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Chapter 17 : Out With the Old, In With the New
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Ron and Lavender crash through the front door of Ron’s apartment, like their lips and tongues are glued together. They kiss passionately, like the two of them have been waiting for this for centuries and they finally found each other.
Lavender, obviously in charge of things, takes Ron by the shoulders and throws him on his bed. She undresses him and then strips down into her pink lingerie she put on especially for him.
Ron likes the way she looks and grabs her slender body so she can kiss him again. Hermione finally escapes from his mind and Lavender takes her place… for now. He now takes control from there and pulls her body under him as he slowly and nervously takes off her lingerie. They start shagging on Ron’s abandoned bed, and Ron is actually having fun, enjoying himself.
When they are finished, they lay motionless in his bed under the comforter and sheets that he and Hermione used to share. He quietly rubs his rough thumb across Lavender’s bright olive skin as she stares up at the ceiling, her blue eyes smiling as she has finally gotten what she wants.
She suddenly breaks the silence between them. “I love you Ronald Bilious Weasley. I always have. You have always been the only boy I have ever had feelings for. When you left me when we were sixteen, it truly broke my heart.”
He looks at her and then looks up at the ceiling, he doesn’t say anything back because he can’t lie and say he loves her when his heart is still with someone else.
“Aren’t you going to say it back?” Lavender asks, her bottom lip quivering as she looks over at him.
Ron turns to stare blankly at her and he then just looks back up on the ceiling. “You too,” he says gruffly but obviously without true feeling.
“Th-thank you!” She says, feeling relieved and wiping a pathetic tear that has fallen down her cheek. “I am so happy to be with you again. I can’t help but be so worried you still love her.”
“I’m sorry I hesitated,” Ron honestly whispers to her, hating himself for being such a git and turning to her again to look at her.
“You said it back that’s what matters!” Lavender answers him, smiling and moving in to kiss him again. He snogs her back and then they break apart.
Ron just has to get over Hermione! It just has to happen for him to move on with life and with another woman.
“I am over Hermione, Lavender! Please believe me that I am working my hardest to not even do as much as think about her for now on. I have to admit it was a very bad mistake what I did to her with you. I am kind of upset with you for that but that’s okay now,” Ron states not meaning to say the last part.
“Upset with me!?” Lavender asks angrily.
“No, no, I mean with us both. I should have not ruined my relationship by cheating, I should have just-” Ron starts but she interrupts.
“What?” Lavender asks, glaring at him.
“Broken up with her…” He lies to Lavender.
“Yeah, you should have! But Won-Won that’s in the past and you need to move on with me now. It’s time,” Lavender says, desperately wrapping her legs around him.
“Okay Lav, can you not call me won-won?” Ron snarls in annoyance, making her back away from him a little in offense.
“Yes, sorry Ron, forgive me, and I am sorry I helped ruin your relationship. But you wouldn’t be with me right now, you would be with her. So I am sorry but not sorry! You know I have always wanted you!” Lavender tells him with a squeaky voice, annoyed that he won’t look at her straight in the face.
Hermione gazes up at the ceiling of her bedroom. Why does it upset her that she saw Ron with Lavender? Hasn’t she suspected it since he cheated on her with Lavender that they would get together? If she is with Draco why does this bother her so badly?
Maybe her feelings for Ron weren’t gone, but when she imagines herself with Ron again it doesn’t work out because of how he cheated on her. She wouldn’t ever forgive Ron for breaking her heart, it is just too low of a thing that he did. But she does forgive him for his actions.
Even though she knows she still has feelings for both men, she is happy she doesn’t have to pick between the two because she is having Draco’s baby and not Ron’s. Ron is also with Lavender again, which makes Hermione want to never speak to him again. But since she is with Draco she doesn’t want anyone to know this still hurts her. Not even Ginny.
Ginny and Harry had already gone to bed by the time she got home, so she didn’t get to tell Ginny of the night’s happenings.
She walks directly to her beaded hat in her bedroom now. There is one item she didn’t get out of there when she moved in with Ginny and Harry, Ron and Hermione’s picture in Paris when he asked her to marry him. She picks it up and holds it to her chest. Being alone, she decides to just let her feelings all out for the first time. She lies back on her bed and holds the picture up in front of her face, tears well up in her eyes and she starts to cry.
The thoughts about the cheating, heartbreak, and the break up creep into her mind. The night in the hotel room with Draco, her pregnancy, Ron being with Lavender at the restaurant and looking okay.
But she knows Ron hasn’t moved on, he still has the same look in his eyes that he did when they were together.
She sobs her heart out while she holds the picture, she screams into the pillow. Maybe she just needed to cry, all this was held in too long and it is time to let go of Ron for she can never be with him again. Missing Ron, liking Draco so much, it all is so crazy important to her but it’s scary how it has all changed so quickly.
Hermione thinks of how she loves what kind of man Draco has become, she loves his muscular body, and his shaggy blonde hair, and she even loves his little scruffy facial hair he now has on his chin. When he kisses her, it tickles her face. She really and seriously does love Draco, and frankly she does want to be with him more than Ron because she was never one hundred percent happy with Ron anyways. It is comforting to remember that.
Ron never listened to her the way Draco does, he never laughed at her jokes, he made fun of her smartness at times, it was in a cute way but it was also annoying. Of course Draco did too but he confesses it is one of his main attractions to her. Ron would have been a wonderful father to her child, but Draco will be an amazing dad.
Hermione finally realizes, she does not want to be with Ronald Weasley, she wants to be with Draco Malfoy, and that’s okay! Even though he was a Death Eater, even though his mum and dad are some of her least favorite people, she wants to be with him, Draco Lucius Malfoy, the father of her child.
Ron lies awake, motionless in his bed while Lavender snores beside him. He glances at the alarm clock; it is already three in the morning. His eyes then gaze around the apartment and he thinks how he has never seen just how empty it really is… Like all the life that was in it before was taken when Hermione left. Knowing he can’t be with Hermione again almost for sure because she was having Malfoy’s baby kills him. Of course something can always happen, but that is as much of a chance as Harry breaking up with Ginny for Luna, just because of how much damage he knows he caused Hermione.
Maybe he can have another chance down the road? But Malfoy has to ruin that all by coming into her life at the perfect moment, when she broke up with Ron. Ron can see Hermione has already fallen for Draco Malfoy, the ex-Death Eater, part of the reason his brother was dead.
But there is always a chance Draco will start acting like his old self, Ron almost bets his life that he will. And when Malfoy does start acting like the old Draco Malfoy again then Hermione will come running back to Ron. Or will she?
Ron looks at Lavender’s sleeping figure in deep thought. He does not love her and feels bad for leading her on. Maybe he will eventually grow to love her like she loves him. But right now he is too wounded to think about loving another woman.
He decides tonight that he will stay together with Lavender for a while to see where it goes with her. He does have chemistry with Lavender. After all, he did date Lavender before Hermione. He drifts off to sleep, having work in the morning.
Hermione awakes to an alarm clock, it is seven in the morning and it is one of the days she has to work at the Ministry. She hasn’t been in a few weeks, wanting to avoiding Ron. Luckily, she makes her own schedule.
Luckily Draco also worked at the Ministry part-time in the Improper Use of Magic Department on the fifth floor and he is not too far from her work, which is on the fourth floor, The Department of Regulation and Control for Magical Creatures.
Hermione still wants to go to work; she loves her job despite having to be in the same building as Ron and Lavender. She protects the magical animals of the wizarding world, something she has been passionate about for a long time, ever since she was a little girl she protected and cared for animals.
This was why she refused Harry’s job offer to work in the Auror office with him and Ron for now. Now she is happy she doesn’t work there, but it may have avoided Ron’s cheating all together if she had an eye on him all day.
Hermione walks into the lady’s toilet-room and flushes herself down the toilet as she always does when going to work for the last year and a half.
Draco stands waiting for her by the fireplace where she walks out of. He startles her because she doesn’t expect him. He grabs her hand and they start off toward the elevators.
Hermione glanced around for Ron, wanting to avoid him at all costs. Sure enough, there is Ron and Lavender walking perpendicularly to them, crossing the big Atrium of the Ministry. He must feel Hermione’s stare because he looks straight at her and they make uncomfortable eye contact. Hermione feels like freezing but she keeps walking and forces herself to look away from him. Ron continues to gaze at her as her and Draco near the elevator.
Many people greet Hermione and Draco as they walk, but some glared at them. A few of Draco’s past acquaintances and fellow ex-Death Eater’s siblings, daughters, or sons that knew the Malfoys shake their heads in disgust as they see Draco holding Hermione’s hand and her newly pregnant stomach. Although she isn’t showing too much she knows it is getting a little more noticeable.
Hermione’s acquaintances also glare but when they got in front of her they wave and some even congratulate her on her pregnancy and hug her.
Finally the couple walks into the elevator. Just as it is about to go up, Hermione notices Ron watching her still as Lavender and he sits on a bench and she is chatting away to him while he barely listens. Hermione shakes her head and then looks away.
Draco notices Hermione looking and he mutters, “Weasleby… blithering idiot.” Hermione glares at him for a moment but looks away before he notices.
Hermione’s floor comes up and she steps off after giving Draco a peck on the lips to which several people grunt at in disapproval.
Being their first time in the actual public, it didn’t go too rough; they expected a little more drama to unfold, like Pansy Parkinson to jump out of the shadows and do something harsh. But she is working in the Department of Mysteries, and is rarely ever seen around the Ministry. She is now engaged to Zabini, so her Draco crush days are over fortunately to Draco.
“Hello Hermione Granger! Where have you been?” Susan Bones, Hermione’s co-worker and ex-classmate asks as she gives her a quick hug.
“Busy getting over Ron and making Malfoy’s baby,” Hermione jokes. Susan, not the judging type, just laughs.
Luna Lovegood joins them, her blonde hair just as long as ever and still having that clueless, dreamy look on her face.
“Well, hi Hermione! Haven’t seen you in ages it seems. I just got back from traveling the world! Neville and I keep talking about how we need to double date with you and Ron!” She states in her bubbly voice but excited voice. Hermione looks at Susan with a frown.
“Luna, they broke up. Ron cheated on her,” Susan explains to Hermione’s rescue, annoyed at Luna’s dottiness.
Luna blushes while noticing Hermione’s small baby bump. “Oh I’m so sorry. How terrible of him! I hope your baby will still be in good hands with you both and you can get along for it! Congratulations on your pregnancy, by the way. I heard from others you are pregnant but I haven’t seen you in person yet.”
Hermione hesitates before saying anything. Obviously Luna is clueless of the current situation since she’s been away with Neville. “Luna, erm… I am with Malfoy, this is his baby.”
Luna does a double-take. “Not Draco Malfoy?!”
This causes a lot of people to look at them. Luna realizes she attracted everyone’s attention and she grabs Hermione’s arm and tugs her in Hermione’s and her shared office and slams the door.
“What are you thinking? Has a nargle been in your head?!” Luna has always been known to believe in odd creatures.
“No Luna, I like Draco. We met in a bookstore and became friends, and about a month ago I became his girlfriend,” Hermione awkwardly tells her quirky friend.
“So… Draco Malfoy is… good now? Or have you gone rebel? Are you still one of us?” Luna questions.
Hermione giggles. “No, Draco has changed since the war and he is very good now or I’d like to hope so. I am still friends with you all and would never dream of going to the other side.”
Luna sits with her eyes looking blankly at Hermione. She then says out of the blue, “Well, I always thought he is rather attractive.”
Hermione just smiles at her silly friend.
A knock on the door startles the girls in mid conversation. A large gray headed man with small spectacles comes in the room with a piece of paper.
“Hermione Jean Granger?” The man asks.
Hermione answers him. “That’s me, what would you like Mr. Perkins?”
He turns to look at Hermione. “I have a job offer for you from Arthur Weasley and myself for you to join the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts office, please consider it, it will do us a lot of good.”
He hands Hermione a very long letter from Arthur himself:
Perkins and I have discussed that you would be the best fit in the position we are looking for in the Misuse of Muggle artifacts office, you see you have a very smart sense when it comes to Muggle objects. I have always known this and I know that you enjoy working with animal laws, but please think about it…
The letter goes on and on to explain what position she would have and what kind of work she would do day to day and ends with Arthur basically begging her to take it. This is something new to think about… But she just doesn’t know about this.
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