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A Very Pregnant Birthday

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Ginny woke earlier than she wanted to the feel of the baby kicking her stomach. Grunting softly, she rubbed the spot where the baby’s foot had been and shifted in the mattress, trying fruitlessly to get comfortable and fall back asleep. She was lying on her side, with a pillow between her legs, the position Hermione’s pregnancy books had recommended, and yet she still couldn’t seem to sleep more than a few hours straight. She glanced at the clock. It was just after 6 a.m., and she had woken up a few hours before to pee and then had taken another half hour to fall asleep again. 

 

Harry moved beside her in the dark. 

 

“All right, love?” 

 

His breath tickled her ear. 

 

“Mmm hmm,” she muttered in the affirmative. “Just a kick.” 

 

He leaned in to kiss her cheek, his arm wrapping around to stroke her belly and entwine his hand with hers. 

 

“Happy birthday,” he whispered before kissing her lightly on the lips. He sat up and pressed his lips to her stomach, too.

 

“And happy maybe birthday to you, too, little baby James or little baby Lily” he said to her belly. 

 

“Don’t give ‘em any ideas,” Ginny said quickly. 

 

Her due date was in two days time and she was very ready to no longer have a fat stomach, achy back and sore ankles. And she was more than ready to get back on a broom. 

 

But she didn’t fancy going into labor on her birthday. From everything she had heard, the pain rivaled the Cruciatus Curse, and she didn’t want to go through that on her birthday. Nor did she think the baby would appreciate celebrating his or her birthday on the same day as his or her mother. The baby deserved her or his own special day. 

 

They had picked out the baby’s name--boy or girl-- easily, the day they had found out Ginny was pregnant. Ginny had suggested it before Harry could speak the words because she couldn’t see any other option. Angelina was seven months pregnant with twins at the time and Ginny knew George and Angelina were planning to name one of the kids Fred. But even if that had been an option, James or Lily just sounded right. Harry and Ginny hadn’t wanted to know the baby’s sex. They would be happy with any gender. 

 

“How are you feeling?” Harry asked seriously, rubbing his thumb against her stomach while still keeping their other fingers locked together. “Twenty-three any different?” 

 

“The same,” Ginny sighed. “Pregnant. Tired. Tired of being pregnant. Sore. Fat.” 

 

“You’re not fat,” Harry said flatly, now tracing the letters on the giant Harpies jersey her mother had knitted for her when she became too big to fit into her own.  

 

Ginny raised her eyebrows at him, and even though he couldn’t see her expression with the lights off, he seemed to read her mind and they fell into a fit of giggles. Harry collapsed back onto the pillows and kissed the back of Ginny’s neck. 

 

“Okay,” he conceded. “Maybe your stomach is technically bigger now, but only because you’re making our baby.” 

 

He said the word with such awe and excitement, like he couldn’t believe a piece of them, a living thing that was pure and good, was inside her, nearly ready to enter the world.   

 

“And you’re still beautiful,” he murmured, quieter now, pressing his lips against her neck and trailing them up her chin and to her own. “More beautiful than ever.” 

 

He kissed her lovingly and gently, bringing one hand up to stroke her cheek and leaving the other to support her stomach as he moved her onto her back. Ginny curled her fingers through his hair, holding him close and deepening the kiss. When they finally broke away, Ginny sunk deeper into the pillows, but Harry kissed her neck. 

 

“You should go back to bed, Harry,” Ginny said, but she gave a sharp intake of breath as he kissed a spot on her collarbone. “You’ve barely slept.” 

 

Ginny had first dozed off around 10, but Harry had not gotten in from work until after midnight. He had apologized profusely when he realized he had woken her up sliding into bed. But he had helped her up to go to the bathroom then and again a couple hours later. Meanwhile, he had been working 12 hour--at least--shifts for the past few weeks to prepare for all the time he planned to take off when the baby was born. His last day off had been his own birthday, and if it weren’t her birthday, he would be heading off to work. It was a Wednesday.    

 

Harry shook his head and reached for his glasses. 

 

“Nope. It’s your birthday. We have a full day of celebrating and loving you to get through. We can sleep later.” 

 

“You’re such a dork,” Ginny teased, but she grinned, stroking Harry’s bare arms. Harry nearly always slept shirtless. 

 

“Yep,” Harry replied, moving downward to ever so lightly kiss her breasts. The pregnancy had made them larger, but sore to the touch. “I’m the president of the Ginny Potter Fan Club, didn’t you know? Totally, utterly flummoxed as to how a bloke could be so lucky as to land not only the greatest Quidditch player in a century, no a millenium, no a billion lifetimes---” 

 

Ginny scoffed at the hyperbole and then gasped as Harry’s hands began playing between her bare legs, his fingers dancing around the edge of her knickers. His tongue flitted across a nipple. 

 

“But one who can cast the most powerful bat-bogey hex known to man, while also being the bravest--” he paused to kiss the spot below her breasts. Ginny let out a noise that was a mix between a giggle and sigh. 

 

“Fiercest--” 

 

Another kiss, this time at the top of her stomach. One hand had risen to stroke her bump, but the other was still teasing her thighs. 

 

“Funniest--”

 

A third kiss, this time a little lower. 

 

“Most caring--” 

 

The next kiss was even lower. 

 

“Sweetest--” 

 

The fifth was lower still. 

 

“Sexiest witch a bloke could meet,” he finished, ducking his head beneath her bump, his lips brushing against her knickers as a thumb circled, poised to slip under them.  

 

Ginny inhaled sharply, feeling a twinging of longing for him. 

 

“Oh yeah,” he hissed. “And she’s right good at shagging, too.” 

 

“Harry, shagging induces labor, remember,” Ginny cried, but her body betrayed her, her hips rising, so Harry could remove her knickers with his teeth. Ginny brought her hand down to hurry him along, but he pushed it out of the way, using his own fingers to bring the garment down to her knees.    

 

He knew exactly where and how to move his fingers and tongue to leave her in bliss and whining his name. 

 

Part of it seemed because he cared about her so deeply he could sense her needs and desires as if they were his own. But it had come with years of practice, too. He was far more confident and skilled than he had been the first time he had felt her beneath her pants. It had been a few weeks after the battle, while Hermione and Ron were still in Australia bringing back the Grangers, and they had gone to the apple orchard to play one-on-one Quidditch. 

 

But, as was the case those days, their grief over Fred, Remus, Tonks and all the others had been too much. They had ended up collapsing off their brooms and into each other, snogging their sorrows away. They had kissed many times since the battle, but this time had been different. Ginny had been eager, unzipping Harry’s trousers to feel his bulge. Harry had leapt back, nervous and guilty, for wanting to feel pleasure when there was so much pain. So, Ginny had led his hand under her own pants, guiding him as he explored her, before she slipped her own hand back through his zipper.    

 

It was in that orchard that they had said they loved each other for the first time, the words slipping simultaneously from their lips. They had blushed and grinned, before kissing each other, realizing how odd it was that they had to say the words out loud at all because, in that moment, they knew they had always loved each other and would until the very end.  

 

Then and now, each touch made her love him more than she had ever thought possible. It was almost like she was out of her own body, and yet, within it at the same time. The pain of their pasts were hidden. All she could feel was pure pleasure and pure love.  

 

Ginny tucked her fingers through Harry’s hair, letting her nails scrape his scalp and then stretching them as far down his bare back and arms as she could reach. She was careful not to knock his glasses off center. He needed them to see, even in this act, and they somehow turned Ginny on even more. Harry’s tongue and fingers were working so magically together she wondered, not for the first time, if he had somehow cast a spell made especially to please her. She urged him on, telling him where to go, to work faster. 

 

As Harry’s tongue hit just the right spot, Ginny gave a cry of relief and sunk further into the pillows, breathing heavily. Harry kissed her curls and then sat up to kiss her tenderly on the lips. His breath was filled with the odd taste of herself. 

 

Ginny moved her hand to reach for his boxers, but he wrapped his own hand in hers and kissed the back of her palm. 

 

“Nuh-uh,” he said, shaking his head. “I’m fine. Today is all about you.” 

 

“But I--” 

 

“I can do it myself if need be,” he said, waving off her protest and wiping sweat from her brow that she hadn’t realized was there. “Now come on, let’s get you settled.” 

 

She wanted to argue, but she was too relaxed and exhausted to put up much of an effort. Harry slid her back on her side and retrieved another pillow from the other side of the bed. The original one that had been between her legs had long fallen off. She didn’t know when. He placed it under her knees before laying back down beside her. 

 

“Harry,” she whispered. 

 

“Yeah?” 

 

His hands were running up and down her back, kneading into a knot that had been bothering her for weeks. But she turned her head to face him. The room was brighter now, the light from the window illuminating his scar. She kissed it gently. 

 

“I love you,” she said. “So, so much.” 

 

“I love you, too,” he replied softly, still rubbing her back slowly. “More than you’ll ever know. More than I’ll ever be able to express.” 

 

She brought her lips to his. They kissed for a long time, but Ginny felt they could stay like that for an eternity and it wouldn’t be enough.

 

When they finally broke apart, Ginny laid her head back on the pillow, closing her eyes and sighing as Harry resumed the steady motions on her back. 

 

***

 

The smell of syrup and bacon woke Ginny. She opened her eyes and saw Harry standing in front of her, levitating a tray with heaps of bacon, eggs, sausages, pancakes and waffles. But her mouth dropped when she saw what he was wearing--or wasn’t. 

 

He was stark naked except for one of the gifts she had gotten him for his own birthday--an apron decorated with the words “Chef Potter” and a golden snitch. 

 

“You like?” he asked brazenly with a smirk, turning around to show his bare bottom and squeezing his butt cheeks. 

 

“Merlin’s pants, Harry!” Ginny laughed, but still stared shamelessly.

 

She could never get enough of her husband’s body. He was lanky and not overly buff, but his arms and legs were strong and his butt was perfectly toned.  

 

“Or no pants,” he snorted, coming closer to kiss her. Ginny swatted him playfully and then kissed him back. Harry set the tray down before her and climbed in bed next to her. 

 

“You made all this?” Ginny asked, impressed. “Did Kreacher help?” 

 

“No,” scoffed Harry in mock horror. “I made it all myself. I’m Chef Potter.” 

 

He gestured at the apron and Ginny giggled. Harry was a good cook, leagues better than her, but they often were lazy and had Kreacher do the cooking. 

 

“I told Kreacher to stay well away today,” Harry said, wiggling his eyebrows. Harry had given Kreacher Grimmauld Place to live shortly after he and Ginny moved in together. Hermione had been so pleased with his dedication to S.P.E.W. that Harry hadn’t dared tell her that the move had less to do with elvish rights more to do with the time Kreacher had walked in on Harry and Ginny in an uncompromising position on the couch. Still, Harry paid the elf a fair wage and knew Kreacher appreciated having his own space.     

 

“This is so much food though!” Ginny exclaimed. 

 

“And you think we can’t eat all of it?” Harry said incredulously. And then he added more seriously, “There’s muffins, too. I just left the basket in the kitchen. And I can whip up eggs, or toast or a bagel, or even cereal, if your stomach’s not feeling any of this. Hell, it’s your birthday, we can have your cake early if you want” 

 

Ginny shook her head in amazement, smiling. After months of sporadic cravings, Harry knew her too well. 

 

“This is perfect,” she said. “Although I wouldn’t say no to a muffin.” 

 

He nodded. 

 

“Muffin coming right up! What do you want to drink?” he asked, waving his wand over the empty glasses. “Tea? Coffee? Juice? Water?” 

 

Ginny suddenly realized her bladder was about to burst. 

 

“Actually, sorry, I need the bathroom first.” 

 

Harry gave Ginny a hand as she got out of bed. When she had first gotten pregnant, she had been furious every time Harry tried to help her with something innocuous. But feeling like the size of a whale after nine months had forced her to swallow her pride and independence. It was many of the things she longed to get back after giving birth. 

 

After the bathroom, Ginny and Harry caught up over breakfast. It had been days since they had truly talked, what with Harry working so much in the auror office. When they finally had their full, (they left only a couple pancakes and sausages, one waffle, finished off the bacon and had a muffin each) Harry helped Ginny to the bathroom again and went to the kitchen to wash the dishes.  

 

It was late morning at this point and Harry flicked on the Wizarding Wireless to hear Lee Jordan detailing the Chudley Cannons’ narrow, but historic, victory over the Tutshill Tornados. Ron had nearly cried the night before when they got the news as their shift ended. 

 

Harry waved his wand at the dishes and muttered a spell so they would wash themselves, flinching when they clinked against each other. He had never been as good at household spells as Mrs. Weasley, but he loathed to do it the muggle way. Those days were behind him. 

 

Just then, the doorbell rang. Harry jumped and the dishes clanked into the sink, shattering. Hastily casting reparo, he dashed to the door. He could see through the window pane that it was Molly. She was early. He hadn’t been expecting her for at least another hour. Molly waved at him excitedly, a giant wrapped basket in her hands. 

 

Harry was about to open the door when he remembered he was wearing nothing but an apron. Swearing, Harry motioned for her to wait a minute, backed out of sight and sprinted to his room. 

 

“Your mum is here,” he declared, gasping for breath when he reached the room. Ginny was back in bed, propped against the pillows, still wearing nothing but her Harpies shirt. “And I nearly answered the door wearing this.” 

 

Harry gestured at the apron. 

 

Ginny swore. 

 

“Why is she here so early?” she snapped, trying to get out of bed. “She has been too much lately.”    

 

This would be Molly and Arthur’s seventh grandchild, after Victoire, Dominique, Molly, Lucy, Fred and Roxanne, but Mrs. Weasley had been even more frantic about Ginny’s pregnancy than any other. It was likely because it was her own daughter who was pregnant this time, but Molly had been fussing over Ginny even more than the latter had expected. The birth of the twins had kept her busy for a while, but she had taken to visiting Ginny every day, often bringing food or insisting Ginny learn to knit so she could continue the Weasley sweater tradition. 

 

“I dunno,” Harry said. “But I need to find something to wear.” 

 

He picked his boxers up off the floor, threw on a pair of pants and t-shirt and rushed back to the front door. 

 

“Sorry about that,” said Harry, red in the face when he finally greeted Molly. “Ginny called me just as you rang.” 

 

“No worries, dear,” Molly said cheerfully, kissing Harry on both cheeks. She held up the large basket in her arms. “Now, where should we put this?” 

 

“Oh, er, the kitchen is good.” 

 

Molly gave Harry a big hug once she put down the package and gave him a once over. 

 

“Harry, dear, you do realize your shirt is on backward?” Molly asked. She was smiling in a way that told Harry she suspected why he hadn’t opened the door immediately. “The tag is sticking out.” 

 

Harry felt his cheeks turn a deep red. 

 

“Oh, sorry, thanks, er, no. I didn’t notice,” Harry said hastily. He tried to recovery lamely. “You know, it’s just been crazy, getting ready for the baby and all.” 

 

“Of course, dear,” Molly said, patting his cheek. “How is Ginny doing? And the baby? The little thing was kicking a lot yesterday.” 

 

Harry grinned, despite himself, thinking about the baby, his own child. And the kicking! Harry loved feeling the kicking. 

 

“They’re good,” he said. “Ginny’s good. She’s having a bit of a lie-in actually. We just finished breakfast. Sorry, we weren’t expecting you until later.”

 

“That’s all right, dear. I am on the early side. Arthur’s coming later. I just wanted to check in, see the birthday girl. It’s just two days before the due date, you know.” 

 

Harry nodded. 

 

“Well, er, if you don’t mind, I might check to see if Ginny needs help getting dressed or anything.” 

 

“Oh I can help her!” 

 

Harry was certain Ginny wouldn’t find that particularly helpful. 

 

“Actually, Molly, I kind of made a mess washing the dishes and I’m rubbish at that stuff. It’d be great if you could--” 

 

Molly held up a hand. 

 

“Not a problem, dear,” she said cheerily. “You go help Ginny.”

 

“Thanks, mum,” he said, blushing a little. She beamed at him. 

 

Molly had told her to stop calling her Mrs. Weasley a couple years after the war and, after he proposed to Ginny, she had said he could call her “mum.” Sometimes the word fit and other times it felt strange on his lips. It wasn’t that Molly hadn’t been a mother to him. He just wasn’t sure he’d ever feel completely accustomed to being able to use the word. 

 

Harry helped Ginny slip into a light green maternity dress and changed into a nicer top himself, before joining Molly in the kitchen. She had already started making sandwiches for Ginny’s birthday lunch by the time they arrived. Neville, Luna, Percy, Audrey, Bill and Fleur wouldn’t be able to get away from work, but Ron and Hermione had promised to stop by. Angelina had to hold down the shop, but George would be bringing the twins. Andromeda was coming, too, with Teddy, who would stay the rest of the day. Ginny and Harry would have preferred a nice, quiet day, but with a big family that wasn’t possible. 

 

Arthur was the next to arrive, carrying a box decorated in wrapping paper decorated with little animals. 

 

“Oh Merlin! Dad what’s this?” Ginny exclaimed, exasperated. They had more toys, clothes and other junk than they could ever need for the baby between hand-me-downs from her brothers’ kids and the things Harry seemed to bring home every time he went to the store. (She knew already it was going to be a challenge preventing Harry from spoiling their kid.) Besides, Ginny hated to think of her parents spending money on her and Harry when the Potters’ vault was overflowing with galleons. “You already got us something for the baby shower.” 

 

“But this is different,” Arthur said excitedly. “The little one is going to love it! I made it myself!” 

 

Molly waved the spoon she was using to mix the salad at her husband. 

 

“It better not be anything illegal, Arthur Weasley,’ she warned. 

 

“Course not,” he said airily. “It’s perfectly safe and legal. You’ll see when it’s time to open presents.” 

 

Andromeda and Teddy arrived shortly afterward, also carrying, albeit smaller, presents. Ginny smiled politely as Andromeda gushed over how big Ginny was and then gave Teddy a large hug. He was wearing a Harpies shirt that Ginny had given him and had his hair red today. 

 

“Hey, there’s my favorite godson!” Harry cried. 

 

The six-year-old boy leapt into Harry’s arms.

 

“How are yah doing, little man?” Harry asked, lifting a shrieking Teddy up on his shoulders. 

 

“Good,” Teddy cooed in a sing-song voice. “I’m excited for the baby! How many more days?” 

 

“We hope two,” Ginny replied, settling into an armchair in the living room. 

 

“Do you know yet if it’s going to be a boy or a girl?” 

 

“Remember, we told you, Ted, we won’t know until they’re born,” Harry said.  

 

“Oh yeah. I hope it’s a boy,” Teddy said firmly. “There are too many girls in this family.” 

 

Ginny laughed. 

 

“I remember when everyone used to say there were too many boys in this family.” 

 

Teddy asked if they could play Quidditch and Harry eyed Ginny carefully. Flying had become a bit of a sore spot with Ginny because she missed Quidditch and was envious of anyone who could get on a broom.

 

But Ginny nodded. She couldn’t deny Teddy anything. Perhaps she, too, would have a problem with spoiling her kid. But letting a kid play Quidditch wasn’t spoiling, she reasoned. 

 

However, getting Teddy a Firebolt for his sixth birthday might have been. 

 

Andromeda said he was much too young for it, so he was only allowed to use it at the Potters’ under their close supervision. 

 

Cheering, Teddy tugged at Harry’s hair as if to move him forward and the three made their way outside to the broom shed. Ginny tutored Teddy over the best way to get on and grip his broom and then configured herself an armchair to watch Harry and Teddy take to the air. 

 

Merlin, she missed Quidditch. The feel of the wind in her hair and a quaffle in her hand, the rush of approaching the goalposts, the thrill of scoring a goal and hearing her team and the fans cheer--she missed all of it. 

 

Ginny had cried when she realized she was pregnant. She and Harry had wanted kids--really wanted kids--but not this soon. Ginny had wanted to get a few more seasons in with the Harpies before retiring. But the bottle with her contraceptive potion had smashed in her bag before the big playoff match in November, so she had forgotten to take it. Then, she got too tipsy during the post-match festivities, so she and Harry had forgotten to cast the protective charm before their one-on-one celebrations. 

 

But when she told Harry, his face lit up, his eyes shining with a hope and excitement he never thought he could have. And Ginny remembered how much she wanted a family with him. 

 

“OY!”

 

Ginny turned around. Her brother and Hermione were walking toward her, both carrying gifts. 

 

“Hey,” Ginny said, giving them both a one-armed hug from her seat as they wished her a happy birthday. 

 

“How are you feeling?” Ron asked, as Hermione perched on the side of Ginny’s armchair. 

 

“Like I’m going to have a baby in two days,” Ginny said sardonically. Ron was staring at her stomach, so she raised her eyebrows at him. His ears reddened and he met her eyes. 

 

“No, I’m fine,” Ginny continued. “I’m just sick of everyone asking is all. Mum is driving me nuts.” 

 

Ginny told them how her mother had come early, leaving out the naked Harry part. 

 

“We’re knocking mum out when you get pregnant,” Ron told Hermione, only half-joking. 

 

“Don’t be--” Hermione began, but just then Teddy and Harry landed on the ground. The boy’s hair had turned jet black while in the air, but switched back to red as soon as he bound into Ron’s arms.   

 

The five made their way back into the house, where George had arrived with babies Fred and Roxanne. Molly, Andromeda and Arthur had set up plates of sandwiches, fruit and crisps. 

 

After settling Ginny at the table, Harry joined the line to make her a plate of food. 

 

“Mate, Ginny’s so big,” Ron muttered, as he loaded up his plate.  

 

“Don’t let her hear you say that unless you fancy a bat-bogey hex,” Harry replied darkly. “And didn’t you just see her two days ago?” 

 

“Yeah, it’s just every time I forget.” 

 

“What? That’s she pregnant?” Harry snorted. 

 

“No, I dunno. It’s just, she’s my little sister. It’s weird. And I can’t imagine Hermione like that.” 

 

“Are you two--” 

 

“No,” Ron said quickly. “Not yet anyway.” 

 

He looked longingly over at Hermione, who was sitting down next to Ginny. 

 

“We’re going to try, of course,” Ron added. “Just not yet. We want a little more time, just us.” 

 

“Yeah, that’s what Ginny and I said.” Harry chuckled, adding jokingly, “So, remember, Ron, the spell is---” 

 

“UGH,” Ron grumbled. “Don’t remind me how this happened. You’re lucky I let you--” 

 

“Let me,” Harry interrupted, frowning with raised eyebrows. “Because that’s your decision to make, not Ginny’s?” 

 

Ron opened his mouth and then closed it. 

 

“Fair point,” he acquiesced. 

 

Meanwhile, at the table, Hermione was telling Ginny about the paper she was working on for the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures. The Wizengamot was set to consider a new law next month that would mandate a 10-galleon-a-week salary for all house elves. Hermione had argued for 15 galleons a day, at least, but she would have to start somewhere. 

 

“The thesis is, of course, that the subjugation of house elves is not only morally wrong, but has had--and will have--a profound and lasting negative effect on the elves themselves,” Hermione explained. “The stories I’ve heard from elves, Ginny, they’re horrid.” 

 

“Have you gotten any more elves to agree to be interviewed?” Ginny asked, smiling at Harry when he placed her food in front of her. 

 

“That’s been the hardest part,” Hermione said, furiously cutting her sandwich. “Because I need their voices, their opinions to know what route to take. Winky was a huge breakthrough though. She’s doing so much better. But this is what I’m trying to get at in the report, that this enslavement has caused massive psychological damages...”   

 

Elsewhere in the table, Teddy contorted his face and changed his hair color to make the twins, Molly, Arthur and Andromeda laugh. When Harry and Ron sat down, George detailed for them the latest products he and Angelina were exploring for Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes. After everyone had finished eating, the group sang a hasty round of “happy birthday” and gobbled down the cake, so Hermione, Ron and George could get back to work. 

 

“You can open our gifts without us,” Hermione said lightly, giving Ginny a hug goodbye. “Happy birthday!” 

 

Hermione had gotten her a memoir about a muggle, female football player and a pretty pale yellow dress with a note attached saying she promised to babysit when Ginny wore it on a date with Harry. Ron had signed Hermione’s card, too, but also gave a large box of assorted chocolates and sweets. From George and Angelina, she got a pair of earpieces that apparently made a baby’s cry sound like singing. 

 

Andromeda got her a gift card to a muggle spa (“You’ll need it,” she assured her), while Teddy had drawn a picture of Ginny playing Quidditch. His grandmother had enchanted it so that Ginny flew across the pitch, occasionally tossing the quaffle through the hoops. 

 

“Oooh, Teddy, I love it!” Ginny exclaimed, hugging him and then hoisting herself from her seat to pin it to the fridge, waving off Harry’s offer to do it. 

 

Her father’s present turned out to be a child-sized Ford Anglia. 

 

“It doesn’t fly,” he said hastily when Molly glared at him. “But the little one can drive it around the yard.” 

 

“That’s so cool!” Teddy exclaimed. “Can I use it? When the baby comes, I mean?” 

 

He added the last part quickly when he saw the scolding expression on his grandmother’s face. 

 

“The baby will be too little for it for quite a while, so I’m sure they won’t mind,” Ginny replied.  

 

“Arthur, it’s your daughter’s birthday,” Molly said exasperated. “You were supposed to get something for Ginny.” 

 

“You’re one to talk, mum,” Ginny mumbled as she opened her mother’s present and found another half dozen knitted onesies. 

 

“That’s different,” Molly said hurriedly. “The real gift is this one.” 

 

She gestured at the remaining present. It was in dark red wrapping paper and heavier than Ginny expected. 

 

Inside, was a wooden clock with “home," "school,” "work," "traveling," "lost," "hospital," "prison," and "mortal peril" written on the face. The three hands--one labeled Harry, the other Ginny and the other James/Lily--were sitting at “home.” 

 

“Oh, mum,” Ginny gasped, feeling tears well in her eyes. “It’s perfect.” 

 

“When the baby’s born, the other name will disappear. And wherever you go, the hands will move to--well, you know how it works,” Molly babbled. 

 

Ginny stood up and gave her mother a hug, trying to pour all her gratitude into it. She had been hard on her mother recently and knew she hadn’t been completely fair. She wouldn’t be alive if not for her mother. Not only had her mum saved her life, she had given her life. Seven times Molly Weasley had spent pregnant, and Ginny couldn’t quite understand how her mum had gotten through it. She couldn’t have lasted one pregnancy without her mother’s advice, nagging and love. 

 

****

 

Eventually, Andromeda, Arthur and Molly left (the latter saying she was only doing so because she could see her daughter needed a nap), and Harry, Ginny and Teddy were alone. 

 

Ginny stretched and yawn. 

 

“I think I will rest, Harry,” she said. “Today’s been a lot. Good, but a lot.” 

 

Harry nodded and kissed her lightly. 

 

“Too much kissing! More Quidditch!” Teddy yelled, running around the kitchen in a circle. 

 

Harry and Ginny laughed. 

 

“Okay, I need to get this sugar-loaded kid outside,” Harry chuckled, picking Teddy up and carrying him, kicking and giggling, toward the door.  

 

Ginny napped for an hour and then joined the boys outside, where they were again flying. This time, they were throwing a quaffle around and she shouted tips to Teddy on how to stay steady on his broom without dropping the ball. When Teddy became too tired, they turned in and played a round of gobstones and then a few games of Exploding Snap. 

 

Harry had been planning to make roast beef and mashed potatoes for dinner, but they were all so full from the breakfast, sandwiches and cake that they settled for beef stew instead. As Harry cooked, Teddy regalled he and Ginny with all his plans for what to do with the baby. They included teaching him Quidditch, pushing him in the toy Ford Anglia and finding ways to get back at Vic for stealing Teddy’s cake during Harry’s birthday party. (In Teddy’s mind, the baby was always a boy.) 

 

“What will they be?” Teddy asked suddenly. 

 

“What do you mean, mate?” Harry asked, carrying the food to the table. 

 

“They won’t really be my cousin like the twins and Vic, and all the others,” Teddy said. “Because you’re sort of like my dad.”  

 

Harry paused pouring the soup into Teddy’s bowl, feeling his eyes water. Ginny spoke before Harry could. 

 

“You’ll be their big brother,” she said, taking Teddy’s hand and resting it on her belly. “And promise me you’ll protect him or her when we can’t, okay?” 

 

Teddy nodded seriously. 

 

“I promise.” 

 

Harry had turned away from the table, so Ginny stood up and enveloped her arms around him, a difficult feat with her large belly. 

 

“Hey,” she whispered, as they pressed their foreheads together. “I love you. So, so much.” 

 

He nodded. She used her thumb to wipe a tear from his cheek. 

 

“I love you, too,” he murmured back before she kissed him deeply. 

 

The clanging of a spoon against a bowl broke them apart. 

 

“So much kissing!” Teddy exclaimed.

 

“Sorry, Ted,” Harry said, ruffling his hair. “I just love Ginny too much.”  

 

“I’ll remember this Teddy when you’re older and start dating,” Ginny teased.  

 

“I don’t think I could kiss as much as you do.” Teddy puckered his lips and then pretended to snog his own hand. “That’s you two. All. The. Time.” 

 

They laughed. 

 

“Just you wait, Teddy,” Harry chuckled. 

 

“Did my parents kiss as much you two?”  

 

Harry inhaled softly, so Ginny again answered before he could. 

 

“I like to think so,” she said. “They loved each other very much, almost as much as they loved you.” 

 

“Tell me more,” Teddy said eagerly. 

 

They had already told Teddy many of their favorite stories about Remus and Tonks, but he liked to hear them over and over again. 

 

Harry knew why. 

 

So, he retold Teddy the story of when Remus told off Peeves before Harry’s first Defense Against the Dark Arts lesson in his third year. And Ginny recounted how Tonks had taught her how to check for Imperturbable Charms on doors. 

 

Shortly after they finished another piece of cake, Andromeda came to pick up Teddy. He cried when they had to say goodbye, but Ginny comforted him, reminding him that the next time he saw them, they might have a baby. 

 

“Alone at last,” Harry said when the door closed, wrapping his arms around Ginny’s stomach to the small of her back and kissing her softly. Ginny wrung her fingers through his hair, tugging at his lips. 

 

The baby gave a strong kick, and Harry, pressed against Ginny’s belly felt it, too.” 

 

“Woah,” he said in awe. 

 

Ginny smiled. 

 

“We won’t be alone for long,” she said. 

 

Harry kissed her deeply again. 

 

“Then we have to take full advantage of this time together,” he breathed into her ear, leaving a trail of kisses from her lips. 

 

Ginny gave a soft moan, working her arms up his back and leaning in to kiss his neck. 

 

“Wait,” Harry said, breaking apart suddenly. “I haven’t given you your gift yet.” 

 

“This isn’t it?” Ginny asked teasingly, reaching for him again. 

 

Harry shook his head. 

 

“Come on,” he said, taking her hand. 

 

Harry led her to their backyard and through the woods. 

 

“Harry, where are we going?” 

 

She wiped sweat from her brow and leaned heavily on Harry for support. 

 

“You’ll see,” he replied. 

 

“Harry, a hike while pregnant might not be the smartest plan,” Ginny pointed out, her tone only slightly joking as they stepped between the trees. 

 

“This would be quite the place to go into labor,” she muttered darkly, but Harry just grinned at her.  

 

After several minutes of Harry deflecting Ginny’s complaints, they stepped through a clearing and Ginny gasped. Before her were two sets of three hoops, two hundred feet apart. 

 

Her own Quidditch pitch. 

 

Ginny swore softly and turned to her husband, her mouth open in shock. 

 

“It’s not the regulation, 500 feet,” Harry said hastily. “There, er, wasn’t enough room. But it’s on our property, so it’s protected by the Fidelius charm. You won’t have to worry about muggles or the press. You can fly whenever you want.” 

 

“Oh, Harry. How did you do this?” 

 

“The Department of Magical Games and Sports was a big help,” he said. “I couldn’t think of what to get you. Nothing for the baby because I knew we’d gotten enough of that already. And I wanted your gift to be for you. Then, I thought I’d get you something to remember your Quidditch years by. And I thought it’d be fun to train our kid to be a future Quidditch pro like their mum.” 

 

 “I can’t---” 

 

Ginny trailed off, shaking her head and rubbing her eyes. 

 

“Are you crying?” Harry asked, wrapping his arm around her back and squeezing her. 

 

Ginny gave a half laugh, half sob. 

 

“You know what, Harry Potter. I am because you’re too perfect and I’m hormonal and I love you too much.” 

 

Harry kissed the top of her head. 

 

“So I guess that means you like it?” 

 

Ginny scoffed. 

 

“Like it? Oh, come here.”   

 

Ginny pulled him into a fierce kiss, tugging his head down to hers and gripping his back. She tried to send all her emotions and love into their embrace.  

 

“Bring me back home, Harry,” she said when they finally broke apart. “There are things I want to do to you that will feel much better in a bed.” 

 

But they ended up taking a bath together instead, taking turns scrubbing shampoo into the other’s head and rubbing each other’s feet. Harry tried to shave Ginny’s legs, but the angle was too complicated and they gave it up as a lost cause. He shaved his face himself. He had been nicked too many times on the cheek to let Ginny do it again.

 

When Ginny mentioned that knot in her back, Harry had her lean against him so he could massage it. 

 

“So, how did you like your birthday?” Harry asked as he kneaded the spot with his thumbs. 

 

“Hmm, a little lower please,” Ginny sighed, closing her eyes. Harry adjusted his fingers downward, digging at a bump in her spine, causing Ginny to give an appreciative moan. “Right now Harry, I don’t know how it could get any better.” 

 

“Any favorite parts?” 

 

Harry kept one hand on the knot, but trailed the other up to her shoulders and then back down. 

 

“This moment is a real highlight,” Ginny purred contentedly. “You can do my shoulders, too, if you’d like.” 

 

Harry kissed both shoulders before rubbing his hands softly over them, then pressed his palms into her shoulder blades while his fingers moved from the nape of her neck outward. 

 

“Seeing family was nice and all,” Ginny continued, groaning when Harry hit a particularly sore spot. “But I much preferred being with just you and Teddy.” 

 

“Me too,” Harry said, trailing his hands down her back a few times before returning to the knot. 

 

“Mmhhhm, right there,” she moaned. They were quiet for a while except for Ginny’s sounds of relief as Harry applied pressure to the tightness on her spine. 

 

“And Harry, that quidditch pitch. There aren’t words. It’s honestly the most amazing thing anyone has ever done for me.” 

 

“Yeah,” he said softly, drumming his fingers on her shoulder blades and leaning in to kiss her ear. 

 

Ginny shivered. 

 

“And I would be remiss not to mention the gift you gave me this morning. That came quite close to rivaling the pitch.”  

 

“I’m happy to be of service,” he murmured.  

 

“Well, I’m just thinking of all the ways I’m going to repay you,” Ginny replied, sliding her hand back and searching between Harry’s legs.  

 

“Oh yeah?” Harry gave a sharp intake of breath when Ginny found what she had been reaching for. 

 

“Yeah,” Ginny whispered, turning her head to kiss Harry. “Stand up and I’ll show you.”  

 

Harry scrambled out of the tub and then stepped back in so he was crouched over Ginny. Her lips parted, staring at Harry’s bits longingly before stroking him with her fingers. Panting in anticipation, Harry closed his eyes, his mind replaying the eager look on his wife’s face. She played with him until he let out a whimper, his mouth opening. 

 

Taking a deep breath and smiling, Ginny licked him before taking him fully into her mouth. Harry moaned, his arms gripping the edges of the tub, jaw dropping further. The muscles in his forearms bulged, and Ginny knew he wanted to reach for her hair--he loved her hair. But he wouldn’t be able to keep upright if he did that. She raised her hands to steady his hips and leaned forward, working more aggressively. The sounds he made encouraged her to go faster, engulf him deeper. She wished for a third hand she could bring between her own legs to soothe the pressure building there. 

 

Finally, a guttural noise escaped from Harry, his knees buckling. He saved himself just in time from collapsing onto Ginny’s belly and instead sunk into the other side of the tub, gasping for breath and swearing. They both laid there for a while, inhaling and exhaling until Harry declared it was Ginny’s turn. 

 

“Again?” she grinned, but feeling relieved he wouldn’t leave her hanging. 

 

“It’s your birthday after all,” he replied with a smirk, getting out of the tub and retrieving two towels and handing her one. “Here, I’ll let you dry me down.” 

 

From her position, Ginny could only reach his butt and thighs, but neither of them minded that. As she brought the towel around his legs, a twitching told Ginny he wasn’t quite spent yet. Drying his upper body quickly, Harry pulled Ginny out of the tub and rubbed the other towel around her body, paying particular attention to her breasts and the curls between her legs. 

 

Kissing, they moved to their adjoined bedroom and onto the bed. Ginny settled into the pillows as Harry pressed his lips to her neck, one hand stroking her wet hair and the other moving downward. When Harry found the spot between her thighs, he kissed her mouth, softening the sounds of her moans. 

 

“Harry,” she implored him, feeling her face redden as his fingers teased her. “Faster.” 

 

Ginny’s mouth widened once Harry slid down the bed and spread her legs further. It was like she were on fire when his tongue finally reached the part of her that had been screaming for him. With Harry’s sucking and rubbing, she had no control over her body, over the sounds that escaped her. 

 

But she longed for more. 

 

“Harry,” she cried his name. “Please.” 

 

He knew what she wanted. 

 

He entered her carefully, his arms pressed against the baseboard of the bed to hold himself up, instead of leaning his weight onto her stomach. Once he was inside, they both slowed and met each other’s eyes. 

 

Ginny smiled sweetly.

 

“I love you,” she hissed. 

 

“I love you, too,” he whispered back. 

 

Letting that love overtake them, they kissed deeply, Harry rocking his hips gently until the last wave of pleasure washed over them. 

 

After several minutes of heavy breathing side-by side, Ginny scooted closer to Harry to kiss his cheek. 

 

“Did I mention I love you?” 

 

Her voice was soft in his ear. 

 

“I reckon you’ve said it once or twice,” he replied cheekily. 

 

“Do you know what I’m going to enjoy most about being 23?” 

 

“All the shagging?” he teased saucily. 

 

“Well that,” she admitted, grinning, before adding. “But I’m sure it’s going to be all quickies from here on out. Or at least until that Hogwarts letter arrives.” 

 

“Good thing we’ve made the best of our time then,” Harry growled, nibbling at her neck. 

 

Ginny giggled, but then became more serious. 

 

“I’m excited to see you as a father, Harry,” she said. 

 

Harry stared at her and swallowed hard. 

 

“You are going to be such a good dad, Harry.” 

 

“You think so?” 

 

Harry’s hand traced his scar. Ginny knew he was thinking of his own father and Remus, taken away before they could truly know their own sons and worrying he could go the same way. And, if he did live through his kid’s childhood, she knew he feared he couldn’t live up to the father he dreamed to be. 

 

“I know so, Harry,” she said firmly. “Because you are so filled with love. And that love is going to protect our child, just as your mum’s did for you, and make our child feel safe and wanted, just like you always deserved. And I know I complain about my back or how I’m missing my prime Quidditch years, but I am so, so excited to have this baby with you, Harry. Because it means the beginning of our happy little family. And you deserve happiness, Harry Potter.” 

 

Harry blinked, his eyes watery. 

 

“Ginny, I--” he began, his voice cracking. Ginny wiped a tear from his cheek and kissed the spot where it landed. “I still can’t believe I’m here, lying in bed with my wife, the woman I love, having a baby.” 

 

“I know,” Ginny whispered, bringing him closer and kissing his forehead and then his lips. “I know.” 

 

They didn’t need to speak. The kiss conveyed everything.