*Doppler: a hand-held device that uses ultrasound waves to pick up and often measure the heartbeat of a fetus while it is still within the womb.
Where are we?: My world. In my world, it's 5 years after Deathly Hallows. Harry and Hermione are engaged and living together.
Disclaimer: I'm not making money from this, nor do I own any characters or likewise contained therein. If I was, things would have ended differently.
A/N: On a side note, RL has been hectic lately. I'm beta-reading four stories, I have musical (yes, you read that correctly) practice every night, and I've got my education to worry about. Sorry if the updates to this story take a little while.
Also, in case you haven't read my D/G stories, you should probably know that I rather like that pairing. I like Draco and believe that, with a little Post-DH groveling, he might have become a rather good friend to the Trio.
I also understand that not everyone likes this viewpoint of Draco. However, since this is my story, he'll be in and out of it throughout its entirety. I would appreciate it if you could please try to accept this.
The Doppler Effect
Of all the places she'd expected to be on New Year's Eve, alone in the bathroom wasn't one of them.
She'd expected to be spending it with Harry, probably alone or with others (something romantic, like dinner, or fun and social, like hosting a small gathering for their friends). And then Harry had actually proposed having a few people over and she'd heartily agreed because it sounded like fun.
But now she's in the bathroom.
She'd really love nothing more than to join everyone—with the countdown to next year coming down to just twelve minutes—but instead she's pacing the floor between the shower and the sink and throwing anxious glances at the counter every five seconds.
To be completely honest, she can't remember the last time that she was this nervous about anything. And she'd been through a lot in her lifetime, too, so that's saying a lot. No test had ever made her this anxious—she'd always been great at taking tests. But that might be a problem now.
Hermione stops her pacing and frowns at herself in the mirror over the sink. "It won't be a problem," she says softly, angry at her head for even thinking that.
It will be a miracle. An absolutely wonderfully beautiful miracle.
She wants to think about how she'll react to either outcome, but can't get past the knot in her stomach. Even if it'll be a miracle, it doesn't mean she's not terrified.
And she really is terrified. She's only 23—still surprisingly young, even if she's been able to climb of the rungs of success at the Ministry these past five years with amazing agility. Sure she's smart, she's always been smart, and sure she's in a loving relationship with the only man in her life that she's ever loved. But they're only engaged and the wedding isn't for another month. And how will he react if she actually is…What about their flat, surely it isn't big enough…
She swallows thickly and checks her watch, sighing audibly when she sees that only three minutes have passed since she set the small, white stick on the counter. Seven to go.
Walking over to the toilet, she sits down on the closed lid and crosses her legs, folding her hands and rubbing the tips of her thumbs together. It takes almost all of her willpower to keep from grabbing the white stick off the counter and looking early. But she's always had great self-control, so she bites her lip and looks around the bathroom instead.
There's really not a lot to look at. It's small—like the rest of the flat—but well-decorated (she'd gone shopping with her mom when she moved in and redecorated with Harry the next day). Really, it's not that it's too small, but maybe they need something bigger.
Especially if this test comes out the way she thinks it might.
It's not as if they don't have the money to. With one of them the seeker to the Falmouth Falcons and the other Senior Undersecretary to the head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, they actually have more money than they know what to do with. It's just that, between their work and planning the wedding for the past four months, they've had a little much on their plates. So they never really got around to looking at houses.
She makes a mental note to bring it up, even if the test proves her wrong. It's something to do, anyway.
As lost in thought as she is, Hermione jumps when she hears a knock on the door. Her eyes grow wide and she tries to think through how to respond (she imagines herself bolting up and hiding the white stick on the counter for a second, but bites her lip harder instead).
It's Harry. She'd know his voice anywhere.
Her stomach lurches and she looks around the room, trying to think of a way to not sound suspiciously secretive. She ends up just saying, "Yes?" in a clear voice she's rather proud of.
"It's almost midnight and Ron and Ginny were complaining about not seeing you," he says through the door.
"Um…yeah, sure…I'll be right out."
She expects him to leave immediately, but, instead, he lowers his voice and says, "Are you feeling alright? I know you haven't been feeling well these past few days."
He's right; she hasn't. But that's what made her start to suspect that something was off in the first place, after all. She'd been sick every morning for the past week and a half—something that might have been caused by some sort of flu bug. And, just when she'd almost convinced herself that the flu is what it had to be, she'd missed her period.
Frowning, she tries to think of ways to say, 'I'm fine,' as well as, 'I need to talk to you.' A sentence that holds both doesn't come to her in the appropriate time limit, so, instead, she quietly says, "Come in," and goes back to biting her lip.
After another moment, the bathroom door opens slowly and Harry peeks his head in. "What's wrong?" he asks as he steps in the room, leaving the door open behind him.
When he first came to talk to her, he'd wanted to remind her that they have guests to host and that there are only four more minutes left of this year, and he'd much rather spend those minutes with her. Now, however, he can't think of anything but the worry in his chest when he sees her sitting on the closed toilet lid. Scenarios of something bad—like a terrible disease—cross his mind and he practically has to shake his head violently to remove them.
Hermione's nose twitches as he kneels on the ground in front of her, raising her hand up to press her palm into the skin on his neck. "You know how I've been sick lately?" she asks, knowing that if she beats around the bush, she'll never actually get to the big part. He nods slowly, eyebrows drawn over his forehead with worry. She pulls her free hand up towards the faint worry lines on the skin below his hairline, working the tension away with her fingertips.
Without saying anything else, she nods to the counter and he turns to look at it, eyes pausing on the white test lying on it. His eyes are filled with shock at first and she watches his face for a reaction, frown growing when comprehension dawns on his face.
He looks back at her a few seconds later and tilts his head as he looks at her. "How much longer till it's ready?" he asks slowly, trying not to give away any of his emotions.
"What time is now?"
He glances at his watch. "11:58."
She closes her eyes for a moment as her head clears of all thoughts, panic blooming behind her eyelids. "It should be ready."
When she opens her eyes, he's looking at her worriedly, and she turns to look at the test still lying on the counter. Carefully, she pulls her hand away from his face and reaches towards it, almost cursing when her hand seems to move more slowly than normal. Her fingers close around the test and she draws it closer to her, holding it up to face her and closing her eyes against the results.
On the test, harshly contrasted against the white background, a tiny pinkish-purple plus sign stares back at her expectantly. Her eyes widen a bit and she stops breathing for a second, stopping only when she looks up at Harry. Brown meets green and he tilts his head again, eyebrows drawing back together as he waits for her to tell him what it says.
A million thoughts seem to spread through her mind, as well as so many emotions that she's surprised she hasn't been rendered unconscious yet. All at once, she feels like crying, screaming, jumping for joy, and fainting.
She settles with smiling widely, instead, though, because they've created life. They made another person. Their love has form now. An actual, palpable person that they made.
And then she doesn't know how to tell him this news. This amazing news—the best piece of information she's ever had the privilege to know—that she wants to share him. Her throat catches when she opens it (she imagines that it's probably all the different ways to say, "I'm pregnant." Because she's pregnant. She's pregnant, pregnant, pregnant, pregnant, pregnant).
Her mouth opens into an, 'O', that she isn't sure how to get rid of and she sucks in a breath before smiling a little and tearfully whispering, "I'm pregnant, Harry."
Harry's eyes grow wider than she thought possible, and, for a moment, she finds herself slightly afraid of how he might react to this news. Before her mind can expand on that, though, he's grinning like mad and tears fill his eyes. "You are?" he asks, and a tear leaks out from his eye and rolls down his cheek slowly.
She nods and cups his face in her hands, brush the tear off with her thumb. "We're going to have a baby."
Without another word, he backs out of her touch and pulls her to her feet quickly, wrapping his arms around her waist and spinning her around as he laughs. Her knees lock into his waist and she puts her arms around his neck, pressing her smile into his cheek as he says, "We're going to be parents, Hermione Granger," still spinning her in circles.
He stops spinning after a moment and she draws her face back to get a good look at him. "We're going to be parents," she repeats with a nod that makes his grin grow wider. She takes a moment to think about how he looks, smiling and crying like he is, eyes filled with wonder and hope as they inspect her face.
He leans up and kisses her and she wonders if she'll be able to be an arms length away from him for a few days. This wonderful feeling needs to be shared and he's the only one in the world she'd want to share it with.
In their living room, Ron looks past Draco, Luna, and Neville at his sister and gives her a smile. "Happy New Year!" he yells to everyone as they hug one another (Ginny being the only one to hug Draco) and the clock turns to 12:00 A.M.
From inside the bathroom, just as the tiny minute hand ticks past the twelve, they hear an excited yell from the bathroom. "I'm gonna be a dad!"
Frowning, Luna gives the others a look. "That's an odd resolution."
There's the first chapter. Let me know what you think.