Chapter 2 : Letters from Lav
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"'Mione, come on! It isn't anything that you’re thinking. She's just a friend, like I told you!" Ron begged, standing up and looking over Hermione's shoulder at the letter, as though he was worried there was something on it he really didn't want her to see, despite his claim that there wasn't.
Hermione finished reading it and threw it on the kitchen counter in front of her. She didn't say another word to anyone else and simply walked through the door and along the hall, into her bedroom. She made sure to do an anti-charm spell on the bedroom door, knowing Ron would soon attempt to barge in and talk to her.
"I can't believe I put up with this in the first place. I can't do it anymore!" she screamed through the door at him, fighting through the ball of emotion in her throat.
When Ron couldn't open the bedroom door after Hermione heard him banging as loud as he could, he joined Ginny and Harry back in the kitchen, only to find Ginny reading the letter to Harry out loud. Harry was shaking his head in disapproval at everything Ginny was reciting and Ron felt ashamed of what he had done, but also thought that Ginny had no right to snoop. It wasn't her business even if he was her brother.
"RONALD BILIUS WEASLEY! I AM GOING TO FREAKING KILL YOU! WHAT ARE YOU THINKING EXACTLY? LOOK HOW SHE TALKS TO YOU! THAT'S NOT BEING 'JUST A FRIEND'! JUST A FRIEND MY ARSE!" Ginny bellowed, grabbing a leftover fish from the kitchen counter and throwing it at her brother's face. Ginny must’ve thrown it hard because it caused her brother to cry out in pain. She then walked to the fireplace and threw the letter in the flames to make sure Ron wouldn't ever be able to finish reading it.
"We’re just friends, Ginny. Not that it’s anything to do with you! That's just how she talks to me and I swear I don't talk to her that way! She's just immature like that," Ron defended himself, as Harry had to grab a violet faced Ginny from behind and close her arms behind her back so she wouldn't hex him. She was trying to grab her wand when he had gotten to her.
"SHE WAS WONDERING IF SHE WAS POSSIBLY PREGNANT WITH YOUR CHILD AND YOU DO THIS TO HER?! YOU BLOODY GIT!" Ginny yelled, breaking, with force, away from Harry and walking to the master bedroom, yelling at Hermione to let her in, and she did.
Ron then focused on Harry while he wiped his face off with a towel he found near the sink. "Bloody women, they never understand."
Harry shook his head at Ron in disappointment. "I just hope you are telling the truth, Ron."
"I'm not trying to hurt anyone Harry, and especially not Hermione! It's Lav that talks to me like that and it's not like I asked her to. I have no bloody control over what she writes me!" Ron tried defending himself again.
"Then stop writing her mate. It only causes hell," Harry told Ron.
Hermione walked outside the bedroom a few minutes later, with Ginny at her heels, and faced Ron with a pained face. She wanted to know the answer and was tired of just wondering. "You can't tell me that you calling her by the nickname you used when you were dating her in school, doesn't mean something Ronald! I want you to tell me if there is something happening between the two of you! Tell me right now, Ron!"
Ron went silent and looked from Harry, who had narrowed eyes at his best friend, to Hermione, who had a look that could kill, and to Ginny who had her wand ready at her side.
"Are you pregnant Hermione?" Ron asked her with raised eyebrows smartly.
"No, why would you ask that?" Hermione asked furiously. Ginny let out a loud sigh behind her.
"Because you’re acting bloody hormonal! You’re overreacting about all of this! I am telling the truth, I promise."
"Don't try and change the subject!" sneered Harry angrily, as Hermione scowled at Ron for his comment. Ginny raised her wand and started muttering a spell but Hermione pushed her friend's hand down, knowing how Ginny could use her wand when angry.
"Lavender has been trying to get with me and I keep telling her no because I’m with you! I have not been cheating on you, Hermione! She's only a friend to me, like I've told you a million bloody times," Ron said, raising his voice in irritation at having to repeat himself once again, as though he was the one that was guilty in this situation.
"Be honest though Ron. Do you fancy her still?" Hermione asked, knowing this question would make or break their relationship, but just wanting to get to the bottom of it.
"Harry, Ginny, can Hermione and I talk alone?" Ron asked looking at his best friend and little sister. They didn't have to be involved in everything when it came to Hermione and himself.
"Sure, whatever," Harry responded heading toward the front door. "Hermione, I'll be outside if you need me. Come on Gin."
Harry and a reluctant Ginny left the room and Ron told Hermione to sit down in the living room, with him on the leather loveseat. He was looking uncomfortable, like he wanted to say something but couldn't bring himself to say it. Hermione's heart was sinking.
"Just tell me the truth Ron, I can take it. I don't want you being with me if you fancy someone else. What's the point if I’m not the only one you want?" Hermione told him honestly, bracing herself for the worst.
"I love you Hermione. But, I may like her. Does that make sense?" Ron told Hermione, taking her hand into his, to which she immediately jerked away like he had burnt her. "You are the one I want but she's kind of... distracting."
"That makes perfect sense and because it makes perfect sense, I want you to get out of the house for a few nights because I need to be alone right now. I had a feeling this was coming on for awhile when I tried to let you be friends with her. Choose me or her Ron, now," Hermione demanded, her face filled with hurt.
"You never let me be friends with her because you were always jealous and I told you I choose you! I always have!" he spat.
"Ron, just get out of my house... now! It's under my name and I need some time. Please?" Hermione said, standing up from the loveseat and walking through the beige entryway, to the front door and opening it.
"No I'm not leaving you Hermione! You're being unreasonable. Sit down and listen to me, please?" Ron begged of her, his ears turning a scarlet red and his eyes watering, but not knowing what else to say to make the situation better.
"I need you to decide, because I am not going to compete with someone just for my boyfriend to love me. That's barbaric and it won't stand with me," Hermione explained, walking over to Ron and grabbing his shirt by his collar and then dragging his much bigger frame through the entryway again which was filled with pictures of Ron and Hermione, and a bunch of their family members. She brought him to the front door and pushed him through it as hard as she could, slamming it in his face when she was finished.
Ron couldn't believe this was really happening and he tried knocking on the door hard, as if she would just let him back in. "Hermione but I love you, I want you to be my wife, not Lav! It's just a silly crush and nothing more. I love you! Please! I promise I won't ever speak with her again."
"Ron there you go calling her "Lav" again, it makes me sick," she sneered at him. "if you love me then you wouldn't fancy another woman and I know this has been happening for awhile!" Hermione yelled, through the three inches of oak wood.
"Whatever Hermione I'm gone then. I love you, with every piece of my heart, and I don't love Lavender! Please believe that and get it through your skull? I'll try and talk some sense into you in a few days, when you've calmed down!" Ron yelled through the door.
Ron scowled at Harry and Ginny. "Thanks for helping me get her to believe me. Now I've probably lost her." He then apparated into the night, not knowing quite where he was planning to go. Ginny got up and apparated too, feeling too angry to deal with anything else at the moment, after what she just witnessed.
Harry, being the brotherly figure, got up from the wooden bench, where he was sitting on Hermione's porch, and knocked at the door. "Hermione, it's Harry, please let me come in? I know you need someone to talk to and there's still a mess to clean up."
"N-no Harry, I'd just like to be alone right now! I'll clean up the mess from dinner. Please just leave me be," Hermione said to him as calmly as she could muster, opening the front door again so they were face to face as tears started pouring down her cheeks, for the first time since her and Ron started fighting.
Harry frowned at the site of his best friend so upset and then hugged her to his chest. "I am so sorry, i didn’t think he would do something like this."
"Don't b-be sorry. It isn't your fault. Maybe it just wasn't meant to be, between him and I. I didn't exactly break it off with him but maybe I need to!" Hermione said, while returning her best friend in the whole wide world's hug. "I just need to be alone right now. Need to collect my thoughts on everything that’s just happened, and realize it's really over. Thank you for coming to d-dinner," Hermione told Harry, who silently frowned in return.
"I'm staying here Hermione, at least for a little while." Harry directed, taking her into his arms and hugging her again while she cried into his shoulder.
She then released Harry and sunk onto the entryway's marble floor against the front door. She put her hands on her face and wiped all the tears. "I just want to be alone. Please?"
"Fine, but you better send me an owl later then," Harry told Hermione, bending down to make her look at him, by putting his index finger under her chin.
"Okay," Hermione agreed weakly. And Harry kissed her on the forehead and left her by herself. "But I will be okay Harry."
An hour or so of crying later Hermione eventually got off of the floor and started a hot bath. A bath was one thing that she always could relax in. She watched silently with sad eyes as the huge marble white tub started to fill, not surprised but still not believing Ron and herself were done. Relieved that she wasn't bringing an unborn child into this disaster of a mess, she put on a record to listen to and tried to stop hurting from the situation, because he was losing her.
It was a long time coming. Hermione and Ron stopped sleeping with each other a month ago and had been fighting almost constantly for at least four months, about Hermione's sixteen hour work days after she got offered a job as one of the only trainees as a Detective for the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. Since she was not an Auror trainee like Ron, they worked in separate office areas and couldn't spend time with each other besides lunch breaks. Needless to say, Ron was lucky if he got to see Hermione on Saturdays, which was her only day off out of her long work week.
Ron claimed he needed a friend to talk to, feeling like Hermione had started choosing work over him. Since Harry worked all the time too, also in Auror training, he felt he only had Lavender to turn to since she tried contacting him nonstop anyway. Hermione didn't agree with it from the beginning because she was worried it would turn into exactly what it might be becoming, an affair.
Absentmindedly, Hermione turned another tap and filled the bathtub with too many bubbles. She waited for it to fill almost to the top before sticking a skinny ankle in it to test the temperature. It was sizzling hot, but she didn't care because it was just what she needed.
Before undressing, Hermione decided this would be about the time for a nice big glass of red wine. She walked into the kitchen and grabbed the biggest glass she could find, filling it up to the top to where it was almost too hard to walk with, without spilling it.
Finally Hermione shed her clothes and put aside her wine glass, before putting both feet in the hot water. Her skin immediately turned red, as the heat struck her skin and her nerves went numb for a few moments. She sighed as she sat in the water and it covered the rest of her body. The heat from the water made her blood-pressure rise, but she laid her head back in it and tried to block out the horrible memories from this evening.
Sighing again, Hermione grabbed her wine glass and took a huge sip, while giving up at blocking the night out. Maybe the pub wouldn't be a bad idea. Maybe Tom, the bartender at the Leaky Cauldron, would be a help to her tonight, more than anything.
About an hour of relaxing to her best, Hermione got out of the bath and got dressed into different clothes. A lilac colored dining dress sounded fine to her for clothes and she slipped into a pair of pretty white healed sandals on before stepping into the warm night, onto her porch, after turning her wand to her head to just charm her hair into curls. She never went out without looking nice these days, since she is one of the top people in the Ministry, not to mention the paparazzi following Ron, Harry, and herself everywhere.
Before apparating, she barely noticed that the small house, to the right of hers, that went for sale a week ago had its sign pulled out of the ground now. Someone had already bought it, in such a short time, and Hermione wondered who it might be, as she observed light coming from behind the front curtains.
Shortly after, and feeling a little disappointed in herself, Hermione arrived at the Leaky Cauldron and entered. She was always one to try and do anything to keep alcohol from being the thing to solve her problems. She was the one who in fact helped Ron quit his drinking addiction that he had started right after Fred's death. She thought about how angry Ron would be at her if he knew she went out drinking.
Tom frowned when he saw her approaching. "Ah, Miss Granger, what a surprise to see you here! Did something happen mah dear?"
"Oh just boy problems, Tom. Nothing anyone could help me with," Hermione simply said, picking up a menu of Tom's award winning drinks from the bar table, with a quick grin.
"That doesn't sound good at all. I guess tonight is not a good night for some relationships, that bloke sitting in the dark corner over there is having problems with his little lady as well. She just up and left him moments ago," Tom told Hermione, nodding his graying head toward the right of the pub.
Hermione squinted because she didn't recognize the man at first, but then she moved her eyes to his hair and that gave it away immediately.
As blonde as ever, but shaggier looking than she had ever seen him, Draco Malfoy was sitting in the dark corner, with a huge glass of firewhiskey in front of him. He had a knife in his hand and was scraping away at the wooden table in front of him. He looked as though something he was thinking about was disturbing him.
"Perhaps he needs a friend?" Tom suggested with a grin and a playful raise of his eyebrows.
"No, he has plenty of friends of his own," Hermione replied snootily, with a roll of her eyes, looking at her menu once again. She wished she was as clueless as Tom was about everything that took place those years ago. "I'll take some vanilla scotch, please?"
"Indeed," Tom answered, turning away from her and to the drink stand behind him, as Hermione noticed how much his age really was showing. His hands shook when he poured her glass.
Hermione sighed as she had so many times that night, as Tom finished making her drink and handed it to her. She tried to sit in a position where Malfoy would not notice, with her hair obscuring her face, hoping that it would work. Malfoy is probably the last person, beside Ron, that she wanted to see right now.
After one full glass of scotch, Hermione was asking for another one when she heard footsteps behind her.
"Tom can I have another glassful? I know three is my limit so this will be my last," said a cool voice directly behind Hermione. Her hairs stood up on the back of her neck.
"Yes Mr. Malfoy, I will get you one more glass and then you will be getting water next. I'd rather not have you slopping drunk when you leave my pub," Tom told the man behind Hermione, with a serious expression, glancing briefly at Hermione as he did so.
Tom turned away to make Malfoy's drink, after handing Hermione hers, and that’s when Malfoy decided to sit a seat away from her.
Hermione's heart started to beat fast and hard as she prayed he wouldn't recognize her. She turned her body toward the other side of the restaurant, but obviously she wasn't hidden enough. It was times like this that Hermione wished Harry's invisibility cloak was with her.
"Mudblo– I mean Granger, is that you over there?"
Damned my luck, Hermione thought silently.
You could tell he just got out of prison but at least he took a shower before coming to the pub because he looked rather clean and smelled mighty good.
Maybe I've had too much to drink, she thought.
"Yes, that's me. The very same mudblood you've always known," Hermione said, almost rudely, flashing him a mocking grin and then returning her gaze to her drink.
"What? Did Weasleby break up with you or something?" Draco asked snottily, with raised eyebrows. "There must be some reason why you would be at a bar. Usually a girl like you, with your perfect life, would be with mummy and daddy still, or getting engaged to your boyfriend."
"I would say that my personal life with Ron, and at home, is none of your business. I am at the bar just for a few drinks and to meet a friend, so butt out, Malfoy. I am perfectly capable of having a drink every now and again," Hermione replied with the white lie, irritated by him just barging at her with questions.
"Can I not just ask a simple question? Well my day hasn't been bloody brilliant either, if that makes you feel any better. Neither has my past few years because, as you probably know, I just got out of Azkaban today and that's not the best place to be, if you know what I mean especially when you’re in there with your whole family."
"Congratulations on that," Hermione said simply, avoiding his gaze but feeling a little sympathy for him that she didn't want to feel.
Tom gave Malfoy his drink and he then left Hermione alone at the bar again. "It's not something I’m proud of. Nice seeing you Granger," he said to her, returning to his seat in the dark corner, before she could spout off anything else.
Nice seeing me? Hermione thought, wondering what the hell had gotten into him. Maybe he really was at his limit of firewhiskey.
Being spooked from seeing her past enemy, Hermione decided the second scotch was enough, and said her goodbyes to Tom before leaving thirty minutes later. When she left her seat she noticed Malfoy was already gone. And boy was that an odd reunion.
A/N: Well Ron kind of screwed up... but hey I still love Ron, and everyone makes mistakes in life especially at a young age. I don't blame Hermione for leaving Ron for now because of what he has been doing. And if my husband asked if I understood that he liked a girl but loved me.. yeah, I'd be pretty mad.
I hope you like it so far and that you read on. You won't be dissapointed. ;) Please give me any CC or advise you can think of! Thanks!!! :D
thanks to all the previous reviewers and to my amazing beta, Kirsty!
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