Losses beyond imagining

Chapter 23

It had happened. Hermione was a bit upset… She had wanted to tell her parents-in-law herself, but her mother had contacted Molly telling her all about her visit with Draco. She had been carefully positive about him, still a bit worried, but a lot less so than before…

Of course, Hermione’s mum didn’t know half of it. She had told her parents what they needed to know but never more… Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, however….. they were fully informed on the Malfoys’ misdeeds.

Hermione had been summoned by Molly to come to dinner. She was dreading it horribly and talking about it to Ginny didn’t help much. “Mum is so having a go at you! I know she will,” was her idea of encouragement. She reminded Hermione of Ron; he would have gloated like that…

“And your father?” she asked tentatively.

“I don’t know…” Ginny said wondering herself, “he could be less stern, but knows even more about the Malfoys than mum so he could just as easily be even more worried …”

“Great, just great…” Hermione mumbled. “Oh, Ginny, I’ve been dreading this… Do you have any tips? Anything that I can do to take the edge of…?”

“Drink some meade… Better still, lots of it!”

That was not the advice she was hoping for. Hermione needed to face Mrs. Weasley sober otherwise that would become another point of discussion…

She could hear them bickering already when she was still travelling through the Floo.

“What would Ron have said about it?! That’s what I would like to know…” she heard her mother-in-law murmur.

“Hermione, dear..” Mr. Weasley greeted her. “Come and take a seat. Molly’s made some pie…”

Hermione was trembling a little. She never would have thought, but visiting the Weasleys was actually worse than her parents and Draco’s combined.

She felt as nervous as Draco had been visiting her parents.

“So, we talked to your mother…” Mr. Weasley began. “She had some… news for us…”

“When were you going to tell us?!” Mrs. Weasley asked impatiently in her high and shrill voice. “To think that both you and George…”

“Harry and Ginny confirmed it…” Mr. Weasley continued, “I had hoped your mother was wrong about it, perhaps having some names mixed up, but apparently…”

“How could you do that to Ron’s memory..” his wife interjected, “not to mention to Rose!”

“Molly, dear,” Mr. Weasley put his hand on his wife’s arm. “Please calm down… We have to let Hermione say her bit…”

“I didn’t mean to…” she began, “it just sort of happened…”

“How can such a thing happen?” her mother-in-law wanted to know… “With a Malfoy?!”

“I know you mean well, Hermione,” Arthur began, sounding very concerned, “but I have to agree with Molly on this. We’ve known the Malfoys for far longer than you have… and it is hard to believe any of them would ever truly change their ways…”

“I think he has though…” Hermione said, “I wanted to give him a chance and so far he hasn’t disappointed me…”

Molly snorted: “Not disappointing is hardly what you’d want for a relationship…”

“Draco is trying very hard,” Hermione continued.

“That doesn’t mean you have to date him, dear. Why not just be friends..?” Molly asked.

“I have friends… You were all urging me to find some new… If you recall…” Hermione said a little irritated.

“Yes… but not Draco Malfoy!” Molly repeated herself.

“The Malfoy family have been responsible for so much harm… I truly cannot understand..” Mr. Weasley sighed, looking sadly at her.

“I don’t understand myself sometimes…” Hermione whispered, “but I am falling in love… Despite everything… I know it sounds stupid…. And, and irresponsible…. But it’s just the way it is…. You cannot explain who you like, can you?”

“Irresponsible, that’s what it is! I can half understand George; Merlin knows, he’s been irresponsible for most of his life… but you, Hermione… You!” Molly muttered.

“Your parents are worried, though not nearly as much as we are…” Arthur said, and urged her: “Hermione, please keep Rose away from him for now… please, as a grandfather, I beg you….”

“They’ll have to meet sometime…” Hermione sighed. “Rose knows something is up… She has been asking me about it already…”

“It’s the Malfoys...!” Even Arthur was losing his temper. “Our granddaughter meeting that family… visiting that manor…. I just… I just don’t have the words for it…”

“Surely it’s not… so dangerous anymore…” Hermione tried to comfort them, “Lucius has died and Narcissa and Andromeda are in contact again…”

“You cannot be serious…” Arthur sighed. “Andromeda is Narcissa’s sister. That’s the sole reason why… and even she says it’s hard. With Lucius shouting at her and Narcissa making up excuses for him… “

“They sit in the kitchen whenever his temper gets too bad…” Hermione stated.

Molly made disapproving sounds….

“After everything that’s happened to you, Hermione… To be with him…” Mr. Weasley shook his head.

“It’s my decision,” she said stubbornly. “You can give him a chance or not… that’s up to you… But we’re together whatever you say…”

Hermione stood up and grabbed a hand of Floo powder.

“But… you haven’t finished your pie…” Mrs. Weasly said shocked.

“I’m not hungry,” Hermione said quietly as she stepped into the fireplace.

Mr. Weasley sighed. “Harry and Ginny were right, Molly. She’s as bad as George…”

“Perhaps it is love…” Molly said, shivering at the thought…

Both Weasleys stared gloomily into the empty fireplace…

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