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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2. Chapter 2: New Acquisitions

 

Hermione winced yet again as the squeaky toy she had walked over threatened to wake the baby she was trying to get to sleep in her arms, not to mention it caused several shooting pains to move up the balls of feet.

A few extra rocks in her arms, and her newly born son gave one final yawn before nestling his head into the warmth of his mother’s chest, finally falling asleep. Hermione gave a yawn of her own as she set him down in his crib for the night. She looked at his face, watching the tiny puffs of air escape his mouth as he breathed gently in his sleep. His tiny hand curled around the edge of the blanket, and Hermione felt a tight feeling in her chest as she watched her newest child sleep. She had forgotten how exhausting it was to have a newborn baby in the house, but she now knew that she wouldn’t swap it for anything.

Tip toeing out of his bedroom, she looked around at the lounge room, sighing at the mess that was there. Henry’s toys were supposed to occupy just one corner of the room; however, they were now spread out as far as he could walk to spread them out. At almost two years old, he was not only able to walk, but run, and therefore spread his toys into all kinds of nooks and crannies for Hermione and Fred to stub their toes on in the middle of the night.

Crawling back into bed, she had only just settled herself under the covers before she felt Fred’s arm snake around her waist, pulling her closer to him.

“How’s Archie?”

Hermione sighed, closing her eyes as she tried to fall asleep for the third time that night.

“Asleep, finally.”

Fred’s nuzzled his head into Hermione’s neck, planting a gentle kiss there before he settled down to try and get to sleep. However, he found that it was easier said than done. His brain seemed to be thinking far too hard.

The flat in which they were living was okay for now. It was a little cramped at times, but they were managing. But what would happen when baby Arthur, or Archie as they preferred to call him, would get a little older. Henry was already running around, playing with his toys. What would happen when they were both running around?

Fred had the benefit of growing up at the burrow with plenty of space to run around in. He only wished for his own sons to have that same privilege, and the same for whoever their third child was going to end up being. Fred knew that this was reality, and that it was going to happen sooner rather than later.

Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes was doing well, but would their profits stretch to a family with two small children, and a new house? Hermione had only been able to go back to work for a few months before she was back on maternity leave for Archie. She was not due to go back for a good few months even with both Molly and Marian on babysitting duty. They would have to survive on a single income until then, and babies were not cheap.

Fred looked over at the clock on the wall, squinting as he tried to figure out the time in the minimal light. He would have to awake in a few hours. Shutting his eyes, he tried to get back to sleep despite the intrusive thoughts that were worrying him.

HPHPHPHPHP

“’Mione?”

Henry had decided that his breakfast cereal would look better if he dumped it on the floor this morning, and his mother was currently hunched over the mess as she attempted to clean it up.

“Yes?” she replied, her voice thick with tiredness as she stood up from the floor.

“I was thinking last night...”

Fred did not get the chance to continue because a loud cry punctured through the air from one of the bedrooms.

“I’ll get him,” he said to Hermione. She nodded her agreement as she put her nose close to the container of milk. It smelled rather sour, and suddenly she could not blame Henry for decorating the floor with his breakfast. Tipping it down the sink, she used a knife to break up some of the larger chunks so that they would be able to fit down the drain.

Fred re-entered the room, jiggling the still crying baby.

“I think he’s hungry,” Fred guessed.

Hermione only had the energy to nod once more before she started to prepare him a bottle. When it had just been Henry, Hermione was ecstatic with motherhood. She loved the challenge, however, two children under the age of two was a challenge that was becoming increasingly difficult to undertake. She had never been more sleep-deprived and tired in her life.

“As I was saying before this little fella interrupted us, I was thinking last night...”

Despite herself, Hermione could not help but let out a giggle.

“That never bodes well!”

Fred let out his own good-natured laugh before continuing.

“Shush, you! I was thinking about how small this flat is going to end up being for us. I know that Archie has only just been born, but time is passing quickly and we’re going to need to have one more child. It might be easier on everyone if we thought about moving somewhere a bit bigger.”

Hermione seemed to wake up a little more at this.

“Can we afford that?”

Fred shrugged his shoulders at his wife.

“We’re going to have to.”

The next few months were spent frantically trying to find a new house to live in. Despite the convenience of being close to the shop, Diagon Alley was out of the question. It was far too expensive for what they needed, and there would be nowhere for the boys to run around and play. Godric’s Hollow was also a bit pricey, even though Harry had decided to move there with Ginny and their own children James and Albus. They were also in the middle of going through all the paperwork associated with adopting Teddy Lupin.

Andromeda was doing a wonderful job at raising her grandson, but she was getting on in years, and it would be a good thing for Teddy if he had other children to play with in the house. Hermione thought that Ginny was brave taking Teddy in as well, but she quickly remembered that Ginny had grown up with in a house dominated by males, and she was sure that she would be able to handle it.

A few other Wizarding villages became options, but Fred and Hermione quickly scratched them out because the houses were never quite right. They were either too small, too large or they simply couldn’t afford it. After visiting what was most likely dozens of houses, both Hermione and Fred were at their wits end. It felt like they would never be able to find a new place to live.

There was one rare, quiet evening when Hermione’s mother had both the boys, and she and Fred were having dinner in silence for the first time in months. As much as Hermione loved her sons, it was a welcome change.

“Fred?” she asked, seeking her husband’s attention. “What would you think about moving to a muggle village?”

She looked into his face, and seeing no visible signs of rejection, she continued to speak.

“We aren’t having any luck with the Wizarding villages, so I thought we might try to expand our options a little...”

Fred finished chewing the bite of food he had in his mouth before responding.

“I was thinking a similar thing myself. We might be able to get someplace nice quite near your mother’s house, sp that way it would be easy for her to visit. Any house we buy would be connected to the Floo, so it would be easy for everyone else to see us. I really don’t see a problem with it, and anyway, I was thinking of getting some of those muggle appliances as well. A television might not be so much of a bad idea.”

Relieved that Fred agreed with her, Hermione and Fred spent the remainder of the evening making plans for what they would like in their new home.

HPHPHPHPHPHP

Hermione thanked her mother once more for allowing them to borrow her car whilst they went to inspect a lovely cottage on the outskirts of Hermione’s hometown. It sounded like the perfect house, and when they pulled the car up out the front of it, they could see that they were not wrong.

It was secluded enough that they could still use magic, yet it was still a reasonably short drive from all the town’s amenities. Marian was close enough to continue her babysitting services, and best of all, the house was in their price range.

Hermione only had to briefly cast her eyes over the interior of the house to know that it was what they were looking for.

The walls had been freshly painted in a clean cream colour by the previous owners, and the burgundy coloured carpet looked like it only need a quick steam clean. Their furniture would fit comfortably into each of the rooms, and there was even a room each for Henry and Archie, with a spare one for any future children.

Fred could not help but make a joke about how twins ran in the Weasley family and that if they were the case there would still be plenty of room for them, for which he was cuffed around the ears by Hermione.

The spacious lounge and dining rooms were equipped with all the latest muggle appliances, and the rooms opened out onto a landscaped garden. The previous owners clearly took a lot of pride in their home, and there was a minimal amount of work which needed to be completed. This meant that they would be able to move in within the month.

Hermione and Fred could not have been more delighted, and quickly went home to share their news with the rest of the family.

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