Chapter 1 : Chapter 1
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She could deal with that.
When Harry had insisted that the house be put under the Fidelius Charm with only her family able to visit, Ginny had stared at him with her arms crossed, and tapped her foot. He had a right to be paranoid since a few Death Eaters still roamed the land and wanted to kill them.
They were Aurors; it was to be expected.
The day Harry had gently told her that he would take over the cooking left her in a fit of giggles. He had this odd notion that his food should be edible and hers was not fit to feed her cat.
Well… she was a terrible cook and no amount of lessons from her mother could improve it.
He didn’t want a dog. Ginny had mentioned getting one, just because she thought she might like a dog to go running with in the morning, and to play with but Harry had flatly said ‘no’. That wouldn’t typically have stopped her from getting one anyway. It was, after all, easy to get around him when he was mad… she just had to use her wifely charms and he was putty in her hands. But the look in his eyes had stopped her.
When Harry thought of a dog, he thought of Sirius.
The war had changed him drastically. He always had socks on, so that he could quickly put on shoes and run if he needed to.
Always… even when they were… well… doing that.
He was reserved and quiet when they were in public, although still very loving and affectionate at home. Harry just didn’t want anyone to have something to hold over him. Ginny was the one exception but it had come at the cost of innocence and carefree spirit.
He had only come to her again after Voldemort had been dead for a year and most of the Death Eaters were dead or in Azkaban.
It was hard to stay angry with him for it, or for her it was anyway. His eyes held the memories of too many lives lost and too much carnage seen.
When he had told her, after five years of marriage, that he didn’t want to have children it had taken all she had to not hex him. Ginny wanted a couple of children and hadn’t thought to ask Harry if he felt the same way. She’d assumed, wrongly of course, that once they were a bit older and the world was once again rebuilt, that they could begin a family.
It had been his eyes that stopped her from removing his bits for him.
Harry explained to her, in a choked up voice, that because they’re lives were so dangerous and because any child he had would be stigmatized as he was, that it wouldn’t be fair to bring a child into the world. He didn’t want to worry that Death Eaters would sneak into Hogwarts to kidnap his child. He didn’t think he could stomach the thought of his child being taunted for being ‘Harry Potter’s son’. He’d then told her that if she wanted to divorce him, that he would understand.
So she slapped him and told him to stop being a prat.
Ginny didn’t like it but she loved Harry. She loved him and hoped that someday he would change his mind. When she’d said ‘I do’ it had been for life and she wasn’t going to pressure him to do otherwise. He had these quirks when she married him and she accepted that, even if she didn’t like it. That had take place three years ago and she was now twenty-nine years old and facing a small dilemma.
Magic was not a one hundred percent guarantee against pregnancy.
After a bad case of Dragon Pox and the potion to cure her of it for over six months, she found herself with her head stuck in the toilet. Although her Healer had warned her that there was a very small chance that the potions might interfere with the Contraceptive Charm, she really hadn’t expected it to be a problem.
Apparently, she hadn’t figured in the Prewitt family fertility.
Sitting back against the wall of the bathroom, Ginny cried silently into a fluffy towel. It was one thing to get a dog against Harry’s wishes or to eat a whole chocolate cake and not even leave him a bite, but it was another thing for her to be pregnant.
He didn’t want this and he wasn’t going to be happy about it.
Ron and Hermione had two children. Ron had beamed with pride each time Hermione had gotten hugely fat with their two boys. He’d patted her belly and rubbed her back. He’d held his children with reverence and Ginny knew that her brother adored his children, all the more grateful that he had the chance to live and be a father in a peaceful world.
Harry hadn’t ever once looked at them with envy.
He held his nephews, all eight of them, when Ginny made him. She was still hopeful that one of them would trigger an emotional reaction in him but so far, none of his brothers’ children had inspired anything in him. A few of them were old enough to be played with and Harry didn’t seem to mind that too much but he shied away from interacting with the children whenever possible.
It was a thought that made Ginny shudder.
She had stuck by him when he had gone through his mid-life crisis at the age of twenty-three and had bought a Quidditch team. She’d patted his shoulder when he decided that he wanted to fly Sirius’ motorbike all over the world and had insisted that they take a sabbatical for a year to accomplish it. She’d even smiled in approval when he decided to buy his aunt and uncle’s house in Surry, only to level it with a wrecking ball.
But this was probably going to break them apart and it hurt her so badly that she could barely breathe.
“Ginny?” Harry’s voice floated up the stairs, through the closed door of the loo.
She wanted to ignore him and not answer. She didn’t want to face him and the possibility that her husband would look at her in disgust. Or anger.
“Ginny?” A light knock reverberated through the wood of the door. “Are you okay?”
She shook her head and buried her face in the towel again. Best to get it over with… “No… the door’s unlocked though, you can come in.”
The door opened slowly and she watched him look around for her, finally locating her, huddled behind the door. “What happened?”
She bit her lip and said, “Sit down… I have to tell you something.”
Harry’s expression shifted subtly and his face hardened as if steeling himself for bad news. He lowered himself to the bathroom floor and waited patiently.
Ginny licked at her dry lips, feeling a crack from where she had been chewing on it. This wasn’t the way she’d planned on ending their lives together. She thought maybe it would be in a nursing home or possibly on a mission together, killed by rogue Death Eaters.
“Sweetie… what’s wrong?” Harry prompted after a lengthy silence.
“I’m…” She never thought she’d say this to him. “I’m pregnant.”
Harry’s jaw dropped. He gaped at her for a full minute before he finally managed to pull himself together enough to ask, “How did this happen?”
“The potion for my Dragon Pox…” she retorted while trying to keep her fear from turning into anger. “Remember? I told you that it could be a problem and you said you would take a potion for it.”
Harry swallowed hard and shook his head. “I guess I forgot… I thought the Healer said it probably wouldn’t be a problem.”
“He did,” Ginny answered as she felt her world revolve slowly. She had been dizzy all morning and because there was nothing in her stomach, she was ready to pass out. “Look… I know this is… isn’t what you’re looking for but would you help me up please? I need to eat something right now.”
He didn’t say a word as he stood and pulled her up to her feet. He steadied her as they walked downstairs to the kitchen and pushed her into a seat at the table while he got out a package of crackers. Only when he’d sat again, did he finally speak. “So what are we going to do about it?”
She nibbled on the small, salty square and thought about what she should say. Really though, there was only one thing she could do… even if Harry chose to leave. “I’m going to have a baby. You’re free to do as you like.”
“Ginny… we talked about this,” Harry said slowly. “It isn’t a good idea for me to have a child.”
She glared up at him; her lip trembled with years of suppressed emotions threatening to spill from her mouth. When she spoke, however, it was with clear annunciation and perfect clarity. “I will not have an abortion so don’t even think it is an option. I didn’t try to get pregnant and if you’re unhappy with the results, you’ve only yourself to blame. You were going to get a potion and forgot, not me.”
“Right,” was his maddening response. He got up from the table and walked out of the kitchen without another word. Seconds later she heard the front door close behind him.
It wasn’t how she had expected today to go but he’s not here for me to complain to anyway.
After finishing her cracker, Ginny rose slowly from the table and went up to their empty bed to sleep. Tomorrow she would go to see her Healer to confirm what she already knew and try to figure out what to do with herself… and their baby.
“Twins,” the unctuous man told her with the wave of his wand. “Do you want to know the sex?”
“Uh…” Ginny wasn’t sure that today could have gotten much worse. Now she was being told that she would have two babies to bring into the world with a father that didn’t want them. Sure, twins ran in her family but why did she have to be the one to have them? “Yes.”
“Girls… they look like they’re identical,” he answered as he moved his wand around. Ginny couldn’t bear to look down and see her glowing belly. She knew that she would do anything for them but at this moment she was having trouble focusing on anything.
“Are you still off of work from the Dragon Pox?”
Ginny’s head snapped up and she nodded. He’d removed his wand and her stomach was no longer glowing. “Sorry, yes I am.”
“I think, with the Pox on top of your pregnancy, that you should continue to stay at home,” he told her with his oily voice. “They’ve cleared up nicely but it has weakened you and I don’t want you to overdo it, especially with twins.”
Ginny really didn’t like this man but he was good at what he did and he wouldn’t ever betray her or Harry to the Press. But now he was telling her that she had another nine months at home. “Can… can you just extend my medical leave as if it were the Pox? I don’t want everyone to know about the babies yet.”
“‘Course,” he assured her as he wrote out a long note in her chart. “I’ll have this sent over to the Auror office today.
“Thank you,” was Ginny’s perfunctory reply. She got up from the examining table, straightened her shirt and sat in one of the rickety chairs, just staring at the wall. “When should I come back?”
He consulted a chart and clicked his tongue, something that annoyed Ginny to no end and now that she was pregnant it sounded about a hundred times worse. “If you’re feeling well then I want to see you again in three months. If you have any concerns, though, you can come in any time. Here,” he handed her a potion. “Drink this and you’re free to go.”
“What is it?” Ginny asked before taking the whole thing in one shot.
“It is a potion to strengthen the babies. Floo if you need something or come back in three months and we’ll check them again.” He pointed to the empty vial with his quill. “With that, however, you really shouldn’t need to see us until you deliver. I just want to be careful.”
Ginny nodded absently. “Anything else?”
“I don’t think so. Just let that husband of yours spoil you and try to take it easy.” With that, he left the room.
Ginny didn’t see Harry that night and he appeared to have left before she woke the next morning. She tried not to think too much about what this implied. Around dinner time the next day she even considered just going to the Burrow and telling her mother everything.
The problem would be when her brothers found out and decided to hunt Harry down.
“No,” she said to the empty kitchen. “I don’t think I’ll say anything to anyone right now.”
The only problem now was that she was hungry, nauseous and unable to make what she wanted to eat. Sighing heavily, she went to locate the keys for their Muggle car and find some Muggle money. She had to eat and she couldn’t wait for Harry… probably she wouldn’t be able to rely on him to fix dinner again.
Tears dripped down her cheeks but she didn’t stop to consider them. She had babies to feed and they were telling her quite clearly that they wanted fish and chips.
After about a month Harry finally came home for dinner again. The locals had gotten used to Ginny arriving for dinner by herself and she was on her way out the door when he walked in, meeting her in the doorway. “Oh… uhm, I was just going out to get pizza.”
Harry nodded and skirted around her. “Fine.”
“I don’t know how to make pizza…” she commented, not really thinking he would respond at this point but her husband surprised her.
“I’ll make it for you, if you want.”
She did, very much. Not only did she want to see him, longed to see him, but also she was exhausted and not looking forward to going out. Ginny wasn’t sure how she got so tired everyday but it seemed as if everything she did took twice the effort that it should have. “Please…” she took his retreating back and she closed the door, while pulling off her cloak.
Ginny followed him into the kitchen and sat, as she had so many times in their years together. She hadn’t spoken to him in over a month and while a small part of her hoped that he would change her mind and accept the babies, a bigger part of her had come to acknowledge that her marriage was over. It was just a matter of time.
Speaking of the babies… she hadn’t yet told him that she was having twins.
Ginny cleared her throat, more from nerves than trying to get his attention. Her palms were sweating badly as she rubbed them vigorously on her shrinking jeans. “I’m having twins.”
Best to be blunt, right?
Maybe not. Harry’s back stiffened and he abandoned his food preparations to leave the room.
“Wait!” Ginny called out, fighting back tears again. “Please don’t go!”
He froze, halfway to the door again. “Why not?”
“Because… because…” The problem was that she didn’t really have a reason. She’d known for years that he didn’t want a baby and the fact that they were having two was probably doubly painful for him. So she said the only thing that she could think of. “Because I’m bloody exhausted and I’m starving. I really don’t have the energy to go into town to find pizza.”
He didn’t look at her as he turned back to making pizza. When it was finished he placed it in front of her and left the house again.
Well… Ginny thought as she bit into her pizza. At least he cared enough to not let me starve. It wasn’t extremely comforting but it was something.
The garden gnomes were winning. Ginny sat on the cold ground, watching them run all over her garden. She’d taken this up to keep herself occupied while she was off of work but this was becoming work. She was five months pregnant and already she had gained a stone… probably a bit more than that but she was too afraid to step on a scale. Her clothes had stopped fitting and she was down to wearing Harry’s old clothes that she suspected had once belonged to his cousin Dudley.
Part of her wanted to just blast the whole garden to bits and be done with it but she knew that if she did that, she’d have nothing to do for the next four months. She didn’t have anything planted right now but the little devils were still attempting to make their burrows to hibernate. If she left them it would be all over with and the ground would be unfit to plant in during the spring. She was already going spare with boredom when she wasn’t passed out on the sofa. Harry was barely speaking to her although he did regularly make her dinner now. It took another few weeks after telling him about the twins for him to come around and start cooking again but they had a routine now.
He would walk in and ask what she wanted. Ginny would tell him and he would make it, leaving her to it while he went to the study and ate by himself. She wasn’t complaining though. Now she only had to leave the house when she wanted a midnight snack that they didn’t have.
She was up and out of the house nearly once a week to search out that elusive craving. Her babies liked things like chocolate ice cream at 2am, and pretzels at 1am. She’d tried to think of everything that she could possibly want and stock up on it but even then, she would still crave things like crisps that would require a trip at midnight to a local pub.
Ginny had the feeling that the bar man felt sorry for her and even though his kitchen was closed, he’d make something up for her. He had three children of his own and assumed that she was unwed.
Ginny hadn’t corrected him on that notion. She knew that most husbands did the late night runs for food but those fathers-to-be usually wanted their children and Harry didn’t. They were barely on speaking terms, anyway.
A garden gnome ran over her foot and she jumped in surprise. “All right, forget it! I’ll get rid of you tomorrow.” She rolled over onto her knees and pushed herself up slowly. She put one swollen foot out and nearly screamed when a hand cupped her elbow.
“It’s just me,” Harry said from above her as he helped her to her feet. “What are you doing out here?”
Ginny sighed heavily and shrugged as she felt a stab of pain shoot down her leg. “I’m losing the war.” She tried to bend down to rub at it but her diminished waist didn’t allow for those movements any longer.
Her husband was watching her with concern, which she found unnerving after the months of silence. “Are you okay?”
“Just a cramp that I can’t reach,” she informed him. Silently she added, one that most husbands would willingly massage for their pregnant wives. She didn’t say it, though. She knew that by keeping their babies that she was doing it by herself. It was only a matter of time before she or Harry left.
Sometimes she wondered why she even bothered to stay but the fact that she hadn’t yet told her family probably had something to do with it.
Ginny had been avoiding them for months now. Christmas was coming up in a few days and she would have to tell them. Even if she dressed in very loosely fitting clothes, her mother would still know. “What are you doing home?” She hated that she sounded accusatory. She tried to smile at him but the cramp was getting worse and she needed a long soak in the bath.
“I’ve taken two weeks off,” Harry answered. He was just as reserved with her as she was with him. “Are you sure you’re okay?”
Ginny wanted to lie. She’d been taking care of herself for the past few months and although she was probably doing more than her Healer wanted, she was making it through. The problem was that she was close to tears with how much her leg hurt. “I need a long soak in a hot bath. If you wouldn’t mind helping me upstairs then I certainly won’t argue.”
Harry scooped her up into his arms and let out a small grunt. “You’ve put on some weight.”
“Really?” Ginny muttered sarcastically. “Do you think you can handle it?”
He rolled his eyes and walked up to the house with her. “Even with this extra weight you’re still quite titchy.”
Ginny shook her head but didn’t argue. She didn’t want to question why her husband was suddenly speaking to her or why he was willing spending two weeks at home with her.
He carried her straight up to their large bathroom and set her down on the toilet seat so that he could start the water. When he had that accomplished, he glanced back at her with a questioning look.
Normally they took bubble baths together and they ended up making loving in the oversized tub. Of course, that was when they were still making love. Harry hadn’t seen her naked in months and she doubted he would find it all that appealing now.
Still, for some reason, he was extending an olive branch and Ginny doubted that she should refuse it. “Do you want to join me?”
“Yes,” Harry answered simply. He began stripping off his clothes and she hung her head as she pulled off the sweatshirt that she’d nicked from him. She then threw off her t-shirt and discarded her bra. Still she didn’t look up at him. She didn’t want to know what he thought of her body or if he was completely repulsed by her. Ginny stood up awkwardly, painfully aware that her right leg was still throbbing mercilessly, and shoved the sweatpants down as she kicked off her trainers.
Even those were getting too tight. Who knew that shoes would stop fitting during pregnancy. Someday, in the not too distant future, she was going to have to buy new clothes but she wasn’t ready for that yet. That meant facing the wizarding world and she hadn’t even faced Hermione with the truth yet.
Ginny stood tall and stared at Harry who was taking in her round form. “Your breasts are bigger.”
She couldn’t help but snicker at that. Trust him to say something only about her chest. “Yeah, that happens.” She hobbled over to the full tub and reached out a hand to brace herself. Again his hands were on her, helping her to get in without falling. She sank gratefully into soothing water and felt it splash against her as Harry stepped into the tub behind her.
He sat down and tugged gently at her shoulders, pulling her back against him as if they hadn’t spent months not talking. She melted into his chest, reveling in how wonderful it felt. He didn’t hold onto her, like he would have in the past, but she didn’t care. She loved him with her whole heart and she would take what he was willing to give.
“Ginny… we need to talk.” Harry’s voice was quiet and serious, not something she’d heard in a long time. “I realized last night that if I didn’t do something that our marriage was pretty much over.”
“You mean it isn’t already?” Ginny blurted out and she felt him stiffen. “I just… I mean there can’t be two babies in this house with you loathing their existence. It really isn’t fair to them and it would be like repeating your childhood with your aunt and uncle all over again.”
He relaxed a bit and nodded against the back of her head. “I know… I thought about that too last night.”
“What prompted it?” Ginny questioned as her leg began to relax under the pressure of the soothing water.
“It was you sneaking out of the house,” Harry informed her and his hands drifted up to her shoulder, gently kneading at the tense muscles there. “Where did you go?”
Ginny groaned in appreciation and fought to keep the thread of the conversation. “I went out for crisps. I woke up wanting them and drove down to the Boar’s Head. The owner has a soft spot for me and will cook for me no matter what time I show up.”
His hands froze. “That wasn’t the answer I was expecting. Why didn’t you ask me to go?”
That was obvious to her, of course. “I didn’t think you’d want to.”
Harry groaned and it reverberated through him and into her. “I’ve really made a mess of things.”
She cocked her head to the side to look up at him. “Are you telling me that you want these babies now?”
He took a long time to answer. “No… I still don’t. But,” he added hastily when he saw the disappointment in her eyes. “I do want you and I love you. It’s obvious that you need help and you haven’t been asking for it.” He slipped his arms around her torso and hugged her close. “I’m going to try to get used to the idea of having a child. It will probably take awhile but I don’t want to lose you and I understand why you wouldn’t abort them. It really was my fault that you got pregnant and I was angry with myself, not you.”
“Okay,” Ginny said as she held onto his arms. It wasn’t perfect but it was better than nothing. At least she still had some hope that he would come around. “Can… can you continue with that massage? My entire body hurts.”
He chuckled deeply and went back to massaging her shoulders. “I love you, Ginny. I always have and I always will. If you need help then I want you to ask for it. No more late night trips to pubs for food when I can make it for you or get it.”
She nodded sleepily, happy in the knowledge that at least she wasn’t going to be getting divorced. She had a shred of hope and for now, that was enough. “Do you care what I name them?”
She wasn’t sure why she said it; only that part of her still hoped that he would show an interest in the girls.
“What were you thinking of?”
Ginny squirmed as he hit a particularly sore spot and then gasped as one of the babies took a shot at her bladder. She placed a wet hand on her taut belly. “Since they’re probably the only granddaughters my mum will have, I was thinking of Molly and Lily, for your mum.”
“That’s…” his voice seemed a bit distant as he stopped. The babies jumped again, warring with each other for the prime real estate. “Your belly just moved.”
Ginny smiled to herself at how he said it. It was almost as if he expected the babies to remain still for the entire nine months that they lived inside her. “Yes, they’re fighting over who gets to beat up my kidneys.”
“Oh…” Harry tentatively reached out his hand but stopped halfway to her belly and put it down.
She didn’t hesitate to press her advantage. She grabbed his hand and planted it onto her belly, pushing it right to where the girls’ little fists were poking her.
Harry doesn’t say anything, just flattens his hand where it is and waited while they dance beneath his palm. “What…” he eventually asked. “What is that?”
“A hand or a foot,” Ginny answered softly. “Maybe a couple of both.”
“Oh,” he took his hand away and went back to massaging her shoulders. “The names are fine with me.”
She didn’t want to push it further. Instead she relaxed against him and let his fingers work on her.
When she awoke hours later she was laying on her side in their bed, hugging a pillow, with Harry spooned behind her. How he’d gotten them to bed without waking her, she didn’t know. Instead she took his hand from her side and slowly moved it over her belly again, where their babies slept. It was a fantasy but one she was willing to live in.
Christmas went better than she could have expected. Everyone had been thrilled about the babies and understanding when Ginny told them that she’d wanted to wait to break the news until she was sure that they were fine. Harry had played his part as doting husband perfectly and none of her brothers, not even Ron, had suspected that he wasn’t one hundred percent happy that she was having the babies.
Hermione, however, had studied him skeptically. She was the only one who knew that Harry didn’t want children. Ginny had confided it to her years back when she was trying to cope with it. Harry, however, avoided his friend and refused to talk to her privately.
“Talk to me if you need to,” Hermione had said as she hugged Ginny goodbye.
That had been nearly three months ago and this morning two cribs had arrived in boxes, courtesy of her bachelor twin brothers. They’d both offered to help her put them together but she had declined, sending them back to work, assuring them that Harry would do it when he got home.
Ginny levitated the boxes up to the now empty bedroom next to her room and went to fetch the toolbox that her father had given her the year before. She read the instructions twice before she opened up the boxes and began to assemble them.
She made it halfway through one before she needed food. After that, she was tired and decided to take a nap. When she awoke again, not really rested, but needing to pee, she grabbed a back of crisps that Harry had bought the day before and went back up to tackle the cribs.
She had one completely done by the time Harry got home. She’d told him the day before that she had an appointment with her Healer and he’d insisted that he would drive her to London today.
It It was too hard to floo anywhere now and she didn't think she’d be able to stand the pain of Apparating. This left their car or traveling by the Knight Bus and Ginny wasn’t sure the Knight Bus was safe for travel even when one was not eight months pregnant with twins.
“I can put those together, you know,” Harry said reprovingly as he lounged in the doorway. “We need to leave in about forty-five minutes or we’ll be late. Are you ready to go?”
“Yep,” Ginny replied as she held out a hand to be hoisted up from the floor. She completely ignored his offer of help on the cribs. Their relationship was slowly improving, day by day, but she was bored and needed stuff to do. She’d levitated most of the pieces and it hadn’t been hard work, anyway so she didn’t feel like she’d over exerted herself. “Let me change my shirt and oh, would you grab that bag? I’m still a bit peckish.”
She waddled down to their room and pulled out a clean maternity shirt that Hermione had lent her. It was a bit tight but Ginny was huge, larger than any of her sisters-in-law had ever been. She heard Harry clear his throat and she looked over her shoulder to see him smiling oddly at her. “What?”
“Your belly button’s sticking out,” he told her as he pointed down at her protruding stomach.
Ginny blushed and smoothed the wrinkles out of the shirt. “I know,” she said with embarrassment. It wasn’t that she was ashamed of the babies but her body was really not her own anymore and she was well beyond the ‘cute’ point of pregnancy.
Right now she had reached the point of baby killer whale and would soon hit mother killer whale.
“Hey,” Harry moved towards her and tucked a finger under her chin, raising her face up so that she was looking into his eyes. “I didn’t mean anything by it.”
She shrugged. She didn’t want to talk about how she felt. The babies were still a touchy subject and her admitting how she felt and him not responding would probably leave her in tears. “Just tired of being huge, that’s all.”
That was part of it, anyway. She was tired of it but another part of her was soaking it up, knowing that she wouldn’t be having any other children and she needed to enjoy what time she had left with this body.
Harry pulled her into a hug and kissed her neck. “You look beautiful.”
“You don’t mean that,” Ginny retorted flatly. “You think I’m fat, you can’t wait for them to come out.” It poured out of her like a poison. “You haven’t touched me, we haven’t made love… you think I’m ugly.”
“We can make love?” Harry pulled away in surprise. “I didn’t… I mean, I didn’t want to ask because you’re always so tired but I assumed that we couldn’t.”
She eyed him skeptically. “You actually want to make love to me?”
“Always,” he assured her silkily. “I just didn’t know if… well if you’d want to and I didn’t want you to feel pressured.”
Ginny didn’t believe him and it must have shown on her face. Harry bent down and tenderly kissed her as he ran his hands all along her body, including over her very large belly. “I want you… right now.”
They were nearly on time for her appointment. Ginny sat happily in the seat beside Harry, holding his hand in what was left of her lap, and reliving the memories that they had just created. A cramp spread through her back and she grimaced in pain. Harry slipped his hand from hers and put it behind her back to push as much as he could on her lower back.
“We’re almost there,” Harry told her after a few minutes.
The walk into St, Mungo’s was the usual fiasco that it normally was. Someone spotted Harry and started whispering until the entire room as buzzing with gossip. Most of them were pointing at Ginny’s obviously pregnant figure as well. Harry’s face was hard and he refused to look at anyone as they sat, waiting for the Healer to take them. He held onto her hand and ran his thumb along her swollen fingers.
Ginny had mourned the loss of her wedding band but figured that it wouldn’t be long until she could wear it again.
“Mrs. Potter,” her Healer called as he came into the waiting room. “Come on back.”
Harry helped her to her feet as he led them back to his office. He came in and immediately began to examine Ginny’s hands. “When did they begin to swell?”
“About a week ago,” Ginny told him. “I thought it was normal.”
He looked into her eyes and then checked her pulse. “Some swelling is normal but this is more than I would like to see.”
“What does that mean?” Harry’s voice was a bit raised and Ginny saw that his expression was approaching panicked.
“Means we’ll probably deliver the babies right now,” Healer Gelding told him and Ginny blinked in surprise. Before she could ask a question, he was pulling her shirt up and exposing her belly to perform the same test he’d performed each time she’d come. Ginny held her shirt up for him and watched as he illuminated her stomach. He watched the babies for a minute before nodding. “They’re both alive still, but I can see that they’re in distress.”
Ginny began to sob as tears pooled in her eyes. Harry was at her side instantly, with his arm around her. “What happens now?”
The old man cleared his throat and grabbed Ginny’s chart. “We’re going to an empty room and I’ll remove the babies.”
It sounded simple but Ginny was terrified. Harry helped her to her feet as they followed the Healer to a room down the hall and he helped her to undress while Healer Gelding went in search of two maternity nurses to help with the procedure.
“It will be okay,” Harry whispered soothingly into her ear.
She was still crying quietly but she felt more in control and very thankful that she had already had an appointment for today. Otherwise something else might have happened. “I don’t want them to die.”
“I know,” he replied as he cupped her cheek and kissed her gently. “It will be fine. You’ll be holding them really soon.”
Harry was right, although she hardly breathed through the whole operation. As soon as he had the girls out, Molly first and then Lily, they were screaming for the entire world to hear.
It had almost become habit but Ginny cried as Molly was put into her waiting arms while Lily was being examined. Healer Gelding mended the cut on her belly and told her to stay still for at least an hour. She just nodded absently as she stroked a finger over her baby’s soft cheek. She had better things to do than to listen to her Healer’s orders.
“Do you want to hold the other one, Mr. Potter?”
Ginny’s face flew up at she held her breath, waiting for Harry to say no. He looked down at the baby with an unreadable expression.
“She won’t break,” the kindly woman promised him. “This is Lily, right?”
Ginny nodded silently… waiting.
Finally Harry sat on the next to Ginny and held out his arms. The nurse placed the baby into his arms and she helped position them until he was holding her correctly.
“We’ll leave you two alone for a bit, since they’re perfectly healthy and come back in an hour or so to start nursing,” the woman told Ginny as she patted her shoulder. “It will give you some time to bond with them.”
“All right,” Ginny replied vaguely as she watched the expression on Harry’s face shift slightly as he looked more closely at his daughter.
Only when they were alone did she speak freely. “If… if you don’t want to hold her, you don’t have to.”
Harry’s head rose slowly and Ginny gasped. A wet trail made its way down his cheeks and his eyes were red and bloodshot. “I’m a stupid, daft git.”
Her heart melted and she reached out a hand to his face. Ginny pulled him in close to her and kissed his lips gently. He moved closer to her, being careful not to disturb the bundle in his arms as he laid his head on her shoulder and cried. She held onto him and let him cry it out. It had been an emotional eight months for both of them.
After a few minutes, he sat back up and wiped his eyes with his sleeve. “Sorry… didn’t mean to lose it like that.”
“It’s okay,” Ginny said as she switched Molly to her shoulder and took his hand in hers. “You were being a stupid, daft git so this is to be expected.”
He let out a watery chuckle and nodded. “Why didn’t you just hex me?”
“Because I love you and… I just hoped that someday you’d change your mind about us.”
He nodded and lifted Lily up to kiss her cheek. Then he leaned down and kissed Molly’s, where it rested on her shoulder. Ginny had always known that Harry had a few quirks to work out but she’d married him for a reason.
Deep down, he was a wonderful man.
Sometimes way deep down.
It was good to watch him change.
“I think we need to beef up the security on the house,” Harry told her as he touched a red curl on Molly’s head. “I don’t want anything to happen to them.
Ginny just raised an eyebrow as she stared at him. Okay, so maybe he hadn’t changed that much. This time, however, she wasn’t going to let him have his way without getting hers first. She’d learned that lesson and since he’d gone from stupid git to overprotective father in a matter of minutes, she needed to press her advantage. “Only if I get to have another baby.”
Harry gaped at her, obviously dumbfounded. “You just had these two and now you want more?”
“Uhhuh,” she replied and Molly began to mew at her. Ginny positioned her down by her breast and opened up her dressing gown to help the baby nurse. “I’m going for twin boys the next time.”
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