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Chapter 28 : Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, Meet the Cameras.
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“We have to go, Mione.” Ron said, rolling his eyes as he stood, arms crossed, in the door frame. Hermione's tear streaked face turned toward him, and he melted. Or rather, he had already melted but now he was showing it.
“I don't want to leave.” Hermione said, her voice cracking.
“I don't either.” Ron said softly, and he pulled her to his chest and held her there.
“They... they seemed so real.” Hermione choked through her tears. “The babies. This life. They were almost reality. It was perfect. It was what I wanted. I wanted it to be real.”
“I know.” Ron said, trying to ignore the knot in his stomach and be there for Hermione. He, too, had thought that this life was the perfect one, and one that he wanted to live. Ever since he was 17, he'd wanted this. Perhaps not the babies then, but Hermione and being married and having her rush out of the house to give him his briefcase. As he'd got older, his dreams had become more ambitious. He'd suddenly realized that marrying Hermione meant forever- and forever was everything that he wanted. He'd realized that he wanted it all. The babies, the trials, the triumphs. The one thing he hadn't realized was the most important thing to understand. He hadn't gotten, until Hermione had left him, that what he felt for her was special. Or maybe he had known, but he hadn't understood exactly how special it was. He'd wasted it away. He'd thrown it all away because of this. He'd thrown everything away. If he'd genuinely understood how rare and special it was to want to spend forever with someone, maybe Nancy and Cam would be their children. Maybe he would be allowed to kiss Hermione every single day, and hold her while they were sleeping and a million other things. Yet, he couldn't, and that was completely his fault.
After this week and a half, Ron knew that Hermione loved him. He was possibly more certain then ever. She was looking at him the way she had been looking at him before he started drinking, before they moved in together. Ron knew that this game show challenge had changed Hermione's view of him. He had been careful to be clean around the house, even tidying up the kitchen after dinner and cleaning up after Nancy and Cam. He didn't drink anymore, and he had been light, airy and happy the whole time. He'd kissed her cheek even when she was at her moodiest. And he had adored being a father to Nancy and Cam. Plus, he was pretty sure Hermione seeing his abs hadn't hurt either.
“You're smirking!” Hermione's voice said, cutting through his thoughts. “Why are you smirking?”
“Are you wearing mascara?” Ron asked, changing the subject quickly. Hermione blushed.
“A little.” she admitted.
“Your eyelashes looked different.” Ron said.
“Looked?” Hermione asked through her tears.
“There are black lines all down your face from your tears now.”
“Oh.” Hermione looked down, embarrassed, but Ron lifted her chin with his finger and wiped the tear tracks away.
'I love you,' he thought, but he didn't say it.
“We should go.” he said instead, and Hermione stared up at him with deer-wide eyes.
“I can't.” Hermione said. “Can't we just say?”
“No.” Ron said firmly. “We need to get back to life.”
“I guess.” Hermione said reluctantly.
Ron took her hand and pulled her out of the room. Hermione looked behind her, dragging her feet as much as she could. They stared at their bedroom, the kitchen, the living room, before they took a breath and walked through the door. Once they were out, Ron shut the door firmly behind him. They both looked around. No one was there, waiting for them. Hermione peaked around Ron and through the yard.
“I guess we can just go.” Ron said, sounding amazed that they were getting off so easy.
“Yeah, I guess so.” Hermione said. She unconsciously drew closer to Ron, clutching onto his arm.
“Do... do you need help apparating home?” Ron asked.
“Yes.” Hermione said, much too quickly. “Yes, can you help me?”
“Yeah.” Ron said, shrugging. “Of course.”
The truth was, after being together in the same house pretending to be husband and wife, mommy and daddy, neither Ron nor Hermione wanted to be separated from the other. Ron gently took Hermione's arm and she closed her eyes at his touch, waiting for the terrible sense of apparation to overcome her. As they passed through countries, Hermione could still smell Ron's scent. She was still sniffing in when they landed in her flat.
“Thanks, Ron.” Hermione said.
“You're welcome.” Ron said awkwardly.
“I'm going to bed.” Hermione said, looking at the light streaming through the window. She suddenly felt so exhausted, she couldn't bear it, and the emotional loss of loosing her and Ron's babies was making her so tired she could barely stand it.
“Oh.” Ron said.
“If you want some coffee, help yourself.” Hermione said as she started to walk into her bedroom.
“You want me to stay?” Ron asked.
“Well, if you want to.” Hermione said. “But I think we have to go to the studio around 4, so you might come in handy when it's time to wake up.”
“Got it.” Ron grinned. Hermione felt an unexplainable rush of affection for him, causing her to jump into her bedroom and close the door tightly behind her, making the vain attempt to block out her feelings that was more of a struggle each day she spent with Ron.
“Mione. Hermione. Wake up.”
A gentle voice was whispering in her ear, and Hermione smiled as it brought her awake.
She was positively beaming at him, for a reason she didn't know, but she had a feeling it had to do with her dream, which included houses, babies and lots of snogging.
“Good dream?” Ron teased.
“The best.” Hermione admitted, slumping back against her pillows. She felt happy and refreshed, and suddenly the world seemed brighter. She got up and bounced out of bed. “So, the studio.” Hermione said. “When do we have to be there?”
“Four, as you said.” Ron replied, rolling his eyes. “Right again.”
“I always am.” Hermione said smugly.
Of course Ginny had to interrupt the moment by arriving and shrieking about how Hermione was back and she had spent the whole time when she wasn't trying to get pregnant shopping for clothes for Hermione. As soon as she saw Ron, Ginny stopped and glanced at Hermione.
“What is he doing here?”
“We were planning on carpooling to the studio.” Hermione said, keeping her eyes on Ron's face. It was starting to turn maroon. Hermione walked carefully over to Ron and placed her hand on his arm. “Breathe, Ron.”
“You're trying to get pregnant?” Ron asked, his voice slightly strangled.
“Maybe.” Ginny said.
“Don't lie.” Ron said, his voice so calm Hermione wondered for a second who she was holding on to.
Ginny's guilty look said it all.
“This is completely ridiculous!” Hermione and Ron said at the same time.
“You're just 20!” Ron bellowed.
“At just 20, it might not be advisable for you to...” Hermione began in a calm voice.
“You don't need to start having babies!”
“Ron, calm down.” Hermione hissed. “This isn't your choice, so there's no need to yell.”
“She just turned 20!” Ron yelped.
“Yes, I know, but all we can do is strongly advise her against this.”
“I'm still here, you know.” Ginny said, sounding hurt.
“Ginny, tell me about the clothes you picked out for me.” Hermione said in a soothing voice, trying to calm Ginny down. Ron was still glaring at Ginny.
“Listen, we'll talk about this after the show, but right now we need to focus on not making complete idiots of ourselves on The Perfect Match.” Hermione snapped. “We'll take up family matters at dinner here tomorrow.”
“Fine.” Ginny said, and with a flash of red hair she had waved her wand, leaving a dress on the bed. “I'll do your makeup when we get there, just put on the dress.”
Hermione turned back to Ron.
“Why does she have to rush her life?” Ron asked.
“I don't know. Maybe she's jealous because we had fake babies. Hah, if Ginny knew how hard it was maybe she'd give the idea of being a mum a second thought...”
Ron started to grin.
“Oh no.” Hermione said. “No way, Ron.”
“You're good at spells!”
“But I won't do that to Harry and Ginny.”
Ron gave Hermione a look that he knew made her knees weak. Hermione glared at him, letting him know that she was not happy with it. The fact was, though, that her insides were starting to turn into jelly.
“Okay.” Hermione said. “What should we call the plan? How about P.O.O.R.H.G.L?”
“Poorhgl?” Ron asked, wrinkling his nose.
“No, Part One Of Ruining Harry and Ginny's Life.”
“Got it.” Ron said, grinning his agreement.
The dress Ginny had selected for Hermione was a navy-inspired, sleeveless blue number. She'd also happened to leave a pair of break neck high heels that, from the look on Ron's face, made Hermione's legs look fantastic. She'd been shaving them every night because the two had been sleeping in the same bed, but Hermione had been sure to put a few more spells on her legs today that made them look even better.
“Ready to go?” Hermione asked, bending down to the bottom of her closet and emerging with a white purse. Ron let out a loud bark of a laugh.
“What?” Hermione asked.
“Your hair is a bloody mess.” Ron grinned.
Hermione reached up to smooth it, but Ron caught her wrist with his hand and pushed to proper piece back for her.
“Thanks.” Hermione said, feeling completely helpless as she looked into his eyes.
“You're welcome.” Ron said, smiling down at her.
“We... we should go.” Hermione said. In truth, she had no desire to go to the studio, but instead wished she could sit on the couch and talk to Ron, a cup of tea in her hands and a muggle movie blaring in the background. And maybe a bit of snogging.
“Right. We should leave.” Ron said. He took her hand and spun on the spot. Hermione took a deep breath as she was plunged into the dark tube that was apparation.
As soon as they arrived, Ron and Hermione started walking down the hall together, completely oblivious to the fact that they were still hand in hand. It wasn't until Harry emerged from a side door that Hermione realized that Ron was struggling to get to Harry because she was pulling him back.
“Ron, calm.” Hermione demanded. “I refuse to treat you like a common dog, but you're getting pretty damn close to it. Just go to your dressing room.”
Ron left, glaring at Harry all the while.
“Harry, did Ginny tell you about dinner?”
“Yeah. She did. Hermione,” Harry said in a lower voice, “I swear it was her idea. And it was kind of one that was hard to say no to.”
“I really refuse to discuss this with you.” Hermione said, feeling slightly nauseous.
“I forgot that you and Ron are still virgins.” Harry said, smirking at her.
“Does Ginny tell you everything?” Hermione asked, exasperated.
“No, but Ron tells me most.”
“Yes, well, when I became friends with you in first year this wasn't exactly a conversation I planned on having with you, and although we've grown older times haven't changed that much. So, I'm off to have Ginny make me beautiful.”
“Ron thinks you're beautiful.” Harry yelled down the hall.
“Ron, you can curse him now!” Hermione called back. Ron emerged from his dressing room, which was behind Harry. He was grinning, and tapping his wand. Hermione gave Harry a smug look and he turned around. When he saw Ron pointing a wand at him, he let out a loud yelp.
“What shall I do, Mione?” Ron asked.
“Well, we don't want Ginny to be a non-mum forever, so lets rule out what you want to do. However, I reckon the jelly legs jinx will straiten him out for long enough. I might set some birds on him too.” Hermione reasoned.
“She's good at that, you know.” Ron said to Harry. Ginny came out of Hermione's dressing room, saw what was going on, and started to laugh.
“You know I've never seen him dance, Ron. I think you should do it.”
“I love you to, Gin.” Harry said. Ron started to walk into his dressing room, then turned around and jinxed Harry when he wasn't expecting it. Hermione and Ginny toppled over in laughter as Harry started to dance, his black hair flopping up and down dangerously over his panicked face.
“You know who he reminds me of right now?” Ron asked Hermione.
“Of course I do!” Hermione said, laughing still.
“-After he'd been turned into a ferret.”
“You're making me dance around and comparing me to Draco Mafloy? Dammit, this is not my day.” Harry growled.
“Welcome back to The Perfect Match, Ron and Hermione.” Colin said, smiling at the two. “We have a few questions for you two today, and then we have a surprise.”
Hermione and Ron were seated on the couch, Hermione surreptitiously leaning on Ron. It was so discreet, in fact, that the only person who noticed besides Ron was Ginny.
“Last time we had a surprise we ended up with taking care of two babies.” Ron muttered into Hermione's ear. She laughed and nodded, but kept her eyes alertly on Colin Love.
“First off- how are you two today?”
“Great.” Ron said fervently, looking down at Hermione's head, inches away from his nose.
“Fine, thank you.” Hermione said to Colin.
“And did you like the last challenge we gave you?”
“Loved it.” Hermione grinned.
“Yep.” Ron agreed.
“Do you miss the two babies you took care of?” Colin asked.
“Yeah.” Hermione said, nodding.
“Nancy and Cam.” Ron added.
“Well, since you two are doing so well on the game show, we've decided to give you a little something.”
Hermione suddenly sat up, and Ron looked resentfully at Colin Love.
“First of all...” Colin said. “Nancy and Cam.”
Harry and Ginny came onto the stage, Ginny carrying Cam and Harry carrying Nancy. He looked a little windswept (the jinx had only just been removed), but he was grinning all the same. Ginny brought Cam over to Ron, giving him a kiss on the cheek before sitting on the couch on the left, the opposite side Hermione and Ron were sitting on. Colin, of course, had his own cream colored chair in the middle, strangely higher then all the others. Harry too gave Hermione a kiss on the cheek before handing her Nancy, but instead of just walking away he whispered in her ear,
“I am so going to get you.”
“It started with a troll.” Hermione sang, and Harry walked away, glaring at her. He sat on the couch and slipped his arm around Ginny. It looked so natural that Hermione wondered if she and Ron looked the same way. Judging from the look on Ginny's face, they did.
“As well as Nancy and Cam (who by the way have been disenchanted so that they are just regular baby dolls),” Colin said, “you are receiving half of the baby supplies you bought and all of the clothes. Enough for one baby at a time.”
“Even though this family has a long history of twins.” Harry said, wiggling his eyebrows at Hermione.
“Right back at you.” Ron said, looking toward Ginny.
Harry turned maroon and his lips turned into a thin line. Ginny, on the other hand, was laughing into her palm, trying not to be too loud. Hermione turned away before Ginny could set her off as well.
“So, Ron, Hermione. How do you think this date has changed your relationship?”
“Well...” Hermione said, thinking. “We used to hate each other, and now we're fri-”
“We didn't hate each other!” Ron said, indignant. “You hated me.”
“Yes, but then you returned my hate.”
“I never hated you.”
“Well I only slightly hated-”
“Here we go...” Ginny said.
“Does this happen often?” Colin asked out of the corner of his mouth.
“Yes.” Harry and Ginny said together.
“But it's cute, no?” Ginny said, smiling softly at the smiles on Ron and Hermione's faces.
“No. I mean yes.” Colin said.
“Anyway, we're better friends.” Hermione said, abruptly ending the mini-argument.
“That took a while.” Colin said to Harry.
“Mate, you should have been there for third year.” Harry said.
“And fourth.” Ginny added.
“Surprisingly nothing in fifth...” Harry admitted.
“But boy was sixth terrible.” Ginny finished. “Colin, you're looking dizzy, would you like to sit down?”
“No, that's okay.” Colin said. He took on his professional voice again and addressed Ron and Hermione.
“So, you two are closer now?” Colin asked.
“Yes.” Ron and Hermione said at the same time.
“And did this date make you think about having babies?” Colin asked. Both nodded.
“No!” Hermione and Ron said at the same time.
Each had no idea that the other had hidden their fingers in the couch cushions and were crossing them.
“So,” Colin started, “Are you excited for the next date?”
“Despite it all, yes.” Hermione said. “These dates have given us a good chance to see the world.”
“And Hermione greatly appreciates it.” Ron smirked.
“What? I do!” Hermione said.
“So, you two have a few free days until the next date. What are you planning to do?”
Hermione and Ron exchanged glances.
“We're having dinner with Harry and Ginny.” Hermione said.
“And possibly making some mischief for them, too.” Ron added.
“Sounds lovely.” Colin said. “Well, here to tell you the next date are Ron Weasley's mum and dad, Molly and Arther Weasley!”
Mrs. Weasley emerged from the curtain, and Hermione jumped up to hug her.
“Hello, Hermione.” Mrs. Weasley said.
“Hi, Mrs. Weasley. How are you?” Hermione asked.
“Oh, I'm very well.” Mrs. Weasley said pleasantly. “George and Angelina have promised to postpone their wedding.”
“Wonderful, congratulations.” Hermione whispered back.
“Yes, well, I can be very crafty sometimes.” Mrs. Weasley said, somewhat smug.
Mr. Weasley was looking at the muggle cameras with great interest. Harry leaned over to Ginny and whispered,
“I know what we're getting your dad this Christmas.”
Hermione and Ron sat back in their seats and Mrs. Weasley and Mr. Weasley walked in front of the camera, their eyes on the prompter.
“Thank you for having us, Colin.” Mrs. Weasley said easily, while Mr. Weasley stood there grinning nervously.
“We honored. No, I mean, we are honored.” Mr. Weasley said helplessly. Ginny and Ron snorted with laughter, while Harry and Hermione looked at Mr. Weasley sympathetically.
“The next date,” Mrs. Weasley said smoothly, “Is going to be live from the city that never sleeps.”
“Where?” Ron asked.
“Live?” Hermione squeaked.
Ron looked at Hermione. She had never in her whole life missed an opportunity to answer a question. Now, she was so shocked about the date she was looking like Mr. Weasley. A deer caught in the headlights.
A/N: So, I'm getting a few comments that my characters are moody still. I just want to say that I'm sorry if that's making the story hard to read, and I'll keep it in mind for the next story when I write it, although I've already finished this one. I hope you'll review and tell me what you think! ~writergirl8
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