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Chapter 16 : Hermione: Delirium
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*28th April 2000
“Are you two ready?!” Harry called up the stairs, impatient.
“Coming!” Ginny yelled back from her room below me.
Within the next minute, she came into Ron’s room and looked at me, shocked.
“You’re ready,” she said, surprised. I was wearing a pair of blue jeans and a fairly formal purple jacket with a white blouse and flat shoes.
“I’m not missing today for anything. Wild horses couldn’t drag me away.” I tried to smile and failed but it was worth it just to see Ginny smile properly for the first time in a long time.
Harry had finally gotten a meeting with Kingsley today. His schedule had been so busy that he simply did not have the time to see us concerning the investigations. In a way, I was excited as well as sickeningly nervous. I had no idea what was going to happen today and was petrified. I hadn’t come out of Ron’s room for three entire days because of this growing fear; Harry and Ginny had to bring me food and offer their company to bring me out of my constant delirium.
Ginny and I both entered the kitchen to see Mrs Weasley finally up and active; she had made everyone a nice breakfast consisting of toast, eggs and bacon and was moving about the kitchen in her usually brisk manner in her frilly apron, hair astray.
“Good morning, girls,” she said quietly. Something in me was expecting her usually firm manner, but it seemed that change did not come as quickly as we all hoped. The reality was that Mrs Weasley was merely pretending to be herself again and her timid voice revealed that secret.
“Morning, Mum,” Ginny said with a hug.
“Morning,” I muttered as I took a seat beside Mr Weasley. He smiled at me and I tried to return it. Another failed smile. One of many I was sure.
There was silence - as usual - as we all began to eat. Deafening silence. Chairs dragged out across the floor. Cutlery clanged together. Breath was inhaled and exhaled. But no voices.
I nibbled on a piece of buttered toast while everybody else piled their plates, trying not to offend Mrs Weasley even though they knew they could not eat everything. I thought of Ron then; he would have certainly had a go at finished all of her food if it meant she felt better. I couldn’t. My appetite had been long gone for a while now.
After ten minutes, Mr Weasley said, “It’s a beautiful day.”
We all gazed out of the window at the sunshine and vaguely nodded in agreement.
He continued: “The boys will be coming again later today. Charlie’s not going back to Romania until the end of the year and Bill will be back to work a couple of months after the baby is born. He won’t be in Egypt this time, he’s taken up a post in the bank so that he can -”
Mrs Weasley’s fork clattered against her plate. She said nothing, but Mr Weasley stopped talking immediately.
Ginny tried to change the subject. “Mum have you finished knitting the baby blanket yet?”
“Yes, dear,” her mother replied.
Ginny nodded. “How are Percy’s wedding plans going? Oh - oh my God, I’m sorry, Hermione,” she blurted out, face turning red with embarrassment.
I hadn’t actually noticed that she had said something wrong until she apologised. It was only natural of her to be interested in her brother’s marriage to Audrey. Of course, I was upset that I would never marry into the Weasley family. All the plans we had made were nothing now, all of those dreams, the nights we spent talking about it … One could argue that I was already part of the family, that I had been since I was fourteen and will be until I die. But nothing would compare to marrying Ron, nothing would compare to officially be a part of something so big and beautiful as the Weasley clan.
Smiling, I said, “I’m done.” Dropping my half-eaten toast, I went and sat on the staircase until Harry and Ginny had finished. Usually, I would have walked outside or sat in the living room, but they reeked of Ron, of how I didn’t want to remember him.
Once they were done, Mr Weasley walked us to the door and said, “Are you sure you don’t want me to take you?”
“No,” Harry said. “You should stay with Mrs Weasley. Has she been better recently?” I’m sure he had a feeling, but no one knew Mrs Weasley better than her husband.
“Truth be told, Harry, she’ll never be better. Just one more thing could tip her over the edge. I try to hope that once Bill’s daughter is born she will get better, but I doubt it. She’ll be happy, but grief is a heavy emotion to shift.”
Harry nodded understandingly and told Mr Weasley that we would be back that afternoon. We walked out in the direction of Ottery St Catchpole - me with my eyes closed - until we were out of the magical protection. Holding hands, we Apparated to the Ministry of Magic.
Kingsley sat us down in his office, plain-faced and solemn.
“Again, I’d like to tell you how heart-broken I am over this. Ronald was a good man,” he said. “And I’m not just saying that as the Minister. I’m saying that as a friend.” Harry nodded. “As you are aware, Draco Malfoy has been charged with Ronald’s murder because there is substantial evidence of his involvement.”
“What evidence?” Harry asked.
“I’m afraid I can’t tell you,” the minister said. Harry shook his head angrily. “You will all be aware once the trial begins.”
“And when is that?” Ginny said quietly.
“A provisional date has been set for the fifteenth of May.”
“So soon?” I asked, concerned, my voice unfamiliar.
Kingsley sighed. “I know, Hermione, but this could potentially be a long trial and we need to get everything started soon. Especially when half of the wizarding community want justice too.”
“What if we don’t want justice?” I thought, but somehow it left my lips.
“Hermione …” Harry said.
“I’m just saying, imagine if we just wanted a quiet life without this being dragged up over and over again for months. What would be so wrong with that?”
Ginny took my hand. “We know you’re still upset. We all are -”
“But somebody did this whether it was Malfoy or not,” Harry finished firmly. I was being selfish. I didn’t want to pursue this for my own sake, completely forgetting about Harry, who was friends with Ron for the longest and Ginny, who was his sister and knew him her whole life.
Swallowing hard, I sat still in my chair and curled my toes in my shoes. Who would do this? If not Malfoy, who? Why?
Kingsley frowned at Harry. “Do you think he did it?”
“I don’t know what I think, to be honest, Kingsley. We’ll just have to wait and see ...” Harry looked confused, to my surprise; I would have thought that he would have been certain that it was Malfoy, but it seemed I was mistaken. If it wasn’t him, it was someone on the Dark side. In that case, Harry was probably ridden with guilt.
“Well, Harry, you said you wanted to help …” Kingsley continued.
“I hope you don’t mind my asking you, Ginny and Hermione to be character witnesses in court.”
“I don’t understand,” Harry said. “We didn’t see anything.”
“No, but from what you tell us, we can determine Mr Malfoy’s character, his personality and traits. We’d also like to ask a few questions about the last day or two you shared with Mr Weasley.”
“Okay …” Harry said. “I’m okay with that. What about you two?”
Ginny nodded, while I eventually did the same. It seemed to me that even if Malfoy didn’t do this he would be found guilty anyway. In a way, I hoped he was guilty so that I didn’t feel horrendous when he was sent to Azkaban for life like I knew he would.
“Alright then … if you would follow me.” Kingsley stood from his chair and walked around his desk to the door.
“Wait, we’re doing this now?” I blurted out, shocked. My heart sent blood around my body so fast that I felt dizzy and nauseated. My chest was bursting and my legs felt weak. How could they …? Right now? I knew I wasn’t ready to tell them something now. Would I tell the truth? How could I tell the truth? If I did, it would be like confessing to Ron’s murder …
“Yes,” Kingsley said. “The fresher the memories, the better.”
“You’re taking our memories too?” I asked, face going red.
“Just a copy,” he said with an easy grin.
“It’ll be okay, Hermione,” Harry reassured, touching my shoulder, trying to calm me down. “Come on.”
We followed Kingsley down the labyrinth-like corridors, Harry chatted to Kingsley about the trial and how long our leave from work would be; we would get time off for the whole trial apparently. Ginny and I walked side by side.
She looked at me nervously, her eyes boring into my moist skin.
“Erm, Kingsley, you don’t mind if we go to the toilet, do you?” I said.
“No,” he said. “Harry and I will be in the Mayfair Suite.” He pointed at the door ahead of him as Ginny and I slipped into the ladies toilet to the left.
“What am I going to do?!” I said as I paced the black tiled floors. “They’re going to find out, everyone is. They’ll all know that I’m a lying, cheating scumbag!”
“Hermione, you -”
“What will Harry say? Oh my god, Ginny, I’m scared. He’s my best friend. He’ll be so disappointed in me and your mother, she’ll never trust me again, she’ll throw me out, say I was never right for Ron because I’m not. I was never good enough for him. He would have been so distraught and I don’t know what I would do if -”
“Calm down!” Ginny said holding my arms down by my sides.
I breathed and focused on holding in the tears.
“Just relax,” she said soothingly. “They’re just going to take the memories from the party I expect.”
“They can’t, Ginny.” I sniffed sadly. “Some things were said in the bathroom between Malfoy and I …”
I scratched my head nervously and muttered, “I thought I was pregnant … before.”
Her mouth fell open. “What - Malfoy?!”
“Sssh!” I stifled.
“Hermione!” she whispered. “I had hoped that you weren’t that stupid!”
Like everything else, I failed at keeping the tears in.
“Please don’t go there with me, Ginny, I’ve already had this conversation with myself a thousand times. The point is, if I give them those memories, it’s over. My life will be over.”
Looking gaunt, Ginny said, “I don’t know what to suggest.”
“There is a spell …” I said.
“Hermione, no …”
“If I can just stop and start my memories where I want them to, they’ll have no idea. As long as they don’t fade in the middle, they’ll just assume that that is all I can remember,” I said, desperate.
“You can’t. That’s called lying,” Ginny said. “To the Ministry, Harry, yourself …”
“As opposed to losing the rest of the people I call family? I’d rather not. Ginny … I’m responsible. For everything. I killed Ron.”
“Hermione, of course you didn’t -”
“No, I did. If none of this happened, with Malfoy … if none of this happened, he’d still be alive, I know it. I feel it. It is my fault. And I’d rather …” I cried some more. “I’d rather … rather lie to everyone so that maybe it will work on me too. Maybe if I can convince the world that it wasn’t me that did this … maybe it’ll be true so I don’t have to feel like a killer for the rest of my life.”
I fell into Ginny’s arms and she held me softly. She didn’t say a word. She didn’t need to. She understood and that was all that I needed. Not her permission nor her honesty, just her support.
After a minute or so, I pulled my wand out of my pocket and gazed at it ominously. I was really going to do it.
“Don’t you think they’ll check for enchantments?” she asked solemnly.
“We’re not the guilty ones,” I replied, praying that I was right.
“You do realise that I’ll have to give them my memories,” Ginny said.
“And as long as you don’t give them this one or the one after the morning the Daily Prophet found out about Draco and I, I’ll be happy.”
“And the conversation I had with him at the party,” Ginny said, not looking at me.
I frowned. “What did he say to you?”
“N-nothing. It wasn’t important.” She went over to the door. “Hurry up.”
When she left, I pointed my wand to my temple, muttering the spell. I had a bit of brain freeze for a second and then I slowly staggered to where the others were waiting for me in the Mayfair Suite.
By the time I went in, Harry had already supplied his information and memories, while Ginny was in the process of doing hers. There was five Ministry members in the room, all with wands out and looking very official in their long purple robes. After Ginny’s silvery memories were secured in three glass phials besides Harry’s few, she endured some questions. I went up next, watching as the man before me told me to relax and think about the times I endured with Draco Malfoy. Surprisingly, my mind zoomed straight past the good times and straight to the bad, to the side of him that was mean. But was that the real him? Was I just providing a lie?
Harry and Ginny waited on two chairs at the back of the room while I sat opposite an old wizard at a desk.
“Hello, Miss Granger.”
“Hi,” I muttered.
“Tell me about Draco Malfoy while you were in school together, just a brief description will do for now.”
“Erm … well, we didn’t get on.”
I nodded. “I was in Gryffindor and he was in Slytherin. We didn’t talk.”
“Was he violent?”
“No,” I lied even though he and Harry and Ron had been in multiple fights with him over the years. “Just verbally aggressive. I ignored it, it didn’t bother me.”
The man studied me carefully. “And when school concluded?”
“We decided to make peace since he had no involvement with Death Eaters. He was lenient, but he left us alone.”
The quill scratched on the parchment uncomfortably, making my stomach squirm and my spine tingle. “That’s all,” he said. “You’ll have to elaborate in court where the prosecution and defence will ask further questions. Thank you for your time.”
“Thank you,” I replied.
I walked over to Harry and Ginny. “That felt weird,” I told them. “The more I think about it, the more I don’t think he did it …” My mind went over all that I knew of Malfoy the last time I saw him. From what I could gather, he was depressed, not angry, murderous or anything like that. He was probably more capable of taking his own life rather than someone else’s.
“You don’t?” Harry said.
“Malfoy’s not evil,” I said. “You know that Harry. You know how terrified he was about taking a life when he was told to kill Dumbledore.”
“That’s true …” he said.
“But people change,” I said to myself. “Why would he do this …?”
Ginny stepped forward. “Let’s go home. We can have some lunch, maybe go for a walk and - Hermione!”
Such a feeling can’t really be explained. To simply disappear from one moment and appear in another when time has passed between them without your knowledge is something that could be seen as a phenomenon. Or possibly like magic. When I finally opened my eyes, I knew I was somewhere new, in a different time and place, and I knew I had been gone for a while, but it felt like one second and forever at the same time and so I thought of Ron and whether he was missing me where he was, whether a second or a lifetime had passed since he last saw me or the green earth.
Harry sat above me as I slowly peeled my eyes open. He smiled and I frowned at it.
“Ouch, Harry, I have a headache.”
“Sorry.” He gave me a hug and sat back down. “Ginny was here, but she went back to check on Mrs Weasley.”
“You’re at St Mungo’s,” Harry stated.
“I know that. What am I doing here?” I gazed around the room; we weren’t in a ward, but a very small private room with two chairs.
“You passed out. The Healer should be back soon. Should be nothing to worry about.” He did not sound convinced and I wasn’t about to stay here just to be told that I had some life-threatening disease that would painfully kill me. After all, that was what I deserved for betraying Ron.
“Can’t we just leave?” I begged.
“No! They performed a few spells on you to see if you’re okay.”
“I’ve probably got a low iron count or something. Nothing a good meal won’t fix, now let’s go.” Sitting up, I took my jacket from Harry and slipped it on.
“Have you got my wand?”
Harry handed it over and I grabbed it, placing it in my inside pocket.
“Miss Granger!” a tall blonde man said jovially as he bound through the door. He came in, closed the door behind him and grinned at me.
“Yes?” I was getting a bit creeped out by his cheerfulness so I shrank a little on the bed, my shoulders sagging.
“There’s good news and bad news,” he said.
“Oh no …” My throat went dry and I made myself comfortable on the bed.
“The bad news is, you’ll be leaving us -”
“What?” Harry said, stunned.
“Leaving the hospital,” the Healer clarified. “We love being visited by local celebrities. Just last week, we were visited by Celestina Warbeck. Her whole face had turned purple for some unknown reason and we had to -”
“Can we move onto the good news instead of ignoring Healer-Patient confidentiality policies?” I asked irritably.
“Sorry,” he said. “You’re pregnant!”
Out of his wand came confetti and coloured ribbons while both mine and Harry’s mouths fell open. I couldn’t move.
“What?” I said, feeling ill.
I literally couldn’t move.
“You’re pregnant, Miss Granger. About eight weeks to be precise. We cast a few spells and we guess that the conception date would have been around the last week of February or the first week of March.”
Harry looked at me slowly. “Did you and Ron …?”
“Yes,” I whispered, scared. Oh my God … I forgot that we didn’t use protection … a baby … an actual human was growing inside of me …
My body seized up. I just could not move. Not only had I betrayed Ron and killed him, I had brought a child of his into the world, a child who would never know him and be without a father for their entire life. And with me as a mother, this thing would have no chance in the big, ugly world.
“And you didn’t know?” Harry asked.
Tears fell down my cheeks as my body shook. Harry gave me a hug as the tips of my fingers clung onto him stiffly. I had come to terms with not having a baby before, talked myself into thinking that I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t. And now it had happened I didn’t know what to do. I had nowhere to live, no Ron, no real job, no real money, nothing but myself to give. And myself wasn’t enough.
“This is all wrong,” I told him. “Harry, what am I going to do? I can’t do this. I can’t …”
“We’ll sort something out,” he told me soothingly.
“I’ll just give you a minute,” the Healer said, edging towards the door.
“No,” I said, wiping my red eyes on the backs of my hands.
“Okay … well, we suggest that you come back to us in a couple of months because you have low blood sugar so we can make sure everything’s fine. I’ll give you an appointment card so that -”
I pointed my wand at him and he dropped his own and held his hands up in surrender.
“Hermione, what are you doing?” Harry said, standing up between me and the Healer.
“Move out of the way, Harry.”
“What are you going to do?”
“I can’t do this,” I told him. “I don’t want the whole wizarding world to know about my life. It’s too much. I finally understand what you mean Harry. I’m not even as famous as you are and I can’t take it! I won’t tell the newspapers but there’s no guarantees that he won’t. You heard him, about to tell us all about Celestina Warbeck’s problems …”
“I promise, I won’t -” he tried.
“No. Stop talking,” I said. “I’m sorry. I’m really sorry.”
Slowly, Harry stood aside.
Ginny was jumping for joy when Harry and I told her that afternoon. Well - Harry actually said the words. We were sitting in Ginny’s room after another silent dinner. Bill and Charlie had just left and the kitchen resumed the silence once more, so the three of us went upstairs to talk.
She hugged me tight and laughed and sighed, all those mixed emotions falling out of her.
“Why are you so happy?” I asked curiously.
“Why are you so sad?” she shot back.
“I don’t know …” I let my head fall as I shrugged. “I’m going to be a single mother. I don’t see anything good about that.”
“Hardly,” Harry said. “You’ll have us. And Mr and Mrs Weasley, George, Percy …”
“Hmmm … but Ron’s not here,” I said, my eyes glazing over again. “Who cares about everybody else?”
Harry was silent.
“You’ll have your baby,” Ginny told me firmly. I shrugged and gazed out of her bedroom window. “Are you telling me that you don’t care about your own child?” she said, disbelieving. I really didn’t see why she was acting like this. It wasn’t like this was her life that was being destroyed.
“Technically it’s not a child yet so -” I began.
“Hermione, this is a part of you, a part of Ron that we all get to share. You’re bringing a part of him back to us! I would have thought that you would be excited about that!”
“Maybe I don’t want to share! Maybe I don’t want this part of him to remind me constantly of how much of a failure I am!”
“You’re not a failure,” Harry muttered.
“Oh please,” I choked. “I see it on all of your faces. I don’t even know why I’m here. This isn’t even my house.”
“Of course it’s your house. Don’t be silly,” Harry said quietly.
“We don’t belong here, Harry. Ron was the glue that kept us all going.”
“That’s what I’m saying,” Ginny continued. “You’re bringing some of him back, Hermione.”
“I don’t want a part of him. I want all of him.”
“We all do, but it’s not possible,” she said. “Mum and Dad would be happy about this and -”
“No.” I shook my head.
“- so would Bill and Charl -”
“No, dammit,” I said, exhausted. “I’m not telling anybody else.”
“But they -” Harry began.
“I mean it guys, I don’t want anyone to know. Certainly not Mr and Mrs Weasley.”
“Why?” Ginny asked.
“Just stop, Ginny! I don’t want to share this piece of Ron. If I had it my way, this never would have happened. But it has. If I had it my way, someone else would look after this child, but I have to. So please stop trying to convince me to do something else when I have to cope with this on top of everything else that has happened in the past few weeks!”
I hadn’t noticed it, but I was standing in the middle of the room facing Harry and Ginny, raging at them. I must have seemed like such a bitch, but I couldn’t help it. That was how I felt, so I just told them and I was sorry if it hurt their feelings but I had to get it out.
“How will you hide a baby from them?” Ginny whispered after a minute or two when I had calmed down.
“I know it sounds stupid, but, I just don’t want them to know yet. I’ve got months to go, I’ll just tell them when I think it’s right.” I leaned against the wall and held my head in my hand.
“They won’t think any less of you, Hermione,” Ginny said comfortingly.
“Really? I’m not married, I don’t get paid much, the father’s dead, my parents are gone and I’m living under their roof where they will mostly likely have to pitch in.”
“You know I’ll help you, Hermione,” Harry said honestly.
“I don’t want your money, Harry,” I said sadly, knowing that he would spend it on me anyway. “Guys, seriously, please let me do this my way.”
“Okay,” Harry agreed.
“What will you do about the hospital?” Ginny asked. I noticed that she had not agreed but I let it slide. “You said you don’t want anyone to know …”
“It’s obvious, isn’t it? I’ll go to one in London.”
Four stress-filled days later, Harry and I were walking briskly down a busy London street up to the huge hospital at the top of a hill. Cars were parked all around. It was midday and so the area looked very busy as the traffic was backed up as far as the eye could see.
I had made an appointment and so, once we found the right department, we checked in at reception and sat down waiting. Around us, there were other expectant mothers, some barely showing, some fit to burst with their partners or other small children around them.
My heart felt heavy for a moment and I imagined that Ron was sitting beside me instead of Harry. It would have been perfect …
“Relax,” Harry whispered into my ear.
“I’m relaxing,” I told him.
“No, you’re not.”
“Would you be?” I said stiffly.
Harry laughed. “This is what you wanted.”
Sighing, I said, “I’m glad … at St Mungo’s it was all so impersonal … one spell and hey presto! you’re going to be a mum. No scan, no books or advice, nothing …”
“We’re here now and hopefully it will all be fine.” I nodded. “Don’t be mad at me.”
“Erm … why would I be mad at you?” I watched as a child tried to read a Dr Seuss book upside down.
“Er, because Ginny and I were thinking of moving out …”
“Oh …” Wow, I really was getting mad at him. All of a sudden, I hated Harry. And I hated Ginny. It was like everyone was deserting me. I hated the world.
“Just to Grimmauld Place. Now that it’s safe to go back, I was going to clean it up a bit.”
“That’s great, Harry,” I said honestly. “You and Ginny deserve it.”
“The thing is, we had sort of decided to go soon. Mr and Mrs Weasley need time alone. Ginny agrees, thinks they’ll be better off having the house to themselves while they mourn. We already feel like we get in the way.”
“True …” I muttered, distracted.
“Do you want to come?”
“Do you want to come with us?”
“You haven’t asked Ginny yet, have you?”
“Not exactly, but I’m sure she won’t object. You’re our best friend and how else will you hide your secret from the Weasleys and the newspapers?”
“That’s a fair point. Okay,” I said.
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, Harry, I’m sure. Thank you.”
I gave him a hug as a voice behind us called, “Hermione Weasley?”
Harry smiled tenderly at me. I had chosen to take Ron’s name purely in the memory of him, not just to make me feel better. This child was the only bridge towards him that I had, so I was going to make the most of it and do this all properly. The name of Granger was behind me, that girl who lied and schemed was gone and hopefully something better would show up in her place.
Harry took my hand, pulled me up and followed me into a tiny little room along the corridor. Harry sat in the corner of the room beside another lady while the midwife laid me on the table, talked to me for a while and then gave me a ultrasound scan. The gel was cold on my stomach, but I ignored it and glanced up at the tiny black screen.
The woman pointed. “Do you see that?” It was a blob. Nothing to cheer about. “There’s your baby.”
There was an emotion there, surfacing from somewhere inside me. At first there was fear, like a large block, covering the part of me that should be more open. I was afraid, genuinely fearing for my future but then came happiness. Ron would have been pleased if he knew that we were having a family, I think. I hoped our child looked like him, that it had his eyes, his hair, his humour. I smiled. Finally, I felt hope. I hoped that I would get through it with my friends, not alone. I hoped the Weasleys understood, I hoped, most of all, that this baby was healthy and survived because it would be the end of me if anything bad happened. I would have nothing left if something happened to this child and I truly would give up. As long as he or she survived, I would see my life as fulfilled.
The midwife showed me for a few more minutes and then cleared up the equipment. She went over all of the basics of having a baby, childbirth, hospital appointments, my address, medical history and other information. I had told her that I still lived at home with my parents, even though the house had probably been sold by now. The doctor who was overseeing it all mistook Harry for the father of my child - at which point we both laughed and explained that we were just best friends. I was weighed, measured, given a book with my charts inside, given a copy of the sonogram, advised on diet and exercise and finally given another appointment for weeks later.
By the time we got home, my mind was scrambled with all of the information she had told me. I felt insanely out of control, like I had to be super careful all of a sudden, afraid to do anything strenuous. My estimated birth date was 24 November. It sounded so far away yet so close. What was I going to do for all that time? Sit around Grimmauld Place like a ghost?
Ginny was, again, extremely pleased when I showed her the scan, the tiny black and white picture of my unborn child. She stroked it tenderly with a finger and then moved onto talking to my stomach.
“It doesn’t have ears yet, you know,” I muttered. “At least, I don’t think …”
“Sorry,” she apologised. “I’m just so happy for you.”
“Hmmm. Harry asked me to move out with you guys. If you don’t want me to, I’ll stay here.”
“Of course I do! I was going to ask you tomorrow if Harry hadn’t already.”
“You two really think alike,” I said, jealous.
“Yes,” she said, smiling. “Harry’s great.”
“Is that why you’ll probably make him break the news to your parents?”
“Of course,” Ginny replied with a laugh.
And the next evening at dinner, after all of our plates were clean, Harry spoke up before anyone left the table.
“Erm … I just wanted to tell you something, Mr and Mrs Weasley …”
“Ginny’s not pregnant is she?!” Mrs Weasley exclaimed, horrified. You see, she would not be happy if there was a young baby in the house. I knew I was right.
“No,” Harry said.
“Are you getting married?” Mr Weasley asked.
“No … we’re, um … we’re moving out. Hermione too.” After nothing was said, he continued. “We thought it would be best that we did - to give you two some space. Life’s too short.”
I sat back, preparing for the rage, but it never came.
“I understand,” Mrs Weasley said. “After all that’s happened, you all need to figure out what you’ll do with yourselves. As much as I’ll hate to see you leave, Arthur and I knew it would happen sooner or later.”
“I’m sorry, Mum,” Ginny said as she went around the table to give her a hug. “We’ll visit every week. We’ll only be at Grimmauld Place so you can Floo over whenever you want.”
“Thank you, Ginny, but I don’t think that’s necessary. You don’t want me poking around, invading your personal space … And Hermione, you’ll be okay, won’t you?”
“In time, Mrs Weasley,” I replied, looking at the ground.
I looked up and saw her smile.
Mr Weasley said, “You can always visit as well, Hermione. Ron’s room will stay untouched.”
“Thanks.” In reality, I wished that they would change it all. As long as it was the same, I’d never feel comfortable here. Every night that I slept in his bed, I cried and I didn’t want to cry for the rest of my life. I needed the change.
Hugs were passed around even though we weren’t moving out that second, or even that week. However, as the days passed, we began packing up our things (me taking some of Ron’s too) to prepare to leave in May. As I sat in thought about everything, the trial, the tiny baby growing inside me, of Ron, I realised that there was something missing in my life that I could get back; it was time to find my parents.
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