Chapter 7 : A Night at The Pub
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Ron walks into Hermione’s and his apartment flat, glancing at everything around him. It was so empty, so wrong.
Just a week ago, they loved each other, and then he had to go and screw it up by messing around with another woman… his ex, Lavender, because of being drunk and upset about a silly little fight that could have been easily solved if he had tried to fix it.
“How could I be so stupid?” Ron screamed to no one, punching his fist into the wall leaving a gaping black hole. He feels like throwing everything and demolishing the apartment, but this is all he has left of his recent memories with Hermione.
Ron thought he hated Malfoy before, but never really wanted him dead. Now he wants Malfoy slaughtered and the love of his life back. But he will never break Hermione’s heart again by wounding her new relationship, he respected her as much.
He just hates himself so much right now, he has even thought about committing suicide a couple times in the past week. But he has too many people to live for, and if he ever gets Hermione back, what good would it do to kill himself? And how would his mum react to losing two sons?
All he can really do for the best for him right now is go to work, try to get over Hermione (even though he knows it would take a long time and he isn't sure he really wants to), and maybe he'd find a new gal for backup for now. He will have to act numb when he sees Malfoy and Hermione together and save the falling apart for home when he’s alone. He knows one thing for sure, he will wait for his chance to snatch her away again from Malfoy's pale, evil arms. Ron just knows that Draco isn't actually a changed man, he will break Hermione's heart and she will then come running back to him, Ron. He will be here when she comes back, but he can't stand waiting...
Ron has considered within the last week about giving up the lease on their apartment and moving back in with his mother, whom is very upset with what Ron did, but always welcomes him into her loving arms. Or, he thinks to himself, he can just quit the Auror Department at the Ministry and move back in with George to help him with Weasley Wizard Wheezes, but he loves working with Harry as an Auror... he loves being in the spotlight almost as much as Harry now, he isn't just "Harry's mate" anymore but almost like his actual sidekick, after all, he did destroy one of the horocruxes two years ago and now he's almost as high up as Harry in the Auror department, but not completely.
As for tonight, he is going to the bar. After tidying himself up a bit, he apparates to The Pub in Hogsmeade where plenty of women he could hit on are drinking as well, as it is a Saturday night and he is ready to drink away his pain for a little while.
Hermione lay in bed in intense thought. She thinks about how much she hates to see Ron so angry and upset, she still loves Ron. These new found feelings for Malfoy overtook the feelings for Ron though, and she has the best feeling about Malfoy, but she just can’t explain why the ex-Death Eater suddenly charmed her so much. She is hard and always was hard to please, but in her eyes if Malfoy really has changed, she'd give him a chance at a possible relationship.
She hears her bedroom door creek open, Ginny must’ve got baby James Sirius to sleep.
The pretty redhead sits beside Hermione’s head and looks at her. “I’ve just been thinking about how Ron needs to live with his consequences. I’d kill you if you went back to him right now and I hope you aren’t thinking about it. Of course I wish none of this happened and that you two were still together. But life gets in the way of things we plan sometimes. But remember, everything happens for a reason.”
Hermione smiles at her friend, she loves Ginny so much like a sister, and she is always there for her. Also, Ginny always has the best advice. She is definitely her mother’s daughter.
Ginny and Hermione started to talk and laugh a little about things unrelated to the current situation happening.
Harry shows up at the door, wondering where his wife had run to as he wants some alone time with her since the baby is asleep early. Ginny then follows him out, leaving Hermione alone to think again.
Her phone vibrates loudly and to her dismay it is a text from Ron.
I want you happy Hermione, do what makes you happy, I screwed up, and I deserve what I get.
Hermione wants to reply and give him comfort like she always would in the past. But she can’t bring herself to do it and she feels that is the best way to go. Why did this have to happen?
It was meant to, Hermione confirms with herself as she nestles into her comfortable duvet and tries to sleep.
Ron is busy drunkenly hitting on a girl he remembers from school who was in the Hufflepuff house and in his year before they left Hogwarts, though he had no idea what her name is.
“What is your name, beautiful?” He asks her, putting an arm around her.
“Emily, Emily Riker,” she replies.
Emily Riker has beautiful long curly black hair and piercing mint green eyes.
She is very good looking, Ron notices as she starts to be all over him.
They are both a bit tipsy on firewhiskey now, and the bartender hesitates to listen when they both keep asking for more.
“I hope you aren’t riding broomsticks home tonight,” the bartender comments as he gives Ron his fifth drink with rolling eyes.
"Well mate, if you have been through what I *hiccup* have been through. Then you would be *hiccup* drinking too! Leave me alone," snaps Ron at the bartender as Emily just gazes at him with a drunken smile.
Eventually Ron ends up leading Emily by hand out of the pub, and they apparate together to what was Ron and Hermione’s downtown apartment.
They snog for what seemed like hours, and then Ron starts undressing the girl. He notices how pretty Emily is, but as he looks over her body, flashes of the memory of Hermione’s naked body go through his mind.
Seeing Hermione’s brown eyes as he looks into Emily’s mint green ones make him stop for a moment and feel as though he had frozen while looking into Emily’s eyes...
“What’s wrong?” The girl asks.
“N-nothing…” Ron whispers, as he makes a move on her to cover up what just happened.
It seems as soon as they get there to the apartment, their clothes are off and they are shagging. During it, all Ron can think about is how it felt so different with Hermione. He wants his Hermione back. But somehow this fake making love with another girl is making his wounds not hurt for a moment or two. And being drunk almost took the pain away completely.
Hermione slept well during the night, and woke up at about ten a.m. Ginny had asked if she wanted to go shopping the night before and to cheer up, Hermione decided that she would go.
After getting her bath robe on, she smells Ginny’s cooking once again. This time it was French toast and the night before she wasn’t hungry and it has caught up with her. So as soon as Hermione gets in the kitchen, she piles up her plate with the toast. She needs to remember to eat...she is starting to get skinny...
Ginny hasn’t started to cook until she moved out of the Borrow and when Ginny and she had first got married and moved, Harry was forced to eat quite a lot of burnt meals. But now her skills have increased very much and even Ron will come over occasionally for his sister's cooking.
Harry has already gone to work by now, and baby James lays in his swing, cooing away.
“Feel better this morning?” Asks Ginny, smiling at her friend.
“Yes, though I would like to see Draco.”
“He was comforting his mum, wasn’t he? That’s what you told me the other night?”
“Yes, she’s really torn apart about Lucius and new lengthened sentence.”
“I bet, poor ol’ Lucius, I feel so bad for him,” retorts Ginny sarcastically and Hermione laughs.
“Well, we will just have a gal’s day then, sound good?”
“Sounds very good!” Hermione agrees, smiling widely at her friend. “I fancy that idea.”
After breakfast Hermione gets dressed in a colorful Muggle sundress. It was getting even warmer and more spring like today so she thought this would be appropriate. She then braids her bushy hair to the side and grabs her flip flops. By the time she is done Ginny already has James in his car seat and the two were ready to go.
“Ready?” Wonders Ginny.
“Sure am!” Hermione answers in response.
On the way, Ginny makes fun of Hermione’s Muggle wear, but Hermione doesn’t care because she is comfortable.
The girls decide on going to Hogsmeade and shop, taking Harry and Ginny’s barely used new Ford Anglia because Ginny is not comfortable apparating with James quite yet with him being so young.
Ron wakes up and looks at the naked girl beside him and is taken aback by what he saw, he barely remembers the night before but the memories slowly creep back to him as his headache gets worse from the hangover he now has. And he feels so angry at himself, isn't this what landed him in the spot he's in now? Getting carelessly drunk?
“Hello Ronny! Good morning,” Emily says, rubbing his cheek.
“Hi,” Ron said blankly, the emotional pain from the night before seemed to start to hurt again.
Ron stays quite distant from Emily but doesn’t want to be rude, so offers to take her out for breakfast and then hopefully depart from her. So they get up, get dressed, and decide to go back to Hogsmeade for breakfast.
Before apparating, Ron briefly thinks of when Hermione and he used to do that every weekend when he was off on Sundays, like he is today. He shakes the thought off with a frown and pretends to enjoy being with this girl whose name he only knew since yesterday.
Hermione and Ginny goes into a little wizard baby store for James first, and looks for cooler clothes for him for when it gets warmer into spring and summer.
They have the cutest magical toys there. Ginny buys a play wand for James and lots of little toys and even another little broomstick although James will not be using it for quite a while longer. Being done, they check out and head into the street to continue shopping.
As they turned down a corner, they see a shocking view. There is Ron with a girl from Hermione and Ron’s year, Emily Riker.
They basically run into each other, and Emily looks at Hermione with a disapproving glare, she must know about her and Ron’s past like everyone else. Ron looks exceptionally embarrassed and his ears and face turn pink with shame.
“Emily, this is Ginny, my little sister, and this is my fiancée… I mean my ex-fiancée, Hermione.”
“Yes, ex!” Hermione corrected him pretending to smile snidely.
“Oh of course I know her,” Emily spat glaring at Hermione, and she nods politely at Ginny, who glares at her for making this comment about her best friend.
Ginny asks the questions to Hermione’s relief, because Hermione wants to know just as badly as she.
“So when did you two get together?” Ginny asks, pretending to be friendly to Emily and just innocently curious.
“We just were with each other at The Pub last night and then have been with each other since,” Emily says proudly as she clings her arms to Ron's waist.
“And that was it!” Ron says in a fast pace, causing all three girls to look at him. Emily makes a hmmph sound.
“Let’s go, bye Ginny, and erm, Hermy, is it?” Emily said too enthusiastically and giggles stupidly, taking Ron by hand.
Hermione and Ginny can truly see Ron isn’t willing to go as he looks back at Hermione as Emily drags him away.
Ron feels so embarrassed, he just ran into his ex-fiancée whom he still loves with his one night stand who was rude to her. Now Hermione probably thinks of him as a man whore, great he will never get another chance. At least Malfoy wasn’t with her; it would only have made it worse.
Ron keeps thinking as Emily drags him, he is so hurt that he lost Hermione, he wishes he didn’t do what he did and wished there was some, any way he could get her back and be with her instead of next to this girl he barely knew. All he can think about was her. But something inside him feels like he already lost her completely.
Weirdly, Hermione doesn’t feel too bothered by her encounter with Ron and his rude one night stand, despite Ginny's remarks about Emily.
"She acted like she owned him, Hermione. Ugh, I am ashamed of my brother... I thought he was better than this, you were the best for him, and he’s just so stupid for doing this to you!"
But Hermione isn't listening, she was deep in thought...
She must really not be in love with Ron anymore because it only bothers her a little what she saw.
He really hurt her with his actions by cheating. Or was she just lying to herself? She misses Draco, and wishes he could have been here for that encounter with Ron; she would have loved to see the look on his face then.
Ginny gave Hermione a quick everything’s okay hug and they then pop into another store. This one had cute clothes and even lingerie in it.
Hermione has an odd urge to buy some new panties, maybe for an occasion with Draco if it ever did come up? She wants to at least look cute, and seeing Ron just now gave her an inspiration to do this, something she never did for him. She convinced Ginny to buy some too.
Even though Ginny just had baby James, she doesn’t have one stretch mark on her body and looks as fabulous as ever!
They both buy two new pairs of lingerie and different kinds of clothes.
Hermione feels surprised in herself; it is usually Ginny that tries to get her to buy stuff like this.
What’s up with me? Hermione thought to herself. Hermione is acting like a totally different person, but what was normal anymore?
The two girls were finally done shopping by noon and leave for home.
Harry is home for lunch and picks up his son and plays with him as soon as the girls arrive home. Ginny kisses her husband and then goes to put her clothes away.
Hermione goes to put away her clothes as well and she happens to glance at her phone which had just lit up with a message.
I want to see you tonight. –Draco.
Hermione is happy because she has wanted to see him too.
Sounds great, but where? She waits for his response.
This may sound like I am pushing you into something and I promise I’m not. But would you like to come to London with me to Diagon Alley, have dinner, and maybe sleep in a hotel room? We can get separate beds if you wish. I feel like I just want to see you.
Hermione smiles at this and lays on her bed, looking at the ceiling and thinking about it. She is feeling kind of daring, maybe the pain she feels is a good thing and is making her more of a rebel, maybe it is changing her for the better.
We can get a one bed room. That’s okay with me. I would love to see you tonight.
Maybe she will put her new lingerie to use tonight?
Ginny watches Hermione questionably when she bounces on her heels to the living room in excitement.
“Oh boy, what’s gotten into you?” She asked, Harry looks at Hermione as well.
“Okay, don’t judge me, promise?”
“Promise!” Ginny assures her. Harry just rolls his eyes because he knows what this is going to compose of.
“Draco and I are going to dinner… and…” Ginny motions for her to go on by waving her hand. “Sleep in a hotel room for the night.”
“Merlin Hermione,” disapproves Harry, shaking his head and looking back at the TV he was watching sighing deeply.
“Ooooh boy, Hermione Granger is going to sleep with an ex-Death Eater! Wow, never tagged you as a rebel,” Ginny said, laughing. But her husband doesn’t think it is funny at all, he turns the TV off, slams the remote on the coffee table, and leaves the room fuming without another word.
“Don’t let him bother you, he just cares about you,” Ginny says as her smile fades. Hermione's does the same.
Hermione then returns to her room and starts to pack for the night.
She packs an outfit for tomorrow and a sexy lingerie night gown for tonight that she just bought today. She cautiously slips into her lingerie undies after getting undressed and looks at herself in the mirror.
Not too bad, she thought as she examines her figure in the full length mirror.
The rest of the afternoon passes rather quickly, and sooner than she expected there was a knock on the door..,
Harry walks out of the bedroom he was in and answers unwillingly, he still isn’t exactly at all on friendly terms with Draco yet but he was nice to him for Hermione to his face.
“Come on in Malfoy,” Harry stammers, stepping back so he could come in.
Draco steps in and greets Ginny.
“Where’s Hermione?” He wonders.
“Here,” Hermione quietly says to him from her bedroom doorway.
Draco is immediately stunned at how she looks.
She’s wearing a sparkling red dress with black high heels to complete it, and her hair is in beautiful silky waves.
Ginny had helped of course, and smiles at her work well done. Harry even catches a look and Ginny notices and glared at him for a second.
“You look beautiful!” Draco exclaims, reaching out his hand for hers.
She grabs it and looked at her friends, “Well, see you later then?”
Harry and Ginny nod.
“Have a good night! Use protection!” Ginny yells after them and Harry just closes the door and Ginny and he return back into the house.
The unexpected might happen between them tonight... was Hermione really ready to do this? Or was it just her hurt talking? She doesn’t care, she wants to just be with Draco Malfoy tonight...Death Eater or not a Death Eater, tonight she was going to be with him. And with that, they apparated into the cool night.
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