a/n: I'm just going to post what I have so far to see what people think, and in the hopes that some feedback motivates me to write a little more. Thank you for reading and please enjoy!

Chapter 1: Adjusting

"Ronald do you really expect me to tolerate her, she is the most foolish type of person. The way she looks at me makes my skin crawl. She can't stand that I'm different from her."

"You two are more alike than the two of us, you're... women, can't you focus on what you have in common?"

Hermione blanched, how could she emphasise the responsibility she had not to notice women, she couldn't trust herself to focus on such a thing as Ginny's soft curves or burning eyes.

"You expect us to sit about speaking about sewing and cooking is that it?"

"You said it." Hermione chose to let this slide, she was getting used to doing so. She knew Ron meant well, and it's not as though she had been a perfect paramour.

"How can I marry you, knowing that it can never simply be me and you? It's me and you and everyone else. I can't stand the rift I've created between you and your family." She told herself again and again that that is what was failing between them, that and nothing else.

"These things take time, don't be silly. Gin will adjust, they all must. Once they see how I love you, I'm hopeful that they will see why." The look in his eyes was soft and weary. They were still new to each other, and he couldn't know how his words failed to reassure her.

Why did he love her? Such an awful wretch that she was. She stepped into his arms.

"How will they see when you're not here? I wish you didn't have to go," she sighed against his lips, passing him his coat. When he took the coat and stepped back he looked surprised, she rarely initiated any physical intimacy between them, but it was easier for her to do so now knowing there was no time for him to press her for more. A simple kiss she could easily afford. He slipped the jacket on and ran a freckled finger over the warm ebony skin of her cheek.

"Take care of them," he pleaded, tugging her into a tight embrace. "And yourself." She wished she could soothe his fears, she felt his heart pound against her own, but he would leave here and face the worst of it alone. This was one more way in which she struggled in her duties as his wife to be, she couldn't help him. Once they were separated he pulled his flat private's hat from it's hook and slipped it over his flaming hair.

"Tell me how you love me," she pleaded, needing this last assurance from him. Who knew when she would see him again.

"Remember that you are to be my wife, and do not doubt me," he instructed her. The warmth he had been rushed with seemed to wane even as he reached the door, and then he was gone, and all his assurances with him. He left with the letter calling him to order in hand, and she wished she could cry when the door shut behind him: but she felt a shameful burst of relief. She refused to doubt he would return to her, but she should've made him promise, at least then her resentment might be justified.

Steeling herself Hermione moved into the public portion of the house. Ronald and his family ran a pub in which they all lived and it was her duty while he was away to help with the upkeep. Now that Ronald, the youngest son had been called to the trenches, that left just her and his sister, Ginevra, working in the front of house. His Mother Molly Weasley remained responsible for the kitchen and rarely emerged, bereft of not only her six sons but also her husband. Mrs. Weasley's face was very round and as red as her hair, she had more clothes then she probably needed since everything she put on was hidden beneath a large patched apron.

Opening the door which separated the living quarters from the back of the bar, Hermione emerged to find Ginny absent. They weren't due to open for another hour, listening intently Hermione heard the voices of Ron's remaining relatives emanating from Mrs. Weasley's overheated kitchen.

"I don't know what you expect me to do, even if I could bring myself to work in the front: the girl can't cook." Mrs. Weasley's voice was immediately recognisable as she spoke to her daughter in an exasperated tone.

"Business isn't exactly booming as it is? Are we really to weather this as well? It's not something I regret to abide personally but the rest of the neighbourhood may not be so forgiving," Ginny pressed, stating her case at this point practically a matter of habit. Still, there was all the more urgency now that the day Hermione was to begin working alongside her had come.

"She's a quiet clever girl Gin, she won't be any hassle. There will be as much to adjust to having the whole place run without any of the… of the boys. If they can come to terms with us than they can adjust to Hermione."

"If I can't raise your concerns for the sake of the business, then consider this from her side. Serving these parochial locals night in and night out could put her at risk. Do you really trust these brutes with Ron's precious fiancé noir?"

"Don't call her that."

"What, would you rather I spoke of her the way the neighbours undoubtedly will once they get a look at her? Particularly that ring on her finger."

"Ginny that's enough."

"You can't be serious. In war time? Because everyone is so friendly on their bloody cider rations." "I said stop it. What would you have me do? You can't run service alone, and we can't afford to feed Hermione and hire on another member of staff. We've put it off as long as we could but the time has come. Tonight she's taking orders. She can manage it, her letters are better than yours to say the least. It's settled, do you understand?"

"I understand that you're determined not to listen!" Ginny snapped, and without giving the nosy Hermione time to look busy, she tugged the kitchen door open with unnecessary force and crashed right into her. Hermione's nose and mouth were overcome with a curtain of floral fiery hair, and she flinched when Ginny's forehead hit hers.

They both took a step back, and Ginny's wide hazel eyes narrowed quickly as she assessed the situation.