“Mmm…something sure smells good,” he said tentatively, not at all sure that’s what he was supposed to say but figuring it couldn‘t be that wrong.
“It smells bloody awful, you lying prat.”
Okay. Obviously it had been the wrong thing to say. He looked at Harry again and silently pleaded with him to tell him what he was supposed to do. Normally, he understood most of Hermione’s moods. Well, understood was the wrong word. He knew how to react to either annoy her more, because she really was gorgeous when she was flushed from anger, or to make things a little better if he could. Now, though, she was all over the place with her moods and his normal methods of survival to keep his bollocks intact just weren’t working. Harry shrugged and shook his head, a true sign of the apocalypse if there ever was one. He had to think fast because there were tears and he hated seeing tears in her eyes that weren’t due to happiness.
“Well, you may not think it smells good, but I do.” So there was not said but it was definitely implied by the tone of his voice. Not a good plan, but what could be expected with less than five minutes to prepare? He gave Hermione his best stubborn look as he walked closer.
Her eyes narrowed as she watched him, no more tears falling to dampen cheeks that were now flushed with annoyance instead of frustration. “Don’t think you’re going to come in here looking all fit and handsome and distract me, Ronald Weasley.”
“Course not,” he agreed as a smug smile crossed his lips. “Fit and handsome, am I?”
“And what am I?” Harry asked indignantly, his lips curled into an amused smile. “I don’t recall hearing how sexy and gorgeous I am when I came home from work. I could very well get jealous of the redhead prat, you know?”
“Sexy and gorgeous?” Ron repeated with a snicker as he sat down in the chair next to Hermione. “You? In what alternate reality is that, Mister Potter? You know very well that the only reason we keep you around is for our amusement.”
“And good sex,” Hermione added with a teasing grin. “No, change that. Great sex.”
“I feel so used,” Harry whimpered before dramatically lying his head on the table to sob.
“Oi! Stop your whining. She said it was great sex.” Ron laughed before he leaned over and kissed Hermione. When he pulled back, his thumb traced her lips as they curved into a small smile before it moved up to brush away her tears. “What’s this all about, love?”
“I wanted to bake a cake,” she told him before she turned to glare at the mess in the pan. “I followed the bloody recipe step by step but it still looks like one of Neville’s old Potions experiments.”
“It doesn’t look that bad,” Harry said as he raised his head from the table. Hermione reached over and pushed his glasses up to the bridge of his nose and earned a kiss on her palm.
“You’re both liars,” she declared matter-of-factly. “I’m involved with two liars. What has my life come to? It’s a right awful mess! You both know it so quit trying to humor the pregnant woman, all right? If you don’t admit that I can’t bake for shite, I’ll hex you both. Or make you eat a slice of that disgusting monstrosity!”
“Did you hear that, Harry? The lady calls us liars then threatens to hex us both!”
“I heard.” Harry sighed loudly and shook his head. “It’s a shame when blokes can’t even have their opinions in their own flat. Always knew she was a bossy little thing but the nerve! Tell us we’re lying when it’s obvious this, uh, cake is far better than the biscuits she tried making last week”
“Right you are, mate,” Ron agreed as he shuddered at the memory of the chocolate chip biscuits she’d attempted to make the week before. “Whole flat smelled of burned cookie dough for hours after that effort. Least this time I don‘t see any water on the floor so she must not have set the kitchen on fire.”
“Fine. Go ahead and laugh at me!” Hermione turned her glare from the cake to both of them. “You’ll both be sleeping on the sofa, I’ll have you know. And I’ll put up protection charms to keep you from touching one another. Not so funny now, is it, boys?”
“You’re not going to make us sleep on the sofa, love,” Ron said confidently. “You’d miss snuggling up between us too much.”
“I’d use pillows,” she told him smugly. “Bet they wouldn’t back talk and lie to me and then make fun of me like you two gits.”
“Hermione, pillows couldn’t snuggle you the way we do,” Harry reminded her with a slight smile. He moved his hand over the curve of her belly and let it rest there. “You’d really sleep alone at night without my hands on your tummy and your arms around Ron?”
“Well,” she hesitated as Ron slowly stroked her arm with the palm of his hand and blew lightly against her neck. “Maybe only temporarily, until I actually bake something edible.”
Ron caught Harry’s gaze over her head. After a mouthed conversation that consisted of ‘Will she ever bake something edible?’ ‘I’m not sleeping on that bloody sofa, pregnancy hormones or not’ and ‘We know what we have to do’, Ron stood up and pulled her to her feet. “Come along, love.”
“What are you up to now, Ronald?” she asked suspiciously. He was relieved when she took his hand and followed him into the kitchen.
“We’re going to bake a cake, Hermione,” he told with a grin. “Actually, you’re going to bake and I’m going to sit here and leer at you while thinking very, very naughty thoughts. I suppose Harry will leer, too, but far more subtly cause he’s sneakier about that sort of thing.”
“Yep. I’m Stealth Wizard when it comes to leering at our beautiful girl,” Harry said with a smirk as he joined them in the kitchen. He removed the apron from the hook and put it over Hermione’s head.
“You’re both crazy,” she decided as she looked from one to the other with a bemused smile on her face.
Ron kissed her thoroughly as his hand drifted down her back to rest lightly on her arse. When he pulled back, he spanked her gently. “Bad girl. First you call us liars and now we’re crazy. Oi! What are we going to do with you?”
“I’ve got a few suggestions,” Harry volunteered before he kissed her just as thoroughly. He grinned when he let mouth go and gave her an innocent expression. “Merely obeying orders, Hermione. It says ’kiss the cook’.”
“Fine! You win,” she declared as she laughed. “I’ll try again if only to save you both from a lifetime confined to the sofa.”
She gave them each a kiss on the cheek before she found the recipe of the chocolate cake. Ron watched her start to prepare the ingredients, and smiled when she added far too much flour. When she turned to find the spoon, he discreetly used his wand to lift a spoon to remove the excess flour, giving her a playful leer and blowing her a wet kiss when she looked at him. She grinned, her tears from earlier forgotten as she bumped the bowl with her large stomach.
Behind her back, Harry quickly added more milk to the cup beside him before he leaned against the counter and asked Ron how his day had been. She might never again bake anything edible, but they were going to do everything in their power to make sure this cake was perfect.