A Surprising Development

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The house is quiet when Scorpius gets home. He’s a little later than usual because he stopped at the Muggle café near the Ministry to buy Rose soup. He hadn’t known that she went home early until he stopped by her office, and he’s trying not to be annoyed that she didn’t let him know. Since they both work for the Ministry, he usually goes downstairs to pick her up so they go home together, so he knows that she must really be feeling ill if she forgot to let him know. Buying the soup took enough time that he didn’t come straight home when he was still irritated.

Now, though, everything’s so quiet that he’s worried. When Rose is sick, she usually insists on lying on the sofa with books around her. She hates to admit that she doesn’t feel well enough to be productive, so the sofa is a compromise. If she’s actually in bed, then it must be worse than he expects. There’s a stomach bug going around at work, so he figures that she must have caught it. He got the soup in case she has an appetite, even if she might not feel like eating until later. He puts the bag of takeaway on the kitchen counter and casts a couple of charms to keep it warm before he walks down the corridor to their bedroom.

“Rose?” he calls out softly. If she’s sleeping, he doesn’t want to wake her. When he enters the bedroom, he’s surprised to see that the bed’s empty. The irritation comes back momentarily before it’s replaced with concern. Maybe she went to her parents’ house. No, he remembers seeing her mum still at work when he left, though her dad might be home. It’s unlikely that she’s gone to Hugo’s, either, since he’s sharing a flat with two messy blokes who never clean up, so Rose always bitches when she visits her brother.

“Scorpius? Is that you?”

He looks over towards the door to the bathroom when he hears Rose calling him. The bathroom. Why hadn’t he thought of looking there? He feels foolish for panicking, and he’s glad that she doesn’t know he was planning to search for her everywhere but their own bathroom. He shakes his head and takes off his cloak before he goes over to open the door more fully. “It’s me,” he says as he steps inside and smiles. “Should I start worrying that you were expecting someone else?”

She’s sitting on the closed lid of the toilet and doesn’t look amused by his attempt at humor. Granted, if he were sick, he’d not appreciate it, either. She’s pale and looks shaken as she stares at him. “I didn’t realize it was so late. I was going to owl you, about coming home early,” she tells him. “I got distracted.”

“It’s alright. Howard told me that you left early. I got you soup from that Muggle place you like,” he says, thinking that maybe soup will make up for him saying the wrong thing. He crosses the small room and kneels beside her. “You okay?”

“No,” she says with a faint laugh. She reaches down to touch his face. “You need to shave.”

“Yes, well, I would have this morning if my wife hadn’t accosted me in the shower and nearly made us both late,” he grumbles. “You’re still bollocks at trying to change the subject, Rose. What’s wrong? Is it that stomach thing going around? We had two people out today with it.”

“Accosted? I don’t seem to remember you putting up any protest, Scorpius. Unless ‘please’, ‘more’, and ‘right there’ have new definitions that I’ve not yet learned.” She leans down to rest her forehead against his before she sighs. “I’m very good at changing the subject, for your information. I’m just not myself right now, so I’m not able to challenge you properly.”

The fact that she’s still not answering him is a cause for concern. They’re always honest with each other. It’s a trademark of their friendship and a cornerstone of their relationship once they became more than friends. Honesty is important to him, and she knows that. He raises his hand and moves it through her auburn curls, tugging on her hair gently. “Rosie—“

“We’re too young,” she whispers before she raises her head. “We’re only twenty-three. I wanted to wait until I was twenty-eight, at least. Our parents weren’t even this young.”

“I know how old we are, but I’m not sure what that has to do with our parents.” He removes his glasses and rubs the bridge of his nose as he analyzes what she’s said and what she hasn’t said. Unfortunately, there’s not enough information yet to form a conclusion. He puts his spectacles back on and looks up at her. “You’re not making a lot of sense.”

“See? It’s only been a couple of hours, and I’m already sounding emotional and—and—like my father!” Rose shakes her head. “Bugger it all. I’m not ready, so it just can’t be true. It’s wrong. Isn’t it?”

“Your father is a good man, even if he’s, uh, a bit, um, highly strung,” he says slowly, uncertain if she’d be offended if he says that her father is temperamental and he’s not entirely sure how her mum deals with it constantly. Rose has her moments, after all, and it’s not as if he’s any prize, either. He frowns as he shifts on his knees and touches her face. “What’s wrong? Really, you’re just confusing me, and I’m not able to follow this conversation very well at all.”

“That,” she says, motioning. “Those are wrong. The potions. They’re inaccurate and old. They have to be. Right? Tell me they’re wrong, Scorpius.”

He looks at the lavatory but doesn’t recognize anything. There’s two different bottles of potions as well as what looks like Muggle items. “I can’t tell you that when I’m uncertain what they---“ He trails off as he blinks stupidly at one of the plastic Muggle sticks. That one, he recognizes from adverts on the telly when he watched football with Hugo a few months ago. Oh. Well. Bloody hell. What. Oh. “We—you’re—baby?”

“See? It’s made you stammer worse than Hugo when called upon in class, and it’s only been a few minutes. It’s changing everything already.”

She sounds near hysterical now, and he has no idea what to say or do because he’s torn between celebrating and freaking out. Obviously, she chose the latter, so perhaps it’s best if he chooses the former. Is there an in-between? Because, really, neither of them have discussed children in any way that wasn’t ‘in the future’ meaning distant not immediate, but the idea of having children is exciting because he wants several so they don’t grow up alone like he did.

They’ve been married for three years now, though, so maybe that is the next logical step. If he can manage to figure out how to say all that without making things worse, maybe she’ll calm down. He looks at her and can’t help grinning. “Baby. Our baby.” Yes, well, that certainly isn’t what he planned to say. Maybe she’s right. Maybe it is making them addle-brained already.

“Yeah,” she whispers, leaning into his palm as he cups her cheek. Her hair is falling around her face as she looks down at him. “Ours. A baby. Bloody fucking hell. Oh! What if it heard that? I can’t curse now. Neither can you. Or Dad. Mum will have to threaten him or something. I don’t want it born cursing like a Weasley. Do you think it heard? Do you think it knows I’m scared? What if it resents me for not being happy? Scorpius, our baby is going to hate me!”

“Rose. Stop it,” he says firmly. This is almost as bad as she was the night before their wedding, and he managed to get through that without her ending things or running away because it was happening sooner than she originally planned. Maybe he can do just as well now. It’s too important to fail. “Our baby doesn’t hate you. You’re just surprised. I am, too. This is—yeah, it’s a surprise.”

“Are you okay?” she asks softly. “You look shocked. More pale than usual, even.”

“I’m fine.” He shakes his head. “No, better than fine. Shocked, maybe, but happy. What about you? Do you need anything? Should I owl your mum? Or mine? God, my parents. They’re going to smother you, you realize? Their first grandchild. It’s going to be a nightmare.”

“As if mine won’t be the same?” She smiles slightly. “Right now, I need a hug. And maybe a lot of snuggling. Oh, and you mentioned soup? I’m starving. You’re going to still love me when I’m fat and cranky, you realize? If you don’t, I’ll hex you.”

He stands up and pulls her to her feet before he wraps his arms around her and buries his face in her hair. He hugs her tightly, just holding her as he tries to process everything. At her threat, he smiles. “Yes, well, you’re going to still love me when you get fat and cranky and blame me for it, you realize?”

“Why isn’t there a simpler way to have the baby?” she mutters. “Without the months of body changes and pain at the end? I’ll still love you, but I still might hex you before it’s all over.”

“I consider myself warned,” he tells her as he pulls back. He leans down and kisses her before she can make any other threats. He’s still pretty shocked about everything, but he can’t help but think this surprise is much better than some random stomach bug.