a/n: Ok so we are onto the last chapter of Paris...but the good news is that we'll have California soon!!! The title of the California story is California Bound. I'd like to thank the reviewer, Anna, for the idea for the title. Thanks Anna!!
So here it goes and I hope you like it!!!
The first time Willa smiled, it was the most amazing thing in the world. Ron was in the kitchen making lunch (I know I was surprised at first when he actually offered but during the pregnancy he'd often made food) and Willa and I were in the living room amidst all the boxes. Willa was lying on her tummy and I was lying across from her.
"Whose mummy's favorite girl in the world?" I asked her in a baby voice. She obviously didn't respond except to reach out and try and grab my hair. "That's right little girl. It's you." I said. I kissed her cheek. She reached for my mouth this time and had an interested look on her face. "You are the cutest!" I exclaimed, laughing. That's when I saw the corners of her mouth move upwards and she smiled at my laugh.
I sat up immediately and lifted Willa in my arms. "Ron she's smiling! Come quick!" I continued to smile at Willa and see if she would hold her smile. Ron came rushing out of the kitchen with a spatula in his hand and a smile on his face.
"She is!" Ron said, excitedly. "She's smiling. That's my girl." Ron placed the spatula on a box and lifted Willa out of my arms. The fact that both Ron and I were smiling at her made her smile even more.
"Ah." It was only a sound but it was adorable. She had been cooing lately as well. She was making so much progress as she got further into her second month!
"I'll get the camera!" I said, hurrying for Willa's room where I left the camera last. I came back to find her still smiling at Ron. Ron was talking to her and had a smile on his own face. Smiling at her and talking seemed to make her smile. I focused the camera on her face and snapped the picture.
"Can we get that picture printed and show everyone at the party tonight?" Ron asked.
"Already on it." I said. I worked a spell on the camera and had a fresh batch of pictures to show everyone.
Ginny and Harry were throwing a party at their new place tonight. It was sort of a going away/new house/Christmas party with friends. Sasha, Trey, Neville, Luna, Zacharis, Susan, Ernie, Hannah, Colin, Vanessa, Fred, Angelina, George, Alicia, team mates of Harry's and their spouses, others from school, and people from the Gazette that we all knew. This was going to be Willa's debut. She was going to be a hit at the party but people at the party were not the only ones that want to see her.
I've gotten letters requesting an interview and photos in Witch Weekly and a new magazine that no one had ever heard of called The Buzz. They were interested because Ron was the owner of the International Gazette and my book had just recently come out. It was actually popular; everyone wanted to know what really happened. We were still thinking about the interview and pictures with Witch Weekly but had turned down The Buzz mainly because we had no idea what the magazine was.
For Willa's debut at the party I dressed her in one of the dresses Auntie Ginny made for her. It was a simple soft blue dress that went over her white onesie. It had embroidered flowers on the hem and looked absolutely adorable on my little girl. I put a matching headband and bow on her. I still wondered if she would be a brunette or a redhead but soon we'd see when she started to grow hair.
After I got dressed in a black dress with a v-neck and black flats (I'm terrified to wear heels and hold Willa) and then left my hair down and curly. I put on a necklace that Ron gave me as an early anniversary present/congratulations on your book present/thanks for having my baby present (it was a silver heart shaped one with our wedding date engraved on it). I walked out into the living room to find Ron trying to clean the spit up stain from Willa's nice new dress. It didn't come out so we changed her into a light yellow one that Ginny had made her and changed the headband. It wasn't as fancy as the first but still cute. Her father was wearing a pair of nice pants and a light blue button up shirt.
"Ready my love?" Ron asked after he kissed me and told me I looked beautiful.
"Yes I am?" I said, kissing him again quickly. "Are you ready baby girl?" I asked Willa, smiling at her. She smiled back at me and cooed. I laughed and her smile got even bigger. "Let's go Wil." I said. She smiled at me and reached for my mouth again.
"Drinks are by the balcony, food is laid out on the dinning room table and Ron is here to set up the good music!" Ginny said once she opened the door. She was dressed in one of her own dresses but maternity style…she was nearly nine months pregnant and due in two weeks.
"I can only have one." I said, referring to the drinks. "If I have more than one it'll affect my breast milk."
"Thanks for sharing." Harry said as he came to greet us at the door. Ginny and I rolled our eyes. Ron wasn't bothered by this kind of talk. By now he was used to it.
"I can't even have one." Ginny said. "If I drink…it'll affect my baby."
"Are you excited? Two weeks." I said. Ron took Willa to go see Sasha and Trey.
"Yeah. We've talked about it and decided there are a lot of things to look forward to and it'll be rough at first but we'll manage." Harry said. I smiled.
"I'm happy for you. You guys are going to be great parents." I said. The doorbell rang again.
"I'll get it." Ginny said excitedly. I left them by the door and joined Ron and Willa with Sasha and Trey.
"Hey mom. How are you doing? You look great." Sasha said. We'd seen each other a week ago but during the pregnancy I had been extra self-conscious so Sasha always tried to make me feel better.
"Thank you." I smiled. I still liked the compliments.
"I'm going to go take care of the music." Ron said. "I'll be right back." He kissed Willa on the forehead and handed her to me before going to get the music started. At parties, everyone always loved the music that Ron played so that was his job at parties.
"Can I hold her?" I turned around to see Luna there looking happier than ever. She had been ever since she found out that she was pregnant.
"Yes of course." I said. I handed Willa to one of the many expecting mothers at the party (the others were Ginny, Susan, and Hannah). "Do you mind if I go get something to drink?" I asked Luna.
"Not at all." Luna said, looking at Willa as she was drifting off to sleep. Sasha looped her arm through mine and we walked over to fix ourselves a drink.
"So you're moving soon. Are you excited?" Sasha asked. My eyes were focused on Luna, making sure that Willa was ok as I answered.
"I can't wait to move." I said, smiling. "I'm going to miss everyone a lot but I'm excited to do this. I think Willa's really going to love growing up there."
"We're going to visit you all the time on long weekends." Sasha assured me. "I wouldn't want to move there but California is a beautiful area and I wouldn't mind visiting."
"Good." I said, sincerely meaning it.
"And Willa is going to need someone to take her and her mommy shopping for cute clothes." Sasha said. I laughed.
"I'm going to miss you." I said. I hugged Sasha. "Really, if it weren't for you this year I never would have gone to school or found out where all the nice maternity clothing stores are or met a really great friend."
"I know." Sasha agreed, hugging me back. "You've been a really great friend this past year and I'm going to miss you too."
"Very nice ladies." Trey said smiling at us. Sasha and I laughed, both wiping our eyes. "I'll miss you too." Trey said, opening his arms for a hug.
"And I'll miss you and your jokes." I said, hugging Trey.
"This isn't even the final goodbye." Sasha pointed out. "We still have the real goodbye before you leave on the thirtieth."
"Oh good, we have to do this all over again." I said, sarcastically, wiping my eyes and looking over at my daughter again. "I have to go get Willa." I said, noticing Willa fussing in Luna's arms. "We'll finish later." I said. I hurried away to relieve Luna of Willa.
"She was fine until the music came on." Luna explained. "She looked like she was dozing off but now she's awake."
"She's like her daddy with the music." I explained, lifting Willa out of Luna's arms. "And I think she needs to be changed." I thanked Luna for watching Willa and grabbed the diaper bag before going to change her.
When we came back out into the party more people had arrived making it almost a full house in the large living room. And Willa, being the popular girl that she was, was immediately sought out and everyone wanted to hold her. Unfortunately she began crying so Ron and I had to take her into another room to calm her down and then we put the most popular guest to sleep.
People were disappointed to find out she had fallen asleep but the party went on (because I had pictures). There were other moments of sentiment like the one with Sasha and Trey with other friends.
"Promise you'll be back for when I have my baby?" Luna asked as we ended our goodbye.
"I promise. And I promise that when you're so angry because you're nine months pregnant and just want to give birth…I won't hold the comments to you." I said.
"Aw, thank you!" Luna said, tearing up.
Finally the party had to end. Most of the guests had to catch the 12:45 Portkey back to London. We said goodbye until it was Ginny, Harry, Sasha, Trey, Ron and I left. Willa was stirring so I went to go feed her. I came back with her in my arms since she was now awake.
"Look at this. She's smiling again." I said, wanting to show off my smiling baby.
"She's happy!" Sasha said. "It's so adorable!" Everyone crowded around Willa and took turns holding her and trying to make her full on laugh. We didn't have much luck but she smiled at every one of our goofy faces.
"Well, I think I'm going to turn in." Ginny said. "Oh, ow!" She grabbed her stomach and her face twisted in pain.
"Gin?" Harry asked unsurely. Ginny stood up straight.
"Sorry." She said. "I just been having these stomach aches for the past hour. They come and go but this one was the worst." Sasha and I knew what was going on. Our faces lit up.
"Maybe you should go lay down." Trey suggested.
"Yeah, just relax. It'll probably go away." Ron assured her.
"Come on, I'll take you to bed." Harry said.
"She's in labor!" Sasha exclaimed.
"No, but my water didn't break and I'm not due for another two weeks." Ginny said but even as she said it she knew what Sasha said was true.
"Did you read any of the pregnancy books?" I asked Ginny. She shook her head.
"I only read the books about the baby. I thought you'd tell me about the pregnancy part." Ginny said, clutching her stomach and making a face.
"Well, Gin. This is the most important part, you're having a baby!" I exclaimed, smiling. Willa was smiling and cooing too. Harry looked half surprised, half nervous while Trey and Ron just looked surprised.
"I am!" Ginny exclaimed and then her face fell. "And I'm still in Paris. Is there time to go to St. Mungo's?"
"No we have to go to the nearest hospital." I said. I began gathering Willa's things and strapping her into her stroller. "We'll try and get Healer Statham here as soon as possible. Harry get the coats and Ginny's overnight bag, Ron call your parents, Trey get the camera, and Sasha help Ginny downstairs. We'll all meet there in ten minutes."
"OW!!" Ginny exclaimed.
"Scratch that. Five minutes. Now let's go people!" I exclaimed. Everyone hopped to order to get Ginny to the hospital.
We arrived at the nearest French Wizard Hospital in ten minutes. Ginny's contractions were getting worse. Trey did the translating as we walked into the lobby. It was requested by Harry and Ginny for this information to be kept quiet and only immediate family and close friends were permitted into the waiting room. Ginny gave them a quick list of names that were okayed to come in and then they wheeled her off into a hospital room.
Molly and Arthur were there as quick as they could be after taking a Portkey. Fred and Angelina were the next to arrive and then Bill and Fleur. George and Alicia rushed in seconds afterwards and Charlie and Alison were right behind them. Percy and Penelope came last, filling up the waiting room.
Harry came to report that she was seven centimeters and it shouldn't be long now. She also wanted to see me. I left Willa with Ron and went to the room where Ginny was. I found her sitting in her hospital bed, crying.
"What's wrong?" I asked, hurrying to her bedside.
"I'm scared." She admitted. "Not about giving birth but about having a baby. This is it. I'm having a baby. This is for real
Hermione and I'm scared to death."
"But I thought you were ready? What happened to wanting a family?" I asked, sitting down on the end of her bed.
"I did." Ginny said, sobbing. "When it sounded like the fantasy life." She wiped at her eyes but more tears replaced them. "I thought it was going to be the perfect life but I look at you and Ron and see reality. I know you love Willa but I can see the circles under your eyes and every time I hear Willa cry I know that you two are going to be there to fix whatever's wrong. With my baby I can't do that. I have to be the one that's there. I have to be the one who doesn't sleep."
"Ginny, Its called motherhood." I said, laughing and grabbing one of her hands. "It may sound overwhelming but it's the greatest thing in the world. Imagine what it'll be like when you see her for the first time…or in two months when she smiles for the first time. These are amazing things that make the sleep-deprived nights and crying until you want to cut your ears off worthwhile."
"Even for me?" Ginny asked. "Is it possible that an eighteen-year old, unmarried, girl can raise a baby?"
"Ginny yes you are eighteen and yes you are unmarried but you're not a girl. You're a responsible woman who made a few mistakes along the way but you've got a successful business going and you've given great advice to most of England. And you're planning a wedding to the man you love who is also the father of your baby. You're right to be scared but know that you can do this. It's not something to take on lightly but you have the capability to raise that little girl into a wonderful woman just like her mum is." Ginny smiled through her tears. She squeezed her eyes shut and took a deep breath.
"Bring it on." She said, still smiling. In a second her expression changed to pained. She grabbed her stomach and cried out. The contraction ended and Ginny loosened up. "Ok, I'm ready." She said. I smiled at her and leaned in to give her a hug.
"Be brave." I whispered before changing places with Harry. I waved goodbye before Ginny cried in pain again. She was ready…not only physically but she was mentally prepared to be a mother as well.
I walked into the waiting room where I found Ron asleep. Angelina was holding Willa while everyone else was nodding off. I lifted up Willa from Angelina's arms and told her that she should rest her eyes for a little bit as well.
"Let's go get something for Auntie Ginny and her baby at the gift shop." I said to Willa. She just stared blankly at me but I decided to take that as an "Ok, let's go mum!"
Upon coming across where we came into I noticed a crowd in the lobby and most of those people had cameras. Looks like word got out that 'Ask Ginny' was having Harry Potter's kid. Willa and I walked all the way around just to avoid them and then we made it to the gift shop.
"Now what should we get your new cousin?" I asked Willa. She responded by yawning. "We have to get you to bed after we buy something for your cousin." I told her.
Willa and I looked around the gift shop for something to give the new baby. We finally decided on a big teddy bear with a pink t-shirt that read Welcome To The World Baby (in French), a bouquet of lilies with a card that said, Welcome to the world Baby Potter! Love: Willa, and a balloon. I lifted the bag of gifts along with Willa and we headed back to the waiting room. Everyone was awake now and looking anxious.
"What's wrong?" I asked, falling into the seat next to Ron and placing Willa back in her stroller to sleep.
"They had to do an emergency c-section." Ron said. "Something was wrong. Harry didn't stay long to tell us."
"An emergency c-section?" I asked.
"It was something with the umbilical cord." Sasha informed me.
"She'll be ok though right? Ginny and the baby?" I asked, worriedly. The looks I received let me know that no one was really sure.
The wait began. Everyone was on the edge of their seats, waiting to hear any news at all. Eventually I began pacing, something that I do when I'm nervous. I kept trying to breath normally but I was too focused on the negative. After some pacing, Ron pulled me back into the seat and wrapped his arms around me. I rested against his shoulder and tried not to think about it.
Finally the doors to the waiting room opened and Harry came out. He didn't look happy at all; he looked upset.
"The baby's out." Harry said. His voice wasn't steady. "But the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck." His hands went to cover his face. "They took her to the…" He couldn't finish the sentence. I got up to hug him. I wanted to ask if she was going to be ok but I didn't want to make things worse. I stood there, trying to comfort Harry while he tried to stop crying. After a minute Harry left to go back and check on Ginny. I felt like crying. Ron got up and put his arm around me while I turned to hug him. This wasn't fair. Neither of them were ready for this in the beginning but they had finally got used to the idea and now…now what. Was she going to be ok? We all sat in the waiting room, anxious to find out if she was ok. I looked at my own baby. I couldn't bear it if something happened to her…
We waited for a while. No one really spoke; everyone was too anxious and nervous. Molly was a wreck, Arthur looked devastated, the other mothers and fathers in the family looked at their children feeling the same thing I had, and Fred and George who always looked forward to more additions in the Weasley family were heartbroken. No one was really moving or talking but eventually Max woke up crying and when one baby cried it set the others off. There were five screaming babies in one room so I picked up Willa, Percy had Greg, Alison lifted up Max, and Bill and Fleur lifted up Alexis and Cecilia. Nothing was really calming Willa so Ron and I took her out of the waiting room and tried to find a quiet place to calm her down. It helped get my mind off Ginny and her baby.
"Do you think the baby will be ok?" Ron asked after Willa was changed and calmed down.
"I hope so." I said, kissing Ron and prayed that this was true. We stayed in the hallway for a few moments even though Willa was calm. Neither of us was ready to go back in there.
"Come on. We should get back in there." Ron said. "Willa looks like she's about to fall asleep." I nodded and took his hand. Ron and I walked back into the quiet room where we placed Willa back in her stroller and waited.
All together it was an hour before the doors opened again. My breath caught in my throat as I watched the doors open. It almost looked as if it was in slow motion that the door opened while we awaited the news.
I let out a strangled laugh/cry when I saw Harry standing there with a huge smile on his face and a pink bundle in his arms.
"This is Lily-Lyn Potter." He announced. "I'm a dad!"
The mood in the room changed completely. Everyone was crying happy tears (me), congratulating Harry, or wanting to see Lily-Lyn.
Everything felt as it should be in our lives. Harry and Ginny were living in Pairs with their new baby Lily-Lyn, Neville, Luna, and other friends of ours were expecting babies, the Weasley family was happy with a brand new addition, and Willa, Ron, and I were California bound.
A/n: Look out for California Bound coming soon and please review!!!!!