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Chapter 3 : Reunion
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After the sudden bombardment of all the Weasley’s gathered together in the Burrow, Ron felt exhausted. Ginny had convinced everyone to let Ron go and see Harry after an hour of bewildering conversation with his very extended family and Ron had been grateful for the break. He loved his family, but it was all so confusing, he hadn’t expected the cheerful reactions to his coming home because he hadn’t felt that he had been gone so very long. The tears of his mother and sister were nothing compared to those of his father. He had rarely seen his dad cry and it made him see all of the suffering that they must have felt over the last four years.
Ron was being dragged by the hand through a hallway up the stairs and into what appeared to be a den. There was a large desk towards the back of the room that sat in front of a window which almost took over the entire back wall. There were bookshelves that lined the two walls facing opposite each other and standing in front of one of those shelves facing away from the door was a dark haired man.
“Harry?” Ron whispered a bit hesitantly to his sister that had dragged him all this way. Harry was different somehow, Ron couldn’t see his face, but he could sense a change. Maybe it was the self confident stance or the slightly bigger build then Ron was used to, but it made Ron a bit sad that he had missed all of this time. She nodded at him, not even trying to hide the enormous grin that had begun to spread across her face.
Ron stood there, rooted to the spot, not sure how to proceed. It had been four years since he had last seen his best mate, or at least that is what everyone kept telling him. He couldn’t really remember, he just knew that it hadn‘t been a pleasant time.
He didn’t have to wait long to figure it out because his sister obviously noting his hesitation made the move for him.
“Hey Harry,” Ginny said in an overly loud voice. Harry jumped and turned around grinning, his friend’s bespectacled green eyes met Ron’s and the grin changed into a full blown ear-to-ear smile. Ron returned the smile though his was a bit awkward. They both stood there looking at each other, neither one sure quite what to do.
“I tried to reach you, everyone was at the Burrow.” Ginny said.
“Sorry, I was talking to Reynolds about ways to find…” He gestured over to Ron.
“Guess I can tell him the search is off.” Harry continued to grin but neither of the men made any motion forward.
“Oh c’mon you two, hug already.” Ginny huffed in frustration. Harry was the first to make a step and then they both were moving towards one another, arms outstretched, to meet in a brotherly embrace.
“It’s good to see you mate.” Harry said as they broke apart. Harry gestured towards one of the two high backed leather chairs that were in the corner of the room and Ron sat.
“Good to see you too.” Ron looked around at all of the books and a couple of awards that were placed neatly on the shelves. “Nice place you got here.”
“You mean nice place we’ve got.” Ginny broke in. “How about something to eat? I can fix up some sandwiches if you want?” Before either one was able to give an answer Ginny left the room.
“We’ve got? You two are living together then?” Ron asked with obvious surprise.
“Yes well…” Harry mumbled out. “So, what happened to you? Where have you been?” He asked in a firmer tone.
“Don’t try and change the subject, when did you and Ginny get back together? Are you going to marry her?” Ron started questioning Harry with all of the rights of an older brother.
Harry who was fidgeting uneasily in his seat and looking in every direction but straight at Ron could evade the questions no longer. “We sorta made up after you left actually. She was a bit upset you see…”
“I didn’t leave!” Ron interrupted.
“Well where were you then? We have been looking for you for ages.”
“I-I-I don’t know actually. It’s all a big blur. One second I was walking down Diagon Alley the next thing I remember clearly is that I was in Wales,” Ron cocked his head to the side in thought, “or at least I think it was Wales, couldn’t really understand what the people were saying over there so I just assumed…”
Harry laughed at his friend’s digression.
“What? Those bloody accents are impossible!”
Harry laughed louder and then pat Ron on the back. “It’s good to have you back mate.”
Ron beamed, “S’nice to be back. Though I don‘t remember being gone.”
“Hermione will be glad that you’re back.”
“Hermione, you know, Granger, er…well Malfoy actually.” At this Harry gave Ron a hesitant glance.
“Granger?” Ron asked. “Wasn’t she that little know it all? Why would she be glad to see me?” Ron went on babbling not noticing the concerned look that crossed Harry’s face. “Malfoy married a muggle born? Lucius must have loved that.”
Ron, who finally noticed that Harry had been gaping at him asked, “What?”
Harry shook his head, “Nothing,” He rose from his chair, “I think I should go and see what is taking Ginny so long.”
“Something is definitely wrong with him.” Harry’s hushed voice sounded into their kitchen.
“Who?” She was cutting a sandwich into fours, only half hearing what Harry had said to her.
“Ron!” Harry continued in a low voice, though now that he was standing next to her, Ginny’s attention was more focused.
“What do you mean something’s wrong with him? He seemed fine when I was talking to him.”
“He doesn’t remember Hermione.”
“Of course he does.”
“No Gin, he really doesn’t. At least not the way that he should.”
She gave Harry a questioning glance equipped with an eyebrow raise, “What do you mean ‘not the way he should?’”
“I mean that he only remembers her as someone who was at school with us,” Harry placed his hand on Ginny’s shoulder, “he doesn’t remember that they were even friends let alone…”
“Are you sure Harry?” She cut him off while her mind whirled, how could he not remember Hermione? How did she not notice it before? What was wrong with him? Maybe Harry is reading too much into things. But Ginny knew deep down though that that wasn’t the case.
He just nodded his head once. “Yes, I’m sure.”
“Maybe it is all for the best,” Ginny thought out loud that night while she and Harry were sitting in bed. She put aside the book that she had been attempting to read and looked over to Harry.
Harry was reading some report and he pushed his glasses up on his nose as he responded absently to her. “What is Gin?”
“The fact that he doesn’t remember,” Harry wrenched his eyes away from the report and gave Ginny an incredulous look that asked how it could possibly be for the best. “All I mean is that now that Hermione is married to Malfoy isn’t it better that Ron doesn’t remember them being together? Maybe it will be better for Hermione too…” Ginny’s eyes filled with tears, her heart broke for her friend and her brother, even if Ron might never understand why.
Harry rubbed her hand, “Maybe.” He said as he pulled her head towards his shoulder and stroked her hair gently.
“I think,” she wiped away a tear that had managed to escape, “we should let Hermione know and then decide what we should do.” Ginny lifted her head and looked into Harry’s eyes wishing for him to say that the idea of letting Ron go on as if nothing was wrong was insane.
“Yes, I think you are right.” Sadly she lowered her gaze and fixated her sights on a snag that was near the stitching on their bed spread. She picked at it absently, saddened that Harry hadn’t said what she had wanted, upset about Ron’s memory loss, and even more worried for what Hermione would decide when she told her all.
Hermione awoke that morning to Twinkles poking at her ribs. She rolled over and looked into the deep, brown saucer-pan eyes of her house elf. She stretched her arm above her head and yawned. “Yes, Twinkles.”
“Sorry to be disturbing you mistress, but there is a visitor. I is trying to get her to come back later, but she isn’t listening to Twinkles.” The elf’s hands fidgeted nervously with the hem of her white cotton dress.
Hermione sat up and lightly held onto one of Twinkles arms in reassurance. “Did they mention who they were?” Hermione asked as she watched her elf slowly begin to calm down.
“It is Miss Weazey, mistress.”
“Oh, Ginny’s here?” Hermione pushed the covers away and quickly slipped out of her night clothes and into something a bit more appropriate, even if it was only Ginny. She barely glanced over to Draco’s side of the bed, but had noticed that he didn’t seem at all disturbed by that morning’s interruption and slept on peacefully.
She rushed down the stairs as thoughts of reasons for her coming over so early ran through her mind. There was only one that she could think of though, and she didn’t want Draco to overhear anything on that front. She had to figure how she was going to tell him, but first she needed to figure out what she was going to do about it.
“Ginny, is everything okay?” Hermione asked as she led Ginny out of the entry way and into the back parlor that she liked so much.
Ginny waited to respond until they were both situated. “No,” she stated flatly, “everything is not okay.”
Hermione’s pretense at a smile fell and she begged Ginny to tell her everything.
“It isn‘t good Hermione” Hermione was growing more concerned by the second, the way that Ginny was wringing her hands and how her eyes would not meet Hermione’s. “Ron is home.”
“You found him? That is good…isn’t it?” Hermione held her own apprehensions at bay.
“We didn’t find him Hermione, he came home.” Ginny finally looked at her friend and the look in her eyes conveyed all that Hermione had feared.
“He-He came home?” She felt the prickling of tears and quickly tried to blink them away. “So he remembers…”
“Well yes and no,” at Hermione’s confused glance she continued, “see, he remembers almost everything, we actually aren’t completely sure how much…”
“Please Ginny just tell me.”
“It’s you Hermione, he doesn’t remember you. Or at least not the way that he should.”
She let that sink in and then asked, “What do you mean ‘the way he should’?”
“Well, he remembers you but only as someone that he went to school with. He doesn’t remember you being friends, or more...” Ginny looked back down at the last part and silence reigned throughout the room as her last words echoed in Hermione‘s mind.
“I’m sorry,” Ginny’s reached her hand across towards Hermione.
Hermione blinked back more tears and with a falsely cheery voice she said, “no need to be sorry Gin, it’s great that Ron’s back.” She stood and Ginny followed her lead. “Thanks for coming by to tell me.”
Ginny grabbed Hermione‘s arm lightly and said, “Hermione we wont tell him if you don’t want us to.”
“Tell him what? There is nothing to tell.” Ginny squeezed her arm. Hermione’s smile felt foreign on her face and her heart ached in her chest but she kept up the pretense as she led Ginny back towards the front of the house.
“Have a great day, tell Harry I said ‘hi’.” There was a pleading look in Ginny’s eyes.
“Maybe we could fix it. I mean there has to be a way to get his memory back.”
Now it was Hermione’s turn to squeeze Ginny’s arm as she said, “Really Gin, it’s better this way, I am married…no point in dredging up the past.” She gave one last smile as she shut the door behind her friend.
As soon as she heard the click of the door in the frame she let the tears fall. Hermione stood in their entryway as still as a stone while tear after tear trailed its way down her face. She didn’t hear the light footsteps that came down the stairs, and didn’t even notice that she wasn’t alone until she felt herself being picked up and carried upstairs.
She felt herself being placed back in their bed while Draco placed her under the covers. He ran the back of his hand down the side of her tearstained face and kissed her lightly on the forehead. Hermione was reminded why she had married him and the tears came even harder at the thought of her distress over someone else while her husband was here, strong and steady, taking care of her.
“Shhh,” He whispered in her ear. “Tell me what’s wrong.”
“Nothing,” Hermione was able to get out as she wiped her face. He looked at her incredulously and she knew that she would have to tell him something, but she wasn’t yet ready to reveal what was truly going on. She needed time to wrap her own head around it.
“You’re just being so sweet.” Hermione hoped that that would be a safe bet for the moment, but she was wrong and it had been silly of her to think that Draco would have been dense enough to fall for it.
“Hermione,” he said in a little less soothing voice, “please tell me the truth.”
“Really Draco it’s nothing, I’m just being silly.” She flashed a smile at him. With her puffy eyes and slightly runny nose, she knew that it wouldn’t work.
“All right for now, but you will tell me what’s going on.” He said more firmly. He got up from the side of the bed and left Hermione to herself.
Why did he have to spoil everything by being so harsh when he had been so sweet not moments before? But she knew why, because she was being evasive and not telling him what she knew he had every right to know. He didn’t deserve that, and Hermione again found that she was scolding herself in regards to her treatment of Draco. She made another resolution to be better, no, to be the best wife. Wouldn’t it be easier now knowing that Ron was safe? Wasn’t that what half of her pining had been, the not knowing what had happened to him and if he would ever come back?
Now he was back, and she would be able to move on. Ron wouldn’t remember so she wouldn’t have to suffer any regrets on his part. All she would have to do was forget that she had ever loved another and focus her attention to the man who she had promised herself to.
She could do that. With new resolve she got herself out of bed and took a nice hot shower to cleanse herself from any impure thoughts. Her muscles relaxed under the warm water and refreshed she dressed in Draco’s favorite outfit of hers.
Her footfalls were light on the stairs and she went into Draco’s den looking as contrite as she possibly could. She would tell him everything and let him know that she had chosen him, and that he need not worry. Everything would be fine.
When she saw Draco sitting behind his desk, the windows to the outside pushed open and day light flooding the room and the scent of the garden wafting in, she thought of how handsome he looked with his hair neatly combed and the sun shining brightly off his face. That is until she noticed the somber expression that was on it. He was staring intently at something on his desk and he looked unusually white, his eyes narrowed in focus on whatever it was he was reading.
Hermione stepped over to him and brushed her fingers through his hair, only at her touch did he then notice her presence. “Anything interesting?” She asked lightly.
“Yes, something very interesting in fact.”
“What?” She asked hesitantly not liking the tone that his voice had just taken.
“Where you planning on telling me, or do you like it when I find out these things on my own?” He was sneering at her now, a look that she had always hated, and one which she hadn’t seen for quite some time.
“Telling you what?” Though she knew that he could only be referring to one thing.
“About this.” He shoved the Sunday Prophet under her nose and she gasped at the clear picture of Ron on the cover.
High Jacked Hero Comes Home
Ronald Bilius Weasley, one of the famous friends of Harry Potter has finally come home. Mr. Weasley had gone missing on June 24th, 1999. With no leads as to his whereabouts the search for him had been fruitless. Now after almost four years he was spotted in Diagon Alley only yesterday. No clue yet as to what kept him away for so long or why he is back. It had been speculated that he had been captured by Death Eaters that had gone un-captured after the final battle, but there has been no evidence to support that theory. We will have more information for you dear reader as soon as the ministry has released it to us.
Hermione set the paper down on the desk and braced herself for the anger that she knew was coming. What she saw in his face though was not anger but hurt and fear.
“I’m sorry,” she said quietly as she continued to stroke her fingers through his hair. “I should have told you, but I only found out yesterday I swear. I just needed some time to process it.”
“And was that why the Weaslette was here this morning?”
Hermione quickly recovered from her annoyance at his use of that nickname for Ginny; she told herself that he was only lashing out because she had been deceitful. “She was here to tell me some news of it, yes.”
“…And Ron is back, though his memory seems to have been altered or repressed or something, they aren’t really sure at this point.” She looked away from him for a moment and focused her eyes on the painting on the wall as she tried to hold the tears back yet again. When she finally felt that she was able to control herself she looked back towards her husband. “He doesn’t remember me.” Her voice had been calm and she was grateful for that.
“Really? So what are Potter and Ginny going to do about that?” His voice was almost pleading, and she immediately felt a new wave of guilt wash over her for not having told him all of this in the first place.
“Nothing.” His look of shock was quickly replaced with one of relief and then his trademark smirk. “We decided that it would be best if he should remain ignorant of our past, for him… and for us.” At Hermione’s mention of us the smirk was wiped away and replaced with a genuine smile. She leaned down and kissed his mouth gently with relief that he hadn’t mentioned anything about last night as well.
A/N: So that was chapter 3. Let me know what you thought. I am not sure about the first part with Ron, was it smooth? Could it use some work? How about Hermione's reaction? Realistic? Not? Any and all oppinions welcome.
Thanks to all who have read and special thanks for those who review :)
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