“And remember, keep your wand out of reach,” I told the father of a three-year-old, as he carried his newly deflated son out of the exam room. I handed him a pamphlet entitled '10 Tips for Wand Safety and Children' and followed him out into the waiting area.
I sighed as I watched him leave. My three hours of clinic duty that day were filled with easily preventable magical injuries just like the bloke whose son inflated to the size of a small inner tube. I glanced at my watch. 2:59. Close enough. My clinic hours were over for the day. I hurried out of the clinic and into the nearest lift before a nurse could catch me and direct me into another exam room. Three hours in the clinic was plenty, especially on a day when I still hadn't had time to check my potions. That wouldn't come until later, though, because I still had a few of my own patients to see.
When I arrived at the Dai Llewellyn ward, Natalie had already let my three o'clock appointment into the exam room. I glanced at the chart on my way to the room, but the name of the patient stopped me in my tracks. Thomas Young. I recognized the name, of course, as Thomas had been a patient of mine for the past three years. He was possibly one of my saddest cases, even sadder than Jamie, and I was surprised I hadn't put two and two together before. Thomas Young was Kate Young's little brother.
Thomas Young was bitten at the age of three and was the youngest known survivor of a werewolf attack. Most children under the age of six didn't survive, Matt and Remus Lupin being a few of the lucky ones. However, until Thomas, no one under the age of four had survived. Thomas's recovery from the attack was long and heart breaking. He spent a full six months in St. Mungo's and still came back for appointments every three months. In fact, it was just within the past year that he'd stopped needing to stay after every full moon. He was lucky in that Wolfsbane worked for him, but the actual transformations made him sick every month.
His parents' reactions to his lycanthropy were very similar to my own parents' reactions, although they were even more magnified. In fact, I hadn't even realized that they had another child. Realizing that Kate was Thomas's sister gave me a sudden understanding of Kate's behavior.
I continued my way toward the exam room and debated whether it would be a good idea to mention Kate after the appointment was over. I knocked and then entered.
Thomas was sitting on the exam table. He looked nothing like his sister. While Kate was tall with olive skin and wavy, dark hair, Thomas's skin was pale and his hair was light, sandy brown. Kate looked just like their dad and Thomas resembled their mother.
“Hey, Thomas!” I said as I entered. “How are you feeling today?”
Thomas smiled. “Good. Mummy let me have ice cream for lunch.”
“Thomas!” Mrs. Young scolded playfully. “You're not supposed to tell Healer Eckerton that.”
“I'll tell you a secret. I've had ice cream for lunch on many occasions,” I said. “All right, today we're just going to take some blood and make sure all his levels are still normal. I'll need to send them away to the lab so we'll get the results back to you by owl sometime later this week.”
Thomas stuck out his arm without even being asked. For the first two years after he'd been bitten, I took blood once a month. Now it was so routine that he barely noticed when I did it. It certainly made things easier, but in a way it was sad.
“All right,” I said as I drew a blood sample with my wand. “Done. And the nurse already got your height and weight, so unless you have any questions or concerns, I think we are set.”
“I think we're good,” Mr. Young said. “The past few months have been a breeze, comparatively.”
“I hate to jinx it, but I think we've finally got it under control,” I said as I transferred the blood to a test tube.
Mrs. Young smiled. “It's such a relief-”
There was a knock on the door. I glanced at it. That was odd. It was common courtesy at St. Mungo's not to bother healers while they were with patients, unless there was an emergency. Matt, I thought. My mind always jumped to Matt when there was a potential emergency, but it was the middle of the lunar cycle. He should be fine.
I got up and opened the door. A nurse was on the other side. I didn't recognize her and judging by the alphabet block print on her scrubs, she worked in the maternity ward. Victoire!
“Sorry to bother you, Healer Eckerton, but Victoire's gone into labor and she's asking for you,” the nurse said. “I've got to get back, but I told her I'd try to find you.”
“Thanks,” I said as I shut the door. Merlin, Victoire's grandmother had been right!
“Good news?” Mrs. Young asked.
I grinned. “My best friend's just gone into labor with twins.”
“Oh, wow, how exciting!” she replied. “We'll get going, then.”
I said a hurried goodbye to the Youngs and realized on my way back to my study that I hadn't mentioned anything about Kate. Part of me was relieved as I didn't know what I would've said.
After asking Morris to take my four o'clock appointment I found myself back in the lift and on my way to the maternity ward. I liked the maternity ward because as soon as you got off the lift it didn't feel like you were in St. Mungo's anymore. The entire ward was decorated in soft pastels and it had a happy feel to it, unlike the rest of the hospital.
It wasn't very large since many witches still preferred home births. Victoire was not one of them. “Why in the name of Merlin would I want to give birth where I eat and sleep?” was her exact response to the idea when she'd been pregnant with Sophie. The ward had two private rooms, two shared rooms with two beds in each, and two delivery rooms. After asking a nurse at the nurses station I found out that Victoire had one of the private rooms and I hurried toward it.
Victoire was laying in bed looking absolutely miserable. She looked exhausted and she hadn't even given birth yet. This was only the beginning. Teddy was pacing the room and appeared to be even more stressed than Victoire.
“Amy! Thank God!” Victoire exclaimed when I walked in.
“Victoire!” I replied. “When did you get here?”
“About an hour ago,” she answered. “Merlin, Teddy, quit pacing! You're making me crazy!”
“Sorry, sorry,” Teddy said as he sat down in the chair next to the bed.
“Morris took my four o'clock, but I've got to take my five o'clock and brew afterward,” I explained. “I wish I didn't, but the Wolfsbane-”
Victoire groaned. “Shit! Dammit!”
“I'm sorry, I wish-”
“No, not you, it was a contraction. I know you're busy. I just wanted you to know what was happening and see you before I went into the delivery room. It's going to be a while.”
“How far are you?” I asked.
“Only two centimeters,” Victoire said. “Remember how long my labor was with Sophie?”
“Fifteen hours or something?”
“Fourteen. And this is two babies.”
“Won't they come right after the other?” I asked.
Victoire shook her head. “Not always. Apparently there was a woman in here last year who had twins and one of them was born a full two hours after the other.”
“Wow,” I said. “Where's Sophie?”
“With Mum,” Victoire said. “Amy, I need one favor.”
“Anything,” I said.
“If anyone else from my family comes here, besides Mum, because she said she and Dad would come as soon as she can find someone else to watch Sophie, don't let them in. Gabriella is okay, but any of my cousins or their spouses or anyone else, don't let them in. I'm begging you.”
“Don't worry about it. I'll fend them off,” I said.
When Victoire had had Sophie, the entire waiting room had been filled with Weasleys. They spent fourteen hours begging nurses to let them in and a few caved and at one point there were eight people in the room.
“I already told them not to come, but they will.”
“I'll guard the waiting room as soon as I'm done with those potions.”
“Thank you,” Victoire said and then groaned loudly. “Shit!”
I sat with Victoire until my next appointment and returned after that. She dilated another centimeter while I was gone and then another two during the three hours I was brewing. By the time eight o'clock rolled around it was clear that this labor was going to be a lot shorter than Sophie's. At that point both of her parents and Gabriella had arrived, so I joined a small vigil of anxious soon-to-be-grandparents, aunts, and uncles in the maternity ward waiting room. I was soon joined by Victoire's dad.
Far fewer Weasley cousins showed up than I had expected. After I thought about it I realized that the reason so many had shown up for Sophie was because Sophie had been the first child of any of Victoire's first cousins. This time only Nana Molly, Angie, Georgia, Heather, and Rose showed up. Victoire's brother, Ben, also showed up but he had no desire to see Victoire until after the babies were born.
I sent owls to my parents, Matt, and Dillan while we were waiting, letting them know that Victoire went into labor. Other than that it was a fairly boring waiting game that involved drinking many cups of tea and talking about Quidditch far more than I would've liked.
Gabriella and Fleur entered the waiting room just after three in the morning to announce that Victoire had been moved into the delivery room and now it was only a matter of time before the babies were actually born.
“Have they decided on names yet?” I asked Gabriella as I sipped what must have been my twelfth cup of tea.
“They were arguing about them as Victoire was being wheeled to the delivery room,” Gabriella said.
I laughed. “Why does that not surprise me.”
Fifteen minutes later Teddy ran into the waiting room wearing surgical scrubs and a huge grin on his face. Everyone in the room, including the other soon-to-be-dads, stood up expectantly.
“First twin is a boy! Just like we already knew, but still,” Teddy announced. “Have to get back for the other.” He rushed back into the ward.
“He didn't even tell us the name.” Gabriella groaned.
“Probably doesn't have one picked yet,” I pointed out.
Teddy was back only ten minutes later, with an even bigger grin on his face. “Twin number two is also a boy. They're identical as far as we can tell.”
“Are either of them metamorphmagi?” Ben asked.
“I don't think so,” Teddy replied. “My gran said I was changing my hair color just minutes after I was born and these two both have normal hair.”
“Merlin, Teddy, tell us the names!” Gabriella exclaimed. “Or do they not have names yet?”
Teddy laughed and leaned against a snack machine. “They've got names. The older one is Remus John, after my dad, and the second is Henri William, after Victoire's dad and grandfather.”
Remus and Henri. They sounded nice together. I'd predicted that they'd name one of them Remus since Sophie's middle name was Nymphadora, but I wasn't predicting Henri for the other. Victoire's grandfather had died before I even met her, but she said she'd always been close to him.
Teddy soon left to get back to Victoire and the twins. Gabriella, Bill, and Ben went with him. I glanced at my watch and saw that it was four in the morning. Groaning to myself, I got up and decided to stop by my flat to have a quick nap and change before having to go back to work. I'd see Victoire and the twins later, after all her cousins and other assorted family members had had their turn.
By eleven o'clock it became clear that working a full day on three hours of sleep was not a smart idea. I'd done it before, many times, but this time it seemed more exhausting than usual. I wanted to try and slip away to see Victoire and the twins around ten, but I wasn't able to until noon. I grabbed a quick sandwich in the tea room and then hurried to the maternity ward.
Victoire was sleeping when I arrived, but Teddy was awake and sitting with both twins on his lap in a rocking chair. The grin on his face from when he came to the waiting room to tell us they'd been born had not faded and he looked like a very proud father.
He looked up when I entered. “Hi, Amy,” he whispered.
“Hey!” I whispered back as I tiptoed toward him. “How is everyone?”
“Vic's been sleeping for the past five hours,” Teddy said. “And the twins for the past two.”
“Wow,” I replied. “Hopefully that's a sign of things to come.”
“I doubt it.” Teddy smirked. “Come meet them.”
I sat down in the armchair next to Teddy's rocker and peered into the bundles in his arms. Both babies looked very serene and pink, with matching crops of sandy brown hair upon their heads. I usually think that all babies look the same, but even less than twelve hours after their birth, I could tell they looked like Teddy.
“They're beautiful,” I said. “Absolutely adorable.”
“Gran says they have my dad's hair, before it turned grey, that is,” Teddy said.
“They've got even more hair than Sophie did,” I commented. Sophie had been born with the biggest crop of white-blonde hair I'd ever seen on a baby. But the twins, they even beat her. “Have either of them changed their hair yet?”
Teddy laughed. “I don't think either of them are metamorphmagi. You want to hold one of them?”
“Of course,” I said. I reached over and carefully took the twin from Teddy's right arm. He squirmed slightly as I did so, but didn't wake. He felt so warm and tiny in my arms and I had a sudden pang in my stomach. It was a strange feeling, almost as if I wanted a baby of my own. Never before had I even thought about having a baby, but holding this brand new baby boy in my arms brought out a feeling that I didn't even know I had.
“That's Henri,” Teddy said. “They've got personalities already. Henri's the fussier one and Remus seems to be calmer.”
“Has all your family come to see them?” I asked.
“All the ones in the country,” Teddy said. “A few of Victoire's cousins are abroad, but they're all planning on coming soon.”
I sat with Henri for at least a half an hour, just watching him sleep and smiling at him. Teddy fell asleep with Remus in his arms and I wished I had a camera. As I watched them, I couldn't help but imagine how proud Teddy's dad would've been to see his son with Remus John Lupin Junior asleep on his lap.
Victoire stirred in bed and opened her eyes. “Hey, Amy,” she said. Her throat was hoarse.
“How are you feeling?” I asked.
“Like I got hit by the Hogwarts Express,” she said flatly. “Remind me not to have anymore children.”
I laughed. “They're so sweet.”
“They really are.” Victoire smiled. “It's amazing how much you can love someone you've only just met.”
“But really, you've gotten to know them for the past nine months,” I pointed out.
“Yeah, that's true,” Victoire agreed. “Honestly, though, I'm just relieved they're born and they're healthy.”
I nodded. After the lycanthropy scare at the beginning of her pregnancy, I couldn't blame her. For that reason alone I knew she wouldn't be having anymore children. She and Teddy hadn't been planning anymore after Sophie, but the twins had been an accident. A good accident, I thought as I watched baby Henri.
Henri started to stir in my arms and soon he was letting out a wail loud enough to wake people up on the floor above. I rocked him gently, but he didn't stop.
“He's probably hungry,” Victoire said as she held out her arms.
I got up and placed Henri in Victoire's arms and as soon as she began nursing him, he quieted down. Remus didn't even stir upon hearing his brother's cry.
“Remus sleeps like his dad,” I said as I gestured to Teddy and the other twin.
Victoire laughed. “He sure does. Henri doesn't. He wakes up every time Remus cries. I guess I would've gotten off too easy if I had three kids who would sleep through anything.”
“Two out of three is pretty good,” I said.
“Definitely,” Victoire agreed.
I looked up to the door and saw Sophie standing in the doorway. She ran to the bed and jumped up, squeezing in next to her mum. “Mummy, I missed you.”
“I missed you, too, Soph,” Victoire said. “Meet one of your new baby brothers. This is Henri William.”
“He's so cute!” Sophie exclaimed. “Can I hold him?”
“Once he's done nursing,” Victoire said.
“Is his name French like mine?” Sophie asked. “And is he going to turn into a wolf like I do?”
“Yes, his name is French, but he's not going to turn into a wolf. Neither will your other brother,” Victoire explained.
“Oh,” Sophie said. “Where is the other one?”
“Daddy has him,” Victoire pointed to the sleeping Teddy and Remus.
Sophie climbed off the bed and hurried over to her dad. “Daddy!”
Teddy woke up with a start and smiled at Sophie. “Hi, Soph.”
Sophie climbed onto her dad's lap and Teddy moved Remus out of the way. Soon he had both of them on his lap and Sophie was petting Remus's forehead like he was a cat.
“What's his name?”
“Remus John,” Teddy said. “He's named after your grandfather.”
“Your dad? The one who turned into a wolf?” Sophie asked.
“Yes,” Teddy answered.
“He looks just like Henri,” Sophie said.
“They're identical twins,” Teddy explained.
“How will we tell them apart?” Sophie asked.
“For now we'll have to put different ankle bracelets on them, but soon we'll know who is who just by looking at them,” Teddy said.
Remus stirred and began to cry, which set Henri off again. Sophie covered her ears upon hearing Henri's ear piercing howl.
“Ted, Remus is hungry,” Victoire said.
Teddy nodded and gestured for Sophie to get off his lap. He carried Remus over to Victoire and switched babies with her. After a few minutes they both quieted down and Sophie wanted to hold Henri.
“Remember, you have to support his head,” Teddy said after he got Sophie seated in the armchair. He carefully placed Henri in Sophie's arms. Sophie lit up and smiled down at her baby brother.
“He's a lot bigger than my dolls,” Sophie said. “He's heavy.”
“Oh, that reminds me, Amy,” Victoire began, “Gabriella said you won the guess the baby weight contest. I think the prize was a box of chocolate.”
“Excellent.” I grinned. “How big are they?”
“The babies or the chocolates?”
“The babies,” I said.
“Henri is six pounds, eight ounces, and Remus is six pounds, five ounces,” Victoire said.
“Wow, they're big,” I replied.
“I'm just glad they didn't stay in there any longer. Imagine how big they would've been two weeks from now.”
I laughed. After a quick glance at my watch I realized I was late for clinic hours and said a rushed goodbye, with a promise to stop by before I went home. I paused on my way out the door, watching the happy family. Victoire and Teddy always seemed very happy to just have Sophie, but I couldn't help but notice that they seemed even more happy, and more complete, with the twins there as well. It must be a Weasley thing, I thought. A family wasn't complete without at least three kids. A/N: Big thanks to WeasleyTwinMom aka momotwins for all her help with the pregnancy, birth, and twin questions I had! Thanks to everyone who has read and reviewed!
Write a Review Beyond the Shadow: Remus John and Henri William