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Chapter 4

Hermione quickly apparated home. Quietly, she opened the door to the house. "Mum? Dad?" She called out into the silence. She let out a quick breath of relief. Thanking Merlin her parents were both out, she went into her room. She quickly warded the door shut and began to cry.

She had just lost her job! Her job for Merlin's sake! How on earth was she supposed to be able to support herself or her baby?

She groaned. Already this was turning out to be a disaster. How on earth was she supposed to take care of a baby? She was so young! She didn't know anything about taking care of a child!

And who was going to help her? Surely not her friends, who'll turn their backs on her as soon as Ron tells them what she's done. Certainly not her own parents, who'll be so disappointed in their perfect child that they shun her as well. Definitely not any of her other friends. No, Hermione was alone with this. She would have to do this all by herself.

Burying her face into her pillow, she let out a shriek of frustration.

It just wasn't fair! She wished she could go back in time and do so many things different. She wouldn't have slept with Percy… she would have made more of an effort with her relationship with Ron.

But if you didn't sleep with Percy, you wouldn't be having a beautiful baby, her conscience chided her.

She knew her conscience was right. As much as she hated it, she couldn't bring herself to regret the turn of events that had led to her being pregnant. Her baby was a blessing in disguise, even though she didn't quite fully appreciate it yet.

And she knew Percy wasn't at fault. He was a great guy, really, despite everyone's negativity concerning him. Personally, Hermione had always liked him, she had just never thought of him in a romantic way.

Oh but you know what they say Hermione, drunken words are sober thoughts.

She huffed, burying her face in her pillow. Yes, she had to admit she was slightly attracted to Percy, but that didn't mean anything!

Of course it does, because you're having a child with him.

Hermione let out another shriek, succumbing to the wave of tears that was building up.

About a half hour later, Hermione finished throwing her fit. She knew crying about her problems wouldn't make them disappear. Walking into the bathroom, she fixed her hair and straightened out her skirt.

Hermione knew she needed to get her things from Ron's flat. She also knew she wouldn't be able to do it alone. Therefore, she went to the only person who would still help her.

With a small pop, Hermione apparated to Diagon Alley. She pulled her cloak around her head tightly, because she just didn't want to be seen.

She quickly made her way down the busy street towards the Joke Shop. She knew George would help her, no questions asked. That's one of the things she loved about him.

She slipped inside, quietly closing the door behind her. The shop was bursting full of people, as always. Moving towards the back, she approached the counter.

Verity moved towards the counter. "Can I help you Miss?"

Hermione lowered her hood. "Is George in the back?"

"Oh Hermione, I didn't even know it was you." She pulled up the counter so Hermione could get by. "He's in his flat. Go on up."

Hermione smiled, offering Verity a "thanks," and walked up the stairs to George's apartment. She knocked on the door, waiting for George.

He opened a moment later, smiling when he saw Hermione. Reaching down, he picked the small girl up, bringing her into a bear hug.

Hermione let out a small gasp, but hugged him tightly in return. George was like a brother to her and she loved him dearly.

George put her down and motioned for her to come inside. "What are you doing here Mione?" He asked, moving to put on the water for some tea.

Hermione bit her lip, fumbling with her fingers. "Did you hear?" She asked softly, afraid of his answer.

George sent her a puzzled look, motioning for her to sit down on the couch. He sat next to her, taking in her worried appearance. "Hear what Mione? You know I don't really talk to the others."

Hermione let out a sigh. She was both happy and sad that he didn't know. Biting her lip, she decided to tell him the truth… well, part of it anyways. "Ron and I broke up."

George's eyebrows shot up. He had thought the two of them were happy together, at least that's how it had seemed. What could have happened to tear them apart?

Hermione took a deep breath. "I don't know how to say this, but I…" she trailed off, trying not to cry. She could feel her eyes watering.

George rubbed her shoulder affectionately. "You can tell me Hermione." He said softly.

Her brown eyes stared into his blue ones, and she let out a sigh. She would have to do it quick, just like ripping off a Band-Aid. "I cheated on him, and I'm pregnant."

She screwed her eyes up, not wanting to see his reaction. She shuddered as a sob wracked her body, the tears now sliding down her cheeks.

Suddenly, she felt a set of arms wrap around her, pulling her close. She breathed in George's fresh scent and a new wave of tears came on.

Hermione didn't know why she told George. She hadn't planned on it, but once she saw him, she just couldn't help it. She knew he would understand. He was kind and caring, and deep down, Hermione needed someone to know.

"Hey now," George said softly, wiping away her tears. He pulled away from Hermione, looking at her face. "I'm not mad at you."

Hermione raised her eyebrows. "Really? How can you not be? I'm mad at myself…. I hate myself," she whispered, horrified at herself.

George leaned forward, pressing a kiss to her forehead. "Hermione, you're like my little sister and I'll love you no matter what. Sure, this was unexpected, but I know you'll be just fine."

"But Ron! He's so angry George, and oh Merlin, can you imagine what he's telling your mother? Harry?" Hermione buried her face in her hands.

George bit his lip. No doubt Ron was being a jerk about it. He looked at her sobbing form and felt his heart squeeze. He couldn't even imagine the emotional turmoil she was going through right now.

"Hey, Hermione, shush." He said, pulling her in for another hug. "Everything will be all right, you know I love you, and I'll support you, financially, emotionally, whatever it is you need."

Hermione looked up at George, a small smile on her face. She sniffled, wiping away some tears. "You're the best," she said, giving him a small smile.

The kettle whistled, and George got up to make them both some tea. George always made them tea. He placed it in front of Hermione, putting a cooling charm on it.

She picked it up and sipped at it, releasing a small sigh. Closing her eyes, she took a few deep breaths, then another sip of tea. She repeated the process for a few minutes, calming herself down.

George watched with a small smile on his face. Hermione was going to be a brilliant Mum, even if she didn't believe it herself yet. With some encouragement on his part, he knew she'd be ready. They would worry about everyone else later.

Hermione opened her eyes, feeling much more relaxed. "George, before you ask, I know who the father is, but I'm just not ready for him to know." She said quietly.

George bit his lip. "Is it someone I know?"

Hermione nodded quietly.

"You know," he said gently, "You'll have to tell him at some point."

Hermione let out a sigh. "I know, I just can't right now." She looked up at George. "Don't tell anyone. I'm not ready…. Although I'm sure Ron's already put it in the Daily Prophet." She rolled her eyes.

George smiled. "All right." Hermione would be fine; he'd make sure of it.

Hermione opened her mouth to speak, but was cut off by a knock on the door.

"George?" A distinct male voice cried out.

Hermione would know that voice anywhere. "Percy," she whispered. Hermione immediately stood. "Don't tell him I'm here," she said, running into George's bedroom and locking the door.

George raised his eyebrows. That was rather unusual.