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    “I miss her,” Ron said plaintively to Harry, as they strode along the beach on a blustery Sunday afternoon, “I didn’t think I would, but I truly and honestly do.”

                Harry pushed his hands deeper into his jacket pockets, for the breeze was making them quite cold. Despite it being May, it was incredibly windy and the result of this meant that the area was rather chilly. It was always cool in Tinworth (where Harry, Ginny, Ron and Hermione all lived) as it was sat right in front of the English Channel, and the cold sea air was always being blown over the village. Harry found this refreshing, and the cold air whipping against his face served as a constant reminder of what it was to be alive. It also served the equally useful purpose of waking him up on those disgusting days where you have to go into work but you don’t want to, and your body seems to be walking around but your brain is still somewhere near your bed. Usually unconscious somewhere.

                “Then get back together with her!” Harry said, trying and failing to not sound frustrated. Ron was unbelievable sometimes. He was a clever bloke – when it came to chess and witty inappropriate comments – but for the most part… he just was so incredibly blind when it came to common sense regarding other people. It was mainly because Ron had issues talking about his emotions. After all, it did take him upwards of three years to finally admit he liked Hermione. And instead of pleasantly asking her out, he had to endure practically being bitten as she leapt at him with a giant kiss, unable to bear his procrastinating any more. She knew they’d end up together, and she was tired of his dilly-dallying. Harry didn’t blame her really.

                “I don’t mean Hermione!” Ron scoffed, “I mean Wendal!”

                Harry refrained from rolling his eyes with difficulty. Wendal had been transferred to another department in the Ministry a mere two days ago. To Hermione’s department in fact. Harry wondered how any Ministry based department could cope with two such fervent admirers of Ron as Wendal and Hermione were. It was certainly going to be interesting, especially as Hermione despised Wendal for showing such a blatant interest in Ron, even though Wendal knew perfectly well that Ron had a wife who worked in the same building. As far as Hermione was concerned, it was terribly wrong to go dipping your quill in the office ink. Terribly wrong. She knew that she was sort of doing that crime, but her and Ron had been together prior to their working at the Ministry. Therefore, it was not the same thing. Definitely not.

                “You can always visit,” Harry reminded him, “Wendal works in the same department as Hermione after all.”

                “That’s true…” Ron mused, “Good way to make Hermione jealous.”

                Harry suspected that Ron hadn’t meant to say this out loud. Harry also had to remind himself that Ron was twenty-two, and married, rather than fifteen, with an unobtainable crush. His schemes and attitude reminded Harry forcibly of their Sixth year, where Ron and Hermione had spent most of it trying to make the other one so jealous that they could end up so green that they may have been sick. It was all coming back to bite them in the bum, and Harry, to be honest, had had quite enough.

                “Yeah Ron,” Harry forced himself to agree, “Great way to make Hermione jealous.”




    “It came on Friday,” Hermione was telling Ginny as they strode across the crowded Atrium on Monday morning, “It’s gorgeous. I know I don’t usually tolerate adjectives like “gorgeous” but this teacup is gorgeous. It really is…”

                “And it’s from Ron you say?” Ginny asked Hermione with a wide smile, “That’s so sweet. I never knew he had such romance in him.”

                “Oh he does Ginny,” Hermione gushed, “He really does. Of course you wouldn’t notice, as he’s your brother and all that, but seriously… it’s times like this when I remember why I married him.”

                Ginny was still baffled; she still could not understand why anyone would want to marry Ron. Over-protective buffoon he was.

                “I guess Ron’s all right,” Ginny said, still fighting with her unanswerable question: Why Hermione Married Ron, “And you reckon he’ll come and talk to you today then, and it’ll all be sorted out.”

                “I hope so,” Hermione said fervently, pressing the button for a lift that came clanging into view, holding a wizard with a head of grey hair that resembled a small rain cloud; they joined him in the lift, “He knows how much I love tea, so I’m sure the cup is from him.”

                Hermione and Ginny exited at their corresponding floors, promising to meet each other at their tea break.


    Hermione arrived in her office in relatively good spirits, and swung into the chair behind her incredibly tidy desk with an air of happiness. Naturally, this was spotted by Wendal. Wendal hated Hermione, because she was married to Ron. Wendal wanted to be married to Ron.

                “Good Morning, Hermione,” Wendal said stiffly, tapping away at a typewriter so old that it could’ve had arthritis.

                “Miss Jenkins,” Hermione acknowledged, with a stiff nod of the head. Hermione wasn’t about to be on first name terms with someone she did not like.

                Hermione then tweaked things on her desk so that they were to her liking. Her photo of Ron was still present, but that was only because she didn’t want Wendal knowing they’d fallen out. She had a few neatly stacked books that served as her current reading material, a little wooden cup full of spare quills, a matching wooden holder for her ink pot (this had been a set bought for her from Ron) and a beautifully stacked pile of parchment. The edges of the parchment were all perfectly lined up, a task that only herself was allowed to complete. When Harry had tried, he had gotten it disastrously wrong, and in revenge Hermione had given him a paper cut. A small cut to be fair, but is there anything quite more painful?

                Following this “desk arranging”, they then engaged in the highly competitive game of “Who is busier than who?” More important people always seem to be busier than less important people, so the busiest person naturally becomes the more important person. Maturity does not really have a place in this game at all, so Hermione was allowed to forget about it. Just this once.

                Hermione started by pulling out the report that Harry had given her on Friday, and started reading it so fast her eyes nearly merged into one, her quill held poised above it, should she need to make potential alterations.

                Wendal fought back by dictating an incredibly dull letter to the Minister, her own pink quill skating across the parchment frantically (this was also another reason why Hermione didn’t like Wendal; who on earth had time for pink quills??).

                Hermione upped her game by making a very shouty Floo call to who she said was the Head of the Department of International Magical Cooperation, but was in fact, Harry. Poor Harry had to endure Hermione’s shouts about “FOREIGN LAW USURPERS” and “MAGICAL BOUNDARIES BEING BREACHED”, which were delivered to his entire office, and left Harry rather hard of hearing once they were done. He was also quite confused. As were his fellow Aurors.

                Wendal then really went to town and started to file her desk. As Hermione’s desk was already filed to the point where there was nothing actually in it, she was left to watch Wendal through narrowed brown eyes, as she watched Wendal being busy, and Hermione was left with nothing to do. In all honesty, she didn’t know what “filing a desk” meant, but she always heard people talking about it, and therefore the phrase had also slipped into her everyday conversation. It was a phrase that sounded busy and important, and therefore demanded respect. Hermione liked respect.

                This continued until ten-thirty, when they were finally allowed to engage in their own personal activity of choice for fifteen minutes.

                Ron arrived so promptly at ten-thirty that Hermione suspected he had taken the liberty of taking an early break for himself. This made her heart swell in adoration. The thought that someone had abandoned their work early to come and see her - far from making her cross as she thought of those rule-breaking take-a-break-early people wondering around – actually made her soul glow… she stood up from her desk –

                “Ron,” she started warmly, making her way towards him, with her arms outstretched, a smile coming onto her face as her heart filled with love for him.

                “I’m here to see Wendal,” Ron said shortly, dodging her arms and walking over to Wendal, whose blue eyes widened in surprise.

                Hermione’s smile slipped off her face as quickly as rain does down a window, painfully slowly. Her arms were still held out in front of her, and it took her a while to notice that they weren’t being filled with Ron. This is what she had expected to happen.

                “Hello Wendal,” said Ron, turning his back to his stunned wife, “Do you want to grab a cup of tea with me?”

                This pierced Hermione’s heart like a small shard of glass. Tea drinking was their thing. They always had tea at break together at work. It was the glue of their marriage, it was their – their thing! They were known for it – this was heartbreaking. How she hated that Wendal… with her beautiful face, and her – her busy schedule!

                “Sure, that would be great Ron, it really would,” Wendal said with a smirk, pulling a small purple bag onto her shoulder “But – um – don’t you want to spend break with your wife? She talks about you a lot you know.”

                Hermione could’ve hit her. She didn’t talk about Ron a lot. Especially not to Wendal. Horrible Wendal.

                “Erm, she’ll be fine,” Ron said, not looking at Hermione, but she could see that his ears had turned red from behind, “I’ll see her another day.”

                With that they briskly left the office, not looking at Hermione at all. So neither of them noticed the fact that her brown eyes were glistening with tears.




    “I hate him!” stormed Hermione that night, as she had demanded Ginny to come over to give her sympathy, “He’s horrible! He took Wendal for a cup of tea – ”

                “No!” Ginny gasped disbelievingly, “But that’s your thing!”

                “I know it is!” Hermione said loudly, stopping her frantic pacing up and down her living room floor to face Ginny with a face of stone, “He’s doing this deliberately to hurt me!”         

                Ginny was now gob smacked. This Ron/Hermione situation had almost spun out of control now. Usually when they fell out if was for a few hours, and at most, maybe a day along with a night apart. But this had been going on for almost a week, and both the teacup and the teapot had been left forgotten, undoubtedly because both of their owners had deemed them useless.

                “You – you must’ve had an argument or something,” Ginny tried desperately, trying to make sense of the situation, trying to see how they had both fallen out, “You can’t have just both fallen out like this!”

                “I don’t know what I’ve done,” Hermione said, sitting down in an armchair and running her hands through her hair, “That’s what’s so frustrating.”

                “Think back, anything you could’ve said,” Ginny said, leaning forward from her perch on the arm of the sofa, “You know how sensitive Ron is… it’s hard to know sometimes what’ll offend him and what won’t!”

                “I know that,” Hermione said with a hollow laugh, her face now in her hands, “All I remember is that we were fine, and then he vanished into the bedroom for a bit… when he came out again he looked very grumpy and had a huge go at me because I was reading. Then he left.”

                Hermione removed her face from her hands, and Ginny saw that her eyes were slightly wet. It seemed to her that Ron was the only person that Hermione would ever cry over. He was the only person who could every properly hurt her, which was odd, because you wouldn’t think your husband would have the potential to do that. Especially not one that loved his wife as much as Ron did.

                “Could he have found anything in there?” Ginny asked, “Any posters of – of Gilderoy Lockhart or something? Something that could’ve made him jealous?”

                “Gilderoy Lockhart?” Hermione said, trying to sound scandalized but just sounded nervous and went pink instead, “No…”

                She lapsed into a patch of thought, her eyes glazed over and her hand over her mouth. Then her eyes slipped back into focus and she slowly withdrew her hand from her face, her mouth slightly open.

                “Viktor,” she said hoarsely.


                “Viktor,” Hermione repeated, still in that strange hoarse voice, “I wrote to him a while back… he’d just sent me a little card saying he’d had a son… so I wrote back, and Ron must’ve thought – ”

                “That you were still writing to him,” Ginny finished for her, “So he found this letter?”

                “He must’ve done,” Hermione said, “I hadn’t finished it, so I left it on my bedside table for me to do later.”

                “Have you sent it?” Ginny asked.

                “No,” Hermione said forlornly, “I felt so guilty that I didn’t have the heart to finish it. It’s in my drawer upstairs… you can go fetch it if you want.” She added, correctly interpreting Ginny’s curious expression.

                A minute later Ginny had bounded back, and was looking at Hermione with an incredulous expression.

                “How can you wonder why Ron’s mad with you?” she demanded of Hermione, “Read that! Go on, read it!”     

                She stabbed her finger at the last line of Hermione’s letter:


    - I bet he’ll be an incredible Quidditch player. Not as good as you though, you’re the best Quidditch player I know!





                Hermione still looked confused.

                “Is it the “love Hermione” part?” she asked Ginny, “Because I don’t love Viktor, it’s just a natural way to end a letter – ”

                “No, no, no!” Ginny said impatiently, “You called Viktor the best Quidditch player you know!”

                “But he is!”

                “But – but saying that is like Ron – like Ron calling another girl the cleverest woman he knew…”

                “He wouldn’t dare!” gasped Hermione, shocked.

                “Exactly! You’ve made Viktor sound like you respect him more than Ron, because he’s a lot better at Quidditch than him,” Ginny explained, “And also he’s obviously still smarting that you write to the bloke that snogged you before he did!”

                “That’s mad!” Hermione said, looking at Ginny as though she were the mad one, “I ended up marrying Ron! Not Viktor! Surely that shows him that I love and respect him far more than I ever did Viktor…”        

                “Yeah I know,” Ginny agreed, sighing at the immaturity of her brother “But you know how insecure Ron is about his Quidditch skills.”

                “So this whole stupid thing all boils down to Quidditch…” Hermione seethed, feeling quite resentful towards the game that she’d never truly understood.

                “And besides,” Ginny started, “Harry is better than Krum at Quidditch!”

                “Sure,” Hermione said, not really listening, but sitting there in despair. How could this whole ridiculous thing be about Quidditch?? It was ridiculous. Stupid beyond belief.

                “I want a cup of tea,” Hermione eventually said, getting up and making towards the kitchen.

                In the whole Ron-Quidditch issue she had forgotten that her newest teacup didn’t work, which consequently meant that she became so disheartened that she didn’t have a cup of tea after all.




    Ron stared at the powder blue teapot, wondering why on earth he had done what he did to Hermione today. He couldn’t believe it of himself… and he wasn’t the usual person to go doubting his actions… perhaps he was growing up?

                Anyway, he continued to stare at it, thinking how lovely it would look with a pair. It looked somewhat lonely, what with its little spout and handle. It was a sweet little thing, perfectly made and seemed to sit there in front of him so innocently. It was a pity the wretched thing didn’t work.

                Speaking of loneliness, it was only now that Ron understood the awful mistake he had made, and began to wonder if Hermione would ever want him back. Because one thing was certain… he wasn’t coping very well without her. 

    Long live the teapot!!!

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