Chapter 1 : St. Mungo's
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When he walked through the doors of St. Mungo’s with Ginny and James, he told himself he wasn’t going to cry this time. He wasn’t going to feel woozy, and he wasn’t going to need to sit down. He was Harry Potter, after all. The Boy-Who-Lived; the Chosen One. The birth of a child wasn’t going to weaken his knees again; not after everything he had seen in his time. He would stay strong for Ginny—not that she needed any help staying strong—and for James, who probably wouldn’t even know what was happening. Yes, this would be easy.
He was wrong.
As soon as his little boy—screaming, crying and beet-red—was carried away by the nurses to get cleaned up, Harry wasn’t able to keep the tears leaking from his eyes any longer. Ginny smiled at him and held his hand comfortingly. She had always been so strong—much stronger than he was.
Their first child, James, looked back and forth between his parents with wide-eyes. Yes, he hadn’t the slightest idea what was going on.
Shortly, the newest addition to the Potter family was brought back to Ginny and placed gently in her arms. That was when Ginny shed a tear herself. It tracked down her cheeks to her smiling lips. James observed his little brother suspiciously, hiding behind his father’s legs.
Harry pulled a chair up to Ginny’s bedside and took a deep breath, ready to meet his child.
The baby had a round, pudgy face and was mostly bald, save a few tufts of light-brown hair atop his head. His skin was smooth, unblemished and pearly white. But his most distinguishing feature was his eyes. They were large and almond-shaped and the most vibrant green Harry had ever seen. He and his son had the exact same eyes. Lily’s eyes. Harry blinked back the tears that were threatening to fall again. At least the room wasn’t spinning around him like at James’s birth. He was in no immediate danger of fainting.
“What should we call him?” Ginny whispered, cradling the baby in her arms and rocking him softly.
Harry had forgotten this detail entirely, which surprised him. His first son’s name had been picked out even before he had proposed to Ginny, though he wouldn’t ever admit this to anyone. And he had a perfect name for a daughter at the ready. But another son… For some reason, Harry had neglected to think of a name.
“George has already claimed ‘Fred,’ so we can’t use that,” Ginny said thoughtfully, smoothing out her son’s few, wispy hairs. “He’s going to have hair just like yours, I can already tell,” she added, tearing her gaze away from her baby to fondly tousle Harry’s thick, untidy hair.
Harry smiled, and leaned closer to her to take a good look at his baby. The eyes were the only thing he could see; mesmerizing, emerald eyes… Brighter than Harry’s own eyes. Probably from the innocence his son still retained. Then Harry knew what the name had to be. It came to him as if by divine inspiration.
“Albus,” Harry murmured. He also knew what the middle name had to be—it was the first he thought of, actually—but wanted to take the time to gauge Ginny’s reaction.
She giggled. “Albus? Can you imagine running round the house calling ‘Albus! Albus, where are you? It’s time for dinner!’ I suppose we could call him Al…”
“Albus Severus,” Harry said, testing out the name he already knew was perfect.
Ginny’s teasing smile softened into a more genuine one. She patted Harry’s hand. “Will I ever get to pick a name?”
Harry glanced up, startled. “I’m sorry, if you want to name him something else, you—”
“Harry,” she said softly, cutting across him. “I like the name.” She looked down at the baby, whose eyelids were beginning to droop. He was perfectly still, lulled to sleep in the warmth of Ginny’s arms. “Albus Severus Potter,” she mused. “You have a lot to live up to.”
Harry nodded and smiled faintly. “I know he will. He’ll be amazing.”
“Mummy,” James said suddenly from the floor next to Harry’s chair. He was stretching himself up as high as he could, still not able to see over the bed. Harry hoisted up his two-year-old son. James snuggled into his father’s chest, looking warily at the bundle in his mother’s arms.
“James, this is your brother,” Ginny said, shifting in her bed to bring to give him a better view of the sleeping Albus.
“His name is Al,” Harry continued.
“Al,” James echoed, reaching out a small hand to his brother. He withdrew it at the last second before making contact with Albus’s head, and buried his face in Harry’s neck.
“Sibling jealousy?” Ginny wondered aloud, exchanging a meaningful look with Harry.
“I don’t know. I’m sure you have more experience than I do with that type of thing,” he said, patting James’s back. Of course there was Dudley, but that wasn’t so much sibling-jealously than just… emotional abuse. And those days were history now—it was hard to believe that that had been his life at one point. Everything was so… wonderful these days. Somehow, things had worked out. At several points in his young life, he was sure he wouldn’t survive to see the light of the next day, let alone to get married and start a family.
“No, I was the youngest,” Ginny said thoughtfully. “I was the baby; the one they were all jealous of. Ask Ron—he hated me for years.”
Harry laughed. “I’ll bring that up sometime.”
Their private room was silent for a long, peaceful moment. Albus squirmed comfortably in his mother’s arms, his eyelids fluttering. He put a tiny, chubby thumb into his pink, toothless mouth and suckled on it peacefully.
“When do we get to go home?” Ginny asked impatiently.
Harry smiled. “Do you feel alright? You’re the one who just had a baby!”
She shrugged. “It’s really easy. Even easier than the first time. I feel bad for Muggles, though; it must be terrible without magic. I should really open a clinic for Muggle women.”
“That might be breaking the Statute of Secrecy,” Harry pointed out. “Just maybe.”
“I’ll erase their memories afterward,” she explained, rolling her eyes.
“Yes,” Harry said sarcastically, “because I’m sure they want to forget giving birth to their child. They’d wake up the next morning, and think, ‘Whoa, I had my baby? I don’t recall that happening!’”
Ginny laughed heartily. “It’s just an idea… C’mon, let’s go.”
She got out of bed, still in her hospital gown. Her legs were trembling slightly, but she stood up straight, holding Albus in her arms. Her stomach was flat once more, and this seemed to throw her off balance, but she didn’t comment.
“Will they let you leave? You just gave birth…”
Ginny handed Albus off to Harry while she gathered her things and changed back into her clothes. Her shirt was far too big for her now, and was baggy around her middle. She eagerly took Albus back, who was still sleeping soundly.
“They’ll let us leave,” she said confidently. “If they try to stop us, just flash your scar.”
Harry chuckled. “I’m not going to—”
Ginny turned around to face him. “You’re Harry Potter. You need to start taking advantage of that.”
Harry shook his head fondly and followed his wife out of the hospital. No one tried to stop them. That is, not until they were nearly out the door. Two young, giggly nurses bounded up to Harry and asked for an autograph. He scribbled his name, making the P into a lightning bolt as Ginny once suggested he do.
“Thank you, Mr. Potter,” one of the nurses squealed, admiring the barely legible signature on the back of a brochure about Splinching. Then the two of them caught Harry in a tight hug, before shrieking again in triumph and running off. Harry was still somewhat shell-shocked, as fan-encounters always left him, but that one had been relatively mild. Sighing, he turned back to his family.
Ginny was nearly double over with incontrollable laughter. When she was able to compose herself she straightened up again, blotting her eyes, and Albus was still miraculously asleep in her arms. Harry supposed that wasn’t normal. James had been a crier. And a kicker and a screamer—still was when he didn’t get his way. Harry assumed that was how all babies were, but maybe Albus had a different disposition. That would be a pleasant change.
“Come on, Mr. Potter,” Ginny teased, nudging him toward the door with her shoulder. She had no hands to spare between her two sons. “Let’s go home. I feel a little worn out.”
Harry chuckled to himself. “Can’t imagine why…”
A/N: Just a sweet little one-shot, hopefully… I haven’t done Harry/Ginny before, since I don't think Ginny has made an appearance in my fics before. And now that I think about it, I haven’t really done a canon-Harry before either. So, some feedback would be greatly appreciated! –Jenni
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