A/N - Hi everyone! This thing turned out to be a mammoth, almost twice as long as a normal chapter. I can't believe it's finished and to be honest, I probably could have written another five thousand words, but it has to end sometime. There are time jumps, so mind the dates. I tried to wrap up everyone's storyline to some degree. There is also a bit of overlap in the first two scenes (line-breaks) but it's not too confusing.
I want to thank everyone who has read, reviewed, followed, favorited, and nominated this story for awards. When I started writing this over two years ago, I never expected it would get so long, but I have enjoyed writing it so much. I am so glad that you have all enjoyed it as well. I have loved reading your comments and I appreciate all of you very much! I hope that you enjoy this look into Hermione and Remus' future!
21 July 2001
Hermione sat patiently at the vanity as Ginny put the finishing touches on her hair. Hermione was still in her dressing gown, her wedding dress hanging on the door of the wardrobe across the room. She glanced at it from the corner of her eye and the butterflies fluttered in her stomach again. There were times in the last few months that she had thought today would never get here. Now that it had, however, she was more nervous than she thought she would be.
After Remus' proposal, the two of them had gone back to Harry and Ginny's wedding, a disillusionment charm cast on the ring on Hermione's finger. Neither of them had wanted to take anything away from Harry and Ginny's day and so they had kept their news to themselves.
They had told Andromeda first, when they went to pick up Teddy the next morning. She hadn't looked overly surprised and had been thrilled for them both. Teddy hadn't really understood what was happening, although he'd been caught up in the excitement of the adults. He had made a face when Remus told him he was going to get to walk down the aisle at another wedding. He seemed to have changed his mind now, though, if the rehearsal the night before was any indication. Besides, he was three now, as he liked to remind everyone. Often.
They had gone to Hermione's parents for dinner the day after the wedding to give them the news. Her dad had been a bit shocked and her mum, while not as surprised, had still been concerned that things were moving too quickly. She hadn't said as much in front of Remus, but Hermione's mother had pulled her aside in the kitchen as they were getting ready to serve the pudding.
"Don't you think this is a bit soon?" her mother had asked. "You've only been together for a few months."
"You thought it was too soon for me to move in too, but that's been wonderful," Hermione replied. "Besides, we're not getting married tomorrow."
"So, it's to be a long engagement then?"
"Well, no," Hermione said. "I mean we haven't discussed dates yet, but most likely sometime next year. It will have to be in the summer, once school is over."
"Hermione, that's not even a year away. Sweetheart, you're only twenty-one."
"I know that you and dad got married much later, but I love him, Mum. And we're happy." Her mother had stared at her for a minute before she sighed and nodded. She had hugged Hermione then.
"That's all I've ever wanted for you, you know. That you're happy."
"I know, Mum."
They'd waited until Harry and Ginny had gotten home from their honeymoon to announce the news to the Weasleys. It meant that Hermione had kept her ring hidden while she was at work, but she didn't mind. The news would get out soon enough and enjoying it with their family and friends first was more important.
Ginny had actually squealed when they'd told everyone at the Weasley dinner. As they were congratulated by everyone, Ginny had held out her hand to Harry who had sighed and passed her a galleon. Hermione's eyes had narrowed, glad Remus was occupied talking to Arthur and Bill.
"You had a bet going?" Hermione hissed. Ginny smiled smugly.
"Of course, we did," she said, pocketing the galleon Harry handed her.
"What was it?"
"That you'd be engaged before the end of the year. Bit sooner than I expected, actually. I thought he'd do it at Christmas. Susan guessed Valentine's Day. Harry and Ron thought it would take longer than that. Two more galleons for me." She grinned.
"You were all in on it?"
"Not all of us. I mean if George knew, he'd have a whole grid worked out and everything, probably with multiple parameters for winning." Hermione gaped at her.
"You're impossible," Hermione replied with a roll of her eyes. Ginny simply winked.
Hermione couldn't help smiling a bit as she remembered.
"What's that look for?" Ginny asked, smiling back at her in the mirror.
"Just remembering your ridiculous bet." Ginny grinned as she put a final pin in Hermione's hair.
"What do you think?" Hermione turned her head to the side. Ginny had gathered up her curls and piled them all on top of her head, somehow making it look elegant instead of just a sloppy mess. There were a few soft curls around her face and with the pins, it looked as if tiny diamonds were set into her hair.
"It's gorgeous, Gin," Hermione said. "Thank you." Hermione stared at herself in the mirror again and began to tear up.
"No, no, none of that," Ginny scolded. "I've already done our make-up and we can't be crying all over the place." Hermione laughed and dabbed a few tears from her eyes with a tissue. She stood and hugged Ginny tightly.
"Thank you." There was a knock on the door and Ginny crossed to answer it. Hermione's mother began speaking as soon as she crossed the threshold.
"Your father finally let Harry fix his tie with magic. Honestly, that man can be so stubborn, I told him that, oh-" her mum stopped short and stared at her, her breath coming out in a rush. "Oh, Hermione." Ginny smiled at the two of them and quietly left the room. Hermione's mother continued to stare at her until Hermione began to fidget under her scrutiny.
"Sweetheart, you look beautiful." Hermione smiled. Her mother touched one of her curls. "I can't believe you're all grown up."
"Mum," Hermione said, blushing slightly. Her mother smiled, but tears were gathering in her eyes. Hermione remembered what Ginny had said about her make-up and blinked quickly to hold back her own tears.
"Look at me," her mum said with a laugh. "You're not even in your dress yet and I'm a mess." She pulled Hermione into her arms. Hermione hugged her mother tightly. Despite her early reservations, her mother had thrown herself wholeheartedly into the wedding planning, her parents even coming back to England earlier than usual that year to help.
There was a light knock at the door and Ginny poked her head inside.
"Sorry to interrupt, but we'd better get you into your dress," she said. Hermione and her mother pulled apart, her mum squeezing her hand before she stepped away. Hermione beckoned Ginny into the room. Andromeda, Luna, and Susan followed behind.
"How is Remus?" Hermione asked Andromeda quietly. Hermione's mother had insisted that the two of them not see each other until the wedding. Hermione had spent the night at Harry and Ginny's after the rehearsal the night before.
"He is fine, Hermione," Andromeda said with a smile. "A bit anxious, but that is more anticipation than anything." Hermione nodded.
"I know how he feels." Andromeda took her hand and gave it a squeeze.
"I hope that you know how very happy I am for both of you." Hermione looked at the older woman. She had welcomed Hermione with open arms from the very start and Hermione was still extremely grateful for all of her support.
"Thank you, Andromeda," Hermione said, hugging her.
"All right, Granger, get over here and get this dress on," Ginny ordered. Hermione laughed and walked towards her friend.
Remus stood in the bedroom, looking out the window. He could just see the top of the marquee from here. Harry was right, no one would be able to see the house from either the spot where would arrive with the Portkeys or from the wedding itself.
He and Hermione had struggled to decide where to hold the wedding. Jean had wanted them to marry in the church that they had sometimes attended when Hermione was a child. Hermione, however, felt no real attachment to the place and with nearly all their guests being magical, making sure no one did magic or dressed inappropriately was a bigger headache than either of them wanted to deal with on their wedding day. Percy and Audrey had a Muggle wedding in April and after a couple of issues that called for the Obliviators, Remus and Hermione were glad they had made the choice they did. Jean was a bit upset that they couldn't invite some of their own friends to the wedding, given it would be a magical one. But Remus and Hermione had agreed to a party after they got back from their honeymoon for all of her parents' friends who had been told that the couple eloped.
They had looked into different venues, and Molly had offered the Burrow, of course, but nothing had felt quite right. One night over the Christmas holidays, they had been at Harry and Ginny's for dinner and Ginny had offered the use of their property. Remus had Hermione had initially refused, as they knew that Harry relished his privacy. The press had not yet gotten wind of where they were living and Harry hoped to keep it that way.
"Don't be silly," Ginny said. "It's not as if you're inviting the newspapers."
"And you can't even see the house from the meadow on the other side of the stream," Harry added. The meadow, where Harry intended to put a Quidditch pitch eventually, was a perfect spot.
"Yes, but the guests have to get here somehow," Hermione said.
"You can make the invitations Portkeys," Harry said. "I hear you've got an in with the Minister." He winked. "Your parents can even drive if they like. We're not that far from your old house."
"Harry, are you sure?" Hermione asked. Harry reached across the table and took her hand in his.
"Let us do this for you, Hermione." She had teared up but nodded all the same.
And so, the wedding invitations had been turned into Portkeys, set to go off at intervals so that everyone didn't arrive at once. A magical barrier had also been set up around the meadow to keep guests in the meadow, and, Harry had told her, an anti-animagus ward had also been set. They weren't concerned about Rita, of course. She was still tucked away, her memory fuzzy as to who she was. But Remus was the only person Hermione had told. Everyone else still thought the reporter was missing, likely dead.
Hermione and Remus had kept the guest list on the smaller side, inviting only those they were truly close to. Remus knew that no one would purposely give away Harry and Ginny's secret, even if they discovered it. Still, it was better to be safe in case someone inadvertently let something slip.
"Daddy," Teddy called. Remus turned away from the window to see Ginny walking into the room, holding Teddy's hand. He was already in his dress robes and Remus couldn't help but smile.
"How's Hermione?" he asked Ginny.
"She's fine," Ginny said. "Got a bit teary when her mum came in."
"I can see My-nee?" Teddy asked.
"Not just yet," Ginny told him. She picked up the pillow and held it out to him. "Do you remember what to do?"
"I free now," Teddy said, holding up three fingers as if this was answer enough. Remus snorted and Ginny grinned at the little boy.
"I know you're three. You might have to help Victoire though."
"Vic on'y one," Teddy said, holding up one finger now.
"That's right, so she might need help." Teddy nodded solemnly.
Remus still questioned the wisdom of having Victoire actually attempt to walk down the aisle as the flower girl. She was not quite fifteen months old and while she'd been walking for almost three months now, he thought having her in the pram again was a better plan. He had been overruled, however, by the women who had taken one look at the toddler in the flower girl dress and fallen in love with the idea of her walking down the aisle next to Teddy. Remus wasn't about to argue with all of them and Fleur would be on hand if things didn't go as planned.
There was a soft knock on the door and Ginny turned to answer it. Andromeda smiled at him as Ginny opened the door.
"Teddy, shall we go find Harry?"
"Yes!" Teddy said, always happy to see his godfather. Ginny closed the door behind them.
"How are you?" Andromeda asked as she crossed the room.
"I'm fine," Remus said. "Have you seen Hermione?"
"Not yet," Andromeda replied. "She is with her mother right now." Remus nodded and glanced back out the window. Andromeda joined him and they stood in silence for a few moments.
"I'm sorry you didn't get this," Remus said. "With Dora." They had never really talked about the quick wedding that Remus and Dora had had; just the two of them with strangers from the pub next door for witnesses.
"There was a war on," Andromeda said. "You did what you had to do."
"Still," Remus replied. "We could have included you and Ted."
"Weddings are lovely," Andromeda said. "But they are only one small moment in time. The bigger reward is seeing your child happy." She turned her head to look at him. "I got to see that for many months and that was more important than a wedding ceremony." Remus reached for her hand and gave it a squeeze.
"Teddy, however, had better not elope if he knows what is good for him." She flashed Remus a smile as he laughed.
"Andromeda," he said a few moments later. "I'd like it if you would stand in for my mother." She looked at him in surprise. "I want to escort you in and seat you where she would have sat."
"Oh, Remus," Andromeda said, taking a moment to compose herself. She smiled at him. "I would be honored."
"Thank you," he said and hugged her. She patted his cheek when they parted.
"It's almost time," she said. He nodded. "I will check in on Hermione and then meet you downstairs?"
"All right," Remus agreed. She kissed his cheek.
"I am so very happy for you both." Remus smiled.
"Thank you, Andromeda."
Everyone had left the room to Apparate to the edge of the meadow. Hermione was waiting for her father to collect her and she would take him Side-Along. Andromeda would take her mother and Ginny had offered to take Hermione and send Harry for her dad if she were too nervous. But Hermione had assured them all she was fine. She just wanted a few moments to herself.
Taking a deep breath, she smoothed down the skirts of her dress and took one last look at herself in the mirror. Vanity had never been one of her vices, the Yule ball the one exception during her Hogwarts years. But today, even she couldn't believe how she looked. She was almost convinced that Ginny had cast some kind of spell on her in addition to doing her hair and make-up.
There was a soft knock on the door and Hermione looked over her shoulder, calling for her father to come in.
"Are you ready?" he asked, then stared at her as she turned around. She smiled at him and he crossed the room, taking her hands in his. "You look beautiful, Princess."
"Thank you." He continued to gaze at her, small smile on his face.
"What happened to my little bushy haired girl that like to play in the dirt?"
"Dad," Hermione said. She looked up at him and saw that his eyes were bright. Oh no, if her dad started crying there was no way that Hermione would be able to hold it together. She squeezed his hands and then stepped towards him, wrapping her arms around his middle like she used to when she was a little girl. He returned the embrace, kissing the top of her head.
"I love you," he whispered into her hair.
"Love you too, Daddy."
Remus took a breath before he began walking down the aisle, Andromeda on his arm. He kissed her cheek before he seated her and then walked up to the altar. Kingsley, who was not officiating, but a groomsman nodded with a smile. Thomas gave him a cheeky grin as Remus joined them. Thomas Clark was the new Muggle Studies professor. He had been a Hufflepuff and four years ahead of Remus at Hogwarts. Remus had barely remembered him from school, they'd obviously never had any classes together, but they'd become good friends this past year.
Harry walked in next, leading Jean to her seat. He then took his place next to Remus, clapping him on the shoulder. Remus thought there was some kind of strange symmetry having Harry as his best man. Sirius had been James', of course, and had Sirius still been here, he likely would have stood up for Remus. Harry, though, was the first person that came to mind when Hermione had asked Remus if he knew who he was going to choose.
Susan walked in first, followed by Luna. They both looked lovely and the new engagement ring on Susan's finger caught the light for a moment. Remus looked at Ron as Susan passed him and saw the same look on the younger man's face that Remus was sure he himself wore when he looked at Hermione.
When Ginny walked in, Remus glanced at Harry, who still looked entirely besotted, even after nearly a year of marriage. Remus swallowed around a lump in his throat when he remembered the same expression on James' face whenever he looked at Lily.
Teddy and Victoire came into view and Remus saw all the smiles and fond looks as the two little ones made their way down the aisle. They were quite adorable. Victoire stopped when they were only halfway and sat down in the middle of the aisle. When there were a few chuckles from the guests, she grinned up at everyone while Teddy tried to get her to stand back up.
"You has to walk, Vic," he said, pulling on her hand. She smiled at Teddy and then began to laugh along with the guests, pulling at the skirt of her dress and exposing her chubby legs and ruffly pants underneath. Fleur materialized behind them and picked up her daughter. She whispered to Teddy who stood up straighter and continued to walk towards the front. Fleur followed behind carrying Victoire who waved to people as she passed.
Remus smiled proudly at his son as he presented the pillow with the rings on it to Harry. Teddy hugged his father quickly around the legs and then went to join his grandmother. She kissed the top of his head as he settled into the seat next to her.
Remus then looked expectantly toward the end of the aisle. When Hermione and her father came into view, his breath left him. She smiled at him when she caught his eye, but he couldn't do anything but stare, his mouth dry. She was breath-taking.
"Breathe, yeah?" Harry said quietly, hand on Remus' shoulder. Remus pulled in a breath and swallowed and Harry chuckled, squeezing his shoulder before dropping his hand. Remus vaguely remembered Ron having to do something similar at Harry's wedding.
When she reached him, Hermione had a beaming smile on her face and her eyes were bright. Richard kissed her cheek and hugged her, then put her hand in Remus'. He nodded once to Remus and then moved to sit with his wife who was already dabbing at her eyes with a handkerchief. Gripping Hermione's hand tightly in his, Remus smiled. She squeezed his hand in return and they turned to face the Ministry official that would marry them.
"Fancy a dance?" Harry asked Hermione. She smiled up at her best friend and took his proffered hand. Harry led her out onto the dance floor and Remus smiled at the two of them from where he was dancing with Andromeda.
"Thank you, Harry," Hermione said. "For letting us have the wedding here and for all of this."
"You don't have to thank me, Hermione," Harry said. "I'd do anything for you, you know that."
"The feeling's mutual, you know." He smiled.
"Aren't you going to give me any advice about married life?" Hermione teased. Harry chuckled.
"It's not all that different from living together life," he said. "Except that Molly doesn't tut at us anymore." Hermione laughed.
"It's…pretty great, actually," he said with a soft smile.
"Yeah," Hermione agreed, glancing at Remus. "It is."
"I'm really happy for you, Hermione," Harry said. She smiled and hugged him.
"Trying to steal my man again, Granger?" Ginny said. Hermione looked up and saw Ron and Ginny dancing next to them.
"Always," Hermione said with a grin and Ginny laughed.
"My turn, Harry," Ron said and passed Ginny off to Harry's waiting arms. Hermione smiled and stepped into his hold.
"You look beautiful, 'Mione," Ron said.
"Are you ever going to stop calling me that?" she asked.
"Probably not," he replied with a grin. She shook her head but couldn't hide her smile. They moved around the floor for a few moments.
"Are you ready for this next year?" she asked. Ron looked across the room to where Susan stood laughing with Hannah. The same soft smile Harry had when he looked at Ginny crossed Ron's face.
"Yeah," he said. "Yeah, I am." Hermione grinned at him. "What?"
"Nothing," she said. "I'm just glad you're so happy."
"I'm glad you're happy too." Ron looked down at her. "And I'm really glad that we're friends." Hermione hugged him, knowing that they could have easily fallen out after their break-up. She was so glad they hadn't.
"Me too, Ron, me too." When they pulled apart, Ron tucked a wayward curl behind her ear and then grinned, dancing her around the floor while Hermione laughed.
Hermione walked towards the table of kids with a smile on her face. They had invited Caroline and her family of course, as well as Claire, David, and Annie. Hermione had called Sarah and Amy beforehand to explain how the Portkeys worked. Harry and Ginny were planning on taking them home later. The three youngest Burke children and the three Muggle-borns had settled at a table together after dinner was over, although Hermione noticed that Rebecca was flitting back and forth between her mother, who was sitting at the table next to them, and her brothers.
"Hermione," Claire said as she reached the table. "You look beautiful." They all nodded their agreement and Hermione blushed slightly.
"Thanks, Claire," Hermione said. Will had just finished his second year, Claire, David, and Annie their fourth. Paul, who was going to start his seventh year, held Claire's hand. "I'm glad all of you could come."
"Thanks for inviting us," Annie replied.
"I hope you didn't have trouble with the Portkey," Hermione said. She remembered the first time she'd taken one to the World Cup.
"It's a good thing Paul can use magic outside of school," Claire said. "Or David would have shown up with grass-stained knees. They all laughed as David stuck his tongue out at his sister.
"Rachel wanted me to tell you she was sorry she couldn't make it," Paul said. His older sister was at another wedding this evening of one of her school friends.
"We completely understand," Hermione replied as she sat down next to Will. They had been to their fair share of weddings this year as well and Hermione knew there would only be more to come in the next few years. Rebecca came running over and Hermione automatically pulled the little girl into her lap.
"I like your hair," Rebecca said. "It's pretty."
"Thank you," Hermione said with a smile. She chatted with the six of them for a while, finding out about Will's third-year subjects and how the rest of them felt about upcoming O.W.L.S. and N.E.W.T.S. Hermione smiled at their chatter.
Will had adjusted to school and actually told a few people about his lycanthropy. No one had judged him and Hermione knew that another child who had been bitten was due to start at Hogwarts in the fall. The seminars Hermione had devised were going very well and she hoped that some of the acceptance Will had found was due to that. She knew that Remus' presence helped immensely as well.
David had been officially adopted by Claire's family and all three of them seemed to be adjusting and even thriving after their imprisonment during the war. She knew they all still had nightmares from time to time. Hermione still had them too, come to that. But the bonds of their friendship and their families' support kept them moving forward.
Paul and Claire were clearly smitten with one another. Whether that would continue once Paul was out of school, Hermione didn't know. They were young, but then again, so was she when she'd decided what she wanted. She glanced across the tent at Remus. He caught her gaze and smiled. Saying good-bye to the children and excusing herself, Hermione made her way to his side. Remus' arm went around her and he kissed her temple as he continued talking to Thomas. Hermione sighed in contentment and turned her attention to their conversation.
"We are going to take Teddy home," Andromeda said as she walked up to Remus and Hermione sometime later. They sat next to one another, Hermione's head resting on his shoulder, just watching their guests. Many had left already and Remus smiled at the sight of his son asleep on Kingsley's shoulder.
"Thank you," Remus said as he hugged Andromeda. "For everything." She smiled at him, seeming unable to speak for the moment. He squeezed her hand, understanding everything she was feeling. Hermione moved in to take his place as Remus turned to Kingsley. The older man held out a hand and Remus shook it.
"I wish you every happiness, Remus," Kingsley said.
"Thank you, Kings," Remus replied. He put a hand on the back of Teddy's head and then kissed his forehead. "We'll stop by in the morning to say good-bye." He and Hermione had decided to spend their wedding night in the cottage before leaving for their honeymoon the next day. Hermione rose up on tiptoe to kiss Kingsley's cheek and he squeezed her shoulder with a smile before they turned and left.
Hermione leaned into Remus' side and he put an arm around her. He was of a mind to leave as well, but thought he'd like one more dance with his wife before they did so.
"Can I talk you into one last dance, Mrs. Lupin?" Remus asked, holding out a hand to her. Hermione grinned up at him. She had decided to hyphenate her last name which Remus had supported. Hermione Granger had been her identity for a long time. He wasn't about to insist that she give up her name. When it was just the two of them though, he hoped she didn't mind him calling her that. He asked her as much when he pulled her in close, clasping her hand to his chest.
"No," she assured him. "In fact, I rather like it." He smirked.
"You do, do you?" She nodded. He pulled her closer, so his mouth was near her ear. "Shall I tell you what I intend to do with you tonight, Mrs. Lupin?" She shivered and he tightened his hold on her as they continued to move slowly around the dance floor.
"Remus," she whispered after a few minutes.
"Take me home." He leaned down and kissed her.
"I think we should finish this dance."
"Sod the dance," she said, kissing him again. Perhaps she was right. He nodded when they broke apart.
"Let's say our good-byes."
They made their way around the room, thanking everyone who still remained. When they finished, Remus took Hermione's hand and led her out of the tent towards the boundary around the meadow. When they crossed it, he wrapped his arms around her and turned, reappearing in front of the cottage with a pop.
Before she realized what was happening, Remus had scooped Hermione up in his arms. She shrieked in surprise, wrapping her arms around his neck as he laughed.
"What are you doing?" she asked.
"Tradition remember?" he said as they reached the door. He opened it with a flick of his wand and carried her over the threshold.
"Welcome home, Mrs. Lupin." She gripped the back of his neck and pulled his head down for a kiss as he shut the door behind them.
27 July 2001
"Teddy's asleep," Kingsley said. Andromeda waved her wand at the dishes that were rinsing in the sink, casting a drying charm.
"Thank you for putting him down," she replied without turning around. Kingsley had been to dinner every night this week while Remus and Hermione were on their honeymoon. They had become rather domestic, one putting Teddy to bed while the other cleaned the kitchen. And he stayed the night more often than not. She found that she rather liked it.
"Andromeda," he said after a few moments.
"Yes?" she said absently, flicking her wand again to stack the plates and send them into the cupboard. When she was finished, she realized that he hadn't replied. She turned to look at him and found him standing with a small box balanced in his open palm. Her heart began to beat faster and she glanced up at his face which was giving nothing away.
"Kingsley," she said on a breath. "What is, what are you doing?"
"I've known what I wanted for some time. This past week has just proved it to me. I want to fall asleep next to you every night and wake up with you every morning. Andromeda, I love you." He dropped down to one knee in front of her, opening the box as he did so. "Marry me?"
She stared down at him, hand on her chest as if she could slow her pounding heart. This man, this man that she'd never expected to find, hadn't even been looking for, and certainly never expected to fall in love with. This man that had not only welcomed her strange extended family but fit in as comfortably with them as if he'd always been there. This man that loved her grandson just as much as she did. She loved him.
"Yes," she said, her voice barely audible. She looked him in the eye and smiled. "Yes." He stood and pulled her to him, kissing her fiercely as she wrapped her arms around his neck. When they finally parted to breathe, he kept her tightly pressed against him.
"I love you," he said into her hair.
"And I love you," she replied, burying her face in his chest and breathing him in. They stood there in the kitchen for a time, simply relishing in their closeness, Kingsley pressing small kisses to her temple or her hair every few moments. Finally, he pulled back from her and took her left hand in his, sliding the ring onto her finger. She admired it for a moment, then looked back up at him, putting a hand to his cheek. He grasped it and kissed her palm, then pulled her back into his arms, kissing her once more.
22 December 2001
Kingsley leaned down to kiss Andromeda and Hermione squeezed Remus' hand. He brought their clasped hands to his lips and kissed the back of hers. The ceremony had been a quiet affair, only the families and a few friends in attendance. Narcissa had stood up for Andromeda and, surprisingly, Draco and Astoria were there as well, married earlier that year in the spring. Hermione had seen Ron give Draco a few pointed looks, but no one had protested his presence.
Hermione and Remus had gotten much more comfortable with Narcissa. Something had changed after the whole Rita Skeeter affair. If Narcissa was willing to go to the lengths she had not just for her own family, but for Andromeda's as well, there was something redeemable about her. As Hermione relaxed around Narcissa, Remus did too.
Kingsley's family consisted of a great-aunt who Hermione liked immediately, and his father, who shared Kingsley's deep voice and warm smile. His father had been his best man. Teddy had, once again, taken up the job of ring bearer. He was a bit disgruntled when Remus told him he would have to wear dress robes yet again. One mention of cake, however, and the little boy had agreed.
Hermione and Remus had been ecstatic when they had returned from their honeymoon and found out about the engagement. After all the support Andromeda had given them, she deserved every bit of her own happiness. Kingsley as well. His job as Minister was a stressful one and Andromeda was always the calm that he needed, even when he didn't realize he needed it.
"I'm so happy for them," Hermione said as they watched the older couple dance.
"So am I, love," Remus replied.
"Is Andromeda still upset about the extra security?" Hermione asked. They had decided to stay in the Hogsmeade cottage, but that meant extra wards and the presence of Kingsley's security detail.
"She understands the need for it," Remus said. "It will just take a bit of getting used to." Hermione nodded. Even them popping through the back garden now required a security question from a member of Kingsley's team. "Frankly, though, if it keeps them safe, I'm all for it." Remus and Hermione had gotten a few new wards of their own, knowing that as Andromeda's family they could be possible targets if someone wanted to hurt Kingsley.
"Not to mention I'm extremely grateful they didn't move into Kingsley's flat," Remus continued. While the Floo made it easy to get anywhere in a few seconds, having Andromeda next door was different than having her a fireplace away. Teddy could go back and forth between the two as he liked, and while he couldn't go by himself just yet, as he got older, he would be able to.
"Daddy," Teddy asked as he walked up with Harry. "Can I has more cake?" Remus glanced at Harry who held up two fingers over Teddy's head.
"I think two pieces is plenty, don't you?" Remus asked. Teddy shook his head vehemently. Remus chuckled and picked up his son, setting him in his lap.
"My-nee?" Teddy asked hopefully. She laughed.
"Your father already said no," she replied. "Besides, I think two pieces of cake is plenty as well." She ruffled his hair as he pouted.
"I'm sure that there will be some left over," Remus said. "You can have another piece tomorrow."
"Morrow is a looooong time, Daddy," Teddy said solemnly. Harry snorted and Hermione bit her lip to control her laughter. Remus just shook his head fondly. They all looked up to see Andromeda and Kingsley walking towards them.
"Kings," Teddy said, squirming in Remus' lap until his father set him on the floor. Teddy ran up to his grandmother's new husband and hugged him around the legs.
"Oh, here we go," Harry said in amusement.
"Hello, Teddy," Kingsley said, picking the little boy up.
"I like cake, Kings," Teddy said. Kingsley chuckled.
"I know that you like cake," he replied. "Did you have some of ours?" Teddy nodded his head.
"It 'licious," he said. He put on his most innocent expression. "I has 'nother piece?" Kingsley glanced at Andromeda who rolled her eyes.
"How many pieces have you had?" she asked. Teddy looked at her.
"Nanna, I talkin' to Kings." Hermione tried to cover her laughter with a cough. Harry had turned away, but Hermione could see his shoulders shaking. Remus just sighed and shook his head.
Teddy turned back to Kingsley, giving him a smile. Kingsley, who was fighting his own laughter, cleared his throat.
"I think you've probably had enough cake for today," Kingsley said. "But how about you dance with your nanna and me?"
"Okay," Teddy said with a sigh, as if it were a great hardship. Kingsley laughed then and kissed Teddy's cheek, leading his wife back to the dance floor. Kingsley set Teddy back on the floor and the three of them danced together, Teddy giggling the whole time.
"Well, you've got your work cut out with that one," Harry said, slapping Remus on the shoulder. Remus looked up at Harry, glint of mischief in his eyes.
"You know, I've been wondering how mixing Potter and Weasley genes will play out," he said. Harry paled and Remus smirked. "Just wait, Harry. Just wait."
21 February 2003
Hermione yawned again and Remus looked at her in concern. He knew she had been working hard on her newest legislation, but she hadn't been working that long of hours. He suspected that she might have been up late earlier in the week when he'd had to stay overnight at the castle, but that had been three days ago. She'd been sleeping well since. In fact, she'd gone to bed early the last couple of nights. He hoped she wasn't coming down with something.
"Are you all right, love?"
"Fine," she said with a smile. "Just tired."
"Why don't you go up to bed?" he suggested. She shook her head and put her book down, moving closer to him on the couch. He wrapped an arm around her and she snuggled into his side. He leaned down to kiss the top of her head, getting a waft of her scent as he did so. She smelled…different, but he couldn't pinpoint how exactly. He didn't think she had changed her shampoo, the bottle in the shower still looked the same at any rate. And she hadn't worn perfume since the year she and Harry and Ron were on the run, after they'd almost been found by Snatchers because of it. After a few moments of trying to puzzle it out, he went back to his book.
After a few minutes, he gave it up as a bad job and looked down to find that Hermione had fallen asleep. Smiling softly at her, he set his book down on the side table and then maneuvered her until he could pick her up. She stirred, then settled again almost immediately. Remus frowned. She likely was coming down with something. He was glad it was the weekend and she wouldn't have to go into work tomorrow.
He flicked his wand to lock the Floo and douse the lights, then carried Hermione upstairs. He laid her on the bed, then changed her into her pajamas with magic, settling her under the blankets. Remus brushed his teeth and stripped to his boxers before climbing in beside her. She immediately moved towards him and he smiled as he wrapped her in his arms. As he drifted off, something pricked at the back of his mind about the change in her scent, something familiar, but before he could grasp it, his breathing evened out and he was asleep as well.
22 February 2003
Hermione woke just after the sun had risen. She yawned and snuggled back into Remus for a moment before bolting from the bed and into the bathroom. He woke abruptly and heard her losing the contents of her stomach. Jumping out of bed, he hurried to the loo.
"Hermione?" Remus said from outside the door. "Are you all right?"
"I'm fine," she said. Seconds later, however, she was retching again. When Remus opened the door, she tried to wave him off, but he ignored her. He held her hair back and then gave her a glass of water when she sat back against the bathtub. He ran cool water on a flannel and wiped her neck and forehead with it.
"Let's get you back in bed, love," he said. "I'll get a stomach soother." She nodded and allowed Remus to pull her to her feet, leaning against him as he walked her back to the bed. She grabbed her wand from the bedside table and cast a mouth cleansing charm before she laid down. He tucked her in and then went back into the bathroom, opening the locked cabinet in the wall and pulling out a vial of stomach soother. She drank it down and closed her eyes, relaxing back into the pillows. Remus sat down beside her smoothing her hair away from her face.
"How do you feel?" he asked.
"Better," she replied. The color had come back into her face and she smiled at him. He laid a hand on her forehead, but she didn't have a fever. They'd eaten the same thing for supper the night before and Remus didn't feel sick at all. He leaned over and kissed her cheek, her scent wafting towards his nose. He froze as he sat back up, the pieces finally clicking into place and remembered when he'd smelled something similar before. With Dora, just after, his thoughts trailed off and he stared down at Hermione.
"What is it?" she asked in concern.
"Hermione, you, I," he stopped and took a breath, trying to clear his head.
"Remus?" she questioned, sitting up in bed.
"Love, I think that you're, that you might be…pregnant." Her mouth dropped open.
"What?" she whispered.
"You've been so tired lately and you were sick and you, well, you smell different." She continued to stare at him. "The same thing happened with Dora's scent when she fell pregnant with Teddy." Hermione turned to the bedside table and yanked open the drawer, pulling out a small datebook. He watched her as she flipped backwards and knew she was counting the weeks since she'd last had her monthly. He didn't really keep track and she wasn't exactly regular, but he realized it had been quite a while.
"Oh my god," she said. They were both silent. He knew it was a shock. They'd talked about children, of course. They both wanted them, but they hadn't planned this and he had no idea how she felt about it. "Do you know the spell?"
"Yes," he said as he pulled out his wand. She nodded and he cast it. After a moment, a soft yellow light rose up from her abdomen and hovered in the air. A baby. He looked back at her and she was staring at the light, transfixed.
"Hermione," he said quietly once the light had dissipated and she was still staring at the spot where it had been. She jumped slightly. He really wanted to know how she felt. "Are you...all right?" Instead of responding, she brought her hands to her abdomen and laid them there, splaying her fingers. She looked up at him and there were tears in her eyes.
"Remus," she said and he braced himself for her reaction. It was sooner than they'd planned, she wasn't ready, she didn't want this, not now. Each thought that passed through his mind hit him like a hammer blow. Because as much as a shock as this was, he wanted it. So much. He held his breath and looked at her.
"I'm…pregnant." She still looked shocked, but he thought he could see the faintest hint of a smile on her face. Although that could have been wishful thinking on his part.
"Are you…all right with this?" he asked tentatively. "I know it's sooner than we talked about." Instead of answering him, she surged forward on the bed and kissed him. Remus wrapped his arms around her, the weight on his heart disintegrating, and returned the kiss.
"We're going to have a baby," she said in his ear and he held her tighter.
"We are," he said, finally letting the smile he had been trying to hold back escape. She pulled back from him, her eyes alight with such happiness, Remus couldn't help but kiss her again.
"I love you," he said, swallowing around the sudden lump in his throat. She cupped his face in her hands, tears shining in her eyes.
"I love you, Remus Lupin."
23 March 2003
They were all gathered at St. Mungo's, the weekly Weasley dinner postponed when Audrey had gone into labor that morning. They had just gotten word that the baby was here, a girl they'd named Molly Elaine after her two grandmothers. Hermione brought a hand to her still flat belly on the lift and Remus kissed her temple.
"It's a girl?" Teddy asked. Hermione nodded. He sighed in a put upon way. Ironically, so far there had only been girls born into the Weasley clan. Victoire, of course, Dominique, born last fall, and now little Molly. "When's there gonna be a boy?"
"I'm not sure, sweetheart," Hermione said.
"I thought you liked Victoire," Remus said.
"Vic's okay," Teddy said somewhat grudgingly.
"Well, even if the new baby had been a boy, it's not as if you could have played with him yet," Remus said.
"And you've got Jacob and Alexander," Hermione reminded him. They'd met more of their neighbors in Hogsmeade and Teddy had regular play dates with the two brothers that lived down the street. Jacob was six and Alexander four.
"Yeah," Teddy agreed. He looked up at Hermione. "If you have a baby, can it be a boy?" Hermione almost blurted it out to him right then. But they'd decided to wait. Teddy still had no real concept of time and the sooner they told him the sooner he would be continually asking if the baby was ready to be born yet. Besides, after all her mother's troubles, Hermione didn't want to tell people until after the first trimester which was not for a few more weeks. Teddy was sure to tell everyone. Andromeda and Kingsley and Hermione's parents were the only ones that knew. Although, Hermione thought that Molly might suspect. She'd been eyeing Hermione recently whenever she'd seen her. After seven children and three grandchildren, Hermione thought that the woman probably did know. Still, she hadn't said anything. Hopefully, her new grandchild would distract her.
"That's not the way babies work," Remus said. "You can't choose whether it's a boy or a girl." Teddy sighed again.
"Besides, I know you'll be a great big brother whether you have a brother or a sister," Hermione said, smiling down at him. The lift opened and they stepped out into the waiting room full of Weasleys and Potters. Percy was just passing off the baby to his mother. Molly held her namesake, a beaming smile on her face. Hermione's hand went to her abdomen again and Remus put an arm around her. She leaned into his side as Teddy ran towards Harry and Ginny.
"You might want to stop doing that," Remus said to her quietly. "If you don't want everyone to know just yet." She smiled sheepishly and dropped her hand and he looked down at her, amusement in his eyes.
Hermione had finally gotten her turn to hold little Molly when the elder Molly sat down beside her. Remus had taken Teddy to the loo and everyone else was involved in their own conversations.
"Congratulations, Molly, she's beautiful," Hermione said.
"She is that," Molly agreed. She looked at Hermione and lowered her voice. "It won't be long before you're holding your own, will it?" Hermione wasn't even surprised.
"October," she confirmed.
"Oh, sweetheart, I'm so happy for you both."
"Thank you," Hermione said with a smile. "But we're not sharing it yet."
"I understand," Molly replied. She put a hand on Hermione's back. "You're going to be a wonderful mother, you know."
"I hope so."
"Of course, you are," Molly said. "You've done a wonderful job with Teddy." Hermione shook her head.
"That's been mostly Remus and Andromeda," she said.
"Nonsense," Molly replied. "That little boy loves you to pieces and I know you feel the same about him. To him, you are his mother."
"I'm not trying to replace Tonks," Hermione protested.
"No one thinks that, dear," Molly assured her. There was the sound of running feet and Hermione looked up to see Teddy racing towards her. As much as he'd protested another girl, he was awfully eager to see the baby. Hermione smiled as he scrambled into the seat next to her.
"Would you like to hold her?" Hermione asked. Teddy nodded. Hermione carefully set the baby in his arms, keeping a hand under Molly's head to help support her. "What do you think?"
"She's okay," Teddy said with a shrug, but Hermione smiled as he held out a finger for Molly to grab. Remus reached them and chuckled at his son's comment.
"Congratulations, Molly," Remus said. Molly stood from her seat and smiled.
"Thank you, Remus," she said. She glanced at Teddy but he was paying her no attention. "The same to you." She patted his arm and then walked off leaving Remus staring after her.
"I didn't say anything," Hermione said when he looked at her. "She just knew." Remus snorted.
"I don't know why I'm surprised." Hermione laughed lightly as he sat down next to her. Baby Molly started to squirm and let out a little cry. Teddy looked up in alarm.
"It's all right," Hermione said, taking the baby back. "She's probably just getting hungry." Before Hermione could do anything else, Percy was in front of her.
"I'll take her," he said. Hermione passed the baby over to him. He made soothing noises to his daughter as he carried her back to Audrey's room. Remus put an arm around Hermione. She leaned into him and sighed happily.
"I can't wait," she whispered to him. He smiled and kissed her.
"Me either, love."
20 April 2003
"Teddy there's something we want to tell you," Hermione said as Teddy bit into a chocolate egg. Molly was having everyone over for Easter dinner and they intended to make their announcement about the baby today. But they wanted to tell Teddy first. Although, Hermione thought, the first thing Teddy would do when they arrived at the Burrow was tell Harry, so they likely wouldn't have to make an announcement at all. She smiled fondly at the little boy. Teddy didn't acknowledge Hermione, just continued to eat his egg.
"Perhaps we should have told him before we gave him the chocolate," Remus said in amusement. Teddy looked up at the two of them and grinned, chocolate smeared on his lips.
"Do you remember when we went to see baby Molly in hospital?" Hermione said. Teddy nodded, licking the chocolate from his lips. "And we talked about you being a big brother?" Teddy nodded again. Hermione glanced at Remus.
"Well, you're going to get the chance," Remus said. Teddy looked up at him in confusion. "Hermione is going to have a baby." Teddy stared at them for a minute.
"Where is it?" he asked.
"The baby?" Hermione clarified. Teddy nodded.
"The baby hasn't been born yet, Teddy," Remus said. "Remember that babies have to grow for a long time before they're ready to be born."
"But where is it?"
"Right here," Hermione said, bringing a hand to her belly. They'd gone over the basics of where babies came from when Teddy began asking questions about Fleur's growing midsection when she was pregnant with Dominique. Teddy frowned as he looked at her.
"It's not in there."
"What do you mean, Teddy?"
"Your stomach isn't big enough," Teddy said. "Aunt Fleur and Aunt Audrey were reaaaally big." He widened his hands to emphasize his point. "There can't be a baby in there." Hermione bit her cheek to keep from laughing and Remus tried to smother his with a cough. Merlin, he hoped Teddy didn't repeat that to the women in question.
"Babies start out very, very small," Hermione finally said when she got control of herself. "So, at first, it's hard to tell that they're growing. Right now, the baby is only as big as a lemon." Teddy's eyes widened.
"That's small." Hermione nodded.
"That's why babies have to grow for months before they're born," Remus said. "Aunt Audrey and Aunt Fleur weren't that big the whole time the baby was growing."
"When is the baby going to be here?"
"Not until October," Hermione said. "Six more months." Teddy frowned.
"How long is that?"
"After summer hols, there will be two more months. Not until right before Halloween," Hermione said, trying to explain it in terms Teddy would understand.
"But that's a long time," Teddy protested.
"I know, sweetheart, but that's just how long it takes." Teddy huffed.
"Is it a boy or a girl?"
"We don't know yet," Hermione said. She glanced at Remus. They had decided not to find out the gender beforehand, but after Teddy's comment at St. Mungo's she was wondering if they should, just so they could prepare him.
"We won't know until the baby is born," Remus said. "But like Hermione said, you're going to be a great big brother, whether it's a girl or a boy."
"Babies have to learn all kinds of things," Hermione added. "I know you're going to be a big help with that."
"Like riding a broom?" Teddy asked. Hermione rolled her eyes as Remus laughed. Teddy had had his own training broom for a year now and wanted to ride it every chance he got.
"Among other things," she said. Teddy fell silent, his little brow furrowed in thought.
"Okay," he said. "I can help." Hermione smiled.
"I knew you would," she replied.
"Can I tell Uncle Harry?" Teddy asked.
"Of course, you can," Remus replied, ruffling Teddy's hair. "This afternoon when we go to the Burrow, all right?" Teddy nodded enthusiastically. Remus leaned over and hugged his son, then smiled at Hermione over the top of Teddy's head.
"Uncle Harry!" Teddy shouted as soon as they'd come through the Floo.
"Hey, mate," Harry said as Teddy raced towards him. He picked the little boy up. "Happy Easter."
"Harry, I'm gonna be a big brother!"
"A what?" Harry asked, shocked. He looked over Teddy's shoulder at Hermione. She nodded.
"A big brother!" Teddy said again.
"Hermione," Harry breathed. She laughed as he wrapped his free arm around her. "Congratulations."
"Remus," Harry said, reaching out and hugging him as well. "Congratulations."
"What about me?" Teddy said pouting.
"What about you?" Harry teased.
"I'm gonna be the big brother."
"Who's going to be a big brother?" Ginny asked walking into the room.
"Me!" Teddy said. Ginny's mouth dropped open.
"You're not," she said accusingly to Hermione. Hermione grinned and nodded. "Oh, my gods!" She flung herself at Hermione, hugging her tightly, while Harry turned his attention back to his godson.
"You're going to be an excellent big brother, Teddy."
"I can teach the baby stuff," Teddy said.
"I bet you can," Harry replied, tickling him. Ginny let go of Hermione long enough to hug Remus.
"When?" she demanded.
"Mid-October," Hermione said.
"Merlin, I'm so happy for you two." Ginny's grin was wider than Hermione had seen it in a long time.
"What's all the commotion in here?" George asked, walking in with Angelina.
"Hermione's pregnant!" Ginny called.
"A little louder, Gin. I don't think they heard you down in the village," Hermione said rolling her eyes. Remus laughed and put an arm around her as the rest of the Weasley clan came into the room, everyone offering their congratulations. Remus and Hermione smiled at one another as they accepted hugs and well wishes from everyone.
11 September 2003
Hermione yawned as she sat at the table with her cup of tea. Last night had been the full moon and while Remus still transformed in Andromeda and Kingsley's cellar, Hermione had gone by early this morning to check on him. He usually slept in the guest room at Andromeda's and came home around lunch time. He'd been upset that she'd come over so early 'in her condition'. Hermione had glared at him until he apologized tiredly. The protectiveness of the wolf had increased as her belly grew and while Remus could usually reign it in, the morning after the moon wasn't one of those times.
"I'm sorry, love," he said, grasping her hand and kissing the back of it.
"I know," she replied, not really angry. She sat down next to him on the edge of the bed.
"You do need your rest, though."
"It's not exactly easy to sleep when your child is tap-dancing on my bladder."
"What happened to 'our child'?" Remus asked in amusement. He brought a hand to her belly and rubbed it lightly and was rewarded with a kick.
"When I'm being pummeled from the inside, they're your child," Hermione replied primly. Remus chuckled.
"Let your mum sleep now, will you?" he said to her stomach, still rubbing it lightly. Hermione leaned down and kissed him, then left reluctantly.
But Hermione hadn't been able to get back to sleep when she returned to the cottage. She never slept well when Remus wasn't there and it was getting increasingly difficult to get comfortable. She'd finally given up and come downstairs and made tea.
"My-nee?" a sleepy voice said and Hermione turned to see Teddy stumbling into the kitchen, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes.
"Good morning," she said with a smile. He wandered over to her, leaning against her side. She put an arm around him and kissed the top of his head. A month ago, he would have clambered onto her lap, but her ever growing belly made that nearly impossible now.
"Are you hungry?" she asked, but Teddy shook his head, eyes closing as he leaned against her. He understood now where his father went on full moon nights and was usually up early the following morning, worried about Remus.
"I saw your daddy and he's fine," Hermione said. "Sleeping at your nanna's house." Teddy nodded his head. "Let's go out to the couch, sweetheart. Maybe you can sleep a little more."
"Kay," Teddy replied around another yawn. She took his hand and they walked into the living room. Hermione settled herself on the couch and Teddy climbed up next to her, snuggling into her side. She put an arm around him and it didn't take long before his eyes closed and he was asleep again. Summoning a throw from the chair next to the couch, Hermione covered them both up and closed her eyes as well. If she couldn't sleep, at least she could rest.
She was startled awake by a tapping at the kitchen window. Looking at the clock on the mantel, Hermione realized she'd dozed off and was probably going to be late for work. Getting up as carefully as she could so as not to wake Teddy, she padded into the kitchen, opening the window for the owl.
She took the letter from his leg and opened it, surprised to see that it was from Aaron. She kept in touch with him by telephone periodically and once his daughter started Hogwarts, Hermione had gotten occasional notes from him brought by his daughter's owl. The mind healing program had been fully implemented and they now had four fully trained Mind Healers, with more currently in the training program. Aaron still consulted occasionally and saw a few patients, mostly Muggle-borns or Half-bloods. He was still seeing Delia Wilkes as well. Once there were Healers trained, Aaron had intended to transfer Delia's case to one of them, but the woman had refused. She was comfortable with Aaron and didn't want to see anyone else.
I'm sure that you will hear this today from someone in the Ministry, but I wanted to let you know first. Delia has given me permission to speak to you. Delia's family has hired a solicitor and they intend to appeal her sentence. Delia has mixed feelings about this. She doesn't want to spend the rest of her life in prison, obviously, but she does feel she deserves punishment for what she did to you, regardless of her mental state at the time. Her sister, especially, has been pushing for this for quite some time and it was only recently that Delia agreed to it.
I know that you have always been an advocate for Delia and felt that her sentence was too severe. But I did not want you to be caught unaware by this news. Feel free to call me if you would like to discuss it further.
Hermione sat down in a chair at the table and blew out a breath. Aaron was right, Hermione didn't want Delia in prison for the rest of her life, but she was unsure just how she felt about this. Remus would definitely be upset.
"My-nee?" Teddy said as he came into the kitchen, looking much more awake than he had been earlier. "I'm hungry." Hermione smiled and folded the letter, sticking it in her pocket.
"Let's get you some breakfast then," she said.
"Hermione," Harry said as he walked into her office. At the look on his face, Hermione knew exactly what he was there to tell her.
"I already know," Hermione said.
"Aaron sent me a letter this morning." Harry sighed and sat down in one of the chairs in front of her desk.
"Are you all right?"
"Yes," Hermione said. "You know that I never wanted her in prison for life."
"How did Remus take it?" Hermione glanced away. "He doesn't know?"
"It's the morning after the moon, Harry," Hermione reminded him. "He was asleep and I wasn't going to wake him up for this."
"It's sort of important, Hermione."
"But it will keep."
"As soon as she files, it's going to be in the Prophet."
"Which won't be out until tomorrow morning and I'll have told him by then." Harry was silent for a moment, then looked up at Hermione.
"I don't like this," he said.
"I know that you don't," she replied.
"Ginny is going to go ballistic." Hermione sighed and decided to change the subject.
"How is Ginny these days?" A small smile made its way onto Harry's face.
"She's still not feeling the best, but it's getting a little better. Molly's tea really helps."
"I remember," Hermione said, rubbing a hand over her belly. Ginny had found out she was pregnant a month ago. She was due in April.
"I can't believe there's going to be three of them starting Hogwarts the same year," Harry said. Angelina was pregnant as well, due a few months before Ginny, in January.
"Poor Minerva," Hermione said with a laugh. "Is Molly talking to George yet?" George and Angelina had eloped last month, much to Molly's displeasure.
"Of course, she is," Harry said. "She's getting another grandbaby out of the deal." Harry's eyes narrowed. "Don't think I don't know what you're doing."
"What?" Hermione said innocently.
"Changing the subject and hoping I'll forget about the Delia news." Hermione sighed.
"Harry, I know you're upset, but the woman has the right to ask. It doesn't mean they're going to let her out or even shorten her sentence. According to Aaron, she's no danger to anyone." Harry didn't respond.
"Make sure you tell Remus, yeah?"
"Yes, Dad," Hermione said with a roll of her eyes. Harry stood and then leaned over the desk and kissed her cheek.
"I'm just worried about you. You know that, right?" Hermione smiled.
"I'm fine, Harry, honestly." He nodded and said good-bye, then left. Hermione leaned back in her chair and blew out a breath. Harry was right about one thing. Remus was not going to be happy.
"How are you?" Hermione asked once Teddy was in bed for the night.
"I'm fine, love," Remus said with a smile. He grasped her hand and pulled her down next to him on the couch. To his confusion, she didn't lean into him like she usually did. "Hermione, it was a quiet moon. I didn't hurt myself at all."
"I know, that's not," she trailed off and shook her head.
"What's wrong, love?"
"Nothing's wrong, exactly." She bit her lip. Finally, she sighed and pulled a piece of paper from her pocket. Remus took it from her, his brow furrowed. His confusion gave way to anger, however, as he read through the letter from Aaron. How could this happen? How could Aaron allow it?
"Remus," Hermione began, but he cut her off.
"I know what you're going to say, Hermione. But I will never be all right with this."
"It's just an appeal," she said. "It doesn't mean that they'll hear her case or if they do, they'll change her sentence." Remus looked at her.
"But you hope they will, don't you?" he asked.
"I've never hidden my feelings about this."
"Dammit, Hermione," he said as he stood, his hip protesting the sudden movement. He couldn't hide the grimace of pain on his face.
"Remus," she said. "Sit down, you're-"
"I do not need to sit down!" he shouted. She jumped in surprise and he sighed, scrubbing a hand down his face. "I'm sorry." She drew her wand and cast a Muffliato around them.
"I know that you're upset," she said.
"Don't try to placate me, Hermione." She scowled.
"I'm not!" she insisted, getting up from the couch herself. "I'd just like to try to discuss this like mature adults!" Remus glared and opened his mouth to say something else, likely something he would regret, when her hand went to her belly and she made a face.
"What is it?" he asked immediately concerned.
"Apparently, the baby isn't impressed with our arguing." She was rubbing the spot where she'd been kicked, rather harder than usual. All the fight went out of Remus. She was eight months pregnant for fuck's sake. What the hell was he thinking?
"Sit down, love," he said, guiding her back to the couch. He sat down beside her, looking worried.
"Remus," she said with a sigh. "I'm not made of glass."
"No, but you don't need this kind of stress right now."
"I don't need this kind of stress ever," she said dryly. He couldn't help but smile. He took her hand and kissed her knuckles. "But we need to talk about it."
"But not right now," he said.
"Remus," she said with another sigh. "If they agree to a hearing, it could be as early as next week. I looked at the schedule. We do need to talk about this."
"What do you want me to say?" he asked. He hated thinking about Delia Wilkes anywhere near Hermione. He still had nightmares sometimes about what had happened, even three years later. He could picture her lying in the hospital bed, her arm an angry red, her face pale as the potion fought against the stasis charm and tried to finish its job.
"Hey," Hermione said, grasping his upper arms to get his attention. "I'm right here and I'm fine."
"I know, it's just," he sighed and pulled her into his arms.
"She's not going to come after me," Hermione said. Remus tightened his hold on her. "Aaron wouldn't have agreed to this if he didn't think she was better."
"I know," Remus said again. He did trust the man and knew what Hermione said was right. Aaron wouldn't put her, or anyone else, in danger.
"Like I said, we don't know what's going to happen," she said pulling back from him. She put a hand to his cheek. "Try not to get too upset about it right now?" He covered her hand with his and kissed her palm.
"All right, love." She smiled and leaned back into him. Remus wrapped his arms around her, thankful she was safe.
16 October 2003
Remus sat as his desk looking at the Prophet as his fifth-year Hufflepuffs began the quiz he had just handed out. He bit back a sigh as he read the article again. Delia Wilkes had gotten her hearing and in a surprising decision, had her sentence reduced. Not only that, but she was being transferred the new inpatient unit at St. Mungo's; the one Hermione had pushed to create three years ago. Two more years of intense therapy and if she were deemed cured, she would be released.
Remus had known already, of course. The decision had been made the day before. Hermione was satisfied and he was trying to be as well. He had been in the courtroom at Hermione's suggestion. Delia had been a completely different person than she had been at her initial trial. She had even read a letter of apology to Hermione and Remus which he could tell was sincere. He was trying to be all right with everything, for his wife's sake as well as his own. But he was still struggling a bit. Before he could think on it any longer, a Patronus ran through the wall of his classroom.
"Hermione is in labor. I've taken her to St. Mungo's." Ginny's horse tossed its head and flicked its mane, then slowly dissipated. Remus remained staring at the spot where it had just been.
"Professor?" Remus looked up to see Emma Collins standing near her desk. "Shall I get the Headmistress?"
"Oh, yes, yes thank you, Miss Collins." The girl ran out of the classroom. Remus went to his desk and began to gather up the parchment sitting there, although it was more to have something to do with his hands than anything. Hermione was in labor. The baby was coming. Taking a breath, he steadied himself, then looked back at his students.
"Back to your quiz, please," he said. "Professor McGonagall will be here in a few minutes." Every head in the classroom bowed over their exam papers, but that didn't stop most of them from glancing up at him every few moments.
It seemed like an eternity before Minerva came through the classroom door, followed by Miss Collins. Minerva walked quickly towards the front of the classroom as Miss Collins retook her seat.
"Professor Lupin," Minerva greeted.
"They're taking a quiz and then I was going to," Remus began but Minerva waved him off.
"We'll be fine," she said. She put a hand on his arm and smiled. "Go, Remus. Use the Floo in my office."
"Thank you, Minerva."
"Give Hermione my best." He nodded and grabbed his cloak before he practically ran from her office.
It had been hours and the waiting room was full of family. Harry and Ginny had brought Hermione's parents who had decided to stay in England through Christmas this year, due to the impending birth. And truthfully, Remus wouldn't be surprised if they didn't go back to Australia at all.
The Healer had just come in and told Hermione that it was time. Hermione had looked at Remus with fear in her eyes and he'd taken her hand and kissed her forehead, telling her it was going to be all right and that she could do this. She'd nodded and set her shoulders, pushing as soon as she was told to. Their child, however, seemed to have inherited both their stubborn streaks because they were certainly taking their sweet time about it.
"I can't," Hermione whined.
"You can," Remus said. She shook her head.
"Too tired," she said. "You do it." Remus chuckled and kissed the top of her sweaty head.
"I would if I could, love. You know that."
"I love you," she mumbled, sounding exhausted.
"I love you too," Remus murmured into her hair. "Just one more time, love. Come on." Groaning, Hermione sat up and grabbed his hand, pushing with everything she had left in her.
"That's it," the Healer said. "One more, Hermione." Hermione grunted and bore down again. "And there's the head. Hold on just a moment." The Healer waved her wand and then nodded. "Once more, this is the easy part." Remus watched the Healer as she concentrated on delivering the shoulders and then the rest of the baby seemed to just slip out.
"It's a girl!" the Healer said with a smile. Hermione collapsed against Remus, laughing and crying at the same time as a loud wail echoed through the room.
"A girl," he whispered into Hermione's hair. The Healer brought their little girl to Hermione and laid her on Hermione's chest. The baby blinked at them both a few times and nuzzled into her mother.
"Hello," Hermione said, tears running down her cheeks, as she put a hand on the baby's back. Remus cupped his daughter's head in his hand and looked at his wife.
"We have a daughter," he said, then kissed Hermione.
While they cleaned up both Hermione and the baby, Remus stepped outside the room. Everyone turned towards him expectantly.
"It's a girl," he said with a wide grin. There was an explosion of noise in the waiting room.
"What's her name?" Molly asked.
"Her name is Hope," Remus replied. "For my mum." He looked up and caught Andromeda's eye. "Hope Andromeda."
"Oh," Andromeda said, bringing a hand to her mouth. Remus stepped towards her and hugged her. Teddy squirmed in Kingsley's arms and Remus took him from the other man, hugging Teddy tightly.
"Do you want to meet your sister?" Remus asked Teddy who tightened his arms around Remus' neck and shrugged. Brow furrowed, Remus loosened his son's grip so he could see his face.
"Hey," he said at the downtrodden expression on Teddy's face. "I know you hoped the baby was a boy, but she's going to love you so much, Teddy." Teddy shook his head and then looked around the room, hiding his face in Remus' shoulder. Remus glanced at Andromeda and Kingsley, who looked just as confused as Remus was. He stepped to the side, pulled his wand, and cast a Muffliato around them.
"No one can hear us now," he said. "What's the matter?" Teddy didn't respond. "Teddy?" The little boy looked up at him, tears on his cheeks.
"What's all this?" Remus asked. Surely, he couldn't be that upset that he had a sister instead of a brother.
"Silas said that My-nee is gonna have her own baby now," Teddy whispered. "So she won't need me anymore." Remus stared at him in shock, asking the only question he could think of at that moment.
"Who is Silas?"
"Jacob's friend. He played with us last time." Teddy sniffled. Remus hugged him again.
"That's not true, Teddy," Remus said. "Hermione loves you and so do I. That won't change just because you have a sister."
"But Silas said," Teddy began but Remus shook his head.
"I don't care what Silas said." Teddy didn't look convinced. "Did Aunt Fleur stop loving Victoire when she had Dominique?"
"But My-nee isn't my real mum," Teddy said. Remus' heart broke a little and he vowed to have words with Jacob and Alexander's mother about this Silas.
"Oh, Teddy, that doesn't matter," Remus said. "Hermione chose to love you. She loves you just as much as she loves Hope." Teddy stared at him for a few moments.
"Promise?" he asked.
"I promise," Remus replied, hugging him again. "Now, do you want to meet your new sister?" Teddy nodded. Remus dropped the spell and walked back to Hermione's room. Hermione was propped up in the bed, holding a small bundle tightly wrapped in a blanket.
She smiled up at the two of them when they walked in, smile fading as she took in the tear tracks on Teddy's cheeks. She looked at Remus in question but he shook his head, letting her know he'd explain later. Remus sat down on the edge of the bed, still holding Teddy.
"Teddy, this is Hope," Hermione said, angling the sleeping baby towards him. Teddy stared down at his sister for a moment before he shifted in his father's arms. Remus set him down on the bed and Teddy knelt next to Hermione. She wrapped her free arm around him and Teddy snuggled into her. Hermione kissed his forehead.
He reached out a finger and brushed it down Hope's cheek. Her tiny eyelids fluttered and she opened her eyes, blinking at him. He looked at Hermione in surprise and she smiled at him.
"Hope," she said to the baby. "This is your big brother, Teddy." While Remus was well aware that Hope couldn't focus on much of anything right now, she seemed to be staring right at Teddy. Teddy leaned forward and kissed the baby's forehead.
"You can play with all my toys," he whispered. "Even Padfoot." Hermione looked at Remus over the top of Teddy's head, tears in her eyes. Remus smiled.
"Would you like to hold her?" Remus asked. Teddy nodded. Remus shifted in the bed and picked Teddy up, settling his son in his lap while Remus moved next to Hermione. Teddy held out his arms and Hermione placed the baby in them while Remus cradled Hope's head in one hand. Hermione leaned into Remus' side and he wrapped his free arm around her. He kissed the top of his wife's head and then his son's, thumb gently stroking the side of Hope's head as Teddy told her all about their house and Andromeda's, his broom and what they would play together. Hope seemed to be paying rapt attention.
"I love you," he said to Hermione. She reached up and kissed him softly.
"I love you." Then she settled her head on his shoulder and smiled as she watched their children.
8 October 2005
"Edward Remus Lupin!" Hermione yelled over the back garden. Victoire's eyes widened.
"Auntie Hermione used your naughty name." Teddy grimaced. He should have known My would notice. She noticed everything.
"I'll be right back," Teddy said to Victoire, shoving the now empty tin under the edge of a blanket. "Just stay here." Teddy clambered out of the make-shift fort he and Victoire had built in the back of the garden under the willow tree and ran towards the house.
My was standing on the back step, holding Hope who was sniffling. Teddy grimaced again. He had forgotten his little sister was promised a biscuit when she got up from her nap.
"Do you have any idea what might have happened to the biscuits that Grandma Molly sent over?" My asked, free hand on her hip.
"No," Teddy replied innocently.
"Are you sure about that?" she asked, daring Teddy to lie to her again.
"I-" Teddy began, but at her expression, he sighed and looked at the ground. "I'm sorry, Mum."
"I thought I told you that-" she faltered, staring at him. "What did you say?" Teddy's head snapped up as he realized what he'd said. He had been calling her Mum in his head for a while now, but he'd never said it to her face. Because she wasn't really his mum. But it felt like she was. She loved him; Teddy knew that. And she always did things for him like she did for Hope. And last week, when they'd been out shopping, she'd introduced them to that lady as her children. But even though Teddy couldn't remember his real mum, who had died when he was a tiny baby, he still didn't think that Hermione would want him to call her mum. Teddy panicked.
"I, I," his eyes were darting everywhere but at her face, sure she was probably horrified. "I'm sorry, I-" Teddy did the only thing he could think of. He ran.
He ran past the fort, ignoring Victoire calling his name, through the hedge into his grandmother's garden. He scrambled up the huge oak tree and sat on the large branch that he considered his. Leaning against the trunk, he brought his knees up to his chest and started to cry.
"Teddy?" Hermione said tentatively as she looked up into the tree. She had wanted to run after him immediately, but with Remus chaperoning the Hogsmeade weekend and Andromeda and Kingsley still on their holiday, Hermione had to wait for Ginny to Floo over with James to stay with Hope and Victoire.
She had been shocked when Teddy had called her mum. She'd known him since birth, had been with his father since Teddy was two, and never once had he called her mum. It was always My-nee or lately, just My. Teddy was the only one she let shorten her name without complaint.
After they got married, Remus had asked her if she wanted Teddy to call her mum. She had insisted that Teddy could call her whatever he liked, whatever he was comfortable with. Even after Hope started talking and called her Mummy, Teddy had still called her My. And Hermione was fine with that. She loved Teddy just as much as she loved Hope, but Tonks was his mother.
"Teddy?" she said again, but the only response she got was sniffling that she knew meant he was crying. "Teddy, please come down so I can talk to you." Teddy mumbled something that Hermione couldn't hear. "What was that?"
"Are you angry with me?" he asked quietly.
"Oh, sweetheart, no, I'm not angry. Will you please come down?" Sniffling again, Teddy swiped at his face before climbing down the tree. He stood in front of her, looking at the ground. She squatted down so she could meet his eye.
"Why did you call me mum?" she asked softly. Teddy shrugged his shoulders. Hermione brushed a lock of hair off his forehead. Instead of his trademark turquoise, it was his normal brown, something that happened when he was particularly upset. "Did you do it because you thought it would get you out of trouble?" Teddy shook his head, scuffing the toe of his trainer in the dirt. Hermione swallowed.
"Did you say it because you want to call me mum?" Teddy finally looked at her, lip trembling. He nodded tentatively. Hermione wrapped her arms around him and he buried his face in her neck.
"I love you so much. I would be honored if you called me mum," she said. Teddy squeezed her tighter and she felt the tears on her neck. Hermione could feel her own eyes filling. Her knees starting to protest, she sat down, pulling Teddy into her lap, still hugging him.
"I love you, Teddy," she said after a few minutes. He sniffled and looked up at her, smiling despite the tears still on his cheeks.
"I love you too, Mum." She laughed and hugged him again.