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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hermione took a moment to compose herself before answering,

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

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

"Name please?" he asked in monotone,

"Hermione Granger,"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“What…why?” Hermione stuttered.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Gin? Harry?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RING, RING

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hermione looked him sadly in the eyes,

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

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



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

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

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

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