Thanks so much to everyone who reviewed the last chapter. So here is the very last chapter. Hope you like it.
Thanks so much for reading. I appreciate all great reviews and alerts and faves and stuff. Other than finishing off my other Harry Potter story Muggle Wars I'm not sure when I'll next be writing a new Harry Potter fiction as I don't have any idea's for any at the moment but I hope to hear from you all again if I do start posting another.
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Hermione and the others Apparated into practically the same spot from where Hermione had been taken. She was relieved that they were so close to the cottage. She wanted to be there, in the warmth, in her bed and then she would feel really ready to deliver her baby, however she knew her body physically could not allow her to get any closer to the cottage. She was exhausted and she was too far along to try and hold off on her baby being born. It was happening, and it was happening quick.
Snape and Harry tried to walk on whilst still supporting her but Hermione could go no further and her body was completely uncooperative now. "Please, stop!" she begged. "Please!"
"We can't stop here Hermione." Harry told her.
"The baby's coming now, I can feel it!" she told them, "Please, I can't walk anymore. I have to stop."
"Hermione, you have to carry on walking. You can't have the baby here, but this is as close to the cottage as we can Apparate. You have to walk the rest of the way." Snape said to her, his voice gentle and encouraging.
"I can't." she told him.
"Then I'll carry you." Snape said as he moved to scoop her up into his arms.
Hemione screamed in pain, making him stop and take a slight step back. Immediately he stepped forward again and placed one hand on her face and the other on her side. "You can't have this baby here, sweetheart." he told her.
Hermione smile, liking the name he had called her, it was so loving. She was about to reply when another contraction hit her hard, it was more painful than any other contraction she'd had and it brought her to her knees.
"The baby is coming right now!" she warned him.
They all turned a second later when they heard the crack of someone Apparating. They were all stunned to see Narcissa Malfoy standing there, her arms up in surrender. She had her wand in one hand but threw it to the floor to show them she wasn't about to use it.
They didn't have time to react to this before Hermione cried out in pain and pulled away from Snape so she could move onto her knees on the floor. Snape quickly fell down beside her. He glanced over to Molly who was being held up by Ron and Arthur Weasley. The woman was still unconscious so he began to panic as he knew she was the one who was supposed to hep Hermione through her labour. He knew no one else would know what to do.
"I came to help." Narcissa told Snape and Hermione.
"You keep away from her!" Snape growled pointing his wand at the witch.
"I promise you that I have no intention of hurting her Severus, or your baby, but I can see that Hermione needs my help."
"Stay away from her!" Snape growled.
"Severus please," Hermione begged, "I need her help because I think something might be wrong."
Snape looked at Hermione, wondering if she realised how dangerous it could be to have Narcissa help. He could see the pain and worry on Hermione's face though so decided to let the witch near her. "If you try anything, I will kill you!" he warned her.
Narcissa chose to ignore his threats and instead tried to work out how long they had before Hermione's baby arrived. It only took her a couple of moments to work out they didn't have any time, the baby was coming, but something wasn't right.
"What's wrong?" Hermione asked, seeing the worried look on the older witches face.
Narcissa knew she couldn't not tell Hermione what was wrong so she said, "You baby is breach."
"Doesn't that mean she needs to go to a hospital?" Ron cried, "Why don't we just take her to one?!"
"You know why!" Snape roared at him.
"Please don't let my baby die!" Hermione sobbed.
"I won't, but you need to do everything I say." Narcissa told her.
"How do you know what to do?" Hermione asked.
"Because when I was a little girl I dreamed of becoming a midwife. I learnt everything there was to know about it, but then I went to Hogwarts and I met Draco's father and my dreams were forgotten about.
"I don't want my baby to die." Hermione cried.
"I won't let it."
"You'll take it!" Hermione sobbed.
"No, I promise you I won't. I never wanted to see you or your baby hurt. There was nothing I could do then but I can help you now."
Hermione thought back to how Narcissa had cared for her, bringing her food, telling her how to breathe through her contractions. Something in Hermione told her she could trust her so she nodded and said, "What do I need to do?"
Narcissa smiled at her and said, "Breathe calmly, don't push unless I tell you to and stop the moment I tell you to stop."
"Okay," Hermione said before another painful contraction started, the urge for her to push was almost overwhelming but Hermione waited for instructions from Narcissa. When they came she did just as instructed.
She wished she could be somewhere else, wished this was a more straight forward birth, and she prayed that her baby would be okay. With another contraction came more instructions and once more Hermione followed them, but she was getting beyond exhausted to the point that all she wanted to do was fall flat on her back and let sleep take over her body.
The same happened again but this time when she stopped pushing she fell against Snape. She was done, she had nothing left in her to give. She barely had the energy to cry when another contraction started, she wished it could be over, she couldn't take anymore pain.
"Hermione don't give up yet, you have to keep pushing." Narcissa told her.
"I can't." Hermione cried, hating that she felt so weak and defeated.
"Yes you can, Hermione, you're the strongest person I know. You can do this." Snape told her as he placed a soft kiss on her head.
"Push, hard!" Narcissa told her. Hermione pushed as hard as she could, crying in agony. "Stop." Narcissa told her. Hermione was only able to rest for a few seconds before Narcissa said, "Okay big push and this should be it, you'll have your baby in your arms in a minute. Someone get me something to wrap it in!" Narcissa said.
Tonks was suddenly beside Hermione, a pile of jackets and coats in her arms. "Ready." she told her aunt.
Narcissa smiled at her and then told Hermione one more time to push. Holding tightly onto Snape's hand Hermione did just that. She pushed as hard as she could until she heard the small cries of her baby.
"Congratulations Hermione, you have a daughter." Narcissa told her.
"Thankfully she doesn't look like her father!" Tonks cried happily.
Hermione laughed and cried at the same time as Tonks helped Narcissa to wrap the baby up before placing it into Hermione's arms.
Hermione wasted no time in kissing her daughter on the head. Snape wasted no time in putting a warming charm on Hermione and the baby. "You're a mother." he told her as he looked down at the baby in her arms.
"And you're a father." she replied, "Hold your daughter." she said to him as she passed him the small baby in her arms.
"What are you going to call her?" Harry asked as he and Ron came to kneel beside Hermione who was now wrapped in in Arthur Weasley's coat.
"I want to call her Serena, Serena Snape." she said looking up to Snape for his approval.
He just nodded and then placed the baby back into her arms. "It's perfect for her." he replied.
Snape walked into the bedroom carrying a tray with some hot soup and a cup of hot tea for Hermione. He walked over to the cupboard and placed the tray down. He then turned to face the bed, only to find Hermione was fast asleep. He walked over to her with a smile on his face.
It grew when he saw their daughter was lay fast asleep with one of Hermione's arms gently and protectively wrapped around her. He reached down and brushed Hermione's hair out of her face. Then, unable to resist he leant over her and placed a soft but lingering kiss on her head. He had been terrified when he thought he would lose her, he was so happy to have her back safe.
He then turned to look at his sleeping daughter. He crept around the bed and somewhat hesitantly lay down next to his daughter. Touching her like she would break he stroked his hand over his daughters head of dark hair. "Let's hope your hair is more co-operative than your mothers, and less oily than mine." he whispered to her.
He hadn't realised a baby could be born with so much hair. He could tell that it would be curly as already it had a slight wave to it. He studied his daughters face, she had her mothers nose, something that he was relieved about. He glanced up at Hermione and realised something...he had fallen so much more in love with her having watched her bring their child into the world.
He had never thought he would be so head over heels in love with a woman and never believed he would have children and if he had had feared he wouldn't love them like a father should, but looking at his daughter who was snoring softly he realised he couldn't love her more. He swore he would spend the rest of his life fighting to make her happy and he would take on anyone who tired to make her unhappy.
He settled down further in the bed and place a gentle kiss on his daughters head. He then reached his arm over her so that he could rest his hand on Hermione's arm, his arm acting like a protective barrier over their daughter. That was how he fell fast asleep.
Three months later
Hermione was about to get into bed. She loved being a mother and adored her baby but she wasn't going to lie and say it was easy. With Snape out working to find hiding followers of Voldemort's who had managed to get away during her rescue she was left at home all day with their daughter. She didn't mind but she was certainly ready for bed when the time came. She usually slept well knowing that one member of the new order was still out patrolling the grounds around the cottage.
As she got ready for bed she tried to think about what she loved most about being a mother and she was sure it had to be simply holding and loving her baby, and getting to kiss her softly as she slept in her arms. Of course she also loved to watch Snape with Serena. She had thought perhaps he wouldn't step up to fatherhood but he had shocked her clearly loving the role; and although things were still awkward between them she adored how he was with Serena. She loved that he spoke to her like she understood every word he was saying to her. She could watch him hold her and read to her all day, although she had had to tell him certain DADA books were off limits until she was attending Hogwarts.
She smiled at her thoughts and climbed onto hers and Snape's bed and flopped down onto her back and sighed at the feeling of bliss as sleep began to take over. She was just about to let herself fall fast asleep when she bolted upright in bed, sure she had heard something.
She quickly climbed up off the bed and grabbed her wand off the bedside table and walked cautiously out of her bedroom. The hallway outside her room was clear, not a thing out of place so she knew the sound hadn't come from there. She glanced over to the door of the nursery. The door was closed, just as she had left it. She could see some light pouring from under it and she was oaky with this as she knew it was just the night light that was left on.
However, her heart began to pound in her chest when she saw a shadow move across the light, someone was in the nursery and she knew it couldn't have been Snape because he wasn't due home yet.
She ran across the hallway and barged into the nursery, her wand ready to throw any spell she had to. She was confused to see nothing out of place. Her daughter lay in her crib, wide awake and watching Hermione, wondering what was going on.
Hermione tucked her wand into the back of her sweat pants and walked over to the crib. She reached in and softly stroked her hand over Serena's head. "I'm sorry if I woke you, my darling."
Serena just looked up at her and smiled as she kicked her arms and legs about. "You need to go back to sleep before your Daddy comes home and finds you awake."
"Yes, she does!" Someone said from behind her.
Hermione spun around but before she had chance to pull out her wand a spell hit her, sending her crashing into a chest of drawers behind her. She hit the floor in front of them, dizzy and in pain, her daughters distressed cries echoing around her head. Hermione tried to push herself up but another spell hit her. She recognised the spell from the pain it sent coursing through her body, the Cruciatus curse.
"How did you get in here" Hermione asked/
"That's for me to know and you to never find out." Bellatrix replied.
"Now it's just a matter of time. I want you to die, just before Severus comes home," Bellatrix told her. "After I kill you I will kill your baby and leave your bodies for him to find."
"He'll kill you!" Hermione growled at her.
"He can try." Bellatrix replied before she hit Hermione with the Cruciatus curse again.
Hermione could do nothing to help herself as the pain of the curse continued to surge through her body. She could hear Serena crying and all Hermione wanted to do was hold her and soothe her but Bellatrix immediately hit her with another Cruciatus curse as the previous one ended.
"I know you know what happens to a person who suffers the Cruciatus curse for too long. If not just ask your friend Neville...oh wait you won't be able to because you'll be dead Mudblood." Bellatrix spat at her.
Hermione couldn't be sure how long had passed but Bellatrix had spent every moment of it punishing her with the Cruciatus curse or stinging jinxes. Hermione was in a world of pain but she was just thankful that while Bellatrix was taking all her anger out on her she was not hurting Serena.
When the current Cruciatus curse Hermione was under finally ended all she do was lay curled up on the floor, shaking and whimpering in pain. "You really are making this too easy." Bellatrix said as she wandered around the room, knocking down stuffed toys from where they sat on shelves, pushing ornaments to the floor where they broke, except for one heavy and much sturdier one that rolled over to near where Hermione lay.
"If I didn't know any better, "Bellatrix thought out loud as she walked over to Serena's crib, "I'd say you were trying to keep me distracted from turning my wand on this abomination!" she said as she glared down at Serena who lay looking up at her, her eyes red and puffy from crying, her bottom lip trembling.
"Don't you touch her!" Hermione growled at her as angrily as her broken body would allow.
"Try and stop me!" Bellatrix told her as she raised her wand already knowing the spell she would use to end the baby she saw as nothing more than a stain that needed to be removed from the wizarding world.
Bellatrix was just about to cast her spell when she felt something slam into the back of her head. The blow hurt like hell and she spun round angrily to see the ornament she had knocked off that hadn't broke by her feet. It was clear to her that Hermione had launched it at her.
"Get away from my baby!" Hermione growled at her as she used every last ounce of strength she had to try and push herself to her feet.
She was barely on her knees when Bellatrix slammed her boot into her ribs, knocking her flat onto her back, the wind knocked out of her. "I was going to let you watch me kill your child but I will have just as much enjoyment out of it if you die first!" Bellatrix spat at Hermione before she raised her wand and pointed it at Hermione. "Arvada..." she began to say however she had barely got the first part of the most unforgivable curse out of her mouth when the words were spoken by someone else and Bellatrix felt the sting of a curse hit her in the back.
She fell to the floor beside Hermione. Hermione watched the life fade out of the witches dark eyes and could not be more thankful to know she was finally dead, no longer a threat to her or her family or friends.
She was so happy to look up and see Snape looking down at her with concerned eyes. "Are you okay?" he asked her.
"Serena..." Hermione said, her daughter her only concern.
Snape got to his feet and rushed over to the crib and scooped up his crying daughter. The moment she was in her fathers' arms she settled. Snape carried her over to Hermione and reaching down wrapped one arm around Hermione and pulled her up from the floor.
He kept a tight but gentle hold on her as he carried her from the nursery and into their own bedroom. He helped her to sit down on the bed and when she insisted on it he placed Serena into her arms. "She's okay." he reassured her.
Hermione still couldn't stop herself from crying as she studied her daughter to find Snape's words were in fact true. "She came so close and there was nothing I could do." Hermione cried.
"You stopped her. If Bellatrix hadn't turned around I couldn't have hit her with that curse. If we had battled then you and Serena could have both been killed. I had to get one quick shot in there."
Hermione looked at him where he sat next to her. She smiled at him before she spread her arm out to her side and wrapped it around him. "Thank you so much!" she sobbed into his neck. "I can't believe you just saved my life again."
Snape hesitated a little before he replied, "Always." he told her.
Hermione pulled back to look him in the eyes. It was then that she just had to kiss him. The moment her lips touched his she realised how much she had been missing such a feeling. She quickly deepened the kiss and felt Snape do the same. She felt his hand come up to touch her face. She truly loved his touch.
She thought about all the bad times they had had, wondered if they could ever get past them. She looked down at the little girl now fast asleep in her arms and she realised that with Snape she was sure as hell going to try.
She turned to face him again and as one of his hands came to rest on her face the other moved to rest on Serena's head. Hermione kissed him again and Snape kissed her right back.
Thanks so so much to everyone who has read, review, added favorites and alerts. Please leave one last review and let me know how you liked the ending.