Chapter 14 : Ron and Hermione's big announcement
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“Is that better for you?”
“Umm, loads better,”
“I’m glad. I didn’t realize I’d hurt you so badly. When you said to try to knock you off your broom…” Harry and Ginny had spent the day flying in the orchard. He was trying to push her to improve her flying. They had been practicing for Quidditch all day. The last hour they had tried to knock each other off their brooms. The collisions had been violent at times, each one nearly unseating the other. Everything was to prepare Ginny for the violent game of Quidditch.
“I know, I know, it was that second to last hit that hurt my shoulder. Oh, that spot, right there, Harry.”
Harry moved his hands to the spot Ginny had indicated and gently rubbed her shoulder. She was sitting and leaning forward onto the kitchen table at the Burrow, while he massaged her shoulders. Her hair was pulled to one side so her neck and shoulders were easy for him to massage. Mrs. Weasley and Andromeda Tonks sat at the other end of the table conversing while keeping an eye on the two teens.
“A person would think, by this time your shoulder might be getting sore because Harry has rubbed all the skin off,” commented Mrs. Weasley. Her voice sounded stern, but her eyes betrayed her. She seemed to be enjoying the little scene in front of her.
“Should I lower my robes, so Harry can check?” asked Ginny.
“Don’t get cheeky with me, young lady,” retorted her mother.
“Maybe, I should stop for now?” offered Harry, obviously not wanting to be responsible for starting a row between these two redheads. He stopped massaging her shoulders and flexed his hands.
Ginny straightened up in her chair and worked her right arm in a circular motion. She turned to face Harry, who was standing behind and to the right of her. Her thick hair draped over her left shoulder so that her neck and face was exposed to him. “Thank you, I feel much better now.”
She leaned back, reached up, and grabbed his collar. Tugging on his collar, she pulled his face down to her where she placed a soft seductive kiss on his lips. She almost giggled at his nervousness. He kept glancing at her mother. She could feel and hear her mother fidgeting at the other end of the table.
“Do you know what I would really love right now…,” she asked in a low husky voice. Harry glanced at her mother again who shifted on her chair and cleared her throat loudly. “…a Butterbeer.”
“Butterbeer, honestly Harry, you know what they are,” she said mockingly.
“Yeah, I do, but…”
“But what, Harry?”
“Oh nothing – ah – Mrs. Weasley do you have any…”
“No dear, I don’t have any here.” She responded rather harshly.
“Well. I guess. I shall go find some, because I’m out at home.” Harry said nervously, as he looked at Ginny.
“Please don’t take too long, love,” chimed Ginny, as she waved goodbye to him. Harry walked out into the garden and disappeared with a distinct pop.
“You shouldn’t wind that poor boy up so much, Ginny,” scolded Mrs. Weasley. “Your shoulder wasn’t hurt at all was it?”
“No. Don’t worry about Harry. I’ll make it up to him later,” responded Ginny. She didn’t realize that her lips were formed in that wicked Weasley smile.
“What do you mean by that!” whispered her mother harshly, before looking into the sitting room to see if her husband was still asleep in his chair. “You better not let your father hear you say things like that.”
“I didn’t say I was going to shag him, Mum,” shouted Ginny.
“Be quiet! You’ll wake your father. Apologize to Mrs. Tonks for talking like that.”
Ginny looked at Mrs. Tonks, who was sitting beside her mother trying to keep from laughing aloud. “I am truly sorry, if I have offended you, Mrs. Tonks. After all, I was acting like a scarlet women there,” she said sardonically.
Go ahead Ginny! Be cheeky. Getting a reputation like THAT, isn’t a laughing matter. You are in the public eye, now. Everyone will want to know what you are doing whether it is their business or not,” argued Mrs. Weasley.
“It isn’t anyone’s business what I do!” she replied just as hotly. “Besides, I told Harry about the promise I made you and Father.” She stopped talking to make sure her mother realized what she was referring to, when she saw her mother’s eyebrows rise in surprise she continued. “He is fine with it.” Her mother’s face went from concern to happiness. Mrs. Tonks was looking at the two of them trying to decipher what all the talk meant. “So, Mum, when did you and Dad first consummate your relationship?”
Mrs. Tonks snorted loudly and tried to pretend she choked on some thing, while her mum turned bright red. It wasn’t the type of red associated with anger, but embarrassment. “Never you mind, young lady!” she stated with a deadly whisper.
The conversation was cut short by three Apparation cracks in the garden. The three women grabbed their wands and were standing up with them at the ready, in a second. The looked at each other questioningly. Harry should be returning. If one was he, than who were the other two practically at the same time. They all relaxed as they heard Ron, Hermione, and Harry conversing.
“All right there Mate?” asked the unmistakable voice of Ron.
“All right here. How about the two of you?” responded Harry’s voice.
“Better now,” said Ron.
“Ron, you can’t just take a Butterbeer without asking first,” scolded Hermione.
“Yeah, I am sorry…” There was a slight pause before he spoke again. “…mind if I have one?”
“Not at all, especially since you already drank from it,” laughed Harry.
Hermione walked into the kitchen first, shaking her head. She had a look on her face as if she was trying not to get into a huge row with Ron about his manners. When she walked in and saw Mrs. Tonks, Mrs. Weasley, and Ginny standing there staring at her, she quickly recomposed herself. The two boys entered right after her. Ron carrying a single bottle of Butterbeer, and Harry had a box with seven bottles in. Harry placed the box on the counter and pulled three bottles out of it. He handed one to Hermione then offered the other two to Mrs. Tonks and Mrs. Weasley who declined, because they were having tea. He then went and sat down beside Ginny and opened a bottle for her.
“Do you want something to eat, dinner has been over for some time, but I could warm you up something?” asked Mrs. Weasley, as she moved towards the icebox.
“No thank you, Mum. Hermione and I already ate. We came here…” He looked nervously at his fiancé who returned the gaze. “…we came here to tell you we’ve found a flat.”
Ginny had a mouthful of Butterbeer at this time and nearly choked on it when Ron stated “we’ve found a flat”. That statement didn’t go unnoticed by anyone else in the room either. Harry was looking at them with a hurt look on his face. Mrs. Weasley stood there stunned by the revelation for several seconds, before she finally spoke. “Are you moving in with George for now?”
“No! Mum...” responded Ron.
“Why do you want to get a flat with Harry? He already has a house, and you will be going back to Hogwarts within the week?” Mrs. Weasley said looking confused.
Ron and Hermione became even more nervous at this question. Ginny couldn’t help, but smile at his pluck for trying to do this. To her knowledge, no member of the Weasley family had ever lived with someone without being married. Bill and Fleur didn’t count, because she was living in the Burrow.
“I meant us...” stated Ron while pointing at him and Hermione.
“No! Absolutely not!” shouted Mrs. Weasley. She was standing with her hands on her hips and a resolute look on her face.
“We are of age, and you can’t stop us,” yelled Ron.
“I forbid it. You will not be living with your fiancé alone. IT JUST ISN”T PROPER!” shouted Mrs. Weasley so loud that the Ginny could hear the dishes rattle in the cupboards. The shouting had awakened her father who was now standing in the kitchen doorway looking confused while holding a crumpled edition of the Daily Prophet.
“We practically lived together last year with Harry, Mum,” retorted Ron. His voice was loud, but not nearly as loud as his mother’s was. “And, we are not going back to Hogwarts.”
“If I could have, I would have stopped what happened last year! Besides, Harry was with you!” she shot back at him. She turned and glared at Harry, who seemed to cringe at Ron bringing him into this fight. “No one in this family has ever lived like that before, and I won’t permit it now! You will also go back to Hogwarts to finish your education. I knew George would be a bad influence on you. You need an education. No! I insist that you finish your education.”
Hermione suddenly spoke. He voice was weak and it cracked and squeaked as she tried to calm the Weasley matron. “Mrs. Weasley, Ron and I are going to be sleeping in separate rooms. We are going to finish our education, just not at Hogwarts. Oh, we will need to go back for Potions and Herbology, but the rest we will be learning on our own.”
“And how are you going to do that and pay for the flat?” she asked.
“Ron will work at the shop, and I will keep my job at the Ministry. We can spend nights studying and go to Hogwarts once or twice a week to take the other two courses. Headmistress McGonagall already approved of the idea,” Hermione finished hopefully.
“Arthur! Are you going to say something?” questioned Mrs. Weasley.
Mr. Weasley looked confused for a second, before speaking. “Well Molly, they are of age so there isn’t really much we can do to stop them.”
Mrs. Weasley immediately rounded on him, “Is that so, dear!” came her sardonic reply. “So, you see nothing wrong with this? I suppose, if next summer when Ginny turns eighteen, you won’t mind at all if she moves in with Harry?”
Mr. Weasley’s face suddenly became contorted and he glared at Harry and Ginny. “Ronald! Come in here! We need to talk!” he said forcefully as he pointed at the sitting room.
Ginny felt betrayed that her mother would say such a thing. It wasn’t like Harry and her had ever planned to do this, and besides Ron and Hermione are engaged, and her and Harry are not.
“It isn’t like Ginny hasn’t been spending time alone with Harry at his house,” muttered Ron as he walked into the sitting room.
Mrs. Weasley glared at Ginny and Harry with her hands back on her hips. “What does he mean by that?”
“I have been going to Harry’s for lunch, Mum.”
“What is wrong with meeting here for lunch?”
“Because we can’t talk alone. That’s why! That is all we have done! I am so tired of my own parents not trusting me,” she yelled as she stood up and stomped towards the backdoor.
“You won’t be going there for the rest of the summer, young lady!” her mother shouted as Ginny walked past her.
Ginny ran out into the garden to get away from her parents. She is so frustrated with their attitude towards her. They treat her as if she is some randy slag. She and Harry have always been able to control themselves while alone in his house, except last week on the day after her birthday. She smiled slightly at the memory of that day. She had never felt such strong feelings before in her life. It had almost scared her. The way she felt when Harry assured her of his devotion to her, but they still were able to control themselves.
She shivered as the cool evening mist penetrated her thin robe. The day had been hot and humid, but the temperature dropped quickly when the sun had set. There was a cool mist hanging in the air, drenching everything it touched. The waxing moon cast eerie shadows in the fog with its silvery light. She wrapped her arms around herself to keep warm as she stared out into the orchard. The memories of her and Harry flying out there this afternoon, pushed the thoughts of what just happened out of her mind. He has been so wonderful to her, buying her the broom, training with her, tolerating her mental parents and brother, and he never seems to complain about them. She has one week left, until she goes back to Hogwarts with Harry. It sounds as if she won’t be able to go to his house anymore, but he can still come here. Charlie is coming home in three days, to go to the memorial service at Hogwarts. She will want to be around home with the rest of her family, so it may not be that terrible after all.
Ginny heard the back door open and someone step out. She didn’t want to talk to anyone, except maybe Harry. She listened to the soft sound of feet on grass get closer.
“Ginny, are you all right?” whispered Harry. She could hear the genuine concern in his voice.
“I just needed to get away from my family, Harry,” she responded quietly to him. She felt him step up behind her, and place his hands on her shoulders. Sliding his hands down her arms, he wrapped his arms over hers and pulled her back into him. Ginny warmed up in his embrace. She laid her head back against the side of his face. She loved how they fit together so comfortably. Harry placed a soft kiss on the temple area of her head, without speaking. They stood there for several minutes without saying anything, just enjoying the closeness.
“Harry, days like this make me want to run away to some place far far away. My bloody family is making me mental with their interfering. I would love to be able to live somewhere where I am not the youngest Weasley, but just Ginny.”
“After my fifth year, I had thought about separating myself from everyone. However, something happened to change my mind,” whispered Harry.
“You did, or I should say I finally saw you for the person you are,” he whispered softly into her ear.
“Liar. You broke up with me to run away.”
“I broke up with you to save you from Voldemort,” stated Harry with a little more force in his voice.
They both stood there quiet for some time, before Ginny spoke again. “You know this is all backwards.”
“What is backwards?”
“You are the one comforting me. I had figured that I would be the one always calming you down,” she said with a smile.
“You do,” he whispered again next to her ear.
His breath tickled her ear, and made her shiver in his arms. She tried to snuggle herself closer to him, turning and gently twisting as though she was getting comfortable under a blanket. He responded by tightening his arms around her. Ginny started to think how wonderful it would be to spend the night out here like this when their private time was interrupted, by the slamming of the backdoor, and Ron’s disgruntled voice.
“Look there they are. Hey Potter, why is it I am always seeing you groping my sister?”
Ginny exploded out of Harry’s arms, and pulled her wand and pointed it at Ron. “Why don’t you sod off, Ronald!” she growled at him. “Harry and I were just having a quiet moment together. If you don’t like it then don’t look!”
Harry stepped in front of her wand point. “Please! Ginny, calm down, I am sure Ron didn’t really mean anything by it. Did you?”
Ron shifted back and forth on his feet as he looked at Harry standing between him and Ginny’s wand. “Don’t you two have a sense of humor? I am all wound up about Mum and Dad,” he groaned.
Ginny dropped her wand and stepped beside Harry. “What is wrong? Didn’t they approve of your sleeping arrangements?”
“No!” spat Ron.
“The apartment has two bedrooms, Ginny,” responded Hermione. “We are just trying to find a small place where we can live while saving up money, until we can afford to buy our own house.”
“Why don’t the two of you move in with me?” asked Harry with pain in his voice.
Ron and Hermione looked at each other nervously. “We – um – didn’t want to disturb you.”
“Ha! You didn’t want Harry interrupting the two of you in your new place,” laughed Ginny. “Planning on breaking in every room, eh!”
Ron looked furious again, but Hermione was blushing so bright that one could easily see it in the moonlight.
“How do you parents feel about this Hermione?” asked Harry.
“We haven’t told them yet,” mumbled Hermione.
Ginny smirked at her brother and fiancé. “You are still going to get the flat?”
“Yes. We are,” confirmed Hermione. “We had hoped that you two would be able to help us move in. It is in a Muggle neighborhood so we can’t use magic.”
“Yeah. Sure I will,” said Harry. “When are you moving in?”
“In two days, we are going to my parent’s house tomorrow,” said Hermione nervously
“I’ll help also,” said Ginny. “If my parents will allow me,” she continued sardonically. “They might think you two are a bad influence.”
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