Alright, dear readers, Ch. 18 is up! Not much to say about this one, I hope you enjoy, it's much more cheerful than the last.
p.s. The song featured is You'll Be In My Heart by Phil Collins. It was in Tarzan the Disney version... LOVE that movie :)
April 16, at 8:00am Ginny was awoken by a pain in her abdomen, her sheets damp and she had a good idea why. She sat up, scared. Her mother was in Bristol, visiting an old friend and her father was probably already at work. She assumed that since the pains she was experiencing were relatively close together, she might have already been in labor for some time. The odd, dull ache that she had experienced when she woke up at one point during the night was suddenly not so odd. Deciding what to do, Ginny sat in bed for another couple of minutes. Trying to stay calm, she swung her feet onto the floor, changed her shorts, pulled on her robe, and slipped down the hall into Hermione's room. Ginny paused on her way, gripping the wall as another strong wave of pain washed over her. She crawled in bed next to her sleeping friend the way she used to do at Hogwarts when she felt homesick. Hermione rolled over, to find Ginny looking at her under the blanket. Hermione chuckled.
"Morning, Ginny,” she said throwing the blanket off of both their heads, “Couldn't sleep?"
"Mione, I think I'm going into labor."
"What," Hermione asked, confused, sitting up and pushing her hair out of her face.
"I think I'm having the baby."
"Oh Merlin! Ron," Hermione shouted, "Ronald, come quick!"
Ron came bursting in the room, Auror training manual trailing from his left hand, wand in his right.
"What, what's going on?"
Hermione was rushing around the room for her wand so Ginny answered, "Ron, I'm having the baby."
Ron gaped at her.
"Now? Ok, ok, we can handle this calmly. Um, where does Mum keep the emergency portkey?
"In the right hand kitchen draw but that's useless, remember we used it when Madison fell down the stairs," Hermione answered, pulling on her trainers.
"Alright, Floo Powder it is," said Ron, taking Ginny by the hand, "Come on Gin. Hermione, go get Ginny's hospital bag and meet us at the fireplace."
Hermione sprinted down the hall, trying to ignore Ginny's next yell in pain as her brother helped her down the stairs. Ron jumped a foot in the air.
"Hold it in, Gin, 'cause if you have that baby here, I will not be reaching in there to pull it out, no way."
"Oh, thanks Ron, you're so sweet," retorted Ginny through clenched teeth; the pains were growing in intensity. Ron rolled his eyes, helping Ginny to sit down on the couch. He grabbed a pair of sneakers from the door and was putting them on her when Ginny yelled again.
"Ginny! Please, relax," Ron begged, now getting scared.
"I'm s-sorry! It hu-urts," Ginny sobbed, now getting frantic.
"Oh, Merlin," Ron said, shoving on his own shoes, "come, we have to get you to Mungo's," he said, trying to pull her up. Ginny shook her head.
"Ron, I don't think I can walk," she protested through tears. Nodding, Ron leaned down and picked up his sister. Holding her in his arms, he moved to the kitchen where Hermione was scooping out their individual amounts of Floo Powder, holding the bag.
"I'll go first, Ginny," said Hermione, " so I can tell the receptionist you're coming." Ginny nodded and Hermione climbed into the fire yelling, "St. Mungo’s!"
Next was Ron, Ginny in tow. When the other two arrived in the atrium of the hospital, an assistant Healer was waiting by the fireplace with a wheelchair.
"Ms. Weasley," said the young woman, smiling kindly. Ginny sat down and looked up at Hermione.
"Please don't leave me."
"Of course not, I wouldn't dream of it." She followed the Healer down the hall with Ginny.
"Call everyone, Ron, and let them know where we are," Hermione called over her shoulder.
In less than an hour, the entire Weasley family was there. Mrs. Weasley had gone in to be with Ginny and Hermione. Mr. Weasley was sitting next to Ron, jiggling his feet. George had accompanied Fred downstairs to the cafeteria to get everyone some coffee. Bill and Fleur quietly talked in seats opposite Mr. Weasley. Charlie spoke with Lupin by the window while Tonks sat with Madison, bouncing the toddler on her knee.
Two hours later, everyone was sitting quietly, either reading a magazine or daydreaming. Madison had fallen asleep on her mother's lap and Tonks looked as if she were dozing off too.
"Tonks are you ok, you look beat," noticed Ron.
"Oh, I'm fine, Ron, just a little tired. I worked the graveyard shift last night so I didn't get in until six this morning so I'm just running a little low on sleep."
Lupin then walked over to relieve his wife saying, "Here, give me Madison, so at least if you want to nap you can get comfortable." And he gently picked up the sleeping little girl and took her onto his lap.
"Thanks," Tonks smiled, leaning her head against the wall, eyes closed. Ron watched the others, trying to distract himself from his thoughts. He was so excited that his little sister was having her baby but what about Harry? His best friend's first born child was coming into the world while he was across the ocean, in America. How would he feel coming back to find out that he missed the birth of his child. That he wasn't there with Ginny. If Ron knew Harry, and he did, he would feel terrible. But Ron decided he would remember everything so he could fill his friend in when he came home. Ron paced, trying to look into the ward where they had taken his sister. He thought he heard her yell out in pain again. His heart went out to her. She was still young and apparently having a hell of a time.
An hour later, Hermione came sprinting down the hall, paper cap on her wild curls, gloves and scrubs on, tears rolling down her face, beaming.
"Guys, the baby's here!! Everything's okay!"
Everyone stood up, hugging, jumping up and down. Madison began crying, startled by the noise.
"Well, is it a boy or a girl," asked George impatiently.
"You’ll have to see for yourself," Hermione answered before running back to the room.
After waiting half an hour, the entourage traipsed into the room where Ginny sat in her bed holding a bundle. She looked a little pale and her hair stuck to her damp forehead but otherwise she was fine. Mrs. Weasley was standing nearby, grinning, tears like Hermione's running down her cheeks.
"Hi, everyone," Ginny said excitedly, leaning against her pillows. Everyone grinned back.
"Baby," exclaimed Madison in her father's arms.
"Yes, Maddy, it's a baby," said Tonks to her daughter.
"Ees eet a girl or a boy," Fleur persisted. Ginny smiled.
"Well everyone, say hello to the newest member of our family, Lily Ginevra Potter."
The room erupted into applause. Ginny moved back the blanket to show the babe to her family and friends. The small child looked a bit like a porcelain doll, her complexion fair, like Ginny’s. Mr. Weasley moved forward to hug his little girl holding her little girl. He looked down at the baby.
"Hello beautiful. Hello little Lily." The baby yawned and Ginny fondly pulled a tiny knit cap (courtesy of Mrs. Weasley) more snugly over her soft red hair. Remus looked at the label that was attached to the basinet next to the bed. Bill moved around Charlie to examine it.
For one so small, you seem so strong
My arms will hold you, keep you safe and warm
“Lily Ginevra Potter: April 16, 2001: red hair, green eyes,” he read off, to the room, “green eyes…Well that’s lucky for Harry. Otherwise, we might not be able to tell she’s related to him in any way. She looks just like you when you were born, Gin.” Mrs. Weasley nodded emotionally. The infant opened her almond shaped eyes for a moment before shutting them against the bright light of the room. But Ginny didn’t need her to keep her eyes open much longer. She’d already caught a glimpse of the vivid color that was so comforting and so beautiful to her. Ginny simply beamed at her family; she couldn't have asked for a better gift.
After a few hours, only Ron, Hermione, Mr. and Mrs. Weasley remained. They had finally convinced the others to go home; assuring them the baby wasn't going anywhere. Ginny looked over at the basinet where the baby, her daughter, slept. She was so little, Ginny marveled. The nurses had dressed her in a thick pink set of baby pajamas. Smiling, and unable to keep her eyes off Lily for very long, Ginny reached out to hold one of her tiny hands. She smiled even wider as her daughter gripped one of her fingers lightly in her sleep. Just when she thought she could watch the baby sleep all day, she was interrupted. Ginny shielded her eyes from the twentieth flash that afternoon.
"Ron, if you take one more picture of me, you'll be pulling that camera out of your -"
"Ginny, language," interrupted Hermione from the corner.
"Knapsack," Ginny finished sweetly.
"Sorry," answered Ron, "I just want to save a lot of memories so when Harry gets back he'll feel just like he was here."
Ginny looked at her brother as if just seeing him for the first time. She was deeply touched at his kindness. She wiped away the sudden tears that came under the pretense of rubbing her eyes.
"That’s really great of you, Ron," said Hermione, suddenly sounding congested. He just looked at his sneakers.
"I hope Mum and Dad got me something good to eat," said Ginny, changing the subject, and blinking fast.
"Yeah, they've been gone a while."
Just then, her parents walked in accompanied by Healer Dockery.
"I've just heard the good news," she said, "congratulations."
"Thank you," said Ginny, shaking her hand. Isabella leaned over the basinet to look at the infant.
"She's a very beautiful baby; she looks an awful lot like you."
"Yes, but she has her father's eyes, Harry's eyes," Ginny answered with meaning behind her words.
"You could say that," Dockery said looking away.
Hermione noticed the coolness.
"But she is a doll, isn't she," Hermione cut in, nervously. Everyone nodded.
"Well, I just thought I should drop in to say hello. I have to be getting back to work. Enjoy the rest of your day," Healer Dockery said, then walking out of the room.
"Such a sweet girl," Mr. Weasley said oblivious.
When she was discharged from St. Mungo’s a couple days later, Ginny was eager to get home. Her brothers had graciously offered all kinds of help as they carried her bag and some of the gifts various people had dropped off up to her room. Finally, running low on patience for their constant watch and eagerness, Ginny shooed them out. She shut the door behind them softly, and heaved a sigh. Charlie had been in the middle of offering to run her a bath when she snapped. If people were going to treat her as if she was made of glass every time this happened, then she was never having anymore children. She looked over to the white basinet where she had placed Lily. Mr. Weasley had moved all of the baby stuff into Ginny’s room the day before. She took a moment to look around the room. There was a package of diapers on the dresser, a pile of new clothes for the baby, and a grouping of stuffed animals from friends. Aside from the crib, there weren’t that many new additions to the room but to Ginny, everything looked so different.
This bond between us can't be broken
I will be here
Don't you cry
“Everything’s going to change,” she said softly. But she smiled as her eyes landed on the squirming bundle again. She nearly skipped to the basinet and unwrapped Lily from her Weasley knit blanket.
“Hi angel,” Ginny cooed softly and picked the baby up. She walked gently to her bed, afraid that any sudden movements might break her daughter. She was being a bit silly but she was a new mum. Once she sat comfortably, with pillows behind her back, Ginny pulled her knees up and rested Lily against them.
“You’re just the prettiest thing I’ve ever seen,” she said, touching her daughter’s soft hair fondly. Lily stared back at Ginny’s face. Mrs. Weasley and the Healers had told Ginny that like all babies, Lily probably couldn’t see very far yet and wouldn’t for a little while but she knew in her heart that her daughter was looking her right in the eyes. Ginny lifted her up and kissed her softly.
'Cause you'll be in my heart
Yes, you'll be in my heart
From this day on
Now and forever more
“It’s going to be you and me for a little while, ok,” she said quite seriously to the baby, “But I promise that as soon as he can, Daddy will be right here with us. Because he loves you. And I love you. You’re my perfect little Baby Potter.”
The weeks flew by and Lily grew prettier each day. Ginny was always found playing with her out in the backyard on a blanket or feeding her in the kitchen and Ron didn't put down his camera for more than three days in a row. Speaking of Ron, he was entering his last phase of Auror training which was mostly prescheduled written tests so he had a lot of spare time to help out. Hermione had gotten her degree in Muggle Relations and was currently waiting for placement so she too was free. The pair of them spent a lot of time helping with Lily while Ginny got back on board with studying for her Auror qualification test. It warmed Mrs. Weasley's heart to see that her youngest son might have some paternal instinct yet.
In America, Harry was in the midst of more publicity. As hard as he tried to remain as anonymous as possible, word soon leaked out that the famous Harry Potter was staying in the Hilton Hotel in L.A. Leaving the hotel, going to class, just doing his laundry, Harry found himself surrounded by paparazzi, who were much more forward than the photographers in the UK. But Harry found that he was kind of enjoying it. It was nice to see his name in the paper not just associated with his latest horrifying experience but just for his reputation, which was actually quite good in the U.S. He corresponded with the Weasleys and Hermione quite often, sometimes three times a week. Everything seemed well there. Ron reported being certified in the entry level position at the Ministry in August, informing Harry that in another fifteen months, he would be fully qualified. Hermione was currently working in the British Wizard/Muggle Relations Council. She excitedly wrote to Harry explaining that her job was to deal with everyday Muggle Relation issues and prevent the wizard world from being discovered by the Muggle population at large. Harry had to admit that he never heard Hermione sound so fulfilled. Ginny on the other hand had decided to move full speed ahead with her own Auror qualifications. She and Harry probably wrote the most. As the months passed, more and more of Harry's life came back to him. And the more he remembered, he found the more in love with Ginny he fell. But Ginny was getting anxious. When would he remember her pregnancy? And when he did, how angry would he be?
Not to mention, their daughter was getting older and smarter. Ginny thought it was a good idea to keep a picture of her and Harry next to Lily's crib so that everyday she could see her dad. By her first birthday she would be exclaiming ‘Da’ when she saw his face. Not to mention, he was often mentioned in the Weasley house. Various stories of the trouble that he would get into at school were told and Ginny felt that Lily was more and more like him each day. By Christmas, she was crawling around the house, exploring everything, curious and bright. She had grown so much since April. Where at first she had a thin covering of bright red hair, she now had little curls that were a darker red and just like her mum, she had developed the Weasley freckles across her nose. Ginny found it harder to write to Harry each day and not tell him about his little girl. His Christmas packages came with news that he would be home by April. It seemed so long away but Ginny was comforted by the fact that he would be home soon.
Yay!! The baby is finally here! I know it's sad that Harry missed it but no worries, he'll be back before you know it! The next chapter features the return of an old chracter, briefly. Any guesses who? I originally intended for her (hint!) to have a larger part in the story but changed it after I wrote the first couple of chapters. Any thoughts? Concerns? Criticism? Just leave a review!
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