“Well done, Weasley! Well done, indeed!”
The three women crowded around Ron, patting him on the back, pressing a glass of beer into his hand, and ignoring the tear that tracked down his cheek.
“Just tell me...” he choked, but this was important. “Tell me she’ll be happy. Because even though I’ve got to know the git a bit better, I still can’t see how she could possibly love him.”
“We’ll do better than that,” Slog said. “We’ll show you.”
“Slog, it’s prohibited,” protested Tonic, but Shivvy sided with Slog.
“He’s earned it, Tonic. It won’t hurt to reassure him before we send him on his way.”
“All right.” Sighing, Tonic picked up Hermione’s spindle. Slog and Shivvy viewed the thread as she worked, finally signalling her to stop and beckoning Ron over to see.
Shivvy put her hand at the back of Ron’s neck and pushed him so his face was against the thread. “It’s rather like a Pensieve for people like you... you need to be in it...”
Hermione was in a large bed, a blanket-wrapped bundle in her arms. She looked simultaneously exhausted and beautiful.
The door edged open and Severus tiptoed into the room. “Is she awake?” he whispered.
“Yes,” Hermione whispered back, then giggled. The sheer joy of the sound brought a smile to Ron’s lips. “We need to tell them her name.”
“About that...” He seemed ill at ease.
“Severus, we agreed to name her after your mum!”
“Yes, but... I want to name her Rose. Rose Eileen. You told me about your Rose and how real she was to you and to Weasley, and... well, I think that it would be fitting.”
Ron stepped back, Snape’s unspoken thought echoing in his head. And I owe Ronald Weasley everything.
The tower room came back into focus. The three Fates were gazing at him with compassion-filled eyes.
“See?” said Shivvy. “Not only is she happy, but she and Snape honour you with their children’s names. Their son, who will be born two years after Rose, will be Hugo Ronald.” Her eyes dropped, and she lifted her scissors. “You’re free to move on now, you know. You’ve done splendidly... everything is now in place for the next generation, and that is crucial.”
“Why? Why was it so important that Hermione have those children?”
Tonic spoke up. “Rose will marry George’s son Ronald. Rose Weasley will become the Minister of Magic who breaks down the barrier between the magical and Muggle worlds, paving the way for all sorts of advances for both populations.” She hesitated. “Snape will say that it isn’t as bad as it could be... she could be marrying a Potter or a Malfoy.”
“And Hugo?” prompted Ron. He had a right to know, dammit. After all, they were his children too, in a way.
“Well, his father will have cause to eat those words. Hugo will marry Scorpius Malfoy, and together they will discover a way to control the mutations of viruses. They will be able to treat incurable diseases in humans, plants, and animals. That’s why the Statute of Secrecy has to be repealed.”
“Wait a moment...” Ron was gasping. “Hugo—my son Hugo—marries a Malfoy? And what kind of name is Scorpius, anywa—”
Shivvy lowered the scissors. “Mischief managed,” she laughed, and got back to work.
A Note from the Author:
Thank you so much to my alpha- and beta-readers, all of whom made this story possible. And thank you to the mods of the SSHG Exchange, who do the impossible every year. The Exchange is the lifeblood of our ship, and I am so grateful to them for the time and effort they put into it.
This story was written for Blue Artemis, whose wonderful stories never fail to bring a smile to my face. Thank you, BA, for all of your reviews throughout the years and especially for Crookshanks!