The disgusting taste of stale alcohol on his tongue as well as his eyelids feeling like they were welded to his face was a lovely combination to wake up to. Ron rolled off the couch with a curse and stumbled to the loo, fervently chanting the mantra 'never again, never again.' A shower and four cups of coffee later he still felt like death warmed over but couldn't force himself to go back to bed. Hermione wasn't home yet, and he needed desperately to talk to her. So here he sat, staring at the door. The door stared back unhelpfully.

She'd stayed out all night.

He clung to hope she'd stayed the night at Ginny's and that when she walked through that door they would kiss and make up and he would try harder to be the man she needed him to be and he would make himself worthy of her and all would be well.

It was well into daylight before Hermione came in quietly. She noted his presence at the table, silently put down her purse, and poured herself a cup of coffee before joining him. "I've already looked at some flats. I can be out by this afternoon."

He wanted to protest, he wanted to beg her to stay with him, he wanted to say anything at all…but words wouldn't come. He sat there, mute and wounded, while his chance to fight for his girl slipped through his fingers. She rose to her feet, dropped a kiss on the side of his mouth and made her way to the bathroom for a shower.

Ron sat there for a few minutes, trying to formulate a game plan, trying to figure out what to say. His eyes strayed to her purse and he recalled a foggy memory from the night before.

He'd had too much to drink. Hermione had said she wanted to break up and Harry had comforted him with liberal amounts of fire whisky and comradery. He remembered stumbling home and doing something to the condoms Hermione kept in her purse. His whole thought process was a little scattered but for some reason he had decided that those condoms was the only barrier between breaking up and a dream future of Hermione having his kids. She insisted on using Muggle condoms, because why expose herself to harsh potions and spells when there was a safe non-toxic Muggle alternative? He remembered being irrationally furious about the condoms and spelling them ineffective before he had woken her up for sex.

The whole night had gone south from there, but he was sure he had done something to the condoms.

Panicking he leapt from his seat and rushed to the counter to rummage through her purse and get rid of the evidence. With growing horror he dumped the contents on the counter, unable to find the little square silver packages. Where the fuck were they?

"What the hell do you think you are doing?" Hermione stood in the kitchen doorway, her hands on her hips, her hair wet from the shower.

"Please tell me you didn't use the condoms in your purse," Ron begged, knowing immediately from the look on her face that she had in fact used them.

"Who?" he croaked out, pushing his pain to the side, needing to know.

"Draco Malfoy."