Hermione Granger cleared her throat, flipped back her hair, lightly smacked her lips together, smiled briefly at her boyfriend, then finally reached a small hand up to knock three times on the front door of the Burrow. They were here for a monthly dinner that Mrs. Weasley had insisted on having since… well… you know… the war. Every month for almost two years, without fail, the Weasleys plus Hermione, Harry, and little Teddy Lupin had all met at the Burrow for dinner.
It’s not that Hermione minded, heavens no! In fact, she quite enjoyed herself at these dinners, and occasionally found herself looking forward to these evening affairs after a long day of work. All of a sudden, the wooden door swung open, breaking her train of thoughts and revealing a tired, yet very happy-looking Molly Weasley.
“Hermione! Ron!” Mrs. Weasley said cheerfully, pulling them both into a bone-crushing hug.
“It’s so good to see you, Mrs. Weasley!” Hermione said after she was released.
“Yeah, it’s great to see you, Mum,” Ron said, nodding in agreement as they both stepped over the threshold. Hermione looked around at the living room, where the fire was crackling, casting a warm, welcoming glow around the room. Charlie and Mr. Weasley were seated in armchairs by the fire, apparently having a discussion about Quidditch, while George, who was still a little different since Fred’s death, was currently trying to slip something into Charlie’s butterbeer while he wasn’t looking. Hermione looked around the room, but couldn’t see Harry anywhere.
“Has Harry arrived yet, Mrs. Weasley?” Hermione asked as she and Ron slipped their coats off, and quickly hung them in the coat closet.
“Yes, dear, he arrived about ten minutes before you two did. I think he’s in the kitchen,” Mrs. Weasley said, nodding her head towards the kitchen. Hermione glanced sideways at Ron, who nodded and they slid into the kitchen together.
As Hermione leaned into the kitchen, she saw Harry leaning on the counter, sipping some water out of a glass. Harry didn’t seem to notice them, for he kept staring straight ahead of him, drinking silently.
“Hey, Harry,” Hermione said quietly, tearing Harry from his trance. She smiled at him as she walked up next to him, leaning against the counter, and Ron did the same, only on Harry’s other side.
“Hey, Hermione, Ron,” Harry said, smiling at them as he set his glass of water on the counter behind him.
“Where’s Teddy?” Ron asked, looking around the kitchen, and Harry sighed.
“Oh, Tonks’ mum said he had a cold and probably shouldn’t come to dinner tonight,” Harry muttered, shrugging as he picked up his glass of water and took another sip before setting it down on the table again. Hermione was about to make a comment when Mrs. Weasley flung open the kitchen doors.
“Into the Dining Room, you three,” Mrs. Weasley ordered, putting oven mitts on her hands.
“I thought we were waiting for Bill and Fleur,” Harry said, waving his wand, vanishing the glass of water.
“They’ve just arrived,” Mrs. Weasley said, shooing them from the kitchen.
In the dining room, Hermione noticed, people were just sitting down; Mr. Weasley at the head of the table, an empty chair, presumably for Mrs. Weasley, Charlie, and George, and another empty chair. On the other side of the table, two empty chairs were next to Mr. Weasley, and next to those, Bill and Fleur were sitting across from George and the empty chair. Hermione felt Ron grab her hand as he walked up and sat next to Mr. Weasley and across from Mrs. Weasley’s chair, while Hermione slid into the seat next to him, right next to Bill and across from Charlie, Harry taking the other seat next to George, across from Fleur. Looking around the table, Hermione noticed that someone was missing.
“Where’s Ginny?” she asked curiously, just noticing the absence of the youngest Weasley.
“China, I think,” George said, and Bill nodded.
“Yeah, she’s in China,” Bill agreed, and before Hermione could say more, Mrs. Weasley came into the room, carrying a magnificent turkey on a silver platter. She placed the turkey in the middle of the table before taking her seat next to Mr. Weasley.
“This looks wonderful, Molly,” Mr. Weasley said, and everyone nodded in agreement before digging in.
As everyone ate, small talk was shared over the table, and after awhile, Charlie, Mr. Weasley, and Ron had engaged an intense conversation about Quidditch. Hermione looked up from her food to find that Harry and Fleur were talking about something involving cake, and by the looks of it, Harry wasn’t exactly enjoying it. Refraining a smile from her face, she turned to Bill.
“Why is Ginny in China?” she asked, and Bill looked up at her, his earring slightly reflecting some light.
“She got a new job there. I think she’s working for the Chinese Ministry, but I’m not sure. She left just a week ago, and I think she’s coming back next month for a visit,” Bill said, and Hermione nodded and they each returned to their food. It wasn’t like Mrs. Weasley to permit anyone from skipping dinners, and Hermione found it strange that Ginny had disappeared without telling her.
After everyone had eaten their fill and more, Mrs. Weasley gave her wand a swift flick and all the dishes cleaned themselves, leaving clean dishes in front of everyone. Mrs. Weasley stood from the table and disappeared into the kitchen once more.
While Mrs. Weasley was gone, something that had been bothering Hermione for some time now surfaced in her head. Harry hadn’t gotten back together with Ginny yet, and Hermione was beginning to think that they didn’t have feelings for each other anymore. She glanced up the table at Harry, who was taking a sip of his pumpkin juice, and she couldn’t help but think he looked miserable.
She needed to help him find someone, and if Ginny wasn’t it, then there were plenty of other women in the world, both magic and muggle. Looking back at her plate, she began to devise a plan. Now, normally Hermione wasn’t one to meddle in the love affairs of others, but she thought that she would have to make an exception if she ever wanted Harry to be happy again. She heard the door open, and Mrs. Weasley came in, carrying several pies for desert.
“Hope you all saved room!” Mrs. Weasley said cheerfully as she set the pies down where the turkey was before, and everyone dug in once more, though this time a bit slower. As they ate, Hermione kept glancing over to Harry, who seemed to look more depressed with every glance. Finally, she decided to let Ron in on the brilliant plan that had been forming in her mind.
“Does Harry look a bit depressed to you?” Hermione whispered to Ron, who shrugged and looked over to where Harry was laughing at something George said.
“Not really,” Ron said nervously, and Hermione looked over at Harry, who was laughing. Hermione sighed. She really wished Ginny were here, she would be able to tell that Harry definitely wasn’t as happy as he could be. Ron didn’t seem to care very much about Harry’s depression at the moment, so Hermione decided to drop the subject for a moment; she needed more time to plan.
“Dinner was wonderful, Mrs. Weasley, thank you,” Hermione said as she and Ron stepped outside of the Burrow after dinner had finished.
“Yeah, it was great, Mum,” Ron said in agreement, and Mrs. Weasley just smiled at them and waved.
“I’m glad you enjoyed it,” Mrs. Weasley said. “I’ll see you soon!” she called, and with a sharp crack, Ron and Hermione vanished.
Hermione sighed as she appeared in Ron’s apartment, Ron at her side. She really wanted to put her plan into action tonight, but it was far too late, and she still needed to work out a few minor details. Maybe she might be able to get it going tonight, yeah, that would work. Before she could think any further, Ron’s voice broke her train of thought.
“So,” he said expectantly, and Hermione looked at him, confused.
“So what?” she asked, and Ron groaned.
“So, aren’t you going to go to Diagon Alley with me?” Ron asked, and Hermione sighed.
“Tonight, Ron?” she asked, looking out the window, where the cloudy sky was dark and small raindrops were beginning to fall.
“Sure, why not?” Ron pressed, and Hermione sighed again. What was it with him and having to do things right now?
“It’s getting late, Ron. I told my parents I’d be home before ten,” Hermione said, plopping down on Ron’s sofa.
“Why won’t you move out of your parents’ house, Hermione?” Ron moaned.
“Because,” Hermione said stubbornly, and Ron just sighed and sat down next to her.
“Fine,” Ron said shortly. It was obvious that he was going to be in a sour mood tonight just because of the whole Diagon Alley ordeal, so Hermione decided she could go home and get a head start on her plan, if she hurried, that is. Standing up from the sofa, she bent down and gave Ron a kiss on the cheek.
“Bye, Ron,” she said softly, and Ron looked up at her.
“You’re leaving this early? It’s only nine!” Ron complained, standing up as well.
“Yes, Ron, I have things I’ve got to do,” she said, preparing to apparate.
“Since when?” Ron challenged, and Hermione sighed.
“Since dinner. If you want to come along, I suppose you can,” Hermione said. After all, the more she explained to him tonight, the less she’d have to explain tomorrow.
“Alright. Where are you going?” Ron asked cautiously, preparing to apparate as well.
“Home,” she said simply, and she disappeared with a crack, Ron behind her.
“I still don’t get why you think Harry is miserable, Hermione,” Ron sighed as he sat up on Hermione’s bed to look at her.
“He’s lonely. Can’t you see it? His eyes are just… dull, and he looks a little pale,” Hermione said, recalling Harry’s appearance from a few hours earlier. Shaking her head, she looked back at her muggle computer.
“He’s probably just sick. Or tired, from work,” Ron said, lying back down. Hermione just shook her head, not taking her eyes from the screen.
“I don’t think so, as he doesn’t have a job,” Hermione said distractedly.
“He’s probably tired from thinking about getting a job,” Ron suggested. “I think he was looking for one.”
Hermione ignored this, however, as she found what she was looking for. Searching the muggle internet, she discovered a compatibility website, in which people submitted answers to various question, and were pared with others.
“Ah! I’ve got it! Ron, this is what we’re going to do!” Hermione said excitedly, gesturing Ron over to the screen. It took him a while, most likely due to him still pouting, to get to a sitting position on the edge of Hermione’s bed, looking over Hermione’s shoulder at the screen.
“What is it?” he asked, resting his chin on Hermione’s shoulder.
“A compatibility website,” Hermione explained shortly, clicking on “Get Started.”
“Website?” Ron asked, genuinely confused.
“It’s a muggle thing. Now, we’re going to create an account for Harry,” Hermione said quickly.
“Okay,” Ron said, though it ended up sounding more like a question. Hermione ignored this, however, and began creating Harry’s account.
“Full name,” she read aloud. Speaking as she typed, she said, “Harry James Potter.”
“I don’t get this,” Ron said loudly, but Hermione just hushed him.
“Age? Nineteen,” she said, continuing to fill out the questions. She filled out various questions as she suspected Harry would answer, such as outdoors versus indoors, or meant versus pasta. Finally, about five minutes later, she had successfully completed Harry’s question, and had created the account.
“Are you finished?” Ron asked, and Hermione nodded as she added a particularly good picture of Harry to the profile, not moving, of course.
“Yes, and it won’t be much longer before Harry has got himself a girlfriend,” she said, smiling as she closed out the website.
“Good,” Ron whispered, leaning in to kiss her. Just as their lips touched, however, Hermione’s door opened. Pushing away from Ron as her mother entered the room, she quickly stood up from her computer chair, blushing.
“Hello, Ronald, I thought we heard you two up here,” Mrs. Granger said kindly, completely unfazed by the fact that she had just walked in on her daughter and her boyfriend.
“Erm, hi, Mrs. Granger,” Ron muttered, avoiding eye contact.
“Would you two like some brownies? I can whip some up, if you’d like,” Mrs. Granger offered, ignoring Hermione’s glares.
“Mum, we’re fine,” Hermione groaned, placing her head in her hands. Mrs. Granger ignored this, however, and so did Ron.
“Well if you’re making some anyway, I guess it wouldn’t hurt,” Ron said, and Mrs. Granger beamed at him.
“Excellent. I’ll even use some sugar-free sweetener in them so they’ll be just like the real thing!” she said, and with that she left the room, off to make Ron’s brownies.
Glaring at Ron, Hermione pushed her chair into her desk roughly, closing her door.
“What did I do?” Ron asked, outraged. “It’s not my fault you still live with your parents!” he snapped, standing up from his spot on the bed.
“You were the one that followed me here,” Hermione shot back, pushing past Ron to sit back at her desk.
“You said I could,” Ron grumbled, sitting back on the bed. Shooting him a death glare, Hermione turned her computer off, waiting for her mother to bring in the brownies.