A/N:Well, I actually got this chapter done a lot sooner than I expected. The next chapter is already starting to shape up nicely, so I think I could reasonably say that the next chapter could be up in the next few weeks! I have a number of stories that need my attention, but I seem to be on a roll with this one, so I'm going to stick to it!
Also, the rating has been changed to Mature for some intamate scenes and strong language. It's not anything really trerrible, but I thought it was a bit much for 15+.
Enjoy! And please, remember to leave a review. I love to hear what you think, good or bad. :-) Chapter 2-Treat Me Like You Did The Night Before
Hermione had made up her mind. She was moving out.
At least, that's what she'd told herself. After Ron had left for work, she had sent an owl to her boss letting him know that she was taking a personal day. He wouldn’t mind; she had told him that she would need a day off at some point, she just didn’t know when that would be. He had told her that it wouldn’t be a problem. To quote him, “you work yourself so hard, it’s no wonder.” Thankfully it was a Friday, so she would have the entire weekend to deal with things, and be back to work as usual by Monday. She had already phoned her mum and alerted her that she was going to be moving back home for the time being.
But as she picked up each item to pack in a box, it felt like she was hammering a nail in a coffin. Her coffin.
She took a deep breath and pushed down the emotions welling up inside her. She had to do this. There was absolutely no way that she could stay with Ron anymore, and despite the initial pain the breakup would cause, it would be worth it.
Hermione returned to the task at hand. With a flick of her wand, her clothes were sent flying out of the closet and into the waiting cardboard cartons. Once all of them were settled, she sealed the boxes and sent them to her old room at her parent’s house. That was the easy part.
She sighed as she walked around the room. There were so many memories here. Ron had lived here since soon after the end of the war, and she had officially taken up residence there for the last few years, though she had frequently been a fixture there prior to that. Almost her entire history of her romantic relationship with Ron was here.
And that’s why I have to leave.
Filled with a new sense of determination, Hermione attacked her remaining belongings. Eventually, everything was packed, and she couldn’t help but notice that the place felt so...empty.
Hermione glanced at the clock on the mantle. It read 5:30. Ron would be home soon.
The walls that surrounded her seemed to be caving in, trying to cut off her air supply. It was as if the building itself was trying to talk her out of leaving. As much as she yearned to run out of the claustrophobic place, she held her ground. She couldn't run away from what she feared, but instead had to face it head on.
A loud bang was heard coming from downstairs where Ron had come in. Hermione smiled in spite of herself as she thought about how many times she had chided him about slamming the door. "I'm home!" his cheerful voice rang out.
Hermione took a deep breath. I'm as ready as I'll ever be.
Harry Potter smiled as he walked through the front door. He was greeted by the sight of his girlfriend, no, his fiancé, Ginny perched on a step ladder dusting high up on the book shelf. Her auburn hair was pulled back with a clashing bright pink bandana, and she wore torn jeans and a bleach stained shirt. Harry didn't think he had ever seen anything more beautiful.
He rushed up behind her, wrapping his arms around her stomach. "How's my beautiful bride to-" That was as far as he got before Ginny instinctively clubbed him in the face with her elbow. As a result, Harry fell to the floor, feeling a sharp pain in his back, and clasping his face with his hand. Ginny soon came crashing on top of him, having lost her balance.
"Harry! Are you alright?" Harry heard her ask worriedly as he felt her weight maneuver off of him.
He slowly opened his eyes to be met with Ginny's concerned face. "I'll be fine," he groaned. "The coffee table is another story." The piece of furnature had broken his fall, but part of it was broken off. It was likely the reason why it felt like someone was stabbing him in the back. "I should know better than to sneak up on you like that."
"Yeah, you should." she said in a Hermioneish way. She winced as he gave out a grunt of pain. "Are you sure...?"
Harry nodded, instantly regretting the gesture as throbbing pain burst through his head. "I'm fine, nothing a pain potion won't fix." Harry felt her small hands under his back as she helped him up. "Are you hurt?"
Ginny chuckled, and the sound was sweeter than anything you could buy at Honeydukes. "I'm fine. I had a cushion under me, at least," she joked, poking him in the stomach.
He glared at her playfully. "Are you implying...?"
"Of course not. I know that my future husband is one of the fittest Wizards in Europe, what with chasing around bad guys all day?"
Harry's laugh was interrupted by a gasp of pain as he settled in on the sofa. "I'll go get the potion," Ginny began, getting up.
Harry refused to let go of her hand. "Don't bother. Kreacher!" he called out. Instantly, the withered old elf popped on the ground before them.
"Master Harry called?" the house elf inquired.
"Yeah, Kreacher, would you please be able to get a dose of pain potion for me? I...er...had a bit of a stumble...."
"Right away, Master," The elf bowed before he left the room.
Ginny snuggled into his shoulder as they waited. "Why were you cleaning?" Harry asked. It was more like he was asking what was wrong. He knew that she only cleaned the Muggle way when she was worried about something.
Harry looked down at her as she sighed. A sad frown graced her features. "I have a feeling we'll be getting a visit from Ron tonight."
His shoulders sagged like they were a balloon that had lost all it's air. "You're suspicions were right, then."
She nodded. "She's miserable Harry. It's not healthy for her to stay."
"I know." He shook his head. "They've been together for so long...even before that, though, it was always obvious what was there between them. It's so strange that it's over."
Ginny clung to Harry. He didn't complain, although he was still tender from his fall. "I feel a bit guilty," Ginny whispered. "I'm the one who told Hermione to leave, even though I knew it would hurt my brother. What kind of sister am I?" she moaned.
Biting back the pain, Harry wrapped his arms around Ginny. "You're the best kind. Look, this probably would have happened regardless; you can't beat yourself up about it. I think, in the long run, he'll thank you for this."
Ginny nodded. "It's almost time for him to be getting home from work. She'll probably tell him right when he gets home-"
Harry frowned. "How do you know it's going to be tonight?"
Ginny smiled halfheartedly. "I don't know, it's just my gut feeling."
He kissed where Ginny's forehead met her hairline, the soft strands tickling his nose. "Well, there's nothing else we can do right now except wait."
Kreacher suddenly popped back into the room. "Your remedy, sir,"
The small elf disappeared following Harry's appreciative thanks. He made a face as the bitter liquid danced down his throat. It's probably meant to distract you from your pain, he thought wryly. However, almost instantly, he felt a warm flow through his body, and what had been sharp jabs felt had become slight throbs. He set the vial down heavily on the table.
"Are you sure you're alright?" Ginny reiterated.
Harry smiled wickedly. He had an idea. "I guess," he sighed dramatically. He smiled at her suggestively. "I know how you can make it better," he muttered, becoming lost in her eyes. His senses were heightened, and he greedily absorbed everything that was radiating off of the woman in his arms. He leaned forward and kissed her deeply.
Harry marveled at how wonderful it felt when they were this close. It made the crazy world melt away, and left behind one where everything was perfect. All thoughts of his fall vanished, Harry gently lowered Ginny onto the couch, draping his body over hers.
She pulled back suddenly. "Harry," she gasped. She sounded out of breath and her voice was a bit husky. The way she sounded when she said his name...well, he didn't know how much longer he could contain himself. "We can't do this! Ron could show up any minute and-"
She didn't get a chance to finish. Harry cut her off with another tender kiss. "Well then," he murmured as he pulled away slightly, "I guess we'll have to be quick about it, now won't we?"
He felt his heart pound even faster at her smiling face. She wrapped her arms around his neck. "I love you," she whispered. Harry was done talking. He leaned in for another kiss, and this time, Ginny didn't stop him.
Each step Hermione took as she walked down the stairs felt like she was being carted off to the gallows. She could almost feel an invisible noose around her neck, tightening, tightening...She took another deep breath and continued her descent.
Tears pricked at her eyes when she saw how happy Ron was. She pushed them back, knowing that she was doing what had to be done. His grin faded as he noticed Hermione's face. "Love, what's wrong?" he asked, dropping his briefcase and rushing to her side.
Hermione walked around him and sat down on the couch, all without muttering a word. She gazed down at her clasped hands as he sat down on the coffee table across from her. "I have to tell you something," she started, her voices cracking. "It's not going to be easy for either of us, but please, just let me say what I have to say. I don't-"
"Hermione," Ron cut her off, a mixture of fear and warning in his voice, "Just tell me what's going on."
She nodded solemnly. "I moving out."
The silence was so thick that it could have been sliced with a knife. Ron blinked in shock, his expression becoming blank. "What?" His voice was soft, similar to one of a lost child.
"I'm leaving." Goodness, if it was this difficult to discuss living arrangements, imagine what the conversation would be like when it turned to their relationship.
"Why?" Ron asked urgently. "Did I leave my dirty underwear on the floor too many times?"
In spite of her self, a chuckle escaped from Hermione's lips. "No,"
She could see the wheels spinning in his head, trying to work out a reason that got around what he knew was the truth. "It's work then. Are they giving you that assignment in Sweden you were talking about?"
She shook her head again. "No," Fresh air inflated her lungs. "Ron, It might be a bit awkward if I'm still living here after tonight.
Ron frowned. "Why?"
"Because I think it would be best if we stopped seeing each other. Romantically, I mean," she added, amending her mistake.
"I don't understand," he muttered as he stood. "What happened? What did I do?"
Hermione stood so that he wasn't towering over her. "Nothing," she insisted. "It's not you, it's me."
Ron looked at her skeptically, his arms crossed across his chest. "That's the cheesiest line in the book. Please, Hermione, tell me the truth!" His voice was filled with the anger she knew would come.
"I am!" she exclaimed. "I don't know why, but I don't feel the same way about you. I'm sorry."
"So, did this revelation just come to you this morning? Or did last night not mean anything?" he sneered
Hermione closed her eyes as his words washed over her. "I've felt this way for a while," she admitted hesitantly.
She looked at Ron. The anger was radiating off him, and the hurt look on his face was so painful, Hermione couldn't bare to look at it. He glared at her. "Get out," he growled.
Hermione nodded. "I will, but I-"
"I SAID GET OUT!!!" he roared. Taking deep gasping breaths, he continued. "You obviously don't want to live here any more, and you said that you're leaving, so what are you still doing here? GET OUT OF MY HOUSE!!!"
Hermione picked up the small bag that was all that remained of her things in that place. She made her way to the door, and paused slightly before pulling it open. She turned around.
"Ron," she called. She took it as a good sign that he didn't say anything. "I'm so sorry, I really didn't want to hurt you, please believe that, if nothing else."
"GO!" he commanded, the sudden burst of noise startling Hermione. She pulled open the door to their-no, Ron's house, and walked off sadly into the night.
The door slammed shut, blocking Ron from the only woman who had ever really loved him. Well, only woman not related to him, that is. He collapsed onto the couch wearily, shoving his head in his hands. Hermione had been a part of his life, had been his life for so long, he had no idea what he would do without her. It was like someone had come up and chopped his head off, and expected him to be able to live with it.
He regretted yelling at her. He still loved her very much, and he felt that he always will. He hated hurting her, and by the look in her eyes as she left, he had done just that.
Ron shook his head and angrily wiped at the tears that began flowing. What did I do wrong? He had thought that the last few months had been wonderful. They hadn't had a fight in weeks, for Merlin's sake. He racked his brain for anything that he might have done, but came up with nothing.
Hermione had told him that it wasn't his fault, but he didn't believe it. It was always his fault. Almost every fight they had ever had stemmed from something he had said or did.
Ron sighed, rubbing his forehead as a headache came on. He didn't want to think about this, not now. He needed something to dull the pain. Moving over to the cabinet, he reached for a bottle of Firewhiskey. His hand started to reach for a glass, but stopped in midair. Instead, he put the bottle to his lips and drank, wincing as the burning liquid raced down his throat.
Hermione was sitting in her childhood room. Not much had changed since she had lived here. The walls were still a soft pink, the bed was in the same place next to the window, and there were pictures from her childhood sprawled across her dresser.
It looked much like the day she left this abode, down to the cardboard boxes that had taken up residency in the quarters. This time, however, they were half empty, not half full.
She sighed quietly. There were so many memories in this room...
It was about a year after the final battle, and though her life had changed drastically, Hermione still lived with her parents. They had gone out for the evening, and she had invited Ron to keep her company.
The pair were in her bed, kissing one another. Hermione was lost in how close they were getting. She had never felt like this before...there went her shirt.
It was truly amazing. She always thought that the first time would be so awkward, but this was nothing but...there went Ron's shirt.
Suddenly, bright lights played across the wall. A car was driving into the driveway, and Hermione knew exactly whose car it was.
"Ron!" she exclaimed, pulling away, "My parents! They're home early!"
Terror was plastered on Ron's face. In any other situation it would have been comical, but not right now. He grabbed his shirt and Hermione directed him under the bed, where he would be relatively hidden until it was safe for him to sneak out. She hastily pulled her shirt back on, and waved her wand to straiten out her hair so it was only it's normal unruly mess. She paused in front of the mirror to check that she was presentable so her parent's wouldn't know what had been going on...
Hermione fought back tears as she smiled at the memory. They had been so happy then...what had happened?
She knew that this very moment Ron was questioning what had gone wrong in their relationship. That was a question Hermione herself wanted the answer to. She just couldn't understand how she could go from being so madly in love with Ron, to having that feeling disappear.
She shook her head. Suddenly these walls too threatened to suffocate her. She had to get out.
Checking that she had her wand, Hermione made her way down the stairs. "I'm going out for a bit," she told her mother, who was sitting in the living room watching television.
Her mother looked at her with the concerned look only a mother could give. "Where?"
Hermione hesitated. Honestly, she had no clue where she was going, only that it was out. Severus' offer came to mind. "Er...a friend's house."
Her mother nodded, probably under the assumption that her daughter was going to see Harry and Ginny. She couldn't go there though; that would most definitely be Ron's destination. "Will you be late?"
Hermione shrugged. "I might be. You don't need to wait up."
Her mother smiled. "You know I will anyways,"
The daughter smiled in response. "I know,"
Bidding goodbye to her mother, Hermione raced out to the street. It suddenly hit her that she had no idea how she'd get to Severus' house. She was certainly in no condition to Apparate without splinching herself, and there wasn't a Floo anywhere nearby. She had taken Muggle transportation to her parent's place, as it wasn't far from her former home. But Severus lived much further away, and besides, she didn't know if Muggles would even be able to find the place.
She gulped. There was one way. The Knight Bus.
Oh, how she hated that thing. It made her want to barf up things she ate last summer. But there was no other choice.
Hermione firmly held up her wand in front of her, and watched as the purple blob of insanity roared towards her.
Ginny let out a moan as Harry found that sensitive part in her neck and started paying particular attention to it. Harry had been true to his word; they had been quick about it, several times in fact. She knew that they had to stop soon, but her body just wasn't letting Harry go.
He paused his teasing for a moment so he could look up at her. A sly grin was draped upon his face, and his eyebrows were raised in amusement. "Hmm, we like that, now do we?" His voice was low and seductive, and it just made Ginny melt. Harry's lips began their attack on her body and senses again.
There was a loud knock on the door, almost as if someone had slammed into it. Harry groaned, the guttural sound echoing in his chest. They both knew it was Ron. Reluctantly, he pulled away from her, and began pulling his clothes on. "Coming!" he yelled, though their visitor probably couldn't hear him. Harry placed a soft kiss on Ginny's cheek. "Get dressed. I'll go get the door."
She nodded in approval, and with a last tender touch, Harry had left the room.
Ginny pulled on her clothes quickly. True, the room was off the hall a little bit, so it would take a little while for them to get back, and she was behind the couch...no. She really didn't feel like having her brother catch her in her birthday suit.
Almost as soon as she was fully clothed, Harry reentered the room with Ron's arm draped over his shoulder, which was acting like sort of a crutch. It was obvious that Ron was drunk. She approached her brother. "Ron," she said softly, "How much did you drink?"
He looked at her groggily. "One or two,"
She frowned. "Shots?"
He shook his head, an action that made him look like a rag doll. "Bottles,"
Ginny grimaced. "Come, sit down, I'll take care of you." she soothed, leading him to the sofa.
Ron snorted. "At least someone cares. Not like her."
Ginny knew all too well who she was. She exchanged a weary glance with Harry. "It's alright," she comforted her brother, "I'm here,"
"Ya know what sh' did?" Ron slurred angrily. "Sh' left me! The bitch left me! Can you believe it!" Ginny glanced at Harry, who looked like he was about to explode. Her attention turned back to Ron as she heard retching noises coming from his direction. The once perfectly clean living room was now covered in vomit. Lovely.
With a flick of her want, the mess was gone. Harry moved towards to kitchen, which was separated from the living room by a small divider. Ginny put a hand on Ron's shoulder. "I'll be right back. I'm just going to get you a potion to help you feel better."
He nodded absentmindedly, and Ginny rushed over to Harry. "He doesn't mean it," she muttered. "He's drunk. He would never say anything like that if he were sober, you know that."
Harry removed his glasses and rubbed his eyes wearily. "I know, but it's still hard to listen to. She's like my sister..."
Ginny wrapped her arms around him. "I know."
"The Pygmypuffs 're flying over the mountain," Ron's drunken voice called out. The two broke apart. Ginny began rummaging in the cabinet for the Inhibitus Potion. It would neutralize most of the alcohol in his body, and it would come out as harmless water. Although it would begin to work right away, it would take several hours for it to be fully effective, especially since Ron had obviously drunk a lot, and it would take a while to get out of his system.
She finally found it and poured out the correct dosage. She brought it over to her brother, and helped him get it down his throat. She needed to keep him occupied. "How about you tell me what happened," she asked softly.
"Sh' left me," he stated simply. "I hate her. She's a bitch, a whore, a fu-"
Ginny patted his arm. "How about we try to talk about this without all the insults. What happened?"
"Sh' said sh' doesn't love me anymore." he whined like a child. "Sh' had 'er bags all packed and left. Oh," he added as an afterthought, "I yell-ed at 'er,"
Ginny hear Harry growl from behind the couch. He was obviously fuming. She glanced at him, patting his hand softly. Just give me some time to talk him down. "Why did you yell at her?" There was no accusation in her voice, only curiosity.
"I'm a baaaad person," Ron sighed dejectedly.
"No you're no," Ginny insisted. "You're just hurt. And drunk."
"No, I'm a real bast-" he froze. Ginny knew that the potion was beginning to work. It was designed to make the person who ingested it to urinate, so that they begin to get some of the toxins out of their system.
"Let's get you to the bathroom," she told Ron soothingly. She beckoned to Harry. "Could you go with him? I don't want him passing out and banging his head, or something." He nodded and helped his friend out of the room.
Ginny sighed and held her head in her hands. She felt guilty because she knew she was partially responsible for her brother's condition. Still, she knew that it was all for the best.
She began to gather a some pillows and a blanket, which she spread out on the couch. When Harry led Ron back in, she showed him what she had set up. "Ron, try to get some sleep. I got the couch all set up for you." She helped him lie down and tucked him in like a child. "Goodnight," she whispered, giving him a soft kiss on the top of his head.
As Ginny made to leave, Ron's hand snaked out of the covers and grabbed her wrist. "Are you leaving me too?" he asked worriedly. He looked like a small child begging their mother to stay after they had a bad dream.
Ginny couldn't help but to give in. She pried his hand from her writs. "I'm not leaving. I just need to go over here for a minute. I'll be right back."
She moved over to Harry, who was watching her with a strange expression on his face. "I'm going to stay here with Ron. You could go up to bed if you want, I can handle him."
Harry shook his head. "I couldn't do that. Besides, I don't mind keeping you company."
Ginny wrapped him in a strong embrace. "I love you," she muttered into his chest. She looked up at him skeptically. "Are you sure?"
Harry nodded. After a moment, he noted, "Watching you handle Ron, it made me realize how wonderful a mother you're going to be some day." He smiled at her warmly. "I couldn't have found anyone better to be the mother of my future children."
Ginny felt a blush rushing to her face. "Thank you," she muttered, the thought of her and Harry having children was overwhelming. Pushing that aside for the time being, she continued, "We'd better get back to Ron."
Ginny sat next to Ron, and Harry placed himself on the other end of the couch. Almost as soon as she sat down, her brother flung himself at her, tears running down his face. "Why does everyone hate me?" he sobbed into her shoulder. Ginny sighed as she patted him on the back. She exchanged yet another look with her husband to be.
It's going to be a long night.
Hermione felt like she was going to be sick. She glared at the Knight Bus with unbridled hatred. That thing was going to be the death of her. Still, a little, check that, make it a lot of nausea was better than the unbearable pain of being splinched. She remembered when they were on the run during the war, and Ron had-
She shook he head. She didn't want to think about Ron right now.
Pausing to regain her balance, Hermione continued on down the Spinners End. She clutched her wand nervously. This place never failed to spook her out, and she couldn't understand why Severus would want to live in such a dreary place. It probably keeps unwanted visitors away, she thought.
As she neared the end of the street, Hermione approached Severus' house. She marched determinedly up the stairs. There was a large brass knocker on the door, and she lifted it. It let out a loud resonating bang when she dropped it, and she stood back to wait to be admitted.
Hermione noticed that she strangely had some butterflies fluttering in her stomach. She pushed aside all thoughts of her strange nervousness as the door opened, revealing the figure of Severus Snape.
Write a Review The Half-Blood Prince and the Muggleborn: Chapter 2-Treat Me Like You Did The Night Before