A Magical Roleplaying Experience 

Welcome Back! It's time for our 20th Start of Term!

 #38644  by Ginny Weasley
 
Ginny stood hunched over the kitchen sink, staring down into its basin. The parcels of shopping she'd brought home after work still sat unopened on the counter, save for one, which appeared to have been rummaged through quite urgently. Ginny had arrived home with a plan and -- she'd thought -- some resolve: but here she was, standing over the kitchen sink as she had been for the past quarter of an hour, the unused pregnancy test still lying blank and resolute at the bottom of the basin.

It wasn't that big a deal. Just a late period and a little queasiness in the mornings the past week or so. And so what if she turned out to be pregnant? She and Harry had talked plenty about having kids; they had ditched the contraceptive spells months ago, hadn't they?

So what am I waiting for? Ginny hissed at herself, bemused.

The front door opened, and Ginny jumped. "Hi, Harry," she called to her husband. Her head whipped from the pregnancy test to the unopened groceries on the counter, and leaned casually with her back against the sink, blocking it, as Harry entered.

"Hey," she smiled easily. "How'd the performance reviews go?"
 #38645  by Harry Potter
 
"They gave me a raise," said Harry, returning her smile. He unbuttoned the cuffs of his shirt and rolled up the sleeves one by one until both were neatly folded at his elbows. "It's a small pay increase, but you were right in telling me not to worry." The night prior, Harry thoroughly convinced himself that his performance review would go poorly despite successfully closing out the majority of cases assigned to him in his career as an Auror since joining the Ministry at the young age of seventeen. He feared that he’d never be able to achieve anything as significant as ending a war; not just once but twice!

How do you impress anyone after that?

To Harry’s surprise it was ridiculously easy. Most people, a few colleagues included, thought so highly of him for defeating Voldemort six years ago that something as minor as solving a missing person’s case seemed to impress them. Much to his relief he was treated like any other employee during his performance review, praised for being an important contributor to the successes of the department and lectured for poor time management. It was nice, thought Harry, to be recognized for something unrelated to his fame.

He pressed a loving kiss to his wife’s cheek and moved to help her put away the groceries. “I can choose which cases I want to take now,” said Harry cheerfully as he reached into the brown paper bag to pull out the bread and store it away in the cabinet above. “In exchange, they asked if I could help restructure the department.” The Department of Magical Law Enforcement was a mess and everyone knew it including the Minister of Magic himself. “Kinglsey wants me to meet with him once a month to discuss it. I said, yes.”

The groceries were always fresh, always cold, when Ginny brought them home. Harry could only assume she had been home for a while when he noticed that this time...they were not.

“Ginny,” said Harry calmly, “...The milk is warm....Why is the milk warm?”

He turned to look at his wife with a questioning gaze. She seemed to be rather rooted to her spot near the sink, as if she was hiding something.

Harry took a step forward, “What’s wrong?”
 #38646  by Ginny Weasley
 
The good news brought a genuine smile to Ginny’s face.

“Brilliant,” she grinned. “I so” – she accepted a kiss from her husband – “told you so.”

Harry bustled around the kitchen, instinctively storing away her mess (a rather typical pattern in their married life, she admitted). Ginny watched, thoughts racing through her head as she considered what to do. Surely she’d have to tell him, and of course she would! But now? Tomorrow morning seemed like a better time; tonight they’d want to celebrate Harry’s raise over dinner. Perhaps it was best just to surreptitiously slip the pregnancy test into her back pocket and…

Ginny’s hand was groping the basin behind her back when Harry’s eyes caught hers, and she froze.

“Nothing’s wrong,” she said, sighing uneasily and turning to face the sink. Feeling there was no point in hiding it any longer, she turned back around with something in hand. “I suppose I just had a feeling something might be really… positive, actually.” Ginny raised her eyebrows and gestured with the unused pregnancy test.
 #38647  by Harry Potter
 
Harry tilted his head, momentarily confused about Ginny’s behavior until she revealed the unused pregnancy test she’d been fussing over. While he had never seen one before and had no earthly clue as to how they worked, it wasn’t difficult to connect the dots. He stared down at the bit of plastic resting in the palms of her hands. “Is that what I think it is?” Harry asked, his Adam's apple bobbing as he swallowed nervously . “Are you…?”
 #38648  by Ginny Weasley
 
"I don't know," Ginny said. She held the test out at arms' length, squinting hawkishly at it with furrowed brows, as if it were some foreign object requiring intense scrutiny in order to understand. She looked at Harry. "I'm six days late. And I felt a little nauseous the morning after the Harpies party we went to, but that could just as easily have just been the seafood. I know Mum can do the spell for it, you know, the one that tells you, but something about asking her -- she'd get so, well, you know -- so when I was at the Muggle grocery store I just..."

Ginny moved the test around as she talked, first setting it on the counter, then picking it up again, as if she didn't quite know what to do with it. Finally she set the little plastic stick back down in the sink and hunched over it once more, staring intently at it as if it might yield its answers magically.
 #38649  by Harry Potter
 
Harry craned his neck to see better when she held it out the pregnancy at arm’s length, his clueless expression mirroring her confused actions. “Right...seafood, maybe,” he echoed, reaching up to scratch the back of his head. He was in silent agreement that asking Mrs. Weasley to perform a pregnancy checking spell would more than likely cause more drama than it was worth. Going to St. Mungos was not an option either. The press would have a field day if they knew and Hogwarts would probably lock it’s front doors after learning that the next generation of trouble was on the way. Harry could already picture it in his head : McGonagall considering retirement, and Oliver Wood owling to convince her to stay because the child was sure to be a Gryffindor quidditch prodigy.

“We could ask Hermione? “ Harry suggested, instantly regretting his words. Owling or flooing Hermione also meant owling or flooing Ron and Harry wasn’t entirely sure his best mate would be able to keep such a secret from the rest of the family. Besides, how do you start a conversation with : “So, I got your sister pregnant. I think. Not sure. I need your mum to check.”

“How about we just- is there directions somewhere?” Harry quickly moved around Ginny to shuffle through the grocery bags until he found what he was looking for. Pulling the directions out of the little rectangular box, Harry unfolded them with trembling hands. His eyes scanned the paper as a blush gradually worked its way onto his face.

“I think…” he cleared his throat and started again, “ I think I’ve figured out how it works.”
 #38650  by Ginny Weasley
 
"Merlin, does it need blood?" Ginny said. All the Muggle Healing procedures she'd heard about always seemed to start with a blood test -- the buggers couldn't figure out what was wrong with anyone without one, it seemed. Barbaric! She pushed herself off the counter and began to pace.

"We haven't got to do it today," she continued, rounding the kitchen island. "You've just gotten your raise! We should celebrate. Let's make treacle tart and listen to the Wireless and go to bed early. I'll take it in the morning. Or -- yeah, this weekend. Then we'll have time to, you know, prepare?"

Ginny offered this suggestion with the wavering, slightly desperate air of a woman walking on thin ice. She began another lap around the kitchen.
 #38651  by Harry Potter
 
“No,” said Harry, shaking his head, “Not blood,exactly.” Her movement made him look up from the directions, his eyes following her as she lapped the kitchen over and over again. They had enough trouble watching over Teddy when it was their turn to babysit him; how on earth were they going to figure out this whole parenting thing when they managed to lose his six year old godson for four hours because he fell asleep under Harry’s invisibility cloak in the middle of the living room?

Harry shoved the directions into his pocket and crossed the threshold to cut Ginny off in mid strut, gently pulling her into his arms.. ”It’s okay,” he admitted,”I’m scared too. I’ve never had parents, never had any role models to learn from. I’m terrified that I won’t be a good father but what I do know is that I want a family with you. If you are…”

Harry licked his lips. The words felt foreign and strange on his tongue but he forced himself to continue “If you are pregnant then we’ll have something better to celebrate than my minuscule raise. If not, we’ll keep trying...if that’s what you still want.”
 #38652  by Ginny Weasley
 
For a moment Ginny resisted Harry's steady grip on her shoulders; but as he drew her into his arms and held her still, she felt her muscles relax. She leaned into him, letting him slowly siphon off her mania. It wasn't quite relief. She still felt afraid -- and tired, as if she'd been running. But she did feel safe. Ginny rubbed Harry's neck as he spoke of his parents, his want for a family.

"Of course it's what I want," she said. "I want it so badly. All my life I pictured this moment, but I never pictured myself being like this..." She laughed exasperatedly and burrowed her head into Harry's chest. "What's wrong with me, Harry?"
 #39044  by Harry Potter
 
Harry chuckled nervously. ”Nothing,”he said gently, “There’s nothing wrong with you.” Even if there had been something wrong with her, he knew better than to answer differently. Pregnant hormones or not, Ginny Wesley was a force to reckon with and stepping on her toes or accidently saying something that she might negatively misinterpret was something he generally wanted to avoid.

So, Harry remained calm and quiet as he held her in his arms despite his own nerve wrecked thoughts and the unstable emotions chaotically dancing the conga line in his body. Many times she had been his rock when he needed it most; it was only fair that he returned the favor.

“Hey, why don’t you go sit down and rest while I fix us some dinner?” he suggested after several long minutes of smoothing his hand up and down along the curve of her back in complete silence.“I think I can manage it.” Thank Merlin it was spaghetti night. Harry wasn’t sure he could function coherently enough to make something extravagant right now.
 #39134  by Ginny Weasley
 
Ginny leaned into the quietness Harry gave her. She rested against his chest for several minutes, until her anxiety slowly ebbed away. Harry always did know exactly what to do to calm her down. He could be so steady when she was so… combustible. Merlin, this husband of hers. How on earth had she managed to wrangle –

“Dinner?” Ginny’s head popped up from Harry’s chest in surprise. Her eyes darted over to the pregnancy test, lying still and unused on the counter. “Aren’t we going to…?”

But her voice trailed away, not in fear, but in the face of Harry’s cheerful nonchalance.

“You’re putting it on for me, I know you,” Ginny prodded moodily, leaning against the kitchen counter; but she knew it was useless to offer real resistance, and secretly was glad not to need to. She watched Harry buzz around their kitchen, pouring a box of pasta into a pot of water and setting it on the stove. He retrieved the canned spaghetti sauce from the fridge and began busying himself with chopping mushrooms, only to whirl around, having forgotten to boil the tepid tapwater in which the pasta was swimming.

“Harry,” Ginny said, with a knowing tilt of her head. A tinge of guilt crept up her spine. Of course he was nervous, too. And of course, said a firmer voice in the back of her head, they each would need to support the other through this.

“Hot water first, then spaghetti,” she said, flipping the burner on the stovetop. But something in her eyes was much more discerning.
 #39292  by Harry Potter
 
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” insisted Harry, stubbornly refusing to admit she was right in calling him out on his behavior. “The only thing I’m putting on for you is the spaghetti.”

His mouth stretched into an unconvincing smile as he navigated with purpose around the kitchen to collect various ingredients from the fridge and pasta from the cabinets. He worked quickly to prepare it all, dumping the uncooked noodles into the water, slicing up the vegetables with reckless speed so that they were chopped into inconsistent bits and pieces. And when he whirled around to check the tenderness of the noodles, Harry found himself feeling incredibly stupid to have forgotten something as basic as boiling the water. He looked guiltily at his wife and pulled the hardened noodles from the cold pot and set them aside as she flipped on the burner. “Okay, so maybe I am putting it on a little. “

Harry released a heavy sigh and abashedly rubbed the back of his neck. “I’m just anxious to know the results.” His eyes darted to the unused pregnancy test on the counter. “But we’ll have to wait until you...until your body is ready to-when you feel like you- Here.” Unable to properly use his words to explain how the test worked, Harry dug into his pocket to retrieve the instructions. He unwrapped the crumpled piece of paper and handed it to Ginny. “As I said, it doesn’t require blood…”
 #39293  by Ginny Weasley
 
Ginny took the crumpled paper and frowned at it, eyes darting side to side. "Oh, revolting, that's even worse!"

She put down the sheet and shook her head in bemusement -- this was probably the strangest example yet of that damn Muggle ingenuity her father always harped on about. It's not horrible. Don't be dramatic, she reasoned to herself a moment later. Ginny bent over the counter and put her head in her hands, squaring the pregnancy test between her elbows. Within the next she had popped up with an exasperated noise, swiping the thin stick and turning to Harry.

"No, you're right. I'm making excuses," she said forcefully to her husband, though rather a lot to herself. "I am Ginny fucking Potter and I am going to grab the manticore by the horns like I always do."

It was like in Quidditch: the best plays were always the most daring. No room for reservations. A blazing look in her eyes -- one could call it manic -- Ginny turned in a flash of red hair and pounded purposefully off to the hall toilet.
 #39294  by Harry Potter
 
Ginny’s emotions flip flopped so dramatically that Harry had difficulty keeping up. One moment she was sulking and the next she was in a frenzy. He had to quickly side step to avoid being trampled on as she marched off to the toilet with the pregnancy stick in hand. “I’ll just wait here, then?” Harry suggested, standing alone in the kitchen “I’ll just tend to the-” His sentence was cut short and replaced by a string of swear words that would have made Mrs. Weasley faint. The pot of water they abandoned on the burner bubbled violently, spilling out and over the rims of the pot, angrily sizzling.

Harry quickly dialed down the temperature and took a step back to allow the water to settle itself to a rolling boil. He added the noodles and briefly wondered if he should check on Ginny.
 #39446  by Ginny Weasley
 
Ginny flipped the lock in the inside of the bathroom door, depositing the pregnancy test in the sink. She stared down at it again, braced against the counter, a whirlwind of conflicting emotions whipping through her mind. A twinge of guilt for having nearly trampled her husband floated in the malange there somewhere, before quickly being swept away by the sensation of... standing on a precipice. Ginny was alarmed how strongly and clearly she felt it. There was before, this moment, and then everything after. After today, her life might entirely change.

Pushing out a heavy breath, Ginny uncapped the test and sat down.

Five minutes later, the hall toilet door opened with a click. Ginny walked slowly out, the capped and completed test in her pocket. She wandered down the hall, adjusted the flowers in the vase they kept by the door, and watched the wind blow in the quiet street outside. Then she turned and padded slowly back into the kitchen.

Ginny leaned against the doorframe, hands in her pockets, red hair falling over her shoulders. Her eyes as they found Harry were soft, gentle.

"I took it," she said quietly, but waited to read his expression before she said anything more.