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Afterglow

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The snow was coming down in steady waves, collecting on the window sill. With the fire blazing and frost coating the windows, Harry felt as if he were in a cozy winter wonderland. He’d fallen in love with the little cottage he and Ginny had moved into it after getting married three years ago, and it was moments like this that truly sunk the idea of home into him. 

 

Well, that and every time Ginny walked into a room. Ginny had been his home since he was seventeen. Since the moment he’d kissed her after the end of the war. She had been what brought him out of the deep dark hole of endless guilt that had plagued him for months after the war ended. It was Ginny who made him feel whole and human again. 

 

Sure they’d had their tribulations and issues, but they always worked it out. Even when Harry was a jealous prat or Ginny said something out of turn in the heat of the moment. They would fight, scream, and sometimes storm off in a huff (like two passionate people do). But then they would always come to their senses. 

 

But really,  their schedules were truly their largest adversary. They would go weeks on end without seeing each other and then get to spend three days at home getting reacquainted. And it had worked for them, but Harry always drastically missed Ginny. But now that was in the past because two months ago Harry took a promotion that limited his field missions. 

 

It was a new dimension for them. They were able to spend nights together making dinner and just talking instead of feeling the looming pressure of another separation on the horizon. For the first time in years, Harry was losing track of time because he was so content. If he could control time he’d stop the clocks because it was all so amazing. He wanted to live at this level forever because for once, all that mattered was him and her. It was like they were living in a warm bubble that shone, and Harry was basking in the afterglow. 

 

“Tea?”

 

Harry looked away from the flickering fire to see his wife holding two steaming mugs. She was smiling at him in that way she saved for only him. 

 

He nodded, gingerly taking one of the hot cups from her fingers. “Thank you.”

 

She took the cushion beside him, her body coming to snuggle close to his.“It looks rather chilly outside, doesn’t it? Good thing we can stay in most of the day.”

 

Harry hummed in agreement as he pressed a kiss to the side of her head. “Nothing better than a lazy Saturday.” After a moment, her words sunk in. “Wait, what do you mean most of the day? Did we have plans?”

 

“Oh no, we just have to run down to the shops and pick up a few things.”

 

“Ah,” Harry settled back into her warmth. “We doing something special for supper?”

 

Ginny let out a soft chuckle. “Nah, just some random things. Tea, biscuits, bread, pregnancy test, flour, and mum told me about a new type of —”  

 

Harry had pulled away from his wife, his heart pounding so hard against his chest he was worried it might burst out his chest. Blood thundered in his ears. “What was that last one?”

 

“Oh um, I used the last of the flour yesterday trying to make —”

 

“Ginny, you know what I meant!”

 

She laughed. “Oh did you mean the one before that?” 

 

He nodded. “Obviously, flour isn’t such an odd commodity to need more of, but a preg —” He couldn’t even finish the word. His throat had closed up. 

 

Ginny took the hot cup from his hands and placed it on the coffee table beside her own. She then took his hand in hers. “Well, it’s just a suspicion but I think I might be.” 

 

Harry spun his body so their knees were touching. He took Ginny’s face in his hands, staring into her eyes. “Are you serious?”

 

That smile curved her lips again as she nodded. “Again it’s just a suspicion because it’s not like we were trying, but it’s not like we weren’t trying. It’s just that I’m late, my boobs are tender, and for the last week I’ve been waking up at four in the morning to get sick. It doesn’t take a healer to see those signs. I mean, I know it’s crazy but —”

 

Harry cut her rambling off with his lips. He turned his body so it was covering hers and he was able to push her onto her back. Ginny’s arms wrapped around his neck as she pulled him closer. The heat between them was hotter than the flame in the fireplace. Harry’s hands roamed her body, settling on her ribs. His thumbs were able to slide down and touch her flat stomach.  

 

“So does this mean you’re okay with the idea?” Ginny asked as she turned to press a few quick kisses to his neck. 

 

He pulled back so he could look at her face. Her brown eyes glinted with happiness. “I honestly don’t even know if it’s truly sunk in,” He pressed a heated kiss to her lips. “But -- God, Gin -- you might be pregnant! We may be having a baby!”

 

Ginny let out a soft chuckle, her smile wide. “That is the general definition of pregnant, love.”

 

Harry kissed her again, sliding his hands down her torso to the hem of her shirt. His fingers closed around the soft cloth, lifting it. Ginny lifted her body off the cushions so he was able to pull it over her head. She reached back and undid the clasp of her bra, wincing a little, before throwing the garment onto the floor beside her shirt. Next was his jumper and undershirt. 

 

“I’m all for celebrating .” Ginny let out a satisfied sigh as Harry’s mouth trailed hot kisses down her chest. “But shouldn’t I take the test first ?” 

 

Or .” Harry sucked her nipple, extracting a groan from his wife. “We take this time now, and then —” He kissed his way to the other side of her glorious chest. “We do it again after.”

 

Ginny’s hands clawed at his back as he teased her left breast. Then her fingers knotted into his hair, tugging him so they were face to face. Her lips pressed hard to his. Her hands moved down to the elastic of his sweats, bypassing his boxers to grip him in her warm hands. Harry moaned against her mouth as she slowly worked him. 

 

Harry’s hands roamed south, sliding the old pair of flannel pajama pants down her hips (along with her knickers). His fingers moved along her inner thigh as his mouth glided down to her neck. 

 

Merlin, Harry.” Every time Ginny said his name in that husky way -- almost like it was an oath -- Harry’s mind was lost to everything but her. That’s what Ginny did to him, she made him forget everything. All the trauma, drama, and outside world that just wasn’t as important as her. As important as them. 

 

Ginny undid the knot holding his trousers up, sliding them down his hips in a smooth motion. Harry smiled into her skin as he followed the silent instructions she’d given him. Every touch of her hands across his body, every sound she made, drove him mad in a way only she could. 

 

He started moving slowly, his fingers and lips teasing every bit of bare skin they could find. Harry felt Ginny's strong legs wrap around him in a vice-like grip, her nails digging into his back painfully but perfectly. His lips found the pulse point on her neck and he nipped at it, drawing a hiss from Ginny. 

 

When Ginny arched up into him with a satisfied moan, Harry lost the little control he'd had. His pace sped up as he left open mouth kisses on her neck. 

 

" Harry ." There was his name in that tone of benediction again and Harry knew he was close to breaking. His hand slid down her body to focus on the spot where they met, encouraging her to find her peak. Which didn't take long. After a few seconds, Ginny cried out as she tightened around him, sending him over the edge as well. 

 

He smothered his face in her neck, breathing in the heady scents of perfume and sweat on her skin. Harry stayed like that for a solid minute, letting his body and mind recover. The blood pounded in his ears as he rolled them to their sides (careful not to fall off the cushions). Ginny was exposed to the elements of the room, so Harry quickly pulled the throw blanket that sat on the back of the sofa, and used it to cover both their quickly cooling bodies. Ginny smiled at him gratefully, pressing a soft kiss to his chin before closing her eyes. 

 

Instead of following his wife into a comfortable kip, he watched her. The firelight danced off her hair, making it shine a million shades of red. He could feel her body rise with every even breath she took. 

 

God , he loved her. Just getting to hold her like this was like his own personal Nirvana. Getting to love her, and amazingly have her love him… a young Harry never would have thought it was possible. But it was, he had the proof in his arms. It was the way they were together, their two souls colliding in harmony despite the craziness in the world. Nothing was more important to Harry. The family they’d become was everything to him. Family … The word made Harry’s mind drift back to the reason they were naked on the sofa. 

 

He swallowed hard as he looked down at where her flat stomach was hidden under the afghan. Even though it was warm under the blanket Harry shivered. She might be pregnant. Ginny might be having a baby. His baby

 

They’d talked about children, in the one day sense, but Harry hadn't ever really thought to when one day would come. But as he lay, holding his wife, the realization that one day could be today hit him like a speeding train. They could be having a child, something that was a little him and a little her… he would be a father. A father . For some reason, the word sounded foreign in his mind. Harry had no idea what it meant to be a father. He’d only had small moments with father figures, Sirius, Dumbledore, Arthur… but to deal with everything from the birth to… to he didn’t even know what else that’s how ill-prepared he was!   

 

“I can practically hear the gears turning in your head,” Ginny murmured into his chest. She pulled back to study his face. “It’s finally sinking in, isn’t it?” 

 

“I —” Harry swallowed hard, trying to dislocate the lump that had formed. Settling that he wasn’t going to win the battle with his throat, Harry simply nodded. 

 

Ginny’s arms reached out from under the blanket, wrapping around his neck. She pulled him closer, so their foreheads were touching. His eyes instantly were caught in her beautifully understanding gaze. “You’re going to be the best father, Harry James. Don’t doubt that for even a second, because I sure don’t.”

 

“How can you know that?” 

 

The little chuckle Ginny let out her nose warmed Harry’s face. She pulled back so he could see her serene smile. “Because I know you , you ninny. Just one look at you and Teddy… everyone knows you’ll be a great dad.” She rolled her eyes “I mean fucking hell, Mum’s been laying hints about it before we were even married.”  

 

Harry let out a small chuckle as the memory of Molly pointedly stopping Ginny so she could see how well Harry was soothing little Teddy popped into his mind. At the time (being only nineteen) Harry had been embarrassed, but then later that night when Ginny had shown him just how hot she'd found it… Well, Harry had become very willing to soothe a crying Teddy after that. 

 

But that was different because after Teddy nodded off, his grandmother would take him home. Harry was only a part-time parent, and though he spent a lot of his free time with Teddy, there still was the fact that after their day was over Teddy went back to Andromeda. But that wouldn't be the case with this baby. He would be full time… every choice he made would affect his child. 

  

"Merlin, Harry!" Ginny lowered her hand to his chest. "Your heart is trying to escape your chest!" She looked at him, her usually confident attitude dissipated into something so vulnerable it tore Harry apart. "Does the idea of us having a baby really frighten you this much?" 

 

Harry swallowed, trying to collect his thoughts. He had never been good at expressing his feelings, because half the time he didn’t understand them himself. Ginny typically knew what was happening in his heart before he could put a name on it. But with this… this was something so unknown to both of them. 

 

“I think, I will be scared every minute of it. But I will also love every moment of it.” He moved his hand up to caress her cheek. “I will love our baby to the ends of the Earth, but there’s so much that… that I don’t know how to deal with and I don’t want to something wrong.”

 

Ginny stared at him, a slow loving smile spreading across her face. “Harry, I’m terrified too. But you know what I thought after the initial oh fuck and I need to get a test ?" Harry shook his head. "That if I am pregnant I'll at least have you by my side." The love in her expression spread warmth through his stomach. "I know as long as I have you by my side, I can do anything. Including raising a half Weasley half Potter baby."

 

Harry took a shaky breath. God , he loved this woman! The things she did to him… A lump had formed in his throat and he couldn’t trust himself to speak without choking up, so he kissed her. He kissed her hoping it would show just a fraction of how much he adored her. When he pulled back he placed his forehead on hers. “Can we go get the test now?”

 

Ginny let out a small watery chuckle as she smiled at him. “Yeah, let’s go.”

 

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

 

Harry watched as Ginny pricked her middle finger, letting the blood pool before tilting it over the vial of clear potion. The liquid turned a pale pink as soon as the first drop landed in it. Ginny quickly pulled her hand away, stoppering the potion. After a quick shake, she put it down onto the counter. From his post at the kitchen table, Harry could see the milky potion shift into a darker red. Ginny slid onto his lap, one arm going around his neck as they both watched the vial.

 

“We should go do something,” Ginny suggested half-heartedly. “A watched pot never boils and all that.”

 

Harry pressed a kiss to her shoulder blade before resting his head on the spot. “Yeah, you’re right.” Neither made an effort to move. The silence in the room amplified the blood pounding in his head.

 

Then suddenly Ginny spun around so she was facing him. Her other arm came up to cup his cheek. "If it's negative, I want to start trying." 

 

Harry’s heartbeat so hard against his chest he was certain it was about to break a rib. “ Really ?”

 

She kissed him, hard , making his head spin in the best way. When she pulled away her eyes blazed with an intense heat that warmed him better than any fire could. “I didn’t think I was ready, but… but this afternoon made me realize how much I want this.”

 

“What about quidditch?” Harry asked, ignoring the way his heart seemed to attempt to break out his chest. 

 

“I love quidditch, but…” She let out a low chuckle, “I can’t stop picturing it.”

 

“Picturing it?”

 

Ginny ran her hand up and down his jaw, a soft smile gracing her lips. “Our baby. His red hair and freckles.” Her fingers slid down to run along his lips. “The mischievous smile that curls his lips that matches yours.” She pressed a kiss to the tip of his nose. “And how could I forget his cute nose that is identical to his daddy’s?” 

 

Harry could feel the goose pimples spreading across his body as Ginny painted her picture. Her absolutely perfect picture. He looked into her bright brown eyes. He felt love-drunk, like nothing could be held against them. Nothing felt real but them at that moment. 

 

All the fears that had plagued Harry just an hour before seemed to have dissipated into nothing. They were all replaced with the portrait Ginny had painted for him. He leaned forward, touching his forehead to hers. “Okay.”

 

Ginny let out a delighted, yet quiet laugh as she connected their lips in an adoring kiss. Harry lost himself in her, his hands running down her back to close around her bum. Ginny let out a low moan, sending a burst of flame through Harry’s blood. He deepened their kiss, emboldened from the hair tug Ginny gave him.  

 

He lifted them out of the chair, refusing to break their kiss, intending to steer them towards their bedroom when he tripped over one of the bags they’d left scattered on the floor after their shopping trip. Harry nearly lost his balance but was able to recover footing without dropping his wife to the unforgiving tile floor. Unfortunately, it broke their connection. 

 

She looked at him, her cheeks flushed, and her mouth slightly agape. Then she was laughing. Her amusement was contagious, Harry’s body shook with his own chuckles. Ginny kissed him softly. “We’re our own worst cock block, aren’t we?”

 

Harry nuzzled his nose to her neck. “Only when we get distracted from putting the shopping away.”  

 

Distracted... ” Ginny murmured the word like an incantation, then she spun her head to look at the counter behind her. Harry’s focus followed hers, his eyes instantly locking on the now blue vial on the counter. 

 

“What does blue mean?” Harry asked, his eyes landing on the back of his wife’s head. 

 

Ginny turned slowly, blinking owlishly as she locked gazes with him. “It means we won’t be needing to start trying.”

 

Harry let the words sink in. “ Really .”

 

She gave his hair a little tug, a wide smile now curling her lips. “You’ve knocked me up, Potter.” 

 

He stared at her, his heart beating like a drum against his ribcage. A slow grin spread from ear to ear. “ Yeah ?”

 

“Yup.” She popped the P, her fingernails scratching the top of his head in the most satisfying way. “Now, how about we go do that celebrating you promised me, hmm?” 

 

Harry laughed as he kissed her, stepping over the waylaid bag leading them to their bed. In that moment everything felt so bright, like they were shining. Just a day ago he’d thought his life was perfect, but after this… nothing could compare to this afterglow.