Chapter 1 : A Parting Well Made. Part Two
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After the battle Hermione felt the need to get away; away from Hogwarts, from people, from everything. Going home to an empty house, she had only gone out once to get some food from the supermarket. She had also realised that she only suspected that she was expecting a child, she hadn’t done any sort of test to make sure. A test kit from the local pharmacy had soon confirmed it.
Her mood had alternated between despair when the events of the past few days had been in her mind and nervous excitement when her thoughts were of Harry’s child growing inside her. There was no avoiding it, she would have to tell him that he was going to be a father and she would have to tell him soon.
She had returned to Hogwarts three days after the final battle. Harry had been at the Ministry assisting at the high level debrief. Kingsley Shacklebolt had been appointed Minister Pro-Tem and all senior posts were now occupied by members of the Order of the Phoenix. The Weasleys were at the Burrow mourning the loss of Fred.
Under the supervision of Ministry engineers she assisted in the clean-up, many other senior students were doing likewise. With her wand, she had just deposited a load of rubble on the pile indicated by the engineer and as she turned around she saw Harry coming towards her. Resisting the urge to rush into his arms, she waited.
She thrilled when his arms went around her. “Hi Hermione, where have you been? God, it’s so good to see you again. I’ve been so worried about you.” His arms tightened their hold around her and he kissed her cheek.
“Good to see you too, Harry. I had to get away, so I went home for a couple of days. How are things at the Ministry?” Harry explained what had been going on for the last three days.
“I want to go down to the lake, Hermione, can you take a break and come with me?”
“Sure Harry, they won’t miss me here. We have a lot to talk about; it’ll be relatively peaceful down there. C’mon, let’s go.”
As they strolled to the lake it seemed perfectly natural for him to hold her hand. It meant nothing special to him, she thought, but to her it was everything. They found a spot under a tree and sat down. A slight breeze rippled the surface of the water. It was quiet, the sounds of the work going on up at the castle muted into near silence by the distance. Hermione felt sure that the pounding of her heart would be audible from twenty yards away. Harry smiled at her and put his arm around her again, her heart rate increased further as she laid her head on his shoulder.
“You were right, Hermione. It is peaceful here. Listen, there’s something I want to talk to you about.” Her mouth dried out instantly but she managed to say,
“I’m listening. There’s something I need to talk to you about as well. May I go first?”
“Go on then.”
“Okay, well it’s to do with the time in the tent, you know when we…”
“Yes, I remember, Hermione. It’s what I wanted to speak about too. Go on.”
“I was very stupid Harry…”
“WE, Hermione… we were stupid.”
“No Harry, you don’t understand, it was me, I was stupid. I didn’t… what I’m trying to say is… I’m pregnant, I…”
“Pregnant? Oh… I see.” He was silent for a while because the phrase ‘lost for words’ didn’t cover it. The prolonged silence only made her more apprehensive. “When is it due?”
“In about six months or so. I’m so sorry Harry; I got so caught up in the moment the first time… well, I didn’t even think about the contraception charm. So much for the brightest witch of her age eh. Loses her virginity and gets herself knocked up in one go. Pregnant, in the pudding club, up the duff,” she started to choke back a sob, “a bun in the oven, carrying a passenger.” Unable to hold it back anymore, she let the tears flow. Harry held her close.
“Don’t cry, Hermione, you’ll only make me feel worse than I do. All this time I have been feeling bad about taking advantage of you when you were vulnerable and…”
“You didn’t take advantage Harry. If anyone took advantage it was me. I asked, remember, I asked you to make love to me.”
“Stop beating yourself up Hermione. It’s happened and we have to deal with it. You know, I think that once I get used to the idea, I’m going to be quite excited about it. I mean, wow! I’m going to be a Dad. Incredible!”
“I’m not going to ask anything of you, Harry. You can be as involved as you want to be, or not at all, it’s up to you.”
“You must be mad if you think that I wouldn’t want to be involved. It isn’t just you that has to get through this, it’s me too. It’s us. It’s our situation to deal with, and I’m not going to let you do it alone. So we start by getting married.”
“No Harry, we won’t. I’m not going to marry you. You don’t love me in that way, it wouldn’t work. Our baby will be a Granger. I’m sorry but it’s not open for discussion.”
“You bet your life it’s open for discussion!” He spoke sharply and then he pulled her close and kissed her forehead. “And you’re wrong,” he spoke softly now, “I do love you in that way, I have for a long time, but I thought you and Ron…” she tilted her face up,
“Really Harry? You’re not just saying that? You would have let me be with Ron, even though you love me?”
“Yes I would, I thought you loved him, and would have been happy. I wouldn’t get in the way of your happiness. You mean too much to me for that.” He touched his lips briefly to hers.
“Oh, Harry, what have I done? I thought that once I had told you, I would feel better but now I’m more confused than ever. I don’t want us to get married just because we’re having a baby together. I want you to love and want me too. I mean if there was no baby would you still want to marry me?”
“The question is moot, Hermione, because there is a baby, our baby. I’m not going to be an absentee father; I want to be there every step of the way. Besides if you don’t marry me, who will I get to fix my glasses when I break them?”
“No jokes please, Harry, I’m not in the mood for laughter. I need to think.” He turned and laid her back on the grass,
“Okay, think about this, I love you Granger and I want to marry you. I know it’s not a terribly romantic proposal but I promise that if you say yes, you won’t regret it. I’m going to walk around for a while to give you some peace and quiet while you think.” He left her alone.
Hermione closed her mind to everything around her, turning her thoughts inward. Boy oh boy, Granger, when you screw up, you do it royally don’t you? she thought. What do I do now? I’m pregnant, in six months I will be a single mother. Can I do it alone? Yes, I can. But I don’t have to, because my baby’s father has asked me to marry him. I love him and he says he loves me, we’re not strangers, we have known each other for years. So why am I hesitating, what is it that’s holding me back?
His motivation, she decided, that’s what it is. She was having his child, so he had asked her to marry him. Knowing Harry as she did, she would have expected nothing less. He would always do the honourable thing, no matter the cost to him. I’m not going to marry him just because it’s the honourable thing to do. I have to be certain that he really loves me. How do I do that? An idea began to form in her head. Time that was the answer, they could spend time together as… her brain fleshed out the idea. The final details were almost complete when Harry’s voice brought her back to the present.
“Hermione!” He wasn’t happy about something that was obvious from his tone, something had pissed him off. She opened her eyes to find him standing over her. “When did you first know you were pregnant?”
“You heard me, Hermione, when did you know?”
“A couple of weeks ago when I missed my period for the second time. That and throwing up in the mornings, are usually pretty good indicators.”
“Then why did you stay and fight? You had no right to do that, no right at all to risk our child. It was reckless and stupid.” She bristled, but kept her voice calm.
“Harry, please don’t be angry. I stayed because I had to. If we had lost then I wouldn’t have wanted to raise a child in that world.”
“Okay, but suppose we had won but you had been injured and lost it. How would you have felt then? I mean, you do want this baby, don’t you?”
Strangely enough, it was a question she had never asked herself. She was pregnant, there was going to be a child. It had never crossed her mind that it could be any other way. She had never considered the possibility of losing the baby during her pregnancy, it had just never occurred to her. Looked at from that perspective then Harry was correct, she had been wrong to stay.
“Yes, Harry I do want my… our child. You’ve just made me realise how much and you’re right, I should have left Hogwarts when I had the chance. I’m sorry.” She was standing now and he held her close,
“Well, fortunately it all worked out okay. So we’re getting married, right?”
“No Harry, I already told you that, but if you really love me and want to be as involved as you say, how about we try living together?” There, her idea was out in the open.
“When you say living together, do you mean as a couple, with all the concomitant benefits, or would I be just a lodger?”
“I take it that by concomitant benefits you mean the sleeping arrangements.” Her arms went around his neck, “I don’t know about you Harry, but I love you very much and I wouldn’t mind some more of what we did in the tent, so yes there will be benefits included, after all I can’t get any more pregnant than I am already, can I?”
“Well, okay, it’s a start at least, and our baby will be a Potter, yes?”
They began to plan. Hermione wanted to continue her education to NEWT level; Harry needed the qualifications to be an Auror so he would find a place in Hogsmeade. They would talk to Madam Pomfrey about having the baby at Hogwarts. As they talked they became eager, even excited, to get things moving, before Hermione rained on their parade.
“There’s only one cloud on the horizon, Harry, we have to tell Ginny and Ron.”
“Shit. You certainly know how to kill the mood of the moment.”
“Sorry about that. Do you think we should tell them separately or together?”
“Separately, in fact I think I should tell Ron and you should tell Ginny. We can’t do it just yet, though, what with them losing Fred, we’re only going to hurt them even more. We should wait a while.”
“It will have to be fairly soon, Harry. It’s going to be pretty obvious before long that I’m going to have a baby. I still can’t believe that I’m saying those words, ‘I’m going to have a baby’ it sounds weird, but wonderful.”
“I’m going to be a Dad. Those words have the same effect on me. You are going to marry me, ‘Mione, I’ll keep nagging you until you say yes. Next week or next year, I don’t care.”
“Okay but keep in mind that I’ll never, ever, marry anyone who calls me ‘Mione, it makes me want to upchuck and I’m doing enough of that lately, so be warned.”
Things moved quickly during the next two weeks. They had the whole summer vacation ahead of them so accommodation in Hogsmeade was not a priority. As an interim measure they had moved into her currently empty childhood home. Hermione did not want them to sleep in her parents’ bed, that would feel too weird, and so she had transfigured her own bed into a double. It made the room a little cramped, but while there was just the two of them, they would manage without too much difficulty.
Poppy Pomfrey had agreed to deliver Hermione’s child and was indeed quite excited by the prospect. Professor McGonagall as temporary Head of Hogwarts consented to the couple living in Hogsmeade, but as she pointed out, that and her pregnancy would preclude Hermione being appointed Head Girl. That honour would probably now go to Susan Bones.
Kingsley Shacklebolt had set the wheels in motion to return Hermione’s Mum and Dad to England. They were expected in about four weeks. Harry’s legacy from his time at Privet Drive was that he was better at cooking and housework than Hermione. During the days he taught her to cook and at night, in each other’s arms, they learned about themselves. At the end of the two weeks they realised, with heavy hearts, that it was time to go and face the Weasley clan.
Molly Weasley was hanging out her family wash on Saturday morning when Harry and Hermione apparated into the garden. She moved slowly towards them and they embraced her.
“How are you all?” Hermione asked gently, and was suddenly disconcerted when Molly’s eyes moved from her face to her tummy. Surely she couldn’t suspect?
“Were coping, just about coping. It’s so hard…” her voice started to crack. Molly took a deep breath, “So what’s new with you two?”
“We’re fine, Molly. Is everybody still here?
“No, Charlie has gone back to his dragons, Bill and Fleur are at Shell Cottage and Percy is back at the Ministry. George is trying to keep busy at the shop but I don’t think it’s helping him very much. Ginny and Ron are in their rooms. Ron keeps himself occupied, but Ginny only comes out of her room to eat. Somehow I think she has more than Fred on her mind, she had a year of sheer hell at school, she talks of what was done to Neville and Seamus, but not a word about what they did to her. Why don’t you two go up and see them?”
On the landing they risked a quick kiss and wished each other luck. Hermione went to Ginny’s room while Harry went up one more flight of stairs to see Ron.
Hermione tapped softly and poked her head around the bedroom door, seconds later Ginny was sobbing in her arms. It was several minutes before the tears subsided. “What’s the matter Ginny? Your Mum thinks it’s more than Fred, and I have to say I think she’s right.” That was a nice sidestep, Hermione thought, but you’re supposed to be telling her your news, not listening to her problems, unless they are connected to your own, of course.
“Oh ‘Ne, I feel so miserable. I don’t think I’ll ever feel right again. It isn’t just Fred, you’re right. I do have another problem. How’s Harry?”
“He’s fine, Ginny. He’s gone up to see Ron.”
“Oh, that’s good. I’ve got something to tell him. You see, I’ve had a horrible year, I mean DA tried to cause as much trouble as we could, loads of pranks and as much peaceful disobedience as we could get away with, not to mention downright sabotage. Neville was brilliant. He’s such a gentle, caring person and people sometimes think that means he’s weak, but I tell you he’s the most courageous person I know, and what a leader. Whenever there was trouble, there he was, right in the thick of it. We spent a lot of time together and, well, long story short, I’ve fallen in love with him, Hermione. I love him and he loves me.” Stunned, Hermione could only think that her task had suddenly become easier.
“So you see my problem, Hermione? I have to tell Harry that I cheated on him and that I don’t want to be with him. It’s going to be horrible.”
Hermione tried to hide her sense of relief, “When you say ‘cheated’, do you mean…?”
“Yeah. One time Neville and I had been out of the ROR, and when we got back everyone and everything was gone. It was a different version of the room like it was just for us. We sat on a sofa, the one piece of furniture there, and talked and… well one thing led to another and…” she paused, her eyes starting to mist over again. “That version of the room appeared a lot after that first time. I’m so scared of telling Harry, how do you think he’ll react? I know he’s going to be so hurt.”
“How would you feel if he cheated on you?”
“Before Neville I’d have been crushed, but now… I don’t know. Anyway, that’s my problem. How are you, Hermione?”
“Well, if I’m honest, Ginny, I have been better. I have a problem of my own. I can’t wait for November to be over.”
“Why, what’s happening in November?”
“I’m going… I’m having a baby.” Ginny’s chin didn’t stop until it hit the floor. She struggled to form a coherent sentence.
“A ba… you’re preg… Wha…” she sat down on her bed, “I can’t take this in, you know. I mean… tell me again, I won’t believe it until you tell me again.”
Smiling as she spoke, Hermione obliged, “I’m expecting a baby, Gin, early November. I’m going to be a Mum.” Ginny started to smile too,
“That’s incredible ‘Ne. Have you told Ron? He’s going to go mental.”
“He is going to go mental, Ginny, because he’s not the father.” Ginny’s chin made another journey to the floor and back.
“Then who… no, wait. Its Harry isn’t it, has to be. From what I’ve heard he’s the only other boy you’ve seen for the last year. So what happened?”
“Much the same as you and Neville. We were alone for a few weeks, one thing led to another and here we are. The only difference is you were careful and I obviously wasn’t. It wasn’t casual though, I’ve been in love with him for a long time, without knowing he felt the same way. He asked me to marry him, I turned him down, and so we’re going to live together and see how it goes. I’m sorry, Ginny, we cheated on you, I’m so sorry.”
“You cheated on me while I was cheating on Harry. Sounds like we’re even, to me. Don’t worry; I’m not going to get on Harry’s case about it. I hope you two will be very happy together, and I can be with Neville with a clear conscience. It’s a win/win.” The conversation ceased as the door opened and Ron walked in followed closely by Harry, who positioned himself so that if necessary he could get between Ron and Hermione. Somebody had to break the silence,
Keeping her voice neutral Hermione began, “Hello Ron.” Ron’s voice was tight and clipped, suppressing anger or hurt.
“Hermione,” he said, “how are you?”
“Pregnant, yes I know. My so called best mate just told me. I’m good at choosing my friends, ain’t I?” There was a period of awkward silence. “Well, I’m waiting, Hermione.”
“Sorry Ron, but waiting for what, exactly?”
“I’d like to hear your explanation of this situation.” He crossed his arms in front of him.
“Oh okay, well Harry and I got naked and then he put his…” Harry glanced at Ginny for the first time and was surprised to see her smiling at him.
“Stop taking the piss, Hermione.”
“Sorry again Ron, but I’m puzzled as to why you think I owe you an explanation.”
“I would have thought that was obvious, we…”
“We, Ronald? Which ‘we’ would that be, when did you and I become ‘we’? I gave up on you a year after the Yule Ball when I realised it was no more than a third-year crush and that in fact I had feelings for Harry. You’ve never shown me any sign of affection, not even a Valentines card, and unlike Lavender, you’ve never even tried to kiss me.”
“Oh come on, Hermione! You must have known I fancied you.
“Yes, I did Ron, but only because other people told me! You never said word one to me. If I had felt the same way then nothing would have happened with Harry, but it did happen and that should tell you all you need to know. I’m afraid that’s all the explanation I’m prepared to give. I’m sorry.”
“I don’t think you’re remotely sorry at all.”
“I’m having a baby with the man I love. I’m not sorry about that and I never will be.” Ron’s shoulders sagged in defeat, and he turned on his heel,
“Good luck with that, the pair of you. If I never see you again it will be too soon. Go to hell.” He slammed the door on his way out. My turn now, thought Harry. Hermione got in first,
“Harry, I’m going home so that you and Ginny can talk. See you later.”
“That’s not necessary, Hermione.” Ginny walked the few paces to his side and kissed him softly on the cheek. “Hermione explained it all, Harry. It’s alright really, I don’t have a problem. She can tell you why later. Don’t worry about Ron. It might take a while, but I’ll bring him round. You make sure you keep in touch with me, at least. Any problems, I’m here for you. I love you, both of you.” After a triple embrace, Harry and Hermione left for home.
Harry had been dumbfounded but relieved when Hermione had told him Ginny’s story. “She was going to tell you Harry, she was scared of how you were going to react.”
“Neville Longbottom, that sly old dog. Who’d have thunk it? Certainly not me, but you know, I think they’ll be good together.”
“I think so too, Harry. Just like us eh, we’ll be great together won’t we?”
“There’s nothing more certain in the world, Hermione, now how long will it be before we can’t er… you know.” Hermione grinned at him, as she stood and took his hand,
“I think we should be okay tonight. Come on.”
One evening, a month later, after Harry and Hermione had retired for the night, she was reading and Harry was just dropping off when he heard a sharp intake of breath. Hermione gasped “Oh” and grabbed his hand, “Harry, wake up”. The urgency in her voice gave him little option.
“What’s the matter, love?” Taking his hand she placed it on her rapidly expanding stomach.
“Wait a second… there did you feel that.” Harry was silent as he felt the baby, their baby, move.
“Oh my God, that’s amazing ‘Ne. It feels incredible to me; I can’t imagine what it’s like for you.”
“It’s about the weirdest sensation I’ve ever felt, I can’t explain it.”
Hermione Granger ground her teeth as another contraction gripped her abdomen. She had been in labour for ten hours but the pain in her body was not as bad as the pain in her heart. The contraction passed and she relaxed. By her calculation she had about eight minutes before the next one. Eight minutes to think, to remember. He had promised he would be there when his child was born. The door opened and her hopes hit the ceiling and then crashed to the floor as Ginny entered. “No luck yet ‘Ne. The Auror office knows he is somewhere undercover in France and they are trying to find him. They’re close to finding the Death Eater, Scabior, The last of Riddle’s closest followers.”
“Damn him, why did he have to go away now?”
“Because he asked and you said he could, remember, and you are two weeks early.” Hermione grabbed Ginny’s hand when the next contraction, slightly worse than the last one, arrived.
“Not fair.” Hermione yelled, “It’s only been six minutes.” Ginny watched her friend’s contorted face, thinking to herself that her Mum had done this seven times; seven times… the woman must be out of her tiny mind. Madam Pomfrey arrived and having examined Hermione decided that things would move more quickly now,
“You’re doing fine, Hermione. It’s time to assume the position, young lady.” She took Hermione’s ankle and lifted it into the waiting stirrup, indicating to Ginny to lift the other leg.
“Well, isn’t this bloody dignified? Shut the window, Gin, there’s a helluva breeze blowing up… aarghh, how much bloody longer is this going to go on? “WHERE IS HEEE?” Nobody answered her.
Twenty screaming and moaning minutes later, Hermione delivered her six and a half pound son into the world.
Hermione looked at the child, her child, lying on her chest. The eyes were tightly shut and the face screwed up, not enjoying the first taste of this new environment. My baby, she thought, oh God he’s beautiful. She looked at Ginny, quietly but proudly she murmured “Look Ginny, look what I did.”
After a few minutes for mother and son to introduce themselves, a junior nurse from St. Mungo’s took the boy away to get him checked over and cleaned up. Madam Pomfrey turned back to Hermione, “Let’s get you sorted out and then you can get some rest.” She waved her wand over Hermione’s lower half. “Oh my.” She breathed quietly,
“Oh my… what does that mean, ‘oh my; is there a problem?” Hermione was concerned.
“No, Hermione, no problem unless your son having a sibling is a problem, you’re having twins, my dear, I’m sorry, I don’t know how we missed that.”
Minutes later the door burst open and a breathless Harry came hurrying in. He took Hermione’s hand. “I’m sorry, love, I got back as quick as I could. How are…”
“How am I? How am I? How do you think I am, I’m having a baby Harry, I’m… oohhh, make it stop arghh.” She squeezed Harry’s hand, until he jerked it from her grip,
“Ouch, Hermione, that hurt.”
“That hurt? THAT BLOODY HURT? WOULD YOU CARE TO SWAP PLACES, YOU MORON?” she looked at him in pain induced disgust.
Harry gazed in fascination as the baby’s head crowned face down, and then the shoulders appeared. Poppy threw him a box of rubber gloves,
“Put a pair of those on Harry and get ready to take the baby out.” Harry broke into a sweat,
“Me?” his hands shook and Ginny had to help him get the gloves on. She mopped his brow as well,
“Come on Daddy, you can do this, I mean, what’s the worst that can happen?”
“I could drop it on its head, that’s what!”
“Oh yeah, I didn’t think of that.” Ginny was great at deadpan comments.
”Poppy positioned his hands, “Right Hermione, come on, one final effort. Push.”
Ginny couldn’t help herself, “Push ‘Ne, come on girl, push.” When Harry started exhorting her as well, it was too much for Hermione.
“In case you hadn’t noticed, I AM BLOODY WELL PUSHING! Why am I surrounded by cretins at a time like this? SHUT THE HELL UP THE LOT OF YOU.” With a squishy sound the baby slid smoothly out of its Mother and into the hands of its Father.
“Oh my God,” he whispered, “this is the most amazing thing ever.” Hermione’s anger was gone in an instant and her eyes moistened as she watched him adjust his grip and turn the child face up,
“Oh, Harry, it’s a girl, it’s Helen.” His eyes drank in every detail of the little stranger he was holding
“Hello Helen, I’m your Daddy and I love you very much.” The awe in his voice was clearly audible.
Through the small window Hermione saw the nurse returning. Her grin broadened. “Give her to me Harry, quickly please.” Puzzled by the haste, he did so. The nurse entered and Hermione pointed to Harry. The nurse gave him the bundle she was carrying. Now thoroughly bewildered Harry looked at Hermione. “Harry, this is your son; he’s seventeen minutes older than his sister. I think you should give him his name.” she had a self-satisfied grin on her face as wide as all outdoors. Harry’s jaw hung open in disbelief,
“Twins? You had twins? I’ve known you for a lot of years, Hermione Granger; I think this is the first time I’ve seen you show off.” He kissed her. “You are the most amazing person I’ll ever know, I love you.”
“A name, Harry?”
“A name, okay… um, how about Jason, Yeah, Jason James Potter. Hey there, Jayjay.” He choked as a chubby little fist grasped his little finger and one green eye struggled to focus on him. Poppy waved her wand as before. Hermione was wary,
“Poppy, if you tell me there’s another one up there, I’m leaving. Two is enough for one day.”
“No, Hermione, no more, let’s get you sorted out.”
A little later, just as Hermione was sliding into the depths of an exhausted sleep, there was a commotion of raised voices out in the corridor. Harry opened the door to complain. “Hey, keep the damned noise down” One of the protagonists turned,
“Mind your own… Potter!” Great, Harry thought, just what I need, Malfoy! “What are you doing here Potty, oh wait, I heard you knocked up the mudblood. Nice one! Has she dropped it yet?” Before he knew it Harry had grabbed the front of his shirt.
“You’re free to come at me anytime you want, Malfoy,” he snarled, “but get some respect in your voice when you speak of my family. Consider this your first and last warning.” Draco shrugged himself free and Harry turned to go back into the room, when Draco said softly,
“Potter,” Harry looked at his most loathed enemy, “could I, er would you mind if um, I had a look at… your kid.” Harry looked suspiciously at Malfoy, trying to work out what was going on. He didn’t think he would try to hurt anyone, he must know that would mean instant death. Draco Malfoy was many things, stupid was not among them. Harry looked into the bedroom; Hermione, Jason and Helen were all asleep. He decided it was okay to show off a little.
“They’re asleep, wake them up and you die, okay?”
“Fair enough.” Draco followed him into the room. He watched as Draco stared at Jason and Helen. “Two? You got twins?” he whispered.
“Yeah, amazing isn’t it, that’s Jason and this is Daddy’s girl. She’s called Helen.” In a day of extraordinary experiences one more did not go unnoticed. Draco turned to Harry and offered his hand, which the wary new father took,
“You’re a lucky, lucky bastard, Potter, I envy you. Tell Gran… Hermione I said hi. She never does things by halves, does she? Thanks Potter.” Then he was gone, leaving Harry as confused as he ever hoped to be. He didn’t think he would tell Hermione, she wouldn’t believe it if he did.
That night Harry slept peacefully in an armchair beside Hermione’s bed. On his right side Helen Ginevra Potter occupied her hospital cot. On his left in another cot slept Jason James Potter. Just after 2am Hermione swam slowly back to awareness. Turning onto her side she looked at Harry and their children illuminated in the soft glow of the light above her bed.. Tomorrow, if no problems arose, the family would go home to their apartment in Hogsmeade. The family, Hermione thought, my family, my children, my son, my daughter and their father. As she surveyed the most important people in her life, a happy tear pooled in her eye. In the future this was the picture she would summon when calling her Patronus.
Helen made a little noise and instantly Harry was awake and peering into the cot. He stroked the baby’s head “Now then young lady, don’t wake mummy up, she had a hard day and she’s tired.”
“Mummy’s already awake Daddy. She’s been lying here admiring her family.” Harry moved and sat on the bed and, leaning down, kissed her softly.
“How are you feeling, Hermione?”
Hermione smiled, “Sore, knackered, and sorry.”
“Sorry! What do you have to be sorry about? Maybe what we did was a mistake, but look at the result, Hermione; surely you can’t be sorry about that?”
“No Harry, absolutely not, but I don’t fit in, I’m the only Granger amongst all you Potters. I wish I hadn’t turned you down. That’s why I’m sorry.”
“In all the years I’ve known you Granger, that’s the first stupid thing I’ve heard you say. The offer is still open, all you have to do is say yes. So Hermione, woman I love, mother of my children, will you marry me?”
“Yes Harry, I will. I love you too.” Helen interrupted her parents with a whimper that developed into a wail. “Give her to me, Harry. I think she’s hungry.” Harry watched in wonderment as Helen took her sustenance from her mother. He smiled.
“Something funny, Harry?”
“No, I was just thinking.”
I was watching her and thinking, ‘me next’, sorry.” Just then Jason decided he was hungry too. Harry picked up his son, “You’ll have to wait a few minutes, my little man. Mummy’s got two pumps but your sister got there first and the forecourt is a little crowded.” He looked into the open green eyes. “Your Mum finally agreed to marry me, you know.” He softly kissed his son’s forehead,
“It’s always like this son, girls will always keep you waiting, you’ll see.”
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