"Where the devil are you going?" Hermione, who had planned on sneaking off to the Ministry before Ron woke up, turned sheepishly away from the fireplace. Ron stood at the bottom of the stairs, glaring at her wearily as he threw his robe on. "Its six in the morning," he said unenthusiastically, "on a Saturday." Hermione just stared at him, as if she was still and quiet enough, he'd forget she was there. But he didn't. He lumbered over to her sleepily and grabbed the hand of her uninjured arm. "Your child's going to sleep for ten years when it comes out just to make up for their mother's nonsense," Ron grumbled, dragging her back to the bedroom.
Hermione rolled her eyes and reluctantly followed him, tossing her bag by the front door. When they got to the bedroom, Ron took her necklace and her jacket off, kissing her forehead before flopping face first back into bed. Hermione smiled as he immediately fell back asleep, and she turned back towards the stairs.
"Merlin's beard!" Ron groaned, clamoring across the sheets and coming up behind her. Hermione sighed as his arms wrapped around her waist and she felt his cheek against her neck. "Stop being difficult," he begged.
"But that's all I know how to be," she said childishly, laying her head back on his shoulder as they stood there.
She felt his arms tighten in a protectively loving way as she let him walk her back over to the bed, "Well, learn how to be tired."
Hermione smiled quietly, climbing back into the bed and nesting herself under the thick covers Ron pulled over her shoulders. She stared out the window, watching snowflakes crystalize themselves against the glass panes, obscuring the early morning sky. The frozen world outside made her happy Ron had dragged her back, and she turned to tuck her head under his chin, letting him wrap her in his warmth. She involuntarily closed her eyes as he ran his fingers through her hair, easing her back to sleep.
The two of them stayed in bed all day, drifting off at their leisure, talking about Ministry matters, or just laying there quietly. Mostly Hermione just stared at Ron, listening to him tell stories that she might've missed out on growing up in the muggle world. She usually didn't pay attention half way in as she started to daydream.
"When I was very little," Hermione began quietly as late afternoon rolled across the window, and the sky turned pink, "we would go to this tea room in Whales every Easter with my grandmother." Ron, who had begun an embarrassing story about Charlie, fell silent and stared at her attentively. "I hated it honestly, but I never told my mum because it was a tradition. My dad knew though," Hermione smiled, looking at Ron for the same response, which she willingly received. "He would sit next to me and sneak me sugar cubes when my mother wasn't looking. By the time the tea actually came-"
"You must've been absolutely barking!" Ron laughed.
Hermione laughed too, "Ron, I was horrible!" After the laughter died down a bit, she stared wistfully into Ron's face. "My grandmother would get in such a huff about my behavior, she'd ask my father to take me for a walk. We'd always go out into the rose garden, and I'd pretend to be Alice in Wonderland trapped in the Queen of Hearts' maze. My father would always come and rescue me of course, and as we left the Queen's maze, he would sneak the most beautiful rose and attach it to my dress. I never got how he did it without a pin, but he just said it was magic."
Ron was quiet for awhile after she finished her story, so was she as she remembered her father. Despite all her efforts, her father didn't make it through the last leg of the war. Both her parents were found and captured by Death Eaters on their way to Australia. From what she could gather when she found them, Hermione's father had gone insane from being tortured so horribly and killed himself in a very short period of time. Hermione's mother, however, had stayed exceptionally strong as if she knew the pain wouldn't go on forever, and Hermione was grateful for that. Never-theless, she had always been Daddy's Little Girl, and therefore never really got over the loss.
"That explains a lot," Ron said as if he had cracked some great code. Hermione looked away from the window back at him, the expression of inquiry etched on her face. "Everyone said we should've used brighter flowers at the wedding," he recalled, "I told him how hacked off you'd be if there weren't roses. I thought you'd kill someone over those bloody roses."
Hermione laughed as she remembered how passionately adamant she had been about having that particular flower be the flower at their wedding. "At least now you know I'm not really insane," she smiled.
Rolling out of bed, Ron smirked, "I wouldn't go as far as to say that. The roses were only one of the reasons I thought you were insane." Hermione gasped, grabbing her wand and sending a patronus his way to nick him on the shoulder. Ron turned slowly, also grabbing his wand, "Two can play at that game."
She crossed her arms triumphantly, raising a malicious eyebrow, "I'm pregnant. You wouldn't dare." Ron cocked his head to the side and stared at her with a sort of wistful admiration. "What?" she asked cautiously, suspicious of his lack of a creative strike.
Ron smiled, setting his wand aside, "You must be getting used to the idea, if you're using it against me." Hermione sat back a little, realizing how she hadn't thought about what she was saying before he pointed it out. She ran her fingers through her hair and pulled her knees to her chest. "We've talked about a lot of things today," he said quietly, sitting in front of her, "but not this." Hermione didn't say anything, staring out the darkening window to show she had no interest in talking. She closed her eyes as Ron held her chin gently like he always did when she needed a loving nudge. "Hermione," he said quietly.
"Its something that'll take awhile to get use to," she said reluctantly, shrugging the words off like they didn't really matter. Ron stared at her understandingly, resting his hands on her knees. His hands were always warm, and it made her finally look at him again. Ron's eyes were fixed on her, gentle and the blue that would send you to sleep in the grass on a summer afternoon. The color wrapped around her and read all her secrets; they had known her for much too long. "I hate feeling vulnerable," Hermione whispered.
Ron suddenly laughed, "I don't know anyone out there who would describe you as vulnerable! Wicked smart, really brave, scary even, but not vulner-"
"I'm not saying I run around acting it," she explained, "But when there's nothing else for me to think about, I just get – terrified." It was always hard to get over the past before: constantly wondering when the strangely quiet man at the Ministry would turn around and kill Kingsley, having to check her entire home for intruders if she was alone. But with a baby, every chance seemed ten times worse.
Two sturdy hands reached forward and cradled her face, "I am not going to let anything touch you." Hermione took loving hold of his wrists and gave him a small smile. "Unless it's a spider," he added, "then you're on your own."
Hermione laughed, letting go of his wrists and flopping back onto the pillows, "What a knight you are!"
Ron smiled, leaning over her. "I would die for you and our family," he said, pressing his forehead against hers, begging for a kiss, "that's all I can offer."
"That's all?" she asked, resting a hand on his cheek.
"That's all," he answered, getting the kiss he had begged for.
Author's Note: Can I just say that writing about these two fill my heart with rainbows? Anyway, thanks for the great comments! I love you all! xxE