Something had shifted overnight, Hermione decided a week later. She was lying in her bed staring down her body and discovered, quite shockingly, that her stomach rose higher than her chest. A frown crossed her features as she extended her right arm and prodded her sleeping husband.
“Not the spiders … marry ‘Mione,” Ron muttered.
“Oh for heaven’s sake,” she muttered before poking him harshly. “Wake up, Ronald!”
He muttered a bit more and the spluttered awake. “Huh? What? What time is it? What’s wrong?” he asked in a single breath.
“What’s wrong, you ask,” Hermione asked. “My stomach is larger than my chest!” she screeched.
“You’re pregnant, ‘Mione,” Ron said consolingly as he ran a gently hand over her protruding stomach.
“No buts, love. You’re pregnant and more beautiful every day,” Ron said. He had been practicing for the moment she realized this fact. He had noticed a week or so ago. She was carrying twins so of course she would show earlier than a woman carrying only one child.
“Don’t patronize me, Ronald Bilius Weasley,” the brunette witch said in a threatening tone.
“I’m not, love,” he said gently. “I’m telling the truth. You’re beautiful. Maybe stunning now that you have our children inside you,” he added as he bent down to her stomach and placed a light kiss on the exposed skin. “You’re lovely.”
“We’re going to have to tell people. I mean, look at me!”
“I am looking,” he said with a growl as he rolled himself slightly on top of her.
“Ron,” she attempted to chastise.
“No. This morning, it’s just you and me. No classes. No homework …”
“No breakfast?” Hermione asked with a smirk.
“Need to work up an appetite,” Ron replied as he brought his lips to the skin that connected her shoulder and neck.
“Mmm,” Hermione agreed as she threaded her fingers through his fine red hair. “I think I can handle that.”
“Good,” he replied as he dragged his lips down to the spot just above her breasts where her tank top began. “Because I don’t know if I can wait any longer to have you.”
“You had me last night,” she said as she wiggled in an attempt to get his mouth lower. “Twice.”
“I can’t get enough of you,” Ron told her earnestly.
“Thank Merlin,” she replied as he finally headed where he wanted her to.
Suffice to say that they didn’t make it down to breakfast any earlier than 10 o’clock.
Ginny and Harry kept glancing at the door to the Great Hall.
“They should have been here by now,” Harry said nervously.
“They’ll be here soon enough,” Ginny told him consolingly.
Harry had started paying a lot more attention to Hermione in the past week. She knew he was nervous about the men staying on her good side so that all of the fighting and Voldemort stuff would turn out in their favor, but this was getting a bit obsessive. Or so she thought.
“Ron says the sex is better now that Hermione’s pregnant,” Harry said out of the blue, breaking Ginny from her thoughts.
“What?” she asked.
“He said she feels a lot more and is much more … sensitive.”
“I wish I knew where this conversation was going,” Ginny intoned.
“One day,” Harry smiled as he looked up to see Hermione and Ron entering the Great Hall, both with happy smiles on their faces. “Must have been a good morning,” he added, just loud enough for Ron and Hermione to hear.
She turned a faint shade of pink while Ron simply beamed. “One of the best, mate.”
Harry nodded and shot a glance over to Ginny. She and Hermione had huddled together with a bunch of invitations between them. Ginny had been very involved in the wedding planning process. Harry watch as the redhead pointed out how much she liked the colors that Hermione had chosen. He filed that away for a later date.
“I just think the green would have been too much. And I liked the blue with Ron’s eyes,” Hermione told Ginny. “Not that it’ll have to be the same for you …”
“Come off it, Hermione. There’s nothing of the sort even crossing my mind right now,” Ginny told the older girl.
Hermione just smiled and went back to writing. “I’m glad you agreed to help, Gin. Ron’s got dreadful handwriting.” Her husband didn’t refute the accusation.
“I’m just glad to help, Hermione.”
The brunette smiled and then frowned, her hand coming to rest against her stomach.
“Babies kicking?” Ginny asked with a furrowed brow.
“Don’t know,” Hermione responded. “Doesn’t quite feel the same.”
“How is it different?” Ginny asked as she placed her hand on her friend’s stomach.
Ron and Harry heard that and turned their attention to Hermione.
“What’s wrong?” Ron asked in a slight panic.
“I’m sure it’s nothing,” Hermione told him. “It’s not painful … just different.”
“How do you mean?” Harry asked as he knelt beside Ron, his hand reaching for her stomach as well.
“What’s going on?” Neville asked as he moved to the group, having been designated by the other Gryffindors.
“Something’s happening with the babies,” Ron said without thinking.
“Babies?” Neville asked with wide eyes.
“Shite,” Ron whispered as he placed his head on his wife’s stomach.
“I knew it!” Lavender Brown exclaimed.
“She’s going to have a baby?” Pavarti asked.
“Looks like,” Seamus added. Then a strange look crossed his face. “So you really are shagging Granger?”
“Oh honestly, Seamus!” Hermione called out. “We’re married!”
“Thought that was a lie …” the Irishman responded.
“Of course not,” Harry snapped back before returning his attention to Hermione. “What can we do?”
“Nothing. It’s --,” she started but never finished. Why? Because a scream ripped from her throat and she doubled over in pain. And then she disappeared.
“Hermione!” Ron screamed.
Headmistress McGonagall rushed to the screaming boy’s side. “What happened?”
“She’s disappeared,” Ron said as tears streamed down his red face.
“Miss Weasley, if you would, please go owl your parents. And Mr. Weasley, Mr. Potter, come with me.”
Minerva gave Professor Flitwick a look and then proceeded to pull the two boys out of the Great Hall.
“What’s happening?” Harry asked.
“Her choice. Their choice.”
Harry paled as he looked to an even paler Ron. “It’ll be okay,” Harry said.
“She’s with Voldemort right now, isn’t she?” Ron asked softly in a shaking voice.
“Yes, Mr. Weasley. She is. The end will be here soon.”
Secretly, Ron and Harry both hoped that Hermione wasn’t hacked off at the Boy Who Lived. Ron’s mind tried to search for the result of choosing the Dark side. He couldn’t come up with it. “How long will this take?”
“Well, if we’re all still alive in five minutes, I think we shall know her choice.”
“And if not?” Ron asked stupidly.
“We won’t have to worry about it, will we?” Harry responded gravely.
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