Chapter Five

Ron sat with his back straight against the hard back of the chair. His hands were pulling at his tie, trying to loosen it. And his eyes traveled the room uncomfortably, as he tried to avoid looking at the only other occupant of the room. The other occupant cleared his throat, clearly impatient, and Ron was forced to look at him. Hermione's father sat in a chair across from Ron, his arms were crossed, and he had a sour expression on his face. There was no doubt in Ron's mind what her father was thinking. Ron tried to smile a little, to ease the tension, to no avail. He was just hoping that Hermione and her mother would reenter from the kitchen, where they had left to only minutes before. He guessed that they had to leave to give him and her dad some bonding time. Yeah, bad idea. " So, sir, uh, how have you been readjusting to living back in England?" Ron finally asked. No response. "I mean, I'm sure that it's been tough for you. I know that for Harry and me, it's been tough. After having to be on alert all the time, it's hard to freak out when there's a loud noise." Still no response, but there was a twitch.

"Hermione's mother and I are adjusting quite fine, thank you. The spell Hermione put on us made it so we barely remember living in Australia at all. We are picking up our lives from where we left it. Hermione, however, is having a harder time."

"Harder time doing what Dad?" Hermione asked, slipping out of the kitchen suddenly. Her dad looked up, and smiled. Her mom had followed her out of the kitchen, and sat on the arm of the chair that her husband was sitting in. Hermione was carrying cups of iced tea in both of her hands, and handed Ron one, before sitting down in a chair next to him.

"Nothing dear, just adjusting to living back here, with us." Hermione nodded, pushing back a strand of hair behind her ear.

"It is quite difficult, but time heals all wounds, as the saying goes. All the losses that we've had will never go away. But each day it hurts a little less, I'm just glad to have a great family and friends to help through it." She grasped Ron's hand firmly in hers. Ron gulped at the look on her dad's face as she did so. Hermione's mother nudged her father, and it was obvious that there was something that they wanted to say.

"Dear, we're not saying that we dislike Ron, but…" Hermione's mother started,

"… we know that through out the years, he hasn't been the most reliable. You've gotten into innumerable fights. He hasn't been there when you needed him the most, and as your father, I would prefer him not to hang out here, until we know we can trust him." Ron sat in shock, and supposed that Hermione was in some too. But as she stood up, she was shaking violently. And he guessed that he was wrong.

"I can't believe you two! You have no idea what Ron, Harry, and I have been through the last year! If we didn't have each other, we'd be dead! Ron is a reason that I'm still alive!" She yelled, before leaving the room in a fit of tears.

"Oh, dear." Her mom said, chasing after Hermione. And once, it was just Ron and her Dad in the room again. But the atmosphere of the room was different.

"What does she mean? That she wouldn't be alive?" He asked, his voice light, almost transparent.

"We had a lot of close calls. Without each other, we would have been too weak. She saved my life, too many times to count."

"Well, thank you, for saving her." Ron stared at him, and decided to tell him something, something that might put him back into the bad books. But he felt that it would be a lie, not to tell.

"I've made some really bad decisions in my life. Especially about Hermione. I abandoned Harry and Hermione in the woods, and went to my brother's. The whole time, I wished I could go back, but I couldn't. I worried every night that I'd never see her again, and that I would never be able to tell her how I felt. If she had died, I would've blamed myself, for the rest of my life." His head sunk into his hands, and he began shaking from his sobs. He felt a hand on his shoulder, but didn't look up.

"You must love her a lot." Her father said, with a squeeze.

"Yes, sir. And if I have to prove it to you every day of my life, I will." Hermione and her mother walked back into the room, and Hermione slid onto Ron's lap as soon as she could.

"I know you will."

A/N: I'm SO sorry that this took forever to update. Junior year is brutal. Thank you for dedication to me. I really appreciate it!