Chapter 1 : The Gift
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Ron stood and made his way from the sitting room into the kitchen from the entrance hall. There he saw Hermione standing over the range, her wand out assisting in making dinner. He heard the sounds of muggle Christmas music coming from the wireless and watched as Hermione swayed slightly to the music. He cleared his throat to announce his arrival home. Hermione jumped in alarm.
"Ron!" Hermione exclaimed with delight.
"Happy Christmas Hermione." Ron said warmly. He smiled at Hermione noticing that she was wearing a Christmas tree shaped apron and that her hair was bushier. 'No doubt that it's because she was standing over the cooker' he thought.
"Happy Christmas." Hermione smiled back. Once she realized that she still had the apron on she tore it off as quickly as possible. Her cheeks a little flushed.
"Dinner done yet? I'm starved." Ron asked eagerly looking around at the two boiling pots on the range and the frying pan that was still simmering.
"Yes," Hermione started. "It should be ready in about five minutes or so. Could you get the plates, silverware, goblets and a drink for us please?"
"I'd be happy to." Ron smiled. "I thought we could eat dinner in the sitting room tonight."
Hermione pondered his statement for a minute. The internal struggle clearly evident on her face. She wasn't so sure if she should go for something so out of their normal routine. 'That is why we have a dinning room' she thought. She simply nodded in agreement to him.
"Great." Ron stated as he set the plates down on the granite topped counters and turned to get the silverware and goblets. "I'll just take the goblets in along with the bottle of Oak-matured Mead that I picked out."
Hermione watched him walk out of the kitchen, a small smile playing on her face as she began to plate their dinner. 'What is he up to' she thought. As she turned to get the napkins she continued to think about Ron. 'That is why I love him the way that I do, because he's finally being more spontaneous.' She suspected that it had something to do with the war.
She picked up the delicate plates and walked towards the sitting room. The sounds of a crackling fire met her ears and when she walked in she saw Ron sitting on the floor on one side of the coffee table. She walked over and set the plates down and looked curiously at Ron.
"I thought we could have a muggle type picnic in our sitting room." he explained to her clearly confused expression.
She smiled and sat down on the other side of the coffee table. Ron poured them each a goblet full of Mead and then they started eating. A few minutes later all you could hear were utensils on plates and goblets clinking as they were set back down. They were joined in the noise by the pops and cracks coming from the roaring fire. After they had their fill, they listened and watched the fire until Hermione noticed something out of the corner of her eye.
"What's that?" she asked Ron curiously pointing at the little black box under the Christmas tree.
Ron smiled and picked the black box up delicately and carried it over to Hermione. "It's a gift for you." he said smiling as he handed the box over to Hermione's open, waiting hands; a shocked look on her face.
"Ron, you did not have to get me anything." Hermione exclaimed, still slightly shocked by Ron's spontaneous behavior.
"I know," he started, "but when I saw this I thought of you, and I wanted to get you something that would always remind you of our first married Christmas together."
Hermione had tears in her eyes as Ron finished. "Thank you." she said simply.
Wiping the tears from her eyes, Hermione opened the velvet, black box gingerly. Inside was a beautiful gold necklace with a heart shaped pendent where a single ruby sat sparkling at her in the fire light.
Hermione held her hand to her mouth in shock. "Ron it...it's beautiful!"
Ron grinned. "I'm glad you like it. The witch at the jewelry shop told me that the ruby is suppose to represent love and friendship." Hermione still watched him astounded by the generous gift and by his ability to recall what the jewelery witch had said. "She also said that it can encourage passion and love to develop." he finished his face blushing.
Hermione grinned at him. "Will you help me put the necklace on?"
"What? Oh, yeah sure." he scooted over to her side of the coffee table, taking hold of the necklace and placing it around her neck. She held her left hand to the pendent, while her right hand held up her bushy-brown hair, waiting with baited breath for Ron to finish clasping the necklace together.
After he finished he started to kiss Hermione's neck. She closed her eyes at the soft touch of his lips against her skin. She let out a soft sigh. Ron looked at her a motioned towards the couch, Hermione nodded in agreement.
Once they made it to the couch they began snogging. In the distance sounds of Christmas carolers could be heard, the fire cast a soft glow to the room and the decorations on the tree were alive like dancing jewels between the light of the fire and the multi-colored lights on the tree.
When the kissing became more passionate Ron's hands found their way under Hermione's shirt and he began to rub her back in a soothing motion. Hermione then grabbed Ron's shirt and pulled it up and over his head and tossed it to the floor. Her hands ran across his smooth chest as he leaned her forward and removed her shirt and hung it off the back of the couch. It was only after more intense snogging did Hermione find that the only thing she had left on was her brand new ruby necklace. The room was littered with their clothes. Ron looked deep into her eyes and with a burning passion shared between their eye contact they agreed in the intimate act that they were going to carry out.
Nine Months Later...
Ron was rushing about the house like a mad man trying to find Hermione's hospital bag, but couldn't find it.
"Ronald!" Hermione yelled, breathing heavily. "The bag is already in the boot of the car!" she shouted as the next contraction hit her hard.
Ron stood looking baffled in the hallway; a familiar red hue creeping up into his cheeks. "Right." he said rushing out the door as Hermione sat down on the couch to breathe through the next contraction. She heard the car start and pull out of the drive. Putting a hand to her forehead, she tried to calm herself. Four contractions later she heard the car pull back into the drive, a door shut and the heavy oak door open wide. Ron came sprinting into the house, his ears redder than she had ever seen them before.
"Hermione, I'm sorry." he said.
"It...it's...o-okay R-Ron." she finished just as the contraction did.
He walked over to the couch to help her; she stood and placed an arm around his shoulder for support. As they made their way towards the door, Hermione gave a painful moan and squeezed Ron's shoulder. He winced in pain as she stood there breathing through the contraction.
After it ended the made it out the oak door that Ron pulled closed behind him. It was a beautiful September day and as soon as they stepped onto the path way they were immediately soaked in sunlight as they walked along the colorful flowered path towards the car.
"Why Hermione, did you insist on driving to St. Mungo's?" Ron asked in an impatient tone.
"B-because Ronald!" Hermione started, " I st-still like t-to in-incorporate m-mug-muggle traditions in- into my life see-seeing as I- I am mug-muggle b-born." she finished in a bossy tone.
Ron looked at her incredulously, opened his mouth to retort but noticed Hermione's white, knuckled grip on the door handle and thought better of it.
When they arrived at St. Mungo's, Ron pulled the car up against the curb where a wizard dressed as a muggle acted as a valet car parker. Ron grabbed Hermione's bag and walked with her through the hidden front entrance to the hospital. The white waiting room was littered with all sorts of people; some who talked animatedly about anything in general and others who were silent. When they walked up to the attendants' desk they found her sitting there admiring her finger nails in a bored sort of way. Ron cleared his throat, but the attendant failed to notice their presence. Then a scream rang out through that shook the white walls. All of the people sitting there covered their ears as everyone turned their eyes to Hermione; the source of the noise. "This ARSE got me pregnant; I'm in labor. Get a Healer NOW!" she screamed at the attendant. Looking scandalized the attendant got up and walked down a hall way. Everyone in the waiting room was clapping at Hermione's outburst.
After a minute or so passed the attendant returned to her station feeling rather put out at the glares she received from those in the waiting room. The Healer walked up to Ron and Hermione and asked them to follow her down the hall. They passed through a set of swinging doors that read 'Maternity Ward' on them. Then they took a sharp left into a small, but private delivery room.
"I am Healer May and I am going to be the one helping you deliver your baby today. Now, Mrs. Weasley I will need your wand so you aren't tempted to curse your husband here in to oblivion and then I need you to change into this hospital gown." she finished in a professional manner.
Hermione took her wand out of her pocket and gave it to Healer May just as the latter was handing her the light green hospital gown.
"Now let me know when your all changed and I will come in and check on your progress. Okay?" She smiled when Hermione nodded and she left the room shutting the door quietly behind her.
After helping Hermione through a couple of contractions that were getting closer together and into the hospital gown, Ron decided to go out into the hall and let Healer May know that Hermione was all set.
When they entered the room Hermione was still on the bed. Ron walked to her side and Healer may got out her wand and asked Hermione to hold still. She ran a check with her wand that allows them to know how far along the labor has progressed. She smiled and said "All finished with the check Mrs. Weasley. It shouldn't be to long now I would say about an hour at the most. Keep close Mr. Weasley." She left the room and closed the door to give them a moment of privacy.
"I think I should probably go out into the hall and send a patronus to Mum and Dad." he stated.
Hermione nodded and began breathing heavily as Ron walked out of the room and into the hallway. He sent a patronus to let his Mum and Dad know that Hermione was in labor, they were at St. Mungo's and to inform the rest of the family. He turned after he was finished to go back into Hermione's room.
When he entered he looked around and saw a warmer that Hermione explained to him about. 'That is where they clean the baby off at and get them all cute for Mum's and Dads' he remembered her telling him. Sitting inside the warmer was a tiny knitted hat. He smiled as he turned around to look at Hermione who had a sweaty brow, but was pleased to be there all the same. He walked over and wiped her brow. She smiled lightly. He pulled a chair up so he could sit down next to her bedside. After half hour and many closer contractions later, Ron stood up and stretched his long legs.
"I think I should probably go out to the waiting room to see if Mum and Dad are here." he stated looking down at Hermione.
"Okay."she simply said.
He left the room and made a sharp right and walked down the hallway and throughout the swinging doors. When he entered the waiting room he was bombarded with questions from a sea of red, black and blonde haired family members. He held up his hands defensively and said quickly, "I don't know if that baby is a boy or a girl. She hasn't had the baby yet. She's doing fine. The Healer said it should be sometime soon. When I know more either I will come and tell you or have the Healer come out and get you."
He walked back through the swinging doors and made the sharp left into Hermione's room. When he entered he looked at her and saw that she had a terrified yet wild look in her eye."LOOK AT WHAT YOU HAVE DONE TO ME YOU BLOODY IDIOT! YOU BETTER GET THIS BABY OUT NOW RONALD BILIUS WEASLEY!"
Just as she finished shouting, Healer May walked into the room. "Ah, Mrs. Weasley I can hear that your ready. Hold still a moment dear while I check you over." She waved her wand and then said, "Okay Mrs. Weasley, with this next contraction I will need you to push."
Ron moved quickly over to Hermione's bedside and took her right hand in his.
"Okay Mrs. Weasley," Healer May said, "Here it comes on three I want you to give me the best push you can! One. Two. Three. PUSH!"
Hermione scrunched up her body and pushed with all her might. She held onto the bed rail with her left hand and squeezed Ron's hand with her right one.
"Good. Very good we should have this baby out in a couple more good pushes like that." Healer May informed them.
"One. Two. Three. PUSH!"
Hermione's body instinctively scrunched up again and she pushed. Her hand tightened on Ron's so hard that he heard a crack. When she stopped pushing, Ron rubbed his now broken right hand gingerly with his left one.
"Okay I think this should be the last one Mrs. Weasley. One. Two. Three. PUSH!"
Again, Hermione's body scrunched up and she let out a cry. The room was silent for a moment and then...a babies cry rang out. Ron was so overjoyed he bent down and kissed Hermione. He noticed that she had on her ruby heart necklace. Hermione's face was obscured by tears. Healer May had the baby in the warmer, cleaned it up, put on a nappie, swaddled the baby and put the little knitted hat on. When she turned around with the little bundle in her hands she said, "Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Weasley you have a healthy, beautiful baby girl."
Hermione was still in tears as Healer May handed her her little girl. Ron had tears in his eyes as he stared at his daughter and wife. Healer May informed them that she would go out and let the family know that they could come back to see them. They nodded in agreement.
Ron looked to Hermione and said, "We might want to think of a name before the entire Weasley/Potter clan get in here. I don't really know a great girls name."
Hermione smiled. "Ron, I have a name. I thought it would be special to give her a name that was a reminder of the necklace that you got me last Christmas. Since that is when she was produced."
"You name your necklaces?" Ron asked dumbfounded.
"No, Ron I mean after the ruby that is part of the heart pendent. What about Rose?"
Ron thought about it for a minute. "hmm...Rose Weasley. I like it." he smiled and kissed his wife.
"Rose Weasley it is then." Hermione smiled.
Soon after that they heard a small knock on the door. Ron got up and felt a pain in his right hand and remembered that Hermione broke it. He took out his wand and quickly mended it and opened the door. A long line of people trailed into the tiny room which magically expanded. Hermione sat in the bed holding their baby. While Ron announced to the family, "Everyone this is our daughter, Rose Weasley."