(Author's Note: Another Fourway story, this time after Hogwarts.
If you don't know what the title means, well, you're probably too young
to be told. Thanks to Aggiebell for betaing!)
"You've got to be bloody joking!"
sighed. I hadn't expected Ron to be such a stubborn sod about this. How
was I to know he had plans for the flat on Saturday as well?
had seemed like a good idea at the time. As Ginny began her seventh
year at Hogwarts, Ron and I moved into a flat near Diagon Alley. I
joined Puddlemere United as their reserve Seeker, and Ron walked
straight into the Cannons as their first team Keeper. In the last year,
I've moved up to the first team as well, and we even got to play
against one another in a friendly match a few months back. Hermione's
been working in the Ministry of Magic as a sort of freelance
consultant, because, being Hermione, she wants to do everything. Last
week she was helping Remus with the Department for the Regulation and
Control of Magical Creatures, but two weeks before that she was working
with Lockhart - long story, but you can bet your last Knut that Ron
wasn't happy about it - in the Education department.
Of course, she's still working on S.P.E.W. in her spare time, too.
and Ginny's got all her NEWTs and she's working for Gringotts now.
She's training as a curse breaker, and she wants to do some travelling.
I can't really complain, can I? She was top of her year in Charms, and
all the work she did with us means that she set a record for Defence
Against the Dark Arts, beating my NEWT score by one point. She can
handle herself, and Ron still has the bruises for suggesting that she
Of course, with all of us going in different
directions, it's rare that we get to spend time together. Ron Apparates
off to Chudley before eight each morning, I think, but as Oliver Wood
is Puddlemere's captain this season, I have to be out of the flat by
seven at the latest. Hermione's at the Ministry at all hours and Circe
alone knows where she'll be on any given day.
And Ginny. . .
three years now since Ginny and I started dating and since then we've
hardly been apart. Voldemort attacked Privet Drive three days after I
went back there after sixth year and I was moved to the Burrow for my
own protection. I certainly didn't complain. Then, after Voldemort was
defeated halfway through my Defence exam - I got 98% because he broke
my left arm. Having Bill Weasley as Defence teacher was a test of our
humour, if nothing else - I spent the summer at the Burrow. Hogwarts
was so badly damaged during the battle that the students had to stay in
Hogsmeade for much of the following year or go home each night. I got
to see a lot of Ginny, which was great.
This summer, though,
she's been training with other new recruits, and I've been training
under Oliver Wood. I don't know whose job is harder, but Wood is
definitely insane. Puddlemere lost out to the Cannons on the last day
of the season when our Seeker missed the Snitch in the final game. Ron
nearly fell off his broom, apparently, when he realised that they'd
won, and I think today is the first time he's stopped grinning since
Ah, yes, today. . .
"You've got to be bloody joking!"
"Ron, come on. It's been weeks since I had more than a couple of hours alone with Ginny. You get to see Hermione all the time!"
about ten minutes at a time! No, forget it. We're playing the Wasps at
home on Saturday and Remus has ordered Hermione to take the day off.
I'll actually get the chance to spend some time with my girlfriend and
it's my turn to have the flat!"
Ah, yeah. Turns. One of
Hermione's less brilliant ideas. When Ron and I got this place, it
became a bit embarrassing for us to walk in on each other when Hermione
or Ginny was around, so Hermione suggested we take turns having the
flat to ourselves on alternate Saturdays. Up until now, it's worked
fine, but this Saturday is important. It's the first chance me and
Ginny will have to celebrate three years together - the actual
anniversary is on Thursday, but the Pudd's are in Ballycastle that
evening for a match - and so I want to do something special.
Actually, we want to do something special. And I'm not going to tell Ron what it is, because he'll kill me.
I know he doesn't mind me dating Ginny. Much. But, well, I don't think he'd approve of us, um, well. . .
want to sleep with Ginny, alright? It's been three years and we're
ready. Ginny and Hermione were researching Contraceptive Charms about
three months after we started dating, just in case. And now
we're of age, and we're ready, and I think I'm going to propose on her
next birthday and I'm really getting sick of waiting.
And if I
say any of that to Ron then every single member of the Weasley family
will kill me. Even Ginny, because she doesn't want Ron knowing.
"Ron, don't be an arse! You know that tomorrow is three years that Ginny and I have been going out. We want to celebrate!"
Well, next Wednesday is three years that me and Hermione have been
going out, only I've got a night match against the Pride of Portree
that night, so I can't be here. We're using the flat on Saturday,
Harry, so you'll have to make other arrangements."
broke, okay? I spent all my money on my present for Ginny. I can't
afford to take her out or anything. I have to use the flat!"
Ron barked. "Look, I don't get paid until next Friday, so I'm broke as
well. I had to borrow off George to get Hermione anything, so we've got
to use the flat as well."
"You're a bloody impossible sod, Weasley!" I yelled.
just grinned, infuriatingly. "Hermione was saying the other day that
it's really nice to see you expressing your emotions these days. Much
better than when you used to suppress and just seethe quietly. I have
to say I agree, but I think the neighbours might be a bit surprised to
hear language like that from the Boy Who Lived, mate."
just glared at him. Ron's a fine one to talk about using bad language.
"This is your sister I'm talking about, Ron. Don't you want to see her
A last ditch attempt, and not one that's ever worked before, but maybe today. . .
always say that Hermione is like a sister to you," Ron said, grinning
like he always does when he slips his knight - always his ruddy knight!
- into place and checkmates me. "Surely you'd want to see her treated
"Why can't you take her to the Burrow?" I said.
"Your dad's the Minister for Magic now. He could arrange to take your
mum off to some show for the night or something."
Ron gave me a look that suggested I'd gone mad.
he said quietly. "If you think that the one night that I actually get
Hermione alone, I'm going to take her somewhere that's covered in
pictures of me as a baby, you're off your trolley, mate. That sort of
thing does not set the sort of mood I'm aiming for, okay?"
And that's when it dawned on me.
Ron had the exact same plans for his night with Hermione that I had for my night with Ginny.
arrived at my lunch date with Hermione in an absolutely foul mood. It
wasn't her fault that Ron was being an arse, of course. I'd bet next
month's wages that she didn't even know what Ron had planned for
Saturday night. I can't imagine Hermione conspiring on having
'something for the weekend', as Fred always calls it when he doesn't
want Angelina knowing that we're talking about sex.
of course, was late. She always is. Everyone bought her clocks and
watches for her birthday last week - I swear it wasn't arranged
beforehand, although the way George and Fred were grinning, I think
that they'd 'suggested' appropriate gifts to a few people - but it
doesn't make a difference. Ever since she's started working with the
Ministry, she's always late for any appointment. I actually got her an
hourglass, to remind her of the Time Turner and how stressed she got
over it, but she doesn't seem to have taken the hint.
she was fifteen minutes late - not bad for Hermione - and scribbling
something on a roll of parchment as she arrived. I waited until that
mad look passed from her eyes before I said hello. She grinned, showing
off the perfect white teeth that had seen her win Witch Weekly's
'Most Charming Smile' award for the last six months. I know for a fact
that Ron's kept all the clippings, but I know he'd hex me into next
week if I ever mentioned it.
I'm sure Hermione knows, though.
exchanged small talk and got caught up on each other's lives, as it had
been about three weeks since I last saw her. Apparently she's working
with Hagrid at the moment to get Blast Ended Skrewts recognised as
official Beasts under the 1811 Magical Creature Registration Act,
whatever that is. I think she knows that she's onto a loser, but she'd
do anything for Hagrid, same as any of us would.
"So, what are you and Ron up to this weekend?" I asked carelessly, as though it didn't matter very much.
eyes lit up, as they always do whenever Ron's name is mentioned. I
don't think I'll ever forget the day I walked in on them kissing in
sixth year: For a moment, I thought Ron had been Petrified or
something. As I got closer, though, I realised that Hermione was on the
other side of him and he was just standing very still. Not exactly how
I wanted to find out that my best mates had started dating, but it
really took the heat off Ginny and me. Not only were they now spending
as much time as we were looking for someplace to snog, but I came up
with the 'but Hermione is like a sister to me' whenever Ron used the
'but Ginny's my sister' line for whatever reason.
Anyway, I'm getting away from the story. Sorry about that.
"We're having a meal at the flat," she said. "Ron's becoming a very good cook, you know."
he's not bad," I said. "I think his mum taught him some things when he
moved out. He made us pasta last night. Pretty good, although Mrs
Weasley's is better, of course."
"Well, Ron just needs the
practise," she said, treating cooking like everything else. "If he
works hard at it, he'll get better and better."
"He said he's
thinking of trying something more complicated next," I said, looking
down at my plate. He hadn't said anything of the sort, but maybe
Hermione might get nervous of the idea.
"Oh, that would be
nice. It's good to see Ron stretching himself. I'm always so proud when
he tries something new. Did you know that we went out to a French
restaurant the other week with Bill and Fleur, and he tried the
Bouillabaise? He really seemed to like it, too."
I did know,
and actually he didn't like it. He came back to the flat and cooked the
greasiest fry-up ever to "Get the taste out of my mouth. Bloody hell
that stuff is vile. Oyster stew? Ugh."
I almost considered
mentioning it to Hermione, but I decided not to. It's okay for me to
try and nudge Hermione away from the idea of spending Saturday in the
flat, but I didn't want to start a full-blown war between the two of
them. Besides, Ginny would kill me if I broke the two of them up, even
Instead, I smiled and nodded, trying to think of
a way to suggest that Hermione should spring for a nice meal and a posh
hotel. Ginny's not earning much as a trainee curse-breaker and the rent
on the flat takes a lot of Ron and mine's money, but Hermione's earning
loads at the Ministry. She could easily afford a proper night
out. Problem is, Hermione's the sort of girl who'd appreciate a
home-cooked meal and a cosy night in. It's just a shame that Ron never
ended up with Padma Patil, in that respect, anyway. Would have made
things much easier.
Lunch was still fun, though. Hermione told
me about Remus' meeting with Professor McGonagall a few days ago and
how Remus had spent the entire meeting suggesting ways to arrange
Professor Snape's transfer to caretaker now that Filch has retired to
breed cats with Mrs Figg - yeah, weird, I know.
finished lunch - Hermione insisted on paying, something I wished she'd
thought of for Saturday night, but what was I going to do? - and I
walked her back to the Ministry. I still shiver whenever I go near the
place, I suppose because it reminds me of Sirius. I don't know how
Hermione can work there, but she does. Still, whenever I think about
the place, I find myself ending up thinking of Ginny, and that always
brings pleasant memories to mind. I suppose Hermione does the same.
But I still didn't have the faintest idea how I was going to turn Saturday night into more pleasant memories for Ginny and me.