January 2004


Harry froze in the act of pulling on his jumper to stare at his wife, her finger pointing at his chest. "Excuse me?"

"Mine!" she said again, flicking her finger in a dismissive gesture. "Take it off, Potter. That one is mine."

He glanced down, wondering what exactly she was referring to. "Uhm…"

"The sweater, Harry! It's mine." She crossed her arms and began tapping her toe on the hardwood floor of their bedroom.

Harry needed to tread carefully. She'd been in a foul mood for days and he didn't want to be on the receiving end of another tongue-thrashing. "Your mum gave this to me for Christmas a year or two ago."

"Six years, Harry. She gave it to you six years ago. It doesn't fit you anymore, not since you started working out." She smirked in a way that told him she appreciated the work outs and he relaxed. She was in a good mood right now and taking the mickey. He had gotten used to her occasional mood shifts over the years of their marriage, but the last few days had been more than a little disconcerting.

He thought back to what she'd said. Has it really been six years already? "It goes on all right."

"It's too tight, hand it over."


She sighed in exasperation clearly telling him she thought he was being dense and she was only humoring him. "I nicked that one fair and square a while ago. But, even if I hadn't nicked it, which I did, and it did fit properly, which is doesn't, it still looks better on me. Therefore, it's mine!"

Well, it was only a sweater... He pulled it off and handed it over. He watched in amusement as she slid it over her head and began to roll the sleeves back several times. It looked almost like a dress on her. "It's too big for you," he stated flatly.

Ginny raised an eyebrow and a secret, almost shy smile flitted over her face. "It won't be for long."

Completely wrong-footed by the comment he blurted out the first thing that came to mind. "You'd have to stuff yourself for years to even come close. Quidditch keeps you in great shape."

She took a deep breath and walked over to him. She reached up and cupped his cheeks before whispering, "Can't you think of any other reason that I might start to fill out this jumper… especially right here," she took his left hand with her right and guided it to her lower abdomen.

Harry felt his heart lodge painfully in his throat. Does she really mean… "Really?" he breathed it out, barely more than a whisper. "I thought… you know, wow," he let out another hard breath, staring into her eyes which were studying him closely. "You're pregnant?"

Ginny nodded.

He closed his eyes and all of his feelings rushed in on him until he had to pull her into his arms, his anchor and strength through many years, through the good times and the bad. A baby… a baby… he almost couldn't wrap his mind around it. They were going to wait another year or two, but he'd wanted kids. The longing had only intensified the more now that Teddy was getting older. "Are you happy?" he asked. She seemed happy, but…

"I am," Ginny replied; her whisper nearly lost against the cotton of his shirt where her head nestled. Her arms tightened slightly. "Are you happy?"

He was terrified. He was elated. He was… too many things to name. "I'm overwhelmed, but in a really good way." Harry leaned down to nuzzle her neck, right at the collar of his jumper. "That's going down at the most creative way of telling a bloke that he's going to be a dad."

"I didn't plan it that way," Ginny admitted with a giggle. "It just sort of came out."

Harry found her mouth and began a slow kiss that quickly heated up to more. "Merlin, I love you."

"I love you, too," she assured him.

More kissing followed, but was halted when Harry had a vision of all of his clothing quickly disappearing from his dresser as her belly rounded with their growing child and her justifying why she needed them and him ending up walking around starkers all the time. His heart constricted and immense joy flooded him. However… "You leave my socks alone. There is no way you can argue that you need my socks."

"I make no promises. It's true love when a girl steals your clothes. Didn't you know that?"

Harry sighed before laughing. To hell with it, he thought. She was so damn beautiful that everything he owned really did look better on her than it ever would on him.

"I'm scared, though," Ginny whispered.

He nodded against her hair. He was scared, too, but he wasn't going to tell her that. It was his job to put on a brave front. "It won't be like last time. We're not going to lose this baby."

"I talked to Audrey a few hours ago and she said the same, but I can't help it." Ginny let out a sigh and looked up into his face. "I don't know that I can lose another one."

Harry cupped her cheek. "Last time was completely messed up. Nothing went the way it was supposed to and the odds were always stacked against Hope living. This time will be different." He told her confidently.

"I wanted this time to be the more 'normal' way," Ginny admitted, "even though we didn't plan this baby either." She laughed and stood on her toes to kiss him. "It's very different being pregnant and not being bed ridden."

"You're definitely moodier this time," Harry said, remembering the last few days.

Ginny poked him hard in the belly. "Excuse me?"

"Well," he grinned, leaning down to nip at her neck. "I mean… you're so beautiful."

She only eyed him before grinning sheepishly. "I forgot to go get the potion."

"You forgot?" Harry said, completely bemused. "You've been religious about it for the last few years."

"I know!" She said, turning her head so she could rest flush against him. "I got the owl from Martha reminding me and just kept putting it off because I was busy and… then I forgot."

"Good," Harry told her firmly.

She quirked an eyebrow as she glanced up at him. "You're glad I got shoddy with our birth control?"

"Yes, I am," he promised kissing her soundly on the top of the head. "Feel free to get shoddy with it any time you like."

"You are a strange man, Harry," Ginny said, hugging him tight. "But I'll keep you."