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Chapter 6 : Sweet Dreams
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Every moment we spend with the ones we love is a moment well spent, so Harry, Ron, and Hermione did not feel as if the two weeks they had just passed doing nothing had been wasted. In those two weeks, Hermione finished a lot of books and spent a lot of time snogging her new boyfriend, but between that, she did a lot of studying to plan for going to find her parents. Harry wrote Ginny over and over while she went for a little trip with Luna to Paris, where Luna had decided they would visit the historical museum of gnomes and Ginny had agreed with the compromise of visiting the Eiffel Tower. Ron had spent his afternoon's at Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes clearing things out and getting ready for George to reopen, even if he had shown no intention of doing so yet.
And then, one night, Fleur cleared her throat after dinner.
"We wanted to talk to you about some'zing," she looked over at Bill as she cleared the plates.
The three watched her closely. Ron and Hermione exchanged looks, wondering if either of them knew.
"Fleur and I are going to meet Ginny in France," Bill said, studying their faces. "Her parents aren't far and we thought it would be a good chance to go and see them. But that means you three will be alone in the house..."
Ron bit his lip to hide his growing smile. It wasn't that he wanted Bill and Fleur gone or that he had troublesome plans for their absense, it was just that he never got the house to himself as a kid, and so he liked the opportunity.
"But there are rules," Bill continued. "You're not kids, I'm not expecting house parties or anything, but you're still young, so let me make a few things clear : Arthur has agreed to pop in and check on you. Unnanounced. He may come by at any time, and if he doesn't like what he finds he will march you all straight back to the Burrow. You're all of age now but I'd really rather you didn't drink anyways, alright?"
Nodding, the three of them looked at each other, exchanging small smiles.
"Lastly, Harry must be here at all times unless you're with him."
Harry frowned. "But why-" he then noticed Fleur looking nervously between blushing figures of Ron and Hermione, and he suddenly understood. "Right. Sure."
Bill suddenly relaxed. "Good. Right, that's settled then! Anyone hungry for dessert?"
That night, Bill and Fleur went to bed early so they could head out early in the morning, leaving Harry, Hermione, and Ron in the livingroom alone. Ron piped up anxiously.
"What are we going to do while they're gone?"
"What do you mean?" Hermione frowned at him. "They're trusting us, Ronald..."
He shook his head, falling back onto the sofa beside Hermione. "No, no, I know that, I just meant that we'll have to do something special, I'm not talking huge parties and trashing things here."
Harry nodded. "Yeah, I think that's a good idea. When was the last time we sat around just the three of us and relaxed for a while?"
"We've been relaxing for weeks," Hermione laughed.
"You know what I mean. Just because we haven't been studying and working doesn't mean we don't need time to unwind."
"Speak for yourself, I've been moving boxes and chucking expired sweets for days! I need a break," Ron smiled.
Harry, who sat on the loveseat across from the other two, frowned at them. "Why did Bill say that last thing about not leaving you two alone?"
Ron and Hermione shot each other nervous looks. In truth, they hadn't actually told anyone they were together yet. It wasn't that they were embarrassed or shy, it was that they didn't want pressure from everyone else untill they felt they were in a good, stable place, and they'd just gotten started. Ron was also afraid that if he told his family, they'd all come out with stories about how much Ron liked her and embarass him, and Hermione worried just a little that his family wouldn't approve as much as they pretended they would, so both of them were being rediculous. They hadn't even told Harry, but that was partially because they didn't think he'd hide it well. He wasn't a very good liar when it wasn't life or death.
Of course, Harry had mostly figured it out, so he was far too amused with himself at that moment.
"No clue," Hermione shrugged, looking down at the paper. "Probably just making assumptions."
Harry nodded, a smirk on his face. "Right. Assumptions." He was going to stop, but he was enjoying it too much. "Why do you think he would assume things? Does he know something I don't?"
"No, no. Bill doesn't know anything. I mean..." Ron cleared his throat. "Nothing to know, really."
Watching them sit there, Hermione pretending to casually read the paper and Ron trying to focus on smoothing his hair, Harry couldn't take it. "Come on!" He laughed. "You've got to be kidding me!"
"What?" Hermione pulled her eyebrows together.
"I don't know if you've forgotten but I was there in the Room of Requirement! I saw the kiss!"
"That was nothing," Hermione took over. "It was a... a heat of the moment thing, it was the battle. We were afraid for our lives and we just sort of lashed out on it. It didn't mean anything. We've talked about that, haven't we, Ron?"
"Rubbish!" Harry interrupted before Ron could even respond. "Don't even bother trying. I know you two better than anyone in the world, I know you as well as you know each other, or yourselves for that matter, so don't bother trying to hide it, I already know! You don't think I haven't seen you touching her back when she goes through a doorway," he looked at Ron, then over to Hermione. "Or the way you never look at him like he's an idiot anymore? Don't deny it. I know."
Hermione said nothing, just stared at Harry blankly, trying to decide what to do. Then Ron threw his hands up and rubbed his eyes.
"Bloody hell, I give up. There's nothing the man doesn't notice!"
Harry clapped his hands together and grinned, far too pleased with himself, while Hermione looked over at her boyfriend and laughed, scrunching her nose at him. He smiled back.
"I knew it! How long have you been hiding it?"
Hermione smiled, turning so her back was to the arm of the sofa and putting her legs up over Ron's lap. He put his hands just bellow her knees. "About two weeks now."
"Two weeks? And you didn't tell me sooner?" He tried not to sound hurt. After all, they were his best friends. He hoped they would have told him sooner.
"Sorry, mate, we wanted to tell you, we really did..." Ron began, rubbing his hands slightly over the spot on her legs as if he were massaging her shins.
Hermione took over. "...We just kind of wanted to do this ourselves untill we got everything sorted out between us."
"Yeah, we wanted some time to just... be together."
Frowning, he took a moment to remember the way they looked like that. To see Hermione, legs stretched comfortably across Ron's lap, him touching her so casually like it was nothing, he couldn't help but feel incredibly happy for his two best friends. For years, he'd watched them want that, and he'd watched as that want grew deeper and stronger untill he had a hard time just watching it. And now, his best friends had found the people they'd been waiting for - each other. But he still felt protective, because Hermione was like his sister, and he knew how much of a bonehead Ron could be sometimes.
"I understand. But you realize how things are now, Ron, don't you?"
"This means that you're not just trusting me with your sister - I'm trusting you with mine."
Hermione smiled, touched to hear Harry say something like that. Ron smiled too.
"Right. You can trust me. I'd never do anything to hurt her."
"I know you wouldn't," Harry smiled. "If I didn't I wouldn't be so happy about it."
To make sure Harry didn't notice them go into the same room, Ron went to bed early, but went into Hermione's room so Harry would hear him shut the bedroom door, and then Hermione came up after Harry did. She crawled under the sheets next to him, brushing his hair from his face to wake him after she cast a muffling charm on the room.
"What?" Ron moaned.
She laughed, still whispering despite the charm. "I just wanted to talk. You've been so tired these past few nights that you've passed out on me."
He stretched, catching her in his arms as he did and pulling her in tight so they were spooning. "Sorry. I promise that I won't work so hard for a while."
She smiled, gripping the arms of her big spoon. "Good. I like it when we stay up and talk."
He groaned happily into her hair. She tried not to giggle.
"You think Harry's really happy for us?" She asked.
"Yeah, definitely. You don't know how long I've been whining to him about you."
She laughed. "Have you really?"
"Yeah. Well, not that long, actually, because I kept denying it before, but when I finally admitted it, I never stopped."
She grinned ear to ear. "How long did it take you to admitt it?"
"Like, how long was I hiding it? Too long. Years. Almost as long as I've known you. It would be since the day we became friends, but not quite that long because I hadn't even figured it out for myself back then."
She turned around, wrapping her arms around his neck and kissing him full on the mouth, over and over until he finally pulled her back and looked into her eyes.
"You're acting like you didn't know," he laughed.
She shook her head. "I didn't. I mean, I always hoped, but... I always thought I was just kidding myself."
He kissed her forehead. "How could you think I didn't care? How could you not see how much you meant to me?"
"How much?" She asked.
He wrapped his arms around her waist and pressed his lips softly to hers. He would tell her soon, but not just yet.
After they stopped kissing and returned to spoon position, as Hermione was drifting off to sleep, Ron whispered to her, "So, how long did you have to hide it, then?"
She smiled, eyes still closed. "A long long time. I had to figure it out for myself too."
He kissed her hair, breathing in her smell.
"Sweet dreams, love."
And they drifted off to sleep together.
Across the hall, Harry folded the last letter Ginny had sent him after reading it over and over. He then took out a quill and a piece of parchment and wrote :
This will be short because I'm off to bed, but I'm so glad you're having a good time! Bill and Fleur can't wait to join you. Personally, I can't wait till you come home, but don't come home early! Take your time, I want you to enjoy yourself. Then you can come home and tell me all about it. Also, Ron and Hermione have news, but you've probably already got it figured out. Give Luna my best!
I love you, I love you, I love you. Sweet dreams.
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