Standard disclaimers apply!
I do not own Harry Potter. I have nothing to do with Scholastic, Warner Bros or Bloomsbury. I'm not JKR and I am certainly not making any profit out of this.
A Fairly Decent Saturday
"This is ludicrous!" Hermione Granger hissed over her breakfast eggs as she read and re-read the thick parchment in her hands and then slapped it down on the table.
"You got one too?" Ron said casually as he walked into the kitchen, fingering his own copy of the thick parchment. "Percy and Kingsley warned us this might happen."
"Yes, I know, but," Hermione huffed impatiently, "but I didn't REALLY believe it. Did you?"
Ron shrugged and sat opposite her, not answering until he piled his own plate high with bacon, eggs, sausages and several pieces of thick toast. "Yeah, I did. You know who the head of the Wizengamot is." He buttered a slice of toast, waited for it to melt, buttered it again and then bit into it noisily. "Are you really surprised?"
Tapping her folk lightly on the side of her plate, Hermione pursed her lips and frowned heavily. "Frankly, I'm having a great deal of trouble even believing that. Why can't Kingsley do something?"
Ron smiled at her expression. Bloody hell, even when she's about to blow her top she's beautiful. "You know he can't do anything about it until he's made permanent minister," he tried to sound reasonable, "and Percy said that he's having a few problems with the more ... traditional ... members of the ministry, in that regard."
"What does that mean?" Hermione tilted her head to one side.
"Oh, that's right, you missed that part of the conversation," Ron loaded a fresh piece of toast with scrambled egg and bacon, "well, he's a half-blood, isn't he? His mum's muggleborn." He shoved his sandwich in his mouth and moaned with appreciation. "Where is everyone, anyway?"
Hermione was temporarily diverted from the tirade she was about to launch into. "Molly's in the garden and Arthur's in his shed. Percy's in his room finished a report due on Monday, so he can enjoy the rest of his weekend. Bill and Fleur just floo-ed to Diagon Alley and everyone else is down in the orchard playing Quiddich. We're here, eating our breakfast ... well ... "she raised her brows at him, "I'm eating my breakfast and you're hoovering it down like you've not eaten in a week."
"Hoovering?" Ron shot her a curious look over his sausage.
"Vacuuming." Hermione clarified with a smile.
He looked none-the-wiser as he speared his second sausage.
"A Hoover is the brand-name of a popular vacuum cleaner, which is a machine with a bag in it. It has a hose attached and muggles use them to clean dust, dirt and such from rugs and carpets."
"Ohh." Ron grinned and shoved more bacon in his mouth, chewed it quickly and swallowed. "Got it. Dad has one in the shed," he chuckled nostalgically, "he bewitched it and then tried to use it ..."
"Oh dear ..." Hermione giggled into her mug of tea.
"Exactly," Ron nodded, "Mum was not happy – dust and smoke all over the place ... he was cleaning it up for weeks."
"Weeks?" Hermione's brows knit together.
"Mum said that because he liked muggle ways so well, he could clean up the mess the muggle way too." Ron scraped the remains of his eggs onto his last piece of toast and polished it off in short order. "Are you going to finish that?"
"Yes!" Hermione snorted rudely. Where does he put it all? "Keep your hands to yourself. Just because some of us like to digest our food ... or even chew it, for that matter."
Ron pulled a face at her and poured fresh tea for them both. "What are we doing today?" he asked expectantly, a slight smile flitting over his face.
"We should prepare for this," Hermione motioned to their letters with a scowl.
"What's to prepare?" Ron asked bluntly. "We didn't do anything wrong. We'll just tell the truth ..." Uh oh, back off Weasley. Not the way to approach this. "I mean, I'm sure there are precedents and all that, we'll look them up."
Nice save, Ronald. Hermione smirked at him.
"I'm learning," he said with short laugh, correctly reading her face. "But! I'm not about to waste all weekend on it ..." he took his breakfast dishes to the sink, "I want to spend it in the sun, with you."
"Well, if you put it like that." She joined him at the sink and they watched the dishes wash themselves. "It IS a really nice day."
"Exactly." Ron took her by the shoulders and steered her toward the back door. "So what are we doing today?"
"Going for a walk to the village," Hermione decided after some thought, "then we'll come back for lunch, spend some time with Harry and Ginny, because we've hardly seen them this week ... and after dinner you can obliterate someone in a chess game while I go through some books."
Ron sighed happily as they walked into the garden. Squinting in the bright sun, they found his mother in the vegetable garden, who waved them away with a smile and a warning not to be late for lunch at one.
"I haven't been this way for a long time," Hermione whispered, slightly wide-eyed, "it's really quite beautiful, with all the tree's and hedgerow."
"Haven't you?" Ron frowned thoughtfully as they paused just outside the gate and looked down the narrow, shaded, country lane. "I suppose not – you've always floo-ed in, and we've driven when we had to go back to school." He reached over and took her hand. "Such a little hand you've got there," he grinned, holding hers and his up and studying them before leaning down and brushing his lips over hers briefly, "come on then, I'll show you all the sights you didn't get to see in fourth year."
Hermione blushed and couldn't suppress a pleased smile, allowing him to steer her away from The Burrow.
They ambled along in comfortable silence for several minutes, just listening to birdsong and enjoying the slight breeze ruffling their hair.
"Through those trees," Ron murmured, nodding to their left "is the river. Do you want to see?" At her nod, he led her to a small path – so small it could hardly be considered a path at all – and into the trees.
After several minutes of walking they came across a small clearing. "Can we sit for a while?" Hermione breathed deeply, marvelling at the heady aroma of wild flowers.
"Wait, not yet!" Ron laughed, pulling her along behind him, "we can come back here later on, if you like," and they plunged into still more tree's.
"OK then," Hermione laughed too, slightly breathless at the pace he set with his long strides.
The tree's cleared again and they came to a wider path, which ran along the higher bank of the river.
"This goes all the way to the village," he told her, nodding to his right, "there's a bench a little way along."
"Are you going to run to that too?" Hermione asked with a straight face.
She grinned at his confused expression. "Nothing, don't worry about it."
"Oh," he caught on, "walking too fast for you? Sorry."
"No problem," she gazed around and sighed in content as they wandered, slowly, toward the small village. Rounding a gentle corner, they came upon a bench. "It's really lovely here ... peaceful," she murmured as they sat close in the dappled light and listened to the river dancing.
"I like it, yeah ... a little bit more walking and we'll see the village church and graveyard. We go through there, and it takes us to the common."
She could feel him looking at her, his eyes on her profile. She could feel him breathing, close as they were – and his arms draped around her shoulders as if it was the most natural thing in the world ... which it was. She leaned in closer and his fingers gently squeezed her shoulder and caressed the bare skin just by her neck ... she shivered slightly.
"Cold?" He tightened his hold on her.
"No." She shivered again when he skimmed the back of her neck with his knuckles.
"Ticklish?" His mouth right by her ear.
"No," she whispered, resting her hand on his thigh. "We're alone," she turned her head and gazed directly into his eyes, "really, truly alone."
"For the first time in weeks," he agreed, bringing his free hand up to cup her cheek.
Their lips moulded together and Hermione felt lightheaded as their tongues touched tentatively. For weeks now they'd been sharing kisses and holding each other, but they had never been utterly alone – The Burrow was full to bursting and neither of them had felt completely comfortable with the idea of being caught in an abandoned, passionate embrace.
But now ... now they could.
Ron had obviously been thinking along the same lines. He deepened their kiss, a moan escaping the back of his throat ... she whimpered in reply, and he pulled her into his lap.
They pulled apart for air, both laughing breathlessly.
"Did I ever tell you, Hermione," he ran light fingers along her collar bone while his other hand held her by the waist, "that you're beautiful?"
"You might have mentioned it," she blushed, arms around his neck.
"Kiss me again," he murmured, running his lips over her jaw.
She complied willingly, sucking his bottom lip into her mouth, making him moan again, pressing against him and sliding her hands down to his upper arms.
"You're not so bad yourself," she mumbled into the corner of his mouth and then kissed a trail to his ear, grazing her teeth over the tender skin below.
"Merlin, Hermione," it was his turn to whimper, "you need to stop ... I'm enjoying this far too much."
"Do you really want me too?" she smiled against his skin.
"No ... hell no." His fingers slid under her t-shirt and he stroked the sensitive flesh from waist to hip, letting his eyes drift shut as she renewed her assault on his neck. "It's just ... you do things to me, Hermione ... Merlin!" He growled suddenly and sunk one of his hands into her hair, tracing his lips where his fingers had just been, along her collar bone. "Just a normal day at home, eating breakfast or whatever, you do things to me ... I've wanted you for so long ... to be able to do THIS ... and it does things to me."
"It does things to me, too."
"What kind of things, hm?" He nudged her cheek with his nose and dropped a kiss on her jaw. "Blood boiling, heart thumping, weak at the knees, can't breathe things?"
"Oh yes ... exactly those kind of things."
He groaned at her words and crashed his lips onto hers, his tongue demanding entrance into her mouth – which was readily given and turned into a sensuous kind of duel, leaving them gasping for breath when they pulled apart again.
"Nice to know," Ron murmured as their foreheads touched, "but I recon my ... ah ... reaction to the things is a bit more visible than yours ... and this probably isn't the place for it."
Who would have thought RON would be the sensible one? "Maybe not," Hermione giggled, "we can finish this later ... I really would like to see the village."
"Good idea," they kissed again, quickly, and both stood. "Come on then," he flung his arm around her, "I'll show you my village – we should have enough time to visit the high street and drop into the tea rooms."
Hermione laughed at that and slid her arm around his hips, tucking her hand securely into his back pocket. "Always thinking about your stomach," she reprimanded in a prim tone.
"Not always," he shot her a heated look, "you'd be surprised as some of what I think about."
"I highly doubt it."
"It's just like a little country village out of a book," Hermione remarked as they looking in the high street shop fronts.
Ron shot her an amused look. "Well, it is a little country village. There's a second hand book shop you'll probably like, just down the way a bit."
"Do you think we'll have time to look?" she asked, the hopeful tone of her voice causing him to laugh out loud.
"Of course. Do you think I would have told you about it, if we didn't have time to go in? It's only 10. As long as we head back at 12.30, we'll be fine ... and at worse, we can walk a little way along the river and then apparate home."
"You don't have to carry that for me, you know." Hermione tried to tug the string bag, bulging with used books, from Ron's grasp. "I bought them, I should carry them."
"Don't be silly," he chuckled, "you'll break your arm trying to lift all this." He staggered in an exaggerated manner, earning a light slap on the chest. "Anyway, it's all part of the plan."
"You got your books, now I get my cream tea," he stated, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.
"But you ate not two and half hours ago," Hermione laughed, following him into the tea rooms. "How do you fit it all in?"
"With great skill and determination," he told her loftily, choosing a table for two by the widow, "it's an art, I tell you."
A waitress approached and Ron ordered his cream tea, while Hermione wanted only a cup of tea; and they waited in silence for their order to arrive, watching the world wander by at a leisurely Saturday-morning pace.
"Oh yeah. Real clotted cream."
The corners of Hermione's mouth turned up as she watched Ron slather his scone with a good half-inch thickness of the stuff, his expression something akin to ecstasy, and then drop an over-generous blob of jam over the top.
"Try a bit. The jam's not as good as Mum's, but it's still really good." He held the scone directly in front of her mouth. "Come on, just a nibble."
"It does look good," she admitted and took a delicate bite.
"Good, isn't it?" Ron shoved the rest of the scone in his mouth in one go.
"Really good ... you've got some ..." she indicated his upper lip and watched in fascination as his tongue darted out to lick off a stray piece of jam.
"What?" he laughed, watching her expression.
She leaned forward, her voice low. "Have I ever told you how beautiful you are?"
He flushed mightily, from the base of his neck to the tips of his ears. "Might have mentioned it," he mumbled, and busied himself with preparing another scone.
She stilled his busy hands with both of hers. "You are, you know."
He muttered something incoherent and turned his hands around so their palms met and she felt herself blushing at the intensity of his gaze.
She pulled one of her hands away, took up his prepared scone and held it out to him, nudging his lips with it. His flush receding; he bit half of it away and chewed on it slowly, enjoying the sight of her consuming the other half.
"Next time," he grinned, "we'll get you your own, shall we?"
Next time. She caught his eye and nodded slightly. "How did you happen to have muggle money anyway?"
"Oh," he shrugged nonchalantly, "I asked Dad to change me some on Thursday."
"Planning ahead, were you?" she was unreasonably thrilled.
"Might have been," he shrugged again, looking shy, and then leaned across the table to kiss her. "We should go."
"Hermione," Ron tugged her hand gently and pulled her to a stop. The gate of The Burrow was just around the corner. "There's a – a farmers market, at the village, on Sundays ... would you like to go?"
"I'd ... that would be lovely."
"So, where did you lot get to this morning?" Harry asked over lunch.
"Village," Ron mumbled around a mouthful of cottage pie, "Hermione's never really seen it ... accept for when we went through at dawn to get to Stoats Head Hill, for the Quiddich that time." Ron nodded to his sister, "you should take Harry."
"The tea rooms are nice," Hermione added, a funny little smile on her face.
Ron caught her eye and squeezed her knee under the table. "Really good scones."
George, on Ron's other side, couldn't help laughing. "Ronnikins has issues with clotted cream," he nudged his younger brother.
Ron pretended to be put out. "I was going to suggest a day at the farmers market, tomorrow," he said, glancing at Hermione quickly and continuing on when she nodded briefly, "but if you're going to be like that."
"Pay no attention to him," Charlie cut in from across the table. "It would be fun, wouldn't it, Bill?"
"Hm?" Bill looked up at the table, having clearly paid no attention to the conversation around him.
"The farmers market, Bill," Percy told him. "They're talking about going – you should bring Fleur. You haven't seen much of the village, have you?" Percy addressed his sister-in-law with a smile.
"Well, I think it's a lovely idea," Molly said happily, "don't you think so, Arthur?"
"Very good, yes!" Arthur looked excited at the idea of spending the day among muggles.
"They have a flea market, too," Ginny's lips twitched at the warning look her mother shot her. "Who knows what we might find."
"I'm sorry about that," Ron whispered to Hermione later that afternoon as they sat in the front room.
"Sorry about what?" she looked up from her book, slightly confused.
"I meant for us to go on our own, tomorrow, but then I had ... I don't know ... an attack of guilt, maybe?"
"That's perfectly alright, Ron," Hermione cuddled into his side, resting the book on his knees, "it will be fun, and it might do George some good to get out of the house."
"That's what I was thinking ... speak of the devil!" Ron laughed as George walked in with Harry and Ginny.
"Talking about me, are you?" George flopped down on Ron's other side.
"About, not too," Hermione winked at him playfully.
"I'm crushed," George held his hand to his heart mockingly.
"Up yours," Ron snorted, punching George in the arm lightly. "You know you love it."
"Might do," George grinned. "So, what are we reading?"
"Wizarding Laws from 1850 onward," Hermione announced, scowling slightly, "in preparation for Monday."
"Monday?" Harry and Ginny asked in unison, while George raised his brows.
"We've been called into the Wizengamot," Ron kept his tone light.
"What on earth for?" Ginny gasped.
"It seems we're in trouble for not going to school last year," Hermione explained, her jaw clenched.
"You're taking it well" Harry eyed both Ron and Hermione in surprise.
"Not really, mate," Ron chortled, "but we knew it was coming – between you, Percy and Kingsley, how could we not?"
"But it's insane!" Ginny snapped, mirroring George's scowl, "we've been in and out of the Ministry all month and they've done nothing but kiss our arses – I missed the last term of school and no one's said anything about it."
"And caused a lot of trouble while you were there," Harry smiled fondly, taking her hand.
"It was the least I could do," Ginny muttered.
"Hm." Harry kissed her lingeringly while Ron and George looked pointedly in the other direction.
"Grow up, you two," Hermione scolded the Weasley brothers and poked them both in the side.
"So what are you going to do?" George asked, still not looking at Harry and Ginny.
"I don't think there's much we can do," Hermione admitted, "but it's not going to hurt to look for precedents."
The house was quiet, everyone either asleep or on the way there. Still Hermione read on. By this time she'd accepted the fact that her books weren't going to help a great deal ... but she kept on reading as much to have a reason not to go up yet, as to find anything helpful.
Ron was fast asleep, snoring lightly, his arm still draped loosely around her.
She was tempted to wake him, so they could spend some more time in each other's company – without interruption. Then she felt a stab of guilt. Ron's family needed him just as much as she did – and they had opened their arms to her at her lowest moment ... especially George, who was still hurting so badly from the loss of his twin.
No. It would be completely churlish to resent the amount of privacy they'd not managed to have over the last month or so.
Ron also needed sleep. She could see the strain around his mouth and eyes – yet he always presented a strong, steady face to the world ... far bit it for HER in increase his stress by complaining, making him feel he wasn't doing enough.
This would have to do.
She shut her book and nestled into his side – no doubt she'd wake with a crick in her neck, but it would be worth it.
"Hermione?" Ron whispered, squeezing her shoulder gently.
She burrowed further into him, but didn't wake.
Ah well. He raised his head and looked out of the window. The outside world was bathed in a strange, other-worldly pre-dawn light. He squinted at the family clock, but couldn't make it out.
He supposed it didn't really matter. His mother would be up in an hour or so – or his father – and then the entire house would wake as the smell of a cooked breakfast filled the rooms.
He had to piss in the worst way, though, among other things, and she didn't even flinch when he eased out from around her – thank Merlin, because he really wanted to return to his spot.
The piss was taken care of in short order – although he'd had to bend certain parts of himself in such a way that his eyes crossed with discomfort.
This is so not going away on its own, he though sourly to himself, and I can't spend all morning sporting wood. He hissed as he wrapped his hand around his erection and started work on it – biting the knuckles of his other hand to keep quiet. All it took was thinking about the beautiful woman waiting for him downstairs, thoughts of the quiet moments spend by the river the previous day ... he was tempted to drag it out longer, indulge in his favourite fantasy ... but he wanted to get back to her. He wanted to go back to sleep with her snuggled against him. With a final twist of his wrist, and a low grunt, he was done – then cleaning himself up and tiptoeing downstairs as quickly and quietly as possible.
She hadn't even moved, so he slid back into his spot and dropped his arms around her again – taking a moment to pull a knitted blanket from the back of the settee onto their knees ... making sure all hands were well in view, so as not to give his mother too much reason to complain.
At 6.50am light snoring could be heard. Nothing unusual about that, in a house full of men – sometimes Molly wondered how The Burrow withstood the vibrations.
This particular light snoring was easily identified as her youngest son – and was definitely coming from the wrong direction.
Molly peeked into the front room and studied the pair on the settee carefully. It certainly didn't look like any funny business had been going on – they'd simply fallen asleep where they had sat ... doubtless Ron had drifted off first and Hermione had finally succumbed some time later.
She felt a pang of sympathy for the young couple. It was a very strange courtship they were having. They should have been sneaking off at every available opportunity, but they stayed close to home. She'd been so happy when they'd taken a walk on their own, yesterday morning ... granted, she didn't want to think too hard about what they might have got up too – but they were both of age, and had lived through more than most people did in four lifetimes ... she trusted them to be responsible.
Molly hadn't been especially happy, later that day, when Ron had suggested the entire family visit the famers market in the village. Her sharp eyes had caught a flash of disappointment in Hermione's; quickly follow by a dash of shame, and then a bright smile. Molly had also seen Ron's apologetic look –with a quick flick of the eyes to George, and Hermione's nod of understanding.
Yes, a strange courtship indeed – and as Mother, it was up to her to do something about it.
The snoring had stopped.
"Ronald," Molly whispered, coming into the room. "Are you awake dear?"
"Morning Mum," Ron whispered back, scrunching his eyes against the bright light. He looked around in confusion. "Must have fallen asleep in front of the fire," he muttered, rubbing his face with one hand. "What time is it?"
"Nearly seven," she said, smiling fondly down at him. "You've got time for a little more sleep," she suggested.
He raised his brows at her. "Aren't I in trouble for putting her in a compromising position or something?"
Molly laughed, and then clapped her hand over her mouth when Hermione muttered something incomprehensible. "No, you're not in trouble," she whispered, "she looks comfortable there – and so did you ... although I don't know how her neck is going to be when she wakes. Stretch out, for heaven sake."
Hermione woke to the most wonderful feeling in the world. Strong arms wrapped around her and a solid, warm body flush against her back. I must be dreaming. She resolutely refused to open her eyes, not wanting it to go away ... but she could smell bacon.
How odd. I've never dreamed a smell before. The body behind her stirred and the legs tangled with hers tensed and then stretched.
Ron groaned and then yawned, hugging her to him.
Her eyes flew open. What? Oh, yes. The front room ... good grief, what must Ron's mother think of me?
As if reading her thoughts, Ron's deep voice muttered into her hair, "She knows ... she even tucked us in."
"What?" She twisted around awkwardly and found her eyes a scant inch from Ron's stubbly chin.
"She came in just before seven," Ron clarified and then kissed her forehead. "I thought I'd be in trouble, but she said we looked too comfortable to wake up yet, suggested we stretch out for your neck ... and then she tucked us in."
"Oh." Hermione blushed. "How ... unexpected."
Ron's mouth curved into a smile before her eyes, and she couldn't help bringing up a hand and tracing his lips with her index finger. An all too familiar ache began to pool between her thighs, which wasn't helped at all by Ron gathering her into his arms and pulling her close, sliding a hand down her back and sinking his face into her hair. "We have to get up," he murmured regretfully, pressing his lips to her forehead and then letting her go.