Disclaimer: Not mine.
A/N: Dedicated to two of my favorite R/Hr fluff authors, Siofra the Elf and Aureola.
She was beautiful. Her tiny fingers, her little red eyelashes, every chubby little toe – his daughter was the most beautiful thing he'd ever seen, the outcome of everything good in his life.
He had never dreamed that things would turn out this way. And even if he had dreamed it, he certainly hadn't expected those dreams to come true. But as he sat in the gently rocking chair and held his newborn daughter in his arms, he knew that this was what he had always wanted.
He looked up as he heard his name being whispered and smiled at his wife. "She's asleep."
Hermione wrapped her bathrobe more tightly around her and approached his chair. "You really should leave her in the cradle while she sleeps, or else she'll never sleep anywhere but in your arms."
"Is that so bad?" he smiled, giving her his most adorable puppy dog eyes. "Can't she sleep in my arms forever?"
Hermione reached down and gently kissed the top of the baby's head. "How did we get so lucky?" she whispered, her voice thick with emotion.
Ron looked up and noticed the tears in her eyes. "What's wrong?"
She took his free hand and sighed. "I'm so happy, but I'm so scared all at the same time. How is that possible?"
He squeezed her fingers. "I know what you mean. What if we mess up? What if we aren't good parents?" He frowned. "I don't want to get this wrong. This is the most important thing we've ever done."
"I know." She wiped her tears on her sleeve and gave him a watery smile. "But we've survived so much, we've done so much, and we've always gotten through it together. We'll get through this together."
"You're right," he whispered. "I know you're right."
"But you're still scared. I'm still scared." She let out a deep breath. "It's okay if we're scared, Ron. I really think it's okay."
"We did survive You-Know-Who," Ron grinned.
"Yeah, we did," Hermione answered with a smile. "And we did it together."
Ron pulled his eyes from hers and looked down at his daughter. "Do you think she'll have it as hard as we did?"
"I don't know. I hope not," Hermione breathed. "I hope she can enjoy everything good in this world and not have to worry about the evil. It may be unrealistic, but I wish for it just the same."
Ron stood and, giving his daughter one more kiss on her soft cheek, laid her gently in the cradle.
"She's so beautiful," Hermione whispered from beside him. "I didn't think it was possible for her to be this beautiful."
"How could she not be? She looks just like you."
Tears flowed again and Hermione tried to wipe them away. "You always know just what to say."
He grinned. "Well, not always."
"Often enough." She wrapped her arms around his middle and laid her head on his chest. "I love you so much."
"I love you, too," he whispered against her hair. "Thank you for giving me our daughter."
He could feel her smiling. "I didn't do it all by myself."
He laughed softly and held her more tightly. "Dance with me?"
Ron hummed a soft lullaby as he and Hermione swayed back and forth. It was a tradition of sorts. Three years ago, Ron had nervously asked her to dance with him as he worked up the courage to propose. They had laughed about it later, but now it was something they did whenever they were scared, or happy, or nervous – some days they didn't even need a reason.
Hermione sighed as she listened to the sound of his heart beating against her ear. It was a comforting sound, a reassuring sound. It was a sound that said, "No matter what, I'll be here for you."
It was her favorite sound in the world.
"How did we ever make it this far?"
Ron shifted to rest his chin on the top of her head. "You mean without killing each other?"
She laughed – how he loved that laugh – and hugged him again. "That's exactly what I mean. How did we survive each other?"
"I don't know," he murmured. "How did we survive without each other?"
Another sigh and another smile. "Keep humming, Ronald."
The baby cooed from her cradle, and Ron glanced over towards her. "Do you think she's alright?"
Hermione followed his gaze and grinned. Their daughter was making gurgling noises and sucking happily on her fist. "I think she'll be fine." She rested her head against his chest again and started humming the lullaby where he left off.
As they continued their dance, she knew that she would always remember this moment as one of the happiest times in her life. It surpassed everything else she'd ever known, and it would take an awful lot to be able to surpass this.
She was a wife.
She was a mother.
Surely she was the happiest woman in the world.
He looked at his wife and smiled. Sixty years. They'd been together for sixty years. How was it even possible? He still remembered the night he'd proposed to her, shaking, tongue-tied, and scared out of his mind. But now, sixty years and eight children later, here they were, surrounded by their family.
They had loved and been loved. They had raised their children in a home filled with laughter and joy.
Surely they were the happiest people in the world.
As the music swelled, he pushed back his chair and held his hand out to her. "Dance with me?"
Her brown eyes were as lively as the day they'd met, her smile just as gorgeous. She reached out a wrinkled hand and placed it in his.
"Always, Ron. Always."