A/N:Right. First my apologies for taking forever to get this chapter going. I suppose I must be a crappy writer because I have so many different projects on the go. Now, secondly, this will be the last chapter for "Unspoken Words." I know that in theory I can do a lot more with it, but for now I am going to class it as finished as I have more projects going and I'd like to finish all of them as well. And the pressure of unfinished stories on here is always driving me nuts, especially when inspiration doesn't strike. I am very grateful for the wonderful reviews I have recieved throughout this story. The love from the Potterverse is amazing and I cannot express how amazing I feel when people say they think my work is some of the best out there. Personally I do not see it that way, I just write whatever comes into my head, but to have such loyal readers is an amazing feeling. So thank you all. And if you aren't reading "Serpent Spell" already, you should definitly have a look at it. I am trying to get an update for it. Thanks again, people. Your comments have been awesome. ~Cissy
PS: I picked up the quote "Everything will be allright in the end and if it's not allright, it is not yet the end" from the movie "The Best West Marigold Hotel", starring the amazing Maggie you can, you should go and see it. It is amazing!
Hermione woke in the middle of the night and wasn't quite sure what had woken her. She slowly sat up, becoming increasingly aware of her large baby bump as she did so, and her eyes darted to the alarm clock by the side of the bed. The blue neon numbers spelled out 02.13 AM and she groaned. Waking up in the middle of the night had become a frequent event in the last few days. Heaving a sigh Hermione swung her legs over the end of the bed and placed her feet on the floor. As she stood up she looked over her shoulder at Narcissa, who was still soundly asleep. As she made her way through the bedroom and towards the bathroom, she froze in her step when there was a strong pain rising up in her stomach. Her hand shot down to the spot where she could feel the pain and sighed.
"You know, I would appreciate it if you didn't kick me like this in the middle of the night," she said with a weak smile as the pain began to subside and she made her way to the bathroom.
When she walked back to the bedroom, the pain returned and she grasped hold of the doorframe. The cramps continued, lasting a little longer this time and feeling more intense and painful. Suddenly the realisation dawned on her. This wasn't the feeling of her daughter kicking her. This was the feeling of her daughter telling her she was on her way!
Hermione swallowed hard and managed to make her way back to the bed. She placed a hand on Narcissa's shoulder and the blonde woman's eyes snapped open instantly. When she found Hermione standing by the side of the bed she sat up and searched her lover's face. "What's wrong?"
"I think it's time," Hermione said softly.
"Ok," Narcissa said calmly. Hermione had always admired the older woman's capability to appear calm and collected in any situation. She slipped out of the bed, switched on the nightlight and observed the fear in the brunette's eyes. "Get yourself dressed. I'll get your bag and get Andromeda. Remember how we practiced this?"
Hermione nodded. In the last two weeks they had practiced using the Floo Network with two people at the same time. Andromeda had offered to help them. She would travel ahead and warn St Mungo's that Hermione was on her way and take her bag whilst Narcissa and Hermione would travel through the Network together. It wasn't uncommon, parents did it with their children all the while, but it was a little trickier when it came to adults because there wasn't as much space.
Hermione got dressed in a simple pair of grey jogging trousers and a t-shirt, bound her hair in a ponytail and clutched her belly when another contraction hit unexpectedly. She bit her tongue, determined that she was going to sit this one through from beginning to end, and then joined Narcissa in the living room. Andromeda had appeared in the short time it had took Hermione to get dressed and kind eyes rested on the younger woman's pregnant form. She smiled reassuringly.
"Well, this is it. In a few hours you can hold your little girl," she said before stepping into the green flames holding Hermione's hospital bag and she disappeared. The flames settled down and Narcissa stepped into the same spot where her sister had been before turning around and reaching out a hand to Hermione. She took it and joined her in the flames. Their hands remained linked as Narcissa dropped a small amount of Floo Powder and the flames roared up. A few seconds later the lights of St Mungo's entrance hall appeared before them.
A Healer was waiting for them when they arrived and he rushed to Hermione's side. Narcissa never let go of her hand, not even when another contraction hit and Hermione's fingernails dug deeply into her lover's flesh. The Healer led them to a similar room where she had seen Ginny a few weeks earlier and with a little support Hermione managed to hoist herself onto the bed. Narcissa put the bag down beside her and pulled up a chair. The Healer went around setting up everything for the delivery and Hermione's eyes found those of her lover.
Narcissa smiled. "And now we wait."
Hermione nodded. "And now we wait."
Andromeda sat in one of the arm chairs outside the delivery room. It had been over an hour since Hermione and Narcissa arrived and she had poked her head around the door once or twice and it looked like the situation was progressing a lot quicker than the Healers had expected. It wasn't uncommon for women to have a very quick labour but the Healers suspected that what Hermione had experienced as some minor discomfort in her belly had actually been the early stages of labour. Her waters had broken only fifteen minutes after arrival and it wouldn't be long until the baby was born.
She looked up when the sound of footsteps approached and smiled when she recognised Minerva McGonagall. Nervous as any grandmother-to-be would be she reached Andromeda and the younger woman briefly took the older witch's hands into her own. Though not related to Hermione, the brilliant witch had stated that Minerva would be as much this baby grandmother as Molly Weasley would be. It had brought some extra shine to the Headmistress's life.
"How's it going?" Minerva asked and her emerald green eyes fixed on the door leading to the delivery room. "Any news?"
"The Healer thinks she won't take much longer," Andromeda answered. "I called Molly the same time I called you. Did you see them on your way in?"
Minerva shook her head. "No, but I suspect they will collect Harry and Ginny and I am not sure who will look after James and Albus for the night."
"I think George and Angelina said they'd have them," Andromeda said and she shook her head, smiling. "All those children. Molly is going to have her hands full with all of them."
"And I wouldn't want it any other way," came the reply from behind her and Andromeda and Minerva turned around to see the Weasley clan approach. Molly was first to reach them, followed by Arthur, Ginny and Harry. Andromeda let her breath escape when she realised she didn't see Ron and when her eyes found Molly's she realised the red haired woman had read her mind.
"He's not coming."
"Where is he?" Minerva asked. There was a slight hint of venom in her voice and she made no effort to disguise it.
Molly sighed. "He said something about leaving London for a while. He'll surface eventually. I think he must have realised some of his mistakes after Harry talked to him."
Minerva's eyes searched for those of the Boy Who Lived. When she met his gaze they merely smiled. Everybody here cared deeply for Hermione and she knew that no one would allow her to get hurt again. The three of them, Ron included, has suffered enough in the years leading up to war as well as during and now it was finally time for their lives to settle down. They had earned their happiness.
"Does anyone know what they'll call her?" Ginny curiously asked. "I tried asking her but Hermione didn't give anything away."
Andromeda shook her head. "I tried too but Cissy said nothing."
"Looks like it will have to be a surprise," Arthur said and he glanced at his wife who was clutching a tiny cream coloured knitted cardigan. "We're having another grandchild, Molly. Can you imagine?"
Molly nodded and a beaming smile spread across her face. "I can. That's what we get for having so many children, Arthur. We'll have to take a new family picture."
Ginny grinned and reached for Harry's hand. Life had settled down again since the birth of Albus. She felt good and the role of being a fulltime mother suited her. Harry had cut down on his hours a bit and the four of them enjoyed being a family. She had no doubt Hermione would love it too. "At this rate you'll be taking a new picture for the next few years, mum."
A silence fell and the group of friends and family waited. Ginny nodded off with her head on Harry's shoulder, Molly had picked up an old edition of Witch Weekly and was flicking through the pages. Arthur had stopped pacing the hallways and now stood by one of the windows. Andromeda rested her head against the wall behind her, her eyes tired and heavy with sleep. She thought of Teddy, who was being watched by Astoria and Draco. They had promised to bring him to the hospital as soon as the baby was born. Astoria had only given birth to Scorpius two weeks ago and already she looked like she had never been pregnant at all. Scorpius looked like his father, with the same blonde hair and grey eyes. Narcissa was a proud grandmother and now she was about to become a mother for the second time too.
It was nearly five o'clock in the morning when the door to the delivery room opened and a tired looking Narcissa appeared. A little smile lingered on her lips and Andromeda saw the obvious tear tracks on her cheeks. Her sister had been crying. But Narcissa's blue eyes were alive with something Andromeda had not seen since their teenage years. The blonde smiled as she looked around the group of people gathered outside.
"She was in a hurry," she smiled. "But she is doing fine. Seven pounds, 8 ounces. And a powerful set of lungs."
"So much for your good night's sleep," Harry grinned. He glanced at Ginny, who had covered her mouth with her hand as if she couldn't quite believe that her best friend had just given birth. He could see the tears glisten in his wife's eyes and his smile only grew bigger.
"The Healer is probably going to tell me off but I want you all to come in," Narcissa said and stepped aside to let everyone into the room. "You are all her family and you should all be here."
Hermione sat up in the bed, holding a bundle of light pink blankets in her arms. She looked tired and sweaty and strands of hair stuck to her forehead. Her tears had only just dried and it was clear for the world to see she had been crying but when she looked up and Andromeda met those hazel eyes she realised she saw true happiness. When she reached the side of the bed, Hermione lowered the bundle enough for Andromeda to peer inside.
The baby girl wrapped up in the blankets was beautiful and soundly asleep. Andromeda saw dark hair and overheard Molly whisper to Arthur that all Weasley babies were born with red hair at birth and if not, they were never going to red. Looked like Hermione's genes had been stronger. A perfect little nose, a tiny little mouth that smacked happily as she slept and a beautiful little face. Andromeda felt the tears well up in her eyes when she remembered the morning the Healers had handed Nymphadora to her, or the night her daughter had handed her her grandson.
"Well done, Hermione," Harry said as he kissed his friend on her cheek. "She's beautiful."
"She'll have to beat the boys of her with a stick when she gets older," Minerva said and Hermione looked up.
"She's never going outside," she grinned and then looked around. "We've named her Cara."
"Cara?" Andromeda asked and her eyes found Narcissa. She smiled. "I have heard that name before."
"It means 'beloved'," Narcissa answered. "And yes, you would have heard it before because when we were little it was the name I had chosen if I had had a daughter. When I suggested the name to Hermione she loved it so much that we never even thought of anything else. It was quite a struggle to come up with a middle name."
"And? Did you find one in the end?" Minerva asked with a smile.
"Rose," Narcissa answered and smiled when Hermione handed the baby to her. "It was the name Hermione came up with just after she was born because she was so beautiful and so fragile, like a rose." She turned to Andromeda and their eyes briefly met before she handed her daughter to her sister. Andromeda carefully took Cara and looked down into the bundle of blankets and watched as two tiny eyes opened and she was greeted by a pair of strangely blue eyes. Ron's eyes were dark and Hermione's were hazel coloured and she looked up in surprise only to realise that Arthur Weasley's eyes were blue. Somewhere there was a gene for blue eyes in the family. But then she looked back at Narcissa and decided that she was looking at her sister's blue eyes instead, even though it was biologically impossible. She smiled when Cara yawned.
"I heard a saying once," Hermione said and she looked around the room. Narcissa had sat down on the bed and her arm had snaked around her shoulder. She rested her tired body against that of her lover. "Someone once said that all things will be allright in the end and if it is not allright, it is not yet the end."
"And?" Minerva said as she took Cara from Andromeda and found herself mesmerized by the beauty of this tiny human being. "What does it mean to you?"
Hermione smiled. "The hard times but have ended because everything's allright now."
Narcissa kissed Hermione's head and felt a single tear slide down her cheek. They were both starting over. Together. They had not expected to ever be where they were now. She had given up hope that things would ever change but it looked like that with the war the darkness had ended too. They were free to be who they were meant to be and free to live the life they had always wanted. She looked at the young woman she loved more than love herself. The birth of Cara signalled a new beginning. They would be together and from now on, they would be a family. Like the one they had always wanted to have.
Hermione looked up to Narcissa. "I couldn't be happier for accepting that lunch invite that day."
Narcissa smiled. "And I couldn't be happier for you accepting me into your life. You are going to be a wonderful mother."
Hermione's lips brushed along Narcissa's. "We are going to be a wonderful family." She looked around the room. "All of us."