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    Prologue

    Hermione sat in the bathroom staring at the twin blue lines for what seemed like hours. A dozen emotions had passed through her face all in a matter of seconds. Her nose scrunched, her brow furrowed, her lips twitched…and then she smiled. A genuine, goofy grin that she couldn’t wipe off of her face. She was blessed.

    “Hermione?” Ron called from the floo. “I’ve only got a minute before I have to get back to the Ministry. Where are you?”

    Her smile was gone. With her heart beating erratically in her throat, Hermione jumped from the lid of the toilet she was sitting on and ran to greet Ron at the floo. She shoved the positive pregnancy test deep into the garbage on her way out.

    “Sorry, I was,” Hermione thought for a moment, “cleaning the shower.”

    “Have those Muggle fumes gone to your head?” Ron asked as he cocked his head. When Hermione smiled, though he didn’t realize how nervous it was, he continued. “I won’t be home until later. Harry needs help with Malfoy’s case.”

    “He’s been working on that for ages! You’re never home early,” Hermione whined. “Do I always have to share you with Harry?”

    Ron reached out from the floo and stroked her cheek. “Sorry, love. It won’t happen tomorrow, okay?”

    Hermione nodded her head and absentmindedly laid her hand across her stomach. “I guess I’ll go finish cleaning, then.”

    “I love you,” Ron announced as he made his way back to the Ministry side of the floo.

    “I love you, too,” she whispered back to him after he had disappeared.

    How in the world am I going to tell Ron?

    Another pregnancy test later, Hermione was sitting on her bed, in deep thought over how to tell Ron the news. They had talked about having kids, and they both wanted them, but Ron wanted to wait until he got higher in the Ministry. Frankly, she wasn’t sure what his reaction would be and it frightened her. He was bad enough at the thought of marriage.

    “Ron, will you marry me,” Hermione asked as they chatted over a bottle of wine.

    They had been living together for close to three months now, and had been together for near two years. She never expected the reply she received.

    “We’re too young!” Ron laughed. He, of course, thought it was a brilliant joke.

    “I’m serious, Ronald,” she noted, looking affronted by his blatant disregard for her feelings. “Marry me.”

    Hermione got down on her knees in front of Ron and took his hand. Ron looked as though he had just attempted to swallow a dragon’s egg.

    “I love you. You love me. What’s wrong with us getting married?”

    “We…I…You…,” he stuttered. “There’s a lot that comes with marriage. Especially to a Wizard.” Ron looked a bit frightened by her confrontation. It wasn’t as though he didn’t want to marry her, he just wanted to be better settled. “Hermione,” he took her hand more firmly in his and let his other hand cup her cheek, “we’re not ready for that. I’ve barely been at the Ministry for a year. We don’t know-”

    “You don’t want to marry me?” Hermione mumbled with tears in her eyes.

    “I do! Don’t. Don’t make it an argument, Hermione. I just…Why did you ask me?” Ron asked with a hint of laughter. “Isn’t that my job?”

    “I knew you’d never ask,” she answered shrewdly. “Besides, rich or poor, I want to spend my life with you.”

    Ron stared at her in adoration. She really wanted him, forever. He had never doubted it, but had always assumed that she wanted more of him. Well, with her constant nagging of perfection, who could blame him? Sighing, he nodded his head.

    “I’ll marry you, love. Name the day.”



    “Well,” Hermione asserted. “If I can talk him into marriage, I can surely do this…”

    Hermione sat up from her bed and chuckled as thoughts of different ways to tell Ron about the baby flooded her mind. She figured she would do it gently, easing him into the idea of having a child. Slowly, her plan evolved into telling him quickly; like ripping off a band aid. But, after carefully examining the situation, and remembering Ron’s sluggishness with picking up on cues, she began devising a plot to string him along with various plays on words.

    It was evil, mean and downright nasty, she knew. But, the effect would be priceless and a very fun story to tell their child. She smiled as she got up to take a shower. Tonight, when Ron got home from work, they were going to a late dinner. Then, the games would begin.

    Fifteen minutes turned into an hour, an hour turned into two. She didn’t move a muscle in her sleep when Ron came strolling in the room after midnight, exhausted from another long night at the office. He leaned down over her and placed a kiss on her forehead, not realizing that she was dressed as if ready for an evening out.

    Yawning, Ron walked to the bathroom to clean himself off in the shower. He smelled of the Ministry; old parchment and gross amounts of various cigar smoke. He never understood why others liked to smoke cigars - it was so muggle, and so disgusting.

    As he made his way into the bathroom, he accidentally knocked over the rubbish bin. When he leaned down to pick up the contents, he saw a little white stick with two faded lines on it.

    “Strange muggle…What is this?” He spoke to himself. Ron always felt that muggles had the weirdest contraptions. It had taken Hermione a week to show him how to properly use a refragmerator, and another month to show him how the dish-ma-bob worked.

    Just as he was shoving the white stick back in the trash, he spotted a box clearly marked, “Pregnancy Test - Bonus Pack.”

    Muggles have tests for pregnancy, he thought. “Odd breed, them,” he sniggered. “No wonder Hermione wants kids. It’s another way for her to take a test.”

    The laughter died from his voice when he saw the white stick on the box of the test, perfectly matching the one he had shoved in the garbage. Quickly putting two and two together, Ron paled. His head snapped between Hermione sleeping on the bed and the stick he held in his hand. No. Not possible. Nope. Ron shook his head as if convincing himself more that it was doubtful.

    He had to know. Though he felt awful for waking Hermione from such a peaceful sleep, he had to know if it was true. For a brief moment, he thought that it might have been Ginny’s test. But, why would she do that here?

    “Hermione,” he whispered as he shook her shoulder. “Wake up, we need to talk.”

    “Later, Ron…” she murmured in a daze. “Tired.”

    “It’s about the test,” he added carefully, eying her scrunched nose.

    “I gave you my notes already. Just study those.”

    Ron ran a tired hand through his red tresses. Mother of Merlin, did she always dream of Hogwarts? “Not that test-”

    “Sleep,” she announced, cutting him off. She rolled over so that she was no longer facing him and was fast asleep again.

    “Brilliant,” Ron huffed.

    Giving up and resolving to figure it out in the morning, Ron went to take a shower. And, an enlightening shower it was. While he was anxious to ask Hermione about the test, he began to slowly accept the possibility of being a father. He knew that they would have children eventually and sure it was a bit soon for his liking, but maybe it wouldn’t be so bad after all.

    I wonder how long she’s been keeping this from me? An evolution of contemplation took over his mind. If she could keep it a secret, so could he. It would be fun, watching her squirm under the pressure of telling him the news, since she so obviously wanted to keep it a secret.

    It was solved. Tomorrow, he would get off of work early and he would take her out to dinner. He wondered just how guilty he could make her feel for keeping this big news a secret from him.

    A/N - This is just a prologue. Not all chapters will be this short - I promise!! Reviews appreciated!! ~Jessi

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