A Different Kind Of Magic
(I know that I don't usually do dedications, but there's a first time for everything!) This story is dedicated to my brilliant Aunty Shan, who, sadly lost her baby last May. Also, I'd like to acknowledge my betas, Maranatha (aka GoDons) and Amelie (aka Ginny Guerra). Thank you very much for your help, I couldn't have done it without you guys.
Ginny Potter emerged from the shower, her waist-length red hair dripping wet, a towel wrapped tightly around her. She had just finished her first practice in three months, and she was exhausted. Worst of all, even after the strenuous exercise that Gwen had put them through, her period still hadn't started. It was three weeks late so she was generally in a worse mood than usual. To add insult to injury, she was beginning to feel slightly dizzy as she made her way to her cubicle. Most of her chattering colleagues were already dressed – she could barely see them through the steam of the changing room. She entered her cubicle.
"So, Ginny, looking forward to the game on Friday?" said Laila Adams from the cubicle next to her. Laila was the Keeper of the Harpies and also happened to be one of Ginny's closest friends.
"You bet!" Ginny replied brightly. "We'll thrash that lot from Puddlemere."
"Apparently, Wood is still on the team," piped up Hope Williams, one of the Chasers alongside Ginny.
"Uh huh," said Ginny. "Can't wait."
"You know, it's so good to have you back," said Gwenog Jones, the Captain of the team. "I still don't see why you had to have so much time off, though. And even after that, you took another week off. How come?"
The women in the room all started giggling even before Ginny could reply. She decided against retorting to Gwen's remark. After putting on her clothes, she flicked her wand at her hair and it started to steam as it dried out. It took mere seconds before her hair was as dry as it was before, looking completely straight.
"Come on, Gwen," chortled Deenah Roberts. "Isn't it obvious? She wanted to spend three months having –"
"I am here, you know, Deenah," Ginny interrupted irritably as she came out of her cubicle, fully dressed. The steam was making her feel lightheaded. "I was ill for that extra week." Hope made a scathing sound. Pretending that she hadn't heard anything, Ginny continued, "And it's not as if I missed anything important, did I? The Quidditch season is only starting on Friday. And I'm sure you" – here she glared directly at Deenah and Gwenog in turn – "don't usually quiz one of your colleagues on things as personal as that!"
"Ginny, darling, is it you or your hormones talking?" said Alex (the Seeker). "Or maybe you're spending too much time with dear Harry to – GINNY!"
Everyone looked around, to see Ginny swaying on the spot. The changing room was swimming around her, her teammates' concerned faces blurred.
And then everything went black.
Ginny stirred. She yawned, reluctant to awaken from her pleasant sleep. She was in a warm, comfortable bed, and she could smell something vaguely familiar. It was the smell of St. Mungo's, and while not altogether unpleasant, there was nevertheless a weary feeling of acceptance inside her every time she smelt that smell, since it meant that someone was in hospital.
Today, that someone was her.
She found the strength to open her eyes. Laila's pretty, anxious face, framed with her wavy brown hair, was staring at her.
"Ginny!" she whispered. Laila looked relieved. "Healer Smith, she's awake!" she called at the Healer's retreating back.
"Why am I here, Laila?" Ginny asked. It was a pointless question, but the last thing she could remember was feeling dizzy and angry while her colleagues taunted her.
"You fainted," Laila told her friend. "We were so scared – one second they were teasing you about Harry and the next, you were lying on the floor! So I Apparated you straight to St. Mungo's and you've been here ever since. You really had to see a Healer after fainting? Imagine that."
"We are still trying to discern the cause of your syncope," said Healer Smith, his white coat swishing as he walked towards her bed. "The medical term for fainting, or blacking out," he added when catching sight of her confused face. "A full report of our findings will be sent to the address given shortly after you are released. In the meantime, enjoy your stay here. You will be discharged in a few hours, so do not worry."
"OK," Ginny said, slightly disconcerted by the Healers stiff formality, with not a trace of a smile on his face. The Healer waved his wand, Summoning a small bottle of purple potion from the bedside cabinet. Still unsmiling, he handed this to his patient. "This is a dreamless sleep potion. You need to rest for a couple of hours, because I cannot trust that you will not overexert yourself during that time."
Ginny nodded, taking the little bottle. With a dismissive look at Laila, the Healer left the room.
"Bye, Laila," said Ginny. "Tell Harry where I am, OK?" She swallowed her potion and was lost into the realms of deep sleep.
"So, any interesting cases today?" Ron Weasley asked his best friend and colleague, Harry Potter, as they both lounged on their armchairs, their feet propped up on their desks. They were adorned with photos: mostly wizard photos of their family and friends, but also a few Muggle photos, courtesy of Harry's aunt Petunia, who had passed on some photo albums of his mother after the Battle of Hogwarts as a gift.
"Nothing too significant," Harry replied sarcastically. "Just a bewitched wineglass which poisons its drinker, a guy who did the Unbreakable Vow at his wedding that he would never divorce his wife and is worried he's going to break it and another raid of the Lestranges' house. And it's only half past eight!"
He ran his hand through his hair, a habit of his that was hard to stop. "I guess I still need to get used to being back at work," Harry said, stifling a yawn with his hand.
"Yeah…I still don't get why you two wanted twelve weeks. I mean, come on! That's what, three months? Weren't you bored? What did you do in all that time?" Harry grinned mischievously. "On second thoughts, mate, don't answer that," Ron amended hastily, shuddering slightly. "Too much information, as George likes to say."
Harry chuckled. "If I had a Knut every time he's said that and you too, I would be the richest wizard in the world by now."
"You already are," Ron retorted, half amused, half annoyed.
"How's Hermione?" Harry asked suddenly. The grin had vanished from his face as he remembered his other equally best friend, Hermione Granger. "She OK?" Ron's wife and Harry's would-be sister, Hermione, had, up until recently, been pregnant. But unfortunately, her baby had died inside her.
Ron nodded. "She's already out of St. Mungo's. They had to take the baby out, and it had arms and legs and everything…" He trailed off, his face hollow. Harry couldn't blame him. Ron had been so excited about being a father; he had always liked children. "We're going to – to bury the baby soon."
"Me and Ginny will come visit," Harry promised. "It's just that Ginny's been a bit ill recently, the bug, you know…"
"Yeah, I get it, don't worry," said Ron tonelessly. Wiping a single tear from his eye, he gulped and tried to swallow the lump in his throat, which had been there ever since he had found out about it.
Harry pretended that he didn't see it. Ron, putting on a brave face, rolled up his sleeves and, with Harry, they began their day's work.
Until two o'clock that day, they worked solidly, sending owls and memos to various places in order to sort out the mounting matters appearing in their office. Finally, Ron insisted on getting lunch for them both and Apparated to the bakery nearby to get some pastries. The moment Ron left the room, a beautiful snowy owl reminiscent of Harry's old owl Hedwig flew into the room, landing on Harry's desk and knocking over the photo of Ginny. The picture squealed in protest.
Picking it up and returning it carefully to its previous position, Harry untied the letter attached to the owl's left leg. He was curious. White owls were usually from St. Mungo's, so he wondered what it was. Opening the tightly furled scroll with his wand, he began to read:
Dear Mrs. Potter,
After investigating the cause of your syncope, we have found the reason you fainted. We suggest
Harry stopped reading and gasped in horror. Ginny had fainted? When had this happened? Disregarding the rest of the letter, he scrunched it up into a tight ball and put it in his pocket as he stood up. He exited his office in quick strides, ignoring everyone who greeted him along the way, his mind focused on his destination. At last, he came out of the Ministry of Magic. He did not pause in his walk but simply turned on the spot, thinking of St. Mungo's.
Even after several years of Apparating, Harry still found it uncomfortable. Indeed, he grimaced as he appeared in front of the fake shop display. "I'm here to see Ginny Potter," he said curtly to one of the dummies. It nodded and let him pass through the glass.
His heart thumping in his chest, Harry walked through the glass which felt like cool water, emerging unscathed on the other side.
He rushed to the desk, oblivious to the queue behind him, who were all shaking their heads and muttering. His heart was racing. Although he didn't need to introduce himself, he said to the frowning clerk, "I'm Harry Potter."
The clerk's expression changed in an instant, as did the people's queuing behind him. Their faces became rapturous as they all looked at him in admiration as he told the clerk whom he needed to see urgently.
Eagerly, she looked at the parchment in front of her. Then her face fell. "I'm sorry, Mr. Potter," she said apologetically. "But Mrs. Ginevra Potter was discharged ten minutes ago." Harry groaned. "She is OK, though," she said, as if that would reassure him. "Otherwise we wouldn't have cleared her to leave."
Harry turned away, slightly crestfallen. He considered his options. Ginny was most likely going to be at their house. He hoped that his mother-in-law, Molly, hadn't invited her round to lunch. With half of the patients still staring intently at him, he walked (as quickly as he could without running) outside St. Mungo's. Spinning on the spot, he thought of Potter Manor.
The moment of near suffocation had passed again and Harry breathed deeply as he entered his home. His footsteps echoed loudly as he went down the hallway. A note was magically attached to the door leading to the living room.
If Laila hasn't already told you, I fainted after work so I had to go to St. Mungo's. I'm OK, don't worry, probably just this illness that's getting to me, Teddy and Dromeda have been throwing up as well.
Anyway, if you manage to get off work early, all of us are going to Aziziye Restaurant – it's Turkish, a bit of a change from the usual Italian or Chinese, isn't it? Mum, Dad, Bill, Fleur, George (and his latest girlfriend) and Hermione are all going to be there, so if you can come, try to be there for 2.30. I didn't want to send you a Patronus in case you had any meetings today.
Please come if you can. Probably, if you're reading this, you'll be able to come. It's in Dalston, in London.
Wearily, Harry sent a Patronus to Ron telling him where he was going. He had, after all, been working flat out this week, and had done tons of work today, so he deserved a break. He hoped that Ron could also come, since a meal out would be better than boring pastries. He quickly swapped his Ministry robes for a t-shirt and jeans.
The thought of exotic Turkish food enticed him; he hadn't realised how hungry he had been feeling. She's got me running in circles today, Harry thought. They were still being careful around each other, even after three months. Harry and Ginny were still getting used to being married, and the last week had been difficult particularly for Ginny. She had thrown up immediately after eating anything, making Harry think of food poisoning. He had managed to persuade her not to go to work for a week, until she finally put her foot down.
They had even gotten into a row today, in the morning. She had been complaining about how tired she was, so Harry suggested (none too subtly) that she should stay at home again. Ginny, having inherited her temper from her mum, had shouted obscenities at her husband which her mother would have deemed incredibly unladylike. She had complained that he was trying to take control.
But Harry and Ginny weren't able to stay mad at each other for very long, and they made up pretty quickly, even though their idea of making up made both of them late for work.
And now look what happened when she decided to go to work! Harry thought furiously. She had fainted, and he had been the last to know! Angrily, he picked up his robes to put them in the laundry basket, fully intending to go to this Aziziye restaurant to tell his wife off – as well as scoff some lovely Turkish food. He halted in his steps as he felt a bump in the left-hand pocket, the one that he never used. Whatever it was made a crunching sound. He took it out, frowning.
The parchment was crinkled and torn in places, making it illegible. Harry took out his wand, muttered, "Reparo!" and it repaired itself, looking crisp and official again. Despite his anger, he was interested to know why she had passed out. He read it again, from the beginning.
Dear Mrs. Potter,
After investigating the cause of your syncope, we have found the reason you fainted. We suggest that you sit down before reading on. (At this point, Harry scoffed and remained where he was, standing.) Mrs. Potter, we at St. Mungo's are delighted to inform you (and we are sure you will be too) that you are expecting a baby! Fainting is one of the symptoms of pregnancy, as we are sure you know, and you have probably been experiencing other signs such as retching – not necessarily in the morning – as well as many other things. Feel free to come to St. Mungo's for the Pregnancy Pamphlet, which will give you a more thorough overview of pregnancy.
We hope that you enjoy your first pregnancy.
Healer Persephone Langdon
His eyes widened in shock. All the anger he had felt mere moments before evaporated. It all fit. The vomiting, the dizziness, the tiredness, the fainting all made sense now. Ginny didn't have food poisoning. Ginny was pregnant!
Ginny. Was. Pregnant!
Harry didn't know whether to smile or cry. For want of something to do, he folded up the letter and slid it into his pocket.
Abruptly, the door opened. Harry whipped out his wand, but relaxed after seeing that it was Ginny. She gave him a tired smile.
"Hi, love," Harry spoke softly as they closed the distance between them. "How come you're back so early?"
Ginny gave her husband a quick kiss. "Oh, it got cancelled. It seems I was the only one who remembered, it was planned so long ago. Everyone wasn't bothered or was busy."
"That's too bad," Harry murmured, pushing a strand of her glossy red hair away from her face. It was glossier than usual; in fact, Harry didn't think he had ever seen her hair look so good. "Are you OK? You could have told me you fainted." There was a trace of indignation in his tone, masking the much stronger feeling of shock and elation of the news.
"I'm fine," she said airily. "What's for eating? I'm starving." Harry raised an eyebrow. All this week, he had had to force his wife to eat anything, and she threw up afterwards anyway!
Then, the Hermione in his head told him, it's the cravings. Pregnant women get cravings for food.
Harry had a sudden idea. He asked her casually, "Why don't we go to this restaurant? Just the two of us?"
She looked surprised. "Are you sure? It says that it's a non-alcoholic environment."
"All the better," Harry said, thinking privately that Ginny would not be consuming one drop of alcohol during her pregnancy. He had to admit, he was enjoying knowing something that she didn't. "Come on," he told her, taking her hand. Ginny shrugged and relented. They went outside again, Ginny wobbling slightly as they Disapparated together.
They found themselves facing a restaurant door, which Harry pushed open. They entered Aziziye Restaurant, where the introduction of a song was playing softly. It took her a moment to recognise it, but Ginny realised that it was one of her favourite songs, You're Having My Baby, by Paul Anka. Ginny was so lost in the moment that she didn't notice her husband talking with the person at the reception.
She hummed along to the song, smiling contentedly. She wasn't obsessed, but she loved the lyrics and she hoped that one day she could have children too.
Having my baby You're the woman I love I'm a woman in love and I love what it's doin' to me
What a lovely way of saying how much you love me
Having my baby
What a lovely way of saying what you're thinkin' of me
I can see it, your face is glowing
I can see it in your eyes
I'm happy in knowin'
That you're having my baby
And I love what it's doin' to you
Having my baby
You're a woman in love
And I love what's goin' thru you
The need inside you
I see it showin'
Oh, the seed inside you baby
Do you feel it growin'
Are you happy knowin'
That you're having my baby
Having my baby
I'm a woman in love and I love what's goin' thru me
Didn't have to keep it
Couldn't put you thru it
You could have swept it from your life
But you wouldn't do it
No you wouldn't do it
And you're having my baby
I'm a woman in love and I love what it's doin' to me
Having my baby
I'm a woman in love and I love what's goin' thru me
Having my baby
You're the woman I love
I'm a woman in love and I love what it's doin' to me
Harry loved kids too. He adored his godson, Teddy, who was delighted every time he saw him. Just before Tonks had died, at the Battle of Hogwarts, she had asked Ginny to be Teddy's godmother. She was so chuffed, albeit the dire situation that they were in at the time.
At least Ginny's mother wasn't pestering her yet, but it was only a matter of time. She had kept quiet about children ever since Hermione's miscarriage, so as not to hurt her feelings.
Lost in thought, she didn't notice the half-doors leading to their table, ensuring privacy for its occupants. They went in, and Ginny paused in surprise. The table was extremely low, as were the seats.
"Wow," said Harry. "This is…different."
Ginny nodded. "So how come you wanted to take me here? Your way of saying sorry, huh?" Her voice had a teasing note to it as they clambered into the seats. They both ended up practically sitting on the floor, the seats were that low. It was surprisingly spacious, with plenty of leg room.
"Well, firstly, I'm really sorry about what happened this morning. But I guess we survived our first lovers' tiff, didn't we? It was my fault," Harry said humbly. "So these are for you." He waved his wand under the table and conjured some yellow roses, which he knew were her favourite.
She wasn't fooled. "OK, what's this about? The restaurant AND flowers? You know, we did make up in the end." The last was said with a wry grin as she remembered what their idea of "making up" was.
Harry decided to change the subject. "It's so comfortable here. Way better than the usual boring table and chairs. What do you want for your starter?"
"I don't mind. I've never been here before, you know. But order quickly, I could eat a Hippogriff."
After choosing the dishes that he vaguely recognised, Harry called a waiter over by pressing a buzzer. He appeared almost immediately. "All right, mate, can we have the lahmacun for two, manti, bread and hummus. And –" he glanced at the menu "Lemonade for me. What drink do you want, Ginny?"
"Just water, thanks," she said.
The dark-haired Arab waiter nodded and took their order. The moment he was gone, Harry leaned forward and took Ginny's hand, his thumb stroking it almost absent-mindedly. They stayed like that for a while, just looking at each other lovingly. Then, slowly, Ginny leaned in and kissed him, as if it was the most natural thing for them to do. Harry was the first to pull away.
"Ginny, I just want to say that whatever happens to us in the future, I'll always love you, and only you," he began, his green eyes looking earnestly into Ginny's bright brown ones.
Although Ginny smiled, she still looked suspicious. "Seriously, love, what are you hiding from me? What do you want?"
Before Harry could speak, their starter arrived. "All in good time," he said, grinning at the infuriated look on his wife's face. Ginny, ravenous, grabbed a piece of warm bread and dipped it into the hummus. It was delicious. "You know," Harry stated matter-of-factly through a mouthful of manti, "you're eating mashed-up chickpeas."
She rolled her eyes. "Whatever. So tell me," she said as she spooned some lahmacun into her mouth.
Harry decided to just say it. He took a deep breath. "Well, Ginny, you – you know how I've always loved children." She was startled; it was like he had read her mind.
"Yeah. So do I." Ginny wondered where this was leading.
"You've seen what I'm like with Teddy," he went on, a wide smile spreading across his face. "I know you're not expecting this, but I can't wait for our baby."
She tried to smile back, eating a manti. "Harry, remember we have to make the baby first." She always resorted to humour when she was nervous.
To her surprise Harry laughed. "I'm afraid that we're already past that stage, Gin." In answer to her bewildered face, he pulled out the folded piece of parchment and slid it across to her while he finished off the last of the lahmacun.
Ginny frowned, opening it. She bit her bottom lip. Comprehension dawned on her as she gazed at the official seal of St. Mungo's; these were the hospital results! But it couldn't be – it couldn't be that she was pregnant! Her eyes scanned the page for the word pregnancy, which she found several times.
"Oh, God," she breathed. Tears fell slowly down her cheeks but she was smiling as she looked up at her husband. "We're having a baby. We're having a baby!"
"Yeah," Harry whispered back. "I don't believe it."
Impatiently wiping her tears from her eyes, Ginny remembered her boss, Gwenog Jones. "Gwenog's not going to be happy."
"Stuff ruddy Gwenog. We're having a baby!"
"What shall we call him?"
"Him? Who says it's not a girl?" Harry asked. Weirdly, most women that he knew wanted a boy first. Ginny wasn't any different.
"Well, if it's a girl, we'll call her…" she looked around the room for inspiration, finding the lilies in a vase on the table. "We'll call her Lily, after your mum."
"And if it's a boy, we'll call him…James," Harry suggested. "Or maybe after your dad?"
"What about Mum?" Ginny asked. "How on earth will I tell her?"
Harry shrugged, smiling. "I don't know, Ginny…she probably would have expected it."
"Seems that the only one who didn't expect it was me."
Harry tentatively reached out over the table to touch Ginny's stomach, which still looked as flat as a normal tummy. A jolt of electricity went through him as he connected with his baby for the first time. He felt joyful tears fall from his eyes as he looked into his beloved wife's chocolate brown eyes. A sudden magical warmth spread from his fingertips right through his chest and near his heart. It was a different kind of magic. It was love.
End Notes: Please rate and review. It doesn't cost anything! Constructive criticism, as always, is welcomed.
By the way, Aziziye restaurant is a real restaurant in Dalston. It really does have low seats and low tables! I went there for my uncle's 21st and it was brilliant; I recommend it for anyone looking for authentic Turkish cuisine.