Disclaimer: I don't own anything to do with Harry Potter.
Daddy's Little Girl
Ron lay awake next to his wife. He listened to her steady breathing and frowned. He could not understand how she could possibly sleep on a night like tonight. The next morning his little girl would be boarding the train to Hogwarts and he wouldn't see her again until Christmas. The thought made him sick. He had already tried about ten times that evening to convince Hermione that Rose was not ready. She had insisted it was time for Rose to get a magical education, like they had experienced. Ron had insisted that Hermione was smarter than all the teachers at Hogwarts and could teach their daughter better than the school ever could.
"Ron, this is important for her. She needs to have the experiences we did," Hermione had argued.
"Hermione we almost died every year we were there. Do you really want our daughter subjected to that?"
"Voldemort was defeated."
"Yeah well, there is a force worse than Voldemort at Hogwarts. Do you know what that is?" When Hermione looked at him blankly, he answered for her. "HORMONES."
"Ron don't be ridiculous," Hermione muttered.
"Guys are going to be attracted her."
"Yes dear, that is part of growing up."
"Not my little girl."
Hermione glared at him. "You're going to make her more nervous than she already is."
"Maybe it's a sign she shouldn't go."
Hermione burst out laughing. "You read signs? You couldn't read a sign if it kicked you in the arse."
"Very funny," Ron growled. "She is scared and we won't be there to watch her."
"Neville is there."
"Oh yeah, he did such a great job watching his toad."
"He was eleven. As I recall you could barely keep an eye on your rat."
"Yeah, because of your bloody cat."
"Crookshanks never did anything to Scabbers."
"Hermione, that is not the point. I am never going to be able to sleep at night knowing she isn't safe."
"Hogwarts is the safest school that ever existed. Do you know how many charms there are protecting that school?"
"Oh great, more useless 'Hogwarts a History' knowledge…"
Hermione grimaced. "Do you know how many times that book saved us?"
"With all its magical powers? How could I not be thankful?"
"Look Rose is getting on that train tomorrow and you are to do nothing that is going to make her not want to. She needs to do this for herself and you need to let her."
Ron's shoulders drooped as he dropped his head in defeat. "Fine," he muttered before turning and leaving the room to check on his daughter.
Ron now lay in his bed with a scowl on his face. He finally stood up and went into the closet. He pulled out a photo album of Rose when she was a baby. The first picture was of Hermione holding their daughter in the hospital. She had been so tiny and he had sworn to never let her out of his sight. He looked through picture after picture and when Hermione threw on the light she caught the tears that were pouring down his face.
"Ron for God sakes, she's not leaving forever."
"She may as well be. By the time she comes home at Christmas she will barely remember me."
"Yeah those mind wiping charms they use at Hogwarts are so amazing," she muttered dryly. "She is eleven. She knows you and now she needs to get to know herself and what she is capable of."
"Why can't she do that here?"
"Because she can't. This is a very important rite of passage for her. Please don't spoil it."
"What if I just rent a flat in Hogsmeade and during the week I can stay there?"
"You are worse than your mother," she teased. Ron looked horrified that she would say such a thing.
"I resent that. She is my little girl."
"She always will be. She loves you. Please let her have this."
"Why do you always have to be right?" he questioned.
"Isn't that why you married me?"
"No I married you because I love everything about you. You are my hero."
"And you're mine. Now please come to bed."
"Do you think we could pay Neville a visit next week?" he asked, as he walked over to his wife and sat next to her on their bed.
"We'll see. Let's give Rose some time to get used to her new home."
"Please don't call Hogwarts her home?"
"All right, fine. Once she gets used to Hogwarts we'll pay Neville a visit."
"Do you think we could look into having Malfoy's kid transferred?"
Hermione shot him a dirty look. "No, you are to teach your daughter tolerance."
"Tolerance of a useless…"
"Do not finish that sentence. Little Scorpius is not his father."
"Oh and how do you know his name?"
"His wife works with me at the ministry."
"Since when?" he demanded.
"I didn't tell you because I knew you would act this way."
"Act what way?" he said defensively.
"Ron can we please get some sleep?"
"I can't sleep."
"Do you want a potion?"
"I think I'm just going to go and get myself a glass of water," Ron said before going to check on his daughter for the eighth time that night.
When he came back to their room he found Hermione fast asleep. He pulled the covers up over her shoulders and pressed a kiss to her hair. Then he brought another photo album into their bed. Suddenly he had an idea and he Disapparated from their room.
He arrived on the front step of shell cottage and knocked on the door. After several minutes lights flew on and Bill answered the door in his bathrobe. "Is something wrong?" Bill exclaimed.
"Rose starts Hogwarts in the morning. I don't know how to handle it."
Bill breathed a sigh of relief. "Well it isn't easy. When Victoire left I threatened to Apparate to Hogsmeade every day. Fleur kept reminding me she was safe and I needed to let her do it on her own."
"That's what Hermione keeps saying."
"They don't understand what its like for us to lose our little girls."
"I know. I don't want boys looking at her. Dating is out of the question."
"Well I don't think you have to worry about that for a couple of years."
"I know, but I don't even like the threat. Besides what if something terrible happens?"
"I thought that too. It gets easier, I promise. At least you don't have to worry about who your daughter is dating."
"Is Victoire dating someone?"
"Beats me. She won't talk to me about it and Fleur won't budge on the information."
"Great in no time Rose won't trust me with anything and Hermione will keep all of her secrets."
"That's the way women work."
Ron frowned. "Why do they have to grow up so fast?"
"I know. It feels like yesterday they were born and now we're going to have to sit back as the women plan their weddings."
"We don't get to do anything," Ron groaned. "I bet Rose won't even let me get a say on the guy she marries."
"I know. I can't even find out who my daughter is dating. When she gets engaged I bet I'll be the last to know."
"Me too. I'll be lucky if I'm invited to the wedding."
"Fleur threatened me with the body bind curse."
"Hermione too," Ron exclaimed. "Its like they don't get us at all."
"Well little brother I would love to spend the night with you but in the morning I have to carry Victoire's trunk and bird cage to the trolley and that girl owns a lot of shoes."
Ron laughed. "Rose has Hermione for a mother. You can just imagine the books Hermione packed for her."
Bill let out a laugh before bidding his brother good night. Though Bill had had no real advice for his brother, Ron felt a little better knowing Bill understood how he felt and had survived.
When Ron arrived back at his house he was met with an angry Hermione. "Where were you?" she demanded.
"Bill's," he admitted.
"You didn't think to leave a note?"
"I didn't expect to be gone long."
"Ron I was worried sick."
"I'm sorry 'Mione. I just needed someone to assure me I could survive saying goodbye to my little girl."
Hermione's face softened and she removed her hands from her hips. "Its hard for me too, you know?"
"It doesn't seem like it," he muttered.
"I do it for her. I don't want to add to Rose's anxiety about leaving tomorrow. Of course I'm scared for her. I remember our first year. I want her to feel okay about it though. It will get easier for all of us."
"We could move to Hogsmeade," Ron suggested.
"We're not moving to Hogsmeade," Hermione said with a laugh. Hermione reached her hand out and squeezed her husband's hand. "Please come to bed now."
"All right," he agreed. He followed his wife up to their bedroom and she curled up in his arms.
"I love you," he whispered.
"I love you too," she said gently, as she pressed a kiss to his hand that was still holding hers. "Everything is going to be fine," she promised.
"I know. I just can't help but worry."
He felt Hermione smile against his chest. "We'll all be okay."