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Chapter 10 : Unexpected
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She continued to scribble on the parchment. If there was one person she needed to notify it was Ginny. Ginny, her rock who would help her with absolutely everything in her life, who wouldn't judge her. She was rather busy at the moment, what with James still being a little baby.
Hermione remembered ten years ago, what life had been like. She'd been in her fifth year of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and Dolores Umbridge had taken over the school. What had come of that stupid bitch? Hermione sincerely hoped she would rot in hell.
It was during these times when Hermione was stressed and alone that she took out her trusty wand and attempted a patronus. At first, it would be very feeble, her thoughts invading the spell's power. She would work until it was a perfect swimming otter, gliding around her, filling her with joy.
Right now, however, she didn't know what to feel. She was over the moon of course but there was something else in the way. Nervousness? Who would approve and who would disagree with her situation? She just had to go for it, tell people, let them know her case. But first she had to tell Ron.
As she sent her letter off to Ginny, she sat down in a cozy chair out in the backyard and attempted her patronus. She didn't need much practice before it was perfect, circling her, filling her with the joy she so very much deserved at this moment. She heard the door slam inside.
Her heart quickened, its pace jumping out of her chest, constricting her breathing. They wanted this. They both wanted this but why now? Was this really the moment? It had to be. She entered the small little kitchen and peered into the living room.
“Hermione?” Ron called. From her perch at the door she could see him, searching the corners of the house for her existence. It was now or never.
“Ron, I'm right here,” she said, waving at him from the kitchen. She worked from home now unless some trial was being held. It was rather nice, the freedom to stop work when she liked, to do what she wanted during the day.
“There you are!” he said, kissing her on the lips and settling his rucksack on the ground near the fire. “I've got some news for you!”
“As have I,” Hermione said nervously. This was so much harder than others portrayed. “You first.”
“Alright,” Ron said, eying her warily. “We've caught Draco Malfoy, in Albania.”
“Albania!” Hermione said, sitting down and staring at her husband. “You don't think –”
“That he's gone on a hunt for the Dark Arts? Nah, he's a pain in my arse but he's not that shallow.”
“Did you talk to him?” Hermione asked him, deeply searching his eyes.
“Yeah. When they found him they sent him straight to the Auror office. You should have seen Harry's face. It was like he'd seen a ghost or something.” Ron continued. “Anyway he seemed pretty sincere with his apologies. He said he'd been in Albania for some work thing. They were searching for any leftover traces of Voldemort's life. Something that could ignite some sort of new Dark Arts craze. Nothing interesting there though apparently.”
“And you believed him?”
“C'mon Hermione, the man was sincere as could be.”
“He's still from a dark family.”
“Hermione the guy's as poor as could be right now. He's living in a shoebox apartment in London, I've seen it. He's not even allowed to work at the Ministry because of his name.”
“As if Kingsley would allow something like that.”
“It's not Kingsley's final decision, it's the Wizengamot.”
“There has to be something to let him work there.”
“Hermione you aren't going to start some sort of Draco Needs Saving campaign are you? Look what he did to us. He deserves it!”
“I know but why shouldn't we just be nice people?”
“Look just drop it, okay?” Silence trickled between them, time ticking away.
“What did you want to say to me?” Ron asked her tiredly, examining his fingernails.
“Um – well –” Hermione began, unsure of how to inform him of their situation right after a fight. “I'm pregnant!” The words escaped her mouth before she could take them away. Ron looked up from his fingers and stared at her with piercing blue eyes.
“You're what?” he said, gazing at her like she was a brand new person.
“I'm pregnant Ronald,” Hermione answered exasperatedly, looking at her knees. She didn't even hear him as he came over to sit beside her.
“Seriously?” he said, lifting her face and looking at her in the eyes. His sparkled with tears.
“Ron –” she hiccoughed. “Ron are you crying?”
“Nah, just the fire that's all,” he said hurriedly, wiping away his tears. “Bloody hell are you serious?” she nodded and he grasped her tiny frame in his own large one and lifted her off the lounge.
“Ron!” she gasped, laughing as he twirled her around.
“I'm gonna be a dad!” he yelled, chucking her back onto the lounge. Hermione beamed at him as he sat down alongside her.
“Are you sure you're ready for this?” she asked him concernedly. It was a big deal. A baby would mean a lot of extra strain on the both of them.
“Of course I'm sure!” he said. “I've been waiting my whole life for this moment!”
They all sat in the living room of the Burrow. Everyone's eyes were on Hermione. She'd just told the news. Ginny of course had written back, exclaiming her delight and that Ron would be over the moon.
“Oh Hermione congratulations dear!” Mrs Weasley said, gathering Hermione into her great bosom and giving Hermione one of her warm hugs.
Everyone around the room sent their congratulations at lightening speed. Hermione wondered if any of it would stop even for a moment. She beamed at all of them though. She would have a child just like all the others in the family. She looked at them all individually.
There was Victoire, five year's old, her long blonde hair traipsing down her back in a delicate curtain. There was Fred, identical to his father in every way possible except maybe his nose. Then came three year old Dominque, her shower of red hair glowing in the dim light of the Burrow. After that were the identical twins, Molly and Lucy. Their short brown hair and matching dresses organised so precisely. After that was Roxanne, Fred's brother, her small little form bearing a lock of dark black hair. After that was baby James, not even able to roll over on the ground, his hair so alike to his father's. Hermione couldn't wait to add her own child to the mix of those gathered before her.
It was a strange feeling, being pregnant. Some days Hermione felt great, as though she could conquer the world and others she felt as though everything had defeated her. Work kept trying to give her days off but she denied them, saying that she was in quite a fit state to be able to work at the present time.
She began getting cards from well-wishers and began to see the bump in her belly expand into something of an interesting oval shape.
It was December. Chilly winds had begun to form in front of Hermione's eyes. She was very pregnant. Any day now would be the time which she would finally have a darling new baby in her arms. She was beginning to feel jittery, going to sleep every night with nightmarish thoughts of how the delivery would go.
It was on Christmas Eve that Hermione finally knew what it was like to have a baby. The pain, the pain was indescribable, like a thousand knives jabbing at her insides. She could feel every pressure and thought maybe, right there, she would be at the end of the road.
She'd woken in the early hours of the morning to dreadful pain and knew, right then and there that this was the moment. When she'd awoken Ron from his restless slumber he'd been in a panic, running around the house, sending owls to the Weasleys and the Grangers and every other family they knew to inform them of the delivery.
In the end the only people she wanted at her bedside were Ginny and Ron. Not her mother, not her father but her best friend and her husband. Angelina, of course, being a healer was there, making sure she was doing alright and giving her potions every now and then for pain. It was a restless day. Hermione would fall asleep and then awaken, unaware of where she was or what she was doing and then realising that she was in the middle of having a baby.
Half the time she was panicking. She hadn't even done the nursery yet! She hadn't really done anything, she'd been so busy. What if she wasn't prepared for this?
And then it happened. At 12:01 in the early afternoon of Christmas Eve, nestled in Hermione's arms was a baby girl. Her cheeks a rosy red, her eyes close in a peaceful slumber. That was the moment that she didn't want anyone, even Ginny in the room. She only wanted her and Ron because together, they'd made this beautiful baby and together, they'd share their love for it.
Ron once more had tears in his eyes when he saw her. He held the small little baby in her arms, smiling and rocking her back and forth. Hermione couldn't remember feeling happier in her life. He patted her head. “Good job,” he whispered. At that moment she fell asleep, the last things she saw were Ron and her darling baby girl.
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