October 8th, 2007
Ginny sat in hers and Harry's bed, reading a letter from Charlie. She smiled and leaned against Harry, who was flipping through a very worn-looking copy of Quidditch Through the Ages.
Ginny grunted slightly, shifting her weight and pressing a hand to the side of her swollen belly. Harry, whose nerves had been running more and more on edge since Ginny had been placed on bed rest and passed her due date for their third child, snapped his head up.
"Gin? Are you ready? Is it time? Do I need to Floo your mother?" His voice rose with every question; one would think he didn't already have two sons.
He was halfway out of the bed and reaching for his clothes before his wife stopped him. Ginny chuckled quietly. "No, Harry, I'm fine. Just a kick," she told him as she patted her belly. "Come back here," she said, a mock pout on her face.
Harry relaxed and climbed back in beside her, leaning in to kiss her softly. He placed a hand over hers, which lay on her stomach, and he felt her lips smile against his. Just as Harry leaned closer, a shrill giggle sounded from down the hall, but was quickly stifled by the muffled sounds of a brief scuffle and an "Ow!"
Ginny rolled her eyes and tried not to smile too broadly.
Harry sighed. "I don't suppose you'd—"
"Who? Me? In this state?" asked Ginny in a very good imitation of Harry's escalating tones. She turned back to her letter. "I couldn't possibly."
Harry sighed. "Well, just remember, you're always much scarier than I am."
"And that's why you love me."
"Mm-hmm." Harry didn't close the bedroom door all the way as he went down the hall to check on the boys.
Harry's first stop was Albus' room. He poked his head in the small, pale yellow nursery. The eighteen-month old was snoring softly and looked quite peaceful. Harry grinned to himself.
Teddy, nine years old now, was staying the night. Whenever he slept over, he stayed in James' room at the toddler's request. Harry crossed the hall and opened the door to his son's room, and was unsurprised to see James and Teddy very much awake and giggling like madmen over whatever game it was that they had invented. When Harry opened the door and tapped the lights with his wand, though, they both froze, their eyes widening.
"Bed," Harry said.
Instantly, both boys scrambled for their beds and yanked the covers up to their chins. Harry walked in and leaned over them.
"Good night, Ted," he said, giving the boy a kiss. "Night, James," he said, as the littler boy wrapped his chubby arms around his father's neck and gave him a wet kiss on the cheek.
"Night, Uncle Harry."
"I love you both," said Harry, as he tapped the lights again.
Just as he began to close the door, he heard the sounds of a disgruntled baby. Hurrying to Albus' door before Ginny would hear him and try to get up, Harry went in to find a half-asleep baby with a distressed expression on his tiny sleep-lined face.
Harry smiled and lifted his son from the crib, checking his nappy; it needed a change. But, when he had put Albus back down, the boy didn't seem too concerned with going back to sleep. For almost half an hour Harry sat, rubbing Al's back until he finally heard the soft breathing that meant the little one had fallen asleep.
Stretching his legs, Harry got up and left. It was nearly one in the morning. He was stooping to pick up a forgotten trick wand (one of Uncle George's many gifts), when he heard Ginny's voice. She gave a sharp gasp, and then a whimper. "Harry?"
Harry didn't think his old Firebolt could have flown faster than he did down that corridor.
Ginny sat up in bed, holding her very large stomach with a grimace on her face. She nodded at Harry, who hurried over to her and helped Ginny stand. He then turned to face the closet, where they had kept a bag ready for their departure.
"I'll just Floo your mum, all right?"
Ginny nodded. She pressed her hands against her back and breathed deeply several times before another contraction hit, harder than any other she'd ever felt, even during the boys' births.
"Harry—oh!" Caught off guard, it was all she had to avoid falling backwards, but she carefully lowered herself back onto the bed.
"What? Ginny!" Harry helped her get back into a propped-up position. "What's going on?"
Ginny had gone ashen. "You need to get the healer here, now," she told him, her brown eyes sparkling with tears. She clutched his hand. "Now!"
Harry bolted for the door.
Harry gave her a quick smile and ran for the fireplace.
This was written for BlueEyes444's Edgar Allan Poe challenge. My quote was: "We loved with a love that was more than love," with a Teddy/Lily Luna pairing. Now I do realize there's no Lily yet, but I had such fun with Daddy Harry! Lily's on her way, don't worry.
Also, for those of you who were notified of this chapter being posted more than once: I made a slight miscalculation (see Chapter 5 note) that I had to correct, or else it would drive me crazy. Sorry!
For those of you reading for the first time, welcome, and I hope you enjoy it.