Aaaaand that's all folks! Thanks to each and every one of you who have stuck with me until this final chapter. It has been a pleasure to share my thoughts with you, and a delight to receive your kind reviews. This story is dedicated to you all, who have been encouraging me from the other side of the screen. The world would be a better one with more people like you.
As always, kudos to Arnel, who has been incredibly patient and a supportive Beta.
The lyrics on this chapter have been liberally adapted from The Parting Glass, a traditional Scottish song. Harry's present is a real Muggle thing, you can see it in my Tumblr (bluestwitch).
"Wow, that one was big," said Ginny, watching two Catherine wheels collide and make a huge golden Snitch, that soared over their heads.
"My favourite are the sparklers; George must've changed the wording before setting them off. Hats off to him, they're impressive," said Harry, watching a sparkler spelling Mr & Mrs Pooper in the starry sky.
"Yeah, but coming from George, they do seem a little lame, don't they?" she said, pointing at another sparkler that was writing the words The Boy Who Got Chased.
"Maybe he overdid it a bit, putting my mother in a Body-Bind, this is actually pretty bland stuff—"
A series of rockets crossed the space over them, and new sparklers wrote in the air the words Just Allowed To Shag. Perhaps to reinforce the message, once the sparks dissolved, new ones arranged themselves in the form of two hands doing a very rude and explicit gesture.
"On second thought, maybe it's not a bad thing Mum can't see this," said Ginny conversationally. Harry snorted.
"Quite the day, uh? We got a lot more than we bargained for. Our wedding, plus an engagement, Percy's girlfriend and a new nephew or niece in the way."
Ginny turned his head to stare at him. "Four. I saw Hannah and Neville disappearing in the orchard when we were grabbing the brooms. It's about time, don't you think?"
Harry gaped at her. "How on Merlin's most sweaty cloak's name did you know about them? Neville only told us yesterday!"
"Oh, please," said Ginny dismissively. "In my sixth year, Nev always waited for Hannah to patch him up if she was available. We even joked that maybe he confronted the Carrows more than it was necessary in the hope he got some slashing for Hannah to heal. Not true, of course, but there was no denying that he fancied her, but Hannah only had eyes for Anthony. I don't know what's happened with him, looks like they must've split up…"
"Yeah, three months ago. He's moved to Israel, Hannah told us last night."
"So that's why you invited her— to help Neville."
"Yup. Reckoned he could use a little nudge, he's not exactly as confident with girls as we used to believe."
Ginny eyed him with amusement. "I'm sure Hannah will give him more than a nudge… they seem to be good for each other. I'm happy for them."
Harry seemed about to say something when a bright, big Quaffle soared in their direction, making them swerve with the brooms to avoid it. When they came back side by side they saw that the Quaffle was chasing the Snitch and new sparklers were spelling in the sky the words Chase Him Ginny! She laughed at the innuendo.
"You said you had another surprise for tonight, Potter?"
She saw Harry smirking. "Wanting to follow George's advice, Weasley?"
"I'm now a Potter, remember?"
"That's going to take a while to get used to," laughed Harry. His eyes gleamed and Ginny noted that he was eyeing her legs appreciatively, the skirt of the dress having hitched up her thighs. She grinned mischievously and winked an eye to him.
"See something you like?"
"I've never seen you riding a broom in skirts, and it's certainly an… interesting view."
"Enough to make riding yours uncomfortable, Potter?" He laughed again.
"I'll survive." But his eyes told a different story: his gaze was now darker, more intense, with a hunger she knew very well… and she was not immune to it. Her body was tingling and despite the cold air up there, she felt hot. Very hot. She licked her lips, but before she could say anything, she heard distant singing coming from the party, Dave's voice booming over the rest.
A wizard may drink and not be drunk
A wizard may fight and not be slain
A wizard may court a pretty witch
And perhaps be welcomed back again
But since it has so ought to be
By a time to rise and a time to fall
Come fill to me the parting goblet
Good night and joy be with you all
Good night and joy be with you aaaaaall
Harry snickered. "I think we shouldn't have worried about not having enough booze."
"And I think we are wasting valuable time up here when we could be engaging in more interesting activities, so if you could tell me where are we going…?"
Harry tutted. "I was under the impression that you were all in favour of foreplay."
"Potter, I'm so turned on, I could slip off this broom."
This had the desired effect. He took a breath in and said "Follow me."
"Our spot, Harry?" asked Ginny, a note of surprise in her voice.
"You don't like it?"
"No, I love it, but… I thought you would have picked a place where my brothers had no chance of finding us. I wouldn't put past them to try and sabotage our—" Harry shook his head and smirked. He left the broom in the grass and came close to her, grabbing her hands in his.
"They can't, so they won't," he whispered, kissing her softly in the lips. "Actually, Ron and Neville helped me to prepare this, but even they can't get back… I've used an Auror trick." He moved his lips to her neck and was pleased to hear a low moan from her.
"Ron's my brother and an Auror, too."
"True, but he's not a Potter, unlike me… and now you." He could not help a smug smile, and stopped kissing her to look at her face. Ginny was staring back with wide open eyes. Recognition dawned in her face.
"The cursed barrier at the foot of the Astronomy Tower…"
Harry nodded. "Same concept, less creepy. Barriers can be set up so nobody can cross them without a mark… or a badge…" He raised their linked hands for her to see them, and saw her opening her mouth in surprise.
"Or rings with a name engraved inside," whispered Ginny.
Harry nodded. "It's a bit foolish, but I was so excited about our rings, from the moment Amaya told me she could find a pair made with Welsh gold, I couldn't stop thinking about them and I had the idea of using them for the barrier."
Ginny gave him a benevolent smile. "What got you so excited?"
"Like I said, it's foolish," said Harry scrunching his nose. "Oh, well, when I was a kid at Muggle school, one of the teachers got married and she used to show around her wedding ring. 'A Welsh gold ring, like the one Princess Diana has.' I guess it stuck with me; in my imagination that was a fantastic kind of ring, full of magical properties, worthy of royalty… all the things I wasn't and didn't have."
"Until you knew that you were actually a wizard, of course," she said grinning. Harry snorted.
"Well, yeah, but I'm no prince, don't get your hopes up," he said laughing. "The thing is, we're going to live in Wales, so they seemed fitting. I know you wouldn't like to be a princess— but anyway, you're my queen, and nothing but the best for you." Ginny was looking at him steadily, her eyes bright in the pale moonlight. He took a deep breath. "What takes me back to my surprise… it's my birthday present; I don't know if you'll like it, but it's the best I could afford."
"Where is it?" said Ginny, looking around.
"Close your eyes, I'll take you. Don't open them until I say so."
She obeyed, and Harry led her past a cluster of trees into the same clearing that overlooked the river, the one they used to call their spot, that had witnessed so many reunions. He noticed the moment they crossed the barrier: the soft humming in the air quietening suddenly, skin erupting in goosebumps that did not last. He had got it right, the barrier did not expel them. A dark shape loomed before them in the middle of the clearing. Harry stopped. He rummaged in the pocket of his jeans and pulled out one of Ron's most treasured possessions: the Deluminator.
"You can look now." Ginny opened her eyes, and Harry clicked the Deluminator, releasing balls of light he had previously nicked from the candles. They floated over the clearing, flooding it with a soft light. Ginny gasped.
"Do you like it?" he asked, and he was unable to leave his anxiety out of the question. He had spent the last weeks looking for it in Muggle shops, modifying it with magic, putting up the final touches just this very morning, but he could not help but think that it was more a present for him that for her; he was the one who had wanted to make a dream come true, to know what it was like to share it with her…
"It's… it's gorgeous!" Ginny's face lit up with joy, and Harry let out a relieved breath.
It really looks gorgeous, like it's made for this place. The tent was an octagonal green dome, high enough that they did not have to duck to get in and out. Harry swished his wand; all around the perimeter, curtains parted to reveal mesh windows that offered a view of all the surroundings, and a hinged door opened to let them see the interior. Ginny peeked at it from outside the door. It was sparsely furnished, but the effect was cosy, because although magically expanded, it was not overdone. He had left only one partition for the bathroom at the back of the bed so they would be able to look at the scenery through the windows when they woke up.
"I love this! But I thought you hated camping, Harry… when did you change your mind?" asked Ginny.
"I know it looks like I should hate it, but that's because nearly all the times I've been in a tent were while running away or doing stakeouts at work. Except for the Quidditch World Championship …"
"Not even then," interrupted Ginny. "We had to run from the tents in the dead of the night because of those charming Death Eaters…"
Harry chuckled. "Right, not even then. But the first thing I thought that time, when we got into the tent, was this is so cool! I was fourteen; it all was a big adventure for me. All the times I shared Perkins' tent with Hermione and Ron and stared at your dot in the map, what I would've given then to have you at my side, just the two of us, no war, no worries…" He stopped, dazzled by the sight of his girl —no, his wife— looking steadily at him, a hungry look in her eyes. Her hair was tousled from the flight; he pulled a few strands of hair off her face. He swallowed before talking again. "And I know that this is not a house nor is the man's duty to buy one, I can't afford it anyway, until the goblins release my vault… One day, before you're done with the Harpies, we'll buy a house together, but in the meantime, I wanted to give you something that we could call ours, even if it's only a tent and not a proper home. We can take it to Spain on the honeymoon, or leave it here if you prefer, but this is something I could buy and offer to you—"
He became aware that he was babbling again when Ginny brought his head down to kiss him, but this time, far from just making him shut up until she could make her point, she went on, burying one hand in his hair, the other in his back pressing him against her. When she moved both hands to his chest and began to unbutton his waistcoat frantically, Harry suddenly caught up.
She's trying to make a point she doesn't have words for.
Growling with lust, he grabbed her by the thighs. Ginny took advantage of that to straddle him, and they stumbled together through the door, stopping only when they crashed into the bed. He released her, and she rolled up the dress to get her wand out, of all places, from the blue garter she wore under it. Harry had already discarded his father's waistcoat, the Deluminator and his wand, and while she had her back to him, he pulled her into his arms.
"Stay still, I'll get you out of that."
The dress had like a hundred buttons on the back, but Harry only needed seconds to wiggle Ginny out of it, unbuttoning only the few at the top and then taking it off over her head as if it was a T-shirt. As soon as she was freed from the dress, Ginny spun around, grabbed his shirt and pulled it out of his jeans, wrenching it open and making the buttons to scatter. She went for his belt next —but suddenly stopped, snarling, and looked around. She picked her wand and…
"Merlin, Gin, did you just Vanish my jeans?
"Shut up and come here."
It was the light, filtering through the mesh windows, what woke her up. They had been so exhausted after christening their new bed that they had fallen asleep cuddling right after. But Ginny realised upon waking, still with her eyes closed, that she was not hugging him. She was instead cocooned inside the covers, exactly like she used to do every night in her own bed. Ginny even wondered for a moment if it all had been a dream, until she opened her eyes and saw Harry, clutching what seemed like one of the sofa throws, staring at her.
"Morning, lion," she said smiling. She freed an arm from the covers to bring his head down and kiss him, only to grimace and break apart when the kiss turned into a snog.
"Eww, morning breath." She giggled. "They never tell these things, in the romance books." Harry looked at her with a smirk in his face, and pointed a finger to his neck.
"What?" she said. Harry opened his mouth to talk, but no sound came from it. She stared blankly at him for a moment, and then suddenly remembered. "Oh, bugger. Sorry!" Ginny turned around and retrieved her wand from the bedside table. She muttered a Finite in the direction of her boyfriend— no, my husband, she thought with a jolt. Harry cleared his throat.
"Snores or nightmares?" Despite the light tone, he seemed worried.
Ginny smiled. "Nope, no dreams this time. You were snoring so loudly, the ceiling threatened to collapse over us, and you woke me up." She ran a hand through his hair, and he closed his eyes and sighed. "Took me a while to fall asleep again, after Silencing you."
"Is sleeping with me that bad?" he asked. Ginny shook her head.
"You look adorable when you're asleep… at least when you have your mouth closed!" She let out a snort of laughter. "I just couldn't stop watching you," she confessed, and it was true. Of course, she had seen him sleep before. Naps in snatched moments, usually on a blanket under the trees. Merlin knew she had watched him thrashing and yelling with nightmares enough times while he was napping at her side…
"You were so relaxed, so different… I couldn't stop watching you," she repeated.
"That's funny, it's what's just happened to me. I felt cold and woke up and I saw you had stolen all the covers. But you looked so peaceful and beautiful that I didn't want to disturb you so I took a blanket from the sofa. And then I couldn't go back to sleep because I was watching you."
"Merlin, look at us, what a pair of soppy fools we are," said Ginny shaking her head. "I must ask Luna if that Bond thing is the cause of this, because what would be next? Planning a romantic and cosy Valentine's Day? I think I'd puke." Harry snorted and then gazed at her with a mischievous smile. "Oh, no, Potter, don't."
"Do not what?" Harry snaked an arm under the covers and tried to pull her closer.
"Don't look at me like that, because I know what comes next, and I'm not having sex until I go to the loo and have a shower, I'm filthy," she said swatting his arm playfully. Harry laughed.
"You're gorgeous anyway," he argued, trying to kiss her, but she ducked, laughing, and throwing back the covers, jumped from the bed and went to the bathroom. She had seen it briefly the night before, but now, in the daylight, she discovered something she had not noticed before: behind a curtain, a gleaming bathtub with clawing feet, big enough for two, stood invitingly with a pile of fluffy towels in a stool beside it.
"I'm going to cook some breakfast, do you want eggs or porridge, Gin?"
"I've had a better idea, lion."
Harry's head peeked around the partition, sporting a hopeful smile.
"Would you like to have a bath together?"
"Ooooohhh, ooohh, yes… easy now! Oh, yes, just like that…"
"No, don't move!"
"Can't help… Oohh!"
"Stay still, or I won't get…"
"I remind you that it was your idea… Ow!"
"I definitely did not expect you to slip on the foam and split your head open against the rim of the tub," said Ginny, without a hint of amusement. "Now don't move, and let me heal the cut before I tend to the bruise. Good thing you brought a first aid kit; we would've never heard the end of this from my brothers if we showed up at The Burrow with you looking like this."
"First thing you learn with Amaya is to bring a kit wherever you go," said Harry. "She made me stay a whole week at St. Mungo's until I knew my way through emergency stuff."
"I could've passed that test straightaway, with all the practice I got on my sixth year," observed Ginny. Sadness reflected suddenly in her face.
Harry sighed. "I'm sorry." He really shouldn't have said that, and bring bad memories into this brand new stage of their life. He tossed aside the melted iced bag Ginny had Conjured and looked at her with his good eye. Wand in one hand and a wad of gauze in the other, Ginny paused in the act of examining the wound, that still bled, and scowled at him.
"Why are you apologising?"
"I wanted this to be perfect and blissful… and I've already fucked it up. Not a day of marriage has passed and—"
"Oh, please, Harry, what are you talking about? You just slipped and fell, that's hardly fucking up anything!"
"I brought in bad memories. There's blood everywhere. Ruined our first morning together. And I snored."
"Yeah, and I stole the covers. So what? We'll get separate duvets and ear plugs."
"But…" Harry blushed, and could not carry on. He suddenly felt like a child trying to please, to be praised and patted in the head. It was embarrassing. Merlin's beard, what am I doing? This is Ginny. No need to be a whining prick, she gets you—
"You're afraid that if you fail, I'll get upset and disappointed."
She had done it again. Her uncanny ability to read his mind without using Legilimency. "You always know what I'm thinking. How do you do it?" he asked.
Ginny cocked her head to the side. "I don't always know," she said smiling. "At least I really hope I don't, because it'd be boring living with someone who will never surprise you. You weren't one to voluntarily share your feelings, so I suppose I got good at trying to guess the reason behind your moods. This one's easy. You always want the best for me. You've worked hard to have the perfect wedding night, finding this tent, making it a home for the two of us. And you're always remarking how lucky you feel for having me. It's as if you think you don't deserve me— as if you don't deserve anything good that happens to you. I've always wondered why…" Ginny gazed at him with curious eyes, and then shrugged. "I have the rest of my life to figure it out. And you have it too, to learn that I'm not going to get upset or run away every time something doesn't go according to plans, or isn't marvellous, blissful oblivion, blah, blah. In fact, I'm really looking forward to seeing you getting pissed at me."
"So far it's been mainly the other way round, yeah," he chuckled.
"Wait until I sulk at home because we lost or training sucked. We'll see if you don't chuck me and volunteer to do Azkaban duty."
Harry laughed. "You'll have to lose a whole season for that."
"Hey, I'm a Harpy, that's for the Cannons," she said with mock contempt. Ginny focused her attention again at the cut over his eye, and pointing her wand at it, muttered a healing spell. Harry felt the sting that meant the skin was mending; he tentatively tried to open the eye and noted with satisfaction that the bleeding had stopped. He saw Ginny nodding in approval and turning to get the dittany out of the box.
"I reckon I feel lucky because it wasn't supposed to be me, the one you married," he blurted. He heard her sucking in a breath and looking at him with round eyes of surprise. "After I ditched you and went on the run, I mean… I used to imagine you marrying another man, not me… I wasn't supposed to live, and when I did… that you wanted to get back with me felt incredible, like something out of someone else's life. It's been like that since then."
Ginny just stood there with her mouth open wide, so Harry kept on. "And like I said last night, you're amazing and could have been with anyone better than me, a reckless git—"
Ginny closed his mouth, upset. "You're not—" she retorted.
"We've been married for less than twenty four hours and the bathroom looks like a battlefield, Gin. This is definitely not flying without wings, like the song said."
Ginny stared at him with her brows furrowed and suddenly spluttered with laughter. "No, but we can get the brooms later for that." She conjured another ice pack and gave it to Harry to put it on the lump. "Keep that over the eye for a while, and listen to me." He obliged, and resumed looking at her with one eye. She busied herself cleaning the blood that covered his face, neck and arms, and then spoke.
"Hasn't it occurred to you to think that I, too, could be feeling lucky to have you?"
Harry was nonplussed. "Erm… I suppose no. I mean, why should you? You're amazing, could be with anyone—"
"Bloody hell, Harry, for someone so smart, you're sometimes a dim twat. Listen to me, what are the odds that someone marries the crush of her childhood?"
Harry shrugged noncommittally. "Never gave it any thought."
"Well, I did, and they're slim to none. And have you heard that old saying, 'never meet your heroes'?"
"Yeah, I think Hermione mentioned it in our second year, after we told her about Lockhart. Ron was deeply amused."
Ginny nodded in agreement and took off the ice pack to apply the dittany to the scar. Harry felt the coolness that confirmed that it was working and sighed. His head still throbbed because of the lump, though. He closed his eyes to rest a bit; he might need a pain potion once the bruise had been treated…
"And what would be the odds that the crush of your childhood, the hero that saved you from death, actually became your friend, and that friendship made it past the awful early teen years, and eventually transformed into love? And that love overcame a lot of obstacles, including but not limited to splitting up twice? With the difference that you ditched me because you were stupidly noble and protective, but I dumped you out of insane jealousy and silly insecurities. And yet, instead of hating me, you stayed friends and had the patience to wait for me to realise that I couldn't just stop loving you."
Harry opened his eyes in surprise, gaping at her until he could stammer, "I couldn't… I've never hated you—"
"You easily could have, but chose not to. And that's the best bit, but there's more. You support me; you're my best fan. You actually feel prouder of me than my own parents! Do you know how many of my teammates have struggled to find a supportive partner? It's not something to take for granted. How many people would be delighted to live in a house on the team's grounds?"
"I'm sure it's something anyone would jump at the chance—"
Ginny laughed. "Just because you're dying to play after work in a professional Quidditch stadium doesn't mean everyone feels that way."
"Oh, well, there are fools everywhere, I reckon," he shrugged, hoping that Ginny would leave it at that; he was not comfortable hearing praise that he felt undeserving.
But apparently, Ginny had more. "You never try to keep me under a glass dome… yes, I know you tried to, at the Battle, but apart from that, you don't treat me like a porcelain doll—"
"Now, that's not true," Harry protested. "You're not fragile in the slightest, but sometimes I do wish that you could be safe and protected; I just grit my teeth and let you have your way because I'm afraid you won't want to look at me again."
Ginny's eyes gleamed in triumph. "That you do, and it's the reason I'm so lucky: because you have my wishes in consideration, even when you'd like to act differently. I didn't have a chance to make a speech last night —not that I wanted to, watching you squirm and sweat before yours was enough to put me off it— but if I'd had made it, I'd have remarked that I, too, felt lucky to marry you, because love is not meant to be a permanent blissful oblivion, but something that you make work every day, and I know you're more than willing to do so, even if it clashes with your own ideas, or feel different. And," she said, taking his head in her hands and kissing him, heedless of his injury, "that's why I love you so much."
If anything, that only made Harry feel luckier, but this, he decided, was not a battle of wills, so he just grinned and pulled her into his arms. They just stayed there for a while, until Ginny leaned back, combing his hair back and feeling his scalp with her fingers. As always was the case when she did that, Harry felt like melting.
"Don't seem to have more lumps, and the one over your eye looks smaller, so I'll just heal it with the paste and then we can have a bit of breakfast and pack. When do we have to be at the airport?"
Harry opened his eyes; he had almost forgotten that they were supposed to begin their honeymoon today. "We must be in Gatwick at five, we have time to pop at the Burrow for lunch before if you want to see your family—"
"To see our family."
"Our family," he corrected himself. "It's so new, it's got to take some time to get used."
Ginny's eyes rolled up so high that they seemed to fell backwards. "You were practically adopted years ago, you git. Now rest here while I clean up the tub and make some breakfast, and then we can pack."
"Do you want to keep the tub after this awful first use? Just Vanish and get rid of it, I'll get a cabin shower that doesn't reminds us of this bloody morning. Pun intended," said Harry, glancing to the tub, which stood there stained with blood from the wound. It was incredible how much a small cut in the head could bleed, and the hot water had just worsened it. The bathroom looked now like a scenario from one of those movies with serial killers that Dudley liked to watch.
"No way! I like the tub, and I definitely want it at our home. It's no one's fault that you slipped, and most definitely it's not going to kill my mood. Even in the farfetched case that the tub was a sentient creature, it should be given the chance to make it up to us, providing better memories, so we're keeping it."
"Gin?" he asked softly.
"I can't wait to make those new memories with you."
Eight years later
"Did the boys wake?"
"I don't think so, they were fast asleep, and unlike the other times, it's happened so quick, and you barely raised your voice. Which is definitely a first for you," he chuckled, helping her out of the bathtub. "They're in for a big surprise when they wake up tomorrow… Godric, what a mess. This tub seems to have a penchant for gore." He cast a cleaning spell on her; that would have to do for the time being…
"Well, at least today it's my blood, not yours," said Ginny, heading for their bed, carefully held by her husband. He had put clean towels over the mattress and she sank in gratefully, enjoying the comfort, although she was no longer tired, but fully alert, wired up by the adrenaline. The bundle in her arms emitted a soft whimper. Ginny snuggled it closer and, as she was expecting, the baby began to look for her breast.
"Looks like this one has come to the world in a hurry for everything," she said, observing how the baby latched firmly to the breast after only a few struggles. There was no answer to that. Ginny looked up to see Harry sitting on the bed in front of her, gazing at them with an expression she knew very well. She grinned and stared back at him: it was one of those moments to treasure forever.
"The luckiest guy in the world, huh?" she said. Harry did not show surprise: he just nodded like he was expecting her to say that.
"I was remembering our first morning after getting married, in the tent. The conversation after I fell in the tub. I told you to get rid of it and you said we were keeping it and making better memories. Certainly couldn't have imagined that our daughter would be born inside!"
Ginny laughed softly so as to not startle the baby. "We weren't even sure of wanting to have kids back then. I remember my mother wrapping the tie of the wedding cake to save it for when we had children and me thinking 'oh my, the preserving charms should be good'."
"And then James happened. Funny how life is what it happens while we were busy making other plans…" He stared at her wistfully, and Ginny knew he was remembering the incredible chain of events that had led them to be the parents of three kids, when parenting had been an undecided issue at the time they had married, a decision that had simply been pushed forwards to an undetermined time.
"I still feel lucky, despite life taking all sort of choices out of our hands. I'd never be sorry for having a family. It's worth it," he said.
"Tell me that again in a month, when we're sleep deprived and trying to keep the boys in line while changing their sister's nappies," she chuckled.
"Well, you were the one that said that, apart from luck, you have to work hard to make love run. I won't mind," he said. Ginny shot him and incredulous look and he laughed. "All right, I'll complain a lot. But it's really worth the effort. I love you, Gin. I'm more than willing to keep doing all this if I'm with you."
She felt like her heart swelled with emotion. Tears filled her eyes and, unable to speak, she grabbed his hand with her free one and pulled him closer to kiss him in the lips. A noise downstairs told them that someone, probably Rose or Molly, had arrived via Floo. They broke apart. Harry's eyes were glistening, too.
"Thank you for everything."
"Thank you, too. We're in this together. And I couldn't have chosen a better partner."
Footsteps echoed in the staircase. "Neither could I," he said, and they grinned at one another before turning to the door, where Molly and Arthur had appeared, eager to meet the new addition to their beautiful family.