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14 June 2008 @ 11:05 pm
Fic Request Fulfilled for slam_girl  
Title: She Said, He Said
Author: Rachel (franlock)
Beta: smirking_muse
Rating: PG
Word count: 6,185
Summary: When Hermione returns from Hogwarts after finishing her seventh year misunderstanding at each other’s words lead for one to think they are proposing and the other pregnant.
Warnings: None
Notes: I had a lot of fun writing this – Sorry if it came out more dramatic than you requested! I am really pleased with how this turned out. I hope you enjoy it!

She stared up at Hogwarts, which looked tremendous against the blue sky, and paused to enjoy the view and to inhale the memories that came with it. It was difficult to take her eyes off of it as she descended into the thick forest ahead in order to travel toward the train station. Students passed by indifferently, strolling their trunks and animal cages hurriedly to escape the heat and the burden of their luggage. This was the last time she would look up at the castle as a student. Soon, the heat began to stick to her clothes, and she was forced to move on with the rest of them. Ginny grabbed her shoulder gently and gave her a look full of understanding. They stayed silent for the rest of the journey to the train, and then once aboard, they sat together in contemplation.

As sad as she was to leave Hogwarts, she couldn’t keep feelings of excitement from creeping into her stomach at the prospect of seeing Ron again. She knew it was silly to have feelings about a boy interrupt her thoughtful stupor about leaving Hogwarts, but it couldn’t be helped – she was in love, or at least, she thought she was. Love felt like a strong word to use for her feelings, but all the other words seemed too shallow. She bit her lip in anticipation of being kissed and held again. Ginny must have felt the same way, Hermione imagined, because her eyes also kept wandering to the clock.

As the train drew to a stop, she could barely contain herself and began gathering her things together. She then waited patiently by the doors until they opened, and she was released. Her eyes scanned the crowd anxiously – nothing. Ginny caught up to her.

“Do you see anyone?” she asked.

“Not yet,” she said, trying to hide the disappointment in her voice. She’d been expecting him to leap across the platform once the train doors opened.

It was then that she felt two hands wrap around her waist and pull her in towards a warm body. She gave a gasp of surprise and then turned around to look at Ron before immediately being embraced with a full kiss on the mouth. She warmed to it quickly and returned the kiss eagerly before breaking off into a fit of laughter and sobbing midway.

“I’m okay,” she said, pulling away. “Really I’m fine. It’s just Hogwarts and then…you. Sorry.”

“I expected you’d be a bit like this. I mean, you’re a girl…and Hermione,” Ron said as though that explained everything. “Just don’t cry too much. You’ll make me think I’m bad at snogging.”

She laughed at this, as did Ginny, which brought her to the realization that Harry wasn’t with her yet.

“Where’s Harry?” she asked Ron, wiping her face with the back of her sleeve.

“Doing something noble and brave, right?” Ginny said sarcastically.

“Well, yeah, sort of,” said Ron mysteriously. “If you find de-gnoming the yard noble,” he clarified.

It was late noon when they finally arrived at the Burrow. A huge feast filling three tables was laid outside when they arrived. A large cake lay in the middle, sprouting fireworks that read, “Congratulations on your graduation!” every minute. Ginny barely noticed; she ran straight to Harry as soon as they Apparated onto the lawn.

Hermione exclaimed out loud, “Oh! This is wonderful!”

“Harry, Mum, and I have been working on it. Do you like it?”

“It’s perfect,” she said. “Thank you.”

She made a gesture to pull her luggage to the house, and Ron took over instantly, saying, “My treat.” He walked five paces ahead before saying, “To hell with it” and took out his wand to finish the job. Harry and Ginny walked over to her.

“How do you feel?” he asked.

“Oh my,” said Hermione. “What happened to your arm?” she said pulling it toward her to examine it.

“Gnome,” Harry said, squinting in pain. “Took a piece of me with him.”

Ginny shook her head, “It was must have really hated you. All the times I’ve de-gnomed, they practically go over the fence for me.”

“You should get it looked at. It looks awful,” Hermione added.

“How was it, though?” said Harry, taking his arm away from her. “Weird?”

“Weird,” she agreed. She then hesitantly added, “Starting in the fall I’ll be at the Ministry with an internship.”

“Hermione! Why didn’t you say so?” cried Ginny. “Here I’ve been going on about the Holyhead Harpies for days, and you haven’t said a word!”

“I sort of wanted it to be a surprise. Don’t mention anything to Ron yet. I’m telling him over dinner tomorrow.”

Ginny gave her a hug and squealed, “I can’t believe it! That’s really prestigious.”

“We need more people like you in the Ministry,” said Harry. “We still haven’t come up with a dementor solution. Knowing you, you’ll probably take ten seconds to sort out the whole thing.”

“Well, I’m actually working with the Wizengamot…”

“I thought you said to Scrimgeour—”

Hermione cut him off. “I know what I said, but I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about it, and I think it’s the best way to help. If I remember correctly, he said that I’d be very talented at it despite my abhorrence.”

It was at that moment that Mrs. Weasley came from the kitchen. “Hermione, Ginny! It’s so good to have my girls back with me. Would you mind setting up the silverware, Harry? Shacklebolt and Arthur are on their way.”

“I feel like my stomach’s gonna burst,” said Ron, lying down on his bed.

“You have to slow down. That’s your problem,” replied Hermione, taking a seat next to him. “If you took a rest you might not look so green.”

He grabbed her hand on top of the cover and Hermione pulled herself in to meet him halfway.

“Mmmm…” she said. “Your mouth tastes good.”

Your mouth tastes good? She thought she said the stupidest things around Ron sometimes.

Moving so that they were both lying down, they reveled in the moment together as their bodies intertwined and the kiss deepened to the point that Hermione got up from the bed suddenly and began to pace.

“This doesn’t feel right. I have to tell you something.”

Ron’s stomach fell. “You’re not—”

Hermione stared at him blankly but didn’t say anything. “Let’s just go to bed but not together,” she emphasized. “And then we’ll talk about it tomorrow, preferably over dinner. I really want us to be alone when I…tell you.”

“Ok,” he said. “I can wait until then,” he added to assure her, though more for himself than her.

“Why do you look sick all of sudden?”

“No reason. Dinner’s still a bit…” he stopped. “Well, g’night.”

“G’night,” she said, leaning in to kiss him again. She lingered over him for a moment. “I still haven’t gotten used to this yet. I’m so used to us being separated.”
She closed her eyes and indulged in this moment where she was so close to him she could kiss him.

“I have something to tell you too,” he said suddenly, startling her out of her trance.

“What?” she asked. Her heart lurched forward in her chest.

“Over dinner,” he said. “It doesn’t feel right to say it right now.”

As Hermione closed the door to his room, she suddenly felt a weight of realization sink her down. “He’s going to propose to me,” she said, sliding down the door. “Oh my, he’s going to do it.”

She walked down the stairs toward Ginny’s bedroom in a dumb haze with the same phrase repeating itself…he’s going to ask me to marry him, and every time she thought it, her rational side would take over for a moment and say, But we’re too young; I haven’t even got a job yet! And then the whole thing would repeat itself.

“What’s wrong?” asked Ginny when Hermione walked through the bedroom door.

“Nothing,” she muttered unnaturally. “Just thinking…”

“About what?” she asked again.

“Ron’s going to ask me to marry him.”

It just came out. As soon as she said it, she immediately regretted it and held her hand to her mouth.

“No!” said Ginny, getting out of the covers from her bed. “How do you know?”

“Well, I don’t,” she said honestly. “But the way he said something to me before I left his room made me think that—I—I dunno, he wanted to say something important.”

“I can’t believe it...” Ginny continued thoughtfully. “Don’t you think you’re a bit young for marriage?”

“That’s what I was thinking, but weren’t your parents eighteen when they got married?”

Ginny nodded. “I think if they’d waited much longer they’d have gone mad.”

“Ron doesn’t seem ready for marriage though, and I mean, we’ve only been dating for a year now and most of it was spent apart from each other. How can we be ready?”
There was silence for a moment. “Well, if you think about it, you have been in love with each other for much longer than you’ve been dating.”

Ginny made a good point. “But we’re talking about Ron…for some reason I can’t see him doing this right now. It took five years for him to even get the nerve to kiss me, and it wasn’t until I kissed him first!”

“He’s a man of mystery,” said Ginny dryly, chuckling. “Would you be happy if he asked you?”

She thought about it first before answering, “Of course I would.”

Ginny smiled warmly and sighed, “I can’t believe it. We’d be sister-in-laws.”

“I’d be the new ‘Mrs. Weasley’—how strange.”

The thought made her laugh, “Mrs. Weasley…”

Ron couldn’t sleep. Once he wandered off into a dream, but all he remembered from it was a baby with large buck teeth. It was the ugliest thing he’d ever seen in his life. Once or twice he considered waking up Hermione, because the suspense was killing him and he didn’t know if he’d make it to dinner without getting it out of Hermione if she was pregnant or not. It wasn’t that he’d be upset if she was, it’d just be the scariest thing ever—apart from Voldemort coming back…again. He’d only turned eighteen three months ago, and now this…what would his parents think? Well, they couldn’t say anything, because his dad was eighteen when Bill was born. He wanted to say something to someone. The whole baby thing was freaking him out. Maybe he was overreacting. Yeah, that was it. No need to freak out. Hermione never outright said she was… he couldn’t even think it without his stomach plummeting. Images of nappies and screaming babies kept him from falling asleep completely, resulting in a series of miniature dreams throughout the rest of the night of screaming soiled nappies chasing him.

He woke up as soon as the sun rose. Sleeping was no longer a good enough distraction to keep his thoughts on course. Scrambling out of bed, he changed into a fresh pair of jeans and a shirt and climbed quietly down the stairs as not to disturb any sleeping family members. He headed to the field outside. Using his wand, he unlocked the shed and grabbed out his Comet Two Sixty. Even though the sun shone brilliantly, the air still had a damp, cool feel to it – perfect for flying. Kicking off of the ground, he soared high into the sky until the sun started to bother his eyes. He turned left in a sweeping movement toward the small village. He felt so awake and rejuvenated, and his concentration on flying bid all unwelcome thoughts away. Just for fun, he did a couple of new spinning tricks in the air that he’d been practicing with Harry. Only once did he feel like he was actually going to vomit, and that was when he almost missed his hand on the broom as he was coming down.

Hermione would kill him if she’d seen him. Harry and he had purposely chosen to practice these moves before Ginny and Hermione had returned from Hogwarts for fear that they’d never let them fly again if they saw that what they were doing was dangerous. Ron decided to fly around for a few more minutes before decided to head back; his hands were beginning to freeze to the handle. When he arrived, he locked up the broom in the shed again and then walked into the kitchen where the whole family was waiting for him around the table.

“Where were you, Ronald Weasley? At six o’clock in the morning, no less? Did you think you’d just get up and leave without anyone noticing?” his mother said, pointing to the clock where Ron’s hand was pointed to ‘Out and About’ before switching to “Home”.

“Sorry, Mum. I forgot that I was eighteen again,” he replied coolly.

“Oh don’t you give me that ‘eighteen year old’ speech! You still live in my house, under this roof, and while you remain here, Mr. Weasley, you will do best to stay in bed before the wee hours of the morning!”

“Calm down. It’s not like Voldemort’s back.”

He regretted it as soon as he said it. The table went quiet. He could feel her eyes boring into his skull.

“Not back! What about the Dementors and Death Eaters! They’re still up and about! It’s a marvel you’re still alive with the amount of carelessness you show!” she said, slamming a piece of egg onto his plate so hard that a piece of it splayed into his eye.

He looked up and saw Hermione staring anxiously at him. She smiled weakly at him when she realized he was watching her. The rest of the breakfast passed by uneventfully, as Mrs. Weasley had chosen to ignore him. Once his plate was finished, he kissed Hermione on the cheek and Apparated to Fred’s joke shop. When he pulled away from Hermione, he thought he saw her look at him as though she wanted to say something, but he couldn’t bring himself just yet to hear what she had to tell him and went straight toward the kitchen door.

As he was walking toward the joke shop, Madam Malkin’s shop window caught his eye. On the display was a series of robes designed for toddlers. His eye kept on wandering to the skirt of one of the dress robes where a boiling cauldron with a frog jumping out was stitched into the side. He could hardly believe that possibly very soon from now this robe could be hung in his closet or on the shoulders of his son or daughter. The idea was enough to glue him to the window case for several minutes- until he felt a hand around his shoulder. His heart jolted out of his chest as he turned around to face George.

“I know you’re trying to lose weight, but I imagine it’d take a Shrinking Potion to fit into that one,” he said, pointing to the one Ron had been staring at.

“Ha ha,” he replied dryly, shoving past him toward the store.

“No need for the long face, mate. I was only joking. It’s supposed to have the opposite effect, you know?”

“I know,” said Ron grumpily. “It’s just…” his cheeks flushed pink. “Forget it.”

“What?” asked George. “You’ve sparked my interest.”

Ron knew it was hopeless to try and change the subject or distract his attention, so he remained silent until George figured it out.

“Oh,” he said, drawing it out. “Really?”

“I dunno,” he fumbled. “Hermione’s supposed to tell me something tonight.”

“That sentence does not bode well,” he agreed.

They reached the shop window. A crowd of young witches and wizards were milling around, staring eagerly at the display case. They quickly dispersed as Ron and George approached and unlocked the door before tramping inside.

“Summer holiday,” said George, sighing wistfully. “You know what this means, mate? Galleons buried up to my waist. Everybody gets a new Firebolt. Harry’s is getting a bit dodgy anyway.”

Ron smiled, but his stomach sank as he saw George approach the coat rack with two brilliant purple-golden robes slung over them. He threw his head back to Ron, “Did you forget to bring yours?”

“Err, yeah. It’s in my bedroom. Do you want me to Apparate back and grab it?”
He looked thoughtful for a moment and then grabbed the second robe and handed it to him. A cloud of dust followed it.

“Here,” he said, handing it to him.

“Are you sure?” he asked. The robe hadn’t been removed since Fred’s death.

“Yeah, there’s a few mothballs in the sleeves but otherwise perfectly wearable.”
Ron tried not to make a big deal about being given Fred’s old robes, and the meaning behind him receiving them, but he couldn’t help but grin as he put them on. He felt like one of the “cool kids,” and that feeling gave him a temporary vacation from his anxiety.

Hermione was thumbing through Mr. and Mrs. Weasley’s wedding album when Ginny caught her. She closed the book quickly.

“I’m off to practice. Harry’ll be watching, if you want to join him.”

“I’d love to, but I can’t. I’ve got an appointment with the senior office of Wizarding Law this afternoon.”

A look of amusement suddenly crossed her face.


She put a hand over her eyes. “Nothing, it’s just that book…”

“The last time I looked through it, Harry and you were leaving for the Horcrux hunt,” she explained. “I was sort of imagining… I dunno… can I stop now?” she asked, her eyes pleading down at her.

“I just stumbled upon it and began looking through it. Your parents look so happy,” she said, fingering a picture of Mr. Weasley kissing a surprised Mrs. Weasley.

They stayed like that for a moment, staring down at the picture together before Ginny gave a start suddenly. “I’d better be off, and Hermione… tell me how things go tonight.” She grinned and then left toward the kitchen door.

After she left, Hermione spent a few more minutes looking at the pictures before getting ready for her appointment. She combed through her hair several times in an attempt to flatten it but without much success, and then she walked onto the bright lawn before Apparating into thin air with a resounding crack. She found herself in the familiar alleyway from last year when Ron, Harry, and she had snuck into the Ministry of Magic through the invisibility cloak and Mathilda Hopkirk’s identity through Polyjuice Potion. It felt surreal to be standing in the same place with a completely different purpose now. It was moments like this that she wondered if last year was just a bad nightmare. The battle scars around her though, including Fred’s absence, made sure that no one would forget, despite the pace of recovery.

Walking forward, she rounded the corner where, fifty yards away, there stood spiked black railings leading to two doors on opposite sides labeled LADIES and GENTLEMEN. She went to the ladies’ door and opened it into a grimy public bathroom. She wished the Ministry would change their entrance, but it was the last thing on their list right now. Stepping forward to the stall, she clambered into the toilet and flushed herself in before landing in one of the many fireplaces at the ministry. The hall was bustling around as usual with people clamoring toward their destinations, Daily Prophet and briefcase clutched in their hands. Hundreds of memos flew through the air—some of them barely missing people’s heads.

Even now, the place still gave her chills, but maybe that had more to do with her experience last year at the Ministry. It didn’t feel quite safe. She shook it off, though, and walked confidently with the crowd to the lifts. She crammed herself in the corner and was squished against a man who kept dabbing his forehead with a handkerchief and clicking his tongue obnoxiously. She waited patiently as the cool female voice announced each floor as they descended deeper into the Ministry. Her heart began to thump uncomfortably in her chest as the female voice announced, “Level two, Department of Magical Law Enforcement, including the Improper Use of Magic Office, Auror Headquarters, and Wizengamot Administration Services.”

She turned a corner, walked through a pair of heavy oak doors, and entered a busy room of cubicles. Nobody looked up to see the new person in the office; they just continued shuffling papers and talking imperatively to the neighboring cubicles. Rather hesitantly, she approached a man hunched over his desk, talking to his quill in a low voice about what it should write.

“Um, excuse me, where is the Wizengamot Administration Services?”
Sure enough in crisp print her words were copied out on the page.

“I’m so sorry… here, let me get that.”

She was about to get her wand from her coat pocket when his hand flew out to stop it.

“Turn left outside of Auror Headquarters.”

He let go and she scurried away before she got into any more trouble. She felt like a scolded child and a first year at Hogwarts again. She hated feeling intimidated, and so as she came near to the second great oak doors, she tired of maintaining a professional disposition. She approached the thin, small-eyed woman at the large wooden desk labeled ‘WIZENGAMOT MANAGER.’

“Excuse me, I’m Hermione Granger. I have an appointment.”

The woman stared at her for a moment blankly, as though her words had slipped past her. She was about to repeat herself when the woman stood up suddenly and began to walk down a long corridor. Following her, she passed a row of portraits of prim and proper looking wizards and witches, gleaming with a superiority that demanded respect and admiration. At the very end of the corridor was a large door with a golden handle. The tiny woman opened the door wide for her, and she stepped into the office. In the corner was a portrait of Merlin holding a set of scrolls. The space was immaculate– every book was on the shelf organized by size and color. There was coldness to the room that she found unsettling. A man in a black-silver lined suit looked up from his work at her. His silver-pointed spectacles gleamed from the reflection of the torches lined against the walls.

“Hermione Granger. The Hermione Granger,” he added. “It’s a pleasure to meet your acquaintance.”

She smiled politely, and he returned it – but his seemed a bit too tight to be friendly.

“Please take a seat.” He gestured to the high-backed wooden chair in front of the desk. The woman closed the door behind her, leaving them alone. She slid uncomfortably into her seat, feeling an enormous pressure to present herself well. Not wanting to say something stupid, she waited in the silence as he examined her from behind his spectacles. She wished Ron were with her. That would make her feel more comfortable.

“I am very pleased with your acceptance of our invitation. It’s a very prominent position you have been rewarded, and you should feel very special… but, of course… you are already very special.” He paused. “When Scrimgeour mentioned your name to me as someone to look out for, I didn’t think much of it, but the events of last year certainly brought you back to my memory when you wrote to us that you were interested in our program.”

Her stomach squirmed uncomfortably at Scrimgeour’s name, and for a moment she doubted whether she really wanted to be there.

“Thank you, Mr. Wendle,” she said, glancing at the name inscribed on his nameplate. “I really feel like I could make a difference. I’ve already developed some ideas that I’d like you to look at. Particularly about the working conditions of house-elves…” She moved to open up her book bag when a deep grunt from Mr. Wendle made her move her hands back to her lap.

“Yes, of course. House-elf conditions. Very important issue,” he stated, though the way he said it made her doubt his sincerity. “But I am afraid you’re not… exactly here for that. Not yet, anyway.”

“What do you mean?” she said, trying her best to maintain her composure.

“Well, first you have to take a few classes here and there, observe cases – you know, the basics.”

“Right,” she said, feeling immensely stupid. “Sorry.” He continued to look at her, as though reading a book, and she shifted uncomfortably in her seat.

“I have faith that you will move faster than your predecessors… action will come soon enough to those that work for it. Now, your Introduction to Wizarding Law class begins next week in a classroom off to the side of Wizengamot Headquarters, and after its completion, you will begin to observe the law in action with your fellow peers. Each of you will be assigned to different cases and write full case reports with evidence, history and accusatory and defensive positions. These case reports are essential to your final examination, understand?”

She nodded. “All right, then. Welcome to Wizarding Law, Mrs. Granger. Expect the worst.” He winked at her. It sickened her for a reason that she couldn’t put her finger on. There was a finality to his tone that suggested he was through with her, so she took the opportunity to stand up and shake his hand.

“Thank you, Mr. Wendle. I am ready for this challenge.” She smiled confidently at him, but she couldn’t fool herself; her stomach plummeted to the ground as soon as she closed the wooden doors behind her.

She waited in Madame Puddifoot’s Tea House at a cozy table with cushioned chairs and a pair of flickering white candles to complete the romantic atmosphere. Ron was late, and the surrounding dining guests seemed to know it, because they kept throwing her pitiful glances. She tried to hold back the tears that were burning her eyes and distracted herself by reading the History of Magical Law book she had situated on her lap. It was far from keeping her distracted, though, because it only reminded her of the afternoon at the Wizengamot offices and the sudden weight that she had felt bearing her down since then. Madame Puddifoot drew up to her side with a pink teakettle at her waist.

“Another cuppa, dear?” she asked, her voice sticky with sympathy.

The pink bow in her hair reminded Hermione of Umbridge, which was probably why she said more curtly than intended, “I’m fine. My boyfriend’s on his way.”

“M-hmm,” she said doubtfully. “Don’t forget to call over regardless of whether he decides to show his face or not.” As she walked behind the counter, a gust of wind blew through the door to announce Ron’s arrival. He looked flustered as he took his seat opposite her, his cheeks flushed and his breathing heavy. Instinctively, he leaned in to kiss her on the lips as he did whenever he saw her. She was glad she was with him now, and the knot in her stomach relaxed considerably.

“Sorry I’m late. Work was a nightmare with the summer holidays and everything. You weren’t waiting long?” he asked, his expression hopeful.

“Not too long,” she lied. “Hungry?” She pushed the menu toward him. He glanced through the list.

“Is there anything other than tea and sandwiches? I’m starved.”

“I don’t think so. I thought we were going for something more romantic…” she said, trying to hide her disappointment at his reaction. “For my big news,” she added.

Ron’s face went pale suddenly. She tried to ignore it and continued. “The reason I brought you here—”

Ron stopped her mid sentence with a curt, “Can we order first?”

“Yeah,” she said, surprised by his abruptness. “What do you want?”

“Roast beef sandwich, you?”

“I’m not very hungry. Tea will be enough for me.”

His eyebrows furrowed. “Don’t you think you should eat something you know for the-the-the… Hey! What about my news?” It was at that moment that Hermione remembered the other reason for her anxiety today. The knot in her stomach formed again—this time stronger and more resistant. She didn’t know what she’d say if Ron asked her now—she’d want to say yes, but at the same time, it didn’t feel right, and what if she hurt his feelings? Would they break it off? The thought made her feel worse.

“Never mind,” Ron said suddenly, eyeing her sick expression, “It can wait.”

“Are you sure you want to do it right now?” she asked hesitantly. “I mean, we don’t have to if you don’t want to.”

“Are you all right, Hermione? You’re acting… a bit off,” he said carefully.

“Off? Don’t you think it’s a bit off of you to show up twenty minutes late?” A couple of dining guests turned to look at them due to Hermione’s raised tone of voice, so she immediately lowered her tone.

“Ready, dears?” Madame Puddifoot asked, her pen and paper poised to write at the first order. They stared at each other, trying to figure out what the other was thinking. It was Ron who spoke first.

“Yeah… a roast beef sandwich and uh… some firewhiskey, I guess.”

“And you?” she asked, a bit too sweetly for Hermione’s liking.

“I’ll have the same,” she said coolly.

Ron gaped at her. “Are you sure you want to do that? The firewhiskey, too?” he said, in an undertone. “It’s pretty strong stuff.”

“Yes,” said Hermione, sharply, glaring.

“Is that all?” Madame Puddifoot asked, a little impatiently.

Ron stared at her in a way that made her uncomfortable, so she avoided her gaze as she nodded and said, “Yes, that’s all.”

“You can’t do that,” Ron interrupted.

“Why not?” said Hermione, annoyed.

“Because…” He sighed in frustration. “You know…”

“No, I don’t know, Ron.”

“The baby,” he mumbled nearly inaudibly. Hermione’s eyes widened slowly.

“What did you say?” she asked, as though she hadn’t heard him right. Her voice was slightly panicked.

“The baby,” he said, a bit more loudly this time. He looked her straight in the eye.

“The what?” she asked, becoming hysterical.

“The baby, dear,” Madame Puddifoot chimed in. She looked up to see the thickly powdered face, the judgment clear in her eyes.

She slammed her chair against the table, fumbling for her book bag, purposely avoiding Ron’s gaze as she moved to the door and slammed it shut. A wave of cold slammed her face as she came out of the tea shop. She hurriedly walked forward to avoid the cold of the summer evening. The audible sound of a door slamming shut echoed through the busy street. She quickened her pace but wasn’t fast enough. Ron’s heavy footsteps were only minutes away.

“Hermione,” he called breathlessly, grabbing her arm to turn her around to face him, but she Disapparated before she could look him in the eyes.

She stormed up the driveway of the Burrow, ignoring the stares from Mrs. Weasley, Harry, and Ginny as she slammed the kitchen door shut and stomped up the stairs. Her hands were shaking with anger, and her heart was thumping madly beneath her chest. Who did Ron think he was to say something like that in public? And where had he gotten the idea? She saw Madame Puddifoot’s face in her mind’s eye again as she repeated Ron at the tea shop, and it made her even angrier. She fell to her sleeping bag on Ginny’s floor and could feel the beginnings of tears forming at her eyes. She knew Ron would follow her here, and that at any moment he was going to pound up the stairs. It would make the situation worse if he saw her crying. As if on cue, she could hear the slamming of the kitchen door downstairs and the heavy feet against the stairs. Her stomach sank and she continued to fight the tears that threatened to fall. The door opened to show a panting Ron.

“What? Want to add something else?” she spat.

“I’m sorry,” he said, ignoring the sarcasm. “I’m an idiot… it just sort of came out… I wasn’t thinking when I said it. I’m sorry. You know… I’ve already come with some names…” he smiled hopefully, trying to lighten the mood.

She sighed in frustration, “What were you thinking, then? I mean, how could you embarrass me like that?” her voice breaking and triggering the flow of tears.

Ron fell to her side and wrapped his arm around her waist. She didn’t fight against him; she just continued to sob into the sleeping bag until she couldn’t cry anymore and her breathing evened out. There was a thick silence for a while as they lay down next to each other that was only occasionally interrupted by Hermione sniffling.

“So, what are they?”

“What?” asked Ron quietly.

“The names.”

Ron seemed grateful for the change of mood and began casually, “I was thinking… Rose for a girl, and Hugo for a boy.”

“Hugo?” repeated Hermione, chuckling. “That’s the ugliest name I’ve ever heard.”

Ron shrugged it off, embarrassed. “It was just a suggestion.”

She turned her body to face him. A smile crept over her lips as she told him, “I’m not pregnant, Ron.”

“Really?” said Ron, peering at her through squinted eyes. His cheeks flushed crimson. “So why were you so—”

Hermione cut him off. “I got an internship at the Ministry in their law program for the summer. That was what I was going to tell you at dinner.”

Ron’s puzzled expression continued. “Then why did you freak out the other night?”

“I don’t know…” she said thoughtfully, “There were a lot of things on my mind… it just didn’t feel right. I’m sorry if I led you off in the wrong direction…”

“A bit in the wrong direction… bloody hell! I came up with names.”

She grinned. “I do like Rose, though, for when it does happen,” she said blushing slightly.

“Hermione I want to tell you—”

“Ron, I’m not ready for marriage,” she said slowly, eying his expression to see his reaction.

He stared at her for a moment as though he didn’t hear her words. “Bloody hell. You thought I was going to propose? Not that I wouldn’t.,” he clarified. “It’s just… wow.”

“So what were you going to tell me, if you weren’t going to propose?” Hermione asked curiously, snuggling up against Ron in a warm blanket. She could feel the sigh in his chest.

“You know that book I got last year, 12 Fail-Safe Ways to Charm Witches?”

“You have that book?” asked Hermione, amused.

“Yeah… well, it was a gift from Fred… Anyway, I was sort of going through the pages for something to do for you for you and Ginny’s party and, anyway, it said all this rubbish about flowers and candles for when you tell her…” his voice drifted off and grew serious. “You love her. Things didn’t go quite the way I expected at dinner…”

Hermione stiffened. “Oh, well I always knew you loved me.” The words came out awkwardly, she thought, and she wished she had said them differently.

“I know, but it’s different when you say them out loud. Here it goes… I love you. Wait a minute… that didn’t come out right. I love you… no…” She could hear him mumbling it under his breath and moved her head from his chest and kissed him suddenly, cutting him off.

“I love you too,” she said, her voice raising an octave and her cheeks flushing.
She laughed. “I can’t even say it right.”

“Tea?” Ron suggested, suddenly. “Since the tea shop was a disaster.”

“Yes, please.”

Ron got up and walked down the stairs. Hermione sighed happily. This was perfect. Ron came back with two steaming cups of tea in his hand.

“Bloody hell,” he exclaimed as he placed them on floor and they sloshed against his skin. They raised their teacups in the air.

“To our incompetence…” said Hermione.

“Cheers,” Ron agreed.

They clinked their cups together and took a sip. Later that night, when they were lying in bed together, Ron whispered in her ear when Hermione was asleep before reluctantly turning on his side to fall into sleep, “I love you.”

The words fell perfectly into place and Hermione smiled. I love you too.


describe what you'd like to receive:
Something a little smutty involving fumbling!Ron, who may mess something up and have to try and right it for Hermione. Or a comedy of errors situation with misunderstandings or Ron and Hermione thinking something is going on with the other that's not actually true.
Preferred Genre(s): Humor, Romance, Fluff
Preferred Rating(s): Any
Canon or AU?: Canon
A specific you want: Tea and a warm blanket
Deal Breakers (what don't you want?): Anything too angsty or extreme kinks

Thanks for participating in the Love in Full Bloom Exchange!
a little summer wind: sawyer and kateslam_girl on June 15th, 2008 07:57 am (UTC)
Aww, that was adorable. Loved the whole misunderstandings bit, it fits them so well and Ron already coming up with names in hilarious.

“To our incompetence…” said Hermione.

“Cheers,” Ron agreed.

I think that's one of my favorite bits. That's them but they manage to get there in the end. Thank you :D
Rachel Smachel: lovelamp//hand katefranlock on June 15th, 2008 01:37 pm (UTC)
I am so glad! I was really nervous to submit it! And you're welcome. It was a blast.
Snarky Journalist from Hecklire_casander on June 15th, 2008 11:16 am (UTC)
Thanks for making me laugh at their misunderstandings!
Love: miss america?!eyeoftherose09 on June 15th, 2008 10:40 pm (UTC)
Bahaha. Now this - this was great. :D
Ms. Friday: Stripes equals lovei_am_girlfriday on June 16th, 2008 12:55 am (UTC)
I love how so many things between Ron and Hermione turn out to be a comedy of errors. Thanks for sharing your vision :) Very entertaining!
drcjsniderdrcjsnider on June 16th, 2008 02:49 am (UTC)
Ah... nice to see them struggling but getting through it together. :)
dransinha: Hermione & Rondransinha77 on June 16th, 2008 02:22 pm (UTC)
So sweet and funny!
Wonderful story! :)
(Deleted comment)
Rachel Smachel: kat641//football lovefranlock on June 22nd, 2008 01:25 pm (UTC)
Aw, thanks! I was really worried that that their voices wouldn't come through. I'm so glad you enjoyed it!
Fancy New Emilyleiaweasley on July 22nd, 2008 08:09 pm (UTC)
Great story! I really enjoyed it!

There's one thing I'd like to point out though. If this is supposed to take place one year after DH, then Ron would be 19 not 18. It's not really a huge deal, just something that I noticed
Bluishorbsbluishorbs on August 17th, 2010 07:58 pm (UTC)
That was a brilliant read. :D