Hello my lovely people! Here is another chapter for you. This is quite fluffy - to kind of balance out my action chapters. Please enjoy xx
A Not-So-Bad Welcome Home
Ron and Harry ran outside and waited to meet Hermione and Ginny. The girl's black Hogwarts robes billowed out behind them as they approached Ron and Harry; reminding Ron of Dementors – and he almost felt just as scared as if two Dementors were in fact hurtling towards them instead of his sister and girlfriend. Ginny reached them first and hurled herself at Ron, her face fierce and determined.
"Ronald Bilius Weasley!" she shrilled angrily, poking him hard in the chest. Her face was ablaze and she put her hands on her hips in anger. "Don't you dare leave me behind again! Do you understand?"
Ron held his arms up in surrender and looked down at his little sister. "Okay, I'm sorry! But I didn't have a choice!"
"Oh, yes you did!" she growled angrily. "I should have been there with you! What if something had happened to you? Who would have helped you then? No one!"
Ron scowled. "I wasn't going to risk your life, Ginny!" he yelled back, his face the same colour as hers. "Or Hermione's! You're my little sister. I couldn't let something happen to you!"
Ginny threw her hands up in the air and stood on her tiptoes so that their faces were inches away. "I can take care of myself, Ronald Weasley, and you bloody well know it!"
"So can I," Ron argued, placing his hands on his sister's shoulder's to calm her down. "I saved Harry. We both got back home safely. There's no need to be so upset about it."
Ginny huffed and looked down, refusing to meet his eyes. "I'm sorry," she said meekly, before pulling him into a tight hug. "I was just worried about you. About both of you."
She buried her head in his chest and he patted her back gently.
"S'alright, Gin," he said soothingly. "Everything's okay now."
Meanwhile, Hermione was strangling Harry around the neck and he looked fairly taken aback.
"Oh, Harry!" she cried, examining him with a critical eye. "Thank goodness you're alright. What happened to your face? Did you get injured? Oh, my, you've got quite a temperature. Did Greyback hurt you? I mean, honestly, you ought to be more careful next time. You could have gotten yourself killed or - "
"Hermione!" sighed Ron in exasperation, rolling his eyes. "Let the man breathe. He's been stuck in a cave for three days, for Merlin's sake."
It then was then that Hermione fully noticed Ron's presence, including his injured arm. She let go of Harry and faced him, her brown eyes swimming with tears.
"Oh, Ron!" she whispered, approaching him quickly and pulling him into her arms. Ron smiled and closed his eyes, enjoying the feeling of her body against his once more. Merlin, he had missed the feel of her.
"Thank goodness you found him," she sobbed into his chest. He patted her hair and kissed her forehead gently. "I thought... I was so worried..." she looked up at him and cupped his face before pulling his mouth onto hers fiercely. When they finally pulled apart, they pressed their foreheads together and Hermione giggled softly.
"I love you," she said, stretching up to kiss his nose.
"You should be proud of him, Hermione," said Harry. The couple broke apart reluctantly to see Harry and Ginny, wrapped in each other's arms. Ginny was beaming up at Harry, her face glowing and her eyes shining. "He saved us all. Took on Greyback single-handed."
Hermione's eyes widened and she gazed at Ron in awe – pride swimming in her eyes. "You did?"
Ron chuckled, stroking her cheek softly. "Always the tone of surprise," he winked at her. She slapped his shoulder playfully and then pulled him back down to kiss him.
"I had complete faith in you," she murmured against his lips. "But next time... take me with you." She pulled back and crossed her arms.
Ron gulped and gave her a sheepish smile.
"If you ever tell me to stay behind again, I will hex you so hard that you will regret even thinking about leaving me behind for an entire week."
Harry and Ron exchanged glances and Ron ran a hand through his hair, uncomfortably. Harry grinned, enjoying watching Ron get harassed by Hermione.
"Sure... um... whatever you say," he offered weakly.
Ginny laughed and hugged Harry's side. "Let's go inside," she said. "I'm sure Mum's cooking up a feast for you."
Ron put his arm around Hermione's shoulders as they walked back inside to find Mrs Weasley cooking away madly. There were dozens of frypans all cooking at once – the smell of eggs and bacon and sausages and toast filling the house. Ron inhaled eagerly; there was nothing like the smell of his mother's cooking.
"Hi, Mum," said Ginny casually. Mrs Weasley quickly turned around in shock, to find Ginny and Hermione standing in the kitchen.
"Ginny? Hermione? What are you doing here? Shouldn't you be at school?"
"Uh –we heard that Harry had returned and we wanted to see him," Hermione explained. "Professor McGonagall understood completely and granted us leave for the day, because it's a Sunday. We have to return tonight by the Floo Network."
Mrs Weasley nodded and smiled. "That was awfully kind of her. Well, sit down. There's enough food for all of you."
The four of them sat down at the kitchen table as Mrs Weasley dished out a rather extravagant breakfast. Ron's stomach gave a loud rumble at the sight, causing Harry and Ginny burst out into raucous laughter. Hermione merely patted his leg and kissed his cheek.
"I'll leave you four to eat," said Mrs Weasley. "I have to go and finish this jumper for Fleur."
Harry and Ron took no time at all to tuck into their breakfast. All that could be heard was the sound of cutlery scraping against the plates. It wasn't long before they had both finished – their plates practically licked clean – and they glanced around at the girls with satisfied grins on their faces. Ron leant back in his chair and put his arm around Hermione, before releasing a rather large belch.
Ginny snorted loudly into her pumpkin juice as Hermione gave a Ron a disapproving look.
"Ron, honestly," she sighed, shaking her head in disgust.
"What?" he asked innocently, just as Harry belched equally loudly.
"Harry!" cried Hermione. "I expected that from Ron but from you?"
"Oh, come off it, Hermione," said Ginny, rolling her eyes. "The poor guy hasn't eaten in three days. Cut him some slack."
Hermione nodded with a small smile as she delicately ate her breakfast. Every now and then, she would gaze up at Ron with such pride and adoration that it made his heart swell. Such a look was so rare for Hermione to cast his way. She had only looked at him like that two times in his entire life; in fifth year when he used Puking Pastels to escape from the Inquisitorial Squad; and then again during the war when he used Parsletongue to open the Chamber of Secrets. To have her looking at him like that made him feel invincible and he vowed at that very moment, to always strive to make Hermione look at him that way.
After much pestering from the girls and making sure Mrs Weasley was out of earshot, Ron and Harry explained what really happened in Norway. Harry began, discussing how his team had been venturing through Norway when they were ambushed by a pack of werewolves. They were taken back to a cave and beaten and tortured for three days straight.
"Until I came and saved the day," said Ron with a smirk, winking at Hermione. Hermione rolled her eyes but gave him a proud smile.
"I can't believe you took on Greyback," she shuddered, remembering her acquaintance with him at the Malfoy Manor. "I'm just glad he didn't hurt you." She rubbed his leg under the table and leaned into his side. '"You both could have been killed."
"But I'm glad you weren't," said Ginny, kissing Harry's cheek. "When's the trial?"
"The fourteenth," said Harry. "We both have to attend."
"That's Tuesday," said Hermione.
Ginny groaned and rested her head on her hands. "I hate Tuesdays. That's when we have double Potions."
"Slughorn isn't that bad," Hermione reasoned.
Ron gave a muffled snort, "Of course he's not bad to you! Now that Harry's left, you're back to being top of the class."
Hermione shot him a look so deadly; he paled slightly and held up his hands in surrender.
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry!" he muttered quickly. "Don't aim any damn birds at me!"
A smirk tugged at the corners of her lips and she gave a slight chuckle, while keeping her arms crossed.
"C'mon," he said bracingly, putting a hand on her shoulder. "You kind of left yourself open for that one. I couldn't let it slide."
Hermione rolled her eyes at him. "Of course you couldn't – you have no tact!"
"Right!" Ron roared in laughter. "That's it! You'll pay for that Miss Granger!" He began to poke and tickle Hermione's sides making her squirm until she was doubling over in laughter.
"Stop it!" she cried helpless. "Ronald Weasley! Stop... this... right... now!"
Ron merely cackled and attacked her more furiously, until tears poured down her cheeks from laughing so hard. Harry and Ginny exchanged awkward glances
"Ahh, right then," said Ginny as she and Harry got up. "I'll think we'll just leave you two lovebirds alone."
Hermione was too busy giggling to speak. She eventually was able to reach for her wand, despite her body's spasms, and quickly uttered a quite incantation. Immediately, Ron's arms were bound around his chair with thick rope. It took him a while to process what was going on until he tried to move his arms and found it was impossible. He glanced up to find Hermione giggling at him with a devilish grin.
"Ha!" she said, crossing her arms in triumph. "Serves you right for taking advantage of my weakness!"
"Hermione! Release me immediately."
She raised her eyebrows at him and began circling him, tapping her wand against her chin.
"Hmm," she said as she faced him once more, leaning in close so their lips were touching. Ron tried to move forwards to close the distance, but the ropes refused to budge.
"Fine," said Hermione after a while, enjoying watching Ron's torment a little more than he liked. "Only, if you swear not to tickle me again! Understand?"
Ron eyes narrowed and he scrutinised Hermione's face. "Fine," he huffed, defeated and Hermione's grinned mischievously as she untied him. He immediately pulled her onto his lap and wrapped his arms around her tightly, burying his head into her neck as he lavished her skin with sweet kisses.
"Ron! You promised!" she cried defiantly and he merely chuckled.
"This wasn't part of the agreement," he said slyly. "You said I couldn't tickle you again. You said nothing about kissing you."
"Before she could protest, he kissed her hard and she could find no reason to object. When they pulled apart, he kept his arms firm around sat in silence for a while, simply enjoying one another's company. They hadn't had that luxury for a while and Hermione suddenly realised just how much she had missed Ron. She slunk her arm around his waist and shifted closer to him, so her head was resting on his shoulder.
"I'm so proud of you," she told him, looking up to meet his blue eyes. "When I got your letter..." her voice trailed off and she looked away, sniffing loudly. "I was so worried... about Harry and... you..."
Ron smiled and kissed her forehead gently. "Hey, you should give me more credit!" he joked. Hermione looked back at him and gave a half-hearted chuckle before turning serious again. She reached up and caressed his cheek, which was prickly from not being shaved in a few days.
"I know, I should," she told him. "I got so caught up in my anxiety that I forgot how truly amazing you are."
Ron couldn't help but grin at her words. "You have no idea what that just did to my ego."
Hermione laughed and shoved him playfully. "Watch out your head doesn't get too big, Ronald Weasley. You might topple over."
"Me? Big headed?" he put both arms around her waist and she entangled her fingers in his hair. "Never." Ron winked at her and then swooped down and captured her mouth in a searing kiss.
The day was almost over by the time Hermione and Ginny prepared to leave. Mrs Weasley had finished Fleur's Weasley jumper and showed the four of them with pride. When it was time to leave, Ginny gave Ron a fierce hug and told him to keep an eye on Harry. She then kissed Harry deeply before ducking her head and stepping into the fireplace.
"Are you coming, Hermione?"
Hermione pulled Harry into a tight hug. "Be careful, alright?" she told him sternly.
"Yes, Hermione," he said with a chuckle.
She then turned to face Ron, who gave her a lopsided grin and ran a hand through his hair.
"You too," she said as she stepped into his arms. "I'll see you at Christmas."
They kissed briefly before Hermione joined Ginny in the fireplace. Ginny took a handful of Floo Powder and threw it into the pit as she cried, "Hogwarts, Headmistress' Office!"
There was a burst of green fire and then they were gone. Ron and Harry exchanged glances and grinned.
"That wasn't as bad as I thought," exclaimed Harry.
"Yeah," agreed Ron. He checked his arms quickly. "No birds, no punches. It certainly could have been worse."
So? What did you think? Please read and review xx