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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5. Chapter 5: Relax and Let It Happen

Chapter 5: Relax and Let It Happen

“Mummy, is there another baby in your belly?”

Hermione’s heart clenched at Henry’s words. She and Fred had been desperately trying for baby for well over a year. This was worse than when they needed to conceive Henry. It was taking far longer, and Hermione was frequently under the impression that she was defective in some way. The others just had to sneeze and they would be pregnant.

This was not the case for Hermione, and this weighed heavily on her mind as she answered her son.

“No, darling. There is no baby yet.”

Hermione was sure that Henry had accepted this answer, until she heard the other question which she so frequently dreaded.

“Why?”

Taking a deep breath, she steadied her voice before answering.

“I don’t know honey-bunch. We just have to wait and see what happens.”

Henry nodded and went back to playing with his toys, but Hermione could not forget their conversation. She did manage to ignore it for a little while as she distracted herself with household chores and playing with the children, but as soon as she had put them into bed that evening, the thoughts crept back once more.

What would happen if she could not get pregnant with her third child?

The law implicitly stated that each couple needed to have a minimum of three children within five years of marriage, and their fifth wedding anniversary was fast approaching. Okay, maybe they had only just celebrated four years of marriage, but conceiving this time was already taking longer than what it had done with Henry. Months longer.

Sighing to herself, Hermione finished putting her sons to bed before tucking herself in next to Fred. Curling under the covers, she turned towards the edge of the bed and tried to go to sleep.

Her attempt was short-lived. Immediately, she felt Fred’s arm wrap around her waist, pulling her close to him.

“What’s up?” he whispered to her, nuzzling his head into the crook of her neck.

Of course Fred would notice that something was wrong. Ever since the first night they had brought Henry home from the hospital they had kissed each other goodnight, no matter how exhausted they were, or how many arguments they had over the course of the day.

Still, Hermione couldn’t help but respond in the way that she did.

“Nothing’s up, I’m just tired. It was a busy day,” she said, hoping that he would ignore it and go back to sleep.

Fred carefully pulled her further into his arms, turning her so that she was facing him. He hated it when she would close herself off to him, either physically or emotionally.

“You’re lying,” he simply said, brushing his fingers gently against her cheek in an attempt to calm her.

Hermione did not have the heart or the energy to get angry with him. She knew that he was only doing this because he was concerned about her.

“Yes,” she conceded to his accusation. “Henry asked me something today, and I can’t stop thinking about what he said.”

“What did he ask?” Fred questioned, confused by what Henry could possibly ask to elicit such a response from his mother.

“He asked if there was another baby in my belly yet...” Hermione replied, her tone more morose than ever.

Fred immediately understood. Hermione had been this way before becoming pregnant with Henry. The marriage law was constantly in their minds as long as it remained incomplete.

To Hermione, this was nature procrastinating, and she did not like it one bit. She just wanted to have all of this over and done with so that they would not incur any penalties. She was not one to procrastinate, not matter how unpleasant the task.

“Fred, what if they take our children away from us?”

Fred could not help but become incredibly confused.

“What would make you think that the Ministry would take our children away from us?”

Hermione tried to think through her logic, it seemed to make sense in her mind.

“If we don’t become pregnant with another child before our fifth wedding anniversary then we will be punished. We might not be cast out of the community just yet, but they will find another way to get back at us. They could split us up and say that we don’t deserve the children that we do have.”

Feeling immense anger towards the government that would act in such a way to give its citizen such fear, Fred attempted to soothe his wife.

“The government is not as corrupt as what it once was. There have been steps towards reversing the law, and reducing punishments.”

The vibrations of his voice against the side of her neck calmed Hermione down slightly, and a gentle kiss placed in the same spot helped alleviate some of her fears.

“That is true,” she concurred, “but there is obviously still a lot of corruption that we haven’t picked up on yet. That’s the only reason why this law is still in place.”

Fred’s fingers continued to stroke her skin, relaxing her with every caress. She was still scared and angry, but it was not nearly as bad as it was before. In fact, she felt herself begin to get a little drowsy. It had been a very long day for her. Archie had reached the phase in life where all he wanted was to cling to his mother like a limpet. Hermione’s arms ached from carrying him around for most of the day.

“Yes, but think about this...” Fred paused for a moment, not sure if he truly wanted to ask Hermione the question he had brewing in his mind. Shaking his head slightly, he pressed on. “If you woke up tomorrow morning and the law was completely revoked, would you change anything about the way your life is now?”

“No,” Hermione answered without a single ounce of hesitation.

“Exactly,” replied Fred. “You would still feel the same urgency to become pregnant. It’s not the law making you feel like this Hermione. You just need to relax and let it happen.”

HPHPHPHPHPHPHP

Fred and Hermione had barely entered through the door of the Burrow before Molly pounced on them.

“I think I already know the answer just from looking at you, but do you know if it’s a girl or a boy?”

Hermione let out a loud laugh, putting a protective hand over her belly.

“No! We wanted it to be a surprise,” replied Fred, putting an arm around his wife’s shoulder.

“Mummy!” Archie came toddling out of the lounge room as fast as his short legs would carry him, letting out a loud wail as he went. As soon as he reached his mother, his arms wound tightly around her legs.

“Hello, darling,” Hermione chuckled. “I see that you missed me.”

“Yes,” came a muffled reply from where Archie had mashed his face into her denim jeans.

At that moment, another little boy emerged from the lounge room; however this one walked much more calmly. Blue eyes staring intensely at his mother, it was almost as though he were sizing her up for something.

“I think it’s a boy,” Henry proclaimed to the others present in the room.

Hermione had to suppress a giggle, and she felt Fred’s body practically convulsing next to her as he attempted to do the same.

“What makes you say that, dear?” Molly asked him. She had a very serious look on her face, but Hermione could see the merriment in her eyes as she humoured the little boy.

“I’m a boy, and Archie’s a boy. So, the next baby is going to be a boy. Archie thinks so too.”

“I suppose that we’ll have to wait a little while longer until we can find that out, dear,” said Molly, smiling brightly at both her grandsons. By the wink that she sent in both their directions, Hermione was almost certain that Molly agreed with both little boys, but she wasn’t yet sure how to feel about it.

HPHPHPHPHPHPHP

Molly was sitting quietly in the corner of the lounge room, knitting away at yet another item for one of her numerous grandchildren. The very children that had once hated wearing her hand-knitted jumpers were now almost putting in orders to their mother so that their own children could have their own Weasley jumpers. The irony did not escape Molly.

“Any word on Hermione?” her husband’s voice emanated from the other corner of the room, and made Molly jump slightly. It had been several years since all the children had moved into homes of their own, but was still not accustomed to the silence. Yes, she had been alone with Arthur when the children had been at school, but there was more finality to this silence.

Each of their children had their own lives now, and they would not be returning for the summer holidays anymore. They now had their own children now, one of them even in the midst of being born.

“Fred said that he would send an owl as soon as the baby is born,” she replied to her husband as she returned once more to her knitting. No sooner, than she had spoken a loud tapping could be heard from the window.

“I’ll get it!” said Arthur, putting down his newspaper and jumping up from his seat.

“Well, I’ll be...” he said, eyes roaming over the parchment. “This may be the only time I get to tell you this Molly, so I shall savour it, but this is one time when you were wrong.”

“What do you mean?” Molly put down her knitting with one hand whilst pushing her glasses further up her nose with the other hand.

“Fred and Hermione,” he replied, a chuckle escaping his lips. “Hermione had the baby, and it’s a little girl.”

 

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