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The Child Chapter Twelve:

Good Advice



It was hard to concentrate in the heat, and Ron fought hard to keep his eyes open while Claudette was talking in fast French while kneeling in a fireplace, her head emerged in flames. She was talking to a friend of hers who worked in the poorer ends of the city, and could possibly know something of Delamb’s hideout. So far, Ron had no idea if they were close to an answer, but what he did know, was that he couldn’t take the heat anymore.

Walking away from the fireplace, he went over to his desk, and sat down. He was of no use as of late at work, mostly because he didn’t know many people or much of the area in Paris, and France in general. Claudette seemed to handle everything up until they were actually out on the streets tracking any criminals down. That, he could help with. But getting leads and talking to people was not.

Shuffling some papers on his desk, Ron tried to ignore the clock that ticked on his desk. It was nearing seven o’clock, and he knew Claudette would be telling him to go home soon. Though he could stay longer, there would be no use for him, and she would convince him somehow to leave; that she had all things covered and he would be able to turn early if he left.

Though sleep was tempting, going home was the last great idea in Ron’s mind. Going home would mean having to face Hermione, and Harry, now that he was all knowing and such. The conversations he had with the two the night before seemed productive enough, but now that he was looking back on them, now that he had the time to think about them, he hated it all. Hermione would have never gone back on the fence if it hadn’t been for Harry, and if Harry hadn’t told Ron that he knew Hermione was back on the fence, Ron wouldn’t be so distraught.

Just thinking about the possibility that Hermione would tell Viktor the truth, and choose him instead, made Ron’s heart pound with happiness. But then the thoughts of what she had said filtered into his mind and all hopes, and happy thoughts of getting what he wanted were crushed like somebody stepping on a budding flower.

“Ron,” Claudette called, standing up from the fireplace. “’e says zat ‘e ‘asn’t heard anything about Delamb in over a year. But ‘e said ‘e will look into it if ‘e can.” She explained.

Ron nodded. “Do you want to go over some other cases?” he asked.

Claudette shook her head no, plopping herself down at her desk in front of him. “Non, we can do zat another day. I’m going ‘ome.”

Ron frowned, and quickly looked away , pretending to be busy trying to look for something in his desk. He didn’t want Claudette to see his disappointment, as he knew she would ask him what was wrong. Not that that was wrong, but coming from Claudette it wasn’t always a good thing as she had the habit of ignoring what ever you said and seeing the truth for what it was. She was an Auror after all.

“You don’t want to go home, do you?” Claudette asked, not giving a Ron a chance to respond she said next: “I doubt you will ‘ave to talk to zat ex-girlfriend of yours if you say you’re tired and go straight to bed. Or you could be a grown up and just face her, and ‘ave dinner with your friends.” Claudette went on to say.

Ron looked up at Claudette with an incredulous look. “Don’t act like I’m a complete arse for not wanting to talk to her. It’s not like she has given me any reason to talk to her.” Ron countered.

Claudette laughed. “You talk to me as if I know the reasons why you don’t want to talk to ‘er.”

Ron rolled his eyes, feeling slightly annoyed that Claudette was making the whole situation seem easier then it really was. Giving up his protest, Ron stood up and took his cloak from the back of hit seat and put it on. Checking for his wand in his pocket, he picked up a few filed folders, and pushed them under his right arm.

“Good night Claudette,” Ron cooed as he turned from his desk and walked over to the fireplace to floo home.

“Au revior,” Claudette chimed after him.

“Au revior,” called Ron to the other Aurors in the room. They replied in a clatter of many English and French goodbyes. Ron stepped into the green flames, and turned to face them. Mumbling the address of Harry and Annie’s home, he hoped her had been clear enough as he passed fireplace after fireplace until at last landing on the hearth in the parlor.

It was empty, and it was quiet in the house. As he exited the room, he glanced down the dark hall and so now light creeping from the cracks around the kitchen door or dining room. It seemed they had all gone out, not that Ron could complain. It worked to his advantage, and he walked to the front entrance slowly, as he had no reason to fear bumping into Hermione. He took of his shoes, and placed his cloak in the broom closest.

Not feeling the slight inclination to go up to his room, he went back down the hall and entered the study. Setting his files on the desk, he passed the liquor cabinet without hesitation and went out into the hall and into the dark kitchen. The lamps flickered on as he pushed the swinging door open, and he absently walked over to the cupboard, not noticing the surprised figure that sat at the round table. He saw a note on the counter from Harry saying he had gone out to dinner with Annie and her parents, and Ron grunted to himself. He took a mug out of the cupboard, and pulled out his wand to make some coffee.

“Ron,” Hermione spoke softly as not to scare him. She had gone on long enough without saying a thing.

Ron froze upon hearing his name. He didn’t turn around, holding his coffee mug and wand in his hands. His shoulders grew tense, and he dared not turn around. He did not want to face her. Claudette was right, he was being immature, but he did not care at all. There was nothing for him to say. If he had only stuck to his idea of spending the next few weeks at work, and avoiding any free time to by chance bump into Hermione.

“You’ve been avoiding me,” Hermione stated when Ron did not move or say anything.

Finally, Ron turned to look at her. He tried to look passive, as he held his now full mug of black coffee. He leaned against the counter, crossing his feet, and putting one hand on the counter. He was tired, and the scent of coffee woke him slightly.

“I’ve been working a lot.” Ron corrected.

Hermione rolled her eyes. She glanced down to the cup of tea in between her finger tips and took a quick sip before looking back at Ron. “Ron, I am still awake at nine o’clock at night.”

“And?” Ron asked.

Hermione frowned. “I thought we were going to be friends.”

“I don’t see how you got that.” Ron said tonelessly.

Hermione’s brow furrowed and she stood up in anger. “You are such an immature git! You are the biggest idiot I have ever met!” Hermione spit. “You think being an absolute prick will gain you anything? I know it sucks this whole situation. But it is what it is, and it’s time you grew up and lived with it.” Hermione raved.

Ron sneered. “Am I really being the immature one here, Hermione? You’re the one who decided to cheat on Viktor in the first place – I didn’t make you go into that bar that night. And you’re the one who lied to Viktor’s face about the child. If anyone in this room is being immature, it’s you.” Ron’s temper broke, and he didn’t care if he was yelling or if anyone would hear.

There were tears in Hermione eyes. She was silent, breathing heavily, her hands on her hips. Ron’s eyes travelled to her stomach, where her hands now rested. He could see her bellybutton poke through the thin fabric of her t-shirt. He suddenly realized that it had been stupid for him to be yelling at Hermione, for having an argument with her. It wasn’t doing her or the baby any good. Resting his coffee on the counter, he ignore any reasons in his mind to not go over to Hermione.

He pulled her into his arms, he allowed her to, resting her hand on his shoulder, and wrapping her arms around his waist. Ron would have given anything to be able to kiss her face and tell her everything would be okay, as he buried his face in her curly locks. But it wasn’t possible, no matter what decision Hermione went with it would be tough for her. Ron didn’t want to get mad anymore, he didn’t have the energy to do it anymore. Holding Hermione’s fragile body in his arms as she cried made him give up.

Kissing the top of her head, Ron and Hermione pulled part to look each other in the eyes. Every thing seemed to melt away and Ron’s heart broke. It was supposed to be like this; him and her, and a child. Wiping the tears from her face, Ron brushed a few loose strands of hair from her face.

“It’s a girl,” Hermione whispered hoarsely.

Ron smiled, and as Hermione’s stomach touched his own he felt a light kicking, and together they both laughed a little. Hermione took Ron’s hands from around her waist and placed them on her stomach and Ron felt their little girl kicking away. Marveling in this moment, Ron kissed Hermione on the lips, but pulled away quickly when he realized what he had done.

“It’s okay,” Hermione assured him, “I understand.”

Ron nodded, and moved away from Hermione deciding it would be better. “We can be friends.” He murmured avoiding her eye. “I think,” he added.

Hermione laughed uneasily, and pulled out a chair from the table and sat down as her feet ached. “That’s the thing Ron,” Hermione started, “I don’t know if we can without hurting ourselves.” She admitted.

“So what do you want to do?” Ron asked, bewildered as to what Hermione wanted.

“I want to tell him, Ron, I do, but I don’t think it will make a difference. Viktor will be upset, perhaps put the marriage off for a while, but he will come back if he believes I don’t love you anymore – which he’ll assume because I haven’t left him. He’ll take care of this child even if it is yours.” Hermione explained.

Ron stared breathlessly. “Did you just say you still love me?” he asked.

Hermione blanched a little when Ron made this revelation. She hadn’t meant to say that out loud, as she still wasn’t sure what she wanted to do. “Yes,” Hermione admitted to herself and to Ron. “I do still love you Ron.”

Ron grinned, and slowly moved down on to his knees in front of Hermione. He took her hands in his own, and held them tight. Hermione was bewildered.

“You can’t deny me Hermione, and you know you can’t. You know in your heart your place is by my side, by the father of your child’s side. I understand why you want to be with Viktor, what I did to you in the past was unforgivable. But I’m starting new, and I want you to be a part of that, even with all our past. I have loved you since I was thirteen, and still love you to this day.” He took a shaky breath, as he fought tears. “Will you marry me Hermione? Will you let me love you?” Ron asked at last.

Hermione’s mouth shook as she nodded, tears welling her eyes. “I will Ron… I will marry you. I will let you love me,” she said, pulling his head into her chest as he grinned like an idiot.

Ron had tears in his eyes, just like Hermione. He didn’t care, he was happy. He knew there were still so many things they had to do, so many things. But it was all in the back of his mind as he held Hermione and their unborn child close. It had been so long since he felt this good; that he felt things were going right. He knew he still had so much more to run before he finished this leg of his life, but he did not care.

Knowing Hermione was tired, he let her go, and wiped the tears from her eyes again. Kissing her on the forehead and lips, lingering for a moment he told her to go to bed.

“Alone?” Hermione asked, sounding surprised by his ‘order’.

“It wouldn’t be fair to Viktor.” Ron decided maturely. “When he comes, Hermione, I think we should tell him together. He needs to hear the truth from both of us.”

Hermione nodded, looking amazed by Ron’s change of attitude. If she had known going down to the kitchen to enjoy a little cup of tea would get her this resolution, she would have done it earlier. To think, a conversation that had started out so badly could have ever ended so happily?

“Good night,” Hermione murmured, going over to the door.

Ron gave a thin smile, feeling even more tired then ever. “Good night,” he replied as she pushed the door open and left the kitchen. It swung closed, and Ron slid to the floor as the exhaustion had taken over. He didn’t know what took over, every ounce of stubbornness had left him, and all fight had deserted his heart and soul. Had he grown in that short hour? He felt like he had.

He was going to be a father. He was going to be a husband. He was living out his dreams.


A/N: Two more chapters left! I hope to have this story finished before July, but don't keep your fingers crossed. I know, I'm absolutely horrid for taking so long to update and in the future for doing so. It's things like these that make me regret ever getting a job. It took what ever time I had left over away from me. Thanks for reading, and do please review! Thanks again!

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