Ginny discarded yet another pair of trousers, to join the others on the floor. Maybe that skirt in the back she hadn't worn in months. It was wholly unflattering, but at this point, she was going to have to go to work in her pajamas. Nothing else fit. No, she said to herself, I refuse to wear that skirt. It's hideous. She must have been drunk when she bought it. Heaving a sigh, Ginny pulled out the last pair of jeans in the wardrobe. I hope these fit. I really have to have a chat with Harry about the setting on the dryer. Ginny held her breath, and tried to pull up the zipper. No luck. Gritting her teeth, she lay across the foot of the unmade bed, took a deep breath, and managed to haul the zipper up. Feeling rather like the button on the jeans was going to pop off and take out someone's eye if she took a deep breath, Ginny gingerly made her way into the kitchen. She didn't see how she could have gained that much weight since she stopped playing last spring. She wasn't even eating breakfast much anymore. Just toast lately.
Harry was at the stove, wearing her apron. She smothered a snicker. Mum had given it to her a couple of years ago. It was decidedly pink and flowery. Which was why Ginny never wore the bloody thing. 'Morning,' he said, without turning around.
'Morning,' she replied and wrinkled her nose at the porridge on the stove.
'What? I thought you liked porridge.' A hint of dismay crept into Harry's voice. On his days to cook breakfast the past few weeks, Ginny had turned up her nose at everything he tried.
'I do. Just not… today…' she said. Harry looked up at the tone of her voice.
'Do you feel all right?' he asked, peering at her. 'You look a little green around the edges.' He studied her face a bit more. 'Actually, you look like Ron did the morning after Fred's funeral, when he drank half a bottle of Firewhisky.' Ginny's stomach began to rebel.
'Don't mention Firewhisky right now, okay?' she said queasily. Harry just shrugged and handed her a plate of toast.
'Eat that at least. And no arguments, young lady, or I'll…'
'Set your mum on you,' Harry threatened. Ginny shuddered. That would mean lunch with Mum. Lunch with Mum meant more food than Ginny could possibly eat. Not that Mum wasn't a good cook, but there was only so much food one could eat at a single meal.
Ginny finished her toast and picked up her coat. Harry looked up from the Prophet and reminded her they were having dinner with Ron and Hermione that evening. Ginny nodded, and Flooed to the office. She made a mental note to take an early lunch and go buy some new jeans or trousers. The ones she had managed to button that morning might not make it through a dinner.
Ginny hurried down the sidewalk, hands stuffed in the pockets of her coat. She didn't have much time. She pushed open the door to a Muggle shop and hastily grabbed a pair of jeans in her size. Ginny started to just pay for them and leave, but she thought she might as well try them on. She could wear them back to the office.
She found an empty cubicle and unfastened her jeans with a sigh. She took the first real deep breath since she had gotten dressed that morning. Wriggling out of her jeans, she pulled the new ones on and tried – and failed – to zip them. Ginny stared at the zipper in horror. She felt the sting of tears in her eyes and to her shock, began to cry. She pulled her wand out and quickly conjured a handkerchief. She eyed the jeans suspiciously. This pair definitely hadn't shrunk in the dryer. She briefly thought of performing an Engorgement charm on her jeans, but seeing as she was inside a Muggle shop, didn't want to take the chance.
Ginny gritted her teeth in annoyance, and hauled her jeans back into place, forgoing any zippers or buttons, and strode back to the shelf with the jeans she liked. Exhaling heavily through her nose, Ginny snatched a pair the next size up and all but stomped back to the cubicle. She tore her jeans off and pulled the new ones on in their place. She gave herself a hard look in the mirror. 'At least I can button these,' she said to herself. She walked back out of the cubicle, with her old jeans in hand. 'Excuse me, miss?' Ginny flagged down the attention of a salesclerk.
'Could I wear these out?' Ginny pinched a fold of the new jeans between her fingers.
'Sure thing, luv.' The salesclerk rang up the jeans. 'Summat wrong wi' the old 'uns, eh?'
'Erm. I suppose.' Ginny fiddled with the fraying hem of her worn jeans. She paid the clerk and went back outside.
Finding a deserted alley, Ginny turned and Apperated back to Diagon Alley. She checked her watch and grimaced at the time. She sprinted for the joke shop. George and Ron usually kept some food around in the upstairs flat for emergencies. She burst through the door, which belched to announce her arrival. It sounded suspiciously like Charlie after he drank a whole bottle of butterbeer in one go. Ron was sitting behind the front counter, absently chewing the end of a quill, a large ledger book in front of him. Ginny crept to the counter, as Ron still had yet to look up. 'Record Charlie at Dad's birthday party last year?' she asked casually. Ron jumped.
'Hah? Oh, Gin, it's just you.'
'Gee, thanks,' Ginny replied dryly. 'Look, Ron, I haven't much time, and I'm going to see you tonight at dinner anyway, but I know you have a sandwich back there somewhere.' She pointed to the lurid magenta curtain that led to the back room and the stairs the upstairs flat. 'Please? For your favorite sister?' Ginny used her best puppy-dog eyes.
'That doesn't work on me, Gin,' Ron snorted. But he muttered, 'Accio', and a sandwich landed neatly on the counter in front of Ginny. 'Besides, you're my only sister.'
'Thanks, Ron. I really appreciate this.' Ron finally noticed the bundle Ginny carried under her arm.
'Ginny? Are those your jeans?'
Ginny sighed impatiently. 'Yes,' she said shortly. 'Harry's done something to the dryer.' Ron looked bemused. If there was one thing he didn't do, it was laundry. Inevitably, he put a red sock in the whites and Hermione and he wore pink until either Hermione or Molly could sort it out. 'Thanks for the sandwich, Ron.'
'See you later.' With that, Ginny hit the door, rolled her eyes at the belch, and headed for the Prophet office.
Harry was waiting for Ginny when she came home. 'You're late!' he said, as she ran past him, into their bedroom.
'I know! I had to interview the head of the Department of Games and Sports about the World Cup and it went long!' she cried. 'That bloody man can talk! I think he just likes the sound of his voice. Less between his ears than Ludo Bagman, and that git was lucky to have dust bunnies!'
Harry leaned against the doorframe to watch Ginny change clothes. She pulled out a dress and shimmied it over her head. A series of small buttons ran up the front from just above her navel to just under her collarbone. She was having trouble getting the buttons done up over her breasts. She managed to get them buttoned, but there were a few distressingly large gaps between them. Again, she felt the sting of tears. 'What the hell did you do to my clothes?!?'
'You must have! Nothing fits anymore. And you're the one who's been doing the laundry lately.'
'Ginny, I swear, I haven't done anything to them! Can you do an Engorgement charm on it? The dress, I mean?'
'I can, but we're already running late, I can't do it while I'm wearing the dress, and if I mess up…' By now, Ginny had worked herself up to an all-out crying jag. Harry was truly alarmed. Ginny was not the emotional type.
Handing Ginny a handkerchief, he pulled out the jumper she sometimes wore with the dress. 'Ginny, relax. It's just Ron and Hermione.' Harry gave her the jumper. Ginny sniffled a few times and tugged the garment over her head.
'I don't know what's wrong with me lately.'
'It's okay. You've been under a lot of pressure at work. It's fine, dear.'
Ginny sighed and nodded. 'All right. Let's go.'
Ron, as it turned out, was an excellent cook. Almost as good as Molly. He often joked it was one thing he could do better than Hermione. The evening passed pleasantly enough, the four of them sitting in Ron and Hermione's flat, chatting about this and that. Ginny curled on the sofa next to Harry, her head resting on his shoulder. She blinked sleepily, wondering why she was so tired. It was barely nine o'clock. She blinked a few more times, and dozed off to the murmur of Harry, Ron, and Hermione's voices.
'What's wrong with Ginny?' Ron noticed she had fallen asleep.
'She's been busy at work the past few weeks,' Harry said.
'She did something weird today,' Ron mused. Harry just arched an eyebrow in question. 'She came to the shop in a rush, begged for a sandwich, then left. That's not the odd part,' he said in a rush. 'She was carrying her jeans with her. Had on a pair of brand-new ones. Said a bunch of rubbish about how you had shrunk them in the dryer.'
'Hm. She accused me of doing that before we came over earlier.'
'Mental.' Ron shook his head. Hermione had been following the thread of conversation like a spectator at a tennis match. She had her suspicions, but wasn't going to voice them. Not now. She doubted even Ginny knew what was going on.
'Harry, go on and take Ginny home. We'll see you Sunday?' He nodded, gently shook Ginny awake, and holding her close, Apperated back to their flat.
'Did I fall asleep?' she mumbled, still more than half asleep.
'Yes, you did.'
'It's okay.' Ginny sleepily pulled her clothes off and put on her pajamas. She brushed her teeth, and burrowed into the warm bed. She hoped tomorrow would be better. It had to be better than today.
The next morning, Ginny woke up, stomach in turmoil. Ugh, what had she eaten the night before? She mentally listed what she'd had at dinner with Ron and Hermione. Shepard's pie, salad, soup, treacle tart (but only a little, her clothes were getting a bit snug). She shot out of bed suddenly, and dashed into the bathroom, nearly knocking over Harry, who was brushing his teeth, in the process. Ginny barely made it to the toilet, where she proceeded to throw up.
'That's attractive,' remarked Harry in a mild tone. Ginny shot him a look of pure loathing, until he handed her a damp washcloth and a glass of water. 'I'll just go and make some tea and toast, shall I?'
Harry ambled out of the bathroom, and into the kitchen, where he filled the tea kettle, and tossed a few pieces of bread into his Muggle toaster. While he waited for the water to boil, he leaned against the counter and looked at the calendar Ginny had tacked up to the wall. There was something missing. The small red X Ginny put in the corner of the date she… Well, Harry really didn't want to think about that. Pulling the calendar down from the wall, he idly flipped back to December. Yes, there was an X in December second, but none for January and today was February third. Maybe Ginny had been too busy to put the mark in the calendar, but Harry didn't think so. He would be the first to admit his knowledge of the finer points of female biology was shaky at best, but even he knew what that missing X might portend.
Harry laid the calendar on the table and poured the water over the tea leaves in the pot. Ginny shuffled in, looking a bit peaked under her freckles. Slumping at the table, she poured herself a cup of tea, and picked up the calendar. 'What's this doing here?' Harry decided to go for broke, and tell her his suspicions. In the most roundabout way he could.
'Erm… Gin? Notice anything missing? For January?' Ginny's eyes narrowed as she examined January. She slowly turned the pages backward, back to last September, then back up to January. As she realized just what was missing from January, she went even paler.
Ginny didn't think she could get any queasier, but she was wrong. 'Don't Muggles have tests for this sort of thing?' she asked.
'I think so. Do they work on witches, you reckon?'
'I hope so… I don't want to go to St. Mungo's unless I have to.'
Harry went down to the street, and ran to the apothecary nearest the flat. He dashed inside and found a bewildering array of options. Gaahh! No time for this. He took one of each brand and walked up to the counter and all but threw the Muggle money at the poor woman behind the counter. She took it all in stride, having watched this scene play out many, many times before.
Harry pounded up the stairs, flinging himself through the front door. 'Here,' he panted, thrusting a paper sack toward Ginny.
She pulled out a box and examined it with confusion. 'What do I do with this?'
'You think I know?'
'You did live with Muggles,' she pointed out.
'Yeah, but pregnancy tests weren't usually an issue that came up at dinner.' Harry took one out of the sack himself and examined the box. 'Oh, look, it says there are instructions inside. See?' He pointed out the small print on the side. Ginny opened the box and with a somewhat alarmed expression on her face, began to read the insert.
'I'm supposed to do what?' She eyed the box with suspicion. With a rather put upon sigh, Ginny stalked into the bathroom, with Harry trailing in her wake. Ginny hadn't realized Harry was behind her until she started to close the bathroom door.
'Could you please go wait outside? I just can't… Not in front of you!' Harry just barely refrained from rolling his eyes and remarking that he had just seen her vomit, so what was peeing on a stick at this point. Saying nothing, he went to sit on the edge of the unmade bed. And wait.
Ginny nervously opened the packaging around the test. 'Get a grip, Weasley,' she muttered to herself. 'It's not that big a deal.' When Ginny finished with the test, she balanced it on the edge of the tub, watching the window to see if one line or two would appear. 'Oh bloody hell...' and she burst into tears.
Harry yanked open the bathroom door to find Ginny sitting on the edge of the tub, crying. He couldn't think of anything to do, but pick her up and carry her to the armchair in the bedroom. He let her cry, and rubbed her back, murmuring nonsense until she calmed down. When she stopped crying, Harry brushed the hair back from her face. He tipped her chin up to face him. 'Gin? Would it be that bad?' he asked, resting a hand on her stomach, already imagining a little girl with Ginny's hair and his eyes.
'No. I suppose not. I just…' She bit her lip. 'I just wanted more time, that's all…' she said wistfully.
'More time? Gin, we've been together for, what? Almost seven years?' Harry was a bit confused.
'Not that. I just… She looked up with wide eyes. 'I don't feel grown up. Sometimes, I still feel like that fifteen year old girl you kissed in the Gryffindor common room.
'I mean… are we ready for a baby?'
Harry looked at her thoughtfully. 'We have been raising Teddy for six years now,' he said. 'It shouldn't be too different.'
Ginny snorted, 'Yeah, but this,' she said, placing her hand on top of Harry's, 'is all day, every day to the point where you'll pay George to baby-sit, just to get a few hours of peace and quiet. We've only had Teddy on weekends mostly, and a few weeks during the summers.' Harry didn't say anything. He knew she was right.
'We should get confirmation, you know…' Ginny broke into Harry's thoughts.
'Whaa? Oh, yeah.'
'I'll go later today.'
'So, let's say this is real… When do we tell everyone?' Even though Ginny and he had been married for a few years, he wasn't sure her brothers had reconciled themselves to the fact they shared a bed.
'When the little bugger gets his Hogwarts letter?'
'Sounds like a plan to me,' Harry laughed.
Harry owled the Ministry, saying he needed to stay home today, as Ginny wasn't feeling well, being deliberately vague. The people in the Ministry could be terrible gossips, and he didn't want too much of it to get out yet. He also owled the Prophet letting them know Ginny was under the weather, but she would owl her story in later this afternoon. Ginny Flooed to St. Mungo's, 'just to make sure,' she'd said.
Around noon, she came out of the fireplace. 'Those things do work on witches after all. September eighth,' was all she said before plopping unceremoniously on the sofa. 'When did this happen?' she wailed. Harry was mentally cataloging the times he and Ginny had had sex the past two months, trying to remember if there was one time they had failed to remember to take precautions. Then it hit him…
'Does the Puddlemere/Tutshill game ring a bell?' he asked quietly. Ginny's mouth dropped open.
'The bathtub?' she asked weakly.
'Smart girl, got it one.' Neither one of the said anything for a while. 'You know, I think we might need a bigger place,' Harry remarked, conversationally.
'You think so?'
'Won't be enough room for Teddy and this one in that little room.'
'It's a pity we have to leave the mural,' Ginny said sadly. Teddy loved the mural, and the stories of Remus that went along with it.
'Don't worry; I'll get Dean to do another one for us in the new place.'
'Wow. So this is really happening, isn't it? We're going to be… parents…' Ginny rolled the word around on her tongue, tasting it.
'Yeah… it's almost too bad that Snape isn't around to teach them Potions or DADA. Poor man… more little Weasleys and Potters running around to make his life hell,' Harry grinned, thinking with a twinge of sadness of the man who saved his life. 'Do you realize that in eleven years, we'll be putting the little one here on the train? I hope I don't cry…'
'So do I. It's totally embarrassing to have your dad blubbering like a little first year.'