"This is incredibly dull," Fred declared, slumping even lower in his seat than he already had been sitting.
"You can say that again," Roxanne muttered.
"This is incredibly dull," Fred intoned listlessly once more.
Roxanne smacked him upside the head. "I didn't actually mean you should say it again! Moron."
It had been nearly an hour since the Healer had first come in and announced that the baby had finally been born. In that time, almost the entire older generation of the Weasley family had made its way to the hospital and in to see the new baby before all of the cousins. Said cousins were not at all bitter about the advantages their aunts and uncles were taking of their seniority within the family. Not at all.
In all actuality, things would have been marginally better if any of them had bothered stopping back in the waiting room to say goodbye. But that had yet to occur, so the cousins were still anxiously awaiting to find out what the baby's gender was, let alone the name.
"But it is incredibly dull," Louis agreed. "We don't even have Uncle Ron here to antagonize anymore."
"What more could we do, though?" Dominique questioned. "We went through all of the constellations already."
"There's a list of stars in here too," Lucy said, indicating the book lying in her lap. "We could have gone through those as well. But I guess Uncle Ron will just never know what a truly spectacular present he picked out for me."
"You're deluding yourself if you think your godfather actually buys your presents," Molly informed her sister. "Clearly Aunt Hermione's the one who put the thought into getting you a book. And a book that turned out to be bloody useful at that."
"We could wallow in misery and self-pity because no one ever tells us what's going on," Albus suggested, answering Dominique. "But then again, we're already doing that…"
"And it's not like we can go explore out in the hospital or anything," Lily picked up where her brother left off, "Because someone has already destroyed a good portion of it."
At this point, she shot her oldest brother a glare.
"Is anyone ever going to let me forget that?" James asked rhetorically. "I mean, I still consider it more redecorating than destroying, but it was an accident either way. Just let it go already, people!"
"Don't worry, James," Victoire told him sweetly causing Teddy to unconsciously tighten his previously careless embrace of her shoulder. "I'll let it go after I've smothered you to death with a pillow in your sleep."
"Is it legal for you to actually be in the same country as your children?" James questioned, attempting to scoot his chair away from his frightening cousin, but failing due to the fact that it was quite firmly affixed to the floor. Also, he was seated in a corner.
Victoire merely narrowed her eyes at him once more but did not deign to answer.
"We could…" Dominique began but trailed off, at a loss for suggestions of what they could do to further occupy their time. As her luck would have it, however, the door to the waiting room opened once more almost immediately after she had ceased speaking.
"Gran!" James said happily. "You made it!"
"I made it here, and now I'm leaving again," Molly Weasley informed her grandchildren.
"But you just got here!" Molly protested. "Stay and chat with us for a bit; we're all going mad with boredom because they won't let us in to see the baby yet. Apparently there's a limit on how many people can go in to visit at a time."
"Yeah," Albus joined in, "Some snarky Healer told us that we should have expected that because we're Weasleys."
"It's probably my fault," Victoire admitted.
"From when we had Dora and John?" Teddy questioned. "Really?"
"No…" Victoire said slowly, "Er…from when I was born. Apparently it was a big deal."
"Of course it was," The elder Molly declared. "You were my first grandchild. But either way, I've actually already been in to see the baby. I ran into Percy and Audrey on my way in and they told me where Rosie's room is. And I must say, little Ronald is absolutely adorable."
"Er…Gran?" Fred questioned. "I know Uncle Ron is your youngest son and all, but don't you think it's about time you stopped calling him 'little'?"
"And shouldn't you be more concerned about what the new baby looks like?" Roxanne continued where her brother had left off. "Although I'm quite sure that Uncle Ron is quite…er…adorable, too."
Molly merely looked at her grandchildren with confusion. Realization dawned on her, however, as she took in all of their clueless expressions—she chose to ignore the additional looks written across several of their faces that were obviously of concern for her mental state.
"But didn't anyone tell you?" Molly asked incredulously. "About the baby?" She pressed when they all continued to appear clueless.
"Just what the Healer said when he first came in here," Dominique stated. "That the baby was born. You're the first person to actually come in here after seeing the new bundle of joy."
"Ronald is the baby," Molly told her grandchildren slowly. "They named him Ronald Draco Malfoy." She glanced at the clock on the wall then and gave a slight start, "Goodness, would you look at the time? I really have to get back to your Granddad. He wasn't feeling very well today, or else he would have come with me. But I'll be sure to tell him that you're each planning to stop by to see him sometime soon. Bye, dears."
And without another word she had left the waiting room, leaving her grandchildren alone once more. It was silent in the room for all of five seconds before…
"They named him what?" James burst out. "Ronald? Really?"
"Well we knew that a constellation name was a long shot," Lily reluctantly rationalized. "Going through them was more to make Uncle Ron squirm. Along the way I guess we kind of convinced ourselves that they would actually do it, though."
"Rosie always ruins our fun," Molly pouted.
"You have to admit, though, it takes skill to do it without even knowing it or meaning to," Teddy stated, impressed.
"While in labor," Victoire added in quickly.
"Fine," Molly conceded, "But really, this is just another thing to add to the list of reasons why Rose is just too smart for her own good."
"I can't believe you're still going on about that," Lucy stated with a roll of her eyes. "It's been years."
"Moving on," James said swiftly, "I think this is our sign."
"Our sign for what?" Roxanne asked.
"Our sign that it is officially about time we gave up on depending on Rosie for amusement," James replied. "Clearly she's never going to do any wrong in Uncle Ron's eyes, now that she's named his first grandchild after him."
"Very true," Fred agreed.
"But what are we going to do with our lives now?" Louis demanded. "I mean, yeah, Uncle Ron has always been a pretty dependable source of amusement for us. But I really don't think it'll be as good without Rosie."
"And Uncle Ron's dismay over Hugo's utter lack of reverence for the Cannons is such old news," Albus agreed. "At this point it's just sad that Uncle Ron can't just give up on his only son as a lost cause and move on with his life."
The assembled Weasley and Potter cousins all indicated their agreement to that.
"There is always the original plan," James spoke up suddenly.
"Run away and join the circus?" Dominique asked. "But I actually like my job."
"Yes, yes, we all know that you're Merlin's gift to French Quidditch," James said patiently. "But I was referring to our other original plan. The one where we make all of Gran's dreams come true and find Uncle Charlie a girlfriend."
"Almost all of her dreams," Lily was quick to amend. "I really don't think Uncle Bill is ever going to cut his hair."
"Shame he got rid of the earring though," Albus commented in an offhand manner. "That fang was seriously cool."
"I thought we all agreed years ago that finding someone Uncle Charlie might eventually settle down with would be a hopeless cause," Molly stated.
"Yeah, but let's be honest here, what else are we going to do with our lives?" Fred rationalized.
"Be responsible, mature adults. Finally," Lucy muttered under her breath.
"Nothing," Fred stated. "Exactly."
"So we're giving this a shot?" Roxanne clarified, then shrugged. "Well, I suppose an actual challenge is long-past due for us. Shall we get to work planning things, then?"
As anyone had yet to come tell the cousins they could finally meet the new baby, they opted to formulate their newest plan in hushed tones, so as not to be overheard—not that there was actually anyone nearby to overhear anything they said. They had just about finalized everything in Plan GCG (otherwise known as 'Get Charlie a Girl'), when Harry and Ginny finally returned to the waiting room.
"Two of you can go in to see the baby, now," Ginny informed the group of cousins. "He really is quite adorable." She looked pointedly at her children, now. "I'm not going to be around forever, you three. I should very much like my future grandchildren to know me before I become a ghost."
"That woman is bloody mental," Albus stated after his parents had left, shaking his head. "She's barely over fifty. I guarantee you I'll be a grandparent before she graces us with her ghostly presence."
"All the same," Lily said, "I'm only twenty-four. That's entirely too young to be thinking about getting married, let alone having kids."
"That's older than I was when I got married," Albus pointed out. "And I thought Darren wants to get married."
"And look what a disappointment you're turning out to be," Lily told him, choosing to ignore his second statement. She and her long-term boyfriend would get married when they bloody well felt like it. "Where are those grandkids mum wants so badly?"
"Eh…Alice and I will get around to it eventually," Albus said with an unconcerned shrug. "And what about James? He's older and he's been married just as long. Why aren't you bothering him?"
"Emma has a career," Lily said pointedly. "She'll have kids when she's ready to retire, just like mum."
James could only nod his agreement.
"Quidditch players," Albus sighed, rolling his eyes.
"Potters," Roxanne retorted, just stopping herself from childishly sticking her tongue out at her younger cousin. "Now, moving on before we really get distracted by the baby, are we all clear on what needs to be done the next time one of us sees Uncle Charlie?"
"Did someone say my name?" A voice asked before anyone could answer Roxanne.
As one, the group turned to see none other than their Uncle Charlie standing in the doorway to the waiting room.
"Uncle Charlie!" Dominique cried happily at the same time as James' loud declaration of, "No!"
"Hey kids," Charlie said with a grin, making his way into the room, a short, dark-haired woman trailing behind him. The cousins all made note of the stranger, but none of them were able to inquire about her identity as Charlie continued to speak, "Where is everyone else? Mum sent me a letter telling me that Rosie was having her baby, and she made it sound like I was going to be disinherited if I didn't come right away."
"My mum and dad just left," Lily informed him. "Uncle Percy and Aunt Audrey were here earlier, but they had to leave after they saw Rose and the baby. The same with Uncle George and Aunt Angie—I think they had some sort of emergency with the store, though."
"And my parents both had to get back to work," Louis picked up where Lily had left off. "But I'm pretty sure all of the new grandparents are still in there, along with Hugo."
"You can go in right now, if you'd like, Uncle Charlie," Victoire told him. "It's back through that door, three hallways that way, the second room on the left. When Aunt Ginny left she said that two more people could go in."
"Might as well," Charlie said with a shrug. "It's probably better to reassure mum that I still want to be a part of this family sooner rather than later."
"Gran already left, too," Lucy informed her uncle. "Granddad is feeling a bit ill today, so she had to get back home to him."
"Good thing we were planning to stop at the Burrow after this, then," Charlie said with a shrug, before turning to the woman beside him. "Let's head in there now. Mum really will have my hide if I show up at home and it's after dinnertime."
The woman made no move to follow him, though, as he turned to go back through the door they had entered through. Rather, she folded her arms across her chest and nodded pointedly in the direction of the cousins when Charlie gave her a questioning look. Realization quickly dawned on him, however, as he swiftly took her hand and pulled her beside him, facing his assembled nieces and nephews once more.
"I completely forgot," Charlie apologized. "You lot haven't met yet."
"You really don't take people home to meet the family very often, do you?" The woman said with a shake of her head, though she was smiling.
"This is Bernadette," Charlie told his nieces and nephews, putting an arm around the dark-haired woman's shoulders. "She's my girlfriend."
His announcement was met with a shocked silence from the Weasley and Potter cousins. Uncle Charlie had a girlfriend? Charlie appeared not to notice their shock, though, as he continued speaking without pause.
"Bernie, meet my nieces and nephews—well, most of them, anyway," He amended. "Lily, Lucy, Dominique, Roxanne, Fred, James, Louis, Albus, Teddy, Victoire, and Molly."
Although Charlie had indicated each person as he said each name, Bernadette still looked slightly overwhelmed.
"I'm sure I'll get all of your names straight soon enough," She told the cousins. "It might take a while, but I do believe I'll be sticking around. Won't I, Charlie?"
"You really won't have a reason to if mum kills me," Charlie informed her, glancing at his watch. He dropped his arm from her shoulder and grabbed one of her hands, tugging her back in the direction of the door. "C'mon, we'll go see the baby and then I'll take you to the Burrow."
"It was lovely meeting all of you!" Bernadette called over her shoulder. But then Charlie had pulled her through the door and, in the silence permeating the waiting room, the pair's footsteps could be heard fading down the hallway.
The silence lasted for a moment longer after the footsteps had gone, then…
"That's it!" James declared. "I quit! I give up! Everyone in this family is too bloody unpredictable. I'm going to go find my wife."
The cousins watched in further shock as James stood from his chair and stalked from the room, heading in the opposite direction that Charlie and Bernadette had turned.
"Well…" Teddy finally spoke up, "Who ever said that having a baby wasn't eventful?"
"Yeah, but…Uncle Charlie getting a girlfriend?" Dominique questioned. "On his own? We all thought he was going to be a bachelor forever."
"Gran's going to have a field day when they show up at the Burrow," Lily agreed.
"She'll start planning their wedding immediately," Lucy stated.
"Never mind that we all know Uncle Charlie probably won't get around to proposing for at least a few more years," Molly interjected. "If he ever does, that is."
"I really don't know why James left in such a hurry," Fred commented. "This couldn't be off to a better start if we really had enacted our plan."
Meanwhile, several rooms and hallways over, Ron Weasley was happily oblivious to everything that had been going on with his nieces and nephews since they had parted ways earlier. He had a silly grin firmly in place on his face as he watched Hugo pass off the baby to Charlie, who had apparently finally gotten a girl.
Ronald. They had named the baby Ronald.
Not Camelopardalis or Microscopium or Ophiuchus or Serpens. Ronald.
Yes, Ronald Draco, technically. But that really couldn't deter Ron's good mood.
"Naturally you'll wanted to call him by his middle name," Draco said, smiling happily down at the tiny baby asleep in his wife's arms. "It's a very aristocratic thing to do."
"We aren't aristocrats, dad," Scorpius patiently reminded his father.
"Well you can start now," Draco said with a very agreeable tone. "There's no time like the present, after all."
"How very muggle of you, Malfoy," Hermione said with a grin.
"I'm very worldly," Draco replied with an offhand shrug. Then, back to his son, "You won't even consider it?"
"Well…" Scorpius began slowly, glancing down at Rose who drifted off after passing the baby off. "I have been thinking about possible nicknames."
"Do share with us, Scorp," Hugo said dryly, and Ron could easily spot the amusement spread openly across his son's face. "What nicknames have you come up with for Ronald Draco?"
"Well," Scorpius said again, "I was thinking…Ronald Draco…R.D. …Artie, maybe."
The voice that spoke the single syllable so adamantly came from the person everyone in the room had thought to be sleeping. As one, the occupants of the room all turned to see Rose pushing herself to sit up in her bed again, clearly awake.
"No," She said again, her stern gaze fixed on her husband. "If I had wanted to call my son 'Artie' then I would have named him Artie. Or, at the very least, I would have come up with a name that Artie could reasonably be a nickname for. But we didn't do that. We agreed on Ronald Draco. Therefore we shall be calling him by his first name: Ronald. Not Draco. Not Artie. Ronald. Are we clear on that?"
"Yes, dear," Scorpius said immediately. "Ronald it is."
Ron couldn't help but smile even wider at the memory.
Ronald. His first grandchild was named Ronald.
In his younger days, Ron Weasley had been less than fond of Draco Malfoy. With age, he had eventually (but barely) grown past this when Al had befriended Scorpius. And then he had had to admit the final defeat of his hatred when Rose had first revealed that she was dating Scorpius and then, years later, that was engaged to the young Malfoy. And of course he was nothing less than overjoyed when he found out that he was going to be a grandfather. Because, really, what better thing could there be than a Malfoy who was also a Weasley?
Of course, beyond that, he had been legitimately excited to become a grandfather. Until the brief scare (which felt as if it had lasted forever) when his nieces and nephews had seemed convinced that the baby would be named after a constellation, that is.
But Ron's nieces and nephews had been wrong. Rose and Scorpius had named their first child Ronald.
Ron smiled once more as his gaze followed his grandson being passed off to yet another set of eagerly waiting arms.
Yes, he was quite glad that his first grandchild hadn't been named after a constellation.
a/n-As of right now I'm not planning to further continue this lovely little series, but that's mostly because I don't have any ideas for more story lines. I have quite a bit of back story for all of the characters though, so I may end up revisiting some of them one day in the future. But for now, I hope you enjoyed the story (all 4, actually) and thanks for reading!
UPDATE-as of 11/26/12 I have tentatively decided to continue writing stories that take place in the same universe as these stories. I have already posted a oneshot entitled A Diabolical Plan and am currently working on a sequel to it. They'll go back to before Library Conspiracy, and will focus on the friendship between Al and Scorpius.