Chapter 3: The Secret
Hermione walked down the steps, smiling and thinking of Ron. When she got downstairs it was about 5:00 and Molly could be seen bustling around the kitchen preparing dinner for that night. When Hermione walked into the living room, she had to stifle a laugh. Harry and Ginny were passed out on the sofa, fast asleep. The twins had somehow gotten hold of some markers and were drawing on Harry and Ginny’s faces. It was moments like this when Hermione wished she had a camera. After one of the twins gave Ginny a very curly moustache, Hermione couldn’t contain her laughter any longer and she began to laugh so loudly that she woke Harry and Ginny.
“What’s so funny?” asked Harry yawning.
“Um, you guys might want to go look at yourselves in a mirror.” said Hermione still giggling. Harry and Ginny walked into the bathroom beside the kitchen. Hermione then turned and smiled at the twins, and they just gave her toothy grins.
“WHAT IN THE NAME OF MERLIN IS ON MY FACE?” Ginny screamed from the bathroom.
“BLOODY HELL!” Harry yelled.
Hermione was still laughing when she turned to look at the twins. They were drawing on each other! She went over, took the markers from them, and picked them both up. Harry and Ginny both walked back into the living room with scowls on their faces.
“Looks like the twins need a bath!” said Hermione, showing Harry and Ginny what the twins had done to each other.
“Yeah, you’re right. It’s five and everyone’s supposed to arrive at six, which means we only have an hour before everyone gets here! BUGGER!” said Harry earning a slap in the back of his head from Ginny.
“Watch your language! They’re three years old. Now let’s go get you boys washed up.” said Ginny taking the twins from Hermione. “Will you be all right while we go give these troublemakers a bath?”
“I’ll be fine I’m just going to read a book.” Ginny and Harry and exchanged a glance thinking the same thing She hasn’t changed a bit.
Harry, Ginny, Ron, and James made their way upstairs to get cleaned up while Hermione curled up on the couch to read A Healers Guide to Charms By Miranda Tibble. At about quarter to six Harry, Ginny, and the twins were coming down the stairs, now very clean. “I’m going to put the boys in their high chairs before they cause any more trouble.” said Ginny putting the boys in their seats. Hermione, Harry and Ginny went outside to set up the tables in the garden and set the table as well. When they were finished they could hear commotion coming from inside of the house. Laughing and children yelling could be heard in the garden.
“Looks like everyone’s here!” said Ginny excitedly.
“Yeah.” sighed Hermione.
“Come on, don’t be nervous Hermione! You’ve known everyone in there forever. There may be some people you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see.” said Harry giving Ginny a smile, she knew who he was hinting about.
“All right, let’s go, I’m ready.” said Hermione. Hermione, Harry, and Ginny walked into the house and saw everyone sitting in the living room laughing and talking while the little children were running around laughing and playing. The moment Hermione walked into the living room, everyone got quiet, and the only noises were coming from the kids, but they soon were quiet also. Fred was the first one to say something to Hermione.
“It’s great to have you back Hermione! We all missed you!” shouted Fred enthusiastically as he came up and gave her a hug. Next Charlie came up and gave her a hug. She even got a hug from Percy. Hermione, Ginny, Mrs. Weasley along with the other women in the room were teary-eyed as Arthur cam over to Hermione.
“It’s wonderful to have you back Hermione. Now you can show me how to use a fellytone again, because I’m afraid I’ve forgotten how to use one.” He whispered to her causing her to laugh a little, lightening the mood a bit. He gave her a hug and stepped back. She took a look around the room at some of the other women. When her eyes landed on a dark-skinned woman standing next to Fred, her breath caught in her throat.
“OH. MY. GOD. Angelina is that you?” squealed Hermione. Angelina nodded Hermione went over and gave her a hug, although it was a little hard because Angelina was a little big around the middle. “Your poor girl, please don’t tell me Fred hoodwinked you into marrying him?” everyone laughed and looked for Angelina’s response.
“Yeah, and a lot of good marrying did me! I get an offer from the Harpies, then I find out I’m pregnant, shock of my life that was.” said Angelina trying very hard to be serious but failing miserably as a huge smile swept over her face when she saw the scowl on Fred’s face. She began to laugh all the harder, but Fred joined in the laughing as well. Hermione continued her scan around the room and was met with another semi- familiar face.
“I think I remember you! You were Head Girl with Percy in my third year! Penelope, correct?” Penelope nodded.
“Percy and I have been married for about two years.” Percy smiled and put his arm around her waist.
“The baby girl over in the play pen is our daughter Elizabeth Olivia Weasley. She’s about six months old.” Percy told Hermione.
“She’s beautiful.” said Hermione looking over at the sleeping baby. “Now I do believe I know everyone here but this lovely young woman over here. I’m assuming you can introduce me Charlie?”
“This is my wife Annabella. We met in Romania. The little red-head trailing after Ron and James is our son Will. He’s two years old.” said a smiling Charlie.
“Okay everyone can head outside because dinner’s ready!” said Molly. Everyone left the living room and went out to sit in the garden. On the table was all the food Hermione could possibly eat. Everyone was eating and chatting happily. Hermione realized this was the happiest that she had been in a long time. As dinner went on, Hermione continued to finger the ring box in her pocket. Soon Molly brought out dessert, and Hermione knew the time was coming when she would have to tell them. After Molly set out dessert, Hermione slowly stood up. Once again everyone got quiet and had their attention focused on Hermione.
“Everyone there’s um… something I’ve been meaning to tell you all for some time, but I’ve never had the courage to tell you all. So here goes nothing. The night of the final battle, I found something that you all should know about. Ron and I were going out for dinner that night, but when we got to Hogsmeade, we saw all of the d-death eaters. You all know what pretty much happened that night. After Ron was killed, something fell out of the pocket of his robes and I picked it up. What I’m about to show you is why I’ve avoided you all for so long.” Hermione took the ring box out of her pocket and held it up. When she opened it, everyone at the table gasped when they realized what Hermione realized three years ago.
They realized his intentions, and that Hermione was really a true part of the family, or at least she should have been. Tears were once again stinging her eyes, and memories of that night once again overwhelmed her. She let out a sob and ran from the table back up to the house. Harry got up and followed Hermione up to Ron’s room where he found her curled up on Ron’s bed crying.
“Hermione,” Harry said pulling her into a hug. “Why did you keep this from us? We could’ve helped you and been there for you and comforted you more if we would’ve known!”
“I know, but I just wish I would’ve realized that sooner.” She said sobbing into his shoulder.
“Well we know now, and we’ll always be here and help you when you need us. Just remember we love you and we always will.” said Harry. Harry sat with Hermione until she had calmed down.
“Thanks Harry. I don’t know what I’d do without you. I just need some time alone right now, you know? Tell everyone I’m sorry about the big scene, and I’ll see them again soon. Right now I just want to go to stay up here.” She said.
“All right, I’ll tell them, just get some sleep.” Harry said giving her one last hug before he went downstairs. Hermione lay down in Ron’s bed and smiled. She was happy again, and she was glad that she told everyone her secret because now it felt as if a huge burden was lifted from her shoulders.
Hermione was happy, and that is how she wanted to stay. Then another realization hit her, I like being happy and with family and friends. I think I’m ready to move on. I’ll never forget Ron, but I think I’m ready to move on with my life.