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Ace of Hearts by usako99

Ace of Hearts


Ace of Hearts
Chapter 1

Hermione closed her book on ancient healing techniques and rubbed her eyes.

'I never thought I'd be tired of looking at books,' she thought to herself smiling wryly.

She had been pouring over the text for over four hours looking for a remedy for the accidental poisoning of one of the animals in her care. The Lylith Harth was a magical type of horse; it was in close relation to the unicorn, though more often a soft lilac color instead of white. The species had become endangered after the war, due to their relation to unicorns and their subsequent healing powers; Voldemort and his followers had often killed them and used their blood to heal their injured and those who were weak after being freed from Azkaban, leaving only two or three hundred alive. Hermione had been in her offices yesterday working with Eliza Grunald on a revision to `The Magical Creature Book of Laws and Standard Practices' when they relieved the urgent floo from Priscilla Pundance; the head of the Magical Creature Law and Medicine Department that Hermione works for in the Ministry of Magic about the Lylith Harth. According to Priscilla the animal who lived in the Enchanted Forest had (for unknown reasons) wondered out of it's grassy home and up the road about two to three miles where it somehow was able to get itself into a local potions factory. While in the factory the Lylith drank from one of the large cooling cauldrons of 'Wiley Wonders Witch and Wizards Prudent Pain Prevention Potion', which despite it's overly long-winded name was one of the top selling pain relievers in the wizarding world. One of the workers noticed the animal drinking from the cauldron and intervened but it was already too late, by the time Hermione and Eliza arrived the creature was already down.

Hermione leaned back in her chair looking at the ceiling and taking a long-suffering sigh.

"Ok, I have to relax, clear my head and refocus I can do this and that poor animal is depending on me," she said to herself before reopening the book and diving back in.

It had been four years since the defeat of Voldemort, three and a half since she, Harry and Ron had officially completed their education at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and a little over two since she had gotten her job with the Magical Creature Law and Medicine Department within the Ministry of Magic. Ron had interned at the Ministry for a short time (an opportunity provided by Mr. Weasley) before getting a job with the Razin Wizardz semi pro Quidditch team as a chaser, though he was hoping to get a chance at a pro team soon (preferably the Chutney Cannons). Harry meanwhile had, after passing up the post of the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher at Hogwarts (finding it to hard to stay after Dumbledore's death) eagerly taken the position he had always wanted as an Auror in the Ministry of Magic. Though he found it was harder than he thought it would be he also loved it; he said there was "nothing more satisfying than being able to catch of evil wizards and witches."

After another two hours of intense scrutiny Hermione finished combing through the book, she had looked at it backwards and forwards and was no closer to the answers that she needed than when she started.

'I'll go to the departments library tomorrow,' she thought to herself. 'I'm sure that they should have something that can help, but unfortunately just I can't to anything else tonight,' she closed the book for a final time and stood up stretching. Casting a glance to the clock on the wall and noticing that it was already almost midnight she headed into the kitchen. Hermione had just put a kettle on the burner for tea when she heard a throat clear.

"Hello, Mione are you there?" Ron's voice spoke from the fireplace. She smiled to herself before heading over to stand within his view.

"Hey, I'm here. I was wondering where you were today," she said to him.

"Had a game, then some of the guys and I decided to head over to the Bubbling Cauldron for a few drinks. How was your day?" he asked smiling.

Ron had grown into an attractive and well built man, his red hair had (finally) been cut as part of dress code for the Wizardz and it helped to bring a sense of maturity and added masculinity to his appearance. He was no longer skinny thanks to his rigorous workout schedule and had developed a nicely muscular form, his new money from working meant that hand-me-downs were a thing of the past and he had developed a very nice fashion sense, though Quidditch team t-shirts and jeans were still his favorite clothes of choice.

"Very long," Hermione responded casting an annoyed glance to the six-thousand five-hundred and fifty-seven page long book on her dining room table.

"How about I come over and you can tell me all about it?" he asked causing her to smile.

She knew very well that "work talk" was not something he liked to hear, actually any talk of work that was not his own usually had him bored out of his mind, especially hers.

"That's ok," she said, taking note of the relieved expression of his face before he hid it. "I was actually just going to have some tea and turn in for the night, I have a long day of work ahead of me tomorrow."

"Tomorrow?" he said in the characteristic whine that he's had since she meet him in on the train all those years ago. "But tomorrow's Saturday, don't they ever give you a day off?!"

Hermione rolled her eyes, physically he had changed a lot, but underneath he was still the same old Ron.

"We had an emergency today and I'm not done working on it," she told him taking her most patient but stern tone. "I'm going in tomorrow to do some research, hopefully solve this problem and in turn save a life, is that ok with you Ronald?"

Ron winced at the use of his full name, knowing she usually only did that when she was annoyed or getting annoyed.

"Of course sweetie," he responded with his best innocent face "it's just that I miss you and want us to spend some time together. So, you know, since you don't have time tomorrow, is it ok if I come over tonight?"

"Ron I told you I'm just going to have some tea and go to bed."

"Maybe I can join you-"

"For tea or for bed?" she quizzed no longer looking annoyed but amused instead.

"How about both?" he wagged his eyebrows.

"Well tha- hey, where's Harry?" Hermione inquired frowning.

"Wha.." Ron first looked confused, and then agitated. "What does he have to do with any of this?"

"Nothing," she responded looking towards the kitchen "the kettles whistling, I have to take it off of the fire."

"Hey!" He exclaimed before she could walk away. "Wadda ya say? Can I come over or not?"

Hermione looked at him for a second like she was seriously debating the answer before smiling.

"Of course, Ron, stop being such a ninny and come on," she then pointed a finger at him "but we're just having tea, then it's straight to bed."

"What ever you like," he responded smiling, just before he disappeared from sight.

Less than a second later there was a 'pop' and his tall form was standing before her. Ron leaned forward and gave her a light kiss on the lips, before walking past her to the kitchen. It was a nice place with brightly colored yellow walls and wood cabinets, there was a modern muggle electric stove that had a kettle whistling upon it which he removed with a flick of the wand. The room was a good size and had an open flow; there was a muggle fridge with double doors and an ice maker/water dispenser on the front. The counter tops were granted cream with brown specs that matched the cabinets, there was a microwave mounted just right of the stove and below it was a nice set of double sinks with swan necked faucets and a water filter attached. Hermione was surprised and happy to have located the well priced flat and Ron was surprised to find that she used a lot of the muggle made items located there, but after she and Harry showed him how everything worked he could see why (though he still preferred magic himself).

Hermione walked in just behind him grabbing a couple of tea cups from the cabinet and sitting them down before opening the ceramic jar in front of her and taking out a couple of tea bags. She placed them in the cups as Ron came up behind her, his warm chest pressed against her back an his strong arm came in front of her to pour the water into the tea kettle she could smell the cologne that she had brought him for Christmas mixing in with the smell of the tea that was wafting up from the steaming cups before her. She then felt a soft kiss pressed to the base of her neck just below her earlobe; Ron placed one arm around her waist softly hugging her from behind while he placed the kettle onto the counter top with his other hand. Once that was done, he fully encompassed her in his arms and placed another kiss, this time on her earlobe. Hermione smiled.

"Tea then bed Ron," she said in a mock stern tone.

"I know," he responded nuzzling her neck "tea then bed," he repeated studiously.

"Okay, let me rephrase that. Tea then sleep Ronald."

He sighed and then pulled back from her, moving to stand at her side he picked up his tea cup and turned to face her.

"Tea then sleep," he repeated studiously once more. "Boy we're such an adventurous couple Mione. Some people have to be together until they're... oh, I don't know... eighty before they get to have tea then sleep, but us, we're front runners." He was nodding his head with a serious expression upon it.

Hermione smiled, she loved him. Leaning over she placed a kiss on his lips before pulling back and picking up her own tea cup. They just stared at each other smiling and sipping tea for a while before Ron broke the silence.

"Still at work," he commented reaching past her to grab kettle and make himself another cup of tea.

"What's still at work?" she questioned giving him a confused look.

"Who, who's still at work, and who's Harry," Ron was now using his wand to warm the water in his cup, since it had cooled from being off of the fire for a few minutes.

"I thought he had the day off?"

"He did, but they had an emergency too and he got called in... he left in a hurry."

"What happened?"

"Dunno, he sent an owl later saying that he won't make it back until sometime tomorrow probably. They seem to have a lot of those lately."

"Is he ok- wait, who's they and a lot of what?" she asked once again looking perplexed.

"They -you know they -them... the Ministry," he was looking at her like she was a little daft. "The ministry and emergencies, you know, first Harry and then you... you did say you guys had an emergency right, and that's why you're going in tomorrow?"

"Oh, yeah right..." she frowned, watching him shake his head. "You know you don't have to talk to me like I'm mental Ronald, you just have to speak coherently," he rolled his eyes. "And you never answered my other question, is he ok?"

"Huh? Yeah, yeah he's fine," Ron downed the rest of his tea "well, looks like we're both done with tea, how about that bed now?" Without waiting for an answer he took the cup from her hand, set it on the counter, then grabbed Hermione and threw her over his shoulder.

"Ron," she laughed, "I'm not a sack of potatoes you know!"

"Are you sure, because I'd love the opportunity to peel you, or at least peel off your clothes!"

"Ronald!" she screamed laughing as he carried her into her bedroom, kicking the door closed behind them.

AN: Well that's it for chapter one, don't worry Harry's in the next one, I'm a total Harry/Hermione shipper and this is an H/Hr fic, I just prefer to build a little story before jumping right into the relationship. I also don't want to be one of those people who forget how important Ron is... well anyway, Stay Tuned! Chapter two should be posted soon Please Review! Ja ne!