Chapter 7 : Luck
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“Thanks Mum,” beamed Hermione and, catching her mother's eye staring at the wand she added “You can pick it up if you want.”
“Oh you'll have to ask Ron,” Mrs Granger answered shakily, scared to pick up the small thin piece of splintered wood.
“It's all good Amelia, go ahead,” Ron said, grinning as the small dentist, her hand shaking, picked up the dead wand. “Oh Robert come look at this!” she cried excitedly, twirling the stick in her fingers excitedly.
Mr Granger came over and began fiddling with the wand, staring at the shining strip of Unicorn hair visible from the cracks in its surface. “Is that –?” he asked uncertainly.
“Unicorn hair,” Ron finished for him as the two Muggles jumped up and down whilst examining the thin strip of colour. Hermione smiled warmly at Ron. It meant a lot to her that Ron was taking an interest at her parents' small obsession with something he had grown up with his entire life. “You can have it if you want. It's no use to me.”
“Oh no we couldn't,” giggled Mrs Granger, gingerly placing the wand back on the coffee table.
Everyone in the room smiled encouragingly at the two Grangers as they became immersed in the ordinary yet extraordinary objects the magical world took for granted. Nearly every witch and wizard had a wand … but hardly any Muggles had been near one.
“How bout we all eat?” Hermione suggested to the room at large, who were all staring at Mr and Mrs Granger. Victoire ran over to Hermione.
“Mione, me help?” she said innocently.
“Oh you're going to have to ask Mum.”
“Mumma?” Victoire enquired, waddling over to her mother who was sitting on the lounge, baby Dominique in her arms.
“Of course sweetheart,” she said, stroke her little blond head and sending her on her way with Hermione into the kitchen.
“Now what would you like to do miss Victoire?” Hermione asked, turning around to face the toddler. “Victoire?” she was no where to be seen, but as Hermione turned around she spotted the little silvery-blond hair, turned red and orange from the flames sprouting from the stove.
“MUMMA!” screamed the little girl as Hermione snatched her wand from her pocket and began to spray copious amounts of water onto her. Victoire slipped over from the shower of water and hit her head as the rest of the flames disappeared. The oven continued to burn. There was a rush of feet.
Fleur and Bill had arrived in the kitchen to find their daughter sprawled across the floor; the oven alight; Hermione, with her wand in her hand and tears streaming down her face and water coating the kitchen floor. Hermione quickly ceased the flames of the fire and turned around to face the parents of the unconscious child.
“I'm so sorry!” she sobbed, “I am so so sorry!” She collapsed onto the ground and continued to sob. She could sense Bill and Fleur pass her on their way to the child. She couldn't see how they could ever forgive her for doing this to their child. All she wanted was a small family gathering to celebrate the new house … now look at what had happened. She stayed there for what felt like hours.
“C'mon,” she heard a voice in her ear, “C'mon Hermione.” She felt a sharp prod on her shoulder and she looked up. Ron was standing before her, she looked at her knees in shame, which were sopping wet.
“Look what I've done,” she cried to her knees.
“That wasn't your fault.”
“Then whose was it?” she asked him, peering into his blue eyes.
“Nothing got damaged.”
“She's fine!” Ron said, shaking her shoulder clumsily. “Believe it or not … Bill and Fleur are incredibly gifted at magic.”
“Is there any scarring?” Hermione asked him, staring around at the now destroyed kitchen. The oven lay charred beside her and the once pristine counter-tops were browned and aged now.
“Nah, she's still her good old self,” Ron beamed, helping Hermione shakily to her feet.
“I'll never be good with kids,” she said roughly.
“'Course you will,” Ron said, hugging her and kissing her gently on the lips.
“How do you know that?”
“'Cause you haven't failed at anything at life,” Ron said simply, leading her into the living room and setting her down softly on the lounge.
“Where's everyone?” Hermione enquired.
“They've all gone home. Your parents said to give you their thanks and that they hope you get better,” Ron said, pulling a blanket over top of Hermione. “They took my old wand,” he added sheepishly. Hermione smiled. “Thank you,” she whispered softly.
“Do you wanna stay down here tonight or do you wanna come upstairs to bed?”
“Can you stay here with me, just tonight?” Hermione asked him, her eyes wide.
“'Course I will,” he said, pulling her hair out of her eyes.
So that's what Ron did. He settled himself down beside her and rubbed her forehead gently. There was barely any room left for him but he did it anyway and Hermione knew that he had stayed there the whole night, rubbing her gently the whole while because when she woke up he was there. He smiled encouragingly into her face.
“Did you stay here the whole night?” she asked him, peering into his worn and exhausted face.
“Don't worry about that now,” he muttered, rushing off to make tea. Hermione smiled. She knew he was ten times the person she ever deserved.
Hermione went to visit Bill and Fleur at their cottage the day after to check on Victoire. Bill and Fleur insisted that everything was fine but Hermione couldn't help feeling horrible. They even brought Victoire downstairs for them to see how there was no scarring and that she seemed to have forgotten the incident. Hermione felt slightly better having talked to them and even stayed for a glass of Firewhisky.
Before she left, Hermione went over to add some flowers to Dobby's grave. It was very weatherworn and the only word she could still make out on the disintegrating headstone was free. She stifled a sob as she got off her knees in front of the grave, waved to Bill, Fleur and Victoire and thought how lucky she was to have such a forgiving family and how lucky she was that nothing worse came from the fire. She was a very lucky person.
Hermione came back to The Burrow late one afternoon. She was exhausted and wished to be back at her own home but Ron hadn't wished her to stay at the house while there was so much construction going on. Apparently the damage in the kitchen really should have been fixed a long time ago.
“Ron it's fine, it's not like it's going to light on fire again!” Hermione had protested but Ron ignored her, telling her that he would rather not have her somewhere where she could damage herself.
“Besides,” he said, “I don't know how to work those bloody Muggle applicances – appliankes – whatever,” he muttered.
So Hermione entered The Burrow to smells of a beautiful stroganoff. She would have to get the recipe off Molly.
“Ron I'm home!” she called up the stairs. She heard a thud and Ron came hurrying down the stairs, cursing all the way.
“Banged my damn head on the stupid headboard,” he said, rubbing the ever-growing lump on the top of his head. “I've gotten used to the new one.”
“We could still be living there if it hadn't been for you,” Hermione pointed out.
“Yeah well, never mind that … how was work?” said Ron, sitting down on the lounge.
“Oh well I got to work more on S.P.E.W,” Hermione began, “You wouldn't believe the positive response we're getting from people for such a small project, it just goes to sh – What are you doing?” she gasped for Ron had gotten off the couch and was now kneeling next to it.
Hermione stared into his eyes, bright with anticipation; he was red in the face and wore an anxious expression.
“Hermione?” he asked her, reaching in his pocket and taking out a small royal blue velvet box.
“Yes Ronald,” Hermione said breathlessly.
“Do you wanna – um – do you – wanna marry me?” he asked her hopelessly. Hermione had tears in her eyes. Surely he wasn't asking her this? It was so sudden, so strange for Ron Weasley to be asking her such a question. They fought so frequently! She knew the answer before he had even finished his sentence though.
“I think I might,” she said and all the sudden he lifted her off her feet and kissed her, full on, on the mouth.
“I think your parents might be home,” Hermione muttered as he continued to kiss her.
“Damn them,” said Ron, “I'm marrying you!”
Little did they know, Molly Weasley was leaning precariously against the kitchen door, sobbing into a handkerchief and beaming while muttering to her husband as loud as she dared “She said yes Arthur, she said yes!”
Ron slipped the gorgeous ring onto Hermione's shaking and fragile fingers. It was immaculate, simply stunning. Diamonds circulated the entire ring made of white gold, a great diamond centred, similar to Angelina's.
“Lets go home,” Ron said to Hermione.
“But –“ Hermione said, looking confused.
“You really think I'd keep you out of the house just to stop you being near the kitchen?” Ron laughed, brushing away her tears.
“What is it?” Hermione whispered.
“You'll see,” he told her.
“But I still need to finish telling you about work!” she cried as he dragged her out the door, shouting muffled goodbyes to his parents on the way.
The scene which greeted her eyes when they got home shocked her beyond belief. Candles, everywhere and as they moved on into the dining room, an absolutely stunning table of food was shining before her. She walked over to it, completely lost for words.
“Tonight, I'm gonna treat you like my wife,” he told her, gripping her waist and kissing her against the table. Grapes cascaded onto the floor and Hermione couldn't remember every being happier in her entire life.
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