Disclaimer: Anything your recognise belongs to the talented J K Rowling. I make nothing from this endeavor.
I remember vividly the day she came to me crying. The final battle had ended several months prior, and we all still had our demons to deal with. I thought it would be another conversation about the friends and loved ones we had lost. It wasn't uncommon for her to talk to me; Ron had cut her out of his life a few days after the end of the war. He just couldn't deal with her problems while he was still grieving for Fred.
“What is it, Hermione?” I asked her softly, knowing that she needed to let it out. Even though I had Ginny, Hermione and I had a special bond after spending that year on the run. We had talked about many things the past few months, very few of which I could share with Ginny. She had come to me when Ron had broken up with her and then again when Professor Snape had been killed.
We had been so hopeful when Professor Snape had survived Nagini's bite. He had recovered after being found by Aurors and spent two months recovering in St. Mungo's. Hermione had volunteered for St. Mungo's after the war, and she had helped the Healers not only with his care but also had kept him company. She had been closer to the professor than anyone. Even when he was sent home to convalesce, she had continued to take care of him until his trial. And that is when everything came to a crashing halt.
On the second day of his testimony, someone had been able to sneak a wand into the courtroom. By the time the Aurors had noticed the commotion, the Killing Curse had been fired, and Professor Snape had been hit. That was almost three weeks ago, and Hermione has not been the same since then. She visited me at Grimmauld Place almost daily to share her grief.
But somehow this day was different. I could sense it as she sat beside me, took a deep breath, and then spoke. “Harry, I'm pregnant.”
I couldn't help but look at her, stunned. I knew she had never done anything, or at least that, with Ron. I didn't know that she had even been involved with anyone. I started to say something, but she cut me off.
“Harry, before you ask, it... the baby, isn't Ron's. I can't tell you who the father is, and it doesn't matter anyway. We aren't together anymore, and we never will be. He was there when I was grieving and recovering after the war. It is over now, and he won't be involved.”
“What are you going to do?” I asked cautiously, but I knew the answer. Hermione would never get an abortion; I knew that.
“I'm going to have her, of course. I'm going to be a single mum, though I was hoping that you and Ginny would be here for me.”
“Of course, Hermione. Of course we will. Wait, you said 'her'. Have you already been to St. Mungo's?”
“I didn't go specifically to find out, no. I was already there volunteering and had been feeling off for a few days. I had my suspicions, and one of the Healers performed the charm for me.”
We stopped talking, and I just looked at her for a few moments. It was obvious that she had been crying, but I saw something I had not seen since the battle. Resolve and determination. And it gave me hope.
I was in Auror training when I got the Patronus from Ginny. “Come to St. Mungo's! Hermione is in labour!”
I waited in the waiting room with Ginny and Minerva McGonagall. I thought it was quite sad that we were the only ones there for her. I knew Ron would never be there, but I was surprised when the rest of the Weasleys cut her off as well. They might be Ginny's family, but I found it quite cruel that they discontinued all contact just because she had a child out of wedlock.
I had been there for several hours, and we still had not heard anything. I was hoping that her labour would be quick considering her pregnancy had been so difficult, but that didn't seem to be the case.
I had just finally fallen asleep when Ginny roused me. “She's here, Harry. Come with me.”
As we walked towards the room, I let out a sigh of relief that they were both okay. I followed Ginny and walked slowly into the room as she held open the door. I waited for Ginny to come in, but she simply shook her head at me and smiled. “I think you should go alone this first time. I'll go get a cup of coffee.”
I saw Hermione, exhausted and with bloodshot eyes, holding a small bundle in a pink blanket. She was smiling at me as she motioned me towards her.
“Meet Anna,” she said softly as she moved the blankets away from the baby's face. “Would you like to hold her, Harry?”
I had never held a baby before, but I nodded as Hermione placed her gently in my arms. I sat in the chair beside the bed and began to study this tiny little person.
Her hair wasn't very long, but it was already starting to curl slightly against her head. It was very dark, almost black, close in color to my own hair. I studied the fingers of the little angel sleeping in my arms and noticed how small but elegant they were. I continued to gaze at her but then slightly gasped as she woke and stared at me.
Stared at me with familiar, black eyes.
I looked over at Hermione, trying to hide my look of shock. I think she instantly knew that I had figured it out. Tears started forming in her eyes as she looked at me and then turned her gaze to the baby sleeping in my arms.
I couldn't help but get slightly emotional as everything Hermione had said to me these past few months came back. As much as she had said that the father would not be involved, she never said that she didn't want him involved. In fact, it was all the things she didn't say that stuck with me. She never said she didn't care about him or that she didn't want him to be in her life. She said he wouldn't be in her life. I almost started to cry when I thought about what she had gone through these past nine months. I was brought back into the present when the baby made a slight cooing noise.
I gently stroked her soft cheeks and watched her yawn delicately before closing her eyes once again. I looked again at Hermione, wanting desperately to give her encouraging words, but the words just wouldn't come. What words could I say?
“You have your father's eyes,” I spoke lovingly to her as I placed her back in Hermione's arms.
Thank you for reading. Many thanks to Meladara for the beta!