Chapter 9: Victory in Europe

Ron was in the shower when Hermione arrived back at their room. She set the coffee and the potion on the dresser, and started packing her clothes.

When Ron came out of the shower, he was holding his head and looked as though he'd been on the wrong end of a Bludger all night. "Morning," he groaned miserably. He sat down heavily on the edge of the bed.

Hermione picked up the hangover potion and walked over to stand between his knees. "Who loves you?" she asked as she held out the potion.

"Oh," Ron said, reaching for the little brown bottle. "You're the best wife ever."

"Yes, yes I am." Hermione smiled as he drank the thick liquid and relief was immediately evident on his features. "And I brought coffee."

He pulled her to him in a hug, burying his face between her breasts. "I love you."

Hermione laughed. "I love you too."

Ron stood up and reached for the coffee. He took a sip and then asked, "How was breakfast?"

"Fine," Hermione said. "I ate with Viktor. Apparently Gabrielle also likes to sleep in."

Ron nodded and sipped his coffee.

Hermione waited for the inevitable comment.

"What time are we leaving?" Ron asked.

She looked at him. "Um, whenever you're ready I can activate the Portkey."

"I'm not in a rush. I'd at least like to finish my coffee."

Hermione smiled at him. Not for the first time since last night, she wondered what he and Viktor had talked about, but she was determined not to tempt fate by asking. And if Ron no longer felt the need to throw a jealous fit every time Viktor's name was mentioned, then she could certainly live with not knowing.

"What?" Ron asked.

"I was just thinking," Hermione smiled coyly. "What was it you asked for last night?"

Ron's eyes narrowed as he tried to think. Clearly he couldn't remember.

Hermione reached for the towel wrapped around his waist and tugged.

She sank to her knees in front of him. He sighed as she took him in her mouth. For some reason, whenever she did this he kept thinking of the phrase head girl giving me head, which made him grin

She had one hand on his thigh and the other cupping his balls and it was pretty evident she was intending to take him all the way like this. "Hey," he said, stroking her cheek. "As much as I like this, it's not really going to help us on the baby front."

She looked up at him, and slowly drew her mouth off him. The air in the room was unbearably cold by comparison. Why did he just tell her to stop?

"Front?" she said, clearly amused. "You make it sound like a war."

"It is a war," he said, pulling her to him. "And my boys are determined to win."

"I think –" Hermione started to say something but Ron cut her off with a kiss. She thinks too much, he thought and rolled her over on the bed. He took his time, he never wanted to have perfunctory make-a-baby sex, especially since there was no way of knowing how long that might take, if it ever happened at all. They hadn't had the conversation of what to do if it didn't happen. They hadn't been trying long enough for that, but they both knew there were no guarantees. The curse that had left her so deeply scarred on her side had done a great deal of internal damage. The healers hadn't been particularly helpful. They'd said it was possible for her to have a baby just not especially likely. Ron hadn't been nearly as discouraged as Hermione had been. He was, after all, a Weasley. He had a great deal of faith in his virility. As for Hermione, he knew for a fact that she'd successfully defied the odds more than once and he saw no reason for her not to do so now.

It was late in the afternoon when they arrived back in London. Winky was delighted to see them and sent their bags straight to their room, and started making tea. Ron and Hermione went into the parlor where Ron used his wand to start the fire. Horatio, just realizing they were home came tearing into the parlor and began winding his way around Hermione's legs purring loudly. She smiled and bent to scratch his head.

"Do want a drink?" Ron asked as he pulled a bottle of ale from the bar.

Hermione walked over to the window to watch the weather outside. She smoothed a hand over her stomach and smiled. "I think I'd better not," she said softly.

Ron came to stand behind her. "Winky's making tea," he said.

"I should probably ease up on the caffeine as well," she smiled.

"Nasty weather," Ron said.

Hermione looked at the snow blowing hard through the streets. "I think it's lovely."

"You're in a strange mood." Ron said, resting his chin on her head.

"I'm feeling rather triumphant actually," she mused. "Rather like V-E Day."

"V-E Day? Is that some sort of Muggle holiday?"

Hermione smiled at his confusion. "Victory in Europe, you know, when the Allies won the war."

"Wizards weren't really-"

She could practically hear the gears click in his head.

"Are you serious?" Ron said, his eyes widening in surprise.

She nodded, and slid her hand over her still flat stomach. He covered her hand with his.

"Then you're right," he said as he kissed her neck. "It is a lovely day."

She watched the snow swirl around the street and felt her life spin out in front of her. It felt right to be building a family with Ron. She felt safe and loved with his arms around her and she couldn't think of a better place for a child than right here with them.

"This is going to be brilliant," Ron said softly in her ear.

Hermione just smiled.

Acknowledgements:

I would like to thank Harpinred and BBennett for beta reading these stories.

The title of the story comes from Seasons in the Sun by Terry Jacks.

The title of chapter 1 comes from Days of Wine and Roses by Frank Sinatra.

The title of chapter 3 comes from Pepper by the Butthole Surfers.

The title of chapter 4 comes from the title of a painting by Jack Vettriano.

Apologies to Sarah MacLachlan for using the imagery from her Fallen video to describe Ron and Hermione's breakup.