xXx At The Burrow xXx
Harry, Ron, and Hermione sat in a loose triangle on the floor of Ron's bedroom staring at their Hogwarts letters for a long time before Harry finally spoke up.
"Are you sure you want to go back Hermione? We have six months to decide, it's only March and school won't start til September." concern filling the void where silence had just been.
Hermione furrowed her brow. "Of course Harry, don't you?" she asked, then turned to her boyfriend. "Ron?"
Ron shrugged slightly. "Bloody hell Mione... Harry and I can already become Aurors if we so choose but... I mean it is our last year, might as well right?"
Harry looked between the two and smiled brightly. "Yeah, you're right. Let's go out with a bang then."
Ginny walked into the room and proceeded to place herself into Harry's lap. "So have you guys finally decided then?"
Ron groaned. "Just because I gave you two gits my approval, doesn't mean I wanna see it all the time!"
Fred and George came and sat on either side of Ron, placing their arms across his shoulders. "Oh come on Ronny, aren't they just the cutest?"
George chuckled and replied. "You got a point there Fred, I reckon we'll be uncles by the time we open Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes next September."
Hermione shook her head smiling. "Alright you wankers while that may be true in a years time, let's stop teasing Ron before he gets all flustered."
"Why Mione I reckon he's brought it upon himself. What's the matter Ron, you grossed out that your best friend is shagging your only sister?" Ginny teased.
"AHHHH! LA LA LA LA LA! I CAN'T HEAR YOU!!!" Ron screeched while covering his hears and screwing his eyes shut.
And for the first time since the war ended, everyone in the room roared with laughter and shook with complete and utter joy.
Molly, Arthur, Remus, Tonks, Sirius, and Snape stared at them from the doorway smiling warmly.
"I reckon it's gonna be a great start to their final year, don't you lot agree?" Snape whispered.
Murmurs of "Yes" and "Mmm" were whispered in reply.
xXx Meanwhile At Malfoy Manor xXx
Draco sat in the dining room of the Manor across from Theo and Blaise, with Astoria across his lap, and Pansy at his right.
"So what do you lot reckon we do? Finish our last dreadful year at Hogwarts?" Draco murmured.
Blaise looked at him intensely. "Come on Draco, you know it's not that bad there mate."
Theo nodded in agreement. "He's right Drake. We understand you're upset that your father got sentenced to five years in Azkaban, but he'll be home soon. Come finish school with us."
Pansy smiled a little. "Please Draco? Besides, there's going to be lots of inter house parties this year."
Astoria nodded and tried to encourage him too. "Yeah, and your mom won't be alone Draco, if that's what you're worried about. My parents will come visit her daily and Snape even said we could use his private Floo if we get homesick too."
Draco stared out the window, thinking for a moment and relented. "Alright you gits! I'll go, but only if we get to finally beat Gryffindor in quidditch this year."
Blaise and Theo shared a look and smirked. "Deal mate."
Over the next couple of months, things have become quite tense between Ron and Hermione. Hermione had suspected Ron of cheating on her. "But he couldn't possibly be doing that, could he?" she asked herself.
Ginny glanced up from her book and stared at Hermione across the room on the other bed. "Mione? You alright?"
"Hmm? Oh, yeah. I'm quite well, why do you ask Ginny?" Hermione replied with a faltering smile.
Ginny stared intently for a moment. "Well for starters, you've been on that page for the last ten minutes and if you worry that lip of yours anymore, there won't be much left for my brother to snog." she snickered.
Hermione blushed. "Well I supposed you're right. Uhm Gin?"
Ginny cocked her head to the side and closed her book, sitting up fully now. "Yes Hermione? Penny for your thoughts?"
Hermione crossed the room and came to sit with Ginny on her bed. "Can I talk to you in confidence? Best friend to best friend?"
Ginny nodded quickly. "Of course Mione. Just because you're dating my brother doesn't mean that we aren't still best friends. I do know how to keep all my affairs separately. I would never let that cloud my judgement. You know how our little group dynamic is.." she replied quietly and reassuringly.
"Of course Gin, I wasn't trying to doubt you. It's just... Well..." Hermione paused and stared into Ginny's eyes.
Ginny nodded for her to continue.
"Well, my gut has been telling me that something is up with Ron. He's been coming back smelling.. almost feminine, in a way. You know what I mean? It's familiar but not... I can't quite put my finger on it." Hermione said while chewing on her lip once more.
"Actually Hermione, I know exactly what you mean. He has been acting quite different. Harry and I were talking about it earlier but we didn't want to alarm you. Even my parents have been talking about his change of attitude lately." Ginny replied.
Hermione nodded slowly. "Right... When we went flying the other day, we stopped at this ravine to watch the sun set and I leaned in to kiss him and he turned away last minute. Come to think of it, we haven't snogged in weeks."
"Oh Hermione, I'm so sorry. But wait, I thought you hate flying?" Ginny asked while placing a reassuring hand on the other girl's knee.
"I do." Hermione chuckled and placed a thankful hand on top of Ginny's. "But Ron loves it and I just want to make him happy. Relationships are about comprising and putting your loved ones joys above your own fears sometimes you know?"
Ginny nodded slowly and smiled. "You really are the brightest witch of your age Mione."
Hermione blushed a smiled in thanks.
xXx Meanwhile In Ron and Harry's Room xXx
"Who's owling you so late at night Ron?" Harry asked.
"Oh, probably just Dean or Seamus asking if we're gonna try out for quidditch this year." Ron shrugged.
Harry smirked. "Well we gotta keep our winning streak against Slytherin don't we?"
"Mmm..." Ron nodded in agreement and glanced down at the note he just received before tossing it into the fire.
"It's been quite fun catching up these past few months. Oh how I've missed you Won Won. Much love, L"