Chapter 44 : Mood Swing
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“Ginny! It's three in the morning! What are you doing?”
“I'm cleaning.” Ginny said, defiantly slamming a pot down onto the kitchen counter.
“Yes but... weren't you going to Hermione's?”
“Don't even mention that bitch's name around here!”
“Umm... Ginny, does this have anything to do with the state of Ron and Hermione's relationship?” Harry asked bravely. The water turned off, and a red faced Ginny turned toward Harry.
“You knew?” she asked, and he nodded his head slowly. “You knew, and you didn't even tell me!”
“I'm sorry. I found out by accident, and-”
“I'm your wife! You've been lying to me! What else did you lie about?”
“Nothing! That's it. They asked me to lie, Ginny. And you know I didn't want to. But what was I supposed to do? Betray them?”
When Ginny spoke, her voice was trembling.
“For the first seven years I knew you, you always put them first. To the extent that you didn't even realize I was there, practically. In my fifth year, you put them first, even though we were dating. In my sixth year, although I pleaded for you to bring me with you, you wouldn't let me come on the hunt. Once again you put them first. I'd have thought that, five years later, as your wife, you'd put me first. But you still care about them more.”
“How the hell could you say that Ginny? You're my wife!”
“Maybe you should have married Ron or Hermione.” Ginny cried.
“Don't be an idiot, Ginny. I'm not attracted to either of them.”
Ginny let out a laugh, but it was cold.
“Then why do you act like they're your everything? Why did you let them bully you into not telling me something? Especially something that I deserved to know!”
“Gin, it's two against one. What was I supposed to do? Ron's the best trained field Auror, and Hermione can perform any spell you ask her to without blinking an eyelash.”
“You know what? Screw this. I'm going over to Ron's to yell at him.” Ginny said. Then she snatched up her wand, turned on the spot, and apparated over to her brother's house. Perhaps she could kick him out. It was her place, after all. Just because he was paying rent to her and Harry, it didn't mean Ron couldn't be kicked out of the place. Ginny stepped on the carpet and marched over to Ron's room. She opened the door a crack and peaked in. Hermione was there, lovingly and tenderly stroking Ron's face. Slowly, he lifted an eye up to look at her.
“Mione? What're you doing here?”
Ginny smiled. She hadn't heard her brother's voice so tender in a while.
“I just needed to be with you. I'll explain in the morning.”
And when had Hermione's voice been so sweet? Ginny didn't think she'd ever heard the soft way Hermione spoke to Ron ever before.
“Mmmm.” Ron said, leaning into Hermione's palm. “M'kay. You alright?”
“Go back to sleep, love. Every thing's fine.”
“I uv ooh.” Ron sighed. Ginny backed away before she could hear anything more. In that small, tender moment, she'd realized why Ron and Hermione had tried to hide their relationship. They were so different around just each other than they were each other and other people. And suddenly, like that, all was forgiven. So Ginny headed home, crawled into bed next to her husband, and tried not to think about her bad sushi as she drifted off to sleep.
“Wake up, Ron! We have to be at the studio in twenty minutes.”
“Remind me why again?” Ron asked, his eyes still closed.
“Because the last episode is being taped live there in an hour.” Hermione said, giving his lips a quick peck.
“You're not really helping your own case, you know.”
“Well, I'm leaving. And I'm taking the covers.” Hermione said, grabbing the covers before Ron could get them. He immediately sat up, his eyes wide.
“Get up, Ron.” Hermione grinned.
“Fine.” Ron grumped. “But I'm taking a shower. Care to join me?”
“Tempting, but no.” Hermione said. “Ginny'll probably wash my hair. If she's still talking to me.” Hermione had filled Ron in on the whole incident when they'd both woken up around seven, then decided to go back to sleep. “Besides, if I do, you'll be in there way too long.”
“True.” Ron said, shrugging. Hermione sighed happily and walked into his kitchen to get something to eat. She was surprised when she saw a bunch of her favorite yogurts in there. When Ron walked into the kitchen ten minutes later, drying his hair with a towel, Hermione was just finishing up.
“I thought you hated these?” Hermione asked, holding the carton up.
“Oh, good, you saw those.” He said, grinning at her.
“What do you mean?” Hermione asked.
“Oh, I got them for you.” Ron said. “So you'd have something to eat over here. Check the freezer.”
Hermione, bewildered and pleased, walked over to the freezer, then pulled the door open to see a large carton of triple chocolate ice cream.
A half an hour later, they apparated to the studio, Hermione still over the moon. As soon as she saw Ginny, however, the smile vanished from her face, replaced with a look of concern. But instead of being angry, Ginny rushed over to her, a large smile on her face. She tackled Hermione into a hug, then brought Ron into it.
“I'm so happy for you guys!” she squealed. “I really am!”
“Thank you!” Hermione and Ron said at the same time, both with equally shocked voices.
“Now, Hermione, come on!” Ginny cried, pulling Hermione away from Ron. “I have the perfect dress for you!”
After lots of prepping, Hermione was finally shoved onto the stage, where she was greeted happily by Colin Love. He gave her a one armed hug, then grabbed Ron with the other arm.
“Are you ready for the absolute final chapter of 'The Perfect Match'?” Colin asked, smiling toothily.
“Definitely.” Hermione nodded.
“Yep.” Ron said. They glanced at each other and tried not to burst out laughing.
Colin brought out all the questions. Hermione and Ron answered all of them perfectly. They knew each other too well. Both of them ended up being winners. When the questions were over, the lights dimmed, and a screen came down. Ron and Hermione exchanged surprised glances, as suddenly pictures of them at age elven appeared on the screen. Hermione in her school robes, and on her way to Hogwarts, Ron proudly holding up Scabbers. Second year, Hermione and Ron posing next to each other by the lake. Third year, a picture with Harry in the middle, and Ron and Hermione each clutching pets tightly on either side, not even thinking about looking at each other. Fourth year, Hermione standing next to Viktor Krum, looking simply radiant. Then, her eyes red, arguing with Ron.
“Who would bother to take that picture?” Ron asked, his breath tickling Hermione's neck.
“No idea.” Hermione said, fascinated by the tears running down her own cheeks in the picture.
Fifth year, a picture of Hermione defeating Ron in nonverbal jinxes during a Dumbledore's Army session. Sixth year, Ron with Lavender, staring at Hermione wistfully as she concentrated on her homework. Tons of newspaper clippings that featured them as exhausted seventeen year olds, posing after the war. And then clips of them in their flat together, holding hands, kissing, laughing. Then, finally, clips from them on their dates during the game show, even some parts that Hermione wished they wouldn't show. When the video was done, the whole audience stood up and clapped. Then Colin got up to speak, and they all sat down, hushing immediately.
“Has this game show changed the way you look at each other at all?” he asked, his eyes twinkling.
“Yes.” Ron and Hermione said the same time.
“Well, is there anything you would like to tell us, Hermione?”
Hermione smiled at Ron, then reached for his hand.
“Actually, there is. Ron and I are together.”
The whole audience jumped up and started screaming. Hermione, taken aback, looked around to try to see the cause of all the hostility. But then she realized that it wasn't hostility. They were all thrilled. Ginny was in the front row, crying, and Harry was beaming at his friends. Hermione bit her lip to keep herself from crying. This moment was absolutely amazing.
The audience didn't stop cheering for another ten minutes. When they did, a laughing Colin turned to Ron and asked him the same question as he had just asked Hermione.
“Is there anything you would like to say, Mr. Weasley?” Colin questioned.
“Yes, there is, actually.” Ron said. Hermione, surprised, dropped his hand and turned toward him. And that was when he got onto his knee. Hermione's heart stopped beating as he pulled a box out of his pocket and opened it to reveal a beautiful, sparkly engagement ring. It was small and pear shaped, with tiny blue sapphires outlining the edges.
“Oh my god.” Hermione said, her mouth dropping open at the sight of the box. She quickly closed it, remembering her manners. The audience was silent. You could hear a pin drop.
“Hermione Jean Granger,” Ron said, grinning up at her. “You've made my life so brilliant and colorful and amazing. Even when you make me hopping mad, I can't resist loving you. And although we've gone to bed angry way too many times, I'd like you to give me an eternity of waking up forgiving. So, Hermione, would you do me the honor of becoming my wife?”
Her stomach had a terrible, nagging feeling in it. Hermione looked down at Ron, smiling so widely at her, so happy. And so she opened her mouth to give the answer she was almost positive Ron wouldn't want to hear.
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