"Hello!" Harry called as he stepped through the fireplace. "Anyone home?"
"I'll be down in a minute!" He heard Hermione call from upstairs, "Remus and Sirius are in the kitchen."
"Hello Harry." Remus said as he entered the kitchen, "Would you like some tea?"
"No I'm fine." Harry said sending a glare in Remus direction. He wasn't trying to be openly mean but both Sirius picked up on it, he knew him too well not to. Sirius wasn't sure what Remus had done but he could tell that he was now on the boy's bad side.
"Are you sure?" Remus asked, "Hermione can take awhile to get ready. You might be waiting here for a long time."
"I'm sure I'll be fine." Harry said, "I know Hermione, she doesn't normally take that long."
"Well normally no," Remus said, "But the stomach does add a bit to the trouble. She's a bit slower these days, I'm sure you'll find out today when you're with her." Nobody could miss the glare that Harry sent him this time.
"So where are you taking her?" Sirius asked.
"Well when we were talking last she mentioned that she hadn't been to Diagon Ally for awhile, so I figured I'd take her there."
"Are you sure that's a good idea?" Remus asked.
"Why wouldn't it be?" Harry asked obviously aggravated.
"Well it involves a lot of walking…" Remus said.
"And well, Hermione can't get around as much as she used to." Sirius continued for him. He could tell Remus was trying not to make Harry any angrier at him. "I think Remus just means to make sure she doesn't over do it."
"Yes," Remus said quickly, "Like maybe just lunch and then a trip to the bookstore, but not much more. We don't want the baby to come early."
"Early? What do you mean early?"
"To much stress is bad for the baby Harry." Remus explained, "And that could cause the baby to come early, which could lead to other complications. I'm not saying that that will happen but you just have to be careful."
"Of course." Harry said, "I'll make sure nothing happens."
"I'm sure you will." Remus said.
"Has anyone seen my cloak?" Hermione asked coming into the kitchen.
"Which one?" Remus asked.
"The extremely large black one. The only one that will fit over this." She said pointing at her stomach.
"You look beautiful love." Remus said going over to the closet to search for her cloak.
"No, I look fat." She said, "You know this whole baby thing is highly unfair. If a man has sex nothing happens to him. If a woman has sex then this is what happens. All of you had had sex and none of you are fat. Why is that?"
"That's because we all remembered the use of a contraceptive charm." Sirius said with a grin. He loved to tease her, especially when he knew that she couldn't hex him for it.
"You just wait until I can hex you again." She said, "You just wait."
"Why can't you hex him now? Not that you should." Harry added seeing the look Sirius was giving him.
"This far along in the pregnancy, it begins to mess with your magic." She said, "Last week I tried to hex him and I ended up shooting flowers at him. Not even close to what I was trying to do."
"I was rather thankful for that." Sirius said, "I was pretty sure she was going to remove a certain part of the body."
"I'm pretty sure he's right." Remus said with a chuckle coming up beside her. "Here's your cloak."
"Thank you Remus." She said with a smile, "At least I can count on one of you."
"Hey, what did I do?" Harry asked.
"You can't get pregnant." She said.
"That's not my fault." He said.
"So you mean that if you had the option you would?"
"There's no right answer for that Harry." Sirius said.
"Men." Hermione muttered making her way into the living-room towards the fireplace.
"Just watch what you say and nod your head a lot." Sirius told him, seeing that scared look on Harry's face. Hermione was hard to deal with when she was pregnant and upset.
"Don't worry, you'll do fine." Remus said, "And just remember to do what Sirius said. She can pick even the smallest of sentence apart and somehow you end up having both feet in your mouth."
"So I was thinking we'd get lunch here." Harry said looking around the Leaky Caldron. "That is if it's okay with you."
"Of course Harry, why wouldn't it be?" she asked.
"I don't know…I just wanted to make sure, that's all." He said. He found a booth in the far corner and placed a hand on the small of her back leading over there. He could feel people's eyes on them. He was still the boy-who-lived, no matter how old he was and people were still fascinated with him, years after he had fulfilled his destiny. He could only imagine the things they were coming up with as they saw him with a pregnant woman who wasn't his well know fiancé.
"Sorry." Hermione said as they sat down.
"What are you sorry about?" he asked.
"The last thing you need is to have everyone thinking that you're the father." She said, "You already have enough of that at Hogwarts."
"At Hogwarts? Really?" he asked.
"Yeah, there are a lot of names floating around there. Yours, Ron's, Remus', Daniel's…and I think I even heard someone mention Oliver, which is odd considering that I haven't seen him for almost a two years."
"Remus?" Harry asked.
"Well I do live with him Harry." She said with a small smile, "I'm sure if people knew how much time Sirius spends there he'd be on the list too."
"Yeah, I guess so." He said, though it was clear he didn't like either suggestion.
"Harry, it's alright." Hermione said with a smile, "It comes with the territory. I'm single and going to have a baby. Its only natural that people wonder who the father is, you do, Remus' does, Sirius has all but asked me…"
"And you haven't told anyone?" Harry asked.
"I haven't told anyone." She lied as her mind flashed to the other night when she was talking with George. She had been thinking more and more about that lately. If Bill's own family was accepting of her, then others would have to be. Remus would be. She was still hesitant to tell him but there was voice in the back of her head telling her that after everything that he had done for her, he deserved to know. That if anyone deserved to be the first to know it was him, not George. But at the same time she could just picture his face if the conversation went the opposite way. Because she knew that it was one thing to know that father was married, to know that she had made a mistake but it was different to know who he was, to know exactly what she had done.
But then she'd see him smile. She heard him tell her that she was beautiful when she felt ugly and fat. And she was filled with guilt. How could she keep something this big, this important from him? It might even be nice to have someone else know. Keeping his identity secret was so draining on her and having someone there, that wouldn't talk about it but knew about it, could only help her. Having him there for her, knowing everything could only make things better.
She would just have to make sure that he was calm whenever he saw Bill, and that he didn't do anything irrational. The last thing she needed was something like that happening.
"Hermione? Hermione are you alright?" Harry asked snapping her out of her thoughts.
"What? Oh yes of course, I'm sorry Harry I just spaced for a moment."
"Its okay, I just wanted to make sure you were okay." He said with a smile, "You'll tell me if you're not, right?"
"Of course Harry." She said.
"Was it just me or did Harry seem to be acting a bit…strange when he was here?" Remus asked handing Sirius a butterbeer.
"Strange is not the word I'd choose to describe him." Sirius said, "More like openly hostile."
"Yeah, well…what did we do?"
"We did nothing." He said, "You on the other hand."
"Me? What did I do? I've barely seen him lately."
"And if I remember correctly he was acting the same way the last time you saw him too." Sirius said.
"Well yes he was…but I just thought he was having a bad day." Remus said, "What did I do to get him angry with me?"
"It's not really one thing in specific." Sirius said.
"So he just doesn't like me in general? Thank you Sirius that makes me feel much better."
"No, no that's not what I meant." Sirius said shaking his head, "Harry…Well Harry's picked up on a few things."
"Sirius I'm not following, so just spit it out already." Remus said.
"Harry thinks that you and Hermione….that there's something there." he said.
"What do you mean?" Remus asked.
"He thinks that you're in love." Sirius said. Remus almost choked on his butterbeer.
"I beg your pardon."
"Look anyone can tell that you and Hermione are close. I mean its only natural, the two of you are friends, you live together, you're helping her get ready for the baby, I mean if you weren't so close it would be strange. But…there's a certain vibe the two of you give off that…that leads you to believe that there's something more there then just friendship."
"I don't know what you're talking about but there's not. There's no vibe, there's no nothing."
"Just because you're in denial doesn't mean the rest of us can't see it mate." Sirius said with a grin.
"Sirius she's pregnant, with another man's baby. Even if I did have those feelings for her, not that I do-"
"Of course not."
"I wouldn't stand a chance." Remus said.
"You have more of a chance then you think." Sirius said.
"Remus, she's not with that man she's with you." Sirius said.
"All I'm saying is that you might not be as far away as you think."
Remus couldn't get Sirius' words out of his head long after he had left. Deep down he had realized along time ago that his thoughts weren't always just friendly. He had found himself daydreaming about the two of them and the baby being a family. The family he had always longed for but knew he would never get because of his illness. Its one thing to be friends with someone with Lycanthropy, it's another to marry them, to love them in any other way then platonic. To think that Hermione would like him as anything other then just a good friend was completely ludiciris and he couldn't allow him to think anything more. Hermione was way out of his league he had realized that a long time ago.
He heard the fire rage behind him and turned around to see Hermione stumbling through the fireplace. He hurried over to her, making sure that she didn't fall.
"Thank you Remus." She said looking up at him. His arms were wrapped around her and she was close to his chest, it took everything in her power not to appear nervous. And it worked, all Remus saw in her eyes was genuine gratitude and friendship, nothing more.
"How was your day with Harry?" he asked helping her over to the couch.
"It was fun, kind of tiring." She said. "Harry's…I don't know. He's been acting odd the last few times I've seen him. Its strange, like Harry and Ron have switched places. Ron seemed to have become the semi-rational one and Harry had taken his place of repeatedly putting his foot in his mouth. It was humorous in a way, but at the same time it was completely unnerving. Things were changing enough as it was, she didn't need that changing as well.
"He's probably just adjusting." Remus said, "Harry's never really dealt well with change and well…this is a big change."
"Tell me about it." She said quietly.
"Are you alright?" He asked.
"Yeah, I'm…I'm fine." Hermione said, "I just, I just wanted to talk to you about something."
"Okay, what do you want to talk about."
"Well umm…" It was now or never. "You see there's been something that I've been purposely avoiding telling you, telling everyone really…I just, I don't know how to say it."
"Well I like to consider myself an open-minded person." He said with a reassuring smile, "So have at me."
"Well…" She was interupted by a loud knock on the door.
"I'll get it." Remus said, "It's probably just Sirius."
"Sirius doesn't knock." Hermione said, "He apparates in and surprises you at sometimes the worst moments. Like when you're in the bath for instance."
"Good point." Remus said, "Then I should probably go get the door."
"But I was going to…"
"I'll be back in a minute." He said. He hurried over to the door, thinking about it it was probably Ron. He didn't like to Floo since he had started apparating and he wasn't comfortable apparating straight into the house. Hermione had told him that it was because he was once their professor. She and Harry had obviously gotten over it but it was still a bit odd for him.
He opened the door expecting to see Ron but instead he got a different Weasley, one with a black eye.
"Hello Remus." Bill said with a smile, "I hope you don't mind me stopping by. I just want to talk to Hermione, is she here?" Remus felt a rise of jealously in the pit of his stomach. He was pretty sure he knew why Bill was here.
"Yeah, we were just setting down in the other room." He told him.
"I hope I'm not interrupting anything." He said as Remus shut the door behind him.
"Of course not" Remus said almost bitterly, "What would there be to interrupt?"
"Hermione someone's here to see you." Remus said going ahead of Bill.
"Me?" Hermione asked turning around, "Who is — Bill?"
"Hi." He said awkwardly.
"Bill stopped by to talk to you." Remus said placing a comforting hand on Hermione's shoulder. He could tell she was upset. Her body was tense, she was pale and she looked like she needed to set down. "I'm going to go into the kitchen and make myself a cup of tea while you talk. If you need me, just call."
"Thank you." She said quietly. She was pretty sure he knew why Bill was here.
"You have a black eye." She said as he sat down across from her on the couch.
"Yeah, my brother gave it to me."
"Your brother?" she asked surprised.
"Oh God, Bill I never told him to do that." She said as she realized what happened. "I didn't even tell him what happened; he…he figured it out on his own. I never would have told him…I wasn't even going to tell you. He was never supposed to do this!"
"He was never supposed to do this?!" Bill exclaimed, "Hermione, this was never supposed to happen! Any of it. It was supposed to be a one time thing that we would never talk about again. I would go back to my life and you would go back to yours."
"Do you think I don't know that?" she asked her voice rising, "Do you really think that I wouldn't rather be having the child of a man who wasn't married? Who would have been there for me these last eight months? I would love to take back what we did, but I can't and neither can you."
"What am I going to tell Fleur? What am I going to tell my family?" he asked. "They're never going to look at me the same. George already hates me and so will everyone else."
"You made a mistake Bill, we both did." She said trying her best to comfort him. She knew what it was like to be forced to deal with this out of nowhere. Remus had been there for her, the least she could do was calm him down now. "This isn't going to be easy, in fact it's going to be quite difficult but we have to just accept it and move on. We really don't have a choice."
"You know I knew….a part of me did anyways." He said running a hand through his hair. "When you were there at Christmas I knew that it was me, that I was my kid in there, I knew it but I just didn't want to believe it. I let myself believe that it was Remus'."
"Remus?" she asked.
"I saw the way you two acted together, it's obvious that there's a deep connection there. I guess I just wanted it to be more then there was." He said.
"I know what you mean." She said quietly. There were plenty of times when she found herself clinging to the idea that it was Remus who was the father. That they were a family, that this was somehow normal. She knew all about denial, she couldn't blame him for his.
"We're going to have a baby?" he asked looking up at her.
"I'm going to have a baby." She said with a watery smile, "It's still up to you if you are."
"We're going to have a baby." He told her with a smile of his own.
We're going to have a baby. The words seemed to be echoing all around him from where Remus stood in the kitchen. He had spent so much time preparing for this baby; he had been so excited to care for this little baby and Hermione that he had never stopped to realize that this wasn't his baby.
Bill was the father, not him. He had known it as well, or at least a part of him had. He had seen the way he had looked at her at the Christmas party. He hadn't been able to take his eyes off of her or her stomach. And she was always nervous when she brought up the subject of the Weasley's. He should have really seen this coming but he was so wrapped up in the idea that the two of them could become a family that he never stopped to think that she could have one of her own. He never stopped to realize that he wasn't the father; he was nothing more then a friend of the mother. He was Hermione's friend, not her husband. He was her roommate not her family. But he had fallen in love with her when it was already too late to do anything about it.
"I have something's I still have to work out." He said as Hermione lead him towards the door. "And until I can do that…"
"I understand Bill." She said, "You have your own family to deal with right now and I totally get that. Take as much time as you need and…and come find me when you do."
"I'm sorry Hermione."
"For what?" she asked.
"For this…I'm the reason your world is crashing around you."
"My world is more secure then it's ever been." She told him. "I've had my rough patches but I'm happy. Happier then I've been in a very long time. And this baby is the reason for that. It brought me Remus. It brought me a family that I never thought I would have. It brought me a reason, a real reason, to keep living every day to its fullest."
"You keep calling the baby an it." He said.
"I'll call it by its name when it comes out." She said.
"And its name would be?"
"Wesley if it's a boy" she said with a sheepish smile, "And Lily if it's a girl."
"Wesley." He said, "It's going to be a boy, trust me a father knows."
Hermione smiled at him indulgently. She wasn't sure that she agreed with him, she was almost positive that it was going to be a girl but he was the father. And he was a Weasley, they did usually have boys. Mr. Weasley used to tease that the only reason Ginny was a girl was because she was too stubborn to be like everyone else and decided to be a girl. But she and Remus both had been so positive that it was going to be a girl.
"Goodnight Bill." She said. He gave her a quick sad smile as she closed the door behind him. She took a deep breath before turning around where she knew Remus would be.
"Hi." She said softly.
"Hello there." he said with a smile.
"How much did you hear?" She asked.
"Most of it," Remus said, "We have thin walls."
"I was going to tell you. Right before he came actually…He has wonderful timing, doesn't he."
"I think we established that already." He told her.
"Remus? What's going to happen now?" she asked fighting back tears.
"I don't understand, Hermione…"
"He knows now. Eventually everyone's going to know. About what I did. About what I knew I was doing…I'm always going to be the woman who broke up their marriage. Everyone's going to hate me…."
"Hermione no one could ever hate you." He said.
"Tell that to Fleur." She said breaking into sobs. Remus held her as she cried into his chest, whispering soothing words into her ears. But he knew she was right. Everything was going to be different now, for everyone.
A/N: Hello everyone! I'm really really really sorry that this took so long to get out. I kept meaning to work on the chapter but I never had time and when I finally did I had horrible writer's block. So, its out a little (a lot) later then I had planned. Thank you to everyone who reviewed, I absolutely love you guys for that. My fic actually just got nominated for an award and I couldn't be happier. Seriously I was giddy, that doesn't happen often.
From this chapter on the outline I have set is a lot looser and less detailed so ideas are especially welcomed. So far you guys have given me some great ideas that I've been able to work into the plot already or the plot to come, so I'd love to hear from you some more, you guys come up with great stuff.
I'm really sorry about all of the grammar and spelling mistakes. I don't have a beta or anyone else proofreading my stuff, it's just me and well…that has never been my thing. So, sorry about that, I'll try to do better. When I'm completely done I'll go back and correct things and repost them, but I really don't have the time right now.
Also, I updated my profile and it has links to two trailers for fics that I created. I'd love to get your guys opinions on them and to see if you be interested in reading them. So please, please look at them and leave me a comment.
Please review! I love them and they make me updated faster normally (or at least they make me feel a lot guiltier about not updating.)