Lilies In Autumn


Story Summary:
Lilies don't just bloom in the spring. Harry and Ginny welcome Lily into their lives.

Chapter 02 - It's a Bumpy Ride


'Your brother-in-law is not my favorite person right now,' Ginny huffed.

'You're talking about your brother, you know...'

'Yes, but I didn't choose to be related to him,' Ginny stated. 'You did.'

Harry leaned down to kiss her. 'Checkmate.'


'That's what you get for choosing to marry into this barmy family.' Ginny slid her fingers through the belt loops of Harry's jeans, pulling him toward her.

'Part of the package when I married you,' Harry said, pushing her hair away from her neck. 'I'll talk to Ron tomorrow... Where were we...?'

'Right about there,' Ginny murmured.

'That's what I thought,' Harry said, gently pushing Ginny back. 'And while I think you look fantastic in my t-shirt, you look much better with it off...'


Ron blindly walked into the shop, grabbing George by the sleeve, dragging him into the back room. 'I thought this was your Saturday off,' George said, confused.

'It is...' Ron's face was pale under his freckles and his eyes were wide and popping. George privately thought Ron looked as if he were about to vomit.

'Are you all right, bro? You look like you've seen something particularly nasty.'

Ron shook himself a little. 'So Hermione and I found out she's having a boy yesterday, and she's been in a right state since then, and I don't know what to say to her, and I thought I'd go see Harry, and maybe he's got an idea...' Ron took a deep breath and kept talking. 'And you know, it's a Saturday afternoon, and I thought, "Well, what could Harry be doing on a Saturday afternoon?" He's got two kids under the age of four for Merlin's sake! I didn't expect to find Harry shagging Ginny on their bleeding kitchen table!' he yelled.

'I hope Ginny throws a nice Scouring charm over that table then, before Katie and I have dinner with them again...' George mused.

'But...' Ron spluttered. 'They were shagging!'

'How did you manage to walk in on them, anyway?' George demanded.

Ron sighed, and released George's sleeve. 'I Flooed over, and heard something crash in the kitchen, and something that sounded like moaning in pain...'

'And you went headlong into the kitchen?' George guessed.

'Yeah...' Ron slumped against the counter.

George chewed a hangnail thoughtfully. 'How far were they...?'

Ron went a few shades paler. 'They hadn't actually...' He coughed a few times. 'You know...'

George threw a look over his shoulder at a photograph of him with Fred. It's a shame Fred can't be here to see this. He'd never let Ron hear the end of it... He clapped Ron on the shoulder. 'Go home, bro. And don't tell Hermione. Gives her too much to hold over you when you're acting like a prat.'


'And I'm sure Harry and Ginny would like to forget it ever happened, too.'

'I hope so,' Ron muttered miserably, heading for the door to Apparate home.

'Hey, Ron?' George asked. 'What's wrong with having a boy?'

'I dunno. She just keeps saying that she doesn't understand boys.'

George raised an eyebrow into the fringe that flopped over his forehead. 'Is she mad?'

'She's always barking when she's pregnant,' grumbled Ron.

'They all are,' George said, waving a hand dismissively. 'But I don't see how she can think she doesn't understand boys... She did such a good job raising you and Harry.'

Ron gaped at him open-mouthed. 'There's a compliment in there.' He narrowed his eyes suspiciously at George. 'I think.'

'She'll be fine. You, on the other hand...' George snickered and cuffed Ron on the back of the head. 'You might not be able to join the family for a do any time soon.'

'Kick a bloke while he's down...' Ron muttered. 'I'll see you at lunch tomorrow.' He walked out the door and Apparated to his flat.


Ron scribbled the name Marcus on the list, squinting at it dubiously. 'Are you sure?'

'What's wrong with Marcus? It works well with Weasley,' Hermione said defensively.

'Well, yeah, but don't you remember Marcus Flint?'

'Oh, right...' Hermione sighed, and rubbed her expanding stomach. 'Scratch it off.'

'Are all Slytherin names off limits?' Ron asked, chewing on the end of the quill.

'Just the ones that make either of us want to vomit.'

Ron eyed Hermione. 'The way you've been going that's every name.' He tapped the quill against the parchment. 'Still want to keep your dad's name off the list?'

'Yes,' Hermione said shortly. 'What about...?' She flipped through a book of baby names. 'Joseph? We can call him Joey...'

Ron made a face, but he didn't have a good argument against it, so he dutifully wrote the name down. 'What about Hugo?' he asked suddenly.

'As in the author of Les Misérables?'

'Lay what?'

Hermione smiled. 'Les Misérables. A novel by Victor Hugo. He was French. Dad and I read it together the summer after our first year of school.'

Ron shook his head. 'Remember when you were in the hospital before Rose was born?'

'Worst night of sleep I've ever had. Kept having the strangest dreams about the baby.'

'Yeah, so did I. I had one where we had a boy and you called him Hugo...' One side of Ron's mouth tilted up in a slight grin. 'You were so proud of him.'

'Remember the rest of the dream?' Hermione asked curiously.

'No,' Ron said quickly. Too quickly, because Hermione gave him a look, but she let it pass. The truth of the matter was, he remembered it all too well. It still gave him shivers if he thought about it. Because of that, he was even more careful in the shop than before.

'Are you feeling all right?' Hermione peered at Ron closely. 'You've been awfully quiet all afternoon.'

He shrugged. 'I'm fine, hen.'

Their conversation was interrupted by Rose toddling into the sitting room, a large brightly colored book clutched in her hands. She wobbled to the sofa, holding the book out to Hermione. 'Read, Mummy!' she demanded.

Hermione lifted Rose to the sofa, nuzzling the vivid curls that stood out in a bright halo around her head. 'What do you have, Rose-bud?' Hermione pried the book from Rose's pudgy fingers. 'Where the Wild Things Are, eh? Good choice,' she told her daughter approvingly. 'The night Max wore his wolf suit and made mischief of one kind...' she began. Rose's cheeks turned pink with delight at having someone read to her. She could be found on Sundays, roaming from one aunt or uncle to another, clutching a small bag loaded with books, begging for them to read to her when the weather was too bad for her to zip around the garden on her prized toy broom. The story complete, Rose slid off the sofa, and took the book from her mother.

Hermione watched her disappear down the corridor. 'What are we going to do with a boy?'

'The same thing we do with Rosie?' Ron suggested.

'But boys... They're... They're... Boys!'

'I give up...' Ron muttered.


Ginny's head rested against Harry's shoulder drowsily in the sultry warmth of the bath. 'Back to reality tomorrow...' she sighed. 'We are the world's worst parents.'


'Because we take what every chance we can get to fob off our children on someone else so we can spend a weekend shagging.'

'Not like we do that every weekend,' Harry said languidly, prodding the surface of the water with his wand, bringing the temperature up several degrees. 'You'd have a point if we did that...' He tightened his arms around Ginny's waist. 'This is the longest we've been alone in weeks.' He shifted them both under the water a bit more. 'Are we done? With kids, I mean.'

'I keep telling you, if you want to have another one, you're going to give birth.' Ginny turned her head to look at Harry. 'It's still an option, another baby,' she admitted. 'I haven't completely ruled it out yet, but I'd like to get a few more years between Albie and another one. I don't think I can handle having two in nappies at the same time again. Thank Merlin James finally got the hang of the toilet.'

'Not always,' Harry reminded her.

'I'll take an occasional accident over the nappies any day.' Ginny pressed a kiss to the underside of Harry's jaw. 'Albus'll be two in June. Let's wait another year after that, and we can talk about having another baby then. All right?'

Harry nodded. 'All right.'

They soaked for several more minutes before Ginny spoke. 'It's too bloody quiet without them here.'

'Yeah, it is... You get used to the little buggers.'


Ginny tumbled from the fireplace at the Burrow, greeted Charlie, who waved absently at her while he sketched Rose with her nose in a book, and headed for the kitchen. 'Hiya, Mum,' she said.

Molly surveyed Ginny, and nodded once. 'Good weekend, I take it?'

'Restful, at any rate,' Ginny replied with a laugh. 'Where are the boys?'

'In the back with George and Bill.'

'Were they any trouble?' Ginny began to set the table for lunch.

'Of course not.' Molly wiped her hands on her apron. 'Is Ron all right? He seems a little off today.'

Ginny froze, a plate hovering over the table. She could feel her face grow warm. 'Haven't a clue, Mum,' she said casually. 'Maybe Harry knows.'

'Maybe Harry knows what?' Harry asked, coming in the back door, holding Albus upside down.

'Is anything the matter with Ron?' Molly asked. 'He's awfully quiet today.'

Harry turned his gaze to Ginny, who was carefully placing a knife and fork at each place on the table, studiously avoiding Molly's eyes. 'No idea,' he said, clearing his throat.

At that moment, Ron burst into the kitchen. He took one look at Harry and Ginny and fled, his face going red.

Molly tasted the lamb stew and looked at Harry and Ginny. 'Somehow, I don't think the two of you are telling me everything.'

Harry handed Albus to Ginny. 'I'll go talk to him...'

Molly eyed Ginny with a gleam in her eye. 'Mind telling me what that was all about?'

'Ron ought to learn how to knock,' Ginny mumbled, wiping a smudge from Albus' nose.

Harry followed Ron up the stairs to his old bedroom in the attic. Ron was pacing across the floor, muttering under his breath. Harry leaned against the doorway, his arms crossed over his chest. 'If it makes you feel better, James inherited your sense of timing.'

Ron threw him a vicious look. 'Not especially.'

'You mum and dad had the boys for the weekend, and we weren't expecting anybody.'

'Obviously,' Ron growled.

'We have been married for seven years, you know. And she lived with me for a year before we got married,' Harry said pointedly. 'Honestly, how do you think we managed to have two kids?'

'I like to think you found them under a Flutterby bush,' Ron spat.

'Ron, come on... What's the problem?'

'It was the middle of the day!' Ron burst out. 'And I needed to talk to you!'

'Well, I'm here now,' Harry said mildly, knowing he would have to wait for Ron to settle down.

Ron sat heavily on the edge of the old bed, resting his head in his hands. 'We're having a boy,' he mumbled.

Harry joined him on the mattress. 'I thought you wanted a boy.'

'I do, but it's Hermione. She says she doesn't know what to do with a boy.'

'Same thing you'd do with a girl, I imagine,' Harry mused.

'That's what I said, but nooooo. She won't believe me.'

'She'll get used to it.' Harry paused. 'Eventually.'

Ron sighed. 'Yeah. I just don't know what to tell her.' He ran his hands through his hair. 'On the kitchen table? Really?'

'I got a splinter in my hand,' Harry said holding up his left hand. 'Does that make you feel better?'

'A little.' Ron grinned, but he wouldn't quite meet Harry's eyes. 'Just get a new table before you have Hermione and me over for dinner again, would you?'

They filed down the stairs into the kitchen, where Molly and Katie were dishing up the stew. 'Really, Hermione,' Katie said, as she placed a bowl of stew in front of Jacob. 'It's not any different having a boy than it is a girl.' She looked at Harry and Ron coming through the door. 'Besides, look at how well you did with those two,' she added, gesturing toward them with a spoon.

'It's true,' Ginny piped up, mashing up carrots and potatoes for Albus. 'Ron wouldn't have learned table manners if it weren't for you.'

Harry sat down next to James, tucking a serviette into the collar of the boy's shirt. 'I could swear there's a compliment in there, but I'm not sure what it would be...'


Ginny opened her eyes to find Harry's face hovering inches over hers. She yelped in surprise and fell off the sofa. 'I was sleeping,' she said, sitting up and rubbing the spot on her hip where she'd landed.

'Are you feeling all right?' Harry asked. 'You've been sleeping an awfully lot lately.'

'I'm fine,' Ginny insisted. 'It was a very long game last night, and I didn't get home until after midnight. And Albie and James got started early this morning.'

'Are you sure? It's not just been the game last night. You've been going to bed early for two weeks now.'

'Two toddlers ring a bell?' Ginny asked, scooting back onto the sofa. 'Honestly, I feel fine. I feel great, actually,' she assured him with a smile.

Harry studied Ginny for several moments, trying to place that sparkly look on her face. When was the last time I saw that? he wondered. He was positive he'd seen it before, just not on Ginny. 'If you say so...' He dropped to the sofa next to her. 'The boys both have had baths and they're down for the night.'

'I missed it?' Ginny asked in dismay. She loved putting the boys to bed when they were fresh from their baths, looking angelic.

'I didn't want to wake you up.'

'Well, wake me up next time.'

Harry murmured something noncommittal, as he put an arm around Ginny, watching the fairy lights on the tree twinkle in the dim sitting room. He looked sideways at Ginny for a moment, unable to shake the idea that he'd seen that particular look before. Frowning, he gave up trying to be subtle and outright stared at her. 'What?' she asked. 'Do I have something on my face?'

Harry shook his head. 'You just look...' He bit his lip searching for the best word. 'Radiant.'

Ginny's face lit up in a smile. 'Thanks. But you ought to get your eyes examined. You need new glasses. It's just the lighting.'

'I just got my eyes examined...' Harry began. 'My glasses are fine...' he trailed off, a dusty memory surfacing of Hermione telling him how bad his eyesight was when she had impersonated him under Polyjuice with other members of the Order. Tonks! That's where it's from... 'You're pregnant!' he blurted.

Ginny began to laugh. 'Oh, don't be ridiculous.'

'Uh-huh. You're pregnant!' he said accusingly.

'I'm not pregnant,' Ginny replied.

Harry squinted at her. 'Don't move,' he ordered, before running to the kitchen to fetch his coat.

'What are you doing?' Ginny asked, growing annoyed.

'I'm going to prove you're pregnant.' Harry shoved his arms into the sleeves of his coat.

'Nothing's open in the village!' Ginny reminded him. 'It's too late.'

'I'll go to Taunton, then,' Harry said flinging the front door open. 'Don't go anywhere!' He Disapparated with a loud crack. Ten minutes later, he ran back inside the house, and threw a small bag with the Tesco logo at Ginny.

'And what am I supposed to do with this?' Ginny said loftily, pulling the bright blue box from the bag.

'The same thing you did the last two times we did this,' Harry retorted impatiently.

'Fine,' Ginny huffed. 'If it'll get you off my back about it. But I'm going to warn you, it will be negative.' Ginny started to go upstairs to their bedroom. 'And why? Because I'm not pregnant, you daft git.'

'Want to bet on it?' Harry responded.

Ginny stopped on the stairs. She turned to face Harry, two steps below. 'All right,' she said evenly. 'If I'm right, you have to take the boys somewhere next Saturday and I get the house to myself for the afternoon.'

Harry took a moment to consider her offer, and nodded in agreement. 'And if I'm right, we're going to find out if we're having a boy or a girl.'

'Fine. Because we both know I'm right,' Ginny sniffed, flouncing up the stairs. She sashayed into the bathroom, planning her boy-free Saturday afternoon. She hummed as she set the test on the edge of the sink and joined Harry on the foot of the bed. 'In two minutes, you are going to feel so foolish,' she informed her husband, who merely snorted, and tilted his wrist to watch the seconds tick by.

'Time's up,' Harry said, as the second minute passed. He slid off the foot of the bed and gestured to the bathroom door. 'After you.'

Ginny strolled into the bathroom and looked down at the small plastic stick on the sink, with the utter confidence of someone who knew they were right. She stared down at the sink, feeling decidedly gobsmacked. 'Bloody, effing hell...' she breathed. 'How? When? How?'

Harry decided now was most definitely not the time to gloat, steered Ginny back to the foot of the bed. 'Well, I think we can say that "when" was that lost weekend last month.'

Ginny nodded wordlessly, her mouth hanging slightly open.

'And how...' Harry took a deep breath. 'Well, you see, Gin, when a man and a woman love each other...' He was cut off by Ginny's elbow driving between his ribs.

'I know how, git. I mean, how could this happen? We were careful. We used condoms. Every time.'

'Nothing's one hundred percent foolproof, Gin.'

'B-b-b-b-but...' Ginny spluttered. 'It's supposed to work. That's its job...' Ginny said helplessly.

'Didn't you ever read the fine print on the box?' Harry asked curiously.

'Did you?' Ginny snapped.

'Uh... Yeah. I mean, it's slight, but it happens.'

'We've been using them for years,' Ginny protested. 'The only time we forgot when James was conceived.'

'Um. Hi. Remember Albus? It broke that time.'

'But we did everything we were supposed to,' Ginny said weakly. 'And nothing went wrong this time.'

'Doesn't always have to go wrong.'

'Five years.' Ginny shook her head. 'Five years before we had James, nothing. Not even the whiff of a scare.'

'Are you upset?' Harry asked with a small amount of trepidation. He had vivid memories of the day she had found out she was pregnant with Albus.

'I don't know.'

'Are you happy?'

'I don't know.'

'Are you -' Harry was cut off by Ginny's reply.

'I just need some time... I wasn't expecting to go through all this again for another two years, at least.' Ginny flopped back onto the bed. She reached for Harry's hand. 'Harry?'

Harry leaned back until he lay next to Ginny. 'Yeah?'

'How are we going to do this?'

Harry brought Ginny's hand up to his mouth, and kissed the back of it gently. 'The same way we've done everything else, love.'