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“The view is stunning… stunning,” Ron stood facing the sea, the wind rushing past him and ruffling his festive hair. He stood with his hands on his hips, and was positioned precariously on the edge of the cliff, with an anxious Hermione urging him to get away from the edge.

         “Come on, Ron,” she pleaded, “Please don’t get so close.”

         “I won’t fall,” he scoffed, “My feet are far too long… they give me quite enough balance.”

         “Yes but… if you fall, I won’t be able to catch you,” Hermione tried to reason, unwilling to get any closer to the coastal edge herself; heights were not her thing, “Harry isn’t here, and I won’t be able to catch you if you fall!”

         Ron gave a hollow laugh.

         “You think Harry is strong enough to catch me,” Ron laughed, “To be honest, I reckon Ginny would be better.”

         “Don’t be stupid Ron,” Hermione scolded, “Just get away from there, and let’s finish the walk; they should be done with the barbeque by now.”

         Ron and Hermione had crept off the following morning to go for a walk along the cliff’s edge; Harry and Ginny had awoken to find nothing but a note on the kitchen table that told them where they had both gone. This meant that they were lumbered with five children, and the task of making lunch for them all. They were not impressed, and were planning a similar sort of revenge for later in the evening, hopefully aimed around the time that the children needed to be in bed; Ginny would like to see Ron and Hermione cope with that on their own. They were going to go for a nighttime swim… That would show ‘em.

         “I bet they’re really annoyed…” Ron laughed, turning at last away from the steep cliff edge to face Hermione, “Ginny’s going to hit me… I can tell.”

         “Look Ron now you’ve made it worse!” Hermione said, holding out her hand to him and beckoning furiously, “Now you’re facing away from the edge, and you won’t be able to see if you fall!”

         “Oh! Oh Hermione I think – I think I’m falling!” Ron starting waving his arms around, “Oh! Woh! Argh! Help me Hermione help me!”

         Hermione narrowed her eyes and him and crossed her arms, watching her lanky husband wave his limbs around in a highly irresponsible manner. He was not amusing her at all. Not a little it.

         “If you die, you’ll leave your children without a father,” she told him, “Could you really do that to them?”

         “No,” said Ron shortly, ceasing his arm and leg waving immediately, “Fine. We’ll go back then. Maybe we can find your sense of humour on the way…”

         “Oh shut up Ron,” she said, “You know I have a sense of humour, just not when it could result in your death.”

         “Aww…” Ron said, putting an arm around Hermione’s rigid shoulders; she still wouldn’t uncross her arms, “You’d actually care if I died!”

         They made their way along the narrow cliff top path, which was made by a combination of white sand, small grey stones and dusty brown mud. Heather lined the edge of the path, and a small ridge of green grass stood to the right of them, and after than was a fifty-foot drop, which Ron had been standing right next to. The sun burned down through a perfectly clear blue sky, not a cloud in sight. The air was hot and dry, so Hermione extricated a small flask of pumpkin juice which she had taken from the kitchen before they left. She drank some before answering Ron.

         “Yes, your death would put a damper on my life… for a little while anyway,” she said, not looking at him and sounding quite indifferent. She put the flask back into the small shoulder bag she’d bought, and then crossed her arms firmly together again, ignoring Ron’s continued squeeze around her shoulders.

         “You’re so rude sometimes Hermione,” Ron said.

         “That’s rich.”

         “I’m only rude to people who deserve it!”

         “Like the postman?”

         “He wasn’t our postman though…”

         “Does that make any difference?”


         Hermione shook her head; sometimes Ron was simply beyond help, despite his slight growth in emotional maturity that had happened since their teenage years. Perhaps he now had the emotional range of a cup, rather than a teaspoon.

         “You know,” Ron said loudly, looking out to the sea, facing away from Hermione, “Some couples who argue all the time are old.”

         “Old married couples you mean?”

         “Exactly,” Ron said, “We’re not old, so why do we argue so much?”

         “I prefer to think of it as bickering,” Hermione said, “Arguing is more serious, and people tend to fall out more over it.”

         “Arguing is disagreeing though, and then making a fuss about it,” Ron replied, “You do that all the time!”

         “But we don’t fall out Ron, and it’s quite light hearted,” Hermione pointed out, finally releasing her arms to make some hand gestures to aid her argument – no, bickerment.

         They bickered/ argued about whether they bickered or argued right the way back to the cottage, where a stream of black smoke was emitting from the garden. Hermione’s arm finally managed to creep its way around Ron’s waist, and by the time they arrived they were being quite friendly again. They concluded that they bickered, as it sounded much nicer than arguing. And they also concluded that it was good to be nice, and that their continued bickering could give their children a misleading impression as to what a “good relationship” was.

         Upon seeing the smoke, they hastened their pace and strode around the back of the house to a garden, enclosed within a white fence. The garden had a main lawn area, with a grey slate patio, surrounded by shrubbery and white flowers – this shrubbery included the prickly bush in which the duvet had almost met its untimely demise. Another large patio had a swimming pool sunken into it, bright blue in the midday sun; this was where the children were playing.  Harry was wearing an apron, and was trying to bewitch some kebabs to turn of their own accord; he had been burnt three times trying to do it with his hands.

         “And they’ve finally come back!” Ginny cried in a sarcastic and annoyed voice, waving her arms in the air in mock joy, “Well this is great!”

         “We’re sorry!” said Hermione, rushing forward to help Harry before he set his wand on fire, “We didn’t intend to be away for so long! Ron wanted to go rock pooling and got into a small tussle with a crab and then we got distracted; the view is so nice that we had to sit down and look at it and we lost track of time… we’re so sorry!”

         “Hermione you’re babbling,” Ron said, walking forward; the closer he got to Ginny, the narrower her eyes become. He wondered if there was a correlation, so he took a step back, wondering if they’d open again, but no. Her eyes still got narrower.

         “You,” she said, pointing a finger at Ron, “can help Harry!”

         “Yes,” said Ron, walking over to Harry and standing next to him, as though this would be classified as “helping.”

         “And you have to do something!” said Ginny, “I am going to get some lemonade, and I can see you through the kitchen window… so don’t try anything funny.”

         She then stormed off.

         “Why are we married to such bossy women Harry?” he said in and undertone out the side of his mouth.

         “In general, Ginny’s not that bossy,” Harry said, poking some sausages with his wand so that they started rolling around on the grill, “No! That’s not what you’re meant to do! You’re meant to be turning on your side!”

         “What?” said Ron, very confused, “Why?!”

         “He’s not talking to you you idiot!” Hermione said, who had settling in a deck chair, and was watching Harry and Ron appraisingly, “You’re not very good at this Harry, here let me show you…”

         Ten minutes later Hermione had taken full charge of the barbeque, and was seemingly relishing it. Harry and Ron were left standing, feeling quite useless, just as Ginny came out with a tray with a jug, some glasses and a bowl full of lemons.

         “Why is Hermione doing – oh,” Ginny said, “Well, that means you two can help me with this then. I was planning to do it with Hermione, but you’ll do.”

         “What are we doing?” Harry asked.

         “We’re making lemonade!” Ginny said brightly, “Harry you can peel the lemons, Ron you can squeeze them, and I’ll – I’ll make sure you’re doing it right.”

         “In other words then, you’ll do nothing,” Ron said scathingly, plonking himself down at the wrought iron garden table, “This is such a girly job!”

         “Well you failed at the man job so…” Ginny said sweetly, sitting next to him, “You get the “womanly” jobs. Sexist arse…”

         Ron grunted and grumbled through his task, as he squeezed the lemons that Harry was passing, having skinned them with his wand using the same spell that Mrs Weasley used to peel potatoes with. Several times he squirted lemon juice in his eye, which resulted in an onslaught of swearing and cursing. Twice he managed to get Ginny in the eye, but she didn’t make as much fuss, she just blinked rapidly for about a minute and then sat silent. Harry’s eyes however, were protected by his glasses; he couldn’t help but feel smug.

         Despite Ginny not seeming to care when citric acid landed in her eyes, she stood up after several times that this had happened and remarked she was going to play with the children for it a bit. She promptly marched across the garden, stripping her clothes off as she went, and Harry was momentarily spellbound before he realised she was wearing a blue bikini underneath. His slightly open mouth and gormless stare earned him a kick from Ron.

         “Stop looking at my sister like that.”

         “Sorry…” Harry said, not really listening. Ginny’s long red hair contrasted with her pale skin, and it glinted in the light, revealing many other colours that lay in her hair besides red; light red, dark red, auburn… he watched her walked swiftly across the lawn, her discarded clothes in her wake and she walked without stopping and did a bomb into the pool, sloshing water everywhere and causing Rose to squeal on the side and scream and cover herself with her hands and leg.

         Ginny emerged and after flicking a dark sheet of sopping red hair out of her face, she spat out a stream of pool water right into James’ face, who was clinging on for dear life at the side of the pool, petrified by his mother’s sudden entrance into it.

         “Urgh!” she complained, inhaling a mouthful himself and aiming it at Ginny, who neatly dodged and the water went into Albus’s face instead.

         “Oh James! You know I don’t like getting my head wet!” Albus complained, now unable to see because his glasses had been splattered with water droplets… one of his pet hates. He tried to swim his way back to the steps that led into the pool, but accidentally crossed across the slide, just as Hugo went speeding down it.

         Albus’s glasses span off and landed with a “plop” into the pool, and Hugo’s body soon trapped him underwater, as it flew through the air and landed straight on top of him.

         Both boys gave screams that turned into gurgly “arghhs!” as they went underwater. Bubbles emerged from the spot and nobody knew what to do. They knew that Albus was a surprisingly good swimmer, despite his stubborn beliefs that his head shouldn’t get wet. Today seemed to be testing these beliefs, now that he had been fully immersed for the first time. How would he react?

         A few seconds passed, whilst everyone stared at the bubbles bubbling in the surface above where Albus and Hugo had vanished. Suddenly, there was a big hissing noise and Hugo shot out of the pool –

         “ARGHHHH!!!!” before landing with a sloshy thud on the side of the pool.

         “Hugo!” came Hermione’s voice, as she ran over to see the disaster, “Are you all right?  What happened?”

         Albus had emerged, and looked most confused. Admittedly he couldn’t see, which only aggravated the confusion, but Ginny suspected the confusion ran deeper than that.

         “He must’ve used magic without intending too…” Hermione mused, whilst checking her son for any bruises; Hugo looked a bit shocked, but otherwise unhurt.

         Ron and Harry had sneaked away from the lemons to find out what was going on, all they had seen was Hugo shooting out the water, like a cork from a bottle. Bearing this in mind, Ron thought it would be funny to make his wand shoot bubbles in Harry’s face.

         “Bleargh!” Harry said, as a bubble went into his open mouth, “What are you doing?!”

         Ron laughed, but stopped. The moment of spontaneous fun was over. There were only some things you could do whilst in a foreign country, and firing bubbles in your best friend’s face and getting away with it is one of them.

         As is pushing your best friend into a swimming pool whilst they’re fully dressed.

            Which is what Harry just did to Ron.

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