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Chapter 6: School
Ron and I were on the training looking for a place to sit on the train with Harry and Ginny in tow. We finally found an empty compartment and piled in, shutting the door behind us. It got instantly quiet.
“So, we can find out what the sex of the baby is in three weeks. Until then, I’m going to request some catalogues to start picking out cribs and stuff.” I told them. Ron held my hand and pulled me to him and hugged me.
“Do you want a boy or a girl?” Ginny asked.
“I’m okay with both.” Ron answered.
“I want a girl.” Hermione said confidently.
“I want a girl too,” Harry said. “For my first child.”
“That won’t be anytime soon,” Ginny said, rolling her eyes.
“Good,” Ron murmured. I elbowed him and then lay down in his lap. I quickly found myself drifting off to sleep.
After sleeping for a few hours I finally woke up by the time we were pulling into Hogwarts.
We were met by Hagrid, who pulled Harry into the biggest hug I’d ever seen, resulting in Harry gasping for air but with a smile on his face.
They sat and talked for a moment while Ron, Ginny and I started looking for a carriage.
When we got to the carriages, I was astonished to see that they were no being pulled by invisible beings. Instead, they were being pulled by big, ugly, scaly horses with wings on them.
“I can see them now,” I whispered.
“Me too,” Ginny said quietly.
“We’ve all seen death.” Ron said grimly. “And now we get to see the Thestrals.”
“I liked them better when they were invisible.” Ginny said, pulling herself into the carriage. Ron and I followed and Harry quickly joined us.
We rode in somewhat silence on the way up to the castle, listening to the sounds of the hooves hitting the cobblestones. It was an eerie sound, somewhat disturbing. We had always heard the sounds but every time a hoof hit the ground it was a reminder of every dead student, teacher, friend, that fought so hard in the war.
“Are you guys okay?” Harry asked in confusion.
“We can see the Thestrals now,” Ginny responded. “If I may speak for everyone, I think that it’s just a terrible reminder of everyone we lost in the war.”
Harry just nodded his head in agreement and looked out the window. We finally reached the castle and piled out of the carriage, which was surprisingly harder than getting in.
We walked to the Great Hall, greeting our friends and schoolmates with smiles. There were a few kids crying but it was mostly either grim faces or smiles. Luna and Neville were holding hands and talking animatedly.
We sat down at the tables and waited for the new batch of First Years to come in. I was starving and all I wanted was the food to appear. I put my head on Ron’s shoulder, and I knew he felt my pain.
“So hungry,” I whined.
“Me too,” He said with a grin.
The sorting dragged on for what seemed like an eternity. The Sorting Hat, now all patched up, said a little poem about house unity and even mentioned “The Golden Trio” quite briefly. I rolled my eyes and listened to the Hat eagerly shout out the houses each First Year would be sorted to.
Finally, the food appeared. I grabbed everything I could and started eating, and realized I was eating quicker than Harry and Ron. I looked around sheepishly and started eating slower. Damn, though, I was so hungry.
While Ginny and Ron were arguing about something petty, I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around and Professor Slughorn was behind me.
“I’m to show you to your quarters, if you four are ready.” He said sheepishly.
“I’m ready,” I lied. I was still so hungry. Ginny, Ron, and Harry got up and Ron helped me stand. We walked quietly down the hall as Professor Slughorn rambled on about being the new Head of Slytherin. Harry interjected a few times to make it seem like it wasn’t a one sided conversation, when the eager professor finally stopped.
“Buttercream drops,” Slughorn said, grinning. “I knew the inventor of the buttercream drops, it’s why I chose it as the password…” he mumbled. The door opened and we piled inside. The inside looked just like Gryffindor Tower, with comfy chairs, a fireplace, four bedrooms, and… a kitchen!
“A kitchen!” I cried. “Thank Merlin because I’m still so hungry.”
Harry and Ginny laughed and Ron gave me a hug. Slughorn excused himself and started to walk off when he turned back around.
“Hermione, there are some books and magazines that might be to your liking in your bedroom,” he said, his eyes twinkling. “It’s so good to see you kids.”
“It’s good to see you too, Professor.” Harry said, smiling. Slughorn smiled and walked out.
“So, what will the decision be? Food, or books?” Ginny joked.
“Both,” I mumbled. I went to the refrigerator and took a peek. I found a bowl of yogurt and pulled it out, located a spoon, and then wandered to my room. My room was like any other dorm, with a four poster bed, my trunk, Crookshanks, and a bookshelf. On the bed were several magazines – maternity magazines. There were also baby furniture catalogues.
I grabbed one magazine and one catalogue and walked back out to the living room. I sat on the comfy chair, eating my yogurt, and flipping through the maternity magazine. I read about the development, morning sickness cures, how to gain weight the healthy way. There was a cute little diagram of what my baby looked like at each stage.
I heard Harry and Ginny arguing in Harry’s room and Ron was napping on the couch. I finished the first magazine, and decided to start looking at the furniture. I got up and grabbed a quill from my trunk and walked back out.
I was circling my favorites when Ginny walked out with red eyes.
“What’s wrong?” I asked when she walked in.
“Oh, you know, Harry’s being a git, like usual.” She said callously.
“Um, usually he’s not a git… Unless there’s something I don’t know about?” I said, cocking my head to the side. I put the quill and catalogue down and turned my full attention to her.
“Oh, it’s just… Is Ron asleep?”
Ron snored, as if on cue, and I nodded.
“Sawing logs,” I answered.
“Well,” Ginny breathed. “I want to make love with Harry.”
“You guys still haven’t?” I asked incredulously. I figured they already would have.
“No!” She exclaimed. “This whole pregnancy bit between you and Ron has him absolutely terrified of any sexual contact with anybody, ever.”
“Why are you so insistent on having sex with him?” I asked. “Sex is brilliant, and a very important part of a relationship, but it comes with consequences.” I rubbed my belly as an example.
“I love Harry,” Ginny answered. “I know I want to spend the rest of my life with him. But when we graduate and get a place of our own or even get married I’m afraid he still won’t have sex with me.”
I laughed out loud and she looked at me incredulously.
“Gin, I’m sorry, but you sound silly,” I admitted. “When you guys move in together or get married of course he’ll make love to you. Maybe, and here’s a silly idea, but maybe Harry isn’t as ready as you are.”
Ginny rolled her eyes and sat in the other comfy chair.
“Here we are, in our own dorms, practically allowed to do whatever we want, and he still won’t have sex with me.” Ginny murmured. “I guess it makes me feel like he doesn’t find me attractive enough or something.”
“Now I know you’re being ridiculous,” I responded. “You’re a beautiful, gorgeous girl. Everyone in Hogwarts knows that. Harry knows that. But he loves you far beyond your beauty. I think he loves you enough to have sex with you when he knows he’s ready, not when he thinks he’s ready. Just give him time.”
She sighed and threw her head back.
“I know you’re right,” Ginny said. “I just love him so much.”
“You can show love in different ways.” I reminded her. She nodded and stood up.
“I’m going to go talk to him again,” she told me. “I sort of stormed out in the middle of him talking to me. It’s the hot-headed redhead in me.” She grinned.
I smiled and nodded. “Be kind with him,” I reminded her. She nodded and walked back to Harry’s room.
“Thanks for not giving my baby sister sex advice,” Ron said sleepily.
I looked over at him. “How long have you been awake?”
“Ever since Ginny asked if I was asleep.” He said with a grin.
“Oh, you git.” I swatted him. “That was private!”
“You should’ve gone in your room then!” He argued.
I rolled my eyes and picked up my quill and catalogue.
“How much are you willing to spend on a crib?” I asked.
“Can’t we get any for free?”
“No, we actually have to pay for things.” I stuck my tongue out at him. “We’re big kids now.”
“Big kids having a kid,” he mumbled. I stopped and looked at him.
“I thought you were okay with this,” I said quietly.
“I am,” He answered truthfully. “It’s just, that’s what it is. We’re big kids having kids.”
“We’re almost eighteen, Ron.” I responded. “A lot of girls were having babies by fourteen or fifteen not too long ago.”
“Well, this is different.” He responded.
“Are you changing your mind?” I challenged.
“No! I still want to have the baby!” He said, exasperated. “I was just saying. We’re still really young.”
“Whatever,” I said, getting up. I grabbed the magazines and the quill and stormed off to my bedroom and locked the door.
I heard Ron following me and the doorknob jiggled.
“Hermione come on, let me in! You know that’s not what I meant.”
I was sitting on my bed and I had my hands on my belly. I was crying pretty hard when I felt something in my belly.
“What the-“ and then I felt it again. “Ron! Ron come in here!” I cried.
“I can’t, Hermione, your door is locked!” He yelled.
“Alohamora,” I said, and he ran in.
“What’s wrong?” he asked, getting to my bed.
“I felt the baby kick,” I said as I grabbed his hand and put it on my stomach. “I don’t know if you can feel it yet, but… see, right there! Did you feel it?”
Ron smiled and climbed into the bed with me. He cuddled me tight and left his hands on my belly.
“I did feel it,” he murmured. “Your doctor appointment is tomorrow, did you forget?”
“Yes,” I admitted. “I’ll have to go see Professor McGonagall and get permission to go.”
“We should probably go now before curfew.” He said.
“You’re right,” I agreed. “Let’s go.”
We got up and walked out of the dorms. Ron held my hand as we walked to McGonagall’s office, which was an exceptionally short walk.
We sat at the gargoyle trying to think of what her password would be. I looked at Ron and he shrugged when I saw a painting.
“Excuse me,” I said to the painting. A stately woman popped into the frame and she smiled.
“Can I help you?”
“Yes, I was wondering if there was any way for you to get Professor McGonagall for us.” I told her.
“Of course, dear.” She said, and then she walked off.
Ron and I sat in silence for only a few seconds before McGonagall came through the door.
“Is everything alright?” She asked. “Please, come in.”
We walked inside and she offered us a seat.
“We’re fine, Professor.” I started out. “I need permission to go to St. Mungo’s tomorrow at seven a.m. for a doctor’s appointment.”
“Oh, yes, you may.” She answered. She got out a piece of paper and wrote on it. She handed it to me. “This is your permission slip, just in case anybody asks. It’s also your Floo permission. Go to the Infirmary tomorrow and show this to Madam Pomfrey and she’ll let you through.”
“Thank you very much,” I said sleepily.
“Is there anything else?” She asked.
“No ma’am, we just wanted to get permission to go.” Ron responded.
“Very good,” McGonagall replied. “Now, off with you. Hermione, you look tired. Sleep well.”