Disclaimer: JKR owns both Harry and Ginny, not me, I'm just borrowing them.
Summary: Ginny is late in more ways than one.
Another wave of nausea hit Ginny Potter as she rested her head back against the bathroom wall and took a couple of long and slow deep breaths. Gently she closed her eyes, hoping to eliminate the cause of her queasiness, letting the cool air from the open window wash over her. With another couple of long, deep breaths, she started to feel more like herself and less like the victim of a very nasty bug.
Harry had taken her out to dinner last night to celebrate her latest call-up to the England squad. Despite the fact that she wasn't feeling her best and was off work sick, she had agreed to go with him. However, she had skipped a mandatory practice that day on top of missing last Saturday's defeat to the Ballycastle Bats, which had resulted in a Howler from her coach. To add to her misery, she faced yet another disciplinary hearing tomorrow, concerning where her priorities lay: being an international Quidditch player or the glamorous wife of Harry Potter. The only positive from this was that it was only a club-level hearing and she would not be hauled up in front of the national governing body for her conduct.
If she had been anyone else on the squad she was positive that no one would have minded or even noticed her actions. However, being who she was had meant that she had waked to see her picture on the front page of the Daily Prophet. There was hardly a week that went by without her name being mentioned in the Daily Prophet for making a mockery of the game. She was positive that there were particular members of the Wizarding press who would look for any excuse to print her name in the paper, especially if they could link it to subjects that would sell more newspapers.
However, she found herself not really caring what the Daily Prophet wrote or about receiving howlers from anyone. She preferred to live her life instead of focusing on regrets or spend days in bed with the flu. As both she and Harry knew too well, life was too short not to enjoy it. Moping around and feeling sorry for oneself was something that no one could accuse Mr and Mrs Potter of. They had suffered too much and lost so much in their teenage years for them to willingly impose misery upon themselves at this point in their lives. While they would never forget the friends, family and other innocent victims lost in the war, they were not going to spend the rest of their lives in mourning. Instead they made it a point to enjoy every second of their life together.
Life didn't stop with an upset stomach, a case of the flu, or whatever bug she was suffering from. As annoying as minor illness was, she wasn't going to spend her days lying in bed helplessly, bemoaning her luck. She sat, resolved; no matter how many times she had to visit the bathroom, she was going to go to the christening of Neville and Susan's first-born daughter.
Slowly she got to her feet, holding onto the sink to steady herself, to study her reflection in the mirror. With her vibrant red hair highlighting her pale face, she clearly looked as bad as she felt. Going out last night had not helped her body at all.
She turned the cold water tap and watched for a couple of seconds as the cold water gushed into the basin. She cupped her hands underneath the tap and tried to stop the water from trickling through her fingers. Raising her hands quickly, she splashed the remaining water on her face. Feeling slightly refreshed, she cupped her hands under the stream of water. This time she raised her hands to her mouth, letting the water trickle down her throat.
Feeling slightly more human and less like a corpse, she looked at her reflection again in the mirror. She was pleased and a little relieved to see that some colour had returned to her pale face.
"You do know what's wrong." Ginny paused in her movements as the mirror in front of her started talking. "Come on, even you must have worked it out by now," taunted the ancient mirror.
Ginny furrowed her brow, not really sure where this was leading, but at the same time positive that she wasn't going to like the conversation that was about to take place.
"Really, Ginevra." A shudder ran down her spine; only her mother (when she was in serious trouble) and this mirror called her by her full name. Whenever she heard it, she knew she was about to be lectured.
"I thought you were the intelligent one; it must be all the Bludgers to the head. Such a waste of your talents for you: a girl who had people from every profession wanting to employ her, to become a Quidditch player, but that is really beside the point at the moment," the voice continued without a pause. Biting her lip, she glared at the mirror, willing it to be quiet. She didn't want to muster the energy to reply to its comments. She could not be bothered to get into an argument with the damn piece of furniture today.
"Just think for a second," it said, the amusement in its voice not gone. She inwardly groaned as the mirror continued taunting her and silently she reached for a potion off the sink to settle her stomach, determined to ignore the damn thing and get out of the bathroom as soon as possible. "All the potions in the world aren't going to stop it. After all, it has been going around for centuries."
"Oh, shut up," she growled back at the old family heirloom, unscrewing the lid of the potion and downing the whole content of the bottle in one go. Her stomach feeling slightly more settled, she glared at the mirror. The antique gold trimmed mirror had spent the last couple of days offering her strange types of advice hidden in riddles. "I'm sick of your cryptic games and I really don't want a headache to add to everything else I'm feeling. So like I said, shut it."
The mirror let out a large sigh. "It really is a waste of breath talking to you at times," it said in a disdainful tone.
"Good!" she replied with a smug smile, feeling satisfied with the small victory. Maybe the mirror that criticised everything she did and wore would be quiet for once. There had been so many occasions when she had thought about binning the damn thing, especially when it spewed its criticisms of her life at her, much like it did a few moments ago. "So anytime you want to stop prattling on, feel free."
"Your Great-Aunt Muriel was so much nicer, always willing to listen," the mirror mused. "I just wish you could be more like her."
"And I wish I had taken Harry's advice and got a Muggle mirror; you know, a mirror that stays quiet and doesn't make me want to practice some of my favourite hexes. Instead, I bowed to my mother's pressure and took you." She shrugged as her hand automatically twitched, reaching for her wand. She found her hand slip into her jeans' pocket, searching for the eight and a half inches of hazel wood. "But I guess we can't all get what we want. And you're lucky I don't take my wand out on you."
The mirror gave a miffed hoot. "Such a temper! You were such a sweet child. How things change over time," the mirror lamented. "Let's hope history doesn't repeat itself."
"I'm really not in the mood." She glared at it for a second, challenging it to speak again as she kept hold of her wand, before resuming her critique of the pale state of her face. "And you're making me later than I already am."
"With or without saying anything, you couldn't really be much later, dear."
"Shut it!" she growled again at the mirror, making a crude hand gesture towards it.
Her body had spent the last couple of weeks playing tricks on her. Her emotions were all over the place, and she was becoming frustrated at the smallest of things. She had found herself crying over silly little matters, like she had when she burned the chicken in the stir-fry on Tuesday night. She had also nearly hexed Hermione for her knowing comments and glances at the weekly Weasley family meal held at The Burrow on Sunday. Today that damn mirror wasn't helping her mood.
She hated being sick and Harry was feeling the force of her wrath, especially after he had gone out for an impromptu drink with her brother the other night. He had come home reeking of Firewhisky after the two had decided that they would go out and celebrate the birth of Ron and Hermione's son for the third time that month. After a couple of drunken remarks and some highly unwanted approaches towards his highly emotional wife, he had found himself recovering from a nasty Bat-Bogey Hex and a massive headache with a night on the sofa.
As if her mood swings weren't already enough, she had also found herself suddenly highly sensitive towards certain smells. That had been the final straw before she had finally given in and booked an appointment with a Healer for tomorrow.
The scent of the wood emanating from her broomstick had been sending her insane as well as making her want to heave, proving problematic for a Quidditch player. That had led to a dressing down by her manager at training. Bullen had not taken too kindly to her when she had dropped the Quaffle during a sweeping attack move at practice, as a wave of nausea forced her to retch while fifty feet in the air. She had hurried to the changing rooms before returning to the pitch ten minutes later, feeling slightly fragile.
"Potter! You do not decide when training finishes. That is my job and you have absolutely no right to throw your broomstick to the ground and run off," he had ranted, hands on hips, after he had landed his broom from his coaching position to lecture her on her return. "If you are feeling sick, get your head out of the newspapers and get in a couple of early nights! If you're as bad as you look, Potter, then you need to go home and don't come back until you're feeling better! I will not carry passengers in my team, no matter how famous they are!"
Ginny let out a small sigh as her eyes drifted farther down her reflection towards the centre of her midriff. This had been going on for over a week now; it couldn't just be a case of the flu. She didn't get ill very often and when she did, she recovered quickly too. It was quite unusual for her to spend so many days feeling sick, with sudden waves of nausea washing over her for no particular reason. It had to be something more concrete than a bout of the flu or a nasty bug that she had caught.
After all, it has been going around for centuries.
Her mouth dropped wide open as a new realisation dawned upon her. Reality seemed to finally catch up with the slower side of her brain and she placed her hands on her stomach. She couldn't help but feel utterly stupid as the realisation of her true "illness" hit her with as much force as a smack across the face. Two things struck her immediately: she wasn't sick at all; and everything she knew in her adult life was just about to change.
Finally the slow realisation had hit her and had started to ease her frustrations. Just possibility the frustrations of being ill and not knowing the cause of it had ended and she entered a new set of fears. Fears that, without doubt, her life was about to change dramatically.
How could she live the same life she did with a child?
Was she going to have to change her job? She didn't know of any professional Quidditch players who were also mothers. Would she have to give up a career that she loved? The only thing she had ever been any good at. Would she be expected to stay at home?
She was hardly the most patient person in the world. She may be a good aunt to her brothers' children, but she was able to hand those back after a couple of hours. She was in no way ready to be a parent herself.
"Hey," Harry said, breaking through her thoughts as he poked his head around the door. He kept his distance as he offered her a hopeful smile. "Are you feeling any better?"
She could hardly blame him for his decision to hover at the door instead of coming into the room. She was renowned for letting her temper get the better of her at times and hexing people when they had driven her irritation levels to their boiling point. To be very fair to Harry, she had been close to letting those emotions overcome her recently.
"Much," she replied, returning his smile.
As she looked at her husband a new wave of worries filled her insides. What would she tell him? When would she tell him? Should she wait until after the appointment with the Healer? And then there was the whole other issue of how he was going to react? He had always given the impression that he would like to have children, but with both of them having very active careers, they had never even talked about it. Maybe it was the right time for their lives to be changing.
"Good," he said as he made his way into the room, looking more confident. Reaching out and taking her hand, he gave it a small squeeze, easing her doubts. "But you know, we don't have to go if you're not feeling well. Neville would understand, and I'm happy to be your personal slave."
Yet at the same time all these new insecurities were filling her mind, there was a warm feeling deep inside that everything was going to be okay.
She moved closer to him and traced her finger from his glasses and down to his lips, before resting her finger on them. A smile formed on her lips as she spoke. Harry was going to be there with her no matter what life threw at them. "As tempting as that sounds, we should probably show our faces."
"Okay." He kissed her on her forehead, and the warm, safe feeling that had come the second he had touched her hand spread to every inch of her body. "But I'm allowed to be a little concerned about you. Is that agreed?"
"Don't ever stop."
"Well," his smile returned as he clasped her hand, "we'd better get going. We're already late as it is."
"Yeah, I know," she muttered.
"What aren't you telling me?" he questioned, shooting her a curious look.
Ginny squeezed his hand, before letting go. She stood on her tiptoes and wrapped her arms around his neck. She placed a small teasing kiss on his lips, letting them just brush against hers before she pulled away. Harry's arms wrapped tightly around her waist, drawing her closer to him. Their lips met again briefly before she parted her lips and Harry took the initiative to deepen the kiss.
After several long minutes, Ginny pulled away.
"Don't you ever let those kisses stop. Whatever happens to us, let's keep hold of those," she said, offering him a small smile but the glint of mischief in her eyes seeming to suggest much more. She let go of his neck and returned to her normal height. "But you're right, we should be off. Besides, we wouldn't want to give anyone the wrong impression."
Harry's green eyes sparkled, catching her hand in his and spinning her round to stop her from leaving the room. "That's exactly what I want."
"Later," she squeezed his hand tightly as she stood on her tiptoes and whispered in his ear, her lips brushing against his unshaven chin. Sending him an inviting smile, she placed her feet firmly on the ground. "Not when you're late to your goddaughter's christening."