Hi there everyone. I just want to say thank you to you all for reading, reviewing and putting this story on alert, it makes my day opening my inbox in the morning! I am coming to the end of missing moments that have been suggested to me now, with one more planned after this one. However, if anyone has any other suggestions, please write them in a review, and I will see what I can come up with (although I won't promise to do all of them if there are loads more – but I don't think there are many more places that missing moments could be to be honest!).
Also, if you are reading this after I have reordered them (I'm intending to do that after I finish), this will be the first chapter, and thanks for opening my story; I hope you enjoy it.
This is what may have happened before Harry arrived at the burrow; Hermione was there for at least a few days (mentioned in chapter six 'The Ghoul in Pyjamas'), so how did it go? This is a little snippet of that inspired by Loralu.
Chapter 1: The Burrow
I'm in a bit of a desperate situation right now, so I'll just get right to the point (sorry for my abruptness in this letter).
We know how bad things truly are right now, but the muggle community in which I am living at the moment does not. However, the direness of the situation is only thinly veiled by the excuses that the papers keep throwing out, attempting to explain away the death and destruction that is occurring all over the country. Even the muggles are getting scared; this can't be kept hidden for much longer.
So, I wanted to ask you a favour. I was wondering if you could ask your parents if I could come and stay at your house now, rather than just before the wedding? You see, I'm planning on wiping my parents' memories of me and giving them new identities. This means that they won't be endangered by my friendship with Harry, or because they are the parents of a muggle born witch. This also means making them leave the country. I want to do this as soon as possible, so please reply quickly with your response. If I can come, I will floo to your house soon after receiving your owl.
I am really looking forward to seeing you, I will need a friend.
I hope you are well.
Ron had read the letter so many times that it was crumpled and worn, and he had sent a hurried reply as soon as he had received it saying of course she could come. He couldn't believe she thought she had to ask. Pigwidgeon had left to deliver the letter yesterday evening; it was now the following morning. She could be here any minute, and he had to admit, he was feeling a little nervous.
His feelings for her had become extremely apparent to him in the weeks following the end of sixth year, even more so than they were before. What was the saying? Absence makes the heart grow fonder? Well, true, but the additional worry that she was extremely vulnerable on her own with her muggle parents had meant he spent most of his time thinking and fretting about her.
He wondered how to be with her when she arrived. Recently, they had definitely been acting as slightly more than friends, but not enough to make where they stood obvious. For Ron, who knew absolutely nothing about women, this was a complete nightmare – and there was no way he was going to ask any of his brothers for advice. He had contemplated asking Ginny, but the smug glances she gave him whenever Hermione was mentioned indicated that she already knew all about it, and he didn't really want to know what Hermione had said about him to her. What if it was bad?
He supposed the best thing to do was to continue to act naturally, and maybe attempt to flirt (another thing he knew nothing about). He would use how she acted as guidance; yes, he thought, that seemed the most sensible thing. He would make sure he was a good friend to her – she was probably going to be upset when she came. He hoped she wouldn't cry; he never knew what to do when girls cried.
Just then, the fireplace glowed green and Ron's heart leapt. A teary Hermione stepped out.
Fantastic, thought Ron with an inward groan, he was undoubtedly going to put his foot in it. He stood up to greet her. However, before he had even had time to say hello, she had flung her arms around his neck and was crying into his shoulder. He wrapped her arms around her and awkwardly patted her in what he hoped was a sympathetic way.
'There there,' he stuttered, feeling utterly stupid, 'it's ok.'
'Oh, Ron!' She sniffed, 'it's horrible!'
After standing there for a while, listening to her sob and sniffle all over him, he said the only thing he could ever think to say in these situations.
'Erm… would you like a cup of tea?'
Hermione wiped her eyes on her sleeve. 'Yes please.' She said weakly.
Ron bustled about the kitchen, fetching a mug and boiling water with his wand. He gave her the cup and sat at the table with her, watching as she wiped a few of the last stray tears off her red swollen face. He still thought she was stunning.
She gave him a watery smile as she met his gaze. He grinned shyly back.
'Thanks, Ron,' she said, clasping his hand on the table, 'I really appreciate this.'
'S'ok.' He said bashfully.
Just then, Fred, George and Ron's mother entered the kitchen, and Ron let go of Hermione's hand as quickly as if it had scalded him.
'Well well,' said Fred, 'Hermione's here!'
'Why didn't you tell us?' Added George, 'you can't just keep her all to yourself you know.'
'Bet you'd like to though, eh, Ronniekins?' said Fred, waggling his eyebrows suggestively. Ron went scarlet.
'Come on boys, leave them alone! Hermione dear, are you alright?'
'Yes, Mrs Weasley,' said Hermione with a brave attempt at a grin, 'thanks so much for letting me stay here.'
'Oh, nonsense, dear!' replied his mum, 'and call me Molly!'
Hermione smiled at them all, 'Thanks,' she said, 'Um… if you don't mind, I think I'll just take my things upstairs.'
'Of course,' smiled his mum, 'You can use Charlie's old room.'
Hermione picked up a surprisingly tiny bag and began to walk up the stairs, and Ron closed his eyes, waiting for the barrage of teasing that was about to hit.
'Still not asked her out then, Wonwon?'
'Shut up.' Ron mumbled.
'Come on! You're a Weasley, we've always had a way with the opposite sex!' Said George.
'We all know you fancy her, mate, and she probably does too.' Added Fred
'Brilliant…' said Ron with sarcasm.
'Come on Ron, why don't you march on upstairs, run your hands through that gorgeous, bushy hair of hers and give her a big, wet, sno-.'
'Would you two shut up!' cried Ron, finally losing his temper.
'Alright Ron, there's no need for that!' Said George
'Well, I don't know what your problem is… we all know you enjoy a good snog…'
'Yeah, darling Lavlav kissed you like she was trying to taste what you'd had for breakfast…'
'And you looked like you were trying to wash her face… it must have been like sticking her head in a bucket.' Grinned George.
Ron had had enough. He stormed from the table and stomped up the stairs, blushing to the roots of his hair. He could hear them laughing at him from the kitchen. Those two drove him mental.
He walked up the burrow's rickety flights of stairs to the third floor. He hesitated on the landing before moving towards the door of Charlie's room. He needed to check if she was alright, she had just effectively lost her parents after all. He pushed open the door…
'I suppose I'm not sure how he feels about it, I mean… OH!' Hermione exclaimed as she saw Ron in the doorway, her face turning red quicker than a remembrall.
'Oh… I… erm… sorry…' mumbled Ron.
'No, no,' said Ginny, who was sitting on the bed with Hermione, her eyes sparkling, 'I was just leaving…' and she got up from the bed and swiftly left the room before either of them could protest.
Ron stood awkwardly in the doorway for a few seconds before inwardly pulling himself together and joining her on the bed.
'You ok?' He said softly, trying his best to remember that this was his best friend who he had known for six years rather than the girl he had an all-consuming crush on.
'Yeah,' she said, sounding down but not near tears, 'I know it's for the best, it's just a big adjustment.'
'You'll see them again.' Said Ron encouragingly.
She smiled at him, and he smiled back, putting his arm around her and giving her a squeeze. She leant her head on his shoulder happily, and he was amazed at his own confidence.
'Ron?' she asked after a few moments of comfortable silence.
'What do you want to be… you know… if we get through this?'
Married to you he thought to himself, other than that, he hadn't thought about anything. The rest of his life seemed blocked by the huge obstacle of Lord Voldemort.
'Dunno…' he said, not meeting her gaze, 'How about you.'
'I'd like to go into healing,' she replied, 'or magical research, or become an author – of non-fiction of course… or…' she faded off into thought for a moment, and he realised how much he loved that far off expression that was just completely Hermione, '…I suppose I'm not sure either.'
She turned her face back to him and realised he was staring at her with a slight smile on his face.
'What?' she said, smiling.
'Nothing…' he mumbled, looking at the floor.
He rolled his eyes at his own awkwardness. He would have to get over this someday! He couldn't spend all the time he was around her blushing and not looking at her. That was it. He was going to be completely natural with her.
'I never said, but it's nice to see you Hermione, I missed you over the last few weeks.'
She looked surprised but pleased, and smiled at him, 'I've missed you too,' she replied, and he squeezed her arm again, looking at her affectionately.
'What now?' she said with mock exasperation.
Ron's attempt to be natural failed as he struggled to think of something to say…
You look beautiful – no, no that was far too full on for this stage in the relationship, no matter how true it was.
You smell good – hmm – a little sleazy really…
You have nice eyes – yes, that seemed appropriate – a small, innocent compliment.
'You have nice eyes.' He said, more boldly than he felt.
'I do?' she said, looking at him with a half-smile on her face.
'Yeah, I mean, they're all red and swollen at the moment, but…'
The half-smile fell from her face, 'are they?' she said, looking away from him.
'Well, your whole face goes red and swollen when you cry…'
He cursed himself… he had let his mouth run away with him, and apparently his compliment had been lost amongst his babbling.
'I mean… don't get me wrong…' he tried to recover, 'You look nice even when your face is red and blotchy and your nose runs from crying.'
'You see my nose run?!'
Damn, thought Ron, this is going from bad to worse.
'Only… only sometimes.'
She just looked at him in disbelief, and then looked towards the door as though contemplating leaving.
'Erm… I think I'll see what Ginny is up to…' she said awkwardly.
She got up from the bed and took a step towards the door, but stopped dead in her tracks as she looked at it.
'Ron…' she said apprehensively… 'Are those… extendable ears?'
Ron's stomach felt like it had been filled with lead as he followed her gaze, and there, sure enough, poked through the gap at the bottom of the door were three extendable ears. They undoubtedly belonged to Fred, George and Ginny. He swore loudly ('Ron!' exclaimed Hermione) and stomped his way to the door, pulling the extendable ears with all his might. They twanged into his hand and he closed his eyes in mortification as he heard badly stifled chuckles coming from the landing.