Chapter 1 : Of Peanut Butter and Little Ones
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It was late. Like three o’clock in the morning late. When you were supposed to be in a deep sleep, curled up beside your wife; something Ron Weasley was not doing right now. Right now, Ron Weasley was groggily making his way to the kitchen of the three bedroom bungalow he had just purchased with his wife a week ago. His wife, Ron smiled to himself. His wife Hermione, now Hermione Weasley.
These night time wanderings had now become regular outing; since the kitchen was at such an easy access from the bedroom he shared with Hermione. Yes, this was quite an improvement from their cramped flat they used to share in Hogsmeade.
Making his way directly to the fridge, Ron opened the door and peered into the coldness. Milk. Yes, that would be quite sufficient tonight. Because most of their things were still shoved in boxes, there were no glasses. In fact their entire kitchen was still quite bare except for the round table and two wooden chairs that sat absentmindedly in the empty space. Knowing that Hermione was sound asleep in the next room, Ron silently opened the carton of milk and took a swig right from the carton.
The faint glow of the Muggle neighbourhood in which they lived was coming through the window. The neighbourhood took quite a while for Ron to get used to, but Hermione thought it was best to blend in with the rest of the public in the aftermath of the Final Battle. The last thing any of the witches and wizards participating in the battle wanted was the nosy wizarding world interrupting their peace after so many years of trepidation.
Soft footsteps interrupted Ron’s reverie. Someone was coming. With his head still dazed by sleep, Ron mumbled the first spell that came into his head, “Lumos”. (As soon as he said this he realized this was an extremely unintelligent choice, for it would do nothing to defend himself against an intruder). At the same time, the “someone” in the dark whispered a much wiser choice of spell with purpose, “Expelliarmis!”
“Hey! What was that---!” Ron stumbled back, surprised by his wand being snatched out of his hand at this wretched hour of the night.
“Sorry, Ron is that you?” Hermione whispered her wand tip now alight in Ron’s face.
“S’all right,” Ron whispered back, groggily, “You know what they say: a soldier’s instincts are always sharper after a war.” This was true ever since the defeat of Voldemort four years ago, everyone, though relaxed, was still quick to react to strange happenings of any circumstance.
“Yes,” Hermione said thoughtfully, “and my instincts are telling me that you’ve drinking straight out of the milk carton!”
“Well,” Ron looked flustered, “We haven’t really unpacked… and no one was here…” He trailed off knowing his attempt to reason with Hermione was failing miserably.
Hermione raised an eyebrow at him, “Ah, what the Horntail,” she said very un-Hermione-ishly, “We’re married now!” Indeed they had been for over a year. It still surprised Hermione that she had agreed to get married so young and fresh from school, but nonetheless she was enjoying every minute of it. Hermione promptly chugged the rest of the carton much to Ron’s dismay.
“Easy does it woman,” Ron said wide-eyed, “We don’t raise cattle in our backyard!”
“A pregnant woman’s got to be nourished.” At five months, Hermione was coming along beautifully; at least, to Ron’s judgment. Her tight tummy was just a small hump beneath her flowing nightgown she had made for herself when she discovered she was pregnant.
“Now, I think I’d like some peanut butter…” She began making her way to one of the cupboards, the one next to the sink, where they had casually thrown in a bunch of non-perishables until they unpacked the boxes lining the halls.
“With…?” Ron asked her tentatively, hoping it wouldn’t be something odd, like pickles.
“With more peanut butter,” stated Hermione smugly.
Ron was a bit relieved. Lately Hermione’s cravings had been either absolutely putrid or some bizarre concoction usually created by Ron, because Hermione was a hopeless cook. Of course this was never said out loud, but after Ron had come home for the third time to the kitchen in smoke and what resembled a thick, charred Frisbee in the garbage, there was an unsaid agreement that Ron had the better culinary skills.
Hermione could make one thing though, and that was cookies. Ron had no idea what went in to them, just that every time he inhaled them ravenously (like he did with most foods); they satisfied his stomach like nothing else.
“So you’re just going to eat it by the spoonful?” Ron asked questioningly.
“Yes, Ronald, by the spoonful. Do you expect me to eat it with a rubber spatula?”
Ron decided not to comment on this retort as Hermione sat down with the jar of peanut butter, plunged the spoon in and began twirling it around with her fingers.
Ron turned to gaze at Hermione; her body that looked so beautiful, so womanly, so… healthy. It truly was amazing that she was carrying their future inside of her. He moved up to her lips, so tender and always soft. Then her smile; radiant and warm. This reminded him of her laugh; bubbly and full of life, always choosing to burst out at the right moments. Next were her eyes, so very endearing with loads of affection.
“What?” Hermione looked at Ron playfully, “Do I have peanut butter on my nose or something?”
Ron was brought out of his daze, “No, but…” He dipped his finger in the peanut butter jar and dabbed some on her nose, “… now you do!”
“Hey!” Hermione reached up to rub the peanut butter off her nose, but Ron was quicker; he grabbed her wrist and slowly moved his hand to lace his fingers through hers.
“I’ll get that,” Ron eyed Hermione and leaned in to lick it off her nose. After, he drew her in gently, resting his hands on top of her growing abdomen.
“You dirty dog!” Hermione giggled. She tried to struggle, but Ron was strong and they wrestled together teasingly, Ron being careful not to grasp too hard on Hermione. They both ended up laughing together.
If anyone was to peer into the window at this moment they would see a happy, young couple disguising their terrifying feelings of what was to come by laughing insanely at each other, in the dark. Not something you’d normally see in a pitch black kitchen at three o’clock in the morning. But of course, Ron and Hermione rarely did anything that was remotely normal.
Hermione sighed and leaned into Ron’s chest, her eyes resting on where his hands were placed, “Are you scared?” She whispered, although there was no one else in the room.
“A little,” Ron answered quietly. More like terrified, he thought to himself.
“Me too,” Hermione considered, “Sometimes I wonder if we’re starting too soon, but then I remember that Harry and Ginny already have one and another on the way and Ginny’s almost two years younger than me!
“Of course, when we went to Flourish and Blotts last weekend I picked up some light reading on children and upbringing, but none of them tell you what to do if, say, the child doesn’t like you. I mean, what if it hates me? What if I miss something that turns out to be a crucial part of shaping our child’s life? Not once, in How to Raise Presentable Witches and Wizards did it mention anything about loving your child and having them love you back!”
Ron cracked a smile that Hermione couldn’t see. Here she was, Hermione, top in their year at Hogwarts, Head of the Department of Magical Law, getting flustered about the best ways to raise a child. Because motherhood isn’t something you learn from books, it comes gradually, with patience and practice. You can’t learn compassion from How to Raise Presentable Witches and Wizards. Although Hermione had her doubts, Ron already knew she’d make an excellent mother. He’d known for a long time. It was what she had been doing all her adolescent life, mothering Harry and Ron at Hogwarts, making sure they stayed out of trouble (even if she was the one who got them in it in the first place and had to bail them out afterwards). It was Hermione’s nurturing and compassionate nature that had attracted Ron to her in the first place and the reason he decided to marry her; that and the fact the he couldn’t actually picture his life without her in it.
“Well, too late to go back now,” Ron joked, “I think we really can’t do any better than we’re doing right now and I must say that’s not half bad.” She hadn’t really asked him this question, but Ron knew all she really wanted was some reassurance. In about sixth year, to Ron’s amazement, he found out women were extremely complex. Yet Hermione was like a favourite book that you could read over and over again. You new the detailed storyline, but with each read you discovered a new aspect. In this way, Ron knew her mannerisms, the way she would react to situations; things that made her tick. Hermione brought an element of surprise in Ron’s life, just to keep things interesting.
“I’m so glad we ended up together,” Hermione mused out loud, feeling a new sense of confidence and reassurance. A flood of memories of their childhood days to where they were now came rushing back to her. The troll… Lockhart… Scabbers and Crookshanks… Krum and the Yule Ball… The Department of Mysteries… Quidditch… Lavender… Horcrux hunting… returning to the Chamber of Secrets… kissing Ron during the final battle… the loss of breath when Harry went into the forest… the sense of victory when it was all over… learning to truth about Snape… their first official date… their first Christmas together at The Burrow… anniversaries… their August wedding… the night they first discovered they were expecting. Their days of heart felt meals together and nights of passion would soon be filled with soggy nappies and incessant wailing, but more importantly, days of teaching, loving and growing.
Ron was thinking about the same thing. “Yep,” he said very Ron-ishly, “I’m so glad we made it through.”
Author's Note: I hope you enjoyed this. It kind of strolled into my head after reading Deathly Hallows. I'm thinking of maybe going off this one with some more one-shots or a new story all together. I already have a second part in mind. Thanks for reading and please leave a review to tell me if you liked it.