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Family by harrypotterishot

Format: Novella
Chapters: 8
Word Count: 27,443
Status: WIP

Rating: 15+
Warnings: Mild Violence, Scenes of a Sexual Nature

Genres: Fluff, Humor, Romance
Characters: Harry, Ron, Hermione, Arthur, Molly, Fred, Ginny, OC
Pairings: Ron/Hermione, Harry/Ginny

First Published: 07/19/2006
Last Chapter: 04/25/2008
Last Updated: 04/25/2008

Summary:
banner by Loonie_Julie!






Ron and Hermione are about to start a family, whether they're ready or not. Watch them as they make their journey though pregnancy and the miracle of life. Chapter 6 is finally up! The story continues!


Chapter 1: Two Cravings
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Chapter One: Two Cravings

The house was silent at 2:34 in the morning, as Ron Weasley lay in bed, his eyes shut tight as he tried to drift back to sleep. Ever since about three months ago, he had always awoken in the middle of the night. He knew it had something to do with his wife, who lay sleeping on the other side of him, but it didn't bother him. He didn't go to work until mid-morning, so he always had time to rest up anyway.

He began thinking about his lovely wife, Hermione Jane Granger-Weasley. They had married nearly a year and a half ago; a very small, quaint ceremony at the Burrow. He had surprised her with a honeymoon getaway to Australia and he smiled as he tried to recall memories from that vacation. He couldn't remember anything but their luxury suite hotel room, because they hadn't left that room nearly the entire week. He knew that if they hadn't been careful, they would have ended up with their first child nine months after their trip.

He readjusted himself in the bed. As he did so, he heard a clattering sound coming from outside the bedroom, and his eyes shot open. He sat up and looked beside him, just to see crumpled up bed sheets. Hermione was gone. Without thinking, his heart began racing, and he got up out of their bed, creeping silently out of the room and into the hall. He turned and walked without making a sound, looking through the doorway into the kitchen. What he saw made him snort with laughter.

Hermione was sitting against the cabinets, stuffing a chocolate frog into her mouth and washing it down with pickle juice. She heard his laughter and swallowed, looking up at him, batting her widened eyes innocently.

"Morning." She said, her mouth still somewhat full of her snack. "How'd you sleep?"

"Hermione, I... is that a pickle jar?" He asked, still laughing. Hermione groaned and rolled her eyes, using her hands to steady herself as she stood up. When she gained her balance, she placed a hand on her swollen belly and tried not to smile.

"Yes, as a matter of fact it is. And those are chocolate frog wrappers, in case you were wondering." She said simply. Ron could tell that she wanted to laugh. He walked over towards her and leaned against a dining room chair.

"No, I think I noticed what those were." He smirked. "And you have issues with the way I eat. Love, you really need to check out your diet." He waited and counted in his head. Three... two... one... and right on cue, Hermione burst into laughter.

He knew that he would be right. She had been incredibly predictable since the middle of her fourth month, which was about one and a half months ago. He had walked in on her numerous times, all with different oddly paired food choices. Just two nights ago, Hermione had been up with butter pecan ice cream and spaghetti noodles. And almost three weeks ago, she had been caught around one in the morning with raspberry crème cheese and French fries. In fact, the first time he ever found Hermione with one of her craving attacks, it was in her fourth month, and it was pickles and cheese sauce. He laughed more, recalling the shocked look on his face as he walked into the room.

"Oi, Ron, I can't help it." She laughed. "I just love being pregnant!"

And she did. The twenty-three year old truly loved being pregnant.

She loved the way that the skin on her protruding stomach was smooth and soft to touch, and she loved the way that her swollen tummy looked in the muggle maternity clothes that she and Ginny had made a special trip to get. She loved being able to eat whatever she wanted, and she loved the weird cravings that she had in the wee hours of the morning. It was especially fun to see the look on her husbands face whenever she was caught eating her craved items. At first he was disgusted, then surprised, and now, he was incredibly amused. She really liked being able to eat all the time and not gain any weight. She hadn't been like that before she was pregnant; she had a moderately slow metabolism and had to watch what she ate. Now that she was pregnant, it wasn't a worry. After all, her healer had told her that after her first trimester that she should eat more, because the baby may not be getting enough nutrients. So, being Hermione, she obeyed orders. A month or so ago, she had gone through five quarts of chocolate ice cream, and two quarts of toffee almond, all in one day. (The only downside was the first trimester, when she threw up everything that touched her lips. And every time she ) She also loved the attention, though she didn't like to admit it. Oftentimes, since she had left work a few weeks ago (actually, her boss had dismissed her, saying that she worked too much anyway) on maternity leave, Ron brought home little gifts. He'd bring her roses, chocolates, stuffed animals, and toys for their soon-to-be baby. Throughout the day, he'd mail her notes that told her how much he loved her, and every time he got home, he'd kiss her, and then kiss her stomach sweetly. Ginny brought her homemade cookies regularly, and came over to visit her a lot while Ron and Harry were on long missions. Harry was also wonderful. He, along with Fred and George, helped add on a beautiful nursery to Ron and Hermione's little house. And the wonderful perk of being pregnant was the sex. Her hormones were racing, and almost ever other night, she would be in the mood. And Ron didn't mind that either; in fact, he quite enjoyed the fact that he no longer had to use the contraceptive potion. They were closer than they had ever been before.

"I love it too." Ron said, beginning to walk over to his wife. "I mean, your breasts have gotten two sizes bigger. It's wonderful." Hermione laughed. It was true, she had gone up two sizes since she was pregnant, and Ron loved it. He smiled because he had made her laugh.

"That's funny, Ron." She responded, shaking her head as she tried not to giggle.

"We're going to have to get right on having another one once Baby is born, aren't we?" Ron asked, continuing his trip over and placing both hands on Hermione's belly. Hermione grinned. They had agreed one month ago that the sex of the baby would be a mystery until Hermione gave birth. So they had taken to calling the unborn child Baby.

"Exactly." She told him, nodding matter-of-factly. "And after that one, we'll have to do the same thing. And after that one too. We'll just keep on going, right?"

"Keep it up and we'll have double the amount of kids my mum and dad have." Ron answered, moving his hands form her belly to wrap around her waist. "I say we stop around... nine? Maybe ten, if you're up for it." Hermione laughed, and Ron smiled. "I think you'll be sick of babies and pregnancies and everything that comes with them after baby number five."

"You think so?" She asked, running her hands through his hair gingerly. "Is that a bet?" Their eyes met, and her heart began racing like it always did when she was around him. She felt her heart melt, and leaned up so that she could peck his lips softly. He returned the kiss and deepened it, wrapping his arms around her a little more and drawing her closer. She clung to him because her knees got weak, and she felt like a girl getting her first kiss all over again. They broke apart for one moment, in which Hermione took the time to utter, "I love you."

"Love you too, beautiful." He responded, pulling back and looking into her eyes. "Why don't we get some sleep?" He asked her. She blushed.

"I'm not sleepy. I was still a bit hungry." She told him jokingly.

"Don't let me hold you back. Feel free to get out the blender and make a chocolate pickle smoothie." Ron said sarcastically. Hermione grinned.

"I may do that." She said, pecking him on the cheek and turning around to get her chocolate frogs. She took two out of the bag and held one up. "Would you like one? I'm sure I can find another jar of pickles that I haven't drank the juice out of for you, if that's what you'd like." She tossed him the frog and he shook his head, sighing.

"And I thought that normal you in school was weird. I guess I never imagined a pregnant you. It's so much worse." He said.

"Hey!" Hermione responded, her mouth full of chocolate frog. "I'm not weird."

"You aren't weird, love." He reassured her. Then, after a moment, he said, "Just pregnant."

"If only men could be pregnant..." Hermione mused aloud, glancing at Ron playfully.

"Now that would be a sight. Can you imagine it now... a pregnant Harry? Pregnant Seamus? Oh, here's the best one, a pregnant Lockhart?" The last one made Hermione snort, and she was thankful that she had sat down her pickle juice, because she knew it would have came streaming out of her nose.

"You're such a..." Hermione began, but she couldn't find the word to describe how utterly insane and strange her husband was. In fact, there was no word, because there was no one who was as odd.

"Handsome, young man?" Ron suggested. Hermione shook her head. "Sexy beast?"

"Ron!"

"Thought so."

"Ron!" She laughed, and moved over to their dining room chairs, sitting down, he moved in behind her, and began to rub her shoulders. "Mmm...." She sighed.

"Like it?" He asked, rubbing deeply. She nodded, sinking back into the chair.

"Love it." She said. "I've been needing one of these all day."

"Glad to be of service." Ron responded in her ear softly, kissing her on the cheek. "I can take off work today if you need me to. Boss has told me many times that I live at my job and I need to be home."

"He's right." Hermione muttered, still lost in the small pleasure of Ron's backrub. "But you need to work. Baby won't be able to eat if you don't work."

"Love, the baby could survive years on what you're feeding it during the pregnancy."

"Ha ha, Ronald." Hermione smirked. "I guess if you were just dying to take off work, you could come with me to get decorations for the baby shower."

"A baby... what?" Ron asked. Hermione grinned and rolled her eyes.

"A baby shower, Ron. It's a tradition that muggles do. When someone is pregnant, the friends and family are invited to a party to celebrate the pregnancy and to give the couple gifts for the baby, clothes and strollers and cribs and such. Y'know, like our wedding party." She smiled, as she thought about the fact that hers was just three days away.

"So basically, we're going to be getting tons of free stuff." Ron said. Hermione laughed a little.

"Yes, Ron, that?s basically what it is to men."

"I take offence to that. Baby does as well, you don't know, Baby very well could be a boy."

"It's a member of the Weasley clan, Ron, I'm planning on a boy."

"Ah ha, but you can't plan ahead. Baby might be a girl." Hermione sighed, grinning in spite of her loveable husband.

"Maybe. But I don't care what it is, Ron. The fact that it's our baby makes me love them already." She turned and kissed him on the forehead, and he smiled.

"So when is this, this baby shower you speak of?" Ron asked. Hermione looked up at her husband.

"Four days. This Friday. Tomorrow, I'm going to Diagon Alley to pick up some decorations after I go to St. Mungo?s." Hermione told him, leaning back into his arms.

"Why haven't I heard of this? I thought your next visit to Healer Morgan wasn't for two weeks." The past few times Hermione had visited with Healer Johanna Morgan, she had taken Ron with her. She hadn't wanted to at first, because of his dislike for the hospital, but he had convinced her otherwise.

"You're right, it is." Hermione responded before he could begin to worry. "I'm going to meet my midwife."

"A... um... sorry, love, but what's a midwife?" Ron asked, his voice sounding slightly puzzled. Hermione smiled, shaking her head.

"It's a healer that specializes in labor and delivery. They're fairly common with muggle mum-to-be's. My mother had a midwife when she had me. They're used in home births, for pregnant women who don't want to give birth in the hospital. Kind of like... a pregnancy assistant." Hermione tried to explain. Ron blinked, then slowly nodded.

"So... it's healer that comes to our house to deliver the baby." Ron said, beginning to understand.

"Right." Hermione kissed him again. "I'm meeting mine tomorrow. Her name's Kendall Beland. She's a friend of the healer who helped deliever Oliver." Oliver, who was now eight weeks old, was Ginny and Harry's first son. Hermione continured. "I'm surprised you didn't know what one was, considering that your mum had a midwife throughout all seven pregnancies."

"Well..." Ron began, but Hermione silenced him by kissing him softly on the lips.

"It's alright, love. I was only joking." Ron grinned, wrapping his arms around her. Hermione felt a rush in her belly, and knew immediately it wasn't the baby. The tingling sensation of longing began brewing, and she felt herself heat up. "I think I'm getting tired, love." She kissed his cheek this time, then made her way to his lips, kissing him softly and tenderly, like a butterfly, the way she knew drove him mad. "Want to come back to bed?" She suggested. He laughed.

"I never left, sunshine. It was you. I think the chocolate frogs woke you up." He pushed her hair behind her shoulders as he kissed her again, harder then her butterfly kisses before.

"Exactly." She whispered, running a hand through his messy bed-head hair. Her free hand ran up and down his back with her nails, sending sensations throughout his body. "That's exactly it."

"You had nothing to do with it at all." He said, and she giggled into his mouth.

"Right." She said, breaking away from his kiss to nip the tender spot behind his ear. He shivered, and she smiled to herself. "I can sleep on the couch if you prefer." She said, nourishing feather-light kisses on the nape of his neck. He had to stifle a moan. She let her small hands slide down his back and rest on his bum, pulling him closer to her body. This time he couldn't hide it, and moaned out loud.

"Hermione -"

"It's alright, love. I'll sleep on the couch." She broke away from him and walked the opposite direction, towards the common quarters. She didn't make it far, and she knew she wouldn't. She'd already enticed him. She took two steps, and then he spoke.

"Get back here, Weasley." He warned her.

"Why should I?" She asked playfully.

"Because I want you. Right now." He told her, and she smiled. Her plan had worked. She turned around and smiled innocently. Their eyes met, and he took her hand and led her back to their bedroom anxiously.




Wow! You read my story! Well, I have to say, I'm looking fowards to writing this. I'm a one-shot kinda girl, I like having something done when people want it. But I decided that this story may turn out okay, so why not post it? I'm a bit enrvous when it comes to updates, I'm taking two AP classes and I'll have a lot of work to do during the summer and school year, and on top of that, I'm in charge of monitoring beta club points, and there are over 100 members. So don't yell at me, please, if an update doesn't occur super fast. I'll try to get one at least every week! I'm working on chapter two right now, so the wait won't be that long! Anyway, if you still want to read the story after this, I'll talk to you later!!!

EXCERT FROM CHAPTER TWO:
"Does he know that there's a two month shag-free period after the baby is born?"



Chapter 2: Stop That!
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Chapter Two: Stop That!

Hermione woke up not three hours after her twilight escapades with her husband, right at daybreak. She felt the inside of her belly lurch, and something hit her bladder hard. She grunted, looking to her side to see that Ron had already left for work. Sighing, she noticed that a small yellow post-it was stuck to the bedpost, flickering back and forth from the fan that cooled the room. She reached out, her fingertips brushing the edge of it, and caught it between her pointer and middle fingers, peeling it off the bed and bringing it into her view.


Enjoyed last night very much. If your up for it, we can meet up for lunch before we go shopping.

Love you,

Ron


She grinned, sticking the yellow paper to the lamp beside her. She knew she should get out of bed, but she knew that if she did, then Baby may get agitated and take it out on her (very important and needed) internal organs. It was times like these she wished she could take Ron up on his offer. He often told her that if he could do anything to make the pregnancy more pleasant for her, he would. During her first trimester, when she was puking her insides out, she often silently wished he could be the one with his head in the toilet half the night. And now, she wished it again, wishing Baby was kicking his intestines, and his liver, and his kidneys instead of hers.

Somehow, Baby read her mind, and decided that the comment upset it. It delivered another kick, this time to Hermione's belly. She had her hands resting upon her swollen tummy at the time, and felt the vibrations of the kick.

"Stop that!" She moaned, knowing that, if the baby was like its father, it would respond by kicking her again, just for spite. It didn't. Hermione sighed, slowly moving her legs over the side of the bed. She groaned as she tried to sit up and failed, her stomach was too large and she had to use the bedside table to pull herself up. "I knew I'd regret marrying him someday." Hermione joked to herself, not meaning it at all, and knowing that if she had been married to any other man, she probably wouldn't have gotten pregnant so easily, and when she was pregnant, the baby would have a mild temperment. But no, she fell in love with a guy who had a temper and attitude to match his fiery red hair, and she knew that their child would be quite a dangerous mix. Ginny had told her that the baby would be stubborn, very smart, and bossy, with an attitude and bright red hair. Which meant, she continued, that their two babies would get along just fine. Hermione smiled as she made her way to the loo, recalling that conversation she'd had with her sister-in-law only a few weeks ago. After a quick shower, Hermione found the nice maroon sleeveless top that Angelina had bought her, and her favorite blue-jean maternity shorts that Ron had gotten her as a gift. Yet another perk of being pregnant, she thought: Everyone is buying you clothes.

When Hermione stepped into the dining room, she noted that it was seven in the morning. Her appointment with her midwife was at eight, so she had a while. The house was quiet in the morning, when everyone was at work, and Hermione was left home by herself. She went to take down a box of cereal, but noticed yet another post-it note on the microwave. Hermione curiously walked over and peeled it off. She grinned.


Woke up early and made you breakfast. Hope you like it.

Love,

Ron


She stuck the note to the counter, and opened the microwave to see her favorites: bacon, sausage, and pancakes with fruit syrup. She grinned wider, mentally noting to let last night happen more often. She could still feel th heat coming from the food, and decided not to heat it any more. She removed it and made her way to the table. She gasped and nearly dropped the plate when she saw a single red rose resting before her chair at the table. There was no note attatched to this, but she knew it was from Ron. She wanted to apparate to quidditch practice right then and there, and kiss him. After a minute of thought, she decided against it, and figured that she would thank him in an owl and with a kiss when they met up for lunch. She took a piece of paper and quicky jotted down a thanks, and that she'd love to go to lunch once she was done. She took their owl - Harry and Ron had decided to call him Errol the Second - and tied the note to it's foot.

"Go to Ron. You know where he is. And if he decides not to respond, he's busy, so don't hurt him... again." She recalled the last time she'd owled Ron at work. He'd come home with a scar on his ear where Errol (the Second) had harassed him for a reply. "Good boy." She told the owl, stroking his head. She opened the window and released him, and Errol (the Second) flew in the direction of Ron. Once that was done, Hermione settled down at the kitchen table, and began to eat. When she had finished, the placed the plate in the sink - Ron would wash them earlier, like he always did - and went back to the bedroom. She brushed her hair and pulled it back out of her face and into a low ponytail. She grabbed her small purse and, once casting the locking spell on the door, left the house.

Ron and Hermione had a nice home on the outskirts of London. They had decided to move there because it was closer to Ron's workplace, and it seemed like a nice, quiet place to raise the large family they expected to have. It was a large white house, with eight bedrooms, a guest room, a large kitchen and dining room, four bathrooms, and a deck that overlooked the backyard. Ron had deemed that once their first child reached three, he and Harry were going to build a quidditch pitch in that backyard. Hermione had been worried about the house at first, wondering what they would do with the bedrooms. Ron had laughed.

"If it comes to it, we'll make the kids share rooms." She had punched his arm playfully, telling him that's not quite what she meant. But she still laughed too, because the Weasley charm had gotten to her once more.

She gave the house a quick glance before setting off to the healer. It wasn't that long of a walk to the portkey that she and Ron used to get to St. Mungo's, but even if it was Hermione had no choice. She and Ron had experimented with the methods of transportation a pregnant woman could use. Flooing made her sick to her stomach, and apparating made her pass out. The only way they would travel long distances was with a portkey, or with Ron apparating the two - really, three - of them. Hermione had gotten used to this handicap of sorts, and had taken a liking to walking places. She got to the portkey, which was a bright yellow fire-hydrant, and took a deep breath before placing her hand on it. She shut her eyes tight and held her breath as she spun around. She kept repeating the same thing in her mind: Please don't let me get sick. Please don't let me get sick.

Her wish was granted as she came to a stop. She steadied herself, and then opened her eyes. She was in the main office of St. Mungos. She made her way to the correct floor, and then to the Welcome Witch at the beginning of that floor.

"Hello. I have an appointment with Healer Kendall Beland." Hermione noted that the young witch reminded her of Tonks. She had striking blue hair that flowed down her back. Her eyes were deep violet.

"You're Hermione Granger!" The witch identified her, and Hermione blushed. "Harry Potter's friend!"

"It's Weasley, actually." Hermione corrected her. "It's been so for nearly two years." This time the witch - whose nametag read Mena - blushed.

"I'm sorry!" She paused, then looked at Hermione again. "Weasley, as in Ronald Weasley?" Hermione nodded.

"It's Ron, and yes, that's him." Hermione grinned, somewhat embarassed at the attention that Mena was drawing over. Half the waiting area was looking at them now, apparently facinated that Hermione was there. This wasn't new, it had happened before, but not in over a year. It was the worst after the war, when Harry defeated Voldermort.

"I always thought you'd end up with him. You're a cute couple. My friend Tessa said that you and Harry'd end up together, because the hero thing, but I told her that him and that Weasley girl were an item, and she changed her mind." Mena gushed. Hermione blushed.

"Harry and I are friends. And he's married to Ginny Weasley." She said. Before Mena continued, Hermione cut it off. "Can I just have the forms? Please?" Mena blushed, noticing she'd embarassed herself and Hermione, and handed Hermione the forms. Hermione thanked her, and went to sit down in a cushy blue chair. She filled out the forms, and handed them back into Mena without a word. When she sat back down, it was 7:57. She sat back against the wall and shut her eyes, hoping that a three minute nap would help catch her up on her lack of sleep the past few months. She had begun to drift off when a door clicked, opening.

"Weasley, Hermione?" A voice called. Hermione groaned, managing to stand up and make her way to the open doorframe. Hermione walked in the door to see a woman who couldn't be over thirty five years old. Her face had a kind appearance, and her bright hazel eyes were welcoming. She had long blonde hair that was pulled back into a low ponytail. As soon as Hermione entered the room, the woman stood up. She walked over and gave Hermione a soft hug.

"You must be Hermione." She said, sticking out her hand. Hermione shook it, and smiled politely, nodding. "I'm Healer Beland, but you can call me Kendall, alright?" Hermione nodded as Kendall led her over to a soft beige chair. She sat down, and Kendall returned to her position behind her desk. "You were recommended by Harry and Ginny Potter, it says here." She made a reference to her papers, the ones Hermione had filled out while she had waited to be called in. Hermione nodded.

"My sister-in-law and my best friend turned brother-in-law." Hermione told Kendall. Kendall nodded.

"Wonderful people, great parents too. Oliver is a doll." Kendall pushed away a packet of paper. "Before we get down to all the technical aspect of all this, let's talk about you and your husband. Tell me about him!" Hermione grinned. She loved to talk about Ron, but usually it was only to Ginny, because Harry didn't like to hear about how his best mate liked it in the bedroom.

"Well, his name's Ron Weasley. We've been married for nearly a year and a half, and Harry is surprised that we don't already have a baby and another on the way right now." Hermione began, laughing as she recalled Harry placing a bet that, nine months after the honeymoon, the first Ron-Hermione offspring would make it's way into the world.

"Why is that?" Kendall asked. Hermione blushed.

"The Weasley's... they're a very... fertile family." Kendall laughed, and Hermione continued on about her husband. "Anyway, Ron works with the Cannon's. He's the keeper, he has been for 2 years now. He got the job while we were dating, I think it's the best thing that's ever happened to him. Of course, whenever I try and tell him so, he always disagrees and says that the baby and I are the best things that have ever happened to him, and that I should have known that." She smiled. "We started off with a love/hate relationship. Back in fourth year, at Hogwarts, was when I first developed feelings for him. By fifth year, we knew it was love but were too stubborn to admit it to ourselves or each other. After sixth year, things kept progressing. He kissed me at Bill Weasley's wedding, and we didn't completely talk over our feelings until the war was over. We talked about it for months, and finally decided that the time was right, and we became an official couple. We only dated for two months before we were engaged, and not three months later we were married. He took me on a honeymoon to Austraila. It was incredibly beautiful there. I'd read about it, and seen pictures, but never gone. I guess I'd mentioned it to him, because not two hours into our wedding reception, he pulled me aside and Apparated us there." Hermione laughed. "Not that I recall that much of Sydney. We only left the hotel room twice; Once to stock up on food to keep Ron satisfied, and the second time to buy souviners to make it seem like we had been out and about all week." Kendall laughed.

"Very active, would you say?" She asked. Hermione blushed again.

"Quite." She answered. "We thought the pregnancy would slow things down, but...", Hermione shook her head, laughing. "It hasn't."

"You just wait!" Kendall told her. "Does he know that there's a two month shag-free period after the baby is born?"

"He'll die." Hermione laughed again, finding herself already incredibly comfortable in front of this woman she'd met five minutes ago.

"So, tell me about this pregnancy." Kendall picked up the paper's she had pushed away moments ago. "How many months along are you?"

"Five and a half. I'm 25 weeks in." Hermione told her matter-of-factly.

"Good, very good. Have you had your first antenatal visit yet?"

"I'm going in two weeks, with Healer Johanna Morgan." Hermione stated. As she did so, she felt the baby give her insides a swift kick. "Ow!" She squeaked, trying to be as quiet and unnoticeable as possible.

"What is it?" Kendall stood up and looked ready to make a dash for the door to call in another healer.

"Baby's kicking." Hermione breathed. "It's nothing, I swear. Baby's been doing it all morning, I think it's angry with me." Hermione managed a smile.

"Well, now that we're on this topic," Kendall began, sitting back down, "Since you're in your 25th week, the kicking will become more prominent and recurring. You may even feel some practice contractions around your 27th week. Have you felt any contractions yet?" Hermione shook her head. Kendall nodded, writing something down on her paper, then looking back up at Hermione. "So, the baby's been kicking for a while now, right?"

"Yes," Hermione smiled. "Baby's been kicking my insides all week. I was worried when it started, but Ron assured me it was natural." Hermione recalled. She found it so odd - Ron found it humorous - that she knew nearly nothing about being pregnant. During Hogwarts, Hermione studied and read to learn everything she could before she had a test. She prepared herself. This was completely different. Not only was the pregnancy itself a surprise, but not knowing what to do when your period doesn't come, when you're puking up everything you eat, when your breasts won't fit inside your bra anymore... it was a little scary at first. Ron, however, seemed to be the pregnancy expert. Maybe it was because his family was so large, fertile, and full of babies, or maybe it was because he had read a ton of books so that he would know what to do when the time came. Hermione didn't know how he did it, but was so thankful for her husband and his help. And Ron... Ron had enjoyed knowing things that Hermione did not, while the time lasted. During her third month, she and Ginny had went out and bought four books on pregnancy. After that, Hermione and Ron were on about the same level, which Ron didn't mind... that much.

"Is he a big help?" Kendall asked. Hermione smiled, nodding.

"Absolutely. Especially when we first found out. He was so incredibly excited... "



* five months and one week ago... *


"Ron!" Hermione shouted, sitting on their bathroom floor and leaning up against the cold, blue tiled walls. It was the beginning ot March, and the chill had crept into their house, even with the heating on.

"What?" He replied from down the hall in the kitchen. She could smell his delicious cooking. Tonight, it smelt like he was making roast and veggies, one of her favorites and one of his specialities. She silently thanked Molly Weasley for teaching her children how to cook.

"Come here." She said quietly, staring at the cup that was perched upon their bathroom sink. Her stomach was a mixture of emotions. She was so incredibly excited, but was nervous at the same time. She and Ron had made the decicion not to prevent the conception of a child, deciding to leave it up to fate to decide when they were ready to have a baby. It has been two months since that decicion had occured. She hadn't expected fate to intervine this soon. Of course she was excited, she wanted nothing more than to be a mum, especially to Ron's child. The only problem was... she knew nothing of pregnancy, or having a baby. And there was, of course, the fact that Ron may not have been wanting a child right now...

"I'm cooking, sunshine, the roast may burn!" He called back. She swallowed the lump in her throat.

"The roast can wait, I assure you." She told him. She heard a spoon clatter as he dropped it on the counter. Footsteps could be heard in the hall, and the twisting os a doorknob made her heart skip.

"Are you okay, Hermione?" Ron stuck his head in the bathroom door. When he saw that his wife was propped up against the wall, he stepped in and walked over, knealing down beside her and resting a hand on her shoulder. "You called?"

"Ron... you remember about two months ago, when we stopped using the contraceptive spell?" Hermione planned on dragging it out as long as she could, but Ron was much smarter when it came to this "game" of sorts than she expected him to be.

"Are we?" Ron asked anxiously, looking around to see if he'd find clues to answer his on inquiry. He found it, the cup on the bathroom sink with urine inside. It had a white stick-like thing poking out, and the tip of it was... pink. What was pink, Ron thought back... what did pink mean? Pink... p was for.. possibility? No, no... it was... pink... positive! "We are! Hermione, are you pregnant?" Ron was so excited, she could feel it in his voice. She couldn't help but grin when she nodded.

"I am." She answered, blushing. "I'm pregnant, Ron." Ron lept up from his siting position and used his hand to steady himself against the wall.

"Wow." He murmured. "Wow, wow, wow!" He took Hermione's hands and pulled her off the ground, lifting her in the air and spinning her around. Hermione tossed her head back and laughed, smiling brightly. She knew he'd be excited, but... she hadn't known he wanted a family so badly! "We're gonna be parents, 'Mione! A mum! And a dad!"

"I know!" Hermione squealed in return. He suddenly stopped, bringing her back down to him, their noses touching.

"I shouldn't have done that! I might hurt our baby twirling you like that!" Ron muttered, capturing her lips in his. Hermione laughed.

"No, you wouldn't hurt the baby, but you might've made me sick!" Ron smiled, kissing her on the lips again. He pulled back, but she hadn't quite gotten enough of him yet, and quickly leaned back in to steal another kiss... and another... and another... and another... and another....


* back to present day... *


Hermione came out of her reverie, blinking a few times. Kendall laughed again.

"You're a lucky one, Mrs. Weasley. My husband knew nothing when I was pregnant with our first child. I had to learn it all by experience." Hermione laughed, and settled back against her chair. "So, is it a boy or a girl?"

"Actually," Hermione began, grinning, "We decided to wait until I give birth. But I have this feeling it's a boy."

"Firstborns are often boys." Kendall agreed.

"It's not that, it's just another one of the Weasley family traits. Ginny Potter was the first Weasley girl in generations." Hermione smiled. "But still, Ron told me he thinks it's a girl, because he read that if one of the spouses works in a stressful enviornment, the chances are higher that the couple will have a girl, and since I was often stressed, I was going to have a girl. So I argued back that science has said that rougher sex may produce a boy, and that that needed no explanation. We ended up laughed our heads off because we made up so many stupid theories on what may influence the sex of the baby." Hermione seemed to be floating away into her own world, and was ready to go on about the discussion she'd had with Ron that night, until she realized that she was probably scaring Healer Beland. "I'm sorry, I just -"

"It's perfectly fine, Hermione. It's good that you're able to talk to me like this, it'll allow us to be closer. I like to be friendly with my clients, helps the birthing process go smoother." Hermione tried to hide her blush - she was still embarassed over what she's slipped - and nodded. "Then Kendall continued. "I think we should probably get down to business... again." She picked up another paper and quill. "I know you mentioned earlier, but who is your regular healer?"

"Johanna Morgan. She works at here as well." The quill Kendall had set out began recording what Hermione had said on it's own.

"Your due date?"

"I'm pretty sure it's November 15th." Hermione said, placing a hand on her belly. Baby kicked again - this time it took it's fetal agression out on what felt like her kidney - and she winced. "Will you stop that?!" She whispered to her unborn through gritted teeth. Kendall looked up.

"Pardon?" She asked. Hermione shook her head.

"Nothing." She maganed, smiling.

"If I trace this date back, Hermione, it seems that the conception date would be between February 10th and 20th." She grinned, and Hermione blushed at her implication, knowing that it was true. "I'm right, aren't I?" Hermione blushed a deeper shade of scarlet.

"A few months before we stopped using the contraceptive spell, and decided to let fate take control." Hermione felt her cheeks burn. "I guess fate decided to be funny."

"That's quite amusing, actually." Kendall smiled. "So, have you had any problems at all?" Hermione shook her head. "I guess I should ask you what your plan is. Do you have one?" Hermione bit her lip as she thought, then nodded.

"I wanted a natural birth, and I would prefer to have the child at home, because it would be more convienent to fit the family in." Hermione smiled as she recalled the birth of Harry and Ginny's son. St. Mungo's had been near terrified because of all the Weasley clan, their children, and their wives. Eventually, it had been narrowed down to Molly and Arthur, Ron and Hermione, Harry, and the healer. All of the other Weasley's had to sign up for seperate time frames to come visit the newest family member. Hermione thought all this to be terribly silly. She didn't think about it until a about a month ago, and she had decided that, with the addition of her own family, there would be no room in a magical hospital when she and Ron's child was born. "Ron's side is so large that they didn't fit into the St. Mungo's waiting room, so with the addition of my ten or less family members, it would be much more convienent to have the birth at the house." Hermione paused to see if she had left anything out. "I think that's it."

"That's a smart choice from what I hear of your large family, Mrs. Weasley. It's also more convienent because there's no need to pack the many bags that women who have their babies at the hospital have to get together." Hermione nodded, and Kendall went on. "I think it may be better for your husband and yourself, and me as well, if you gather any materials you feel you need or would be more comfortable with, and store it in the room you would like to give birth in. Some women store their favorite blankets and some scented candles in that room. It makes it easier if the couple is prepared." Hermione grinned without thinking. "Also, you should set up a portkey. Nothing too large, just a small item that can get a group of five or six to St. Mungos. It's better to be ready in case complications do arise." Hermione felt her heart skip nervously. Apparently Kendall could tell. "Now, Mrs. Weasley, not all pregnancies result in complications. I've helped at least 20 women deliver their babies, and all 20 births have gone without a hitch." Kendall stopped and looked over her papers. "I think I know just about all I needed to find out during our first meeting, Hermione. You don't have any questions, do you?" Hermione shook her head. Kendall straightened the papers and put them in a manilla folder. "Then that's all for today. Our next meeting will be in about a month and a half. We'll owl you in about three weeks to schedule a specific date." Both females arose to shake each others hands again. Hermione told her goodbye, and left the office. She decided to walk to the Leaky Cauldren, since it wasn't that far from the hospital to begin with. She walked for about ten minutes until she saw the entrance. She grinned when she saw the tall red-head standing next to the door. He rushed up to greet her, giving her a long hug, as if she'd been gone for years.

"Mmm..." He sighed as he pulled away. Hermione blushed, looking at her husband questionably.

"What?" She asked, perking a brow. Ron laughed.

"Nothing. Your hair..." He began, brushing his fingers though Hermione's brown locks, "It smells wonderful." She grinned, and greeted him with a peck on the lips. She knew this wasn't enough to please him, and he placed a hand on her cheek, bringing her back in for another kiss. He pulled away smiling, and slid his hand into hers. "Shall we?" He gestured towards the Cauldren with his free hand. She nodded, squeezing his hand.

"We shall." She laughed.




A/N: I'M SOOOOOO SORRY! I would bother you with excuses but part of the wait is that I had some AP work to finish. Do not fear, I'm done with it now! (at least, for now, ha ha). I hate it when people are mad at me but if you are, I guess I can get used to it. I worked on this hard for four days straight, and it's nice and long to make up for my week-long absense and making you all wait. I've just not started chapter three, and I'm working on it in my mind, mainly. Ginny and baby Oliver make an appearance, maybe some other Weasleys, I haven't decided yet. Since I have never been pregnant and do not know how it feels to have something growing inside me, I would like to credit all the websites I have and will use in the future to help me get it right. If you have ever had a child and would like to correct me, feel free. I accept CON-crit (don't tell me I'm horrible, even if I am, which I can't guarentee I won't be!) and reviews. I have decided that I'm going to let my readers (I have like, six, maybe five. that's discouraging!) choose the baby's name. I won't reveal the sex until the big chapter, so if you'd like to put your chouse girl and boy names in the reviews, your name may be used (AND YOU GET A NEW CAR! not really.) But anyway, hoped you enjoyed this chapter as much as I enjoyed writing it. See you at the end of chapter three!!



Chapter 3: Shopping With A Red-Head
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Chapter Three: Shopping With A Red-Head

"I nearly forgot to thank you for the wonderful breakfast this morning. And for that gorgeous rose." Hermione told her husband, kissing his cheek as they walked out of the Leaky Cauldren. Ron gave her hand a tight squeeze.

"You deserved something for what happened last night, I mean, wow, Hermione." Hermione blushed, shaking her head.

"You're such a..." She began, but couldn't finish.

"Such a what?" Ron asked, bumping into her shoulder. Hermione laughed.

"Such a prat!" She playfully shouted, bumping him back. He didn't move, however. He caught her and twirled her around, catching her in his arms so her lips were almost touching his. "You're quite welcome." She said, rising on her toes and pecking his lips. Noting the somwehat confused look on his face, she added, "Last night, dear."

"Oh! Yes." Ron nodded, kissing her again. They stood in that same spot for a while, until a very loud voice inturputed them.

"Please, just get a room already!" Hermione broke away from Ron and whirled around. She squeaked with excitement.

"Ginny!" The red-head grinned, nodding.

"That's what they call me." She responded, shifting the bundle in her arms around to accomadate a hug from Hermione. "Glad to see you!"

"You too! And this little angel as well!" Hermione cooed to the little blue bundle. Ginny moved it again, revealing a tiny baby with a squished up nose, squinted green eyes, and a tuft of dark red hair. Oliver James Potter was a gorgeous baby, all the healers that were in the room during Ginny's delivery didn't mind pointing it out often. He was also a quiet baby, from what Hermione had seen of him. She told Ginny and Harry numerous times that she and Ron would gladly babysit little Oliver, but Ginny refused. She always claimed it was because of Hermione's pregnancy, but both Hermione and Ron knew otherwise. Ginny loved that little infant with everything in her, more than she had loved anything in her entire life, and she wasn't willing to part with him for longer than she had to.

"Want to hold him?" Ginny asked. "After all, you are his god-mum." Hermione's eyes brightened, her arms outstretching.

"I would love to!" She responded. She took the baby, and Ginny stretched her tired arms, weary from holding the baby so long. Free from the burden of the infant, Ginny bent down and placed her hands on Hermione's large belly.

"How's my wittle baby niece?" She asked Hermione's stomach. Hermione rolled her eyes. Time and time again, she'd told Ginny that she and Ron were waiting to find out the gender, and that until then the baby wasn't he or a she. Ginny, however, seemed convinced that the fetus in Hermione's belly was a female. She'd even decided on a name: Bethany Marie. Hermione, after telling Ginny that she didn't like that name very much, had to tell her sister-in-law to stop. It did not stop, however. Every time she saw Ginny, her protruding tummy was greeted with "my wittle niece" or "itty bitty goddaughter". Hermione had thuoght many timea about taking back Ginny's title as Baby's godmother, but decided against it. She could never do that to a friend, especially now that they were technically sisters.

"Gin," Hermione stated firmly, "Remember what we discussed, say, a week ago?" Ginny smirked, nodding.

"Sorry." She said, rubbing Hermione's belly once more before staing up straight again.

"It's alright. It's just, you know that I-"

"Want to remain completely clueless until the big day, I know, I know." Ginny grinned. "So, how did you like Kendall?"

"Wonderful." Hermione answered. "She seemed to adore Oliver." She shifted the baby in her arms. He gurgled, then smiled a toothless grin at her.

"With a mix of Potter and I's traits, who wouldn't adore him?" Hermione laughed. Ginny then turned to Ron. "So, how's work?"

"Same as always, Gin. Interesting. And how's motherhood?" Ron replied jokingly.

"Same as always. Very interesting." Ginny replied. Ron broke eye contact with his sister to look at his wife, who was cooing the infant in her arms. He felt his heart swell with love for her, just watching her rock her godson back and forth in her arms. He began to think to himself. How much longer to I have to wait until I see her rocking our baby? How long until I can kiss my baby's forehead, hold it in my arms, watch it fall asleep... "Ron?" He blinked, looking back over at his sister, who was smirking at him. The smirk then dropped when she noticed his face. "It's a wonderful thing, Ron. It's astonishing. Just looking at him makes me want to cry sometimes, and you know I'm not the weepy type. Aside from Harry, I've never loved anyone more in my life."

"Is it really that... amazing?" Ron asked, his gaze drifiting back over to Hermione, who was now whispering lullabies to the bundle in her arms. "I look at her and Oliver and I just...."

"There aren't any words." Ginny smiled, looking at her son and best friend. "I mean, it's not easy. And it most vertainly is not fun all the time. Ollie has to be changed on an hourly basis, spits milk all over me during feedings, and can cry for hours on only one hour of sleep. But then you look into his eyes and you just... melt." Ron smiled. Ginny stopped, then looked up at her brother. "This gets conversation gets out to anyone, and you're dead, Weasley." She jokingly pushed his chest.

"Don't worry, Potter. I have better things to talk about other than you." This comment caused Ginny to push Ron again, then hug him tightly.

"Are you all done with... whatever it is you're doing?" Hermione's voice appeared almost out of nowhere. Ron grinned at her, walking over and kissing her forehead.

"Absolutely." He said. "Can I hold my nephew now?" Hermione nodded, gingerly letting go of the baby and allowing Ron to hold him. She looked over at Ginny. Their eyes met. Ginny gave Hermione a small smile, and a nod.

"What are we standing here for? My baby's going to freeze if he doesn't get a new jumper!" Ginny spoke up. Ron rolled his eyes as Oliver's hand cloed around his finger.

"It's almost August." Ron stated simply.

"I know. Better being prepared!" Ginny answered, grinning.

"But it's hot!" Ron retorted, and Hermione burst out laughing. Ron looked at her strangely, and she laughed even harder.

"I'm sorry!" She responded, patting his shoulder. "I'm... yeah. I'm sorry." She bit her lip as the three began to walk.

"So, Hermione," Ron asked, "What was so funny?

"Would you like the truth?" Hermione said. Ron nodded. Hermione blushed, and told him, "I have no idea." Ron shook his head, grinning at his wife.

Is there any way I could love her any more than I do now?

* * *

"Where is this baby place?" Ron questioned, giving his wife's hand a squeeze. It was nearly ten minutes later, and the group of four (five, really) had made their way into Diagon Alley. Ginny walked two steps ahead of them, scanning the shops for the store her multiple sister-in-laws had told her about. Hermione gestured towards Ginny, shrugging. Hermione now had Oliver in her arms again, and found that being pregnant and holding an infant while trying to keep up with someone walking twice as fast as you was very hard to do. Ron looked over at her. "Need any help, love?" He asked, holding his arms out to show that he'd gladly hold the baby. Hermione sighed gladly, pausing to pass the small infant over to his godfather.

"We're here!" Ginny finally said, stopping before a small-looking store. The store had large white letters on the awning, proclaiming the name "Wittle Witch and Wizard" in bold letters. Ron stepped up to the window.

"Awfully small." He said bluntly. Hermione giggled, and Ginny rolled her eyes.

"It's called magic, you prat, ever heard of it?" Hermione laughed again, and Ron elbowed her in the arm.

"Not even funny." He said, trying to hide his own grin.

"Please return your godchild to their rightful owner." Ginny said, stepping over to Ron and opening her arms. Ron signed and reluctantly handed his nephew to his mother. He then put his arm around Hermione's waist - tried to, at least - and they walked into the store.

Hermione had never seen so much baby things in her life.

She had felt akaward in the maternity ward of St. Mungo's at first. This didn't hold a candle to the maternity ward. At all. It was painted in pale shades of pink, blue, orange, yellow, and purple, reminding Hermione of the Easter eggs that she hid as a child. There were babies everywhere, unhappy ones from the sound of things. And where there weren't babies, there were pregnant women. There were many aisles, all filled with clothes and toys and diapers and food and other necesities for taking care of a newborn.

"Wow." Ron said, kissing his wife on the cheek. "This feels so... weird."

"How?" Hermione asked.

"Well," Ron began, "We're just twenty-three, we were married only a year and a half ago. I've loved you since I was fifteen, but I never really imagined this until last year. And now that it's actually happening..."

"We're having a baby." Hermione grinned.

"Yes we are." Ron smiled back, kissing Hermione on the lips this time. Hermione giggled into his mouth, and they heard Ginny groan.

"Will you be done any time soon, or will you need to move some place more private?" She asked, laughing at her brother.

"Somewhere more private sounds nice." Hermione agreed. "But I think Ron's a little tired. Aren't you?"

"Me? Tired? Never." He responded, kissing her cheek and starting to walk.

"You two..." Ginny began, "And I thought Harry and I were bad when it came to that-"

"I don't want to even hear that, Ginny." Ron said, pulling a face. The two women laughed as they turned into the clothing aisle. Hermione's face lit up as she saw the aisle full of tiny robes.

"You think Baby would like a Quidditch robe?" Hermione asked, looking at Ron. Ron nodded.

"Absolutely." Ginny shook her head.

"I doubt she'll even want to play-"

"Ginny..." Hermione began, and knowing that her friend had done it on purpose this time, she smiled.

"Sorry, sorry." Ginny went back to browsing through the "Wittle Wizard" section. Hermione began searching for a tiny Cannon's jersey with Weasley on the back. Ron stood behind her, grinning as he watched his wife. After a while, he began to get somewhat bored.

"Love?" Ron asked, placing his head on Hermione's shoulder. "Would you mind if I..." He stopped to nibble at her ear playfully. Ginny groaned and rolled her eyes, trying to focus on the tiny blue jumper she had in her hands instead of her brother. "Wandered out of this store for a few minutes..." He continued, his lips now kissing her neck softly. Hermione giggled. "Over to that quidditch store across the street..." He wound his hands around her waist and on the sides of her rather large belly and continued kissing her neck. She felt that sensation again, the heated desire in her belly. Oh crap...

"Not at all." She managed, shoving him off. If he had stayed in that position behind her any longer, she felt she might have pounced on him right in the middle of the shop.

"Thanks." Ron grinned, leaning in again to kiss her cheek. "Be back soon, love, promise!" And with that, he turned and began walking away.

"I don't know what's gotten into me." Hermione sighed, watching Ron's bum as he sauntered out of the store.

"Hormones." Ginny responded, looking at her friend now that Ron was gone. "I was the same way. Poor Harry. Hardly had a night off." Too much information, I didn't really want to see that and I... ugh... , Hermione thought to herself. Ginny suddenly held up a tiny dress. It was pale pink, with a sash of red around the small waist, and tiny flowers embroidered on the skirt. Ginny squeaked, thrusting the dress at Hermione. "Wouldn't my niece look so cute in that?" She asked, her voice oddly high. After a glare from Hermione, Ginny paused. She was plotting something, her eyes held a mischevious air. As Hermione opened her mouth to stop it, Ginny began. "But what if it is a baby girl, and you have no clothes for her? Let me buy it, please?" GInny noted to herself that she sounded very childish, but, as Harry often told her, she was sometimes. "I'll get another outfit for a nephew. If your baby is boy, then he can have it. If it's a girl," Ginny paused here, squeaking. "If it's a girl then she can have this adorable little dress!" There was no arguing with her now. Right now, to Hermione, nothing was woth arguing about. She was still invisioning Ron's bum in her mind.

"Sure." Hermione gave in.

"Thanks!" Ginny tossed the dress in her basket, browsed though the infant boy's attire, and finally settled on a tiny Cannon's jersey. Whether the baby is a boy or a girl, Hermione told herself, it's going to wear that. "So," Ginny started the conversation. "How long do you plan on waiting?"

"What?" Hermione responded. "I'm taking leave for quite a while, I may quit and work at home full time, I'm unsure-"

"Not that. Before you get into it again!"

"What?"

"Before the next pregnancy, Hermione." Ginny grinned. "Harry and I have decided to wait until Oliver is about seven." Hermione's eyes widened.

"Mum won't like that. Seven? That's an awufly big age difference." Hermione asked, somewhat worried that her future babies wouldn't have cousins their age to play with. Ginny laughed.

"Seven months, sorry." Ginny corrected herself. "We figured, give the kids a year and half apart. That way they'll be in different houses. And you?"

"We really haven't discussed it." Hermione stated truthfully. "Knowing Ron, two months after Baby's born he'll be dying to start."

"Oh, the two months!" Ginny snorted with laughter. "Sweet merlin, I was in so much pain, but I was so randy I wanted to shag nearly anything by the time two months was up."

"Ginny!" Hermione glanced around her, hoping that there were no young children - or people in general - around when the comment was made. Ginny grinned. Once the area was clear for sure, Hermione turend back to Ginny and whispered, "It's not horrible painful, is it?"

"Depends on your ability to withstand pain." Ginny responded, he features completely calm. Hermione's eyes widened, hoping Ginny would crak and start laughing. "I'm serious!" Ginny said, "I mean, your breasts swell at least two more sizes and are so sore that walking up a flight of stairs is painful. Your back aches like an elderly woman. You've just pushed a baby out of your body so that general area hurts like bloody hell. And in my case, my hormones were racing more than before, and I couldn't do anything about it." Ginny groaned, then looked at her horrified friend. "What? Come on, Hermione, I was joking. It's not horribly bad. Just the hormones part. And that's not too painful." Hermione shook her head.

"Why am I friends with you?" She asked. Ginny shrugged.

"Because I'm a Weasley." Ginny responded. "You seem to be attracted to all things tall and red-headed, so here I am."

"Ha ha, very funny." Hermione rolled her eyes, grinning. "So, find anything for the shower yet?" Ginny shook her head.

"Too much time spent cooing over dresses. I apologize, that's all my fault." Ginny curtsied, laughing as she did so. "Do you forgive me, my sister-in-law?" Hermione shrugged.

"I guess so." She said jokingly. "Come on." She took her friend by the arm and they laughed as they made their way to another aisle. This one was filled with pink and blue balloons and banners, some enchanted to wish the parents-to-be congratulations, some made for boys and some for girls, some for women who were having multiples. Hermione grinned, as did Ginny. Ever since Hermione had thrown Ginny's baby shower back in March, Ginny had been incredibly eager to return the favor. Hermione's mother, however, was upset that her daughter wasn't including her in her first pregnancy, so Ginny and Mrs. Granger had come to an agreement. Ginny would invite guests, decorate the place already chosen by Hermione, and have her family bake and cook. Mrs. Granger would call her side of the family (At the most, Hermione concluded, there would be ten people from her side. Whereas with Ron, there would be over fifty people.) and take care of whatever else she felt was needed, which seemed to be quite a lot.

By the end of their shopping experience, Ginny had managed to buy clothing for her own child and her soon-to-be niece, balloons and banners and confetti for the shower, and whatever else it was that she was hiding in the cart. And she had done it in under an hour. Hermione was very proud of Ginny for this. Usually this kind of shopping took hours, and that was when Ginny was alone. Ginny recieved her change from the clerk, shrunk her shopping bags and put them into Oliver's diaper bag. As soon as the two women stepped out the door, Ron appeared at Hermione's side. Hermione sniffed the air.

"Is that-" She began, turning.

"That delicious french vanilla ice cream you love so much? Why, yes. Yes it is." She turned to see Ron, ice cream cone in hand and a bag on his shoulder with (she suspected) new keeper gloves in them, grinning. "Bite?" She laughed.

"Yes!" She took the cone from him graciously and indulged herself. It was like heaven. French vanilla ice cream heaven. "Mmm."

"Ice cream? I got rid of that craving around month three." Ginny said, adjusting the baby in her arms and giving Hermione a humored look.

"It's not a craving." Hermione managed. Ron snorted back laughter, gesturing at his nose. Hermione put a finger to her nose and felt the familiar sticky texture of ice cream. She smiled to herself. "Maybe it is." She laughed. Ron put an arm around her waist and pulled her close.

"Have I told you lately that I love you?"



A/N: I know, I know. But it?s the website?s fault. They kept this for a month, so I resubmitted. I've been on vacation too so that prevented me from resubmitting the story. I've had it finished a month now!!! Oh, and also. I have one name (the middle) chosen, so submit more. PWEEZE? I love you. Read and review.


Chapter 4: Of Backaches and Balloons
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Chapter Four: Of Backaches and Balloons

Hermione woke up on Friday morning with a horrible backache. She didn't - couldn't, really - bother to roll over and check to see what time it was. From the humming of the shower in the other room, she could deduce that it was early; Ron had yet to leave. She groaned as she sharp pain tingled up and down her back, and lazily tossed the blanket off. Yawning, she blinked, adjusting her eyes. She hadn't gotten much sleep last night, and (for once) it wasn't because of her hormonal drive. Apaprently the baby decided to shift positions in the middle of the night, and rest it's head on her bladder. Once it got tired of that position, she decided it was stretching out and happened to be pressing on her lungs and other organs, making it hard to take in a deep breath. Finally, almost two hours later, Baby decided to return to his or her original position. Hermione had finally been able to go to sleep, only to wake up not three hours later. The pain struck again, and she groaned just as Ron stepped out of the bathroom, his hair wet and plastered to his face. He sighed, shaking his head and kneeling before his wife's face.

"What is it, love?" He asked, brushing his hand though her hair. She whimpered softly before muttering,

"Stupid backaches, Ron." She managed. He kissed her forehead.

"Heating pad?"

"Please." Without objection, Ron walked over to the closet and took out the (rather large) heating pad that Hermione's mother had given her at the beginning of her pregnancy. Hermione found that, in the three months, the pad had really come in handy. Ron plugged it into the electric outlet and turned it on, placing it behind his wife. Skillfully (probably because he'd done this multiple times) he helped his wife roll over onto the pad, and smiled as she sighed with relief.

"Better?" He asked. She nodded, grinning at him as the heat immediately began to soothe her pain.

"I don't know what I'd do without you." She said.

"Well, for one, you wouldn't be pregnant." He laughed, turning back to the bathroom. Hermione turned her head to see the clock. It was already nine in the morning. Ron was supposed to be at work right now! He was late!

"You're late!" She exclaimed, attempting to sit up. When she did, the pain returned, and she lay back down. Ron shook his head.

"I'm off." He grinned at her before shutting the door.

"What do you mean? For what? And how did you-" She began, but he stopped her, knowing that she'd begin lecturing him if he didn't.

"Woah, slow down!" Ron emerged from the bathroom again, shaking his head and grinning. "We aren't even in season, love, for one. And besides, I've been playing quidditch for nearly all of my life. I've been training with them for two and a half years, so missing one day to stay at home with my very lovely, and very pregnant, wife can't hurt them too much. We always have Mason to play keeper as my back-up."

"Mason is horrible." Hermiome mumbled. Ron wanted to busrt with pride. I've taught her so much! "Why on earth would Chudley want to even practice with him? How did he even make alternate? I-"

"Calm down, love. He's not that bad." Ron answered, laughing at his wife. "It's not like I'm taking the year off. I wanted to be sure I would be at the shower."

"Ugh, I forgot about that!" Hermione sighed, groaning. She shut her eyes, and Ron smiled, sitting beside her. He softly brushed his hand across her face, giving her a soft kiss on the forehead as he got back up to dress.

"Well, you best get up and bathe." Ron said. "Ginny asked me to bring you down about eleven."

"Ron..." Hermione moaned, pulling the blanket over her eyes. "I'm tired! And I don't want to go anywhere."

"Try and bathe, love, maybe some hot water will wake you up." He looked at her sympathetically, then was suddenly struck with an idea. "I can help you, if you feel you can't take a shower on your own." She grinned from under the blanket. "I could help you get those spots that you can't reach on your own-" She tried to keep herself from thinking about it, but now that vision was already playing in her mind.

"Five minutes?"

He grinned. He knew her all too well.

* * * *

"Ready!" Hermione appeared in the doorway to their living room. She had chosen a pale blue sundress with a navy jacket in case she got cold. Well... she hadn't really chosen it. After a nice shower that took up almost an hour, she had begun searching for clothes. All of her sleeveless shirts were dirty, and she didn't feel liks cleaning. And it seemed that her belly had grown overnight, and she couldn't fit into her biggest pair of maternity pants. So all she had left was the blue sundress and matching jacket her mother-in-law had given her. She was officially too fat for her fat pants.

"You look nice, love." Ron drew her in his arms and kissed her on the lips. "Very nice." Hermione grinned.

"Thanks to your mother." She replied, pulling away and walking into the room. She quickly grabbed her maternity bag; the bag she had carried with her for nearly a month. After Alicia had gone into labour three monthe early, Molly Weasley had been insistant that Hermione and Ginny (who was still pregnant at the time) carry bags with them as a just in case precaution. Hermione took this completely serious. Ron thought she was overreacting. After all, he said, they could always apparate.

"My mother?" Ron asked, turning to follow her. He grabbed the bag from her and swung it over his shoulder. When she opened her mouth to protest, he pressed a finger against it. "I'm flooing, so I'm carrying it." She went to speak again, and he sighed. "Can't I be courteous?" Hermione grinned, nodding.

"Fine, then." She wrapped her arms around him and he held her close.

"Ready?" He asked. She pressed herself against him tighter. She hated this, but it was much better than walking, because she didn't feel like walking at all today.

"Go." She told him. He rubbed his hands against her back.

"Hold on, love. Just a few seconds." With that, Ron shut his eyes and appareted the three of them to the place Hermione had chosen for her shower. She felt herself get very nauseous for a moment, but it went away when she felt them stop spinning. Ron held onto her as her eyes fluttered open, regaining her balance. "Alright?" She nodded.

"Dizzy, but alright." She looked up at him and grinned. "Thank you."

"Anytime." Ron answered, letting go of her shoulder and taking hold of her hand. "You don't seem excited, love. Not as much as you were a few days ago." Hermione shrugged. "Well, all I can tell you is that my gift comes later. Much later, in fact. And it's not sexual at all." Ron seemed somewhat proud to say that. Hermione laughed.

"Aww, and just when I thought I might get a good present from you for once in my life!" She smiled. Ron shook his head.

"That perfume was a very nice gift." He noted, giving her hand a squeeze. "And what about that necklace I gave you last Christmas?"

"I was joking, Ron." Hermione leaned into him as they walked down the sidewalk. "Here we are." She told him, pointing up to a rooftop garden-like cafe. She had planned on having her baby shower here since she and Ron had discovered it when they were dating. It was a small little shop called "Shirley's" ran by a short and plump old woman, whose name was - naturally - Shirley. It was a two story building, with a rooftop cafe, where Shirley grew her exotic plants and flowers. From what Hermione could see, the roof had been covered in a pink tarp, and she could see many pink and white balloons.

"Does Ginny know something that we don't?" Ron asked, squinting as he looked where Hermione was looking. Hermione sighed.

"She'd like to think so." She shook her head, hoping that the entire shower wasn't a small pink universe.

"It looks very... nice." Ron said, holding the door open for his wife. "You never know, love. Gin could be right about the whole pink thing." Hermione smiled and shook her head. She knew that Ron, even though he didn't admit it to anyone but her, wanted a little girl just as much as he wanted a little boy.

"But I think she's taken it to the extreme." Hermione responded, nodding a tacit "hello" to one of the waitresses, who knew both Ron and Hermione by name already.

"Hi, Ron. Hi, Hermione. Running a little late, are we?" Ron looked at the watch on his wrist, the gift he'd recieved from Hermione last Christmas. It was 10:56.

"Wow, we really lost track of time, didn't we?" He said, and Hermione snorted with laughter, blushing a faint pink.

"Mother was wondering when you were getting here. She didn't want to start the cake until she was sure that it was fresh for the guest of honor." The waitress, Shirley's daughter Rose, smiled at the both of them. "You know where to go, right?" They both nodded. "Have fun! And congratulations!" Ron took the lead and led the two of them up the flight of stairs. He waited paitently at the top for Hermione - stairs were becoming an enemy of hers at this point - and stood by the door.

"I should go check and make sure they're all here. You can... stand here. Yes, right here." The tall frame on Ron disappeared out the door before she could even manage a word. She groaned. What ever he was up to- "Come on out, Mione!" Hermione took a deep breath and prepared herself for a mass of pink balloons that she had a strong feeling Ginny would dump on her. She opened the door slowly as to not hit anyone, and nearly screamed when she saw the rooftop.

"SURPRISE!"

It wasn't completely pink. It was amazing. Half the side was pink, the side she saw. A soft pink canopy and white chairs sitting under pink tables, with pink napkins and a pink table favor. There were pink balloons everywhere, and a pink banner reading "Is It A Girl?". The other side was blue, decorated the same way. The banner on that side read "Is It A Boy?" and had blue ballons stewn all over the grey stone floor. In the center, under a plain white canopy, were more tables and chairs, and a table full of girts for the expectant couple. For eleven in the morning, the sky was still red and yellow, with the orange sun rising from behind the many buildings. Shirley's plants were organized along the edge of the buildings, charmed to turn pink and blue continuously. Hermione smiled so wide that she felt her face hurt. Ginny was beside her in an instant, beaming at her own masterpiece.

"What do you think? Too much? That's what mum said, but I didn't think so. I think it kind of suits you and Ron, with your little decision be surprised about the sex and all. I thought you'd get mad at the pink but I like it and so does your mum and I think-" Hermione cut her off midsentance with a hug.

"It's beautiful, Ginny, I love it. Thank you so much." She grinned at her sister-in-law, then turned to Ron. He nodded in agreement.

"It is really.... Gin, you're amazing." Ron hugged his sister as well. There was a shriek from the small crowd, and Mrs. Granger appeared, running towards her daughter. Ron put an arm around her waist as her parents approached. Neither one of them had seen Micheal and Jane Granger in a little over three months.

"Oh, my baby!" Jane hugged her daughter and kissed her cheek. She then went on her usual spree of questions, that reminded Ron very much of his own mother. "How are you? Are you well? No aches or pains?"

"No, mum. I'm just fine. I-" Hermione began, but her mother kept going on. She placed a hand on Hermione's belly and crouched down, smiling. "And how's my wittle grandbaby? How are we doing in there?" She stood up again and hugged her daughter once more. Hermione gave Ron a look that asked for help, and he stepped in.

"Hello, Mrs. Granger. You're looking lovely today." He stuck out his hand, and Jane blushed.

"I told you already, Ronald. Call me Jane, please." Hermione smiled thankfully at him, and he shook his head as if to say "No problem."

"Hi, daddy." Hermione said, opening her arms to hug her father. His warm embrace was something she had missed for the past few months. A daughter can't help ut miss her parents, it's nature. But for an unknown reason, Hermione had always felt closer to her father. Maybe it was because of the cold nights he'd spent with her in the living room when she was a toddler, reading to her. That was one of those memories that had always stayed with her, and she was whisked back to that time - like she was a small child again - when she hugged her father.

"Hello, Mione." He smiled at his daughter. "So how's my grandchild doing?" Hermione grinned, her hands unconsciously coming to rest on her stomach. Nothing really, She wanted to say. Just the usual. Playing football with my organs, using my bladder as a pillow. You know, normal stuff.

"Acting much Iike I expected. Too much like Ron and I." Her father laughed.

"That's quite the dangerous mix." He answered. Hermione nodded, grinning. That was nothing new.

"So I've been told." She said, laughing. "Is mum alright?" She gestured over as her mother bombarded Ron with questions, and the only words Hermione made out were 'delivery' and 'next time'. Micheal shook his head., laughing as his wife.

"She's just a little excited, Hermione. It is our first grandchild, after all. And you haven't seen us in months." Hermione felt a twang ot guilt. She frowned, giving her father another hug.

"I"m sorry, dad, I've been so busy, and it's-" She started, about to give her father a lengthy explanation of what had kept her so busy. He stopped her, in a wa that reminded her immediately of her husband.

"It's alright, really. But you might want to go get Ron away from your mother, before she drives him crazy." Hermione snorted with laughter, looking over again and deciding that now may be a good time to retrieve her husband. She waved at her father and rushed over to Ron.

"Ron, I think that Harry wanted to speak with us." She said, trying to send him an eye message that said, Get away while you still can. He looked at her, ihs eyes widened, and smiled at her thankfully. "We'll talk to you in a minute, mum, yeah? We have some other guests to greet." Jane frowned, then nodded.

"Have fun!" She called after her daughter and son-in-law. Ron laughed, and Hermione elbowed him gently.

"Your mum..." He began, laughing still. Hermione shook her head.

"She's too much like yours, you should know that by now." Hermione answered, leading them over to a neutral white table in the middle of the shower. "I knew she'd be like this. The larger my stomach grows, the crazier she'll get."

"Mum was like this with Ginny, but she... she kept asking me questions..." He blushed, but kept laughing. "Asking meabout the next time we have a child, the things we should to to prepare... I love your mother, Hermione. I really do." Hermione smirked at him, and he shook his head. "Next time, you're the one being ingerrogated."

"I'm the pregnant one, Ron. Have a little compassion. I'm suffering as it is." She joked. Ron shrugged.

"We'll have to see." He said, winking. Just then, there was yet another squeek, and the Potter clan appeared, filling the remainer of the table. "Aww, Ginny. I didn't exect you over here." Ginny raised and eyebrow.

"What are you-"

"Shouldn't you be over under the pink canopy?" He asked, and Hermione had to keep herself from busting out laughing. Harry bit his lip, his smile stil visible, and Ginny blushed.

"I decided to, for once, leave that behind me. Only for today. But I swear to you, when Hermione gives birth to a baby girl..." Ginny clucked her tounge. "You'll know better than to make fun of my... intuition." Harry then laughed, as did Hermione. When Hermione noticed Oliver against Harrys chest, she opened up her arms, and without exchancing a glance, Harry handed the baby to her. She adjusted the infant to her chest as the group began to converse.

"Did you know that Ollie is starting to speak already?" Ginny asked Ron. Ron shook his head, but before his wife could begin, Harry stepped in.

"I wouldn't call it talking, exactly. More like, incoherent infant babble." Ginny shot Harry one of her famous 'looks'. "But Ginny swears that while I was away one day, he said something." He added quickly, trying to save himself. "Something understandable."

"It's not babble." Ginny defended herself. Ron laughed.

"I doubt that a four month old infant is speaking yet, Ginny. Even if Harry Potter is his father." He said, amused.

"It's happened before." Hermione joined in, looking down at the baby in her arms. "In rare but special cases. Who knows? Maybe Oliver is one of them." Ron grinned, watching his wife with facinated eyes. She looked up at him and blushed. "Thank you again, Ginny. This is more than anything I could have imagined."

"Quit thanking me." Ginny then blushed herself. "I get it, I'm brilliant. Must you tell everyone?" The group laughed, and Oliver made a gurgling noise. Ginny pointed and told Harry she was right, and Harry responded saying that, once again, it was just babble.

"Drinks anyone?" Ron inturrputed, recieving an appreciative look from Harry and Hermione.

"I"ll join you." Hermione said, returning Ollie to his mother and getting up.

"No need to strain yourself. I'll-" Ron began, then stopped when he recieved Hermione's 'quit-while-you're-ahead' look. "Or... you can come with me." She grinned with thanks.

"You know, I'm not handicapped." She said, walking beside him and smiling. "I'm just pregnant."

"I know." There was a small pause, "But I worry." Ron responded, moving so that he could take her hand. "You know, that you might hurt the baby by overexerting yourself. Or worse, you might hurt yourself." Hermione felt her heart jump. Did Ron just say that? Yes, he did.

"That's sweet." She said softly, kissing Ron on the cheek. "Really sweet." Another kiss, this time moving closer to his lips. "Possibly the sweetest thing you've said all day."

"I'm flattered." Ron answered, squeezing her hand. "But I wasn't trying to be sweet. I was completely serious."

"I know." She smiled. "And that's what makes it so sweet."

"You're a strange one." Ron laughed, looking at his wife. "But I love you, for some odd reason." She giggled.

"I don't know if I should thank you or smack you." She commented. Ron went out of his way to kiss her chastely on the lips.

"Thank me, surely." Ron answered, smiling in that adorable way that he reserved for her.

"We'll see." She answered, laughing. They reached the table with the refreshments on them, the punch bowl enchanted to fill the cups on it's own. Ron picked up a cup for Hermione and handed it to her, and she nodded a silent thanks, taking a drink. By the time they returned to their table, Ginny decided that it was time for cake and toasts. Being a Weasley, Ron whispered in her ear during a toast, Ginny couldn't go very long without giving into temptation and bringing out a cake. Especially when Mrs. Weasley had made it. Hermione laughed.

"But, my dear, you forget that you're a Weasley too."

"How could I forget that?" She whispered back softly. "I've got the trademark pregnancy stomach to prove it. Now be quiet."

"Why?"

"I think Ginny just insulted you during her toast and I missed it."

* * * *

"A few more gifts, and then we can go, love." Ron said, as Hermione sat in the last pink chair, watching him intently. Every time he bent over to pick something up, his shirt would rise a little in the back, and she could get the smallest glimpse of his back muscles. A faint melody was playing in the background, coming from the store next door. Ron was shrinking the gifts from the shower and placing them in a large bag, and just a few minutes ago, Ginny and Harry had been cleaning up. The canopies were down, and the charms were taken off everything, so they left. Hermione wasn't expecting her family and friends to be so generous. She's gotten an enchanted crib, a muggle high chair that belonged to her when she was young, a levitating baby basket, many adorable outfits (that were neither blue or pink) that would last up until 8 months of age, a dragon mobile from the Weasley boys, a blanket that Molly Weasley had enchanted to change colors based on Baby's mood, and a stroller from Ginny and Harry that would change to blue or pink when the baby was born. Hermione smiled, thinking about the thank you notes that'd she and Ron - or maybe just herself - would be writing later. She looked up to see the beginning of the sunset. The sun was setting over the horizion, even though it was only five.

"I kind of like it up here." She answered dreamily, grinning. "Maybe we can stay."

"And where would we sleep, Mione?" He asked, turning around and sauntering towards her in a way that made her heart jump. "We'd get cold later on at night."

"But I have you to wrap around me." Hermione responded innocently, smiling up at him. "Come to think of it, I am a bit chilly." I'm such a liar.

"Really?" Ron asked with mock concern, taking her hand and pulling her up. "Let me fix that." He wrapped his arms around her and held her a close as he could get. She melted into his arms, and sighed as he began to unknowingly sway with her in tune to the music next to them.

"Dance." She said softly. "WIth me."

"I don't dance." Ron answered, unmoving. Hermione laughed inside her head, knowing it was true. Her husband could dance, very well, but he didn't like to show it. The only time he'd ever really danced with her was at their wedding. Hermione's cousins were very jealous, because their dates, handsome as they were, couldn't dance at all.

"Please." She answered. The faint tune seemed to know what was happening, and it grew louder. Ron didn't move from his position and kept on swaying with the music, refraining from the spins and dips that made her laugh when they were newlyweds. Even though there were no turns and large movements, Hermione still felt her heart flutter madly, and she smiled, feeling like her feet were no longer touching the ground and they were floating. "I'm not cold." She whispered.

"I know." Ron replied, kissing her crown. "You just wanted a chance to touch me."

"You're so... manly, how could I even try to stay away?" She leaned into him, sighing softy. "Just think. In less than three months, we'll have a baby."

"A baby boy. Or a baby girl." Ron responded. "I'm anxious myself to see what we've created."

"So am I." Hermione responded, resting her head on his shoulder. She yawned softly, then, remembering it was five, the tried to stifle it. But she couldn't. She was too worn out.

"Tired, sweetheart?" Ron asked, his lips almost against her forehead.

"A bit." She lied. I could sleep for days.

"What do you say we go on home, love. A nice, toasty bed and some decent sleep will do you good." Hermione was incredibly grateful that she had a husband who acred so much. Maybe too much at times, but nevertheless, he loved her and he showed it to her every moment he was with her.

"I love you." She sighed without thinking, and Ron grinned. Her weight got a bit heavier, if he didn't get home soon she'd be asleep in his arms. Not that he'd mind that at all...

"Let's go home." Ron said, and with that he picked up their bags and apparated them home.




A/N: Sorry for the wait. I was on vacation and, well, you know how that goes. Also I went a month without noticing that the chapter three has said "not validated", and had to update that. So sorry about the wait on that. I've had en eventful month. Hopefully you'll like this, and please read (well, hopefully you already did that part) and review. I like reviews. They make me all warm and tingly inside. No, seriously. It does. I've started on chapter five, so that means it'll be about two to three weeks for chapter five. Oh, and I nearly forgot. The quote from chapter five. Didn't think I'd forget, did you?

"What... is that a-"
"That is a hand, Mr. Weasley."

Chapter 5: Things That Should Be Private and Moments That Should Be Cherished
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Chapter Five: Things That Should Be Private and Moments That Should Be Cherished



"Awaken, sleeping beauty." Hermione stood over her husband with a smile nearly a mile wide. He jumped, startled. What was she so happy about? It's early! Unless...

"What the-" Ron shot up, looking around. "Am I late? Is it the baby? Are you sick?" Hermione sighed happily, grinning at her Ron as she crossed the room.

"Nothing like that, love. Today, it's my first antenatal visit." Hermione said, e sounded like. But she couldn't help it. She was so excited that she could barely hold it in. She and Ron would get to see their baby for the first time today. Of course, it wouldn't be their baby baby, but it would be an image of it, a detailed image of what the baby in her belly looked like.

"Ante-what?" Ron asked groggily.

"Antenatal. Y'know, ultrasound. For the baby." Hermione answered, beginning to rummage through the closet. Ron rubbed his eyes open to see his wife wearing one of his old t-shirts, one he'd given her about two months ago to sleep in.

"Why don't you just wear that?" He asked, grinning. "You look dead sexy in it." Hermione snorted.

"I've gained ten pounds, Ron, and I feel as big as a house. No man in their right mind would think that I was dead sexy." Hermione paused. "Then again, you aren't in your right mind anyway." Ron laughed.

"That's funny, love." He replied, "But I was completely serious. I came to understand a while back what Harry told me was the beauty of pregnancy, and you're the perfect picture of it right now." Hermione blushed. How was it that he always knew what to say? It just wasn't fair!

"You're horrible." Hermione shook her head, pulling a pale yellow blouse out of the closet. She gave Ron a playful, tentative look, and retreated to their bathroom. He made it a point for her to hear his exaggerated sigh.

"Slept well then, I presume?" Ron asked, rolling out of the bed himself to dress. He noted it that it was almost ten in the morning, not a bad time for him to wake up. But for Hermione, especially during the pregnancy, sleeping this late was a rarity.

"Wonderfully!" Hermione answered, smiling. "Didn't wake up once. It's amazing, to be able to sleep like a normal person again. But I have a feeling that it means Baby is planning something, like a way to keep me up until the early morning hours tonight."

"Why is that?" Ron asked, buttoning up a blue shirt. His wife walked out of the bathroom wearing blue jeans and the yellow blouse.

"Parentage." She responded, smoothing the top over her bump.

"I was a mild mannered child, mind you. Ask my mum." Ron said, laughing.



"Actually, I have." Hermione answered not a moment later. "She said exactly what I thought. You were a horrible baby to carry in the womb, and you were horrible the first two years. Not as bad as Charlie and the twins, but not an angel either."

"Well, then. Glad to know mum doesn't keep any secrets." Ron grumbled. Hermione shook her head, passing by him and kissing his cheek.

"Don't be that way, Ron; she was trying to be helpful." She pulled back the blinds to allow a soft slant of sunlight to enter the room. "Besides, I happen to think that attitude of yours is quite sexy." Ron groaned, laughing.

"And I'm the horrible one?" He asked, walking up behind her. He wrapped his arms around her, resting his hands on her swollen belly. "Am I allowed in during this ultrasound? Or is it one of those other tests, the ones I can't watch?" Hermione leaned back into his arms and smiled at him over her shoulder.

"You can come in. From what Gin and the midwife told me, they just put this jelly stuff on my belly -a lubricant - and wave their wand over me, and put this metal thing on my stomach. Then they have a muggle television set up that shows us our baby!" Ron grinned at her enthusiasm, trying to hide the fact that he was just as excited as she was.

"Will we be able to tell its hair color?" Ron asked. Hermione shook her head.

"The television is black and white, so I doubt it." She giggled. "But I have this voice telling me the baby has red hair, considering who the father is." She broke away from Ron after giving him a chaste kiss on the lips, walking over to the desk and grabbing her wand and purse. "I'm ready!" She turned and smiled at Ron. He shook his head, laughing.

"You're hopeless, that's what you are." He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her close to him. She pushed herself closer and squeezed her eyes shut. I'll be so happy when I can do this on my own again. "Ready?" He asked. She nodded, burying her head in his shoulder.

"Go." She said, and Ron apparated them to St. Mungos. Hermione held Ron's shoulder to steady herself, and took a deep breath to try and rid herself of the nausea she always acquired from side-apparation. She blinked twice, and everything came into focus. Ron was grinning at her, as if he was amused. She shot him a look. "What? Is something amusing you?"

"You're cute when you're disoriented." He ran a hand though her hair, then took her hand in his. She tried to hide her smile as she accepted his hand and walked along side him to the elevator. In the "maternity ward" of St. Mungos, there were three floors. Delivery, checkup and ultrasound, and the emergency ward. It would have been much easier to take the stairs, but that was too much work for Hermione at this stage, at least Ron thought it was. They stepped inside the tight spaced box and Hermione laughed as the door shut. "What now?" He asked, placing a hand on her belly.

"Just a thought." She laughed, avoiding his eyes. Ron grinned.

"What?" He asked. Her eyes met his and she touched his face softly.

"How small this space is. And how close we are." She said softly, trying her best to be serious, but Ron could tell she was cracking up.

"Would be rather daring, wouldn't it?" Ron asked, his fingers tracing lazy circles on her stomach. She grinned.

"Quite daring." She answered. "But that would make it rather... fun." The elevator then rang, telling them they had reached the second floor. The door opened, and as it did, Hermione leaned in and kissed Ron quickly on the lips. There was nobody waiting on the elevator, and she huffed jokingly.




"Did they spoil your fun, love?" Ron asked, leading her off the elevator. She nodded, taking his hand again. "We'll try again later." Hermione burst out laughing, and Ron, after watching his wife laugh a moment, joined in. "I swear, woman, you're absolutely mad."

"You know you like it." She said as she stopped at the door that read "Healer J. Morgan" with the number 218 on it in brass letters. She smiled brightly and looked at Ron. "Ready?" She asked. He grinned too, nodding. She opened the door and Ron followed her inside. They sat down on the cold couch, and Ron slid a protective arm around her. Just as they were seated, a woman just a tad shorter than Ron walked in the room.



"Mrs. Weasley! How are you?" She asked, sticking out her hand. Her blonde hair was pulled back into a small bun at the back of her head, and she had on thin-rimmed glasses in a pale purple color, reminding Hermione of Luna Lovegood.

"Very well. And you?" Hermione shook her hand, grinning.

"Excellent, thanks. And this must be your husband! Hello, Mr. Weasley, I've heard so much about you."

"Really now?" Ron smirked at a blushing Hermione as he shook Healer Morgan's hand. "Call me Ron, please."

"All right then. I have to ask you a few basic questions first. Any abnormal movement in the past month?" She sat down and pulled out a quill and parchment. Hermione shook her head.

"Depending on your definition of abnormal." She smiled. "But I don't believe so."

"What about sleep problems? You're getting at least six hours a night?"

"I've been trying. For the most part, yes." Hermione laughed. "Got in a little extra today."

"And the leakage-" Johanna began, and Ron coughed loudly.

"Excuse me; can I please ... go get ready?" Ron asked, standing up. Hermione shot him an angry look, and he blushed scarlet. Healer Morgan tried to hold back a laugh as she nodded.

"The second door to the left. Take one of the thick grey robes and put it on. We won't be but a minute or so." Ron nodded gratefully and left.




"He's so cute, Hermione." He heard as he opened the door.

"That's cute?" Was his wife's response. He laughed as he shut the door. It wasn't his fault that he didn't want to hear about the drainage coming from his wife. I mean, he'd listened to her complain enough about every disgusting aspect of pregnancy he could think of, and helped her through the ones he could.



It wasn't that he hated the pregnancy, or that he hated her talking about those things. He loved his pregnant Hermione. Her random mood swings amused and surprised him, she was so adorable when he caught her in the middle of the night eating strange foods, he thought that her swollen tummy was the hottest thing he'd ever seen, and - obviously - her hormones were raging like a teenage girl again.

There were just some things about his wife that a husband didn't need to know. And what was leaking down there was one thing that he didn't need nor want to know.



"She's probably going to be so angry with me." He said to himself as he pulled on the very heavy robe. "But she'll forget all about that when she sees the baby... our baby... on the screen." He paused.

Our baby.



His baby. With Hermione.




It always managed to give him goose bumps whenever he thought about it. He laughed at himself.

"I'm hopeless." He muttered, sitting on the chair inside the small room. "Such a sap." Just as he touched the seat, Healer Morgan opened the door. Ron stood up again.

"Thank you for waiting, Ron. Follow me. Hermione's getting dressed." Ron shrugged and followed the blonde woman into a small room with a bed-like chair in it. It looked like a hospital bed, but with no railings. And it wasn't as wide. And it looked freezing.

Hermione entered just as he turned to the door. She was wearing her loose fitting healer pants and a hospital gown over them. The gown was more like a t-shirt, or a gown that belonged to a child. It was cut at her belly button, her large pregnant belly visible. She had her hands protectively covering her bare skin, and Ron smiled at her. She blushed and walked around him, sitting on the cold hospital bed. Is she mad? 'Cause I can't tell...


"Aren't you going to hold my hand?" A soft voice behind him asked. He blushed. Of course. How could she be mad? Ron turned and walked over to the bed, helping his wife lay back in the bed. It was cold, he noticed, as his hands touched it. He felt for his wife, whose back was left uncovered by the hospital gown. Healer Morgan pulled Hermione's shirt up the rest of the way, exposing fully her pregnant stomach. Hermione winced.

"What are you doing that for? Pregnant is a great look for you." Ron said, stroking her stomach, then locking his hand in hers.

"Silly." Hermione muttered, watching her healer intently. Healer Morgan hadn't looked at the two of them at all. She was busy smearing a jelly substance on Hermione. Hermione shivered, and Ron looked at her. "It's cold." She managed, smiling. Ron laughed and watched the healer as she took out a small metal device similar to a wand.

"That is..."



"A long complicated word that, in simple terms, is a ultrasound wand. Really complex little thing that allows us to get a view of your little one." She waved the wand over Hermione's belly. The muggle-like television flickered on, and Hermione and Ron's eyes rushed over. "Not quite yet. I don't want you all to accidentally find out the gender." Ron shut his eyes, and Hermione looked at him and laughed. "Alright, then. You can look now." Ron's eyes wandered to the screen, where he saw the most amazing sight in the world. There was a small life on the screen, its little hands and feet waving around. It was their baby. Wait... was that a…



"What... is that a-"




"That is a hand, Mr. Weasley. Your little one is a tad shy." Ron snorted, and Hermione swatted his arm, though she was laughing on the inside herself. Johanna smiled. "If the baby decides to turn around, then I'll warn you."



Hermione felt her heart swell with love for the human being she was viewing for the first time. This was the little devil that caused her to throw up her meals for two months, that caused her back and feet to ache, and caused her stomach to bulge and her clothing get to the point that they didn't fit. This was the little one that kept her up at night and caused her to walk funny. And yet... the only emotion she could feel while looking at her baby on the screen was love. Love for the baby that she hadn't seen and love for the father that would always be there.

"Seems to be a very healthy baby, Hermione. Perfect size for the sixth month." Healer Morgan moved the wand around, and the baby on the screen moved. Hermione squeaked, and Ron smiled.

"It's amazing." She muttered, and Ron nodded in agreement.

"It's more than that love. It's perfect." Hermione blushed, and stared intently at the screen. "I think Baby looks like you." Hermione laughed. "What? I can see it. Its feet. Small and cute, like yours." Healer Morgan snorted with laugher as she moved the wand again, and Hermione blushed.

"You're ridiculous." She smiled, suddenly interested in the baby's feet.

"You're looking now, aren't you?"

"Shut it!" Hermione laughed, smacking his arm again. Ron smiled, running his hand up and down her arm.

"That's all I needed for the test. If you and Ron are done, Mrs. Weasley?" Hermione nodded. "Well then, I can give you some copies of the ultrasound if you would like. Some of the other couples I've had like to scrapbook them."

"That'd be wonderful." Ron said, and Johanna took the wand away. The image of the baby disappeared.

"Hermione, you can clean up in that bathroom over there and get dressed. I'll be back in about ten minutes with those prints." Hermione nodded, sitting up and pulling her shirt back down. She picked up her jeans and blouse.

"I'll be a moment, Ron, I have to get dressed." She stood and began to walk to the bathroom when Ron grabbed her arm. She turned and looked at him. He had one of those looks in his eyes.

"You know what you were talking about earlier? About doing something risky?" He asked, smiling at her in that 'Ron-esqe' way. Her heart jumped as she nodded.

"Are you serious?" She asked, turning away. Ron grabbed her again and kissed her on the mouth. She sighed, melting into him.

"Are you?" He replied. Hermione laughed, taking his hand and pulling him into the bathroom. Ron pulled the door semi-shut, adding to their game of risk. Hermione smiled as he untied the hospital gown from around her neck.




He's had such a bad influence on me.



Merlin, I love him.



 




Chapter 6: Moments and Memories
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There they stood, staring at the vast expanse of space. So empty, so desolate, so... bland. Hermione pursed her lips as she concentrated, looking from the space, to her husband. Ron read the look in her eyes: it was her "thinking" look, the look the got when ideas were rushing through her head at top speed, and she was trying to find one that would work. Her mouth would part, as if she'd finally gotten an idea, then shut quickly, and those lips would purse again. After five minutes of intense staring, Hermione spoke.


"There." She muttered, wandering over to the corner, pointing. "Right here." Ron nodded slowly.

"Are you sure?" He asked, taking a step towards her. She nodded. "I mean, for sure? You've changed your mind almost twenty times." Hermione turned and glared at him.

"The reason for my doing so is because the other spots weren't perfect." She spouted, crossing her arms. "And yes, Ron, I'm for sure. This spot is perfect." She stared at the spot on the floor a little bit longer, then looked back up at Ron. "I'm sorry." She muttered.

"It's okay, love." Ron smiled, accepting her into his arms. All this over where to put the crib. Wow. "I understand." He heard a sob, and pulled back, looking down at her. "Are you crying?" She shook her head, wiping a few tears away. "You're crying. Why?" She looked up at him and shrugged before pressing her face into his chest again. That's one thing about pregnancy that I don't like, Ron thought to himself. Mood swings. He looked down at his wife and smiled. They're cute, though. Very cute. Random, but adorable.
"I'm sorry." Hermione pulled away, wiping her eyes. "I don't even know why I'm crying!" She smiled and placed her head back on his chest. "One minute, I'm happy, and the next, I'm bawling. Sometimes I hate being pregnant!" He held her closer - as close as he could without her belly getting in the way - and ran a hand through her hair. They stood there in silence, one of the first they'd had for a while.

"Only one more month. Then we'll have a baby." He smiled at that sentance, and although he couldn't see it, she did too. "Then you'll probably wish you were pregnant instead." He added. and she pulled back, smirking. She shook her head but said nothing, turning and walking out of the room. "What?" Ron turned to follow her. She laughed to herself, and glanced back at him.


"You're lucky." She said, making her way to the nearby couch. She sat down and her sore legs thanked her. She lay her head back and shut her eyes.

"For what?" Ron asked, walking behind the couch and looking down at her. She opened her eyes and smiled at him.


"That you're so cute." She shut her eyes again and sank into the cushion, relaxing. Ron placed his hands on her shoulders and started massaging them, and she sighed happily. "And... such a good masseuse..." She added, sinking even lower into the cushion. He continued his massage for a few minutes, until she began mumbling something about quidditch and chicken - which was what they'd had for supper last week - and suddenly stopped. Ron could feel her steady breathing on his face. He smiled. His mission had been accomplished; she was asleep! After nearly a week of sitting up with her because she couldn't fall asleep... "Ron?" He sighed. So, so, so close!
"Yeah?" He asked, stroking her cheek while looking down at her. She opened her eyes and waited a moment before saying,


"I'm hungry." He rolled his eyes, laughing. She sat up and turned around, watching him laugh. "What?! I am!" She pouted jokingly. "I just... I really want some spaghetti."

"Spaghetti?" Ron asked, puzzled. "But you said you hated the smell of the sauce. You said it made you sick." It was true. In her second month, they'd went to an Italian place for a nice dinner. Upon arriving, Hermione had promptly ran to the ladies room and stayed there for nearly thirty minutes. She'd said that the smell of the pasta sauce made her absolutely nauseous. Two months later, they'd went out to a pizza place with Ginny and Harry, and the same thing happened. From then on, Ron and Hermione had stayed away from anything with pasta sauce in it.

"I know, I know... but I just reaaaaallly want some." She grinned up at him. "Please?" He rolled his eyes, smiling back.

"We'll see." He said, knowing that he'd end up making spaghetti before the night was over. "Now go get dressed, love."

"Why?" She asked, confused. "I haven't got any appointments, and Harry and Ginny won't be here until about 7:00. And I haven't made any plans..."

"Well, I did. Come on." He helped her up and escorted her to their bedroom. She regained her balance and looked at him, raising a brow. "What?"


"Where're we going?" She asked. He shook his head. She glared at him, but his face didn't change from his silly grin. "Come on, Ron!" He shook his head. She sighed, frustrated, and gave in. "This better be good." She said, pulling off her shirt and replacing it with one of his t-shirts. She found her favorite pair of sneakers and slipped into them, turning to look at him. "I'm dressed. Happy?" He nodded, taking her hand and leading her back out.

"We're going to walk, if that's alright with you?" At this point she was smirking, trying not to laugh. True, she had no clue whatsoever where they were going. But the way he'd been acting the past few weeks... it was the sweetest he'd ever been to her. How could she get frustrated with that? She nodded. He laced her hand in his and led her out the door, grabbing a coat from the rack by the door just in case. They stepped outside into the crisp September air. The leaves on the ground crunched beneath their feet as they walked down the street, and it made Hermione smile. "Got a clue, yet?" Ron asked, pulling her closer. She shrugged.

"No idea." She replied, swinging their hands. "How long until we get there?" He laughed.

"Just a minute. Be patient, love." He led her past a playground, with young kids laughing and screaming with glee. Hermione paused to look, gazing intently at the children that weren't her own. Ron smiled, watching his wife.

"Look, Ron." She said in a whisper, smiling softly. "Isn't it.... amazing?" Ron nodded, kissing her cheek.

"And pretty soon, we'll have one of our own." He then pulled at her hand gently. "We best keep going. We have to be back before Gin and Harry get there." She nodded, and turned to follow him. They walked a few more minutes before Ron turned and led her under a gazebo into an abandoned little park. They were there. "Do you know where we are now?" He gave her hand a gentle squeeze and she felt a chill run through her body. She looked around. The trees were just like they had been - orange and yellow, with the majority of their leaves on the ground, nearly covering the pathways. The rippling of the pond, along with their breathing and the rustling of the leaves in the wind, was the only sound she could hear. In her mind, she rushed back to...

"The night you asked me to marry you." She responded in a whisper, looking over at him. He was glowing almost, smiling ear to ear, and it made her heart skip even though they'd been together forever. He nodded, leading her onward. She lay her head on his shoulder as they walked, closing her eyes and breathing him in. "Why'd you bring us here?"

"Just thought it'd be nice. Get you out of the house for some fresh air... and to be alone with you." He stopped and turned to face her, his free hand softly caressing her cheek. "Now where are we?" She looked up and saw that they were under a tree. Not just any tree, a gigantic elm tree with yellow, green, red, orange, and brown leaves. The largest tree in the park, possibly in the city.

"Our tree." She smiled and kissed him gently. "It's our tree." Ron's hand traced it's way down the side of her face to her stomach, resting it on her pregnant belly. He nodded, releasing her hand and wrapping his hand around her waist, their foreheads touched.

"I love you." He whispered, holding her close. Hermione's heart started beating quicker at his words. Here they were, married for nearly two years, and being this intimate and close with him still gave her butterflies. All this time, and hearing him tell her he loved her made her feel like a little girl again. "And I can't wait to have this baby with you."

"Me too." She answered. She then realized how un-romantic her response was compare to what he had said, and she kissed him softly. "I'm so lucky to have you." She whispered into his lips, meaning the words with all of her heart. "So, so lucky."

"On the contrary." Ron smiled. "I'm lucky to have you, Mione." They stood there in an embrace in the still of the late afternoon, like a moment frozen in time. Any words spoken wouldn't have mattered, would've had no meaning to them at that point. They both knew, they both understood, and there was no need for words. Seconds that felt like hours and minutes that felt like days and moments that felt like heaven passed.

"We should get back." Hermione broke the silence - unwillingly - and pulled back slightly. Ron smiled lightly.

"And what if I don't want to?" He hugged her tighter, at least as tight as he could without her belly getting in the way. She laughed.


"Ginny and Harry are expecting us, love, we don't want to be away when they show up. They - and by 'they' I mean Ginny - would be very upset." She pulled back a little more, taking his hand and swinging it lightly. He laughed.


"Yeah, Gin would get rather angry if her babysitters weren't there." He started walking and was met with resistance. He turned to see her standing still, watching him with dancing eyes. She smiled lightly, and tugged him back to her, kissing him soundly. They remained there another glorious moment before Hermione began walking.

"Come on now!" She grinned and broke from his hand, running as fast as her swollen ankles would carry her. She turned and laughed as she ran, as if teasing him and challenging him to catch her. Ron went along behind her, grabbing her wrist.

"Not so fast." Their hands locked again and they continued their race down the street, playfully pushing each other and attempting to win the race. It was declared a tie by Hermione when they arrived back at the flat, and Ron said it was only a tie because she didn't want to admit she lost. She pouted and said it wasn't her fault she couldn't run fast while pregnant. They laughed together, and it wasn't soon after that that Harry and Ginny arrived. Hermione suddenly felt very sleepy, and sat back on the couch. She closed her eyes for just a second, only a second...

Meanwhile, Ron kept trying to take baby Oliver out of his sister's protective arms. She was very apprehensive about leaving him for the first time, and it was showing. Harry found this to be very adorable. Ron found it t be very annoying.

"Are you sure?" Ginny furrowed her brow, holding her baby close. Harry laughed, taking Oliver from his wife's arms and handing him to Ron, who sighed and laughed.

"They'll be fine, Ginny, love. Let's go, or we'll miss our reservation." Harry took Ginny's hand. "Goodbye Ron, Hermione. Best of luck." Ron nodded.

"Have fun!" He called out behind them, shutting the door. He turned and adjusted baby Oliver in his arms and walked into the living area. Hermione was on their couch, her eyes shut. She had been trying to stay awake, he could see. But it was hard. This was almost her eighth month, after all, worst time for sleeping. And if they were going to have a baby in a month, then she needed as much sleep as possible. And besides, she looked so cute like that. So if she was sleeping, then he was going to let her-

"Ron?" Hermione's eyes fluttered open, and she smiled softly. "They left? They were just here, and I sat down and I shut my eyes and.." She blinked a few times, rubbing her eyes.

"You just missed them." He laughed. "Go on back to sleep, love. I've got the baby." She stared back at him, standing up and yawning.

"I couldn't sleep." She said, her hands massaging the small of her back. "I was almost there and then I got this contraction and I have to use the loo-"

"Wait, you had a contraction? Doesn't that mean-" Ron made a motion to grab her emergency bag.

"No, no. Braxton Hicks, practice contractions. Nothing at all to worry about." She rolled her eyes playfully and started for the bathroom. "Thought you would have read about those." Ron shook his head and looked down at the baby in his arms. The baby looked back at him, a little grin on his face that reminded Ron very much of Harry.

"What are you looking at me like that for?" He asked, stroking Oliver's face with his finger. His skin was soft and smooth, reminding him of Hermione. And he was so small. At five months old, he seemed like a mere week old. Ron was entranced by the bundle in his arms, and couldn't stop thinking about his own baby. Oliver's green eyes were just like his fathers. His tuft of dark red hair and freckles, his mothers. What would Hermione's baby look like? Sure, the ultrasound they saw two weeks ago gave then an idea of what the baby looked like, but he wanted to see the real thing. Would it have red hair? Blue eyes? Brown eyes?

"Back!" His wife entered the room again, looking quite relieved and awake once more; no circles under her clear brown eyes that indicated she'd only slept about seven hours in the past two days. I guess those late-night sessions at Hogwarts made her immune to being sleepy. "So, how long did Harry say they'd be gone?" And when she finally does fall asleep, she's out for good.

"Depended on how Ginny felt." Ron shrugged. Harry and Ginny were going out to dinner. They hadn't gone out since the baby was born, mainly because Ginny never wanted to leave the baby. But Ginny had finally given into Harry and decided to ask Ron and Hermione to baby-sit. It'd taken some - a lot, really - of prodding on Harry's part, but she finally gave in. Secretly, she was glad to have a night out with Harry. But she wasn't going to say anything. "He said that she's been really tired too, with the new baby and all." Hermione's arms opened and Ron have her their godchild. "Ollie may be spending the night with us."

"Sounds fun." Hermione smiled down at the baby. "Don't you think, Oliver?" The baby made a gurgling noise, which Hermione took as a gurgle of happiness. "That's what I thought." She grinned, bouncing the baby in her arms. Ron rolled his eyes and snorted, turning and walking into the kitchen. "What?" Hermione shifted Oliver in her arms and followed him. "Are you laughing at me?"


"Surprised at how enthusiastic you are about having a crying baby around just a month before you have one of your own." Ron replied, shrugging. "But, yes, I am laughing at you, love." Hermione scowled at him, holding the baby close to her. "At how hopelessly cute you and that baby are." He added, redeeming himself. She sighed.

"If anyone's hopeless..." She began, looking at him as she crossed the room. She sat down in the chair that was opposite his direction and adjusted the infant in her arms, watching him finish cooking. She inhaled deeply and detected the faint scent of... spaghetti? "I love you."

"You only love me for my cooking skills, darling." Ron said with a smile, mixing together spices in the marinara sauce.

"Absolutely." She replied, laying her head back against the chair and shutting her eyes. "Every woman's dream is to have a man that can cook. That's the reason I married you, after all. Not because of I loved you, but because you could cook."

"Really now? I think I'm going to go have a nice sob in the corner." He responded, chuckling as he poured the noodles onto two plates for the both of them.

"You do that. And I think I'll have a nice laugh." She managed with a yawn, shifting Oliver in her arms. He made a soft noise, but didn't move. He was alseep. And suddenly she was hit with a wave of exhaustion, one she hadn't felt in a long time. Suddenly she didn't feel like doing anything else but laying here... she felt as if once her eyelids shut, she'd fall asleep...

"I think I will." He answered as he sat the plates down on the dining room table and grabbed two glasses from the sink. "What do you want to drink, love?" There was nothing. Maybe she hadn't heard him. "Hermione, what do you want to drink?" Again he was met with silence. "Hermione?" Nothing. He stuck his head into the living quarters, and had to hold back his laughter.

Hermione was, once again, fast asleep. There was even a soft snoring noise coming from her mouth. The baby in her arms was sleeping too, nestled against his aunt.

"Only you." He said in a low voice, shaking his head with a grin. He sat down on the couch beside her and watched her sleep, watched the steady rising and falling of her chest, listened to her breathing. The sound of her breathing, along with the steady ticking of the second hand on the clock, caused his eyelids to droop. And it wasn't too long before he himself was asleep as well.






 

Authors Note: That was my milestone chapter. It took me a while to write, obviously. Part of this time, two months of it, I've been out of reach of a computer at camp/college, so I couldn't update at all! A thousand apologies wouldn't be enough for making you wait this long! So sorry! The next chapter is flowing in my mind, it shouldn't take long, the wait won't be as long at ALL. Well, I hope you liked this chapte, please leave me reviews telling me what you thought! New chapter up soon, promise! Also, a shout-out to the wonderful Loonie_Julie, who made my absolutely gorgeous banner! I love it, don't you?

 

Chapter 7: According to Plan
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Chapter Seven: According To Plan

 

 

It was October and the Cannons were in the middle of a quidditch tournament, meaning that Ron was away nearly every night. When he was at home, he was horribly tired. Most days he just wanted to fall face first on the bed and sleep through the next day. But he never could. Almost every night, he would arrive home to Hermione working, cleaning, or performing some other sort of physical activity. She was now eight months along, her baby bump bigger than ever, and the healer told her to try and stay off her feet. His tiredness didn't stop him from caring for his very pregnant wife. Well, attempting to care for her, that is.

 


"Ron, go to bed. I'm fine!" Hermione had been cleaning the family room when Ron had stumbled out of the fireplace with a proud smile on his face. The Cannons had surprised everyone and finished strong in overtime and they were going to the semi-finals in Berlin, which meant Ron would be gone for three days. They'd discussed this a few days prior, what would happen if the Cannons won. It had taken some convincing on Hermione's part - she finally gave in to staying with the Potter's while Ron was away.

 


"Merlin, Hermione, you're eight bloody months pregnant and you need to relax. I can handle things too!"

 

 

"You need your sleep! You're leaving for Berlin tomorrow, you need rest for the big game!" She picked two books up off the floor and made her way to the bookshelf, shaking her head. "I'm not going to be the reason you lose that game. In fact, if you lose, I'll kill you. Now go to bed, I'm fine." He smiled gently, making sure she didn't see it. The fact that he wanted to help her would only make her angrier, which he found to be quite adorable.

 

 

"I can sleep after I help you clean up."

 


"No, you can sleep now. As you know, I'm pregnant, not handicapped. I can clean on my own."








"The healer told you to stay off your feet, Mione. I'm only trying to help." She pretended to adjust

some books on the shelf, busying herself, then turned around. Ron was watching at her, a smile on his lips. She frowned and put her hands on her hips.

 

 

He snorted.

 

 

She scowled.

 

 

He hid behind his hand, shielding his grin.








"It's not worth it." She tossed her hands in the air, shaking her head with an exhausted smile. He laughed, nodding. She put her cleaning tools aside and walked over to him, taking his hands and swinging them lightly. "When do you leave?" Her voice had grown softer, so had her eyes. He knew she didn't want him leaving, she never did. She always acted like she was okay when he was gone, but truthfully, she hated it.

 


"Tomorrow, at nine in the morning." He answered, giving her hands a squeeze. She nodded. He could tell that her mind was racing, full of the what-if's and maybe's that she always thought about before he left. She worried, and she hated that too. She hated worrying. But she couldn't help it. At this point in her life, it was habit.

 

 

"Wake me up before you go?" She looked up into his eyes, smiling faintly.








"Always." He kissed her forehead. "Wouldn't want to leave without saying goodbye to my girl, you know that."








"Your girl?" She questioned, smiling. "You don't own me, Ronald. I am no one's girl but my own." She was lying, of course. She loved it when he called her his girl... because she was. But she wasn't going to tell him that, of course.

 


"But that's where you're wrong." She opened her mouth to respond, and he silenced her with a kiss on the lips. She melted. You're my girl, always and forever. "Now, off to bed."








"You're coming too?" Her voice was hopeful. To be completely honest, she wanted another night of falling asleep with his arms around her, his body against hers. Something about that just made her feel... safe.

 

 

"Yes, love. I'm coming." He nodded. She smiled before turning around and walking back to the bedroom. She stopped in the doorway to glance back at him, and was gone. Ron's eyes swept the room. He picked up the stray blanket on the floor - the only real "mess" in the room - and folded it, placing it on the couch. Now, unless Hermione managed to tear the house to pieces in three days, there would be no need for her to do any physical labor. He smiled to himself as he walked back into his room. Hermione was already in the bed, and had tossed off the covers, leaving them on the floor. He stripped his work outfit and pulled on some old sweat pants before slipping into the bed behind her. He managed one hand around her waist, and it rested on the top of her baby bump. He kissed her cheek and closed his eyes. "I love you." He whispered, unsure if she was awake.

 


"I know," she answered, her body shifting to fit with his. "I love you too."

 

 

And there were no more words. This was heaven, and no words wouldn't have been enough to describe it.

 

 

She drifted to sleep first, and he quickly followed, lulled by her steady breathing. Hours passed, and soon it was morning. Ron woke up first, naturally. He gently crawled out of the bed, careful not to wake his sleeping wife, and slipped into the bathroom, undressing for his shower. The water was hot and caused the shower to steam as he stepped in. He stood there for what felt like days, thinking about everything. His mind was racing like crazy, something that really shouldn't be happening this close to a game. He should be relaxed right now, relaxed and foused. Ron sighed. He couldn't be focused or relaxed if he tried.

 

 

He'd seriously considered not going. He knew that his coach would let him, too. But he also knew that not playing in the game meant two things. First, they'd replace him with Gerard Mason, who was a terrible keeper. Second, Hermione would kill him. He wasn't going to lie, this had been a dream of his as a child. But when faced with a decision between his childhood dream and his own child, he changed his mind. Hermione, however, refused to let him not go. This was his dream, and her stomach wasn't going to keep him from it. She'd tried to convince him - and her own self - that nothing would happen with the baby while he was gone. It was only three days, and she wasn't even in her ninth month. It would be very rare for something to happen. He kept telling himself that as he dried off, because he couldn't let it show that he was nervous for her. That would just make her worried and she's probably cry... and he hated it when she cried. He stepped out of the bathroom and looked over at the bed: she was still still sleeping soundly. He smiled to himself as he got dressed.








And then it was time to leave. He walked back over to their bed, remembering the promise he made to her the night before.

 

 

"Mione?" His voice caused her to stir, and the fact that the warm hand that was on her stomach the majority of the night was no longer there caused her to open her eyes.








"Mmm?" She rolled over fully onto her back - she'd gotten used to sleeping at an angle on her side - and looked at him. Ron was dressed in a nice dress suit, with a blue tie that matched his eyes. She'd forgotten that the team had to be dressed up when they arrived, they were having a formal dinner with the opposing teams. She smiled, because he looked absolutely adorable.








"Wake up, love." Hermione slowly pulled herself up, sitting straight as she could with her belly. He sat beside her, one hand on her own, and the other on her stomach.

 


"What?" She asked, although she knew exactly what he was going to tell her. She always hated this part the worst - goodbyes.








"I have to leave in a few minutes." She turned away from him like a stubborn child, wondering if she looked pitiful enough, he wouldn't leave.

 

 

"No." She muttered, crossing her arms.

 

 

"You'll be okay, you always are. Besides, it's only three days. What's gonna happen in three days?" He was right. He'd been gone longer, and she'd survived. And besides, I can't keep him from his dream. Hermione thought to herself, That would be horrible, to keep him from playing in the game of his life. She suddenly felt horrible because she wouldn't - couldn't, really - be there. She sniffed loudly, about to cry. And then he felt horrible.








"Nothing's gonna happen." She replied, as reassurance to herself rather than him. She wiped a tear from her eye, and from that moment on no tears fell.

 

 

"That's my girl." His hand brushed her cheek. She nodded, smiling.

 

 

"Always and forever." She whispered back, closing the distance between their lips. Ths kiss was warm and comforting, and didn't last nearly long enough as Hermione wished. He pulled away sadly, looking at the clock on the wall. He was going to be late if he didn't leave now. She looked away, knowing what was coming, then back up at him. "I love you."

 


"I love you too, sunshine." She smiled lightly at this nickname, although her eyes were watering again. She pushed the tears away, but not before Ron noticed. "Come on, Hermione, please don't cry."



"I'm sorry, it's just..." She batted her eyes quickly as more tears attempted to fall. "I'll miss you, Ron and..." She sighed, looking back up at him with a serious face. "Be careful, okay? Don't do anything stupid out there." He smiled.








"I won't, love. I promise." He kissed her forehead and gave her one last hug. She hugged him as close to her body as her stomach would let her. He let go of her and bent over, kissing her stomach gently. She smiled. "I love you. Both of you."

 

 

"I love you too." She said in a near whisper. "So, so much." He pulled away and let her go, backing away a few steps.








"I'll write." He smiled back. "Love you." Then he disapparated out of sight. Hermione stood still for a moment, then decided to go back to sleep if she could. She needed it, and perhaps it would take her mind off things. She lay back down on her back and closed her eyes, pulling the covers close to her and inhaling the unique scent of her husband that still lingered.

 

 

--                      --                      --                      --                      --                      --                      --                      --                      --                      --                      --

 

 

Hermione had officially decided that she wasn't going to sleep until after Baby was born. Not only had she gone through the discomfort of adjusting to a different bed - she was living in Harry and Ginny's guest bedroom until Ron got back - but she also had to deal with the pain of a small human being doing flips inside her stomach. She had finally fallen asleep some time in the early morning, only to be awakened hours later by a loud tapping sound on the window. She opened her eyes just enough to let in the light, and saw the outline of a small, tawny owl. It was the owl Ron used to send her letters while he was away, she'd seen it many times before. Groaning, she shifted her legs over the side of the bed and opened the window. The owl - she'd started calling him Eliot - hopped inside, sure enough with a roll of parchment attached to his leg. Hermione smiled as she untied it. This was just like Ron, to send a letter after he's been gone for a night. Still, she found that she couldn't stop grinning. She gave Eliot a soft pat on the head








"Thank you, El." She slowly unrolled the parchment, holding it in her hand for a few seconds and breathing in the smell of brooms and quidditch pitches and Ron. After a moment, she began to read.

 

 

Dearest Hermione,

 

Before you say anything, because I know you want to ,I know I've been gone for a day. But I miss my wife, so sue me. How are you holding up? The baby giving you any more problems? More than usual, I should say. I wish I was there with you right now, love. I hate not being with you through every second of this, but its only another two days. Then we've only got a few weeks until the baby's here! The big game is tomorrow, yes. We've been practicing our arses off, if we're not prepared now, we never will be. During the last practice, only one shot got by me, so I think I'm going to do just fine. McEntire seems a bit off, as usual, but he always does horribly during practice and surprises us all in the game, so I guess that's the case again. I should really get to bed now, but before I did, I wanted to write you. Know that I miss you like crazy and I'm counting the minutes until I see you again. Wish me luck for tomorrow!

 

All my love,

 

Ron

 

 

 

There was a unconscious smile on her face when she finished reading the letter, and her lack of sleep didn't seem to bother her anymore. In fact, she felt happier and more energetic than she had in weeks. She kissed the parchment gently, and rolled it back up, placing it beside her bed. She then rose and made her way over to the dresser, pulling out her favorite skirt - a brown one that billowed around her ankles - and one of Ron's bright orange Cannons t-shirts. She took an extra long time pulling the shirt over her head, because the smell of Ron lingered on the fabric.

 

 

Suddenly there was a cramp in her stomach. She groaned and gritted her teeth, and it passed seconds later. Wasn't that a... she began to think, but shook her head quickly, pushing the thought out of her mind. There was no possible way that was happening, especially now.

 

 

She looked up at herself in the mirror, then smiled down at her stomach, a gentle hand caressing her bump. After a few moments standing in awe of everything, Hermione came back from her daydream and walked into the kitchen, promptly beginning dinner: Shepard’s pie. Ginny and Harry were comfortably laid out in their couch, the wireless sitting on the table before them as they waited for the game to start.

 

 

"Harry, is that a pumpkin in our kitchen?" Ginny's voice reached Hermione's ears and Hermione rolled her eyes, but her smile betrayed her.








"I think it is, Ginny. I didn't know they could cook." Harry responded, and Hermione sighed. They were too much alike for their own good, she decided.

 

 

"Y'know, I've been having this craving for pumpkin pie." Hermione made a gagging sound; pumpkin pie was out of her diet long before her pregnancy - she absolutely despised the stuff.








"That's funny, guys. I don't see you wearing your Cannons shirts. Where's your spirit?" Hermione charmed the untensils and left the kitchen, looking to Harry and Ginny. Ginny snorted.

 

 

"I'd rather cheer for the winning team, thanks." She answered with a smile, and Harry nearly burst trying to hold in his laughter. Hermione opened her mouth to retort, then scowled. Ginny grinned smugly and returned to her knitting. Hermione turned around and began retreating into the kitchen, but only after she was hit with another cramp that sent pain throughout her entire body. She made a soft groaning sound, then took a deep breath, shaking it off. She returned the kitchen.

 

 

Ginny looked up from knitting slightly, furrowing her brow at the scene before her. A thought flashed through her mind but she shook her head and put it aside, refocusing her attention on the stitch she'd almost dropped.

 

 

Hermione busied herself in the kitchen, finding that it took her mind off things, namely Ron. She couldn't express to Harry and Ginny how much she missed him, so she tried her best not to let it show. She used Mrs. Weasley's old family recipe - the one she had committed to memory - to make the pie, and it occupied about twenty minutes. She took the pie out of the oven, inhaling deeply. "Mmm." She brought the pie into the room where Harry and Ginny were, sitting it on the table and waiting.

 

 

Another cramp hit about that time, and this time Hermione nearly doubled over in pain. Her groan was a little louder this time, and she sighed loudly, deciding that it was best to perform one of those charms that her healer had once shown her to help with pregnancy cramps, maybe then they would go away. She turned to go back to the guestroom and grab her wand, but Ginny stopped her.

 

 

"Hermione?" Ginny had set her knitting aside and was looking at Hermione with a completely serious face. Hermione felt scared for a moment.

 

 

"What?" She asked, turning back to face Ginny completely.








"Are you cramping?" Ginny narrowed her eyes, watching Hermione intently.








"A little bit... yeah. Why?" Hermione nodded, her face flushing.

 

 

"I think those are contractions." At the mere suggestion of the fact that she was going into labor a month early, Hermione Weasley laughed.








"That's funny, Ginny." She smiled, shaking her head and turning back around.

 

 

"Hermione, seriously. Those are contractions." Ginny quickly stood and caught Hermione's orange shirt, making her turn around. Hermione sighed, grinning.

 

 

"What makes you think that? Why would I be in labour? I'm only eight months along. Honestly, Gin." She shrugged and made an attempt to move, but Ginny's hold on her was stronger.








"No, really. I think you're having labour pains. We need to get to a healer." Hermione smiled, shaking her head.

 

 

"First, I'm not in labor. And second, I've already arranged for a home birth. Quit worrying, I'm just fine!" She turned and jerked away,

 

 

"I think Ginny's right, Hermione. She would know about these things, she is the experienced mother here."








"Harry, Ginny, I really appreciate this, I really do. But nothing's going on. I feel just fine, I'm just having cramps, which are perfectly natural. I've done my reading!" There was a pause in which Ginny and Harry exchanged looks of doubt. Hermione shook her head, sighing. "I have to use the loo." Hermione turned and took less than three steps before she felt something wet trickle down her leg.

 

 

And she froze.

 

 

"Ginny?" Her voice was shaking as she spoke, but she couldn't control it. A sudden fear had just spread throughout her entire body.

 


"Yes?" Ginny didn't look up from her knitting this time.








"I think my water broke." She answered nervously, staring at the puddle on the ground.








"What?" Ginny's fingers stopped mid-stitch, but her body remained still. Hermione took a shaky breath.








"I think my water just broke, Ginny." She repeated, her heart rate increasing every time she said it.

 

 

"WHAT?" The knitting needles were dropped to the floor and Ginny looked up.

 

 

"I said I think my water broke!" Hermione nearly shouted, clutching onto her stomach as another cramp hit.

 

 

"I heard you already! It's just... oh merlin's pants!" Ginny leapt from her seat and started grabbing things and tossing them in bags. As if they had rehearsed this, Harry quickly took out some parchment and began scribbling a note to Molly and Arthur Weasley. He knew that by sending one notice to Molly, the entire Weasley clan would know within the next hour. As Harry tied the letter to the owl's leg, he thought of something - someone, rather. He untied the first letter and grabbed another piece of parchment, writing frantically. He then tied both letters to the bird, instructing him to deliver both letters to their respective places... if it was even possible.

 

 

Meanwhile, Hermione stood still, her mind racing.

 

 

Her water had broken. She was in labor. She was having this baby. She was one month early.

 

 

And Ron wasn't there.

 

 

It was at that moment that Harry appeared beside her.








"Are you okay?" He looked

 


"No." She answered honestly, looking at him with sad eyes. He didn't have to ask, he knew the reason. He just took her hand in his and squeezed it.








"You can do this, Hermione. I know you can." He led her over over to where Ginny was standing with the emergency portkey, a small purple lamp. He put a brotherly arm around her, and she leaned into him. She hated portkeys. Usually when she took one, Ron was with her and -

 

 

Ron.







 

Tears started streaming down her face and it didn't take long for her to begin sobbing. The room began to spin and they were transported into the maternity ward of the hospital. Hermione, rather unsteady, leaned into Harry as Ginny led the way to the front desk.

 

 

"She's in premature labor, we need a room." Ginny explained, and the receptionist nodded, A short healer with yellow-blonde hair and a nametag that read "Isabelle Issacs" appeared, leading the threesome down the hallway into Room 92. Harry and the healer helped Hermione into the bed as Ginny stood by with a handkerchief, wiping away the tears. As soon as Hermione was adjusted and as comfortable as she could possibly be, Healer Issacs started asking questions.

 

 

"Your name, please?" Healer Issacs asked, raising her pen. Hermione let out a loud sob, and Ginny ran one hand through her hair.

 

 

"Hermione Weasley." She answered, attempting to calm the expectant mother who was clinging tightly to her hand. Healer Issacs turned her attention to Ginny.

 

 

"Who is her normal healer? Do you know?"








"Umm... Johanna Morgan." Ginny answered nervously, rubbing Hemione's hand gently.

 


"Her original due date?" She looked up to Hermione, who was still sobbing








"November 15th." Ginny responded, hoping she was right. Hermione could barely catch her breath at that moment, there was no way she'd be able to answer those questions straight. She opened her mouth to say something else to the healer, but before anything got out, Hermione let out a loud wail of pain. Another contraction, Ginny thought to herself, whispering soothing words into Hermione's ears as she groaned from the pain. They're about 10 minutes apart. It's almost time, she's going to have to start pushing soon. Healer Issacs took another look at Hermione, then looked at Ginny.








"Can you come with me and answer the remaining questions, Mrs. Potter?" Ginny looked to Harry, who was pacing on the other side of the room. He made his way over to Hermione without a word, and Ginny followed the healer out the door.








"Harry..." Hermione said quietly through her tears. "It hurts..." Harry didn't know what to say. He knew what he had said to Ginny; comforting words about how much he loved her, how much he loved the baby, that he believed in her. It wasn't his position to say those things to Hermione, it was Ron's.

 

 

But he wasn't here.

 

 

And Harry had no idea what to do.

 

 

"Ron..." Hermione moaned, clutching her stomach. Her eyes were shut tight and her face bore a pained expression. "Ron, I can't do this without Ron..."

 

 

"Relax, Hermione, you're doing great." Harry responded, grasping her hand. Hermione's eyes opened and she let out another moan of pain. "Come on, you can do this! Come on, Hermione..."

 

 

"No, I can't do this! I want Ron! I need Ron!" Hermione was sobbing now, clinging to Harry with all her strength. "I need him, Harry! I can't do this unless he's with me! I need him, Harry! I need him!" She gave Harry's hand a tight squeeze as another contraction hit. Harry was again unsure of what to say. But he knew one thing for sure: this baby was not coming until Ron was here, he was going to make sure of it. He was the boy who lived! He defeated the Dark Lord! He was Harry freaking Potter, for crying out loud!

 

 

So... finding Ronald Weasley couldn't be that hard... could it?

 

 

 

 

 

A/N: Uh-oh, that looks like a... cliffhanger! Bumbumbummmmm. On another note: Wow guys! Thanks so much for the great reviews! You all are just fantastic, your reviews make me smile! I know it took me a while to update, but hey, though, it's a longer chapter, be grateful! I promise that this next chapter will be up soon... don't want to leave you hanging too long : ) Thanks for reading, and please leave me a review if you have the time! I'll see you in chapter eight!

Chapter 8: When Seconds Feel Like Hours
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]


It had taken Harry what felt like hours to find some parchment to write on, and once he'd found that, it took another few hours - or so it felt like - to find a quill. He quickly began scribbling short sentences.


Ron,

Hermione's in labour. Get here, NOW.

-Harry

 

Harry quickly rolled the letter up and convinced a young couple to let him borrow their owl. "Berlin, big quidditch pitch, redhead. Easy to find. Fast." He managed, setting the bird free outside the window. It fluttered away and Harry sighed, pausing. He then realized that sending a random owl after Ron was a stupid thing to do, and - without thinking - apparated out of the hospital. He was then at the gate of the largest quidditch pitch in Europe. Not even bothering to stare in awe like any normal man would do, Harry ran through the crowd and right through the entrance gate.


"Ticket!" Someone shouted after him, and he stopped and turned.

"Harry Potter, don't need one, right back out, Weasley!" He managed as he ran, turning back to watch where he was going. He kept running until he found himself at the locker room for the opposing team - the Cannon's. Harry began frantically banging on the door. A tall man with dark blonde hair (Avery Boot, star seeker) answered the door, Harry rushed right past him into the room filled with antsy quidditch players. "Ron! Ron Weasley! Where's Ron Weasley?"

"I'm over here, what - Harry?!" The redhead - already fully dressed for the big game - glanced up, and then saw Harry. He grinned. "You came to watch the game did you? Thank you so-"

"No," Harry hunched over, catching his breath. "Sorry, no."

"No?" Ron asked, raising a brow. "Then that is it?"

"It's Hermione, she's-" Harry began, but he was interrupted by a worried Ron.

"Is she okay?!" His eyes were wide and Harry could sense the nervousness in his voice. He was reminded of when Ginny had told him she was in labor. They were already out, eating dinner. She'd had a craving for fish that day, and although the smell of trout made him sick, he'd taken her out. She'd stood up quickly, then looked down and began giggling. He asked what it was about, and she started laughing, telling him through chuckles that her water had broken. He didn't think it as funny as she did - his eyes widened twice their normal size and his heart began pounding - and had promptly taken her to St. Mungos.

"She's fine, yes, but she's-" Harry tried to speak again, but was once again stopped by Ron's frantic voice.

"She's what?! What is she!? Bloody hell, Harry, tell me!" He was speaking so fast and anxiously that Harry felt the need to stop him - otherwise, they'd be here all day.

"She's having the baby, Ron!" Harry shouted. There was silence, and Ron stared at him, unblinking, as if asking him to elaborate. Harry then added, "Right now!"

"Oh, sweet merlin." Ron turned to the team and shouted, waving his arms about. "I'm gonna be a dad!" The team let out a loud cheer. Ron beamed, the tips of his ears turning bright red. Harry rolled his eyes and grabbed onto Ron's arm.

"Come on!" Harry's own voice was anxious now, worried. Ron began following him, but was stopped by a deep voice. He turned back around.


"You can't miss this game, Weasley." His coach spoke up from the corner of the room, his eyes focused hard on Ron. "This is the game of the season. We need you." Then there was silence.


"Ron?" Harry asked, letting go of his sleeve. "Aren't you coming?" 

 

- - - - - - - - -

Meanwhile, Hermione was in full labor and had come to understand what her mother had meant when she said that this was the worst part of pregnancy. She knew exactly what she was supposed to do, too. She'd read all about it - from the breathing techniques to the time in-between pushes. She understood the entire birthing process, how to deliver a healthy baby.

But she refused to do anything.

"You're fully dilated, Mrs. Weasley! Time to start pushing!" Healer Kendall entered the room smiling, and Hermione scowled. She'd also read about that.


"No!" Her eyes widened and she shook her head. Fully dilated was code for ready to deliver. And she was by no means ready. Ready would mean that Ron was beside her, holding her hand and stroking her hair. No, she was not ready.

"Hermione, you have to." Ginny pushed stray hairs out of her best friend's eyes, grasping her hand. "When she tells you to push, push! Squeeze my hand if you need to!"

 

"Okay, on the next contraction, push with all you have! Can you do that for me, sweetheart?" Healer Kendall said, positioned at the end of the bed.

Hermione gritted her teeth and closed her eyes, but did not push like she was told to. A wave of pain hit her, and instead she screamed, tears dripping out of her eyes.

"Hermione! You have to push!" Ginny looked up at Healer Kendall, who was looking at Hermione.


"No! No, not until Ron's here!" Hermione refused. She was doing everything in her power not to push, and it hurt more than anything she'd ever experienced... but she couldn't do this without Ron, she couldn't!

"Hermione, please!" Ginny said softly, "Please!"

"I can't, Ginny, I can't! Not without him!" Ginny tried to think of something to say in return, but was at a loss. When her baby was born, Harry was with her. Although labor had hurt like hell, having Harry beside her made her feel safe, strong, and loved. She couldn't imagine going through that without him. She looked back at Hermione, face red and sweat mixing with tears, and felt a horrible pang of guilt. 

She'd had her husband with her, and would have refused anything had he not been there. And here she was, telling Hermione to do something that she herself could never do. She swallowed her own tears, pushing on. If Hermione didn't do this now, either herself or her baby could be harmed. And Ginny could not - would not - let that happen.

"Hermione, if you don't push you could hurt your baby!" Ginny pleaded, squeezing Hermione's hand. "Please, darling, you have to push!"

"Oh, Merlin..." Hermione sobbed, squeezing back. "Oh, Merlin, it hurts, Gin."


"Time to push again." Healer Kendall looked from Ginny to Hermione, then back. "Ready?" Hermione swallowed, nodding. "On three; one, two, three." Hermione then pushed as told, Ginny along beside her, coaching.

"Oh, bloody hell!" Hermione screamed, collapsing back onto her pillow. Tears began flowing freely from her eyes, a mixture of pain and sorrow. Realization hit. He wasn't going to make it in time, there was no way. She was going to have to do this -

"Hermione!" Hermione's focus was lost as soon as her name was called. She quickly turned her head to see her husband - her sweaty, exhausted-looking mess of a husband clad in full quidditch attire - flying through the doorway, coming towards her.


"Ron!" She screamed, reaching out for him. He rushed over to her, embracing her as best he could, kissing her multiple times on the mouth and forehead, smiling like mad.

"How dare you try and do this without me, love!" He pulled away and their eyes locked. She attempted to smile, but was met with another contraction, her most painful one yet. She groaned and squeezed Ginny's hand tightly, gritting her teeth in pain. Ron took over the side he was on, taking her hand in his and kissing her forehead as she pushed.

It was as she fell back again that Hermione realized...

"Ron, you're missing the game!" Her eyes widened and she stared at him. He laughed and kissed her hand.

"You think a game is more important than this?" He shook his head, keeping her gaze. "You're insane, love. I wouldn't miss this for the world." He leaned over the bed to hug her, and in his arms, Hermione felt safe at last. "I love you."

"I love you, too." Another labor pain hit, and she screamed.

"You have to push again, Hermione!" She did as the healer said, leaning forward and pushing with all she had. She fell back again, looking at Ron, who nodded and squeezed her hand. "Almost there, Hermione, just one more! Down here, Mr. Weasley." Ron kissed Hermione's forehead, then joined Healer Kendall at the foot of the bed.

"Come on, love, just one more."


"It's almost over, sweetheart, come on."

"Almost there, Hermione, you can do it. I love you."

If anyone in the labor unit was asleep, they were surely awakened by the blood-curdling scream Hermione let out. Horrible pain shot through her entire body, and she collapsed back on her pillows, breathing hard. The room then went quiet.


A baby's cry filled the air.

Ron gasped.

Hermione gasped.

Healer Kendall held up a tiny, screaming, red newborn.

"Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Weasley. It's a-"


 

authors note: You guys probably hate me. I mean, two cliffhanger chapters in a row and I made you wait! Sorry it took so long, I'd go into detail, but that would take up too much time. Chapter nine is on its way! Any guesses as to what the baby is? Thanks again for all your reviews, you don't know how much it means to me to hear from people who actually enjoy reading things I've written!

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