Chapter 60 : Congratulations, It's A . . .
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Ron Weasley paced up and down the hallway, clenching his fists in his pockets. He wanted to blow something up, but he kept his wand in his holster, almost hidden by the sleeves of his fancy shirt. It seemed hard to believe that three hours ago, he'd been singing (sort of), dancing (not too well, but he'd done so) and drinking (that was one thing he did know how to do) at his brother George's wedding. He'd been having a good time cracking jokes with Beth, George's bride and his new sister-in-law, and discussing Quidditch stats and players with Ginny and Harry. Hermione had been sitting at the table, enjoying the activity and sipping on a sparkling apple juice. She couldn't dance because of her pregnancy, she felt like an overfull water balloon about to explode, and couldn't drink champagne either, but that was all right. She liked talking to Ginny and discussing possible names for the baby . . . or babies, if Poppy was right.
Hermione prayed that the mediwitch was wrong for once. She didn't think she could cope with twins the way Molly had. Then again, if that happened, at least she had two boys names picked out. She also had her fair share of girl names, because one never knew. She had just finished drinking a cup of coffee, and felt a strange pressure in her lower abdomen. Thinking that she needed the bathroom (when didn't she these days), she stood up.
It was then that she felt something warm and wet cascade between her legs. Horrified that she'd lost control of herself, she looked down, and saw a puddle of clear fluid. Then she felt a pain slice across her back. She knew then what this was, and she called for Ron, though Harry and Ginny were there before him, helping her stand . . .
Now Ron paced, his body a mass of nerves, for he could not enter the delivery room. Only the Healers and mediwitches could attend Hermione now, because it was determined that there was more than one baby inside her and each one was fighting to come out first. So they had determined to do a spelled emergency Caesarean. They had knocked Hermione out, sending her into a twilight stasis where she felt nothing of what they did to her, though she was partially awake.
Then they started delivering the babies. Ron checked his watch. It was now three hours since they'd come to St. Mungos. The first hour he'd been with his wife, waiting for her to dilate fully. The next hour he'd watched as several Healers and a mediwitch had examined Hermione, timing the contractions, which seemed to get worse, but there was no baby. After multiple spells to see inside the laboring witch, it had been determined that they would need to do an operation.
Ron had almost passed out. "But . . . we never needed to do this before!" he had gasped. "My mum had seven kids and she . . ."
"This isn't your mum, Mr. Weasley. This is your wife, and I'm telling you, if you want to have a healthy spouse and children, you'll agree to sign this form allowing us to do this procedure," Healer Morgan said, handing Ron a quill and parchment.
"Sign it, Ron!" Hermione panted. "I . . . need help and this is . . . the only way. I'll be fine!"
He stared at his wife, then he gripped her hand. "Are . . . are you sure, Hermione? I've . . .never known anybody who needed . . . this operation before . . ." He was sweating bullets.
She laid a hand on Ron's arm. "It's okay, Ronnie. I'll be fine. It'll be much better than what I'm feeling now . . . which is frustrated and hurting and not getting anywhere. Right, Healer?"
"Yes, Mrs. Weasley. Sir, we do this sort of thing everyday. Your wife is by no means the first, sometimes a baby won't turn or is too big or, in this case of multiple births, trying to get into position and getting in each other's way."
"Is it safe?"
"We cannot guarantee an entirely risk free procedure, but yes, it is safer than watching your wife struggle like this and exhaust herself and endanger the infants. Trust me, Mr. Weasley. This is the best way for you, your wife, and your children."
Ron nodded. "All right. Let me have the pen." He signed his signature at the bottom of the parchment, right next to Hermione's.
Then a mediwitch ushered him from the room. "We need a sterile field, sir. And usually the husband doesn't want to see this part."
Ron went. "Will she . . . be in any pain?"
"No. We'll sedate and numb her with charms. She'll feel nothing until we place the babies in her arms. Why don't you have a seat over there?" she pointed to a chair in the waiting area. "You could read some magazines or even visit the cafeteria. We have a good menu."
Normally Ron would have taken her up on that offer, but not now. Not when his lovely Hermione was going to be cut open, or whatever they did to get the babies out. "How long will it take?"
"Oh, an hour to an hour-and-a-half. It varies. But we'll call you when they're born, never fear. Got to go, I need to scrub," she waved at him before leaving him alone in the hallway. It was somewhere around 12 midnight.
Ron was used to keeping odd hours because of his sports caster job, but this was one time he'd rather not be awake to see the sun rise. Or rather, he'd have liked to be awake with Hermione beside him. He couldn't believe how nervous he was. He had gone through this before, but . . . as he'd said to the Healer, he'd never expected anything like this. He prayed that all would go well with Hermione and the babies. He'd also never expected to be the father of twins.
Twins. Like Fred and George, he thought dazedly. He'd never thought they'd have twins, just another baby. Now he was about to be a parent of three. He walked to the window and peered out at the darkened landscape. Soon my babies will be born. Another generation of Weasleys and Grangers. Hells! I wonder if anyone told Hermione's parents? I hope so. Merlin knows I wasn't really thinking straight when Hermione told me she was in labor.
Well, hopefully someone, like Molly, would remember. If not, they could always hear the good news later on tomorrow.
He made himself sit down and had just picked up a Quidditch magazine when the elevator wooshed open and Harry came through it, still dressed in his suit, tie, and dress robes.
"Harry! What are you doing here?"
"The wedding just let out, and when we didn't hear from you, I figured you might need some support. So I came here to see if everything's all right. Ginny took the kids home. How's Hermione doing? Everything okay?"
"I'm glad you're here, Harry," Ron said, giving his friend a grateful smile. "Uh, sit down and I'll tell you what's happening," he gestured to a chair in the lounge.
Harry sat, his green eyes focused keenly on Ron's face.
Ron told him about Hermione's labor and the fact that the babies weren't cooperating. "So they decided to do this . . . operation . . . thing. I forget what it's called, it reminds me of . . . of salad . . ."
"Caesarian. I know what that is," Harry said. "It's said that it got its name from being done on Queen Cleopatra when she was pregnant with Julius Caesar's child. Or something like that."
"Caesar? Like the Roman dictator?"
"Yup. Apparently, she named the baby Caesarian, it means "Little Caesar" and I guess the doctors named the operation after him. I think. I can't be sure because it's been a long time since I studied ancient history in Muggle primary school." Harry patted him on the shoulder. "So at least you're in good company, Weasley."
"Great! So me and a dead Roman guy have something in common," Ron groaned.
But having Harry there helped calm him immensely.
Though when the mediwitch reappeared, all smiles, Ron felt his knees go weak. For a moment he couldn't stand. Harry had to help him off the chair. "Uh . . . is everything okay?"
"Everything is wonderful, Mr. Weasley!" the mediwitch grinned. "Your wife is doing fine and so are the babies."
"Babies?" Ron seemed to be having trouble hearing her, his head was all in a whirl. Hermione was all right, he kept repeating to himself. She was all right and so were the babies.
"Yes, Mr. Weasley. Congratulations, you're the father of—"
"Twins?" he guessed. "What are they?"
"They are triplets, Mr. Weasley."
"Huh? Triplets?" Ron's mouth hung open. "But how. . . ?"
"You mean you didn't know? But I thought . . . no wonder your wife seemed so surprised."
"We . . . she . . . wanted to be surprised."
"I guess you sure were then! Come on, and meet your little bundles of joy," the mediwitch laughed and beckoned them into the room.
Harry took Ron's arm to steady him. "Come on, old pal. Let's go see those kids of yours, and let you pick which one I'm going to be godfather to."
When the two wizards entered the room, they saw Hermione propped up in bed wearing a green hospital gown. In her arms were three babies. Two were swaddled in blue blankets and the third was in a pink one. "Harry! What a surprise!" she cried upon seeing them. "What are you doing here?"
"Thought I'd keep Ron company. And be the first to look upon my new godchild." Harry said.
"Ron, come and meet your new babies," Hermione grinned. "Here's your two sons and a daughter. Aren't they beautiful?"
Ron went to sit beside Hermione and see his new triplets. All of them had dark auburn hair, though the little girl's hair was lighter than her brothers. "They're perfect, Hermione. Just . . . amazing! Two boys and a girl! Rose sure will be happy."
"And you, Ron? Are you happy?"
"I'm over the moon, 'Mione." He smiled proudly down at them.
Harry came over to inspect the newborns. "So . . . what are you going to call them? Or should we just use Thing One, Thing Two, and Thing Three?"
Hermione cracked up. "Oh, Harry! You're something else. Now I'll have to read them Dr. Seuss. The Cat in the Hat was always one of my favorites."
"Mine too, until Dudley ripped it apart," Harry chuckled ruefully. "Well? Shall I give you a few minutes?"
Ron and Hermione put their heads together and conferred for a few moments.
Then they beckoned Harry back over.
"Uncle Harry, meet your nephew Frederick Hugo Weasley," Ron said, picking up the boy in the middle and giving him to Harry.
"Freddy for short," Hermione said.
Harry tickled the baby's chin and Freddy yawned. "Hello, Fred. Wow, he's tiny!"
"They're about four and a half pounds each," Hermione told him. "This is your namesake." She held up the second boy. "Harry, meet your godson—Harry Arthur Weasley."
Harry took his namesake into his arms and stared into the little one's smoke blue eyes. "Hey. I'm your uncle. You and I are going to have a great time together. I think Indi weighed more than he does when she was born."
"Probably," Ron agreed. He put Freddy back and reached for his daughter. "And this little lady is Philomina Molly, after both her grandmothers. Mina, for short, since she's too little for such a big name yet."
Harry gave baby Harry back to Hermione and took Mina. "Look at you! Grabbing my hand already," he laughed as the little girl latched onto his thumb. "Oh, you and Indi are going to give us gray hairs before we're forty."
"Harry, please!" Ron groaned. "I'm running away before she's old enough to date. And Rose too!"
"What? And leave me with all the headaches? Fat chance, Ronald!" protested Hermione. "You're going to stay right here and beat off guys with a stick, you and Harry both. And then you're going to see what good choices your daughters make when they marry."
"I don't want them to marry! Maybe I'll build a tower and lock them in it. And surround it with a moat and a hedge of thorns and . . ."
"Ron, you're crazy!" Harry laughed. "What do you think this is, a fairy tale? We'll be fine. Once we get over the shock and wanting to bash the guy upside the head with a Beater's bat."
"Uh . . . I guess so. Let me see Mina," he held out his arms and took Mina in his right while still holding Freddy in his left. "You know, someone should call Mum and Dad and tell them."
"We will. And my parents too," Hermione said. "But let's wait till morning. It's only two o'clock. Let them sleep." She yawned. "That's what I want to do right now. Sleep."
"Do you feel all right?" asked Harry.
"Yes. I'm still numb down there, but there won't be a scar. Or so the Healer tells me," Hermione answered. "I'm just . . . very sleepy."
Soon she had drifted off to sleep, and two mediwitches returned and said they needed to put the babies in the nursery.
Ron reluctantly let the babies go with them, then he settled down on the couch next to Hermione's bed. "Well, guess I'll get some shut eye. All of a sudden, I feel like I've flown consecutive Quidditch games back to back."
Harry handed him a blue blanket. "It's late. I'll come back with Ginny and the kids tomorrow. Congratulations, Ron. And thanks for naming your son after me and making me his godfather."
"You deserve it. You're my best mate, Harry. More n'that, really. You're like my twin brother." Ron grinned lopsidedly. "Think I'll ask George to be Freddy's godfather and maybe Bill or Charlie for Mina's."
"That sounds good." Harry said. "See you tomorrow, mate."
"Night, Harry." Ron waved, then snuggled down on the couch and closed his eyes.
Harry left the hospital on the wings of magic, Apparating back home to where Ginny was curled up in bed, dozing over a paperback, waiting to hear the good news. He couldn't wait to tell her the surprise, which no one, least of all Ron and Hermione, had ever anticipated. Now the Weasleys had grown by three, and Harry was an uncle again—three times over.
Hope you were all surprised! This chapter was written as a present for my sister, whose birthday is today. I thought it made sense that Ron name one of his kids after Harry and found it odd nobody had ever done so, considering Harry was not only a good friend, but also the hero of the wizarding world. I also thought it good if he named one after Fred, and Philomina just sounded pretty to me.
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