"That's enough you two!" Harry's voice starkly contrasted the silence. "Hermione. Lower your wand."
Hermione thought that moving across an ocean would guarantee some stability however only constant is the unbeating hearts of her new family. Slowburn, H/E, Post NMChapter 1: Ragdoll
DISCLAIMER: I do not own any of the characters; just the wacky thoughts in my brain and those that manage to make it on my computer.
Mainly Hermione's POV but it will change a few times as the story progresses. Let me know of any thoughts and reactions you all might have.
NOTICE: I created a slowburn please don't add unnecessary flames to my writing.
I felt the sting on my hand as the resounding sound of flesh on flesh seemingly echoed through the room. My mind did little to process the extent of the pain I should be feeling. I just felt anger. Blood boiling, shoulders tighten, adrenaline-pumping anger. Anger that was directed at the redhead who now had a nice red handprint that matches his hair. The new silence that emerged in the room only heightened my focus on the despicable man in front of me. I could feel Ronald's alcohol-laced breath in my face as he looked at me with wide-eyed shock. His drunk self sobering quick.
I sense movement to my right. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew it was Harry.
Victor, my former dance partner, took a step back sensing the hostility that was causing my magic to spike.
Had I not been in a rage mode right now, I would have felt embarrassed for causing a scene at the Annual Hogwarts Gala. I was starting to enjoy the gala despite all the exhausting media spotlight that followed me around. I had managed to dance with my few remaining peers when Ronald decided I was a rag doll and yanked me mid-dance from Viktor as he was informing me of the last birth of his son. It wasn't the first time this had happened.
Sometime over the course of our relationship this show of jealousy became routine. He would drag me away, yell at me for "cheating" or not giving him enough time. I would foolishly apologize and give up time and opportunities just to spend time with him. I would excuse his behavior as PTSD and accept blame for not properly caring for him. I would let him choose my clothing and even let him keep me from work some days just so I could cook and clean for him. My efforts would be "rewarded" with him finally talking and letting me peacefully work again. It had become a game of throwing myself into work just to advance my career meanwhile, he was happy with me because who knew how long it would last.
I would get through it because of my Teddy Bear. My two year old ray of sunshine always managed to bring a smile to my face on the most difficult days. He was officially my son after Andromeda passed away. This week Teddy had been sick, which added to my stress of work-home balance. Maybe I started to really resent Ron when I couldn't focus this week at work because I knew the gala would spark another jealous fit. Maybe it was his lack of effort when it came to Teddy. Maybe it was just the ever tightening noose of jealousy that made me realize how little power I had left in my own relationship. Whatever it was, my fight or flight responses kicked in. My patience was gone. After 2 years of cheating, jealous fits, and humiliation, I was done with him. If he desperately wanted publicity with his fiancee now well it's showtime.
"WHAT THE FUCK HERMIONE?! First I see you whoring yourself out to HIM and then you HIT for trying to rescue YOU! You are causing a scene not to mention you ruined my face for pictures! WHAT IS YOUR -"
This time my hand actually registered more pain however I wasn't about to let him see my discomfort. He now had a matching pair of handprints.
"ENOUGH! HOW DARE YOU?! A WHORE?! Really Ronald?! Of all things?!
Don't make me laugh! We all know the only whore around here is you!"
"YES you! What Ronald? You don't think I notice the late night at work? The smell of perfume from your clothes or even the nights where you supposedly stay at Harry's when in fact I know you aren't there!"
A few gasps could be heard throughout the room, sadly I could be bothered anymore.
"That's Nothing! You know how many girls throw themselves at me after the war!"
"Oh Really? How about the wards to our house that register different girls coming in and out while I'm at work? Who was the last of them? Oh right. Lavender or was it Parvati? I don't suppose they are simply coming over to borrow our washing machine."
Silence. His face colored red with rage or maybe embarrassment.
"Merlin Ronald, I can't believe the number of times I've had to swallow my pride and bribe the press from posting about your affairs. Do you have any idea how humiliating that is?! Do you think I enjoy having the whole wizarding world whispering about your latest affair? ANSWER ME RON!"
"WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO SAY HERMIONE?! Sorry? Fine you are right I cheated but what am I suppose to do when you are always at work? You are never around! All you do is work! Since you can't seem to service your fiance, I went elsewhere."
"SERVICE? News flash Ron! I may have put up with your self-centered view to try and save this relationship but don't mistake me I. Do. Not. Serve. You. As for always working, you knew from the beginning of our friendship that I always wanted a career. Merlin, the WHOLE WORLD knows this! Don't even try to push this on me. I always made time to be home but you were always elsewhere probably drunk and whoring yourself out!"
" I wouldn't have to "whore" myself out if you weren't busy with that bastard of a child living in -"
The people surrounding us barely had time to blink when they realized I had my wand digging into Ron's throat. A flash of fear crossed eyes as I took a defensive stance.
There were only a few words left in my mouth most of which included hexes that were reserved for battle. I dug the wand deeper.
"That's my son you are talking about," I said slowly. There would be no more screaming. I was past that point. The anticipation was claustrophobic as I could see multiple people around me flinch or shift uncomfortably.
"That's enough you two!" Harry's voice starkly contrasted the silence.
"Hermione. Lower your wand." He gently reached out and tugged it down enough to get in between Ron and me. I relaxed my arm a hair but I didn't fully stop pointing it.
"Hermione come on you are causing a scene" A sense of betrayal was slamming in. I glared at both of them.
"That's your godson, he is talking about Harry James Potter." His face flashed with a small bit of shame. Harry flashed a dirty look at Ron before facing me again.
" I know Hermione but this is not the time or place to be discussing this."
I looked around. The unabashed stares did little to sedate my anger. However, I understood that maybe cursing Ron in front of the majority of the Ministry would not bode well for me or Teddy.
I looked back at Ronald; he didn't even have the decency to look ashamed.
"No, Harry you're wrong this is the perfect place for our last discussion," I said with a poison-filled voice. "He always wanted the world's attention well let him have his way and frankly I only have a few things left to say"
They both narrowed their eyes at me.
" In case it hasn't been abundantly clear Ronald. We are over. I don't want you anywhere near me or Teddy ever again. Don't worry you can keep the house, I have no interest or use for it. Teddy and I are leaving. And don't try to find us I won't hesitate to use you for target practice." The echo of my engagement ring falling to the floor could be heard by all. With a final challenging look to everyone in the room, I started to walk away. Two steps in and I felt a hand crush my forearm as it tried to yank me. I managed to firmly keep my ground. I turned around fully intending to curse the imbecile responsible.I didn't expect him to be inches close to my face.
" Don't be a fool Hermione. You will always be mine." Ron managed to whisper into my ear before Harry intervened. His eyes burned into mine and for the first time in a while, I saw Ron with determination in his eyes. His eyes held a promise.
"Let her go Ron." Harry grabbed his unoccupied arm. Still holding my gaze he slowly let my arm go and turned to Harry.
Not wanting to prolong or dwell on Ron's words. I turned and walked away with my head held high. Just as I was reaching the temporary apparition point in front of the school I heard someone running towards me. Harry. The sense of betrayal flared up again. I knew where his loyalties lay; he always defended him. My prediction proved correct as soon as he opened his mouth.
"Hermione. Wait. Hey. Look Ron's stupid. We all know that but please take it easy on him. He didn't mean any of it. You know how he gets when he is drunk or embarrassed. He lashes out. You know he loves you and Teddy. Right?"
He never cared. Did he? His own godson was called out of his name and he is defending the arsehole who did so. Did he not care for Teddy? Did he not care for me? I gave up everything for him. My parents died, my friends died, even my life and sanity were put into jeopardy. Yet I can't seem to get an ounce of loyalty back. All the fights I've ever had with Ron he always took his side. He covered for him time and time again. He covered for him. My mind flashed back to the times Ron told me he was having a bros night with Harry only to come back the next day smelling of perfume… Harry conveniently forgetting details of the night they hung out….
"Did you know?" I managed to mumbly get it out as I stared at Harry.
"Excuse me? Know? Know what?" He gave me the most lost look I have seen in a person. I normally would let this go but my gut just insisted there was something else.
"DID YOU KNOW? The affairs Harry! He always told me yall were going out for drinks but there were multiple times where you would seemly forget when I mentioned it to you. So Harry James Potter, Did. You. Know?"
Panic. It was unmistakable; panic flashed in his eyes. An ice-cold wave of numbness came over me as shame formed into his features. He opened his mouth but with my empty eyes bore at him made him close it. He looked away and a single nod was all I recieved.
Three long seconds passed. My eyes closed as I swallowed. For the first time that night I felt sadness seeping in. When I opened my eyes Harry was looking at me again. I stood up straighter and cleared my throat.
"Well, At least I know who your loyalty belongs to. I will be taking my son with me. As his mother and legal guardian, I forbid you from seeing Teddy again. He deserves better. Goodbye Mr. Potter you won't be seeing me again."
I took two steps back from him. Before he could say anything I apparated away. I was alone.