"You're leaving." The voice was toneless and completely unemotional.
Charlie sighed in frustration. He knew this was going to happen when he told Harry about the new position. "Yes, they made me an offer I would be an idiot to turn down."
"What about us? We've been together for over a year now, doesn't that mean anything?" Charlie heard the tears in Harry's voice and turned to face him, but Harry had his back to Charlie.
"Of course it does, you're going to come with me." Dead silence. "Aren't you?"
"Thank you for asking...finally. You've already told them you'd take the position, haven't you." It was a statement of fact, not a question.
"Yes, I told them that I wanted the position. Harry, it's a huge jump in pay and I finally get to work with dragons again. I've missed that since I moved back to England. You can come with me and teach the children on the reserve. They don't have a permanent teacher there and the kids really need someone to teach them how to use their magic."
"I like it at Hogwarts...I thought you did too."
"Harry, I'm stuck teaching a bunch of unappreciative pre-teens how to fly on a broom...it's not that rewarding." The muscles in Harry's back tightened and then released. "What's really wrong Harry? Is it because I don't want to teach or is there something else I don't know about." Charlie fought to keep the irritation out of his voice, but didn't succeed very well.
Harry spun around to face the man he loved more than anything else in the world and looked at him with sad eyes. "You didn't even bother to ask me if I wanted to go with you. You just assumed I would. This is a relationship Charlie, not a dictatorship. We're supposed to be open with each other." Harry began to pace the floor in front of the sofa. "You didn't even tell me until tonight that this position had been offered to you. You're leaving tomorrow...did you think I could just pack up and leave Hogwarts with no notice? What about your notice? Have you spoken to Minerva about it?"
Charlie winced; he knew he was about to kill any feelings that Harry had for him. "I gave my notice a month ago."
Harry stopped pacing and turned to look at Charlie. "I see...well, I guess that explains a lot, now doesn't it." He walked across the floor of their quarters and put his hands on Charlie's shoulders. "I wish you luck, Charlie, but I'm not going with you. My life is here...I thought you were my life, but I guess I was wrong." Harry turned away but then immediately turned back. "Give me one last night with you, so that I have something to remember you by, alright? Stay with me tonight, please?"
Charlie nodded, knowing he was going to regret giving in to Harry.
Pulling his invisibility cloak over him, Harry silently made his way into Severus Snape's office. Harry knew that Severus wouldn't like him being there, but that's where Severus stored all of the potions he made for owl order. Harry was looking for one potion in particular, one that would give him his reminder of Charlie.
He smiled slightly as he saw the potion he wanted. His bare feet made no noise as he crept across the floor. He grabbed the phial and pulled his hand back underneath the cloak, never noticing the obsidian eyes watching from the corner of the room.
Once Harry had left the office, Severus raised the lights and thought about what he had just seen. Professor Harry Potter's hand appearing, taking a pregnancy potion from his private stock and then disappearing again. He wondered if this had anything to do with the new director of the Romanian Dragon Reserve, who just happened to be leaving in the morning.
Harry woke the next morning to an empty, cold bed; Charlie hadn't even woken him up to say goodbye. He could feel his heart shatter into tiny little pieces and Charlie had left him alone to pick them up. He sat up, thankful it was Saturday and he didn't have to face his students this morning. As tears tracked their way down his face, he slowly got out of the bed and went to the loo. After relieving himself and washing his hands, he walked out of the bathroom and sat dejectedly on the sofa.
Harry got up again and looked around the living area of his quarters, his now, not theirs, and tried to find something he could hold onto while he broke down. He found the shirt that Charlie had been wearing the day before and held it to his face, inhaling deeply, trying to embed Charlie's scent into his mind, so that he couldn't forget it. The sobs came next, shaking his body, making him think that he was going to go crazy with the grief. He really hadn't thought it would hurt this badly, but the reality of it was so much more painful than he could have possibly imagined. Charlie was his life, his love...and now he was gone. Harry felt his knees give out and he collapsed to the floor, wishing that this was all over and he didn't have to feel anymore. It wasn't even 24 hours yet and Harry Potter was officially going crazy.
Remus Lupin was an observant man...well, he was actually a werewolf, so that made him more observant than most. He had been watching his godson, Harry, for several days now and was no closer to figuring out what was wrong with him than he had been when he started. Harry had taken Charlie's departure badly and, for about a month, had been steadily losing weight. His eyes were shadowed and he basically kept to himself except when teaching; it was kind of difficult to keep to yourself when you had classes of about twenty teenagers constantly asking you questions.
Remus had noticed that he wasn't the only one watching Harry and decided to speak with the other watcher. "Severus, may I ask you a few questions?"
"Please do, Wolf. Maybe together we can figure out what's going on with Potter."
"This goes beyond what happened with Charlie, doesn't it?"
"I believe it does. Allow me to tell you what I saw and then we can decide if it worked or not." Severus told Remus about Harry's visit to his office and what he had seen Harry take.
"You think he got pregnant on purpose?" Remus was shocked; he didn't think that Harry had it in him to be that sneaky. "Why would he do that, knowing Charlie was leaving?"
"Potter is very good at subterfuge, remember that Lupin. How long did he hide the abuse he was receiving from those relatives of his? His 'I don't care if he's gone' act is just that, an act. I believe that Potter didn't know that Mr. Weasley was leaving until the day before he left. I went to see him that Saturday, to inquire about one of my Slytherins; he refused to allow me entry into his quarters and his voice was rather choked up when he spoke. If you remember correctly, he was 'ill' the entire next week. I was finally able to see him the following Friday evening. While he is not the best at Occlumency, he is, by no means, the worst; it took me ten minutes to get past his shields. He is what I believe you would call...heartsick over Mr. Weasley's departure."
Remus stared at the man, then looked at Harry. "You mean to tell me that Charlie Weasley didn't tell Harry he was leaving until the day before? How could he do that? He and Harry had been together for a year! How could he do that to my pup?"
Severus laid a hand on Remus' arm. "Calm yourself, Wolf. We need to intervene here and speak with Potter. If possible, get him..." Severus broke off as Harry slid out of his seat to the floor, unconscious.
Remus leapt out of his chair and ran to Harry's side; he checked for a pulse and, once he found a steady heart beat, sniffed the air around his godson. There was something different in his scent, but he wanted Poppy to confirm it. He lifted Harry into his arms and carried him out of the Great Hall, ignoring the whispered conversations from worried students and teachers; Severus followed him to the Infirmary.
"Poppy? Can you come out here?" Remus laid Harry's body down on the bed nearest to the medi-witch's office and stepped back as that lady bustled out to meet them.
"What has Harry done now?" She pulled her wand out of her pocket and began running scans over his body. She stopped at his abdomen and slowly looked up at the two men on the other side of the bed. "He's pregnant!"
By Poppy's calculations, Harry was now five months pregnant. He refused to talk about the other father of his baby; both Remus and Severus had asked. Harry had started taking better care of himself and, at times, one could actually see him smile as he ran a loving hand over his ever increasing belly. Remus and Severus were both worried about Harry; while he seemed fine, he never spoke of Charlie and he steadfastly refused to see the other Weasleys. Most of them had not been accepting of his relationship with the second oldest Weasley and had made their opinions known. Only Bill, Fred and George had approved of the pair; none of them had seen Harry since Charlie left.
Bill Weasley looked up at the castle as he stepped through the gates; he was there on a mission. Hermione had said that she had seen Harry and that he was obviously pregnant; he wanted to see for himself. He walked up to the front doors, currently propped open to allow the beautiful spring breezes to flow into the castle, and walked inside. He hadn't been back since the final battle with Voldemort and was pleased to see that it looked just as he remembered from when he was a student. He cast a quick disillusionment spell on himself and made his way to the Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom. He had timed his arrival to coincide with the lunch period; hopefully Harry would be attending lunch in the Great Hall.
A bell rang, sounding throughout the castle, and the door to the classroom was flung open. He heard a familiar voice calling out last minute instructions.
"Monday's lesson will be on Dementors; remember to read the next chapter in your books! Mr. Andrews, you will not do that to your classmates. Five points from Slytherin!" Bill heard several people groan and a young boy, whom he assumed was Mr. Andrews, came running out of the room, chased by several students wearing green and silver ties.
Once the room had emptied, Bill quietly walked in and stood against the back wall, watching his brother's former lover. Harry looked like hell. Apparently Charlie's leaving was more traumatic for Harry than Charlie had thought. He looked like he had lost weight in his face and there were dark circles under his saddened green eyes. Harry removed his robes and rubbed his hands over his obvious baby bump; Bill had to bite his lip so that he didn't audibly gasp. Hermione had been right, Harry was pregnant, and Bill would lay odds that the baby was Charlie's.
He didn't stay in the castle to watch during lunch. Charlie was at his flat, recovering from an injury; Bill had to tell him about this.
Harry sat on one of the benches by the lake, just staring into the dark water. Every once in a while one of the tentacles of the Giant Squid would rise slowly out of the water only to sink back in just as slowly. Lately, Harry had been wondering if he should talk to Remus about what had happened between him and Charlie, just to get it off of his chest. He knew that he was still depressed over Charlie leaving, but he couldn't seem to shake it off. Charlie was the love of his life and Harry knew that he would never feel this way about another person again.
He heard footsteps behind him and figured it was either Remus or Severus; they had both taken to joining him out here every evening, just so he wouldn't be alone. "Remus, I'm not in the mood for talking tonight."
"Too bad I'm not Remus then, isn't it?"
Harry spun around on the bench and had to grip the seat tightly to keep from falling off. Charlie Weasley stood directly behind him; a slight distance behind him stood Bill Weasley and Remus. Harry drank in the sight before him for a moment before reality intruded. "Why are you here?"
"Bill came to me with some cock and bull story about you being pregnant. I just wanted to confirm it with my own eyes." Charlie's tone was disbelieving, as though he thought Harry was lying about the whole thing. Charlie crossed his arms over his chest; the body language was unmistakable.
Harry's heart shattered once again. "Well, you've seen me and confirmed that, yes, I am pregnant, now you can go." He wasn't sure, but he thought the look on Charlie's face was one of pain. It must have been a trick of the lighting because, once Harry blinked, the look was gone.
"Is it my baby?"
"What would you do if it was?"
Dead silence greeted Harry's question. Harry dropped his head slightly, so that he wouldn't have to look at Charlie, and his hand crept up to lay protectively on his belly. He had known that the dragons were more important to Charlie than Harry was, but to have it confirmed was still painful.
"I-I don't know. Is it mine?"
"No. So you can now go back to your life in Romania and not worry about whether or not you abandoned a child." Harry could barely force the words past his lips and regretted them the moment they were out, but he couldn't seem to stop them. He still couldn't believe that Charlie had chosen dragons over him, but, then again, when had he ever mattered that much to anyone? He had thought Charlie was different, that he wouldn't leave him like everyone else...how wrong he was.
Harry stood to watch Charlie and Bill leave, drinking in the sight of his love one last time. Once they got past the gates, Bill placed a hand on Charlie's arm and apparated them away. Harry suddenly couldn't breathe; he put a hand on his chest and pushed slightly, trying to get air into his lungs. He barely heard Remus shout his name as he collapsed to the ground.
Once they were back at Bill's flat, Charlie immediately limped over to the firewhiskey sitting on a side table. He knocked back one shot and poured himself another. Bill watched from the doorway. He knew that Charlie had hoped the baby was his and had hoped that he would be able to get back together with Harry. Bill still thought that the baby was Charlie's, but wasn't sure if he would be able to get Harry to admit it.
"Why Bill? He sure as hell didn't wait too long after I left before going out and finding someone to replace me. For him to be that far along, he would have had to get pregnant within a week or two after I left." Charlie slid down the wall to sit on the floor. "I was hoping..." He hit his head against the wall and began to cry. "I wanted that baby to be mine! It should be mine! Why the hell did I have to leave?" Bill sat next to his younger brother on the floor and pulled him into a tight embrace.
"I don't know Charlie...I just don't know."
Harry was unconscious for three days before Poppy saw him make a sign of life. She had been very concerned after Remus had told her what had happened; even though he was one of the most powerful wizards in the world, Harry was still emotionally vulnerable. Harry groaned slightly as he opened his eyes and realised that he was in the Infirmary.
"Harry, we have got to stop meeting like this!" Poppy's comment drew a slight chuckle from the younger man.
"I agree completely, Poppy. The problem is that, by the time I get here, I don't remember what I did so that I don't do it again. What happened?"
"Remus told me that you collapsed after you were visited by Charlie Weasley. Harry, if this is going to happen when you see him, I don't think I'll be able to allow him on the grounds."
Harry sighed and closed his eyes before the medi-witch could see his tears. "I don't think you'll have to worry about that, Poppy. His dragons are more important to him than I ever was; he won't be back."
Poppy's head came up sharply and she stared at the younger man. What did he mean dragons were more important to Charlie? She would have to ask Remus or Severus to see if they knew.
Harry had just passed the eighth month mark and was beginning to have issues with the pregnancy. He had been confined to bed rest by Poppy a week ago and was now sitting in an office at St. Mungo's, waiting for an obstetrician to see him. His blood pressure had risen and he often had headaches because of it; Poppy wanted him to see a specialist because she wasn't too familiar with male pregnancies with her being a school medi-witch. The door opened and a medi-witch stuck her head out.
"Mr. Potter? If you'll follow me, we'll get you set up in a room. The healer will be right with you." Harry followed her to a room; he was followed by Remus, who had insisted upon accompanying him to this appointment.
"Lie down on the table and let me take your vitals." She ran a wand over Harry's body and looked at the results. "Your blood pressure is slightly elevated; I'm assuming that's why you're here, right?"
Harry nodded. "Poppy Pomfrey wanted me to see someone who's more of a professional at this than she is." Harry chuckled a little. "Considering that she's Hogwarts' medi-witch and deals primarily with teens, it's no wonder she sent me to you."
The medi-witch laughed and shook her head as she left the room. Remus settled in a chair across the small room from Harry. He took in his godson's pale, lacklustre appearance and was glad that Poppy had insisted Harry come here. Neither of them noticed that the door was still open slightly and a red-headed man stood back so that he couldn't be seen.
"Fred, what are you doing?" Fred's wife, Katie Weasley, nee Bell, grabbed his hand and tried to pull him back from the door.
"That's Harry in there. I think Bill's right and that baby is Charlie's."
"But Harry said it wasn't. How do you know?"
"Harry's not the type to go running from one man's arms into another's. I'd be willing to bet the shop that he hasn't been with anyone since Charlie. I want to make sure that Harry and our niece or nephew are okay." Katie nodded and backed away. Fred cast a disillusionment spell on himself and stood at the door.
"Harry, I know you really don't want to talk about it, but I think it's time to let me know who the other father is." Remus was determined that he get this answer today. Harry's life may well depend upon how well the rest of this pregnancy went and, if Charlie was the father, he deserved to know.
Fred was surprised to see tears in Harry's eyes when he looked at Remus. "You know who the father is." Harry whispered the words and wiped his eyes. "He left, Remy...he left me, no notice, he just left. He gave Minerva notice a month before he even told me that he was leaving. He wanted me to just drop everything and go with him." Harry drew a shuddering breath. "I wanted to, you don't know how much I wanted to just leave with him...but I couldn't. He didn't ask me if I wanted to go to Romania with him; he just assumed that I would."
"But, Harry, why use a pregnancy potion? Yes, Severus told me about that; he saw you take it."
"I wanted something to remember Charlie by, not just memories that would fade and go away. Everyone leaves me, Remy; you're the only one who hasn't. Mum and Dad were gone before I could even remember them, Sirius is gone, Albus Dumbledore is gone, although that might be a good thing. Most of the Weasleys turned on me when I came out to them. Hell, even my worst enemy, Draco Malfoy, left me. What is it about me that causes people to leave?" Remus got up and pulled the unresisting man into his arms.
"Harry, you've done nothing wrong! Don't think that way. You know damn well that if your parents and Sirius could be here, they would."
Harry nodded and buried his head in the werewolf's shoulder. "But why did Charlie leave? What did I do to make him go away? I thought things were going so well and then he leaves me to go back to his damn dragons. I thought that a child would be a permanent reminder of the only man I'm ever going to love." Harry's voice lowered to a whisper again. "No one could ever replace Charlie."
Fred backed away from the door as the healer walked down the hall. Once the door had shut behind her, Fred cancelled the spell and looked at his wife. "We need to get to Bill's flat right away. Harry just confirmed that the baby is Charlie's. Charlie needs to see my memory of what Harry said in there; I think it'll change his mind about staying in Romania."
Charlie was forcefully ejected from the pensieve and fell to the floor on his arse. Bill, Fred and George put their arms around Charlie when they saw the tears in his eyes; he needed some comfort and they were more than willing to give it to him.
"Why didn't I know how he felt? Why didn't he tell me how he felt? Why did he just let me leave? He didn't even fight me." He leaned his head onto Bill's shoulder, trying hard not to give in to the tears. Since that episode three months before, he had found himself crying more frequently and it made him feel weak; weakness was not something that a dragon handler could afford. It was bad enough that he'd lost enough weight to alert the reserve's healer that something was wrong with the new director; tears would have made the situation worse.
"Charlie, unless he told you, you couldn't have known how he felt. We all knew that Harry had abandonment issues, but none of us knew that they were this bad; we didn't know that he would blame himself for you leaving. You need to get to Hogwarts to talk to him. You need to let him know that you've never stopped loving him; he needs to know that, especially now. Term will end in two weeks, and then the students will leave the next morning. I don't know if Harry will stay at the school for the holidays, but you need to see him soon. Go back to the reserve and give them your notice. You've got to be here when that baby is born."
Charlie nodded and stood, stretching to ease the tension in his muscles and back. An end to his torment was in sight and he was going to run for that end. He needed Harry back in his life, so that he could feel whole again; he needed his love and their baby.
Charlie walked to the floo and left for the reserve, resolve visible in every step he took.
Harry was helping his replacement grade the term's last essays while lying almost flat on the sofa; this was the only way that Poppy and the healer would allow him to have anything to do with his classes for the last three weeks. He wouldn't have thought that Theo Nott would have made a good DADA teacher, but apparently the man knew what he was doing. Remus walked into his quarters and kissed the top of his head.
"Harry, I know you may not feel up to it right now, but you have company." Remus stepped aside as Fred and George Weasley waltzed into the room.
"My friend, you may..."
"Not want us to see..."
"You like this, but..."
"We want to talk to you..."
"About Charlie and our..."
"Niece or nephew."
Theo's jaw dropped slightly as he tried to follow the twins' rapid-fire version of conversation. He leaned in to whisper in Harry's ear. "Are they always like that?"
Harry chuckled. "Yeah, they are...it helps if you think of them as one person with two bodies." Theo nodded and went back to grading the essays, only occasionally throwing cautious looks in the twins' direction.
Fred plunked himself down next to Harry on the edge of the sofa, teetering a bit as he tried to retain his balance. "Harry, you might want to ask the other gent to leave; we have something to say that you probably won't want him to hear." Harry nodded at Theo and, with a wave of his wand, gathered all of the papers up for Theo to take with him.
"I'll see you tomorrow, Theo." The man nodded before leaving the room. "Now, what do you want to talk to me about?"
George cleared his throat before he spoke. "Harry, we know that Charlie is your baby's other father." He paused, but hurried on when Harry stiffened. "We know you tried to hide it, but you were overheard at the healer's office two weeks ago."
Fred nodded and took over. "Katie and I were there for her first check-up..." His words were cut off as Harry hugged him happily. "Thanks, Mate, but let me finish. I saw you in the room and listened; I know I shouldn't have, but I wanted to make sure you were alright. Also, Bill told us that he was positive that the baby was Charlie's and I wanted to see if there was anything wrong with the baby. You may not be happy with me for listening, but I just had to find out...it's killing you and it's killing Charlie." Fred looked at George to take over.
"Harry, Charlie's not as unfeeling as you might think. He honestly thought that you would follow him to Romania. He didn't use his head when he didn't ask if you wanted to go. If he had asked sooner, would you have gone?"
Harry sighed and a tear leaked out of the corner of his eye. "Yes...if he had asked me when he first found out, I would have gone with him. But he didn't! He just assumed I would drop everything and leave. I couldn't do that; I owe Minerva so much more than a hurried one-day notice. She let me teach here, even though I didn't have the credentials in the beginning; she helped me get them during my first year here."
"Why didn't you tell him that?"
"He had already accepted...what was I supposed to do? Nothing I could have said would have changed anything; he was already packed by the time he told me."
"Why did you lie to him when he asked if the baby was his?" This was something that Remus had never understood, but wanted an answer to.
"Charlie has always loved dragons, it's one of the many things that drew us together. I was just something to help him get through until he could get back to the reserve. I always knew he'd leave, but I didn't figure that we would only have one year together." Harry's voice dropped and everyone inside the room had to lean in to hear him. "Those dragons mean more to him than I ever could. I guess I should be happy that I had him for a year before the dragons started calling to him again. I can't compete with them."
"You're wrong." Harry stiffened as a slight shimmer in the corner disappeared to reveal Charlie, Bill and Severus.
Charlie, Bill and Severus stood out in the hallway as Fred and George entered Harry's quarters. When the other teacher left, they slid into the room silently before the door closed. Their disillusionment spells allowed them to stand in the corner of the room and not be seen as the twins began to talk to Harry.
Charlie looked Harry over from head to toe, noticing his too-thin frame and the haunted look in Harry's eyes. After what he had seen in Fred's memory, the way Harry looked made sense. He loved Harry and, now, he knew that Harry loved him. After Harry had sent him away three months ago, Charlie had thought that Harry had gotten over him and had moved on; now he knew differently. Harry hadn't moved on and he was hurting just as much, if not more than, Charlie was. He felt his heart clench; he hadn't intended to hurt Harry.
They listened as Harry gave his reasons for lying to Charlie about the baby; Bill and Severus both looked at Harry and nodded. This fell in with their thoughts that Harry's abandonment issues were worse than they thought. Severus and Remus had tried working on those issues with Harry, but apparently it hadn't worked out too well.
Charlie listened carefully to the reasons and shook his head; the dragons meant nothing to him without Harry. When he heard Harry's final sentence, he'd had enough.
"I can't compete with them."
Charlie cancelled the disillusionment spell and stepped forward. "You're wrong." He walked over to Harry and Fred stood to make room for him. "You mean more to me than any overgrown lizard ever could, Harry. I love you." He knelt next to Harry and claimed his lips in a passionate kiss that he hoped conveyed his feelings toward the younger man.
Harry's arms shot up to wrap around Charlie's neck and hold him in place. He hadn't felt those lips in almost nine months and he was starving for them. Charlie tilted his head slightly and deepened the kiss, sliding his arms around Harry, gently pulling him closer. The kiss would have continued, but Harry pulled away, hissing in pain.
"What is it? What's wrong?" Charlie looked Harry over carefully, not seeing any obvious problem...other than the very large belly between them.
"That hurt!" Harry rubbed a hand over his belly and pouted a bit.
"Is the baby coming?" Charlie felt his breath catch at the thought of their baby being born today.
"I don't think so, it's too early. I still have two more weeks before they're due."
"Do you know what we're having? Is it a boy or girl?"
"I don't know...I wanted it to be a surprise." Harry grinned up at his dragon handler for a moment before becoming completely serious. "When do you have to go back to the reserve?" He didn't want Charlie to leave again, but this time, he wouldn't be going alone.
"I'm not going back. I gave notice two weeks ago and they found someone else to take my place. I'll talk with Minerva about coming back, but hopefully it would be actually teaching this time. I've had months to think about it and I realised that I do want to teach...not just show kids how to sit on a broom. I've heard that Hagrid is thinking about retiring to France, so that would leave the Care of Magical Creatures position open. I don't think that Hogwarts has ever had a dragon handler in that position, so it could be interesting."
Harry smiled broadly before gasping in pain again. "Alright, that wasn't just a cramp!" He levered himself off of the sofa, with Charlie's help, and started to walk to the door. "Well, come on then! I need to get up to Poppy; she said that labour for males will go more quickly than it does for women." Charlie swept Harry up into his arms and carried him the rest of the way to the Infirmary.
After six hours of pain, sweating, grunting, moaning, whining, threatening Charlie's manly bits, bemoaning his own stupidity in taking a pregnancy potion and pushing, Harry was handed a red faced, howling scrap of humanity. Harry had tears in his eyes as he looked his daughter in the face for the first time. She had the trademark Weasley hair and was very fair skinned; at least it looked like she'd be fair skinned, if she ever stopped howling long enough to let her skin become another colour, other than red. She had Harry's nose and his lips, but the firm chin and cheekbones of her Papa. Once his daughter had finally calmed down and opened her eyes, Harry saw that they were bright blue green.
"Her eyes won't take on their permanent shade for a few weeks yet Harry, but I'm going to say that she'll probably have your eyes." Poppy had looked up from the foot of the bed where she was cleaning up after the birth. "She is definitely your daughter though, Charlie Weasley...look at that hair. What are you going to name her?"
Harry and Charlie looked at each other and then back down at the baby. Slowly Charlie began to smile and reached out a finger to trail it down his daughter's cheek. He leaned in and whispered to Harry who smiled right back and nodded. "We'll tell you when everyone else is allowed in."
Poppy gathered everyone who had been waiting inside the small room where Harry had given birth. As Charlie watched, Bill, Fred, Katie, George, Remus, Severus, Minerva and, of course, Poppy all crowded into the room. He realised that these people were his and Harry's family. Over the course of the last several years, he had spoken to the rest of the Weasleys only a handful of times, and hadn't spoken to Ron in longer than that. The only Weasley that was not in this room that he was still in contact with was, surprisingly, Percy; this was only because Percy understood. Everyone thought that the war had driven Percy away from his family, but that wasn't true; Percy was also gay and had chosen to out himself rather than hide it.
Harry was having the same revelation as Charlie. These people were the only family he had left; after he had come out to the Weasleys, they had systematically denounced him and his sexual orientation. The rest of the wizarding world had been a little more forgiving, but he was still shunned slightly when he went out in public, due to how many friends the Weasleys had convinced to be on their side. He still had friends in high places, like Minister of Magic Kingsley Shacklebolt and Head of the DMLE Amelia Bones; these people helped to convince most of their followers that Harry was still their Saviour and was still deserving of their respect...even if he hadn't ended up being exactly how they wanted him to be.
Charlie cleared his throat. "We didn't get much time together to think of a name for our daughter, but I came up with one and Harry agreed. Her name will be Meghan Mackenzie Potter. I've always liked the name Meghan and I thought that Mackenzie would be appropriate considering that she was born in a castle in Scotland." He paused for a moment. "I haven't had the chance to ask, but since our family is all here, I'm going to take that chance now. Harry James Potter, would you do me the honour of bonding with me and becoming my husband? I'll take your name, since you're the last Potter."
Harry gasped and ducked his head to hide his tears. He knew now that Charlie loved him, but hadn't known that love was strong enough for him to want to bond with Harry. He looked up into the blue eyes of the man he loved more than any other and nodded. "Yes!" Charlie wrapped his arms around Harry and their daughter and gently rocked them back and forth. After years of no real family and always wondering if he would ever have one of his own, Harry had finally found the safety and stability he had been craving.
Charlie vowed that he would make Harry believe that he was loved and wanted. Remus latched onto Severus and cried silently; Severus, not used to open displays of affection, gingerly patted the werewolf on the back. The rest all smiled gently as they saw this, thinking that, maybe, the next couple wouldn't be that far into the future. Harry just smiled and snuggled into Charlie's arms and looked down at their baby, secure in the knowledge that he was finally happy and wouldn't trade this feeling for anything else in the world.