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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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