A myriad of sound and colour. A flash of grey: the courtyard; a flash of flowing red: blood; a flash of deathly green, all accompanied by screams and shouts. And cold. She felt sol cold, as though she was frozen to the ground. That last: the green flash of light had sapped all of the warmth from her. And all colour. When she opened her eyes, it was to complete darkness.
No, nearly complete darkness. A swirl of red played across the ceiling and disappeared, along with the wailing of a siren as it sped down the street.
Ginny opened her eyes wider. It was still dark, but as she adjusted to the lack of light she recognized that she was staring at her bedroom ceiling. She was lying in bed, not on the Quidditch pitch. The flash of red, light at leas, was from an emergency vehicle, not a wayward spell.
Falling back into an ingrained habit developed after months of nightmares, Ginny reached for Harry’s pillow, intent to bury her face in it and pretend that he was there. The tips of her fingers brushed, not against an empty pillow but against something cold, and then against warm skin. Startled, she began to sit up, but just as quickly stopped. Of course she was not alone; she hadn’t been for most of the previous nine months. Harry had been home every night, unless it couldn’t be helped, and there had been very few of those nights. And like a large number of those nights, he’d once again fallen asleep without remembering to take off his glasses.
Ginny reached over, intending to remove Harry’s glasses and set them on the bedside cabinet, but she stopped as another newly familiar sight formed out of the darkness: a tiny bundle swaddled in pink spending another night sleeping comfortably on her father’s chest, as she had done all seven nights she’d spent at home.
Lily Dora Potter (so named for Harry’s mum and for Tonks, without whose sacrifice Lily wouldn’t be there) had not been planned any more than James had been. They had, as Jordana had bellowed when Ginny told her she was pregnant again, not learned from previous mistakes. Ginny scoffed at the thought. To consider this precious little bundle a mistake was impossible.
But many things had changed since the night James almost died. What now seemed impossible, had not always felt so.
The choice to try and work things out with Harry had been easy, actually doing it was altogether more challenging. They’d spent that very first night at their flat, in bed with James as neither could bear to be parted form him or each other. In the sober light of day, however, Ginny knew it was too soon. She might be ready to share a flat with Harry again, this being much the simpler option rather than imposing on family members, but she was not yet ready to share her bed with him. After some discussion, he slept on a camp bed in James’s room. From there, as he told her later, he saw Ginny come in every night to check on James, for reassurance that her son was still alive. It was after seven such nights, and after a particularly vivid recollection of what had happened, that the dam Ginny had built over the previous fortnight finally cracked. She turned into a blubbering mess, and Harry then revealing himself to be awake, comforted her. It had been that night, the only such in a period of many weeks, that Lily had been conceived. And whether it was intuition, or something else, Ginny began to suspect almost at once that she was pregnant again. Unlike with James, she shared these suspicions with Harry immediately. They had to wait a number of weeks for Adrasteia to come back from a well deserved holiday to receive official word. By the end of that six week period, the only shock would have been if she had said Ginny wasn’t pregnant.
Though they were prepared for the news that she was pregnant, it took a lot longer than six weeks to get used to the reality that another child was coming. Ginny had a particularly hard time of it, at least partly because she suffered severe morning sickness throughout the majority of her pregnancy. It was always during these times, especially in the early days, that she felt most strongly that it was too soon for a second child. She had felt it even though things had been going very, very well for herself and Harry.
Ginny continued to stroke Lily’s hair, which was already as black as her father’s. It could still change, she knew, but as James’s hadn’t, she was sure Lily’s wouldn’t either. Hers would be the only two black haired children among a growing clan of red-heads. Even Nicholas, Ron and Hermione’s month old son, had a small amount of ginger fuzz.
Ignoring her mother’s sensible advice to try sleeping while the baby was, Ginny propped herself up with her left arm and continued to stare at her daughter. Lily looked impossibly small as she slept on Harry’s chest. It was hard to believe that James had ever been that small, even though he had been a newborn not two years earlier. He was growing like a weed. Ginny tilted her head in the direction of his room. Thanks to a new Supersensory Charm, she did not have to get up to tell he was sleeping soundly in his crib. A relief, even after many months, and everything else that had happened.
Each day that passed with nothing but good news made it easier to go on. In only nine months a lot of good had happened: Delores Umbridge had not only been arrested, she had been charged and convicted of aiding and abetting a known fugitive, and of kidnap. She had been in Azkaban for six months already, and there was no prospect of her getting out any time soon. Perhaps it was this example of justice, or because he actually felt guilty for his own actions, within days of his aunt’s conviction, Declan Fohn stepped down as spokeswizard for W.A.N.D., and strongly urged the group to disband and pursue a more tolerant lifestyle. Ginny had nearly fallen off her feet when she heard that particular report on the wireless. That story had come right on the heels of another in which it was gleefully announced to the wizarding world at large, that the last known Death Eater had been apprehended.
“So ends one of the deadliest and most dangerous organizations of our world,” said the announcer. “Let us hope there are many more good things to come.”
That announcer’s hope seemed to come true in many different ways. If good things were children, Ginny thought, they were plentiful. She and Harry had James and Lily. Ron and Hermione had Nicholas. Even Tougas was a father. They had been correct about a change to his relationship with Briony. A little girl, Flora, had been born just days before Lily.
“Everything is going to be OK,” Ginny said, under her breath.
“I checked on him, he’s fine,” Harry muttered, his voice heavy with sleep.
“What? Oh, James. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to wake you,” Ginny said quietly, sitting up a little more.
“’S OK. I checked on him when I got home,” Harry repeated. “Nothing to worry about.”
“I know. Thank you.”
Silence returned, but for Harry’s slow steady breathing. Ginny was sure he’d fallen asleep again. Intending to do the same, she lay down and was adjusting the blankets when her left hand was captured and a kiss bestowed upon it.
“Are you happy?”
“I am,” she replied at once. It had been a frequent question of his for at least six months.
“No regrets?” he asked, running his thumb over her rings.
“Not one.” She squeezed his hand.
“Good. Goodnight, Mrs. Potter.” He kissed her hand again, and immediately fell asleep again.
Ginny reclaimed her hand and held it up, where her engagement ring and wedding ring both sparkled in the ambient light. It had been six months since they were married in a small ceremony at the Burrow (her mother had threatened torture at the very least if they eloped like Ron and Hermione had done), and yet she didn’t think she would ever get used to it. That was OK, though, because if she never got used to it, she would never forget everything they’d gone through to get there, and could forever count their marriage among the list of good things.