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Hermione stood in the alley for a moment slightly mortified at what had just happened. How could Ron be in love with that woman? There was definitely more to Helena then just looks and a great sense of fashion. She was cunning and manipulative, all the traits of a reporter who would stop at nothing to get what she wanted. Hermione was more sure now then ever that Helena was definitely not the woman Ron, Harry and Ginny had thought her to be.

Hermione racked her brain as she walked quickly back to Harry and Ginny's trying to come up with an alternative solution. On one hand she didn’t want Helena to tell Ron about the baby, but on the other, she had promised Ginny she would take part in the wedding. There was no easy way out of this one, one way or another someone was going to get hurt.

By the time Hermione reached Harry and Ginny's front door she had come up with nothing. Every possible solution she thought of turned out to be a dead end. It seemed Helena had come up with a full proof plan of getting rid of her. How was she suppose to make that kind of decision? Harry and Ginny were her closest friends, she couldn't leave them now. Could she?

Hermione stood at the front door and raised her hand to knock when she noticed the door was already open. She looked around and entered the house, wand at the ready. She paused when she heard distant voices filtering down the hallway. Quietly, she walked toward the living room. The voices became louder as she moved closer till she came to the door. Hesitantly, she pushed the door open a crack and peeked through to see Ginny, who was standing with her back toward her, talking to someone out of view. Hermione craned her neck to try and see who it was but it was no use.

"I don't know if that's a good idea mate," she heard Harry say as he walked into sight and stood by his wife to be, "Ginny's right, she'll come talk to you when she's ready."

"I've waited enough Harry," Hermione froze, she knew who the voice belonged to and before she could doubt herself Ron strolled into her view, "Look, I won't start any trouble ok," he said to Harry and Ginny who looked at him sceptically, "I just want to talk to her, that's all."

Hermione let go of the door and the voices became muffled again. She turned and looked down the hallway and saw her luggage leaning against the wall untouched. She realised that in all the drama she hadn’t had time to unpack. She bit the side of her lower lip as she stared at her luggage. If she was going to leave, now would be the best time. Her eyes moving to the door. Ron was on the other side and desperate to talk to her. All she needed to do was to walk through it. Hermione’s eyes shifted to her luggage again and then back to the door, all she had to do was make a choice.

*

"Mum?" Hermione called out as she entered her childhood home, "Dad?" She set her luggage down by the door and walked into the living room.

"Hermione?" Mrs Granger entered from the kitchen, "honey, what are you doing here?" she said as she gave her daughter a hug.

"Where's Julian?" Hermione asked, ignoring her mothers question and walking into the kitchen,

"He's in bed. Your Father’s tucking him in." Mrs Granger answered as she followed in her daughters wake, "Hermione, Is everything ok?"

"Everything's fine mum," she said as she filled the kettle and placed it on the stove, "Tea?"

"No thank you dear," Mrs Granger eyed her daughter suspiciously, "Hermione, why are you back so soon? Is everything ok? Has the wedding been called off?"

Hermione had her back to her mother, she closed her eyes and took a deep breath. Her mother could always tell something was wrong and she knew there was no way she could hide it from her. Hermione hung her head,

"I had to come back. I can’t be around him anymore mum" she said softly, her defences shattered as tears fell from her face. Mrs Granger walked up to her daughter and put her arm around her,

"You mean Ron?" she asked gently as she ushered Hermione to the table to sit down,
Hermione nodded as she wiped her eyes, "He's engaged to someone else mum," she sobbed, "I couldn't stand be around him, I had to get out of there. I know Ginny and Harry will understand."

Mrs Granger looked surprised, "You left without telling them?" she shook her head sadly, "Oh Hermione, not again"

"I can't go back mum," Hermione whispered, "it’s too hard."

Mrs Granger shook her head sadly, “Oh honey, it's always hard when you love someone,” she said as she patted Hermione's hand gently, “but you need to stop running now. It’s time you realised that your friends love you and will support you no matter what,” she looked deep into her daughters watery eyes, “don't you think it’s time you returned that same kindness by supporting them when they need you the most.” Hermione looked down at the table,

“I know mum,” she whispered softly, "it...it just hurts so much,"

"I know it hurts," Mrs Granger said soothingly, “but your a strong woman Hermione and I know you'll be able to find a better way to handle the situation other than running away from it. You’re more than capable of determining what the right thing to do here is, so please, just think about things before you do anything rash ok?”

Hermione nodded silently as she wiped her eyes once more. Mrs Granger saw the look on her daughters face and could tell it had been a long day for her. She got up and took the kettle off the stove,

"Go get some rest honey, you look beat," she said as she kissed Hermione on the top of her head, "things will be better in the morning, you'll see" Hermione said nothing as she slid slowly off the table and walked toward the door,

"Hermione," Mrs Granger called out suddenly. Hermione turned and looked at her mum, "I love you,"

"I know mum," Hermione replied smiling sadly, "goodnight."

Hermione lay in bed as thoughts of the days events swam around in her head. Ron was engaged and his evil fiance Helena had chased her away with her cunning ultimatum. Hermione tossed and turned thinking about what her mother had said. If only she had kept her time turner from third year, then she would be able to go back and fix the mess she had made. But it was too late now, the damage had been done and there was little she could do to put her life back together.

After what felt like only minutes of sleep, Hermione was awoken by her son Julian and his new found love of jumping on the bed,

“Mummy, mummy” he cried in excitement as he stopped jumping and sat next to her, “Hi!” he grinned.

Hermione yawned, “Hi sweetie,” she kissed him on the forehead, “Have you been a good boy for nana and papa?” Julian nodded just as they heard a knock at the door, they both looked up and Mr Grangers head appeared as if floating in midair.

“Papa” Julian exclaimed as he hopped off the bed and ran to his granddad. “Hey little man,” Mr Granger said as he moved inside the room and hoisted Julian up into his arms.

“Honey,” he said to Hermione who was now sitting up in bed, “you have a visitor downstairs,” Hermione’s head spun round in surprise,

“A visitor? Who?” she demanded.

Mr Granger didn’t answer, his attention still with Julian, “How about some breakfast little man?” he asked, “Yeah!” Julian screamed with enthusiasm, Mr Granger laughed, “Ok let’s get out of here so your mum can get ready for her guest,” he turned to Hermione, “Not too long ok honey, you don’t want to keep him waiting.” Hermione was now getting out of bed and paused halfway,

“Him?” she said curiously,

“Yes, Him” Mr Granger repeated and walked out the door.

Hermione bolted to the bathroom and got ready in a record time. It would be just her luck that Helena had revealed her secret to Ron and he was now here to see for himself if it were true. She quickly walked out of the room and made her way down the stairs. she was only halfway down when her mystery visitor came into view. She paused,

“Oh…Harry,” she said sounding almost disappointed, “It's you,"

"Who were you expecting?" Harry said curiously and slightly offended,

"Ah, well, um...No one" Hermione lied unconvincingly as she continued down the stairs and into the living room. "What are you doing here?"

"I came to try and convince you to come back," he said matter-of-factly,

"Well you wasted your time," she replied as she strolled past him, " because I'm not going back."

Harry grabbed her arm, "I know you saw Helena last night," he said quickly,

Hermione paused, “How did you know?” she said stunned,

“because she came round early this morning looking for you,” Harry replied, letting go of her arm, “she said you had a ‘quiet chat’ with her at the café down the road. She seemed a bit too upset to be believable when we told her you had left” He paused and narrowed his eyes,

“it was more then just a chat wasn't it Hermione? What did she say to you?”

“What? Nothing!” she said quickly as she walked further into the living room before facing him, crossing her arms, “what makes you think she said anything?”

Harry raised his eyebrow, “Hermione I know you,” he said as he walked toward her, “and I know Helena. If there were any two people on the planet that were less compatible to sit down and have a ‘quiet chat’ it would be you two." He looked at her knowingly, "she said something to you to make you leave didn’t she?” .

Hermione contemplated for a moment weather it best to tell him the truth about Helena’s ultimatum. If he knew, would he think less of her for leaving? Or would he understand and agree with the choice she made?

“Hermione?” Harry said, bringing her back to reality, “what did Helena say to you?”

“It was nothing Harry,” Hermione said deciding not to tell him, “I can handle it myself,”

“Yes, I can see you’re handling it fine. Just visiting are we?” he replied sarcastically,

“Don’t Harry,” she said in a warning tone, “I have enough to deal with without-”

“How about dealing with your responsibilities as a friend Hermione?” Harry interrupted sharply, his patience wearing thin, “You agreed to be part of our wedding and now you’ve suddenly decided you can't because of something Helena said to you? Seems a little selfish don’t you think?”

"Oh great, so you think I'm selfish too?" she said hotly, throwing her hands up in the air, "Argh! Is there no escaping this horrible nightmare?

"Hermione what has gotten into you?" Harry asked shocked at her sudden outburst, "why are you so determined to push everyone away?"

"I'm just sick of it ok Harry," Hermione said sharply, "I just wish everyone would leave me alone so I can deal with things my own way!"

They stood in silence for a moment. Hermione was glaring at Harry intently as if daring him to argue with her. Instead, Harry gave a loud sigh and sat down on the sidearm of the couch.

“Do you remember back in sixth year when I thought I could save Ginny by letting her go?” Harry asked

"what has that got to do with anything?" she asked angrily,

"Do you remember what you said to me on the train ride home that year?" he asked, ignoring her angry tone,

"no I don't," Hermione snapped. Truth was, she could remember if she wanted to but she was too fustrated to even try.

"Well I do," Harry said looking up at her, "You said that pushing Ginny away wasn't the best way to save her, and you were right," he stood up and walked over to Hermione, "If it wasn't for Ginny being with us that night, I wouldn't have been able to defeat Voldemort," he put his hand on her shoulder, "we're stronger as a team Hermione, we're stronger when we work together."

'together, as a team' Hermione thought to herself. Suddenly a light went off in her head as if she had been struck by lightning. Could it be possible that she had found a loophole to Helena's evil plan? Her eyes lit up,

"Of course! Harry, that's it!" Hermione said suddenly, startling him

"What?" Harry asked stunned as he watched her walk toward the stairs, "where are you going?"

“We don't have time for that now,” Hermione explained, “You were right Harry, I shouldn’t have left like that. You and Ginny are important to me and there's nothing Helena can do or say that should stop me from being at your special day."

Harry noticed a smile creep across Hermione's face. “I’m gonna go upstairs and get my things, I hope we haven't lost time for preperation,” she said as she dissapeared up the stairs.

Harry raised his eyebrow in concern at Hermione's strange behaviour but immediatly shrugged it off. He had just succeded in convincing her to go back with him and didn't think that confonting her on it would be in anyone's best interest.

Instead he sat back casually on the sidearm of the couch again and waited. He was fiddling with a piece of thread that was coming undone on his robe when he noticed a tiny head of flaming red hair peering out of the kitchen door in the corner of his eye.

Harry smiled as he watched the little boy emerged from behind the door and moved slowly towards him, stopping to hide behind pieces of furniture. His tiny head popping out to eye Harry carefully as if he was some extinct animal on display.

“Ok I’m ready,” Hermione called out as she levitated her luggage down the stairs and deposited them by the door. She turned and noticed Julian, who was failing miserably to hid behind a lamp on the side table and laughed,

“Julian sweetie, what are you doing?” she asked,

“mummy!” Julian exclaimed as he ran toward her. Hermione scooped him up and walked over to Harry, “Julian, this is mummy’s friend Harry. Can you say hello to Harry?”

“Hi Aweeeeee” Julian said waving his chubby hand energetically in Harry’s face. Harry laughed, “Hey Julian,” he said, “nice to meet you.”

Julian nestled his face under Hermione’s chin and snuggled there. Hermione kissed the top of his head, “Honey, mummy has to go with Harry to help him with his wedding,” Julian’s head shot up, his eyes wide and sad-like, “I coming too?” he asked sweetly.

“I’m sorry sweetie, it’s just for grown up people,” Julian pulled a sad face and both Harry and Hermione laughed. “I have something more important I need you to do for me," she said in an important tone, Julian's eyes widened in excitment, "I need you to stay here and look after nana and pop, do you think you can do that for me?” she asked, her face remaining stern as if it was the most important thing in the world. Julian nodded his head, “yeah!" he said happily.

Harry looked at his watch, “Hermione, we better get going. Ginny had some urgent things she needed your help with today,” he pinched Julian on the cheek, “nice to meet you little buddy, I’ll see you around sometime,” Julian smiled, “Ok Aweee!" he replied.

“I’ll just settle him with my parents,” Hermione said as she walked toward the kitchen, “bye Aweee!!” Julian called from over Hermione’s shoulder, waving madly. Harry waved back, “bye Julian,” he said as he picked up Hermione’s bags and walked out the door.

After Hermione delivered Julian to her parents and kissed him goodbye she joined Harry outside and they began to walk to the apparition point down the street.

“Harry, when you said before that you ‘know’ Helena, what exactly did you mean?” Hermione asked as they rounded the corner into the alley,

“Let’s just say that she isn’t the most subtle person I’ve met,” Harry replied, “She bugged me constantly to give her and exclusive story on what happened at the final battle-”
“couldn’t she have got that information from Ron though?” Hermione interrupted,
“um, no actually. This was before they got together,” Harry said, his face turning a little red, “I didn’t want Ron to know I already knew her when he introduced us in case-.”
“in case he thought Helena was just using him to get to you?” Hermione said finishing off his sentence, Harry nodded “yeah, I wasn’t too keen to have a repeat of fourth year all over again,” he added.

Hermione stood on the apparition spot and turned to Harry, “you don’t think she’s using him now, do you?” she asked, looking concerned.

“I honestly don’t know Hermione.” Harry replied as he hauled up next to her to get ready to dissapperate, “I just hope for Ron’s sake she isn’t.”

Second’s later they re-materialised outside the house and Hermione followed Harry inside. “Gin, we’re back!” Harry called as he set Hermione’s bags down in the hallway and walked into the living room.

“Harry! Oh isn't it exciting!” Molly gave Harry a bone crushing hug, “Uh Hi Molly,” he said slightly confused, he looked at Ginny who had a strange look on her face,

“Gin, whats-”

“Hermione!” Molly rushed and gave Hermione a similar reception, “Oh, it's lovely to see you again. Such lovely news, It was such a surprise. Why didn't any of you say anything?”

“Sorry?” Hermione looked at Ginny who was shaking her head violently, “I'm not sure I follow”

“My first grandchild!” Molly said beaming, “Oh I always thought it would be Bill you know, seeing as he's the oldest, but oh! Ron is going to be so estatic, he'll be a wonderful father!” Both Harry and Hermione stood dumbfounded,

“Oh, I know you lot think I’m just a meddling mother," Molly continued, "but when Helena told me I-”

“What?” Hermione said suddenly before she could stop herself, “Helena told you?"

Hermione looked at Ginny, who was trying to mouth something but she couldn’t quite make out what.

"Yes so you can all stop acting like you don't know" Molly replied sounding slighly offended, "she already told me you all knew."

“So Helena told you that Ron has a son?” Harry asked confused, "and she told you that we all knew about it?"

Ginny was now making wild gestures with her arms by her stomach behind Molly’s back, Hermione shook her head and shrugged indicating she still had no idea what Ginny was trying to say,

Molly looked stunned, “Heavens Harry, surely it’s too early to tell if it is a boy or a girl. But I must agree with you, seeing as it’s half a Weasley, chances are it’s most probably going to be a boy!”

“Going to be?” Hermione said confused, none of this conversation was making any sense. Helena knew that she had a son to Ron but Hermione couldnt recall telling Helena that Harry and Ginny knew about it. Hermione looked Molly who was still beaming happily,

“Molly, just to be clear, what exactly did Helena tell you?” she asked,

Ginny buried her head in her hands as Molly shreiked with excitement,

“She’s pregnant! Isn’t that wonderful! Helena’s having a baby!”



A/N: Ok so I totally got stuck on this chapter and re-wrote it like a million times! I wanted to sneak Julian in the story somehow which was proved harder than I thought! Anyway, hope you all enjoyed it anyway!

Don't forget to review please! Much love to those who have reviewed so far, it's the highlight of my day to read them so please, keep it coming!

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