Chapter 3 : Beauty and the Beast
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“Hermione, I’m not going to beat about the bush.”
A bush nearby pricked up its leaves as it heard its name and wondered if Ron was being rude about it, or whether it was that feared time of year again: pruning time. Seeing that tall red haired man brandishing a pair of dodgily charmed secateurs (charmed by an equally tall and alarming, though slightly older, white haired man who had a penchant for charming other usually inert garden utensils that had an infinite capacity for wreaking havoc on all sorts of unsuspecting plants) was nothing short of petrifying. The bush now realised that the part of his thoughts written in brackets was now so insanely long that the rest of the sentence that the brackets had interrupted were now forgotten.
“Oh?” said Hermione raising her face to look at Ron as she had been previously distracted with the remainder of her apple pie; Ron’s was long gone… in fact, it was even debateable as to whether it had ever existed, for any food Ron placed his gaze upon extraordinarily seemed to evaporate in the proceeding ten seconds or so. Fifteen if it was some questionable foodstuff like broccoli or Stilton. Broccoli and Stilton soup was like trying to drink Gurdyroot infusion that by some unlucky chance had wound up with Hippogriff excrement in the bottom.
“I want another fairy story, please.”
“I was thinking that myself, but then I thought that you have half a day of work left to go… you could always go in now and say that you had a dodgy tummy this morning? After eating that bacon sandwich you found in the back of the pantry last night?”
“Are you, Hermione, suggesting that I, Ron, tell a lie?”
Ron threw his eyes to the heavens, pretending to be shocked and scandalized beyond measurable belief.
“No, no,” Hermione quickly said, her cheeks reddening, “But I feel so guilty about you having the day off. Even I feel guilty about taking the day off and it is my day off. I dread to think how Bulstrode is doing without me… lumpish twit he is, incompetent. How he got into my department I’ll never know. You know he’s that cow Millicent’s cousin don’t you? You know, that Slytherin girl who looked a bit like a man? Well, this cousin of hers now works for me and – ”
Ron’s mind wandered. He had heard her complaining about this Bulstrode fellow one too many times, and he knew that her speech would now be filled with such lines as “intelligence of a Flobberworm,” and “I’d rather work with a Flobberworm,” and “He keeps offering me his Flobberworm sandwiches.” Ron personally thought that Hermione had a thing for Flobberworms; an issue that should really be addressed by a trained professional. Or either this chap did. Either that or the word Flobberworm was being used as a substitute for a much ruder word that Hermione wouldn’t dare say, such as “Bollockhead.” Except how could you have a Bollockhead sandwich?
“It sounds to me,” said Ron loudly, interrupted Hermione’s furious tirade about the colour of ink Bulstrode used, “that you have a little crush on this man. You talk about him far too much.”
Hermione gave a furious squawk that made an excited Crookshanks believe that a parrot had landed in the garden and she immediately launched into protests that included statements such as “I’d rather go out with a Flobberworm,” and “He has the conversational skills of a Flobberworm,” and “Why are there Flobberworms in the plant pots again, Ron?”
Ron wondered how many times the word Flobberworm had been uttered in the last ten minutes. He suspected it was a rather vast amount. He soon realised that his request for a new fairy story was now forgotten and he decided to bring it up again in the subtlest way he could.
“Fairy story. Now,” he demanded slamming his hand hard on the table and living up to the Weasley tradition of having a short temper and giving red heads in general a bad name.
Hermione shrank into her chair and recoiled, terrified of her husband and immediately bowed down to his demands. Naturally she did no such thing.
She picked the book from the empty chair next to her (there were four chairs around their garden table in case Harry and Ginny popped round for Pimms, often accompanied by their two year old son, James. If Bill and Fleur were to join with Victoire then more chairs could easily be Summoned. The quality of these chairs was unpredictable, as no one knew where they came from) and threw it at his head. As it was an old and heavy hardback book this was no laughing matter.
“Don’t talk to me like a Flobberworm that you wish to kill,” Hermione scolded sternly as Ron nursed his concussion, “Not that you’d manage even if you did want to.”
Ron assumed she was making some sort of reference to how he ignored the Flobberworms in the flowerpots and let them eat all the lettuce plants they didn’t have.
“Never again…” he agreed fervently, “But please, another story.”
“I won’t even bother asking you not to ruin it…” Hermione muttered, flicking through it to find her page.
~*An entry into Ron’s imagination; a twofold charted place*~
Many years ago lived a strange girl called Belle, who loved to read far too much and due to her bad eyesight and small-fonted books she received a lot of headaches. Many nights were spent with her rolling around in agony, clutching her forehead declaring, “Oh! If only they had books for the visually impaired!” to which her aggravated and sleep deprived father would say, “They do. They’re called audio tapes.” Many times this occurred, until Belle realised that the overuse of the word “many” would be detrimental to its value of the word, and she ceased from using it.
Many times she slipped up on this promise and in her terrible grief and regret she changed her name to the abominable “Hermione”, as eternal punishment for her horrific –
“Excuse me!” Hermione snapped, “Have you actually just done that? How dare you insult my name in such a – ”
“I was joking!” Ron laughed, propping his feet up on the table, “Don’t be so sensitive.”
“You know I have issues with my name!” Hermione said, sounding nearly close to tears, “I mean, nobody can even say the wretched word and here you are, my own husband, poking fun at something that I can’t change and I don’t even want to change it and if you can’t accept that then maybe you should start looking at your own name, which in my opinion is ridiculous Ronald Bilius Weasley!”
Ron was flabbergasted for a moment but quickly regained composure and started defending his name in equal measure.
“Your surname is also Weasley! And what’s wrong with Bilius? And Ronald?” he asked, desperate to seek answers to the reason he’d only ever managed two girlfriends in his life, one of which had the symptoms of a mild bout of psychosis.
Not that this was any way to talk about one’s wife.
“Bilius sounds like a fancy kind of disease,” Hermione said, “That happens to involve a lot of mucous. As in “Doctor, I have a terrible bout of the Bilius pox.””
“Oh. Oh I see,” Ron said, folding his arms, “So we’ve resorted to this now; petty insults and name-dropping Muggle jobs. Right.”
They sat in awkward silence for a good five minutes watching Crookshanks eat grass, which meant he would be sick later.
“Shall we just say that I don’t really hate your name?” Ron said, “Honestly I don’t.”
“I don’t hate yours either,” Hermione said too, “I will carry on now.”
This Hermione was the prettiest girl in the entire village, which wasn’t really saying much as the village population consisted of twenty people, most of which were eccentric old men with tendencies to kidnap pigeons and use them as weathervanes. Other members consisted of Seamus Finnegan, the local drunk who went round stealing pot plants and then challenging people to “who can hold it on his head for the longest?” competitions. The front of Seamus’s house was covered in soil and consequently, a huge man with an obsession for all things clean had taken to cleaning it without Seamus’s consent. The resulting fight had lasted a good two minutes. Seamus’s hair spikes had never been the same again. This was where the phrase “flat as a hedgehog” had been born.
However, she was gorgeous enough to attract the attention of the town thug and hero, Dracog. He had issues with girls because they were either convinced he was gay due to his compliance to the latest fashions or that he was a girl himself due to his compliance with the latest fashions for women. In order to solve this issue he had managed to grow himself a hench beard – and by hench beard he meant sparse patches of yellow feathery stuff on his chin – in order to look more masculine. His friends implored him (friends being a loosely used term): “Stop wearing the skirts! Then she’ll like you!” but he was adamant that skirts showed off his best feature to the maximum: his knees.
One day Dracog was strutting around in a skirt and riding boots (he had just been riding and had shot a rubber chicken that he wanted to give to Hermione. He had attempted to shoot her a wild boor but he’d missed and the boor had rightfully retaliated and made off with his Gucci bonnet) when he happened upon Hermione. As she was struggling to read the small print of a bank statement she walked into him and he fell over into a muddy puddle.
“ARGH!” he said in a masculine voice.
“Oh!” said Hermione in surprise, “Sorry girlfrien’!”
“You will not ever make me say that again. I have proper diction and would never call anyone by that appalling attempt at a pet name.”
Ron gave a dirty snigger.
“No, you prefer talking about dirty books don’t you?”
“Don’t worry,” Dracog said flexing his muscles in Hermione’s face, privately thinking that he looked like he had a pair of melons stuffed into each bicep.
“Good, I’m glad I haven’t offended you,” Hermione said, privately thinking that he looked like he had a pair of raisins stuffed into each bicep.
“Would you like to join me for some creamed rice dessert?” Dracog offered, waving his gun around and threatening to shoot petrified passers by. They ran screaming for their lives as Dracog had a bad reputation for accidentally shooting important things like sellotape factory workers and barrels of nuclear waste.
“No thanks,” Hermione said vacantly, sitting in the pond and watching the fish swim around her, “I heard there are piranhas in here. Wouldn’t it be bloody fantastic to meet one?”
He sat in the pond next to Hermione, ignoring the electric eels that were electrocuting him and causing him to come out in a troublesome rash.
“My Dad’s gone to go and put in his prize winning ribbon into a competition in the hope that he’ll win a wood chopping machine. Or was it the other way around…”
“Your Dad’s weird,” Dracog said, forgetting that people don’t like it when people other than themselves are unforgivably rude towards their families, “I think you are most fit.”
“Your bonnet is stupid,” she said.
Draco wondered how the hell she knew about his bonnet.
“You like your cross-dressing villains don’t you, Ron?” Hermione asked.
“Harry and I like to wear your high heels sometimes.”
“I’d help you out,” she said an hour later, as she arrived at Dracog’s shack with some homemade turnip pies, “But I can’t read very small writing.”
Dracog grunted masculinely and carried on with his paperwork, secretly wishing his favourite bonnet was back so that it could instruct him on what to do.
“Now, I have to go now and brave those deep dark terrifying forests because I fear my father is missing as he was due back five minutes ago,” Hermione said, pulling on a hideous florescent green pac-a-mac that made Dracog question his physical attraction to her.
“Cor!” he said, practically drooling and snapping out of his doubtful phase as he spotted something that distracted him from the hideous florescent green radioactive pac-a-mac, “You look so good with those. Damn sexy in fact!”
Hermione was scandalised and quickly picked up a brick and threw it at his head.
“Ouch!” he cried, “What did I do?”
“You insulted my integrity as a woman by making a disgusting sexist comment about how you like my new boots,” she spat, “I know I look good with them and you don’t have to tell me!”
Dracog was most confused; he’d been talking about the turnip pies she’d been holding. She’d been talking about the thigh high bright red high-heeled PVC boots she’d just pulled on. She had bought them quite recently from a burlesque troop that had recently come to town, featuring a singer called Voldette who looked suspiciously like a man. However, Hermione had befriended a dancer called Rita Von Skeese, and she had donated her boots to Hermione after Hermione ruined them by drooling all down the back of them.
“As we seemed to have reached an unfortunate misunderstanding I should let you know that today is ‘Pointless Warning Day’.”
“Pointless Warning Day?” Hermione asked with a wrinkled nose, evidently bemused by this latest input.
“Yes,” Ron agreed, “Pointless Warning Day. A day where folk can make pointless warnings and then give them to other people. Designed to generate confusion in a pointless and irritating manner. It’s all in the name really.”
Hermione didn’t know what to say so carried on.
“Pointless Warning Day?” Hermione asked with a wrinkled nose, evidently bemused by this latest input.
“It’s just a day where people can give pointless warnings to each other. For example: Don’t swallow too many wasps today.”
“How can I swallow too many wasps? Surely one wasp constitutes as too many.”
“Never mind the logistics of the situation. Go on your trip, and I promise I won’t try and kidnap you or kill your true love later on today.”
“I’ll hold you to that,” Hermione said, throwing a bucket of water into Dracog’s lovingly prepared fire.
Hermione had been tramping around in the woods for a while now – tramp being the operative word, as her boots were truly the most promiscuous things the woodland creatures had ever seen and these were the animals who had had their eyes tainted by Dracog’s leg warmers on more than one occasion – and she was starting to think she’d never find her father.
To make her journey more fun she started dancing rampagingly to “It’s Raining Men” and was so awful that a pigeon flew past (having recently escaped from a weather vane) and dropped a boulder on her head. Somehow she got her head stuck in a fence and experienced symptoms of severe concussion.
“I actually have such a head ache right now,” she said to herself, wondering how she’d get her head out the fence, “And bloody hell, I fear my yo yo collection is missing, stolen years ago by a tyrant named Mavis - ”
“Oh my GOD!” Hermione yelled, having had too much of this. To make matters better a clock appeared –
“I am clock, who is annoying.”
“Can you help me find my father?”
“Is that him?” said the candlestick pointing to small hairy mole.
“No! That’s a birth mark I’ve had since I was a baby – ”
“No you fool! That mole!”
This mole was very imposing at less than a foot tall and with fuzzy brown fur and a twitchy little nose.
“EEEEEEEEEEEEERGH”, Hermione screeched, wrenching herself free from the fence at the expense of her ears and running towards the huge scary castle ahead of her.
After bumping into several cactus plants on the way there she karate chopped the front door down, taking out many woodworms in the process, and fundamentally destroying the irreplaceable antique door.
“You will receive a bill in the post for that,” said Lumiere, a candlestick who couldn’t be bothered to write out his own French accent, “We here never like to confront people face to face for money. We prefer to send them letters, just like the British do.”
“Tough, I cannot read the small print on bills!”
“Then a magnifying glass shall be included in your envelope.”
“Magnifying glasses are see through. I shan’t see it.”
“Then we will stick a post-it to it saying “Magnifying Glass” on it.”
“Then I will ignore the post-it.”
“I’ll make it a yellow post-it. Can’t ignore yellow things.”
“Make it pink and the deal’s done.”
“Pink is not a colour traditionally used for “fire exit” signs.”
A stone balcony decorated with engraved cauliflowers ran around the edge of the room she’d just barged in to. Vegetable related stonework was a favourite of hers. But then something distracted her…
She had spotted a long ginger hair on the floor. She picked it up.
“Um, clock thing?” she called, “A ginger person doesn’t live here do they?”
“Yeah! Our master’s covered in ginger hair, but I wouldn’t mention it to him… he’s got a terrible temper and is quite sensitive about it.”
“WHAT AM I SENSITIVE ABOUT?” came a huge growly yell from the left.
Hermione turned and saw a huge fluffy ginger monster, with sharp claws and teeth, but reassuringly, pretty blue eyes. He looked a bit like a threatening Pygmy Puff.
“Muggles don’t have Pygmy Puff’s, Ron,” Hermione said to him, “I know you’re fond of them – a bit too fond if you ask me.”
“I reserve the right to not comment on that, and I would ask you to refrain from checking the bottom of my side of the wardrobe in future.”
“I am NOT sensitive.”
“Master, we never implied that you were. Your hair is a lovely colour. Like that of the setting sun.”
“Or of a decaying satsuma,” Hermione said, somewhat stupidly, “It’s bloody toxic looking is what that hair colour is.”
The Pygmy Puff swelled with rage, feeling as aggrieved as he did the time someone insulted his name: Ronald.
“Don’t bite that!”
The clock thing had noticed Hermione trying to eat her way free through a stone carving of a bowl of fruit.
“I cannot stay here with a ginger, I simply can’t. Ginger people terrify me.”
“I happen to think ginger is a … well… quite a sexual hair colour if you ask me,” said Ronald the Pygmy Puff.
“Well you would wouldn’t you, but can I just ask how many girls you’ve actually had back here?”
“That is neither here nor there.”
“I assumed as much,” said Hermione.
Both the clock thing and Lumiere thought they should save their master’s dignity and tell Hermione about the time they saw Mrs Potts the teapot leaving their master’s suite. They didn’t know what happened that night, but they thought her spout was involved.
“As you are captive here now, I will let you have a nice room. And I will release your father from prison and let him go home,” Ronald said reasonably, “Lumiere! Release the old man from the tower and send him back to his rightful place.”
“Yes master,” the candlestick agreed, and off he went to fulfil his duty.
“I suspect this story is going to end up with me getting some sort of unhealthy attachment to you, even though you did imprison me,” Hermione said.
“Fair enough,” said Ronald, flexing his furry arms and trying to show Hermione is huge biceps. He enjoyed working out by throwing grand pianos out the windows. This did not please the wildlife that lived in the forest as they were frequently squashed. Ronald had had many a visit from the Animal Welfare folk, including a very unruly chap called Dracog who had shaved a massive strip of his beautiful ginger hair from his back. He didn’t leave his room for weeks till it grew back. Only Mrs Potts was allowed to visit him at night to bring him food. The rumours then started. It was awful because Mrs Potts was a nun.
“Why is Mrs Potts a nun?” Hermione asked, not even bothered to add any tone to her voice, “She’s a teapot.”
“Potts is a pertinent surname for someone who’s a teapot,” Ron said knowledgably, “I wonder what it would be like if we were all like our surnames. We’d be weasels!”
“Professor Sprout had a good name for her job. I wonder if she chose it on the basis of her name?” Hermione wondered.
“Ha!” Ron laughed, “Potts sounds like Potter. Imagine if Harry looked like a teapot. That’d be funny!”
Hermione laughed weakly and carried on reading.
Actually what that was meant to say was Mrs Potts was actually a man, not a nun. Called Mr Potts, Mr Harry Potts. Mr Harry Potts had a crack that looked like a bolt of lightning from when he was trodden on by a visiting burlesque singer called Voldette. Somehow, Mr Potts survived, the first piece of bone china to ever have survived contact with a foot.
“Very imaginative, Ron,” Hermione praised him.
“Let me show you to your room,” said Ronald to Hermione, “I may stay longer than I am welcome for because deep down I think you’re sexy and I don’t know how to act around sexy women – ”
“Some might say you still don’t,” Hermione said mischievously.
“Some might say that some just can’t handle the sheer sexual enthusiasm I have for some people,” Ron said haughtily, “How is that bruise by the way?”
“It’s doing great thank you, it’s almost gone.”
“- so I tend to make a fool of myself.”
“That’s ok,” Hermione reassured him as he lead her deeper into his castle, passing dirty and dusty oil paintings of red haired human relatives, “Why are your relatives humans whilst you are big and fluffy?”
Some might have considered this question impertinent and personal, but Ronald wasn’t much educated in the art of tact so didn’t notice.
“I was cursed by an old lady because I didn’t let her into my house. Even though I was raised to never let strangers in because you never knew if they were carrying knives or illegal substances that they might leave in your home and be discovered by law authorities at a later date. So she made me a beast!”
“Awww…” said Hermione, not really listening as she was distracted by the carved aubergine banisters, “What a pity. You let me in though.”
“Actually you just entered without invitation. Also given your gender and pleasing physical appearance I feel there is the potential for us to fall madly in love which will remove this curse. We have to be quick though, because there’s this rose with petals and if they all fall I will be a beast forever.”
Hermione was confused by the plot now, but the fact remained that she hadn’t enjoyed male company for a very long time. Dracog was indeed male, but his company was not enjoyable. So she considered what the beast Ronald had said. If you got past all the excess fur and its … interesting colour he could be quite attractive. Especially with such pretty blue eyes. She felt a stirrin’ in her loins…
“I can’t help but feel you’ve made Hermione very… loose in this story Ron,” Hermione scolded, “I see where you’re going with this and you’ve got it all wrong. The falling in love is supposed to be a gradual process where the beast’s heart finally warms into loving another other than himself. And she is supposed to see past his physical exterior and into the soul within, finally loving what she sees.”
Ron contemplated this for a moment, kind of understanding where his emotionally intelligent wife was coming from. But the fact was, he was a man. His emotional intelligence was average at best (apart from a few golden moments of insight and shrewdness concerning his loved ones’ feelings) and he felt this story should be a little more lusty.
“My Hermione is not loose,” Ron assured Hermione, “But I’m afraid that the Hermione in the story is. Maybe because she isn’t as beautiful, or intelligent as the one sat before me.”
Hermione went pink and made a few “I’m not going to fall for that” sounds through a mouth that was trying not to smile.
Moments later the beast and Hermione emerged from a nearby cupboard having “done the deed” as they say. Both parties’ hair was looking ruffled, which was saying something considering both had vast quantities of it (Hermione’s being just on her head of course).
“Well,” said Ronald, looking down at Hermione, “Well.”
It was evident he didn’t know what to say.
“I thoroughly enjoyed that,” Hermione offered, “If you want to visit me later in my fine boudoir, I wouldn’t deny you access.”
“Thank you,” said Ronald, “You’re most gracious.”
Their eyes met in a powerful beam of attraction but sadly the moment was broken as the doorbell rang.
“Poo,” said Ronald, “I’d better get that.”
So off he went, huffing and puffing in an annoyed fashion as he went. This had better be good, he thought. He hoped it was someone selling double glazing. He loved double glazing. Kept his heating bills right down.
He reached his spacious entrance hall and opened what was left to open of the irreplaceable and destroyed antique door. To his consternation, Dracog was stood there.
“I haven’t thrown pianos all day,” Ronald said before Dracog could speak, “So you have no business here.”
Dracog gave an evil smile, and pulled up his legwarmers, ready for action. He was also dressed in his “telling people off” skirt. It was red. The colour of anger.
“I’m not here about that,” Dracog said all evil like, “I’ve heard tell that you have my woman here. Her father arrived back at the village not too long ago and said his daughter had been captured by a beast. So I came to rescue her.”
Hermione appeared, curious about who was at the door.
“EEEE!” she screeched, upon seeing Dracog, “What are you doing here?”
“I am here to save you!”
“Oh go away,” Hermione sighed, “I’m happy here. I think I’ve found the thing I’m supposed to be with.”
“Thing?” Ronald asked, somewhat hurt.
“Well I don’t know what species you are do I?” Hermione rolled her eyes at him.
“A species SOON TO BE EXTINCT!” Dracog said dramatically, whipping a silver dagger from within his legwarmers and leaping forward to administer a fatal wound upon Ronald.
Ronald roared with anger and swatted at Dracog as though he were a pesky fly. Soon they were both involved in a tense and deadly fight involving much leaping and swatting, with the occasional attempt of murder thrown in. Dracog looked especially silly, for his turquoise legwarmers (genuine 80s) clashed horrendously with his red skirt.
This went on for some time, until, suddenly, Ronald paused for breath. His strength training of piano throwing had not included any cardio and he was a bit unfit. This lapse in concentration allowed Dracog to plunge his silver dagger into Ronald’s chest.
“OW!” yelled Ronald.
“I’d think he’d be a bit more upset than “Ow” wouldn’t he?” Hermione asked.
“He’s a hard man is Ronald.”
“Oh my GOD this hurts,” he said, inspecting his wounds, “I’d better lie down.”
Dracog looked triumphant and started firing his gun everywhere (why he didn’t just use that in the first place no one knew). But due to this extremely dangerous behaviour he shot the chandelier directly above his head and he was crushed by a tonne of crystals and silver. It was how someone who liked legwarmers would’ve wanted to go, so Hermione didn’t feel too sad for him. She hastened to Ronald’s side, feeling tears in her eyes as she feared the knife had pierced her love’s heart.
“Oh Ronald,” she wept, kneeling beside him and putting her head on his furry chest, “Please do not die. I couldn’t live without you. You are my light and soul, you are my heart and life, you are everywhere to me even though I literally just met you.”
“Say that you love me,” Ronald gasped, feeling the cold grip of death starting to steal over him, “Say it!”
“It seems so soon,” Hermione said doubtfully, “I don’t want to scare you away by forcing you into commitment.”
“SAY IT OR I WILL BLOODY DIE!”
“That is a good reason,” Hermione said, “Ok… I love you.”
At her words Ronald started to rise into the air, swathed in golden light. The fur started to shrink back into his skin, his paws turned into hands, his fangs retracted into pleasantly even teeth. He sank back to the ground, seemingly unconscious and Hermione feared he was dead.
“Oh RONALD!” she screamed and started to cry ferociously.
The noise woke Ronald up and he sat up to stare at her as she was making such a racket. Her eyes were so screwed up and red she didn’t notice, but continued to howl and became the reason why people thought werewolves existed.
“I’m alive!” Ronald said, stroking her face tenderly.
Her crying ceased, and she stared into her love’s face, mesmerised by his blue eyes, freckles, long nose and all over consuming handsomeness.
“I’m so happy!”
“As am I!”
They kissed and became engaged to be married, just as all the other castle occupants came dashing in as they too had returned to humans. Mr Potts and Lumiere and the clock thing were all people again and they all rejoiced and danced and were merry. It was good and they were glad and they lived happily ever after.
“That was probably my favourite ending so far,” Hermione said, smiling at Ron as she closed the book.
“I’m glad you liked it,” he said, “I like how every story ends up with us being together. It just goes to show how very meant to be we are.”
Hermione went pink again; Ron didn’t often say things like that, but she guessed it just made it all my more special and sincere when he did.
“I love you, Ron,” Hermione said, looking up at him shyly, “You’re an acquired taste but I really love you all the same.”
Ron beamed, and his ears went pink. The garden’s beauty seemed to double as a sudden burst of warm sunlight cast itself over the knarled orchard trees and the overgrown lawn. When the light reached Hermione however he didn’t even notice this. She became the sun itself.
“I love you too,” he said, “Though I think you’re more of an acquired taste than me. I’ve never met anyone else who sneezes when they eat mints.”
“I’ve never met anyone else who has managed to destroy three beautiful stories so effectively, but yet…”
“Yet somehow I really like them,” she admitted, “You’ve ruined three of my favourite childhood stories but I still love you. That goes to show something doesn’t it.”
They looked at each other for a long moment, rather misty eyed and all that.
Ron was just about to lean in to kiss her when Hermione took a deep breath and closed her eyes as though readying herself to say something.
“What is it?” Ron asked.
“I’m… I have something to tell you.”
The fear of Merlin came into Ron, and he was went stock still and waited for the deadly blow that she was … that she was leaving him or something or … or that she was going back to Hogwarts for her 8th year to do more exams or that she was leaving the country to study kelpies and she couldn’t bring him with her. He just couldn’t handle that, he couldn’t. He loved her too much –
“Calm down for goodness sake!” Hermione cried at him, having effectively read his thoughts, “You look like you think I’m about to leave you or something!”
Ron relaxed a bit and let out a relieved laugh.
“Hah! As if,” he said airily, “You could never leave me. You love me far too much. In fact I’d say it was unhealthy, this attachment you had to me. Perhaps we should go and see someone – ”
“I’m pregnant,” she blurted out, wanting to end Ron’s rambling.
“You’re…” Ron felt like he’d been hit around the back of the head, “You’re pregnant.”
“Yes,” Hermione said nervously, fearing his reaction.
She’d been thrilled when she’d found out, but terrified too. She was so excited at the idea of bringing a new life into the world, especially one that would contain herself and Ron. She had a slight academic curiosity about what that child would be like… Perfect she had deduced. Perfect.
“That’s the best news I’ve ever had,” Ron said, still looking like he’d been recently hit, “The best.”
Hermione burst into tears and stood up so suddenly Ron couldn’t even say “mental”. Her chair went flying and she flung herself upon him so they both fell to the floor in a confused tangle of limbs and chair. She kissed every part of his face until Ron finally responded with unhesitant enthusiasm, wrapping his long arms around her and kissing her soft mouth. Tears welled up in his eyes and he didn’t want to let them fall but he couldn’t help it. Hermione felt his tears mingle with her own and that made her start her own crying afresh.
“We’re so silly,” she said laughing through her tears and pulling away to look at him, “But I’m so happy.”
“Me too,” Ron said, smiling at her and realising he had everything he ever wanted, “Me too.”
And they lived happily ever after.
Sorry for the absolutely HUGE delay in updating this story but life has its rocky patches but now I feel like I'm back in the sun again! I've been so flattered with the positive response this story's had and I hope it has put smiles on people's faces! Thank you everyone for reading. :)
Ron and Hermione will forever and always be my favourite couple. <3
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