The Baby Tale by Kezzabear



Summary: ** Winner of Best Overall in the You’re Having My Baby Challenge **



A missive from St Mungo's has the whole family in a spin!
Rating: PG-13 starstarstarstarstar
Categories: You're Having My Baby Challenge (2010-1), You're Having My Baby Challenge (2010-1)
Characters: None
Genres: None
Warnings: None
Challenges: None
Series: None
Published: 2010.02.12
Updated: 2010.02.27


Index

Chapter 1: Chapter 1
Chapter 2: Chapter 2
Chapter 3: Chapter 3
Chapter 4: Chapter 4


Chapter 1: Chapter 1

Author's Notes: I'm not going to lie - I think this is a really clichéd prompt and my first instinct was "no way". Then I was bitten by a plot bunny and my goal here is to write something with this terribly clichéd prompt that is not a cliché. I'm not sure how long it will be - at least 2 chapters but possibly 3 or 4.

I hope y'all enjoy it!


Ginny rolled her eyes and hopped off the narrow bed in the poky examination room in the back corner of the basement at St Mungo’s. She shrugged out of the examination gown and dropped it on the bed before stepping over the head of the Healer who was slumped on the floor. Her patience was completely gone and she didn’t even care that the idiotic man had keeled over in the middle of her examination. She had gone there against her will in the first place but Gwenog had been adamant at training.

“Listen, Weasley,” she said, taking Ginny’s broom out of her hands, “you’re not coming out on the pitch until you’ve been cleared.”

“But I’m not-”

“You said yourself you’ve been feeling a bit off,” Gwenog said, putting the broom away. “And I think we all know the kinds of things that go on during honeymoons.” Ginny shuddered as Gwenog laughed raucously.

“I’m not pregnant,” Ginny said, crossing her arms and scowling.

“Just do us all a favour and check,” said Gwenog as she headed for the door to the pitch. “We’ll see you tomorrow.” And with that the captain was gone and Ginny was alone, fuming in the empty change rooms.

Ginny had forcefully stripped off her uniform and thrown it into her locker grumbling the entire time before pulling on her street clothes and stomping out of the Quidditch stadium. She’d given old Jameson the caretaker a rather grumpy frown as she took a pinch of Floo powder and then whirled to St Mungo’s where she’d managed to bribe the Welcome Witch with an autographed picture of Harry to see the first available Healer.

The fact that this Healer was a pimply faced, weasel-like teenager just out of Hogwarts was a small price to pay for discretion. Ginny was pretty sure no one she actually knew had seen her in the waiting room and the examination had been fairly uneventful until the Healer had decided that he needed a drop of blood for his tests and passed out as soon as he pricked her finger.

Ginny poked her head out of the door to the poky examination room and scanned the corridor before stepping out. She figured Hermione would be able to tell her if she was pregnant in half the time and do it without drawing blood and fainting. If she was lucky, Ginny could get to Hermione, get her negative result, go and placate Gwenog and be home before dinner.

Ginny made it all the way back to the ground floor before she had to duck behind a pole to avoid Fleur. It was admirable that her sister-in-law came to visit the old people in the incurable ward, but Ginny didn’t want anyone spotting her here — certainly not a member of her rather large and nosy family. She and Harry had avoided them all since they’d returned from their six week honeymoon and Ginny had no desire to start reconnecting with her family by getting an air-kiss from Fleur in a crowded St Mungo’s waiting room. Slipping past Fleur as she headed towards the stairs, Ginny quickly left St Mungo’s and made her way to the Ministry.

As she ducked into one of the ladies’ bathrooms on the third floor, Ginny cursed the fact that she had such a large family who all worked in the stupid Ministry. She avoided her father and Percy easily as they were engrossed in a lengthy discussion about Muggle cauldron decorations when they entered the lift in which Ginny was already riding but she’d been unlucky enough to spot Ron sauntering down a hallway which had sent her flying into a nearby stairwell. She’d come out on the sixth floor and on her way to the lifts had nearly run into Harry and the last thing she wanted was to explain to her husband that she needed their sister-in-law and best friend to perform a pregnancy test. Thinking she was going into a bathroom, she found herself sliding down a chute that deposited her in a third floor patent office where George was patiently explaining his Vanishing Boots to the bored, gum-snapping woman behind the desk.

And now she was trapped in the third floor bathroom while Charlie was arguing with the man behind the reception desk to the Department for the Care and Control of Magical Creatures. Ginny wished the receptionist would give Charlie the dragon reserve paperwork so her brother could just leave. Ginny was getting desperate and about to cast a Disillusionment charm when the door swung open and Hermione practically skipped into the bathroom.

“There you are!” Ginny exclaimed.

“Ginny!” Hermione smiled. “You’ve been scarce lately! Your mother gave Ron and I the third degree on Sunday when you two didn’t show up, you know. Haven’t you been back for nearly a week now? I think your mother’s about ready to show up on your doorstep!”

“We’ll go see her later, listen-”

“It’s good to see you too after so long, Ginny,” Hermione crossed her arms over her chest and glared at Ginny pointedly.

“Sorry, sorry!” Ginny cried, flying to Hermione and engulfing her in a hug. “I just … I need you to do something for me. Do you know how to do a pregnancy test?”

“A what — are you — really?” Hermione’s eyes lit up.

“No!” Ginny scowled again. “Gwenog just wants me cleared and the stupid Healer at stupid St Mungo’s is a stupid idiot and I just — please?”

“Well,” Hermione said slowly, “I don’t actually know any spells for it — why don’t you ask your mum?”

“Are you insane?” Ginny shrieked. “Ron’s rubbing off on you, isn’t he?”

“Well, she’d know them!”

“I’m not giving her any indication I’m pregnant!”

“I thought you weren’t?”

“I’m not!” Ginny closed her eyes and took a deep breath. “But she will think I am if I ask — won’t she?” Hermione nodded reluctantly and Ginny slumped against the bathroom wall.

“Fleur?” Hermione tried tentatively. Ginny just gave her a withering look. Hermione grimaced. “Right … erm … we could try Muggle tests?” Ginny raised her head.

“Do they work?” she asked sceptically.

“Well, Muggles use them,” Hermione shrugged.

“Gwenog might buy it,” Ginny muttered pushing herself off the wall. “It’s better than nothing, right?”

“Worth a try,” Hermione said. “Let me just er, go and then we’ll go get one.” Ginny blushed and sidled outside trying to avoid Charlie as she hovered outside the bathroom waiting for Hermione.

It wasn’t long before Ginny found herself staring at an array of Muggle pregnancy tests in a poky little pharmacy on Charing Cross Road. Hermione was inspecting the packages and muttering under her breath while Ginny eyed her surroundings and hunched further into her coat.

“So I really think this one is the best,” Hermione said with finality, waving a blue box under Ginny’s nose.

“Okay, sure, let’s just get it and go before anyone sees us!”

“Please, who are you going to run into here?” Hermione rolled her eyes expressively and plucked a pink package from the shelf.

“I thought we were getting the blue one?”

“We should do both,” Hermione answered, “to be sure.” Ginny shrugged and began walking towards the counter when she stopped suddenly, cursing her luck and trying to hide behind the pantyhose display.

Her mother was standing at the counter inspecting a tube of bunion cream while Hermione’s mother gave the man behind the counter several odd looking coins and took a small paper bag from his grasp.

“Oh Merlin’s dangly toenails!” breathed Ginny.

“What?” Hermione asked, snickering.

“Mum,” Ginny hissed. “Ours!” Hermione peered over Ginny’s shoulder.

“Oh, that’s not good.”

“You think?” Ginny said, shrinking further back into the pantyhose display. The entire stand suddenly fell over and packets of flesh coloured nylon spilled across the carpet tiles, skittering into the rack of parenting pamphlets and landing on Molly Weasley’s shoe. Ginny tried to scuttle backwards and behind the magazine rack when her mother looked up and spotted her.

“Ginny!” she cried and ran towards her daughter like a Seeker chasing a Snitch. The verbal assault on Giinny’s ears was threatening to divide, conquer and take over her head when one question finally pierced her skull.

“What are you doing in the pharmacy, dear?” Ginny blinked as her mother smoothed her hair and kept talking. “Although I shouldn’t be surprised, Harry was raised by Muggles after all, I expect there are some things he still relies on. I know Hermione still uses that silly Muggle toothpaste. I really don’t know what’s wrong with a nice pot of Fletcher’s tooth powder from the apothecary, but I don’t interfere. I just came here today with Jean. We were having lunch — she knows some very quaint little places here in London and she just had to pop in to get this perspication filled. I hope Harry doesn’t need a perspication, dear — I’m sure he can get whatever he needs from the apothecary.”

Ginny shook her head mutely and looked desperately for Hermione. If the fink had gone and left her high and dry and abandoned her to the mercies of her own mother, Ginny was going to have to seriously re-think Hermione’s position as favourite sister-in-law, after all Ginny had plenty to choose from and Merlin knows Fleur had been angling for that spot for a while.

“Band-Aids!” a voice called breathlessly from behind Ginny and she turned slowly to find Hermione waving two small boxes aloft. “Can’t quite break the habit. There’s nothing quite like a band-aid for making the pain just go away and when you work with paper as much as I do, well the cuts are just murder.” Hermione trailed off lamely, the box of flesh coloured strips dangling by her side.

“Of course, dear,” Molly Weasley murmured vaguely to her future daughter-in-law before turning back to Ginny.

“Both of you, come over tonight for dinner,” she eyed Ginny grimly as if daring her to defy her. Ginny plastered a smile across her face and nodded. Satisfied, Molly Weasley bid them both goodbye and followed Hermione’s mother out of the shop.

“Did she see?” Ginny asked desperately as Hermione turned to the counter, scanning behind it for the pharmacist. He was busy, deep in the shelving that lay behind the counter.

“No,” Hermione answered, dropping the band-aids on the counter and subtly waving her wand, watching them transform back into the pregnancy tests. “Your secret’s still safe.” Ginny breathed a sigh of relief.

“Well, what do we do now?”

“We go home and you pee on it,” Hermione answered matter-of-factly. Ginny just stared at her and Hermione pulled her out of the shop and chuckled all the way home.

******************

Harry scowled at the paperwork on his desk. He’d been stuck there all afternoon and thus been completely at the mercy of anyone who decided to swing by his office. Ron he expected. Ron was his partner and had met him on his first day back from his extended honeymoon with the latest Quidditch magazine and the biggest box of pastries Harry had ever seen. But Harry had successfully avoided the rest of the family for most of the week — until today. It was like the entire Weasley clan descended on the Ministry and they all found some reason to visit Harry.

Arthur had been first. He sauntered into Harry’s office at five past nine and perched himself on the edge of Harry’s desk. Harry smiled nervously at his father-in-law and tugged his hands through his hair.

“Morning!” Arthur said cheerfully. “How’s it all … er, going?”

“Fine,” Harry said, smiling bravely and wondering why Arthur Weasley was swinging his leg back and forth carelessly.

“And Ginny? She’s fine too?”

“Um … yeah?” It came out like a question but Arthur beamed.

“Excellent, excellent!”

“Is there something I can … do for you?” Harry asked, shuffling a few pieces of parchment nervously. Arthur just smiled brightly and shook his head.

“I’ll let you get back to it,” he said cheerfully before standing up and striding to Harry’s office door. “Yes, er, have a good day!” Arthur slipped out of the room quietly and Harry shook his head.

The pile of paperwork didn’t seem to get any smaller as Harry worked and when a brisk knock sounded at his door an hour later Harry looked up gratefully. At first. Before he realised it was Percy.

“Good morning, Harry,” Percy said officiously as he strode into the room and carefully evaluated the overflowing rubbish bin, the teetering stack of Quidditch magazines on top of the filing cabinet and the wilted flowering plant in the corner.

“Mornin’,” grunted Harry as he bent over his parchment industriously, hoping Percy would get bored and leave. He forgot that Percy was a man riveted by cauldron bottom thicknesses.

“I trust your holiday was … restful?” Percy said stiffly after a few moments. Harry’s quill stilled and he looked up at his brother-in-law slowly. Percy was shuffling his feet and staring at the painting of Hogwarts that Hermione had given him when he’d started full time at the Ministry.

“My honeymoon was very enjoyable, thank you Percy,” Harry said with a grin. “But, no, I wouldn’t call it restful.” When Percy began to turn magenta, Harry ducked his head back to his desk to hide the grin spreading across his face.

“That’s … ahem … wonderful, wonderful,” Percy shuffled his feet some more.

“You can go, Perce,” Harry said without looking up. “I’ll let Mum know you’ve dropped by and passed the time of day with me and I’m still alive.” Percy scuttled out of Harry’s office faster than Ron confronted with a spider.

After lunch, Harry’s afternoon had been a series of ill-fated brotherly visits. Bill had dropped by unexpectedly, explaining that Gringotts business had brought him to see Kingsley.

“So …” Bill said, stretching out in the arm chair in the corner of Harry’s office. Harry just hummed and pretended to be working diligently on a report. Bill shifted restlessly and Harry sighed, putting down his quill.

“Just ask, Bill,” he said, leaning back in his chair.

“I just wanted to make sure you were … okay,” Bill said quietly. Harry tilted his head and raised an eyebrow.

“Sure I’m okay,” Harry said, frowning.

“Just … I’m here if you need to … um, talk,” Bill nodded and stood up, wiping his palms on his robes. Harry just stared at him. Bill cleared his throat and slipped awkwardly out the door. Harry shook his head and went back to his paperwork, actually completing an entire report before Charlie showed up.

“Hey, Potter!”

“Hi Charlie.”

There was silence as Harry methodically dipped his quill in the ink and carefully signed his name to the bottom of the report. When he looked up he found Charlie thumbing through the Quidditch magazine that had been on the edge of Harry’s desk.

“Yes, I did have a good trip, thank you,” Harry said, snickering as Charlie swore and dropped the magazine. “It was great, really … great.”

“Oh, well that’s good then,” Charlie said, flushing red. “Haven’t seen you in a while, thought I should … you know …” Harry nodded and listened to Charlie ramble about dragons for a few minutes before he hastily excused himself. Harry shook his head as he flicked his wand to close the door behind him when the door suddenly flew open again.

“Hello!” sang George flamboyantly as he flung the door open, grinning widely. “How are you, my favourite brother-in-law?”

“I’m your only brother-in-law,” Harry said pointedly, tossing his wand on his desk and giving up on the paperwork.

“Details … details my vertically challenged friend!”

“Oi!” Harry glared at George who threw himself into a chair and propped his feet on the edge of Harry’s desk. “You’re shorter than me now!” George waved a hand dismissively.

“Are you not delighted to see me and would overlook-”

“What do you want, George?”

“You wound me!” George protested, holding his hands to his chest.

“You. Want. Something.”

“You have so little faith-”

“You don’t work here, you hate coming here in case you have to talk to Percy,” Harry replied, folding his hands behind his head. “You want something.”

“So, I was in the patent office-”

“And you got here, how?”

“You interrupt too much,” George said petulantly. Harry just smirked at him. George sighed. “Fine. We all know how much you were, after you were married, looking forward to-”

“Yes,” Harry cut in impatiently. “We all know that we don’t need to rehash it.”

“Iwantoknowhowmanytimesyoudidit.”

“You want to … what?” Harry furrowed his brow trying to decipher George’s remark. “How many times I — no! That … that is none of your business!”

“Oh come on!” George whined.

“Not only did I not count,” Harry said emphatically, “that’s private!”

“Oh puh-lease!” George rolled his eyes. “You love it and you love everyone hearing it. Admit it!”

“Out!”

“Ginny loves it too,” George said. “She totally loves hearing you!”

“Sweet Merlin, have you no brain filter?”

“She says she doesn’t but really she does.”

Harry stared at George and contemplated how many ways he could dismember him and hide the body. George sat there, smirking, his feet tapping a rhythm on the edge of Harry’s desk, vibrating the piles of parchment and threatening to wobble the quill holder right off the end of it.

“George,” Harry said, “I’m going to have to ask you to leave. What we do in private is none of your business.”

“I don’t care about that,” George said. “I’m interested in the public-”

“We don’t have sex in public!” Harry roared.

“Good for you, Harry,” Ron said as he ambled through the door. He turned to George. “Did you find out yet?”

“You … you traitor!” Harry glared at Ron.

“What?” Ron asked, raising an eyebrow. “We all thought it was … endearing how you couldn’t stop calling Ginny your wife before you left.”

“Yeah, Harry!” George grinned. “Why won’t you tell me how many times you called her ‘my wife’ on your honeymoon?” Harry stared at both of them before grabbing a stack of the Quidditch magazines and throwing them at their heads.

“Or ‘Mrs Potter’,” added George, laughing as he ducked the flying magazines and Ron swore.

“What was that for?” Ron demanded, scooping one of the magazines off the floor and throwing it back at Harry. “George, if you turned this into a sex question again, so help me …”

Harry shook his head in resignation while George grinned mischievously.

“Stop asking Harry about his sex life,” Ron whined. “It’s just icky!”

“I wasn’t,” George protested. “I want to know if the whole ‘Mrs Potter’ novelty has worn off yet!”

“It hasn’t started,” Harry said, summoning the Quidditch magazines from the floor and meticulously arranging them neatly on the edge of his desk. “She’s still Ginny Weasley and she hasn’t decided whether to change it personally and not professionally or not change it at all or … whatever other options there are. Besides we only just got back, she hasn’t had time to fill in any paperwork.”

“I don’t mean officially,” George said rolling his eyes. “It was just so … cute when you kept talking about ‘my wife’ at the reception.”

“You two are girls, aren’t you?” Harry asked, standing up. “Endearing? Cute? Go, just go find your manliness and don’t come back until you do!”

“Or what?” George asked insolently.

“I’ll send my wife after you,” Harry said with a smirk.

Back to index


Chapter 2: Chapter 2

The plastic sticks sat innocuously on the edge of the sink in Hermione’s bathroom. Ginny stared at them malevolently. A sudden banging on the door startled her.

“Have you finished yet?” Hermione demanded.

“No …” Ginny answered. She heard Hermione heave a frustrated sigh. Ginny stared at the pregnancy tests some more.

“Just do it!” Hermione called. Ginny pulled a face at the bathroom door before delicately picking up one of the sticks. She fumbled with it and the little cup from the pink packet and wrinkled her nose as she followed the instructions on the little fold out pamphlet that Hermione had spellotaped to the wall. Giving the stupid plastic sticks one last resentful glance, Ginny washed her hands, set the timer and left the bathroom.

“That was the most humiliating thing I’ve ever done!” Ginny complained.

“Well it’ll be a lot more embarrassing having the actual baby,” Hermione said, not looking up from the dusty ledger she was scanning on the coffee table.

“But I’m not having a baby,” Ginny replied pointedly, flopping into one of the armchairs. Hermione just hummed and kept scanning. Ginny frowned. “You don’t believe me, do you?”

“Well …” Hermione finally looked up from the ledger, her finger marking the place she was up to. “You could be, you know …”

“Yes, but I’m not,” Ginny said, rolling her eyes. Hermione just shook her head and went back to the ledger.

“You set the timer?”

“Yes.”

There was silence until Hermione’s egg timer buzzed throughout the tiny flat. Ginny stared at the bathroom door and Hermione stared at Ginny. Both women sat unmoving in the living area.

“Go look,” Hermione said, jerking her head towards the bathroom door.

“What if I am pregnant?”

“Then you’ll have a baby,” Hermione said with a smirk.

“But I don’t want to have a baby!” Ginny said. “I’m only twenty!”

“Biologically speaking you’re perfectly capable of having a baby,” Hermione said, sitting up straighter. “You have been since you were what — thirteen? Plus you just got married and no doubt engaged in a lot of sexual intercourse. So the fact remains — you could be. After all when a male gamete, excreted during the act of sexual stimulation meets a female gamete-”

“You sound like a text book,” Ginny grumbled, getting out of the chair and flouncing her way to the bathroom. She didn’t miss Hermione’s satisfied grin. “Don’t think I don’t know what you just did! You should marry Percy instead of Ron. Then you could bore the pants off each other and stop being a menace to the rest of us!”

“Just check the tests,” Hermione said. “Then we know if we need to build an expansion charm into your bridesmaid dress.”

“Build?” Ginny giggled, turning as she got to the bathroom.

“Well, I don’t know!” Hermione said in exasperation. “Just check the stupid tests!” Ginny chuckled as she went into the bathroom. Taking a deep breath she peered at the tests.

Nothing.

Ginny picked them up and peered closer. One line. For some reason this pulled at her heart. She felt … let down. Ginny slumped down on the closed toilet seat and stared at the offending test sticks.

“Ginny?” Hermione called. Ginny didn’t answer her. Why could she feel this empty spot in her chest? She didn’t want a baby anyway so this was a good thing. Despite that, a tear slowly made its way down her cheek just as Hermione appeared in the doorway. Hermione called her name again, softly this time. Ginny turned to Hermione.

“Negative,” she said.

“Why are you crying?”

“I guess I’m … disappointed,” Ginny replied. She stood up abruptly and hastily gathered the test paraphernalia, tearing the spellotaped instructions off the wall and thrusting it all into the rubbish bin under the sink.

“But I thought you didn’t want to be pregnant,” Hermione said.

“So did I,” Ginny said.

“But you do, don’t you?” asked Hermione quietly.

“I think maybe it would have been nice,” Ginny said. “I still don’t know if I’m really ready for a baby but … Harry’s baby …”

“Yeah …” Hermione trailed off dreamily.

“I mean this is Harry,” Ginny said. “And even if I’m only twenty and even if I haven’t finished what I want to achieve with Quidditch yet … I wouldn’t ever pass that up — you know?”

“You’d have to quit the Harpies,” Hermione said.

“Not right away,” Ginny shrugged. “There are safety spells. Gertrude Wattlemeyer was playing under one for the last three months of the last season. She’s due any second but she’s planning to return in a couple months. But I want to have more than one and it’d be hard to stop and start. I don’t know …”

“What does Harry think?”

“He hasn’t said much,” Ginny replied. “I mean we talked about it but …”

“I want to wait,” Hermione said, “before we have children I mean.”

“Well, you would,” Ginny rolled her eyes. “You need Ron to grow up first.” She sighed and headed for the bathroom door.

“Maybe two years,” continued Hermione as if Ginny hadn’t spoken, “probably three. I think I’d like to establish myself in the Magical Law department before then. I’m working on something for Kingsley right now and I’ll probably transfer out soon.” Ginny tuned out Hermione’s complicated planning and sat down on the couch.

She knew she wanted children and Harry definitely did but they hadn’t decided when because neither of them knew when they’d be ready. Ginny had thought she wasn’t but the ache in her chest told her she might be. She needed to talk to Harry, but it would have to wait. She had to tell Gwenog she wasn’t pregnant and then go to The Burrow for tea. She should probably tell Harry they had been summoned by her mother. She’d need to borrow Hermione’s owl. How did this day get so complicated?

“I mean it’s such a wonderful thing,” Hermione was saying when Ginny started paying attention to her. “Isn’t it such a lovely way to show someone how much you love them?” She had a particularly dreamy look in her eyes that made Ginny want to reach into her own oesophagus and pull out her own vomit voluntarily.

“No,” Ginny said bluntly. “You have a baby for both of you and you show the love by doing everyday things. If you have a baby for someone else that’s not showing love. It’s more like servitude. It should be a mutual decision and shared, not a one sided piece of candy floss!”

“Okay, calm down,” Hermione said, holding up a hand. “I think you’re overreacting, here.”

“Sorry,” Ginny shrugged. “I just … Harry would lay down his life for us — you know?” Hermione leaned forward earnestly.

“Exactly!” she cried. “That’s like having a baby!”

“Hermione!” Ginny laughed. “Having a baby is not like dying!”

“It might as well be,” Hermione said. “You have to give up your life!” Ginny just looked at Hermione.

“Can I borrow Pig, please?” Ginny attempted to change the subject.

“Sure, sure,” Hermione said distractedly. “I mean think about it — being willing to do that and give up your whole life for this person — how is that not love.” Pigwidgeon fluttered into the room and began flapping around Ginny’s head. It made it very difficult to think.

“Hermione,” Ginny said firmly. “Having a baby is not giving up your life. It’s not a one sided way to please the man in your life or a way to show you love him. He should already know that by the time you decide to get pregnant.”

“I know that,” Hermione rolled her eyes. “But isn’t it just a little bit romantic?”

“Maybe,” Ginny allowed, smiling. “But think about it we have to put up with all that morning sickness and … and …”

“Swollen ankles.”

“Fat tummy.”

“Cravings.”

“Oh, Parvati had the worst cravings — who wants to eat pickled eels with strawberries?”

“I still can’t believe she got pregnant,” Ginny grimaced. “How could anyone let Michael Corner touch them like that!” She shuddered.

“My mum reckons it was dirt with me,” Hermione mused. “Craved it I mean.”

“Mum said she craved pumpkin juice with me,” Ginny added. “I hope my cravings are as innocuous as that. Can you imagine me sending Harry out for pickled eggs and raspberry jelly or something?” Ginny hastily scrawled a message about dinner at The Burrow as she spoke before giving it to Pigwidgeon.

“Harry will do that for you, you know,” Hermione said. “He is totally going to Apparate to France for pregnancy induced chocolate clairs at three o’clock in the morning for you.” Ginny giggled.

“Harry would do what and why?” Ron’s pale face darted from Ginny to Hermione as he stood in the entry way to the flat. He levelled a glare at his sister. “What did you do?”

*************

Harry frowned at the last report on his desk as he signed and rolled it, tying it with a grubby piece of string he found at the back of his top drawer behind all the broken quills and an empty ink bottle. It had been a long week and Harry couldn’t wait to get home to a nice hot dinner and a cuddle with his wife. It looked like he could even go home early for a change. Unless he was inexplicably accosted by another Weasley. Harry hastened to pack up his desk and gather his things but was thwarted as Pig came fluttering through the door.

“How’d you get through the Ministry, you hyperactive little fluffball?” Harry muttered as he tried to make Pig settle down and give up the parchment he was carrying. He finally managed to snatch Pig out of the air and wrestle the parchment from him when a pink memo aeroplane shot through the door, a wax sealed scroll balanced on the top. The paper plane slid to a graceful stop on his desk and the scroll rolled off onto the blotter. Harry convinced Pig to sit still on the edge of the desk while he unrolled the scroll from Ginny.

He didn’t know whether to smile or groan at the prospect of tea with Molly and Arthur. He loved Molly’s cooking but he still sort of felt awkward that he and Ginny were now living together and had obviously … you know. Which really was ridiculous because George had never let up ribbing him about his ‘private’ life. Sighing, Harry reached for the scroll. It was heavy and had an official looking seal on it. He figured if he left his office before opening it he could pretend he never got it until Monday and deal with it then. That would leave his weekend gloriously free to spend in bed with his wife.

George was right. He did love saying that.

Harry tucked the scroll into his pocket and enticed Pig onto his shoulder. Locking his office door behind him he made his way down to the Ministry entrance and out into London. Once on the footpath Harry debated for a moment before he turned towards The Leaky Cauldron. He hadn’t had a pint with Neville since before the wedding and it wasn’t time for tea yet. Pig fluttered once around his head before taking off and Harry wondered briefly why Ginny was at Hermione and Ron’s instead of training. He’d have to remember to ask her, Harry thought as he pushed his way through the doors of The Leaky Cauldron.

Spotting Neville at the end of the bar, leaning casually against it and talking to Hannah, Harry lowered his head and shuffled along the edge of the wall to the bar. It wasn’t long before the two of them were nursing a drink and Neville filled Harry in on the goings on at Hogwarts while Harry told Neville about his honeymoon.

Unlike some people, Neville was interested in hearing about European landmarks and art galleries.

“Gerald really has made a fabulous Head Boy,” Neville said. “He’s complete pants at Herbology though and Hagrid thought he’d set fire to something during Care of Magical Creatures the other day.”

“Did Hagrid have the skrewts out again?”

“No, bowtruckles.”

“Why does he take that subject?” Harry wondered. “He seems more studious than that.”

“He is,” Neville said as he drained his goblet. “He’s also taking Ancient Runes, Divination and Arithmancy.”

“Completely mental,” Harry commented. “Worse than Hermione.”

“So, up to anything exciting tonight Mr Old Married Man?” Neville asked.

“Tea at The Burrow?” It sounded like a question. Neville snorted and Harry cuffed him on the back of the head. They had another drink and discussed Gilbert Chumley’s growing infatuation with a pimply-faced Ravenclaw who reminded Neville of Eloise Midgeon before Harry had to leave.

“I’ll have to catch up with Gilbert at Christmas,” Harry said as he rose to leave. “He’s turning into quite the ladies’ man, that one!” He bid farewell to Neville and Hannah and edged his way out of the pub to Diagon Alley before Apparating to The Burrow. Harry knocked tentatively on the back door before it flew open and Molly Weasley stared at him disapprovingly.

“What on earth are you doing, young man?”

“Erm … knocking?”

“You’re family,” Molly said. “You don’t have to knock.” And she handed him a potato peeler and pointed him towards a pile of potatoes at the kitchen table. He was still peeling potatoes when Ginny stomped through the back door.

“That overgrown buffoon!” Ginny huffed, throwing her cloak over a chair and slamming the door. “He’s going to wish he’d never said that.”

“What’s Ron done now?” Harry asked with a sigh. Their idyllic, isolated world of the last two months was well and truly over.

“He’s … just an idiot,” Ginny muttered, leaning over to give Harry a kiss on the cheek. “I need to go for a fly. You wanna come?”

“Haven’t you done enough flying at training?”

“Gwenog grounded me!” Ginny said, throwing up her hands. “Sent me to St Mungos for tests because I felt a bit off.”

“Are you all right,” Harry threw the potato peeler on the table and pulled Ginny onto his lap, searching her face.

“Yes, I’m fine,” Ginny replied impatiently. “I mean, I told her that! I’m just a little tired.”

“I’m sure you are,” Molly murmured from the stove with a smirk.

“Mum!” Ginny gasped. Her mother’s shoulders shook with laughter and Ginny stood up. “I’m going to fly before tea. I shall come back when everyone can behave themselves!”

“I’ll see you when hell freezes over then,” Harry said, giving her a kiss and pushing her towards the door. He picked up the potato peeler again. She’d be in a much better mood if she had some space right now. Harry finished peeling the potatoes and Molly sent him out to fetch Arthur in to carve the meat. Remembering the scroll in his pocket, Harry pulled it out as he ambled over to the shed.

He didn’t bother looking at the seal; he broke it and unrolled the scroll scanning the contents. It was written in untidy scrawl and the parchment was splattered with what looked like butterbeer. A Smudge in the top left hand corner didn’t hide the word ‘-easly’. Harry scanned the rest of the parchment and stopped dead in his tracks.

’- pleasure to confirm the results of your tests; positive for pregnancy. Congratulations, and please see the Midwifery department as soon as practical.’

Harry read the partial missive twice, cursing the butterbeer stains that obscured the top left and had smudged the stamp of the Healer at the bottom.

Ginny was … pregnant?

This was wonderful.

Terrible.

Bad. Very bad.

Fantastic.

Harry’s emotions changed faster than a Snitch changed direction. They settled somewhere in the elated vicinity and Harry wondered if Ginny would think it was wonderful or very, very bad. Harry looked up and saw Ginny swooping across the orchard, just beyond the shed. He suddenly had to see her and raced towards the orchard, calling out to Arthur as he raced past the shed.

Ginny did another loop around a pear tree and a double roll between two apples trees and Harry’s heart caught in his throat. He hoped once she knew she’d think a little more about what she was doing. She looked so happy, her face was glowing and she whooped as she swung down to skim the ground and pulled to a stop at Harry’s feet.

“Hi!” Ginny chirped. “Sorry I was a grump before. Ron was being an idiot. Don’t listen to anything he says, he’s just … an idiot.” Harry just grinned at her before pulling her off the broom and into his arms and kissing her soundly. He was interrupted by Molly calling them in for tea.

“Damn,” Harry said, dropping his forehead to Ginny’s and closing his eyes.

“Oh I’m starved,” Ginny said. “Let’s go!” Her eyes twinkled up at him and she tugged on his hand, leading him back to the Burrow.

Harry could see he wasn’t going to be able to say anything before tea. It would have to wait. He could show her the scroll at home. Until then he would be happy just knowing that his Ginny was having a baby.

His baby.

Their baby.

Back to index


Chapter 3: Chapter 3

Author's Notes: So I just wanted to point out that although I don't own Harry or Ginny or the song involved in this songfic, I do own the plot and the opinion that this is about the worst song ever written.

To this point in the fic I have used the lines of the song to frame the story and used one of the bonus phrases. I have also fulfilled all of the challenge story requirements. Ginny didn't get her results form St Mungo's, harry got them instead and planned a surprise for her and they talked about planning a nursery and announcing the happy news. Ginny has also experienced all those early symptoms ie. I have included exhaustion, vomiting as really those are the two she can share with Harry. It's not in a pregnant woman's nature to share her frequent urination with her husband.

there will be one more chapter to tie up the loose ends and maybe squeeze in a couple of the bonus phrases.


The world pitched and rolled as Ginny slithered off the couch and made it as far as the pot plant in the corner before throwing up. She wiped her mouth with the back of her hand and slumped against the wall before summoning a glass of water. Gulping it down she recommenced cursing Harry who had actually given her a packet of crackers before tucking her up on the couch and going out.

Crackers. Who gives crackers to someone who’s been poisoned by the cafeteria at Holyhead?

And then leaves?

His whole attitude had been ridiculous lately. It started last night. She’d felt increasingly woozy and exhausted as the night wore on and left most of the talking to Harry who kept grinning and trying to adjust the cushion behind her head. He kept up a running commentary on some of the photographs Ginny had brought to show her parents as they oohed and ahhed over a series of landscapes and ancient European buildings. Her dad had been particularly fascinated by the photographs Ginny had included of their Muggle hotel rooms and Harry had tried to explain television, the bedside lamps and the hair dryer on the wall in the bathroom.

Ginny hadn’t argued when Harry insisted on taking her home because she was nodding off. The first thing Harry had done when they’d arrived home was to push her towards the stairs.

“I’ll run you a warm bath,” he said.

“Mmmm,” Ginny hummed and turned to smile at her husband. “You’re pretty special, Potter.” Harry just smiled at her and dropped a soft kiss on her forehead.

“Well, you’re my wife,” Harry said simply. “The woman I love.”

“George is right,” Ginny said with a smirk. “He said at the wedding ‘If I had a Knut for every time he’s called you his wife, I’d be a rich, rich man!’ I never noticed it before.”

“Your face lights up when I call you that,” Harry replied quietly. “I love that.”

“Maybe marriage just agrees with me,” Ginny said starting up the stairs and throwing a smirk over her shoulder.

“Maybe it does,” Harry smiled. “You definitely look different. I love what it does to you - watch where you’re going!” Ginny just rolled her eyes.

“I can walk up a set of stairs, Harry,” she said with a laugh.

“Maybe I should levitate you,” Harry muttered.

“Don’t be ridiculous, Harry,” Ginny said as she continued up the stairs. “I feel a bit off colour but I don’t need levitating!”

“But you’re having maaaaa ah um a rough spot,” Harry said. He sprinted up the few steps between them and attempted to scoop Ginny up in his arms. She laughed and hit his arm.

“I might be in love with you, Potter,” she said, wriggling out of his grasp, “but you have to know I won’t let you do that. I’m fine. I just need a good night’s sleep.”

Ginny threw him a grin and winked before slipping into the bathroom. Despite all her intentions to the contrary Ginny had curled up in bed and fallen asleep within minutes of crawling under the covers and then woken up several hours later vomiting all over the carpet. She felt like a truck had run over her and had been utterly mortified when Harry had to clean her up and scrub the floor. He just told her he loved her for it and tucked her on the couch with crackers before telling her he had a few things to take care of and he’d be back soon. One minute he was the doting husband to the point of being so overbearing she wanted to punch him and the next he was abandoning her.

Ginny eyed the room and decided it had stopped spinning long enough for her to get off the floor and go back to the couch. Harry had been gone for about two hours now and she hoped he’d be back soon because this stupid food poisoning was going through her like Ron went through food.

Thinking of food was a very bad idea.

Ginny crawled over to the Floo and tossed a pinch of powder in to call Hermione, hoping to speak before she threw up again. Her head spun dangerously in the grate and Ginny swallowed heavily to prevent losing the contents of her stomach on Ron’s shoes.

“You look like you’re hungover,” Ron said, dropping to his knees.

“I wasn’t drinking,” Ginny moaned. “I think the burritos at Holyhead were off.”

“Well at least you’re not pregnant,” Ron said with a smirk. Ginny fought the urge to flip him the bird.

“If I was at least all this would have meaning,” she groaned. “Listen do you guys have anything to settle a stomach?”

“Fine, I’ll send Hermione over,” Ron rolled his eyes. “No doubt she can brew up something. Where’s Harry anyway?”

“Git went out,” grumbled Ginny.

“Idiot,” muttered Ron.

“Well, he probably thought I’d just be sleeping …”

“Yeah, yeah, he better have a good reason is all I’m saying!” Ron waved Ginny back through the Floo and hollered for Hermione.

It was much later, after Hermione had given her a foul smelling concoction and Ginny had fallen asleep, that Harry came home. Ginny woke to hear Hermione whispering with Harry in the hallway. She felt a lot better and stretched languidly on the couch.

“Harry?” she called, not wanting to get up. Her husband appeared, lightning fast, in the doorway. His hair was ruffled and his eyes were bright with excitement.

“Are you feeling better?” he asked. “You look a bit brighter.” His eyes travelled the length of her and Ginny wondered how awful she looked. Her hair was probably a chaotic mess around her head with clumps of it sticking to her cheek and her shirt was rumpled — she could see it hitched up over her waist, a vast expanse of freckled skin on display. When she looked up at Harry he was staring at her and her exposed, freckled stomach. It was the same look he had in his eyes just before he would kiss her senseless and make love to her slowly and gently.

Ginny suddenly really wanted Hermione to leave and she shifted restlessly and smiled seductively as Harry’s gaze travelled up to her face.

“Oh yeah,” he said softly, his eyes betraying how much he wanted her, “me too.”

Hermione could definitely not leave fast enough.

****************

His plan was all set. The afternoon would be perfect and Neville could keep a secret — unlike other gits he knew. As long as they were at The Burrow before George for Sunday tea tomorrow, all should still be well. Harry counted himself lucky that he’d managed to buy George’s silence for that long. But it wouldn’t do at all if Molly found out Ginny was pregnant before Ginny did. Harry smiled and patted his pocket with the precious scroll in it as he pulled his clothes on.

Ginny was certainly feeling better and once they’d gotten rid of Hermione she certainly showed him how much better. Harry didn’t know how he managed to avoid blurting out the wonderful news during his unguarded moments. He didn’t know if Ginny had noticed his increased attention to her stomach as they made love earlier. He couldn’t help dwelling on that spot, caressing and kissing her there reverently, willing it to grow. He couldn’t wait to see her tummy swollen with their child and feel the baby kick against his hand. It still amazed him that she carried inside her something so precious. He hoped Ginny would be as elated as he was to know that she was carrying his baby.

Their baby.

“We have to be at Mum and Dad’s tomorrow,” Ginny called from the bathroom as she shut the water off. Harry hummed an answer at her and checked that he had everything he needed for the evening. Grabbing a blanket from the hall cupboard he headed downstairs and into the kitchen to finish gathering the picnic items. Ginny bounced down the stairs moments after he’d finished and Harry grabbed his broomstick from the corner.

“Ready?” he asked, trying to prevent a grin stretching across his face.

“Where are we going, Harry?” Ginny asked. “You’re like a little boy with a pocket full of sweets.”

“It’s a surprise! Come on!” Harry motioned Ginny out of the door and hung the picnic basket from the tail of the broom. He double checked the cushioning charm on the broomstick and threw the blanket over it for good measure before swinging one leg over and catching Ginny around her waist. One hand splayed across her stomach he pulled her into his lap so she was riding sideways across the broom.

“Harry!” Ginny laughed, trying to wriggle around so she was astride the broom. Harry stilled her with a shake of his head and gentle pressure to her hip.

“No, stay like that,” he whispered, nuzzling her neck. Ginny wound her arms around his neck and laid her head on his shoulder as Harry began a wobbly ascent across the backyard. He soon had their flight smooth has he hovered close to the trees, skimming the countryside to their destination. He was again grateful for the choice they had made to live in the wizarding area of Godric’s Hollow. There was so many Confundus Charms and Muggle repelling charms he and Ginny could fly for about five miles before they needed to worry. They had found the little stream the second time they visited the township, looking for a property near Harry’s babyhood home. It ran through a secluded copse on the very edge of the township and was bordered by gorse bushes and several large evergreens. The chances of being disturbed were very, very slim. The underbrush was so thick you’d have to fly in unless you were sailing the stream and it was hardly big enough for that. It was the perfect place to celebrate their wonderful news.

Harry swung between the evergreens and skimmed the gorse before swooping into the clearing. The stream bubbled nearby and the flowers from Neville’s greenhouses made it look extra special in the shaded corners where fairy lights illuminated the secluded area. The sun was almost ready to set and Harry cast a warming charm as he brought the broomstick down.

“Oh, Harry,” Ginny sighed as they touched to the ground gently. “It’s beautiful.”

“So are you,” Harry said. Ginny rolled her eyes at him as she hopped off his lap and skipped over to the stream. She shed her shoes and socks and dipped one toe into the frigid water, laughing as she shivered.

“You’re very soppy today,” she said as she splashed a little more, startling the fish darting in and out of the rocks. Harry smiled and came up behind her, sliding both arms around her waist.

“I’m just so in love with you, Ginny,” he said sincerely. “And you’re just … you’re looking so wonderful right now.”

“I think I look a little pale actually,” Ginny frowned, peering into the stream as if the bubbling, rippling water would provide a reflection. “But that’s probably because I’ve been feeling a little off. I’ll feel better soon enough.” Harry nodded and tugged on her hand.

“I brought us a picnic,” he said shyly as he urged Ginny to sit on the blanket he’d spread on the ground while she had been splashing in the water.

“Oh fantastic!” Ginny said, sinking to the ground and peering into the basket. “I’m famished.” They pulled the food from the basket. The leftover treacle tart Molly had sent home with them last night, sandwiches from the pub in Godric’s Hollow, laden with beef and dripping with mustard, two bottles of butterbeer and a tub of Fortescue’s wrapped in layers of freezing charms. They fell on the food, devouring it, feeding it to one another and stealing kisses as they ate. Ginny startled Harry when she suddenly looked up at him and asked if he wanted to name their first son James.

“I — what?” Harry croaked out.

“Don’t panic, Harry,” Ginny laughed. “I just wondered.”

“Well, I’d like that,” Harry said, spearing another bite of treacle tart and looking up at her through his eyelashes. “Do you think we’ll have a son first?”

“Well, probably,” Ginny twirled her fork and stared unseeing into the darkness that had begun to shroud them. “I’m a Weasley, although after Victoire …”

“I don’t mind,” Harry said, putting his treacle tart down and scooting over to his wife. “Boy or girl, I just can’t wait to see you growing with our child — a little bellybean inside there.” He caressed her stomach gently.

“Mum will be so excited,” Ginny said. “She’s going to have to wait but she’s going to be excited.” She laughed merrily and Harry opened his mouth to make his announcement but Ginny kept talking. “I mean I think we should wait to announce it to everyone, you know? I remember when Maude Wilson lost her baby everyone said it was because she announced it too soon. I’m not sure if I believe in all the old wives tales though. Mum always said she never made a nursery before we were born. It’s bad luck.”

“Where did you sleep then?” Harry asked, still caressing Ginny’s stomach, his hand sneaking under her jumper to the warm flesh below as he laid his head in her lap.

“Oh we were in with Mum and Dad for a few weeks in the cradle,” Ginny said, running a hand through Harry’s hair. “I’d like to do that. I don’t think I could bear to part with them straightaway. Plus, then you don’t have to worry about a colour for the nursery. Because you can paint it after they arrive.” She smiled down at Harry, her eyes sparkling and as she described the sky blue room she envisioned for their son with clouds painted on the ceiling and a teddy bear motif, or a Quidditch theme or maybe a jungle motif, Harry wondered if Ginny already knew she was expecting his baby. Their baby. Women had that sort of voodoo sixth sense didn’t they?

“Do you have to … quit,” Harry asked when Ginny’s monologue on soft lighting and linens tapered off.

“I don’t want to have any until I’m ready to stop playing,” Ginny said. “I don’t think that’ll be for at least a year, maybe two. There’s still so much for me to do in the game.” Harry listened with a sinking heart as Ginny explained her ideals. So much for voodoo sixth sense and women’s intuition or whatever Arthur called it. Harry stroked Ginny’s tummy gently as she gestured wildly.

“I mean Gertrude makes it work,” she was saying. “I don’t think I want to, you know? I can’t imagine trying to care for a baby and get back into shape ready to play.”

“But what if it were … unexpected?” Harry asked, holding his breath. Ginny’s hand stilled. Harry watched as she stared off into the distance.

“I would never, ever regret having your baby,” Ginny said. She looked down and smiled softly, cupping his cheek.

“Our baby,” whispered Harry as she bent her head to kiss him softly on the lips.

A resounding crash echoed through the little clearing as Harry slid his hand around the back of Ginny’s neck to hold her closer. They both jumped and Harry had his wand out within seconds, pushing Ginny behind him as he brandished his wand in the direction of the crash. A series of colourful swear words rang out and a dishevelled red head, covered in twigs and bits of grass tumbled out into the clearing, yelping.

“Ow, sweet Merlin and for the love of all that is — sweet cauldron bottoms, OUCH!”

“George?” Harry asked, stepping forward to nudge the man with his foot. A freckled face suddenly turned to look at him and beamed.

“Harry!” George said. “Good to see you!”

“Well,” Harry said, folding his arms across his chest. “I am not at all happy to see you.”

George just smiled serenely and Harry wondered if he should just hex him now or wait for him to explain himself.

“George!” Ginny said, pushing past Harry and standing in front of her brother, hands on her hips. “Did you know we were going to be here?” George nodded brightly.

“And yet you came anyway …” Harry muttered with a scowl.

“Well it’s not like I knew you’d be here exactly,” George said flopping down onto the blanket and peering into the picnic basket. “It took some doing to find you but I know some handy dandy tracking spells!” He tapped side the side of his head as he rummaged in the basket and pulled out the last sandwich.

“If you knew we’d be here, why did you come?” Ginny asked.

“Well,” George said around a mouthful of sandwich, “I was going to help, but since I fell out of the tree and now you know I’m here I figured I may as well see if you had any food because I’m starving.”

“And just how were you planning to help me?” Harry asked through gritted teeth.

“I brought music!” George said cheerfully.

“Where?” Ginny looked at him sceptically. George fumbled in his pockets for a moment before pulling out a small device about the size of his palm. It looked like the kind of thing Dudley would get three of for his birthday and another for Christmas.

“Here!” George said waving the thing around.

“There’s music on that?” Ginny asked, eyebrow raised. George nodded and fiddled with it for a moment. Nothing happened. George turned the device over and frowned.

“It was working before,” he complained. “Seamus gave it to me. He said his dad, who’s an it-man, got it for him at some fair thingy. It’s supposed to play music.”

“An it-man?” Harry asked as George fiddled with the buttons some more.

“Yeah, you know — eye then tee — it!”

“Oh, an IT man,” Harry said rolling his eyes and plucking the device from George’s hand. “Information Technology — computers and things. Dudley was telling me all about it at the wedding. He was all excited about some fruit thingy that was coming out.” Harry examined the item in his hands. “There’s no speaker on this, George.”

“Oh!” George’s face lit up. “I forgot to put the noisemaker thing on it!” He fished something else out of his pocket. It looked like a ball of string with boxes on the end. Ginny sighed heavily and began packing up the picnic as George and Harry bent over the device.

Suddenly a cacophony of noise swept through the small copse and Harry winced and leaned away from the device still in his hands.

“Hey, we got it hooked up!” George shouted. Harry just nodded and grimaced, trying to find the volume switch.

“What is this song?” Ginny said when Harry had lowered the volume to a bearable level. George shrugged.

“Seamus told me we needed to put music on it,” he said. “So we went and raided Dad’s shed for Muggle music.” The three of them sat there for a while listening to the tinny sounds of the music pouring form the small speakers sitting on the blanket.

“It sounds like the stuff Aunt Petunia used to listen to,” Harry murmured. “She called it seventies classic or something.”

“Yeah, that’s it!” George said excitedly, pressing some more of the buttons. “The record we picked had a big number one on it and it said nineteen-seventies in the corner. This stuff is as old as I am!” He looked pleased with himself as the music changed. A song began to croon out of the speakers in mid-verse.

“This is a bit dreary,” George said, reaching for the device.

“No, wait!” Ginny put out a hand to stop him. Her face was contorted as she tilted her head and listened to the song. Harry listened with growing horror as he realised what the crooner was singing. He reached to switch it off but Ginny snatched the tiny device from his fingers.

“Really, we don’t need to listen to this,” Harry said. “It’s probably one of the worst songs ever written.”

“Don’t you think it’s funny though?” Ginny asked. “We were just talking about this!” Ginny peered at the device and moved one of the sliders on the edge and giggled. The tinny sound of the speakers blared as she turned the volume up.

Having my baby screeched out of the speakers and Harry yanked the cords out of the sockets.

“You were talking about that, were you?” George said, he leered at Harry suggestively.

“Yeah,” Ginny frowned at Harry before she turned and thrust the speakers back to George. “We were just talking about what it would be like.” Harry made a slashing motion across his throat as George grinned and raised an eyebrow at Harry.

“Yes, one day, in the future,” Harry said, glaring at George hoping he got the message to keep his mouth shut. “You know the kind of conversation married people have with each other about their future.”

“Yeah, well me and Angie never had that one,” George said with a chuckle.

“Did Angelina use Muggle tests?” Ginny asked suddenly. Harry thought it was an odd question but then, women often asked odd questions. He was just trying to figure out how to get rid of George.

“For Freddie?” asked George, pocketing the music device and the speakers. Ginny nodded. George thought for a moment. “She might have done both. She had this strip of parchment and some little stick things with lines on them. I didn’t ask what they were — she told me it meant she was pregnant and then the world sort of crashed down on my head.” George shrugged apologetically.

“Yeah the sticks were the Muggle ones,” Ginny said.

“How do you know that?” Harry asked. He stared at Ginny and she shrugged.

“I did some yesterday at Hermione’s,” she replied, standing up and tugging on the edge of the blanket. Harry scooted off the edge numbly. Her mouth was still moving and Harry struggled to make sense of her words. “-but I mean Gwenog reckoned she wasn’t clearing me until the rest of my tests came back which is really annoying because now I’ll have to go back to St Mungo’s and find the idiot and get the entire results and that’s another wasted day of training. Harry are you listening to me?” Harry just stared at her, trying to figure out which part he’d missed.

“Well, I can see you two have a lot to talk about,” George said. “I’ll just leave you to it, see you at Mum’s tomorrow!” He Apparated away and Harry stared at the spot where he’d been wondering if he should just Apparate them home because he was feeling a bit out of sorts and not sure he could fly straight.

“Harry!” Ginny was waving a hand in front of his face. Harry focused on her with great difficulty. She smiled when his eyes finally locked with hers. “You can stop panicking, silly. They were negative — I guess it just got me thinking, you know? I suddenly want to plan nurseries and stuff.” She shrugged.

“Negative?”

“Yeah … you sound disappointed,” Ginny put a hand on his arm. “I was too. I’d love to have your baby, Harry but … I’m kind of relieved as well because I don’t want to do it unplanned.”

“But if it was unplanned?” Harry asked, thinking of the parchment in his pocket and wondering if Muggle tests worked on witches.

“I would be happy about it,” Ginny replied, winding her arms around his neck.

“But if it wrecked all your plans-”

“It wouldn’t,” Ginny said, reaching up to kiss him soundly. “It’s not something you can just sweep out of your life anyway. But I’d be happy about it. It’d be your baby. I would be happy to get all fat for you.”

“Us,” murmured Harry. “It’d be our baby and I will love to see you all glowing and … round.”

“Soppy, Potter, very soppy,” Ginny laughed as she retrieved the broom.

“It was the song,” Harry defended. “I’m repeating that horrible song!”

All the way home Harry wondered at the disparity on the parchment from St Mungo’s and the tests Ginny had taken. Clearly, he needed to speak to Hermione. Because he needed someone to figure this out and he couldn’t think when Ginny did that to his neck!

Back to index


Chapter 4: Chapter 4

Author's Notes: Sorry for the delay! I actually went to work! LOL Imagine that, me actually being a real teacher!

But here's the last chapter, the bonus phrases and the loose ends all tied up :)

Enjoy!



Ginny laughed as two and a half year old Freddie frowned and squirmed while Hermione tried to interest him in the brightly wrapped present she was forcing onto his lap.

“No!” he shouted.

“It’s a present,” Angelina said as she held tightly to her son. “Open it.”

“No!” shouted little Freddie again.

“Maybe putting a big ribbon on the thing wasn’t such a great idea,” Ron drawled lazily from the corner where he and Harry were playing chess.

“I wanted it to look nice,” Hermione said primly as she thrust the gift under the child’s nose again. Freddie pushed it away and squealed loudly.

“Why’d you get him a present anyway?” Ginny asked before pulling a face at her nephew. “It’s not his birthday or anything.”

“I just thought he’d like it,” Hermione sighed.

“Here, Freddie,” Ginny said, sliding off the couch and taking the box from Hermione. “Come here and open the present with Auntie Ginny.” She sat cross legged on the floor and held her arms out to him and he launched himself at her as Angelina released her grip.

“Ah-gin!” Freddie sighed as he nestled into her lap, his curly head resting on her chest as he shoved his thumb into his mouth. Ginny waved the present at him and Freddie scowled.

“Want me to take the ribbon off?” Ginny asked, pulling at the blue bow. The ribbon fell away from the wrapping and pooled on the floor. Freddie poked the present experimentally.

“Un-fed, no!” Freddie proclaimed before eyeing Hermione balefully. Angelina groaned.

“What in Merlin’s name is un-fed?” Ron asked, moving a pawn across the board and capturing Harry’s bishop. “Sounds like a bloody nightmare.”

“He’s saying ‘Uncle Fred’,” George said quietly from the doorway. Ron raised his eyebrows.

“No!” Freddie shouted again, pushing at the present Ginny still held. “Un-fed no ta my-knee!”

“What on earth is he saying?” Ron asked. George shrugged.

“Uncle Fred said not to take anything from Hermione,” Angelina said.

“That is spooky mothering voodoo,” Ron said, waving a rook at his sister-in-law.

“Why can’t he take anything from me?” Hermione demanded, crossing her arms over her chest.

“More to the point,” Ginny interjected, setting the gift on the floor next to her, “why is he listening to Fred?”

“How is he listening to Fred?” Harry said, rolling his eyes as Ron captured his Queen.

“Beats me,” George said with a shrug. “I think he just talks to the picture and … thinks it talks back?”

“Well it does move …” Ginny mused, still trying to entice little Freddie to open the gift.

“No!” shouted Freddie, hitting the gift with a tightly curled fist.

“Give it up,” Ron drawled lazily. “Leave the poor kid and his Unfed alone.”

“Git,” muttered George as he threw himself on the couch.

“I still don’t see why he can’t take anything from me-” Hermione’s incessant complaining was interrupted by a shrill noise that reverberated through the house and bounced off the walls and ceilings with the force of a thousand ear-splitting drumbeats.

“Enter Victoire,” muttered George as a miniature, blonde cyclone came barrelling through the door and catapulted into Ginny’s lap, displacing Freddie who fell to the floor with a bump and began to wail.

Ginny sighed and balanced her niece on one leg while she scooped Freddie back onto her lap with the other, keeping half an ear on Victoire’s babble and one eye on the battered looking gift that her nephew was now hitting with one sock-clad foot.

“Ah baa, bo, baa bee bee,” said Victoire very seriously. Ginny nodded absently, trying to flick Hermione’s present out from under Freddie’s foot with her toe.

“No! Mime!” screamed Freddie as Victoire reached for the end of ripped, trailing paper.

“Make up your mind, kid,” Ron muttered as slid one of his pawns into place. “Checkmate.”

“Bloody git,” Harry said as his chess pieces began to berate him.

“Language!” Fleur said sharply from the doorway. Harry flushed guiltily.

“Who cares,” Ron said, forcing the white knights back into the chess box. “Since when can the kids talk anyway?”

“Eet ees not eef they can talk, Ronald,” Fleur said with a disapproving stare. “Eet ees eef zey can ‘ear!” Ginny successfully pulled the present away from Victoire, who began to wail, while Freddie snatched it up chanting ‘mime, mime’ in her ear. Glancing up at Fleur, Ginny noticed she looked tired, the way she often did when her French accent broadened almost comically. The shrieking coming from the two toddlers seemed to make Fleur wince repeatedly. Ginny felt almost sorry for her sister-in-law and decided, just this once, to rescue her.

“Okay, kiddies!” Ginny said, struggling to stand with the two children still firmly in her lap. “Let’s go find Grandma and get some biscuits!”

“Ginny,” Fleur said as the children tumbled out of the room, calling for their grandmother, “you are ze best seester-in-law, ever. You will be such a fantastic mother, yes?” She sank gracefully into an overstuffed armchair and closed her eyes.

“Hardly!” Ginny laughed, scooping up the tattered looking gift and bright ribbon. “All I know how to do is foist them off onto Mum!” She eyed Hermione and jerked her head towards the door.

“I’m … just going to um …”

“Talk secretly with Ginny,” Ron finished with a grin. Hermione flushed brilliantly and Ginny rolled her eyes.

“Don’t take the mickey, Ronald,” Ginny warned. “Think what information I can divulge.”

“You don’t know any of my secrets, little girl,” Ron said with a mock sneer.

“Don’t be so sure.” Ginny stopped in the doorway. “Remember the time you had to see a Healer after eating six hotdogs from that vendor on the street?” She laughed and skipped out of the door, pulling Hermione with her while Ron sputtered behind them.

************

“You really had to see a Healer after eating six hotdogs?” Harry said, rolling his eyes. “Imagine that.”

“So, Fleur,” Ron said, turning his back on Harry, “how’s it going?” Harry snickered and Ron gestured creatively in his direction without turning around.

“I am terrible!” moaned Fleur. “Zis child, she is too busy! I wish to just be sleeping but she must get into everything and make a mess of the lounge room and the kitchen!” Angelina sighed heavily and agreed.

“She’s just one little kid,” Ron said, stretching out and tilting his head until his neck popped. “How much trouble could she be?” Angelina snorted.

“You need to babysit Teddy more often,” Harry muttered, forcing the rest of his chess pieces into the box.

“You have much to learn, young one,” George said as he rose from the couch and headed to the doorway, patting Ron on the head as he passed. Ron scowled at George’s retreating back.

“Why are you so tired?” Angelina asked Fleur as Bill popped his head in and scanned the room.

“I do not know!” Fleur wailed, throwing her hands in the air. Bill stepped into the room and perched on the arm of his wife’s chair, throwing one arm across the back and swinging his foot lazily. “I went to ze Healer and I sez to eem zat I am feeling ze pregnant but zen it was a disaster because a patient went missing and he had to leave and he would owl my results and he sez I am not ‘aving ze bebe!”

Bill patted his wife rather ineffectually as she began a barely coherent rant about the incompetence of St Mungo’s and the rather more efficient system in France and that if she didn’t get some answers soon she was going back to France because they knew what they were doing over there. Bill looked alarmed and began making ineffective shushing noises while Fleur’s voice grew more shrill.

“Maybe something else is wrong,” Ron shrugged. Fleur fixed him with an icy stare.

“I know when I am having ze bebe, Ronald,” she said. “Women, we know this!”

“I didn’t,” Angelina said softly.

“See … it’s not so easy to tell,” Ron said nodding curtly and wearing a smug grin.

“You are a man,” Fleur said witheringly, looking at him as if he were a bug. “You could not know.”

“In fairness, love,” Bill said with a smile. “I was the one who suggested you might be pregnant because-”

“You think I could not tell already?” Fleur fixed him with a pitying stare. Bill didn’t say anything and just patted her arm.

“But I thought you weren’t pregnant?” Harry said, now thoroughly confused.

“Zat is what they say,” Fleur said darkly. She didn’t elaborate and Harry shifted uncomfortably.

“They sent her results,” Bill added helpfully after an awkward pause. “But Fleur isn’t sure they are right because-”

“Of course zey are not right!” Fleur burst out, sitting up and turning to berate her husband. Her arms began to whirl comically around her head and Bill ducked out of the way as his wife began to berate the Welcome Witch, every Healer that ever worked at St Mungo’s, the inventor of pregnancy detection potions and spells and, inexplicably, Dragon Pox, Quiddtch injuries and coffee.

“There should be no coffee!” cried Fleur passionately. “Eet is too much and it makes everything fuzzy. Zey are dreenking eet and zey do not know zat I do not wish to be tested for Dragon Pox! And they speel it! All over ze results! How can I read zis! I did not ask for a leest of my injuries — and zey sink zat I have zis broken bone from Quidditch! Ha! I do not play ze Quidditch eet is from zat stupid Tournament wiz zee big dragon! I am lucky I had only a broken wrist! Zey were trying to keel us!” She glared at Harry who shrank back into his seat.

“Steady on!” Ron said forcefully. “That’s — just settle down …” He trailed off glancing at Harry worriedly. Fleur suddenly burst into tears.

“Cedric was such a lovely boy!” she wailed, turning her face to Bill’s chest and sobbing loudly. He wrapped his arms around her and rubbed her arm soothingly.

“I know,” he murmured. Ron stared at Harry helplessly. Angelina just looked uncomfortable while Fleur wailed louder.

Harry didn’t know what to do or where to look but he had a sneaking suspicion that the parchment still in his pocket hadn’t been addressed to Ginny Weasley at all. He was prevented from further thought on the matter when Molly bustled into the room, clucking her tongue and setting a tray on the coffee table. Ginny trailed her with a plate of biscuits, munching on one appreciatively, the children still milling around her feet, and the addition of three year old Teddy clutching her trouser leg, a crumbling biscuit clutched safely in his other hand.

“There, there,” Molly said, patting Fleur on the knee and handing her a mug. “Things always seem better with a good cup of hot chocolate. When are you due, dear?” Fleur wailed louder.

Bill shook his head frantically and Molly looked perplexed. Harry was momentarily distracted when Teddy shrieked and launched himself at his godfather, clutching him around the neck in a vice-like grip.

“Harry!” Teddy cried. “Ginny gived me a biscuit an it’s got cholit in it! You want some?” He offered Harry a taste of his slightly moist, half melted biscuit. Harry shook his head with a smile hiding his grimace. Teddy settled himself in Harry’s lap, the biscuit crumbs dropping swiftly as he began to eat it. Ginny, now carrying Victoire on her hip trailed by Freddie made her way to Harry’s oversized chair and squeezed in beside him. Victoire sprawled out across both their laps and Freddie began to climb over the arm of the chair to get to Harry.

“Oh look at that!” squealed Audrey from the doorway as Harry hooked one arm under Freddie’s and hauled him over the arm of the chair. He landed on Teddy’s foot and both boys fell over onto Victoire. The three children lay there giggling as Harry tickled them.

“I’m sure it’s not safe,” Percy said disapprovingly. “Someone is bound to get hurt.”

“Harry would never-” Ron began hotly.

“Harry and Ginny are excellent with children!” Angelina protested as Harry tried to tuck Freddie securely into the chair between the two adults.

“You will be such wonderful parents!” wailed Fleur suddenly. “You will make such beautiful babies!” She dissolved into a fresh round of tears. Ginny looked at Harry and rolled her eyes while Ron muttered something about not needing that picture in his head.

“Un-fed,” announced Freddie solemnly, nodding as Molly began passing out mugs of hot chocolate. The cozy room slowly filled with assorted Weasleys murmuring their thanks and sipping their drink contentedly. Hermione began handing around the biscuits and Harry leaned over Freddie’s head to steal a quick kiss from his wife. He grinned and pulled away as a tiny hand patted him on the cheek.

“Unca!” squealed Victoire excitedly and Harry laughed.

“Can you say Harry?” he asked with a grin, spelling it out for her slowly. “Un-cle Har-ry.”

“Unca Hairy!” Victoire repeated slowly. George and Ron burst out laughing. Harry closed his eyes and shook his head in mock resignation. Fleur beamed and began telling everyone how clever and talented her child was with a minute rundown of all the words she’d learnt in the past week alone.

“Her moods are giving me whiplash,” muttered Ginny.

“Are you sure you’re not pregnant, dear?” Molly asked tentatively. “You’ve looked very pale all afternoon and normally you enjoy helping me cook but today the smell-”

“I theenk I ‘elp enough!” Fleur said coldly. “I cannot have the one day where I rest because I am so tired?”

“Of course dear,” Molly said. She said no more but Harry noticed she was glaring at Bill pointedly.

“Besides,” Fleur said suddenly, “zat ‘ospital is incompetent! Zey theenk I ‘ave a Quiddtch injury! Zey cannot even tell when I am have ze bebe! Look!” Fleur rummaged in the handbag at her feet before brandishing a worn and stained piece of parchment, the tattered St Mungo’s seal still hanging drunkenly off one edge.

“At least you got your test results,” Ginny said gloomily. “I’m still waiting for that idiot to find mine.”

“You have pregnancy test results, do you Ginny?” Ron asked with a smirk. Ginny glared at him.

“Oh, won’t that be lovely,” Arthur said absently as he studied the metal contraption in his hand. “Congratulations, dear.”

“I’m not pregnant, Dad,” Ginny said with a loud sigh.

“Oh, perhaps next time,” Arthur said, turning the gleaming metal over. “You should try changing your diet, Harry, or sometimes your sexual position. Do you think this belongs in a mini-surf?” He brandished the gadget in his hands and glanced up at Harry hopefully.

“Erm, a what?” Harry managed to squeak out, trying to ignore several amused looks from his brothers-in-law and Ginny’s silent laughter that shook the chair.

“That hummy thing that cooks the food with the waves,” Arthur said patiently.

“Oh, um I’m not sure what goes in a microwave,” Harry said. Arthur resumed examining the gadget pensively. “But um, I think I can er, help with something else.” He squirmed out of the chair, trying not to tip a drowsy Victoire onto the floor. Ginny held onto her niece and looked at Harry, eyebrows raised. Harry fished in his pocket for the parchment he’d been carrying around for several days and offered it to Fleur. “This is obviously yours. I’m sorry I opened it, it came to me at work and … well …” he trailed off, shrugging and shoved his hands in his pockets.

Fleur eyed the parchment sceptically before unfolding it. She read it quickly and gasped. Then she jumped up and threw her arms around Harry, kissing him soundly on the cheek before squealing in his ear. Harry rubbed his offended ear bemusedly as Fleur turned to Bill and began to kiss him passionately.

“What was on that parchment?” George asked with a raised eyebrow and a look of amusement on his face. Harry scratched the back of his neck and waited for Bill and Fleur to come up for air.

“Harry?” Molly prompted him. Harry glanced helplessly at the couple, still engrossed in each other.

“Er, it’s the results of a pregnancy test,” Harry said evasively. He could feel the weight of everyone’s stare.

“I’m guessing she’s knocked up,” drawled Charlie lazily. Harry nodded uncomfortably. Molly squealed and threw herself at her oldest son, effectively breaking them apart and enfolding them both into hugs that threatened to squeeze the breath out of them.

“How’d you end up with it?” Ron asked in confusion. Harry shrugged again. He could feel Ginny’s eyes on him and he studiously avoided looking at her.

“I’d say these,” Bill said flourishing another piece of stained parchment, “are Ginny’s results. Congratulations little sis, you are Dragon Pox and Spattergroit free, have a freshly healed Quidditch injury and are not pregnant! At least as far as we can tell, there’s a rather blurry bit here down the bottom, you may, or may not have Scrofungulus — I can’t tell.”

Ginny rolled her eyes at her older brother and summoned the parchment as Victoire slept soundly on her lap. Ginny scanned it carefully. Harry chanced a glance at her as she studied the document. She squinted and tilted the paper sideways.

“This is so not an F,” she announced eventually. “It’s clearly a G. That Healer was an incompetent idiot. I knew I was in trouble when he screwed up his nose at the idea of taking a saliva sample.”

“You can’t even tell who this one is for,” Bill said holding up the parchment he and Fleur had been examining. “The initial is completely gone.”

“Mixed them up,” Ginny said, rolling her eyes and tucking the parchment into her back pocket.

“Beel,” Fleur said seductively. “We should go ‘ome to … celebrate.” Ron groaned aloud.

“Leave Victoire,” Molly said, a gleam in her eye. “Come Ginny, help me put her to bed. Off you go, Bill.” Ginny struggled out of the chair. She passed by Harry murmuring quietly as she went.

“Talk later.”

Fleur and Bill wasted no time Apparating straight out of the lounge room. George snickered. Harry watched as Angelina scooped Freddie up and took him to the kitchen muttering about his chocolate covered face. Teddy offered the remains of his own biscuit to Ron who tried in vain to evade the sticky mess. Eventually Ron and Hermione carted the little boy off to clean up both Teddy and Ron. Charlie began snoring from the chair near the fireplace and Arthur got up and left the room, toting his metal gadget, muttering about waves and the ocean. Harry turned his attention to Audrey who was gushing about the baby.

“Oh won’t it be so wonderful to have another baby in the family, Percy?” Audrey sighed. “I wonder if it will be a boy or a girl. Do you think they will give it a French name again? I expect it’s due some time next year — well of course it is, there’s only a few weeks left in this year, I wonder if I should knit some blue booties this time, I mean they will already have pink of course, but it’ll do to be prepared. Percy, do you think we should start planning our family soon? Wouldn’t it be wonderful? That sweet little baby smell, the smiles, the coos …”

“The vomit, the poos …” laughed George.

“I think we should go home and … talk about it,” Percy said. He was red in the face and trying to avoid looking at George who was leering suggestively.

“Oh, Percy,” Audrey leaned against him, batting her eyelashes comically. “I do so love when you get frisky.” George and Harry snickered audibly as Percy ushered his wife out of the lounge room, not turning to spare them a glance.

“So,” George said when he and Harry were effectively alone, Charlie snored loudly near the fireplace. “Ginny’s not with child, then?”

“Obviously,” said Harry dryly, collecting the mugs from where they lay scattered about the room and stacking them neatly on the tray.

“You upset about it?” George’s face was serious, his tone gentle. Harry stopped, a garish pink mug that Fleur had been using dangling from his hands. He thought about it for a moment.

“A little,” he admitted. He studied the ugly floral pattern on the mug. “I was getting … used to the idea and she seemed to be pregnant — you know the throwing up and stuff. It would have been nice but I think we’re okay with not being pregnant, you know?”

“Well,” George said stretching and ambling to the door, “now you can go home and practice. I’m just going to go find out from Dad which positions he meant — I’ll keep you informed.”

Harry threw a balled up serviette at George as he slipped through the doorway, laughing. He shook his head and resumed collecting the mugs, stepping around Charlie carefully.

“Did you think it was me?” a quiet voice asked from the doorway. Harry looked up to see Ginny, biting her bottom lip nervously. He smiled gently.

“Yeah.”

“I’m sorry,” Ginny said, looking down.

“Hey, it’s not your fault,” Harry said, abandoning the mugs and moving to pull his wife into an embrace.

“Did you want t to be true?” Ginny gazed up at him.

“Yeah,” Harry said. “But I’m kind of relieved that it’s not. Is it selfish to want you all to myself for a while? We just got married and … I want to have a baby but …”

“Not yet,” Ginny said. Harry nodded.

“But now would have been okay too,” he said quietly. Ginny laid her head on his shoulder, kissing his neck gently.

“Yeah, it would have been.”

“Wanna take Teddy home with us?” Harry asked. Ginny smiled. “I’ll go Floo Andromeda, you go get the little rascal.”

Harry kissed Ginny’s forehead and then watched her walk away. One day they would be the ones having a baby and it would be wonderful and brilliant and he’d be able to marvel every day at her growing tummy and her glowing face. He would worship her, he knew that, but for now it was enough to see how she mothered Teddy, knowing that she did that not only because she loved Teddy and had loved Tonks but because she loved Harry.

She showed him every day how much she loved him and Harry wondered how he could hope to show her half as much. Harry wasn’t sure he’d ever be able do enough to show her but he knew he’d never give up trying, even if he was always in arrears.

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