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"Hermione, will you calm down," Viktor scolded as Hermione flittered about the dining room making sure every piece of silverware was sparkling and in the perfect place.

"I can’t," she replied, "Harry’s brining his new girlfriend tonight and I want to meet this witch that has taken by the hand and brought him back to the living. He’s been with her for over a month and nobody has even seen her. I’m so excited." They could hear Leo cooing in his nursery down the hall. "Will you get him please while I check on the appetizers?

As Viktor left to get Leo Hermione heard a faint pop outside the door, followed by a knock. "They’re here!" she squealed to herself as she hurried to the door to open it. "Harry! Oh," she was disappointed to see Ron standing before her with a mysterious dark haired lady. "Come on in Ron . . . and friend."

"This is Miranda," Ron said, pointing to the dark haired lady. "She’s a garment model." Viktor came out with Leo, who was dressed in soft footie pajamas, and introductions were made. Hermione served a round of light appetizers and soon after, they heard a car pull up and lights flickering through the window.

"Is that a car?" Hermione wondered aloud as she opened the door. "Harry!" Hermione ushered Harry and Kate in quickly to the warmly lit home. "Why did you come in a car?" she asked Harry’s ear as everyone introduced themselves to Kate.

Harry bit his lip sheepishly. "Because Kate’s a muggle and I haven’t told her I’m a wizard yet. There’s my boy Leo!" Harry hurried over to take Leo out of his father’s arms and placed an arm around Kate, ignoring Hermione’s shocked look. "So, let’s eat."

The dinner went smoothly enough. Ron’s model friend mainly pushed her food around and pouted while Hermione, Viktor, Harry and Kate talked jovially about everything they could think of.

"And then Harry ran over, a fist raised all ready, and punched Pat in the face! Pat is an old friend of mine and he was picking on me and Harry took it the wrong way. You should have seen his face!"

Hermione and Viktor laughed at Kate’s recount of Harry’s rage at the Dizzy Dragon. Harry did not join in, but smirked instead. "Yeah, but I made it up to her later. She was screaming at me for two nights in a row, but for two very different reasons."

Kate rolled her eyes at him and Harry squeezed her knee under the table. Things were going well for the first meeting between Kate and Harry’s friends.

"Did you know Harry was going to marry my sister?"

Until then.

Harry bit his tongue. "No Ron, I haven’t told her that," he muttered through gritted teeth as his friend, who had had one too many glasses of wine, "and I wasn’t planning on it for awhile."

Kate looked between Ron and Harry, her Chanel logo earrings glittering in the light. "No, I wasn’t aware of that."

"It’s not important," Harry said sharply as he stood up, Kate following him, confused. "We have to go. I have an early shift tomorrow." Harry kissed Hermione’s cheek and shook hands with Viktor before leading Kate out.

"Harry, what was that about?" Kate asked as they got in the car.

"Nothing," Harry glared out the passenger’s window as Kate began slowly to go down the driveway.

"Ron, why did you say that?" Hermione hissed as she yanked Ron’s plate from in front of him, much to his displeasure, and threw it in the sink. "We were having a lovely time until you had to bring up the past, making both Harry and Kate uncomfortable and then they had to leave because of it!"

Ron shrugged, his eyes red from the wine. "I don’t know Mione, I had some wine and I’d been wondering why he hasn’t ever mentioned this Kate girl before and,"

"Wait, Harry never mentioned her to you?" Hermione stopped cleaning the kitchen to look at Ron. Viktor slipped down the hall to check on Leo, and to get out of dodge.

"No, never. Why, did he say something to you?" Ron’s eyebrows were furrowed in confusion. At Hermione’s nod, his expression became set and hard. "Why would he lie to me?"

"Maybe he was worried how you would take it considering what happened with Ginny," Hermione said softly.

"I still think they should have gotten married," Ron crossed the large oval table and ran his wand down the crisp table cloth, cleaning it of stains. "Neither one of them will say what happened between them after,"

"Oh, Ron don’t say it!" Hermione shrieked, covering her ears with her hands. "I . . . I really can’t bear to hear it again. It was too much the first time."

"Ronnie, I’m ready to go," Miranda murmured as she came into the room. Nobody had noticed she had left.

Hermione set her jaw firmly and glared at Miranda. "Enjoy your meal Miranda?"

"Yes, it was delicious," Miranda responded, rubbing her hands over Ron’s chest in an attempt to get him out of the house.

Hermione growled and rolled her eyes. "Goodbye then." Hermione heard the pops of their departure and threw the utensils into the sink. Viktor came into the kitchen, wrapped his arms around her waist from the behind and kissed her temple.

"Dinner was delicious Mione."

"What did you think of Kate?" Hermione asked him as she continued to clean the dishes by hand instead of using her wand, an indicator of irritation.

"Nice. Not someone I would picture Harry with though," Viktor poured a glass of wine for himself and another for his wife.

Hermione shook her head. "I didn’t either but she seems to make him happy. I mean, I never thought Harry would fall for someone who was the prettiest girl in school or who had the shiniest jewelry. Kate, I don’t know, I like her but I still don’t know."

Viktor handed her the glass and they both leaned against the counter. "Do you think she’s with him just for the money and the fame?"

Hermione shook her head. "She doesn’t know. She’s a muggle." She nodded at Viktor’s surprised look. "I’m surprised you didn’t pick up on it with how she acted naturally and how carefully Harry chose his words sometimes. I know Harry prefers the quiet life and I think he’s outreaching to the muggle world for it. Maybe this girl is the best thing for him," she said softly. "Maybe Kate can help him heal and move on."

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