Not Just Playing House by willow_wand
Claim: Ron and Hermione buy a house together, with Molly's "help".
Pairings (if any): R/Hr
Summary: Molly has reservations about her youngest son moving out.
"This is it,” Ron said happily, looking around the open space. “What do you think?”
He turned and looked at Molly, who stood at the doorway of the small cottage with a disapproving frown on her face. Hermione was beside her, her eyes alight as she looked around the room.
“It’s perfect, Ron,” Hermione said, smiling widely at him.
Molly forced a smile. “It’s a bit small, don’t you think?”
“Well, we don’t need too much room yet, do we?” Ron said.
It bothered Molly the way he said yet. While it had been a relief that the young couple wasn’t ready to have children, their engagement and decision to buy a home together had been a bit of a jolt. He was, after all, her baby boy.
Ron led them into the largest room.
“Here’s the sitting room,” Ron said, dragging Hermione by the elbow. “The fireplace is crumbling a bit, but Dad can help me fix it up. It’s already hooked up to the Floo Network, I made inquiries into that. And I think we can set up a bookshelf right there, to hold some of your books.”
Molly watched Hermione’s eyes dart excitedly around the room. She could almost see Hermione mentally placing furniture around the room, and imagining the way things would be. Molly turned away and begun to look at other areas of the cottage.
“The kitchen is a bit cramped,” Ron said, following her out of the room. “We’ll be lucky to get a little table in there, but it isn’t so bad considering…”
“Considering what?” Molly asked as she watched their eyes meet in understanding.
“Considering past living conditions,” Hermione said. “Maybe if we paint the walls it would look a little brighter. It’s a bit dreary, isn’t it?”
The kitchen walls were a pale oyster gray with dark wood cupboards and countertops.
“Not too bad, though?” Ron asked.
“Not bad at all,” Hermione said. “It could use some improvements, but we already knew that, didn’t we?”
Molly held her tongue. Making improvements on the cottage could get expensive, even if Ron and Hermione did much of the work. They were just too young to know the cost of running and maintaining a household, especially on the salaries of entry-level Ministry workers.
“Maybe we could get Harry to help,” Ron said. “I reckon he owes us a bit.”
“Harry works very hard,” Molly protested. “He doesn’t need to be over here on his off time painting or fixing toilets.”
“The toilets are in working order,” Ron argued. “The shower, too.”
Molly sighed and walked to the back where two rooms remained. The larger of the two was a bit smaller than the sitting room. It had a large window that faced the back garden. It was really quite lovely. The window was open and the smell of roses and honeysuckles wafted through the room, giving it a serene feel to go along with the pale blue walls.
“This is the, er, master bedroom,” Ron said simply.
Molly felt the weight of his words in the small room. She watched as Hermione took his hand absentmindedly as they looked around where they would presumably spend many intimate moments. Molly blushed and cleared her throat. She would not think about that. There were two bedrooms after all and she was certain she had raised her son to be a gentleman.
“I love it,” Hermione said, looking around.
Ron and Hermione turned back to look at Molly.
“So, what do you think?” Ron asked again. He looked a bit timid.
Molly bought time by walking to the window and looking outside.
“It’s nice,” she said finally.
“So we should definitely buy it then,” Ron said enthusiastically.
“Ron, I’m not sure that this is a good idea,” Molly said. “Hermione hasn’t even left school yet.”
Ron looked surprised at this change of tack. “She’ll be home in two months. That’s sooner than you think.”
“Are the two of you quite sure that this is what you want to do?” she argued. “Buying a home is a big responsibility.”
“With all due respect, Mrs. Weasley,” Hermione said. “This isn’t a situation we’re entering into lightly. We’ve talked a lot about this and feel that this is the best solution for us.”
“It’s just so soon,” Molly said. “I know you’re good kids. So what’s the rush? The Burrow isn’t too far from London, and Hermione, why can’t you stay with your parents?”
“My parents are comfortable with magic in small doses,” Hermione said. “But to be around it all the time wouldn’t be fair to them. I could live by myself, I suppose.”
Ron shot her an incredulous look.
“I could,” Hermione repeated, silencing Ron with a stern look. “But this is what Ron and I want.”
“You could stay with us—” Molly began.
“We’re of age, Mum,” Ron interrupted. “And we’re engaged. Besides, it isn’t as though we haven’t lived together before. We’ve practically lived together since we were first years.”
Molly rolled her eyes. “That isn’t the same thing.”
“No, it isn’t,” Hermione agreed. “But, Mrs. Weasley, Ron is right. We’ve talked a lot about this. We know it won’t be easy, but it’s important to us, after all that’s gone on in the past two years.”
Molly sighed. Obviously she wasn’t going to be able to convince the two of them otherwise. “Well what are your plans for the house,” she said finally.
“Hermione’s mum offered to give us some of their furniture,” Ron said. “She’s remodeling the sitting room, and they said we could have the furniture from the guest room as well.”
“And my dad has been looking for an excuse to update his office,” Hermione said. “He offered us his desk.”
“A desk?” Molly asked. “Where are you—?”
“The smaller bedroom is going to be Hermione’s study,” Ron said.
“We could both benefit from a study,” she corrected. “You really shouldn’t do paperwork at the kitchen table.”
Ron and Hermione began walking back toward the sitting room, describing how they were going to set up their new home. It was with a pang that Molly listened to her youngest son and his love begin a new part of their life together.