Disclaimer: Not Mine
How-To Books and New Wallpaper
That night, when Ronald came home from work and tripped over the coffee table on his way to the kitchen, he swore it would be the last time. He had stubbed his toes and hit his head on pieces of furniture pushed around and re-arranged for the last time. Sitting on the floor he cast a soft Lumos to examine his knee, satisfied that the bandage was still in place and no fresh blood showed, he pulled down his trouser leg, groaned and stood up holding the small of his back. He was getting to old for this.
"I could fix that knee you know." Hermione stood looking at him from the doorway, only her silhouette showing in the muted light.
"I would prefer you to keep the furniture in the same place until I am home to see what you put in my path." His voice was soft and even, attesting to his anger.
"It looks better there." She crossed her arms and frowned, thinking the table should have been turned the other way.
"It looks the same." He said flatly and then looked at the table, wondering why it mattered where the fool thing sat. "Is this the way you want it."
"I think so, what do you think?"
He pulled out his wand and cast sticking spells to every piece of furniture in the room, and then cast his signature to it so Hermione could not lift it as she had done when he tried to anchor the bedroom furniture.
"Now I like it better." He grinned as he looked at the table that he just beat.
Hermione bit her lip thinking it was prudent to change the subject.
"Your knee, I said I can fix it." She scowled at him. "You could fix it. Ronald, a third year could fix it. Why do you insist on wearing that bandage?"
"Padding," he muttered as he walked by her to the kitchen.
"Umm, Ronald?" she squeaked only a moment before the crash.
She found him sitting on the floor, a small knot forming on his head. "I just painted the inside of the cupboards and left the doors open to dry."
"Do tell." He looked up at her oddly. "Tell me, Hermione, do you still spend time with Neville and his wife?"
"Don't start, Ronald." She put her hands on her hips and glared down at him.
"Do you visit Knockturn Alley looking for the hex of the month? Or has Voldemort published a how- to book posthumously? "
"Ronald, I am warning you."
"With what?" He asked her incredulously. "You've already broken every bit I have. I have nothing left to hex."
Her lip began to tremble as she looked at him. Wiping her eyes with the back of her hand, she sniffed and squatted down next to him.
"Here, let me look at that head." She passed her wand over the red patch and said a soft incantation to reduce the already swollen lump.
"Hermione, I don't mean to be cross. Really I don't. I just can't keep coming home to … to this." He waved his arm around indicating the entire house. "I have been to St. Mungo's three times this month."
"Oh stop complaining." She stood up and looked around the kitchen, seeing the fresh paint and beautiful wallpaper she had hung. "I am almost done. I just want to change a few things."
Ronald pulled himself up using a chair and rotated his head to measure the pain. Deciding it was best not to mention the pain in his neck, as he had in a previous conversation that ended with her slapping his face, he went back to sit down on the sofa.
"Hermione, we need to talk about this." He leaned back as far as he could keeping his neck still and tried not to put too much pressure on his spine.
"You don't look so good." She knelt in front of him and peered at his head. "Are you sure that doesn't hurt?"
"No more then usual dear."
"It doesn't look too bad." She poked at the knot with her finger. "I swear, a little hit on the head and you look sick. I would think you were in pain."
He grabbed her wrist to hold her hand still. "Hermione, please, you need to stop this. I have not asked for much, but I ask for this."
"It's all in a book I am reading."
"A book about what?"
"The.. this.. Well…,"
"A book, a how-to?" He rolled his eyes at the ceiling and hoped it was not another Muggle how- to book. The last one she bought had cost him 124 galleons for her to make 48 galleons worth of homemade cosmetics.
"Ronald, it has a lot you should read." She bit her lip again and looked back at the knot on his head.
"Fine, what is the book about?" He knew until he asked her about her book he would have no peace.
"Well, I am on a chapter about nesting." She looked at him swallowing hard, all colour gone from her face.
"Nesting?" He raised an eyebrow. "Surely you do not plan on raising birds."
"Well, no," she squeaked. "Not birds."
"Nesting." He looked at her oddly.
"Yes, its all about making every thing neat and tidy and getting ready, and I think that is why I am doing this, and I have tried to stop, I mean really I have but…." she said in a rush , then paused and looked at him.
He sat up and looked at her, feeling his lip twitch. He pulled her up and kissed her, tasting her and feeling her sob into his mouth. "Did you think I would be angry?"
"I …" She looked up at him with tears pooling in her eyes. "You never said you wanted children yet."
He tipped up her chin and made her look into his eyes. "I never said I didn't."
"I was so worried that you would be angry. That it was too soon." She sighed and sat back on her heels. "I thought you would think I planned it."
"No, Hermione, not at all." He stood up and headed to the kitchen unable to meet her eyes.
"Ronald?' She got up to follow him. "I can fix you a sandwich if you would like."
"I would like that, yes." He sat at the table and noticed the wallpaper for the first time, suddenly very interested in it. Frowning and leaning forward he thought it the ugliest paper he had ever seen. Standing up he looked around the kitchen and in the cupboards, running his finger over the paint and finding it dry.
"You know I didn't plan this. I had it all planned out how to tell you though. I thought I knew exactly how you would act. I must say you surprise me. The doctor even said the birth control I was on was highly effective and she was quite surprised…" Hermione quit buttering his bread, lifted her head and stared at the wall in front of her. "Umm, Ronald?"
"Yes dear?" He busied himself closing the cupboard doors and examining the hinges.
"Is there… something you want to tell me?"
"Want to?" He swallowed hard. "No, nothing I can think of."
"I didn't think so." She slapped the two pieces of bread together, walked across the kitchen and held it out to him. "Eat. Call it dinner."
"Thank you dear." He looked down at her smugly and took a big bite from his bread sandwich tilting his head as if studying the flavour. "You make a very nice sandwich."
"Bastard," she hissed. "You did this to me."
"Why, Hermione, I am shocked. Of course I did this to you, I can almost pinpoint the exact time and position."
"That is strange. I haven't told you how far along I am."
The bread stuck in his throat as he saw her eyes narrow and her fists clench.
"Now, Hermione, we need to talk about this."
"Indeed," she intoned. "I would think you will be quite happy to talk to yourself from the confines of the sofa."
She lifted her wand and called a blanket. Shoving it at him, she pointed to the sofa, and then turning on her heel, she left him alone. He watched her walk down the hall and wondered how long before she rolled with each step to the ancient song pregnant witches seem to hear. He smiled in the dark and did not even swear too loud when he struck his shin on the coffee table, and heard her snigger.
Ok, so I am completely new at this pairing. I have never done a RW/HG. Would be nice to let me know what you think.