Harry Potter was in agony. On his right, his son James had nodded off and had rendered his arm useless. The shoulder that he was leaning on was sore, not because of his weight, but because he had not been allowed to move his arm for nearly two hours. Similarly, his other son, Albus, had rendered his left leg useless, and Harry was already dreading the pins and needles effect that would come when he finally got the opportunity to remove his sleeping form from his lap.
Add the mental anxiety that Harry had been struggling with for the past few hours into the mix and it became easy to sympathize with the poor man. He exhaled slowly so as to not disturb his sons and tilted his head back, his sore neck screaming in the process. Having nowhere else to place his head, he closed his eyes and allowed the evening’s earlier events to replay in his mind.
It had been quite a night. Ginny had abruptly woken Harry from a deep slumber to declare that she was in labor and she didn’t think it would be much longer before the baby arrived. Scrambling to grab everything they might need for the trip to St. Mungo’s, Harry wondered why she hadn’t woken him up sooner. But before long, it became obvious that he should have placed more trust in his wife’s instincts.
After delivering two other children, she obviously knew her body well enough not to place their new child in any danger. By the time Harry had packed what they needed, Ginny was waiting with their two boys by the fireplace, obviously feeling less rushed than her husband. As Harry approached the fireplace, he barely remembered to send his Patronus to the Burrow with a message of the impending birth before grabbing the two boys and following his wife through the Floo network to the hospital.
Over the next few hours, several members of the Weasley clan had arrived at the hospital to join in the vigil. However, their individual lives and responsibilities eventually called each one home in turn. Ron, Hermione and Rose were the first to go due to Hermione’s inability to get comfortable in the waiting area, despite several cushioning charms by her husband.
Ron tried to argue that in her condition, they should just stay at St. Mungo’s in the event that she entered labor as well, but his arguments fell on deaf (and rather grumpy) ears. Bill and Fleur stayed for a few hours with Victoire before announcing that they had to go to work for a bit, but would be back later. George had only recently left, saying that he didn’t want to leave Verity alone at the shop for two long. This flimsy excuse received several knowing looks from the rest of the family as everyone knew that Verity was fully capable of operating Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes on her own. However, no one complained.
Like the rest of the Weasleys, Harry hoped that George was finally on his way back to really living his life and that his recent displays of playfulness with Verity were an omen of good things to come. Typically, Percy passed his good wishes through his parents, citing an excessive workload for his absence. Mr. and Mrs. Weasley were the only ones who had the means to remain with Harry until the end, but even they had their limits and had just stepped out for a bite to eat.
Despite the aching feeling in his joints and the hunger for news on Ginny’s progress, Harry felt himself slowly beginning to succumb to sleep once more, when he was unexpectedly roused by a gentle voice.
“She’s ready for you now.”
Harry jerked awake to find a short, blond mediwitch smiling kindly at him.
“Would you like me to take care of your sons while you visit your wife?”
Harry took a moment to consider if it was worth waiting for Molly and Arthur when his lack of patience won out.
“No, thank you. I think we’d like to see them straight away.”
Harry squeezed his two sons in delight and picked them up, one in each arm. He was looking forward to cradling his new child in his arms without having to share it with his mother-in-law. Upon standing up, he nearly lost his balance when his left leg refused to move as he had asked it to.
“Mr. Potter, are you all right?”
The inevitable tingly feeling he had been dreading earlier engulfed his leg and he waited for the sensation to lessen before re-establishing his posture. Harry’s trademark impatience took hold of him and he began to contort his face in several unusual expressions as he tried to will his leg back to life. He chuckled to himself, forgetting that he was being watched.
Harry looked up with a slight grimace to his face, “Sorry. I was just thinking how I was able to face down the Darkest wizard in ages, but was almost knocked on my arse by a little boy who’s still in nappies.”
The mediwitch giggled at his predicament, then offered her assistance again, “Are you sure you don’t want me to take them for you?”
Feeling his leg nearly returning to normal, Harry shook his head, “No, it should be all right now.” He gave her a winning smile and added, “Lead the way.”
Verifying that he had a firm grip on the boys, he eagerly followed the Mediwitch down the hallway to the room where Ginny was supposed to be resting. When they came to the doorway of her room, he couldn’t help but pause at the scene that was waiting for him. Even though it was not their first child, he was still humbled by the sight of his wife holding his child swaddled in soft, white blankets.
Unlike the two rascals wriggling to break free of his grasp, this one already saw fit to follow its mother in at least one respect and was sporting a head full of fiery red hair. Ginny was obviously none the worse for wear, much to Harry’s relief. In fact, she appeared to already be quite taken by the new addition.
Ginny finally looked up from the sleeping infant and took notice of the three most important men in her life, the smile on her face glowing brighter than before. She loved it when Harry looked at her that way. It never ceased to amaze her that after all this time she could still take his breath away. She waited a few more moments for them to get used to seeing the new addition before breaking the silence.
“Boys, I would like you to meet Lily.”
Harry’s mouth dropped in shock. It opened and closed a few times, failing each time to make even the simplest noise. Eventually, he was able to stammer out his thoughts, “A g-girl? B-but... I thought...”
Ginny’s playful side was thoroughly enjoying the surprise she had just thrown at her husband; she was a Weasley, after all. “Is that all you have to say, dear?”
Harry finally collected himself and grinned as wide as he ever had in his life. “It’s about time.”