“All right, I thought he was supposed to be a girl. Wasn’t he?”
“Well, in case you haven’t noticed, he is a boy.”
A dazed look came over Harry’s face and then a lazy grin spread slowly across his features. He stood there a moment, looking down at their beautiful baby. “It’s a boy.”
“He’s a boy.” Ginny was grinning as well, her eyes never leaving the bundle in her arms. She was sitting up in a hospital bed, half a dozen sheets and quilts draped across her and two pillows propping her up. Her husband sat in the chair by the bedside, his hand resting lovingly on her arm, which was steadily holding the newborn baby boy. Harry let out a contented sigh.
It was a few minutes before either of them spoke again. “So,” Ginny began, glancing at the man beside her, “what are we going to name him? I don’t think the name we’d picked will work now….” She giggled. “‘Felicity’ doesn’t strike a very masculine note, does it?”
“He doesn’t look like a Felicity….” For the briefest moment, a look of slight agitation was present on Harry’s face, but it passed quickly. “It took us weeks to pick a name. At this point, let’s just name him Harry Jr. and be done with it.”
A snort from his lovely wife was the only reply while they sat in thought.
“I like Michael.”
Harry nodded and the two parents smiled at each other. “Michael sounds good.”
“Evelyn James Marie Potter!”
A giggle sounded from behind the waiting room couch and Remus scowled. It was just a little past midnight and he was tired. He had spent the day at the hospital with hysterical redheads, a nervous bushy-haired young woman, and his own currently exhausted wife. Now was not the time for hide-and-seek. “I’m getting too old for this,” he muttered to himself. He was answered by another giggle.
Trying not to wake Ron and Hermione, who were leaning against each other on the couch, sound asleep since a few hours ago, he crept up to the large potted plant on the left and was not surprised to see a mop of curly black hair upon peering over the top. Evelyn looked up and gasped, a grin crossing her face and her hazel eyes lighting up. She made to shuffle away, but he nabbed her by her little pink shoe and picked her up. Carrying her back to his seat he said, “Let’s not play hide-and-seek in the waiting room, Evie.”
“Why not, Uncle Remus? It’s fun.”
“Because your Uncle Remus is tired,” he answered, leaning back into the seat cushion. She wiggled in his lap and then rested her head against his chest.
“Well, if you’re tired, then I’m tired too.” She spoke with the authority only four-year-olds can achieve and nodded her head decisively, and then squeezed her eyes shut in an obvious attempt to go to sleep. Remus smiled down at her. The waiting room was soon filled with the sounds of quiet breathing (and light snoring from the tall redhead on the couch). Remus was just nodding off himself when he was startled out of his drowsing by a head resting on his shoulder. Her bright pink hair tickled his cheek.
“Can you believe,” Tonks began, “that every one of the four floors I looked on was out of coffee? I even waited around until the staff room upstairs was empty to have a look in there, and all they had was tea, which I would have taken if it wasn’t spiked with God knows how much honey.” She sighed and closed her eyes.
“Well, couldn’t you just conjure some?” She snorted and shook her head.
“Conjured drinks are disgusting.” A yawn. “I’d rather have nothing at all.”
“Which you’re demonstrating now, I see.” He expected a cheeky response but as Tonks shifted in her chair, she started to snore. He was, once again, the only occupant of the room that wasn’t asleep. It was odd, he reflected, that when Harry had been born (the last time he’d been in this situation), he had been the one snoozing on the couch. Sirius was pacing so hard that the carpet had been faded and frayed, and Peter had sat trying to read a cooking magazine while he argued with Sirius whether it was going to be a girl or a boy. Sirius had lost that bet…
And then, James walked into the room. He had the biggest grin on his face despite the bags under his eyes, and a blue bundle cradled in his arms with the sort of care they’d only ever seen from him when he was with Lily. For a moment, the room was silent in anticipation and then James said the few simple words that changed Remus forever.
“I want you guys to meet Harry.” He was so small. But he was perfect. He squirmed a little in his father’s arms and let out a little breath.
“He’s my son… He’s my son.” James’ grin spread even wider and he let out a shaky laugh. “I’m a dad.”
It was one of those moments in which Remus was simply happy to be alive...
Remus smiled and looked down at the little girl in his arms. The latest Potter generation. Perfect too. And he was happy.
“So, Michael Benjamin?”
“I love it.”
“I love him.”
Ginny looked up at her husband with a satisfied expression. “You’re learning. I’m impressed.”
Harry was practically bouncing up and down with excitement. They had a name for their son, and he was now ready to meet the people who would be his… slightly more extended family. “Can I get them now? Can I?”
Noticing her husband was about to burst, Ginny looked up at him and pretended to consider. “Well… I suppose you can get them now. But be quiet. He’s starting to go to –” Harry didn’t hear her finish, but was already out the door, running down the hall and nearly knocking a nurse into the lift. He tried to apologize while still hurrying but tripped over his feet. Turning into the waiting room, he came to an abrupt halt. Everyone was asleep.
Ron and Hermione were occupying the couch while Remus and Tonks had chairs across from the coffee table. Evie was asleep in Remus’ lap. He tiptoed over, refraining from running the last few steps with extreme difficulty and sat on the coffee table. He put his hand on the little girl’s shoulder and shook her lightly. “Evie… Evie, baby, wake up.”
Her eyes opened a peek and she let out a sudden squeal. “Daddy!” She jumped into his arms and he lifted her up onto his shoulders.
“You ready to meet your little brother, Evie?”
“But Mommy said I was getting a little sister.” She kicked her feet impatiently in confusion.
Harry laughed and stood up. “Yes, well, Mommy unconsciously fibbed .” Evelyn gasped and her little hands flew to her mouth, which caused Harry to laugh even harder. He was about to begin the walk back to Ginny’s room, not wanting to wake anyone else, but it was too late. Evelyn’s enthusiastic squeals had woken most of the occupants. Hermione yawned and shook Ron’s shoulders. He grunted awake and looked around, yawing as well.
Remus and Tonks were now awake too. Evelyn threw up her arms and Harry bounced her on his shoulders. “I wanna see my brother, Daddy!”
The occupants were all crowded around the little boy in Ginny’s arms, but Remus straightened and looked over at Harry. “I thought he was supposed to be a girl…”
It wasn’t Harry who replied, but Evelyn. “Mommy uncompsiously fibbed!” Harry started to laugh, but from a look at his wife his features became falsely serious. The others in the room were still cooing over Michael Benjamin. Hermione asked to hold him and Ginny eventually obliged. Taking the infant into her arms, Hermione asked, “So, what’s the little guy’s name?”
Ginny smiled even wider as Harry put his hand on her shoulder, both of them staring at their son. Harry then looked around at them all, his face shining with pride. “I want you guys to meet Michael Benjamin. He’s our son.”
I want you guys to meet Harry. He’s my son. I’m a dad.
“In case it wasn’t obvious,” Ginny muttered as Hermione handed Michael back over. There was already a fluffy tuft of black hair sticking out in all directions. It was all so familiar to Remus, but even though there was a time when reminiscing would have hurt, it now made him unbelievably happy. Because as Ginny held her son out to Remus for him to hold, he looked down into the little boy's face and could find nothing wrong. With anything.
Remus smiled. Michael Benjamin Potter was perfect. And Remus was happy.