darkravenwrote: (rose)
[personal profile] darkravenwrote
Author: [livejournal.com profile] darkravenwrote
Title: Hold Your Nerve
Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairings: Ron Weasley/Hermione Granger. You win nothing if you guess what pairing I’m hinting for Harry at the end. I’m not betting on it.
Word Count: 808
Rating: G
Warnings: None, there’s childbirth but you’re not there, just know it’s happening.
Prompt: For my ‘patient’ tile on GYWO Bingo.
Author’s Notes: Yup, this one’s fine :) I’m good about this one.
Summary: Waiting isn’t something that comes naturally to Ron, he’s more of a run in wand firing kind of guy. But there are some things he can’t do anything about and just has to be patient -- or so the nurses tell him.

Ron is still waiting in his little corner at the end of the hospital corridor when Harry hurries back in. He's wrapped around himself, curled over with his elbows on his knees and his head in his hands. The nervous sweat he's sporting has reached his hair, wetting the tips to a dark bloody brown where they sit at his neckline. His legs jitter constantly. The shopping bag in Harry's hand rustles sympathetically.

Harry immediately passes over his latest acquisitions -- Ron's favourite sweet of the month, a nostalgia-filled Chocolate Frog, and a fresh bottle of water. They frogs are gone within seconds, their wrappers falling between Ron's twitching thighs and onto the clean mopped floor. Harry swoops down and picks them up as a passing nurse frowns at them.

"Any news?" He asks gently, trying not to sound anxious himself and not really succeeding.

"They told me to be patient," Ron replies, nearly pulling out a clump of his hair.

"After you harassed them for the fiftieth time I'll bet," Harry jokes, going to slap him playfully on the back and, at the last minute, deciding the situation calls more for a gentle kind of comradeship than manliness. He lays his hand softly, supportively, on Ron's shoulder instead.

"I still don't understand why I can't go in," Ron mutters into his fingers. "You know what Hermione's like, she would have had a birthing plan down to the last detail. And we talked about this. I definitely remember talking about this. I was meant to be there. Oh, Merlin, Harry it's going to go wrong, I can bloody feel it. I'm out here and she's in there and something's going to go wrong. Herm-"

"Will be fine," Harry states, firmly and with a touch of Mrs Weasley's insistence channelling through.

A bustle of nurses hurry past them then and onto the delivery room corridor. Ron's eyes dart frantically between them, like he might learn Legilimency instantaneously if he tries hard enough.

Harry thinks Ron might start crying from the pressure soon. His own heart pounds uncomfortably in his chest. It's Ron's wife and baby in there, but it's his best friend and godchild too. His family.

"Sweet Circe," Ron whines, his eyes glassy. "Anything could be happening in there.

"It'll be fine," Harry says weakly as a door swings open, horrendous wailing screams bounce off the walls and then cut off again as the door resettles shut. He gulps. "She'll," he repeats, haltingly, "be fine."

"Er, Mr Weasley?" A nurse calls from the other end of the long, whitewash corridor. "Mr Ronald Weasley?" She's a squat little thing that skips joyfully as she walks towards them. "Oh, there you are," she bubbles happily. She's overenthusiastic, but her smile is kind and Harry can see she means well. He hopes Ron can see that too or he's going to break all of his own fingers before she can get out whatever she's come to tell them. "I'm so glad I finally found you. Your wife's asking for you."

"She is?"

"Oh yes, we moved her downstairs about an hour ago to recovery. Didn't anyone come and tell you." Ron shakes his head dumbly. "In that case, it's my pleasure to inform you that you have a healthy new baby daughter waiting for you. Your wife is perfectly fine as well, exactly how we'd expect. It was one of the smoothest births we've had all week," she gushes, pulling at Ron's hands. Ron probably can't feel her.

"Harry," he whispers instead, "I'm a dad."

"Yeah, mate, I know," Harry laughs. "Go on then, don't keep her waiting longer."

Ron wanders after the nurse, only noticing Harry isn't beside him when he's half the floor length away. "Aren't you coming?" he calls back.

"No, mate," Harry says, trying to sound jovial but serious at the same time. "You first, I'll be down in a bit."

He bought firewhiskey while he was at the shops too. Once Ron is round the corner and out of sight, once Harry has checked for staff and their disapproving eyes, he unscrews the top and takes a swig. He says a silent toast to all the people they've lost, who will never see their children and to those who will never be born. He thinks of his parents and Snape. He sips again, with less relish, and thinks bitterly, briefly, of Ginny and Oliver snuggled up in their own home with their little toddler. Finally, he knocks one back for Hermione and Ron, a happier one.

Then he hides the bottle in his robes and follows Ron's path.

He doesn't know at this point, of course, that in a year's time he'll be happily married. And in another two years, he and his most unlikely partner will be going through the interview process that will inevitably lead to adoption.
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