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While You Were Gone by iloveronald

Format: Novella
Chapters: 11
Word Count: 32,350
Status: COMPLETED

Rating: 15+
Warnings: Mild Language, Scenes of a Mild Sexual Nature

Genres: Drama, Humor, Romance
Characters: Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, OC
Pairings: Harry/Ginny, Ron/Hermione, Ron/OC

First Published: 06/23/2006
Last Chapter: 02/08/2008
Last Updated: 02/08/2008

Summary:
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Hermione is forced to leave after the war when she finds out some shocking news and no one knows the real reason why. Three years later she returns to take part in Harry and Ginny's wedding. Join Hermione as she takes a wild and wacky ride on the emotional rollercoaster one week before the big day, will she be able to handle how much has changed while she was gone?


Chapter 1: RE-UNITED
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"Oh thank goodness, I thought you'd never get here"

Ginny's hair was a mess and her eyes bloodshot, she looked like she hadn't slept well in days, it seemed the wedding preparations were taking it's toll. She grabbed Hermione's bags and ushered her into the house. Hermione obliged and made her way into the lounge while Ginny put the bags in the guest room.

Hermione took time to catch her breath and glanced around Harry & Ginny's apartment. It was just as she had imagined it would be. Small and simple, everything Harry wanted after being in the public eye all these years. She even understood why he had chosen this quiet neighbourhood. It was just like Harry to want to hide away, she didn't blame him He deserved a quiet life after all he had been through.

She continued to look around the room until her eyes rested on the mantle. She knew why they were drawn there, she could see his image in a picture there waving at her, smiling that smile she could pick out in a crowd. She missed him, more than the others. Her stomach fluttered at the possibility of seeing him again. Would he be ready to hear her explanation of why she left? Would he forgive her after all this time once he knew?

"Well, now that your bags are settled, how about some tea?"

Ginny entered with a tray of tea and biscuits and placed them on the coffee table, she walked over and gave Hermione a big hug. "I am so glad you agreed to be my Cheif Bridesmaid Hermione, it wouldn't have been the same without you"

They sat down and Ginny began pouring their tea, "So, Harry will be here any minute ..."

Hermione noticed that there were not two but four cups on the tray and eyed Ginny curiously as she continued

" ... because we have some final details we need to go through together, just formalities for the service etc ..."

Ginny handed Hermione her cup and offered her a biscuit which she gladly accepted. She started to nibble on her tim-tam as Ginny went on

"... as you know the best man & cheif bridesmaid are a very important part of a magical wedding and we just want to make sure there will be no hiccups or misunderstandings on the day, we want things to go smoothly, which I'm sure you would appreciate ..."

Ginny's voice faded and they sat in silence. Hermione could tell that Ginny was eyeing her carefully awaiting some kind of response. Hermione thought about what exactly it was that Ginny was implying until it finally dawned on her, how could she have not known.

Ron.

Of course! Who else would Harry have picked to be his best man? She had always suspected as much but never actually asked who exactly would be playing opposite her. Hermione didn't need for Ginny to explain any further. She knew that the fourth cup on the tray was for Ron and that Harry would be arriving with him soon. She didn't know if Ron knew or not that she was in town, but she did know one thing. Time was running out.

Hermione got up and walked towards the mantle. If she was going to come forward about her quick departure, she might as well start now. She stood with her back to Ginny who she knew was still staring at her and took a deep breath,

"Ginny, there is something you need to know. I haven't been totally honest with you about why I left"

Hermione walked to the couch and reached into her purse. She pulled out a photograph and handed it to Ginny who looked at it for a few minutes. Her eyes widened as understanding finally set in. She blinked at Hermione with a mix of shock and awe.

"is it .." was all she could manage to say

Hermione nodded "Yeah"

"But how?"

Hermione took a deep breath, "Well, you remember the celebration party we had at the burrow after the fall of Voldemort ..."


Chapter 2: FLASHBACK 3 YEARS EARLIER
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Everyone was at the burrow that night. Dinner was fabulous as usual which was Mrs. Weasley standard was of course. After they had eaten the celebrations continued in the garden with a bit of music, dancing and light conversation. Hermione hung behind smiling as she watched Harry and Ginny who were huddled in the corner enjoying each others company, she was glad they could finally be together without fear. They were so happy, and for the first time in a while, so was Hermione.

She smiled inwardly as she thought about the pile of letters that were sitting on her desk at home, the letters of recommendation from all her professors, and the many job offers she had received since the war ended. She was so glad that all she had to think about now was what company or agent she wanted to work for, rather than where and when they were going to find the next Horcrux . She felt more adult, more grown up in so many ways. Once, she even remembered thinking about getting married and maybe having children. She broke into a fit of giggles at that thought, Bookish Hermione Granger, having children, somehow to her it seemed like the funniest thing in the world.

All the while she had no idea someone was secretly watching her …

"You're really beautiful when you laugh you know"

Hermione jumped at the sound of Ron’s voice. Her smile grew wider as she turned to face him. His blue eyes were warm and kind, she could get lost in them. She wasn't sure how it all happened but ever since the war ended there had become this unspoken bond between them silently urging to push past the boundaries of friendship and perhaps into the terrifying territory of a relationship. Hermione felt she was ready, and she hoped that Ron felt it too.

"Why thank you Mr. Weasley," A gleam of mischief was dancing in her eyes,

"I've been looking for you everywhere, I have something to show you"

Ron grabbed her hand and pulled her into the house. He flew through the kitchen and the living room and made his way towards the stairs with Hermione trailing behind laughing playfully.

"Ron slow down, your gonna pull my arm out of it’s socket"

"Wait here"

Hermione regained her balance and saw they had arrived outside Ron's room which he had entered and closed the door. She waited, grinning like a giddy school girl thinking about what could possibly be awaiting on the other side. After what felt like a lifetime Ron finally opened the door and lead her into the room. What Hermione saw took her breath away.

Ron had charmed the room to look like a mini replica of the great hall on the night of the Yule Ball with suspended candles floating softly to warmly light the room. The music from the garden party was filtering through the window. It was so romantic and beautiful. Ron stood in the centre of the room and extended his hand,

"Call me foolish but I’ve always wanted to make it up to you for ruining your night at that ruddy ball. You looked so beautiful and I was a right git. Could you accept a fool’s apology and allow me the honor of having this dance?"

Hermione was still breathless as she gladly accepted Ron's hand and embraced in the centre of the room. She wasn't surprised at how perfectly they fit in each others arms, it was this moment she had been waiting for her whole life. Finally, she was in Ron's arms and it felt exactly how she had imagined it. Perfect. They swayed to the music silently for a while neither of them dared to break that connection they could feel between them. Hermione rested her head on Ron's chest and felt his heartbeat. She loved being so close to him.

"I love you,"

Hermione stopped swaying and lifted her head to look at him in surprise, she looked deep into his eyes, they were confident and bold, he was no longer the frightened boy she knew growing up, now, he was a man.

"I’m sorry it took me so long to tell you but there was never a right time because of the war and, um other stuff...”

Hermione knew he was talking about Viktor and Lavender, but dared not say anything to spoil this moment.

“…and the whole time all I could think about was how I wouldn’t be able to survive if anything were to happen to you. I know I might seem like an overprotective git at times but it’s only because I care about you so much. But now the wars over all I wanna think about is spending the rest of my life with you. I know that sounds intense because we're still young, but I needed for you to know that."

Tears were forming in the back of Hermione's eyes, she couldn’t believe her ears. She felt as if she had won the jackpot. She had waited so long to hear those words that she wanted to pinch herself to make sure she wasn’t dreaming.

"I love you too Ron and I too want to spend my life with you"

She leaned forward encouraging him to do the same until their lips brushed lightly. Hermione was a little nervous that her lack of experience in this area would somehow cripple her but when she felt Ron eagerly awaiting an invitation for more she allowed her senses to guide her.

The kiss was intense and passionate and Hermione could feel her body wanted more, she gave into her emotions and the kiss became deeper and deeper. She felt like she was on fire, it was wildly fierce as they struggled for breath.

Reluctantly they pulled away to catch their breath, both heaving and staring intently at one another. Without words Ron picked Hermione up and gently lay her on the bed, which had somehow appeared in the corner of the room. He sat beside her and gently stroked her cheek with the ball of his thumb,

"Hermione, it's ok if you don't want to do this,” Ron seemed both nervous and excited, he was still out of breath as he spoke, "You can say if your not ready because I’ll understand. I don’t want you to feel pressured or rushed in any way,"

Hermione motioned for him to lie down next to her to which he obliged, "Ron, I love you more than anything and I want this just as much as you do,”

She didn't need to say more. They gave in to each other that night, it was gentle and loving, the most amazing feeling Hermione had ever experienced in her life. She never wanted to forget that feeling, she was lost in emotion and the words kept repeating itself over and over in her mind: Perfect.

But it was a couple of month after that special night that Hermione realised something seemed a miss. She had been dating Ron since and of course she couldn’t have been happier. They spent the entire summer happily in each others company and when they had to return to life as it was they always found time to be alone.

One morning at her job at the Ministry Hermione felt ill. She found herself making constant trips to the bathroom because she couldn’t keep her breakfast or morning tea down. After much convincing by her boss she decided to go visit the Ministry infirmary where she underwent a number of various of tests. After being poked and prodded, Hermione sat on the hospital bed nervously waiting the results.

“Ms Granger?” Hermione looked up to see the mediwitch who had just entered the room holding some kind of clipboard,

“Is it good or bad news?”

“Well that depends,” the mediwitch handed her the results, “How do you feel about children?”

Hermione’s eye grew as wide as saucers, she shook her head, as she tried to make sense of the results in her hand,

“No, no this can’t be right, I can’t be – I mean, we only did it once and we used the contraceptive charm, there is no way this could be right, “ she looked up at the mediwitch, confusion in her eyes, “Could it?”

The mediwitch sat next to her and gently patted her on the back. “It only takes the one time dear, and the charm is only 98% effective, there is always a 2% chance it won’t work at all, that normally occurs when either parties genes are extremely fertile. Do you have a lot of siblings?” Hermione almost fainted, Damn Ron and his Weasley fertility.

As Hermione made her way back to the office she silently contemplated her situation. She was going to be a mother. She stopped in the hallway and leaned against the wall to catch her breath. Initially she was scared, she had no idea how to look after children but as she rubbed her hand gently over her stomach she smiled. There was a being growing inside her, something that her and Ron made together and would spend their lives caring for, she couldn’t have asked for anything more special and she knew she could make it work, somehow.

After having the rest of the day to think about things, Hermione warmed up to the idea of motherhood. Of course she would have to put her career on hold for a while but that was a minor sacrifice. She thought about how happy Ron would be when she told him. He was always making wayward comments about having a family and getting married, granted its come a little earlier than he would have expected, but Hermione was sure that he would be happy all the same.

Hermione apparated to the Burrow after work to tell him the good news and let her self in the back door.

“Ron? Are you home?”

No sooner did she open her mouth to call again when her red headed boyfriend zoomed towards her and picked her up in the air, swinging her around, Hermione giggled,

“Ron, what’s gotten into you?” he was grinning like an eager school boy on Christmas day,

“Hermione, you are not going to believe what happened to me today, I have some great news,” He put her down and gave her a peck on the nose before leading her to the living room to sit down,

“Oh good Ron, because I have some news too.” Hermione sat down, removed her jacket and motioned for Ron to continue, “You go first,”

Ron didn’t need to be told twice,

“I got offered a position in the Chudley Cannons development squad, they want me Hermione, can you believe it? I didn’t even have to try out, they just asked me!”

“That’s great honey!” Hermione gave him a hug, “I knew they would, you’re a fantastic Quidditch player, they would be foolish not too snatch you up. I’m so proud of you!”

She kissed him on the lips but was quickly interrupted by his need to tell her more,

“…and the best part is, I get to travel with the team, which means I get to see the world, I mean, we get to see the world, girlfriends can come too, um, if you want to. We’re off to Bulgaria next week to scout for more recruits and then our training camp is in Spain, can you believe it Hermione, Spain. Haven’t you always wanted to go there? And then it’s Germany after that for our first test game and …

Hermione, are you ok? You don’t look too good, ”

Hermione didn’t respond. Her heart was torn, inside of her a new life was growing and in front of her, her boyfriends life was just beginning. She wanted so much to feel happy for Ron because she knew that this was what he had always wanted, since she could remember the Chudley Cannons had been Ron’s favourite Quidditch team and to deny him this privilege of experiencing it first hand would be like killing his dreams, she couldn’t be responsible for that, she loved him too much. He wasn’t ready to settle down and have a family, not now, when his dreams were starting to come true.

"Yes Ron, I'm fine and like I said before, I am so very proud and happy for you, but I'm sorry, I can't come with you. Please sit, there is something I need to tell you,"

She had to make the hardest decision of her life that night, she felt at the time it was her only option, for Ron's sake. He had so much going for him and Hermione could see he wasn't ready to give it up for a family, it was the only thing she could do. She hoped that one day many years from now Ron would understand her reasons for leaving and forgive her.

"Well?" Ron sat waiting, "What was it you wanted to tell me?" ..

Chapter 3: PRESENT DAY CONFESSIONS
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CHAPTER THREE - PRESENT DAY – CONFESSIONS

“So, all that stuff about the Ministry offering you a job in France, that was just a lie?” Ginny had a confused look on her face, as if trying to understand the situation.

“Well, yes and no.” Hermione hesitated, “The ministry actually did offer me the job that morning before I found out I was pregnant and of course I declined the offer. When I came to the burrow that night to tell Ron about the baby he seemed so excited about the Cannons offer and couldn’t stop talking about how wonderful it would be to travel after all he had been through, I just couldn’t bare to take that away from him,” she paused and took a deep breath, “So instead I told him the ministry had offered me a job in France and I accepted it. I told him some lie about how it would be a great advancement in my career and that seeing as we both wanted different things in life, we should break up.”

“Hermione that's ridiculous!! Why didn't you just tell us? We would have supported you!” Ginny was obviously upset and Hermione could see a hint of anger in her eyes, she didn’t like the turn this conversation was taking, she raised her voice defensively,

“Ginny I was young, I panicked ok. I only did what I thought was best!!”

The colour in Ginny’s face was turning bright red her voice now matching Hermione’s, “How can you say that? You had no right to keep this from Ron, you didn’t even give him the chance to make a decsion!”

Hermione snapped back, “You think I don’t know that? I’ve had to live with this regret for the last three years Ginny! Everyday I wished I had done it all differently but I can’t change that now!” tears were now flowing down her face. “I was so scared Ron would react the way you are now, that’s why I stayed away for so long.” she sat down on the couch and wiped her eyes with the back of her sleeve, her voice now a whisper, “how can I tell him now after all this time?”

Ginny’s anger vanished at the sight of Hermione’s defeat. She sat next to her on the couch and tentatively put a hand on her shoulder, “I’m sorry Hermione, I didn’t mean to be short with you, it’s just a lot to take in,” Hermione lifted her head and gave a weak smile, “ I know Gin.”

After taking time to calm down, Ginny picked up the photo and took another look, "He's gorgeous Hermione. He's the spitting image of Ron, well except for the brown eyes, but you can see the resemblance". A look of sadness covered her face, "I can’t believe you let yourself go through all that alone."

"I’m not going to lie, it was hard. The sleepless nights and dirty diapers day after day. I mean, sure I helped the wizarding world defeat evil but handling a baby on your own is a totally different kettle of fish. I had to learn everything through trial and error -"
"And even then you didn’t think about asking anyone for help?" Ginny Interrupted,
"Of course I did!" Hermione sighed, "But I was afraid it would get back to Ron. His career was just getting started and I couldn't let him give that up for me. I know it seems selfish-" she took the photo out of Ginny's hand and looked at her son's face, "-but I felt like I had no other choice."

Ginny could see in Hermione’s face the pain she had been though and couldn’t help but feel sympathetic towards her, "I really wish you had told me sooner Hermione, Three years is a long time to keep something like that to yourself. No one should have to go through something like that alone."

Hermione felt as if a heavy weight had been lifted off her shoulders, she was glad she had finally shared her secret. Tears stung her eyes again, only this time they were tears of relief. Ginny poured them both some more tea.

"So, have you figured out when you're gonna tell Ron?"

Hermione expected this question would come but had put off thinking about it so many times she didn’t really have an answer. She shrugged, "I'm not really sure. I've been back and forth on the idea. I guess I just have to find the right time”

Ginny had a strange look on her face, “Honestly Hermione I don’t think there ever is going to be a right time. I mean, you were gone for three years, you’ve had no contact with Ron and now you're back and you're just gonna announce to him that he has a son? I mean lets be real, when is it ever the right time to tell someone that, let alone someone like Ron? There is no way this is gonna go down smoothly, it’s a pretty big confession,"

"So you think I should just blurt it out when I see him?" Hermione said sarcastically,

Ginny laughed "Yeah wouldn't that be a sight!"

They sat silently for a moment, both imagining how that scenario would play out in their heads. Hermione glanced at her watch, her eyes widened as she suddenly realised something,

"Oh I've been so selfish! I'm sorry Ginny, I can't believe I've been here almost two hours and not once have we talked about the wedding preparations," she quickly grabbed her purse and rummaged through it, "I've done all the things you asked in your last owl you sent but there are still a few minor things I need to-"
Ginny held up her hand to stop her, "Hermione, it's ok. Everything's going according to plan, thanks to mum and her constant obsessing, so you needn't worry". she grabbed the parchments Hermione had pulled out of her purse and placed them on the coffee table, "and you don't have to apologise, I'm happy to have something to talk about other than the wedding. If anything it's a welcome distraction."

Hermione smiled, Ginny had grown up so much since she had last seen her. "I can't believe you and Harry are finally getting married, it seems like just yesterday you had that schoolgirl crush on him."

Ginny's cheeks flushed light pink, "Yeah well, that was a long time ago." Then she smiled at Hermione, "luckily for me I recieved some great advice on that subject from a very good friend. I'm glad I listened to her because if I hadn't, who knows what would have happened."

Hermione knew Ginny was referring to her and the advise she offered about meeting other people, testing the waters so she would feel more relaxed around Harry. She then frowned, "How come I can be so smart when it comes to advice on other peoples love lives and yet I can't seem to make heads or tails of my own?" she looked at Ginny, "I wish I hadn't screwed up things with Ron, then maybe we could've had a future together like you and Harry."

Ginny almost dropped her cup, “Wait, are you telling me you still feel something for Ron?”

Hermione was surprised by Ginny’s reaction, “Of course I do Ginny, he’s the father of my child. Just because I was living in another country doesn’t mean I didn't pine for him every night.” Hermione paused and shook her head, “You know, that sounded a lot better in my head.”

Ginny bit her lip to suppress her laughter, “Ok, that was more than I needed to know,”

“It’s not funny Ginny!" Hermione looked scandalised,

“Ok, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to laugh!", Ginny's expression became serious, "So are you saying that after all this time you still feel something for Ron?”

"I never got over him Ginny, I don't think I ever will until he knows the truth,"

Ginny sighed, “Listen Hermione, you need to know that having you leave like that with no explanation turned Ron's world upside down. All he wanted to think about or do was Quidditch. Nothing else. He only left the house for training or a game and then after he would go straight back home to sulk with a bottle of firewhisky in that damn trophy room. He would sit in there for hours, sometimes days, depending on his mood, just drinking and sulking. You wouldn't believe how many times Harry and I had to rescue him from that place. It was as if in some crazy way, he didn’t want to get over you and then-”

Hermione sat upright so fast she nearly knocked the tea tray off the table, “Are you saying he still loves me?”

Ginny paused, her expression slowly changed, "Um,"

Hermione could see Ginny was struggling with someting in her head as if hesitant to say it, "Ginny, what? Am I right about Ron? Does he still love me?"

Ginny looked at her with apologetic eyes, "I'm so sorry Hermione, I should have told you sooner,"

Hermione eyes narrowed, "Told me what Gin?"

Ginny was now shifting uncomfortably in her seat but still hesitant to say anything.

"What is it Ginny? Has something happened to Ron?" Hermione asked,

Ginny was now avoiding eye contact, "Um, well, I...I...um, I guess you could say that," Hermione was losing her patience, “Oh for goodness sake Ginny would you just tell me?”

Ginny stood up and started pacing around the room as if trying to stall before she turned to Hermione with a flustered look on her face,

"Look, before I say anything you should know that I wanted to tell you but Harry didn’t think it would be a good idea. Now you show up with your news about having a baby and Ron being the father and, well lets just say things have become a little complicated,”

Hermione walked over to her obviously frazzled friend, who was now babbling incoherently to herself and ushered her back to the couch,

“it’s ok Gin, just start from the beginning.”

"I’m so sorry but-”

‘Pop'

Ginny was interrupted by someone apparrating into the living room, they both turned to see who it was,

“HARRY!”

Hermione lunged towards her long lost friend and gave him a bone crushing hug, “It’s so good to see you!”

Harry seemed a little stunned as he hugged her in return, “It’s good to see you too." he scratched the back of his head nervously, "Um, I thought you weren’t arriving till tonight?”

“Well that was the original plan but there was an earlier portkey scheduled so I took it,” Hermione replied, she waited for Harry’s reply and noticed instead he had a panicked look about him, “Harry, what’s the matter, are you ok?” but before he could answer there was another interruption,

‘Pop’

“Harry mate where did you want me to– Hermione?!?” Ron froze,

‘Pop’

“Ron I told you to wait till– Omph,” a tall blonde witched apparated right behind him and stumbled into his frozen form, “Ron! A little warning next time you decide to stop short like that,” she rubbed her nose and regained her balance before she realised Ron still hadn’t moved a muscle.

She moved round to face him and waved her hand in front of his eyes, Ron remained rooted too the ground.

“Hello? Earth to Ron?” Still nothing. She turned to Harry, “What’s with him?” Harry remained silent, cautiously eyeing Ron.

“Harry? Man! What is with you two?" The blonde witch seemed oblivious to the awkwardness of the situation she had just apparated into. She turned away from them and noticed a new face she thinks she may have seen before. Her first impression was that this face, or rather the hair attached to the face was in desperate need of a makeover. After none of the others in the room said anything, she took it upon herself to investigate what was going on. She turned to the bushy haired witch and simply asked, “Who are you?”

Hermione was taken aback by the nerve of this woman. “I’m Hermione Granger, an old friend of the family," she said boldly, "And you are?"

The blonde witch raised her eyebrow at the mention of her name and smiled smugly,

“I’m Helena Gordon, Ron’s fiancé.”


A/N - Thanks to all of you who have reviewed! It is great to hear feedback so keep reviewing!! Also, thanks to my beta Mandy for helping me fix my "grammatical errors", your a STAR!!!



Chapter 4: BATTLE OF WILLS
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“Sorry?” Hermione swore she had heard incorrectly, “Did you say fiancé?”

Helena was still smiling as she held up her left hand to show Hermione the enormous diamond ring on her finger, “Yeah, that’s what I said, amazing isn’t it.” She walked over to Ron who was still in the same spot and linked her arm in his, “Getting married next summer!”

“I..um…well…congrat…congratulations” Hermione stuttered. A tingling sensation ran through her body, she wasn’t sure what it was but as her eyes darted between Ron and Helena she began to feel nauseated. No matter how hard she tried her body wouldn’t obey it’s command to breath. The room began to spin uncontrollably, the last thing she saw was the smug look on Helena’s face.

“Hermione!” Harry, with his quick reflexes managed to catch her before she hit the ground. Ginny ran over to help him lie her on the couch, “Give her some air” she yelled as she franticly fanned her with a piece of parchment she grabbed off the coffee table.

Ron’s first reaction was to run to Hermione’s aid, as he had done so many times before. He began to move forward when he could feel Helena’s arm close more tightly around his,

“Oh dear, I do hope she’s ok!” she whispered in what sounded like mock concern, she turned to look at Ron, “Shall we leave them be? Heaven knows It’s embarrassing enough for Her that she fainted, we don’t need to add to that by staring at her.” Ron hesitated for a second as he glanced at Hermione’s lifeless form on the couch. Helena gave his arm a sharp tug, “Come on Ron, lets go before she wakes up,” He caught Ginny’s eye and gave her a strange look before he turned and disaapparated with Helena in tow.

It was only minutes later when Hermione came around. She blinked rapidly before opening her eyes and saw Harry and Ginny peering over her,

“Hermione, are you ok?” Ginny asked, looking concerned. Hermione sat up slowly and adjusted her eyes to her surrounding, “Wh...What happened?” she asked. Harry helped her to sit up, “You fainted, don’t you remember?” he said, Hermione paused for a second to search her memory for the last thing she remembered. Suddenly, it all came rushing back to her.

Ron. Her Ron, was engaged to be married to someone else. She felt a knot in her stomach and the familiar feeling of sickness rise in her throat. She saw her dreams about being a family with Ron come crashing down around her. She was on the verge of tears when she turned to Harry and Ginny,

“Why didn’t you tell me about Helena?” she asked sadly. Both Harry and Ginny squirmed uncomfortably,

“We’re sorry Hermione,” Ginny said as she moved to sit next to her, “We didn’t tell you because, well, um” she glanced at Harry who nodded encouraging her to continue, Ginny sighed, “Because Ron was so Happy. He deserved some happiness after all he had been through-”
“Hermione, Ron was devastated after you left,” Harry interjected, “and when he met Helena, he became the old Ron, the happier Ron.” He sat on the other side of Hermione and put his hand gently on her shoulder, “We thought telling you might make things worse. Ron needed this happiness.”

Hermione sat silently. Harry was right, she had no claim to Ron. She had given up that right when she left him unexpectedly. Ron was happier without her. She couldn’t bare the thought of causing him more problems, not after what she had already put him through.

“I guess that’s it then, isn’t it?” Hermione announced to no one in particular, “so how long has this been going on for? I mean, how long have they been together?” she directed the question at Hary, but it was Ginny who responded, “About a year and a half,” she said conversationally, “Helena works for Witch Weekly. She was doing an interest piece on Ron, something about 'the rising stars of Quidditch', and they just hit it off,”

“Oh” said Hermione softly, “That’s nice.” She wasn’t really interested in knowing how Helena had stolen the love of her life, but didn’t want to seem like she wasn’t making the effort. After all, Ron was entitled to be with whomever he liked, how she felt about it was not an issue.

Ginny watched Hermione carefully, she could tell there was some kind of battle going on in her head, Ginny put her hand on Hermione’s lap,

“I think you should tell Ron about the baby Hermione,”

Harry instantly became confused, “Baby? What baby?”

In all the commotion both witches had forgotten Harry was not aware that Hermione was a mother. Hermione sighed as she turned to face him,

“Harry, there’s something you need to know…”

Hermione filled Harry in about the baby and braced herself expecting him to go wild, just as Ginny did that morning. But instead, to her surprise he leaned forward and gave her a hug.

“I can’t believe you had a baby,” he said sadly, “How could you not tell us Hermione, we would have been there for you!”

The tears had returned to Hermione's eyes, “I know that Harry, I know I messed up. But I can’t undo it now, it’s too late” she buried her head in her hands. Harry knelt in front of her and placed both hands on her shoulders forcing her to look him in the eyes,

“Hermione, you have to tell Ron. He needs to know.”

Hermione said nothing, she just stared blankly at him,

“Are you listening Hermione? You need to tell Ron,”

Hermione looked down at the floor. She felt oddly like she did the time she made the decision to leave when she was pregnant. Ginny had said Ron was happy with Helena, and now that they were getting married there would be no place in his life for her or their son. He would be too busy making a family of his own. She couldn’t allow her son to be second in Ron’s life. She looked up from the floor and directly into Harry’s eyes,

“No.”

Harry recoiled in shock. "What do you mean, No?" he asked confused,

"I mean No. I'm not going to tell him," Hermione said boldly as she stood up, “and neither are you two”

Ginny looked at her as if she were mad, "Why not?"

"Because" Hermione said getting rather annoyed, "what good will it do now? He's happy with Helena and their getting married."

Ginny rolled her eyes, "That's not fair Hermione, you have to tell him,"

“I don’t have to do anything!” Hermione said heatedly, “You said it yourself Harry, Ron is happy, he doesn’t need anymore drama in his life and-”

“Ron has a right to know,” said Harry sharply, “You can’t just-”

“Yes I can!” she snapped, as she grabbed her bag off the table and stormed out of the house.

It wasn’t until she was out in the cold that Hermione realised she had no idea where she was going. To be honest, she didn’t care, as long as she wasn’t anywhere near Harry and Ginny and their constant nagging. She hated that she stormed out on them but she couldn’t stand to listen to reason and just wanted to be left alone.

Hermione walked aimlessly down the street thinking about how things went wrong. This whole day had turned into a nightmare.Was Harry right? Should she tell Ron about their son? Would telling Ron make things more complicated for him or for her? She shook her head. No, she thought to herself, Ron was happy now, no good will come from telling him the truth.

Hermione hadn’t realised how long she had been walking and was surprised when she noticed how dark it had become. She looked around and noticed a cafe open across the street. She crossed the road to get a better look and after confirming it was not due to close for a while she decided to go inside. Instantly she was greeted with the wonderful aroma of food, her tummy rumbled reminding her that it had been a while since she ate last. She decided to order some dinner, picked up a copy of the 'Evening Prophet' and sat at an empty table near the fire.

She had become so caught up between reading an article on ‘Increasing Muggle Awareness’ and eating her dinner that she didn’t notice Helena enter the cafe. Helena, at first, didn’t notice her either but after ordering her coffee to go, she casually scanned the room and spotted Hermione sitting by the fire. Helena smirked as she turned to the gentleman behind the counter,

“On second thoughts, make it to have here thanks. I’ll be over there” she pointed at Hermione’s table, walked over and elegantly sat in the vacant seat.

“I hope your reason for fainting this afternoon wasn’t due to lack of food,” Helena said pleasantly, “Although," she continued as she eyed the empty plates on the table, "I can see that won’t be a problem now. Did you eat all this on your own?”

Hermione flushed with embarrassment, “Um, Hello Helena,” she said stiffly,

Helena laughed, “Hermione, really, there is no need to be embarrassed. You don’t mind if I sit with you do you?”

Hermione blinked, confused, “Um, well I-”

“Great. I thought this would be a good time to get to know you a bit better. You see, Ginny told me she was going to ask a close friend of hers to be her Chief Bridesmaid right," she paused as she accepted her coffee from the waitor who had just bought it over, "and naturally I thought she meant me, seeing as how the four of us do practically everything together but then you came along and well, I was curious,” she leaned forward a bit, “How come you’re so special to Harry and Ginny that they bypassed me for you?”

Hermione sat stunned, trying to decide weather that was an insult or a compliment. Helena however, continued talking as if unable to contain herself,

“So I did some research. I’m a journalist you see, for Witch Weekly, you may have heard of me,” Hermione shook her head indicating that she hadn't, “Anyway, I dug around and found out that you had also helped Harry and Ron defeat You-Know-Who.” She said the last bit in a hushed voice as if scared to say it out loud, “The surprising thing is,” she continued, “Is that when the war ended, you somehow slipped of the grid." she took a sip of her coffee, "Don't get me wrong, there were numerous articles about ‘The Boy Who Lived’ and Ron of course and what they were doing nowadays, but oddly, not a single one about you. It was as if you disappeared off the face of the earth.” She paused for a moment then narrowed her eyes, “My question for you is, why?”

Hermione couldn’t believe the nerve of this woman, “Well, not that it’s any of your business,” she snapped, “but I got a job offer in France and-”
“You see, that’s the strange part,” Helena interrupted holding up her finger in Hermione’s face, “Ginny told me that same story when I asked her. Of course I just had to find out for myself so I contacted your old boss at the Ministry,” Hermione stiffened, “And when he supported Ginny’s story-,” Hermione breathed a sigh of relief, she wondered where Helena was going with this, “-I thought that was the end of it. Until of course, your old boss said you had initially declined the offer.” Helena sat back coolly in her chair, “He seemed to think you didn’t want to leave your boyfriend, who funnily enough, was Ron.”

Hermione stood up defensively, “Well, like I said before Helena, none of this is any of your business so I would thank you to keep your nose out of where it doesn’t belong,” Hermione grabbed her bag and stood up to leave when Helena blocked her path,

“Your still in love with him aren’t you?” she said as she eyed Hermione suspiciously.

“No I’m not!” said Hermione hotly, “Now get out of my way!”

“I don’t believe you,” said Helena, not moving and crossing her arms.

“Well, contrary to what you think Helena, the world doesn’t revolve around you and I couldn’t care less about what you believe!” Hermione snapped. She pushed past Helena who grabbed the strap of her bag causing all its contents to spill to the floor,

“Oopps, silly me,” Helena said sweetly, “Here let me help,” she bent down to help Hermione who was already on the floor picking up her belongings,

“I can do it myself thank you!” Hermione said heatedly, as she shoved a handful of contents into her bag, she went to pick up the rest when Helena bend down and picked something up,

“Well, well, well. Not in love with Ron anymore huh?” she said as she eyed the photo that was now in her hand, “Looks as if you are since your still carrying around a picture of him as a baby in your handbag,” Helena said in an accusing tone. Hermione looked up and saw that Helena was holding not a photo of Ron, but the photo of their son she had shown Ginny.

“Give that back!” Hermione demanded as she made to grab the picture. Helena snatched it out of her reach and was now taking a closer look,

“Wait a minute, you’re in this photo too” she said confused, “You couldn’t have been in this picture when Ron was a baby, unless your like a hundred years old,”

“I said give it back!” Hermione hissed, her patience was wearing thin and the thought of Helena finding out about her son would be the worst thing she could imagine, she reached for her wand, but knew it was too late when she heard Helena gasp,

“This isn't Ron, It's his son isn't it? she stated as look of realisation came across her face. “Oho! Yes! Of course! This makes perfect sense!” she said excitedly, “You left for France because you were pregnant with Ron's baby and now your back to try and use this-" she waved the photo in Hermione's face, "-as some kind of leverage to steal him from me!”

“This is none of your business!” Hermione snatched the photo back from Helena but she knew the damage was already done. Helena was a reporter, it would only be a matter of time before she got hard evidence from somewhere else.

“Oh I think you’ll find,” Helena said coolly, “that anything to do with Ron is my business.” She smiled smugly, “I can’t wait till he hears about this,”

Hermione's body became numb as she watched Helena prance merrily out the door. Just when she thought things couldn't get any worse, something like this happens. If she had any chance of turning this day around she had to somehow stop Helena from getting to Ron. Hermione took a deep breath and ran out of the cafe, she paused outside on the footpath and looked up and down the streets. Come on, she muttered under her breath, she had almost given up hope when she finally spotted Helena a few blocks away. She bolted down the street towards her, "Helena wait!" she yelled as the blonde witch turned into an alley, Hermione rushed after her and came to an abrupt halt when she saw Helena standing in the middle of the alley poised calmly,

"Come to beg me not to tell Ron have you?" she said, admiring her fingernails casually as if she had expected Hermione to follow her.

Hermione took a moment to catch her breath, "Helena, please," she heaved, "You can't tell Ron."

"Oh no?" Helena answered sweetly, "and why not?"

"Because," Hermione searched her brain for something to say, "If you tell him now, it will only cause you problems you don't need and it could delay you wedding preperations. You don't want that, do you?"

Helena seemed to contemplate this for a moment. Hermione took this as a sign to continue, "Look Helena, I didn't come here to tell Ron anything, or to try and ruin things between you both. I came here purely for the wedding. I'll be gone straight after and then you'll have nothing to worry about."

Hermione waited with bated breath, hoping she had somehow convinced her to change her mind.

"Your games won't work on me Hermione," she said shaking her head, "and don't go thinking that I am somehow threatened by you, because, well," she eyed Hermione as if she had just sprouted an extra head, "even a blind man can see we're not of the same social status." she paused for a minute, then an evil grin came over her face,"However, I do think there is a way we can make this work to both our advantages."

"What do you mean?" Hermione asked suspiciously,

"It's simple." Helena answered folding her arms coolly, "You tell Harry and Ginny something suddenly come up which means your unable to participate in their wedding, and in return I won't tell Ron about the baby. That way everyone wins. You get to keep your secret and I get to take part in the wedding of the century.

"What?" Hermione said outraged, "You're insane! I can't do that to Harry and Ginny"

Helena shrugged her shoulders, "Oh well, I guess I have no other choice but to go to Ron now and-"
"No, wait," Hermione interrupted hastily, "Can't we make some other kind of arrangement?"

Helena shook her head, "Sorry, I don't negotiate." she walked a few steps away and turned around,

"You have 24hrs. If your not gone by this time tomorrow I'll be going staight to Ron to tell him about how your little secret." she tapped her watch with her index finger, "you better hurry Hermione, the clock is ticking and I don't take kindly to those who miss deadlines." and with that she turned and dissapperated.


A/N - I know it was a bit long this time, but I just couldn't help myself with Helena, she is so much fun to write!!

Don't forget to review, pretty pretty please!! Thanks to all of you who have already reviewed and added to your favourites, it's that which keeps me going....so review, review, review!

Many thanks also Mandi for being my beta again on this chapter!!



Chapter 5: DECISIONS, CHOICES & SUPRISES
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Hermione stood in the alley for a moment slightly mortified at what had just happened. How could Ron be in love with that woman? There was definitely more to Helena then just looks and a great sense of fashion. She was cunning and manipulative, all the traits of a reporter who would stop at nothing to get what she wanted. Hermione was more sure now then ever that Helena was definitely not the woman Ron, Harry and Ginny had thought her to be.

Hermione racked her brain as she walked quickly back to Harry and Ginny's trying to come up with an alternative solution. On one hand she didn’t want Helena to tell Ron about the baby, but on the other, she had promised Ginny she would take part in the wedding. There was no easy way out of this one, one way or another someone was going to get hurt.

By the time Hermione reached Harry and Ginny's front door she had come up with nothing. Every possible solution she thought of turned out to be a dead end. It seemed Helena had come up with a full proof plan of getting rid of her. How was she suppose to make that kind of decision? Harry and Ginny were her closest friends, she couldn't leave them now. Could she?

Hermione stood at the front door and raised her hand to knock when she noticed the door was already open. She looked around and entered the house, wand at the ready. She paused when she heard distant voices filtering down the hallway. Quietly, she walked toward the living room. The voices became louder as she moved closer till she came to the door. Hesitantly, she pushed the door open a crack and peeked through to see Ginny, who was standing with her back toward her, talking to someone out of view. Hermione craned her neck to try and see who it was but it was no use.

"I don't know if that's a good idea mate," she heard Harry say as he walked into sight and stood by his wife to be, "Ginny's right, she'll come talk to you when she's ready."

"I've waited enough Harry," Hermione froze, she knew who the voice belonged to and before she could doubt herself Ron strolled into her view, "Look, I won't start any trouble ok," he said to Harry and Ginny who looked at him sceptically, "I just want to talk to her, that's all."

Hermione let go of the door and the voices became muffled again. She turned and looked down the hallway and saw her luggage leaning against the wall untouched. She realised that in all the drama she hadn’t had time to unpack. She bit the side of her lower lip as she stared at her luggage. If she was going to leave, now would be the best time. Her eyes moving to the door. Ron was on the other side and desperate to talk to her. All she needed to do was to walk through it. Hermione’s eyes shifted to her luggage again and then back to the door, all she had to do was make a choice.

*

"Mum?" Hermione called out as she entered her childhood home, "Dad?" She set her luggage down by the door and walked into the living room.

"Hermione?" Mrs Granger entered from the kitchen, "honey, what are you doing here?" she said as she gave her daughter a hug.

"Where's Julian?" Hermione asked, ignoring her mothers question and walking into the kitchen,

"He's in bed. Your Father’s tucking him in." Mrs Granger answered as she followed in her daughters wake, "Hermione, Is everything ok?"

"Everything's fine mum," she said as she filled the kettle and placed it on the stove, "Tea?"

"No thank you dear," Mrs Granger eyed her daughter suspiciously, "Hermione, why are you back so soon? Is everything ok? Has the wedding been called off?"

Hermione had her back to her mother, she closed her eyes and took a deep breath. Her mother could always tell something was wrong and she knew there was no way she could hide it from her. Hermione hung her head,

"I had to come back. I can’t be around him anymore mum" she said softly, her defences shattered as tears fell from her face. Mrs Granger walked up to her daughter and put her arm around her,

"You mean Ron?" she asked gently as she ushered Hermione to the table to sit down,
Hermione nodded as she wiped her eyes, "He's engaged to someone else mum," she sobbed, "I couldn't stand be around him, I had to get out of there. I know Ginny and Harry will understand."

Mrs Granger looked surprised, "You left without telling them?" she shook her head sadly, "Oh Hermione, not again"

"I can't go back mum," Hermione whispered, "it’s too hard."

Mrs Granger shook her head sadly, “Oh honey, it's always hard when you love someone,” she said as she patted Hermione's hand gently, “but you need to stop running now. It’s time you realised that your friends love you and will support you no matter what,” she looked deep into her daughters watery eyes, “don't you think it’s time you returned that same kindness by supporting them when they need you the most.” Hermione looked down at the table,

“I know mum,” she whispered softly, "it...it just hurts so much,"

"I know it hurts," Mrs Granger said soothingly, “but your a strong woman Hermione and I know you'll be able to find a better way to handle the situation other than running away from it. You’re more than capable of determining what the right thing to do here is, so please, just think about things before you do anything rash ok?”

Hermione nodded silently as she wiped her eyes once more. Mrs Granger saw the look on her daughters face and could tell it had been a long day for her. She got up and took the kettle off the stove,

"Go get some rest honey, you look beat," she said as she kissed Hermione on the top of her head, "things will be better in the morning, you'll see" Hermione said nothing as she slid slowly off the table and walked toward the door,

"Hermione," Mrs Granger called out suddenly. Hermione turned and looked at her mum, "I love you,"

"I know mum," Hermione replied smiling sadly, "goodnight."

Hermione lay in bed as thoughts of the days events swam around in her head. Ron was engaged and his evil fiance Helena had chased her away with her cunning ultimatum. Hermione tossed and turned thinking about what her mother had said. If only she had kept her time turner from third year, then she would be able to go back and fix the mess she had made. But it was too late now, the damage had been done and there was little she could do to put her life back together.

After what felt like only minutes of sleep, Hermione was awoken by her son Julian and his new found love of jumping on the bed,

“Mummy, mummy” he cried in excitement as he stopped jumping and sat next to her, “Hi!” he grinned.

Hermione yawned, “Hi sweetie,” she kissed him on the forehead, “Have you been a good boy for nana and papa?” Julian nodded just as they heard a knock at the door, they both looked up and Mr Grangers head appeared as if floating in midair.

“Papa” Julian exclaimed as he hopped off the bed and ran to his granddad. “Hey little man,” Mr Granger said as he moved inside the room and hoisted Julian up into his arms.

“Honey,” he said to Hermione who was now sitting up in bed, “you have a visitor downstairs,” Hermione’s head spun round in surprise,

“A visitor? Who?” she demanded.

Mr Granger didn’t answer, his attention still with Julian, “How about some breakfast little man?” he asked, “Yeah!” Julian screamed with enthusiasm, Mr Granger laughed, “Ok let’s get out of here so your mum can get ready for her guest,” he turned to Hermione, “Not too long ok honey, you don’t want to keep him waiting.” Hermione was now getting out of bed and paused halfway,

“Him?” she said curiously,

“Yes, Him” Mr Granger repeated and walked out the door.

Hermione bolted to the bathroom and got ready in a record time. It would be just her luck that Helena had revealed her secret to Ron and he was now here to see for himself if it were true. She quickly walked out of the room and made her way down the stairs. she was only halfway down when her mystery visitor came into view. She paused,

“Oh…Harry,” she said sounding almost disappointed, “It's you,"

"Who were you expecting?" Harry said curiously and slightly offended,

"Ah, well, um...No one" Hermione lied unconvincingly as she continued down the stairs and into the living room. "What are you doing here?"

"I came to try and convince you to come back," he said matter-of-factly,

"Well you wasted your time," she replied as she strolled past him, " because I'm not going back."

Harry grabbed her arm, "I know you saw Helena last night," he said quickly,

Hermione paused, “How did you know?” she said stunned,

“because she came round early this morning looking for you,” Harry replied, letting go of her arm, “she said you had a ‘quiet chat’ with her at the café down the road. She seemed a bit too upset to be believable when we told her you had left” He paused and narrowed his eyes,

“it was more then just a chat wasn't it Hermione? What did she say to you?”

“What? Nothing!” she said quickly as she walked further into the living room before facing him, crossing her arms, “what makes you think she said anything?”

Harry raised his eyebrow, “Hermione I know you,” he said as he walked toward her, “and I know Helena. If there were any two people on the planet that were less compatible to sit down and have a ‘quiet chat’ it would be you two." He looked at her knowingly, "she said something to you to make you leave didn’t she?” .

Hermione contemplated for a moment weather it best to tell him the truth about Helena’s ultimatum. If he knew, would he think less of her for leaving? Or would he understand and agree with the choice she made?

“Hermione?” Harry said, bringing her back to reality, “what did Helena say to you?”

“It was nothing Harry,” Hermione said deciding not to tell him, “I can handle it myself,”

“Yes, I can see you’re handling it fine. Just visiting are we?” he replied sarcastically,

“Don’t Harry,” she said in a warning tone, “I have enough to deal with without-”

“How about dealing with your responsibilities as a friend Hermione?” Harry interrupted sharply, his patience wearing thin, “You agreed to be part of our wedding and now you’ve suddenly decided you can't because of something Helena said to you? Seems a little selfish don’t you think?”

"Oh great, so you think I'm selfish too?" she said hotly, throwing her hands up in the air, "Argh! Is there no escaping this horrible nightmare?

"Hermione what has gotten into you?" Harry asked shocked at her sudden outburst, "why are you so determined to push everyone away?"

"I'm just sick of it ok Harry," Hermione said sharply, "I just wish everyone would leave me alone so I can deal with things my own way!"

They stood in silence for a moment. Hermione was glaring at Harry intently as if daring him to argue with her. Instead, Harry gave a loud sigh and sat down on the sidearm of the couch.

“Do you remember back in sixth year when I thought I could save Ginny by letting her go?” Harry asked

"what has that got to do with anything?" she asked angrily,

"Do you remember what you said to me on the train ride home that year?" he asked, ignoring her angry tone,

"no I don't," Hermione snapped. Truth was, she could remember if she wanted to but she was too fustrated to even try.

"Well I do," Harry said looking up at her, "You said that pushing Ginny away wasn't the best way to save her, and you were right," he stood up and walked over to Hermione, "If it wasn't for Ginny being with us that night, I wouldn't have been able to defeat Voldemort," he put his hand on her shoulder, "we're stronger as a team Hermione, we're stronger when we work together."

'together, as a team' Hermione thought to herself. Suddenly a light went off in her head as if she had been struck by lightning. Could it be possible that she had found a loophole to Helena's evil plan? Her eyes lit up,

"Of course! Harry, that's it!" Hermione said suddenly, startling him

"What?" Harry asked stunned as he watched her walk toward the stairs, "where are you going?"

“We don't have time for that now,” Hermione explained, “You were right Harry, I shouldn’t have left like that. You and Ginny are important to me and there's nothing Helena can do or say that should stop me from being at your special day."

Harry noticed a smile creep across Hermione's face. “I’m gonna go upstairs and get my things, I hope we haven't lost time for preperation,” she said as she dissapeared up the stairs.

Harry raised his eyebrow in concern at Hermione's strange behaviour but immediatly shrugged it off. He had just succeded in convincing her to go back with him and didn't think that confonting her on it would be in anyone's best interest.

Instead he sat back casually on the sidearm of the couch again and waited. He was fiddling with a piece of thread that was coming undone on his robe when he noticed a tiny head of flaming red hair peering out of the kitchen door in the corner of his eye.

Harry smiled as he watched the little boy emerged from behind the door and moved slowly towards him, stopping to hide behind pieces of furniture. His tiny head popping out to eye Harry carefully as if he was some extinct animal on display.

“Ok I’m ready,” Hermione called out as she levitated her luggage down the stairs and deposited them by the door. She turned and noticed Julian, who was failing miserably to hid behind a lamp on the side table and laughed,

“Julian sweetie, what are you doing?” she asked,

“mummy!” Julian exclaimed as he ran toward her. Hermione scooped him up and walked over to Harry, “Julian, this is mummy’s friend Harry. Can you say hello to Harry?”

“Hi Aweeeeee” Julian said waving his chubby hand energetically in Harry’s face. Harry laughed, “Hey Julian,” he said, “nice to meet you.”

Julian nestled his face under Hermione’s chin and snuggled there. Hermione kissed the top of his head, “Honey, mummy has to go with Harry to help him with his wedding,” Julian’s head shot up, his eyes wide and sad-like, “I coming too?” he asked sweetly.

“I’m sorry sweetie, it’s just for grown up people,” Julian pulled a sad face and both Harry and Hermione laughed. “I have something more important I need you to do for me," she said in an important tone, Julian's eyes widened in excitment, "I need you to stay here and look after nana and pop, do you think you can do that for me?” she asked, her face remaining stern as if it was the most important thing in the world. Julian nodded his head, “yeah!" he said happily.

Harry looked at his watch, “Hermione, we better get going. Ginny had some urgent things she needed your help with today,” he pinched Julian on the cheek, “nice to meet you little buddy, I’ll see you around sometime,” Julian smiled, “Ok Aweee!" he replied.

“I’ll just settle him with my parents,” Hermione said as she walked toward the kitchen, “bye Aweee!!” Julian called from over Hermione’s shoulder, waving madly. Harry waved back, “bye Julian,” he said as he picked up Hermione’s bags and walked out the door.

After Hermione delivered Julian to her parents and kissed him goodbye she joined Harry outside and they began to walk to the apparition point down the street.

“Harry, when you said before that you ‘know’ Helena, what exactly did you mean?” Hermione asked as they rounded the corner into the alley,

“Let’s just say that she isn’t the most subtle person I’ve met,” Harry replied, “She bugged me constantly to give her and exclusive story on what happened at the final battle-”
“couldn’t she have got that information from Ron though?” Hermione interrupted,
“um, no actually. This was before they got together,” Harry said, his face turning a little red, “I didn’t want Ron to know I already knew her when he introduced us in case-.”
“in case he thought Helena was just using him to get to you?” Hermione said finishing off his sentence, Harry nodded “yeah, I wasn’t too keen to have a repeat of fourth year all over again,” he added.

Hermione stood on the apparition spot and turned to Harry, “you don’t think she’s using him now, do you?” she asked, looking concerned.

“I honestly don’t know Hermione.” Harry replied as he hauled up next to her to get ready to dissapperate, “I just hope for Ron’s sake she isn’t.”

Second’s later they re-materialised outside the house and Hermione followed Harry inside. “Gin, we’re back!” Harry called as he set Hermione’s bags down in the hallway and walked into the living room.

“Harry! Oh isn't it exciting!” Molly gave Harry a bone crushing hug, “Uh Hi Molly,” he said slightly confused, he looked at Ginny who had a strange look on her face,

“Gin, whats-”

“Hermione!” Molly rushed and gave Hermione a similar reception, “Oh, it's lovely to see you again. Such lovely news, It was such a surprise. Why didn't any of you say anything?”

“Sorry?” Hermione looked at Ginny who was shaking her head violently, “I'm not sure I follow”

“My first grandchild!” Molly said beaming, “Oh I always thought it would be Bill you know, seeing as he's the oldest, but oh! Ron is going to be so estatic, he'll be a wonderful father!” Both Harry and Hermione stood dumbfounded,

“Oh, I know you lot think I’m just a meddling mother," Molly continued, "but when Helena told me I-”

“What?” Hermione said suddenly before she could stop herself, “Helena told you?"

Hermione looked at Ginny, who was trying to mouth something but she couldn’t quite make out what.

"Yes so you can all stop acting like you don't know" Molly replied sounding slighly offended, "she already told me you all knew."

“So Helena told you that Ron has a son?” Harry asked confused, "and she told you that we all knew about it?"

Ginny was now making wild gestures with her arms by her stomach behind Molly’s back, Hermione shook her head and shrugged indicating she still had no idea what Ginny was trying to say,

Molly looked stunned, “Heavens Harry, surely it’s too early to tell if it is a boy or a girl. But I must agree with you, seeing as it’s half a Weasley, chances are it’s most probably going to be a boy!”

“Going to be?” Hermione said confused, none of this conversation was making any sense. Helena knew that she had a son to Ron but Hermione couldnt recall telling Helena that Harry and Ginny knew about it. Hermione looked Molly who was still beaming happily,

“Molly, just to be clear, what exactly did Helena tell you?” she asked,

Ginny buried her head in her hands as Molly shreiked with excitement,

“She’s pregnant! Isn’t that wonderful! Helena’s having a baby!”



A/N: Ok so I totally got stuck on this chapter and re-wrote it like a million times! I wanted to sneak Julian in the story somehow which was proved harder than I thought! Anyway, hope you all enjoyed it anyway!

Don't forget to review please! Much love to those who have reviewed so far, it's the highlight of my day to read them so please, keep it coming!


Chapter 6: A MOMENT
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"What!?!" Hermione and Harry said in unison, both had shocked looks on their faces. Molly looked at them skeptically and opened her mouth to say something when Ginny interrupted,

"Sorry mum, but we didn't say anything because Helena wanted to tell you herself," she said sweetly, "you understand that don't you?"

"Oh right, Of course," Molly said shaking her head, "I'm sorry, I'm just a little excited. I can't believe I'm going to be a grandma!" She was still beaming which made Hermione feel sick to her stomach. Technically, Molly was already a grandma, but thanks to Hermione, she had no idea.

Ginny could see Hermione was finding the news tough to bear and thought it a good time to initiate some damage control.

"Mum, I’m really sorry to do this to you but we have our final fitting appointment shortly and we need to leave now if we want to get there in time," Ginny began as she ushered her mother to the fireplace, "we'll stop by the burrow after to discuss the food ok,"

Molly nodded as she grabbed some floo powder, "ok sweetie, we'll see you later. It was good to see you again Hermione. Hopefully we'll catch up more later."

Hermione forced a smile, "ok Molly, see you then,"

"The Burrow!" Molly shouted as she disappeared behind the green flames.

"I'm so sorry!" Ginny said turning to Hermione who was still staring at the fireplace blankly, "she just turned up and told me just as you two walked in," she turned to Harry,

"did Helena say anything to you when she came round this morning about being pregnant?" she asked, Harry shook his head, "no, not that I remember." he answered.

"me neither," Ginny turned to Hermione reluctantly, "Did she say anything to you about it last night?"

"No," Hermione answered shaking her head slowly, "and why would she tell Molly we knew if she didn't tell us?"

"I don't know," Ginny said looking the clock on the mantle, "but we'll have to find out later. We really do need to leave now if we want to get to the fitting on time,"

Harry took this as his time to leave so excused himself and left the girls alone by the fireplace. Before Hermione stepped in she turned to Ginny, an apologetic look on her face.

"Gin, I'm sorry about yesterday," she said uncomfortably, "I shouldn't have yelled at you and Harry like that. I know none of it was your fault. I was being selfish and I just want you to know that it won't happen again."

Ginny laughed, "Forget about it," she said as she stepped into the fireplace next to Hermione, "anyone would have reacted the way you did. Honestly, it's fine," she smiled and held the floo powder between them, "ready?" she asked, Hermione nodded,

"Diagon Alley," Ginny shouted clearly and instantly they were engulfed in green flames.

*

"Luna!" Ginny called out to the young and very pregnant witch standing outside Madam Malkin's, "Sorry we're a little late, mum held us up,"

"That's ok, I just got here myself," Luna said happily, "Hello Hermione. It's good to see you again,"

"It's good to see you too Luna, how have you been?" Hermione asked as they followed Ginny into the store, "I see things are going well with Neville then?" she said as she nodded her head towards Luna's belly, "how far along are you now?

"Seven months," Luna replied, "I can't wait till it's finally over. I feel like a blimp,"

"yeah I know what you mean," Hermione said before she could stop herself, Luna looked at her in confusion, "really?" she asked eyeing Hermione suspiciously, "How do you-"

"Ok Luna, you're up first," Ginny interrupted handing Luna a dress robe, "Just try it on and we'll see what alterations need to be done, if any."

"Ok," Luna said merrily as she walked out back to the changing rooms. Hermione gave Ginny a thankful look, "that was close," Hermione said exhaling deeply, "I mean, I love Luna but I don't think I could cope with her knowing right now."

"Don’t worry, you won't have to hide it much longer," Ginny said as she handed Hermione another dress robe, "This is yours. Hopefully it doesn't need too much altering."

Hermione held it up, “where’s the rest of it?” she asked looking scandalised a the amount of material, or lack there of.

Ginny laughed, “Just try it on, I promise it will look great,” she ushered Hermione to the changing rooms out back quickly before she could argue anymore.

Hermione walked into the cubicle and hung the dress robe on the hook. After wasting about fifteen minutes trying to figure out which strap went where she finally managed to get it to stay on. It was awfully snug and fit much to tight around her chest and hips giving her way too much curve.

She shuffled awkwardly toward the cubicle curtain and poked her head out. She spotted Ginny sitting on a waiting chair reading an outdated copy of Witch Weekly.

"Ginny!" She said in a hushed whisper, "I'm having problems here!"

Ginny looked up from her magazine, "well, come out so I can have a look," she said simply,

Hermione looked embarrassed, “are you crazy,” she hissed madly, “I’m not coming out in this,”

Ginny shrugged as she lifted the magazine up in front of her face again, “ok then, so no need for alterations?” she said smirking

Hermione narrowed her eyes, “fine!” she said hotly as she adjusted her balance with the curtain. It took some effort but she managed to shuffle her way toward Ginny who found it all quite amusing.

“So what’s the problem?” Ginny shrugged nodding appreciatively,

Hermione looked outraged, “what do you mean what’s the problem?! Ginny I can hardly breathe let alone walk in this thing!!”

Ginny shook her head, “don’t worry we can fix that,” she rustled in a bag that was sitting by the chair and pulled out a pair of beautiful sleek heels, “here put these on,” she said as she handed them to Hermione.

“Wow, Gin these are fabulous,” Hermione said eyeing the shoes as if they were made of gold, “where did you get them from?”

“Well, marrying Harry Potter does have it’s perks,” she said smiling wickedly and wagging her eyebrows, Hermione giggled and stopped instantly when one of the shop attendants entered the room,

“Excuse me Miss Weasley,” she said kindly giving a little bow, “but you have a visitor out front,”

“Oh great, that’ll be Angelina with the jewellery. I’ll be right back,” she said to Hermione before she followed the attendant out to the front.

Hermione was still holding the shoes in her hand and admired their simple yet stunning design. She bent down to put one on but was restricted by the robe from bending any further than above her knee. She stood erect again and tried the other side but found she had the same problem.

Hermione looked around the room and spotted the couch, "maybe if I sit down", she thought to herself as she shuffled over toward it. Sadly the results were just as poor as she couldn’t bend low enough to sit. She stood up again, frustrated at her restricted movement, somehow she needed to loosen the robe a bit.

"Luna?" she called out, hoping the young witch was still in one of the changing stalls. Nothing. "Luna, are you in here?" she called again as she tried to maintained her balance. Still no answer. Hermione groaned in frustration "I'm going to kill Ginny" she mumbled as she struggled to make her way slowly across the room.

She walked across the room slowly in order to keep from falling. She stretched out her arm and gave a sigh of relief as she wrapped her fingers around the cubicle curtain. Just when she was thought she was home free she tripped over her jeans she had discarded on the floor and fell headfirst into the cubicle, pulling the curtain down with her. She let out a loud shriek as she landed hard on her backside, the shoes flying out of her hand and across the room.

"Hermione?" she froze as she heard the voice that sent chills down her spine. She felt the curtain being dragged off her and when her head finally popped out, she was face to face with Ron.

"What happened?" he asked, trying to hold his laughter back,

"I...I...fell," Hermione stuttered, slightly embarrassed. This is the second time in as many days Ron has seen her flat on her backside. She could feel her cheeks burning bright pink.

Ron held out his hand, "I can see that," he laughed as Hermione accepted his hand to help her up, "why on earth were you-" he suddenly went silent once Hermione was standing on her own. His eyes moved slowly from her bare toes right up to the loose strap on her dress that had obviously come undone when she fell.

"um, I think you broke the strap," he said, his voice cracking as she scratched the back of his head nervously.

"Oh no," Hermione gasped as she instinctively reached for the offending strap. Instantly she moved toward the mirror forgetting her inability to walk and almost lost her balance again when Ron quickly caught her mid-fall.

"Careful," he said softly in her ear as he helped her back up. His hands steady around her waist, "you don't want to cause more damage to that amazing dress,"

Hermione's became lightheaded. She was so close to him she could smell his cologne.

"thanks," she said breathlessly looking into his eyes. His arms sliding tighter around her waist.

"Don’t mention it," he said softly. Hermione could feel his breath on her face which sent slight shivers down her spine. They stared at each other silently, neither one wanting to break whatever kind of connection they were having. Hermione swallowed hard as she felt Ron's body move closer,

"H...Hermione I-"

"Ron! These are the wrong ones!" Ginny yelled as she stormed in with three small velvet boxes in her hands. Instantly both Ron and Hermione pushed away from each other causing Hermione to again fall flat on her backside.

"Damn it Ginny!" she said angrily as she slapped her hand hard on the ground, "I can't walk in this thing!"

Ron rushed to help her up again, "Hermione's right Gin," he said as he moved her over to the couch to sit down, "that's the second time she's fallen over in this thing. If you don't fix it, she'll never make it down the isle in one piece."
He looked sideways at Hermione and gave her a wink. Hermione blushed.

"Fine, I'll get Madam Malkin to alter it," Ginny said as she held out the velvet boxes, "Ron, take these back to mum and tell her I wanted the other necklaces, she'll know which ones."

Ron smiled and gave a little bow, "Yes your heiness" he mocked as he took the boxes and walked casually out the door.

Hermione buried her head in her hands, "Oh Ginny!" she screamed, half excited and half upset. Ginny immediatly went to her aid, "Hermione, what's wrong?" she asked, "Is the dress suffocating you?"

"No" she said shaking her head, "I think...I think we...we had a moment," she said in shock,

"Who? You and Ron?" Ginny asked, her eyes suddenly wide, "are you serious?! What happened?"

Hermione smiled, "I'll tell you the whole story," she said getting up from the couch, "once we've altered this dress, it's giving me a wedgie," they bothed laughed,

"What’s so funny?" Luna asked as she waddled slowly into the room. Her dress was a simple design and was no way as figure hugging as Hermione's.

"What is that?" Hermione said turning on Ginny in outrage and pointing at Luna's attire "Why does she get to wear that and I have to wear this thing I can hardly even walk in?"

Ginny folded her arms, "Luna is having a baby Hermione, it would look ridiculous if she wore that design so we altered it a little." she said simply, "now, I already agreed we'll alter the dress so would you take it off so Madam Malkin can have a look at it. I need to get it sorted today."

Hermione rolled her eyes and threw her hands up in the air, "fine! But I get to have the final say, seeing as though I am the one that has to wear it for the whole day." She stood up as dignified as she could without falling, "Accio wand," she summoned as her wand flew swiftly into her hand. She pointed it at her robe, "Engorgio" instantly the robe became loose enough for her to walk to the changing room, pick up her clothes and get changed.

After a bit of altering here and there, both Ginny and Hermione finally came to a decision on the dress robe design. Hermione stood and admired herself in the finished product. She thought about her so-called moment with Ron earlier. He had stuttered a few words before Ginny interrupted; did that mean he felt something like she did? Butterflies were fluttering around in her stomach as she looked at her reflection. Hopefully Ron would still think the dress was amazing after the minor alterations.

"Ready to go?" Ginny asked bringing Hermione out of her daydream. "Yeah ok," she answered glumly as walked to the cubicle and got changed. She joined Ginny out front and after saying goodbye to Luna they made their way to the burrow.

"Mum?" Ginny called out as they stepped out of the fireplace. "Mum, we're here!"

"Alright, alright. No need to yell," Molly walked over and kissed her daughter on the cheek, "hello dear," she took the robes from Hermione who had just stepped out of the fireplace and placed them on a neighbouring chair, "Hello Hermione dear," she said as she gave her a hug, "did the fitting go well?" she asked.

"Actually, the necklaces you sent Ron with were the wrong ones," Ginny said as she sat down on the couch, "did he tell you?"

"Yes, he did," Molly said walking over to the table and picking up three small velvet boxes similar to the ones Ginny had earlier that day, "I was about to send him along with these when Helena flooed and asked him to meet her urgently," Hermione's head jerked up as she suddenly became very interested in the conversation. She noticed Molly was gleaming as she handed the boxes to Ginny, "I think she's going to tell him about the baby, won't that be exciting!" Molly said clapping her hands together hopefully.

"Ron doesn't know?" Hermione said startled, she caught Ginny's eye and could tell she too was finding this new fact very odd. Molly shook her head, "Oh heavens no. Helena hasn't had time to tell him yet because he's been so busy," she looked at them curiously, "I thought you two knew that?"

"Oh yeah of course we did," Ginny lied, as she quickly narrowed her eyes at Hermione, "we just thought she would have told him by now, that's all." Hermione held her breath as she watched for Molly's reaction, luckily Ginny's ability to tell a good lie was still as sharp as ever as Molly accepted this as a good enough reason for Hermione's memory lapse.

After having lunch and answering many uncomfortable questions from Molly and Arthur about her job in France Hermione and Ginny left the burrow and made their way back home.

"Don't you think it's odd that Helena told Molly about being pregnant before she even told Ron?" Hermione asked Ginny as they sat at the dinner table going over final wedding arrangements, "I mean, it makes no sense?"

"What makes no sense is seating Neville with Fred and George," Ginny said as she tapped her wand on a piece of parchment that Hermione noticed was the seating plan, "heaven knows what those two will do to him if left unsupervised," she shook her head as she tapped the paper again, "I don't know what Harry was thinking!"

"Ginny!" Hermione said impatiently as she yanked the parchment out from under Ginny's nose, "are you listening to me? I think Helena's up to something."

Ginny rolled her eyes, "Hermione, I know you're desperate to find ways to hate Helena but couldn't it be possible that she just didn't want to tell Ron until she was ready?" she grabbed back the parchment and continued to go over it, "you of all people should know how hard it must be for her." she concluded.

Hermione frowned at this comment. Ginny was right, she could definitely understand what Helena was going through but she couldn't help but feel something about the whole situation didn't add up. One thing was for sure though; she was going to do all she could to find out why.


A/N: I felt like this story needed a little comic relief. Hopefully you all enjoyed it. I know JK Rowling squashed the whole Luna/Neville thing, but I still think they would make a cute couple so had to slip it in there! Thanks to all of you who have reviewed! Please, please continue to review/comment as they are what keep me writing :)

Also another huge thanks to Mandi for being the beta in this chapter again :) you're a star!!


Chapter 7: REVELATIONS
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The next two days went by like a blur. When Ginny had said everything was taken care of, she had obviously been lying. Hermione found herself spending most of her time in florists going over table arrangements with Luna whist Ginny tackled the more "serious" task of helping Harry and Ron and Neville with their wardrobe.

Hermione still couldn't shake the feeling that Helena's sudden pregnancy seemed not only strange, but highly convenient. Helena knew that Hermione and Ron had a son, and the fact that she hadn't yet told Ron about it sent a shock to her core. Unfortunately, with the wedding coming up fast and all that was left to be done Hermione didn't have time to confront Helena. In fact, she hadn't even seen her since that horrible night at the cafe.

"This one looks ok," Luna said as she pointed at a bizarre display of foliage. Hermione shook her head, "Luna, I don't think that one's for decoration," she said plainly, "I think we should just stick with this one," she said as she pointed at a beautiful display of lily’s and other assorted flowers, "it's seems only fitting since they share the same name as Harry's mum," Luna nodded, "ok. That one's nice too I suppose," she sighed as she continued to stare fondly at the bizarre foliage display. Hermione laughed as she walked over to the counter to confirm the order.

After Hermione and Luna finished their errands, Hermione bid Luna farewell and made her way over to Ron’s place to meet with Ginny. As she had never been there before she had to stop occasionally to ask her wand to point her in the right direction. Of course, It would have been easier to apparate but she wasn't in the mood to get splinched.

Finally after a few wrong turns she arrived on Merlin Ave and searched for a building with a number showing so she could figure out weather to go up or down the street. After what seemed like forever she found herself standing outside what looked like a hotel building. She double checked the number on the piece of parchment Ginny had given her earlier that morning, it matched the number on the door so she was definitely in the right place. She shrugged her shoulders and made her way inside.

She followed the red carpet to the front desk and rang the bell. She looked around as she waited and noticed that this particular hotel was first class. It looked like something out of Lifestyles of the Wizarding Famous. She was admiring the ornate detail on the pillars when a puff of smoke appeared from behind the desk causing her scream with fright. Once the smoke had cleared it revealed a smartly dressed young man who gave a little bow.

"Terribly sorry to frighten you madam.” he said politely, “how may I help you?”

Hermione took a moment to compose herself before answering,

"Um, I'm here to see Ronald Weasley please,"

The young man eyed her a little before he picked up the receiver to what looked like some kind of phone device.

"Name please?" he asked in monotone,

"Hermione Granger,"

The young man almost dropped the receiver but recovered it quickly and tapped the device with his wand. He continued to sneak curious glances at Hermione as he waited for an answer.

After a long and uncomfortable silence the Concierge cleared his throat and spoke into the receiver.

"Sorry to disturb you but I have a Ms Granger here at the front desk requesting visitation," he nodded his head as he listened to what must have been Ron's voice on the other end, "Very well then, goodbye." He put the receiver down and handed something to Hermione,

"Mr Weasley occupies the Penthouse suit," He pointed toward the elevator on his right, "This device will allow you up."

Hermione thanked him and made her way to the elevator. It seems Ron was doing pretty well for himself; she smiled as she got in, entered the device into the slot and pushed the button. She thought about how uncomfortable Ron use to be about not having much money when they were at Hogwarts. She remembered the lobby downstairs and laughed to herself. Obviously money was no longer an issue for Ron.

When the elevator reached the floor its doors slid open Hermione peeked out into what looked like the beginnings of a living room.

“Hello?” she called out curiously, not entirely sure she was in the right place.

"Ron’s not here.” Hermione jumped in surprise as she noticed Helena leaning casually on a nearby wall “he just left with Harry and Ginny as you were coming up,” she said with that smug look on her face,

“What…why?” Hermione stuttered.

“Because I told them you called to say you were running late and would meet them at Harry’s later,” Helena said simply as she smiled sweetly. Hermione’s eyes widened,

“You did what?” she said heatedly, “are you mad? Why did you do that?”

Helena shook her head, “Oh no Hermione, I’m not mad. I’m finally thinking logically,” she poked her temple repeatedly with her index finger, “You see, I thought if you left again without saying goodbye then that would be the end,” she closer toward Hermione, eyeballing her madly, “but I know now that even when you are absent you are still around this place,” she moved back and waved her arms franticly, “just look around, there are pictures of you everywhere,”

Then suddenly without warning Helena bolted past Hermione toward the bookshelf. She picked up a framed picture, “look!” she ran back and brandished it in Hermione’s face, “That’s you isn’t it?” she demanded.

Hermione raised her eyebrow; clearly this woman had a few screws loose upstairs. She looked at the picture and was instantly transported back to her days at Hogwarts. The little girl waving at her in-between her two male friends was a distant memory. It was from first year, she remembered, before they left Hogwarts for summer break.

“Yeah, it’s me.” Hermione said plainly, “so what? That was a long time ago Helena,”

“Don’t try to fool me Hermione,” Helena said slamming the picture on the table, “I know what you’re playing at and it’s not going to work.”

“Hah!” Hermione laughed sarcastically, “look who’s talking. If anyone is playing games here Helena, it’s you. How could you lie to Ron about being pregnant when-”

“who say’s it’s a lie?” Helena interrupted suddenly, “what makes you think I’m not?” she asked snidely.

Hermione stared at her blankly. It was all she could do to wish silently that Helena was nothing but a big fat liar. She couldn’t bare to believe that someone as evil and manipulative could nurse a child, let alone Ron’s.

“so…is it…is it true then?” Hermione asked, her voice merely a whisper.

“Oho, of course its true Hermione, why in the world would I make something like that up?” Helena answered as she patted Hermione’s shoulder in pity, “I know you want to desperately believe there’s still a chance between you and Ron, but let’s be real here, you blew it when you skipped out of here with your pathetic excuses,” she shook her head sadly,

“It’s my turn now so you’re just going to have to deal with that and move on,” she flashed her sweet smile causing Hermione’s inside’s to rage with anger. She had no idea how Ron could stand being in the same room as someone as unstable as Helena let alone take her on as a wife.

“Look Helena,” Hermione said angrily as she picked up the photo frame and placed it safely back on the bookshelf, “No matter what happens, Ron and I still have a son together. So if you can’t deal with that like a normal human being, well then I guess it will be you that will have to move on.”

With that, Hermione turned and charged past Helena toward the elevator and pushed the call button.

“No!” Helena screamed causing Hermione to jump in fright, “Ron will never go back to you. I have already wasted time and energy into making him the man he is today and I will not let you and your frizzy hair ruin that, do you hear me!”

Hermione stepped into the elevator and turned to face Helena, “Ron was fine the way he was before you came along. The fact that you’re trying to change him only confirms to me that you two obviously don’t belong together-” the doors of the elevator moved to close and Hermione put her hand to stop it, “-if you think for one second that I’m going to just stand by and let you get away with this Helena you are sadly mistaken. One way or another Ron will learn the truth about you and I just hope I am there when he finds out.” Hermione let go of the elevator door and watched Helena’s shocked expression as they slid closed.

Hermione exhaled deeply as she leaned against the back of the elevator. She paused for a moment until slowly a broad smile came across her face. She felt happy for the first time since meeting Helena and as far as she was concerned nothing could change that. The lift arrived on the lobby floor and Hermione literally skipped out of the hotel with the big grin still plastered on her face.

“Gin? Harry?”

Hermione let herself into Harry and Ginny’s home using the spare key they had given her earlier that day. She was still feeling happy from her encounter with Helena she practically hummed as she made her way to the kitchen to grab a snack. She opened the fridge and leaned in, now moving her body in a slow dance motion to the tune she was humming as she contemplated what she could possibly snack on.

She didn’t notice Ron when he walked into the kitchen. He smiled as he watched her bop away to the random tune she was humming. He loved the way she moved when she danced. He remembered how he would always catch her doing little dance moves when she was walking about the Burrow when they were dating many years ago. She was beautiful then and still beautiful now. Ron felt his face turn red at that thought and quickly cleared his throat causing Hermione to drop the jar of pickles she was retrieving from the fridge.

“Ron!” she gasped in shock, “you scared me! What are you doing here?” she asked as she pulled out her wand and knelt down to clean up the mess she had made.

“Careful,” Ron said as he moved closer and bent down beside her, “there are some sharp pieces of glass there, you don’t want to cut yourself,” he said calmly as he gently grabbed Hermione’s hand to move it away from the glass.

For a moment they knelt there, Hermione’s little hand in Ron’s manly ones. They began to stand upright slowly, still hand in hand the broken glass forgotten in-between them.

“I’m sorry I scared you,” Ron whispered softly, “I didn’t mean too,”

“It’s ok,” Hermione said as she blushed, “I’m kinda glad you did.”

Ron cleared his throat again. He couldn’t understand why being so close to Hermione was making him so nervous. He could feel his cheeks starting to turn pink.

“Hermione, I…I came here to talk to you. There are things I need to know, to ask you.” He looked her deep in her eyes, “I have some burning questions that need some answers.”

Hermione nodded slowly, she had been expecting this. Granted she thought Ron would be angrier or upset but this kind, gentle Ron she welcomed thankfully.

Ron grabbed Hermione’s other hand in his and squeezed them gently, “I’m not mad at you Hermione,” he said strongly, “it’s really important to me for you understand that.”

“I understand your not mad anymore Ron,” Hermione answered softly, “I just don’t understand why?” she shook her head sadly, “I know I hurt you when I left Ron. Not a day goes by that I regret the decision I made that day, but I can’t go back. If I could take it all back I would but-”

Ron held his finger over Hermione’s lip, “shhhhh,” he whispered, causing Hermione’s heart to melt a little, “let’s not get into that right now,” he moved his hand to brush her cheek gently, “Just tell me one thing, did you ever think of me when you were away?”

“Everyday” she whispered without batting an eyelid, “Everyday,”

“Then why?” Ron asked, his voice still gentle, “why did you leave me?” he paused, “was there someone else?”

Hermione looked away, she wasn’t sure if now was the right time to tell Ron about Julian. But he was in such a good mood, maybe he would understand her reasoning for leaving, even if it was selfish at the time.

“Hermione?” Ron tilted his head, his hands became stiff, “is that why you left? Because of someone else?”

“Ron, please, I-”
“Did you stop loving me?” Ron interrupted, his eyes becoming more intense, “is that why you left?”

Hermione shook her head as she let go of Ron’s hands and bent down to clean up the forgotten mess.

“Ron there’s more to it then that, I-”

“Just yes or no Hermione,” Ron grabbed Hermione’s hand again and lifted her upward to face him, “that’s all I want to know.”

Hermione blinked nervously, “I…I’m not sure I can-”

RING, RING

Hermione and Ron both jumped at the sound of a piercing ring that was echoing throughout the kitchen, Ron put his hands over his ears,

“WHAT IS THAT?” he yelled as Hermione rifled through her purse for the offending device,

“It’s a mobile phone Ron,” Hermione said as pulled it out of her bag, “my parents gave it to me for emergen-” she paused as her face turned pale, “I have to take this call, excuse me” she dashed past Ron and into the hallway where she flipped open the phone,

“Hello? Mum, what is it? What’s wrong” Hermione demanded

“Hermione, you need to come quickly. Julian has had an accident,” Mrs Granger sounded distraught, “we think it might be something of a magical nature and we're not sure what to do"

Hermione began to panic, "Oh my goodness, what happened?" she rushed back into the kitchen past Ron again and grabbed her purse off the bench.

"We're not really sure.” Mrs Granger answered, “One minute he was fine and the next he was lying spread-eagled on the floor."

Hermione stopped in her tracks, "On the floor? What do you mean on the floor?" she rushed into the living room and searched franticly for some floo powder. “Mum, Is he still breathing?

“Yes Hermione, he’s breathing, but just faintly. You need to come now.”

"Wait, just don't do anything, I'll be there soon." She snapped the phone shut and continued to search for the floo powder, "Come on, where is the damn floo powder" she mumbled to herself, her mind running a hundred miles an hour as she silently prayed her son was ok.

Ron had followed her to the living room and was now standing by the couch, "Hermione? Is everything ok?" She continued searching,

"No Ron everything is not ok, I need to leave right now! Do you know where Harry keeps the floo powder?”

Ron reached up to grab the pot of powder that was sitting on one of the shelve and handed it to her, "Hermione, you need to calm down,"

Hermione's eyes widened, if only he knew, "Calm down? I will not calm down. I have to go, Julian needs me." She knew that as soon as she said his name it was a mistake.

Ron became stiff, "Julian? who the hell is Julian?"

Hermione didn’t have time for this right now, her son was in trouble and that was all she could think about. She grabbed a handful of floo powder and walked into the fireplace,

“I’m sorry Ron, I don’t have time to explain, I have to go,”

"So is that why you left before Hermione? Because of this Julian person?"

Hermione looked him sadly in the eyes,

"Yes Ron, Julian was the reason I left. Now let me go, he needs me."

The words stung sharply in Ron’s heart, he stumbled away from the fireplace as he watched Hermione disappeared behind the green flames.



A/N: Firstly 1000 apologies for the long delay in getting this chapter up! I’ve been so busy in a new role at work that I haven’t had time to do anything!!

Once again, please (x1000) post a review; it is what keeps me going! Criticism welcome also as it is all about the readers, so if you’re not happy about something…let me know!

Again a big huge thanks to Mandi for being the beta on this chapter again! You are still a star!!!



Chapter 8: THE WOES OF HERMIONE
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Moments later Hermione was back at her childhood home.

“Hermione, quickly” Mrs. Granger said as she handed Julian to her wrapped in a blanket. Hermione’s heart skipped a beat at his still form. Luckily she could feel he was still breathing.

"Its ok baby," she whispered soothingly, "Mommy's here." she turned to her parents, "We have to get to St. Mungos now," she stepped back into the fireplace and with one arm tightly around Julian, and floo powder in the other they were instantly transported by the network to the hospital.

After being directed to the spell damage floor they sat waiting to see a healer. Hermione's mind was racing with worry, "please be ok," she whispered to in Julian’s ear, "mummy is so sorry she left, I promise it will never happen again. “she turned to her mother, her face white with panic, “How you could let this happen?"

Mr. Granger put his hand on Hermione’s shoulder to calm her. “Hermione, there's no need to speak to your mother like that, it's not her fault." Hermione nodded as she choked back the tears, she knew it wasn't her mothers fault, but she was so upset and needed to vent out on someone.

"I know, sorry mum,” Hermione said sadly, “I'm just worried he's not going to make it," Mrs. Granger squeezed her daughters arm, "Don't worry dear, it'll be ok once he's been seen too." she pointed towards a young witch who was approaching them, "Look, here comes someone now."

The young witch was a healer named Madison. They followed her to the exam room and Hermione laid Julian on the bed. Madison examined him and did what looked like a few standard tests. After she had finished she turned to Hermione,

"So, Ms Granger, what exactly happened?" Hermione looked at her mother and then back at Madison, "To be quite honest, I'm too not sure," she felt so embarrassed, Madison must think she's a terrible mother, "I left him with my parents as I was out of town to attend a wedding." she paused for a moment, she wasn't sure weather she should say but it may be somehow important,

"You see, they're muggles so they weren't sure if the damage was magical or not." Madison scribbled down some notes with her quill, "So I thought it best to bring him here." Madison nodded and continued to write.

Hermione wrung her hands nervously; she would never forgive herself if this caused permanent damage. After scanning her notes and giving Julian another once over, Madison looked at Hermione with a soft expression. Hermione’s body became numb.

"Ms Granger, are you at all familiar with the term Magicum Primus?"

Hermione searched her brain, she was positive she had heard that term before but under the stress was finding it hard to pinpoint where. She shook her head in a sad panic,

"It sounds familiar, but I can't be certain," she looked at Julian, "Is it serious? Will he be ok?" Hermione placed her hand on Julian’s still form, he was so cold. Tears were threatening to spill over her already quivering eyes.

"Magicum Primus is a fascinating thing Ms Granger,” Madison said as she walked toward a cabinet and pulled out what Hermione could only guess was some kind of antidote, “It's more common term is magic-” she handed the phial to Hermione and smiled, “-first time magic to be exact.”

Hermione was confused, did she just say fascinating? Her son was motionless and she was calling this fascinating. Madison could obviously read her reaction and thought it best to take a step back and explain,

"Ms Granger, you son has shown his first sign of magic. This is commonly triggered by fear. Babies react by performing a defensive spell, purely by accident of course. It's a normal reflex but often stuns them temporarily,"

Relief washed over Hermione as her mother hugged her, "So he's going to be ok?" she asked. Madison nodded, "He's going to be just fine. You can take him home once I’ve perform the counter spell"

Hermione nodded as she gently caressed Julian’s head. She couldn’t believe that her baby boy had shown his first sign of magic.

“Thank you,” she said in relief as she examined the contents in the phial, “So this is some kind of recovery medicine?”

“The content in that phial is for anxiety.” Madison smiled as she began the counter spell on Julian, “It’s for you,”

Hermione raised her eyebrow at this statement; she was slightly caught off guard,
“for me? But, I don’t understand?”

“It was perfectly normal for you to react the way you did Ms Granger. All first time mothers go through it.” Madison explained as she finished the spell, “That stuff just helps take the edge off so you will be back to normal when your son wakes up and is ready to leave.” Hermione nodded, “Oh, right,” she said, slightly embarrassed, “Thank you Madison, for everything.”

“It was no trouble,” she said as she handed Hermione some forms, “Just fill these out and take them to the front desk when you’re ready to leave,” she squeezed Hermione gently on the bid them farewell, “now if you’ll excuse me, I have another patient to attend to,” and with that she disappeared.

--------------------------------

“Look mate, just try to calm down,” Harry always tried to be sympathetic towards Ron and his problems with Hermione but frankly after so many years it seemed to be getting a little redundant. However, he still had to try, Ron was his best mate and soon to be brother in law, “what exactly did she say when she left?”

Ron was pacing back and forth in Harry and Ginny’s lounge, moving fast but going nowhere, “She said it was because of him Harry, she said it was because of this Julian guy that made her leave.”

Harry registered the name but was unsure weather Hermione had told him the whole story, “are you sure she said Julian?” he asked casually. Ron gave him a sharp look, “I was there Harry and I’m not deaf. She looked me straight in the eye and said Julian.” He stopped and rubbed his temples as he mumbled to himself, “Julian. Who is Julian? I don’t know any Julian,” he turned to Harry, “Do you?”

Harry sat with a blank look on his face, what was he suppose to say? It was definitely not his place to tell Ron he was a father and Julian in fact was his son. He continued to search his brain for an answer,

“Harry?” Ron looked curiously at Harry awaiting some kind of response. Crap. Think Harry, think. Ron’s eyes began to narrow suspiciously, “Harry, do you know something?” Harry remained silent which helped his case in no way whatsoever. Ron walked towards the couch and sat down, head buried in his hands, defeated.

“So how long has this been going on? I must’ve looked like a right fool all those years ago, thinking she was so into me,” Harry could see Ron was tired of fighting and could feel nothing but sorry for him, especially since Ron had no idea how wrong he was.

“I swear mate, I just found out too.” Harry said in an attempt to be comforting. They sat together, staring into space. They preferred silence when dealing with emotional girl problems; it was a pact they made a long time ago. To them, understanding the female species was a problem best discussed in silence.

Ginny arrived home about an hour later and was surprised at the grim mood set in the lounge, she dumped her parcels on the couch and turned to her older brother,

“Ok, Ron, what did you do now? Where’s Hermione?” Ginny asked sarcastically. Harry gave her a quick glance as if to say now was not the time to be joking around. Ginny shrugged, “What happened?” A look of realization came over her face as she sat down slowly, “Oh no, Helena told you the news then?”

Ron looked confused, “what are you talking about? What news?”

Harry buried his head in his hands and Ginny could swear she heard him make a groaning sound. She looked at Ron apologetically, “Oh no, it nothing. Sorry I must have my wires crossed it was someone else that-”
“Ginny don’t!” Ron interrupted loudly, making Ginny jump in her seat, “I have had enough of people hiding things from me,” he stood up, his face turning red with anger, “just tell me, what news was Helena suppose to have told me?”

Ginny was now standing, her face turning just as red, “Don’t you yell at me Ronald Weasley! If you want answers, maybe you should go and find out from your fiancé!”

“No Ginny, no more hiding. Just tell me now!” Ron was in no mood to be put in place by his baby sister, “I have a right to know if it concerns me!”

“Enough!” Harry put his foot down hard as he stood up to join the shouting match. Both Ginny and Ron looked at him in surprise but said nothing.

“Ron,” Harry began after a minute of silence moved past, “Helena has some pretty big news to tell you which Ginny and I both feel is best to come from her,-” Ron squinted his eyes a bit in protest “-but I guess in a way your right, if the news concerns you then maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if we told you.”

Ron stood staunch and folded his arms, “Look guys. I’m not in the mood to be treated like a child. Just tell me ok, I deserve to know.”

Harry looked at Ginny who gave a non-comical shrug, “if he wants to know, I guess there’s no harm in telling him,” she looked at Ron with a serious stare, “you might want to sit down for this one,” she said sternly as she sat down on the couch and patted the empty seat next to her.

“No thanks, I think I’ll stand,” he replied sharply, still sore from Ginny’s outburst earlier, “Just tell me already.”

“Ron,” Harry said in the most comforting voice he could find, “Helena’s pregnant,”

“Wh…Wh…Wha…How?” Ron stuttered

Ginny raised her eyebrow, “um Ron if you need to ask how, then-”

“I know how Ginny,” Ron interrupted, “that is not what I meant,” he began to pace again, “It’s just a shock that’s all, I mean we never really discussed kids,” he shook his head violently, “I swear she said she wasn’t ready for a family yet and,” he stopped in his tracks, “well what about her career? What about my career and-,” he then broke into a string of mumbles as he continued to pace again. Harry and Ginny watched him closely both wondering weather telling him was the right thing to do.

“Ron,” Ginny asked softly, hoping not to awake the beast she knew was hiding inside her brother on his bad days “you are happy about this, aren’t you?”.

“What? Oh yeah, of course I’m happy,” he said quickly, as if he had forgotten Ginny and Harry were in the room. He scratched the back of his head nervously. “Ah, look guys, I better go and find Helena; we have a lot of talking to do.” He walked dazedly toward the fireplace to use the floo network. There was no way he could apparate now when his mind was all over the place.

When Ron stepped into his living room moments later he was greeted with a high intoxication smell. He held his hand over his nose as he investigated where the smell was coming from.

“Helena?” he called out curiously as she walked toward the opened balcony door. The smell was becoming stronger as he made his way outside. There he found the source of the odd smell. Helena was burning something on a small bonfire she had conjured up with magic. Ron’s eyes widened as he recognized the box she was using to feed the fire.

“Helena, what the bloody hell are you doing?” he asked as he marched over to retrieve the box. Helena quickly snatched it up and ran to hold it with her arm stretched over the bonfire.

“One more step and it goes in the fire,” she threatened, her eyes blazing like the flames beneath her arm, Ron back away slowly and held up his hands in surrender,

“Ok, ok,” he said softly, “just calm down ok,” he moved toward her slowly, “what is this all about?”

“I will NOT calm down Ronald,” she hissed as she retracted the box and pulled out a handful of parchments before discarding the box savagely on the floor,

“What? Did you think I would never find these?!” she screamed as she waved the parchments at Ron, “how could you? This whole time we’ve been together you’ve been writing letters to HER!?!”

Ron was caught off guard. He had kept that box in a particular hiding place and couldn’t help but be slightly annoyed that Helena had disrespected his privacy. But he had to push those feelings aside, Helena was in a delicate condition and he didn’t want to do anything to hard her or the baby.

“Helena, please,” Ron said calmly, “it’s not what it looks like ok,” he continued to move closer, “those letter were just a way for me to vent my feelings, my frustration. I never actually sent them.”

Helena backed away and held up one of the parchments and began to read it, “‘Dear Hermione, I miss you more than you could ever know. There is so much more love inside me left to share with you-’ this was written six months ago Ron! SIX! We have been together for over TWO years,” she held up two fingers, “TWO YEARS RON! Not only is this unacceptable, it’s down right insulting!” she screamed as she threw the parchments in the fire,

“Helena, you don’t understand-” Ron began, his eyes on the parchments as they began to burn slowly,

“Your damn right I don’t understand,” Helena interrupted, “why in the world would you want to be with someone like Hermione when you have someone like me? Someone who is willing to be with you?” she asked madly, “I gave you everything Ron, and you didn’t even care!”

“That’s not true Helena and you know it!” Ron said defensively, “Helena I love you ok, please let’s just go inside and work this out, please?” he asked sincerely.

Helena wasn’t listening; she was staring at the box at something shiny hat had caught her eye. She walked over to retrieve it, her eyes narrowed,

“Well, well, well,” she said as she picked up the said object and held it in her hand, “what do we have here?” she asked as she moved closer to the fire to have a better look. It was a medal of some sort; there was an inscription engraved on it,

‘Presented to Hermione Jane Granger for Commitment and Bravery in Defense against the Dark Arts and Preserving Wizard kind.’

Ron recognized immediately the medal Helena was holding in her hand and reacted instantly, “Helena, don’t,” he warned her as she moved closer to grab the medal, “NOT ANOTHER STEP RON!” Helena yelled as she held the medal over the fire, just she had done with the parchments earlier, “don’t think I won’t throw this in too!” she threatened, holding back her tears.

Ron took a moment to compose himself, “Helena, this is ridiculous,” he said calmly, he had to initiate some kind of “please can we just go inside and discuss this? The smoke out here can’t be good for you or our baby, and-”

Helena’s eyes widened, “Who told you about the baby?” she demanded, “It was her wasn’t it, that sneaky little-”
“No Helena, it was Harry & Ginny who told me ok,” Ron interrupted quickly, “but it’s ok, I’m happy about it, really. We’re going to be a family. You, me and our child, together,” he said soothingly,

“Nice try Ron, but we both know that you never wanted to have a family with me,” she hissed as she continued to dangle the medal over the fire, “well, luckily for you, we’re not going to,”

“What? So you’re not pregnant?” Ron asked, slightly confused, “I don’t understand?”

“Well maybe you’ll understand this!” she screamed as she threw the medal into the fire, “No!!” Ron yelled as he dashed quickly to retrieve it back out, his hand seared in the heat as he wrapped his fingers around the medal and pulled it out quickly,

“Damn it,” he yelled as he ran into the kitchen and dropped the medal on the bench. Helena followed him as she stuck his hand under the tap and ran cool water over it. He turned to Helena, “You are crazy. I want you out of my house, now!”

Helena knew she had pushed Ron too far, but she didn’t care. Her reputation was on the line and there was no way she was leaving her on Ron’s terms.

“Oh, don’t worry I’m leaving,” Helena said coolly, as she composed herself, “There is just one more thing you need to know,”

“Whatever it is, I don’t care!” Ron said through his gritted teeth, his hand was hurting more than he wanted to let on,

“Oh I think you will care Ron,” Helena continued, ignoring Ron’s glare, “you see because I really am pregnant,” she said proudly,

“What?” Ron was beginning to get light headed, “but you said-”
“Oh I know what I said Ron,” Helena interrupted, “the baby’s not yours Ron,”

Ron looked like he had been slapped in the face, “Wait, let me get this straight,” he turned the tap off and walked toward Helena, “you mean to tell me that you have been sleeping around on me?”

Helena stared him right back in the eyes, “that’s right, doesn’t feel nice does it huh?” she said in spite, “It makes you think doesn’t it? You must be doing something wrong Ronald Weasley, seeing as you can’t keep your woman from being unfaithful,”

Ron’s ears turned pink as he remembered Hermione and her recent admittance about her and a guy named Julian. “I want you out of here Helena!” he yelled angrily, “so you better leave now before I do something I might regret,” he turned his back on her before he could see Helena pull out her wand.

Ron had no chance with his damaged hand from countering the jinx; he curled over and fell to his knees just as he watched Helena disappear behind the elevator doors.

--------------------------------

Ron’s head felt heavy when he awoke. He blinked his eyes a few times to adjust to the light and looked around the room. After spending much of his childhood and school years in the infirmary he knew he must be at St Mungos, the question was how did he get there? The answer came into view in the doorway, Harry.

After explaining the situation to Ginny, he made his way to Ron’s to make sure he was ok, he arrived to find Ron on the floor with a damaged hand.

“How are you feeling?” Harry sat on the chair by the bedside as Ron sat up, “It’s ok. I’ve been worse.” He looked out the window; it was dark out, “How long have I been out?” Harry smiled, “Only a couple of hours mate. Althea, the healer, said that was a pretty powerful spell that hit you, but since you have good defenses it only stunned you a bit and knocked you out,”

Ron tried to get out of bed, just as Althea entered the room, “Oh no you don’t Mr. Weasley,” Ron froze, “Not till I’ve had one final look at you to make sure all is ok, then you may go.” She checked his chart and did some final tests before declaring him ok to leave, she handed him a form to take to the desk to sign him out.

Harry waited outside the room while Ron got dressed. “Harry?” he turned and saw Hermione walking down the hallway towards him holding Julian in her arms, his head was resting on her shoulder, “What are you doing here? Is something wrong with Ginny?” she asked,

Harry shook his head, “No, Ginny’s fine. I’m not here to see her”

“Oh good,” Hermione said with relief, “So, if your not here with Ginny, then who are you here with?” Harry shifted uncomfortably, “Um, its Ron. He broke up with Helena and it didn’t end very well,” Hermione’s eyes widened, “Oh my goodness, what happened?” Harry shrugged, “Well I’m not 100% sure, but honestly, he’s fine. I’m just waiting out here while he gets changed so we can go.” Hermione was relieved to hear Ron was ok when she started to panic and grabbed Harry with her free hand.

“Harry I can’t let him see me here with Julian, it’s not the right time,” Her heart started racing; she turned to leave and started power walking down the hallway. She heard the door opening and then Ron’s voice, “Ready to go mate? Who were you talking to?” Hermione hoped like anything that he didn’t look up the hallway, she had almost made it to the corner when Julian gave her away, “Bye Awee,” he was waving over her shoulder as she turned.

She rushed to the front desk and handed them the papers. The young lady behind the desk inspected the papers and scribbled some notes, she waved her wand and produced another paper which she handed to Hermione, “Sign here and here and initial there and here” she tapped her wand and little “x” symbols appeared where she was to sign. She put Julian down, “Stay here honey, mommy needs to sign some papers then we can go home.”

“Mommy?” Hermione froze at the sound of Ron’s voice …


A/N: Ok for you guys who reviewed I made it my mission to get this chapter up as soon as possible, so the more you guys review, the faster I write the next chapter!! So PLEASE review it up large for the next chappie!

I know it was a bit long, but I had to fit it all in there and thought Ron and Helena deserved a dramatic breakup! Hopefully you readers are happy with the outcome!

And again, thanks to Mandy for being the beta on this chapter! I couldn't have completed my mission without you!



Chapter 9: RON'S DISCOVERY
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Hermione’s heart pounded as she turned slowly to see Ron and Harry behind her.

“Hermione, what’s going on?” Ron had a hurt look on his face as his eyes moved between her and Julian, “Is…Is he your s… son?” his eyes now rested on Julian.

Hermione’s face turned pale, her stomach in knots. This was not how she wanted Ron to find out, she nodded as she moved closer to Julian and placed her hand on his shoulder, “Yes Ron, this is my son.”

Both Harry and Hermione waited with bated breath for Ron to say something. It was hard to determine what he was thinking as his face was giving nothing away. After a few moments of deafening silence Hermione spoke

“Look, Ron. This was not how I planned to tell you ok, I had this whole thing prepared and-“
“So who’s the father?” Ron Interrupted, finding his voice again.
Hermione looked confused but Ron’s anger got the better of him, “I suppose it’s the guy you left me for?”

“What?” Hermione said in surprise, surely Ron couldn’t be that dim to not notice the striking resemblance between him and Julian.

“It’s his son isn’t it?” Ron’s face was turning red, a warning sign Hermione and Harry knew all too well,

“Listen mate, just let Hermione explain,” Harry said calmly,

Ron’s blood began to boil, “save it Harry, I don’t want to hear it,”

“Ron, it’s not what you think,” Hermione began but Ron held up his hand to stop her continuing, his eyes burning with anger and hurt,

“I loved you with all my heart Hermione, could you not see that? All I wanted was to be with you, forever-”

“Ron please I can explain,” Hermione interrupted,

“No!” Ron said hotly, “No more explaining, I’ve had enough,” he began to walk away when Hermione grabbed his arm, “Ron please?” she begged. Ron snatched his arm away,

“Leave me alone Hermione,” he said angrily, “don’t you think you’ve hurt me enough?” Tears began to quiver in Hermione’s eyes, “No, wait please?” she whispered softly, her arm still outstretched as she watched Ron walked around the corner and disappear.

Harry walked up behind her with Julian by his side, “I’m sorry Hermione,” he said as he placed his hand on her shoulder in comfort,

“I have to find him Harry,” Hermione said softly, “I need to tell him the truth.”

Harry nodded, “let’s just go home ok,” he answered, as he led them out of the hospital. He hated seeing sadness in Hermione’s eyes as she followed him in silence. Julian of course was oblivious to all the drama and was making excited noises which were not much help.

As soon as they got home Hermione disappeared into the guest room while Harry retold the drama to Ginny,

“Oh dear,” she said as she shook her head, “Ron really is an idiot.” Harry nodded as if to agree, “I better go and check on her,” Ginny said as she stood up from the floor. She had been playing with Julian and had become absolutely smitten with him, she ruffled his red mane playfully and made her way to Hermione’s room

“Hermione?”

Ginny knocked softly as she opened the door a crack, “can I come in?”

Hermione looked up at her; Ginny noticed the tearstains on her face as she nodded sadly, “sure”

Ginny walked in and sat down next to her on the bed, “Hermione, I’m sorry my brother is an idiot,” she began, “I can’t believe he couldn’t see the resemblance!”

“Ron’s not an idiot Ginny,” Hermione answered sadly, “I am. I should have told him the truth from the beginning. This whole thing has been nothing but a mess and it’s entirely my fault!” she buried her head in her hands, “Ron will never forgive me!”

Ginny patted her gently on the back as Hermione let out more tears, “you’re not an idiot Hermione” she said in her most comforting voice, “No one could possibly have known things would turn out this way,”

“I should have known!” Hermione defended sharply, “It’s who I am!” she blew her nose on some tissue, “look at me? I mean, when did I become this emotional wreck?” she asked. “When did logic suddenly give up and fly out the window?”

Ginny sighed, “Hermione, you know that’s not what this is about, it’s-”
“Then what is this about Ginny?” Hermione interrupted, “How could I have screwed this up so badly to make Ron think that I would hurt him on purpose?”

Ginny shrugged, “Well, why don’t you go find him then?” she asked bluntly. Hermione looked at her as if she had just been slapped in the face,

“He doesn’t want to see me Ginny,” she replied defensively, “he’s already made that clear,” Ginny shrugged,

“Well, make him,” she said flatly. Hermione shook her head, “it’s no use. I’ve ruined everything!” she groaned loudly and lay back flat on the bed.

Ginny pulled her back upright, “Come on Hermione, don’t give up,” she said as she continued to pull Hermione right off the bed so they were now standing,

“You have to go find Ron and explain everything to him, and I mean everything!” Ginny now had her hands on her hips; Hermione couldn’t help but notice how much Ginny looked like Molly at that moment and began to smile,

“That’s the attitude I was looking for,” Ginny continued, mistaking Hermione’s smile as her acceptance of this plan, “Hermione you need to do this,” she said seriously, “if not for you, then for Julian.”

Hermione’s smile faded, Ginny was right. It’s not Julian’s fault that Ron was not in his life, it was hers. She owed it to him to introduce him to his father, even if Ron wasn’t in the mood to hear about it.

“Your right Ginny,” she took a quick look in the mirror and cringed. She looked horrible, but she didn’t care. Hermione knew she had blown her chances of ever rekindling the spark between them, she knew that. All she wanted now was for Ron to know his son.

Hermione made her way back into the living room, Ginny in tow, and gave Julian a kiss goodbye, “Be good for Aunt Ginny and Uncle Harry ok honey,” Julian giggled, he was immersed in magic trick Harry was showing him that he didn’t seem to mind, “ok mummy, bye”

Ginny walked Hermione to the door, “Don’t worry Hermione, I’m sure after Ron’s calmed down he’ll see things more clearly. Just be honest with him ok.” Hermione nodded and gave her a hug, “I know Ginny, I will.”

Hermione decided to apparated back to Merlin Ave and walk down to Ron’s building. She reached into her pocket and pulled out the device she was given earlier that day. In all the excitement when she left Helena earlier that day she had forgotten to hand it in. She walked to the elevator and made her way up to Ron’s apartment for the second time that day.

“Ron?”

Hermione walked into the living room, she wasn’t sure if he was home but she didn’t know where else to start.

“Ron, are you here?”

There was an odd smell in the air as she walked down the hallway. She noticed the door at the end was slightly ajar. She walked toward it and slowly pushed it open. Ron was standing by the window staring out into the dark night.

“Why are you here Hermione?” Ron asked coldly, “I have nothing to say to you,”

Hermione slowly moved closer, “I came to explain Ron,” she said softly,

“I said I didn’t want to hear it,” he moved away from her, “what part of that do you not understand?”

Hermione could see he was still upset about their confrontation earlier. She took a deep breath, hoping it would giver her strength to fight for a chance to tell Ron the truth about everything.

“Well, you may not want to hear but your going to anyway,” Hermione said flatly as she stood in front of him, blocking Ron’s path. Ron looked down at her, his eyes wild with fire, “Get out of my way Hermione,” he warned, “I am not in the mood,”

Hermione glared back just as strong, “No Ron, I’m not leaving until you agree to hear me out.” She stood her ground and folded her arms as if that were the end of the matter.

“Well I don’t want to hear you out!” Ron yelled, “Why can’t you understand that I just want to be left alone?”

Hermione could see that this approached was clearly not working. She needed to change tactics,

“Fine,” she said as she turned to leave, “if you don’t care enough to want to hear me out, I guess I can’t force you to listen to me,” she began to walk toward the door,

“Don’t care enough?” Ron said in outrage, “how can even you say that?”

‘Got him,’ Hermione thought to herself as she took a moment to rid the smile that had crept across her face. She turned with her arms folded and cocked her eyebrow, “are you saying I’m wrong?”

“Of course you’re wrong!” Ron snapped, “Can’t you see how hurt I am?” he asked heatedly, “do you think I would feel this way if I didn’t care?!”

“You call this caring?” Hermione snapped back, “You won’t even listen to what I have to say!”

“Well maybe I’ve had enough heartache for one day Hermione,” Ron snapped, “why should I have to stand here and listen to you go on about some other guy and your child you had with him,”

“Ronald Weasley you really are an idiot!” Hermione groaned as she raised her hands in the air in frustration, “when have I ever said there was another guy?”

“Oh so now you’re denying it?” Ron challenged, Hermione rolled her eyes, “I have nothing to deny Ron,” she spat sharply, “I never said anything to you about another guy,”

“Yes you did,” Ron defended, “This afternoon, at Harry & Ginny’s just after that ruddy phone device went off. You said you left me because of some guy named Julian”

“Julian is my son!” She yelled. Ron’s eyes widened in surprise as Hermione gave a long hard sigh,

“He’s OUR son Ron,”

Ron remained silent for a moment, suddenly confused, “I…I don’t understand?” he studded,

Hermione took a moment to compose herself, “Do you remember that night we spent together, after the war?” she asked, Ron nodded slowly, “How could I forget,” he said, more to himself then to Hermione, “It was the best night of my life,”

Hermione smiled, “mine too,” she said softly as she struggled to continue, “Um…well a few weeks after that night I was feeling a little under the weather,” she wrung her hands nervously, “so I went to see the healer at the ministry,” Hermione paused and hung her head sadly, “well, that’s when she told me I was pregnant.”

Ron took a moment to let this new information set it, “why didn’t you say anything?” he asked,

Hermione looked away, “I wanted to, I really did,” she walked toward the window, “but that night when I got home was when you told me about the Cannons, remember?”

Ron thought back to that night, he remembered it so well. That was the night Hermione had dropped the bomb about her new job in France.

“Wait,” he said suddenly, “so the job in France was just a cover up?”

Hermione nodded, her back still facing him, “Yes,” she answered sadly, “I was so happy for you and the contract with the Cannons, you were so excited I just-”

“You had no right to make that kind of decision without asking me first!” Ron snapped, his anger taking over. Hermione jumped in surprise, at the sudden volume in his voice,

“I know Ron but at the time I felt I had no other option!” Hermione defended loudly, “you have no idea how scared I was!”

“You mean I lost three years that I could have spent getting to know my son because YOU were scared?” Ron’s nostrils were flaring, “does he even know who I am?”

“He does,” Hermione answered quickly, “he has a photo of you by his bed,”

“A photo. That’s it? A bloody PHOTO!” Ron yelled, “I can’t believe this!” he shook his head and began pacing again. Hermione froze; she had no idea what to do.

“Ron, I know it was the wrong thing to do but can you at least see where I was coming from?”

Ron shot her a piercing look, “No Hermione, I can’t.” he walked toward the door and held it open, “I want you to leave.”

Hermione shook her head in panic, “No Ron, please we have to talk about this,”

Ron squeeze his fists to contain his anger, “Hermione, I’m so mad with you right now and no amount of talking is going to change that,” he said through gritted teeth, “I will come to you when I am ready to talk,” he motioned toward the open door, “Now I would like for you to leave.”

Hermione’s body was shaking uncontrollably, she had only ever seen Ron this angry once before in all her years of knowing him. It was the night of the final battle, a death eater had made a sneak attack on her and Ron had come to her aide. Before she lost consciousness she saw the fury in his eyes. Never had she thought those same eyes would be staring at her now.

Ron was still standing with the door open. His breathing became more intense. Hermione gave a shallow nod to indicate she understood and began a slow pace out the door; she paused briefly when she met alongside Ron. She noticed that he was refusing to look at her, but she spoke to him anyway,

“I want you to know that the whole time I was away from you my love never faded,” Hermione whispered softly, “I love you Ron, and I always will.”

Ron remained stone faced as Hermione walked down the hallway. She pushed the button to retrieve the elevator and waited for it to arrive. When the doors opened she stepped into the lift and as they closed slowly she broke down in tears.

-----

Hermione arrived home moments later and was relieved to find Harry & Ginny had gone to bed. She was in no mood to talk to anyone right now especially since she was having trouble trying to understand her own feelings. She quietly checked on Julian who was sleeping soundly in the guest bedroom. He had kicked off the covers and was lying diagonally on the bed, his hair all tousled from tossing in his sleep.

Hermione smiled as she moved quietly inside to tuck him back in, “sleep well sweetie,” she whispered as she kissed him on the forehead and made her way back to the living room. She stood there for a moment; the room was dark except for the warm glow from the embers in the fireplace.

Tears ran down her face as she thought about her conversation with Ron. Her heart was hurting with a mixture of pain and sadness it had become hard for her to breathe. She had to sit so she made her way to the couch and put her head between her legs as she gasped through her tears for air.

“Mommy?”

Julian had padded into the living room and was rubbing his sleepy eyes. Hermione’s head jerked up as she forced a sincere smile,

“Hi sweetie,” she said softly, quickly wiping away her tears, “do you want to sit with mommy?” she said as she patted the empty seat next to her; Julian nodded sleepily and moved to join Hermione on the couch. He hoisted himself up and snuggled into her side. Hermione covered them both with the throw rug that was lying on the back of the couch. She kissed his forehead softly,

“Did you have fun today with Aunt Ginny and Uncle Harry,” she asked quietly,
“mmhmm” Julian answered nodding his head slowly.

Tears began to mist her eyes again. Julian had been such a big part of her life for the last three years and she was all he knew. He deserved two parents, but because of Hermione’s selfishness, not only was he deprived of that, but he may have lost it forever. Hermione would never forgive herself if it came to that.

“Mommy,” Julian’s soft voice brought Hermione back to earth, “are you sad?” he asked as he cocked his head to look at her, his voice growing tired as he struggled to keep himself awake. Hermione struggled to hold her tears back, she shook her head,

“No sweetie, mommy’s just tired,” she lied, “lets just go to sleep ok?” she felt Julian nod his head as he snuggled back into her side, “ok,” he whispered back.

It was only seconds later when Hermione felt Julian’s breathing become steady, indicating he had falling asleep. She pulled him closer and closed her eyes as she too began to drift off to sleep.

-----

Ron sat on his couch with his head in his hands. ‘What a night’ he thought to himself. Never in all his years had he managed to feel every single emotion in one long day. It must be some kind of record. It was insane that he managed to survive the day in one piece, the only permanent damage being the burn mark on his hand.

Ron unravelled the bandage and looked at it. The swelling was coming down and he could see the outline of the hot medal that had made the mark. He squinted at something and at first glance was sure it was some kind of mistake. He shuffled over to the candle on the side table to get a better look and sure enough there it was, seared permanently into his hand.

Her name, ‘Hermione Jane Granger’

Ron quickly bandaged up his hand again and took a swig of fire whisky. He was not quite ready to stop being angry with Hermione and even if he wanted to be, he would have no idea where to start. How could he look at her again knowing that she had kept this secret from him for so long?

Three years he had not known. Three years of wondering what he had done wrong to make Hermione leave. Three years wasted that he could have used to get to know his son. He had missed it all. Julian’s first birthday, his first words, even his first steps. He could never get back those years and it was all Hermione’s fault. How could she keep something so big from him? The more Ron thought about it. The more upset he became. He demanded answers and so decided that perhaps it was time to pay Hermione a visit.

Ron looked at his watch. It was late, really late. He thought briefly about leaving it till the morning but knew there was no way he could sleep now. How could he be expected to sleep after the day he had? Ron got up and decided that he would go to Harry and Ginny’s. If Hermione was asleep, he would just have to wake her. He was in no mood to wait any longer.

Ron apparated straight into Harry’s kitchen. He took a quick look around before he made his way toward the guest room. He stood outside for a few seconds to catch his breath before he threw open the door. He marched straight toward the bed and was surprised to find it was empty. This did nothing but anger him more. He saw that it was untidy which meant someone had been in there earlier but was now no where to be found.

“Damn it Hermione!” Ron whispered harshly to himself, “Where are you?”

His anger fuelled his movements as he walked back through the kitchen and into the living room. He stopped dead in his tracks, his eyes not quite believing what he saw.

There, on the living room couch, was Hermione with their son Julian curled up tight by her side, sleeping.

Ron’s body became paralysed with a mixture of surprise and fear. His anger slowly melting away at this peculiar sight before him. He couldn’t understand why he was feeling this way? He wanted so much to be mad but he could feel the anger was slowly slipping away.

As much as he tried to fight it, Ron couldn’t help but notice how beautiful Hermione looked. The glow of the fireplace was gently caressing her face while Julian’s tiny body nestled in her side.

Ron moved closer as he studied Julian’s face. How could he have not seen it before? Julian was without a doubt his son. He had been so blinded by rage that it never registered to him before. But now, there was no denying the resemblance. Julian had the infamous Weasley flaming red hair, although his was slightly darker.

Ron watched as they slept. Hermione’s chest rising as Julian’s fell. He became light-headed, as if high on some kind of euphoria. He walked toward the fireplace and leaned against the mantel. He hung his head between his arms as he tried to catch his breath.

When he finally lifted his head he was taken aback at the sight that was staring back. It was a picture of him and Hermione at the Burrow, many years ago. They were snuggled up on the couch in a similar position to how Hermione and Julian were now.

Ron remembered that he had clearly disposed of this picture years ago. Harry or Ginny have recovered it moments after he had thrown it away. He took it off the mantle and went to sit down. He studied the photo as he thought back to that particular day.

It had been raining the entire day and the two youngest Weasley’s, Hermione and Harry had been forced to spend the day inside. Before complete boredom set in, Hermione suggested they read a story of their choice to the other three. After much protest and moaning, Harry and Ron had chosen some of Harry’s muggle comics, whereas Ginny and Hermione had opted for books of a more romantic nature.

The picture was taken when it was Hermione’s turn to read aloud. Ron closed his eyes. He could remember exactly how he felt that moment, being so close to Hermione. She smelt like a mixture of wild flowers and parchment, to him it was heavenly. That was the day Ron knew he wanted to spend the rest of his life with Hermione, a day he wanted so desperately to forget when she left.

An hour had past when Ron decided it was time to leave. He had done nothing but think while he sat watching Hermione and Julian sleep. He was no closer to figuring things out. He needed to talk to someone, someone he knew would understand.

Ron got up and walked back toward the kitchen door. He paused for a moment and took one last glance at Hermione and Julian. His anger had faded and all he could feel now was sadness and fear.

The sound of the kitchen door closing woke Hermione immediately, her reflexes pulling Julian closer to her,

“Hello?” she said in a stern voice, her wand at the ready. There was no one there.

Hermione slowly slid out from under Julian and laid him more comfortably on the couch. She wondered over to the chair opposite them and noticed a photo frame was lying face down on the chair. She could swear it hadn’t been there before.

“Hello?” she said again, this time a little louder. There was no answer.

She felt the seat of the chair, it was warm. “That’s odd,” she whispered to herself as she picked up the frame, “is there anyone here?” she asked as she circled the room once more, there was no answer. She could swear someone had been sitting in that chair moments before.

She looked down at the frame in her hand and saw that the photo inside was gone.


A/N: As requested, a longer chapter for you die hard fans out there!!

Please, please forgive my grammatical errors (yes I am not perfect!) My beta is a little busy at the moment and I just couldn't wait to get this chapter out for you all.

Please don't forget to REVIEW!! I'd love to hear your thoughts!!

Chapter 10: THE WEDDING REHERSAL
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

 “CRASH”

Hermione awoke with surprise by a loud noise and fell off the couch hard. Without thinking she reached out to break Julian’s fall but was shocked to find that he was no where to be found.



"Julian?" Hermione said in a loud panic, "Julian, honey where are you?" As if on cue, Julian came running out of the kitchen all covered in flour, "Mommy!" he shouted as he raised his flour covered hands, "We make pancakes!"



Hermione got up off the floor as Julian grabbed her and led her into the kitchen. Molly was busy retrieving the offending pots from the floor and Harry, Arthur and Ginny were sitting at the kitchen table eating breakfast. Hermione began to feel slightly embarrassed as they all watched her enter, she had no idea how to act seeing as this was the first time Molly and Arthur had ever seen or even heard of Julian.



"Morning dear, did we wake you?" Molly said as she turned to moved the pancakes to the table, Hermione shook her head nervously. Molly smiled, "Good, now sit and have something to eat."



Hermione nodded slowly as she moved toward the table. "Sit here mommy," Julian called out excitedly as he patted the table hard. "Ok honey," Hermione answered as she took a seat. She looked over at Ginny who was smiling and took this as a good sign.



"How are you this morning Hermione?" Arthur asked as he took a sip of his morning coffee. His face was soft and welcoming which made Hermione feel more at ease.  "A little tired," she answered honestly, "but nothing I'm not use to," she said as she nodded toward Julian, "this little one has always kept me on my toes."



"Mommy can I have juice?" Julian interrupted as he pointed at the jug of pumpkin juice that was sitting on the table. "Sure honey," Hermione answered as she got up, "I'll just get you a glass ok?"



"Nonsense, sit down," Molly said instantly, "I'll get it," she pulled out her wand and floated a glass over to Julian who grabbed it with enthusiasm, "thank you," he said politely as Hermione poured  him a drink.



"Your very welcome dear," Molly said beaming as she watched Julian take a sip of his drink. Hermione felt overwhelmed, it had been her and Julian for so long she had forgotten how wonderful it was when surrounded by family and friends. She decided it was time she told them the truth.



"Molly, Arthur," she began, "I owe you both an explanation ...”



-----------



Hermione felt relieved that after she had told Molly and Arthur the truth they were nothing but supportive. Of course, they did feel it would have been better if she had stayed and not lied to Ron and the rest of them about her real reason for leaving but as all that was done now, they could only be grateful that both her and Julian were both safe and well.



"Well, now that’s all sorted," Ginny said as she began to clear the table, "As tonight is the big rehearsal, I have a surprise for my bridal party." Hermione looked at her curiously as she cocked her eyebrow, "what kind of surprise Ginny?" she asked suspiciously, experience had taught her that when it comes to Ginny and surprise, it was not always a good thing.



Ginny rolled her eyes, "The good kind Hermione," she answered as she finished cleaning up, "I booked us for an entire day of pampering!! Manicures, pedicures, facials, massages, hair makeovers – the lot!"



"Oh,” Hermione answered a little less enthusiastic then Ginny had hoped, “that’s um, great”



"Well don't be too excited," Ginny said sarcastically



"No, no I am excited Gin," Hermione answered quickly,” it's just ...” she looked sideways at Julian who was now sipping his second glass of pumpkin juice.



Molly followed Hermione’s line of sight and had a wonderful idea, "Arthur and I would love to look after Julian for you today dear," she offered,



"No, Molly I couldn't ask you to do that," Hermione responded, "It's too much-"



"Nonsense," Molly interrupted, "it will be no trouble."



"Great, that settles it!" Ginny said as she packed the dishes away into the cupboard, "Our first appointment is at ten so you better get ready Hermione."



Hermione nodded as she turned to Julian, "What do you say sweetie, you want to spend the day with Nana & Papa today?" she asked, motioning to Molly and Arthur. Hermione noticed Molly's face beamed when she said 'Nana'.



"Yeah!" Julian said excitedly, "Nana, can we make more pancakes?" he asked Molly whom Hermione noticed was trying desperately to hold back her tears of joy, "Of course we can dear,"  she answered, "We can make chocolate-chip one's this time, would you like that?" Julian nodded as he smiled happily.



"ok sweetie, lets go get you ready," Hermione said to Julian as she got off her chair, "Thanks again Molly," she said as she smiled and led Julian out of the kitchen.



---------



Ron had been sitting on his childhood bed at the Burrow since he left Harry and Ginny's. He was leaning forward, his elbows on his thighs as he stared at the picture in his hand. It was here in this house, in this room that he had given his all to Hermione and she had done the same in return.



He just couldn't believe Hermione had lied to about the job in France. He was so depressed for months after she left and despite his attempts to owl her, she had never once replied. His life had been turned upside down then and now, it seems she had returned three years later to do it all over again. He hated that no matter how hard he tried, he couldn't be rid of his feelings. He gave a long hard sigh as he hung his head in his hands. His mind was going around in circles making it impossible to think straight.



He got up and walked over to the window. He pressed his forehead against the cool glass and closed his eyes. The image of Hermione and Julian, sleeping peacefully on the couch etched in his head. He put his hand on his chest; his heart was hurting so much he couldn't stand to hold it in any longer. He let go of the picture in his other hand and as it dropped to the floor, so did the tears from his eyes.



Mr Weasley was making his way up to the attic to retrieve some of the kid’s old toys when he noticed his youngest son standing alone in his room.



"Ron?” he walked closer to the door, "what are you doing here? He asked,



"I have a son dad," Ron answered still facing out the window, his voice was high pitched and shaky. Mr Weasley walked in and stood alongside his son, "I know Ron," he replied, "Hermione told us everything this morning," he put his hand on Ron's shoulder, “Are you ok?"



Ron looked at his father, Mr Weasley could see the fear in his eyes, "I'm scared dad." Ron said honestly, "What if I can't do it? What if I'm terrible father?"



Mr Weasley ran his hand through his hair and sighed, "Ron,” he began, “every new father feels that way at first. I know I did. But when Bill finally arrived and I held him in my arms for the first time I-"



"That's what I mean dad," Ron interrupted, "Julian’s not a newborn, he's a two year old boy. What if I can't get that connection with him?" Ron walked toward the bed and sat down; he wrung his hands nervously before he looked up at his dad again,



“What if it's too late?"



"It's never to late to try and be a good father Ron," Mr Weasley answered as he joined Ron on the bed, “He knows who you are son, all you need to do is be there for him.”



Ron sighed, “I don’t know if I can do that dad,” he said softly, “two years is a lot of time wasted.”



“But there is also a lot of time left,” Mr Weasley replied, “Think of all the wonderful things that are still to come!”



Ron snorted, “Ha, like what?” he asked sarcastically



“Like teaching him how to fly and how to play Quidditch,” Mr Weasley answered, “or teaching him how to play chess,” he continued, “not to mention his first years at Hogwarts and no doubt answering the many questions he might have about girls.”



Mr Weasley put his arm around his son’s shoulders, “the list goes on Ron. These are only some of the many things you can teach him.”



“I guess teaching him Quidditch would be kinda cool,” Ron said, half smiling, “but I’m not sure about the girl thing. I wasn’t much good at that,” he concluded sadly.



“I disagree,” Mr Weasley said as summoned the discarded pictured on the floor and handed it to Ron, “you found the love of your life when you were eleven years old,” he said kindly, “there are not many people that can say the same.”



Ron took the picture and stuffed it back in his pocket, “I’m not so sure about that anymore either,” he said glumly, “she lied to me dad, I can’t seem to see past that.”



“Hermione did what she thought was right at the time Ron,” Mr Weasley responded, "She thought she had your best interest at heart.”



Ron’s face turned to stone, “well she was wrong,” he said flatly, “and I’m not sure if I can ever forgive her for that.”



“Everyone makes mistakes Ron,” Mr Weasley replied, “Even Hermione.” He got up off the bed and picked up some of Ron’s old toys off the bed, “just think about that before you make any rash decisions ok?”



Ron nodded, “yeah ok,” Ron replied half-heartedly as he watched his father walk toward the door.



“Dad?” Ron said suddenly, Arthur turned to face his son, “yes son?” he answered,



“Thanks.”



“Just doing my job,” Mr Weasley answered before he stepped out of the room. He was about to walk to the attic when a sudden thought hit him.



“Son?” he asked Ron, who was now staring at the picture again, “would you help me get something from the attic?”



Ron stood up, “sure dad,” he answered. He placed the picture gently on the bedside table and followed his father to the attic, “what are you looking for?” he asked.



“Some old toys,” Mr Weasley responded as he riffled through some old boxes, “for Julian.”



Ron paused, “Julian?” he asked, “why?”



“Because he’s downstairs in the kitchen with your mother,” Mr Weasley answered, “Ah, here they are,” he said as he pulled out an old dusty box, “some of these could use a bit of a clean before I let him play with them though,”



“What?” Ron said as he tried to get his head around the situation, “Julian’s downstairs? Where’s Hermione?”



Mr Weasley picked up the box and made his way to the door, “She’s out with Ginny doing last minute wedding stuff,” he answered as he struggled to walk toward the door, “could you hold the door open son? This box is a lot heavier than I thought,”



“Here, let me,” Ron said as he went to take the box from his father, “so Julian is downstairs?” he asked trying to sound casual but failing miserably. Mr Weasley nodded, “indeed he is. Your mother is making him her famous chocolate chip pancakes.”



Ron’s eyes lit up, “chocolate chip pancakes?” he repeated, his mouth beginning to water, “they’re my favourite!” Mr Weasley laughed, “Well she’s making plenty if you want to join us,” he said.



Ron paused at the top of the staircase, “I don’t know dad,” he said nervously, “you don’t think it’s too soon?” he asked.



“It’s never too soon to make an impression,” Mr Weasley answered, “you don’t have to tell him you’re his dad straight away if you don’t want to son,” he said softly, “just come and meet him, you might be surprised.”



Ron nodded, “ok, I guess it can’t hurt,” he said as he took a deep breath and followed his dad down the stairs. His palms became sweaty as they made their way down to the living room. Ron dropped the box on the couch and decided to give the toys a little clean before he showed them to Julian.



He reached into the box and to his surprise pulled out an old friend. It was a toy Quaffle Bill had given him when he was a little boy. Bill had enchanted it so that it would fly around the room and Ron would spend hours trying to catch it. Ron remembered that day, he wouldn’t come out of his room, which was probably Bill’s intention in the first place, but Ron spent the entire day running around the room catching and re-catching the mini Quaffle.



Ron held it out in front of him and let it go. It hovered above his hand for a moment then fell back down into his palm. Obviously the magic had worn off over the years so Ron reached for his wand and performed the charm on it again. Instantly the Quaffle flew from his hand and started to dance around the room.



“Yaay!!” a little excited voice sent chills up Ron’s spine as he spun around to see Julian standing by the kitchen door. He had his eyes glued on the Quaffle which was still zooming around the room, he seemed really excited.



“Accio Quaffle,” Ron summoned as the Quaffle flew safely into his hand again. He paused for a moment before he turned to Julian, “would you like to play?” he asked nervously. Julian seemed just as nervous as he walked slowly toward Ron. He held his hand out, “my turn?” he asked. Ron smiled as he nodded and sat down on the floor. He motioned for Julian to move closer. “This is a Quaffle,” Ron said in a serious but still nervous tone, “we use this when we play Quidditch,”



“kich” Julian repeated enthusiastically, “I play kich too?” he asked. Ron laughed, “Sorry buddy, you’re a little too young to play Quidditch,” Julian frowned sadly, but Ron handed him the Quaffle anyway, “but you’re never too young to start learning,” he said happily. Julian smiled and took the Quaffle in his tiny hand. Ron moved to sit on the couch as he watched Julian chase the Quaffle around the room.



After a while Julian became tired and sat down on the floor, the Quaffle between his folded legs. He looked up at Ron and motioned for him to come join him. “Come,” he said smiling. Ron slid off the couched and shimmied over to Julian who handed him the Quaffle,



“Play,” Julian said as he nodded his head encouragingly. Ron showed him some tricks Bill had taught him when he was younger, Julian watched with excitement and cheered whenever Ron had finished. They sat there for almost and hour, playing and laughing. Ron felt so happy that he had finally made a connection with Julian that the anger that had once blinded him slowly disappeared.



-------



Hermione could kiss Ginny for organising the day of pampering, it was just what she needed. It had been years since she could remember ever feeling this relaxed. Between raising a child and working she had only dreamed of being pampered like that. She looked and felt fantastic.



Hermione and Ginny made apparated into the backyard of the burrow to prepare for the wedding rehearsal. Harry and Ginny had decided that since they had spent most of their childhood lives there it was only fit to be married in the backyard. It was also handy seeing as they were such a high profile couple, this would ensure their wedding would be private and personal.



“My, don’t you two look ravishing,” Mr Weasley said as he greeted the girls at the back door, “everything all ready for tomorrow then?” he asked hopefully,



“Everything is on schedule,” Ginny said beaming, “thanks to Hermione and her brilliant adherence skills,” Mr Weasley smiled as he gave Hermione a quick peck on the cheek, “That’s our Hermione,” he said sweetly, causing Hermione to blush. Ginny giggled as they made their way further into the kitchen.



“Oh Ginny you look fabulous!” Mrs Weasley said proudly as she greeted her daughter with a hug, “thanks mum,” Ginny smiled. Mrs Weasley then turned to Hermione, the look on her face turned to amazement, “Oh my! Hermione,” She said breathlessly, “You look absolutely stunning,” Hermione’s face reddened once more as she smiled, “thank you Molly,” she said shyly, she was not use to this attention, well not since the Yule Ball anyway.



“Well come, come,” Molly motioned toward the living room, “the others have been waiting in the living room for you two,” Hermione and Ginny exchanged looks as they giggled. They had meant to be a little late, apparently as Ginny had explained, it makes for a dramatic and memorable entrance.



Ginny made her way through first, her dress swimming elegantly behind her. Hermione heard the voices in the other room go quiet before they all began to talk at once. Hermione smiled, Ginny got the entrance she wanted and now, it was her turn.



Hermione took a deep breath and entered the living room and by habit her eyes immediately sought out Ron. He was talking to Neville, most probably about Quidditch as he was making these wild hand gestures and laughing.



“Mummy!” Julian ran toward Hermione and gave her legs a crushing hug. “Hi sweetie,” Hermione said as she bent down to kiss Julian’s forehead, “have you been a good boy for Nana and Papa?” she asked in seriously stern tone.



Julian nodded excitedly, “Yip, and daddy’s here too mummy, look!” he said excitedly as he pointed at Ron who was now watching their conversation, along with everyone else in the room. Hermione became stiff and uncomfortable, there was no way she was ready for another confrontation with Ron today. Julian however thought otherwise and began tugging Hermione closer to Ron until they were just inches from each other. Hermione closed her eyes and prepared herself for more of Ron’s angry comments, but to her surprise, he began to laugh.



“Thanks buddy,” Ron said to Julian as he ruffled his red mane, “I couldn’t have done that without you.” He took a deep breath as he looked at Hermione, he could see she was a little uncomfortable, as if unsure of what to say. Ron decided it was time he made a mends so he quickly grabbed her hand and lead her out into the kitchen.



“Um, mum can you give us a minute please?” Ron asked Mrs Weasley who was finishing off some final preparations in the kitchen,



“Sure dear,” she answered happily, “I’ll just take these out for the others,” she said as she picked up a tray of entrees and left the room.



Hermione stood in the middle of the kitchen scared and unsure of what was going to happen. Ron stood nervously scratching the back of his head as he continued to stare at Hermione. A few minutes of deafening silence went by before he finally spoke.



“Hermione, I think I owe you an apology,” he began, his voice cracking nervously, “Um, I’m really sorry about the way I acted yesterday. I shouldn’t have lost my temper like that and-"



Hermione instantly shook her head, “No Ron, I’m sorry." she interrupted, "It’s entirely my fault,” she said quickly, “I handled things terribly. I never should have left you without telling you the truth; you have no idea how-”



Ron put his finger on Hermione's lips to silence her, which made her look at him confused.



“its ok Hermione,” he said calmly, “I’ve had a lot of time to think things over," he slid his hand down to her arm and intermingled his fingers with hers, "you know, when you told me everything I was focusing on the wrong things,” he continued, “all I could think of was how you had lied to me and how I had missed out on things with Julian,”



Hermione dropped her head sadly, “and you had every right to be mad,” she said softly, “I did a terrible thing”



Ron shook his head, “No Hermione, you did what you thought was right at the time,” he corrected her, “anyone would have done the same." He pulled her closer and looked deeply into her eyes, "I realised something today after spending time with Julian,” he said as he closed the gap between them, “there is still more things to come," he whispered, "and I want to be around for the rest of it."



Ron leaned in and gently brushed her lips with his which sent shivers down Hermione's spine. She could tell he was waiting for her permission to go further and willingly she leaned upward for more. The kiss was soft and gentle but Hermione felt herself yearning for more. Ron wrapped his arms around her lower back and pulled her closer.



"Ahem,"



Hermione and Ron instantly broke apart to find Ginny leaning casually against the kitchen door frame grinning devilishly,



"When you two are done slobbering over each other, we have a rehearsal to begin,"



Hermione quickly began to rearrange her hair and clothes, "sorry Gin we just-"



"All clear guys!" Ginny interrupted as she called out to the others, she was still smirking as she gave Hermione a wink and walked out to the backyard.



Harry strolled in seconds later with Julian in tow, "Hey guys, I need to ask a favour," he paused suddenly when he noticed Ron quickly rearranging his shirt and straightening his hair,



"Sure Harry, what is it?" Hermione asked a little too cheerfully. Harry noticed her lipstick had smudged over to her right cheek and tried to suppress his laughter.



"Well, I was hoping Julian could be the ring bearer for tomorrow?" he asked, "I mean, if it's ok with you two?"



Hermione looked at Ron who nodded, "Yeah sure," he said as he bent down to pick up Julian, "what do you say Julian, you want to be in the wedding with me and mummy?"



"Yeah!" Julian cheered, making all three of them laugh. Ron kissed Hermione on the forehead, "we’ll talk later ok," he whispered before he headed out to the backyard with Julian still in his arms.



Hermione smiled as she began to follow but Harry held her back, "Um Hermione," he whispered suddenly, "you might was to check a mirror before you go outside, you might want to re-apply your lipstick."



"Oh no!" Hermione shrieked and automatically touched her lips, "thanks Harry, I'll be out shortly," she turned and bolted out of the kitchen.



Moments later Hermione joined the rest of the bridal party out in the back yard for the rehearsal. She stood at the end of the aisle and waited for Ron to escort her to the other end. He was bent on one knee whispering something to Julian who was giggling. Hermione laughed quietly to herself, it was such a relief to see that Julian was comfortable with Ron and that they were getting along fine.



Ron looked up to see Hermione waiting and began to jog over to her to begin the rehearsal, “Sorry,” he said breathlessly as he held out his arm, “just had to have a quick man to man with my son,”



Hermione laughed as they were given their queue and began to walk down slowly, “Oh really?” she said sarcastically, “and just what did you have to talk to him about?” Ron imitated pulling a zip across his lips, “Sorry, it’s guy stuff. My lips are sealed.”



Hermione shook her head, “Honestly!” she said as they made it to the end of the aisle. Ron kissed her hand and they split to their respective position awaiting Ginny and Mr Weasley to make their way down the aisle.



It was a perfect picture, Ron and Julian standing side by side, Hermione couldn’t help but watch them all throughout rehearsal. Her heart almost exploded with happiness when Ron offered to help Julian with his part, it was so sweet she couldn’t help but smile.



After the rehearsal everyone made their way inside for dinner. Molly had outdone herself again in the kitchen and prepared an exquisite feast. After they had eaten it was decided that they should call it a night seeing as they had to be up early the next day for the wedding. Julian had already fallen asleep in Ron’s arms so he offered to escort them home.



“Thanks for tonight guys,” Harry whispered as they entered the house, he caught Ron’s eye and gave a fake yawn, “Oh, wow look at the time. I guess we better get some sleep,” he said as he grabbed Ginny’s hand, “we got a big day tomorrow love,” Ginny looked at him as if he were crazy, “Harry it’s still early,” she said as she tugged against him, “I might have a night cap before – ouch! Why are you pinching me?” she looked at Harry angrily until she realised what he was trying to do.



“Oh um, right,” she said as she stretched her arms, “now that you mention it, I am a bit tired,” she winked at Hermione and smiled, “see you guys in the morning. Oh and Hermione, I made up a bed in the room next to yours for Julian.” she kissed them all goodnight and followed Harry to their room.



“Well that was subtle,” Hermione said sarcastically, as she began to take off her wrap, “thanks for carrying him home by the way,” she said as she nodded toward Julian in Ron’s arms, “you could put him to bed now if you’d like,”



Ron smiled, “I thought you’d never ask,” he said in relief, “my arms were beginning to get a bit tired,” Hermione laughed, “I thought as much, he’s not as light as you  think after a while huh?” she took Julian from Ron and walked down the hall to Julians room.



Ron followed but stood in the doorway for a moment unsure of weather or not to go inside. He wanted to kiss Julian goodnight but didn’t know if he should just let himself in the room without Hermione’s permission.



“Honestly Ron, you can come in you know,” Hermione whispered when she noticed Ron standing in the doorway, “can you help me arrange the pillows so he doesn’t fall off the bed?” she asked. Ron nodded as walked inside and began to place the pillows where Hermione had instructed. Once Julian was tucked up in bed, both Hermione and Ron kissed him goodnight and slowly began to leave.



“Well the party definitely wore him out,” Hermione whispered as she closed the door quietly, “it usually takes me a while to try and get him to sleep.”



“Must be all the food he ate,” Ron laughed softly as they made their way to the lounge, “did you see how much he had on his plate?” Hermione nodded, “yes, I think he may have inherited that particular trait from you actually,” she said mockingly as the came to a stop by the fireplace.



They stood in silence for a moment unsure of what to do next when Ron cleared his throat, “Um, so I guess I better get going," he said as he shifted nervously, "it is getting kinda late." Hermione nodded slowly, "yeah I suppose it is a bit late," she added as she fiddle with a strand of her hair, "so, um, you'll be ok to get home then?" she asked,



"Yeah, I'll be fine," Ron answered as he bent down to kiss her gently on the cheek, "I'll see you in the morning." He turned to leave when Hermione grabbed his arm,



"Wait," she said as she coiled her arms around his neck and pulled him in for a kiss. Ron was caught by suprise but did not pull away, instead he leaned in closer urging the kiss to become deeper. Hermione could feel the need for more building up inside her again and relucltanly pulled away,



"I don't want you to leave Ron," she said breathlessly, "Istay with me tonight?" Ron lifted Hermione into his arms and kissed her softly on the forehead,



"Forever," he replied as he carried her back down the hall to the room and slowly closed the door.


A/N:  Firstly, I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year!!!

Again, please forgive me for any grammatical errors, my beta is still very busy and I wanted to get this out as soon as I could after the Christmas/New Year period!

Please, please review because  I always love to hear what the readers have to say :)



Chapter 11: THE NEXT DAY, THE BIG DAY
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Hermione lay in bed the next morning watching Ron sleep peacefully beside her. She didn't want to wake him but couldnt resist tracing the outline of his face with her index finger. Ron blinked rappidly before he slowly opened his eyes,

"Hi," Hermione whispered, smiling.

"Hi yourself," Ron answered as he smiled back lazily, "did you sleep ok?"

Hermione nodded "mmhm" she said sleepily as she began to play idly with Ron's fringe, "I could get use to this you know, waking up beside you," she said smiling. Ron lay his arm over her and pulled her close, "me too," he replied as he planted a soft kiss on the tip of her nose, "I almost wish we didn't have to get up today."

As if right on cue there was a knock at the door followed by a distraught female voice, "Hermione, are you up?" Ginny sounded frantic as she began twisting the door knob. "Just one second Gin," Hermione yelled back as she got up and began wrapping herslef in a blanket. Ron began to laugh but quickly stopped when Hermione shot him a dirty look.

"Hermione, why is this door locked?" Ginny's voice was getting louder and more urgent as she continued to struggle with the knob. Hermione pointed her wand at the door, "Alohamora," she whispered as she opened the door a crack."Hey Gin," she said casually as she tried to keep the wrapped blanket from falling down, "what's wrong?"

"Do you know where Ron is?" Ginny asked franticly, "Harry has been at his house for an hour and he's not there?" Ginny was now wringing her hands nervously, "oh I hope that silly git hasn't passed out drunk in the gutter somewhere, I'll kill him if he's-"
"Ginny, relax," Hermione interrupted, "It's ok, I know where Ron is."

Ginny's put her hand on her chest, "oh thank goodnes," she sighed in relief, "where is he?" she asked just as Ron appeared behind Hermione with a blanket around his waist.

"Hey sis," he said smiling as he wrapped his arms around Hermione, "sorry, I guess we lost track of the time."

Ginny stood shocked for a moment before a huge smile crept across her face, "you stayed here?" she asked her brother, who nodded happily, "and you two-" she pointed from Hermione to Ron and they both smiled and nodded.

"That's great news!" Ginny screamed as she pushed the door back and hugged Hermione who began to laugh, "yeah we think so too," she added. Ron gave his sister a hug, "I better get going," he said suddenly, "Harry's probably going mental wondering where I am."

"I'll go floo him now," Ginny said excitedly, "you guys get ready. Hermione, we're due at the burrow in an hour," she squeeled excitedly as she scurried off to the lounge to floo Harry. Hermione closed the door and leaned against it as she sighed, "today is going be an interesting day," she stated as she watched Ron get changed into this clothes from the night before. Ron quickly slipped on his shoes and joined Hermione at the door, "don't I know it," he added as he pulled Hermione in for a quick hug, "I'll see you soon ok?" Hermione responded with a kiss, "miss you already," she replied as she ushered him out the door.

Hermione couldn't help but smile as she began to get ready. After all she had been through since she had arrived five days ago she finally felt content. Ron and Julian were getting along great, even her relationship with Ron was going great. She felt the happiest she had in years, and it was all thanks to Harry and Ginny for inviting her back here to be a part of their wedding.

"You ready?' Ginny asked as she appeared at the door, "we gotta get going." Hermione picked up her dress that was lying on the bed, "ready," she answered as she followed Ginny to the living room where she found Julian waiting,

"hi mummy!" he said excitedly, "look," he said as he pointed at his new dress robes Ginny had dressed him in. "Wow, you look very smart," Hermione said as she bent down to give him a kiss, "you ready to go now?" she asked as she grabbed his hand. They had decided again to apparate as the floo network was a little too messy for these circumstances.

The burrow was buzzing with people doing last minute fixes when they arrived. Ginny rolled her eyes, "I bet this is mums doing," she mumbled as she stormed into the house. Hermione raised her eyebrow in concern as she and Julian followed Ginny inside. "Mum?' Ginny yelled as she dodge a lady walking past with an assortment of flowers, "what's going on here?"

"Oh finally, what took you lot so long?" Molly asked franticly as she came storming toward them, "Ginny, I have laid out your dress for you in your old room," she said quickly, "Hermione, you can get dressed in Ron's old room. I'll take care of Julian until the boys arrive," she began to hurry them along, "chop chop." Hermione bearly had time to register what Molly had said as they were ushured up the stairs, "you stay here with Nana ok Julian?' she said as she handed him a toy to keep him occupied, "ok mummy," he said as he accepted the toy and ran off into the living room.

They made it up to the landing to where Ginny's old room was. "Let me know if you need any help ok?" Hermione said when they reached the door. Ginny took a deep breath and nodded, "ok, I'll see you in a bit," she said nervously as she entered her room. Hermione continued to walk up the stairs till she reached Ron's room. Everything looked exactly as it did the last time she had been here, right down to the numerous cannons posters on the walls. She chuckled to herself as she placed her dress on the bed and began to change. Fifteen minutes later, Hermione slipped on her heels and put on her necklace and earings. She took a moment to look in the mirror and smiled at the overall result, "Perfect" she said to herself as she took a deep breath and made her way back down to Ginny's bedroom.

"Gin?" she called out as she opened it a crack, "is everything - Oh my!" Hermione was gob smacked at the sight of Ginny in her wedding dress. It was elegant and flattering at the same time - something only Ginny could have pulled off.

"So, how do I look?" Ginny asked nervously.

"You look absolutely stunning," Hermione said in awe, "how are you feeling?" she grabbed Ginny’s hand and gave it a little squeeze. Ginny exhaled nervously, "I'm doing ok," she replied, "Luna just arrived and Harry and the boys are here so I guess we better get this show on the road huh?" she said anxiously.

"Ok, shall we head down then?" Hermione asked in a comforting tone, the last thing she wanted was for Ginny to freak out so she did all she could to keep her nerves at bay. Ginny nodded slowly, "here goes nothing," she said as they both made their way downstairs.

Mr Weasley met them at the bottom of the staircase, “Oh Ginny,” he said as he held back his tears, “you look beautiful,” he said as he he held out his arm. “Thanks dad,” she answered as she wrapped her arm around his, “shall we?’ she asked excitedly, her nerves suddenly melting away at the sight of her family and friends gathered in the backyard.

Hermione positioned herself in-between Luna and Ginny and motioned for the string orchestra to begin. Luna made her way down the aisle first and after counting the correct amount of seconds, Hermione followed. She met Ron at the top of the aisle and smiled as they linked arms. "You look beautiful love," he said as they began to walk down slowly in time with the music, "Thank you," Hermione whispered softly, "so do you." They made it to the end of the aisle and Ron kissed her softly on the cheek before they went their seperate ways.

The ceremony went by quickly and before Hermione knew it she was on the dance floor bopping away to one of the recent Weird Sisters hits. She loved to dance and was glad to accept when Fred asked her. Ron was not much of a dancer but he loved to watch her face light up as she moved her body to the music, she was so beautiful.

"So, does this mean you two are back together?" Harry asked as he sat next to his now brother-in-law and handed him a glass of firewhisky. Ron nodded, "Yeah, I reckon so," he answered as he took a sip from his glass, "I mean, we haven't had a chance to talk about it yet, but it just feels right you know?" Harry losened his bowtie, "you said it," he added, "just doesn't seem natural not seeing you guys together," they clinked glasses and drained every last drop just as the song ended and another began.

"Can I steal my husband for a dance?" Ginny asked Ron as she tugged lightly on Harry's arm. Ron gave a mock bow, "He's all yours," he answered, holding back his laughter as Harry gave him an evil stare. Ron knew Harry enjoyed dancing just as much as he did.

"I know that grin," Hermione said coming into Ron's sight, her eyebrow raised slighltly, "What are you up to Ronald Weasly?"

Ron shrugged innocently, "Nothing love," he said as he grabbed her hand playfully and sat her on his lap, "just getting ready to watch the entertainment," he said as he nodded toward Harry who was reluctantly following Ginny onto the dancefloor. Hermione laughed, "Ron, you're terrible you know that," she said as she gave him a peck on the cheek, "but I still love you,"

"I love you too Mione," Ron answered as he wrapped his arms tigher around her, "and I'm not going to lose you again,"

Hermione became stiff for a moment, she had not thought about what was going to happen after the wedding. She turned to face him, "Ron, what's going to happen now?" she asked seriously.

"what do you mean love?" he answered, his face confused.

"Ron, Julian and I are flying back to France tomorrow," Hermione said softly, "we can't stay here. I have a job to get back to."

Ron hung his head for a moment, "I know Mione," he said sadly, "but I meant what I said," he looked straight into her eyes, "I'm not losing you twice."

Hermione looked confused, "What does that mean Ron?" she asked, "I don't understand?" Ron got up and sat Hermione down on the chair. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a little velvet box. "I had this made for you a very, very long time ago," he said as he opened the box. It was a small silver ring with a diamond in the centre and two sapphires on each side, "I know it's not much, but at the time I wasn't making much and this was all I could afford." Hermione's eyes grew wide as realisation dawned on her, "Oh Ron I-"

"Wait," Ron interrupted, "please, let me finish." Hermione nodded indicating for Ron to continue.

"From the moment we first met, I knew that you were the one I wanted to share the rest of my life with," he held up the ring, "will you do me the honour of being my wife?"

Hermione didn't have to think twice. "YES!" she screamed as she leaned down to give Ron a hug, "Yes, I would love nothing more then to be your wife Ron," Everyone around them burst into applause. They were so oblivious to the fact that the music had stopped and all eyes were on them. Hermione sought out Ginny, hoping she wasn't too upset with them stealing the attention for a moment. She needn't have worried, Ginny and Harry were both beaming excitedly at them and applauding along with the rest.

Ron stood up and held placed the ring on Hermiones finger, "I love you," he whispered,

"I love you too," Hermione replied as she wrapped her arms around Ron and drew him into a deep kiss.

"Bloody hell," Ron gasped as they drew apart, "If I'd known you'd react like that I would have asked you years ago."

The music resumed and everyone went back to enjoying the festivities. Ginny came charging towards Hermione and Ron with Harry in tow.

"Congratulations!" She screamed as she hugged Hermione excitedly, "I'm so happy for you both,"

"about bloody time I reckon," Harry said as he gave Ron a pat on the back, "Hermione's finally gonna make an honest man out of you."

"I reckon," Ron replied as Hermione punched his arm playfully, Ron pulled her in and wrapped his arms around her waist, "just kidding love," he said quickly as he pecked her softly on the back of her neck.

"Ooh let me see," Ginny said as she grabbed Hermione's hand to get a closer look at the ring. Hermione beamed as she held up her hand proudly, "Isn't it perfect?"

"I'll say," Ginny answered as she admired the ring, "who knew my brother had good taste?" she said jokingly

"Of course I do," Ron interrruped, "Just look at the woman I am marrying,"

"Smooth Weasly," Harry laughed, "now about you take your wife to be for a spin on the dance floor?"

"Oh no Ron you don't have to," Hermione interjected, "I know how much you hate dancing," she added. Ron held out his hand, "not tonight love, tonight I could dance on the moon," he said as he whipped Hermione into a spin and lead her to the dance floor.

As Hermione lay her head on Ron's chest, she sighed deeply. She was so happy that finally, she had found her way back from the life she never wanted to return to when she was gone.

THE END!!

A/N: I know it has been ages since I last wrote anything, over a year in fact, but finally it is finished!! YAY, thanks to all of you who reviewed and I will be starting another story to follow from this one soon...so watch this space!!!


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