Claim: Hermione sets Lavender straight about Ron's true affections; Lets Lav know to back off
Pairings (if any): R/Hr
Summary: How will Ron and Hermione react to a surprise encounter with Lavender Brown?
Ron bent over another box, pulling out more packages of Skiving Snackboxes to restock the shelves. The shop had been incredibly busy with Hogwarts reopening soon. George had begged off for an early—and long—lunch, leaving Ron to deal with the throngs of shoppers all on his own.
There was a bright spot on this otherwise lackluster day in that Hermione would be visiting Diagon Alley to purchase her supplies for her final year at school. He hoped that George would come back early enough so that Ron could take a bit of time to treat her to lunch. It would be ages before he’d get to see her again.
“Mr. Weasley,” said Verity.
Ron frowned at the formal address, continuing to unpack the box. “Yeah,” he called.
“You have a visitor,” she said.
He shot up quickly, expecting to see Hermione standing there. He nearly choked on his tongue when he saw Lavender Brown standing at the counter.
“Hi, Ron,” she said with a smile.
“Er, hi,” he said, rubbing the back of his neck. He turned to Verity. “Could you finish restocking the shelves?”
“Of course, Mr. Weasley,” she said, gathering the packages he had set out on the counter in her arms.
“Mr. Weasley?” Lavender asked, once Verity had walked away.
Ron rolled his eyes. “I’ve asked her not to call me that.”
“It’s nice to see you,” she said.
“Yeah,” Ron said uncomfortably. “You too.”
“Parvati told me you were working here,” she said.
“Yeah?” Ron said. “She came in last week.”
“She’s going back to Hogwarts,” Lavender said.
“She mentioned that,” he said. “You’re not?”
“School was never my thing,” she said. “I got a job working at Madam Malkin’s. She thinks I’ll be a good magical seamstress.”
“T-that’s good,” Ron said. He couldn’t understand why Lavender was here to speak to him. He talked to her once, briefly, after the battle, but that was all.
Lavender hesitated. “I was thinking… maybe you and I could have lunch sometime. Since we’ll be working so close by.”
Ron’s stomach churned unpleasantly. “Er...”
What could he say that wouldn’t hurt her feelings? He remembered their break up over a year ago, all the accusations she’d leveled about Hermione. Would she begin yelling in here? He felt his ears grow hot. Before he could think of something to say, the door swung open and George stepped in with Hermione, his arm draped casually around her shoulders.
“Look who I found!” George boomed as he entered the shop. He led Hermione forward, his face cracking into an unpleasant grin as he took in Ron’s situation. Hermione did not look amused, either, and Ron couldn’t figure out if it was due to George, who had taken it upon himself to tease them mercilessly about their new relationship, or because of Lavender.
George grinned at Ron’s panicked expression. “And it seems you’ve found a fellow Gryffindor as well. How are you, Lavender?”
She smiled. “Good, George! And you?”
George’s smile faded slightly. “Good, good. Business is booming.”
“And how are you, Hermione?” Lavender asked.
“I’m well, Lavender,” she said. “Here to get some things for school.”
“Oh,” Lavender said. “You’re going back, then? I was just telling Ron that he and I are going to be working near each other. I just got a job at Madam Malkin’s.”
“How nice,” Hermione said with a forced smile.
Lavender turned her attention back to Ron. “So, what do you say? Lunch on Monday?”
Ron glanced at Hermione. Her mouth was set into a hard line reminiscent of Professor McGonagall. This was not good.
“I-I can’t,” Ron said. “I’m going to see Hermione off to Hogwarts.”
He hoped that Lavender would take that as a hint. She didn’t.
“Oh, well. How about later that day? An early dinner?”
“I have to work,” Ron said.
“If you really want to go,” George said, “go ahead and go. We won’t have as much to do on Monday.”
“The thing is…” Ron said, looking at Hermione for help.
“The thing is,” Hermione said, rolling her eyes at Ron, “that Ron and I are together now.”
“Oh, are you?” Lavender said coldly, though she didn’t sound at all surprised.
“We are,” Hermione said in a firm tone. “I don’t mean to be rude when I say that we plan to be for a very long time.”
Lavender smiled wryly. “Well I can certainly attest that plans don’t always work out the way they’re intended.”
“Perhaps,” Hermione said. “But in this case, if you you’re holding out hope that he’ll change his mind, you’re in for a long wait.”
“I see,” Lavender said looking disappointed. “Well, it was nice to see you all. But I need to be getting back to the shop.”
“Bye,” Ron mumbled.
“Come by anytime,” George said, winking at Ron.
“George,” Hermione said once Lavender had exited the shop. “Do you mind if I borrow Ron for an hour or so?”
“If you’re going to yell at him, would you mind doing it here?” George said. “I could use a laugh.”
Ron was surprised when Hermione smiled. “I’m not going to yell at him.”
“Oh, go on then,” George said, with a tone of mock disappointment.
Ron took Hermione by the hand and led her outside. She was quieter than usual, and he was worried that she was upset with him.
“Was I being presumptuous?” Hermione said finally.
“S-sorry?” Ron said.
“About us,” she said. “About the…future. How do you think this is going?”
“Hermione,” Ron said awkwardly. “You know how I feel about you.”
She smiled. “I’m being silly. I guess I’m just worried about how it’s going to be when I go back to school.”
Ron felt a pang in his chest. “I worry about that, too.”
Hermione sat down on one of the chairs outside Florean Fortescue’s still-boarded up ice cream shop. Ron sat beside her, taking her hand into his.
“We said we’ll write, you’ll visit,” Hermione said. “But I’m really going to miss you.”
“I’m going to miss you, too,” he said quietly. He couldn’t even begin to explain how much, not without sounding like an arse. It wasn’t even just the snogging, it was everything. He was happier with her around.
“I really don’t know what got into me back there,” she said, looking embarrassed. “Old memories, I suppose.”
“I sort of liked it,” Ron admitted. “Not her asking me to lunch, obviously. There’s no question of who I want, but it was sort of nice hearing you talk about us like that. That this is long term. I feel the same way.”
Hermione sighed, a trace of a smile on her face. “Maybe I should apologize to Lavender. I wasn’t very nice.”
“If it makes you feel better,” Ron said.
“It was immature of me,” she said.
“A first for you,” he teased. “But let’s worry about that later, yeah?” He slid his arm around her back, pulling her closer. “I don’t want to waste any more time.”
She closed her eyes as he leaned in to place a soft kiss on the tip of her nose. She touched his cheek, guiding his lips to hers. Hermione parted them slightly, with a sigh, and he took advantage, sliding his tongue eagerly over her lips. He wrapped her tightly in his arms, mindlessly twisting one of her curls around his finger.
All too soon, Hermione broke the kiss, blushing furiously. Ron took in where they were, seeing a group of elderly witches shake their heads disdainfully at the couple as they passed. He grinned sheepishly.
“Leaky Cauldron for lunch?” he asked her.
She nodded and he took her hand once more before they disappeared into the crowd of shoppers.