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Batch 5: After the War (5) - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Batch 5: After the War (5)
years into their relationship, Ron and Hermione are having an argument. how have they matured since they got together, and if hermione would resort to the fandom-assumed-cliche of pulling the "You left me/Us once i'm sure you would do it again" and how they resolve their argument as reflection of their maturity as people and as couple for MLongbottom52

[Personally, I can't imagine her ever using those words for any reason. There's bickering, which they do all the time, and then there's ridiculous sadism.]
Bickering was a constant in the Romp; Rosie and Hugo even had running bets, though Rosie personally thought it a bit unfair that Hugo always got to bet on Mum, and therefore usually won. Most of the time, the bickering was about what sorts of curtains to hang in the library, or whether they'd do better with carrots or parsnips in the garden, or if Dad's lack of any paperwork system would work keeping the bills in order, or if Mum's obsessively catalogued spice rack was a bit too neat. These sessions would generally end with Mum getting things done the way she wanted while Dad smiled fondly and recalled some fight they'd had earlier. Then they'd make up. Rosie somewhat feared, with every make up, that there would be another sibling added to the mix. That, however, wasn't something that was joked about.

That was where real fights happened.

The kind of fight like tonight's.

It had started cold, which frightened Rosie. She and Hugo had got back from picking berries behind the house to find Mum and Dad sitting in the kitchen, jaws clenched, glaring. Something had been going on for a few days. Mum had been touchy, Dad had been excited. Now, they were both furious.

"What's going on?" Hugo had asked.

"I'm not discussing it," Mum had said, stomping away.

Dad had growled that he wasn't discussing it, either. An hour later, the shouting had started, and Hugo had come into Rosie's room, looking very small.

"What's going on?" he asked again, but Rosie had no answer... and it was obvious enough, anyway. They crouched together beside the air duct in the wall to listen.

"I'm wasn't saying we should!" Dad yelled downstairs. "Dammit, Hermione, when have I ever forced you into anything? Ever?"

"We made a decision! Two. Only two."

"And if it weren't... it's not like I'm saying we ought to be trying for another. It's just..."

"Just what?"

"Just... you didn't have to act like it would be the end of the world, just because you might be. It's not Armageddon. It's a baby. And it isn't, even. You're not."

"Which ought to be a relief!" There was a thump, and Rosie guessed Mum had Banished some heavy object across the room, which she did when she was angry. "You're the one going on like it's the end of the world. We decided--"

"You decided!" Dad thundered suddenly.

"And you think I shouldn't have the right to decide?"

Dad was quiet for a long time, then said, "That's not what I said."

"Really? Because that's what it sounded like."

"It's my family, too. Do I even have the right to an opinion?"

"I didn't mean it that way."

"Really? Because that's what it sounded like."

They were both silent, and Rosie could imagine them standing there, near the vent, backs to each other.

Dad spoke first "I just thought, when you said you might be, that one of us had made a mistake, that... well, that it might not be a bad mistake. I admit it. I fancied having another baby around, as long as it was possible that we might. It's not as though I was thinking, 'Ha! That'll slow her down!'" He sighed loudly enough to be heard through the vent, then Rosie heard what sounded like him slumping down into a chair. "Rosie's off to school in September," he said. "And Hugo's right behind her. It's not long enough, Hermione. I don't feel like I've been a dad long enough."

Mum didn't answer for a long time. "I know," she said. "When I wasn't cursing myself for missing something in the potion... I was thinking of names."


"Yeah. Maybe Rebecca for a girl. Stick with the 'R's for the girls and H's for boys." It was Mum's turn to sigh. "But, Ron... I just got a new job. I barely have my footing. I'm still trying to get through the new elf bill. And... and we decided."

"Yeah," Dad said. "We decided."

Something, maybe at Uni, where [Dudley] encounters a witch/wizard who's also attending? for Sara Libby
Dudley thought he'd managed to escape uni by being a rotten student, but thanks to Lupin in the safe house, he'd got through his A-levels with decent marks. He was going to forget about it, tell Lupin "thanks, but no thanks," but that hadn't turned out to be an option in the end, as no one could exactly tell Lupin anything anymore. Now, it just seemed disrespectful not to take advantage of it.

Mind, he still didn't want to be there. He had a good job at Grunnings, and it was paying him enough to move out of the house. There was no reason to be at uni other than to make up some reason that Lupin had spent many hours of the first year of his marriage and the last year of his life tutoring Dudley. He supposed a business course or two wouldn't hurt his career in sales. On a whim, thinking it might get a few trips with expenses paid, he'd chosen a course of studies in International Business Management.

It had somehow escaped his notice that this would mean mastering a foreign language. He picked German, since Grunnings had a factory someplace called Aschaffenburg. Everyone who'd come from there--at least since Dudley had got to Grunnings--spoke English, anyway, but it was as good a reason to pick a language as any. His first attempt, during autumn term, hadn't gone anywhere--who was meant to think in an early morning class, in the midst of a lot of students who already seemed to know half the words? So, he'd decided to try again in winter term--an evening class, with part time adult students who'd probably be local and know as little as he did. It seemed like a good plan... until he got there early, and found himself face to face with Kingsley Shacklebolt, dressed in blue jeans and a chambray shirt. They were alone in the room.

"Ah. Mr. Dursley," Shacklebolt said. "Fancy meeting you here."

Dudley closed his eyes, opened them again, and found Shacklebolt still standing there, hand outstretched. Slowly, Dudley shook it. "Why," he asked, "are you here?"

"I have some negotiations coming up in Berlin next year. Thought it would be a good idea if I knew what my counterparts were saying."

"And you can't study it... you know? With...?" Dudley mimed waving a wand.

"Quite unfortunately, no. Not that people haven't tried. When I was a student, one of my classmates managed to inflate his head trying to stuff it with potions recipes."

"Shh!" Dudley looked around abruptly, sure that someone from the real world would choose that moment to walk in.

When he turned, Shacklebolt was smiling slightly. "Believe me, Mr. Dursley, I am well aware of my surroundings. I simply felt comfortable with an old friend."

"And old... er..."

"Well, an acquaintance who's more aware of his surroundings than most, at any rate. I'm glad to see a familiar face. It's quite strange being out here sometimes."

"Oh." Dudley tried to think of something to say to the Minister of Magic, and finally came up with, "I didn't mean study German by--you know--but... why go to one of our schools? Isn't there someplace in, er, on your side of the line where...?"

"There are matters in which our education is somewhat lacking," Shacklebolt said. "I'd like to fix that, but at the moment, our formal education has no contemporary language training, and the adult education companies tend to focus on languages learned for romantic, rather than practical, reasons. It's really quite scandalous."

Dudley shrugged and sat down. "Most people will speak English to you, anyway."

"Ah, but my dear Mr. Dursley, in negotiations, it's useful to kow what they're saying to each other, as well."

"I suppose that makes sense." Dudley frowned. "Why in Surrey, though? Are you lot looking after me again? I don't understand."

Shacklebolt looked at him in confusion and said, "I like Surrey. I just got married--my wife and I bought a house two streets away from here."

"You... like Surrey?"

"Yes. I'm planting a hedge," he said. "Or perhaps we'll make a fence. Maybe your mother would be willing to help us fit in?" He gave a hopeful smile.

"Er... Mum... er..." Dudley shook his head helplessly. "Look, I'll bring you a begonia or something. I think maybe it's best if we don't tell Mum and Dad you're nearby."

Harry and Ginny discussing career choices. Maybe early on. Like when she's choosing quidditch. I'd love to understand Harry's rationale for becoming an Auror when he loved teaching so much. And Heck, he loved Quidditch too! for sidealong
"So, you're not going to put in for an Auror apprenticeship?" Harry asked, looking disappointed as he sat down beside her on the grass beside the pond.

Ginny rolled her eyes. "Didn't Kingsley find the phrase 'Hell, no,' clear enough?"

"He frequently doesn't," Harry said. "Neville's been making noises about leaving and going back to Herbology. Kingsley pretends not to hear them. I just thought it would be time together."

"We've spent enough time chasing Dark wizards. I'm trying out for the Harpies. Oliver knows their manager, and he's helping me train for what she'll ask."

"And if you don't make the team?"

"Still not becoming an Auror. I can write, you know. I could write for the Prophet--they're trying to become respectable again." She pinched his knee. "Why don't you leave, as well? This doesn't make you happy."

"They still need me."

"Harry, you have done enough. You could try out for a team as well. I doubt the Harpies would break their all-woman team for you, but Oliver really wants you for Puddlemere. Says their Seeker and their reserve Seeker are rubbish."

"I don't know--Quidditch is something I did when I was a kid."

"All of three years ago," Ginny said. "It's all right to like what you used to like. I know you still love to fly. I see you when you and Ron go out for pick-up games."

"That's different."

"Harry, it's all right. You don't have to spend your whole life fighting the war."

"Maybe I just like my Quidditch a little more casual these days."

Ginny thought about this. "That's fair," she said. "But what about teaching? You're so good at it, and I know they asked you, with Robards' contract coming up. He could go back to the Aurors, and you could do something you really love."

"I can't," Harry said after a while.

"Why not?" Ginny sighed and turned to face him, kneeling in the grass. "I don't want to pressure you into something you don't want to do, Harry, but I worry about this Auror business. You hate it, and you act like it's the only thing you can do."

"I don't hate it," Harry said. "I can't say I like it, either. But it feels like something I ought to do. And it's not a bad feeling to put away dark wizards."

"And the classroom?"

"The classroom." He looked out over the pond, then said, "That's just it, Ginny. It's the classroom. I went, you know."

"You did?"

He nodded. "I took Teddy with me. Showed him where his dad been. And I told him about the boggart in the wardrobe. And grindylows and hexes. I even told him about other teachers. Told him about bloody Crouch. And of course, we'd just brought in Umbridge, so I told him how bad she was. And about Lockhart. And Snape." He looked down.

"Oh," Ginny said. "It's haunted."

"Yeah. It's haunted. It would be like spending every day with ghosts. I'm better at Dark wizards."

Ginny nodded, and turned around to rest in the crook of his arm. He kissed her head, and she said, "I just wish there was something that would make you happy."

He laughed softly. "That's what home is for."

17 comments or Leave a comment
(Deleted comment)
starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: December 19th, 2011 01:25 pm (UTC) (Link)

agreed on this- these are all fantastic, thinky thoughts ficlets

your quality never wanes, and all three were amazing and really made me think things over-

1. the Ron/Hermione was So good it felt taking out of the books. Really, Really loved this wiser Ron and Hermione and their more adult way of arguing. there's more "that's what it sounds like...." retort, which from having taken a conflict resolution course, IS the right thing to say- because it shifts to one's own feelings, which is legitemate, instead of going YOU YOU YOU in an argument.

(also LOVE how they keep saying "We" that's real partnership)

Also I LOVE how Ron reacts in this, not exploding just talking things over. I definitely see Ron trying to talk things through more post- DH, and something fandom completely misses it and still has him going huff and puff and throwing tantrums and leaving till things cool over.

it kind of made me Real sad that it's set in stone they Can't have a third kid, as Three is a good number and well- the empty nest thing feeling is Spot on and heartbreaking.

(also I relate So much to Rosie and Hugo being absolutely terrified when their parents go into yelling matches)

2. the Harry one made my heart Ache at Harry being so confused on what to do, and his ever-there "it's what I have to do" (althought with Ron there too it couldn't been THAT bad?)
and you just put a really good, canon-sense, reason why he didn't want to be a DADA teacher. (i'm assuming when he finally did do it, they gave him Another room?)
(and yet I seem to recall Harry wanting to be an auror, not for feeling obligated reasons- before he had this whole "it's my duty" thing. (like didn't he wanted to do it because his dad did or something?)

the "that's what home is for" made me MELT. Such an amazing Harry line.

3. the Dudley one made me Laugh a lot. not to mention I love the way you write Dudley.

also brings up the point about the wizard world education lack in some areas. I mean Really. I know the Wizard World is based on Medieval/18-19th century europe but, as someone who had to swallow a number of books on Medieval history pertaining to education for a project, the Medievals were Really well rounded in their education- (it's a fact medieval detractors like to deny because they think being modern is so much more intelligent in Everything...)

but seriously, people need math and languages so are they not there?
(althought Maybe I'm imagening things but was there like a translator spell or something the likes mentioned in Goblet of fire?)

really liked these fern.

reannanshaw From: reannanshaw Date: December 19th, 2011 07:51 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, that first one hurts. I don't really get why she'd get quite that upset over it, really.
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: December 19th, 2011 09:02 am (UTC) (Link)
Bet she's conflicted. Having more children would prove she's a "real" woman instead of a dried-up intellectual. Especially if she had more children than any of the other Weasley wives. On the other hand, her work is important to her, and it's hard to admit that you'd rather have your career than more kids. It would make her sound like a cold bitch.
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 19th, 2011 01:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
that doesn't seem like canon Hermione much. Hermione didnt cared for what other people thought of her and her choices.

and like, book hermione, very different from fandom hermione, was the one that put first before grades. "books and cleverness, there are more important things- friendship and bravery."

so doesnt seem like hermione would value her career more than her family-kids. that she values it, sure ok. but not more.

hermione is not a matron, but she's not feminazi workaholic.

malinbe From: malinbe Date: December 19th, 2011 02:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, I think the real clue is at the end. She's just got a new job- a job in politics, no less- and that's important to her. A new child is really bad timing. Politics is not the same as working a normal job in an office, where they'll just get a temp to warm your sit for a few months. If you miss a few months of politics, everything can change in the meanwhile. By the time she comes back, there might not even be space on the agenda for any of her bills, and she certainly can't push a bill and then let others do her lobbying! It's a job that takes over your entire life, and that's not really fair to a young child either.
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 19th, 2011 11:30 am (UTC) (Link)
[Personally, I can't imagine her ever using those words for any reason. There's bickering, which they do all the time, and then there's ridiculous sadism.]

that's what I meant too. all over fandom when they write post-War Hermione/Ron there is a fic or two that has Hermione saying that, and I dont believe she would. Ever. she said stuff like that when young because she was still insecure and inmature. but not after the War, not after her and Ron went through.

which is why i asked for this, because i wanted a Real good ficcer writer it, not some ron-hermione fan who doesn't think things through.

and you did such a great job, yours definitely reads right like Canon, grown up and matured ron-Hermione, instead of the same emotionally inmature Ron-Hermione but in a serious relationship.

thanks a lot Fern, i really loved it.

From: (Anonymous) Date: December 19th, 2011 02:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
My first thought on the Dudley fic was "Dudley? At UNI???" So I'm pleased to see how you addressed that in the very first sentence :)
malinbe From: malinbe Date: December 19th, 2011 02:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
Poor Dudley, they always seem to sneak up on him!
sidealong From: sidealong Date: December 19th, 2011 04:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ron does seem the type to enjoy roughhousing with a whole herd of kids! I'm sure he's a great Dad.

Thanks so much for writing this Harry and Ginny career choices conversation! I assume this is towards the end of Ginny's 7th year. I love seeing some of the rationale and thought process behind their choices. Love the last line!
hungrytiger11 From: hungrytiger11 Date: December 19th, 2011 06:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Love all of these because they show, that stories don't end when the bad guy's gone. In fact, some of our biggest challenges, regrets and fears lie in the everyday, as do some of the best loves and triumphs.

While I'm not sure Harry would (or even that you mean for him to come off as) dislike(ing) being an Auror, I find it a very neat way to discuss not only young people deciding careers but also people's (legit on all sides) reactions to the war and their life after.

Lastly, I loved that the wizard you chose for Dudley to meet would be the minister. Shows the lack of education, for sure!
etain_antrim From: etain_antrim Date: December 19th, 2011 06:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Very nice, all! The first is so very realistic--two adults who love and respect each other having to work through an important and emotional issue. Dudley, in the second, is also right in character, driven to do something despite his internal arguments to the contrary. And his reaction to Kingsley is priceless! Harry's reluctance to teach or play quidditch makes such sense and is emotionally mature, as his looking for joy from his home life.
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 19th, 2011 07:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Rowling, as a non-math person, seems to have left that out. She makes references to languages. Supposedly, Latin is somehow more of a "living" language for wizards, though we don't see any evidence of this beyond their spells (if I had to make up an explanation, there is more Latin in the generally-skipped-over Charms classes and textbooks), and there's Runes. We had a reference to ONE wizard knowing dozens of languages, so there may be a magical gift, like Parseltongue, in that area. But, yeah, an academic weakness.

But, Dudley's going to have an interesting study group.

It's not something Dudley would think to say (although Harry or Hermione might), but he might tell Shacklebolt that his mother has FEARS about the magical world. He could emphasize that Petunia knew, all the years Harry was in their house, that (other than the protective charm that she didn't fully understand and didn't trust in the same way a witch might) the first and only line of defense was her ability to notice anything strange and get as far away from it as possible. Describe her as permanently twitchy around the concept of magic.

As for Vernon, most of what he knows about magic was from Petunia. Maybe mention that Vernon was willing to put the family into hiding in the middle of nowhere just because Harry got his Hogwarts letter.

But try to phrase it as a phobia with better roots.

On Ron and Hermione, one of Hermione's problems is that, once she makes a plan, it takes the end of the world or something for her to change it. She decided all the logical reasons for two children, probably including optimum age difference (issues of maternal health, infant health, her study schedules, their eventual study schedules, likely impact on sibling togetherness, etc. I'm sure flowcharts featured heavily in her planning).

Ron, left on his own, would be the sort to decide along the way and would have more to do with how they felt about it. Does it feel like they should have another child? Do they feel ready for one?

I imagine Hermione giving Ron a list of her plans for their married life and Ron not realizing she really did see this stuff as cast in stone and not up for future negotiation once he'd said, "Two?" (Ron stares blankly, not having thought of even one, yet) "Uh, yeah, two sounds good."

From: (Anonymous) Date: December 19th, 2011 08:30 pm (UTC) (Link)

interesting but on hermione-ron... doesn't that gives hermione no change and ron no agency?

While yes, Hermione does plan things to a fault, i doubt she did that with absoultely everything in her life. research to be prepared? Yes. plan everything over everything, when that's not physically posible? No.

I think Hermione while wanting to prepare for motherhood and child-raising would not become the neurotic plan for everything type mum.

if I had to go by everything to back up this, I would go by the epilogue where hermione chastized Ron for trying to set up a rivality between rose and scorpius, and trying to scare her if she wasn´t in Gryffindor.

that seems a bit more relashed to the hermione who would try to pick on everything being perfect.

as for Ron just nodding and going "yeah whatever you say hermione sounds good" makes him seem like a dormat kind of husband, which shown in later books, a dormat he aint. when the issue is important enough ron will push through.

plus, hermione as the dominant one ron as the ever dormat one, isnt an equal marriage- parents situation-.

I think Fern did the balance perfectly

From: (Anonymous) Date: December 19th, 2011 10:08 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: interesting but on hermione-ron... doesn't that gives hermione no change and ron no agency?

Perhaps I overstated for humorous impact, but the essence of the argument seemed to be that Hermione had decided and Ron hadn't, not really - and Hermione seems unaware of that.

Hermione does remind me of a meticulous planner I know. I think she would have done considerable research before having children and that, at some point, she would have been aware of all those things (I mean, I'm aware of those things in a general way, and I'm not Hermione), and would have taken it into consideration, even if it wasn't in the ironclad way of her younger self.

I see Ron as having more the view of this being an evolving situation with decisions to be made as the situation changes. Whatever he said that Hermione saw as agreement was something he didn't see that way. I think the difference is that Ron was seeing things in terms of broad outlines and possibilities and Hermione was seeing them in terms of solid plans and that it happened in a way that neither one of them fully appreciated the difference.

So, the background of the conversation, to me, seemed to be that Hermione felt THEY had decided and Ron felt SHE had. He also seems a little sad in this argument that Hermione doesn't get that. I don't think he's a doormat. I think he realizes that, if they gave this matter more discussion, Hermione still wouldn't want another child at this point and that he knows, in the end, it's her call. While it might be good in some ways for Hermione to realize she made this decision without Ron, Ron also realizes that knowledge would hurt Hermione. She'd made some huge decisions about their married life without respecting his desires or feelings - but it wouldn't change things. For her, it's still the wrong time to have another child and it's unlikely a better time will come along. She would feel guilty and miserable and it would strain their relationship, at least in the short term -

- And Ron sees that. He's not going to hurt Hermione for no reason - and, for him, this is no reason. Her hurting wouldn't change anything, so he's not going to do it.

From: (Anonymous) Date: December 19th, 2011 10:22 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: interesting but on hermione-ron... doesn't that gives hermione no change and ron no agency?

ah i see.

I{m not good at humour over the internet.

the secound reply made much more sense.

From: (Anonymous) Date: December 20th, 2011 01:07 am (UTC) (Link)
The idea of Kingsley and Dudley post-war makes me smile! I like to imagine the post- war relationships :-)
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 20th, 2011 02:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
so i counted 13 so far-

so what is the next topic group? ;)

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