I’ve been looking forward to today for some time now- I have a doctor appointment today and Remus is coming with me.
I’ve realised how wrong it was for me to keep Remus from my last Foetal Werewolf Test. Despite what issues we had at the time, this is our baby and I want him to be involved. I want our baby to know how much he or she is loved by their father.
“Dora, are you ready to go?” Remus asks, stepping into my cubicle at Auror Headquarters.
My head snaps up and I smile at the sight of him- he’s positively beaming.
“Mm hmm, yes, let’s get out of her before they realise I’ve gone.”
He laughs and excuses himself to speak briefly with Kingsley while I make a half-hearted attempt to clean my desk.
I stacked up my paperwork and walked up behind Remus, slipping my hand in his. “I’m ready.”
“So, Tonks,” Kingsley begins, dropping his voice to whisper, “when are you going to start telling people about your new addition?”
I roll my eyes and point at my stomach. “Soon, by the looks of it. Some people have already asked. I had hoped that this mess with the Minister would be straightened out by now- I’m worried about losing my job.”
Kingsley nodded. “I understand. Get to your appointment. See you later.”
Remus and I Disapparated from the Ministry and arrived outside Purge and Dowse, Ltd. in Muggle London and cross the barrier into St. Mungo’s.
I felt a nervous excitement blossoming throughout my body as we make our way, hand in hand, toward the birthing ward.
“Nervous?” Remus asks, jostling my hand in his.
I shake my head and squeeze his hand. “No, I’m excited.”
I check in at the desk, then Remus and I are shown to an exam room where a lovely green gown waits for me. I step behind the partition to change as the Trainee Healer asks me some “preliminary questions.”
Preliminary questions is always involves the same thing- lycanthropy. Yes, there’s a great bloody sticker on my file, alerting everyone to the fact that I am carrying the child of a werewolf. It’s thoroughly ridiculous and uncalled for.
When the Trainee Healer leaves, I hop up on the exam table. Katie Bell knocks on the door and enters the room with my chart in her hands.
“Hi, Tonks, good afternoon, Professor, how’re we feeling today?”
I smile over at Remus who is blushing, and I sigh happily. “Good, I feel good.”
Katie looks over my chart, noting a few things, and we discuss some of the symptoms I’m experiencing as she monitors my blood pressure and takes my pulse.
“Well, are you ready to hear your baby’s heartbeat?” she asks, setting the chart down and coming to stand at my bedside. Her eyes sparkle and dart between me and Remus.
I reach down and grab my husband’s hand. “Are you ready?” biting my lip to hold back my excitement.
“Absolutely,” he replies, kissing my knuckles.
I hoist up the ugly green gown, exposing my tummy- I now officially have one- as Remus rises and smoothes the hair off my forehead.
Katie rolls up her sleeves and points her wand at my abdomen. “Ventris Sonorus,” she says, and suddenly a rapid pulsating sound fills the room.
I reach for Remus again as tears fill my eyes. Our baby’s heartbeat.
He takes my hand and squeezes it gently and I look up to see tears welling up in his eyes too.
“It sounds good, Tonks, real good. Very normal.”
Katie carefully scrutinizes the sound of the pulsing, but I’m just overwhelmed by all of it. Although I’ve done this before with Ella, I’m still flabbergasted by the life that we created together. We never necessarily planned to be parents, but when I found out I was pregnant with Ella- it seemed like the most natural thing in the world.
Remus and I have created a beautiful life, and hearing it, knowing it’s thriving within my body- it’s indescribable. “That’s our baby,” Remus whispers, leaning down, breathing against my skin.
I wipe the tears away and thread my fingers through his, smiling as he takes the seat next to the bed once again.
“Have you felt the baby quickening at al yet?” Katie inquires, jotting a few bits of information in my chart.
I laugh and shrug. “Maybe? I felt a fluttering feeling the other day, but I can’t quite be sure yet.”
Katie nodded. “Don’t worry, you might not notice it first off. Would you like to see your baby?”
Remus appeared to have been drifting off, but he quickly rises from the chair and stands at my bedside. I wasn’t sure he was still listening.
“Yes!” we both say in unison, laughing as we look at one another. Katie excuses herself for a moment. He leans over me and presses his lips to mine, whispering “I wonder if he will look like me.”
I smile against his lips and grab the Windsor knot of his necktie. “The baby may be a girl, you know.”
He nuzzles my nose. “Maybe, but I do have a fifty percent chance of being right about you having a boy.”
“Would you like to have a bet?” I ask cheekily, putting my hands on my hips.
“Sure, what are the conditions?” he asks with a smirk.
I purse my lips and peruse the options. “If it’s a boy I have to get up for the three o’clock feed, if it’s a girl, you have to.”
“But I don’t have the right equipment,” he jokes poking my ribs.
Katie re-enters the room and resumes her place at the bedside. “We’ll work something out,” I offer, taking his hand and squeezing it.
“OK, are we ready? Let’s see your baby. Feto Voir,” Katie says, carefully annunciating the words as a reddish transparent orb appears in front of me. Inside, hovering freely, wriggling about, is our baby.
The tears sting my eyes once again as I reach toward the ethereal image, my hand passing through it and causing it to ripple.
I don’t hear Katie’s voice murmuring in the background. I can see my baby’s nose, lips, fingers and toes. It’s so lifelike- as though I could just reach out and touch it, but I obviously can’t.
“Looks like a healthy baby!” Katie exclaims and the reassuring comment brings me out of my reverie.
“Do you want to know the sex?” she asks, gesturing vaguely at the image hovering above me..
The million galleon question.
“You can tell? I figured I’d have to wait until next month!”
My heart is beating fast- we hadn’t really thought about this- not really anyway. I guess it would help in planning. I’d know whether I would take Penny up on her offer for Andrew’s baby clothes, or if I needed to find some of Ella’s old things, and I’d know whether or not I needed to coerce Remus into paining the nursery blue, or leaving it pink, and a name. Oy. That was months of agony last time. Neither one of us could agree on a name.
“I-” I stammer, looking up at Remus, standing above me. “I don’t know. What do you want to do?”
His brow furrows in thought, and he shakes his head slightly as his thumb grazes the back of my hand. He swallows, his adam’s apple bobbing in his throat.
Is he as flustered as I am?
“Er, I don’t’ know. I mean, I guess it would be helpful- what do you think?”
I smile reassuringly at Remus and squeeze his hand. “Is it a really clear picture? I mean, is there any doubt in your mind?” I ask Katie.
She laughs. “It’s a very clear image.”
Does that mean it’s a boy? That would be a nice addition to our family; but another girl would be as well.
“What do you say, Daddy? I say we go for it,” I offer, jiggling his hand in mine.
The smile he gives me in return is enough of an answer. “All right, Mum.”
“Are we sure?” Katie teases.
I nod excitedly, biting my lip to contain my smile.
“Congratulations, you are the parents of another daughter.”
A little girl, I hope Remus won’t be disappointed.
I dissolve into a fit of tears and giggles.
“Another girl. More estrogen. Do you think you can handle another one?”
He smiles and leans down, pressing his lips to my forehead. “It would be a joy, an honour, and a privilege to have a house full of daughters.”
“And how is Tonks?” Remus asks, his eyes darting between me and the image.
Katie laughs. “She’s gaining weight normally, her symptoms are normal, and her heart sounded good. Remus, is she resting at home? Are you and Ella spoiling her rotten? Is she watching her diet? Is she monitoring her stress level?”
“No, to everything.”
“Hey!” I interject, trying to defend myself.
“I don’t think she rests enough, I don’t think her diet is balanced enough, and she’s still working full time- should she go on sabbatical?”
I knew he wanted me off active duty, I knew it!
“Not yet, exercise is good for her and the baby, but Tonks, you’re going to need to find an outlet for your stress. I suggest Yoga for a lot of my patients. As you know, stress can deeply affect the fetus at this stage. Leave work at the office, go home, put your feet up and just relax. Oh, how’s your sense of balance, by the way, this is often the stage where women begin complaining of clumsiness more often.”
More clumsiness. That’s unfair.
I shrug. “So far so good. I’m clumsy anyway, so I don’t know if I’ll be able to notice a difference, Katie.”
She jots some notes in my file as Remus continues to smile smugly at me. Git. But Merlin how I love him. I know he’s overreacting because he cares.
I look up at the image of the baby again and smile. I have so much to do! Now we can start attempting to name our little girl. Hmm, I wonder what Remus thinks of the name Josie?
“How about I copy this image for you, so you can take it home?” Katie asks, saying a spell I’m not familiar with, but I watch closely as she points her wand at the image and copies it onto a square of parchment. “There you go,” she offers, handing it to Remus as the round image of the foetus disappears. “Be good, Tonks, or I’ll have him haul you back in here sooner than later. Stop at the desk and set up your next appointment.”
“Oy, I will,” I whign, offering her a smile as she pats my tummy and departs the room. Remus helps me to sit up and hands me my clothing. He sits on the edge of the bed, staring at the image of our daughter with a vague smile on his face.
“Y-you aren’t disappointed, are you? About the baby not being a boy?” I ask hesitantly as I pull my shirt over my head.
His eyes dart my way, and he gently grabs my wrist, pulling me closer. He nudges my chin with his other hand, directing my gaze toward him. “Don’t think that,” he whispers, “don’t ever think that. That is our daughter and I adore her, just like I adore Ella. You and I made this baby together, and she was conceived in love. I never had a preference, all I want is a happy, healthy baby.”
The tears return. “I’m sorry, I mean, I didn’t mean to insinuate anything, I just want you to be happy about-”
He rises from the bed and silences me with a gentle kiss pressed to my lips. “Shh,” he breathes against them. “You and Ella, and our new daughter make me happier than I have ever been in my life. I can’t find words to describe how I feel right now- I’m just so thankful and caught up in the miracle of life that we created. Nymphadora Lupin, I am happy.”
I laugh nervously. “I’m happy too,” I reply, kissing him back before struggling into my jeans. “When do you think we should tell Ellie?”
He covers his face with his palms. “Soon. She’ll start noticing things. The sooner the better.”
As we walk out of St. Mungo’s I smile and let out a sigh of relief. My life is turning out so differently than I had expected, but I’ve never been happier.
“By the way, luv, you lost the bet, I’ll expect you to take care of Josie at the 3am shift,” I tease, looping my arm around his waist as we walk away from the hospital.
“Josie? No, absolutely not,” he responds, shaking his head and wrapping an arm around my shoulder.
“What’s wrong with Josie?” I demand with a smile.
“Long story- it involved Sirius and some girl he wanted to set me up with. She was mental.”
I snort with laughter and squeeze his side. “Hmm, so what other names can we rule out. We can’t go naming our daughter after your old girlfriends now, can we?”
He blushes. “I’ll tell you when you hit upon one, and I promise I’ll attend to baby Lupin each and every time she cries after 3am, but 2:59 doesn’t count.”
Long ago I came to grips with the fact that the Wizarding world will never be perfect- there will always be someone thinking they can take Voldemort’s place, but so long as I have my little family, I couldn’t ask for anything better.