Chapter 9 : What do you want for Christmas?
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9 What do you want for Christmas?
With a start Hermione woke up from an uneasy dream. She had fallen asleep on the couch. Did she just hear a knock on the door? She got up heavily and walked to the door. She opened it carefully at first, when she saw who was there she opened the door completely. A little boy with big brown eyes and a dazzling smile looked at her from the arms of his mother. Upon seeing her he squealed and stuck out his little chubby arms to her, his little hands grabbing at the air.
“Who is that?” his mother asked him playfully. “Can you say who that is?”
James looked at his mother for a moment and said questioningly: “Momma?”
“No that’s not Mommy, try again dear, you know it.” Ginny smiled mischievously. The boy looked at Hermione again, a deep thinking line formed on his forehead, reminding her strongly of her husband whenever he was thinking really hard.
Then the boy’s face lit up “Huhmahny!” He cried out. Hermione’s eye lit up as well. She smiled broadly at the boy.
“Very good!” she cooed. “You can say Hermione, you’re such a big boy. Yes you are.” James smiled and stuck out his arms again. This time Hermione took him out of his mother’s arms and put him on her hip.
“You want some tea, Ginny?” She asked, walking in ahead of her friend.
“Yes, please. But I can’t stay long. I came here to ask if you could babysit for a few hours. Harry and I have to go and buy Christmas gifts and I’m having my second scan today. But if you don’t have time I’ll ask mom.”
“No, that’s alright, I have nothing to do today, Ronald is out but he will be back in an hour or so.”
Hermione was making two cups of tea, with little James on her hip. All the while talking about the things that she had done this week. Ginny looked at her. Hermione was such a natural at this. She had never thought that of Hermione, but then again Hermione was a natural at almost everything.
“Do you know what you want for Christmas?” Ginny asked. “We’re having a hard time finding things to buy. Have you and Ron already got everything?”
“Well yes, it’s Christmas in two days. Ron says I’m crazy, but I like to have everything done in time.”
“I know you do. That’s going to be hard once you’ve got a little baby around, though.” Ginny laughed. “They make everything you do tardy. You’ll have to plan an extra 5 to 10 minute for ever action you want to do.”
Hermione laughed. “I’ll take your word on that.” She put James down. He wandered off towards the living room. Hermione and Ginny followed him and set down on the sofa.
After watching him wander around for a bit Hermione clapped her hands, “James, come over here” she said with a sweet voice. The boy turned and waddled towards her. Clapping his hands too. Hermione picked him up and put him in her lap. James spread his arms wide and put his head against Hermione torso.
“O look, his trying to hug you!” Ginny said with a smile. “Do you like Aunt Hermione, Jamesie?” James looked at his mother for a moment, then turned his face to Hermione. He put his hand clumsily to his mouth and turned it.
“You are blowing me kisses now, are you?” Hermione asked. “Little butterfly kisses for me?” She bent down and kissed the boy on top of his head. James giggled and started to climb off of Hermione’s lap.
“He’s growing so fast.” Hermione said in wonder. “Before you know it he’ll be on the Hogwarts Express, looking out of the window, seemingly embarrassed because we are blowing him kisses.”
“I really hope that time doesn’t come to fast. My mom says they are a lot of work when they’re little and become more work with every inch that they grow.” Ginny giggled. She then shook her head.
“Well, I’ve got to go now, Harry is waiting for me. We’ll be back in about three hours. If James drives you insane just take him to my mom. I’ll leave some clean diapers. If he’s hungry you can give him some soft fruit or a bit of bread. Maybe a biscuit if you have some. He drinks lemonade or milk but he’s not that crazy about water. If I’m not back around three o’clock could you lay him on the couch with a blanket. That will give you some peace and quiet and I wont have a baby that is too tired to eat dinner.”
Hermione smiled. “Is that all?”
“Well, he likes to climb upon thing, but he also falls off a lot too, so don’t let him climb on high things. If he gets a concussion I have to wake him every other hour and once awake he doesn’t really want to go back to sleep. Doesn’t matter what time it is. Okay, that’s it I think.” Ginny picked up her son and hugged him. “Bye James. Momma will be back in a few hours.”
She kissed his cheek. “I’ll miss you darling. Be sweet to Aunt Hermione, okay?” She then placed him in Hermione’s arms. “Bye James, Momma loves you, bye bye.” She waved and James waved back.
“Ginny, you sound like you’re not going to see him for weeks.” Hermione joked.
“Wait till you have kids!” Ginny responded. She waved one more time, then turned and left.
“So James, what are we going to do with our free hours?” Hermione asked the little boy. He looked up at her with his big brown eyes. It startled her how much they looked like his mother’s. ‘He’s really just like his father, except for his eyes. He’s got his mother’s eyes.’ Hermione thought to herself. Again she had to giggle at the thought. It was so surreal. She then smiled and kisses the boy on his little nose. James cried with laughter.
“Anh Huhmahny!” he said smiling at her.
“Yes, that’s right dear. I’m Hermione. Can you say Ron too?” Hermione tickled his belly. James laughed harder. He stretched up and kissed her on the cheek, his mouth half open. His little teeth bonked against her skin.
“Ouch James, careful.” She rubbed her hand across her face. “We’re going to find you something to play with.” Hermione carried James into her new nursery room. She took the stuffed owl that was sitting on top of the closet and held it out to James. He stretched his arms and took the owl, a wing in every hand. Moving his hands he made the owl swing from one side to the other.
“Oww, Oww!” He cried happily.
Then he wriggled in her arms, trying to get out. Hermione bent over and placed the little boy on his feet. He immediately toddled off. Hermione trailed after him, since she didn’t want to leave him alone. James made his way into the bedroom, looking around in the light place, dropping to his knees to examine the stack of books on the floor. When he got to the big bed he got up again and tried to climb it, pulling half the blanket off on his way. But the bed was way too high for him.
Hermione decided to help him, so she put her hands under his arms and lifted him onto the bed. He crawled around for a bit making little rolling movements like he was a tumbling clown. Hermione started to laugh at this. James seriously looked ridiculous. He seemed to be having a lot of fun with himself. Rolling around, playing with the little owl.
After a little while Hermione’s stomach rumbled with hunger. James looked as though he was very involved in his own game. He was sitting in the middle of the bed still playing with the owl. So Hermione decided to leave him for a second and to get something to eat from the kitchen.
She hadn’t been gone five seconds when James found out he was all alone in the big, bight room, in the middle of the bed. He looked around confused.
“Momma” He said, and again “Momma.” But there came no answer. “Momma!” He said a little louder. Still no answer. He looked around one more time, just to make sure. But there was no sign of his mother, nor of Hermione who had been here just a minute ago.
Meanwhile Hermione was in the kitchen making herself a sandwich. She was just looking for a biscuit for James when a loud noise came from the bedroom. Startled by the loud yelling Hermione ran to her bedroom. James was still sitting in the middle of the bed his hand balled in fists, tears streaming down his face, his mouth wide open. He was crying so hard Hermione wanted to put her hands over her ears. She walked over to the bed and picked James up, rocking him while she walked out of the room back to the kitchen.
“Don’t cry James, it’s okay. I’m still here. I was just making a sandwich. I got you a biscuit if you want.” She said trying to soothe his anxiety. It didn’t seem to help. His cries where a little less loud now, but he was still crying. His face was all screwed up.
“Shh shh shh shh shh, there there, don’t cry now. It’s okay. Come James, I’m not really leaving you alone. Quiet now, it’s all fine.” Hermione kept on talking softly to the boy. His loud yells got softer very slowly, he started to sob loudly. Hermione held him in her arms for a long time. When ten minutes had passed she became an little impatient.
“Come on now James, there is really nothing to cry about. Everything is just fine. I’m is here, I’m not going to leave you alone anymore. Really, I promise!”
It did not help much. Hermione got the biscuit and gave it to him. James took it but threw it on the ground. He kept on wailing, now louder again. It had been twenty minutes already. Feeling quite desperate Hermione went to sit on the sofa placing James on her lap.
“Come on Jamie, stop crying. Please.” He started sobbing even harder. When half an hour had past and James had still not settled down Hermione could no longer take it. Tears came streaming down her own face too. How was she going to calm him down now? She had bounced him on her knee, she had tried to make him laugh by tickling him, she had tried to give him something to drink, or to eat. But still he didn’t stop crying.
Feeling very exhausted Hermione took her sandwich, made herself some tea and sat down. She didn’t know what to do so she decided to look it up in a book. While she was trying to read with the weeping boy on her lap she saw that from time to time his sobs where interrupted by yawns.
“You’re just as tired from the crying as I am, aren’t you?” she asked the boy. He yawned again, as if in answer. His small eyelids where becoming rather heavy. Carefully Hermione lay him down on the sofa next to her. She summoned a blanket and put it over his little body. Lying there James looked up at her. His sobs had turned into bleating. He sounded just like a little lamb, lost in the wide field. Hermione stroked his little rosy cheeks, wiping away the tears that had wetted them. Slowly his eye fell shut. Hermione smiled, finally. That had been a very long and tiring 45 minutes.
James spent the next hour quietly snoring. Sometimes he made a soft sound in his sleep, moving his mouth, but he didn’t wake up. Hermione watched him for a while and then she settled down with a nice book.
‘What could have kept Ron for so long?’ She thought to herself. But the thought slipped away as the book caught her attention. She wasn’t reading for long when the fire turned green and her red haired husband stepped out of it. He was just about to greet her when she put her finger to her lips and pointed at her sleeping godson.
“He’s asleep” she whispered.
“Okay, I’ll make sure to be quiet.” Ron whispered back as he planted a kiss in her hair. He made his way to the kitchen, leaving Hermione to read.
A fast hour later Hermione noticed the boy was moving more frequently, he was making louder sounds to. His small hands where opening and closing. He let out a soft wail and opened his eyes. Blinking rapidly he looked around. Hermione picked him up and snuggled his belly. But she stopped very soon. A strong smell was coming from his diaper.
Hermione changed him and let him play on the rug in front of the fire for the remaining of the afternoon. At half past three Ginny came back.
She opened the door quietly, when James spotted her he squealed: “Momma!” and waddled straight into her open arms. Hermione smiled at this scene.
Ginny stood up “How did it go?”
“All fine, up until I left him alone for al second and he started to cry his lungs out for 45 minutes. It was rather tiring though luckily he fell asleep. But apart from that it went great.”
“So you decided to have quite a fit today, huh?” Ginny laughed at her little son. James giggled back and grabbed her hair. “You have to be nice to Aunt Hermione, if you’re not she won’t babysit you in the future, you know.” James blinked and then smiled.
“Oh, that’s okay Ginny. I know now not to leave him alone. It’s not like this is my first time with babysitting him.” Hermione laughed. The two kept on joking till Ginny decided to take James home.
A/N: Those lovely characters are not mine, nor will they ever be. All credit goes to JK Rowling! And a little bit of thanks to my Beta Mystique. Thank you Charlie!!!
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