SERENDIPITY

Disclosure:  As easily seen I don't own any of these characters.

Authors Note:  This story starts out with Ron/Fleur but will become Ron/Hermione and stay that way, some Harry/Ginny on the side as well.  Questions will be answered as the story goes on.

CHAPTER 1-CURRENT CIRCUMSTANCES

To the outside world everything was completely and totally normal within the walls of number four, Privet Drive.  And that was exactly how Mr. and Mrs. Dursley wanted it thank you very much.  For it would horrify them to no end if someone were to ever find out that the stray nephew that they had taken in as a babe was in fact, a wizard.  Over the past five years there had been many a close call on the subject of the youngest occupant of the Dursley household.  While he was barely glimpsed outside of doing chores or being quickly herded back inside the house everyone in the neighborhood knew about him but Mr. Dursley kept up a strict policy where he was not to venture outside without either he or Mrs. Dursley there with him.  And seeing as how Mr. Dursley rarely went outside to do anything but go to work or take his more than spoiled son Dudley out for one special surprise dinner after another, which lead to the boy shaping up to be the mirror image of his father.  Like his father Dudley Dursley had become a rather plump young man, with seemingly no neck to speak of and a matt of originally blond but now fading to a dingy brown hair on the top of his head.  To his parents Dudley was everything that they hoped him to be. He had even followed in Mr. Dursley's footsteps by attending the very same boarding school that he had as a young man.  The summer that was now fading fast had been a blissful one for Dudley, regaining the domain of control and fear that he had obtained around the town before leaving for school, and sneaking in as many sweets as he could underneath Mrs. Dursley's nose.

But for the mostly secret child of number four Privet Drive the summer could be easily described in one simple word, hell.  No amount of neglect or mistreatment cast his way from neither the Dursley's nor the lack of letters from his two best friends could possibly amount to the depths that he had sunken to.  Sirius Black, quite possibly the most famous escapee of Azkaban prison, was now gone forever thanks in no small part to a hurried act on Harry's part.  Harry had taken a collection of his friends from the safe confines of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and had traveled on the backs of thestrals and flown away to the Ministry of Magic on what they had thought what a rescue mission.  Harry sneered bitterly as he surmised that it turned out to be more of a suicide mission.  While it was true that none of them had died there that fact did little to rid Harry of his melancholy. 

Ronald Weasley was quite pleased with himself, quite pleased indeed.  Lying back into his pillow he twirled several silvery-blonde strands of hair around through his fingers for a bit before he pulled them close and inhaled deeply.  The scent of his mother's prized flowerbed soon registered in his mind as he clearly remembered the hours it had taken his mother to place the proper charms onto the flowers to mix their scents properly into the shampoo.  When a family, as the Weasley's were, not particularly well off financially they had to cut corners where they could.

"Ron…," A sleepy honey dipped voice asked softly as Ron felt her fingertips doing a tap-dance up from his bellybutton towards his chin.

"Yeah," Ron replied softly as he gazed down into her large, deep blue eyes, and lightly brushed the back of his hand against her smooth cheek.

"Why are you sad," Fleur asked, her brows knitting together in concern, before she leaned in closer and placed a gentle, tickling kiss on his chest over his heart.

"The summer's almost over and…," Ron answered as he impatiently tried to get an answer out that could hope to explain his mess of emotions. 

The summer had started off poorly and until she had arrived Ron had thought that this was going to be the worst summer of his entire life.  Harry had been less than enthusiastic in his letters and didn't seem to have much interest in visiting the burrow over the summer.  Hermione had explained to him that she was going to spend the summer in Bulgaria with Viktor Krum, the one young man that she knew Ron hated more than any other.  As the days turned into weeks he started to receive glowing letter after letter saying how much fun she was having.  Ron was about to dive back into his bed and hide under the covers for the rest of his life when there had been a knock on his door.  Reluctantly he had sulked over to the door and tore it open, fully prepared to give whoever it was on the other side an earful.  But his words and his breath had caught in his throat at the sight of the nervous and awkwardly smiling half veela young woman that he had last seen in his fourth year at Hogwarts, Fleur Delacour.  Ron had gone four completely different shades of purple at the sight of her standing in the hallway just outside of his room before the momentary lull was snapped when the sign that signified his room in the house crashed loudly to the floor in between the two of them.  Ron had been pleased to see that the time since their last meeting had done her well.  His heart very nearly leapt out of his chest in excitement at the change in her and the fact that she was standing just outside of his room before she smiled politely and blushed as she asked if she could come in.  He could only mumble something back in reply but it had gotten her to laugh, something that sounded like heaven to Ron, before he stumbled aside to allow her entry.  With his face redder than a bowl of tomato soup Ron had awkwardly given her the grand tour of his room.  She had smiled politely and noticed that although it wasn't nearly as large as her room back in France, in fact it was more about the size of a quarter of her closet, that it still felt almost more like home than her own most of the time.

"You've barely 'eard from Harry…I know it troubles you," Fleur said softly as she correctly guessed the cause of Ron's melancholy before she leaned in and placed a comforting kiss on Ron's lips.

"Yeah…he hasn't said much more than a few hope you're having a good summer and see you next year wishes but…," Ron replied bitterly with a forlorn pout on his face as he turned his head and looked out of the small window in his room before Fleur leant back down and began to place a trail of kisses up from his collarbone to his ear, pausing in between to offer her reassurances.

"He's been through a lot…you all 'ave, haz Hermione written back yet," Fleur added with a sincere look of concern on her face before Ron turned his head back and stared sadly into her ocean blue eyes and scowled.

"Of course…she spent three whole pages telling me that she's bloody well having the time of her life with Vicky…you know she never once asked how I was doing or how Ginny was doing or whether or not my scars hurt or if I had heard from Harry…," Ron replied with an angry and impatient scowl on his face as he balled his hands up into fists and tried to keep his anger under control.  At the mention of his scars Fleur gracefully pulled one forearm up closer to her and gently began to kiss any scar that she could see, hoping to alleviate at least some of his anger and anxiety over his best friends repeated glowing letters about her stay in Bulgaria with a young man that Fleur knew Ron hated with an almost all consuming passion that poorly hid his jealousy.

"It vill be alright Ronald, you will see…but for me I am feeling a bit in need of some food if I am to 'elp your mother with the garden this afternoon, care to join me in ze kitchen," Fleur stated with a lazy drawl as she slowly and reluctantly sat up in bed and let the sheet drop down to her waist.

"Maybe in a bit…," Ron muttered softly as he let his words trail off before he felt Fleur slip out of the bed and softly pad across the room before staring at her reflection in the full length mirror that Fred and George had gotten him because in their words it might help him not look so disheveled all of the time.  Had he thought about it more Ron might have guessed that in their own way the twins were trying to help their little brother out with his appearance in the hopes that his romantic life wouldn't be as dismal as his studies often tended to be.

"Fine…but if your food gets cold don't come crying to me…," Fleur replied with an impatient scowl on her face as she ruffled up her hair a bit and pulled on a button up and long sleeved denim shirt that he had received from Percy as a get well gift.  Ron had almost immediately tried to throw the present out but Fleur had been there quickly enough and had scolded him that he should not act in such a way even though the rift between brothers had only grown since the events in the Ministry that lead to the death of Sirius Black.  For his part Ron had to agree that as he watched Fleur clumsily button up the shirt, missing a button here and there partially due to the fact that her small hands only managed to come to the mid-forearm of the shirt she had to keep pushing the sleeves back up every other attempt.  From his position in bed Ron, as much as he tried to continue his brooding by staring out of the window, couldn't help but appraise the sight before him across the room.  In her attempts to button up the shirt Fleur had hoisted the bottom of the shirt up just enough to expose one of her better assets, at least to Ron.  He was so intent at staring at this particular feature of hers that he could only mutter a subdued "yeah" when she informed him that she was going downstairs and left the room.

Ron let out a tremendous sigh as he flopped his head back down onto his pillow and stared at his oddly orange room, decorated with moving posters of his favorite Quidditch team, the Chudley Cannons.  He watched lazily as the players dove and banked, often happily waving at him before zooming off again to resume their usual track around the poster.  Ron flung his head away from the window and listened to the normal sounds of the burrow, the slight creaking as the patchwork house swayed ever so slightly to the breeze accompanied by the slow and steady drip of the faucet in the nearby bathroom that his father had yet to fix.  Finally finding himself unable to simply lie there with the blanket down around his knees, and oddly feeling that the position that he was in was not one that he wanted anyone other than perhaps Fleur or for a fleeting moment Hermione to see him in Ron groaned as he sat up and looked around for his pants.

He left his old room slowly, more stumbling really as he had to focus much more than usual on zipping up his pants while trying to keep from running into the next wall.  He clomped loudly down the steps and was stunned into silence at what he saw in the kitchen.  At the stink stood quite simply a vision of beauty in Ron's mind, with golden and silver ringlets cascading down over her ears and down her back, stood Fleur, trying failingly to stand up on her tiptoes to reach a glass up high in the cupboard while being brilliantly illuminated and given an almost angelic halo by the early morning sun that beamed in through the adjacent window.  The situation would have stayed the same had Ron not crossed his arms, a wide smile splayed wide across his face, before he leaned up against the wall and let out a half snort that resembled a chuckle.

"Vat…are you just going to stand there and admire my derriere or are you going to come and 'elp me get this glass," Fleur exclaimed with an angry pout on her face, scrunching up her eyebrows and forehead in such a way that Ron could help but keep smiling, as she half turned her head back towards him.

"Yeah alright…here let me get that for you," Ron chuckled out with a somewhat more relieved smile on his face as he made his way across the kitchen and reached up and took a hold of the glass, suddenly very glad that he was tall.  Ron handed her the glass and Fleur smiled her little saintly smile and bowed every so slightly before silently making her way over to the sink and filling the glass. 

"Thank you…my 'andsome prince," Fleur said with a mock salute before she turned to look out the window and gave a small yelp when Ron strolled up behind her and slipped his arms around her waist, pulling her close to him as he bent his head down and began to nibble on her ear.  Almost instantly Fleur seemed to forget that she was holding a glass and very nearly broke it when she let if fumble out of her hands and into the sink before she tilted her head back and to one side as to allow Ron to plant a flurry of slow and inhibition draining kisses up and down her neck.  Fleur let out a small moan of pleasure as she bit her bottom lip forcefully to keep from crying out in ecstasy as Ron's hands began to slither up and down her body, slipping in under the shirt and trailing a line down her stomach with one of his hands while the other was beginning to pull the hem of the shirt up past the lower curve of her rump and was at the small of her back when both were shocked nearly to death by the angry words that rang out through the burrows kitchen.

"That's far enough…I swear I leave you two alone for five minutes and you can't help but…when I swore that I'd keep your relationship a secret I didn't think that I was giving you free reign throughout the burrow," Lupin shouted angrily as he stomped his foot down onto the ground and glared at the two young lovers as they leapt apart, with Ron averting his eyes to the stares and Fleur casting her gaze down at her feet, both blushing more brilliantly crimson than even the sun.  Beside the old Marauder Tonks stood straining to keep a fit of giggles to herself, her hair almost a mirror image of how Ginny's had been before she had cut it short, mainly to keep it from getting dirty as she helped her mother clean up Sirius Black's old house in London.

While it was true that Hermione had gone to Bulgaria to spend the summer with Viktor Krum, something that she knew that Ron hated immensely, she had lied to Ron in almost every single one of her letters.  She had arrived in Bulgaria fully intending to stay the entire summer, but after only a few weeks of drudgery that she had tried to not let show she had let her frustrations out and informed Viktor that even though she was thankful for his hospitality she didn't feel like staying there any longer.  Hiding his hurt poorly Viktor had not become angry and helped her pack before she made her way home.  Ever since she had been simply to embarrassed to admit to either Ron or Harry that she had gone home, instead continuously sending them both glowing letters full of lies about her stay in Bulgaria.  She knew that her words would hurt Ron the most and more than once she had cried herself to sleep over the matter but to her credit Ron had always acted rather jealously every time Krum's name had come up in conversation.  Over the rest of the summer up until she would make her journey to the burrow to spend the last remaining weeks before school with her two best friends Hermione had spent most of her time split between completing the summer homework that they had been given and trying desperately to figure out a way to break the news to Ron that she had discovered sometime after seeing Fleur Delacour kiss first Harry and then Ron after the second trial almost three years earlier that she was in love with one of her best friends, Ronald Weasley. 

She had begun the letter dozens of times, with each one asking Ron to forgive her for continuing to send letters that gave him the false impression that she was happily spending the summer in Bulgaria with Viktor Krum and not at home in a rightly poor state of her mood as of late. She had even tried to write to Harry even though she had yet to get a response from him about her last letter that she had sent him.  In the end she would only manage to write a few lines before she'd turn back and slam her pen down onto the desk and crumple up the paper and heave it into the trash can.  The would come the tears, tears that would almost consume her before her chest would burn from the injury that she had received from one of Voldemort's Death Eaters in the Ministry of Magic.  She had been knocked out after that and had only heard about what had come next, mainly that of the death of Sirius Black.  The attack had brought with it a milky white and barely visible scar that stretched from her shoulder down just past her bellybutton.  She had done her best to hide the scar even though in truth if most got a chance to see it they would think that it were perhaps a trick of light.  But to Hermione the scar tore across her body like the Grand Canyon, making her hideous and ugly to look at.

On the last full day before she'd join Harry, who would arrive at the Burrow a few days before her, at the Burrow Hermione had been packing her trunk and setting her newest edition of Hogwarts, A History front and center when she had noticed it.  She had very nearly forgotten about it at first, but as she slowly picked up the small vial she noticed that he liquid inside of it was almost completely gone.  After staring at it for a few seconds she remembered it to be the small vial of perfume that Ron had gotten her for Christmas when everything had still looked bright.  She had completely forgotten that she had begun using the perfume over the summer, as if in some small part to remind herself of Ron.  With an almost girlish smile on her face she finished packing her trunk, lightly dabbed on a few drops of the perfume and placed it in the innermost pocket of her coat and left her room to tell her father that she was ready to go to the Burrow.

END OF CHAPTER 1