There was no doubt about it. It had been a long night, and Olivia had gotten no sleep during any of it. She lay clamping her mouth shut as another contraction ravaged over her bulging abdomen. She'd lain on her side feigning sleep next to her husband all night with an arm protectively draped over her unborn child as it fought to come into the world.
Olivia was experienced in the art of giving birth. She'd delivered three healthy, strapping boys with the help of her trusted midwife and Lena. If experience had taught her anything, it was that her children took their own sweet time arriving. It had taken Jamie, their firstborn, eighteen hours to finally appear, Ryn, the middle child, had arrived in a quick nine hours, and little Al had taken an entire day to be born. Olivia had simply accepted that she was gifted with stubborn children who wished to torment their mother as much as possible.
As the first rays of sunlight crept over the horizon illuminating her and Harry's bedroom with soft grey light, another contraction more powerful than the last took over her body. It wouldn't be much longer now. A few hours more and this little one could be welcomed into their family. Olivia knew she'd been in active labor for a while, but the wish to let her family sleep as much as possible kept her quiet.
Harry moaned something in his sleep and turned over to face Olivia's tense back. He snaked his arm beneath her own and settled himself down closely behind her. Olivia was use to this as Harry did it everything morning in his sleep just before she would get up to meditate. It was his way of trying to keep her in bed a little longer, but he did it completely unconsciously.
When the contraction ended a little less than a minute after it'd begun, Olivia could lay there no longer. She lifted Harry's strong arm and slid from their bed with practiced ease. She felt sticky and uncomfortable from the sweating she'd done as her body had worked through her fourth labor. She padded to their bathroom and wiped the worst of the sweat from her body.
She grabbed a robe from the hook behind the door and heads back into the room. When Harry and Olivia had built the house eight years ago, she'd asked to have a patio door in their room, so she could easily escape in the mornings to meditate outside. Olivia crossed the room silently towards the glass door that had been installed on Harry's side of the room. Pre-dawn light lit her way.
At the foot of their bed, she paused and looked at her husband lovingly just before she took the step which would conceal his face from view. Today was his twenty-eighth birthday, and she had a very special present to give him today. It seemed this newest son, for Olivia had given up hope that she would be given a daughter after Al had been born, had waited patiently to share the same birthday with his father.
Olivia had always thought that Harry was a beautiful boy. His messy black hair, the green eyes, and constantly broken glasses had charmed Olivia's fancy the moment she'd laid eyes on him. Now as Olivia reflected on her husband as he slept, she couldn't deny to herself that he'd grown into a beautiful man. Not much had changed over the years. He still had the same messy black hair, a little worse for the wear of a good night's sleep; the same emerald eyes, a little wiser; and the same glasses, a little better for the wear as Harry had finally mastered the repairing charm for it. He'd grown into a tall, strong man who fought for justice and the safety of them all. He wore a few more scars than he had ten years ago, but one old one had faded into history.
The beginning of another contraction forced Olivia into movement. She continued on her way and slipped out onto the patio above her garden below. She could smell the herbs that were in full bloom below her, and she breathed in their scent deeply allowing the plants to sooth her aching body. She settled herself on the bench Harry had built for her to meditate on after the muscles began to relax.
Olivia laid an arm over her stomach and tried to force away her weariness. She'd felt the first stirrings of labor over thirty hours ago. Already this child was taking the longest to arrive, and Olivia was ready for her son to be born safe and sound. She'd waited to alert her husband and the midwife trusting her own instinct to tell her when it was time. Harry was so busy and worried with work that she hadn't had the heart to rob him of a good night's sleep when the child was taking so long to come. They'd both known when he'd been appointed as the Head of the Auror Department that it would take its toll. Harry was a dedicated father and husband, but he couldn't do it all.
Morning meditation had become for Olivia as natural as breathing, and she quickly managed to focus her mind despite her labor pain. She had heard nothing from the Amoverus since she'd fulfilled her duty to them. She'd not received any visions of the future in all those years, and Olivia had preferred it that way. What was the good of it if she could do nothing about them? She could do nothing about them, because her life was no longer her own. She had three wonderful children, and she could not risk her life when they depended on her. Harry needed her, too, and so Olivia was grateful she wasn't plagued by what could be.
The sun had risen fully when an image came to her mind's eye. There was a man standing before her, and she felt shock at the similarity between his features and her own. He bore the same blonde hair, blue eyes, cheeks nose, even his lips were almost an exact copy of her own. He was a masculine version of her, but she saw his father in him two. The nose was crooked at though it had been broken at least once just as his father's nose had been broken in sixth year. His jaw line was the same strong, hard line as his father's, and there was a look of grim determination in his eyes and the set of his lips that Harry had worn so often in their time at Hogwarts as though the fate of the world rested on his shoulders. It was the son yet to be born that stood before her.
As the recognition of who it was that stood before her in the vision hit her, the boy spoke to her. "I'm sorry, Mother," he said with a grim voice lifting a wand at her. "Avada Kedavra!" The green light hit her before she had time to speak or scream. She was dead, and her son, the one that would be born today, had done it.
Olivia had not been aware of retreating from her meditations, and she sat staring at the flowers bowing in the gentle breeze that grew in the flower box on the ledge before her without seeing them. Her thoughts were confused and frightened. What did it mean?
"Vee, darling, how long have you been having contractions?" Harry asked from the patio door.
Olivia blinked slowly a few times and then turned to regard her husband with a white face. He stood leaning against the doorframe with arms crossed over his bare chest wearing only his sleeping pants. In the soft morning glow, his pale skin was warm and inviting.
"Only a few hours," she lied knowing he wouldn't be happy to know the truth.
"Liar," he said pushing away from the door frame and moving towards her as another contraction hit her. "You've been having them all night."
"How do you know?" Olivia asked through clenched teeth as the pain subsided. She was still dazed by her vision.
"They didn't make me Head of the Aurors because I'm a complete twit. I think we've had enough children by now for me to recognize what's going on. I meant to ask how long before last night have you been having the contractions," Harry asked squatting before his wife and placing his large, rough hand over her belly. His wedding ring glinted in the morning light.
"The first was around eight," she admitted schooling her features to hide her distress, weariness, and pain.
"Yesterday morning?" Harry asked in a scandalized voice. "Vee, you've been hiding it for almost twenty-four hours. How could—"
"The first," Olivia clarified by interrupting Harry, "was around eight the night before last." Harry's eyes widened. "I didn't bother you, because we both know you're children are born when they're good and ready. They're stubborn like that."
Harry narrowed his eyes and stood. "I wonder where they got that. That's it. I'm writing to the midwife."
Rather than argue, Olivia allowed Harry to help her up and nodded in agreement. It was time.
"You need to let Lena and Sirius know, too. Someone's got to look after the children while we're busy," she said as they made their way inside.
Standing in their doorway was Jamie with a sleepy sulking expression on his face. All three boys were copies of their father in different ways. Jamie, short for James, was an exact replica of his father except, thus far, he hadn't needed glasses. Of his two parents, though, he was most like his mother in disposition, and he shared her love of potions and plants. And at seven he showed a remarkable gift in magic having displayed his abilities only a few days after being born. Ryn was five and actually was named for Harry's godfather, but having two Sirius' was too confusing for them all. Olivia had nicknamed him Ryn which was short for his middle name, Orion. Ryn and his little brother, Albus, who was three, were the most like Harry in disposition and inherited the knack for getting into trouble easily. Both younger boys had gotten their mother's eyes, but it hadn't saved Ryn from needing glasses like his dad. The two adored their father following him around the house obsessively while their older brother chose to stay around Olivia. This adoration had spurred a little jealousy between them when Ryn had gotten glasses like their father. Al was desperate to have some, too, but the doctor said his eyesight was perfect so far.
"What's wrong, Jamie?" Harry asked dropping to a knee in front of his eldest.
It did not matter that Jamie was partial to his mother. He would always hold a special place in Harry's heart, because Jamie was his first born. He loved all his children equally, but Jamie had been the one he'd learned it all from—how to change diapers, feed bottles, stop crying, and to be a dad.
"The baby's coming today," Jamie answered in a sad voice.
Harry was a little surprised, but then Jamie was old enough to notice when Olivia was in labor even if it had taken him a while to realize it.
"That's right," Harry said in a happy voice and hugging his son. "I've got to let Aunt Lena and the midwife know. If you're lucky, Uncle Sirius will come over to watch you and your brothers today."
Harry stood and left the room not really noticing the sad look on his son's face. It did not escape Olivia, however, and she took a seat in a sitting chair they had in the room and beckoned her son over with her hand. Jamie slowly approach and placed a tiny hand on his mother's hard stomach. Olivia ignored the contraction and focused on her son.
"What's wrong with the baby coming today, love? Aren't you happy to have another brother or sister?" She asked in a gentle tone encircling his body with a loving arm.
"He's going to hurt you, Mummy."
"So did you. So did both Ryn and Al," Olivia reminded him. "I don't mind."
Jamie had been starring at her belly, but he looked up at her with a serious expression. "No, Mummy. I saw the green light." It appeared he had gotten more than just a love of potions and plants from his mother.
Olivia relaxed back against Harry's chest sweaty and exhausted. They'd been pushing for what seemed like forever, and the baby had still not come. Harry was worried. Something was not right. He knew his fear was justified from the grim expression the midwife's wrinkly face held and Lena's stone-faced look. Olivia was getting paler and weaker with every failed attempt to bring this child into the world. He felt her limp body meld against his on as he supported her from behind.
"Come on, ducky!" The midwife cried in her unique Scotts accent with red face. "You've got to push harder! This child is not wanting to be born."
Olivia began to cry with tearless sobs. Her chest heaved as she tried to get breath. "I can't!" She cried in desperation. "I can't do it anymore!"
"Yes, you can! You've got to keep pushing!" The midwife insisted with steel voice.
Harry panicked as Olivia shook her head from side to side. He'd never seen his wife give anything up. She was always the strong one, the one who pushed him when he didn't think he could do it anymore. She was the foundation to his life, and he felt that life crumbling around him. Lena and the midwife looked at him with expectant expression. He didn't know what to do.
"You can do this, Vee," he whispered encouragingly into her ear and whipping away the sweaty hair that clung to her face. "I believe in you. We can do this together."
No, Olivia protested in the way only they could hear, I can't…I won't.
You've got to, darling. We can do this—together.
No, he's going to kill me. My own son is going to kill me when he's grown! I'd rather us both die now then to being a child into the world that is capable of that.
What are you talking about?
I had a vision this morning. Oh, Harry, he's beautiful! Just like me except he's a boy, but he kills me at some time with the killing curse. Only dark wizards do that. He's innocent now, Olivia rambled with a mad look in her eyes, and I want him to stay that way. He can't be evil.
Harry was taken aback by this news, but there was no time to think on it. All he knew was that Olivia was quitting on him, and he couldn't let that happen.
He won't be. We won't let him. We can change that, but right now you've got to push! I can't lose you! Neither can Jamie, Ryn, or Al. We all need you. Now push harder, Olivia Rose Potter! Push!
Olivia seemed to pull herself from her apathy, and they worked through it together. Soon a healthy baby boy was crying loudly as they all cried in joy. Sure enough, the baby had a head full of blonde hair, and his squinted eyes were the same boy as his mother's. The midwife passed him along to Lena to clean up while focusing on delivering the afterbirth with Olivia.
Harry followed his youngest son with his eyes as the midwife and Olivia worked to finish the delivery. All thoughts to what she'd told him were gone once he laid eyes on the kicking legs and flailing arms. He never understood how a heart so full could expand and overwhelm him with such endless love when he saw his child for the first time. It hurt him sometimes how much he could love his three—four children from the moment they first draw breath.
"Oh, no, ducky," the midwife said in ominous tones getting Harry's attention away from his newborn. "I hate to tell you this, but you've got to push again."
"What?" Olivia asked weakly barely able to lift her head from Harry's shoulder.
The midwife looked up pointedly to the young couple. "Twins. There's another head coming."
It seemed to be more news than Olivia could handle. She let out her breath in a quick huff and tears began to slide down her cheeks silently. Harry knew she was tired and emotionally raw, but they both had to keep going. They did it together with the midwife's help, and soon another cry erupted through the room.
"It's a wee lass!" The midwife cried holding up the baby for the parents to see.
The wriggling red thing protested loudly at its unfair treatment. She had a head full of black hair and emerald green eyes. Harry began crying and kissed the side of his wife's head and wrapped his arms around her in complete happiness.
The next day when Ron and Hermione came over to see the new babies Olivia was sitting up holding both of her children in her arms. Harry sat on the bed beside her starring at the two tiny faces as they slept with all the pride of a new father. He had to admit that he and Olivia made beautiful children.
"What will you name them?" Hermione asked hand resting on her own pregnant belly.
Olivia looked at Harry to tell him that he should explain. "We thought he'd call him Remus Arthur after the two best men we know, but we haven't talked to your Dad about that yet," Harry said looking at Ron.
"I'm sure he'd be happy someone in the family finally used his name," Ron chuckled and placed his arm around Hermione's shoulders.
"This one," Harry continued taking the baby girl from her mother when she began to fuss, "we're going to name Lily Rose. Isn't that right, Lily?" He asked in a baby voice.
The girl instantly settled down in her father's arms, and his face held a special expression just for her. Hermione shook her head smiling. Ron laughed at his friend knowing that the first girl was always special. He had one of his own that had him wrapped around her little finger.
Olivia looked down at her son, and stroked his cheek gently with her finger. I'll love you forever, she promised with no further though to her vision. It might never happen, and he was her son. She would love him no matter what.
A/N: So here it is, the end. Hope you enjoyed. Thank you for the reviews and support. They have meant a lot. I hope this was as enjoyable for you to read as it was for me to write. I might be persuaded to post some missing scenes from this story latter, but I'll not making any promises. Thanks again for sticking it with me. You guys are the best!