Chapter 1 : Positive or Negative
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Hermione Granger sits silently with scrunched eyebrows inside the lavatory of a small one-bedroom city flat that she and her boyfriend, Ron Weasley, own. Her narrow eyes focus on a potion sitting on the counter. She had just finished brewing it and the result is showing nothing so far- which is good.
"Blood red means positive and black means negative," she mumbles to herself. Looking away for a moment she flips through the potions book that lies open in her lap, glancing at a recipe for a potion she, for once, has never used before. Shortly after she turns away again her light brown eyes focus on the potion for the umpteenth time.
"It's negative," Hermione whispers to herself, and with a relieved sigh, she feels the weight of a Hippogriff come off her chest. The pregnancy potion she had added to her urine didn’t turn red, she is not pregnant.
"Thank God," she breathes, before putting the potions book down next to the potion itself and laughing out loud in spite of herself in relief. Biting her nails through work cases all day, Hermione was intensely distracted and felt very relieved to see she got the answer she desired.
After finally pulling herself together, Hermione leaves the lavatory with a relieved grin and joins her closest girlfriend, Ginny, in the small off-white living room. A picture of Ron, Hermione, and Harry smiling stands dusty on the fireplace mantle next to a picture of the old Dumbledore's Army from their fifth year where they posed in the Room of Requirement.
"So?" the pretty redheaded girl wonders, curious brown eyes search her friend for any sign of panic with an open Daily Prophet on her lap. She has been anxiously awaiting the answer ever since Hermione had disappeared an hour ago to make the potion.
"Negative!" Hermione says in a happy voice, plopping down next to Ginny on the comfortable brown leather sofa.
Ginny pouts her thin lips in response. "Well damn, I was hoping for a little niece or nephew. Hell you’re already one of the top trainees at the Ministry as a Detective and you only have another year of training to go! You definitely make enough money, why not pop out a kid or two?"
Hermione snorts in response and rolls her eyes but then shortly after, narrows them. "You're one to talk! Ginny you know with the condition Ron's and my relationship is in that wouldn't be the most intelligent decision at the moment, and Ron's not ready to be a father."
Ginny rolls her eyes and sighs in response. "You would be just fine. You’d both be fine whether you were having a kid or not."
"I don't know about his talking to Lavender Brown still Ginny, I'd rather vomit twice as many slugs as Ron did in our second year than be in her presence ever again. I know she needs a friend but why does the friend have to be an ex? Why does her friend have to be my boyfriend?" Hermione complains. "I'm not the jealous type but Merlin; you'd think she would lay off him after their break-up in sixth year and move on!"
Lavender had owled Ron begging him to come and talk with her one night because she was 'lonely' and ever since, Hermione has occasionally caught glimpses of letters from Lavender being snatched quickly off of Lavender's owl's leg by Ron, more than three times a week. She has tried her hardest not to be untrusting, but it is starting to be difficult to not be suspicious.
"Well he has the right to say no, doesn't he? He's a git like all of them, Hermione. Even Harry gets under my skin at times when he talks to all those groupies he has following us everywhere! Yes it is just a simple "hi" every now and again, but it still crawls under my bloody skin when he blushes because of them-" Ginny defends herself as Hermione starts to giggle, but then looks seriously again at her friend's face when she sees her glare.
"I try to trust him though Gin, I do. We have been through so much together," Hermione confides, sighing again as she thinks of the bump they are going through in their relationship.
Hermione and Ron decided that they would finally be together as a couple shortly after the kiss in the Chamber of Secrets. Following the war, Hermione had nowhere to go because she had erased her parent's memories and sent them to Australia. She asked the Weasleys if she could stay in an extra bedroom. She was the rock when everyone in the Burrow was suffering from the grief of Fred's death. She cooked and cleaned when Mrs. Weasley didn't have the emotional energy to, she helped Ginny with her 'Harry' problems which were quickly resolved by them getting together again a few months later, and she was more than anything, a shoulder for Ron to cry on when he missed his brother most.
George had of course left the Burrow following Fred's death and they have not seen him in months. It is rumored that he is staying in the Leaky Cauldron in a hotel room, refusing to stay in the back room he shared with his twin at the joke shop that is still running as strong as ever despite Fred’s absence.
The night that Ron and Hermione had become an official couple, Ron had cornered Hermione after dinner and took her out to the Burrow’s pond through the tall grass. With a tight hand wrapped around her waist, he stopped midway and kissed Hermione for the second time ever, asking her to be his girlfriend.
She agreed, filled with excitement and shock because she had her mind made up that Ron felt the kiss meant nothing before that night, having not said a word about it. The relationship between them has been going quite smoothly and filled with love so far until the night Hermione first caught him replying to one of Lavender Brown's letters.
"She needs a friend after being alone for so long after the war!" He had said in defense, "she got mauled by a werewolf. Wouldn't you want a mate to be there for you when everyone else turns away in disgust? Even Parvati has stopped wanting to be around her all the time."
Hermione chose to not say anything more that night even though her blood was almost past boiling point. She wasn't sure whether she hated Fenrir Greyback or Lavender Brown more at that moment three months ago when it happened.
This morning was a rainy Friday when Hermione bought the ingredients for the potion early before work. She invited Ginny to come over for moral support by owl in the afternoon, knowing Harry or Ron would never understand such a thing. Her period was late a week ago, scaring her to death into making the potion, even though she didn't want to.
Hermione looked back at Ginny with a smile following the small period of silence after talking about their boyfriends. "I am so happy it wasn't positive."
"Well I guess Harry and I would be pretty upset right now if we found out we were expecting. I can understand if I were in your shoes with my playing Quidditch now and your working in the Ministry. I have only been in Quidditch a year now and I would like to be at least twenty-five before I have kids," Ginny admits with a grin, admiring her Harpies uniform as she always does in the reflection of a nearby mirror across the living room. She had arrived at Hermione and Ron's right after her afternoon practice.
"Yeah so shut your mouth about me!" Hermione demands with a playful nudge of Ginny's shoulder.
"I guess we best make the boys some dinner before they get home?" Ginny wonders, standing up and walking to the kitchen to look in the fridge only to be baffled by the appliance.
"I have some fish and various vegetables in there we can cook," Hermione suggests, giggling at Ginny's facial expression.
"Erm, I guess fish will be okay. How do you even work this fridgerator? Mum wouldn't let dad get one a few years ago when he begged her and he tried for quite a while. I've seen it when I visit of course but never took the time to look in it."
"It’s refrigerator, and you store food in it Ginny," says an amused Hermione, getting up to demonstrate. "This is the cool side and this is the frozen side," she says opening the right side of the appliance first and then the left while trying not to laugh.
"Well I’m guessing this is the fish then?" Ginny wonders, grabbing four large frozen objects wrapped tightly in plastic.
"Yes, that'll be them," Hermione confirms, taking the seafood from her and sitting them on the counter on a large plate to thaw.
"You cook so much different than mum and I," Ginny tells Hermione, remaining at her friend’s side to watch her cook in curiosity.
"I cook the way my mum taught me, the Muggle way," Hermione quietly says a little glumly, getting the vegetables out to throw in a skillet on the stove she turned on with her wand. As Hermione throws the vegetables in to cook while Ginny watches with raised eyebrows, Ron and Harry walk through the front door into the entryway in a deep conversation.
“–he will start a new Death Eater alliance I’m telling you," Ron was saying with an angry tone, following his best friend, Harry, into the flat and shutting the door behind them.
"He's different now Ron, I doubt he'd do anything like that," Harry answers his friend, sitting on the sofa next to his girlfriend, who followed them in the sitting room. "His father maybe, but not him. He was the coward? Remember?"
"Who are you two on about?" Ginny wonders curiously while grabbing Harry's right hand lightly with her left one.
"Malfoy, he was let out of Azkaban today after only three years incarcerated," Harry answers as Ron shakes his head in disbelief.
"I wish I didn't miss that. I was occupied with cases today, as you both know. Although I do think that Malfoy may deserve a second chance. He didn't give you up after all in Malfoy Manor, Harry. And his mum proved very protective, or you may have died a second time," Hermione chimes in, avoiding Ron's gaze because she knows he will be upset with her choice of sides. It is not the side he is on.
"Hermione, you’re always occupied with cases. How the bloody hell were you able to leave so early today, may I ask? And Malfoy doesn't deserve anything," Ron retorts venomously, eyeing her.
"Ginny wanted to spend some time with me this afternoon!" Hermione lies hastily as her face reddens. She just remembered the potion still lying in site on the counter in the lavatory and suddenly dashes off to clean it before someone goes in there. Ginny shoots an amused smile after her.
Hermione disposes of the evidence and returns to her friends and boyfriend in the living area, hoping they thought she just needed to use the toilet.
"Hermione we could have used your brains in court today. I wasn't sure how to say some things like you could have. It was hard letting Malfoy get released, but making his parents go back to the prison, you should have seen his face," Harry recounts a little sadly as his eyes drop into his lap.
"I wouldn't have known how to do that either, because I know how it feels not to be able to see your parents for a long time and I hate it, honestly. I wouldn't wish it on anyone, not even him," Hermione stammers, her parents' faces showing up in her mind. She wonders where they right now as she often does and if they are happy and she swallows the familiar ball in her throat. She needs to find them and check on them again eventually, sooner than later she hopes.
"Sorry Hermione. I didn't mean to bring that up," Harry said solemnly, frowning at the awkward situation he just created.
Hermione had gone to Australia immediately following the war to look for her parents, but when she found them they seemed so happy that she backed off from reversing their memories. It was the most heartbreaking thing she ever had to do. Now 'Monica and Wendell Wilkins' owns a restaurant in downtown Sydney, Australia and have no idea who Hermione is, or that they are really dentists who should be living in London.
"What are you cooking?" Ron interrupts Hermione’s thoughts, changing the subject as he walks to the stove to see what was in the pan and opens the Muggle oven. He is not one to dwell on emotional subjects lately. "Fish and vegetables?"
"Yes," Hermione answers. Ron swoops in to kiss her as she passes him to place the fish in the oven because they are now thawed. Hermione doesn't smile when he kisses her. Her original spark for Ron is starting to fade and she doesn't know why.
"How was your day?" Ron whispers, leaning against one of the counters to look at her. He examines her stressed face, making him worried for them, as he has been for quite a while.
"It was fine, Ron. How was yours?" Hermione asks simply as she focuses on the oven and not her boyfriend's face.
"Well as you heard, it wasn't so great because Malfoy got out of Azkaban. I was hoping I would never see his face again but somehow, that's not going to happen," Ron gloats, leaving her side now to head back into the living room with his sister and best-friend.
Dinner is done by seven in the evening and the four of them sit down to eat at the wooden antique table Hermione inherited from her parent's old house. She had 'borrowed' many things that her parents would never use anymore as furniture for Ron’s and her house.
The table is silent and Hermione can't stand it. To make matters worse there is an owl at the window knocking with its beak as Harry finishes his food slowly last.
Hermione already knows who the letter is from and eyes Ron as he swallows rather loudly. Ron seems too scared to get up so Hermione does so, walking to the window and cracking it open so Lavender's owl can come in. Hermione takes the letter off of the owl’s outstretched leg and looks down at it.
It reads in cursive ‘To Won Won’
A/N: Hello everyone!
Thanks so very much for even clicking the link to read my story. This is my second Dramione. I will greatly appreciate if you have time and can read and review because advice and CC is always quite helpful!
I enjoy reading reviews from everyone and always try to edit my story a little better with any 'tweaks' you guys might help me with.
Hermione and Ron are in a rough patch but will it get better or worse? Will Hermione discover something or was she just suspicious all along?
Read on because it all gets more intense from here. :)
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