Continued from hereThere was a light rain falling as Fred woke up from her nap. Rubbing her eyes, she slowly sat up and looked around the empty room. It seemed quiet and she wondered if the rest of them had left to get something or they were just being quiet so she could nap - something she did a lot of now. But, according to her baby books, the second trimester would be better and she wouldn't be tired all the time. One could hope.After running her fingers through her hair, she got out of Wesley's bed and stepped around some boxes. They had finally decided to buy the house and was just waiting for some minor repairs to be done before moving in. Fred couldn't wait, considering Hermione and her practically lived with Wesley and Rupert now.When she opened up the bedroom door, she saw Wesley sitting on the couch. He was clearly upset about something so she went over to him. "What's wrong, Wesley?" she asked, sitting next to him."I...Buffy was just here and she...""Buffy? Is something wrong? Is it the First?" Fred asked."No. It's...it was about Rupert and Hermione," Wesley said as he gave a pained look. "She thought we should know what they've been doing....Fred, they want to take the baby away when it's born."Fred gave Wesley and wide-eyed look and shook her head. "Buffy's wrong! They wouldn't do that to us!" she said, shaking her head."I don't know. They keep disappearing together and why would Buffy lie about it? Plus, whenever we leave, we almost always find them in bed together when we get home. We never do that to them. Bloody hell, I should've seen this coming," he muttered as he buried his face in his hands.Fred didn't know what to think. Wesley was right - Hermione and Rupert had been spending a lot of time together. But that wasn't what was bugging Fred at that moment. Ever since she'd found out she was pregnant, the connection between Hermione and her had disappeared. She knew she wasn't doing it so it had to be Hermione. She was purposely cutting off their connection! But still, Fred didn't know if she should believe it or not."Wesley...Buffy might be mistaken. How about we give them the benefit of the doubt and see how things go, okay?" she whispered as she rubbed his back. All Wesley could do was nod.
"You're sure that Fred has no idea we're doing this?" Rupert asked.Hermione nodded and gave him a smile. "Pretty sure. At least she hasn't said anything to indicate that she might. I hope she doesn't.""It would rather ruin the surprise."Nodding, she stood back and looked at what was going to be the nursery in the house once they moved in. They had decided that since the place needed some redecorating in addition to the minor repairs, they would surprise both Fred and Wesley by having it done before they moved in. They were using magic to make it go faster and hoped to have everything by the end of the week. The downstairs was pretty much finished. They just wanted to get the nursery ready for furniture and other accessories. Then they'd tackle everything else, which was going to be the biggest project.They had decided they were going to put the master bedroom in the large loft area on the third floor since it was the largest room and the four of them had become rather accustomed to staying together over the last few weeks. However, they were planning on turning two of the other rooms on this floor into special rooms for each couple for when they wanted to spend time alone.Hermione couldn't wait to see how Fred would react when she saw the completed house."Croceus," she said, tapping her wand against the wall, which turned a soft yellow color from the pink it had been. "What about that? Gender neutral, so it'll work for a boy or girl.""Perfect," Giles said with a nod. "We're still going to Diagon Alley once we finish with the house but before we show Wesley and Fred, right?"She nodded. "Yeah. I'm starting to get a little concerned about my connection with Fred. I don't want to concern her in case it's nothing, but it's just...not there like it used to be. I thought it was because she got better control at first, but now...I'm hoping the scrolls might be able to say whether it's because of the pregnancy. Also..." She took a deep breath. "There's something I want you to help me with while we're there.""What's that?""Help me find a ring for Fred."Giles turned and gave her a big grin. "Really?"She nodded."You're going to ask her?""After we show them the house.""Oh, Hermione, that's wonderful," he said, giving her a hug. Pulling back, he gave her a soft kiss. "C'mon...let's get this done."
"Fred? Are you all right?"After thinking more about how Hermione had been acting around her, Fred had retreated back into the bedroom for some alone time. When she heard Wesley's face, she turned toward the closed door and said, "I'm fine. You can come in if you want, Wesley."The door open and Wesley stepped in. When he saw Fred curled up on the bed, he went to her and spooned her. "It's all right, love. I won't let them take our baby away from us," he whispered as he placed his hand on her stomach. "No one will hurt us.""It's all making sense now," Fred whispered. "The connection between Hermione and I has been gone for weeks and she never asked me about it. She must be stopping it because she doesn't love me anymore." Tears slid down her face and she started to sob. "And-and Rupert and her are always whispering stuff. How could they do this to us, Wesley? I thought we all loved each other.""Shhh, it's all right, Fred. I'm still here and I still love you," Wesley quietly said."Really?" Fred asked as she turned over.Wesley smiled and softly kissed her. "I'll never leave you, Fred. I promise," he said as he held her.
"Are you all right, Hermione?" Rupert asked as they stood in front of the fireplace of the new house, which they had finally finished. A fire burned there - they had just connected it to the wizarding world floo network so they could use it to go to Diagon Alley in England."I..." Sighing, she looked up at him and shrugged. "I'm...I'm worried about Fred. I haven't been able to talk to her much recently because we've been so busy with the house, and I...I don't know. She usually asleep when we get home, and I can't...I don't even know what she's...""Ssshhh," he said softly, pulling her into a hug. "Things have been stressful with the house and the research and not knowing what's going on with your connection to her, I know. We'll get the scrolls, and then we can at least figure out what to do from there."She nodded, taking a deep breath. "And we'll finally be able to show them what we've been doing here.""Yes, love. I know they'll love it. Now, come on. Sooner we get there, sooner we can get everything and come back."Throwing some floo powder onto the fire, Hermione called out for Gringotts in Diagon Alley, and moments later, she and Rupert were there, coming out of the fire in the bank's lobby. They headed up to the counter and soon were taken down to the vault they had hired to hold the scrolls."Here they are," Hermione said, picking them up. Part of her wanted to immediately start going through them, but she realized that she wouldn't know where to start at the moment. Instead, she put them in her bag and shrunk it down."Ready to go ring shopping now?" Rupert asked as they walked out of the bank and into the bustling crowds of the Alley. Hermione noticed kids hurrying through with their parents, getting everything they needed for the new school year at Hogwarts and stopped for a moment, a faraway look on her face. Rupert stopped and put a hand on her arm. "Hermione?""What?" she asked, looking up at him. "Oh...yes...ring." She smiled, thinking about the fact that she was going to be asking Fred to marry her and pushing some of the memories that had just come back to mind aside. "Yes. Let's go."
Fred laid on the bed as she ran her hand over the small swell of her stomach. According to the baby books she shouldn't be showing yet but she was. But, she had also read that every pregnancy was different. Maybe there was a reason why she was showing sooner than expected. She didn't know and at the moment her thoughts were Hermione.Something was off. Their connection was no longer there, and she was sure Hermione was doing it on purpose. Her girlfriend had taken up to spending more time with Rupert than she did with her. They rarely talked anymore and the only comfort she got was from Wesley.With a sigh, she rolled over on her side. She was about to fall asleep when the bedroom door opened. She looked at Wesley and furrowed her brow. He looked awfully pale. "What's wrong?" she asked."Rupert...he...Hermione and him didn't got to England! They...he was just out in the hallway and he said he's getting an attorney so they can take the baby from us. Plus, they're getting married," he said as he rushed around and started to pack two bags - one for Fred and one for him.Fred wanted to ask if he was sure, but she could see the hurt in his eyes. "Oh god," she said, getting off the bed. "They won't take the baby from us. I promise." She started to help Wesley pack their bags, while Wesley wrote a note that simply said they were leaving in order to protect the baby from Rupert and Hermione. And once everything was packed, they left the apartment.An hour later, they were at a small motel that was up the coast from LA. Once they were checked in, and in the room, they curled up on the bed and held each other, both broken hearted over Rupert and Hermione's actions.
"This is the one," Hermione said with a smile, pointing to the ring."It's beautiful, love," Rupert told her as the shop keeper put the ring in a box with a small scroll that included a spell for resizing it. Once Hermione had paid for the ring and taken the box from the man, they walked back out into Diagon Alley toward the Leaky Cauldron. It was the easiest place to go for return floo journeys. "Have you decided how you're going to ask?""I'm not sure. I wanted to do something special. Maybe go to the park where we first kissed after we show them the house." She blushed a bit and shrugged. "Just as long as she says yes, I guess where doesn't matter.""That's very true. After all, you're talking to the man who asked his husband in a hospital room."Grinning, Hermione took Rupert's arm and they headed out of the alley and into the pub. She kept her head down, seeing a few people that she recognized, including the governor. Since she had been gone from the British wizarding world so long, she didn't want to get into a discussion about where she had been and why. Besides, she wanted to get back to her girlfriend, so they could show her and Wesley the house.Soon they were back at the house, and they went out to the car Rupert had purchased a few weeks before, heading for the flat. Something struck Hermione as very wrong, though, when they walked in. It was too quiet."Fred?""Wesley, love?" Rupert called out. Suddenly, he spotted the note sitting there and picked it. "They've probably just nipped out for--what the bloody hell?""Rupert?" Hermione asked, feeling her heart pounding in her chest as she tried to see what was written on it."'Rupert - You may be leaving us for each other, but we're not going to let you and Hermione take the baby from us too, so we've gone. Don't try to find us. - Wesley and Fred.'""Wha--what?" She grabbed the chair in front of her, feeling as though her world had just been knocked off it's axis. She had heard him wrong. She had to have heard him wrong. Wesley and Fred didn't think that they were planning to leave them. She felt like her chest was caught in a vice and she couldn't breathe. "Fred?"Why would they...?" He pulled out his mobile and tried to call Wesley, but no one answered. "It's off. I don't understand what's going on. They think we were leaving them?""FRED!" Hermione called out, finally moving and looking through the flat as though she might find her hidding in one of the closets. She felt herself getting more and more agitated. Fred was gone, and their connection was broken. She had no idea whether the note was real or if someone had kidnapped them and forced them to write that. "What if they've been taken? Oh, God, what if--there are Death Eaters still out there. What if they found me? What if they found Fred? What if they took her and Wesley to hurt us?""Hermione, we don't--."Before Rupert could finish, Hermione pulled out her wand and went to find one of Fred's shirts. After putting it on, she started a locating spell. Immediately, she found herself being pulled to a motel somewhere up the coast. She had just seen the name when she let out a cry, unable to hold the spell, and suddenly, she crashed to the floor in the flat. As she did, she heard something snap."Hermione!""I...I..." She tried to sit up, only to find the world spinning and everything going black.When she woke up, she was lying in a hospital bed, Rupert sitting next to her, his head buried in his hands. A cast was on her arm."Rupert," she whispered."Oh, Hermione. Thank God," he said softly. "When you collapsed after trying that spell, I didn't know what to do, so I brought you here. They said you broke your arm.""Fred and Wesley?"He shook his head. "I don't know.""They're in a Motel 6. I managed to see it before I lost control. It's up the coast toward Sunnydale. We passed it, I remember.""We'll--.""Go find them, Rupert." Tears came to her eyes. She needed Fred to be there. She didn't want to wait however long it might be before they let her out of here. "I'll be fine. Go find them. Please!"
Fred had just dozed off when there was a sharp knock on the door. Blinking, she looked at Wesley and they shared a look. Neither one knew who it was so Wesley picked up his gun and went over to the door. After looking through the peephole, he turned and looked at Fred. "It's Rupert. How in the bloody hell did he find us?" he asked.Hesitating, Wesley finally answered the door and glared at his husband. "Wesley!" Rupert said with relief. "What in the bloody hell is going on? Hermione and I came back from Diagon Alley and found you two gone! Why would you think we were going to take the baby?""Because you told me you were. Earlier today when I was outside the apartment you told me you were leaving us and taking the baby," Wesley said, his hands shaking."I was in Diagon Alley with Hermione all day! How in the bleeding hell could I be in two places at one time?! Hermione was so upset that she tried a spell and now she's in the hospital, hurt!" Rupert yelled."What?" Fred asked, jumping off the bed. She had kept quiet up until then. "What happened to her? Is she okay? You have to take me to her!""Wait!" Wesley yelled as grabbed Fred's arm. "They want to take the baby away from us!"Rupert stared at the two of them for a moment, his brow furrow. He then shook his head and sighed. "Of course. The First," he said."The First what?" Wesley asked."You saw the First as me. Did you try to touch him...it...me?""When I reached out, you moved away. But, the First only can be people who are dead! Buffy told us too! About Hermione and you!" Wesley said, crossing his arms."The First comes as anyone who's dead or was dead. Buffy has died twice and I've died a few times myself," Rupert said. When he saw the confusion on Wesley's face, he decided to explain. "When I used to be with Ethan, we did a spell that stopped one's heart.""Oh," Wesley muttered as he looked down at the floor. "I'm sorry. I thought...""We need to go! Hermione's in the hospital," Fred said, tugged at their arms. "You can feel sorry for yourself later, Wesley!"The three of them jogged out to Rupert's car, Wesley trailing behind, still embarrassed at what he'd done. When they got into the car, Fred sat in the backseat, still confused about things - like their connection. But, at the moment, it didn't matter. All that mattered was going to see Hermione.When they finally got to the hospital, Fred ran ahead of them, even though she didn't know where Hermione was. She turned around and looked at Rupert, waiting for him to point the way. He pointed toward a small room and Fred ran into it."Hermione!" she cried as she ran into the room. She saw the cast on her arm and started to cry. "I'm so sorry. I thought...and then Rupert...I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to leave you."Leaning down, she was about to kiss her girlfriend when a sharp pain shot through her stomach, making her double over. "Oh god," she muttered as the pain came again.
Lying in the hospital bed, Hermione found herself going crazy with worry. She couldn't do anything because every time she tried to get up, a nurse would appear to push her back down, telling her to rest, and she couldn't use magic because she had no idea where her wand was, possibly back at the flat on the floor. It had gone flying out of her hand when she had crashed to the floor.So she was stuck there, having to trust that Rupert would be able to find them on his own and bring them back.What seemed like ages past, and suddenly Hermione heard a commotion. Looking up, she felt her heart start pounding as Fred ran into the room, tears in her eyes. She reached up, wanting to touch her girlfriend, thousands of questions coming to mind, but before she could, Fred doubled over, apparently in pain."Fred?" Hermione asked, concern tightening her throat and voice. "Fred, love? Someone help!"Rupert and Wesley were immediately there, each of them taking hold of her and gently helping Fred to sit in a chair."I'll get a doctor," Wesley said, running out of the room before anyone could stop him."Fred, are you all right?" Hermione asked, slidding out of the bed to move to her side, not caring if any nurse's tried to make her lie down again. She was concerned about the woman she loved.
Fred smiled over at Hermione and softly touched her face. "I'm fine. It was just a stomachache," she said. The pain had left, and she was feeling better. She was about to stand when Wesley came running back in with a doctor."Fred?" the doctor asked as he crouched before her. "Where does it hurt?""I'm fine now. It was just a stomachache," she told the doctor."How far along are you?" he asked."Going into my fifteenth week," Fred said as the doctor pressed against her stomach. He looked up and gave her a confused look."Are you sure?" he asked. When Fred nodded her head, he turned around and asked the nurse to get the ultrasound ready. "I want to take a look at the baby. I'm sure it's nothing but just to be safe.""All of them have to come with me," Fred said, waving her hand toward Hermione, Wesley, and Rupert."Of course," the doctor said before leaving the room.Moments later, the nurse came back and had Fred sit in a wheelchair. They wheeled her down to the ultrasound room, where they had Fred lay on a table. Ten long minutes later, the doctor came back in and prepped Fred for the procedure. "Lets see what's going on," he said as he turned on the screen. "Oh. Well, no wonder.""What?" Fred asked, her eyes going wide. "What's going on?"The doctor turned the screen around so all of them could see it. With a pen, he pointed at it. "This is baby number one, and right behind it is baby number two. You're having twins," he said with a grin."T-Twins?" Fred asked with wide eyes.
Hermione was glad that the doctor was allowing her to go with Fred, Rupert and Wesley for the ultrasound, especially when he seemed a bit concerned about the baby. There was no way she was going to let her girlfriend go through this alone. She still had questions about what had happened, but that could wait until they were sure that Fred and the baby were okay.Walking next to Fred's wheelchair, she reached down and took her hand, not wanting to let her go for the irrational fear that if she did, she'd disappear. They were all quiet once they were in the room, waiting for the doctor to go back to set up for the scan, but still Hermione held onto Fred's hand. She could see Rupert and Wesley exchanging glances, some obvious tension between them, and wanted to know what the bloody hell had happened.Finally, though, the doctor came into perform the scan, making noises as he worked. Hermione tightened her grip on Fred's hand and swallowed.Then the Doctor pointed out that there were two babies. Fred was having twins."You--you're sure, Doctor?" Rupert asked, obviously gobsmacked by the news."Quite certain. There's two in there." He made one more pass with the ultrasound wand, then turned the machine off. "You'll have to tell your own doctor so he or she can adjust your pre-natal care and appointment schedule.""I...we're having twins," Wesley said in wonder.Hermione looked at Fred in amazement. "It's...the most wonderful news," she said before suddenly turning her head towards Rupert. "We're going to have to buy two of everything for the nursery now! And make it bigger that it is now!""What?" Wesley asked."Oh...erm..." Hermione blushed, realizing that she had spoiled the surprise. "Rupert and I...we've been...we've been working on the house the last couple of weeks to get it ready for us to move in. We were going to show it to you today."
When the doctor told Fred to speak to her regular doctor, Fred nodded and made a mental note of it. The doctor walked out of the room, and Fred turned to look at Hermione as she spoke. She smiled but the smile soon disappeared when Fred learned of what Rupert and Hermione were doing together.They weren't having an affair, they were fixing up their new home."Oh, Hermione," Fred whispered as tears came to her eyes. "I'm so sorry. I was...I thought Rupert and...I thought you didn't want me anymore. The First, it came to Wesley as Buffy, and later Giles, and told him Rupert and you were going to leave us and take the baby. I should've said something to you but I was so afraid you'd laugh at me and tell me you never really wanted me.""It's all my fault," Wesley whispered as he removed himself from the rest of them."Wesley..." Rupert said as he followed his husband to the other side of the room. They started to whisper, standing close together so Fred looked back at Hermione."And our connection is gone and I thought you stopped it because you didn't want me anymore," Fred said as she used her sleeve to wipe her tears away. "But you probably turned it off to protect the baby. I wouldn't have thought of that. I'm a terrible friend, and girlfriend, and lover and the babies will probably come out wrong!"
"You thought...?" Hermione asked, her heart suddenly found like it had been grabbed and squeezed in her chest. The First had appeared to Wesley and told them that? She felt tears filling her eyes, hot and stinging, suddenly understanding why things had been so tense lately, why things hadn't felt right.The First had tried to destroy them. And she didn't know for a moment whether to upset that it had almost worked, that Wesley and Fred had believed it, or to be relieved that they had sorted things out. She looked at her girlfriend her throat tight."I didn't do anything to the connection," she finally told her as a tear slid down her face. "I haveen't been sure what was going on, so I didn't say anything because I didn't want worry you until we knew for sure. That was why I wanted to go get the scrolls now - to see if this was because of the pregnancy. You're not terrible, though, far from it, and the babies are going to be fine."After she said that, she paused, staring at the woman she loved, her head spinning from all this, her arm itching and in pain as obviously whatever pain killer she had been given began to wear off. "But the First made you really think that I'd...? Oh, God, Fred, I don't think I could live without you anymore." She hadn't even noticed when she had picked up using "Oh, God" again."I..." Reaching over with her good hand, she took Fred's again. "I wanted to ask you to marry me, I love you so much." Then she realized how that sounded and felt herself turning red. "I still do. Love you. And want you to marry me. Oh, this was not what I had in mind."
Fred felt guilty enough but seeing Hermione crying made it worst. She didn't know what to say, and a small part of her wanted to scream at Wesley for making her believe Hermione and Rupert could do something like that to them. But, she knew it was her fault too because she chose to believe it and didn't take the time to talk to Hermione about it before jumping to conclusions."Hermione," she whispered as she reached up and swipe the tears from her girlfriend's face, "I'm sorry. I...I should've came to you but I didn't know what else to do. All of this is new to me, and I've never really loved anyone before and I...I just didn't know what to say."Fred looked down at the floor and sighed. When Hermione took her hand, and started to tell her about how she was going to ask her to marry her, Fred's head snapped up. "And I ruined it," she whispered as tears started to roll down her face. "Where-Wherever that is." She slipped off the table and pulled her shirt down and stood from the table.She looked over at Wesley and Rupert before turning back toward Hermione. "I don't want to lose you and I don't want you to be mad at me anymore," Fred quietly said as she stepped forward and wrapped her arms around her girlfriend.
"Sssshhh, love," Hermione whispered, pulling Fred to her and holding her tight. She didn't want to let her go ever again. "You're not going to lose me. You're never going to lose me."She ran her hand through Fred's hair and closed her eyes. Part of her was hurt that Fred could think that she might leave her, but at the same time, she had read all the accounts of the First's visits to people, how real they had seemed. And choosing two people that had died but were still actually alive...she couldn't imagine...She was just glad that Fred and the babies were okay. They could work everything else out. "We'll be okay," she promised her.Rupert and Wesley came back over, Wesley still obviously upset even though Rupert had his hand resting on the small of his husband's back. "We were thinking we should go home. This...this isn't exactly the best place to talk. And I do think we need to."Hermione nodded before looking over at her girlfriend. "I'm ready to get out of here," she agreed. She desperately wanted to see a medi-witch about her arm, but she was more worried about healing their family, making sure that all of them were all right. "Let's go home."As they walked out of the room, Hermione kept her good arm around Fred.
Fred was relieved when Hermione told her things would be okay. She had been so afraid that Hermione would dump her. "Thank you," she whispered as they walked out of the room.When they got to the cars, Fred wiped her eyes and looked at all of them. "Maybe I should drive Wesley's jeep back to the apartment," she suggested, knowing she wanted to spend more time with Hermione."Sounds all right with me," Rupert said as Wesley handed his keys to Fred. "Maybe we should go to the house. We can sit down and have a talk then go to our separate rooms and spend some time alone. I think we'll need it after this."Wesley merely shrugged and followed Rupert to his car. Fred got into Wesley's Jeep and once Hermione was inside, she started the engine and followed Rupert out of the parking lot. When they were on the road, she glanced over at her girlfriend."Thank you for fixing the nursery up for us," Fred quietly said as she turned when Rupert turned. "I-I've never had anyone to love before and I was afraid I'd mess it up...which I did."When they got to the house, Fred parked Wesley's Jeep and followed them inside. The house looked really nice, and clean. Rupert led them to the living room and all of them sat down."Who wants to start?" Rupert asked as he looked at all of them.
"It's...I think we all messed up," Hermione told Fred softly. She shouldn't have worried so much about how Fred would take knowing that the connection was broken because of the pregnancy. She should have told her straight out, but she was so used to trying to figure out everything that was going on first that she hadn't realized what she was doing.Reaching over, she touched Fred's shoulder gently. When they reached the house and were all settled in the living room, Hermione looked at her girlfriend when Rupert asked who wanted to go first. She wasn't completely sure what to say."I guess I should start," Wesley said softly. "I'm...I'm so sorry. I didn't...I know I should have had more faith in both of you, but...when I thought Buffy came to tell us that you two were planning to leave us, and then when it seemed to be you..." He took a deep shuddering breath and rubbing his temples for a moment. "My father always told me that no matter who I thought loved me, I'd always do something to cause them to leave me. I...I think...I actually began to believe he was right...""Wesley..." Rupert said, reaching out to touch his husband's arm. "Your father has no idea what loving someone is really like. You can't let his hate rule your life.""I know...it's just...I didn't...""Sshhhh," Rupert said, pulling him into his arms. "I should have realized that something was going on. I was just so caught up in trying to get things ready for us." He looked over at Hermione and Fred.Nodding, Hermione turned to Fred, knowing that none of them were innocent in this. They had all done something to allow it to happen. "And I should have told you that I suspected the link was broken because of the pregnancy. I'm sorry, Fred. I thought I was doing the right thing waiting until we knew more."
Fred hadn't known anything about Wesley's father or what happened between them. As Wesley spoke, Fred felt her chest tighten with grief for her best friend. How could a parent do such a thing to their child? Now she understand why he was so worried about losing Rupert all those times.She wanted to go over and comfort him but Rupert did it instead. With a small smile, she looked over at Hermione as she started to talk about the connection. "It's okay. I should've said something about it too. I jumped to conclusions when I should've asked," she said as she leaned against her girlfriend."I think all of us should go to our own rooms tonight and spend some time with the people we love. Then, in the morning, we can discuss what we'll need to do know that we know we're having twins," Rupert suggested."Sounds good," Fred said a she slowly stood and helped Hermione up. "Wanna show me to our room, sweetie?"
When Rupert suggested that they split up into with their respective partners, Hermione nodded, wanting to spend some time alone with her girlfriend. She allowed Fred to help her up before saying goodnight to Wesley and Rupert, reaching over and squeezing Wesley's shoulder gently with her good hand. He gave her a small smile.After Fred had said her goodnights, Hermione showed her upstairs to the room that she had chosen for them. "I...uh...I hope you like it," she told her softly before opening the door. "The room at the hotel didn't give me a whole lot to go on, but I tried."She then opened the door and stepped aside to let Fred enter the room. The walls were a soft cream color with a border of light green and purple up near the ceiling. Light purple and green curtains were on the windows with a matching quilt on the bed, which was oak, along with the rest of the furniture. A vase of flowers sat on the dresser."I, uh...we have master bedroom to share with Wesley and Rupert, but this...this is our room, for the two of us," Hermione explained. "If you want anything changed, we can."
Fred grinned as she looked at the room - a room for just Hermione and her. "It's beautiful," she whispered as she looked around it. She wanted to ask to see the nursery but when she turned to look at her girlfriend, she decided she didn't want to leave the room just yet. It'd been an eternity seen she'd touched Hermione."I love you," she whispered as she walked over it her. Cupping her face, Fred leaned forward and deeply kiss Hermione as her other hand laid on her hip. When she broke the kiss, Fred took Hermione's good hand and walked her over to the bed, where she gently laid her down. "We don't need a connection to do this," she murmured as she leaned down and started to nibble on her girlfriend's neck.Her hands reached down to the hem of Hermione's shirt and she carefully tugged it off before unclasping her bra and taking it off also. Leaning down, she took one of Hermione's nipples into her mouth as her hand snaked down and slipped under her skirt. When she came to Hermione's panties, Fred pushed the crotch aside and started to rub her clit."You're so beautiful," she whispered before pull her hand back. She slipped off the bed and took off all her clothes and then did the same with Hermione. Fred then kneeled on the bed and looked down at the small round in her belly before grinning. She moved between her girlfriend's legs and looked up at her."Just relax, sweetie," she murmured before running her tongue along Hermione's wet folds. She moved up to her clit and eagerly sucked it into her mouth.
When Fred kissed her, that told Hermione even more so than her words that she had done well with her decisions for the room. Smiling against her lips, she wrapped her good arm around her girlfriend, holding her tight. It felt good to have her in her embrace, knowing that whatever the First had been trying to accomplish, it hadn't managed to tear them apart.When they parted, she happily let Fred lead her over to the bed. As Fred started to nibble at her neck and touch her, she moaned softly - it had been so long since they had touched like this, and it felt so wonderful. Hermione would never take her love for granted. Never.At Fred's words, she opened her eyes and looked up at Fred as she took of her clothes. Her tummy was rounded because of the babies growing inside her, and to Hermione, she would always beautiful - now, when she was further along, and after she had given birth."You're beautiful too," Hermione told her, letting Fred remove her own clothes as well. She shrugged out of her shirt carefully, the cast on her arm making it difficult. She really needed to go see a medi-witch when she had a moment.Lying back, she gasped softly when she felt Fred's tongue on her clit, her hips bucking up. She loved it when Fred did this to her, and it had been far to long since they had been able to. Grasping the comforter, she shuddered a bit as pleasure ran through her."Oh, Fred...so good...you're so wonderful," she told her.Despite everything that had happened, despite the exhaustion that had been starting to set in earlier, Hermione could concentrate on nothing but Fred and what she was doing, how she was making her feel. She felt herself beginning to tighten as the sensations got more intense. Her legs wanted to close, but Fred's position between her legs made it impossible."Fred...going to...oh God..."She trailed off as she reached that edge and hung for a moment before everything inside her began to tremble. Then she let out a cry and felt herself spasm as she arched underneath her girlfriend's touch.
Fred smiled up at Hermione as she continued to tease her clit with her tongue. She slipped a finger inside of her girlfriend, and moaned at her taste. She had missed this so much and had decided that from then on, they would take some time out for themselves. She loved Rupert and Wesley very much but Hermione was her first priority.When she felt Hermione clench around her fingers, Fred thrust into her harder. She moaned again when Hermione cried out and came on her tongue. Fred carefully removed her finger and slowly licked her juices up before moving up her body and deeply kissing her. "I love you," she whispered.Fred moved to the side and wrapped her arms around her girlfriend. She ran her fingers over Hermione's cast and sighed. "Is there anything you can do? Like magic? I would help but it seems I'm pretty useless as of late," she said, shrugging her shoulders. She couldn't even be Hermione's conduit anymore and that was one of the things that had brought them together."I could make you some soup or something. Unless I've lost the ability to cook too."
Hermione never wanted to forget how good it felt to have Fred make love to her this way. She never wanted this feeling to end. It scared her to think how close she could have come to losing her because of an evil creature who enjoyed torturing people - it hit too close to home, especially after what had happened with Voldemort.When she came down off her high from her orgasm, she returned Fred's kiss, reaching up and tangling her fingers in her girlfriend's hair. "I love you too," she whispered softly, looking up into her eyes when they parted.She then looked down at her cast and sighed, shrugging a bit. "If I could find a medi-witch here...or maybe go visit the one at Moonstar, they could take care of it," she told her. "Right now, though, I just want to be with you."Lifting her head up, she gave her a kiss. "And we can have soup later. Right now, I want to do this..."She kissed again, more deeply this time as her good hand ran over Fred's body, mapping the gentle slope of her abdomen, before moving down between her legs. Part of her knew that given her arm's condition, using her wand would have been easier, but she wanted to do this herself, bring the woman she loved pleasure without magic - show her that it didn't need to be there between the two of them for them to have their connection.She rubbed against her clit gently while leaning down to take one of Fred's nipples in her mouth. With the babies coming, she knew she wouldn't be able to do this in a few months, so she wanted to enjoy it now, while she could.
Fred didn't know if she was going to be able to handle this. Part of her still felt guilty for what had happened, and the other part yearned for it since she hadn't been touched in weeks. "Hermione," she whispered, wanting to tell her girlfriend that they could wait until later, and that she should get her arm fixed. But the moment Hermione's hand slipped over her pregnant stomach, and dipped lower, Fred was at a lost of words.It felt different being with Hermione now without their magical connection. Fred was expecting to feel the familiar surge of energy. But, it didn't matter when it didn't come. She knew what she was feeling was something more real, and better, than any connection could ever give. "Oh god, Hermione," she murmured when her girlfriend started to rub her clit and suck on her nipple.Moments later, Fred was skating the edge, wanting to fall over. With a strange cry, she came hard and tried hard to catch her breath. A few moments later, Fred had finally caught her breath enough to murmur, "I love you."Suddenly, the door opened and Fred looked up to see a red Wesley standing there. "I swear I'm not doing this on purpose," he murmured as he look at the two of them. Rupert joined him a moment later and both of them stared at the girls."Come on," Fred said, moving over.Rupert and Wesley got onto the bed, both of their hands on Fred's stomach as Fred snuggled against Hermione.
Being able to touch Fred after having her touch her did more to settle Hermione than anything could have. She knew that they were still together and they still loved each other and always would. They were creating a bond without magic. It was just Fred and Hermione, together.This was the woman she loved. The woman she wanted to marry. She was so beautiful, especially when she came, her body trembling and glistening slightly from the exertion."I love you too," she replied softly.It was then that she realized that Wesley was there - he definitely seemed to have a talent for walking in on them at the most inopportune moments. But then Hermione realized that with the four of them, there really wasn't an inopportune moment. They were together, no matter what happened, she knew as they snuggled together.Which was why she decided it was the time to do this properly."Rupert, can you reach into the drawer of the nightstand and get something for me?" she asked. "You'll know it when you see it."He nodded and twisted to open the drawer, a smile crossing his face as he withdrew the box inside. He handed it over Wesley and Fred to Hermione, who sat up."Fred...I told you earlier that I wanted to do this, and I was trying to figure out when the best time would be. I think now...with the two men who love here with us and our twins on the way, is the best time I can think of." Taking a deep breath, she opened the box. "Fred Burkle, will you marry me and be my wife?"
Fred giggled a little as the boys ran their cold fingers over her stomach. “Next time the two of you are going to put gloves on before you touch me!” she said just as Hermione asked Rupert to get something out of the table. She raised her eyebrow, wondering what was going on, especially when Hermione took the small box from Rupert and sat up.She looked up at her girlfriend, her chest tightening when she realized what she was doing. “Hermione,” she whispered as she sat up. Fred looked at her again as tears sprung to her eyes. “Oh, sweetie...of course I’ll marry you!”With a small squeal, Fred flung her arms around Hermione’s neck and hugged her tight. “I love you so much,” she said as she buried her head against Hermione’s shoulder. She suddenly heard someone sniffling behind her so Fred pulled back and looked over her shoulder.“Aw! Wesley!” She said when she saw that he was crying. She reached over and hugged him. “It’s okay.”“I know but it was sweet!” Wesley sniffled.“Congratulations you two,” Rupert said as he pried Fred out of Wesley’s arms and hugged her before releasing her.Fred turned back to Hermione and rolled her eyes. “Sorry. Had to take care of our boys,” she said, with a small laugh. “Can I have my ring now?”
Even though a part of her had known what the answer was going to be, hearing Fred say yes sent a thrill through Hermione. Yes. They were going to be married! Catching her girlfr--fiancee when she threw her arms around her, Hermione held her tightly."I love you too," she whispered. "So very, very much."She didn't want to let her go but had to when Wesley and Rupert wanted to congratulate them. After they had hugged Fred, they hugged Hermione too, and she could feel when she hugged Wesley that he had started letting go of his guilt over what had happened. Looking at Rupert when he leaned forward, she saw him nod in answer to her unspoken question.Things were righting themselves among them. All of them were going to be okay.Actually, all of them were going to be better than okay, she knew that now. They would move on from this and become stronger.When Fred then asked for her ring, Hermione smiled and took it out of the box before taking Fred's hand in hers. Leaning down, she gave it a kiss then slid the ring onto her finger. It was a bit big, but she suddenly realized that she had no clue where her wand was."Ummm..." she mumbled. "I...ummm...there's a spell to size it, but I don't--.""Oh, hold on, Hermione," Rupert said and slipped off the bed, hurring out of the room. He came back a few moments later with her wand and handed it to her. "You dropped it, so I picked it up. It's been in my jacket.""Thank you," she said softly before doing the spell to resize the ring around Fred's finger. She smiled once it had changed. "Now it's perfect."
“Am I doing this right, love?”Fred looked up from her laptop and started to giggle at the sight in front of her. They had finally found time, between researching the First and Fred working on her physics paper, to go to the mall and get another crib. Fred had wanted to put it together, figuring she had the most experience with putting something together. But, Wesley had insisted on doing it instead.“You’re missing a side, sweetie,” Fred said as she forced herself to stop giggling.Wesley looked at the crib, and then over at the other one. “That one is missing a side too,” he pointed out.“The other side is down but it’s there,” Fred said, giving him a grin.Wesley rolled his eyes and pulled out the instructions again. Fred glanced over at the clock on the wall and sighed. It was time to go meet her old professor to talk about her paper. Saving her document, Fred closed her laptop and stood.“I have to go,” she said, looking at Wesley.“Sure you don’t need a ride?”“I’m sure,” she said, bending down to kiss him before walking out to the main room of the house, where Rupert and Hermione were researching. “I’m going now. I’ll be back later. Anything you need while I’m out?”“I don’t believe so. Will you be all right by yourself?” Rupert asked.Fred rolled her eyes. “For the hundredth time, yes,” she said, shaking her head before she leaned down to softly kiss Hermione. “I love you.”
Ever since what had happened weeks before, Hermione and Rupert had been working on their research on the First much more vigorously, determined to find a way to stop it. Reports of more sightings in Sunnydale as well as the murders of Potentials across the world had started trickling back to them through Rupert's contacts with the Council. The Council was starting to go into lockdown to protect the girls still under their care.So now, they not only were trying to figure out how to stop the First but also why it had returned now and why it was targeting Potentials.When Fred came in, Hermione was glad to put the book aside for a moment, looking up at her fiancee with a smile. Part of her had wanted to ask the question that Rupert did, but at the same time, she knew her girl - she didn't need a babysitter just to go to see her professor. Besides, she wouldn't want someone looking over her shoulder all the time either just because she was pregnant."I love you too, love," she told Fred, reaching up to cup her face and smiling at her. "Knock his socks off, and call if you need to."
"Another dimension? I-I didn't even think those existed!" Professor Siedel said as he walked Fred into his office."I didn't either," Fred said as she sat down. Siedel had taken her on a tour of the new lab, and now they were going to go over her paper."You might have to write something about it," he said with a chuckle. "Oh, before I forget, could you write down your cell phone number? I have the number to the hotel you were staying but they said you've moved.""Oh!" Fred blushed a little and nodded. "I forgot to give that to you."The door slowly opened and Fred turned around to see one of Siedel's assistants peek in. There seemed to be a problem with one of the machines so Siedel excused himself and slipped out the door. Fred shook her head and stood up to find a piece of paper to write her number on.Once she'd written it down, she went over to his bookshelf and looked at his collection of books. Part of her wanted to take some of them home to read. Fred stepped to the side to look at some more when she stopped in her tracks. Reaching up, she pulled a book down and opened it.What she saw made her heart almost stop.Shoving the book back into the shelf, she quickly left Siedel's office. "I-I have to go. Emergency with a friend," she said, going toward the door. Siedel said something but she didn't hear it.Instead, she ran out to Wesley's Jeep and drove toward home. By the time she got there, her hands were violently shaking and she was sure she was going to throw up. When she went into the house, Rupert saw her first and stood from the table."Fred?" he asked, going over to her."It was him," she croaked out. "It was Professor Siedel who sent me to Pylea.""Oh god," Rupert whispered as he pulled Fred into his arms.
"Why would he be going after Watchers?" Hermione thought out loud. "Without Watchers, Slayers and Potentials wouldn't have anyone looking out for them.""Which would make them easier targets, especially Potentials," Rupert said. He tapped his pen against the notebook on the table in front of him in thought. "But why take out Potentials when they haven't even..."When Rupert trailed off, Hermione looked at him questioningly, wondering what was going through his head. Before she ask, however, Fred came running into the house, practically as white as a sheet. Rupert saw her and was up from his chair first, asking her what was wrong.When Fred told him, Hermione felt her heart seize in her chest as she joined them. "He...he's the one responsible for you...? How...? Oh, love."Putting her arms around Fred from behind, she held her tight, resting her head against her. For the past few weeks, Fred had spoken so highly of Siedel and how he had been responsible for her switch from History to Physics. And now she was saying that he had been cause of the five most horrific years of her life?Why?"Why would he have done that to you?" Rupert asked softly, echoing Hermione's thoughts.Just then, Wesley came down the stairs. "I thought I heard the Jeep, and..." He trailed off when he saw the three of them wrapped together, Fred in the middle. "What happened? Fred, are you okay? Are the babies all right?"
Fred allowed herself to be placed between Hermione and Rupert. She didn’t say anything at first. Instead, she stood there trembling, afraid to move away from their protective hold. When Rupert asked his question, Fred was about to answer it when Wesley came out from the back of the house. She looked at the three of them and removed herself from Hermione and Rupert’s embrace.“He’s done it before. When I changed majors, my dorm mate told me the science department was cursed because students continued to go missing. I thought it was a joke but now…” She trailed off and let out a soft sob. “He was mad at me two days before I ended up in Pylea. He was doing an experiment and his equations were off, so I fixed them for him, and he got mad. He sent me away because I was smarter than he was.”“Professor Siedel?” Wesley asked, his fists clenching at his side. Fred nodded while Rupert explained what Fred had found in Siedel’s office. Just then, Fred’s cell phone began to ring. She flipped it open to see a series of symbols. “What…”Suddenly, a strange energy moved through the room and the wind picked up. Fred looked toward the ceiling, and watched as a portal opened up. Rupert and Wesley grabbed her and pulled her back.“Hermione!” Rupert yelled as he tossed her wand to her, hoping she could close it.
Hermione didn't want to let Fred go but let her slip from her arms anyway, not wanting her to feel trapped. Rupert did the same, and they watched her as she explained about Siedel, about the supposed curse and how he had got mad at Fred for fixing his equations on an experiment. As she spoke, Hermione found anger rising inside her - an anger she hadn't felt since when Professor Snape had killed Dumbledore."You mean...just because you knew more than he did, he decided to...?" Hermione started to ask but was cut off when Fred's mobile rang.A moment later, wind whipped through the house and a portal opened up, causing Hermione to gasp."FRED!" she yelled just as Rupert and Wesley pulled her fiance away. When Rupert tossed her wand to her, she caught it and pointed it up at the portal, screaming at the top of her lungs, "Occludo!"A bolt shot out of her wand and hit the portal, causing it to collapse in on itself until it became a small pinprick before disappearing. Pushing her hair out of her face, Hermione immediately scrambled over to the others, pulling Fred into her arms and holding her tight."Are you all right?" she asked. "What the bloody hell was that?"
Fred trembled in Rupert and Wesley's arms as she watched Hermione get rid of the portal. Even when it closed, she stayed huddled against them in fear. When Hermione came over and pulled her into an embrace, Fred broke down. "It was a portal. That had to be a message from Siedel. I left him my cell phone number before I figured out it was him," she sobbed against Hermione's shoulder.Rupert picked up her phone and looked as the symbols as Fred clenched Hermione tighter. "Don't worry, love. Another portal can't open here for a while. The other portal drained all the energy," he said as he quickly jotted the symbols down.Wesley picked up the piece of paper and looked it over. "I'll get the books out," he said before going to their small library.Fred continued to hold on to Hermione. "I think I'm going to be sick," she said as her stomach turned. She pulled back and without warning, threw up on Hermione's shoes. "Oh, god, I'm so sorry!"
Hermione felt like her chest had been caught in a vice when Fred told her that the portal had to have been called by her professor. The bloody bastard. She clutched her fiancee tightly, hot tears stinging her eyes. It wasn't enough that he had made her life hell for five year, now he was trying to hurt her again! Why? Because she had dared to come back?She didn't want to let Fred go while Wesley and Rupert got the symbols and pulled out the books to do some research into what Siedel was using. She wanted to go and blast that prick into the next century, though.When Fred said she was going to be sick, Hermione looked at her in concern, wanting to get her to the loo. Before she could move her, however, she had already vomited."Oh, Fred! I'll get some towels," Rupert said as he ran for the kitchen.Fred tried to apologize, but Hermione didn't care whether she had destroyed her shoes. All she cared about was Fred's well-being. "It's okay," she whispered to her, holding her tight. She kicked her shoes off and moved Fred over to the couch, sitting down with her, keeping her wrapped up in her arms. "I've got you, and I'm not going to let him hurt you again, no matter what.""Here, love," Rupert said, holding out a glass of water to Fred. Once she had taken it, he went over to clean up the mess on the floor. Without a word, he took Hermione's shoes to the kitchen, where she heard him dumping them in the trash."We're going to stop him," Hermione told Fred, running her hand through her hair soothingly. "Will you be okay, or do you want to go have a lie down? I'll go with you if you want."
Fred allowed Hermione to take her over to the couch, and she sat down. She looked down at the floor, her mind going over everything that'd happened. She was going to end up in another dimension again. And, she was going to take the babies with her. They were going to be raised in Pylea and made into slaves, she was sure of it.She took the glass of water from Rupert's hand and took a few sips. "I think I need some time to myself," Fred told Hermione before standing from the couch. "I...I'm going to take a nap or something. I'll be fine."Fred walked out of the room and down the hall. She noticed Wesley was no longer in the library, so she walked in and looked at the books. She remembered one of the books Wesley once had was about portals so she pulled it out. Going to the bedroom, Fred pulled out the little drawer where they kept the weapons. She chose a crossbow and sat down on the bed.She started to sharpen one of the wood pieces as she flipped through the book, trying to find the perfect spell to use on Siedel.
"Fred," Hermione said, reaching out, wanting to stop her. But Rupert shook his head, so she let her fiancee go, and once she had disappeared out of the lounge, she turned to look at him."Give her a little bit," he told her, sitting down with her on the couch. "This is a lot to deal with.""I know, Rupert, but this...Fred isn't alone in this. We're not going to let that...that bastard get her. I'm not going to!" Hermione felt her heart pounding as she got worked up, feeling tears in her eyes. "I've lost too many people I've cared about. Voldemort took Ron, and Harry pulled away because of it. The First almost managed to convince Wesley and Fred to leave us. I can't...I won't...""Sshhh," Rupert said, wrapping his arms around her as Wesley came back into the room. "Have you found anything?""I tracked down some of those symbols. It's a demon language," he said as he sat down with them on the couch. "Either Siedel is well-versed in demons or someone has been helping him.""Is there a way to stop him?" Hermione asked.Wesley paused for a moment before looking at his husband. "Well, there's always a way..."Hermione knew what he was referring to. If Siedel knew all this, the only way to stop him...was going to be to kill him. Or at the very least, send him somewhere he couldn't hurt anyone again. Standing up, she looked down at both of them."Whatever it takes. He's not taking Fred away from me. I won't let him."She left the lounge and headed to the bedroom, wanting to find Fred, let her know that they wouldn't take this. Siedel wasn't going to hurt her anymore. When she opened the door, her eyes widened when she saw Fred sitting on the bed, sharpening what looked to be a crossbow stake while looking through a book."Fred?" she asked softly.
It wasn't enough. The wood needed to be sharpen. It had to pierce his heart, which would cause him to go into cardiac arrest. No one would be there to save him, and once the wood was taken out, he'd bleed to death. He would lie in a puddle of his own blood, just as Fred had laid in puddle of water, and mud when she was in Pylea.But first, Siedel was going to suffer. He was going to know what if felt like to be scared for his life. He was going to know what it was like to be hunted. Everything Fred had felt in Pylea, he was going to feel. And then she was going to kill him without a second thought. He didn't care when he sentenced her to death, and she wasn't going to care either.When Hermione stepped into the room, Fred lowered her gaze at her. "Don't say anything," she lowly said as she continued to sharpen the wood. "None of you know what it was like and I'm not going to listen to you as you tell me how murder is wrong. He's killed so many people already and he'll continue to do it."Rupert and Wesley slipped into the room and Wesley walked over to the bed. He looked down at the book and nodded. "Opening a portal to send him to a hell dimension," he said. "Brilliant idea, love. I think it'll work."Fred blinked and looked at all of them. "You aren't going to tell me not to do it?" she asked.