Chapter 1 : Chocolate Frogs and Flowers
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Crookshanks was outside chasing away the garden gnomes. All the pots and pans had been scrubbed so clean that you could see yourself in them. Every room was clean. Everything that was usually bewitched decided to take a rest. No speck of dust was to be seen. You could only hear the many clocks in the house ticking away and Ron occasionally swearing under his breath at everything he did.
I go down the stairs to get fresh air after being locked in a room for so long reading and rereading books we needed to find the horocruxes. It’s a habit I have very well grown accustomed to. All this studying will pay off later when the biggest test arrives later. For right now, all I can do is cram all the information I can. The more I know the fewer books I’ll have to carry later on. There’s still everything else I have to pack, like clothes and the tent, but I can figure out that situation later. Besides, I am the brightest witch of my age.
Every few steps, a wooden board creaks. It startles me sometimes because I get lost in the silence of the house. Hardly, the Burrow is ever at peace. This was a rare moment, and I’d like to live in it for a while. I jump off when there are only a couple of steps to the bottom to prevent any sound. I listen attentively to see if anyone heard me. Nothing.
I enter the kitchen to find him with his back facing me while he looked out the window above the sink. I creep up behind him to see what he was looking at. Nothing of particular interest was outside. Just the same messy yard below the same pale, blue sky.
He turns around suddenly with a box of chocolate frogs and flowers. I could feel his hands shaking as he quickly handed them to me. I pretend not to notice. “I thought you’d like them. I remember you said yellow was your favorite color. You never had chocolate frogs before I bet, having parents as dentists and all.” He’s right about both.
I inhaled a familiar aroma that I grew up with. Carnations. As a child, my mum and I picked them every Sunday from the garden behind the house. My mum use to put them in a vase and put them on the kitchen counter. The scent would carry out throughout the whole house and my dad kept jokingly complained that everything he wore smelled like them. We haven’t picked any since I started going to Hogwarts. Maybe if I die in this war, they can put the flowers on my grave. Put them in that vase my mum used to. She doesn’t use it anymore. I don’t think she would mind. She wouldn’t even remember the memories that vase held, the ones with her forgotten daughter. The daughter whose funeral she won’t even be attending because she wouldn’t care. Well, she would care, but not as deep as a mother should and/or not care enough to attend the funeral. I don’t blame her, it’s not her fault. It’s mine for erasing her memory. Then there’s my dad, who loves the magical chocolate frogs. I always saved them to give them to him. With these, I won’t be able to-
“Hermione? Are you okay?” Out of the corner of my eye, I see his concerned face.
“I love them.” Without looking at his face, I give him a hug. “Thank you.”
He responds back by squeezing me tightly in his arms, as if I was a tiny rag doll a small child would hug when they had a nightmare. “You’re welcome.”
A clock somewhere in the house rings. We jump out of the embrace, causing him to elbow a nearby stack of dishes. They are sent crashing to the floor, breaking the silence in the house. His ears go pink under his hair. “Oops,” he takes his wand out of his pocket, “Reparo.” They mend themselves all at once, but still lay scattered across the floor.
I place my gifts on the counter and squat down to pick them up, he shadows my actions. We stack them on top of each other until one bowl is left. His hand falls on top of mine. It stays there for a while. I look up and meet his eyes.
“Well, that’s a really cheesy moment,” I say, snatching my hand back and smiling.
“Yea, it is.” He chuckles and puts the bowl on top of the rest.
We stand up and he casts a spell silently on the stack. It floats up and is placed in an empty cabinet. He closes the door manually. “Wingardium Leviosa?” I ask.
“I only know it because of our first year,” he smiles.
I laugh, “I remember that day. I was showing off in Charms and was telling you the right way to do it.”
He mimics my first year voice. “It’s Win-gar-dium Levi-o-sa, make the ‘gar’ nice and long.”
I laugh again, “In my defense, you were going to poke someone’s eye out, the way you were doing it!”
We continue to reminisce our younger years, when everything was so much easier. In one afternoon, we manage to go through all of our experiences at Hogwarts, from the giant chess game to Moaning Myrtle to Buckbeak to the Quidditch World Cup to Dumbledore’s army to just last year. We avoid serious topics, such as Cedric, Sirius, Dumbledore and especially the Yule Ball. We also dine on chocolate frogs, if they don’t jump from us at least. I laugh silently as he tries to capture one that escaped his grasp when he wasn’t looking. I relieve him of his embarrassment with a simple Summoning Charm. He gets his revenge by throwing me over his shoulder, carrying me to the sitting room, and slamming me onto the couch.
I mimic his favorite phrases. “Bloody hell, Ron! Are you mental?!”
“Hey! That’s my line!” he yells.
We’re rolling on the floor, laughing, gasping for air, when Mrs. Weasley comes back an hour later. She looks startled, stammers while apologizing and hurriedly exits the room. We laugh a bit more until we’re breathless. I prop myself up on one elbow to get a good look at him. I find him already in the position.
Years of watching and reading romance stories kicks in. My head pretends like it’s in its own movie, narrating what is currently happening. ‘His eyes, those damn dazzling eyes, lure me in closer. Pools of swirling blue, covered by red strands of hair, are inches from mine. I forget how to breathe for a second-’
“This is cheesier than that dish accident,” he says. I laugh convincingly. He stands up and offers me his hand. I take it and let him pull me up onto my feet. I smooth out my blouse and start to walk to the kitchen to get the flowers I left on the counter.
I turn around. He pauses for a moment, his mind most likely choosing his words carefully for what he is about to say. He doesn't leave my eyes when he says, “Your shoe’s untied.”
I glance down at my bare feet and put on a face of confusion. “I’m not wearing shoes, Ron.”
“Just thought I’d tell you, so when you are wearing shoes, you’ll remember and you won’t fall.” His ears are quickly go pink.
“Okay, thanks for the advice.” I smile and walk into the next room.
The Burrow reawakens and continues its life as if nothing ever happened.
Seventeen years later, I still don’t know why he was looking out the window.
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