Winter of 2005, Hogsmead
Hermione rolled sleepily to her left side on the bed, trying to grab her wand that she always kept in the nightstand ready to use when needed. The bedroom was very dark. She never forgot to completely close the curtains because Matthew, her two month-old baby son, couldn't sleep with any sort of light shining. She felt like she had only gotten five minutes of sleep. Pig was hooting, and flying above Hermione´s head. This was a common occurrence every time Matthew cried.
Hermione took her wand and murmured, "Lumos." She then looked at the Muggle clock on her nightstand. It was 3:00 a.m.
Oh sweet Merlin, I just feed him 30 minutes ago! I know the Weasley appetite is legendary, but a two month old baby being hungry after he's been feed half an hour ago is incredible! What could be wrong with him now?
Hermione sighed tiredly, and sat up on the bed. Meanwhile, Pig stopped hooting and sat in the nightstand waiting for Hermione to tend to the baby's cry. As soon as she moved her legs to the floor, Ron stretched and occupied her side of the bed. He snored loudly, and continued to sleep soundly. How he was able to sleep so deeply with his son crying was a mystery to her.
Hermione sighed again, put on her robe, slipped her feet into her slippers, and walked to the cradle that they kept in the corner of their bedroom.
She picked up the little baby in her arms, and he stopped crying almost at once.
"Oh my love, mummy is here. What do you need? You can't be hungry. Are your nappies dirty again? Is your belly is hurting you? Oh sweetie, you and I, both need to get some sleep, really.''
Hermione pulled Matthew's head onto her chest, and the little boy seemed like he was ready to go back to sleep again. While she stood rocking her baby, she was also gently stroking his back.
Matthew Weasley was a red-haired baby with intense blue eyes. He wasn't very quiet. Maybe it was his Weasley temper showing early, much to his mother's despair. He was a baby with a big appetite, and didn't like sleeping at night. He preferred to sleep during the day, and usually in his mother's lap.
Hermione was thinking about visiting the Burrow and talking with her mother-in-law because she felt she needed her wise advice about babies. With her parents living abroad, it was very difficult to see her mother during the year, and letters were just not the same. Her mother had been there and had been a big help during her pregnancy. But soon after Matthew was born, her parents had moved to Switzerland when her father received a very good job offer.
Matthew was hers and Ron's first child. Hermione was already twenty-six when Matthew had been born. She and Ron had gotten married five years before, after dating for three years. They were living in a small flat in Hogsmeade, but were thinking that after saving some money, they would be able to afford a bigger flat. Ron was the Keeper for the Chudley Cannons, and Hermione was the Arithmancy professor at Hogwarts. The school had re-opened, months after the last battle against Voldemort. Professor McGonagall was still the Headmistress
It was during the weekends when they were able to put aside their job obligations and spend some time with their family that Ron and Hermione visited Harry and Ginny. They had gotten married a year after her and Ron , and they had a lovely set of two year old twin girls. Even with very busy lives, the four friends couldn't stay away from each other. Their friendship had become stronger than ever after the last battle with Voldemort.
Hermione would have liked to become a mother earlier but the injuries she had suffered during last battle left behind some wounds that had made getting pregnant quite hard. Those injuries were able to be cured only after some tough treatments at St. Mungo's. Ginny had been a constant support during that time. It was Ginny who had been in charge of her treatment, for which Hermione was grateful. She was a competent healer, but more importantly, a kind friend.
She felt her eyes sting with unshed tears when she looked at her precious son sleeping quietly in her arms. Hermione closed her eyes as she remembered Ron's happiness when she told she him she was pregnant. The memory of his lopsided grin while tears rolled down his face was one of the best moments in her life. And the hug he had given her was something she could still feel every time she remembered that day. That moment had made all the grueling sessions at St. Mungo's worth it. She and Ron had a baby, the living proof of their long love.
Ron moved in their bed and mumbled, "Mione."
When he spotted her next to Matthew's cradle, he jumped out of the bed and approached her.
"Love, is everything is all right? Is he having trouble sleeping again?'' Ron asked worriedly while holding her back and giving Matthew a light kiss on his forehead.
"Yeah, he's getting used to sleeping in my lap. I don't know how to change his mind,'' she said, smiling softly and looking at her husband.
"Oh, I can't blame him, I very much like your lap too,'' said Ron, smirking and sliding his hand lower on her back.
"Ron, you are terrible! Can't you talk seriously sometimes?'' whispered Hermione in mock anger but knowing Ron didn't believe her tone.
"What for? You talk seriously enough for the two of us," Ron answered while taking Matthew in his arms slowly, before Hermione could protest.
"Ron, be careful. He might wake up again.''
"Shush, I'm going to go downstairs with him for awhile. You need to get some rest, go to sleep. You look very tired. I'll put him in the cradle we have in his bedroom and I can sleep on the couch there."
Ron kissed her lightly on the lips and left the room. Before he closed the door, he murmured, "Bed! Now."
Hermione smiled at his gesture and decided to take advantage of the opportunity. Pig followed Ron and Matthew, flying happily around them.
Ron is so sweet taking Matthew so I can get some sleep. What have I done to deserve a man like him?
She laughed to herself as she snuggled back in their bed.
Well, after all he put me through before asking me out – that was enough suffering, so I do deserve him, completely! And that owl Fleur received a week before her wedding… Yeah, who would have guessed I would be eternally grateful to Fleur Delacour and Viktor Krum for the man I got?
Hermione sighed deeply as she remembered how long Ron had been part of her life. I have loved him since I was twelve years old.
And sometimes I think that day we first got together was a dream, a sweet and lovely dream….
Summer of 1997: A week before Bill and Fleur ´s Wedding
It was a hot and sunny Sunday morning of July at the Burrow. The house was full of Weasleys working hard to make sure everything would be perfect for Bill and Fleur´s wedding. Mrs. Weasley was organizing the list of food that she needed to buy to be ready for all the guests. Fleur was making the decorations with her sister Gabrielle. Ginny preferred cleaning windows and the floor instead of helping Fleur. Hermione was taking care of furniture and cleaning the bedrooms.
Hermione was feeling curious because even though she had attended weddings in Muggle World, Bill's would be her first magical wedding as a guest. After the wedding, Ron, Harry, and she were going off to search for the Horcruxes. That was something that had Hermione worried. Certainly she didn't even know where their search would begin. Ginny was a problem because she wanted to be included in the journey, but Harry refused every time the subject came up. Neither Ron's parents nor hers knew anything about their plans, and that was a torture for her rational mind.
Hermione was willing to do anything necessary that would help Harry, and she knew Ron felt the same way, but Mr. and Mrs. Weasley would surely be worried and against their plans. She was feeling very guilty about lying to her parents, but she knew that if they knew the whole truth, they would never allow her to help Harry. She could not be away from her best friends, especially away from one of them; it would be too painful for her.
Ron. My Ron. I really like the sound of that
Ever since they made up after the poising incident, things between them were different, but in good way. They had become closer, talking often and allowing some lingering touches: a hand on a wrist or a shoulder, a kiss on the cheek for whatever reason. She was honest with herself, every time he kissed her she was never able to remember what had made him do it, for the feel of his lips on her skin was too distracting.
They had agreed to re-take their friendship slowly. But there was a very thin line between friendship and love between them. Hermione thought that she could give the first step but there were too many things that stopped her: her inexperience, the fear that Ron wasn't really interested, and the fact that those feelings could very easily be just those of a very strong friendship.
Hermione never would have imagined that her problems would soon be fixed with the help of an unsuspecting owl.
Hermione levitated a tray of glasses and pumpkin juice to the backyard of the Burrow. The Weasley boys were busy painting the outside of the house. Charlie, who had come back of Romania week before, Bill, and Ron were all busy with paintbrushes at hand. The twins and Harry were taking care of the garden and of the gnomes jumping around in it.
Hermione served the glasses, and placed each one on a nearby table. Immediately Ron approached the table, took a glass and drank the juice down thirstily. He smiled at her, and she smiled back blushing a bit. His hair was a bit damp from sweat, and it made it a darker color than usual. His shirt fitted perfectly, enhancing his well built shoulders. His jeans, which also fit very nicely on him, were speckled with fresh paint.
I love how his hair is always shaggy and his smile, if he could know how his smile makes me shiver and how much I would love to rake my hands through his gorgeous hair…
Fred noticed their silent exchange of smiles as he drank a glass of pumpkin juice.
"Thank you, my beloved and lovely friend," said Fred in a sweet voice to Hermione.
Hermione raised her eyebrows and handed Charlie a glass of cold juice.
"Thanks Hermione,'' he said. After he took a sip from his glass, he asked, "Who wants to paint the windows? If I remember correctly, painting windows needs to be done by someone who's careful with the paintbrush." The twins looked at each other and smirked mischievously.
"So, Ron can't, maybe Bill?'' said George exchanging looks with his twin again, and laughing.
Ron´s face was very red and he looked quickly at Hermione and she pretended not to have heard the twins' remarks.
Oh no! Here they go again with their merciless teasing. Why can't the twins leave Ron alone? They know how much it bothers him, but they love seeing him all upset – Honestly!
"Why do you think I can't paint a simple window?" asked Ron angrily. "I reckon its stupid doing it without magic, but I'm sure I can do it.''
George looked at Fred and decided to speak again. His twin was laughing so hard that it would be impossible for him to say anything.
"The hands of our poor Ron sometimes don't move as he wants them to. He can't even spell his name right, I think he now spells it as Roonil Wazlib."
Harry chuckled but Ron didn't seem to think there was anything funny about that comment.
"Sod off, George! Those quills were supposed to correct mistakes, not create them. Besides, my hands are fine and still are - thank you! Why did you have to send me such a stupid quill, anyways?"
"We just like making your life so much more fun," laughed Fred, clearly enjoying ribbing his brother.
Charlie looked at Ron, winked at him, and added in a low tone, ''Ron, you and Harry can paint the doors. Believe me, that is more fun than painting windows.''
Ron nodded, but he was still angry and a bit embarrassed. His ears were red, and he was avoiding looking at Hermione. Hermione wondered if that embarrassment was just because of what George said, or if it also was because it brought back the memory of the moment when his quill had failed
He's so sweet when he is embarrassed. I'm so glad the twins don't know what Ron said after I helped him fix his potions essay that day. It was embarrassing enough that Harry had heard that; if the twins knew it would just be awful!
Hermione started to pick up the empty glasses with Ginny's help who had entered the back yard when George started teasing Ron. She was very quiet, something that had become usual ever since Harry had broken up with her.
''Ginny, is everything all right with you?'' asked Hermione with concern.
Ginny sighed and wanting to change the subject quickly before Hermione could ask her more questions said, ''Yeah, I'm just tired from cleaning the floor, that's all." Knowing Hermione would ask more question if she kept quiet, Ginny added, "Those quills were very funny, I have some in my bedroom. But I don't get why Ron was so embarrassed when George said that.''
Hermione shrugged her shoulders indifferently. She didn't want to tell Ginny why Ron might have been embarrassed.
"Can you help me clean the bedrooms? You know better than me where everything goes. Please, Ginny?''
Ginny smiled and agreed. Hermione noticed that she glanced to Harry, who was talking with Ron in a low tone. Lately, they had been talking in whispers and Hermione knew that they were talking about their plans for their journey in search of the Horcruxes. They did not want anybody listening to their plans, at least not yet.
Hermione followed Ginny to the inside of the house immersed in her thoughts. She would have liked to take a walk and relax a bit, but Mrs. Weasley needed all of their help at moment.
At the same time, an unknown owl was descending the sky towards to the Burrow.
"Harry, could you please pass me the potatoes?''
"Of course, take it, Gin.''
It was lunch time and all Weasleys were sitting at the table, including Harry and Hermione. She was sitting across from Ron and he seemed to have calmed down since George had teased him about his painting skills.
Suddenly, Fleur gazed around the table and spoke up, "As we ar' all toge'zer now, let me share a bit of good news wiz you all. I received an owl from Victor Krum 'zis morning wiz 'is answer to 'zi invite to zi wedding."
A strong, tense silence fell on the kitchen.
"You know, 'e and I became good friends during our stay at 'ogwarts for zee Tri-Wizard Tournament. 'e iz so 'andsome and interesting; it was only natural zat we became friends."
Ron looked at Fleur; his face had turned very pale. Stuttering a little, he asked "So, is he coming?''
Hermione stared at Ron, biting her lip.
Viktor can't come. Ron would certainly make a scene. Not now…this is not the time for Viktor to be showing up!
''Oh yes 'e will, mon cher!''
Ron was avoiding looking at Hermione.
Bill spoke, breaking the tension, "Harry, Ron, could you help me finish painting my windows? Fred needs to go to Hogsmeade to buy more paint for the windows Charlie and George are painting.''
Harry nodded and stood up to follow Bill. Ron didn't answer, but followed them outside.
Hermione watched Ron leave. She worried about what his reaction might be to the news that Viktor was coming to the wedding. We are almost there and now this. Another obstacle! Next Saturday could be the worst day of my life if Ron fails to control his impulses. I know he should, but his temper doesn't allow it.
Hermione felt her eyes sting with tears, and she left the kitchen discretely
When she entered the room she was sharing with Ginny, she fell on the bed, crying.
Hermione knew she had to talk to Ron before Viktor arrived. She certainly did not want any scenes, and she had to make sure Ron understood that. She had to talk to him; she had to make sure that Ron knew that Viktor presence didn't mean anything to her. Unfortunately, now was just not the right time, he was busy with his brothers and she preferred to wait for a better, more private, moment.
Suddenly Hermione heard a soft knock on the door. She wiped her eyes clean, and got up from the bed.
"Who is it?''
"It's me. Please, can I come in?'' It certainly was not a voice she expected to hear.
Hermione opened the door to find Ron.
"Hi," she said in a weak voice.
"Hermione, could you go with me out front of the house? I need to talk with you privately and if we do it here with the door closed, my mum would have kittens. The back yard is full of people. So, could you?''
"Yes, I can do that."
"Let's go then.''
Once they arrived outside, Ron sat on the door's step with Hermione next to him. They were sitting so close together that she could feel his breath on her skin. Her hands began to sweat.
We can't have a row, not now; I have to explain to him that Viktor isn't a problem. He never was, he never will be.
"Hermione, I think its time… time to talk about us.''
Hermione nodded, looked down at her lap nervously, and crossed her hands above her knees. She gasped when Ron covered her hands with his. Her heart started beating faster, his action was totally unexpected.
"I know we agreed that we would need time to rebuild our friendship after, well after my relationship with Lavender," he squeezed her hands and started making little circles with his thumbs against her palms.
She shivered and smiled weakly.
She opened her mouth to say something but he beat her to it saying, "Don't, please let me finish before I lose the nerve.''
God, does this mean what I think its means? I hope so!
Ron smiled lightly and continued, never letting go of her hands. "Honestly, I think our friendship was never in real danger, even when we had very ugly rows in the past. We will always row; I reckon it's in our nature. I just hope never to go without talking to you again. I really missed you during our last row. Things between us are different now, we aren't just friends anymore, and you know it as well as I do.''
Hermione looked straight into his eyes and she smiled. She almost laughed when she saw how red his ears had become. A shade so intense that they seemed almost purple
"Yes, I know, Ron. I never thought our friendship was in real danger either. It was just … it was very hard for me, and you know why. I missed you so much! I missed helping you with homework, sharing meals with you, and mainly, I missed you talking to me, even when you just rolled your eyes about my constant nagging."
Hermione stopped, smiling shyly to him, waiting for his response to her words.
Ron, please, say it, I know you want to, I want say it to you too.
Ron smiled awkwardly and took a deep breath. "Hermione, I …I love you,'' Ron blurted out. "Forgive me for being a git, no, a very big git. Forgive me for not saying this earlier. I don't know when I started to feel in this way about you but since that bloody Yule Ball…well, I can't stop thinking about you since then. I think about you more than I think about Quidditch or food."
His blush was so intense that Hermione feared that his skin would spontaneously combust within the next seconds.
Hermione smiled widely and threw her arms around his neck. He instantly put his arms around her waist, surprised but happy at her action.
''Hermione? Does this mean… do you think it's time too-?''
Hermione released his neck and looked at him.
''Yeah, silly," Hermione touched his sweaty fringe. The hot weather and the fingers that he nervously combed through his hair constantly were making a mess of his hair.
''I love you too." And once more, she held him tightly
Love him, adore him, I'm the happiest woman in the world, of the Muggle World, and the Magical World. But he hasn't kissed me yet. Why hasn't he?
But Ron seemed to read her mind and kissed her just then. First, he started slow, just moving his lips against hers. Then he kissed the corners of her mouth, slowly. His mouth continued the path to her chin and her jaw, leaving behind soft, small kisses.
Oh that feels so good; his kisses are so soft, warm. Why didn't we start this a long time ago? I wonder what made him decide to have this conversation with me. Oh, stop thinking and just be a Gryffindor. It's time to enjoy this moment with the same bravery he used to come forward.
After kissing her neck, Ron went back to her mouth and this time his kiss was more intense. He tried his luck by slowly parting her lips with his. When she felt his tongue against hers, she felt a bit nervous but she let him continue, regardless. She fully trusted Ron.
They were kissing for several precious minutes, just stopping long enough to give air to their lungs. When Ron started another kiss, Hermione moved away. He looked at her with disappointment. She knew he wanted nothing more but to continue, but they had to stop... for now.
"Ron, we should go back. It would be better if we could keep this to ourselves. I don't want to get caught, just think about all the teasing we would suffer.''
Ron touched her cheek with a soft caress and nodded. He stood and helped her up. He then embraced her with his right arm around her waist and kissed her again. She giggled against his mouth.
"Ron stop it!''
They started kissing again, and Hermione forgot her fear of getting caught .It was so thrilling to finally be able to kiss Ron, to hold him, to enjoy how soft his lips felt against hers .She was lost in the new sensations, when a scream came from inside the house.
It was Mrs. Weasley's voice, "RON, where are you? I better not find you lazing about where there is so much to do!"
Ron look frightened at hearing her mother's warning. "Bloody hell! It's my mum, we better get back to work or she'll have kittens."
Hermione giggled at his apprehension, but agreed that it was time to go back. There would be plenty of time later to enjoy her time with Ron. Her Ron, now, there was no question about it.
When Ron was opening the front door, Hermione said, "Ron, about Viktor coming to the wedding-''
Ron shut her mouth with his fingers gently.
"Shush. Don't worry. I will behave, I swear. By the way, I think I should thank him."
Hermione was confused
"Thank him? Why?''
"Because his owl made me decide that it was time for him to meet my girlfriend instead of being jealous of him every time he approached you. After all, he is not so bad, he was cool with you, wasn't he?''
Hermione grinned and held him again.
"Oh Ron, I love you because you are so lovely when you want to be.''
"Just for that reason?" Ron asked teasingly and started kissing her ear.
"No, there are many other reasons, but I think we will have time to talk about those later."
In the next months or even next years, my cute king!
Winter of 2005- Early morning in Ron and Hermione´s flat
Hermione awoke, blinked, and looked at clock in her nightstand
Merlin, its 6.00 am .Oh Matthew needs to eat!
Hermione left the bedroom and went to Matthew's room to find Ron sleeping soundly on the couch. Matthew was awake but quiet, making soft baby sounds.
"Oh sweetie, sorry, mummy overslept and you should have eaten thirty minutes ago,'' said Hermione while picking up her baby son in her arms.
Hermione feed him while looking at her husband. Even at twenty five, he seemed like a big kid, sleeping curled up on the small couch. She smiled and lay Matthew down in his cradle and she switched on the little sound column that would allow her to listen to Matthew's cries in her bedroom in case he should wake. It was Muggle sound equipment that she had convinced Ron would be very useful to have in their home.
Hermione approached Ron to wake up him, so he could have a better rest in their bed. After some protest, she dragged him to their bedroom.
"Hermione, its 6:00 a.m. and its Sunday, why are you being cruel with me?' he was trying to blink the sleep from his heavy eyes.
"Ron, lie on the bed and you can sleep all the time you want. Besides, you are more comfortable sleeping here, that couch is very small for someone as tall as you,'' Hermione said, smiling softly to her husband while she lay her head on her pillow. Ron did the same without saying anything. Then, he approached his wife, snuggling her body and kissing her jaw.
"Ron, do you want to know what I was remembering about before I fell asleep?"
"How many NEWTS you got?"
"Don't be silly, of course not! I was remembering when we first got together," she said dreamily.
"That one was a good day."
Hermione looked at Ron and caressed his cheek lovingly. "And to think…we have all this due to that unsuspecting owl."
Ron cocked an eyebrow at her. "And here I thought we had all of this because of my Gryffindor bravery."
Hermione laughed until Ron looked at her pretending to be offended. "Ok, I admit that you were very brave that day. Thank Merlin you're a Gryffindor, or it would have taken you even longer."
Ron nuzzled in closer and kissed her neck. "Now I can't sleep and it's your fault. Could you make me-"
"What? Oh, Ron Weasley, you are so obvious,'' Hermione said, rolling her eyes.
But it was her turn to start kissing Ron on his mouth with enthusiasm. He deepened the kiss and moved away to look at her.
"Matthew is sleeping, right?''
Ron was playing with her hair, curling it in his fingers gently.
Hermione snuggled to his body.
''Yes, he is. But, I can´t go to sleep."
She was sliding her fingertips up his bare left arm.
Ron looked at her smiling and started kissing her again, this time on her neck.
''Mione…'' he murmured in a husky voice
Hermione looked at him. They didn't need to say anything else. After knowing each other almost fifteen years and being a couple for almost nine, she could read his mind many times over. He was so easy to read, one of the reasons it had been difficult for him hide his feelings in the past, before they had talked that Sunday afternoon, when they started dating
"Come here, but before that give me my wand.''
Ron stared at her, surprised.
"This family just can't grow anymore before the youngest learns to walk by himself!"
A/N: Special thanks to my good friend pili204 for her encouragement and wonderful pre-beta work , her valuable suggestions helped so much ;To my wonderful beta Rubraaura, for her amazing beta work , she helped so much this story become better.
And a special thanks to Gilly ,she was who helped me with Fleur ´s English.
I want dedicate this story to all my CM friends, the list is big at moment but they know who I am refer to, but specially I want dedicate it to Pili204 and my Portuguese friends mio and estatica
I could have done nothing without them. :)