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Story Notes:
The pain is excruciating. Andromeda has never felt anything like this before, not even when she fell off a broom trying to show off for her cousin, Sirius. She’s never experienced it, but she’s occasionally thought about what a Cruciatus curse might feel like, and the worst pain she could imagine doesn’t compare to what she’s experiencing right now.

Ted is pacing and running his fingers through his hair, looking anxious and scared. He’d bloody well better be scared, she thinks. If she had access to her wand, she’d be hexing his bollocks off. The healer tells her to ‘push’ in this sickening voice that reminds her of Mother, which makes her scowl and snarl. Another wave of pain distracts her from glaring and, thankfully, removes thoughts of her former family from her mind.

Why do people willing do this to themselves? She no longer knows what she was thinking nine months ago. Actually, they weren’t thinking; at least, not with their heads. She’s the size of a small house and hasn’t seen her toes in so long that she’s forgotten what they look like.

Now, there’s all this pain and it‘s not worth it and she’s already pushing, damn it! Ted is trying to hold her hand and ignoring her growled threats of him never touching her again. He keeps breathing heavy and puffing his cheeks, which makes him look ridiculous. It’s almost cute, though, and that distracts her for a brief moment before she’s again threatening parts of his body.

By the time she lets out a low groan and pushes one last time, she’s sore, sweaty, and tired. She pants and blinks at Ted, who is smiling proudly, opening her mouth and eating a piece of ice automatically. It’s cold on her tongue and melts quickly. She swallows and looks to her left when someone taps her arm. The psychotic woman with the pushing fetish is holding a yellow blanket that is moving.

When Andromeda takes the squirming bundle from the woman, she looks down at a pink face with chubby cheeks. It’s a girl, she realizes, and, suddenly, she’s aware of the keening wail that sounds an awful lot like her recent yelling. How had she missed that? She smiles slowly as she looks at the cranky pink face of her daughter and feels Ted’s fingers gently brushing her hair back from her face.

She sighs contentedly and realizes that the pain is definitely worth it.