Disclaimer: I own nothing.

This is a little different from the other stories I'm doing. Please be patient with me. Hopefully you'll enjoy it. It will eventually be an HG/SS... It just doesn't look like it right now. Please tell me what you think.

A New Life

Harry Potter and Ron Weasley sat at the dining room table playing Wizard's chess. harry was playing rather poorly and continuously peering through the doorway at the fireplace in the sitting room. "Blimey harry," Ron chuckled. "I know I'm going to win anyway, but you could at least put up a fight."

Harry rolled his eyes. "I was just wondering when Hermione will get here," he said, contemplating the chess board. "We haven't seen her much since her wedding." Hermione had gotten married to a muggle-born wizard named Ryan Nelson that she had known as a young child. Ryan had promptly contacted Hermione when he came of age and the two had become nearly inseperable. Ron had thought them an odd couple, but harry felt that they complimented each other. Hermione was studious and practical while Ryan was athletic and fun loving. He played Quidditch for Puddlemere United.

Harry leapt from his chair when green flames appeared in the fireplace. Hermione and Ryan stepped out of the flames, dusting ash off of their robes. Hermione squealed when she was suddenly seized by Harry and drawn into a tight hug. Ryan smiled at Ron as the red-head approached. Ryan wasn't as tall as Ron, but he was broad shouldered and muscular. He was quite good looking with his short light brown hair and bright blue eyes. Ryan grinned at Harry as Ron took his turn to hug Hermione. "Alright there Harry?" Ryan asked.

"Alright," Harry replied with a casual shrug. He was prevented from saying more when he was startled by two squeals from the doorway. He turned to see his wife, Ginny and Ron's wife, Luna, hurry into the room.

The three young women embraced while the three men looked on with cheerful smiles. "We've missed you so much," Ginny said excitedly, releasing Hermione. "How have you been?"

Hermione glanced at Ryan before turning back to her friends. "I'm pregnant," she said in a rush.

After a moment of surprised silence, Ginny let out a piercing scream of excitement. Harry shook Ryan's hand enthusiastically. Ron dropped to his knees in front of Hermione and leaned closer so that his nose was nearly pressed to her navel. "Hello baby," he said in a loud voice. When Hermione giggled, he hissed at her. "Quiet, I'm talking to the baby." Focusing on her abdomen once again, he said, "I'm your Uncle Ron. Remember that... I'll be your favorite."

"Get up you idiot," Ginny chuckled, smacking the back of her brother's head.

"Yeah, get up Ron," Harry agreed. Once Ron had moved, Harry dropped down in front of Hermione. "It's my turn," he said with a smirk. He spoke in a gentler tone than Ron had. "Hey little one. I'm your Uncle Harry. We can't wait to see you. Remember that Uncle Ron is a nutter and that I'm your favorite." He stood back up and grinned widely at Hermione.

"Alright, that's enough," Ginny said shooing Harry away from Hermione. "Come sit," she said. "Dinner's ready."

A few moments later, they were all seated around the dining room table, passing dishes of delicious hot food. Harry and Ginny's two year old son, James, was perched on Ron's lap. He had just gotten up from a nap and was reluctant to sit in his own chair. He looked very much like Harry, but he had Ginny's warm brown eyes.

"James," Ginny said gently, "don't you want to sit in your chair like a big boy?" James hastily buried his face in Ron's chest.

Ron smiled. "I told you I was the favorite," he told Harry smugly.

"Well, I can't very well be my son's favorite uncle, can I?" Harry retorted, rolling his eyes.

"I'm so glad that you two have matured so much," Hermione muttered sarcastically.

Ron and Harry grinned at each other. "So are you two excited?" Ron asked Hermione and Ryan.

"Very," Hermione replied, giving her husband a radiant smile. "We were really surprised."

"What do you think you're having?" Ron said, taking a bite of his potatoes.

Without missing a beat, Ryan said, "Well, we're hoping it's a baby."

Ron's expression was a mixture of annoyance and amusement. "I was referring to gender," he said in an exasperated tone.

"My mistake," Ryan said with a boyish grin. In a more serious tone he said "We'll be pleased with a healthy baby regardless of the gender." He was rewarded with another approving smile from Hermione.

Ron nodded in satisfaction. Ginny took a sip of water and then looked curiously at Hermione. "What will you do about work?" she asked.

"I'm returning to Hogwarts as planned," Hermione reassured the red-head. "I spoke to Professor McGonagall through the floo and told her the good news. She would like me to begin teaching anyway. Ryan and I are keeping our flat here. He'll stay at Hogwarts with me sometimes and we'll go home for holidays. It shouldn't be very difficult. He travels a lot because of Quidditch anyway." She smiled as Ryan took her hand and gave it an affectionate squeeze.

Luna smile and shook her head. "Good luck, Hermione," she said with a sigh. "I really don't envy you climbing all those stairs at nine months pregnant." They all chuckled.

"Well, I'll have all summer before I have to worry about that," Hermione said with a smile.

The start of term was approaching swiftly. Hermione, at four months pregnant, was finally noticing a definite roundness in her stomach. Her breasts were more full and felt rather heavy to her. To her great surprise, she could already feel a tiny flutter of movement from the new life within her.

To Hermione's dismay, she had also noticed an unpleasant change in Ryan's behavior. He still seemed excited about the baby, but Hermione just couldn't understand what was wrong. When he was at home, he never wanted to do anything. Hermione was worried about the depression that plagued him. He became angry with Hermione frequently, and often his anger was a bit unreasonable and disproportionate to the circumstances. At other times, Ryan would express refret for his short temper. He would once again become the laid-back loving man that she married. The "Jekyll and Hyde" routine was beginning to wear on Hermione.

Hermione closed her trunk in satisfaction. She was looking forward to returning to Hogwarts as the new Charms professor. Deciding to spend some time with Ryan before leaving, she walked into the sitting room of their small flat. Ryan was laying down on the couch, his eyes firmly glued to the television. "Ryan, why don't we take a walk before I go?" Hermione asked sweetly.

"I'm watching something," he replied flatly, his eyes never leaving the screen.

"It'll be here when we get back," she countered, running her hand through his hair. Ryan batted her hand away impatiently. "It wouldn't kill you to show some interest in me," she said, her tone becoming frosty.

Ryan rolled his eyes and sat up, muttering "Here we go." He glared at Hermione. "Why can't you let me be?" he snapped.

"Why can't you just pay some attention to me?" she asked.

"I don't want to take a bloody walk," he growled.

"We don't have to take a walk," Hermione retorted, her eyes now filling with tears. "I just wanted to spend a little time with you." Tears spilled over her cheeks and she swiped furiously at them. "You never have time for me."

"Fine," Ryan snapped. "Let's just go."

"Forget it," Hermione said coldly. "I don't want to go anywhere with you if this is how you're going to treat me." She stormed out of the room long enough to shrink her trunk and tuck it inside the pocket of her robes. Without looking at her husband, she walked past him and out the front door. She apparated to a spot just outside the gates of Hogwarts. Ryan simply remained where she had left him, clutching his head in his hands miserably.