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    “It’s over!” stormed Ron, thundering into Harry’s hallway as soon as he’d opened the door, “I can’t live with her anymore!”

                Harry sighed, and closed his front door before turning to face the very angry man who had just barged into his home; it was lucky they were such close friends, otherwise Harry would’ve been – what’s the phrase they used in the Auror office? – “forcibly evicting” him by now. And Harry was not a pleasant person to be “forcibly evicted” by, as Ronald knew full well. However, Ronald’s unpleasant shove back into Harry’s bedroom fireplace served as a lasting reminder to Ron that it wasn’t good to call at night upon young married couples, directly into their bedrooms. It was only too much to hope that the couple in question were either asleep, or awake reading. Naturally all that had been involved had been scarred – and Harry felt he had quite enough scars - but at least Ron never did it again. This was one of the reasons why Harry despised the Floo network; there was no privacy, none at all.

                “Why, what’s she done now?” Harry asked wearily, knowing full well that Ron and Hermione would be best friends again by the next day. More than best friends, they’d be soul mates, destined to be, and inseparable. They’d be wondering how they ever could’ve spent that fateful day apart, and they’d vow never to do it again. At least not until they next argued that is… 

                “She just drives me mental Harry!” Ron implored, clenching his fists dramatically and throwing his eyes up the ceiling, “The way she acts… it’s like we’re married or something!”

                “You are married,” Harry reminded him, talking slowly and loudly as he tried to cut through Ron’s hysteria.

                Ron looked at him in shock.

                “I know that, I was at the wedding wasn’t I?” Ron asked Harry, as though he were being stupid, “It’s just I’m not an - an old married man! I am young! I have needs.”

                Harry ran a hand through his hair; now wasn’t a good time to be hearing about Ron’s “needs.”

                “I don’t want to hear about your needs,” Harry said, hiding his eyes with his hands and striding briskly around Ron into his kitchen, determined to find sanity in there, preferably in the form of some strong Firewhisky. Ron followed him, still in a full on rant about the terrible treatment he’d recently received from Hermione.

                The reason Harry was being so intolerant, was because he’d had this scenario appear at his doorstep one time too many. He was also tired, and when people are tired, they invariably become grumpy. Harry hoped they’d have realised by now that one argument did not mean divorce, and he was tired of Ron turning up at his house, often staying for at least two nights. It’s not that he didn’t enjoy Ron’s company, but he’d only married Ginny a month ago, and they were quite enjoying having an empty house to themselves. Ron somehow took some of that joy away… being Ginny’s older brother and all that. 

                “I can’t help it that I went out with Lavender,” Ron said, sitting in one of the chairs around the kitchen table, “If she doesn’t like it then she shouldn’t have gone out with Viktor Krum.”

                Harry had to suppress a sigh; they seriously weren’t still going on about Lavender Brown and Viktor Krum were they? Harry had to admit that the only way that this would probably ever be settled, would be if Viktor and Lavender married each other. That way, there was no possibility that Ron, nor Hermione could ever get back together with either of them. Not if they didn’t want to become involved in a very vicious and messy love – square?

                “So… that’s why you and Hermione argued is it?” Harry asked, trying valiantly to sound interested.

                “No,” said Ron, frowning at Harry and looking confused, “Who said anything about an argument?”

                “Then – they why are you here?” Harry asked, equally bemused and quite exasperated.

                “Because Hermione’s reading,” Ron said grumpily, “It’s all she ever bloody does, and I’m tired of it. Like I said, I have needs.”

                “So – so you haven’t actually argued?” Harry asked, desperately trying to get some sort of grasp on the situation.

                “No, Harry!” Ron laughed, “You should listen more, mate!”

                Harry bristled at this; since when had Ron ever accused someone of not listening? After all, Ron had had his fair share of gormless inattentive moments during class, probably more than Harry had. And infinite times more than his poor wife, who was probably at home somewhere, storming around the house and piling all of Ron’s things into a pile so she could burn them later. 

                “I do listen! It’s just that your relationship with Hermione is just so complicated!”

                “It’s not really,” Ron said simply, “And we don’t even have a relationship anymore anyway. I think she’s barking… can’t live with her anymore.”

                Ron rose from the table and stretched his arms above his head.   

                “Please may I make a cup of tea?” Ron asked, walking over to the kitchen counter where Harry was stood, still half numb with disbelief. He started opening cupboards and pulling out teabags and the like, until Harry stopped him.

                “No,” Harry said.

                “Why not?” asked Ron in surprise, still mid-removal of all the tea-making implements in Harry’s cupboard.

                “Because you make so much tea, and then you never drink it!” Harry told him, “Remember I’m the one who has to supply the office tea bags, and you keep nicking them all!”

                This was a long-standing woe of Harry’s; everyone at work was assigned something to keep in stock. It was nothing official - their boss certainly didn’t know about it, otherwise he would’ve tried to get in on it, and no one liked him… no one wanted to buy him tea or biscuits – but it still was a very important part of the office life. For example, Ron would invest in some biscuits, to dunk in the tea that Harry supplied, which was then drunk by Wendal, who would then flirt shamelessly with Ron. In short, everybody wins! Except Harry, who never seemed to get anything in return… though, he had to admit, watching Wendal flirt with Ron was quite a good show. Especially if Hermione walked in half way through it. 

                Naturally, visitors to the Ministry were somewhat disturbed by the fact that the supposedly most severe law enforcers in the country would rather spend their time drinking tea and biscuits, as opposed to fighting terrible criminals… but there you go. Harry had had a busy life up till now… if he wanted to sit around and drink tea, that that’s exactly what he planned to do!

                “I do not!” Ron retorted, “I always drink my tea.”

                “Do not!”

                “Do too.”

                “Oh my Merlin it’s you Ron,” Ginny had appeared, “Why are you back?”

                Ron looked at Ginny, then to Harry, then to Ginny.

                “Blimey… neither of you are in good moods at all,” Ron observed shrewdly – he could be a shrewd fellow when he wanted,  “It’s because of me isn’t it?”

                “No, it isn’t because of you Ron,” Harry said wearily. He then took a deep breath, and got a grip on himself.  “Of course you can stay. You’re my best mate.”

                Ron gave him a grin, and then started to boil a kettle, much to Harry’s annoyance… had Ron not heard what Harry had just said about the teabags? Or was he just not listening…

                Harry and Ginny watched Ron make his tea, prodding the kettle with his wand, and happily charming his spoon to stir and twirl around… mixing his sugar, and he then sit at the table with the finished result, looking comfortably up at them both. This was another terrible thing; the milk and sugar also disappeared in direct proportion to the teabag consumption. But Harry was more protective over the teabags… he didn’t know why, he just was.

                “This is nice,” said Ron, smiling cheerfully “I feel like I hardly see you anymore…”

                “You see us everyday!” Ginny said crossly, folding her arms, looking down at him in a most Mrs Weasley-ish way. 

                “Mm…” agreed Ron, before clapping his hands together and standing up briskly “Right! I’m going to take a bath. You don’t mind do you?”

                He left the kitchen, leaving his undrunk tea on the table, still steaming away. Harry picked it up, and tried to gulp it down, hoping for some of the caffeine to ease his tension – but the tea was hot, and he burnt his tongue.

                “Gah!” Harry said, sticking out his tongue, hoping that the air would cool and sooth it, “Damn, blasted tea…”

                “What are we going to do?!” Ginny wailed dramatically, collapsing into a chair at the table, whilst Harry poured the offending cup of tea down the sink, “He can’t keep cropping up like this… he can’t! I want a baby, and we can’t make one whilst he’s here!”

                Harry choked – on what he didn’t know, his own spit probably – and stared at Ginny in horror.

                “What?” he demanded.

                “Oh for God’s sake Harry,” Ginny snapped, annoyed at Harry’s slow uptake “I am your wife, you will give me what I want.”

                Harry felt seriously hard done by. Not only was he now in the middle of a baby process, but he was also being prevented from even starting it – the fun bit – by two members of the same family. Damn all the Weasleys thought Harry. He wished he’d never made friends with Ron, he wished he gone off with Draco Malfoy, taken the blond swine’s offer… then none of this would be happening. Despite Draco’s many flaws, Harry was certain that the Malfoys always announced their arrival at least one day before they turned up at one’s home. Or – even better – they’d wait for an invitation. Death Eaters or no Death Eaters, at least they didn’t turn up at one’s home unannounced.

                “And he keeps making tea and then not drinking it,” Harry moaned, “I spend a fortune on teabags… and Ron uses about half of them, but then he doesn’t drink it!”

                “Oh shut up Harry!” Ginny scolded him, “I’ve heard this story at least three times now.”

                She held up four of her fingers, which just showed how desperate she was to get rid of Ron; her maths had flown out the window, probably to join a peck – no pack – of owls somewhere.

                “Why can’t he and Hermione just – just once, act like they’re married,” Harry said, joining Ginny at the table, and grabbing her hand, trying to find some form of wisdom there, “All these arguments and – and divorce threats! It’s doing my head in – we should …”

                Harry thought hard, his brain working furiously…

                “… we should move away! Somewhere else, and not tell him where we’ve gone!”

                “You’re acting stupidly, Harry,” Ginny told him – she could be so cranky sometimes, “No… what we need is something to make them see that they belong together... and that they don’t need to “split up” every time they argue.”

                “And then find a way to stop Ron using up all my teabags,” Harry added, nodding along to Ginny’s plan.

                “Hermione’s just as bad!” Ginny said, “Every time I see her she drinks about half a gallon of tea, which means she’s then always going to the loo, and then she goes and makes more…”

                “At least she doesn’t waste teabags!” Harry shot back, “At least she drinks it!”

                “Maybe she drinks all the tea that Ron makes,” Ginny reasoned. And then – and then a very dangerous look came upon her face… one that suggested that an idea for a great plan was in the making – a great, great plan!

                “Harry…” Ginny said, her eyes widening, and a smile spreading. She grabbed his wrist and looked directly into his eyes. He looked back warily.


                “We buy Ron a teapot!” Ginny squealed, standing up and giving a little clap, “Oh it’s perfect! Something for him to make lots of tea in, so that Hermione will drink it. She of course, will have the teacup, so she can drink all the tea.”

                “Right…” Harry said, frowning slightly, still not really understanding what Ginny was getting at.

                “They will be part of a set, though they’ll be useless without the other one,” Ginny said, now pacing and breathing hard, “Ron will live here with his teapot, and Hermione will live there with her teacup! So the tea-set will be incomplete!”

                Harry rose too, understanding the plan.

                “So they’ll look stupid without each other!” Harry said, punching his fist into his opposite hand, “IT’S GENIUS!”

                “AND RON WILL NEVER COME BACK HERE AGAIN!”        

                “EXCEPT WHEN WE INVITE HIM!”

                They ran up to each other and jumped around in a giant hug, rejoicing in their cleverness, celebrating their intelligence, and cheering on their intellect.

    Any fellow teacup fans out there? Teapot fans? I love tea. :)

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