Legitimement Maries: Vivre Libre

Sequel to "Legitimement Maries". Hermione and Fred not only have a marriage to sustain, but they also have a family to raise. How will they manage after being brought together by a marriage law?

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1. Chapter 1: Flashbacks and Dreams

 

Although baby Henry was now too big to be cradled to sleep, Hermione could not help but want to hold him to her as he nodded off for the night. Although she had never really seen herself as the maternal sort, she found that she took great pleasure in watching the way his tiny fingers would curl around the invisible objects of his dreams, as his chest rose and fell in a gentle and predictable pattern.

Life had changed irrevocably for both Hermione and Fred. They had spent the early part of their marriage focused entirely on themselves, and since the birth of their son, they found themselves ignoring almost all of what had previously frustrated them.

Hermione still found herself scoffing at socks which had been left on the bathroom floor, or at the sticky remains of a puking pastille, but she no longer had the energy to do anything more than raise her eyebrows at it. Henry took up far too much of her time, and quite frankly she wouldn't have it any other way.

Weekends were an immensely enjoyable time for Hermione, and the absolute best part of her week. It was the time of week when Fred would leave the shop in Verity's capable hands and he would be home for picnics in the park, an ice cream sundae lunch in Diagon Alley or a shopping trip in muggle London. He would smile in delight at his son plunged his pudgy hands into his portion of chocolate peanut butter ice cream, before painting the front of his shirt in the dessert. Hermione would close her eyes and take a deep breath in every time this happened, but she would quickly open her eyes at his giggles, not wanting to miss a single moment.

However, this weekend would be an exception to the rule.

This weekend would be the first anniversary of her father's death.

It was after they had put baby Henry to bed one evening that Hermione decided to bring up the subject with her husband. They were lying on the sofa together – Hermione was curled up on one side with her head resting on the armrest, whilst Fred had let his head drop into the space made by her lap. They were listening to the local Wizarding radio station, although Hermione was not paying it much attention at all.

"Fred?" she said, her voice was so soft that Fred did not hear it at first.

"Fred?" she repeated, this time a little louder.

"Hmm?" Fred let out a sleepy yawn before tilting his head up to look at his wife.

"I was thinking about what we were going to do this weekend... it's the first anniversary of my father's death. I wanted to take Henry up to visit him," she paused, waiting for Fred's reaction.

They had mutually decided to wait until Henry was a little older before taking him to see the grave of the man for which he was named.

Fred seemed to wake a little more at what Hermione had said because he flipped his body around completely so that he was facing her.

"Are you sure?" he asked, eyebrows furrowing towards the centre of his face.

"Positive," Hermione replied, biting her lower lip as she waited for his reaction. "I know that we wanted to wait until he was old enough to understand, but I want him to get to know the Grandfather that he never got to meet, even if this is the only way that we will ever be able to achieve that."

Fred nodded, pulling himself up so that he would be able to put him arms around Hermione in a hug, which she reciprocated.

"If you're okay with that, then I am too. He might not understand why while he is still so young, but it will still be a worthwhile trip."

Despite the sombre subject matter, Hermione could not help but smile at how lucky she was to have a husband who understood the importance of family.

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It was a windy day in London when Hermione and Fred arrived at the cemetery with baby Henry cocooned in their arms, but the sun still shone rather brightly. Despite the fact that the cemetery was quite overcrowded with graves, it was a reasonably short walk to the grave of Henry Granger.

Hermione looked at it with a heavy heart, eyes stinging as she shut them tight, remembering how it had looked exactly one year previous. The earth was still softly turned back then, and the flowers were fresh.

The flowers were still fresh as Marian visited weekly, but they were no longer the white lilies which had covered the grave at the funeral. Today they were white daisies, just starting to turn a little yellow around the edges of the petals. These flowers were only a day old or so.

At the funeral Hermione had still been pregnant, and she could vividly remember standing in front of the open casket, a hand on her immense belly, being too overwhelmed to even cry. She had pressed the fingers of her left hand to her lips and then to the edge of the casket, a move she repeated now, resting her fingers on the cold granite that now encased what remained of his body.

It was only when she felt Fred's arm wind its way around her waist that she opened her eyes.

"Can I have a minute or two, alone?" she looked up at her husband, seeking his cooperation.

Fred nodded, taking Henry from her arms before walking back a short distance to a bench where he could sit.

For the first time in a year, the tears came, and they came with a vengeance. It did not take long for Hermione to reach the hiccupping stage, and she crouched down low to the ground. Her arms wrapped around her torso as though she were cold, although the sun was shining down on her with increasing warmth.

"I'm sorry, Dad. I'm sorry that I wasn't the perfect daughter you deserve. I'm sorry for what I did to you and Mum. I sent you to Australia and I erased all your memories. I only wanted to keep you safe, I promise. I wish there was something I could have done to prevent this. I was so sure that you had years ahead of you."

Hermione rubbed at her eyes with the back of her hand, taking a steadying breathe before she continued to speak.

"I'm sorry that you never got to meet your grandson. We named him after you. Sometimes I feel like it is both a blessing and a curse that we did that. It means that we'll never forget you, but it also means that we can't stop thinking of you. I don't know if I'll ever stop missing you."

The rate of her breathing slowed as Hermione finally released what she had been waiting so long to do.

"I can see that Mum's been to visit. Molly and Arthur have been so wonderful, and so have all the other Weasley's. They have accepted us like one of their own. I couldn't have asked to join a better family. I just hope that wherever you are, you are proud of me."

"I'm sure that he couldn't help but be proud of you."

Fred's voice startled Hermione. She had been so engrossed in her own thoughts that she did not hear his footsteps. Recovering quickly, she nodded at her husband, taking his hand in one of hers before using the other to wipe away her sadness.

Together, they began to tell their son all about what a wonderful man his namesake was, and would be, forever in their hearts.

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