Chapter 1: I don't want the world to see me
It was exactly two years ago that day when Ron broke up with Hermione. It was midday, and Hermione was still lying in bed. She wanted to stay there for the rest of the day, but she knew that wouldn't happen. She was positive Ginny would show up any time soon. She was right, as always.
"Hermione Granger!! Get your arse out of bed right now!" came Ginny's voice from the living room.
Hermione groaned, and rolled over in her bed, trying to get deeper under the duvet. "Leave me alone Gin, I'm not feeling well!" she called out.
"Don't you lie to me Hermione! I knew you wouldn't turn up for work today!" came the reply. Ginny walked into the bedroom, pulling the duvet off Hermione. Hermione quickly curled up into a ball, putting her face into the pillow.
Ginny continued talking "Harry sent me a message saying you had pulled a sickie. I understood last year, but it's been two years now Hermione! You've got to move on!"
"What if I don't want to move on?" came the muffled response.
Ginny sat on the edge of her bed, and placed a hand on Hermione's shoulder. She felt it shudder slightly, and knew she was crying.
"Please don't cry honey" said Ginny softly, surprised that Hermione was still so broken up about Ron "You know my brother's an absolute git, he's not worth all this!"
Hermione rolled over to look at Ginny, her eyes were sore and red from all the crying and lack of sleep.
"I know. I know I should have moved on by now, but I just can't. I can't stop thinking about where we would be right now. We would be married. We would have been a family!" she sobbed.
Ginny patted her cheeks and gave her a kiss on her forehead. "Come on sweetie, you can't be in here all day, it's not good for you. Let's go out and grab some lunch."
"Don't you have some quidditch practising to do?" asked Hermione, knowing the answer would be a no.
"Don't you worry about that. Go hop in the shower and get ready, and we'll head into town, grab a bite and do some shopping okay?"
Hermione smiled to herself. Ginny's answer to life's problems was always shopping.
As Hermione made her way to her en suite, Ginny went back to the living room. Hermione's two-bedroom flat was a good-sized place, but since Ron had moved out, it seemed too large for just Hermione. Ginny saw that there were still photos of Ron on the mantle place. Nothing much had changed in the flat apart from Ron's belongings had gone and the place was a lot more tidier. But it felt empty. Although Ginny saw Hermione nearly every evening and Harry saw her every day in work, Hermione felt very lonely.
Hermione welcomed the hot water splashing on her face. She was actually glad that Ginny had called on her and was forcing her to get out of bed. As much as she wanted to lie in there all day, she knew going out would do her good. Hermione looked back on two years ago when she had rushed over to Harry and Ginny's place, trying to find Ron.
"Hermione! Everything okay?" asked Harry as Hermione stepped out of their fireplace, looking bright red in the face.
"Yes! Everything is just great! I just need to tell Ron something, and I don't know where he is, I was hoping he'd be here?" asked Hermione, looking deliriously happy.
Harry couldn't help but smile at Hermione. She looked so elated, he was dying to know what the news was.
"Sweetheart, Hermione's over." called out Harry to Ginny, who was in the kitchen. Ginny walked into the living room, gave Hermione a hug, and sat on the sofa next to her.
"Bloody hell Hermione, you're positively glowing!" said Ginny, looking her over.
Hermione just grinned stupidly at her. "Have you seen Ron? I haven't been able to find him all day!"
"Nope, haven't heard a word from him, but he's always like that" replied Ginny "Why, what's so important?"
Hermione couldn't stop grinning. "Well, I wanted him to be the first to know, but I can't keep it in any longer! And after all I've been looking for him all day long and you guys are my best friends, so I'm sure he won't mind!"
"Well... what is it?" replied Harry impatiently.
"I'm pregnant!" squealed Hermione.
Before Harry could say a word, Ginny shrieked, jumping on Hermione and crushing her with hugs.
"I'm going to be an aunty! Is it a boy or a girl? When are you due?" asked Ginny, not pausing for any breaths or answers, and showering Hermione with hugs and kisses.
Harry was grinning "Gin, let the poor girl go, my turn for a hug!" and with that he lifted Hermione off the sofa and gave her another bone-crushing hug.
Hermione couldn't stop beaming.
When they had finally settled down, Hermione got around to answering the questions.
"I only found out this morning. No idea if its a boy or girl, and no idea how far along I am either! All I know is I want to see Ron!" laughed Hermione.
Harry and Ginny gave Hermione a couple more hugs before seeing her off in the fireplace. Hermione thought it would be best to just wait at home for Ron so she could tell him the news.
As soon as she stepped out of the fireplace, Ron was already sitting in the living room, waiting for her.
Hermione was delighted to see him.
"Where have you been?" asked Ron as Hermione gave him a kiss hello.
"Just over Harry's, was looking for you actually!" she replied.
"Oh right, well I have something I need to tell you."
"Me too! And you're going to absolutely love it, let me go first!" she said happily.
"No Hermione, I need to go first. Here, why don't you take a seat" he said to her, not looking her directly in the eye. Hermione sat next to him, placing her hand in his. Ron removed it and stood up before her.
"Hermione, we've been together for three years now, and we've had our ups and downs" started Ron.
Hermione couldn't believe what she was hearing. It couldn't have come at a more perfect time. Ron was going to propose to her!
Ron continued, oblivious to Hermione's state of happiness.
"But, we've had our share of more downs than ups."
What? That's not how the speech was meant to continue thought Hermione, a bit bewildered.
"I dunno how to put this, but I think it's best that we part ways" he said, now looking at the floor.
"What?" replied Hermione, in complete shock.
"I said I think it's best we stop seeing each other. We've moved on and we've become different people wanting different things."
"What are you talking about Ron? I haven't changed. And neither have you!" said Hermione, her voice starting to raise slightly.
"You're right. You haven't changed one bit, but I have!" said Ron, looking directly at Hermione and sounding annoyed.
"What's that meant to mean?!" shouted Hermione.
"I mean that I want more out of my life that just going to work and coming back home to this!" he replied, waving his hands at the room and Hermione.
"What exactly is wrong with all of this?" said Hermione, her eyes starting to well with tears.
"This is BORING. It's predictable. It's mundane. I come home from work and you'll be in the kitchen cooking dinner. We eat. We get ready for bed. You read in bed for a bit. We sleep. Next day back to work. That is our life, and I'm sick of it!" said Ron, his face turning red and his voice sounding angry.
"Why didn't you bring this up earlier? We can still fix this Ron." said Hermione, tears now streaming down her face.
"I've tried to bring it up, but your obviously so cosy with this bland life that I know you'll never change. This can't be fixed."
"When have you ever tried to bring this up? Do you honestly think I wouldn't try and make things better for you? I love you Ron, how can you act as if I wouldn't try and change to make you happier?" sobbed Hermione.
"The point is Hermione, you shouldn't have to change for me. It's obvious now that we were never meant to be for each other." said Ron, alot more quieter now.
"But we love each other Ron, surely that's enough to make this work?"
"I... I've moved on." replied Ron, struggling to get the words out.
Hermione put her head in her hands and sobbed uncontrollably.
Ron just stood there awkwardly. "I'm moving out tonight. Go stay with Harry and Ginny if that'll make you feel better."
Hermione looked up at him "Nothing will make me feel better Ron."
She subconsciously rubbed her stomach and burst into tears again. Ron quickly packed all his belongings and left without another word.
Hermione couldn't help but sob in the shower. She got out and dried herself off, and picked out some clothes.
"Bloody hell Hermione, you were ages. I thought you were trying to drown yourself in there" smiled Ginny, trying to cheer her up.
Hermione smiled back weakly "I was just thinking."
"Well, you think too much. C'mon, I'm starving!"
They apparated to Diagon Alley, and walked around for a little while, trying to decide where to eat.
"Gin, you do this every time, you never know what you want to eat!" laughed Hermione.
Ginny laughed back "It's a difficult decision. Okay, fine, let's get some Italian food!"
As they approached the only Italian restaurant in the place, Ginny suddenly came to a halt. "I've changed my mind. Let's get something else!" she hastily said.
"Not a chance Gin, we've spent far too long deciding where to go, and we're here now, come on!" laughed Hermione, shaking her head at how fussy Ginny could be sometimes.
She pulled her closer towards the restaurant, before coming to a sudden halt herself. Through the large windows she could see short red hair and long curly blonde hair. She immediately knew who it was. Ron and Lavender. Hermione felt dizzy. Of all the people to see today, it had to be him. With her.
"Ginny, just get me out of here" said Hermione quietly.
Ginny looked at Hermione anxiously. Of all the places they could have chosen. Ginny quickly steered Hermione in a different direction, and they found themselves in front of a tea shop. They went in, and luckily it was relatively empty. Hermione collapsed into one of the chairs and covered her face with her hands.
Ginny ordered some strong coffee and sandwiches and placed a hand on Hermione's shoulder.
Hermione looked up, but she wasn't crying. She didn't even look upset. There was a blank expression on her face. And suddenly she started laughing.
Ginny was now completely worried about her. Had this finally pushed Hermione over the edge?
"Hermione?" said Ginny quietly, worried she might spark another odd emotion out of her.
Hermione stopped laughing and just smiled at her. "I'm sorry Ginny, but this is ridiculous. I took the day off work so I wouldn't have to see him. And of course, who should I see? Not only him, but his lovely fiancé as well!"
Ginny could see the funny side of it, but she was still concerned about Hermione's behaviour. She had expected her to cry with rage, but instead she was sitting opposite a calm and collected Hermione, who was now peacefully drinking her coffee.
"You're right Gin, I need to move on. He's in there right now, celebrating his two year anniversary while I've been in bed crying about my two year anniversary of being single. I'm such an idiot."
"You, Hermione Granger, are not an idiot!" scolded Ginny "You've just been a bit blind I guess."
Hermione smiled at her best friend.
"Hermione, you've been so strong through all this. If this had happened with me and Harry, well, I know I'd still be a mess now, but you've been carrying yourself so well. In public at least. And when you found out he had been cheating on you... well, there is no way I would have left him with his balls intact!
Hermione laughed "Gin, you have no idea the amount of things I wanted to do to him when I found out. But I'm glad I didn't do anything, its always better to be the bigger person" she said wisely.
Ginny grinned to herself, even though Hermione had let Ron off easily, she certainly hadn't.
Ginny had witnessed first hand the pain Hermione had suffered after what Ron did to her.
The night of the break up, Hermione didn't go over to Ginny's place. Instead it was Ginny that came to her. She couldn't wait at home any longer and wanted to congratulate her brother. When she walked out of the fireplace she found Hermione sobbing on the sofa. Ginny stayed with her for a week, looking after her, forcing her to eat and bathe.
It was a week later that they found out that Ron was already seeing someone. It tore Hermione apart. How could he have moved on so quickly? Of course, Harry and Ginny immediately guessed that Ron must have been seeing Lavender before he broke up with Hermione. However, it took Hermione another week to realise Ron had cheated on her.
It was painful to know that the date of her break up with Ron was also the date that he and Lavender had officialy got together. As soon as Ginny had guessed about Ron's infidelity, she made her way to Ron's new flat in full fury. She smacked him across the face, leaving a large red print on his face. It was Lavender, who was now living with him, that pulled Ginny off. Not before Ginny had managed to throw in a couple more punches at her brother. She also made sure that the rest of her family knew, as they all loved Hermione dearly. She knew Fred and George wouldn't let him get away that easily either.
Harry and Ginny were of course the only one's to know that Hermione was pregnant, and she forced them to promise not to tell another soul. Especially Ron. After weeks of anguish, Hermione finally decided what she wanted to do with her unborn child. She was going to keep it. Ginny was thrilled at this, and they assured Hermione that she wouldn't be alone with the upbringing of her child.
Unfortunatly, those promises weren't necessary. Hermione had undergone such stress and depression over Ron leaving her, it led to her miscarrying her child. She was left even more devastated.
Two years on, Ginny looked into the face of her best friend, who was sitting calmly, finishing off her coffee and sandwich. Ginny admired Hermione for her strength, but she knew it was all an act. It was only ever in front of her, and sometimes Harry, that Hermione cracked and showed how she really felt.
"How are you feeling?" asked Ginny, after there was a twenty minute silence between them.
Hermione smiled cheerfully "I'm fine Gin. It's like I've suddenly seen the light. I need to get over that git!"
AN: Hope you enjoyed the start of the story! Please let me know what you think!
- Lena xx
*Lovely chapter image by socal @ TDA*
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