Continuing Tales


A Harry Potter Story
by MsBinns

Part 29 of 45

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The colours in the city of Brisbane were a drastic change from those of the Tropics. The green earthy tones were now replaced by bright silver and blue that reminded Ron of Muggle London. Hermione seemed to have taken care to Apparate them to a secluded place. They stood on a vast expanse of empty concrete next to an odd-looking building tucked in amongst some trees. It had a million corners, no windows, and no obvious doors that Ron could see. Before he could ask about the bizarre structure, a high-pitched shriek sounded from behind them.

"How did you do that? You weren't standing there a moment ago! I swear! It's like you appeared out of nowhere!"

"Blimey, somebody saw us," Ron grumbled in annoyance. He turned to find a startled woman with an armful of books and a frightened expression. With a look of resignation, Hermione immediately pointed her wand at the confused Muggle and cast the familiar charm.


The silver-haired woman dropped her books to the pavement with a clatter as Hermione's spell took effect. He wondered how many times she'd now had to use that spell. The guilt-ridden look on her face made him hope they would never have to use it again.

"Let me help you with that." Hermione knelt down to assist the flummoxed woman.

"Dear me, thank you."

"I'm so sorry if we startled you." Ron knew Hermione's apology was as much to fix her own conscious as it was to ease the poor woman's fright.

"It's quite all right. Were you trying to go to the library? M'afraid it's closed. I'm just here to drop these off." The women held up the stack of books Hermione had helped her with and then tottered off toward the book drop.

"Of course you brought us to a library." Ron smiled widely and shook his head as they watched the woman depart.

"Yes, but it's closed." Her disappointment was apparent by the scowl on her face as she turned sharply from the library. She was walking briskly, with a clear purpose. "I was really hoping to do a bit of research."

"You already have a whole bag of research, don't you?" Ron reminded, following after wherever she intended to lead them next. "Didn't you find stuff out when you went to the library with Charlie and Ginny?"

"Not much." Ron wondered what 'not much' research meant to Hermione. Despite the fact that it was a foreign city, she seemed to have a solid reckoning of her surroundings and where she wanted to go

They were along the banks of a great river, Ron could see now. The vast Brisbane skyline stretched out before them on the other side. They were standing in a large patch of green, a park by the looks of it with benches and trees that reached up into the evening sky just like the buildings on the other side. He was grateful that Hermione had Apparated them to the tree side. The other side looked busy and chaotic.

He desperately wanted to sit and rest and talk about what they intended to do now that they were finally in Australia. Looking across the river to the great city, knowing the Grangers were out there somewhere, was overwhelming. They'd never actually talked about how they would locate her parents. The benches looked inviting and this park seemed to be the perfect place where they could discuss whatever the plan might be. They didn't even have to talk about the plan. He'd fixed things on the floor of the Tropics and he just wanted to sit and talk and be with her. He was curious how things went from here. Hermione, however, continued to march through the park, past bench after bench, her pace quickening with each stride.

She stopped several times, turning to look behind them and then forward to a bridge they were about to pass beneath. Ron grinned as she scrunched her face up in that wonderfully intense way like when she was studying for a Potions exam, trying to recall antidotes and ingredients. Except now she was studying street signs toward Stanley Place, Grey Street, and Victoria Bridge. Though he had no idea where any of the places were, he was grateful to have signs in English at last. He hardly realised how much he'd missed having signs in a language he could understand after all the French, Bulgarian, Hindi and Thai.

He thought about all the exotic locales they'd been to in just the past twenty-four hours and found himself looking down at Hermione's empty hand. He felt an odd combination of anxiety and excitement as he looked down to it, wondering where they went from here. Their long days at the Burrow where he'd been nervous about each and every kiss seemed ages ago. So much had changed between them on this trip, even just in the last hour. It was a good change, he was confident of that, but it was also slightly terrifying. They were a real couple now. They'd had their first fight and, incredibly enough, emerged stronger from it. He imagined fights in a relationship being much more difficult to solve. This had been easy. This was just being honest. He could do this.

Still, he wondered what their conversation in the Tropics actually meant. He cursed himself for being such a tit and not telling her he loved her then. He knew he did. She probably even knew he did because she was Hermione and she knew everything. After all he'd faced, he didn't understand why the words were such a terrifying thought. He didn't know what made saying them any different from 'I like you, Hermione' or 'you're brilliant, Hermione', or 'you're the only girl I've ever wanted, Hermione'. He could say all those things to her. He practically had on the floor of the Tropics. Hell, he'd offered his life for hers.

It would be so easy to say. Three syllables and that would be it. He had no idea what would happen if he said them though. 'I love you' was the kind of thing you couldn't take back once you said it. There'd be this expectation placed on him if he told her. He'd probably say it and then things would go pear-shaped and then telling her he loved her wouldn't even do any good. It would just make everything harder. Annoyed by his own inaction and cowardice, he did all he could do at the moment, which was to grab hold of her hand as they continued to walk along the river.

"Where are we going?" he asked, weaving his fingers through hers.

"To the Ministry." She looked pleased by the action and Ron could feel her thumb rub the back of his hand.

It felt like she hadn't held his hand like this, in such a comfortable and familiar way, since that morning at Hogwarts. Every time since then, whether it was through the rainy streets of Dijon or navigating past pickpockets in the Sofia train station, their palms had been anxiously pressed together and their knuckles white with fear. But this felt different. Despite the brisk pace she was setting, the gentle caress of her thumb told him they were back.

"You said it closes at sunset, didn't you?" Ron looked to the ever-pinkening clouds and rapidly setting sun.

"We have to let your family know we've arrived. They'll be worried."

At the mention of his mum and dad, Ron felt a pang of guilt about how little he had actually thought about them in the past five days. Hermione was the one constantly reminding him about getting in touch and making contact. He'd hardly given it a second thought. He figured after the last year on the run, his parents wouldn't lose sleep over a little trip to Australia, especially not since they'd made contact with them through Kingsley yesterday.

"What about your parents?" he dared to ask then. "Can the Ministry do anything about helping us find them?"

"From what I understand, they can't really do much in locating Muggles," Hermione admitted quietly, brushing a strand of hair out of her face and looking down the river walk. Her voice grew stronger then. "But we told your parents we'd let them know when we arrived."

"Right," Ron agreed. They were in a race against the sun, he knew so he didn't comment on the brisk pace Hermione was setting. "You're sure it's this way?"

"I'm positive," Hermione affirmed. "Percy gave me excellent directions."

"Yes, but how does Percy know? He's never been to Australia."

"He worked in the Department of International Magic Cooperation. He has contacts from all over the world."

"Oh, like the contact that sent us to the wrong Portkey?"

"Only because you frightened him," Hermione reminded him pointedly. Ron didn't bother having a go about what a twitchy bloke like that was doing working in the Ministry anyway. "Here, take out Percy's directions." She released her hand from his so he could reach into the beaded bag. Ron obliged and began rifling through the crowded bag full of half-eaten bags of crisps, books, and papers. "How am I supposed to find them in here?" he muttered, knowing perfectly well he couldn't just take out his wand and summon the directions. Being in Muggle cities was so inconvenient. "And why've you still got our train tickets?" he laughed as he pulled out their old tickets from Zurich to Budapest.

"Just find the directions!" Ron couldn't help but think she looked flustered by the question. "It's in a red folder right on top with our itinerary."

"We have an itinerary?" he sputtered with laughter, though he knew the revelation shouldn't come as a surprise.

"Find the directions!" she repeated with an exasperated glare. He knew the look well so he silently obeyed, not daring to say anything when he finally discovered the red folder at the bottom of the bag and not on top like she'd said. Inside there were directions, and folded Muggle maps of Paris and Novosobirsk and all the other cities they were originally meant to travel through on their journey. The itinerary she referenced was lying atop all the other papers and Ron couldn't help but sneak a glance at it. The page was titled "Australia" and there was a neatly numbered list. Ron scanned over it quickly:

1) Research at library

2) Contact Weasleys at Ministry

3) Exchange money at bank

4) Find a hotel in the Southbank

5) Locate parents

Ron couldn't help but notice there were no details and nothing else listed beneath step five. Hermione Granger, who always had every meticulous step planned out, had no details about how to actually locate her parents. There were no places to journey and no specific names. He expected pages filled with facts and records on every residential district and dental practice in Brisbane, but there was nothing. Ron stared at the emptiness of the list and a funny feeling came over him. Hermione didn't have a plan, at least not one that she'd written down.

"Did you find them?" she pressed.

"Oh, right." Ron rifled through the papers in the folder until he recognized his older brother's neat and ordered handwriting immediately. "Okay, Percy says the entry-way to the Ministry is located past the Clem Jones Promenade, beyond the Goodwill Bridge, beneath the Pacific Motorway and bounded by the Lower River Terrace on both sides. Merlin, Percy even writes like a prat."

"They're very clear directions," Hermione chided. "That's the Goodwill Bridge up ahead and we're on the Promenade."

"Okay, so his directions say we go under the Pacific bridge, through a door between two columns and down a sewer pipe." Ron read over the directions again. "Down a sewer pipe?"

"Yes, the Ministry offices are under the river."

"Under the river?"


"And we have to go down through the sewers to get there?" Ron wasn't sure why the thought made him so uncomfortable. It could hardly be worse than the entry to the Chamber of Secrets.

"Yes." Hermione's eyes glanced anxiously to the horizon. Ron didn't bother mentioning that most Ministry employees, if they were anything like his father, probably skived off five minutes before sundown to beat the rush home. So they continued walking in silence. The Promenade was still winding along the river, but now the overhanging trees gave way to posh restaurants and night clubs along the bank. Ron thought about the money his mum had stuffed in his hand before he'd left and her request that he take Hermione out to dinner someplace nice. The cozy candlelit tables lit were tucked in amongst the greenery with a perfect view of the river. He felt like a bit of a twat for thinking it was quite a romantic spot. His feet slowed for a moment and he wished Hermione's would too so she might see the perfect dining spot, but her eyes remained focused ahead as she dragged him along.

They passed beneath yet another bridge and left the restaurants and all thought of a romantic dinner behind. This stretch of the river was lined with different kinds of ships. There was a tall ship with sails and a great ironclad Muggle fortress. Ron ogled the Muggle ship that looked very much like some kind of warship, but Hermione didn't even break stride or take note of it.

The sun set, but still they kept walking. Ron said nothing in protest. They were here in Australia and he was holding her hand again. He'd be perfectly content if they just kept walking forever. The pavement had narrowed however and the Muggles they encountered now brushed shoulders and elbows when they passed. Ron was reminded of their walk along the river in Henley days ago. He recalled how on edge he'd been then by every person on the path. He didn't like being out in Muggle cities anymore now than he did then, and their travels the past few days hadn't helped. Krum had confirmed his suspicions that there were still Death Eaters about, after all. His last words along with Kingsley's had in fact been a warning to be careful.

The very in-betweenness of it all made him ill at ease. It was simpler when he knew for a fact there were people out there that still wanted to kill him. Now they existed in this weird state of flux where there might be people still after them, but it also might be perfectly safe. The opposing information made him oddly nostalgic for their year on the run.

"We're close," Hermione commented suddenly. He wasn't sure whether it was the fact that they were nearing their destination or the growing dark that made her suddenly squeeze his hand. "Percy's directions say the main entrance is just here." She left the river and hurried along to a dark underpass labelled the Pacific Motorway. It was wet beneath the bridge with puddles that hadn't dried in the constant shade. Cars passed by and rumbled overhead too and the loud noise made Ron uneasy. Hermione seemed oblivious to the noise. "It should be just between these two pillars here." She pressed her hands against one of two massive cement columns holding up the bridge. "There should be a door. Yes, see, just here!" she bubbled with excitement and pressed her hand against an old rusted door.

"And you're sure we're meant to go into it?" Ron frowned at the door that looked like it hadn't been opened in years.

"Yes, we're meant to go inside. Like I said, River Street is beneath the river and the Ministry offices are down there," she stated matter-of-factly. Ron knew she was tempted to open the door, but she knew as well as he did the Ministry offices had long closed. Despite how quickly they'd travelled, their jaunt along the river had taken nearly a half hour and it was now well past six. She pulled on the door anyway, but it didn't budge. Ron recalled Percy's directions saying something about having to be opened by magic. He saw her hesitantly reach for her wand and then stop herself.

"We'll come back tomorrow morning," he assured, trying to ignore her crestfallen expression. He wasn't sure why getting to the Ministry was so important, but he guessed it had something to do with being able to cross something off their itinerary as they'd failed at the first task.

"You know your mum is worried." She continued to tug on the door while the cars rumbled overhead.

"Krum's bloody pigeon'll get there soon enough." He wondered how far Krum's falcon had managed to get in twenty-four hours. The great raptor had a wingspan nearly as wide as Ron was tall.

"Don't you care to let them know you're safe?"

"They'll know soon enough. Come on." He slid his arm around her waist and gave her a nudge back toward the pavement. Eager to leave the dark wet underpass for the night, he jerked his head in the direction they came. "Let's go back. That stretch along the river it looked...nice," he admitted sheepishly. It looked like a nice place to stop and sit and take in the fact that they'd made it here, even if the library and Ministry had been closed. "We'll come back first thing tomorrow morning," he assured again, rubbing the small of her back with his hand. Now it was his turn to pull her along the pavement. He retraced their steps, pulling her past the tall ship, underneath the bridge, beyond the inviting restaurants back to the warm welcoming lights of the Promenade.

There were benches here where they could take in the sunset and places where they could get some dinner to supplement the odd bits of food Chao Nao Thim had given them. Ron was exhausted by the last twenty-four hours. He'd come close to thinking somewhere along the banks of the Caspian Sea, that he'd lost Hermione. But now they were here, and they'd both said so much. He just wanted to sit with her and take in the fact that they'd arrived.

She seemed surprised when he detoured off the main pavement and pulled her to a stone bench.

"Can you believe we're here?" He collapsed down on the bench like he'd wanted to do the moment they'd arrived. "Can you believe we made it?" He knew the comment could mean so much more than just being on this bench looking out across the city.

"Yes," she replied softly. Her eyes found his in a way that indicated she had picked up on just how much those words could mean. She leaned into his shoulder. "Yes, I knew we would."


This place had seemed so far away for so long. When she'd informed him last summer she was planning to send her parents to Australia it had felt like another planet, but now they were here and it was just a city, like London and Dijon, Sofia and Mumbai. He knew they should find a place to stay before it grew dark as he wasn't keen on wandering around a foreign city at night, but they needed this, too; this moment just to sit and relax, to take in the past four days and the fact that they'd made it here.

Ron thought again about the words he was too much of a coward to say and how perfect this moment would be to say them. She was leaning into his shoulder, her arm wrapped around his, clinging to him like she'd done in Dijon while they looked out on the dazzling city lights. They were right there on the tip of his tongue.

"I'm sorry," Hermione blurted out against him then.


"I'm sorry." When she repeated the words, louder and slower this time, Ron realised he probably could count on one hand the number of times Hermione had apologised to him. One of them had been just days ago on the train and that hadn't even been about admitting fault, it had been a nervous apology about her own inadequacies and concerns. This was an apology for something more.

"For what?" He had an inkling what she could be referring to, but also knew it could be any number of things.

"For everything," she mumbled, her voice thick with embarrassment.

"Everything's an awful lot to be sorry for." He offered a smile.

"We could have been here days ago if I hadn't taken us to Dijon," she lamented.

"You read Kingsley's note. He said we were right to do it."

"It was so stupid," she bemoaned.

"No, it was smart."

"It was stupid. We could have been here." She shook her head in self-disgust.

"Then I wouldn't have gotten to see Dijon," he reminded her playfully. "Or Turkey. Or Mumbai."

She looked to him as he listed all the places they'd journeyed, but the smile was slow to form on her face.

"It was quite a detour."

"It's like you said just before. We had to... go all those places all that to get to where we are, right?" He thought about her words on the floor of the Tropics, suddenly realizing they related perfectly to the last three days. The detour hadn't been planned and it had certainly messed them around, but it had got them here. It had forced him to talk about why he was jealous and why he had resented Viktor Krum for so long, and they seemed stronger for it. "Granted, I would have enjoyed those places a bit more if you'd been speaking to me for most of it." He managed to laugh at the last twenty-four hours and the silent treatment he'd received.

"I'm sorry." She cast her eyes down shamefully.

"S'alright," Ron admitted. "I was off my face at Krum's. Reckon I deserved some of it."

"No, I don't just mean... how I acted today." She brushed the hair the wind had disturbed back into place. "I mean on the train, asking about – about Lavender." Her voice was so soft now Ron almost had difficulty hearing her. "I suppose I am jealous of her. You're right. It is why... I stopped things." At the mention of 'things' Ron's eyes widened slightly, but he said nothing and let her continue. "And it's part of why I was so upset with you last night." Her eyes were fixed on the pavement now and she kicked at a pebble with her shoe. "I do wish you hadn't done what you did, but you're right. There are things that I wish I hadn't done either." She was acknowledging his words about how they'd both done things to each other. Except now it was her turn to speak and acknowledge all the things he'd confessed to her. "I wish it had been you. I wish everything had been you." She didn't have to elaborate. First kisses, first dates, first snogs, she was right there with him. "I just wish – I wish we hadn't wasted so much time." She gave a sad laugh. Though he was relieved to hear the words, Ron wasn't entirely sure he should echo her laughter. What she was saying seemed to directly contradict what she'd said an hour prior, the ones he was trying so hard to embrace about not regretting all his mistakes and cock-ups. "It's were we both that daft?"

"I dunno." Ron chuckled both at the accurate statement and the fact that she'd just called herself daft. "It doesn't matter though, right? Like you said, I mean, we're here."

"Oh, forget what I said!" she sighed in exasperation and finally looked up to him. "I hate that we wasted so much time! And I hate being jealous of her. I hate how it makes me behave."

"But we'll always be jealous." Ron shrugged simply. "I know I always will."

"But - "

"Just say it," Ron suggested then.

"Say what?" Hermione frowned in confusion.

"Say you'll always be jealous of her. It feels good to just say it out loud and admit it and then be done with it."

"But jealousy's not good, Ron!"

"Well, then it's not jealousy. It's just...wishing things had been different," he shrugged. "I will always wish that there wasn't another bloke out there who knows what it's like to kiss you. It's just fact. It's how I feel."

"He didn't kiss me like you did," she confessed and offered a shy smile then, seeming to miss his point completely.

"Yes, you've mentioned that, but please say it again." He beamed upon hearing the admission for the second time that day. She laughed and the light-hearted moment seemed to give her a bit of courage.

"I will always wish you hadn't...done things with Lavender," she admitted after a long pause. Her voice was quiet and she was staring at the ground as she spoke. Her eyes had a glassy sheen to them, but Ron could see her shoulders lift with visible relief at the admission. "I'll always wish we both had just been honest."

Ron attempted to catch her eye and offer a brave smile, trying his best to convey that they were honest now and he reckoned that's all that mattered. His eyes instead found the scar on her neck and the brave smile on his face faded. Regretting first kisses and failed opportunities to date Hermione seemed so trivial in light of all they'd endured this year. He found himself thinking about the awful knife that had made the terrible mark on her neck. He recalled how he'd been forced to throw down his wand and put his hands in the air and stare at her lifeless form and the blade as it dug into her flesh. He thought about Dobby, killed by the very same knife, and pathetic Peter Pettigrew, murdered by his own hand despite Ron's attempts to save him. He thought about the bodies he'd stumbled over in the corridors at Hogwarts, the line of corpses in the Great Hall, and all the people he'd seen die in front of his eyes in the last year.

"There's so much I wish hadn't happened," he murmured then. And just like that, for what felt like the first time in days, he was lost in thought of his shattered incomplete family and his brother in the ground. He swallowed the lump in his throat that hadn't formed since Fred's funeral and Hermione instinctively moved closer to him at the action.

She knew. She always knew.

He wondered how it could be that there was so much he wished hadn't happened and yet so much he was grateful for that had. Like this moment and the warm familiar sense of comfort her touch brought him as she slid her hand to his chest and drew him to her in a hug. The street lamps around them came on and the passerbys on the pavement grew fewer in number. People were having supper, returning to their homes. He knew they should do the same, but he didn't dare move. The longer he sat on the bench with her nestled against him, the more the morbid thoughts slipped from his mind and he could think about the feel of her breasts pressed against his arm and her hand on his chest and her head on his shoulder. The more he thought about her, the more his eyes drank in the sights of Brisbane and the reality of being here .

"It's a really pretty city," he finally spoke, looking out across the river. The odd shapes of the Muggle skyscrapers carved up the little light that remained, creating dark silhouettes against the brilliant pink and orange clouds that streaked across the sky. "I liked those ships down along the river too," he tried for some conversation, embarrassed that he'd temporarily let his own grief overshadow everything else. "That one big one reminded me of the uh – the Durmstrang ship."

"It has a lot of gardens," she remarked. "It's why I thought my parents would like it."

"Yeah, well, I'm sure... I'm sure they did. I mean I'm sure they do – like it, I mean," he stumbled awkwardly like he did whenever she mentioned her parents. It happened so rarely, and every time she did he felt himself get tongue-tied. He reckoned he ought to get used to it now that they were here in Australia.

"I don't really know how to find them," she admitted quietly. Ron was reminded again of the oddly empty five-item itinerary. She looked suddenly somber. "Short of tracking down every dentist in Brisbane that is."

"We'll find them."

"Do you realize how hard it is to find two people in a city of two million?" Hermione laughed at his blanket assurance.

"Yes, but I also know you tracked down a bunch of bloody Horcruxes this year with nothing more than a children's book." The comment managed to bring a chuckle out of her, which pleased him immensely and he wrapped an arm around her. They hadn't had much laughter since the train. This time he gave her a comforting squeeze. "We'll find your parents." He promised the same thing he'd been promising her all year.

Except now it was real. Now they were here. Traveling here with her had seemed like such a far off adventure when he'd first raised the possibility walking down the staircase at Hogwarts ten days ago. Now they were here, sitting on the river bank following his brother's explicit directions and Hermione's agenda. Find the Ministry, find a bank, find a hotel, and find her parents. He wasn't sure how difficult the latter two objectives would be. He quite liked the possibility of finding a hotel and a bed to sleep in that wasn't a cramped train compartment or a room at Viktor Krum's.

She was oddly quiet at his promise about finding her parents, but he ignored it.

"Come on, then." He climbed to his feet slowly. "What was the next thing on our itinerary now that we've found the Ministry?" he sounded cheerfully, pretending he hadn't already seen it. "I reckon food has to be on there somewhere."

She was still on the bench, looking up to him and doing a poor job at disguising her amusement at his mention of food.

"A bank," she informed as Ron reached down and pulled her to her feet. "We need to get to a bank."

"Right then." He held both her hands in his and looked to the beaded bag, knowing there were several Muggle maps stuffed in that folder of hers. "Lead the way."

They were in the South Bank, she informed, a cosmopolitan part of Brisbane full of art galleries, museums, and theatres. Ron saw a giant sign in glowing lights denoting the South Bank Cinema and he suddenly thought about his brother Charlie's words about taking Hermione to the cinema and learning about all the Muggle dating customs. He wondered if they had enough Muggle money to go the cinema tonight. Perhaps that would cheer her up from her suddenly solemn state. He wasn't entirely sure what they were, but something about moving pictures telling a story and surely they could find some story to make her laugh.

The South Bank wasn't as busy as Muggle London, and the road was divided by a strip of bricks and trees in the centre. Trees even lined the sides of the road as well, which gave the city a decidedly green feel that made Ron somehow feel more at home. Still, he gripped Hermione's hand tightly, eager to get off the streets and away from the cars that sped past them.

They passed bistros and bagel shops, and a delicatessen with meats in the window that only served to remind Ron just how hungry he was. They walked by clothes shops including a place that sold nothing but colourful caps, and a surf shop, whose storefront had intrigued Ron. He felt very much like his father as he wandered wide-eyed down the street with Hermione. He was eager to explore all the shops, but he knew they needed to exchange money so he pulled her down a side street as soon as he saw the word "bank". The doors were closed and Hermione's disappointment was obvious. They were 0 for 3 so far on her itinerary.

"That's all right, we'll find another," he attempted to be cheerful again, but the next one they found was closed as well.

"We can just exchange money at the hotel," she murmured. "They'll be a high transaction charge and I wager the markup will be a bit steep, but it'll work."

"Right." Ron didn't have a clue about Muggle exchange rates and mark up, but he could sort out what she was saying. Changing the money at the hotel would not be ideal, but then Ron reminded himself that going to Dijon and taking a thirty-eight hour train ride to Bulgaria hadn't been ideal either. Neither had spending the night at Viktor Krum's and trekking across India. But they had made it to Australia regardless.

"Are you hungry?" He gazed behind the glass window of a restaurant where a family of four was just sitting down to a delicious spaghetti dinner. "You might feel better if you had some food."

"I feel fine," she replied defensively, her eyebrows sloped into a frown at the implication that she somehow wasn't all right.

"I know," Ron replied, "I just meant, you know, it's been a long day."

"We should find a hotel first."

"Right. Does that folder of yours say there's one nearby?" He knew Hermione had to have researched every part of this city. She'd Apparated them from the Tropics straight to a library. She seemed to know the streets without even looking at the map in her hands. He looked to the beaded bag and he saw a smile form on her face at his backhanded compliment. He'd been feeding them to her for years, but she always seemed to ignore them.

"Yes, there should be one up the road," she informed, making no attempt to disguise her smile again. Pleased with himself, Ron led the way down the street even though he didn't have the faintest idea where they were headed. Hermione had to tug him in the other direction. This time he heard the distinct tones of laughter from her. "This way."


A Harry Potter Story
by MsBinns

Part 29 of 45

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