A/N: This is a slight A/U fic, but it follows everything up to and through the end of the Battle of Hogwarts. I guess its closer to movie than the book but I will draw from the book for older information. Either way I tried to avoid too much "fact" so I wouldn't have go do a lot of "fact-checking". It's just a fun fic that'll center mostly around character development and interaction surrounding a small group rather than the development of the post-war Wizarding world. Thanks for reading! The rating probably won't change but I'll announce it if it does.
For once, for a long while, for better or worse, the Burrow was finally quiet. All of Arthur's children had left the house, for a better place or for their new homes across the country. Not two feet away, they stood grinning and waving in photographs, each of his children at different ages. It was nice to have them all in one place, though Author expected that he didn't long for the sound of children in the house the way Molly did.
Occasional visits were adequate for Arthur, and peace and quiet in-between with nothing but the sound of Molly puttering about in the other room made him happy, as happy as a man near fifty can be after such recent unpleasantries.
That particular day, the day of the happening, Arthur was sitting in his comfy chair while Molly washed dishes, humming a tune he could just barely hear. When she came into the room, he was reading the paper, "Arthur," she said in the way she did when she had some news or request.
"Do you remember the night... well the night before Hogwarts? Before the battle?" she asked, her face flushed.
Arthur's memory was just fine, and that night had been a frightening one, the feeling of impending danger, of something terrible on the horizon. They'd decided-just in case there would be no more nights-to put aside planning and fretting and had made love. Was she about to ask for a repeat performance? In the middle of dishes had that crossed her mind? "Yes," he said cautiously, taking a sip of his tea.
Arthur spit out the little bit of tea he had in his mouth and dropped the cup in his lap, jumping up instinctively as the hot liquid hit him, "Merlin's beard!" he cried, trying to focus on what Molly had said. Was this a prank? Her face was a tale of cautious happiness, the look she'd always given him when announcing their children's conceptions. Arthur had no clue he'd be seeing that look again after Ginny; Molly had always said she'd be satisfied once they had a girl.
"Arthur say something," she said softly.
"Are... you sure?"
Her expression made it clear that he'd chosen the wrong thing to say, "I think I have a good idea of what pregnancy is like after giving you seven children!"
And now each child was a gift for Arthur, given under duress as if Molly herself hadn't desired each child as much as the last. He sighed, "Mollywobbles, I didn't mean-"
"You think I'm too old!" she said, and burst into tears.
"Not at all!" he said, pulling her to him, "Not at all, Molly. This is just a surprise. It's a wonderful surprise."
Molly rested against him, "Oh Arthur it's true. I am too old to be having a baby. Look at me."
Arthur put his own fear aside, "You're not even fifty, Molly. You won't be the first woman in your forties to have a child."
"I'm forty-nine Arthur. What will the children say?"
"That doesn't matter," Arthur said, "It doesn't matter what anyone says. I love you and we're having a baby. That's what matters."
Harry Potter sat reading, working through some books on magic, some he'd borrowed from Dumbledore's office and some he'd taken from Snape's after the battle was over. The rest of his books stacked several feet high behind him and blocking out the small bedroom window. He'd arranged them in the spare bedroom of their small apartment.
He heard Ginny come through the front door but was too engrossed to jump up and ask if she needed help with bags the way he usually did. "Harry! Harry come here!"
Harry looked up from his desk and stood, walking into the kitchen, "What is it?"
Ginny smiled and held up a cage with a large snowy owl, "Look. I saw her and I couldn't pass her up. She looks just like Hedwig."
Harry smiled, "Ginny she's brilliant," he said, kissing her.
"Well we did need an owl," Ginny said, "I'm tired of only being able to write Mum when she sends a letter first."
"And it'll be good to hear something around the apartment besides the neighbors fighting," Harry joked.
Ginny put the cage down, "Like the pitter patter of little feet?" she asked, wrapping her arms around her boyfriend.
Harry looked puzzled, "What?"
"I'm not completely sure yet, but I'm late," she said.
"Late for what?"
"I think I'm pregnant," she said tolerantly, "Looks like my seventh year might have to wait even longer than it takes them to repair the castle, doesn't it?" She pulled away and took the owl into the living room, Harry on her heels.
He took his glasses off and wiped them with his sweater, "It's just... sudden. Are you sure you're ready? That we're ready? I mean I have school coming up and you'll be alone."
"You worry too much," she said, "Besides, it'll only be until you finish school, then you can keep it while I go."
Harry hesitated, but the look she gave him prompted him to say, "You're right. I can do it. I'm the bloody Chosen One; I should be able to handle an infant."
"A Weasley infant," Ginny reminded him, putting the owl cage on the coffee table.
"There goes my confidence," he said, then spun her for another kiss, "I'm happy, terrified but happy."
"I can't wait to tell everyone. Do you think you could clear those old books out so I can start turning it into a nursery? Maybe Mum and Dad would keep them for you."
Hermione jumped as a large white owl flew in through the open window, "Ron, this owl looks exactly like Hedwig," she called, walking over and taking the letter, "Thank you," she said to the owl without thinking as she began to read, "Ron!"
When he emerged from the bathroom he was covered in what looked like powdered plaster, "Do you want me to fix this hole or-hey who's owl is that?"
Hermione ignored him, "Ginny thinks she's pregnant."
"Bollocks!" Ron said, "We haven't even told anyone yet and already she's gone and stolen the spotlight. I bet he's gonna stay home while she goes to Hogwarts too."
Hermione smiled, "We can always tell your parents first, and at least you'll have Harry to pal around with instead of just my parents."
"Your parents? What are you on about?"
"Just," Hermione hesitated, "I thought it best you stay with my parents while I'm away, you know, for the good of the baby."
Ron folded his arms, "Why not my parents?"
"Well my parents are dentists, Ron and-"
"Babies don't have teeth!" he interrupted, "You just want to control how I raise it!"
"You're not raising it alone! It's just one term at Hogwarts," Hermione said, already frustrated, "And of course I will be controlling how its raised. What do you know about babies?"
"Oh I'm sorry, you've had several babies have you?" Ron said, walking back to the bathroom.
Hermione sighed, "I'm writing them back with congratulations, then I'm sending our owl to your Mother unless it's too busy carrying another dirty joke to your brother!"
Ron chuckled to himself, "He probably is," he said, "Are you certain I have to fix this the Muggle way?"
"I want you to learn!" She called back.
"She wants me to learn," he muttered, "Of course she does. Hey!" He stuck his head out into the hallway, "Hold up Harry's owl for a bit. I wanna make sure our letter gets to Mum first."
"Oh, Ron," Hermione said, but closed the window with a smile at the unassuming owl.
It had been three days since the announcement and ensuing argument, and Arthur was finally allowed to sleep in their bed once again. He was back in his comfy chair, reading the paper while Molly sat nearby on the couch, humming to herself and knitting. At her feet, a basket of yarn in pastel colors rested, the yarn that Arthur thought would be for grandchildren only. What a cruel woman Fate could be to men near retirement age.
"Arthur, there's an owl," Molly said, dragging him from his thoughts, "Do you want me to get it?"
Ever the doting husband, Arthur jumped up and rushed to meet the bird that lit on the sill of the open kitchen window before Molly even stood from the couch, "I've got it. Oh, it's Ronald's owl. Hopefully he's got more to report about the muggle tools he's learning about."
"Dear," Molly said, shaking her head and smiling, "Don't drive the boy mad with questions."
"Of course not Mollywobbles, just a question here or there," he said, reading the letter, "It's not as if I'm expecting-oh my."
Molly made her way to his side quickly, "What does it say?"
"Here," Arthur handed her the letter, too surprised to say anything and certainly not wanting to say the dreaded 'wrong thing' again. When Molly gasped and then let out a happy cry he let go of the breath he'd been holding.
"Oh Arthur it's wonderful! Ron and Hermione having a baby! We'll have grandchildren! Even though they aren't married, I do suppose it is a different time now. It says she's due in-oh," her face suddenly fell, "Oh, Arthur."
"What is it?"
"My baby and my first grandchild are due in the same month!" she managed to say before bursting into tears, "I'm so old!"
Arthur, too smart to comment, simply held his wife as she cried and wondered if he could survive another pregnancy through the hormones, the mood swings, the cravings. Perhaps Kingsley would let him come back from his bereavement leave early.
As he contemplated the letter he would send, another owl, large and white, landed on the windowsill. He raised an eyebrow, "Looks like Hedwig," he said to himself.