Chapter 3 : Fix You
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If Harry thought the last nine months were terrifying, that was nothing compared to the fear that he was feeling now.
It started slowly in his stomach, twisting his insides into knots as Ginny’s first cry of pain rang out through her childhood home. Harry hadn’t thought the Burrow would be a suitable place for the birth of a child, but as Ginny constantly reminded him, their flat wasn’t exactly ideal either. And at least at the Burrow, there would be more people around. Mr. and Mrs. Weasley were both home, and Mrs. Weasley was sitting by her daughter’s side as their midwife, Evelyn Kingston, started spewing out instructions on what to do. There was something in there about breathing.
Harry could hardly remember how to breathe. He had levitated the towels over to Ginny and Evelyn as instructed, and though Ginny had taken some potions to help with the pain, they had been told that they would only do so much to help her.
Ginny cried out again and Harry bit into his knuckles. The cries reminded him all too much of someone being tortured under the Cruciatus Curse. How long would this be going on?
He wanted to be there, he had to be there for the birth of their son, their firstborn, but he couldn’t take the sounds. The pain. He stared helplessly into the living room, his knuckles tight and his face as white as a sheet. At least the other children were gone today.
“I need you to push, Ginevra!” Evelyn was saying, her voice amplified to be heard.
“I… am… pushing!” she insisted.
“You’re doing just fine, Ginny dear,” Mrs. Weasley said, patting her daughter’s hand as she sat next to her bedside. The place that should have been reserved for Harry, at least before he vomited and Evelyn snapped at him to make himself useful.
Now all they could do was wait.
There was another scream and Harry couldn’t take it anymore. Although this sound was different, it was still agonizing to hear, reminding him too much of the nightmares that continued to plague him. Seven years after the war and the same ghosts came back to haunt him. He walked out of the living room, out through the kitchen, and into the small, gnome-filled garden that was now a familiar and comforting sight.
Once in the fresh air, Harry took a deep breath, trying to get as much oxygen into his lungs as he could. He wished his parents were here. Bloody hell, he wished his parents were always there, but Harry had known they had seen him get married to the woman he loved. He knew they’d watched the day he finally won her back, the day when he thought his demons would silence. He remembered it so clearly.
Another agonizing screech and Harry covered his ears. Once a coward, always a coward. The great Harry Potter couldn’t even be in the same room as his own son was born. What did that say about him?
He tried to tell himself that her screams were a sign that she was still alive. He hadn’t lost her, but there was always a chance, wasn’t there? Evelyn had warned them as much - and she’d said she’d do whatever she could to keep them both safe, but sometimes there were complications. Even in Ginny’s near perfect health, things could still go wrong.
But Harry had just gotten her back. He couldn’t lose her now.
Still reeling from the outburst at his parent’s graveside not hours before, Harry almost opened the door to the Burrow without knocking. He might have, if it were a different time, but he stopped himself in time and raised his hand to the door.
Maybe Ginny was still with Seamus - maybe she wasn’t. Maybe they were engaged and she was stupidly happy with him, and Harry was about to get his heart handed back. But he wouldn’t be Harry if he didn’t try just one more time. He wouldn’t be able to live with himself if he lost another chance to be with her.
Finally, she came and answered the door just as he was about to leave. She was as beautiful as ever, wearing an infamous Weasley sweater with a ‘G’ written on it. It always amazed him how she could look like a redheaded goddess in a bulky sweater. Her hair was tied back and her brown eyes were perplexed when she saw him standing there.
“Harry. What are you doing here? Now’s not really a good time -”
“Is it ever a good time?” he demanded.
Ginny sighed, and instead of letting him in like he thought she would, she stepped outside and closed the door behind her. She leaned back against it. “Listen, George is having a bad day. I really should be inside with him - Mum’s about to burst into tears at the sight of him.”
“This won’t take long,” Harry promised. His confidence swayed and his heart beat rapidly in his chest. “I just had to see you.”
“Why?” she asked. “We’re not together anymore, you don’t get to just drop by unannounced. What if Seamus was here?”
“No,” she mumbled, and something swam in her eyes that he couldn’t quite catch. Sadness? Regret? Bitterness? “He’s not. He’s with Dean… that’s not the point, though.”
“I know. The point is, I should have sent an owl or checked in via Floo Network, but I wasn’t near any of those things and I didn’t want to lose the impulse.”
“So now visiting me is just one of your impulses? Harry --”
“Will you just let me talk for once?” he asked, irritation flooding into his voice. Ginny barely even winced - she never lost his gaze, but still, there was a hint of guilt that swam in him. “You’ve always been making the decisions about us. Lately. And I do want you to be happy. And if you’re honestly, truly, stupidly happy with Seamus, I promise that this is the last you’ll hear from me and I’ll go back to being your brother’s best mate.”
“I told you how I felt!”
“You chose someone else. I know. And Seamus and I talked that day in the Leaky Cauldron because I truly thought he’d make you happy. Now, though… are you, Ginny? Are you happy?”
“I can’t possibly be happy all the time, Harry. That’s so unrealistic.”
He locked his gaze with hers, studying her once familiar brown eyes and found his answer.
“Tell me the truth. Do you, or do you not, still have feelings for me?” he asked, moving closer to her. She backed up at first, at least until his hand reached out and grabbed her waist. He drew her closer to him, and he didn’t realize until now just how much he’d missed having her in his arms.
“I loved you for a long time, Harry. I’m not just going to get over that over night.”
“That’s not an answer to the question.”
Ginny’s brows knotted on her forehead, the conflict clearly evident on her face. He probably should have waited. Waited until he was sure she and Seamus were over, waited until he didn’t feel like he was quite barging in unannounced. But he also knew that if he didn’t get this out now, it would suffocate him. It was now or never.
“Ginny,” he breathed out, reaching to cup her cheek in his hand. “Do you still love me?”
“I -” she began. She paused, her brown eyes staring up at him, helpless. And that was when she surprised him and she was the one who closed the remaining distance between them, pressing her lips against his. He kissed her back immediately, his arms snaking around her and drawing her closer, near lifting her feet off the ground.
Harry tried to focus on that feeling now. The warmth and desire that had flooded through his body at her familiar touch. Ginny’s cries from inside the Burrow, and he blinked rapidly, trying to get images of her lifeless body crumpling before him out of his head. Those had only been nightmares. Not real.
Panic ate inside of him, the blood rushing to his head. Evelyn’s words kept ringing in his ears, and he’d never forgive himself if something happened to Ginny and he wasn’t there.
What was real was happening inside - the birth of his son. He was a bloody Gryffindor, he was Harry Potter! If he could defeat the Dark Lord, he could go back and reclaim his spot by his wife’s side and be there for her when she needed him most.
He straightened himself up and was about to go inside when he saw Mr. Weasley coming out of the house. His heart lurched in his throat.
“What happened?” he demanded, walking over to him. “Is she okay?”
“She’s doing great,” Mr. Weasley assured him, his face a little pale. “But Harry, you should come inside. Your boy is almost here. You should be there to welcome him.”
Harry nodded, throat dry, and together they started walking quickly back to the Burrow. A new rush of butterflies came through his veins, hope and nerves colliding together.
“Almost there!” Evelyn was yelling, and Harry all but rushed to Ginny’s other side, relieved that the sofa wasn’t pushed up against the wall. He gripped onto her hand and she locked eyes with him, and he could see the fear and the anxiety and the hope running through them.
“I’m going - to bloody - kill you,” Ginny insisted through agonized gasps. She was sweating profusely, but Harry still thought she was the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen.
“You can when you’re done,” he assured her, grinning at her.
“There’s the head!” Evelyn exclaimed. “Come on, Ginevera. Just a few more and - here he is! You two are officially proud parents of a baby boy.”
Ginny relaxed immediately, and Harry’s grip on her hand loosened as Evelyn came over and carried a small baby in her arms. She cleaned him off before gently resting him in Ginny’s arms, and Harry was suddenly hit with an overwhelming sense of joy and pride.
Somehow, even in the darkest of times, through a war and all of the other horrible things that had happened, there was hope in this world. How was it possible that such a tiny creature could bring him so much light and happiness?
Ginny looked up at Harry, her eyes shining. “Harry, would you like to hold him?”
“Please,” Harry croaked out, and he’d completely forgotten about Mr. and Mrs. Weasley in the room with them and Evelyn - all of his attention was on his beautiful wife and his newborn son.
She glanced over at Evelyn, almost as if asking for permission, and when she nodded, Ginny carefully handed him over to Harry. He wasn’t sure what to do at first - what if he dropped him? - but he held out his arms and the moment the baby was in them, a new sense of warmth filled his entire body. The only other time he’d ever remembered being this happy was on their wedding day.
Harry stared at his newborn son with wonder and amazement. “I’ll protect you,” he whispered, gently rocking him back and forth. “I promise. I won’t let anything ever happen to you.”
That was the moment - the real, true moment - that Harry realized he wasn’t alone anymore. He didn’t have to fight through the darkness and wonder if the next day would be worth living; he already knew that it would be. All of the pain and the suffering had been worth it.
Harry had a family. His own family.
“What should we name him?” Ginny asked, breaking the spell that had entranced him with his son, reminding him that there were other people in the world.
“James,” he whispered, still looking at the infant in his arms. “James Sirius Potter.”
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