Authors Note: Thanks for all of the reviews!
Hermione had hold of one of Minerva's arms, gently gripping Kaiser by the scruff with her other hand. Cerys was enfolded in the Headmistresses embrace tightly as they prepared to apparate. The sickening feeling was even worse for the younger witch now that she was pregnant.
When they appeared on a mountain trail deep in the highlands Cerys whooped with joy. She loved to accompany her parents on long walks, it was something that they often did as a family – even more so since they had gotten the dog. Kaiser had proven himself reliable around sheep and cattle and as a result they could walk pretty much anywhere in Scotland.
Hermione released him and watched as their child ran off with the dog. "I wish I had that much energy."
"Are you feeling alright?"
"A little drained."
Minerva wrapped her arm around her wife and pressed a kiss against a soft cheek. "Do you need anything?"
"You." Chocolate eyes flashed with desire.
The older witch chuckled and began to walk, "Later gorgeous." She was completely enamoured by her passionate young wife and since they had only just started having sex again – she more than wanted to make love to Hermione at the slightest opportunity but a footpath in sight of their daughter was not the right time or place. "We can put Cerys to bed... share a nice relaxing bubble bath and maybe I will ravish you on the bathroom floor, how does that sound?"
"I might not be in the mood later."
"Somehow I doubt that but you will still have to wait."
Hermione took her arm out of Minerva's and pouted. The older witch smirked and sped up muttering under her breath, "Brazen hussy."
"What did you call me?"
"Wait until later and I will show you exactly how much of a prude I am."
Cerys ran back towards them, her coat unfastened and flapping on either side of her body. "Mum, Mummy, Kaiser and I... we saw deers. By the trees."
Hermione chuckled, "Mmmm venison." The dog turned to look at her with a canine grin on his face, "Sometimes I swear that you understand every word that I say." With that he snorted and went back to sniffing at some rabbit holes.
"I want a sister." It was abruptly stated as the girl played with a winter flower.
Minerva looked at her wife and took a deep breath. "Well Care Bear how would you feel about a baby brother?"
"For sure?" Cerys frowned and walked over to Hermione, she lifted up her mothers coat and shirt – inspecting the rounded stomach closely. "How can you tell?"
The muggleborn witch laughed, while making a mental note to introduce both children to muggle devices. "We went to the doctors who used a special camera to take a picture inside my tummy."
"Oh. Well ok. Susan at school says that her sister borrows her clothes. I s'pose I wouldn't have that problem with a little brother." She ran off with the dog again.
"Ah, the single-mindedness of youth." Minerva chuckled again and pulled Hermione into a passionate kiss, it was something that she could not control. It was a tender kiss drawn from the depths of her soul, her tongue danced with its mate – until the urge to do more than kiss became dominant and they drew apart with a noticeable reluctance. "I love you Hermione. You've given me everything."
Two weeks later
"I don't care if it's a family name Minerva, we are not naming our son Alphonsis. Alphonsis McGonagall, that's bordering on cruelty."
The Headmistress gave a mock sniff. "Would you like to call him some dreadful muggle name like Cody or Rex?"
"Are we having a fight?" Hermione's voice was amused, "Besides Rex is a dogs name."
"Did we have this much trouble with Cerys?"
"Not as I recall. We named her for your grandmother and her middle name after my mother. Fairly easy."
Minerva gave a sigh and reached for a glass of the alcohol free wine that they were enjoying out on the dock. "I do have another suggestion."
"Shoot what?" Sarcasm laced the two words and the older woman was smiling feigning ignorance of the muggle slang.
"I have always been rather fond of your friend Mr Potter."
"Well Harold on paper. What do you think?"
"It has a ring to it."
"Plenty of time to decide."
Hermione smiled when Minerva knelt on the floor in front of her and began to massage her feet. It was something that always relaxed her and she was a sucker for a massage regardless of where it was. There was a faraway look in emerald eyes that she recognised, it was the one that her wife got when remembering. Over the last few months she had learnt to stay silent, rather than interrupt the thought process.
"You overreached during duelling with me. Dived onto the floor and shot a freezing charm at my feet. Surprised the hell out of me... I fell at the same time you slid into a wall and hurt your back. But you still disarmed me. Not sure where you learnt that. You did not get up immediately and I realised that you had injured yourself."
Hermione remembered the incident well; she had been struggling to hold her own against the more experienced witch. Watching Minerva duel was like watching her dance; seemingly effortless, graceful and elegant. To have a chance at beating the Headmistress she had to do something unprecedented. Another glance over at the rubble strewn courtyard they were practicing in, showed her that Minerva was standing in a puddle and she took the chance. When she slid into some rubble in front of a wall, the pain was immediate and debilitating.
"I hated to see you in pain. I levitated you to my quarters and made you take a pain potion. Poppy was not happy to be dragged out of bed to come and deal with injuries caused by us mucking around duelling so soon after a war. It was a sprain; she cast a few spells and left us alone. Having you in my bed felt so right and natural, it knocked down the last walls that I had regarding us."
Minerva looked up into love filled chocolate eyes, "We stayed in bed all evening reading and talking, we even ate dinner there. Your back was still sore, so I offered you a massage."
Hermione gave a grin; Minerva had left the room to get a magical oil. While the older woman was gone she had shakily removed her shirt and bra and lay face down on the bed. That was the sight that the Headmistress was treated to upon her return.
"You were trembling, not in fear but... nervous... anticipating... Upon questioning you revealed that you'd never been half naked in front of anyone before, much less on a bed with them at the same time. Your skin was so soft and you responded so intensely to my touch..." Minerva's voice trailed off, the last threads of the memory dissipating, "You stayed the night."
Hermione summoned a pain potion from the kitchen and pressed it into Minerva's suddenly lax hands. "Drink it."
"I remembered." The older woman groaned and swallowed the liquid. Rarely were her memories any more than flashes.
"That's a good sign. Come on, let's put you to bed."
The following week
Minerva really shouldn't have sneaked away from Hogwarts in the middle of the night but she couldn't help it. She had been having bad dreams all week, or rather she was reliving painful memories. Dumbledore's death, the battle, Hermione's difficult labour. It was making sleep rather restless. A trip to her memory specialist had proved very little help, they believed that her memory might have been coming back or it might not be. Which obviously was not helpful.
The Headmistress slid into bed with her wife, trying not to wake the younger witch. "M...Nerva."
"Go back to sleep love."
"I needed to sleep next to you." Minerva grinned when her mostly asleep wife slid backwards, pressing her shapely body against her. The Headmistress kissed the back of Hermione's neck, slid a hand onto the now noticeable swelling of their baby and closed her own eyes but sleep was a long time coming.
Cerys couldn't believe her eyes the next morning, she had snuck into Mummy's room for her morning cuddle and found both of her mothers asleep in bed together. She grabbed her teddy bear more securely and whispered, "Ssssshhh," to her canine shadow. Minerva opened one eye sleepily and held out her hand to her daughter wordlessly.
Simultaneously the bed dipped slightly from the child who slid in next to Minerva and from the dog who climbed onto the foot of the bed, ignoring the silent glare that his owner sent him. "Mum... Why you here?"
"I snuck away from work for an evening."
Cerys giggled quietly. "Naughty."
"I admit it."
"I missed you too Care Bear."
"I wish you could work from home like Mummy does."
"Sometimes I wish that too." Cerys seemed to accept her mothers statement at face value, she was now old enough to understand that adult lives were much more complicated than her own and relatively simple things could prove problematic for grownups. "In the meantime, how do you feel about helping me cook breakfast for Mummy?"
When Hermione awoke there was no sign of Cerys in the bed. She rolled over and saw the depression in the pillow that said Minerva really had come home in the middle of the night. She had half thought it had been a dream. This was the first time ever that her wife had unexpectedly come home, aside from the odd lunch or dinner break over the years.
She rolled out of bed and went to brush her teeth, having dentists for parents had made her more than a little obsessed with dental hygiene. As soon as her feet hit the floor she heard the familiar sound of the dog beginning to run up the stairs, every morning when they got up Kaiser would come to greet them or check on them.
Hermione thought about changing her clothes but instead just pulled on a robe over her nightgown. She wanted to talk to Minerva about her unprecedented arrival earlier this morning. She spotted a black nose edging the door open, "Morning Kaiser." The dog slipped into the room and allowed her to stroke him before running back in the direction of his beloved Cerys. At a more dignified pace she followed suit.
The sight greeting her as she entered the kitchen was adorable to say the least. Cerys was stood on a chair mixing batter under Minerva's watchful eye. In fact the older woman had no idea what to do and was allowing her daughter to show her, she merely ensured that the youngster did not fall off of the chair. "Well hello."
Her presence had not gone unnoticed after all. Brilliant emerald eyes sparkled as her wife smiled at her radiantly. "Hey." They grinned at each other like fools for a few moments. "Playing hooky are we?"
Cerys piped up, "Morning Mummy. I won't fall off if you want to go kiss her Mum."
Minerva couldn't help but snicker. Their daughter had once again managed to inject 'Professor McGonagall' into her childish voice and her intonation was uncanny. "You better had not." While she did keep an ear out for Cerys, she only had eyes for her wife.
Chocolate eyes darkened as they followed the elegant sway of Minerva's hips. Hermione licked her lips and exhaled sharply, watching a sexy grin emerge. Gentle fingers traced her cheek and the line of her jaw before the older woman pulled her into a tender kiss. They were both conscious of their audience as the kiss intensified despite their best efforts.
Hermione felt like the kiss was coming from Minerva's soul. It made her weak at the knees and she poured everything that she felt for the older woman into her response. They finally separated, breathless from lack of oxygen – clinging to each other desperately. "Wow, what was that?"
"I have absolutely no idea but it was... incredible."
There was a moment of silence in the kitchen before both women heard a quietly uttered, "Oops." from the other side of the room. They gazed at Cerys expecting to see her falling off of the chair or batter all over the floor. They didn't expect the tears that were running over red embarrassed features. "I'm sorry."
They both moved to hug their daughter. Minerva picked the youngster up and carried her over to the padded chair in the corner where they read their morning stories. A quick wave of her wand turned it into a comfortable sofa. Hermione sat next to them and helped to calm their daughter down. Brown and green eyes met in a confused contact.
"What's wrong Cerys?"
"I'm sorry, I never meant to..." She broke off into a fresh batch of sobbing.
Minerva spoke this time, pushing the youngster back far enough to look into her eyes. "I promise not to get angry with you Cerys but we need to know what you did. Can you be a brave girl and tell us?"
Their daughter took a deep breath that sounded like a sob and nodded, "I found Mummy's spare wand in the office while she was asleeping. I snucked out to the orchard and waved it around. It was really cool... and then I was thinking about you at 'ogwarts and I was jus' wishing that you was home. I think I magiced it."
Minerva exhaled slowly, controlling her emotions as promised. "When was this?"
"Um... Monday I think."
It certainly made sense to Minerva. Her dreams had started that night and it would also explain her actions early this morning.
"Don't be mad."
"I am not angry with you."
"I'm not angry at you either."
"You looks angry."
Hermione nodded, "I am angry but not with you. I am angry at myself for not locking that wand up tighter."
"Why do you have two wands anyway?" The question came from Minerva.
"While Harry, Ron and I were on the run we were captured. We were taken to Malfoy Manor, my wand was stolen and although I recovered it after the war, it had been used for bad things. I didn't want to use it anymore but it was my first wand, the one I learnt to do magic with and I couldn't part with it."
Minerva nodded, understanding fully. "Do you remember what you said Cerys?"
"Nope, not exactly."
"Would you mind if I looked at your memory?"
"Will it hurt?" A bottom lip began to tremble and fresh tears began to well up.
Minerva changed tact. "Let us finish breakfast before we worry about anything else."
"You not going in today?"
"Perhaps later. Right now I am... playing hooky."
Hermione chuckled, a little annoyed with their daughter but happy to have an unexpected breakfast with her wife. She let Minerva pull her in for another kiss, one that neither deepened for fear that it would get out of control once again. When they separated, a little breathless despite their intentions she whispered a variation of the reducto charm that would remove the lumps from the batter that her daughter had been stirring. "How about I help you with the cooking Cerys?"
"Won't Mum mind?"
"No, your mother won't mind at all." A wordless but intense moment of communication passed between chocolate and emerald eyes.
"That's alright Cerys, I need to send an owl to the school explaining my absence."
Hermione adroitly led their daughter over to the counter and helped her pour the mixture into a cake tray. "Cakes for breakfast?"
"Yep, Mum let me picked."
"Wow." Hermione kept Cerys occupied and oblivious while her wife quietly uttered the incantation that would give her access to the girls mind. Neither of them wanted to scare their daughter but they needed to know exactly what 'spell' had been performed so that they could take action if needed. Minerva had the skill and practice to slip in unnoticed and find what they needed.