Chapter 17 : Chapter Seventeen: Fear
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Chapter Seventeen: Fear
“Merlin, this sucks. We get to sit around while they’re busy training. Why is it that their Auror programs start in June? Why can’t they start in late August or September like every other professional program? I miss Albus like mad and he isn’t even in the Accelerated program like Scorpius.”
“I don’t know what to tell you, Cece. ‘It is what it is’ may be appropriate for our situation. We can’t do anything about it,” Rose told her best friend the Monday morning following their commencement from Hogwarts.
It was June sixteenth and both Al and Scorpius’ Auror programs had begun. While Scorpius had opted for the Accelerated program, Al was thrilled to be in the normal Auror program. As it was less intensive, it was also less time consuming than the Accelerated program. They didn’t train together, but they had breaks at the same time, or so they had been told.
Al was due to be home by five while Scorpius had another four hours after that.
“I suppose my only saving grace is that Al gets done at five. That’s only,” Cecelia paused, consulting her watch, “seven hours and twenty-three minutes from now.”
“You’re counting down?”
“Oh no. I’m just consulting my watch.”
“But you know how many minutes until Al is supposed to be done with training for the day. You do know that he is in the Auror program and that tends to go over, since there is just so much that goes into the training process, right?”
“Of course I know that. I just like consulting my watch.”
“What is that?! ‘Consulting your watch?’ It’s just a little strange, Cece. A little too clingy.”
“Well then, you should know that Albus gave me this watch so that I may consult it for the time. He actually said something along the lines of ‘so you may keep track of when we’ll next see each other.’ So hah!”
“My cousin is a pansy.”
Gasping in astonishment, Cecelia was caught off-guard. “Albus is not a pansy.”
“If you say so Cecelia. But it sounds as though he is a little clingy.”
“Bah!” she scoffed. “He just likes me a whole lot.”
“He does too. You’re not like any of his other girlfriends. He never got them watches in order to count the minutes before you saw each other next. He’s, frankly, really serious and committed.”
Rose’s comment left Cecelia confused. “Wait, didn’t you just say that Albus is a pansy and that he’s clingy, and now you’re pretty much saying that he’s in a good, stable relationship? Is that what I’m getting from you?”
“More or less, yes.”
“Merlin Rose! Why don’t you just confuse everyone!”
“I am just observing.”
Rose laughed and stretched out on her bed.
Cecelia got up from Rose’s window seat and flopped herself beside Rose on her bed.
“Albus and I talked about sharing a flat finally. He’s actually really serious about it. Is that weird? I mean, we’ve been dating for only about two months and he’s ready to live with me. Is that normal?”
“How about you ask me a question I can answer.”
“And what question would that be?”
“What is normal, perhaps? Is there such a thing as normal? What can this mean?”
Cecelia turned on her side, holding herself up with her elbow, to face Rose.
“Are those questions that you want me to answer or that you want me to ask you?”
“Okay then. What is normal? Is there such a thing as normal? What can this possibly mean?”
“Number one: see answer to number two.
“Number two: no. There is not such a thing as normal. Everyone believes there is a normal, but with however-many billion people in the world exist, every last one of them has a different perception of normal. No two perceptions are identical either.
“Number three: he’s serious about you in more ways than one. He wants to cohabitate which clearly means he’d like to see how it works out in a common environmental situation. Al also wants to have sex with you, but that was already pretty common knowledge, and when you share a living space, the odds of that happening are far more likely than at your family house. If he wants to live with you, that means he is willing for some momentous changes. That means that he will go to the market for you and pick up tampons and such as well. He may even go out of his way and let you decorate the flat as you wish, without even having to consult him. But you should consult him anyway.
“Simply put, he’s mad for you Cece, and is willing to go the extra distance to make it work between the two of you. Personally, I would advise you to not share a bed for a couple more months, but that’s up to you. In any of the flats we were looking at, there are two bedrooms. Keep that in mind.”
“Mad for me? Really?”
“Insanely so. I know my cousin very well; we’ve been close since we were born. I know him better than nearly anyone else. You are the first girl he’s been with longer than a month. Plus, you’re gorgeous, brilliant, charming, hilarious and you compliment him quite well. He’s lucky that you’re just as mad about him.”
Cecelia beamed. They were insanely mad about each other. They weren’t at ‘I love yous’ yet, but the time would eventually come when they would be exchanged.
“It’s true. I’m mad about Albus!”
“You’re a bloody mad hatter!”
“Hey!” Cecelia admonished, giving her best friend a slap on the arm.
Rose laughed before settling down and resting her hands on her stomach.
“So, are you any bigger? You’re nearly at the four month mark now, aren’t you?”
“Shh! Hugo is home and I don’t want him to overhear. And I’ve got another week before I reach that mark.”
“Rose, Hugo is in his room with the door closed and music blaring. He can’t possibly hear us and he probably isn’t even interested in our nonsensical girl talk. So are you?”
“I don’t know. I haven’t really paid attention,” Rose answered slowly, feeling a bit self-conscious. She hugged her arms close to her body.
“Well, you might not be that noticeable for a few more weeks. I remember when Cailyn was pregnant with Cameron; even though it was her second pregnancy, she wasn’t big enough to tell until she was at five and a half months. Maybe you’ll be like that.”
“Maybe,” Rose answered non-committedly.
“Oh shite!” Cecelia cried out abruptly. “I told Cailyn that I would come back at half eleven to watch Chloe and Cameron while she went to the Ministry for something. I’ll see you later Rose. Owl me whenever,” Cecelia told her as she rushed out of Rose’s bedroom.
Rose laid on her bed for an hour after Cecelia left, thinking. And Merlin did she have a lot to think about.
The next few days were uneventful. Scorpius was entirely exhausted from training so Rose didn’t see him at all. He did however owl her every night with quite lengthy, detailed accounts of his Auror training. He apologised profusely for not being able to see her, but all he could do was Apparate home, take a quick shower and fall into bed to write her a letter before going to sleep.
In the first letter, he told her that he probably wouldn’t read any of her letters until the weekend because reading letters took much more effort than writing them or so he thought. He also told her that he would try to write a letter every night, but that may not be possibly with thirteen hours of extensive training on weekdays and seven hours on weekends. (Al, unlike Scorpius, didn’t have weekend training since he wasn’t in the Accelerated program.)
On the twentieth of June, a Friday, Rose didn’t get a letter from him. Because of his previous warning that he may not write each night, she didn’t worry.
She started to worry a bit when Al said that he hadn’t seen him in training the following Monday, June twenty-third. When he didn’t owl her that night, the worry only increased. To calm herself, she wrote it off that he was just dead tired.
On Tuesday June twenty-fourth, Rose slept in until noon. She ate pizza and watched the telly. Hugo was nowhere to be seen, but his bedroom door was shut.
Rose holed herself up in her room even though she had complete reign of her house. Her parents were working.
In the mid-afternoon, Rose found herself staring at herself in her bedroom mirror. Looking straight-on, it didn’t look like she was pregnant at all. When she turned to the side, a slight bump was visible.
Rose lifted up her shirt, exposing her slightly swollen stomach. She rubbed her bump lovingly.
“Hello there baby,” she cooed. “It’s your mummy. I can really see you now. You’re getting bigger.”
She laughed to herself. “Wow. I’m talking to my baby as if he or she could actually hear me and respond in some way.”
Rose looked in her mirror and smiled. She could truly see the baby she and Scorpius created. It was apparent that a life was growing within her now.
She gazed down at her slight roundness. Four months. Four months nearly to the day. Three weeks and she would learn if her baby was a boy or a girl.
“Baby,” Rose said, a hand placed affectionately on her stomach. “Your daddy and I have already picked out names for you. If you’re a girl, we’ll call you Emma. But if you’re a boy, we’ll name you Aiden.”
Rose sighed contently. Walking away from her mirror to her bed, she laid back on it. As she gently rubbed her hands on her stomach, she stared up at her ceiling.
“Your daddy and I love you very much, baby. We’re really excited for you to join us. I hope I’ll be a good –”
Rose didn’t get a chance to finish that thought since her door was wrenched open.
“What the fuck?” Hugo shouted, confused as he stared at his sister.
Rose had immediately sat up and pulled down her shirt, wrapping her arm around her belly.
“Hugo, have you ever heard of knocking?”
To avoid from bringing the attention back to her, she made no mention of what she was doing. Hugo may not ask any unnecessary questions about her appearance that way.
“What the fuck were you doing?”
Quick-thinking, Rose decided to glare at her brother instead of answering his question.
“Are you knocked up?”
Setting her mouth in a determined frown and narrowing her eyes more, Rose still refused to answer Hugo.
Silently, Hugo closed the door and walked toward Rose. He looked at her sadly before kneeling beside her.
“You are, aren’t you? And Malfoy is the father?”
The frown on Rose’s face loosened into a grim line. Swallowing her pride, she finally answered her brother. “Yes I am pregnant and Scorpius is the father.”
Hugo was not completely surprised but he certainly was wounded. How could Rose not tell him that he was going to be an uncle?
“Why didn’t you tell me, Rose? I’m your brother. Your only brother.”
Rose bit her lip nervously before replying. “I’m sorry, Hugo. I didn’t mean to hurt you. I was going to tell you eventually, once I found out if we’re having a boy or a girl.”
“And when exactly would that be?” came the annoyed reply.
“A few more weeks.”
“How far along are you?” he asked incredulously.
“Almost four months.”
Hugo jumped up and looked away from her, running his hands over his face. “Four months? Four months! Fuck, Rose!”
He turned back to his sister, somewhat less angry, less annoyed, trying to let the news sink in completely.
“Who else knows?” he asked finally, kneeling back down beside her.
“Daddy doesn’t know and I don’t want him to know until I really start showing. I told Mum the night of my graduation.”
“No wonder she was so quiet and reserved the following day! She barely said two words at dinner. Cecelia probably knows too, doesn’t she?”
Rose nodded. “And Al, and obviously Scorpius. Liam also knows. I owled him; you know how I tell him nearly everything. Maegan found out by accidentally reading the letter I sent Liam. But no one else. Now you know too.”
“Scorpius’ parents don’t know?”
“No. Not yet. We were going to tell them together now that I’m showing a little, but I haven’t heard from him in a few days. His Auror program is very demanding and tiring, I suppose.”
Neither Rose nor Hugo made another sound for some time.
That is, until Hugo broke the silence.
“Can I see?”
Rose was caught unaware. “What?”
“Can I see your stomach? After all, you’re carrying my niece or nephew and I want them to know who I am.”
Reluctantly, Rose lifted up her shirt, baring her stomach.
“You know, Rose, it’s not that noticeable when you have your shirt down, or even if you’re not looking for it. But with your shirt up, I guess the bump is defined just enough to notice.”
Hugo’s response was well thought-out and not at all judgmental; it was merely an observation.
“Hugo, why are you being so…rational about this?” Rose asked him as his fingers tickled her stomach. “It’s not as if this is a very Weasley thing to do, or socially acceptable, or even a responsible thing at all.”
Hugo’s hand stopped just left of her bellybutton, his hand hovering there. “Rose, you’re my only sister and I love you. I want to be supportive and be a part of this baby’s life. Family is family, no matter how or when it came into being. I’m not going to shun you or whatever since you had sex out of wedlock, because honestly, when I can see how much you love Scorpius and how much he loves you, it all becomes irrelevant.
“And truthfully, I kind of admire you. I mean, you’re straying away from the standard Weasley expectations. Falling in love with a so-called enemy, getting pregnant without a ring on your finger, doing your own thing. You make me want to ignore what may be expected of me and do what I feel is okay. Hell, if I got a tattoo I would be practically crucified! There’s absolutely no need to say that Weasley traditions are the only way to live. There has to be other things to live by.”
Hugo’s speech was not what Rose was expecting. In fact, it was so unexpected and heart-warming that it brought tears to her eyes. Rose hadn’t realised just how much her baby brother Hugo had grown up.
“Are you crying Rose?”
“Yes. I’m sorry. It’s these damn hormones,” Rose said, wiping her eyes.
“Oh yeah. Pregnant women are really emotional, aren’t they?”
“Yes. You better make sure you don’t piss off any pregnant women. They just might castrate you in a fit of anger.”
Hugo’s eyes grew wide.
“I will take that advice very seriously,” Hugo laughed nervously. He stood up. “I’m very attached to certain things.”
He walked toward Rose’s door. “You don’t have to worry about me telling anyone, specifically Dad. That’s something you’ve got to do. But know that I’m always here for you, even if I am your stupid little brother.”
And with that, Hugo left Rose to her own musings.
The rest of the day was uneventful. Rose finished yet another Healer book, this time about curses that caused epidemics. When her parents returned home at five of six, she had dinner prepared and Hugo had set the table.
The four of them sat down to dinner and talked about nothingness.
Ron headed toward the telly following dinner while Hermione retreated to her office after kissing her son and daughter’s foreheads. Hugo and Rose were left the dirty dishes.
“Our parents couldn’t be more predictable,” Hugo commented as he dried the plates.
“Well, yes. Our parents are just that.”
“How did they end up with us as children? We couldn’t be more unpredictable!”
“Think again, Hugh. I know exactly what you’re going to do after the dishes are finished.”
“What then, Rosie darling?” Hugo mocked.
“You are going to go up to your room, slam your door shut and turn on your music. You may instead pick up your guitar and strum a few songs before that, or you may read some Muggle band magazine while your music blasts. You’ll eventually turn off your music and head to the kitchen for a snack before bed. After you eat it at the kitchen table, you will take the stairs two at a time to your room where you will immediately fall asleep,” Rose finished. “How’s that for predictable?”
Hugo glared at her as he finished drying the last dish and putting it away.
“I am going to my room now. I will see you in the morning,” he told her before he stalked up the stairs.
“Goodnight Hugo!” Rose called after him, laughing to herself.
Slowly she made her way up to her room. She felt a little strange and thought that she was just worked up that Scorpius hadn’t replied to any of her numerous letters.
She sat at her desk and wrote Scorpius the fourth letter of the night. There would be more to come.
At half eleven, shortly after finishing her seventh letter to Scorpius, Rose crawled into bed.
When Rose awoke the next morning, she felt funny. She had been feeling strange all night after dinner and had a lot of difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep.
She attributed it to the fact that Scorpius had yet to reply to her seventh owl. She reminded herself for the nth time that it wasn’t that he didn’t want to reply; the Auror program that he was enrolled in kept him constantly in training and it was an accelerated program, notorious for its grueling and strict sessions.
This particular day, June 25, Rose has been lounging upon her bed, immersed in a great tome on the rapid progression of the nearly-fatal wizarding disease percunusisosis. Hugo was currently in his own room, doing Merlin-knows-what. Ron was flipping though the channels on the telly, bored out of his skull. Hermione had been called to the Ministry early to work on a very complicated case.
By ten o’clock that morning, Rose’s funny feeling disappeared. This news thrilled her because it had been making her quite anxious. The knowledge of being home with her father and brother also made her apprehensive. It was nearly July and Rose was still stuck at home until her Healer program began in September. Her parents had insisted she save her money instead of paying for a “ridiculously priced flat that isn’t even big enough for its said price” although in reality, the flat in Docklands was perfect. Needless to say, she didn’t like the arrangements.
Rose occupied her time reading whatever medical textbooks she could get her hands on. She was determined to be top of her class, pregnant or not.
Rose had just finished the incredibly thorough explanations of percunusisosis when she made her way to the loo.
The loo was just past Hugo’s door, and thought it was barely five steps away, Rose collapsed in unbearable pain in the middle of the hall.
It was rooted in her lower abdomen and Rose instantly knew something wasn’t right. In fact, she had the feeling that something was horribly wrong.
Taking two agonising steps in order to open Hugo’s door, Rose threw Hugo’s door open.
Hugo instantly noticed the abruptness of Rose’s entrance. He also saw the physical pain painted on her face. She was standing in an incredibly unnatural pose: her hands were clutching her stomach, her shoulders were rounded, and her typical ram-rod straight stance was nowhere to be seen.
“Rose, what’s the matter?” Hugo asked, hoping to denounce any sneaking suspicions he had.
“I don’t know,” Rose breathed. “But something is wrong,” she whimpered.
Hugo sprang into action, jumping to her side.
“What’s wrong Rose? What’s wrong?”
“The baby,” Rose sputtered before her body was jolted in a painful spasm.
Hugo caught his sister moments prior to her knees hitting the floor.
Supporting her back, Hugo spoke calmly, hoping to not alarm Rose any more than she already was. “What about the baby?”
“I don’t know,” Rose hissed, writhing in agony. “Pain. Lots of pain.”
Effortlessly, Hugo helped his sister to his feet, holding her entire weight.
“What do I do?”
“Take me to Dad. Tell him we need to go to St. Mungo’s. Ask for Hr. Patil-Henderson.”
Hugo did what Rose asked. It seemed like he was in control, while in reality he was anything but.
The siblings found their father in the living room. Ron was oblivious that his children were in the same room as him.
“Dad!” Hugo cried to capture Ron’s attention.
Ron’s head turned to his son. His eyes landed upon a doubled-over Rose, pain evident on her face.
“What’s wrong? What happened to Rose?” Ron demanded to know.
“I don’t know Dad. We need to get her to St. Mungo’s.”
Ron looked back and forth between his daughter and son. Something more was going on that he didn’t know about.
Ron just knew it.
Ron’s vision settled back on Rose. She was moaning softly, her arms wrapped around her stomach. Hugo was supporting all of her weight. That’s when he noticed it: the red spot on her trousers. Rose was bleeding.
“Rose, you’re bleeding.”
He saw his daughter’s eyes widen and travel towards her hands where they clutched her stomach.
In an instant, Hugo had scooped Rose up in his arms and grabbed a handful of Floo powder.
“Dad, we have to get to St. Mungo’s now,” Hugo told his father authoritatively.
Ron nodded mutely, following his son through the Floo system. He forgot to turn off the telly.
The three Weasleys arrived in St. Mungo’s lobby to find it absolutely crowded.
“Fuck,” Hugo muttered under his breath before he started pushing his way through the crowded lobby.
Patients all around were getting angry about Hugo’s rude behaviour, budging his way to the front.
The receptionist glared at him, knowing very well she would have a problem with these patients.
“You have to get in line, young man, and wait for your turn like everyone else,” she told him blandly.
“But I need to see Hr. Patil-Henderson now,” Hugo pleaded.
“I’m sorry; get to the end of the line,” the receptionist said impatiently.
“My sister needs to see Hr. Patil-Henderson right away! It’s an emergency!” Hugo cried as Rose began to lose consciousness.
Ron stood behind his son mutely, wondering what was going on.
“I’m sorry, I can’t–” the receptionist began before Hugo cut her off.
“My sister is pregnant and something is terribly wrong. Do want to be responsible for whatever may happen if she doesn’t get medical attention now?” Hugo demanded to know.
The receptionist was scared out of her mind. In a matter of moments, she contacted the Healer on duty on the ninth floor, west wing and told Hugo to head up to the ninth floor, west wing, room 913.
“Go right on up and if anyone should stop you, just ignore them,” the receptionist told Hugo.
The receptionist barely saw him leave with his barely-conscious sister in his arms and the confused man following behind him.
“Hugo, what do you mean that Rose is pregnant?” Ron asked.
“Dad, I don’t have time to explain anything. I need to get Rose to a Healer now. How about you contact Mum? Rose will probably want her,” Hugo snapped, hurrying to room 913.
Hugo had trouble maneuvering the corridors since there were people everywhere. The west wing on the ninth floor was absolutely crazed.
Finally, Hugo found the room he was looking for and quickly placed Rose upon the bed.
A Healer rushed into the room and started spouting off questions while other Healers began filing in.
“What’s wrong? What happened? How far along is she?” the Healer asked, not even looking at Hugo or Ron, but rather focusing on putting his gloves on.
“Who are you? Hr. Patil-Henderson?” Hugo asked back.
“No, unfortunately Hr. Patil-Henderson has her hands full with another patient. I’m Hr. Johannes. What happened?”
“She just wasn’t feeling well and found me. Then she started bleeding.”
“How far along is she?”
Hr. Johannes began examining Rose.
“Are you the father?” Hr. Johannes asked as the other Healers began bustling about the room and crowding about Rose.
“No! She’s my sister.”
“Well, you’re going to have to leave anyway. We need to save her baby.”
Hugo and Ron felt themselves being pulled out of the room. They were in a daze.
They found themselves in the waiting room of the ninth floor west wing waiting room, a white sterile place, as uncomfortable as can be.
Not saying a word, they sat there in silence as people moved in and out of the waiting room. It felt like hours before either spoke, even though it was only a few minutes.
“Did you contact Mum?”
Ron pulled at his wand and muttered an emotionless expecto patronum before quickly pocketing his wand. It was surprising that Ron even managed to produce a Patronus with the lack of emotion he used.
Silence again overcame them. Then Ron spoke.
“Rose is pregnant?” Ron asked, still in disbelief.
“And who is the father?”
“I don’t know Dad. Guess,” Hugo said sarcastically. He always resorted to sarcasm in uncomfortable circumstances.
Ron sighed, frustrated, and buried his face in his hands.
“What happened to my Rosie? My little girl?” Ron asked out loud.
He wasn’t expecting an answer and he didn’t get one.
Fifteen minutes later, Hermione came running into the waiting room, still in her heels and pantsuit. She looked frantic.
“Ron! What’s wrong? Where is she? Where’s Rose? What happened?”
Ron looked up at his wife solemnly. He couldn’t answer.
“Hugo?” Hermione asked quietly, dreading his answer.
“Rose is being attended to. Something went horribly wrong.”
Hermione’s hand went to her mouth, in an attempt to halt a gasp. “No, not my baby. She’s too young for this!”
Hugo stood up and helped his mother into a seat because she was just standing there.
“Mum, we don’t know what’s going on. We only know that they’re trying to save her baby.”
Hermione let out a sob.
This couldn’t be happening.
An hour later, Hr. Johannes came into the waiting room. “Mr. and Mrs. Weasley? Rose is in a room, asleep however, if you would like to come and see her.”
Wordlessly, they followed the Healer and sat, gazing upon Rose until she came to.
Rose awoke much later in a brightly lit white room. She had no idea where she was. She couldn’t remember a thing.
Then she saw the machine.
It was a Muggle machine that Healers had recently adopted at St. Mungo’s (or so she had read in Healers’ Quarterly). It was a heart monitor.
And there was only one.
Rose closed her eyes and images flashed behind her eyelids of Hugo’s room, her knees nearly crashing on Hugo’s floor, a crowded hospital lobby, a rude receptionist and a strange man clad in lime green Healer robes. Vividly, she recalled the smell that permeated her nose as she entered the hospital. Instead of the familiar cinnamon and remarkably Weasley fragrance she was accustomed to, there was a yellow, stale, and sickly odor. It was a symptom of the clinical white brightness and the claustrophobia.
She was inundated with the memories of murmuring voices, saying spells and crying out orders. She could still feel the rubber-covered fingers touching and moving her. There were no faces present in the memories. This faceless world began to consume her; she fought to escape it but her eyes wouldn’t let her.
A familiar voice broke through the facelessness: her mother crying “Where is she? Where’s Rose? What happened?”
Another voice joined her mother’s: her father’s. It was loud; he was yelling.
“She’s pregnant?! Why didn’t I know? I’m her bloody father!”
Her mother sobbed an apology and an explanation, but Ron would have none of it.
The voices of her parents dimmed. A new voice appeared, along with quieter tones of her parents’ voices.
“I’m sorry Mr. and Mrs. Weasley. We did all we could but we couldn’t save the baby.”
Rose’s eyes were finally free of their binding and popped open. They searched the room for the first time, scanning over the machine. Slumped in chairs beside the window were her parents and brother.
Hermione was first to notice her daughter’s alertness and rushed to her side, enveloping her in a tight embrace.
The moment she felt Hermione put her arms around her, Rose broke out into an uncontrollable fit of tears. Hermione let her cry and cry and cry.
“I know Rosie. Just cry,” Hermione tried to soothe her, rubbing her back. “Let it all out.”
AN: I am so sorry readers, but I had to! It was probably the hardest decision I’ve had to make as a writer. I hope it doesn’t upset anyone so much that they stop reading. I promise that there is a happy ending!!! (Because there can be happy endings in fiction.) Unfortunately, there are just some things in life that do not happen as expected. This is one of them. Feel free to hate me for this decision, but please accept the fact that bad things happen and realise that there will be a happy ending.
Thanks so much.
FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO SCROLLED DOWN: Rose miscarries.
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