A/N: The world of Harry Potter belongs to JKRowling I'm just playing in her sand box and make no money from this.
Rating is mature for language and sexual situations.
Genera: Drama, Romance.
Time frame: mid 6th year and 7th year to end.
Ships: Harry Potter/ Daphne Greengrass, Hermione Granger/ Neville Longbottom
Characters: Harry Potter, Daphne Greengrass, Hermione Granger, Neville Longbottom
A/N: This story is completely AU and the timeline does not follow canon.
Chapter 16: Birth
Daphne's back hurt! It was an early February morning, and she'd been carrying their child for nine months now. A hard kick had her wincing in pain. 'Little blighter has a good set of legs. Gods, I hope…' That thought was interrupted as she felt a wetness suddenly appear. "Harry! My water just broke!"
Severus Snape was no fool. He'd seen what the Greengrass wards had done to Draco. It was just lucky he'd got him to a healer in time. The Dark Lord had given him ten fairly competent Death Eaters, including Bella, to take down the wards at the Greengrass estate. He had a very bad feeling about this raid. They'd portkeyed just outside the estate wards and Severus considered the problem. Theodore was a cagy bastard; he would have noticed the previous attempt and would be on his guard now.
He still couldn't believe the level of violence the wards had done.
He had been to the Greengrass Estate many times to try to persuade Ted to join the Dark Lord or at least betroth Daphne to Draco. It was no use, Theodore Greengrass, although not in Dumbledore's camp, remained stubbornly opposed. Daphne would select her own mate and the Dark Lord had better keep away if he wanted to preserve his perception of pureblood supremacy.
The Dark Lord was not pleased, but he gave Severus a bit more time to persuade Greengrass to change his mind.
It was all for naught and now the headache became trying to force Greengrass to give up Potter; by the look of things, it wasn't going well.
Astoria entered Harry and Daphne's apartment just as Daphne called to Harry that her water broke. Confusion reigned supreme for a couple of minutes until the glare from Daphne settled Harry. Astoria wasn't about to interrupt now, but she knew Harry would want to know what she'd found out.
Noticing Astoria for the first time, Harry and Daphne turned to the slight girl with questions in their eyes.
"Later," Astoria intoned, making way for Harry to transport his wife to the hospital wing.
Harry picked his wife up and groaned. "Gods you weigh a ton, Daph. I'll have to levitate you. Are you sure it's a baby in there?" he teased.
That was the wrong thing to say, apparently, as Daphne sent him a death glare, promising future pain. "Just get me to Madam Pomfrey, NOW!"
That was all it took as he gently levitated her and eased her out the door and down the corridor to the Hospital Wing. Astoria ran ahead to warn the mediwitch of her sister's impending delivery.
Harry had just got Daphne down from their seventh floor apartment to the fifth floor and passing the statue of Boris the Bewildered on their way to the fourth floor. Astoria was just starting to decent the staircase ahead of them when she froze in shock. Teddy Nott was ascending the stairs, his wand out, but not paying much attention to her.
Astoria, thinking fast, rushed by him and as he turned to regard her, wondering why she was hurrying, she sent a body bind at the surprised Slytherin. 'Now the fats in the fire,' Astoria thought.
Nott was frozen mid step and toppled backwards, coming to a crumpled heap at the base of the staircase.
Harry and Daphne had reached the top of the stairs when Nott tumbled down to the base. This so startled Harry that he almost lost control of the levitation spell and for a moment, Daphne wobbled, before Harry regained control. Astoria was already out of sight, heading to the third floor and the Hospital Wing.
"What the hell?" Harry gaped, looking at Nott, knowing something important had just happened. He'd heard Astoria shout 'Petrificus Totalus', and the full body bind toppled Nott down the stairs. 'Why did she do that?' he wondered.
Astoria, meanwhile, had reached Madam Pomfrey in the Hospital Wing and breathlessly filled her in on her sister's condition. "Harry and Daphne will be here any minute; her water broke."
Madam Pomfrey, an old hand at delivering babies, calmly went about preparing a bed for Daphne. It might be hours before she delivered and she knew from experience that babies came in their own time.
Astoria, seeing the calm mediwitch, gulped and rushed out to see what could be done about Nott. She knew she'd done something rash. She practically ran into Harry as he rushed his wife inside. They gave each other significant looks, before Astoria rushed away.
Harry wondered why Astoria had bound Nott, but couldn't pay attention just now, being more concerned about Daphne. "Madam Pomfrey," he burst out, "Daphne's going into labour!"
"Relax, Mr. Potter, I've been expecting this for days now. Set her down on this bed and let me examine her."
Daphne, through all this was wincing in pain as the contractions had started. "They're about two minutes apart, Madam Pomfrey, and my back is killing me," Daphne stated.
"Goodness, I think we have a quick one," she declared. "Try to relax Mrs. Potter, turn on your side, it may ease the pain."
Harry was hovering close by, massaging her and whispering comforting words.
"Mr. Potter, it may be awhile yet, please go and sit down. I'll let you know if I need you."
Daphne, however, had a different idea. "Don't you dare leave Harry!" as she held his arm in a vice-like grip.
Harry had no idea his wife was so strong. Her hand had held him so firmly that her nails were biting into his arm, leaving marks. "Easy love, relax, you heard Madam Pomfrey, it might be awhile…"
"Don't leave me Harry," she sobbed, her hormones taking over. She didn't release his arm and actually tightened her grip.
Harry winced, her nails were sharp and little spots of blood started to appear.
Astoria rushed to where she'd felled Nott. Nobody had discovered him yet and the body bind still held him, although a faint moan could be heard from the boy. 'What to do?' she pondered. 'Can't leave him here and when he's released, it's game over.' She decided to hide him until she could tell Harry. 'Yes, that's the best thing, but where?' They were still on the fourth floor and she was thinking furiously. 'Bathroom? No, too public. Library? Well, there are a few hiding places, but Hermione knows all of them and she'd freak if she found Nott; besides Madam Pince patrols and she knows it like her books. Wait, there is a secret passageway out of Hogwarts behind the mirror on the fourth floor, but the twins said it caved in and was completely blocked, so they stopped using it. Hmmm. Ah, the room that had the Mirror of Erised. Perfect, no one goes there!'
Moving Nott proved to be a rather difficult job, but finally she managed to get him down the narrow corridor to the room. Luckily, no one had seen her and she made sure Nott was still bound. To make sure, she conjured ropes and a gag and bound the hapless Slytherin.
However, not all had been unobserved. Pansy and Millie had come across Nott at the bottom of the staircase. No one was in sight, so they had no idea what had happened.
"We'd better report this to the Headmistress," Pansy proposed.
"Are you mad? This is perfect!" Millicent retorted. "Nott appears to be in a body bind, somebody has just solved our problem. Let whoever did this take care of him. I'll bet it was Potter. Nott will be his problem and if Potter kills him, so much the better."
"Millie!" Pansy was shocked. "I know Teddy is a scumbag, but murder?"
"Well, we won't be doing it," Millie rationalized.
"We'd still be accessories! Wait, I hear someone, let's get out of here. Whomever finds him can report it."
"Let's see who it is," Millie suggested.
"No, it's too exposed here, there's no place to hide! If anyone sees us, they'll think we did it!"
The pair of seventh year girls quickly left before someone spotted them.
Three hours later, Daphne finally gave birth. She was exhausted, but a huge smile was plastered on her face as she held her first born; a healthy four and a half kilo boy.
"Well, he's a big one," Madam Pomfrey declared. "Have you decided on a name?"
Daphne answered, "James, Theodore Potter, honoring both our fathers."
Harry nodded and grinned. "We'd debated baby names for days, if it was a girl, she'd be Lily Adrianne Potter, and we'd switch the names around for second boy and second girl."
Poppy blinked in surprise. "So you're thinking of having four children?"
"We'll have as many as Daphne is prepared to have," Harry stated proudly.
"If it's as hard as this one, I'll have to rethink that plan," Daphne stated warily.