Chapter Seven: According To Plan
It was October and the Cannons were in the middle of a quidditch tournament, meaning that Ron was away nearly every night. When he was at home, he was horribly tired. Most days he just wanted to fall face first on the bed and sleep through the next day. But he never could. Almost every night, he would arrive home to Hermione working, cleaning, or performing some other sort of physical activity. She was now eight months along, her baby bump bigger than ever, and the healer told her to try and stay off her feet. His tiredness didn't stop him from caring for his very pregnant wife. Well, attempting to care for her, that is.
"Ron, go to bed. I'm fine!" Hermione had been cleaning the family room when Ron had stumbled out of the fireplace with a proud smile on his face. The Cannons had surprised everyone and finished strong in overtime and they were going to the semi-finals in Berlin, which meant Ron would be gone for three days. They'd discussed this a few days prior, what would happen if the Cannons won. It had taken some convincing on Hermione's part - she finally gave in to staying with the Potter's while Ron was away.
"Merlin, Hermione, you're eight bloody months pregnant and you need to relax. I can handle things too!"
"You need your sleep! You're leaving for Berlin tomorrow, you need rest for the big game!" She picked two books up off the floor and made her way to the bookshelf, shaking her head. "I'm not going to be the reason you lose that game. In fact, if you lose, I'll kill you. Now go to bed, I'm fine." He smiled gently, making sure she didn't see it. The fact that he wanted to help her would only make her angrier, which he found to be quite adorable.
"I can sleep after I help you clean up."
"No, you can sleep now. As you know, I'm pregnant, not handicapped. I can clean on my own."
"The healer told you to stay off your feet, Mione. I'm only trying to help." She pretended to adjust
some books on the shelf, busying herself, then turned around. Ron was watching at her, a smile on his lips. She frowned and put her hands on her hips.
He hid behind his hand, shielding his grin.
"It's not worth it." She tossed her hands in the air, shaking her head with an exhausted smile. He laughed, nodding. She put her cleaning tools aside and walked over to him, taking his hands and swinging them lightly. "When do you leave?" Her voice had grown softer, so had her eyes. He knew she didn't want him leaving, she never did. She always acted like she was okay when he was gone, but truthfully, she hated it.
"Tomorrow, at nine in the morning." He answered, giving her hands a squeeze. She nodded. He could tell that her mind was racing, full of the what-if's and maybe's that she always thought about before he left. She worried, and she hated that too. She hated worrying. But she couldn't help it. At this point in her life, it was habit.
"Wake me up before you go?" She looked up into his eyes, smiling faintly.
"Always." He kissed her forehead. "Wouldn't want to leave without saying goodbye to my girl, you know that."
"Your girl?" She questioned, smiling. "You don't own me, Ronald. I am no one's girl but my own." She was lying, of course. She loved it when he called her his girl... because she was. But she wasn't going to tell him that, of course.
"But that's where you're wrong." She opened her mouth to respond, and he silenced her with a kiss on the lips. She melted. You're my girl, always and forever. "Now, off to bed."
"You're coming too?" Her voice was hopeful. To be completely honest, she wanted another night of falling asleep with his arms around her, his body against hers. Something about that just made her feel... safe.
"Yes, love. I'm coming." He nodded. She smiled before turning around and walking back to the bedroom. She stopped in the doorway to glance back at him, and was gone. Ron's eyes swept the room. He picked up the stray blanket on the floor - the only real "mess" in the room - and folded it, placing it on the couch. Now, unless Hermione managed to tear the house to pieces in three days, there would be no need for her to do any physical labor. He smiled to himself as he walked back into his room. Hermione was already in the bed, and had tossed off the covers, leaving them on the floor. He stripped his work outfit and pulled on some old sweat pants before slipping into the bed behind her. He managed one hand around her waist, and it rested on the top of her baby bump. He kissed her cheek and closed his eyes. "I love you." He whispered, unsure if she was awake.
"I know," she answered, her body shifting to fit with his. "I love you too."
And there were no more words. This was heaven, and no words wouldn't have been enough to describe it.
She drifted to sleep first, and he quickly followed, lulled by her steady breathing. Hours passed, and soon it was morning. Ron woke up first, naturally. He gently crawled out of the bed, careful not to wake his sleeping wife, and slipped into the bathroom, undressing for his shower. The water was hot and caused the shower to steam as he stepped in. He stood there for what felt like days, thinking about everything. His mind was racing like crazy, something that really shouldn't be happening this close to a game. He should be relaxed right now, relaxed and foused. Ron sighed. He couldn't be focused or relaxed if he tried.
He'd seriously considered not going. He knew that his coach would let him, too. But he also knew that not playing in the game meant two things. First, they'd replace him with Gerard Mason, who was a terrible keeper. Second, Hermione would kill him. He wasn't going to lie, this had been a dream of his as a child. But when faced with a decision between his childhood dream and his own child, he changed his mind. Hermione, however, refused to let him not go. This was his dream, and her stomach wasn't going to keep him from it. She'd tried to convince him - and her own self - that nothing would happen with the baby while he was gone. It was only three days, and she wasn't even in her ninth month. It would be very rare for something to happen. He kept telling himself that as he dried off, because he couldn't let it show that he was nervous for her. That would just make her worried and she's probably cry... and he hated it when she cried. He stepped out of the bathroom and looked over at the bed: she was still still sleeping soundly. He smiled to himself as he got dressed.
And then it was time to leave. He walked back over to their bed, remembering the promise he made to her the night before.
"Mione?" His voice caused her to stir, and the fact that the warm hand that was on her stomach the majority of the night was no longer there caused her to open her eyes.
"Mmm?" She rolled over fully onto her back - she'd gotten used to sleeping at an angle on her side - and looked at him. Ron was dressed in a nice dress suit, with a blue tie that matched his eyes. She'd forgotten that the team had to be dressed up when they arrived, they were having a formal dinner with the opposing teams. She smiled, because he looked absolutely adorable.
"Wake up, love." Hermione slowly pulled herself up, sitting straight as she could with her belly. He sat beside her, one hand on her own, and the other on her stomach.
"What?" She asked, although she knew exactly what he was going to tell her. She always hated this part the worst - goodbyes.
"I have to leave in a few minutes." She turned away from him like a stubborn child, wondering if she looked pitiful enough, he wouldn't leave.
"No." She muttered, crossing her arms.
"You'll be okay, you always are. Besides, it's only three days. What's gonna happen in three days?" He was right. He'd been gone longer, and she'd survived. And besides, I can't keep him from his dream. Hermione thought to herself, That would be horrible, to keep him from playing in the game of his life. She suddenly felt horrible because she wouldn't - couldn't, really - be there. She sniffed loudly, about to cry. And then he felt horrible.
"Nothing's gonna happen." She replied, as reassurance to herself rather than him. She wiped a tear from her eye, and from that moment on no tears fell.
"That's my girl." His hand brushed her cheek. She nodded, smiling.
"Always and forever." She whispered back, closing the distance between their lips. Ths kiss was warm and comforting, and didn't last nearly long enough as Hermione wished. He pulled away sadly, looking at the clock on the wall. He was going to be late if he didn't leave now. She looked away, knowing what was coming, then back up at him. "I love you."
"I love you too, sunshine." She smiled lightly at this nickname, although her eyes were watering again. She pushed the tears away, but not before Ron noticed. "Come on, Hermione, please don't cry."
"I'm sorry, it's just..." She batted her eyes quickly as more tears attempted to fall. "I'll miss you, Ron and..." She sighed, looking back up at him with a serious face. "Be careful, okay? Don't do anything stupid out there." He smiled.
"I won't, love. I promise." He kissed her forehead and gave her one last hug. She hugged him as close to her body as her stomach would let her. He let go of her and bent over, kissing her stomach gently. She smiled. "I love you. Both of you."
"I love you too." She said in a near whisper. "So, so much." He pulled away and let her go, backing away a few steps.
"I'll write." He smiled back. "Love you." Then he disapparated out of sight. Hermione stood still for a moment, then decided to go back to sleep if she could. She needed it, and perhaps it would take her mind off things. She lay back down on her back and closed her eyes, pulling the covers close to her and inhaling the unique scent of her husband that still lingered.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Hermione had officially decided that she wasn't going to sleep until after Baby was born. Not only had she gone through the discomfort of adjusting to a different bed - she was living in Harry and Ginny's guest bedroom until Ron got back - but she also had to deal with the pain of a small human being doing flips inside her stomach. She had finally fallen asleep some time in the early morning, only to be awakened hours later by a loud tapping sound on the window. She opened her eyes just enough to let in the light, and saw the outline of a small, tawny owl. It was the owl Ron used to send her letters while he was away, she'd seen it many times before. Groaning, she shifted her legs over the side of the bed and opened the window. The owl - she'd started calling him Eliot - hopped inside, sure enough with a roll of parchment attached to his leg. Hermione smiled as she untied it. This was just like Ron, to send a letter after he's been gone for a night. Still, she found that she couldn't stop grinning. She gave Eliot a soft pat on the head
"Thank you, El." She slowly unrolled the parchment, holding it in her hand for a few seconds and breathing in the smell of brooms and quidditch pitches and Ron. After a moment, she began to read.
Before you say anything, because I know you want to ,I know I've been gone for a day. But I miss my wife, so sue me. How are you holding up? The baby giving you any more problems? More than usual, I should say. I wish I was there with you right now, love. I hate not being with you through every second of this, but its only another two days. Then we've only got a few weeks until the baby's here! The big game is tomorrow, yes. We've been practicing our arses off, if we're not prepared now, we never will be. During the last practice, only one shot got by me, so I think I'm going to do just fine. McEntire seems a bit off, as usual, but he always does horribly during practice and surprises us all in the game, so I guess that's the case again. I should really get to bed now, but before I did, I wanted to write you. Know that I miss you like crazy and I'm counting the minutes until I see you again. Wish me luck for tomorrow!
All my love,
There was a unconscious smile on her face when she finished reading the letter, and her lack of sleep didn't seem to bother her anymore. In fact, she felt happier and more energetic than she had in weeks. She kissed the parchment gently, and rolled it back up, placing it beside her bed. She then rose and made her way over to the dresser, pulling out her favorite skirt - a brown one that billowed around her ankles - and one of Ron's bright orange Cannons t-shirts. She took an extra long time pulling the shirt over her head, because the smell of Ron lingered on the fabric.
Suddenly there was a cramp in her stomach. She groaned and gritted her teeth, and it passed seconds later. Wasn't that a... she began to think, but shook her head quickly, pushing the thought out of her mind. There was no possible way that was happening, especially now.
She looked up at herself in the mirror, then smiled down at her stomach, a gentle hand caressing her bump. After a few moments standing in awe of everything, Hermione came back from her daydream and walked into the kitchen, promptly beginning dinner: Shepard’s pie. Ginny and Harry were comfortably laid out in their couch, the wireless sitting on the table before them as they waited for the game to start.
"Harry, is that a pumpkin in our kitchen?" Ginny's voice reached Hermione's ears and Hermione rolled her eyes, but her smile betrayed her.
"I think it is, Ginny. I didn't know they could cook." Harry responded, and Hermione sighed. They were too much alike for their own good, she decided.
"Y'know, I've been having this craving for pumpkin pie." Hermione made a gagging sound; pumpkin pie was out of her diet long before her pregnancy - she absolutely despised the stuff.
"That's funny, guys. I don't see you wearing your Cannons shirts. Where's your spirit?" Hermione charmed the untensils and left the kitchen, looking to Harry and Ginny. Ginny snorted.
"I'd rather cheer for the winning team, thanks." She answered with a smile, and Harry nearly burst trying to hold in his laughter. Hermione opened her mouth to retort, then scowled. Ginny grinned smugly and returned to her knitting. Hermione turned around and began retreating into the kitchen, but only after she was hit with another cramp that sent pain throughout her entire body. She made a soft groaning sound, then took a deep breath, shaking it off. She returned the kitchen.
Ginny looked up from knitting slightly, furrowing her brow at the scene before her. A thought flashed through her mind but she shook her head and put it aside, refocusing her attention on the stitch she'd almost dropped.
Hermione busied herself in the kitchen, finding that it took her mind off things, namely Ron. She couldn't express to Harry and Ginny how much she missed him, so she tried her best not to let it show. She used Mrs. Weasley's old family recipe - the one she had committed to memory - to make the pie, and it occupied about twenty minutes. She took the pie out of the oven, inhaling deeply. "Mmm." She brought the pie into the room where Harry and Ginny were, sitting it on the table and waiting.
Another cramp hit about that time, and this time Hermione nearly doubled over in pain. Her groan was a little louder this time, and she sighed loudly, deciding that it was best to perform one of those charms that her healer had once shown her to help with pregnancy cramps, maybe then they would go away. She turned to go back to the guestroom and grab her wand, but Ginny stopped her.
"Hermione?" Ginny had set her knitting aside and was looking at Hermione with a completely serious face. Hermione felt scared for a moment.
"What?" She asked, turning back to face Ginny completely.
"Are you cramping?" Ginny narrowed her eyes, watching Hermione intently.
"A little bit... yeah. Why?" Hermione nodded, her face flushing.
"I think those are contractions." At the mere suggestion of the fact that she was going into labor a month early, Hermione Weasley laughed.
"That's funny, Ginny." She smiled, shaking her head and turning back around.
"Hermione, seriously. Those are contractions." Ginny quickly stood and caught Hermione's orange shirt, making her turn around. Hermione sighed, grinning.
"What makes you think that? Why would I be in labour? I'm only eight months along. Honestly, Gin." She shrugged and made an attempt to move, but Ginny's hold on her was stronger.
"No, really. I think you're having labour pains. We need to get to a healer." Hermione smiled, shaking her head.
"First, I'm not in labor. And second, I've already arranged for a home birth. Quit worrying, I'm just fine!" She turned and jerked away,
"I think Ginny's right, Hermione. She would know about these things, she is the experienced mother here."
"Harry, Ginny, I really appreciate this, I really do. But nothing's going on. I feel just fine, I'm just having cramps, which are perfectly natural. I've done my reading!" There was a pause in which Ginny and Harry exchanged looks of doubt. Hermione shook her head, sighing. "I have to use the loo." Hermione turned and took less than three steps before she felt something wet trickle down her leg.
And she froze.
"Ginny?" Her voice was shaking as she spoke, but she couldn't control it. A sudden fear had just spread throughout her entire body.
"Yes?" Ginny didn't look up from her knitting this time.
"I think my water broke." She answered nervously, staring at the puddle on the ground.
"What?" Ginny's fingers stopped mid-stitch, but her body remained still. Hermione took a shaky breath.
"I think my water just broke, Ginny." She repeated, her heart rate increasing every time she said it.
"WHAT?" The knitting needles were dropped to the floor and Ginny looked up.
"I said I think my water broke!" Hermione nearly shouted, clutching onto her stomach as another cramp hit.
"I heard you already! It's just... oh merlin's pants!" Ginny leapt from her seat and started grabbing things and tossing them in bags. As if they had rehearsed this, Harry quickly took out some parchment and began scribbling a note to Molly and Arthur Weasley. He knew that by sending one notice to Molly, the entire Weasley clan would know within the next hour. As Harry tied the letter to the owl's leg, he thought of something - someone, rather. He untied the first letter and grabbed another piece of parchment, writing frantically. He then tied both letters to the bird, instructing him to deliver both letters to their respective places... if it was even possible.
Meanwhile, Hermione stood still, her mind racing.
Her water had broken. She was in labor. She was having this baby. She was one month early.
And Ron wasn't there.
It was at that moment that Harry appeared beside her.
"Are you okay?" He looked
"No." She answered honestly, looking at him with sad eyes. He didn't have to ask, he knew the reason. He just took her hand in his and squeezed it.
"You can do this, Hermione. I know you can." He led her over over to where Ginny was standing with the emergency portkey, a small purple lamp. He put a brotherly arm around her, and she leaned into him. She hated portkeys. Usually when she took one, Ron was with her and -
Tears started streaming down her face and it didn't take long for her to begin sobbing. The room began to spin and they were transported into the maternity ward of the hospital. Hermione, rather unsteady, leaned into Harry as Ginny led the way to the front desk.
"She's in premature labor, we need a room." Ginny explained, and the receptionist nodded, A short healer with yellow-blonde hair and a nametag that read "Isabelle Issacs" appeared, leading the threesome down the hallway into Room 92. Harry and the healer helped Hermione into the bed as Ginny stood by with a handkerchief, wiping away the tears. As soon as Hermione was adjusted and as comfortable as she could possibly be, Healer Issacs started asking questions.
"Your name, please?" Healer Issacs asked, raising her pen. Hermione let out a loud sob, and Ginny ran one hand through her hair.
"Hermione Weasley." She answered, attempting to calm the expectant mother who was clinging tightly to her hand. Healer Issacs turned her attention to Ginny.
"Who is her normal healer? Do you know?"
"Umm... Johanna Morgan." Ginny answered nervously, rubbing Hemione's hand gently.
"Her original due date?" She looked up to Hermione, who was still sobbing
"November 15th." Ginny responded, hoping she was right. Hermione could barely catch her breath at that moment, there was no way she'd be able to answer those questions straight. She opened her mouth to say something else to the healer, but before anything got out, Hermione let out a loud wail of pain. Another contraction, Ginny thought to herself, whispering soothing words into Hermione's ears as she groaned from the pain. They're about 10 minutes apart. It's almost time, she's going to have to start pushing soon. Healer Issacs took another look at Hermione, then looked at Ginny.
"Can you come with me and answer the remaining questions, Mrs. Potter?" Ginny looked to Harry, who was pacing on the other side of the room. He made his way over to Hermione without a word, and Ginny followed the healer out the door.
"Harry..." Hermione said quietly through her tears. "It hurts..." Harry didn't know what to say. He knew what he had said to Ginny; comforting words about how much he loved her, how much he loved the baby, that he believed in her. It wasn't his position to say those things to Hermione, it was Ron's.
But he wasn't here.
And Harry had no idea what to do.
"Ron..." Hermione moaned, clutching her stomach. Her eyes were shut tight and her face bore a pained expression. "Ron, I can't do this without Ron..."
"Relax, Hermione, you're doing great." Harry responded, grasping her hand. Hermione's eyes opened and she let out another moan of pain. "Come on, you can do this! Come on, Hermione..."
"No, I can't do this! I want Ron! I need Ron!" Hermione was sobbing now, clinging to Harry with all her strength. "I need him, Harry! I can't do this unless he's with me! I need him, Harry! I need him!" She gave Harry's hand a tight squeeze as another contraction hit. Harry was again unsure of what to say. But he knew one thing for sure: this baby was not coming until Ron was here, he was going to make sure of it. He was the boy who lived! He defeated the Dark Lord! He was Harry freaking Potter, for crying out loud!
So... finding Ronald Weasley couldn't be that hard... could it?
A/N: Uh-oh, that looks like a... cliffhanger! Bumbumbummmmm. On another note: Wow guys! Thanks so much for the great reviews! You all are just fantastic, your reviews make me smile! I know it took me a while to update, but hey, though, it's a longer chapter, be grateful! I promise that this next chapter will be up soon... don't want to leave you hanging too long : ) Thanks for reading, and please leave me a review if you have the time! I'll see you in chapter eight!
Track This Story: Feed
Write a Review
JOIN HARRY POTTER FANFICTION
Get access to every new feature the moment it comes out.Register Today!