Chapter 1 : Chapter One
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Ginny sucked in a gulp of air as she stared at her bared and glowing stomach. This could not be happening, she thought. Another wave of nausea overtook her and she nearly lost what little breakfast she had managed to get down earlier that morning. She leaned back and stared up at the stark ceiling of Summer’s office.
“Well,” Summer began. “I have some good news.” She moved her wand over Ginny’s belly and grinned up at her.
Ginny frowned slightly. Only George’s wife would find this amusing. “Summer, I am thirty-three years old and I already have four children, some good news would be nice at this point.” A prickling began behind her eyes and Ginny felt powerless. She never could control her emotions when she was pregnant.
Summer’s face straightened and she became the consummate Healer once again. “It’s a girl.”
A slow smile spread across her face as she looked down at her still glowing belly. Her oldest, Edna, was the only girl in the entire extended Weasley clan. Ginny had three sons and sixteen nephews. Slowly she moved her hand to her belly and the tears of joy began to fall.
Summer hugged her tight and kissed her cheek. “Just wait until you tell Harry.”
Ginny exited the fireplace to find a silent house. Her instincts were instantly on guard. With three sons, the house was never peaceful. She looked around and noticed her only daughter studying her silently, a book laying open across her lap. “Where are they?”
There was no need to elaborate further, Edna or Eddi as the family called her, would know who she was referring to.
Her young face split into a grin. “Dad came back early today from helping Pops set up for the picnic so he took them out for ice cream.”
Ginny moved gingerly over to the couch and sat next to her daughter, who snuggled up to her and rested her head on Ginny’s shoulder. “Why didn’t you go?” She asked curiously, as she stroked her daughter’s bright red hair as she looked around the comfortable room, which held pictures on the walls, and toys were scattered along the floor.
“I wanted to wait for you.” She gave a sigh before snuggling in further. “So am I getting another brother?”
Ginny froze, her hand stilling in Eddi’s hair. “How… how did you know that I was…” but her throat closed up as her emotions overtook her again. Despite Summer’s cheerfulness over “telling Harry”, Ginny was not sure that her husband of almost twelve years was going to be thrilled with a fifth child. She turned her head so that her daughter wouldn’t see the turmoil in her eyes.
“Mum,” she felt a small hand snake its way to her belly and Ginny let out a sob. Her anxiety over realizing that her period was late, finally overwhelmed her. She instantly moved to grasp Eddi’s hand in her own.
“I’m all right and no, we aren’t having another boy. Your Aunt Summer assures me that it’s a girl.” She turned to look down into Eddi’s brilliantly green eyes, which were filled instantly with delight.
Eddi threw her arms around her and hugged her fiercely. “I have wanted a sister for so long. Thanks Mum.”
A nervous giggle escaped her lips. “I’m glad you are so excited.”
Eddi pulled back and studied her. “I take it Dad doesn’t know.”
Ginny pursed her lips to keep them from trembling and let out a slow breath. “I’ll tell him when he gets back.”
“It will be all right, Mum.” Eddi assured her. Sometimes it was hard not to smile at the tone her eleven-year-old daughter used. She often sounded wiser than her years.
Ginny did allow a small grin to form on her lips. “You think so?”
Eddi shrugged. “Sure, Daddy loves us and he’ll want another baby.” Her eyes instantly clouded over. “I won’t be here when she’s born.”
“No.” Ginny agreed before running a hand lovingly over Eddi’s freckled face. “I can hardly imagine that it will be your first year at Hogwarts and that you leave in two days.”
“You’ll send lots of photos to me after she’s born?” Her young face was pinched in worry for a moment, as she seemed to be seeking reassurance.
Ginny pulled her in close. “I will. I promise to send you lots of lovely letters and photos of all of us while you are away.”
Eddi’s posture relaxed in her arms, but she did not pull away. “Oh, I don’t care about the monsters.” Ginny tried to stifle her laughter at Eddi’s pet name for her brothers. “I just want to see the new baby.”
“I promise to-” her voice was cut off as the front door to their large home slammed open and two of her sons came running into the room.
Eddi was instantly on her feet and moving toward her father, who was holding her youngest, Rider. Rider was the baby at three years old. Ginny’s smile faltered as she reminded herself that he soon wouldn’t be.
Steven, who was six, came in and gave her a quick hug. “We got ice cream Mummy!”
She gave him a genuine smile. “I know. That must have been fun.”
“It was and we saw-” whatever he was going to add was cut off.
“Outside you lot.” Eddi ordered as she took Rider into her arms.
“But…” nine-year-old Andrew began to protest.
Eddi shook her head and began to herd the other two boys out the back. “No, Mum needs to speak with Dad for a bit, so we’re going outside to play.” Ginny smiled as she watched her daughter corral her sons, all of whom were the spitting image of Harry, out the door. Eddi had a knack for that.
“I just need fifteen minutes.” Ginny called after her and she saw Eddi nod before the door closed behind her.
Harry turned to her and gave her a lopsided grin. “So you needed to speak with me?”
Her nerves overtook her again and her palms began to sweat. Ginny had told him about having a baby four times already and wondered, briefly, why it didn’t get any easier. She watched his face turn to concern as he moved over to sit with her, taking her hand in his.
“What’s wrong, Gin?” His eyes were piercing as they studied her face.
She took a deep breath, attempting futilely to calm herself but after realizing that calm wouldn’t come, she closed her eyes and spoke, her voice barely above a whisper. “I’m pregnant.”
For a long moment he didn’t react and when he did, it was not what she had expected. His lips came crashing down onto hers and she fell backwards onto the couch, with him propped above her. Ginny’s eyes flew opened but quickly closed them again as she lost herself in the kiss. She threaded her hands through his thick, black hair and let out a small whimper when he pulled away.
Slowly her eyes opened, almost against her will to meet his gaze, which was always loving and tender, although at this moment it also held a hint of desire and he was still searching her, as if trying to comprehend something. Finally he spoke. “Why were you afraid?”
She let out a raspy breath before reaching up to stroke his rough cheek. “We have four children already.”
“Yes but you didn’t get pregnant alone.” He answered mildly but then she felt it, that gnawing ache in her heart that did not originate from her. He was hurt by her doubts in him.
It had always been that way, since they were soul bonded. She could often feel the emotions that he tried to hide from her. Shame consumed her and Ginny felt tears start to flow from her eyes. “I’m so sorry Harry. I just… you never…” she brought a hand up to swipe at her cheek. “You commented after Rider was born that you were happy with four kids. I just assumed that you wouldn’t want anymore.”
He chuckled softly. “I am happy with four but one more is fine with me.” A wicked grin spread over his face as he bent down to nuzzle her neck. “In fact, I would be happy with many more children since it’s a lot of fun making them.”
Ginny snorted. “That would be because you don’t have the nine months of carrying them.” She moved her hand through his hair and kissed his cheek. “I love you.”
“I love you too Gin and I love our children.” He propped himself up on his elbows so that he could meet her eyes. “We may not have planned it but each of our children has been…” he swallowed and his eyes became suspiciously bright. “They have been wonderful and I could never regret having them.” Harry swiftly kissed her before moving onto the floor and lifting her shirt.
Ginny watched his eyes, which showed reverence and pride as he gazed on her stomach. She flushed as he kissed it. Generally she tried to ignore her distended and stretch marked stomach, but Harry never minded that it showed the battle scars of having carried four babies. Now it holds another. Ginny finally relaxed and fully began to appreciate the fact that she was having another baby, that she didn’t have to cry anymore when Rider out grew his clothing.
“So Eddi knew?” Harry looked up at her and grinned.
“She guessed.” Ginny informed him softly.
He laughed and ran a hand along her belly. “She is very perceptive.”
She reached out a hand to caress his thick, dark locks. “Harry, I have something else to tell you.”
He gazed up at her expectantly, a joyful smile still firmly planted on his face.
“The baby…” she began but then paused at she felt tears pool up into her eyes.
His brow wrinkled in concern and he reached out a hand to smooth away to tear from her cheek. “Is something wrong with the baby?”
“No!” Ginny denied quickly before laughing softly. Her breath caught as she tried to speak. “It’s just… we’re having a girl.”
Disbelief, shock and elation were the emotions playing across his face. Ginny felt her mouth being stretched so far that she was not sure that she would ever be able to stop smiling and it looked as though Harry was feeling the same way.
Slowly he moved up her body to kiss her gently, lovingly. “You are so amazing.” She shook her head but he cupped her chin and kissed her again, halting any movement that she might have made.
Both adults’ head snapped up, narrowly missing a collision with each other as they turned to see Andrew staring at them in disgust. “Can’t you two be normal for once and stop kissing like all of my friend’s parents?” His nine-year-old voice was almost a whine as he finished speaking.
Ginny tried to control herself but a giggle erupted from her and soon she and Harry were both laughing at his words. When she had finally regained her composure, she sat up completes and turned to face him. “Where is Eddi?”
Andrew’s face paled and he looked down at his feet, his hands behind his back. “Uh… outside still.” He turned quickly but no sooner had the final words left his mouth than his sister’s booming voice filled the house.
“Andrew James Potter!!!” Eddi came running in with Rider in her arms and Steven trailing quickly on her heels. “I told you to leave them alone for a few minutes.” She reminded him sternly.
“They were kissing!” Andrew informed her, pointed a finger accusingly at his parents. He said it as if kissing her a criminal act. Ginny turned to see that Harry was struggling as much as she was to control herself. She felt herself shake with suppressed mirth.
Harry cleared his throat and all of the children fell silent and turned to face their father. “Your Mum and I have something to tell you.” He looked over at Ginny expectantly.
She nodded in understanding. “Come here you lot.” She held out her arms and all of the children came to pile onto the couch with her, Steven and Andrew were in her lap while Eddi went and sat with her father, still holding Rider. She took a deep, steadying breath. She looked into each of their eyes, all of which were green and smiled. Ginny often marveled at the fact that the fates had given each of their children Harry’s beautiful emerald eyes. She smiled at each of them before speaking. “We’re going to have another baby.”
Excited chatter broke out amongst the older children and several questions were fired at her at one time but it was Steven’s question that made Ginny blush scarlet.
“Mummy, where do babies come from?” There was curiosity in his wide, innocent eyes.
Ginny froze for a moment until she saw Eddi trying to hide a smirk. She then turned to Harry who was gazing at her in horror. She sighed and kissed the top of his dark head. “How about you ask your Uncle Ron at the picnic later?”
“Okay.” Steven agreed quickly before snuggling into her. This is how it should be, Ginny thought as she pulled Andrew in closer.
“Oh thank goodness you are here!” Her mother’s voice was pinched as the Potter family exited the fireplace into the Burrow’s kitchen. The room was buzzing with talk and a fine layer of flour covered every surface. Ginny glanced quickly at her mother who was frantically trying to prepare the huge meal with several of her brother’s wives. Ginny’s stomach rolled as she caught a whiff of the food but she swallowed and was able to keep herself from reacting further.
Harry’s hand came to rest on the small of her back after he set down Rider. “What can we do to help, Mum?”
Mrs. Weasley turned from her cooking and walked over to hug them all, stopping last in front of Eddi, looking into her only granddaughter’s eyes. “Everyone’s already here and in the back and your uncles are only encouraging them! I swear one of them is going to get hurt.”
Ginny watched the exchange between them with amusement. Eddi is the only one who can control them all. It was always fun to watch too.
“Don’t worry, Nana, I’ll make sure they behave.” Eddi kissed the older woman’s cheek and smiled before turning to her brothers. “We’re going outside.” They nodded and followed her out.
Ginny waited for a moment at the door, listening carefully. The kitchen was suddenly quiet and she realized that all of the other women were anticipating what was to come next as well. Harry just beamed with pride in his eyes.
The wait wasn’t long. “Uncle Fred!!! Uncle George!!! Uncle Charlie!!! Uncle Ron!!!” Each name was bellowed from her young lungs and a small laugh erupted through the room but silence overtook them again... waiting for the lecture that would cower the tall Weasley men. “Exploding snap is a dangerous enough game and enlarging it so that the cards are taller than you are is really stupid idea! What if the whole thing had blown up? There are babies out here and you four are acting as immature as they are! Clear it up or I’ll tell Nana and Aunt Hermione what you have been up to!”
Gales of laughter exploded into the room as each of them held their sides. Before long they were crowded around the one window to watch Eddi in action as her uncles cleared away the mess while she organized the children into a game of tag. It was a sight to watch her order around her other cousins, even the six boys that were her age and heading off to Hogwarts with her soon. Eddi was the youngest of them all but since the day she was born, there was never any doubt about who was in control.
“I don’t know how she does it.” Hermione grinned as she turned to Ginny. “She has all of them cowering at her feet and yet they love her.”
“It must be because she is the only girl and she’s just as tough as they are.” Fred’s wife Piper chimed in. “I think they respect that.”
“Yes, well…” Summer’s voice faded off as she winked at Ginny.
Ginny blushed and looked down at the floor. Harry slipped his rough, calloused hand into hers. She looked up and noticed that they were studying her. Her palms began to sweat but she took courage in the fact that she knew they all wanted another girl in the family. The women were sorely outnumbered. “I’m pregnant with a girl.” Ginny finally told them simply.
The female screams that came from all of them as they rushed in to hug her were enough to shake the entire house.
The twenty children were seated around on a large colorful blanket, spread on the grass eating, laughing and sharing. Most of them had red hair but a few had inherited other shades. The most noticeable were her own three sons.
Ginny leaned back into Harry who wrapped his arms around her waist. “I can’t believe our baby leaves for Hogwarts so soon.”
“What house do you want to be in?” Charlie Jr. asked the group and Ginny quieted to listen.
“I don’t really know.” Walden admitted. He was Ron and Hermione’s oldest.
Ginny watched Paul lean back to rest his head in his hands. He was Percy and Penelope’s only child but unlike his parents, he was more often relaxed and carefree but also extremely intelligent. “I want Gryffindor or Ravenclaw. Dad’s told me all about them and since my parents were from those houses, I think they’re the best.”
“I think we should all try and get into the same house.” Eddi said softly. “I don’t want to spend my time there apart.”
“I agree.” Nathaniel, Bill and Fleur’s son piped in. Ginny was grateful that they had not yet noticed her presence. She enjoyed these moments of watching them talk.
“How do you get chosen for a house?” Six-year-old Mathew asked. He and his twin, Henry were Ron and Hermione’s other two children. Ginny grinned. Hermione had inquisitive children.
Brandon, Fred and Piper’s son, answered. “Uncle Charlie told me that you have to fight a dragon.”
“He told you that because you would believe him!” Eddi bit out. “Honestly, I found out the answer from Aunt Hermione’s copy of Hogwarts, A History. We put a hat on our head and it reads our minds and then sorts us into a house.”
“Really?” Brandon asked her in relief. It was clear to Ginny that her nephew had not been looking forward to facing a dragon.
“Of course you know what that means don’t you?” Paul said suddenly.
Eddi laughed. “I was thinking the same thing myself but you go ahead and explain.”
Paul sat up and looked around. “If the hat reads our minds then we can just think about which house we want to be in and it will put us there.”
“It can’t be that simple.” Thomas argued. He was George and Summer’s oldest child.
“I actually think it is.” Eddi replied evenly. “Well, I want to be in Gryffindor but it is your call.” She held out her hand, palm down. “Who’s with me?”
“I’m in.” Walden replied immediately before slapping his hand on top of hers.
“Me too.” Charlie Jr. replied, his hand joining the other two.
Paul’s hand was next. “You can count on me.”
“And us as well.” Thomas and Brandon said together, their hands also coming to rest with the others.
Nathaniel was next. His hand came over the top and landed onto the rest. “It wouldn’t be the same if we weren’t all there.” He looked around at the other children who were gazing at their older siblings in awe. “Are you all in for when you get to Hogwarts?”
Several small squeals and giggles later and every child had a hand in the pile.
“Hogwarts isn’t going to know what hit them.” Eddi said jovially.
Walden’s grin widened. “All for one…” he called loudly and each of the others joined in. “...and one for all!”
Ginny sighed contentedly as she watched them all together, laughing and tickling and having a happy carefree afternoon. Her life had not been easy when she was their age and just a bit older and Ginny hoped fervently that none of these children would ever have to suffer as she had. She pulled her husband’s arms in tighter around her and purred softly as he kissed her neck. This is exactly how life is supposed to be.