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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.

Ron,

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,
Harry


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?”

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:

http://the-dark-arts.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=22063&st=0&p=251079&#entry251079

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!
~Alex

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