Chapter 5 : Ronís Epiphany
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Cracking open the ice cold can of beer, Ron sighed happily and sank onto the sofa, swinging his long legs up on the other end.
Ron was enjoying his well deserved day off. Rose was at Hogwarts, Hugo was at The Burrow, and Hermione was at work. For the first time in a long time, Ron had the house to himself. He had done all of his favourite things today: he had slept late, ate junk food, watched what he wanted to watch on TV, and played with the Quaffle in the front room. Hermione was very strict about playing with the Quaffle in the house, she didn’t even like him playing with the snitch and that was tiny. But, Hermione wasn’t home today, and that made Ron the King of the House.
Picking up the remote control Ron began to flick through the TV channels. TV was Ron’s obsession, he had immediately become fascinated with it and couldn’t understand why the wizarding world didn’t have something that was twice as good.
“Bloody great!” Ron exclaimed enthusiastically, ruffling his bright red hair as a large grin spread over his face. “My favourite programme.”
He eyes danced merrily while he watched the presenter walk onto the stage and greet the audience. “Hello, everyone…”
“Hello, Jerry,” Ron saluted the presenter and took another swig of his beer.
“Today’s topic is: “I gave birth to twins, but, they have different fathers”, please, can you welcome my first guest….”
“Alright!” Ron wiggled into a more comfortable position. He couldn’t for the life of him understand why Hermione insisted on rubbishing the best show on TV, she said that it was ridiculous trash and that he should feed his mind with something more intellectual.
Ron yawned just at the thought of it. He hoped that there wasn’t anything on the history channel that Hermione wanted to watch this evening, he wasn’t sure that he could deal with some boring voice droning on about some war he knew nothing about. Ron felt that one war in a life time was more than enough for anyone!
As the first guest came on to the stage, all thoughts of war disappeared from Ron’s mind and he became totally engrossed in the red head and her story. He nodded along with the woman as she sniveled her way through her explanation, blaming her husband, her lover and anyone else other than herself.
“When do people get time to cheat?” Ron wondered allowed, “I haven’t got enough time in the day to do everything, let alone fit in another woman,”
The husband was introduced, and Ron made a sympathetic noise at the back of his throat. “Poor git,” he clicked his tongue disapprovingly and glared at the cheating red headed wife.
As soon as the break in the show came, Ron ran up the stairs to the bathroom. He didn’t want to miss the part when the lover was revealed. He already knew it was the best friend, it usually was in this kind of situation, and it was the part of the show that Ron liked best, when everyone started shouting and fighting. Wizards didn’t carry on in such an emotional way and Ron was fascinated with muggles and the way they opened their lives to anyone who watched TV.
Bouncing back onto the sofa two minutes later Ron rubbed his hands together gleefully as the lover was introduced. The man came on to the screen, tall with bleached blonde hair, swaggering over to sit next to the red headed woman, his top lip lifted in a sneer.
Ron, who was just taking another gulp of beer widened his eyes in horror, his beer catching in the back of throat as he tried to yell and ended up coughing and spluttering, his eyes watering as he had an epiphany.
“Ron, I’m home,” Hermione called as she came into the little hallway.
“Hermione!” Ron croaked loudly, quickly flicking the TV channel. It wouldn’t be the best of ideas to let Hermione catch him watching that show, his ears would ache for hours.
“Yes, who else would it be?” Hermione smiled as she came into the front room, “How has your day been? Why are you watching the weather channel?”
“Huh? Oh, I’m not watching the weather channel, I was looking for something to watch when you came in. I, um, I need to talk to you, Hermione.” It had been over a week since the Ministry Benefit Party, and he hadn’t said a word to Hermione about what he had overheard between Ginny and Malfoy.
Ron had thought about it, he had thought about it a lot, but he couldn’t work out how it had happened in the first place. When would Ginny have seen Malfoy to start up an affair? How could Ginny be attracted to Malfoy in the first place? He was the exact opposite to Harry.
He had decided to hold off mentioning the affair to Hermione until he had worked it all out in his own head first, or at least worked most of it out. For a brief moment, Ron had entertained the notion that it wasn’t his business and he should stay out of it. But, he was worried that the story could leak out some how, surely he should warn Harry in advance, being his best mate and everything?
Then again, Ginny was his sister, his own flesh and blood. Surely his loyalty should be with his family? Ron had considered just telling Ginny what he knew, but she had an awful temper and he didn’t want to risk any permanent damage to himself if Ginny went mad.
However, after the sudden revelation he’d had thanks to the great Jerry Springer, Ron knew he had to talk to his wife about it, he couldn’t let the matter drift on any longer. Supposing Malfoy changed his mind and wanted to restart the sordid affair? He couldn’t let that happen!
Hermione rolled her eyes, “I had a very nice day, thank you, Ron,”
“That’s good,” he replied distractedly, “I need your opinion, Hermione,”
“About what?” Hermione pulled her hair free from its tight braid and massaged her scalp gently.
“Harry. Well, it’s about whether I should tell Harry something actually,”
“Tell Harry what?”
“Something I’ve found out about Ginny, but I don’t think Harry knows about it.”
“Oh, Ron, no,” Hermione begged, leaning over the back of the sofa and grasping her husbands hands. “I don’t think you should say a word about anything to Harry. You remember what happened the last time you went to tell Harry something he didn’t know about Ginny don’t you?”
Ron dropped his eyes from Hermione’s face, but didn’t reply.
“Don’t you, Ron?” Hermione prompted. “You found out that Ginny was having Lily and you went rushing straight round to Harry to congratulate him on his little girl,” Hermione pursed her lips. “Harry didn’t want to know that he was having a little girl.”
“I said sorry about that,” Ron replied defensively, “And I offered to alter his memory for him,”
“That’s beside the point, Ron,”
“This is different,” Ron insisted, “This is awful, Hermione,”
Hermione paled, her hand coming to rest against her chest as she gasped in horror. “Oh, Ron, Ginny’s not ill is she?”
“She’s had an affair.”
Hermione blinked, her jaw dropping open as she stared at Ron with large brown eyes, “What?”
“With Malfoy,” Ron continued quickly. “Ginny had an affair with Malfoy, and she had a baby and the baby is Scorpius, and now Ginny wants to start the affair up again, but Malfoy doesn’t want to I don’t think and Harry doesn’t know,” Ron finished gasping a deep lungful of air.
Hermione’s eyes narrowed, she stood up straight, dropping Ron’s hands and placing her own on her hips. Pursing her lips again she glared at her husband, “You’ve been watching re-runs of The Jerry Springer Show again haven’t you?” she accused.
“Um…” Ron shifted uncomfortably under his wife’s steely glare.
“Oh!” Hermione threw up her hands with frustration, “For goodness sake, Ron. How many times have I got to tell you not to watch that show? It sends your imagination into over drive, every time you watch it you end up imagining wild scenarios about anyone in your orbit.”
“That’s not true,” Ron muttered, his cheeks turning red.
“Oh yes it is,” Hermione insisted, “Remember when they had the transvestite show on? You thought that George was harbouring a secret of his own,”
“What was I supposed to think?” Ron demanded, “I caught him in a woman’s skirt,”
“You didn’t catch him! He was going to a fancy dress party dressed up as a hula girl,” Hermione snapped, “Do you also happen to remember the time you decided that Harry and Neville needed to come out of the closet?”
“Vaguely,” Ron mumbled.
“Well I remember it very well,” she complained with a frown, “You had been watching yet another episode about hiding gay relationships from spouses and you told Ginny that Harry was going to leave her for Neville! That was after you punched Harry in the face for cheating on your sister.”
“I heard Neville proposing to him!” Ron yelled defensively.
“No you didn’t,” Hermione’s lips twitched into a grin, “You heard Neville practising his proposal to Hannah on Harry and you jumped to conclusions. That was a very embarrassing situation, Ron.”
“All right, all right,” Ron brushed his hair away from his face with aggravated strokes, “I’m right about this though, Hermione. I promise that I am.”
Hermione closed her eyes and took a deep calming breath. Massaging her temples with the heels of her hands she silently counted to ten to give her temper time to elapse. She loved Ron, she really did, but his obsession with Jerry Springer was driving her mad.
She had been trying to work out what the matter was with Ron, why he seemed to have a desperate need to turn all their lives into some sort of soap opera. Was Ron bored with his life? With her? Did he feel there wasn’t enough excitement in his life these days? Merlin knew things had been quiet and had settled down a lot since the defeat of Voldemort. Did Ron miss the fast pace of their time at Hogwarts?
“Ron, I have an idea,” she smiled and came around the sofa to sit beside him, “Rose is away and Hugo loves to stay at your mother’s, why don’t we take a break? Go away? We could have a second honeymoon?”
“What? I’m not sure that’s a good idea, Hermione, what with everything that’s going on with Harry and Ginny right now,” Ron’s forehead creased in a small frown.
Hermione sighed heavily, “I just thought I would be nice, to try and have the honeymoon we should have had the first time around.”
Ron’s face began to burn. “I said I was sorry about that.
Hermione smiled and nodded, “I know that, Ron. I still don’t quite understand how you ended up on a completely different cruise ship than me.”
Ron frowned, “I explained that at the time, Hermione. Muggles confuse me, they were harassing me and telling me I was going on the wrong ship, so I had to stupefy them to get pass.”
“You were going on the wrong ship, Ron.” Hermione sighed again, “Wonderful wedding night we had, with me on a ship heading for a cruise down the Nile and you on a ship halfway up the Amazon! I had to wait until your ship docked so that you could find an apparation point and meet me in Egypt,”
Ron wiggled uncomfortably, “Yes, well, I did apologise. Anyway, you’re side tracking, Hermione. We need to talk about Ginny and Malfoy.”
Hermione sank back into the corner of the sofa surveying Ron quietly for a few minutes. He was very worked up about this affair he had concocted in his mind. “Ron…” she began patiently.
“No, wait,” Ron held up his hand to stop her, “Let me speak first, I know what I’m talking about. Ginny had an affair with Malfoy, and when she was pregnant with Albus, she was in fact having twins. One was Harry’s, and the other, Scorpius, was Malfoy’s.”
“Alright,” Hermione replied, determined to make Ron see sense, and then ban him from watching The Jerry Springer Show for life, “Let’s suspend reality for a few seconds and say that you’re right. Ginny had an affair with Draco Malfoy, she subsequently falls pregnant at the same time that she is pregnant with Harry’s child, therefore producing twins with different fathers….”
“It’s possible,” Ron interrupted, “I’ve read it in your women’s magazine’s as well as seeing it on Jerry,”
Grinding her teeth together with frustration Hermione glared at him. “I’m not arguing the fact that it is a possibility. All I’m saying is that it isn’t a possibility for Ginny. Harry was in the delivery room with her, I know Harry can forget things on occasions, but even he would remember two babies being born and only leaving the hospital with one!”
“Not if she modified his memory,” Ron said, folding his arms triumphantly.
“Ginny did not modify Harry’s memory. She did not have an affair with Draco Malfoy and she did not give birth to little Scorpius!” Hermione yelled, her control snapping and her eyes darkening with anger.
“But at the Ministry I heard her and Malfoy arguing about Scorpius. Ginny said that…”
“For Merlin’s sake, Ron, if you don’t stop watching The Jerry Springer Show I swear I’ll hex you!” Hermione interrupted irritably, “I don’t want to hear anymore, I don’t care what you think you heard…”
“I know what I heard,” Ron insisted.
“No, you don’t know what you heard, Ron.” Hermione assured him, getting up and stalking to the stairs, “You heard something and just made the rest up as you went along. I beg you to remember all the other misinterpretations this particular talk show has led you to make.”
“But nothing,” Hermione said, “I don’t want to hear any more about it, Ronald. That’s not a request,” she added firmly.
“Fine,” Ron watched her leave the room, glowering at her retreating back, “I know what I heard,” he muttered, chewing at his finger nail. “What’s the best decision? Do I speak to Harry? Or do I confront Ginny?”
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