"You can't sleep, can you?"
Hermione was lying on her back, staring at the ceiling and trying the age-old trick of counting sheep. It was not helping. She had never been this uncomfortable in bed before—not even with Damon, Jack, and Wyatt and they had been kickers. Not to mention she had already gone to the loo a record seven times within the last three hours. Pregnancy sucked. She craned her neck to see Harry looking at her with a small, sorry-filled smile. He had always wished that he could carry the kids for her just so she could have a day or two off. The mood swings, the bathroom breaks every half hour, the constant pains in her back and ankles. She wouldn't wish this kind of torture on anyone let alone her husband.
Ah, her husband.
It seems like only yesterday that she and Harry had gotten married. The wedding had been beautiful of course. It had been held at the Burrow per Mrs. Weasley's request and constant pushing. Ginny was her maid of honor. Yes, Ginny. Hermione and Ginny had long since made up after her and Harry went public with their relationship. It had been bumpy at first, but the two girls had a long talk about everything. Hermione learned that Ginny was in love with Harry, but as soon as she and Harry had grown closer and started to show subtle signs of something more than friendship she had tried to gain back his attention, hoping that it wasn't true—hoping that Harry was still in love with her and not Hermione. But during Christmas at the Burrow when she saw her and Harry under the mistletoe she had come to terms with it. She didn't like it, but she accepted it. When she completed her last year at Hogwarts she got recruited to be a chaser for the Holyhead Harpies and took out her frustrations on others rather than her friends.
Ron had been Harry's best man, obviously. And seeing as how Luna was another of Hermione's bridesmaids, he was ecstatic to spend more time with her. The two had grown miraculously close and had even begun dating while Harry and Hermione were on their honeymoon. It had taken a while to get used to, but in retrospect they had been the two people who had made Hermione realize that she was in love with Harry. And if she and he had gotten their happy ending, why shouldn't they?
About a month after Hermione and Harry had returned from their honeymoon and were informed about Ron and Luna's young relationship, Hermione found out that she was pregnant. Harry was beside himself when she told him and started planning the nursery right then and there. At first, she didn't know if she wanted to be a mother or if she was even worthy of that responsibility. She was happy that he was happy. But as soon as she went shopping for maternity clothes with Luna and picked up a book on having a baby her mind was changed for the better. Of course, when she went into labor six months after that her mind was changed again and she regretted ever having sex with her husband.
Can you guess the last part? Yes. When she saw Damon's face for the first time everything in her mind went blank. She loved him so much. He was six now and in a Muggle primary school. Hermione and Harry had both agreed that their children should have a better understanding of both worlds since Harry had been brought up with them and Hermione had never seen their side of the world. The same went for their next child—or children. They were graced with twin boys two years after Damon was born. They named them Jack and Wyatt. Both names had come from baby books that Hermione picked up while Damon was named after the Greek legend of Damon and Pythias, one of Hermione's favorite stories that she learnt about on their honeymoon in Greece. She had thought that they were finished after three, but nine months ago today she had managed to get knocked up one more time. Not that she wasn't happy about it! But it was nights like these that made her regret forgetting the contraception charm.
She felt a small kick and rubbed her stomach, trying to calm the baby down. She wanted the sex of the baby to be a surprise and Harry respected her wishes. Although with three boys she was hoping for a girl that she could dress up.
"I'm sorry." Harry's voice brought her out of her revere.
She smiled softly at him. "It's not your fault, Harry."
There was a silence from his end and she knew that he knew it was a lie.
There was another harder kick from the baby and she continued to rub her stomach. She would never get to sleep at this rate. Damn baby. Kick. She flinched and immediately rubbed her stomach harder. If she didn't know better, she would have sworn that this baby was in tuned to her thoughts. Harry must have seen her flinch or something because he leaned in and gently kissed her on the lips. She smiled against the kiss in thanks and he pulled back slightly, letting their noses bump.
"Just remember that it'll all be over soon." He said softly. "And then we'll have another pair of feet running around this house."
"I can't wait." She said with a grin. "To see his or her face for the first time is the thing I'm looking forward to the most. The labor is just an added bonus."
"I swear you've gotten more sarcastic after Jack and Wyatt were born."
"Just one of their many gifts"
"If you don't count the lovely little surprises they leave in their training diapers every afternoon."
Hermione giggled but the smile faded as she felt yet another kick. Her face contorted for a moment and Harry immediately became worried. "Hermione are you alright?"
"Yeah… I'm—ahh!" Another strong kick interrupted her sentence.
"What is it? Is it the baby?" He asked in a hurry, sitting up and putting a hand on her protruding stomach.
"I-I don't know." She said worriedly. "But last time it—" She seemed to have a sudden idea and pulled the covers off of her and looked down. She came up with a wide-eyed expression.
"Hermione… you're scaring me."
"Well one of us has to be calm enough to get me to St. Mungo's. My water broke!" She said excitedly.
"You… it…" Hermione furiously nodded and he yelped. "Oh Merlin. Umm you get the suitcase and I'll wake up the kids. Yeah? Alright let's… let's have a baby!" He jumped off of the bed and scrambled into the nearby hallway to wake up the kids. Hermione heard a loud thump and recognized the sound of bones against the hardwood floor and began to get up quickly to see what happened.
"I'M OKAY!" Harry called as she reached the open door. He was brushing his bare chest and pajama bottoms dramatically when he saw her and smiled charmingly. "I'm fine. Go and get the suitcase. We're having a baby!"
He said it like they'd never done this before. Harry had never lost his enthusiasm even after the first two times. Ironically, they had all happened at different times of the day. She went into labor with Damon the morning after Harry had surprised her with a celebratory anniversary dinner and shag. Jack and Wyatt chose to come out during one of the Weasley brunches they attended every Sunday. Mrs. Weasley had pointed out to Hermione that she looked peaky and recognized the sign of labor immediately. Her room at St. Mungo's that day had been nothing short of a full house.
And now it was eleven at night and she was going back to the hospital. Lovely.
Hermione pulled the medium-sized suitcase from under their bed and double checked that everything was in place. She knew that she had checked every night before, but now that the moment was finally here she couldn't help but make sure that everything was still there. Maybe the nargles could have taken them? She laughed to herself. She knew that one day Luna would get into her head.
She zipped up the suitcase and began to heave it up when a pair of small hands tugged it away from her. Damon was shaking his mane of raven hair as he looked at her pointedly with his deep brown eyes. "You shouldn't carry this in your condition."
Hermione held her laughter and looked at him with her arms crossed. "Did your father put you up to this?"
He puffed out his chest dramatically like he always did when she asked that question. "We men have to stick together!" Hermione raised an eyebrow and he deflated his chest with a big outtake of breath. "He said to not let you lift a finger."
"Oh did he?" He nodded furiously and tugged on the suitcase harder, fully taking it out of her grip. "Damon!"
He shrugged. "Sorry Mum… Dad's orders"
She sighed. "And I suppose there's no arguing with your father."
Hermione turned towards the door to see Harry holding a sleeping Jack in his hands. "Where's Wyatt?" she asked cautiously.
He motioned downwards and she saw the toddler gripping onto his left leg. She smiled at the tender picture but immediately recoiled when she felt another kick of pain which she now distinguished as the all-too-familiar contractions. Damon's eyes widened but he still tried to keep a calm composure. He was in the "I'm a big boy mummy!" phase and didn't want Hermione to see him scared. After all, it was his first time seeing his mum like this that he could actually remember. All that he could recall from Wyatt and Jack's birth was his dad rushing him to the hospital and falling asleep in a really white room.
Harry's face hardened as he switched into his Dad-mode and said sternly, "Alright Damon follow behind your mum and keep a close eye on her in the car, alright? I'm going to need you to do everything she says."
Damon nodded and followed behind his mum as the family proceeded to the car. With the first pregnancy, they were warned that apparating was dangerous and floo was the safest route. But they both figured since flooing usually ended up with them on the floor on their stomachs or back, purchasing a Muggle car would be their best bet. Harry had gotten his license before Damon was born and now used the car for business and when Hermione was in labor—which proved to be quite often nowadays. It wasn't too flashy of a car. Harry wanted to be as inconspicuous as possible so he purchased a dark blue minivan from the local dealership. He had considered charming the car much like Mr. Weasley had done with the Ford Angela, but decided against it once he recalled what had become of it. He didn't feel like buying a replacement any time soon.
Hermione got into the passenger side and Damon helped her buckle her seatbelt. She thanked him and ruffled his hair, a silent reassurance that she would be alright. He smiled and got into the back directly behind her. Harry strapped Jack and Wyatt into their car seats that he had recently purchased in anticipation for this moment. He and Hermione had practiced buckling the contraptions a few times but Harry had had the most difficulty. It was a wonder to him why they had to be so complicated. He finally strapped the two dozing toddlers into their seats and rushed to the front. He started the car in a flurry as Hermione began to control her breathing.
They lived on the outskirts of Muggle London and were therefore a good five minutes away from St. Mungo's. Harry didn't want to be caught speeding so he went the maximum amount of kilos until they finally reached the abandoned red-brick department store. Damon rushed out of his seat and opened the door for his mother just as she was about to herself. She still couldn't get used to the fact that her six-year-old son was acting so grown up. He extended his hand out in a gentlemanly manor and she took it. He tugged her out of the minivan and walked her up to the dummy and waited for his father who was struggling with getting the twins out of their seats.
Harry swore as he nipped one of his fingers on the metal clip and turned to Damon. "Go on in with your mum, Damon. You remember how to get in, don't you?"
Damon nodded, still gripping onto his mother's hand tightly. The dummy turned to the pair and he spoke in as calm of a voice as he could produce. "My mum's gonna have a baby. Let us in, please."
The dummy nodded and Damon led Hermione through the window. The reception room came into view and Damon made a beeline for the desk, passing the Welcome Witch's plastic grin. There was an elderly woman with silver hair scribbling furiously on a piece of parchment on the other side of the desk. When she heard the sound of footsteps her head shot up and she saw Hermione's slightly sweating forehead and enlarged stomach.
"My mum's having a baby, miss. She needs a room, please." Damon said with a slightly trembling voice. It seemed that as the moment was drawing nearer his calmness was fading.
"Of course," She said at once. "Let me get you a wheelchair Mrs.—?"
"Potter," Hermione said with slight strain. "Hermione Potter."
The witch's face changed to one of sheer delight at the mention of her surname and she called for one of the nurses in a loud voice. "PRESCOTT!"
A petite witch with bright red hair and rosy cheeks came forward with a wheelchair gripped in her small hands. She was slightly out of breath as she instructed, "Right here, Mrs. Potter."
As Hermione lowered herself into the chair, Harry came stumbling in with both twins in each of his arms. He saw that Hermione was already taken care of and let out a small amount of air in relief. Damon looked at his father and saw that he looked rather pale, a sure sign of nervousness. He looked how Damon felt. But he was better at hiding it than his father, a trait that didn't go unnoticed by simple onlookers and family.
"Damon." Hermione called from her seat. He reeled around to his mother and she glanced at Harry for a moment to see him nodding for her to go along. "I need you to floo Grandma Molly and tell her to come on over, alright? She'll floo everyone else and they can keep you company in the waiting area. But I'm going to need you to look after Jack and Wyatt until they get here. Can you do that for me?"
Remembering what his father had told him, he nodded. Hermione smiled and was wheeled off into the Maternity Ward. This section had its own waiting area and as they arrived Damon felt an overwhelming sense of déjà vu. The walls were a pale yellow color and the carpet was white with little patterns of teddy bears and rattles. The seats were all along the walls and towards the middle with small areas of mini-chairs and boxes of toys. Watching his two younger brothers was going to be easier than he thought.
Harry put down Jack and Wyatt before speaking to Damon one last time. "Remember son, floo Grandma Molly and make sure that Jack and Wyatt don't get into any mischief."
Damon glanced at his two sleeping siblings and raised an eyebrow at his father. "I think I'll be alright, dad."
"That's my boy." Harry said. He gave him a brief hug and followed Hermione as she was wheeled into the nearby hallway.
They were led to a medium-sized room with a single bed and chair near the window. All rooms in St. Mungo's looked the same, they had come to notice. White walls, white floors, white linins, white bed sheet. White everything, it seemed. Hermione was helped into the semi-comfortable bed with a raised upper half and pulled the blankets over herself.
The nurse smiled kindly at the couple. "The doctor will be here momentarily. Is there anything I can get you, Mrs. Potter?"
Without skipping a beat Hermione responded mechanically. "A cup of ice chips and your strongest pain-relieving potion, please."
The nurse nodded and turned to exit. She closed the door behind her and Hermione collapsed on the bed with a giant whoosh. Harry chuckled and moved the chair so that he could be seated next to her. Hermione smiled as she saw him pull up by her. It was very rare nowadays that they could ever be alone with the kids and their time-consuming jobs. Hermione chose to spend her time at home and wrote books for a living—fiction, non-fiction, autobiography; you name it, she's written it. She had wanted to work for the ministry, but when she found out she was pregnant she had to scrap that idea. When Hogwarts first ended, she and Harry had moved in together and she worked part-time in a local bookstore to help pay the bills. She had to quit after she had Damon, of course. And soon after she decided to stay at home and do the thing she loved to do most: Read and write.
Before she could marvel any more on the subject, Harry enveloped her hand with his and squeezed. "How are you feeling?"
"Shitty." She replied honestly.
He flinched and tried to think of a proper response. "Is there anything I can do?"
She shook her head. "All I need are those ice chips and pain-relieving potion and I'll be fine."
"Yeah. Sorry to disappoint you. I know you'll get bored of me sometime in the next few hours."
He smiled goofily. "I could never get tired of you, Hermione."
She scrunched her nose. "You big suck up."
"And proud of it!" He said cockily as he leaned in to give her a light peck on the lips.
As he pulled away she spoke in a whisper. "Do you think we deserve all of this?"
"All of what?" He asked.
"This." She gestured to the room. "Damon, Jack, Wyatt, our jobs, our lives together."
"What are you on about Hermione?"
"Well it's just… I dunno. After all that we've been though do you think that this is what we're getting as a reward or is there some consequence that's still out there?"
He looked at her pointedly as he leaned in closer to her and spoke in a passionate tone. "I think that this life has just begun and we shouldn't be worrying about any consequences. If we weren't meant to be together do you think that we would have any of this? Jobs that we love, friends that would do anything for us, our kids? Merlin, our kids. I think that pretty much answers your question." Hermione giggled. "But if there is something else out there after us because of our decisions, I know that we'll overcome it. You know that."
Hermione nodded, tears threatening to pour from her eyes. "I know, I know. I don't even remember why I thought about it. I guess it's just that our life seems too perfect sometimes."
"We deserve it. After all the shit the two of us have been through we deserve to be together and happy. I love you, Hermione. Just as much if not more than I did when I first met you."
"Oh Harry I—OW! Goddamn it!" Another contraction interrupted her mid-sentence and she squeezed Harry's hand hard. He flinched but didn't say anything. He knew that it was only a fraction of the pain that she was going through.
A bead of sweat went down her forehead and Harry grabbed a tissue from the table beside them to wipe it as the contraction came to an end. Her breathing was ragged and her eyes hooded. Oh how he wished he could help her. She looked so helpless lying there. But as her body relaxed all that mattered was helping her along to the best of his ability. He had learned with the past two trips to St. Mungo's that the only thing he was going to be good for was reassurance and encouragement. She was going to need all she could get.
"Where is that nurse with my damn potion?!" She said in frustration.
"And ice chips." Harry added.
"Yeah and the damn ice chips."
"She'll be here soon, love. I promise."
Not even a minute later, the nurse came back in with a cup filled with ice chips and purple potion. She handed the cup to Hermione and she greedily snatched it and began eating them. The nurse didn't seem to be thrown aback and handed Harry the potion. "Give it to her when the doctor instructs you. It won't be until she is about four centimeters dilated or so." Harry nodded and the nurse smiled. "If you need anything else ask for Nurse Prescott."
With that, Nurse Prescott exited and Harry placed the potion out of Hermione's reach on the windowsill. He was familiar with the guidelines by now. If Hermione asked for the potion he had to say no until the doctor instructed otherwise. He returned to his seat and caught Hermione placing the ice chip cup on the bedside table. She looked more relaxed than she had just moments ago and for that he was grateful. He resumed their earlier position with his hand interlocked with hers. She gave him a tired smile.
"I hope I'm not too unbearable this time."
She chuckled. "Just remember that I'm not liable for my actions."
He nodded. "Duly noted."
Another contraction hit Hermione and she doubled over in pain. She recited the practice breathing techniques that didn't seem to help at all. She bit back asking for the potion. She knew that this was far from the worse. Harry's hand was being squished tightly by her own and began turning a pale shade of blue until she chose to let go as the pains came to an abrupt stop. She collapsed back to the bed and allowed Harry to wipe her forehead once again.
Hermione was too busy recuperating that she didn't hear the healer enter the room. Harry looked up, though, and recognized the familiar face. "Hello Healer Stonem."
The young doctor smiled at Harry, "Good evening Mr. Potter… Mrs. Potter."
She heard the healer's voice and opened her eyes a fraction. "Hey doc. Can I have my potion yet?"
Healer Stonem chuckled deeply, "Well let's take a look and see, shall we?" Hermione nodded furiously and he took up a seat on the stool at the edge of the bed as Hermione lifted her legs so that her knees were in the air. He lifted the blanked and peeked inside. "How far apart have your contractions been, Mrs. Potter?" he asked as he emerged from under the blanket.
"Around five—AHH!" Hermione began the process yet again and the room went eerily silent as she finished. She took a moment to regain herself and she spoke in a tired voice. "Well that one threw me off. I would say two minutes."
Healer Stonem nodded and scribbled something down on his clipboard. He brushed some of his dark brown hair out of his eyes and looked at Harry. "You can give her the potion. She's almost fully dilated."
"Really?" She asked, surprised. "Last time I was in labor for eleven hours."
The healer nodded. "Yes well it seems like this one wants to see you sooner than that. You're seven centimeters dilated."
"Seven?!" Harry and Hermione shouted in unison.
"Yes, seven. You won't have wait more than an hour this time."
"Oh thank Merlin." Hermione said in relief. "The sooner the better, right?"
"That's the spirit!" Healer Stonem said cheerily. "Now Mr. Potter, I'll be back in a few minutes. In the meantime give your wife the potion because her contractions are going to get closer and closer together."
"Fantastic." Hermione muttered dryly as the healer exited.
Harry walked over to the windowsill and gave Hermione the potion. She gulped it down quickly and thanked him. He nodded and sat back down. He looked at the clock and saw that it was 11:20, only twenty minutes since they had left the house. He hadn't realized that someone could go into labor that quickly. But his wife was capable of anything. That he was sure of. He felt her begin to squeeze his hand again and prepared himself for the next hour.
Meanwhile in the waiting room…
Damon had flooed his Grandma Molly and they had yet to arrive. He wasn't worried, though. Not at all. They had a big family that had to be notified. Besides, his brothers were sound asleep and the job he was assigned to do was proving to be a boring one. Not that he wanted them to wake up! They were little terrors when they woke up. He was only six, not sixteen. His energy levels could only remain high for so long.
He took a seat in one of the small children's chairs and fiddled with a toy snitch. It seemed to be broken so he threw it back into the bin and put his head in his hands, watching his two brothers sleep instead. He should have remembered to bring his own toys. Somewhere in the back of his mind he knew he would pack them for next time. If there was a next time.
The floo area on the other side of the waiting room began to make the noises of incoming people and Damon straightened up, looking to see if it was who he was waiting for. He spotted a familiar patch of red hair and grinned. Mrs. Weasley brushed away the excess floo powder from her skirt and turned to see Damon waving enthusiastically at her. She rushed over to her grandson for all intensive purposes and enveloped him in a tight hug, spinning him around.
"Ohhh Damon isn't this exciting? Another brother or sister on the way?"
Damon shrugged as she put him down. "I dunno. Maybe."
Mrs. Weasley laughed and her eyes found the sleeping forms of Wyatt and Jack. "Ohhh poor dears. They've just tired themselves out from all the excitement."
"Actually Grandma Molly, they've been like that since we got here."
Mrs. Weasley waved a hand dismissively. "Oh never mind that. It's a good thing I brought some extra quilts."
From one of her pockets, she pulled out a square of multi-patched fabric and Damon watched as she rid it of the shrinking charm. She shook it out a bit and placed it on top of the heavily breathing twins. She smoothed down their identical manes of ebony hair and refrained from kissing them, afraid that she might awaken them. She turned back to Damon, "Do you know how you're mum's doing?"
Damon shook his head dejectedly, "No. I saw her a while ago, though. She kept on breathing really hard and clutching the baby."
Mrs. Weasley nodded. "Well I'm sure she'll be fine."
Damon nodded with his mask still in place. Mrs. Weasley took a seat next to the children's area and picked up a copy of Witch Weekly from a nearby rack. Damon didn't know what he was supposed to do now that his Grandma Molly was here. She clearly was looking after his brothers now. His question was doomed to remain unanswered as the floo area erupted with life once again. His neck snapped and he saw his Uncle Ron and Aunt Luna come from the nearest fireplace with a slight wobble to their step.
Ron spotted him first and opened his arms wide for a hug. Damon laughed and sprinted over to his uncle. Ron let out an audible umph as he caught Damon in a flying hug. "What has your mum been feeding you, Damon? You've gotten so big!"
"Vegetables." Damon replied simply as Ron let him down.
Ron sniffed in disgust. "Well that just won't do at all, will it? Lucky for you I brought some sweets with me."
Ron reached in his pocket and handed Damon a bag filled to the rim in sweets. This was one of the reasons he loved his Uncle Ron. He gave him candy whenever he wanted. Damon was convinced they shared the same sweet tooth until he caught his dad sneaking some Bertie Bott's one night while his mum was at a book signing. But either way, he knew that whenever he wanted to sneak some candy behind his mum's back, Ron was always there.
Damon took the bag from Ron's hand quickly and promised himself he'd save it for later. Considering the circumstances, he thought that if he had some now, it might make him feel guilty when his mum was in so much pain because of the baby. He didn't think he would ever know why the baby was hurting her so much. What had she ever done to it?
He put the bag of sweets onto floor underneath his seat for later. He was about to hug his Aunt Luna but a voice behind him prevented him from doing so. "Why is it that my godson won't even give me a simple hello?"
Damon grinned and turned around to give his Uncle Draco a hug bigger than the one he had given to Ron. Uncle Draco was undoubtedly his favorite because he always made him laugh and treated his mum almost as good as his dad did. Like a princess. Anyone who was nice to his mum deserved his respect.
"Now that's more like it!" Draco said with a laugh. "Take that Weasley, he likes me more!"
"That's just because you buy him stuff." Ron said with a scoff.
"And you don't?" Draco said, motioning to Damon's stash of sweets.
"That's for all of them!" Ron defended.
Damon was affronted. "HEY!"
Ron blanched. "Sorry Damon, but your mum would kill me if you ate that whole thing. You need to share with you brothers."
Damon sighed. "Fine. But I get first dibs."
Ron laughed. "Of course. The little tykes lost that opportunity when they fell asleep."
"Who fell asleep?" A feminine voice asked from behind Ron.
Ron moved aside to reveal the disheveled form of Ginny in nothing but her wool pajama top and bottoms with a robe covering down to her knees. Her hair was in braids tied together with strips of ribbon and an eye mask was resting lopsided on her head. "Aunt Ginny!"
"Hey squirt!" Damon crashed into her with a big hug equal to the ones he had given both his uncles. "How's my favorite godson?"
"I'm you're only godson, Aunt Ginny." Damon said smartly.
Ginny snapped her fingers. "Ah that's right. Thanks for reminding me."
"GINERVA MOLLY WEASLEY JUST WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU ARE WEARING?!"
"Mum, it's just my pajamas." Ginny said with annoyance.
"Exactly! I told you to get dressed before you came! You have had plenty of time to change!"
"That doesn't mean I wanted to. Honestly mum, there are people all around this place with less on."
"That may be so but I do not want my daughter to be seen gallivanting around St. Mungo's in a bathrobe. And your hair looks like there could be a bird nest somewhere in there."
Ginny gritted her teeth. "I was sleeping mum. I had a cup of coffee before I came so I could be awake."
"You had time to have coffee but not to get dressed?"
Luna, deciding to break up the fight before it got too ugly, spoke up. "Where's Dean, Ginny?"
Ginny suddenly went from aggravated to forlorn. "He umm… he moved out last night."
"Oh Ginny, I'm so sorry." Mrs. Weasley said softly.
"It's fine. You didn't know."
"What happened?" Luna asked as she slowly walked over towards her.
"It was just… I don't know. I think the fighting just got too overwhelming for the both of us. It was over the stupidest things, too. I'm kind of relived to be honest. It's nice to live alone for a while." She ended with a smile. "I can go to sleep like this now."
Luna enveloped her friend in a tight hug. The two girls held tight to each other for a few moments before pulling apart. Ginny wiped at her eyes and smiled. "Enough about my piteous existence. Any news about Hermione and the baby?"
Mrs. Weasley shook her head. "Not a word."
Ginny sighed. "This is exactly what happened last time. Not a word until we hear—"
"Hermione's going to have the baby!"
The whole group turned around to see Harry clad in a white robe and cap, holding his arms out wide. "She's going into delivery!"
"Already? But didn't her—" Mrs. Weasley began.
"Yeah I know. It's going by pretty fast but everything is normal. Now if you'll excuse me I'm going to go and be a father—again!" Harry sprinted back into the hallway.
"I swear, that guy gets more and more enthusiastic with every kid that they have." Draco said dryly.
"I think it's cute." Ginny said. "Even after three kids he's still excited to be a father."
"Reminds me of Arthur…" Mrs. Weasley recalled lightly. "Even by the time we had Ginny he was as excited as ever."
Ginny smiled proudly and Ron rolled his eyes. "Not that this isn't touching and everything… but what we all want to know is how those two demons are asleep." Ron said, gesturing to Wyatt and Jack.
Ginny turned to them and her eyes widened. "They're the ones asleep? How did that happen?"
Damon thought that he was the only one who could answer that truthfully as he had been the one to help wake them up. Plus, he didn't like to be quiet for that long. "They had their first day at daycare today."
They all let out a collective "Ohhhh" and left it at that. They didn't need to know that Damon had slipped a sleeping drought in their pumpkin juice. He didn't bother feeling regret about it either. He deserved a day or two off from the "demons", as Ron had put it.
After that, the room grew quiet as everyone took seats. They all knew that it wouldn't be long until Hermione had the baby. There were hushed conversations between small quickly-formed groups. Damon kept to himself and chose to dig through the toy chest again, as if another toy would magically appear. A few other members of the Weasley family arrived within the next few minutes: Fred, George, Bill, and Fleur. Charlie was away on business as usual and couldn't make it, same with Arthur. All the family had left to do was wait.
It wasn't unbearably long. Within ten minutes, Harry was back outside with a silly grin plastered on his face. "IT'S A GIRL!"
The room erupted in cheers. George seemed to be the only one with a sour expression as he gave his twin brother ten galleons. Damon was beside himself. He couldn't believe that he had a little sister. Instantly he felt a rush of something come over him. Was this what he felt like before when Jack and Wyatt were born?
Harry came up to him and placed a hand on his shoulder. "Do you want to meet her?"
Damon nodded quickly and grabbed his dad's hand. He looked back at everyone else to see Ginny and Ron giving him equally enthusiastic thumbs up. He didn't know quite how to take their encouragement but tried to use it to his advantage. He was going to see his little sister for the first time! He beat everyone else and he should be proud. His high-and-mighty feeling only lasted a good ten seconds, because when he entered his mum's room and saw her holding a pink bundle his whole mind went blank.
Hermione looked up from her new daughter's sleeping form and grinned as she saw Harry and Damon enter. Damon's frozen form was so adorable that she had to refrain from giving him a hug. Harry nudged him in the shoulder and muttered a quiet "Go on."
He followed his father's wishes and walked slowly to Hermione and the new addition to their family. She patted the bed next to her and he jumped up. She tilted the newborn baby to him and he reflexively held out his arms to hold her. As Hermione helped him with the position slightly she said softly. "Damon meet your new sister Emma."
Damon smiled down at her, "Hi Emma."
It was a heartwarming picture, the three of them. But even Hermione noticed the absence of two rather rowdy toddlers. "Where are Wyatt and Jack?"
"Sleeping." Harry answered.
Damon focused his attention on Emma and tried his best to keep a straight, guilt-free face. Only his mother seemed to be the one who could see through him so he avoided her gaze.
"Damon you wouldn't happen to know what has gotten into them, have you?" Hermione asked him.
"I don't know what you're talking about." He said quickly.
Unfortunately for him, that sentence was hereditary and spilled from Harry's lips when he wanted to avoid something. "Damon James Potter what did you do this time?"
Three days later…
Harry arrived with a pop onto the front lawn of their home after another grueling practice. He swore that Oliver Wood was going to kill them one day. He didn't think that the muscles in his back would be the same for weeks. As he massaged his back he caught sight of his wife rocking back and forth in the rocking chair on the front porch. She was holding Emma and singing softly to her; a familiar tune.
Wyatt and Jack were running around the front yard, the effects of Damon's sleeping drought worn off. Harry knew that Damon meant well—and by that he meant thinking of his own well being rather than the health of his brothers. So the hyperactive tots were back and Harry couldn't have been happier. It really was the perfect picture of a family. What he always wanted. In fact, a certain aspect of this scene seemed oddly familiar to him… like he had seen it before.
"Dad?" Damon's voice interrupted his thoughts.
He looked down at his son's eager face. "Yeah bud?"
"Dad can you teach me to fly like you and Uncle Ron?"
Oh my God. He remembered! It was the vision he had all those years ago. The scene flashed before him just like it was playing out now—so vivid. Except this time it was real. Now it was his turn to decide how it ended instead of the blackness that followed last time. He smiled down at his son and nodded. "Sure, son."
Damon whooped and mounted the broom in front of Harry. He knew that he had only a moment before Hermione caught what he was doing so he quickly put his arms around Damon and kicked off just before Hermione could finish her sentence of "Harry what do you think yo—"
Harry steered them upwards towards the sky and could sense Hermione's glare from below. He chose to ignore it as he began to level the broom. As they reached twenty feet above ground Harry placed his son's hands on the broom gingerly. "Keep it steady, Damon."
He let his son guide them towards the nearby patch of trees at a steady speed. It looked like they had another natural Quidditch star on their hands. Harry let the breeze sweep over him and blow his already untidy mane of hair out of proportion.
Hermione watched as Harry and Damon flew off towards the distance. She sighed and decided to leave them be. For now. When they got back, however, it would be a different story.
A/N: And that's the end *sniff*. This story was like my baby and you guys really make it hard to let go. The reviews have all been so encouraging and made writing this one helluva time. Thanks so much for reading! I hope you've enjoyed this trip as much as I have =] If you don't want to lose touch with me, check out my story, My Confusing (and Hard to Believe) Love Life, and leave a review. I would hate to loose touch with any of you. Also, if you're interested in listening to a Soundtrack and Score I composed for this fic, the link to my website where you can listen and download the songs is on my profile page. The tracks include bands like Breaking Benjamin, Enigma, Adele, and New Found Glory, and I've been told the score really helps bring the story alive, lol. Au revior, everyone!