|elfflame (elfflame) wrote in true_revenge,|
@ 2007-09-20 19:18:00
|Entry tags:||lost love 4|
Lost Love ch 2: Christmas at the Burrow
Title: Lost Love
Pairing: Ron/Hermione, George/Harry, lots of other pairings of the Weasley sort
Summary: What happens when Ron disappears the last day of school, and only returns years later? Will he be forgiven?
A/N: See chapter 1 for comments and warnings.
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Three years passed. Ron had not returned to England. Hermione had found a small cottage near London so that she could apparate to her job in the Wizarding library each day with no problems. Harry’s apartment was close by, within walking distance, and he spent a great deal of time in Hollyhock, Hermione’s little cottage. The two friends hadn’t changed too much in the three years, though with the disappearance of Ron, they had grown closer.
Most holidays and birthdays were spent together, and most of their former classmates assumed that they would eventually marry, but the two friends laughed when confronted with these suspicions. Hermione was too busy with her job, and even busier with her son, Stephen, who had just turned two. And Harry, when not watching Stephen for Hermione, was busy with his own life. And love.
Hermione didn’t pry, but she knew that Harry had been seeing someone for a few years, but assumed that he’d tell her who the lucky guy was when he was ready. That had been a surprise when she’d first found out, and she’d wondered if that hadn’t been what had chased Ron away, but Harry said he had never told him, and he swore that he’d never had those kinds of feelings for Ron. The fight they’d had about it had lasted for weeks, but finally Hermione realized just how much she missed her friend, and just how silly she was being. Harry had constantly been pushing her and Ron together that last year. Even if he’d had a thing for Ron, there’s no way he would have done anything. It was obvious he’d thought they were meant to be together. So now, the subject simply wasn’t brought up. And if anything, the two friends were even closer than before.
One of the things that Hermione missed most, though, was visiting the Weasleys. She had received many invitations from them over the years, and had refused them all, except for Ginny’s wedding to Neville Longbottom the year before. She and Harry had attended together, which she assumed had added to the fuel on the fire of their “romance” rumors. Stephen had stayed with his grandparents.
But it was time to see them again. Ginny and Neville had just had their first child, and she thought that it would be good for Stephen to be around all the Weasley grandkids. After all, he needed some socialization. So she and Harry had agreed to attend their first Weasley family Christmas since leaving Hogwarts. Hermione knew that Molly would probably put them in a room together, but that wouldn’t really be a problem, since Harry was otherwise involved.
The big worry was how they would react to Stephen. Hermione adored her son, but she was scared of how they would see him, since she was unmarried. And especially since they probably thought she was dating Harry.
She needn’t have worried. The first thing Molly did upon their arrival at the Burrow was to sweep Stephen into her arms and show them around the newly-remodeled house. She spent the entire time talking directly to Stephen almost totally ignoring the two adults behind her. Hermione looked several times at Harry, who simply hugged her encouragingly.
The Burrow was nothing like it had been when they had last been there. Between Arthur being elected as Minister of Magic, and Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes taking off and being the greatest thing since spellotape, the Weasleys now had more money than they knew what to do with. The Burrow had been rebuilt, and turned into a five-level, 80-room house. It was spectacular, but still reminded Hermione of the old Burrow, as it retained all the old wooden, creaking furnishings, and hand-crocheted rugs and curtains in each room, and the shape was still far less like a house, and more like a badly put-together cake.
As Hermione expected, she and Harry had been given a large room together on the third floor, with a small adjoining room for Stephen, and they were unpacking when Fred and George barreled into the room. “Why, look, George! It’s those two miscreants from Hogwarts! Now, what were their names again?”
George looked bemused for a moment. “Fred and Daphne?”
Hermione just shook her head, then squeaked when Fred picked her up and gave her a huge bear-hug. “Fred, stop it! Put me down!”
Fred set her on her feet once more, then plopped onto the bed, where Stephen sat, sucking his fingers. Stephen had never sucked his thumb like other children. Instead, he had preferred to suck on his left index and middle finger. Hermione constantly tried to discourage it, but no matter what she tried, petroleum jelly, hand lotion, mittens, or anything else, after an hour, she always found Stephen off in some corner, sucking his fingers.
Fred looked down at the Brown-haired, blue-eyed boy, and tilted his head. “And who have we here? Shaggy, maybe?” Stephen shook his head. “Scooby, then?”
Stephen took his fingers out of his mouth with a little sucking sound, and laughed. “Silly!” his childish voice squeaked. Hermione was amazed. Stephen never took to strangers. How had Fred done it? Then she smiled. Maybe it was just having so many nieces and nephews around. And then, suddenly, her son was in Fred’s lap, his small arms around his neck.
She threw a look at Harry, but he had been chatting quietly with George in a corner, and hadn’t noticed.
Fred looked rather startled, too. “Friendly boy you’ve got here, Hermione.”
She pulled Stephen into her arms. “Yes, I suppose Stephen is. I never really thought about it before.” But she could feel a flush across her cheeks as she lied to him.
The group headed downstairs where they could hear more people entering, including, Hermione could hear, several kids. She could hear Percy’s voice shouting, Pamela, Paul, Peter, get off of grandmum’s couch! Now!”
Percy and his wife, Penelope stood at the foot of the stairs, their one-year old twin girls, Patricia and Paige in their arms. “Leave it to Percy to have twin girls and take all the fun out of being uncles,” Fred muttered.
“Aw, come on, Fred. They’re actually pretty cute,” George responded. He and Harry reached the foot of the stairs and George reached out for Paige, who was wiggling in her father’s arms. “Hey, Perce. Looks like you’ve got your hands a bit full. I’ll take Paige, and we can go visit mum while you deal with the rest of your brood in there.”
Harry smiled at Penelope and offered to take Patricia, but she shook her head. “Separation anxiety lately. She’ll just start screaming. Thanks for the offer, though.” She grinned over at Hermione. “So this is the infamous Stephen, huh? He’s adorable, Hermione.”
Hermione grinned. “Thanks, Penny. You and Percy seem to have done pretty good yourself,” she said, waving at the trio Percy was now trying to pull off the couch. She and Penny led the way into the kitchen, laughing as they talked about diapers and midnight feedings. Harry and the twins rolled their eyes while they followed closely behind.
As they walked down the hall to the kitchen, Fred whispered to Harry, “At least you got away from the midnight feedings, Harry. Now that Stephen’s old enough, you won’t have to deal with it if you and Hermione get together.”
Harry just smirked at Fred. “What makes you think I got away from them?”
Fred looked puzzled. “George, did I just hear the famous Harry Potter say that he’s slept at Hermione Granger’s house?”
George just grinned. “I don’t think he was doing much sleeping, Fred.”
Harry glared at George, then hurried to follow the girls into the kitchen.
Molly was at the stove, several pots bubbling away as she moved from one to the next, her wand never slowing. “Hermione,” she said, never turning around. “Could you give me a hand here, dear?”
“Of course, Mrs. Weasley.” She placed Stephen in one of several highchairs surrounding the kitchen table.
“Lovely, dear. Oh, and do call me Molly. It seems silly, all this ‘Mrs. Weasley’ stuff coming from you. I mean, you’re almost like a daughter.” Hermione blushed at this, but grinned. It always felt good to be so accepted. And if the Weasleys were good at anything, it was accepting people, no matter their faults.
Molly turned from the stove to notice Penny and George placing the twins in highchairs, and Fred and Harry grinning at her. “Well?” She said crossly. “What are you all doing standing around? There’s work to be done if we all want to eat tonight.” She turned to her daughter-in-law. “Lovely to see you, Penny. Hope those hellions of yours aren’t causing too many problems.”
Penny grinned. “Only about as many as yours did, Molly.”
“Ah, well. I am sorry about that. But it was your choice to go and marry Percy, after all.” She winked, then turned back to the stove. “There are lots of vegetables that need cutting,” she called over her shoulder. “And the mushrooms need to be scrubbed. Properly, Fred. Not simply run under water. And the dining room table needs to be set, and someone needs to check on the bread and see if it’s finished rising yet.” Throughout this, she had continued to stir and check on her various pots.
George grabbed some silverware, and Harry the stack of plates that were towering on the kitchen table, and they disappeared from the room. Fred grumbled, but began to carefully scrub the delicate mushroom tops while Penny and Hermione chattered away as they chopped the rest of vegetables.
Molly soon noticed that no one had checked the dough, so she set Fred to watching the pots for a moment while she hurried to the counter where the dough was rising. In a few flicks of her wand, the bread had been separated in long loaves, which she then placed in the oven. She was about to shoo Fred away from the stovetop again when the back door swung open.
Ginny and Neville stepped in, beaming. “Hey, mum!” Ginny grinned. Molly hurried over to her daughter, then took the bundle that Ginny held in her arms.
As Molly cooed over her newest grandbaby, Alice, Neville walked to the table and greeted Penny, then looked startled at Hermione, recognizing her for the first time. “H-Hermione? Gin! Look who’s come for Christmas!” He grinned, then moved around the table to give her a hug.
“Hey, Neville. Hi, Ginny.”
Ginny grinned and hurried over to get a hug as well, then stood back and frowned at her friend. “And just why have you been avoiding us, Hermione? I thought we were your friends.” Then she grinned slyly. “Or did you just want to see if I’d managed to outdo you with my gorgeous daughter?”
Hermione laughed and glanced over at her son. Stephen had been quiet for the short time they had been in the kitchen, but with the influx of new people, Hermione could see that he was getting a bit worried. Afraid that he would begin to scream if left to his own devices, Hermione released her son from his chair and brought him over to Ginny. “Ginny, you remember Stephen, right?”
“Of course I do. Hello there, Stephen. Do you remember me?”
Stephen shook his head and then hid his face in his mother’s shoulder. Hermione sighed. “I’ll be right back, Molly. I’m going to see if Harry will take him for a bit. I think this is getting to be too much for him.”
Molly nodded, still gazing rapturously at her new granddaughter.
As Hermione left the kitchen, she heard Ginny say “Harry’s here too? You mean they came together?” Hermione sighed. She wished people would just let it go. She knew they just wanted her to be happy. But how could she be happy without…him?
As Hermione entered the dining room, she was forcibly reminded of visiting the Burrow between her third and fourth years at Hogwarts. George and Harry were having plate wars. Each had his wand out, directing a plate like a flying disk. Several plates already lay broken on the floor. “Harry, George…what do you think you’re doing?” She tried to look crossly at them, but couldn’t quite contain a smile.
Harry looked sheepishly at her, and in doing so, lost concentration, and his plate crashed onto the table, breaking into several pieces. “Hey, Hermione. What’s up?”
“Well, I don’t think that Molly’s plates should be.”
The two men grinned. “Well, you know that’s easily fixed, Hermione,” George replied. He waved his wand, and the plate Harry had let fall repaired itself easily.
“Yes, but they’re never quite the same afterwards, are they?” she said sternly. “Harry, could you watch Stephen for a while? He’s getting a little nervous with all the new people.”
Harry reached out to Stephen, who quickly snuggled into Harry’s arms. “Absolutely, Hermione. No problem.”
“Thanks, Harry.” She turned to leave, then turned back. “Oh, by the way, Ginny and Neville have arrived. I’m sure she’d love to see you.”
Harry blanched. Though Ginny had long ago given up any hopes of becoming the bride of The Boy Who Lived, Harry had never quite recovered from her particular brand of hero-worship. “Erm…yeah. Well, I’ll see her at dinner, now, won’t I?” He turned away before Hermione could catch his eye.
Hermione grinned to herself and returned to the kitchen. Seconds after she entered, the fireplace flamed green, and Fleur, Bill, their son Pierre, along with Arthur, fell through the fireplace.
Pierre, who lay sprawled on the floor, covered in ash, piped up. “Wicked, da. Can we go again?”
Bill grinned down at his son, then pulled him to his feet and began to brush him off. “Maybe on the way home, son. Don’t think your mum would like it, though.”
Fleur glared at her husband. “Molly, I will be beezay for a while, as your son decided to take this…feelthy mode of transportation, and I will need to clean myself up before I am fit for human contact. Pardonez-moi.” Fleur swept from the room, as her son and husband snickered behind their hands.
Arthur chuckled to himself, then noticed Hermione still standing by the door. “Is that who I think it is? Hermione Granger?” He scooped her up in a hug, and Hermione couldn’t help but grin.
“Hello, Mr. Weasley.”
“Now, now, none of this Mr. Weasley nonsense. I’m Arthur. How have you been doing? And where is that son of yours that I’ve heard so much about?”