Disclaimer – Obviously not mine or I'd currently be working on Book 7 instead of posting fan fic. But special thanks to JK for such colorful characters that seem right at home playing amongst the fields called my imagination.DEUCES WILD
Chapter 7 – Going All In
"I got Hermione pregnant!"
Ron buried his face in his hands and slumped over so his elbows were resting on his knees. He was about to thoroughly start berating himself for being so stupid, especially after having that bloody Contraception spell drilled into his head, when he first felt the bed shift where Harry stood up and then heard his friend laughing.
"It's not funny, Harry!" he screamed at his soon-to-be ex-mate.
Harry stifled his laugh into a cough then with what appeared to be all the effort he possessed to not start laughing again said, "Come on, Ron. Even if no precautions were taken, the chances of you getting Hermione pregnant after having sex one time is astronomical."
Obviously Harry had forgotten whom he was talking to.
"Harry, I'm a Weasley, and it's been drilled into my head as long as I can remember by my bloody older brothers that Weasleys are extremely fertile." Ron noticed that Harry was about to say something so he interjected and cut any remarks off.
"Plus, look at my parents, Harry! They've only had sex six times, and they've got seven kids! Can't you see that Hermione being in my bed alone increased her chances by about, oh, a million!"
Ron had thought he would've made a good point and that Harry surely couldn't deny the logic behind his statements. After all, it made perfect sense in Ron's anxiety-ridden mind. However, he was wrong, because that bloody Boy-Who-Was-About-To-Be-Pummeled laughed at him…again! Ron continued to seethe and was about to jump from his seated position and get in Harry's face when his friend calmed himself down and spoke.
"Okay, Ron. First of all, I am pretty sure that your parents have had sex more than six times." Ron cringed at the thought. "Second, your mum would've only gotten pregnant from having sex six times and still ended up with seven kids regardless…the twins were only one pregnancy, right? So I'm sure that your little soldiers aren't little Super Soldiers, okay? Plus, don't you think that if just being in close proximity with Hermione would miraculously get her pregnant that she would've been preggers a long time ago? Hey, the way you're making it sound, I should be knocked up by now." Then Harry began laughing again.
Once again Ron buried his face in defeat. He had known that his rationalizations were irrational. He didn't really believe the bit about his parents even though the twins had told him it as fact many times. He had just been grasping at straws. However, the part about Weasley men being extremely fertile being drilled into his head had been the truth. Weasleys were known for their large broods; hence the high fertility rate.
Ron groaned and closed his eyes. He really hoped that he hadn't screwed up Hermione's life by being so caught up in the moment that he temporarily forgot about his 'little soldiers.' He felt his bed shift next to him again and assumed that Harry had sat down next to him again. This was confirmed when Harry spoke.
"Look, mate. Maybe you shouldn't get yourself all worked up until you talk to Hermione. You know, maybe she already had everything taken care of. You know how she is."
Again, Ron's head snapped up to stare at his friend in disbelief. "Exactly what do you mean by 'taken care of'?" Ron was horrified. Surely Harry didn't think that Hermione was on birth control potion, because he knew for a fact that she hadn't cast the charm.
"Well, maybe Hermione's on that potion or something. You know she wouldn't exactly share something like that with us."
"And why, precisely, would Hermione be taking a potion to prevent pregnancy?"
"Maybe for situations like last night?"
Ron could feel his face heat up from anger. "Bloody hell, Harry! I didn't have any idea last night was going to happen! How could Hermione possibly be planning something like that. Hell, as far as she knew, until the wee hours of this morning, I didn't think of her as any more than just one of the blokes!"
Harry looked away from Ron and mumbled something under his breath.
"What was that, Harry?"
His friend took a deep breath and let it out slowly before turning back to face Ron. "Maybe it wasn't you that she was anticipating it happening with."
Ron suddenly felt as if a bucket of ice water had been thrown on him as he stared, slack-jawed at his mate. Ron had never given any thought to Hermione fancying anyone at Hogwarts. For the most part Hermione had shown little to no interest in any bloke, well except for Krum.
'Oh, Merlin, what if she had sex with Krum.'
No. No, Ron knew that she had been a virgin; he had felt it. Well, he had been a virgin as well so he wasn't one hundred percent positive, but 'it' had felt like his brothers had quite crudely explained. So if it wasn't Ron that Hermione had been planning on shagging, who was it?
Once again his gaze settled upon his best friend. 'What if it's Harry?'
Ron suddenly went on the defensive. "And exactly who do you think she was planning on it happening with? You? Think she was hoping the Great Harry Potter would have his way with her?"
Ron could see Harry turn red with anger as he stood up again and shouted, "Now wait just one minute! Don't go jumping down my throat. You know that Hermione is like the sister I never had, and I'm pretty sure that she thinks of me as a brother. So don't go taking your anger and your insecurities out on me."
Once again Ron went from angry to defeated in a split second. His shoulders slumped as he ran one hand through his already messed hair. "Then who?" Ron asked, his voice just barely above a whisper.
When Harry didn't answer, he looked up at his friend whom was looking at him with pity that could only come from debating whether to answer a particularly difficult question. Ron adverted his eyes once again.
Harry sighed and said, "Look, Ron. This is all just speculation…"
It didn't go unnoticed by Ron that his roommate had stopped speaking abruptly. He looked at Harry once again. "But?"
Ron wondered if he should tell Harry that he was shite at playing dumb. Now that wasn't to say that Harry hadn't had some clueless moments, but Ron could always see through him when he was acting clueless.
"This is all just speculation, but…"
"There's been some talk this morning, Ron, and you know that I'm not one to listen to rumors. You know that! But then I heard it from Neville, too, and Neville's not one to lie, especially about Hermione, so I began to wonder if there wasn't some truth…"
"For fuck's sake, Harry! What did you hear?" Ron could feel his empty stomach start to churn as he could feel bile threaten to rise and his heart was clenching with anger and heartache and fear all at the same time.
"They're saying that Hermione and Seamus were awful chummy last night and it didn't seem to be forced or awkward."
Ron fell back on his bed and covered his eyes with one forearm. He was really trying not to think about that stupid game of cards. "Bloody hell, Harry, it was horrible. The way he was touching her and flirting with her made me sick. I'm sure the sod was going to kiss her just before I hauled her out of the Common Room. Seamus' has never given Hermione a second glance. Mostly he's made fun of her. What the hell is he playing at now?"
"I don't know. But, Ron, how did Hermione act? Was she put off by his attention or did she seem to be enjoying herself?"
'She was enjoying herself and she was definitely aroused by his words and his touches.'
Ron growled in frustration, his arm still over his eyes. "Merlin, Harry! What have I done? What if Hermione and Seamus do have something going on and I completely screwed it up? She's one of my two best mates and I just used her and sent her off in tears this morning. What if she hates me now? What if…"
"Ron," Harry interrupted, "you can lie there all afternoon playing 'what if' or you can go find Hermione and straighten this whole mess up. I have a gut feeling that she was with the person that she wanted to be with last night, but you won't know for sure if you don't ask her. Then you definitely need to discuss the whole birth control issue so that you don't drive all of us barmy. Okay?"
"What is she won't talk to me?"
"Well, for starter's, I'd apologize, because you sounded a little disgusted this morning when you basically implied that nothing would ever happen between the two of you…even though it did…and I'm pretty sure that she's thinking that you think that she's disgusting. Then just tell her how you feel. In your eyes, you may have already fucked up your friendship so you might as well be honest with her. You never know, the results may surprise you."
Ron sighed and rubbed his face with both hands trying to scrub away all the thoughts that were jumbled in his head. He knew that Harry was right. He needed to talk to Hermione about everything that had happened. There was no changing what had taken place. He didn't even know if he would change it, if he could. So he decided that he needed to act like a man for once in his life and face his best female friend, whom he'd had sex with, and hope that things didn't become a total disaster.
"Alright, mate. You've got a point. I'll find Hermione and make her talk to me. But, first, I think I'm going to sneak down to the Prefect's bathroom and have a soak and hopefully gather my thoughts." Ron felt like quite the poof wanting a bath, but suddenly he was extremely sore and felt really dirty, even though he didn't think he could truly clean that feeling away.
As soon as Hermione had gained some of her composure back, she decided that the floor of the sixth-year girl's lavatory was not where she wanted to spend the day wallowing in her self-pity. So she quickly pulled herself up off of the floor, went to her thankfully deserted dorm room, collected her things, threw her school robe on over her jeans and Ron's T-shirt and headed to the one place that she had been able to retreat to the previous year when Ron would break her heart or when she just needed a good cry.
The Prefect's bathroom.
After about ten minutes of soaking and crying, Hermione was finally beginning to feel the pain of both the humiliation she'd endured and the heartbreak she'd suffered beginning to ebb away leaving her entire body and spirit numb. Her eyelids became very heavy and she laid her back against the edge of the pool-size tub. When she started to feel consciousness slipping away, she decided that the bath probably wasn't the best place to fall asleep.
So as the water started to drain, Hermione reluctantly pulled herself out of the tub and quickly dried and dressed in an old pair of jeans and an oversized jumper. She decided that if she was going to spend the rest of the day behind the safety of her bed curtains, she wasn't going to bother with using a Drying charm on her hair. She lazily gathered her belongings and made her way to the door.
She unlocked the door and turned back to make sure that she hadn't left anything behind as she opened the door and started out. Satisfied that she'd left nothing behind, Hermione turned quickly and came face to chest with the boy whom she had hoped to avoid for, well, the rest of her natural existence. She took a sharp step back to try to evade colliding with Ron but only managed to nearly lose her balance. A jolt of electricity shot through her body all the way to her center when he grabbed hold of her waist to keep her from tumbling to the floor.
Hermione was just about ready to curse her body for betraying her current feelings when Ron suddenly jerked away from her as if she were repulsive. Any arousal she may have felt from his touch was quickly replaced with a mixture of anger and hurt.
'Well, he didn't have a problem touching me this morning! Bastard!'
She quickly adverted her eyes to her shoes. She couldn't take seeing the disgust that was surely written across his face because she wasn't sure whether it would make her angry to the point of yelling or hurt to the point of tears. At this moment, she really wanted to avoid both as much as she wanted to just avoid Ron. She decided that it would be best for everyone if she just got back to her room as quickly as possible.
"Excuse me," she said in a small voice she didn't even know that she possessed.
She stood there waiting for Ron to move, but he didn't. And she didn't. And she couldn't force herself to look up at him. She was just about to say 'excuse me' again when he suddenly pushed her back through the doorway and into the Prefect's bathroom closing and locking the door behind them.
At that point, her eyes snapped up to his, which were as wide as she felt her own were…as if he was just as shocked as she was by his actions. Then it suddenly struck her! They were alone in a bathroom behind a locked door, and for some perverse reason, this environment seemed much more erotic and private than being behind the closed curtains of Ron's four-poster. As she felt the blush starting to creep across her chest and up her neck, she quickly looked down at the ground.
'Come on, Hermione. Get a grip! He's already made it perfectly clear by his actions earlier with Harry that he finds you hideously unattractive, so don't even think that anything besides a boiling argument is going to happen behind this closed door.'
Hermione heard Ron clear his voice and that snapped her out of her thoughts. "Yes, Ronald?"
She knew she nearly spat the words out at him, but she was readying herself for a fight, because at the moment, anger was the preferred emotion. She was not going to let him see her cry. She would not give him that satisfaction. For his part, Ron took a deep breath and let it out slowly. Hermione assumed that he must be stilling himself for the brunt of her anger.
He trailed off and Hermione was now debating whether or not to feel sorry for him. As her best mate, she knew Ron was in a tight spot, and her heart wanted to go out to him. However, as the girl with the heart that this boy had ripped out and stomped on, she decided that no piece of her heart was going anywhere near him ever again!
She was just about to make some snide remark about him just spitting out whatever it was that he had to say so she could get on with her day…and life for the matter…when he spoke on his own.
"Hermione, I'm sorry."
Hermione felt her throat constrict from emotion. She wanted him to feel bad for the way he had acted. She wanted him to feel bad for being such a prat. She didn't, however, want him to regret what had happened, and that was exactly what his apology sounded like. To Hermione, it felt as if he was saying that he was sorry for ever touching her in the first place…for ever kissing her…for giving her exactly what she had literally asked for after ingesting that bloody potion. She could feel the tears begin to pool in her eyes. She should have pushed past him then to make her way back to her room, but she was a glutton for punishment.
She swallowed hard before she said, "Sorry for what, Ron?" She couldn't believe that her voice sounded so calm even though it was just barely above a whisper.
Again he took a deep breath before taking a step toward her and answering.
"For hurting you. For acting like a bloody sod this morning when Harry caught us in bed."
Hermione was both shocked and pleased. She was pleased to see the blush that was displayed across Ron's cheeks and the appearance of the tale tell red ears. She was shocked that he was actually sorry for what she wanted him to be sorry for. Suddenly everything was jumbling in her mind so that all she could do was whisper his name.
He took another step toward her and reached out to wipe away a tear that was traveling down her cheek. "What happened between us this morning when we…well, you know…" another deep breath "…it was like a dream come true for me. I was completely honest with you last night in the Second's loo when I told you that I'd been thinking about you that way for some time now. Then this morning, when it happened, it was more than I could've ever imagined, and then I went and bollocks it all up by trying to act all cool and nonchalant about you being in my bed when we got caught, that it sounded as if I was disgusted and regretted what had happened, but I'm not. You have got to believe me."
Hermione didn't let him finish speaking, because she knew Ron and knew that he was just working himself into a never-ending rant. She dropped her bath things and dirty clothes and threw herself into his arms and hugged him tight. Tears were flowing freely down her cheeks now, but she didn't care. They were tears of joy.
"Oh, Ron. I forgive you. I'm so sorry I just ran out of there like that. I was just so embarrassed by being caught by Harry and then you were sounding like I was this foul and hideous thing and I just had to get out of there. Last night…this morning…whatever…it meant the world to me. I've dreamt of being with you, in any way, shape or form, for so long. I…I lo…I love you, Ron. I have for years now."
Hermione couldn't believe that she had finally made the admission that she'd been dying to do for so long now. She held him tighter, scared that he would shift to try to look her in the eyes to break her heart once again. But he didn't. Ron held her just as tight and didn't say anything. She wasn't sure how long they stood there holding each other before she felt feather-light kisses on the nape of her neck up to her ear.
"Just remember that I said it first," he whispered into her ear.
Hermione quickly pulled back and looked at him quizzically. "What?"
Again, Ron blushed and looked away from her briefly, but he quickly looked back at her and said, "This morning. I thought it was just before you fell back to sleep, but apparently you were already out. I said it to you then. I told you that I, well, that I love you."
Hermione felt her heart skip a beat. She was beginning to wonder if maybe she was still passed out from the alcohol and the last several hours leading up to this moment was nothing more than the musings of a drunken mind. She looked up at Ron through her lashes and asked, "And do you, Ron?"
He flashed her that crooked grin that always instantly melted her heart and lit the fire deep inside her. "More than my sorry arse can put into words."
Hermione ran her fingers lightly across his cheek and around to the back of his neck pulling him toward her. Their lips had just met when he pulled back slightly.
"Hermione, as much as I'd really love to get into it with you right now, there's something else we need to talk about first."
Again she looked at him quizzically. "What's that?"
This time when he looked away, he didn't look back at her when he started speaking. "Well, we were kind of wrapped up in what was happening…you know heat of the moment and all…and I didn't even think about casting…um…a Contraception charm or even stopping to find out if you were on any potions or anything. And if you haven't noticed, Weasleys have quite large families mostly due in part of the blokes, um…"
He faltered and was blushing furiously. He let go of her and took a step back and stood looking at his feet. His embarrassment and worry made her love him even more and she smiled at him. She reached out and took hold of his left hand in her right.
"Don't worry about it, Ron. It was…is…taken care of. I've been on Muggle birth control for a little over a year now."
Hermione was taken back when he suddenly jerked his hand from hers and took a step back away from her. She couldn't discern the look that was on his face, but for some reason, she knew that it wasn't good. She thought he'd have been happy to know that they didn't have to worry about any unexpected or unwanted pregnancies.
She should've known that her happiness with Ron would be short lived. It always was. She should've known that it was just a matter of mere moments before he would break her heart again. She was berating herself for opening her heart to him and telling him how she felt.
"Why, the bloody hell, do you need to be on any kind of birth control?" He was fuming mad, which left Hermione completely befuddled.
"Ron…" she started, but he quickly cut her off.
"Exactly who were you planning on shagging, Hermione? Planning on knocking one off with Seamus? Rumor has it that you two have been going at it since the beginning of the term! Is that it? Have you two been shagging like bloody rabbits behind everyone's back for the past year?"
Hermione didn't know what possessed her to act, but act she did. The sound of the palm of her hand making contact with his cheek resounded off the walls of the Prefect's bathroom.
"How dare you!" She screamed at the top of her lungs. "How dare you even imply that I'm some sort of…scarlet woman! You know I was a virgin. I know you know! I know you felt it, you bastard!"
Tears pouring from her already reddened eyes, she quickly bent over, scooped up her belongings and pushed passed him, unlocking the door and jerking it open.
"And for your information, not that it's any of your business, my Muggle doctor put me on the pills because of…female problems!" Then she took off down the hall running back to the sanctuary of her own four-poster bed.
Ron knew that it had to be a record. He knew that there was some higher being somewhere that was tracking such things, and Ron just knew that he had set some new personal record for the number of times that he fucked up where Hermione was concerned within a twenty-four hour time period.
At one point in the Prefect's bath, he had thought that for once in his life, everything was going to work out for him, exactly how he wanted it to. Hermione had told him that she loved him. He was about to taste those lovely lips of hers again, and then he had to bollocks everything up by bringing up the whole contraception issue. But it wasn't the bringing it up that had caused the downward spiral. No, it was Ron Weasley acting like the complete git that he was and flying off the handle when Hermione informed him that she was on a type of Muggle birth control.
He should've been ecstatic that he wouldn't have to worry anymore about forgetting to cast that blasted charm. But how had he reacted? He had started making false accusations and making false assumptions and making her feel like a common slag.
When she had run from the room in tears, again, he knew that he should've followed her and made amends and groveled for her forgiveness. However, he decided that there was only so much damage that he could stomach to cause in one day. Therefore, he had resigned to taking the intended bath and soaked until the Warming Charm on the water had worn off for the third time.
When he had returned to the Common Room, he was nearly pummeled by his sister, whom informed him that he was the world's biggest prat and that he would fix whatever it was that he had done to send Hermione to the point of tears and hiding out behind her bed curtains before the weekend was over. She also informed him that Harry had told her about the three of them forgetting Hermione's birthday and that the two of them had decided that the three of them would throw her a small belated birthday party that evening. He simply grunted at his sister in neither an agreement or a denial before retreating to his room.
He threw himself on his bed and lay staring up into nothingness trying to think of how he was going to "fix" things with Hermione. He was pretty sure that he had messed things up beyond a mere apology. He was also faced with the dilemma of what to give Hermione for a gift at her impromptu party that was only a few hours away. He'd actually already purchased her birthday gift back in the summer on a trip to Diagon Alley with the twins, but now he wondered if he should give it to her. They weren't exactly in a state of being that would warrant such a gift.
Ron closed his eyes and lay taking slow deep breaths when he suddenly realized that his pillow and bed sheets still smelled like her. In that moment he knew that he couldn't go through life without her in it, so he needed to do whatever he could to patch things up between them. So he pulled himself up out of bed and rummaged through his trunk until he found the small gift that he'd purchased several weeks ago. He then dug in his satchel until he found his ink well and a quill. He opened the cover to the small book of poems titled A Friend Like You and wrote:Hermione –
I'm a prat. We both know this, but that still doesn't make up for how I acted or what I said. I'm sorry. I don't think I can say it enough or with enough significance.
I meant what I said. I love you. I kinda think I always will. Please forgive me.
Ginny, Harry, Hermione and Ron all sat around one of the tables in the corner opposite of the "Poker" corner late that Sunday evening. In the center of the table was a small cake with one candle burning in the center of the confection. Hermione sat next to Ginny and Harry next to Ron. Ginny and Harry sang 'Happy Birthday' and were coaxing Hermione to blow out the candle and make a wish.
Ron just sat staring at his poorly wrapped gift, only occasionally glancing up out of the corner of his eye to see that Hermione, for her part, was looking anywhere but at him. Part of him wished that it was him who was blowing out the candle and making the wish, because he'd wish for Hermione to just be happy.
When it came time to open the gifts, Hermione quickly accepted Harry's (a new set of self-inking quills) and Ginny's (a silver bracelet); however, when Ron handed her his package, she hesitated looking at him for the first time the entire evening before taking the gift and quietly saying a weak thank you.
Ron's heart rate increased tenfold as he watched her slowly removing the tattered wrapping paper. He knew he was holding his breath, because her reaction would tell him whether or not they could ever reconcile. As the last of the paper fell to the table, he watched her turn the small book over so she could read the title. His heart clenched when he saw her eyes fill with tears. He was searching her face for some sign as to whether these were good tears or bad tears.
Suddenly, her eyes were locked on his. He struggled to find his voice and finally managed a hoarse whisper. "Open it."
Ron started to get a little nervous when she just continued to sit there searching his face as well. He really wished he could discern the emotion that was playing across hers. He was about to repeat himself, telling her to open the book, when the group was interrupted by the bloody Irishman who had precipitated the events that had led to his current state with one of his best friends.
"Hermione, can I speak to you a moment…in private?"
Ron was disappointed when she finally broke eye contact with him so that she could address his roommate. Ron was just beginning to wonder if she would actually leave him…them…to go with Seamus when his heart nearly broke as she smiled at the other boy and excused herself from their little group. He watched them step away a few meters before Hermione turned so that she was facing Ginny, Harry and Ron's direction.
He suddenly noticed that she still had the tiny book…his gift to her…in her hands. He couldn't hear what Seamus was saying, and Hermione was just nodding with a slightly confused look about her. Then her eyes widened, apparently out of disbelief, and she quickly looked down at her hands as Ron saw her cheeks redden. He was just about ready to get up and pummel the ponce for invading his territory, when Hermione's eyebrows furrowed and she slowly opened the cover of the small book that Ron had given her. Her eyes skimmed over and over the wording before she looked up and across the room.
This was it…the moment of truth. He had put his heart out on the line for one last time with the inscription he had written in the book. Now it was just a matter of whether she would take hold of it or not.
Without breaking eye contact, Ron watched Hermione step around his roommate and was walking back toward the table…back toward him. Again, Ron's heart rate increased, but this time with anticipation. He knew that those tears were happy ones. He could tell by the slight curve of her lips into a small smile.
She had taken about three steps when Seamus had spun around and asked, "So, Hermione, how about it?"
Hermione stopped in her tracks but didn't make any attempts to turn to acknowledge the other boy. Her eyes were still fixed on Ron. Ron had to chuckle a little at his friend who was so much more than that now. He could tell by the look in her eyes that she was trying to think of how to let the Irishman down easy, because that was what Hermione did. Ron decided that his first act as boyfriend, at least he hoped he could use that title, was to help his love out of an awkward situation.
Ron stood, quite confidently, and said, "Oi, Finnigan. I think she's going to have to decline."
"We went through this last night, Weasley. You don't have any right to speak on what Hermione wants."
Ron walked around the table and made his way toward Hermione. She only broke eye contact with him long enough to look down at the message written in her book of poems. When she looked back at him again, it was as if she was asking if it was true…if he really truly meant what he had wrote. He smiled at her, ran the pad of his thumb across one tear-stained cheek before he said, "I'm pretty sure I do have the right," before he leaned forward and captured her lips.
Ron only slightly registered the small collective gasp that preceded the silence that filled the Common Room that was quickly followed by an outburst of catcalls and applause. Neither Ron nor Hermione paid any of it any attention. This moment was the perfect end to a rather intense weekend, and neither was about to end it.
Ron knew…and he was sure that Hermione knew as well…that they had a lot of issues to work out and there were still apologies to be made and talks to be had, but for now he was just enjoying the feel of his lips on hers and the feel of the weight being lifted off of him…the weight of carrying around feelings that he felt were unrequited and couldn't be known. Now, the whole world knew how he felt about one of his best mates and she felt the same way.
Sixth Year was definitely going to be their best year yet!
A/N – The term "Super Soldiers" came from the X-files series.
Thank you so much for all your reviews and your support. I still am humbled by the wonderful comments that I've received on this story and Please Remember Me.
I'm considering writing an outtake for this story from Ginny's POV but not before I pursue some other plots I've been tossing around for a while. You definitely haven't heard the last from me.
Thanks again! Cheers!