"He wants to do what?" At the sound of a low moan from the bed, Harry crouched closer to the fireplace and lowered his voice. "What did you say?"
"A Deathday Party," Ron said, confirming that Harry didn't need to have his ears checked. "George said that Fred wants to have a Deathday Party this June."
"Why?" was Harry's first question, followed immediately by, "Wait – how does George know what Fred wants?"
"Who knows? I think he's finally cracked. He's got Mum in a strop, though, and Angelina's none too happy with him either. Git."
"I can imagine."
"Anyway, according to George, Fred thinks Remembrance Day has got too dull and mopey, and has decided it's up to him to inject a little fun back into things."
"Er—" Harry was unpleasantly reminded of the only Deathday Party he'd ever attended, back during his second year at Hogwarts. Even with Fred as the guest of honor, he doubted it would be much more cheerful. Certainly no less depressing than the Remembrance Day observances. "I gather George'll be in charge of all the arrangements?"
"Yeah, though I gather he's run up against a wall when it comes to food." He grimaced. "Remember how at Nearly Headless Nick's party, all the food was putrid?"
"Yeah." Ron's gaze fell on a spot beyond Harry's shoulder and his chin jerked up slightly. "How is she?"
No need to ask who "she" was. "Tired. It was hard on her."
He grunted. "And, er--?"
A smile full of tenderness and pride flashed across Harry's face as he turned to look at the tiny cot in the corner of the bedroom. "Asleep, for the moment."
Ron winced in chagrin. "Sorry for disturbing you, mate. I needed to talk to someone, and Hermione's had about all of me she can take at the moment."
Harry grinned. "Already? She's just barely begun to show. You've got a long road ahead you if she's acting this way now."
"Tell me about it. But, what can you do?" He rolled his eyes and grinned, then grew serious again. "So what d'you think we should do about George?"
"We?" Harry asked pointedly.
"C'mon Harry. If anyone can talk sense into him, it's you."
"I dunno, I think it might actually be a good thing. I mean, Fred was his twin. Maybe George needs this too."
"You think so?"
Harry shrugged. "Dunno. Only one way to find out." He slowly rose from his squatting position before the fireplace, cringing as his knees creaked loudly. "I'll stop by the shop and talk to him in the morning, okay?"
"Brilliant, Harry. Thanks." The flames quickly died back down to embers as Ron withdrew his head from the fireplace.
Before returning to bed, Harry crept as quietly as he could over to the cot and gazed down at the tiny bundle lying there. His son! He could scarcely believe it, even with the proof right before his eyes. There'd been a time when he'd thought he'd never have the chance to experience fatherhood.
Holding his breath, he reached down and carefully tucked a loose corner of the blanket over the baby's foot. "Sleep," he crooned, his voice little more than a breath. "Mum needs her rest, after bringing you into the world."
He slid back into the bed and nestled up behind Ginny, draping his arm over her waist, bending to fit himself against her. He had just closed his eyes when he heard her murmur, "What did my brother want?"
"Shh," he whispered, biting back a curse. "It's nothing, go back to sleep. I'll tell you in the morning."
"I know that tone, Harry." She rolled towards him so that she lay on her back and studied him. Her eyes gleamed in the faint glow from the fireplace. "You're hiding something, I can tell."
He kissed her lightly. "I'm not hiding anything." He paused, measuring his words, then said, "George says Fred wants a Deathday Party when Remembrance Day comes around this year."
She considered this briefly, then pursed her lips in approval. "Good for him. I agree."
Surprised, Harry pulled back. "You're okay with this?"
"Sure. Why shouldn't I be? Fred always did love a good party, and if there's anything who could 'liven up' a Deathday Party, it's him."
She snuggled closer. Harry could feel the dampness where her breasts had leaked milk as she pressed against his chest; unexpectedly, he felt a little turned on by it.
"So you think it's a good idea?" he asked, coughing and turning slightly away so she wouldn't notice his state.
"I think it's an excellent idea."
"I told Ron I'd talk to George about it in the morning."
"Good. Find out what he has in mind – wait." She sat up on her elbows and looked at Harry. "Did you say, 'George said Fred wants to have a Deathday Party'? Not, 'George wants to have a Deathday Party for Fred'?" Harry nodded.
Ginny flopped back and pressed her hand against her forehead. "How on earth does George know what Fred wants?" she asked after a moment. Harry thought her eyes were suspiciously bright. "And why are we just hearing about this now?"
Harry had no answer to that, as he'd asked himself the same questions. He hoped George would be able to enlighten him in the morning.