A/N: *gulps nervously*
Guys, please don't kill me.
I am going to say this one time: I'M SO, SO, SO, SO SORRY. Tons of stuff happened between my last update and this one: namely, school, Rick Riordan, school, John Green, school, Cassandra Clare...and did I mention school yet? Anyway, with so many different things going on, I just couldn't focus on Harry Potter that much. One thing led to another, and...it ended up with this story basically getting abandoned.
Then I got on my email the other day, and I saw someone else had reviewed this story. So I go to check the review number, right?
My response: !
Then I saw the last update date on this story.
My response: OHMYGOD I NEED TO UPDATE THIS STORY RIGHT NOW I AM A DESPICABLE HUMAN BEING WHY DID I MAKE THEM WAIT SO LONG I SUCK OHMYGOD.
*clears throat* Again, I apologize for the super-long wait. I'm trying to get all my stories on an update schedule, finish my in-progress ones, then get back to my usual one-shots. (This may or may not work out, but I swear I'll try my hardest!)
So: without further ado, I present the very late chapter 16. Enjoy, and don't forget to review!
Harry should have known his night was going to be extremely bloody strange when he heard Ron swearing in his kitchen at eleven o'clock.
There was a loud CLASH from the hallway, followed by an even louder "Bloody hell, Potter!" Harry jerked awake and glanced over at Ginny, who was still snoring away with her head buried under a pillow, and decided that he was going to have to go it alone. Snatching his wand off the bedside table, he groped blindly across the room and down the hall to the kitchen.
"Lumos," he muttered, and the lights flared on to reveal Ron sitting on the kitchen table, rubbing his foot and cursing under his breath.
"Oh, hello, mate," Ron grunted. "Glad to see you."
"Erm...well, it's good to see you too, Ron, but what exactly are you doing in my kitchen right now?"
"Well, I don't mean to scare you or anything, but it involves George and Angelina—"
"Oh, bloody effing hell. She's not having the baby, is she?"
Ron averted his eyes and gave a short nod.
"What?! But it's so early!"
"That's what George said—rather, what he yelled when he burst through the fireplace in my and Hermione's room about fifteen minutes ago. Mum and Dad are trying to round everyone up and get to St. Mungo's now, but it's kind of a pain in the arse. So I told them I'd help."
"Okay, then." Harry slid his wand into the waistband of his pajamas, thinking hard. "What do you need?"
"Well, is Ginny okay to go? I mean—"
"Oh, for Merlin's sakes, Ronald," said Ginny's voice from the doorway. "I'm pregnant, not bloody broken. Of course I'm okay—and if anyone says otherwise, to hell with it. This is my brother and my sister-in-law, after all. I want to be there."
Harry cracked a smile. "Exactly the kind of inspirational speech I'd expect from you, Gin."
"Shut up, Potter."
"Okay!" Ron jumped off the table. "Meet you at St. Mungo's in half an hour."
Ron turned back to face Harry. "What?"
"Before you go, you might want to put your pants on the right way." Harry was barely surpressing a grin now.
He glanced down at his jeans. "Bloody hell."
"Any news?" Harry asked when he stepped into the waiting room thirty minutes later. In an undertone to Ginny, he whispered, "Merlin, weren't we literally just here?"
His wife rolled her eyes. "I know."
It was Bill who answered Harry's question, bouncing Victoire up and down on his knee. "No change. I have a feeling we're going to be here for a while, though."
"Well, you're the parental expert, seeing as Mum and Dad aren't here yet, so we'll take your word for it," remarked Ron idly (he now had his pants on correctly, Harry was glad to see), and everyone laughed.
Hours passed. The Weasley-Potters—plus Mr. and Mrs. Johnson—sat in a circle, no one talking, no one moving. Victoire and Teddy were curled up next to one another on a chair, seeing how comfortable they could get without falling asleep. Harry stared at the clock on the wall, following time by the steady tick, tock. The minutes seemed to drag on like years.
Finally, the door at the end of the hall burst open, and George came running out. Everyone—including the other two families in the waiting room—went deadly silent, waiting with bated breath for his announcement.
"Angelina is fine," he said finally, "and—"
You could hear a pin drop now.
"—it's a boy," George finished. "He was born about forty-five minutes ago, and he's perfectly healthy."
The entire waiting room went up in cheers. Mrs. Weasley and Mrs. Johnson were the first to reach George—hugging him, asking him too many questions to count. He finally had to hold up his hands for silence again.
"We've decided to name him Fred," George went on, "amd if anyone asks why that's what we've chosen, I'll take a Probity Probe and shove it up your—"
"Only joking, Mum." His eyes lit up with that familiar mischievious twinkle. "And as godparents—we've already chosen those too, Ronald, put your bloody hands down—we picked Percy and Audrey."
Percy looked absolutely floored. "M-me? Really?"
George rolled his eyes, grinning at his older brother. "Yes, you, really. Unless you'd like me to pick this wanker of a Ron over here—"
"All right, I'm coming!" Percy shouted down the rest of George's sentence. He grabbed Audrey's hand and followed George through the door.
One by one, the others were allowed to come back and see Angelina and Fred. As Harry walked with George down the hall on his turn, he was surprised to see tears forming in the older man's eyes."
"George, what's wrong?"
"Nothing's wrong, it's just that…" He trailed off. When he looked back, there was a huge smile on his face. "Harry, I'm a dad."
Harry grinned. "Congratulations, mate."
"I don't know, I just always expected Fred to be here with me when this happened. But now that I ink of it, he's probably watching me from heaven somewhere and laughing about the fact that I'm so much older than he is now."
"Decrepit," Harry snorted.
"Indeed. And now, Mr. Harry Potter, I present to you…your nephew."
"Oh, wow, guys. He's beautiful."
Harry was absolutely stunned. Fred's skin was the same creamy mocha shade as Angelina's, with a fringe of her same deep black hair, but his eyes were a vividly bright blue just like George's.
"He is, isn't he?" Angelina grinned tiredly up at Harry. "And don't start playing maid to me, Potter, because I am still your Quidditch captain and I can still make you do some pretty unpleasant things. That goes for you too, Mr. Weasley."
George shuddered. "Running laps up and down the hospital hallways? You can get your things yourself."
Angelina winked. "That's the spirit, dear."
Harry looked down at little Fred again, and something inexplicable rose up inside him. In just a few weeks, this would be him and Ginny…
He felt nervous, but also excited for the unknown to come.
A/N 2: So...good? Terrible? Like, makes-you-want-to-pitch-your-laptop-out-the-window terrible? Let me know!
(Seriously, we're almost at a hundred reviews, people!)