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It's hard to believe how fast time flies.
Sunday, July 8th ~*~ Late Afternoon




Daphne sighed irritably and squirmed some more, trying to find a comfortable position. Laying on the couch should not have been this difficult!

Dobby popped up out of no where and wordlessly offered her another pillow, most likely the same one she'd pulled out from behind her back and thrown across the room in a fit of frustration less than an hour ago. She'd noticed it had disappeared at some point. For a moment, the urge to growl that she was fine and didn't need coddling was there, but Daphne bit it back and took a deep breath before gratefully reached for the offered item.

"Thank you, Dobby." The elf had looked pleased, and Daphne had realized she'd been short with him on and off for most of the week when he only seemed to want to help. True, sometimes his "help" resulted in Daphne wanting to rip her hair out or needed to change out of unexpectedly sodden clothing, but he was trying. "For everything."

Once the beaming elf had scampered out of the room, intent on getting ready for his evening out with his... whatever Winky was, Daphne finished arranging her nest of pillows. She made sure to tuck the new one behind the small of her back, which helped tremendously.

"Another four and a half months of this. You're not making this easy on me, are you?" she whispered, looking down at her tummy. "I'm pretty sure you've been cuddling up to my bladder at night, that's not a teddy bear. No more squeezing."

Four and a half months seemed like an eternity, yet it wasn't nearly enough time for her to feel like they would be ready. "It only gets more complicated after that."

Her frown turned to a smile as she thought of what junior might be like years from now. If he or she took after Harry, they were going to have to be on their toes all the time.

She shook her head, pushing the pleasant daydream away for now, and turned to the handful of brochures she'd been looking at. Her doctor had mentioned that many expectant mothers - and eager fathers-to-be - took classes to help them understand what to expect during the coming months and delivery. She'd discuss it with Harry, and they could pick one of the classes together.

Daphne considered trying to arrange a private class at Glen Hollow, but realized that the rest of the world outside of their circle of friends was going to figure out there was a new Potter on the way before too much longer. "Might as well get it over with and let people adjust before you make your appearance, kiddo."
 
 
 
 
 
 
Whistling while he skipped down the stairs, Harry wasn't sure where Daphne had gone to, but he was confident he'd find her sooner or later. The last bit of the leftover paint and paper had been dispatched and he was anxious to get her impression of how it looked. The fumes from the fresh paint were gone thanks to the open windows and it was now safe for her to at least be in the room again.

"Daph! Where are you, love of my short but extremely happy life?" he bellowed when he reached the bottom. "Come look at the nursery before I screw it all up and hang the drapes on the closet or something."
"Now there is an idea," she teased as she rolled off the couch a little less than gracefully.

"Of course, if we have a boy he's going to have a hard time explaining to his little friends just why his room is covered in gauzy curtains and drapes to add 'drama.'"

A yawn threatened to escape, so Daphne quickly covered her mouth as she moved to the doorway. "Alright, I'm coming. Show me your handiwork, and then we can go over these things and pick a birthing class." She waved the handful of pamphlets and brochures at him.
Meeting Daphne at the door, Harry took the liberty of taking the brochures and glancing at them while they walked up the stairs. His first and strongest reaction - Bloody fucking hell no - needed to be expressed in a much more eloquent way and it took him a few moments to consider why his stomach was doing somersaults and back-flips off his spine.

If we take one of these classes everyone is going to know there's going to be a baby Potter running around.

Too soon.

Too fucking soon.


He wasn't ready for the world at large to know. Maybe when Daphne was closer to her due date and he could persuade her to stay home. Keeping an expectant mother's feet up was still the accepted thing to do, wasn't it? The more Harry thought about it, the less certain he was.

"Classes?" he asked finally, stalling for a little time. "Can't we just ask your mum, Mrs Weasley or even Poppy how - er - what's in store? Why take classes from a total stranger?"
"Sure, we can ask my Mum and Mrs Weasley. I was actually planning to talk to both about some questions I had. We could even talk to Poppy, and she can tell us all about the babies she helps deliver up there at Hogwarts." Daphne rolled her eyes at him, and continued up the stairs.

"Just because Mum gave birth to me, and Mrs Weasley had her seven, that doesn't make them experts, Harry. Although, I will grant that Molly has had plenty of practice, but her youngest is only a year younger than us. It's been a while. The people who teach those classes are experts." She stopped at the top of the stairs to catch her breath, and then put both hands on her hips.

"What if something goes wrong when I go into labor? Do you know if any of the Weasleys were a breech birth? Were there any complications? I want to know exactly what might happen, and what it's going to feel like so that nothing harms the baby."

Daphne sighed and her expression softened. "All the things we've been talking about and doing to keep the baby safe - none of those will matter if the worst happens during delivery. I've been reading, even with me being as careful as possible, there are things that could happen, things that could risk the baby and me. Especially if we're not prepared."
Harry really hadn't thought much about the complications Daphne brought up and the longer she talked, the more he wished he'd just gone along with her suggestion to take the classes. With all the advances in Muggle medicine, not to mention the - well, the magic magic could do - he hadn't considered the fact childbirth was still dangerous and he cursed himself again for being so impatient that morning four months ago. But then his eyes dropped to the slight swell of Daphne's abdomen and he knew he couldn't wish his child out of existence.

Raising his hands in surrender, Harry smirked at her.

"Have I ever told you I hate it when you're right?" and he knew he couldn't leave it at that.

"I don't really. Hate it when you're right, I mean. I just..."

He closed his eyes for a moment and then opened them again.

"Panic is clawing at my insides at the thought everyone is going to know we're having a baby and you'll be walking around with a giant target on your back or belly as the case may be."
Tempted to tell him he'd always had such a way with reassuring her, Daphne realized now really wasn't the time for sarcastic teasing.

She stepped closer and put her arms around Harry. "Trust me, you're not the only one who is scared. But no matter how good it sounds right now, the whole family can't stay hidden away here at Glen Hollow for the rest of our lives." Daphne rested her cheek against Harry's shirt. "It will be alright. I've got the most paranoid husband this side of Mad-Eye Moody, and he's done everything he can to make sure we'll be safe. It's time to let the news out, to give people a chance to get used to the idea before the baby arrives."
As his arms went around Daphne in turn, Harry's thoughts revolved around the idea the whole family could remain cloistered at Glen Hollow. They had Dobby who could go shopping and such for them.

Money isn't an issue. Friends could drop by whenever they wanted...

Except you never know when someone could be using Polyjuice,
and the absurdity of having some sort of different password or test for each and every acquaintance brought him out of the brief trip into the impossible just in time to react to the latter part of her statements.

"I'm not paranoid," he sputtered briefly before sticking his tongue out.

Am I?

"Am I?" he finally asked with a frown on his face. "I don't want to make our son or daughter see monsters around every corner, but I don't want them to be as vulnerable as I was either."
When he asked, Daphne giggled softly and lifted her hand, holding two fingers close together. "Just a little bit. But you've got some pretty good reasons."

Not that she wanted the little one to be scared of his or her own shadow, either. "Tell you what, I promise to let you know when I think you're being too over-protective. How's that?"
After taking a moment to think about it, Harry decided that agreeing to her telling him he was being over-protective didn't mean he actually had to stop whatever it was he'd been doing or thinking of doing, he nodded slowly.

"That sounds reasonable," Harry advised and then gave Daphne a quick kiss on the lips. "Now, on to the nursery before Dobby gets a chance to change the colors. He likes some really awful shade of puce and tried to talk me into letting him change some of the characters in the wall paper to that color. For some reason he thinks they look more real that color."
"Puce?"

Daphne was sure her face reflected her opinion on the color.

"Oh good grief. Did you explain that we're trying to make a nice, soothing room for the baby, not give him nightmares?"

Dobby would have to be distracted somehow.
Harry snorted once before turning and leading his wife toward the nursery.

"I have told him something along those lines - but believe it or not - I think he thinks puce is a soothing color."