“Hi!” screeched Jami when Hermione and Ron stepped from the sooty redbrick fireplace at Harry and Ginny’s rather large flat.
“Hello there, Jami!” Hermione greeted warmly and picked up her red-haired, green-eyed, one year old niece. Jami just smiled lopsidedly and started singing some baby talk song version of the lullaby 'Pinkie the Wizard'.
“Hey, Harry, Ginny,” Hermione greeted cheerfully, passing a squirming Jami to Ron and went over to hug them.
“Want me to help you start dinner?” Hermione asked Ginny quietly as they separated.
“It’s almost done, I knew that Ron would be hungry when he got here so I started early.” Ginny replied undertone.
“Good thinking, knowing our husbands.” They walked into the kitchen and Hermione set to finishing the mashed potatoes, Jami clinging tightly to her right leg.
“Is Harry nervous about leaving tomorrow?” she asked Ginny, taking out her nervous energy on the potatoes. Harry and Ron were going on their first Auror trip tomorrow, they would be gone from Monday until Friday and Hermione and Ginny seemed to be more worked up than the boys.
“No, I don’t think so, it’s just going to be hard for him to leave Jami, he’s been spending a lot of time with her lately. And I’m going to miss him.” Ginny said as she made the salad, stirring with a very vacant _expression pasted to her pretty face.
“Yeah, it going to be weird without Ron there when I get home.” Hermione agreed readily. She and Ron didn’t have any children yet, but it would be weird for her to come home from her job at the Department for the Control and Protection of Magical Creatures and Ron not be there.
Ron and Hermione had gotten married after they graduated from Hogwarts. The Final Battle happened in their 7th year. Harry had just destroyed the last Horcrux, Nagini, when Voldemort tracked them down.
The Battle had lasted a while and quite a few of their friends and family had died. Among them Percy, Seamus, Kingsley Shacklebolt, and Cormac McLaggen. He had died boasting that he could beat any Death Eater and for them to ‘bring it on’ when he was hit by ‘Avada Kedavra.’
Harry did have the pleasure of killing Snape and Malfoy had come to their side along with his mother shortly after Dumbldore’s death, Lucius had died in Azkaban. Harry finally emerged victorious and the rest of the Death Eaters fled. That was nearly four years ago and yet no one seemed ready to discuss it--least of all Harry.
Dinner was fun; Jami had entertained them by throwing a handful of mashed potatoes at Ron, hitting him square in the face. After dinner was finished and cleaned up, Hermione rocked Jami soothingly in the living room, the toddler's eyes were drooping and a rather large bead of drool crept from her mouth onto Hermione's shirt. Ron sat on the couch and Harry and Ginny snuggled together in the armchair.
“It’s going to be hard to leave tomorrow,” Ron stated as he watched his wife rock their niece with a gleam of longing in his eyes. Hermione grinned slightly; he'd rather she was snuggling with him than the child.
“I know,” Harry agreed; chin resting on top of Ginny's head. Jami fell asleep as the clock struck ten and Hermione took her to the nursery.
“We’d better be going, you guys have to be at the Ministry at five,” Hermione said when she returned, looking as though each word caused her pain.
“Yeah, thanks for dinner guys,” Ron said standing up.
“Anytime,” Harry said as he hugged Hermione.
“Take care,” she said and they turned and were gone.
Ron and Hermione’s house was not as big as Harry and Ginny’s but it was enough for them and a few children. They lived in a family-oriented magical neighborhood. When they apparated in their living room, they walked to their bedroom, changed clothes and crawled into bed.
“Are you sure you packed everything?” Hermione asked anxiously as Ron wrapped his arm around her snuggly.
“And you don’t want me to go to the Ministry with you tomorrow?”
“No, I want you to get your sleep, you’re off tomorrow.”
“Okay, I guess I’ll just go visit Ginny then.”
“Sounds good, she might need a little help with Jami.”
“I love you Ron.”
“I love you more,” Ron said and kissed the top of her head.
Hermione woke up the next morning and rolled over, expecting to find Ron. When she saw his side empty, she remembered the trip and got out of bed. She was used to getting up alone every now and then, because sometimes Ron had to go into work early, but today felt different. She made herself waffles and coffee and sat down to eat when she saw a snowy white owl on the window seal.
“Hello there Hedwig,” Hermione said walking over to the window and stroking the bird. Hedwig held out her leg and Hermione took the letter.
I have to go to Diagon Alley to get Jami some new clothes. I was wondering whether you wanted to come. I know how you love to pick out her clothes and we could even stop by Fred and George’s shop. Just sent the reply back with Hedwig. I was thinking we’d go at around noonish, just apparate over to our house.
Hermione went over to her desk and wrote
I’d love to, see you at noon.
After she tied the note to Hedwig’s leg, she finished her breakfast and went to take a shower. She dressed in jeans and an old t-shirt that had a lion on it and noticed that it was only 10:30.She sat down at her desk and started on a paper for work, ‘Werewolves need jobs too.’ After she had written a few pages she looked up and saw that it was 12:10!!! She hurridly stood up, got her purse and apparated to Ginny and Harry’s house in Godrics Hollow. She knocked on the door and Ginny answered holding Jami.
“So sorry, I started a paper for work and lost track of time!”
“Its okay, lets go,” Ginny said and opened the door. They walked over to the Fireplace and Ginny threw in some floo powder, and holding Jami tight said “Weasley Wizard Wheezes!” and was gone. Hermione did the same and found herself in the Main Room of the Weasley twin’s shops.
“Oi! Ginny! Hermione!” came a voice to the left of them. They turned and saw Angelina, Fred’s very pregnant wife, waddling toward them.
“Hey Angelina!” Ginny said and hugged her sister-in-law.
“Jami! Wow, she’s so big!” Angelina gushed over the baby, “Hey Hermione! How are you? Longtime no see!”
“Yeah, when are you due?” Hermione asked when she pulled away from Angelina’s hug that had proved difficult which Angelina's large abdomen in the way.
“Next week, Reed and Chris can’t wait to get out of here!” Everyone laughed. Suddenly Fred appeared out of the crowd and slipped his hand around his wife.
“Hey, have you seen Nina anywhere?” he asked her, Nina was their rambunctious five-year-old daughter.
“She went with Katie, Edan, and Kealyn to Floreans.” Katie was George’s wife, Kealyn their five-year-old daughter, and Edan their three-year-old son.
“Oh,” Fred said and then noticed that his sister and sister-in-law were standing there, “Hi guys! Didn’t notice you!”
“Tin!” Jami exclaimed, chubby arms outstretched and fingers wiggling at Fred.
“Hi there Babs!” Jami called Fred and George ‘Tin’ her word for ‘twin’ and they, in return called her ‘Babs’ for ‘Baby’. “What are you girls doing in Diagon Alley?” he asked.
“Jami needs new clothes so we were going to that new place down the road,” Ginny explained, passing the toddler to Fred as she spoke.
“Calley’s Clothes For Young Wizards and Witches?” Angelina asked, hands caressing her bloated stomach.
“Yeah that’s the one,” Hermione confirmed.
“Well, we’d better get going, we’ll stop by when we are done.”
“Alright, I might not be here, I have a healers appointment at three.” Angelina said. Hermione and Ginny said their goodbyes and walked out of the shop.
After a long day shopping and a couple of loud tantrums, Hermione finally apparated back at her house, completely drained. It was five-thirty and Hermione was making soup for dinner alone (magically of course) when the doorbell rang insistently. She grudgingly got out of her chair and answered the door. She looked out and no one was there then she looked down and saw a little blonde-hair blue-eyed girl that looked about three staring back at her, eyes watering and tears leaking from her small eyes but she brushed them hurriedly away. She was really pretty except she had a lot of cuts and bruises covering her body and was only wearing a pillowcase with holes for her head and arms. Hermione squatted down so that she was level with her.
“Hello, I’m Hermione Weasley. What’s your name?” she asked softly, laying a gentle hand on the little girl's shoulder.
“Erin.” Then she added as an after thought, “Erin Malfoy.”
A/N: I know, I’m evil. I want to thank my new beta and friend, Sara. And to callmetonks for the awesome revising!! You can all thank The New DragonGirl and Weasley Girl 396 for the ending there. MUHAHAHA!!! And remember, reviews put me in a writing mood!!
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