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For Evelyn. I'm dedicating a lot to her, because I'm writing about kids. I love kids, and Evie is gorgeous.
Also to Matthew Reilly, who shouldn't really be getting any dedication for leaving us with such a terrible cliffhanger. 

No seriously. As if it's mine. What planet are you from again?

Last time:

“Don’t worry, Mum,” Ron said. “We’re going to name our first born ‘Artholly’,” he told her, breaking the anxious silence where the audience waited with baited breath to see what Molly would do.

“Actually, Ron,” Hermione said quietly, drawing attention to herself. She put a hand lightly on her stomach and said “I was hoping we could name her something more along the lines of ‘Rose’, but if you really like it maybe we could use ‘Artholly’ for a middle name…”

With that, Ron took one look at Hermione, to check that she was actually serious, and fainted.

“I’m gunna be a Daddy?” Ron whispered to his wife that evening. She nodded, tears in her eyes.

“You’re gunna be a Daddy!” Ron looked her over for the millionth time, and whooped for joy, gathering his blissfully pregnant wife in his arms, and kissed her.

A seven month pregnant Hermione sat on the couch talking to her five sisters in law and mother in law while the men were in the den, playing pool. Their wives had confiscated their wands, just in case there was any cheating. Totally unnecessary, the men had insisted, but the wives were firm. No cries of “’Mione! George cheated!” or “Fleur! Harry transfigured my cue!” would disrupt the ladies today.

“It’s just so wonderful to get a break every now and then!” Fleur sighed contentedly. “All of my cheeldren are walking already!”

“Mmm I know what you mean,” Verity soothed. “Having any more, Fleur?”

“Knowing Bill?” Ginny grinned. “Of course she is!” Fleur hit her lightly with a handkerchief.

“Not while your mother is around, Gin,” she grinned.

“Feeling alright, Hermione?” Penny inquired.

“Yes, I’m fine. Just a little…” Then a sudden pain in her stomach made her think twice about that.

“RONALD!” she screeched. “RONALD! GET IN HERE, NOW!”

“Weasley?” a healer called to the waiting room.

“Yes?” A dozen or so voices said.

“What?” he asked, alarmed.

“What happened to my wife?” Ron yelled, alarmed.

“You’re Hermione Weasley’s husband?” the healer asked.

“No. I’m her pool guy. ‘My Wife’ might indicate some form of employment! What happened?”

“Err, Mr. Weasley, I’m afraid there have been some… complications…” he muttered, pulling Ron aside.

“What? Is she okay? What about the baby?”

“Mr. Weasley, your wife has gone into premature labour-”

“Quite frankly I don’t care if she’s gone into a strip club. She’s the healer, not me, so I have no idea what you’re talking about. Is she okay? Is the baby okay?”

“She’s given birth early, Mr. Weasley, and your wife is okay.”

“What about Rose?” he asked quietly.

“Your child is too small, Mr. Weasley. Much too small. Not finished growing yet, and doesn’t have the proper nutrients to survive… But we’ve used dozens of growth and nutrition spells-”

“When can I see her?” Ron whispered, tears in his eyes.

“Your wife or your daughter?”

“She is a she?” Ron asked, nodding.

“Yes, Mr. Weasley. Your child is a girl,” the healer said with a slight giggle.

“I want to see them now.”

“Very well. Is there anyone you’d like to bring?” He saw Ron open his mouth but the Healer cut him off. “Anyone in particular? I’m afraid we can’t have so many people in the room.”

“Two?”  The healer nodded. “Harry! Ginny! Get your buts over here to meet your Goddaughter!”

Ron ran down the corridor looking in each of the doors to find his wife, praying to Merlin that she and the baby were okay.

“’Mione! ‘Mione!” he yelled.

“Please, Mr. Weasley! Keep it down! There are people trying to sleep!” the Healer yelled, but Ron wasn’t listening. All he could do was run to find his wife, Harry, Ginny and the Healer walking briskly behind him, (fruitlessly) trying to catch up with him.

“Ron?” A voice yelled back. “RONALD!”

“MIONE!” Ron screeched, following the sound.

He rounded a corner to find Hermione lying in bed, her hair even more disheveled, but healthy, and in her arms there was a small bundle of pink blankets that Ron knew was his daughter.

“Ron,” Hermione whispered. “Do you want to meet your daughter?”

Ron made his way over, knowing he had tears in his eyes, but he didn’t care. Hermione did too. He took the small set of blankets from her arms and held them expertly, as though he was made to. Gently, he lifted the layer of pink material from where he knew his daughter’s face would be – the material having fallen when Hermione had been yelling – and stared into the face of his beautiful daughter – almost a perfect image of her mother, with her father’s hair.

“Hello, Princess,” he whispered.

“Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear Rosie,” the contents of the room sang. Above the din of thirty or so people, Ron’s proud voice saying ‘Princess’ instead of ‘Rosie’ could be heard above all. “Happy Birthday to you!”

There was an eruption of cheers as a one year old Rose was lifted by Ron so she could blow out the candles on the cake (A ceremony most in the room were unfamiliar with, though went along with because Hermione told them to. The concept of putting glowing things on cakes just to blow them out was ludicrous, though no one mentioned it.)

“That’s my daughter. My Princess,” Ron grinned as Teddy and Victoire carried her around like a Queen.

“Daycare? I don’t understand why we need it, Love, I’m happy to stay home with her still!” Ron protested as he and Hermione made their way towards the centre at a brisk pace – Ron was anxious to see his little girl again.

“We need two incomes with another child on the way, Ron. Relax. She’ll be okay.”

“What if she’s not? What if the other kids are mean to her? What if she doesn’t like it there?”

“Stop it Ron! You sound like Hagrid talking about that blasted dragon!”

Just then they’d made it to the door. Ron might have barreled it through if Hermione hadn’t been standing there. Instead he knocked and shifted his weight from foot to foot.

A small woman opened the door, and said “Ahh, Mr. and Mrs. Weasley!” No sooner had she said that, however, a small girl came running towards them.

“DADDY!” she shouted, throwing herself into his embrace.

“Princess!” he replied, hugging her tightly.

On a shopping venture for new outfits to wear to the Christmas party at Ron’s work, the four Weasleys were in Madam Malkin’s.

“Ahah. I had word there was a group of blood traitors on the loose here,” a snide voice said.

The Weasleys turned.

“I thought I smelled a fish but it turns out it was a – You know what, I won’t say that in front of the children,” Ron replied.

“Look, Pansy. They’re breeding,” Draco Malfoy told his wife, who held the hand of a small boy completely Draco’s image.

“Look, Darling, they’re talking as though we aren’t here. How intelligent of them! We can’t hear them at all, can we?” Ron commented.

“Daddy, the blonde man smells like Fluffy,” Rose said.

“Who’s fluffy?” Draco asked Rose.

“My Kneazle,” she said and backed away. “You smell like Fluffy when she hasn’t had a bath, pooh-ey!”

“Why you little-” he said, and whacked her over the face. Her eyes filled with tears, but she refused to give him the satisfaction of knowing he’d hurt her.

“You bastard,” Ron hissed, standing to meet him.

“Swear jar,” Rose muttered. Ron stood a good nine inches taller than Malfoy, and punched him square in the jaw with such force that they heard it crack, and Malfoy fell to the ground, his wife and son rushing over to him.

Ron stood over him still, a sneer of loathing etched onto his face. “You will never touch my daughter again. Do you understand me?” he whispered. Malfoy’s son scooted around behind his mother, who stepped back. Hermione (and thus Hugo, as he was in her arms) stepped back. Neither had ever seen him this mad.

Infact, the whole room seemed to have withdrawn and were waiting with baited breath, frightened of this man who defended his daughter so intensely.

Everyone had, except Rose, that was. Rose stood tall and proud just back from her father – further forward than where she had been when Malfoy had struck her.

“This is me being mild, and every fibre in my body wants to pound you very, very deeply into the carpet. However, that would be distressing to Rose, Hugo, my wife and the other innocent shoppers here today. I swear on the grave of my brother, however, that if you lay a hand on my daughter like that again, you will meet my wrath.”

With that, he took Rose’s hand and left the store at a brisk pace, Hermione and Hugo right behind him.

Rose Weasley slipped into her parents’ room and stood by her father’s side of the bed.

“Daddy?” she whispered, shaking him lightly. “Daddy?”

He woke lightly, so as not to wake his wife and looked down at his four year old daughter.

“Yeah, Princess?”

“Daddy, I can’t sleep,” she whispered.

“Come on, then. We’ll get you some hot milk, okay?”

As smoothly as he could, he got out of bed, not even making his wife stir. He picked up his eldest and walked quietly down the stairs.

Once they reached the kitchen, he set himself about boiling a kettle and putting together mugs with the makings of hot chocolate.

“Why couldn’t you sleep, Princess?” he asked.

“I had a bad dream,” she whispered, looking down. He stopped and lifted his daughter onto the bench.

“What happened? You know you can tell me anything.”

“Mummy and you and Hugo were drowning and the mermaids were pulling you down, and that guy with the blonde hair was holding me back so I couldn’t get you,” she whispered, ashamed.

“Oh, Princess,” he whispered, pulling her into a hug. “You can forget all about that man. He won’t hurt you. Ever. Not if I have anything to say about it. And the Merpeople don’t really want to see Mummy and I again, let alone Hugo!”

“You’ve met Merpeople, Daddy?” Rose asked, looking up at him in awe.

“Sit down, Princess, for it is another thrilling tale of Uncle Harry saving Mummy and I again. Plus, there’s Uncle Vicky!”

When Hermione awoke the next morning, she found her husband and daughter passed out on the couch, Rose snuggled up on top of her father like the good four year old she was, finished mugs of hot chocolate strewn around them.

“Daddy’s little Princess,” she whispered, amused, and flicked away the mugs.

“Daddy! Push me higher!” A five year old Rose giggled from the swing. Obligingly, her father pushed harder and grinned at his wife.

“You know, Baby, we should really get one of these!” he called to her, who pushed a three year old Hugo in a much more dignified way. Rose giggled her agreement.

“Yay!” she cried. “Higher, Daddy! Higher!”

“Be careful, Sweetheart!”

“Are you talking to me, or the Princess?”

“Since when did I call you ‘Sweetheart’, Darlin’?”

“We’re being careful, Mummy! HIGHER, DADDY!”

“As you wish, Princess!”

Hermione could hear incessant giggling from the aisle next to hers. She clenched her teeth and continued grocery shopping despite it.

“DADDY!” a shriek beheld. “MUMMY!”

Almost every woman in the store looked up.

“RONALD!” Hermione scolded through the fixtures.

“SORRY, DEAREST!” he yelled back and rounded the corner. A six year old Rose was on his shoulders, with Hugo jumping up, trying to reach her.

“Come on, Princess, let’s see if we can outrun him!” Ron whispered to his daughter, and ‘sped’ up, keeping just out of reach of Hugo, Rose poking her tongue at her little brother.

Hermione just laughed and continued down the aisle in search of chili sauce.

“Ron!” Hermione called around the house clutching her son tightly. “Ron! RONALD!”

“Out here, Dearest!” he called from the backyard. Tentative, almost knowing what she’d find, Hermione changed her grip on Hugo and stepped out to investigate.

Sure enough, Ron was atop the family broomstick they had bought five years ago, when Hugo was born. Clearly a born Quidditch player a seven year old Rose sat at the helm. Hermione could hear their daughter’s giggles.


“No can do, Baby. Princess Rosie likes it up here too much!”

“Get down here and take us, too, then!” she giggled. Ron did as he was told, and swooped down to pick up his wife and son, their daughter still happily giggling , Hugo holding onto his mother for dear life.

“Come on, Princess! Take us away!” Ron whispered. Rose giggled some more and sped up.

“Daaaaaady! Daaaaaaady!” Rose sang. Ron spun around on his chair – his reports momentarily forgotten for his eight year old daughter.

“Hey, Princess. What’s up?”

“Daddy will you play with me?” eight year old Rose asked, batting her eyelashes.

“Princess, I’ve got lots of work to do…” Ron said apologetically.

“Please, Daddy?” Rose begged.

“Alright,” Ron sighed and covered his eyes. “One, two, three, four…”

Giggling, Rose ran from the room in search of a good hiding spot.

“Alright, Princess. I’ll pick be here at six o clock tomorrow night, okay?” Ron said, fidgeting, as his daughter loaded a rucksack and a sleeping bag onto the storage compartment of the bus.

“Okay, Daddy,” she grinned, hugging him. “Are you scared?”

“Oh, Princess, I worry about you going out into the woods like this!”

“Daddy, it’s hardly the woods, and it’s with my school,” she lectured. “And I am nine, now!”

“I know, Princess. I know. I just… well a father’s love is strong like that.”

“I won’t forget you in the 36 hours I’m not here, Daddy,” she reasoned. Ron sighed and pulled his daughter in a tight hug, which she happily returned.

“I’m setting my watch, Princess.”

“Daddy,” Rose said. “Daddy.”

“Yeah, Princess?”

“Daddy, Mummy said she wants to go to her Mummy’s place for a week. Is everything okay?”

“Everything’s fine, Princess,” Ron said. “Mummy misses her parents. Can you remember the last time she saw them?”

“But Caity’s Mummy and Daddy are getting a divorce her Mummy went to stay with Caity’s Gramma,” Rose whispered, tears building in her eyes. Ron laughed and pulled his ten year old daughter into his lap.

“Princess, Mummy misses her parents. We’re going to Gramma’s, too, and Mummy and I definitely aren’t getting a divorce. We love each other very much,” he soothed, drying his daughter’s tears.

“Are you sure?” Rose begged.

“Positive,” Ron whispered, and kissed her on the forehead.

“Princess,” Ron called. Rose dropped her school things – the family had been to Diagon Alley that day to get Rose’s books and uniforms. Rose quickly jumped over the packages and ran out of her room and up the stairs into her parents’ room.

“Yeah, Daddy?” Rose asked as she walked in slowly, cautiously, to find her parents sitting on the end of their bed.

“Darling, your father has something he’d like to discuss with you. I’ve promised not to say a word,” Hermione said.

“Umm, okay,” Rose said.

“Rose, love, I call you Princess a lot,” Ron said.

“I know, Daddy,” Rose said slowly.

“There’s a reason behind that. See, the week you were born, I sat with you and Mummy day and night. She finally got so sick of me, she told me to go away for twelve hours and shower, get new clothes and celebrate with Uncle Harry. Now, while I assure you, I showered and got new clothes, I cut the celebrating short, and had Uncle Harry and Aunt Ginny make a party, and I went shopping and bought you a present,” Ron explained. He got up and crossed to the wardrobe and began taking out boxes until only a large metal one remained.

This is your Mummy’s safe. She got it as a gift when you were born to keep photos and family memories in so they aren’t stolen or damaged. We keep our valuables in here. And this is where I put your present.”

Carefully, Ron entered the combination into the Muggle safe, and the click of the lock unlatched the door, which Ron opened. Several blue drawstring bags and photo albums sat in the safe, along with a small wooden box. It was this box that Ron drew from the safe.

“It had to be hidden real careful,” he explained.

“What is it?” Rose whispered, staring at the box with wide eyed anticipation.

“You must promise to be very careful with this. It is not for everyday use,” Ron warned. “I couldn’t give it to you when you were born, as it’s quite valuable, and fragile. But now you’re eleven, I think it’s time,” Ron said.

“Darling, you must swear,” Hermione said.

“No she mustn’t,” Ron shot, and held out the beautiful wooden box to Rose. Very carefully, with slightly shaking hands, she took it, and sat down between her parents so she could lay it on her knees.

Very slowly, she opened the lid of the oak box, which revealed a plush blue interior which encased the most beautiful silver tiara.

“Read the inscription,” Hermione whispered, pointing out the silver plate on the box.

For Princess Rose – her parents’ most wonderful surprise, the most prized royalty, and the most precious gift any man could ask for

“It’s beautiful,” Rose whispered, lifting it gently to hold in the light.

Ron took it carefully, and ever so gently placed it on her head and whispered, “I crown thee ‘Princess Rose’, Daddy’s Princess.”

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