A Series of Unfortunate Events (For Rita Skeeter)
Harry suddenly pointed his broom straight towards the ground. The ground was rushing closer and closer to him as he stretched out his hand and…
"HARRY POTTER HAS CAUGHT THE SNITCH! Winning one hundred and fifty points for Puddlemere United! Puddlemere wins one thousand fifteen to the Harpies' eight hundred eighty!" the announcer yelled above the roars from the crowd.
Harry flew a victory lap around the pitch with his teammates chasing him, the Snitch fluttering in his hand.
He gently landed in the announcer's box where his special guest was waiting.
"Unca Hawwy! Unca Hawwy! You win," little four year old Teddy Lupin cheered, waving his small arms over his head in victory.
Harry grinned goofily down at his godson before scooping him to sit on the broom in front.
"Harry?" Hermione, who had of course been watching Teddy, said warningly.
"I'll be careful," Harry said, grinning cheekily at his best friend. He suddenly shot straight up into the air, before flattening on his Firebolt and making another lap around the pitch. As he neared the announcer's box again, he spun his broom around and stopped, hovering just in front of Hermione.
Teddy cheered happily, still clutching onto the broom, knowing that if he didn't, he'd be 'grounded' for the next three months.
Harry winked at Hermione before wrapping his arms tightly around Teddy and diving toward the ground, though far slower than he would have done alone.
When he landed, Harry tossed Teddy over his shoulder and entered the locker rooms. Twenty-five minutes later, the rest of the team had gone to a victory party, but Harry sat counting the seconds on his watch while Teddy tried to catch the snitch that he had charmed to fly around the child's head.
Five, Four, Three, Two, One…
The doors to the locker room burst open and a flurry of brown curls stormed into the room saying, "Could have crashed! You could have died! What if someone had hexed your broom? Nearly gave me a heart attack! You'll be the death of me one day, Harry James Potter!" Hermione launched herself at Harry, not noticing the fact that he was fresh from the shower and only half-dressed.
Familiar curls obscured his vision, but Harry still saw the flash that was always accompanied by a sickeningly sweet voice and an acid green quill.
"Well, well, it would seem I was right," the voice said, causing Hermione to jump away from Harry as though she were scalded. Sure enough it was Rita Skeeter.
"You are not!" Hermione snapped, blushing slightly.
"Dear girl, haven't you ever heard the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words?" Rita said, her quill scratching away at a pad hovering in mid air. "This picture is worth a million. After all, it isn't every day that you catch the Chosen One shirtless and wrapped in the embrace of a woman."
Hermione's eyes went wide and flicked toward Harry. She turned bright red as she noticed that Harry was indeed shirtless… and slightly damp from his shower.
Teddy squeeled as he finally caught the Snitch entirely by accident as he'd been reaching to tug on Harry's pant leg.
All the adults in the room turned their attention to the small boy.
"Up, Unca Hawwy?" he asked, stretching his arms up.
Harry absentmindedly picked up his godson and tickled him, making the little boy giggle. Teddy gave a great yawn just then and burrowed his face into the crook of Harry's neck.
"He looks a little flushed, doesn't he, Mione?" Harry said, frowning down at his godson in concern and forgetting about Rita.
Hermione stepped closer to them and slipped a hand under Teddy's shirt to press against his back. "He does look a bit pink, and his back feels a bit warm," she responded, looking very maternal.
Neither of them noticed the flash from the camera, or the photographer and Skeeter sneaking out with their story.
- - -
The next morning Harry woke to find himself in a rather uncomfortable position on the couch in the upstairs sitting room. His right arm was pinned beneath something and was tingling from the lack of blood flow to it. He opened his eyes slowly to find that he hadn't removed his glasses the night before.
He groaned as he lifted his head and heard something pop in his neck. He arched a brow when he noticed that the thing that was pinning his arm to the back of the couch was in fact Hermione.
The night before slowly came back to him. Flooing home with Teddy, only to be covered in what remained of Teddy's dinner, when he got sick. Hermione stepping out after them and spelling them clean. Spending nearly twenty minutes convincing Teddy to drink his potion. Tucking the toddler into bed, then collapsing on the couch so that they would be near if he got sick again. His eyelids growing heavier and feeling grittier as the night wore on. Hermione telling him that she wished she were a mum.
Harry's eyes went wide as his world screeched to a halt.
- - -
"Harry, you'll make a great Dad," Hermione said between yawns. "Scratch that, you already are one."
"Thanks, Mione," Harry said as his eyes slid shut.
"I wish I was a mum," Hermione murmured, her own eyes slipping shut.
As Harry drifted to sleep, he said, "I'd be happy to make you one."
- - -
It was a well known fact amongst the Gryffindor boys in Harry's year, that he was never so honest as when he was starting to fall asleep. That also happened to be the time of day when Harry's brain stopped filtering his thoughts before they exited his mouth.
The boys had often teased Harry with the things they found out. Like when they found out that Harry was a virgin, and when they found out that Harry had The Talk from four men (including Dumbledore) plus Professor McGonagall (each person at separate times), and let's not forget when they found out that Harry's first kiss hadn't actually been with Cho (she was just the first girl who was conscious for it as Hermione was Petrified when he kissed her).
The boys were also the only ones who knew exactly what the Dursleys had done to Harry. (They were also the only ones to know how certain pictures of Vernon and his male secretary wound up e-mailed to the head of Grunnings.)
Harry could only hope that if Hermione remembered it, then she thought it was a dream.
Hermione's eyes fluttered open and she smiled at the ceiling as she remembered the night before. She had felt like she was a wife and mum, and if she didn't know better then she would think that Harry volunteered to make her one, but of course that was completely ridiculous as he would never say that.
The morning passed with lots of blushes and embarrassed looks between the two friends. Then the Daily Prophet arrived.
POTTER PREPARED TO PROPOSE?: The Chosen One Has Chosen
As seen in these photographs taken after yesterday's defeat of the Harpies, Harry Potter gets cozy with long-time sweetheart Hermione Granger.
It has long been speculated that the Golden Trio is in fact the Golden Couple plus a friend, and these pictures certainly seem to prove that.
Former classmate Violet Tan said, "Everyone knows that Harry and Hermione are together. That Ravenclaw he went out with once broke up with him because of her."
A former roommate of Hermione, Perverti Peril said, "Hermione would do anything for Harry… anything! She's always been attached to his side like glue. In fact, some classmates of ours had a bet on just how much she did do for him." When asked what she meant by that statement, Miss Peril said, "She's a year older than him. You figure it out."
Mr. Potter's old friend, Blaise Zabini (son of Alexandra Montoya nee Rossini, The Black Widow) said, "Harry has never hidden the fact that Hermione is the one for him. I remember wondering why he didn't propose to her after the Final Battle. Then I realized that he probably wanted to speak to her parents first, and they were in hiding at the time."
Why then would Mr. Potter wait so long to ask the stunning Hermione Granger to marry him?
"He wanted to play the field," ex-teammate Cormac McLaggen said. "He went out with that Indian girl, the Chinese one, and even the hot Harpie Ginny Weasley." Mr. McLaggen also added, "Hermione dated a bit to make him jealous too. There was Viktor Krum obviously, the Weasley fellow, and of course, me… Oh, and there was some speculation about the Weasley twins, but no concrete proof."
These pictures show that Mr. Potter is in fact settling down. His adorable godson has obviously tamed his wild side, and Miss Granger it seems, is not opposed to playing Mommy. Though from the hidden bump Miss Granger has, we have to wonder if the family of three is soon to become a family of four.
By Rita Skeeter
Harry's mouth hung open in shock after he and Hermione finished reading the article.
"WHAT HIDDEN BUMP?" Hermione suddenly yelled. "I couldn't possibly have a bump! I'm a virgin!"
"You don't have a bump," Harry said, grasping her arms. "It's just Skeeter making things up to sell papers. You shouldn't let her get to you."
"I'll put her in a jar… no, a box!" Hermione said, pulling away from him and pacing as she seethed. "And I'll smash that box with a hammer!"
Harry began to stare at Hermione's swaying hips as she continued pacing. It was mesmerizing.
Harry was starting to drift off.
"What do you think?" Hermione said, suddenly turning to face him.
Harry was still staring at her hips, half asleep. He said absentmindedly, "Marry me."
Hermione's mouth fell open in shock, and Harry suddenly jerked to attention, realizing what he had just said. "Erm, th-that is…" he stuttered. "Oh, bugger."
"Are you… serious?" she asked after several long moments where Harry was steadily switching between being bright red and pure white.
"Only if you say yes," Harry muttered. "If you say no, then it was just a joke."
"Oh," Hermione said, blinking her eyes several times. "Well, I guess we'd better start planning a wedding."
- - -
Teddy Lupin spent two weeks with his grandmother that year. One time was when Harry and Hermione went on their honeymoon to Greece (it was supposed to be for two weeks, but they missed Teddy so much that they came home early), and the second time was during the week Hermione spent on bed rest and in the hospital delivering the first baby Potter.
Rita Skeeter managed to write only one more article on Harry and Hermione before four rather angry men confronted her. When she was finally sentenced to Azkaban for her crimes (including but not limited to accepting bribes to not write the truth about certain corrupt politicians), she was very thankful for the vacation. Rehashing old and terrifying memories wasn't nearly as traumatizing as the threats of creating new ones, especially not when the new memories involved the One with the biting plant. She swore to herself that she'd never again judge someone by their looks.