Word count: 1,450
Summary: Ron and Hermione discuss the names that their best friends chose for their second son. Rated M for very light innuendo at the end.
Notes: (OP: July 2014) Just like the title, this story might be a little conversial to some, as it addresses a prickly subject: the Albus Severus dilemma. This is based in the many opinions I've come across on Tumblr, but particularly in a mock dialogue between Harry, Ron and Hermione, where Harry told them about the names he'd picked. So I thought, how would that actually have gone? What would Ron and Hermione have thought about it?
Anyway, the story is Ron and Hermione talking about the names, so it's mainly dialogue, but it's got some shippy fluffiness that I hope you'll enjoy ^^ Thanks a lot to jenahid for going over this and providing some pregnancy info.
Ron lay down on the stacked pillows at the headboard of his and Hermione's bed, thinking as he stared at his six-month pregnant wife already tucked in for the night. Her head was poring over a thick book, as per usual, the tip of her quill hovering over a scrap of parchment, ready to take notes. He already knew that, when the time came for her to settle down towards the end of her pregnancy, he would act as her oversized owl, bringing back and forth books and pending work from the Ministry. As long as she was happy and willing to take care of herself, he wouldn't object.
His sister was pregnant, too, due in two months, and Ron couldn't shake out the thought that had been on his head for the past hours.
'Hermione,' he called.
She answered with a distracted 'Hm?'
'I was thinking about Harry's announcement.'
'About his child's names?'
'I don't really like them, either.'
Ron gave her an exasperated look, and Hermione's lips twitched in amusement.
'How do you even know what I was going to say?'
'The look on your face. I don't think Harry noticed, but I—'
'You can read me like a book, I know.'
'So, what's on your mind?'
Ron fixed his gaze on the ceiling, considering his answer. While he couldn't say anything about it to Harry or Ginny, he knew he could speak freely to Hermione, as he'd always had since they got together. He'd already had a feeling that she didn't agree with the chosen names, either.
'Well… I know that Snape was actually watching after Harry all those years, and that he put the sword for us to find and followed Dumbledore's orders even when it meant risking his neck. But… he still was a dick to Harry, and to all of us, really, for six years.'
Hermione took a deep breath and sighed, her belly rising and falling.
'I know. I hate to remember that a professor made me cry when I was fifteen because of how I looked. Not to mention every other time he brought me close to tears by publicly humiliating me for wanting to participate in class. He was a responsible adult in a position of certain power, someone we should have been able to trust, not fear.'
'You know who else won't be happy about this kid's name? Neville.'
'Merlin, you're right. I think Harry wiped the slate clean after he found that Snape loved Lily, but if I'm being honest… Well, when he first told us, after the battle, I really wasn't in a state to process everything, and I thought it was love. Putting everything into perspective, now that I know what love is, it seems to me closer to obsession than love.'
'Yeah, I think that too. He did try to trade Lily's life for Harry and his dad's. Can you imagine if Voldemort had agreed? "Hey Lily, so as a thanks for ratting out the prophecy to Voldemort that made him murder your son and husband, he decided to spare you. Will you go out with me?"'
'Sounds awful. You'd think that, if he really loved her, he would have died trying to stop Voldemort. He would have traded his life for Lily's. At least I know for a fact that's what you'd do,' added Hermione, laying her hand on Ron's forearm.
'I would,' Ron said solemnly. 'Even if you'd married some git.'
'Really?' she smirked.
'Yeah, I mean, if you chose to be with him. I'd want you to be alive, but happy,' he explained, leaning sideways to place a kiss on her temple.
'Look at you, all grown up,' she teased. 'Well, you don't have to worry about it. I'd choose you over and over,' Hermione added, running her thumb over the red fuzz on Ron's cheek. Ron grinned and kissed her on the mouth. He then cupped her belly and bent to give his unborn child a kiss, while Hermione's fingers threaded gently through the hairs on his nape. When he rose again, Hermione closed her forgotten book and set it on the night table.
'At least Severus will be the boy's middle name, so, small mercies, we won't have need to use it. But I'm not sure about his first name, either.'
'Albus? It does sound a bit musty for a baby,' Ron agreed.
'It's more than that.' Hermione frowned. 'I know Dumbledore was one of the greatest and most skilled wizards of all times, and that he cared about Harry and tried to do what he thought was the best for everybody… But Aberforth was right in that he assumed too much. He put too much trust in Harry when he was just a boy. It doesn't seem fair.'
'I've always wondered what would have happened if Harry'd died, or if either of us died and Harry had to keep going alone during the Horcrux hunt,' said Ron, leaning back again and intertwining his fingers over his stomach. 'If you think about it, it's as if Dumbledore had been playing a big game of chess, guessing everyone's next moves and planning his own based on what they would do next.'
'I'm sorry; I shouldn't have laughed, but that was one ingenious analogy.'
'Thanks love. Didn't Ginny have anything to say about the names of her own kids, though?' Ron wondered. 'I mean, we lost a brother, too; they could've named their second son Fred.'
'Ginny said she knows George would want to name his son Fred, if he has one. And as a matter of fact...' Hermione gave him a sidelong glance and her lips pursed briefly in something resembling amusement. 'Harry chose the names for this one because she lost a bet.'
'She had a feeling she was expecting a girl, and Harry said it'd be another boy. So they decided that if it was a girl, Ginny would choose all the names herself—'
'I can't believe this,' Ron muttered, looking flabbergasted. 'Ginny was the first Weasley girl in seven generations and she bet against having a boy? Harry Potter knows my family better than my own sister does!'
'Ron, that was mere coincidence. Sex is not genetically determined. How can you even say that, when you already have three nieces! We are expecting a girl, too!'
'Oh. That's right.' They had only found out a month ago, and Ron couldn't have been more excited. Ginny and Harry had known for a while that they were having a boy, but they hadn't wanted to announce it until Harry had narrowed down his choices to the two most controversial names he could think of, apparently.
Hermione sighed and intertwined her fingers with his, bringing up both hands to rest on her stomach. The baby girl seemed to be sleeping; an hour ago, she had been most enthusiastic about showing her parents what she could do with her legs.
'I know we lost a lot of people we cared for in the war. But I want our children's names to be their own. I just think it's a heavy burden for any child to carry the names of people that meant so much for their parents. People will always be comparing them to their namesakes, as if they were simply telling an anecdote, but in truth, it sets a really high mark for them to reach.'
'"Albus Severus, you're ten now; where is your Award for Best Potion-making?"' said Ron in a nasal, old-lady voice, wavering a longer finger. '"Albus Severus, why haven't you been considered for Minister of Magic yet?"'
'And who are you supposed to be, exactly?' said Hermione, shaking with laughter. Ron shrugged.
'Dunno. My mum, maybe, in a couple of years.'
Their fingers still resting on Hermione's belly, he made little circles with his thumb.
'Don't worry. She'll have her own name. Something beautiful and simple, like... a flower.'
Hermione bit her lower lip slightly.
'I love you.'
'I love you more,' said Ron, flopping onto his side to look at her.
'Hey,' she protested. 'I thought we'd agreed I was the one who loves you the most for as long as I'm pregnant, so we wouldn't argue about it.'
'Can't I be it this one time?'
'I'll do that thing you like,' he offered with the lopsided smile he knew would seal any deal with her.
She took a deep breath, staring unblinkingly at him.
'Really? You will stop leaving your shoes all over the flat?' she asked, her voice a little breathy.
'The other thing. With my tongue.'
'All right, then,' Hermione said, tugging at his T-shirt. 'You love me more.'