A/N: I have received quite a few nasty reviews (which I have since deleted) for this story. This is rated 'M' for a reason. This says Hermione/Lucius in the description … therefore, it stands to reason that if you hate the pairing DO NOT READ THIS STORY. Reading it and then blasting me for my 'disgusting taste' is your narrow-mindedness, not mine. Fan Fiction is exactly that … fiction written by fans … it doesn't HAVE to follow canon, and creative license is allowed, and even encouraged.
If you want to critique my writing, my plot, or even my spelling and grammar … feel free, but if you send reviews just to air your own biased views, then please don't bother. FYI: Sending me a review filled with profanity, telling me how 'vulgar and disgusting' I am is more than a bit hypocritical, don't you think?
Disclaimer: I don't own anything, it all belongs to JKR.
The doors were slamming all along the scarlet train and the blurred outlines of parents were swarming forward for final kisses, last-minute reminders.
Albus jumped into the carriage and Ginny closed the door behind him. Students were hanging from the window nearest them. A great number of faces, both on the train and off, seemed to be turned toward Harry.
"Why are they all staring?" Demanded Albus as he and Rose craned around to look at the other students.
"Don't let it worry you," said Ron."It's me. I'm extremely famous."
Albus, Rose and Hugo laughed. The train began to move, and Harry walked alongside it, watching his son's thin face, already ablaze with excitement. Harry kept smiling and waving, even though it was like a little bereavement, watching his son glide away from him.
The last trace of steam evaporated in the autumn air. The train rounded a corner. Harry's hand was still raised in farewell.
"He'll be all right," murmured Ginny.
As Harry looked at her, he lowered his hand absentmindedly and touched the lightening scar on his forehead.
"I know he will."
The scar had not pained Harry for nineteen years. All was well.
All was well. Harry thought, as he turned around to face Ginny, Ron and Hermione, and sighed.
Well, with the kids at least.
Hermione took one last look at the spot where the train had departed and felt a wave of sadness wash over her. Hugo was her baby, and now he too was off to Hogwarts. Things would be very quiet in the house with both kids gone.
She turned back to face Harry, Ron, and Ginny, who were awkwardly waiting for her to rejoin them. Hermione could see the resentful look on Ron's face even though he tried to cover it with a polite smile for his sister's sake, and the slightly strained look on Harry's face told her, yet again, what had not been said. Ginny just looked slightly exasperated and ready to leave as she tried to pacify a softly crying Lily.
Just as Hermione reached the group, as if by silent agreement they all turned to follow the last straggling parents through the barrier back into Kings Cross Station. Once there, Ron gave Lily a quick hug before teasingly ruffling her long red hair, pecked Ginny on the cheek, and headed for the exit without another word, knowing Hermione would have to jog to keep up with his much longer legs.
I hate when he gets like this! She thought angrily.
Hermione sighed inwardly, knowing the drive home would be a rehash of the same old song, and frankly, she was getting very tired of it. Hermione turned to hug Harry and whispered in his ear, "Sorry luv, you know how he is. Call me when you want to do lunch again, okay?"
Hermione and Harry still got together at least once a week, but it was usually without their respective spouses; that particular torture was reserved for birthdays and holidays.
Harry returned her hug and kissed her cheek, but let her go when he saw the irritated look on his wife's face.
Hermione crouched down to talk to Lily, who was holding Ginny's hand and still sniffling over her brothers' departure. She pulled her into a small hug. "Don't worry sweets, now you will have mummy all to yourself, and you two can have lots of fun together," she promised, playfully pinching Lily's chin, satisfied she had finally coaxed a smile from her niece.
She gave Ginny a half-hearted wave and murmured, "See you later," before heading out to the car. Things hadn't been comfortable between she and Ginny for years now, but they kept up the pretense in front of the family.
Hermione sighed and walked faster, knowing that the longer Ron had to wait for her, the angrier he would be.
Merlin, she was tired of his moods.
As she approached the car, she noticed Ron in the passenger seat, and sighed. Hermione knew that even though he had his license now, he didn't feel comfortable enough to drive through London traffic at lunchtime. Taking a deep calming breath, Hermione got in the car and adjusted the mirror.
"Did you see that?" Ran spat bitterly, almost as soon as she had buckled her seat belt.
"Nineteen bloody years. You'd think people would stop staring by now," Ron added bitterly. "Bet he loved all the attention though."
Ron had never quite gotten over his jealousy of Harry, and wasted no opportunity to complain.
"Well Ron," she muttered sarcastically, as she tried to merge into traffic, "he has a whole new generation to impress now, doesn't he?"
Ron ignored Hermione's comment and continued with his own bitter diatribe.
"Surprised he wasn't wearing his medal around for everyone to gawk at as well," he spat. Yet one more thing Ron resented Harry for; Harry had received an Order of Merlin, First Class, and Hermione and Ron had each only received an Order of Merlin, Second Class.
"Yes Ron, he had it tattooed on his arse especially, but Ginny didn't want him running around the station starkers, so he didn't get to show it off after all," Hermione knew some of her anger was bleeding through, but couldn't bring herself to care at the moment.
Ron pointedly ignored her … again.
"I still say we deserved one too. We were there with him the whole time and he couldn't have done it without us. But does anyone care about that? No!"
Ron always conveniently forgot the times he had abandoned Harry.
"Yes Ron, I know," she sighed in frustration, "you were always very supportive of Harry, never deserted him once," Hermione added sharply, getting extremely tired of his very selective memory where Harry was concerned, "And you were absolutely amazing in the final duel against Voldemort. I don't know how Harry did it without you."
Hermione focused her attention back to the increasingly congested traffic, missing the glare her husband threw at her.
"Oh, here we go," Ron growled resentfully, "take his side, like always."
"Ron, just drop it, okay? I'm really not in the mood for this. Traffic is heavy and I have to be back in court this afternoon," Hermione snapped when she noticed Ron's stubborn look.
"Yeah, sure. Anything for the brilliant Hermione Granger. Merlin knows I wouldn't want to stand in the way of your career," Ron spat bitterly.
Hermione bit her tongue to keep from saying something she would regret; not only did Ron resent how quickly she had moved up the ranks to one of the top jobs in Magical Law Enforcement, but now that Harry was Head of the Auror Office, and Ron worked under him, he was very sensitive whenever the subject of careers was mentioned, despite the fact that he was the one that usually brought it up in the first place.
Harry and Ron had become Aurors together right after the war ended, and worked their way up through the ranks quickly, modernizing the Auror Corps, and revolutionizing many of the procedures and training. Ron's growing bitterness at Harry had finally peaked, however, five years ago, when Harry was promoted to the Head Auror job over Ron, and things had been going down hill ever since.
Soon after that, he started to subtly insinuate that Hermione was also to blame for his lack of career progression; as if her success somehow diminished his own.
For the past few years, Ron's attitude at work had become increasingly belligerent, and just last week Ron received a written warning in his personnel file for making snide comments and false allegations against Harry. It probably would have been handled privately, except that he had spouted off in front of the current Minister.
If Ron allowed his jealousy to eat at him much longer, he would be out of a job … which he was sure to blame on her and Harry as well.
Hermione had tried to be supportive of Ron, but frankly, she had enough on her plate as it was, and constantly rehashing the woes of the heretofore unrecognized heroics of the Great and All Powerful Ronald Weasley wasn't high on her list of priorities.
Once again, however, it fell to her to try and make peace.
"Look Ron, how about we go away for the weekend somewhere," she suggested, trying to appease her angry husband, who at the moment closely resembled Hugo in a snit. "We haven't done anything together in over five years, and I can't remember the last time we were intimate. The kids are gone. Let's go somewhere romantic and …" Hermione trailed off at the look of disgust and incredulity he was giving her.
"Mione, you are the one who always has to work," Ron spat, "Remember when I wanted us to go to the World Cup last year? You couldn't be bothered. And now you want us to go away somewhere?"
Hermione struggled to reign in her anger before responding. Ron also conveniently forgot that she had, in fact, gone for the first two days, but a break in an ongoing case had forced her to return early. Never expecting the match to last so long, she missed the remaining six days.
Ron had yet to let her forget she had ruined the family vacation … because everyone knew the world revolved around Quidditch!
Counting to ten in her head, Hermione answered slowly, thankful that her voice didn't reflect her inner struggle. "Even so Ron, how about we do something together this weekend?"
When he continued to stare out the window without answering, Hermione added more seriously. "Ron, we have to do something, we can't continue on like this."
Ron gave her a sharp look before returning his gaze to the passing scenery, mumbling incoherently, and Hermione knew she was wasting her breath trying to reason with a Weasley when they were in a snit.
They soon arrived home and Hermione fixed a quick lunch before apparating back to work; thankful for any excuse to escape the tension and her husband, Sir Petulant the Moody.
Oh yes, life was just lovely nineteen years later!