Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or any of the characters.


Ace of Hearts

Chapter 1

Hermione closed her book on ancient healing techniques and rubbed her eyes.

'I never thought I'd get tired of looking at books,' she thought to herself smiling wearily.

She had been pouring over the large tome for over four hours seeking a remedy for the accidental poisoning of one of the animals in her care. The Lylith Harth, a magical type of horse that was a close relative of the unicorn, though more often tinted with more soft lilacs colors instead of white. The species had become endangered after the war due to their relation to unicorns and their subsequent healing powers. Voldermort and his followers would often killed them and use their blood to heal their injured or those who were weak after being freed from Azkaban. By the time the war finally ended, only two or three hundred were left in existence, in Hermione's opinion this was a very sad thing indeed.

Yesterday, while working in the office with Eliza Grunald on a revision to 'The Magical Creature Book of Laws and Standard Practices' the two witches received an urgent floo from Priscilla Pundance, the Head of the their department, The Magical Creature Law and Medicine Department in the Ministry of Magic, about the Lylith Harth. According to Priscilla the animal, which lived in the Enchanted Forest had for unknown reasons wandered out of its grassy home. It eventually made its way up the road about two or three miles where it somehow managed to get itself into a local potions factory. While in the factory the Lylith drank from one of the large cooling cauldrons of one of the top selling pain relievers in the wizarding world, 'Wiley Wonders Witch and Wizards Prudent Pain Prevention Potion'. They're unsure of how long the animal was drinking from the cauldron, but by the time one of the workers noticed it and intervened it was already too late. When Hermione and Eliza arrived on the grounds the majestic animal was already down and having trouble breathing.

Running a hand through her unkempt locks Hermione leaned back in her chair, her amber eyes flicking to the ceiling and a long-suffering sigh escaping from between her slightly parted lips.

"Ok, I just have to relax." She made a calming motion with her hands and sat straight once more. "I just need to clear my head and refocus. I can do this and that poor animal is depending on me."

Finishing her small self-pep talk she resumed her meticulous search, however after another two hours of intense scrutiny to no avail Hermione finished combing through the book and found herself no closer to the answers that she needed than when she started.

'I'll go to the departments library tomorrow' she thought rubbing her eyes. 'I'm sure that they should have something that can help, but unfortunately just I can't to anything else tonight.' The dark haired woman closed the book for a final time and stood up giving a cat-like stretch and casting a glance to the clock on the wall, noticing that it was already almost midnight she headed into the kitchen to get something to drink. She had just put a kettle on the burner for tea when she heard a throat clear from the other room.

"Hello, Mione are you there?" Ron's voice floated over from the fireplace.

It had been four years since the defeat of Voldermort, three and a half since she, Harry and Ron had officially completed their education at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and a little over two since she had gotten her job with the Magical Creature Law and Medicine Department. Ron had interned at the Ministry for a short time, an opportunity provided by Mr. Weasley, before getting a job with the Razin Wizardz semi pro Quidditch team as a chaser, though he was hoping to get a chance at a pro team soon, preferably the Chudley Cannons. Harry meanwhile had passed up the post of the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher at Hogwarts, finding it to hard to stay after Dumbledore's death, and instead eagerly taken the position he had always wanted as an Auror. And even though he often complained that it was harder than he thought it would be, he also loved it. Commonly declaring that there was "nothing more satisfying than being able to catch of evil wizards and witches."

"Hey, I'm here. I was wondering where you were today," she said to him, heading over to stand within his view.

"Had a game, then some of the guys and I decided to head over to the Bubbling Cauldron for a few drinks. How was your day?" he asked smiling, she reflexively smiled back.

Ron had grown into an attractive and well built man, his red hair had finally been cut, as part of the dress code for the Wizardz and the new look helped to add a sense of maturity as well as heightened masculinity to his appearance. Now no longer skinny, thanks to his rigorous workout schedule, the ginger man had developed a nicely muscular form and his new money from working meant that hand-me-downs were a thing of the past. Thanks to some prodding by Hermione and Ginny, he had also developed a much better fashion sense… though Quidditch team t-shirts and jeans were still his favorite clothes of choice.

"Very long," Hermione responded casting an annoyed glance to the six-thousand, one-hundred and fifty-seven paged book on her dining room table.

"How about I come over and you can tell me all about it?" he asked, she chuckled lightly knowing very well that "work talk" was not something he liked to hear. Actually any talk of work that was not his own usually had him bored out of his mind, especially when the work was hers.

"That's ok," she said, taking note of the relieved expression of his face before he hid it. "I was actually just going to have some tea and turn in for the night, I have a long day of work ahead of me tomorrow."

"Tomorrow?" he inquired in the characteristic whine that he's had since she meet him on the train all those years ago "but tomorrow's Saturday, don't they ever give you a day off?!"

Hermione rolled her eyes, okay so physically he had changed a lot, but underneath he was still the same old Ron.

"We had an emergency today and I'm not done working on it," she told him taking her most patient but stern tone. "I'm going in tomorrow to do some research, hopefully solve this problem and in turn save a life. Is that ok with you Ronald?"

The ginger man winced at the use of his full name; knowing she usually only did that when she was annoyed -or quickly getting there.

"Of course sweetie," he responded with his best innocent expression "it's just that I miss you and want us to spend some time together. So…you know… since you don't have time tomorrow, is it ok that I come over tonight?"

"Ron I told you I'm just going to have some tea and go to bed."

"Maybe I can join you..."

"For tea or for bed?" she asked no longer looking annoyed but amused instead.

"How about both?" he wagged his eyebrows.

"Well… hey where's Harry?" Hermione asked frowning.

"Wha-" Ron's expression flicked from confused at the change of subject, to agitated at the same reason. "What does he have to do with any of this?"

"Nothing," she responded, looking towards the kitchen. "The kettles whistling, I have to take it off of the fire."

"Hey!" he exclaimed before she could walk away. "Wadda ya say? Can I come over or not?"

Hermione looked at him for a second like she was seriously debating the answer before smiling. "Of course, Ron, stop being such a ninny and come on," she then pointed a finger at him "but we're just having tea, then it's straight to bed."

"Whatever you like," he replied with a smile of his own, just before disappearing from sight.

Less than a moment later there was a pop and his tall form was standing before her. Ron leaned forward and gave her a light kiss on the lips, before walking past her and into the kitchen. It was a nice place with brightly colored yellow walls, wood cabinets, modern muggle appliances and an open floor plan. The granted counter tops were decorated with a decanter set that Mrs. Weasley had given her for last holiday as well as some cute ceramic jars that her mother had given her for knickknacks and various items. Hermione had been quite pleasantly surprised to have located the well priced flat in the area that she needed, and Ron was surprised to find that she used a lot of the muggle made items located there. Eventually, after Harry and Hermione had shown him how everything worked, he understood a bit more why she was comfortable with the muggle flat -though he still preferred magic himself.

The bushy haired witch walked in just behind Ron, grabbing a couple of tea cups from the cabinet and sitting them down before opening the ceramic jar in front of her and taking out some tea bags. She placed them in the cups as Ron came up behind her, his warm chest pressed against her back and his strong arm came in front of her to pour the water into the tea cups from the kettle he'd removed upon entering. Hermione smiled a bit, she could smell the cologne that she'd brought him for Christmas mixing in with the earthy fragrance of the tea that was wafting up from the steaming cups before her. She then felt a soft kiss pressed to the base of her neck just below her earlobe. Ron placed one arm around her waist softly hugging her from behind while he placed the kettle onto the counter top with his other hand. Once that was done, he fully encompassed her in his arms and placed another kiss, this time on her earlobe. Hermione smiled.

"Tea then bed Ron," she said in a mock stern tone.

"I know," he responded nuzzling her neck, then repeated studiously "tea then bed."

"Okay, let me rephrase that. Tea then sleep Ronald."

He sighed and then pulled back from her, moving to stand at her side he picked up his teacup and turned to face her.

"Tea then sleep," he repeated studiously once more. "Boy we're such an adventurous couple Mione, some people have to be together until they're... oh, I don't know?... Eighty before they get to have tea then sleep. But us, we're front runners," he finished nodding his head with a serious expression.

Hermione smiled, she loved him. Leaning over she placed a kiss on his lips before pulling back and picking up her own teacup, deciding the best course was not to comment. They just stared at each other smiling and sipping tea for a while before Ron broke the silence.

"Still at work," he commented reaching past her to grab kettle and make himself another cup.

"What's still at work?" she inquired, her confusion clearly displayed on her face.

"Who, who's still at work, and the who is Harry," Ron finished as he used his wand to warm the water in his tea, which had long since cooled in its time off of the fire.

"I thought he had the day off?"

"He did, but they had an emergency too and he got called in," he shrugged. "He left in a hurry."

"What happened?"

"Dunno, he sent an owl later saying that he won't make it back until sometime tomorrow probably, they seem to have a lot of those lately."

"Is he okay- wait, who's they? And a lot of what?" Hermione quizzed, her brows furrowing.

"They, you know they, them... the Ministry," he was looking at her like she was a little daft. "The Ministry and emergencies. You know, first Harry and then you... you did say you guys had an emergency right? And that's why your going in tomorrow?"

"Oh, yeah right..." she frowned, watching him shake his head. "You know you don't have to talk to me like I'm mental Ronald, you just have to speak coherently." His response was a roll of his eyes "And you never answered my other question, is he okay?"

"Huh? Yeah, yeah he's fine," Ron downed the rest of his tea. "Well, looks like we're both done with tea, how about that bed now?"

Without waiting for an answer he took the cup from her hand, set it on the counter, then grabbed Hermione and threw her over his shoulder.

"Ron!" she laughed "I'm not a sack of potatoes you know!"

"Are you sure, because I'd love the opportunity to peel you, or at least peel off your clothes!"

"Ronald!" she screamed laughing as he carried her into her bedroom, kicking the door closed.

AN: Well that's it for chapter one, don't worry Harry's in the next one, I'm a total Harry/Hermione shipper and this is an H/Hr fic, I just prefer to build a little story before jumping right into the relationship. I also don't want to be one of those people who forget how important Ron is... well anyway Stay Tuned! Chapter two should be posted already or soon.