Chapter 18 – Favorable Circumstances
If three years beforehand, somebody were to have told Severus Snape that he was going to end up falling in love, he would have called them daft. If they were to have told him that he was going to fall in love with Hermione Granger, Head Girl of Hogwarts and a shining example of everything he had not thought he could be, he would have hexed them silly. If three years before, somebody had told him that he was going to be deliriously happy and married to Hermione Granger, who was pregnant with their child, he would have paid for their room in St. Mungo's mental ward.
But there he was, and he was in love, and his wife was Hermione, and not a single soul was daft or hexed or in a mental ward because of him. He sighed, staring out the window of his library, wondering how he had come to have such good luck. He had been retreating to his library a lot more often in the past week, but for what reason, he had yet to figure out.
The school year had finished a little over a month before, and he had taken Hermione immediately to Spinner's End, in order to begin her confinement. He had caught her out trying to do things far too many times in the first couple of weeks, when they had been told specifically by Poppy that she was to keep off her feet and relax. But in the last few weeks she had learned to behave, and whenever she wanted to be somewhere, she made sure to let her desires be known to him beforehand and often let him assist her movement.
Just as he contemplated heading down the stairs to the parlor to check up on her, he heard her voice calling out to him, and he immediately strode out of the room and down to her. He entered the parlor and found her propped in a precarious position on the nearest lounge, her face taking on an expression of distress.
'What is wrong, love?' he asked, rushing over to her, and taking her hand in his.
'Ah, I think my water just broke, so I think we had better get to St. Mungo's before I have this baby on the lounge suite,' she said with a sheepish smile.
His complexion paled a fraction, before he hoisted her into his arms and carried her over to the fireplace. 'Linus!' he called out a tad frantically and an elf appeared with a pop.
'Yes, Master Severus?' Linus asked.
'Please pack a bag for Madame Snape,' he said quickly. 'We will be at St. Mungo's.'
'Yes, Master,' he replied, before disappearing with a pop.
Severus ignited the wood in the fireplace wordlessly and grabbed some Floo powder, tossing it in, before walking in. 'St. Mungo's' he said in a clear voice.
As soon as he said it, they both were sucked into the Floo network, and in a matter of seconds, stepped out of another fireplace and straight into the emergency ward at St. Mungo's. Before Severus even got a chance to say anything, Healer's rushed forwards and pried Hermione from his arms, placing her on a bed. The charmed bed began to roll from the Emergency room and out a pair of doors, while Severus was forced to stand and watch her roll away.
'Where on earth are you going with my wife?' he demanded from a young man who was obviously only a junior.
'To the Maternity ward on the fifth floor,' the man squeaked.
'Well don't just stand there! Take me to her this instant!' Severus hissed in a low and intimidating voice.
Without another word, the young man led Severus through the doors and into the lift, pressing the buttons and tapping his feet in nervousness as the lift slowly rose to the fifth floor. Once they were there, he led them straight to the reception desk and began talking rapidly to the red-headed witch who was stationed there.
'Snape, Hermione Jane?' she asked Severus then.
'Indeed, where have you lot put my wife?' he replied crisply.
'She's in room 777,' the witch replied, and Severus immediately took off down the corridor until he came to the room that the woman had told him.
He reached for the door handle and tried to turn it, but it would not open, so he pulled out his wand and tried to unlock it. Without success the first time, he was about to try it again when the door opened, and a rather large woman dressed in the matron's robes came out, but effectively blocked him from going into the room. He frowned at her, but she would not budge.
'What is the meaning of this? Why can I not go in to my wife?' he demanded, getting angrier by the minute.
'It is not customary for the Wizard to attend his wife or even be in the room when she is giving birth, Mr. Snape,' she replied, giving him a firm look.
'Blast customary! I demand that you let me in to attend my wife,' he replied rudely. 'I am a Potions Professor, and I have had sufficient medical training to be able to handle it.'
'But sir…' the woman tried.
'Not another word, Madam,' Severus said shortly. 'Please move aside and allow me into the room.'
The witch decided that moving out of the angry man's way was a good idea by the way he was looking venomously at her, and Severus finally walked into the room. He looked over to the bed, which had the curtain drawn around it also, and heard the sound of Hermione whimpering in pain. The sound broke his heart, and he entered without a second thought, and found Hermione laying there in a hospital-issue gown, with the Healer checking her vitals. She was pink in the face and sweating, and was most obviously uncomfortable.
'Severus!' she exclaimed softly when she saw him, reaching out her hand for him to come to her. 'Where did you go? I didn't think you would be here.'
'I would never abandon you now, love,' he said softly, taking her hand and moving to sit next to her on the bed, putting and arms around her shoulders and slipping partially behind her, so she could rest her head on his chest. 'I will be making a complaint to the Hospital about the treatment of patients and spouses, however.'
Hermione laughed softly. 'Only you would be complaining about something like that at a time like this,' she said; the last part a groan as a minor contraction hit.
Severus felt her grip his hand in a way that was painful, but he allowed her this because of the pain she was going through in order to give birth to their child. He used his other hand to move her sweaty curls from her face, dropping a kiss to the crown of her head. Linus popped in and left a bag in the corner, and while he was there, Severus asked him to go to Stephen and let him know, and to tell Albus and Minerva also. Confident that everyone would know soon enough, Severus settled back to wait it out.
'Healer Blake, I want to have this baby now,' Hermione said through as a groan as yet another contraction hit.
'You are not yet diluted enough, Hermione,' the Healer replied, taking her other hand and giving it a gentle squeeze. 'Not long now though, not long now.'
Hermione let her head fall back on Severus heavily and groaned. Severus chuckled at her, which made her turn her head to shoot a glare at him. 'You wouldn't be laughing if you were the one having contractions every few minutes Mr. Snape,' she snapped.
Severus leaned in and kissed a sweaty temple. 'Now love, don't be like that,' he murmured. 'Soon you will have a pink, squishy life in you arms that we created together; just think about that.'
Hermione's frown quickly melted into a smile, and she gently squeezed her husbands hand lovingly. He always knew just what to say. She was just about to sit up a little, when the door opened again, and a very flustered Molly Weasley entered the room, with Ginny walking in behind her. Hermione smiled at them both, and they went to her side, patting her face and stroking her hair, all the while ignoring the fact that Severus was sitting there.
'Mrs. Weasley, my wife no longer has hair in her face, so why do you persist in stroking it?' he asked curtly.
'Severus!' Hermione exclaimed. 'Don't talk like that to Molly.'
'Madame Snape, if Mrs. Weasley had acknowledged my presence in the room, I would not have been so affronted,' Severus replied coolly, shooting a look at the older woman.
That shut Hermione right up, and after that, no one really said anything, until another contraction hit, and then was followed by another and another sharp one all in a row. 'Healer Blake… now?' Hermione asked in a strained voice.
'Yes now,' Blake replied, moving Hermione into a more comfortable position, with Severus still behind her, holding her hand.
Ginny and Molly went over to the other side, and held Hermione's other hand that was free, as a nurse entered and went to stand and assist Healer Blake in parting her legs. Hermione felt like the contraction were pretty much constant by that point, and was holding onto Severus' hand with an iron grip and was openly groaning and making pained sounds by that point.
'Severus… Sev, it hurts,' she murmured in her pain.
Severus leaned and whispered against her ear. 'I know love,' he said softly. 'I know it hurts; just keep squeezing my hand. I love you. I love you.'
'I love you too,' she said softly before a scream was ripped from her throat as she pushed down on the next contraction.
'That's it, Hermione. Just keep pushing on each contraction. Deep breaths now,' Healer Blake crooned.
'I'm pushing,' she said.
After about ten more minutes of pushing, the Healer could see that Hermione's energy levels were waning, but he kept her pushing. 'Yes Hermione, just one last push and you'll be done dear,' he encouraged her gently.
Hermione pushed one last time, and the next thing that was heard in the room apart from her harsh breathing, was the sound of a babies cries. She let out a sigh of relief and slumped against Severus, her body still trembling a little from the exertion. She closed her eyes as the baby still cried, and a few minutes later, she opened her eyes when a soft bundle wrapped in a blanket was placed in her arms. Opening her eyes, she saw the most amazing sight she had ever seen; a pink little baby, with a smattering of black, soft hair, with a little button nose and long eyelashes.
'Madame and Professor Snape – meet your baby girl,' said Healer Blake to their new parents.
Hermione turned to look over her shoulder at Severus who was as silent as the grave. She saw his face held a slightly stunned, yet totally tender expression. She leaned up and placed a kiss on his lips, which made him snap back into focus. He smiled at her, before using his free hand to gently trace a line down the baby girls' face.
'She is beautiful,' he said a little hoarsely, his voice choked-up with emotion. 'Just like her mother.'
'She has your hair,' Hermione said with a grin.
'But your nose, thankfully,' he replied with a grin of his own.
Molly and Ginny slipped out of the room then, to give the new family some space and to let everyone that had gathered there know that it was a girl. Hermione and Severus sat and watched their baby with her eyes closed rest in the arms of her mother contentedly. It was the single most amazing thing they had ever witnessed.
'What shall we call her?' Severus asked.
'Evelyn. She looks like and Eve to me with her dark hair. And I have a feeling that she is going to have your dark eyes too,' Hermione answered, leaning down and kissing her little head.
'I like that. Evelyn Serenity Snape. How does that sound to you?' Severus asked, wondering if his wife would approve of the second name he added.
'I think that sounds just right,' Hermione said.
'I love you,' he told her, kissing her cheek tenderly.
'I love you too,' Hermione replied.
From just beyond the room, looking in through the window, the group of their friends and family stood and watched the new family. They looked so right together that the women shed tears and the men just looked on with the tenderest of expressions. And there was no doubt, that if they were asked, they would all agree, that Evelyn Serenity Snape was born in only the most favorable of circumstances.
A/N - Well there you have it folks. It turns out I didn't have to work today which then allowed me the time to do some study and finish this. I hope you all liked it, and I would like to thank everyone that has been following this story from the very beginning, and anyone else that has tagged along for the ride since then. It has been nearly 2 years since I began the series in 2006, and I am glad it is finally over here. Please feel free to review, and Happy Reading! Brandy.