All I Know
Author's note: I had to get the background information out of the way to make room for the Ron/Hermione lovin' that will come. Read and review. Please?
Chapter One: Some things I can't get used to
For the first time in his life, sixteen-year-old Ron Weasley was home alone on a Saturday morning.
The Burrow in its current state defied the laws of nature. Rather than bustling with the activity of the Weasley parents and at least five of their seven children, it was peaceful. The circumstance in which The Burrow came to be deserted was completely coincidental.
Last autumn with the beginning of Ron, Harry, and Hermione's sixth year attending Hogwarts came an attack on Hogsmeade village. Specifically, an attack The Leaky Cauldron and all its patrons as executed by ten masked Death Eaters, three Dementors, and one giant. Amidst flying hexes and curses, Cornelius Fudge was kidnapped by Lucius Malfoy and taken to the dungeons in the Malfoy Manor. Fudge was tortured to the point of insanity. Much to his dismay, Mad-Eye Moody saved Fudge and took him to St. Mungo's, where Fudge shares a room with Gilderoy Lockhart. The two bonded over autographing pictures of themselves and vaguely recalling their glory days as famous blokes.
Since the higher-ranking jobholders in the Ministry of Magic were mostly Death Eaters (who had quit, anyway), Mr. Weasley was promoted to Minister of Magic. By combining the members of the Order of the Phoenix, Dumbledore's Army, and Voldemort-hating witches and wizards worldwide, Harry Potter led the crusade against the Dark Lord. Hogwarts first through third years were sent home. If their parents were fighting the war, they were put in the care of Mrs. Weasley and a network of witches who were experts in childrearing. The rest of Hogwarts' students as well as the faculty were trained to help the war effort.
For four months, battles raged on and by New Year's Eve, only five Death Eaters remained. Not to say there were no casualties on the other side. Twenty witches and wizards kept Fudge company at St. Mungo's. But with Dumbledore on their side, only those foolish enough to not heed his commands died. New Year's Eve was the last battle of the war and the last battle between Harry and Voldemort. While the rest of the Voldemort-haters were fighting the remaining Death Eaters and giants, Harry and Voldemort faced each other. Attempting to kill Harry again with Avada Kedavra, priori incantatem connected their wands and formed a golden web around them. Each of Voldemort's victims appeared in their echo form, as they did during the Triwizard Tournament two years before. As soon as Harry saw his parents again, he pulled something out of his robes pocket and jerked away.
"Avada Kedavra!" Harry shouted, aiming Sirius's wand at Voldemort. During the summer, Harry had found it among the possessions he had discovered Sirius bequeathed to him. The green beam of light shot out of the wand.
Unprepared, Voldemort could do nothing to deflect the curse—except drop dead.
By midnight on New Year's Day, Voldemort was dead and the last Death Eater—Lucius Malfoy—was taken to Azkaban, where Dementors were longer guards. Instead, they too were imprisoned. Over the summer, Hagrid cross-bred blast-ended skrewts with sphinxes and spiders, creating the most clever and frightening guards Azkaban had ever seen. As expected, the rest of the school year did not go as planned. O.W.L.'s and N.E.W.T.'s were cancelled and the rest of the term consisted of laidback classes that covered the broad ideas, but no specifics, and no exams. The day the Golden Trio's sixth year at Hogwarts ended and summer began, Ron stood in the kitchen found that one by one, his family was leaving The Burrow.
"Ronniekins, your father and I haven't had a proper holiday alone—" Mrs. Weasley interrupted by Mr. Weasley giving her a smirk and wiggling his eyebrows as he magically packed their suitcases. She turned and giggled at him, slapping his shoulder playfully. Mr. Weasley retaliated with a slap on her bum. Blushing, then regaining her composure, she turned back to Ron, "—since our honeymoon."
"But Mum…" Ron tried to ignore Mr. Weasley whistling that American singer Barry White's "Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe".
Mrs. Weasley flicked her wand to clean up the kitchen where they stood. "Ginny will be home! You two can take care of The Burrow while we're gone."
Ginny shuffled down the stairs with suitcases of her own, "No I won't, Mum. I'm going to Diagon Alley with Fred and George. They need someone to do their bookkeeping properly."
Mrs. Weasley looked alarmed.
"Mum, everything's fine—they're not bankrupt!" Ginny waved a hand and Mrs. Weasley sighed with relief, "They just need to budget their spending a bit at the shop. Y'know, spend less on dragon-hide suits and more on research for new products."
"Well then, you can keep an eye on those two—make sure they don't get themselves in too many scrapes." Mrs. Weasley shook her head half-disapprovingly, half-amusedly at the thought of her twin entrepreneurs. "Bill and Fleur should be—"
"They're spending the summer in Paris with Fleur's family." Ron interrupted.
Immediately after the Triwizard Tournament, Fleur slipped a scrap of parchment with her address on it into Bill's robes. Their mail correspondence was highlighted by visits to England and France on holidays, then a year later, an engagement. Must've been the dragon tooth earring that won Fleur, that part-Veela vixen, over.
Mrs. Weasley started again, "Well, Charlie will be coming back from Romania for—"
"No, he decided to take the trip to Bulgaria—apparently, there's a new type of dragon—"
"Oh yes, yes, my mistake." She tapped her chin, then glanced at Ginny who was inching towards the fireplace. "Ginny! Come here, dear." She planted a kiss on Ginny's head as Ginny threw some Floo powder into the fireplace, "Be good. Don't let Fred and George influence you while you're staying with them."
Ginny nodded obediently with a mischievous smile, "I will, Mum. Bye Ron."
"Bye Gin." Ron said glumly and shuddered from fright. Mr. Weasley was doing a victory dance of sorts.
As Ginny crammed her and her suitcases into the fireplace, she shouted, "Diagon Alley!"
A realization dawned upon Mrs. Weasley, "I don't see why I hadn't thought of this before! Why don't you invite Harry and Hermione to keep you company?"
Ron perked up a bit, then his face fell. "Harry's interning with Mad-Eye—" Mrs. Weasley gave him a Look. "—er, Alastor Moody for the summer. Training before actual training to become an Auror and the like. Probably wanted to get his mind off of all that he's gone through."
Mrs. Weasley nodded emphatically, "Poor dear." She paused, "It doesn't mean that Hermione can't come, though, does it?"
Ron paused, "No… Wait, you'd actually trust us by ourselves?! Not that there's anything going on between us, but…"
Mr. Weasley grabbed Mrs. Weasley's hand and put his other arm around her waist. Her other hand went to his shoulder and the two proceeded to waltz around the kitchen, the two laughing like newlyweds. Ron rolled his eyes, "You two have a brilliant time. Get out of here before you make me sick." He grinned at his parents, who stopped dancing and looked at their youngest son.
"Behave, Ronniekins. And don't tear The Burrow to shreds." Mrs. Weasley reached up and pinched both of Ron's cheeks and tiptoed to kiss each. Ron had grown even more over the school year. Ron stood at six foot-four and had obtained a lean and muscular frame via Quidditch over the years.
"There's nothing to worry about, Molly. He's not Fred. Or George. Or Bill who had that party—" Mr. Weasley stroked his chin, but was interrupted by Mrs. Weasley.
"Now, now, Arthur, we mustn't give the boy ideas." Suddenly, she was a bit teary-eyed, "Oh, my little Ronniekins is growing up…staying home by himself with Hermione—" She stopped mid-sentence. "Hold on a minute…"
"Molly, I think we should be going. We don't want to miss the cruise to The Pajamas…"
"The Bahamas, Arthur. The Bahamas." Mrs. Weasley said as she tidied up here and there with a flick of her wand and made her way to the living room.
"Right, right." Mr. Weasley clapped a hand to Ron's shoulder and lowered his voice, "Don't turn Hermione into too much of a scarlet woman, eh?" He elbowed Ron in the ribs with a chuckle.
"Dad!" Ron blushed furiously, "Hermione and I are just—"
"Mates?" Mr. Weasley gave his son a skeptical look, "At any rate, she's a good mate to have. As a red-blooded British bloke, I'm sure you completely disregard the fact that she's blossomed into quite the pretty young woman."
Ron scowled, "Dad, I've told you before—"
"Ask her about batteries for me when she comes, will you?" Mr. Weasley gave him a wink, then held his wife's hand and their suitcase, "We'll be back by the end of the summer." With that, they Apparated to the dock of the cruise-line that would take them to The "Pajamas".
Ron sighed and headed upstairs to write Hermione. As he shut the door to his room, he glanced around. Clothes were strewn across the floor, his school trunk had yet to be unpacked, his bed wasn't made, Chudley Cannons posters adorned his walls, and a few scraps of written-on parchment, quills, inkwells and picture frames were on his desk. He picked up a picture taken of him, Harry, and Hermione on their last day of sixth year. Harry smiled wistfully as Hermione and Ron tried to shove each other out of the frame. Hermione and Ron had grown closer over the year, being Prefects and due to Harry's tendency to distance himself from people with all of the problems he'd had to deal with. Though they still argued constantly, they hadn't had a row in ages. Their arguing had turned into playful banter accented by friendly shoves and the occasional "appropriate situation" hugs. Hugs goodbye, comforting hugs, hugs after he thought he'd hit her too hard and the like.
Ron's blue eyes darted towards the fellytone—er, telephone—that his dad "worked on" and gave to him. No, that wasn't the name of it—it was a stellar phone…no, a molecular phone…no, that wasn't it, either. A cellular phone! Yes. Perhaps he could give it a try. He knew not to yell over it, this time. Besides, it had been a week since he had heard Hermione's voice. Whiny git. She's just your mate. No, your best mate. Like Harry's your best mate. Okay, maybe not… Picking it up, he pushed the power button and referenced a scrap of parchment with Hermione's telephone number before dialing.
One ring…two rings…
"Hello?" A man answered, presumably Dr. Granger.
"Yes?" His voice was gravelly.
"This is Ron. Ron Weasley." Ron stammered, "I-I was w-wondering…ifHermionewasavailable?"
Dr. Granger chuckled, "Yes she is, Ron. She's right here."
A muffled squeal came from the other line, "Dad, don't say anything embarrassing…"
For some reason, that made Ron's stomach flop. Must be because I didn't eat breakfast. But I did! Well, must've been Mum's cooking. Since when has Mum's cooking ever upset my stomach?
Dr. Granger began in over-exaggerated tones, "Ron, did I tell you about the time when Hermione was a wee thing and immediately after she was given a bath, she ran outside—"
Ron snickered. Baby Hermione naked running through the streets! Not quite the same as a sixteen-year-old Hermione naked running through—bloody hell! I'm a randy old bastard…
"Ron!" Hermione grabbed the phone from her dad and was blushing, "I wasn't expecting to hear for you until—well, until you remembered! And Merlin knows how long that usually takes… How are you?" Hermione rattled on excitedly.
"I remember things!" He said haughtily.
She inhaled, then exhaled loudly, "Sorry. Just a bit—surprised you used a fellytone…" He hates using telephones. How I've missed his voice. Ack, I sound like a bird from the romantic comedy films!
Ron's throat went dry. I should use cellular phones more often—that way, I can tell if she's excited to talk to me. No, no, you git. She wouldn't be excited to talk to you, just excited to talk to anyone on the felly--telephone. He swallowed, then replied, "Actually, Dad gave me a cellular phone, and I figured it'd be faster than owling. I-I was wondering if you'd like to stay at The Burrow with me."
Yes! Absolutely! "Alright." Hermione paused, "Hold on. You said with me. What do you mean?"
"Yeah, heh." Ron gulped again, then started rambling, "That's the funny thing--everyone else is on holiday elsewhere since Bill and Fleur are in Paris and Charlie's in Bulgaria and Ginny's with the twins at Diagon Alley and Mum and Dad are going to the Pajamas, I mean Bahamas as their first proper holiday since their honeymoon and Mum didn't want me to be alone, so she told me I should invite you and Harry but I told her that Harry was doing pre-training with Mad Eye but she said I could invite you anyway since we're just mates and she knows nothing would happen if it's okay with your parents then you can stay all summer—"
Hermione giggled. "Ron, you're rambling."
Ron's face grew hot. "Yes, well. Ask your parents, will you? I'll die of boredom, if you don't."
"I shall! Right now! Be back in a minute…" Hermione pressed the hold button on the phone and set it down on the kitchen table where her parents were sitting and reading the newspaper.
Ron found himself listening to a Muzak version of "Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe". Damn, I really can't escape that Barry White bloke, can I?
"Mum? Dad?" She stood between her parents at the little round table. Little did she know that the hold function on the phone was broken and only lasted for one verse of "Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe".
"Yes?" her father Dr. Granger's eyes were twinkling.
"Can I stay at Ron's house?" She shifted from one foot to the other impatiently. Me and Ron for a summer alone at The Burrow. Me and Ron for a summer without supervision at The Burrow! Eek, nothing to get wound up over. It's just…Ron. My best mate Ron. With his bright blue eyes and big rough hands—and you know what they say about big hands. Merlin, I'm a pervert.
"For how long?" her mother Dr. Granger raised an eyebrow.
"The summer." Hermione attempted to suppress a smile.
The doctors Granger exchanged amused yet concerned glances.
"Hermione darling, are his parents there?" her father Dr. Granger asked.
By this time, Ron began to hear every word of their conversation.
"Well, er—you see…no." Hermione sighed, then explained. "Mr. and Mrs. Weasley are going on their first real holiday since their honeymoon—"
"Wow…" her mother Dr. Granger whistled, imagining what it would be like to not go on holiday every year.
"—and Fred and George—"
"The twins?" her father Dr. Granger interjected.
"Yes, they are running their joke shop in Diagon Alley, plus Ginny is accompanying them for the summer and Charlie is in Bulgaria—"
"The one who works with dragons." Her mother Dr. Granger affirmed.
"Yes, and Bill and Fleur are in Paris with her parents—"
"Bill's the one with long hair, right?" her father Dr. Granger asked.
"YES, and Percy—" Hermione was growing tired of being interrupted.
"The prat who disowned them." Her mother Dr. Granger shook her head vehemently.
"YES! And Percy disowned them, leaving Ron all alone at The Burrow." Hermione finished in a huff.
"Guess you'll have to keep him company, then." Her mother Dr. Granger insinuated with a smirk.
Ron squirmed in his desk chair. So they know all about my family and me. Means she's talked about me! Well of course she's talked about you, you git. You're her best mate. Naturally, best mates talk about each other a lot.
Hermione rolled her doe-like brown eyes, "Mu-um!"
"Ron is a very handsome boy—" her mother Dr. Granger began.
"Yes, yes, I know." Hermione waved a hand.
She thinks I'm handsome! Ron's chest puffed up with pride.
"So you don't deny that you think he's handsome?" her father Dr. Granger got louder towards the end, knowing that the hold function on the phone was broken.
"No, I don't." She raised her chin defiantly, "Now will you two stop teasing me and get on with the decision-making?"
"A bit antsy, aren't we, poppet?" her mother Dr. Granger snickered, "Yes, of course you can go. Just behave. And be safe."
Hermione's eyes widened, scandalized, "MUM!"
"You're a sixteen-year-old girl, poppet. Not a saint." Her mother Dr. Granger replied.
"Your mother wasn't a saint after I was through with her…" her father Dr. Granger squeezed his wife's hand.
"Okay, I'm going to pack and leave before you two take a stroll down memory lane …" Hermione shuddered and picked up the telephone, "Ron? You still there?"
"Yeah." He was beaming.
"I can go!" Hermione squeaked.
"Brilliant! When can you come?" He asked eagerly.
"Right after I pack. I can Floo. Oh, wait, no I can't Floo—could you—er—" She paused.
"I'll be over there in…" He consulted his watch, "…five minutes?"
"Excellent. See you then?" She asked, as though needing a confirmation.
"Yeah. Bye, poppet." He grinned so widely that he cheeks ached and hung up.
Poppet… Did he hear…? Merlin, I'm going to kill him once he gets here!
Author's note: And that was the first chapter of my first Harry Potter fic. Like it? Hate it? Review and tell me, please!