Hey guys! So i'm not dead and I am so sorry it's taken me this long but I really struggled with most of this chapter, I had massive writer's block and have literally just tonight sat down and finished it all so if it's awful I am really sorry!
Well, with that vote of confidence here you are!
When the time came for Hermione's return, they were all glad of it. Ron had been nearly unbearable the whole time, he wouldn't stop talking about her no matter how many jobs Molly loaded him with, and when he wasn't doing that he stared out of the window looking for an owl. Hermione said she would come over that evening after getting settled in.
It was five o'clock and Bill and Charlie were mercilessley teasing Ron about his restlessness, when they heard the pop of apparition. Ron shot up with a grin and ran out towards the door, he yanked it open just as Hermione had lifted her fist to knock. They stared at eachother for a second before, much to their shock, Hermione launched herself at Ron and kissed him. The kiss lasted for an uncomfortably long time, as the rest of Ron's family were stood watching, not really knowing what to do with themselves. It wasn't until Ginny rolled her eyes and wolf whistled loudly at them that they pulled apart gazing into each other's eyes with stupidly large grins on their faces.
Bill and Charlie started applauding their little brother, laughing. Percy even smiled a little. Before Molly slapped them accross the head.
"Now boys, don't be silly." She chastised, making her way over to Ron and Hermione who had her arms wrapped around Ron. Hermione looked up at Molly with an embarrassed smile, but didn't let go.
"You look well Hermione!" Molly exclaimed, a little suprised; the girl had finally put on some weight and she had a healthy glow about her. "I assume you had a good trip then?"
Hermione grinned wider, finally unwravelling herself from Ron - much to his evident dismay, and giving Molly a quick hug, before seating herself down on the only available space, which happened to be the floor. "I did, it was wonderful, it was so lovely to just lie on the beach and read and eat and do absolutely nothing else. It was nice to spend time with my parents away from everything as well, it was strange at first, but I think they're finally okay with everything now, we had chance to talk properly and I feel so much better about them now."
"That's good Hermione, any chance of them coming to visit any time soon?" Arthur asked hopefully and they laughed at his overly keen tone.
"Yes, they'd love to spend more time with you, you've really helped them and they're very greatful." Hermione beamed.
"Oh it's nothing!" Molly said, though she was secretly very chuffed that the Grangers wanted to spend time with them.
"In fact they told me to give you this!" Hermione pulled an invitation out of her bag and handed it to them, "They're having a Barbeque to celebrate their moving back to England, they're inviting all my family and some of their friends, and they wanted me to invite you. All of you I mean." She smiled nervously as the Weasley's looked at her in confusion.
"Hermione, what's a bar-bee-cute?" Ron asked. She looked at him and then around at the rest of them and giggled, Harry snorted along with her until Ron glared at him.
"It must be a muggle thing! It's where you get a big grill type thing and use coal and kindling to light it like a fireplace. Then you cook lots of meat on it outside and there's lots of bread and salad and sauces, like that one that you like Ron, you remember? Ketchup. Anyway and you eat outdoors, if the weather's good anyway, like a picnic."
Hermione seemed rather content with her explaination, as did the rest of the family. The sound of all that food was making the boys drool.
"That sounds lovely Hermione we'll be there." Molly smiled.
The conversation picked up and Molly could see that her son was itching to steal his girlfriend away, but he obviously knew the teasing he'd have to endure if his brothers noticed them sneaking off. Molly was almost ready to give them an excuse to leave when a Pig flew onto the windowsil and began tapping. Charlie reached back and opened the latch to let him in and he flew at Ron, Hermione and Harry dropping an identical letter in each of their laps and then an extra one in Harry's.
They looked at each other in confusion before simultaneously ripping them open. Ron and Hermione went rigid after a few seconds and Harry looked grim and moved onto the next one which left him looking torn.
"What is it dear?" Asked Molly.
"I've been asked to testify at the Malfoy's trial." He looked to Ron and Hermione, the former of whom nodded angrily at them, before crumpling his letter in a ball and throwing it on the floor next to him.
"But what about the second letter?" Molly encouraged.
Harry looked nervous and rubbed the scar on his forehead before glancing briefly at Ron and Hermione who were avoiding the eyes of everyone.
"Well, Narcissa Malfoy has written to me." At this the whole family, who were previously trying to ignore the conversation, snapped their eyes up to Harry. Ron was glaring at him with a feirce intensity. Hermione however was still frowning at the floor, absently scratching her arm.
"She wants me to testify for her."
Molly was about to ask why on earth Harry would testify on behalf of Narcissa Malfoy when Ron, who was now shaking, spoke up.
"Harry don't you dare." The quiet anger in his voice shocked Molly, he was never this intense usually.
"I have to. She saved my life Ron." But Harry couldn't quite meet his eyes.
"You don't have to do anything Harry she wasn't going to save your life that night in the Manor and she sure as hell wasn't going to save Hermione's. She doesn't deserve anything not after she stood there and watched while her sick bitch of a sister - while she..." He cut himself off with a glance at his girlfriend. "Harry if she gets off free after that and it's because of you I can't, I don't think I'll ever be able to speak to you again." He pleaded with a grim certainty.
"Ron!" Ginny shouted clasping Harry's arm, as Harry reeled from the shock of Ron's admission.
"Butt out Ginny, you don't know a damn thing about it." Ron said with an air of authority and the rest of them watched uncomfortably as Ron and Harry stared at each other.
"Look, i don't want to lose you Ron, but I owe her this. She might only have been looking out for her son but she isn't completely evil, she's part of the reason I beat him and that counts for something. But if you make me, I won't do it, it's not worth losing your friendship over." Harry spoke sincerely.
"You should do it." Came a quiet voice from Hermione.
"What?" Ron exclaimed, looking down at her in shock.
She glanced tentatively at him before looking Harry in the eye, pulling her sleeves down over her hands, "You can tell them that she saved your life, she deserves a fair trial. Unfair trials caused half of this mess in the first place. But make sure it is fair; tell them about how she stood there and did nothing the whole time as well. Tell them she helped you fine, but make sure the other side gets heard too because your testimony will be the most important to them and you owe ME that." She said shakily, wiping at her eyes furiously. "Now if you'll excuse me I want to have a nice afternoon with my boyfriend and forget that this happened."
With that she grabbed a shocked Ron by the sleeve and dragged him up and out of the front door.
They sat in silence for a few minutes before Ginny broke the silence, "What are you going to do Harry?"
"I guess, I'll do what Hermione told me to. As always." He laughed, and soon the whole room was laughing with him.
It wasn't until nearly dark that the pair returned, looking much more rumpled and red cheeked.
"Oi is 'forgetting' what the kids are calling 'getting off' these days?" Asked Charlie who was playing chess with Bill who fought a smile at this.
Ron blustered embarrasedly while Hermione looked Charlie dead in the eye with a smirk, "I guess it could be." she sniped while Ron went even redder.
She seemed pleased with herself when even Charlie looked shocked and impressed.
Bill patted him on the head laughing, "Nice to see you back Hermione."
She smiled at his graciously before catching Molly's eye. "My parents said I could stay here tonight if that's alright with you?"
"Of course dear, let me make up a bed in Ginny's room for you." George coughed at her emphasis of Ginny's room, but she silenced him with a raised eyebrow.
"Let me." Said Ron, when she looked at him in confusion he continued, "I want to talk to Ginny anyway."
"Okay." Molly conceded, wondering why he wanted to talk to Ginny and not Harry.
She caught up with Hermione for a while before deciding to put on some rice pudding for supper. When it was on, she went upstairs to check if Ron had set the bed up properly, well at least that was her excuse, she really wanted to see what was going on. She tried to avoid the squeaky spots on the stairs and leaned her ear next to Ginny's door, but she couldn't hear anything.
She was about to burst in when she heard Ron say, "Harry, you're my brother, you always will be, I was overreacting, I reckon Hermione would've knocked the sense into me before too long anyway."
She burst in at this, a surge of pride and love propelling her forward. The boys looked slightly shocked, though Ginny gave her a knowing smile.
"Supper's nearly ready so come down soon please." She straightened out the bedding on the make-shift bed as Ron rolled his eyes at her.
She closed the door behind her as she left the room, she smiled to herself allowing herself a moment to be happy at how greatful she was for Ron and Harry's friendship. See many people would think that Harry was a burden to them but Molly was glad that such a wonderful boy had come into their lives and given her youngest son the chance to become the wonderfully giving person with an amazing capacity to love that he was meant to be.
Thanks so much for your patience and reviews and favourites etc they really mean a lot and hopefully the wait for the next chapter won't be nearly as long :) x