Chapter 8 : Questions and Concerns
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Ron came over almost every day after their last fight and sat outside on the porch until Hermione came out in the morning to go to work. At first Hermione ignored him sitting there and apparated for a few days but then she finally listened to him one of those days and decided to slowly forgive him since he obviously forgave her as well.
Glancing at the alarm clock beside her, which read ten a.m., she decides it is a good time to get up and takes off the thick sea blue comforter she took from the bed in her parent’s old home. As she sits up, she glances at the sunshine peeking through from outside. It looks like it will be a beautiful day off of work.
"What'r you doin'?" Ron asks groggily, turning toward Hermione and looking up at her. He always stirs when she gets out of bed as though she is leaving him, he has been like this since the war.
"Just getting up Ron, what would you like for breakfast?"
"I want French toast, the way you make it," He replies, piping up to the question about food and smiling at her.
"Okay." Hermione agrees, putting her toes to the floor and stretching her body after observing Ron's handsome dimples and messy red hair which she loves in the morning.
It is a Saturday, and today Hermione has completely off for once. She promised Ron all cases would be set aside and that they would spend half of the day together and the other half with Ginny and Harry as usual Saturdays work when she's off. They are due to be at the Burrow at seven for dinner.
Also an exciting part of this weekend is that Harry's godson, son of Tonks and Remus Lupin, Teddy Lupin, is staying with Harry and Ginny this weekend and Hermione always enjoys his company. He is the youngest in the family being only three now and is a perfect mix of Tonks and Lupin, minus the werewolf part. He fortunately did not inherit any part of the werewolf curse from his father.
The stove top roars to life as Hermione flicks her wand toward it, she then grabs a skillet pan and uses the accio spell to get the other ingredients out which consists of eggs, cinnamon, butter, and syrup of course.
Ron seems to have started to favor Hermione's cooking since they have been together, but of course the love of his mum's cooking will never lessen and Hermione constantly wonders if her cooking is living up to her boyfriend's expectations. He seems satisfied though as the smell of cooking French toast falls under his nose and he immediately shows up at Hermione's side in the kitchen.
"I am happy we are doing well again." Ron says with a quick peck to Hermione's cheek before sitting down at the dining table to wait impatiently for his breakfast.
"And we should continue to, I hope." Hermione replies, bringing the first plate of French toast and placing it underneath his nose on the white dining table.
"This smells like heaven," Ron compliments, picking up his fork and digging right in. Hermione doesn't let him see, but she is smiling as she returns to cooking her own breakfast.
After joining him at the table, she wonders what the two of them will do before meeting Harry, Ginny, and Teddy later. "What are our plans for today?"
"Well I usually leave it up to you, but I actually have plans for us believe it or not." Ron says with a shy grin. Like Hermione worried about her cooking, Ron worries that his plans will not be good enough to entertain his girlfriend.
"And what's that?" Hermione asks as she adds a variety of fruits to her plate.
"I think we should go to Flourish and Blotts and get you a new book. Then we should eat lunch at that new restaurant," Ron suggests as Hermione smiles brightly at him, pleasantly surprised.
"That new one near the ice cream parlor that Parvati and Padma have opened?" Hermione asks excitedly, having been wanting to try it and wondering how their two old classmates are doing.
"Yes, that one but I am just not sure of the name since it's their culture's language and all," Ron says with a shrug as he lifts his wand to add more French toast to his plate, not full yet.
"Right," Hermione says with a small chuckle. The name is not actually cultural at all, it is something simple.
"So how has work been going lately?" Ron asks conversationally, watching her eat because he was already done with his third serving. Hermione eats rather slowly.
"Busy as usual, except I have major work to do as I'm determined to get Narcissa out of Azkaban." Hermione replies as she finishes her food.
Ron looks at her and glares. "Will you put Malfoy back in there in her place? We don't need two Malfoys out and about in the world again."
"No Ron, not unless he does something to deserve it like everyone else," retorts Hermione, her face blushing with anger.
"He has. He's done plenty." Ron presses on, making eye contact to which Hermione sighs and rolls her eyes.
"Ronald, I can sort out whether I am safe around him or not thanks. So far he has been a pretty good trainee, he just needs to get a better attitude in check which is something that comes naturally with Draco being who he is." Hermione says a bit defensively. Then she wishes she could take it back because she knew that would start a fight.
"Did you just call him Draco?" Ron sneers, his ears turning red.
Hermione is even surprised in herself for that and tries to come up with a quick excuse. "Erm- we are told to use first names in my department."
"Sure." Ron retorts, knowing she is lying.
"Whatever Ron, you call your ex-girlfriend 'Lav' so calling Draco by his first name is nothing!" She defends back.
"Okay, weren't we supposed to be going to have a good day together?" Ron asks, attempting to change the subject.
"Yes we were Ronald."
"Okay, let's have a good bloody day then!" He yells back.
Hermione's face flushes because she can't believe the way Ron is acting over her calling a colleague by his first name.
"When do you want to leave?" He wonders.
"I don't mind, whenever works better for you." Hermione replies haughtily, cooling off from their quarrel.
"Let's get ready to go." Ron says as Hermione starts picking up the dishes and flicking her wand so they will wash themselves.
Hermione nods and after she walks into her bedroom she grabs some Muggle jean shorts and a light purple halter top, slipping them on after shedding her favorite pink nightgown. It looks warm outside after all and she is going to take advantage of the weather while she can.
Ron grabs some khaki slacks and a button up plaid shirt from their closet and slips into the bathroom for a quick shower and to change while Hermione brews a quick cup of tea and waits. He finally returns from the bathroom a good twenty minutes later and Hermione is already done drinking two cups of tea.
"Ready?" He asks with a smile as Hermione breathes in the smell of his freshly clean scent and takes in his handsome outfit consisting of a button down top and nice jeans.
"Ready," Hermione answers, attempting to at least fake smile back. She is still upset with him but doesn't want to ruin the plans he has made for them.
The two of them join hands as Hermione grabs her beaded bag she still has since seventh year and they depart the house, locking the door behind them.
After having apparated, they land in a very crowded Diagon Alley and start to walk toward the book shop.
Hermione's eyes widen in excitement as though she is a kid in a candy store when she sees that the new novel is on display that she was waiting for has finally came out as they enter. It is called Breaking Wizarding Britain, and it is a novel that a muggleborn victim of the second wizarding war wrote. She walks over and grabs it as Ron asks, "Do you want that one?"
"Yes I do!" Hermione replies with a huge smile, real this time.
"I never see you get as happy as you do about anything but books." Ron jokes, taking the book as she sets off to find a few more without answering.
They spend another hour and a half in Flourish and Blotts and Hermione ends up getting about five new books all purchased by Ron. Regrettably, the weather is starting to get cloudy and it is nearing one in the afternoon, so the two of them decide they will head toward the restaurant owned by two of their ex-classmates.
The restaurant is small but colorful with colors of burnt orange, purple, and many other colors of their culture. Ron thinks it is rather obnoxious but Hermione feels it is beautiful.
"Ron, Hermione! How have you been?" Parvati Patil asks, walking up to them and giving them both a hug.
"We've been well. How have you and Padma been?" Hermione asks, happy to see that she seems to be okay. She hasn't seen the twins since the last classmate's funeral they attended and they did not look good at all then.
"We have been great actually! Padma's therapy from her injury in the war is going very well and she is almost back to normal!" Parvati tells them happily. As soon as she finishes speaking, Padma walks over to them and hugs them as well.
"Nice to see you both," She says with a small bow, a little shyer than her sister as usual but still very friendly.
The Indian girls hand Ron and Hermione menus and motion for them to sit in a private booth together wherever they choose.
"Let us know what you'd like to order. It's on us!" Parvati says as Ron and Hermione start to get settled and receive silverware.
"Wow, thank you!" Ron says as he looks over the menu for the biggest lunch he can have.
"No, you don't need to do this, honestly!" Hermione retorts with a shaking head toward the girls.
"No, no, please, it's our pleasure. You're our friends and we are honored that you chose to eat here!" Padma joins in, taking her sister's arm and leading her away toward some new customers that just made their way in.
Ron and Hermione are left alone again and look down at the menus. "All this food is mixed cultures. It has everything on here really. This is brilliant!" Ron comments as he looked at all the sections. "I think I'm going to have a huge order of spaghetti, what are you going to have?"
Hermione shrugs but then sees a salad that looks interesting to her. It has Indian dressing, meat, and spices in it and she feels like trying something new. "I am going to have a salad."
"Well that's boring-" Ron says playfully.
Soon they order their food and wait patiently after their menus are taken away.
They can't seem to find anything more to talk about so end up just looking around at all the different people coming in to be seated. They both realized that their ability to talk about anything under the sun like old times has long since faded.
After a few more minutes, their food arrives and they dig into it, loving it very much. When they finish, they are on their way down Diagon Alley and about to apparate home when an owl drops a letter into Hermione's hands and startles her, causing her to drop it at first. Gathering herself together again, she picks it up and read it. And what it says, she isn’t prepared for:
I know you and Ron are busy together today and I hate to break up your time but I need to see you guys in the Auror Department as soon as possible. There has been a murder and I won't share detail over a letter. I'll see you shortly.
She closes the letter and looks at Ron who has been reading it over her shoulder. "Who do you think got murdered?"
"I don't know, but if Harry is sending us an owl in the middle of Diagon Alley, it must be serious." Ron says matter-a-factly.
"Let's go!" Hermione says alarmingly, grabbing his hand to apparate directly to the Department.
Harry was found in his office sweating up a storm and looking through packets of papers. Ron and Hermione walk in and sit in the office chairs across from him.
"What's happened? I thought you were with Ginny and Teddy today?" Hermione asked, worried.
"I was but my boss called me in to tell me Pansy Parkinson has been murdered and if I want to graduate on time at the end of the year I have to take on his part of the investigation for practice since this is my first murder as a trainee." Harry says, not even taking the time to look at them as he starts scribbling stuff down he has found out from other Aurors so far. “I’m ready but I’m just stressed.”
"Well thank Merlin it wasn't one of our people." Ron says, receiving a glare from Hermione and Harry.
"She is our age and even though we hated her she was a classmate!" Hermione raises her voice, annoyed at Ron's immaturity. She then comes over to grab half of one of Harry's stacks of papers. "Here Harry, let me help you!"
"Shacklebolt has already called all the Senior Aurors into a meeting and that's where I was all morning with my boss. She was found in Knockturn Alley outside of Snaker's bar late last night at around two in the morning. There were no signs of trauma to her body and she appeared to be drunk when she was killed with the Killing Curse, causing her to not even know it was happening. There seemed to be no one outside at the time but with it being a bar it could have been anyone. We have already got all DNA and then we have to question every person who was in the bar." Harry says, wiping his head with his hand and taking a long swig of ice water sitting in a glass on his desk.
"Is she still with the Zabini bloke?" Ron wonders.
"Yes but he wasn't with her last night. An Auror was there soon after it happened because they were having a drink in the Leaky Cauldron when they heard the alert and there was no one found. Zabini's DNA wasn't on her from that whole day, in fact no one's was. Whoever caused the curse made sure to hide the evidence and did a pretty damn good job of it too to where even the wand that killed her didn't show." Harry continues.
"Well that just makes our job easier," Hermione sighs sarcastically. She knows that this investigation will be long, but what she doesn't know is that it is soon going to get worse.
The three of them do all the notes and talking with others they can about the investigation and send their report to Shacklebolt and the Head Auror before retiring for the evening to meet Ginny and Teddy at the Potter house. It is already nearing five when they finally put the subject to rest until the next day after spending eight plus hours on it.
When they arrived in a long gravel driveway after apparating, Ginny is on the front porch with a young little boy with brown hair and bright green eyes.
"Hi Ron and 'Mione!" Teddy exclaims, jumping out of the porch swing where he was sitting as Ginny read a book to him and dashing off toward the three friends.
He jumps into Ron's arms first and then hugs Hermione, kissing her on the cheek before she sets him back down.
"What have you been up to little one?" Hermione asks the little boy, grabbing his hand and walking with him back to where Ginny sits with a smile.
"Nothing, just with Grandma Andromeda! She has horses you know and I like riding them." Teddy reports in his small voice.
"That's good!" Hermione says, happy that Teddy has a good woman like Andromeda Tonks looking after him.
After Ginny greets everyone she invites everyone inside because it has begun to rain.
The Potter House is not a manor or a mansion by any means but it is big enough to place a large sized family. It is a very high profile looking country home that is two stories high and the color of white sitting an hour out of London in a small village called Bukton. Shutters the color of navy are on the windows and flower pots are placed on the window-sill in every window. It is a house that the two of them bought together just recently and they were still working on unpacking. They chose a house a little farther away for their privacy from the paparazzi.
"I am still so breath taken every time I come to this beautiful flat of your's." Hermione says as she examines the light beige walls and beautiful white furniture accompanied by a fireplace in the wall when she enters the living room.
"Thanks, we love it." Ginny says, grabbing Harry's hand feeling proud of their home.
After some visiting the four of them and Teddy leave for the Burrow and enter it to a wonderful smell of cooking food as usual when they visit Molly and Arthur's flat.
"Hermione, so nice to see you! You have been so busy lately dear!" Molly says, grabbing Hermione for a tight hug.
"Yes I sure have Mrs. Weasley." She says, happy to finally get to see her second mother after a long period of time.
"What are you making mum?" Ron wonders as Molly moves on to hug and kiss everyone else.
"Pork chops and mashed potatoes with vegetables." Molly answers her son, walking back over to the potatoes to check on them.
"Did you hear about the mayhem today?" Arthur asks Harry, knowing that he probably had.
"Yes I have and it's very suspicious. Why would someone kill their own side?" Harry asks questionably.
"Maybe it wasn't their side." Ron joins in, coming to sit by his best-friend.
"You do a have a point, maybe it was an accident, or maybe someone decided to take revenge." Hermione says, sitting next to Ron and filling up the three seated sofa.
Ginny sits next to her father on the love-seat, silently listening to the conversation.
"Pansy? I didn't even know she passed until Harry told me he was needed at work! I can't believe it's her that is dead." Ginny says thoughtfully, giving a hyper Teddy some toy cars to play with and sending him to play on the floor in another room after he was done snuggling with Molly.
"I can see why someone would go after her," Ron snorts. "She was horrible. She'd probably be a future Bellatrix."
Harry nods, "probably so."
"Well I hope this is just one murder and that this person isn't on some kind of mission." Arthur says, a worried expression on his face.
"Me too, that's the last thing we need right now is a mass murder investigation." Harry agrees.
"Dinner's ready!" Molly calls, interrupting them and Ron shoots up from the couch and basically runs to grab a plate as though he'd been starved.
After everyone sits down for a filling dinner they are all very tired from eating and laughing at Teddy's metamorphmagus changes. He changed his hair from brown to red to yellow and back and he made himself fat and then skinny again as Hermione remembers how she once sat at the table laughing at his mum's tricks too. She swears it is Tonks sitting there but it is a three year old little spitting image of her instead.
After staying up and talking with everyone until around eleven, Hermione decides she wants to go ahead and heads home with Ron.
When they get in bed they instantly fall asleep from the day's work and Molly's dinner. Little do they know today was only the start of a long road to come.
A/N: I hope you are continuing to like reading on in my story. This is a story I am really working hard on to improve my writing and succeed to make a story people will enjoy reading! I also stress that it isn't good enough but I know that you can only do your best, right?
Anyways- there is something going on and they are soon going to find out what but it is going to take quite a while. We got our Ron/Hermione back in this chapter and I know some of you would be happy about that and some of you probably want it to be Dramione all the way. Well, I will just tell you that it will come at the right time :) I love my Romione too so I don't want them to end so suddenly.. ya know?
I am pretty excited to write these next few chapters and I hope you will enjoy reading them too! I am trying hard to write a good story, I promise. Thanks for even considering to read it and if you want to, please review too!!!
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