Beyond Harry – A Potter/Weasley tale by Jeograph
Summary: What might life be like eleven to twelve years after the war is over? This is an optimistic view of the Post-War Harry Potter Universe. This Fic offers a snap-shot of the Weasley's after the war, with a glimpse through the eyes of Grandmum, Molly Weasley. Then it moves on to the arrival a new addition to the Weasley/Potter clan. Hopefully it's a bit of fun!
Categories: Alternate Universe, Post-Hogwarts, Buried Gems
Chapter 1: Chapter 1 - Molly's Family
Chapter 2: Chapter 2 - At the Manor
Chapter 3: Chapter 3 - Birthing Babies
Chapter 4: Chapter 4 - Happy Birthday Babies Potter
Chapter 1: Chapter 1 - Molly's Family
Author's Notes: This story was written well before I started Harry Potter and the Heart of the hero so it should not be considered a sequel to that story... not strictly anyway. Hope you enjoy.
Molly Weasley stood at the granite island in the new Burrow kitchen. She was a strong, pleasantly plump woman with a fierce love of her family, and lately, a streak if gray beginning to show in her otherwise fiery red hair. Waving her wand like an orchestra conductor, she was directing the lunch dishes to clean themselves in the stainless steel sinks and put themselves away in the cupboards.
Mrs. Weasley really loved her new kitchen, in fact, she loved the whole house, and she was so thankful to her son-in-law, Harry Potter, for having it re-built all those years ago after the war had ended. But sometimes in the brief moments of relative quiet, she really missed the original, with its old world charm and out of square angles. This house, while both larger and decidedly more aesthetically pleasing, was none-the-less not the same home she had birthed her babies in, and it was, so…straight, and solid.
Sometimes she missed the creaks that in the past had made her feel that someone might be moving in another part of the rickety, original Burrow. But that structure had been a casualty of the war, and she was so thankful that the building, and not more family members, had been lost in the fight. She shed a single tear for her eldest son. Bill had been the only Weasley lost to the cause.
Molly sighed heavily, and shook the melancholy out of her head. She stepped toward the huge oak table in the dining area. Of all the many gifts Harry had given her, this was her favorite. She ran her hand along the smooth-as-glass finish on the dark wood. This was the last remaining, original Gryffindor table from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry and Ron, along with Fred and George, had rescued it and carefully refinished the top by hand in the laborious Muggle fashion. They had been careful to preserve, the various initials carved into it. It would seat thirty-six along its bench seats, and Molly, glancing at the row of highchairs against the far wall of the room, thought to herself that it just might get completely filled up one day.
Mrs. Weasley flicked her wand, refreshing the floral centerpieces spaced out along the expansive table, and glanced at the row of eight elaborate wall clocks above the highchairs, spaced between numerous framed photographs of smiling family groups. She glanced at the many hands. There were too many to consider at length without concentration other than noting that none were pointed to mortal peril.
Turning to the broad dinning room window, Molly looked out on the side garden. Waves of unabashed love flooded her heart at the sight of her numerous grandchildren. She knew that Winky and Birdy were there somewhere, watching over the children, and she was glad that Ginny and Harry always insisted on sending the two House-elves to help when all the grandchildren were visiting at the Burrow. She couldn’t help taking stock, all the same.
Eleven year old Juliette, Bill and Fleur’s only child, was orchestrating a tea party at the patio table. Molly could hardly believe that she would be the first to attend Hogwarts this coming September. Juliette moved with the same unnatural grace of her mother; her long, straight, pale strawberry hair carefully braided and bound by a baby-blue ribbon, swished behind her as she poured out imaginary tea in Hayley’s cup.
Hayley, at ten, was a stark contrast to her parents, Percy and Penelope. Hayley was an upbeat, outspoken, adventurous child; her blond hair cropped just short of her shoulders, framed her face. Molly wondered that Hayley wasn’t off with the boys, being the tom-boy that she was. But then, her cousin Juliette had always been able to bring out the little girl in her.
Next to Hayley was Emilia, age eight, Charlie and Helena’s middle child. Emilia had her mother’s dark hair and eyes, and was at the moment, struggling to disentangle herself from strands and strands of something called Weasley’s Wondrous Wandering String, which was being sprayed on her by her cousins Kitty (Katrina) and Kat (Katherine).
How Fred and Susan, and George and Sandra, had managed to have nearly identical auburn headed girls born on the same day, was beyond Mrs. Weasley, but then they had done the same thing with the boys, and she speculated that when wizard twins married witch twins in a double ceremony, there was bound to be something connected and identical about their lives and families.
Kitty and Kat, at six years old, were pranksters well beyond their years, and always managed to have nicked something from their fathers’ shops. Molly knew that the string was harmless; Fred and George had come up with it for parties, based on something they had seen on Muggle television. Kitty and Kat had started spraying the stuff on one-another, covering there thick auburn curls and freckled faces.
Mrs. Weasley noted that Birdy was already clearing the sticky persistent stuff away, and she smiled to herself that even Dobby and Winky had managed to have a family after committing themselves in the service of the Potters. Birdy, was in fact, barely older than Molly’s youngest grandchild, but House-elf children always reached maturity in about three years.
With all but one of the girls at the imaginary tea party, that left only Abigail; and Molly knew exactly where she would be. Glancing to the large oak tree that spread out over the far corner of the garden, she quickly located the dangling patent leather shoe, which she knew was attached to eight year old Abigail, who was, no doubt, leaning against her favorite branch…reading. Abby, (who hated the familiar nickname) had the bushiest head of bright red hair and her father’s blue eyes. Only a child of Hermione’s would be able to climb a tree with a book under her arm, read with utter concentration despite the chaos of her cousins all around her, and emerge hours later with not a single mark or wrinkle on her perfectly pleated summer dress.
With the girls accounted for, Molly turned her attention to searching out the boys.
Adam, at age ten, was the oldest of the boys, Charlie and Helena’s oldest child. Molly quickly located him in the tree house above Abigail’s perch. Adam was a swarthy child who had already decided that he would one day be a dragon tamer like his father and mother. From his playful cries and quick movements, Molly could tell that he was taming imaginary creatures already, filling the tree house with roaring, fire breathing, scaly beasts.
Alton was there in the tree house too, standing at the trap door, very likely demanding a password from his cousins Bishop and Bart (Bartholomew) on the rope ladder below. Alton, age nine, was the second oldest of the boys, Percy and Penelope’s middle child. If his sister, Hayley was their parents’ opposite, Alton was meant to be his parents’ child. Prim and proper, Alton adored procedure and loathed misbehavior. His hair was deep red and his face narrow. It was true, he was a bit of a tattle tale, and, like his father before him, the brunt of most of the practical jokes, but he seemed somehow to understand that this just secured his place in the family, amongst the gaggle of Grandchildren.
Banging on the trap door beneath Alton were Bishop and Bart, Fred and Susan’s and George and Sandra’s, respectively. Like their younger sisters these precocious eight year olds had been born on the same day, and if you didn’t know otherwise, you might have thought them identical twins. Their blonde heads were flashing toward one another conspiratorially as they considered the problem of how to gain entry into the tree house. These two were brave and bold beyond their years, and Mrs. Weasley would have been concerned about them dangling on the rope ladder, but she could see that Winky was there at the base of the massive oak, eyeing them with great care.
Scanning the garden, Molly located Garrick, Herman, and little Billy in the sand pit, pushing around the Muggle toy, Lorries. Garrick, Charlie and Helena’s youngest at six, was the only red head of their children. His dark hair was ruddy and reflected deepest red in the sunlight. His complexion, dark as well, reflecting so much of his mother. Garrick was a bit of a stand-offish child, preferring the company of his cousins to the adults, who wanted to cuddle and pinch him.
Herman, Percy and Penelope’s youngest, also six, was never too far from Garrick. Herman was as fair as Garrick was dark, his head a faint strawberry blond. Also a fiercely independent child, he took after his big sister Hayley, being more rough-and-tumble than his big brother Alton.
Molly’s eyes settled finally on Billy, the youngest Weasley. He was a mess, Muggle bandages on both elbows and knees, his fiery red hair filled with sand, and a dark smudge of something along the side of his nose. He was roaring at his cousins, obviously pretending to be some ferocious beast. If his big sister Abigail was Hermione’s daughter, this little four year old was all Ron.
Mrs. Weasley fondly remembered the crowded room at the Manor on the night of Billy’s birth. Hermione, exhausted but beaming, sat up in bed cradling the bundle with a thin lock of red hair flashing from the top. Ron, as proud as Molly had ever seen him, had little Abigail in the crook of his arm, snoozing on his shoulder. He gently squeezed Hermione’s hand and announced that they wanted to name their son after his fallen brother, Bill.
Fleur had collapsed in happy tears, hugging Juliette closely. Arthur had needed to sit down, he was so deeply touched, and Molly had just needed to hold her newest Grandson.
As content and proud as Mrs. Weasley was to see the garden as filled with Weasley children as it had ever been, she realized suddenly that there was one missing. She scanned the garden franticly for her missing grandson. Her eyes flashed to the broom shed and noted that it was carefully locked, a wise precaution with this particular child. She felt her heart skip and was about to yell for Winky, when she felt a pull at her skirt hem and jumped with a start.
Molly turned to the four year old at her feet and mockingly scolded, “James Arthur Potter, you gave Grand-mum a fright.” There was no mistaking this little boy; he had his Father’s and Grandfather’s untamable, unruly locks of black hair. He was already wearing small, round rimmed glasses and his eyes were hazel, a mix of the bright golden brown of his Mother and the brilliant green of his Father, with just a touch of amber mixed in. He held out his arms to his Grandmother, and Molly scooped him up. “Looking for a biscuit from Gran are you?” she inquired lovingly.
James didn’t respond to the question, and Mrs. Weasley noticed the fierce look on his little face. His eyes seemed somehow far away. “What is it baby?” Molly asked gently. James reached his small hands to his Grandmother’s cheeks and leaned in pressing his forehead to hers. Suddenly images flashed in Molly’s mind: James’ Mother, her Daughter, sweaty and screaming. And, Harry, slumped in a chair near a familiar fireplace, weeping into his hands. The vision stopped abruptly and Mrs. Weasley knew that her grandson couldn’t fully comprehend the meaning of these images, but they concerned him rightly, and his awareness wouldn’t let him ignore them. James said in a questioning tone, “Daddy…scared for Mommy. Mum-Mum take Jamie home?”
Mrs. Weasley had always been astounded by the manifestations of Wizarding power evident in this Grandson. He was independent, astoundingly quick and bright…and gentle. He had never, even in anger, reached out to harm a living thing. She understood the images clearly, but James could only see his parents in apparent pain, and he wouldn’t stand for being apart from them right now. Molly knew that if she didn’t agree and act quickly, this amazing four year old was likely to instinctively Apparate home all on his own.
Molly called for Birdy, and with a pop, the little Elf was standing at her feet. She bent down, looking straight into the Elf’s bright, round, golden-orange eyes. “Birdy,” she said firmly, settling James comfortably on her hip, “Jamie, wishes to go home. I need you to pop to the manor and unlock the Library Floo. Inform Harry that I shall be their momentarily. Then come back here and help your mother gather the children.”
“Yes, Mrs. Weasley,” squeaked the elf with a deep respectful bow of her head. With a pop…she was gone.
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At the Manor
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Chapter 2: Chapter 2 - At the ManorChapter Two
At the Manor
Potter Manor was an old stone edifice from the outside. It had several wings enclosing elaborate courtyards with gardens and fountains. The grounds were huge, and they sloped gently toward the ocean for at least a quarter mile.
When he had discovered his true inheritance, Harry Potter was astounded, and at first, he didn’t want to live in his expensive ancestral home. But, when he had finally married Ginny, she insisted that they take up residence there and that Harry should learn everything about his family that the Manor could teach him.
When Harry had asked Dobby and Winky to come to the Manor they had both agreed in a heartbeat insisting that Harry perform the House-elf Binding charm, which would take away their freedom and make them slaves to the House of Potter forever, or until they were given clothes *shudder*. Harry hadn’t wanted to do it, but the Elves had pleaded, insisting that no greater honor could befall them then to be given such trust and high status as to be the servants of the “Champion of the Wizard World.”
Harry had finally agreed and performed the charm, but he had insisted on conditions, that the Elves should wear “uniforms” consisting of forest green fitted robes with the Potter family crest on the left chest, and that they would never, ever, again refer to him by what he considered “That horrible nickname.”
Slowly the Manor had come to be home– most especially when it was filled up with friends and family. Today, however, the manor was feeling particularly empty. Harry had sent his son, James, to the Burrow to be with all of his cousins and his Grandmother, and he had sent Winky and her daughter Birdy, to assist with all the children, a task the two House-elves particularly cherished.
Shortly after the House-elves and James had departed, a trio of ladies had arrived by Floo from St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries.
Unclasping and handing their dark traveling cloaks to the youngest of their group, the elder two witches were each dressed in a crisp, light green, linen Healer’s robes with a Mid-wives’ badge pinned to the lapel.
Agatha Chumsum was the senior Mid-wife, a broad sturdy woman, about a head shorter than Harry, with her wiry gray hair pulled back in a tight bun. She smoothed down her white starched apron and looked Harry up and down with apparent disregard. Her second was Patricia Stempsen, a tall thin witch with a long face and sharp nose, also gray haired, but sleek, with a severe bun perched high on her head. These two, following Harry’s eyes toward a heavy oak door, had simply swept from the room headed for the master suite.
The youngest of the trio was Megan Jones, who Harry remembered vaguely from Hogwarts. She was a pale, handsome woman with dark hair and blue eyes. Her hair, rather than coiled in a bun, was caught up in a net at the back of her neck.
“Hufflepuff, right?” Harry inquired, offering to take the cloaks. Dobby appeared at Harry’s side, and with a snap of his fingers, levitated the heavy cloaks off to an appropriate closet.
“Yes, Mr. Potter. I am surprised you would remember me at all,” Megan said softly. “Megan Jones,” she said, extending her hand. Harry shook her hand lightly and smiled.
“You were in my class weren’t you Megan?”
She nodded confirmation.
“And… please… call me Harry.” He added.
“Of course sir… Harry,” she replied, hesitantly. “If I may be directed to your kitchen staff?”
“Oh, yes… of course,” Harry said. He turned to Dobby. “Dobby will show you the way and assist you with anything you need.” Dobby bowed low and scampered out of the room, Megan following closely behind.
Harry had gone directly back to the master suite, where he entered the room and crossed to the large four poster bed where his wife lay. The Mid-wives had conjured a small rolling table across the room and were laying out various instruments from a black leather bag.
Ginny smiled at him as he took her hand, then moaned and leaned to one side with the onset of a deep labor pain. Harry immediately reached down to rub her lower back with his free hand, as Ginny clutched his other hand tightly. In a minute, the pain subsided and Ginny relaxed again. “It seems the girls have inherited the Weasley stubbornness,” she smiled.
“Girls you say?” Agatha Chumsum interrupted, stepping up to the bed.
“Well, that is what our son James says. He has insisted that his mother is having girls from the start,” Harry answered the question.
“And how old is your son Mr. Potter?” Agatha asked, not looking at him, but appraising Ginny on the bed.
“James is four,” Harry replied, not watching the Mid-wife, but smiling down at Ginny as her eyes lit with pride for their son.
“Hm… Well, Wizard children sometimes know these things,” Agatha replied dryly, and Harry could tell she herself put no stock in his son’s prediction. “Now, if you wouldn’t mind stepping back a moment, Mr. Potter?” Harry released Ginny’s hand and stepped back a few paces. Agatha raised her wand and transformed the large four-posted, king-sized bed into what looked almost exactly like a Muggle exam table of the sort Harry remembered from childhood visits to the doctor. Ginny seemed completely undisturbed as she rose up to the new height, and the mattress narrowed beneath her.
Just then, another pain flooded over her and Ginny called for Harry, who rushed forward.
Agatha slipped her hands beneath the drape sheet and examined Ginny’s belly feeling it around, pressing in gently, yet firmly with her fingers. “Well, I can at the very least confirm that you are, indeed, having twins my dear,” she smiled coolly at Ginny. “Shouldn’t be long now.”
The door swung open and Megan entered, followed by Dobby, pushing a long cart, laden with several large kettles of apparently steaming liquid and some smaller ones that smelled suspiciously of tea and honey. Below the kettles on the cart shelf, were several rows of crisp white towels and other linens. Patricia, the tall, lean Mid-wife, second in command, stepped over and seemed to be inspecting the various fumes exuding from the kettle tops.
“Well, then,” Agatha spoke in a commanding tone. “If you will excuse us now Mr. Potter, it seems we have babies to deliver.”
Harry stepped up and looked Ginny in the eyes; he simply could not recall a moment in time when she had ever been more beautiful. He clasped his hand around hers and leaned down to kiss her lips. She reached her free hand to the back of his head and pulled him closer kissing him a bit more insistently than he had intended. When she let him go, he pulled back and whispered, “I love you so very much Mrs. Potter.”
“I know,” Ginny responded in a mischievous tone. “How do you think I got this way…Mr. Potter?” she winked. He grinned down at her and she whispered. “I love you too.”
Then, Harry was unceremoniously ushered out of the room, his own, heavy master bedroom door closed in his face.
Hours had passed. Harry absolutely hated the powerless feeling that had crept upon him. He paced in front of the Library fireplace for a solid three hours before Dobby had shown up with a tray insisting that he have a bite of lunch. Afterward, he had paced the hall outside the bedroom door, accosting Megan for news each time she‘d appeared.
About two-o-clock in the afternoon, Megan had appeared again, and Harry had followed her hurriedly to the Library. She looked flushed and nervous. “I’ll need my cloak Mr.…Harry,” she said, a note of urgency in her voice.
Dobby appeared with the cloak, and as Megan was fastening it, Harry grabbed her by the forearms, holding her tight. She stiffened in surprise, looking up into Harry’s eyes, her own eyes wide and a little frightened.
“Please…you must tell me what’s going on,” Harry commanded. Before he could stop himself, he had reached into her mind with his own and drawn out images of Ginny in pain, biting on a coiled cloth to keep from screaming aloud and the elder Mid-wives looking both concerned and deeply worried. Harry suddenly realized his impropriety. “I am so sorry,” he apologized sincerely, as he pushed himself back from Megan, “I…I didn’t mean to do that,” Harry said weakly.
“It… it’s… okay… Harry,” Megan replied haltingly, and somewhat blankly. “I… I understand. But now, I must get back to St. Mungos. I’ll return in a few minutes.”
Dobby, standing behind her, snapped his fingers, releasing the Floo locks on the fireplace. Dobby held up a small silver canister. Megan took a handful of Floo powder, tossed it on the flame, calling “St. Mungos, Maternity” in a clear voice, and stepped into the swirling green flame… disappearing.
Dobby snapped his fingers again, and the fire dimmed to a yellow flame. He looked up at his Master, who wobbled a little. Dobby snapped his fingers once more, and a soft chair slid quickly to catch Harry as his legs gave out beneath him. He dropped his head in his hands and began to weep.
In the years since the final battle, nothing had come close to scaring Harry. But this… this powerlessness... and the images of Ginny in such pain... this was something he didn't think he could take. Thoughts of loss flooded him and he felt fear, such as he had not felt in many years.
“Do not weep, Master Harry,” Dobby croaked. “Mistress Ginny is strong… she will be okay.” But Dobby didn’t look as sure as he sounded, and he turned, scuttling out of the room.
Harry wept for some minutes when suddenly there was a soft pop, and Birdy appeared. She turned to the fireplace and snapped her fingers. Then she ran over to Harry’s side and said in a whisper, “Master Harry, Mrs. Weasley comes… Molly comes with Little Master!” Harry stood up quickly and rubbed at his face with his sleeves.
With a slight swoosh, the flames rose green in the fireplace, and Molly Weasley stepped through with James riding comfortably on her hip. James scurried down off his Grandmother and ran to the outstretched arms of his Father. Harry gathered up his son in a tight hug. Mrs. Weasley crossed the room and hugged them both together.
“Now,” Mrs. Weasley said imperiously, “What has been happening here all day?”
Before Harry could answer, there was another slight swoosh at the fireplace, and Megan Jones came back through, followed closely by another aged Healer. They nodded to Harry and a somewhat startled Mrs. Weasley, and took off at a trot down the hall toward the Master bedroom. Mrs. Weasley smiled at Harry, and patted James affectionately, mussing his hair. “I’ll get right to the bottom of this,” Molly proclaimed as she spun around and headed down the hallway.
“Birdy goes back to the children now Master Harry,” Birdy stated squeakily.
“Wait, Birdy,” Harry said quickly, “Please contact the Weasley’s, and then you and your Mother bring the children here.”
“Yes sir,” Birdy squeaked, as she bowed, and, pop, she was gone.
Minutes later, the flames flared green again, and a succession of Weasley’s streamed out of the fire. Arthur Weasley limped out of the flame, stepping awkwardly on his prosthetic left leg, a daily reminder of the war.
Percy was next, followed closely by Fred and George. They clambered around Harry, all asking questions at the same time. James beamed at his Uncles and Grandfather, smiling and waving.
The fire flared again, and Hermione stepped through. Penelope, Susan and Sandra were quick in her wake. Charlie and Helena were next, and the room was suddenly booming with chattering voices all requesting information, wives quickly finding husbands to compare notes.
Hermione pushed through the men to the center, where James stretched out his arms from Harry’s embrace and called, “Aunty Mione!. Aunty Mione!” She smiled at Harry as she gently pulled away his stretching son. Harry mouthed a silent “Thank you,” as she turned with James and ducked back out of the throng.
One more time, the fire flared and Birdy came marching through, tugging a hand-in-hand procession of smiling, excited children, youngest to oldest. Her mother, Winky, trailing at the end of the line. The children each rushed to their parents.
Ron strode through the flame then, his Chudley Cannon’s practice jersey clashing violently with his red hair. He smiled broadly as he swept into the room, catching up a confused Juliette’s hand. He walked his niece over toward Hermione, where she was sitting with James on her knee and a serious looking Abigail leaning on her shoulder. Billy, seeing his Papa enter the room, was running at him and leapt into Ron’s outstretched free arm. He approached his smiling wife, and kneeling to the children’s height, smiled at them each in turn.
“What’s all this then?” He chortled winking at his giggling daughter. He turned to Juliette, smiling. “I expect your Mum will be along in a bit, so don’t you worry none about it. Takes longer to arrange an International Apparition, but she’s been sent word to come.” Hermione smiled at Ron, amazed at his awareness of his Niece’s apprehension, and the way he was setting her at ease. “I’ll tell you what,” Ron continued, “You and Abigail run along to the kitchen and you tell Dobby he’s to break out the ice-cream toffee bars.” The girls’ eyes lit up simultaneously. “Tell him I said, and tell him he’s to bring one to each of you in the nursery.”
“Me too, Papa?” Billy’s voice sang out gleefully.
“Absolutely, son,” Ron squeezed his squirming son, who was now clamoring from his father’s arms at the prospect of ice cream. The two girls, clasping Billy’s hands between them darted out of the room toward the kitchen.
Penelope and Helena had begun rounding up the other children, and they quickly lead them off toward the nursery. Susan and Sandra followed, then, to lend a hand. The manor nursery was not really a nursery at all, but a second ballroom, converted with all sorts of Muggle play equipment, for just such occasions as all the cousins visiting at once, which wasn’t, as it happened, an infrequent occurrence.
The other children having all departed, James turned on his favorite Aunt’s lap and pulled her head down to his taking a handful of curly hair on either side of her face. As their foreheads touched, his vision memory flowed into Hermione’s mind. Even though James didn’t fully comprehend the images, he somehow knew that his Aunty Mione would understand, just as his Mum-Mum had seemed to.
Hermione looked into Ron’s eyes, deep concern flushing across her face.
“Right then,” Ron said, taking the silent cue from his wife, “I’ll handle this lot.” He tipped his head to his brothers and father, still pelting Harry with questions “And you take Jamie here to check on his Mum.” He pushed himself up off his knee and held his hand to Hermione pulling her up from the chair, Jamie riding her hip. She pursed her lips at Ron in a mock kiss and he returned the motion. Hermione strode the few steps to the door and slipped into the Hallway with her nephew.
Ron watched Hermione leave, then turned and strode to the far wall where he tapped his wand to the front of a latch-less glass cabinet. The door popped open, and Ron pulled out a crystal decanter of what he knew to be some of Harry’s most excellent Single Malt Fire Whiskey. He nipped up a couple of glasses and turned back to the knot of redheaded men. He cleared his throat rather loudly and said, “What say you louts back off a bit and give Harry room to breathe?”
Ron shouldered between Fred and George, who eyed the decanter knowingly. Mr. Weasley immediately saw the sense in his youngest son’s words, and with a flick of his wand, all the deep leather wingbacks in the library assembled around a single low table. Charlie tipped his wand at the table and the appropriate number of additional glasses appeared.
Ron sat in a chair next to Harry, his Father directly across, and un-stoppered the decanter, pouring out a generous amount of the dark amber liquid into a glass and sliding it in front of Harry. He poured another and slid it across the table in front of his Dad. He poured a third for himself, before handing off the bottle to Charlie who poured for the rest of the brothers.
When each had a glass, Ron raised his, and said solemnly, “To the women we love… The mother’s of our children… Merlin knows we’d be half or less the men we are today without them.” There was a hearty, “hear, hear,” from his brother’s, and they each took a long draught from their glass. “Now then,” said Ron, “Suppose Harry, you tell us what the fuss is all about?”
A pale looking Harry then told them about the events of the day, leading to his unintentional use of Legilimency on Megan Jones and the images he had found in her mind.
Mr. Weasley shook his head worriedly. “Well, I expect that between Percy and me, we can smooth over the unauthorized use of Legilimency with the Ministry, given the circumstances, and provided that Miss Jones doesn’t wish to press charges.” Percy shook his head agreeably. “And as for Ginny…” he leaned over and grasped Harry’s arm, “I only know if it were Molly, no stern traditionalist Mid-wife would be able to keep me out of the room.” His sons all agreed, shaking their heads and grunting affirmations.
Harry realized with sudden clarity, the truth of his Father-in-law’s words, and in an instant, he was on his feet, and halfway to the door.
Ron grabbed Harry’s glass, tipping the unconsumed Whiskey into his own. He leaned back into his chair and grinned at his Father. “Good speech Pops,” Ron said teasingly, taking another deep draught of his drink.
Arthur looked at his son incredulously. “Well, I am still a bit worried Ron,” Arthur admitted. He was looking at the heavy door through which Harry had just departed. Ron’s brothers were all looking at him with worried expressions.
“Nonsense...” Ron exclaimed. “Look you lot… Mum… and Hermione… and Harry… and James are all down in that room right now with our baby sister.” Ron emptied his glass, and motioned to Fred to slide the decanter back up the table. “Have any of you thought about the fact that our nephew knew his Mum was preggers before she did?”
Ron paused and poured himself another double. “And that boy has been talking to those babies all along just as though they are listening.” He tipped his glass again. “And I know, he is just another brother to us, but we are talking about Harry freakin’ Potter here! I’ll lay odds with any man... Not a damn thing is going to truly hurt our Ginny today.”
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Chapter 3: Chapter 3 - Birthing BabiesChapter Three
Harry came down the hallway at a run, skidding to a halt in front of the master bedroom entry. He reached for the door and pressed against it. It opened easily, and Harry stepped around it hesitantly, surveying the room.
The three Mid-wives were conversing worriedly across the room with the elder Healer. Molly was at Ginny’s side, mopping her forehead with a damp cloth, and Hermione was standing only a few paces inside the room, holding James, who seemed to be weeping into her shoulder.
Harry stepped up behind Hermione and collected his son from her arms as she turned. James nuzzled into his father’s shoulder, and continued to cry lightly and quietly. “Tell me what’s going on Hermione,” Harry asked, his voice filled with strength and compassion.
Hermione fell against him in a hug, tears streaking her face, but she quickly pulled away and answered him. “There is something wrong with the babies… something wrong inside... Their umbilical cords are tangled.” Hermione’s voice cracked, and she wept more profusely. “The Healers have tried several time to reposition the babies, but they don’t seem to be able to do it right. They are afraid that to deliver the first baby will kill the second.” Hermione continued to weep.
Harry stepped forward in a daze as the news processed in his head. He stepped up and looked down at Ginny. She was covered in sweat, her hair matted down against her head. Her eyes were sunken with exhaustion and she looked very pale and weak. She was either sleeping or unconscious. Mrs. Weasley seemed to be in a daze as well, she kept dabbing at her daughter’s brow with a cloth, as though to stop would be somehow giving up.
As Molly became aware of Harry’s presence, she reached over and took him by the wrist. “She’s been refusing to deliver the first, if doing so might harm the second,” Molly said resignedly. “She has completely exhausted herself, Harry. They fear she has weakened herself so much that she may even be in danger at this point.”
Harry nodded, indicating understanding, but he was not at all sure he really did. Witches have been giving birth for thousands of years. How is it that this one has to be so difficult?
As if in answer to the unspoken question, the elderly Healer, the one he had not met, stepped toward him. “Asa Hollis, Mr. Potter,” he said quietly, offering his hand. Harry shook his hand, rather automatically.
Asa was a tall, narrow man, with silver gray hair and a bushy beard. His eyes were a very gentle, but intense blue. “I am very sorry about all this. I am a specialist in internal organ manipulation,” he smiled. “The Mid-wives called for me to consult on your wife’s case. It appears that during the pregnancy, the babies’ umbilical cords have become twisted together.”
“Hermione told me,” Harry commented airily.
Unruffled, Asa continued, “I have attempted to move the babies in the womb, but this is a very delicate and dangerous bit of magic, the slightest miscalculation could hurt the children, or the mother. I am afraid I have done all I can do Mr. Potter. I am extremely sorry.”
“So, what does this mean? What are you telling me?” Harry said, already knowing the answer, but needing to have it spoken so that his mind could really understand it.
“Unfortunately,” Asa replied resignedly, “It is most likely that the birth of the first child, will in effect, suffocate the second, causing either severe damage or death.”
Hermione stepped to Harry’s side. “Harry, what about a Muggle hospital? They could perform a cesarean birth,” she said.
Harry looked at Hermione, not comprehending. It had not occurred to him that there could be a Muggle solution to this problem, but before he could consider it further, Agatha Chumcum interrupted rudely.
“A Muggle Hospital?” Agatha gasped, obviously highly offended by the notion. “It is bad enough that we already have the Father and Son in the room! Highly irregular and I must say, scandalous!” her voice cackled and squeaked with anger, suppressed to an enraged whisper. She pointed a finger at Hermione. “How could any self respecting Witch even suggest something as barbaric as a Muggle Hospital?”
Harry felt an old rage bubbling in his chest, and he could see fire forming in Hermione’s eyes. But before either could respond, Asa had laid his hand on Agatha’s shoulder and swung her around to face him.
“Agatha,” he scolded in an obviously angry, but somehow gentle tone, “You will hold your tongue!” Asa’s manner reminded Harry momentarily of Albus Dumbledore, and he immediately felt a welling of appreciation for the man. “Haven’t you any idea just whom you are addressing? I realize that you are the chief Mid-wife at St. Mungos, and have been birthing babies for something in the order of one hundred years, but whether you like it or not, times change. If you cannot keep your traditional ideas and prejudices to yourself and respect the home and persons you have been given the honor of attending, then I will have to ask you to leave.” Asa’s gentle eyes were icy cold, and Agatha, defeated, shrunk away with a bowed apology.
“I am so sorry Mr. Potter,” Asa said, the warmth returning to his eyes. “Some of our Mid-wives cling to an age-old traditionalism that, even in the Wizarding world, has passed out of fashion.” He turned to face Hermione. “Mrs. Weasley, I am aware of the Muggle procedure you suggest, but I am afraid that Mrs. Potter’s condition may already be too weakened to get her to a Muggle hospital, even if there is one nearby.”
Harry reflexively hugged James a little tighter. James had stopped crying and was clinging to his fathers shoulder, as though some one might try to snatch him away at any moment.
“There must be something that can be done,” Hermione stated matter-of-factly.
“Well, Mrs. Potter is going to have to deliver,” Asa said resignedly, “I have suppressed her labor and caused her to sleep with a charm, but in advanced labor, this cannot last for very long,” he turned back to Harry. “Perhaps, Mr. Potter, you should speak with your wife.”
“Yes… thank you,” Harry replied. Hermione reached out to take James from Harry, but James clung tightly to his father’s neck. “It’s okay Hermione; James can stay with me… Why don’t you see what you can do with Mum?” Harry’s eyes flashed to his Mother-in-law at Ginny’s bedside as he hugged his son tightly.
They stepped over to Ginny; Hermione put her arms around her Mother-in-law, and with comforting words, lead her away as Harry stepped to the opposite side of the delivery bed. Asa swished his wand over Ginny, and then quickly stepped away to consult with the three Mid-wives gathered across the room.
Ginny stirred. Slowly, she opened her eyes. At the sight of her son and husband, a small smile curled the edges of her mouth. “Hi,” she said very weakly.
Harry took Ginny’s hand, raising it his lips and kissing it. “Not having a great time are we?” he said feigning a light hearted tone. Before Ginny could respond in any way, Harry continued, “Ginny, the Healers have explained everything to me.” He could feel hot, heavy droplets emerging from the corners of his eyes. His voice wavered. “My darling, you must stop fighting and deliver the babies… I cannot loose you.” Harry lowered his head.
Harry had rested James, sitting, on the delivery table. James had turned and gently laid one hand on his Mother’s belly. “Babies are okay,” he said matter-of-factly. “Everything will be okay. Daddy will help.”
Harry and Ginny both looked up at their smiling four year old, their eyes widening.
“I am not a Healer, honey,” Harry said gently to his son. “What can I do?” Harry was, of course, not expecting an answer from his son, but James pulled at Harry’s arm that was still around his waist, and gently taking his father’s hand, he opened the fingers and laid it palm down on his Mother’s belly. Harry felt the soft linen sheet covering his wife’s taut flesh, and suddenly, he felt a movement within. James placed his hand over his Fathers, and Harry felt a warm sensation slowly creeping up his arm. The sensation reached his shoulder and seemed to pour into him like a liquid, splashing down to his toes, churning and bubbling and slowly filling him up.
As the warmth reached the top of Harry’s head, he began to feel more odd sensations. Relaxing and concentrating, he felt rhythmic pulses flowing into him. With greater concentration, he realized that these were heartbeats, and he quickly became aware of five distinct rhythms. He identified each, easily finding Ginny’s tired and hurried, James’ fast and steady, his own fierce and powerful, and the babies’, fast and frantic. He focused on these last, and he found images of small, tightly confined bodies, pressed hard together, forming in his mind. He could see them clearly…his daughters.
Ginny’s voice came to him through his concentration, unheard, but realized as clearly as if she were whispering in his ear. “Harry, can you feel them, love?”
“Yes, love,” he responded easily, “They are so beautiful.”
Harry followed the pulsing of his daughters’ hearts, searching for the problem described by Hermione and Asa. He located it easily, two umbilical cords coiled about each other several times. “I have found the problem Ginny,” he willed to her, “are you ready?”
“Yes,” came the response.
Harry opened his eyes and saw that Hermione and Molly had both stepped nearer, and they were looking at them with curiosity. “I believe we are ready,” he said simply.
Mrs. Weasley quickly stepped to the table and took Ginny’s free hand in hers as Ginny’s eyes opened, and her face grimaced with the onset of a new labor pain.
Hermione waved for a Mid-wife, and Agatha stepped forward quickly. Harry stopped her in mid-step. “No, thank you,” his voice was loud and clear. “I believe Megan will do nicely.”
Agatha looked thoroughly scandalized, but said nothing. Megan, blushed fiercely, and quickly took position at the end of the delivery table.
“Megan Jones?” Hermione asked, recognition dawning upon her. Megan nodded.
The labor pain flashed through Harry like a living, constricting thing. He let it flow through him, bearing it, willing the pain to himself, drawing it away from Ginny. He could feel Ginny squeeze his hand, and he took it as a thank you. He remained focused on the point at which the babies’ umbilical cords were coiled, willing them to adapt to the pulling pressures as he felt his first daughter quickly move into the birth canal.
Molly supported Ginny as she grimaced again and pushed hard, a deep moan growling through her lips.
Megan, at the end of the table, was encouraging Ginny. “That’s it Ginny, the head is here, one more push.”
Harry and James seemed to be in trances at Ginny’s side. Harry, in total concentration, was willing the two cords to remain open, forcing blood to pass evenly through both. Another pain washed over him, and he welcomed it.
“That’s it,” Megan cried as the small newborn slipped into her waiting hands.
Patricia was standing ready at Megan’s side, and she quickly flicked her wand against the short length of umbilical cord, about two inches from the baby’s belly. A small spark alighted from Patricia’s wand tip and the umbilical cord shriveled and separated cleanly. Megan flicked her wand, clearing the baby’s airway, and the powerful cry that followed seemed to reassure the entire room.
Harry felt the pressure on the umbilical cords release, followed almost instantly by the most precious sound of his daughter’s confused and irritated wails. “One more, love,” he thought to Ginny. He mentally nudged his other daughter toward the birth canal, feeling her heartbeat quicken with the unrestricted flow through her umbilical cord. After several more minutes and a dozen or so more labor pains, the second baby was delivered, her cry filling the room as loudly as the first.
Harry snapped back, the magical connection to his wife and son gone. He felt Ginny’s hand still clinging weakly to his own. He felt his son collapse against his shoulder, and he caught James up in his arms.
Asa was there at Harry’s side. He waved his wand over James, seeming to consider for a moment. “He has simply fallen asleep,” Asa said gently, “tuckered himself out completely. This is one amazing little Wizard you have here.” Asa’s smile and manner again reminded Harry of Dumbledore, and he smiled his thanks at the kindly man, who had a hand on his shoulder. Asa nodded.
Harry noticed that the room had suddenly become active and busy around him. Hermione and Agatha were attending the newborns, cleaning them up and wrapping them in swaddling blankets, carefully charmed to the exact comfortable warmth. Patricia was attending Ginny with a drink, some sort of potion, carefully mixed from the prepared kettles which were still fuming on the cart. Whatever it was, it seemed to do Ginny an immense amount of good, flushing her pale demeanor with a healthy pink.
Harry turned to Ginny and lowered James so she could kiss him on the cheek. “You have an amazing son here Mrs. Potter,” he said quietly through a broad smile.
“You too, Mr. Potter,” Ginny beamed back at him.
Harry stood up and stepped around the table, toward Mrs. Weasley. “Mum,” he said to a smiling Molly. “How would you like to put your grandson to bed?” Mrs. Weasley accepted the sleeping child into her loving arms. “I would say this amazing little man just saved the lives of both his Mother and Sisters, so he deserves a good nap.” Harry brushed back the familiar mop of black hair, smiling proudly at his son.
Molly, smiling and nodding, turned and headed for the door. As the door swung open, Harry noticed a concerned looking Winky standing in the hall. He marveled at her unwavering devotion to his son, as she trotted after Mrs. Weasley.
Harry turned back to Ginny. He leaned down to kiss her gently. “You are amazing, too, my love,” he whispered.
Ginny looked into his eyes and pulled him into another kiss. She didn’t have to speak a word.
“Okay, you,” Hermione said pulling Harry back with a hand on his shoulder. “How about the two of you meet your daughters?” She delivered a sleeping bundle into Ginny’s arms.
Agatha was there handing Harry an identical bundle. Harry looked down into the swaddle in his arms and beheld the round cheeks of his pink daughter. She was sleeping contentedly in the warm blanket, her little head crowned with a wisp of fiery red hair. He brought the baby down to Ginny’s other side and let her hold them both together, two identical, beautiful sleeping babes.
Ginny and Harry beamed at one another and the babies for a couple of minutes, until Patricia stepped forward to take them back to the prepared cribs. “Time for you to let your wife rest Mr. Potter,” she said, as she lifted the babies away.
Ginny smiled at Harry. “Time for me to get cleaned up,” she said with a wink. “Why don’t you go announce the birth of your daughters to the rest of the family? Someone will come get you when you can come back.”
“Okay,” he smiled, squeezing Ginny’s hand in his, smiling gleefully.
Ginny turned to Hermione, who was standing nearby. “Hey, sis, why don’t you take my husband here back to the Library?” Hermione, with a smile and a nod, stepped forward and pulled at Harry’s arm, tugging him toward the door. “And see if you can’t wipe that stupid grin off his face before the brothers see it, otherwise they’ll never lay off him,” Ginny called after Hermione as she pushed Harry through the bedroom door.
As Harry and Hermione entered the Library, the room fell silent. The men, still gathered in the wingback chairs, all stood and looked at them in anticipation.
Hermione patted Harry’s arm, “I think I’ll leave you to this lot yourself, and go check on the ladies and the children.” She quickly crossed the room and was out the far door toward the nursery.
Harry sauntered over to his Brothers and Father-in-law and slid in place in front of the wingback chair he had occupied earlier. He reached down and lifted the decanter tipping a hearty quantity into his waiting glass. He pulled his wand from his pocket, and with a quick swish, refilled all the other glasses.
Harry lifted his glass, and smiling broadly, announced, “Would you please join me in a drink, to my lovely wife, your sister and daughter, respectively,” Harry nodded to Mr. Weasley, who grinned back at him, “And to two, perfect, red headed baby girls.” Harry tipped his head back draining his glass. They each drained their glasses as well and the small gathering became a whirl of handshaking and back slapping.
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Happy Birthday Babies Potter
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Chapter 4: Chapter 4 - Happy Birthday Babies PotterChapter Four
Happy Birthday Babies Potter
Within a few hours after the birth of the twin girls, the Manor had begun to fill up. Hagrid was the first to arrive in response to the magical birth announcements. Being one of the few people with Apparition privileges to the Manor, and being too large to use the Floo network, Hagrid appeared in the garden courtyard adjacent to the Library. He was still pulling on his moleskin coat, and he had a polka-dot bow tie that he was attempting to set straight, when Harry noticed him and moved to open the courtyard door. Hagrid strode into the room, rummaging through his coat pockets.
“Congratulations Harry,” Hagrid said heartily. “I been waiting on this ‘appy day for a cup-pla weeks now.” He pulled a wrapped package out of one pocket. “Aw, ‘ere it is, a bit a sumpen for the little’uns.” He pressed the gift into Harry’s hands. “I’m not late, am I Harry?” Hagrid inquired, looking about the room.
Harry laughed heartily, slapping Hagrid at the elbow, “No Hagrid, you are just in time for a drink with my brothers and me.” Hagrid licked his lips knowingly. “I’ll always keep a glass for you ready in this house, you know,” Harry exclaimed, pointing to what appeared to be a crystal bucket on a shelf above the glass cabinet. Hagrid smiled down at him, “You are a right good friend ‘Arry… A right good friend.” Hagrid hurried off to fetch his glass and join the boys, amid shouts of welcome.
It was very soon after that that Floo arrival requests started popping out of the fire, and Dobby rushed from the kitchen to man his station at the Library grate. He opened the first request, and smiling, snapped his fingers, thrusting an answer into the flames. A moment later, Remus Lupin stepped out of the fire, hand-in-hand with an obviously pregnant Nymphadora and young Sirius in their wake.
Dobby sent another response, and a procession of Hogwarts teachers marched out of the flame. Minerva McGonagall, Headmistress, was first, followed at momentary intervals by Madam Hooch, Poppy Pomfrey, Madam Sinistra, Pomona Sprout, and Filius Flitwick. Arthur and Molly Weasley stepped up to make greetings.
Minerva McGonagall turned to Dobby, and bending down, said something to the House-elf which elicited excited smiles and hand clapping from him. An instant later, there was a furious crescendo of popping sounds around him, as dozens of Hogwarts’ House-elves appeared. Dobby greeted them with smiles and handshakes and quickly sent them popping off to various duties throughout the Manor.
More people arrived by Floo-Neville and Luna Longbottom with their three children, Amos Diggory and his wife, Colin and Denis Creevey together with their wives and children, seven children between them. Lee Jordan arrived, moving quickly to join Fred and George.
It soon began to feel like a Hogwarts reunion, as old friends congratulated Harry right and left and inquired after Ginny. Semus Finnigan was there. He had married a Hufflepuff girl from Ginny’s year, and they had their two children in tow.
Katie (formerly Bell), arrived, and was introducing her new American husband, Hardy Tompkins.
When Oliver Wood arrived with half the Puddlemere United Quiddich team, the party had to be moved into the adjacent ballroom.
Officials arrived from the Ministry, including the new Minister, Kingsley Shaklebolt, along with several of Harry’s colleagues from the Wizengamot and the League of Aurors. Most of Ron’s teammates from the Chudley Canons showed up. Harry thought he saw the Patil twins stepping out of the fire across the room, with husbands and children in tow. Dean Thomas was suddenly shaking his hand out of nowhere, and Harry thought that everyone he knew was happily accepting a hurried invitation to the Manor.
Dobby appeared at his feet with a Floo request scroll. Harry took the scroll and read it quickly:
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Potter,
It has come to our attention at the Daily Prophet that an enormous amount of Floo traffic has been directed to your private residence this evening.
I can only assume that this means the happy announcement of the birth of yet another
extraordinary Potter baby.
I congratulate you heartily, and humbly request that I be allowed attendance, so that this momentous occasion may be properly recorded and presented to the world. I await your reply.
Rita Skeeter, Daily Prophet.
Harry handed the scroll back to Dobby, bending down and whispering something in his ear. Dobby popped back to the fireplace, and snapping his fingers, the inked words on the parchment reformed themselves in to the elaborately calligraphic response which read: BUZZ OFF! He sent the reply back through the fire.
Around seven-o-clock, Harry slipped off to re-join Ginny and the babies in the master suite. He had been back and forth several times in the last few hours to check on them, but now the room was completely restored. The huge four poster bed was back with its silk hangings, and the cart of linens and kettles was gone. Ginny, having been plied with healing potions and having napped for a few hours, was looking completely her beautiful self. She was dressing in satiny, soft-blue and silver evening robes, which accentuated her silky, waving, mane of fiery red hair as it flowed down her back. She swept over to Harry as he entered and greeting him with a passionate kiss. They strode arm in arm over to the matching cribs and smiled proudly down at their sleeping daughters for several silent minutes.
“What shall we name them?” Harry asked finally.
Ginny’s hand slipped in to Harry’s “Well, dear, I don’t think we have much choice… do you?”
Harry laughed, “No my darling… I suppose we don’t… and… quit reading my mind.”
“Why?” Ginny blinked innocently. Harry rolled his eyes at her. “Oh,” she replied. “Oh, my.” She blushed furiously and playfully slapped his arm. “Harry!” He winked at her.
Just then, the door opened, and James rushed in, bounding across the room and leaping into his father’s arms. “Baby sisters, baby sisters,” he exclaimed excitedly. Harry leaned him closer to the cribs so he could get a better look. James called them each by name, and they seemed to wake in response, gurgling and wiggling excitedly at their brother. Harry conjured a stool between the cribs and set James on it so that he could see both his sisters at once. James gave each of his sisters one of his small fingers to grasp. “They are going to be special sisters, Mummy,” James said, smiling up at his Mother.
Harry and Ginny glanced at each other in confusion, then turning to James, Ginny asked, “Jamie, baby… how did you know what names we were going to give the babies?”
“I don’t know, Mummy…” he replied, still smiling and giggling at his sisters “They picked them days ago.”
“They did…did they?” Harry pulled James up, tickling him. “Are you sure you didn’t help?”
“Daddy, stop!” James wiggled in his arms, laughing and squirming from his fathers tickling fingers. “Maybe I helped… a little.”
Harry and Ginny hugged their son together, smiling at one another.
“Okay, well are we ready to introduce the girls to all their friends and family?” Harry asked an edge of excitement in his voice. Ginny and James both nodded. Harry lifted his wand, transforming the two cribs into a single, double wide pram. He bent low, setting James down. “Alright, I am going to go ahead and make sure everything is ready.” He looked at his son seriously, “Will you escort your mother and the babies?” James reached up and took his mother’s hand, nodding and smiling. Harry stood up and kissed Ginny lightly on the lips. “Okay, give me just a minute, and meet me outside the main ballroom.” Harry turned and strode out the door.
When Harry reached the Library, he found that it had been emptied. Obviously, everyone had been ushered into the ballroom. Harry hurried to the ballroom and slipped in as inconspicuously as possible. The room was alight with bright candles and had been decorated with pale pink and white everywhere. Large round tables, seating ten each, were grouped around the room, each laid with fine porcelain china, polished silver, crystal goblets and a center piece of white and pink roses. Flutes of Champaign were everywhere, and ribbons and streamers seemed to be falling constantly from the ceiling, but never quite reaching anyone’s head. Harry thought to himself that Dobby deserved a special bonus for pulling this off.
There was a band playing at the far end of the room, and many of the guests were dancing in front of the raised stage. Harry spotted Hermione seated at one of the tables with Ron, Abigail, and Billy. He caught her eye and motioned for her to come over. She said something to Ron, who smiled over at Harry, and she was up and moving toward him in a moment.
“Where’s Mum?” he inquired as she came near.
“I think she just went off looking for you and Ginny, actually,” Hermione said in a pseudo whisper.
Harry ducked his head back out of the door, and sure enough, down the hall, Ginny was approaching the ballroom pushing the pram, and Mrs. Weasley was with her, James riding on her hip.
Harry turned back to Hermione; he glanced over at the band, “Fred and George’s doing?” he asked.
“Of course,” Hermione chuckled. “I think they have been planning this all with Dobby for weeks.”
Harry smiled, shaking his head in knowing appreciation, and grabbed Hermione by the arm, leading her out into the hall. Ginny was there with the pram, and had already placed one of the babies in her Mother’s arms. Molly was cooing and giggling at her Granddaughter. Harry reached into the pram and brought out his other Daughter, handing her into Hermione’s arms.
“Alright, we’ll go in…” He picked up James and pulled Ginny close, an arm around her waist, “And make the announcement. Each of you will come in on cue, Hermione first, then you Mum.” He looked at each of them and they nodded understanding, still smiling at the bundles in their arms.
Harry pushed open the door and strode into the ballroom, with Ginny at his side and James still in his arms. Harry waved at the band to stop playing, and as the room quieted, everyone turned toward him in anticipation.
“Welcome everyone…welcome,” he began in a loud clear voice. “Ginny and James and I, along with the rest of our family, are so very pleased that you were all able to come on such short notice.”
“Are you kidding? We’ve all had our schedules free in anticipation for weeks,” came a yell from Fred at a table across the room. The whole room burst into laughter and hoots of agreement.
“Well, then we thank you,” Harry responded. He smiled at Ginny, and she continued.
“We are happy and proud to count you all as friends and family...” Ginny exclaimed, “And without further ado, we present to you our new daughters… Lily Jane Potter…” Hermione stepped into the room with the first baby, beaming proudly.
Ginny nodded to Harry and he finished, “And, Molly Genevra Potter.” Mrs. Weasley practically floated into the room.
The room, getting to its collective feet, burst into excited applause.
Arthur Weasley ambled up next to his wife. He smiled down at his newest Grandchildren, and raised his glass excitedly. His voice rang out through the room. “A toast!” he bellowed, “To my Granddaughters, Lily and Molly Potter!”
In unison the whole room cheered, “To Lily and Molly Potter!”
Harry hugged Ginny and James close, and beamed with emotion.
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