Title: His Bookworm
Disclaimer: I own nothing!
Summary: She was beautiful when she was ranting... [Cedric/Hermione - OneShot
As always: Giant thank you to Danielle!
She was completely stunning when she was angry. Flushed cheeks, heaving chest, hair flying wild with her jerky movements. Sometimes, he enjoyed getting her angry only to see this reaction. She'd probably bite his head off if he ever told her, which is why he kept it to himself. She just got so uppity over things and her entire being showed it. He couldn't help but be attracted to her when she was so wound up and taut. He bit his lip, trying not to smirk as she paced and ranted, completely forgetting that she was only dressed in her little pink knickers. She'd only just come out of the shower and he'd interrupted her before she could really start getting dressed. Not that he minded in the least. He sat in an armchair across from her, dressed in nothing but a pair of boxers that had tiny golden snitches flying around on them. He used his hand to cover his mouth, hiding his amusement from her as he looked up from beneath his fringe to watch her angry pacing.
He was a little surprised she had so much gusto for fighting, really. She hadn't been feeling up to par lately. Didn't stop her from going to work though, so he couldn't expect it to interfere with much else. He'd asked her to take a few days off, but she refused. She'd been working a lot lately and he was sure the stress was getting to her. It had happened in the past. Her getting so bogged down with her job that she literally ran out of steam and had to stay home for a few days to recuperate. It worried him. But she wasn't slowing down now. She showed no signs of her earlier sickness. She was ranting and raving, arms thrown around wildly and her cheeks red. Her hair was waving behind her in a thick mass of dripping brown curls.
He couldn't even remember what he said that set her off, too engrossed with watching her. This happened a lot and the end result was his favorite. She'd get into a big huff, prove her point, calm herself down, and the next thing he knew, they were making up. Four years they'd been together and that part of their relationship hadn't changed. They met up in a book store and ended up fighting over the same book. It was the last copy and she wanted to add it to her private library where as he needed it for research purposes. Neither wanted to give it up, both thinking they had better reasons to have the book. However, they came upon it at the same time and so neither could really stake claim. Admittedly, as she claimed it would be of more use to her, he found her determined expression quite adorable. That wasn't going to make him let go, however. He had a deadline and he needed the book to get his research done. The storekeeper said there wouldn't be a new shipment for another month and so they were at a stand-still.
After a tug-a-war, they realized how ridiculous they were being and agreed that she would have it, but he'd borrow it for his research and return it to her later. This somehow led to a coffee date the following week to discuss what he'd read and what she thought of it. One coffee date led to another and soon they were spending a lot of time together. He made the first real move, while they were enjoying a Muggle film at her flat. She was ranting about the behavior of the characters, finding them far too dramatic, and he'd leaned over and kissed her.
She was so stunned, she simply sat there silently, her eyes wide. Fearing he made a huge mistake, he began to pull back, but this seemed to wake her up. Her hands lifted to wrap around his neck, pulling him back, and then she was kissing him. Hard and passionate and deep. Their lips parted, tongues twisting together. He fell back on the couch and she climbed on top of him and their seemingly innocent friendship progressed to something more right there on the couch. They were a couple after that, with very little said concerning it. He simply took her hand the next morning as they were leaving her flat and walking down Diagon Alley, on their way to separate work places. She smiled and he took that as a good sign.
A year later they moved in together, getting a flat that fit them both respectively. And it had all been working out since. He became good friends with Harry and Ron and the Weasley family welcomed him quite easily. Molly never ceased to bring up marriage and grandbabies at any Weasley family dinner. Holidays were separated into three parts so that they'd have time for all three families; her, his, and the Weasleys. He enjoyed the company of rambunctious nature of the Weasley household, but he liked being able to come home to a place that was neat and quiet and just them.
Her parents were a kind, Muggle couple that found him charming. Her mother Janet was much like Molly in regards to hinting at marriage, whereas her father, Richard, liked to talk sports. In return for Quidditch lessons, Richard taught him how to play football and golf. They also really liked his parents; their mums wrote back and forth through owl, discussing recipes and whatever it was women talked about.
Similarly, his friends enjoyed her company, too. Even though she didn't care much for Quidditch, she seemed to fit in quite well with his group. They hung out at the pub every Saturday and she chatted with girlfriends or wives and grew close to his best mates James and Cory, probably because they were a lot like Ron and Harry, personality wise. She and Cho, who he'd stayed friends with from their Hogwarts days, didn't get along so well. They politely stayed away from each other, though, and she never complained of his friendship with his former girlfriend. He didn't know what their issue was with each other and she didn't explain. As long as they kept it civil, it was fine.
His and Hermione's relationship wasn't always easy going. She was headstrong and he was calm and rational, rather than loud like most of her friends could be. She wasn't always sure how to handle him or fight with him because often times he didn't yell or shout or tell her she was being a nag. He wasn't like Ron, so he didn't tune her out and then yell at her that he was right. He wasn't' like Harry, so he didn't tend to ignore her suggestions and go with his own instincts. He listened to her argument and then gave his own, which usually left her like how she was now; frustrated, huffy, and completely beautiful.
She also worked a little too much and he wanted her to spend less time at the office and more with him or at least to herself. She loved her work, but sometimes she loved it a bit too much. He had to pull her back, remind her that there were other things than reading and learning and doing. She could enjoy life and not have to work at it all the time. Sometimes she didn't appreciate it and others she understood that he was just looking out for her.
Alternately, he was a bit too quiet for her at times whereas she liked to talk everything out. And he often forgot to let Crookshanks in or out, which is probably why the half-kneazle and him were on an iffy basis. He never made the bed, always forgot to put his dirty clothes in the laundry basket and he never ceased to put the empty milk carton back in the ice box. He drank all of her favorite coffee and didn't remember to get more. His secretary enjoyed flirting with him and for some reason that was his fault. When they went out to the pub, if he overindulged, he tended not to remember how to be stealth when it came to telling her wanted to go home and have some fun alone time. He cursed a lot; it was a habit he picked up in Quidditch and hadn't done anything to quit. They were all little annoyances that she classified as "Cedric things," making them acceptable, despite driving her mental.
Still, they worked together. It escaped some people just how well they fit together. She knew him as well as he did. All of his likes and dislikes, and his life story. She supported him in things even if she didn't like them; like volunteer Quidditch games that often left him bloodied and with a few broken ribs. She rubbed his back and made him healing potions, all the while telling him how terrified she was for him and how ridiculous it was of him to do whatever it was he did. Somehow, she balanced chastising with coddling in a way all her own. They both enjoyed reading and quiet nights at home once in a while. They worked hard and played harder. At the end of the day, it was all about them. Wine, a good book or film, and an evening just relaxing together.
There were always going to be things they didn't quite appreciate in one another, but in the end, it was outweighed by all that they loved in each other. There were the superficial things; he loved how she looked and felt and tasted. He loved her voice in the mornings, husky and sensual. He loved her doe eyes and her pouty, pink lips. Her curvy body that fit against him just right. Her small hands and her soft skin. And then there were the personal things that he loved. How tight she held him when they hugged or snuggled. How she nuzzled her nose against his right before she kissed him. How she always tugged on her earlobe when she found something he said funny. How she smelled, laughed, snored. He loved how her hand felt in his, how her head sat on his shoulder while she read, how she always seemed to know where his favorite shirt was. How she always knew to make his favorite cookies when he had a bad day or how she rubbed his shoulders when she was apologizing for blowing up after she had a bad day. He just loved her.
"Are you even listening?" she asked, coming to a halt in front of him. Her hip was cocked to the left, hands sitting on her sides. She was frowning at him, her lips pursed and her eyes narrowed.
"Of course," he replied, smiling. Not a word, really.
She sighed, shaking her head. "Honestly, Cedric," she said quietly, a slight reprimand to her tone. "It was only a few books."
He remembered now. She'd told him she ordered some more books for a special store and he told her they were going to have to move out and get a new flat soon, just to fit her books. He loved that she read and that she could get so into her books. But he couldn't even count how many she had. They were running out of space. He tripped over them some mornings because they'd migrated to piles on the floor. "Twenty three is not a few books," he replied, shaking his head in slight amusement.
She sighed, rolling her eyes. "You know, it wouldn't be so bad to get a bigger place." Her expression became very innocent and he found that to be an instant red flag.
He lifted a brow. He liked their flat; it was homey and comfortable. They'd been living in it for three years and they'd made it all their own. Rich colors, comfy furniture and a very lived-in feeling. He always felt relaxed when he got home. And moving was such a hassle. "Love, it's getting a little much when move because he literally have no room for books. Bloody hell, it's a miracle I'm not sleeping with them yet!"
She licked her lips, crossing the floor to sit in his lap, straddling his thighs. She still hadn't seemed to realize she was dressed in nothing but her knickers and having her even closer was doing nothing to calm him. Her perky little breasts sat so close he could lean forward and kiss them. His hands itched to cup them but he forced them down. She was in serious mode still and she wouldn't appreciate him changing the subject because of hormones.
Her arms wrapped around his neck, fingers playing with the ends of his hair. "I think we should move."
"'Mione," he sighed, tipping his head to the side. "Are we going to move every damn time we're overrun with books?"
She shook her head, rolling her eyes. Her mouth quirked. "Of course not. I have a much more legitimate reason," she said, using her prim voice. Her nose lifted and he found having her half naked and acting how she was, made her look incredibly enticing. He told himself to stop thinking from between his legs, but it wasn't working so well. His hands finally moved to wrap around her hips, thumbs stroking her sides. Her skin was still damp and he found himself distracted for a moment. Visions of the many times they'd used the shower walls for much more pleasurable activity filled his mind. He had to shake his head to get himself back on task.
"Like what?" he wondered, staring up at her.
She smiled, a mischievous glint appearing in her eyes. She leaned forward, pressing her forehead against hers. "A house would be best. Preferably with four or more bedrooms." She nodded, eyes thinning. "Big rooms."
"Holy shite," he cursed. His eyes widened. "Isn't that a little much? We're not starting a book museum!"
She sighed. "It's not all for books. Just one or two of the rooms," she said, using her soothing tone.
"Well what the sod's the leftover room for then?" he asked, becoming exasperated.
He quickly went over the figures in his mind and knew that they could afford a house if they wanted to. They'd been saving for it, but he hadn't thought they'd really get one for some time yet. Their jobs paid well and the Ministry gave her a giant monetary reward for her help during the defeat of Voldemort. Money which she felt was stained and hadn't used except to donate a large sum to the Wizarding War Relief Charity which helped the children whose families were destroyed and to rebuild.
In the end, they could get a nice home, probably some where between the Weasley and his parents. It was a good neighborhood and when they had children there'd be lots of other kids to play with. Ron and Luna already had two daughters and lived in a cozy little cottage down the road from The Burrow. Harry's wife Daphne was seven months pregnant with their first child – a son if Mrs. Weasley was right. George and his wife Alicia had three boys, two of which were twins, and they too lived in the general vicinity of The Burrow. James and his wife Leslie were planning on having children soon. So moving into a house wouldn't be the worst idea. Whenever they decided to have kids, it would be a great place to start their family.
"Ced," she called, drawing him back to her. She stroked his cheek. "I was talking to Molly the other day and she gave me this box of stuff we could use in the coming months. Clothing, linens, some toys."
She was hinting and he felt like he was missing the point by very little. Toys? Clothing? He blinked at her. And then suddenly, it all made sense. Holy fuck! His mouth fell open and his eyes widened.
"Yes," she said, nodding, as if she knew exactly what conclusion he'd just come to. She took his hand off her hip and placed it over her abdomen. "A month and a half."
"You're… Fuck… Really?" he asked, his voice low and shocked. "But… But the charms… I thought… I mean… Bloody hell…" He swallowed tightly, staring down at her stomach. "A baby?"
She stroked his hand lightly. "A baby," she said softly, her voice adoring.
He was at a loss for words. A baby – their baby – inside of her. Boy? Girl? Would it be like him or her or both? Would he raise it right? What if he did something wrong? Could he teach it Quidditch? What if it hated Quidditch? What if it hated him? How would this change things between him and Hermione? There were so many questions that he didn't know the answer to; so many uncertainties and worries. Still, there was an incredible feeling of pride swelling in his chest. He was going to be a father. He felt both up and down on the idea. Would he be a good father?
"You'll be a great father," she told him, nodding.
Had he been talking out loud? He looked up at her, lifting his brows.
"Don't worry. I mean, yes, there's a lot we'll have to do. I can't work so much, it'll be too stressful for the baby. And we'll have to find a bigger place and get ready for him or her. And I'll have to start going to Lamaze classes and we have to tell our parents and the Weasleys! And oh," she frowned, "All of our mums are going to be planning a wedding after this, I just know it." She shook her head; that determined expression coming back. "But that's okay. We'll just stand firm. We can get married when or if we want to!" She crossed her arms over her chest and nodded decisively.
"If?" he asked, his tone indignant. What the hell did that mean? "Since when is there an 'if'?"
She furrowed her brow. "I didn't mean it like that, Cedric. I just meant that having a child together does not mean that we're absolutely obligated. If, in a few years, we're simply not working out, for whatever reason, then it's best not to get married out of some silly sense of obligation." She was using that tone again; speaking a little slower as if she needed to explain it to him in a way that was simpler.
"Silly? Marrying me is silly?" he asked, his temper pricked. "Mione you're having my baby! We've been together four years! You really think that in a few years I'm not going to want to marry you? Bloody hell, woman!" he half-shouted. If she wasn't sitting in his lap, and pregnant, he'd be pacing right now! "What if I was already planning on asking you? What if I already had a ring picked out and a proposal ready? What if it has nothing to do with this baby and I really do want you as my wife? That's not silly at all! It's- It's- Well fuck!" He sighed, frustrated. "There's no 'if,' Hermione Granger. One day, you're going to be my wife!" he declared. He would've crossed his arms, but they had wrapped around her some time in between his rant.
She smiled at him, laughter clear in her eyes. "Oh, Cedric," she murmured.
"If," he muttered, rolling his eyes. Yeah, right, like he wasn't going to marry her.
"Does this mean you were planning on proposing then?" she asked, hands rubbing his shoulders soothingly.
"Of course." He'd gotten the ring three weeks ago. Had it hidden away in a place she'd never look; his broom service kit. He'd been planning his proposal for months but just couldn't get the words right. He was a guy of very few words, which she knew, but he wanted it to be perfect. He was asking her to marry him, it wasn't as simply as, "Will you marry me?" There was so much more to say than that.
"Well than what was taking you so long?" she queried, lifting her brows and putting her hands on her hips.
"It's not as easy as you think," he replied indignantly. "You try proposing!"
She huffed, before suddenly climbing off his lap and crawling down to stand on one knee.
His eyes widened. "Mione."
"Hush, I'm doing something incredibly romantic," she replied, taking his hand.
"You're not supposed to propose. I am!" He shook his head, sitting forward and leaning in his elbows on his knees.
"Well you're taking too long," she told him, shaking her head. "Now," She inhaled deeply before letting it out in a light sigh. Licking her lips, she looked up at him through her dark lashes. "Cedric Diggory, I've loved you for four years. I love your pitiful taste in music, Muggle or Wizarding. I love your messy hair and your green eyes. I love your crooked smile and your big hands. I love the way your stubble feels when you just wake up and rub your cheek against mine in greeting. I love waking up with you! I love going to sleep with you." She suddenly sniffled and her eyes filled with tears. "And I love that I'm having a baby with you. Because this baby is going to be so beautiful and smart and wonderful!" She shook her head. "And I can't imagine having it with anybody but you. So… So…" She lifted her hand to wipe her eyes, but he beat her to it. "So I- I'd be honored if--"
"Mione," he interrupted, his voice gentle.
She shook her head, biting her lip. "I can do it!"
He chuckled. "I know you can." He moved from his seat to sit beside her and pulled her into his lap, cradling her against him. Her head fell to his shoulder and he wrapped his arms around her tightly, rocking her side to side. "You're the love of my life. You're beautiful and brilliant and utterly incredible. I can't imagine what would've happened if we hadn't fought over that book that day." He tipped her chin, staring down into her chocolate brown eyes. "I don't want to know what it would've been like. I love my life. I love living it with you." He grinned crookedly. "I love everything about you, even your irrepressible desire for every book you see." He chuckled and she sniffle-laughed.
He ran the back of his hand down her face, knuckles caressing her damp cheek. "There's no if's, and's, or but's, 'Mione. I want to marry you. I want you to be my wife. I want to love you for the rest of my life." He waved his hand discreetly and his broom servicing kit wobbily flew toward him. He rummaged around inside of it and pulled out the little black velvet box he'd hidden away inside.
She gasped, eyes lighting up. He hadn't even popped the lid open yet; the significance was enough. Slipping his forefinger into the crack, he snapped the top open and revealed the simple but elegant diamond ring inside.
"Marry me, Hermione," he told her, grinning.
She lifted her hand, hand cupping his cheek and drawing his face down. Her lips pressed against his, hard and damp from her tears. It was neither gentle nor soft; it was passionate and with her small body pressed against him, bare skin touching his, breasts brushing against his chest, he felt all functioning thought vanish. She twisted in his lap, her legs falling on either side of him, thighs straddling his. He could feel her wet hair brushing his shoulders and his hands ran up her back, fingers pressing against her as she arched into him. Her arms wrapped around his neck, fingers delving into his hair as she slanted her mouth over his. She leaned them back until he was splayed out on the floor, her on top of him deliciously. She broke away from his mouth, panting, only to trail down his neck, sucking and nipping at him.
"That a yes?" he managed, eyes fluttering.
She laughed against him, before sitting up in his lap and nodding. He took the ring from the box before tossing it to the floor. She held her hand and he noticed it shaking slightly as he slid the slim band onto her finger. She sniffled and he looked up at her, seeing her eyes fill once more and her chest heave with stifled cries. He reached out, pressing the palm of his hand against her stomach. He was careful not to touch too hard, worried about how much pressure he could exact. She covered his hand, fingers threading with his.
"I can't wait," he told her, smiling.
"For which part?" she wondered.
He grinned. "All of it." He looked up at her, feeling laughter build up in his chest. "We're getting a house, where half the rooms are just for books. We're getting married, having a baby, it's… It's incredible."
She nodded, sniffling. "Those books I bought… They're going to come in really handy. They're all on child rearing and the birthing process and setting rules and boundaries!" she told him, her voice lifting delightfully.
"You bought twenty-three books on parenting?" he asked, lifting a brow. "Love, we have three mums and dads, all of which have some wisdom to pass on. What the hell do you need that many books for?"
"Hush! He might hear you," she said, frowning at him and rubbing her stomach. "And I just wanted to be prepared!" she exclaimed, eyes widening. "This is our first child, Cedric. I will not screw this up. And there'll be no more cursing, either!"
"Ah, but 'Mione, come on," he whined, sighing. "The baby won't even know what I'm saying for the first few years!"
"Oh honestly, as if that's an excuse," she muttered, shaking her head. "And I'll have you know that twenty three is a perfectly fine amount of books when it concerns our child!"
He sighed, running his hands up and down her sides. "I just don't know what all of them can be saying. Wouldn't they just be repeating the same rot over and over? I mean, twenty-three, love, really? Couldn't we just have asked our mums if they had any?"
"I did," she said, nodding. "And they had fifteen books between all three of them." She was using that innocent face again.
"Mione, did you add that fifteen to the twenty three?" he wondered suspiciously.
She mumbled something under her breath.
"What was that?"
"No," she muttered, her shoulders slumping.
"So we have thirty eight books accumulated and you found out about this… when?" he wondered, astonished.
"Yesterday," she informed him, nodding.
"So what you're saying is… We're definitely going to need more than four bedrooms." He grinned, shaking his head.
"Oh honestly, Cedric!" She crossed her arms, involuntarily emphasizing her breasts a little more.
Shaking his head, he sat up from the floor. Somehow, he managed to get them both up from the ground, picking her up in the shuffle. He brought her over to the bed, carrying her bridal style, and laid her down in the center. He moved to cover her with his own body, careful not to put any pressure on her stomach. One of her hands found his, entwining their fingers, while the other wrapped lightly around his neck and played with the ends of his hair. She stared up at him gently, her mouth quirked in a small smile.
"No more books," he told her, leaning down to kiss her shoulder. He trailed up to her neck, sucking at the crook before moving across her clavicles, teeth and tongue joining in to tease her.
"M-Maybe just three or four," she mumbled breathlessly.
He nipped her shoulder, chuckling. "Thirty eight is enough."
"Let's make it an even forty," she suggested, nodding slightly.
Laughing, he lifted his head, his mouth hovering over hers. She stared up at him rather seriously, though there was a glint of laughter in her eyes. He knew that if she saw a book she didn't have concerning birth or babies, she'd buy it. There was no stopping her. When it came to Hermione, she was a bookworm to the core. Everything that could be written was hers to read. Life was going to be interesting, that was for sure. He wondered what was going to happen when she couldn't find the solution to something concerning their child in one of her many books. She'd probably keep searching. It wasn't so surprising really. Motherhood couldn't truly be learned from a book, but she'd try her best. Once he or she came along, she'd fall into it out of instinct. He had no doubts that she would be an incredible mother and wife.
He kissed her, tongue massaging against hers slow and sensual. Her nose brushed against his and she made a low moaning noise from inside her throat. He rolled them over, feeling more at ease knowing he wasn't crushing their baby. She smiled into the kiss and he knew she knew what he'd done and why. She could read him just like one of her books. Would she be the same with their daughter or son?
He couldn't believe how much had changed in one night and it all felt so sudden. A regular routine just to see her angry and flushed became finding out about a new life they'd created and were going to bring into the world which then morphed into a proposal. He couldn't wait for it all to start, despite the fact that it was all unknown territory for him.
"Oh," she said suddenly. "I didn't even talk to Ron yet! I bet he'll have plenty of books for me look through." She frowned. "Then again, if they were used by Luna…" She shook her head. "Maybe I'll borrow a few of Daphne's." She nodded, eyes thinned in thought, teeth chewing on her bottom lip.
He laughed to himself. Whatever life brought, ups or downs or new experiences, both scary and exciting, he knew he could rely on Hermione to always be who she was; a bookworm through and through. His bookworm.
A/N Hope you enjoyed this! I'll have another oneshot up soon. My computer is taking longer than expected!
Thanks for reading! Please review, it's very appreciated!