I've been waiting for the least hectic morning to go visit Harriet. With morning sickness still wrecking havoc with my stomach most mornings, getting Ella ready for Mum's, and trying to be on time to work without anyone cottoning on that I'm expecting- frankly I'm knackered before I even get to the office. It's bad enough that I was forced to tell Kingsley, and he threw a right fit about me working, and refraining from telling him when I first knew. I've told him under no circumstances am I to be removed from duty without my consent. The Ministry is mad, the Wizarding World is panicked, and I need to protect my family the best way I know how.
Today, however, has been a good day. I got an Owl from my cousin, Draco, last night, which has piqued my curiosity. Maybe he has learned of Aunt Bellatrix death- regardless, I hope it's nothing worrysome.
Ella spent the night with Mum and Dad, and Remus and I slept in a bit. I didn't have to jump right out of bed, so I took a dose of NVP Potion and Remus fetched me some Ginger tea before burrowing back in bed with me. I have a big doctor's appointment next month. We'll be able to hear the baby's heartbeat, and I have to undergo the Ministry's first round of foetal werewolf testing. Thankfully it's painless, but it's an asinine procedure, and feeds right into the Ministry's obsession and fear. The results always come back as 'inconclusive' of course, which means I'll be tested twice more, and the only 'conclusive' results will come one month after our child is born- sans lycanthropy!
After I settle in my office, I Owled my reply to Draco, I check Interdepartmental Memos, the current reports, and speak briefly with Kingsley before taking the lift down to the containment facility. I pass the guard, who barely notices me flash my badge from behind his Daily Prophet.
I shake my head as I walk down the dark hallway, and stop in front of Harriet's door. I utter the proper incantation and swing the door open on its hinges.
I look into the cell, and see Harriet pacing, and breathing heavily in obvious distress.
“Are you OK?” I ask, feeling stupid. I rush into the cell, closing the door behind me and rush to her side, grasping her hand in mine. “Have you gone into labour?”
She shakes her head, and I realise she's holding her breath. “Breathe, you have to breathe, trust me, it's better.”
“I think I'm all right now,” she says with a heavy sigh, easing herself down onto the camp bed in the corner. “They've been happening a lot. S'that normal?”
I nod and smile, disbelieving that I'll be in this same predicament in a few months. “I'm afraid so.” I sit down next to her and hesitate before moving. “Back hurt?”
“Merlin yes,” she says, her shoulders slumping as she rolls her eyes.
“May I?” I ask, gesturing toward her back? I don't want to pressure her, or cross her very firm personal boundaries.
“Are you sure?” she asks hesitantly. “I don't want to be a bother.”
“Pish,” I say, waving her off. “I don't mind at all, turn around.” I begin to knead the muscles at the small of her back, and smile as she relaxes slightly. “Is everything else OK?”
“They have been monitoring me a lot recently; checking on me in the middle of the night, and watching me through the window on the door.”
I frown, not liking what I'm hearing. “Maybe they're just monitoring you now that your delivery is close. Have you had all three of your foetal werewolf tests yet?”
Harriet shakes her head while I continue to rub her back. “No, only the first two. I'm going to have the baby soon and give it away- would they still perform the test?”
I'm afraid to answer this question truthfully. The Ministry isn't going to “forget” about testing a werewolf, and now, with no Minister to regulate policy, or keep track of his employees, I don't think any of us fare well. “I'd guess they'll still perform the test, but it doesn't matter the results won't be conclusive until a full cycle after the baby is born, when they see the child has no wolfish tendencies.”
“I won't be around to see it, the baby I mean,” she says, looking down at her ever-expanding belly. “W-will they let me go, after the baby is born?”
I reach up and pat her shoulder. “Yeah, they will. They might keep you until after the next lunar cycle, but they'll no longer have any official reason to keep you here, you've done nothing wrong.”
Harriet nods and grasps my hand, but still stares ahead toward the dark, stone walls. “What will I do? I have no one- nothing.”
“Don't worry,” I begin, turning her to face me. “Now listen, I know Remus already told you that you were welcome to stay with us anytime, and that offer will always stand. The Ministry froze your parents Gringott's account, but after your release, you'll have access to that once again. Remus and I will work on finding you a job, and when you feel comfortable again, you can make your triumphant return to society, all right?”
Her lips begin to tremble and tears well up in her blue eyes. “Y-you've already done so much for me- both of you. I couldn't ever repay you for everything-”
I smile and shake my head. “We just want you to be happy, and to know that you'll always have someone to rely on.”
She bites her lip and looks up at me hesitantly before throwing her arms around me, hugging me tight. “You and Mr. Lupin have been just like family to me. Thank you.”
I can honestly say the hug surprised me, but I quickly hug her back. “You'll be fine, just wait and see.” I take her face in my hands and look directly in her eyes. “You're a beautiful girl, and you're a Gryffindor, right? There's a reason for that.”
Harriet simply nods.
“It will be OK. I'll come back tomorrow with some snacks. Remember to use your charm bracelet if things get too bad- you can contact me and Remus anytime, day or night.”
Again, she nods and twists the charm bracelet around her skinny wrist. “Thanks, Tonks.”
I pat her cheek and rise from the bed. “Anytime. I'll be back tomorrow.”
I return to my office, worrying about the young woman downstairs. I'm uncomfortable knowing she hasn't had her final foetal werewolf test, and I can't fathom why it has been delayed.