(Major time skip, Folks!)
The rest of the summer flew by. Harry, Ron, Hermione and Draco had already finished their summer work and had started on the work they would be doing during the term. Harry's pregnancy went just as it should, Poppy had insisted that he see her once a week, just to make sure.
Harry received a surprise shortly before his birthday, in the form of a letter from his Aunt Petunia. In it, she apologized for the years of abuse that Harry had endured while living with them. She informed him that she and Dudley had left Vernon after he'd had too much to drink one night and, not having Harry there to beat on, had taken his frustrations out on Dudley. She gave him her address, in case he wanted to write to her, but she would understand if he didn't.
His birthday dawned bright, cheerful and hot. He was now legally old enough to marry Bill without the bond. They had talked about renewing their vows, but decided to wait until Harry turned 21, to let the Vindiciae Nuptia bond end and have a better planned bonding ceremony. They knew it would please Molly and Bill could give Harry a wedding to remember, not one held after dinner in the Great Hall.
Bill and Lucius had planned a combined birthday party for Draco and Harry, even though their birthdays were almost two months apart. There had been no celebration for Draco's birthday because of the situation with Fudge and Pembroke, so Lucius had asked Bill if he minded it being a party for both boys. Bill hadn't minded in the least, so with Molly's help, they started planning.
Bill made sure that everyone knew that, even though Harry would be two and a half months pregnant at that point, there were to be no baby gifts, they were to give him things he could use after the baby was born. The suggestions of a new broom and broom cleaning kits were made, along with new Quidditch gloves and new clothing. Hermione, practical as always, made the suggestion of books, but only Remus agreed with her on that one.
Everyone had a great time at the party, laughing when Draco realized that it was a party for him as well. The two had been told that it was to be a party for the other; Bill had told Harry that they were having his party the following week. Harry hadn't believed him but went along with it, so that he wouldn't disappoint his husband.
They all spent the last month before the term started doing schoolwork and lazing about in the sun. Harry wasn't allowed to do any of the rougher things, like pick-up Quidditch games, so he set about learning how to knit from Molly. They sat in the stands knitting while the others zoomed about on brooms. Bill had gone back to Gringotts, ending his leave two weeks after Fudge had been given the Kiss, only to give his final notice shortly thereafter.
There were going to be many changes for the next term. Bill was taking on the Defense Against the Dark Arts position and Charlie was going to be taking over Care of Magical Creatures from Hagrid. Severus was, of course, going to stay on as the Potions instructor and Lucius was going to be assisting Minerva with Transfiguration while she taught the N.E.W.T. level classes. Albus was planning on retiring at the end of their seventh year; he felt that he'd had enough. Everyone was now betting that he would be Minister of Magic before the 1998-1999 term started.
Sirius' and Remus' baby, a boy, had been born on November First, making Harry a big brother for the first time. They would talk about it later, but they knew that Orion James Lupin-Black wouldn't be the youngest for long.
20 January, 1997
Harry woke Monday morning and immediately wished he hadn't; he didn't want to get out of bed. He could hear Bill moving around in the shower and knew he'd have to lever himself out of bed on his own. He rolled over onto his side and pushed himself into a sitting position before trying to stand. His pregnant belly was something that he didn't think he'd ever get used to. He grumbled as he stood, vowing that Bill would get to carry the next child. A sharp pain crossed his belly and caused him to lose his breath. He had been having what Poppy called Braxton Hicks contractions for several weeks now, but this one seemed different. He waited and another sharp pain ripped through him, much worse than the first one, this one causing his knees to buckle.
The water stopped and his husband ran out of the bathroom, wrapped in a towel. He saw Harry clinging to the bed post and ran across the room. "What is it? What's wrong?"
"I think..." Harry stopped and gritted his teeth as another pain shot across his belly; at the end of it, Harry was gasping for breath and could barely stand. Bill picked him up and laid him on the bed, casting a Tempus charm to time the contractions. He grabbed a pair of boxers and his robes and grabbed Harry's robes before going back to the bed. Another contraction had started, they were only six minutes apart. He threw on his clothing and shoes and got Harry into his robes before picking up his husband and quickly making his way to the infirmary.
Poppy began bustling around as soon as she saw them. She had been preparing for this for the last three weeks, ever since Harry had started having Braxton Hicks contractions. She motioned Bill to take Harry into the private room where Sirius had given birth almost three months before. She examined Harry as he cursed his husband up and down the wall. Unlike Sirius, it seemed that Harry was going to be able to give birth naturally. A wizard's magic will create a birth canal for the baby in the final month of pregnancy, and Harry's was fully developed.
"Do you want to give birth naturally or do you want the Caesarean Section, like we talked about?"
Harry looked at her in between pains. "Am I able to?" Poppy nodded and Harry smiled, a huge happy smile. "I want to be able to say I helped my child into the world, I want to do this naturally."
While Poppy had been examining Harry, Bill had fire-called everyone he could think of in the castle and his parents at the Burrow. By the time he made it back to Harry's bed to hear him say he wanted to have the baby naturally, a crowd had started to form. They all got to listen to Harry scream and curse at Bill, telling him that if he ever came near him again, he was going to be fishing his manly bits out of the lake. All the men in the room paled dramatically while the older women laughed at them. As Hermione had not been through childbirth, she didn't know how much pain Harry was in and couldn't understand why the women were laughing.
Six grueling hours later Harry was still pushing and was rapidly becoming exhausted. Bill was sitting behind him, letting Harry lay on top of him in between pushes. Suddenly Harry felt the overwhelming urge to get this baby out, to push as hard as he could. Poppy seemed to realize that the time had finally come and got things ready at the end of the bed. Bill wrapped his arms around Harry's chest and helped him push. Harry felt a strange, prolonged sliding sensation and then there was the loud wail of a baby. Harry collapsed back against Bill, crying; he had done it, he had given birth to their child.
Harry and Bill looked at a teary eyed Poppy as she cleaned their baby. She stood and presented Harry with a blanket wrapped bundle. "Gentlemen, I present to you your son."
They gently unwrapped the baby to get their first look at their son. He was perfect, a little red and screaming, but perfect. He had Harry's hair, but Bill's nose and lips. He opened his eyes to look up at his parents as if to say 'What the Hell did you do to me?' His eyes were baby blue, but looked as if they would stay blue, there was no hint of green in them at all.
"What are we going to name our little boy?" Bill leaned in to softly kiss Harry's neck and then the baby's cheek.
"William James, your first name, my middle name."
Bill smiled and kissed Harry again. "William James it is."
They both looked up at the crowd of people standing in and about the doorway. Harry felt his heart swell. These people were his family, right alongside Bill and their son. "Come on in...come see our little miracle."
"Daddy, do we have to go to the train? Can't we just meet everyone here?" The eleven year old Will looked at Harry in frustration.
"No, Will, the Hogwarts Express is something every child should experience. Anyway, Orion will be there waiting for you. You know how excited he is about finally being old enough to go to Hogwarts to learn and not just to visit you and your sisters."
Will sighed, as only a put-upon eleven year old can. "Alright. We don't have to take my trunk or anything, do we?"
"No, just you, but you may want to take a game of Exploding Snap with you, so that you have something to do with Orion."
Will brightened and ran to get the game from his room. Harry looked around him while he waited for Bill to get there. They were both going to see Will off at Platform 9 3/4, and Harry would definitely need his help. Not only was there Will to herd about but the rest of their children, Diana and Lily, their eight year old twins, and five year old Margaret, or Maggie for short, were going as well. Harry couldn't handle all of them in one group anymore, he was due with their fifth child in just three months.
Bill came through the door and sat on the sofa, sighing in relief as he sank into the cushions. Harry walked over and ran his hands through Bill's hair, soothing him. "What's wrong, Love?"
Bill looked up at him and grimaced. "Well, you know how I've not been feeling quite right lately?" Harry nodded. "I just came from seeing Poppy."
Bill carefully drew Harry down onto his lap and placed a hand on his belly. "This one's going to have a brother or sister about four months younger than them."
Harry drew back and stared at Bill incredulously. "You're pregnant?"
Bill nodded and then his brows drew together in a frown. "Harry, this isn't funny! I thought we were done after this one. Harry! Stop laughing!"
The peals of Harry's laughter could be heard as far away as Gryffindor Tower, where Sirius and Remus looked at each other and grinned.