Sorry it's been so long, I'm getting so much work this year!
"Well why didn't you say that?" Ron bellowed. He pushed past Harry and ran to the fireplace, scooping up a handful of Floo Powder and knocking over the pot that contained the powder in the process. Within seconds he had disappeared in flames, leaving Harry and George staring at each other, both wearing bemused expressions on their faces.
Ron stumbled out of the fireplace to find Hermione sitting on the sofa, bent double, her hands cradling her stomach.
"Hermione!" Ron fell to his knees beside her, taking her hands in his. "Hermione," He pressed her palm to his lips. "Hermione, I'm here. What do you need?"
"A Healer would be a start," Hermione rolled her eyes. "You can be such a prat sometimes, Ronald."
"Right, sorry," Ron said, jumping up and wiping his sweaty hands on his magenta jacket – he hadn't changed from the shop – let's get you to St. Mungo's."
Hermione nodded, visibly bracing herself as Ron pulled her into his arms and carried her to the fireplace, where they Flooed to the hospital.
"Daddy!" Fred cried, toddling from the kitchen to the front door, stumbling several times on his way.
"'Ello, Freddie!" George grinned, scooping his son into his arms and hoisting him onto his hip. "Where's your Mummy, eh?"
"In the kitchen!" Angelina called. She flicked her wand in the general direction of the sink, smiling in satisfaction as the brushes began to scrub the dishes clean.
"How was your day?" George asked, kissing Angelina on the cheek and setting Fred down on the floor, where he began playing with his toys.
"Brilliant," Angelina said dryly. "Roxanne was crying solidly for two or three hours. I had to pop round to your Mum's and get her to watch Fred here for an hour or so whilst I took Roxanne for a walk. But of course, he thought that'd be a good moment to have a tantrum. It's been a bloody nightmare."
"Sorry," George said helplessly, accepting the plate of dinner Angelina handed him. "I've told you I can take an extra day off work every week. I'm the boss, I can choose my own hours."
"And I've told you no," Angelina said. "They need you. Ron'll be off work soon, won't he? Once Hermione goes into labour."
"About that," George said, smiling smugly. "She went into labour earlier."
Angelina dropped the plastic beaker she'd been holding, sending pumpkin juice over the floor. Sighing, she cleared away the mess with a quick flick of her wand, before turning her attention back to George. "What? When?"
"Calm down," George muttered, shovelling a forkful of rice into his mouth. "Just after we shut up shop. Harry had been with her and he came to tell Ron."
"So," Angelina said, sitting down at the table opposite George. "What's happened? How is she? Any news?"
"Nothing," George said, eyeing Angelina as she pulled Fred onto her lap and held his beaker as he drunk the juice. "I think Ron'll let us know if anything does happen though."
"Does your Mum know?" Angelina asked.
George shook his head. "Not unless Harry or Gin have told her. Which I doubt, they're a bit busy... Do you think I should let her know?"
Angelina nodded earnestly. "Definitely! That's her grandchild about to be born, you know!"
"That was a waste of bloody time," Hermione grumbled, sitting back in the armchair.
"Mmm," Ron agreed. They had spent half an hour in waiting in St. Mungo's, only to be told that Hermione would have to stay home for another few hours. He sat opposite Hermione, watching her as she read.
"Stop watching me," Hermione snapped after a while, not taking her eyes off the page.
"Sorry," Ron mumbled, looking at his feet.
"Arthur!" Molly cried. "Arthur!"
"What is it, Molly dear?" Arthur asked, placing a leather strip in his book to mark his page and taking off his glasses.
"Hermione's gone into labour!"
Arthur rubbed his eyes. "When?"
"About an hour and a half ago," Molly informed him excitedly. "We should go to St. Mungo's!"
"No," Arthur said wearily, sitting back in his chair.
"What do you mean no?" Molly asked incredulously, flapping her arms around.
"I mean no," Arthur said simply. "It could be hours – or days- until the baby's born. Hermione might not even be at the hospital. Remember when Charlie was born? You spent five or six hours in labour at home, waiting for them to call you in. Why don't you just Floo to Ron's and check up on them there?"
Molly opened her mouth to argue, but nodded reluctantly. She padded into the dining room and knelt down in front of the fireplace.
"How are you?" Ron asked for what felt like the hundredth time.
"Top of the world," Hermione said dryly, squeezing her eyes shut as another contraction hit.
"Hermione," Ron murmured, striding across the room. She leant her head against his chest. He kissed her head, stroking her shoulders.
"Ron?" Molly called.
Kissing Hermione once more, Ron stepped across the room to the fireplace, bending down in front of it.
"George told me Hermione's gone into labour," Molly informed him.
"Yes," Ron said. "We went to St Mungo's but the Healer said it could still be a while." He checked his watch. "We've been asked to go back in about a quarter of an hour."
"Okay," Molly said. "I'll leave you to it. Let me know if you need anything."
"Alright, thanks, Mum."
"You're about to become an Aunty again," Harry half sang as he walked into the kitchen.
Ginny's eyes widened. "You mean-?"
Harry nodded. "Hermione went into labour whilst I was round. She and Ron have gone to St Mungo's, last I heard."
Ginny squealed in excitement, clapping her hands together. "Brilliant!"
Hermione sat on the hospital bed, her legs dangling off the side of the bed. Ron stood behind her, massaging her shoulders.
"Mrs Weasley?" The Healer, Deidre, glanced at her clipboard, then back at Hermione.
"Yes?" Hermione said tentatively.
"We've encountered a bit of a problem," Deidre said softly.
"What do you mean?" Ron said anxiously. "What do you mean problem?"
"It's just a small hiccup, we'll be able to treat it easily," Deidre reassured him. "The baby is ready to be born, Mrs Weasley."
"Then... what's the problem?" Hermione asked, hoping she sounded calmer than she felt.
"You're not ready to have the baby," Deidre's voice was steady, but Hermione could feel the panic rising from her stomach.
"What's really important," Deidre explained. "Is that you keep calm, Mrs Weasley. We need you to stay calm. If your stress levels rise, the situation will come twice as complicated."
Hermione nodded, making the conscious decision to breathe.
"Now, ordinarily, we'd perform a caesarean. I'm sure you're aware of the Muggle procedure?"
Hermione nodded. Ron, however, shook his head.
"They cut you open," Hermione said bluntly.
"Well... yes," Deidre said. "Anyway, we can't do that because your baby's not really in the right place. Instead, we're going to give you a small injection."
"What'll that do?" Ron asked, unable to keep the tension from his voice.
"It'll inject some hormones into your wife's body, Mr Weasley," Deidre explained. "That'll hopefully prepare her body for giving birth."
"So how long will it be?"
"No more than twelve hours, once we give your wife the injection," Deidre reassure Ron.
"Twelve hours?" Ron said incredulously.
"Twelve hours?" Hermione echoed faintly.
"Twelve hours," Deidre confirmed. "I'll leave you two to yourselves. I'll be back with the injection in five minutes."
"I don't think I can cope with another twelve hours," Hermione sighed, rolling her head onto Ron's chest.
"Come on, baby," Ron murmured, stroking her hair. "You can do this."
Angelina awoke to the sounds of Roxanne crying from the next room. Noticing that George's side of the bed was deserted, she rolled over and waited for the cries to subside.
Moments after Roxanne fell silent, George came into the bedroom, cradling Roxanne in his arms.
"Ang?" He asked.
"Have we got any spare nappies?"
"Cabinet under the bathroom sink," Angelina mumbled against her pillow. She was about to fall back into her deep sleep when her brain drew up images from the night before.
"Have you heard from Ron?" She asked, jumping out of bed with sudden energy and following George into the bathroom.
"Nothing," George said, balancing Roxanne somewhat precariously in one arm as he dug around in the cupboard for a spare pack of nappies. "I'm assuming he's not coming into work today, but Kenny and Melissa are in today so it'll be okay."
Angelina nodded. "I'll try and pop into the hospital today. See how they're doing."
"That'd be nice," George nodded, unbuttoning Roxanne's sleepsuit.
Deidre grabbed a cup of coffee from a machine in the waiting room, gagging at the taste of it. She had been working at St Mungo's for over three years and was yet to get used to the taste of the beverages. Coffee was almost compulsory as a Healer. It was deemed impossible to do night shifts without at least seven espressos.
Deirdre pushed open the doors to the maternity ward, approaching Helen, the Healer she would be taking over from. Helen looked grateful to be relieved from her shift and rushed from the ward, as though worried Deidre would change her mind.
The young Healer looked at the documents Helen had left open on the desk. She sighed. Only two patients were in the ward at six o'clock that morning. One of them had delivered their baby three hours ago. The other had been in labour for just under twelve hours; Hermione Weasley.
Downing the rest of her coffee, Deidre picked up the clipboard and a self-inking quill from the desk and went into the private room she knew Mrs Weasley was accommodating.
"Hello, Mrs Weasley," She smiled. "I'm back on shift. How are you feeling?"
"Why does everyone keep asking me that?" Hermione snapped. "It's obvious I'm in pain and I'm tired, I've been in labour for twelve bloody hours."
"Of course, Mrs Weasley," Deidre said, trying to keep her expression neutral as Ron pulled faces behind Hermione's back. "Now, I'm going to check you over and we'll see if you're ready to deliver your baby, okay?"
"Okay," Hermione sighed, rolling her head back onto her pillows. She'd been checked every hour throughout the night, nothing ever changed.
"Still no news from Hermione then?" Harry asked, watching as Ginny sat on their bed, nursing Albus.
"Nothing," Ginny said. "I'm sure we'd have heard if she'd had the baby. We're going to be godparents, after all."
Harry looked at her. "Have they asked you?"
"Then how do you know we're going to be godparents?" Harry laughed.
"We'd better be," Ginny said darkly. "We made them James'."
"I'm not sure it works that way," Harry grinned, dropping a kiss on Ginny's forehead before going to give James breakfast.
"Well, Mrs Weasley," Deidre said, jotting something down on her clipboard. "You're ready."
"What?" Ron and Hermione both said together.
"You're ready," Deidre repeated. "Let's go and have this baby, eh?"
"RONALD WEASLEY!" Hermione screamed, clutching at Ron's hands so that her nails dug into his flesh. "DON'T YOU EVER COME NEAR ME AGAIN."
"I won't," Ron muttered.
"I MEAN IT," Hermione shouted. "NEVER EVER EVER TOUCH ME AGAIN."
"We have a head," Deidre informed them over Hermione's shouts and screams. "One more push, Mrs Weasley, and this'll all be over."
"Come on, Hermione," Ron murmured, stroking her hair.
Hermione let out one more shout and then strangled cries began to fill the room. Hermione fell back on the bed, beaming.
"Congratulations," Deidre said. She looked at Ron. "Would you like to cut the cord?"
"Err..." Ron hesitated. "No. No thanks. I'm not very good with all that – stuff. No, it's better I stay up this end."
"Understood," Deidre said, winking at Hermione, who laughed.
Within seconds, Hermione was handed a bundle wrapped in blankets.
"It's a girl," Deidre told her, smiling.
"A girl," Hermione echoed, a lump forming in her throat. "Shh," She comforted her newborn baby, moving her arms slightly in what she hoped was a soothing motion.
"Do you have a name yet?" Deidre asked, bent over her clipboard once more.
"N-" Ron started, but Hermione interrupted him.
"I was thinking Rose," She said.
"Rose?" Ron asked. "Why Rose?"
"We have a rather nice rose bed in the garden," Hermione said, raising her eyebrows pointedly at Ron.
"Oh!" Ron said, comprehension dawning on him. "Rose. Rose Weasley."
Hermione smiled, shifting in the bed so that Ron could sit down next to her. Ron wrapped an arm around her shoulders, kissing her forehead. His other hand lay on Rose.
"Well done, baby," He whispered into her ear.
"You too," Hermione smiled.
In that moment, Hermione knew it had all been worth it. Worth the mood swings, the sickness, the fights with Ron, the pain of labour... everything. She wouldn't have missed this for the world. She had Rose, her Rose, and everything was perfect.
Well, that's it! I hope you've enjoyed reading this, I've loved writing it :) Thanks for all the reviews and support!
Also, just to let you know that any stories I write in the future, I will complete before I upload the first chapter, so you don't have to deal with long gaps between chapters and crappy writing standard :)