Disclaimer: Everything you recognize belongs to JKR-so give her a thumb’s up if you like my story!
Beautiful chapter image by PrincessPotter and beta-ing job by the team of K (aka Courtney and Kirsten)! You guys helped so much! *huggles to death*
It wasn’t that unusual for the healers at St. Mungo’s to help women give birth. It wasn’t St. Mungo’s main focus, but witches often preferred to have their children there rather than at home or a muggle hospital.
Janie Smith had only helped a few witches give birth in her stay at St. Mungo’s, but it was a small number mostly because she hadn’t been working at St. Mungo’s for that long. She was one of the newer healers, which could be both awkward and fascinating, getting to learn a whole bunch of new things, but never getting to help any of the interesting patients. It was boring getting the simple jobs-she had become a healer in the first place because she believed she was good at healing others. She knew that she was almost as good as the healers who had been there for longer, so why couldn’t they challenge her and give her more interesting jobs, at least just once? Other healers, who had only come a little before her had interesting jobs, so why not she?
Perhaps it was because she was a newcomer to London. She hadn’t gone to Hogwarts like most of them had, and people often looked down on those who hadn’t gone to Hogwarts, which was in their mind the best wizarding school out there. Never mind that hers was also good-it didn’t erase the fact that she hadn’t gone to Hogwarts.
At least today she was going to help another witch give birth. It wasn’t that interesting, but joyful all the same. It was so exciting to watch a new life come into the world.
She was surprised when she saw the very pregnant girl who turned out to be her new patient. Although she had known about the rate of teen pregnancies, she hadn’t been expecting it. After all, these were things that happened in the Muggle World and not the Wizarding World, where people could simply do a spell for protection and where teenagers were at a boarding school for most of the time and thus had less freedom than ordinary teenagers.
She stopped being judgmental when she saw the expression on the girl’s face.
It wasn’t the fact that she was gasping in pain that got her attention-she had helped aide births before-but the depth of emotion. The girl, who looked around seventeen, looked scared and nervous and alone all at once. It was a different expression from the other witches who came to give birth. They at least had their husbands at their sides, but this girl looked completely alone. She had no one else to be afraid with her, no one to squeeze her hand…just looking at the expression on her face gave Janie the willies.
It was peculiar, really. Although she was seventeen and probably hadn’t even graduated from Hogwarts or wherever she went just yet, she looked older and more mature than most girls her age. It wasn’t just that she was pregnant, but it looked as though something else had happened to her as well-the mature look on her face had to have been caused by something else, but what?
She was seventeen, but she didn’t look like a girl, yet she didn’t look like a woman either. She was somewhere in-between: a girl-woman, who had been struggling with being not quite one or the other for a long time now. It broke Janie’s heart just to look at her. She was only a few years older than the girl and couldn’t imagine being in her place.
“It’s all right. I’ll have a potion sent up to you immediately. You won’t have to be in pain for much longer now,” she reassured the girl, smiling, but was surprised by the expression on the girl’s face.
“No,” the girl gasped, as another contraction hit her, “My-my child’s going to be raised in the Muggle World, I’ll have to deal with this without-without m-magic…”
Before Janie could argue, she noticed a woman with a tight dark bun in the room. She wondered if the woman had just come, as it seemed odd that she hadn’t noticed her before.
The woman’s tone was brisk and stern and final sounding. “The child is going to be sent to a muggle orphanage. If the child’s going to truly live the life of a muggle, it’ll need to be brought into the world like one.”
“But-but-” Janie began, feeling intimidated for arguing, “just because it’s going to live in the muggle orphanage doesn’t mean it can’t know magic now…and what are you going to do when it reaches eleven, won’t it go to Hogwarts…”
She didn’t get a chance to continue. The girl’s face was white now, and although Janie still disagreed with the idea tremendously, this didn’t erase the fact that she needed to help this girl now.
As the birth continued, Janie wondered about the circumstances concerning girl. The woman and she didn’t appear to be related and Janie couldn’t help wondering about the girl’s family. Did they know she was here, giving birth? Did they even know their daughter was pregnant? What had happened to her that made her appear so much older than she looked? Who was the father? The stern woman was kind to the girl, even with her no-nonsense attitude, but Janie still couldn’t help wondering. The last thing she wanted was to be like this girl when it was her turn giving birth; she wanted her family and her husband surrounding her for support.
The girl had been oddly quiet throughout the whole birth. Although there were the usual screams and annoyances, she had definitely been the quietest out of all the women Janie had assisted. Looking at the girl’s face once again, Janie could tell that the girl’s thoughts were more on her child than the birth itself. It was almost if, in spite of the pain, she didn’t want these last moments before a new life came into the world to end.
Finally, after what seemed like a decade, it was time for the final push. The sad look on the girl’s face as she closed her eyes nearly broke Janie’s heart.
“It’s a girl,” Janie announced, looking the baby over, but the girl only nodded, barely looking at her new daughter. She had a blank, hard expression on her face. Although it looked harsh for someone who had just brought a new life into the world, Janie understood. After all, it wasn’t as though the girl would be there to watch her daughter’s first birthday, her first step, or even her first smile. For all she knew, she would never see her daughter again.
There was a silent moment as the three looked at the new life in front of them. They all had different expressions on their faces. Janie cradled the baby, softly. She wished she could choose a new fate for her to follow.
She was a small baby, considering, although Janie was pretty sure she was on-time. She looked beautiful all ready, but there was something about her size that made the situation seem even sadder than it already was. She was so small that it was helpless, a baby who was being handed over to an orphanage with no say in the matter, not even knowing her fate.
When the girl spoke, though, she was more interested in business.
“What are we going to print her records on?” she asked, avoiding looking at her daughter. “The muggle orphanage will think something’s up if we put them on the usual parchment, so isn’t there anything we can do to disguise them?”
Janie looked at the girl and woman’s desperate faces. “Well, it’s not usually done, but I’m sure we could do something about that. If you don't mind me asking again, what are you going to do if she’s accepted into Hogwarts?” She couldn’t resist bringing this subject up again. Just holding her somehow reassured her that the baby was indeed magical.
“They’ll just think she’s a muggleborn, plain and simple,” the woman spoke up, and the girl nodded. “There have been several muggleborns accepted into Hogwarts before; it will be strange, but it’s not the first time something of this sort has happened.” She narrowed her eyes. “Even-even he was at a muggle orphanage before he got accepted.”
Janie shivered at the mention of the Dark Lord. She didn’t notice the angry expression on the girl’s face.
“I want to write something,” the girl spoke up suddenly, surprising them both. “I know it’s not necessary or usually done, but I-I have to explain some things. I want them to understand why I did it; that it was the only thing that could possibly be done.”
“Parchment or mugglestock?” Janie said, but the girl merely shook her head. “I don’t care. Either. I suppose mugglestock would be better, but it doesn’t really matter. I just want it done.”
There wasn’t mugglestock in the room, so Janie put the baby down for a minute and handed a freshly-dipped quill and parchment to the girl. The baby looked even more alone than ever, and Janie couldn’t help wondering if anyone would hold her at the orphanage. Would anyone tell her that they loved her? Would the other children be nice to her, since being a witch made her so different? What if she was never adopted? Though she didn’t regret helping, this certainly was a contrast to the joyful, happy births she had witnessed before.
Janie got the records. She didn’t know why, but she thought it best that, although it wasn’t her ordinary job, she recorded them herself.
“What’s her name?” she asked, and for some reason this question made her nervous. The girl looked up from her letter and looked at the woman. They both looked at Janie.
“Liza,” murmured the girl finally, glancing at the newly-dubbed Liza as she spoke. “Liza-Liza Minerva James.”
As Janie continued to record the records, she still couldn’t help thinking about Liza. She was so innocent and naïve to what was happening to her. She didn’t know that she was about to be sent to an orphanage that she might live in for at least eleven years of her life. She didn’t know that she was a witch or even that she had been given birth to in a hospital in the Wizarding World. She hadn’t even been held by her mother, whose face was pinched in such a way that it looked like she was trying to cover up her need to cry. So she looked around her, unaware of it all, having no idea how harsh a world she had born into.
Track This Story: Feed
Write a Review
JOIN HARRY POTTER FANFICTION
Get access to every new feature the moment it comes out.Register Today!