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The truth about Rose Weasley by What contented men desire

The truth about Rose Weasley

What contented men desire

In response to leochick's challenge here:

Chapter title attributed to Alexander Pope in his Essay on Man

Harry Potter is not mine, never has been, never will be. Need I say more?

The truth about Rose Weasley

As she sat outside the operating room, Rosemary L. Weasley had to wonder if there was some deity looking down on her who made it their business to ensure her life was difficult. First she gets called in to St Mungo's, on her anniversary of all days, because of some emergency and ends up spending the whole morning. Then she was requested to oversee treatment of someone who had managed to turn his head into a cuckoo clock; she only lasted two hours before delegating to the first healer of any seniority she saw and rushing out of the ward. And then her own mother is wheeled in, unconscious and barely breathing. Worst of all she is told she can't assist the resuscitation; something to do with conflict of interest.

And so she was sitting here, still in her pale green healer's robes, waiting for some kind of word on one of the few family members she had left. Both of her in-laws had been killed long before she was even born, before even her parents were married. Her father had passed away in the hospital just before the birth of her son. Her younger brother Hugo was trying to work his way out of debt, so she never saw him. All she had left was Hermione Jane Granger, who had reverted to her maiden name after the death of her husband.

"To be honest as this world goes is to be one man picked out of ten thousand." A weary voice called to her from down the hall. Rose looked up to see the tired form of her uncle, Harry Potter. Time had not been good to him, though there was little in the world that had. Ever since his messy divorce five years ago he had begun to look steadily worse. His eyes were ringed with dark circles, and their once vibrant green hue was dimmed. His hair was more grey than black, and his skin looked a size or two too small for his body.

Nonetheless she smiled. It was always good to see her favourite uncle, and just seeing her always seemed to brighten his expression. Today was the exception, not the rule. "Shakespeare, Hamlet I believe. But not a very apt quotation." She commented, as pleasantly as she was able.

Harry smiled slightly, but it didn't look right. "Perhaps, perhaps." He responded enigmatically. As he approached, Rose noticed that he actually looked even more tired now than the last time she had seen him. He took a seat on the bench next to her. "I wish it had never come to this." He muttered to himself. Rose still heard it, and wondered what he meant. His next words answered the unasked question. "I would like to tell you a story."

Rose smiled to herself, remembering her younger days when Harry would read to her. "Just like old times." Harry either didn't hear her or wasn't listening.

He took a deep breath, and moistened his lips. "This story begins almost thirty-five years ago, with a woman and two men. These people were as close as friends could get, almost to the point of being a single person in three bodies, and owed each other their lives several times over. But they had a problem." Harry's eyes grew cold and distant. "Each of the two men loved the woman very much, but she could only be with one. She did, and they were married, and the second man found another woman who, he thought, he loved even more." He scoffed. "It is the relationship of the first man and the woman that is the true subject of our story.

"As I said they were very much in love, and wanted nothing more in the world than a family of their own. But, no matter how hard they tried, they could not succeed. So they consulted their respective healers, who preformed many tests you would be familiar with, and discovered that the man suffered from a Robertsonian translocation. The disorder rendered him completely sterile.

"The couple were greatly saddened, but the woman was not entirely without hope. She told her husband about a muggle procedure called in vitro fertilisation. The man was hesitant, and told his wife that he would only go through with it if the donation came from someone they knew. So they sought out their old friend, who was already a father of two with a third on the way. Their friend, remembering all the times that they had helped him, was only too happy to agree. His wife, on the other hand, was apprehensive. She told him that it would be too much strain on his damaged psyche to see a child of his raised by others." Harry went completely silent, as though the story was finished. But Rose was the daughter of Hermione Granger, and would not let it go that easily.

"So? What happened to them?" she asked. She was actually quite entranced by the story, finding that it spoke to her deeply. She did not know why.

Harry took another few moments for introspection. "Everything went wrong. It was a difficult pregnancy, complications during delivery, and the woman was told that she would not be able to survive another childbirth. A few years later they adopted a red-haired, blue-eyes orphan. Her child's biological father began to experience marital strife, and divorced far too many years later. Not long after that, when the daughter had grown and married and was expecting her own child, the father that she had known was diagnosed with a terminal illness and died."

Rose had a peculiar feeling about Harry's story, but was interrupted by the sudden appearance of her husband and their daughter. Teddy was wearing his normal face today, with the light brown hair and sapphire eyes he inherited from his father. "Hello Harry." He greeted his godfather and uncle-in-law friendlily, managing an awkward handshake from beneath the sleeping toddler in his arms.

If Rose's presence had little effect on his sombre mood, the appearance of his niece had the opposite effect. His eyes shone with a fragment of their old intensity, and his face almost broke into a comfortable smile. "Hello Teddy, good to see you." He looked down at the sleeping girl, and his eyes softened a bit. "Do you mind if I…" he nodded towards her. Teddy made an accepting noise, and handed his only daughter over carefully. Harry held her like a professional, studying her innocent face like a cultured man might study a van Gogh or a Dante. Teddy took his wife by the arm and led her a short distance away.

"So what happened?" he asked, concern for his only real mother figure evident in his tone and expression. Rose found herself relating the tale of how a dark wizard Hermione had been prosecuting shot off an unidentified curse at her as he was being led away. She was just getting to Harry's peculiar story when she heard some soft, child-like giggling. She turned to see her daughter Jacquelyn wide-awake and being entertained by her great-uncle. Even that far away she could see the vibrant green eyes that seemed to be lending their luminosity to their older counterparts. Seeing that, and the brown hair that was several shades darker than Hermione's, it all suddenly clicked.

She excused herself from a very confused Teddy and approached Harry, instructing her daughter to "Run and play with Daddy." The little girl happily obliged, even when her father had to catch her to prevent her from falling. "Why didn't you tell me?" she asked Harry, tears starting to well up in her eyes.

Harry stared at the ward doors, refusing to meet her gaze. "I wanted to, believe me I did. Ginny was right after all." He chuckled at the irony. "It was torture to see you raised by Ron, knowing it wasn't my place to help." He looked down briefly, sighed, and then looked back up directly at her. "I'm sorry Rose." He told her simply.

Rose struggled internally with an issue. For as far back as she could remember she had an overwhelming urge to call her Uncle Harry 'Daddy.' In fact she had done it once, which resulted in a thoroughly embarrassed Ron and a gentle scolding from Hermione. "It's okay…Dad." She finally said it, and meant it.

Harry looked unsure. "Whatever genetics may say, Ron raised you. He's more your father than I am." He argued. She could tell, even through his protesting, that he was in actuality delighted to hear her say it.

"Grandma and Grandpa Weasley were the only parents you ever knew. Does that make Lily and James any less your mom and dad?" she asked rhetorically, knowing the answer. He held his arms out, and she embraced him. He held her tight, and his eyes were glistening when the broke apart.

"I've been waiting twenty-five years to do that." He told her with a smile, blinking back tears. Neither of them noticed a dumbfounded Teddy, or a very pleased-looking Jacqui.

A healer came out of the ward and looked around. "Mr Potter? She's asking for you." Harry nodded once, patted Rose on the shoulder, and was gone. A few moments later, during which Teddy tried unsuccessfully to find out what had just happened, Harry appeared at the door.

"Rose?" he beckoned. Teddy came with her, but Harry stopped him. "Please, Teddy. Not yet." His eyes were pleading. Teddy looked deep into them and nodded slowly, understanding that something very important was transpiring. Something that was, as of yet, none of his business.

Inside the room, Rose took the seat next to her mother. Harry stood at the foot of the bed. Hermione had never been the kind of woman to obsess over her looks, and was content to age naturally. Her chestnut hair was flecked with grey, and her skin had its share of lines. But she was still beautiful, in her own way, as she always had been. Now of course she was not looking her best, especially not with an intravenous drip protruding from her arm. Even for someone recovering from magical surgery, her face was uncharacteristically solemn. "I'm so sorry I didn't tell you sweetheart." She apologized in a weak voice. She had also never been one to avoid the point.

Rose clutched her mother's hand as tightly as she dared. It felt cold. "It's okay mum, really." She reassured the older witch.

Hermione smiled. "I remember when you called Harry 'daddy' at his thirtieth birthday party. He was so embarrassed." She was talking about Harry like he wasn't there, but he didn't seem to mind. Her face fell. "Ron and I fought for weeks." Rose remembered; she still sometimes heard the muffled shouting in her dreams.

"You know that if I had known the strain it would have put on your marriage, I wouldn't have done it." Harry assured her hurriedly, almost anxious to take the blame for himself. One of his less endearing traits, no doubt about it.

Hermione gave him a weak smile. "That's a lie and you know it." He returned the gesture, and Rose was struck with just how similar they were; how they even seemed to think alike.

"I never could lie to you." Harry muttered, never breaking eye contact. Both of them strengthened a little with the simple act. The connection was broken by a light tap on the door. Teddy stuck his head in.

"The Weasleys are here." He announced simply. Harry vanished silently, moments before the first red haired body appeared through the door.


Far too long later, when Hermione was recovered and back to work, she experienced a caller late at night at her home. She opened the door and revealed Harry, who was looking much better than when she had seen him at the hospital. "What happened to you?" she asked worriedly. She knew from first-hand experience that it was rarely good when Harry Potter isolated himself.

But despite her preconceptions, he looked extremely well. In fact, he almost looked happy. "I just needed to think, about Rose and Ginny." He responded simply. She let him in and made a pot of peppermint tea, a birthday present from him, and ironically both of their favourites.

As they sat, contentedly sipping the warm beverage, she had to ask. "What brought you all the way out here?"

Harry took another drink. He seemed to be far away. "I realised something in the hospital that day, watching Rose and Teddy actually. Together they managed something that I didn't have the balls to do thirty-five years ago." He sighed. "Twenty-six years ago I made a huge mistake. And it isn't what you think." He reassured his hostess, who looked like she was going to protest. "My mistake was allowing a young girl to grow up without her real parents." His eyes locked with hers. "I don't want to allow a little girl to grow up without at least one set of her real grandparents."

They both set down their teas and leant forward to capture each other's lips in an expression of pure passion, intimacy, and commitment. "This will change things." She stated when they broke apart. He nodded. "What can we do when everything we've ever known is gone?"

He kissed her again, pouring everything he had every felt for her in the forty-one years they had been friends into the act. When they parted once more, his eyes captured hers. They were once again the vibrant emerald they had been many years ago. "The best we can."

Ta-da. Might expand this, but I seriously doubt it. Pretty sure I got all the requirements, even if I did insinuate some of them.