After the slight shock after the wedding from Ron, Hermione had composed herself slightly. Harry and Ginny would be moving out sometime in mid-March. Ginny actually looked slightly nervous. She tended to stay by herself, mumbling incoherently. Hermione was slightly worried about her.
Everything seemed to be moving by as though in fast motion. All the little grandchildren always running about, all getting so big! Victoire was nearly three and little Freddie had only just turned one! Percy and Audrey always seemed to be in and out with their beautiful twin girls Molly and Lucy.
Audrey was a lovely woman, very strict like Percy but she had a positive air about her. She had short brown hair and wore respectable dresses wherever she went. She didn't look frightening. In fact, for Percy she wasn't really up to the standards they thought of him. But if he was happy they supposed that the whole family was too.
So Molly and Arthur had plenty of grandchildren already, that was a fact. Victoire, Fred, Dominique, Molly and Lucy. It was a wonder that this family was getting out alive! It seemed like everyone had forgotten about the battle only because they had so much to do.
Hermione was finishing up breakfast when Mrs Weasley came in, holding a bunch of laundry in her already arthritis-worn hands.
“Would you be able to take these up to Ginny for packing?” she asked, holding out a pile of laundry. “I just don't think I can tackle those damn stairs right now!”
“Sure Molly,” Hermione said as she gathered her plate and quickly wiped it clean. She took the pile of clothes from Mrs Weasley and began to traipse up the stairs.
She knocked on Ginny's door.
“Who is it?” came a sniffling reply from inside the room.
“Hermione,” was Hermione's slightly bemused reply. Ginny never cried. What could possibly be wrong?
“Come in,” Ginny answered, barely audible through her tears.
Hermione entered the room and saw Ginny, sprawled on her bed still in her underwear, obviously halfway through getting dressed as her clothes lay sprawled across her bed.
“What's wrong Ginny?!” Hermione asked in a panicked voice, laying the clean clothes on her bed and sitting on the end of it.
“I just really don't wanna leave!” said Ginny though strangled tears.
“Oh come here,” Hermione said, gathering Ginny in her arms.
“I – I just can't see myself – anywhere else,” she choked.
Hermione was too kind to mention that had Ginny and Harry bought a house and moved out sooner before the wedding, she may not have this dilemma. All the excitement the wedding had caused had ebbed away by now, leaving Ginny with a feeling of complete and utter insecurity.
“You were fine moving in with the Harpies!” Hermione said, stroking her hair gently.
“Yeah but that wasn't permanent and now I'm married and everything is just,” she hiccoughed, “going so fast.”
“Life isn't simple Ginny, you know that,” said Hermione kindly, “Harry's going to be a great husband to you and you'll always be able to call this place home.” Ginny nodded slowly and hugged Hermione.
“I was just being stupid,” she sniffed, grabbing her clothes of the bed and putting them on.
“It's normal to miss your home when you move out,” Hermione said, reminiscing in the difficulty of moving away from her parents. It definitely hadn't been easy. She had to think of the positives and not dwell on the negatives. She knew Ginny had to too.
It was rather hard, seeing Ginny and Harry leave the Burrow. Through all her years, Hermione had never felt so empty and alone then in the moment she heard the faint pop which meant they had finally disapparated.
“We'll still be able to see them,” Ron said as they trudged back through the door.
“I've always been used to everyone just being here,” Hermione said as they entered the sweet and carpet-worn living room. So many summers Hermione had spent here, listening to stories and humming to the different tunes of the WWN with the rest of the Weasleys. They were now down to having only Mr and Mrs Weasley, Hermione and Ron. It was a rather lonely household.
“Yeah well we all have to grow up don't we,” Ron said, gathering some of Hermione's misplaced books and stowing them away safely in a corner.
“I miss the life we all had when we were eleven,” Hermione said, tears forming in her eyes. She turned away from Ron and pretended to neaten the stack of books Ron had previously been tidying.
“But when I was eleven I couldn't do this,” said Ron from right behind her. As Hermione turned around, startled, he kissed her. It was like everything in the world seemed to have disappeared. It was as if, despite everything going on, Ron's lips would somehow make it all better. This was the Ron she had missed so much. This was the Ron she had shared her first kiss with.
It felt like an eternity before they finally heard a voice behind them “Eh-em”. They broke apart, noticing Mrs Weasley standing in the doorway, attempting to look cross but barely concealing her smile.
“Sorry Molly,” Hermione said apologetically as Ron turned crimson. “I'll make dinner shall I?”
“Oh that would be lovely dear,” beamed Mrs Weasley, tottering away into the hallway and up the stairs. Hermione gave Ron a sweet smile and hastened into the kitchen. Feeling completely on top of the world.
Hermione began to make the only dish she seemed to know how to make. Pasta. Besides desserts, she wasn't very gifted when it came to cooking. She had started the sauce with fresh tomatoes and herbs. The scent wafted through the room.
She thought of what Ron had just done, kissing her like that. Why? She didn't think she would ever know. He was one of those people who had a tendency to surprise someone through something as simple as a kiss. Maybe that's what she loved about him, she thought. She felt a kiss on her neck.
Once again she turned around and saw Ron, holding her tight to him.
“What are you doing?!” she laughed, attempting, but failing to push him away.
“I love you,” he said simply, kissing her on the head.
“I love you too but if you keep kissing me you're going be eating burnt sauce,” she said, kissing him lightly on the cheek.
“What's life without a little burnt sauce?” he said.
Hermione look the wooden spoon she had been stirring the sauce with and began hitting Ron with it playfully.
“Oi!” Ron laughed as his shirt and trousers were stained with red. Hermione couldn't contain her laughter.
Ron lifted her off her feet in a tight embrace, tilting her head and kissing her again. They were inseparable for a few minutes before Ron spoke.
“Do you wanna move out?” he asked her, smiling.
“Yeah I do!” was her response. The sauce lay forgotten, burning all the while.
Molly was in pieces the next morning when Ron and Hermione announced their departure from The Burrow.
“But – no – you can't!” she spluttered over the frying bacon.
“Well yeah we can,” Ron said simply, surveying his mother through his deep blue eyes. Hermione stared from one to the other, intrigued and fascinated by the similarities between the two. They both had incredibly strong points of view which frequently rubbed against each other. They both had plenty of spells where they would feel like the world was against them yet Hermione loved them both.
“Hermione what do you think of this?” Mrs Weasley asked of her abruptly. Hermione signed and thought for a moment before replying, “I love your son and I think its time we moved on and started taking risks.” Mrs Weasley cast her eyes downwards but left the subject alone.
That afternoon Hermione and Ron gathered their travelling cloaks and left the Burrow in an attempt to secure themselves a suitable home and, Hermione thought, to escape Mrs Weasley.
Hermione held Ron's arm tightly as they strolled through the many winding streets of the Muggle suburbs.
“I've always kind of wanted to live near Muggles,” Hermione said, staring around at the little thatched roofs of small cottages in a lonely street of London.
“Why's that?” Ron asked, keeping in time with her step.
“Because,” Hermione sighed, “I don't want my children to grow up in a world where they're unaware of the other humans they share it with.” Ron stopped for a moment and Hermione laughed at him. “Stop that,” she said, giggling.
“You really think we'll make it to that point?” Ron asked her.
“Yeah I suppose your right – What about this one?” he asked her, pointing to a little cottage with a sweet garden with bees and butterflies lazily buzzing around it. A small sign in the front yard told them that it was “For Sale”.
After a heated discussion, the two decided it was best if Hermione called the Real Estate Agent to express their desire for the home. Hermione couldn't stop smiling at the idea that she would finally be living with Ron by herself, no interruptions.
“We'll miss you both dearly,” Mrs Weasley told her, kissing her on the cheek and beaming into her face. “You take care of my son now won't you?”
“Yes of course Molly,” Hermione said, “And you take care of yourself and Arthur, you hear me?”
Ron received a rather tearful goodbye from his mother while she reminisced about his childhood and the things she wished she could have done.
“It's not like she's never gonna see me again,” mumbled Ron to Hermione as they Disapparated into the small street where nestled the house with the little thatched roof and sweet garden.