HARRY POTTER CONTINUED
Author's note: I was inspired by J.K. Rowling to write this piece.
A visit from MalfoyThey disapparated back to the Burrow the next morning without warning.
“Ron! Hermione! You’re back! Oh, we’ve missed you both!” Cried Mrs. Weasley kissing them both on the cheeks.
“Mum it’s only been two days. We weren’t gone that long.” Ron stated.
“I know, I know but it feels like forever!”
Hermione held up her hand to show the still sparkling ring. “Look Mrs. Weasley! I’m engaged!” She waggled her fingers and the reflection of the ring caught in the light.
Mrs. Weasley covered her mouth with both hands, gasping in delight. She quickly hugged them both and hurried to tell the rest of the family.
Shouts of surprise came form all over the house. One by one they emerged form their rooms and offered their congratulations.
“Ron, I am so proud of you! I knew you could do it!” Mr. Weasley said, clapping Ron across the back. “And Hermione, my dear, I am delighted to have you as my future daughter-in-law!”
Once again, plans and preparations started for the third wedding at the Burrow. Instead of a winter theme, Hermione chose a warm summer theme.
Everyone contributed to the planning, Mrs. Weasley outdoing herself again. There would be lake under the dance floor, with real mermaids and water nymphs under the solid glass floor. The bottom of the lake was transformed to be a replica of the beautiful bottom of the ocean floor. Brightly colored coral reefs and schools of tropical fish could be seen through the floor.
Mrs. Weasley planned to have the whole outside area of the Burrow be transformed into a tropical sunset beach. Each of the guests sat on chairs goblin-made from shells, coral, pearls, and other underwater treasures. There were to be real palm trees planted and silky soft sand that was bewitched to not get on the guests clothing. And instead of rose petals dropped before the bride, bewitched bubbles that couldn’t be popped were to be scattered by the flower girl. Or, in this case, bubble girl.
Mrs. Weasley kept Hermione’s dress a secret though.
“No one, not even the bride herself can see the dress! I need all the concentration in the world to get these spells right!” Mrs. Weasley exclaimed.
“Mum, someone needs to get Harry and Ginny back in town before the wedding!”
“Already done, Ron. They’re coming back on the seventeenth, just in time for the wedding on the eighteenth…perfect! Would you look at this cake? Beautiful…” The five-tiered cake towered over Mrs. Weasley. She smiled at the cake as if it were her own child. Small, moving miniatures of Hermione and Ron were on top of the cake, holding hands and kissing. The rest of the tiers were decorated to look like an underwater paradise.
“Oh my goodness gracious. Look, Arthur, all our kids are grown up. All we have left is George and Xiyin. By the looks of it, George is actually serious about her. Imagine that!” Mrs. Weasley chuckled and Mr. Weasley sighed happily, wiping a stray tear from his eyes.
Ron and Hermione still got their privacy through all the craziness. Sometimes outside in the garden, sometimes in their room. Everywhere was pretty much occupied by Mrs. Weasley, Fleur Delacour, and Xiyin.
“Two days, Ron! Two days!” Hermione squealed happily, her eyes shining with excitement. She clasped her hands with his and they twirled around the room. Ron tripped and they fell in a tangled heap of limbs, laughing.
“Blimey…two days until I can officially call you mine.” Ron said in wonder.
“I’m yours already! For months and months!”
“Not exactly, no, because Krum could’ve showed up any minute and take yu away to his hideout-”
“Ron!” Hermione laughed. “I thought you liked Krum!”
“Yeah, sort of, when I didn’t know what kind of a bloke he is.”
“Ron…do you have to go to Bachelor’s Night? Really do you have to? Could you stay with me?” Hermione batted her eyelashes and ran her finger along the side of Ron’s outstretched arm. She scooted closer to Ron, her body almost molding to his.
That was a tough choice. Beautiful, beautiful Hermione…but I need that last night with my mates.
“Hermione I’ll be spending every day at your side. Let me go tomorrow night…” Ron begged, hoping this didn’t set Hermione off in one of her fits.
“I understand. Ginny let Harry go too. I shouldn’t keep you here with me…all alone…in the dark…” Hermione looked down and pouted.
“Aw, don’t make me feel guilty. Just watch, I’m going to end up staying with you. You make a very convincing witch.” Ron chuckled.
Then, Hermione frowned and bit her lip. Her eyebrows knitted together as if in deep thought.
“You know…I’ve always wanted exactly two children. An angelic little boy with brown curls and a sweet girl full of energy and brains with red hair. They would always have one another and they would keep me company till I’m old…”
“Yeah, two kids would be good…but we could make as many as we can if you want.” Ron’s expression hopeful.
Hermione’s eyes widened and she didn’t answer. She seemed to be at lost for words.
“We’ll see.” Hermione said finally.
Ron looked a bit downcast.
Ron cradled Hermione’s head in his arms ad gently rocked.
“If Professor Trelawney ever saw my future…this future…I would’ve believed that she was a real scam.”
“I thought you already believed that she was a fake.”
“That’s not the point, Ron.”
“Oh. Oh. I get it. So if she saw this…you wouldn’t have talked to me at all?”
“I admit I would be scared. I would’ve have believed it and come running to you-”
“And I would’ve been waiting with my arms open wide. Hermione, I’ve fancied you ever since second year. I didn’t really mention it at all though.”
“Second year?” Hermione said incredulously. “Are you sure about that?”
“More sure than you would ever be.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“The thing its that I would have come running and then you would’ve broken my heart like the other time.”
“The other time?”
“You see I grew up with this boy named Thomas. Our parents were family friends and I saw him almost every day. Mind you, this was way before my parents found out that could use magic.” Hermione got a dreamy faraway look in her eyes. “Some nights, I would go downstairs and find my parents talking about me. About Thomas and. They hoped that I could have nice normal family with him. Then a few years later, I got the letter from Hogwarts and my parents never spoke of Thomas again. Somehow, I think that they didn’t want Thomas to know that I was a witch. I feel like they were ashamed. Even though they had smiles on their faces and congratulated me on every Charms or Transfiguration test, I could feel a sort of resentment coming from them. As if…as if they just wanted a normal teenager who could live a non-magical life.” Hermione sighed, looking down at her palms.
“Thomas still came around during Christmas breaks, always asking my parents where I was. He sent me Christmas cards and presents, but I never responded back. I felt like I needed to shield him from everything I was doing. He couldn’t know about Hogwarts. Then…the letters came less and less. The presents had stopped altogether. Then one day at Hogwarts I received a long note from Thomas. If you hadn’t been stuffing your face at breakfast, you would’ve noticed I left in a hurry.”
“Sorry…sorry…” Ron mumbled.
“Anyway, the note said that he knew I had found someone else and that I should never come to find him again. He gave me a last chance. He told me to write back, but I never did. That was because…well, that was because…” Hermione looked up at Ron.
“Because of what?” Ron asked.
“Because of…of…um…you.” Hermione said in a small voice.
“I can’t hear you, Hermione.”
“I…I said because of…because of you, alright?” Hermione cried, laughing. Then, she turned serious again.
“Ron, when we were hiding out in the Forest of Dean, remember when we could listen to all the deaths?”
“Oh no…Hermione…” Ron looked sympathetic.
“Yes. One of the names was Thomas. I was crying that night. It was also one of the nights when you weren’t here too. So…that’s why when you came back…I sort of yelled-”
“And kicked and hit!” Ron finished.
“Sorry.” Hermione said, embarrassed.
“My parents would never know that Thomas died. It saddens me a lot…and I never had the chance to say goodbye.” Tears welled up in Hermione’s big brown eyes and Ron wiped them away with his sleeve.
“It’s all right…it’s all right…” Ron comforted.
“Wait…I’m sorry…we should be talking about something happier. But it’s just been bothering me. I needed to tell someone.”
“ ‘S alright.”
“I saw the dress.” Hermione tilted her head and grinned.
“Dress? Oh…the dress. I’m sure its perfectly gorgeous…”
“Gorgeous? No…there isn’t a word to describe it. Mrs. Weasley outdid herself this time.”
“Don’t call her Mrs. Weasley anymore. Try calling her mum. I’m sure she’ll love it.”
“Mum…? Would that be too…” Hermione turned pink.
Two days! What if something goes wrong? What if I trip or something stupid like that? What if Hermione decides she has cold feet and postpones the wedding? What if she doesn’t want children? Well, obviously she wants children…but what if she doesn’t want to have children with me? What if she gets someone else’s kid and starts to call it ours and then later decides that she doesn’t want me anymore…she wants Krum then-
“Are you alright?”
“Yeah I’m fine. Just thinking.”
Would Ron still love me even after I get old and wrinkly? Would he want two children or more? He would probably want more. What if he decides that Lavender Brown is better looking after all? Would he just leave me to take care of the children? Would he divorce me? What if I caught Ron sending letters to Lavender again? Should I pretend not to see it? What if we’re on our honeymoon and Ron sees some beautiful…curvy…blond that he just has to meet? What if Ron doesn’t love me at all? Maybe he just wants to get married for the thrill of it?
“I’m going downstairs for a drink.” Hermione said suddenly, puling out of Ron’s firm grasp.
A drink? Since when does she go downstairs for a drink? Hmm…does George still have those Extendable Ears? They’d be handy now…
Hermione quietly went downstairs and conjured a glass water with her wand. She then, went to find Mrs. Weasley.
Hermione found her in the kitchen, preparing some food with her wand.
“Um, Mrs. Weasley?”
“Hermione, dear, I was waiting for you.” Mrs. Weasley said, not turning around.
“You were?” Hermione asked uncertainly.
“Of course! Do you think that Ginny didn’t come to see me with her pre-wedding jitters also? Do you think I never went to my own mother before I married Arthur. Best listener she was…that’s why I vowed to be a good listener too. Come sit down, love…here instead of the water…” Mrs. Weasley waved her wand and a warm glass of milk and a plate of cookies appeared on the small table. Hermione took a seat and Mrs. Weasley sat down across from her.
“Hermione, sweet, tell me what you’re worried about.”
Upstairs, Ron lowered his Extendable Ear and it dangled just outside the kitchen door.
“Well…I don’t know where to start…” Hermione looked as if she was ready to burst.
“What if Ron doesn’t like me anymore when I get old? What if he wants more than two children? What if he decides that Lavender Brown is better looking after al? What if they start sending messages to each other? Should I pretend not to see? What if on our honeymoon he sees some attractive blond girl that he has to snog What if he just wants to get married because he’s rushing into it? What if he regrets it after? What if he doesn’t really love me at all?” Hermione was shaking and her hands trembled. Mrs. Weasley patted her hands comfortingly.
“There, there Hermione. It seems like you don’t have a single ounce of faith in Ron!’ Mrs. Weasley laughed.
“You…you’re right…I guess I was a bit…overboard…” Hermione sniffed.
Mrs. Weasley spoke. “Hermione I am very sure that my Ron would never do such a thing. I’ve seen the way he looks at you. He would never look like that if he wasn’t serious. And, love, Lavender brown is nothing compared to you. You are a smart, talented young woman full of potential. That is what Ron sees. Not just the physical features of anyone.”
“I know…I’m just scared that…that…well he said he wanted more than two children. He said something like wanted to make as many children as we can…”
“Oh, Hermione, I think he meant something other than having children.” Mrs. Weasley chuckled.
Hermione still looked mystified.
“Now, run along to bed, I’m sure Ron is waiting very impatiently for you.”
Hermione nodded her head, in a daze. “Thanks Mrs. Weasley…”
“No problem, dearest…”
As Hermione made her way back up to her bedroom, Ron yanked the Extendable Ear up and ran back to bed as quickly as he could. He grabbed a book off the floor and pretended to read.
“Oh you’re back. I was wondering why you took so long.” Ron said innocently once Hermione had gotten in bed again.
“Ron your book is upside down.”
“I know you don’t read. Were you listening to our conversation?” Hermione asked suspiciously.
“Conversation? With what? The glass?”
“No…never mind…” Hermione flushed. “I’m tired. I’m going to bed.”
They curled up against each other.
“You know, Hermione…Bill told me yesterday that they were moving to Romania. So Shell Cottage…well he said if you fancied that placed, we could stay there.”
“Shell Cottage?” Hermione said, her eyes wide with excitement. “I adore that place!”
“That’s brilliant! It’s also by the ocean and everything…” Ron said with a faraway look in his eyes.
“It’s the cutest little cottage overlooking that beautiful sea…Ron?”
“Um, well, I was wondering…” Hermione said suddenly trying to sound casual. “Well where are we going for…moon…honey…” Hermione trailed away. Even in the darkness, Ron could tell she was blushing furiously.
“It’s a surprise.
There was a moment of deep silence.
“I don’t like blonds.” Ron whispered. “Never did. Too dramatic.”
Hermione turned over to face him, her cheeks red. “You did listen in!”
“Never said that…”
“I’m never talking to you again!” Hermione said with an audible huff. She turned away from him.
“You just talked to me.”
“You’re impossible, Ron. Impossible…”
“And what mum said down there…about the other thing…well…I’m not like that…I would never force you…anything…dunno why mum was trying to imply that…only two…only two…” Ron mumbled a bit more then fell asleep.
Hermione was still wide-awake. She figured out what Mrs. Weasley meant. For the third time that night, she blushed crimson. But Ron said he would never force anything on her…
But it was probably what he wanted. Honeymoon. That’s when I’ll wordlessly give permission…
Hermione, then too fell into a deep sleep.
The next morning, some of the guests arrived a day early, congratulating the couple-to-be. Mr. Weasley had bewitched the garden to become comfortable sleeping quarters for the guests.
“Ronald Weasley! It only seems like yesterday when you Transfigured that rat into a cup during second year. And Hermione, Granger, all grown up and looking beautiful. I am so proud of both of you!” Professor McGonagall cried, wiping tears from her eyes.
“We’ve missed you too Professor McGonagall!” Hermione smiled widely. Professor McGonagall walked away, joining Professor Sprout and Professor Flitwick by the Greenhouse.
“Ron? Hermione? I’ve missed you too so much!”
Ron and Hermione turned to see Neville Longbottom in their midst.
“Neville!” Hermione squealed happily, throwing her arms around him. “I haven’t seen you in forever!”
“Yeah, well, I couldn’t make it to Harry and Ginny’s because of my grandmother. She was feeling a bit down these past few months so I decided to stay and watch over her. Oh, By the way, I’ll be teaching at Hogwarts when it reopens.”
“That’s brilliant, Neville…what subject?” Ron said.
“Herbology. Professor Sprout thought I should take her place. She told me something about feeble bones…but, anyway, congratulations!” Neville shook Ron’s hand firmly, smiled, then headed off towards Professor Sprout.
“Neville grew a lot over the summer.” Hermione noticed.
“Yeah almost as tall as me.” Ron said.
“Funny…” Hermione said sarcastically.
And so the afternoon passed in a blur. Mr. and Mrs. Weasley were disapparating to get around faster. George and Xiyin were stacking plates with their wands, trying not to break them.
“It’s fine china, Geroge! I do not want to see one broken when I return!” Mrs. Weasley yelled.
Even Percy and Emma were helping out. They stood by the entrance to the Burrow ready to take coats and lead people to the refreshments.
Suddenly a cry rose out.
“Harry and Ginny! They’re back!” Someone yelled. Ron and Hermione quickly went to greet them.
“Hey Ron!” Harry said. He was clutching multiple luggage in one hand and holding Ginny’s hand in the other.
Ginny patted Ron lightly on the shoulder. “Did you miss me at all? Or were you too preoccupied with Hermione?” Ginny giggled.
“Oh be quiet.” Ron said quietly.
Once they were gathered downstairs in the front yard, Ginny pointed into the distance.
“Is that who I think it is?”
A tall blond figure appeared just outside the boundaries of the Burrow, walking briskly as if trying not to be noticed.
“What the devil is Draco Malfoy doing here?” Ron said, getting up. Harry walked towards the Draco.
“Come on. Let’s go see what he’s up to.”
Ron protectively put an arm around Hermione and took his wand out with the other.
“Just in case.” Ron said hastily, as Hermione threw him a questioning stare.
Once they approached Draco, they noticed dark circles under his eyes and small bandages wrapped around his arms.
“What’re doing here?” Ron said.
“Here to talk to Potter.” Draco said in a cool voice.
“If you want to talk to me, talk to all of us.” Harry said. Malfoy suddenly seemed to notice that Ginny was holding Harry’s hand.
“Unlikely match…thought you would choose someone better for your, ah, status.” Malfoy said, almost to himself. Malfoy looked almost exactly like his father, Lucius, except without the long hair. He kept his short and sleek.
“Watch it, Malfoy.” Ron said darkly.
“Ah, Weasley. Also knew you’d mate with a mud- someone smart.”
Ron shot death glares at Draco.
Harry, deciding that Ron would not keep his cool, walked several feet away and Draco Malfoy followed him.
“Muffliato,” said Draco
Harry saw Ginny, Ron, and Hermione shooting Draco death glares behind his back.
“So…the Aurors. They’re searching for the ah, remaining Death Easter’s, are they not?”
“They are.” Harry said uncertainly.
“Well…I know…I know where they are…if that would help…but I can’t be found…don’t say anything…don’t turn your source in….” Malfoy looked down at the ground.
“Tell me who.” Harry said firmly.
“Dolohov, last seen in Romania. He escaped Azkaban shortly after Voldemort died. Mulciber and Rookwood seen in Rome. Karkaroff, China. Macnair, India working as a street peddler.” Malfoy stopped and suddenly his voice turned pleading. “Harry promise me you won’t turn me in.”
“I thought you weren’t a real Death Eater.”
Draco whipped his sleeve up to reveal the Dark Mark. “I am a Death Eater.”
“That’s a tall order, Malfoy. After everything you did, you expect me to protect you?”
“Yes. I’ve given you the names of five Death Eaters and their locations. An eye for a eye.”
“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind, Malfoy, I’m sure you heard the expression.”
“What more can I ask? A simple thing Harry, and you won’t get off your ridiculous high horse. Now you now where they all are. It’s a small price to pay, Potter.” Draco said angrily, his eyes flashing.
“Why’d you tell me?” Harry asked.
“What? Do you think I’m so stupid, I’ll walk into the ministry and tell them? They’d have me in chains before I could take another step.”
“No. I meant why’d you tell me? Out of all the people, you tell me. And what about your father? Doesn’t he work at the ministry?”
“My father’s in hiding. Hiding from me. Hiding from my mother. Hiding from the wizarding world. He changed his name and he’s out there, acting and dressing like a muggle so the other Death Eaters can’t find him and kill him.”
“Why would they kill him?”
“I’ve got time.”
“No you don’t. It seems like you have a wedding to go to.” Malfoy sneered, looking behind him to all the decorations being set up.
“You didn’t answer my first question. Why’d you tell me?”
Malfoy looked confused. “You know, Potter, I don’t know. Perhaps I thought you were capable enough to inform the ministry all by yourself.”
“What about the Death Eaters? Why would you betray them?”
“Betray?” Malfoy scoffed. “Help is more like it. Anyway, they never treated my family right. Always sneering and jeering whenever Voldemort ordered my father or mother to do something they didn’t want to do. They were never a big help. Each one seemed to think they were most favored in Voldemort’s eyes. He…Dolohov tried to kill my mother! Why would I ever want him to be set free? Why?” Draco said harshly.
Harry did not answer.
After a moment of silence, Draco spoke. “Anyway, I have business to attend to. I can’t idly chat here anymore. I’ll see you around, Potter.”
When Malfoy Disapparated, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny hurried over to Harry.
“What’d he say?” Ginny asked breathlessly.
“Nothing.” Harry thought that it was best not to say anything. The three of them exchanged worried looks.
They trooped back to the Burrow and Mrs. Weasley spotted them almost immediately.
“Harry! Ginny! Come help! Ron, Hermione go back inside I don’t want you to see any part of this until I’m completely finished!” Mrs. Weasley shooed them inside.
“There’s a countercharm.” Hermione whispered to Ron, once they reached their bedroom.
“A countercharm. Just right now, when we couldn’t hear anything? Malfoy cast the Muffliato spell on us. But, I discovered the countercharm last year so that I could penetrate the spell. Ron, Malfoy was telling Harry not to turn him in to the ministry. Ad he said something about five Death Eaters…what if Draco was asking him to…?”
“That’s what Draco said? I thought he was boasting about his shiny Dark Mark.”
“Ron, he was showing Harry his mark. Anyway, that’s beside the point-” Hermione said firmly when Ron tried to interrupt.
“We need to ask Harry what Malfoy said.”
“But I thought you said that you heard—”
“I didn’t hear all of it! So what we have to do is ask Harry. And you know him. He keeps a lot of stuff to himself. What if Draco asked him to join forces or something-”
“Hermione, Voldemort’s dead remember? Draco can’t be the next Voldemort. Join forces? What are you saying?”
“Just wondering aloud, Ron.”
“No. Whatever Malfoy said to Harry, I’m sure is fine. Nobody’ll ‘join forces’ with anyone else, Hermione.”
“You can’t be sure. Ten years ago, everybody was sure that the Dark Lord wouldn’t rise again. But look, he did. Ron, we have to be careful. Keep an eye out for Harry.”
“Sure. No problem.”
Ron looked down at his hands and frowned.
“What’s wrong?” Hermione said carefully.
“Well about the kid thing…” Ron looked hopefully, looking up.
“Not that again, Ron!” Hermione said, exasperated.
Ron looked downcast. Hermione gently tilted his face up, an affectionate look spreading across her face.
“Don’t look like that.”
“Well…since you won’t…”
“I never said I wouldn’t…!” Hermione cried impatiently. “Just be a little more patient will you?”
“Sure…sure…” Ron mumbled.
“Just be excited for tomorrow.” Hermione suggested.
Herione flipped over and Ron curled up beside her.