|SIYE Time:15:15 on 26th October 2021|
Every Five Years
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Category: Alternate Universe
Characters:Harry/Ginny, Sirius Black
Genres: Drama, Fluff, Humor, Romance
Warnings: Death, Intimate Sexual Situations, Mental Abuse, Mild Sexual Situations, Sexual Situations, Spouse/Adult/Child Abuse
Summary: Select moments in our lives can change everything, and for Harry those moment seemed to occur every five years. Love, life, loss, and her. A Muggle alternate universe.
Hitcount: Story Total: 3530; Chapter Total: 1012
As always Arnel was awesome and helped me edit this chapter, so hats off to her!
“For the last time James, keep your socks on.” Ginny demanded of her two-year-old son. Why he decided that clothing was an optional part of life, she couldn’t understand for the life of her. This wasn’t quite what she had pictured that day she had peed on that little white stick, no she had imagined snuggles and cute moments in the bath. Maybe even her and Harry holding each other as they watched their child sleep. However, the result was much more chaotic, but she loved her son more than anything. He was now her life. He and Harry. Her boys.
She grabbed the discarded sock and rolled it back over James’ little foot. “If I find this on the floor one more time, I’ll tape it to your foot,” she threatened without much bite. He was only two, so really the odds of him listening to her were slim to none, but at least it made her feel better.
Well, at least mentally. Physically she had felt ill for the last week. She had caught the bug her nieces had last week, making her feel sluggish. Ginny assumed she would be back to her full energy by the weekend, which was perfect because it was hers and Harry’s fifth wedding anniversary. She didn’t know if he had anything planned, but Sirius had volunteered to watch James if they wanted, which she had agreed to instantly. Even if Harry didn’t plan to leave the house, they could have a pleasant evening home alone.
James gave her that lopsided smile that she had always loved on Harry. It was boyish even at Harry’s age, and on James it was perfectly adorably. Ginny had a hard time keeping an angry expression to chastise her son when he grinned at her like that.
The sound of a shutting door made James toddle gleeful out of the room, wanting to greet the newcomer to their home. Ginny followed behind James. It shouldn’t be Harry, so that left her brothers, her parents, or one of her sister-in-law. No one knew where the spare key was located (in the shade of the broken outside light) other than family.
Sure, enough it was Hermione, Ron’s wife, whom Ginny had known for years before she and Ron started dating. They had all gone to the same school, she, Harry, Ron and Hermione. However, Hermione and Ron were a year above herself and Harry. She being a year younger than Ron in the first place and Harry having to stay back a year due to the Dursleys refusing to help educate him.
Hermione was flush with anger, or at least Ginny assumed it was anger. Her hair was bushier than ever and her eyes seemed to be flashing a dangerous look. James reached his aunt first. “Aunt Hermy!” The little arms of the two-year-old clamped around Hermione’s leg.
Hermione tried, with semi-success to contort her fascial expression to prevent the little boy from seeing so much fury. Ginny could tell it was no easy task, between whatever had been angering her before she walked into the house and then to tack on James’ use of her least favorite nickname.
“Jamie!” Hermione put on her fake happy, children friendly tone. “How is my favorite godson?”
James giggled as she lifted him onto her hip. He pressed a sloppy kiss to her cheek that made her smile for the first time since arriving.
“Thank you, James,” Hermione returned his affection. “I needed that.”
“What’s happened, Hermione?” Ginny asked coming in and ruffling James’ shaggy black head. The toddler started to slide down Hermione, making her set him down. He waddled off to go grab a toy, Ginny assumed. She turned her focus back to her sister-in-law.
Hermione’s scowl had reappeared. “Your brother is a git.”
Ginny couldn’t prevent a snort. “I told you that from day one.”
“What did Harry do when he found you were pregnant?”
Ginny’s eyes went wide. “You’re pregnant!?”
Hermione looked abashed. “Well, possibly. I haven’t taken the test yet, but I think I am.”
“Okay, what symptoms do you have?”
“Nausea, fatigue, my breasts feel tender, and I missed my monthly,” Hermione recounted, sounding like a textbook.
Ginny nodded. “Yeah, sounds about right. So, why haven’t you taken a test yet?”
Hermione looked annoyed. “That’s what your brother said.”
“Okay,” Ginny drawled, “and what did you tell him.”
“That those tests could be wrong. False positives and negatives happen all the time — “
“So, take two.”
Hermione rolled her eyes. “I should have known better than to come to someone who’s related to Ron. You both are like broken records.”
“I think you must be pregnant based on those hormones alone,” Ginny joked making her companion huff. “Alright, how about this. We go buy a couple from the same brand. You take one and I take one. Mine will come back negative and yours will be positive, proving they are accurate. Would that work for you?” Ginny could remember how irrational she had been while pregnant with James, and watching Hermione fall victim to illogical pregnancy brain was more than a little strange, seeing as Hermione was the most logical person she knew.
Hermione thought about it for a moment. “I guess that could work.”
“You never did tell me,” Hermione started as they sat on Ginny sofa, a timer sitting on the coffee table counting down the seconds until their tests were conclusive. “How did Harry react about James?”
“Oh,” Ginny set her cup of tea aside. “He was in shock at first. He just kept muttering the word, ‘pregnant’. For a few moments I had thought I was going to have to send the father of my child to the looney bin, but then…” Ginny couldn’t help but smile at the memory. “Then he broke out in a wide grin and hugged me so tight I thought he would crack a rib. He was so excited, he’s always wanted a family of his own and apparently me being pregnant brought all his dreams alive.”
“See!” Hermione complained in annoyance. “That’s a cute pregnancy reveal story. Ron just dropped the pen he had been writing with and said, ‘are you sure.’ He sounded as if I had ruined everything.”
“Ouch,” Ginny sympathized. Telling your husband was stressful enough, but having a response like that wasn’t ideal. “Such a pillock!”
“He has the emotional range of a teaspoon,” Hermione let out an exasperated, yet loving sigh. “Sometimes I wonder if — “
Whatever she was going to say was cut off by the loud ring of the timer, which made both jump. Ginny stood from the cushion. “Alright let’s go see the results.” She offered Hermione her hand, pulling her to her feet.
The two white sticks sat on the edge of the porcelain sink. Ginny walked over to where they had placed Hermione’s first, while the woman in question remained in the doorway. A plus sign. “And, this says you’re pregnant,” Ginny smirked at her friend. “You were right, as always.” Then she turned to her own and felt her pulse quick. Another plus sign. Was she… too?
Hermione looked confused at Ginny. “Ginny, are you alright, you’ve gone rather pale.” She moved into the room and saw Ginny’s test. “Oh,” Hermione breathed. “It could be false,” she tried to comfort the red-head, but Ginny’s mind was working furiously.
Her last monthly had been… Buggering Hell! It had been at least over a month ago, but what about the rest of the symptoms that should have shown. Morning sickness, fatigue… Okay, well, she had been more tired than usual and had been feeling off color for the last week or so, but that had just been a bug, right?
“Ginny?” Hermione voice brought her back to reality. “Do you think it’s false?”
Her throat seemed to have shrunk, preventing her words from leaving her mouth. Ginny settled for a shake of her head.
“I’m guessing you weren’t trying,” Hermione’s voice was soothing as she placed a hand on Ginny’s shoulder. Only five minutes ago Ginny had been comforting her, oh, how the tables had turned. “How about I go check on James,” Hermione guided her to the toilet and helped to lower to on top of the lid.
Hermione left the room, leaving Ginny with her own thoughts. Were they ready for another baby? James was such a handful, then add a new born into the mix… She wanted to talk to Harry. He always knew how to calm her down, to stop her from overthinking. She looked at her watch. Two hours until her husband should be home. They had a lot to talk about tonight.
“Gi n?” Harry’s voice barely broke through Ginny’s thoughts. She was sitting on their bed, her back against the headboard. James having already been tucked in for the night. All night she had been going over the logistics. What room will the baby have? How will James respond to having a sibling? What about Harry? Was he ready to have another? Did he want more than one? They had never talked about it. James had been a surprise as well, and she and Harry had focused solely on raising their hyperactive son.
“Ginny?” Harry asked again.
“Huh?” Ginny looked over from the spot on the wall that had seemed so interesting. “What did you say?”
“Are you okay? You’ve been rather quiet tonight,” Harry moved over from his dresser, wrapping his arms around her. For years this had been her comfort zone. In Harry’s embrace, knowing that he loved her, and she him. However, the nagging worry still bubbled in her stomach. She needed to tell him.
“Harry?” Her voice was timid, even to her own ears. “How many kids do you want?”
Harry pulled back from her, ever so slightly, so he could look at her face. His eyes were alight, eyebrows raised. “Really?” His teeth showed through his smile.
He understood what she was truly getting at, she could tell. Harry had always been able to see through her and understand what she really needed. She nodded, a small smile responding to his.
Ginny let out a little squeak has Harry pulled her body down so she was lying on her back, his body coving hers. “We’re having a baby?” He wanted the confirmation before he let himself really let go. Ginny bit her bottom lip and nodded again.
Harry started coving her with quick kisses. On her forehead, cheeks, nose, then he lingered on her mouth. “How far along?”
“I don’t know yet, I only took the test today,” Ginny admitted, placing her hands on his hips. “But I made an appointment for Thursday to go in and see.”
Harry’s lips hovered over her neck. “What time? I want to be there.”
Ginny couldn’t help but smile, this was one of the many reasons she loved Harry. He responded to her stress and insecurities perfectly. It was like he knew exactly what she needed to hear, even if she didn’t.
“Detective Potter,” a calm male voice seemed to wake Harry from a deep sleep. His body felt heavy and his eyelids didn’t seem to want to open. A rush of pain hit him, coving his entire form. From his little toes to his ears, he hurt.
“Detective, I need you remain calm. Do not move.” The voice spoke again. Harry tried to follow its orders, but it was hard. He wanted to try to squirm and try to escape the pain. The voice spoke again, but this time to someone else. “Go get his wife, maybe she can keep him calm!”
There were the sounds of squeaky shoes, a door opening and closing, paper being shuffled. Harry tried to remain still, but his body just couldn’t stop twitching. He could feel every fiber of his body and they seemed on fire.
He wanted to scream, but he couldn’t. His throat refused to do anything but burn. The door from earlier opened again, and this time two sets of footsteps rushed into the room. “Harry!” Ginny’s voice said. Ginny, his wife, his best friend, was there. On a normal day he would have greeted her with a peck on the cheek, see her bright brown eyes full of love, but today he couldn’t. His eyes still refused to open, he couldn’t tilt his neck, so he could press his lips to her skin. All he could do was lay in his current position, his body ablaze.
Then on his forearm there was slight pressure, but it seemed to cool his skin. “Harry,” Ginny voice filled his mind. “Harry, stay strong, Love. The doctors are doing all they can, but whatever that crazed man injected with is hurting you.”
Crazed man? Harry couldn’t process anything other than pain. He wanted it to stop. Make it all stop. He couldn’t handle this.
“Harry, stop!” Ginny spoke again. The cooling sensation moved from his forearm to his left hand. “Stop pulling at the tubes, they’re helping to pump out the bad toxin.”
Harry wanted to see her, to look upon Ginny one last time. If this agony was going to be the death of him he needed to see Ginny one last time. He used all the focus he could muster to pry his eyelids apart. The white walled room was blurry, but Harry could see the outlines of numerous people bustling around. Nothing else mattered once he saw the color red. Ginny’s hair had always been one of his favorite physical features of her. How it fell down her shoulders, how bright and vivid it was, just like her.
“Harry!” He couldn’t make out her mouth, but her voice was clear as day. “He opened his eyes.” Why she needed to tell him that, he had no idea why. He knew he had opened his eyes.
Then a doctor’s, or what he assumed was a doctor, voice came from another part of the room. “That’s good! He’s starting to fight it. Keep talking to him, Mrs. Potter.”
“Harry, Love,” Ginny voice full of emotion. He didn’t need to see in order to know tears had filled her eyes. He wanted to make her feel better, but he couldn’t do more than lay there. She spoke again, “I want you to remain still. Would you like to hear what James and Sirius did yesterday?”
Ginny paused as if waiting for a response he couldn’t give. Then she pressed on. “James thought it would hilarious to convince his little brother that big Sirius could turn into a dog… I don’t know why Siri believed him, but our son hopped onto your godfather’s back while he slept on the sofa and told him to, and this a quote, ‘mush.’”
Harry could imagine it, the son that looked exactly like him, waking Harry’s godfather by shoving his heels into Sirius’ sides. Oh, how different his son, in retrospect, was to himself at the same age. At five Harry was stuck feeling unloved and unworthy of anything, never ever daring to try something so childish with his uncle, but his children, James, Sirius, and Lily were able to have a childhood.
Without him noticing, the pain that had been coursing through his body lessened from a burning to an angry throb. Listening to his wife, hearing funny moments he missed with his children, wasn’t as good as being there, but it always filled him with immense pride. Hearing how they were developing their own personalities: James the prankster, Sirius the animal lover and softy of the children, and Lily was his little flower who had him completely wrapped around her little finger.
“And you know what your godfather did, once he understood what was going on?” Ginny let out a small, soft laugh. “He barked and let his namesake ride around on his back. I’ve always liked that man.” Harry could hear chair legs scrape closer to him. Ginny’s voice was closer, but much softer. “Harry, I know it has to hurt, but you have to fight and come back to us… to me, please.” Harry felt the tear drop on to his nose as Ginny’s lips moved over his forehead.
Harry started to feel as if he were floating, that drifting feeling that he had when given nitrous oxide. Then an uncontrollable desire to sleep pulled at him, something he didn’t resist. He wanted to sleep, wake up later and be able to talk to his wife, to sit up and hug his children… He let his eyes close.
“There’s the old man,” Sirius laughed as he threw an arm around Harry almost spilling his drink. “How does it feel to be the big four-o?”
“I don’t know, Sirius,” Harry quipped back. “How does it feel to almost be the big seven-o?”
“Touché,” Sirius sloppily patted Harry’s shoulder. They remained silent as they looked around the surprise party Ginny had thrown for Harry. All his work mates were there, Ginny’s family, all their children, not to mention Harry’s own kids and godfather. As much as Harry hated to be the focus of anything, he couldn’t help but love Ginny for throwing this celebration.
“How’s everything with Gin?” Sirius asked as he watched James and his name sake dart through some of the trees on the boarder of the lawn, playing tag with a few of their cousins.
“Great,” Harry smiled. Talking about Ginny brought back memories of her present this morning, and what a present it had been.
Sirius apparently could read his, most likely, goofy, love-sick grin. Harry’s godfather smiled happily. “So, have you two decided if Lily was your last?”
Lily, being seven and the only female of his children, had brought out some dolls for her and Rosie, Ron’s daughter, to play with.
“We haven’t really discussed it,” Harry looked confusedly at Sirius. “Why?”
“I just know you’ve always wanted a rather large family and I was wondering if three was that big number.”
Harry thought about it for a moment. He loved when Ginny was pregnant, the way she glowed, which she insisted was sweat, the way her figure grew and allowed him to physically see the consequence of their love. He enjoyed giving her foot and back rubs, bringing her breakfast in bed. Sure these were all things he could do now and would do, but it made it so much better when she was carrying his child.
However, the three children they had already produced were perfect and he knew how much Ginny disliked all those things he loved about pregnancy. Not to mention the morning sickness, aches that he couldn’t rub away, and the birthing process alone…
“I’m happy with what we have,” Harry explained after a moment’s thought. “But in all honesty if Gin wants to have another I will be more than happy to pamper her again.”
Sirius’ grin went from ear to ear. “I knew you would say that.” He leaned in close, his lips basically on Harry’s ear, his alcohol breath strong. “Can I tell you s-s-something?”
Harry nodded, trying not to laugh at the little slur. “Sure.”
“I think Ginny is pregnant.”
Harry turned his gaze on his godfather. His cheeks were slightly flushed, but that was from the sun not the alcohol. “Why do you think that?”
“I found a positive pregnancy test in the loo, and before you ask, no, I wasn’t snooping. I was being a good god-grandfather help James find a… well, some sorta toy I don’t know, so I searched the trash and found two positive tests at the bottom of the bin.”
“Bloody Hell,” Harry muttered. Another kid… His smile widened. “That’s incredible. Why hasn’t she told me yet?”
Sirius smirked as he pulled his mouth away from Harry’s ear, looking over at the woman in question. “No idea, but I hope I’m right, because I can tell from your face you want it to be real.”
Ginny refolded the table they had used during the party. Inside the house it would have become stuffy with so many people, but the Potter’s garden had been the perfect location. Now it was just she and Harry, the kids having gone off to spend the night at various cousins’ homes. The perfect chance for her to explain about the baby. Bloody hell another baby, their fourth. It wasn’t like they couldn’t afford to have a bus load of children, but four was more than she had ever expected to have. When she was younger she figured maybe two, three max, but here she was with number four on the way.
Harry was at the other end of the yard, carrying a large stack of chairs. At first, she had been oddly resentful and confused about being pregnant for the fourth time in twelve years, but every time she looked at her husband she felt elated. Here they were, entering their forties and still so in love they were having babies.
Ginny folded the table in half and heaved it into their garden shed, which was full of all their random outdoor equipment. Once she had leaned against the wall, at that perfect angle, she started to turn around, but strong arms, which she had always found comfort in, wrapped around her back resting on her stomach.
Harry always loved to place his hands on her stomach when she was pregnant. He loved talking to the fetus, giving it all the love he could even before he or she was born… But she hadn’t told him yet… So why were his hands focused on her belly?
“How did you find out?” Ginny turned in his arms to look into his eyes. He had that excited, over-the-moon, smile plastered on his lips.
He let out a little snort. “Would you believe I just know you that well?”
Ginny laughed. “Ah, so it was Sirius. Was he snooping again?”
Harry pressed his lips to her, running his tongue over her bottom lip, requesting more, which she happily granted. He backed them up against the little part of the wall that had nothing in the way, pressing her to the wall. “It doesn’t matter how I know,” Harry protested between light kisses across her jaw and neck. “Is it true?”
A little moan escaped her lips. “Yes, and its situations like this…” Another moan. “This is the reason why you’ve managed to knock me up again, Potter.”
Harry let out a husky chuckle. “I haven’t heard you complaining, dear.”
Ginny moved her hands from his hair to the hem of his shirt. “Are we really about to shag out here in the garden shed?”
“Why not,” Harry’s hands moved up her torso to her breasts, then they reached around her back to unhook her bra. “It wouldn’t be the first time… We just need to watch out for splinters.”
Ginny pulled his shirt over his head, then helped him with hers, the wood wall scratched at her naked back as he lifted her, making her wrap her legs around his waist for support.
His mouth moved from her jawline to her breasts, kissing the tip of each one. “I love you, Gin, and I’m so glad we’re having another baby,” Harry whispered his attended divided between her chest, shoulders, and neck.
That sealed the deal for Ginny, her husband so happy about having another baby… she wasn’t on the fence any more, she was on the other side and running through the open field. “Me, too, Love. Me, too.”
“James can you help me with your brother?” Harry asked his eldest, who was now almost a legal adult. James placed his laptop down on the coffee table and came to Harry’s aid.
“Are you too old for this now?” James joked as he took the small coat Harry offered, and wrapped around his squirming four-year-old brother. “It’s what you get for getting your wife pregnant at forty. Save it for the youth.”
Harry snorted. “Like your mother could ever resist this,” He made a grand gesture with his free hand, the one that wasn’t zipping up his toddler’s snow pants, towards his body.
James’ face became disgruntled. “I didn’t need to know that, Dad.”
“Well, that’s what you get for calling me old.” Harry picked up the now fully dressed child. “Thanks for the help, James.” He then looked towards his youngest. “Are you ready to play in the snow, Artie?”
Arthur, the almost spitting image of his grandfather, except the eyes which were his father’s and the odd angles his hair lay, nodded enthusiastically. “Yeah!” He turned to his brother. “Come on, Jamie.”
James ruffled his brothers red hair. “Sorry, Buddy I have to finish this essay, maybe after.”
That seemed to satisfy the toddler. He nodded and focused on his father. “Snow fort?”
“Sure thing!” Harry kissed his son’s forehead. “Who knows, maybe your mum will come out and play after she finishes helping Lily with her maths homework.”
Arthur clapped happily. Then slid from his father’s arm, landing on his feet, and headed towards the back door.
“Does he even have boots on yet?” James asked, as his brother disappeared through the doorway.
“Nope,” Harry muttered, grabbing the smallest pair of boots in the house from their position by the front door. “It’s a good thing he hasn’t really grasped how to unlock doors, yet.”
James chuckled. “He’s always good for a laugh, I’ll give him that.” He paused and looked at his father. “Hey, Dad?”
“How did you know that mum was the one?”
Harry looked up from his own bootlaces, looking to the brown eyes of his eldest. “Why?”
James shrugged. “Just curious.”
Harry highly doubt that, he assumed it had something to do with Alice Longbottom, the daughter of one of his and Ginny’s friends, Neville. James and Alice had been friends since grade school and if James was anything like his father…
“Well, you know your mother was my best friend, right?” Harry pretended to focus on his laces, allowing James privacy if he wanted it.
James made a noncommittal grunt, so Harry pressed on. “Well, one day I saw her with another boy… and I could have sworn a beast clawed at my chest, making me want to rip the other boy’s head off.”
“But how did you move from friend to… more?” Harry looked up at James to see him biting his bottom lip. Yes, this must be about Alice.
Harry stood up and placed a hand on James’ shoulder. “I told her the truth.”
James’ brow furrowed. “The truth?”
“That I fancied her,” Harry nodded. “I was petrified, but in the end, it worked out and I get to fall more in love with your mother every day.”
“Why can’t you say those romantic things to me, huh?” A voice from the bottom of the staircase asked. The two Potter men turned to see their wife/mother. Ginny was smirking at her husband, showing there was no bite to her accusation.
Harry walked over and pressed a light kiss to Ginny’s lips. “Because the last time I was sappy with you, you called me a girl and punched my shoulder, hard.”
“It was a love tap.”
“Uh huh, that bruise really showed the love.”
Ginny laughed and kissed him. “Where’s Artie?”
James sniggered. “Trying to break out of the kitchen.” He looked through the open doorway. “Yeah, he’s trying to pick the lock with a spoon.”
Ginny rolled her eyes fondly. “I’ll go help the prisoner escape,” she stole a final kiss from Harry. “Join me when you’re done talking.” Ginny took the small boots from the spot Harry had left them, ruffled James’ messy locks and left to go play with Arthur.
Harry watched her leave, his eyes still trained on the doorjamb after Ginny’s red hair had disappeared.
James snorted in disgust. “See, I want that, but I don’t want to watch that.”
Turning his head towards his son, Harry grinned. “So, if you want that. You need to have ten seconds of courage and tell Alice how you feel.”
James, who rarely blushed, turned pink. “Alice?” His voice was almost an octave higher. “Who said anything about Alice?”
Harry laughed and patted his son shoulder as he walked towards the kitchen and his wife and son. “You didn’t have to. I know you, Son.” Harry gave James’ shoulder a tight squeeze. “You can do it, James. I believe in you.” Then he walked out of the sitting room, towards the sound of a delighted squealing toddler.
“I still can’t believe it,” Harry murmured, his knees still resting on the grassy patch beside the gravestone. Ginny placed her hand on her husband’s shoulder.
“I know, Love,” she pressed a kiss to the top of Harry’s greying head.
“He was the only parent I really knew,” Harry’s voice was thick with emotion. Ginny knew he was fighting tears as he looked down towards the ground.
“At least you were able to see him before — “ Ginny decided standing just wasn’t cutting it any more. She kneeled beside Harry. The man in question turning into her arms, resting his head in the crook of her neck.
“I already miss him, Gin,” Harry’s voice was muffled, but Ginny could feel his tears start to trail down her skin.
There was nothing for Ginny to say. She knew Harry just needed some time. Holding him tightly, Ginny allowed some of her own tears to fall. Damn it! She was going to miss that crazy, old, wonderful man.
Time was irrelevant, as the couple held on to each other through their grief. Eventually, Ginny guided Harry to his feet and led the way out of the little back yard cemetery, the small church’s lights shining along their path. Behind them the names James Potter and Lily Potter sat on aged marble. Now beside them read the name Sirius Black.
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