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Chapter 31 : Raising the Bar
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"I'm glad you're so excited, Ron!"
"I am just esctatic! We found out the gender of the baby tomorrow, you know? Merlin, I never thought this would happen, but it's still ruddy exciting!"
"Yes, it is." Harry laughed. "I wish you both the upmost both."
"Thanks, mate. And listen, I know I haven't always been as supportive as I should have been about you and Ginny being together, but now I just want you to feel what i feel."
"So you're saying you want us to have an unplanned pregnancy?" Harry laughed.
"Oh, you know what I mean, Harry." Ron laughed.
"Yes. I know exactly what you mean Ron. I want that too. More than anything.
The day of Ron and Lavender's next appointment was suddenly up on them, it was time to discover the gender of their baby.
"Lavender," a plump woman said from the doorway, "Healer Styles will see you now."
"Well," Lavender said as Ron helped her to her feet, "this is it. We're about to find out whether we're having a son or a daughter."
Ron nodded curtly, nerves twisting around in his stomach, "'Bout time." He smiled, squeezing her hand reassuringly. He'd been looking forward to this visit since their first visit together a couple days after he discovered the baby's existence.
"Bet you ten galleons it's a boy." Lavender smiled, her eyes twinkling, as they headed towards their examination room.
"You're on." Ron laughed.
They followed the woman, hand in hand, until they were directed to a particular room. Lavender hoisted herself, with quite the groan, on to the examination bed, her seven month pregnant stomach weighing her down. She had clearly lost the washboard abs she'd had when they'd spent their night together so many weeks ago.
The door burst open suddenly, revealing a disheveled, although still cheerful, looking Healer Styles who moved with a bit of a skip to his step.
"Hello Lavender; Ron." He nodded curtly to both of them, "How are we today?"
Ron gestured for Lavender to speak, which she happily obliged to, "Wonderful. Nausea is gone and I'm hardly lightheaded. Things have definitely run smoother than she'd anticipated.
"That's what I like to hear. Now, if you wouldn't mind I'll have you lie back and we'll take a good look at that baby!"
Lavender laid down and pulled up her blouse to reveal her large stomach. He squeezed a blue-green paste on her stomach and then charmed a round object which Ron knew not the name of and it moved around to help display the baby on a screen to their left.
"Now there," he pointed to the screen, "Is the head. But you can also see the arms and tiny fingers over there. I've placed a charm on the screen which will slightly blur it so as to avoid giving away unwanted information." He laughed.
"That's sensible," Lavender laughed.
"I'm aware that last time you were hear you requested to know the gender of the baby. Would you still like to know or would you like it best kept a surprise?"
Lavender and Ron exchanged glances, although it was clear neither of them had changed their minds, "We'd like to know." Lavender said, "We've been truly anticipating this visit."
"This is a very popular visit for most couples. Very well," He waved his hand and the enchantment which kept the image blurred deteriorated. "Congratulations. you're looking at your daughter."
Lavender burst in to tears, and not because she lost ten galleons.
"It's...it's a girl?" Ron stammered, tears finding their way in his eyes as well as hers.
"It is." Dr. Styles said. "I'll give you two a minute alone." He excused himself politely so as to tend on other patients as well.
"That's our daughter," Ron gasped and Lavender nodded. She hadn't taken her eyes off the screen, or her hand off her mouth, and thought nodding was the appropriate way to show acknowledgment.
They stared at the screen for several silent moments. "I love you, Lavender."
These four words brought Lavender out of her trance-like state, "What?" She looked at him in the eyes, searching for truth to the words.
"I love you. I didn't realize how much until now."
"I love you too."
"Lav, I'm not the best at saying what I mean, but I really do. This may be a little backwards given our circumstance, but will you go out with me? I'm ready to try again at our relationship. Our daughter deserves it."
"Of course." Lav said. Her throat was still so choked up she could still hardly speak.
"Just think, a few weeks and we'll be a family."
"We are a family. You, me and her."
They placed their hands on her expanding stomach.
"Why is she so still? She always moves! Why isn't she moving?!" Ron said suddenly, his breathing accelerating. This truly amused Lavender.
"Well, how can you expect her to be active all the time?"
Ron laughed, "I guess I can't."
Healer Styles reappeared, "Great to see you two, well three, really. It really was. Sorry to be in such a rush, but a Miss Clearwater has just come in in quite need of experienced help. But, your daughter looks perfectly healthy. Here's a few scans to keep or deliver to loved ones. I'll see you all in two weeks." With that he rushed off, handing Lavender the scans.
With their business at St. Mungo's done, Ron dropped Lavender off at her flat, eager to get back to the Ministry and share his exciting news.
Ron burst through the doors of Harry's office, gasping for breath after his recent sprint down the halls of the Ministry. Harry was initially slightly shocked by the sudden burst of a person though the door, but up on seeing Ron's face, his surprise disappeared.
"Hey, how'd the visit go?"
"You should've been there, Harry! You could see the baby so well! It was so vivid, so real! We got to see it moving and everything! Blimey Harry, that was the most amazing thing I've ever seen." Ron excitedly said, a skip to his step.
Harry chuckled, "I'm glad you're so enthused about the baby! I knew you'd come on board!"
"I'm so on board, Harry," Ron sighed, tears in his eyes, "That was my baby! Right there! And to think, just like two and a half months and I'm Daddy Ron!"
"I'm so happy for you and Lavender both!" Harry beamed, "Now, were you two able to find out the gender? I know you were looking forward to that..."
A sly smile creeped up on Ron's face, "Is the jig up?" he laughed. "Yeah, we found out!"
Harry raised his eyebrows, "And...."
Ron smiled, "It's a-"
"Knock knock?" A quiet voice asked from the doorway. They turned to see the familiar dirty blonde curls of Lavender Brown in the doorway. This brought back memories of the day she told them about the baby in the first place.
"Hello, beautiful," Ron said, kissing her lightly on the lips, taking Harry and Lavender by surprise. Ron was trying to become romantic.
"Oh!" Lavender burst in to a shrew of high pitched giggles.
Ron placed his hands around Lavender's stomach and pulled her in to another, this time deeper, kiss while Harry stood awkwardly to the side, at an utter loss for words. Eventually Ron turned back around, Lav still in his arms, "With the baby coming so soon, we're giving our relationship another chance."
Harry was more than a little taken aback by this. Ron had a tendency to jump in to things, but they were already having a baby so at this point a fast moving relationship couldn't hurt. "Well...brilliant! I'm happy for the both of you!"
"Thank you, Harry," Lav said, still stunned. "Now, Wonipoo actually really have somewhere to be, and with this large a stomach it takes time to get anywhere," she sighed, "But I had to come back because you forgot this."
She handed him a few copies of the scan.
"Bloody hell! Thanks, love." he said taking them and examining them again. "I was actually in here to tell Harry that we found out the gender of the baby..."
Lav, understanding, stood beside him, gripping his hand tightly. Ron handed Harry the scan, "That's our daughter."
"Brilliant!" Harry exclaimed, "I'm so thrilled for you both. I'm sure she'll be perfect."
"Just like her mother." Ron said with a laugh. Harry ignored this comment.
"Thanks Harry. Now, I know Lav has somewhere to be, but there's one more thing we need to tell you before she goes."
"Well, Harry," Lavender said, "I know how close you and Wonipoo have always been, so we think it be only right if you were her god father."
"Me? I'm flattered!"
"Who better fit for the job anyway?" Lavender laughed. "Now I truly do have to go, or there will really be repercussions if I don't. I'll see you both later.
Lavender left the room quickly, leaving Harry and Ron alone. "Godfather, eh?"
It...seemed appropriate given the circumstances. Besides, you stood by me when all this happened, that's more than I can say about some of my blood family members. That really means a lot. Whether I'd planned this or not, she's carrying my daughter. Our daughter! Merlin I'm still in utter shock. I'm having a baby!"
"Well, I do believe Lav will be the one having the baby, Ron..."
"Oh, you know what I mean," Ron laughed. "Just ten weeks and I can hold her! Ten weeks and I can physically hold her!"
"Very, but millions of other people do it, why can't I? Now, I really need to go, I have to share this with everyone! I'm having a daughter!" He ran out of the room screaming that last line, much to Harry's amusement.
' The millions of other who've done it, never raised a miniature Lavender. ' Harry thought with a laugh. Seeing Ron this happy truly made him want the same feeling with Ginny.
"We'd like a table for two, sir. Preferably in the back, away from the wandering eyes of your other customers." Draco said coolly as he slipped the waiter some galleons. The man left the area quickly, tucking away the money.
Hermione squeezed his arm, "Malfoy.!"
He cocked his head to the side and a smug smirk appeared on his lips as she stopped suddenly, "You were saying?"
"I mean," she said through gritted teeth, "Draco, there's no need for us to get preferential treatment."
The waiter was back just as soon as he'd left, "I have a magnificent table for you, if you'd be so kind as to follow me." He walked towards the back, two menus tucked under his arm.
"Shall we?" Draco asked, extending his arm, which Hermione reluctantly took hold of.
They followed the server and took seats across from each other at their designated table,
"I'll give you two a chance to look over the choices," he walked away.
Then it was them and them alone.
30 minutes later
"Now," Draco said as their began to eat their recently arrived food, "I do have a motive for bringing you here tonight."
"Oh? And what is this motive?"
"Well," he said. "Ill get straight to the point."
"That's better said than done." Hermione hissed, still annoyed.
He chuckled, "May I continue? Or do you have anything else to say?"
"By all means, continue." She rolled her eyes.
"Thank you," he said, gesturing as if he was tipping a hat, "Well, as you know, I come from a rather well off family, one of the best in our world, really..."
Hermione rolled her eyes, "I'm aware of your family situation, Draco. What does your family's financial state have to do with me though?"
She did not care to hear about his relations.
"Nothing." Draco said simply. "And at the same time, everything."
"Confused I gather?" Draco asked, enjoying being the smarter person in the relationship for once. He loved knowing something she didn't.
"What could possibly give you that idea?"
"Just a guess. My my aren't we touchy this fine evening?"
"Just get to the ruddy point! I'm not in the mood to be crossed with tonight."
"Fine," Draco said, relenting. "I guess I'll let you in on my little secret. Given my family's social status, which has had some hardships in the past few years, is very important and great lengths must me taken to ensure it gets back to where it was a few years ago. Image is, after all, everything. This is why, my family is hosting a gala dinner at my parents' place and I'm instructed to attend. This would be the prime opportunity to present you as my girlfriend and it won't exactly hurt your social status as viewed by the people in my inner circles."
"So, now I need to up my social status?"
"Love, that can't hurt anyone. A boost in social stature is a benefit."
"Even to you?"
"Surprising, huh? Guess we learn something new everyday, don't we?"
"You meant that in another way and you know it! Maybe I'll just skip the ruddy gala all together!"
"Ah, now if only that was possible! Now, if my memory serves me correctly we made a deal a few months back. Part of that deal required you to do exactly as a I say and go along with what I want. Unless you're finally willing to accept the fact that you aren't going to win and you want to give up you'll be at that gala."
"Is that a threat?"
"Not at all. Just a fact."
"I thought we were past this."
"I never lose, Granger. Are you ready to admit you can't handle the heat?"
She narrowed her eyes.
"Is that a yes? Did I jus beat Hermione Granger? The smartest witch of our class?"
"Of course not!"
"Fine! Prepare to eat your words."
"Prepare to experience this game at full strength. It's about to get a whole lot tougher for you to handle. I just hope you can handle the heat."
A/N Hey there! So sorry for the long wait! I promise a long wait like that won't be happening again soon - I've been a writing machine recently! I'm not completely happy with this chapter, but I think it turned out pretty well.
Well, it's a girl for Ron and Lav! Congrats to all who guessed right! Now thoughts on names? I'm considering some already and if anyone comments a name and it's what I pick, you'll get mentioned in the author's note of the delivery chapter .
So there's a Malfoy gala dinner. Will it go drama free? Eh, probably not. It really wouldn't be Unforgiven if things stayed peaceful, now would it!
Well, I bet you want a preview, huh?
"It's so great to see the both of you, I feel like it's been ages!" Hermione said pulling Harry and Ginny in to a huge hug.
"It's great to see you too, 'Mione!" Harry laughed as they all climbed on to Hermione's couch. "Now, we do actually have a reason for coming and I'm afraid it can't really wait - or else I think Gin might burst from anticipation!"
Hermione looked back and forth between the two of them, "Oh no! No one's hurt are they? Oh no, it's not George, or Charlie? Or.."
"Mione calm down!" Gin laughed, "No one is hurt! We've got good news, not bad news."
Excitement took the place of Hermione's fear, "Do tell!"
Harry and Ginny are back and they're visiting Hermione! And they have news, although it's probably different than the news that first pops in to people's brains. Haha
I hope you liked this chapter! Feel free to leave me a message below with questions/comments. I always respond and read each one!
On and thanks for all the support for my story! I'm over 81,000 reads and am SO close to reaching 400 reviews, that's crazy! Thank you so much, you guys are truly amazing!
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