Six and a Half Years Later
It was extremely warm for the first of March. So warm in fact that Harry Potter and Ron Weasley decided they would Apparate to the end of their street and walk home together, as they had done on so many occasion before. They were running late because so many people had been stopping them on the way out of the Ministry to wish Ron a Happy Birthday. He was turning twenty five that day and everyone seemed to be making quite a big deal out of it. They were all supposed to be headed to the Burrow at five o'clock which was the reason Ron and Harry were worried about being late.
"I hope Hermione's not in too bad of a mood when I get home
she really doesn't like having to rush around these days
" said Ron.
"Well I can't exactly blame her
They walked up to Ron's house and sure enough Hermione Weasley was waiting on the front stoop with her arms crossed. She made her way down the front steps and waddled towards them. She could not do much more than waddle these days due to her huge round belly that made it very hard for her to walk. True to her word Hermione had gone through all five years of her law school training and then another extra year of apprenticeship to a judge before she and Ron had started a family, but she had graduated the previous May and by June she was pregnant. She was now due any day and had been in an increasingly bad mood ever since Christmas when she had been forced by her boss to go on maternity leave. Being stuck at home made her antsy and grouchy.
"You're late." she said to Ron glaring at him.
" he said giving her a kiss, then he leaned over and kissed her round stomach, "Hey Rosie girl." He said and then he put his arms around Hermione as best he could.
Ron and Hermione had chosen to find out if their baby was a boy of a girl because Hermione wanted to be prepared for whichever she was getting. Ron had sort of wanted to be surprised, but he had also really wanted a girl, and his curiosity won him over in the end. When they found out it was a girl, he was over the moon with happiness.
"I'm sorry I'm late
" Ron said to Hermione, "I got held up with people wishing me happy birthday, and asking me how my wonderful wife is doing." he said with a smirk.
Hermione rolled her eyes but she smiled at him.
"We'll see you at Mum and Dad's in a bit Harry." she said, and she and Ron walked back towards the house.
Harry waved goodbye and then walked up the road towards his own house. He opened the gate and smiled as he walked up the path towards his house. He picked up a small tricycle that was sitting in the yard and put in on the porch. He was about to open the door when he heard a telltale shriek from the other side of it.
"JAMES SIRIUS POTTER WHAT HAVE YOU DONE NOW!" shouted the voice in exasperation.
Harry quickly opened the door and was met by his beautiful wife who was storming out of the kitchen. Harry went over and kissed her and patted the bump on her stomach. She was not near as round as Hermione, but she was not due for another three months. Ginny kissed him back but then closed her eyes and sighed in annoyance.
"Harry could you please go deal with your son? He's been driving me batty all day, and I just need a five minute break!" she said.
" said Harry with a laugh and Ginny headed up the stairs.
Just then Teddy came walking around the corner from the kitchen with his hands over his mouth clearly trying his hardest not to giggle in his godmother's presence. When he saw she had gone upstairs he took his hands down and snorted in laughter.
"Hi Uncle Harry
." He said.
" said Harry, "so what did James do?"
"Oh you have to go look
" said Teddy with a giggle.
" said Harry and then both headed for the kitchen, "Hey nice hair
" said Harry as they walked ruffling Teddy's florescent purple hair.
. I did it for James... he's thinks it's really funny." said Teddy.
They walked into the kitchen and Harry groaned at the scene that met him. James had somehow managed to pull the entire container of flour off the counter and was now sitting on the floor completely white, and playing in the flour like it was sand. When the one and half year old saw Harry he smiled brightly.
"Daddy!" he squealed and he began to crawl to him leaving floury streaks across the floor.
"Hey little man
" said Harry picking up his son. "What did you do?"
" said James gravely pointing at the floor. Harry threw his head back and laughed.
"Yeah you made a mess alright
" Harry forced himself to give his son a stern look, "That's was a bad thing to do James, you know you're not supposed to play in the kitchen."
" said the little boy.
"I'm gonna take him upstairs and give him a quickly bath
could you sweep up the flour Teddy?" said Harry.
"Yup." Said Teddy and he grabbed the broom. Harry was still amazed sometimes at how much Teddy had grown, he was going to be eight in May, and in just three short years they'd be sending him off to Hogwarts. He looked so much like his father that sometimes just watching him made Harry miss Lupin, but he inherited a lot of his mother's spunky personality.
Harry carried his son up to the bathroom and washed all the flour off of him. James already at the age of one and a half looked remarkably like Harry. He had the same dark hair that even had the same untidy spot in the back no matter what you did with it. Ginny insisted he had the same smile as Harry and many of the same mannerisms. The only distinct difference was his big brown eyes, just like Ginny's. Harry dressed James in a red shirt and overalls and then carried him down the hall to his and Ginny's bedroom. Ginny was lying on the bed with her eyes closed but she looked up at them and smiled when they came in.
"There's my boys
" she said.
Harry walked over and sat down next to her. James immediately crawled across the bed to her, he cuddled up against her and began to stoke her long red hair.
"I sorry Mommy." He said meekly.
"I know you are Jamsey." Said Ginny, pulling the little boy into her arms, "You just have to promise me you're going to try real hard to be a good boy when Daddy's at work from now on. You promise?" she said, and James nodded and hugged her, she laughed and hugged him back as she kissed his head.
Now that he was sure his Mommy wasn't angry with him James went back to being his curious self. He laid his head on Ginny's stomach and made a face like he was listening intently.
"Can you hear the baby? Is it talking to you?" teased Harry.
James shook his head but kept a serious face suddenly he jumped and looked down at Ginny's stomach. Ginny laughed and ruffled his hair.
"You felt that didn't you? That was the baby kicking." She said.
" said James with a stern face.
Both Harry and Ginny laughed, because they knew he was telling his baby brother or sister the rule that he had been told on many different occasions.
The entire Potter/Lupin clan arrived at the Burrow almost exactly at five o'clock. The Burrow had been completely redesigned over the past few years to make it's kitchen and living room three times as big, and also include a fair number of new rooms on the floors above. As Harry and his family made their way into the living room he stole a glance at Mrs. Weasley's clock and saw that all of the hands, with the exception of Fred's, pointed towards home. And there were a considerable amount of hands on the clock, twenty six to be exact. Every Weasley child was married, and there were thirteen grandchildren, counting the three that were on the way.
Bill and Fleur had Victorie of course, who had just turned six and was already a striking beauty just like Fleur. They also had Molly Gabrielle, who was four. She was also beautiful but looked distinctly different from her older sister. While her hair was also sleek and shiny, it was vibrant red and often had the look of being on fire. Fleur was also pregnant again, she had her hopes up that she would finally get her boy and they were planning to name him Jeanne Luke.
Charlie had been the longest hold out, but he and Verity, the girl who worked in the shop with him and George, had been married just a year and a half ago, and they already had a beautiful four month old baby girl named Elizabeth Celeste.
Percy had married his Hogwarts sweetheart Penelope Clearwater the summer after Harry, Ginny, Ron, and Hermione had been married. They had three children. William Arthur who was five, Gladiola Angelica who was three, and Ronald Marcus who was one.
George and Angelina had the twins Sirius and Fred. At the age of five they were already shaping up to cause just as much mayhem as their predecessors. They both had caramel colored skin that was the perfect blend of George's pasty white complexion, and Angelina's chocolaty brown one. They had inherited Angelina's dark tightly curly hair, but also George's blue eyes and freckles. Mrs. Weasley always teased that they would be heart breakers when they got to school. George and Angelina had also just had a third child only a month previously. Tiny Ginerva Hermione was much darker like her mother, and she had big liquid brown eyes, that seemed to know more than they should for her young age.
The moment that Fred and Sirius saw Teddy the three of them took off running out of the room with big grins on their faces, and Victorie was right behind them, her long silvery blond hair flying behind her, while she had her mother amazing looks she had turned out to be quite the tomboy, and she was always in the middle of whatever crazy stunt the boys pulled.
"You four behave yourselves! do you here?" called Mrs. Weasley, "I swear if you break one of you're bed's again I'm not fixing it, you can just sleep on the floor when you come to visit!"
She shot a reproachful look at the children as they ran off giggling, but Harry knew that she loved having her house full of children again, and though she would never admit it. She adored having a pair of mischievous twins to drive her crazy once again. They all sat down in the now rather large and comfortable living room. Ginny dropped James off in the large play area that had been constructed for the younger babies in the corner of the room. Both three year old Gladi and one year old Ron were already playing there. James was right in between their ages and he loved playing with them both. Harry and Ginny took up seats on one of the large couches next to older Ron and Hermione.
"So any news about work yet Ron?" said George, who was sitting across from them with Angelina and holding baby Ginny.
I won't know until next week." said Ron.
Ron and Lee's radio program had been growing in it's popularity over the past six years to the point where they were both regular household names. Ron loved being in the thick of the Quidditch world and he had even gotten Ginny the job she had now, which was as a Quidditch correspondent for the Daily Prophet. It gave her a lot of time to work at home, which worked well with James and now a new baby on the way. But now Ron was being offered a new job. When Ludo Bagman had gone on the run almost ten years ago his position as Head of Magical Games and Sports had been somewhat dissolved, but now things were picking more than ever, and the department was imploring Kingsley to once again find them a head coordinator to help things run more smoothly. Kingsley approached Ron about the job, along with a few other people. They had gone and met with everyone in the department, and Kingsley was leaving it up to the department members to decide who was a good fit. They were all waiting anxiously to see what the outcome might be.
"I really think you'll get it Ron
" interjected Ginny, "Everyone in the office really seems to like you, just some of the older grouchier people are complaining you're too young. But they'll get over it."
"I hope so." said Ron with a smile.
"Dinner!" called Mrs. Weasley, and there was a stampede. From all over the house children came running at the sound of that word.
Meals at the Weasley's were always loud, crazy, but extremely enjoyable affairs. There were six grand children who could eat by themselves, and two that needed to be helped, not including the two that didn't eat solid food yet. James had a knack for getting whatever he was eating all over himself, and by the time the meal was half way over Harry was also covered in peas, applesauce, and pumpkin juice. He laughed in amusement, his son never made things boring. After dinner they all retreated to the living room to give Ron his presents. Molly and Gladiola, insisted on helping him open them because they wanted to help tear off the wrapping paper, but Ron was more than happy to let them, he was very fond of all his nieces and nephews. He got a very good haul of presents that year including a beautiful eagle feather quill from Bill and Fleur, and new traveling Cloak from Harry and Ginny, and a very special gift from Hermione, it was an autographed copy of the new book written by the Captain of the Chudely Cannons. As he said thank you to everyone and gave his wife a kiss, little Molly bounced up and down impatiently on his lap.
"Can we eat cake now?" she said slightly poutily. Ron threw his head back and laughed.
we can eat cake now
" he said.
Mrs. Weasley insisted that the children eat their cake in the kitchen to avoid a mess. The adults got to eat in the living room. They all sat and talked for quite awhile. Hermione struggled to her feet and headed for the kitchen saying she needed a glass of water.
" said Angelina reproachfully as Hermione left the room, "I can't believe you didn't go get that for her, look how hard it is for her to get around!"
"Believe me you don't want to see the kind of fuss she would have made if I had tried to do it for her. She likes to think she can still do everything for herself." Ron muttered shooting a look at the kitchen door to make sure Hermione couldn't hear him.
A second later Victorie came running into the room and her eyes were very wide as she looked around at all the adults.
"Something's wrong with Aunt Hermione!" she said breathlessly.
All the adults jumped up and headed for the kitchen. Harry, Ginny, and Ron were at the front of the pack and when they got there they saw Hermione leaning against the counter clutching her stomach. Ron ran to her and put his arm around her.
"What's wrong love?" he said.
"Well I think I have another birthday present for you Ron
my water just broke." She said with a slightly scared smile.
Sure enough there was a puddle on the kitchen floor underneath Hermione. Ron's eyes got huge as both Charlie and George let out cheers and Harry and Ginny went over to hug Hermione.
"Ok what do we do? Do we need to get you home? Do you feel up to taking the Floo? Do you need to lie down? Are you feeling dizzy?" Ron was shooting question after question at Hermione and looking very nervous.
Harry smiled knowingly, he remembered how nervous he was when James was born. He took Ron gently by the arm and pulled him back so Mrs. Weasley and Ginny could get to Hermione.
"Best just let them handle it
" he said, "you're just supposed to be here for support."
." said Ron, still looking slightly pale.
. Cheer up!" said Harry elbowing his best friend, "This is going to be one of the most amazing nights of your life."
Ron grinned at Harry and then they turned their attention back to Hermione. She had decided that she wanted to simply stay at the Burrow, because Mrs. Weasley was going to be helping her with the birth. After helping with the birth of almost all of her other nine grandchildren, the midwife had told her that she was fine to do it on her own, but they made sure they had the midwife on standby incase there were any complications. Ginny and Mrs. Weasley helped Hermione up the stairs to her and Ron's room, and they came back down to the living room a few minutes later.
"Everything is coming along very nicely
" said Mrs. Weasley, "seeing as it's only seven o'clock there is a good chance you and your daughter are going to have the same birthday Ron." She said, and Ron grinned.
"So can I go see her now?" he asked.
"Yeah, let's all go up." Said Ginny, "She'd just going to be sitting around for the next few hours anyway."
Harry had figured out when James was born that the first few hours are rather uninteresting and consist mostly of the girl sitting around waiting for her contractions to get worse. They went up the stairs and headed into Ron and Hermione's room. Ron quickly walked over and sat on the bed next to Hermione who was tucked comfortably under the covers and sitting propped up on pillows.
"How you doing Hermione?" said Harry.
" said Hermione, "I had my first contraction on the way up the stairs, that was quite fun
" she said sarcastically.
" said Harry with a smirk.
"So you sure you're ok
is their anything I can get you?" said Ron still looking rather worried.
"I'm fine Ron
.nothing to do now but wai-" Hermione's sentence was cut off mid-word and she scrunched her face up in pain. She said a particularly colorful swear word and squeezed Ron's hand rather hard.
Harry looked at her in surprise and stifled a snort of laughter. Hearing Hermione swear was always amusing to him. Once the contraction passed she shot him a look, but she gave a reluctant smile.
"Sorry about that
" she said, "But those buggers hurt!"
Ginny was looking at her watch.
"You're contractions are about twenty minutes apart Hermione. You're actually moving along quite fast. About twice as fast as I did with James." She said.
"Well that's good to know
" said Hermione, flopping back on the pillow.
Harry and Ginny sat and talked with Hermione and Ron for the better part of the next few hours. Mrs. Weasley came in to ask how far apart Hermione's contractions were every ten minutes or so. At around eleven o'clock Hermione was starting to be in a pretty constant amount of pain. Ginny told her mother she thought it was getting close to time. Mrs. Weasley came in and Harry knew that was his cue to go wait downstairs. He gave Ron a pat on the shoulder for encouragement and then headed for the door. He watched Ron gently sit Hermione up so he could slide behind her, he let her lean back again him and she put each of her hands in his and squeezed them tightly. Harry went downstairs and sat with the rest of the family and waited. At eleven forty five, Ron came slowly walking down the stairs carrying a tiny bundle. Harry looked at him and he was grinning just as widely as he had the day of the wedding, and tears of happiness were streaming freely down his cheeks. He wiped his eyes with his free hand and then took a deep breath.
"I would like to introduce you all to Rose Isabelle Weasley." He said with the same huge grin.
They all walked forward quickly to see their new family member. She was tiny as ever but her eyes were open and she was looking around at them inquisitively. Harry marveled about how she seemed to be the perfect combination of Ron and Hermione. For being a newborn, she had ample amounts of bushy red hair on the top of her head. She had Ron's blue eyes, but she inherited Hermione's small round nose.
"She's really beautiful Ron
" said Harry, "She's the perfect mix of you and Hermione."
"I know..." said Ron softly and he touched his finger to her little cheek.
"So how's Hermione doing?" asked Harry.
"She's fine, a bit tired you know
. But she was so brilliant Harry, I'm so proud of her." said Ron with another grin.
"Can we go see her?" said Harry.
"I expect so
." Said Ron, "Mum and Ginny were helping her get cleaned up, but I bet we could go visit her by now."
They walked up the stairs and Ron softly knocked on the door and asked if they could come in before opening it. Ginny said yes and they entered the room. Hermione was still lying in bed, her hair was every frizzier than usual and she looked very flushed, but she was smiling at them.
"Hey you three
" she said in a tired voice, "can I hold my girl please?" she said holding out her arms to Ron.
Ron quickly moved over to the bed and handed the baby to Hermione. He sat down next to her and they both began smiling and cooing at their brand new daughter. Harry put an arm around his wife and gave her a hug. He thought it was wonderful to finally see Ron and Hermione with a family. Who would have thought almost fourteen years ago when they met on the Hogwarts Express that this is where they would have ended up.
Three months later on the twelfth of June, Harry Potter held his wife in his arms. Ginny squeezed his hand very tightly.
"You're doing great job sweetie." said Mrs. Weasley, "We're almost there, just one more push."
Ginny scrunched her eyes shut in pain and squeezed Harry's hand very hard again. He put his head against her's and whispered soothing into her ear.
"Almost done Gin
you're amazing." He said.
Just then Harry heard one of the most beautiful sounds in the whole world. His baby began to cry. Ginny slumped back and let out a sigh of relief and exhaustion.
"It's a boy." said Mrs. Weasley with a huge smile.
"A boy? Really?" said Ginny, she had been so sure that this baby was a girl, she had even taken to calling it Lily every once in awhile.
"You're not disappointed are you?" said Harry looking at her in concern.
"Not at all!" said Ginny with a grin, "Just surprised is all
we don't even have a boys name picked out."
Mrs. Weasley held the little bundle out to Harry and he took his second son gently into his arms. He caught his breath when he saw him. The first thing that was distinct about him was his sandy blond hair, Harry had no idea where that had come from. The second thing was his bright green eyes, just like Harry's eyes. The baby looked up and him and held his gaze, Harry was not sure how, but he could tell that his son was going to be much more reserved and thoughtful then his older brother. He gently caressed his son's cheek and he carried him to his mother.
" said Harry to Ginny as he handed her the bundle.
"Really?" she said, "Where did that come from?"
" said Harry with a chuckle.
he has your eyes!" said Ginny excitedly as she looked into her babies face.
Harry took a seat on the bed next to Ginny, and they both admired their brand new son.
"So we should probably give him a name
" said Harry with a smirk.
Ginny smiled and looked down at her son, he looked back at her with an almost appraising look. It was amazing how much he seemed to be evaluating his surroundings for how tiny he was.
"How about Albus?" said Ginny softly, "He looks like he's going to grow up to do great things
so he should have an equally great name."
Harry felt tears come to his eyes and he let them spill over. He kissed Ginny's head and then looked down at Albus. The minute Ginny had said it, he had become Albus.
"It's absolutely perfect." whispered Harry, "do you have any thoughts on the middle name?"
" said Ginny with a smirk, "I'm all out of brilliant idea's for the day, your turn."
Harry looked into his son's eyes, his bright green eyes. They were just like Harry's, just like his grandmother Lily's. Suddenly Harry had a revelation.
" he said softly, "that's his middle name. If he's going to be named after the greatest Headmaster who ever lived, he should also be named after the bravest."
" said Ginny looking at the baby, as if she was trying the name on. She smiled at him, and he gave her his very first smile in return. "Our little Al."
Just then there was a small knock on the door. Harry told whoever it was to come in. Teddy poked his currently bright blue head through the door.
"Can we see the baby yet? James is getting very antsy." He said.
"Sure come on in." said Harry with a smile.
Teddy and James came running into the room. The stopped at the edge of the bed and looked nervously at the bundle in Ginny's arms. Harry scooped up James so he could get a better look and Teddy perched on the edge of the bed next to his godmother.
. I would like you to meet Al." said Ginny.
"Baby?" said James looking curiously down at him.
"Yes that's your baby brother
" said Harry, "his name is Al."
James scooted across the bed and looked carefully at the baby. Then he leaned over and kissed Al on the head.
" he said.
He cuddled in between his parents on the bed, and Ginny scooted over slightly so that Teddy could sit properly on the bed next to her. Harry and Ginny Potter smiled at each other and then went back to enjoying their family. Harry Potter felt that his life had turned out to be exactly what he had always hoped that it would be.