Chapter 12 : Decisions Are Made
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Author's Note:†Hey everyone! Sorry it took me so long to update! I've been really busy with my birthday, a friend staying, working on set, and sorting out Univeristy stuff. So yeah. Oh, and Pottermore, that has kept me pretty busy because I†got in two days ago and it's fantastic. I'm a Gryffindor and have a Rowen and Phoenix Feather wand, twelve and three quarter inches. I'm pretty stoked. Anyways, here is your lovely chapter and I†hope you enjoy it!
When I woke up the next morning, it took a few seconds for me to fully realize that Ron was gone. For good. Once we left this spot, he wouldn't be able to find us again. I had to do a lot of deep breathing to stop myself from crying all over again. Ron was my best guy friend. He was the one who got Harry to relax a little when he was being a tad too overprotective, or acted like an older brother when he saw fit to it. He was the one I could talk to when I didn't want to talk to a girl or Harry about things. And he was gone, just like that.
We ate breakfast in silence and waited an extra hour to leave our spot. The mud in the river was getting so close to our spot on the bank that it was almost impossible to stay for as long as we had. When we got to our next location, a heather-covered hillside, Hermione† walked away and sat down on a rock, starting to cry again. Harry began pacing angrily so it was up to me to cast the protective enchantments. For being the pregnant one, I seemed to be holding myself together the best after this.
No one even spoke Ron's name over the next few days. Nothing about him was to be mentioned without getting Hermione crying and Harry raging like a bull. We kept tabs on Hogwarts and Snape through Phineas Nigellus, who, even though he said he didn't want to talk to us again, came back every three or four days bearing some news. Most of it was garbage, but some of it was getting to be helpful, like Snape reinstating Umbridge's old decree that forbid groups of three or more students from getting together.
As the weather got colder, I grew bigger. Faster than I had thought I would too. As Christmas trees began twinkling from inside people's windows, I realized that I was somewhere around the five month mark. If I looked like I was four or five months at nine weeks, I guessed that I probably looked like I was about to pop out a baby at any moment. And the worst part of it all was that I couldn't see my feet no matter what angle I tried it at!
I felt like a whale, and for those of you who haven't felt like that before, it isn't the best feeling in the world.
I had had to use an enlarging spell on all my clothes, and some of them were just unbearable because they were so uncomfortable, so I'd actually had to go out and buy some maternity clothes. I knew now that I would always stay fit and slim because this whole fat thing really wasn't working for me.
Another thing that apparently was common in a Fairy pregnancy was the urge to have my wings out at all times. If I went out in public, and when we were moving, I kept them retracted, but right now, the best feeling for me was to have my wings spread out and free.
"Harry, Emily, could you guys help me with something?" Luckily, she didn't make me waddle over to her. Yup, I waddled now. I was getting more and more depressed by the day. She held out her copy of The Tales of Beedle the Bard. "Look at that symbol."
"It's Grindelwald's mark. Luna's dad was wearing it around his neck, remember?" I said. I knew what the symbol truly meant, but as they hadn't learned anything about the Deathly Hallows yet, I felt it was best to leave that part out.
"Oh yeah," Harry said slowly, before recounting the story that Victor Krum had told him at the wedding. Hermione looked totally surprised.
"I've never heard anything about Grindelwald having a mark."
"Well, like I said, Krum said that the symbol was carved on a wall at Durmstrang and that Grindelwald put it there."
Hermione fell back into the old armchair, frowning. "That's really odd. If it's a symbol of Dark Magic, what's it doing in a book of children's stories?"
"Yeah, it is weird," Harry agreed. "And you'd think Scrimgeour would've recognized it. He was Minister; he ought to have been an expert of Dark stuff."
"I know...maybe he just thought it was an eye, like I did. All the other stories have little pictures over the titles." Hermione didn't speak again, but continued to pore over the strange mark.
"So...I wanted to talk to you both about something."
"I've been thinking about going to Godric's Hollow."
"I think it's a good idea," I said and Harry beamed at me.
"Yes," Hermione said slowly. "Yes, I've been wondering about that too. I really think we'll have to."
"Do you think she heard me right?" Harry asked me. I shrugged.
"Of course I heard you right. You want to go to Godric's Hollow. I agree. I think we should. I mean, I can't think of anywhere else it could be either. It'll be dangerous, but the more I think about it, the more likely it seems it's there."
"Er - what's there?" Harry asked.
"The sword," I said.
"Exactly," Hermione agreed. "I'm glad I'm not the only one who's been thinking that. Dumbledore would've known you'd want to go back there, and I mean, Godric's Hollow is Godric Gryffindor's birthplace -"
"Really? Gryffindor came from Godric's Hollow?"
"Have you ever even opened 'A History of Magic'?" Hermione asked.
"Erm," Harry said, smiling for the first time I had seen in months. "I might've opened it, you know, when I bought it...just the one..."
I grinned. "Well, as the village is named after him I'd have thought you might have made the connection," Hermione said. She sounded so much like the old Hermione; I felt my heart soar with happiness. "There's a bit about the village in 'A History of Magic', wait..."
She opened the beaded bag and sifted through everything for awhile before finally taking out her old textbook, 'A History of Magic' by Bathilda Bagshot, which she flipped through until she found the page she wanted. After she read through the passage, she mentioned how Harry's family wasnít mentioned because Bagshot didn't write anything past the nineteenth century, and how it keeps mentioning Godric Gryffindor.
"Remember what Muriel said?" he asked eventually.
"Ginny's great-aunt. At the wedding. The one who said you had skinny ankles."
"Oh," Hermione said and I knew both of them had been expecting to hear Ron's name. I rubbed Harry's arm a little to comfort him.
"She said that Bathilda Bagshot still lived in Godric's Hollow."
"Bathilda Bagshot," Hermione said, running her finger over the name on the front cover. "Well, I suppose -"
Suddenly Hermione gasped so dramatically that I jumped out of my seat and practically fell over, not used to this dramatic weight added to my front end. "What is it?" I looked at the door but there was no one there. "Geez, Hermione, I thought you'd seen a Death Eater and it's not that easy for me to stand up properly these days..."
"What if Bathilda's got the sword? What if Dumbledore entrusted it to her?"
"Yeah, he might have done! So we're going to Godric's Hollow?"
"Yes, but we're going to have to think this through very carefully," Hermione mentioned. "Emily would be good to plan this, but we'll need to practice Disapparating together under the Invisibility Cloak, and maybe some Disillusionment Charms..."
Hermione kept talking. Even though she said I should probably plan it, she was already doing a lot of it herself. I'd still probably do a rough plan, just to be on the safe side. I knew Harry was ecstatic just at the idea that he was going to the place he spent his first year of life at. I was actually pretty excited too. I wanted to see where my future husband had come from. It would be interesting.
While we were there, we would get to see his parent's graves. That would be tougher, but I knew it was something Harry's wanted to do ever since he found out he was a wizard. It was so important for him, and for me too. I mean, these were the people who would've been my mother-in-law and my father-in-law. That would've been awesome! I remember Remus telling me too that James and Lily had been some of my half-aunt's best friends. The Potter's had even taken my aunt in when she had been gravely injured and had considered her their own daughter, even if she wasn't by blood. They were as much a part of my history as they were Harry's, which was really weird to think about.
Later that night, Hermione was off doing some reading, trying to find out more about Bathilda Bagshot and Godric's Hollow. "Hey Em?" Harry asked softly when he saw me on the couch, kind of zoned out.
"I was just wondering...well, you're pretty far along now, and...we haven't really discussed any names," Harry said awkwardly. "I mean, I know there's still four months to go, but I thought it might be a good idea to start looking at names."
"You want to have names for the baby before you go see your parents," I said quietly.
He looked at me and grinned a little. "Kind of, yeah."
I scooched over on the couch and Harry came and sat beside me. I grabbed my book from my purse and told it in Fairy to show us baby names. When I reopened it, there was a long, alphabetical list of names. "Ready to look at this?"
He looked at the daunting list and said, "As I'll ever be."
He sat as close to me as possible, his arm wrapped around me as we looked through all the possible names. Harry had a pad of paper on his lap, writing a name down every time we saw one that we both liked.
The baby was kicking like crazy. It did that whenever Harry was around and I thought it was a good time to show him that. Without speaking a single word to him, I lifted up my shirt to reveal my protruding belly and put his hand on it just as the baby was kicking.
Harry's reaction was priceless. He looked so shocked and so happy at the same time, I wish I'd had my camera out to take a picture of it. He took his arm out from around me so he could put both hands on my stomach. The baby went wild when he did this, kicking like crazy.
"That's...that's the baby?" Harry asked in astonishment.
I was grinning like a maniac. "It does that whenever you're around, you know."
"Really?" His face was so priceless. He was so excited to have this experience that I couldn't stop laughing. Between my hysterical laughter and the baby kicking, my poor bladder was in shambles. "Emily, this is amazing," Harry whispered. "I can't believe - I can't believe this is really happening right now."
"It seems a lot better now than it did when I first found out," I told him and he nodded in agreement, his hands moving all over my belly.
"Hermione! Come feel this!" Harry called excitedly and Hermione came over, looking at him confused. "Feel her belly!"
He was like a child in a candy store. Actually, I think a more accurate description would be a teenage wizard in Zonko's. He always looked so happy when he was looking at the stuff in there.
Hermione put her hands on my stomach and when the baby kicked; her lips formed a small 'o', making me laugh. "Isn't that amazing?" Harry asked excitedly. She laughed when she saw the look on her face.
"You are going to be a fantastic father, Harry," Hermione said, hugging Harry and hugging me. "You two are handling this so well."
"There's no other way to really deal with this other than positively," I said. "But I think this is for the best. Even though everything seems so dark and bad right now, we've got this baby to keep a little light in our lives."
Hermione smiled. "I'm going to go to sleep, so try to keep it down you two, alright?"
Harry just grinned evilly at her and once she was in bed, he cast the Muffliato charm on her. "I don't think that's what she meant," I mentioned. He kept on grinning.
"I am so glad that I'm going to have a family with you, Em, you have no idea," Harry said, his voice the lightest and happiest that I had heard in a couple of months. "I love you so much."
"I love you too, Harry," I whispered, bringing his face to mine so I could kiss him. He eagerly kissed me back, trying to find an angle to put his body at that wouldn't squish my stomach or block his access to my lips. He pulled away and knelt down on the floor below me, holding my belly in his hands and kissing it over and over again. "You are too cute."
Harry jumped up and plopped back beside me. He was in a really good mood now. Well, at least I knew how to make him happy now. Get pregnant and show him the kicking baby.
"You know, I don't think I've ever told you this before but I think your wings are really sexy," Harry said, lightly tracing patterns along them. It felt weird to have someone touching my wings - I've never had that sensation before. It wasn't something you really let people do unless they were someone you really cared about. After all these years worrying about what he really thought about what he really thought about my wings - let's fact it, it's not everyday that you meet a girl with wings - I finally got to know the truth.
I liked the feel though. I liked how he was touching them so softly and carefully, gazing at them as if they were some of the most incredible things in the world. "You are so beautiful...how did I possibly win you over?" Harry muttered, and I'm pretty sure it was to himself.
"Your money and fame," I said simply and he stared at me in astonishment. "I'm kidding. It was totally your body."
A growl came from the back of his throat before he brought my lips back to his. I was definitely starting to like our private nights together, that was for sure.
Even better though, I now knew that I was ready to have this baby. I felt confident that it was going to go well. Harry supported me one hundred percent, probably more. Seeing him so excited to look at baby names and to feel the baby kicking, I was filled with joy. And a little excitement too, to be honest.
Next time on "The Final Stand"
"Harry, they're here...right here."
I followed Hermione's voice and found her standing in front of a white marble headstone only two rows back from Kendra's and Ariana's. Harry was there in an instant, as if he Apparated just so he could get there as quickly as possible.
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