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Chapter 54 : Year 6: Sharing the News
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But this certain afternoon, Hermione did not feel like working, and found her eyes constantly drawn to the window and the striped pattern created by the raindrops trickling down the glass. It had got her thinking about her mother, and the way the two of them had used to dance in the rain when she had been little. Perhaps, Hermione thought, if they had had a balcony, she could have stood out there now, and her mother would have seemed a little closer…
Another distraction entered the room, in the form of her husband, via the fireplace, which flared up in emerald green to announce his arrival. Moments later, after placing a kiss on her forehead in passing, Ron sank into the armchair next to Hermione’s and sighed.
“Tired?” Hermione asked, and he nodded.
“Yes. How are you? How was your day?”
“Not too bad,” Hermione smiled. “I can’t seem to get anything done here, though,” she said, gesturing with her quill towards the book on her knee and the almost empty parchment on the coffee table.
“How come?” asked Ron.
Hermione shrugged. “I don’t know. I just keep thinking about other things. And I guess I have to go start dinner now. Are you hungry?”
Ron smiled and rubbed his hands together. “I’ll tell you what,” he said. “You promise me you get that done, and I’ll handle dinner. I’ll cook you something nice…”
“Is that supposed to make me feel better?” Hermione grinned. “The prospect of burnt food and soggy–“
Just then, she was interrupted by a clinging sound, and both she and Ron turned their heads towards the hallway and the front door, which was just visible from where they were sitting.
“Saved by the bell,” Ron chuckled as he got up on his feet.
As soon as he had opened the door, and two very familiar voices echoing out in the stairwell reached Hermione’s ears, she closed the law book and sighed again. She would just have to put off the rest of her work until the next day. It was not quite like her, but it was not going to hurt anyone. Truth was, she was quite relieved, and it was with a wide smile on her face that she hurried after Ron to greet her friends.
“You’d better have a good reason to come,” Ron was saying just as Hermione showed up in the doorway behind him. “This one,” he said, pointing over his shoulder, “has work to do.”
“Oh, it’s all right, I’ll do it tomorrow,” Hermione smiled, stepping forward to hug first Harry, then Ginny.
“As a matter of fact, we do have quite a good reason,” Harry grinned as he reached out his arm to offer Ginny support while she balanced on one foot, trying to pull off her shoe from the other one.
“You do?” said Ron, puzzled. “What reason?”
“Why don’t we go sit down, and we’ll tell you?” suggested Ginny.
Ron eyed her suspiciously before nodding slowly, and the four of them went into the living room. Harry and Ginny sat down in the couch and Ron and Hermione chose the same armchairs they had been sitting in just minutes ago.
“So, what’s going on?” said Ron eagerly, as soon as they were all seated.
Ginny smiled. “Well, we have some good news,” she said, “and we thought that you two should be the first to know.”
She looked at Harry, as though she was expecting him to continue. After being intensely stared at for a few seconds, he cleared his throat and mumbled: “Right. We did,” before falling silent again.
Ginny rolled her eyes before turning back to Ron and Hermione again. “We’re having a baby,” she said. “I’m pregnant.”
Hermione let out a squeal of excitement, and next to her, Ron flew to his feet, suddenly breathing very heavily as his face quickly turned pink. Harry looked as though he was trying not to laugh as his best mate lifted a shaky finger and pointed straight at him.
“You,” Ron croaxed, “you knocked her up?”
Harry smirked. “I knocked her up.”
(“Hmpff,” said Ginny, “that makes it sound like you did all the work.”)
“With a… with a baby?”
“We certainly hope it’s a baby,” Harry replied, placing an arm around Ginny’s shoulders. “I mean, we both like animals too, but I think we’d prefer to have a human child.”
Ron ignored his friend’s mocking; he was too busy shaking his head to pay any attention. “Parents,” he said in shock. “That’s what you’ll be. Parents. To a human child.”
“Good,” said Ginny with a grin, “you’re starting to get how this works.”
“That’s amazing!” Hermione exclaimed, jumping to her feet as well. “Oh, I’m so happy for you!”
And she quickly made her way around the coffee table to pull the parents-to-be to their feet, after which she pulled them into a very tight three-way hug, sniffing into Ginny’s shoulder as they finally let go.
Taking a step back, Ginny glanced towards her brother, who seemed to have got over the initial shock, and whose expression was slowly turning from very confused to very happy. Before Ginny knew it, he had squeezed past Hermione, wrapped his arms around his sister and lifted her into the air, making her giggle and Harry exclaim:
“Be careful, Ron!”
“He’s already treating me like I’m made of glass,” Ginny said, rolling her eyes as Ron sat her back down. The two siblings grinned at each other before Ron turned to his brother-in-law and proceeded to slap his back hard enough to make Harry cough.
“Congratulations, man,” he said. “That really is wonderful news. When... when is it happening?”
“February,” said Ginny, placing a hand on her stomach.
“Wow,” Ron mumbled, shaking his head again. “Wow. That’s incredible.”
They spent the next hour or so discussing pregnancy symptoms. Hermione was fascinated to hear that Ginny’s magic had been acting up and how it could be connected to the bun in her oven, Ron blushed furiously and pretended not to hear when Ginny mentioned that all her bras were already much too small (though he did show evidence of hearing perfectly well when he had a coughing fit as Harry chuckled, nudged Ginny in the side and said: “That’s my favourite part of this whole pregnancy thing so far…” which, naturally, meant that she had to smack him in the head.)
It seemed that Sunday roast could not come quickly enough that week. After sharing their secret with Ron and Hermione, Harry and Ginny were more than eager to tell the rest of the family. Of course, Harry was quite surprised that it was still a secret by the time Sunday finally came around; he had been sure that Ron would have given it away by then, especially since he had showed up at the Auror Office the day after finding out, tossing a long parchment roll to Harry and shouting: “It’s a list of baby names! I just want you guys to know that it’s perfectly fine with me if it’s a boy and you want to call him Ronald…” Harry had hushed him and dragged him into his office to shut him up, and thanks to some amazing luck, no one had overheard.
When they finally made it to the Burrow on the last day of the week, Harry and Ginny found it nearly impossible not to shout out their secret as soon as they stepped out of the fireplace. As soon as the Weasleys’ clattered living room showed up in front of him, Harry’s eyes fell on Angelina, who was sitting on the couch, rocking little Fred in her arms. Harry smiled widely at the thought of seeing his own wife in her position in just a little over a half-year’s time. Ron and Hermione’s arrival just minutes later, and the knowing smiles they kept flashing at him, only made acting normal harder.
At last, Bill, Fleur and the girls showed up and Ginny went to get her father and George who were supposed to be de-gnoming the garden, but whom she found sitting near the hedge where most of the gnomes lived, sounding as though they were actually chatting to the little creatures. Ginny was too eager to get them inside to ask any questions, and moments later, the family was finally gathered in the kitchen, ready to take a seat and enjoy the beautiful feast that Mrs Weasley had laid out in front of them.
“Before we eat,” said Harry just as Ron pulled out the nearest chair, “Ginny and I have something we’d like to tell you all.”
“Oh, Merlin!” Mrs Weasley gasped, her eyes turning towards her only daughter. “You’re pregnant, aren’t you?”
The kitchen went dead silent. Then, shrugging, Ginny burst into laughter and nodded. In the next second, her mother had leaped forwards and wrapped her arms around her, tears already streaming down her cheeks.
“Oh sweetie, I’ve never been happier… I’ve never been more proud. Of both of you,” she added, sniffing as she pulled Harry too into her embrace.
“Really?” said George from somewhere behind them. “NEVER? Not even when she was made a professional Quiddtich player? Or when she got to train with England? Or – I don’t know – that time Harry saved the world?”
“You’re having a baby,” Mrs Weasley sobbed, “I’m so happy!”
“Happier than when Harry saved Ginny from the Chamber of Secrets?” George said.
“… and I’ve always wanted this for you…”
“Don’t tell me you’re prouder than that time Ginny got Malfoy with the Bogey-Bat Hex? To this day – no offence, buddy,” George added, grinning towards his son, who was currently sleeping in his arms, “that is still my proudest moment!”
Mrs Weasley continued to ignore him and beamed up at Harry and Ginny before finally stepping aside to let everyone else have a turn. Harry found himself being shuffled from embrace to embrace, slapped on the back by Ginny’s brothers and kissed on the cheek by Fleur and Audrey. Mr Weasley, tears coating his bright, blue eyes, grabbed Harry’s shoulder with a crooked smile and said:
“Congratulations, son,” before hugging him so tightly it almost hurt.
Finally, Ginny turned towards Bill, who had been strangely silent and had made no attempt to hug neither her nor Harry yet. Determinedly walking over to him, Ginny raised her eyebrows and shoved him in the side.
“Aren’t you happy for us too, Bill?”
Bill smiled, placing an arm around her shoulder. “Of course I am. It’s just… you’re my baby sister. It’s so weird to think that you’re going to be a mother.”
“Trust me, I felt the same way when I first found out,” Ginny grinned, leaning her head against his shoulder. Bill kissed the top of her head before stepping forwards to hug her husband as well.
“I am happy for you,” he assured them. “And having a child is the most wonderful thing you’ll ever experience.”
“And it’s not like he thought you were still a virgin, right Bill?” George chuckled, appearing next to Harry and placing one arm around his shoulder, the other one still carefully holding Fred to his chest. “Not with the way this guy is always looking at her…” Harry swallowed nervously, and George laughed again. “It’s okay, mate. You’re her husband – you’re allowed to.”
Harry grinned as well but avoided Bill’s eyes until they were all seated around the table, apart from Fred who remained sleeping but in a baby carrier placed a few feet behind where his parents were sitting.
“Hey, Harry, remember what you said when we told you we were expecting?” said George as he piled up roast potatoes on his plate. “About Freddie taking after me and causing lots of trouble?”
“Hm,” Harry mumbled. “Vaguely.”
“Well, just imagine him teamed up with your kid…”
Harry left the Burrow early that afternoon, walking off the Weasley premises to Apparate to Godric’s Hollow. There, he found a grey sky, a light drizzle and a little boy, that day with purple hair and his mother’s dark, twinkling eyes, running into his arms as he crouched down to greet him.
“Hey, Teddy,” he grinned, looking over his godson’s shoulder and smiling at Andromeda, who was leaned against the gate leading into the graveyard just a few yards away. “How are you, buddy?”
“Good,” Teddy grinned as they let go of each other. “Look what Gran gave me today!”
He stuck his little hand into the pocket of his jumper, and when he pulled it back out, it was wrapped around a little toy rattle, carved out of some beautiful, dark wood, with three golden bells attached to the top.
“Remember what I told you about it, Teddy?” said Andromeda, who had now walked up to the other two and bent forwards to place a pale hand on her grandson’s back.
“I played with it when I was a baby,” Teddy said excitedly. “And so did my Mummy!”
“Wicked,” Harry smiled. Then, straightening up, he turned his eyes to the woman standing next to him, noticing that the long curly hair, which had been light brown the first time he had met her, had more elements of grey than he had ever seen before. She was smiling too, forming little wrinkles around her eyes.
“Congratulations, Harry,” she said, spreading her arms and hugging him softly. “I got your letter. Obviously, since we are here.”
“Thank you,” Harry said. “You didn’t tell him, did you?” he added in a lower voice, nodding towards Teddy, who had bent down next to the stone wall surrounding the graveyard, and was pulling little, white wildflowers out of the ground.
“No, I didn’t,” Andromeda assured him. “I will get going and let you do that. Hey, Teddy! Gran is leaving now, all right? You be a good boy for Uncle Harry and Aunt Ginny, and I will see you tomorrow.”
Teddy rushed over to kiss his grandmother’s cheek and place one of the little white flowers behind her ear before grabbing Harry’s hand and pulling him towards the open gate.
“Bye, Andie!” Harry called over his shoulder. Turning back towards Teddy, he realized that the child was holding out a small boquet towards him that he had created out of the flowers he had picked, a couple of leaves shifting in yellow and red that had already fallen from the treetops, and a few blades of grass.
“For you,” Teddy smiled.
“Wow, they’re beautiful!” Harry said, accepting the boquet and making a point to admire them very carefully. “Thank you, Teddy.”
“Are we really going to see your mummy and daddy?” Teddy asked as they made their way through the rows of tombstones.
“Yes,” Harry nodded. “Gran takes you to see your mummy and daddy sometimes, right? To their grave?”
“Yes, them and my Granddad,” Teddy nodded, and just then, Harry saw the now familiar tombstone, and with a small sting in his heart, he stopped.
“Well, this is where my parents are,” he explained.
A small, whithered bouqet was leaned against the stone, just under that description that had bewildered him so when he had first read it. Teddy, Harry noticed, was also looking at the dead flowers, and then glancing back at the new little boquet in Harry’s right hand.
“Er,” he said, “Uncle Harry? Can I have the flowers back?”
Harry smiled and held them out, and watched in silence as Teddy grabbed them and replaced the old bouqet with this new one. Then, patting the top of the tombstone with one little hand, Teddy smiled crookedly and said:
“There, that’s better. Maybe you can share them with my mummy and daddy? They’re in heaven too.”
Harry bent down to touch the grass, and although it was a little damp, he decided to sit down in it. Teddy mimicked his action but seemed to find the ground a little to wet to sit on, and placed himself on Harry’s lap instead, sighing contently as he leaned his back against Harry’s chest.
“Did Gran tell you that I had something important to tell you today?” Harry asked, leaning his chin against the top of Teddy’s purple head.
“Nope,” the boy replied.
“Well, I do,” Harry said. “I thought I could tell you and my mum and dad at the same time. You know… Remember that Freddie was in Aunt Angie’s tummy? And her tummy got really big, and then the baby came out of it?”
Teddy nodded. “Uh-huh.”
“That’s how Dom was born, and Victoire – but they were in Aunt Fleur’s tummy, because she’s their mummy. And you were in your mum’s tummy, and I was in mine. Even Gran was born that way!”
“No,” Teddy said, turning around to look at his godfather with a distrustful look on his face. “Not Gran?”
“Even her,” Harry smiled. “And guess who’s got a baby in her tummy now? Ginny! It’s growing in there, but then it’s going to come out, and Ginny will be its mummy and I will be its daddy.”
Teddy stood up so violently that his head bumbed into Harry’s chin, but he didn’t flinch. Instead, he marched a few feet away, crossed his arms over his chest and glared at Harry, his bottom lip pouting and his hair darkening very quickly.
“No!” he said determinedly. “I don’t want us to have a baby!”
“It’s a good thing, buddy,” Harry tried to assure him. “It’s not going to hurt Ginny, if that’s what you’re worried about…”
“NO!” Teddy repeated. “No baby!”
He turned around again, as if to run off, but Harry quickly jumped to his feet and managed to catch him only a few yards into it. Teddy wriggled in his arms but Harry lifted him off the ground and groped for his wand in the back pocket of his jeans.
“Let’s go home,” he said softly, “and we’ll talk to Ginny about it. Okay?”
The pop as he Disapparated echoed across the now empty graveyard. Meanwhile, many miles away, Harry and Teddy’s cells were jumping back into place and the world stopped spinning as they materialized on the gravel road leading up to Harry and Ginny’s house.
Ginny came running downstairs when she heard them come through the door, smiling widely as she crouched down in front of Teddy. “Hi!” she said, placing a hand on her belly. “Did Harry tell you about the baby?”
Teddy frowned. “I don’t want one!”
“I don’t know what’s wrong,” Harry sighed, trying to undo the zipper of Teddy’s jacket, but Teddy pushed his hands away, taking a few steps back. “I told him that a baby was growing in your tummy and you are its mother and I’m its father, and now he’s super grumpy…”
“Oh, Harry,” Ginny sighed, reaching forward to grab Teddy’s shoulders and make him look into her eyes. “Even when the baby is born,” she said, “we are going to love you just as much as we do now. And you’ll still be able to come over and play, and stay over… We’re always going to be your godparents, and we’re always going to love you.”
Harry, his eyes lighting up as though the problem was finally dawning on him, sank to his knees as well, placing one hand on Teddy’s back, and the other on Ginny’s.
“When it comes out, the baby will be really small,” he said. “But when it grows a little older, you will be able to play with him or her. You can teach them to play Quidditch, and you can collect Chocolate Frog cards together… It will be just like having a little brother or sister.”
“Really?” Teddy said, his eyes moving between Harry’s face and Ginny’s.
“Really,” Ginny promised. “And take it from someone who has lots of brothers – it’s a lot of fun.”
Now, Teddy’s lips were slowly stretching into a smile, revealing the little gap between his teeth where he had just lost his first one, and his eyes began twinkling again, just the same way Tonks’ eyes always had.
“Okay,” he said. Then, perhaps as he remembered the little toy rattle in his hand, he held it up in front of his face before handing it over to Ginny. “Here you go. Can you give this to the baby?”
“Thanks, buddy,” she replied. “Why don’t we keep it here at the house, and when you come over to see the baby for the first time, you can give it to him yourself? Or her,” she added, exchanging a look with Harry and smiling.
“Okay,” Teddy said. “I will. I guess we can have a baby, then. I’m okay with that.”
A/N: I wish I could explain the feeling of waking up in the morning, logging on to HPFF and seeing this story in the Most Viewed this Month list. Or getting a new review. Or just thinking about that there are actual people who actually enjoy reading something I wrote. Well, I can't really describe it but it's the most amazing feeling. So thank you! As always, I would love to hear your thoughts on the chapter. How was everyone's reacitions? What you expected?
Thank you again. You really are the best x
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