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Chapter 6 : Crossing Paths
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Disclaimer: I own nothing but a few characters and the plot. J.K. Rowling owns everything else, so without her, I would not be here.
Ron gave one final look around his cramped room, making sure he didn’t forget to pack anything, and once again thought about home. About Hermione. About how he was going through this whole process of training with his older brother and goblins for Hermione. He also thought about the small portion meals he had received over the past month. But Bill had told him that training for the job and Gringott’s was probably the hardest part of the job, and that everything else would turn into a routine of everyday life. He sure hoped his eldest brother was right.
“Ron!” called Bill from outside the door. “You comin’ or what. I thought you
said you wanted to see Harry and Ginny off!” Ron shook his head, clearing it of foggy thoughts.
“Yeah, I’m ready. Let’s go.” Ron picked up his trunk and opened his door,
closing it behind him, and finally leaving what he though of as hell.
“If we hurry, we’ll be able to apparate right to the Quidditch pitch as a nice
surprise,” said Bill. “God, I haven’t been to the Ireland field in years. I can’t even
remember who was playing when I came.” Ron said nothing, his mind on home.
“Eliza! I don’t mean to rush you or anything, but hurry up!” called Harry from
the kitchen. “Dobby, remember, Eliza and I will be coming home later than the rest of the team. I’ll just, err, call you when we come back. You know what I mean, right?” Dobby bowed.
“Of course, Harry Potter, sir, of course.”
“So, what are you going to do while we’re away?”
“Dobby plans to visit Winky and the other elves at Hogwarts. Maybe Dobby will
find some work there, and will be able to look after Winky. Dobby isn’t quite sure if Winky wants to leave for a bit or not.”
“You want to spend your vacation time working?” Harry never fully understood
“Yes, Harry Potter, sir, for Dobby loves to work, and is just not sure what else to
do. Work will keep Dobby plenty busy, sir.”
“Whatever you say, Dobby.” Eliza arrived, looking like a true ‘vacationer’ with
her sunglasses, short skirt and tank-top. Harry looked at her up and down, and then grinned.
“You do know that the rest of the team will probably be in their robes or
“Harry, we’re going to Australia. Do you really think they’d want to be in their
fifty layers of green? I don’t think so.”
And Eliza was quite right. When she and Harry apparated to the Ireland
Quidditch field, the team looked like a bunch of college students getting ready to hit the beach. Harry stood out, because he was wearing an Ireland sweatshirt and jeans. Eliza got a kick out of this.
“Don’t say a word,” said Harry as Eliza opened her mouth to comment. Eliza
“Well, Bill and I were afraid we wouldn’t be able to find you,” said a voice
behind Harry. “Guess we’ll never have to worry about that.”
“Ron!” yelped Harry. The team all turned around and watched a ‘man-hug’ being
exchanged. Ginny approached them.
“Ahh, and I though guy hugs went out of style years ago,” said Ginny, and
hugged her older brother. “Where’s Bill?”
“I think he’s exploring the pitch. It’s been awhile since he’s come around here.”
Sure enough, after a few seconds of looking around, Harry saw Bill around the goal hoops.
“I can’t stick around much,” said Ron. “I’m starving, and I haven’t seen
Hermione in a month.” Ginny determinedly avoided Harry’s gaze.
“Well, we’re ready to go now, aren’t we?” asked Eliza. Harry looked around at
“Are we missing anyone?” Harry asked. The team shook their heads. “Okay,
then! Let’s get out of here.”
Ron watched the Ireland team pull out their wands and grab their trunks, feeling
no jealousy that they were off away from home. He was homesick, and didn’t feel like calling Bill to tell him that he was off, but he did anyway.
“Bill!” yelled Ron. “I’m going home! I’ll tell Mum you’re on your way, okay?”
Bill waived his approval without looking. Ron pulled out his wand and, like the Ireland National Quidditch team, disapparated.
Ron appeared at the doorway of the Burrow. He was sure his mother had heard
him appear, because there was a shriek and the pounding of feet coming down the stairs.
Ron chuckled to himself. He wondered if this was the feeling his father had always told him about. About being home after a long day’s, or in this case month’s, hard work. How great it was to be home.
However, it wasn’t his mother who opened the door to let him in. It was
Hermione who shrieked again and threw herself into Ron’s arms.
“Oh, Ron, missed, how, I’ve,” Hermione stammered, and looked as though she
were about to cry.
“Before this, I thought I’d be able to knock out a month, no sweat,” said Ron,
having no idea why he was whispering. “There was never a night that I didn’t think about you as I went to sleep.”
“Ron,” whispered Hermione, and kissed him.
“You know, I’ve never been good at these soppy things if you know what I
mean,” Ron added as an afterthought as he picked up his trunk. “I mean, you only hear about them in stories, with some handsome blonde pouring his heart all over this other dark haired tall woman, and then they’re all over each other. I mean, I don’t mind the last part, but it be so much easier if you could just skip the details.”
Hermione laughed, truly laughed, for the first time in a month. At that moment,
she forgot all about the kid she and Ron were going to have, and all the stress that had built up inside of her. It was a shame that this was only temporary.
“Come on, let’s empty your trunk,” said Hermione.
“They don’t need magic to keep that thing above water?” Eliza asked, staring at
the huge form of the cruise she, her husband, and the Ireland Quidditch team would be sailing in to Australia.
“They’ve probably got something, just for precautions,” replied Harry. “But nah,
muggles ride in these all the time, and the only ship I know that sank was the Titanic.”
“Sounds big.” Ginny, who was standing next to them, nodded.
“I forget the story. Just forget that it’s on water and you won’t have to worry
about a thing,” assured Harry.
“I’ve been on one of these before,” said Mitchell, who had his arm around
“You’re muggleborn?” asked Harry.
“Half. My dad took me on one of these when I was ‘round ten. Feels more like a
Hotel than anything.”
“Don’t you get bored just standing around, then?” asked Ginny.
“I’ll let you find that out yourself,” Mitchell winked. Harry eyed Mitchell’s arm
around Ginny’s shoulder.
“I think they want us on, now,” said Eliza, pointing at the opening doors. “And
about time, too. What’s it been? An hour since we got here?”
“More or less,” said Harry. “Anyone wanna say goodbye to land with me?”
Mitchell snorted, and Harry suddenly found himself annoyed with everyone there.
“So what did you do?” asked Hermione.
“You mean what didn’t I do,” replied Ron. “The goblins taught me about how to
find all these rocks, what to look for, what not to look for…and since they don’t have magic, I had to learn a lot from Bill. He’s a pretty good teacher, you know, with all that patience and stuff. Good thing, to, because it took me a while to master all the spells and stuff.”
“Did they tell you when you’re going to start working?”
“Nope. One goblin grunted something about a letter. I’ll just ask Bill.”
Hermione and Ron were in the kitchen. Ron was eating toast while Hermione sipped her cup of tea. The feeling of stress and pressure had returned to her, probably because the conversation had stopped, and the next conversation could be…the one.
“What have you been up to, then?” Ron asked. Great. Now she had to either
come out with it or change the subject.
“Oh, the usual,” said Hermione. “Hanging around here, err, helping your mum
every now and then. And, and I’m-“
“Ginny wants to move out, doesn’t she?” Ron cut in. “She have a plan, yet?
Does Mum know?”
“What- oh, I dunno. I guess she has a plan, but with Quidditch and Mitchell-“
“Ginny’s boyfriend.” Ron stared.
“How long has this been going on? Did it start while I was gone? You know,
next time I leave like this, I’m sending an owl every other day!”
“Ron, I need to tell you something.”
“What? Something else I need to know about. Something else I missed while I
was with the damn goblins?”
“Yes! Yes, Ron! I’ve been waiting allmonth to tell you!” Ron, who had been
about to say something else, closed his mouth when he heard Hermione’s voice crack.
“Okay, okay, just tell me. I’ll quit talking.” Hermione found herself unable to
speak now that both she and Ron were sitting in silence. “Hermione, are you okay? What happened?”
Hermione opened her mouth, closed it, and didn’t open it again.
“Hermione…” Then he paled. It was alarming; one second, Ron’s face had been
red from frustration, and next second, he was white as parchment “You’re not…not ending…us, are you?”
“Yes, Ron, that’s the reason. That’s why I tore down the stairs and threw myself
into your arms when you came back after a month.”
“Okay, that’s enough.” Ron’s color had returned, and so had his frustration. “It’s
obvious that you’re not telling me something. What is it?” Hermione said nothing. Ron sighed.
“You know you can tell me anything, right? I’m not going to drop out on you or
anything…” And Ron paled again. He watched Hermione, and all Hermione had to do was nod. “Oh, no…” Ron pulled his girlfriend into his arms, and the whole month’s stress, pressure, and anxiety finally came out. She sobbed into his shoulder for what seemed like hours, but Ron didn’t care. He held her in his arms, head spinning.
“You know what this means, right?” asked Ron in a whisper. “We’re probably
going to have to get married.”
“R-Ron,” Hermione hiccupped. “I’ve been thinking about that, too. I don’t want
to get married just because of the baby.”
“And it doesn’t have to be! Let’s forget about that, just for a second. Do you
love me?” Hermione stared.
“Of course, I love you. But-“
“And can you see yourself being with anyone else? Anyone else in the world?”
“Of course not, but-“
“And you know I feel the exact same about you, right?”
“Yes, I’ve always known that, but-“
“Then why wait? I mean, if we’re crazy for each other now, than what’s the point
in waiting for Merlin knows how long. It would be different if we were both in school or didn’t have enough money, but I’m about to get a job, and you can get a job anytime you need to, right? There’s no better time to move on, and get out of here, for good!”
And the fact that Ron had meant every word he had said to Hermione was all she needed.
“Okay, Ron. Yes. Yes!” And she hugged him, and the tears that slid down her
face were of happiness. She would truly be with the one she loved. How could she not have seen this coming? What had they been waiting for, really?”
“Oh, but one thing,” said Hermione. “We’re going to do this properly.”
“You’re going to propose to me properly, as you would have if you decided to do
so yourself.” Ron grinned.
“Does this mean there’s going to have to be a dinner and stuff?”
“Exactly. Something that can be remembered for the rest of our lives together.”
Ginny slammed the suite door behind her and kicked her sandals off of her feet.
What the hell was Harry playing at, not telling the team that he wouldn’t be coming back with them for half the month? That he would be with his wife on a quickly put-together honeymoon. Hadn’t they already done that crap right after they got married?
Ginny threw herself on the bed, her head pounding. What was she supposed to
do, now? Eliza and Harry’s bond had obviously grown since Harry had found her. Two weeks alone in Australia…it was already bad enough that they were living together.
Ginny rubbed her eyes, her mind now on overdrive. There had to be something
that she could do to get them apart in three days. She could start up a fight between herself and lovely Eliza. Nah, Harry would probably settle it in some way. She’d have to come up with something quickly, though, because the clock ticked away. The rest of the team and Eliza were up on the deck, probably tanning or in the pool. Very bad, because Eliza was obviously in nothing but a bikini, and Harry’s eye would be all over that.
‘I could do that,’ thought Ginny. ‘If anything, it would get Mitchell’s attention,
which would get Harry’s in an indirect way.’ Without lingering on the topic any longer, Ginny got up, opened her trunk, and searched around for something light blue.
“I mean, the team’s nice and all,” said Eliza. “But I really want to watch outside
as the cruise leaves. I dunno, maybe so I know that it’s official and all.”
“I fine with that,” said Harry. “We don’t have to go up if you want. I mean,
we’ve got all day, and I’m sure the weather’s going to be gorgeous.
“You sure? It is your team.”
“And they can do what they want. It’ll be a good time to get to know one another.
And as for me…I can use this as a time to get to know you better.” Harry went over to the sliding door where Eliza was standing and began to kiss her neck, his arm around her waist.
“Harry, we won’t be able to see the boat leave…” Eliza’s voice trailed away as
Harry began running his tongue on her ear.
Ginny arrived on the cruise deck. The whole Ireland Quidditch team was
there…wait a moment. Harry and Eliza were nowhere to be found. Ginny looked
around. Mitchell and a couple others from the team were there, while the rest of the team were in groups of two or three, tanning or in the pool. But Harry and his wife were definitely not there.
“Damn,” Ginny muttered to herself, and turned around. Harry and Eliza were on
a cruise, in a suite, alone, probably having the best time of their lives. Ginny was having the worst time.
I tried to put some length into this one; I think that might be the better thing to do. Tell me if you like it this way, or if I need to put in more. Thanks very much again for reading, and I’ll try to have the next chapter up as soon as I can!
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