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Ginny had been waiting in the hallway for the last hour. Upon arrival in the lobby on the main level, Hermione had been whisked away from them and taken for tests while Ginny had been directed to the fourth floor to wait. A medi-witch appeared briefly to tell her that Hermione was being brought up to the floor she was waiting on and that a healer would be by to give her more information. Ginny had smiled and thanked her. She knew being a fellow employee at St. Mungo’s was giving her some leverage and the others on staff were keeping her informed for that reason.

Once she knew Hermione and the babies weren’t in mortal danger, Ginny relaxed a bit and tried to comfort James as he was still rather frightened and tense by all that had happened. He had only been to St. Mungo’s a few times before. One was to visit his Aunt Fleur after she had given birth to his cousin and the other times had been to visit Ginny while she worked. This had been the first time he had been here under a state of panic. While she waited for Harry and Ron to arrive from Appleby she gathered him in her arms and cuddled him close, explaining to him that he had been a very brave boy and that Aunt Hermione was going to be ok because of his quick thinking. He drifted off as she was singing to him softly and although Ginny didn’t think she was all that tired, the weight of him in her arms and the quiet of corridor make her eyelids droop and a light sleep fell upon her mind.

As quickly as sleep had taken her, a commotion tore through her consciousness and roused her. Trying not to disturb James, she shifted slightly and leaned forward to see if her instincts were right. She watched as Harry and Ron came rushing towards her at a breakneck speed.

Having run up 4 flights of stairs trying to get to the floor his wife was on; Ron was quite out of breath. The two came to a halt in front of her and as Ron put his hands out to grab Ginny by the shoulders he realized that she was holding James so in typical Ron fashion; he just began to shout instead. “Is she ok? Where is she? Can I see her?”

“Ron – calm down. You’re going to wake James. Harry? Do you mind?” She asked, gesturing for him to pick up his sleeping son from her lap. As he took his small form in his arms, she rose. She placed a sisterly arm around Ron’s shoulders to comfort him. “She’s resting now, just in the room across the hall. I told her healer that I’d summon her when you arrived. You can go in while I fetch her. But try not to disturb her, ok?” She explained and led him to the room where his wife was.

Ron slipped inside the room quietly and caught his breath. Hermione lay quietly in a bed by the window. He could tell she was sleeping by the way her mouth was slightly open and as her chest rose and fell rhythmically. He swallowed the lump in his throat as he approached her bedside and quietly leaned over to kiss her forehead before gently taking her hand in his. He watched her silently until she stirred and then leaned down to whisper in her ear that he was there.

“Ron? Why are you here? You’re supposed to be in Appleby tonight.” She asked sleepily.

He looked into her brown eyes and smiled. “Harry came to fetch me.” He responded.

“Harry’s home? Why did he fetch you?” She asked, slightly disoriented as to where she was.

“He’s in the hallway watching James. Ginny’s gone to fetch Healer McEachern.” Ron said, trying to keep her as calm as possible.

“Healer? What?” She said as she came to the realization of where she was. Acting on instinct, her hands fell on her rounded belly, to make sure the twins were where they should be. “Why am I here?” She asked him, her eyes starting to shine with tears and fear.

“Mrs. Weasley, you are in St. Mungo’s tonight because you had a little episode at home.” Healer McEachern explained as she swept in the door. She had a stern expression on her face that reminded Ron quite a lot of Professor Minvera McGonagall.

“An episode?” Both Ron and Hermione asked at the same moment.

“Yes, that’s correct. It seems you passed out this evening. Mrs. Weasley – since our last check up have you been taking it easy like I recommended?” She asked – her voice becoming little less harsh when she noticed the fear in both expectant parents’ eyes. Her patient was more exuberant than most her age; and each time she arrived for a check up, she was armed with a parchment full of questions and general concerns about what was happening.

Hermione’s cheeks turned pink at her Healer’s question. “Well Healer McEachern, I’m trying but my cases at work have been so demanding. I have to finish them before the babies are born.” She tried to explain, sitting up on her bed.

Healer McEachern looked from wife to husband and sighed inwardly, none of her other patients were quite as stubborn. “Hermione, I told you that you should take it easy now that you are approaching the third trimester. It’s a critical time for a witch carrying twins. You gave quite a few of us a scare today, including your poor husband. Mr. Weasley, you look to be as pale as a ghost. Now Hermione, it seems like you were suffering from a minor case of exhaustion.” She produced a piece of parchment from her white medical robes.

“I am putting you off on bed rest.” She handed the parchment over to Ron. “And I will hear no arguments on this matter. Mr. Weasley, tomorrow I want you to take this to your wife’s immediate supervisor and inform them of the circumstances.”

Ron nodded and as he slipped the parchment into his quidditch robes, Healer McEachern patted the end of the bed where Hermione’s feet were. “I know you want to get as much done at work as possible Hermione, but you need to put the needs of the babies in front of that. I can’t stress to you enough that the last trimester can be very stressful for a young witch carrying twins as her first pregnancy. You need to rest as much as possible and let them grow in a relaxed atmosphere. You won’t be on complete bed rest, you can go out on short outings and visit with your friends and family, but there’ll be no work or strenuous activity. Are we clear?”

Hermione nodded, lying back on her pillows. “Yes. I understand.” She said quietly. “The babies are ok then?” She asked, her lip trembling slightly.

“The babies are fine. I just need you to rest now.” Healer McEachern said, more softly this time. “I’m going to keep you here tonight for observation, but you can go home first thing in the morning. The medi-witches will be around later to make sure you are still comfortable.” She explained, heading for the door. “Please don’t hesitate to page me if you need to.”

As the door swung shut behind the older witch, Hermione burst into tears and flung her arms around Ron’s waist as he stood beside her bed.

“I’m so sorry! I never meant to scare you like this!” She cried, her tears soaking into the wool of his quidditch uniform.

Ron held her close and let her cry while he stroked her back to calm her. “Shhhh… I’m just happy you and the babies are fine Hermione. And now we’ll do precisely what the doctor ordered. You are resting as much as possible and I won’t hear an argument about it.” He said softly before kissing her.

The pair turned towards the door when they heard a soft knock and watched Ginny poke her head in.

“Can I come in?” She asked quietly and entered as they nodded. Walking over to the opposite side of the bed from Ron she gave her sister in law a hug. “Healer McEachern told me before I came in that everything is ok but I just wanted to check on the two of you myself.” She said, giving Hermione another squeeze.

“I’m sorry Ginny.” Hermione said in an apologetic voice. “I must have caused James and you quite a scare.”

“There’s no need to apologize. I mean you did cause a bit of a scare, but thank goodness we taught James how to use the floo on his own for emergencies. He’s sleeping right now, but he wanted me to give you a kiss from him.” Ginny kissed the other witch’s forehead and straightened. “We’re going to head back to the flat now but an orderly will be in with a cot for Ron. I assumed you’d want to stay so I asked for one to be brought around.“ She said to him before rounding the bed to give her brother a hug.

“Now Harry and I will be by in the morning, I’ll bring some fresh clothes for the both of you. The orderlies are also going to bring a change of robes for you Ron – I dare say it wouldn’t be very comfortable to sleep in quidditch robes would it? Do you want me to let Mum and Dad know? You know she’s got a sixth sense about things like this. Not to mention a clock.”

Ron nodded as he looked at his baby sister. She had really turned into a little Mum herself. “That’s probably a good idea. Do you mind Gin?”

“Of course not, I’ll floo her as soon as I get back to my flat.” Ginny turned to leave when the door to the room opened and Harry slipped in with James on his shoulder.

“Hey.” He said quietly, looking over to the area of the room where Hermione was and paused for a moment when he noticed how pregnant she had gotten. He felt envious of his friends. He loved James with all of his heart but he wished sometimes that he had been around to experience pregnancy with Ginny. “Someone is getting restless. I think he wants his Mum.” He explained as he walked over to where Ginny stood next to Ron.

Ginny immediately held out her arms to take James from him. “We’re going home soon darling.” She said softly as she kissed him gently. Harry watched the little exchange as his son buried his head in the crook of her neck and his little arms tightened around her neck. When she smiled at him over their son’s head, he felt his heart swell in his chest, it was a smile filled with love and Harry knew it was meant all for him.

“Welcome home Harry.” Hermione said quietly from her bed causing him to look away from Ginny and over at her. He took in the woman he thought of as his sister and moved over to give her a hug.

“Thanks Hermione.” He said, planting a kiss on her cheek. “I see you’ve been quite busy since I’ve been gone. This has to be one of the more exciting welcome home evenings I’ve ever experienced!” He laughed and gave her another hug before sitting on the edge of the bed.

“I’m sorry I caused such a scare tonight.” She added, biting her lip in worry.

“Hermione – if I hear you apologize any more tonight, I’m going climb to the roof and throw myself off.” Ron muttered, exasperation evident in his voice.

“Well Ronald – go ahead and throw yourself off. See if I care what you do! I will raise our children on my own!” She said as the tears welled up in her eyes and she crossed her arms over her chest.

“Hey – hey.” Harry said, “Let’s not wake the entire hospital ok? Ron, if Hermione needs to say she’s sorry, she can say she’s sorry. And Hermione, please stop saying you’re sorry. We are all just happy that you are ok and that the babies are safe. I am looking quite forward to meeting my nieces or nephews or both very soon.” Thinking that he had diffused an argument between the two, he rose from where he had perched himself between the couple. It seemed after all of their years together, they could still push each other’s buttons with the simplest of words but Harry never worried about them; he knew their love was a special one - it withstood anything that was thrown at it.

“Sorry Hermione.” Ron said as he gazed at the hospital floor, his toe moving around in a circle around the black and white tiles.

“It’s ok Ronald. I’d say the same, but I seem to apologize too much these days.” She said, still annoyed at his words.

As the two became involved once more in arguing and oblivious to the fact that Harry, Ginny and James were in the room with them, Harry gestured towards the door. “We’ll see you in the morning ok guys?” He asked, even though he was being ignored. When he reached Ginny at the door he leaned near her ear, “those two haven’t changed in the entire time I’ve known them. Let’s get out before they wake James.” He whispered.

As his warm breath brushed against her ear and neck, Ginny shivered and nodded. The time had definitely come to head home and the last thing she wanted was to have James awake when they arrived back at the flat.

*~*

As Harry slowly floated up from the cloudy state of dreams, he could feel something digging into his side. Bugger, he thought, I knew I should have slept near that tree last night. Opening one green eye, he looked at his surroundings and realized he wasn’t sleeping outdoors or even on the ground. He was home, in Ginny’s flat, in bed. He turned his head to the side and took in her bright red hair peeking out from under the covers she was wrapped in. He shivered at the chill in the room as he realized that she had taken all of the blankets to her side of the bed. As he moved to grab them back, he felt something jab him in the side once again. Reaching down beside him, his hand came in contact with a small foot. Sitting up slightly, he found the foot belonged to his son.

James lay sideways in the bed, his top half was closest to Ginny and he had the edge of the stolen blankets covering him from the chill. Harry grumbled to himself as the little boy’s foot shot out again and kicked him squarely in the ribs. Slipping out of bed quietly, so the other two wouldn’t be disturbed, Harry made his way over towards the bathroom. As he turned the knob, he heard a quiet hoot from atop Ginny’s wardrobe. Glancing up he found Hedwig peering at him with her bright, lamp-like yellow eyes. She hooted once more in what Harry took to be amusement before she nestled her head into her snowy feathers for sleep.

He grumbled to himself once more. “Ruddy bird, you’re only finding this funny because I left you behind.” When he received nothing but silence from the room, he slipped into the bathroom and turned on the shower.

Ginny woke when she heard the shower turn on. It always caused the pipes to shake and rattle when the water flowed into them. She sat up and found James lying beside her. For a moment, confusion washed over her before she realized that Harry was back and that was who was in the shower. Smiling, she climbed out of bed and headed to the kitchen to make some coffee to start the day. As the aromatic brew woke her senses, she decided to surprise Harry in the shower.

Harry turned off the water taps in the shower and shook the wet hair out of his eyes. Feeling refreshed and more awake, he pulled the shower curtain back to grab a bright blue towel from the rack to dry off. Out of corner of his eye, he noticed a fuzzy red mass of hair. “Ginny! What are you doing in here?” He hissed, wrapping the towel around his waist and securing it.

She stood from where she was perched on the closed lid of the toilet and walked the short distance to him. Handing him his glasses, she reached up and kissed him on the lips.

“My ever modest Harry,” She said, giggling as the steam fogged his lenses up once again. “I just wanted to wish you a good morning.” She held up a mug of coffee to him. “And bring you something to start the day with.”

“I thought you were sleeping.” Harry said, stepping out of the tub and drawn more by her perfume than the smell of fresh coffee went closer to her.

Ginny’s mouth went dry as he approached her. She could see droplets of water rolling off of his shoulders. “I was.” She responded, setting the mug on the shelf above the sink and lifting a finger to trail down his arm. “But I woke up when the pipes began to rattle. I realized it must be you when I found James sprawled across the bed beside me.”

Harry looked down into her brown eyes and came closer to her, the desire to kiss her growing in his chest. “Ah yes, those little feet woke me up this morning. I thought was I out in the field sleeping on rocks.” He trailed his hand down her arm and smiled when her eyes closed at his touch. “We really need to talk about a bigger bed.” He said, as his mouth dipped down press against hers.

As his lips touched hers, she felt her knees grow weak. His tongue slipped against hers and she tasted the fresh mint of toothpaste. Wanting to be closer, she wrapped her arms around his neck and snaked her hands through his wet hair.

Harry groaned against her mouth as he felt her body press against his. He moved forward until her back was against the hard wood of the door and then reached down to run one hand along her side and pull her smooth leg up against his towel covered thigh. Harry could feel the knot he had secured the towel with becoming loose and he knew that it wouldn’t be long before it fell to the floor.

Keeping his lips on hers, Harry’s fingers moved down her side, brushing against her breasts and ribcage as he searched for the hem of her t-shirt. Looking down, he noticed it was the faded old shirt he had worn to bed last night. Pulling his lips from hers, he looked at her face until she opened her eyes again.

“Is that my shirt?” He asked, smiling as she nodded silently, her teeth biting lightly on her lower lip as she looked at him. As his fingers started to move the hem up her stomach, Ginny sucked in a deep breath and lifted her arms to let him slip the stolen garment over her head.

Flinging it on the floor, he began to kiss her again, his hands roving over her bare skin, that was now moist from the steam in the small room. Harry groaned as her hands moved down his back and she ran her fingers along the edge of the towel.

“Mummy? I’m hungry.” With their private moment suddenly invaded, the two adults broke apart at the sound of James’ voice on the other side of the door. As the doorknob began to turn, Harry quickly braced his hands on solid wood to keep it closed.

“One second James!” She called, “Mummy’s just brushing her teeth!” Ginny looked at Harry frantically. “Get my shirt.” She whispered quickly. She threw it over her head while she grabbed her toothbrush from the edge of the sink and pulled the door open a crack. She looked down to find him at the door, his dark hair sticking up in all directions from sleep. “Good morning Quidditch-Bug. Did you sleep well?” She watched James nod while he rubbed the sleep from his eyes. “Just give Mummy one more moment ok? And then we’ll go make some breakfast. How do pancakes sound?”

“Ok Mummy!” James jumped in excitement as pancakes were his favorite breakfast food.

Ginny laughed. “Why don’t you take your snitch back into your room and put him on the bed?” She watched her son run over to the bed and grab his favorite toy from the blankets and when he dashed from the room, she closed the door to the bathroom shut. Looking over, Harry was standing rooted to the floor by the sink, his hand tightly clutching the towel. His skin was still flushed but when she fixed on at his face, it was white.

“Harry? Are you ok?” She asked, walking over at him to stroke his arm gently.

“James – he nearly – walked – in – here. When we were almost – doing – you know.” He said, pointing towards the door.

“He didn’t see anything – I guess we will just have to be careful next time and not let our needs rage so out of control.” Ginny laughed and stood on tip toe to kiss Harry, who leaned away from her kiss.

“Ginny! Not now! He could come in here!” He said quickly, glancing at the door.

Feeling insulted, Ginny stood back and pouted. “Honestly! You do realize that James lives here all the time? You’re turning into quite the prude Mr. Potter! That’s twice in less than two days that you’ve been shy with me! He’s bound to see us kiss. As long as we don’t attack each other like rabbits when he’s in the same room, he’ll grow up to be a rounded individual. We just have to be more conscious of using the locking charm if we don’t want to be disturbed” Ginny said, placing her hands on her hips and stared him down.

Harry looked at her standing before him in her knickers and his t-shirt. Her hair was still wild from sleep and her brown eyes grew darker as she waited for his response. He silently contemplated his options; he knew he was sitting on the edge of a precipice. Ginny’s temper was up, and he could try to diffuse it or ride it out. Deciding to take the easy way out, he leaned towards her to kiss her until she forgave him but was met by a small, but strong hand on his chest.

“I don’t think so.” She stated, pushing him away. “James could walk in at anytime. I wouldn’t want him to see his parents doing anything as natural as kissing each other.” She said, not bothering to hide her annoyance. As the words left her mouth, she threw her toothbrush in the sink and turned on her heel to leave the bathroom and Harry behind.

After getting dressed, Harry found the two of them in the kitchen. Ginny was vigourously mixing batter for pancakes and James was sitting on the counter next to her watching her movements. His slipper covered feet kicked lazily against the cupboards below him.

“Mummy? Can I have two pancakes?” He asked.

“Quidditch-bug you can have as many as you like.” Ginny responded, glancing up from the bowl and kissing his nose quickly. “But only two? Are you sure you’re a Weasley?” She asked, tweaking his nose.

Harry watched as James giggled at her. Feeling like a spectator, Harry hung back for a moment and continued to watch his family. Ginny smiled at James and took the bowl of batter over to the stovetop. Pouring out large circles into the pan, she tapped it with her wand and set them to cook. It was then that Ginny noticed Harry standing on the edge of the kitchen.

“Would you like some pancakes Harry?” She asked sweetly, the annoyance she was feeling towards him still evident in her voice. Setting the bowl down, she picked James up off the counter and set him on the floor.

“Sure – that’d be great.” Harry stepped into the kitchen and sat at the table. He could feel James’ eyes on him so he turned to him. “Hey mate – how are you doing?” He asked, his breath held as he waited for an answer.

James looked at Harry with shyness in his eyes. Harry could tell he knew him but he wasn’t exactly sure what to think about him. He slowly made his way over to Ginny and pressed up against his leg.

“Mummy?” He said, tugging on the edge of her t-shirt. When she leaned down he whispered in her ear. “Is that Daddy?”

Ginny smiled and nodded her head. “Sure is Quidditch-Bug. Don’t you remember him being here last night?”

James shook his head and moved over to where Harry sat at the table. “Are you home now?” He asked.

“I sure am James. I got back just last night.” He said, looking down at his son, who stood looking back at him with identical eyes. Ginny watched the interaction between the two and took note of just how alike they were. She expected that Harry had looked the same as their son at his age. Although the happiness that was in their eyes couldn’t have been in his back then – not with having to live with those horrid Dursleys. She remembered when she first saw that same light in Harry’s eyes. It had been during her second year at Hogwarts and she had happened upon Harry and Ron playing wizards’ chess in the common room. It had been one of those rare times that Harry had beaten her brother at the game. Ron began to sulk while Harry did a dance around the room, shouting out to anyone around them that he had won, his green eyes dancing in joy.

“Good.” He said, climbing up into Harry’s arms for a hug. James’ arms snaked around his neck in a tight hug. “Did you miss us?” He asked.

“I thought about the two of you every day I was away.” Harry said, looking over at where Ginny was setting fresh pancakes onto a plate. “Come on now. Let’s get breakfast over with. Uncle Ron and Aunt Hermione are waiting for us at the hospital.” He said, setting James onto the chair beside him.

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