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Chapter 12 : Rose
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“What do we do? What do we do? What do we do... Oh god! Oh god, oh god, oh god! Oh my GOD!”
Harry started chuckling, and Ginny immediately smacked him arm to get him to shut up and landed next to Ron.
“C'mon, it'll be fine.” she said. “But we can't just stand here! We have to do something!”
And then everyone sprung into action. Some Weasleys pushed Hermione into her chair. Some people pulled her out of it. Everyone was arguing over what to do with her, and all Hermione could do was ignore the pain she was feeling in her stomach and sit there, helplessly searching the crowd for her husband, who seemed to have vanished. There was a lot of yelling, and after a few minutes they decided. Several comforting and encouraging hands touched Hermione, but all she wanted was Ron. Since none of the hands were his, she didn't care that much.
“Ron?” Hermione said loudly. “Where's Ron?”
“He's- er- looking ill. Mum brought him inside.” Ginny said in a worried voice. A knot started to form in Hermione's stomach, and she tried to breathe slowly to force herself to remain calm. Good god. This was really happening.
“Bring him here,” Hermione said as firmly as she could manage. “Let me talk to him.”
Ginny hesitated, but Hermione raised her eyebrows and said,
She nodded, vanished, and then came back pulling a wide eyed Ron. Ginny forced him to sit in a kneeling position at Hermione's feet, and then motioned for everyone to back off.
“Er- I'm not sure we have time for this,” Bill pointed out, but Ginny shushed him.
“Don't worry, we have plenty of time. It could be hours until she actually goes into labor.” Angelina said.
“Still, it might be prudent to get Hermione to the hospital in a timely manor, given the fact that-”
“Shut up, Percy,” Audrey barked. “Your brother is about to be sick all over his wife, and all you can think of is being on time?”
Percy, looking quite shocked at being reprimanded this way by his own wife, clamped his mouth shut immediately.
“Honey, are you alright?” Hermione asked quietly. Ron's blue eyes were trained on her face, not flicking anywhere else, just staring into her brown eyes. He looked like he was about to pass out, and Hermione bit her lip, feeling awful about this. “Ron, come on. It'll be fine. I'll be fine. Just be calm.”
This, she knew, was asking too much. How Ron could ever be calm in this situation was beyond her, especially when he hadn't mastered calming himself down in all the years she had known him. How many times had they been caught in a situation where it was life or death and Ron hadn't been able to calm himself? How could she had fooled herself into thinking he'd be different with this? She leaned down and kissed his forehead, then took his hand and said clearly,
“We need to go.”
He nodded, then immediately sprung up and bellowed, “LET'S GO!”
There was a general cheer from the Weasleys, and everyone started moving.
“WAIT!” Fleur yelled. “HOW ARE WE GETTING HERMIONE THERE?”
“We need a car,” George agreed. “And we don't...”
Suddenly, he started running towards his father's garage.
“GEORGE, NO!” Mr. Weasley yelled, sprinting after George. George threw open the door and there was general gasp, then silence for a good few minutes as they all trained their eyes to Mrs. Weasley.
“Arthur Weasley,” Mrs. Weasley said, suddenly coming behind him. “I do not believe this.”
“Er- really, Molly, I...”
But he didn't know what to say.
“How did you get that?” Harry asked, his mouth open. Because there it was. The old Ford Anglia, sitting there with its broken windows and scratched paint, just as it had been the last time Harry and Ron had seen it.
“I... well... I came back and got it after a few years. I missed it, you know?” Mr. Weasley said guiltily.
“Oh my god.” was all Ron could say.
“Well, everybody who's having a baby... in,” George said cheerfully.
“Audrey can drive, right? Because you're a muggleborn?” Charlie asked, turning to his sister-in-law.
“Yes,” Audrey said, looking dignified as she went to the front seat of the car. “Hermione, in back. Ron, you might want to sit with her. Molly, I'd like you to come with us just in case. And as for everyone else- meet you there.”
It was a long drive, and Hermione had already started having contractions once they had gotten there. By her third one, Ron's eyes were so wild she almost considered kicking him out of the car in order to give her and him some relief. But he was holding her hand, and he let her squeeze it when it hurt too much, so she couldn't do that. Wind was streaming in through the broken windows and making all their eyes water, but it didn't effect Audrey's quick and careful driving. Audrey and Mrs. Weasley helped her out of the car, and Bill and Charlie hurried out of the hospital window to support Ron, who was starting to hyperventilate. There was a long line for the welcome witch, and Ron, feeling panicky, tried to rush up to the front, past all the people with lesser problems who were waiting.
“Hey, get to the back of the line!” cried a wizard with antlers.
“MY WIFE IS HAVING AN EFFING BABY!” Ron shouted in return.
“Maternity ward!” yelled the welcome witch, standing up. “Get her there, just walk straight, it's straight ahead! I'll notify a Healer.”
Ron nodded, sprinted back to Hermione, and forced her into a wheel chair that a mediwizard was wheeling by.
“Hey!” the mediwizard and Hermione said at the same time.
“I can walk, Ron!”
“That's not yours to take, young man!”
“I'm twenty six,” Ron told the Healer, “And no you can not walk, now shut up!”
Ginny and Harry watched from the door to the maternity ward, not sure whether to look amused or not, but the looks vanished off of their faces as Hermione cried “OUCH!” and squeezed her eyes shut in pain. Ron wheeled her forward as fast as he could, and Mrs. Weasley and Audrey hurried after the couple, looking a little alarmed at the rate Ron was pushing his pregnant wife. Healer Jennings was waiting for them as they burst through the door, and she took Hermione's chair from Ron immediately and wheeled her into a room, slamming the door shut behind her. Ron made to follow, but backtracked at the sight of the closed door, and then collapsed onto a couch with his head between his hands. A few minutes later, all the Weasleys looked up as Healer Jennings came out of the room.
“She's at six centimeters.” her face registered surprise at Ron still being in the waiting room. “What are you doing out here? Shouldn't you be in there?”
Ron nodded and catapulted himself into the room.
“I'll- er- go get some ice chips,” Ginny said, and she left the waiting area, looking quite shaky. An hour later, Hermione had moved barely a centimeter forward, and everyone except Ron was panicking much less. He was pacing in the room Hermione was waiting in, treading the same area back and forth in much agitation. She watched him, her eyes following his face and never leaving it except when she felt pain. She couldn't believe she was this calm when she was about to give birth, and she knew it was driving Ron absolutely crazy to see her not going crazy. Then again, that was why they were good for each other. They really balanced each other out. Which was, of course, why Hermione was accepting of Ron for being so insane for this event. Right until the Healer came in, told Hermione she was at eight and a half centimeters, and then tried to leave the room.
“ARE YOU BARKING?” Ron bellowed, running after her. “ARE YOU BLOODY MAD? EIGHT AND A HALF AND YOU'RE LEAVING?”
“It could be quite some time-”
“WHAT THE BLOODY HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU? GET BACK IN THERE, YOU INSANE LITTLE-”
“RON!” Hermione screamed from the other room. “SHUT UP AND LAY OFF HER!”
“Oh, it sounds like she's in transition,” Luna said happily, walking through the waiting room door. “And, come to think of it, Ron might be, too. Hello, Hermione!” she added, poking her head into the open door of the room. “How are you? Rose sends her love! Oh, and I brought a gurdyroot for you for luck!”
“AUUURRGG!” Hermione yelled, and Healer Jennings took the opportunity to leave the room.
“Ron?” Harry said, walking over to Ron. “Can I talk to you mate?”
Ron nodded, and Harry gently pulled him over to the side. Then he slapped him across the face.
“WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT FOR?” Ron yelled.
“WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING?” Harry shouted back. “HERMIONE IS IN THERE HAVING A BABY, AND YOU'RE FREAKING OUT! YOUR WIFE NEEDS YOU CALM FOR THIS, YOU ASSHOLE! HOW STUPID CAN ONE GUY BE? CALM THE HELL DOWN!”
Ron stared at him in shock. He'd never been spoken to that way by his best friend before.
“CALM DOWN, YOU BLOODY COWARD!” Harry yelled again, and then he shoved Ron back into Hermione's room and closed the door behind them. He sat back on the couch and picked up a book, pretending to be oblivious to the general amazement occurring around him.
“That... was... unbelievably sexy,” Ginny said finally. “Wow.”
In time, the Healer came into the room and told Hermione she was at ten centimeters. Several assistant Healers came into the room, ready to help Healer Jennings deliver the baby. The door swung shut once and for all, and all the Weasleys sat outside it, waiting until another being joined their ranks.
“This is going to be a boring few hours,” George complained. “Ang, can we-?”
“Yes, please, let's,” Angelina said, standing up and heading for a closet. But a sudden roar from Hermione's room made them turn around, and George grinned broadly.
“Yes!” he said, sliding back into his seat. “They forgot to sound proof the door! Oh, this is going to be good.”
So the next hour or so was spent in high entertainment listening to what was going on behind the door. Such as,
“I AM, YOU BLOODY MANIAC!”
“NO YOU'RE NOT! YOU'RE NOT PUSHING HARD ENOUGH!”
“I'M NOT? OH, I'D LIKE TO SEE YOU PUSH A BABY OUT OF YOUR-”
“I HATE YOU I HATE YOU I HATE YOU I HATE YOU!”
“I LOVE YOU TOO, HONEY!”
“NO, I HATE YOU! I HATE YOU!”
“I FEEL THE EXACT SAME WAY, SWEETHEART.”
“RONALD WEASLEY! YOU ARE NEVER... TOUCHING ME... AGAIN!”
“I LOOK FORWARD TO IT, MIONE! NOW PUSH!”
The entire Weasely family was wincing quite a lot, but everyone was surprised at how Harry was taking this, seeing as Hermione was one of his best friends.
“It was worse when she was being crucio'd,” he said, shrugging. “This is really nothing. Plus, the death threats to Ron are fascinating. I've never even heard of half those things.”
“Yes, well, she's been very into reading books about The Dark Ages lately,” a very pale Ginny supplied.
“One last push, Hermione, you can do it,” Ron said enthusiastically. “C'mon.”
Hermione, sweat drenched and with tears running down her face, looked up at him with big eyes. He looked at her, holding her gaze, practically challenging her to look away. He'd been the best coach possible throughout this whole thing, and Hermione couldn't help wondering if it was the class they had taken or just Ron. He'd been sweet and enthusiastic, and even when she'd threatened to murder him in his sleep, he hadn't shied away at all, which was probably more then she could say for herself if the roles were reversed.
“We're almost there, love. Just a little push, and it'll all be over.”
Hermione looked down at his hand, stretched out so that he could reach hers. She nodded, closed her eyes again, and pushed.
“Almost there... almost...” Healer Jennings muttered. “And... we have a baby!”
Ron cheered, and Hermione's head fell back onto the pillow. She was too exhausted to bother holding it up anymore.
“Holy merlin, it's tiny,” Ron said in awe, and he heard a tiny laugh over in the direction of Hermione.
“Would you like to cut the umbilical chord?” Healer Jennings asked, and Ron nodded excitedly and took the pair of scissors she offered him before chopping the chord. The baby was whisked away, and Ron sighed and walked over to Hermione to lay another cold washcloth on her head, his hand still clasped tightly in hers. They smiled tiredly at each other, but didn't say anything. That was when Ron remembered. He glanced in the directions of the Healers, trying to see the baby, but they were blocking it.
“What gender is it, by the way?” he asked.
Healer Jennings looked up, surprised.
“Oh, I didn't tell you?”
She grinned and picked up a pink hat between her thumb and forefinger.
“It's a girl.”
Ron let out a whoop and threw open the door of the room, bursting out into the waiting area where his family was.
“I'M A DAD! I'M A DAD! IT'S A GIRL! I'M A DAD!”
Mrs. Weasley burst into tears and sprung up to hug her youngest son, Mr. Weasley following. Harry started to get up, but was hindered when Ginny, not wanting her brothers to see her crying, hid her face in his shoulder. He gave Ron a thumbs up, instead, which, from the look on Ron's face, was just as good.
“Congratulations!” every one of his brothers said, coming up to clap him on the back, and Harry wondered if he'd ever seen Ron so happy in his life. Once everyone had said something to him, Ron backed out of his mother's arms and walked back into Hermione's room. What he saw nearly took his breath away. She was sitting up in the bed, the sweat wiped off of her face, and her hair had evidentially been dried and brushed out by an assistant Healer. It was looking extremely bushy. And she was holding their baby, wrapped up in a little pink blanket, sleeping soundly in her arms. Hermione's eyes were on their baby girl when Ron walked in, and her finger was gently tracing her soft cheek. He closed the door to their family and locked it, because he knew his mum was going to try to get in, and he wanted some time with Hermione first. He drew up a chair beside her, took her hand and pressed his lips to it, then held it in both of his.
“How are you?” he asked quietly.
“Tired,” she told him honestly. For a few moments, they just looked at each other. Hermione and Ron. Husband and wife. Mummy and daddy.
“I'm so proud of you,” Ron said in a croaky voice. “You were amazing. You are amazing.”
“Thank you,” Hermione said, her eyes welling up. “You too.”
It was one of those moments where they both couldn't believe how much they loved each other, couldn't believe how much they felt for the other, and couldn't believe their luck that the other one felt the same way.
“I love you so much, Hermione. I love you so, so much.”
She laughed shakily and kissed the top of his head.
“So what do you want to name her?” Hermione asked.
“Not sure. I haven't really thought about it since the last time. Do you have any new ideas?”
Hermione hesitated. Then she said,
“I do, actually.” She swallowed hard, nervous. “Well, there's one person, I think, who really played a huge part in getting us back together after we broke up. And without her, I don't think we would be here today. And that person is Rose.”
“Rose?” Ron repeated, thinking he knew where this was going.
“Yes,” Hermione said earnestly. “Rose was the person who finalized and laminated my choice to get back together with you. She was the only one who's judgment I trusted enough, because she wasn't bias like Ginny, and she doesn't think like my mum. Without her, I wouldn't have kissed you that night at Hogwarts, during the Final Battle Reunion. Plus, she was the one who thought of the church my parents got married in to have our wedding. She made my wedding the best wedding that I ever could have had, and we owe her so much, and I did make her a bridesmaid, but I was thinking... why don't we name our little girl after her? Rose? Rose Nancy Weasley.”
“After the doll, or your mum?” Ron asked slowly.
“Maybe both,” Hermione said, smiling mischievously at him. He leaned down and kissed her, careful not to jostle their baby.
“I love it. It's perfect. And the name Rose is great. Plus, it starts with the same letter as mine does.”
“Only you,” Hermione said, endearingly rolling her eyes. “Do you... do you want to hold her?”
“Yeah, sure.” Ron said, trying to seem calmer then he was. Hermione hesitated, seemingly about to remind him to hold up Rose's head, but then thought better of it and just handed him their baby. Just then, Mrs. Weasley finally got into the room, and she ran at him and the baby. All the Weasleys filed excitedly in, surrounding Ron and Hermione and chattering happily. They inquired after how Hermione was feeling, how Ron was feeling, and what the baby's name was.
“Rose,” Ron said, puffing his chest out proudly. “Rose Nancy Weasley.”
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