I pace up and down the hallway, clutching at my hair. I was fumbling around so much inside the delivery room, Audrey finally kicked me out once I knocked the cup of ice chips down her hospital gown.
“Hey Fred,” I whisper, stopping at the window by at the end of the hallway. I stare into the sky. “It’s been a while hasn’t it?” I take a deep breath. “Can you believe it? I’m going to be a father. A dad. Merlin Fred, do you think I can do it? It was terrifying enough when I married Audrey...can I be part of an actual family?” I frown, glancing down the hallway at Mum and Dad. “I was never really good at the family stuff. I was always so preoccupied. I always thought that my reputation, my job, money was more important. I guess… I figured you guys would always be there. I thought that I could be successful, and family could come later.” I’m getting a few glances now, people seem to think I’m talking to myself. I shake my head and turn back to the window. “Fred, I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry that I walked out on you guys. I should’ve been there- to support you and George with your shop, to help Ron out, to protect Ginny. I was such a horrible big brother to all of you,” my breath catches and I notice my knuckles whiten as I hold onto the ledge. “Will I be a better father than brother?”
“Mr. Weasley?” a nurse says behind me. “ Your wife is about ready. She’d like you back in the room now,” she said. I nod and she leads me back down the hallway into Audrey’s room. I pause right outside the doors.
“Wish me luck Fred,”
“Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Weasley. You have given birth to a beautiful, healthy baby girl,” the nurse says as she hands a pink bundle to me. I hold her awkwardly, as her little pink face peeks out.
“Hey honey,” I whisper, stroking her soft skin. “I’m your daddy. I promise, I’ll always be there for you. Always.” She looks at me, her newborn blue eyes wide, and I can feel tears gather in my eyes.
“Perce, sweetie… can I see our daughter?” Audrey asks me weakly. I jump, careful not to jostle her much, and gently place her into my wife’s arms. She smiles at her, her dark hair damp with sweat and shadows of exhaustion under her eyes, but I can’t help but think she looks beautiful. I shuffle closer and place my hand hesitantly on the baby’s head.
“Do we have a name?” the nurse asks. Audrey and I share a look.
“Any ideas Percy?” she asks me. I bite my lip, a bit nervous to share my thought. She recognizes my face. “You do. Let me hear it Perce,” she tries sitting up a bit. I take the child from her and help her up.
“Well, I was thinking...maybe naming her after my mother. She did so much for me after the war… after I came back. And I want our daughter to grow up into someone with that much love and generosity in her heart,” Audrey looks thoughtful for a moment. She glanced at the baby in my arms.
“I think that’s a wonderful idea. Molly it is.” she turns to the nurse. “Molly. Molly Eleanor Weasley.” The nurse nods and walks out of the room. I hand Molly back to Audrey, coming to stand next to the bed. I place a hand on Audrey’s shoulder and one on Molly’s head. I smile, looking around at my family. My family...it’s perfect. And I will protect this one with everything I have. I look up and mouth two words.
Fred Weasley looks down on his older brother. He grins at the moment.
“Well Perce, don’t go getting a big head or anything, but I think you’ll be brilliant.”
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