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CHAPTER THREE - PRESENT DAY – CONFESSIONS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hermione eyes narrowed, "Told me what Gin?"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"I’m so sorry but-”

‘Pop'

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

“HARRY!”

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

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

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

‘Pop’

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

‘Pop’

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I’m Helena Gordon, Ron’s fiancé.”


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

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