Chapter One: Do I Lie Or Tell The Truth?
She, Harry and Ron had been gone from the Burrow for a month when Hermione first noticed anything was amiss. She'd been repacking her bag just prior to infiltrating the Ministry when she came across the female toiletries she'd brought along. She dismissed her lack of need for them as an aftereffect of stress and left it at that. After all, she thought, there was no way she could be that unlucky.
After three months she began to worry again. It seemed like every time she had that damned locket on, the thoughts would return unbidden. Maybe she really was that unlucky. Maybe this entire hunt and all the work they were putting in would come to a close over something completely stupid as a last request for a girl who knew she might die.
She forced the thoughts from her mind repeatedly, willing them away. With Ron gone it was only her and Harry now. No, it was all a matter of stress and poor nutrition. It was nothing to worry about; certainly nothing to worry Harry about.
Another month and she'd gone from worry to full blown panic because now she was sure. Not only was there the obvious sign that she'd been ignoring from the start, but there was the swell to her stomach that certainly hadn't been there before. She knew then that she had to tell Harry before he noticed it himself. For now she could feign ignorance to the point, but once she really started to show… She shuttered at the thought.
They'd been discussing a visit to Godrick's Hollow and Harry had volunteered to take up watch first for the night. She was certain he was thinking of his parents and wondered if that would help or hinder the inevitable conversation she'd been putting off. Family was more important to him than most and she knew he'd be sympathetic to her plight.
She spent a good hour in bed, staring into the dark and trying to convince herself to just go over and talk to him. This was the night, she was certain. It was now or never. Well, no, it was now or tomorrow or the next day until finally she gave up trying and her body made it clear what she was hiding. With a sigh she rolled out of bed and made her way towards his silhouette.
"Hermione, you should be asleep," he reminded her with a firm look.
"I know, but I have to tell you something." She sat beside him at the tent entrance and fidgeted with the hem of her nightclothes. "We have a problem"
Harry's eyes darted out into the dense line of trees before them nervously, his fist clenching around his wand. "Did you hear something?"
"No," she shook her head, "this is more of a... internal problem."
Harry looked her over briefly before nodding and looking away. "You want to go home?" He asked the question bluntly, as if he'd been expecting her to say so from the start. It was obviously something that had been worrying him.
"Maybe, but not for the reasons you think." Taking note of his somber expression, she reached to take his hand. "When Ron and I decided to go with you, we knew the risks involved. Both of us agreed to come knowing that we might not make it back. Ron left because he couldn't handle it, but not me. I'm still here because I want to be to the very end. But something has changed and... I can't make decisions like that now."
"Hermione, what is it?"
"I," she faltered, turning away to look back out into the trees. She could keep pretending and as long as she never said it aloud, it might never be real. She wanted so much for that to be true. To close her eyes and wake to find it had all been some awful nightmare. He gave her hand a squeeze and finally she found her voice. "Harry, I'm pregnant."
Harry looked like he might choke as he fumbled for a response. "You, you're... Are you sure?"
"Pretty. I mean I can't exactly run out to buy a test, but it's been months since I, well since I got..." she grimaced at the awkwardness of the conversation and finally decided to take a more clinical approach. "I haven't menstruated the entire time we've been out here. But here, you tell me if I'm imaging things."
She placed his hand on her abdomen and knew when he'd felt the slight curve, his thumb moving back and forth as if to test its validity.
"Have you told Ron?"
"No. I wasn't sure before he left. Even if he was here I'd be afraid of how he'd take it."
"It can't be that bad. He'll be shocked for sure but I think he'll be happy once he gets used to the idea."
"How could he be happy when-" she froze, realizing her friend's misconception. "Oh Harry, it's not Ron's."
Harry's eyes widened perceptively and he offered a weak smile. "Sorry, I just assumed."
"It's okay. Most people do. And maybe after all this was over we might have gotten together, but now…" She trailed off, not wanting to waste any more time thinking about what-ifs. That's all she and Ron were after all; a boy and a girl constantly at each others throats, with an underlying tension that could have gone somewhere. Or it could have been nothing.
"So whose is it?" Harry asked, startling her out of her reverie. She frowned deeply. This was the part she was most afraid to reveal. Not that she felt it was a bad choice, but more for how it complicated things.
"You don't have to tell me if you don't want to," Harry offered.
"It's not that. Well it sort of is." She cast him a sidelong glance. "It was Fred."
"Fred?!" Harry nearly shouted, his eyes wide. Whatever names he may have been guessing during her silence, that obviously hadn't been one of them. "Are you two...?"
"No, not really. I mean we've kissed and things on a few occasions, at parties and the like, but we weren't an exclusive couple or anything."
"So how?" It was obvious that he was trying to wrap his head around Hermione the prefect getting knocked up by one of Hogwarts' most notorious rule breakers. "Was it... I mean did you want to? He didn't...?"
"Goodness no!" she exclaimed, surprised Harry could suggest anything so vile of any of Ron's brothers. "Of course not. No, I asked him."
Harry remained silent so she offered the further explanation he was obviously waiting for. "I knew there was a chance that we might not survive. Like I said, I'm okay with that. I just didn't want to have any regrets. I thought, if I was gonna die, it wouldn't be as a virgin." She gave a shy smile and looked away, feeling awfully embarrassed at having to admit her thinking at the time. "Fred was the only guy I'd ever felt anything... physical towards, so I asked. He actually said no first. He didn't want me to regret it. I told him that being with him was something I'd never regret. Although in hindsight..."
"Where are you going to go?" Harry asked quickly, pushing the conversation to less personal matters.
"I don't know," she answered honestly. "Suppose we'll figure it out in the next few weeks."
"Weeks?! Hermione, you're pregnant. You can't stay out here. You need to see a doctor and take vitamins and things. We barely eat out here. Never mind everything else we've gone though."
"I know, but you need me-"
"No! Hermione, you have to go."
"Harry, I can't! You're all alone right now." She pleaded with her eyes, frustrated that it looked like he wouldn't back down. "At least let me come with you to Godrick's Hollow and we can figure it out from there. I still don't think it's a good idea and if you insist on going, I'm coming with you."
He opened his mouth to argue but stopped, obviously weighing his options. She knew how desperately he wanted to visit the home he was raised in by his parents and she felt awful using that to her advantage but there was just no way she could leave him now.
For fanfic writers, there are two things that bring them joy: the creation of their work, and the response of its readers. Please take the time to review, not only this fic but any other you read. Thank you.