|The World According to St Nick
Author: DarkRiverTempest PM
Nicholas Granger thinks Fred Weasley would make a great father. Now, if only his mother could understand him...Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Humor - Fred W. & Hermione G. - Words: 5,299 - Reviews: 52 - Favs: 169 - Follows: 14 - Published: 03-31-11 - Status: Complete - id: 6859850
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I love my mum. I really do.
Can't say too much about my father; I've only seen him a couple of times, and Mum curses about him when she thinks I'm sleeping.
Stupid Malfoy! Stupid Ministry functions that go on into the latest hours of the night, with all the free-flowing spirits one can drown themselves in! Stupid me, for indulging in a drunken shag with a married man!
This is usually followed by a sniff or two, like she has a cold, but then she blows her nose and talks about how much she loves me.
Only good thing to come out of that whole mess was my son, my beautiful Nicholas. I don't care that Malfoy won't claim him; he's mine! He'll be a proud Granger!
I guess Malfoy doesn't like me much, but I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because I pooed all over him when I first saw him. He didn't look pleased at that. In fact, he looked somewhat purple.
I mean, I'm only one year old and haven't accomplished a great deal other than walking, talking a bit, and making blue popping things with my fingers. Mum says that's my baby magic and that, someday, I'll be a great wizard. I hope so; I'd hate to disappoint her.
Mum thinks that we need Malfoy's acknowledgement to appear acceptable in wizard society, but I don't think she'll get it. Every time he sees us, he looks like he needs a nappy change, or whines like it's time to eat and he hasn't got his cereal. Maybe someone needs to take better care of him, like Mum does me?
Anyway, I tell Mum all the time that we don't need him; we've got the Red Weasels. It's a shame she can't understand what I'm saying most of the time.
I like Grandmum Weasel a lot. She can be scary sometimes, bad clown scary, but she makes the best pudding I've ever tasted. I wish Mum cooked like her.
There's a big dinner today, and all the Weasels are coming, including my favourite one, Fred. He's got a brother that looks like him, except not. Uncle George has only one ear. You know, those things that stick out on the side of your head and hurt when you have an infection? I wonder if his mum has to yell louder when she wants his attention. She seems to do a lot of that when they are around.
I want a brother like that. I should ask Mum for one. We could go to the store and pick one out. Maybe for my next birthday. Or Fred could get one for me. He's always getting things for me, like the fizzy bubbles that came out my nose and turned me blue for a day, or that piece of chocolate that tickled when I swallowed, and I started talking in Spanish. I guess that one made Mum angry and she scolded Fred like grandmum scolds George.
But we don't have to worry about acknowledgement with them because they like and accept us just fine.
"Hermione, dear, would you please slice the carrots?" Molly asked her adopted daughter. "I've just got to get some more potatoes from the cellar.
The brunette witch nodded. Searching for her son, she found him under the table building a leaning tower with his blocks. Satisfied with what he was doing and that he was within a safe area, she set about her work.
There were several pops of Apparation twenty minutes later.
"Jolly St Nick!"
"Please don't call him that, Fred," Hermione said on a tired sigh. She'd just finished slicing the carrots and moved them to the pot of simmering stew.
"Ah, but he is," Fred corrected. He tapped Nicholas on the nose, eliciting a wide smile from the toddler. "He's the patron saint of sailors, merchants," he pointed at himself and nodded in thanks, "archers, thieves, child—"
"Stop," she hissed. Hermione was clutching the sink, head bowed.
Fred rose from where he and Nicholas were and went to stand behind her. "It's Malfoy, isn't it?" It was a statement, one that had drawn a great deal of confusion on the part of the Weasleys. They couldn't understand her reasoning that Malfoy needed to be a part of his child's life when he was so opposed to it. "What did he say this time?"
She glanced at Nicholas, who was playing with a toy that Fred had apparently given him. "Draco said Astoria's pregnant and that he won't do anything to upset her when she's in such a delicate condition," she said bitterly. Tears fringed her lashes. "Apparently, that includes seeing his illegitimate son... the one he rarely sees anyway."
Fred placed his hands on Hermione's shoulders and turned her around to face him. "Why do you care about that git seeing Nick?"
The tears that had welled in her eyes finally spilled over. "I want Nicholas to know his father. Is that so bad?"
Fred snorted. "Everyone in the wizarding world knows who Nick's father is, except Nick himself." He looked at the dark-blond, curly-haired child, who was staring at both of them with his grey eyes. "He doesn't seem to care that Draco is his father." Fred returned his gaze to her. "And neither do I—erm, we... neither do we."
Frowning slightly, she tilted her head to study him. "Why does it matter to you?"
He looked as if she had slapped him. "Oh, I don't know, Granger," Fred said derisively. "I was only there for the midnight feedings, when you were too tired to even blink. It couldn't be because I've changed enough of St Nick's nappies to be a pro. Or even the fact that I love the sprog to bits and I think his mum is the bravest woman I know."
A light blush crawled up her neck and flooded her face. "Fred, I don't know what—"
"Don't say anything," he muttered. With that, he backed away, smiled brilliantly if a little sadly at Nicholas, and left the kitchen.
Hermione covered her mouth to keep the sob that was caught in her throat silent. All the Weasleys had been there for her from the beginning, encouraging her to remain resilient in the face of so much scrutiny and pressure to 'get rid' of her and Draco's mistake. She'd even been approached by Lucius Malfoy, with the promise of a hefty monetary gain if she did not have Nicholas. Mingled blood and all that bad business, he'd said.
Never once had she considered that an option. She didn't care that it would cause permanent embarrassment to Draco and Lucius to have a youngster that looked undeniably like a Malfoy walking the streets of the wizarding world. She didn't care that it would be a tough road to travel, fighting the slurs and prejudices of society when it came to her son. No, the only regret she had was the way he was conceived.
It had been at a Ministry function, celebrating St Valentine, of all things. At the time, Hermione had been required to go by the head of her department, who'd wanted to avoid the function altogether, and so she'd had to suffer the besotted louts who drank too much punch, even to the point of altered behaviour. She'd only had a couple flutes of champagne, and had breathed a hesitant sigh of relief when Draco Malfoy had come to stand next to her on the fringe of the swaying couples, hoping that he would provide a somewhat decent conversation.
Apparently, he had been slightly tipsy, as he'd told Hermione of his frigid wife, the endless pressure to live up to his father, and the slight attraction he'd always felt for the Mudblood. She had meant to slap him, she really had. But when he'd grabbed her wrist before it made contact, it had felt deliciously right the way he'd gripped it and pulled her into him, silencing her protests with a kiss.
The searing sensation curling her toes had shut down the logical part of her brain that told her it was very wrong to be doing that with a married man. It had also disabled any resistance she could've mounted when he'd dragged her into an empty room and proceeded to ravish her within an inch of her life.
She should've screamed when he'd tugged up the skirt of her dress, but all she'd been able to do was moan as his fingers found their way to her centre, slipped past her knickers and inside to touch her already throbbing clit. He'd still possessed her mouth, and they'd only come apart to breathe, suck in another lung-full and then slam together again, as if making up for all the time that they had wasted.
He'd been inside her before she'd realised it. Her legs had wrapped around his trim waist, her hands clutching his shoulders as he'd thrust into her feverishly. She'd been on the edge of that wonderful cliff of orgasm when he'd groaned loudly... and it wasn't her name.
He'd had a Mudblood itch and had scratched it. More the fool her. Surprisingly, he had let her legs down gently and straightened her dress before tucking himself back inside his trousers. He'd apologised profusely and promised that he would give her anything to remain silent about their liaison. She had told him, mistakenly so, not to concern himself with her and to go back to his precious pure-blood wife. She had slapped him then, and he'd left immediately without retaliating.
Nicholas was born on December sixth, two weeks late. He looked like Draco, had an arrogant tilt of the chin, like the Malfoys, and had Hermione's curly hair—though his was blond. It was extremely confusing that someone she loved so much looked like someone she hated. But Nicholas was sweet and loved to give his mother cuddles, was already manifesting powerful forms of magic, and adored his uncle Fred.
Fred had been there for Hermione when no one else had. He'd been with her when she'd gone into labour, had been the first one to see Nicholas after he was born—he'd even magically severed the umbilical cord—and when his family or Harry were too busy with their lives, Fred was there.
She had never questioned it, not really. The Weasleys, Harry, and all the in-laws of the Weasley clan loved Nicholas. Fred was no different. At least, hadn't been, initially.
Though she had tried at a relationship with Ron, it had quickly fallen apart when there had been no crisis, such as the war, surrounding them. They'd parted amicably and remained the best of friends when Ron had married Luna Lovegood. Ginny had, of course, married Harry and they had baby James.
But Fred? He had remained curiously single, though not for lack of offers. He remained steadfastly by her and Nicholas' side throughout it all.
"Mum!" Nicholas had toddled over and was now tugging on her trouser leg. He then raised his arms, wanting a lift up.
Hermione picked him up, cuddled him close, and pressed a soft kiss to his forehead. "I don't understand. Every time I take you somewhere, everyone says how sweet you are and how mad they are about you. And then, the one person who has a genetic bond to you treats you like you're a contagious disease. Everyone loves you. All the other children at the playground love you, grandmum loves you, Harry loves you, everybody at the Ministry loves you, Fred loves you..." She paused for a moment. "Nicholas, do you love Fred?"
A slobbery grin showing four teeth revealed his answer. "Fwed! Luff Fwed!"
She smiled in returned. "That's good," she whispered and nuzzled his cheek.
Fred Weasley was a man with a problem.
"Did she talk with Malfoy again?" George asked his brother quietly, away from eavesdroppers.
Narrowed eyes and a sneer were Fred's silent response.
George sighed and patted his twin's back in sympathy. "Have you ever actually told her that you love—"
"Say it a little louder," Fred groused. "I don't think London heard you."
"It'd be better then, wouldn't it?" George shook his head. "I've never known you to be so reluctant about a bird before."
A hint of desperation entered Fred's eyes. "That's just it, mate. She's not just some bird; she's Granger, St Nick's mum, and our little brother's ex-lover. Not sure she wants another Weasley hanging about her."
"From what I gather, you wouldn't exactly be 'hanging about.' Maybe shagging about?"
Fred cuffed George on his good ear. "Cretin."
"This from the man who spelled Umbridge's knickers to flash Bury Your Knob Here! underneath her dress whenever she walked through the corridors."
Fred snorted, trying to hide his grin. "Yeah, well, she deserved that, didn't she?"
"Fwed!" Nicholas made his way over and crawled into Fred's lap, making himself comfortable, and giving his favourite person a drool-covered pat on the cheek.
"Ah, jolly St Nick," Fred said with a tender smile. "How's my favourite mucky pup?" He wiped a smudge of dirt off the child's nose. "Where's your mum?"
"I'll leave you two alone," George said with a wink, and disappeared to find his wife.
"Fwed luff Mum," Nicholas told him matter-of-factly.
Taken aback at the astute observation, Fred nodded hesitantly. "That I do, little man. That I do."
The toe-headed toddler gave him a pointed look. "Mum luff Fwed."
Fred's smile dimmed somewhat. "I don't think so, mate." He hugged the small boy, closing his eyes at the scent of Hermione that always clung to him. He knew it was only a matter of time before she would find someone that suited her, never looking in his direction, and it would break his heart because then his time with Nicholas would become sparse, and she would be gone.
"But I wish she did."
I think grown-ups are daft sometimes.
I see them look at one another until they get all red in the face, and then they run away like a boogle is chasing them. It's funny, really. It gives me the giggles when Uncle Harry and Aunt Ginny do it, because he ends up chasing her into grandmum's broom closet, and they end up screaming and rattling the door. Then, they come out all sweaty and with silly smiles on their faces. The last time they did that, James came out sometime later. Same thing happened with Uncle Percy and Aunt Penelope, but I didn't like Agnes, so I think they should return her to the closet and get a different kid. It doesn't work if a person goes in there by themselves—I know, I've watched grandmum go in there, and all she comes out with is a smelly mop.
I wonder, if I put Mum and Uncle Fred in there, would they come out with a brother for me? I mean, I just told him that Mum loves him like grandmum loves granddad, but he didn't believe me. And I gave him my best honest face. You know, the one I always put on when Mum catches me in the biscuit jar, and I don't want to get punished? How could he not believe me? I'm just going to have to try something at dinner.
I need a little brother, and at this rate, I'll never get one if I don't do something about it.
Hermione sat at the dinner table with Nicholas to her right and George to her left. Fred sat across from them, so he could watch her covertly. It was a masochistic game he played with himself, seeing how long he could stare at her without her noticing, before she caught on and glared at him.
Smashed potatoes, squishy carrots, and torn up bits of freshly baked bread littered the tray of Nicholas' highchair. Occasionally, the youngster would squash something between his fingers and plop it on his head, laughing out loud and amusing the entire crowd at the table. Hermione would just shake her head, smile, and return to her own plate.
When Nicholas wanted something to drink, he made impatient noises towards his mother, but Fred was in motion before Hermione reached for her own beverage. He took a beaker from the supply Molly always had on hand, filled it with pumpkin juice, screwed on the lid, and handed it to the toddler.
While Nicholas slurped away, Hermione stared at Fred with a mixture of curiosity and shyness. "Thank you," she murmured, smiling briefly.
Fred shrugged it off. "St Nick is a thirsty bloke. Might've drained your cup dry." He gave her a roguish wink.
She blushed profusely.
Unbeknownst to them, George smirked at the interchange. He arched a brow in his twin's direction, a mischievous glint residing in his eyes. "So, Granger, fancy anyone lately?"
Butterbeer spewed across the table from Fred, and Hermione dropped her fork on the dinner plate with a clang. Nicholas giggled at the sight.
"Erm, no," she said weakly, glancing at Fred, who was casting a Cleansing Charm to rid himself of the sticky drink. "Why do you ask?"
"Just wondering who's going to be carrying little Nick's picture in his wallet."
"I have one," said Ron and produced said photograph.
"So do I," Harry echoed. Several other voices added their affirmation.
"Fwed!" Nicholas crowed when Fred held up the best picture of the lot.
"That's right, St Nick, I've got you right here." Fred returned the picture to his wallet and placed it back in his breast pocket, patting his chest in the vicinity of his heart.
"Seems I don't need to fancy anyone for that to happen," Hermione told George smugly.
George watched Fred's expression grow distant. "Well, you don't just want any bloke, Granger," he retorted. "What if the git is a bad example of a father to St Nick?" He leaned in closer. "I can hear it now: kids taking the mick outta him and some git says, 'My dad can beat the piss out of your dad,' and St Nick here'll say, 'Yeah? When?'"
Ron and Bill tried to stifle their laughter, but Hermione heard it anyway. "I wouldn't pick just anyone," she growled, pushing away from the table. "For your information," she added, addressing all of the table's occupants, "I happen to think that there's enough male influence here to counter the absence of a father in Nicholas' life."
"Mum luff Fwed!" Nicholas squealed as if on cue.
Hermione's face flooded bright red, and she groaned in mortification. Fred had a lopsided grin and a decidedly devious expression on his mug.
"About time," Ginny muttered under her breath before handing James his own beaker.
"Yes, about time," Fred murmured, fixing his gaze on the woman he loved.
Lips thinned in agitation, Hermione stood and retrieved Nicholas from his highchair. "The dinner was lovely, Molly." She nodded in the matriarch's direction. "It's getting late, and I need to put Nicholas down."
"Oh, we've made up Fred and George's old room for you two so that you could stay as long as you wanted," Molly offered in a tone that said Hermione would face a lot of angry looks if she didn't accept.
Closing her eyes and sighing heavily, Hermione gave her a weak smile. "Thank you." Quietly, she left the dinning room and headed up the crooked flight of stairs.
No, Mum, I don't want to sleep!
She must be very angry; she's not even listening to me as she dresses me in pyjamas that have those stupid lambs on them. I hate the way they make me sweat.
"Oh, Nicholas," Hermione said on a sob. "What am I going to do?"
Go in the closet with Fred. Then everything will be all right.
Hermione sniffed and smiled through her tears. "Goodness, you're squirming like the Giant Squid in a draw-string bag. Does your tum hurt, love?"
"Mum luff Fwed!"
A fresh wave of tears overflowed, and she hastily wiped them away. "Yes," she whispered sadly, "I do." She caressed the soft blond curls on Nicholas' head. "But I have to think of you and your future. I don't want another mindless shag in a dark room."
I don't know what a shag is, Mum, but I don't think Fred would give it to you if you didn't want it. He might give you a sticky toffee if you ask nicely, though.
She picked me up and held my hands so I could stand. My legs are still wobbly and make me unsure of my balance. She looked me over, smiled, and then pressed a kiss to my tummy. It made me giggle.
"My precious Nicholas," she cooed and wrapped me in her arms.
"Luff Mum." I love bedtime. Mum cuddles me and hums until I—yawn—go to sleep.
Hermione slowly paced the spacious room, occasionally pausing to sway with her eyes closed, singing very softly the entire time. She didn't see Fred observing her from the doorway.
"He's been there for me, through everything. I don't know why," she murmured to her dozing son, eyes still closed. "But I love him for it."
"That makes two of us," Fred said quietly, afraid of startling her.
She came to a halt and slowly turned to stare at the man standing near the door. How could she have missed the adoration that shined in his honey-brown eyes? The gentle smile he always had for her, the way he doted on Nicholas, the way he acted like her son's... father.
Not waiting for her to dismiss him, Fred entered the room and closed the door. "If you're wondering, St Nick is off to the land of Nod." He pointed at the lax child in her arms.
Nodding, she headed over to the cot in the corner. She was about to pull back the blanket, but Fred came from behind and did that for her. Smiling in thanks, Hermione laid Nicholas on the bed, watching as he automatically rolled to his stomach and propped his bum in the air.
"I think all sprogs do this when they're his age," Fred whispered near her ear.
Her breathing quickened and she smiled hesitantly, not trusting her voice right at that moment. She moved over to Fred's old bed and sat, running her shaking hands through her frizzy locks. It was a testament to how unnerved she was, that she nearly yelped when Fred knelt before her.
"Easy, Granger." He smoothed his palms over her trouser-clad knees. "I promise not to bite—unless you want me to."
She huffed a slight chuckle and shook her head. "This is very awkward."
He cast a silencing spell in the direction of the cot and on the room in general. "There. Now it's just me and you. Better?"
Nodding, she tentatively covered his strong hands. "H-How long have you—"
"Thought you were the bright morning star? Loved the way your pernicious nose flares when St Nick has been caught doing something he shouldn't? Envied a baby because he gets to lay his head on your shoulder?" He smiled self-deprecatingly and shrugged. "A couple years, at least."
Her eyes widened. "Before I became pregnant?"
"You don't know what kind of restraint I had to show around Malfoy," he snarled low. "The git's lucky I didn't introduce him to one of our adult products: Bollocks-Be-Gone. Nick would've definitely been the only progeny he had."
She cupped his cheek, smoothing the pad of her thumb over the slightly freckled skin. "My hero," she teased.
He leaned into her palm and closed his eyes, relishing the warmth. "Just so you know, I'm fighting the urge to make you the happiest woman on earth tonight."
She leaned down and pressed a soft kiss on his cheek. "And how would you do that?"
"Well, first, I'd like to kiss you passionately on the lips. Then, I'd move up to your belly button," he purred.
"Sounds very wicked," she agreed with a slight chuckle, though she pulled away. "But I don't want to ruin our friendship or your relationship with Nicholas." Caressing the frown lines starting to mar his brow, she hurried on to say, "I have to think of him, first. He needs a good father."
"I think being a good father means keeping the mother happy so she doesn't make the kids barmy."
"That's very wise."
Fred grinned widely. "Well, that's high praise, coming from the likes of you, Granger."
"Hermione," she said and laid her forehead against his. "I'd like to hear you say it at least once."
"Hermione," he repeated softly and tilted his head to steal her breath away.
His mouth was eager as his tongue traced her soft lips, tangling with hers once he gained entrance. Growling low in his throat, he scooped her up and laid her down on his old bed, before lying alongside her. She threaded her fingers through his rust-coloured strands, making him almost purr like a cat.
"I've wanted to do this for ages," he said silkily into the crux of her neck. He grabbed his wand from the tabletop where he'd left it, and placed the tip against her abdomen. "No unexpected babies this time."
Her eyes widened. "This time?"
"You didn't think I'd settle for just one night, did you?" Fred nuzzled her cheek while he slowly divested her of clothing. "I'm a greedy guts, and want to become a glutton where you're concerned. All this could be yours for the low price of forever."
Hermione was gobsmacked. She truly hadn't comprehended the depth of his devotion. He loved her, and he'd not only told her so, he was currently showing her with his body, in fantastic ways. It was apparent in the way he stroked her cheek or brushed her curls from her eyes. It was there in his long, slow kisses, as well as in the way he held her like she was precious to him.
When he laved a turgid nipple, she let out a languid sigh she didn't know she'd been holding back. Either she was woefully out of practice at this sort of thing or Fred Weasley was quite proficient at what he was doing. She counted on the latter since she didn't remember anything remotely pleasurable with Malfoy, nor the quick shag or two she'd had with Ron. His skilled mouth was inching lower and his nose rubbed the indent of her navel, causing her to smile unabashedly. She was pleasantly surprised when he began planting open-mouthed kisses on the sensitive skin of her hips and across her thighs.
Gripping her arse, Fred pulled her forward and slid his velvety tongue between her lower lips, slipping over her taut clit and then deeper still. He lapped at the throbbing bud, delighting when she instinctively bucked her hips to seek more of his attention. And he gave her all of his attention, his mouth nibbling and sucking, his hands kneading her flesh and holding her anchored against his face. When he plunged two fingers into her heated, wet core, she arched and screamed his name, her fists clenching in the bed sheets.
"God, that was..." She was too breathless to finish.
"Better than a mindless shag in the dark?" he posed with a smirk.
Just how long had he been listening in on her conversation with Nicholas? She rolled her eyes and arched a brow. "Well, it is light in here..."
"Cheeky minx." He shed his clothes as if he could no longer stand them, and placed his weight on her fully, his hips naturally cradled amid her spread thighs. He took his rigid shaft in hand, and teased her sodden folds with its plumy head, loving her gasps of pleasure every time he hit her nubbin. Finally positioned at her entrance, he slowly inched his way inside her warm depths until he was fully seated in her body.
His forehead against hers, he laced their fingers and rose their joined hands above her head. "We're not pissed, and it's me that's loving you, not some bastard Malfoy," he ground out, thrusting deeply. He repeated the movement, causing her to cry out.
"Yes!" Hermione sobbed, and wrapped her legs around his waist, opening herself further to him.
Fred released her hands and grasped her under her shoulders, driving his cock into her willing flesh, relishing the way she clung to him as if he were her world. Both had denied each other for so long, and it became apparent, when he felt her start to flutter around him, that this loving would be quick, though he promised the next time would last long into the night. He swiftly set up a punishing rhythm of thrusts, and he was soon carrying her and himself over the precipice, until they were both screaming their completion.
I love my mum.
And I love my new dad! Fred is the best dad ever! Every night, before bed, he tells me stories about him and George and Uncle Ron when they were little like me. I still love my cuddle time with Mum, but Fred makes it extra special.
Malfoy doesn't come around anymore. He did once, when Fred was here, and they ended up screaming a lot at each other. Then Fred punched him, and Malfoy cried! It was the funniest thing I'd ever seen! I don't miss Malfoy anyway, and I'm glad he doesn't make my mum sad anymore. In fact, I haven't seen my mum cry since she woke me up with her shouting about Merlin, the Saints, and the things Fred was doing to her. I hope it was good things, like tickling or blowing raspberries on her tummy. They do that a lot now.
And more importantly, I think they visited grandmum's broom closet, for I'm getting a new brother soon! I knew Fred would get me what I wanted.
I wonder how long he had to chase Mum before he caught her?