Disclaimer: I do not own
Ron, Hermione, Harry, Ginny, or any other Harry Potter characters. I only own
characters you do not recognize from the books.
A/N: I want to give credit to the Cranberries,
who wrote and performed “Just My Imagination”, my sole inspiration for this
piece. (Well, that and the Harry Potter
books, of course.)
“Ron. Ron, wake up. Paige is crying.”
With a roll and a grunt,
Ron slid out of bed and crossed the room to the door. The hall echoed with screams and wails, and as he entered the
moonlit bedroom he was forced to cover his ears.
Ron leaned over the crib
and lifted the unhappy girl. Not
completely awake, he stumbled across the room to the rocking chair. There, he sat down and brought the screaming
child’s head to his shoulder, and began to slowly rock in the chair. Ron’s whispers were desperate. “It’s alright, Paige, it’s all right. Daddy’s here.”
The humming vibration of
his chest caused the baby’s screams to diminish. “There, there, let Mummy
sleep.” The child slowed to a heavy
breathing, with an occasional hiccup.
Ron soothed her by rubbing her back with his big hands.
When the little head
lolled gently against his, he stood up slowly.
He set her down softly onto the little crib mattress. She stirred slightly when he turned her onto
her stomach, but released not a sound.
Ron let out a small sigh of relief and tiptoed back to his own bedroom.
Sliding back into bed
next to his sleeping wife, he snuggled up against her and kissed her on the
cheek, closing his eyes.
The taste of baby food
lingered in her mouth. She sipped her
coffee, and tried again. “Please,
sweetheart, you need to eat your breakfast.
Mummy likes it!” The girl in the
highchair only responded to the desperate coaxing by making a general point at
the coffee mug. Hermione sighed and
drained the cup, then tilted it so the child could see inside it. “Oops!
All gone!” Not satisfied, Paige
babbled and pointed at the mug again.
Hermione looked at it and realized why the girl wanted the cup; on the
outside was a waving picture of Ron, making silly faces and hand gestures. Hermione laughed. “Oh, Paige, Daddy’s at work!”
Ignoring her mother, Paige flexed her outstretched fingers at the mug
and babbled again. Without any other
solution coming to mind, Hermione reluctantly placed the ceramic mug onto the
surface of the highchair. The smiling
girl grabbed the mug at once and tried to pull it close to her nose. “Dah-dee!
“Paige! Paige, did you just say ‘Daddy’?” The girl continued to shout her newfound
word. “Dah-dee, Dah-dee, Dah-ah-ah-dee!” When her request for his presence was not
met, she pushed the cup away, and looked at her mother sadly. When all her mother could do was look at her
as though to say, “Sorry,” her face turned red, contorted into a grimace, and she began to scream. Tears streamed down her cheeks and she cried
louder and louder. “Dah-deeee!!”
Hermione jumped up and
lifted her out of the highchair. “Oh
Paige, it’s all right! We can go see
Daddy!” Paige leaned her head on her mother’s
shoulder, muffling the screams. Hermione walked hurriedly into the den and sat
down at the desk, all the while soothing her daughter. She frantically searched for something,
tearing out papers and envelopes, among other things. When the desk was officially messier than it had begun, Hermione
sighed with relief.
“Paige, look! There’s Daddy!” Paige, reluctant to stop crying, looked at the picture in
Hermione’s hand when she was turned around.
Smiling back at her were both of her parents, silently cooing and waving
at her. Paige started hiccupping, and reached her hands
out. Hermione let her have the picture,
and sat Paige on her knee. With both
hands free, she tried to clear the desk as much as she could, but kept out a
spare piece of parchment. She wrote:
Paige just said her
first word! I can’t believe you missed
it. You won’t guess what she said:
Daddy! Oh but then she got upset that
you weren’t here, and she was crying so hard, so I’ve just given her a picture
of us. She’s sucking on your head a bit
– I can tell she really wants you home.
If you’re not too busy at work, maybe you could pop into the fire
sometime around lunch?
She sealed it and sent
Pig on his way to the Ministry. Paige
still had the picture in her mouth, and when Hermione took it away to resume
breakfast, the girl’s lips pouted and trembled. Eager not to have a repeat episode of ten minutes ago, Hermione
gave it back. So much for breakfast, she
Paige mumbled and said,
It was going to be a long
It was late in the
evening when Ron got home. He quickly
ate some of the lukewarm pasta on the stove, too tired to heat it up, and
trudged up the stairs to a warm bed.
He opened the door only a
little to make sure he didn’t wake her, but found that Hermione had her nose,
like always, buried in a book that looked suspiciously like Hogwarts, A History.
Without looking up,
Hermione marked her page with her bookmark and replied, “Hello.” She gave Ron a quick kiss, and then he
walked back around the bed and into the bathroom, leaving the door open
halfway. “When did you get Paige to sleep?”
His shirt muffled his voice as he pulled it over his head.
“Just about thirty
minutes ago.” After a few moments Ron
returned, shirtless with a pair of gray sweatpants. He lifted the ivory duvet and lay down between the sheets, and yawned.
“We don’t do anything.”
“Being a bit blunt,
“What I mean is… we
always used to do things.”
“What d’you mean?” Ron
asked, closing his eyes and folding his arms beneath his head.
“We don’t go out for dinner,
we don’t take walks, and we don’t have people over… we never get to spend time
with each other.”
“Well, we’re here
together right now, aren’t we?”
She muttered something that
sounded suspiciously like ‘tactless’, and she turned out the light and rolled
“Hey, what did I
say?” He turned his light on. “You have to talk to me if you’re angry.”
At that Hermione
aggressively threw off the covers, sat up and on her feet and looked seriously
into his wondering blue eyes. “Ron, I
am trying to tell you. We don’t – do –
anything – anymore! You’re always working,
and I’m here with the daughter you don’t spend time with –“
“You’ve said it,
Hermione. We can’t go partying every
weekend anymore. We have a child now.”
“We can get a ‘sitter.”
“A babysitter. To watch Paige while we go out and have a
night to ourselves.”
“Leave… leave her with
someone else? Hermione, do you think
that – wise? She’s, she’s just so small
“Oh be serious, Ron. She would be in safe hands! It’s not like I would leave her with a Death
Eater! We could just ask Remus, he
loves children, or Harry and Ginny, or –“
“Alright, alright, I see
your point. I’ll think about all of
this. But I think for now,” he turned
out the light, “we need to get some sleep.”
He curled up under the covers.
With a sigh Hermione followed suit.
Ron wrapped her in his arms, and she gave in and snuggled up against his
chest. The peaceful silence between the
two lasted for several minutes until a cry from down the hall disrupted their sleep. Ron sat up. “I’ll go.”
Such strong relief was a
sleeping child. Ginny sat down on the
couch and closed her eyes. “That girl
is her father’s daughter,” she said aloud to herself, and she chuckled at her
husband’s own stubbornness. And then
came an unexpected crack.
Hermione sat up quickly
to see who would possibly be arriving at her home this early in the
evening. “Ron! What are you doing home so early? Is everything alright?”
“Everything’s fine. Honestly, your first reaction is something
terrible’s happened. Anyway,” he said
smiling, proud of himself perhaps, “I’ve made reservations for dinner in
London. There’s a new restaurant at
Diagon Alley, so if you go and change into something nice, we can be on our
Hermione was almost
speechless. “Ou – out? But – but what about Paige?”
“I’ve contacted Charlie;
he and Tonks are in London this week.
He said they would be happy to help out and watch our ‘darling
girl’. They’ll come by ‘round five. That gives us about…” he looked around at
the clock, “thirty minutes. Now go up
and get changed!”
“Right. Change,” Hermione
said, and she practically flew up the stairs.
She returned a little
disheveled, smoothing her blue robes, and her hair in a simple knot.
“Beautiful,” Ron said
grinning, though his ears turned their usual red. Together they walked to the foyer to wait for Charlie and Tonks’
arrival. Sure enough, in a matter of minutes,
there came two loud cracks. ‘Hello’s
and hugs were exchanged, and Tonks tripped on a baby toy. (“It was in the middle of the floor!”) Hermione made sure all vital information was
passed on, and she and Ron Apparated to Diagon Alley.
They arrived at “The
Snitch”, a restaurant isolated
from a lot of the shops. The lights
were fairly dim, and the whole place had a cozy feel to it. Hermione looked around, and immediately
spotted Harry and Ginny sitting at a table set for four. “Harry!
Ginny! Ron didn’t mention you
were coming!” They stood up and
received literal breath-taking hugs from Hermione. When she was finished, they all sat down. Moments later, a waitress took their orders
for drinks: Harry and Ron with firewhiskeys, Hermione with a red wine, and Ginny with strawberry syrup
with soda and ice. When she left
Hermione decided to start a conversation.
“You know, Ginny, you could’ve ordered anything you wanted, this is a
nice place.” Harry and Ginny exchanged
glances. “Well,” Harry started, “we
have some, er… news.”
“News?” Ron repeated,
“What sort of news?”
“Well, erm… Ginny and I…
we’re going to… have a baby.”
Ginny blushed. “Yes, I’m about 2 ½ months.”
Ron’s jaw dropped, and
Hermione gasped. “Oh Ginny, that’s
wonderful! Ron, isn’t this
Ron was still frozen with
shock and amazement. “My… own sister…”
Ginny rolled her eyes,
sat up and reached across the table to smack her brother’s cheek, all in one
fluid motion. “As if you were the only
one going to have kids. Git…” She shook
her head but started laughing, “Actually, I was probably as shocked as you were
when I found out. It wasn’t exactly…
planned…” Ginny’s whole head looked like it was on fire. Ron laughed uneasily, but held out a hand to
his best friend nonetheless.
mate,” he said as Harry shook the outstretched hand.
Harry nodded. “Thanks.”
The two excited couples
discussed baby names and clothes and Quidditch and Hogwarts and many other
things while they ate their meal.
Afterwards they went to Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlor, and then
walked the streets while licking their ice creams. When they finished, Harry and Ginny said goodbye and went
home. Deciding they too were exhausted
from the evening’s happenings, Ron and Hermione Apparated home.
They arrived at a silent
household, and upon reaching the living room they found Tonks asleep on the
couch. Then a voice came from behind
“She hasn’t been that
worn out since she watched Bill’s girl, Eloise. Lord, that girl’s got that hint of Veela and puts it to good
use.” He paused, and as Hermione opened
her mouth to ask about her daughter, he said, “Paige was fine; Tonks just isn’t
used to it. She’s upstairs, sleeping
like a dragon.” Hermione looked
horrified. Charlie chuckled. “That’s a
good thing, a sleeping dragon. Meaning
it’s not awake…?” Hermione released the
breath she’d been holding. Charlie
walked over to the couch and whispered, “Tonks, they’re back, we can go
home.” Tonks moaned, yawned, and
stretched in one fluid motion. She
opened her eyes and smiled. “Have a
Hermione nodded. “Yes, thank you.” Tonks smiled wider.
“Good, good.” She got up, and
stumbled from standing up too fast.
Charlie held her around the shoulders.
“Watch it, there. Ready?” She nodded while yawning a second time. Charlie grinned. “Well, see you too later.”
They Disapparated together, with two cracks.
Ron and Hermione went up
to their bedroom quietly. They fell
into bed and turned out the lights.
“’Night,” Ron whispered. He
looked her in the eyes. They held a
long gaze before Ron began to lean closer.
Hermione closed her eyes and felt intense heat. She pulled open her eyes. Ron had disappeared into thin air, leaving
behind trails of smoke.
Hermione woke up, sweating and gasping for
She looked to her left. The bed was still made. Tears stung at the corners of her eyes. Then a voice came from down the hall.
Hermione peeled the ivory
duvet off of her wet body and walked swiftly to the bedroom from whence the
voice had come. “What is it, dear?” she
asked as she sat down on the bed.
“Mummy, I had a bad dream. It
was very bad and it scared me!”
“Oh, it’s alright love,
it’s alright,” said the mother, and she pulled her daughter into a comforting
hug as tears rolled down both of their cheeks.
“Shush… you don’t want to wake your brother… It’s alright, Paige…”
Hermione recalled the
dream. He had been so real; she had
felt his presence. But he was never
It was, after all, just