"Harry Potter!" Harry and Ron turned to watch an irate Hermione Granger-Weasley storm past the Auror Office cubicles, trampling through the detritus of last night's pizza run. Their lunch-break sandwiches were held limply in their hands, forgotten, as Hermione's frazzled hair literally crackled with energy. One bushy tress passed by a wizarding wireless and Harry could have sworn he saw sparks actually fly before the machine shorted out in a loud "pop!" of sizzling static.
Filled with a sudden, ominous desperation, he turned quickly to his partner and urged, "C'mon Ron! Distract her!"
Ron looked at Harry incredulously, "Sorry mate. More than my life's worth, that is. Last time she shorted out a wireless was back when I accidentally put Crooks in with the wash."
Both men took a moment to shudder. By this point, the vengeful electromagnetic deity was nearly upon them, and Ron chose the better part of valour by scarpering out of the Auror Office with his half-eaten sarney in tow.
Harry ran his sandwich-free hand through his hair and followed up with a nervous shove to the bridge of his glasses.
"Erm... hi Hermione. How's things in Creatures today?"
She was almost vibrating with righteous indignation, and Harry was certain now that those were indeed sparks flying from her infamous mane.
"Don't you "Hi" me, Harry James Potter! Do you know what I've just been doing?"
Harry wanted to ask if the escalating screeching were an indication of having been practicing Mermish, but after a wayward spark singed his robes, only managed a strangled, "Meep?"
"I've just been having lunch with your wife. Your pregnant wife. You remember her, don't you Harry? The woman whose very promising career your misogynist pig-headed self ruined—"
"She quit the Harpies a year ago! She said she couldn't go another day dealing with..." Harry trailed off realising that now was perhaps not the most opportune time to mention Gin's personal nemisis, 'broom hair'. Luckily, Hermione didn't notice as she was already in with the next accusation.
"The woman who selflessly abandoned the name she was born with to meet your antiquated, macho—"
"Hey! She was the one who said there were already too many Weasleys in the world and it was time to start repopulating the place with Potters!"
Hermione would not be deterred, "The woman who—due to your sperm—" she punctuated the last two words with vicious pokes to his chest.
"It's not like they got there on their own, you know," Harry muttered mulishly.
She continued without a break, "—is now facing months of anguish,-"
Harry couldn't really argue there. He'd already heard quite a bit on the subject from the lady herself during the first two months, and nothing says "keep it in your pants forevermore or else" like getting decked after the third round of morning sickness.
"—only to be told that she won't even have a say in her own child's name! How could you, Harry?"
At this point Hermione gave up with the finger stabbing and gave him a two-handed shove—hard. And then she grabbed his sandwich out of his hand and threw it in his face. He interjected when he saw her looking around his desk for other things to pelt him with.
He dodged a crumpled violet interoffice memo.
A pencil missed his ear and embedded in the cubicle wall behind him.
"What Harry? What? What do you have to say for yourself, you big... big... Urgh! You man, you!"
He grabbed her wrists and rescued his favourite coffee cup from certain death-by-smashing and looked her calmly in the eyes.
"Hermione, Ginny named an owl, "Pig".
Hermione was still breathing heavily, sparks trailing into dusty cinders on the floor.
"A tiny owl, Hermione. "Pig". We'd be better off asking Luna to name the baby than letting Gin have a go at it."
An inelegant snort drifted up from the mass of gradually deflating hair that hid Hermione's face as she came down from what Ron had secretly dubbed "the beast high".
"And don't forget "Arnold the Purple Pygmy Puff". Seriously, Hermione—would you let her pick your kids' names? Even a middle name?"
Hermione raised her flushed face and gave a sheepish grin. "I guess honouring the dead through baby names isn't so bad in that context. Then again, you could ask the godmother for help..."
Now it was Harry's turn to snort. "Hermione, I love you, but you'd probably name the boy "Charles Richard Andrew", or something like that."
"Hey! What's wrong with those names! They're... wait a minute—you!"
She punched him in the arm.
"I'm never going to live down Spew, am I?
Harry put an arm around her now slightly dejected and slumped shoulders.
"Nope!" he grinned cheerfully. "But at least you've finally learned to pronounce it right."
She turned and smiled at him, before her eyes suddenly grew round as saucers.
"Hold on... did you say... "boy"?"
Harry's grin stretched so wide it nearly split his face in half.
"Yup—a son." He radiated manly pride. "Didn't she tell you?"
Hermione's trademark mega-watt special beaming smile quickly switched back to her earlier sheepish grin.
"Erm, I may have, sort of..."she mumbled the next part rapidly, "jumped up and left her at the caf before she got a chance to."
Harry chuckled, "Well, at least you didn't abandon my pregnant wife during a meal with no explanation just to check the library, but instead for something really important... like yelling at me."
Hermione's grin turned sly and she stuck her chin in the air. "I'm sure she'd agree."
They both laughed and Harry started leading her out into the main corridor of the DMLE, looking for wherever Ron had made his escape to.
"So tell me, Hermione, when are you and Ron going to make a godmother out of She-who-should-not-be-allowed-to-name?"
Hermione gave him an incredulous look, one not too dissimilar to the look he'd received from Ron earlier, Harry noted.
"Are you kidding me? Did you not hear the part about months of anguish? Why on earth would I want to put myself through that?"
"So that all of us can look forward to a lifetime of taking the piss out of little Sarah Harriet Rosalind Elizabeth for the rest of her untamed life?"
By the time Hermione had processed what he had said and the various implications therein, Harry was already halfway to the lifts, his ringing laughter echoing back to her frustrated war cry.
He looked back at her and smirked. Hermione's hair was starting to shoot off again like a party sparkler. He'd have to plan something really big to wind her up with for the next Guy Fawkes night.
...he'd just have to make sure she was already next to the bonfire, first.
AN: Harry's not always one with the snappy comebacks (though he's had his moments), but I can just picture him during his quiet brooding times thinking up inappropriate acronyms for Hermione's kids... and then his own. ;-)
Well, there it is- my first completed fiction story ever. If you have any suggestions or tips for improving my tone, voice, rhythm, or anything else in this or my other stories, I'd be much obliged. Thanks!
PS- A very big thank you to Moonlit Lightning whose advice helped me clean this up and paved the way for a better foundation in the stories I've posted since. I really appreciate it!