You are viewing a story from

The Child by musicgirlhp14

Format: Novel
Chapters: 14
Word Count: 40,315

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Strong Language, Scenes of a Sexual Nature, Substance Use or Abuse, Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme, Contains Spoilers

Genres: Drama, Romance
Characters: Ron, Hermione, Krum, Rose
Pairings: Ron/Hermione, Hermione/Krum, Harry/OC

First Published: 05/26/2007
Last Chapter: 07/04/2008
Last Updated: 07/04/2008

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Banner by prongsie @ TDA. Written pre-DH. After the war, Ron can't deal with the death of Ginny and becomes lost in himself. Feeling lonely, Hermione leaves Ron for Viktor Krum. Broken, and hurt Ron finds himself alone, homeless, and jobless. He never thought he would see Hermione again until one late night at a pub. Mistakes are made, and hearts are broken. Can Ron Weasley ever find the happiness he deserves?

Chapter 1: The Mistake
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

The Child Chapter 1

The Mistake

Hermione walked into the dark tavern, her heels killing her, and her head pounding. She knew this probably wasn’t the best place to come, and that she should have just gone home. But she didn’t want to, not yet.

She sat down at the bar, and Tom gave her a toothy grin. “Hello, miss, I haven’t seen you come through here for a while. What can I get you?”

Hermione smiled, thinking for a moment, and decided. “I’ll have a shot of Fire Whiskey.” She told him.

He seemed a little surprised by the request, but quickly got her drink and placed it in front of her. She took it in her hands, and slowly spun it in circles in her finger tips before picking it up, and drinking it, throwing her head back in the process.

Swallowing hard on the burning substance she slammed the shot glass on the bar, and waved her hand to get another. She had never been much of a drinker, but the day had been a long one. She had had four people die under her care today, one of them being a small child. She had never seen anything like it, not since the days of the war, and she hadn’t been a Healer then, only a trainee.

After about her fourth shot, she started to feel a little dizzy, and she looked around the dark pub as if there was a fog over it. Since she had entered the tavern it’s occupants had lessened in numbers. Before there had been at least fifteen people, but now it had lessened to ten at the most. She turned around, and prepared herself for her fifth shot when someone brushed pass her.

The heavy scent of Fire Whiskey and cigarettes filled her nose, and she watched as disheveled looking man sat on the bar stool to seats over. He looked strangely familiar, but the haze that seemed to fall over her eyes kept her from seeing who he was.

He didn’t look at her, only watched as Tom placed a large glass in front of him of Fire Whiskey. She watched as he took it in his hands and raised it to his lips. He took a gulp of it, almost as it if were water, and put it back down. She assumed he was already drunk before he entered the pub, and wondered how someone could walk around like that.

All she could do was smile, and chug down her shot, and slam it back to the counter for it to be refilled. This got the attention of the man and he looked at her with blood-shot eyes. Giggling one moment then silent the next, Hermione found herself staring into the red-blue eyes with amazement. They seemed so familiar, they almost made her feel as if she was at home in those eyes.

“’Mione?” The man asked, calling her by a familiar nickname.

She squinted, rocking on her stool. That’s when she saw who he was, and nearly fell off her chair if he hadn’t stood up and caught her. She stared up into his eyes as he helped her back on her stool. “Are you all right?” He asked, his warm breath reeked of liquor and cigarettes, but it didn’t bother her.

She only nodded, turning to the counter, and leaning on her hands. “I’m fine, don’t worry. What’re you doing here?” She asked slurring her words.

“I come here every night.” He admitted, moving to the stool next to hers. Though he was closer, he kept the distance in his voice. It had been a long time since they had last spoken.

She looked at him, still leaning on her hands. He looked so different from the last time she had seen him. His face was unshaven and his hair had grown long, and now matter to his skull. He still looked handsome in her eyes, but broken.

With the thought of that, her stomach turned. It was her fault that he was this way. She sat up straight, and faced him completely. “How’ve you been?” She asked.

“Fine, I guess.” He told her, picking up his whiskey again. He chugged half of the glass, avoiding her eye. She could tell he didn’t want her to be there. She knew she was hurting him with her presences.

“That’s good, I’ve been fine too.” She said, feeling a little uneasy as new emotions came over her.

For some reason she had the over whelming feeling of hunger being near Ron. The last few weeks she had thought a lot about him, and as she watched him move slowly away from her on his seat, she reached out and placed her hand on his thigh. “Don’t go,” she whispered.

He stared at her with wide eyes, as if he had never been this awake before. He put his glass to his lips and drank the last of his whiskey, before putting it on the counter. He turned back to her, and stood up letting her hand fall.

Moving around the seat, he reached out for her hand, and before she even realized what she was doing, she placed her hand on his and let him lead her away.

Hermione opened her eyes and quickly shut them again as the harsh sunlight pierced her eyes. She felt someone move next to her, their hairy leg rubbing against her hairless one. She opened her eyes again, this time shielding them from the light with her hand.

She looked around the small room. To the right of her stood a tall wardrobe and desk, and to the left was an empty wall with a window in the middle of it. There were rolls of parchment and other things strewn across the desk, while the doors of the wardrobe were open revealing a pile of clothing. Across from the bed was a door with three big locks on it. And in one corner at an old chair with an old broom behind it.

Where am I? Hermione thought to herself, as she looked around. She couldn’t remember a thing from the night before. She could only remembering walking into the leaky cauldron and ordering a few Fire Whiskey’s.

“…don’t leave, please…” Hermione was shaken out of her thoughts, when the man she was with mumbled in his sleep. She looked hoping he wasn’t awake and almost screamed when she looked at his face.


She slowly moved away from him, not wanting to wake him. How did I end up here? She asked herself. She could remember only moments of her time in the Leaky Cauldron, and that’s when she remembered seeing Ron at the pub. She moved to the edge of the bed and stayed still watching him. He moved again turning on his side; he was now facing her sound asleep. The blanket was only covered his bottom half, leaving his chest bare.

She stared at the deep scars that ran down his chest, stopping to gaze at one that stretched from his shoulder down to his stomach. She remembered very well when he had gotten it. It was a month before Harry had killed Voldemort, and they had been trying to escape Death Eaters. They never found out who had sent the curse at him, all she could remember was seeing him lying on the ground, bleeding terribly. She had been so scared. Victor had been there, and brought him to the hospital.

At the thought of Viktor, Hermione’s heart fell. He was probably wondering where she was. Things had been bad between him and her lately, ever since he proposed to her. She pretended to be happy, but she knew he saw past it.

“…Hermione, I love you…don’t go…” Ron mumbled again in his sleep, causing Hermione to stare at him wide eyed. He was dreaming about her. But not just that, about the day when she left him for Viktor. It had been so hard for her to do that, but at the time it was what was best for her. Ron wasn’t all there after the war. After witnessing the death of his sister he had never been the same.

She looked down and realized she was naked, and there was nothing covering her. She looked on the floor and found her clothes. Slowly she slid off the bed and stepped on to the cold hard wood floors. Quickly she changed her clothes. Finding her purse on the floor, she took out a small compact mirror she checked to see if her hair looked fine. It was, and she closed it putting it back in her purse.

She turned to the door and walked towards it. Opening the first lock she glanced behind her to make sure that Ron was still sleeping soundly. When she turned back she opened the second one quickly. Now al that was between her and a nightmare was one small bolt. She was surprised to see that the doors were completely locked, seeing as the two of them had to be quite drunk not to realize who the other was.


Hermione whipped her head around to see if she had woken up Ron, but he lay still, his chest moving up and down. She turned back around and cautiously turned the door knob, hoping it wouldn’t make to much noise.


Hermione quickly swung the door open and ran out of it closing it behind her. She ran down the hall looking for stairs.

“Hermione what are you doing here?” Ron was outside, only wearing boxers. “What happened?”

Hermione stopped at the end of the hall. There was a hall leading off the one she stood in, which lead to stairs. “I’m sorry Ron, for everything. Goodbye.” She whipped around, Apparating home.

A/N: I hope you guys like the idea of this story. There is still much more drama to come, so stay tuned (because you know, this is a television show, :D). Thanks for reading, and please review!

Chapter 2: Passion
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

The Child Chapter 2


Hermione walked through the large home as quietly as possible, hoping that Viktor was not awake. She couldn’t believe she had let herself do this to him, let alone with Ron. She had slowly recollected what had happened the night before, and how she found herself with Ron. Her last memory was taking his hand, and letting him lead her back to his apartment.

Walking up the main staircase that led up to the second floor, the air got caught in her throat when she realized that Viktor was standing at the top of them looking at her. She stopped moving, and swallowed hard.

“Vhere ‘ave you been?” He asked.

Hermione quickly thought up an excuse. “I came home late from work and fell asleep in the television room.” She told him. It was a believable story, she had done it before, and Viktor always forgot to check the room because he rarely used it.

He nodded a small fell on his lips. “Again,” he laughed, then walked down the stairs to her. He took her waist, and placed a soft kiss on her lips.

He pulled away and smiled. She smiled back, hoping he wouldn’t see through it’s phoniness. “Let me make you breakfast.” He told her, and let go of her walking down the stairs.

“Fine, but I will help.” Hermione said, falling into her usual role. She pushed the thoughts of Ron into the back of her head, and followed him to the kitchen. Soon he was serving her breakfast, and they sat in silence enjoying their meals.

He would leave soon for Quidditch training, and Hermione would be free from having to pretend for a few hours. She would find something to do that would keep her busy, and hopefully keep her mind off Ron.

Ron rubbed his sore temples slowly. His morning had not gotten any better after waking up to see Hermione in his home, and not to mention that he himself was naked under the covers. It could only mean one thing.

He had forgotten that he had to work in the morning; it was something you didn’t want to do with a hangover. After he lost his job at the Ministry, Ron had taken up a more Muggle job as a garbage collector in London. It was probably one of the worst jobs Ron could think of, but he didn’t care. It paid the bills.

“Ron, let’s go. Were going to be late.” Roger, Ron’s partner, said patting him on the back.

Ron winced at the loud noise. “Just let me finish my coffee.”

Roger turned to look at him, and rolled his eyes. “I’ll be waiting outside.”

Drinking the last of his coffee, he silently wished he had enough money to buy some potion that would help with his hangover. But he barely had enough to pay for the rent, and he felt his stomach grumble and knew he should probably get some food.

He threw the cup into the garbage can in the office, and left to meet Roger outside. Roger was waiting in the truck, and Ron jumped on.

“Driving today,” he told him. “No way am I letting you in that condition.”

Not arguing, Ron nodded and held on as they started on their rounds. Up and down the streets of London they went, getting all the garbage. It was only the first shift, he would come back later for the second round. But he was already feeling very tired, as the loud sounds of the city caused his head to pound. Desperately he wanted for it all to stop. But he knew it couldn’t, and it wouldn’t.

As the day went on, memories of the night before came to his mind as fuzzy images. Some of them shocked even him. The thing he had had with Hermione made him wonder where it had all come from. Had she meant it all to happen and regret it when she woke up? He just didn’t know anymore.

When he and Roger got back to the office, they sat in the lunch room, and Ron watched as the other’s all ate their food that their wives had made, some even had their girlfriend’s make, and it made Ron feel lonely, and think of Hermione.

He had seen in the newspaper’s two weeks ago that she and Viktor Krum had gotten engaged. When he had read that he had simply thrown the paper away, not wanting to hear about her happiness. He remembered the days when he would do anything for it, but now he blamed her for everything.

She left him because he was ‘different’, and couldn’t deal with him anymore. That was the reason she had given him. He never understood it. And at the time he didn’t care all that much. In truth he was still mourning over his sister’s death. She had died nearly five years ago, and while everyone else had been able to move on he hadn’t. He blamed himself for her death.

The night she died she was supposed to be at home, at Grimmauld Place under Harry’s orders. But when he was the last one to Apparate, Ginny had begged him to let her go. It was the one time Ron broke down, and stopped protecting his sister. She had proved herself many times, and he said he would take her. Three hours later he watched as his sister jumped in front of a spell, and watched as blood splattered everywhere. She had saved Harry’s life.

“Ron, are you okay?”

It was Roger. Ron looked up at him and nodded. He hadn’t realized that he had started to shake. He stood up, and grabbed his gloves off the table. “Let’s go,” he said.

Roger looked at him strangely for a moment, almost as if deciding if he should ask what was wrong, but then turned around ad left. Ron followed him, forcing all thoughts of Hermione, and that day to the back of his mind.

Hermione smiled happily at the creation she had made. It was a feast that was for sure. She had spent most of the day on it, while she waited for Viktor to come home. He ended up having to go to a few press conferences, and she knew he would be hungry when he came home, so she made him a large dinner.

Using some of the skills she had gained from staying with the Weasley’s, she had made Turkey, roast potatoes, spinach, and many other vegetables. She had even made some treacle tart for desert. She was proud of herself for doing it all, and put all of her energy into the dinner. She knew Viktor would love it, and that made her feel great.

Maybe it was out of guilt for what she had done, but she didn’t care. Placing the plates on the table, she looked out the large bay window and out over the barren landscape. The cold white snow glinted back at her, and before she knew it she was brought back to a memory of Ron.

An image of Ron below her, his blue eyes staring up at her with such burning passion in them, it made her shiver. She had leaned forward planting her lips on his, and felt the sweat trickle down her brow. She had needed to be closer to him; she couldn’t have it any other way.

Coming back, Hermione found herself gripping the table. She knew deep down that the night before was something special, and something that she hadn’t felt for a long time, and it scared her.

“Hermy, vhat is all this?” Viktor asked walking into the dining room.

Hermione looked at him and smiled. “I thought you would be hungry.” She told him.

He smiled, and walked over to her and kissed her. Pulling away he said, “It looks vonderful.”

She smiled, and they moved to take their seats. He sat at the head of the table, and she sat on the side next to him. They served themselves food, and she sat and listened as he talked about the conferences. They were funny sometimes, what the reporters would ask him.

Soon half the bottle of red wine was gone, and Hermione felt her cheeks were warm. They finished their meal, and with a wave of Viktor’s wand, it was clean. Hermione looked at him, and knew immediately what he wanted.

Though she didn’t want it, she knew she had to. Slowly they moved upstairs to their bedroom, as he laid soft kisses on her neck, and lips. In their bedroom, he slowly took off her silky dress, and lay her down on the bed. He knew what to do; he had learned it a long time ago.

Hermione let him pleasure her, and though she couldn’t help get flashes of the night before in her mind, she continued. She convinced herself that this is what she wanted, and that her heart belonged to only him.

A/N: Was that passion filled or what? Ahahah, yeah right. I completely suck at love scenes, and this is the best I could really do. I hope you liked this chapter, and got a bit more information then the last one. Thanks for reading, and please review!

Chapter 3: The Beginning
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

The Child Chapter 3

The Beginning

Ron woke up slowly, and looked around his disgusting ‘apartment’. He sat up, yawning. That night he had managed to sleep without drinking too much whiskey, and it allowed him to forget everything he had remembered.

He stood up and crossed the room to his desk, and sat down in the old rickety wooden chair. He faced the desk, and looked through some of the papers. Most of them were letter’s he had received over the years; most of them were from Harry.

Picking up a sealed envelop he saw that it was new, and he had never opened it. It was from December, and he wondered why he never read it. Slowly he ripped it open, and pulled out the folded parchment to read what it said. Unfolding it, he leaned forward slightly to catch the light coming through the window.


I’m just writing you to let you know that I proposed to Annie yesterday. As you are my best friend, and my first fiancée’s brother I thought it was best that I told you first. You stuck by me all these years, even after Ginny died. You helped me move on, and accept that it wasn’t my fault, that none of this was my fault. For that I am so thankful for our friendship.

I know the last few years I haven’t been around much because I moved to France. I wasn’t there for you when you and Hermione broke up like you were for me. I’m sorry. I know this letter doesn’t help much, but I just wanted you to know that I’ve chosen you to be my best man at the wedding. It was the first thing I thought of, and I would love it for you to be there.

I’m going to be coming into town with Annie in February; we’ll be staying at your parents. Make sure to stop by, I think your mum is planning some big party, that I’m sure you’ll hear about.

See you soon,

Ron dropped the letter on the table, and looked up at his calendar. It was the first of January, which meant Harry was in town already. He leaned back in his chair and thought about what Harry had said. About what he had said about Ginny, and how he had been there through everything.

Ron couldn’t help but find the words useless. While he had been busy trying to get Harry to think that it wasn’t his fault, he had been blaming it all on himself and falling deeper and deeper into his self-pity. When Harry made the move to France just over a year after the war everything seemed to crumble.

Soon Harry was writing back to Ron and Hermione about how he had meant this girl, Annie, and how she seemed to bring so much happiness to him. Something he hadn’t felt for a long time. Ron had only met her once, when they visited four years ago. They had been together for only five months, but it seemed like they had known each their whole lives.

When they went back to France that was when Ron and Hermione started to fall apart. Ron couldn’t get over Ginny’s death, and after so many years Hermione couldn’t take it anymore. She needed something more from their relationship, something he couldn’t give her because he was too busy drowning in his own misery.

While Ron sat at home or at the bar, Hermione would be working, or spending time with Viktor Krum. Ron didn’t know anything of it, and when he asked where she was, she would just say she was out with friends. It wasn’t a lie.

But when Hermione finally decided to end the engagement, and left Ron for Viktor, it all made sense to him. He couldn’t believe he had been lied to for so long, and this only deepened the wound Hermione had made.

Then almost four years later, Ron heard of their engagement. He had been absolutely lucid after that, and all he could remember of that day was getting very drunk, and waking up in the Hospital from getting hit with a car. It hadn’t been anything too serious, but it meant that he would miss three days of works causing him to be almost late for rent.

Ron groaned, and rubbed his forehead. It was his day off, and he hated them. He didn’t have anything to do, and he didn’t feel like going down to the bar and spending his food money on shots of whiskey. He figured he would be getting an owl any moment inviting him to some family dinner from his mother. He knew that most of his family didn’t want him there, but he went because his mother did.

Feeling an itch that he couldn’t scratch, he stood up and opened the top drawer of the desk. Seeing the cigarette’s made the itch jump, and he picked them up, and took one out. Walking over to the small open window, he rolled the cigarette in his fingers, before lifting it to his lips, and lighting it magically.

It was a habit that he picked up while working as a Garbage man. Most of the other guys smoked, and he had just started one day. He knew that if Hermione had still been with him, that she would hate it. But he didn’t care. If she was with him, he would have never started smoking because he would still have his old job.

Breathing in the last drag of the cigarette he tossed it out the open window, and turned to his wardrobe. He opened the door, and after shoving some clothes around in it, he picked some fresh clothes his mother had washed for him months ago.

He knew he had too look and smell clean or he would be bothered about it the whole night, so he stood back up again, and grabbed his toiletry bag, and opened his ‘apartment’ door and headed for the communal loo. Because it cost him an extra ten pounds every time he used the shower, he would only use it once a week. But he needed to look good or his mother would start to worry about him, and try and force him to come home.

Locking the door behind him, he started to peel off his nasty old clothes, and started the shower. Stepping into it, and letting the cool water run over his sore body made him ache. How he wished he could afford taking more of these. As much as it bothered him to pay so much, he had to admit the loo was well worth it. It was taken care of, and was always clean. It was equipped with a clean working toilet, claw foot tub, and a large shower. He would love to spend hours in it, but because there was only one other bathroom in the building he was only allowed to spend one hour in it.

The smell of his soap reminded him of home, and he wished he could go back if it didn’t cause him too much shame. Moving back home to him was like admitting defeat to him, as if he was unable to provide for himself.

When he had finished cleaning every inch of his body, he stepped out of the shower, turning it off, and wrapped his towel around his waist. Staring in the mirror, he could almost see the former man he once knew. Taking his shaving cream, he filled the sink full of warm water, and started to apply the cream to his face.

Slowly he ran his razor down his hairy face to leave it clean and smooth, and rinsed it in the sink and repeated. Before he knew it he could see his face again, and on longer did a dark shadow cover his face.

He dried his hair, and knew that he desperately needed a haircut. His hair was getting to a point where it did not look good. Reaching for his wand, which he kept with him at all time, he pointed to his head and muttered the spell he had heard his mother use countless times, and stood still as he watched miniature succors snip at his hair until it was the appropriate length.

Standing tall he stared at the being before him. Though he would look normal to any person passing by, he knew his family would see through the façade. He rubbed his eyes, and then started to change into his clothing.

When he was finished, he returned back to his ‘apartment’ and put his things away. In a spurt of energy, he cleaned up his desk, and saw on his small alarm clock that it was almost two in the afternoon. How the day passed by so quickly, he didn’t know. He figured he had nothing else to do, so he decided he might as well go home early. Picking up his wand off his bed, he slipped it into his trouser pocket and Apparated to his well known home, the Burrow.

Fiddling nervously with her fringe, Hermione looked in the mirror at her appearance. She was wearing a simple black dress with a deep-v, and simple heart shaped gold necklass. She had changed very much from that little girl everyone once knew. Her face had aged, and her curls had calmed. Her hips had filled out, leaving a beautiful hourglass figure that many women envied. In the eyes of many she was something to be jealous of. Though she wasn’t the prettiest of the pretty, her confidence always shown through making her irresistible to some men.

Hermione hated it all. This thing that the paper’s and magazine’s had labeled her because she was engaged to Viktor. She could only imagine what they would say if they found out what she had done two nights ago. They would have a field day, with news that Famous Quidditch player’s fiancé cheated on him with an ex-lover. Not something she wanted to be known, or famous for. Not that she wasn’t famous already in her own right.

“Hermy, you look beautiful.” Viktor said walking into the loo.

“Thanks love,” She smiled, and ignored the fact that he was using the toilet. “I’ll meet you downstairs,” she told him, leaving the loo and entering their bedroom.

She grabbed her coat off the bed, and pulled it over her dress. She sat on a chair, and slipped on her black heels. Taking one last look in her mirror, she left the room and headed down to the main hall where she would wait for Viktor.

As her hand slid down the railing as she grew aware that she was shaking. She was nervous, as tonight she would be attending her engagement party. She didn’t want to face all of the people, and all the reporters. In truth she longed to be celebrating alone with a few closer friends and family, like she would be with the Weasley’s. But because of who Victor was, she knew she had to.

“Stop being nervous, you will be fine.” Viktor said behind her.

She turned and gave a faint smile. “I’m trying,” she told him

He chuckled lightly, and Hermione felt the hairs on her next raise slightly as they reminded her of someone. Harry. He too was having an engagement party this night, and though she desired to go, she couldn’t because not only was her party tonight, but because it was being held at the Weasley’s and she knew Ron would be there. She wasn’t ready to face him quite yet.

“How ‘bout after this, ve go to ‘arry’s party like you vanted?” Viktor asked.

Hermione felt her stomach turn. Without answering, she simply nodded unsure of what else to do. She knew that Harry would want to see her, and she figured in those few short seconds that she just had to suck it up and face Ron.

“Great,” Viktor said shortly, and took her arm. Without her even realizing it they Apparated to the dining hall where there party was being held.

Viktor led her through the entrance hall, still holding her arm, as photographer’s snapped pictures. Hermione tried hard to keep smiling, and pretending to talk to Viktor. It was all part of the charade, and they all loved it but her.

Once they entered the dining room, the picture’s ended, and Hermione faced a new crowd. People of ages from their late teens to the early forties filled the large room. Skylight windows and a large bay window let the beautiful moon light shine through, and stars shine down on them. People greeted them, congratulating them on their engagement as they walked through the crowd. Hermione searched for her parents, hoping to find a familiar and comforting face.

“Hermione, Viktor, over here!”

Hermione felt her heart sore when she saw her mother in the distance, calling them over. Once again she let Viktor lead her over to her parents, and when she reached them she embraced them both, feeling a little hope of happiness coming from the evening.

“Congratulations!” Her mother cheered, letting go. “Of course we were already aware of this whole thing long ago, when Viktor asked for your hand, but I’m so happy I can’t help it.”

Hermione chuckled at her mother’s giddiness. Her father smiled at her, and he started talking to Viktor about work, and other things that interested him. Mrs. Granger took this time to steal her daughter away so they could talk.

“What’s wrong?” Her mother asked once they were somewhere in private.

Hermione stared at her mother surprised. Was she really that transparent? “Is it that obvious?” She asked her.

Her mother smiled. “I’m your mother, of course I know. But to everyone else you look fine. But the moment I saw your face I knew something was up.” Her mother explained. “So tell me what’s wrong.” She continued.

Hermione didn’t know what to say. She couldn’t tell her mother what she had done, because she knew she would never understand. But she would understand why Hermione would be nervous about going to Harry’s engagement party. She could tell her that.

“Well it’s this party were going to after this. You remember my friend Harry, right?” Hermione paused to ask. Her mother nodded, and she continued. “Well tonight he is having an engagement party as well, and he invited me to come, but my problem is that it’s being held at the Weasley’s, and Ron is going to be there. I’m not sure if I can face him, I haven’t spoken to him since the break up.” Hermione found herself telling her mother.

Her mother’s feature’s softened, and she patted her daughter’s hand. “I understand, but maybe it’s time you two spoke. You are both grown adults, and what you had is long gone now. I’m sure he’s moved on, and so have you. Maybe you two should try and be friends again.” Mrs. Granger told her daughter.

As much as Hermione wished her mother’s words would sooth her nerves, they did nothing. None of it mattered, because she knew that her mother had guessed wrong twice. Hermione knew that Ron hadn’t moved on, and it was impossible for them to become friends after what happened. The passion was still there, and it scared her.

“I guess…” She trailed. “I guess your right.” She said finally deciding that it would be best just to agree. She hoped that her mother wouldn’t see through this and they joined Mr. Granger and Viktor again.

As the party came to a close, Viktor and Hermione bid goodnight to everyone, and left early so they would still have time to spend at the Weasley’s. As Viktor had never been to the Burrow, Hermione had to do the side-a-long Apparation. Feeling a little nervous she clung to Viktor’s arm, and thought hard of the grassy backyard she once loved so much.

With a ‘pop’ the couple appeared on the snowy ground, and stared up at the mis-matched building the loomed over them. Hermione smiled at the building, stars in her eyes, while Viktor gave it a peculiar look, but smiled when he saw his fiancé face.

Taking a step forward, he held her hand. “Vhat are you vaiting for? Let’s go,” he said. A small giggle escaped her lips and Viktor was reminded of the young girl he met when he was seventeen. The young girl he fell in love with.

They walked through the snow to the cozy looking home. Hermione could hear talk and laughter coming from the building, and a faint hum of music. Lights shown behind the closed curtains and shadows showed couple’s dancing. It was cozy sweet sight to see, and it made Hermione wonder if her appearance would change it all.

Slowly they moved around to the back door, walking through the old garden, Hermione watched as a Gnome ran around Viktor’s foot until he kicked it away. They reached the back door, and Viktor raised his hand to knock. Hermione was so nervous, she had to fight the urge to grab it and pull it down, and go home.

He knocked twice, and they waited for the door to open, and be invited in. It didn’t take long until the door opened, and Mrs. Weasley was in the doorway.

“Hermione,” she cheered, and pulled her into a tight hug. “You look gorgeous.” She commented finally letting go.

Hermione felt her cheeks grow warm with the excitement. Mrs. Weasley looked at Viktor, greeted him kindly, and then ushered them in to the house. Hermione was so thankful for her kindness, and stepping into the kitchen brought many memories back. No one was in there, but they could hear the noise coming from the next room. Hermione felt paralyzed with fear. Viktor took her waist, and almost pushed her through the door.

No one stopped to stare; they just kept dancing and having a great time. Mrs. Weasley didn’t even announce that they had arrived. Hermione looked through the crowd and saw many people she knew, but she didn’t see the one person she feared. The only person who saw Hermione and Viktor enter was Harry, and he rushed over from the other side of the room to embrace his friend.

“Hermione, it’s great to see you!” He smiled, and turned to shake Viktor’s hand. “Good to see you as well,” he said a little more formally.

Viktor nodded his head. “Congratulations on the engagement.” He said.

“Thanks, and congratulations to you both as well!” He said happily, and looked at Hermione. “So how are you?” He asked.

Hermione hadn’t seen Harry this happy in a long time, not since Bill and Fleur’s wedding. She was so happy for him, finally finding the happiness he deserved. “I’m great, actually, though I do feel a little over dressed.”

He chuckled. “Yeah, well, it’s understandable; you were just at a party.”

Hermione nodded smiling. She watched as a pretty strawberry-blonde who she knew to be Harry’s fiancée, Annie. “’Ello Hermione, Viktor!” She said cheerfully, taking Harry’s arm. “’arry has told me that you two finally got engaged, about time.” She laughed.

Hermione smiled, though she felt a little guilty. Maybe it was a little too soon. “Thanks,” she muttered, suddenly wanting to leave. “If you excuse me, I have to visit the loo.” She told them.

Viktor gave her a look, but let her go with a nod and started to talk to Harry and Annie. Hermione left in a rush, finding it hard to breath. She walked quickly up the stairs, not running because of her heels. She passed her best friend’s old bedroom, and after climbing the last set of stairs before the loo, she almost ran in, and closed the door behind her and leaned against it.

Breathing hard she looked around the dark room. “Lumos,” she muttered and the light over head erupted in a blueish glow. The loo had stayed the same, nothing had changed about it, only the number of towels that no hung from the bar on the wall. Sliding down to sit on the floor, she wiped her brow of the sweat she had earned from hyperventilating. She didn’t know what was wrong with her. Why had she so suddenly reacted the way she had? Maybe it was the mention of the engagement. Maybe she suddenly got so worked up about it because of her guilt. She felt so sorry.

Sitting for a few moments, she decided that she was well enough to stand and head back downstairs. Checking herself in the mirror, she made sure she looked okay. Her hair had gone a little out of place, but she managed to fix it with a bit of water, and faced the door.

Opening it slowly, she took a deep breath hoping she’d be okay. She stepped out in the hallways, her heels echoing as she walked.


Hermione froze where she stood, feeling as if her stomach had just disappeared. She couldn’t move she couldn’t breathe. It was him.

“What are you doing here?” Ron asked.

She slowly turned around expecting to see the same man she had met in the pub. But she was surprised to see that this Ron had cleaned up. She opened her mouth, trying to speak. She couldn’t think of anything to say, but that she was sorry, and she knew that would fix nothing.

“Harry invited me,” she said finding her voice.

He looked her up and down, noticing how she had dressed up. She felt her cheeks tinge a little red, feeling very out of place. She knew she should have changed before she left, or brought something a little less fancy, but there had been no time.

“Why so dressed up?” He asked. It wasn’t jokingly; there was no joy in his voice.

“I came here after a party.” She told him, gaining some confidence. But for some reason him made her feel so in adequate, as if she was the un-worthy of being in the very house she stood in.

He leaned against the wall. “Oh yes, one of those balls where all the prats meet together to talk about how much better than they are of everybody else, with their noses held high.” He laughed harshly, and Hermione felt as if she had been slapped in the face.

“What is that supposed to mean?” She asked, forgetting everything as her anger took over.

He shrugged; his smirk annoyed her so much. “I think you know.”

Hermione put her hands on her hips. “No, actually I don’t.”

“You’ve turned into one of them, just another pureblood snob, there’s just one problem. You’re a Muggle-born.” Ron seethed.

Hermione didn’t know what came over her, she moved closer to him, and with palm of her hand she slapped him across the face. “You’re the prat,” she told him darkly and turned to the stairs.

She stared angrily at the dark stairs below her, but didn’t move. She heard him move across the landing, he was almost right against her. She could feel his breath on the back of her neck, causing a shiver to go down her spine. Her senses heightened, and she moved her head slightly to reveal her neck.

His soft kisses trailed down her neck and collarbone, and her lip quivered longing to touch his lips. He took her waist, and she moved her head to meet his lips. She stared at him, and matched his intense gaze. He lowered his head, and met her lips in an electrifying kiss.

Slowly they moved against the wall, Ron’s hand traveling up her leg, as she moved it up against him. He trailed his kisses down her neck to her breast. Hermione gasped with excitement, giggling, as Ron picked her up and she wrapped her legs around his waist and let him carry her into the bedroom formally belonging to Percy.

He slowly moved her on to the bed, and started to un-button his shirt. Hermione smiled and kissed him deeply moving his hand to the back of her dress, and she finished unbuttoning his shirt.

Un-doing her dress, he helped her slip it off her over her head, and the met her again in a kiss. She couldn’t handle it, she had to be closer to him. Flashes of back when they were first together; their first kiss in the garden out back, the first time they had made love. It had been clumsy, and though she had had better, she would still remember it as being the best. Because it was with him, and that’s all that mattered.

Just as she reached for the belt on his pants, they heard the sound of footsteps outside the door. Hermione and Ron froze in place, and soon they stood up. Hermione scrambled around for her clothes, and they heard the doorknob turn. Hermione rushed over to the closet, opening it and going in, and closing it just as the door opened.

“Ron, what are you doing in here?” It was Harry.

She watched through the slots as Harry stepped into the room. Ron had on his shirt, and was slowly buttoning it back up.

“I spilt some whiskey on it, and I had to clean it quickly.” Ron answered. Hermione was so thankful that he had come up with an answer.

Harry stared at him, but nodded. “Are you going to come downstairs?”

Ron nodded, “Yeah in a moment.” He told him.

Harry turned to leave, then stopped and looked back at Ron. “Look, just to warn you Hermione and Viktor are here. Actually, that’s why I came up here. Have you seen Hermione up here at all? She came up about a half an hour ago.” Harry asked.

Ron looked innocent, and shrugged. “I haven’t seen her, and if I had, you would know.” Ron told Harry.

Harry didn’t look surprised by the answer. “Come on mate, your not going to keep that grudge against her forever are you?” He asked.

Hermione felt a little smile fall on her face, defiantly not after what just happened. But it quickly disappeared when she truly realized everything. She knew she was toying with his heart –she knew she would never be able to commit to him, though in her heart she knew she wanted to. It was becoming all so complicated. She knew that what had just happened was wrong, and she had no excuse for it.

Ron never answered Harry’s question. Harry sighed, turned and finally left, closing the door behind him. She waited a few minutes before coming out until Ron spoke.

“You can come out.” Ron said, sitting at the end of the bed.

Hermione slowly opened the door, pulling the dress over her head, and looked at Ron with sad eyes. “You know what we’ve done in wrong.” She said.

He nodded. “Your promised to someone else, I know.” He said shortly.

Hermione bit her lip, not knowing what else to say. “I should go back downstairs.” She said glancing at the door. Her head told her to leave, but her heart told her to stay.

“You should be down there right now,” Ron stated.

The room was silent, and Hermione looked him straight in the eye. “I know what I should do, and I know what I shouldn’t. But right now my heart wants me to do what I shouldn’t.” She admitted to him.

He stood up, and moved over to where she stood. “Meet me tomorrow at the Muggle Coffee shop across the street from Diagon alley.” He said, his face barely an inch away.

All she could do was nod, and tilt her head upwards and met him in a soft kiss. She moved away and stared into his blue eyes. She didn’t say anything, but he knew what she was thinking.

Slowly he moved away, touching her arm softly, and opened the door, and stood out of the way. “I’ll see you at noon, you go down first.”

With that, Hermione moved out of the room, and walked down the stairs. She paused at the bottom to look up, before entering the kitchen, and into the living room.

She didn’t see Ron for the rest of the night.

A/N: Oh my god this chapter is freaking long! I really wanted it to be a bit lengthy because my last two chapters were absolutely sad in the word department. I really wanted to make this a chapter something special and I hope I have.

I have one thing I would like to ask; if any of you who have an account at the dark-arts (if not then ignor this), could you make me a banner? I do have a topic up, so here is the link:

It includes all the details, and if you have any questions just ask me on the topic. Thanks!

Thank you all for reading, and please do leave a review! It would be much appreciated!

Chapter 4: The Risk
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

The Child Chapter Four

The Risk

Hermione sat at the kitchen table reading the daily prophet while Viktor was at the counter making himself some tea. It was quiet, and though it was normally quiet in the house in the morning, Viktor hadn’t even said good morning. This made Hermione nervous.

Did he some how find out what had happened the night before? Did he suspect something? Of course not. He had no idea Ron was there, or he would have said something. No, he thought what Harry had told everyone. That he wasn’t well and didn’t come. In other words, everyone thought Ron was in a ditch of a pub drunk. For all Hermione knew that was exactly what he had done after they separated, and this made her fearful of his health.

It had been a long time since she had felt that for anyone. With Viktor she never really thought of it. He was often followed by body guards where ever he went, and he was never one to get himself in dangerous situations. But with Ron it was different. Ron was hot-headed and unpredictable when drunk. The chances of him getting hurt were much higher then with Viktor.

But as she scanned the Daily Prophet for any sign that Ron was hurt, it lessened. There was nothing, just the usual. She put it down, and sighed.

“Vhat’s wrong?” Viktor asked, sitting across from her.

Hermione looked at him and shook her head. “Nothing,” she paused and then continued, “I have to go to Diagon Alley today to pick up some things. Is there anything you’d like?” She asked.

“Why don’t we go together?” He asked.

Hermione fought a frown, and shook her head no. “No, it’s okay. Stay home, have some time off. You’ve been busy all week with Quidditch and the engagement stuff. You deserve a break.” She told him.

To her surprised he didn’t question her decision. Just nodded, and stood up mumbling something about having to read some fan mail. Alone, Hermione breathed a loud sigh of relief.

She tidy things up around the kitchen, and headed upstairs to her bedroom to take a shower. She wasn’t worried about the meeting with Ron, only what would happen. What would it lead to? She knew that she had to end things with Ron, but she just didn’t have the heart to do it. She liked being with him, even if what they had created was complicated. But it had to end. It wasn’t right

She came out of the shower, and wrapped the towel around her. She dried herself off, and put on her bra and under wear. Sitting on the stool in front of the mirror, she grabbed her wand and pointed it to her hair, drying it, and then pulled it up into a bun. She got up and walked over to her wardrobe.

Grabbing her favourite trousers, Hermione heard Viktor move upstairs, and head to their bedroom. He entered the room and smiled and went into the bathroom. She pulled them on, and buttoned them, and went back to her wardrobe and took out a blue sweater, and pulled it over her head. After one last look in the mirror she said a quick goodbye to Victor (who was now in the shower), and went downstairs for her jacket and purse.

With one last look in the mirror in the main entrance, she Apparated to the Leaky Cauldron.

Ron looked through the large bay window out across the busy street to where the Leaky Cauldron was. As much as he didn’t like it, he was eager to see a bunch of bushy brown hair; he was eager to see Hermione again.

He had hoped that being with Hermione again would not make his feelings for her resurface. He had worked so hard to get rid of them, maybe not in the best way, but he could not deal with loosing her again to him.

He hated how she did this to him, how she held such control over him. He knew she didn’t do it purposely, but it didn’t help. Before it was her mistake that caused his misery, this time it was his own. He knew he should have been stronger both times they had been together. The first time not so much, he was intoxicated, but the second time it was all him. He was the one that instigated it, and he she couldn’t resist.

Holding his head in his hands, he looked through his open fingers out the window and at the door of the Leaky Cauldron. He sucked in air out of surprise as there she stood, Hermione. Her soft brown hair down, blowing lightly in the light breeze. The sun seemed to break through the cloud cover for one momment lighting up her flawless skin. She walked out to the street, looking both ways before quickly walking. Her hair bounced away, and as she drew closer he saw that she wore no make-up. Just the way he liked it. She entered the coffee house, her brown eyes searching for his blue.

It had a rustic look about it, the red stone walls reaching far up. She could see that it was busy, and a feeling in the pit of her stomach made her feel nervous. What if someone saw them together? Someone who recognized them? She shoved the thoughts into the back of her mind, and walked to the door.

Ron sat up straight, watching as she stepped into the coffee house, and looked around the busy place before spotting him. She gave him a small smile, and walked quickly over to them.

He didn’t stand, causing her to feel a little awkward. She sat down slowly across from him, and pulled off her jacket letting it fall on the back of the seat. “Hi,” she said finally breathing in sharply and giving him a half smile.

He couldn’t smile back. “Hi,” he replied, and reached up to his chin rubbing it, and leaning against it. “How are you?” He asked politely.

Hermione was surprised by his demeanor, but shrugged. “I’m fine, how are you?”

“Fine,” he answered.

Silence; it was all that filled the space between them. Hermione found that they ha nothing to talk about, after being apart for so long, and after having left in the way that they did. She needed to know why she was meeting Ron here, what he wanted from this.

“Why did you ask me to come here?” Hermione finally asked.

Ron shrugged, leaning back off his arm. “I figured it was the right thing to do after sleeping with you twice.” He said.

Hermione fought hard to not yell at him. How could he say such a thing? “Well if that’s all, I’m leaving. It was nice knowing you Ron, I’ll let you go back to your life.” Hermione said, grabbing her jacket and purse standing up.

As she turned to leave, Ron reached out for her arm, taking hold of it, and gently turning her back to him.

“Stay,” he said.

It would have been romantic or sweet if it weren’t for his face. It held nothing for her, only the loneliness that had swept over him the last five years. She knew he didn’t want to be alone, but she only wished he would show all his emotions, but she knew that that wasn’t possible. She had caused too much pain to him for him to trust her like that.

“Fine, I will.” Hermione said. She sat back down, putting her stuff back in its place. She looked Ron right in the eye, wanting some answers. “Where is this going?” She asked.

“Where ever you want it to.” Ron said, mentally kicking himself. He was supposed to end it, not let her decide.

Hermione looked down at her hands. “We should end it.” She admitted, though in her heart she didn’t want to.

“I know,” Ron said softly, surprising Hermione. She looked up at him and saw his hand lying flat against the table for her to take.

She reached out and took it squeezing tightly. “You know this is wrong.”

He nodded. “It could ruin people’s lives.” He replied.

“That’s a risk I’m going to take.” Hermione told him. She knew it was wrong, she knew it was selfish, but she convinced herself that it was the right thing for her. She wasn’t happy with where she was in life, and though she knew there were better ways to deal with it, she wasn’t going to stop. She wanted this, and she was willing to pay any punishment she got. As long as she did it with him.

Two Hours Later

Hermione moved closer to Ron on the bed, putting her leg between his. She ran her fingernail down the scar on his chest, as he softly played with her hair.

“You should be going home, I’m sure Krum’s looking for you.” Ron muttered.

“I know,” Hermione said softly, looking up in his blue eyes. “But I don’t want to go.” She said, sitting up, letting the blanket fall off of her.

He stared up at her, his face serine. He slowly ran his hand up her side, watching as the goose bumps covered her skin. He gave her a rare half smile, and she smiled back straddling his waist. She was tired, but she didn’t know when the next would be when she could be with him. She went to kiss him, but his hand stopped her. He held her shoulder keeping her from moving and shook his head.

“Go home; we can see each other again.” He told her.

Hermione moved off of him, and got out of the bed. He watched her from the bed as she picked up her clothes from around his small apartment. After putting her clothes back on she swept her hair up into a bun, and turned to look at him.

“Viktor is going away for the weekend. We can meet for dinner on Friday, and maybe you can come back to my house.” Hermione suggested.

Ron raised his brow. “Are you sure that’s a safe idea? What if he comes home early?” Ron asked.

Hermione shook her head. “He won’t. He’s going to America and he won’t Apparate or Floo there because it’s so dangerous. He’s taking a plane, so we won’t have to worry about him.” Hermione said. She felt guilty as she spoke, but she didn’t like his apartment.

“Okay, meet me outside the coffee house on Friday at six o’clock and will go from there.” He told her, cooking up a plan in his head.

She smiled at how he actually liked the idea of dinner. She figured he would just want to keep it casual, but she figured there was something else he wanted from her. What, she didn’t know yet, but she picked up her jacket off the floor, and moved to the bed. She kissed Ron slowly, pulled away and stood up.

“See you on Friday,” she said, turning and moving to the door. She unbolted the three locks, opened the door and stepped out slamming it closed behind her, never looking back.

“See you too,” Ron mumbled to himself, and pulled his blankets over him, feeling tired and worn. Really he wanted Hermione to stay, but he knew if she stayed any longer the chances of her getting into trouble was a lot higher.

A/N: So, I do hope you all liked this chapter. It took me awhile to write and stay in the right mood. Thanks for reading, and please review, as always!

Chapter 5: Regret
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

The Child Chapter Five


Numbly, Hermione walked through the home she had shared for the last four years with Viktor. She could hear him walking around in the den, and after placing the parcels she had bought quickly from Diagon Alley before coming home by the door, she walked in.

He looked up at her and smiled. “Your back,” he stated.

She smiled back. “Mhmm,” she couldn’t think of what to say. Guilt filled her soul, as he moved over to her and planted a soft kiss on her lips.

“Did you find everything you need?” He asked, moving over to his desk and sitting down.

Hermione followed him, swallowing her guilt, shoving it into the back of her mind. Sitting on the edge of the desk, she looked around the medium sized room full of books and other odd things. “Mostly,” she replied shortly.

She felt his soft touch, as his hand fell on top of hers. “Vhat’s wrong?”

It seemed that was a question he asked often these days. But she couldn’t blame him.

Hermione look at him, and forced a smile. “Nothing, I’m fine, just tired.” She told him standing up. “I think I’m going to go have a quick nap.” She told him.

He nodded, “I can cook dinner tonight.” He offered.

The gesture made Hermione’s heart melt, and make her heart break at the same time. How could she hurt this man? A man who loved her unconditionally since she was fourteen, and she was out having an affair?

“I insist,” Viktor continued.

“Fine, but don’t stress yourself.” Hermione said, trying to sound normal as she felt worse by the second.

He nodded, and Hermione gave him a peck on the lips and left the den. She didn’t bother to collect her parcels just go to her bedroom. She closed the door behind her, and pulled off her jacket, letting it drop to the floor. She moved to her bed, and fell back on it, feeling exhausted.

She thought about what she had said to Ron, about them meeting for dinner and coming back here. She was starting to wonder if it really was such a great idea. She wondered if she really had made the right chose to be with Ron.

Rolling on to her side, Hermione shut her eyes, trying to force the thoughts of Ron out of her head. But they wouldn’t disappear. They had had sex three times now, and this last time she regretted even more than the second time. She knew what she was doing, and ignored the possibility of being caught, of loosing everything.

She had been so selfish in doing what she had done. She didn’t care about how Viktor would feel, or react. She lived in ignorance, something she had always refused to do.

But wasn’t she living in ignorance being with Viktor? She had always loved Ron, even while she was with him.

Hermione groaned as her thoughts clashed. She could think no more. It all just took too much energy, energy she did not have. Letting her exhaustion take over, she fell asleep.

Ron knocked on the large old wooden door gingerly, and waited for it to open. It was the door to Harry’s room at the Leaky Cauldron. He had been given the biggest room, having a main room, and a separate bedroom.

He waited only a few minutes before the door open, and he was engulfed in a hug by Annie.

“It iz so nice to see you again!” She cheered happily, much to Ron’s surprise. They had only met thrice before.

He could hear Harry’s laughter in the background, as Annie pulled away. Ron had felt his cheeks redden slightly, but ignored it, being used to it. Harry came over to the door.

“How are you, mate?” He asked as he shooed Annie back into the room.

Ron came inside, shrugging. “Same as I was yesterday.” Ron told him, sitting the old sofa in front of large fireplace.

Harry closed the door behind him. “Well I’m glad nothing has changed.” Harry replied.

Ron ignored the comment, he knew what his friend meant. Harry had suspected something when Ron didn’t return to the party until after Hermione left. Harry knew the pair of them better, and Ron was sure that Harry thought they had met and had a row of some sort.

Well, he was partially right. He just didn’t include the sex after. Ron had to fight the urge to laugh at the thought. He had almost made what he and Hermione had sound normal, when it very well wasn’t. What they had was something wrong, something they shouldn’t have started, but now couldn’t finish. Well that’s what she had told him, in her own way.

“Well I’ve been quite happy, showing Annie around Diagon Alley.” Harry told him, sitting on the sofa that sat vertically from the one Ron sat on.

“Oh Oui, it has been great fun. The city iz wonderful, but I do look forward to going home.” Annie said, holding her wand out, levitation a tray with tea sitting on it. He figured she had magically made it, and watched as she sent it towards the small table in the center of the room, and it landed with a soft ‘thump’. “Tea?” she asked moving around the sofa, and standing in front of them.

Ron nodded, “sure,” he told her. He watched as she poured the tea into a cup. “Two sugars, no milk.” He told her as she looked up at him. Handing his tea to him, she glanced at Harry.

“Are you going to ask him?” she asked him.

Ron stared at the couple as they had some sort of conversation with their eyes. Finally Harry looked at him. “Annie was-” Harry stopped getting a look from his fiancée, “I mean Annie and I were wondering if you wanted to come back to France with us? Just until the wedding, and when it’s over you can come back.” Harry explained.

Ron wondered what the angle behind this was. Did they want to get him away from Hermione possibly? Even if he did, it sounded like a good idea, he wouldn’t mind going to France for awhile. But he also didn’t want to go just because of what he was starting with Hermione.

“Well, what do you think?” Harry asked, snapping Ron back from his thoughts.

“I think,” Ron started. “I need to think about this. I am completely willing to be your best man, but I have some things I need to take care of.”

Harry seemed slightly surprised by his reply, whereas Annie looked crestfallen. “Well, you will let us know, as soon as you do, right?” He asked.

Ron nodded his response. He didn’t know what he was going to do, or what Hermione would want to do. He was already starting to second guess his decision to start an affair with Hermione. It was too complicated, and he didn’t like the idea of having to hide it from everyone else.

He spent a few hours catching up with Harry and Annie, before having to leave for work. He needed to pay the piling bills.

“Hey, I’ll talk to some people about getting you a job at the ministry.” Harry told him as he was leaving.

“Thanks mate,” Ron replied, giving Harry a brotherly hug. He hugged Annie gently, and left their Hotel room.

When he arrived at work, he was tired, but went straight to his job. Roger said little to Ron as they worked. When they were finished, Ron didn’t even say good bye and headed home.

He had thought about it all work, and he had decided what he was going to do. He was going to end things with Hermione on Friday. It had all been a mistake, something that should never had continued to what it was now. He was going to tell her that he never wanted to see her again, and pray that she would see what a mistake it was for them to be together.

At least, that’s what he hoped.

A/N: Okay, so this isn’t one of my best chapters, I know. I tried to go into a little more detailed about their surrounding’s, as people pointing out to me that as much as dabble into their heads, I don’t talk about their surrounding’s. You’ll see more in the next chapter, I promise. It’s just I figured that out after finishing the chapter, and I am too tired right now to go back and write in a whole bunch of new stuff. Sorry, I feel lazy for it. Thanks for reading, and please review!

Chapter 6: Pregnant
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

The Child Chapter 6


Hermione grasped the edge of the sink to steady herself as her head spun. She had no idea where the nauseated feeling had come from, but she guessed it was from the sushi she had shared with her co-worker at work that day.

Standing in the lavatory alone, her heavy breathing echoed around the room. Looking up in the mirror she saw her face was a light shade of green, and before she could even blink, she clamped her hand over her mouth and rushed to the nearest toilet.

“Hermione, is that you?”

Hermione was relieved to hear the soft voice of her friend, Hannah Abbott. Flushing the contents of the toilet down, she stood up from her knees, and left the stall and walked over to the sink.

“Merlin, are you all right Hermione?” she asked concerned, moving next to her.

Hermione nodded, splashing the cool water on her face. Conjuring a glass, Hannah handed it to Hermione so she could rinse her mouth. After a few rinses, Hermione put the glass down, and turned off the water. Leaning against the sink she looked at Hannah.

“I’m fine, just the sushi Haru brought didn’t agree with my stomach.” Hermione explained.

Hannah nodded, though still concerned. “You should probably go home, I’ll talk to George about giving you the day off, don’t worry.”

Hermione shook her head in refusal. “No, I’ll stay. I have some cases I need to look at before I go home.” She made to move away from the sink, but then her head started to spin again, so she stayed still.

Hannah looked at her pointedly. “Go home,” she said helping Hermione steady herself.

Hermione nodded in defeat. Thanking Hannah, she quickly headed to the staff room to change from her uniform. She walked inside, rubbing her forehead. The queasy feeling in her stomach hadn’t disappeared, but it wasn’t as strong as it had been before.

Slowly she changed from her uniform, and into her casual Muggle clothes. Putting her cloak, she looked in the mirror to check her appearance. She was pale, with a slight green tinge. She couldn’t remember the last time she had felt this sick, and she knew that taking the Floo network home would unsettle her stomach. Groaning slightly, because it would take her longer to get home and sleep. She left St. Mungo’s through the main entrance, and walked a little while until she found an empty alley way. Making sure that there was no Muggles around to watch, she Apparated home.

“Rubbish,” Ron mumbled to himself as he shoved some more old shirts into the rubbish bin. Straightening up he looked around his old bedroom. His mother had been after him for ages to clean the place up since he moved out of the house. No one used the room except for him, and that was only when he stayed the night –which was rare. But things had changed, he was moving back in.

He didn’t want to. If he had it his way he would not moving back in with his parents, but there was no other choice. He had been fired early that morning for being late to work. He had been so drunk the night before, that he never fully made it back to his flat, but instead in the stairway, where he was shaken awake by his landlord who was looking for rent money; rent money he did not have.

Putting some comic books and an old chess sat into a box, he shoved it under his bed. Deciding he would take a break, he left his half-packed bedroom and headed downstairs to the kitchen. When he entered his mother smiled pleasantly at him. If there was anyone who was happy about him moving back in, none of them could beat his mother.

“How is the cleaning going dear?” she asked, placing a platter of fresh blueberry muffins. Ron sat down at the table, grabbing one.

“I should get my stuff in by the end of today.” Ron answered, eating half the muffin in one bite.

“Don’t take such large bites, you might choke.” Mrs. Weasley scolded.

Ron ignored her. He definitely going to hurry up and find a job if it meant he had to hear that every day. Once he had finished, he stood up and headed back up to his room to continue with his clean-out. It didn’t take him long, and when he closed the last box he placed them in the attic. Staring at his room he noticed how empty it looked now, but how it now looked to belong to someone older than a seventeen year old. Wiping his hands on the back of his pants, he sat down on the edge of his bed, putting his head in his hands.

Thoughts of Hermione filled his head. He would be seeing her tomorrow night, and he wasn’t sure if he could still go through with his plan to break things off. He loved her, he would never stop, but he knew he wasn’t right for her. He couldn’t give her anything valuable, he knew Viktor was the better man. But it didn’t stop him from feeling that Hermione was his.

There was a light knock on the door, and Ron looked up. “Come in,” he said gruffly.

The door opened and Harry stepped inside. He gave a faint smile, and looked around the room. “Wow, your mum wasn’t joking. You were actually cleaning up.”

Ron didn’t laugh. “What are you doing here? I thought you and Annie were going home today.”

“Yeah, well, we couldn’t leave without your answer.” Harry told him.

“Oh, yeah, that.” Ron muttered. He looked to his friend and gave a shrug. “I would say yes, but I really need to find a job –I lost my job, I can’t pay rent- so I can move out on my own again.”

Harry nodded, understanding. “I heard about that, sorry. But you’ll come before the wedding, right?”

Ron nodded, giving a small smile. “Yeah, sure that would be great.”

“Great,” Harry said. He looked at his watch. “I should probably be going; Annie is probably talking your mother’s ear off.”

Ron gave a short laugh. He stood up, “I’ll come see you guys off.” He told Harry, and the two exited the room and made their way downstairs.

“About the job, I wrote to Kinsley asking if he could get Ludo to give you a job working in the Dept. of Games and Sports.”

“Thanks,” Ron said shortly. “But he’ll probably just laugh. Ludo knows all about my drinking habits.”

“Yeah, and we all know about his gambling habits.” Harry smirked.

Ron gave a genuine laugh as they entered the kitchen, and sure enough Annie was talking very quickly, so quickly that it didn’t even sound English, to Mrs. Weasley.

Mrs. Weasley looked up and half smiled half frowned. “Leaving now, are you?” she asked.

Harry nodded. “Yes, we are Mrs. Weasley.” He said. Mrs. Weasley hugged both Harry and Annie, and Ron hugged them both as well. As Harry pulled away he muttered, “Don’t fuck up.”

Nobody else heard except for Ron, and he stared frozen at Harry for a moment before his mother snapped him out of his reserve. “Ron, don’t you have to clean up your room?”

Ron realized that Harry and Annie had already left the Burrow, and were probably already out of the boundaries and about to Apparate back to France. He only nodded, and left the kitchen and went back to his bedroom to finish cleaning up.

“You are sure, you are vine?” Viktor asked again, shoving a pillow behind Hermione’s head.

Hermione nodded slowly, focusing on not getting so dizzy that she wanted to retch again. She had come home, stumbling on the solid ground, and nearly collapsed to the floor if Viktor hadn’t been in the bedroom to catch her. He had picked her up in his arms and carried her over to her bed as she mumbled about not feeling well. He had been rushing around the home trying to look for the potion that Hermione had said would settle her stomach, and having no success at all. While she lay in bed, focusing hard on not hurling again.

She couldn’t remember the last time she had felt sick like this, even as a small child. Her stomach churned, and her head spun. Every so often she would gasp, and crawl out of bed and to the loo. Viktor returned with no potion, and Hermione just shrugged it off, deciding that she would just get over it the natural way.

“I vill be down the hall if you need anything.” He told her calmly.

“I know,” Hermione mumbled as her lids grew heavy. He bent low and kissed her hand, and left the room, closing the door behind him.

As tired as she was, she fought it. A million thoughts had risen in her head. How on Earth did she become so sick? She was quickly realizing that it had not been the sushi making her sick, but something else. Something much more worrisome.

I’m pregnant.

She wasn’t questioning herself, she some how knew it was right. She knew exactly whose child it was, and it wasn’t Viktor’s.

Oh, God, what have I done! Hermione screamed to herself. She knew Ron was in no fit state to be the father to her child. Not to mention she was engaged to Viktor! Finding it suddenly very hard to breath, Hermione forced herself to sit up. How could she have been so foolish to get herself pregnant with Ron’s child? She wasn’t even completely sure if it was his. No, it is his. I know it.

Hermione’s hands went to her stomach, tears coming to her eyes. She was going to have Ron Weasley’s, something she had once wished, dreamed about. And now it was actually happening.

One last pang of nausea hit Hermione, and she rushed to the lavatory, crashing on to her knees, and bending low over the loo. In relief, she lay down on the cool bathroom floor; the side of her face cooling as she breathed slowly, sweat trickling down her brow.

Than and there she decided what she was going to do. She was going to end everything she had with Ron, and marry Viktor and no matter who’s the child’s father really was, it didn’t matter, he would be Viktor’s.

Picking herself off the floor, she started the shower, and after undressing stepped in, breathing in the warm air, and letting the water wash everything in her past away.

Ron scratched his rough chin distractedly, staring at the door of the Muggle restaurant. Hermione had sent him a letter a few hours earlier saying she wanted to meet him a day earlier. He was still on the fence of whether he wanted to end things or not. He knew the right choice was too tell Hermione he never wanted to see her again, but what he wanted was not that at all. In truth he found that Hermione had gotten something new in him, a need to be better. He knew moving back home, and loosing his job could not be considered ‘better’, but after so many years of telling his mother no, he figured that he had given up as a more mature things. Not to mention, he may or may not be getting a better job.

Blinking for the first time in five minutes, he missed as Hermione entered the restaurant, looking as beautiful as ever. Her brown locks were worn down, how he had liked it, and she wore a simple black blouse and skirt with tall boots. She spotted him immediately, but to his displeasure no smile reached her mouth or eyes. In fact now that he looked at her again he noticed how pale she was, and how her eyes were blood shot as if she had been crying. This was not going to be good, he could feel it.

“Ron,” she almost gasped.

“Yeah, sorry, I didn’t have much time to clean up.” Ron said before he could stop himself.

Hermione shook her head, a tiny smile reaching her eyes. But when she looked up at Ron, a frown quickly replaced the smile. “I don’t really care about that, I asked you to be here because,” she paused taking a deep breath, her eyes seeming to search her mind for the right words. “I asked you to be here because I need to break things off with you. Viktor and I are going to get married soon, and it’s wrong for us to be together.”

Ron stared frozen. It felt as if someone had stuck a sword into his gut, and though he had been contemplating ending things with Hermione he had not expected her to end things before him. Gripping the bar, he managed to stand, and forced a smile on his face.

“I was thinking the same. It’s not like we really have any feelings for each other. I was just looking for a good fuck, and you had cold feet.” Ron though it strange that the voice who had said those words sounded exactly like his own. A shock went through him when he realized he had been the one to say it, that he had let it slip.

Hermione looked stunned, but it quickly changed to anger. Her voice was sharp, harsh. “Well, if that was all this was, than maybe it’s for the best that were ending it. Obviously I had thought wrong about how you felt about me and this relationship.”

“Yeah, I guess you were.” Ron replied vacantly.

Tears welled in Hermione’s eyes, as she reached up around her neck. He watched as she pulled a familiar silver chain, a silver otter dangling from it, and yanked it off her neck, not bothering to un-hook it. Pulling his hand open, she placed the necklace in his hand, and closed it.

“I never gave it back to you last time.” She said hoarsely as she fought the tears. She turned on her heel and left the restaurant.

Unaware of the stares Ron was receiving he turned back to the bar, and sat down. “Whiskey, I don’t give a fuck which kind.” He mumbled as the bar-tender came near to ask what he wanted.

Staring at his closed palm, he slowly opened it to stare at the broken necklace. He had given it to Hermione on their five year anniversary. It had been the only time that year he had shown much emotion with Hermione, and she had been pleased that he was finally paying attention to her. They had made love that same night, he remembered it well. He hadn’t felt so alive in a year on that night. If he had known he would loose her in less than a year he would have changed, realized that he should have moved on, he knew she would be his, and they would probably have a few kids.

Ron snorted lightly to himself, and watched the bar-tender place a shot glass in front of him and pour whiskey into the glass. Like Hermione would ever want to take the time to have children with him. Than again, he couldn’t blame her. He wasn’t exactly the most attentive person at the time to her, so how would he be any different to their children?

Taking the glass in his hand, he lifted it up to the bar-tender, “Cheers,” he said, and downed the glass.

A/N: I am so amazed that I finished this, I really am. I hope you all liked it, and aren’t too upset about them ‘breaking up’. You now know why this story is called, ‘The Child’, if you hadn’t guessed correctly on what happens by now. Any how, it’s nearing two o’clock; I think I should get to bed. Thanks for reading, please review!

Chapter 7: Moving On
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

The Child Chapter 7

Moving On

Not daring to open his sore eyes, Ron slowly moved into a sitting position. The night before had been nothing he expected, but when he reached for his hang-over potion, he froze hearing some move on the other side of the bed. Not caring if it hurt or not, he tore his eyes open and saw a blond woman lying on her stomach, her mess of hair everywhere.

Smart move idiot, go sleep with some girl just to prove Hermione right. He scolded himself, turning back to his desk.

He had to admit, when he entered the bar the night before, he hadn’t been in the right state. After cleaning out his room to move out, he had come back to his flat to finish packing his things. But after only an hour, he decided to visit the bar one last time. He hated himself for putting himself in the position he was in with Hermione, and he could already feel an aching in his chest now that he had been almost two days without her. That’s why he drank, to get rid of it. But it didn’t stop, and the loneliness overwhelmed him, and after taking a shower, smelling great, he left for the bar.

It had been a long time since Ron went to a Muggle bar, and he only did when he was in his state of loneliness. Muggles were far easier than witches, and if he was clean shaven, he could fill that loneliness.

After his fifth drink there, he could not remember a thing of the night before. Only spotting a few beautiful woman from across the pub, but he hadn’t once made his move, as Hermione kept flashing in his mind. It must’ve stopped after that fifth drink, and he finally let loose.

Getting off his bed, he ignored the cold that surrounded him, and reached for the bottle of potion that would cure the acute hang-over he was suffering from. Popping the cork from the top, he downed the whole thing in five seconds, and placed the bottle back down.

He picked up his clothing from the night before, not caring if they were dirty, and started pulling them on. When he had gotten his boxers and trousers on, the woman had started to wake up.

Groaning slightly, she rolled on to her back, before her eyes shot open as she realized she was not alone. She sat up, her ivory skin glowing slightly in the sunlight that beamed through the single window. She glanced around before her eyes fell on him.

Ron stood transfixed on this woman. She was nothing like Hermione, he realized. He had always seen Hermione as beautiful, but the woman was one of those women who made others jealous with her looks. Her deep green eyes evaded his own, and her full lips formed a wide smile revealing her perfect white teeth.

“Hello,” she spoke softly, not bothering to pull up the sheet that slowly uncovered her ivory skin. Ron could clearly see that she had not had much to drink – well not as much as he had anyway.

“Hello,” Ron echoed, not sure what to say. What did she remember from the night before? Obviously she knew more than he did, but that didn’t stop him from trying to remember.

“Where are you going?” she asked innocently.

Ron faltered. “I’m going out,” he paused to collect his thoughts, “And when I come back, I hope to see that you are not here.” He told her.

She frowned, and looked down. “I guess what you told me last night wasn’t all that true.” She glanced up at him, looking through her lashes.

Ron felt bad, and shook his head. “I’m sorry, for any pain I’ve caused you.”

She looked up and half-smiled. “Well, I did sort of figure a nice guy like you couldn’t possibly be free.”

He stared at her incredulously. “What do you mean?”

She moved to pick up some of her clothes that lay on the ground, and pulled on her knickers under the sheets. She let the sheets fall, still not answering his question, and put her bra on. She held her dress in her hands, and she turned it inside-out.

He stood still, staring at her face, ignoring that a beautiful, half-nude woman stood in front of him. Finally, once she had changed she looked at him. “What I mean is, I knew the second I saw you, that there was someone else. But the way you talked to me, it was different from other guys. You didn’t compliment me on how pretty I looked in my dress, and when you talked to me, you talked to me. Most guys don’t do that. And that’s why I guessed that there was already someone else, and you couldn’t have her.” She explained.

He stayed quiet when she was finished. She walked past him, and picked up her purse that was on his chair in the corner. Pulling out an elastic band she pulled her mess of hair into a pony at the back of her head, and put on her coat that lay on the floor. Her hand was on the door knob, and she turned to look at Ron.

“Who ever she is, don’t let her get away.” She said, and opened the door. She left the room, and closed it behind her.

Ron stared at the place where the woman once had been, and realized he didn’t know what her name was. Rushing out of his ‘apartment’ he caught her half way down the stairs.

“Wait, what’s your name!” he called down the stairs.

Looking at him, she smiled. “It’s Ruby, Ruby Sloan.”

He smiled. “Mines-”

“Ron Weasley,” she said before he could finish. “You told me last night.”

He nodded, and watched as she walked down the rest of the steps until he could no longer see her. Slowly he made his way back his flat. He realized what she had said, and what it meant.

She stared absently at the plain white wall. A long crack ran through it; the paint old. Viktor had been gone for a week, gone to the America’s for Quidditch. He wouldn’t be back for another week and every day she grew more and more pregnant.

She was over one month pregnant, and instead of visiting St. Mungo’s – one place she knew far too many people – she went to a Muggle Clinic. Her doctor was a cheerful woman, plump with rosy cheeks and light brown hair. But she was kind, and didn’t ask questions of who the father was. Her next check-up would be in another week – a day after Viktor returned. She was nervous, afraid of what he would say. He would not questions the date – probably only insist on visiting St. Mungo’s. But she would firmly stand against that, she would find some excuse to get her way.

Many thoughts had risen in the passing days. What if the child looked like Ron? What if Ron came after her, and found her pregnant? She hoped she had hurt him enough that he would leave her alone. She knew if he found her pregnant he would surely know it was his – he may be thick sometimes, but he wasn’t stupid. He would tell Viktor in a heart beat just to ruin what she had left – to get back at her.

Ron isn’t that cruel, he would never do that to you. Hermione’s mind fought back. You broke his heart first – twice you have – you would deserve it.

It was true. She had hurt him first, and she deserved it. But he would never hurt her like that; he would never ruin what little happiness she had to make him feel better. He loved her too much to see her un-happy, even if it meant he was. Sure, he would send hurtful words, but never anything more. Only enough so that she knew how he felt.

Slowly she slid off the doctor bed and left the doctor’s office as its clean white lines seemed to strangle her.

Pacing, Ron scratched his head impatiently. He hadn’t had a drop of alcohol since that day he woke up with Ruby in his bed. He had decided it was time to clean up his act, and moving back in with his parents didn’t seem so bad. Though the lack of drink seemed to irate him – like he had expected – he knew he could live with it.

Ron was thinking about Harry. He missed his friend. Ever since he returned to England for those short days, Ron was reminded of the old days when he and Harry had been in-separable. They were best friends still, but Ron saw now that his drinking had gotten in the way. He hadn’t been there for Harry at all after Ginny’s death. He hadn’t been there for Hermione either. Simply, he had drawn within himself, and been so selfish to forget about everybody else.

Pausing, Ron moved back to his desk, pulled out the chair and sat down. A letter sat on his desk, the envelop ripped open. He had read the letter twice, and still he could not make up his mind. It was from Harry, telling him of an opening in France in their ministry for an Auror. He was sure that Ron could get a job there and also that his offer for a place to stay was still open. It was a good idea. Ron needed a fresh start, and moving to another country and getting away from it all – getting away from England – would be good for him.

Standing up again, Ron shoved his chair back in, and turned to the door. It was time to talk to his mother. He knew she would be very angry about the idea of him moving to another country, especially since he had started dropping all of his bad habits and had managed to get a job at the mail station at the ministry. But Ron hated his job, and the idea of working as an Auror again sounded great. So Ron stomped down the stairs, finding his mother in the kitchen like he expected.

“Mum,” he said leaning against the doorframe.

“Yes dear,” she said distractedly. She was making bread, the sleeves of her robes rolled high though flour still had managed to get on it. She pounded the bread, the banging loud. “What is it?” she asked, pausing to look at Ron for a minute.

“I think I may be moving out soon.” Ron said casually moving from the door to the table. It seemed strange that he had to talk to his mother about moving out, but it only made sense. Besides, she knew he wouldn’t be living there for the rest of his life. He hoped so anyway.

“Oh really, and where do you think you will live?” she asked her brow raised, the dough forgotten. “Your job at the ministry doesn’t pay well enough to live in any respectable place.”

“Well,” Ron started, “Not completely. I could live in Diagon Alley, but I know how much you’re against me living on my own.” Ron went to continue, but his mother interrupted.

“That’s completely right. You are just starting to get better, and I think that has a lot do to with the fact that you are living in a clean environment, as well as getting a good home made meal. Not to mention you are no longer doing that horrible job of collecting garbage. You had the chance at being something great but you just had to-”

“Shut up mum, and let me explain myself.” Ron snapped, and than quickly regretted it. But to his surprise, his mother said nothing, only looked expectant. Regaining composer, Ron explained. “Harry sent me a letter about a spot opening to be an Auror in the French Government. He invited me to stay with him until the wedding, but I declined. He said I could live with him until I feel up to living on my own. I just thought I should let you know.” Ron said, and stood up. He turned to head for the stairs, but before he could his mother hugged me tightly.

“Oh, that’s great dear! I don’t mind if you go to France and live with Harry.” She said, and let him go. “It may be good for you to get out the country. Go where people don’t know about…” She stopped herself from saying anymore. Ron knew what she was going to say, where people didn’t know about his drinking and the fact that he got fired. He wasn’t mad; she was right. Even more reason to go to France.

“So, are you really okay with it?” Ron asked again.

Mrs. Weasley looked a little uncertain but nodded. “I suppose I have to be. Time to let you go, I suppose.” Though she did not look like she was happy, she gave Ron a short hug and he went back to his room.

He suddenly felt like a bad school boy, that leaving the confines of his mother meant something bad. Shaking his head, he sat back down at his desk and pulled out a blank piece of parchment and a bottle of ink. Searching for another few minutes he finally found a quill and started to write the letter for Harry and telling him that he was going to move out to France. As he did so, something in his gut made him smile. For the first time in a long time he was doing something good; something grown-up. He was going to somehow change from being a bum to someone great. Just like he had before.

“Viktor,” Hermione muttered softly from the door frame, hoping that he wouldn’t hear. He had been home for over three hours, and still, she had not been able to tell him. She watched him put his signature on a piece of parchment on his desk. His office had once been a very inviting place for her, all the books that sat on there shelves on the walls and the comfy chairs. The hard oak paneling made the room dark, but the enchanted lamps that glowed in day or not always shone bright lighting the room with an orange glow.

Viktor did not appear to have heard her as he put his quill down and rolled the parchment back up. But as she turned to leave quietly, he stopped her. “Hermy, vhat is it?”

The air caught in Hermione’s throat, and for a moment she dared herself to say nothing and leave. But she couldn’t. What she needed to tell him was not something she could hide. She knew that. Taking a slow deep breath, she turned and faced Viktor. He blinked at her, a smile in his eyes though he seemed confused.

Stepping into the office a little more, she closed the door behind her and managed to force herself to look straight in his eye. “There’s something you should know,” she started and adverted her eyes again as she sat down in one of the comfy chairs in front of the desk. Viktor looked confused, but not nervous.

“Tell me,” he said softly.

Hermione took another deep breath, and managed a smile. If she was going to go through with this, than she might as well make him believe she was happy. “I went to the hospital while you were away, and they told me something.” She paused, and Viktor started looking nervous, but did not interrupt her. Swallowing hard, trying to show no fear she finally managed to say it: “Viktor, I’m pregnant.”

A/N: So, what do you think? >.< I know it has been an incredibly long time since I last updated, and that this should have been up weeks ago. And I am so sorry! School has driven me near mad along with getting a job and taking part in far too many extra curricular activities. I will try so hard to update this faster but I am not promising anything. Any how, if you have stuck by, thanks for reading! Oh, and let me know what you think? How much do you hate me for leaving it where it is?

Chapter 8: Lies
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

The Child Chapter 8


“You are with child?” Viktor asked stunned.

Numbly, Hermione nodded. The silence seemed to have lasted a lifetime. “I found out while you were away.”

Viktor rose from his chair, a smile breaking out on his face. A light chuckle escaped his lips as he came around the desk, his arms out stretched. “This is vhonderful!” He pulled her into a tight embrace, his chuckle rippling through her body. “I thought it vas something much vorse.”

Hermione put a bigger smile on her face. She needed to make him believe that it was their gift. She pulled away to look at him, and he stared inter her eyes, a boyish grin on his face. “No, it’s nothing bad. I was just worried about what people would say – we’re not married yet.” Hermione managed to say.

“Vhell, it would not be the first time that something like dis has happened.” Viktor went on, letting her go and sitting on the edge of his desk, his arms still around Hermione’s waist. “But it is still good.”

“Yes it is good, isn’t it?” Hermione managed a small laugh.

She had managed to go through with it; lie to him straight in the face, and let him believe that this child was his own. But she was right in doing it right? If she had told Ron, surely things would have gone worse? He would have never been able to raise a child in his state. Yes, Viktor was the right man for the job. He would take care of him or her, and give that child everything it deserved in life and more.

Tears fell down Hermione’s cheek, and Viktor wiped it away and pulled her back into his arms. He did not realize that this was not a tear of joy but a tear of sadness. The man, Ron Weasley, would have been such a good father, she knew that. If he was not a mess, if he had stayed strong after Ginny’s death, she knew that they would be happy. She knew that he would be the father that the child would need. But that wasn’t reality, and Hermione knew that. She had to put the love she had for Ron, her childhood dreams and hopes aside for the child’s well-being. She loved Viktor, and knew that he was best for the child. So with Viktor she would stay.

In his excitement Viktor ordered Hermione to bed and he went straight to the kitchen and began making dinner. It was not an extravagant meal, but it left Hermione feeling guilty. She ate her food in bed along with Viktor, and snuggled close to him at night. It didn’t matter if she loved Ron or not. She had to forget him, and try and make what she had with Viktor work.

The soft sunlight drifted through the light white curtains and onto the sleeping form of Ronald Weasley. His chest was bare revealing a patch of freckles many girls had liked to count in his past years. His fiery locks fell in disarray on the white pillow, and the lines etched upon his face lay relaxed. The blue eyes beneath their lids moved madly as if he was having a terrible nightmare. But he lay unmoving, on his side though his upper body was twisted upwards.

As if an explosion went off, Ron bolted straight up on bed, his chest heaving up and down. Looking around him, it took a few minutes for Ron to realize where he was. The cream coloured walls, and dirty hardwood floors. A small desk and chair was pushed against the left wall, a tall window above it. On the right was a tall oak wardrobe, one door open revealing Ron’s clothing. The queen size bed that Ron was now getting out of sat in the center of the room covered in white and green linens.

He had arrived at his best mates home only a day earlier, tired, and suffering from being sober for nearly a month. Groaning, Ron stretched his arms and as he walked over to the door grabbed his shirt off the back of the chair and pulled it on just as he opened the door and entered the top floor landing. There were two other doors on the landing, one belonging to a bathroom and the other to a spare room. Going down the stairs he passed the second floor landing and at last reached the main floor. The front entrance was small, but inviting, and passing it he went down the hall going by two reception rooms and entered the second door on the left entering the informal dining room that was attached to the kitchen. Annie was awake, sitting at the table next to Harry and jabbering away in quick French to the resident house-elf who was putting a tray of croissants in the center of the table.

“Ron, you’re awake! Eat, eat!” Annie said seeing that he had entered the kitchen. She stood up quickly, pushing Ron into the seat diagonal from Harry. She poured him a cup of tea, and placed it in front of him.

“Morning Ron,” Harry said looking up from the Daily Prophet.

“Morning,” Ron responded gruffly, quickly taking two croissants from the tray and putting some fruit onto his plate. Satisfied, Annie took her seat across from Ron, smiling pleasantly.

“’ow did you sleep?” she asked animatedly.

“Good,” Ron lied. He had slept horribly. He had dreamed that he was picking up garbage in a park, and when he looked up from picking up an old bag he saw Hermione. Next to her was Viktor, and in between them was a small girl giggling as they swung her back and forth. It made Ron sad to know that Viktor would get raise a child with Hermione; the child he had always wanted with Hermione.

Taking a long drink of his tea, Ron looked past Annie and out the window. He could see into the alleyway between Harry and Annie’s home and their neighbors. Despite its closeness light still spilled into the area, and he watched mildly amused as the top of someone’s head bobbed by.

“Nervous about the job?” Harry asked.

Ron looked at him, dazed. The newspaper he had been reading lay folded in front of him, his own cup of tea in his loose grip on the table. “A little,” Ron said finally.

“Well, don’t be. It doesn’t matter that you don’t speak French all that well, they have a translator for you to work with.” Harry assured him, and stood up. “Well, we should get going. Go get dressed, Ron,” Harry told him.

Ron did as he was told, grabbing the last of his second croissant and made his way back upstairs, passing the house-elf that had been in the kitchen earlier as she magically sent a broom to start sweeping the front entrance. When he reached his room, he grabbed his bath bag and a towel and headed into the loo. He took a quick bath, remembering at the last moment to shave, and changed into some brand new black robes, putting on his shoes last. He didn’t spend much time in the mirror to make sure his un-kept hair looked all right, fearing what he would see past it. After making sure his wand was in his pocket along with a small bag with a few galleons in it, he went back to the entrance hall where he found Harry waiting.

“We’re walking,” Harry told him. “Come on, let’s go before Annie can come out here and make sure you look all right. I swear she is becoming more and more like your mother.”

Ron gave a weak laugh, and followed Harry out of the house, down the steps and on to the street. Harry slightly in the lead, Ron walked next to him in silence. He knew his friend had many questions on his mind, like the change of heart about coming to France, and what was going on with him and Hermione – something he had picked up quickly. But Ron did not want to answer these questions, not now.

Turning down a narrow alley way, they came to the end before Harry turned to Ron. “We’ll Apparate here. There are anti-Apparating spells in place so close to my home.” Harry explained, and Ron took his arm so he would be taken along.

“Ready?” Harry asked.

“Let’s go,” Ron mumbled.

With a tug at the navel, Ron felt himself being sucked through an endless tube, his hand still tight around Harry’s arm. Finally Ron felt the feeling lessen, and his feet hit solid ground. Blinking a few times Ron found himself in a large atrium that was nothing like the one the belonged to the English ministry. Its concave ceiling was made of glass showing blue sky and the few birds that flew above. Clouds moved across slowly, and the bright sun shown down in rays onto the people walking below. Where the two had Apparated, Ron saw others appear as well, and from the long line of fireplaces just a few meters behind him. The tall walls were made of white marble, along with its floors. Just a few yards ahead was a desk where two burly looking men stood checking the occasional wizard or witch’s wand. In the center of the atrium was around fountain where four spouts shot up and somehow were shaped to spell ‘Vive La France!’

“From the revolution days,” Harry explained, leading Ron to the desk where the burly men were. “Annie thinks they were too lazy to change it – that or too patriotic.” Harry smirked, stopping in front of the desk.

“’ello Mousier Potter, what can I do for you?” the guard asked, smiling to reveal his crooked and missing teeth. Ron stared disgusted, forgetting his surprise at how well the man could speak English.

“This is Ronald Weasley, here for the new Auror position.” Harry introduced, putting his hand on Ron’s shoulder, gaining his attention again.

“Ah, oui, one moment,” the man leaned down reaching for something before placing what it was on to the desk. “Dis is your pass, keep handy, and we will need to look at you’re, ah….” He paused looking thoughtful.

“Wand,” Harry filled in.

“Oui, merci, your wand.” The guard repeating, holding out his hand. Ron handed it to the man, and watched as the guard pulled a scale from under the desk, placed the wand on top, waited for a moment before a strip of paper came out and the guard read aloud, “9.25 inches, Dragon ‘eartstring core, ‘as been in use for dirty-five years. Is dis correct?”

For a moment Ron went to shake his head, finding that it’s age too old, but nodded remembering that it had not always belonged to him. The guard gave a thin smile, and handed Ron his wand back.

“’ave a good day.” The guard concluded, picking up the scale, and turning away from Harry and Ron.

“Well, now that that is over let’s get you to your new job.” Harry said, pushing Ron a little.

They went over to the lifts, joining five others. A few greeted Harry happily in French, but did not continue a conversation with him. Ron muted out the noise as the lift went on, only moving out of the way when the doors opened to let someone off. Realizing he would be working again, at a real job, had suddenly thrown his stomach into a turn. He knew the chances of seeing her were slim, but that fact did not settle the matter. Hermione had always loved France, so what was to stop her from coming here?

Myself of course, Ron thought cheekily before the lift stopped again, and Harry pushed him forward.

They stepped out into a white room, the floors aged, but well-kept hardwood floors. But Ron wasn’t looking at this, no he was more preoccupied with the hundreds of eyes that were now peering at him from their desks and cubicles trying to get a good glimpse. Just like the one in England, dozens of criminals pictures lined the cubicle walls along with pictures of family and friends, and reports.

“Welcome to the French Aurors office,” Harry smirked, and pushed Ron down a small corridor, the opened into a smaller room, with five desks spread through the room. One wall was dedicated to pictures of criminals and other people, reports hanging under. Only one person was there, her back facing Ron and Harry as she wrote furiously on a piece of parchment. “This is the special task wizards and witches work. We handle more dangerous criminals.” Harry told Ron.

“Sort of like the Hit Wizards in England,” Ron ventured.

“Yeah, hold on a moment,” Harry said distractedly, and moved a little ahead of Ron. “Claudette, can you stop scribbling for a moment so I can introduce you to my friend, and our new Auror?” Harry asked.

The girls head snapped up, her pony tail going wild, and the quill she had been using dropped on the desk. She spun in her chair, her fringe covering her face before she pushed it behind her ears revealing the sharp features of her face, and he weathered skin.

“I ‘ave stopped.” She said sharply, and looked from Harry to Ron. “So you are the famous Ronald Weasley,” she paused for a moment to stand from her chair. “You look a lot more ‘andsome in your pictures, Mousier.” She commented dryly, and Harry snorted loudly.

Ron didn’t say anything, only finding that this woman was strange, and that she reminded him of an old professor. Her dark eyes searched his own for a few moments, before she stepped back, her features softening.

“Claudette Doucette,” she announced sticking her hand out for him to shake which he took confidently, “Senior member of the special task force – as ‘arry likes to say.” She smirked for a moment, and turned around sending her black robes a flutter. “I ‘ave some paper work to do, excuse.” She said and went back over to her desk and sat down.

A little stunned, Ron looked over at Harry who was wearing a large grin on his face. “Is she always like that?” he asked.

“You will find that out for yourself. She is your new partner – and interpreter.” Harry told him, his grin not disappearing.

“Oh, well than,” Ron replied glancing back at Claudette and not feeling an ounce of happiness fill him. “I’m glad I’m with someone so relaxed.”

Harry laughed, “Well, in the mean time I’ll show you around.” Harry said and led Ron back out of the Auror office.

The rest of the morning Ron spent it following Harry, and being introduced to various Ministry members, sharing short conversations as none of them seemed to enjoy speaking in English or socializing at all for that matter. Around twelve o’clock Ron and Harry left the Auror office, and Ron found himself in an abandoned alley way close to the Eiffel tower. In a small Bistro Ron was amazed by Harry’s well-preformed French, and filled a quarter of his stomach before returning to the Ministry where Ron was left alone with Claudette.

“I am currently trying to track down a man by the name of Richard Delamb, who is responsible for a series of robberies of Muggles homes.” Claudette started to tell Ron, sounding a little impatient.

Much of the afternoon was spent catching Ron up, but once it was all done Ron found himself useless. Harry sent him home early, and Ron happily Apparated back to the same Alley way as before. It took him twice as long as it had in the morning to find the house again, and when he entered he was greeted by the delicious scent of duck amongst other foods. Popping in the kitchen for a minute to say hello to Annie, Ron felt quite happy to be back in his room – for the time being – to enjoy the simple pleasure of lying in bed.

But after a while, Ron found lying in bed could get quite boring and he stood up. Pausing to look at the small alarm clock on his desk, he noted that there was still quite some time until Harry would be home and dinner on the table. Grabbing his Muggle jacket as he went, he exited his room and bounded down the stairs to the main floor. He slipped his jacket on, and went into the kitchen where Annie was busy kneading dough.

“Annie, are there any parks close by?” Ron asked softly so not to scar her.

Annie looked up, flour on her face, with a thoughtful expression. “I do not know of any close by, but – oh non! I lie! Dere iz one a few streets from ‘ere. Go down our street about three blocks, turn right and keep going until you reach it. It iz small, but nice.” She finished with a smile.

“Thanks Annie, I’ll be home by dinner.” Ron promised.

“You do not need to act as if I am your Mama, Ron. A plate will be waiting at any time.” She told him, a smile still on her face.

“Oh,” Ron suddenly feeling uncomfortable. “See you later Annie.”

“Aurevoire,” Annie exclaimed just as the kitchen door swung closed.

Feeling more confident, Ron half ran to the door, opened it in a quick motion and ran down the steps to return to a quick pace on the street. He passed people, offering his quick nods and hello’s whenever spoken too. The sun had started to set; it being nearly five o’clock, a sign that winter was coming.

As Ron walked, his thoughts wandered. He still could not believe that he was in Paris, France, with a great job and living inhabited home. Unlike his parent’s house, Ron felt that it was a lot more relaxed, quiet, probably due to the fact that they did not get anywhere near as many visitors as the Burrow did, but Ron found that Harry’s house was more freeing. Less memories inhabited this home, fewer memories that had been haunting Ron ever since he was seventeen years old.

It had been eight years since Ginny’s death; five years since Ron had become an alcoholic; one month since he had last seen Hermione. It was all crashing down on him. He should never have started drinking. He not only lost Ginny, but he lost Hermione because he couldn’t face the reality that he would never see his baby sister again. He had been so selfish. He didn’t see that his girlfriend was hurt because she had lost a friend; he didn’t see that his best friend had just lost the love of his life; he didn’t see anything but his own pain.

Ron looked up from the cobbled street and his eyes fell on the small park. The green grass was covered in multi-coloured leaves and the sun was setting sending a warm glow across the park. There was an old swing set, and Ron didn’t hesitate sitting down. He didn’t move once he had, only facing the sunset and letting it warm his face. Two teenaged girls wearing school uniforms under their black petty-coats walked by and stared at Ron. He looked at them for a moment, watching as the blonde one whispered in her friend’s ear sending them both in a fit a giggles. He looked away just as the two girls both peered at him one last time before turning the corner.

The dream he had ran through his mind, but Ron did not see any happy couples with children around. Those two girls had been the only ones. But it didn’t matter any how. Hermione had chosen who she had wanted to be, she was free to have her own life. He wasn’t a part of it, and it didn’t matter. It couldn’t matter.

He was starting over. He had a new job, and a new country he could make a fresh start. Drinking was in the past. He would get over the irritation, and the urge that itched through him because he knew it was the right thing. Even if he would never see her again.

A/N: So I am aware that many of you are probably a little suprised/disappointed by Hermione's choices and actions. But you must put faith in me. I will make it work. Any how, I am really sorry for how long this update has taken. Of course, I believe my readers are just used to this now, as in the past year my updates have become monthly. Well, thank you for reading, and do please leave a review!!

Chapter 9: The Invite
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

The Child Chapter 9

The Invite

Hermione Granger stood completely still as she watched her Fiancée struggle with the heavy trunk by the staircase, finding it a little amusing that someone so strong was having such difficulties.

“Stop smiling, and help.” Viktor grumbled, finally managing to hoist the trunk on to his shoulder.

“You were the one who insisted upon doing it manually.” Hermione laughed, falling in behind him as he walked to the door. Before he could even struggle with the door handle she had her wand out and the door opened with a single wave of her wand.

“Thank you,” Viktor said as he exited their home and stepped out on to the front porch. He stepped down the five stone steps and pausing at the bottom to take a breath.

Hermione stepped out on to the porch, still wearing her thin smile and pulled the thick jacket she was wearing tighter around her. “It’s getting cooler out,” she commented looking across the large front garden. The gravel drive opened to two gates one entering and one exiting. The middle of the drive ran parallel to the stone steps leading from the mansion, and was also where an old black taxi sat waiting, the driver inside looking curiously at the manor.

“It vill be colder in Bulgaria,” Viktor told her coming back out of the house with his own much smaller suitcase.

“We could always send these by carrier and Apparate rather than taking a flight.” Hermione suggested.

Viktor paused at the top step to look at Hermione with an exasperated look. “I’m not sure if I like vhat pregnancy has done vit my wife-to-be.” He said wryly and turned back to the steps, handing his suitcase to the taxi driver who had already struggled with Hermione’s earlier.

Hermione stood still on the porch watching as Viktor helped the taxi driver as she tried to ignore the nagging feeling in the back of her mind at Viktor’s words. Wife-to-be. It didn’t seem right to Hermione; half the time she didn’t even believe it was true. But then she would glance down at her left hand and see that it was true, a sparkling diamond proving this fact.

It wasn’t that Viktor was really that bad. He was easy to be with, and wasn’t afraid to show his love to his fiancé – something he had ever been too good at. And yet it wasn’t right. It wasn’t right that she was leading Viktor on, making him believe that what they had was perfect and that everything was all right.

But the child, Hermione’s thoughts interrupted herself. It needs a good father, and Ron isn’t a good choice right now. Why does this have to be so difficult?

“Hermy, are you all right?” Viktor was standing in front of her, and he reached out his hand for her to take.

Uncrossing her arms from her chest, Hermione took Viktor’s hand. “I’m fine; just thinking about seeing your parents and telling them about the baby.” Hermione made an excuse quickly.

Viktor gave an encouraging smile as they walked down the steps. “I already told you, in my last letter to them, I told them. Do not vorry,” He kissed her hand, and opened the car door for her to slide inside.

Hermione offered the best smile she could manage, and let it slip off her face as soon as the door snapped shut. She watched in the mirror as he walked around the car and came to the right side door, opened it, and slid in next to her just as she put the smile back on her face.

“Well, I guess there’s no chance of changing the plans now.” She smiled forcefully, and Viktor seemed to accept it and kissed her on the cheek.

“You get too nervous,” he said as the taxi driver got back into the car and turned the key. “To the airport please,” he told him.

Hermione became more relaxed once the taxi started down the long dirt road to the main one. The hum of the car was loud enough to not be forced to talk, and she sat staring out the window, aware that Viktor was rubbing the back of her hand. When they arrived at the airport, Hermione passed through the process as if she were a ghost. Viktor made little notice of it, getting a little anxious; he had never liked this certain kind of Muggle transportation.

Ten hours later, jet-legged, and hungry Hermione found herself in Viktor’s childhood home, sitting at the small kitchen table while Viktor spoke in fast Bulgarian with his dark-haired mother who was currently making something to eat that smelled lovely to Hermione. Hermione noticed how beautiful Viktor’s mother was, though she looked aged and tired. She did not know where Viktor’s father was, he had gone for a walk around the farm, his mother had told her in Bulgarian, and Hermione has been too tired to bother asking Viktor what she had said.

“Hermy,” Viktor had stopped talking to his mother and looked at Hermione with a smile, “Vant me to show you around?”

Hermione gave a faint smile and a nod, and stood up. Viktor took her waist and with a quick word to Mrs. Krum, and they exited the quaint kitchen and walked down the stone floor into a main entrance.

“They have lived here for thirty years,” Viktor told her as he led her around the corner and up dark pine stairs. “My Papa does not vant me to buy them a new home. He says he has vorked too hard for this one.”

“He sounds honorable,” Hermione said, trying to sound interested. She felt dazed, far away from the place where she stood, and wondered what was wrong with her. This couldn’t just have been the long flight, it was something else.

“He is very honorable,” Viktor agreed as they came onto the first landing, and Viktor entered the second room in the hall. Before he said anything Hermione knew that this was his childhood bedroom.

“It is not much,” Viktor said placing Hermione’s bags on the hardwood floors.

The room was small, the walls covered in the same plastered stone that went throughout the house. A large double bed sat in the centre of the room, a huge wooden headboard with engraving’s of Quidditch on it behind. There was a large red rug that covered most of the floor, giving more warmth to the room. On either side of Viktor’s bed were two small side tables, both bare except a large ticking clock on the closest one. Across from his bed was a small fireplace, where a bright yellow and red fire burned. And on the far side of the room was a large open window that revealed the tall Balkan Mountains where an old wooden writing desk sat, covered in bits of paper and two pictures sitting on it, one of Viktor with his school Quidditch team, and the other of Viktor and Hermione way back in her fourth year.

Turning to Viktor, Hermione let a smile slip on her face. “That’s an old picture.” Hermione laughed at Viktor’s attempt at a passive face.

“I thought it vould be good to keep it here.” Viktor explained, moving Hermione’s bags n a chair in the closest corner in the room she had not seen. “You vill be staying in here, vell I stay in the spare room at the end of the hall. Sis one is much varmer.” Viktor explained, and Hermione looked at him confused.

“You’re not sleeping with me?” Hermione asked a little upset at the thought of how lonely it would be.

“My parents’ vouldn’t allow it.” Viktor sighed.

“They know I’m pregnant with your child right?” Hermione felt a little guilty saying it, but she had long since accepted the fact that the child she was carrying was his, Viktor’s.

“Vell, yes, but they think tradition should be kept anyway.” Viktor explained, and then pulled Hermione into a embrace. “I vill come back once they are asleep.”

“You better,” Hermione found herself saying, and closed her eyes breathing in the familiar smell of his.

It was pitch black, the moonlight offering no help as Ron struggled to get his wand from his pocket. He heard Claudette behind him get her own, and at last he found the slim piece of wood and gripped it in his hands. He counted to three and thought hard, Lumos, and watched as the tip of his wand lit along with Claudette’s and he could now see around the room.

The windows were covered with black boards in the room, while the walls were painted black, making the room twice as dark. Ron had no idea why Richard Levine would do this, but did not question it being anything less then sinister.

“Nunting iz ‘ere. ‘e ‘as moved what ever ‘e was ‘iding ‘ere.” Claudette said, walking past Ron, and waving her wand around to double check.

Ron relaxed, seeing that the large room was empty, though he noticed that the hardwood floors were dirty – excessively dirty – and the two empty wooden crates in the corner of the room.

“Why is there so much dirt on the floors?” Ron thought out loud, and glanced at Claudette who was looking at him incredulously.

“I doubt Richard was worried about leaving a mess, Ron.” She said it so matter-of-factly it sent a chill down Ron’s spine because of who she reminded him of.

“Maybe he was keeping some kind of hazardous plants. You did say he had been growing illegal amounts of devil snare in Muggle’s cellars last year. Maybe he’s back to doing that again.” Ron suggested.

“Maybe,” Claudette looked thoughtful as she glanced around the room again. “Add it to ze report, I zink it iz best we leave.”

“Agreed,” Ron decided, taking one last look around the room before following Claudette outside the door they had come through. They exited the room, and walked down the hallway until they came to the stairwell where they met up with the other Aurors they had been with. The five of them had not found anything either in the old boarding house that Levine was known to live in between ‘jobs’. It was falling a part, only staying together by Levine’s countless spells that had been cast upon the place. Much of which reminded Ron of the Burrow back home.

“’arry izn’t going to like zis at all.” Christopher Imbeault said frowning deeply.

“I know, he was pretty sure that something would be here.” Ron grumbled, taking another look around.

“Let’s just go. I do not want to be here anymore.” Claudette whined, and before any of the others could protest she walked over to the door, and pushed it open and stepped out.

“I guess we ‘ave no choice,” Michel Lanoette said, and turned to follow Claudette.

Ron quickly joined him, glancing back at the empty building, and followed his co-workers out.

He had been working for the French Ministry for a month now, and he quite enjoyed it. Though Claudette had seemed impossible to work with in the beginning, she shared the same drive and burning desire to spend as much time working then living a real life. He liked that.

“Are you going ‘ome now?” Claudette asked once the group had Apparated back to the Ministry.

“I might as well, the report won’t take too long to do tomorrow.” Ron sighed.

Claudette nodded understanding. “I am sure ‘arry will want some ‘elp with the wedding so close.”

Ron stared at her bewildered for a moment, but then remembered that his friend was getting married in a month’s time. “Yeah, I guess.”

“Well, goodbye Ron. See you tomorrow,” Claudette said, waving him off and turning around.

“Yeah, bye,” Ron mumbled and watched her Apparate, the popping sound seeming to echo all around.

He had forgotten completely of the wedding. It was the reason he had come to France in the first place. Well, the supposed reason. Scratching his head absently, Ron looked around the empty cobbled road. He could hear the noise of the city all around him, but this place was quiet. The doors and windows were all boarded up, graffiti one the boards. It was a forgotten part of the city, and a part of the city Muggle’s rarely ventured. There had once been spells placed so Muggles would never notice the area, but Ron could see that they had started to wear out.

A cool wind sent a shiver down Ron’s spine and shook himself out of his thoughts. Grunting to himself, Ron turned on the spot and Apparated.

The moonlight was brighter then Hermione had ever seen. It had drawn her to the window like a bug to a flame. She gripped the window frame letting the cool spring wind hit her body. It was cold, and made her skin tingle. Closing her eyes she breathed in deeply letting the sweet scent of the countryside.

His soft snoring was all she could hear, and she turned to look at him. He was sleeping in the same position as she left him, though his arms were empty, where she had once been. He had been so happy to join her, but as soon as he had she wanted him to leave. But she couldn’t do that.

So she left him to his dreams while she tried to regain clear thought. Though it was impossible it seemed. Her mind could not turn away from the letter she had received later in the day from Harry. He had told her all about the wedding plans, and how stressed Annie was and how he wished Hermione was there to take control of things. He didn’t say much about Ron, just that he had moved in with them – something she already knew thanks to Mrs. Weasley – but he didn’t say much else. She could have taken this as a good sign, but she knew Harry, and she knew that his silence on the matter meant he knew something, and it worried her.

But that was not all. He told her all about the guests who were coming, all their old friends from Hogwarts who she had not seen for years. Even with Harry, her first true friend, who only ever wanted good things for her, she would only see him twice a year if she could manage it.

Hermione turned back to the window, biting her lip to keep from making a noise as the tears began to fall. She put her hands over her mouth, and tried to breathe evenly but it was no use. A quiet sob escaped her lips, and at once his arms were around her holding her close as she cried.

“You can go early,” Viktor whispered in her ear. “I know you miss him.”

“,” Hermione said between breaths. “I will stay; I must try to get to know your family, meet all of them.”

She turned to face him, looking at him through teary eyes. He had a sad smile on his face, and she knew what he was thinking. “You sveet child, do not vorry about that. Go see your friend, it vill only do you good.” Viktor told her, wiping her tears away.

“Are you sure?” Hermione asked, managing to compose herself, though she still held Viktor tightly.

Viktor smiled. “I vill survive,” he grinned, “I hope.”

Hermione gave a strained laugh and followed Viktor back to their bed, getting back into their original position before she fell asleep again, though in her gut, she still did not feel at ease.

Ron stood at the end of his bed, dropping his overcoat on the ground, stretching out his spine before getting into bed. The room was dark though dawn would break soon. His eyes were heavy, as was his head. He had not been able to sleep and the three glasses of whine he had just drunk alone in the kitchen seemed to have done the trick. Though it made him tired, it did not stop the thoughts of the coming events. Harry would be finally getting married, and he knew soon so would they.

He should have never let her leave all the years ago. He should have never lost control.

A/N: This has been a long process, I tell you. So many things have happened. And I am really surprised that I ever managed to get this done. I hope that you think it is good. And I hope that you don’t absolutely hate me for taking so long. Thanks!

Chapter 10: Pretending
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

The Child Chapter Ten



Hermione watched as the plane took off in the distance, and glanced at Viktor who sat next to her as they drove towards the airport. He wore a sad smile, and she knew he didn’t like her leaving on her own, but he knew she’d be fine. She hoped he wouldn’t worry.

“You’ll be careful in France von’t you?” Viktor asked, now in the terminal. He held her face in his hands gently, not letting her look away.

She didn’t know why, but there were tears behind her eyes. This man cared so much for her. Maybe it wasn’t the need to see her friend again that was bringing her to France. Maybe it was the need to get away from him, to hide from the guilt he unknowingly had over her heart and mind.

“I wouldn’t do otherwise,” Hermione promised him, and closed her eyes as he leaned in for a kiss. Like always, she felt the familiar feeling go between them, and when she pulled away they smiled at each other. “I will miss you,” she admitted. He was still her friend no matter what she felt for Ron.

“I vill miss you too,” Viktor said, letting go of her face letting his hands travel to the bugle under her long sweater. Placing his hands on either side of her stomach he said still looking at Hermione with his light blue eyes. “I love you both no matter what.”

Hermione sucked in a breath, not expecting the intensity in his voice or eyes. The words struck her almost strange, and her mind began to race. Did he know something? Or was he just saying it in general? As much as Hermione wanted to pretend there was a possibility of double meaning in his words she could not let the thought slip her mind.

A tear fell down her cheek, and Viktor brushed it away kissing her on the cheek, holding her in tight embrace for a moment.

“I love you,” Hermione said hollowly as he pulled away.

“Go, you vill miss the flight.” Viktor pushed her lightly forward.

Hermione turned to the trolley that held her bags and pushed it towards the bag check area. The tears had stopped, but sadness and worry filled her entire body. When she reached the counter the man there checked her bags and she glanced back at Viktor. He still stood there, wearing a sad face though he looked no less proud or handsome then he had when she first met him.

“Go through,” the man said in rough English.

“Thank you,” Hermione said. Holding her bag close she walked through taking another glanced at Viktor, and waved just before turning the corner.

Alone now, Hermione was lost in her thoughts. An hour later she was on the plane, no one sitting on either side of her but she didn’t care. The silence was good because she could at least prepare herself for what waited for her in France.

The sunlight trickled into the beige colour room slowly, and Ron’s bright blue eyes watched it with a disinterested eye. His mind was cloudy and no thoughts seemed to pass through; just an image. It was the image of him and Hermione walking through a park laughing and holding hands. It was the same daydream he often dreamed ever since he visited that park months ago.

It was an unattainable dream, he knew and understood that, but it was a dream he certainly enjoyed. Harry or Annie would often catch him staring into space in different intervals of the day, neither knowing of the secret wish he held deep in his heart for it to come true and be real.

For the last hour he had been awake, a sinking feeling in his stomach as he saw the same image play over and over again in his mind. He was oblivious to everything around him, and could not hear the excited cheers from the kitchen. He didn’t know that Hermione Granger was now a lot closer to him then he could have ever dreamed.

Honking horns followed by shouts of anger snapped Ron out of his reserve. Looking around he listened for a moment as drivers shouted, and as the two cars out in the street took off. Throwing back the covers Ron got out of bed and searched for his bath robe. Yawning widely and scratching his head he exited his room and made his way to the stairs. At the top he paused, hearing for the first time the commotion below. Annie was dithering about something, and Harry was laughing at something. Then another voice; a voice Ron knew.


The sinking feeling in his stomach returned and his heart beat fast. Why was Hermione here? She wasn’t supposed to be here this early. He knew she and Viktor were going to be in France for the wedding, but even then, they would be staying in a Hotel.

Focusing hard for a moment he remained silent as he could while straining his ears to hear Viktor’s annoying accent. He stood at the top of the stairs silent for five minutes and no such voice could be heard and he realized that Viktor wasn’t there. It was odd, he knew that, and now he feared descending down the stairs. He feared what he would find, and he feared why Hermione had come to France early.

Did she want to be with him?

It was the first thought that came to mind. It was a disturbing thought for Ron, for he wasn’t sure if he could handle Hermione’s confusion much less then his own. He was just starting to figure out some things since he had come to France. He was learning to let things go, he thought. But now she had returned. What did it mean? In his mind, not in his heart, he hoped that she would want nothing from him, for he had nothing to give.

Taking a breath, Ron pushed his thoughts away telling himself he was being stupid and slowly began to walk down the stairs, turning on the landing’s before he came to the front entrance. Hermione’s voice was clearer, and he paused to hear what she was saying.

“…they didn’t mind me leaving early. I think the language barrier was too tough on his parents; they got really frustrated when ever they had to stop and look for Viktor. I tried my hardest but…”

Ron tuned her out as he tried to process the information; so she wasn’t here for him. Simply, she wanted to escape Viktor’s parents and Bulgaria – not that he could blame her – and coming to France early seemed to be the next best decision. That was all right, he figured.

Trying to mask his disappointment to himself he shook his head and turned down the hall turning into the breakfast room. As he did so he was unaware of Harry’s traveling voice and collided with him causing both to shout in surprise and fall back.

“Sorry-” Ron started getting back up and moving forward to help his friend up.

But Harry had other plans. He jumped up fast, laughing harshly and shouting, “Walked into the wall, stupid me, I’ll be right back!” he shouted, and turned to Ron and shoved him hard into the hall, closing the door behind him.

“What the bloody-” Ron began, but Harry covered his mouth and pushed Ron inside the parlor.

Harry looked wild; he was breathing heavily, his hair in more disarray then usual. His eyes swiveled madly as he tried to search for the words while Ron stared at him bewildered and annoyed.

“Can you explain all of this?” Ron asked once Harry looked to be finished.

“I can, but you’re going to have to give me a minute.” Harry said, his voice a little uneasy sounding.

“I heard Hermione. If you guys were all planning some kind of surprise party, sorry, it’s ruined.” Ron said sarcastically.

“Shut up Ron, I figured that.” Harry said agitated. “There is something else though, that I think you should know.”

Ron rolled his eyes. “I know she’s marrying that prat, Viktor. I was at that last party – the one where it was all he could talk about and Hermione just smiled – though I doubt that’s what she was smiling about.” Ron grinned to himself, and then quickly realized what he had said. Harry look confused, but seemed to ignore it.

“This would be a lot easier if you just shut your mouth Ron.” Harry argued.

“Spit it out then,” Ron groaned, turning around and walking over to the open window, “I’m getting hungry,” he added, sending a sideways Harry’s way.

“Ron, it’s not that easy…” Harry struggled for the words. “I don’t really know how you’ll take this, but I might as well just say it straight. Hermione’s pregnant, Ron.”

Hermione watched as Annie pulled out four mugs from a cupboard. In two she put tea, milk, and sugar for Hermione and Harry. In the third she poured more tea but nothing else; it was hers. Hermione watched carefully as she made the last, putting coffee beans, sugar, and boiling water before mixing it all together.

“Ron loves ‘is coffee. I was surprised, ‘e iz English after all, but I suppose ‘e likes the stronger effects,” Annie smiled as she turned around handing Hermione her mug of tea, and sitting at the table with her own.

Hermione knew it was Ron’s. She remembered his taste for coffee. It had started in their sixth year when she had mentioned to Ron how she loved the smell of it; how it reminded her of France. He had always told her it was the taste he preferred, but Hermione had always known beneath it all the real reason.

“I wonder what is taking those two so long,” Hermione said, sounding a little anxious.

Annie caught this and gave Hermione an encouraging smile. “Do not worry, I doubt ‘e will be as bad as you are imagining.” She said knowingly.

Hermione offered a small laugh, but it was forced. She had been dreading the moment of seeing Ron again since she had fully realized it on the plane. Different scenarios had run through her head as she tried to imagine his reaction to her being pregnant. Would he know? Or would he just dismiss it like everyone else had?

The idea of Ron dismissing something so blatantly obvious could have been easy for Hermione to believe as Ron often dismissed things easily. But those were the old days, she had to tell herself. He was a much different Ron now. She had heard the commotion outside, and she had a feeling Harry had not run into a wall. Her stomach was twisted into knots just thinking of the coming events. She would have to face Ron, and she knew he wasn’t going to be easy to deal with. He wouldn’t let go of the things she had said on their last meeting, and he would not let go of the fact that she was pregnant. Though Ron had always been one to dismiss things easily, as she had thought before, this was one situation she knew he wouldn’t.

“So ‘ow far along are you?” Annie asked sitting at the table.

Hermione’s hand went instinctively to the small bump in her mid-section and it scared her mildly to think that there was actually a human being growing inside of her. “Nearly twenty-one weeks,” Hermione replied smiling.

Annie grinned back. “It iz someting I wish to ‘ave – I know ‘arry cannot wait to ‘ave children, it iz all ‘e speaks of.”

Hermione gave short inward chuckle and sipped on her tea lightly. As she sipped she became aware of the sounds of people walking towards the kitchen and as her eyes flickered to the doorway leading into the hallway she watched as the door opened and Harry entered soon followed by a disheveled looking Ron.

“Ron,” Hermione said with forced excitement. She stood up, wearing a forced smile and walked over to Ron. He wore no smile only the look of surprise but let Hermione hug him briefly without protest reveling in her warmth for a only a few seconds. “It’s good to see you.”

“Yeah, it’s good to see you too.” Ron lied, trying to sound as if nothing was wrong, that there was no tension between he and Hermione.

But there was, and Harry could see it clearly. He shifted from one foot to the other while he stood in the background, wearing a look of worry.

“I made you your coffee Ron,” Annie stood up, not seeming to notice the tension and gave Ron his coffee. “Just how you like it,” she said smiling and walking back over the table.

Hermione followed, still looking at Ron waiting for him to say something. She knew by the look on his face that Harry had told him about the pregnancy. She knew it would happen, but in her heart she didn’t want Ron to know – at least not by anyone but her. She wanted to be the one to tell him because she wanted to believe that some good would come from it.

Don’t think like that.

Hermione’s conscious caught her. She knew very well that the intentions behind her need to tell Ron herself about the pregnancy was selfish. It would do no good for anyone, and she knew for a fact that this had all worked out the proper way. She was with Viktor, a man who was stable, and would become a good father. Ron would grow up in France, and he would meet someone, she knew it, that would make all his dreams come true.

“Hermione,” Harry interrupted her thoughts, “Aren’t you going to answer him?” He nodded towards Ron, who was leaning on the counter holding the mug of coffee between his large hands.

“I’m sorry, what did you ask?” Hermione asked, feeling a little guilty looking at Ron.

“I asked how far along you were – Harry told me that you and Viktor are going to have a child. Great news; I can’t say I was not expecting it.” The sincerity in the way he said it surprised Hermione, and she struggled to find her words to answer.

“Er-Yes, I’m pregnant; almost twenty-one weeks.” Hermione told him, and watched as his eye distanced themselves from the world. She knew he was thinking about it – that he had probably figured it out in that instant.

But if he had, he didn’t show it on his face. For the first time he offered a warm smile – whether it was forced or not she could not tell – and raised his mug. “Congratulations,” he murmured and took a sip.

Standing up straight he looked at everyone in the room. “I’ve got to go get ready for work.” He said, and left before another word could be said.

“Dat was strange,” Annie stated after a few minutes. “Did anyone else tink so?”

“He was just being Ron,” Harry said to her, though his eyes seemed to be burning into Hermione’s flesh. She looked away from him, pretending to not notice his gaze. Her heart was beating fast in her chest, and her uneven breathing was hard to hide.

“Excuse me, I have to go to the loo,” Hermione said quickly, getting up and leaving fast, not wanting to be in the room with Harry any longer.

A/N: Here is the next installment to this story. I have mixed feelings about this chapter. It's not quite what I wanted it to be, but I do hope that you still enjoy it, and ignore my constant need for perfection :) So, that being said, thank you for reading!

Chapter 11: Decisions
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

The Child Chapter Eleven:


Hermione didn’t wait for the swinging door to close behind her to start looking for Ron. And it didn’t take her long to. A loud crashing noise came from a few floors above. Up the stairs she went and she saw nothing. On the second landing however she found a vase that was smashed to pieces, and Hermione hoped Harry wouldn’t come to find what was wrong. But Hermione had a feeling that why Harry wasn’t coming was because he already knew what wrong.

She found him at the topmost landing, breathing heavily and his hands clenched at his sides. He looked angry, but didn’t seem to be ready to yell at Hermione. He was waiting for her; she could tell because as she met him he turned and entered the first door. It was breezy room, and Hermione could tell it was Ron’s from the clothes strewn on the floor.

Once she entered, she moved into the corner and watched as Ron gripped the sides of his wardrobe, and held his head down fighting what ever he held inside. After a few minutes of silence, Hermione couldn’t hold back anymore. Shaking a little she went behind Ron, and slowly placed her small hand on his shoulder.

“Don’t,” Ron quickly said, shrugging away from her hand. He stood up straight and moved away and faced her at last.

Hermione’s lip quivered when she saw the look of pain on Ron’s face. She tried to think of the words that would calm him, but couldn’t find anything. At last she sunk on to his bed, and waited for him to speak first.

“You should have told me.” Ron finally said no anger present in his voice.

Hermione didn’t look up. “And what good would that have done?”

“A lot more good then it is now.” Ron said, moving next to her on the bed.

“It doesn’t matter anymore, Ron.” Hermione looked to him. “We had our chance to make it work, and it didn’t. This child deserves a father that can give it everything it needs.” Hermione hoped Ron would understand.

Ron’s eyes narrowed a look of hurt on his face. “I can give it that.”

Hermione bit her lips, as tears filled her eyes. “Ron, you need to do a lot more then stop drinking for this child to-”

“Stop talking, Hermione!” Ron interrupted her, forcing her to turn on the bed and face him. “I love you, and I know you feel the same. You can’t say we missed our chance – you never even tried! You know I could give all the love I have to you and our child.” Ron told her desperately. “Please just listen…”

Hermione began to cry as Ron gripped her shoulders, and she looked down, wiping the tears away. “It’s just so messed up now…” she cried, and she let Ron pull her into his arms. “Viktor doesn’t know,” she said against Ron’s chest. “I just couldn’t find a way to tell him, and one thing led to another.”

“So what are you saying?” Ron asked, letting Hermione pull away. He was worried, afraid that Hermione was going to reject him again, and the tone of her voice didn’t help at all.

Hermione looked Ron in the eye, knowing that he deserved a truthful answer. “I’m staying with him Ron.” She professed.

Ron stumbled as he moved back on the bed, shaking a little. “Of course you are,” he spoke lowly.

“Ron don’t be like that… you know-” Hermione pleaded.

“No Hermione I don’t know.” Ron retorted. “I don’t know why you keep choosing him when I know you don’t love him like you love me. I don’t know why you choose him when you look at me the way you do. This wouldn’t be so hard if you knew it was the right decision.” Ron finished coldly.

Hermione stood up, no longer upset. She was angry now. He assumed to know what she was going through – he assumed he understood how hard or easy the decision was, and she could not believe he was making it sound simple.

“How dare you Ron,” Hermione fumed, “Tell me what I should be feeling and thinking? You have no idea how hard this decision is for me, and right now you’re just giving me further proof as to why I should carry it out. I was being honest with you, and you’re throwing it back at me! Damn you Ron!” Hermione shrieked the last bit, and quickly left his room before he could say anything more.

The door closed behind her with a snap, and out on the landing she leaned against the wall breathing heavily. Holding her stomach she tried to remain calm and listened for sounds from either Ron’s room or from downstairs. But she heard nothing. She assumed Ron had put a silencing charm on his room, and hoped the Harry and Annie had maybe gone outside, or at least paid no attention to what was going on.

After wasting another few minutes on the landing she quickly checked her face and hair in the loo before returning to the kitchen which she found empty. She wandered out into the back garden and found Annie and Harry talking quietly about wedding plans. She greeted them with a smile, and took a seat next to Harry.

“You were gone long – I ‘ope nothing is wrong.” Annie asked, smiling kindly.

“Oh no, just dithering over my growing belly.” Hermione laughed, and glanced at Harry. He had quite a different expression on his face, but quickly smiled at her when he noticed her gaze.

“You look beautiful, do not worry about zat!” Annie exclaimed, and stood up. “If you’re feeling up to it Harry and I were zinking of going for a walk.” She suggested.

Hermione glanced towards the door thinking of Ron. She knew he was probably in his room, getting dressed to go to work or something destructive. She couldn’t be here for much longer; she didn’t want to face him now. Turning back to Annie and Harry she smiled and nodded. “Yeah, that sounds great.” She agreed.

The grandfather clock in the hall chimed eight, and Hermione wondered how long Ron was going to be at work. Annie had already gone to bed and Harry had disappeared in his den to go over some reports, leaving her alone. She had been in her room, but feeling hungry had come to the kitchen to search for something to eat. A jar of raspberry jam sat open, and a spoon was in her hand. Licking her lips, Hermione dipped the spoon in the jar and once again plopped the tasty food in her mouth, sending her taste buds roaring away.

“Hermione,” Harry entered the kitchen, a smirk on his face.

“Hey Harry,” Hermione replied, putting her spoon down. “I hope you don’t mind, I was a little hungry.” Hermione said motioning to the jar.

“Hermione, don’t worry about it.” Harry said his tone more serious. He came around the table and sat down in the chair opposite. “I wanted to talk to you about-”

“Ron, I know.” Hermione finished for him. “I’ve been waiting for this conversation.” She claimed.

Harry shrugged, knowing that it was true. “I just want to know what’s going on.”

“Nothing,” Hermione told him, hoping Harry would believe her. “He’s a little upset about the engagement, and I guess he took the news bad, but there’s nothing going on.” Hermione shrugged, and tried to avoid Harry’s eye by returning to her jam.

“Don’t lie to me Hermione. I know there is more to all of this. I’ve been with Ron the last few months, and I’ve never seen him trying so hard to be better. Something changed him, and I know it has something to do with you.” Harry stared pointedly at Hermione, knowing if he held out long enough she would break.

Hermione dropped her spoon again, and took a breath. “There was something going on for a while,” Hermione confessed, “But it didn’t go any where. I couldn’t put myself through that heartbreak again, Harry. And I won’t.” She added, shaking her head. “I just don’t want to lie anymore.” Hermione faltered, sinking in to her hands.

Harry reached out and placed one of his hands on Hermione’s shoulder. “Then don’t. Tell Viktor the truth, and I know the right decision will arise.” Harry spoke softly.

Hermione heaved a sigh, and looked at Harry. “Do you think he will hate me?”

Harry looked away. She watched as he struggled to find an answer before finally looking at her again. “I think he will if you don’t tell him.”

Hermione nodded, understanding. Pushing the jar of jam away from her, she stood up and held her stomach. “I should go to bed.”

“Good night,” Harry replied with a smile.

“Good night Harry,” Hermione murmured and left the kitchen. She walked down the hall and up the stairs. She turned on the second landing, pausing when she heard the floorboards above creak; Ron was home. She wanted to speak to him, but knew better. He still needed more time to cool off, and she still needed to decided what to do.

Hermione entered her dark room, and closed the door behind her. She stood still for a few minutes staring as the half moon light casted across the room, on the bed, and on the floor. It sent a spooky glow through the room, and Hermione enjoyed the beauty for a minute or two.

When she heard the foot steps of Harry go past her room Hermione woke up, and moved to change out of her robes. She put on simple night gown, and walked over to her bed. She pulled back the duvet and linens, and crawled under. Under the sheets, she looked out the window and watched as the clouds passed the moon above the other homes.

Her thoughts drifted to Ron and Viktor. She loved them both, she knew that already. But Viktor was in her eyes a friend, and nothing else. Ron was different. He had been her friend before everything else, and she loved him more then anything. But she was afraid; it was something she would admit. She was afraid that Ron would relapse and she and their child would be in the same position she had been in all those years ago. And that would only happen if she told Viktor, and decided to go with Ron.

There was a sound outside of Hermione’s room, and she lifted her head, wondering who it was. Who ever it was stood there for some time, as if deciding if they really wanted to knock on her door. She knew it was Ron, if it were Harry or Annie they wouldn’t be so hesitant. After a few more minutes Hermione heard the creak in the floorboards as Ron turned away and went up the stairs and to his room. Putting her head down again, Hermione sighed. It didn’t matter what, it would never work.

Ron grumbled to himself as he entered his room, and closed the door behind him. Why couldn’t he just talk to her? Why couldn’t he make her believe in him? The whole time he had been at work he had been trying to think of a way to win her over. All of the ideas he had come up with led to him trying to prove to her that he wasn’t a mess anymore, that he had control.

But did he have control? He didn’t know. If he wasn’t at home sleeping or eating, he was at work trying to find criminals. It didn’t matter if they were big cases or not, he just needed something to do. He didn’t have any friends besides Harry and Annie, and now that he really looked it seemed he didn’t have much of a life. Back in England, before Hermione left, he had had so many friends. Now they were gone. And it was his fault.

Leaning against the wall, he stared out the window and down to the street. There were some people out, walking and talking quietly underneath the bright night sky. He could hear as cars zoomed around on the streets nearby, and in the distance he could see the bright lighting of the Eiffel tower. For a city of love, he sure didn’t feel any of it.

He knew he deserved most of this though. He had been no help to Hermione after the war, moping around and choosing to drink his troubles away than face them and move on like his friends had; like Hermione had. Ron knew he had been a coward, that he had made the wrong decision like he had done so many times before. He had let his friends down, he had left the love of his life down, and where his life was now was where it belonged.

A knock at the door interrupted Ron’s thoughts, and wishful thinking got the best of him. Thinking it was Hermione, he rushed over to the door to answer it. As he opened it though e was surprised to see Harry standing there, looking a little grave.

“What is it Harry?” Ron asked, nervous.

“Can I come in?” Harry returned, and Ron stepped out of the way nodding.

Ron closed the door once Harry had entered, and turned to face him, bewildered by his friend’s actions. Scratching his head, he looked at his friends confused. “What’s going on Harry? Why the look?”

“You’re the father.” Harry breathed.

Ron froze. Harry had found out. How, he did not know. But that didn’t matter. What mattered was what Harry was going to do about it. At first, Ron tried to play it cool, acting as if he had no idea what Harry was talking about. “I’m the father of whom?” Ron asked, feigning disbelief.

“Don’t play dumb, Ron!” Harry countered, “This is serious.” He added. “You have no idea how this could ruin Hermione – how much it will hurt Viktor. How could you have been so stupid?” Harry cursed.

It was Ron’s turn to be angry. “How can you just assume that this is my entire fault?” Ron retorted, fighting back. “Hermione started the whole thing – she was the one that started the whole relationship. And she’s the one that didn’t tell me the truth and ran to Viktor telling everyone, including me the lies. Don’t put all the blame on me Harry or I will leave right now and you won’t ever see my face again.” Ron bellowed the last part.

Harry seemed to get the message immediately, and fell quiet, while Ron tried to catch his breath. Neither cared who had heard the fight at this late hour, and neither cared what consequences of it. Harry realized what he had done, taking his friend’s continuous immaturity the main reason as to why Hermione was now pregnant with his child.

Ron fell back against the door, breathing hard and staring at Harry waiting for him to start shouting back. But he didn’t, and didn’t seem to be about to say anything. Ron knew he deserved it a little – now that he thought about it Harry’s misgiving’s didn’t go unprovoked. Ron hadn’t done many grown-up things in his life, and the fact that Harry thought he had done another thing based on Ron’s own interest on himself didn’t hurt Ron as much as it should have.

“I’m sorry,” Harry murmured.

“Me too,” echoed Ron. Standing up straight Ron fell on to his bed, and put his hand in his hands. Harry followed suit, but took a seat on the chair at Ron’s desk. He leaned on the arm, and stared at Harry.

“Have you two figured what’s going on from here?” Harry asked.

“She chooses Viktor, and I’ll probably never see her again.” Ron disclosed.

“That’s not the truth,” Harry argued. “I don’t think she’s even decided yet.”

“Is that how you found out?” Ron assumed.

“No, she hasn’t told me straight out yet. But I have known the two of you for too long to not notice the signs, and your reaction today was enough to seal the deal.” Harry responded.

“I’m glad you can read us so well.” Ron expressed.

“Why is that?” Harry asked, perking his head up a little.

“Because you would be a crappy Auror if not.” Ron replied wryly.

Harry smiled weakly. “Nice try,” he added.

The two were silent for a moment, and Harry stood going over to the door. “I do hope you two realize what a mess you’ve made, and that it isn’t only your hearts at stake. Viktor comes to France in a month, and by then you two have better figured out what’s going to happen. Or you will have to deal with me.” Harry finished, and Ron nodded understanding.

“Good night,” Ron muttered.

“Good night,” Harry responded, opening the door and left Ron alone in the darkness.

A/N: I am so sorry for the huge delay on this update. My boss decided it would be cool to make me work five shifts a week, which doesn't sound like a lot until you've got school/extra curricular things in the mix. And on to top it off, because of where I work my carpal tunnel caused me to barely be able to type. It was fabulous! :) Not that I'm trying to make up excuses. :D But I do hope that this chapter makes up for it, and that you all enjoyed it! Thanks for reading!

Chapter 12: Good Advice
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

The Child Chapter Twelve:

Good Advice

It was hard to concentrate in the heat, and Ron fought hard to keep his eyes open while Claudette was talking in fast French while kneeling in a fireplace, her head emerged in flames. She was talking to a friend of hers who worked in the poorer ends of the city, and could possibly know something of Delamb’s hideout. So far, Ron had no idea if they were close to an answer, but what he did know, was that he couldn’t take the heat anymore.

Walking away from the fireplace, he went over to his desk, and sat down. He was of no use as of late at work, mostly because he didn’t know many people or much of the area in Paris, and France in general. Claudette seemed to handle everything up until they were actually out on the streets tracking any criminals down. That, he could help with. But getting leads and talking to people was not.

Shuffling some papers on his desk, Ron tried to ignore the clock that ticked on his desk. It was nearing seven o’clock, and he knew Claudette would be telling him to go home soon. Though he could stay longer, there would be no use for him, and she would convince him somehow to leave; that she had all things covered and he would be able to turn early if he left.

Though sleep was tempting, going home was the last great idea in Ron’s mind. Going home would mean having to face Hermione, and Harry, now that he was all knowing and such. The conversations he had with the two the night before seemed productive enough, but now that he was looking back on them, now that he had the time to think about them, he hated it all. Hermione would have never gone back on the fence if it hadn’t been for Harry, and if Harry hadn’t told Ron that he knew Hermione was back on the fence, Ron wouldn’t be so distraught.

Just thinking about the possibility that Hermione would tell Viktor the truth, and choose him instead, made Ron’s heart pound with happiness. But then the thoughts of what she had said filtered into his mind and all hopes, and happy thoughts of getting what he wanted were crushed like somebody stepping on a budding flower.

“Ron,” Claudette called, standing up from the fireplace. “’e says zat ‘e ‘asn’t heard anything about Delamb in over a year. But ‘e said ‘e will look into it if ‘e can.” She explained.

Ron nodded. “Do you want to go over some other cases?” he asked.

Claudette shook her head no, plopping herself down at her desk in front of him. “Non, we can do zat another day. I’m going ‘ome.”

Ron frowned, and quickly looked away , pretending to be busy trying to look for something in his desk. He didn’t want Claudette to see his disappointment, as he knew she would ask him what was wrong. Not that that was wrong, but coming from Claudette it wasn’t always a good thing as she had the habit of ignoring what ever you said and seeing the truth for what it was. She was an Auror after all.

“You don’t want to go home, do you?” Claudette asked, not giving a Ron a chance to respond she said next: “I doubt you will ‘ave to talk to zat ex-girlfriend of yours if you say you’re tired and go straight to bed. Or you could be a grown up and just face her, and ‘ave dinner with your friends.” Claudette went on to say.

Ron looked up at Claudette with an incredulous look. “Don’t act like I’m a complete arse for not wanting to talk to her. It’s not like she has given me any reason to talk to her.” Ron countered.

Claudette laughed. “You talk to me as if I know the reasons why you don’t want to talk to ‘er.”

Ron rolled his eyes, feeling slightly annoyed that Claudette was making the whole situation seem easier then it really was. Giving up his protest, Ron stood up and took his cloak from the back of hit seat and put it on. Checking for his wand in his pocket, he picked up a few filed folders, and pushed them under his right arm.

“Good night Claudette,” Ron cooed as he turned from his desk and walked over to the fireplace to floo home.

“Au revior,” Claudette chimed after him.

“Au revior,” called Ron to the other Aurors in the room. They replied in a clatter of many English and French goodbyes. Ron stepped into the green flames, and turned to face them. Mumbling the address of Harry and Annie’s home, he hoped her had been clear enough as he passed fireplace after fireplace until at last landing on the hearth in the parlor.

It was empty, and it was quiet in the house. As he exited the room, he glanced down the dark hall and so now light creeping from the cracks around the kitchen door or dining room. It seemed they had all gone out, not that Ron could complain. It worked to his advantage, and he walked to the front entrance slowly, as he had no reason to fear bumping into Hermione. He took of his shoes, and placed his cloak in the broom closest.

Not feeling the slight inclination to go up to his room, he went back down the hall and entered the study. Setting his files on the desk, he passed the liquor cabinet without hesitation and went out into the hall and into the dark kitchen. The lamps flickered on as he pushed the swinging door open, and he absently walked over to the cupboard, not noticing the surprised figure that sat at the round table. He saw a note on the counter from Harry saying he had gone out to dinner with Annie and her parents, and Ron grunted to himself. He took a mug out of the cupboard, and pulled out his wand to make some coffee.

“Ron,” Hermione spoke softly as not to scare him. She had gone on long enough without saying a thing.

Ron froze upon hearing his name. He didn’t turn around, holding his coffee mug and wand in his hands. His shoulders grew tense, and he dared not turn around. He did not want to face her. Claudette was right, he was being immature, but he did not care at all. There was nothing for him to say. If he had only stuck to his idea of spending the next few weeks at work, and avoiding any free time to by chance bump into Hermione.

“You’ve been avoiding me,” Hermione stated when Ron did not move or say anything.

Finally, Ron turned to look at her. He tried to look passive, as he held his now full mug of black coffee. He leaned against the counter, crossing his feet, and putting one hand on the counter. He was tired, and the scent of coffee woke him slightly.

“I’ve been working a lot.” Ron corrected.

Hermione rolled her eyes. She glanced down to the cup of tea in between her finger tips and took a quick sip before looking back at Ron. “Ron, I am still awake at nine o’clock at night.”

“And?” Ron asked.

Hermione frowned. “I thought we were going to be friends.”

“I don’t see how you got that.” Ron said tonelessly.

Hermione’s brow furrowed and she stood up in anger. “You are such an immature git! You are the biggest idiot I have ever met!” Hermione spit. “You think being an absolute prick will gain you anything? I know it sucks this whole situation. But it is what it is, and it’s time you grew up and lived with it.” Hermione raved.

Ron sneered. “Am I really being the immature one here, Hermione? You’re the one who decided to cheat on Viktor in the first place – I didn’t make you go into that bar that night. And you’re the one who lied to Viktor’s face about the child. If anyone in this room is being immature, it’s you.” Ron’s temper broke, and he didn’t care if he was yelling or if anyone would hear.

There were tears in Hermione eyes. She was silent, breathing heavily, her hands on her hips. Ron’s eyes travelled to her stomach, where her hands now rested. He could see her bellybutton poke through the thin fabric of her t-shirt. He suddenly realized that it had been stupid for him to be yelling at Hermione, for having an argument with her. It wasn’t doing her or the baby any good. Resting his coffee on the counter, he ignore any reasons in his mind to not go over to Hermione.

He pulled her into his arms, he allowed her to, resting her hand on his shoulder, and wrapping her arms around his waist. Ron would have given anything to be able to kiss her face and tell her everything would be okay, as he buried his face in her curly locks. But it wasn’t possible, no matter what decision Hermione went with it would be tough for her. Ron didn’t want to get mad anymore, he didn’t have the energy to do it anymore. Holding Hermione’s fragile body in his arms as she cried made him give up.

Kissing the top of her head, Ron and Hermione pulled part to look each other in the eyes. Every thing seemed to melt away and Ron’s heart broke. It was supposed to be like this; him and her, and a child. Wiping the tears from her face, Ron brushed a few loose strands of hair from her face.

“It’s a girl,” Hermione whispered hoarsely.

Ron smiled, and as Hermione’s stomach touched his own he felt a light kicking, and together they both laughed a little. Hermione took Ron’s hands from around her waist and placed them on her stomach and Ron felt their little girl kicking away. Marveling in this moment, Ron kissed Hermione on the lips, but pulled away quickly when he realized what he had done.

“It’s okay,” Hermione assured him, “I understand.”

Ron nodded, and moved away from Hermione deciding it would be better. “We can be friends.” He murmured avoiding her eye. “I think,” he added.

Hermione laughed uneasily, and pulled out a chair from the table and sat down as her feet ached. “That’s the thing Ron,” Hermione started, “I don’t know if we can without hurting ourselves.” She admitted.

“So what do you want to do?” Ron asked, bewildered as to what Hermione wanted.

“I want to tell him, Ron, I do, but I don’t think it will make a difference. Viktor will be upset, perhaps put the marriage off for a while, but he will come back if he believes I don’t love you anymore – which he’ll assume because I haven’t left him. He’ll take care of this child even if it is yours.” Hermione explained.

Ron stared breathlessly. “Did you just say you still love me?” he asked.

Hermione blanched a little when Ron made this revelation. She hadn’t meant to say that out loud, as she still wasn’t sure what she wanted to do. “Yes,” Hermione admitted to herself and to Ron. “I do still love you Ron.”

Ron grinned, and slowly moved down on to his knees in front of Hermione. He took her hands in his own, and held them tight. Hermione was bewildered.

“You can’t deny me Hermione, and you know you can’t. You know in your heart your place is by my side, by the father of your child’s side. I understand why you want to be with Viktor, what I did to you in the past was unforgivable. But I’m starting new, and I want you to be a part of that, even with all our past. I have loved you since I was thirteen, and still love you to this day.” He took a shaky breath, as he fought tears. “Will you marry me Hermione? Will you let me love you?” Ron asked at last.

Hermione’s mouth shook as she nodded, tears welling her eyes. “I will Ron… I will marry you. I will let you love me,” she said, pulling his head into her chest as he grinned like an idiot.

Ron had tears in his eyes, just like Hermione. He didn’t care, he was happy. He knew there were still so many things they had to do, so many things. But it was all in the back of his mind as he held Hermione and their unborn child close. It had been so long since he felt this good; that he felt things were going right. He knew he still had so much more to run before he finished this leg of his life, but he did not care.

Knowing Hermione was tired, he let her go, and wiped the tears from her eyes again. Kissing her on the forehead and lips, lingering for a moment he told her to go to bed.

“Alone?” Hermione asked, sounding surprised by his ‘order’.

“It wouldn’t be fair to Viktor.” Ron decided maturely. “When he comes, Hermione, I think we should tell him together. He needs to hear the truth from both of us.”

Hermione nodded, looking amazed by Ron’s change of attitude. If she had known going down to the kitchen to enjoy a little cup of tea would get her this resolution, she would have done it earlier. To think, a conversation that had started out so badly could have ever ended so happily?

“Good night,” Hermione murmured, going over to the door.

Ron gave a thin smile, feeling even more tired then ever. “Good night,” he replied as she pushed the door open and left the kitchen. It swung closed, and Ron slid to the floor as the exhaustion had taken over. He didn’t know what took over, every ounce of stubbornness had left him, and all fight had deserted his heart and soul. Had he grown in that short hour? He felt like he had.

He was going to be a father. He was going to be a husband. He was living out his dreams.

A/N: Two more chapters left! I hope to have this story finished before July, but don't keep your fingers crossed. I know, I'm absolutely horrid for taking so long to update and in the future for doing so. It's things like these that make me regret ever getting a job. It took what ever time I had left over away from me. Thanks for reading, and do please review! Thanks again!

Chapter 13: Letting Go
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

The Child Chapter Thirteen:

Letting Go

Hermione watched half asleep as Annie and her wedding planner, Giselle, as they spoke in fast French working out any last minute wedding plans. Hermione could hardly understand a word they were saying, as they spoke so fast, and Giselle’s French was even harder through the thick Spanish accent she had. She was a dark-skinned woman, with long dark brunette hair that was held in a tight bun at the back of her head. She had a sharp look about her, but she was very kind and every brilliant at wedding plans and keeping the stress levels of bride-to-be’s down.

The thought of brides and wedding’s reminded her of her own wedding that hadn’t even started to be planned out. She had told Viktor she wanted a long engagement, and the only planning they had done was the date (a year from now), where it will be (at Viktor’s estate), and the guest list. Hermione was a little glad that those were the only plans she had made for the wedding, as it looked like it would be a wedding that would never happen. She had promised herself to Ron, and she knew that the lie she was living in would soon be broken. Her only fear was that Viktor would fight, and win. He was a competitive man. But again, so was Ron.

There was a knock at the door of the dining room, and Harry and Ron entered. They both looked sweaty, and gross – they had just played Quidditch with a bunch of friends from work. Annie squeaked as Harry came over to her, and slammed the book shut she was holding. Hermione smiled lightly, as she knew it contained pictures of Annie’s wedding dress- something that was not meant to be seen by the groom until the wedding day.

“You should ‘ave knocked” Annie exclaimed, angrily.

“We did,” Harry protested looking to Hermione and Giselle. “You heard us.”

Annie looked to Hermione, and she nodded. “They did.” Hermione told her; Annie scowled.

“Well, I do not care. Leave, before you see any more.” Annie told him, shooing Harry out of the dining room.

“It’s my wedding too!” Harry argued, as Ron laughed behind him.

“You picked your tux, and zee main colours – you don’t need to know anyzing else!” Annie argued giving him another push.

“Best to just let her have it her way, mate.” Ron said, putting his hand on Harry’s shoulder and pulling him out of the room with him.

Laughing, Hermione decided it would be best to take a break from the wedding plans – it was reminding her too much of the coming events in her own life, and she wasn’t really helping anyway. Standing, she looked at Annie. “If you don’t mind, I think I may go lie down for a while.”

Annie nodded, smiling. “That’s fine, I understand.”

Hermione nodded, and left the dining room and went to the kitchen where she found Harry and Ron raiding the fridge for something to eat.

“How was the game?” Hermione asked, taking a seat at the kitchen table

Harry looked at her, and shrugged, a bottle of milk in his hands. “It was okay – we won, of course.” He said cockily.

Ron turned around, holding a sandwich in his hand, and his mouth full. He quickly swallowed before saying, “They were no match for us, two old pros like us.”

Hermione laughed. It was so nice to be able to talk to Ron again like he was her best friend – which he was. It was nice as well to be surrounded by Harry and Ron at the same time – it was like old times. To feel such radiant smiles on her was such a nice thing. Though they hadn’t said anything to Harry, Hermione got the feeling he already knew what was coming, that she and Ron would soon be a couple again. But he said nothing, and didn’t show any inclination that he was against the idea.

“Well, I need to have a shower.” Harry said, and still holding the bottle of milk in his hand he left the kitchen.

Smiling, Hermione looked at Ron who was now chugging a glass of water, having finished eating his sandwich. She waited for him to finish before she spoke.

“All these plans for a wedding are making me feel a little guilty.” Hermione admitted, and Ron came and sat across from her. He reached out for her hands, and she placed them in his without hesitation.

“I know,” he spoke softly, and squeezed her hands.

They sat there in silence, and Hermione tried to sort the thoughts that were running through her head. The day before she had received a letter from Viktor saying he would be in Paris in three days, and checked if they would be staying at Harry’s. Of course, he would, Harry had told Hermione. Annie’s parents lived in town, and owned a large house where much of her family was staying. As for Harry, his was the only residence, and soon would be invaded with Weasley’s – not that that bothered him.

“I need to go have a nap,” Hermione said, looking at Ron.

He smiled, kissed her hand, and let her go. She stood up, passing him as she went to the door. She let her hand slide across his shoulders, feeling his muscles that were tense slowly softened. She left the kitchen and went to her room on the second floor.

Lying down in her bed, she faced her window that overlooked the back yard and the neighboring ones as well. It was peaceful, and the open window allowed the aroma’s of French cuisine float into her room. Ever since she was a teen, and had first stepped on French soil she had adored the rich country. In her travels when she was younger she had picked up some French, and when she had the time in the last week she had dragged Ron out for a walk.

It had been too perfect, the last week. Ron was her best friend again, and they were inseparable. He had decided to take a break from work, and took his holidays that week until after the weekend. Hermione enjoyed having Ron around more, and she knew that Harry didn’t mind it either, as Ron had become a lot more pleasant to be with, he had said to Hermione one morning when they were alone.

But the fairy tale would be coming to an end soon, and eventually Hermione would have to face Viktor and tell him everything. She knew it was going to kill him, to tell him that the child was Ron’s, and that she had had an affair. It was going to kill him that she turned her back on him after he had been the one to pick up the pieces when she left Ron. She had been like a knight in shining armor to her, and she was about to break him.

The only thing Hermione feared most was that Viktor would fight for her. He was competitive, and Ron never gives up. And she feared that any lasting friendship she could have with him might be destroyed if that were to happen. Rolling on her side, Hermione sighed heavily and let her as eyes fall closed. There was no point worrying, she wouldn’t know until she looked Viktor in the eye and told him the truth.

Ron’s heart was racing as he watched the taxi cab pull up to the house, and he could feel Hermione’s heart race next to him as well, and possibly Harry’s as well. The only person who didn’t seem worried or anxious was Annie, who ran down the steps to greet Viktor as he got out of the cab.

“Viktor, it iz zo good to see you again!” she exclaimed wrapping her arms around him.

A little surprised, and looking a little haggard he hugged Annie back, and the pulled away searching for someone. Ron knew he was looking for Hermione, and he couldn’t stop the summersaults his stomach was doing. Hermione stepped forward, and he clenched his hands a little as Viktor hugged her and kissed her on lips. It wasn’t a lasting kiss, as Viktor was more excited by the size her stomach was. Ron looked in Hermione eyes, and he could see that she was fighting to keep from crying, whether Viktor noticed this or not, Ron didn’t know.

After he muttered something to Hermione, he turned to Harry and Ron, and shook both their hands. He didn’t seem to notice how tense Ron was, giving a faint smile as they shook hands.

“I have not seen you in a long time,” he said to Ron.

Ron nodded, not saying anything. He wasn’t sure if he could say anything. “You know how it is,” Ron was saying before he knew it, and Viktor gave a light chuckle and looked to Harry who was speaking now, inviting that they all go inside, asking if Viktor was hungry or thirsty after his long flight. Ron fell into the back with Annie as they went inside. He would give anything to get out of the situation.

Viktor had wrapped his arm around Hermione’s waist, and as they walked to the kitchen, and Harry told Viktor about the house, Ron resisted the urge to snatch her away from him. It was hard for him, but he knew Hermione was having a harder time. He knew that she was probably feeling like the worst person in the world for pretending that she was happy to see him – not that he wasn’t her friend, she told him earlier – and pretending that everything was all right, when it was the complete opposite.

Leaning against the counter while Viktor and Hermione sat at the table, next to each other, Annie and Harry jabbered on trying to hide the strained silence that threatened the whole event. Viktor didn’t seem to notice it, but Hermione’s eyes, if anyone were to look, they would see it.

Ron clung to the counter, staying silent, not risking the idea of saying the wrong thing, and ruining all of Hermione’s plans to talk to Viktor. They talked about what was going on with Quidditch, and still Ron was silent; they talked about things back in England, how the family was, and still Ron was silent. It wouldn’t’ be long before Viktor noticed it, Ron thought to himself.

“Vell,” Viktor said as he put down his empty cup of tea – something that had passed by without Ron’s notice. “Should I put my things in the room?” he asked particularly no one, and Ron assumed he was trying to get Hermione alone.

“If you would like,” Harry said and looked to Hermione.

She gave a forced smile, and stood up. “I’ll show you,” she said to Viktor and he stood.

“Thank you Hermy,” he said using his pet name for her that Ron hated.

He went for the door, taking Hermione’s hand, when nobody was looking she looked to Ron and frowned. Ron gave her an encouraging smile before she disappeared behind the swinging door.

“’e iz such a charmer,” Annie said putting the tea cups in the sink, and rinsing them out. Ron snorted, and Harry let out a little chuckle. Annie turned on them, “You two are just jealous.”

“That’s exactly what we are, Annie,” Ron grumbled, now in a mood, and left the kitchen before he said anything else. Harry followed him without a word to Annie.

“You need to calm down Ron.” Harry said, turning Ron to face him in the hallway.

Ron frowned, and motioned for harry to follow him into the study. The lamps flickered on as they entered, and Harry shut the door, turning to look at Ron confused and bewildered. It was strange, that once again they were locking themselves in this room, and about to discuss the same person.

“Hermione’s telling him, Harry. Tonight, or tomorrow, I’m not sure. She wants to do it alone, but I’m afraid he’s going to convince her to stay with him. She says that she’ll stay with me – she is going to marry me. But if anything screws up, I know it won’t happen.” Ron expressed in a forceful manner. He didn’t like to think about those things – the possibilities he would once again see Hermione drive away with him.

“Then don’t let any of those things happen,” Harry said simply, and Ron looked up at his friend and gave a short laugh. Harry grinned. “I’m happy for you two.” He said, lamely.

“Yeah, well, don’t say anything yet, there are still the-” Ron started, but was cut off by Harry’s hand.

“Just stop talking like that Ron, and everything will go as smoothly as possible” Harry chastised, and then turned on his heel and left him alone in study.

Groaning to himself, Ron sat down on the old desk, and breathed evenly, staring at the ground. If he just didn’t overreact, followed Hermione’s actions everything would be all right. If he got stressed out, she would get stressed out and that wasn’t good. There was a baby to think of.

A baby to think of – Ron liked the sound of that. It made his hairs stick on end, and his brain to fill with the memories of his childhood. In his head he saw himself pushing a little girl with bright ginger hair on an old wooden swing, hearing her laugh just like her mother. Smiling to himself, Ron stood and left the study, deciding it would probably be best if he got out for a little while. Choosing to go to work to see how things were going with the Delamb case, he hoped it would give Hermione time to calm down herself and set things in motion.

A chill went down Hermione’s spine as her thin night gown seemed to float over her soft skin when the wind blew. Viktor was sitting on the end of the best they were about to share, pulling off his socks and shirt. She ignored him, finding the night sky out her window much more interesting. It had been so long since she had seen the stars in Paris, and found them the most dazzling thing she had seen during her time France – besides seeing Ron go down on one knee. Another chill went up her spine, and she shut the window.

“It’s getting cold out there,” she murmured more to herself than Viktor.

He looked up at her and smiled. “Our child vill love the cold then.”

Hermione didn’t even try to smile that time, as she sat down on the opposite side of the bed, and slipped her slippers off. She knew it was bad, that she wasn’t responding to him anymore, but she didn’t have the energy. Pulling the covers back, she snuggled under them, and looked to Viktor who was staring at her oddly.

“Vhat is bothering you?” he asked blankly.

Hermione shook her head. “I’m just tired,” she mumbled.

He didn’t believe her, but he dropped it and got under the covers, and moved close to Hermione. Pulling her into the nook of his neck, he wrapped one arm around her, and the other on her stomach. She said nothing, just closed her eyes. She didn’t even snuggle closer to him, and Viktor pulled his arm away, rolled on to his back, and turned the lamp off.

“I love you,” he whispered in the door.

“I love you too,” as a friend, Hermione thought in her head. Closing her eyes, she rolled on to her side, her back facing Viktor and fell asleep. She felt horrible, and it was as if some was tearing her soul into pieces. She heard Viktor sigh as he rolled on to his side away from her and she knew he was afraid; afraid of the coming storm.

Ron paced back and forth, ignoring the worried glances he was receiving from his few co-workers that were working late as well. Claudette’s was possibly the hardest to ignore however, and every now and then Ron would look over at her to glare, and then return to his pacing.

Never in his life, had Ron felt so worried before. Well, at least not since the days of the war, when every second of his life had been filled with worried thoughts. It was nearing two o’clock in the morning, and he didn’t have the nerve to go home. He was afraid that when he would get there what he would find was not something good. But Harry hadn’t owled him or Flooed, so that was a good sign, he guessed.

“Ronald Weasley, would you stop pacing and sit down?” Claudette asked from her desk, sounding worried.

“No, I’m fine, I’m thinking.” Ron said absently, not even looking at her.

“Well maybe if you sat down you would be able to zink a little more clearly.” Claudette suggested, standing up and going over to where Ron was now standing still, and looking at her. She glanced at the other two guys in the room, and without a word they got up and left. Putting her hand on Ron’s shoulder, she looked at him sorrowfully. “What is wrong wit you?”

Ron’s shoulder sunk, and before he knew it he was sitting at his desk with Claudette, and he was telling her everything beginning to end of the never-ending story between he and Hermione. She listened intently, responding when need be, and saying the right things in the right places. Ron felt a little relieved when he finished, and Claudette looked at him with a hopeful smile.

“Do you want to know what I zink, Ron?” she asked.

Ron nodded, not able to say anymore words.

Claudette leaned towards him; “You’re wasting your time walking back and forth in zis office. Go ‘ome, sleep, and in zee morning you will see what is going to ‘appen next. Worrying will get you no where.”

Ron looked her in the eye, and then nodded. “I know.”

“Zen go,” Claudette told him, and pushed him to the fireplace.

The water was steaming hot, and seemed to scold Hermione’s back, but she took no notice of it. Sweat dripped down her brow as the steam filled the loo around her, but she did not care. She had slept horribly and when she woke up the next morning she had found a quickly written note from Viktor about how he had gone for a morning jog. She was a little relieved at not having to worry about putting a brave face on as soon as she woke up, so she took her time getting out of bed and getting into the shower.

Her hands wrapped around her stomach, and Hermione stepped out of the shower, hearing the water magically shut off by itself. Wrapping a warm white towel around hr body, Hermione walked slowly across the cool tile floor to the mirror. Wiping the fuzzy film of steam a way she looked at her reflection. The natural glow to her skin had certain rawness to it, as the hot shower had made it slightly pink. But she didn’t care that much, as it had made her feel better. Her body had been so tense and knotted, that the hot shower had managed to loosen it all up.

Taking her brush in her hand, she started brushing out the knots in her hair, giving up when fifty-five percent of it had been taken care of, than she magically dried her hair and put it up into a loose bun. When she left the loo, and went directly into her room she found Viktor in her room. He smiled at her, and before she said anything he kissed her lightly on the lips and passed her.

“I’m going to take a shower,” he said to her as he left, closing the door.

For a few minutes Hermione stood still in the middle of the room, water dripping from her body and on the to the hardwood floors. She listened as the loo door shut and the shower came on magically. Then her door opened.

“You haven’t talked to him yet, have you?” his voice said behind her.

Hermione turned to face Ron, who was standing in the hall way with just his pajama bottoms and an old under shirt on. There were dark circles under his eyes, and she knew he hadn’t slept at all the night before.

“I haven’t found the time to.” She admitted.

Ron just nodded, and without saying another word or showing that he cared he turned around and left, just like he had a few minutes before. It was strange, Hermione had never felt unsure in her life before, and there was no one there in the back of her mind pushing her on. It was her own decision, and the two of them were waiting for her to make it.

Closing the door, Hermione dried herself off, and changed into some simple robes that she didn’t have to worry too much about, and then went down to the kitchen where she found Annie reading over Witch Weekly, and Harry reading the Daily Prohpet.

“I’ll never understand why you still read that.” Hermione disapproved, as she poured herself a glass of water.

“It’s nice to read how good old Kingsley is doing as minster, and how everyone else it. They still try to create some kind of controversy about me even though I don’t live in England.” Harry laughed, flipping through the pages.

Annie looked up. “Zey like to use zat against you all zee ruddy time – say zat you are running away from zee past and coming ‘ere. What fools,” Annie declared.

Hermione gave a snort of laughter, and then turned around when the kitchen door pushed open and Ron entered, now dressed in clean robes.

“Good Morning,” he greeted everyone, and as he came over to Hermione he smiled as if everything was normal. Hermione stared.

“What is wrong with you?” she whispered feverishly, as Ron made himself some coffee.

“Nothing, just trying to act normal.” Ron whispered back, making lots of noise with his routine.

“Well, stop,” Hermione dictated.

Ron gave her a look, and turned away from the counter, holding his coffee in one hand, and with the other he grabbed his own copy of the Daily Prophet. “I’ll be in the study,” he said to everyone and left the room, leaving Hermione stunned.

“He is in an odd mood this morning,” Harry commented dryly, glancing up at Hermione for a fleeting moment.

Not really sure what to think herself, Hermione exited the kitchen without a word and went back upstairs. Viktor was in there room, changing. From their bed, Hermione watched him, feeling a little sad, as he pulled on his dress robes, and quickly checked his reflection in the vanity mirror set up.

When he turned to look at her, he frowned back. “Vhat is vrong?”

“Nothing,” Hermione replied solemnly, and looked down at her empty glass.

He came over to her, and kissed her forehead. “I am getting a coffee – vhen I come back, I ‘ope to see a smile.” He said, leaving.

But Viktor didn’t see a smile when he came back, and he was nervous. She hadn’t been herself the whole time he had been in France. She was moping around like it was the end of the world, and he was starting to get nervous. He had seen the looks she and Ron had been giving each other when they thought no one was looking. He feared the worse, and for good reason.

Later that day, after Ron had disappeared for work, something Viktor noticed he did a lot, Harry suggested that the four of them go to work. Saying that she was tired, Hermione decided it would be better she got some rest, and practically begged for Viktor to go without her. It made him nervous, but feeling that maybe some sleep would do Hermione good, he allowed it and went for the tour of Paris with Harry and Annie.

When he returned two hours later, Annie and Harry went into the back yard, and Viktor decided it best to check Hermione up in her room. But when he lightly knocked on the door and entered he found her bed empty; the sheets not even touched. Getting nervous, Viktor froze to think. Then he heard it; two voices coming from above.

As quiet as he could possibly go, Viktor walked up those ten steps, and stepped on the third landing. Their voices were louder here, but he still could not understand them. Walking to the almost closed door, Viktor held his breath and caught what Hermione was saying.

“….it’s hard. I can’t do it anymore, Ron. I can’t look him in the eye, speak to him, and pretend that nothing has changed. You have to understand, we have been together for almost five years – he was the one who picked up all the pieces after I left you. I was broken, and without him I wouldn’t be as put together as I am today.” Hermione paused, and Viktor knew Ron was touching her face because he heard the shaky breath she drew every time he touched her face.

“I just can’t tell him,” Hermione started again, “I can’t tell him that the baby isn’t his, that I love you, that I’m going to marry you and that the past few months have been nothing but a rouse. I can’t do that Ron, I can’t-”

Viktor didn’t listen to the rest. His head had gone fuzzy, and he could hear nothing but his racing heartbeat. She had said the baby wasn’t. She said she loved Ron, not him. She wanted to marry him. She had been lying to him since – since when? It was suddenly all making sense. This was why she wouldn’t kiss him back or sleep in his arms. She didn’t want to pretend anymore, not that that really mattered now.

Something had happened since he had last seen Hermione. She had seemed so sure before that getting married to him was the best thing she had ever done. But now, she wasn’t so sure, and in fact she was so sure that she didn’t want to she was going to marry him!

Not caring if they heard him, he turned around and went down the stairs all the way to the main hall way, where he grabbed his cloak, checked that his wand was in his pocket and left without another word.

The grandfather clock in the hall struck midnight, and Hermione squeaked nervously. Harry, Annie, Ron, and Hermione all sat in the parlour, barely able to keep their heads up as they waited for Viktor to return. Hermione doubted he would the second she realized he was missing, and the tears had just managed to stop. She sat next to Ron, his arm around her and keeping her comfort.

He had heard everything, Hermione was sure of it. She had heard someone on the steps, and was sure someone had been there when Ron said she was being paranoid. But she had been right, and it was the last person she wanted to over hear. It had been stupid to talk so loudly about everything, but Hermione was getting tired, and Ron was the only one she knew would understand. But now, it seemed like a waste.

“You should get some sleep,” Ron whispered, and then looked to his friends. “Go to bed guys, Viktor won’t be coming back tonight. I’ll take Hermione to her bed, and I will wait up just in case.” Ron ordered gently.

Harry didn’t need to be told twice, and he stood up, taking Annie with him, and together they left the parlour. Hermione was still next to Ron, and he knew she was falling asleep, not that she had wanted to. Taking his arm away from her shoulders, he stood up. She looked dead, and her eyes rolled a little in their sockets as he bent down to pick her up. She wrapped her arms around his neck, and Ron struggled for a moment, not realizing how heavy Hermione was now that she was carrying a child. But he managed, and he carried her to her room.

Laying her gently in her bed, he pulled the covers over her, kissed her on the forehead, and then he returned back to his post in the parlour, waiting for the sound of an opening door. He himself was exhausted from the little hours he had slept in the last few days, felt his eyes drop and he was asleep.

“I should kill you, you know.” Viktor’s harsh vowels filtered into Ron’s sleep and without much more provocation Ron woke up. Blinking up at Viktor, it took him a second to realize who he was. When he did, Ron sat up straight and without saying anything Viktor took a seat across from him. “I always figured this vould happen.”

“What?” Ron asked dumbly, a little apprehensive.

Viktor gave a sharp laugh. “You know vhat I’m talking about.” He paused for Ron to reply, but when he didn’t Viktor continued, a little gentler this time. “I always knew I could never match up to you in her eyes.” Viktor paused.

Ron understood, awake now. “I didn’t expect it either, mate.” Ron said, testing the waters by throwing the word ‘mate’ in the mix. “Hermione, she always seemed like the kind of girl who was practical, but one day she came bouncing back into my life, and we fell into our old pattern.” Ron admitted, and checked Viktor’s face before continuing. “We were both a bit confused, I think, when it first started. Then she got pregnant – I didn’t know – and ended things with me. I didn’t ever expect to see her again.”

Viktor looked up. “I knew something vas going on, I just did not know vhat. Then she told me she vas pregnant, and I guessed that vas it.”

Ron looked Viktor in the eye. “It’s not her fault, all of this. I was messed up, and I brought her down with me. I’m better now though, and I want so bad to make things right, even though I don’t deserve it.” Ron looked away again, feeling ashamed.

“You deserver her, Ron.” Viktor spoke, and stood up. “The first day I met her, she talked about you and Harry a lot, but mostly you. And vhen I saw you at Bill’s vedding all those years ago, I knew it then. She always loved you more then me.”

Ron stood up. “Now what?”

Viktor shrugged, and stuck his hand out for Ron to take. “It’s over. I am going to a hotel, so I can still go to the vedding, and she is yours.”

Ron shook Viktor’s hand, but did not let go. “Just like that?” he asked unsure.

Viktor nodded, and pulled his hand away. “Good luck,” he said, and turned and left.

Hermione rolled over, and she knew it was him. He was moving in the shadows, packing his bags it looked like. Sitting up, she ignored the ache in her body and looked at him. “What are you doing?” she asked breathlessly.

Viktor froze, and turned to look at her. She was frozen, the moonlight hitting her face, and there was a worried and frightened look in her eye. Moving over to her, Viktor kneeled by her bed. He took her face in his hands, and to his delight and heart-break, she rested her head in his hands.

“I’m leaving, for a hotel room.” He told her.

“Why?” Hermione asked, confused and drowsy.

Viktor smiled sadly, tears in his eyes. “You deserve your happiness, Hermy. And your happiness lies with him.”

Tears welled in Hermione’s eyes as he kissed her forehead, zipped up the last of his bags, and left the dark room. She didn’t know what to think or say, and she could hardly believe it was over. Rolling on her side, she looked to the door and he was there. He didn’t say a word as he closed the door behind him, went around the bed, and got under the covers behind her. Curling up close to her, he wrapped his arm around her waist and put his head as close to hers as possibly and breathed in the scent of her hair.

“I love you Hermione,” he whispered in her ear, his breath causing a shiver to go down her spine.

“I love you too Ron,” she whispered back, finally being able to close her eyes without fear of what the morning will bring.

A/N: So I know this is probably not at all how you pictured the end. That this five thousand and half chapter would lead to this moment. But it’s how I’ve pictured it in my head from the beginning. But I am fully prepared to get some nasty reviews from angry and dissatisfied readers. That’s fine, I expect it. For those who aren’t angry, and care to read the rest of this, there is still one chapter left, it will be a nice little epilogue for all of you. Thanks for reading!

Chapter 14: Epilogue
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

The Child Chapter Fourteen:


The summer breeze sent little Rose’s curly red locks into a disarray as her father pushed her on the big wooden swing. The two year old giggled in delight as her father pushed her higher and higher in the air. Nearby, her mother stood, holding her enormous stomach watching her husband and child play.

“Don’t push her too high, Ron.” Hermione chastised, going over to them.

Ron rolled his eyes, and continued to push Rose the same. “She won’t fall out, Hermione; I charmed it so she wouldn’t.”

“That doesn’t stop her from getting hurt,” Hermione argued.

They had been living in England for a little over two years now, and they had been married for nearly as long. Rose was the center of their life, and they gave everything they could give her. She was their little angel.

“When you’re finished, there is some fresh blueberry pie in the house.” Hermione told Ron, kissing him on the cheek, and laughing at Rose’s delighted squeal. Walking back to the little farmhouse she passed their little garden, sending the lurking gnomes in search for a hiding place. She loved her little house that was only three miles from her in-laws, and one from Harry and Annie, who had since moved back to England. She knew Ron liked it, having his friends and family so close by. Since Rose was born, Ron liked having his family to rely on to babysit and for advice, of course.

The back door led straight into the quaint kitchen, and Hermione walked over to the fresh blueberry pie that sat on the counter. Pulling out her wand, she magically moved it on to the table, and then cut it into seven. Putting her wand back into her pocket, Hermione went over to the cupboard and pulled out three plates, and sat them on the table. As she turned around to fetch a scoop to put the pie on the plates, Ron came into the kitchen carrying a hysterical Rose over his shoulder.

“Ron, put her down before she gets hurt.” Hermione chided, but Ron ignored her.

“Daddy!” Rose cried, saying one of the only words she could say, Mummy, yes and no being the others.

Ron laughed, and swung her down to her feet. She walked over to her mother, and wrapped her small pudgy arms around her leg. “Mummy,” she mumbled happily.

Hermione smiled, patting her daughters head. “Go to your father so he can put you in your chair.” She told her, and Rose let go and walked over to Ron.

Picking her up, Ron walked over to her high chair. Pulling her over to his seat, he sat down and took out his wand. Before Hermione could stop he waved his wand and a piece of pie floated on to a plate, and then plate rose into the air and landed softly in front of Rose.

“If you always use magic Rose is going to grow up and be lazy.” Hermione reminded Ron, sitting down on the other side of Rose, and taking her own plate of pie.

Ron shook his head. “Stop worrying about what Rose will grow up to be. With you as a mother, she’ll turn into a woman who won’t let anything stop her.” Ron told her gently.

Hermione smiled, eating her pie. She put her other hand on her stomach, and she watched Ron help little Rose eat with a fork. Eventually Ron gave up, and just let her eat with her hands. Eating his own pie, Ron’s eyes drifted over to Hermione, and to her stomach.

“I’ve been thinking about names for the baby,” Ron mused.

Hermione smiled, “Oh really? Would you like to elaborate?”

“If it’s a girl I thought we could call her Emily or Molly, maybe. Mum would like that.” Ron suggested, glancing at Hermione is he should continue. “If it’s a boy, we could call him Evan or… Hugo.”

Hermione grinned, a little; looking away from Ron she wiped away some fallen blueberry pie on Rose’s face. Looking back at Ron, she tilted her face to the side. “There’s something I wanted to tell you.”

“What’s that?” Ron urged.

Hermione nodded. “You know how I went to the healers the other day.”

“Yes, I was the one that made sure you got there safe.” Ron responded.

“Well, I asked for the gender.”

“End?” Ron asked, excited now. It had been the one thing he had wanted to know since he had picked Hermione up. He had wanted to go to the appointment, but Hermione told him it wasn’t necessary, and he had to go to work. So he left her, but when he picked her up to take a port-key home she had simply told him everything was all right with the baby and that she was tired. He had hoped, he had prayed, that she would tell him it was a boy. He wanted to have a little boy.

“Ron, it’s a boy.” Hermione divulged.

Without warning Ron jumped out of his seat, whooping and shouting over and over “It’s a boy!” Hermione sat in her seat, laughing, and letting have his moment. She knew he had been hoping for a boy, that he had expressed to her that he wanted a younger brother for Rose. Of course he would have been happy to have another girl, he was ecstatic when Hermione had told him that Rose would be a girl, those two years ago.

Jumping over to Hermione, he pulled her out of her seat and pulled her into a hug, then swung her around in a little dance. Hermione, laughing, spun around, and then held on to his hand as he reached over and pulled Rose out of her chair. Holding her up in one arm he swung around with Hermione cheering, and laughing.

Her feet soar, Hermione let go and watched as Ron spun Rose around before at last settling and putting her in to her chair. Kneeling next to Hermione, he put his hands on her knees. “Hermione, you’ve made me a happy three times now, today.” He said, kissing her stomach, and then her lips. Turning around he faced Rose who was giggling madly and kissed her head. “You’ve got a baby brother!” he told her, sending Rose into another fit of giggles.

“And what do you want to name him, Ron?” Hermione murmured, pulling Ron’s face to her. “You said Evan, but I think you liked-”

“Hugo!” Rose cheered.

“Better,” Hermione whispered, and laughing again. “I think she agrees,” Hermione said to Ron as he looked at his little girl.

Standing up, Ron ruffled Rose’s hair. Picking her up again, he glanced at Hermione before saying to Rose, “Always my little girl, you are.” He cooed.

“Daddy!” Rose shrieked as Ron started to spin her around again.

“I’m surprised you haven’t spun half way to London by now,” Hermione teased.

Ron ignored her, now dancing. “Be quiet Hermione, I’m just spreading the joy.”

“I know,” Hermione said, standing up. “Do you want me to Floo Annie and Harry?” she questioned, knowing full well that Ron would want to do it himself.

Ron froze, and then quickly handed Rose to Hermione, who quickly put her into her chair. “No I’ll do it,” Ron told her and raced from the kitchen and into the den. Hermione had to laugh; she hadn’t seen Ron this excited since she told him she was pregnant again. From the open door, Hermione could hear Ron talking to Harry, telling him that the baby was a boy. A few minutes later Ron was back in the kitchen telling Hermione that Annie had invited them over for dinner.

“You’ve better give Rose a bath then – she is covered in pie and dirt.” Hermione advised, cleaning up the table.

“Fine,” Ron agreed, kissing her on the cheek and whisking Rose away up stairs.

Hermione shook her head, and instead of doing the dishes manually like she had planned, she waved her wand and watched as the dishes cleaned themselves. She was glad Ron was so happy, and she looked forward to seeing Harry and Annie again. Also, Annie was pregnant as well with a third child, and Hermione was eager to hear any news. She was so happy that once again she had someone else who was pregnant to vent to.

Thinking of twins, James and Albus, Hermione smiled. Rose would have two best friends for Hogwarts, just like her. But unlike her, Hermione prayed that Rose would grow into the kind of girl who wouldn’t try to hide in her books, and would always feel that everything she did would make her parents proud.

An hour later, Hermione, Ron, and Rose were at Harry’s much larger home, all crowded in the later kitchen/dinning room. Hermione stood next to the very pregnant Annie and they watched as Harry and Ron tried to settle the children at the table. James and Albus were arguing, complete opposites, while Rose was running around the table, chased by Harry. Hermione laughed; it was never a dull moment.

Once settled at the table, Hermione took her place next to Ron, while Annie at the end of the table opposite Harry. The three kids sat across from Hermione and Ron, now silent as they ate their dinner. Looking to Ron, she gave him a nod to talk about the baby.

“We think we’re going to name the baby Hugo,” Ron announced happily.

“Zat iz a cute name,” Annie commented, “Who came up with it?”

“Ron,” Hermione answered, cutting into her chicken that Harry had prepared. “The name reminds me of a fantastic French writer, Victor Hugo, I love it. Besides, Ron should have his way, I was the one to choose Rose’s name.”

“What were the other names you thought for the baby?” Harry asked curiously.

“Al-bus!” Rose shrieked, throwing her food at her God brother.

“Rose, don’t throw your food.” Hermione reprimanded, as Harry stood pull the two children further apart from each other.

“Evan was the other name.” Ron spoke, after Harry had sat down.

“Hugo iz better – more unique.” Annie decided.

Hermione smiled. “Rose thought so too – she made the final decision.”

“Izn’t she just adorable?” Annie cooed, looking at Rose, who was covered in food.

Ron let out a barking laugh as Rose then proceeded to throw food at Annie. Hermione frowned, but before she could discipline Rose, Annie was laughing, and cleaned off the mess. “She may make a great Quidditch player one day, Ron.”

“That’s what I’ve been saying to Hermione,” Ron agreed.

Dinner passed without much more event, and when it was time for Rose to sleep, and same with the boys, Ron and Hermione bid goodbye to their friends, getting into their old rusted car, which Hermione drove home. Once arriving at their farm house Ron carried a sleeping Rose to her room, Hermione following. Together, they changed her into her pajamas, and tucked her into her crib. Turning on her mobile of flying brooms, it sent lights dancing across her peaceful face.

Turning the lights off, Hermione stood by the door. Ron came beside her, and wrapped his arms around her waist. Leaning his head on her shoulder, the two of them watched Rose sleep. Rose made little sighs causing Hermione smile, and she leaned into Ron.

“It is going to be so crazy when the baby is born.” Hermione murmured softly.

“I know,” Ron nuzzled into her neck, “But it’s going to be a good crazy, one that reminds us that life exists, and one that will remind me how much I love you.” Ron whispered in her ear.

Hermione moved her head to look at him. Their faces so close, Hermione could see every individual freckle on his face that she loved. Staring into his blue eyes she smiled, “One that reminds us that life goes on.” She added.

“Who thought a child would bring such light to this world.” Ron mumbled against Hermione’s lips.

“Shut up and kiss me,” Hermione laughed, turning around and pulling him to her in a lasting kiss.

A/N: It’s over. Yes, I did have to finish it at that. I tried to link it all together somehow. The ending, I thought, should be something funny, cute, and uncomplicated. I hope I did it justice. Thank you to everyone who has been reading this story, and reviewing from start to finish. Thank you, to even those who didn’t review, because seeing that view count made me happy just knowing that people were reading the story. Thank you to everyone involved!