I leaned back against the pillows, trying to fluff one up behind my head without moving my lower body. “Well, that was the suckiest thing I've ever done.”
Victoire nodded agreement. She was sitting beside me, flipping channels on the wireless with a wave of her wand. “Yeah, it does suck, doesn't it?”
“I can't believe you did it four times,” I told her. “Are you mental?”
“Gran did it seven times,” she pointed out. “Two right in a row – she says Uncle George and Uncle Fred were only five minutes apart. In a few months, you'll look back and it won't seem that bad.”
I regarded her doubtfully. This seemed highly unlikely; on the other hand, it would explain how any woman had more than one of these bloody things. Kids, that is.
It had only been a few hours since I'd had the baby, who was off being weighed and washed and whatever it was they did to newborns in the nursery. Scorpius was following the baby around while the Healers did their thing, hovering annoyingly at everyone's elbows. At least he wasn't hovering at mine any more. I had gone back and forth during labour between wanting him next to me and wanting never to see him again. The Healer had assured me that was completely normal. Then Scorpius had fainted at the sight of a little blood, which the Healer also assured me was normal.
It was strange, now the baby was out of me, I felt back to my old self. It was like a spell had been lifted, and things no longer seemed so overwhelmingly emotional and awful and uncomfortable all over. Well, I was still feeling a little uncomfortable in a few places, but apparently that was normal too.
Giving birth was a really weird process normally, it seemed.
My parents had already been in, and were probably now off hovering round the nursery with Scorpius. They were over the moon about their new grandbaby – Mum had cried the entire time she was in my room, and Dad was grinning ear to ear. My brother had come by as well. He'd been extraordinarily cheerful about being Uncle Hugo, probably because it required no work on his part, and I'd sent him off with instructions to get rid of everyone else related to us who'd turned up. No doubt Scorpius would show off the baby soon enough, but I was too tired to socialize with relatives.
None of Scorpius's relatives had shown up, of course, unless you counted Teddy Lupin, who was technically Scorpius's second cousin, though neither of them ever mentioned it.
Victoire had slipped in, and no one seemed to notice. The Healers were probably so used to her by now they just assumed she lived here. I didn't mind her being there, though. Victoire was quite restful to visit with, unlike my mother, who'd given me another book, this one about parenting during the first year of the baby's life. Victoire just chatted quietly, still fiddling with the wireless and enjoying being nowhere near any of her four children. She seemed entirely too accustomed to the maternity floor of St. Mungo's. I had no intention of getting used to this place.
Scorpius came in then with the baby bundled in his arms. “Sound asleep,” he said, nodding down at the bundle. He was smiling, a rather stupid smile that hadn't left his face since he'd come round from his faint. I kind of liked that smile.
“Oh, Rose,” Victoire sighed. She was wearing a similar smile. I wondered if I looked as idiotic, and glanced at my reflection in the window.
Right, we were all idiots.
“I can't believe you had a baby,” Victoire added. She sniffed a bit. “It's so wonderful. I'm so happy for you both.” She kissed my forehead, went over to Scorpius and kissed his cheek, then reached down to stroke the baby's face. “I'll leave you to it, then. Family time.”
I waved to her as she left. Scorpius came over to sit next to me on the bed, still cradling the baby.
“We still don't have a name,” he said.
“What should we do about a surname?” I asked, feeling rather nervous. We weren't married, so by rights the baby would probably have my name, but I didn't want to discount Scorpius that way (although really, I had
done all the work). “Maybe a hyphenate?”
“The only thing I can think of that would annoy my father more than the fact I had a child with a Weasley is giving that child a hyphenated surname,” Scorpius said, smiling beatifically down at the baby. “So I think we should do it.”
“Weasley-Malfoy? Malfoy-Weasley?” Neither one of them had a nice ring to it, to be honest. Maybe we should scrap both our surnames and pick something entirely new. But I liked being a Weasley. I would probably still be a Weasley even if I did marry Scorpius. Rose Malfoy just doesn't sound as good. Maybe if we ever got married, he'd take my
name. Scorpius Weasley?
“Weasley-Malfoy, I suppose.” He was still smiling at the baby, apparently unconcerned by the awkwardness of the hyphenated surname. “So? What about a first name?”
I had put very little thought into what to call the baby. I was pretty sure I'd be calling the poor thing 'the baby' until it was time for Hogwarts. “I don't know. Something astronomic, for Malfoy tradition? Or after a relative, for Weasley tradition?”
Scorpius grinned at me. “You and I have never followed tradition, Rose. How do you feel about Egyptian?”
A/N: Thank you for reading! See you on the flip flop!
... just kidding. :p The first chapter of "Midnight Over Broadway", the next Rose the Bounty Hunter novel, will be posted next week, so keep an eye out for that and learn all about the baby there. Thank you for reading and reviewing! (and for not throwing things at me!) Love you all!