Chapter 1 : A Rose By Any Other Name
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“Okay, fine. Julius.”
“What are we having, a Greek tragedy for a child? Hermione, we’re English.”
Hermione rolled her eyes and crossed her arms. “For goodness’ sake Ron, could you try to be a bit open minded here?” Ron grunted. Hermione glared at him.
“For your information, Julius, as in Julius Caesar, was not Greek, he was Roman. And William Shakespeare wrote an entire play about him. Yes, Shakespeare was English.”
Ron sat down on the couch, his arms flopping at his sides. He looked up at his wife, who at the moment was beginning to become a bit hysterical. Hormones, Ron thought, but didn’t dare speak. He had known a few months ago that they were going to run into some sort of wall, picking out names, as he and Hermione did not at all share the same tastes. But really, why did it have to be such a big deal? She was only four months pregnant first of all, and second of all, it was just a name. Not really something to get all worked up about, so Ron thought. He said as much.
“Just a name??? You’re willing to simply bang any name on your baby, that’s how little you care? I don’t think it’s ridiculous at all to make a big deal out of a name. I want my baby to appreciate his or her name. Don’t you, Ronald Bilius?”
Ron groaned as she used his own embarrassment of his given name in her favor, but that did not mean that he was going to budge. Why did their child have to be named after some famous literary character, after all? Just because Hermione’s parents were crazy enough to name their baby after some ‘Shakesword’ nut did not mean Ron was going to have to do so.
Hermione put one hand on her hip and stared at her husband crossly when he did not verbally respond to her question – rhetorical as it was. “Alright, do you have any better ideas?”
“Okay – Dai.”
“Are you kidding me, Ron Weasley?”
Ron shook his head, looking toward Hermione in earnest. “You know, as in Dai Llewellyn?”
Hermione stared at him with a blank expression on her face.
“‘Dangerous’ Dai Llewellyn?” he tried, with still no hint of recognition on his wife’s face. Ron sighed and continued. “He was only the most famous player on the ‘Caerphilly Catapults’- you know, from Wales? He was eaten by a Chimaera? Dad stayed in the ward named after him when he was at Saint Mungo’s!”
Hermione looked down at her husband with an unreadable expression on her face, taking a seat beside him on the couch after a moment or two.
“Ron, you’re trying to name our baby after a famous Quidditch player? You don’t think he’ll be teased at all if we name him ‘Dai’?”
“Well, it’s better than Leontes!” sputtered Ron defensively, upset that she had rejected what he had thought would be the perfect name.
“Okay,” sighed Hermione, “we won’t go with Leontes. Even though he was married to Hermione in Shakespeare’s ‘A Winter’s Tale’…” She looked at her husband carefully, silently trying to convince him.
“No!” said Ron quickly. “No Shakesword stuff!”
“Alright, alright, it was just a suggestion,” huffed Hermione. “And it’s Shakespeare-”
“Can I just give you my next name?” asked Ron impatiently.
“Yes,” said Hermione calmly, folding her hands on her lap, “you may.”
Ron glared at Hermione for a moment before smiling and saying “Okay, Kennilworthy.”
Hermione nearly fell off the couch laughing, caught off guard by the name her husband had said so solemnly suggested.
“K-K-Kennilworthy?” she gasped, rolling and holding her side as she gasped for breath. “Wait, let me guess, is he some Quidditch player, too?”
Ron looked very put out at Hermione’s reaction and the fact that she could not take a single one of his ideas seriously. “No, as a matter of fact, he isn’t!”
Hermione stopped laughing long enough to look at Ron. “Alright then, who is he?”
“He wrote ‘Quidditch Through the Ages.”
“You said he wasn’t a Quidditch player!”
“He isn’t.” Ron was getting plently annoyed by now. “He doesn’t play, at least not professionally. He just wrote the book.”
“Ron,” began Hermione, biting her lip to hold back from laughing again, “you don’t think a kid named Kennilworthy would be teased?”
“Well, it’s better than your literary characters.” Ron crossed his arms.
“Yours is a literary character too, Ron.”
“He’s not a character, he wrote the book. And it’s a book about Quidditch! He’s not in some dusty old book that everyone but you finds too stuffy and boring to read-”
Ron could tell that he had gone too far, but he was too far gone to stop now.
“I mean, nobody’s even heard of your people! Our baby’s going to Hogwarts, remember? No one there reads that Shakesword junk, but people know about Quidditch! I’m sorry that you’re still thinking like a Muggle, but those old names are just plain ugly!”
There. Hermione always won everything, but this time, Ron was determined to have the last word. He was right, wasn’t he? He just wanted a baby named-
Uh, oh. Were those tears in Hermione’s eyes?
Ron stared nervously at his wife, who was now looking down at her hands clasped in her lap. She softly sniffled, trying to fight back her tears and stay strong, but apparently Ron had really wounded her.
“Listen, Hermione, I didn’t mean that, I just-”
Hermione’s head snapped up, and the look in her eyes, one of mixed sadness and anger, was one Ron hoped to never see again. She carefully rose from her seat beside him, squared her shoulders, and then she looked down at him with a cold, condescending stare as she simply said “It’s Shakespeare, Ron.”
And with that, Hermione Granger Weasley walked, as quickly as she could while ‘with child’, to the bedroom. The door slammed loudly behind her, but Ron swore he could hear a muffled sob before it closed.
Ron Weasley was without a doubt the biggest idiot that ever lived.
He had taken winning too far. So what if she got to pick the baby name? It really was just a name, and it was definitely not worth hurting his wife’s feelings over. He had to make it up to her, but how?
With a groan, Ron collapsed back on the couch, putting a hand over his eyes. He had to apologize to his wife at least once a week for stupid stuff, and he had used up all of his best apology techniques. Now that he messed up big time, he had nothing left.
His eyes wandered around the room, taking in the fresh flowers on the coffee table that Hermione had placed there earlier that morning, the clean laundry Hermione had just folded sitting on a chair, and the pictures Hermione had framed and hung up, until they rested on the bookcase.
It was Hermione’s bookcase, really. The shelves were heavily laden with books, many so large and with such fine print that it would take Ron a month to read each one, though Hermione could finish each in a few hours. He found it endearing, really, the way she loved her books, not that anyone would be able to tell after the way he just spoken to her-
That was it. He had it, the perfect way to apologize to Hermione! He could read her a line out of one of those books she loved. He quickly got off the couch, bending down so he could see the bottom shelf, which was full of books by that Shakesword guy. Ron reached out his hand and grabbed one, opening up to a random page. He noticed a line Hermione had underlined and read it aloud, hoping he could use it to convey some sort of apology.
“Et tu, Brute?” No, that wouldn’t do at all. Was that even English? He quickly replaced that book, picking out another one and opening up to a random page again.
“Fair is foul, and foul is fair. Hover through the fog and filthy air.” Ron wasn’t sure what that meant exactly, but he was pretty certain that it would not make Hermione want to forgive him. He chose another book.
"The lady doth protest too much, methinks." Ron smiled as he read the words, thinking them to be somewhat true, but closing the book all the same. If he ever wanted to Hermione to speak to him again, those were definitely not the words to use.
About to give up, Ron reached for a final book, hoping it would hold the key to his forgiveness. He opened up to a page and then read what Hermione had underlined. Ron smiled once more, but this time, he didn’t shut the book. Perfect, he thought.
Hermione sat on her bed, tears spilling down her face as she rubbed her growing belly. Why did Ron have to be such a prat? Sometimes he could be so sweet she couldn’t even believe it, but at other times he said things that were just so – ugh – Hermione didn’t even have the words for it.
She didn’t understand why he had to attack her so. All she wanted was a nice name for their child. She was open to his suggestions, why couldn’t he be open to hers? Alright, she had laughed at his choice, but she had not made fun of him. That was just completely uncalled for.
Hermione considered just going to sleep, keeping the door locked and sealed, thus leaving Ron to spend the night on the couch. She really was exhausted, and she was not really even in the mood to eat dinner. Pulling a pillow toward her she laid back, closing her eyes and hoping to have a peaceful rest when she heard Ron speaking through the door. She wanted to ignore him, but she couldn’t help but listen to what he was saying.
“What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”
Ron was quoting Shakespeare! Hermione got up off her bed to listen by the door for more.
“Hermione!” She heard Ron’s pleading. “I’m so sorry, I was an idiot, I know it! Please forgive me, and I’ll listen to your names, I promise!”
Hermione couldn’t help herself anymore, so she opened the door.
Ron couldn’t stop the wide grin from spreading across his face when he heard the door open, signifying Hermione’s acceptance of his apology. He quickly rose from where he had been kneeling on the floor, moving his thumb to wipe at her tear-stained cheek.
“Listen Hermione,” he said softly as he embraced her, “I’m really sorry. I promise to never say anything like that again. Well, I’ll try. Do you forgive me?”
Hermione smiled and kissed him.
“Is that a yes?”
“Yes,” smiled Hermione and she took a step back. “I can’t believe you quoted that ‘Shakesword’ stuff!”
“That’s Shakespeare, Hermione.” Hermione laughed.
“You know what?” she said. “I think I came up with an idea for a name I think you’ll like.”
“What is it?” asked Ron.
“Rose.” Ron grinned.
“I love it.”
“Now,” said Hermione, smiling as well, “what if it’s a boy, then?”
“I really think we should go with Kennilworthy,” said Ron, as they both headed back toward the couch.
“Ronald Weasley, you have got to be kidding me.”