Author's Note: This is supposed to be a humorous take on the prompt 'unwanted child' from the celebrate_sshg community on LJ. I do not own any of JKR's characters, and despite my abusal of their persons I will return them in full working order. Special thanks to Shigeki, Katrina and Linlawless for their input and whippings to get this story into shape.
Word Count: 1,200 exactly (12 x 100)
With Pregnancy Comes Children
It was her idea to have children. Children – plural, as in more than one. We hadn't even conceived one, and she was already planning for another.
She came home from work one day – well, it wasn't just any random day; it was our anniversary, having been married for five years – and suddenly, she decided that the two of us were no longer enough. Children were needed. There wasn't anything actually wrong with our relationship or companionship. The sex was beyond acceptable, not that I minded the extra "practice sessions" she was recommending in order to achieve conception sooner than not.
Surprisingly, she became pregnant quicker than I expected, or if I'm honest, wanted. I was revelling in this new sexual aspect of our relationship, despite its convening in order to conceive. That open horizon of unknown time was a liberating and optimistic thing. Now, I have a wall before me: nine months. Nine months, and it will no longer be just us. It will be a new 'us,' as in her, me and that thing inside of her, which has to come out – the same way it got in. It's a prideful, yet frightening thought that that's how life begins.
When she embarked on this endeavour, I don't think she thought this through completely. Or, at least, she didn't expect to be so miserable, and had approached this with 'rose-tinted glasses,' as the expression goes.
She experienced dreadful morning sickness, through which I attempted as best as possible to comfort her. I offered to brew an anti-nausea potion, but she insisted that she wanted to go through this pregnancy au naturel, or at least as naturally as possible. As a Potions Master, this went against every fibre of my being. I couldn't fathom her rationale for putting herself through this.
Although I have straddled both worlds for my entire life, there are some things I cannot fathom returning to, such as Muggle medicine. Why on earth she wanted to go to an NHS Midwife and not a Healer at St. Mungo's was beyond me.
However, I soon learned not to protest, at least not too much. Hermione and pregnancy hormones are a lethal combination, and we were only in the second month of the pregnancy.
She formed an instant, almost unnatural bond with her Midwife. Sometimes I could've sworn the woman had knowledge of magic. Perhaps she was a Squib.
Twelve weeks, or one-third into the pregnancy, we had to go to the local hospital for the first scan. It was all Hermione went on about for four weeks, ever since her appointment with the Midwife. She couldn't wait to see it on the screen and have a picture to show everyone. If she'd just go see a healer, she'd be able to perform the wand work herself and show off the baby anytime she wanted to. But no, we had to go have a Muggle 2D scan, not even 3D! It would look all garbled in black and white.
From the information and pictures in the pamphlets and books Hermione had, at this stage it would resemble one of the pickled creatures in my dungeon office. If she had asked, I would have gladly given her one of my jars to talk to and look at all day, instead of her stomach. But no, she wanted to have a child.
When the technician started up the machine, slopped goo on Hermione's belly and depressed to the point of pain writ across her face, I was about to stop the technician with reproof. Then I heard it. That galloping sound...
I can pinpoint the moment in the technician's suite, curtained off from the rest of the hospital surrounded by foreign, Muggle magic, when I felt desire for that child. The sound of its heart galloping on in perseverance, the only sound it could make to let its presence be known, the sound we had created. It was then that I knew I wanted to be a father. Not because Hermione wanted it of me, but because that wondrous sound – which I had never heard anything the like of – was my own child; mine and Hermione's. I had found her 'us.'
From that point, the second trimester flew by quickly. Pregnancy hormones changed from sickness and peaked to luminescence. Her hormones increased her libido, while her rounded figure drove me mad with desire. If ever there was a time I mourned our age difference, it was here, as I was in constant fear of being unable to keep pace. However, I should have known the little blighter would be trouble. Mid-coitus, it decided to make its presence known by moving. It was the first time Hermione and I could feel it. Amazing, but still disconcerting when one had just achieved penetration.
The third trimester dragged more slowly. My young, nubile wife with her wildly curling hair and inquisitive brown eyes had changed before my eyes. Where her hair was once a smattering of frizz and wild curls unfurled in every direction, untamed as the lioness she is, now it became more subdued and lustrous. It was as if it cried to the world that she herself had been tamed, that she was ready for that child – ready to take on motherhood and all it entailed. I, on the other hand was at a crossroads between excitement and sheer, utter, abject terror.
When I thought of the pain we experienced throughout the pregnancy, it was nothing compared to seeing the pain on her face as she brought our firstborn into this world. Thankfully, she came to her senses and had the child at St. Mungo's. At least it was over sooner and she experienced substantially less pain.
The birth itself was a very messy affair. I think I was anxious enough for both of us. I never thought I'd ever see something come out of that part of her anatomy, and, at that moment, I thought it certain I never would again.
That bloodied, pink wailing thing was our daughter. She was perfection – her eyes as inquisitive as her mother's – already proving to be my next bothersome know-it-all.
She chose to time her arrival on our sixth anniversary. The year that followed was a time of marked change for me and Hermione. I never thought I would want to be a father, and yet there I was celebrating my love for my wife and the birth of our daughter on the same day. That new addition to our lives...all because my wife knew what she wanted and sensed what we were missing.
Four years and two additional children later, we come to our tenth anniversary - a day truly fit for celebration in our family. Our third and final child was born today. Gods, if ever I was grateful to have a nubile, young wife, it was in the second trimester, which was, in each pregnancy, a period we anticipated and relished with wild abandon before mourning its passing. Now, we're both grateful if we have one night's uninterrupted passion anytime, let alone our anniversary. Still, neither of us would trade the life we have now for the life we had before.