EPILOGUE: Even more Happy Times
(Set five years after Harry and Ginny's wedding.)
Harry Potter lay deep in his sleep on a beautiful late summer morning. Suddenly, his peaceful slumber was interrupted when two almost four year old twins jumped on him. Both were wide awake and filled with energy.
"Daddy, daddy, get up, get up, we are hungry," one twin yelled and bounced on his dad's stomach.
"Get of me James, why don't you wake up mummy?" Harry grumbled and tried to pull his sheet over his head so he could get some more sleep.
"Daddy, you're so funny, I'm not James, I'm Sirius," Sirius giggled and shared a knowing look with his identical twin brother. Even their dad sometimes could not tell them apart.
"And we're not allowed to wake mummy. She needs to sleep because she has a baby in her belly. You know that," James joined in, and helped his brother to pull the sheet away from their dad.
Yes, Harry knew that Ginny carried their third child, it was the reason he was so tired this morning. Ginny had woken up in the middle of the night with pains; Harry had been worried that something was wrong with the baby. But Ginny assured him that everything was okay and that is had only been false contractions. Then she had gone back to sleep. But Harry had not been able to sleep right away, because he had been thinking about their new baby and how wonderful it would be to have another child in the house.
"It's a bit too late to not wake me up you two, with all the noise you're making you could wake up the dead," Ginny spoke out and awkwardly tried to sit up. Harry was wide awake once he heard the voice of his wife and then helped her sit more comfortably.
"How are you feeling?" Harry asked and kissed her gently. Both twins giggled when they saw their parents kiss.
"I'm fine Harry, nothing to worry about. As far as the midwife can tell we still have almost two weeks before our baby will come." Ginny squeezed her husband's hand affectionately and then turned to her two boys.
"Don't I get a good morning kiss from you boys, too?"
Then both twins jumped into their mother's arms and gave her a kiss on each cheek.
"Okay boys, why don't we men go downstairs and make breakfast and then mummy can get herself ready," Harry said and got out of bed and pulled on a robe.
Both boys gladly jumped down from the bed and followed their father into the kitchen. Then they all made breakfast and the boys also made the table. They were almost done when Ginny walked into the kitchen. She smiled when she saw her husband standing by the stove with one twin on each side standing on a stool. They were eager to help their father with the breakfast.
"Hey boys, is the breakfast ready?" Ginny asked and walked over and peeked around Harry's shoulder. Harry turned around and hugged his wife and let a gentle hand caress her swollen stomach. He was ecstatic over the new life they had created together.
"I love you," he whispered in Ginny's ear.
"I love you too," Ginny whispered back and kissed him.
Then, the little family sat together and ate breakfast. When everyone had had their fill Ginny said, "Okay, now the boys can help me do the dishes while daddy gets ready to go to practice."
"I don't need to go, you know, I could stay here, just in case something happens. I don't want anything to happen to you or the baby."
Harry had almost forgotten that he had Quidditch practice this morning. He really didn't want to leave Ginny all alone with just the boys. What if something happened while he was gone?
"Harry dear. Please, there is nothing to worry about, I have the boys here and they know how to call my mum by floo if something happens. Don't worry, everything is fine," Ginny assured and rose to clear out the dishes.
"But I do worry, and you know that. I don't want to miss out on this one too," Harry argued and helped her clear out the table.
"I know dear, but I know where you are and we'll call you as if something should happen. And I'm sure nothing will happen. Last night was just a false alarm. Don't worry," Ginny assured her husband. She knew that Harry was anxious to miss out on the birth of their new child, since he missed the birth of the twins. He had been away at a Quidditch match in Ireland, and it had been difficult to reach him in time. When he had returned, the twins had already been born and had lain nestled in their mother's arms.
Harry sighed and knew that arguing with his highly pregnant wife would be futile, so he just went upstairs to get ready for morning practice. Before he left he went in and said goodbye to his sons and his wife, who assured him that they would call him if something did happen. Then, Harry Apparated to the Qidditch pitch.
Harry was soaring through the sky on his Firebolt, doing loops and twists. He felt so alive when he was flying; this was one of the things he had always loved about being a wizard.
It had been a good practice this morning and the team had worked through some new moves. But Harry still couldn't help thinking about how Ginny was doing back home with only the twins with her. At one point Harry was hovering above the pitch trying to look as if he was searching for the snitch. But his mind was on Ginny and their unborn child. Suddenly someone shouted, "Look out!" Harry turned his head and saw a Bludger zooming right at him. Within mere seconds he manoeuvred his broomstick towards the ground and he felt the Bludger graze the tip of his broom. That caused his broomstick to wobble a bit but he still managed to land safely on the ground.
"What in Merlin's name are you thinking about Potter? I don't want to loose my star seeker. Pay attention. What's going on with you today?"
Harry cringed as he watched his coach stalk towards him.
"Coach Palmer, I'm sorry, it's just… well I'm just worried about my wife you see, there is only two weeks until our third child will be born and…" Harry tried to explain to his coach.
Palmer nodded his head in understanding and said, "I know how it is, but please keep an eye out when you're up there. I don't want to loose you, not before the national championship. And…" But the coach never got any further because they were interrupted by a young man.
"Potter, Potter, there is a message for you… just received it in the office. Your wife's in labour. She is at St. Mungo's with her mother."
At this information Harry didn't even took the time to excuse himself, he just ran of while tearing off his protection pads. Then he aparated to St. Mungo's.
When he arrived, he hurried to the reception desk and asked if they knew where Ginny was. Then he hurried through the hallways in the direction of the maternity hall. When he found the right corridor he ran down.
Suddenly, someone yelled, "Harry, here, down here."
He skidded to a halt and ran back to find Mrs. Weasley in a small waiting area. She walked over to him and hugged him.
"The contractions started an hour ago. She is in there, and I think she would like you to be there. They keep coming out asking if you've arrived yet," Mrs. Weasley explained and pointed at a door to the right. Harry ran to the door and went in to his wife.
"Granny, why did daddy looked weird in the face like when something is really worrying him?" one of the twins asked.
"Oh sweetie, it's just because he is worried about your mummy and the new baby. He is fine, and soon you'll have a new baby brother or sister, isn't that wonderful?" Mrs. Weasley explained and sat down next to the twins. They both nodded their head and started talking about what they would like, a brother or a sister.
Harry walked swiftly towards Ginny, who at the moment lay quietly in a bed. When she saw him she cried out, "Oh Harry, I'm so happy to see you. This is it; our baby wants to come out now. I'm… argh" Ginny's words were cut short when a contraction hit her. Harry paled a bit when he saw how much pain his wife was in, but he grabbed her hand and smoothed her hair away from her face, trying to comfort her, the best he could.
Harry's heart ached to see Ginny in pain every time a contraction hit her, but he was glad that he could be there for her this time.
The labour dragged out, and Harry started to wonder how much longer it would take before their baby would come out. He asked the head midwife how much longer she thought it would be, but she could only tell him that everything was looking good and that they would just have to wait. This didn't calm Harry very much, but he tried to focus on helping Ginny get more comfortable after each contraction.
After almost six endless hours something happened.
"The head is crowning; just a couple of more pushes Mrs. Potter and your baby will be here," the nurse explained.
"It is what?" asked a very puzzled Harry. He looked at Ginny, but just then another contraction hit and she screwed her face in pain.
"Come look for yourself Mr. Potter," the nurse said and pointed to where the baby's head was almost visible. Harry, still holding on to Ginny's hand, took a step to the side and looked down. What he saw made his stomach turn over and he felt bile rising in his throat. Then he started feeling light-headed and dizzy and without warning he collapsed on the floor.
"We have a 'fainter', someone please help him," the head midwife said without looking up from what she was focused on at the moment. Then she said to Ginny, "Only two more, then I think we've got it. Come on sweetie, I know you're tired but push with everything you have."
"That's bloody easy for you to say, when my husband is knocked out cold on the floor," Ginny cried, as yet another contraction hit her. She turned her head and saw that two nurses had helped Harry up into the bed next to her. She just had time to chuckle slightly over the fact that there lay her brave husband, the 'saviour of the magical world' knocked out cold because of a little blood. She smiled at the thought, but then a large contraction hit her.
"Okay this is it, come on sweetie this is the last one."
Ginny screamed and cried out in pain, loud enough to wake Harry from his faint. When he heard his wife cry out, he quickly sat up and shook his head to clear it and then hurried over and grabbed Ginny's hand.
"It's okay Angel, push, I'm so proud of you, I love you Angel, come on push," Harry rambled on and on.
"That's easy for you to say, my 'oh so brave and courageous husband', you're not the one who is trying to get a Quaffle out of you uterus," Ginny said between clenched teeth and then she pushed, and screamed so loud that it was sure to be heard in every hallway in St. Mungo's.
Then the most amazing thing happened - at least Harry thought so - a loud baby's cry could be heard. Harry looked down and saw his new child for the first time; he had never seen a more beautiful sight. The nurses cleaned the baby up and wrapped it in a white blanket.
"It's a girl, Mr. and Mrs. Potter," the head midwife proclaimed and placed the small bundle in Ginny's arms.
Ginny had tears in her eyes when she looked down at her new daughter. Her hair was sparse but one could see that it would turn out to be the perfect Weasley red, unlike the girl's brothers who had inherited their father's unruly mass of black hair.
"Wow she is beautiful," Harry said in awe and gently stroked his thumb over the chubby cheek of his new daughter. Then he turned to Ginny and smiled, "But not as beautiful as her mother, even though I think it's going to be a close race, as she is going to have your hair." Then he leaned over and gave his wife a kiss.
"Mm, she is gorgeous. Thank you." Ginny smiled at her husband, she could she how proud he was of his new daughter.
"No thank you, my Angel. I'm so glad that I got to be here with you. I was so sorry that I wasn't with you when James and Sirius were born. I wanted to be there for you also." Harry looked wistful at the memory of the birth of their twins.
"Yes I know Honey, and what a help you were, laying on the floor, knocked out cold. That was really helpful." Ginny laughed and patted Harry's arm.
"Ha, ha, very funny. It was a rather bloody affair down there you know." Harry was beet red in the face; it had been rather embarrassing when he had fainted.
"Says you who conquered the Dark Lord Voldemort. My hero!"
"That is an entirely different matter, and please don't tell anyone about this okay?" Harry pleaded. But before Ginny could reply they were interrupted with, "Don't tell us what dear brother-in-law?"
It was the Weasley twins who walked into the room together with everyone else.
"Nothing, nothing at all, my dear brothers," Ginny laughed, she was happy to see her whole family.
"We're sorry to disturb you, but there are two young men here who are eager to see their new sister or brother," Mrs. Weasley explained, and walked over to the bed with James and Sirius.
"Okay boys, come up here, but be careful okay? Mummy is very tired and might be a bit sore," Harry said and lifted the boys up into the bed.
"James, Sirius, let me introduce you to your new baby sister." Ginny pulled the blanket aside so the boys could take a look. They both awed and cooed at the little bundle who was their little sister.
"Do you have a name for her?" Hermione asked. She was standing next to Ron with her arm around his waist. They had gotten married two years after Harry and Ginny; it had taken Ron one more year before he had plucked up the courage and ask Hermione.
"Mm, we have talked about names. We will call her Lillianna Molly Potter, we'll call her Lilly for short," Ginny told everyone gathered around the bed.
Mrs. Weasley was close to tears when she heard that, and she walked over and gave Ginny a gentle hug, and whispered, "Thank you Gin." Then she looked down at her new grandchild.
Then everyone came over and greeted the newest member of the family, and they all agreed that she would inherit the famous Weasley hair. And then they began guessing the colour of her eyes, since she had had her eyes closed the whole time. Fred and George even started making bets with each other.
Ginny just shook her head and smiled down at her little girl. She loved this family, and she loved this little new life she and Harry had created together. Harry leaned over and looked at his daughter together with his wife. Suddenly her eyelids fluttered open for a few seconds little baby Lilly looked up at her parents with the brightest green eyes.
"Oh, hi there sweet Lilly. Welcome to the world and welcome to this crazy, yet wonderful family," Harry cooed.
"She has your eyes Harry," Ginny smiled and kissed him on the cheek.
"Bugger it all, why couldn't she have had brown eyes? I would have won 1 galleon from George," Fred swore, and reluctantly pulled out the lost galleon and gave it to his brother. Mrs. Weasley scolded her twins, and told them to keep the language down when there were children present. But everyone else just laughed.
Then Lilly was passed around to each member of the family, everyone was excited about meeting the new member of the family. When Hermione was holding her, Ron was looking at Lilly over Hermione's shoulder.
"Aren't you a sweet little thing? You are going to be such a beautiful child," Hermione cooed and rocked Lilly gently back and forth.
"But not as beautiful as our baby," Ron proclaimed and placed his arms around Hermione's stomach and gently caressed her lower abdomen. Then he nuzzled Hermione's neck and continued to admire baby Lilly. He didn't noticed the stares of his entire family, and since everyone's attention was on were Lilly was, everyone had seen that small yet significant gesture.
It was Ginny who broke the silence first. "You're pregnant?"
"What…. Who told you that?" Ron asked and looked up at his family.
"You just did, when you said something about your baby and then touched Hermione's stomach," Ginny laughed when she saw the bewildered look on her brother's face. "It's a dead give away, and now that I look closer I see that happy gleam in both of your eyes."
"Well we didn't mean to tell you right now, we didn't want to steal the spotlight from baby Lilly here. We have only known ourselves for a few weeks now," Hermione explained with a happy smile on her face.
At this information, Mrs. Weasley cried out with happiness and started babbling about even more grandchildren, and then she hugged both Ron and Hermione. Everyone congratulated them and wished then good luck with everything.
In the midst of all the happiness Lilly suddenly cried out and started squirming in Hermione's arms.
"Oh I think you want your mummy. Maybe you're hungry," Hermione said with a smile and then handed Lilly back to her mother.
"Okay everyone why don't we give them some peace so they can get to know each other a bit more," Mr. Weasley declared and started shooing everyone out of the door. Mrs. Weasley agreed and kissed her daughter goodbye and took James and Sirius down from the bed.
"Oh Granny can't we stay? We wanna stay with our sister," one of the twins whined and the other pouted and crossed his arms.
Harry crouched down in front of his two sons. "Listen your mummy is very tired and Lilly needs to feed right now, and they both need some peace and quiet time. I'll be with you in a minute okay?" Harry hugged his sons and then looked at them to see if they understood. They both nodded their head and walked reluctantly out of the room with their grandmother.
Then Harry sat down on the edge of the bed and put an arm around Ginny's shoulder, with the other hand he gently stroked his fingers over Lilly's head.
"She is gorgeous, our little Ms. Lilly. It's such and amazing experience to become a parent. Don't you think?" Ginny nodded her head in agreement and then Harry continued, "This is something that I never imagined I would come to experience, but now I'm a father to three beautiful children. Amazing!"
"Hmm it is amazing, you're amazing. You helped me get over my insecurity after… well you know… after everything that happened right after I finished at Hogwarts…that is something that I'm forever grateful for. Without you and my family I would never had gotten over that. Thank you!" Ginny said with at thick voice. She meant every word, and she was thankful that she had such a wonderful family.
"There was never any doubt in my mind that you would get through that, even though you had to 'run away' for awhile. But your love for us, and the love we have for you made you come back and conquer your fears. The inscription in our wedding rings says it all: 'Amor Vincit Omnia', Love conquers all." Harry whispered gently in her ear and then kissed her temple.
Ginny turned her head towards him, her eyes were brimming with tears. She could never fathom how she could have been so lucky to have such a loving and patient man who never gave up on her, even when she had run away from everything. Yes, love really did conquer everything, even the hurt and abuse she had experienced that horrible day so many years ago. Amor Vincit Omnia.
"I love you."
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