SIX

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Iris watched her cousin, Hermione, closely as she attempted to wear make-up—or in Iris's humble opinion, attempted to not take her eye out—with her hands folded in front of her chest and an eyebrow slightly raised. It was Valentine's day, and Iris had come home from work only a few minutes ago, and in the span of these few minutes she had been watching her cousin get ready, she had suggested she fixed her make-up herself thrice already. Hermione still claimed she didn't need her help.

"Ron will be here any minute," Hermione said for the fourth time that evening as she met Iris's gaze through the mirror. "There's food in the oven if you want to eat."

Iris nodded as she watched her for a while longer before speaking up. "You're certain it'll be fine for me to stay here, right? I won't bother you or something."

Hermione sent her a questioning look. "No, I don't think you'll bother us."

"You don't think?" her eyes narrowed. "Right, let me tell you something. If you bring Ron here, I'm kicking him out. I don't have another place to stay at and this is my home too, I'm not going to have Ron in the house, tonight of all nights."

Hermione's face flushed at once, "Got it." She kept trying to fix her make-up for a while longer before she seemed to be finished and turned to face her with a small smile. "What do you think?"

Hermione was wearing a modest, white dress, and her hair for once wasn't frizzy, instead falling to her shoulders in neat curls. Iris couldn't help but smile.

"You look pretty."

Hermione's smile widened and she nodded in thanks as she reached for her wand and her purse and walked away. Iris followed her out of the room as she got in the living room. Hermione wore her coat, obviously still very much excited about her date with Ron, while she moved to the kitchen and took out the food. She set the table just for her as Hermione got in the kitchen to keep her company.

"I'm sorry you spent today alone."

"Better alone than with someone who doesn't accept you for who you are," she murmured after swallowing a bite of food. "I don't mind it that much. It's just a regular day."

"Still," Hermione shrugged, "by the way, there's a chance I won't come home at all tonight. It's not certain, I just thought I should let you know."

"I don't mind if you sleep somewhere else or if you come back, just don't come back with Ron, if you please. I know it's probably weird I'm asking you this but-"

"I get it," Hermione assured her with a smile, "it's fine. I would have done the same if I were you."

They exchanged a smile just as the bell rang. Hermione leapt up from her seat the moment she heard it while Iris took her time wiping her face clean of any food before she stood up to greet Ron. Only, she didn't go anywhere close to him. Ron smiled at Hermione and leaned down to press a short kiss on her lips. He pulled back and whispered something against her lips. Hermione laughed softly. Iris smiled. She stayed back, watched the exchange between Ron and Hermione until Ron glanced her way. As he realised she was watching, he sent her a smile back and a wave.

"Have fun," she told them simply as they started leaving the house.

"Thank you," Ron beamed at her as Hermione called out, "You too!"

With that, they were gone, and Iris was alone. She returned to the kitchen to finish her meal. When she was finished, she took to washing the dishes. She proceeded to clean the house, something she hadn't done in a while as Hermione always claimed cleaning a house magically was a lot easier and quicker, and once that was done as well, she took a shower, put on her pyjamas—midnight blue, as all her nightwear were—and after brushing her teeth and then her hair, she got in her room, grabbed a book, sat on her bed, partly covered by the sheets, and started reading.

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