"We have to have him, Chuck."
"How many times have I told you not to call me that?" he asked, only slightly irritated as he scratched at he back of his neck, considering the other situation at hand. "I really don't think it's a good idea, Hermione. We couldn't even take care of a regular dog."
"He's just as regular as any other dog!" Hermione cuddled the lopsided puppy to her chest, cooing to it softly. "Aren't you, baby? Yes, you're such a good little puppy." The excited animal licked at her face. "See, he loves me!"
"Hermione…we don't have the time to take care of him. With you being an Auror…what if you're called away?"
"I'm sure Harry's kids would love to take care of him. Or Fred's for that matter—they need a little responsibility in their life…and we could always pay them."
"What if he…multiplies? We can't divide him after that."
"Sure we could. We could give them to Ginny or Luna or even Snape—we could trick him into taking it." This threw Hermione into a fit of giggles. The puppy struggled slightly in her arms but she nuzzled her nose against his fur and his tag went wagging again, his strife forgotten.
"I really don't think it's a good idea." Charlie crossed his arms and looked down at his wife who sat on the floor, still holding the dog.
"You'd be all for it if this were a dragon!" She pointed accusingly at the puppy.
"He'd be better off with someone who knew how to take care of a disabled dog."
"He is in no way disabled."
"He's missing a leg!" Charlie pointed out blatantly.
Hermione covered the puppy's ears protectively. "Would you disown me if I were missing a leg? It's very possible, in my line of work, you know," she hissed, glaring at him.
"That's a totally different situation."
"Please, Charlie? I mean, look at 'im! He's adorable!"
"What would we even name him?" Charlie said, and Hermione knew he was starting to cave.
"Yeah. What's wrong with Scott? He seems to like it." She motioned to the puppy who had once again laid his tongue against her cheek.
Charlie sighed. "Fine. We'll get the damn puppy."
"Yay! Scott! Ready, baby?"
Charlie was about to respond when he realized she was referring to "Scott" as "baby" and had already taken several steps towards the adoption desk.
"OHMYGOD. Charlie! Floo the vet!"
"Oh…crap. I forgot. Um…call the vet!"
"What's a vet?"
"Oh for the love of God! Just call Dr. Norman."
"Scott's bone is poking through his skin. There's blood everywhere."
"Alright. Hang on."
"No, not 'hang on'! If you won't call, get me the damn phone!"
Charlie tossed Hermione the phone and she rolled her eyes.
"Pick up, pick up, pick u—"
"Hello, Harry's Hairys. This is Janine, how can I help you?"
"I need an emergency appointment with Dr. Norman," she explained quickly. "Scott—my dog—has broken his uh…his left, front leg and the bone is…it has protruded through the skin."
"Mmhmm. Okay. Yes. I see. Scott? A beagle?"
"Yes. That's him."
"Okay. Bring him on over and Dr. Norman can have a look at him right away."
"Of course. Have a nice day."
Hermione hung up without saying any thing more. "Charlieeee!" she called. "Get dressed, we're going to the vet!"
"I don't even know what the hell a vet is!"
"It's a pet doctor. Now get your shoes on and get the keys."
"Why can't we fly?"
"Oh, fine. You're so whiny, woman."
Hermione lifted Scott in her arms, having put a blanket under him for easier transportation.
"You better be sitting in the back with that runt," Charlie warned.
"Duh. He could get killed in the front."
"My driving's not that bad."
"Try being a passenger."
"I think just a lot of rest and some ice cubes on the wound will do the trick. The stitches should dissolve on their own. If they don't within a month, come back and see me. Otherwise, I'll see you in six weeks for a check up on Scott." Dr. Norman pat the dog on the head and smiled at Hermione.
Scott shook his body through, letting loose, multi-colored hair fly everywhere.
"You treat him like a child. Don't see a lot of that these days. You'd make an excellent mother."
"Charlie, I think it's time we have a—"
"Not a chance, Hermione. Don't even ask."
"Aw, why not?"
"Don't try it, Hermione. I won't fall for it." Charlie paused and then turned, winking at her. "You're not the begging type. You don't do seduction."
Hermione, having turned around, raised her eyebrows. "You'd be surprised."
"I think that's a great idea."
"I knew you would, Mom."
Charlie leaned against the counter, a bowl of cereal in hand. "Since when did she start calling you 'Mom'?"
Molly turned around, looking somewhat annoyed with her son. "She's my daughter-in-law, Charlie. What is she supposed to call me?"
Charlie put down his cereal and picked up an apple. "Molly," he muttered into it.
"Charlie, what the hell is your problem?"
Hermione scowled and then grabbed a bottle of wine from the cabinet along with a wineglass.
"What're you doing?" he growled, pressing his palms onto the counter next to her. She moved to the island in the center of the kitchen and poured a glass before downing it quickly.
"Don't you dare."
"Why not, Charlie? Why the hell not? I'm obviously not worthy of being a part of the rest of your family. Merlin knows why you married me."
Charlie grabbed the back of the chair and spun it out so she was facing him.
"I married you because I love you, Hermione. I love you and I want you to be a part of my family. To be a part of me. Now put the wine down."
"Why?!" she demanded, standing up against him.
Charlie grabbed her chin and kissed her, but only briefly. She expected him to yell at her then, but he whispered against her lips instead, "You shouldn't be drinking alcohol if you plan on carrying a baby."