Chapter 4 : Chapter four - Happy Birthday Babies Potter
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Happy Birthday Babies Potter
Within a few hours after the birth of the twin girls, the Manor had begun to fill up. Hagrid was the first to arrive in response to the magical birth announcements. Being one of the few people with Apparition privileges to the Manor, and being too large to use the Floo network, Hagrid appeared in the garden courtyard adjacent to the Library. He was still pulling on his moleskin coat, and he had a polka-dot bow tie that he was attempting to set straight, when Harry noticed him and moved to open the courtyard door. Hagrid strode into the room, rummaging through his coat pockets.
“Congratulations Harry,” Hagrid said heartily. “I been waiting on this ‘appy day for a cup-pla weeks now.” He pulled a wrapped package out of one pocket. “Aw, ‘ere it is, a bit a sumpen for the little’uns.” He pressed the gift into Harry’s hands. “I’m not late, am I Harry?” Hagrid inquired, looking about the room.
Harry laughed heartily, slapping Hagrid at the elbow, “No Hagrid, you are just in time for a drink with my brothers and me.” Hagrid licked his lips knowingly. “I’ll always keep a glass for you ready in this house, you know,” Harry exclaimed, pointing to what appeared to be a crystal bucket on a shelf above the glass cabinet. Hagrid smiled down at him, “You are a right good friend ‘Arry… A right good friend.” Hagrid hurried off to fetch his glass and join the boys, amid shouts of welcome.
It was very soon after that that Floo arrival requests started popping out of the fire, and Dobby rushed from the kitchen to man his station at the Library grate. He opened the first request, and smiling, snapped his fingers, thrusting an answer into the flames. A moment later, Remus Lupin stepped out of the fire, hand-in-hand with an obviously pregnant Nymphadora and young Sirius in their wake.
Dobby sent another response, and a procession of Hogwarts teachers marched out of the flame. Minerva McGonagall, Headmistress, was first, followed at momentary intervals by Madam Hooch, Poppy Pomfrey, Madam Sinistra, Pomona Sprout, and Filius Flitwick. Arthur and Molly Weasley stepped up to make greetings.
Minerva McGonagall turned to Dobby, and bending down, said something to the House-elf which elicited excited smiles and hand clapping from him. An instant later, there was a furious crescendo of popping sounds around him, as dozens of Hogwarts’ House-elves appeared. Dobby greeted them with smiles and handshakes and quickly sent them popping off to various duties throughout the Manor.
More people arrived by Floo-Neville and Luna Longbottom with their three children, Amos Diggory and his wife, Colin and Denis Creevey together with their wives and children, seven children between them. Lee Jordan arrived, moving quickly to join Fred and George.
It soon began to feel like a Hogwarts reunion, as old friends congratulated Harry right and left and inquired after Ginny. Semus Finnigan was there. He had married a Hufflepuff girl from Ginny’s year, and they had their two children in tow.
Katie (formerly Bell), arrived, and was introducing her new American husband, Hardy Tompkins.
When Oliver Wood arrived with half the Puddlemere United Quiddich team, the party had to be moved into the adjacent ballroom.
Officials arrived from the Ministry, including the new Minister, Kingsley Shaklebolt, along with several of Harry’s colleagues from the Wizengamot and the League of Aurors. Most of Ron’s teammates from the Chudley Canons showed up. Harry thought he saw the Patil twins stepping out of the fire across the room, with husbands and children in tow. Dean Thomas was suddenly shaking his hand out of nowhere, and Harry thought that everyone he knew was happily accepting a hurried invitation to the Manor.
Dobby appeared at his feet with a Floo request scroll. Harry took the scroll and read it quickly:
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Potter,
It has come to our attention at the Daily Prophet that an enormous amount of Floo traffic has been directed to your private residence this evening.
I can only assume that this means the happy announcement of the birth of yet another extraordinary Potter baby.
I congratulate you heartily, and humbly request that I be allowed attendance, so that this momentous occasion may be properly recorded and presented to the world. I await your reply.
Rita Skeeter, Daily Prophet.
Harry handed the scroll back to Dobby, bending down and whispering something in his ear. Dobby popped back to the fireplace, and snapping his fingers, the inked words on the parchment reformed themselves in to the elaborately calligraphic response which read: BUZZ OFF! He sent the reply back through the fire.
Around seven-o-clock, Harry slipped off to re-join Ginny and the babies in the master suite. He had been back and forth several times in the last few hours to check on them, but now the room was completely restored. The huge four poster bed was back with its silk hangings, and the cart of linens and kettles was gone. Ginny, having been plied with healing potions and having napped for a few hours, was looking completely her beautiful self. She was dressing in satiny, soft-blue and silver evening robes, which accentuated her silky, waving, mane of fiery red hair as it flowed down her back. She swept over to Harry as he entered and greeting him with a passionate kiss. They strode arm in arm over to the matching cribs and smiled proudly down at their sleeping daughters for several silent minutes.
“What shall we name them?” Harry asked finally.
Ginny’s hand slipped in to Harry’s “Well, dear, I don’t think we have much choice… do you?”
Harry laughed, “No my darling… I suppose we don’t… and… quit reading my mind.”
“Why?” Ginny blinked innocently. Harry rolled his eyes at her. “Oh,” she replied. “Oh, my.” She blushed furiously and playfully slapped his arm. “Harry!” He winked at her.
Just then, the door opened, and James rushed in, bounding across the room and leaping into his father’s arms. “Baby sisters, baby sisters,” he exclaimed excitedly. Harry leaned him closer to the cribs so he could get a better look. James called them each by name, and they seemed to wake in response, gurgling and wiggling excitedly at their brother. Harry conjured a stool between the cribs and set James on it so that he could see both his sisters at once. James gave each of his sisters one of his small fingers to grasp. “They are going to be special sisters, Mummy,” James said, smiling up at his Mother.
Harry and Ginny glanced at each other in confusion, then turning to James, Ginny asked, “Jamie, baby… how did you know what names we were going to give the babies?”
“I don’t know, Mummy…” he replied, still smiling and giggling at his sisters “They picked them days ago.”
“They did…did they?” Harry pulled James up, tickling him. “Are you sure you didn’t help?”
“Daddy, stop!” James wiggled in his arms, laughing and squirming from his fathers tickling fingers. “Maybe I helped… a little.”
Harry and Ginny hugged their son together, smiling at one another.
“Okay, well are we ready to introduce the girls to all their friends and family?” Harry asked an edge of excitement in his voice. Ginny and James both nodded. Harry lifted his wand, transforming the two cribs into a single, double wide pram. He bent low, setting James down. “Alright, I am going to go ahead and make sure everything is ready.” He looked at his son seriously, “Will you escort your mother and the babies?” James reached up and took his mother’s hand, nodding and smiling. Harry stood up and kissed Ginny lightly on the lips. “Okay, give me just a minute, and meet me outside the main ballroom.” Harry turned and strode out the door.
When Harry reached the Library, he found that it had been emptied. Obviously, everyone had been ushered into the ballroom. Harry hurried to the ballroom and slipped in as inconspicuously as possible. The room was alight with bright candles and had been decorated with pale pink and white everywhere. Large round tables, seating ten each, were grouped around the room, each laid with fine porcelain china, polished silver, crystal goblets and a center piece of white and pink roses. Flutes of Champaign were everywhere, and ribbons and streamers seemed to be falling constantly from the ceiling, but never quite reaching anyone’s head. Harry thought to himself that Dobby deserved a special bonus for pulling this off.
There was a band playing at the far end of the room, and many of the guests were dancing in front of the raised stage. Harry spotted Hermione seated at one of the tables with Ron, Abigail, and Billy. He caught her eye and motioned for her to come over. She said something to Ron, who smiled over at Harry, and she was up and moving toward him in a moment.
“Where’s Mum?” he inquired as she came near.
“I think she just went off looking for you and Ginny, actually,” Hermione said in a pseudo whisper.
Harry ducked his head back out of the door, and sure enough, down the hall, Ginny was approaching the ballroom pushing the pram, and Mrs. Weasley was with her, James riding on her hip.
Harry turned back to Hermione; he glanced over at the band, “Fred and George’s doing?” he asked.
“Of course,” Hermione chuckled. “I think they have been planning this all with Dobby for weeks.”
Harry smiled, shaking his head in knowing appreciation, and grabbed Hermione by the arm, leading her out into the hall. Ginny was there with the pram, and had already placed one of the babies in her Mother’s arms. Molly was cooing and giggling at her Granddaughter. Harry reached into the pram and brought out his other Daughter, handing her into Hermione’s arms.
“Alright, we’ll go in…” He picked up James and pulled Ginny close, an arm around her waist, “And make the announcement. Each of you will come in on cue, Hermione first, then you Mum.” He looked at each of them and they nodded understanding, still smiling at the bundles in their arms.
Harry pushed open the door and strode into the ballroom, with Ginny at his side and James still in his arms. Harry waved at the band to stop playing, and as the room quieted, everyone turned toward him in anticipation.
“Welcome everyone…welcome,” he began in a loud clear voice. “Ginny and James and I, along with the rest of our family, are so very pleased that you were all able to come on such short notice.”
“Are you kidding? We’ve all had our schedules free in anticipation for weeks,” came a yell from Fred at a table across the room. The whole room burst into laughter and hoots of agreement.
“Well, then we thank you,” Harry responded. He smiled at Ginny, and she continued.
“We are happy and proud to count you all as friends and family...” Ginny exclaimed, “And without further ado, we present to you our new daughters… Lily Jane Potter…” Hermione stepped into the room with the first baby, beaming proudly.
Ginny nodded to Harry and he finished, “And, Molly Genevra Potter.” Mrs. Weasley practically floated into the room.
The room, getting to its collective feet, burst into excited applause.
Arthur Weasley ambled up next to his wife. He smiled down at his newest Grandchildren, and raised his glass excitedly. His voice rang out through the room. “A toast!” he bellowed, “To my Granddaughters, Lily and Molly Potter!”
In unison the whole room cheered, “To Lily and Molly Potter!”
Harry hugged Ginny and James close, and beamed with emotion.
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