On the day of her wedding, Hermione Granger (Weasley, she reminded herself) nearly damaged her dress as she paced in her room. It was just nerves, and it was perfectly natural on her wedding day, Ginny assured her. But Hermione just couldn't be calmed. When Ron had asked her to marry him nearly an entire year ago, Hermione had practically screamed Yes, yes, Ron! I've been waiting for you to ask me. And she had, she really had. After all she was surrounded by happy marriages and her parents had been asking about boys and boyfriends since she hit puberty. On the rare occasion that Nana Anne, her grandmother, visited, she would often relate her own romance, and had recently taken to asking Hermione to get on with it already.
"I'm not getting any younger, you know," said Nana Anne, her auburn hair having long since faded to gray, "I'm ninety four next spring, and your grandfather is already ninety eight. We'd like to see our great-grandchildren before we pass on."
That had been nearly three years ago already, and true enough Grandpa Richard had passed away without seeing his only grandchild married. Hermione swore her grandmother would get to see at least one great-grandchild. So she began laying hints to Ronald, here, there, everywhere. I'm ready for this, Ron. We aren't children. Think of your Mum, she'll be so happy to see her family grow. Aren't you serious about our relationship?
Eventually he caught on, and he proposed to her the day after Harry's wedding. And that was what led to Hermione's most troublesome day. She'd been looking forward to it so much, but once it had come, she was left with this terrible feeling. By the time she was walking down the aisle, her feet hurt from all the pacing; her makeup was all smeared by sweat. About halfway down, she realized she wasn't smiling. In fact, her face was showing a mixture of dread and horror.
For a moment she considered stopping the wedding—she couldn't do it, she just couldn't. Then she saw Harry. He was the best man, of course. He was looking at her, so reassuringly—you're doing fine, his emerald eyes seemed to say. It was no wonder he had no proficiency for occulumency. He was an open book. Hermione liked books, found power in books.
And so she took strength from him. She reached the end of the aisle, a smile on her face. She said her vows confidently, no hesitation, and when she kissed her groom, it was the face of the best man the saw.
One year later, Hermione glared at the healer in St. Mungos.
"You must be mistaken," Hermione said rather petulantly. "I've researched the signs of pregnancy over, and over, and over. I show all of them! I must be pregnant."
The healer gave a sympathetic look to Hermione. It was the fourth time Hermione had come. "You were just ill, Mrs. Weasley. I'm afraid you've misinterpreted the signs. You are not with child." The witch was about to ask Hermione for a payment, but stopped. "Perhaps… you've chosen the wrong spouse for such things."
Hermione looked towards her, shocked. "Wh..what do you mean?"
"The Weasleys are pureblood, Mrs. Weasley. That means inbreeding, even if they aren't crazy about it like some families. This can have a variety of bad effects…including infertility."
Six months later, Harry and Ginny became the proud parents of James Sirius Potter. And Hermione was the proud parent of no one. Her grandmother had been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, and Hermione's time was running out.
I've done good things with my life, she thought, I fought Voldemort and his Death Eaters. I've reformed the Ministry. Is it too much that I ask for this one thing? One child to introduce my grandmother to, before she passes on?
She thought about her imaginary child again and again. They'd have wavy red hair, like their father and his family, and Hermione's mother, and all the bravery of the Weasleys and all of her intelligence.
This child will never exist though. The healer was right, Hermione thought. Ron will never have a child. But perhaps Hermione would. There are plenty of options in the muggle world, she thought. She decided to tell Ron. It would hurt him, but certainly less than pretending that this wasn't happening. As she stormed in after another St. Mungos visit, she was preparing to blurt it out—the sooner it was out the better. If she waited, even long enough to see his face, she wouldn't be able to go through with it.
"You can't have kids!" she said as the came through the door.
"Well, apparently I can," came Harry's bitter voice. Hermione stopped in her tracks.
"Oh! Harry, I, er…" she had no idea how to explain this, so she just stood there, blushing. Harry looked a mess. His hair was messier, his eyes were slightly bloodshot, his clothes were a mess, as if thrown on quickly. Hermione snapped herself away from his body. But, oh, he looked so brilliant in her eyes. And his eyes spoke more in a moment than Ron ever did.
"So Ron can't have kids?" Harry snorted, "Figured."
Hermione's eyes widened. "You knew? Does he know?"
"Course he doesn't know. I'm not telling my best friend that. He'd be devastated. And what would he tell Molly?"
"We can't not tell him!"
Harry looked her in the eye, questioning her and assuring her at once. "We can't tell him. It's the moral dilemma of telling a friend something that will hurt them. Can you hurt your friend Hermione?" Hermione slowly shook her head, not knowing when her husband had gone back to friend territory.
"So…why are you here?" she said.
Harry looked down, a look of shame on his face. "I…made a mistake Hermione. With Ginny. With her, our marriage, with…" Harry blushed at the last part, and for a moment he looked up at Hermione, and then he turned away.
"What? But I thought you two were happy together!" Hermione said with shock on her face.
"We were…until about ten months ago." Hermione scowled. That was around the time James had been conceived. Harry continued, "We were… making love and…and I said your name." Hermione gasped, and the memory of kissing Ron, but seeing Harry, resurfaced. "She was so upset…I've never seen her so upset. She named James, to try and make me happy I think, but since that day I've realized…I married the wrong woman." Harry stepped closer to her. "I should have married you." Harry stepped closer, shaking his head. "I did it again earlier. I saw you while I made love to Ginny, so I came here to talk to your husband. He's my best friend after all." He let out a bitter laugh. "Can you believe I honestly thought it would be happily ever after? I'm in love with my best friend's wife. And married to his sister. And I will never have the woman I truly love." Hermione stared Harry in the eyes for nearly an entire minute.
And then she pulled his face against hers, and began exploring every part of him she'd only ever imagined.
Nearly ten months later she and Ron were holding Rose Weasley, cooing over the red headed baby. Harry arrived and was the third person to hold the baby. He met Hermione's eyes, and they spoke without words.
They came to an agreement. It wouldn't be the last time they made love, nor would it be the last time they hide it from Ron. The truth hurts, after all.
Hello. I've reposted this, renamed it, edited it, yada yada. To any and all reader who know me, sorry about my recent inactivity. Been busy in college.
Onto another thing: I am pissed. I got a message last week telling me that this story had been removed for "infracting the guidelines." Let me tell you, that is BS! I think I posted an AN once, half a year ago. And removed it almost immediately.
I'll continue this rant later this week or something, when I'm not so pissed.
Anyways, I hope everyone enjoyed this. I'll be reposting the chapters every few days.