Hermione turned on her side, and felt it again. That stirring that came from deep inside her. She tried to ignore it, but it was insistent. The urge simply would not go away until it was satisfied, and there was only one way to do it.
“Harry…” she moaned. “Harry I need…” she bolted off the bed and ran to the bathroom, just making it to the toilet. She held her stomach as she retched, then sat down and put her face to the cool tile on the floor.
“Mione what’s wrong?” Harry asked from the doorway. He spied her lying on the floor and rushed in.
She shook her head weakly. “This is the third night this week I’ve woken up ill, and that doesn’t count the times during the day, and at work that I’ve had to run to the bathroom.”
Harry stroked her hair and gently pulled her up from the floor. “Here.” He said, getting her some water. She carefully sipped it slowly.
“Thanks.” She mumbled, leaning on him. She was feeling horribly dizzy as well as nauseous again. “Harry…I have to…” she flew back and started vomiting again.
“Hermione…” Harry said as she was finally able to stand back up. “I want you to go to the doctor tomorrow…this can’t be good that you’re getting sick all the time.”
“I’m sure I’ll be fine in a few days.” Hermione said, putting both hands on the counter to hold herself up. “It’s just a touch of the flu I’m sure, and I’ve just been so tired since the wedding…”
“Hermione that was two and a half weeks ago already…” Harry argued, leaning up against the doorframe. “You have had plenty of time to recover from all the planning and excitement.” He crossed to where she was standing and gripped her gently but firmly on the shoulders. “I don’t want anything to happen to you, if there’s something wrong, we’ll get it treated right away…”
“All right.” Hermione relented, letting him support her on the way back to the bedroom. “I’ll get a hold of Grace tomorrow and go in.” Grace had recently been appointed a medi-wizard position, something she had been working at for a number of years.
“Good.” Harry said, helping her settle back into the bed. Hermione fell asleep quickly, finally able to sleep through the rest of the night.
“I’ve just felt so horrid lately, and after last night, Harry made me promise to visit the doctor.” Hermione said to Grace as she fussed around with a few different potions and charms.
“Uh huh…” Grace mumbled. “So you say for about the past week you’ve been feeling sick almost all the time, you’re tired…” she looked up from a piece of parchment. “How often do you find yourself having to use the bathroom?”
Hermione bit her lip, thinking hard for a moment. “Lately, a lot…. especially in the morning.”
“Um hmm….” Grace said. She looked up again and a half smile quirked at her lips. “Have you skipped a period at all?”
Hermione’s head shot up and she stared at Grace. “Great Wizards…” her face paled. “Yes I have…”
Grace set aside the parchment and picked up her wand. “There’s one test I can do, to determine whether or not you are…” Hermione nodded nervously, gripping her skirt tightly between her fingers.
“Okay, if it glows red, it means yes, and purple means no.” Grace said, pointing it at Hermione. She murmured the spell under her breath, and both women watched in stunned silence as the tip of the wand emitted a bright red glow.
“Oh my goodness…” Hermione uttered as a long snakelike strand shot out of the wand. Grace picked it up and measured it.
“You’re two and a half months along!” Grace grinned and swooped down on Hermione, hugging her tightly. “I can’t believe it, you’re pregnant!”
At first, Hermione was too dumbfounded to do anything. “I’m pregnant.” She repeated hoarsely.
“Yes you are!” Grace was almost shrieking. She took a step back and regarded her friend. “Are you okay…. I’m sorry, here I am screaming like an idiot and you’re in shock…”
“I’m pregnant.” Hermione repeated again, this time not as stunned. The realization finally hit her. She was pregnant! A large smile crossed her face.
“Oh Great Wizards!” she finally reacted physically by grabbing Grace in a large bear hug. “I’m going to have a baby!”
“How is Harry going to take this?” Grace asked as they finally calmed down.
“I imagine he’ll be quite excited…” Hermione said, resting a hand on her stomach. “He was like that when we found out I was pregnant with Caitlyn.”
“That’s so cute.” Grace said. “Listen, I have to go I have another appointment, but let me know how everything goes, okay?”
“I will.” Hermione hugged her again. “Thanks for everything Grace.”
“Sure.” Grace squeezed her arm and left.
Hermione went back to the flat and made herself some tea. She was still in shock over the news, but filled with excitement at the same time.
“I can’t wait till Harry gets home.” She said aloud, wishing the hours to go by faster. She pressed her right hand to her belly and tried to see if she felt anything. Right now, her stomach just felt hard, not much of a sign of life inside yet. She felt full to bursting with her news right now, however, and needed to tell somebody, in fact, she didn’t want to wait for Harry to come home from work. Hermione decided to make a little trip to the Ministry.
She pushed open the glass doors to the Ministry, nodding at the official sitting to the right of the door. Hermione hummed softly under her breath as she came to Harry’s office and knocked.
“Come in!” she heard a distracted voice say. Pushing open the door, she was amused to see Harry arguing with the head of Oliver Wood in the fire. “Oliver I know I promised you a favor but that’s ridiculous!” Harry shouted. “I’m not modeling Quidditch outfits at the World Cup!”
“Potter you promised!” Oliver’s Scottish accent was thickened by his words. “I need someone to show off the new uniforms and with your fame, it’ll draw tons of crowds.”
“But Oliver—“ Harry started to say.
“You promised!” Oliver said. “I’ll see you at the pitch this Saturday, be there at nine am sharp.” The fire went out with a loud pop and Harry yelled in frustration.
“Bad day?” Hermione asked innocently, moving into the office. Harry slumped down into his chair.
“I can’t believe this, Oliver wore a kilt for what, one minute for me and I have to go MODEL Quidditch uniforms for a whole game….” He ran his hands through his hair and it stuck out in every direction.
Hermione smiled and came along side him, smoothing it back down. “I bet you’ll be fine.” She said, inwardly getting quite a kick at the thought of Harry parading around the stadium in Quidditch gear.
“Yeah yeah…” Harry looked up at her and finally smiled. “What brings you over here today?” He brought her down to sit on his lap and kissed her. “Not that I mind a visit from you….”
“I went to see Grace today…” Hermione began. “She was worried at first when I told her how sick I’ve been getting, but then gave me some interesting news when we did some tests.”
“What’s that?” Harry asked, as his eyes took on a concerned look. “You aren’t like, seriously ill are you?” his voice held a slight note of panic.
“No, no…nothing like that.” Hermione reassured him.
“Okay…sorry, just got a little freaked out there.” He said, holding her a little tighter.
Hermione took a deep breath. “I’m pregnant, Harry.”
Harry stared at her, flabbergasted. “You…you’re pregnant.” He repeated.
“Yes, I’m pregnant. I’m having our child.” Hermione said calmly.
Harry stared at her for a moment. “You’re having our child.” He was beginning to sound like a robot.
“Yes, Harry.” Hermione said patiently. “I’m having a ba—“ she was cut off by Harry’s loud cheer.
“WOOOOOOO!” Harry shouted loudly, jumping up from the chair while still keeping her in his arms. Hermione laughed gaily as he spun her around.
“Two and a half months.” She said as he set her down.
“Really? That long already…. that would mean…” his eyes lit up. “WOW!” he cried.
A knock sounded on the office door, and a second later Ron’s head peeped around. “Everything okay?” he asked. “Hi Hermione.” He said, coming into the room.
“Ron, Hermione’s pregnant!” Harry shouted. Instantly a buzz of excited chatter came from the outer office, as everyone out there had heard him.
“That’s fantastic!” Ron said, delighted. “How far along are you?”
“Two and a half months.” Harry and Hermione said together. Ron’s eyes widened.
“Damn it Harry, that was fast.” He said, amazed.
“Right, right.” Harry said, reddening. Ron hugged Hermione.
“Boy I can’t wait to see Lavender’s face when she finds out.” He said. “She’s going to freak.”
“I’ll bet.” Harry said, wrapping his arms around Hermione’s waist. Ron waved goodbye and left them alone. “So what are you going to do for the rest of the day?” he asked, kissing her shoulder.
“Probably just go home and rest…” Hermione said. “This is the first day all week I haven’t gotten sick, so I’d like to enjoy it.” Harry laughed softly.
“I’ll get home as soon as I can.” He said. “We should owl Caty tonight and tell her.”
“All right.” Hermione grinned and kissed him again. “I’ll see you soon.” She walked out of the office to the explosion of chatter and well wishes. Harry sat back down behind his desk with the pretense of working again, but he found out that he could not sit still. He jumped up and started doing a dance around his office.
“I’m going to be a father!” He said softly, as if still trying to convince himself. “Again.”
Meanwhile, Hermione had just gotten back to their flat. She grinned to herself as she replayed Harry’s reaction in her mind. Walking through the flat, she determined that there would not be enough room for them all to continue living there once this baby was born. She and Harry would have to discuss that later, as well as start getting clothing and such.
Hermione went back into the living room and lay on the couch, resting her hands on her stomach and closing her eyes. It didn’t take long for her to fall asleep.
Harry entered the flat a few hours later, still rejoicing over his wife’s news. “Hermione?” he called, only to be answered by the retching sound from the bathroom. Frowning, he hurried in to see her trying to stand up. “Here,” he said, helping her get up.
“Thanks.” She said weakly, pouring herself a glass of water and sipping it slowly as to not upset her stomach again. “I just woke up from a nap and I was sick again…I’ve felt great all afternoon.”
“Awww.” Harry said, watching her rinse her mouth out and then pulling her close. She rested her head on his chest and he kissed the top of her head. “Have I told you how completely and hopelessly in love with you I am?”
“Not today you haven’t.” Hermione looked up at him with a slight smile on her face. “Will you still love me in seven months when my stomach is sticking three feet in front of me and you can’t hug me like this?”
“Of course I’ll still love you when you’re fat.” Harry teased, ducking the blow she sent his way. “I’m just kidding!!!”
“You’d better be.” Hermione said as they went into the living room. “So what time again do you have to be at the World Cup this weekend?”
“You just had to bring that up huh.” Harry said. “I have half a mind to disappear for the weekend….”
“No you don’t.” Hermione chided. “Oliver’s done a lot for us, you can do this for him for a few hours.”
Harry twisted his mouth. “I suppose.”
Hermione pulled him down on the sofa next to her. “Besides, I’ll be there to see you, and I can tell everyone that it’s my husband up there.” She said, kissing him.
So that was how Harry found himself up in the air, strutting around on a broom in front of millions of wizards and witches, showing off various Quidditch uniforms. Oliver had been right about his fame drawing in lots of attention, he was amused in the least to see plenty of teenage girls and older women waving their banners at him, and to his horror, a few men.
“Okay, no.” Harry mumbled to himself as one of them threw an enchanted rose at him. He swooped down to avoid it and flew over to the box where he knew Hermione was sitting with Ron and Lavender.
“You’re enjoying this aren’t you?” Harry asked Ron, who was chortling heartily.
“Oh, more than you know.” He replied. Lavender poked him. Harry looked at Hermione.
“Want to ride with me?” he asked her, leaning into the box.
“NO!” she replied. “What if I fall?”
Harry gaped at her. “Hermione, do you really think I’d let you fall? Especially with you carrying our baby?”
“Well no…but…” she started to say but Harry grabbed her.
“But nothing….” He took off and she squealed and held tightly on to him.
Oliver’s voice boomed over the stadium again. “Here we have Harry Potter again, and who does he have with him but his lovely wife Hermione!”
Everyone cheered loudly for them as Harry grinned and did a few flips, much to Hermione’s chagrin.
“Harry I’m going to kill you!” She shouted as he flew across the stadium back towards the box.
“You said you wanted me to do this.” Harry said into her ear as he slowed down so Ron could help her back into the box. She only glared at him as he once again flew up into the stadium.
She wouldn’t speak to him later when they finally arrived back at the flat.
“Aw Hermione…” Harry put on his best pout face. “You can’t still be mad at me about flying!”
“Yes I am.” Hermione said. She turned her back on him and stalked into the living room. Harry stared after her for a moment and then followed her.
“Hermione, do you honestly think I’d let anything happen to you or the baby?” he asked.
“No.” she said, and turned to face him. “But my fear of heights hasn’t dissipated, and when you flipped us today I thought I was going to have a heart attack.”
“I’m sorry.” Harry said, coming forward and pulling her into his arms.
Hermione looked up at him and felt her hard exterior crumbling away. “I like your pouty face better.” She said, and he stuck his lower lip back out. Hermione quickly raised her face to his and kissed him, wrapping her arms around his neck to keep him close. His arms went around her waist so that she was tight against him. She ran her tongue lightly along his lower lip so that he’d open his mouth to hers, which of course he did. This went on for several more minutes, growing more frenzied.
Harry broke the kiss and looked at Hermione. “Can we…you know….” He motioned his head towards the bedroom.
“I do believe so.” Hermione smiled and pushed him towards the door.
During the months that passed, Hermione of course got larger as the baby grew, and she went through all the typical pregnancy notions, including mood swings- which Harry hated, he tried to stay out of her way during those, and of course, the ever annoying strange cravings. She woke him up one night, during a violent thunderstorm, wanting sushi and peanut butter. Harry had actually had to apparate to a wizarding area in Tokyo (she wanted it fresh) and then go find a sushi restaurant that was open. Another time, he’d had to go find Indian food and then mix it with pickles. The worst one, however, was the time she wanted egg salad and Bertie Botts.
It had been worth it to him when he’d come back and saw how happy it had made her, even though he had to leave the room most of the time while she ate. However, she was now entering her last trimester.
Hermione sighed as she made her way into the living room. Harry looked up from his piano and smiled.
“Good morning.” He said, moving over so she could sit next to him.
“I’m as big as a house.” She said, feeling sorry for herself. Harry wrapped an arm around her shoulders.
“Hermione, if you were as big as a house, how would you fit in this flat?” he asked, purposely acting like an idiot to make her smile.
She rolled her eyes at him and a tiny smile quirked at the corners of her mouth.
“Will you play me something?” she asked, leaning against him with her hands on her very swollen belly.
“Certainly.” Harry replied, rippling his fingers over the keys. “What do you want to hear?”
“Something nice and light.” Hermione said, closing her eyes. Harry began to play a tune, starting out softly and making the notes stronger as he went on.
“Swan Lake…” she murmured, enjoying the flowing music. She touched his arm lightly as to feel the vibrations from the piano.
Harry looked at his wife as he played for her, despite her size from the pregnancy; she had never looked more gorgeous to him. She had a natural glow about her from the excitement and he adored looking at her, especially at times like now when she didn’t realize it. He finished the song softly, letting the notes linger in the air.
“That was beautiful Harry.” Hermione said, opening her eyes. “I would never have realized you could play piano so well.”
“Well it helped me express a lot of mixed up feelings I had back when you first…left.” Harry said.
“Oh.” Hermione said. She was about to get up from the bench but a sharp pain across her abdomen made her sit back down. “Oooooh!” she cried out.
“What?” Harry was instantly on his feet.
“I think….” Hermione was now bent over, clutching her stomach. “Harry I think its time.”
“But you’re not due for two weeks!” Harry said frantically.
“Harry, it doesn’t matter when the baby’s due if it’s coming now…” Hermione trailed off as another pain made her double over.
“Okay okay…” Harry mumbled as he flew into the hallway and grabbed Hermione’s bag. “Okay, let’s go…” he said as she grabbed onto his arm and he apparated them over to St. Mungos.
It was late that evening, with the aid of Grace and another medi wizard, that Harry and Hermione’s baby son was born. Hermione was exhausted, naturally, but was alert enough to want to hold her son. Harry was flexing his hand, which was cramped due to Hermione squeezing the hell out of it during the worst of the delivery.
“Here he is! Congratulations!” Grace said proudly, bringing over the newly cleaned baby. Harry took him in his arms and went over to Hermione.
“Hello Mum.” He said, happy tears sparkling in his eyes.
“Dad.” Hermione returned, reaching out for him and the baby. “You know, we never picked out a name.”
“I know, we discussed lots of them…” Harry said. “I’d like to stick with the C names.”
“Me too.” Hermione said, looking adoringly at her new son. “But we should give him James for a middle name.” She looked up at Harry.
“Okay.” He agreed. “What about Chandler?”
Hermione made a face. “No.”
Harry laughed. “Okay…”
“Christopher?” Hermione asked.
“Everyone names their son Christopher.” Harry said. “How about…Colin?”
“Oh I like that!” Hermione said. “Colin James Potter.” She leaned over and kissed the baby’s pink face. Colin gurgled and then opened his eyes, which were like Hermione’s, a deep brown.
“He’s got your eyes.” Harry said in delight. “I hope he doesn’t have my hair though.”
“We really placed an awful curse on our kids, hair wise.” Hermione said, grinning.
Harry laughed and reached out one finger and caressed his son’s cheek. “Colin James Potter.” He repeated. Hermione smiled up at him and he leaned down and kissed her. “I love you.”
“I know.” Hermione said. “I love you too.”
**** Two months later****
Harry let himself into the door of their flat, running a hand through his sopping wet hair. It was unseasonably cold for mid summer, he wore a coat, which he now took off and hung on a hook. “Anyone home?” he called out, only to be greeted with silence. He was just arriving home from a two week business trip in which he had managed to arrange the capture of two more dark wizards.
He walked down the hallway and into the living room, where he was greeted by a sight that warmed him from head to toe. All the lights were out; the room was lit by the soft firelight. Hermione lay on the couch, fast asleep, with Colin on top of her, his little fingers curled around the fabric of her shirt. Caitlyn, fresh from her first year at Hogwarts, was sitting on the floor, her head on the couch cushion, her hand resting inside Hermione’s. Harry could only stop and stare at his family for a long moment, before going over and sitting down next to Caitlyn, drawing her into his lap.
“Dad…” she murmured sleepily but didn’t wake up. Hermione stirred and opened her eyes, drinking in the sight of her husband.
Harry looked up at Hermione, his lips curving up in a smile. He didn’t have to utter a word. Their eyes said it all.