Disclaimer 1: This is fanfic. That means I do not own any of it. I just borrow it to play with for a little while and let people see the pathetic results if they really want to.

Disclaimer 2: I'm not making any money from it. It's just for fun.

Disclaimer 3: What isn't borrowed is all made up. None of this is real or most likely at all realistic. Please don't trust any of the information in here. Most likely you know more about whatever I'm writing about than I do.

Disclaimer 4: Attitudes, views and opinions expressed by the characters or in the story are not necessarily those of the author. Even when writing Science Fiction or Fantasy I do not tend to attempt to create perfect/better worlds in which everybody gets a happy end ... or whatever is best for them. Please accept that some characters will have a bad ending or be unhappy.

Disclaimer 5: I intend no insult to anyone. If I offend anyone I'm very sorry. Please understand that it was an accident as I tend to be very clumsy in these things.

Disclaimer 6: If my characters' conversations seem odd or they appear to be talking past each other the latter might occasionally be intentional, but most likely it is an accident and I'm not aware that they are. It's just my bad communication skills.

Ron came home from work late and exhausted, looking forward to the loving greetings of his wife and children and a nice home-cooked meal. Instead he found some cheese and bread left on the kitchen counter and Hermione busy perusing a number of booklets on the kitchen table.

"What are these, honey?" he asked picking one of them up at random. It appeared to be a promotional brochure about some Muggle institution. "I've never heard of the place."

"It's a school," Hermione explained. "A Muggle one, why you don't recognise it's name. There don't seem to be any wizarding boarding schools for children under ten anywhere we can reach in a single floo jump. I thought you'd prefer a Muggle school to sending our children to Africa or India."

"Africa? India?" Ron repeated in shocked confusion. "Our children?"

"Why of course," Hermione said in the impatient tone she always used when she thought he should already have read something somewhere. "It's high time we apply to a school. In fact all the places in the best schools for next year might already be taken, but then Rose might as well start a year late as none of these schools will take six year old boarders, so Hugo will have to stay home another year as well."

Ron stared at her open-mouthed.

Hermione beamed at him. "Just imagine it. In just a little over a year I'll be free to work full-time again. Of course we'll still have to juggle the holidays somehow, but they can stay at school for most of the shorter holidays and we can take some time off for the rest and send them to summer camps." She looked at him hopefully. "You don't mind sacrificing some of your time off, in case I can't get any at the right time, do you? I know it's a lot to ask. I hate to do it myself, but they are your children as well and I have already sacrificed six years of my life to them. You ought to share the burden a little."

"Sacrificed? Burden? Hermione, I thought you wanted ..."

"They needed their mother when they were babies of course," Hermione agreed. "I was my duty. But now they don't need me anymore I want my life back."

"Don't need you anymore? They're just children. Hugo is only five years old! They need love and protection! They can't take care of themselves, can't control their magic!"

"He will be seven when he goes," Hermione pointed out. "The schools won't take him any earlier. And you know what Muggles are like. They'll make up some 'rational explanation' for themselves, if there are any accidental magical accidents at the school. Though, if you're really worried about that, I did get some booklets for the magical boarding schools as well. The ones in India and South Africa have direct floo access. It requires several jumps, but we might be able to do those in less time than it'd take us to walk from the nearest floo or apparition point to one of the Muggle schools. I just didn't think you'd like it, but if you prefer it, we'll do that. Here, have a look at this one. I think this is the best magical one."

She picked up a booklet from the other end of the table and held it out to him.

Ron didn't reach out to take it. "That's not what I'm talking about!" he shouted, but when he saw the confused expression on Hermione's face he realised that she'd never understand his outburst.

He took a deep breath to calm himself and made an offer that would be more acceptable to her.

"If you are that unhappy," he said. Why don't you go back to work and I stay home until they go off to Hogwarts? That would only be fair, wouldn't it? Equal sharing of parental duties. You took care of our children for the first six years, I'll do it for the next six."

And perhaps for the first time in his life he'd found a task that he could do better than Hermione. Surely he'd be able to give his children the love they needed.

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