Chapter 10 : Chapter 10: Choosing and Epilogue
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They were back on a Muggle bus bound for Andromeda’s home, this time with Harry wearing Teddy in the carrier, when Harry told her about the first arrest in the attack. “It was a bunch of the snatchers, remember them? One of them got drunk at the Hogshead and boasted to Aberforth what he’d done, saying he’d taught the blood traitor a lesson. Well, Aberforth stunned the bloke and got in touch with me.” Harry shook his head. “We arrested him, brought him in for questioning. He’s a bit dim. It was nine of them against her and they were losing! I’m actually amazed that they got away from us that night.”
“Do you know who the others are?” Ginny asked, swaying into him with the movement of the bus.
“Yeah, like I said, he was stupid. He told us everything to get out of trouble. We threatened him with 50 years in Azkaban.” Harry shook his head. “We have a lead on finding at least two of the others, and will hopefully round up the rest shortly.”
“That’s great,” Ginny said with relief.
“Oh, and I called Rita Skeeter in for questioning this morning. She admitted that she had photographer following you last weekend and that he’d seen you leave St. Mungo’s and then turn around and go back into the hospital.” Harry grimaced. “The bloke thought it was odd behavior so he got in touch with Rita and she showed up just in time to watch him snap the photo of the three of us. Not sure how Ron was left out of the shot since he was right on my other side the whole way. So in a way you weren’t in danger, but you were right that you were being watched.”
Ginny let out a breath that she didn’t know she’d been holding. She was extremely thankful that it was nothing more than Rita Skeeter even though the fallout from her stupid article had caused more than one headache. In the end Rita had had to print an apology and a retraction, on page 17, stating that the baby had been proven to not be theirs’ and that Ginny was merely babysitting. They kept Teddy’s name out of the press. It was small comfort because hardly anyone would notice the blurb, but it was a victory none the less. “How did you get the truth out of her?” From what Ginny knew of the situation Rita had been furious at having to do the retraction and had threatened to quit.
“Oh, it was easy,” Harry said casually. “I just reminded her that we were doing a criminal investigation and it wouldn’t be good for us to look too closely at her as a suspect. She fessed up immediately and gave me the name of her photographer. I sent him an owl asking for a color print of the picture to frame for my desk. It’s a great shot of the three of us.”
Andromeda looked much better when they got to her house, which had been restored while she was in the hospital. Harry had seen to that. She held her grandson tight and kissed him at least a hundred times. “I have missed you!” She assured Teddy.
Mrs. Tonks was pleased to hear that her attackers were going to be rounded up soon. “I’m glad to know we’ll be safe from them.”
They spent another hour with her before taking their leave. Mrs. Tonks hugged Ginny and whispered in her ear, “any time you want to come over please do.”
Ginny nodded but didn’t trust herself to speak. They walked out and found a good place to Apparate. They landed on the top step of Grimmauld Place. Harry unlocked the door and they went inside. Ginny felt numb as she walked up the steps in the quiet house. Too quiet. She moved in a daze to their bedroom and sat down heavily on the bed.
Teddy’s cot was still in there.
Without warning she burst into tears. Strong, solid arms went around her and she cried into Harry’s shoulder. “This… is stupid,” she sniffed, trying to get it under control. “I can go see him tomorrow if I want! I can’t believe I’m crying over this.”
Harry ran a comforting hand down her back and squeezed her to him. “Do you want to forget Quidditch and have a baby now?”
“No,” Ginny said, giving a watery laugh. “No, that’s not what I want. I just got used to having Teddy here.”
She felt Harry nod. “I know. I miss him too. Maybe we can start taking him on weekends when you don’t have games. Andromeda mentioned that to me a while back. She wants him to spend time with me.”
“I’d like that,” she said quietly.
She pulled herself together and went to the loo to wash her face. When she came back to their room she saw Harry hadn’t moved. “When do you have to be back at the Ministry?”
“I’m on call from 8pm to midnight tonight so I have a few hours yet.” Harry was looking at her in a way that told her he was wondering the same thing that she was wondering. “Are you ready?”
He didn’t have to elaborate. She knew what he meant. “Yes,” she replied simply.
“What about birth control?”
“Mum taught me the charm.” She moved closer to him and took out her wand, performing it to show him how it was done.
Harry took a deep breath and snagged the waist band of her jeans, pulling her towards him. “I love you.”
“I love you too.”
Epilogue, November 1st, 2004- 6 years later.
“Time for physicals; the medi-witch is here,” Gwenog called to the team as they were getting changed after practice. She was no longer the team captain, having retired two years before due to injuries, but she was now their manager. She’d only gotten haughtier throughout the years. Ginny respected her, but had trouble liking her personally.
“I hate this,” grumbled one of her team mates, a woman named Sarah Tidewater. “We’re all physically fit. This is just an excuse to make sure we’re not pregnant and since I’m not married I find that insulting. Gwenog has gone off the deep end.”
Ginny laughed. “For the two of us who are married it’s useless since we both took the year-long potion to prevent pregnancy.”
The previous year they’d lost yet another member of the team to an accidental pregnancy (the charms could be easy to forget) and Gwenog, fed up with losing her players to those ‘wretched babies’ (Gwenog’s exact words), decreed that from then on the married team members would be required to take the potion that prevented pregnancy for an entire year or they wouldn’t be allowed to come back for the next season.
Ginny and Harry had spent weeks talking it over. She’d nearly made the national team this past season, and her whole family had been disappointed that she hadn’t. She’d been injured just a few days before the national try outs and she hadn’t played to the best of her ability. This year, however, there was a good chance that she’d make it. Certainly the Harpies were favored to win the league. Harry had prodded her into agreeing, reminding her that they had years to have kids but that she couldn’t play Quidditch forever. And they had Teddy to help fill that place in their lives. Reluctantly she’d agreed.
“Ginny,” Melinda, the medi-witch, called and Ginny rose, following her into the room that they set aside for the exams.
Ginny knew the routine. She’d been on the team for 6 years now and had had this exam more times that she could count. She hopped up on the table and answered the questions mechanically. “Yes my arm is still feeling fine.” And “No, no bad Bludger hits in the last month.”
“All right,” Melinda said, “lay back and let’s get this over with. I don’t know why they require me to check you each month. You can’t get pregnant.”
Ginny shrugged and lay down on the table and lifted up her shirt. She stared up at the ceiling, but not really seeing it, waiting for this part to be over. She felt Melinda slide her practice pants down a bit and mutter the spell.
Then, unlike every other time, Melinda didn’t say “not pregnant, you’re done.”
Instead, she was silent.
Ginny glanced at her and saw a look of surprise. “What?” She sat up a bit and looked at her stomach.
There, low on her belly, was a single, small glowing light. She was pregnant. Ginny’s brain froze.
“But… but… I only took the potion in July! It shouldn’t have worn off yet!” Ginny sat up and swung her legs over the table, trying to put some order to her racing thoughts. “How did this happen?”
Melinda shook her head, clearly at a loss. “I don’t know. It shouldn’t have happened, Ginny. St. Mungo’s is going to want to investigate this. I’m sorry. I mean,” she flushed, “I know you wanted kids eventually, but not now. You’re about 4 weeks along, still really early.”
Ginny put her head in her hands. What was she going to do now? She’d just lost her job! Then all at once it hit her… she was having a baby. Harry’s baby! Who the hell cared about Quidditch anyway? Ginny giggled at the thought and Melinda looked startled.
She had to tell Harry and Merlin knew how he was going to react. Probably he’d be happy after the initial shock wore off, and he got used to the fact that their timeline had been thrown out the window. This was definitely not in the plans. Ginny sometimes felt like their entire lives had been a series of events out of their control.
“Can you not mention this to Gwenog until tomorrow?” Ginny asked. “I need to make sure that Harry hears about it first and that the Evening Prophet doesn’t get hold of the story before I get a chance to tell him.”
“Of course,” Melinda agreed.
She Apparated to their new home on the outskirts of Ottery St. Catchpole; they were on the other side of the village from The Burrow. She let herself into the house and hung up her coat. Kreacher had died the year before and they’d both agreed after that they didn’t want to stay in Grimmauld Place with him not being there. The house was now used as a safe house for the Aurors.
Ginny went to the kitchen and began to cook dinner, trying to think of how she was going to tell Harry. Somehow ‘hey I lost my job because I’m knocked up’ didn’t sound right. Once supper was finished and she’d set a warming charm on it, she moved into the sitting room to plop on the couch and brood.
She stared into the unlit fireplace, not really seeing it. They had a house that was perfect for kids. They’d bought it from a nice older wizarding couple who was planning to move to America to be with their daughter and grandchildren. It had four bedrooms and a large yard. Teddy loved coming to stay with them. Now they’d be adding another little person to their family.
But the timing! Ginny wasn’t sorry. She’d been unsure about coming back to the team this year. Teddy was 6 now, a big boy, and she missed all of his baby and toddler times. She was ready for a baby.
But Harry… the tears started to spill down her cheeks.
“Ginny?” She turned to see him standing in the doorway, looking concerned. He crossed to her in an instant and knelt before her. “What’s wrong?” he asked.
“You didn’t get a choice in any of this!” Ginny cried before falling into his arms to sob hysterically.
“What?” he asked clearly confused.
“You didn’t choose to be the chosen one, you didn’t choose for your parents to die, or to be famous, or to have to kill Voldemort or to marry me and you didn’t choose to have a baby!”
Harry rubbed her back. He said tentatively, “I’m really lost here Ginny.”
She only cried harder, which made the words even more difficult to force out. “You… you didn’t cho… choose your life. It just thrust on you and you’ve just had to… to accept it!”
“I don’t feel that way,” he said slowly. “What’s upset you?”
“Me! I did it again! Another instance when you don’t get what you wanted.” She sat back and looked into his poor, confused face. Ginny couldn’t believe that she was crying and feeling so miserable when she was really happy about the baby. Did hormones really hit this early? Was that why she’d felt a bit ill the past two days?
“I still don’t-”
“I’m pregnant,” she whispered, staring into his eyes.
Harry rocked back on his heels, staring into her eyes. His expression was blank. “I didn’t think that could happen. The potion…”
“It shouldn’t have been able to happen,” Ginny agreed.
His brow furrowed. “You’re not happy about this?” His tone was carefully neutral.
“I’m happy!” Ginny assured him, although the tears continued to roll down her cheeks.
“Then, uh, why the water works?”
She sighed and lay back into the couch, not wanting to stare into his penetrating eyes any longer. “I told you why.”
“Because you don’t think I had a choice in this?”
She nodded. “You wanted me to take the potion.”
“You had to take the potion or Gwenog was going to kick you off the team,” he reminded her quietly. “I wanted you to have your dream and to make the national team.”
“I didn’t want that,” Ginny told him, finally meeting his eyes again. “I was ready to quit last year.”
Harry studied her for a long moment. “So you agree to continue because you thought that’s what I wanted?”
She shrugged. “Everyone was really disappointed that I didn’t make the national team, but I’m sort of tired of getting injured.”
“Ginny, you should have told me,” Harry said, taking her hand. “I’ve been ready to have kids for years now.”
She blinked, completely stunned. “What?”
“Hell, if you’d told me that day way back when we took Teddy back to Andromeda that you wanted to quit Quidditch and have babies then, I’d have been fine with it.” He let out a sigh. “I may have been drunk when we got married, but you were my choice all along. I’d already chosen you my sixth year, even if I hadn’t totally realized it yet. I was fighting the war so I’d have the choice to be with you.” He smiled at her stunned expression. “It’s like Dumbledore told me when we were discussing the prophecy. Just because I was the one fated to kill Voldemort didn’t mean that I had to do it. I could have walked away. I chose to hunt him down and to face him in the end. When we married the timing wasn’t the best, but we both chose to make it work and I think it’s been great. I could have walked away, but I didn’t because I wanted to be with you. We chose to put Teddy in our lives and we’ve taken on his care when Andromeda hasn’t been able to through the years and it’s been wonderful. We chose early on in our marriage to have children someday. The ‘when’ of having them, like the ‘when’ of getting married may not have been something we decided on consciously, but I’m sure that it’s going to be amazing.”
The tears were now flooding from her eyes, streaming down her face. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean…” she shut her mouth and tried to gather her thoughts while swiping at her tears. “I seem to have turned into a watering pot.”
“How far along are you?” he asked.
“Melinda said just four weeks or so,” she replied. She smiled tentatively and he grinned back at her. He leaned forward, cupped her cheeks and kissed her. “It’s probably too early for me to blame the tears on hormones,” she whispered against his lips.
“I won’t contradict you if you do,” he promised her. “This is amazing Ginny.” He bent down and rested his head against her stomach, his eyes closed and a contented, happy smile on his face.
She ran a hand through his hair. “This means I’m fired.”
“Gwenog is a pain in the arse anyway.”
“Hmm?” He looked up with her, his joy clear in his face.
“I chose you and the baby. I love you.”
He kissed her stomach before moving to sit on the couch. He pulled her onto his lap so he could hold her. “I love you too. Both of you. I will choose you, us, every time.”