AN/ Thanks to DameNiamh for beta services. Check out her excellent stories.

Defying the Fates


"Push, Hermione. Yes, that's good. Now relax," Madame Pomfrey instructed from her seat positioned between Hermione's legs. "You are doing excellently."

Hermione let her head fall back on the pillow. She gasped as her body eased from the intense pressure mingled with pain, as she had borne down hard, moving the little body down the birth canal. A cool washcloth brushed across her forehead and cheeks.

"Won't be long now," Molly Weasley said, smiling encouragingly at the flushed, sweaty girl. "Much faster with your second one. Why, by the time Ron was born, Arthur barely had time to catch him, it happened so fast."

Panting, Hermione looked at Molly with disbelief. A contraction started again and Hermione gritted her teeth as she started to push with it.

"Good girl," Poppy encouraged. "This one should have the head crowning." Hermione whimpered a bit as she bore down. "Are you sure you do not want me to give you something for the pain?" she asked, noting the bite marks on Hermione's lips. "You know there is nothing in the potion to hurt the baby."

Shaking her head, Hermione collapsed once more on the pillow. She needed the pain; to endure what she felt was justified this time. Molly and Poppy exchanged knowing looks. They assumed she was being overly cautious, given the circumstances.

Another contraction racked her body. Molly was right; this was going along much faster than it had with her first child. "The shoulders are coming," Poppy announced, "And for heaven's sake, scream, child, if it will make it easier."


Sitting in the next room, Harry Potter winced slightly as he heard Hermione's cry. The toddler in Harry's arms whimpered as he heard his mother's scream. "Shh, little one," Harry cooed, trying to soothe the boy, who was starting to cry. "Your mama is just fine."

"Give him to me," Albus Dumbledore said, and the old wizard held out his arms for the little dark haired child. The boy looked up at the old man, with tears in his eyes. Albus wiggled a section of his long white beard at the toddler, who immediately grabbed it and started talking to himself in baby gibberish, tears forgotten. Another muffled cry came from beyond the door.

"Do you think it is very painful to give birth?" Harry asked.

"Bloody painful. That's why women were chosen to bear the children. We men couldn't stand the pain," Albus chuckled, grimacing a little as the child pulled hard on his beard.

Harry grinned at the older wizard.


"One more good push now," Poppy instructed. "There we go."

Hermione felt the baby slide completely from her body and she let out a sigh of relief. A loud cry of annoyance echoed in the room, as the baby protested leaving the safe, warm cocoon where he had been for the past nine months.

Poppy handed the baby to Molly to clean as she took care of Hermione. Molly applied the cleaning charms to the child and swaddled him in a warm blanket. "A beautiful boy," Molly said proudly, stroking the soft black hair. "Here, mama, I believe this lusty lad is hungry."

Hermione held the baby, opening the blanket to examine each tiny finger and toe. The little mouth opened wide, winding up for a howl. "All right, all right, love," she said with a smile, guiding her nipple into his mouth. The newborn latched on and began suckling.

Exhausted, Hermione felt the tears form in her eyes. Such a little boy: he held so much in his tiny hands. All her hopes and dreams were resting on him. Such a terrible burden for one so new to the world.

The baby was sleeping when Harry and Dumbledore came into the room. "Now don't stay long, they both need their rest," Poppy warned as Molly took the toddler from Albus

"He's beautiful, Hermione," Harry said gently, reaching out to touch the baby's shiny blue-black hair.

"A fine lad indeed," Albus said, his blue eyes shining at her.

"Now then, what is his name?" Poppy asked, bringing over a birth certificate and quill.

Hermione looked down at the sleeping child. She had weighed her decision many times over the last months. Though it seemed to be tempting the fates with the name she had chosen for this precious bundle, she felt he deserved his name. She was sick and tired of the Fates interfering in their lives. She no longer wanted to defy them; she wanted to tell them to go to Hell.

Taking a deep breath, she spoke softly. "His name is Sirius Alexander Snape."