Hermione jumped up from the bed as Mrs Weasley walked into Ron’s bedroom, a flush of red falling over her face. Glancing at her new-found boyfriend she watched a smug smile stretch across his face, it soon disappeared being replaced with a sheepish look and red ears as Hermione shot a glare at him. Mrs Weasley just gave the pair a weak smile and Hermione instantly felt a pang of guilt in her stomach as she clocked the women’s red swollen eyes and blotched face. It had been a month and a half since Harry Potter had defeated Lord Voldemort and since Mrs Weasley’s son and Ron’s brother Fred had died. She had taken it the hardest of all the family.
Hermione had not seen Bill, Charlie or Percy since the funeral so she had no idea how they were feeling and she had no chance to find out. Ron had been coping well in her opinion. He tended to keep things light with stupid jokes and it was only when he was left with no one to talk to that Hermione noticed the way his eyes glazed over and he stared into space.
It had only been the week before that he had broken down in front of her and let everything spill out, everything about how he missed Fred and about how he felt that it was his fault he had died. He told her about how he was scared that even though the war was over he still might lose those he loved. Hermione had sat there holding him and telling him that it was ok to feel that way but that it wasn’t his fault and that he would never lose the one’s he loved, not really. Hermione didn’t know if it was her being there or just that he had gotten it out but he seemed cheerier after that.
Ginny was the one keeping the family together. She chatted and laughed and kept things moving. Hermione knew that she was distraught inside but Ginny told her that Fred would have wanted them to carry on with their lives and not wallow in grief. Hermione had agreed.
George was a completely different matter. Hermione could see that he was completely broken inside but he didn’t show it to anyone. Instead he spent ridiculous amounts of time in his shop with Lee working as hard as he could. He had recently brought out a range dedicated completely to Fred and they had been snapped up.
Hermione sometimes felt as if she was intruding on the family and on the nights she had spent alone with Harry he voiced the same fears and worries. She had never said anything to any of the Weasley’s in case they thought she was complaining but Mrs Weasley overheard them one night and drew them into a hug. She had told them not to be silly and that they were as much part of the family as her own children.
Hermione shook all other thoughts out of her head and returned to glaring at Ron.
“I just thought I would let you know that we are leaving in fifteen minutes, but we are travelling by floo powder; there are so many reporters outside I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to apparate!” she bustled back from the room and the couple were left alone. Ron rose off the bed and pulled Hermione into a kiss.
“Sometimes don’t you wish Harry hadn’t given that interview?” he asked her when they broke apart.
“Sometimes, but then I remember why he did it,” she beamed back, kissing him softly again.
Barely a week after Voldemort’s defeat Harry had given an exclusive interview (for The Quibbler of course) explaining everything they went through the defeat the Dark Lord. Harry had told them afterwards he had done it so the world knew that he hadn’t done it alone and that Hermione and Ron had been with him the whole way, the golden trio. However with the interview there came the reporters. When they had found out about Ron and Hermione’s relationship they went wild with excitement, even more so than when they had found out about Harry and Ginny. Now not only did they follow Harry everywhere they followed Hermione and Ron everywhere too.
She pulled her sleek brown curls into a ponytail and pulled a jacket over her plain white T-shirt before grabbing the money that her parents had changed for her and taking Ron’s hand, leading him down the stairs. Harry, Ginny and Mrs Weasley were waiting for them in the kitchen.
“Hey you two, have you seen this?” Harry asked from the table.
He sat next to Ginny, both were bent over a copy of the Daily Prophet. Hermione glanced at the double page spread and saw a picture of Draco Malfoy, his mother and his father staring out of the paper at them. She couldn’t help but notice that the expression on the mother and son’s faces didn’t match the fathers. His was cold, harsh, glaring; the other two looked frightened, almost sickly, she had never seen her enemy look so vulnerable.
“It says that Malfoy’s dad has been sent to Azkaban but he and his mum have been let off thanks to Harry’s and Hermione’s statement,” Ginny said, not taking her eyes off the paper.
Hermione shivered at the memory of having to sit in the stand and tell the entire room why Draco Malfoy shouldn’t be sent to prison. She might have hated him but she knew he was sorry for what he had done and his mother had saved Harry’s life; if nothing else screamed ‘second chance’ then that did.
“I still don’t understand that family,” Ginny continued standing up and pulling on her own jacket, grabbing the bag that sat on the table and eating one of the cookies that sat on a plate in the centre of the table.
“Your father sends his apologises but he’s still at work,” Mrs Weasley said to Ron, “Ok who’s first?”
One by one each person stepped into the fire ready for the quick floo journey to the Leaky Cauldron. Hermione stepped out of the grate after steadying herself and dusted her clothes down letting her eyes glance around her. In the past two weeks that she had been staying at the Burrow she had already been here three times; twice to help George with the shop and once when she came with her parents to change some money for her. They had been generous. She was now eighteen and they had decided that she needed more. Hermione had the equivalent to three thousand pounds in her Gringotts bank though it did have to last her the entire year and the next summer until she could get a job.
She smiled to herself as she thought of her parents. As soon as the war was over she had found them and undone the spell she had first cast. They had spent a month in Australia, Hermione filling them in on everything that had happened, before coming back to England where they had all met up with the Weasley’s and had dinner together, something that excited Mr Weasley greatly; it had taken her father a few moments to get over the idea that Mr Weasley hadn’t a clue how a TV worked.
She had already used seven Gallons buying herself a new wand. She shuddered slightly at the thought of the wand that lay in the bottom of her trunk at the Burrow. Bellatrix Lestrange’s wand. Hermione had visited Ollivanders, surprised to see it open. He had beamed with delight at seeing her and had immediately handed her a wand from the back of his shop. Fourteen inches made of a springy holly and with a single unicorn hair running through the middle. The wand worked well for her and it was now sitting in the left back pocket of her dark blue jeans, a habit she learnt off Harry. It had been him that had suggested to her to throw Bella’s wand away but something prevented her from doing so. She felt oddly attached to it. It was a little piece of the year she had suffered through, it reminded her of what she had accomplished and told her that she could get through anything.
Hermione pulled out her wand and produced a flower to slip in her hair as she waited for everyone to assemble inside the Leaky Cauldron, as if to prove to herself that she could do it. When everyone had cleaned themselves up Mrs Weasley said something about going off to have lunch with a friend and left the four friends alone.
“Right then mate,” Ron said clapping Harry on the back, “we best get going if we don’t want George to shoot us.”
“Have fun,” Ginny smiled at Harry before kissing him on the cheek.
“Yeah if you can have fun working for an overbearing workaholic brother for four hours,” Ron muttered, “I can’t believe he’s roped us into this again!”
“You will be fine Ronald, stop moaning, George needs your help and so you’re going to give it him! Ginny and I have already done two shifts with him and you and Harry have only done one! It’s our day off so don’t whinge,” Hermione said simply, “now go before I have to curse your legs to take you themselves.” The red head grumbled but dipped down and kissed the top of her hair before leaving the pub with his best friend.
“Well, that got rid of them,” Ginny said brightly, “Shopping?”
“Of course, but can we visit somewhere first?” Ginny let out a small groan.
“Hermione if you’re going to say Flourish and Blotts…”
“But there is a new book that’s just come out and I really need to get it…”
“Look it’s just one shop, I promise that we can do what you want for the rest of the day, I’ll even let you take me to that ridiculous dress shop that your obsessed about and I’ll buy you something from there but I have to get this book.”
Ginny eyed her suspiciously knowing Hermione would never have made that offer if she wasn’t desperate. Hermione crossed her fingers in her mind and hoped that it would work.
“Fine,” the redhead sighed, “but we are not spending hours in there like last time, I swear Hermione I must have almost died of boredom.” The brown haired girl squeaked in delight and led her best friend out of the pub and into Diagon Alley.
Hope you liked this first chapter =) Read and Review, Secret Passion
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