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Chapter 19 : All At Once
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I ran up to the reception desk as soon as I arrived at the hospital I ran up to the lift and soon found myself approaching Room 231, where my family were all sitting on a bench in the corridor. It was my Mum who spotted me first.
“James! Where have you been!? The baby’s almost ready to be born!” she said, looking flustered.
“What? Oh Merlin, sorry I er, popped out for a bit,” I said, still feeling a little drunk.
“You’re a mess James, you’ve been drinking, haven’t you?” asked Dad. How I ever thought I’d ever get away with it all I didn’t know.
“Sorry I um-“
“That doesn’t matter now, let’s just get you sorted out,” said Mum in a surprisingly nice tone. Once the corridor was empty of muggles, she waved her wand over my head and what felt a wave of warm water trickled down me until I was suddenly rejuvenated and clear-minded. It was then that I heard the screaming, and lots of it. Screams were erupting from not only Viola’s room but also the rooms lining the corridor until I could stand it no longer; I had to get in there and get it all over and done with. This was it-the culmination of five months of hell. I quickly kissed my Mum and hugged my Dad, Lily and even Al before opening the door to Room 231 and immersing myself in the chaos that was unfolding.
Vi looked over to me with a sweaty, exasperated face and I smiled reassuringly at her, until my smile was suddenly dashed:
“WHERE THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN!?” she shouted before returning to screaming in pain.
“I- er, well can’t we talk about that later?” I said, looking at her parents and Scorpius and taking in the situation. A nurse then came up to me and said:
“You must be the father? James, right? Viola’s in severe pain at the moment; she’s eight centimetres dilated already.”
“What does that mean?” I asked, soundly unintentionally rude.
“Well, the baby’s probably going to be born in about fifteen minutes.”
“Fuck! No- sorry I mean- wow. I- what do I do?” I asked, freaking out a little.
“YOU CAN FUCKING COME HERE AND HOLD MY HAND, YOU ARSEHOLE!” screamed Viola. I grimaced but nonetheless approached her and grasped her hot hand. I then endured a synchronisation of violent hand-crushing and screaming. I felt a little sick and nervous at the thought of the baby’s arrival but these feeling were now being over-shadowed by feelings of curiosity and genuine excitement.
“We've got the head!” exclaimed one nurse before encouraging Viola to push. Meanwhile, I could have sworn that my hand was going to fall off from lack of circulation. My stomach then flipped as Viola suddenly screamed louder than ever and then silence until the interruption of a small crying noise. I breathed a sigh of relief and Viola laughed nervously whilst all the nurses started clapping each other on the back. Despite my fatigue, I walked up to the midwife who was holding the baby and caught the first glimpse of my child; my son.
He had fine wisps of blond hair and was slightly smaller than the average baby. He had perfect little legs, cute fingers, pudgy arms and tiny feet. And he was perfect. I couldn’t quite believe that he was mine. How could someone so beautiful be the product of something so stupid. The midwife then transferred him into my arms and I couldn’t contain my smile as I stroked his hair proudly and gave him a quick kiss on the forehead.
Draco and Astoria then came up and held the baby each, followed by Scorpius who just looked tired. Viola had been asleep the whole time and woke up once everyone had left and it was just me and her in the room.
“James…?” she said wearily, before gasping at our sleeping son in my arms.
“Oh wow, can I hold him?” she asked.
“Of course; you did all the hard work!” I said, before giving him to Vi, who was smiling. She was a natural and the picture of her with a baby in her arms was a beautiful, precious sight. Then, unexpectedly, she leant over the side of the bed and kissed me on the cheek.
“Thank you. I know we don’t exactly get on, but without you I wouldn’t have him.”
“Er, you’re welcome, I suppose,” I said, chuckling slightly.
“What? No, I’m James,” I said, confused.
“I know, I’m not stupid!” she laughed, “No, I mean I want him to be called Luke, is that all right with you?” she said. I liked the name, it was nice and normal but not boring. Perfect, just like him.
“Yeah, sure, but what about a middle name?” I asked.
“To be honest, does he really need one? Because I can’t think of one and well, I think a simple name will offer him a nice contrast from his undoubtedly complicated future.” Fair enough.
My parents then came in, followed by Al and Lily. Mum and Dad predictably cooed over Luke and made ‘aww’ noises when I announced his name. Lily was already infatuated by him, but Al looked a little gloomy. He was talking to Vi with animated expressions, but I could tell that he was secretly a little upset. I think the fact that Vi had asked for me to be there rather than him had annoyed him. The subtext behind his exterior had reminded me of the turbulence between Vi and myself and the problems we had facing us in the future. But, I pushed those thoughts out of my head and instead just looked at my little baby boy. There was no doubt that I loved him.
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