AN: Ok, final chapter. Sorry it didn't get posted earlier this week, been a little more busy than normal. Hope you enjoy! Remember feedback is awesome!
Chapter Three – The Waiting
the other night the baby was cryin Oh
man, we were livin
So I got out of bed and rocked her awhile and I held her tight
And told her it'll be alright
My mind went back to a few years ago
We tried so long we almost gave up hope
And I remember you coming in and tell me the news
Going crazy in the kitchen
We danced and screamed and held each other tight
We laughed until we cried
man, we were livin
Harry groaned as he turned over to try and see what time it was.
"Accio glasses." Harry whispered. Harry reached out and grabbed his glasses with his free hand and placed his wand back on the night stand. Harry blinked his eyes to clear the fog from his brain. 3:30 a.m.
This was the part of having children Harry didn't enjoy so much. The night time nappy changes and feeding.
"I'm going Gin, it's my turn."
Harry got out of bed and shuffled around the room to the basinet in the corner where he could hear whimpering.
"Shhhhhh, it's ok, Daddy's here." Harry expertly picked up the bundle, cradling it in his arms and making soft shushing noises. Check nappy first. Still dry. As Harry slowly made his way towards the rocking chair nearby another whimpering sound was heard.
"I guess it's both our turns, huh?"
"Here why don't you take Sarina, I think she's hungry, I'll check on Sirius."
Harry handed his new daughter over to her mother to nurse and went back to the corner where the basinets were to check on his son. Once again he expertly picked up another small bundle and cradled it in his arms. Same routine, check nappy first. Of course this time he could handle the request.
Taking Sirius over to the changing table set up in their room Harry changed the soiled nappy and then re-wrapped his son back in his cozy blanket. Harry then took his son and sat down in the rocking chair to rock him back to sleep. Looking up from the bundle he held in his arms he watched as his wife fed and cooed over Sirius' twin. Twins, Harry nearly fainted when the midwife had informed them during Ginny's first visit after confirming she was indeed pregnant.
In the night time silence Harry and Ginny cradled the two newest members of their family. Over the preceding months Harry and Ginny had packed up their home and moved into a new one and had doubled their brood from two to four. Harry chuckled slightly to himself, they were now officially outnumbered.
"What's funny?" Ginny whispered.
"I was just thinking this time around we have now outnumbered ourselves. There are four of them and only two of us."
Harry could make out the smile that spread across his wife's face in the moonlight.
"Yeah, but think there was a time we didn't think we were even going to have one let alone, four."
"You're right. I do feel blessed. You have made me a very happy father Ginny."
"Well, if I remember correctly you did have a little to do with all four of them."
Harry just chuckled softly as he continued to rock his son. Harry closed his eyes and rested his head on the back of the rocking chair as memories flooded his mind.
"How much longer Gin?"
"Will you stop pacing?"
"You're going to walk a hole into the carpet."
"That's ok, I'll mend it."
Harry sat on the edge of his bed and watched as his wife paced the floor. In true Weasley fashion grandchildren were fast making their arrival into the family. Four so far, one more on the way. Percy and Penelope were expecting their first any day now.
"Ginny, pacing won't make the thing turn out positive."
"I know," she snapped.
Ginny turned sharp and faced Harry. He swore he saw red the color of her hair flash in the chocolate brown of her eyes.
Harry got up from his perch on the bed and closed the distance between himself and his wife. Wrapping his arms around her waist she did the same to him and leaned her head on his chest. Even after all these years he still smelled the same to her, broomsticks and parchment.
Ginny lifted her head so she could look her husband in the face. "I know Harry, it won't change the results if I pace, but I'm nervous. I want this sooooo bad and we've been trying for what seems like forever. And every time I turn around it seems like another one of my brother's has gotten his wife pregnant."
"Actually it's only Bill and the twins so far."
"And Percy, that just leaves Charlie and Ron out." Ginny gave a frustrated sigh. "I just figured I was totally my mother's daughter, I would be able to produce kids like a rabbit."
Ginny gave Harry one last look and leaned her head back onto his chest. He gently kissed her head and stroked her back with one hand.
"It'll happen in its time Ginny."
"What if something's wrong Harry?"
"I tell you what. It's February. We've been trying for a year now, why don't we give it at least to the end of this year and if nothing happens, then we'll go and see a healer first thing in January next year. How does that sound."
"Ok. I can deal with that. I think."
"What time is it now?"
Ginny peaked around Harry's shoulder. "It's been four minutes."
"Do you want me to go and look or do you?"
"I'll do it." Ginny took a deep breath and headed towards the bathroom. She slowly opened the door and peaked in to take a look on the counter next to the sink. Ginny turned around, supported her back with the door frame and slid into a ball on the floor with her head in her hands.
Harry walked over, crouched down and gently scooped his crying wife up off the floor and carried her to the bed where, he cradled her in his arms as she wept again for the knowledge that it was not their turn to have the next Weasley grandchild.
Ginny sniffed and looked up at Harry. "It's dad, he's floo calling from the fire place in the kitchen."
"Here, you stay put, I'll go and see what he needs."
Ginny scooted out of Harry's lap and curled herself into a ball on their bed no longer able to cry. She was tired of crying. She had shed too many tears over the past few months.
Harry rounded the corner from the hallway into the kitchen to see his father-in-law's head floating in green flames in the kitchen fireplace.
"Harry, good you're home. It's Pen, she's gone into labor. They are already at St. Mungo's. Can you floo Ron and Hermione, I've got to get a hold on Molly and get her there in one piece. You think she had never had a grandchild before."
Harry chuckled in spite of the heavy feeling in the pit of his stomach. Molly did act a bit frazzled whenever it came to any of her children or grandchildren, especially welcoming new grandchildren. This was still a time of family celebration no matter what was going on personally between Harry and Ginny.
"I can do that Arthur, anyone else need to know?"
"No I think we have all our bases covered. Bill was going to floo Charlie and the twins were both at the shop together."
"Ok, I'll call Ron and Hermione and then Ginny and I'll be on our way."
With that Arthur's head disappeared. Harry had quickly been able to locate Ron and Hermione and tell them of the news. Now he just had to go and tell his wife. Harry turned around to see Ginny standing in the doorway.
"I heard dad from the bedroom. Here I grabbed your traveling cloak too."
"You ok sweetie?"
Harry reached out and grabbed his cloak and brought his wife into a hug at the same time.
"Yeah, it's still a cause for family celebration. Plus, with a family like ours, nieces and nephews are as much ours as they are their parents'."
"You're right Gin. Come on, everyone will be waiting."
Several hours later Harry looked across the packed hospital room to see Percy grinning down at his wife. Harry could never remember actually ever seeing Percy grin like that before, except for perhaps the day they had told the family they were expecting.
On the other side of the bed Ginny had already taken up resident as head aunt and was cooing at the bundle of pink blankets in her arms. She looked up and caught Harry's eye. He could still see the remnants of unshed tears from earlier in the day in her eyes as she quickly turned her attention back to their new niece.
It was springtime at the Burrow and as Harry and Ginny arrived for the usual Sunday family lunch they could tell Mrs. Weasley had all intentions of carrying the usual fanfare of the family meal out into the garden now that the weather was warmer. She had already had her husband to set up the outside table and chairs and Hermione their sister-in-law and best friend was walking around the bushes and setting out fairylights with her wand for later in the evening.
"Hermione!! Ginny quickly ran to her best friend and her brother Ron's wife and gave her a big hug. "I've missed you!"
Hermione pulled away and smiled. "You saw me last week silly."
"Yeah, but I'm use to having Wednesday afternoon tea with you as well each week."
"I'm sorry I had to skip out on you this week, I ummmm, had some other obligation. Sorry."
"It's ok, just don't think I'm going to be letting you skip out all the time or anything."
"I won't, promise."
"Good, so where is everyone."
"Ron is in the broom shed with his dad, I think they were going to try and pull out the Quidditch equipment for a family pick up game since the weather is a bit warmer."
Harry reached over and gave Hermione a hug now that Ginny had finally let go of her. "I think I'll head out that way and see if I can help."
"You're mum is in the kitchen and I'm sure she's giving Fred and George a talking to. Turns out they were wanting to create a younger line of products for their store, how that would turn out I have no clue. Anyway, Alicia and Katie got wind of it and made sure the boys haven't been allowed to go anywhere near the store with just their dads this week just in case. Both told Molly all about it upon arrival since their mum is about the only person who can on the rare occasion fear them into behaving."
Ginny giggled despite the fact that her brothers would probably willingly test their "safer" products on any un or willingly suspectful child in the family. A good lashing from her mom to any of her brothers, but especially to the twins, was always an event to see. As long as she couldn't turn her wrath on you.
"Speaking of kids, where is the lot of them?"
"Bill and Fluer are on their way. Fluer had floo called earlier to say it was taking a bit to get the two girls dressed. Danielle it seems is now insisting on dressing herself. She said today was one of those days and she couldn't make her understand that she could not wear her bathing suit and last year's Halloween costume all at the same time to come and visit her grandparents. Percy and Pen should be here at any moment. That is if Percy does't pack the whole nursery to bring the baby. He acts like nobody in this family has ever taken care of a three month old before."
Over the next half an hour or so everyone arrived at the Burrow. Bill and Fleur finally arrived with Danielle in a pink dress and shoes to match. At least she wasn't in her Halloween costume or just her swimsuit. Erin was watching all the family action from the safety of her dad's arms. Nick and Nathan, Fred and George's sons respectively were flying around the back yard guarded by their fathers on toy broomsticks. Pen was in the kitchen while Molly cooed over her newest granddaughter.
Lunch was served, pick up games of family quidditch were played, naps taken and more games with the children in the backyard continued on into the early evening hours as dusk began to fall over the Burrow. Molly had finally convinced everyone to come into the house for a bit of sweets and tea before releasing everyone off to their own homes.
Ginny had noticed Ron and Hermione were being a bit more touchy feely than usual even for them. Ron except for the moments he spent with his dad and Harry in the broom shed and what little he took part in the family quidditch game never left Hermione's side. Ginny was standing in the doorway between the kitchen and the family room holding Helena while Harry stood beside her as they listened to Charlie talk about his new work as the Care of Magical Creatures Professor at Hogwarts. After Charlie walked away to find his wife Rachel, Ginny looked over at Harry.
"What's up with Ron and Hermione today?"
"What do you mean?"
"I don't know, something seems off."
About that time, Ron stood up, never letting go of Hermione's hand in his and pulling her up along with him. Ron took a stand in front of the fireplace and cleared his throat to get everyone's attention. It took a few moments for everyone's conversations to die down. In the meantime Percy had walked by and Ginny had handed his daughter back to him as Harry moved to stand behind her. Ginny could feel him wrap his arms around her waist and pull her to stand in front of him.
"Go on Ron, I think you have everyone's attention." Mr. Weasley had finally settled his wife on the couch and sat down beside her. Ginny's stomach turned to lead. She knew what was coming even before it happened, even before the words were formed on Ron's and Hermione's lips. She now knew what that other obligation must have been on Wednesday that caused Hermione to miss their weekly tea. It was probably a preliminary visit to the midwife.
Ron and Hermione looked at one another and grinned. You could see the muscles in Ron's arm tense as he squeezed his wife's hand. "Well, see…we just found out this week….that"
"Go on Ronniekins, spit it out," Fred taunted from across the room.
"Well, I guess what we're trying to say is.."
"Oh for heaven's sake Ron, we're going to have a baby! Sometime in January!" Hermione finished what Ron wasn't able to say.
Harry could feel Ginny start to shake in his arms. He leaned over and whispered in her ear as the rest of the family erupted into well wishes and swarmed the happy couple. "Do you want to go and say something or do you want to go on home?"
Harry had released his hold on her and Ginny just turned and looked him in the eyes not saying anything and continued to walk towards the back door out the kitchen. Harry followed. There would be a time later to congratulate the couple. They would understand. They were his and Ginny's best friends and in-laws.
Harry followed Ginny out the back door and through the garden out to where it was safe to apparate and with a small pop they disappeared into the night.
Of course, Hermione and Ron were both very understanding seeing as on more than one occasion Hermione had consoled Ginny over the past few months.
The upcoming months weren't the easiest on Harry and Ginny. They were close with everyone in the family, but especially Ron and Hermione and that put them in first hand contact with the happy and expectant couple. Ginny had swallowed her pride and gone nursery shopping with Hermione on more than one occasion and had comforted her when she thought her morning sickness couldn't get any worse and Ron was away from home with Harry on Auror duty.
The months rolled slowly by. Ginny had finally given up on taking pregnancy tests.
She was tired of the obvious disappointment each one contained. Summer lolled into fall and fall was gradually pulling winter in closer every day. November had arrived without much fanfare, but quicker than Ginny had anticipated. It was time to start planning a baby shower for Hermione. The newest Weasley was expected to arrive sometime during the early part of January.
Ginny had contacted her mother and made arrangements for the party to be the first Sunday in December. Her mum was going to take care of the food while Ginny took care of the invitations and decorations.
Harry rolled over and flung his arm to the side of the bed where his wife should have been.
Ginny walked out of the bathroom already in her dressing gown and slippers and brushing her teeth.
Ginny had a mouth full of tootpaste.
Harry had found his glasses and was slipping his feet into his house slippers as well.
"I woke up and you were already out of bed. That's like a first in the history of our marriage."
"Ha, ha, ha."
Ginny turned her back to him and went to rinse her mouth out.
"I woke up kinda queasy this morning. Thought I would go ahead and get a head start on the day."
"Yeah a little. I mean Hermione is my best friend and I AM really excited for her and Ron. It's just going to be a little painful to be surrounded by baby socks and nappies all day."
Ginny quickly fed Harry not trusting her stomach this morning beyond toast and tea, and sent him off to Ron's. Ginny packed all that she needed to help her mum for the day and apparated to the Burrow. Quickly she set to decorating the family room with pink and white streamers and cardboard cut outs of baby bottles and pacifiers. Hermione had arrived shortly before the guest were expected, helped along by her husband.
"Ok, you have to take really good care of her today if I'm not allowed in the house."
"Ron, what do you think we're going to do, huh? I've had seven children of my own and this will be the sixth grandchild. Do you think I know how to treat a pregnant woman by now?"
Mrs. Weasley set into her youngest son as Ginny escorted Hermione to the family room and to an overstuffed chair waiting on her. The girls giggled to themselves seeing as how no matter how old her boys were, Molly could always elicit a reaction of fear from them. "Here Hermione, why don't you prop your feet up on this."
"Thanks Ginny, they are starting to swell a bit more recently." Ginny, tended to Hermione and was about to walk back into the kitchen to help her mum finish with the food.
"Ginny…" Hermione had reached out and grabbed Ginny's wrist.
"I ummm, just want to say thank you. I know the past several months haven't been the easiest emotionally for you or for Harry for that matter. But, I just wanted to tell you thanks for being a great friend, and sister. I don't think I could have made it this far without you."
Ginny leaned down and gave her friend a fierce hug. "It's ok. Thanks for being understanding on those occasions when I seemed less than excited."
"It's ok, I know. It'll be your turn soon I'm sure of it. By the way are you feeling ok today?"
"You just seem a bit pale. Pretty as always, but pale."
"Probably just the winter weather. Ohhh, I think I hear Katie and Alicia at the door. Let me go and get them." With that Ginny was off to greet guest. Better that than helping her mum with the food anyways. Every time she had come near the stove or where her mum was working the smells could make her stomach do even more back flips than when she had woken up that morning.
The shower proceeded with all the women who had already given birth before bombarding Hermione with tips and "war stories" as they termed them from birthing and raising kids. At one point Ginny wanted to giggle at the expression on Hermione's face as one of Ginny's older cousins explained how horrible her birth had been. Ginny had finally made her way over to sit next to Hermione.
"Ginny." Hermione leaned over and whispered.
"Yeah." Ginny whispered back.
"I think I'm officially scared now." Ginny looked over at Hermione. Her face was a bit pale and one hand was making small circles on her belly.
"It'll be ok, I promise. Don't listen to Lisa. I remember when her son was born. It wasn't as bad a situation as she makes it out to be. I think she likes to dress it up for dramatics to scare first time mums."
Hermione never had a chance to reply as Molly had entered the room carrying a tray of treats. Molly immediately passed a plate to Ginny to give to Hermione. Ginny looked at the plate in disgust even though the items on it where some of her usual favorites and just passed it right on off to its intended recipient.
"Here Ginny dear, here's one for you."
"That's ok Mum, I'm not hungry. I'll just eat later. I really need to get all the gifts arranged."
"Nonsense, you've been working all morning. Here."
With that Molly gave Ginny a plate and continued around the room with tea and goodies.
Ginny gave one more look down at the food now perched on her lap. Her stomach did the largest somersault she had ever known. "Here Hermione, I know how much you're enjoying these right now, how about another plate. I think I'm going to go and refill my tea cup."
With that Ginny was off not towards the kitchen but the stairs that led to the washroom on the first landing across from her old bedroom. Ginny made it upstairs and retreated behind the closed door before emptying her stomach of what little it had in there. Ginny sat down on the floor and leaned her head against the cool ceramic of the stand alone sink. If she had a stomach bug she really shouldn't be here especially near Hermione in her advanced state. A stomach flu was the last thing a pregnant woman needed.
Ginny managed to pull herself back together and determined that more than likely this was just from nerves. She made her way back downstairs, her trip she hoped had gone unnoticed.
The rest of the shower was taken up with Hermione opening her presents and everyone ohhhhing and awwwing over baby socks, bibs and little outfits. All the paper had been cleared away and all the new items for the newest Weasley were packed and ready to be transported home.
Ron entered the living room heading straight for the chair that Hermione had occupied during the whole afternoon. Ginny had placed the last item in the last box and was turning to head back into the kitchen when she spotted Harry.
"Hey! How did the shower go?"
"Great, they got a lot of really cute items. How about your afternoon? Does the baby actually have a crib now?"
Harry laughed. "Yeah, Ron and I had done a nice job of putting it together wrong before Arthur and Bill showed up. I guess they both have a bit more experience than we do. So we left them and believe it or not, Fred and George to putting all the new furniture together. Ron, Charlie, Percy and I got the room painted. Hermione is going to be impressed I think."
"Is the paint dry?"
"Yeah, your dad put a quick dry charm on it."
"Cool. I'm tired, let's head home."
Harry rolled over in his sleep his arm automatically reaching out to wrap his wife to him.
She wasn't there. Harry sat up and squinted at the clock. It was 6 a.m. Ginny was never out of bed before 6:45 a.m. on a week day. This was Saturday which meant sleeping in and she had been complaining all week of being very tired, why would she be out of bed this early?
Harry pulled his house robe on and padded over to the wash room. She wasn't there. He made his way down stairs. He could see the light on in the kitchen and hear the rattle of the tea kettle on the stove.
"Hey love, what are you doing up this early?"
"I ummm, couldn't sleep."
Harry sat down at the table next to her and pulled her hand into his. "All week you've been complaining about how tired you were, I thought you would sleep in."
"Yeah, well me too, but I woke up again this morning not feeling very well."
"Gin, maybe you should go see a Healer on Monday. You've been tired all week, you've been sick at your stomach most of the week as well and I don't know, something just seems a bit off. Besides, I know we said we would wait till January, but that's only next month, maybe you can go ahead and talk to them about you know, us wanting a baby."
Ginny got up and started to pace the floor. Harry knew that move, it was nerves.
"Ginny…." Harry said slowly. "What's going on?"
"I ummm, well. I do agree with you. I think we definitely need to go see a healer on Monday, but, well. I don't think we need to see just any old healer."
"What do you mean by we, and exactly which healer do you have in mind?"
Ginny turned to face Harry. She picked his hand up off the table and placed his palm on the lower part of her abdomen.
Ginny looked down at Harry as her eyes started to glisten with tears. "Harry, it's finally our turn."
"Our turn?" Harry's mind wasn't working as fast as usual; this was too early in the morning. "Our turn?" he asked again and then as if a lightening bolt had hit him Harry was on his feet with Ginny in his arms. He had hugged her so tight he had picked her up off her feet and was swinging her around.
"Ohhh, Harry, not good for the stomach this early in the morning unless you want my toast on your house robe."
Ginny was laughing and crying all at the same time. Harry put her feet back down on the floor but didn't let her out of his arms. "You sure Ginny? It's our turn? We're going to have a baby?"
Ginny let out a watery giggle at the excitement in her husband's voice. This was the conversation she had been waiting what seemed like forever to have with him. "Well, if the two test I took this morning are correct and we can get it confirmed on Monday morning, yes!"
"You took two tests this morning?" Harry asked puzzled.
Ginny took in a deep breath before explaining about waking up again early and sick and said that suddenly the thought hit her and she only had two more home pregnancy potion kits left in the bathroom cabinet so she took one and it turned out positive so she took the other for confirmation and it had too. So she had spent the last half an hour in the kitchen contemplating how to tell him.
Harry interrupted her story. "When do we want to tell the family?"
"Well, I was thinking Christmas is just a few weeks away, do you think we can keep it to ourselves that long?"
"As long as our grins don't give us away at dinner this Sunday night."
"Yeah, I was thinking mum might be able to weasel it out of me before Christmas, but I want us to try and stand firm and we can make our announcement then."
"Sounds like a plan, mum."
"I like the sound of that, dad."
Harry grinned back down at his wife. "Yeah, I do too."