Chapter 13 : Painful Memories
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Molly Weasley is standing at the front of the Burrow using her wand’s magic to pull weeds from her flowers in front of the house when she hears a sharp crack in the distance. She looks up in alarm as she sees her youngest son walking down the dusty driveway toward her, wearing a smile on his face.
What did he do? Wonders Molly, her son hasn’t smiled this way ever since Hermione left him so he must have done something.
She glares at him through her spectacles, her curly un-tamed hair flying out as the wind whips it around when Ron finally approaches her.
“Hi mum, how is everything?” Asks Ron lightly, looking slightly guilty but pleased with himself.
“Fine Ron, what have you been doing now?” Molly investigates. She hopes that he didn’t get into any trouble.
Ginny, who is in the kitchen helping her mum clean up after lunch, hears her brother and mum talking through the open window and after a glance towards James to make sure he is okay laying on a baby blanket, she heads outside to meet them.
“What did you do Ronald?” Ginny asks, her brown eyes blazing at him, trying her best to keep her calm. “I know you went somewhere last night, now where did you go? You weren’t at George’s, he owled mum this morning asking what happened to you coming to his place for the night.”
“It’s no one’s business where I went or where I go because I am almost twenty-one years old. I think I have the right to control my own bloody self!” Ron booms, automatically growing defensive as Ginny has this effect on him.
“What did you do, Ronald?” Molly asks, this time dangerously as she knows he did something for sure now.
“I just had a talk with Draco Malfoy that is all!” Ron declares.
“Did you hurt him?!” Shouts Ginny, concerned for Hermione’s boyfriend.
“Maybe a little but not really, he seemed alive still when I left earlier unfortunately,” answers Ron, confidence in himself showing.
At that moment, Harry walks into the tiny kitchen where Molly and Ginny are rounding on Ron.
“What’s going on?” Harry asks, amusement in his voice as it looks like his best friend is in trouble again.
“I went to Malfoy’s and jinxed him, that’s all! I didn’t kill the stupid git even though I wanted to. We had a talk because I wanted to tell him to take care of Hermione.” Ron explains to the three of them.
Harry can’t help but feel impressed in Ron’s courage to go to an ex-Death Eater’s house just to talk to him about taking care of his ex-fiancée.
“I also kind of used the Cruciatus Curse on him for a few minutes,” admits Ron as though he is actually ashamed in himself. Part of him is as Harry’s face changes from amused to angry immediately.
Molly's eyes shoot wide open. “YOU USED AN ILLEGAL CURSE! I DIDN’T RAISE MY CHILDREN LIKE THAT! I HAVE LOST RESPECT FOR YOU RON WEASLEY!”
She grabs his ear and drags him into the living room as if he is a small child and throws him on the nearest couch she can find.
Harry watches his friend get disciplined by his mum with disapproving eyes as he wonders whether or not he should think about charging his best friend or suspending him from his service at the Auror office. He knows his best friend is in pain, but that is not a reason to use an illegal curse.
"Ron! Do you know what this could mean?" Harry asks, now rounding on his friend for the first time.
"Charge me then! Do whatever, mate! I cursed the one man in this world that really deserved it!" Ron yells back at his friend.
“You are suspended from work, Ron, for a month! You can’t do that kind of stuff just because you’re mad at someone. That’s what the Death Eaters used to do, and not people like us!” Harry tells him, angry at Ron for doing this. “You’re an Auror, Ron, did you not even think of what could happen if you used a curse? You’re getting off easy, I could have charged you!”
Harry is so mad at Ron that he decides it is his time to leave. He is very angry at his friend and doesn’t wish to speak with him anymore right now. So he gives Ginny, baby James who is still on the baby blanket sleeping a kiss, and hugs Mrs. Weasley before he leaves home. Luckily Hermione is at work and won’t know about everything that happened last night until Draco tells her if he didn’t already.
Mrs.Weasley glares at Ron very angrily, her looks can literally kill right now. But as Ron starts to look sad, her looks soften.
"Ron as you probably know, Hermione probably does still love you and is lashing out by dating Malfoy because of her heartbreak. You on the other hand ruined the life that was basically laid out in front of you by cheating on the girl you love! I can't believe my own son-" Molly then trails off, she looks like she could cry. She thought Hermione as a daughter already and is very sad that she won’t be marrying into the family anymore.
Ron rolls his eyes at his mother and ignores everything she said about him cheating. He feels everyone should see it as a mistake anyone could make when a person drinks. He is heartbroken too and no one seems to care.
“I second that about Hermione, I reckon her head is so confused now that I messed up that she probably isn’t thinking clearly. I know bloody well Malfoy would be the last guy she would get pregnant with about two years ago,” responds Ron. But then by the look on his mum's face, he kind of regrets breaking the news, maybe it will get the attention off of him though at least.
Molly’s eyes open widely. “Pregnant? She’s pregnant with his child?”
Ginny glares at her brother as though she wants to kill him. Molly looks at her daughter in awe, and Ginny nods to confirm what Ron said. “Yes mum, it’s true. I was actually going to tell you later when the time is right, but Ronald spoiled that for me! And he is quite hardly the innocent one here! He is the one that cheated on Hermione in the first place and caused this whole ruddy mess! And he just used the Cruciatus Curse on somebody!” Ron rolls his eyes at his sister.
“Oh dear, Lucius Malfoy’s grandchild is in Hermione’s womb…my son using an unforgiveable curse that his best friend might have no choice but to charge him for-” Molly sighs loudly and into the living room recliner, putting her head in her hands.
Ginny feels that she needs to stand up for her best friend and her boyfriend no matter how much loathing of Malfoy there was in the past. “Mum, Draco has… erm, changed. He is a lot different now than he used to be! I’ve seen it myself.” In response, Molly just looks up at her daughter like she is speaking parseltongue.
“Ginny, they were Death-Eaters and they were a part of the lot that killed your brother!” Molly is soft hearted but when it comes to the death of a family member, that’s hard to forgive. No matter who did it, he was on the side that did.
Molly knows Draco was never really evil, but she knows that Draco stood by the Death Eaters for a ling time when they killed or when they performed tasks for Voldemort. She would not tolerate being friendly to such a person like that unless proved otherwise that they are sorry for what they did and are now different.
“I know but mum, the war changed everyone and Draco never was a real Death-Eater!” Ginny protested. “He changed sides at the end, remember? He knew he wanted to be on our side the whole time.”
“Not a real Death-Eater my arse!” Ron yells at his sister. The little happiness from successfully telling Malfoy off and jinxing him fades as he is sick of hearing that he wasn’t a Death-Eater and is changed. “That’s rubbish, he chose to treat us that way in Hogwarts, he was the first one who called Hermione a mudblood in our second year and that was the first time I saw her cry! He didn’t seem “changed” at his house earlier. He provoked my anger like he always had! He is Lucius Malfoy’s son, remember Ginny? He deserved the curse I did to him a great deal!”
“Ron, that’s probably because he knew you want to murder him! And who gives a dime who his father is? He is more kind now, he told Hermione the war has changed him and he hates everything he has ever had to see, he himself has never done any of it. He only was forced to watch because of his mum and dad! Besides, he makes Hermione happy!”
James breaks the tension as he wakes from the yelling and starts to cry so Ginny leaves the room to pick him up off the blanket to rock him.
Molly shrugs and looks at Ron. “I won’t believe this until I see it myself, but I am not Hermione’s mum, and you did not do a very fair thing to her Ronald. You hurt her heart, and she is only acting out! Now that she acted out she made a mistake and is having a child with Malfoy! It could have happened to you too you know! Messing around with those rowdy girls when getting drunk off your bum!”
Ron just looks at the table in front of him, his face grim; he knows his mum is right. And he hates hearing about this over and over but it was the cold, hard truth. He realizes he deserves for it to be thrown in his face. This is the first time his mum even mentioned Hermione in front of him since he told her they broke up.
Ginny says her goodbyes and leaves Ron and Molly alone since Arthur is still at work. Hours pass full of tension and Molly can barely look at her son as she starts to cook up dinner before her husband gets home.
Ron leaves his mum alone in the kitchen to retreat to his old bedroom where he has decides to stay for now on and close the lease to Hermione and his old apartment.
Hermione takes a nap as soon as she gets off work and wakes up hearing Harry in the kitchen attempting to cook dinner. After seeing that her clock says it’s almost six in the evening, she slips her pajamas on as she fell asleep in her work clothes she was so tired, and wraps her hair up in a messy bun because her bushy hair fell out of her neat hairstyle as she slept and walked in the kitchen.
“Hi Hermione, I am attempting to make us dinner. Just some chicken and chips,” He tells her, concentrating hard on the food with his wand.
“Harry, I could have made us dinner! But that’s sweet of you.”
“No Hermione, you needed your rest. You were asleep for nearly four hours.” Harry says, glancing at her stomach then looking at the pan again.
This irritates her for some reason. “Harry, you know I am the same person right?” She doesn’t want her best friend in the whole world to feel differently about her, which would break her heart.
“Yes Hermione but to be honest I am just surprised and not very happy with your choice of a new boyfriend, or the mistake you made that night that resulted in you having Lucius Malfoy’s grandchild. But I still support you and love you just the same,” admits Harry, stopping his cooking to look at Hermione through his round spectacles with a serious expression.
Hermione frowns at this and feels ashamed. “I’m so sorry Harry. I was so stupid for drinking that night, drinking can do bad things to good people. You know that wasn’t like me, the stuff with Ron just had me so messed up.”
Harry hugs her as he sees he upset her. “Hermione, I trust you more than I trust anyone besides my wife. You are the smartest witch I know no matter who you choose to be with. If you really feel this way about Malfoy, and feel he treats you right, then so be it. I know you are also one of the strongest women I know. I will try my upmost hardest to accept it and be on friendly terms with Malfoy. After all, his mother is the reason I am alive today! Even though she is not the friendliest of people she must have a good heart.” Harry says trying to make the conversation positive and letting go of her to continue to concentrate on cooking.
Hermione looks down at the pan and her thoughts go back to him looking at her stomach, feeling a bit offended. “Harry I am pregnant, not disabled. I can cook,” but then she is suddenly hit with a wave of nausea because a whiff of the chicken crosses her nose as she got closer to the pan and she makes a beeline for the closest toilet.
When she returns five or so minutes later, Harry smiles at her. “You can cook eh? Doesn’t seem like it!” Hermione giggles in return, a bit embarrassed
“Oh Harry, you are always going to be my best friend. Promise me that,” she says with a sad tone, using her wand to levitate a couple of plates and silverware for Harry and herself to eat with.
“I will always be your best friend Hermione. It will all eventually come together again and maybe you and Ron can be friends again too,” Harry sighs, unsure of the truth in his words. He feels down about the whole situation of being between his best friends again. This time is far more serious than other times though. He wants the two together again, whether friends or lovers, he doesn’t care but it is just too much for Harry to deal with right now.
Ginny arrives later and goes to bed in a bad mood after James falls asleep. Harry and Hermione go to bed as well and don’t ask Ginny what’s wrong as she looks like she doesn’t want to talk about it or she’d tell them.
The next day, Hermione and Harry are alone again as Ginny is at the Burrow with Molly once again.
Ginny calls Harry and tells him to meet them for lunch at the Borrow and to bring Hermione if she didn’t already have plans. Hermione agrees and after Harry and herself go to Diagon Alley to look for an anniversary present for Ginny as Harry and her anniversary is coming up soon, they apparate to the Burrow.
Molly hugs Harry as soon as they walk up to her where she is waiting on the front porch. “Hello son in law,” she then turns to Hermione, and pauses to look her up and down and smile. But this smile was not her usual warm, welcoming smile; this smile looks as though there is something behind it that means she isn’t too happy with Hermione.
She then embraces Hermione despite the odd smile she gave her. “Oh Hermione, what a pleasure to see you dear. Congratulations on your little one!” Hermione then lets go of Molly and looks at Ginny with confused eyes.
Ginny mouths, “Ron,” and then turns to Harry who has his arms reached out for his son after kissing his wife’s forehead.
Hermione feels disappointment in herself as she knows that Molly disapproves of her actions, and Molly has always been like her second mother, she doesn’t want her angry at her.
“I’ve missed you Mrs. Weasley!” Hermione exclaims, smiling at her. Molly smiles back halfway.
“You too sweets, now let’s get inside then, come on!”
They walk inside the house with Hermione first, Ron is in the kitchen already serving himself with his mum’s chicken and dumplings into an old bowl.
Ron grins at Harry as if nothing happened last night. “Hi there Harry, mum’s meal is going to be amazing and hey Hermione.” Hermione is surprised Ron already acknowledges her presence; she thought it would take a while before that could ever happen.
“Hi,” she says back unsure of how she should react. She notices Molly doesn’t talk to her much as they make their way down the buffet line to get soup and biscuits, though she hasn't talked to Ron at all either and shoots him a glare every chance she gets.
Hermione sits at the table across from Ron and looks up at him for a moment, feeling a twinge of pain in her heart. This feels like old times, she thinks solemnly as she suddenly feels a ball of emotion well up in her throat. She swallows hard, causing Ron to look up.
“You okay?” He asks with concern. Hermione feels she will start crying if she looks at him so she nods and starts to eat without having to answer him.
The family talks like usual around the table but Hermione stays silent, feeling sad about all the changes that have taken place and having mixed but excited feelings about Malfoy’s and her new relationship and baby on the way. Hormones from her pregnancy must be messing with her emotions.
Ron also stays silent, knowing almost everyone in the room is still mad at him. Hermione notices Ron looking at her every once in a while but he tries not to because he didn’t want her to notice.
He also starts to think about the old times while sitting around the Weasley table, when it seemed as easy as breathing. It was a place everyone laughed and joked, a place where everyone was together. But not now, now it was full of tension. All because of the ruddy decision he made in The Pub. He wishes he could take it all back with every piece of himself but what’s done is done. There would be no tension at the Weasley table if everything was back to the way it was...
He stares at Hermione for a good while through the rest of the lunch and examines her. She looks saddened, kind of similar to him, but she has someone and Ron doesn’t. So why does she look sad?
Ron knows that Hermione might still love him, and that this dating Malfoy was just an act of covering it up in the beginning. But in that act, she has made a mistake and now has a baby on the way. Now she really is with Malfoy, and Ron has lost her… probably for good.
Lunch is now over and everyone ends up sitting in the living room. Hermione sits on the loveseat and Ron sits next to her.
This surprises her and she looks at him asking him hesitantly, “How have you been?”
“Not the best… I went and talked to your little boyfriend last night to make sure he treats you right.” Ron confesses, anger suddenly rising up in him for an unknown reason.
Hermione grew angry immediately. “You did what?”
“I just had a little chat with him and we got into a small fight because he was snide to me and I jinxed him but he’s fine. I just wanted to tell him to take care of you!” Ron says defensively, hoping this will make her happy.
“You jinxed him, Ron? Really?!” Hermione bellows, hacked off now.
“Yes, I’m sorry Hermione I did. And you know what? I wanted to kill him but I held my anger back and just let it out a bit only when he started to get like an arse toward the end. He started saying you two are none of my concern and things like that!" Ron retorts back.
Hermione stands up. “Ron, I’m sorry but we aren’t any of your concern! You cheated on me, remember?! Obviously you didn’t care about me in the first place or you would have never done that! You have no business going to Draco’s and starting a fight with him!”
Hermione, not being able to take another fight with him, got up and walked outside even though everyone’s eyes were are her and apparates to Malfoy Manor without saying goodbye to anyone.
“I did too care about you, more than you know!” He screams after her. Everyone looks at him now and can’t help but feel a little bad for him.
“Ron I am so sorry that this is happening. I hate what you did, I hate the choices you and she made but your choices now have consequences. You know I’d rather you two be happy and together but Ron, with the choice you made I am not sure that’s possible-” Molly says, just looking blankly at her son, not knowing whether or not she should comfort him or slap him again.
Ron picked up a plastic container and throws it across the room in anger, declares he is going to George's and leaves Harry, Ginny, and Molly alone.
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