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Chapter 37 : Bumps: Scorpius AND Rose POV
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“Don’t you want to take a shower, Ro?” I asked, standing between her and the closed door to our bedroom. I was hoping I could deter her a few moments more while the gang put the finishing touches on the surprise.
“Actually… yeah, I do. While I love being a Healer, being a patient was rather horrid.” She reached around me for the doorknob. “I’ll just grab a change of clothes-” She stopped short as a bang sounded from behind the door of our room.
I coughed loudly and stomped my foot to try and cover the sound.
“No! Er… I mean, let me get them. You head on in to the bathroom.” I added in a few more coughs to sell it, turning her around so her back was to the door, hoping my voice didn’t give away my eagerness.
“All right…” she eyed me warily.
I tried to hide my enthusiasm by shooting her an innocent grin. But my eyes bugged out as I saw purple sparks shoot out from underneath the door. Rose narrowed her eyes at me. Before she could turn her head and see anything, I distracted her with a deep kiss and an “I’m so happy you’re back.” It worked and I felt her fall into my arms. I pulled her in closer as we continued to kiss and our bodies melted together. Merlin, I missed her. She let out a small sort of whimper that was pleasure laced with desperation and I knew we had to stop before either of us got too carried away.
“You head on in to the bath. I’ll be right back,” I whispered into her soft hair and before I could be sidetracked by her soft skin and lavender scent, I brushed the side of her face with my fingertips and turned toward her room as she headed for the bathroom.
I found Dom, Selenia, Albus, and James hard at work. Dom was giving orders to the blokes, who were trying their best to keep up with her demands and Selenia was putting her own finishing touches on things.
“You lot nearly blew the surprise,” I said as I rummaged through Rose’s clothes to find a comfortable looking outfit that wasn’t pyjamas. I told them they had a few minutes more as I’d convinced Rose to take a shower. Dom starting shouting louder, as if that would make Al and James move faster. I escaped just barely before she could give me a list of things to do, shaking the fistful of clothes at her to indicate that I was already set on a task.
I entered the bathroom to hear the steady stream of the water at full blast, but Rose was not standing underneath it. Instead, she was poised with her back to me, eyeing herself sideways in the mirror. I eased the door shut with my fingertips and walked up behind her to look with her. I smiled as my reflection appeared over her shoulder in the long mirror, steam from the hot water billowing up around our heads. Her eyes met mine and twinkled back at me in the mirror. My eyes followed hers as they travelled downward toward her belly. She had slid her skirt down a bit and lifted up her shirt to reveal the small bump.
My breath caught. She hadn’t had a bump at all a few weeks before…
I felt my heart plummet into my stomach. I’d missed it. I was so wrapped up in my own pathetic mess that I’d missed out on watching our baby grow. I swiveled around to her front and kneeled down on my knees in front of Rose, my head was level with her swelling abdomen. Carefully, I put my hands on either side, to feel the new growth.
“Wow,” I whispered as I looked up and found her eyes, adoring me. “Can the baby hear me yet?” I asked.
She nodded, “Any day now, but that never stopped you before.” Her face was holding in a laugh and she placed her hands on top of mine, her look softening. “It’s kind of amazing, huh?”
“It’s absolutely brilliant.” I couldn’t move my gaze from the little bump. “Hi, baby. It’s your Dad here. I’ve missed you and your Mum terribly and I’m very sorry for being a complete arse-”
“Scorpius! You will NOT use that language in front of our child!” Rose admonished, horrified.
“Sorry, love.” But I couldn’t stop smiling.
“And-” she continued, “you are not to apologize anymore. I know you had a lot to work out. Plus, you saved my life – both our lives,” she patted the bump, “ - twice. If you insist on keeping track of these things, we’ll just call it even.”
I nodded and kissed her belly softly. “I love you,” I whispered to my unborn child. I wanted him to hear those words from me as much as possible.
I hoisted myself to a standing position and helped Rose undress the rest of the way. She looked so graceful and beautiful, stepping into the shower. As I turned to head out of the bathroom, she stuck her head out and said sharply, “Aren’t you joining me, Malfoy? We have some lost time to make up!”
My heart leapt. “All right, but just a quick shower. We all have a surprise for you when you’re done.”
“What?” she was genuinely shocked, as I knew she would be. Rose never expected anything from anyone and was always so appreciative. We shared a few gentle kisses and I couldn’t get enough of rubbing her tiny belly, enjoying our first few moments of peace in a long, long while.
After I was able to scrub the hospital grime off of me, Scorpius and I dressed and I told him that I wanted to run to our room and make sure that my clothes were in order. Scorpius followed behind me.
My body tensed as I heard whispers in the room and I reached for my wand and braced Scorpius’s hand. He pushed the door open the rest of the way and I reflexively poised for attack.
“Whoa! The fuck you say, Rosie!” James was standing next to Al and he held his arms up in a surrender stance.
“Rose, it’s all right,” Scorpius stepped through the door and caught my eyes with a gentle hand on the side of my face, nervous that I might attack. I can’t say that it wasn’t completely out of the realm of possibility, given the events of the past few days, but I didn’t even see him. My eyes were pulled away by the surroundings. I was most definitely not standing in our old, worn-out room.
“What the…” I began. “Where’s our room?”
“Surprise!” Dom and Selenia stepped out of a door at the far end of the room that hadn’t been there before. I cocked my head in confusion, but was so taken aback by the new look of the space that I didn’t have a moment to consider it. Everything looked completely different. The dirty, dingy, gray walls and floorboards were gone and replaced by a deep, rich, hardwood floor and beautiful cream colored walls. The trim was painted a bright white. Our bed was on the far right side of the room, tucked into a cozy corner and had two whitewashed night tables on either side. It was now a beautiful wrought iron head and footboard and the bedding was a white cotton coverlet with a bright green throw.
What struck me the most was how much bigger the room was. There was a desk that matched the night tables on the front wall, just underneath one of the sunny windows that looked onto Grimmauld Place proper. It had several drawers and was neither too small nor too big. My laptop sat atop of it, ready to use.
On the opposite wall, there were two wardrobes that matched each other in style, but one was whitewashed in the same color as the nightstand and the other was a much darker shade of mahogany.
Before I was finally able to take all of this in, I was drawn to the other side of the large room. There was another desk that was bigger than the first, made out of dark mahogany to match the wardrobe. It sat on the far side of what could be considered a sitting area, complete with a loveseat, two comfy, overstuffed chairs and an ornate Persian rug. The desk sat in a darker corner of the room, but it had its own lamp for light.
“Wow! You guys did an amazing job! I couldn’t have even imagined anything this bloody fantastic!” Scorpius was stunned. He turned to me. “We all wanted to surprise you. Because of the attacks, we’re not going to be able to get our own place. At least, not until Stannous is captured. I knew you wanted to get a flat or house of our own, so we started to brainstorm as to how we could make our room more homey.”
“You can change anything you want, Rose,” Selenia piped up from the other side of the room. She was leaning against the door frame of the new door at the far end.
I nodded but didn’t say anything. I was embarrassed that a few tears were starting to form. I had the best friends and family, ever. Scorpius was walked next to me, as I entered the sitting area and gazed at the warm, welcoming furnishings. I reached up to hug him. “This was your idea, wasn’t it?” I whispered shakily into his ear.
“The concept was mine,” he admitted. “But most of the design was the girls,” he nodded to Dom and Selenia. “and the bulk of the magic were James and Al.”
“I love it! Thank you so much, all of you. But… how did you make it look so much bigger? Is it an extension charm?”
“Nope,” Scorpius smirked. “Dom moved upstairs – to my old room. We just moved that wall back to accommodate the sitting area and the wardrobes. And I moved all my things down here... where I belong,” he said quietly, pointing to the mahogany wardrobe. The lighter one was obviously mine.
“And…” Selenia paused, gesturing grandly through the doorway that she was still standing by. I took her cue and walked across our new, enormous room, the others following me. I figured that the doorway led to a closet or dressing room of some sort, but I was wrong.
The tiny room was perfect. It had bright, white wainscoting that ran about three quarters-way up the walls. Above that, the walls were painted a bright, spring green color. There was a beautiful mahogany rocker in the corner, just next to a window, but that was the only furniture in the room. The wood floor had a multi-colored braided rug.
“We didn’t put up a cot or a chest of drawers for the baby because we thought you’d like to pick them out yourself.” Dom explained.
I was speechless. It was a perfect sized room for the baby. I loved that he would have his own room, but still could be close to Scorp and me. There was another door that led to the hallway, so visitors wouldn’t have to go through our room to see the baby.
“We didn’t want to do everything. You can change the color – or anything else if you don’t like it.” I thought I’d heard Selenia say.
I couldn’t take my eyes off the rocker. I could just imagine myself, sitting in that chair, in this cozy little room, rocking my baby to sleep. For the first time, it felt like this baby was real. It was really going to arrive, after a few short months. And live in this room. With me for a Mum and Scorpius for a Dad.
I slowly turned and took in the remainder of the room. There was one framed photo on the wall just above the rocker and, as I looked more closely at it, I realized it was the baby’s first scan parchment.
“Er… we know that you probably wanted to do some of this stuff yourself…” James trailed off.
I looked out the window. It had a wonderful view of the garden, unlike the other room that looked out onto the street. I thought of planting a few flowers in the garden, so the baby would have something colorful to see.
I turned to look at the lot of them. Tears were now streaming down my face. I was shocked to see panic and confusion on their faces – all but Scorpius – he was positively beaming. Realizing that I hadn’t said a word in several minutes, and that they probably thought I was either really upset or completely mental, I opened my mouth, “It’s wholly, completely the most wonderful thing that anyone has ever done for me. I can’t begin to…” I was sobbing now, so I just flung my arms around the closest person, which was Al.
I hugged everyone in turn and thanked them all from the bottom of my heart. I think they were all completely relieved that I wasn’t angry. Selenia even started crying and whispered in my ear, “You have no idea how excited Al and I are for this little one.”
I grabbed both her hands, but could only smile at her. Our baby was already so loved by everyone; I could not imagine it coming home to a more perfect home… or family.
“Thanks, everyone,” Scorpius said. “It’s absolutely brilliant.”
“Let’s give the happy couple a few moments to get reacquainted, yeah?” James raised his eyebrows a few times. I couldn’t help but roll my own and land a playful swat on his shoulder.
As they all filed out of the baby’s room through the door that led to the hallway, I grabbed a few tissues to wipe my wet face. Scorpius and I both thanked each of them profusely and then he closed the door behind him.
Suddenly we were alone in our new home. I was trying to compose myself from all the emotion. I never, ever expected anything like this.
“I’m glad you like it,” Scorpius said, turning towards me and smoothing the side of my face. His fingers traced my jawline and tickled down my neck to my collarbone, sending jolts down to my core.
“I love it,” I hoisted up to my tiptoes. My mouth moved against his lips that were just barely touching mine. The gentle contact was driving me crazy. I’d forgotten how soft his lips were. “It feels like a home should. Beautiful and warm and safe.”
“Mm-hmm,” he agreed with another kiss, this one much firmer.
“Mmmm,” I said back, finally feeling him press against me after so long. My body was aching for his touch.
As if he knew what I was thinking, his arms reached around me and lifted me up, off the ground. My hands snaked around his neck and pulled our mouths together. Even a few seconds apart seemed unbearable after so much time apart.
“Mmm,” I moaned again, as he carried me out of the baby’s room and into our sitting area. We crossed to our new bed, where he laid me down and continued our kiss. One of his hands was caressing my neck and the other one brushing my hip. He lowered himself next to me.
I let out another whimper as one of my hands trailed down his chest until it reached his trousers. I pulled at his shirt until it came loose and I could grope his muscled chest under the fabric. Our swollen lips finally broke and I sucked in some much needed oxygen.
“Scorpius…” I began, but lost all thought as he unbuttoned and removed his shirt. “Oh…” was all I could manage as his lips pressed against mine again, my hands exploring his arms and chest. Our actions were slow, deliberate. We both wanted to remember everything we had missed about each other. Breaths came in slowly and deeply as we savored every part of each other.
He pulled away for a moment and looked down at me, smiling.
Next moment, he sat bolt upright on his knees and covered his head with this hands. “Merlin, Rose!” he exclaimed. “You just got out of hospital. We can’t be doing this! I am a complete prat.”
“Oh, no you don’t. No way.” I raised myself up on my knees to be level with him. “I have been cleared by my healers for ‘all activities’ – apart from skydiving and fighting dark wizards – and I fully plan to partake in such activities,” I said coyly as I pressed my lips firmly to his jaw and moaned into him again. All of the nerves in my body were shooting off at once. My hands braced his shoulders so he couldn’t pull away.
“Scorpius, it has been almost a month, do you realize that?” I said right before I traced his collarbone with my finger. My mouth found its way up to his neck and my lips spent a little bit of time pulling at his soft skin, savoring the sweet taste and making sounds of pleasure that were being pulled out of me.
I paused for a moment to trace my finger down the healing scar of his left arm, remembering how he threw himself in between me and the death eaters and threw spell after spell at them mixed with deflections and the protective bubble he put around me.
“You saved me,” I said to him for the second time that day.
“I don’t really see it that way, love,” he replied. “From where I sit, you saved me. But maybe we can both be content with the fact that we needed each other to be saved.”
I could only nod, as I gripped his strong arms lost myself within them.
I spent the next two weeks setting up my practice at the Ministry. Uncle Harry was amazingly supportive. My office adjoined to a proper examination room, equipped with all the basics I’d need to heal my patients. It was situated on the third floor, right next to the Auror training center. Uncle Harry and I’d chosen that location so the trainees could stop by quickly at the end of each day.
Establishing a relationship with the junior and senior Aurors had been a bit more difficult. I’d attended several meetings and Uncle Harry introduced me and explained the new position. He’d even made a point of setting up his own check up and announcing it to everyone. So did Dad and Teddy, although we’d come to an agreement that if they felt uncomfortable with anything, I’d refer them to a general Healer at St. Mungo’s. The weirdest patient, by far, was Dad. I think he still sees me as a little kid. I knew he loved me and all that, but we never were really on the same page about most stuff.
By the end of my second week, I still hadn’t been summoned to respond to any emergency situations. All the Aurors knew that my wand was connected to their communication network, and Dad was the only one who vocalized an objection to it. Uncle Harry explained that I was only to come when the ‘all clear’ blue sparks had been set off, but the red summoning sparks were to let me know that they were responding and I should get ready. Once the situation was secure, Uncle Harry said it would be more than safe for me to apparate to wherever they were and start my triage. I always had the invisibility cloak with me, so that was an added safety measure.
All the same, everything was still on a trial basis and I knew it was up to me to make this new position work. It fell on my shoulders to prove to the entire Auror department, the Ministry at large and St. Mungo’s that my position was worthwhile.
I took the afternoon off one rainy day in mid June to get a few things done. I needed to clean out my locker at St. Mungo’s and, more important, I needed to finally get to work on my last medical records case. Because I’d been so busy working on setting up the Healer practice, I’d not even looked at it. Healer Lawrence had given me until the end of the summer to complete it.
It was moving up day at the Auror department and my healing services were not likely to be needed. Each year-group would be officially moved to the next year. For Scorpius, Al and Dom, it meant that S.N.A.K.E. scores would be handed out and they would be made full-fledged Aurors. First years would move to second and so on. Next week, the new crop of first years would start and the cycle would repeat.
The same thing was going on at St. Mungo’s, but there was much less fanfare about us being made full Healers. Most of the third years had already started their apprenticeships, so there wasn’t a huge announcement or anything.
“Rose! Hi!” Selenia gave me a quick hug. “What’re you doing here? I thought you’d be all set up and ready to go at the Ministry!” Selenia had a bright smile on her face, as usual.
“I need to clean out my locker in the staff room,” I explained. “I’m sure some poor, unfortunate first year’ll be needing it.” I grinned, thankful that my three years of studying were done and feeling light at the idea that I was now able to put to practice all the things I’d learned.
“Oh, yeah,” she said, “I’ll come with and clear out mine as well. I’m just about to head over to Diagon Alley. I want to pick some new Auror Robes for Al. I thought it would be a good ‘congratulations for making junior auror’ gift. He’s so excited to find out whom he’ll be paired with.”
We entered the staff room and began accio’ing out three years worth of papers, wrappers and clothing. After a few thorough scourgify’s the bulk of the work was done. Selenia peered out the thin window on the opposite wall. “Damn! It’s still raining out. Oh well, a little rainwater never hurt anyone.”
“Here!” I said, as I tossed her my blue traveling cloak that I’d just removed from my locker. “Take this. It’s got an impervious charm on it that works great!”
“I couldn’t take that!” Selenia held up her hand in refusal, “I don’t need my godson getting sick before he’s even born. I don’t need to take your coat!”
I giggled and rubbed my ever-growing belly. It had long been decided that Al and Selenia would be godparents to the little wizard.
“No worries!” I smiled, patting my middle. “We’re alright with it, baby Albus and I that is…”
“You are not seriously going to name the baby Albus?” she looked shocked. I tossed my head back and giggled at the memory of Selenia and I staying up late in our Ravenclaw dorm commenting on the more bizarre names of the wizarding world. I’d often wondered how I got off so easy. We’d both decided that we would be giving our children more modern sounding names. So I braced myself for what I was about to tell her.
I laughed “Ha! No, we’re not naming him Albus. But I don’t know if I’ll be able to completely escape a constellation name for this little one. Scorp is sort of insisting on it. It’s a really significant part of his family history.”
She nodded, understanding how important it was to Scorpius to feel a connection with his family when he couldn’t share any of the excitement with them, “What are the names you’re considering?”
“Well,” I began slowly, wincing at what she might think of our choices. “We’re still adding to the list, but right now we’ve got Octans, Phoenix, and Grus.”
“Grus is on the table? Seriously?”
I cleared my throat. “Yeah… It’s not really on my table - but I’ve got to let him at least put a few names on the list so that I can get some of my names on there too.”
“I kinda like Phoenix,” she commented. “It sounds - daring.”
“Yeah, if we’ve got to use a constellation name, Phoenix would be pretty cool. But seriously. Little Phoenix or Octans or Corvus…” she raised her eyebrows, “or Lynx,” I got an approving nod at that one as I continued, “Both of us want you to have the cloak. I’m apparating directly back to Number Twelve. And it’s raining buckets outside. Meet you two later on?”
“Sounds fabulous,” she smiled. “And thank you from the bottom of my heart for this cloak. It’s a lifesaver.”
Left with very little to do, I apparated again to Number Twelve, taking a moment to recover from the dizziness. Our fireplace was connected to a very restricted floo network that included my parents house, Uncle Harry and Aunt Ginny’s, and Uncle Harry’s office at the Ministry. So, if I wanted to use the floo to get home from St. Mungo’s I would have to first floo to the ministry atrium then take the lift up three flights to the auror department and use Uncle Harry’s office to get to Number Twelve. It was much easier to just apparate home. But I knew in another seven weeks, I’d be in my third trimester and my only choice would be floo or muggle transportation - with an Auror guard, of course.
The frenzied activity of the past two weeks finally catching up with me, I flopped down on the bed for a much needed rest. I fell asleep quickly, knowing that there would be much celebration that night with three newly appointed Aurors in the house.
I was awoken by a strange wooshing sound coming from my nightstand. I groggily looked around and realised instantly that it was my wand, vibrating and ejecting red sparks from the tip. I grabbed it with trembling hands at the realization of what this meant.
My first response.
For a few moments, I waited with bated breath, trying to wake up and process the situation at the same time. It could’ve been just a trial run - if Uncle Harry’d been demonstrating the spell for the newly adopted second years, that would’ve made sense. They didn’t let first year Auror trainees respond to cases and it was sort of a badge of honor to be able to have your wand connected, so I told myself it was probably just that - newbies trying out their new power. But after a few moments the green sparks that indicated a training spell instead of an actual call to arms didn’t come and I gripped my wand tighter and tighter.
No green sparks. I had to get ready.
I immediately flew into preparation mode. Using Mum’s beaded bag as an outer vessel, I loaded up the brand new Healer bag that I’d prepared specifically for this job. It contained several potions and salves that were typically required for healing spells caused by wand injury, and some more complicated potions that were antidotes to dark magic. I’d packed several of my books, but also, I’d made my own cheat sheet for quick reference to common spells that were seen in a battle or scuffle. I didn’t want to have to rifle through a clunky textbook to find anything that I’d need in a hurry. Double and triple checking that I had everything, including the invisibility cloak, all I had left to do was sit and wait.
The minutes ticked by so slowly. Every creak from the old house made me jump because I thought my wand was going off. I set to giving myself simple tasks to just keep busy. I re-made the bed, organized my desk, watered the flowers, fluffed the pillows. It was nerve wracking and even though I knew it didn’t matter, I wouldn’t allow myself to use my wand for any of it in case I missed the call.
When the blue “all-clear” sparks streamed out of my wand tip, my fist clenched around it and I stood straight up from the pillow I was fluffing and it plopped to the floor. It was time. I held my wand firmly in my hand and focused on feeling the vibrations in the piece of wood, like Uncle Harry taught me. It required a different type of concentration than regular apparation, as you had to focus on the wand and where it wanted to take you. I concentrated and turned on the spot.
My feet pressed firmly onto hard, solid ground. Pavement, not soil. A jolt zinged up from my ankles to my knees as my legs absorbed the shock from landing a little too firmly. The shiny blackness of the wet ground told me that I was likely still in London, although the rain had abated somewhat from the incessant pounding from earlier in the day. I squeezed my eyes shut, as I held my head and leaned over a little bit - as much as my burgeoning belly would allow, to recover from the disorienting feeling that always left me a bit nauseous. The smell of damp earth and pavement was settling. After a few deep breaths, I was able to stand up slowly and survey my surroundings.
Instantly, I began cataloging the scene. My brain worked without direction, trying to ascertain what exactly was going on and what I needed to do first.
It was utter chaos. Several Aurors were about twenty yards in front of me, facing away. They were spaced out at regular intervals, keeping the large crowd of civilians apart from whatever was happening. Just over the heads of the crowd, I saw a shop sign. Madam Malkins. Alright, my body settled more as I was getting my bearings. I was in Diagon Alley. There were multiple shouts coming from every direction. Some were orders, some were cries for help. Beneath all of the ruckus, I heard distinct whimpering noises coming from somewhere to my right.
I slowly rotated my head across the field of chaos, but my eyes flicked wildly from spot to spot. There was a man lying supine at one o’clock in my field of vision. Several Aurors were hovered over him and his legs were curling up as he writhed in pain. My first instinct was to run to him and begin assessing the patient, but a second victim caught my eye, this one was closer to me. It was an older woman in lavender colored robes and she too, had several Aurors huddled around her. My eyes flicked around to take in the entire scene.
There were several bodies lying in various positions, not moving. I quickly tried to count them in my head - four… maybe five.
Two more people were sat up and leaning on each other. They looked to be two wizards, perhaps a bit younger than I was, not more than eighteen years old. Only one Auror was attending to them, so I deduced that those two were in pretty decent shape and I continued looking around.
My eyes landed on the source of the whimpering sounds, now growing into outright wails. I couldn’t exactly figure out what was going on. Uncle Harry, unmistakable in his gold trimmed Head Auror robes, was struggling almost violently with someone in trainee robes. The trainee tried to shrug Harry off, finally succeeded and threw themselves down onto the ground, grasping for something.
Three or four other Aurors stood around them, watching with an eerie stillness and pained looks on their faces. It didn’t make sense. I took a few steps toward them and saw Uncle Harry kneel down next to the trainee with messy black hair who’d thrown himself down. It was Albus, half kneeling, half lying sprawled out on the ground.
Not sprawled out on the ground. Sprawled out across a body.
A body wearing a periwinkle traveling cloak.
A/N: Ummm... I'm sorry? Don't hate me. I feel really, really bad about this. I'm really, really excited for this next part of the story and I'd love to know what you think about it so far. Thank so to everyone who's left a review and I've even gotten a couple of Dobby nominations for this Eeep! Thanks so much! ♥ Beth
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