Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or anything else you might recognise.
This idea just came into my head so I decided to write it down before I forgot.
Hope you all enjoy it.
EDITED: 18/07/09- Sorry, I thought I'd done this before. A couple of people have mentioned the fact that Ron couldn't drive at this point so I've changed that little bit. Nothing else has been changed, so it doesn't need rereading if you've read it once. Thanks.
The Best Things in Life.
A loud grunt of frustration escaped Hermione's lips as she let her hair fall from her hands to hang around her shoulders. She glared accusingly at it in the mirror on the vanity table. Why isn't it working? I mean, seriously, Hermione thought, how hard is it to put my hair up without it being lop-sided, bumpy, or getting me so frustrated that I wanted to shave it all off so I wouldn't have to deal with it anymore?
"Hermione?" Ron poked his head around the door, no doubt drawn to the bedroom by the noises of annoyance she had been emitting over the last twenty minutes.
"What's wrong?" Her husband came further into the room, slightly apprehensively, knowing better than anybody how irrational she could become when aggravated. She moved her eyes up to meet those of his reflection and gestured violently towards her head.
"My bloody hair's not behaving."
"That's all? That's what you've been muttering and complaining about to yourself in here? Bloody hell, Hermione, I thought it was something serious."
"It is! I can't go out with my hair like this!"
In the mirror she saw Ron roll his eyes towards the ceiling and mouth something that looked suspiciously like, Women! Hermione narrowed her eyes and said,
"You're one to talk, Ronald Bilius Weasley. Last week it took an hour and a half to persuade you to come out of the bedroom because there was a small spider in the living room and you didn't believe I had gotten rid of it. So don't you dare accuse me of acting unreasonably!"
"That was different. Spiders are scary whereas the prospect of having slightly messy hair is not."
"See? You said yourself- it's a mess. I cannot go out of the house like this!"
"Come on, we're already late. It doesn't matter that your hair isn't quite perfect. We're not going to a fancy restaurant- we're going to Harry and Ginny's. Just use magic to fix it."
"I'm Muggle-born, Ron. I did my own hair for years. I can do it without magic."
"But we're late!"
"I will do it without magic, Ronald, and it would be a lot faster if you didn't argue with me. Are Rosie and Hugo ready to go?"
"Fifteen minutes ago. Hugo has been changed and dressed and the bag is packed with everything he might need. Rosie was dressed in clean clothes, had her face washed and was completely dirt-free. Then she found a chocolate bar and now has it smeared across her face and has wiped her hands on her clothes. I'm going to get her into some clean clothes and we are leaving in five minutes."
Ron turned and walked out, leaving Hermione once again to ponder her predicament. Having recently given birth to Hugo and with a toddler in the house, she didn't have much time to herself. She might not look stunningly beautiful tonight but she at least wanted not to look as though she had been the tragic victim of multiple electric shocks. Ron didn't understand. She needed to retain her femininity somehow- looking after two small children was no easy feat! Surely it wasn't too much to ask to have reasonably tidy looking hair?
Hermione sighed and reached for the brush on the vanity table and proceeded to pull it through her hair a few times. Reaching for a hair tie, she smoothed her hair down and once again tried to force it up into a bun at the back of her head. Turning her head from side to side she surveyed her handiwork from all angles. It was better than all her previous attempts but still not as good as she wanted it. Tugging the tie out again, her hair fell loose and free, and just as uncooperative.
Four and a half minutes later Ron came back in, just as Hermione was tying her hair up again for the fifth time since he had left her. She glanced in the mirror and noticed her daughter clutching his hand, her left arm stretched high above her head to meet Ron's reaching down.
Rosie was newly dressed in a white shirt and jeans and looked, as always, utterly adorable. Add to this the fact that the child was sucking her thumb and leaning her head against her father's arm and Hermione had to resist the urge to rush to her baby girl, lift her into her arms and never let go, cradling her forevermore.
She had never truly believed people when they say your children grow up incredibly quickly but now she fully understood what they had meant.
When Rosie was born, Hermione could see all the firsts lying before them. Her first smile, first laugh, first steps, first words, all those moments she had looked forward to. Looking back, Hermione literally had no clue where those two years had gone. How could she have doubted that her daughter's childhood wouldn't last forever? As she gazed at her first born in the mirror, she desperately repressed the urge to blink, for fear that she would open her eyes and find that Rosie had already gone off to Hogwarts. Hugo's childhood, she was sure would go just as quickly. And she had just spent half an hour, thirty precious, golden, irretrievable minutes worrying about what her hair looked like when she could have been playing with her daughter, watching her son sleep, and spending time with her wonderful, loving husband. Not even bothering to look at her hair again she spun around on the chair and stood up, beaming at Ron.
"You look beautiful, honey." He said, smiling back. Rosie released her father's hand and reached up for her mother. Hermione hoisted her toddler up on one hip while bending over to kiss her children's father quickly on the mouth. Smiling proudly at his girls, Ron then kissed his daughter's head, which was resting on Hermione's shoulder. Leading the way out of the bedroom Hermione sighed in contentment. As they walked down the stairs, Rosie reached up a small hand to stroke her mother's hair and gave her a wet kiss. Hermione's eyes filled with tears of happiness at this childish display of affection and she pulled Rosie even further into her embrace, attempting to convey to the toddler just how much love she felt for her, knowing it was impossible. How could she express through words, or actions or any other method known to man, a feeling so powerful that she couldn't even define the depths of it to herself? How could her children, or her husband, for that matter, ever know how she felt about them? There wasn't even a word to describe it.
Hermione entered the living room, where Molly Weasley was sitting on the floor, playing with her grandson. Arthur Weasley was sat on a chair, observing the scene with a broad, heartfelt grin on his face. She felt another overwhelming rush of love for her whole family, for her children, for Ron, for her sister-in-law Ginny, for her surrogate brother Harry, and for the whole of the Weasley clan for accepting her as a daughter so willingly. Both Molly and Arthur looked up as Ron, Hermione and Rosie entered and smiled warmly. Hugo, noticing his mother, father and older sister, gurgled in delight and made no fuss when Ron strapped him into his car seat for the drive over to Harry and Ginny's.
"We're ready," Ron announced to the room at large. Addressing his daughter in his wife's arms he continued, "So, madam, no more getting messy." Rosie giggled and buried her head in her mother's arm, getting ample amounts of saliva on Hermione's shirt. She found she didn't mind.
"At least, not until we get there." Ron conceded, realising he was asking too much of his two year old, whose clothes stayed clean for an average of three minutes after she was dressed in them.
Molly smiled and said, as she stood up, "She's like her father that way. You were always covered in mud. I put it down to the twins influence..." here she paused as the memory of her lost son caused her to swallow and an almost imperceptible moment of sadness crept into her eyes.
"I always put it down to their influence, but maybe it's genetic." Looking at Rosie, the remains of sadness in her eyes at the memories of the past was joined by another emotion- happiness and hope for the future of her family.
"We'll follow in our car." Arthur said, stroking Hugo's head on the way past and moving to stand next to his wife.
Rosie fidgeted in Hermione's arms catching her attention.
"Do you want to go with Mummy and Daddy or Grandma Molly and Grandpa Arthur?"
Rosie reached out for Molly, and Hermione handed her to her grandmother. Molly smiled as Rosie hugged her and nestled into her neck.
"OK, darling. We'll take Hugo and we'll see you at Auntie Ginny's and Uncle Harry's. James and Albus will be there too, won't it be fun to play with them?"
Rosie smiled and nodded at the mention of her cousins and Ron lifted Hugo in his car seat. They left the house, Rosie carried to her grandparents' car and Hugo was handed to Hermione while Ron locked the door. Hermione looked down at her son and noticed he had drifted off in his car seat. He was absolutely perfect in eyes and as he breathed in and out gently, the soft patch of red hair on the top of his head lightly ruffled by the breeze, Hermione felt a wave of contentment for the second time in a few short minutes. She settled her son in the car and slid into the driver's seat as Ron opened the door and settled into the passenger's seat.
Hermione grinned at him.
As they set off towards Harry and Ginny's house, Hermione smiled as she drove, relaxed and happy. She had her husband, she had her friends and she had her two wonderful, beautiful children and she knew that she wouldn't change those things for anything anybody could offer her. Including well-behaved hair.