Déjà Vu (R/Hr)
Rating: PG, with an extra dash of humour
Summary: Hermione has a curious habit that never fails to lead her children to look away from embarrassment.
Word count: ~ 1,500 words.
A short fic written in honour of spidergirl30's birthday.
After spending two weeks alone without Ron, welcoming back the kids from Hogwarts is a relief.
Hermione isn’t used to Ron travelling away for so long, and while the nightly solitude and the tic tac of the clock used to generate her best work in her former years, she has come to realise that Ron’s gregarious need to be surrounded by a noisy family has rubbed off on her.
But Rose and Hugo are finally home for summer, and as she stood on Platform 9 ¾, Hermione had felt so deprived of the sheer madness resulting from family meals that she spontaneously invited Ginny and Harry and their children to join them for dinner.
They are all cackling around her now and keep on asking for more things to do. Hermione blows upward to push a curl from her forehead before smiling brightly. ‘Honestly, it’s fine. I’m glad you’re all here.’
She stirs the casserole before wiping her hands on a tea towel. The scene fills her with satisfaction. Rose has her tongue pulled out in concentration as she carves exquisite flowers from radishes, a nifty trick Hermione’s mother showed her two Christmases ago. Hugo, who must have grown at least an inch since he came home for Easter holidays, nonchalantly folds napkins with the expression of someone who drew the short straw. Albus sets the table with James, and it looks like it might turn into a bickering match because Lily pesters them about how they’re doing it wrong.
Lily huffs as she pushes back her heavy braid. ‘Don’t you two ever notice anything on how the table is set before stuffing yourselves?’
James takes a step back from the table with an exaggerated frown and switches all the knives to the left, prompting his sister to shriek and point. ‘Oh, but we do notice very much, Lily. We do.’
‘You two... James, enough with the teasing.’ Ginny mixes the salad expertly, and the bangles around her wrist shimmy when she reaches for the pepper mill to season the gazpacho. ‘So, Hermione…when is Ron coming back?’
‘I don’t know. Maybe in a week. I hope he won’t be away much longer than that…I miss him.’
‘Have you heard from him, at all?’
‘Hmm.’ Hermione washes her hands before handing bowls to Hugo. ‘He says he’s all right. He’s been doing some trouble-shooting for the new store in Moscow. From the last news I got from him, he also had business to conduct in Romania, and Charlie met him in Bucarest for a day. It seems like he might visit this summer.’
Ginny’s face illuminates from the news. ‘That would be wonderful! Did you hear that, Harry?’
Hermione cannot bring herself to admit that she got this information from a Patronus Ron sent earlier this week, surprising her when she was in the shower. Facing the silvery Jack Russell waggling his tail frenetically as he stood on the bath mat soon had her laughing between her hands, even if she dripped with soap and water. ‘Hello, beautiful. I’m exhausted but all right. Charlie says he might visit in August. I’m kind of hoping you’re naked right now. I love you.’
‘That’d be good. It’s been a while since Charlie visited…Got it, Hermione.’ Harry enters the kitchen with a bottle of wine. ‘Found it where you said it would be.’
It’s Ron’s job, usually. He uncorks whatever needs to be uncorked. Hermione bites her lips to restrain herself for calling out on Harry on how to open the bottle because this Goblin wine might splash everywhere and while she doesn’t care usually for a little spill, she doesn’t have more than two bottles left.
She spoons the casserole in a plate, wiping the sauce along the ridge of the porcelain dish with the tip of the tea towel. Fresh parsley will make this look perfect. ‘We’ll be ready to eat in a minute. Hugo, why don’t you serve the gazpacho, dear?’
Someone touches her elbow, and she looks over her shoulder, expecting to meet with one of the kids’ face.
But Ron stands there, all blue eyes and towering height and stubbly cheeks and smiling lines around his eyes and mouth when he broadly grins over a bunch of wildflowers.
‘OH MY – RON!’
And she literally drops everything she is doing to jump to his neck.
If there were such things to be bought at Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes as Fireworks with Extra Sauce or Exploding Casserole, Hermione would have her name on the patent. Sauce drenches her shoes; the plate rebounds three times on the counter before tilting slowly for its last fall; the impact knocks over the bowl of ice-cold gazpacho Ginny swiftly avoids mostly because of her much-celebrated Quidditch reflexes while Hugo, more of the bookish type, gets everything on his tee; bits of potatoes and carrots flee the plate like old Crookshanks before bath time, and the splat announcing the meat hitting the tiles puts a snarky exclamation mark on what could have been a hell of a meal.
‘Oh shoot! This is, this is --’ Hermione cries out as soon as her mouth leaves Ron’s. She brings her hands to her face, crestfallen. ‘My casserole!’
‘All my fault,’ Ron breathes against her hair before pulling her back from the lake of sauce, meat, and vegetables lying at their feet. ‘Crickey, that does smell terrific, love. It’s a shame, truly.’
‘Sooo…’ Rose trails. She carefully avoids gazing at her parents while she picks off bits of potatoes from her cleavage. ‘At least the radishes are all right. Hi, Daddy.’
Hugo pulls his drenched tee from his body and mumbles something about parents are supposed to behave like adults before quickly glancing at James, Al, and Lily. They are obviously too busy showing matching stunned expressions to mock him about his parents kissing.
‘Salad’s okay, too.’ Ginny eyes the mess with disbelief. She wipes Hugo’s chin with the tea towel before pointing out her wand decisively at her nephew’s tee with a frown reminiscent of her mother’s. ‘And wine. We’ll need lots of it. Good to see you, Ron.’
Hugo takes a critical look at his spelled-clean tee. ‘Thank you, Aunt Ginny. Yeah, Dad, so brilliant you’re here.’ Hugo turns to Harry. ‘There’s this curry place around the corner. That’s where we always go when Dad surprises Mum and dinner lands on the floor.’
‘You always go there when-?’ Harry stands with the open wine bottle in his hand, an awe-struck expression slowly taking over his face.
Hugo nods, thoroughly unimpressed. ‘Every. Bloody. Time.’
Ginny Scourgifies the floor and kitchen counter while lamenting about the loss of Hermione’s meal. Hermione asks Hugo to watch his mouth and thanks Ginny profusely before apologizing for wasting food in such a clumsy fashion. Harry makes a rather humorous comment about those freaky déjà vu moments that no one really gets except Ron and Hermione. The flock of teens leave in a hurry with the Muggle money Ron hastily shoved in their pockets so they’d run to order a Chicken Tikka Option for ten at the curry shop.
‘With extra chutney…and Hugo, don’t forget the pappadums like you did last time!’ he exclaims as the front door slams shut.
Ginny prudently retreats to the dinner table with the radishes and the salad. She eyes her husband with suspicion. ‘You’re giggling, Harry. Like a bloody schoolgirl.’
Harry rakes his throat before turning to Ron. ‘Do you always have Muggle money on hand when you decide to surprise her around dinner time?’
Ginny watches them grin at each other like idiots. ‘It seems to me that you’ve all gone mad.’
Ron addresses Harry with a loop-sided grin. ‘It’s been known to happen,’ he says, his eyes sparkling. ‘I’ve learned.’
‘It’s just a stupid accident, Ginny. I tend to drop…things when Ron surprises me.’ Hermione smiles at Harry sheepishly. It touches her to realize that he kept the circumstances of their first kiss for himself, even after all these years.
She reaches for Ron with eagerness, and this time they kiss with less restraint. She gives herself fully into it, and his thumb goes for a spot that still tingles on her cheek – probably wiping a drop of sauce, to think of it – before he pulls back with a sigh.
‘You mad, brilliant, beautiful woman… Never change,’ Ron says as he slicks her hair back with his palm, before closing his fingers on a curl. He pulls on it carefully and shows her what seem like carrot bits. ‘This is almost the best part about coming home.’