Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or any other character created by J.K. Rowling. This is fun, not profit, and any copyright infringement is purely unintentional.
Harry Potter was having the most wonderful dream. He was flying around the Hogwarts Quidditch pitch. Looking ahead, he could Ginny's coppery locks fanning out in the breeze. She dove down and landed in front of the goal posts. Harry landed beside her and wrapped his arms around her. As she ran her fingers through his hair, he heard her whispering his name.
"Harry … Harry … Baby, it's time. Harry, wake up!"
Harry's eyes flew open, and he saw his beautiful and very pregnant wife standing above him with her hands rubbing her belly and wincing in pain.
"Sweetheart, it's time. We need to get to St. Mungo's as soon as possible," she said quickly.
Harry sat bolt upright and threw his legs over the side of the bed. He felt his heart suddenly begin to pound so loudly in his chest that he knew Ginny would be able to hear it.
"Where are Jamie and Artie?" he asked, his thoughts going to his two older children.
"They're still sleeping. I've already Flooed Neville and Susan, and they'll be here in a few minutes," Ginny replied, handing Harry's trousers to him as he tugged on his T-shirt.
"How are you feeling, Gin?" Harry asked, trying to watch her attentively while rubbing the sleep from his eyes.
"Not nearly as scared as I was the first two times, but knowing that it's twins this time makes me a touch nervous. What if …," Ginny stopped and grabbed her huge abdomen. She groaned, and her faced twisted in pain. Harry wrapped his arms around her and helped her to the side of the bed, trying to soothe her.
About that time, they heard Susan calling from the den.
"Harry? Ginny? I'm here!" Susan's voice called up the stairs in a carrying stage whisper.
"We're in our bedroom," Harry answered back before turning to Ginny. "You okay?"
"It's passed. They're getting closer though, only about five minutes apart now."
Harry's mouth thinned. "Gin, why didn't you wake me sooner?" he asked.
"I wanted to make sure. Besides, it's not like I haven't done this before," she retorted.
A soft knock came from the doorway, and Susan quietly stepped in. "Hey, you two! How are you feeling?"
"Like a beached whale!" Ginny laughed and slowly stood up. "The kids' bags are packed and are already sitting downstairs near the fireplace. Harry, can you get Jamie and Artie to the den?"
He nodded and headed to Jamie's room to rouse his daughter. He carried the sleepy four-year-old downstairs and placed her on the couch. He then retrieved two year old Artie and laid him beside his sister. After he had placed both of the children on the couch, he took their hands in his.
"Munchkins, it's almost time for Mummy to have the new babies. While I get mummy to St Mungo's, Auntie Susan and Uncle Neville are going to look after you, okay? Like we talked about, yeah?"
Jamie and Artie smiled sleepily at Harry, and he wrapped them in a fatherly bearhug. The children looked up when he saw Susan helping Ginny into the room.
"Mummy, I want to go with you. Artie can stay with Auntie Susan, but I'm a big girl. Can I come, Mummy, please?" Jamie begged, holding on to Ginny's leg.
"Me too!" Artie chimed in with his sister.
Ginny bent down to hug her children. "Babies, Mummy would love to bring you with her, but the Healers wouldn't let you come in the room with me. Besides, it'll be a long time before the new babies come. Wouldn't you rather play with Uncle Neville and Auntie Susan?"
Jamie and Artie nodded slowly before Ginny continued. "Don't worry. Daddy will Floo as soon as the babies come, and then Grammy and Grandpa will bring you to see us."
She wrapped the children in her own bearhug, and whispered, "Mummy loves you both very much."
"I love you, too, Mummy," Jamie and Artie chorused together.
Susan then gathered up the children and flooed away.
Harry wrapped himself and Ginny in their cloaks and then picked up her bag. "Ready, Gin?"
Ginny nodded. "Let's get this over with. I need to sit down again before the next one hits."
After arriving at St. Mungo's, Harry checked Ginny in and then stood back as the Healers gathered around her. Harry often felt burdened by his fame as 'The Man Who Vanquished the Dark Lord', but it did have its advantages. For one thing, his family and close friends always received prompt and courteous medical attention, and tonight, he was very grateful for it.
He carefully watched Ginny as the mediwitches fussed over her. She smiled sweetly as they placed her in the bed, but Harry could see the fire building in her eyes. He had always loved that fire, and his mind drifted back to the night that he had finally worked up the courage to ask her out . . .
As Harry approached the Burrow, his nerves began to get the best of him. O.W.L.S. were not this nerve-wracking. N.E.W.T.S. were nothing. Facing Voldemort in the Final Battle was child's play. What lay in his immediate future was much worse. He was about to ask Ginny Weasley out on a date.
He had begun to realize over the last few months, since her return from her last year at Hogwarts, that there was more to Ron's sister than he had previously noticed. She had blossomed into a beautiful young woman, and she had definitely caught Harry's attention. When he first met her, she had been shy and nervous around him. Now, it seemed that the roles were reversed, and Harry knew that he would have to avoid the butter dish tonight for fear that his elbows would be permanently planted in it.
Tonight the entire Weasley clan and some of his old friends from Hogwarts would be gathering to celebrate Harry's nineteenth birthday. He was anxious to see them all, but he was looking forward to seeing Ginny the most. His fondest birthday wish would be to spend a few minutes alone with Ginny and to have her tell him that he still held a special place in her heart. Would he get his wish? Would he even have the courage to ask? He would soon see. He did a quick check of his appearance before knocking on the door. Okay, he thought to himself, shirt buttoned and tucked in, pants zipped, shoes tied. The last thing that he wanted to do was to trip on his own shoelaces as he fell into The Burrow. He tried unsuccessfully to smooth his hair, and silently wondered if he'd ever be able to get it to lay flat.
"Okay, Harry. Time to summon that famous Gryffindor courage," he told himself as he knocked on the door.
A nervous minute later and the door opened. "Harry!" Mrs. Weasley threw her arms around him in a big bear hug. Harry smiled warmly as she held him tightly.
"Hello, Mrs. Weasley," he said.
"Oh, pish-posh, Harry. When are you going to start calling me Molly? You're an adult now," she said firmly, and Harry smiled sheepishly.
"I'm sorry, Molly. I really appreciate you and Arthur inviting me over tonight to celebrate my birthday."
"Of course we would celebrate your birthday! You know that you are like my seventh son." Mrs. Weasley gave Harry her best smile. "Besides, maybe one day you'll make that official," she said with a wink as she walked off into the kitchen.
As Harry wondered if Mrs. Weasley could read his mind, he heard light footsteps behind him. He turned to see Ginny standing behind him. His mouth fell of its own accord as he saw the vision before him. She was wearing a sunshine yellow dress, and all of her hair was pulled back in a white ribbon. Harry suddenly wondered if he'd be able to speak.
"Hello, Harry. Happy birthday."
"Hi, Ginny. You look, um, lovely. That dress really brings out your, er, eyes," he stammered.
A slight blush crossed her cheeks as she murmured a quick "thank you" before scurrying out of the door. His eyes followed her as she made her way to where her father was standing outside. Had he done that to her? Was he still able to make her blush? Maybe he did still stand a chance with her, and maybe, just maybe, Mrs. Weasley knew something he didn't. He had to find out.
The guests trickled in until The Burrow's backyard seemed to overflowing with people, many of them with red hair. As Harry made his way through the partygoers, he kept looking around for Ginny. Every once in awhile, he would catch a glimpse of her looking his way as well. He felt his stomach cut flips with each glance she gave him. "Gryffindor courage, Gryffindor courage," he kept repeating to himself, hoping that somehow it would come to him.
Soon, Mrs. Weasley announced that it was time for birthday cake. Ron pushed his way through the crowd to stand by his best friend.
"Hoping for the first slice, Ron?" Harry asked.
"Nah, Mate! I just wanted to be next to the birthday boy when he blew out his candles," Ron announced.
"Ronald Weasley, I know what you're after, and it's not just the chance to wish Harry a happy birthday," his mother declared. "It's Harry's birthday, so he gets the first piece. Then the ladies will have their slices. You can have your slice then."
"Yes, Mum," Ron bowed his head, but Harry noticed that he didn't budge an inch away from the table.
Ginny carried the cake from the house and set it on the table in front of Harry. She lit the candles with her wand and smiled at him. Harry could feel warmth spread up his neck.
"Are you ready to make your birthday wish?" she asked. Harry gulped and could only nod at her as the warmth crept up his face.
The crowd sang "Happy Birthday." Harry found that he couldn't take his eyes off Ginny, and she held his gaze as she sang. He knew that the others were beginning to notice, but he didn't care. His only thoughts were of Ginny. As he blew out the candles, he wished for two things, the courage to ask her out and for her to answer "yes."
A few minutes later, Harry was shooed away by Molly to sit beneath a large oak tree and eat his cake. He kept thinking about what he would say to Ginny when he once again heard light footsteps behind him. He turned to see her walking towards him with her own piece of cake.
"Is this seat taken?" she asked quietly.
"Not at all," he replied, feeling his face heat up. Now was his big chance. He summoned up his courage and asked, "Are you having a good time?"
"Pretty much," she answered, sitting down beside him. "How about you?"
"Yeah. It's getting better though," he said, hoping that she wouldn't see his blush. "Ginny, you haven't really said what your plans are now that you're out of school. What will you be doing?" A light breeze was blowing in the orchard, and Harry was watching how the breeze played with the few strands of hair that had escaped Ginny's ponytail.
"I'm going to be training to be a mediwitch at St. Mungo's in a few weeks. They have a program there that will allow me to train alongside experienced healers."
"That's great! I know you'll do well. You certainly made me feel better when I woke up after the Final Battle. I mean, I , er," he found himself stammering again.
"It's okay, Harry. I know what you mean. That's very nice of you to say." She smiled at him as she spoke, and his heart jumped. It's now or never, Potter, he thought. Get on with it!
"Um, Ginny, I was wondering if you, er, would, er, like to go to the, um, Three Broomsticks with me sometime for, er, dinner." Harry's throat suddenly became very tight.
"Are you always this well-spoken?" she teased as his eyes grew quite large. She decided to put him out of his misery. "Yes, Harry, I'd love to go with you."
"Great! How about this weekend?" he asked, feeling unbelievably light headed.
"That sounds wonderful," Ginny replied, slowly closing the gap between them.
As the sun set, Harry and Ginny shared their first kiss. It was sweet and tender, and Harry knew that his life would never be the same.
Author's Note: Special thanks to my awesome beta Bring and Fly who keeps this American straight with the Brit speak! You're the best!