Her auburn locks waved violently in the chilly wind. Ginny raised a hand to move them back behind her ears, keeping the other hand latched securely onto young James. He was just beginning to walk, well run is a more correct term, but also happened to be quite clumsy and injury prone.
"Mum mum! Mum mum!" James shouted.
"Yes we are going to Mum Mums. Now hold tight to my hand."
Ginny had stopped in London to run some errands that morning and was looking for a safe place to appariate to the Burrow. She had been leading James through a small park for at least 10 minutes and finally located a large fountain, no muggles in sight.
"Here we go!"
She swung James up into her arms and closed her eyes. She and James were pulled into the familiar darkness and landed in the front yard of a familiar, but odd, looking house.
Ginny smiled. Now that she was married to Harry and busy with James, she did not have much time to visit her parents and the home she once called her own. She lowered a squirming James to the ground and grasped hold of his hand as they walked to the front door.
James giggled. "MUM MUM!"
Molly Weasley had beaten them to the door and was rushing down the steps. She swept James into a hug and kissed both of his cheeks several times.
"My how big you have gotten since your last visit." Molly laid James back on the ground and moved towards Ginny. Her eyes sparkled with happiness, glad to see her daughter at last.
"Hi Mum. It is wonderful to see you."
"Same to you Ginny, dear. I am so glad you could make it. My goodness, look at the size of your belly!"
Ginny brought her hand to the bump protruding from her coat. "8 months tomorrow!"
Ginny could not help but grin when her mother mentioned the baby. She could not be more excited, and ready, for the baby to come and for James to have a younger sibling. It was time.
Molly smiled. "Come inside before we catch cold! Ron and Hermione are already here!"
She took James' hand and led him into the Burrow. Ginny followed behind, feeling happy to be home.
- - - - - - - - - -
"Blimey dad, try the button that says ON."
Ron stared open mouthed at his father who had just spent 2 hours trying to work a flashlight. Well, "Muggle Torch" if you went by Arthur Weasley's terminology. Ron turned the flashlight in his father's hands and pointed to the ON/OFF button. Arthur pressed it and let out a cry of victory when light beamed from the other end.
"I knew there had to be some sort of trick. Thanks Ron!" He went back to playing with the flashlight.
"On… off… on… off… AMAZING!"
Ron heard the door to the Burrow open. His mother had just run out moments ago and was now reentered carrying young James, and Ginny followed close behind. He turned to Hermione, who was sitting in a rocking chair by the fire.
"Ginny and James are here!"
A small, gentle smiled played upon Hermione's lips but she did not seem to be listening, for she remained in her seat, staring at the crackling flames.
He shrugged and turned back to the door. Hermione had not been herself these past couple of weeks. Sure, she had gained a few pounds, but was it really that big of a deal.
"Women." He murmured under his breath.
"Hullo Gin! Harry still at work is he? And let me hold my nephew, Mum, you can't hog him all night! Ginny, your stomach is HUGE. What have you been feeding that kid?"
A round of laughter filled the room.
- - - - - - - - - -
Hermione worked hard to put a smile on her face when her sister-in-law and nephew arrived, but the effort went unnoticed. She leaned back in the rocking chair, watching the orange and yellow flames dance about the fire place. She brought her hand to her abdomen and quickly returned it to her lap.
She was 4 months pregnant and starting to show. For now, she passed it off as extra weight gained through the Holidays, and Ron bought it. He bought almost any story that had food involved.
"We're not ready, Hermione! How can I be a father when I still mess up tying my own shoes?"
Ron's words echoed in her ears, words that were part of a rift from 5 months ago. Hermione had brought up the possibility of a baby, and Ron flipped. He felt unprepared and unfit to be a father. Also, he wanted more time with just Hermione, to enjoy marriage. Hermione had no choice to agree but now, 5 months later, she was 4 months pregnant.
Irony, that is what Hermione called it.
But… how could she tell Ron about the baby when he did not even want it? She had not even told Ginny, her best friend, or her own family for that matter. Ron needed to be the first to know, when the time was right.
That time had to come soon, before the "I've just gained a few pounds" excuse became obviously false.
She brought her hand to her abdomen once again, letting it linger for a few extra moments. Ginny would be having her baby in a few more weeks, and baby joy would fill the world of the Weasleys. Hermione decided that that would be the moment to tell Ron.
It was also an excuse to put off telling him.