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The Baby by bart_

Format: Short story
Chapters: 2
Word Count: 4,677
Status: COMPLETED

Rating: 12+
Warnings: No Warnings

Genres: Fluff, Humor, Mystery
Characters: Harry, Ron, Hermione, Arthur, Molly, Ginny
Pairings:

First Published: 10/01/2006
Last Chapter: 10/18/2006
Last Updated: 10/18/2006

Summary:
Molly felt her wrath building The cups on the kitchen shelves began to rattle ominously and she shrugged off the calming hand her husband placed on her shoulder. There would be no welcoming them home, no waiting for an excuse! She was going out there right now to get this sorted. Molly Weasley has a melt-down when her youngest two children come home after the war with their friends and a baby. Molly Weasley has a melt-down when her youngest two children come home after the war with their friends and a baby. (Written Pre-HBP)


Chapter 1: An Unexpected Welcome Home...
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The Baby

~*~



The end had come after a long and drawn out final battle that had lasted days rather than hours. Voldemort had initially taken the battle to both Hogsmeade and Hogwarts itself, splitting the defences between the Ministry and the Order of the Phoenix - who battled valiantly to save the Wizarding village - and the teachers and DA who were doing their best to save the school and its students.

Slowly, one by one, the school’s teachers and DA members were incapacitated and the number of defenders dwindled, leaving the students completely vulnerable to the evil whims of Voldemort and his minions. However, they were only interested in one group of people; those closest to Harry Potter.

Ron, Hermione and Ginny were currently making use of every short cut and secret passage the castle had to offer, drawing their attackers apart, allowing Harry and Neville to take them out. It was taking time though and they were all beginning to tire. It didn’t seem to matter how many they removed there always seemed to be more to replace them.

As the battle raged the five remaining defenders found themselves outside the closed off girls bathroom, on the second floor.

“Well, I can’t say I’m surprised,” said Ginny with a sigh.

Harry’s eyes were full of concern, and he was about to speak when Ginny cut him off, “Harry, I’ll be alright, we have a job to do.” Her tone of voice brooked no argument; there was no way he was going to be doing this alone.

One by one they all slipped into the darkened bathroom and, just as Neville was about to enter, the door slammed shut, producing a sickening crunch as it slammed into his face.

“Don’t keep the Dark Lord waiting, Potter, he’s been waiting a long time for this,” Lucius Malfoy’s polished tones echoed around the empty room.

Watching him warily, they edged towards the sinks that marked the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets.

“Oh, don’t mind me, Potter,” sneered Malfoy, “I’m not going to go against a direct order from the Dark Lord himself. You do know what happens to people who displease him, don’t you…?”

Before Harry could respond Ginny leant forward and mumbled something to one of the taps.

The small group looked at her in amazement; she had never mentioned still being able to speak the snake language. Malfoy’s lips curled in to a shrewd smile, as he looked on.

Gradually, as happened six years earlier, the sink moved aside leaving open the entrance.

“Let’s get this done then,” said Ginny, ignoring her friend’s looks, before stepping forward through the hole.

Breaking his eye contact with Malfoy, Harry flicked him a cheeky wave and stepped backwards; as he moved through the near darkness, he heard Ron and Hermione follow suit.

As they entered the Chamber proper, a lone figure was standing waiting for them, his arm clasped behind his back. There, in the middle of the cavernous room, was Tom Marvolo Riddle, the self styled Lord Voldemort.

“You’ve brought friends for me to play with, how kind of you, Harry!” Voldemort’s laugh seemed to grow louder as it echoed round the room.

Without any warning, he started throwing curses at the group. Ron’s reactions were the quickest, throwing a shield to cover them as they fell to the floor, slipping in to a long practised battle plan.

The fight that followed was harder fought than any they had battled through in the last twenty-four hours.

It took all four of them to come even close to matching Voldemort’s power, but as the fight raged on, they could tell Voldemort was tiring; magically he was still easily a match for them, but even the Darkest Wizard the world had ever known couldn’t keep an eye on all four of them at once, as they darted about the tunnels and passages surrounding the Chamber.

The end came suddenly, when a simple tripping charm from Ginny had Voldemort stumbling forwards and his distraction, whilst only temporary, was long enough for Harry to fire off the curse he had been practising with Dumbledore for the last two years.

Weak and fatigued from their exertions, the four collapsed to the floor huddled together, surprisingly devoid of emotion about what they had just achieved. This was where Professor McGonagall found them asleep nearly twenty-four hours later.

~*~

Soon after they had all been released - together, at Harry’s insistence - they could be found in The Burrow’s living room, explaining to Arthur and Molly why they had to go away.

None of them were handling the pressure that followed their defeat of Voldemort with any degree of ease. Well wishers and reporters were hassling them day in, day out, and when Rita Skeeter had called on them, it had taken Ron, Harry and the twins to keep Hermione from attacking her.

Then there was the threat that the Death Eaters still posed. The few that remained had made their displeasure at the fall of Voldemort known, as well as who they intended to make pay.

Ginny had insisted that they had done enough and had discharged their responsibility, two weeks ago. Others could tidy up this mess; they had to concentrate on getting better and rebuilding their lives. Harry had surprised them all by agreeing wholeheartedly and had come up with the idea of spending some time away together travelling.

Arthur had seen the sense in this almost straight away, and had spent many hours helping them convince Molly that this was the right thing to do. It was her opinion that the only place her children could and should recover was here, at home, at The Burrow. Where she could keep an eye on them.

Ron and Ginny might be the only two official children out of the four, but she considered Harry and Hermione as her children as well, and had been immensely proud when the previous Christmas they had both responded to the twins comments, by addressing their presents to her as ‘Our Weasley Mum’

Eventually they had convinced her though, and for the following months the only contact was via owl post. Every few weeks, one or all of them sent and Arthur a letter, but they never once said where they where, where they had been or where they were going.

Molly shuddered to think of the places they had been, and judging by some of the condition of some of the letters that made it home, these foreign owls couldn’t deliver a letter in one piece if they tried. Take the one she had received this morning. It had been so full of holes the message was almost totally lost.

The letters had initially been fairly brief simple affairs, just saying they were okay and were starting to come to terms with things, if a little slowly. As the months progressed the letters grew longer and longer, detailing as much as possible about themselves and their recovery; for instance, ten months ago they had written to let her know how happy they were all were in their relationships. They didn’t say as much but Molly wasn’t stupid and could read between the lines, and knew exactly what they weren’t saying, so this morning’s letter or what was left of it was hardly a surprise.

She looked down and read the words again.

Mum, Dad,

It’s time we came hom . Now that the last lot of Deat ters have been captured.

We’re missing you all very mu and can wait to be ther .

Please don’t be angry ut, there is some ing, we should tell y u, while we wer away, Harry and well, she fell pregn .



The bab was born a coupl of we ks ago.


We will ex lain every hi g when we get hom on Satu d y.

Love

Ginny, R n, Har y an ermione.

The owl’s claws had torn the letter to shreds, but it was obvious to Molly that her children were finally coming home; with them, it seemed, there would be a new addition. When the letter had first arrived Molly was fuming. How could they be that stupid? Just what did they think they were doing? At their Age? Even now she was less than happy about the situation, but Arthur always had a way of calming her down, and this case had been no different.

Arthur had read the letter, his face revealing no emotion or reaction to its contents, quietly placed it back down on the table, stood, moved over to the sink and made a cup of tea for himself and his wife, before sitting back down, “Now then, love…”

~*~

Molly watched as the small figures drew closer to home. It took all her self-restraint not to run outside and sweep them up in one her famous embraces. She lightly gripped her sink-top to steady herself; in a moment or two they would be close enough to make out.

As the shapes became more distinct, she could feel her grip on the sink tightening and her nerves were affecting her breathing, which was now coming in short and quick bursts. Her four youngest ‘children’ had been away from her too long; she had understood their need to get away after the fall of Voldemort, after all, if it wasn’t disgruntled Death Eaters after them, it was the press, both as bad as each other in Molly’s opinion. But eighteen months was far too long to stay away, and once she had properly welcomed them home, she planned on telling them just that. She wasn’t famous for her Howlers for nothing.

Just as she was about to forget her promise to her husband and dash from the house, a strong pair of arms wrapped themselves around her.

“Leave them to arrive back on their own, love,” said the warm voice of her husband.

“I know,” she replied, “but all I want to do is grab hold of them and hold them for ever. Then throttle them all, they’re too young…”

“So do I,” answered her husband, “but we have to let them do this on their own. It’s going to be very strange for them coming back, especially with the baby.”

“Yes, we are going to have a talk with the two of them, about that,” Molly replied sternly.

“What d’you mean, ‘we’? I won’t get a word in edgeways, dear,” replied her husband, with a smile.

“Don’t think you’re getting out of it, Arthur Weasley,” replied Molly sternly. “You will be there to back me up.”

“It’s a bit late for that now dear, you know as soon as you get your hands on your grandchild you’ll forget all about your ‘proper conduct’ talk.” Arthur smiled warmly at his wife as he spoke.

“You’re right, of course dear,” she replied, but then with a twinkle in her eyes, she continued, “but they don’t need to know that, do they?”

“And they wonder where the twins get it from!” Arthur replied, as he tightened his embrace on his wife, sniggering quietly to himself.

They both turned towards the track that led up to The Burrow, the pair’s eyes searching for their prodigal family.

However there was nobody to be seen. They couldn’t have made it to the house already could they? Unbidden they both turned to the open kitchen door. No, there was nobody there. So where were they? They hadn’t changed their minds at the last minute, had they?

Molly turned towards her husband, concern evident on her face, and tears threatening in her eyes which looked towards him for an explanation, as she had done frequently in their marriage. Without a word, her husband just placed his hand on her shoulder and pointed up the track.

As she turned towards the point her husband was indicating, she sighed in relief. Just appearing from the dip in the path was the bright red mop of hair that could only be her son, Ron, closely followed by another red head, her daughter Ginny. As they climbed out of the dip, Molly could make out their expressions and discovered that in fact they were fuming.

Molly watched as they huffed and puffed their way towards the house, clouds of dust raising from the dirt track each time they stomped their feet.

“What’s up with them?”

Her husband just shrugged his shoulders; he looked as clueless as she felt.

“Come on you two!” yelled her daughter, turning slightly to yell at the other two, “let’s get this over with, shall we?” Her daughter’s voice was obviously angry, but also had a vein of coldness running through it.

Molly was really worried now; something had to be desperately wrong for her to be acting in this way.

As she fretted, her other two ‘children’ came back into view, smiling warmly at each other. They each had an arm wrapped around the others back, holding each other close. Nestled in one of Harry’s arms was a bundle of blankets that could only be the new baby. As they walked, Hermione leant over and adjusted the blanket wrapping the baby, before whispering something in Harry’s ear and placing a quick kiss on his lips, as Harry turned to smile at her, then, flushed and giggling they both turned towards The Burrow, quickening their pace.

Molly’s mind was whirling, what was going on? She knew from their last letter that the baby was Harry’s, but Harry was engaged to Ginny! But it was quite obvious who the parents were as Harry and Hermione approached the house. No wonder Ron and Ginny looked so upset. They had obviously been betrayed in the worst way possible.

Molly felt her wrath building… The cups on the kitchen shelves began to rattle ominously and she shrugged off the calming hand her husband placed on her shoulder

Bugger welcoming them home, bugger waiting for an excuse! She was going out there right now to get this sorted.

There better be a damned good explanation, if they thought they would actually be allowed back in the house!

Arthur followed his wife out of the house, hoping to cut short any trouble; whilst he trusted his loving wife and mother of his children implicitly, when she was really riled she had a tendency to say and do things she regretted later. And the fact that he could have sworn he head her mutter, “I don’t bloody well care who he is, I’ll kill him!” really wasn’t helping.

~*~

A/N Thanks to Yoda, Baffy and Allie for their beta work on this chapter, and they are wholly innocent for any of this chapter’s content. I also offer no apologies, other than to say the next chapter is beta-ed and will be posted as soon as I can.

Chapter 2: Harry and Hermione Come Clean
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The Baby

Chapter Two: Harry and Hermione Come Clean.

~*~



“HOW DARE YOU TURN UP ON MY PROPERTY, BOLD AS BRASS HARRY JAMES POTTER?! PARADING YOUR, YOUR-”

“Molly! Mrs Weasley…?”

“AND YOU, HERMIONE GRANGER, I CAN’T BELIVE THAT, THAT, SKEETER WOMAN WAS ACTUALLY RIGHT ABOUT YOU TWO.”

“MUM!” Ron and Ginny both shouted.

“You two stay out of this!” said Molly, whirling round on her two children.

“No, Mum, I won’t stay out of this,” shouted Ron, twisting himself out of his sister’s grasp, “not until you explain what’s going on!”

“I think what’s going on,” huffed Molly, “is quite obvious, don’t you?”

Molly’s gaze hardened as she glared at Harry and Hermione. How did he dare stand there and feign innocence when the evidence was cooing in his arms?

“Not really, Mum, why don’t you explain?” Ginny asked impatiently.

“Not with those two here, I won’t,” she spat out.

Ginny gave up trying to reason with her mother and slammed the door of the kitchen open. “Are you three coming in? And, Mother,” she added with a snarl “when you calm down and decide to explain yourself we’ll all be in the lounge.”

~*~


As Molly and Arthur entered the room, they found Ron and Ginny sitting on one couch and Harry sat with the baby a rocking chair, watching Hermione rummage round in the nappy bag.

“Are you sure you put it back in here, Harry? I can’t find it anywhere.”

Harry chuckled fondly. “Well, I was a bit distracted at the time with someone fetching up their breakfast into a paper bag…”

Hermione’s grin was just visible under her wealth of hair. “And it was such a tasty breakfast too.”

Ron looked at Ginny, and Molly saw they were both pale under the freckles.

“Oh, in Merlin’s name, you two, shut up about that!” Ginny groaned.

Harry’s grin widened. “As I was saying, I know I shoved it into one of the pockets.”

After watching Hermione continue her fruitless search through the overstuffed baby bag, Harry sighed. “Do it the easy way, Hermione, Summon it.”

Hermione looked up, a little flustered at not having thought of that herself. “Oh, yes, of course.”

Ron, with his head resting against the sofa, shook his head. “Are you a witch or what, Hermione?” he demanded with a little smirk.

Ginny sniggered as Hermione turned a very pointed stare on the lanky redhead, who coloured dully. “Don’t push it, Ron. Remember what Harry did to the last person who implied that Hermione wasn’t a true-blooded witch,” Ginny said.

Ron’s mouth turned down at the corners. “I haven’t forgotten,” he said quietly. “He beat me to it, same as he beat me to a lot of things. I should have done that.”

With his son nestled under his chin, Harry looked over the tops of his glasses at his almost-brother. “I thought we’d sorted that out-”

Harry didn’t manage to finish whatever he was saying as Molly could take no more and erupted.

The next fifteen minutes were some of the most uncomfortable The Burrow had ever seen, as Molly ranted and raved until she was the most Weasley of Weasley-reds. During this the four friends just sat there impassively until she eventually collapsed into a chair.

“But what I don’t understand, Ginny, is why you’re taking this so well.”

“Taking what so well, Mum?” smirked Ginny, deciding to end her mother’s suffering. “The fact that my best-friend and future sister-in-law, loves my child and my fiancé so much?”

~*~


Twenty Minutes Earlier

“Just what the bloody hell, does she think she’s up to?” yelled Ron as he slammed open the lounge door.

“Merlin knows!” replied Ginny as she back-heeled the door shut, and stomped past Harry and Hermione, pausing to stroke Gideon’s head before plonking herself down next to her brother. “She’s really lost it this time.”

For his part Harry just looked confused and stood with his mouth slightly open. In all the time he had known Molly Weasley, she had been nothing but a caring, loving presence. Never had he been on the wrong end of her temper, not that there was a right end to Molly’s temper... To make it worse he couldn’t work out exactly what it was he had done wrong.

“Close your mouth Harry,” said Hermione gently, before turning to face all her friends “Honestly, you lot,” she huffed, and standing with her hands on her hips, continued, “Am I going to have to spend the rest of my life explaining everything to you?”

“For the love of Merlin, Hermione, will you just explain what you mean before Mum and Dad get here,” snapped Ron.

Rolling her eyes at him, she turned so she could face them all, “Well it’s obvious, isn’t it? Molly thinks that little Gideon, here, is mine and Harry’s.”

“WHAT!?” all three exclaimed at once.

At which little Gideon made full use of his little lungs, and Harry had to sit in the rocking chair, gently rocking backwards and forwards, humming quietly to calm him down. Finally managing to soothe his son, Harry turned to Hermione and said, “Err... Hermione, you might want to explain why, please?”

“Well, it’s obvious. She saw the ‘Gruesome Twosome’ here,” she pointed at Ron and Ginny, “stomp their way up the drive. Followed by us two strolling up the lane, arm in arm, with Gideon.” Hermione paused before adding with a smirk, “and my little ‘pep talk’ probably didn’t help.”

Harry still looked nonplussed and Ron sceptical.

“But we sent a letter! Even taking into account those bloody useless things that make even Pig look professional, the letter should have arrived by now,” replied Ron.

“I don’t know, Ron, perhaps it hasn’t. Or maybe I’m incorrect in my assumptions?” Hermione shrugged. She was at a loss to explain Mrs Weasley’s actions if she was wrong. Yet she could think of no other interpretation for Mrs Weasley’s actions.

“Oh no, Hermione,” said Ginny suddenly pulling herself to her feet. “You’re correct all right.”

She started to pace up and down the room, waving her arms around angrily. “It all fits, I can’t believe her! You’d think she would know her own children by now. How could she think that of any of us? As if Harry would cheat on me, with you of all people, Hermione… No offence intended of course,” she added quickly, cursing her unruly tongue.

“Of course, none taken, Ginny, none taken.” Hermione waved her friend’s concerns away.

Harry, who had been very quiet up until now, spoke up, “Well, we will just have to put her right, won’t we? I really don’t like your mum being-”

“Oh no, Harry,” insisted Ginny, “Mum dug herself into this, she can dig herself out.”

“But if the letter didn’t arrive--…”

“--No, Harry. If you’re going to be part of this family, one thing you have to understand is we don’t let chances like this pass us by. Do we, Ron?”

“Nope!” replied Ron proudly.

“Particularly considering the date,” grinned Ginny, evilly.

“Why, what’s the date got to do with it?” asked Hermione. She looked at her friend who didn’t respond and just continued to look at her. Suddenly, she twigged and said, “Oh! Right.”

“Yeah, two birds with one stone, brilliant, just brilliant,” replied Ron. “Revenge and a prank in one easy package. Now listen, this is what we have to do…”


~*~


“But, but…” stammered Molly.

“No, listen up, Mum. I was expecting some trouble when we brought Gideon home, but I didn’t expect you to get hold of the wrong end of the stick quite so badly. And to be quite honest, Mum, you hurt us all with your comments.”

Her mum had the good grace to appear apologetic.

“It’s obvious you didn’t get the letter we sent. And we understand how we must have looked, walking up the lane…” Ginny walked over and knelt in front of her mother and fixed her with a glare that rivalled the woman’s she was looking at, “but understand this, Mum, just because we know how you could have jumped to your conclusion, doesn’t mean we like the fact that you did, we thought you knew us better than that.”

Molly just wrapped her arms round her daughter and motioned the others to join her. “I’m so sorry, everybody; particularly you, Harry, and you of course, Hermione - I shouldn’t have accused you of such a terrible thing.”

“That’s okay, Molly,” replied Harry. “I think we can forgive our ‘Weasley Mum’ can’t we, Hermione.”

“Of course we can, Harry,” smiled Hermione as she placed her hand over Mrs Weasley’s. This had an immediate effect on Molly, whose tears of happiness openly flowed down a reddened face.

Once she had recovered her composure, she asked about the one thing that was still bothering her. “So why were you and Ron in such a mood, as you stomped down the lane, Ginny?”

“Oh, that’s easy,” piped up Ron, “these two Muggle-raised nutters here decided that there was no way Gideon was going to be subjected to Magical Travel at his age and insisted that we go on one of those hairyplanes! Can you believe they don’t use magic to fly?”

Both Ron and Ginny shuddered at the memory; there was no way either of them were going anywhere near such a thing ever again. “We weren’t talking to them, for putting us though that!”

“It’s perfectly safe!” Harry and Hermione chorused indignantly.

“And before you ask, Mrs Weasley,” added Hermione, “the kiss I gave Harry was for support. He was really worried about what you would say, when he and Ginny brought Gideon home, and if he hadn’t decided to turn his head….

“That’s okay, dear, I worked that out for myself… eventually” she smiled weakly.

“That’s okay, Mum,” said Hermione. “Would you like to hold him?” she asked as she lifted the baby gently from Harry’s arms.

Molly reached out to take the infant and her lip trembled again as she cradled him.

The four friends smiled at each other as they watched Arthur and Molly get to know their new grandson. Hermione had done exactly the right thing, and they linked arms as they slipped from the house out into the early spring sunshine. Life was definitely good they decided.

~*~



Later, they could all be found resting with full stomachs and warm hearts. Back in the lounge, Mrs Weasley was obviously still trying to make up for her earlier error and had provided a spread large enough for even Ron to struggle finishing.

For the last hour Molly had refused to let go of her grandson, and listened happily as the four explained what they had been up over the last eighteen months.

“… and so, when Gideon arrived, we decided it was time to come home,” said Harry as he finished his part of the story.

“And we’re very glad you did,” said Molly warmly, as she cradled Gideon in her arms. “But what I don’t understand is, why you didn’t put me right straight away?”

“Ah, well,” grinned Harry, “you need to speak to Ginny and Ron about that.”

“What do you mean?” asked Molly, rousing up a little. “Ron, Ginny, please explain yourselves…” she said sharply.

“Well, Mum, you did deserve to squirm for a bit, you must admit that?” said Ginny.

“Well…”

“And when we realised the date, it was just too good an opportunity to miss. The twins would have never let us live it down, it being their birthday an’ all.”

Molly looked at her daughter, confusion clearly visible on her face, “What has the fact it’s the twins’ birthday got to do with it?”

Arthur turned to his wife, the corners of his mouth twitching, “It’s not just the twins’ birthday though is it, love? There is something else that happens on the first of April isn’t there, dear?”

“You mean… They can’t have… They wouldn’t...”

She was answered by the four teenagers collapsing in laughter. She tried for an angry response, but her mouth was twitching, as, for all she pretended otherwise, Molly did appreciate a good prank. And, well, she had deserved it. As even her new grandson showed his gums in glee, the love and good humour in the room finally got to her and she started to laugh herself.

~*~


A/N: Now you really didn’t think I had, did you? *sniggers* It’s now time for me to come clean and explain. This story was written for the April Fools days contest at TheInkPen.Net (and at the same time posted at Phoenix Song and SIYE, all of which are H/G shipper sites (as I am, as you can tell by the rest of my stories) You have no idea how much fun I had when the first chapter was posted on 1st April, I'll treasure those reviews for years! and the subsequent ones when this second chapter was posted the following day. I hope you enjoyed it, now you know the whole story.

Thanks again to Yoda, Baffy and Allie for still talking to me, and betaing this chapter, despite the direction they thought I was taking this little tale, so if you fell for it, don’t worry you’re not alone… :oP

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