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Chapter 6 : What I Do For Love
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“Oh, it could be!” Hermione shouted. “What if it has to be, Ron, hmmm?”
“Really, Hermione? You're playing the death card?”
“I'm not going to die! That's ridiculous, and you know it.”
“Is it Ron? Is it?”
“Yes! I've been lucky so far. Why shouldn't I be lucky now?”
“Because luck runs out! That's just the way it is! That's the way life goes! Look at us. All our lives, we were so close to getting together. And then something would just step in the way. We'd be lucky, and then everything would get ruined by something or other.”
“You know what else happened in our school days?”
“Do I want to?” Hermione asked sarcastically. Ron ignored this.
“You doubted my skills.”
“I doubted your skills.” Hermione repeated, monotone.
“You doubted my skills.” Ron reaffirmed.
“Quidditch! You never believed in me!”
“You had the most severe confidence issues in the world, Ron! And I completely believed in you.”
“So then why not believe me now?”
“I... Ron, this isn't about your bloody skills! This is about the fact that I don't want you going on a long term, high danger level mission when I'm about to have a baby.”
“Would you call four months pregnant about to have a baby?”
“Oh, please forgive me.”
“Look, the point is, if something happens to you, I'm going to be raising this child on my own. And, scratch that, I might lose the baby if something huge like that happens to upset me. Then, if that happened, I wouldn't even have a reminder of you to keep me going. I'd fall to pieces.”
Ron sighed, deflated.
“I get that, Hermione. But I've been signed on for this a while now. And I'm at at the point in my career where I can't turn down a mission for what might be. But as soon as this is over, I swear I'll switch to training.”
“That was his and Ginny's decision. And that, my love, besides the fact that he's Harry-Bloody-Potter, is why he is going to get promoted to department head and not me.”
Hermione's nostrils flared.
“Fine!” she snarled. “Go on your precious mission!”
And then she spun around and headed up the stairs and into their room, slamming the door behind her. Ron stayed stationary for a few seconds, staring at the door, before he lowered himself onto a kitchen chair and pressed his forehead against the darkened window. What was he supposed to do? He'd been signed on for this for almost a year now. You couldn't give up a mission after all that prep. Besides, it was his last one before he settled down to the solitude of training young Aurors and the crazy ride that was fatherhood. He was looking very much forward to it. And, anyways, he had to believe that Hermione would be a little more forgiving of his situation if, A) She was less hormonal, and B) She was getting more sleep. The brunet was constantly waking up in the middle of the night, sweating and screaming about Bellatrix terrorizing her child or her baby being turned into a horcrux. The first time this had happened, Ron had attempted to make light of it by telling her that if it was a horcux, Bellatrix would be hard pressed to try to kill it, so it wouldn't matter anyways, but that hadn't gone over very well. Ron had been reduced to holding her in his arms and promising her that the Death Eater wasn't alive, and it wasn't really happening, and that their baby would never, ever be made into a horcrux, because that event was a surprisingly rare occurrence.
He did the best he could. She couldn't complain about that. And, besides, Ron had several bruises that he told people were from his job, but were really from Hermione kicking and punching the hell out of him in her sleep. That, along with all the comforting, listening of dream telling, and waking up in the middle of the night to hear her screaming that he was doing made Ron believe that he should win the husband of the year award. He knew, though, that Hermione wasn't the only one with these dreams. Ginny had them too, but less about the war, and more about Tom Riddle. So Harry would probably win that award. Simply because he was Harry-Bloody-Potter. Yes, sometimes, when they were going through the exact same trials and suffering, it was hard not to be bitter.
Ron shook himself from his thoughts and decided to think about something different. Hermione had given up on her end of the fight, now he had to do something for her. He did like to be a good sport with these things. Deciding quickly, he got out of his chair, headed to their bedroom and knocked before sticking his head in the door. Hermione was curled up on their bed, her nose buried in a book one of her work friends had written about the pros and cons of freeing house elves. Ron remembered how excited Hermione had been when she'd been asked to contribute to the pro side. Now, the young woman was featured on the winning side of the novel. Sometimes, Ron wondered if the book had simply gone that way because Hermione was so passionate about her subject, and no one on any other side could possibly stand a chance. She was passionate about everything she did. That was one of the reasons Ron knew that the woman he'd married would be a great mother. She'd work at it, because she'd have to be the best at it, and she'd care about it more than anything, maybe even her work. But it wasn't just motherhood, and work, and house elves. It was even the little things, the trivial things. Like the decorating of the room, for example. Ron remembered that because she'd driven him crazy. Nothing was good enough unless it was absolutely perfect. It was the room Hermione had taken the longest on, had agonized over the most.
“Ron, don't you understand what this is? This isn't just a room! This is where we're going to make a baby, and where we're going to argue over who has to get up and get the baby to stop crying, and where our children will come when they have bad dreams and need to sleep between us. This is going to be the only place we can escape from everything else and just have each other, because mark my words when I say everywhere else in our house will be child central. This room could make or break our relationship.”
Of course, after she'd proven her point to Ron about why she worked so hard on it, he'd understood perfectly. And he'd almost been as worried as about it as she had. But not quite.
“I'm going out, alright?” Ron said after clearing his throat politely.
“Fine.” Hermione said.
“Don't fall asleep while I'm gone, okay?”
“Fine.” Hermione said again. Ron pulled his out of the room and left the house.
The office was curiously quiet at this time of night. Ron almost felt like an intruder, because his clumsy footsteps were echoing down that hall at an alarmingly loud volume. But he continued on anyways, thinking about how he'd be returning to leave in less then twelve hours. He barely bothered to focus his eyes as he tromped down the familiar hallways, right to the director's office. There, he knocked on the door and waited for the answer he knew would come. Robards didn't go home until very late, because he had nothing to go home to. That was the main reason he had stayed a field auror his whole life.
“Come in,” came the expected grunt. Ron opened the door slowly. “Weasley? What are you doing here this time of night?”
“I've decided to resign, sir.”
“From... where? The entire department? The entire ministry?”
“No. I'm no longer going to be a field auror, that's all.”
“That's all... hah.” Robards said, putting his quill down. “If you back out now, Weasley, you'll have to go through training all over again if you want to come back.”
“I understand that. But I definitely don't want to be doing long term missions anymore, and while I'd like to do some small things every now and then, I'd rather be teaching high level trainee aurors. And I know there's a position open, because the man that was teaching decided to go to field work.”
“Hmm.” Robards said. “Well, if you're sure, I'm sure we can bend some rules for you so that you'll be able to go on little, day-only missions. Here's the application.”
He pushed the paper across the desk. Ron took it, swallowing.
“Thank you, sir.”
“Weasley... may I ask why?”
“My wife's pregnant. She gets worried. I can't tear her apart anymore- it's hard enough just because I'm her husband, but with a baby... And, besides, I promised I'd do this when we got married. It was an unspoken condition.”
“Wife. Baby. That's why I never got either of them. I spent my time at the office, and in the training rooms, staying in shape. Even after all these years, most aurors would be retired to something else. But not me. What drew you to it, anyways? That path of life? I've never understood it, always wanted to know.”
“Well, I have a big family. So I always knew I wanted children of my own. But, other than that, I've loved her since I was fourteen.”
Robards considered this.
“Fair enough.” He said, finally. “I wish you all the best, Weasley.”
“Thanks.” Ron said, turning to the door.
“Er- what's in the bag?” Robards asked quickly, pointing to the plastic one in Ron's hand.
“A damn good apology. I'll see you tomorrow, sir.”
A loud crack of apparation sounded through Godric's Hollow, announcing Ron's arrival into his yard. He breathed in quickly, and looked up at the large house he called home. All the lights were off, including the bedroom ones. Although he couldn't see the bedroom (it was in the back of the house), he could tell because not one bit of light flooded through the windows. The usually welcoming and beautiful house seemed forlorn and sad, so Ron took his time approaching it. As soon as he got in, however, he was greeted by the unwelcoming sound of Hermione screaming. Cursing under his breath, Ron flew over to the bedroom, going as fast as his feet could carry him. He burst through the door and flicked on the light, dropping the bag on the floor as he rushed over to a thrashing Hermione's side.
“Mione! Wake up! C'mon! C'mon, love!”
She finally woke up, whimpering and gasping, her eyes blinking blearily up at her husband.
“Yeah. It's alright. It was just a dream.”
She sighed in relief and began crying again, although why Ron didn't know. He lifted her form up, placed her in his lap, and pressed her head against his warm green sweater, glad he was wearing something so soft. Hermione rubbed her cheek against it a few times as she cried, and when she was finally done she turned to look up at Ron with an awful look in her eyes.
“What did you dream?” he asked, wiping away her tear with his thumb. She closed her eyes at his touch.
“For once, I don't want to talk about it.” Hermione admitted. “Mainly because this one's much, much more realistic then the others. But it also wasn't about the baby.”
She pressed her face against his sweater again, and Ron made soothing noises as he stroked her hair.
“It's okay,” he said, pressing a kiss to the top of her head. “I think I know anyways.”
“What's in the bag?” Hermione asked a few minutes later. Ron suddenly straightened up, grinning, and looking rather proud of himself.
“Sushi. Pickles. And Triple Chocolate Ice Cream.”
“You're kidding?” Hermione asked delightedly. Ron shook his head, and Hermione climbed off of his lap to go over to the door and grab the bag. She rifled through, letting out excited squeals as she saw the items she had been craving most over the course of her pregnancy so far. “Hey, what's this?”
She had pulled all of the items out of the bag and was now looking at a stark white piece of paper.
“That is an application for the auror training department.”
“You're going back into training?” Hermione asked, confused.
“No, not at all. I'm going to be teaching it.”
She flew over to the bed and ran to hug him, pressing her face into the crook of his neck.
“So,” Ron whispered in a low, seductive voice, “I thought we could make a night of it. You know... sushi... pickles... ice cream... editing my spelling...”
“Ron, don't toy with me!” Hermione warned excitedly.
“I wouldn't dare.”
“Oh, yes! I'll go get my wand.”
As he watched her go, he lay back onto his bed and shook his head.
“Oi. What I do for love.”
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