Challenge: 24. While Horcrux-hunting, Hermione reveals that she might be pregnant. She also reveals that she's been sleeping with both of them. So which of the boys is the Daddy? And how will this affect the Horcrux hunt?
Summary: Hermione paces when she is worried. She bites her lip when she is confused. She pulls her hands into her sleeves when she is nervous.
Word Count: 2900
Notes: Apologies for the lateness. I hope you like it.
Hermione paces when she is worried. She bites her lip when she is confused. She pulls her hands into her sleeves when she is nervous.
So that fact she was doing all three at the same time worried Harry and Ron.
The boys sat in silence, waiting for Hermione. She was clearly agitated and they knew better than to try and force her to speak before she was ready.
“Okay,” Hermione said at last, stopping her pacing and standing to face the two boys who were sitting on the foot of her bed. “I have something to tell you and I’m not sure how.”
Harry and Ron were perplexed. “You can tell us anything, Hermione. You know that,” Harry replied.
“Just promise me you won’t say anything until I’m done.”
“Of course,” Ron said. At that point he thought he would agree to anything to get Hermione to relax.
Hermione took a deep breath. “I’m pregnant.”
Harry and Ron were too stunned to say anything and Hermione kept talking before she lost her nerve. “And I don’t know who the father is because I’ve been sleeping with both of you.”
Harry and Ron looked up at her in shock. Neither said anything and Hermione collapsed onto the bed opposite theirs, her eyes bright.
“The thing is … and I don’t know how to say this without it sounding stupid … but I love you both, probably more than I should. I know it was wrong of me and I’m very sorry but the truth is that it didn’t feel wrong because it was both of you. I mean, we’ve been doing almost everything together for nine years and I never imagined loving anyone but either of you. But I also never counted on being in love with both of you. And I know I’m rambling and this probably doesn’t make much sense but I’m really scared. Not just about being pregnant but about losing both of you because no matter what we have always been friends and I couldn’t stand-”
“Hey,” Harry said, having come and sat down next to her on the bed and putting his arm around her as she became visibly upset. She leaned into his chest, crying.
“I’m sorry,” she sobbed. “I’m so sorry.”
Ron slowly rose from the bed, kneeling on the floor in front of her and taking her hand in his. “Its okay, Hermione,” he said in what he hoped was a soothing tone.
Hermione gripped his hand tightly. “No,” she said softly, coming out of Harry’s embrace, wiping at her cheeks. “No, it’s not.”
The three friends sat in silence for a moment, the weight of the situation thick in the air.
“Look, this is a lot to deal with. I think we all need some time to think about what’s happened. But Hermione, I think I can speak for Ron when I say that no matter what happens, nothing will stop us from being friends. The three of us, we are meant to be friends for forever and nothing will change that, okay? So how about you go and take a warm bath and we’ll all get a good nights sleep and we’ll talk about it in the morning.”
Hermione nodded wearily. She gripped Ron’s hand once more and smiled weakly at Harry before standing and heading to the bathroom.
Ron sat next to Harry on the bed, the two boys sitting in silence together for a moment. Ron looked to Harry and said, “You knew, didn’t you? About Hermione and me?”
“I suspected, yeah.”
“Why didn’t you ever say anything?”
Harry shrugged. “I don’t know. I guess because … it seemed to work. It’s as though this is what we needed to keep ourselves sane as we go through this terrible experience. It might have been unconventional but it worked. Who am I to disrupt that?”
Ron just sat there, his head feeling like it would explode from so much information. But then he realised something. “Harry, I’m not angry. Why aren’t I angry? I should be angry - at you, at her - shouldn’t I?”
Harry shrugged helplessly in reply. “I don’t know. Probably. There are no rules for this kind of thing, Ron. You feel how you feel.”
Ron nodded, running a hand through his hair. “I …” He trailed off, seemingly out of words. He stood, looking down at Harry. “I’m calling it a night. I’ll see you in the morning.”
Harry nodded, managing a weak smile at him. “Goodnight, Ron.”
As it turned out, Ron was simply in shock and he woke up the next morning pissed off at both Harry and Hermione for what had happened. He packed his bags, saying he needed some time away to think things through. Harry and Hermione pleaded with him to stay, saying that the only way to work through what had happened was if he stayed. When all attempts at getting him to stay for them and their friendship failed, they tried another tack, saying how much they needed him for the hunt. However, Ron had already thought about that, declaring he was going back to Headquarters and helping from that end.
“What will you say, when everyone asks why you left us?” Hermione asked.
Ron shrugged. “Just that we had a fight. No need to go into the specifics.”
“Please, Ron,” Hermione begged. “Please stay. We need you, both of us.”
“You’ll be fine – you’ll have each other,” Ron said, bitterness creeping into his voice.
“You can’t just run away from this, Ron. You have to deal with it. We all have to deal with it,” Harry said, his voice placating.
Ron just looked at them for a moment. He could feel his resolve weakening. He might be mad at them, but that didn’t mean he wouldn’t feel the separation the same way they would.
But at last Ron took a deep breath and said, “I can’t deal with this right now. I’m sorry.” He picked up his bag, slinging it over his shoulder. “I’ll be in touch,” he said, and after briefly hugging Harry and Hermione, Ron apparated away.
Hermione and Harry just stood there, gaping at the vacated space before them for the longest time. It was Hermione who broke the stalemate, stumbling back and collapsing onto the couch.
“I can’t believe he left,” she whispered, her voice hoarse. She wiped at the tears that had cascaded down her cheeks before putting her head into her hands. Harry came to her side, putting an arm around her. He offered no words of comfort, for he had none to give.
They stayed like that for a long time.
Hermione came out of the bathroom, wiping the back of her hand across her mouth.
“Bad morning?” Harry asked.
Hermione nodded. “It’ll pass,” she said, resuming her place at the desk and continuing the paragraph on the medieval theories on souls. Harry looked at her for a moment, concern over her health obvious. The truth was it wasn’t just morning sickness making her ill; the stress of the hunt and the loss of Ron both weighed heavily on her, as they did him, and he knew these factors were probably exacerbating her morning sickness.
Harry and Hermione worked away in a companionable silence. That silence was broken by the soft pop of apparition.
There were only three people in the world who knew the location of their hideout. And so it was with disbelief that Harry and Hermione slowly raised their heads to see Ron standing in the middle of the room.
“Hi,” Ron said softly into the thickness of the room, apprehension clear on his face.
Hermione and Harry simply continued to gape at him. He shrugged off the satchel bag he had over his shoulder and folded his arms, shyly averting his eyes.
“Ron,” Hermione said at last.
Ron turned to her, smiling weakly. “Hey. How are you?”
Hermione just stared, icy cold. “I’m pregnant, you left two months ago and we haven’t heard from you since. How do you think I am?”
Ron winced. He turned to Harry, trying to gauge his feelings. Harry was sitting there, stunned into a stoic expression.
“Okay,” Ron sighed, taking a step back, running a hand through his hair. “I know I said I would be in touch and I haven’t. I know I hurt you when I left, but I had to leave. I had to take a step back from the situation to realise what was really going on and figure out how I felt and what I wanted.”
Hermione stood slowly, the two boys turning to her. She stood there for a moment before putting a hand to her mouth and hastening to the bathroom.
Ron turned to Harry after the slamming of the door. Harry stood, coming around to stand by Ron.
“How are you doing, Harry?”
“Yeah, alright, all things considered. You?”
“Okay.” He paused. “All things considered.” Ron shifted on the spot for a moment before asking, “How is Hermione? Really?”
Harry sighed. He met Ron’s eye and said, “She misses you. I miss you.”
Ron reached out and gripped Harry’s shoulder. “I’ve missed you both too. You wouldn’t believe how much.”
Harry’s lips tugged upwards in a reluctant smile. “Oh, I think we would.”
Ron grinned, squeezing Harry’s shoulder. Which was how Hermione found them when she came out of the bathroom.
The two boys sobered, Ron dropping his hand. She silently moved past them and sat on the couch. Harry and Ron slowly followed.
There was a tense silence for a moment before Hermione turned to Ron and said, “Okay, Ron, you said you needed to figure out how you felt. So how do you feel?”
“In a word: terrified. I’m terrified of how much you both mean to me.” Ron stood and began pacing in front if them. “I left because I needed to figure out what I wanted. But all I want is you. I want my best friends. I might have left, but I thought about you every hour of every day. I can’t imagine my life without you. I won’t deny that I was angry and hurt about what happened. This isn’t what I imagined for you and me, Hermione.” He met Hermione’s eye, and he saw regret in her bright eyes. But he also saw her resolve, and he loved her all the more for it. “But the truth is … you were right, Harry,” he added, turning his attention to his green-eyed friend. “It did work. This is what works for us. Maybe it’s because of everything we have gone through, but we need each other. It’s unconventional and I don’t think anyone will understand, but we’re family, and we love each other.”
Ron collapsed back on the sofa, throwing his head back and closing his eyes, as though his confession had physically exhausted him. No one said anything for a moment, each of them thinking and feeling too much for speech to be a viable option.
Hermione reached out and laced her fingers through Ron’s. He opened his eyes at the touch of her hand and when she squeezed his hand, he smiled. She then repeated the action with Harry, entwining their fingers together. It felt like the most natural thing in the world to her, to be connected to the two men she loved most like this.
“So what happens now?” Harry asked, his voice tentative.
The boys both turned to Hermione. “I don’t know,” she replied, the words feeling strange in her mouth.
“Are we friends?” Ron asked.
“Of course. We were always friends, Ron,” Hermione replied.
“Are we more than friends?” Harry asked.
Hermione hesitated for a moment before replying, “I think we were always more than friends.”
Harry let out a deep breath. “Wow.”
“Yeah,” Ron added.
“So now what? I mean, are we in a relationship or are we just friends? And what about the baby?” Harry turned to his two friends, his family, somehow sensing the future of their relationship was dependant on the answer to this question.
Hermione stood from the settee. “I’m sorry guys, but I’m beat. Can we leave that question for another day?”
Harry and Ron stood. “Of course,” Ron said.
She smiled up at them both. “I’m going to lie down for a bit.”
Hermione hugged Harry briefly before turning to Ron. He smiled nervously at her and she threw her arms around him. “I’m so glad you’re home,” she whispered in his ear, causing him to smile into her hair.
She pulled back and with a smile turned to walk away. But the sound of Ron’s voice stopped her.
“May I…” his eyes flicked to her stomach. “Can I…?”
She smiled at him, lifting up her shirt a little. He slowly and tentatively put his hand to her barely rounded stomach. He grinned at the touch of her skin and could swear he could feel a heart beat beneath his palm. He looked up at Harry and Hermione, grinning like a fool, and suddenly he was laughing out loud, tears cascading down his cheek. Harry stepped forward, placing his hand over Ron’s.
They were together again. No matter what, they would always be family.
When Hermione wandered into the kitchen, she was surprised to see Ron and Harry making breakfast together. But then she remembered.
Ron had come home.
She smiled to herself and watched them for a moment, enjoying this rare chance to observe them without their knowledge. They moved together in the room with an ease that only came through years of friendship and the intimacy that came with sharing a living space for so long.
They were chatting amiably, catching up on their time apart. Hermione moved into the kitchen and they turned, smiling brightly at her. They picked up some plates, Hermione getting a whiff of pancakes and bacon and eggs as they passed her on the way to the table.
Hermione followed them, sitting down at the table to a delicious breakfast with her two best friends. The conversation flowed freely between bites and it was as though nothing had ever happened. There was no tension, no resentment, no visible sign that they had been estranged for the previous two months.
As the day progressed, what amazed Hermione the most was how easily things fell back into place. It was as though through some unspoken conversation they had decided how best to move forward and were doing it with aplomb. She briefly worried that it was too easy – that there should be more unease. But then she remembered. This was them and no matter what, they always worked things out.
She found herself on the couch between them as they watched a movie after dinner. Her head was on Ron’s shoulder and her fingers were threaded through Harry’s as he rested his hand on her thigh. It was simple. It was right.
At the conclusion of the movie Harry and Ron decided they weren’t tired and were going to watch another. Hermione had had enough for the night though and wanted to go to bed.
She sat up, stretching her arms above her head. She leaned in to Ron and kissed him. He was clearly surprised, but soon kissed her back, his fingers light on her cheek. When they pulled apart Ron smiled uncertainly at her. She smiled back at him, pressing her lips to his once more in a brief kiss before turning to Harry. She smiled at him and he leaned forward, capturing her lips with his. Their tongues touched briefly before Harry broke the kiss, pressing his forehead to hers.
Hermione took a deep breath then pulled back, standing slowly from the couch. She smiled at the two boys, bid them goodnight, and retired to her room.
She collapsed onto her bed, her arms wrapping around her stomach as tears started escaping her eyes. She had missed that so much; it was something as simple as a kiss but she realised how much it meant to her, how much they meant to her, and she was never going to let them go.
Hermione was beyond tired, but nothing could wipe the smile from her face. She held her brand new daughter in her arms, staring into her chocolate brown eyes and trailing a fingertip down her soft arm. Harry was sitting to her right, his hand to her back as he reverently stared down at this brand new life. Ron was to her left, his fingertips lightly touching the soft skin on the baby’s head.
“What are you going to name her?” Harry asked.
Hermione thought for a moment. Though the three of them were together, together and blissfully happy, Harry and Ron agreed that Hermione should name her baby.
“Paige Triveni Granger,” Hermione smiled as she said her daughters name for the first time.
Ron pressed his lips to Paige’s head. “Hi, Paige,” he said softly.
Hermione smiled as the three of them sat together, united in their love for each other and this new life they had created. It wasn’t obvious yet who the father of Paige was but it didn’t really matter. Harry, Ron and Hermione, they were a family. Always had been and always would be.