Fred lived.

Hermione loved.

For Wolfgirl's Everybody's Got a Dark Side Challenge

Warning.

This story touches on the subject of PTSD and the effects of war. There is also graphic violence against the young/babies. If you're uncomfortable with that, I suggest forgoing the story or thread carefully.



"Mr. Ronald Weasley."

Teddy wrinkled his nose when Ron didn't respond. He cleared his throat and leaned towards the girl beside him. His hand moved casually over hers as he pondered aloud about Ron.

Still, Ron remained absent minded, staring blankly at the unlit fireplace of their new house.

It hadn't been long since they carried their last box of things. Hermione had quite a few muggle-like objects she brought with her that Ron had long ago gotten used to. He brought with him all the things that had made the Burrow homey.

A clock with two hands ticked on a wall of their foyer.

He initially wanted the one with all his siblings' names, but his mother liked to watch it. He didn't quite have the heart to take it away.

"Uncle Ron!" The little girl squealed.

"Ron," Hermione's calm voice and warm touch penetrated through the stillness that surrounded him.

"Yeh," he said looking up.

"The kids wanted to play," she said in a whisper.

Ron smiled faintly, "alright."

He didn't know how to tell Hermione. He didn't even know if he should. He was sure she knew though. Hermione was always smart like that.

"Ron, where are your diapers!" Harry rushed into the room with a very stinky baby Albus in his arms.

The aftermath of lunch wafted in the confined room. Hermione guffawed at her best friend's distraught.

Ron didn't answer.

Hermione touched his shoulder once more as she got up. "Follow me," she said to Harry.

There were some days when Ron couldn't stand the sight of children. It nauseated him. And if he could be completely honest, he couldn't stand the sight of Rose. Seeing Rose reminded him of Fred and Fred reminded him of June.

He didn't like to think about June even on his best days.

Her death was Fred's saving grace. He knew it with all his heart because she rushed there. He replayed that moment to death many years ago. He'd seen it so many times. He'd even asked Harry about it. He asked everyone. He owed her for Fred's life, for his mom's happiness.

"Uncle Ron," Victoire took his hand, "let's go!"

Teddy grinned and wiped his dirty hands on his already dirty shirt.

"Where have the two of you been going off to?" Ron grumbled.

Victoire hadn't noticed his displeasure, but Teddy was quick to catch on.

"Mr. Weasley," he mumbled.

Ron ignored him.

Teddy was always quick about these situations. It was one of the things he'd learned at his young age.

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