Chapter 13 : Change.
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My hatred for Ron burned on.
It was no secret that Draco was not living with me.Temporarily! I kept repeating, over and over. Harry and Ginny were sympathetic, whereas Mrs Weasley was as angry at her son as I was. Ron himself strateigically avoided The Burrow. I don't know where he went. Unfortunatley, he saw Draco's volenteered absence as a green light for him to continuously pursue me.
Each time that Ron knocked on my front door, I slammed it in his face. Night after night, he would come to my home harassing me. I didn't have the energy to do anything. The most I ever did was press the tip of my wand to his throat and have the satisfaction of watching him squirm.
One night, I was having a particularly hard time. Ron's usual time for knocking on my door passed, and I had decided that he wasn't coming. I'd changed into my silk nightie and opened a bottle of wine. I was on my second glass when the door was knocked.
"Hermione, please," Ron whispered, as soon as I opened the door. He took in my nightie and the glass of wine in my hand but did not comment.
I was about the close the door when he stopped it with his hand. "Wait," he said. "Please let me in, I'm just lonely and I need someone to talk to. I'm sure you're lonely too."
I blamed the wine and my defeated state, but I let him in. Silently, we passed through the dark hallway and into the candle lit kitchen, where I poured him a glass of wine. Still without speaking, I resumed my seat and took a sip from my own glass.
Ron broke the peacful silence after a while. "You can't blame me for trying Hermione," he said. "You should be flattered."
I scoffed. "Please Ron, a real gentleman, who loved me, would not try his hardest to make me leave my husband."
"Suppose," he muttered.
Between us, we got through the bottle of wine quite well. Ron began pouring his heart out to me with every new glass of wine he had. By the time I was sated and he was drunk; he was crying.
"I didn't mean to," he sobbed into his glass.
My instincts took over and I reached over to pat his arm. "I know Ron," I soothed. "But you need to take in other peoples feelings."
At the back of my mind was our last evening alone, when Ron had tricked me. However, now he was crying and he seemed to really need my help.
Ron shrugged off my arm. "Not what I mean," he slurred.
I looked at him confused until he looked into my eyes. He looked worried, scared and tired. He seemed to be having some kind of inner conflict and looked as if he wanted to say something to me.
"I did a bad thing Hermione," he whispered.
I leant in, intrigued. "What did you do Ron?"
He shook his head, took a gulp of wine and let out another sob. "You'll hate me forever if you knew."
I already did. "No I wont Ron," I coaxed. "Please tell me."
"Okay," he whispered. "But don't tell anyone, promise?" He grinned like a child and I nodded.
Ron shuffled in and for an awful moment I thought he would try to kiss me again. I prepared myself to punch him, however he surprised me by placing his mouth close to my ear to whisper something.
"I cheated," he breathed into my ear.
He continued almost inaudiably. "I cheated at the Quddich tryouts. Met a bloke the night before, who gave me some kind of muggle drug. Made me really hyper and excited. I smashed the tryout."
I was gobsmacked. I could not believe it. Just another thing about Ron that made me want to hate him even more. Even though I wanted to throw him out of my house, I decided that it wasn't best. Instead, after a lot of encouragment, I put him into the fire myself and floo'd him to The Burrow.
All the while, I was thinking of the best way to bring Ron down for his cheating.
Three weeks later, I still hadn't spoken to Draco. I still felt empty, but with more purpose this time. I had spent that time trying to figure out the most effective way to expose Ron. As I did this, I pondered idly to myself of the possibility of me transferring in the Auror department to focus on Law Enforcement; I found it very interesting.
One morning I recieved an owl to tell me that Ginny had gone into labour. I was so excited and set off for the hospital as soon as possible; a new spring in my step.
I was named Godmother on arrival by Harry and Ginny and as I stood there with my Godson, James Sirius, in my arms; I could no help but feel jealous. Harry and Ginny still had the perfect marriage and were already extending their family while mine was in ruins. Determined to not feel sorry for myself, I didn't stop smiling.
Ron was the last to arrive. He bounded into the hospital room after the rest of the Weasley's had arrived with a massive grin on his face.
"Nice of you to grace us with your presence Ron," Mr Weasley said coldly to his youngest son.
"I'm sorry everyone," Ron said, still grinning. "But I have amazing news."
Everyone stared at him. Here he was, announcing his news even before he had so much as glanced at his new nephew; born only hours before his arrival.
"You're so inconsiderate Ron," Mrs Weasley scolded. "Ginny just had her baby for goodness sake, what could be better news?"
She had meant it to be rhetorical, but Ron still answered.
"I was accepted," he told the room. "I have been scouted by the Chudley Canons!"
Everyone stared at him blankly, while I went light headed. Accepted already? Ron looked mad when no one responded.
"Come on guys, the fucking Chudley Canons!" he cried.
Harry stood up and frowned. "You can't speak like that in front of a baby Ron. A baby your sister has just birthed." Harry was furious.
Ron stepped forward. "Come on Harry, you have to be proud. Or better yet, jealous?"
Harry looked disgusted. "Jealous of you Ron?" he asked. "Impossible. I have everything I need and more. Maybe you should look around yourself and get your priorities correct. I don't know who you are anymore. You were my best friend. And now? I consider Draco a better friend than you."
I winced at the mention of my yet again absent husband.
"If he's so great, then where is he?" Ron asked, scornfully.
"Taking time away," Ginny pitched in angrily, though keeping quiet for the bundle in her arms.
"You should leave Ron," said Harry.
I knew Ron looked at me but I kept my head down and waited for his burning glare to diminish. When he finally left the room, Harry took his seat next to Ginny's side and smiled a smile I had never seen before. It was the most radiant thing in the world. Harry was glowing. It didn't matter to him that his 'best friend' was now an idiot, because he had everything he ever wanted. Family.
It wasn't until later that evening that the Healers were able to pry me away from my best friends and my Godson. However, when I got home I was in high spirits. I was still met by that overwhelming silence and lonliness, but this time I had a plan of action.
I knew what I was going to do about Ron's cheating.
And Draco was coming home.
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