Hermione woke up the next morning to the sound of a baby crying. She knew right then that it was Lily, because Nora would have come into Hermione’s room and climbed into bed with her if she was upset. Hermione climbed out of bed and walked quietly over to the door, so she wouldn’t wake up the guys and the girls a few doors down. She opened the door, just in time to see Harry walking out with a crying Lily in his arms. She closed the door just a bit, but it was open enough that she could still see Harry.
“What’s wrong honey? Are you hungry?” Harry whispered as he rocked Lily in his arms.
Just then Nora walked out holding what looked like a baby blanket. “This is hers, so she won’t get cold. She didn’t sleep much. She kept crying for her mummy,” Nora whispered as she handed Harry Lily’s baby blanket.
Hermione could see Harry sigh as he continued rocking Lily in his arms. Hermione was about to close the door, when she heard Nora squeal out, “Mommy!” Hermione saw Harry turn just as Nora rushed over to the door, flung it open and wrap her arms around Hermione’s thighs. “Mommy, morning.”
“Good morning Nora,” Hermione looked up to see Harry staring at her with wide open eyes. “Hello Harry.”
“Hermione,” Harry gasped as he walked forward and wrapped her in a one armed hug, since the other had Lily. “What are you doing here?”
“Let’s talk downstairs. That way we can get some food for the girls,” Hermione said as she picked Nora up and began to walk downstairs. When she got into the kitchen, she noticed that right across in the living room were Draco, Blaise and Ron. All three of them slouched over the couches, chairs and floor.
Hermione began pulling things out of the refrigerator and cupboards. On the counter, she set out cheese, mushrooms, peppers, sausage, eggs, bacon, ham, and bread. She began chopping up the peppers, while she used her wand to magically chop the mushrooms, shred the cheese, and sizzle the bacon and sausage over the stove. As the bread went into the toaster and the eggs cracked themselves into a bowl. She had remembered where everything was from the summer that they had spent here before their last year.
Nora was sitting at the table with Harry beside her and Lily in her high chair. “Hermione, where have you been?”
“In the muggle world, Harry. Annie and Heather found Nora at the mall, left their address and number at the customer service desk and I came here to get her. Before that I was staying at my parents. I realize I have not seen any of you for a few years and that includes my parents. It was actually my neighbor that convinced me to return home. I first went to my parents because I didn’t know how to explain myself or Nora to any of you, especially Draco. My mother informed me that she was pregnant, so we went to the mall to go shopping, leaving Fernando with Nora outside the shop on a bench. Nora got away and you know the rest.”
Hermione was already mixing the ingredients to make an omelet, the bread was being tossed into a basket, and the bacon and sausage was being placed onto a plate.
“So finally you returned back to us. If you were here last night, then why didn’t you wake us up when you arrived?”
“I was actually here before you arrived. But, I decided with what happened, you four needed to sober up before you saw me. Although, Draco saw me last night because I was staying in his room. We had a discussion and we decided to take it slow. I’m not jumping into anything because of Nora. I want what’s best for her, but I will give Draco another chance.”
“So you’re back for good?” Harry asked. Hermione came and sat beside him, as she set a plate with half an omelet on the table with a piece of bacon and sausage and a piece of toast in front of Nora. As well as setting strawberry and grape jam and orange juice and milk on the table. Hermione then placed a few pieces of egg on Lily’s high chair plate, a few pieces of sausage and toast, and a sippy sup of milk. She then poured a glass of milk for Nora.
“For now anyway. I do plan on staying. Although, for today I was going to go shopping since you guys have practically no food. Also, I want to know about Heather. What on earth did you say to her?” Hermione asked looking at him.
“It’s a long story, but to put it bluntly. I basically said in word for word, ’You care nothing for me. You never have. I still wonder to this day why you even agreed to marry me. I mean, obviously you don’t love me. I even wonder why I agreed to marry you!’.”
Hermione looked at him in shock. “Harry, you didn’t?”
“Oh! Harry, no wonder she stormed out of here. From now on, you boys need to stay away from the liquor. And you need to apologize to Heather.”
“Hermione?” Hermione whipped around to see Ron and Blaise standing there starring at her in confusion. Before she could say anything, she was engulfed in a huge bear hug.
“We missed you so much.”
“Where have you been?”
“Do I smell breakfast?” Hermione had to laugh at Ron’s statement.
She nudged the guys off of her. “Harry can fill you in on the details or Draco can. Yes, there is breakfast on the counter if you want some. I have to go get ready, so I’ll leave you guys to breakfast,” Hermione said as she got up.
“Mommy, wait up,” Nora sounded as she came scampering after Hermione. The two of them went upstairs, taking a quick shower and getting dressed.
Hermione dressed Nora in a pair of blue jeans and a cute long sleeve blue top. She added white tennis shoes to match. Hermione then dressed herself in a knee length black skirt with black leggings and a green long sleeve off the shoulder top. As well as black heels and a little jewelry and makeup.
The two of them walked downstairs to find all four boys and Annie and Pansy all sitting around the table eating. Hermione walked in and set Nora down. Her heels made light tapping noises on the tile, letting the others know she was there.
“Hermione! Good morning,” Annie said getting up and giving Hermione a huge hug. Pansy got up from her seat and did the same.
“Good morning girls. Did you all sleep well?” Hermione asked as she poured herself a cup of coffee.
There was murmur of yeses as she took a sip from her cup. “So, what is on the agenda for everybody?”
“Well, I have to get back to the Daily Prophet and finish my article,” Pansy answered automatically.
“I have an appointment today. I get to learn of my baby’s health and sex. So now I know what color to paint the baby room and what clothes to buy,” Annie smiled as she rubbed her stomach.
“We all have work today,” the guys chorused.
“Mommy?” Hermione kneeled down so she could hear her daughter. “Who’s gonna care for Lily?”
“Oh!” Hermione stood up. “Harry, do you want to me to baby-sit Lily, while you’re at work?”
“That would be great Hermione, thank you.”
“No problem,” Hermione said as she took another sip of coffee.
“What are you going to do today Hermione?” Draco was the one to ask this.
“I don’t know. Probably walk around London for awhile. Maybe go see my old professors, what ever I can think of,” Hermione said with a shrug.
Just then Lily began to cry. Before anyone could react, Hermione had scooped her up and was lightly bouncing her up and down and she rocked back and forth.
“Wow! Hermione, you are very good with babies. You’re going to have to take care of our kid when their born as well,” Annie said as she watched Lily calm down and wrap her little arms around Hermione’s neck and shoulder.
“I used to baby-sit a lot when I was younger. Well, I’ll go give Lily a bath and change her into some daytime clothes,” Hermione walked back up the stairs.
“I’m really glad that Hermione is finally back. Now everything can go back to normal. It’s like she never left,” Annie said as she sipped at her orange juice.
“Exactly. Plus, now that we have our Hermione back, we’ll all be like one big happy family,” Pansy smiled.
The guys were being awfully quiet. A little too quiet.
“What’s wrong with you guys? Why aren’t you all happy that Hermione is back? And hello, even better, Lily now has a play mate.” Annie gushed. Then she turned towards Pansy, “Have you noticed how much Nora and Hermione look alike?”
“Will you shut up?!” Blaise snapped. “God Annie! Are you trying to make Draco feel worse?”
“What are you talking about? Nora is Hermione’s adopted daughter. They may look alike, but come on, even me and Pansy know that Hermione would never get serious with another guy after Draco,” Annie snapped crossing her arms. “Draco, you should know by now that Hermione still loves you. She just is protecting herself and now she had Nora as well. Give her a little credit. She is smart enough not to go after some random guy, so get a grip.”
“Exactly,” Pansy snapped. “Come on Annie, I’ll drop you off at your appointment before leaving for the office.”
The two girls walked off and not two minutes later, Hermione came bounding down the stairs with Lily in her arms and Nora running along behind her. Hermione had dressed Lily in cute black pants with white shoes and a long sleeve white shirt with pink flowers all over it. Hermione had also added a black jacket, just in case.
“Did Pansy and Annie already leave? Oh well, I’ll tell them later. I’ll clean up breakfast, you guys head off to work,” Hermione exclaimed as she set Lily down in the living room on a small blanket with a few toys and Nora went to go play with her.
“Don’t be silly Hermione, we’ll take care of breakfast,” Harry answered as he grabbed his dish and took it to the sink.
“No, you four need to get to work. I’ll stay here and clean up. Now, go before you’re all late,” Hermione scolded.
The guys gave each other small smiles and rolled their eyes, knowing that they had their old Hermione back. The four of them made their way into the living room and began leaving one by one through the floo network. Harry gave Lily and quick kiss on the forehead before departing. Leaving only Hermione, Lily, Nora, and Draco in the room.
“You had best be off Draco,” Hermione said as she waited for him to leave, but he never moved an inch. “Draco?”
“Oh! Yea, I guess I should be off. I’ll see you tonight Hermione,” Draco quickly walked forward, placing a quick kiss on her cheek before departing through the floo.
Hermione gently touched her cheek with a sigh, before she noticed that Nora and Lily were staring at her. She quickly whipped away her hand and walked into the kitchen to take an inventory of food items they needed. Once she had written her list, she made her way back into the living room.
“All right girls, we are going to go out shopping. We need food and lots of it,” Hermione said as she picked up Lily and held her in one arm while she took Nora’s hand and walked out to the backyard. “All right you two, hold on tight.”
With that, Hermione apparated to Diagon Alley. The three of them then proceeded to the nearest food store to purchase their items.
After nearly three hours of walking down aisle after aisle and filling up two full carts of food, the three of them walked to Florean’s ice cream parlor and had a small snack. Nora and Lily shared a small vanilla, while Hermione had a small chocolate. Just as she finished licking her spoon clean, she heard a small gasp behind her.
“Hermione,” Hermione turned to see Heather standing there looking disoriented. Like she hadn’t planned on seeing any of her friends today.
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