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Chapter 34 : Blood, Sweat and Tears
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“Get the bag! And my keys! Where’s Hermione? GET HERMIONE!”
“Bag…bag…BAG! Found the bag! Where are the keys…THERE! Keys! H-Hermione?! She’s at work, Ron – SHE’S AT WORK!”
“Hermione!” Dad cries, “I can’t do this without Hermione!”
“Just breathe, Ron, it’ll be alright…in…and out…and in…that’s good…” Teddy says in soothing tones as Dad breathes deeply, the wooden spoon and bowl of pancake batter still in his arms.
Are they for real?
“When you two have quite finished,” I snap, “I’m going to go have a baby.” I pull myself up off the couch.
“R-right!” Dad drops the bowl all over the carpet, “Let’s do this!”
I walk myself out to the car while Teddy and Dad panic some more. The contractions aren’t even that bad yet, so I really can’t see what the fuss is about. Dad is on his phone to Mum shouting at her to meet us at St Mungo's. Teddy and Dad climb into the car after me and as soon as Dad pulls himself together enough to put the keys in the ignition, we set off for St Mungo’s.
“It’ll be okay…it’ll be fine,” says Teddy nervously over and over again, “You’ll do just fine, Rose. You’ll be grand…”
“Teddy, calm down,” I say, annoyed, “You’re making me nervous.”
Teddy gives me an apologetic look, but it doesn’t stop him from worrying.
“WHY AREN’T YOU MOVING?!” Dad screams at the car in front as soon as the lights go green, “WHAT BLOODY SHADE OF GREEN ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!”
Another contraction. It’s worse than the others. I grab Teddy’s hand and squeeze for dear life.
“I don’t understand…” Dad says frantically, “Did your waters even break?”
I think about it – I can’t really remember. I mean, I don’t remember wetting myself. It’s not exactly the kind of thing you’d forget. But then there was that funny popping feeling I got when I was in the bath last night…I thought that was just the bath's jets acting up. And I did start getting the occasional cramp after that, sort of like period cramps. I didn't really think much of them though.
“I think so,” I say. Am I the first person in the history of women not to feel her waters break?
“Why didn’t you tell us?!” Dad cries, “Your waters broke and you didn’t even –”
“Dad! Stop! I didn’t even realise they broke until now! OW! Can you drive this thing any faster?!”
Dad starts beeping the horn every time we slow down even a little bit. Teddy is so pale it looks like he’s going to pass out. What’s he going to be like when it’s his own child?
Which reminds me. Scorpius.
“Scorpius!” I cry, “Someone has to get in contact with Scorpius!”
“What’s his number?” Teddy asks, grabbing Dad’s phone.
“He doesn’t have a phone! Write him a speed-letter, floo him, I don’t care just GET HIM HERE!”
When we finally arrive at the hospital, Dad abandons the car on double yellow lines and helps me inside. Teddy grabs the bag in one hand and I now notice that he’s still holding the frying pan. Good God men really are useless in crisis situations.
“BABY! There’s a baby coming!” Dad shouts dramatically to the woman behind the receptionist’s desk. A passing Healer stops and looks at me.
“What’s your name?” she asks kindly.
“Rose Weasley,” I breathe, clutching my stomach as another contraction stabs me.
“How close are your contractions?” she asks and I tell her about five to ten minutes between each. She brings me down to the newly constructed maternity ward, which is on the first floor. There was never a maternity ward in St Mungo's before because it was always a hospital for magical injuries, not universal ones. But some witches can’t control their magic while having babies and more often than not they end up accidentally cursing the Muggle doctor delivering the baby. The Ministry found that it was too much paperwork obliviating every midwife’s memory every time a witch gave birth, so they just funded a new maternity ward in St Mungo’s.
Dad and Teddy wait outside while I change into the hospital gown and when they come back in, I take a good look at them for the first time. Dad is still wearing Mum’s pink apron, with the wooden spoon tucked into the pocket. Teddy has yet to let go of the oily frying pan and is covered with pancake batter. I’m in labour, and I feel I look better than them.
“Did one of you contact Scorpius?” I ask frantically. He has to be here. I need him. I’m just not going to push if he isn’t here.
“I’m on it,” says Teddy decisively and rushes from the room.
I sit up on the bed, waiting for the next contraction. That’s all it is now. A waiting game. Dad paces up and down beside the bed, asking if I’m alright, if I need anything. So to make him feel like he’s useful, I ask him to get me a glass of water, even though I’m not thirsty. The Healer comes into the ward, which is semi-private, to ask me a few more questions.
“I’m Josie Thorne by the way,” she adds kindly, “You’re only three centimetres dilated at the minute – can I ask, have your waters broken yet?”
“Er…I’m not sure…” I tell her honestly, “They might have last night.” I can tell she’s never gotten that answer before. She just nods and then leaves me alone. I’m scared to be alone. I’ve never been scared to be alone in my entire life, but right now, I need someone. Anyone. I’d settle for Auntie Audrey at this rate!
Oh shit. Why did I have to go and say that? I didn’t mean it. I take it back!
Auntie Audrey is here. What the hell is she doing here? I am going to throw something sharp and if it hits her, then I cannot be held liable!
“Hello dear!” she greets me, “I met your mother rushing out of the Ministry, so I just thought I’d pop along and see how you’re doing.”
“I’d really prefer if you weren’t here Auntie Audrey,” I say, disregarding any manners my mother has taught me over the last seventeen years.
“The girls and Percy will be along soon too!” she informs me. Oh why me? Any other normal family would just wait until the baby is actually born to come and visit, but no, Audrey has to be here to see the full shebang.
“Please Audrey – OW!” I moan at another sharp pain and breathe in and out.
“Now, aren’t you glad I’m here?” Audrey starts fluffing the pillows behind my back, “I felt hardly anything when I was having Molly and Lucy you know.”
Yeah, that’s because she took every potion and cast every spell before she went into labour. I’d rather my baby didn’t come out all drugged up. And I distinctly remember the look on Audrey’s face after she had Lucy – it’s the only time I’ve ever seen the woman tired. Oh Scorpius, where are you? Luckily, Dad comes back just as Audrey is about to volunteer her services as a birthing partner and asks her to wait outside.
“Your Mum will be here soon,” Dad reassures me, placing the glass of water down on the table beside my bed. “You’re doing really well, love.”
I don’t feel like I am. Every time I get a contraction it feels like payback for nine months of missed menstrual cramps. I’m scared that something’s going to go wrong too.
“The Healer says I’m only three centimetres dilated,” I tell Dad, “I have to get up to ten.”
At that moment, Mum runs into the ward, followed by Ginny, Jenny and Dom, all of whom must have been informed of my labour by Auntie Audrey. I’m so relieved Mum’s here. Apart from Scorpius, she’s the only person I really want here.
“Holy crap, you’re having a baby!” Dom cries, “I mean…I knew you were having one…but you’re really having one!”
“Yeah thanks Dom, I needed reminding,” I scowl, and cry out again at another contraction.
“James, Al and Lily are here,” Jenny informs me, “And Percy and the girls just arrived too. And I think Victoire said she’ll be coming later.”
“Fred and Roxanne have just arrived,” says Dom, poking her head out the door.
I don’t care who’s here! This pain is like nothing I’ve ever experienced before in my life, and I’ve been to thirty-seven Chudley Cannon games, all of which they lost by one hundred points or more. The contractions are becoming more drawn out too, and I can’t stop the tears coming now. Dad ushers everyone except for Ginny and Mum out of the room, and then he leaves, saying he’ll pop back in a while to see if I need anything. I think he feels uncomfortable – I can’t say I blame him.
“Where’s Scorpius?!” I cry out.
“Teddy’s trying his best to get hold of him,” says Mum sympathetically, “He’s apparated up to Scotland, but he isn’t entirely sure where the Malfoy house is so it could take a while, Al's given him directions…”
“He needs to hurry! I need him, Mum! I know I said I didn’t but I do! I need him right now!”
Mum and Ginny regard each other worriedly.
An hour later, there is still no sign of Scorpius and these contractions have become so much worse than I could ever have imagined possible. Each one I consider punishment.
That one is for pulling Hugo’s hair when he was three, just to make him cry.
That one is for kissing Scorpius on New Years Eve while he was still with Dom.
That one is for not telling Dom about it.
That one is for jinxing Carl-the-Ravenclaw.
That one is for being such a bitch to Scorpius.
That one is for breaking up with Scorpius, even though we still love each other.
That one is for abusing my prefect power to take points from Hufflepuff, just so we could win the house cup last year.
“Mum, why won’t it stop?!” I cry, pacing around the room. I find the pain eases ever so slightly if I don’t stay in the one place for too long. Ginny rubs my back and tells me to keep breathing, that I’m doing great, but if I hear that one more time I’m going to punch someone’s lights out. “WHERE IS SCORPIUS?!”
Seeing my daughter like this is almost worse than going through it myself. I wish I could switch places with her. She’s only seventeen, after all. I still think of her as my little baby girl, and it doesn’t feel so long ago that I was giving birth to her. At least I had Ron there.
“Mum, I’m sorry but FUCK! THIS HURTS!”
I really do wish she wouldn’t swear, but I’m not about to give out to her for it. She gets it from Ron, the swearing, and usually I’d lecture her on how it’s not lady-like to swear like that, but I reckon I’ll be on the receiving end of one of her death glares if I say a word. And I suppose she did apologise first. She gets most things from Ron – her obstinacy, her bravery, her complete disregard for everything I say. She may look like me, despite the hair colour, but sometimes I wonder if any of my personality at all shines through in her.
“The book says that walking around is supposed to make it better! Why isn’t it better?!”
Okay, so perhaps she gets some things from me, like the disappointment felt when a book lets you down.
“I’m going to check if they’ve had any luck finding Scorpius,” I tell Rose and Ginny nods at me, indicating that she’s okay to be left alone with her.
In the waiting room I find – well, everyone. This family really doesn’t miss a trick. My Mum is here too, I presume Molly or Arthur must have told her, because I didn’t. Actually, come to think of it, I’m not quite sure who told Molly and Arthur. Or Bill and Fleur, or George and Angelina, but they’re all here, waiting. They look at me hopefully.
“Nothing yet, she has another while to go,” I tell them. The last time the healer came in she told us Rose is only four and a half centimetres dilated, the poor thing. “Has anybody heard from Teddy or Scorpius?”
“He found the Malfoys’ place, but Scorpius wasn’t home. Apparently the maid said he was out playing football with some Muggle called Darren,” Albus explains. The maid? I always knew the Malfoys were rich, but I didn’t realise they had a maid! Oh well, at least it isn’t a House Elf. I have no idea who this Darren person is.
“So where is Teddy now?” I ask.
“He’s having a look around the area for him,” Albus says, “But I doubt he’ll find anything.”
This is bad. But I suppose Scorpius, like the rest of us, wasn’t expecting the baby for at least another week, so he wouldn’t be on his guard. I go back into the ward, where Rose is groaning, obviously having another bad contraction. I hate to be the barer of bad news.
“Teddy can’t find Scorpius,” I tell her, “He’s apparently out playing football with some Darren chap.”
“B-but, Scorpius has to be here!” Rose cries. Her face is very red and she has tears streaming down her face. It kills me to see her like this. Oh God, if you’re up there, can’t you just let me swap places with her? She shouldn’t have to go through all of this pain! “Wait a second…Darren?” Rose looks at me hopefully.
“Yes, I think that’s what Al said…”
“Darren lives next door!” she cries, “Well, his Grandmother did. Have Teddy check the house next to the Malfoys’! Darren could still live there!”
I rush back out of the ward to contact Teddy before Rose completely loses it.
There are no football pitches in this area. Not one. I’ve asked a few of the locals, and they all said that there’s nothing for miles around. One bloke did mention ‘The Field’, a local hangout for the kids, but when I went to ‘The Field’ I only found a few homeless guys and a stray dog. I have Ron’s phone on me and I keep getting text messages from Al telling me to hurry up and find him.
I head back up to the Malfoy house and decide to just wait outside in case Scorpius should return home. Today has been quite the eye-opener for me. As soon as Victoire hits seven months, I’m never letting her out of my sight. I don’t want to miss anything when she goes into labour. But then again, labour isn’t the magical thing everyone thinks it is. I’ve never seen Rose, the strongest girl I know, cry out like that. James used to give her Indian Burns all the time when they were kids and she would just stare him right in the face and not give any reaction.
I have to find him. He can’t miss the birth of his child! It’s true that I’ve never seen eye-to-eye with my so-called second cousin, but I wouldn’t want him to miss this. I’ve always felt like Scorpius never liked me. There’s no love lost really, because I’ve never had time for the Malfoys, but I often wonder why he doesn’t like me but still likes the Weasleys and the Potters. I can’t imagine what it is I’ve done to him, but I don’t really care too much either.
I wait for hours for Scorpius to return, hoping and praying that Rose hasn't given birth yet. Where the hell could he be? Ron’s phone beeps and I realise I’ve gotten a text message from Al. My heart starts racing, thinking it'll be a message saying 'Rose had baby. Come back now.' But it isn't.
CHECK HOUSE NEXT 2 MALFOYS.
I run up the path to the house next door to the Malfoys, which is significantly smaller, but much more homely. I knock on the door, but there is no reply. So I knock again and again. And then I notice the doorbell so I ring that too. I then hear some noise from inside the house, so I know there’s someone home. So I keep knocking and ringing the doorbell until finally someone answers the door. A bloke around Rose’s age answers looking at me as if I’m some mental bloke trying to sell him something or make him join a cult.
“I’m looking for Scorpius Malfoy, is he here?” I ask frantically. This is my last hope.
“Teddy? What’re you doing here?” Scorpius appears behind the guy who answered the door, looking confused and a little pissed off. I don’t care. It’s not the time to get hung up on why he seems to have it in for me. His baby is being born.
“Rose is in labour.”
His expression changes as quick as lightning to completely terrified. I know how he feels.
I…I think it’s time. I will never forget those words as long as I live and how scared I felt upon hearing them.
“Darren, I have to go,” says Scorpius quickly.
“Go!” The bloke called Darren practically pushes him out the door.
“When did this happen?” Scorpius demands as we run down the path and over to his house where we can apparate safely.
“About two hours ago, but she says she’s been having mild contractions since last night,” I inform him.
Scorpius stops running and glares at me, so I stop running too and face him. Here we go, this will somehow be my fault.
“Since last night? And nobody thought to tell me?” he shoots.
“What d’you think I’m doing?” I growl. I’m not prepared to take any shit from him. “Look Scorpius, she didn’t even know she was having contractions last night, and she’s only really started having them for the last two hours. I’ve been here the whole time looking for you because you weren’t on standby waiting to be contacted!”
“This is my fault now?!” Scorpius shouts, “She’s not due for two weeks! Should I just be waiting by the fire?!”
“YES YOU SHOULD!” I yell. Rose deserves better than this plank. “I was ‘round at her house every day making sure she was okay!”
“Well aren’t you just Mister Perfect?” says Scorpius nastily, “Why don’t you just go be there for her then? I’m obviously not needed – she’d probably prefer have you there anyway!”
“Don't be a prat,” I snap, “You’re that kid’s father. But if you’re not up to it, I’ll step in because Rose is one of my best friends. She’s practically my sister! And if you abandon her now, I swear to Merlin I’ll break both your legs.” And I mean it too.
“Sister?” he snorts, “Yeah, right.”
Just what is he implying? That Rose and I are somehow to be considered more than friends? Talk about sick-minded.
“What’re you saying, Malfoy?”
“I’m saying that she’s in love with you! And she always has been in love with you! So excuse me for feeling like a bit of a third wheel!”
Okay, this is awkward. Of course Rose isn’t in love with me. She’s like my little sister, the little sister I’ve always wanted. I feel connected to her unlike any other member of the Weasley family, even Victoire. I love Rose, but I’m not in love with her. That’s just wrong. And I’m sure she’s not in love with me. Maybe she had a silly crush at some stage. We’ve all had them. I used to fancy Hermione (it was a weird phase). But if Scorpius thinks that I’m the one she’s in love with, then he’s more stupid than I thought.
“Shut up,” I say, “You don’t have a clue, do you? If she’s in love with me, then why did she make me come and look for you? Why is she in St Mungo’s crying out for you? Rose is strong enough to have that baby by herself, but she wants you there. And if you miss it, she’ll never forgive you, I’ll never forgive you and you’ll never forgive yourself. Now come on, we’re going to St Mungo’s.”
He doesn’t say anything. I think he knows I’m right.
Shit. Double Shit. Triple Shit. Quadruple Shit with bells on.
Why does this hurt so much? Nearly three hours later and I’ve run out of bad things I’ve done in life that I need to be punished so severely. And believe me, I’m no saint.
“Mum it hurts!” I cry stupidly, and I half expect her to say ‘well, duh’. But she doesn’t. She just looks at me as if she can feel my pain vicariously, so I hold her hand, partly for me and partly for her. Won’t these contractions ever end? Will it ever be time to push? And where the hell is Scorpius?
Why did I sleep with him? No good can come from sleeping with the enemy. None whatsoever. And giving birth to a Malfoy baby is probably going to be even sorer than giving birth to a regular baby, what with it being pure evil and everything. Because that’s what Scorpius Malfoy is – pure evil. He did this to me! And he isn’t even here to see the result of his handiwork! If this baby’s a boy, I’m calling him Lucifer.
The door opens and in walks Healer Josie Thorne, all sweetness and light, ready to tell me how many centimetres I’m dilated. I thought I liked her – now I realise that I hold nothing more than pure and raw hatred for the woman. I sit up onto the bed for the first time since I realised that standing hurts less. She feels my cervix.
“Eight and a half,” she smiles, “You’re almost there.”
I don’t know if she expects me to sing the Dixie or something at this news, but she definitely thinks I should be happy. I want to spit in her face, but that might be going to extremes. She leaves again, telling us she’ll be back in about twenty minutes.
“Not long now,” Mum says reassuringly, “It’ll all be over soon.”
“I need it to be over now!” I cry, “Accio! Try the Accio charm! It’ll just fly right out! Placenta and all!”
“Darling, I don’t think it works that way,” says Mum, while Ginny bites her lip to stop herself from laughing. It could work. I wonder has anybody every tried it? You can’t know until you’ve tried.
“Where’s my wand?” I demand.
“You left it at home,” says Mum.
“And they don’t allow mother’s to carry their wands in the ward,” says Ginny, “Who knows who they’d kill if they had it on them.”
I have a list of at least twenty people who would be dead at this stage, including the insensitive cleaner who walked in when Hr. Thorne was checking how many centimetres dilated I was about an hour ago. And of course Hr. Thorne herself would be long gone.
“How did you two go and have more children after this?” I cry out in pain.
“Ron wanted a boy,” Mum shrugs.
“Harry wanted a girl,” says Ginny, “Third time lucky.”
Well I don’t give a flying Pixie’s arse if Scorpius wants a boy, if this baby is a girl then she can have a bloody sex change – I am never doing this again! Nana Molly did this seven times – seven! And twice in one day! She is superwoman. I’ve never had more respect for her than I do now. She pops her head in from time to time along with Granny Jane, but they don’t stay long because Thorne keeps ushering people out.
Forty minutes later, Healer Thorne tells me I’m ten centimetres dilated. It’s time to push.
“I’m not ready to push!” I cry, even though back at eight I was more than ready, “I need Scorpius! I can’t push yet!”
“Rose, you can’t put this off,” says Mum, “Scorpius will be here!”
“You don’t know that!” I cry, tears now streaming down my cheeks and not just from the pain. Scorpius has to be here.
Just then the door bursts open and Scorpius is there, doubled over with his hands on his knees, trying to catch his breath.
“R-Rose…I…just…heard…so…sorry…” he gasps and grabs my hand.
“Its…okay…you’re…here…now,” I gasp back, trying to catch my own breath.
“I’ll leave,” says Ginny and gives Scorpius her seat. She pats him on the shoulder on her way out the door.
“Maybe I should go too –”
“No!” I cut Mum off, “Mum…I need you!”
She takes my other hand. Now I can push.
This is surreal. This cannot be happening, not now. It’s too early. I don’t even have time to process this when –
“Okay Rose, I need you to push now.”
I can do this. I can help her push. Deep breaths. I’ll be fine. Be strong. Be strong like Rose.
She doesn’t scream at all as she pushes the first time, sweat pouring down her face and her red hair more out-of-control than I’ve ever seen it. I’ve never been more in love with her than I am now.
“I can’t do it!” she cries after the first push, “It’s too sore, I can’t do it!”
“Yes you can,” I say quietly into her ear, “You can do it, I know you can.”
“No, I can’t,” she sobs.
“The baby is crowning, Rose, you need to push!” says the Healer urgently.
“I can’t push…I can’t p-push…”
Then it comes to me. I know how to get her through this! It’s too simple!
“Yeah, you’re right, you can’t push.”
She looks at me, and I can see her Mum looking at me in complete shock. Even the Healer looks up at me. They all think I’m nuts.
“What did you say?” Rose spits. I must be nuts to be saying this to a woman who’s giving birth.
“You can’t do it,” I shrug, “I bet you ten galleons you can’t do it. You’re too much of a softie. Just think – even your Aunt Audrey could do it.”
That just about does it. Rose pushes. And she screams. And she pushes some more.
“That’s it Rose!” the Healer cries, “We have a head! Keep pushing!”
My baby has a head. There’s a relief. I steal a glance down at my child coming into the world and immediately wish I hadn’t. There’s so much blood – it’s disgusting. Rose is lucky she doesn’t have to look at it. I better not mention that to her.
“C’mon Rose, one more big push,” I tell her, “Prove me wrong, babe.”
She pushes as hard as she possibly can, yelling, moaning, swearing, sweating and then –
Cries of a newborn fill the whole ward. Rose flops down onto her pillow, totally and completely exhausted and drenched in sweat. Hermione bursts into tears and kisses her daughter on the forehead, while Rose whispers "I told you I could do it..."
“Congratulations,” the Healer smiles and holds up the baby, “It’s a boy.”
A/N: Fast update? I think so! And congrats to those who guessed the sex - it was always gonna be a boy I'm afraid! I have first and middle names picked out too. There will be two more chapters and then it's all over! *wipes tear* And thank you so much for all of your reviews! I really REALLY appreciate them all! We're back up to the number of reviews this story had before the site crash, so I just want to thank you so much for that! So I'll ask you again: please review the chapter! It was so hard to write, I never knew how I was going to go about it, so I thought the changes of POV might bring something new and fresh...or maybe it's been done before, I'm not sure. I've never read a fic where someone gives birth. Anyhoo, please review this chapter and tell me how I did. I love you all! Happy 21-days-til-Christmas! (",)
P.S - My cousin had a boy too :)
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