"'I don't know what kind of life we'll have together, with me always flying off in one direction and you in the other.'
'Well then, it's a good thing the world's round.'"—From Kenneth Oppel's "Starclimber"
Angelina looks lovely as she makes her way down the aisle, but my attention is solely given to my wife. She looks beautiful in her bridesmaid gown, even though her stomach is protruding dangerously forward. Angelina's certainly had a time dealing with a pregnant bridesmaid. Katie's dress has been altered no less than five times and adjustments were still being made as early as this morning. But she's due any day now and I've never been happier.
The people assembled on the lawn of the Burrow get quiet as the vows are exchanged. I must admit that I never expected Angelina and George to tie the knot, but then again I never expected Katie and me to do so either.
Our third wedding anniversary is in two months and these past three years have been perfect—like something you only read about. I was warned that marriage was a chore, something that you only did because it was expected of you. I've never felt that way with Katie.
And when she told me she was pregnant! It was by far the happiest day of my life. I never knew it was possible to love someone so much, but I know for a fact I could not live without Katherine Wood. She's my everything.
The ceremony is simple and quick. Before I know it, the chairs are being swept to the side and tables surround them. I smile to myself. The Weasleys definitely know how to throw a wedding. This is their third one, after all. Only three more children to go…
I quickly make my way through the crowd who is congratulating the new bride and groom to find my wife.
"How're you feeling?" I ask immediately, grabbing her by the arm to steady her as we walk to a nearby table.
"I'm fine, Oliver," she says through clenched teeth, pulling her arm out of my grasp. "And will you please stop asking me that? I'm pregnant—not terminally ill."
"I know," I insist with a shrug, taking her arm once more. She rolls her eyes, but doesn't argue. Aren't pregnant women supposed to enjoy it when you dote on them? Why does Katie have to be so difficult?
I lead her to a table and sit her down before going to retrieve us two plates of food. She tucks into hers happily and I watch her for a few seconds before eating my own.
"What?" she asks. "Never seen a pregnant woman eat before?" I just smile back at her, knowing it's best not to reply to questions such as that. She continues eating.
"Oliver, m'boy!" George yells, making his way to our table. "How are you doing?"
"Good, good," I reply, standing up to embrace my former teammate. "That was a grand ceremony. You and Angelina make a lovely couple."
"Thanks," he says, smirking. "If we are half as happy as you and Katie in three years, I'll be a lucky man."
"I definitely am a lucky man," I say, looking down at my wife. She rolls her eyes, but her cheeks flush nonetheless.
"When are you due, Kates?" George asks, taking a seat at our table.
"I was due last week," Katie replied. "I don't think it's ever coming out, honestly."
"It's? Still don't know if it's a boy or a girl, then?"
"Oliver wanted it to be a surprise," she replies disdainfully.
"Now, don't go blaming this all on me," I retort. "You didn't want to know the sex of the baby, either."
"I certainly did! It would have made shopping for the thing so much easier!" I want to argue the point further, but I realize it would be pointless. I have no proof and she seems pretty adamant about her stance on this.
"You're right, I'm wrong. I'm sorry," I say instead; George smirks at me.
"Hmph," Katie pouts and I can tell she wanted me to continue arguing. She thinks I've been too nice to her lately and I probably have. I'm just too damn excited to argue with her.
George and I begin talking about Quidditch and Puddlemere's chances at the Cup, but he's soon called away to have his first dance with his new wife. As the music begins to play, I remember my first dance with Katie and I try, unsuccessfully, to keep from laughing out loud.
"What?" Katie asks curiously.
"I was just thinking about our first dance," I reply. Katie's smile broadens with the memory and pretty soon she's laughing too.
"How long is it going to take for people to forget that?" she asks. "I only tripped once and you caught me! They should have known better than to tell me to dance in front of everyone I know."
"Yes, they probably should have," I agree. She hits me playfully in the arm and I pretend like it hurts. "Would you like to dance?" I ask, taking her hand as I get up from my chair. Happy couples already cover the dance floor and Katie agrees to join me.
I hold her as tightly to me as I can without crushing her belly, and sway gently with the music. Only a few seconds into our dance, I feel a slight thump on my stomach.
"It's kicking," I say, placing my hand on Katie's dress.
"I hate calling it 'it'," she replies absently. I wrap my arms around her once more, but only a few seconds later she pulls away from me, doubling over in pain.
"Katie, are you okay?" I ask. She doesn't respond, although her face is morphed into a grimace. "Katie?"
"No, I am bloody well not fine!" she shouts at me, drawing the attention of several on-lookers. I fall to my knees beside her. "Are you having contractions? Do you want me to Apparate you to St. Mungo's?"
"Unless you would prefer that I give birth on the Weasley's lawn, yes, I think that would be a grand idea." I grab her arm and prepare to Disapparate, realizing already that this is going to be a long night.
Although I know they have given Katie all of the pain potions and charms it is safe to give her, her discomfort bothers me greatly. It's hard to see her lying there, writhing in agony, when there is nothing I can do about it.
To be fair, however, she has yet to blame me for causing this, although she does keep insisting that she doesn't want me in the room. Quite frankly, the thought of being in the room when the baby comes freaks me out a bit. It's not that I'm uncomfortable with Katie's body or what's coming out of it, but I'm not sure I want to see my kid until it's clean, not covered in slime or what not.
Katie keeps yelling for more medication and although they can't give her anymore, I advised the Healers to pretend. That will at least appease her a little bit. I stand at the head of the bed, holding Katie's hand tightly in my own. Every time a contraction hits, she squeezes my hand harder. And although I realize I have to stay strong for her, it hurts. Bad. When did she get so strong?
The Healer walks into the room after we've been in St. Mungo's for close to three hours. He's an elderly gentleman, recommended by my own Mum. He's the Healer that delivered me.
"Mrs. Wood," he says happily, taking a seat at the foot of the bed. "Are we doing all right today?" I dread her answer. She tends to get a bit sarcastic when she's upset.
"As well as can be," she responds simply. Well, that was rather anticlimactic. She's been yelling all afternoon.
"Good, good. Well, it looks like you're ready to go, then. I'm going to get you to push on this next one." Her face immediately shines with fear and I squeeze her hand reassuringly. She squeezes back, and then seems to realize that I'm still here.
"You, out!" she says to me. I look at her in shock. I don't know whether I want to be in here or not, but it kind of hurts to be told what to do. "Now!"
"If that's what you want," I say, making my way to the door calmly.
"Oliver, wait," she cries suddenly. "Stay! I can't do this without you." My heart immediately feels about ten times lighter as I take my seat by Katie's head once more.
Before long, the Healer is yelling at Katie to push and Katie is yelling right back. I don't comprehend most of what she's saying and try to drown it out because I'm sure most of it's not nice and any other day I'd be embarrassed by it.
Before long, however, Katie's screams mix in with the cries of a baby and I'm surprised when I feel tears leaking from my own eyes. I'm a father.
"Congratulations," the Healer says, "it's a boy." He picks my son up in his arms and passes it to another Healer to clean. After all of the inspections have been done, my son is brought over to me and I take him into my arms carefully. As I sit down so that Katie can see him, I have no doubt that I am the happiest man on Earth.
Several hours later, after all of our family and friends have come through and seen the newest member of our family, Katie and I lie on her bed holding our son.
"So," I say, interrupting the silence. "What are we going to name him?" She smiles up at me, playing with his tiny fingers.
"I don't know," she answers. "I'd only picked out names for girls."
"Well that was smart," I laugh. She rolls her eyes.
"Don't you have any ideas?" she asks.
"A few," I admit.
"Well go on. What are they?"
"I'm scared you're going to laugh."
"I won't laugh. Just tell me."
"I like the name Owen," I shrug.
"I like it, too," Katie says, looking down at our sleeping child. "It reminds me of his father. Owen it is."
I smile over at my wife and wrap my arm around her shoulders, staring down at our little miracle. I'm enraptured by the image of the two of them and the thought of starting my own family excites me to no end. I don't know if I'm going to be a good father, but I have no doubt that Katie's going to be a good mother and surely I can learn a thing or two from her.
There's a part of me that can't believe Katie and I have made it this far. I've made mistakes and it's a wonder that she's stayed with me for as long as she has. But there is one thing I'm sure of. Without her, I would have never stood a chance.
She's been there with me for years, helping me deal with the toughest moments in my life and helping me through them all. She's my best friend, my wife, the mother of my children. She's the most amazing woman in the world and I know that I could never be as happy with anyone else. She's everything I've ever needed or wanted.
She's my Katie and I wouldn't have it any other way.
So, that's it. I hope you enjoyed it.
If you don't like the baby's name, I'm sorry. I've always pictured Katie and Oliver having two children: Owen and Caitlyn. But that's just me.
Review, please. And thanks for sticking with me until the end :) I appreciate all of the reviewers, even if I don't have enough time to personally reply to them all. This story wouldn't have gone anywhere without your support. So, thank you again.