So I saw an entertaining idea where Hermione, the studious bookworm, the brightest witch of their age, part of the golden trio, can't cook. No matter the reading or the classes, it's just something she struggles with.
Ron on the other hand had grown up seeing his mom cook dishes all his life, for many people. Most by "hand" as it were. So I thought I'd look up a story with this premise. I found nothing matching it. Maybe I took a wrong turn? Regardless, that alone is why I am writing this story.
Original idea and Harry Potter as well as the characters are not mine. But this story I have written.
Ron didn't give it much thought after marrying Hermione. She was a busy witch afterall, and the war left the wizarding world in weary chaos. She was often out before the sun rose, and back home after the sun set. Even Ron's auror training wasn't nearly as long, keeping him out of the house until sunset normally.
Hermione would come home tired but her nose stuck in a book or rambling about something or another, be it a purist causing issues in her work, a spell or potion causing a hold up or some bureaucratic nonsense. She would speak into the late hours of the evening when sleep would overcome her and Ron, what with his responses and their little arguements.
So when he would go home, he would pull out the pans and pots that were gifted to them on their wedding day, some fresh meat and vegetables, along with other simple ingredients to begin dinner for the two of them. Some days it was simple pasta and sauce, other days, when his fingers felt the itch to move, he would make a roast with hand mashed potatoes paired with green beans and freshly baked rolls.
He never gave it much thought. It was just how it worked between him and Hermione. He would cook and serve dinner as he and Hermione talked over their days.
And when Hermione was pregnant with their first child, he stepped up his cooking time. Hermione's cravings for food he was unfamiliar with made him experiment and go to the muggle stores for cookbooks and spices he had never heard of before to appease her wild cravings.
He doted on her and his little princess, happy to make up all sorts of meals for them. Even going as far as making up the baby food when Rose was getting off formula.
Sadly, there comes a day where one cannot keep up.
Ron lay in bed, his body feeling hot and his head pounding something fierce. He moaned out his discomfort, his throat rough as sandpaper. He slowly sat up in bed, his vision swimming. He closed his eyes for just a moment when he heard an explosion.
His eyes flew open and adrenaline coursed through his viens as he stumbled out of bed, staggering towards the loud noise's origin. Fear coursed through him. Had someone from the war attacked them? Were Hermione and Rose okay? He hoped they were okay.
Longer than he would have liked, he made it to the source of the sound. There, standing by the stove was Hermione, covered in what looked like a batter of some sort while their daughter giggled at Hermione's appearance.
"Hermione." He saw her grimace at his voice's scratchiness. "What in Merlin's name happened in here?"
Rose's laughter seemed to grow louder at his question, making his head hurt more. His eyes remained on his wife though. Surely she knew what was going on.
Hermione stammered something out he had trouble understanding.
"Ron, you're sick. You should be lying down. Rest up alright?"
Ron was certain that was not what she said but who was he to argue? He felt terrible.
"Uh huh. What about breakfast?"
"Don't worry. I've got this. I can cook for the day Ron. Just rest."
Ron nodded his head and let Hermione back to the room to rest. He ate bread and a very familiar tasting soup that day. He wrote off the occurance in the kitchen as some sort of fever dream. He was back up and cooking the next day, and back to a hundred percent by the end of the week. He forgot the incident soon enough. He was more focused on Hermione's new, even longer schedule. He didn't mind being home with Rose, and his mum didn't mind babysitting her when he had to work. But something was wrong. Hermione had grown more evasive as of late.
Dinner was done with long before she got home, and she seemed to be hiding something when he asked about her day. She used to go in unrestricted long stories filled with details, now were carefully spoken and controlled. He didn't want to bring up the notion. His temper would get the better of him and Rose did not need to hear him at his fieriest. But he couldn't just live with a wife who was cheating on him.
He paid extra attention to Hermione when she spoke, made up a few of her favorites to see if it would loosen her up. Instead, she seemed to grow more nervous and would be more likely to clam up.
He decided to confront her, leaving work a bit earlier to prepare, letting Rose spend the night with his mum so there would be no reason to hold back what had been a stewing anger. It was a surprise that he wasn't the only one who had a plan to go to his house though. He saw spoke from the chimney despite knowing there should be no fire going inside unattended. He made sure it was put out before he left.
He made his way over as quietly as he could. He approached the door to the kitchen he often used when he heard an loud noise coming from inside, followed by a loud, frustrated and familiar yell. Ron's heart dropped. He threw the door open and called out "'Mione!"
Hermione's head whipped around to see Ron in the doorway. Both stared at one another, One with a wand in hand, the other holding a caseerole pan that was holding something dark brown that had overflowed all over the sides and burnt in the oven.
"I heard you yell!"
"You're supposed to still be at work!"
"You're supposed to be at work!"
"I took a day off!"
"Hermione. You don't take days off! You methodically plan!"
"I planned this day off Ronald!"
"Why would you have taken a day off? I thought you were almost done with the legislation against the descrimination against muggleborn witches and wizards and you wanted to see it through the process."
He was proud he could recall exactly what had been tying his wife up so to speak.
"I have. That's what the overtime was for."
"Uh huh. And all this?" he asked, waving the tip of his wand around at the mess. Hermione huffed and pulled out her own wand and cast a few cleaning charms.
"Just trying something new."
"Something new?" Ron felt his stomach drop. Was she confirming what he feared? Was she "trying" a new guy and was having a meal with him?
"Yes Ronald. Though I don't know what I'm doing wrong. Harry's instructions were rather clear. The casserole shouldn't have overflowed like that," she muttered. Ron froze. Harry? Instructions? Casserole? What?
"I've followed them to the T and it still ends up wrong."
Ron felt a click in his head as he pieced together, Hermione wasn't cheating on him. Harry would never cheat on Ginny, or so help him god he would feel the wrath of the Weasley clan. And Hermione... He was an idiot to think she would cheat on him. She would have sooner demanded a divorce.
"So Harry's been teaching you some recipes?"
"More of teaching me how to cook."
"Hermione, it's not that hard. I mean, you did well in potions. Isn't reading a recipe and making it just an easier version of making a potion?"
"That's the thing Ron, it should be. But these ingredients are out to get me."
"Mione, you are talking crazy."
"I feel crazy! Why can't I get this?"
Why are you so worried Hermione? I usually cook."
"That's just it. You always cook."
"You say that like it's a problem."
"It is Ron. Because you can't always cook for us."
"Who says I can't? My mum did for our family."
"And what of when you're sick?"
"You made a good soup. That was bout all I could stomach."
"It was your mother's."
"How can I take care of you when you're sick when I can't even make soup."
"Hermione, it's okay-"
"No Ronald it's not!"
"Hermione!" Ron bellowed. "Breathe. It's okay. You don't have to know how to do everything. Bloody hell I can't. But it's okay. We help where the other can't. You can move the government to accept everyone and I can cook food. It balances out!"
"How does that balance out?!"
"I don't know!"
"How is that an answer?" Hermione snapped back.
"It just is. I'm not always sick. And Hermione, if you wanted lessons, you could have just asked." he remarked in a slightly suggestive tone.
Hermione's face flushed. "Ronald!"
Tada! So it exists. Mysticarts is to blame for encouraging me to write this even as she acknowledges I probably should be working on the next Son of the Archer chapter.
Still... it was fun to write.