Can someone tell me if the formatting rules have changed for FF? I'm not happy with the re-formatting of this fic, and there's nothing I can do about it!
On a different note, welcome to my first Ron and Hermione fic! :D
There are some pictures that Ron will never throw away.
The first picture is in a family album.
He looked down a the little girl in his arms and smiled at her.
Hermione was lying back in the hospital bed, too tired to do anything except smile.
"She's so small."
That little girl had broken his heart and pieced it back together in the first moment he had set eyes on her.
His little girl. His daughter. A little piece of him and Hermione, proof of their love.
Hermione reached her arms out, wanting to hold the baby.
"What should be call her?"
"She's beautiful. Like you."
Hermione laughed, "We can't call her 'beautiful'."
"Rose, then. Mother Nature's second most beautiful creation."
Ron tucked one of Hermione's unruly curls behind her ear.
"You're the first."
She smiled, a little shy.
"Rose." He said again.
Hermione nodded and cuddled Rose close to her chest, as Ron leant down and kissed her on the forehead.
The second picture is on Hermione's desk in the study.
Rose pushed her hair out of her eyes and pouted.
"No, Rose, you are going to eat that spinach."
Hermione refused to be swayed and pointed at the plate in front of her.
"You only have spinach and mash left, you will eat it."
"But I don't like it!"
Ron came in, holding a year-old Hugo.
"What's this I hear? Are you not eating your vegetables?"
"I don't like spinach, Daddy."
"But spinach will make you strong, so you can become a great Quidditch player!"
He placed Hugo in his high-chair and sat next to his daughter.
"Don't you want to be a great Quidditch player?"
"Yes," Rose made a face, "but I don't like spinach."
Hugo was bouncing up and down, trying to reach the food in front of his sister.
Hermione distractedly pushed his high-chair closer to the table while clearing the plates.
"Alright. How about you eat the spinach and the mashed potatoes together?"
Rose pushed the plate away from her father, who was reaching over to grab the fork.
"You have to eat vegetables, sweetheart. You can't just have sweets all the time. They'll make you sick!"
Hermione smiled. Ron was a natural with the children. She loved watching him with them.
"No." Rose pouted again.
"Rose. Eat the-"
He was interrupted by a blob of mashed potatoes landing on his shirt.
A fit of giggles broke through Rose's pout and Hugo clapped his hands.
"Hugo. Did you throw the mash?"
Hugo just picked up another fistful and threw it at Rose, who cried out indignantly and threw some back.
Ron attempted to be heard as food flew around the room.
"Children! Stop it!"
Rose lobbed spinach at him just as Hugo's mash connected with his cheek.
"Alright, that's it." he said, grabbing the leftover spinach from a plate on the counter, "No one throws food at Ronald Weasley."
The third picture is in a drawer in Ron's desk at work, hidden away from his colleagues, but still there.
"What are we doing again?" Asked Ron, looking slightly horrified at the prospect of wearing this costume in public.
"It's called trick-or-treating, Ron. It's a Muggle tradition on Halloween."
Ron pulled at his shirt, it itched.
"No respect." he mumbled. "It's not very English, all this dressing up."
"No, it's not. Technically, this is a commercial take on the holiday that we got from the United States, but it has roots in ancient pagan-"
"It's alright, I understand. So what are you going to wear, now that you have me all dressed up?"
"Go and keep the children company, it's a surprise!"
20 minutes later, Ron had changed the colour of Rose's fairy wings 4 times, their shape twice, and had added sparkles.
"You do realise that's not what fairies look like?"
"I know, Daddy. But the Muggles picture them this way. Besides, I think it's pretty."
"And what is your brother dressed up as?"
"Da-ad," whined Hugo, "I'm a ghost!"
Ron frowned, "You're a sheet with holes in it, that's what you are. A bedsheet that the moths got at."
"Dad. Muggle interpretation, remember?"
"Mommy's here!" cried Rose, smiling.
And down the stairs came Hermione, wearing a leather catsuit, a collar, a pair black high-heeled boots – and a pair of black cat ears.
She stood on the last step and smiled at them, twirling her tail.
Her smiled widened as she walked up to Ron.
"I thought you might like my costume more if - uhm," she hesitated, glancing down and biting her lower lip as she put her arms around his neck, "...if we could use it again."
The fourth picture is in Ron's wallet, and he carries it everywhere he goes.
It was a quarter of an hour before they had to leave for the train station, for Rose's first year at Hogwarts.
Ron was sitting in the car, thinking. He'd just packed the last of her things into the boot.
This was the first time Rose would be away from them for more than a week. How would she handle it? How would Hugo deal with it?
How would he deal with it?
This was his little girl, his pride and joy, the apple of his eye, she was too young for this, he hadn't been that young when he'd gone to Hogwarts, had he?
And there would be boys! She wouldn't notice them quite yet, but he was not looking forward to that.
He put his elbows on the steering wheel and let his head fall forward into his hands.
The noise startled him into attention.
All right. Time to get the family together.
Hermione was on the back garden steps, eyes screwed up against the morning sun, trying to locate her daughter.
"Rose! Rose, get back here!"
Rose herself was flying, one last time before leaving, not aware of the passing of time.
Hugo was sitting by the kitchen door, hidden from view, cradling a scraped knee.
"I'm here, Hugo. Just let me find your sister and I'll be with you, ok?"
He sniffed, pushing himself back towards the wall, his shoulders slumped against the wood, arms around his knees, head leaning on them so that if Hermione came in she wouldn't see him crying.
That's how Ron found him a couple of minutes later.
"Hey little man. What's wrong?"
Hugo's bottom lip trembled as he mumbled, "Mummy doesn't love me any more."
"That's not true!" said Ron, sitting down next to him, "What makes you think that?"
"She's always with Rose," he wiped a tear from his cheek with the palm of his hand, smearing dirt on it, "always buying her things and worrying about her. She's looking for her now and I..." he trailed off, pointing at his bloody knee.
"Oh, Hugo. You know it's only because Rose is going off to Hogwarts today, don't you? So we have to make sure she's got everything she needs. Your Mother and I love you with all our hearts, both of you."
"But Mummy hasn't even read me a story in a week!"
"Because you told me you wanted me to treat you more like your sister. Remember?"
Hermione was standing in the doorway, looking down at her son.
"I thought you didn't want stories any more."
Hugo looked at her through shining eyes, "I want them."
Hermione melted onto the floor, hugging her son, "Oh, sweetie. I'll read you two stories tonight, ok?"
He nodded, hugging her back.
"I love you. It doesn't matter what you do, I will always love you. You're my little boy."
Ron smiled at her, gave Hugo's shoulder a squeeze and left them to find Rose.
"Do you want me to heal that knee for you?"
Hugo nodded again, wiping away the tear tracks from his face. A whispered spell and his knee was fine.
"How did you scrape it in the first place?"
Hugo sniffed and she handed him a hankie.
"I was running in the forest to check on the nest I found yesterday. I fell down."
"I see. Well, be more careful next time. Did it really hurt?"
"No, not really. I just..."
"Felt a bit bad already, I understand. But just think, now that Rose is going to Hogwarts, you have me and your Dad all to yourself!"
Hugo grinned, "I hadn't thought of that! Do you think Dad will take me to the next Chudley Cannons game?"
Hermione laughed. Life father, like son.
"If you ask nicely he just might. And I'll make chocolate cake for tea. Now, let's go collect your sister before the train leaves without her!"
They walked outside just as Rose came into view.
She loved flying, and was great at it, but her landings still needed a bit of perfecting.
Hugo ran out to greet her, injured knee and tears forgotten, waving his hands about.
Rose dove down, but must have misjudged the distance, because just as she reached the ground, she crashed into Hugo.
"Hey! You did that on purpose!" yelled her brother as he rolled on the grass.
"No, I didn't, I'm sorry!" she shouted back, trying to stand up.
Hugo caught her leg and pulled her back down.
"Sometimes," she said to Ron, "it feels as though they're both still children."
He raised his eyebrows, "That, Hermione, is because they are."
"You know what I mean!" she stuck her tongue out at him, going over to the children, who were still rolling about on the ground, trying to best each other.
"Children, we have to go."
Hugo looked up at her and Rose used this momentary distraction to tickle him.
He wriggled about, shrieking with laughter, "Stop it, stop it, stop it, stop it!"
Rose threw her head back and declared, "Never!"
Hermione was almost there when Hugo gained the upper hand and tickled Rose back.
She pushed him, and they both crashed into their mother, who fell over.
They both stopped immediately to stare at their mother, wide-eyed.
Hermione was lying on her back on the grass, staring at the sky.
"You know Hugo," she started, slowly, " you're never going to win at this if you don't cheat a little."
She pounced onto Rose, tickling her under the arms.
"Mummy! That's not fair!"
She sat back, letting Rose catch her breath, then moved onto Hugo.
"Let's go, people!" shouted Ron. "We have a train to catch!"
The tangle of limbs stood up.
Rose was still flushed from her flight, as well as the tickle-fight, Hugo still had smudges of dirt on his face and was giggling, Hermione's jeans had grass stains on them, her hair was everywhere, but she and Rose had identical grins on their faces and her eyes were shining.
Yes, Ron takes this picture everywhere. Because he is a lion. And this, in every sense of the word, is his pride.