hurting Hermione, and he vowed to keep going, to try and move on from Fred, for her sake. Harry and Hermione came back to the Weasleys, looking pensive.
“So…what was all that about?” Ron asked them curiously, but Hermione shook her head. “Not now” she explained, looking meaningfully at his mother, who was now wailing over Fred’s body. Ron rushed towards her, and put an arm round her heaving shoulders. “Come on mum, lets just get him home, yeah?” Gently pushing his mother towards his father’s open arms, he looked round at Bill, Charlie, and Percy, and lastly George. His four remaining brothers
looked incapable of floo-ing to the Burrow at all, let alone carrying the body of a grown man. “You and me will take Fred mate, yeah?” Harry said to him, patting him on the back. Ron was filled with gratitude for his best friend, and hugged him tightly, clinging to the back of his robes. “It’s okay mate, its okay” Harry muttered quietly to him. Together, they bent down, Ron at Fred’s head, Harry at his feet, and ever so carefully, as if Fred were made of glass, they lifted him up, and stood in the fireplace.
“See you all at the Burrow” Ron said, flinching as his mother’s sobs filled the great hall at the sight of them holding her son’s lifeless form. When they had all floo-ed to the Burrow, they made their way out to the garden, where to lay Fred’s body to rest.. His funeral was to be arranged in a few days. Ron began to help the other men dig a hole, but it was too much for him, he broke down and had to be taken inside by Hermione. She guided him straight up to his bedroom, on the top floor of the Burrow
and sat him down on the bed. She then sat next to him, and took him in her arms, guiding him to let it all out. He knew she was there for him, and that she wanted him to let out the emotion he had been trying to keep in, and so, he did. They must have sat there for an hour, with Ron crying, and Hermione simply stroking his back, tears falling onto her own cheeks. When he was finished, Ron straightened, and looked to Hermione, he took her face in his hands, and said “Hermione, thank you so much, you really understand what I need sometimes you know” he laughed.
“All the time!” she smiled. “And I happen to know that right now Ronald, you are feeling a bit helpless, but I just have to tell you, I am so proud of the way you are handling things...you're an inspration”she said, smiling at him lovingly. “Well I'm not sure about inspiration, but thanks all the same” he said, smiling back and taking her hands. She kissed him softly on the cheek and brought her hand to the back of his neck, stroking just inside the collar of his t-shirt. She leaned in and
kissed him properly. Ron was in sweet oblivion. Hermione was kissing him in a way that he didn’t know was possible. There was so much fierce passion in that kiss, and he returned it with the force of his lips on hers. He groaned in pleasure as she swung round onto his lap, with her legs wrapped tightly around his waist, the only thing supporting her from falling off the edge of the bed. Ron held her back in one arm, stroking it up and down, and ran the other through her soft curls, burying himself in their sweet smell. Hermione’s hands found Ron’s shirt and she began to pull it
off him, in response he grabbed the edges of her top which clung tightly to her hips, and ran his hands inside it, caressing her smooth skin, up and down her sides, before pulling it off her. Hermione pushed him so he was lying flat on his back and started to undo his belt whilst kissing his chest, and he caressed her shoulders, Hermione had his trousers unfastened, and made to pull them off him when“Sorry! Oh God sorry sorry!” Harry said and rushed out, his trunk lying at the door. Hermione cringed. "Well that was
embarassing" she muttered, climbing of him and pulling on her shirt. Ron lay flat on his back, trying to restore his senses, trying to return to earth, all the while cursing Harry’s timing. “Eh-yeah, yeah y-you’re right, yeah” he stammered. Hermione looked at him and laughed. “Well I certainly took your mind off things! I think I’ll go apologise to Harry, you come downstairs, whenever you’re feeling, um, up to it” she looked down at him once more, laughed
and departed, leaving him lying there thinking about his new girlfriend. Who’d have thought it? Hermione Granger! CHAPTER 3 One Year Later... Harry Potter watched as the train rolled into the station and screeched to a halt. The doors opened and hundreds of excited looking students fought their way through the doors, chattering animatedly, hugging, promising to keep in touch, and then seeking the faces of their long-missed parents. Through the crowd, Harry
spotted and small young woman with long, red hair, a pale, pretty face and warm brown eyes. She was surrounded by gossiping girls as she heaved her trunk off the train behind her and scanned the station. Seeing her still took Harry’s breath away. Even now. She was so beautiful, in every way, and he had missed her a lot the past year. “Hey Weasley, need a hand with that?” he called to her across the packed station, grinning broadly. Her eyes found him and she screamed in delight. “Harry!!! Oh my god!” she exclaimed as she jumped into his arms. She gazed
into his eyes in wonder. “What the hell?! You weren’t meant to be leaving Cardiff till tomorrow! What are you doing here?” “If they really want me, they’ll let me go home a day early. I had to see my girl. You know, hello is still okay” he laughed, hugging her tightly. “Oh I can do better than hello” she smiled, leaning in to kiss him. kissed her back, longingly, relinquishing the fact that they never had to part again. That finally their lives together could start, now that Ginny had left school. Harry
“Well…that was definitely better.” He smiled. Harry reached down and grabbed her trunk in one hand, took Ginny’s with the other and guided them out towards the exit. “I can’t believe this. I’ve missed you so so much Potter. I love you!” she shouted, half laughing. “Wow I can see that!” he said as they reached his car and he put her trunk in the boot. “You do realise I can apparate now?” Ginny laughed as she got in the car.
“Yeah, but I thought it would be nice to drive.” Harry said, kissing her on the mouth. “Is that okay Weasley?” “Of course! We can talk about…our plans” her face fell as she said this. “Ginny, why do you hate the fact that you’ve left school so much. The fact that your life is starting?” he laughed as they pulled out of the busy car park. “I’m just…sad. Like all my life it’s been so easy for me just to go to school. And now I have to decide if I
want to become a healer or play quidditch or move to Africa!” in a pained way. Harry raised his eyebrows at her. “Okay I was joking about Africa! This summer I think I’m just going to…to really think about what I want you know? About what I see in my future?” “You don’t by any chance see a stunning, dark-haired, auror-intraining in that future do you?” Harry teased. “Hmm, I’m still making my mind up about she said
that one” she giggled. They drove for about twenty minutes, and soon arrived outside The Burrow. Harry saw Ginny sigh happily as she breathed in the familiar scent of her family home. She gazed around contently, smiling to herself more than anyone else. “You wanna go inside at some point?” Harry whispered, causing her to start. “Yeah. Yeah I can’t wait to see everyone. Especially little Victoire!” she grinned excitedly.
“Oh man, Ginny she’s totally gorgeous” Harry smiled. “Yup, just like her aunt!” Ginny called as she ran into the house. God I love that girl. Harry thought, as he dragged the trunk and followed her inside. Hermione Granger spotted her suitcases on the conveyor and pulled them off with difficulty, sadly wiping yet another tear rolling down her cheek. Saying goodbye to her parents had been difficult for her, having spent so long with them. When she had finally found them in Australia, it had taken a long time to earn their forgiveness, and she
had needed to spend that time the she had lost during the Horcrux hunt with them. However, they had decided to stay in Australia, they had come to love their life there, but Hermione needed to return to England. After a few months short of a year of absence, she still had a handsome red-headed young man waiting for her back home, and she simply couldn’t be apart from him any longer. She heaved her cases onto the trolley and pulled a compact mirror from her bag; she wiped the last minute tears from her tanned face, and applied a dash of mascara. She snapped the mirror shut and stowed it in her bag once more. Okay Granger. Let’s do this.
She thought bracingly. The walk through the gates of Heathrow took unbearably long. Why does this airport have to be so bloody big anyway? She thought. She finally reached Arrivals and then she saw him. Standing there, staring right at her. He had changed so much. He was taller, more tanned, he looked more muscular and his hair was longer. Oh god, he still makes me weak at the knees. Ron’s face broke into a grin only matched by Hermione’s. Without further ado, he ran to her and picked her up, spinning her around in his arms.
Hermione buried her face in his neck, savouring the smell of him before meeting his lips at last. “Hi” she said quietly, as her eyes filled again. “Hey you” he said, wiping her tears softly with his thumb. “I missed you Hermione.” “Oh you have no idea how much I missed you back Ron.” She sighed. “Ronald” she added with a tearful giggle. “So, how about we go home?” Ron’s face fell slightly and he looked
down to the floor. “Right. Right, yeah I get it, I thought you might want to… but yeah, I’ll drop you off at your Mum and Dad’s place, right” he muttered quietly. Hermione’s heart almost broke right there with love for him. “Ron! I said take me home! That means the Burrow!” she said, trying to hold back laughter. His face lit up. “Well thank Merlin for that, cos I refuse to spend one more second away from your shockingly tanned self Hermione Granger! Now tell me about Australia, it was obviously the worst 10 months of your life, not
seeing me everyday.” He laughed, winking at her as he took her hand. Hermione stopped walking and looked up at him, stared into those blue eyes. “It was you know, I can’t tell you how much I missed you…but Australia was amazing! We have to go there sometime!” Ron nodded fondly at this idea. “And how were your parents…what with you coming back here and everything?” “Oh they were disgusted! They couldn’t believe I was leaving them for that gangly, freckled thing they had seen at the station!” Hermione joked as they
found a secluded corner from which they could apparate unnoticed. “Oh ha ha! You’ll be taking over from Fred and George with one-liners like tha-” Ron froze, looking horrified. “Oh Ron” Hermione whispered “I’m sorry” Ron shook his head, looking at the floor. “Even now, after all this time… lets get to the Burrow, Harry can’t wait to see you, and Ginny will be back by now, and you have to meet baby Vicky, can you believe I’m an uncle?!” CHAPTER 4
Ginny was sitting in the kitchen of the Burrow, bouncing the tiny baby Victoire on her lap, whilst talking animatedly to her Mum and Fleur when there was a knock on the door. Without waiting for a reply, it flew open and an excited looking Hermione Granger burst threw it. Both girls let out a high-pitched scream, Ginny rose from her chair and carefully handed Victoire to her mother, and ran to her best friend. They hugged tightly, hair flying madly, jumping up and down on the spot. “Oh god Hermione! Its sooo good to see you!!!” Ginny squealed.
“Oh you too!” Hermione replied, giving her friend another squeeze. “Can I get a hand here?” interrupted an irritated looking Ron standing in the doorway with no less than four large suitcases in his hands. Ginny laughed. “Hey bro! Long time no see” she smiled, hugging him. He merely stood there, unable to return the gesture due to his full hands. “Soo Hermione, how was Australia??! I want to hear all about it!” Ginny demanded.
Hermione grinned at her. “Well, I want to hear all about your exams, but first of all, I want to see Harry!” “Oh yeah, he’s in the lounge hold on. HARRY! HARRY HERMIONE’S HERE!” she hollered. “Jeez Gin, I’m only in the next room.” Sighed Harry as he entered the kitchen, a daily prophet in his hand. When he spotted Hermione his face lit up. “Harry!” Hermione exclaimed, throwing her arms around him. “Hey Hermione, how’re you doing? How
was Australia?” he muttered into her mane of curls. “Oh good thanks. Mrs Weasley, would there be any chance the four of us could go into Diagon Alley for a drink? I’d like for us all to catch up you know?” she said politely. “Of course dear.” She said, waving her hand, “but make sure that’s just pumpkin juice, if you don’t mind” “Mum, we’re all of age!” Ron moaned. “Yes Ron, but I am still your mother” said Mrs Weasley with a despairing
sigh, “and it is still only noon!” The packed pub fell silent as the four entered, and every head turned in their direction to stare. Despite it being over a year since Voldemort’s defeat, people were still fascinated by Harry, Ron and Hermione, an interest was steadily growing in Ginny as well. They stood there awkwardly for a few moments, before Ron decided it was getting ridiculous. “Um, let’s find a table” he said directly to Hermione and Ginny “Harry and I will get drinks”
“Do you think it’s ever going to let up?” Ron muttered to Harry as they stood at the bar waiting to be served. “Not really mate. To be honest, I think it’s only going to get worse, we just have to accept it” “Yeah, I guess” said Ron with a heavy sigh. “So, Hermione’s back.” Said Harry with a wink “bet you’re glad?” Ron smiled at him. “Well, yeah, who wouldn’t be?” he laughed. “I mean, the past year without her…it’s been hell
really. Like to finally get things going with her, for her to then have to leave. I only had like two months with her. I can finally see why you were so cut up about missing Ginny while we were looking for the Horcruxes.” He muttered this last bit under his breath from fear of eavesdroppers. Everyone knew about the Horcruxes now, but Ron didn’t like to bring them up if he could avoid it, he really wasn’t a fan of all the attention he had craved for so many years. Back at the table, Hermione began to speak. “Okay, so, I called this meeting-”
“Hermione, it’s not a meeting!” scoffed Ron. She merely grinned and playfully smacked him on the arm. “As I was saying, I called this meeting, not only for us to catch up, but also, because I really thought we should discuss our futures together, now that Ginny has finished school.” She finished, looking round at them all expectantly. They simply stared at her. Hermione looked round at Ron with a look that clearly stated you better say something. “Ah-um-ahem-” he coughed “um, I want to
get into Quidditch. I mean, I know I’ve been working at the shop and everything, but that was really to help George and to think about some things, but now, I’ve made up my mind.” Hermione beamed at him, but Harry looked confused. “Wait a minute; I thought you were coming to Auror training with me once you were feeling up to it. I mean I know I’ve been there a year, but we can still get stationed together” Ron immediately felt guilty, he had promised Harry he would start his
training once he had gotten over Fred’s death, and more importantly, once his father had gotten over it, but the truth was, he really didn’t want to be an Auror anymore. “I know what I said mate, but, I honestly think I’ve done enough dark magic fighting to last me a lifetime.” Harry nodded. “I understand. What about you two, fancy joining me as Aurors-intraining?” he asked the girls. Ron thought this was a stupid question. There was no way either of them wanted a career as Aurors. He watched
Hermione, enjoying seeing the incredulity etched upon her face. “Gosh Harry, if you know me at all, you will know that I don’t want to be an Auror, too much fighting, I’m the bookworm, remember?” she laughed. “No, I think I want to get into the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures. Did you know how incredibly misrepresented house-elves are? I mean there really should be…” Ron could already feel his attention wavering. He was fidgeting with the napkin on his table, and noticed Harry
pretending he was listening. Ron suppressed a snigger, and looked across to Ginny, expecting to share the joke, but instead he saw that Ginny was looking at the floor, worry etched on her features. “Sis, what’s up?” he said quietly. Ginny merely shook her head, but Ron persisted. She took a deep breath, and said “I really just…I just don’t know what I want to do!” her eyes filling with tears. “Well Ginny that’s okay!” Hermione said
kindly. “Yeah, Gin, you could do anything with your brains! I thought you wanted to be a Healer?” Ron suggested. “Or Quidditch? The harpies would love to sign you Ginny” offered Harry. Ginny sighed. “That’s the thing. I’ve got all these options, and I don’t want to make the wrong decision.” Ron watched his sister intently. A year prior, he was in the exact same position (except he was never going to get into Healer training) and it had
been a year working with his brother that helped him find his way. “You know what Ginny? I think you should go work at the shop for George. That will give you time to think about what you want to do, and there’s a spot open anyway, since I’m leaving.” Ginny looked at him. “You know what Ron, that’s not a half bad idea!” she grinned. “Well, that’s settled.” Said Harry happily, clearly glad all the drama was over.
“Actually I think you’re all forgetting one thing. Ron you can’t just go offering your job at the shop when you haven’t even looked into Quidditch!” she said, looking annoyed. Ron reached for her hand under the table and stroked it softly. “Well, I wasn’t exactly honest. I’ve actually been in talks with the Canons for a while now; I’ve just got to sign on the last of the paperwork.” Harry grinned at him. “Brilliant! Well done mate! Well, it really is settled then; Hermione’s going to moan about House-elves, I’m continuing with my
Auror training, Ginny’s going to work with George, and Ron’s going to play for the Canons! In the meantime, we have one hell of a summer to look forward to! I think a toast is in order!” CHAPTER 5 “So, when does the season start?” “September” “Okay, so we have about two months of nothing but kissing to look forward to?” “Yep”
Hermione and Ron were lying on the grass under a large willow tree in the garden of the Burrow. Ginny was shopping with Harry, Mr and Mrs Weasley were at Bill and Fleur’s for lunch, and George was in Diagon Alley at the shop. The pair had been lying there for most of the afternoon, with no intent of moving, the sun was beating down on them, so much so that they had paddled their feet in the lake earlier. Hermione didn’t think she had ever felt more at peace, lying in Ron’s arms and she decided to tell him.
“Ron?” “Hmm?” he said, and she noticed that his eyes were closed as he leaned against the tree. “I just want to tell you that…I’m really happy, here…with you.” Ron smiled and without opening his eyes, turned to Hermione and kissed her softly. Soon, the gentle kiss had developed into more, so that Hermione was flat on her back, with Ron supporting himself on his elbows above her. He kissed her passionately, whilst running one hand inside the small vest
top she was wearing. They continued to kiss, when Ron’s other hand moved to the button on Hermione’s denim shorts. He began to undo it when Hermione pushed his hand away, pulling away from the kiss. “Ron, stop” she breathed. Ron looked at her for a moment with a confused expression on his face, then rolled off her and sat up. Hermione breathed in deeply, and then sat up next to him. “I’m sorry” she said quietly.
“It’s okay” “It isn’t. Look I don’t want to lead you on or anything. Before I left when we nearly…when Harry walked in, we were both in a pretty fragile place Ron. I was feeling so emotional, and you were so depressed about Fred and…and I was willing to compromise my feelings on some things. The thing is, I always wanted to wait, until…until I was mmarried.” Hermione looked at Ron and saw he was staring out to the lake.
“Are you mad?” she asked tentatively. Ron smiled at her slightly and shook his head. “No, no I’m not mad. A little disappointed, yeah, but not mad” he laughed. Hermione let out a nervous giggle. “I get it though Hermione, I do. Don’t forget I love you.” Hermione sighed gratefully. “I love you too” she whispered, lying back in his arms. “Hermione?” Ron said.
“Yeah?” she responded peacefully. “Marry me” “Funny!” she said hitting him playfully on the arm. “I thought so” “Oh my god. Harry it’s gorgeous!” Ginny said, walking around Harry’s lounge in his flat. “Glad you like it” Harry smiled. Harry was finally showing Ginny the
flat he had moved into a few months after she had left for Hogwarts. It was situated in the centre of London, he had decided on this rather than in the magical, so as to maintain a low profile. He and Ginny had been shopping, but she had been nagging at him all day to show it to her. Harry watched as Ginny looked around in awe, walking from the lounge to the kitchen to the bathroom, until there was only one room left. “The bedroom” she said with a grin, strolling into the last unseen room.
Harry waited for a mere second when“Oh my god look at your bed!” she shouted. “I thought you’d like it” he laughed, joining her on the edge of the admittedly lavish king sized four poster. Ginny bounced up and down on it, kicking off her sandals. “I could get used to this!” she proclaimed. “Oh…I didn’t quite realise how that might have sounded.” She added, with a smirk.
“No problem to me.” Harry winked. “But you know what would really make this flat complete? You. Here, all the time, Ginny move in with me.” Ginny leaned in and kissed him softly. “Harry,” she began with a sigh, “you have no idea how happy it makes me to hear that, and I would love to but… there is no way in hell my mother is ever going to let me move in with you!” Harry laughed. “I thought you might say that. Okay, so maybe we wait a while, see what happens.”
“Harry, I don’t think you get it, my mum wont want me moving in with you until we…I mean until I…unless we get engaged!” she finished hurriedly. Harry kissed her again. If he was being honest, he had every intention of proposing to Ginny, but not right now, he knew they weren’t ready for such a big step just yet, after all the war, he thought they should just have some time being a normal, young couple for a while. “Like I said, we’ll just…see what happens.”
“Okay, that sounds good. But you know, in the meantime, I think my mum could be persuaded to let me stay over one night” Ginny said seductively. “Really?” said Harry, leaning in to kiss her once more. “Well, that would be…nice” “Yup” whispered Ginny before their lips met once more. All too soon, Ginny pulled away and got off the edge of the bed. “Where’d you go?” said Harry with a laugh.
“I told you Potter, I promised Hermione we would hang out this afternoon!” “Oh, okay, well can I come? You know, Hermione quite likes me” he offered hopefully. Ginny laughed. “No Harry, you can’t come” She kissed him on the cheek, picked up her bag, and waved at him before dissapparating. Women! thought Harry. They’ve always got to have their bloody chats with no men about!
Harry got up and went decided to apparate to the Burrow for a game of Quidditch with Ron. See how she likes that! He thought, knowing full well that it wouldn’t bother Ginny in the slightest. CHAPTER 6 “I am not wearing that!” spat Ginny, looking at the shirt in disgust. She had just arrived for her first day working at Weasleys’ Wizarding Wheezes, and her dear brother George had presented her with the “standard” uniform of his employees. It was a lurid violet shirt emblazoned with the
shop name on the back, and what was more, Ginny didn’t think George could have found her one in a bigger, less flattering, shapeless size if he tried! “Don’t moan sis, I gave you a job and this is the uniform, now today is your first day, I think you’d better just do what I say, don’t you?” said George, trying to hold back his laughter. “Anyway, do you think I want old perves leering at my own sister?” he added in distaste. Ginny looked at him furiously for a moment, then pulled the shirt over her tight black vest top. “Fine! Fine!” she
unbuttoned the bottom five buttons and tied the shirt tightly around her trim waist. She grinned at the mingled look of horror and surprise on George’s face. “I think that should be okay, don’t you?” And without another word she marched out to the front room, sought the nearest customer, and boldly approached them. “Welcome to Weasleys’ Wizarding Wheezes! My name is Ginny; can I help you at all?” * Hermione Granger was crying. And not just light, quiet, delicate crying, but proper chest-heaving, red-faced, runny-
nosed hysterics. She ran her hands through her hair and wiped her cheeks roughly, trying to pull herself together, just as she heard the light knock on the door that meant that Ron was back. She dried her eyes again hastily. "Hi" she said feebly. "Hermione" he said right away, walking over to her. "What is it? What's wrong?" She shook her head. She knew he would react like this. "It's nothing," she said. "I was just reading some old
letters..." she showed him the pile of tear-stained notes. The one on the top was one written to her from Ron during the summer before their fifth-year. She looked back down at it. ...Mum says you can come next week, and hopefully we'll be getting Harry out soon. I'm not allowed to say much in this letter about where we are, but you'll find out when you come. Thing is, until Harry comes, we're not allowed to tell him anything in our letters, Dumbledore's orders apparently... Ron took the letter out of her hands and looked at it. He smiled
affectionately at the words of his fifteen-year old self. "It feels like a lifetime ago, doesn't it?" she said, as Ron sat down on the floor beside her. He nodded. "Like different people" he agreed. "But why the tears?" he asked, stroking her swollen, wet cheek. She smiled. "I was just...reminiscing. Do you..." she trailed off, trying to find the right words. "Do you ever wish we could go back to that time?" she asked, cuddling up to him.
He sighed and put his arm round her. "I'm not sure. Live through all the suffering and pain again? Hell no. But sometimes I wish I could go back to when Fred was still alive, so I could tell him..." He shook his head. "I sound like an idiot" "No!" said Hermione fiercely. "I understand." Ron nodded again. "And maybe, if we could go back, I would do things differently with you. I wouldn't have wasted so much time arguing with you" They both smiled. Hermione leaned up
and kissed him. "I think the arguing was a crucial part in our relationship" she laughed. "Did you know, even then?" asked Ron, stroking her arm lightly. "Did you know we would end up together?" Hermione turned round to him and smiled. "Yes, I had my hopes. You?" He kissed her hair and whispered in her ear. "I always knew" * “It turns out, working here is a lot
more tiring than you might think” Ginny moaned into Hary’s shoulder. Six hours later, Ginny was sitting on the counter next to her boyfriend, feeling positively exhausted. Harry chuckled. “But, apart from that, how was your first day?” he said, sweeping a strand of hair behind her ear absent mindedly, a gesture which always made Ginny smile. “Hmm…really really good actually” she smiled “for the first time in a long time, I feel as though there is no pressure on me, no expectations, you know?”
Harry nodded. "Okay, so I have a surprise for you…if you don’t like it, it doesn’t matter, I can just come back to the Burrow and eat with you there, but I was wondering if you fancied dining at mine tonight?” he questioned with a grin. “And before you say anything, don’t worry, I already checked it with your Mum. Not that I want you to think I’m trying to control everything or anything, I mean if you don’t like how I went behind your back I-” “Harry!” she cut him off. She looked into his eyes intently, and considered
how her love for him seemed to grow with every word, not breaking eye contact with him once, she kissed him. Needless to say, Harry responded to this with gusto. He grabbed her hand, continuing to kiss her, and turned on the spot with a crack. “Wow!” Ginny breathed, standing in his apartment. “Apparating whilst kissing… now that really is romantic Potter!” “I have my moments” smiled Harry. “So you know…” she began, fingering his shirt collar “dinner could wait”
Harry nodded, lightly caressing her hips. Ginny giggled and pulled Harry onto his bed. He lay her down and pulled himself above her, and began to kiss her passionately. Ginny responded to this by tangling one hand in his hair and unbuttoning the buttons of his shirt with the other. She felt Harry pull the vile violet shirt off her and sliding the vest top up to the bottom of her bra. He then began to caress her stomach with soft kisses, whilst running a hand up her thigh. Ginny took a deep breath. She was pretty sure of what was going to happen next, and she was feeling a little
scared, but she definitely wanted it to happen, and if Harry’s actions were anything to go by, he did as well. Harry pulled her top the whole way off, and she simultaneously pulled off his shirt. Harry’s hand found the strap of her bra, when he stopped. He looked into Ginny’s eyes, and she saw only love and devotion in his. “Are you sure?” he said, in a barely audibly voice. Ginny pulled his face to hers and kissed him deeply. “Yes Harry, I’m sure.”
CHAPTER 7 June rolled through to July, and before anyone knew it, it was Harry’s birthday. Hermione woke at the crack of dawn, the list of preparations that she and the Weasleys had to do that day swimming in the forefront her mind. She tried to get back into her peaceful sleep, tossing and turning in her early morning frustration, until finally, admitting defeat, she got up. As she crossed the room she called to Ginny’s sleeping form that she ought to get up soon, as they had so much to do. Ron was snoring loudly. Rather than
find it annoying and slightly offensive as she normally would have, Hermione found it quite cute. She tiptoed quietly across the carpet of his small bedroom until she reached his bed. She brushed his hair out of his eyes, smiling at him contentedly, and then shouted “Good MORNING Ronald!” “Bloody hell! What is it? What’s the matter?” shouted a startled Ron as Hermione doubled over laughing. Ron looked down to see her sitting on the floor at the side of his bed, tears of laughter streaming from her face. “The look on your face!” she said,
clutching her sides. “That was uncalled for Granger” he growled, though he was grinning. “Only you could find something as rubbish that funny Hermione” “I’m sorry Ron…but you have to get up! We have so so much to do! Do you realise that we have to set up an entire party for about fifty people, in your back garden, and we only have-” she looked at her watch “ten and a half hours to do it!” “Ten and a half hours…imagine!” said Ron sarcastically.
“It’s no laughing matter Ron…I don’t know what we were thinking leaving it till now! Bloody Ginny ‘Oh it’ll be a right laugh! We can invite everyone!’ Yeah well it’s all right for her, Miss bloody ‘I’ll take Harry out for lunch so he doesn’t suspect anything!’ And who’s the one left to do everything? Who? Oh I’ll tell you who! Me! That’s right, me, clown features here-” “Hermione, shut up” said Ron weakly, interrupting her from her flustered ranting. “It’s only half seven in the morning, and there’s loads of people to help. Just-” he threw back the covers
“-lie down for a while yeah? Breathe?” Hermione sighed. “Well yes, yes I suppose a half hour or so wouldn’t hurt.” She said as she crawled in beside Ron. “Yes, half an hour, that’ll be lovely” murmured Ron drowsily, putting an arm around her as sleep claimed him almost instantly. * “HERMIONE! When the HELL were you going to wake me?!”
“W-what?” muttered Hermione, opening her eyes and meeting the appearance of a furious looking Ginny. She shot up, things clicking into place. Harry’s birthday. The party. All those people. Ron persuading her to go back to sleep. “What time is it?” she said, not meeting Ginny’s eyes, instead jumping out the bed and running her hands through her hair. “What time is it? She says! What time is it? Bloody midday Hermione! I’m meeting Harry in an hour!” “Well, in all fairness Ginny, I’m not
your personal alarm clock!” “No” Ginny said in a low voice, “if I remember rightly, I was going to set an alarm, when you said you’d be up ‘bright and early’ and that you would waken me. No need for an alarm!” Hermione nodded apologetically. “I was up as well. Then this idiot made me go to sleep again” she said, hitting Ron on the head with a pillow. “No, no, it’s okay….half an hour… lovely” he muttered in his sleep. “RON!” shouted Hermione and Ginny
simultaneously. “Get up you lazy sod!” shouted Ginny, hitting him with the pillow once more before storming out of the room. “That’s the last of them.” Said Ron as he heaved the last crate of Fire Whiskey onto the kitchen table. “Lovely!” said Mrs Weasley happily, brushing Ron’s suit at the shoulders affectionately. “You look very handsome Ronnie” “Thanks mum” Ron said, ignoring his mother’s use of the child-like
nickname. “Oh and here’s Hermione!” she called “don’t you look beautiful!” Ron whipped around to see Hermione descending the stairs slowly. She was wearing and summery, orange, strapless dress which stopped just above the knee, revealing her tanned, slender legs. Her hair was slightly straight and tumbled down past her shoulders perfectly. Ron swallowed. “Wow” he breathed. “You look amazing Hermione” he said, kissing her on the cheek.
“Thank you Ronald!” she beamed “You’re not looking too shabby yourself!” There was a loud crack and Ginny appeared at the bottom of the stairs, looking harassed, despite this, Ron couldn’t help but marvel at his sister’s beauty, she was wearing a simple green dress, and her hair was curly. “Hey sis, you look lovely” he smiled. “No time, no time!” she said. “Okay Harry is getting back from his flat in about fifteen minutes, we need everyone
in the marquee waiting, have them crouched down, or whatever it is Hermione said the muggles do at these things, then I will side-along apparate Harry directly there, where you all jump and shout surprise!” Ron snorted. “That all sounds perfect Ginny. One thing, I can’t see Harry letting anyone side-along apparate him anywhere, even if it is his girlfriend. After all the mistrust he’s experienced…I think Harry likes to know where he’s going.” “That was very…perceptive of you Ron.” Said Hermione, looking surprised.
“I have my moments” he said with a wink. “NO, no. Harry will apparate with me. I have ways of making him do whatever I want” she said mischievously. “Ah no! Enough! Piss off!” Ron said “I don’t want to hear any suggestive talk like that!” “Just because you’re not getting any!” she said with a meaningful glance at Hermione. She giggled and left the room.
Ron looked at Hermione pointedly. “She’s got a point you know” Hermione smiled sadly at him and left the room after Ginny. CHAPTER 8 “SURPRISE!” Ron couldn’t help but laugh at the look on his best friend’s face. Harry stumbled slightly in shock when he realised what was going on, then grinned widely. In no time at all guests were swarming in on him to congratulate him, to wish him a happy 19th, to give him gifts, and Ron took
this opportunity to have a good look at just who was all here. He spotted all his family of course, Seamus, Dean, Neville, Lavender, Parvati, Ernie, Justin, Hannah, and numerous others from his year at Hogwarts. There were members from his old Quidditch team; Angelina seemed to making quite an impression on George. There was Hagrid, McGonnagal, Aberforth, Andromeda with little Teddy, Flitwick, and Sprout. Ron laughed to himself at the number of teachers present, all of whom he reckoned had been invited by Hermione. He continued to spot familiar faces, all of whom, he realised, had been present in the war. To Ron the night
seemed to be much like a celebration of their victory as well as Harry’s birthday. Ron was interrupted from his reverie by the appearance of his best friend. “So what’s this all about…how come you’re not clambering over everyone to wish me a happy 19th?” grinned Harry. “Hey mate” Ron laughed. “Yeah happy birthday!” he exclaimed, hugging his friend. “This is good isn’t it? You do like it?” “Oh yeah totally. I mean after I got
over the surprise, this place looks amazing” said Harry observing the large marquee. It was lit with hundreds of tiny fairy lights and floating lanterns, which basked the dark garden in a warm, orange light. All around people were talking, laughing and dancing. “Well I’m afraid I can’t take too much credit for it. You’ve got those two to thank for everything” he remarked, pointing at his girlfriend and sister. “I just did the heavy lifting” he laughed. “Excuse me everyone” Ron heard Hermione
politely call to the noisy crowd of partygoers. “Excuse me” They were taking no notice of Hermione’s quiet voice whatsoever, she wasn’t heard over the loud music everyone was dancing to. “Oi! You lot! Shut it!” he shouted. He had caught the crowd’s attention. They all looked at him in surprise then laughed heartily. He pointed in the direction of Hermione and they turned to face her. He caught Hermione’s eye and she smiled at him gratefully, he grinned back and motioned for her to go on. “Ahem, thank you Ronald” Hermione
smiled. “Sorry to interrupt the celebrations everyone, but its time for the presents.” Harry was doing well. The most memorable present so far had been when Ron’s parents had given him his own key to the Burrow and cast the charm upon him so he could enter without the company of a Weasley, though Harry had loved his new second generation Firebolt from himself and Hermione. “Speech!” called George amusingly. Many joined in, including Ron with enthusiasm, until Harry stood up in front of them all, red in the face.
“Wow…okay…um first of all can I just say thank you so much to Ginny, Ron and Hermione, for making all of this happen tonight. Er particularly Hermione from what I’ve heard about how stressed she’s been.” There was a round of applause whilst Hermione mock glared at Ron and stuck her tongue out. “Those who know me know I don’t like to kick up a big fuss, but this has been a really amazing birthday, and thank you so much to all of you for your gifts, and for coming. I…I don’t really have a huge amount more to say than…well, I just want to acknowledge the people who
couldn’t be hear with us tonight. To my parents, and to Remus and Nymphadora Tonks, t-to Sirius, to everyone who died fighting for our cause, and lastly, to Fred. After over a year it still doesn’t really feel right without him, but I know he’s here in spirit.” Harry raised his glass. “To absent friends” “To absent friends” they all chorused. Ron took a swig from his Firewhisky, trying to steady himself. There was a quiet, sombre mood among everyone; it wasn’t fitting for a party. “Well I don’t know about the rest of
you” Ginny called “But I want a dance with Potter!” * “Guess who?” said a familiar voice as hands covered Ron’s eyes. He smiled at her touch and playfulness. He breathed in the familiar scent of her hair and soft skin, relishing even at this closeness. He was sitting outside the marquee in his garden, lost in his thoughts, which were now fully immersed in one girl. “Okay it’s not that hard Ron!” Hermione laughed and walked round to face him.
Ron smiled at her. “I knew it was you. I was just…enjoying you.” “Enjoying me?” she said an eyebrow raised. Ron nodded. “Enjoying your touch, enjoying your smell, enjoying you.” He took both her hands and pulled her towards him. “I really do love you, you know” Hermione looked up at him lovingly, and Ron saw her eyes brim with tears.
“W-wait! It wasn’t supposed to make you cry!” he said in horror. She laughed and shook her head. “It’s not that kind of crying Ron. I love you too” He lowered his head to hers and kissed her deeply, sliding his tongue into her mouth. They continued to kiss passionately, their hands resting on their counterparts’ favourite places. Ron’s on the back of Hermione’s hips, just above her bum, and Hermione’s on Ron’s muscular back. As they kissed, Hermione let out a small moan of pleasure, which only made the experience more enjoyable for Ron. As they finished Hermione smiled up at
Ron. “I never get sick of that.” “Me neither” he grinned. He let one hand fall to her thigh, stroking it, just skimming the hem of her dress. He continued to carress her smooth skin, slowly moving further up her thigh under her dress. He looked deeply into her eyes as he did this, both with playful smiles on their faces. Hermione closed her eyes, indicating she was enjoying this, and so Ron pulled her into him, and lowered his other hand when suddenly he stopped.
“Woah, that’s banned territory Granger” he smiled. Hermione opened her eyes, looking disappointed, she looked into Ron’s eyes, and bit her lip, a tiny smile playing across her features. “It’s fine” he smiled, kissing her on the cheek. “No but, you’re…” Hermione looked down at him. Ron shrugged his shoulders and laughed. “I’ll live” “Ron,” she began, wrapping herself around him and leaning into his chest.
“Do you hate me for making you wait?” she mumbled. He raised her chin up to face him, cupping her face in his hands, staring into those beautiful brown eyes that he had so often found himself getting lost in. “Never” he said simply. He kissed her softly on the mouth. “Never” “RON! HERMIONE!” shouted Harry delightfully. He stumbled towards them and Ron noted that he had two bottles of Firewhisky.
“Heyyy Harry! Having a good time?” he laughed. “Ron, this party is so good, do you know? Have you been to this party? Ron it’s so so good! And its all thanks to YOU! And…where is sh- HERMIONE! There you are! You know it’s ALL down to you and Ron!” “Harry…are you drunk?!” exclaimed Hermione. Ron laughed. Harry looked at Hermione with unfocused eyes. “Well Hermy, if a boy can’t have a drink or two on his birthday, then when can he have one, eh?”
“Hermy?” Hermione whispered to Ron. He shrugged, laughing hysterically at the state of his best friend. “You know, I’m just so lucky to have you two. No really I am. You were here with me through it all, everything, always there, you two.” Harry stumbled forward and, without further ado, kissed them both on the forehead and pulled them into a group hug. Ron glanced at Hermione over Harry’s shoulder and they shared a silent giggle. CHAPTER 9
Ginny Weasley opened her eyes and instantly regretted it. The pounding headache she was suffering was like nothing she had ever experienced. She felt as though her brain was being compressed by closing metal doors. Slowly she looked round to see Harry lying next to her in, squashed against the edge of her small single bed. She suddenly realised that they were both naked. “Oh nooo! I did not have sex in my childhood bedroom with my parents across the hall!” she whispered to herself. She sat up, wincing again at
her hungover state, pulled on her pyjamas, and staggered downstairs, her hand over her eyes. “Good morning Ginny” her mother called loudly from the stove in the kitchen. “Morning mum” she yawned, sitting down at the table. Molly put down a plate of toast, a glass of orange juice, and a goblet of a slightly smoking lime green liquid. “Hangover remedy dear” she said, kissing her on the cheek. “Oh Merlin, thank you Mum” said Ginny
weakly, drinking it and immediately feeling better, though still without much recollection of what had gone on the previous night. “And thank you for not going mental at me” Her mum shook her head. “I’ve given up on you lot” she said with a tiny smile. “Oh ‘you lot’…does that mean I wasn’t the only…ahem inebriated one last night?” “Oh well hardly dear” she chuckled “Frankly I never knew Minerva McGonnagal was such a party animal! But nobody even rivalled Harry, that boy
was in a right state!” Ginny smiled affectionately at the hazy memory of Harry professing his love for her for everyone who would listen. “Well, he deserved it; it’s a while since he’s truly enjoyed himself.” “Oh I daresay you’re right Ginny” said Molly fondly. “Oh, here we are another of the Motley Crew!” “Hushed tones please Mrs Weasley” croaked Hermione accepting the green rememdy and downing it. “Oh that’s so much better.”
She turned to Ginny. “I can’t believe how much we drank last night…I mean that was just ridiculous! You know the last thing I remember was your dear brother forcing drinks on me. Tosser.” Ginny laughed. “From what I recall, he hardly poured them down your throat for you! Nobody to blame but yourself I’m afraid” she said bracingly. “Anyway, now that you’re nice and un-hungover, do you fancy taking a stroll with me? It’s been ages since we had a good chat, and I doubt those two are going to appear for a good few hours.” “Yeah that sounds nice” she smiled.
* “So…how are things going with you and Harry?” Hermione asked, as they sat by the lake in the grounds of the Burrow, in just their bikinis. Ginny lay back on the grass. “Great” she said with a content smile. “Really great, I love how now we can just be a normal teenage couple, without all that stress of Harry’s undeniable fate you know? And the sex!” she laughed. Hermione smiled. “Good. I’m glad Ginny, you two deserve each other.”
“You know I…I never did thank you Hermione” Ginny said. Hermione looked at her questioningly. “For bringing him back to me” she whispered. “He was so close to giving up, and I know it was you who kept him going” she continued, a tear falling from her eye. “Ginny, I was just there…it was you who truly kept him going” Hermione said softly. “Yes but, you made sure I got him back Hermione, you brought him back to me in one piece, and I am so grateful”
“Well I was hardly going to let him die” Hermione responded with a shaky, tearful laugh. The friends locked eye contact and simultaneously hugged. “Oooh Merlin this is getting too depressing!” laughed Ginny shakily. “Let’s change the subject, how are things with you and Ron?” “Oh yes, how could we ever forget Ron?” laughed Hermione, lying back onto the grass to resume sunbathing. “I love him Ginny, I really do, so much it almost hurts, but I can’t shake the impression that he’s going to get sick of waiting. I really don’t want him to think I’m…”
she looked down at the grass. “A tease” nodded Ginny “I know. Hermione, Ron is a very strange man, I don’t understand much about him, but I do know this” she turned to face her, looking into her eyes “that boy worships the very ground you walk on. He would give his life for you in a heartbeat, I mean it, no matter what you ask of him, he will do it, without a second thought. He will wait as long as you want” Hermione smiled. “I love hearing people talk about him like that, about how much he loves me”
Ginny nodded again. “But I have to say, I think he’s finding it a struggle! You should see the way he looks at you!” Hermione laughed. “You know, we actually had a little thing last night, in the garden, but he stopped it.” “A thing?” said Ginny, her eyes bright with interest. “Well yes, you know just a bit of… fooling around. But the way he stopped Ginny…I mean, to think he could really respect my wishes so much…”
“You know something Hermione? Sex issues aside, I really think it’s about time you two got married. No, not just because you will finally get to sleep together” she smiled. “Because I never have and never will see two other people more perfect for each other. You two belong together.” Hermione nodded. “Despite the fact that we're only 19, I think I’d love to get married soon. Though don’t tell him that!” she added hastily, smirking. “Oh no, I totally agree. Plus, wizards and witches tend to get married younger than muggles anyway don’t they?”
“Hmm, speaking of which, what about you and Mr Potter? Is there perhaps a proposal on the cards?” “Oh gosh no way!” grinned Ginny “I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love him, but there’s no way we’re anywhere near as ready as you and Ron. I need time to figure out what I want to do with my life first! And Harry doesn’t want to rush anything, he needs stability” Hermione nodded in agreement. “You really know him you know” Ginny smiled. “Speak of the devil.” She
said, gesturing towards the two figures approaching them. “Well hello!” said Hermione getting up as her boyfriend and best friend reached them. “Feeling okay?” “Yeah, remind me never to turn 19 again” said Harry quietly. “Yeah Hermione, for your 19th we’re having a tea party with scones and jam and nice quiet things” Ron grinned, enveloping her into an embrace. “Good morning” he whispered to her ear, kissing her on the cheek.
“Afternoon actually” she whispered back, grinning into his chest, “Though it is good, yes” “Guys, Harry and I are going to his flat for a while” Ginny giggled, her arms around Harry’s neck. “No problem” smiled Ron. “Yeah, bye guys. Oh and Ginny, thanks for the chat.” “Any time.” She waved, and with a loud crack the pair dissaparated.
Hermione became aware of Ron’s hands stroking along her hips and across her back. She saw him looking her scantily clad form up and down hungrily. Along with making her feel guilty, the sight and touch made Hermione feel very attracted to Ron. Finally his eyes met hers and he smiled. He kissed her softly again. “Fancy a dip?” he said, motioning towards the lake. “I really need to not be able to see you in that bikini for much longer you see” he said, eyeing the striped blue fabric. “Love to” she said. “But you’re wearing
your clothes” she said pointedly. “So I am! But of course, a true Gryffindor always comes prepared for the occasion” he said, stripping down to a pair of red, surfer style swim trunks. “Impressive” she giggled. The water was unbelievably cold. Hermione had imagined the scene to involve comfortable, warm water, playful splashing, racing each other in laps. Instead, she felt as though she was being pierced with knives as her body was immersed in this icy pool.
“Bloody hell!” shouted Ron. “It’s…it’s fucking freezing!” “I-it’s bloody July! How the hell can it be so cold!” she stammered, her teeth chattering. “Oh Christ” Ron muttered. “Romance truly is dead. We went in the bloody deep end! We never go in this end, because it’s so deep and therefore so cold, we always go in up there” he gestured towards the opposite end. “Oh” said Hermione. “That’ll be why I can’t stand” she laughed. Ron joined
her, shaking. “Oh Merlin! You’re purple! I tell you what the problem is lady; you haven’t an ounce of fat on you! Nothing to keep you warm!” he muttered, swimming towards her. Hermione rolled her eyes. “I don’t see you complaining about my appearance!” “Well no” he admitted. “You’re perfect” he said, lifting her up under her thighs. She held onto his strong shoulders and wrapped her legs around his torso, enjoying the feeling of being completely supported by the man
she loved. Ron looked into her eyes, and she stared back into his, stroking his wet hair affectionately. “It’s a bit warmer like this” she whispered. Ron nodded and they continued to sink into each others eyes. Hermione noticed a hard pressure from within Ron’s trunks pressing against her. Ron realised this. “Ignore it” he said. “Sorry, just ignore it. Percy in his underwear…Percy in his underwear” he muttered. “Ron, stop. I-I’d rather not ignore it… if that’s okay with you.” She said,
looking into his eyes and continuing to stroke hair from his eyes, running the other up his back. Ron stared at her in disbelief. “Hermione wha-” “Forget what I said Ron. We don’t have to wait. I don’t want to wait. I’m ready, I want this…I want you.” She placed a kiss on his cold lips, and tried to deepen it, when Ron gently pushed her back and shook his head. “No” he said simply. Hermione stared at him.
“This is undoubtedly the worst time and the worst place.” He muttered. “But I can’t hold it in any longer. Hermione marry me. Be my wife, make the happiest wizard alive. Marry me” Hermione stared at him. Did that just happen? She thought. Did he just propose to me in this bloody freezing lake? “Oh my goodness” she whispered. She pressed her forehead against Ron’s. “This isn’t…this isn’t just because you want to sleep with me is it?” Ron shook his head. “No way. I can see
you caving in on that one already” he laughed. “No Hermione, it’s because when I’m with you, I feel as though the whole world just stops turning, like there’s nobody else but us. And when I’m not with you my life doesn’t feel worth living. I reckon I’m not going to feel that way about anyone else ever; I am one hundred percent certain that you are the one I want to spend my life with. And I want that life to start now.” Hermione marvelled at him, her eyes brimming with tears. “Wow” she breathed softly. “Yes” she whispered. “I’ll marry you!”
CHAPTER 10 They were to be married on the 16th September. A five day honeymoon in the South of France was to follow (courtesy of Arthur and Molly) before they returned from their blissful stay just two days before Ron started the new season with the Canons on the 23rd. Harry was able to recount this list of information and dates along with basically every other detail of the upcoming Weasley/Granger wedding to anyone who asked. Why? Because Hermione had pretty much made him her personal assistant in the run up to her wedding. He was to be at her beck-and-call
whenever and wherever, morning or night, to offer his opinion on her plans. Of course he had been given no choice in the matter, despite having Ginny and Luna, her two bridesmaids at her assistance, Hermione wanted Harry, he was to offer the "man's point of view". And so, he had been dragged, kicking and screaming, to every dressfitting, offer his opinion on dozens of potential entertainment acts, taste wedding cake samples, view hundreds of, in Harry's opinion, identical looking flowers, and help write out an endless supply of invitations. It riled Harry to the point of utter
frustration that he was being forced to take such a huge role in the preparations, when the groom himself was happily overseeing things from a far safer distance, of course whenever he brought this up, Ron simply paid the "It's your duty as best man" card, and left Harry to it. This incredibly unfair notion washed upon him as he sat at the table in the kitchen of The Burrow on the 14th September, as yet another glass of Madam Hartely's Finest Champagne was thrust upon him to try. His annoyance was tinted with a glimmer of relief though, once the champagne for the reception had been selected, everything was finsihed, the final
decision would have been made. "I don't even like champagne" he moaned resignedly, as he raised the glass to his lips and swallowed indifferently. The six women in his company took no notice of him. "Oh yes, this one is lovely" commented Mrs Weasley, handing the glass to Hermione, who agreed, it was passed to everyone else; Ginny, Luna, Hermione's mum, and Madam Hartley herself, who all raved about the elusive champagne. When Harry announced that he thought this was the right champagne, Hermione threw her arms around him, before welling up
and professing that her wedding was going to be absolutely perfect. "Oh Madam Hartely, you simply have to come!" Hermione gushed after they had settled the payment. "Oh how flattering, I would honoured to join you my dear!" said the stout, redfaced lady as she headed for the door "I shall see you on the 14th then! And please, call me Elpheba!" "Um Hermione...do you think it wise to have invited yet anoter guest? You know how Ron feels about all these people coming" said Hermione's mother, Jean,
apprehensively. "Oh it'll be fine" said Hermione, waving her hand impassively. Everyone involved in the wedding had accepted the fact that it was going to be full of people they hardly knew, due to Hermione's annoying habit of inviting just about everyone she had come into contact with over the last few months. They had all given up trying to persuade her to stop inviting virtual strangers to the ceremony. All except Ron of course, who had set his sights on a quiet wedding with just family and close friends. And sure
enough, he was to be found standing in the doorway of the kitchen just as Elpheba Hartely exited the highly populated Burrow. "Hermione," he said, his eyes narrowed suspiciously, "Did you just invite her to our wedding?" he demanded, gesturing towards the door through which Madam Hartely had just departed, throwing himself into a chair at the crowded table. "Well...yes, yes I did." Hermione said quietly, sitting on his lap and looking at him hopefully.
"Hermione! You promised! No more guests!" Ron moaned. "But she's a simply charming woman Ronald! Anyway, I don't see why you get so worked up about it! I just want our day to be perfect!" "Yes Hermione, but I don't understand how inviting perfect strangers, charming as they might be, will help make our wedding anymore perfect!" Ron shouted."I mean if it was up to me, I would just have you and me there and be done with it." "And that," Hermione shouted, jumping
to her feet, "is the very reason why it is not you who is planning this wedding Ron! You are so insensitive!" she hollered, before slamming out the door and upstairs. Ron, bright red in the face, sat back down again, breathing heavily and staring at the surface of the oak table at which he sat. Nobody said anything, Harry was looking pointedly at the floor. This was something else residents of the Burrow had gotten used to, Ron and Hermione's never-ending fights. It was always the same, Ron would say something about the wedding, Hermione would take offence, she would
storm off, and he would wait a while before going to apologise, after which the pair were, once again, inseperable. It had somewhat reminded Harry of being at Hogwarts, when they would bicker constantly. "I think that's five minutes now Ron" said Ginny in an impassive voice, not looking up from the bridal magazine she was reading. Ron looked around the room at their faces, as if hoping one of them would tell him it was Hermione who was in the wrong, before admitting defeat, sighing loudly, and dragging himself from the
room to apologise to his fiancee, yet again. "Well...ahem, I must be getting off. A week I've been back here and still jetlagged from the flight!" said Mrs Granger in a tired voice, getting to her feet. "I dare say I'll be seeing you again all long before this bloody wedding." she chuckled. "Oh yes Jean, thank you for coming round, why don't I let Hermione know you've left once she's...calmed down?" said Mrs Weasley tactfully. "I think that would be for the best."
smiled Jean. * "It's getting sooo annoying!" Ginny was saying, as she and Harry strolled through Diagon Alley hand-in-hand. "If I wasn't so sure they were made for each other, I would tell them to forget all about the bloody wedding!" "I know, but when you think about it, they are planning a wedding. It's supposed to be one of the most stressful things ever." Harry mused. "I think it's all that pent-up,
unfulfilled sexual tension, it's making them all moody" Ginny laughed. "Hmm, good job we don't have that problem isn't it?" Harry smirked. "You bet" Ginny said, with a wink. She glanced at a nearby restaraunt, and was reminded of her late-lunch with Hermione and her mother. "I have to go, that's nearly three." She said, checking her watch. "Looking forward to it?" Harry asked, smiling at the reaction on Ginny's face.
"I love my mum, and I love Hermione, but the two of them combined, two days before a Weasley wedding..." she rolled her eyes and laughed. "Anyway, I'll see you tonight." She kissed Harry on the cheek, turned on the spot, and dissapaprated. * Ginny landed outside the Three Broomsticks in the busy town of Hogsmeade. There was a slight earlyautumn wind kicking up, as Ginny entered the crowded pub and spotted her Mum sitting at a small table waiting
patiently. "Hi Mum!" she smiled, dropping into a seat beside her. No sooner had she greeted her Mother, when a flusteredlooking Hermione appeared. "I'm so sorry I'm late. Ron was being foolish." she said, rolling her eyes. They ordered lunch, and began conversing lightly about their days and the wedding, when Mrs Weasley addressed Hermione. "Dear, have you given any thought to your work arrangements?" she said
lightly. Hermione looked from Mrs Weasley to Ginny, and Ginny avoided her eyes. She knew exactly what was coming. "It's just that, I assumed you and Ron might want to think about starting a family soon after you marry" she pressed. Bingo, thought Ginny. Hermione seemed to be struggling with herself, she was getting redder and redder, before"Well Mrs Weasley....I think I'm a bit young for a baby!" Hermione spluttered.
"I'm only 19!" "Well that's normal in wizrding families, dear." said Mrs Weasley a little exasperatedly, clearly fearing her much-longed for second grand-child would be a long way-off. "Hermione, I'm not trying to pressurise you into anthing, but she is right, that's just the way it normally happens in wizarding families" said Ginny fairly, with an encouraging smile. Hermione's eyes flitted from Mrs Weasley to Ginny as if she was watching a tennis match, eventually, she managed
to speak once more, in a high-pitched tone. "Well, let me assure you, I have no intentions to have a baby right now, I am perfectly happy with just getting married! Anyway,surely neither of you think for a second that Ron has any desire to start a family just now!" Ginny and Mrs Weasley exchanged a glance, but said nothing. The three of them went back to their meals, but Hermione, they noticed, didn't really seem to eat much else for the rest of the day. CHAPTER 11
Hermione Granger opened her eyes and looked hazily around the room. There was a burst of early morning sunshine streaming through the window, bathing the room in a peaceful glow. She glanced over to the sleeping form of her bridesmaid Ginny, sprawled across the matching single bed, red hair rippling over her pillow, her chest rising and falling neatly. How strange, thought Hermione, How strange that I am so peaceful on such a huge day. The day that I am getting married. She grinned to herself and enjoyed her last few minutes of rest before the time came when she would have to get up and start getting ready. I wonder how Ron's
doing, she mused, happily. * Ron was not doing so well. He was pacing back and forth across the lounge of Harry's flat, ghostly pale in the face, breathing fast. "I can't do it Harry, I can't get married, I just can't. I'll make a mess of it, I'll be a lousy husband, you know I will." Harry yawned and ran his hands through his messy hair, flopping onto the couch. It was only eight in the morning, and already he was being subjected to Ron's predictable cold
feet. "Ron, please shut up. You love Hermione, you want to marry her, and she wants to marry you. Anyway, if you don't marry her and leave her devastated and alone, I'll kill you, so you may as well just do it." he said, glancing at his watch. Ron nodded shakily and sat down beside him. “Please don’t think I don’t love her. I do.” He said quietly. “I know you do.” Harry nodded, noting the change in tone. Ron was no longer a flight risk, but he was in a notably odd mood.
“I always have” he said, “even though I was too bloody immature to admit it at first.” He smiled. Harry laughed. “Well, you were only 11” he said fairly, with a fond smile. “Merlin, eleven years-old and in love with Hermione Granger; I had no chance” Ron laughed. “If only I could have gotten the idea of her liking you out of my head back then.” “Ah yes,” said Harry, “but it wouldn’t have been half as fun if it had been that simple!”
“True.” laughed Ron.
He picked up a
photo from the small table which sat in front of the couch; it showed Harry, Ron, and Hermione in their fourth year, after Harry had completed his first task in the Triwizard Tournament, the golden egg held high above him. He stared at it for a while before saying “Things were a lot simpler then weren’t they?” Harry laughed. “What apart from death eaters, burning scars, disappearances and the minor incident of Tom Riddle?” “Fair enough.” Admitted Ron. He
continued to look at the photo, as though lost in the memories of this other lifetime. “Never thought we’d make it this far mate.” said Harry. “Me neither. Harry…” Ron looked at him, and without saying anything, Harry knew what he meant. In that moment there was some kind of unspoken appreciation of each other, as men, as friends, as brothers. “You too, Ron.” *
Simple and elegant. Gracious. Beautiful. Simply stunning. These were all words Hermione Granger was hearing around her as she stood in front of a full-length mirror, dressed in her bridal gown. She had been quite particular about how she wanted to look today. She had never really been interested in superficial things such as hair and clothes, knowing her brain would get her a lot further, but her wedding day was an exception, every girl had the right to look beautiful on that day. Her dress was very simple. It was strapless, ivory, and lace, with a little rose detail at the neck, with
her hair up, apart from a few loose curls. She felt she had achieved the effect she had been looking for, indeed, around her she heard the blowing of noses and quick sighs which she associated with the tears of her mother, Molly and Ginny. “Right,” she said, turning to face them, “Let’s go!” * It was beyond anything she had ever dreamed. The perfect little scene of her wedding at the Burrow she had hoped for had been created before her eyes.
It wasn’t flashy and over-the-top like Bill and Fleur’s; it was just the right amount of everything. The garden was littered with white roses, leading up to two rows of white chairs, down the middle of which stood the aisle. It led to the white altar, framed by a floral wedding arch. Everyone had filed into their seats when Ron and Harry stood up at the altar, in identical black suits, each with a white rose in the button hole. Molly hurried into her seat in the front row next to Arthur. As Ginny and Luna took their places, preparing to walk down, the violin band began to play; the pair of them looked gorgeous, in their silver gowns. Hermione slipped
into place behind, her father at her side, waiting for her bridesmaids to reach the altar. “You look beautiful, sweetheart.” Her father whispered in her ear. “Thanks Dad” she whispered back. A change in the key of the violinists gave them their cue, and so, she began to walk towards the man she was going to marry, arm in arm with her Dad. The whole time, she kept her eyes locked with Ron’s, beaming. He too was grinning at her, looking as though he had never been happier.
She reached Ron and Harry, standing side-by-side with the same tufty-haired wizard who had performed Bill and Fleur’s wedding. He gave her a wide smile and faced the guests. “Welcome. Today we celebrate the union of two souls, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. Each has prepared their own vows, which they will now share, before they are bonded together in matrimony. Hermione, if you will begin.” Hermione gave him a nod and faced Ron. She took a deep breath and stared into those blue eyes.
“Ronald,” she sighed. “I never thought we’d get here. We’ve been through such an awful lot, and yet through it all I’ve always known that you’re the one. I find it very difficult to convey how much I love you, it’s as if I was born into this world to meet you, I feel as though I was destined to find you. Goodness knows we’ve had our ups and downs, and I’m sure there will be more to come, but I’ll take a thousands fights for just one great day with you. You are my best friend, my hero, my soulmate, and I love you, today, tomorrow and everyday.” Hermione became highly aware of several
noses being blown around her, most noticeably from a sobbing Hagrid. But the only person she watched was Ron, and she was moved to see tears form in his own eyes. The tufty-haired wizard thanked her and asked Ron to deliver his vows. Hermione was highly intrigued to hear what he would say. He smiled at her and began. “Well first of all thank you Hermione, what you just said was beautiful. I have had some issues with trying to come up with what to say, I’ll never be able to say anything as articulate as that, but here goes. From the day that I met you, I was in love.” He said
simply. “From that very first day, on the train, I just knew. I am rubbish at big displays of emotion, but all I can say is that I love you; I would give my life for you. You are the single-most important person in my life, and I will love you until the day I die.” Hermione didn’t even bother to wipe the tears from her cheeks. She felt as though she was literally growing with love for Ron with every second. “Thank you both,” said the little wizard. “Hermione Jean Granger, do you take
this man, in sickness and in health, till death do you parts?” Hermione pulled herself together, and said shakily through her tears “I do.” “And Ron Billius Weasley, do you take this woman, in sickness and health, till death do you part?” Ron grinned. “I do.” “Well, without further ado, I pronounce you bonded for life.” CHAPTER 12 “So, how does it feel to be the last
remaining unmarried member of the ‘Golden Trio’?” said Ginny, smiling. “Terrible” joked Harry, “I think we better just elope now, before things get any worse.” Ginny laughed warmly, sipping her champagne. They were sitting at the top table, watching Ron and Hermione dancing their first dance. “It’s nearly time for your best man’s speech!” said Ginny excitedly. Harry smiled in a pained sort of way. “I hate doing speeches!” he moaned. And he meant it. Standing up and doing a speech was even more reason for people
to stare at him, or as was more likely, his scar. However he had agreed to put his feelings aside, after all, it was the wedding of his two best friends; they had left school, went on the run and nearly died for him, it would have been a bit melodramatic of him to refuse to do a speech in return. He ran over it in is head, and sure enough, two minutes later Ron and Hermione were taking their seats again, and looking at him expectantly. “Go on” said Ginny, giving him an encouraging squeeze.
He stood up, and tapped his spoon against his glass. “It’s time for theer-speech.” He muttered to the guests, embarrassed. After catching their attention, he looked over at Ron and Hermione, took a breath, and went for it. “Let me start by saying congratulations to the newlyweds! Merlin, I never thought we’d see this day, there was a point a few years back where I thought we’d have to drag them down the aisle kicking and screaming.” He paused for a few laughs, which thank Merlin, he received. “I like to think about these two sometimes. I feel as though I have
this unique outlook on them as I am the only one who knows them both equally, having met them both on the exact same day, I have never been able to say one was a better friend than the other. So what do I know about them? Well Hermione is just about the most intelligent, articulate, passionate, and weirdest person I’ve ever met! -more laughs- And then there’s Ron… who’s just Ron! These two really shouldn’t work together, but they do. If ever the phrase ‘opposites attract’ was proven before our eyes, it’s now. But in all seriousness, they really are soul mates. I am so happy for them, and I wish them all the luck and happiness
in the world. To Ron and Hermione!” * Harry wandered over to Ron and Hermione, who were sitting at the table, heads touching, talking quietly. Hermione’s hair had started to tumble out in curls, and her make-up was a bit smudged, but somehow, it made her look even more beautiful. “Can I cut in?” he said. “I feel obliged to dance with one of you, and Ron, no offence mate, but I don’t love you that much!” he laughed, extending a hand to Hermione. The pair of them
laughed and Hermione got up and led her to the dance floor. “Oh if only Rita Skeeter was here Harry.” Laughed Hermione, as they
revolved on the spot. “Think of the scoop. New bride Hermione Weasley dances with love interest and best man Harry Potter as groom watches, devastated.” Harry chuckled, and saw Ron dancing with Mrs Weasley, he noticed Hermione watching them too, looking content. “I really am happy for you two, you know” he said. Hermione nodded.
“I’m still pinching myself that this is really happening. It hit me today that this is the first wedding any of us have been to since Bill and Fleur’s.” she said, looking thoughtful. “Back then, everything was so uncertain, and now…I feel as though I’m living someone else’s life.” She sighed, resting her head on his shoulder. “Hemione, you have just described the exact way I’ve been feeling ever since the end of the war.” Harry smiled. “But we have to stop thinking it’s some sort of dream. This is our lives now, enjoy it! You’re Mrs Weasley now, and the
only fighting you have to do these days is for the house elves!” Hermione looked up at him, smiling, tears in her eyes. “Harry James Potter, you are, in no uncertain terms, my brother in every way except blood relation. And I’ll tell you this, I could never ask for a better brother. I love you.” “I love you too, Hermione.” He said, hugging her. In that moment, as they clung to each other, he felt a new connection between them, they had past the point of friendship; they really were brother and sister.
* The marquee had emptied to just a dozen or so people; the Weasleys, Ron and Hermione, Harry, and a few others. Ron and Hermione were dancing drunkenly together to some fast muggle song, looking as though they had never enjoyed themselves more. Harry had taken a seat again, when Ginny appeared and perched herself on his knee. She had been talking to Angelina Johnson at length about playing Quidditch with the Holyhead Harpies. “Hi,” she said, kissing him. She
stroked his cheek gently. “Sorry I was babbling away to Angelina for so long!” she laughed. “It’s okay,” he said. “What did she say; does she think you’d get in anytime soon?” Ginny grinned. “Well,” she leaned in and whispered. “Don’t say anything but one of their Chasers has just found out she’s pregnant, so she’s going to be leaving in three months! But it’s all under wraps just now!” “Ginny- that’s amazing!” he whispered, kissing her deeply. She nodded, and
looked over to Ron and Hermione. “Is it wrong of me to be jealous of them?” she said, looking at him intensely. “Why would you be jealous of them?” asked Harry, confused. “Well, you know,” she said, fidgeting with his jacket. “They’re married now you know? It’s just…it’s nice, that’s all.” “Ah…” said Harry. “Ginny, you know we’ll get married, it’s our destiny!” he laughed. “But I thought you didn’t
want to rush?” he said, stroking her arm lightly. “Yeah I know, but I suppose this has just made me realise how much I want all of it.” “Well yeah, I want it too, but we don’t need to do it in a rushed, spur of the moment thing. I mean as long as we’re together, what does it matter? In any case, given your news about the Harpies, I would think getting married would be the last thing you’d want to do.” Harry said, thoughtfully. “Harry, I wont be starting for a few
months, I said that.” She said, a note of irritation to her voice. “No, I’m not talking about stress or anything. But if you and I got married now then don’t you think when you got signed everyone would just say it was because of who you were married to?” Ginny looked at him. “I mean, surely we’d be better waiting until after you joined, so people can see you got in on talent.” He said, wondering what had caused the frown that creased her brow.
“I see,” she said, quietly. “So, you think that if I married you, I would only ever live my life and achieve anything as a result of being the wife of the Chosen One?” she said, her voice rising with each word. “You don’t think they would want me for my talent if I was already your wife, because it would be good enough, just having a Potter on the team?” she demanded, coldly. “No, Ginny, I never said that!” Harry exclaimed. “You didn’t need to, Harry! I can’t believe this; you’re talking as if you think you’re better than me, just
because you’re Harry Potter.” She shouted, standing up. “Hold on a minute, that’s out of order.” He said, now getting annoyed himself. He too stood up. “Don’t be stupid Ginny; you know fine well that I don’t believe any of that!” “No Harry,” she said, in a low voice, “actually, I don’t.” She turned and stormed out of the marquee. Harry watched her march up and into the Burrow, and something, most likely his own anger coupled with his certainty that he wasn’t in the wrong,
prevented him from going after her. CHAPTER 13 “Oh look we’ve got an owl from Harry!” pointed out Hermione, as their friend’s handsome tawny owl Esme tapped her beak at the French shutters. Ron watched her as she wrapped the clean white sheet around her like a toga, laughing softly as she did so, and got up to see to the owl. It was early in the morning, and they were currently on the first day of their honeymoon in France. The sun streamed in through the shutters, bathing Hermione in a warm glow, and framing
her face perfectly. Ron could hardly catch his breath at how perfect she was, bare foot, her hair tucked behind her ears messily, and he actually gasped at the thought of the night they had spent last, their wedding night. It had been the most perfect night of his life. “Definitely worth the wait,” as Hermione had said sleepily this morning as they woke. “He and Ginny still aren’t talking, it seems.” She said, meaningfully. It took Ron a few seconds to come out of his own thoughts and realise what she meant. He shook his head impatiently.
“They’re so stupid. We’re the ones who argue, not them. They’re stealing our thunder!” he joked, enjoying the way Hermione laughed. He loved to make her laugh. “Yes, but in all seriousness, they really need to get a grip of themselves.” He said, frowning. Hermione nodded, and scurried back onto the bed, nestling her head in the crook of his neck. “Very true, however, this is our honeymoon, so let’s not even think about those two just now”, she muttered, smiling. She yawned lightly
and closed her eyes, looking peaceful. “I hope you’re not planning on sleeping!” said Ron, his eyebrows raised. She looked up at him, her expression matching his own, though in her case out of suspicion. “Well what else did you have planned?” “Um, how about round…what will it be – five?” he grinned, winking at her. “You know Ronald,” she said, in a mockannoyed voice, “I’m starting to think you only married me for sex!”
Ron looked deep into her eyes, and held her gaze, until he knew she was listening intently. He leant in close, so he was just centimetres from her ear. “Your point being?” He was kissing her before she even had time to laugh. * “Morning Ernie.” Said Harry politely as his Ministry co-worker and former fellow Hogwarts pupil joined him in the lift. “Harry” he nodded, smiling.
“You heading up to Aurors?” Harry said, indicating to the buttons. “Yep, up with you on seven.” “What brings you up our neck of the woods, Ernie?” asked Harry, grinning. “Sick of Law Enforcement already?” Ernie laughed. “Not quite, as part of the training they put us on an Auror case, we have to go up and get a statement from one.” “Ah, fair enough.” Said Harry, smiling.
“So, did you have a good time at Ron and Hermione’s wedding last night? It was a great do, certainly.” Said Ernie. “Er, yeah, yeah it was a good night, yeah” muttered Harry, hastily. Ernie looked a mixture of both awkward and excited. “I erm, noticed Ginny and you having a bit of a – er – quarrel” he said, quietly. Harry looked up at him and Ernie began talking right away. “Harry, I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have brought it up, sorry.” Ernie looked quite as though he was frightened Harry might hit him.
Realising this, Harry tried to mask his annoyance and smile, though it came out more as a grimace, which didn’t go unnoticed by Ernie. “Ah, Ernie I’m sorry. Look, you’re right, we had a fight is all, but it’s nothing, it was just something stupid.” Ernie looked relived, but slightly unconvinced. He looked at Harry for a second or two, before they both recognised the jolt of the lift halting and the grilles sliding open. “I’m looking for someone ‘McQuillan’ up on North.” Ernie said, reading from a
piece of parchment. “Anyway Harry, I’ll see you around. And I’m glad you and Ginny are alright, you two were always meant to be together, any fool could see that.” He smiled at Harry and walked away, immersed in the report he would be discussing. Harry watched Ernie walk away; his words ringing in his ears you two were always meant to be together. What were they doing fighting over something so stupid? He thought back to all the time during his hunt for the horcruxes, when he would have given anything to be with her, and now they weren’t talking over this stupid fight!
“Ah Potter…there you are.” Harry’s superior, Randall, was coming striding along the corridor towards him, and yet Harry barely registered him being there. “I wanted a word with you on that report you handed into me last week.” “Ah sorry…sorry Sir, I-I have to go!” Harry was thinking not of reports or deadlines, he was thinking of only one; and her name was Ginny. *
Hermione stretched back on the sun lounger. She was lying out on the balcony of the sun house in France, enjoying the sun and a lengthy book on the Goblin Rebellions, while Ron took a shower. She looked out to the view of the ocean, and the people dotted along the coastline of the beach that bordered it, and then her eyes fell to the two rings on her right hand; the diamond engagement ring and gold wedding band. She still couldn’t believe that she, they were married. Mrs Hermione Weasley. It sounded too good to be true. She closed her eyes and let her mind drift back to her perfect wedding, but something pulled
her out of her thoughts, suddenly she knew something wasn’t right, and her mind had forewarned her of something coming. True to form, there was a loud crack which Hermione knew meant only one thing; someone had just apparated into her vicinity. She listened for Ron, but the shower was still running; it wasn’t him. Frantically, she searched for her wand, but remembered it was inside, she hadn’t used it since she had apparated here after the wedding. Starting to panic, she stood up silently and pulled her short white dressing gown tightly around herself. She tiptoed inside and found herself
face to face with a man in black robes, a hood covering his face. The pair of them stared at each other before the man raised his wand and spoke in a raspy, cruel voice. “Don’t move, Mudblood; I’ve got you cornered.” * Harry threw himself through the door of Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes, knocking down a full tower of fake wands but not taking any notice. “Ginny! Ginny where are you?” he
shouted, looking around for her. “She’s…not here.” Said a girl from the counter. Harry looked up and saw a pretty blonde haired girl smirking up at him; she was wearing the same lurid violet shirt as Ginny’s. “Though…it seemed like you wanted to see her a lot.” “Right, sorry, um ‘not here’?” Said Harry, walking up to the till behind which she stood. “Yup. She was here, but she was a bit distracted about something. George sent her home.”
“Oh okay. Is George here then?” asked Harry, quickly. “Nope, just me I’m afraid.” She grinned. “Okay.” Said Harry. He would just have to go to The Burrow, though he didn’t really fancy having to try to convince half her family of his honesty as well as her. “Well, thanks” he muttered to the girl, turning to go. The girl abruptly stood up. “You’re going already? I finally meet the famous Harry Potter and you’re leaving
before I even get to ask you anything?” Her tone was mocking. Harry raised his eyebrows. “Who are you?” “I’m Emily. I work here.” She said, smirking at him again. Up close Harry noticed just how beautiful this girl was, she had large, endearing grey eyes and a pretty smile. Harry smiled too. “Well Emily…what exactly did you want to ask me?” “Hmm,” she said, sitting up on the counter and swinging her legs round to
face him. “There’s so much. How about the fact that you’re so famous, and yet the only reason anybody knows your name is because your history is steeped in pain and violence?” Harry stared at her. “What do you want? Why did you say that?” “Because I’m analysing you. It’s like a defence mechanism, whenever I meet someone new I start observing their character, to stop them from trying to find out anything about me? I don’t like letting my barriers down.” She said, smiling at him again.
“And why is that?” he asked, before he could stop himself. “Stay and you’ll find out.” She smiled. “Unless whatever reason it is you were looking for Ginny is too urgent, that is.” Harry looked at this strange, strange girl, who was so endearing him. “Of course I’ll stay. Ginny can wait.” * Hermione’s eyes dotted from the man, to the bathroom, to the door and back
again. Think she told herself, think. To her relief, as if on cue, she heard the running water stop and it seemed to clear her mind. “Ron…” she shouted, shakily. “Ron, can you come in here? Now please!” “Alright, alright! Merlin Hermione I know I’m sexy but really, a man needs to shower!” he shouted, laughing. “Ron, GET IN HERE!” she shouted, while the man laughed cruelly. Ron came running in this time, looking worried. “What is-” He fell silent when
his eyes fell on the intruder. “Who are you? What do you want?” “Who are you? Are you really as stupid as you look, Weasley? Surely you two can recognise a Death Eater when you see one?” laughed the man. Hermione looked quickly at Ron and their eyes met for a second, as if silently communicating. They both scanned the room in search of their wands, when the Death Eater laughed loudly again and held them up, twirling them between his grubby fingers. “Looking for these?”
“Look,” shouted Hermione angrily. “If you’re going to kill us, just do it!” The Death Eater stared at Hermione for a second, before turning to Ron. “She’s sassy, I like that Weasley. Not bad for a Mudblood…” he muttered, looking back to Hermione. His eyes narrowed on the hem of her dressing gown, which skimmed her bare thighs. “Not bad at all.” “Oi!” shouted Ron angrily, as the Death Eater continued to leer at Hermione. “Wand or no wand, I’ll teach you some manners in a minute. Now what the hell are you doing here?” he demanded.
The Death Eater rolled his eyes, turned to Ron, and punched him hard across the cheek. “Ron!” Hermione screamed. He turned on Hermione, waved his wand and her and sent her flying across the room, hitting the wall with a sharp blow to her back. “Now, I am not here to kill you, yet. I want you to deliver a message to Potter.” “Too scared to go to him yourself?” taunted Ron, still clutching his swollen cheekbone.
“SILENCE!” he roared, pointing his wand at Ron so that a deep gash appeared across his bare arm. “I want you to tell Potter that he has not won. Tell him that his acts have only made us angrier, and that we will seek our revenge. We will avenge the deaths of our fallen, and we will make him pay. Tell Potter, it isn’t over.” CHAPTER 14 Hermione didn’t let go of Ron’s hands when they landed solidly in the kitchen of The Burrow. She clung onto him, looking around the room, fearing the
presence of more Death Eaters. There were none, instead Ginny and Mrs Weasley sat at the table, both clutching a mug of tea, Ginny’s eyes slightly red and puffy. The pair of them jumped up on her and Ron’s arrival. “Ron! Hermione! What are you two doing here? You’re supposed to be on your honeymoon!” exclaimed Mrs Weasley, looking anxious and confused. “We’re gonna have to cut it short I’m afraid Mum.” Muttered Ron, darkly, taking his mother’s vacated seat. “We were joined by a charming Death Eater.”
Hermione sat down next to Ron, stroking his arm while Ginny and Mrs Weasley stared at them wordlessly for a few seconds, until; “Death Eater? What the hell?” demanded Ginny. Ron glanced at Hermione, his eyes heavy and tired, and she understood that he wanted her to recall their experience. She sighed. “Ron was in the shower and I was reading on the balcony. I heard someone dissaparate and I went into find him standing there. Hooded.” She
added, as she saw Mrs Weasley open her mouth. “He told me not to move, he had me cornered and he had our wands. Ron came in then and…” she trailed off, not really wanting to remember the violence. “What you don’t think I suit purple?” said Ron sarcastically, pointing to his bruised, swollen cheek. Mrs Weasley clapped her hands to her mouth. “Anyway the gist of his little visit is that he and his accomplices are looking for revenge. He’s…he’s after Harry.” Ron sighed impatiently. “I mean, it’s
not exactly something to get overly upset about. Harry has taken a lot worse threats than this, but we just think he ought to be warned. It’s probably not dangerous at all, but-” “It could be.” Finished Ginny, in a low voice. She had gone very pale. “So, Ginny, do you know where Harry is?” said Hermione awkwardly. Ginny looked up at her quickly, and Hermione saw a sleepless night of crying in her tired eyes. “Okay,” she said quietly. “Ginny, Molly, can you two check Harry’s flat and office? Ron and I will go to the shop and roundabout.” She
said, while they nodded. “Just…don’t do anything to alarm him; we don’t want him worrying over nothing.” * Harry was far from worried. In fact, at present he was very taken aback. Emily, the strange, beautiful girl, had just kissed him, full-on, no warning. It took him a couple of minutes to realise exactly what was going on before he pushed her away. “Emily,” he breathed. “What the hell?” She blinked at him, with those
sparkling, grey eyes. “I thought you looked in need of a kiss, that’s all.” She smiled. Harry glared at her. “I have a girlfriend, Ginny.” “A girlfriend who is so jealous of you she would rather walk out on you at her brother’s wedding than take your advice?” she smirked. “I didn’t tell you about that so you could use it against me.” He growled, angrily. Emily looked up at him from under her
thick, blond eyelashes. “I would never get jealous of anyone like that.” She said quietly, running her hand lightly along his thigh. “It’s all about selfassurance.” Before he knew it, she was kissing him again, but he pulled away from her a lot quicker this time, he had heard a very familiar, very angry voice. A voice so familiar it was like hearing the voice of his own brother. “What the hell is going on here?” Ron.
Harry jumped up and found himself face to face with his two best friends. The two people who knew him best in the whole world. Two people with identically furious looks on their faces. “Oh, hi Ron” muttered Emily from behind him. He could hear the smirk in her voice. “Go home Emily.” Muttered Ron angrily. “Now.” Emily rolled her eyes and disappeared with a loud crack.
“Guys, it’s not what it looked like, I swear.” Harry muttered, searching their faces, only to see increasing fury. “Not what it looked like? It looked like you were kissing her Harry!” Exclaimed Hermione. “I wasn’t kissing her. She was kissing me! I pushed her away, I promise, both times!” “Both times?” shouted Ron. “You let this happen twice?” Harry sighed in frustration. “Listen to me, you don’t understand, I was just
talking to her and then – wait a minute, what are you two doing here? Why aren’t you still in France?” Harry watched as their expressions turned from anger to concern. Hermione looked at him for a long minute and then started to speak. They had been visited by a Death Eater who had threatened him. Harry balled his fists up in anger, not because he had been threatened, he wasn’t at all worried or scared, but because this man had ruined his best friends’ honeymoon. “We just thought you should know,” said Ron, bitterly. “But we’ll get going;
you’ve probably got some more girls to kiss. Come on Hermione,” he said, grabbing her hand. Harry started forward. “No wait! You have to believe me, she threw herself at me. I swear!” His eyes met Hermione’s and he saw her starting to consider this possibility. “Hermione, please! You know how much I love Ginny.” He stared at her, and he knew they were thinking about the same thing; the time they had spent alone together during the search for the Horcruxes, where Harry had taken to staring at Ginny’s dot on the Marauders’ Map.
“Okay Harry.” She finally said. “If you say that she kissed you and you pushed her away, then we believe you.” Ron opened his mouth to argue, and Hermione placed her hand to his cheek. “No Ron, Harry’s our friend, we should believe him.” She turned back to Harry, looking at him intently. “We don’t think you’re in any immediate danger Harry. As far as this Emily is concerned, we believe you. But I’ll tell you this, you will tell Ginny about her. I mean it. And if you don’t, we will.”
He nodded at her and she half-smiled at him. Ron scowled at him while Hermione took his hand and the pair of them disaparated with the familiar loud crack, leaving Harry to ponder the mess that had been created in this small space in just one hour. * “Ginny” The sound of his voice sent shivers down her spine, and it took Ginny a few seconds to realise that she actually had heard his voice. She whipped round in his flat and found herself face to
face with Harry. The love of her life, Harry. She smiled at him, her eyes filling up with tears. “Oh Harry” She wrapped her arms around him, breathing in the scent that had been missing from her for almost three days. “Harry, we’ll never fight again, I promise, this – this Death Eater, it’s shown me how important you are to me. We can’t let something stupid like the fight at the wedding ruin us, not ever.” She ran her fingers through his hair, her eyes searching his hungrily, but she didn’t see any of her relief and emotion in his. She saw guilt.
“What?” she whispered. He looked at the floor for several minutes, then “Ginny…I kissed someone. Well she kissed me, and I pushed her away but… but not right away and…and it happened twice.” She felt as though he had slapped her. She was numb. She could feel herself shaking with ten different emotions. She looked up at him. “Did you…did you kiss her back?” She said in a cold voice. Harry stared at her with wide, sad eyes. “Did you?” she said, louder this time.
“No, Ginny, no!” he almost shouted. “I love you!” “But you said ‘not right away.’ You said that you pushed her away ‘but not right away’ Harry!” She was crying now, waves of emotion creeping over her, threatening to overcome her completely. “But…but it doesn’t matter Ginny, because I did push her away.” Harry pleaded. Ginny stared at him, not bothering to wipe the tears which rolled down her pale cheeks. She tried to form the
words properly, and they came out in a small, pained voice. “I always knew that this would happen.” She whispered. “And I can’t do it. I won’t. I can’t share you with the rest of the world Harry. I love you, but so do everyone else and I can’t compete with that” Harry marched towards her, closing the gap between them. He grabbed her firmly by the arms and stared into her eyes with longing and love on his face. “But I love you back Ginny. I don’t love anyone else, I love you.”
Ginny nodded slowly. “I know you do.” She whispered, holding back a sob. “But…sometimes that’s not enough, Harry.” She pulled his hands away from her arms, and held them for a second, stroking them, memorising them. She kissed him on the cheek softly and turned away from him. “Ginny!” he shouted, desperately. “You said we wouldn’t fight again! You said what we have is worth too much. Ginny, we can’t fight like this!” She breathed in deeply and tried to steady herself. “I know what I said Harry. But that only applies when
there’s something to fight for.” And with one last glance at the man she loved, she turned on the spot with a loud crack. Her sobs finally getting the better of her as she disappeared into thin air. CHAPTER 15 Hermione opened her eyes slowly, breathing in deeply. She was lying on her front, her face against the pillow, in bed at the small, homely flat; their marital residence. Ron was lightly dragging his fingers up and down her spine, lingering on her skin from time to time. She could tell he didn’t know
she was awake yet, and she grinned to herself, enjoying the peaceful moment with her husband. After a few seconds she rolled onto her side and smiled up at him through sleepy eyes. “Good morning Ron.” He grinned crookedly at her, his hand now resting on her bare hip. “Morning” he muttered, pressing his lips to hers softly. She hooked her arms around his neck and kissed her way from his shoulder up to his lips. Ron moaned lightly and lay back, pulling her onto him. She ran her hands over his bare chest, trailing kisses along his jaw
and down to his stomach. Yes, this was definitely one of the perks of married life. They had been married nearly three months now, and yet morning sex was still an obligatory factor of their daily routines. She flopped back down onto the pillow, her chest rising and falling fast, her cheeks flushed, feeling thoroughly satisfied. She looked over at him, his too-long hair falling into his bright blue eyes, and he smiled softly at her. This was her favourite smile, the one he kept just for her, during these intimate moments. He stretched an arm out round her waist and she hugged
herself closer to him, while he wrapped his arms around her lovingly. “Very good morning.” He laughed. She grinned; feeling lucky, like her life was too good to be true, and then a shroud of darkness clouded her bliss. As if he sensed the dip in her mood, Ron nudged her lightly in the ribs. “What is it?” he muttered against her neck. She sighed. “Harry and Ginny” Ron groaned against her, frustrated. “Hermione it isn’t up to you to get them back together. It’s been – what,
three months almost? It’s not something we can fix; they need to work it out themselves!” She sat up, so that she was kneeling beside him, and realised that clothing would probably be a good idea the next time all she wanted from him was conversation. “But it’s nearly Christmas, Ron! Our first Christmas together as a married couple and our two best friends are going to be moping about the Burrow, acting unbelievably bloody civil to each other, while staring into thin air, apart from steeling glances at the other when they suspect nobody is looking of course!”
She huffed loudly, getting up and pulling on her dressing gown. Ron shook his head. “I have one problem, Mrs Weasley. And guess what, it doesn’t concern my sister and best friend’s messed up split: you are no longer naked. I see no reason for this crime.” He winked, his eyes twinkling. She smiled at him, rolling her eyes. “Come on, you sex-crazed fool. I’ll make breakfast.” Saturday was Hermione’s second favourite day of the week. She didn’t work Saturdays, but Ron had training in
the afternoon, so she normally spent them with some of her extended family, or working, or just relaxing by herself. Sundays were her favourite. It was the only day she and Ron had completely to themselves, until they went for Sunday lunch at the Burrow, of course. She thought again of how lucky she was as she watched Ron sipping coffee whilst reading the morning Prophet. In the last few months, she and Ron had made quite the life for themselves. They had chosen a just-big-enough two bedroom flat just outside the centre of London. After discussing it at length
they had decided that living in the city would make most sense, it was close to her work and Ron would have to apparate out to the Canons Stadium in Chelmsford anyway, no matter where they lived. Whilst Ron had secured a permanent position as Keeper, she had excelled in her campaigns for the rights of magical creatures, and had recently been promoted to Deputy Head of Department (an occasion which Ron had insisted on celebrating with a lot of enthusiasm). And so her bliss only emphasized her sadness for Harry and Ginny. Ron scoffed and dismissed it, always saying
it wasn’t her place. But in the last few months Hermione had experienced true happiness, so help her if some little tart was going to take the chance of that away from her best friends. After eating, she and Ron dressed slowly, in no real rush, and chatted for a while in the lounge. She loved these moments with Ron, so simple, and yet the best of their relationship by a mile. At one-thirty Ron kissed her and disapparated to training. She grabbed her bag and re-applied a dash of lipgloss before disapparating herself. She was meeting Ginny for lunch, something
which she normally would have enjoyed highly, but which now filled her with dread. The new, lifeless, post-Harry Ginny wasn’t exactly the best company for lunch dates. * “Harry!” someone shouted. Harry turned round and spotted Arthur Weasley among the throng of Ministry workers heading to the fires to Floo home. Mr Weasley was wrapped in a black travelling cloak, carrying a battered looking briefcase. His hair was slightly greying in his old age, but his amicable expression was the same as
always. “Oh, hi Mr Weasley” smiled Harry when he caught up. “How was your day, son?” “Not bad,” muttered Harry lightly. “My boss is coming down on me a bit because we’ve still got no leads on that warlock case, but oh well.” “Ah well, never mind. So, you haven’t been about as much, why don’t you join us for dinner?” he said, trying to sound casual. “It is nearly Christmas” he added.
Harry smiled grimly and looked at Mr Weasley for a moment. The old man’s eyes were wide and hopeful. “Yeah, okay, thanks Mr Weasley.” “Excellent,” he grinned. “Molly will be delighted to see you, Harry.” Dinner at The Burrow was an awkward affair. Harry had followed Mr Weasley in, his head down. Mrs Weasley had indeed been delighted to see him, folding her arms around him and claiming he was too thin in a motherly way. Then he had spotted Ginny, sitting at the table over an untouched plate of
Steak Pie. She looked as beautiful as ever, her hair pulled up into a clip, with strands falling down softly, dressed in a plain, grey cardigan and jeans. She had a more tanned look about her than usual, though, Harry had reminded himself, she was playing professional Quidditch now; she must have been outside all the time these days. It wasn’t that Harry hadn’t seen Ginny in the near three months that they had been broken-up, Ron and Hermione had made sure that he was still fully involved in all Weasley family proceedings, but whenever he and Ginny
had come into contact, they had politely smiled and said ‘Hello’ and then quickly went to talk to someone else. This evening was no exception, their eyes met and they greeted each other civilly, and then looked down again quickly. They were joined for dinner by Bill and Fleur, and Charlie, who was currently home from Romania and staying at The Burrow, though sadly not Ron and Hermione, who were going out for dinner. Mrs Weasley made a delicious dinner as always, and they then proceeded to the lounge. Harry noted the large, colourful Christmas tree in
the corner; it hadn’t been there the last time he had been there. He was reminded of one Christmas he had spent at the Burrow, where they had Stunned a gnome and dressed it as a fairy, and put it on the tree. That was only a few months before he had started going out with Ginny... “Harry would you like a Firewhisky?” said Charlie, offering him the glass. Harry nodded and took it, thanking Charlie. He looked up and saw Ginny watching him, though she looked down as soon as their eyes met. After listening to Charlie’s stories about the dragons
for a while, Harry decided it was time to go. As he declared this and stood up to leave, Mrs Weasley stood too. “Harry, I just wanted to make sure you’ll be joining us next week. For Christmas lunch?” she asked, her eyebrows raised. “Oh, right,” he muttered. To be honest, he hadn’t really given it much thought. Of course the idea of Christmas at The Burrow was far more appealing than that of Christmas alone at his flat. But at the same time, he didn’t want to ruin Ginny’s Christmas by turning up and making things awkward for her.
“Well,” he looked at Ginny, “It’s up to you,” he said, “I’ll understand if you don’t want me here.” She stared back at him, and he could tell they were both thinking the same thing. This was the first time either of them had actually acknowledged their split, or even the fact that they used to be involved. “Of course I don’t mind,” she said in a dead sort of voice. “You should come; you’re always here for Christmas.” “Thanks,” he said, his eyes flashing away from her and back to Mrs Weasley.
“I guess I’ll be there,” he said, forcing a smile. Mrs Weasley was staring from Harry and Ginny then back again, looking saddened by their interaction. “Lovely, dear, we’ll see you then.” She said, finally. Harry bade farewell to the others and disapparated on the spot, appearing in his lonely, quiet flat, where every room held memories of the woman he was still madly in love with. CHAPTER 16 “More stuffing, Harry?” Hermione
passed the bowl to her friend, eyeing
him closely. She sat across from him at the crowded, noisy table. It was Christmas Day and they were all currently working their way through their main course of Christmas Lunch. Everyone was there, the whole family; Molly and Arthur, happy to see the house full again, Bill and Fleur, with little Victoire enjoying her first Christmas, Charlie, George, who had been in good spirits, despite missing Fred a lot today, and Percy, with his new girlfriend, Audrey. And then there was Harry and Ginny. Sitting at opposite ends of the table, staring gloomily at their plates. Hermione supposed she should be happy Harry was
even here at all, but they were putting a dampener on her first Christmas as a Weasley. Noting that everyone had about finished, Hermione jumped up to help Mrs Weasley start clearing plates. She made her way down her side of the table, kissing Ron on the cheek quickly as she took his. She and Mrs Weasley were soon joined in the kitchen by Ginny. She might have been in low spirits, but the youngest Weasley was still looking as glamorous as ever, dressed in a silky green blouse and smart black trousers, her hair in cascading curls.
“Hi,” Hermione said, smiling at her friend. “How are you doing?” she asked, as Mrs Weasley bustled out, her wand aloft, five plates floating in front of her. “Fine,” muttered Ginny, smiling. “Honestly, fine,” she said again. “It must be hard for you though.” Mused Hermione. “Both of you.” She added. “He asked me you know. If I minded him coming.” Hermione stared at her. “Seriously?
That’s so…that’s so thoughtful of him, Ginny.” She looked her friend in the eyes. “Ginny-” “Hermione don’t” Ginny muttered, turning away from her. “Why not?” demanded Hermione. “Ginny, he still loves you. And I know you still love him! You belong together.” She said, more softly. “Hermione, please,” said Ginny, her eyes filling with tears. “If I talk about this…I might just find that I’ve made the biggest mistake of my life.”
Hermione took her hand. “It’s not too late to change your mind.” “Hermione,” said a voice, sharply. They looked round to see Ron standing in the doorway, his eyes narrowed in suspicion. “Mum said can you bring in more cutlery.” “Of course I can.” She muttered, dropping Ginny’s hand. Ron followed her out and stopped her marching back into the dining room. He linked arms with her and steered her upstairs. She found herself being led into Ron’s old bedroom.
She sat on his bed and folded her arms. “Well?” “You know what I’m going to say.” He muttered. “I don’t think you should be interfering in their relationship.” She rolled her eyes and got back up, closing the distance between them. “If it gets them back together, it’ll be worth it.” She said, wrapping her arms around his waist. Ron sighed; a slight smile playing around his lips. “Are you not content with your own love-life being bloody
perfect? You’ve got to try and play match-maker with everyone else too?” Hermione laughed, and felt Ron’s own laugh reverberate through his chest. “Yeah, that’s it.” “You know, interrogating you isn’t the only reason I brought you up here.” He said, grinning at her. “I have something for you.” Hermione raised her eyebrows and he laughed. “What I mean is…” he pulled a long, red, silk box out of his pocket. “I know we said we weren’t buying each other presents, but…”
“Ronald! We have just bought a house! We have a mortgage to pay off! We shouldn’t be wasting money” Hermione argued, but she eyed the box nonetheless. “It’s only a waste of money if you don’t like it,” muttered Ron. He handed it to her before she could argue again. “Merry Christmas, Hermione.” She took it, smiling slightly at him. “Thank you,” she said, politely. She ran her hand across the smooth, silk box and pried it open. There was a delicate, silver necklace, with a heart
shaped locket on the end. She looked at it closer, there was something written on it. Inscribed on the outer silver of the locket was: 16.09.00 “The day we married,” said Hermione quietly. She prised the locket open and there was a tiny picture of her and Ron at the wedding. They both waved at her excitedly, and then kissed each other passionately, grinning and waving again. Hermione looked up at Ron, smiling widely. She wiped a tear from her eye. “When did you get so damn sentimental Ron Weasley?” she asked, shaking her head. She kissed him before he could
answer her. She trailed kisses along his jaw, and down his neck, and then kissed her way back up to his lips. When her eyes met his, they were blazing blue, a fervent passion shining in them. He pulled her close and pressed his lips against her neck just under her ear, making her squirm in pleasure. “Promise me we won’t ever turn into one of those boring married couples.” He muttered against her skin, kissing her again, caressing her skin hungrily. “Never” she muttered, pulling him
closer into the crook of her neck, loving the feel of his lips on her skin. She tangled her fingers in his hair and pulled his head back to hers, crashing her lips to his. “Hmm,” she sighed, pulling away from him. “We should go back downstairs.” Ron nodded, but instead of letting her go, kissed her again, grinning slightly. “Ron,” she laughed. She patted him playfully on the arm and he laughed once more, pulling his lips from hers. She wrapped her arms around him, hugging her body to his closely. “Merry Christmas. I’m glad I married you.”
Ron smiled at her. “Me too. You know, it just occurred to me, have you any idea how many times I dreamt about kissing you the way we just did in this room while we were still at Hogwarts?” Hermione laughed. “Give me some credit, Ron. Yes, I knew. I always knew, deep down.” “Cocky today, aren’t we?” he teased. “Well,” he said, slinging an arm round her shoulders, “if you were so sure, why didn’t you make a move?” “I don’t know. I suppose I was scared.
I didn’t want to lose my friendship with you.” She muttered, kissing him on the cheek. “Fair enough,” he smiled. “I was the same, in a way. Not wanting to lose you as a friend, I mean.” Hermione laughed. “Yeah right. More like you didn’t realise how you felt about me!” Ron looked at her intensely. He leaned close into her, and whispered in her ear, seductively. “Hermione, from the minute I met you, I knew exactly how I felt about you.” He kissed her
delicately on the neck, and she felt herself go slightly dizzy with desire for her husband. “Okay,” she muttered, breathlessly. “If you don’t go downstairs now, we never will.” He nodded and took her hand. They really had come a long way, when she thought about it, but some things hadn’t really ever changed since their days at Hogwarts. * “CRACKERS!” They all looked round to see where the
source of the little shout had come from, only find the round, smiling face of a happy looking Victoire sitting on her mother’s lap. The baby girl had only progressed to words such as “Mummy” and “Daddy”, so this exclamation had come as quite a surprise. “What did you say, princess?” said Bill, staring at her. He crossed the room and knelt down at Fleur’s lap, where Victoire sat proudly. “Say it again, for Daddy.” “Crackers!” she grinned, pointing at the gold, sparkly cracker Ron was
currently about to pull with George. “Yes, baby girl!” cried Fleur, cradling her daughter to her. Victoire clapped her chubby little hands together excitedly, dimples filling her rosy cheeks. Bill laughed loudly and planted a kiss on Victoire’s head, while the rest all laughed and returned to their festive celebrations. All of this, Hermione watched from the nearest squashy couch, grinning in spite of herself. The beautiful exchange between the happy little family was something she looked forward to one day in the near future with Ron.
Though Mrs Weasley’s talk of grandchildren had scared her at first, now she embraced the thought of children with excitement, but she didn’t want to frighten Ron, or push him into anything. Still, when she watched little Victoire being doted on by her loving parents… She managed to tear her eyes away from the happy little girl, and the next sight that met het eyes could have made her weep. Her best friend, staring into the fire, his face drawn and pale. “Harry,” she called over to him, and he looked up. “Let’s go for a walk.”
Harry laughed. “Hermione, it’s freezing. It’s been snowing all day.” “So wear a coat,” she muttered, putting her drink aside and getting up. She went to the kitchen and pulled Ron’s black coat on over her plumcoloured chiffon dress. She noted the snow out of the window, it was really quite deep. She kicked her heels aside and slipped her feet into a pair of pink wellington boots belonging to Ginny instead. Harry joined her in the kitchen, and
shrugged as if to say he thought she was mental, but if she wanted to go for a walk, then he would go with her. “Nice outfit,” he smirked. “Thanks,” she laughed. They stepped out the back door of The Burrow into the snow-covered orchard they had spent so many holidays in. They walked in silence for a while, until they were a bit away from the house. “You may recall a similar Christmas to this one, some, oh I don’t know, two or three years ago.” Said Hermione softly.
“We were both there, as was the snow, but there wasn’t much else.” Harry grinned. “It does ring a bell, yeah.” Hermione smiled at him. “It feels like a lifetime ago, doesn’t it?” He shook his head. “You have no idea. I thought I was a dead man” he muttered, his eyes lost in this other, foreign time of his life. “Come to speak of it, I thought your days were numbered too.” Hermione nodded. “The thing is, that Christmas, as we visited your parents,
and saw your old house-” “And got attacked by Voldemort,” interrupted Harry, grinning again. “And got attacked by Voldemort – the thing is I promised myself that if I lived through it, I would never spend Christmas without Ron again.” She looked up into her best friend’s captivating green eyes. “And I’m sure you were thinking something pretty similar about Ginny.” Unlike Ginny, Harry didn’t look away, he didn’t protest, he didn’t ask her to leave it. He held her gaze and he
nodded. “Harry, back then, during the hunt for the Horcruxes, you fought for the wizarding world.” She grabbed his hands tightly. “Surely you can muster the courage to fight for her. Fight for her Harry.” Harry looked at her with tired eyes. “She’s had enough Hermione, she doesn’t want me.” “She does, Harry. She loves you!” Hermione said fiercely. “Now I did not risk my life fighting alongside you, for you to just become this…this shell
of a man! I mean it, Harry. Fight for her.” She placed a kiss on his cheek and whispered Merry Christmas in his ear, and left him without another word. She made her decision as she trekked through the snow back to The Burrow. She wouldn’t spend anymore time worrying over them. She had done all she could, if this didn’t get through to Harry, nothing would. She wasn’t going to interfere in their relationship anymore. She had done all she could. And it was with a huge wave of relief that she realised just how
lucky she was, as her husband stood in the door way, clearing a path through the snow for her with his wand, a cup of hot tea held in his hand, and a smile on his face. * Ginny finally climbed the stairs of The Burrow up to her bedroom at three in the morning, when all of the drunken Weasleys had either gone home or gone to bed somewhere in The Burrow. She yawned tiredly as she entered her room and crossed to her bed. She lifted the pillow to retrieve her pyjamas and saw a messily wrapped gift lying there on
the mattress. She noted the scissors and sellotape on her bedside cabinet, and lifted the present curiously. She ripped it open and found two items. The first was a little red, Harpies teddy bear, which made her smile. The other was a small, silver photo frame, in which there was a smiling photo of herself and Harry, taken at Harry’s birthday party. They waved at the camera, grinning happily. Ginny saw a small, white card amongst the wrapping paper. It simply read:
Don’t say there’s nothing
left to fight for, Ginny. Merry Christmas, Harry
Ginny hadn’t been aware that her eyes had filled with tears. But unlike the tears she had shed for so many weeks now, months actually, these were tears of joy. For the first time in three months, she felt hope. CHAPTER 17 “Potter, you’ve got a visitor” Harry
leaned back in his chair to see Chalmers standing next to…it looked like Ginny. Harry stood up immediately, he straightened his tie and tried to flatten his hair and then strode out, trying to look casual. Ginny looked devastatingly beautiful, dressed simply in jeans and a Harpies sweatshirt, her hair loose and flowing, her eyes bright. She smiled serenely at him. “Ginny,” he said, once Chalmers had left. “What brings you to my office?” “I wanted to thank you for the Christmas gift,” she said, grinning.
Harry laughed. “You do realise that Christmas was nearly two months ago?” Ginny laughed too. “Well I’ve been busy. I suppose I should wish you a Happy New Year.” Harry nodded, “The same to you too. 2001, I swear I have no idea where the time has gone!” “I know,” she agreed. “What did you do at New Years’?” “Oh there was this office party thing I went to. I wasn’t really up to much. Did you go out with the Harpies?”
She nodded, rolling her eyes darkly. “I’m still recovering. Merlin those girls know how to drink.” Harry laughed. This was easy, it wasn’t forced or awkward, it was just easy, the way it used to be. Ginny stepped round him and went into his part of the office. She sat in the seat in front of his desk and smiled up at him. He laughed in an exasperated sort of way and went and sat across from her, pushing the pile of messy papers to one side. Ginny raised her eyebrows.
“What? Trying to give me the impression you’re tidy?” She laughed again. “Anyway Harry…” She leaned forward and clasped her hands together on the desk. “Here’s the thing, it’s been what, like four months?” “Four months, three weeks and five days.” Said Harry quietly. He saw it in her eyes; she knew exactly how long it had been since… “Well yes. And I just – Harry I miss you.” She reached across the desk to take his hand in hers.
Was it real? Was it another dream? Was he about to wake up and realise that she still didn’t want him? “But,” she added. Harry grinned in spite of himself. “Of course there’s a but.” She laughed. “Yes. I’ve been thinking a lot lately-” “Never a good sign” muttered Harry. “Harry!” she giggled. “Listen to me! Look I have a plan, okay? I think the problem before was that everything
became so serious, don’t get me wrong, I love you a lot, but I just think we put too much pressure on our relationship…basically it didn’t have a hope in hell!” Harry laughed. “I know what you mean. These last few months have been awful for me Ginny, but they have made me realise that there are other important things in life.” “My point exactly! So, what I propose is this: we try being friends first, remind ourselves why we got together in the first place, then…” she shrugged. “We can just see how things go from
there. That’s my offer Potter, take it or leave it.” Harry studied her closely. “I don’t think I need any reminding of why I got together with you, but okay, I’ll do it. Friends it is.” He extended his hand to her and she shook it, smiling brightly at him. “I think this will be good for us,” she said. “Don’t forget Harry, we’re only young, we should be having fun, just because our equally young best friends are already married…well it doesn’t mean we have to do the whole undying, eternal love thing just yet” She winked
at him and got up, as did he. “Okay friend, I would like to invite you to the Burrow tomorrow for lunch. As a friend, of course.” “Well, I’d be happy to come, as a friend of course.” Said Harry, he grinned, he was enjoying the playfulness of this conversation. “Fantastic, see you later friend” she smiled, and without another word, dissaparated, waving the second before disappearing from his office. She was right really, Harry thought, as he sat back down to a pile of work. He
didn’t have any doubts about the way he felt about her, and he was sure he wanted to marry her someday. But Ginny was right; he was only twenty years old, what was the rush? * “Are you sure?” said Ginny desperately, while Hermione paced up and down the kitchen floor. “No Ginny, I’m not sure. If I was sure I would have said ‘Ginny I’m pregnant’ – not ‘Ginny I think I might be pregnant’ – I don’t know!”
“Okay!” said Ginny, holding her hands up in peace. Hermione sat down next to her friend. “Oh I’m sorry Ginny.” And she really was. She didn’t mean to be rude to her friend, but it had just all hit her so suddenly. The sudden realisation of what could be. “Well, you have to take a test,” said Ginny logically. “You need to know one way or another.” Hermione nodded. “I know, you’re right. But I’m really scared.” She whispered.
Ginny covered her hand with her own and looked into Hermione’s eyes. “Why?” Hermione sighed. “I am in no way prepared to be a parent. Not financially, not emotionally, especially not on a maturity level! Ginny I’m only 21, that is not old enough to be a mother!” “It’s clearly old enough to be married” said Ginny, fairly. Hermione rubbed her forehead tiredly. “I suppose when I got engaged at 19 and married at 20, I just didn’t see myself continuing that pattern of a fast-
forwarded life. And what about Ron?” Ginny looked away. “Exactly” said Hermione. “You know what he’ll be like. I mean, I love him, and he has grown more than anyone I have ever seen, but he is still only a young man…not a father.” “I don’t know what he is Hermione,” said Ginny, getting up. “But what I do know is that he’ll be home in about five minutes.” Hermione stood up too. “Look,” said Ginny, putting an arm round her friend. “You know I’m here for you, but I’m not the one you need to have this conversation with.” She
rummaged about in her bag for a second and then produced a rectangular box. “It’s a pregnancy test,” she said, handing it to her. “I assumed you’d want to do this the muggle way” “Thanks,” muttered Hermione, handing her friend a handful of Floo Powder. “Oh and Ginny – I’m glad you and Harry are “friends” again” Ginny stuck her tongue out at her and mouthed good luck before stepping into the fire. “Your wait is over my darling wife, I have returned!” he called from the
hallway. She hastily put the pregnancy test in the drawer – as much as she was dreading it, she would rather tell him of her suspicions herself than have him walk in and see that. “Hi,” she breathed as he came into the kitchen. She went to him and buried her face in his chest, wrapping her arms tightly around his waist, wishing she could stay that way. “Hi to you too.” He laughed. “Are you okay?” She sighed, knowing she couldn’t put it off. She led him to a chair at their
kitchen table; he sat down and she sat opposite him. “Ron, I love you.” “I love you too.” He said automatically, taking her hand. “What is it?” “I don’t want you to worry yet, because nothing’s certain.” She whispered, not looking at him. He raised his hand to her cheek and gently lifted her face up so she was looking at him again. His eyes saved him from asking what she was talking about.
“There’s a chance…I think…perhaps…I might be pregnant.” He stared at her motionless for a few seconds, and then his face broke into a wide, crooked smile. She frowned at him. “You’re not angry? Scared? Upset?” He frowned back. “Why would I be?” She shook her head, still looking at him in disbelief. “Okay,” she said and got up, smiling slightly. “I need to take a test” He nodded, getting up too. “Okay” he caught her in a hug. “I love you.” He
muttered in her ear. She kissed him lightly on the lips, again avoiding his eyes, though she wasn’t quite sure why. * “How much longer?” she asked, drumming her fingers nervously on the table. Ron looked at his watch. “Five minutes,” he answered. “Okay, we should talk about this.” She said, her breathing faster than normal. Ron nodded in agreement. “I think it
could be great. I’m scared, but in a good way, I think.” “But Ron…we’re not ready.” She whispered. “We’re so young.” “We’ve come through a lot more at just 21 than most people do in a lifetime. What makes us any less prepared than a married couple in their thirties?” Hermione sighed heavily. “Well, firstly there’s money-” Ron laughed. “Hermione, you know as well as I do that we are doing very well financially, and it’s only going
to get better.” “Okay, well there are other things…” “Like what?” said Ron. He wasn’t getting it. Did he really think this would work out fine? “Ron, do you think we’re mature enough to have a baby? I mean can you really see us as parents?” He laughed again. “Hermione you’re the most mature person I know, you’d be a great Mum.” She looked down at the table again, and
she felt his eyes burning into her, and then heard his sharp intake of breath. “That’s what it is, isn’t it?” he said in a low voice. “It’s not you you’re worried about, it’s me. You don’t think I can be a good parent.” “I never said that.” She argued. “This isn’t just about you, it’s both of us.” “You were never much of a liar Hermione. You know, I really thought you knew me better than this, to think of me as the same immature schoolboy you used to know.”
“Ron that’s not fair!” “No Hermione I’ll tell you what’s not fair – you marrying me when you clearly have no faith in me as a husband!” He looked angry now. “Ron!” she cried, her eyes filling with tears. “I do have faith in you! You know I do! I just don’t think we’re ready for this. Either of us!” He stared down, and Hermione realised he was looking at the pregnancy test. “Well,” he said in a low voice. “you won’t need to worry, it’s negative. Congratulations, Hermione, you’re not
pregnant, you must be so relieved.” * A few days after they had married, they had promised each other that they would never storm out on each other. If there was a problem, they would talk about it. That’s probably the one thing that had kept him walking out on his wife in that moment of anger. They stayed up talking all night, it was now four o’clock, they were still sitting in the kitchen, hands wrapped around a cup of tea, both with wide, tired eyes. Ron rubbed at the stubble on his jaw
and looked up at his wife. Her eyes were swollen from her tears. “I suppose the real issue has nothing to do with you Ron,” she was saying. “It’s me, really. I’m so used to doing things perfectly, and in that instance when I thought I was pregnant, I realised I didn’t want us to be parents until I was absolutely sure that we could do that perfectly as well.” Ron nodded, yawning. “I understand that. Truth is, it’s always been a part of your personality, Hermione, this need to prove yourself.”
She smiled ever so slightly. “And…and would it be really selfish to say that I just wanted a few more years of this newlywed bliss we’ve been living?” Ron grinned. “Of course not. Look, we’ve done everything so quickly, I never thought I’d be married at such a young age, but I didn’t want to wait, you know? I just love you so damn much Granger!” he laughed. “Weasley,” she corrected. She took his hand and stroked it gently, smiling through her tiredness. Ron laughed. “Can you imagine you had
been pregnant? My mum would have had a field day!” “We will be one day” she said, softly. “I really want kids with you, and I think if I had been pregnant, I would have been really happy, I just…freaked out a bit.” “You don’t say,” muttered Ron. “I think it’s supposed to be the other way around you know. Normally the husband is supposed to lose it when there’s talk of pregnancy.” She laughed. “Ron, what you said before…you know I don’t see you as
immature. Most of the time. I honestly believe that I have seen into your soul, Ron Weasley, you are a good, honest, loving man, and I am honoured to be your wife. And I will be honoured someday to be the mother of your child.” Ron closed his eyes and pressed his lips to hers softly. “The feeling’s mutual” he muttered, grinning. “I love you too much, Hermione Weasley.” CHAPTER 18 Ginny, I’m getting married! Rolf proposed can
you believe it? You’ll be my maid of honour of course, who better than my best friend? We hope to marry in August, before the Wrackspurts come out! Must go, I have to tell Daddy, he’ll be so excited! With love, Luna Ginny smiled at her friend’s words, she felt happy for her, though perhaps a little jealous…when would it be her turn? She sighed and scribbled her congratulations for the return owl, then went back to the mirror. She wrinkled her nose in distaste – she still didn’t look right. She pulled the
casual sweater over her head and tried a plain white tee-shirt; she studied herself for a second then paired it with a green, hooded cardigan. Better, she thought. She pulled on her boots, grabbed her bag and went downstairs. “Soup, Ginny?” said her Mum as she entered the kitchen. “No thanks Mum, I’m going for lunch, remember?” Her Mum’s face lit up. “Of course! Are you excited?” Ginny rolled her eyes. “How many times
Mum, it’s just a casual, friend thing, much the same as I’d do with Hermione or Luna or the girls from work.” “Mhmm, except you’re not in love with any of them” smiled her Mum. “Try to convince yourself all you want, sweetheart, but you and Harry will never be just friends” Ginny laughed. “Whatever.” Her Mum never got this sort of thing. “Speaking of Luna, she just owled me, she’s getting married!” “Oh, how lovely!”
“I know, she wants me as maid of honour as well!” she checked her watch. “I’ve got to go, Mum, I’ll see you later.” “Don’t hurry back” laughed her Mum. Ginny met her Dad coming through the door as she was leaving. “Oh, you’re going out, of course!” he said, cheerfully. “Have fun with your ‘friend’!” He made those little air quotes with his fingers when he said the word “friend”. Where did he even learn that? She sighed, Ron was probably to blame. *
“I can’t believe you’re doing this to me!” he muttered, looking around him frantically. Hermione laughed in exasperation. “What! I’ll leave before she even realises I was here! Calm down!” “I can’t calm down!” “Uh, Harry you’re such a big baby!” Hermione said, sipping her coffee with a smirk on her face. “I should never have asked you to come here with me” Harry muttered under his
breath. He was meeting Ginny at the quiet little café for lunch, and he had (foolishly) asked Hermione to come with him early and help him get over his nerves, but she was refusing to leave, she claimed to be so excited that the two of them were “back on track” that she said she had to get a look at it herself. And, yep, now she was laughing again. “What now?” “I was just wondering…do you think Ginny will get the wrong idea about you making arrangements with me the same way Cho Chang did in fifth year?”
“Haha,” he said sarcastically. “Very funny.” “I thought so” she laughed. “You know, for a best friend, you really are quite nasty to me!” he protested, rolling his eyes at her. “Oh come on, you know fine well that if it wasn’t for me and my meddling you wouldn’t even be here today!” “True,” he said fairly. “But now I need you to go.”
“Uh, fine!” she said, grinning. She drained the last of her coffee and got up. “Wait, Hermione, wait!” he said suddenly. “What?” she said in an exasperated voice. “H-how do I look?” he said in a small voice. She laughed out loud. “Like my best friend who I could never look at in that way” she said, raising her eyebrows.
“Hermione!” “Okay, you look good Harry. Seriously, stop worrying, it’ll be fine!” “Thanks,” he muttered. “I know it will be, and thanks for coming, too. Okay, you can leave now.” “Oh thanks!” she said, laughing, and disappeared with a loud crack. “Bloody married people,” he muttered to himself. “Think they know everything.” “That’s the first sign of madness you
know, talking to yourself.” He looked up and it was her, she was there, standing at the table, smirking at him. “Yeah, well,” he said hastily. “Anyway, how are you?” he said, motioning for her to sit down. Merlin she looked good. He was probably staring, he tried to look down at the menu, but that must have looked even worse. He took a deep breath and tried to calm down, he felt like an awkward teenager on his first date. “Honestly?” she said, sitting down. “I’ve been a bit of a wreck. Nervous.”
“Really?” he asked, relieved. “Me too. I – well to tell you the truth I thought I was being a bit of an idiot.” Ginny laughed. “My Mum and Dad were making fun of me. They laughed at me when I said we were friends.” Harry nodded. “So did Ron and Hermione. They were all you two will never be just friends – married people! And then I asked Hermione to come with me early, to help me calm down, and she just kept making fun of me.” Ginny was properly laughing now. “Maybe we need to show them all who they’re
messing with.” “Absolutely,” agreed Harry. He tried not to smile too much. It was going well. * “So, how are things? How’s Quidditch going?” Ginny’s face lit up. “Harry it’s amazing! I never thought I would get the chance to play professionally, it’s a dream come true!” she gushed. “Good,” he said, smiling. “I tell you,
Ron and you really do make me miss it, there’s nothing like it,” “Apart from arresting evil wizards of course,” laughed Ginny. “Of course” he said, laughing too. They were strolling along Diagon Alley at ease, having left the café about half an hour earlier. “Did you hear from Luna?” he said, remembering the letter he had received this morning. Ginny grinned. “It’s great, isn’t it?”
Harry nodded. “I’m really happy for her, I just hope this Rolf guy believes in all the stuff Luna does.” “Oh he does, she met him while they were both searching for the CrumpleHorned Snorkack!” Harry laughed. “Sounds about right. So are you going to be bridesmaid?” “Uh, maid of honour thank you very much!” she laughed. “Cool,” he said. “Though, I have to say I always sort of thought Luna would end
up with Neville…” “No way! They were just friends” “People said that about Ron and Hermione” he pointed out. “No Harry, people said that about you and Hermione.” Ginny giggled. “They never said it about Ron and Hermione. Anyways, didn’t you hear? Neville’s going out with Hannah Abbot.” Harry gaped. “Seriously?” She nodded. “Didn’t see that one coming” he muttered. He sighed. “I feel as though I’ve totally lost touch with everyone,”
Ginny looked thoughtful. “I know. Maybe you should do something about it” Harry looked at her, confused. “Think about it, the last time everyone was together was Ron and Hermione’s wedding, and that was way back in September! Maybe you should have a little…reunion.” She suggested, looking hopeful. “A reunion? And also, why me?” “To reunite everyone! And because you have your own flat.”
“Ron and Hermione have a house!” he argued, laughing. “Well okay, they can host it; we can have it next month, that gives us enough time to plan!” Harry shook his head, deciding not to reply. She could have this conversation with Hermione. “Well well, two for the price of one, it seems” said a low, cold voice from behind them. Harry and Ginny whipped round and found themselves face to face with no less
than, Harry counted, five hooded figures. Death Eaters, he realised. His heart sped up. “Didn’t take our warning to the newlyweds too heart, eh Potter?” Harry took a step back, pulling Ginny with him. They had them backed into a side-street, and all five had their wands pointed at him. He took a deep breath and let himself slip into Auror mode. Acting instantly, he drew his wand and threw up a shield charm around himself and Ginny. “Run” he muttered under his breath, not looking at her. “No chance” he heard her whisper at his
side. “Not really, no.” he called to the one in the middle who had spoken. “The threats tend to get a bit old after you’ve killed the only one of you lot worth fearing” Ginny laughed. The death eater bowed his head to Harry. “Well done, Mr Potter. Thing is, that was when we were only allowed to capture you. Now, we have only one plan; kill you.” Harry rolled his eyes. “I might be able
to take you a little more seriously if you were man enough to show your face.” “As you wish” he said. His hand rose to his head and he pulled the black hood down. Harry took a sharp breath. He recognised the man in front of him. He had faced him about ten times. He was looking at a tired, cruel, lifeless face. A face which had the same look as his godfather’s; the look of someone who had spent the majority of their life in Azkaban. He was looking at the face of Rodolphus Lestrange. “Lestrange” said Harry, emotionlessly.
“What you have to realise, is that I have no interest in the ambitions of the deceased Dark Lord. I only want one thing; to avenge the death of my wife. Starting with you.” Harry was done talking. He narrowed his eyes and tried to put all of his concentration into the two words in his head. Expecto Patronum he thought. “Urgent Auror attention needed. Death Eater attack, Diagon Alley.” In that instant a huge silver stag burst from his wand, and then a lot of things happened at once. Lestrange yelled “Stupefy!” and a jet
of red sparks shot out of his wand, straight at Harry. Ginny jumped in front of him and deflected the curse. Before he could pull her aside, they were duelling. Barely thinking, Harry threw two Stunners over their heads at the two Death Eaters nearest the back of the group, then sped towards the other two, still wearing hoods. “Expelliarmus!” he yelled, disarming the big Death Eater. He caught his wand and pointed his own at the now unarmed man. “Petrificus Totalus” he muttered, and he went rigid and fell to the floor. Harry suddenly felt a hot, burning across his cheek. In the moment
it had taken him to deal with the larger man, the other had cursed him with a large gash along his cheek. “Levicorpus!” he shouted, angrily, and the masked fighter flew into the air, groaning in frustration, held up by his ankles. Harry shot round to where Ginny and Lestrange were still duelling furiously. “Cru-” called Lestrange. Harry shot a Stunning Spell at his back before he could finish the Unforgivable Curse, and he fell to the floor just as four
Aurors apparated into the side street. Harry let out a deep breath and laughed exasperatedly. “Perfect timing,” he muttered, as his team mates began identifying the Death Eaters. Harry didn’t bother looking, he wasn’t interested. He rushed towards Ginny. “Are you okay?” he said, urgently. She sighed, rolling her eyes. “I’m fine.” She said, putting her hand on his shoulder. “Ouch, your cheek is really bad, is that okay?”
Harry nodded. “I’ll be fine.” He laughed again. “Some first date, eh?” Ginny raised her eyebrows. “It’s not a date Harry. We’re just friends.” Harry grinned. “Whatever Ginny.” And then he did the one thing he’d been dreaming of doing for months now. He kissed her. * “Harry! Hi, mate, come on in!” said Ron, at the sight of his best friend in the doorway. It was nine pm, but he and Hermione were just sitting down to
dinner, as he had been training late. Harry followed him into the kitchen, where Hermione was sitting over a plate of pasta, looking up expectantly. “It’s Harry” he said, sitting back down. Harry came in and looked awkward. “Sorry, I didn’t realise you would be eating, I can go.” He muttered. Ron laughed. “Don’t be stupid.” “Yeah, Harry, sit down.” Said Hermione, pulling a chair out for him. “Have some dinner” She took her wand from the unit behind her and called Accio and an
extra plate of food zoomed over to the table in front of him. “So, what brings you here?” said Ron. Harry shrugged. “I just got out of the office, I’ve been giving a statement all this time.” They both looked at him confused. “Ginny and I got a little visit from your honeymoon Death Eater” he elaborated. “What?” said Hermione, her mouth hanging open. “It was Rodolphus Lestrange. He wanted revenge for Bellatrix, so he tried to
take me out, along with four friends.” “Wait a minute,” said Ron. “Are you saying you took out five Death Eaters single-handedly?!” “Four,” he grinned. “Ginny took care of Lestrange.” “Well, even four Harry. That’s…very impressive” muttered Hermione. Harry shrugged. “That’s my job, Hermione. Anyway, I was on my way home and just thought I’d stop by” “Well, we’re glad you did.” Said Ron.
“Okay, so apart from the fight, how did it go with Ginny?” said Hermione, looking excited. Harry smiled. “It was good, thanks. You know, we’re friends.” Ron got the distinct impression Harry wasn’t being totally honest about something, but didn’t press it, his friend looked happy, and that was all that mattered. “I’ve got to tell you though, today, it sent me right back to the Horcrux hunt, all those times we faced Death Eaters, Merlin it feels like a long time ago” he mused.
“Nearly three years,” said Hermione, looking thoughtful. Ron looked at them both and grinned. “I never thought back then that we’d be sitting here together, years later, happy and safe.” He reached for Hermione’s hand. Harry nodded. “We did it guys” he said, raising his glass. Ron and Hermione followed the motion. “To us” said Hermione, her eyes brimming with tears.
Ron caught Harry’s eyes and they both rolled their eyes. “To us” they all chorused and clinked their glasses together. “By the way, I had a favour to ask you. Ginny had the idea to have a little get together for everyone from school, and I thought maybe we could have it here…? ” Ron looked at Hermione, it was up to her. She looked back at him for a moment. Then; “Why not? That sounds nice; it’ll be good to see everyone again” Harry smiled at her. “But I don’t want anyone touching my books!”
she added. Ron and Harry laughed, and even she giggled slightly. It was amazing how so much had changed, and yet in that moment with Harry and Hermione, he could have been 12 years old again, sitting by the fire in the Gryffindor Common Room. CHAPTER 19 “It really won’t take that long,” Ron murmured huskily in his wife’s ear, unbuttoning the buttons of her blouse. “You only need to get a few things” Hermione shuddered and nodded; she
threw her bag aside and locked lips with him. Ron grinned into the kiss, knowing she would moan at him later for coercing her when she had a party to shop for. A party which started in eight hours. And sure enough; “Ron!” she said, smacking his arm some twenty minutes later, as they lay bareskinned and breathless on their bedroom floor; they hadn’t made it to the bed. “You know I have to meet Ginny!” Ron sniggered. “It’s not my fault if I’m irresistible.” He shrugged, stroking her back. He leaned in and kissed his way along her shoulder and
down her spine. She laughed softly and wriggled away from him, and started to get dressed. “Admit it” he grinned at her, watching her change. “No way! I could so resist you!” laughed, pulling the zip up on her skirt and a brush through her hair. “How do I look?” Ron laughed. “Hermione, just ask what you really mean” She sighed. “Do I look like I just had sex with my husband on the bedroom She
floor?” “Yes” he said, winking at her. He dodged as she threw a pillow at him. “Quidditch reflexes” he shrugged. She knelt down next to him on the floor and kissed his bare chest gently. “You know what I’m going to say…” she began. He sighed. “I don’t know. How am I supposed to decide?” Hermione shrugged. “We just have to talk out the advantages and disadvantages. Tell you what, why don’t we meet for dinner once I finish
shopping? We can discuss it all, and then be back in time for the bloody reunion.” He smiled and kissed her cheek. “That sounds good. Thanks” He was about to try to distract her again, after all she was only halfdressed and they were both back on the floor, when the door swung open. “Oh no way!” shouted a disgusted looking Ginny. “Get dressed, you animals!” she shouted, banging the door shut.
Hermione laughed into his shoulder. He groaned. “That’s Harry and Ginny that have walked in on us now!” “It’ll be your Mum next” joked Hermione. “Aw Hermione! That’s not really a visual I want!” She laughed, getting up and finished getting dressed. “It’s the middle of the day!” said Ginny in an exasperated sort of voice as they entered the lounge five minutes later. “Can you not control
yourselves?” “You’re just jealous because you and Harry are taking things slow” joked Ron. Ginny laughed. “I am not jealous. Anyway,” she turned to Hermione. “We have to go” “Talk about changing the subject” sniggered Ron. “Okay, so I’ll meet you around four at the restaurant?” said Hermione. She leaned onto her tiptoes and kissed him softly. He stroked her back and nodded.
“See you” she whispered. “Bye” he said, grinning at her. * “Did I tell you that Lavender owled me? She can come after all.” Said Ginny, as they scanned the selection of crisps at the local supermarket. “Great” said Hermione, a little too cheerily. Ginny smirked at her. “You still not her biggest fan?”
Hermione sighed. “She’s fine. And I know she’s happy with Dean, she’s not after Ron or anything, but that doesn’t mean I like her” she laughed. “How are things with you and Ron anyway?” said Ginny, placing several bottles of alcohol into the trolley. Hermione raised her eyebrows at the amount of drink but said nothing. “Better” she said. “I think the whole pregnancy scare has just taught us to appreciate each other more, and talk about our feelings more.” “Is there are part of you that wishes
you had been pregnant?” said Ginny carefully. Hermione looked thoughtful. “I don’t think so. I know that it’s something we want one day, but we’re in no hurry, and I like it that way. I love Ron, and I love my job, I’m happy with things the way they are just now. And then I keep reminding myself that I’m only 21, it’s still so young!” “I know” said Ginny, nodding. “I mean, don’t you think it’s weird how we’re so young, and yet we already know who we want to spend the rest of our lives with?”
Hermione laughed. “I can see that whole ‘just friends’ thing is working out well between you and Harry!” Ginny went red. “Well, we’re not just friends, no, but we are taking it slow… we’ve only kissed twice, you know on the day we were attacked, and the other night when I went round his place.” “And that’s all that happened?” said Hermione, looking surprised. Ginny rolled her eyes. “We’re not all uncontrollable animals like you and Ron! No, it’s just…I don’t know I’m not
ready for us to be together again until I’m absolutely positive we’re ready.” Hermione grinned. “You sound like me before I married Ron. I bet Harry loves that.” Ginny looked at her darkly. “Oh he does. He’s worse than me. He’s reluctant for us to even kiss; he’s scared we’ll mess things up again! Now I’m alright on the no sex thing, but I’ve got to have some fun – it’s been five months!” Hermione was laughing out loud now. “I think,” she said once she had stopped.
“That he is just trying to do what’s best. He probably doesn’t like it any more than you” “Hmm, maybe so” said Ginny. They checked out and found a secluded corner to shrink the bags so they could easily go into Hermione’s bag. “So what are you doing now?” Hermione looked at her watch. “Well I’m meeting Ron in about an hour, so I’ll probably just go to a few shops for a while, want to come?” “No thanks,” said Ginny, shaking her head. “I’ll just head home. But I’ll
see you tonight at yours…should be eventful!” She hugged her friend and then dissaparated away, appearing a second later at The Burrow. “Mum? Dad?” she shouted as she entered. “It’s me” There was no answer. She shrugged to herself and decided to head upstairs, but was distracted from a noise coming from the lounge. She jumped as she heard it again, it sounded like someone stepping on the creaky floorboard. She grasped her wand tightly and held it ready to defend herself, and slowly walked towards the door. She edged nearer still and, silently as she could, pushed the door
ajar. Her eyes met a tallish figure with his back turned to her. Her heart started to hammer out of her chest, and acting on instinct, she pointed her wand at him and cried “Stupefy!” The figure fell to the floor and she rushed over. She bent down and pulled him onto his back to identify him, only to find it was; “Harry!” she shouted angrily at his motionless face. She pointed her wand at him once more and muttered Rennervate. His eyes flickered opened and he looked up at her, focusing on her own face. His features scrunched up
in confusion. “What the hell?” A peal of innocent laughter came from beside them, and Ginny looked up to see Teddy waddling over to them, pointing at the pair of them sprawled on the floor, clearly highly amused. “Oh!” said Ginny, confused. “What…?” “I thought you might want to help babysit” muttered Harry, getting up and pulling the toddler into his arms. “His Gran’s away for the day”
“Why were you on the floor?” asked Teddy, giggling at Ginny. “We were playing Teddy!” said Ginny, jumping up. “Sorry,” she added, looking at Harry. He shrugged. “I suppose the Auror in me should be proud” She laughed, and reached her arms out towards him. He smiled and passed Teddy to her. “Hey Ted, how you been, little guy?” Teddy frowned. “I’m not little, Aunt
Ginny” he proclaimed, his hair turning red while he spoke. Harry laughed loudly. “Right you are.” She said, offering him her hand to shake. He shook it, grinning widely. “So, since you’re such a big boy, you’ll be able to play big people games, like…beating Uncle Harry at hide-and-seek!” * “Well, that was fun” said Harry, as Andromeda and Teddy flooed home an hour and a half later.
“Definitely” agreed Ginny. Harry yawned. “I just hope you’ll be able to stay awake at the party” she smirked. He grinned at her. “Oh I’m sure you’ll just knock me unconscious again if I look too tired!” She groaned. “Are you ever going to let that go? I thought you were a… intruder.” “An intruder?” laughed Harry, while she shrugged, smiling too. “I actually wanted to talk to you Harry” she said, quietly.
“You’ve been talking to me all afternoon” pointed out Harry, looking confused. “Yes, but…” she paused. “The thing is, I was talking to Hermione earlier and, there was just something she said. You’re not trying to like protect my virtue or anything are you?” Harry laughed. “If so, I’m a bit late. What are you on about, Ginny?” “Well, it’s just, every time I try to kiss you, you pull away!”
“You said you wanted to take things slow…” he began. “I know, and I do!” she looked up at him and grinned. “Just now that slow” He laughed quietly and leaned in towards her. “I’ll keep that in mind” he whispered, kissing her softly. He didn’t pull away this time. * “Bugger” muttered Ron under his breath, checking his watch. He was late for Hermione.
He made sure the front door was locked, then apparated to outside a little florist just beyond the restaurant where they were meeting. He grabbed a bunch of roses from the nearest bucket and paid for them hastily. “Thanks mate” he said, as the man handed him his change. “I’ve got to run” He looked at his watch again; it was only ten past four. He walked hurriedly over to the restaurant just as he spotted her at the other side of the road. She looked concerned; she too was looking at her watch, whilst waiting for the road to clear.
“Hermione!” he shouted across the road. She looked up at him and smiled. He tapped his watch, pretending to look annoyed. She laughed and mouthed sorry at him, and stepped out onto the crossing. For the rest of his life, he would never forget what happened next. The surprised look on her face. Time seemed to slow down as the tyres skidded along the road, brakes screeching in an attempt to stop. Time then came to an abrupt halt, as he saw her, lying motionless on the road. People started to shout, to crowd around her, panicked
voices yelling to phone for an ambulance; their voices brought him back to the present, and then he was running, trying to get to her, pushing past people, demanding they move out of his way, shouting that he was her husband. He reached her, collapsing to his knees by her side. “Hermione” he whispered, stroking her cheek. “Hermione, can you hear me?” He stared down at the stream of blood staining the concrete on which she lay, her pale face, her closed eyes… CHAPTER 20
“I swear to God, they better not be having sex again!” said Ginny angrily, as she searched Ron and Hermione’s empty bedroom. “Where the hell are they?” “Nope, they’re definitely not here” said Harry, joining her. “But people are here! What are we supposed to tell them?” demanded Ginny, looking confused. Harry shrugged. “What’s going on Harry? Where are the happy couple?” said Neville.
Everyone was looking over, clearly looking for an explanation as to why they’d been invited to a party with no host. “Look,” he said to them all. “I don’t know where Ron and Hermione are just… just in the meantime everyone help themselves to a drink!” he said, hastily. Ginny nodded in agreement. “I swear I’m going to kill them” he muttered. There was then a loud crack and he looked up to see Molly appearing in the kitchen. “Mum?” said Ginny at once. “What’s
wrong?” Molly turned to them, and slowly walked towards them. Her face was drained of all colour, her cheeks stained with tears. “H-h” she whispered, shaking. “What is it, Mum?” shouted Ginny, grabbing her Mum’s hands. Molly took a deep breath and wiped her eyes. “Hermione has been in an accident” she whispered. “It’s bad” she said, her expression tragic.
Harry wanted to speak, to find out what had happened, but he couldn’t make a sound. He couldn’t breath, he was falling. He closed his eyes and tried to regain control. “What happened to her?” he finally whispered. Ginny was silent by his side, her face now as white as her mother’s. “A car. She was crossing the road. We need to go to the hospital.” Harry swallowed and nodded. He looked round at the silent, shocked guests. “Everybody has to leave.” He croaked.
Molly offered him her arm and he took it, Ginny clutching the other, and the three of them vanished on the spot. They appeared a second later in a brightly lit, busy hospital emergency room. “They took her to a Muggle hospital” said Mrs Weasley. Ginny gasped. “But she’ll need magic! We use magic to treat wounds!” She cried hysterically. Molly shook her head. “She has Muggle injuries.” She looked towards a row of seats, where Arthur sat, his arm around the most miserable looking man Harry
had ever seen in his life. Harry rushed forward towards him. Arthur got up and offered him his seat beside Ron. Harry sat down beside him and patted Ron on the back. Ginny knelt down at his knees. Ron looked up at them, tears streaming down his face, his eyes wide and fearful. “They phoned an ambulance” he said. “They were all Muggles, and then we came here, and I couldn’t send an owl…” he trailed off in despair. “Ron, you made sure she got to a hospital, she’s in the best place”
cried Ginny. “She could die Ginny” he whispered. “Mr Weasley?” said a voice from above them. All three looked up at once. “I’m Dr Hart; I’ve been treating your wife.” He said, looking serious. “I-is she okay?” said Ron in a small voice. Dr Hart sighed. “Your wife suffered a collapsed lung, and the impact from the crash caused a severe concussion. Right now our priority is to keep her
breathing, but we don’t know when she’ll regain consciousness.” “But she’ll be okay?” said Harry, this time. The doctor looked awkward. “With the extent of the injuries…we’re doing our best. She has several broken ribs and she has broken her right leg. But I’m hopeful she’ll make full progress, depending on whether we can get her breathing herself.” He looked at them sadly. “I’m sorry I can’t tell you anymore. I’ll have a nurse let you know when you can see her.” Ron dropped his head into his hands,
Ginny said something about getting coffee, and Harry sat back against the uncomfortable, plastic chair. “This isn’t right…” muttered Ron. Harry looked at him. “Her being in an accident like this. She’s so powerful, so smart, for something as silly as a car to threaten her life…it’s not right” Harry sighed. “She’ll make it. She has to” * “Okay,” sighed Ginny. “Here goes…” She
pushed the door open. Hermione was lying motionless in bed, hooked up to some sort of breathing machine that was pumping oxygen into her, and a drip to keep her hydrated. Her face was bruised and swollen, yet she still looked at peace. Her leg was being held up in a thick cast. The nurse had come round to tell them that she was stable, but still wasn’t breathing by herself. She was still unconscious, and the doctor was allowing them to see her one at a time. Ginny couldn’t bear the devastated faces of her family, and so she had
volunteered to go first. She sat down beside the bed and took Hermione’s hand. “What are you playing at lady?” she said shakily, wiping away the strands of hair from her friend’s eyes. “Getting us all panicked like this?” She fought back a sob. “You need to get better, Hermione. We can’t live without you, you know? You’re too important to us.” Ginny looked at her lifeless friend, as tears ran down her face. “Who will I talk to about Harry, eh?” she cried.
“You’re always there when I need someone to talk to! When I need advice, or when I want to go shopping! And what about the next pregnancy scare? a team!” “Come on, Hermione” she whispered. “Come back to us. Come back to him.” * “I was so excited when I first met you!” said Arthur, looking at her sadly. “Someone who could tell me all about Muggles!” he said, smiling through his misery. We’re
“I didn’t realise that I was meeting the girl who would make my son happier than I’d ever known him. You’ve made his life complete, Hermione! Come on now, sweetheart. Open your eyes.” * “You mustn’t tell Fleur, but you’re my favourite in-law so far! I know I only have two, but still!” cried Molly, stroking Hermione’s hair. “And you know, even though you have your own parents in Australia, I feel…I feel as though you’re my daughter. I mean, you’re my son’s wife, you’re like a sister to Ginny, and Harry, and you
were always there, growing up.” Molly looked around at all of the lifesupport machines and sighed miserably. “You’ve got to get better, Hermione. Imagine his life without you…it’s unthinkable. Ron just doesn’t work without you!” she choked back a sob. “I’ve already lost a son” she croaked. “I can’t lose a daughter too…and if I lose you, I’ll lose Ron as well. You need to come back to us, Hermione…” * Harry sat down and finally looked at her. It caused him physical pain to see
her like this. He took her hand. “Hi,” he started. “It’s Harry here. I miss you.” He stared at her lifeless face, listening to the steady beep of the machines that were keeping her breathing. “I keep expecting someone to tell me this is a sick joke…it doesn’t seem real. Well, Ron’s a mess, he hasn’t spoken a word in the last hour and a half. Then there’s Ginny, she won’t stop crying over you. Everyone’s here, all the Weasleys, and your Mum and Dad are trying to get a flight back at the moment. I don’t think the ward has ever been so full.”
He stroked her hand gently, trying to stay in control. “Thing is” he said in a low voice. “You and Ron are like two halves of the same whole…if you take one half away, the other can’t survive. Ron won’t be able to cope without you, okay? So you have to wake up. And then there’s me…I know you’re Ron’s wife, but you’re my best friend Hermione, I need you here too.” He took a deep breath. “Okay, here it is, you’re the most intelligent person I’ve ever met in my life. Fact. So, if there’s any part of you in there that is aware of what’s going on, if you can hear me, keep fighting Hermione.
Remember what you told me about Ginny? You told me to fight for her. Well that’s what you have to do, fight. Come on, Hermione, the world isn’t prepared to lose you.” * Ron felt someone’s hand on his shoulder, he looked up. It was Harry, he looked exhausted. “You going to see her now mate?” he said, gravely. His heart started racing, he couldn’t do it; he couldn’t see her like that. If he did, he would totally lose it. Harry seemed to know
what was going through his mind. “She needs you, Ron. Come on.” He nodded. The sight of her took all he had not to run straight back out the door. He felt as though his lungs were being compressed, his oxygen cut off. He grabbed the wall to steady himself and breathed in deeply. After two more of these panic attacks, he managed to sit down. He pressed his lips to her forehead, then her hand. “I don’t know what to say” he whispered. “You’re the one who does the talking in these situations… you keep me sane. But this time you’re
the one who might not wake up...” He didn’t bother wiping away the tears that filled his eyes. He leaned his forehead against her arm, his shoulders heaving. “I love you” he whispered against her skin. “So, if you can hear me, open your eyes honey. Just open your eyes.” He looked up at her, she continued to lie motionless. He took another deep breath. “Okay,” he said, taking her hand. “Just squeeze my fingers. If you can hear me, if you understand, if you know how much I love you…just squeeze my fingers, so I know you’re still in there.”
Nothing. He dropped his head back down to her lifeless body, feeling the despair wash over him. He ran his hands through his hair; trying to figure out what she would do next, say next. He was filled with the chill he associated with Dementors, as his hope slowly slipped away. “I love you” he whispered, feebly. “I love you too…” CHAPTER 21 “Bloody hell!” muttered Hermione, as the vase came crashing to the floor,
shattering into little pieces. She had tried her best to avoid all fragile objects as she made her way to the door, but she was still having difficulty adjusting to the dynamics of having only one leg that worked, with the other motionless in a thick cast crutches, she had learned, did not agree with her. Throw in a fractured wrist, a couple of broken ribs and a pretty banged up face, and there was one highly disgruntled Hermione Weasley. “Harry,” she grumbled, letting her cheery-looking friend in.
“Hi,” he said. “I brought you flowers and grapes.” He held them out to her. “Just…put them on the table” she said, indicating to the dining table filled with a vast pile of untouched grapes and flowers she had not yet found vases for. “Thanks” she added. “No problem,” he said happily. “What happened to your vase?” he asked, repairing it with a flick of his wand. “I knocked it over…” she said, quietly. Harry chuckled. “Well rather it than you. So how’re you feeling?”
Hermione sighed. “I’m fine Harry, you don’t have to check up on me” Harry laughed again. “Even if I didn’t want to, Ron guilt-tripped me into it, he’s really cut up that he had to go back to work and leave you.” Hermione carefully sat down on the sofa. “He shouldn’t worry. I like having time to myself anyway, before he was just tiptoeing around me, like I might break.” “Hermione it’s only been a week and a half” he said, quietly. “You can’t
expect us not to worry. And to be honest, you’ve really not been yourself…” “Well is it any bloody wonder?” she exclaimed in exasperation. “I got hit by a car! And…” “And nearly died” said Harry, finishing for her. “That has an effect on you. Believe me I know” he said. “I just feel so helpless!” she sighed. “And now nobody thinks I can look after myself. How stupid was I, not looking, just stepping out onto the road?”
“You are not stupid” said Harry fiercely. “And you can look after yourself.” Hermione shrugged. “Look, I don’t want to talk about the accident, it’s all anybody talks to me about now. How is it going with Ginny?” She knew he wanted to press the topic of her accident, but she wasn’t having it. She couldn’t bear to even think about it, let alone talk about it, when already, every time she closed her eyes, she could see the car screeching towards her, hear the tyres skid…
“It’s good,” said Harry. She looked at him, confused. “You asked about Ginny” he frowned. She smiled hastily. “Sorry, right yes, so, tell me all about it” He sighed. “We’re taking things slow” She laughed and he stared at her, looking annoyed. “S-sorry” she said, biting her lip. “It’s just; well I had a similar conversation with Ginny.” Harry shrugged. “Why don’t you two just stop taking things slowly? You clearly want
to have sex!” Harry looked uncomfortable. “It’s complicated.” Hermione nodded. “I know it is, but have you ever considered the possibility that it might be just what the two of you need?” He looked unsure, but he was saved answering by the appearance of Ron, stepping out of the fireplace. “How are you?” he said right away, kissing her cheek. “Hey Harry” he said.
“I’m fine” she said, slightly annoyed that the subject had returned to her. “What about your leg? Have you been doing the exercises the doctor showed you? And did you take your potion?” he asked, his voice laced with concern. Hermione sighed in frustration. “Ronald, I am fine! Will you please stop badgering me!” Her husband looked slightly hurt, and Harry uncomfortable. “Come on Hermione, he’s just making sure you’re okay and everything” said Harry fairly.
That was when she lost it. “For the last time, I am okay! I don’t need all of this, all of you checking up on me, like I’m a child!” she shouted. She pulled herself up onto her crutches, breathing quickly, furious at the pair of them. She pushed herself into standing position and heaved the crutches forward, but she went too far in her haste to leave, and tripped forward. They each caught her arm at the same time, before she could fall face-down. Saying nothing, she yanked herself away from them and hobbled out of the lounge and into her and Ron’s bedroom, where she collapsed onto the
bed and into sobs. * “Hi” said Ginny as Harry entered her bedroom at The Burrow. She had been clearing out all of her old clothes when he owled her, not exactly the ideal thing to do with her boyfriend, but she had started it and she was going to finish it. “Hi” he replied, collapsing onto her bed. “You look exhausted,” she commented. And he did. His face was drained and
grey, and his eyes were thick and heavy. He ran a hand through his hair and nodded. “Turns out Hermione’s not coping as well as we thought she was. She’s not coping well at all, actually.” Ginny stared at him. She hung up the jacket she had been debating over, and went over and sat beside him. She knew Hermione had taken the accident badly, but they had expected that. What she hadn’t expected was the morose tone with which Harry now spoke. “How so?” she said, finally.
Harry shook his head. “She just feels helpless. She needs time to recover, not just physically, but emotionally as well. I don’t think she’s fully accepted what happened yet.” “Poor Hermione” she said, miserably. “Poor Ron” she added. Harry nodded. “He’s really cut up. He doesn’t know what to say to her.” “What are they going to do?” she asked, fearing the worst. “They’re going to get away for a while,
Australia, I think. We actually thought you should be the one to talk to her about it, she won’t want to leave her work” Ginny nodded. “I’ll go now.” She said, standing up. * “-just feel really bad about Ron, it’s not like it’s his fault.” Hermione was saying. Ginny nodded. They were sitting in Hermione and Ron’s bedroom, talking quietly. “Ron was saying he thought it might be “Are you coming?”
good for you and him to take a holiday, get away for a while.” Said Ginny, tentatively. “You could go to Australia, visit your parents?” Hermione frowned. “A holiday? I don’t know…” “No, no think about” said Ginny, hastily. “You could get away, have time to heal, see your Mum and Dad, enjoy the sun…It might be just what you need. Hermione shrugged. “I suppose I could take a week or so. It would be nice to see my parents again.”
Ginny smiled. “And I could come out for a few days, we could go to the beach?” she grinned. Hermione smiled back at her, somewhat reluctantly. “I just feel like I should be fine, you know?” “Nobody expected you to be fine. You went through a huge ordeal, we all did in fact. Just, please, don’t push us away” Hermione nodded. “You sound like me. I always used to say things like that to Harry
“Then maybe you should take your own advice Missy!” laughed Ginny. “So, when do you get to lose this thing?” she asked, gesturing to the thick cast which ran from Hermione’s foot to her knee. Hermione sighed. “Another two weeks, then I’ll be on the crutches for another week after that.” “Ah well,” smiled Ginny. “That gives you an excuse to make Ron do all the housework!” *
“What a day” sighed Harry as they apparated back to his flat just after midnight. “I know,” said Ginny. She leaned against the door frame. “But it’s good that they’re getting away for a while. Was Ron able to get time off work?” Harry nodded, walking into his kitchen and getting a drink from the fridge. “They told him to take as long as he needed. You want a drink?” he said, holding up a can of coke. Ginny bit her lip and shook her head. “No, I should probably go home, it’s
late.” Harry opened his mouth to say something, then closed it again. He stared at her, Ginny felt as though she were being x-rayed by his piercing green stare. He seemed to be fighting a moral battle in his head. Then; “Why don’t you stay?” he said, quietly. Ginny’s breathing sped up. She tried to look casual, but she knew she wasn’t fooling him. “Um, I don’t…do you think I should?” she whispered. Harry shrugged. “I think maybe…it might
be just what we need…” he said, his voice as quiet as hers. He took a step forward. Ginny nodded and took a few steps nearer as well. They continued until they stood face to face in the silent lounge. Ginny was sure he must have been able to hear her heart hammering against her chest, as he lightly pushed a strand of hair away from her face. Then all thoughts left her as he leaned in and gently pressed his lips to hers. It took her a second to respond, but she did. After pulling apart to breathe, Harry motioned his head towards his bedroom, and Ginny nodded.
She ran her fingers through his hair, as they all but ran to the bedroom. They fell onto his bed and kissed again, more forcefully this time, needing each other. They hadn’t been this close in so long and now she couldn’t wait a second longer. * Ginny awoke the next morning feeling more peaceful than she had done for months. She almost didn’t want to open her eyes, she wanted to savour the moment, the feeling of warmth in her heart and the arms of the man she loved
around her. It was a surprisingly sunny day considering it was only the end of March. The sun cut in through the gaps in the blinds to Harry’s bedroom windows, reminding her of the world outside. Harry moved beside her, and she watched him rolled over onto his front, his breathing slow and steady. She ran her hand along his bare shoulder blades, and across his back, and decided she wanted him awake. She moved very gently, and started to trail kisses along the back of his neck, breathing in the scent of his hair. She continued to trace kisses across his
shoulder and down his spine, until she felt him move beneath her. He turned over onto his back, his eyes still closed, and stretched, before looking up at her, smiling and wrapping his arms around her waist. He pulled her up so she was sitting above him. “Good morning” he muttered, pressing a kiss to her neck. “Thanks for the wake up call” he grinned. She giggled as he kissed his way further down her body, all the way down to her stomach. “No problem” she said. Sure that their intentions were
similar, she leaned down towards him, when they were interrupted by the unmistakable scratching of an owl at the window. Harry groaned against her skin and she laughed. She rolled away from him and leaned against the pillows, pulling the sheets around her naked body. “It’s from work,” said Harry, reading the envelope as the owl soared back out of the now open window. He summoned his glasses from his bedside cabinet, slit the letter open and read it, there on the spot. Ginny watched as his expression went from surprise, to
confusion, to utter shock, to dread. “What is it?” she asked, confused. Harry ran a hand through his messy hair and sighed. “They’re offering me a work placement. There’s a group of unknown dark wizards that the Auror office wants to investigate, and they’ve chosen five Aurors, including me.” He looked at the letter again. “It’s an amazing opportunity.” “Well Harry that’s brilliant!” said Ginny, sitting up. She wondered why he looked so downcast at the good news. “Isn’t it?”
Harry raised his eyebrows and sighed again. “Yeah, it is.” He looked at her seriously. “The job lasts three months,” he said. “And it’s in Italy.” CHAPTER 22 “Only two more days, and you’re off the crutches, and then one more week with the cast, then that’s you!” “I know, Mum” said Hermione quietly. She and her mother were having lunch at her parents’ home in Australia, while Ron was out flying (he said he needed some relief from living the muggle way).
“And how are things with Ron?” said her Mum carefully. Hermione sipped her drink, thinking. “Things with Ron are…better. I feel horribly guilty; I’ve treated him really badly.” “Don’t feel guilty, sweetheart.” Said her Mum kindly. “Ron expected you to take your accident badly. Everyone did. All he needs to know is that you love him.” “And I do” said Hermione, forcefully. Her Mum nodded, and then something at
the window caught her attention. “Look, it’s an owl, someone must be writing to you!” she said, cheerfully. She got up and untied the letter from the owl’s leg, knowing it would take Hermione a considerable amount of time to get up and hobble over. “Thanks Mum” she muttered, taking the letter. “Oh it’s from Ginny!” she said, recognising the writing. “You are not going to believe this” she said, some twenty minutes later, as Ron returned from his fly. She held up the letter.
“What is it?” he asked, looking confused. “Harry has been offered an amazing job with the Auror department, but it lasts for three months and it’s in Italy!” “You’re joking!” said Ron, looking stunned. “Nope” she replied. “Ginny says he’s gone into total Harry-mode, he’s refusing to even consider it, because he doesn’t want to be apart from Ginny” Ron raised his eyebrows. “He was apart
from her for four months” he pointed out. “I know,” said Hermione, nodding. “But they’re just getting things back on track…I don’t know what he’ll do.” “He has to take it” said Ron immediately. “Think of the opportunities, it’s an amazing chance…” he looked down, trailing off. Hermione hugged herself close to him, burying her face in the crook of his neck. She pressed her lips lightly to his neck.
“What have you been thinking?” she whispered. Ron shook his head. “We’re not talking about this just now” he said seriously. “We’re here for you, to help you get over the accident” “We can talk about you as well, Ron” said Hermione, smiling. “And as far as my accident goes, I’m doing much better. It’s been good to get away from London, to just relax for a few weeks.” Ron nodded. “And do you think you’re ready to face home again?” he asked, gently.
Hermione sighed. “To be honest, I just don’t want to have to hobble around on crutches in our house, knocking everything over, it’s easier here” And it was, her parents’ house was considerably large, with an enormous garden and pool, they had made the most of their lives in Australia, opening a private dental practice which had increased their financial earnings considerably. “Okay,” said Ron, smiling. “We wait until you’re off the crutches, then go home.” “Which means we go home in 9 days,”
Said Hermione, apprehensively. Ron nodded, and pulled her close. He kissed her softly, then released her lips and whispered “I love you” in her ear. “Love you too” she said, smiling. “And Ron, thank you.” * Harry sighed loudly. Ginny was refusing to give in, she seemed to think she was going to change his mind, when the decision had already been made the second he read the letter.
“For the last time Ginny, no!” he said, almost angrily. “Why not?” she demanded. “I’m not letting you give up this opportunity just because of me Harry! It’s only three months; I’ll still be here when you get back!” “Exactly, three months!” he exclaimed. “We were apart for nearly four months, and we’ve only had a few weeks where we’ve even been on speaking terms since then! I’m not about to give you up again!”
Ginny scowled at him and ran a hand through her hair, glancing at her watch. “It’s 8.40,” she said, reluctantly. “We’re both going to be late for work, we need to go.” Harry sighed and nodded. He closed the distance between them and kissed her cheek, but she caught his arm and pulled his head down to hers, pressing her lips against his firmly. He kissed her back for a second, and then lightly pulled away from her. “Have a nice day” he said quietly. “We’ll talk about it later, okay?”
She nodded, and smiled at him. “Bye” she said, sounding somewhat resigned. They both turned on the spot and disappeared with the usual loud crack. Harry appeared a second later in the busy Atrium of the ministry, people heading in all directions, pulling their cloaks off, checking their watches, reading newspapers as they walked. Harry squeezed in through the closing doors of the nearest elevator, in which stood three other people, two of which he didn’t know, the other with whom he was highly familiar. “Floor?” said one of the men he didn’t
know. He stared round at him blankly. “Sorry?” he said. The man frowned and tapped the buttons on the side panel. “Floor?” he repeated, sounding impatient. “Oh, sorry, eleven” he muttered. Then he faced back to the man he hadn’t seen in near enough three years. “Harry,” the man said politely. Harry stared at him in utter shock, then realised he was probably being very rude.
“Mal – eh - Draco” he said, in spite of himself. The elevator came to a halt, and the grilles slid open, and the two other men got out, leaving them alone. “How have you been?” said Malfoy, slightly awkwardly. “Can’t complain,” said Harry, not believing what was happening. A civilised conversation with Malfoy? “What about you? I didn’t know you worked here.” “I’ve just started. It’s sort of like a
training thing,” he muttered, going slightly red. Harry decided not to pursue the topic anymore. “So, what about the rest of your life?” he said, hopelessly clutching at conversational straws. He looked at the screen and saw they were only at three; he was all the way up on eleven. “Yeah, I eh got married actually.” He said, smiling ever so slightly. “Oh congratulations” said Harry, thankful there was something to talk about. “Who is she?”
“Her name’s Astoria,” said Malfoy, properly smiling as he spoke her name. “She’s really great.” “That’s good” said Harry, almost smiling too. This conversation was very bizarre. Malfoy nodded. “Do you still see Weasley and Granger?” Harry grinned. “Yeah, but they go by Weasley and Weasley these days” Malfoy gaped at him. “They got married?” he asked, sounding shocked.
Harry nodded. “Eight months ago” “Well, eh, pass on my congratulations” said Malfoy, swallowing. “I will,” laughed Harry. “So, what, you’re an Auror here?” Harry nodded. “So are going to Italy then?” he said casually. Harry stared at him. “How’d you know about that?” Malfoy looked awkward again. “I’m sort of in Auror training. But not like real training…it’s kind of like a trial
period. I have to prove myself to be a – I don’t know – upstanding member of society or something” he laughed. “Right,” said Harry. He wasn’t really sure what else to say. Malfoy, an Auror? “It’s because of my past, you know, they have to make sure I won’t… relapse.” He smiled in an embarrassed way. “Well, I think that’s good” said Harry. “That you’re not letting your past and your family get in the way of what you want to do.”
“Thanks” he said, “So, are you going?” Harry sighed. “Actually no. It’s just to do with some personal stuff, it’s not really convenient.” Malfoy raised his eyebrows in surprise. “I’ve got to say, I never saw that coming. I mean if I had an opportunity like that…I just think…I just think maybe you should consider.” “Floor eleven” said the smooth voice as the doors slid open again. “Well, I’ll see you around then” said
Harry, as they stepped out. “Yeah, see you.” Said Malfoy, and they walked away without another word. Harry shook his head in astonishment as he rushed to his office. It had been enough of a surprise to have a civilised conversation with his former enemy, but for his words to have such a lasting effect on him? He hadn’t seen that coming. * “Raise you arms up to the air, squeeze away all the tension, breathe in, let your arms go, and breathe out. And
relax” Hermione was far from relaxed. She could have murdered Ginny for suggesting she attended these gentleyoga sessions while in Australia to help her “both physically and emotionally” She would have loved to have seen Ginny bowing to the sun and focusing her energy surrounded by several middle-aged women in coloured, velour tracksuits. She rolled up her mat, relieved that it was over for another week. “Now remember everyone to stretch
before any at-home practice” the instructor, Sesi, was saying. “And don’t forget, meditation is your friend!” Hermione tried not to roll her eyes as she headed for the door, only to be stopped in her tracks. “Hermione dear,” Sesi called. She forced herself to grin at the kooky instructor. She smiled back broadly. “I wanted the recommend some more classes to you,” she said, pressing a leaflet into her palm. “It’s Pilates, it’s slightly more strenuous than yoga, but I think it would do wonders for you.”
“Right,” said Hermione, unable to make any further comment. “The classes are Wednesday and Friday at 12pm, you should come along.” “Absolutely,” she said, still smiling, and finally left. She wouldn’t be coming along, two more hours a week with Sesi and her meditating friends? She would rather go another round with the Volvo that hit her. * A large brown, tawny owl tapped its
beak impatiently at the window to Hermione’s parent’s kitchen and Ron looked up from the newspaper he was reading in surprise. He let the owl in and untied the letter, reading that it was addressed to him. He slit it open and read. Weasley, I understand your situation, but I need you back now. We are playing Puddlemere United next week and I want you training. I really don’t want to have to bring in a reserve Keeper Weasley, but I will if I have to. I understand that your wife needs you, but so do we,
please write back to tell me when or if you will be back for training. Hoping you are well, pass along my regards to Hermione, Graham Hunter “Right” said Ron, sighing. “Bummer.” He looked around the big, empty kitchen and sighed again, wondering what to do. He and Hermione were planning to come home next week, but his coach said they needed him now. He looked up as he heard the door and Hermione came in.
“I’m not going to one more yoga class, I mean it. We’re going home next week, so I’ll just not go back between now and then” she grumbled, walking over to him. “It’s so ridiculous!” she complained, hugging herself to him. “What’s wrong?” she asked, looking up at him. Ron laughed. He didn’t even have to say anything, and she knew there was something up. She looked down and took the letter from his hand. He watched as she read it, she looked almost guilty. “Oh,” she said. She bit her lip. “I’m
sorry; we’ll go home now then Ron. Today.” He shook his head, shrugging. “I don’t even know if I want to go back. And Harry says his boss needs an answer.” Hermione nodded. “You’re still in two minds?” “Yeah,” he said. “I keep changing my decision. I just want you to tell me what to do.” She laughed. “I’m not deciding for you! Just follow your heart.”
“Just follow your heart” he laughed. “Did you get that one from Sesi?” raised her eyebrows at him and he laughed again. “Okay,” he said. “But I just don’t know Hermione. I love playing Quidditch, but then I just don’t feel like I’m accomplishing anything, and you’re out practically writing laws, and Harry’s locking up Dark Wizards.” “It’s not about what Harry and I are doing. As long as you’re happy, I’m happy.” Ron shook his head. “I am happy, well I was. Playing Quidditch was a dream come She
true for me when I got signed, really it was. But I was younger, I wasn’t married, I didn’t have any responsibilities. And then after your accident, it made me think, I could drop dead tomorrow, and all I’d ever done is block Quaffles.” Hermione frowned. “You’ve done a lot more than that Ron, don’t tell me you haven’t accomplished anything, you saved the wizarding world! You helped bring down Voldemort, you destroyed one of his Horcruxes!” She sounded almost angry. “But-” she said again, as he went to argue. “If this is how you feel, then I think you know your
decision.” He sighed again. “I know. But can you really see it? Me, an Auror?” Hermione wrapped her arms around his waist again. “You can do anything.” She murmured. “I believe that.” He kissed the top of her head, feeling as though a weight had been lifted off his shoulders. “I guess I better send an Owl to Hunter…and to Harry.”
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