Author's note: Nope, I'm absolutely NOT abandoning Save me from me but this story came to my mind while in bed yesterday night and it had been begging to be written. I plan this to be an exactly 3 chapter story.
Sins of the Past
Sweat formed on Hermione's forehead in large beads that immediately started their way downward, only to be caught up in the brunette witch's eyebrows, preventing the salty liquid from getting into her eyes. Although it is doubtful that she would have noticed the stinging at that moment as the ever intensifying waves of excruciating pain in her lower abdomen had kept her rather preoccupied in the last ten hours.
So far, Hermione's pregnancy had been what muggles would call textbook. It was as disciplined and well-timed as if every phase was governed by an invisible clock-work mechanism. The morning sicknesses came and went as if they were instructed to do so and the baby started moving in the exact week as it was supposed to. Unsurprisingly, Hermione went into labour on the exact date the Mediwitch predicted, although she had read that magical prediction was much more accurate than muggle methods. So the female third of the Golden trio was vaguely disappointed when her child didn't just pop out like the good little girl she had been all along.
"Don't forget to breathe, love." Minerva cooed, holding the hand of her lover for support. She'd been absolutely adamant that she wanted to be there when Hermione gave birth and assist as best as she could. She had, after all, been 'present' during the making of the child, it was only fair that she partake not only in the pleasurable aspects of conceiving but the painful as well.
Hermione tried to control her laborious breathing with the method they learned in lamaze classes. Taking a breath as deep as possible she counted to five, then started pushing the air out through her nose while attempting to count to five again. She repeated the process several times but it was quickly proving inefficient. "Dammit, this was so much easier in class!" She muttered through gritted teeth.
Minerva suppressed a smile, fearful that her beautiful but distressed partner would hex her wandlessly if she dared to show anything but utter focus and support. But inside her head, she had to admit that Hermione's outburst had been adorable. While the younger witch was certainly adept at applying theory to practice and had proven herself to perform well under duress, in-class performance would always be her main element.
"Try the other one?" Minerva suggested, squeezing the hand that was already clamped tight around hers like a vice. The animagus marvelled at the fact that Hermione had not yet broken her hand despite her smaller size.
Hermione, desperate to concentrate on anything but the pain, obediently changed her breathing to the two short, one long breath technique both in and out. This one was more difficult because she had to pay attention not only to the way she filled her lungs but also to exhaling the last one through her mouth. "GAH!" She screamed as a particularly nasty cramp shot pain right across her spine.
"You're doing well, Hermione. You've dilated another inch. It shouldn't be too long now." The friendly Mediwitch said from between Hermione's legs.
Susan Strout, Miriam Strout's elder sister by a decade, had been assigned to attend to Hermione's pregnancy from the moment she checked in for a pregnancy test. The two mothers-to-be couldn't have wished for a better healer to accompany them throughout this exciting journey. She was not only limitlessly knowledgeable about childbirth but was also very discreet.
After the public reception of their relationship five years ago, it caused quite a scandal that the brains of the Golden Trio chose the recently appointed Headmistress of Hogwarts over the dashing Weasley boy, the couple was worried that if word got out that Hermione was pregnant they would have endless stalkers on their heels. Healer Strout had been absolutely instrumental in preventing just that. After Hermione started showing, at which point Hermione was forbidden from using body altering magic, she offered to take their regular check ups to Hogwarts via the floo network so Hermione would not be forced to make the very public trips to St. Mungo's.
"GOD, I can't take much more of this!" Hermione ground out. 'Hell, its being under the bloody cruciatus curse all over again.' The brunette witch thought. It'd been almost a year since the magical scar had been removed from her forearm but the wicked bitch still haunted her memories sometimes.
"Can't you just take her out?" The young witch demanded.
The Mediwitch gave her an apologetic look as she ducked back under the hem of the gown to check on Hermione again. It had been incredibly awkward for the young soon-to-be mother to have someone other than Minerva poke around between her legs, but Healer Strout had been so professional about it that she soon got over it. It was especially a breath of fresh air that the healer did not seem to fawn all over her because of her role in defeating Voldemort. 'Bloody hell, I'd rather face him again than struggle through another hour of this torture!'
"You'll be done soon, love. And then it'll be just you, me and sweet little Rosie..." Minerva whispered to Hermione, aiming to distract the distressed woman by forcing her to concentrate on her words. They'd had a lot of fun picking out names that would go with their names. That is, until Hermione was informed that according to Wizarding law a child could only take one family name. Hermione wanted their child to be called McGonagall-Granger but to her fury this was not going to happen. At that point Minerva swore that the brilliant young woman had half the mind to run for the position of Minister for Magic for the sole reason of having that law revoked.
After what seemed to Hermione like so many hours, while in reality it was but one, the Mediwitch announced that she could start pushing. If Hermione thought that she'd been in pain before, she was in for a nasty turn of events. She'd been instructed to take a deep breath at the onset of every contraction and push as hard as she could while Healer Strout counted to ten.
The pain came back tenfold with the onset of the first cramp and it had Hermione panting desperately. Her face was scrunched up in agony as the pain engulfed her entire body and she'd unintentionally translated some of that pain to her lover whose hand she was gripping as if she intended to ground the bones into dust. Minerva was sure that her hand was going to be mightily bruised by the end of her daughter's birth.
The brunette witch forced her eyes open when the Healer told her to focus on something and start her controlled breathing routine again. She turned her head to the side to look into the unbelievably green eyes of her partner, seeking comfort. Emerald orbs bore into her chocolate eyes intensely, offering all the support she could.
Mustering whatever strength Hermione could, she started pushing. The first pangs of pain were such a shock to her that she screamed out, pushing forgotten, the sound of her agony bursting forth from her lips explosively.
"It's alright, Hermione. Focus on your breathing. The more you push the sooner the pain will stop." Healer Strout offered encouragement to the young woman. She knew that first births were a hell ride of an experience and young mothers needed all the verbal support they could get.
"GOD, make it stop!" Hermione screamed as another contraction engulfed her in pain. Healer Strout had taken the time to mentally prepare Hermione, telling her what to expect, that it was okay to miss pushing during a few contractions if she felt exhausted but no amount of lectures could prepare her for this pain. 'I wish I could have asked mum what if felt like when she was having me...'
The young witch didn't know where the sudden thought had come from but knew that now was not the time to dwell on missed chances. Although she recently discovered her parents' location she'd not yet had the courage to restore their memories, thus, Hermione's mother had not had the opportunity to accompany her daughter during her first pregnancy. 'Bloody hell, first and damn last pregnancy if I can help it!' Hermione thought viciously as another cramp constricted her lower abdomen. 'It's like someone's got their hand up there but SO not in a good way...'
After several more pushes Healer Strout announced that she could see the head and instructed Hermione to push some more. The young witch, invigorated by the news that she was making progress, started pushing with renewed determination.
"Stop pushing, Hermione! She's crowning. You don't want to damage her head." The Mediwitch ordered.
Hermione's eyes bulged out of her head and she panted, mouth wide open, almost to the point of hyperventilation, in an effort to stop her body from pushing against the massive THING – 'my baby girl!' – that was wedged between the walls of her vagina. Seeking out Minerva's eyes again, she silently begged for reassurance.
The older witch was in some discomfort of her own. She was fairly certain that the bones in her wrist were fractured but she would not have said a word even if her very life depended on it. It was all she could do at that moment to support Hermione. The poor woman had a death grip on both her hand and the railing of the hospital bed on the other side. After all, what was a broken wrist compared to pushing something THAT big out of her body?
"You're doing great, love! You're almost there." She cooed, not really knowing what else to say.
Not more than another twenty minutes passed before Healer Strout announced that Rose McGonagall was born. The wailing bundle of the happy parents' joy was magically cleaned and wrapped in a baby blanket instantaneously before the Mediwitch deposited her in her still panting mother's arms. Both witches were so overjoyed and exhausted from the experience that they failed to notice the carefully constructed mask of a blank expression on the Healer's face.
Hermione, giddy and high on love hormones, cuddled the newborn to her chest. She looked into the watery eyes of her partner and as their gazes connected the tears started rolling down their cheeks almost simultaneously. "Our child!" Hermione whispered, her gaze never leaving that of her lover's.
Minerva felt that her heart would burst from all the love and pride coursing through her so she leaned in to capture Hermione's lips in a searing kiss. Knowing that Hermione was far from being done for the day she broke the kiss after a few seconds, confident that they would have plenty of time for love under more appropriate circumstances.
"She's perfect!" Minerva whispered back, gently caressing little Rosie's head with her finger tips, slightly brushing back the blanket from her forehead.
Whatever Minerva was about to do was forgotten as she froze in utter shock. Her mind gave a blank, she could neither think nor move. All she could do was stare at the small bundle in Hermione's arms in bewilderment. Chancing a glance at her partner she saw that the brunette witch's face showed shock, confusion and finally fear.
The meeting of their eyes jolted Minerva from her stupor. Upon seeing fear in Hermione's eyes the Scottish witch's temper roared to life and jumping to the obvious conclusion her body flushed in anger. Not trusting herself to not say or do something that she might regret later she wretched her hand out of Hermione's renewed death grip and apparated away without a word.
A stunned silence fell on the hospital room that was only broken by the squirming of the minutes old infant in Hermione Granger's arms, her shock of fiery red ginger hair standing out in all direction.
To Be Continued
Funfact: I'm 28, I don't have a child of my own so I just used wikipedia for facts, my imagination for the emotional parts and even called my mum to ask her to describe giving birth to my brother (her first).
PLEASE REVIEW and let me know how I did with this :)