The half-timbered, Tudor house Harry and Ginny bought from the estate of Great-Aunt Muriel was set in spacious grounds surrounded by an enchanted forest. Great-Aunt Muriel had decorated the house with artificial spider webs and lots of black, but Ron’s remodel had uncovered all sorts of beautiful features such as oak woodwork, numerous mullioned windows, and leaves and flowers carved into the window frames.
Ginny loved the light-filled rooms, Harry loved the level lawn that was perfect for a Quidditch Pitch, and Hedwig and Demi loved the forest that was full of good hunting. All of these features were unexpected pleasures, but for Ginny, the best surprise was the lion-head newel post guarding the main staircase. It purred when she tickled it behind its ears, and its shaggy mane reminded her of Harry’s hair. When she saw it, she felt like the house belonged to them – or maybe they belonged to the house. Either way, she knew what they should name it.
“Potter’s Pride,” she told Harry triumphantly.
“I’m proud of the house, too,” Harry said. “But don’t you think that sounds – er – arrogant?”
“I’m thinking of pride as a group of lions,” Ginny countered. “We’re a group of lions since we have a lion-head newel post and we’re both Gryffindors.” She didn’t mention that they were both Leos since Harry thought astrology was stupid.
“Not much of a group – yet.” He smiled. They had just found out that in nine months they would have one more Potter to add to the pride.
When Ron heard the name, he brought them two ancient stone lions from a castle that was being demolished. They placed them by the front door as sentinels, but they weren’t very good guards since their stone joints were crumbling and they couldn’t run very fast. They could roar, though, and lazily wrestle with each other.
Unfortunately, they had the bad habit of roaring through the night. Fred and George thought they might be bored so they brought them games to play. It turned out that the lions liked Gobstones and draughts, but they couldn’t play cards since – as Hermione pointed out – they didn’t have thumbs.
The lions were quiet this afternoon whilst the baby napped, but the Gobstones exploding against the front door were getting on her nerves. Ginny shoved a batch of scones into the oven and went out to scold them.
“David is sleeping,” she said crossly. “He was up all night with a fever and so was I. That’s why I’m not at the meeting with Harry and Hermione. Remember? Today’s the day the Potter Foundation will try to convince St. Mungo’s to use the Apparating Ambulances I charmed.”
The right lion, always the most sensitive, hung his head and whimpered.
Ginny moderated her tone. “Sorry. I know you’re just playing, but I’m a little on edge.”
The left lion gently butted her hip with his head in way of an apology and Ginny patted him fondly.
Their lions, which started out as talking points, had became beloved members of the household after they roared for help the day Ginny went into labor during her first pregnancy. By the time Harry found her on her knees next to a bucket of soapy water, it had been too late to take her to St. Mungo’s.
Harry had cursed the fact that there were no Apparition Ambulances in Britain, and then had wondered out loud why she thought mopping the floor was more important than getting to St. Mungo’s. Ginny, who was just as scared as he was, yelled back that the first magic she was going to do after the baby was born was to hex him. Then she was overcome by another wave of pain, and Harry remembered his training.
In a little under an hour they had their baby – a boy who looked like Harry, and who turned out to be as outgoing and stubborn and mischievous as Ginny. They named him Brian.
“You lot remember how badly I needed an ambulance when Brian was born.” Her voice caught. “And then with David…”
The right lion roared softly at the memory.
She sighed, trying to forget that terrible day. “I should have worked harder on Apparition Charms when I could finally do magic after Brian was born,” she said, guilt still gnawing at her. “But the two years between Brian and getting pregnant again just flew by.”
“Scones are done,” screeched the baking tray from the kitchen.
Ginny cringed. If anything would wake David, it would be that nails-on-a-blackboard voice from the baking tray. As she took the scones out of the oven, her thoughts drifted to that November day when she, Hermione and Brian had visited Diagon Alley.
The weather had been sunny and cold – perfect for shopping. Hermione wanted undyed wool for her latest knitting project and Brian wanted a lollipop. Ginny just wanted to sit down because her ankles were swollen and she was tired. She was looking forward to a cup of tea at the Leaky Cauldron, and was half-listening to Hermione talking about the price of wool when she felt Brian’s hand slip out of hers. Startled, she caught a glimpse of Brian’s dark head and a strange woman pulling him along. Not stopping to think that she was seven months pregnant and shouldn’t do magic, Ginny hexed the witch from twenty feet away.
When Ginny woke up at St. Mungo’s, she was told that she and Harry had another boy – David. He was very small and fragile, but perfectly formed and wonderfully alert. He was going to be fine. Ginny was going to be fine. The stranger was a depressed witch who couldn’t have babies of her own, but she had been stopped. So Brian was fine, too.
Harry kept saying that over and over again. He had almost lost all three of them, but everyone was fine – except maybe Harry.
“Mama, mama, ma,” David called from his cot.
Ginny hurried into the nursery and saw her youngest trying to hurl himself over the rails. “No, no, no,” she said as calmly as she could. “David will fall.”
David smiled in greeting, not looking at all guilty.
“You’re feeling better!” she exclaimed happily as she touched his forehead. No fever.
“Behtah,” he repeated after her.
“Right, better.” Ginny giggled and rubbed her nose against his, delighted that David was trying out a two-syllable word. It had worried her that David was behind Brian in learning to talk.
Mum thought it was because Brian bossily talked for his little brother. Fleur thought there must be something physically wrong since David was born premature. Fred thought that David pretty much got what he wanted, so he didn’t need to speak up. “When the soup’s cold, he’ll talk,” George added.
Brian did do everything for David, Ginny reflected as she quickly changed him into a clean nappy. But Brian was at The Burrow today, so he couldn’t run to Ginny and tell her when “the baby’s awake.”
“You’re not a baby anymore are you?” Ginny said, lifting him out of the cot. “Davey’s almost two years old.” She put him on the floor and watched him toddle over to the plush lion that was trapped underneath Brian’s stuffed kangaroo. His dark hair was adorably rumpled. When he retrieved his toy, his green eyes glowed with satisfaction. “Behtah,” he explained, looking at Ginny.
“Yes, lion is better now that you rescued him.”
Or maybe David was just a lot like Harry. He didn’t talk all that much, but when he did, he usually had something to say.
“You’re like your daddy, aren’t you?”
“He’s gone to St. Mungo’s with Aunt Hermione. He’ll be back in time for dinner.”
Luckily, Hermione had been there for Harry when he needed her most. During that month when Ginny and David were in the hospital, she had convinced him that he wasn’t helpless in keeping his family safe, since he had the wherewithal to start the permanent charitable foundation they had discussed so often in the past. The magical world needed things like Apparating Ambulances and mental health clinics. Harry’s vast treasure could help with those sorts of projects.
And today, finally, one of those projects was ready.
She let David navigate the stairs instead of carrying him down. For once, she wasn’t in a hurry. The washing was caught up and Brian was at The Burrow, so she didn’t have to worry about him. It was truly amazing what mischief a five-year-old – without a sibling to tattle on him – could get into with her back turned. Thank goodness she had the lions, and Demi and Hedwig to watch over him.
David sat on each step with his lion clutched to his chest. Ginny noticed that there was dust on the sides of each oak tread. She sighed. When Ron came up with a self-cleaning house, she was going to buy it.
David looked at her several times as he slowly slid from one step to the next. Ginny laughed at his confusion. “Mummy’s usually in a hurry,” she said. “But not today. Today Mummy is on tenterhooks, so I’m not going to do anything but take care of you.”
He didn’t say anything, of course, but he smiled sunnily that his mum was paying so much attention to him.
They eventually made it into the kitchen. She popped David into his seat for a snack and peered into the cupboards. It was time to think about dinner again. Before she could decide between Spaghetti Bolognese or sausages and mash, flames erupted in the fireplace and Ron unfolded himself on their hearth.
“Won!” David crowed from his high chair.
“Hey, Davey,” Ron said, staggering to his feet. “You’re feeling better.”
Ron looked at Ginny, startled. “He’s talking.”
“I know!” She giggled. “He just woke up from his nap and started talking.”
“Won!” David repeated.
Ron grinned. “I reckon he’ll get my name right one of these days.”
“I suppose so,” Ginny said sweetly. “He’s already past Won-Won, since that’s baby talk.”
Ron scowled at her. “Cute. Listen, I just talked to Hermione and everything is going well. But Harry was called out of the meeting for an emergency. Something about a train accident.”
“Okay.” She automatically revised dinner plans. Now it would have to be a casserole or something she could reheat. “Did she say anything else?”
Ron grinned. “She reminded me that two weeks ago at this time we were getting married, and that the next day at this time we were –“
“I don’t want to hear about the honeymoon,” Ginny said sharply.
“Hon-e-moon!” David cried with delight. He had discovered a new skill and he was going to use it.
“Cup of tea?” Ginny asked, lifting the kettle.
“Yeah, that would be brilliant.” Ron sat at the table next to David’s chair. “Do you have something else to eat besides…?” He looked askance at the broken scone on David’s tray. “Pulp?”
“Pup,” David repeated, squishing the pile of crumbs with a chubby hand.
“Scones,” Ginny said, making sure the plate nudged Ron’s temple before it settled on the table. “I hope they’re to your liking,” she added sarcastically.
“They’re not as hard as the plate,” Ron replied after he took a big bite.
“Thanks.” Ginny smirked and joined him at the table with the teapot. “So why aren’t you working? I thought after two weeks away you’d be slave-driving your crew.”
“Tomorrow I slave-drive.” He poured out two cups of tea. “Today I’ve been going ‘round doing estimates.”
He laughed. “Remember Hermione’s first flat?”
“I never saw it, but I heard it was a nightmare.”
“The new owners want to remodel the building and do it right this time.” He shook his head and took a gulp of tea. “I told them that it would easier to Vanish it all and start from scratch.”
“I would think it would be fairly difficult to Vanish a building in the middle of London without the Muggles noticing.”
Ron shrugged. “Not if you wanted to spend the money on sixth months of Mirage Charms, but –”
“But no one wants to do that,” Ginny finished for him. “It’s mind-boggling how cheap people become when it comes to the Muggles. That’s why we’ve had such trouble convincing St. Mungo’s about the Apparating Ambulances. If they take them, they won’t have an excuse to ignore Muggle casualties.”
“Mug. Mug,” David said.
She wrinkled her nose at him. “Right. Muggles.”
“Not after today,” Ron said. “Harry took the ambulance to a Muggle train accident.”
Ginny was shocked. “Really? A Muggle train accident? You didn’t tell me that!”
“Mug! Mug!” David smeared the crumbs all over his tray.
“I thought I did.” Ron reached for another scone.
Ginny shelved her dinner plans. Whenever Harry dealt with Muggles, there was always extra paperwork. And this time he had taken unauthorized magical transportation. She sighed and decided not to worry about it. If Hermione had her way at the meeting, then the ambulance would be authorized for use by the end of the day. “So how was Shangri-la?” she asked as she pulled David out of his high chair.
“Shang la?” David said as she wiped his face and hands.
“Perfect weather – believe it or not,” Ron answered reaching for his nephew. David dove into Ron’s shirt pocket as soon as he as he was on Ron’s lap. Ron always had interesting things like nails or string or hardware in his pockets from his job as a builder. David pulled out a pencil and some folded bits of paper. “Nothing exciting today, Davey. Uncle Ron had to play with boring numbers.”
David concentrated on the exacting job of putting the papers and pencil back into Ron’s pocket. “Numbahs.”
“Did Hermione get the hero’s welcome in Shangri-la this time around?” Ginny asked.
“Of course. Doesn’t every liberator?”
“Heroes aren’t always well loved,” she replied, thinking of everything Harry had been through before and after defeating Voldemort.
“Well, Hermione still is. The government gave us a beautiful place to stay next to this isolated lake. It was just the two of us and a pair of phoenixes further up the mountain for an entire week.” Ron smiled.
“It sounds wonderful.” It really did. She would love to have Harry all to herself for an entire week.
“Yeah.” He was blushing a little and Ginny didn’t know why. Ron and Hermione had lived together for years before getting married, so their honeymoon couldn’t have been the revelation that hers and Harry’s had been. “The wedding was brilliant, too,” Ron continued. “It meant a lot that we could get married here, since this was the first house we worked on together.”
Now it was Ginny’s turn to blush since Ron so rarely praised anything. “Well, it could have been fancier if you two had given us more time. When you announce in the middle of August that you want to get married in the middle of September, it makes it difficult to get exactly what you want.”
“I got exactly what I wanted,” Ron said quietly, as David slid off his lap.
Ron was watching David rummage through a basket of toys, so Ginny couldn’t see his eyes, but something in his voice told her just how deeply felt that statement was.
“Yeah.” She could feel herself tearing up, so she decided to lighten the conversation. “And Mum got what she wanted, too.”
Ron laughed. “We’re finally respectable.”
“And now she can brag about you at her Witches and Stitches group.”
“She already has,” he said smugly. “Half the estimates I did today were from her friends.”
“With this family, you’ll never need to advertise.”
Ron smiled and then abruptly changed the subject. “So when are you going to New Zealand?”
“We’re taking a Portkey Passage on Boxing Day,” she answered as David started repeating ‘Zea lan – Zea lan – Zea lan.’ “We have to be here for Father Christmas to find Brian and David – but we want to arrive before Hezzie and Kenny’s wedding on New Year’s Eve.”
“Are you really taking the owls? Pigwidgeon is going to miss his best mate.”
“Well, Demi and Hedwig don’t get to see their children too often –”
“So Harry’s paying a Portkey Passage for two birds as well as two kids?” he asked with a shake of his head. “Now that’s Potter’s pride.”
“Famous people have to have an entourage.” She giggled.
Ron raised an eyebrow. “I believe you’re the famous one in New Zealand?”
“Harry loves it,” she said with a laugh. “No one fusses over him.”
Ron nodded and then abruptly changed the subject. “So do you still want us to house-sit?”
“Yes, I don’t think it’s a good idea to leave a house empty for six weeks in the middle of winter. And the lions will get lonely.”
He nodded. “Brilliant. I’m planning on expanding and finishing our house during that time, and it would be good if Hermione didn’t have to live in the mess.”
Ginny’s eyes widened. Ron and Hermione had bought what could be charitably called a hovel several years ago and they had done just enough to make one floor livable. But now…
There was a flush on Ron’s cheek that told her that this was important, but he wasn’t meeting her eyes. She frowned. First the quick wedding and now expanding and finishing their house… Then she gasped as it came to her. “Ron! Hermione’s pregnant!”
Ron shifted uncomfortably – Ron was never very good with secrets. “You said it, I didn’t.”
“Um.” He looked at her. “February – early March.”
“Happy Birthday, Ron!” Ginny crowed.
He started to smile. “Yeah.” He laughed. “Yeah. I still can’t quite believe it.”
“Hermione’s feeling okay – right?”
“Yeah. She’s fine. Everything checked out okay.”
But –” Now she was a little worried. “Hermione always said she didn’t want to get married or have a baby until she was thirty like her mother. I think she’s early by a few years.”
“Oh, Hermione’s all right with it,” Ron assured her. “She’s finally decided that she doesn’t have to do everything like her mother did to be… What the hell is that word?”
Then Ron grinned. “Self–actualized. That’s it. Hermione’s decided to be self-actualized in her own way.”
Like many of Hermione’s statements, Ginny didn’t know how to reply to this one.
He looked over at David who was stacking wooden blocks. “I think I’m more worried about her than she is.” He glanced at Ginny. “You didn’t have the easiest time.”
“Hermione wasn’t injured in a Quidditch accident.” She patted his hand. “She can do magic to help herself if no one else is around. And Harry’s team will have the Apparating Ambulance by then.”
He nodded, not looking entirely convinced.
“You have loads of time to worry, Ron. You might as well relax and enjoy your life right now.”
“I know.” He sighed. “I always worry when things are going too smoothly.”
Ginny laughed. “Now that’s magical thinking. Do you really think the universe only doles out so much happiness and then something bad has to happen?”
“Pretty much. Yeah.”
She shook her head. “Have another scone, Mr. Gloom and Doom.”
Once Ron left, Ginny cursed herself for not asking him to pop over to The Burrow and collect Brian.
It was almost impossible to use the Floo with two children in hand, and Harry didn’t like to Side-along Apparate when the children were awake since they wriggled and could easily cause a Splinching accident.
“Brian can spend the night here,” Mum told her through the Floo. “I’m keeping Philippe tonight, so he’ll have company.”
Brian hero-worshiped his older cousin who was allowed to fly on a real broom in the orchard and could speak a ‘whole other language.’
“Thanks, Mum. But David’s missing Brian already and –”
Mom smirked at her through the flames and Ginny knew what she was thinking. Ginny was missing Brian, too. “If Harry isn’t here by the time your father gets home from the Ministry, I’ll bring him over myself.”
“Although, your father is probably with Harry if it’s a Muggle train accident.” She shrugged. “If the worst comes to the worst, I call Percy or Fred or George to bring him home before bed.”
David was now tired of the kitchen. They put on their jackets and went outside. There was a spectacular sunset casting an orange glow over the pine forest. After petting the lions, David made a beeline toward his training broom. If David was behind in talking, he was well ahead of his peers in flying. Before he could walk he had managed to crawl onto Brian’s training broom and make it go. Once he experienced flying, Ginny knew there was no way she could ever distract him with something else, so she charmed a smaller broom just for him. Mum had just about had kittens when she saw him fly for the first time.
She watched him hover a foot off the ground with a critical eye. His knees were bent at the wrong angle. Not only had he started talking this week, he had grown, too. She would have to lower the magical running board.
“Fly to Mummy,” she called from her perch on the front step.
David turned smartly and flew as fast as the broom would go, which meant his hair was barely ruffled by the faint breeze he created.
She took out her wand and concentrated on the magic.
“Ticks.” David giggled.
“Does the magic tickle?” she laughed.
There was a small pop. Harry was standing on the front path, carrying Brian, who was asleep with his head on Harry’s shoulder.
“Daddy home!” David shrieked from the broom. “Byan!”
Harry’s eyes widened. “He’s talking.”
“He just woke up from his nap and started to talk.”
“Was the soup cold?” Harry asked, smiling at David.
David stared at him with wide green eyes. “Zoup cold,” he agreed.
Brian stirred at the noise and turned a grumpy, sleepy face to see what was going on. “Byan!” David called.
Brian rubbed his face in Harry’s shoulder and then turned to watch David on the broom.
“How long did Brian sleep?” Ginny asked. She really hoped it wasn’t too long; otherwise he’d be awake half the night.
“About ten minutes,” Harry answered to her relief. “He fell asleep as I was telling your mum how we got approval for the ambulances and –”
“We got approval?” She squealed so loudly that both boys turned and stared at her.
“Hermione was going to tell you through the Floo.”
“We’ve been outside.” She clasped her hands together. Finally. Finally. “That’s wonderful. Was it difficult to convince everyone?”
“Not really –”
Brian was finally awake and wiggling to get down. “Mummy! I got to ride Philippe’s broom.”
“You’re interrupting, Brian,” Ginny said, absently kissing him on the forehead. “You can tell me about it when you’re in the bath.”
“Byan!” David called again from his slow-moving broom.
“David missed you today,” Ginny told him.
“Does he still have a fever?” Brian demanded suspiciously.
“No, darling. He’s better. Go play whilst I talk to Daddy.”
Brian obediently trotted off to David, grabbing his advanced training broom along the way. David might not be as much fun as Philippe, but he was a good audience. And Brian enjoyed the adulation.
Harry sat next to her on the steps. “It’s getting dark, we should bring them in.”
“I’m hoping the fresh air will help them sleep. David had a long nap.”
“Did you sleep?”
“Yes,” she sighed, flicking her wand at the outside torches so that now their entire front garden was illuminated. “I didn’t get a thing done today except I baked a batch of scones and I had Ron to tea.”
“After being up half the night, I’d say that’s enough.” He smiled as David aligned his broom with his brother’s. “And Davey’s feeling better, that’s all that matters.”
“Mum fed you?”
“Yup.” He took her hand. “Ginny, the ambulance was brilliant. The expanding sides let us treat five Muggles at once. We took care of everyone, the Obliviators were able to do their work in the other ambulance –”
“You used both ambulances?”
“In for a penny, in for a pound.”
He laughed. “Sorry. Muggle saying. It made sense to take both. Anyway, the Muggles came and fixed the train. The passengers re-boarded, complaining about delays, never the wiser they had been injured. Everyone was happy. I met the Muggle Prime Minister again.”
“Oh?” she said, watching Brian showing off to David on his broom. “What’s he like?”
“Hard to say,” Harry replied. “He seems to have less teeth than the last time I saw him.”
“Less teeth?” She laughed, and turned to look at him. “Did you count them?”
“He wasn’t smiling as much – maybe that’s it.”
“Well, the Muggles are in some kind of war, right?”
Harry sighed. “Yeah. That’s why I’m glad we can finally do the kind of Search and Rescue I trained for. We’re allowed to help Muggles now.” He smiled at her. “All thanks to you.”
She blushed. “I wish I had done it earlier,” she said wistfully. They had never really talked about the accidental magic she had done before David was born. She knew Harry didn’t blame her for losing her head and protecting Brian – but it had been terribly hard on him.
“Ginny, an ambulance wouldn’t have made that much of a difference.”
“I know.” She sighed. “I still feel guilty, though.”
“You shouldn’t. You did what any mama lion would do.”
At hearing the word ‘lion,’ the right lion turned his head and purred, but the ‘mama’ reminded her of Hermione. “Did you have a chance to talk to Hermione?”
“I wanted to, but I had to leave early. She said she had something she wanted to tell me.”
“Did you notice anything different about her?”
He frowned. “She looked happy…” Then his eyes widened. “She’s pregnant?”
“Yes!” Ginny exclaimed with a giggle. “That’s why the rush for the wedding! Is she showing already?”
“Well – er – no.” He looked over at the boys who were still out of earshot. “She just looked a little bigger in the chest area.”
“Harry.” She giggled. “Since when do you notice Hermione’s breasts?”
“Since they’ve doubled in size,” he retorted. “It’s hard not to.”
She laughed at his indignation.
“Oh, I forgot to tell you.” He squeezed her hand. “When the meeting started, the chairman of the board called Hermione, ‘Mrs. Potter.’”
Ginny could feel the heat rise in her face. “Typical.” Ever since the Potter Foundation has been established, it was often assumed that Hermione was married to Harry.
“Do you know what she said?” Harry asked.
Ginny frowned. “’I’m Hermione Granger?’”
“No, she said. ‘I’m Hermione Weasley.’”
“Yes.” Harry laughed. “She took Ron’s name.”
“I can’t believe it.” Ginny couldn’t help but smile. Hermione had always gone to great lengths to establish herself as Ron’s girlfriend and business partner. She was a Granger and not a Weasley. “Oh, Ron must be so happy.”
“I thought you said he came for tea? Didn’t he seem happy?”
“He did.” She turned to Harry eagerly. “He said he got everything he wanted. It was so sweet the way he said it.”
“Well, he did.”
“No, I mean – he sounded very… sure about Hermione. And if she took his name…”
“What difference does it make if she took his name?” Harry frowned. “She married him. She going to have his child – I’d say that’s going the distance.”
“I don’t know.” Ginny struggled to explain. “I mean Ron and Hermione have been together forever, but they always bicker and…”
“They bicker because they can’t leave each other alone.”
“I suppose,” she said dubiously. It wasn’t the kind of relationship she wanted, but it seemed to work for Ron and Hermione. She sighed happily, remembering the gratitude and contentment in Ron’s voice. “I’m just glad for Ron, that’s all. It’s like she’s telling the world he’s good enough for her.”
“Of course he’s good enough for her! I’ve always thought that.”
“I have, too,” Ginny said quickly. “But I don’t think Ron has.”
Harry stared at her a minute. “Yeah. You’re probably right. That sounds like Ron.”
“But he’s happy now.” Then she giggled as she remembered what Ron had said at teatime. “And he’s nervous about being happy.”
“I'm sure he is.”
“Do you think that way?” She put her hand on his knee. “That you can only be so happy and then something bad has to happen?”
“Well, no.” He paused. “But happiness is…”
He sighed and watched Brian go into a small dive as David clapped his hands. “If someone asked me at seventeen what my happiest moment was – I would have said when I defeated Voldemort.”
“And when you were nineteen?” she prompted, knowing what he was going to say.
He smiled into her eyes, knowing what he was expected to say. “Our wedding.”
“Don’t you mean our wedding night?”
He laughed. “I’m including that.” He covered her hand. “But then we had Brian.”
She gulped. “And David.”
“And worries in between.”
It was true. They had experienced some awful things – life-and-death events that seemed even more risky to their happiness than that long-ago war with Voldemort. And yet, miraculously, they were all healthy and together still.
David was tired. He climbed off his broom and toddled to Harry.
“What would you say if I asked you what your happiest moment was at this age?” Ginny asked as Harry picked him up. “Forget seventeen. What about at twenty-six?”
David snuggled into his father’s lap. Harry looked at Brian who was pretending to catch an imaginary Snitch by lurching forward on his slow broom. He smiled. “He’s going to be an amazing Quidditch player.”
Ginny followed his gaze. Brian looked like Harry, but he had the stockier Prewett build. She could almost see the teenager he was going to be and her heart lurched at the thought.
She understood what Harry was trying to tell her – he was happy now and he could see what was going to make him even happier in the future.
She sighed and put her head on his shoulder. Harry put his free arm around her waist and drew her closer. She could tell he was breathing in the scent of her hair by the way his lips brushed the top of her head.
“Was the meeting boring?” Harry always had interesting daydreams about her during meetings.
“All meetings are boring.” He provocatively traced a path from her waist to her hip.
“Think the boys are getting tired?” she whispered, turning to face him. David’s eyes were droopy.
He gave her a lingering kiss. “They’ll sleep like Bowtruckles on a log.”
That kiss was promising. She shivered in anticipation.
After a few moments, David fell asleep. They called the Brian in, and Ginny doused the torches. In the pale moonlight, she could just make out Brian saying goodnight to the lions and Harry rising to his feet to carry David inside.
David stirred. “Bettah,” he said without opening his eyes.
Ginny giggled. “You know, he’s been saying that all day. I don’t think he knows what ‘better’ means.”
Harry looked over the top of his son’s head at Ginny and smiled. “I do.”
While I had trouble thinking about what to include for Ron's portion of the epilogue, I didn’t have that problem for H/G. See my story The Quick-Quotes Quill for a glimpse of Brian and David and their third child, Sera. I like the idea of H/G having their own trio of two boys and one girl. I picked the name ‘Brian’ as a tribute to Dumbledore, ‘David’ because JKR named her son David, and Seraphenia because it means ‘fiery angel’ (and H/G seem to have a history of liking outrageous names).
Of course, I’m expecting an even better happy ending for Harry from JKR! In less than a week we’ll know. Until then, I hope this vision of Harry’s happiness will ease the anxiety of the wait.
Thanks to Sherry for the beta, and Parakletos, Girlyswot and TDU for the Brit-picks. And thanks again to all of you who have read and reviewed my stories these past three years. It’s been a wonderful experience that just keeps getting better.