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These Dark and Hollow Nights by DracosGirl012
Chapter 1 : The Daily Prophet
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 7


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Chapter One: The Daily Prophet


Hermione Granger was lying flat on her back in the backyard of the Burrow. Ron lie beside her, looking up into the sky. They were holding hands, and Ron's was warm in hers. It was the day before they were due to return to Hogwarts. Hermione was enjoying the last few hours of peaceful summer before the chaos of the school year. Hopefully this year wouldn't be too bad, though. Voldemort was gone. There were no Horcruxes left. Harry still woke up sweating from nightmares, but all was well in the world.

"This is our last year," Hermione said softly. 

Ron turned his head to look at her. "I know," he agreed. There was a sadness in his green eyes that had been there since the war. The Burrow seemed so quiet, compared to summer's past. 

"This is the year that counts the most," she said. "This is the year that plans our whole future. This year depends on us alone."

"The future," Ron repeated. "What do you think we're going to do, when we're done?"

"Well, I think I want to be a Healer. I know Harry wants to be an Auror. Ginny's already been approached by tons of Quidditch teams." Hermione said, smiling.

"I tried to convince her to join the Chudley Cannons," Ron said, grinning. "She told me no, and almost hexed me."

Hermione laughed. It was such an obvious Ginny thing.

"I think she might join the Holyhead Harpies." Hermione said.

Ron laughed. "Most likely." He said. "I've heard her talking about it. Although she's busy snogging Harry most of the time." Ron made a face at the last sentence. Hermione slapped him on the arm.

"Oh, Ronald. Be quiet. And besides, we do enough snogging ourselves."

He grinned at her. "That's because I can't help myself." And he leaned over and kissed her on the mouth. Hermione was the one who broke the kiss, much to Ron's disapointment. 

"And what makes you think Harry can?" She asked. 

"Oh, fine. But she is my sister. It's gross." He said. 

"Ronald," Hermione warned. 

He laughed. "Relax, 'Mione."

She wrinkled her nose. Harry had given her the nickname- another sign that he was starting to relax- and Ron had picked it up. She didn't quite like it, but if it made them happy, then she would just have to deal with it. 

"C'mon. Let's go see if your Mum needs help with anything." She said. Hermione pulled herself off the ground. Ron groaned, and got up as well. The two of them went through the back door of the Burrow. Mrs. Weasley was running around, carrying a stack of books up the stairs.

"GINNY! Come get your books!" Mrs. Weasley shouted.

They'd been to Diagon Ally earlier that week, and Hermione had seen few familiar faces. Pansy Parkinson, Draco Malfoy's current ex-girlfriend, had glared at her in the dress shop, but she didn't count. Luna, Neville, Seamus, and Dean Thomas seemed to be the only Gryffindors going back for seventh year. 

Ginny appeared at the bottom of the stairs. "Accio books," she said. The books flew towards her, and landed in a perfect pile in her arms.

"You could have done that upstairs," Ron said. 

Ginny grinned at him. "Yeah, yeah. Have you even packed yet, Ronniekins?" Ginny teased. 

Ron's face went red as his hair. "'Course I have." He lied. Ginny laughed. 

"Hey, 'Mione. Come upstairs for a second?" Ginny asked. 

"Sure." Hermione said.

She kissed Ron on the cheek, and followed Ginny up the stairs. They went into Ginny's room, to find Harry lying on the bed, fast asleep.

"Up!" Ginny shouted, and Harry woke with a start.

"Is it morning yet?" He grumbled.

"No. You need to get out so I can speak to 'Mione." 

Harry mumbled something, and his eyes closed again. Ginny groaned. "Harry!" She exclaimed. 

He opened his eyes, and grinned up at his girlfriend. Ginny shot him a glare, and Harry got out of bed. He kissed her on the cheek as he left the room, closing the door behind him.

“What is it?” Hermione asked, the second she heard Harry’s footsteps descend down the stairs.

Ginny looked at her sadly, and pulled a familiar newspaper out of her pocket. The Daily Prophet. “I didn’t want you to see this at breakfast, so I grabbed it from Dad. Ron hasn’t seen it either. And I made Mum and Dad and George promise to be quiet about it until I could tell you.” She said.

“Ginny, you’re scaring me. What could possibly be so bad that you’d have to hide it from me?” Hermione asked.

Ginny handed Hermione the Prophet, and Hermione unrolled it. The paper was rumpled from being rolled up in Ginny’s pockets since breakfast.

Ronald Weasley, Not the Good Guy?

Underneath the bold headline was an image. An image Hermione never wanted to have to face. Ron, kissing Lavender Brown. The two looked passionate as they kissed, over and over again. Hermione felt Ginny watching her, and she forced herself to flip to Page 3 (where the cover said to go). And she read:

Ronald Weasley, best friend of Harry Potter, might not be the Good Guy we all thought he was. Earlier this week, he was caught kissing Ms. Lavender Brown (a fellow ex-girlfriend of his) outside BORGIN AND BURKES while girlfriend Hermione Granger was nowhere to be seen. We all know he made it official with Ms. Granger shortly after the Battle of Hogwarts (in which many died bravely fighting for Hogwarts and the Boy who lived.)

Our source tells us that Ms. Granger was seen later that evening with Ginny Weasley (Mr. Weasley’s sister) at the Leaky Cauldron. Ms. Granger did not appear to know about the affair earlier that day. No doubt she does now…

“Hermione?” Ginny asked.

Hermione looked up at her friend. “Did you know about this? Before?” She asked, very, very quietly.

“No! I swear, I had no idea!” Ginny exclaimed.

Hermione let out a breath. She would not cry. She wouldn’t. “Does… does Harry know?” She asked, her voice shaking.

Ginny shook her head. “No. I only found out this morning, and I had to make George, Mum and Dad swear they wouldn’t tell you. George looked ready to hex Ron, though.” Ginny added, smiling a little.

“He cheated on me, Gin. He really cheated on me. This isn’t some Rita Skeeter lie. It’s real.” Hermione said.

“Yes,” Ginny said, looking rather mad. “It’s real. I even checked. Skeeter didn’t write it. I swear to Merlin, ‘Mione, I’m going to kill-”

“Kill who?”

Hermione looked up at the sound of Harry’s voice in the doorway. He looked at Hermione, and then at Ginny, and back again. Hermione, wordlessly, handed Harry the Prophet. He only glanced at the front image, dashed to the nightstand, where he’d left his wand, and raced downstairs.

“Harry!” Ginny exclaimed.

Both girls ran after Harry, who was storming down the stairs as though he were a madman on a killing spree.

“RON!” Harry shouted, marching into the kitchen. Ron was sitting at the table, eating a biscuit.

“Hullo, Mate.” Ron said.

Harry slammed the newspaper down on the table, so hard that Ron jumped. His face went white as he looked at the front picture, and then he looked up, meeting Hermione’s eyes as she stood in the doorway, her arms crossed, glaring.

“Hermione… I’m so-”

“FLIPENDO!” Hermione shouted, knocking Ron backwards into the wall.

“HERMIONE!” Ron exclaimed.

Ron started to stand. “LOCOMOTOR MORIS!” Hermione shouted, and Ron’s legs locked. But it wasn’t enough, because Ron’s legs unlocked half a minute later.

“Hermione, please let me explain!” Ron begged.

“NO!” She shouted. “Stup-"

“ENOUGH!” Mrs. Weasley’s voice shouted.

She marched into the kitchen, glaring at Ron.

“You will not fight in this house,” she said. “Now, Ronald. We all know you deserve to be hit with a couple Crucio’s. But I will not tolerate fighting in my house.”

“I wasn’t doing anything!” Ron exclaimed. “I was trying to explain to Hermione why I cheated on her!”

“So you admit it!” Hermione exclaimed. “I KNEW it! I knew something was wrong with you. I should have known when you snuck out a few days ago. And before I got here, you didn’t even write to me!”

“I wrote to you,” Ron argued.

“Oh, yes. You wrote to me once. Once! Do you know how many times Ginny wrote to me? Or Fred? Or even bloody Malfoy, for that instance?” Hermione’s voice had risen so high that George had come downstairs to see what the racket was about.

“MALFOY’S BEEN WRITING TO YOU?” Ron exploded, his face going redder than his hair.

“Yes, Ronald.” Hermione replied, nearly rolling her eyes. “Malfoy wrote to me. To tell me when his trial is, because he wants me, you, and Harry to come testify that he changed.”

Harry, having not heard this before, looked shocked. “When’s the trial?” He asked.

“August 21st, but that’s not the point. The POINT is, Ronald, that you cheated. Do you admit that you cheated on me, with Lavender, of all people?” Hermione demanded.

“Yes. I admit it, okay? And I’m BLOODY glad, too.” Ron said.

George let out a yelp. “STUPEFY!” He cried, and Ron flew backwards into the wall, going unconscious.

__________________________

Alright, so here it is! The first chapter! I hope you all enjoyed it! Chapters 2-4 will be added soon, and I hope you all comment!


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