Disclaimer: Ok so I was listening to an old song from the All American Rejects and it was called 'It ends tonight' I listened to it hundreds of times (I'm sad, I know) but then an idea hit me for a fanfiction story, so I hope you enjoy, please read and review and make sure to check out some of my other work! Ps this is a story not a one-shot! I own the plot and nothing else, I don't even own the song so don't sue me! Rating currently a T could go up.
Things That Matter by Price Pritchett-
"Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least."
(Oh yeah and I've recently become interested with finding sayings to go with my chapters!)
It ends tonight Chapter one: Undeserving treatment
Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock
Time ebbed slowly away, as the second hand journeyed its way around the clock face. Seconds had turned into minutes and minutes had turned into hours. Promises had been made, and once again broken. The sun had eventually disappeared over the horizon, and darkness had fallen upon the tranquil village of Godrics Hollow. Curtains, in the picturesque cottages had been drawn and the fires had been lit. However the calm and tranquil atmosphere that had shrouded the village, did not keep two families from feeling suffrage and regret.
Harry Potter watched the clock intently, counting the hours one by one he had waited for his wife to return home. She had promised to return for six o'clock, right before the kids went to bed. She had promised, and yet, what time was it now? One amHarry thought sarcastically. This was not the first night, no, it was every night. She had a stressful job as a seeker for the Holy Harpies, Harry could relate to that with himself being an Auror, but he was still home to see his kids, to wash, feed and put them to bed; she was not. Ginny Potter, his wife of fourteen years had slowly been ebbing away into the background of family life.
"Dad?" A small voice penetrated his thoughts, swivelling around in his seat whilst flicking the lights on with his wand, Harry turned to find his eldest son stood at the bottom of the stairs.
"Yes James?" he asked.
"Where's mum?" James asked curiously.
Harry took an inhale of breath and sighed, "At work son, she's doing overtime tonight" he replied falsely, he knew she wasn't, but he didn't want to burden the rest of his family with his troubles, let alone his thirteen year old son.
"'Kay, I'm gonna go back to bed then. Just worried is all" he sighed. 'Me too' Harry muttered under his breath.
"What dad?" James asked, having caught some sort of sound from his father's mouth.
"I said, it's the first of September tomorrow. You need your sleep for an early start" he replied. James took the hint and nodded towards his father, then turning on his heel, strode right back up to bed.
Once again, casting the lights off, Harry sat and waited in the darkness for the late arrival of his spouse. He yawned sleepily as the clock chimed two in the morning, resting his eyes for the briefest of seconds, he felt himself slip into the realms of sleep.
Two am. It was Two am she repeated to herself, where was her husband? Right where she left him: in front of the muggle television. She could hear the sounds of Quidditch UK Live blaring throughout the house, he was going to wake up their children, and they needed all the sleep they could get. Slipping wearily out of a cold and lonely bed, she reached for her dressing gown and trudged down the stairs. The living room was a complete mess and did not look the same as when she had cleaned it, god knows many hours previously. Empty crisp packets littered the floor, along with empty bottles of firewhiskey and butterbeer; he's a living pig she thought.
"Ronald, how many times have I asked you to put your rubbish in the bin?!" she whispered harshly, frightened of waking the kids. Instead of replying, as any normal and caring husband should, he continued to stare at the vibrant TV screen, which lit the room in a light glow. She narrowed her eyes in utter frustration and bit her lip. Scouring the room for the TV remote, she quickly gave up as there was no easy way of locating it in the mess that was her home.
"Accio remote!" She whispered lightly. As ordered, the remote rose from a shoe belonging to Ronald and straight into her awaiting hands. Simply pressing the off button, she aimed it at the TV and smiled triumphantly. However, she did not expect to receive the verbal abuse from her other half. Rising from the overstuffed sofa, Ron clenched his fists in rage and turned to face her. The look upon his face startled her, and she knew that the alcohol had taken its toll.
"Hermione! What the fuck, I was watching that bloody match, give me the remote!" he bellowed swiping his hand in a downward motion; he tried to grab the remote from her grasp but failed. She snapped her hand away as he staggered to reach the remote and took a step back. He was out of character…againshe sighed to herself. His long hours as an Auror may have been stressful, but she didn't know what had driven him to the alcohol, for the past three weeks in a row.
"Come to bed" she offered. She was tired of sleeping alone, with no one to hold her through the night, what worried her more was the fact that she had someone to do that, but he didn't seem to want to. He looked at her oddly and she grimaced, checking herself over for anything out of the ordinary, she looked upwards and back into his eyes confusedly.
"What?" she asked worriedly.
"I'm bored" he retorted.
"At two o'clock in the morning?" she asked, still clasping the remote in a firm hold.
"Yeah, but if I go to bed, I'll be even more bored Mione, unless…" he smiled slyly.
"Unless what?" she asked, she had a fair idea into what he was insinuating and wanted out of the conversation as soon as possible.
"Unless you want to…you know" he added with a small hiccup. Hermione made a sound close enough to resemble 'eughh' and shook her head.
"Not whilst you are like this Ronald, plus it's my time of the month so we can't" she lied easily. She had used that excuse a lot frequently; bit Ron was a bit too intoxicated to notice. She didn't like the idea of him groping her whilst in a complete stupor.
"FINE" he boomed. Snatching his coat from the back of the chair he stormed to the front door and left, slamming the door fiercely. Hermione simply leant against the living room wall and sighed, she slid down to the floor and held her legs to her chest, in one of her own comforting embraces. What had she done to deserve this? She sobbed into her pyjama sleeve.
Harry shot up from his makeshift bed on the sofa and fixed his gaze towards the door. Ginny was home. She had a concentrated look fixed upon her face as she tried to close the door, obviously trying to slip into the house as if she hadn't spent the whole night out. Harry watched her disbelievingly as she placed her coat upon the coat rack and turned around, whilst jumping at the sight of him.
"Harry, you scared me" she panted as she placed a hand to her heart.
"You have been where?" he asked nonchalantly, he wanted to hear her latest excuse to date. Raising his eyebrows for her to continue, he waited for the inevitable response.
"Work. It was bloody mayhem, autograph signings and shit like that" she replied coolly. Harry contorted his face at her choice of words and shook his head "Do you really have to use that language in our house, and what, the signings took all night?" he asked.
"Harry, I can and will use any language I bloody well like in my own home. As for last night, there was also a surprise party arranged at the new club in Diagon Alley, I had no idea I swear, plus it was a chance for me to get out for once in my life. Raising three kids is hard you know" she stressed.
"Yeah I would know, seeing as I am the only one these days who is actually raising them!" he heightened his voice. She shot him a death glare and crossed her arms defensively over her chest.
"The only one?" she asked defiant to stand her ground.
"Yes, the only one. Do you know how worried the kids have been, they haven't seen you in days!" he tried to take her on the guilt trip, so far she was listening, to an extent.
"Lily managed to fly a broom for the first time yesterday, did you know that? Albus managed to finish his complete set of new school books, and wanted to tell you, but you we' rent here. As for James, he was down here at two in the morning asking for you" Harry relayed the latest information to her. She listened, but didn't seem phased by the worriment, "You let James stay up until two in the morning, when you know fully well he has to go to Hogwarts today?" she retorted angrily.
Harry couldn't believe it; here she was again, turning it all back onto him.
"No, they were all in bed. At the exact time of six o'clock, as they usually are the day before school. You however broke your promise, oh yes Harry, I promise six o'clock" he imitated her. He knew she was going to storm off, he had caught her out, and she couldn't handle losing to him.
"Yeah, just keep walking, it's not as if we're even having a marital spat!" he called to the kitchen, where she had retreated to.
"We are not having a marital spat; it's a difference of opinion. If witch weekly caught on about that, we'd be knocked off of top celeb couples!" she hollered back to him. Out of her sight he shook his head knowingly; he knew where her true loyalties lie lately, in the headlines.
Upon hearing the clattering in the kitchen, Ginny probably trying her best to keep her marital status in line, as she attempted to make breakfast, he grabbed the banister and ascended the stairs. He opened each door to his children's rooms quietly and checked their status. James was still asleep, his Gryffindor scarf draped firmly around his torso, Lily began showing the signs of waking, but was still debating with herself, and to Harry's surprise he found Albus awake and ready reading whilst sat on the lid of his trunk.
"Ok son?" Harry asked, as he saw Albus raise his head and to meet a pair of emerald eyes. Albus merely nodded and placed his heft book onto the floor.
"Dad?" he asked curiously, in a small voice.
"Were you and mum fighting again?" he asked, his emerald eyes boring into his own.
"What gave you that impression?"
"I could hear you" he replied meekly. Harry shook his head and assured his son it was nothing, today was a good day, it was Albus' first day at Hogwarts.
"Rose, are you ready?!" Hermione shouted from the foot of the stairs. Ron had still not returned home, and they would be leaving in half an hour.
"Way ahead of you there mum" she replied. Hermione turned around to find her daughter waiting with her trunk at the front door. Hermione couldn't help but smile, she loved the way Rose reminded her of herself, with her wavy brown hair and chocolate brown eyes. She definitely had the Granger genes, with a hint of Weasley added to the mix.
"Mum, where's dad?" she asked curiously, craning her neck to check the contents of the living room. Hermione shrugged and cast her wand over the living room's mess.
"Out I guess"
"You guess?" Rose asked worriedly.
"No, I meant yes, he'll be here any moment" she assured her daughter. Rose eyed her mother curiously, but stopped when the front door opened to a mop of read hair.
"Daddy!" Rose shrieked excitedly, she dropped her belongings and rushed into his waiting arms.
"Where have you been, you smell!" she grimaced as she pinched her button nose. Ron peered down at himself and shook his head, taking the rubbish out, mum forgot to" he replied. Gazing upwards, he tried to make contact with Hermione; however she simply ignored him and set off for the kitchen.
"So daddy, when are we going to meet up with Uncle Harry, Aunt Ginny and Albus?" Rose asked her father excitedly.
"We haven't seen them in ages!" Hermione could hear her daughter gasp. True, they hadn't seen the Potters in a while, even though they lived in the same village. Work and children had managed to dominate their lives, leaving no time for friends and family. Pondering on what the Potters could be doing right now, Hermione scowled, they were probably all lovey-dovey, the chosen one's perfect family, whilst she was stuck in what she now realised was a fading relationship. She envied Ginny, she truly did. Ginny had the best of everything, the glamour, the fame and everything that went with it. She tried to imagine Harry's reaction to Ginny's selfish demeanour, and wondered whether he supported Ginny's constant need for attention. It was then that Hermione felt a slight pang of jealousy, wasn't he the one who had wanted to live life quietly, in a small village, no media, just himself and his family? That is what he had constantly reminded her. As she pondered, it began to dawn on her that Ginny truly didn't match Harry's ideal wife, Harry had told her countless times whilst on the search for Horcruxes that he wanted someone who loved him for who he was, and it was only now that she realised Ginny wasn't the one. She wondered if Harry saw it too, she wondered if he even cared, because by Merlin, she did.
"Rose, be a dear and check on Hugo will you" Hermione called as she cleared the breakfast dishes. Once Rose had left, Ron entered the kitchen and closed the door, leaning back on the frame.
"I'm sorry Mione" he apologized feebly. Hermione continued to ignore him as she continued to wash the dished in the old fashioned muggle way.
"Hermione. Look I-"
"NO" she shouted, "YOU look, look at yourself and tell me that you aren't disgraced in any way shape or form!" she snapped, turning to face him.
Ron stayed silent as she continued with her tirade, "Three weeks Ron, for three weeks I've been sleeping alone. You've been inebriated for the past month, last night you scared me Ron, you actually scared me. I really have been trying to make this work, I really have, but you just don't seem to see. Our relationship is fading, fading fast." She spat at him, even the alcohol on his breath seemed to infuriate her even more.
"You have nothing to be sorry for, you have everything you ever wanted a family a wife, a job and a house, so why Ron, why?!" she asked him angrily.
"You want to know the truth?" he asked solemnly. She nodded defiantly and crossed her arms, this was going to be good, and she was finally going to be let in on what was bothering him.
"I don't think I love you anymore" he replied, leaving the room as fast as he entered with an inconsolable Hermione left in his wake.
Right ok, so things may seem a bit ooc, but it will keep Ron and Ginny in the story, I don't want to cast them aside, they are as important as the rest of them. Please review if you have the time, if not thanks for reading! So, the next chapter will have them reuniting.