I don't own Harry Potter or any of the characters in this story. I merely play around with them a little. Unbeta'd so any and all errors are entirely mine.
Dinner, while usually Ron's favourite time and meal of the day, is strained. Well, it is the sort of awkward that only comes with a 'I slept with someone you hate and now I'm making a joke about it' sort of way. Harry keeps trying to initiate small talk, but Ginny isn't talking and Ron is staring at his potatoes like he wants to levitate them, and himself, from the room at the speed of sound. Harry makes a frustrated noise and takes a gulp of the cheap wine he went to buy earlier. He pulls a face that clearly suggests that the wine tastes like shit, but it isn't like Ron would know. He hasn't touched his glass and swirling the deep red liquid around doesn't count.
This is how it is supposed to be, Ron muses. Ginny was always the least strange, least awkward person in his life and now they can barely speak to each other beyond customary greetings. They've turned into those siblings who only talk to each other on birthdays and at Christmas.
"So, I'm leaving in a few months." Ron blurts. Harry goes from frustrated to murderous in an instant, levelling a glare that could chip paint straight at Ron. Ginny looks up, finally. Finally acknowledging his presence above 'person at table' she reserves for work functions that Malfoy insists she attend. It is a cross between annoyed, upset and a little pissed off, all combined on a perfectly schooled, perfectly blank face. Ron knows Ginny far better than she likes.
"When?" She asks, calm as she's never been.
"Little over two months." Ron replies. Ginny nods. Her eyes are misty, like she wants to cry.
"I'm pregnant." She whispers back, like they're trading revelations while playing truth or dare.
"What?!" Both Ron and Harry exclaim almost simultaneously. Ginny nods again, looking anywhere but here. Harry gapes, his mouth opening and closing once, twice, before snapping shut with an audible click.
"Eight weeks." She says, softly. "Surprise." She jokes lamely.
The silence that follows is pregnant, more so than his own sister, but Ron can literally feel the atmosphere bearing down on his shoulders like the pack filled with bricks his old drill sergeant strapped to all their backs and told them to run up a steep fucking hill and back in under fifteen minutes. Fifteen minutes was the recommended time, but they all knew that if you did it in fifteen minutes and two seconds, the sergeant would have your balls in the palm of his hands and squeezing so hard that even the strongest of men would cry, at least a little. He threw up halfway down and was placed on patrol duty for a week. Right now, Ron feels like throwing up, just like he did halfway down that fucking hill.
"Harry," Ron starts. His voice is barely a whisper and Ron hates it, but he pushes on. "Would you give us a few minutes?" Harry looks like he's about to protest, and loudly at that, before Ginny puts a hand on his arm.
"You ran out of ice cream last week and forgot to buy more on the last grocery run." She gives him a small smile. Harry looks at her like she's sunshine and destruction and life, love, with everything in between. He murmurs a soft okay, squeezes her hand, glares at Ron momentarily and leaves. Ron takes a swig of his own cheap wine and grimaces. The shit is truly awful. Ron ponders whether or not it could be put to use as paint thinner, seeing as it will definitely destroy his liver if he drinks more of it.
When Ginny gets up and walks over to the sofa though, Ron shuffles after her. They sit like two awkward teenagers on their parents' sofa, being scolded for coming home late and a little drunk. Ron smiles, they actually had a scolding like that. Ron squeezed Ginny's hand so tightly to remind her to keep her composure. She was a little drunk, a lot high and very close to giggles. Ron misses the kids they used to be.
"I can't do it Gin." Ron murmurs, taking her left hand in his right. "I don't remember how to be a normal human being anymore and everything has gone balls up complicated for all of us. I don't want to be this person I am anymore and I can't do it here. It's all still too raw, too painful." Ginny chokes out a sob and Ron pulls her into his chest.
"I forgot for a while, what it was like to have friends and a family and people who don't hate me. You're having a baby Gin," Ron whispers into Ginny's hair. "You're having a baby and I should be freaking out because you're my baby sister, but you don't need me or my bullshit anymore. You're having a baby Gin, a little kid who'll terrify you in some or other way soon enough. You have a family to build and you don't need me as another child you need to raise." Ron pauses.
"You're my sister, my best friend, my fucking soul mate in a non incesty way. I fucking love you, you ginger pain in my arse." Ron tugs her even closer, cradling her against him like a precious glass doll
Ginny twists her fingers into Ron's shirt, hair covering her face as tears fall from her cheeks onto his t-shirt. "I don't want you to go. You won't come back this time." Ginny says, between sobs. Ron doesn't contradict her or try to reassure her. Her words have always been true. It hits Ron in the chest, his baby sister is having a fucking baby and he knows he won't get to know a little human with Ginny's face and Harry's eyes.
"You're having a baby Gin." Ron says again. They don't speak again, instead waiting for Harry and ice cream. She'll hold up the facade, Ron knows that much. Harry is his brother as much as Ginny is his sister, but he's never been good at dealing with loss.
Ice cream is perfect for dealing with loss, even if Ron is numb. He doesn't mind.
Showing up at her door is probably not the best idea he's ever had. Ron knows she's a little in love with him, or at least a little in-use with him, to make Malfoy jealous. Ron doesn't mind. He doesn't like the little prick anyway.
It's just after midnight and she opens the door in skimpy underwear and a tank top, mussed hair and sleepy eyes.
If any of the neighbours see him kissing her in the doorframe or fucking her with the door still slightly open, right there on the floor of her foyer, well, they can go fuck themselves.
AN: I've had some of this typed out for a while, but the dialogue came from a very personal conversation with my best friend, my platonic fucking soul-mate. Her birthday was the 8th, leave her some love? Don't hate me for this chapter, okay? Happy endings were never promised. Anyway, thanks for all the reviews so far, you guys are awesome. Never thought anything I write would get over 100 reviews.