Off to the Races
Hermione Granger, twenty-nine and three quarters going on forty, or at least that's how she felt. She had always felt older than she really was, but this time it left her in a panic. It had been years since the war ended and since her brief relationship with Ron that ended mutually.
And in those years, she had remained a close friend to him through all of his relationships. She was always his voice of reason, or so he liked to tell her when he was intoxicated. Hermione loved Ron. And it took that kiss in the middle of war and a few dates after the war to realize that they were better off as friends. Ron had agreed. Hermione supposed it was because they worked so much better at a friend-level than at anything more.
Over the years Hermione had gone on several dates with co-workers as well as old Hogwarts classmates, but sadly she never felt that click. That magical click you feel with someone when you truly bond; truly get one another. She never felt it once, but she didn't let it bother her. She had plenty of time to find that one person that would metaphorically sweep her off her feet.
But now that she was looking age thirty in the face she couldn't help but feel that panic. The panic that set of sirens in your head and screamed at you, "Your time is running out". And Hermione knew that scientifically her time wasn't running out, but she couldn't help but feel that way. Maybe it was all the announcements in the Daily Prophet of her former classmates settling down. Maybe that's what put her mind in a tizzy.
Because she wasn't one to panic over something she didn't have any power over. If Fate was indeed real, then Fate would let the man show up when he must, not when she wanted. That was how it worked. She tried to keep a sensible head about these things, but she threw that out the window when Ginny and Harry announced that they were expecting their first child.
Something that Hermione had always thought about when she started planning her life out. She wanted to be a mother. And she was jealous of the stability that Ginny and Harry had. And jealousy wasn't something that she liked attached to her name. The only other time she really could compare to the jealousy she felt now was when Lavender Brown was snogging Ron during the after party in sixth year. It didn't mean that she wasn't happy that Ginny and Harry were living a life that she wanted. She knew that Harry deserved it after everything he had been through.
But didn't she deserve to be happy as well? Didn't she deserve to have a family and be surrounded by the people she loved most? She knew she did and she didn't know why she was so obsessed with the idea of being married and having a family. Maybe it was that damn invisible clock that was ticking away over her head that kept telling her that her time was running out.
Hermione wanted to shoot the bloody clock.
"'Mione, did you hear anything I just said?" Ron asked exasperated.
"What?" She said looking around. "No, I'm so sorry Ron! What did you say?"
The redhead crossed his long arms and scowled at her. "I thought you were the one who paid attention?"
"I'm sorry Ronald. My mind seems to be somewhere else today. What did you say? I promise I'm paying attention this time," she said reaching over the small café table and took his hand in hers and giving him a genuine smile.
Ron's gave her a look before the scowl he wore slid from his face. He sighed and uncrossed his arms.
"What I was saying was that Harry and Ginny want us to come over for a celebratory dinner tonight. They said that they wanted to ask us something."
Hermione nodded. "Ron, can I ask you something?" Hermione inquired hesitantly.
"Sure, Hermione. You can ask me anything, you know that," his blue eyes were honest and caring as he looked at her.
That's what Hermione loved about Ron. She could tell anything he was thinking or feeling through his eyes. It seemed what they said was true, the eyes were the windows to the soul, at least with Ron it was.
Hermione gave him a quick smile before she plowed on. "Do you ever feel like you're running out of time? That if you don't settle down right now you miss all the things you want in life?" She asked in quick succession.
Ron looked at her for a moment before he looked away seemingly lost in thought.
"Sometimes, yeah," he finally answered.
Hermione gave a sigh of relief. "I thought I was insane for feeling this way. I'm almost thirty and I feel like if I don't settle down now that I'll be alone for the rest of my life, which is crazy talk! I'm still young. I still have time. And I'm so happy for Gin and Harry, but I just want the same thing, you know?"
"Yeah, I want that too, but we have time. You won't be alone for the rest of your life and neither will I. We just haven't found the right people yet."
"I know, I know," she sighed. "I've just been thinking about this a lot and I think I'm driving myself crazy. That's all."
"Well, relax. Just let things happen. That's all you really can do."
Hermione gave Ron a bright smile. Sometimes Ron had his insightful moments and times like these when she was driving herself crazy with thoughts about babies and a nameless, faceless husband, she needed to hear the little things from someone who cares.
"Thanks Ron, I really needed to hear that."
"You're welcome 'Mione. So I'll see you at Harry and Gin's later?"
Ron got up from the table and gave her one last smile before walking back to the Ministry.
Hermione sat there for a moment longer before she got up and headed back to the Ministry as well.
Hermione looked at herself in the mirror in her bedroom. She sighed at her reflection. Hermione knew she was pretty, but not in the way that most people thought women her age were. Her face was bare of make-up today. Usually when she went to work she put on the minimal amount (mascara, light eyeliner, and lip gloss). Her hair, less frizzy than her Hogwarts days, hung around her shoulders. She looked…normal, almost plain.
No wonder no one wanted her. Hermione turned from the mirror and continued to get dressed. She had to be at Harry and Ginny's in ten minutes. She shrugged off her morose thoughts and apparated to their house.
"Hello?" She called out.
"We're in the kitchen!" Ginny answered.
Hermione walked the familiar tread down the stairs and into the kitchen. Ginny was standing over the stove with her back to Hermione. Harry was nowhere to be seen.
"Do you need any help?" Hermione asked as she neared the redhead.
"Oh, no! I'm fine. I'm just finishing up," she said giving her a smile over her shoulder.
Hermione sat down at the long wooden table and waited for Ginny to finish.
"He and Ron are upstairs doing something. Merlin knows what honestly," she said sitting down on the bench next to Hermione.
Hermione gave her a smile. Ron and Harry were always up to something. "And how are you feeling?"
"Fine. Nothing major has happened, yet and let's hope it stays that way. My mum told me about some horrifying stories about her pregnancies and I hope that I am lucky enough to avoid all of it."
"Oh no. Let us hope, for your sake," Hermione giggled.
"Oh shush! You'll probably hear the same stories from mum when you're pregnant. Just you wait."
Hermione gave a fake laugh and a smile that she hoped seemed convincing enough. It seemed that no matter what the same subject came up. It was becoming quite sore.
Harry and Ron bounded down the stairs to greet them before Hermione's thoughts could go any further.
"Hello," Harry greeted Hermione with a peck on her cheek.
"Hello. What were the two of you doing up there? You're all sweaty."
Harry looked at himself as if her words made him notice for the first time. "We were fixing up one of the old bedrooms."
Ron gave her a knowing smile from behind Harry. Their conversation from earlier that day played before her eyes. She felt better knowing that she could talk to someone about her panicking. She returned his smile.
"Is dinner done, Gin?" Ron asked.
"Almost Ronald. Are you always hungry? Are you sure you're not the one pregnant instead of me," Ginny laughed.
Ron crossed his arms and harrumphed.
Harry and Hermione joined in Ginny's laughter. Ron was always a sight when it came to his temper.
"Oh settle down, Ron. I'm only joking," Ginny said when her giggling subsided.
Ron did. He uncurled his arms and his face became neutral.
"Dinner should be done by now anyway," Ginny said with a grin as she got up and checked on the food.
A smile spread across Ron's face. Of course the way to get him out of one of his moods was to give him food. The man hadn't changed one bit.
Hermione helped Ginny bring the food to the table as the boys sat around the table. She gave them a disapproving look before she sat down next to Ron. Ron immediately started loading his plate. Hermione, as did the rest of the occupants around the table, wrinkled her nose at his behavior.
"Ron your manners are ghastly," Hermione said spooning onto into her bowl.
"No th-ay awen't," he said through a spoonful of soup.
Harry raised an eyebrow at his best friend.
"No wonder you don't have a girlfriend Ron," Ginny giggled.
"Well, look at your manners. If a girl was to date you, it'd be like having a child around. How did you ever fancy him 'Mione?"
Hermione giggled. "I don't know. I must have been blinded by 'love'," Hermione said sarcastically.
"Hermione! I thought out of everyone at this table I could count on you to stand up for me."
"Sorry Ron, but your manners are terrible," she shrugged.
Ron pouted at her. "It seems it's me against the world," he sighed
"Oh Ron, stop being so dramatic," Harry laughed.
Ron ignored Harry's comment and continued to eat his soup, with respectable manners this time. Everyone at the table stared at him in shock before resuming their own eating.
"Oh! So Ron said you wanted to ask us something," Hermione said before the quiet stretched anymore.
"Yes! Thank you for reminding me," Ginny beamed at Hermione. She took Harry's hand and looked at him before she turned her head to look at Hermione and Ron again.
"We were wondering if the two of you want to be the godparents of our baby," Harry told them.
Ron's spoon clattered to the table.
"Really? You want 'Mione and I to be the godparents?" He asked in disbelief.
"Who else would we ask? You two are our best friends and family. We couldn't think of anyone else that would be more perfect than the two of you."
Ron smiled. "I'm honored."
Hermione's brown eyes looked into Harry's hopeful green ones and then at Ginny's equally hopeful brown ones. She gave them a smile.
"Of course I'd be honored to be the godmother of your child."
Harry and Ginny took twin sighs of relief and then smiled at her. "Thank you so much," Ginny said to her brother and Hermione.
"No, thank you for considering us," Hermione beamed.
And she was truly happy that they asked her and Ron. They were right. She and Ron were the perfect people to ask. They were the closest people to them as well as family. A tingling sensation that felt something close to pride and excitement swirled around in Hermione's chest. The smile on her face was genuine and her newest thoughts that centered on her new panic were absent in that moment. She was happy for her friends and herself.
It had been a week and half since Ginny and Harry asked her to be the godmother of their child. Every time she thought of the idea and responsibility, her chest swelled with pride. It was fantastic to feel that way.
Hermione was reading the paper during her lunch break that Monday afternoon when she saw the advertisement that would change her life forever. There it was in black and white staring up at her, the answer to her prayers.
Wanting to start a family?
Continue reading and find out how.
St. Mungo's Hospital home of one of the largest sperm banks in all of England and Scotland. All of the hassle of having a child without the pesky man.
Stop in today for more details.
(Or if you would like to donate, stop on in. We pay by the Galleon!)
Hermione stared at the advertisement for a few minutes wondering if something that lewd could be real. And she wondered next why it intrigued her so much. Maybe the line, "All the hassle of having a child without the pesky man", was what caught her attention. It was a sure fire way of having the child her uterus and brain was screaming at her to have without worrying about Mr. Right.
But everything would be so backwards. No man really wanted her now nonetheless with a child that wasn't his, but it was the twenty first century and things have changed. She was a strong woman. She was in Gryffindor for crying out loud. She had a fantastic job at the Ministry.
So why couldn't she have a baby by herself? It would probably be ideal for her. She could raise her child the way she wanted without anyone telling her different. The more she thought about this idea, the more she started to like the sound of it. Hermione Granger, single mother, strong and fearless.
But the weird thing is that the sperm that she would use could be anyone's. She could know this person and never know that that person had helped father her child. They wouldn't even know unless she found out where the sperm was from and told them about it. No, that would just be awkward. She would leave it up to Fate, as she always did.
Folding the paper she realized that she only had five minutes until her break was over. She placed the paper under her arm and walked back to her job whistling. Her life was heading in a new direction and she couldn't be more excited. With her birthday around the corner and she was now armed with a plan, the panic and alarms had finally dimmed and she could easily place them in the back of her mind.
As Hermione sat at her desk and back to work, she couldn't help but think of the advert in the paper. She was strangely excited about the unknown. Now to tell her friends the plan and hopefully they won't freak out. It was her decision and she was going to do it regardless with or without their approval.
Hermione was nervous as she prepared the table that night for dinner with her friends. Maybe she should have done it in public, no; this was the best way to break the news. Hermione heard the floo activate and knew that someone was coming through. Hermione doubled and triple checked the table and the food and waited for whoever was coming in the living room.
Ginny appeared and Harry did a moment later.
"Hello 'Mione," Harry greeted, walking over to hug her. Ginny followed suit.
"Hello," she gave them a shaky smile.
"Are you okay?" Ginny asked furrowing her brows.
"Yeah, I just have news for you all. Whenever Ronald gets here, we can start eating and then I'll tell you."
At the mention of food, the floo activated once again emitting Ronald Weasley.
"Speak of the devil," Hermione muttered.
"Lo!" He said to the room.
They all greeted him and Hermione ushered them into the dining room where everything was set up.
"Everything looks great, Hermione. This news has to huge if you cooked dinner and dessert," Ron jibed.
"Ha-ha! Well, it is quite a bit of news, but before we talk about that eat up."
Ron didn't have to be told twice as he starting placing large quantities of food on his plate. The rest waited until he got his fill before they placed normal portions on their plate. They ate in comfortable silence, sometimes broken by idle chatter. Hermione took a deep breath when there was a lull in conversation.
Three sets of eyes looked up at her when she did. They must have caught on that she was about to spill the Bertie Botts.
"So, I have decided upon something that will be completely life-changing," the three other adults in the room looked at her to continue. "I don't know how you'll all react, but I just want to say I'm going to do this regardless of what you think. And if that makes me sound bitchy, I'm sorry, but it is my life after all," Hermione rambled.
"'Mione, just spit it out. We know how head strong you are and know that you do as you please," Harry said with a smile beginning to take over his features. It was both encouraging and kind.
Hermione let out a breath through her mouth. "Okay, so I've been panicking. I already talked to Ron about this a bit, but I definitely need to clue the two of you in as well. As we all know, I'll be thirty in a matter of a week. Thirty is a very big deal for a girl, I suppose. I feel like my time is running out. That I'm sitting here wasting my life and I have nothing to show for it, which isn't true in the slightest, but I mean I thought I would be married by and possibly be on my way to having my first or second child by now, but I'm not! I'm far from that.
"So yesterday I saw an ad in the Prophet and it was going on about wanting to have a family and not having to worry about a man to be around to give me to opportunity to have a child. It was a sperm bank. I know, I know! It sounds completely nuts, but I thought about it and I'm fiscally sound and I'm a strong woman. I could do this! And then I thought why the hell not. And I'm going to do this," she finished.
Three pairs of eyes stared at her like she was, in fact, insane. And Hermione kind of felt that she was in that moment. After telling her friends her plan out loud, she sounded insane. Maybe she should locked herself in a padded room whilst she was at St. Mungo's. She waited in silence with bated breath.
"So let me get this straight, you want to have a baby and you're going to a sperm bank to have that chance because you feel that your time is running out?" Harry asked slowly.
"That is kind of crazy," Ginny piped up.
"I know, but what is life without a few risks."
"But it could be virtually anyone!" Ron said next.
"I know. I've thought about that, but the thing is that I wouldn't know that and neither would they so it's not like it matters."
"But it could be anyone!" Ron said again.
"I know that, Ronald! And I'm willing to take that chance."
They lapsed into quiet once again.
She wasn't sure if they knew what to say to her and she wasn't quite sure what to say to them either.
"I have a consultation in a few days actually," Hermione said quietly.
"What happens during this 'consultation'?" Ron asked.
"Well, they ask my preference and to see if I'm healthy enough to carry a child," Hermione said, her cheeks starting to burn. She felt ridiculous talking about this out loud. Her plan definitely sounded better and fool proof in her head and maybe that's where it should have stayed, but she knew that there was no going back.
She was in this for the long haul.
"Well, we'll support you no matter what. You know that, don't you?" Harry asked.
Hermione nodded. "Thank you, Harry."
"Of course. I mean, we've had some crazy plans over the years we were in Hogwarts, how is this any different?" He chuckled.
Hermione felt some of the tension in the room dissipate with his light joke.
"It's just another grand adventure," Hermione said smiling at her friends.
"You can say that again," Ron said.
Author's Note: If you read my other Dramione story I'm working on, don't worry. I'm still going to write it. This idea just kind of came out of left field and I couldn't wait to write it. So I hoped you liked it! Feedback would be lovely. Cheers. xx