|To Adopt or Not Adopt
Author: Rachel A. Prongs PM
After almost ruining their marriage in a strive to become parents, Harry and Hermione tries to find a way to rebuild what they lost. The solution to all their problems comes with a little girl named Alex. [Challenge from Portkey. Pre HBP]Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Romance - Harry P. & Hermione G. - Words: 13,318 - Reviews: 27 - Favs: 101 - Follows: 10 - Published: 04-09-06 - Status: Complete - id: 2883381
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
To Adopt or not Adopt
Harry hadn't really had a good day at work. His team of Aurors had been tracking down this guy, who they meant would be able to give them valuable information about an illegal trading group. Unfortunately, they'd walked into a trap, and while three of his Aurors had been hurt, the man had been killed, unable to tell them anything. Now they had to start over again.
He stopped outside the bedroom, quite certain she had gone to bed already. He hoped she didn't wait for him, 'cause right now he didn't actually feel like having sex. To be true, he hadn't felt like it for quite some time now.
He opened the door and let out a sigh of relief when he heard her steady breaths, indicating that she was asleep. Then he chided himself because he felt this way about his wife. He really loved her, but the last few months the pleasure in being with her had disappeared in their struggle to become parents.
It affected him at work too. It was his fault everything had gone so wrong today, for if he'd been more focused he would have recognised that trap. But he didn't.
He sighed and silently stripped off his shirt and trousers, before crawling into bed and snuggling up behind her back.
It was unfair, really. Since he was old enough to understand what was going on around him, having a family had been his greatest wish. The Dursleys certainly weren't much of it.
Since he was sixteen, having a family of his own had been No. 1 on his list.
The thought of having a significant other sounded very appealing to him, even at such a young age. A wife to love, to hold close, to seek comfort in, to comfort, to make love to, to give everything to, and to have children with.
So far, he had everything but the last.
Was he being unfair to Hermione? Was it egoistic of him to want more than he already had? Perhaps he wasn't meant to have children. Perhaps he should be satisfied with his wife. He had, after all, never imagined that someone could love him like she did. But she did. She was wife, advisor, best friend, confidant, and lover. She was amazing, and he loved her with all his heart.
But lately, it had been difficult staying with her. Both of them desperately wanted to have children, but it didn't seem like they could have any and it frustrated them. The mental pressure did something to their physical state too. Lately they'd often been unable to carry it through, 'cause he just didn't manage to get aroused. The wish for a baby overshadowed everything else.
Suddenly a wave of fear came over him. What if this was slowly tearing them apart? The thought of losing her made him cold as ice.
His arms came up to encircle her, and he pulled her close. She stirred in her sleep as he buried his face in her hair.
He vowed to take this up with her as soon as possible.
Finally, Hermione made her way towards the living room. Earlier they'd often spent these evenings, when both were at home, talking or laughing or kissing, but now they didn't find anything to talk about. Too often they resorted to sitting by themselves, reading.
But not this time. The silence made Harry sick.
"Hermione," he said, and took her hand. "We need to talk."
The smile she gave him was strained, but she followed him nonetheless. He led her towards the couch where they settled down, facing each other.
Harry took a deep breath. "Hermione," he began. "I think it's time for us to accept that we might not be able to have children."
Hermione looked sharply at him. "Of course we are!" she said, almost harshly.
Harry sighed. "Love, we've been trying for more than a year now, still you're nowhere near pregnant."
"You don't know that," said Hermione – defensively?
"No," Harry said. "I don't. But I know that we can't continue like we've been doing the last few months,"
Hermione looked away. "I know we can become parents. We just have to try harder."
"That's exactly what we mustn't do, Hermione. I think it's time to give it up. Or at least go to a Healer to, er, check our – fertility."
"We don't have to do that," said Hermione, almost pleadingly. "We just have to try a bit more." Harry was surprised at her stubbornness. It seemed like she was denying a possible fact, and that was very unlike her.
"No," he said, determined. "I don't know why you won't admit it, but we have to accept the possibility of not being able to have children." Hermione was about to protest. "Don't object, Hermione, for we must. I can't do this any longer. Something has to be done when sleeping with my wife becomes like a dreaded chore!"
Immediately he regretted his words. Hermione looked stricken, and he mentally slapped himself. She had always been rather fragile when it came to her feelings, and that remark could be misleading.
She was about to withdraw from him, no doubt wanting to flee the room, but he held her back. Grabbing both her wrists he pulled her close to him and forced her to look at him.
"I didn't mean it like that," he said. "You know I didn't." He saw her eyes misting over. "Please hear me out, sweetheart. You know I love you, but – this… is tearing us apart. When in bed I get so worked up about getting it to work that everything else is overshadowed, and I fail miserably because of it! We have to stop craving for a child we can't get, or it will ruin our marriage!" He was begging her now. "Please, Hermione. We aren't talking like we did before either. I don't want to lose you."
A small sob escaped Hermione's lips. "I just wanted to give you a baby," she whispered painfully.
"Oh, Hermione," he sighed. He pulled her to his chest and kissed her tenderly. "I know, and I don't want anything but grant you that wish, but we can't let that destroy us." He wiped a tear away from the corner of her eye. Wrapping his arms securely around her he laid his chin on the top of her head.
"Don't you see? I won't have any child if it means that I have to lose you," he said.
He felt her shift in his arms, and was relieved when he understood she was making herself comfortable in her position. That meant she was accepting his words.
"I'm sorry," she muttered.
"For what?" he asked, confused.
"For not – for not being able to – to –"
"Don't be sorry," he broke her off. "For all we know, it might be my fault." Secretly he was surprised. Why did this have such an effect on her? Sure, he would be devastated if it was impossible for them to have children, but she seemed to be falling to pieces at the mere thought.
She drew a shaky breath. "I just wanted to have a child with you," she said.
He squeezed her gently. "We might be able to, still. I'm sure a Healer could give us the answer we need. Perhaps we need to take a potion or a draught. That we have trouble doesn't mean it's impossible. If I'm not mistaken, Muggles who have such problems can take hormones, or something, I think. It's just a quick visit to a Healer. You could do it, even."
She nodded. "Yes, I know the spell. But I want to go to another Healer… to be sure. We're recommended to not use it on ourselves. You get a more accurate result if you have another doing it."
Harry sighed in relief. She was thinking rationally again! "Then we do that," he said. "I'll go to one of your colleagues tomorrow, and you do it before you leave the clinic. Okay?"
She smiled a little. "Okay,"
She kissed him and got off the couch, where she left him to go fix some paperwork. Leaving him to wonder why she had behaved like she did.
The point was, that it wasn't anything wrong with him, it had to be Hermione. And judging by her reaction yesterday, he couldn't begin to imagine what it would be if she… she should be … if she shouldn't be able to. He hoped it wasn't something as serious as that.
He stood expectantly when she came in the door. She turned towards him, her face completely blank. He could feel the pounding in his ears as he waited for her to open her mouth.
"I'm sterile," she said calmly.
The words rang in Harry's ears, echoed through his head, and as in a daze he wondered why she was so calm.
Then, she collapsed.
Her legs gave away under her, and she fell to the floor in a heap. Harry was beside her in a flash, drawing the sobbing bundle into his arms. Tears cascaded down her face as she repeated the words over and over again.
Harry closed his eyes and locked his own desperation and disappointment up behind bars. Hermione needed him now. He couldn't let his own feelings out yet. He lifted her into his arms and carried her to the couch. He couldn't think of anything to say. He just held onto her tightly, rocking slightly back and forth.
In the end, she stopped crying, exhausted. She fell silent, her little body shaking in his arms.
The first thing Hermione did when she woke was to panic because she'd missed work. Harry managed to coax her back into bed, ensuring her that he'd gotten them both a few days off. It was one of the benefits of being who he was. All he had to do was say his name, and magically everyone got very agreeable.
Noticing that his wife was sporting a rather huge headache (at some point in their relationship he'd noticed that he always knew when she was sick or 'out of it' in any way – often before she did) he made sure she drank the headache potion he had prepared to her. Fortunately she wasn't as upset now as she'd been the evening before, and after having curbed her worst hunger, she was almost back to normal, if not a bit saddened. First then he allowed her to speak.
"I'm sorry, Harry," was the first thing she said.
He took both her hands in his. "For what? Being infertile?" he asked. She flinched.
"Now listen to me, Hermione. From what you said, it is completely impossible for you to get a child, and no healing method known to both Muggles and wizards can change that, correct?" She nodded miserably. Apparently she had caught some sickness when she was a little girl that had damaged her uterus.
"Well," he continued, "that's too bad, for I'm not going to let you dwell on it." He brought her hands to his mouth and kissed her fingers gently. "I love you, sweetheart, and even though I'm disappointed that I will never be able to have a child of my own, it doesn't change my feelings for you."
Hermione blinked and wiped a few tears away, but she was smiling shakily. She pulled him down on the bed and hugged him. "Thank you, Harry," she whispered.
He sighed in relief, and hugged her back. "So what are we going to do next?"
She looked at him, confused. "Next?"
"Why, yes," he said, propping himself on his elbows and smiling impishly. "I don't plan on not bringing children into my life. I was thinking about adopting." He said this as offhandedly as he could manage.
Hermione frowned, obviously not overly pleased with this solution. "I don't know," she said uncertainly. "It's too soon. I can't think of that now," she said.
"That's all right, Hermione," Harry said seriously. "Just promise me you won't forget it. We do want a child, and when we can't have one of our own, nothing should stop us from helping an orphan."
"I promise," she said. He smiled gently at her, glad she was going to be all right, and kissed her. He had meant it to be soft and gentle, and was most surprised when she responded urgently, her kisses wanton and passionate. Her hands tugged at his shirt, and as they roamed his bare skin he felt himself reacting to her touch.
Pulling him down onto her he felt her stroking through his hair and down the back of his neck. He shivered; she knew he loved that. He couldn't help but let his hands wander, too, worshipping her soft curves. Then she was planting sweet kisses along his jaw and down to his collarbone. Arching herself against him she made him gasp. How was it that she could do this to him now, while previous nights he'd been totally unresponsive?
"Hermione?" he groaned, not entirely sure if this was the right time.
"I need you, Harry," she whispered in his ear, and all thoughts of arguing fled him. He responded as any wise man would.
-A girl, three months old, with a small tousle of light brown hair, and her eyes still baby blue. (Hermione had explained to Harry that all babies are born with blue eyes, and that their real eye-colour becomes apparent later)
-A six months old boy with dark brown hair and grey yes.
-And another girl, a year and two months old, with straw-coloured hair and blue eyes.
They had decided to adopt an infant, and not an older child, who'd might remember its parents and have problems adjusting.
Harry sighed and closed his eyes, trusting Hermione to get the car safely through the traffic. He too had his license, but she usually insisted on driving. He shot her a small, fond look, which she didn't notice. He remembered well what Molly Weasley had said to him.
For once Molly Weasley didn't object when one of her guests tried to help, even though she usually was adamant that none of her children or children in law should do so. But then, he and Hermione had just announced that they were going to adopt a child, while not giving any reason why.
It wasn't hard to guess though, and Molly understood that her surrogate son needed a mother figure to talk too.
"So," she said, placing a few dishes in the sink. She was well aware that she had to start, and that Harry wouldn't. With a flick of her wand the dishes started to clean themselves, and with another more plates started to float in from the dining room. "What's bothering you, Harry?" Her voice was gentle.
"I suppose you've guessed why we're taking this step," he said. It wasn't a question.
She nodded and watched as he placed his plates on the counter. "Who? You or Hermione?" she asked, even though she'd guessed that, too.
"Hermione," he answered. Molly waited. "It's-" he paused, and tried to put words to it. "It's just that she was so devastated." He looked pleadingly at her. "Of course, it pains me too, but it was like- I don't know." He sighed. "She just collapsed and cried. I understand that she was upset, but it's like her whole world crumbled around her because she's –" he swallowed. Then he said in a small voice. "Infertile." He paused again, and shook his head. "She kept repeating that she was sorry, as if it was her fault."
Molly sighed. The two of them loved each other so deeply, and that made them so vulnerable. One could hurt the other without realising it, and they wanted the other's happiness so much it sometimes became difficult. "How is she now?"
"She's coming to terms with it," he said. "At least I think so."
Molly took a deep breath. "I understand that you're worried about her, Harry, and therefore let me explain something to you." She waited for his nod. "Hermione loves you very, very much. The greatest proof a woman can give a man of her love, is a baby. Hermione wanted to give you a child, and when she's not able too was a blow to her self-consciousness."
Harry looked at her in alarm. "You mean that she might believe that I'd-"
"No Harry, I said nothing of the sort. Your logical Hermione would not believe that you'd leave her, but I guess that deep down, so deep that she wouldn't admit it to herself, she feared it. Also, since you have expressed your eagerness to become a father, it stung deeply that she couldn't give you what you wanted the most."
"This," Molly continued, "disturbed her so greatly that she was unable to think rationally and calmly, as that Hermione we know."
Harry put his head in his hands. "You mean that I've caused this distress in Hermione?" his voice was muffled.
Molly sighed. Why oh why did he always take things on himself? "No. You didn't and you and I both know that. Hermione wanted that baby, too. She loves you, Harry. She wanted a child the two of you could parent and love and spoil together. Now, remember, this is not your fault, but you can help Hermione now."
Harry looked up, desperation shining in his eyes. "What can I do?" he asked.
"Tell her that you love her, and that it doesn't matter that you can't have a child together. And tell her often. She's slightly unstable emotionally now, after such news, and she needs to know that you'll always be there for her."
Harry took a deep breath and nodded. "I'll do that," he said, determination replacing the desperation. He headed for the door, but in the doorway he turned. "Thanks Molly," he said with a slight smile.
"You're welcome, Harry," she muttered, as she watched him go searching for his beloved. "So very welcome."
He shuddered, thinking about how easily he could have ended up in one himself, after his parent's death. Not that the Dursleys had been any better, mind you.
He was restless. He'd been so certain adoption would be a good idea, but now he wasn't so sure. None of the three babies had appealed to him in any way. Hermione was frowning, too, pretending to be looking through some files. He knew she wasn't really reading them though; she was contemplating, thinking about the whole adoption issue, and wondering if they'd taken a rash decision after all.
He walked over to her and kissed her lightly on the cheek, whispering softly that he'd take a trip outside. She merely nodded. She understood that he wanted some time to think too, alone.
So he left. He wandered through the halls for a while, deep in though. Perhaps they weren't meant to be parents. Perhaps they should stop trying… but he so wanted to! He wanted a child of his own, who he could love and raise. A child he could try to comfort when it was sad; be its father, be a figure this child could respect and look up to. He'd never had such a person, well, except Sirius. He would so love to have a try. Try to be a good father. He hoped that his dream would still come true.
Then, he suddenly stopped. His sharp ears had picked up on something. Walking in the direction of the sound, he soon found a small girl, curled up in a dark corner, sobbing quietly. She could be three or maybe four years old, with silky black hair. He wondered why she was here, and why she was crying.
He knelt down. "Hey," he said softly. The girl jumped and looked up, and he found himself looking into a pair of deep, chocolate brow eyes.
All his Weasley 'nephews' and 'nieces' favoured him over all of their Uncles. She had once pointed it out to him, and he'd only looked at her, confused. It seemed that he wasn't aware of the powerful vibes he was giving off.
"Oh, there she is!" the woman who'd shown them around exclaimed. Harry raised an eyebrow. It was obvious that she was talking about the little girl he was carrying. "We've been looking for her. She's always running away, hiding somewhere," she explained further. "She's a little trouble-maker. The other children don't like her much."
Hermione saw a small glint in her husband's eyes. Obviously he didn't like what was going on; the woman was talking as if the child wasn't even there.
"Who is she?" he asked.
"She's the child of a Death Eater couple," the woman explained off-handedly. "Just as bad as them, too." The little girl flinched visibly, signalling that she'd both heard and understood.
That was the wrong thing to say to Harry... Hermione thought, and watched as her husband controlled his temper. He could very well remember his own childhood.
"Indeed," he said stiffly. "If you'll excuse us a moment?" Without waiting for an answer he turned and walked over to her chair, where he knelt down. Prodding the girl gently, he made her look at him.
"Alexandra," he said softly. "This is Hermione, my wife."
Hermione looked into the girl's tear-streaked face, and she melted, just as Harry had done.
"Hi Alexandra," she said, smiling. The girl ventured a small smile in return.
Oi, thought she. I'm glad it's still a while till she's old enough to start breaking hearts.
Calmly she turned to the attendant. "She's the one," she said. "I'm sure she'll be a lovely addition to our family."
Fortunately, being a wizard had its advantages; Alexandra's room had been done in less than three hours, of which two was spent arguing over the colours and the furniture. Not that Hermione and Harry argued much; they were just both so nervous. And now, the dark-haired little girl was fast asleep in her new bedroom, clutching a new teddy.
Hermione sighed deeply beside him. No doubt, she was having the exact same thoughts as he. What would happen now? Would the cute little girl they had already fallen in love with accept them as her parents? They didn't think she was old enough to remember her real parents, but she was four years old, and could already talk pretty nicely. Would she adjust? As far as they knew, she was rather shy; a result of some horrid treatment at the orphanage. Both of them were furious at how they'd treated the innocent child, just because her parents had been arrested and found guilty for Death Eater activity. She'd been shunned by both the other children, and by the adults.
Now they both waited for the next day, the first day as Alexandra Lynne Potter's parents.
Then he remembered, and understood. Quietly he untangled himself from Hermione and hurried out of the room, and in the opposite door. Alexandra's room was just across to their own. Opening the door he peered in, and saw the poor child huddled by the headboard, eyes wide open in the dark, softly sobbing.
"Alexandra?" he whispered softly, and quickly crossed the room to sit on her bed. She scooted away from him, but he caught her. He knew she both craved and was afraid of human contact, but she had shown him earlier that the need was greater than fear.
"What's wrong?" he asked, as he cradled her to his chest. She stiffened at first, but then relaxed, wrapping her small arms around him and pressing into him, wanting to be as close as possible. Her body was still shivering, and she was sobbing occasionally.
"Was it a nightmare?" he asked. He could feel her pressing herself tighter against him. "What about?"
"Dark." A small hic and a sob followed the quiet word. She spoke so softly he could barely catch it.
Soothingly he ran a hand up and down her spine, and sighed softly when he felt the tension leave the small body.
"Sorry," she said, her breath hitching as she had not yet pulled herself together.
"Shh," Harry said, trying not to let his anger lace his words. He himself had spent his entire childhood saying 'sorry' for his nightmares. And suddenly he knew exactly what to do. He could do a thing to Alexandra that he himself never had experienced. He had often wanted to, though, but was never allowed. With determined steps he left the room, the girl still in his arms, and walked back to his and Hermione's bed. There, he eased her down on the mattress beside Hermione, and laid down himself, making sure to tuck her in properly.
"You'd like to lie here?" he asked, whispering. The girl looked uncertainly at him. Then she nodded shyly, and Harry couldn't help but smile. She was the cutest thing.
Deciding it would be a great sin to disturb them, she got silently out of bed. It was breakfast time anyway.
The smell of eggs and bacon certainly woke the two up, and before she could put the utensils at the table, they were up and around. She couldn't help but smile as they came into the kitchen, Alexandra resting on Harry's hip. She smiled shyly at Hermione as Harry put her into her chair. With a few quick moves he'd brushed the hair out of her face and braided it into a small braid. Hermione blushed as she recognised his braiding skills. Some of the times when he'd braided her hair hadn't been exactly G-rated.
Hermione put the food on the table, and saw Harry stretch to help Alexandra with hers. His jaw tightened when he saw that she managed perfectly on her own, and Hermione didn't like it much either. She was only four years old, and most four-year-olds needed a bit help when they ate. The girl had obviously been too much on her own.
"Alexandra?" Hermione asked gently. The girl looked up. "How do you like it here, so far?"
Alexandra looked down, and then up, and said honestly, "Nice, Mrs Potter,"
"You don't have to call me Mrs Potter, you know," Hermione said. The girl merely looked at her. "You may call me Hermione." She didn't quite dare to go as far as 'mum' yet. Alexandra would probably be uncomfortable with that as well.
"And I'd like to be called Harry," Harry said.
"Harry?" Alexandra said hesitantly. "Hermione?"
Both adults nodded and smiled, and therefore, Alexandra smiled, too.
Actually, Harry was just now learning – much to Hermione's horror – that Alexandra loved flying. She was sitting in front of him on his broom, laughing her merry children's laugh, and Harry had to hold her tight, since she had a tendency to let go of the broom handle.
"Do you want to try a dive?" he asked her as they soared among the skies, high above their home. The possibility for flying was one of the reasons why they'd bought the old manor. It may lie far away from 'civilisation', but distances didn't matter much when you could Apparate or Floo.
"Yes, yes, dive, dive!" Alexandra cried happily, and Harry pointed the broom towards the ground. The next second they were whooshing towards the grass, and Hermione. Just above the grass he levelled out, and came to a halt. Half reproachful and half exasperated Hermione came towards them.
"Harry, you scared the –" she didn't come much further, for a laughing, bouncing and joyous Alexandra latched herself to her leg.
"Mummy, mummy! Did you see me? Me went sooooo fast! Did you see?" Then she bounced back to Harry. "Do it again, daddy! Please! Can we do it again?"
Harry cast a quick glance at Hermione, who was trying to pull herself together. She didn't even correct Alexandra's grammar. Did she just call me 'daddy'?
"Mummy, what's wrong? Why are you sorry?" Alexandra asked, realising that the mood had changed. "Did mummy have a nightmare?"
Hermione took a deep breath, and wiped a few tears away. "No honey, I'm not sorry, actually I'm quite happy."
"But you are crying," Alexandra said, puzzled.
"Sometimes people cry because they are happy, you know," Hermione answered.
"Oh," said Alexandra understandingly, clearly not understanding the workings of an adult's inner mind at all.
"Now, lets all go inside," Hermione said, giving Harry a knowing smile.
Harry quickly brought a hand to his eyes. "Bloody allergies," he muttered, and Hermione tactfully covered her smile with her hand.
"Bloody?" Alexandra said, curiously, tasting the word. "Bloody."
"Harry James Potter!"
Hermione and Harry was both in the kitchen doing the dishes and talking about anything and everything. The tense atmosphere from before Alexandra was gone, and Harry felt himself falling in love with Hermione all over again, as he watched her together with their little girl.
Suddenly a scream rang out, and Harry almost dropped the plate he had in his hands. The two exchanged a quick glance and ran into the library. Alexandra was huddled on the floor, clutching her arm and crying loudly. A few feet away lay a large book. It didn't take long to figure it out, and Hermione sent Harry a withering glare as she gathered the sobbing girl into her arms.
Harry winced. He'd forgotten about those bloody books. As an Auror he held an extensive library, as well as several books from the Black library, which he'd inherited from Sirius. However, several of those books were cursed or jinxed, and while none of the books he kept at home were deadly, handling them incorrectly could be painful. Even those which were 'safe' but not supposed to be available for everyone, he'd laced with protection charms himself.
Apparently, Alexandra had managed to get hold of one of the more dangerous books. While she had suffered no physical injuries, she had gotten a painful shock.
With a flick of his wand Harry banished the offending books to the office he kept at home, locked it, and wowed to himself to go through the house from top to bottom. They'd need to keep all the dangerous things in one place from now on, preferably with padlocks on the door. Then he walked back into the kitchen where he found Hermione still comforting Alexandra. He winced again at the look Hermione gave him, knowing he'd get a scolding in near future.
And true enough, once Alexandra had been served some ice cream, which she attacked with gusto, Harry found himself grabbed by the elbow and hauled out of the kitchen.
"Why," said Hermione with barely restrained anger, "Weren't those books removed from that library?"
"They are now," Harry said, knowing there was no excuse for forgetting about them.
"That's not the point, Harry," Hermione growled. "She could have been hurt! It was something wrong with that jinx, and you know it! When was the last time you checked them?"
Harry tugged at his collar. It was hard to concentrate when she went all ... sexy, like that. "Er," he said. "Too long ago. I meant to have them removed, but I forgot. I'm sorry."
"You forgot!" Hermione cried, her hands on her hips, and a few strands escaping her bun. Harry stiffened. "How could you forget!" She jabbed at his chest.
Desperately trying to calm his upset wife, Harry caught her wrists and tried to still her. That just made her more upset. "Harry, let me go!"
"Hermione, please, listen! I know you're upset, and I'm sorry for forgetting, but it won't solve a thing if we stand here screaming at each other," Harry said. "Please, forgive me. I was stupid, but I promise it won't happen again." He gave her his best I'm-so-sorry-lost-puppy-look, and she relented. A little.
"Fine," she said stiffly, with all the dignity she could muster when caught in his grip. "It better not. Now let me go."
But Harry couldn't. If it was one thing that turned him on, more than her being angry, it was when she was like that. Irritated, with that annoyed expression on her face, her voice icy. 'This must be some form of masochism,' he thought, gritting his teeth to prevent a moan.
"Harry, please let me go," Hermione said, irritation lacing her voice again. It all became too much for him.
"Merlin you're sexy when you're angry," he whispered huskily, and crushed his lips to hers.
She managed a surprised yelp, and struggled against him, but with one tall, strong wizard pressing her against the wall, it was little she could do. Besides, she wasn't that unresponsive to his masculinity.
"I'm not letting you off that easy," she gasped as they came up for air, before she grabbed his head and hauled him back down. He groaned and grabbed her hips, grinding –
"Mummy? Daddy?" came a surprised voice. Harry and Hermione jumped away from each other as quickly as if they were teen-agers caught shagging by the girl's father.
Alexandra stood looking up at them, a bewildered look upon her face, together with melted ice cream. She did obviously not understand why her parents were acting the way they were.
"Merlin," Harry muttered. Note to self: You aren't alone any longer. There's a child in the house with you, which means you can't jump Hermione everywhere anymore.
Hermione sent him a look that clearly said 'You handle this', and went back into the kitchen.
"Daddy?" Alexandra said, worriedly
Harry sighed and took the easy way out. "No worries, Alex. What do you say about more ice cream?"
They had been slightly nervous about introducing their precious little girl to the Weasley family. What if they didn't like each other? And since Alexandra was so shy… But they shouldn't have worried. In the orphanage adults had singled her out because of her parents, and the kids at merely followed the grown-up's example. Thus, their little sweetheart had been frozen out.
But to all the Weasley kids, Alexandra was the coolest Uncle's kid, and in addition she was new and interesting. So, after some nervous minutes with shooting nervous glances and clutching Hermione's hand tightly, Alexandra was now joyfully playing tag with her 'cousins'.
While Hermione was watching her daughter, and making sure that Fred's rascals weren't hurting her, Harry was discussing child-care with Charlie and George, while he, too, kept an eye on his daughter, and tried his best not to burst with fatherly pride.
Certainly, she missed her late husband, but they had had many good years together, and it did not do to mourn too much, when she had so big a family to take care of. Of course, they thought they were taking care of her, by arranging these frequent get-togethers at the Burrow. Then all her daughters-in-laws cooked their best dish, and gathered together with children and husbands. The only thing she was allowed to do – and only because she insisted – was to clean up. They all were willing to help, but she liked it. She then felt like she was doing something, and at the same time she could use it as an excuse to sit back and watch her family – it was no more than a 'swish and a flick', anyway.
Bill she had given up. He would probably remain single, forever. Charlie had finally gotten out of the dragon business and settled down. Now he had two daughters, at four and two. Percy – her heart became heavy as she thought about him. They had never gotten around to apologise for all their harsh words. Only Penelope Clearwater and their seven-year-old son were there. Penelope had been devastated when Percy died, even though they had never been married, and she and Molly had found great comfort in each other.
Fred and George, to the surprise of many, had married only a year out of Hogwarts, both with girls they had known for less than half a year – Marie and Mary were sisters, too, but not twins. The twin gene followed the twins, though, and both had one pair of twins, all four of them eight years old, and all girls. Then came a boy each, both four. Yes, the twins were identical down to the tiniest detail.
Ron had not settled down yet, either, and Molly had begun to worry if he was going to end up like Bill, an old bachelor. She knew better than to pester him about it, though.
Now Ginny was another thing entirely. She was married to Blaise Zabini, something that had caused stirrings across the entire Wizarding world. There were quite a lot of people who thought she had only married him because of the money he had gotten through his seven 'fathers'. It had taken some time to accept – the twins being the first, and Ron the last, but eventually they all had come to an understanding. Even Harry came around nicely, and it was only between Ron and Blaise it was somewhat strained. Now the happy Zabini couple were the proud parents of three little boys, at six, three and not-yet-one.
And now Harry and Hermione had their Alexandra. What a delightful child she was.
Before she could get away, Harry scooped her into his arms. "Hey! Wait a minute! I never said I was participating!"
"But you are pat-ri-pi-cating," Alexandra said, laughing at her father's stupidity.
Harry mock-frowned. "Very well then. But now you're at it again, for I touched you."
"No silly!" Alexandra admonished. "You can't tag the one who tagged you."
"And when did that become a rule?" Harry asked as his eyebrows rose.
"Mickey and Mike said so," Alexandra replied.
Mickey and Mike were Fred's daughters, and their real names were Michelle and Mischa. Both strong-willed and living up to their father and Uncle's reputation nicely. Their cousins, George's daughters, Joanna and Jenny, were their opposites, shy and silent, but quite clever. Harry personally thought they were no more shy than Mickey and Mike – they were just more sneaky about it.
"Well, when Mickey and Mike said so, it has to be true then, hasn't it?" Harry asked, amusedly. Alexandra nodded empathically.
It was after dinner. Molly was straightening up the mess they had left, and her children, grandchildren and children-in-laws were mingling about, patting full stomachs. She and Harry had found a small spot from where they could observe. Harry had his arms wrapped around her waist, and she was leaning her back against his chest. He was busily placing small kisses along her neck and shoulder – it seemed obvious to her that she was the only one 'observing'. And he was making it bloody hard to concentrate on anything but him.
"Harry?" she asked suddenly. "Am I any good as a mother?"
Harry stopped what he was doing. He blinked. And blinked again. "Come again?" he asked.
Hermione looked down at her feet, shamefaced. "It's just – It's just that she runs to you all the time – it's like she doesn't like me as much as she likes you."
Harry stared at Hermione's bowed head. It was obvious that his bothered her, and he didn't think he was far from the truth if he believed that this had something to do with the fact that she couldn't give him children. It had been a hard blow to her self-esteem, and added to the fact that she had never had much self-esteem to talk about when it came to boys and appearances… she had put most of her self-confidence into her books and knowledge, and when it came to matters where books couldn't help you, she became rather helpless.
And it couldn't be denied; Alexandra came to him more often than to her. He sighed.
"Hermione, I don't think that is because she doesn't like you," he said, rubbing her arm soothingly and turning her around to face him. "I think that she might see me as more of a playmate and friend, as well as father. And the fact that I'm a big, grown-up male makes me her protector – you, on the other hand, are more… serious than me. A parent she looks up to because you're older and wiser. She comes to me when she needs a playmate and to you when she needs a teacher and a mentor."
Hermione looked stricken. "You mean I'm too serious and strict?" she asked.
"No!" he said forcefully, and cupped her chin with his hand. "Listen to me, please, for that is not what I said. It's not wrong what you're doing, I just think Alexandra has yet to learn that she doesn't have to categorize us. I'm her playmate because I have the 'playmate-attitude', the one who's always willing to find something fun to do. You are her teacher because you are a know-it-all, the one with all the answers. She just doesn't realise that you can be as much fun as I can, and that I can answer her questions, too." He looked sadly at his wife. "Her experiences with adults have never been very good, Hermione. Give her time."
He was alarmed when Hermione sniffled. "Sorry," she whispered. "I know it's silly, but-"
He cut her off. "You're not silly, Hermione," he said, and wiped gently at her tears. "She loves you, too. Don't you remember a few nights ago? When she came to you with that book you bought her?"
"And the two of you curled up on our bed, under the covers while you read to her?"
Hermione nodded again, and Harry shook his head, smiling at the memory. "You glowed then, Hermione. Both of you did." His voice almost broke with emotion. "You both looked so happy and content. I could have watched you forever." He rested his forehead against hers, and she could see the love in his eyes. "I felt like I had two angels residing in my bed that night. It's the most beautiful sight I've ever seen," he whispered.
Hermione blushed prettily. "Really?" she asked. She, too, remembered that. It was a memory that would forever remain in her heart.
"Really," Harry said, and placed a soft, lingering kiss on her lips. Hermione sighed and smiled against his lips, feeling her love for him welling in her chest.
They were interrupted, however, by a small hand tugging at Hermione's jacket, and they looked down at their giggling, black-haired daughter. Harry raised an eyebrow, and she merely giggled some more, before she tugged at her mother once again, obviously wanting to take her away from her father.
Harry glanced at Hermione. "I think that means that she wants a 'girl-talk'," he whispered.
Hermione grinned. "Or perhaps she's just finding what we're doing very gross," she whispered back.
And as she picked up her daughter, wanting to find out exactly what she wanted to show her, or tell her, she felt a lovely warmth envelope her completely.
And Alexandra wrapped her tiny arms around her mother's neck, and hugged her tight.
Molly was always willing to baby-sit, and Harry suspected that she felt like she was doing something worthwhile when she did, but still all her children and children-in-law, plus he and Hermione, tried not to abuse her kindness.
"Alex?" he said, knocking on her door. "Sweetie? Are you awake?" No answer.
Opening the door he found her bed empty, and he frowned. "Alexandra?"
Five minutes later he was struggling not to panic. Where is she! He looked wildly around in the basement for the third time, before he ran upstairs to ransack the guest-rooms once again. Okay, Harry, no panic. That won't help Alex. He racked his hand through his hair for what seemed like the hundredth time. Not in the house…Outside! Check outside!
He ran out of the house, looking around frantically, and cursed the fact that they had such a big garden.
He heard a shout, and looked up, almost getting a heart attack for his trouble.
High above him, the girl sat astride his broom, one hand at the handle, smiling brightly, and waving down at him. That broom shall be destroyed!
"Alexandra!" he cried, once he found he had air in his lungs again. In a bout of quick thinking (or rather blind panic) he whipped out his wand and translocated both the girl and the broom to the ground.
He grabbed the girl and shook her. "What are you doing!" he shouted, his heart almost beating out of his chest. "You could have been killed!"
"D-daddy?" Alexandra said, the smile wiped off her face, and tears forming in her eyes. She did not understand why her father was angry with her.
Harry realised what he was doing, and kneeling on the ground he wrapped his arms around her. "God, don't ever do that again, Alex, ever." He had to struggle to stop himself from shaking.
Alexandra sniffled. "Why are you angry, daddy?" she asked.
Harry inhaled deeply, trying to calm his erratic breathing. Then he held her out slightly, so he could look at her. "I'm not angry, Alexandra, I just got so scared. What if you had fallen? You mustn't ever take a broom out on your own."
She wiped her tears, and those she didn't catch, Harry took for her. "Why?"
"Because it's dangerous. I don't want you to be hurt," Harry said. "Please, do as I say. Don't do that again."
"I won't," Alexandra said, shaking her head vigorously.
"Good," Harry said, beaming. His limbs still felt rather weak. Who'd have thought it was that exhausting to be scared?
He cast a glance at the broom that was still lying at the ground. Merlin, what if she had fallen, and I wasn't there? He clutched the little girl tighter to his chest.
"Daddy?" asked Alexandra, as he studied the cut on his index finger.
"Oh, it's just a small cut, Alex" he said. "Nothing to worry about."
"Does it hurt?" Alexandra looked at him with wide-eyed concern.
He smiled softly at the way his little girl worried about him. "A bit," he replied.
"Shall I blow on it?" she asked, and he bit back a chuckle.
"I think that would be nice," he said, whereupon Alexandra took his finger in hers, blew out her cheeks, and breathed gently on his finger. "That's much better," Harry said seriously, and was rewarded with a brilliant smile. "So, shall we read on?"
It was Hermione's opinion that the earlier Alexandra learned to read, the broader her horizon would become. As long as Alexandra seemed to like it, Harry didn't object. Thus he was currently sitting with her in his lap, trying to teach her to put the letters together, helped only by an ABC book.
"Well," said Alexandra in her best grown-up voice. "That's a 'B'," she pointed at the first letter in the world BANK. Under was the picture of an official-looking building, with great Greek pillars and other grand ornaments. Of course, no bank looked like that anymore, so Harry personally found it rather absurd. "That's an 'A', and an 'N', and the last is a 'K'," Alexandra said, proudly.
"And then you put the letters together," Harry lectured. He made care not to touch anything with his bleeding finger – he frowned. It was his right index finger that had been cut?
Alexandra bit her lip, and frowned, too. "B…A…N…K," she spelled out. She looked thoughtfully between the picture and the word.
Then her face lit up. "House!" she cried.
The proud expression on her face was the only thing that stopped Harry from laughing.
She gave a weak laugh. "Not really. I hate being sick."
He sighed softly before he walked up to her and wrapped his arms around her. "You should go see a Healer," he said.
"Harry, I am a Healer," she muttered, resting her head on his chest.
"Hermione, you have been sick every morning for a week now. Not in the evening, not at noon, but in the morning. Every day. That is not a normal, virus or bacteria infected sickness."
Hermione sighed. "I'll be fine," she said.
Harry tilted her chin and forced her to look at him. "No love. I've been thinking about it. We both know I have both powerful and influential enemies."
Hermione's eyes widened. She hadn't thought about that. "You think I may have been cursed? Or poisoned?"
Harry nodded gravely. "I'm sorry," he whispered.
"Don't say that!" Hermione said defiantly. "It's not your fault!"
Harry decided not to argue the point. "But still I want you to go to a Healer, and hopefully it will be nothing but a sickness. If not…" he allowed the sentence to hang in the air for a moment. "If not, we will go see Albus. If he can't figure it out, I don't think anyone can." He smiled softly. "We've kept him away from Alex too long, anyway. He will be most miffed with us."
"Her name is Alexandra," Hermione said, absently.
Harry merely buried his nose in her hair and inhaled deeply. And thus they stood, holding each other, and enjoying the other's warmth and comfort. Until Harry heard a door open and the shuffling of small feet.
"Perhaps we should go to breakfast?" he suggested.
After which he experienced just how nauseating it was to watch someone retching.
Harry found his little girl outside his bedroom door, looking at him with big eyes, still in her pyjamas, and her favourite stuffed toy clutched in her arms.
"Do you think mummy would like to have Tiffy?" Tiffy was Alexandra's stuffed puffskein. It had been a gift from Ginny, and Alexandra never went anywhere without it.
Harry smiled. "Perhaps. But why would you want to let mummy have her?"
Alexandra looked at him seriously. "'Cause she's sick. I'd wanna have Tiffy with me if I was sick."
"I'm sure she would," Harry said, and lifted the little girl into his arms. "But hopefully, the Healers will find out why mummy is sick today, and make sure she gets well again."
"Good," Alexandra said. "I don't like it when mummy is sick."
"No," muttered Harry, concealing his worry in front of his daughter. "Me neither."
Hermione came down while they were making breakfast. She was feeling better, and helped to set the table. Alexandra did her good deed and went to offer her mother the stuffed toy. Knowing how much Tiffy meant to Alexandra, Hermione recognised how much this gesture meant, and she promised to take very good care of her.
After breakfast, Molly, who had promised to look after her, picked up Alexandra. The older woman was loved by everyone, and no matter how shy Alexandra had been, she was no exception. She would never complain when it came to visiting 'gramma' Molly.
Thankfully, Tonks did not grumble too much when Harry called and said he'd be unable to go to work. They both hoped that this was only a simple sickness, but since it was possible that it could be so much worse, he had decided that he wanted to be there when Hermione got her test-results.
That was why, three hours later, was trying to remain strong before his wife. Yes, Hermione was a very strong woman, but it was obviously that the possibility of being cursed or poisoned was scaring her. It would scare anyone. She was pacing the room restlessly. Harry did not bother to speak; she knew that he was there if she needed him. It was no relief when Healer Richards finally came with the test results. There were some anomalies, but nothing to worry about. He could find no reason as to why she was sick. Harry felt dread creeping up on him. He saw the fear in Hermione's eyes – but also determination. The same determination he had seen when he first told her about the prophecy – even though he didn't recognise it then. She would fight this, whatever it was, and she would win.
Hermione's smile was somewhat sad. "So do I, Headmaster."
Dumbledore nodded, and for once went right past the small talk, and right to the point. "I trust you have already done a curse scan, haven't you, Harry?"
Harry nodded. "Yes, but I hoped that you may see something I'd missed." Then he added gravely, "If not, I'd like to talk to your Potions Master."
"Yes, yes," Dumbledore replied absently, albeit sadly. Harry figured he was probably thinking about the last Hogwarts Potions Master, Severus Snape. Snape had been, perhaps, Dumbledore's greatest mistake. The once Death Eater turned spy had betrayed the Order of the Phoenix, forcefully acquired the entire the prophecy from Harry's mind, almost managed to kill Remus Lupin, and caused the deaths of several Order members, among them Arthur Weasley and Rubeus Hagrid.
The reason? He could not bear the fact that Harry, the son of his hated enemy, was the only one who could 'save the world'.
Harry was startled out of his thoughts by Dumbledore's outburst. "You found something?" he asked eagerly. Dumbledore's eyes cleared, signalling that he was withdrawing from a light trance, and he smiled. Hermione, too, looked relieved. It was a bit uncomfortable being the object of such a scan.
"Why, yes," Dumbledore replied, the damnable twinkle now present. "I believe you didn't perform a force scan?"
Harry heard Hermione mutter something about 'I'm here, you know,' and patted her hand comfortingly. Then he frowned. "No, I didn't. Any curse capable of harming or changing her aura would have killed her instantly, or very quickly."
Dumbledore merely twinkled. "Check now, please."
Harry raised an eyebrow, but allowed his magical senses to view Hermione's life-force, also called life-flame. The force, or life-flame, was, essentially, the visible manifestation of a wizard or witch's life force. Incidentally, the most commonly used word, life-flame, did not reflect what it really was. Firstly, life-flame implied that it behaved like a flame – which it didn't. Harry had a strong suspicion on the reason for that. Simply, in cases of extreme stress, the life-force would be come visible even for people without the ability to read it. In such cases, this show would not be very stable, and thus would flicker. Since the force also pulsed in sync with the wizard's heartbeat, this would add to the effect.
When a wizard or witch preformed a force scan, he looked past the physical appearance of a person, and studied their very life force. When the life force wasn't there, it meant that the person was dead. The life force changed slightly through your teenage years, during your magical puberty, but it reached it's permanent stage soon after. Otherwise, it didn't change, unless you were dying or already dead.
Not everyone could view life forces, but then again, Harry was never normal.
This scan gave him some surprising results, though. He knew Hermione's force very well. Before he got proper control of this sight, he would, when he was very emotional – angry, sad, or happy – see the flame even when he didn't try to. It had made for some interesting snog sessions in the beginning of his and Hermione's relationship, and a few minor difficulties, as they gradually got more … intimate.
To his shock, however, Hermione's usually orderly and dynamic force was a mess. New colours had entered, and it was changing even as he looked at it.
Startled, he drew back. "What does that mean!" he was slightly upset, and a bit scared. He'd never seen a force behaving that way before. But it had seemed healthy enough… there could be other things, though, that he couldn't see. However, life forces were not supposed to change colours.
"What you saw, Harry, was not only Hermione's life-force."
Harry merely looked at him, confused. Hermione though, gasped.
Dumbledore smiled and nodded to her. "Ah, you seem to have gotten my point. What Harry saw was two life forces, still merged. Yours, and your baby's."
It took Harry a little while to process what Dumbledore had said, upon which he promptly turned to look at Hermione again. He had to smile at the sight. Now that he understood what he saw, he could see the flame of new life as a separate entity. And when he thought about it, it was not surprising that a pregnancy would wreck havoc with the state of the life force, when you considered what it did to the physical state of the woman.
Still awed by what had happened, it took him some time to realise that Hermione was crying. Frowning at her distress he hurried to comfort her. "Honey, what's wrong?"
"Harry, I can't get pregnant," she replied, still crying.
Realising that she was in a state of denial – not surprising, really, Harry did his best to soothe her. "I know that, but I'm sure there is an explanation to that. We'll find it, I promise."
"And we should be glad that it wasn't something bad, at least," he tried, hoping she would agree with him. To his relief she nodded.
"We need to visit a Healer to get it confirmed," she said, the shock wearing off quickly. Drying her eyes on Harry's shirt – he protested only half-heartedly – she started to plan out a research schedule to figure out how this could've happened (besides the obvious reasons – minds out of the gutter), and why her pregnancy hadn't been discovered before.
On why it hadn't been discovered before, neither by Hermione's personal Healer or herself, they agreed that a pregnancy had been regarded as a non-option, and thus never considered by either party. They both 'knew' that she couldn't have children anyway.
Harry gently guided his wife to their bed, and helped her into it. She was asleep as soon as her head hit the pillow, leaving Harry to his own thoughts. Different feelings battled inside him, confusion and elation were only two of them. Walking into the kitchen he made himself a pot of tea. On his third cup his emotions had yet to settle, and he was interrupted by the floo activating. First then he remembered Alex. Molly had promised to return her about now.
As predicted, the older woman stepped out of the floo, carrying his daughter. But Alex seemed to be unmoving, as if unconscious. Immediately worried, Harry jumped to his feet, but Molly soothed his fears with a soft 'shh'.
"She's only sleeping, Harry," she said. "Why don't you take her up to bed. I have something to discuss with you and Hermione."
Not ready to go into the details yet, he merely told her that Hermione was asleep, before going upstairs and tucking Alex in.
When he returned, Molly was waiting for him. Offering her some tea, which she accepted, he waited for her to begin.
"I had wanted to tell you and Hermione at the same time, but I think it's important that you know as soon as possible," Molly said. Her expression was so serious that Harry got worried all over again.
"Is something wrong, Molly?" he asked quietly.
She smiled softly. "I wouldn't say wrong – but potentionally dangerous for your little girl."
Harry frowned. "How so?" he asked, prepared to take on any potentional threat to his Alex.
"Harry, Alex is a Healer." And after dropping that little bombshell, the Weasley Matron sat back to watch his reaction.
Harry was confused. "Er… what?"
"A natural Healer," Molly supplied. "It means that she wandlessly can mend injuries and cure diseases. Likely, she will also have an affinity for healing charms, healing plants, and healing potions. She may also face problems with charms, curses and potions designed to do harm."
As Molly spoke, Harry's brain feed him the evidence. The cuts he got when cooking healed amazingly fast. A niggling knee injury had disappeared entirely. There was also the fact that Alex was never injured. Cuts, scrapes, bumps – the stuff all children had at all times – were non-existent when it came to Alex. When it came to Hermione, Harry knew that she bruised very easily, but he hadn't detected any blue marks lately – and he had had every opportunity to look for them, even though wasn't thinking about that at the time…
"How did you know?" he asked suddenly.
Molly sighed. "Mischa had a nasty fall from her broom today. Nothing dangerous, but she got a nasty cut and would probably have suffered a concussion if Alex hadn't healed her. Her healer instincts are intact – she was at Mischa's side before I could reach her. I watched the cut vanish from her forehead."
Molly then leaned forward. "However, Alex is too young to manage a heal on that scale. She fell into an exhausted sleep, and as you could see, hasn't awoken yet. And that is the important thing, Harry. You must monitor and restrict her Healing talent. If she should overtax herself at this age, she could kill herself." She patted his hand as she saw how this shocked him.
A glance at the clock, and Molly rose. "I need to get back to the other kids." Giving him a motherly hug, she continued. "Tell Hermione. She'll know all the details, and how to handle this."
Thanking her sincerely, Harry watched her leave. Then he walked upstairs and into his daughter's room. Sitting silently at the side of her bed, he watched her as she slept. It was a sight that always managed to tug at his heartstrings.
Sighing, he gently wiped a few hairs from her face, and thought about everything that had happened over the course of a day.
"You really are a special little girl, Alex," he whispered softly. He knew all too much about being special. "Though I hope that Alex-special is better than Harry-special."
Hopefully, they would be able to confirm whether or not Alex had healed Hermione's uterus.
Since Alexandra was so young, they found it necessary to block most of her powers for the time being. She would still be able to heal minor things – like small bruises and cuts, but anything more complex could be dangerous for her. She had indeed healed Hermione, but the healing had been instinctual instead of intentional. She hadn't really known that she had been healing her adoptive mother, and as such her powers had hit the emergency switch when she got exhausted. No wonder she had slept so much during the first few months. It would become dangerous if she knowingly healed any wounds. Her consciousness would override the emergency switch, and she could fatally exhaust herself.
They spent an amount of time explaining this to Alex before Harry himself set the block. Neither of them liked to restrain their daughter in such a way, but Alex was just not old enough to start learning how to use her power. She would one day become one of the best Healers in the world – but right now she was a little girl with a talent she couldn't control.
Harry especially hated doing it. Adults making choices for him had taken his childhood and many of his teen-age years. Becoming a father had shown him that children couldn't always take their own choices, and Alex was simply too young to take this choice by herself. He hoped that, when she got older, he would be able to do the right thing and let her stake the courses of her life – something he hadn't been permitted to do. While everything had turned out rather nicely despite of this, he did not want his daughter to experience the same.
They were just finishing breakfast. It was Sunday, and both Harry and Hermione had this day off. As they finished with the dishes, Harry lifted Alex onto a chair.
"Alex, you remember a bit back, when mummy was sick?"
Alex nodded. "Mummy aren't sick now."
"No, I'm not," Hermione smiled. "But I was sick because I was pregnant."
"Oh," Alex said. "What's prrregant?
Harry hid a grin. "Pregnant, Alex. It means that she's going to have a baby." And because he liked the idea of that very much, he leaned over and gave Hermione a quick kiss.
Alex frowned a bit. "A baby?"
Harry nodded. "Yes. Isn't that great?"
But Alex didn't look like she liked the idea very much. They watched her slip out of her chair and vanish from the kitchen. They could hear her small feet as she ran up the stairs.
Harry frowned and looked at Hermione. "What was that all about?"
Hermione bit her lip worriedly. "I don't know. Perhaps we should check on her."
Alex had escaped to her room, and they knocked gently before entering. They found her on the bed, hugging Tiffy as if her life depended on it. Her eyes were huge and awfully sad – neither of them could stand that look.
"What's wrong sweetheart?" Harry asked as he and Hermione sat down on the bed.
"You won't need me anymore," the little girl said tearfully. "You'll be sending me back to the bad place now." She sniffled, hiccupped, and big tears started to fall from her eyes.
Harry and Hermione shared a look and promptly engulfed Alex in a two-way hug. She cried even harder.
"Of course we won't," Hermione soothed. "You're our daughter now and we will never send you away."
"Besides we need you loads now that we're having a baby," Harry said. "The baby needs a big sister to take care of him."
"Really?" Alex asked hopefully, though somewhat muffled, since she was sandwiched between the two of them. "Promise?"
They both nodded at once. "Promise," they intoned.
It was quite tiresome and stressful, and more than once he found himself stretched very thin. However, when he could finally sit down and watch as his wife showed Alexandra how to support little Nicole's head, he knew that it was all worth it.
There are of course a lot of things with this story I'm displeased with – but hopefully you like the story too much to care.
The Guidelines: (You may already have noticed that I haven't followed the guidelines entirely in this challenge either…)
1. Harry and Hermione are married and they think Herm's infertile because as much as they 'try' so to speak she still hasn't gotten pregnant and no one is playing a crude joke by mixing contraceptive potions into her pumpkin juice LOL!
2. Hermione is thinking and suggests to Harry one day that they shouldn't worry and maybe they should just adopt their first child. Besides all children need love and good homes no matter who's they are.
3. Harry goes along with it and they adopt a toddler or baby or whatever (the gender is yours to decide) really your choice. The only must have is that the child has a special power or something that they don't find out about until after they adopt it.
4. You should talk a little about their family life and their experience with the new kid also what everyone thinks of their decision that sort of thing. Must have the child meet the Weasleys.
5. There are really two paths you can take to this either Hermione finally gets pregnant and they keep the child glad that they adopted it for experience, or Hermione is found unfertile and they adopt a whole bunch of kids. Take your pick or twist one of the two into something more interesting your call.