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“Hermione! Thank Merlin you’re here! I’m having an absolute CRISIS!” exclaimed a very bedraggled-looking Ginny Weasley as she threw the door open of her London flat. Hermione smiled at her friend, who looked the same as she always had, flaming red hair and chocolate brown eyes.

“Well I’m here just in time then, what’s the problem?” Hermione asked, hugging her friend.

“I absolutely CAN’T decide!” Ginny cried, dragging Hermione and her luggage into the lounge, and holding up two flowing bolts of cloth. “Silk, or lace?”

Hermione examined the fabric. “Silk. Definitely. And you could possibly make your veil out of the lace if you really like it.”

Ginny’s face lit up. “You’re brilliant Hermione, brilliant! Now come on and have a cup of tea and we can chat.” She said, already leading the way into the kitchen of the small apartment. After the tea was poured and Hermione was nibbling on a biscuit, they began to talk.

“So how come you haven’t moved into Harry’s penthouse yet? I would assume that you would move in with him as soon as that ring was on your finger.” Hermione asked, a smirk on her face.

“Yes well, you know Mum, she insisted on doing things the old fashioned way. And besides, we’re buying a house after the wedding and our leases are up, so it wasn’t worth it anyways. I think I’ll miss this place, it suits me nicely.” Ginny answered, pouring more tea. Ginny was certainly correct about that. The apartment was very Ginny, bold and beautiful. The walls were painted in bright colors and covered with photos of her and Harry, her and Hermione, her at school with various people, her with her family, and an assortment of other photos.

A tawny owl suddenly flew in through the window, dropping a Daily Prophet on the table. Ginny slipped a knut into the pouch and picked up the paper, before immediately putting it down again in disgust. Hermione looked over and saw herself with Victor, a giant red cross repeatedly going across her head. No matter how sick it made her feel, by this point she had gotten used to the constant public humiliation.

“You know it’s funny, but sometimes I wish there was a good death eater sighting to get people riled up about something besides my bloody divorce.” Hermione joked, a dark look on her face.

“Evidently people are just bored with their own lives.” Ginny replied, still angry. Hermione gave a sad murmur of agreement and Ginny’s face softened. “ Listen ‘Mione…you don’t have to tell me this but…what happened that made it go bad? Not long ago I was reading tabloid rumors about you two starting a family, everything was so...idealistic. What changed?”
“It just…didn’t work out, that’s all.” Hermione replied vaguely, not meeting Ginny’s eye. “We both were in…different places.” When she did not elaborate Ginny nodded her head, knowing her friend well enough to know that she wasn’t telling the truth.

“Well we’re going to the Burrow for dinner tonight, Mum insists. The whole family is going to be there.” Ginny said, still looking at Hermione, who was staring off absentmindedly.

“Sounds delightful. Let me just go get cleaned up and then we can be off.” Hermione answered, snapping back and rising to go to her room. “It’ll just be a moment.”

“No witch ever takes a moment to change!” Ginny laughed after Hermione. From down the hall came Hermione’s retort.

“Please, don’t judge me off of your standards!” Hermione heard Ginny’s laugh as she closed her bedroom door. She threw open her trunk and rummaged through it, looking for something to wear besides her tattered jeans and plain long sleeve tee shirt. After a few different clothing combinations, she sighed in frustration.

“Oh sod it.” She muttered after hearing Ginny’s cries of “Hermioneeeeeeee come onnnnnnnnnn!!” for the third time. She pulled haphazardly pulled on a white shirtdress with a navy blue tie around the middle, ran her fingers through her hair and rushed out of the room.



“Hermione! How lovely it is to see you again!” Came a high voice as a pair of hands pulled a ruffled Hermione out of the fireplace from where she had flooed from Ginny’s apartment. Hermione was pulled into a bone crushing hug before being pulled back to be examined by Mrs. Weasley.

“My dear you look thin, but Merlin knows that stress will do that to a person. Have you been getting enough sleep lately? It looks as if you haven’t.” Hermione blushed pink at Mrs. Weasley’s notice of the circles underneath her eyes. “But other then that you as beautiful as ever. More even. You’ve absolutely bloomed in the past four years.” Mrs. Weasley finished, guiding Hermione to the kitchen table.

“Now, tell me, are you working?” Mrs. Weasley asked, peeling potatoes with her wand.

“Well, I am working as a part time store-manager at Flourish and Blotts just to make ends meet for the time being. It is just temporary though; I have two interviews this month. One is at the Ministry in the Department of Identifying Unknown Magical Substances office, it is a new office that they put in recently, they are looking for a head. The other is at Saint Mungo’s to be a healer’s assistant. I got so many N.E.W.T’s that they are willing to give me my healer’s license if I work as an assistant for a year first.” Hermione answered, now beginning to chop vegetables for Mrs. Weasley.

“Why that sounds absolutely lovely my dear. It sounds like your getting back on your feet quite quickly. Both of those jobs sound like great oppurtunit…. “ Mrs. Weasley was cut off when the kitchen door opened and closed behind Hermione and a deep voice said. “Sorry I’m late Mum, the office was completely swamped today, I just barely got away.”

Hermione froze mid-chop. She knew that voice anywhere. She turned around in her chair and faced an extremely tall red head, kissing his mother on his cheek,

“Hello Ron, it’s been a long time.” She said in the strongest voice she could muster, even though she felt as if her head was spinning off.

Ron jumped. “Hermione! What are you doing here!?!” Before Hermione could open her mouth to answer Mrs. Weasley spoke.

“Goodness Ron, what kind of welcome is that? You haven’t seen the girl in four years! Give her a hug!”

“Errrr….sorry I was just surprised.” Ron mumbled, stumbling forwarding and awkwardly embracing Hermione in her chair. “So err… How are you ‘Mione?”

“Not bad considering.” Hermione answered shortly. There was no way she could possibly tell Ron that her life had actually been a horrible, constant nightmare in the past year.

“Yeah…I saw….I mean I read…I mean, the Daily Prophet.” Ron stuttered. “My apologies.” He finally huffed. She did not answer but gave him a sad smile. She would give just about anything for things to turn back to years before this entire mess, when he would give her a real hug, spin her around and make a joke about her bushy hair.

“Oh good, Ron mate, you’re here. It’s been impossible to pin you down lately.” Came another deep voice, footsteps coming from the stairs. Hermione’s heart lifted as she saw a ruffled mess of jet-black hair atop a head belonging to her other best friend in the world, Harry Potter.

“Harry!” Hermione squealed like she was a schoolgirl again, hopping up from her place at the table and throwing her arms around him. This greeting was not awkward as the one with Ron had been. Ron’s stomach stirred in uncomfortably at how enthusiastic she was to see Harry.

“Hermione!” Harry exclaimed, kissing her on the cheek and hugging her again. “It’s been too long! Thank Merlin you’re back! How are you?” He asked earnestly, looking her in the eye.

“I’m fine. Really good.” She answered smiling. But Harry knew her better then this. He saw past the brave face he had seen her put on so many times and his heart went out to his best friend who had been through so many rough times in the past couple years.

“Really Harry, I’m fine.” Hermione repeated, knowing he saw past her words.

“Good.” Harry nodded before going over to hug Mrs. Weasley hello.

Eventually nearly the entire Weasley family had arrived. Hermione was shocked that she had missed out on so much during her time in Bulgaria. Bill and Fleur had a two-year-old daughter named Cecile. She was a spitting image of her gorgeous mother, silvery blonde curls fell down her back and bounced up and down as she bounced on her father’s hip, hiding her face in his shoulder. Charlie was still in Romania, working with dragons. Hermione was shocked to see Percy Weasley, who seemed to have made amends with the family.

“The twins still don’t much care for him.” Ginny whispered in Hermione’s ear when she said hello to Percy. “Speak of the devil.” She said as Fred and George Weasley strode into the now extremely cramped kitchen. Mrs. Weasley screamed when she saw them, for there was something completely off about the twin’s appearance.

They looked as identical as ever, but where their arms should have been, were legs, complete with completely shoed feet. Where their legs should have been were arms, so it was as if they were walking on their hands.

“What in the…” Mrs. Weasley said faintly.

“My dear George, they seem to be a bit alarmed.” Fred started.

“Really Fred, I couldn’t imagine why. Do we have something in our teeth?” George responded.

“Oh vhat iz zee new product now?” Came Fleur’s voice from the back of the kitchen, cottoning on before the rest of the family.

“I believe Fleur is a bit sharper then we thought.” George smiled.

“Lunatic Limb Switchers! They’re fantastic. Just take the potion.” Said Fred. “And watch your limbs switch up!” Said George. The entire kitchen filled with laughter as the affects of the potion began wearing off and the twin’s bodies began morphing back to their regular forms.

“Why Hermione! We weren’t expecting you to be here!” Said George, noticing Hermione for the first time. They hurried to hug her. As people began to move around again Fred began to say to her,

“I always thought that Krum was a bloody…” Before Ginny shushed him quiet and changed the attention to Cecile who was now adorably saying “gateau mama!” Pointing at the cake Mrs. Weasley had made for dessert.

Dinner was quite the enjoyable affair, everyone eating until they couldn’t anymore, laughing and joking and Hermione getting acquainted once again. Hermione took a sip of wine, marveling in the feeling of belonging that she had missed for so many years. If she closed her eyes for just a moment, listening to the people around her, she could pretend and if she never left, and this was just another summer at the Burrow. But as she opened her eyes again, Hermione saw Ron and was reminded painfully that things had changed very much.

Ron had changed a lot in the past four years, but at the same time had stayed very much the same. He wasn’t as lanky as he had always been, but broader in a strong, toned sort of way. His red hair curled around and a little bit past his ears. His clear blue eyes sparkled as he laughed at something George had said next to him.

As she watched him, Hermione was dying of curiosity. How had he been for the last 4 years? What had happened? She knew the vague basics from Ginny, but no details. Her mind flitted back to one of their last conversations before her wedding. It had been a few hours before the wedding; everyone was running around hustling and bustling. She had been dressed and ready to go, with plenty of time to waste. So she had taken a walk out by the lake behind the church. She had come upon Ron, standing tin his tuxedo, staring into the water.

~~~~~~~~FLASHBACK~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Ron?” Hermione said, coming up behind him.

“Hermione! What are you doing out here. Isn’t it bad luck for you to be seen in that before the actual ceremony?” Hermione looked down at her white dress.

“Your not the groom Ron. It’s okay. Besides, I just fancied a walk.”

“Ron, are you okay? You look funny.” His face seemed to have contorted at the first part of the sentence. He was silent for a few moments.

“You know what Hermione? I’m not okay. I’m not okay at all.” He had replied firmly yet quietly, staring out over the lake.

“Why Ron? What’s wrong?” She had asked, alarmed.

“What’s wrong? What’s Wrong? I’ll tell you what is wrong Hermione, the fact that in about an hour you’re going to be inside that church, walking down the aisle, to marry that arse.” Hermione stood there in shock at this fierce outbreak; he was now looking at her.

“What are you saying Ron?” her voice shaking. She was terrified of his answer, yet eager to know.

“I’m saying Hermione I don’t want you to fucking marry Krum. He’s not meant for you and you know it.” He flared.

“I know no such thing!” She shot back, getting angry. “Besides if you had such a problem with it why didn’t you say something sooner? Its’ not as if you didn’t have plenty of time to do so.”

“You never listened Hermione.” He said coldly. His words came as a slap in the face, and as she opened her mouth to retort he interrupted, his voice now softer.

“I…I just…” Ron began, his voice breaking. “I just can’t watch you marry that guy ‘Mione.”

“And why not?” She asked, in a biting voice.

“Because I love you.” Came his words. Hermione froze.

“What was that?” She asked, even though she had heard him perfectly clearly the first time.

“I love you Hermione.” She stared at him blankly, hot tears beginning to rush to her eyes.

“What the hell Ron!” She yelled. Ron jumped back in surprise; this was not the reaction he had expected.

“Wha…?”

“You choose to fucking tell me that you LOVE me a bloody HOUR before my WEDDING? Are you OFF YOUR ROCKER?” She screamed, her body shaking. “Do you realize just how bloody long I’ve waited to hear those words come out of your mouth Ronald? DO YOU REALIZE HOW LONG? I always knew you were thick Ron, but I NEVER thought your timing would be THIS bad!”

“But Hermione…just listen to me.” Ron tried.

“No Ron, I WON’T! I WON’T I WON’T!!! I don’t want to hear you bloody excuses. You obviously don’t understand how hard getting over you has been for me.”

“Listen ‘Mione, I know my timing is bad but just listen to me, please?” She stood there, giving him permission to go on. “ I love you Hermione and I have since we were bloody eleven years old and you pointed out that spot of dirt on my nose. And I know that despite the fact you’re engaged to that prat, you love me. Deep down I know it Hermione I know it. LISTEN TO ME!” He said earnestly as she began to open her mouth to speak again. “It’s not too late Hermione. It isn’t. We can go, we can just leave. We can go tell everyone it’s off. Just….It’s not too late Hermione. It’s not.”

She stared at him for a few moments. When she began to speak her voice was calm and quiet, and shaking a little.

“I’m sorry Ron, but it is.” And with that, she had turned on her heel, and walked back up to the church, Ron staring after her flowing white figure. And an hour later, she was married.

~~~~END FLASHBACK~~~~

Hermione winced at the memory, taking a long sip of wine, completely unaware of the fact the very person she had just been thinking of, was staring down the table at her.

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

Ron mimicked Hermione, taking a long gulp of wine, desperately wishing for a shot of something stronger.

Ever since he had walked into the kitchen his nerves had been everywhere. He had not been prepared to see Hermione sitting there in the house he had grown up in, chopping vegetables like an everyday thing.

Though he had thought of her constantly in the past four years, their greeting had been utterly painful he couldn’t help but wish it hadn’t happened. What was more he couldn’t help replay the scene in his mind nearly four years to the day previous, where he had made a complete and utter fool of himself. Had she forgiven him for his outburst? He didn’t want to think about it, and instead drained his wineglass.

“I zink eet ees time for Cecile to be going to bed. I shall go poot ‘er down.” Fleur said abruptly over the loud voices of the slightly tipsy twins, who were now singing a nonsense song about a magical walrus. Everyone waved cheery goodbyes as Fleur, Bill, and Cecile climbed the stairs to the bedroom they were staying in during their visit.

“We’d better be getting on too.” Said Fred standing up. “Yeah thanks for dinner Mum, it was fantastic as usual.” George said, kissing his mother on the cheek.

“And where are you off to so early?” Mrs. Weasley asked.

“Important err..Business dealings Mum. All with a sort of tick tock on them.” Fred replied smiling. Mrs. Weasley nodded.

Ron pulled George down so he could mutter in his ear. “What kind of business do you have at this hour?” For it was not as early as Molly had claimed.

“Business of a very sensitive nature little bro…and they don’t like to wait.” George replied, giving Ron a smirk and a wink, before saying goodbye to everyone and disapparating.

Eventually the party had dwindled down to Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, Harry, Ginny, Ron and Hermione.

Ginny pulled Hermione aside. “Listen Hermione, I was planning on spending the night at Harry’s…” She began with a twinkle in her eye, “Would you mind terribly if I didn’t stay at the flat tonight?” She asked.

“That’s perfectly fine. Be good.” Hermione answered, winking and covering up her disappointment at having to spend the night alone.

“Well I don’t want Hermione going back to your flat alone Ginny, she doesn’t know it very well. Ron…how about you apparate with her and make sure she gets in safely?” Came Mrs. Weasley’s voice, who had overheard the conversation.

“Oh! Well…errr…no really Mrs. Weasley, it’s alright…” But Hermione drifted off as Mrs. Weasley waved a hand in her face to quiet her and got Ron. “Off you go you two, see you in a few days.”

“Errm…Okay then.” Said Ron. “I’ll reckon we can just do side along then?” Ron muttered. When Hermione murmured her agreement he firmly grasped her arm, but as she winced he moved his hand down and took her hand. With a pop, they were gone.


A second later, the pair were standing outside of Ginny’s flat, standing there awkwardly.

“Thanks for apparating me home Ron.” Hermione said, feeling like a stupid teenage girl.

“Yeah, no problem.” He replied awkwardly, putting his hands in his pockets. They stood in silence for a few minutes that seemed like hours.

“So…” Hermione said, not knowing what else to say.

“So… I guess I’d better be going.” Ron said.

“Oh, yeah, its late…Thanks again Ron.” God she sounded stupid. Why did she keep thanking him?

“So I’ll see you around I guess.”

“Yeah see you.” Hermione began unlocking the door with the spare key Ginny had given her.

“Oh and Hermione?” Ron said suddenly.

“Yeah?” She said, spinning around

“It was really great seeing you again.” Ron said boldly.

“You too Ron. You too.” And with that, he aparrated.

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