23 January 2005

Ginny sighed sleepily, her arms warm and snug around James. Harry, who lay opposite her and who had tried valiantly to stay awake and keep vigil over their flu-ish son, gave a snorting grunt in his sleep and muttered something about pasties. Ginny didn't blame him; just like her, he'd worked long hours over the last few weeks, and coming home from practice and from the Ministry to a sick baby that afternoon hadn't made either of their days any easier.

She was starting to understand, though, why her mother had always stayed up with her and the boys when they were sick.

James gave a stuffed-up sniffle in his sleep, and Ginny gently used a hanky to wipe his nose without waking him. He burrowed closer to her. His fever didn't seem so high; that was good, she thought, smiling to herself

"Badger…'s got a…cakes," Harry murmured, and Ginny giggled. Harry's eyes opened blearily.

"Sorry," she whispered, and he blinked.

"'Mup," he muttered, shaking his head. "'Mwake." He rested his head in his hand, trying to focus his eyes through the darkness on James. "He all right?"

Ginny nodded.

"You all right?" Harry asked, putting out a hand and patting her head. She smiled.

"I'm fine. You can go back to sleep, I think his fever's broken," she whispered.

"You should go to sleep," Harry told her, squinting slightly—she'd taken off his glasses for him after he'd fallen asleep.

"I'm just fine," Ginny grinned. "Go back to sleep." Harry held up a hand right between their faces, and Ginny took it, lacing their fingers together. She looked up at her rings, just visible in silhouette. Then, quite suddenly, she was inexplicably overwhelmed with emotion. Her throat seemed to swell shut painfully.

"It's after midnight, Harry," she whispered, and Harry's hand closed a little more tightly on hers. "It's his birthday." Their hands—neither one of them seemed to do it consciously—moved slowly down and rested on James's little belly. He snoozed on, drooling and open-mouthed, done in by a Molly Weasley special for coughs and colds.

"One year old, Jamie," Harry whispered. "Good on you, mate."

Ginny squeezed Harry's hand so tightly she could feels her nails digging into his knuckles. Hot tears threatened at the corners of her eyes. "When—" she cleared her throat, trying to unstick her voice, "—when he's feeling better—d'you…d'you want to take him to Godric's Hollow?" she asked quietly. "We can visit them."

There was a long silence in the dark little room. Outside, bluish-gray snowflakes were starting to slide lazily past the windows.

"Yeah," Harry said. "Let's go."

Carefully, trying not to disturb James, who was sleeping on her arm, Ginny lifted herself up and got closer to Harry. She touched his face gently. "We're going to be here for him," she said. "The whole way."

Harry nodded quickly, but didn't say anything. Ginny didn't need him to. "Happy birthday to you," she sang softly, pressing her lips into the baby's messy dark hair. "Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday my Jamie…"

And she trailed off, as Harry moved closer, wrapping his arms tight around them.