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Chapter 7 : The Seventh Visitation
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Rose had pretended she was ill so she didn’t have to go to work. Maybe insanity was an acceptable reason for sick leave. She didn’t care either way; while Scorpius was off at play school Rose would snooze and read old copies of Witch Weekly, such as the one that covered Victoire and Teddy’s wedding.
It was about midday, when Rose had just made herself a cheese sandwich, that there was a knock on the door. Rolling her eyes in a mix of anger and exasperation, she trundled to the door, swinging it open with a little too much force. On the other side stood Cecelia, her huge belly now the size of a beach ball.
“Oh,” drawled Celia sarcastically, her eyes sparkling, “I see you are Miss Happy today!” Rose grunted a response as Celia bundled through the door, making straight for the sofa. Groaning in tired pleasure as she sat down, Celia almost nestled herself into the cushions before she turned to her friend.
Narrowing her eyes she said, “you fallen out with Julia or something? Julia is equally as cheerful as you.” Folding her arms angrily, Rose stuck her nose up in the air in what she hoped appeared haughtily superior.
“Ask her,” she spat, “I went round to see her and she was in a right mood. She basically accused me of being selfish, of using Uther for years and being arrogant. It was as if she had wanted to say it for years and years and years but has bottled it up like poison. I don’t understand why she hates me so much!” To her surprise, tears began to prick at her eyes, and they were soon rolling down her cheeks.
Celia gave Rose a little smile, before heaving herself up and walking over to Rose, patting her sincerely on the shoulder. “She doesn’t hate you, I just think she’s worried for you, like we all are. We want you to be happy, and you just don’t seem to be.”
Rose could not help it; she was in floods and collapsed into Celia’s shoulder. “I can’t help it Celia! I still love him, after all this time, and I still cannot believe he is gone! Is it so wrong? Is it so terrible that my heart still belongs to him? I feel I am going mad of grief! I must be, what else could explain all this? What else could explain him being here?”
Celia was looking at her confusedly, “Rose, I don’t understand. It explains who being here?” Rose was beyond hearing Celia now, and she batted her away. “Rose, talk to me please, what is going on?” Celia’s face now possessed a feared look, and she was biting her lip, “I don’t understand, I don’t…”
Celia suddenly stopped talking. Rose wiped her tears away and turned her to her friend. Celia had gone a sickly white, and Rose suddenly panicked, “Celia, what’s the matter?” It was at that moment that a broad smile grew on Celia’s face and her cheeks flushed brilliantly.
“It’s started, Rose,” she beamed, “my waters have broken!” Now it was Rose’s turn to go white. Rose dashed towards Celia, grabbing her hand; “we have to get you to hospital! We have to get you to St Mungo’s!” Celia was laughing happily, and she grasped Rose’s hand joyfully.
“Go call Albus, he’ll bring the car over.” Rose quickly sent off a patronus message and sat with excitable Celia, who had now started babbling. “We still haven’t decided on a name! What about Hortensia for a girl? Or Orpheus for a boy? What do you think Rose?”
Rose tried to be supportive, and was unconsciously rubbing Celia’s back. “I think they are both terrible names, Celia, but it’s your choice if you want to scar your child with such hideous names for the rest of its life. Your opening the door to bullies you know!”
Celia scoffed at this, “says you, the woman who name her son Scorpius! I won’t be surprised if he adopts his middle name, James, in later life!” Rose narrowed her eyes in annoyance at Celia, but decided to forgive her, as in the next few hours she was going to have to push something the size of a watermelon out of her body.
There was not much Rose could do until Albus arrived. He was in a fit of panic, his face white, and he looked more terrified than Celia did. “Rose, help me get her into the car!” said Albus, running his hands haphazardly through his hair, “she looks fit to explode!”
Rose rolled her eyes as she helped pull Celia to her feet. In contrast to Albus’ panic, Celia was practically laughing. “What about Griselda, Al? If it’s a girl!” Albus could only shake his head as he opened the door for Celia, while Rose picked up a throw to put around her friends shoulders.
Albus, as white as a sheet, got into the front of the car, while Cecelia and Rose clambered in the back. In times past, it was James who had always been the designated driver when they had gone for a joyride in Uncle Harry’s car, but today it was up to the highly nervous Albus.
When the car stalled spectacularly Celia shouted, “put your foot on the clutch darling and move it into gear one!” Albus, almost shaking now, did what Celia said, and they shot off into the road, and Rose let out an inadvertent scream.
“Very encouraging Rose,” giggled Cecilia, for some reason ridiculously excitable, “you just screamed at Albus’ driving!” Rose tried to not act incredulous at Celia’s brimming joy. She remembered Scorpius’ birth and how dangerous it had been. She had nearly died after all, and yet Celia was taking this all so lightly.
Rose suddenly folded her arms in annoyance and said, “Celia, you do realize how serious this is? You are about to have a baby, and you are going to have to dedicate the rest of your life to its wellbeing and happiness! Why do you always insist on being flippant about things?”
Cecilia did not take offence, but laughed. “Life is not always a drama Rose. Sometimes it can be so simple; it can be about people who love each other bringing a little bit of happiness in the world. Albus and I are going to love this little sprog whatever happens, and so this can only be good news, and a happy thing!”
For once, Rose did not say anything, but followed Albus’ command and began to check whether everything that they expected was in the hospital bag. Cecilia could sometimes be sharp and snappy, but she never failed to look on the positives in life. Albus had brought her untold happiness, and their relationship had turned them both into more rounded human beings. Rose wished she had a relationship like they had.
“AHHHHHHHH!!!!” shouted Celia suddenly clutching her belly, “I’ve had my first contraction!” she squealed excitedly after the pain had past. Celia’s sudden shout had made the car go skidding to a halt, but it soon started up again as Albus flicked a switch and they magically zoomed towards London.
As the time went on, Celia’s excitement started to dim. As they unloaded her from the car at St Mungo’s, the contractions were coming more and more. “I’m never letting you near me again, Albus Potter!” she grumbled as the contractions came yet again.
By this time, the extended Weasley clan had arrived. Uncle Harry and Aunt Ginny were standing with Albus who was looking paler and paler by the minute, while Lily, Victoire and Aunt Audrey were discussing baby names. Rose was the one who ended up escorting Celia into her room: “a private room, obviously,” smiled the Healer, “only the best for the Potter’s daughter-in-law!”
Rose was frantically plumping pillows, as Mum rushed in with Aunt Angelina. The women all began to congregate in Celia’s room; opening the windows and letting in the light, cleaning surfaces and unpacking the hospital bag. Celia was lowered onto the bed as Albus was pushed through the door by some domineering family member. He was armed with a flannel, and began to dab Celia’s forehead tentatively when she began to scream.
Rose’s own problems were washed away in her friends plight. It was her hand that Celia’s squeezed when the pain came, and while people came in and out asking Celia if she needed anything, it was Rose by her side. Julia even arrived at one stage, but pointedly stood outside to avoid confrontation.
The hours wore on, and Rose got sleepier, Celia got more and more furious. “Fine, I was lying, this really isn’t bringing a little bundle of happiness into the world, this is AGONY!” Celia’s mum began to talk her through all the positive things, and Rose felt it was finally time to leave. There was little more she could do for Celia, and she retreated from the room and out into the waiting room.
The Weasley Clan were all dozing outside. It was now nearing one in the morning, so Rose slumped against one of the walls, and turned her head to her family. They were all sleeping, and the hall was very quiet apart from Celia’s muffled moans coming from inside the ward. Rose became more and more drowsy, and she was about to fall asleep when she saw him.
He was standing at the end of the corridor, a nascent smile on his face. Rose leapt to her feet and dashed down the passage towards him, but Scorpius made no attempt to run away. When she reached him, he extended his hand towards her whispering, “come with me.”
Without a moment’s hesitation, Rose grasped his hand. However, the second her fingers made contact with his she was sucked out of the world and landed with a resounding bump in the vision world. She had not moved from St Mungo’s, but was standing in the ward that she had given birth to her son in. Directly ahead of her was her younger self, a newly born Scorpius in her arms. The light was darkening, and she was humming a lullaby.
Rose watched, enchanted by her younger self. The new mother began to talk to her child, and Rose remembered saying those words that seemed a life time ago. “I promise you I will love you and protect you until the day I die. You will not live in a world that took your father from me; I will try to be patient and truthful, and offer you a life of love and contentment. I will make sure we are happy.”
Rose’s stomach rotted with guilt. With all the hours she worked, Scorpius spent more time with the au pair than with his mother, and she spent so much time arguing and being miserable with Uther that their was a constant chilly atmosphere. It was not a good place for her son.
The room began to fade, but Rose stepped forward, consuming the image of her young self and her son, the love warming the room. However, they faded from view and she was once again in the corridor, Scorpius before her. This time, he did not fade so instantly.
“Do you understand?” he asked, his voice excruciatingly gently, “do you think you have something to live for?” Rose could not help but smile at him as she began to back away. Maybe she did understand. Maybe she knew that Scorpius was trying to show her something good and not just make her go mad.
“I’ve got to go,” she said, “I’m sure I’ll see you soon.” Without even waiting for him to fade, she turned away and jogged back up the corridor to Celia’s room, knowing where she was meant to be.
“We are naming him Jamie Harry Potter, because he’s only a very little James!” smiled Albus, his arm round Celia who was rocking a charcoal haired baby. The whole family had cooed and cuddled the Jamie, and he was already part of the clan.
Everyone could not take their eyes off their tiny new family member. “I don’t think he’s old enough yet to get his own kilt made up to be an official member of Clan Weasley,” said Victoire, her arms round Teddy. “I think he’s going to be a little devil like James was.”
Everyone was momentarily warmed by thoughts of their funny, interesting cousin who had so brutally lost his life, but having little Jamie made it seem for a moment that they had James back. “God, I hope he’s not quite a troublesome as James was!” laughed Al.
“It runs in the Weasley family!” beamed Aunt Ginny, gazing down at her little grandson. “James was a little monster, as was my brother Fred. Jamie is destined to be a terror!” It was hard to believe at that moment that Jamie could ever be anything more than utterly sweet and adorable.
Rose found herself walking towards her cousin and her friend, a sudden sense of purpose in her eyes. Jamie was everything that her son Scorpius had once been, the boy who was now at home with Uther. “Promise me something,” said Rose, her voice soft, “make sure he is happy.”
Cecilia looked at her quizzically, until Rose answered. “Just make sure he knows he is loved. Sometimes love is a hard thing to find, so when you have it, don’t let it go.” Scorpius had been trying to tell her that she couldn’t move on, that she should be devoted to his memory for the rest of her life, for the good of their son.
Even if that meant forgetting all about Jack and Uther.
A/N: A ridiculously long wait I know, but Chained Lady kind of took over my life. As that is drawing to a close, this story is taking hold again and I promise to be quicker with the chapters! Only three more chapters to go, and I hope you come back and read those too!
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