Harry smiled to himself as he looked out the kitchen window into the back garden. Eighteen years ago, he never could have predicted his life turning out like this.
Eighteen years ago, a nearly-eighteen-year-old Harry Potter had just spent a year on the run hunting for Horcruxes, culminating in his defeat of the darkest wizard in recent memory. That accomplished, he'd thought he was past the most difficult part of his life. He thought that all the future would have in store for him was a quiet, peaceful life, with his beloved Ginny by his side.
Real Life quickly corrected that notion when, soon after the Final Battle, he discovered that Ginny had apparently left the Wizarding World, her family, and most importantly him behind. Instead of the future he imagined, in a whirlwind of events he ended up first in Godric's Hollow, then America where he discovered distant relatives in San Francisco, and then, when he made the decision to stay there rather than return to England, he ended up with a baby on his front step.
The decision to keep the mysterious magical baby and raise him as his own was one of the best of his life. Especially when, more than eleven years later, he discovered that that baby was actually his biological son. What's more, he also had a daughter. And finally, finally after so many years, he was reunited with Ginny.
A seven-month period in which they got to know each other again, followed by a four-month engagement, and here they were, nearly six years later, happily married.
"Good morning," Harry was brought out of his memories by the greeting and a pair of arms wrapping around his waist from behind.
He turned in the embrace so that he could wrap his own arms around his wife. "'Morning, love," He greeted her in return, pressing a light kiss to her lips. "What are you doing up?"
Ginny frowned playfully up at him. "I could ask you the same thing. I do believe I have previously made my stance on waking up alone in bed very clear."
"Someone kept you up half the night," Harry replied simply, one hand drifting to her protruding stomach between them. "I thought you could use a bit of a lie in. Plus, twenty more minutes and I probably would have brought you breakfast in bed."
"There's too much to do today for that," Ginny declared. "Although," She continued thoughtfully, "I suppose there's still plenty of time for you to make me breakfast."
"I had a feeling there would be," Harry stated. Then, his wife still in his arms, he looked up at the ceiling when he heard the sound of footsteps above them. "And I do believe it's going to have to be breakfast for four."
Sure enough, just a minute later, Prudence Luna came running into the kitchen just as fast as her three-year-old legs would carry her, two-year-old Albus Sirius just a bit behind her at a less steady pace.
"Mummy! Daddy!" Prue said reproachfully as she threw an arm around each of her parents' legs. "You're supposed to wake me up if you get up before me!"
In a flash, Harry released Ginny and scooped Prue up, tossing her up into the air and catching her again as she gave a shriek of laughter.
"Too many things to do today for that," Harry informed her, parroting Ginny's earlier words. "Daddy has a very busy day today and you, Miss Prue, have a very exciting day; a little extra sleep was just what you needed. Now that we're all up, though, what should we have for breakfast?"
"Cake!" Albus exclaimed immediately from where Ginny was lifting him into his chair at the kitchen table.
Prue nodded her agreement rapidly. "Al is right. Daddy's pancakes are the best."
"Pancakes it is, then," Harry agreed.
Twenty minutes later found the four sitting down to a somewhat chaotic meal.
"Daddy?" Prue questioned as she watched Ginny pour syrup onto her plate. Forgoing syrup, Albus was busy shoveling handfuls of pancake pieces into his mouth.
"Is today the party day?" She asked now.
Harry nodded. "It is."
"And Lily and Jamie are coming home today?"
"We'll pick them up from the train this afternoon," Harry told her.
"And then we'll have a party?" She double-checked.
"And then we'll have a party," Harry agreed. "And all of your cousins will be there, so you'll have lots of people to play with."
"All of them?" She questioned, her eyes going wide now. "Vic and Dom and Louis and Wyatt and Chris and Melinda and Rosie and Hugo and—"
"All of them," Harry cut her off swiftly, knowing that if he let her, she would go on to list every single one of her cousins by name, "All of the Weasley cousins and all of the Halliwell cousins. But that's not until this afternoon. For now, I think we should have more pancakes!"
Harry spent the rest of the morning alternating between helping Ginny prepare for the party, encouraging her to take breaks from preparing for the party and letting him handle it, and playing with Prue and Al when Ginny finally declared him a distraction in her kitchen and kicked him out. By mid-afternoon, however, the family of four was assembled by the fireplace, ready to floo to Platform 9 ¾ (much to Harry's dismay, Ginny was being firm about the fact that she was 'seven months pregnant, not an invalid, thank you very much' and was more than capable of using the floo network to go pick up her two eldest children from their final year of school). Before it could be suggested otherwise, Harry was quick to pick up a toddler in each arm.
"Who's throwing the floo powder for me?" He asked cheerfully, grinning at Ginny while she rolled her eyes at him (though he was quite sure she was clearly fighting back her own smile).
"My turn!" Al said quickly, reaching out one chubby hand.
"You remember what to do?" Harry questioned his son. Albus nodded eagerly and mimed throwing something into the fireplace. "Alright, then we're off."
The Potter family arrived on the crowded platform just as the familiar scarlet steam engine was coming to a stop. It was another fifteen minutes, though, before they finally managed to locate the Potter twins in all of the chaos.
"Mum! Dad!" The shout came from behind and Harry turned in time to see Ginny throwing her arms around first James and then Lily, squeezing them to her as best she could. He barely opened his mouth to greet them himself when, in what seemed to him to be a perfectly coordinated movement, Prue and Al both launched themselves from their places in his arms and toward their siblings, who, luckily enough, appeared to be expecting it, as they each now had their own armful of toddler.
Harry smiled at the sight before him. All four of his children together (a fifth on the way—Ginny swore it would be their last) and his wife animatedly asking Lily and James all about how their seventh year was, and if they thought they did well on N.E.W.T.'s, and were they excited to start the new job each had lined up?
This was his family.
It had taken some work to get where they were today, mostly heartbreak when he thought about his years apart from Ginny and Lily, and not knowing the truth about James. But it was all worth it in the end. Because they found each other again and they were all together now; they were a family.