The Doorway to Many Worlds
Disclaimer: I own nothing
"Ronald Weasley!" shouted his mother from downstairs, "You get up right this instant! We're already running late!"
Grudgingly he slothed out of bed and dragged himself to the bathroom. It wasn't until he'd thoroughly soaked his face with cold water and stared into the mirror that he realised what day it was. Today Harry and Hermione would be joining him for the last two weeks of the summer holidays before they returned to Hogwarts for their sixth year.
Instantly he felt his stomach clench and his head became swamped with thoughts. Anything that included Hermione sent his body into knots but today it wasn't just the usual butterfly feelings. Ever since seeing her in the hospital wing after the catastrophic 'rescue' attempt last term he'd sworn that this year he'd finally stop being an immature prat and just ask her out.
But it wasn't just Hermione.
Harry had stayed at his aunts for the majority of the holidays and, to Ron's surprise, he hadn't complained. The letters they shared were few and far between and when they did arrive Harry's were always somewhat colder than usual. Guilt washed over Ron as he thought for a moment that he only really wanted Hermione over this summer.
"You look fine dear, now hurry along," sighed the mirror Ron was staring into. Disturbed from his revere with a jolt he dried off his face with a worn towel and headed downstairs, maybe Hermione would know how to act around Harry, or at least that's what he hoped.
Revived and awake Ron finally made it downstairs and walked straight into chaos. Mrs Weasley was running from one side of the kitchen to the other muttering under her breath, "I bet they haven't fed him again, why Dumbledore thinks it's so important I don't know, poor poor boy-"
She broke off when she saw Ron, "Oh good morning dear," she greeted, "nice to know that you've decided to join us in the land of the awake." Unceremoniously she cast some toast onto the table and he gladly devoured the breakfast. "You're Father has already gone to collect our guests by floo since some people took an age getting up this morning. And Ron please try to eat sensib-"Her incessant advice (otherwise known as nagging) was interrupted by a disturbance in the front room, "That must be them."
But Ron hardly heard as he raced out of the room to greet his friends. Coughing as he entered the slightly smoky space he spied his Father leave the grate somewhat gracefully in comparison to the two that stumbled out behind him.
"Still not used to floo then guys," Ron laughed at their sooty faces. Harry laughed back and Hermione glared. But Ron could see the smile tugging at her lips and a moment later she'd swung her arms around him. Slightly surprised Ron returned the welcoming hug after a moments hesitation.
Unfortunately the bliss didn't last long as Hermione pulled back. "Hi," she greeted sheepishly. Ron smiled back and for a second neither of them moved or realised that they were still pretty close to each other. But then Ron noticed his other best friend in the corner of his eye.
"Harry!" he greeted and promptly turned to. "How are you mate?" The question had been automatic and immediately Ron regretted his words as Harry's face became ashen as he mumbled that he was fine and then became silent. Luckily the uncomfortable silence was broken by the sound of balls of fluff hitting the window.
Surprised the three friends looked towards the glass and then towards the startled Mr Weasley, who had been talking to his wife, as he ran into the room and opened the window. "Molly how many times have I told you to leave this window open after you've cleaned it! Or at least leave some sort of marking," he yelled as she too exited the kitchen. He reached for the dazed animals. "Here you go kids," he smiled handing over the owls, "looks like your OWL results have finally arrived."
Hermione squealed and leapt for the envelope with her name on with joy while the boys hung back as if the paper would burn them. "Oh I wish these had come when I was home, I really wanted to be with my parents," Hermione sighed, then laughed as she saw the looks on her friends terrified faces, "Oh come on it wont be that bad."
Harry smiled thinly as he reached for his results and carefully opened them. Ron too went for his envelope and grudgingly opened it whilst Hermione and his parents watched on expectantly.
"Come on dear don't keep us in suspense," Mrs Weasley cooed with anticipation.
After finally getting into the envelope (not helped by his slightly shaking fingers) he gasped. Ron couldn't believe the paper he was looking at, "Bloody Hell!"
Hermione couldn't stand the suspense any longer, even forgetting to berate him for his swearing. "Just tell us what you got!" she said smiling.
"All exceeds expectations... acceptable for astronomy and... dear Merlin..."
"What? What is it?" The whole group was on tenterhooks.
"I got an outstanding... in potions."
The room stood silent in shock until Hermione screamed with pleasure and wrapped her arms around him again, closely followed by his mother who seemed to be wiping tears from her eyes. "Oh, well done Ron!"
"I can't believe it," he muttered, "there must be some sort of mistake. There has to be-"
Harry cut him off with the rustling of his own papers. "No Ron," he explained but there was no excitement in his voice, "We got pretty much the same only I got outstanding in defence against the dark arts."
"Harry that's brilliant!" Hermione shrieked but Harry didn't seem very enthused.
"Yeah," he sighed, "I suppose potions is easier without that prat breathing down your neck."
"Harry," Hermione began to berate but then stopped herself when she saw the flash of anger in his eyes. Breaking the silence Molly asked Hermione what her own grades were glancing at the unopened envelope. The atmosphere of joy and anticipation quickly returned as she began to fumble with the paper but after a couple of seconds there were still no tearing sounds.
"Come on Hermione, open your results," Ron urged. Only now she just stared at the parchment.
"I can't," she whispered.
"All my results are in here. What if I failed? What would I do? What would mom and dad say?" she was becoming hysterical.
"Whoah, don't be stupid. Of course you haven't failed," Ron soothed, glancing at his mom for help.
"I'm sure that you did fine dear," said Mrs Weasley, "and you'll see that as soon as you open the envelope."
Ron was starting to become slightly impatient, "Hermione you'll have done fi-"
"Will you do it?" she interrupted pushing the envelope into his hands.
"If your sure..." Hermione nodded her head, her whole body shaking with nerves as Ron opened the letter and read her results.
After a few seconds silence everyone was still stood waiting for the results.
'What?" he asked, "you asked me to open the letter you didn't say anything about telling you the results." He grinned at their cries of indignation and handed the parchment back to his friend, who was now close to exploding. "Outstanding in everything, Hermione. Bloody brilliant as usual."
Mrs Weasley enveloped the now crying girl into a warm hug exclaiming her congratulations along with Mr Weasley and Ron. Harry muttered a "well done" and Ron caught his eye after yet another hug from Hermione. Gently Mrs Weasley guided her family into the kitchen where she would conjure a celebratory lunch but Harry held back.
"Hey Harry, looks like we can both be Aurors," grinned Ron trying to draw his mate out.
"Yeah," Harry muttered back, "I'm just going outside for a minute okay. Been cooped up with the Dursleys all holiday an all that." With that he gave Ron a seemingly genuine, but completely fake, smile and disappeared outside.
"Sure mate," Ron replied, though he doubted that his friend heard, or even cared.
AN: Further updating information can be found in my bio.