A/N: a little shorty fluff fic. I promise I'm working on Zephyr chapter 2, just had a crazy week. Hopefully I'll finish it soon :)
Another piercing wail rips through Harry's flat as he paces back and forth and Teddy's face turns redder in a non-metamorphmagus related change. He sighs in frustration, running his hand over Teddy's back, and the baby quiets for a moment, drawing a shuddering breath before his cries resume. "Teddy please. What is it, little man?"
He walks Teddy toward the entryway and miraculously hears a knock at the door over the din. Pausing, Harry presses his eye to the peephole and finds his elderly neighbor on the other side.
Harry glances toward Teddy's luckily mousy brown mop and tugs the door open with an apologetic smile. "I'm sorry, Millie. Little Ted's having a rough go of it."
The older woman adjusts her deep blue cardigan and brushes aside his explanations and gestures toward his flat. "Could I come in? I've more experience with little ones than you might think."
Millie was the first neighbor he'd met when he moved in, and Harry had accompanied her on trips to the market on more than one occasion. She also had a tendency to drop by with leftover casseroles and roasts she just happened to have, although Harry knew from their shared outings Millie made it a habit to overbuy and bluster past his protestations.
Grinning sheepishly, Harry holds the door open for her and she settles onto the couch comfortably as Teddy's whimpers continue. "I'll assume you've done all the usual things – nappy, feeding, burping?"
Harry nods his assent and she considers him for a moment. "You may want to try the kangaroo method."
His brow furrows in question and Millie smiles kindly, "I was a midwife, back in my youth. Haven't practiced in a long while, but I know my babies."
Tugging the rocking chair from the corner, Harry presses a comforting kiss to Teddy's flushed forehead and nods for Millie to explain. "Kangaroos?"
She laughs lightly, "Skin to skin contact sometimes makes the baby calm. He'll hear your heart beat and feel comforted by the warmth. Among other things you likely don't care about."
"So he'll stop crying if I-" Harry cuts off, blushing at the thought of disrobing in front of his neighbor, and Millie catches his hesitation.
"Don't you worry, dear. I'll be off so you can try my theory. He should go down to his nappy, and you'll need to take off your jumper. Skin to skin." And she's off with a wink and a wave, calling out reminders about their trip to the shops on Saturday.
As soon as he twists the lock on the door, Harry's already settling Teddy on the couch while he strips himself of his jumper and t-shirt before removing Teddy's onesie. "Worth a try, eh?"
Gently, Harry lifts Teddy to his now bare shoulder; the baby's tiny ear pressed over his heart, and miraculously, Teddy's steady cries slow to quiet hiccups. "That's it mate."
He's swaying and absentmindedly singing one of Celestina Warbeck's ballads Mrs Weasley loves so much when the floo flares behind him. "Well isn't this a pleasant surprise."
Blushing, Harry turns to find Ginny slowly drinking his semi-clad state in with a smirk. Until she notices Teddy's glassy eyes. "Teddy Bear have a rough day?"
She brushes a kiss over Teddy's pale head, then gives Harry's cheek the same treatment before she disappears in search of the loo.
By the time Ginny returns, Harry's already settled him into his cot and pulled the door shut with a quiet snick. He's pulling his t-shirt back on and Ginny sighs dejectedly, "Don't get dressed on my account."
Harry laughs and slumps back onto the couch, pulling his jumper from behind him where it's bunched uncomfortably against the cushions. For the first time in an hour it's quiet and his arms aren't juggling a wiggly and highly unhappy baby, so he melts into the worn fabric, green eyes disappearing behind his lids.
Blindly, he stretches a hand toward where he thinks his girlfriend still stands and soon enough she's tucked into his side. Her steady breaths are brushing across his collarbone when he mumbles hesitantly, "Y'really like it?"
Ginny pushes back, hand on his thigh, and Harry opens his eyes to find her questioning gaze resting on him. "Really like what?"
Whatever sleep deprived haze gave him the momentary courage to broach the topic seems to have abandoned him and Harry stumbles for some plausible alternative answer but he's never been able to scramble successfully when Ginny's brown eyes pin him in place. "My – you know."
Lips twitching, Ginny refuses to relent, "I'm afraid I don't, dear."
"My body," Harry barely whispers, and Ginny gapes at him wordlessly. His flush rises in full blast and he starts to pull away but Ginny's freckled hands pin him in place, squeezing at his shoulders. "Did you really just ask me that?"
Slowly, carefully, Ginny settles her knees on either side of his hips, "Perhaps show would be better than tell."