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Everyone was at the burrow that night. Dinner was fabulous as usual which was Mrs. Weasley standard was of course. After they had eaten the celebrations continued in the garden with a bit of music, dancing and light conversation. Hermione hung behind smiling as she watched Harry and Ginny who were huddled in the corner enjoying each others company, she was glad they could finally be together without fear. They were so happy, and for the first time in a while, so was Hermione.

She smiled inwardly as she thought about the pile of letters that were sitting on her desk at home, the letters of recommendation from all her professors, and the many job offers she had received since the war ended. She was so glad that all she had to think about now was what company or agent she wanted to work for, rather than where and when they were going to find the next Horcrux . She felt more adult, more grown up in so many ways. Once, she even remembered thinking about getting married and maybe having children. She broke into a fit of giggles at that thought, Bookish Hermione Granger, having children, somehow to her it seemed like the funniest thing in the world.

All the while she had no idea someone was secretly watching her …

"You're really beautiful when you laugh you know"

Hermione jumped at the sound of Ron’s voice. Her smile grew wider as she turned to face him. His blue eyes were warm and kind, she could get lost in them. She wasn't sure how it all happened but ever since the war ended there had become this unspoken bond between them silently urging to push past the boundaries of friendship and perhaps into the terrifying territory of a relationship. Hermione felt she was ready, and she hoped that Ron felt it too.

"Why thank you Mr. Weasley," A gleam of mischief was dancing in her eyes,

"I've been looking for you everywhere, I have something to show you"

Ron grabbed her hand and pulled her into the house. He flew through the kitchen and the living room and made his way towards the stairs with Hermione trailing behind laughing playfully.

"Ron slow down, your gonna pull my arm out of it’s socket"

"Wait here"

Hermione regained her balance and saw they had arrived outside Ron's room which he had entered and closed the door. She waited, grinning like a giddy school girl thinking about what could possibly be awaiting on the other side. After what felt like a lifetime Ron finally opened the door and lead her into the room. What Hermione saw took her breath away.

Ron had charmed the room to look like a mini replica of the great hall on the night of the Yule Ball with suspended candles floating softly to warmly light the room. The music from the garden party was filtering through the window. It was so romantic and beautiful. Ron stood in the centre of the room and extended his hand,

"Call me foolish but I’ve always wanted to make it up to you for ruining your night at that ruddy ball. You looked so beautiful and I was a right git. Could you accept a fool’s apology and allow me the honor of having this dance?"

Hermione was still breathless as she gladly accepted Ron's hand and embraced in the centre of the room. She wasn't surprised at how perfectly they fit in each others arms, it was this moment she had been waiting for her whole life. Finally, she was in Ron's arms and it felt exactly how she had imagined it. Perfect. They swayed to the music silently for a while neither of them dared to break that connection they could feel between them. Hermione rested her head on Ron's chest and felt his heartbeat. She loved being so close to him.

"I love you,"

Hermione stopped swaying and lifted her head to look at him in surprise, she looked deep into his eyes, they were confident and bold, he was no longer the frightened boy she knew growing up, now, he was a man.

"I’m sorry it took me so long to tell you but there was never a right time because of the war and, um other stuff...”

Hermione knew he was talking about Viktor and Lavender, but dared not say anything to spoil this moment.

“…and the whole time all I could think about was how I wouldn’t be able to survive if anything were to happen to you. I know I might seem like an overprotective git at times but it’s only because I care about you so much. But now the wars over all I wanna think about is spending the rest of my life with you. I know that sounds intense because we're still young, but I needed for you to know that."

Tears were forming in the back of Hermione's eyes, she couldn’t believe her ears. She felt as if she had won the jackpot. She had waited so long to hear those words that she wanted to pinch herself to make sure she wasn’t dreaming.

"I love you too Ron and I too want to spend my life with you"

She leaned forward encouraging him to do the same until their lips brushed lightly. Hermione was a little nervous that her lack of experience in this area would somehow cripple her but when she felt Ron eagerly awaiting an invitation for more she allowed her senses to guide her.

The kiss was intense and passionate and Hermione could feel her body wanted more, she gave into her emotions and the kiss became deeper and deeper. She felt like she was on fire, it was wildly fierce as they struggled for breath.

Reluctantly they pulled away to catch their breath, both heaving and staring intently at one another. Without words Ron picked Hermione up and gently lay her on the bed, which had somehow appeared in the corner of the room. He sat beside her and gently stroked her cheek with the ball of his thumb,

"Hermione, it's ok if you don't want to do this,” Ron seemed both nervous and excited, he was still out of breath as he spoke, "You can say if your not ready because I’ll understand. I don’t want you to feel pressured or rushed in any way,"

Hermione motioned for him to lie down next to her to which he obliged, "Ron, I love you more than anything and I want this just as much as you do,”

She didn't need to say more. They gave in to each other that night, it was gentle and loving, the most amazing feeling Hermione had ever experienced in her life. She never wanted to forget that feeling, she was lost in emotion and the words kept repeating itself over and over in her mind: Perfect.

But it was a couple of month after that special night that Hermione realised something seemed a miss. She had been dating Ron since and of course she couldn’t have been happier. They spent the entire summer happily in each others company and when they had to return to life as it was they always found time to be alone.

One morning at her job at the Ministry Hermione felt ill. She found herself making constant trips to the bathroom because she couldn’t keep her breakfast or morning tea down. After much convincing by her boss she decided to go visit the Ministry infirmary where she underwent a number of various of tests. After being poked and prodded, Hermione sat on the hospital bed nervously waiting the results.

“Ms Granger?” Hermione looked up to see the mediwitch who had just entered the room holding some kind of clipboard,

“Is it good or bad news?”

“Well that depends,” the mediwitch handed her the results, “How do you feel about children?”

Hermione’s eye grew as wide as saucers, she shook her head, as she tried to make sense of the results in her hand,

“No, no this can’t be right, I can’t be – I mean, we only did it once and we used the contraceptive charm, there is no way this could be right, “ she looked up at the mediwitch, confusion in her eyes, “Could it?”

The mediwitch sat next to her and gently patted her on the back. “It only takes the one time dear, and the charm is only 98% effective, there is always a 2% chance it won’t work at all, that normally occurs when either parties genes are extremely fertile. Do you have a lot of siblings?” Hermione almost fainted, Damn Ron and his Weasley fertility.

As Hermione made her way back to the office she silently contemplated her situation. She was going to be a mother. She stopped in the hallway and leaned against the wall to catch her breath. Initially she was scared, she had no idea how to look after children but as she rubbed her hand gently over her stomach she smiled. There was a being growing inside her, something that her and Ron made together and would spend their lives caring for, she couldn’t have asked for anything more special and she knew she could make it work, somehow.

After having the rest of the day to think about things, Hermione warmed up to the idea of motherhood. Of course she would have to put her career on hold for a while but that was a minor sacrifice. She thought about how happy Ron would be when she told him. He was always making wayward comments about having a family and getting married, granted its come a little earlier than he would have expected, but Hermione was sure that he would be happy all the same.

Hermione apparated to the Burrow after work to tell him the good news and let her self in the back door.

“Ron? Are you home?”

No sooner did she open her mouth to call again when her red headed boyfriend zoomed towards her and picked her up in the air, swinging her around, Hermione giggled,

“Ron, what’s gotten into you?” he was grinning like an eager school boy on Christmas day,

“Hermione, you are not going to believe what happened to me today, I have some great news,” He put her down and gave her a peck on the nose before leading her to the living room to sit down,

“Oh good Ron, because I have some news too.” Hermione sat down, removed her jacket and motioned for Ron to continue, “You go first,”

Ron didn’t need to be told twice,

“I got offered a position in the Chudley Cannons development squad, they want me Hermione, can you believe it? I didn’t even have to try out, they just asked me!”

“That’s great honey!” Hermione gave him a hug, “I knew they would, you’re a fantastic Quidditch player, they would be foolish not too snatch you up. I’m so proud of you!”

She kissed him on the lips but was quickly interrupted by his need to tell her more,

“…and the best part is, I get to travel with the team, which means I get to see the world, I mean, we get to see the world, girlfriends can come too, um, if you want to. We’re off to Bulgaria next week to scout for more recruits and then our training camp is in Spain, can you believe it Hermione, Spain. Haven’t you always wanted to go there? And then it’s Germany after that for our first test game and …

Hermione, are you ok? You don’t look too good, ”

Hermione didn’t respond. Her heart was torn, inside of her a new life was growing and in front of her, her boyfriends life was just beginning. She wanted so much to feel happy for Ron because she knew that this was what he had always wanted, since she could remember the Chudley Cannons had been Ron’s favourite Quidditch team and to deny him this privilege of experiencing it first hand would be like killing his dreams, she couldn’t be responsible for that, she loved him too much. He wasn’t ready to settle down and have a family, not now, when his dreams were starting to come true.

"Yes Ron, I'm fine and like I said before, I am so very proud and happy for you, but I'm sorry, I can't come with you. Please sit, there is something I need to tell you,"

She had to make the hardest decision of her life that night, she felt at the time it was her only option, for Ron's sake. He had so much going for him and Hermione could see he wasn't ready to give it up for a family, it was the only thing she could do. She hoped that one day many years from now Ron would understand her reasons for leaving and forgive her.

"Well?" Ron sat waiting, "What was it you wanted to tell me?" ..

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