Chapter Nineteen: Barbecue and Quidditch

It was now a week into the summer holidays and Hermione had just been to the shops with her parents. She and her parents were invited to go to a barbecue at Potter Manor. Hermione, of course, could travel there via the Floo Network, while her parents would be collected by someone who could Apparate. Now that she had helped her mother and father unpack and put away some of the shopping, she went upstairs to change into a pair of shorts but not before putting on her bathing costume underneath. Once she was ready, she grabbed the bag she had packed the night before and ran down the stairs to tell her parents she was Flooing over to Potter Manor. Her parents gave her a nod and so off she went. When she arrived in the Potter's living room, there was nobody there, so she made her way to the kitchen. When she got there, she found Lily, Mrs Weasley, Harry's Aunt Cissy, her twin daughters and Ginny Weasley making food.

'Hello,' said Hermione, brightly.

'Hello, Hermione,' said the adults, while Andromeda and Eileen waved, as Ginny, who looked sour, didn't even look up at her.

'Where's everyone else?' asked Hermione.

'They're all out on the Quidditch pitch getting all sweaty and smelly,' said Lily.

'In that case, is there anything I can do to help?' Hermione offered.

'Could you see if Sev needs any help with the barbecue?' Lily requested.

'No problem, my parents are ready for whoever is collecting them,' Hermione replied politely before going out the back to see that her Potions Master struggling to get the barbecue alight.

'Good afternoon, Professor, Lily sent me out here to check on how you're doing …' she informed him.

Professor Prince gave her a grimace before saying, 'Hello, Hermione, please tell me that your father knows how to do this?'

'He does, and I think he'll be here in a minute, I'll go and see if he's here and if so, I'll send him out to you,' she replied.

Hermione did as she said would and found herself next to Ginny helping with the preparations.

'Hi, Ginny, are you all right?' she asked.

'No, everyone else is playing Quidditch but mum won't let me join them,' she replied.

'I've told you many times now, Ginny, that that game is far too dangerous for you, besides you don't even know how to fly,' said Mrs Weasley.

'It's not too dangerous for Dorea, is it?' asked Ginny, moodily.

'Dorea is not my daughter, you are, and what I say goes, do you understand me, young lady?' scolded Mrs Weasley.

Before Ginny could say another word, a loud ruckus was making their way into the kitchen. In walked, James, Sirius, Professor Lupin, Mr Weasley, Ted, Andromeda and Nymphadora Tonks, Fred, George, Harry, Charlus and Dorea all hot and sweaty from flying. Hermione watched as James grabbed Lily from behind, but she pushed him away, wrinkling her nose, while Mr Weasley did the same with Mrs Weasley who reacted the same way as Lily did, Fred and George did the same to the Prince twins who said 'Yuck, you smell,' simultaneously, Professor Prince did the same to his wife and she reacted the same way as the others, before Ron hugged her in the same manner. However, unlike the others, Hermione did not push Ron away as he whispered, 'Hi, Hermione,' in her ear.

Hermione turned in his arms and said, 'Hi, Ron, but you really smell, so you need to do something about it.'

'I know, and I'll be back to chuck you in the pool when I'm done,' said Ron.

'I'll be waiting,' she said before he let her go and went to freshen up and change.

By the time he returned, she was ready for Ron to make good on chucking her in the pool and was not disappointed, Ron had scooped her up and carried her out to the pool before jumping in with her still in his arms. Once they had popped up again to the surface, they started to splash each other until they were joined by Harry, Ginny, Charlus and Dorea, as well as Fred and George.

Eventually, the smell of food reached their noses, and so they left the pool to collect a disposable plate each to eat their food off of. Thankfully there was a lot of food because Ron could eat for England, and the twins, Fred and George, were no slouches either.

Harry, Ron and Hermione were sitting together when Hermione asked Harry a question that had been on her mind for almost a week.

'Why does your sister glare at me so much?'

Harry and Ron shared a look before Harry answered, 'Are you sure that she's glaring at you?'

'Yes, Harry, I'm sure of it, I think she hates me for some reason,' said Hermione.

Meanwhile, Ginny was sitting with Dorea while they were eating.

'Look at her,' hissed Dorea, 'why does Ron like her so much?'

'You're not being very nice, D, she's really nice,' replied Ginny.

'I am normally though, aren't I?' she replied huffily.

'Of course, but you're not being very nice to Hermione, who hasn't done anything wrong,' Ginny said.

'Hasn't done anything wrong? Ginny, she's taking Ron away from me!'

'Dorea, you've been my best friend for a while now, but Ron is my brother, and he has never thought of you that way, you got the idea into your head that he was going to marry you one day, but he won't, now, if he and Hermione get together, I'm going to be happy for him, if she makes him happy, then I'm not going to have a problem with it, and if you do anything to hurt my brother, then you and I are going to have a problem, do you understand?' said Ginny.

'Now she's coming between us!' exclaimed Dorea.

'No, she isn't, she has been nothing but kind to me for the last week, while you have done nothing but bitch about her since you met her,' replied Ginny.

Anything Dorea might have said next was forgotten as Ron called for another round of Quidditch. Ron came and thrust a broomstick into Ginny's hand and said, 'Come on, Ginny, now's your chance to make Fred and George look stupid as you outfly everyone!'

Ginny did not need to be told twice and ran off with Ron to the Quidditch pitch that the Potters had on their vast land. Ron gave a broomstick to Hermione and said, 'Come on, Hermione, we'll teach you how to be a Chaser!'

Hermione accepted the loaned broomstick and ran alongside Ron to the pitch. Once they were all there, they divided into teams, Ron, Ginny, Hermione and Harry, up against Dorea, Charlus, Fred and George, in a Keepers and Chasers match. Unfortunately, nobody saw the nasty look on Dorea's face as they took to the air.

Hermione had never held a Quaffle before and practiced gripping and passing it to Ginny before they started. She also knew that passing the Quaffle would not be easy as she had to take her intended recipient's flight path and speed into consideration too.

They were joined by the adults as a referee was needed and so James threw the Quaffle into the air to begin the game before mounting a broomstick.

Ron played Keeper for his team as Fred played Keeper for his team.

Much to Mrs Weasley's consternation, she watched as Ginny took the Quaffle ahead of Dorea and passed it to Harry to avoid George's challenge. Harry then passed it to Hermione, who looked a bit scared, but was able to make a pass to Ginny, who flew around Charlus to score the opening goal.

'Ten-nil to Ron's Rockets!' exclaimed Ron.

Fred then threw the Quaffle to Dorea, who passed it to Charlus, who made a pass to George, who passed it back to Dorea, who attempted to find her twin again, but was intercepted by Ginny, who took the Quaffle forward a distance before she passed it to Harry, who scored to make it twenty-nil.

Dorea was not pleased at all. She received another pass from Fred before passing it to George, who passed it on to Charlus, who flew on with the Quaffle around Hermione to shoot at one of the hoops Ron was defending, but he stopped the shot before passing the Quaffle to Hermione, who made a good pass to Ginny, who passed it to Harry, he in turn gave the Quaffle to Hermione, who took the Quaffle past Dorea and into the scoring area to shoot, but she cleverly feigned her shot making Fred react leaving a hoop an easy target for Hermione to throw the Quaffle through and make it thirty-nil.

'Yes, that was brilliant, Hermione!' yelled Ron.

Hermione beamed as Dorea scowled.

A few moments later, Charlus scored for his team to make it –

'Ron's Rockets: Thirty, Twin Magic: ten!' yelled James.

The game carried on but Ron's team were starting to pull further ahead, much to Dorea's disgust. She could not believe that Hermione was playing so well, after all, it was the first time she had actually played Quidditch and the fact that Ron was cheering her on so vociferously.

It was then that Hermione took possession of the Quaffle, so Dorea, angry, flew hard into Hermione, knocking the Quaffle out of her grip, and Hermione almost off of her broomstick.

'Dorea Potter, get down here this instant!' her mother yelled.

Dorea flew down to her mother as she saw Hermione holding her ribs as she fought the pain and tears that were trying to manifest themselves.

Ron flew over to her and saw that she was hurting and so he helped her to the ground.

'What do you think you were doing, Dorea?' her mother asked.

'Trying to win the Quaffle for my team!' she yelled in reply.

'In a game between friends, you deliberately crash into someone?'

Dorea did not answer.

'Answer your mother, young lady!' her father said sternly.

Dorea ran off into the house.

Meanwhile, Mrs Weasley was tending to Hermione, as she gently examined her ribs before waving her wand to heal her.

'Thank you, Mrs Weasley,' said Hermione.

'Yeah, thanks, Mum,' said Ron, 'I hope Dorea gets into trouble for what she did.'

'I'm sure she will, but I need to speak to Ginny,' his mother said.

'Mum, don't be angry with her, you saw how good she was, you must have seen the looks on the twins' faces when she outflew them, it was priceless!' said Ron.

His mother sighed and said, 'Very well, and yes, it did make a change to see the twins look silly …'

Back inside the house, Dorea was being told off by her parents.

'No more flying or Quidditch for you for the rest of the summer, and you will apologise to Hermione and her parents!' her mother said.

'I won't!' Dorea said defiant.

'You'll do as you are told!' said her father.

'No, not this time!' shouted Dorea.

'Why not?' asked her mother.

'Because she deserved it, she was showing off, being a bighead!'

What a load of rubbish!' her father exclaimed.

'Fine, if you are not going to apologise, you will be confined to your room except for mealtimes and to use the bathroom, and believe me, Dorea Lily Potter, your attendance at Hogwarts is now in question because you are obviously not mature enough to go!' her mother said before leaving the room.

Her father then took her broomstick and walked out of the room with a most disappointed expression on his face.

Back outside, James and Lily Potter were apologising to Hermione and her parents for their daughter's behaviour.

Ron and Hermione decided to go the Burrow for an hour so Ron could calm down.

Hermione had visited the Burrow before to see where Ron grew up, he showed her his bedroom, which, unlike the room he had at Potter Manor, was a mess. She had tutted at the mess before helping him to tidy up a little. He had showed her his collection of Martin Miggs: The Mad Muggle comic books before showing her around the rest, including his father's shed which was filled with all sorts of muggle things.

As they found a tree, they sat down in the shade.

'Are you all right, Hermione?' he asked.

'Yes, your mum patched me up nicely, Ron,' she replied.

'I'm so angry, I could kill Dorea for hurting you,' he said.

'I know, but please calm down, Ron, I'm fine now, so you can tell me why she hates me so much,' Hermione said soothingly, and taking his hand.

Ron took a deep breath and said, 'Well, for as long as I can remember, she has had a crush on me, she has even gone as far to say that she and I are going to get married one day, but I have never thought of her like that, she looks too much like Ginny for my liking, and after today, I'd rather marry a flobberworm than her.'

'I read somewhere that some families arrange marriages for their children,' said Hermione.

'Yeah, but just the Darker more bigoted families do that to keep their bloodlines pure, but that can be dodgy as you're more likely to produce squibs,' Ron told her.

'I read that too,' she said.

'Of course you did,' he said fondly.

Hermione smiled for a moment before saying sadly, 'She hates me because we're really close.'

'Yeah, and sees you as a threat or competition for my heart, as she would say,' said Ron.

They did not speak for a moment but continued to look at each other before Ron dropped a soft kiss upon Hermione's lips.

'I'm going to miss you like crazy when you go on holiday with your parents,' he whispered.

'I'm going to miss you too, Ron,' she replied.

'We still have another week to be able to hang out together before you go away for three whole weeks,' he said.

'Yes, we do,' she said.

'It's gonna feel like three months, or even years,' he said.

'I haven't left yet,' she said.

Ron then stood up and helped Hermione to her feet before both of them Flooed back to Potter Manor for the rest of the day.