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Old February 6th, 2009, 4:31 pm
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Re: Butterfly Kisses (Sequel to Harry Potter and the Return to Hogwarts)

Chapter 3
Telephone Etiquette


Author’s Note: This will be in Hermione’s PoV.

Hermione woke up on Sunday morning in Bill’s old bedroom. She didn’t get out of bed immediately, but only stared up at the blank, yellowish-brown ceiling. The faded colors of the ceiling were even more indistinguishable, as Hermione began her early morning thoughts that she normally went through as she tried to wake herself from the night’s sleep.

She looked around the bedroom. It had been designated as Hermione’s bedroom for as long as she remained at the Burrow. The only time she would have to resort to the old option, was if Bill, Fleur and Victoire decided to visit for more than a day. The “old option” was sleeping on that flimsy, old cot in Ginny’s room.

Ginny was happy to have her room to herself again, though as Ron’s parents learned the previous day, Ginny wouldn’t need her room for too much longer. Hermione, as well as Ron, were happy enough that Ginny was moving in with Harry. Hermione could tell that Ginny was slightly unhappy being away from Harry for so long. She knew that Ginny was jealous of her and Ron. It was not normal jealously, though. It was only to the point that Hermione and Ron’s continued close proximity to each other had become unbearable for her. Though as Hermione thought more and more about it, she figured it couldn’t be any more unbearable than when Ron had his short fling with Lavender Brown.

It was true, Hermione and Ron hadn’t been apart very long since she had moved into the Burrow. The only time Ron was away, was during Auror training. Hermione and Ron’s relationship was very advanced for the time they had been a couple, though they hadn’t taken those ultimate steps of true love. But their feelings for each other wasn’t too much of a surprise, given the fact that they had been best friends since they were eleven. They had their ups and their downs, fights and make-ups, but in the end it had brought them closer together.

While it was true that Hermione and Ron were engaged, there was no foreseen date for the wedding, something that both were agreed upon. Neither were past their teen years, and they were barely graduates of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The Second War was over, so there was no real reason for Hermione and Ron to speed up their romance, which was perfectly fine for the young couple.

The only major step they wanted to take, as soon as possible, was the fact that they wanted a place of their own. Even if there was the chance it would be a small one bedroom apartment, they were fine with it. It didn’t matter whether or not they were comfortable enough to sleep in the same bed so early in their relationship, no matter how advanced it was. Both were capable of coming up with the best accommodations to suit their needs.

Hermione’s dreams of her and Ron moving into a house of their own weren’t as selfish as one would think. More to the point, it would be more convenient than anything. If Ron could get his way, the house would be in London. This meant that it would be closer to the Ministry of Magic. The cost of the bag-a-week usage of Floo Powder was already digging its way into the Weasley’s small sum of money. True, Ron was able to dip into his fund from the money he got during Auror training, but he was trying to save his earnings for the house. Hermione was trying to get a job at the Ministry (her interview would be the following day) and if she was able to start her job, it would just dig deeper into the Floo Powder fund. Both Ron and Hermione were aware of this, and that is why they wanted to get their house as soon as possible.

Though, in Hermione’s opinion, Ron hadn’t put much thought to a house in the past few days… or if he did, Hermione hadn’t heard anything about it.

A knock on the door interrupted Hermione’s thoughts. Hermione smiled, knowing it was Ron. She and Ron always had their private discussions early in the morning, before the house would become active with chatter and wandering eyes.

“I’m awake, Ron,” Hermione said.

The door opened a moment later, and Ron walked in, completely clothed for the new day. Hermione smiled privately, knowing that Ron hadn’t been able to get over his childish fear of having his fiancée see him in his pajamas.

“Good morning, my love,” Ron said, closing the door.

Hermione tried to respond, but a yawn deemed her incapable of one.

“Just wake up?” Ron asked.

“A few minutes ago,” Hermione said, “You?”

“I’ve been up for about a half-an-hour,” Ron said, “Already took a shower.”

As Ron sat at the end of the bed, Hermione had only noticed then that his hair was still a bit damp.

“That’s a bit of a role-reversal,” Hermione said, surprised, “Isn’t it me who is always awake at least an hour or so before you?”

Ron shrugged, but Hermione heard a small laugh under his breath.

“I guess I couldn’t sleep any longer today,” he said, “I had too many thoughts in my head, and they were interfering with my dreams.”

“Oh?” Hermione asked, curious.

She didn’t know if she was more curious about his dreams or his thoughts. Though, she knew that if Ron’s dreams were anything like hers, he wouldn’t have been able to wipe the blush from his cheeks that usually matched his adorable ginger-red hair.

“Ginny’s conversation with my parents yesterday didn’t scare me as much as I thought it would,” Ron said, “It actually made me think.”

“Looks like you’ve done a lot of thinking recently,” Hermione said, holding back a laugh.

“Probably enough for a year or more,” Ron said, grinning.

Hermione couldn’t help but laugh.

“It seems strange to think,” Ron said, “that this house that was once full of children, will be soon empty to the point that it will almost be a ghost town. Ginny is moving in with Harry before too long. I think I heard her telling Bill that she planned on moving with Harry soon after his next birthday.”

“When was this?” Hermione asked, “I thought she would have told me first.”

“I think the idea of it scares her,” Ron said, “And she could only confide the idea with a close family member.”

Hermione was about to respond with a “What am I? A stranger?” response, when she realized that Ron was probably right. As much as she wanted to believe she was a part of the Weasley family, Hermione wasn’t close enough just yet. No matter how much the engagement ring on her finger said otherwise.

“I don’t think she wanted to talk about it with Mum and Dad,” Ron said, “She had already heard their decision, and if you remember, Mum was conked out on the old love seat with Victoire all afternoon. While Dad approves of the decision more than Mum does, Ginny still believes any further discussion could change Dad’s mind.”

“And Bill’s her oldest brother,” Hermione said, understanding.

“Even if that wasn’t true,” Ron said, “I don’t think she would have confided in me. I was surprised she let me hear the conversation. I don’t know if you have noticed or not, but I think Ginny’s trying to avoid us.”

“I’ve noticed,” Hermione said, with a frown, “And while I disapprove and think she is being unfair, I can’t blame her. But what can you do?”

That last bit was supposed to be rhetorical, but of course that whole concept went through one of Ron’s ears and out the other.

“I don’t think I could do anything,” he answered, “Like I said, I was surprised she let me within listening range.”

“All right, let’s have it,” Hermione said, “What did she say?”

“Nothing too bad,” Ron said, shrugging, “If I could put it simply, I would say her birthday present to Harry is moving in with him, and if she got her way, her last moments here at the Burrow would be the time before Harry returned back to his house.”

“She wants to move in with him on his birthday?” Hermione asked, incredulously.

“I guess so,” Ron said, shrugging, “But like you, I can’t blame her. She’s madly in love with Harry.”

“Are you okay with that?” Hermione asked, knowing Ron’s protective side when it came to his sister.

“My feelings are the same they were before Ginny decided to move in with Harry,” Ron said, “Comparing to every boy at Hogwarts, and every boy I’ve ever known, I know no one better for Ginny than Harry.”

Hermione raised her eyebrows. She was very surprised about this.

“Why?” Ron said, in a suspicious tone, “Are you okay with it?”

“My only concerns are that she is taking this a little too quickly,” Hermione said.

“Are you serious?” Ron asked. It was his turn to be surprised. “We may be older than Ginny, but technically we have been out of Hogwarts no longer than she has. And if you remember, Ginny and Harry have been together longer than we have, if you don’t count their short separation from each other. Besides, if you want to compare their relationship to ours, I think we‘re the ones who are moving too quickly. Look at us. We‘re engaged and we aren‘t out of our teens.”

“Yes, but that is why we have no plans to get married any time soon,” Hermione said, “As far as that goes, are rings are no more than promise rings, even though the promise is much bigger than just an adolescent gift.”

“You don’t see our engagement any more than that?” Ron asked, frowning.

Hermione gasped. Had she really said it in a way that made it sound that bad?

“Of course not!” she said, quickly, “As I’ve told you many times, this engagement ring means more to me than any other piece of jewelry I could have in my life. I didn’t mean that at all. I’m just saying that we are no closer to getting married than if we were just a couple. But that is only because we know better. It doesn‘t mean I don‘t love you any less. In fact, I love you more.”

Ron’s expression turned from sadness and shock to one of sudden comprehension.

“But what does that have to do with Ginny?” he asked.

Hermione sighed. Because of the way the conversation had turned, she had forgotten Ginny for a moment. She tried to get back on track.

“Er… where were we?” Hermione asked, “I honestly forgot what I said.”

“You said that you thought Ginny was taking this thing a little too quickly,” Ron said.

“Oh yes,“ she said, remembering, “Well…you can’t possibly believe Ginny when she says her first reason for moving in with Harry is so that she has easier access to the Quidditch training camp.”

“Why shouldn’t I believe it?” Ron asked, “It’s the same reason we want to move to London.”

“I don’t think it is,” Hermione said, shaking her head, “We’ve always been close to each other since graduation. We see each other every day. When was the last time Ginny was able to talk to Harry face-to-face?”

Another round of comprehension dawned on Ron’s face.

“Oh,” he said.

“You see,” Hermione said, “Ginny misses Harry. Some simple writing on a piece of parchment is no competition to a face-to-face conversation, especially when the two people are in love. Take it this way. We are running low on Floo Powder, right?”

“What does that have to do with anything?” Ron asked.

“Just bear with me, please,” Hermione said, impatiently, “What if you had to move in with Harry? What if, say, we weren’t able to afford Floo Powder, no matter how strange that sounds, and in order for you to get to work, you would have to live with Harry. Meanwhile, Ginny was now with Harry, and their relationship mirrored ours. How would you feel? Remember, I wouldn’t be up there. I would be here at the Burrow until I was able to afford enough money to move into a flat.”

“You don’t expect me to picture Harry and Ginny’s love-life, do you?” Ron asked, disgusted.

Hermione rolled her eyes. Ron was completely missing the point.

“Let’s just say you were just as annoyed as Ginny is now,” Hermione said, “I only want to put you in her shoes, metaphorically speaking.”

Ron took a moment to think about that.

“I wouldn’t be able to stand it,” he finally said, “It’s hard to picture being away from you for that long.”

“That is exactly what I am talking about,” Hermione said, “Now do you see how Ginny feels?”

“Damn,” Ron muttered, “Poor Ginny.”

“Poor Ginny,” Hermione agreed.

“But that still doesn’t mean her intentions are only towards Harry,” Ron said, “You know how much she loves Quidditch. She’s been waiting for the opportunity to be a professional Quidditch Player, not to mention being able to play with the Harpies, her favorite team. You can’t tell me that if Harry didn’t agree with her, which wasn’t in question anyway, she would still find a way to move closer to the camp.”

“And Harry,” Hermione said.

“And Harry,” Ron agreed.

Hermione smiled.

“My thoughts weren’t just on Ginny’s future with Harry, you know,” Ron said.

Hermione blushed, thinking that she probably knew what Ron was thinking when he wasn’t around her. Ron blushed too, noticing Hermione’s reaction.

“I didn’t mean that!” he said, “I mean, I can’t help but agree with some of Ginny’s intentions. She wants to move up to London to be closer to the training camp. Even if that isn’t her only reason, it is one of her reasons. And it made me think that my reasons aren’t different then hers. Er… you are still going up to London tomorrow to have that interview, right?”

“Yes,” Hermione said, “I figured I would go with you. My interview is close to the time you have to be at work.”

“Well, if you get the job,” Ron said, “It will be another person in this house who has to travel a long way to get to work. So, I think we need to solve our travel problems sooner than later. I’ve taken care of that. If everything goes right, I’m going to meet with the real estate agent after work tomorrow.”

For the first time since Ron had entered her room, Hermione sat up straight.

“Tomorrow?” she asked, her tone a mixture of shock and confusion, “You mean… you found a house?”

“Earlier this week,” Ron said, grinning, “You’re the first person I have told.”

Hermione gasped and lunged at Ron, hugging him.

“Why didn’t you tell me before?” she said, still in his arms.

“I didn’t think you’d be this excited,” Ron said, laughing.

Hermione playfully slapped Ron on the back then backed up.

“Of course I’m excited!” she said, “When can we see the house? What does it look like? Where is it?”

“Not so fast, Hermione,” Ron said, his face shockingly straight (in Hermione’s opinion) for someone who had just delivered excellent news, “I haven’t exactly set an interview time with the agent yet.”

“But,” Hermione said, raising an eyebrow, “You just said you were going to meet --”

“I said if everything went well, Hermione,” Ron said.

Hermione’s excitement sank almost into non-existence.

“Oh,” she said, flatly.

“The agent is a Muggle,” Ron explained, “Which means I have to be careful with my means of contacting him. He would probably freak out if his mail was delivered to him by an owl. Which means I have to get Dad to dig out his -- what’s the word? Telephone?”

Hermione could feel her excitement quickly disappearing into oblivion. Ron was not an expert when it came to the telephone. Hermione quickly decided she had to take this into her own hands.

“I think I am going to have to instruct you in telephone etiquette,” she said.

“What do you mean?” Ron asked.

“Honey, I could count on my fingers how many times you’ve used the telephone,” Hermione said, almost in an apologetic tone, “And I wouldn’t get anywhere near the end of one hand.”

“So, I haven’t used the telephone in a while!” Ron said, waving a dismissive hand.

“Yes, and when you did,” Hermione said, “You angered Harry’s uncle to a dangerous point!”

“That was years ago, Hermione!” Ron complained.

“And you haven’t used the phone since,” Hermione said, “Have you?”

“I -- well, I would have if -- I didn’t think -- no,” Ron stuttered, frowning.

“It will be easy to learn how to use the telephone properly,” Hermione said, “For starters, you don’t yell into the reciever. If you yell at the agent, he will hang up. Believe me. There are only two reasons someone would yell into a telephone. One, if they were angry, and two, they had bad reception.”

After a moment, she said “Though I could probably understand the bad reception. Magic does interfere with electricity quite a lot.”

“You and my father would have a nice discussion about that,” Ron joked.

“He’s tried to get me to talk with him about it, believe me,” Hermione said, giggling.

A sudden shuffling of feet was heard outside the bedroom door. It disappeared a moment later.

“Probably Ginny,” Ron said, noticing that Hermione was looking at the door.

“I don’t know,“ Hermione said, after a sudden thought, “What time is it?”

Ron looked behind Hermione’s shoulder, out the window.

“Judging by the sun?” Ron said, “Almost seven. Why?”

“It might have been your Mum, Ron,” Hermione said.

“Nonsense,” Ron said, “She’s downstairs cooking breakfast by now.”

“Still,” Hermione said, “You know how she is when it comes to you and I in the same bedroom.”

“We aren’t doing anything, Hermione,” Ron said, a slight annoyance in his tone, “It’s not like we’re… err… sleeping in the same bed, you know.”

Hermione narrowed her eyes slightly, having a feeling that Ron wasn’t saying exactly what was on his mind. She shook it off a moment later, however, deciding it was in her mind.

“This is one reason I want us to get our own house,” Ron said, “We don’t have to sneak around to get a bit of privacy. And we can sleep in the same bed…”

Ron immediately blushed.

“I mean,” he said, “Only if you want.”

Hermione didn’t answer straight away.

“What size is this house you’re talking about?” Hermione asked him.

“Not as big as Harry’s,” Ron said, “I didn’t expect to be our permanent house. It’s… err… only one bedroom. Not big enough for…”

“For what?” Hermione asked, though she felt she knew the answer.

Hermione could tell that Ron was almost regretting his last line.

“For a family,” he finally answered, his face nearly as red as his hair, “I mean… you do want a… family, right?”

Hermione cringed, though Ron didn’t notice. There it was. The other F-word. Hermione hadn’t put much thought into it. It was one of greatest dreams to have a family with Ron. But she knew she was nowhere near ready for it. Even mentioning it scared her.

“Well,” Hermione finally said, “Of course I do, Ron. It’s just --”

“I know, Hermione,” Ron said, “That’s still a long ways away.”

“Not that long,” Hermione said, “It’s just…I mean…”

Hermione sighed. What did she mean?

“At the moment, I can’t imagine me in your mother’s position,” she said, “No offense to her.”

“I don’t want seven children, if that is what you mean!” Ron said, his eyes wide.

Hermione laughed. Ron may have taken her reaction wrong, but it was true that he wasn’t that far from it.

“Anyway,” Ron said. Hermione smiled at the change of subject, “This house isn’t going to be a permanent one. It’s one bedroom, like I said. But if you are worried about sleeping arrangements, I’m sure I can get a comfortable couch.”

“We’ll worry about that when it comes,” Hermione said, nodded

Ron laughed, and Hermione knew it was one of relief. Suddenly, more footsteps, though it might have been the same ones, walked past the doorway. Hermione was relieved that they didn’t stop.

“I think we should get down to breakfast,” Ron said.

“I agree,” Hermione said, “But err… maybe you should leave while I get changed, you think?”

Ron blushed. Hermione grinned and leaned into him and kissed him. Ron returned the kiss and for a moment, neither backed away. Hermione backed up a moment later, however. She had to catch her breath, but couldn’t tell whether that was from the lack of oxygen or the kiss itself.

“Okay, I really do need to get dressed into normal clothes, Ron,” she said.

Ron nodded, apparently lost for words, and got up from the bed. He walked to the door and turned around.

“I love you, Hermione,” he said, when he found his voice.

“I love you too, Ron,” Hermione said, “More than you know.”

“More than I deserve,” Ron said.

Hermione didn’t know whether to kiss Ron again or throw a pillow at him. She knew she needed to get dressed, so she did the latter. The pillow barely missed Ron, who laughed, and walked out the door. Hermione rolled her eyes, but smiled anyway.

----------------------------
Hermione walked out of her room, dressed for the day. She felt that she should take a shower, but decided it wasn’t that important since she took one the night before. Ron, of course, was waiting outside her door. They walked down the stairs to the bottom floor, then into the kitchen. Ginny, who was sitting at the table, sighed in exasperation.

“Don’t you two ever come down the stairs separately?” she asked.

“No,” Ron said, simply.

Ginny rolled her eyes, and Hermione giggled. She sat down with Ron at the table. Mr. Weasley had his face behind the new edition of the Daily Prophet. Mrs. Weasley was at the oven, cooking breakfast. From the delicious aroma, Hermione deducted that she was fixing bacon and eggs.

“Dad, I was wondering,” Ron said, getting comfortable in his chair, “Do you know where your telephone is?”

Mr. Weasley lowered the Daily Prophet.

“I think it is in the garage,” he said, “I’d have to search for it.”

“Why couldn’t you just Summon it, Arthur?” Mrs. Weasley asked.

“It’s in a pile of things, if I remember right,” Mr. Weasley said, “I wouldn’t want to make a mess, Molly.”

Mrs. Weasley sighed. “What do you need it for, anyway, Ron?” she asked.

“I need to call… err… someone,” Ron said, “It’s a Muggle, so I can’t give a message by owl post.”

“A Muggle?” Mrs. Weasley asked, her hands on her hips, “What is this all about?”

Ron paled and looked at Hermione. She nodded, knowing that Ron should just tell his parents. They knew that Ron and Hermione were wanting to get their own house.

“I have to talk to a real estate agent,” Ron explained, slowly as if he was thinking about every word as he said it, “I met with him earlier this week, and I need to see if I can get an interview.”

“A real estate agent?” Mrs. Weasley asked.

“I told you I was trying to find a house in London, right?” Ron asked.

“Yeah,” Mrs. Weasley said, slowly, “Though I didn’t expect it this soon.”

“I don’t even know if I will get the house, Mum,” Ron said, “It’s hard to say.”

“Molly, we’ve discussed this,” Mr. Weasley said, “We can’t keep our children from having a life of their own. They’re not prisoners.”

“I know,” Mrs. Weasley said, “It’s just a surprise.”

“I’m not completely sure that I’ll get this house,” Ron said, “I don’t know the agent’s decision yet, of course.”

“I’ll go find the telephone after breakfast, Ron,” Mr. Weasley said, “It has to be in there somewhere. Perhaps next to the batteries and stuff…”

It didn’t take long for Mr. Weasley to find the telephone. But coming from the loud noises in the garage, it sounded as if he had given in and summoned it, probably knocking over a pile or two of stuff.

“Everything should be in order,” Mr. Weasley said, returning into the room, “I think it will work without all of the magical interference. Fingers crossed though!”

Hermione was still tutoring Ron on telephone etiquette.

“Don’t yell into it,” she said, “Stay calm.”

“I know, Hermione,” Ron said.

“You know the number, right?” Hermione asked.

“Er… yeah,” Ron said, “Hang on.”

Ron retreated up the stairs and returned a few minutes later with a green-colored piece of paper. He walked over to the telephone and froze.

“Ron?” Hermione asked.

“I can’t tell one number from the other,” Ron said, “What’s with all those letters?”

Hermione sighed.

“I’ll do it,” she said, snatching the piece of paper from Ron.

“Gee,” Ginny said, “Who’s more excited, Ron or Hermione?”

Ron and Hermione both rolled their eyes. Hermione dialed the number and put the phone up to her ear.

“It’s ringing,” she said, “Here. Remember…”

“Stay calm, yes,” Ron said, put the phone to his ear, “Hello? Yes, is this Mr. Wycott? Yes? This is Ron Weasley. We met Wednesday?”

Hermione could hear undistinguishable conversation coming from the other end of the line.

“Yes,” Ron said, “About that house. I’m pretty interested in it. I’d like to come in sometime tomorrow afternoon to take a look at the house, if that is okay with you, I mean.”

Pause.

“Four-o-clock?” Ron asked, “I think I can work that out. Meet at the house? Sure. Yes, I have the address. Great! See you there! Oh, yes, goodbye.”

He noisily put the phone back on the hook.

“So?” Hermione asked.

“He wants to meet me tomorrow,” Ron said.

Hermione squealed and hugged Ron.

“Did I do good?” Ron asked.

“Of course,” Hermione said, “You did perfect.”

Hermione smiled, and she couldn’t be any happier. If everything worked out, Hermione and Ron would have a house to themselves soon. That, more than anything, made Hermione feel as if she was really starting her life with Ron. At the moment, that didn’t scare her at all.

-----------------------------------------
Chapter finished! Whew, this chapter was longer than I expected, but I am happy with that. I really didn’t expect Ron and Hermione’s conversation to last that long, but I’m also happy with that.

Next chapter continues with Hermione’s PoV. Yes, the house will be in it!

Feedback would be great!


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