Waiting in Vain
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or any of it's characters. They belong to the imagination of J. K. Rowling.
A/N: This is the sequel to my first fic, "At Last". If you haven't read it first, don't worry. This is a stand-alone story. However, it would make me happy if you read it and especially if you review - constructive criticism always welcome. When last we left our happy couple, they were at their wedding reception. Harry and Ginny were married two months after Ron and Hermione. This story takes place 7 years later. Ron, Harry, and Hermione are 28 years old, and Ginny is 27. As some of you already know, I try to use song titles or lyrics for my stories. The story title is from Waiting in Vain by Bob Marley and the chapter title is from We Are Family by the Pointer Sisters.
Summary: Ron and Hermione have a great marriage, satisfying careers, and a beautiful home. But something's missing - children. As the couple deals with the emotional ups and downs of infertility, Ginny comes up with a plan to make their dreams come true. But there is a BIG catch. Contains R/H and H/G
Chapter 1: We are Family
Ron Weasley walked into Auror headquarters after a long night of surveillance with his partner Harry Potter. Both men were covered in filth from head to toe and utterly exhausted. But they had gained valuable information during their surveillance mission and needed a debriefing by their boss before they get off duty. They had been partners since they had started their training and continued once they had received their badges, almost 7 years ago. In those seven years, they had risen through the ranks to become the top undercover team in the department. Not that anyone expected any less from the boy-who-lived and his best friend.
After their debriefing, their boss, Lieutenant Shanks ordered them off for the next couple of days to recuperate and catch up on much needed sleep. As they made their way to the apparition point on the second floor. Harry turned to his partner. "See you at Molly and Arthur's on Saturday?"
Ron nodded his head. "Yeah, after a couple of days of sleep. We'll need it. The whole family will be there." Harry nodded in response and gave a small laugh. "I think Fred and George's kids are worse then they ever were. If that's possible." Ron smiled, thinking that his brothers were dearly paying for all the pranks they had pulled as kids. "Give Ginny and James a kiss for me." Ginny and Harry, who had been married only a couple of months after Ron and Hermione, had a 3 year old son named James. He had the Weasley trademark red hair and Harry's emerald eyes. Ron's sister Ginny had completed her healer training and was working at St. Mungos in the maternity ward. Harry clapped his partner on the back. "Sure thing. Give Hermione my love. See you Saturday." Both men apparated to their respective houses.
Ron opened his eyes when he felt his feet hit solid ground. He was in the home he shared with his beautiful wife. Hermione was a well respected lawyer, working for the Ministry. She was the youngest prosecutor in a century to rise to the position of Chief Prosecutor. She was in the kitchen when she heard a pop. "Ron, is that you?"
"Oh, dear. You are a sight. Are you hungry"
"I'll get you something to eat while you get a shower." She placed her hands around his waist while she kissed him, disregarding how dirty she was getting from touching him.
"Thank you, love. By the way, Harry said to tell you hello and they'll see us at Mum's on Saturday." Ron said has he began stripping off layers of clothing, heading toward the bathroom.
"Oh. OK." Hermione said, her tone losing the sweetness it had just moments before.
Ron poked his head out from the bathroom. "Everything alright?'
"Fine. I had forgotten about Saturday is all."
Ron, comprehension dawning on him, crossed the room and tightly embraced her. "I know it's hard to be around all of the kids, especially," Ron didn't finish his thought.
Hermione, wiping away a tear that had escaped, hugged her husband back. "It's fine, really. I love your family. Just being stupid."
"Look at me." Ron gently tilted her chin up so that he was looking into her eyes. He could tell how much sadness she carried in her soul. "You are not stupid. I know how you feel because I feel the same way. And I dare any of them to make a comment. So help me.."
Hermione placed a finger against his lips to quiet him. "They all mean well. They just don't know what we're going through. I'll tell them when the time is right, when I'm ready."
Ron leaned down and kissed her forehead. "Alright, dear. I support you, no matter what you decide. I'd do anything for you. Guess I'd better go get that shower."
After his shower, Hermione and Ron sat down to have their first meal together in several days. Their jobs often meant that they were apart. Ron, feeling quite full, could barely keep his eyes open. Hermione led him to their bedroom and laid down with her husband, comforted in his warmth.
When Saturday afternoon had arrived, Ron and Hermione apparated over to the Burrow for the family get together. The house and yard were overflowing with people and children running around. Molly was in the kitchen, as always, preparing large amounts of food. Arthur was in his shop, showing some of the grandchildren his muggle objects. The only Weasleys missing were Harry, Ginny, and James, and of course Percy and Charlie, who had died in the war.
Ron and Hermione strolled out into the yard to join the family, as Molly had refused help in the kitchen. Bill was there with his wife Fleur, and their children Celeste, Charles, and Amanda, who were currently in the shop with their grandfather. Fred and his wife Nicole were there with their two boys Nicholas and Samuel. And of course there were George and Rose with their twins, William and Mary, and their infant Patrick. Nick, Sam, Will, and Mary were by far the most trouble making as well as entertaining children. While Hermione often scoffed at the way the kids acted, Ron found it endlessly enjoyable to see Fred and George chasing the children to stop them from whatever endeavor they had schemed. Ron couldn't help but think that perhaps there was some justice in the world after all.
A faint pop was heard, and Ron knew that the Potter's had arrived. Ron and Hermione had come over to greet their favorite family members. Hermione hugged both Harry and Ginny, and picked up her nephew. Hermione twirled with the boy in her arms as he giggled "More, Aunt Hermy". Hermione loved all of her nieces and nephews, but James had a special place in her heart because his parents were her two best friends in the world.
Ron clapped Harry on the back, and gave his sister a huge hug. Ginny hugged him back tightly. "Where have you been? It's been ages since I've seen your face, big brother?"
"I've been keeping this one in line," he said, nodding towards Harry. "Besides, it's not as though you haven't been busy yourself at the hospital."
"Too right you are. Guess we've been horrible siblings then, eh?" Ginny laughed.
"As always." Ron kissed his sister on the top of her head and turned back to watch his wife playing with their nephew. Hermione would make an excellent mother.
Molly Weasley poked her head out from the kitchen doorway. "Oh good. Everyone's here. Time to tuck in. Bill, go tell your father and the children that it's time to eat."
A huge table had been prepared in the backyard, as there certainly wasn't enough room in the Burrow for everyone. Conversations were at a minimum as everyone stuffed their mouths. Once everyone had their fill, or over-fill in Ron's case, the table was magically cleared and returned to it's normal size. Everyone sat around, enjoying the summer evening. Hermione had little James sitting on her lap. When the other children got up to play, James ran after them to join in.
"Hermione dear, you are so good with him. When are you two going to have one of your own and give me another grandchild?" Molly, never one for beating around the bush, said what had been on her mind all day.
Ron bristled. How dare his mother bring this up now, when they were having such a nice time. He was just about to give her a piece of his mind when he felt Hermione's hand gently rest on his arm. He looked into her face, and saw the sadness that he so often witnessed these days. But unlike the other times, there were no tears staining her face. He knew that she had found the right time to tell the family.
Hermione cleared her throat. "Mum, there's something I need to tell you. Ron and I have been trying to conceive." Molly's face beamed, expecting to hear about an impending grandchild. "In fact, we have been trying for a couple of years now. We've seen all the specialists and have had all the tests. The last healer we saw told us that I am unable to carry a child. Too much spell damage. I'm so sorry to disappoint you, but we won't be having any children." Ron was amazed at the strength his wife possessed. He had shed many tears with her, but she had told his entire family without crying this time. He knew that she had accepted this, as wasn't sure if this was a good thing.
Ginny was the first to reach Hermione, and enveloped her into her arms. "I'm so sorry, Hermione. Why didn't you come to see me? I see things like this all the time in my practice."
"Sorry Ginny. We didn't want anyone in the family to know, not then anyway. I know that you wouldn't have told, but I couldn't face you. Besides, you wouldn't have said anything differently then the last 10 healers. My womb isn't 'viable' apparently. Too much scar damage from all the spells I was hit with during the war."
"Please, come and see me next week in my office. Both you and Ron. It would make me feel better to know that I had at least tried something."
Hermione sighed. "Ok. It's not like we have anything else to lose."
As the Weasley clan closed in on the couple to show their support, Ginny embraced Ron. "Oh Ron. I'm so sorry. I wondered if something like this was going on, but I didn't want to ask. I told Hermione to come to my office next week for an exam. I want you to come as well."
Ron paled. "You're not going to, eh, examine me too?"
"Honestly Ron. I'm a healer. And I don't need you to take your clothes off to run a few tests."
"Alright, then. What kind of tests?"
"Just some standard tests. I just want to make sure the other healers didn't miss anything. It would make me feel better to know that I had done all I could."
"OK, we'll be there. But you won't tell us anything we don't already know."
"Perhaps not." Ginny couldn't get Ron's hopes up, but there might be a way for them to have a child, a way no one had thought of before. Ginny was determined not to share this information with them if it wouldn't work. And she wouldn't know this until the test results were back.
"Thanks, Gin. You're the best."
"And don't you forget it."
A/N: Thanks to AnonymousPHancock, BuckNC, LJ Fan, michelleywelley, Line-from Denmark, Weasley, I-love-adam-brody, and Joots who reviewed "At Last" and said they would like a sequel. This is all your fault. Thanks for the reviews, guys. Keep 'um coming.