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Chapter 1 : The arrival of Rose Weasley
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A large congregation was just stepping through a sheet of glass, after being allowed access to do this by an ugly mannequin wearing a green nylon dress. The mannequin did not have a name, but if she did, she would’ve liked it to have been something exotic and different like Willow, or Luella, but unfortunately, she was widely know in the wizarding world, as “that ugly dummy that wears the green dress.” It was a heartbreaking life she led, being a nameless character with an unflattering description to be known as. Utterly awful. Everyday, she let people pass through a pane of glass, watching a busy street go by, watching people grimace as they regarded her outfit with pointed disdain.
Tears could not fall down from inside her plastic head, but she would’ve loved it if that could happen. By chance, she’d heard of a character called Pinocchio, who had been changed from a puppet into a real boy (unfortunately the incident that she had heard had been a case of quite the reverse; the poor man was holding his son by four strings) and she would’ve loved if she could be a real woman. A woman who could choose her own clothes… fashionable dummies stared at her all the time from the shop across the road, wearing beautiful garments that got been changed everyday for goodness sake. She felt that they were scorning her, even though they never moved.
And to top it all off, there was an unspeakably beautiful male mannequin in the shop right next to that… but how was she supposed to attract his attention wearing such a foul dress, and with eyelashes that weren’t even attached to her immobile lids anymore? He wore fitted black suits, stunning on his lean figure… he was gorgeous, she thought with heartache.
But, life goes on she thought… and I must live with the fact that St. Mungo’s will never change my dress, and I’ll never be beautiful.
On an entirely different issue, inside the waiting room of St Mungo’s Hospital of Magical Maladies and Injuries a rather tall red haired man was doing a nervous tap dance, whilst him and his party waited in the queue for reception. A woman on his right was bent over double, in quite a lot of pain, but when they finally reached the desk, her condition went quite unnoticed. The receptionist believed the tap-dancing to have had some sort of jinx problem put on his feet, and directed him immediately to the fourth floor. He made to go there, before another man tapped him on the arm, and patiently reminded him that he wasn’t the one with the problem.
“What?!” said Ron, in a rather high pitched voice and still dancing around like a bit of a wolly, “Yes I am! Hermione’s having a baby, of course I’ve got a bloody problem!”
“Yes, but Ron,” Harry explained to him, “We need to find Hermione a ward, not you.”
Ron finally saw what Harry was trying to tell him, and he nodded and turned to the receptionist, who had been regarding their conversation with a raised eyebrow, evidently unimpressed with the delay.
“You know, most people give birth at home nowadays,” the receptionist said coolly, “you may have noticed that we don’t have a ward where people can just have their babies.”
Hermione looked at her with a red face, and spectacularly demonic hair.
“Look,” she hissed, “I am not doing this at home… my husband is useless – ”
“Hey!” said Ron.
“ – and I have an intolerance for people who waste my time… so do you really, really want to upset me right now?”
Hermione said all this in a vehement hiss, that even made the haughty receptionist look moderately frightened.
“You heard the pregnant woman,” Ron said, trying to show authority, “do you want to upset the pregnant woman?”
“Ron… she’s called Hermione, don’t refer to her as the “pregnant woman,” Ginny said in an undertone, tugging at his sleeve.
“Well… if you go down the hallway,” the receptionist said pointing, “and turn left, you’ll find the general ward. That’s where unknown cases go, until they can be … fully diagnosed.”
She sniffed as she said this… and then muttered, “See, this is why I don’t have sex…”
They all hurried away, Ron trying to hold Hermione upright, but she was quite beyond normal walking; she was in quite a lot of pain, and Harry was very nervous, but nowhere near as nervous as Ron who was now looking around in circles, mercifully having neglected his tap dance. Ginny was relatively calm, though heavily pregnant herself, and George – who had remained uncharacteristically silent – was walking along with his hands in his pockets, with a small smile on his face.
“See Harry?” Ginny said quietly, pointing at Hermione, “This’ll be us in… a months time.”
“Hooray!” said Harry, raising his fist in mock celebration.
A healer had spotted Hermione and was hurriedly moving her towards a bed at the end of a long, wood panelled ward, full of other patients. Some were emitting steam, and some had turned all sorts of different colours. Indeed, one was flashing the whole spectrum, whilst singing a song about a leprechaun who got arrested.
Hermione collapsed onto the bed, and the healer pulled red screens around her with her wand, and regarded Hermione with a sympathetic air. Harry, Ginny and Ron moved into seats around the bed; George stood up… he planned to leave soon, and only return when the baby was born… he certainly was not staying for that.
“St Mungo’s are rubbish for babies aren’t they?” the healer said, “It’s just that most people do this at home.”
Hermione’s face was plastered in sweat, and she was breathing as though she’d run a ten-mile race, and then held her breath for an hour. She looked at the healer with an expression of disbelief.
“I’m a capable woman,” Hermione gasped, “but I could not do this at home! None of the books I’ve read have said…”
Hermione’s face then contorted into spasms of pain.
“… I think that was meant to finish, “None of books I’ve read have said anything about how awful this would be,”” George chuckled to Harry. Harry was finding it quite unnerving to see Hermione like this. He had been through it with Ginny, but that whole memory was washed clear, and sound free by the fact that he’d had a little black haired son by the end of it. James was at home now, very, very unhappy at being left behind with his Grandmother and Grandfather. He had desperately tried to come too, but Ginny had explained that it wouldn’t be suitable. Of course, James didn’t listen to this and had told Harry and Ginny that he would never, ever, speak to them again.
“Oh dear,” Harry had said.
Ron was now clasping Hermione’s hand, as she squeezed it until his bones screamed in protest.
“ARGGGHHH!” said Hermione.
“ARGGGHHH!” said Ron, as he mourned the bones in his hand. His red hair stood on end, making him look a bit like a fireplace.
“Now they’re both dying,” George muttered, walking over to Ron, and squeezing his shoulder, “Do you want a cup of tea, Ron?”
Ron let out a splutter that almost sounded like “yes,” so George accepted his freedom – he didn’t like scenes like this, screaming women, an upset man, and the imminent threat of a lot of blood – and scuttled off. Harry remained with Ron, and moved closer to him and Hermione, trying to be supportive, but not quite sure how…
Ginny was already next to Hermione holding her other hand saying things like “breathe Hermione, breathe, slowly…”
“Does – does – it get – easier?” Hermione gasped, staring at Ginny beseechingly.
“Sure it does,” Ginny said pleasantly.
Harry looked at her, and Ginny made a “what else could I have said??” kind of expression.
“Blimey,” Ron suddenly said, “this is full on…”
His hand was still being pressed out of shape by Hermione’s, but he didn’t seem to notice that anymore. He suspected his nerve endings had been squeezed out of existence.
“It’s all worth it though, mate,” Harry assured him, clapping Ron’s shoulder – the shoulder is a good place to hit if you wish to comfort someone, without being too friendly… after all, the time was not ripe for a hug.
“Is it though?” Ron said weakly, looking at Harry through tired eyes, “You complain about James, Mum and Dad went crazy every other day trying to look after all of us…”
His voice tailed off, and all that was left was the sound of Hermione trying to breath, interspersed with squeals of pain, and another patient was yelling, “WHO’S MAKING THAT NOISE? I’LL SUE THEM I WILL… I’LL SUE!”
“Yeah, I complain about James loads… mostly to James actually,” Harry replied to him, their conversation was conducted in low voices, but no one noticed, as Ginny was still trying to comfort an insanely agonized Hermione, “But… he’s like, I dunno, a part of me … like I made him…”
“… with Ginny,” he added, which made Ron grimace and shut his eyes. Harry went red, and then hastily said, “But you see what I mean! You will do anyway… I promise you.”
Ron recovered, and asked, “Do you really mean it? You really promise?”
“’course I do!” Harry said, with a grin, and he shook Ron by the shoulder (again). Ron looked comforted, and turned back to his screaming wife. He couldn’t feel his hand anymore, so he didn’t notice that Hermione had actually broken his middle finger.
“She’s still beautiful,” he said, misty eyed, and regarding Hermione’s red, sweaty, anguished face and manic hair with rapt adoration. He brushed her hair off her forehead, and smiled at her vacantly.
“What – are you – so – happy – about?” she demanded of him angrily.
“We’re going to have a baby Hermione!” Ron said to her, “We’re having a baby!”
“No! I’m – having – a baby,” she spat, “you – just get – shared – credit – afterwards!”
Ron nodded at her.
“Fair enough,” he said, turning back to Harry with a slightly amused face. He was lucky Hermione didn’t notice this, for the healer had just bustled in, and was poking and prodding at Hermione with her wand, whilst muttered words under her breath.
“What are you doing?” asked Ron.
“Seeing whether she’s ready yet…” the healer said, and then she put her ear on Hermione, and put a finger to her lips for quiet. Everyone obliged, except for Hermione, who let out involuntary muffled squeaks.
“Is she?” Ron whispered, a trace of panic in his voice again.
“I would certainly say…” the healer paused and everyone leant in, “…so!”
“BLOODY HELL NO!” Ron said, leaping up, “NO! No! Where’s George? I want my tea!”
“Here I am!” tinkled George, bursting through the curtains carrying a tray with four mugs on it, steaming, “I didn’t get you one Hermione, you don’t mind do you?”
She gave him a withering look which made George feel like he was about to be killed.
Ron tried to walk around the bed to George, but Hermione still had his hand, so he couldn’t.
“Baby! Coming! Now!” Ron managed to tell him, “Now…”
“Yes!” the healer declared, rolling up her sleeves, “Everyone who isn’t the father – or mother – needs to get out! Come on! Shoo!”
Harry and Ginny made to get up from their seats around Hermione’s bed, and Ron gave Harry a look that made him feeling like he was abandoning him. Ron grasped Harry’s wrist, and Harry said, “I’m not allowed to stay! Sorry Ron,” and he tried to wriggle his wrist free. “Ron… I can’t stay…?” he finished on a questioning note, and looked at the healer who promptly said “No! Shoo!”
Ron looked devastated; he was going to have to do this on his own… finally, he realised that Hermione had broken his finger.
“ARRRGGHHH THAT HURTS!” he suddenly burst; Hermione screamed louder to match Ron’s.
Harry left, and went to stand behind the curtain with Ginny and George. Both had their arms crossed, and Ginny was biting her lip, looking nervous.
“She’ll be fine,” Harry assured her, putting an arm round her with a little squeeze.
“No… I know she will,” Ginny said, looking up at Harry, “It’s just… I’ve never watched it before! It looks horrible!”
“You’ve done it before…” Harry said, confused.
“But I’ve got to do it again in a month!” she squeaked, turning to face him and grabbing the front of his t-shirt.
“Come on Ginny!” George said, “This isn’t like you!”
“You want to try having a baby George?” Ginny turned on him, pulling her wand free of her pocket, “You want to try it?”
“This is more like you…” he said darkly, shielding himself with his arms, which wouldn’t be much protection from the hexes Ginny was likely to inflict on him. The Bat Bogey hex sprang to mind…
Harry winced as a fresh scream of agony came from behind the curtains, and Ron emerged, looking quite delusional. His face was as white as cream, freckles somehow paler than usual, and his hair was standing at an almost ninety degree angle to his head. His mouth was open in a silent scream of shock.
“It’s awful… it’s terrible…” he said, clinging to Harry, staring with blank blue eyes over the top of his head, “So much… screaming…”
“GET BACK IN HERE RONALD WEASLEY!” came a shriek; everyone in the ward went quiet, “YOU AND YOUR WAND ARE NEVER COMING NEAR ME AGAIN!”
Hermione didn’t say the word “wand” and everyone turned to face Ron, who had suddenly flashed a magnificent shade of maroon. He let go of Harry, and went back to Hermione, swiftly and silently.
“I’m putting a charm on those curtains,” Harry said, pulling out his wand as Hermione’s screams reached a new level. He swore his eardrums would no longer be intact after today.
“Muffliato,” he cast at the curtains, and an echoing silence immediately fell upon the ward. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief.
“I really feel for Ron you know,” George said, “This is the opposite kind of thing that he’s used to dealing with.”
“I think he’s holding up pretty well,” Harry said back, frowning in thought, “he’s obviously a bit nervous, but ultimately I reckon he’s doing OK.”
“A bit nervous,” George laughed, “Seriously, I could create a whole dance based on Ron’s actions from today alone.”
He started doing a manic tap dance, waving his arms above his head, then into a hunched figure, holding out his arms to an invisible woman, then squeezing up his face, going “Argh! Argh! Argh!” in time with waving his right arm in the air. It was a bit over exaggerated, but it kept Harry and Ginny entertained for well over an hour, as they kept creating new ones, entitled as things such as “Ron watching a delivery,” “Ron helping a pregnant lady walk,” “Ron realising that pregnancy is not a beautiful thing.” They even moved onto different people, and made up dances called “Molly Weasley shouts at twins,” which involved a lot of hand on the hips and hands swinging as they carried invisible brooms. All dances of course, based on their family and friend’s reactions.
“Oo how about – how about,” Ginny said suddenly, very excited, “Harry realising James knows the F word.”
Her mouth fell open into a gormless hole, and her arms spread out in front of her. She looked very silly.
“I did not do that,” Harry said.
“You did,” Ginny disagreed.
“I did not,” Harry said, “How about this one “Ginny watching Harry in the shower.”
Harry started to open his eyes very wide, and pretended to drop an invisible tub of laundry whilst looking exceptionally pleased. Ginny looked very unimpressed.
“I don’t watch you in the shower,” she said in a bored voice, folding her arms.
“You do!” Harry retorted, “I saw you creep in last Friday.”
“I was getting some towels!” Ginny explained, “I didn’t specifically go in to watch you!”
“I saw you look…”
“Does it matter? I see you naked everyday.”
“Sorry to break this up, but there’s an older brother here who’s finding the topic of Harry’s naked body a bit … shall we say, disturbing,” George said delicately.
“What’s so disturbing about it?” Harry demanded, folding his own arms, and feeling – for whatever reason – quite offended.
“Because you’re Harry!” George said, as though explaining the obvious, “I’ve had your body once, and I have no desire to picture it in its full glory… being you was bad enough.”
“Well, don’t picture it then,” Harry said stubbornly.
“This is the weirdest conversation I’ve ever had,” Ginny muttered, peering behind the red curtains surrounding Hermione, and then withdrawing quickly looking faintly sick.
The patients around them had been regarding their odd behaviour with rapt interest. They knew that their strange antics were obviously down to nerves, judging by the screaming they had heard earlier, but just to be sure they had called down a healer from the Janus Thickey ward to take a look at them. After observing the group for about ten minutes, they concluded that the group were sane. Enough anyway.
“Is she done yet?” Harry asked Ginny. Ginny shook her head.
“I reckon we’re going to need some chairs,” George said, “Especially with you in your condition.”
Ginny drew herself up and declared it wasn’t a condition and that she was just as fine as him or Harry.
“Really?” Harry asked her shrewdly.
“No, I really need to sit down,” she winced, bending over and George conjured a chair beneath her just in time.
The three of them sat down, and watched the sunlight outside fade, and the bubbles on the ceiling started to fill up with light, reflecting off the shiny wood panels of the walls. Hours must’ve passed before Ron emerged, looking exhausted and very happy. He gestured silently for them to follow him, and they hurried after him. Well Ginny tried to hurry, but needed Harry to help to get up before she could do so.
They tentatively drew back the curtains, and saw Hermione sitting up in bed, holding a tiny baby in a white blanket, with a shock of scalding red hair.
“Yep, that’s a Weasley all right!” George said gleefully, coming in and shaking Ron’s hand before kissing Hermione on the cheek.
“Boy, girl? Boy, girl?” Ginny kept saying until Hermione said, “It’s a little girl!”
Ginny squealed in delight.
“You have a daughter!” Harry said to Ron, sitting next to him, and grinning. Ron looked as though he’d recently been hit around the head with a Bludger. For the second time in his life…
“Yeah! And you know what Harry?” Ron said, turning to face him, “It was all worth it, you were right!”
“No need to sound so surprised,” Harry laughed at him, clapping him on the back as Ron’s face split into a wide grin.
“She’s beautiful,” Ginny said, gently stroking the sleeping baby’s cheek.
“I know,” croaked Hermione. Everyone looked at her, as she started to cry, “She’s absolutely – absolutely – BLOODY GORGEOUS!”
She threw herself into full-scale sobs, born no doubt of sheer exhaustion, happiness and a fervent desire to shower. Ron patted her absent-mindedly on the shoulder, before realising that he’d hurt his hand.
“Ouch!” he said, looking at his hand; the middle finger was all wonky, “What? Why…?”
The healer returned, peering coyly around the curtain.
“Just come to check how you’re doing,” she said softly, with a warm smile.
“Terrible actually,” Ron immediately said, “I think I’ve broken my finger.”
He held up his hand, and the healer mended it in a trice with her wand.
“So how is the new mother doing?” she said.
Hermione snuffled and sniffed and then blew into the hanky Harry had just handed to her, and gave a muffled, “’m fine.”
“Okay,” the healer said quietly, “I’ll come back later.”
A few moments passed, where everyone just stared at the sleeping bundle in Hermione’s arms. Ginny’s eyes started to water, but she blinked back her tears, gently talking to the little baby.
“Hello,” Ginny said, “You’re the newest Weasley!”
“The best Weasley,” Ron said, looking down at his daughter so proudly that he felt like he might burst into tears.
“A Weasley that actually looks like Hermione…” George said, tipping his head sideways so as to see the baby’s face better.
“Do you reckon?” Ron said, “I think she looks like Harry.”
“I’m joking by the way…” he added hastily, looking at the horrified look on Harry's face; Harry had been wondering what Ron had been implying! Ron had actually just been trying to show Harry how much he meant to him, by suggesting that he looked like his newborn daughter.
“How can she look like Harry, her eyes are brown!” Ginny pointed out, as the baby finally opened her eyes, and blinked up at Hermione, her little fingers curled over the white blanket.
“Hello,” Hermione said softly, “I’m your Mummy, and this is your Daddy!”
The baby seemed to understand what Hermione was saying, and kept staring at her.
“And this is your Uncle Harry, and Uncle George and Aunty Ginny,” Hermione explained to the baby, still in a tone as soft as cotton wool.
Hermione passed the baby to Ron, who looked momentarily shocked, as though he’d forgotten the baby also belonged to him. He held the baby, and looked down at her, putting his finger on her nose.
“Don’t poke her Ron!” Hermione scolded.
“I’m not,” he said quietly, stroking his daughter’s cheek. The baby suddenly grasped his finger with immense force.
“Let’s see how many of Ron’s fingers we can break in one day!” said George, but everyone was looking as the baby stared straight up at Ron, clasping onto his finger. Hermione came over all watery eyed and had to ask Harry for his hanky again.
“You keep it,” he added.
After Ron had had his fill, he passed the baby to Harry, still looking shocked and pleased. Harry held her, and ran a finger down her cheek.
“It’s so soft!” he said cheerfully, “So rosy!”
“Like a little rose petal…” Ginny said, leaning over from the other side of the bed over Hermione, to regard the soft pink marshmallow softness of the baby.
“That’s – that’s such – a – cute – NAME!”
Everyone stared at Hermione, but she was staring at Ron, who had burst into tears and had hidden his face in Hermione’s bedclothes. She looked stunned, but amused. Everyone looked a bit stunned; Ron was crying… a lot. Harry had only every seen Ron cry once, and it was nowhere near as hard as this. He was crying so much, that it was impossible to feel awkward.
“Rose Weasley,” Hermione said, stroking Ron’s hair absently, “I like that.”
“Cute,” said Ginny, trying not to laugh or cry as she looked at Ron.
“We’ll have to plant some roses in the garden,” said George, looking at Ron with an expression combining curiosity and hilarity.
“Lots of red ones,” said Ginny.
“And white ones!” added Hermione.
“Yellow,” smiled George.
“Pink…” managed Ron, managing to sit up with a red face, “like her cheeks see.”
Everyone looked at Harry.
“It’s just… I’ve always liked Lily’s…” he said quietly, looking at Rose, and then suddenly understanding what they were doing, “Oh! Oh I see, then I think we should plant some blue roses.”
“And Harry picks the difficult one,” Ginny laughed, reaching across to pat his hand, “I want to hold her now!”
Harry passed her over, and next to him he saw Ron give Hermione a kiss, whilst he thought everyone was distracted. Still lightly kissing Hermione on the lips he muttered:
“I love you.”
“I love you too,” Hermione said, shutting her eyes and holding his face, before smiling when the kiss was broken. The looked at each other, a centimetre apart, and momentarily forgot everyone else was there…
…If someone had told Hermione Granger, about twelve years ago, that she would have Ronald Weasley’s baby, she would’ve laughed. She would’ve laughed very hard. She would’ve laughed until she cried.
“Maybe we should have another one…” Ron said quietly, holding her hand.
Hermione burst out laughing, making everyone jump, and she laughed until tears ran down her cheeks. Ron joined in, and then everyone else started to laugh too, even though they had no idea what the joke was.
The next day, two people from the congregation left the hospital, but this time they held a new baby. The mannequin – now preferring to think of herself as Willow (her new exotic name) – couldn’t help wish that she could have a baby, maybe even with that other nice mannequin, who she had also named Kyle (that was a nice, visually appealing man’s name was it not?). They would have great babies, she decided. If only he would love her the way she loved him… he didn’t so much as look in her direction. None of them ever looked in her direction. (It didn’t occur to her that they couldn’t.)
Maybe if she wore a long, silk purple dress with a pair of sparkly silver shoes… then he might look. And that was when she decided… the time had come, to ask St. Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries… for a new dress.
I COMPLETELY LOVE RON AND HERMIONE SO MUCH!!!!!
I know I may have got some stuff wrong in the whole pregnancy/ labour thing, but I’ve never had a baby, so I don’t really know what it’s like, and I couldn’t bring myself to fully research it. I just had fun writing the story, and that’s all that matters. Isn’t it?
J J J J J J
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