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Chapter 2 : Help
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Footsteps where heard on the stairs and a moment later, Percy walked into the kitchen. He saw George and Hermione sitting at the table, Titus in George's arms. He strode over to them in one long step and took Titus from George. Percy leaned down to kiss Hermione on the forehead. He tucked a lose hair behind her ear and smiled down at her.
"How you holdin' up 'Mione?" he asked.
She felt remorse fill her heart but tried not to let it show. Percy, however, saw the slight flicker in her eyes. Understanding what she was going through, he didn't mention it. "I am wonderful Perce. Thanks," she masked her true feelings with her breathtaking smile.
"Mind if I borrow the little man for a while?" he asked looking at Titus.
"Not at all. I really do need to get these potions started for Gin anyway, so that helps a load." she confessed, standing up from the table.
"Well thank you!" he chuckled in a very un-Percy-like tone, striding into the sitting room.
Hermione grabbed a few items from Mrs. Weasley's stores and followed Percy through the door.
Hermione was nearly halfway through the potion when the rest of the Weasleys decided to join. Ginny was, of course, still in bed. Bill sat in the arm chair next to Hermione by the fireplace. "Percy, do you mind?" he asked, extending his arms toward the amused Percy.
Percy handed Titus to Bill and looked at his watch, "Oh! Look at the time! I must be to work anyway," he scruffed the baby's hair and was out the door.
Bill had little Titus giggling away within seconds. Hermione turned to her son and smiled. It wasn't a happy smile. She was upset and it showed. "You're so good with him, Bill,"
"I love this kid," said Bill, beaming at Hermione, "I'd do anything for my little bro's little man!"
Mrs. Weasley walked in at that moment carrying a tray of sandwiches. She laughed in the motherly way she always did, "Not so little anymore, Sweetie. He's bigger than you now I reckon," she patted Bill on the shoulder and exited the room once more.
Hermione added the finishing touches to the potion and grabbed a sandwich. She looked around the room from her spot on the floor, "Where's Harry?"
"With Ginny," mumbled Ron through a mouthful of sandwich.
"Have they set a date yet for the wedding?" asked Hermione.
"Not exactly, but they are thinking about April," answered Mrs. Weasley, coming in from the kitchen once more.
"That's so soon!" Hermione replied. "Do they have any planning done?"
"Just the guest list. I believe they want a very quiet small wedding." Mrs. Weasley explained.
"That makes sense."
Glasses of lemonade floated to each person in the room. Hermione caught hers and sipped it contently. Mrs. Weasley strode over to Bill and held out her arms to him, "Now give me my grandson why don't you! Oh, come, you can have him later," she added while Bill hesitated.
She took Titus and sat down in her rocking chair on the other side of Hermione. She watched the woman who was like a mother to her make faces at her giggling son. She smiled, "It's a good thing he likes you all, 'cause getting passed around like this might irritate him if he didn't," she chuckled.
The boys laughed. Mrs. Weasley looked down at her in that mothering way that she always did, "It's a good thing he is a calm child," she glanced at Ron, "After having seven children of my own, I don't think I could handle a fussy baby,"
"That he isn't!"
"He must get that from you. His father was every sense of the phrase 'wild child'." Mrs. Weasley laughed.
Hermione was relaxing in her sitting room with a new book she had picked up at Florish and Blott's while Titus played with a toy hypogriff. At six months, he was set in his play rocker, newly able to sit up on his own. It had been two and a half weeks since Hermione had last visited the Burrow. She was starting to miss it's smell of home and it's inhabitants. Occasionally George, Percy, or Bill and Fluer would stop by and visit with her and Titus for a while. A few times George had even brought by dinner.
Hermione loved her flat, but it didn't feel like home to her, not with just her and Titus. She was lonely. It felt nice to have company but there was something about it that never felt quite right. It could've been the cold half of the bed or the second toothbrush in Hermione's bathroom. It could've been the pictures of two happy parents smiling at their newborn son. It even could've been the third placemat at the table that was sometimes occupied by George.
Titus started to chew on the stuffed hypogriff, creating slobber stains. Hermione chuckled at the adorable boy. She wasn't looking at him long before her attention was turned towards the window, where an owl was tapping on the glass. Hermione strode over to the window and perched herself on the sill. She recognised the owl as Errol, she Weasleys' old barn owl, almost at once. The snatched the letter from him and read while he waited for a response.
Harry and I would like you to join us for dinner tonight at the Hogshead. We were in there just the other night and old Abberforth has really fixed the place up, with the help of his new assistant. You'll never believe who it is! Well, anyway, see you around 7:30! Harry and I will be there to pick you up.
P.S. We have arranged for Fleur to watch Titus since Bill will be working late tonight. She'll need the practice!
Hermione wrote a quick "I'd love to" on a small piece of parchment and sent it along with Errol. She then strode over the the spot where Titus was playing and picked him up from under the armpits, "Come on big guy. Mummy has to go get ready to go out with Auntie Ginny and Uncle Harry," at the sound of their names Titus giggled and clapped his hands together.
It took Hermione ages to find something to wear. This was her first time really going out since Titus was born. She didn't realise how long it had been until she looked at the nicer side of her closet, which was covered in dust. Half of her closet was soon strewn across the furniture in her bedroom. Titus just sat in his playpen and watched while clothes went flying this way and that. Hermione walked out in a brown dress and a pair of matching wedges. "You probably think Mummy's crazy, huh?"
The boy just stared at her, mouth open.
Hermione looked down at her outfit, "No. I didn't think so either," she marched back in her closet and stared at her wardrobe.
After ten minutes she walked out in a natural waisted black dress and a pair of nude pumps. "What do you think Baby?"
Titus smiled his huge baby smile.
"Yea. I thought so too. Black ribbon in the hair to top it all off?"
She walked over to him and kissed his forehead before waltzing into the bathroom to finish up. She tamed her overly bushy hair with her wand and added a light finger wave. Hermione tied a black ribbon around her head, just behind her ears. She was putting the finishing touches on her make up when the doorbell rang.
She rushed to the door to let Fleur in. The beautiful woman stared at her from the doorway, "You look magnific!" Fleur walked in following Hermione to her bedroom.
"He's in here. The little guy was just helping me get ready," Hermione smiled at her.
"Vell he haz zertainly done a terrific job! Zere is just one zing missing," she appraised Hermione for a monent, "Ah!" Fleur dug around in her purse for a few minutes then pulled out what looked like a silver bullet, "I always keep zis with me. At all times! Gabrielle zent it to me from France,"
She opened the bullet and Hermione discovered that it was lipstick of the richest most radiant red. She let Fleur apply the lipstick. Just as she had finished, the doorbell rang yet again.
Fleur picked Titus up out of the playpen and flooded Hermione to the door as she hastily gave Fleur instructions. Hermione opened the door to see Harry and Ginny smiling at her. Ginny almost tackled her into a hug. When she pulled back she held her at shoulders length and examined her, "You look beautiful 'Mione," she smiled, "Has Fleur told you the good news yet?"
Hermione looked at Ginny confused. She turned to Fleur who was practically screaming for her attention.
A/N: Please leave a review! I love to read your feedback! I answer all reviews so if you have any questions then feel free to ask.
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