Chapter 91

They'd dimmed the lights in the hospital room, which surrounded Hermione in an orange glow. In the two hours since she'd been taken here, she'd not stirred once. When the Healer had left and Ginny had helped Ron dress the baby, he'd Floo'd straight to the hospital to inquire about the wellbeing of his wife.

Her admittance into St Mungo's had been a bit of a whirlwind, which left the administration scrambling to find any evidence of her actually being there. It didn't help that his daughter had not enjoyed her first Floo experience and had screamed the whole time they'd been searching for Hermione's documentation.

Completely inexperienced with a child he couldn't just hand back when they became distressed, Ron endured the crying until Harry came to meet them.

His eyes flickered from Ron, to Ginny and to the baby, then back again.

Leaving the desk, Ron approached his friend and asked, "Where is she?"

Harry had shaken his head, looking apologetic. "I've no idea. I've not seen anyone, let alone Hermione. I have no idea where she is or what's happening."

This almost tipped Ron over the edge. His heart still recovering from what had happened less than half an hour ago, he once again passed his daughter into the arms of his sister and demanded the wizard find out where Hermione was this very instance.

After some more scrambling, the wizard was able to inform Ron that Hermione had been put into a room on the second floor, the floor for Magical Bugs.

Harry, Ron and Ginny all hurried there, only to go through the process all over again with locating Hermione's room.

Finally, they were able to speak to the Healer who'd taken her in, and Ron left Harry and Ginny as he was led down a silent corridor, his baby back in his arms, now settled.

There was nothing seriously wrong with Hermione, the Healer had explained as they walked. She'd experienced a small bleed, but that had been easily fixed with a common spell before she lost too much blood. They had given her a blood-replenishing potion, but what had kept her unconscious until now was the shock her body had endured from such a quick and intense birth.

The Healer was confident she would wake up in a few hours, then opened the door to the room. She'd then said something about admitting the baby into the hospital so she could be with Hermione for a few nights and left.

Ron hadn't left the chair by her bed since, two hours later, and only then did the day's events sink in.

A bed appeared in the room that Ron assumed was for the baby, so he'd laid her down and watched as she drifted off to sleep. He wasn't entirely sure how babies this young functioned right after entering the world, but he was surprised that she'd given no sign of being hungry yet. It was a good thing, he supposed, but he didn't know if it was normal.

She seemed content, though, so he'd just sat and let it all wash over him. The room's silence settled him, leaving his mind blank, and he realised how very tired he felt. It had all happened in a way that neither of them had even once anticipated, but the end goal had resulted in the same — they had their baby, and she was the most perfect thing he'd ever laid eyes on.

He had plenty of nieces and a nephew, but it was different when he knew it was his own child. She was part of him — she wouldn't exist if it wasn't for him. She was his daughter. He was her dad and despite the horrible fear he'd felt in the moments before she'd practically fallen into his arms, he was proud of himself for remaining calm throughout it all. He'd had to; he'd had no choice, but he was still pleased with his ability to not run away from something so terrifying.

He reached forward and picked up Hermione's hand, which was warm and soft. He wanted her to wake soon so that she could see their daughter. It didn't seem fair that she'd spent nine months alone with her, only to miss out on the first two hours of her life.

"She's perfect," he whispered to her. "We'll love her so much. She's so beautiful."

From the small bed, the baby stirred. Her eyes sprung open, and a moment later, deafening screams filled the once-silent room.

Ron released Hermione's hand and jumped to his feet. He picked his daughter up, knowing this time for certain that she'd woken because she was hungry. He wasn't really sure what to do other than rock her. Did the hospital have anything to give her while Hermione was still unconscious? They were far from well equipped to house a baby, which was something that had never bothered him until now. Hermione couldn't have been the first person in history to require hospitalisation after giving birth, so why was there no ward for cases such as hers? She'd been thrown into a place where they had a bed, surrounded by people who were infectious with Merlin only knew what.

It didn't seem right to him.

The baby continued to cry, and Ron did his best to settle her, though to no avail. She wanted her mum, and that was something he had no control over.

"It's alright," he tried to soothe. "It's alright…" He returned to the chair with the baby squirming in his arms. He rocked her gently, but she just continued to cry. "I'm sorry," he said, feeling helpless. He was failing already; his daughter was hungry and he had no means of nourishing her.

He was very close to searching for a Healer to see if they had a suggestion, when movement from Hermione caught his attention. She was stirring, waking, trying to take in her surroundings.

She blinked rapidly for a few moments before she managed to turn her head, her eyes falling on Ron, confusion etched on her face.


"Hey," Ron said, smiling at her. "Hey."

She blinked again, her eyes falling to the screaming baby. For a long while, she didn't say anything, perhaps too disorientated to speak. She watched as Ron rocked their daughter until she eventually quieted. Then she looked back at him.

"What happened?" Her voice rasped, and she cleared her throat, repeating the question.

"It was pretty intense," Ron said. "She came incredibly quickly. You passed out — they say from the shock of it all. And blood… there was a lot of blood."

Hermione's mouth opened, but no words came out. She returned to staring at the baby.

"Can you sit up?" Ron asked. "Then you can finally meet her for real."

Hermione nodded, and with some help from Ron, she was sitting with her back against the bed, two pillows supporting her.

"She's quite perfect," Ron told her, unable to contain a smile. "We've gotten to know each other quite well in the two and a bit hours you've been here." He passed his daughter into Hermione's arms, the baby suddenly seeming content to be held by her mother.

"Two hours?" Hermione asked quietly.

"Yeah," Ron said. "But you're okay. Just a shock to your body, they say."

"I can't believe… I missed it."

"Do you remember much?" Ron asked, returning to the chair and happy to allow Hermione to have the much deserved time with their daughter.

"No," Hermione said. "It's all a blur at the moment. I remember… vaguely… seeing her, but then… nothing… oh, Ron, look at her." And for the first time, a smile appeared.

"She still needs a name," Ron said.

This seemed like too much brain power for Hermione to contemplate at this point in time, so he was about to drop the subject when she asked, "You've spent some time with her. Is there anything that stands out? Does she feel like anything in particular?"

"Kind of," Ron said, though he wasn't sure if he should say it. In a way, he'd privately been almost calling the baby by that name — instinctively, almost. But he also knew that he shouldn't have been, because it was as much Hermione's decision as it was his — if not more considering what she'd been through to give him a daughter.

"Tell me," Hermione said, unable to take her eyes from the baby.

"Well…" Ron began, "a bit after she was born, when the Healer had cleaned her all up and everything, I was holding her and she was sleeping, and the thing that stood out to me the most was the fact that she had really red cheeks. They were like a rose colour, and after that, I couldn't help but think that would be the perfect name for her — Rose."

Hermione didn't speak. She just continued to stare at the baby. Then, "Rose suits her, I think. She looks like a Rose."

"Really?" Ron said, surprised considering they'd spent months disagreeing on every name they could think of.

Hermione nodded. "It's perfect for her. Our Rose. I love it."

Ron smiled. "Me too." And now he really could think of her as Rose.

"We can think of a middle name later," Hermione said. "I'm… too tired."

For some time, nothing else needed to be said between them. Ron sat in the chair, Hermione in the bed with Rose in her arms. No one disturbed them; no one came to see if they were okay. Ron didn't even know if Harry and Ginny were still in the hospital somewhere or if they'd gone home. He suspected the latter, picking up James to get him in bed at a decent hour.

He glanced at his watch. It was six in the evening. He stifled a yawn.

"You should go home," Hermione said.

"Don't be ridiculous," Ron said. "I'm staying right here with you, and I'm not leaving your side until I know you're okay."

Hermione smiled. "I'm fine. Really. I could probably go home —"

"No, you're staying here," Ron insisted. "We all are."

"Where will you sleep?" Hermione questioned.

"Here." Ron touched the chair he was sitting in.


"I'm not leaving." If he went home, he knew he wouldn't get any sleep. He'd just be worrying the whole night whether or not Hermione and Rose were okay. Were Healers coming in every few hours to see them? What if something happened with Rose when he was away? They weren't exactly equipped at the hospital to care for a baby. Not in this ward, anyway. Now he understood why Hermione had wished to have the baby in a Muggle hospital — it was the standard for Muggles to have a place for newborn babies and their mothers, meaning she'd be looked after better.

"Honestly, Ron, we'll be fine here. You're exhausted. You've been amazing today —" she reached out a hand and covered his, "— you deserve a break. Please, Ron…"

Ron hesitated. His eyes drifted to the bed where Rose had been sleeping for the past twenty minutes after being fed. After spending so long with her, it felt near impossible to leave his newborn daughter. He'd waited so long to meet her, and now that she was here, he had so much love and adoration for her, he wanted to be with her at all times. It was his job to keep her safe, and he was up for the challenge — every day for the rest of his life.

Hermione was still smiling at him, but her eyes were pleading. She wanted him to go — at least for a few hours. "What if she cries?"

"I can get up," Hermione said. "I'm feeling better. I'll be able to get to her — don't worry."

Ron didn't believe her. He had no doubt that she thought she could do it, but what would happen if she tried and couldn't and there was no one around to help? Would Rose just lay there crying with no one tending to her, because he was certain the Healers had already forgotten about them?

He was once again about to protest when the door opened, and the Healer that had taken Hermione from their house entered. She smiled at them.

"How is everything?" she asked kindly.

Ron opened his mouth to make a comment about it being the first time someone had come to see them, but Hermione seemed to sense his frustration and spoke over him.

"We are good. Feeling a little tired, but I was just about to send my husband home for the night."

The Healer, who Ron remembered had introduced herself as Healer Farsley, nodded. "A good idea. I have three more hours before I finish, and then I'll fill in the next person to do frequent checks overnight. A good night's sleep will be good for you."

"Can't I sleep here?" Ron asked. "Can't you manage a bed in here? There's room."

Farsley shook her head. "Your own bed will be much more comfortable. Don't worry, we will take great care of them, and you can come back first thing tomorrow."

Scowling, Ron looked back at Hermione, who nodded her encouragement. "We'll be fine," she promised him.

Realising he had no choice, Ron sighed — loudly, so they knew he wasn't happy about this decision — and then went to where Rose slept soundly in her bed. She was wrapped snugly in a blanket, and he once again admired just how perfect she was. He couldn't quite believe she was his daughter.

He ran the back of his finger down her perfect face, causing her to turn towards it. Smiling despite himself, he backed away and kissed Hermione lightly on the lips.

"I'll see you in a few hours," he said.

He left the room, regretting the decision immediately. He wasn't supposed to spend the first night of his daughter's life on his own. But then again, nothing about this had gone to plan, so he supposed where he slept was included.

He just hoped Hermione would be okay.

He walked briskly to the Floos so he didn't change his mind, and Floo'd home to the quiet of his house. In the hurry of getting to the hospital, the lights had been left on and the towels and everything were still lying where they'd been dropped on the floor.

It seemed like such a long time ago now, when in reality, it had been mere hours. Just seeing it all there made him feel ill. Things could have just as easily gone very wrong today.

He took out his wand and cleaned the towels with a Scourgify, and then flicked it again to fold them up. He left them on the sofa, prepared to return them upstairs in the morning, and dragged his feet upstairs to the bed.

It had been years since he'd not had Hermione sleeping beside him in his own bed. They'd spent almost every night of their relationship together since she finished her final year at Hogwarts — some Auror expeditions being the rare exceptions.

It felt strange knowing that she wasn't going to join him, but he was so tired that his eyes involuntarily closed the moment he laid his head on the pillow. He'd been adamant that he wouldn't be able to sleep knowing that she was in hospital with very little support, but the day's events caught up to him, and before he knew it, the sun was peeking through the bedroom window and his watch was telling him it was seven-thirty.

His stomach growled. Now that he thought about it, he probably hadn't eaten in almost twenty-four hours. It hadn't even occurred to him to do so, so worried as he was about Hermione and Rose.

Scrambling out of bed, he headed to the kitchen and made some toast and a very strong coffee.

He ate quickly, eager to get back to the hospital. No one had come to find him in the middle of the night, or sent him an urgent message, so he assumed all was okay. Then again, he was certain he wouldn't have heard the house exploding, he'd slept so soundly.

It was the fastest he'd ever gotten ready, showering, dressing and reaching the fireplace in the space of fifteen minutes. He didn't even bother to check in at reception, instead hurrying straight to the second floor and Hermione's room.

He found her up, walking around slowly with Rose in her arms.

"What are you doing out of bed?" he demanded. "You should be resting."

"I'm fine," Hermione said, and to her credit, her voice sounded stronger and more like herself than it had yesterday. "I needed to walk around. Lying in bed was... exhausting."

Ron came to stand beside her, peering down at Rose, who was awake, but content. "How was she?"

Hermione nodded. "Good. Woke a few times, but once visiting time ended, the Healers were able to tend to us a lot more. I had someone check in every hour or so. She was good, though."

"I'm glad to hear it." Now that he'd slept decently, it gave Ron space to look at his daughter with clearer eyes. Yesterday had been overwhelming, but today… today, he could really soak in the fact that she was here.

The little girl they'd waited for, for so long, was finally here. He was a dad and all the things he'd hoped to feel for her were so strong in him already that he knew it was going to be okay. Those fears he'd had a few months back didn't seem to matter at all. It didn't matter how bad he was at dressing her, or holding her, because he now knew how determined he was to change. If he didn't know how to do something, then Rose was more than worth the effort it would take to learn. He wanted to be the best he could be for her.

"She's just so perfect," he said, running a hand over the back of her head, feeling the tiny, thin strands of red tickle his fingers.

"I know." Hermione's expression showed what Ron felt — complete and utter love for their baby.

"And how are you?" Ron said, moving to the chair he'd spent most of yesterday sitting in. He was desperate to hold Rose again, but Hermione seemed unintentionally unwilling to let her go, so he was content for the moment to let them be.

"I'm honestly really good," Hermione answered. "I still feel tired, but my body… it feels okay. Whatever spells and potions they gave me have really done their job." She paused for a moment, shifting Rose in her arms slightly.

"What?" Ron asked. Something at the back of his mind was telling him it wasn't going to be good news, but like yesterday, he pushed down his fear and steadied himself.

Hermione shook her head. "It's nothing, really. It's just that the Healers say that due to the traumatic birth, I could experience complications down the line. Months, maybe even years."

Ron frowned. "Complications?"

"I think they were trying to say post-traumatic stress disorder."


"Think about how triggering mentions of the war are for you. You hear something, see something, and it sets something off in you. It's that."

"That's going to happen again?" Ron questioned, not liking that thought at all. Mentions of the war weren't horrible for him, but he didn't like talking about it either. It wasn't a nice feeling when his mind flooded with memories of those times.

Hermione shook her head. "I feel okay now, mentally. It was hard in the moment, but… it all worked out in the end. I suppose we'll see as the months progress. I'm not going to worry about something that may or may not happen… do you want to hold her, Ron?"

Ron stared at his wife, taking in her words. The Healers thought that she might suffer down the line? No, he didn't want that. He couldn't bear her to suffer even more than she already had.

"Ron? Do you want to hold her?"

Ron blinked. "Of course I do," he said after a moment, and he stood and took Rose from her.

She was so light, so fragile, and her deep blue eyes stared up at him as if he was some strange being she was trying to work out.

And to her, Ron supposed, he was. The whole world was strange to her, and she was going to need time to adjust to it. She was doing well for being less than a day old.

"We need to pick a middle name for her," Hermione said.

"Do we?" Ron asked.

That gave Hermione pause. "Well —"

"We're just going to call her Rose," Ron continued. "So why can't she just be… Rose? Or… Rosie as a nickname?"

"I… I suppose," Hermione said. "I just assumed…"

Ron nodded. "Until now, I thought so, too, but we had so much trouble choosing just one name for her. A second seems a bit much. She can just be Rose Granger-Weasley. I like that. Or… Rose Weasley-Granger? Or… whatever you want, I guess. Just Granger if you want it to be. Or… just Weasley."

Hermione smiled. "Granger and Weasley is perfect. She's part you and part me, so it fits her."

"I'm glad we can finally agree."

In his arms, Rose squirmed, coughed, and then her little eyes closed and she was sleeping peacefully again.

He brought her closer to his chest, feeling her warmth.


His beautiful little Rose. He couldn't quite believe how lucky he was to have her as his daughter.

I know some of you were worried that I had abandoned this story, but I promise I have not and have no intention to. On April 5, I left my home of 12 years to embark on a new adventure 16 hours further north. There was a lot of unpacking, settling in, starting a new job and most importantly helping my almost 4 year old daughter, who's struggled to adjust, settle as well. I have been busy, and only this week have I felt like I've settled into some sort of routine!

I will be publishing more frequently again, depending on how my beta feels (she herself is expecting a baby soon)!