Fairy Tale by Ravenclawdistrict7
Summary: "I went to the muggle doctor and they smeared this blue goo on my stomach… I heard their heartbeat… I could barely hear but it was the best sound in the world mum… I never know how I feel anymore if I'm happy or mad, or scared, or excited or terrified. But I want to meet him or her, I want to be their mum," Even if she had to do it alone.
Categories: Alternate Universe
Chapter 1: Chapter 1
Chapter 2: Chapter 2
Chapter 3: Chapter 3
Chapter 4: Chapter 4
Chapter 5: Chapter 5
Chapter 6: Chapter 6
Chapter 1: Chapter 1
Author's Notes: HELLO, welcome to my first story. I'm very excited about this. I hope you enjoy the story and review (I warmly welcome constructive criticism).
Ginny Weasley was scared. No, she was terrified. She was scared out of her mind and to her wit's end...she was pregnant.
She did not know how this could happen (well of course she knew, she just didn't want to think about it). She wasn't married or engaged. She wasn't even dating anyone.
Maybe she was freaking out over nothing, maybe the test was false; I mean it muggle contraptions mess up around magic. Right? Maybe she wouldn't have to raise a child by herself or receive the Molly Weasley glare of shame. Ginny couldn't stand waiting. Would she soon be responsible for another life?
She got her things from her desk. she had been working for quidditch weekly for about a year now, which meant she still got the articles the more senior reporters didn't want. The pay, that gave her just enough to make ends meet but surely that would not nearly cover the expenses of a child, and maternity leave would be a huge setback.
All the more reason to be sure.
"Bonnie", she called out to the front desk manager, "I have to leave early today, I'm not feeling so well".
"Oh no, hope you feel better!"
Ginny had planned to go to St Mungo's, but there was too much of a risk she would run into someone she knew. Instead, she decided on going to a muggle doctor. She walked into Ottery St. Mary Hospital, filled out some paperwork, and found herself waiting for the doctor.
The doctor came in with a smile on her face and files in her hand. She had long blonde hair, blue eyes, and blinding white teeth. 'She looks like a princess,' Ginny thought to herself. Ginny couldn't tell if she wanted to slap the doctor for being so cheery or latch onto the ray of happiness that seemed to emit from the woman.
Introductions seemed to draw out unnecessarily and Ginny found herself impatient. "Am I pregnant?"
"Yes, Miss Weasley. You are." Ginny didn't mean to cry, but she knew she must be from the warm tears she felt cascading down her cheeks. "I take it this wasn't planned?" Ginny could only shake her head, not trusting her voice quite yet. "You do have options," the doctor replied.
Ginny shook her head again. "I think I know what I want to do," Ginny answered.
"If you'd like we can run some tests? Maybe we can pinpoint a due date? Do you know when you conceived?"
"That's not necessary. It... um... It could... It could only have been in the first week of July."
"Well, then I'd say you're due around the first week of March. If you want... you should be able to hear the heartbeat."
Mornings were awful, filled with nausea and aches. She was supposed to be enjoying her day off! Unfortunately, she could barely enjoy the smell of eggs.
Ginny had known she was pregnant for 2 weeks now, and it was starting to become obvious. Her shirts were beginning to look tight and she was starting to worry others would notice. To her, it seemed visible from a mile away, so she decided to hide. She hid from family, friends, and everyone really. Ginny's life quickly became lonely; She stayed at home and went to work and only went out to occasionally shop at the grocery store.
Her family was beginning to worry. She had missed quite a few Weasley dinners, and she knew it would be only a matter of time until the twins would be sent over to force her out of hiding. There was another dinner tonight, and she really wanted to go. She missed her family, and she knew she couldn't avoid them forever, but Ginny also knew her mother.
Molly Weasley could sense a grandchild a mile away. Ginny remembered one-time Audrey, her brother Percy's wife, hadn't even sat down before her mother began to circle her, and then she sniffed her. She sniffed her! What was truly terrifying was the large grin that engulfed her face before she said, "I'm so happy for you dear! I remember how exhausting it is with twins." What was incredibly disturbing about her comments? Audrey had not even known know she was carrying more than one child. At the time, Audrey was only one month along. For Ginny being in the middle October, this was the beginning of her second trimester; she had no doubt her mother would be able to tell.
She just wanted to put off the stares of disappointment she'd get from them for as long as possible.
Ginny left the restroom; She was now ready to accept the challenge of breakfast. 'Maybe I can keep a bit of toast and some tea down.' She knew it would be stupid to attempt anything more.
After breakfast, she took a hot shower and dressed in a Weasley jumper she got from her brother George. They had this deal that if they ever both preferred the color of the others jumper they would trade. Of course, it meant that George's was way too small and only came down a little way past his chest, whereas Ginny's was way oversized, stopping just above her knees. Putting it on made her wonder what the Twins would think when they found out. They were the probably the only ones who acknowledged she was grown up. The rest liked to treat her like a twelve-year-old nun. 'Hmm... perhaps I could say the child was a result of immaculate conception,' she smiled to herself.
She spent the day cleaning her small one-bedroom flat and trying to figure out if she had enough room for the baby. If she turned her room into a nursery and slept in the living room, then she did.
Around 7:00 pm she settled on the couch with a large box of saltines in hand and watched the television, a flat warming gift from one of her brothers' wives, Hermione. After some trials, she had learned how to successfully navigate the muggle contraption.
'Dinner at the Burrow would have started by now.' she thought. It wasn't too late to attend; her jumper was big and baggy enough to hide her bump. She quickly decided against it. It was a bad idea, and she didn't trust her volatile emotions. 'Knowing my luck, I'd break down crying the moment I saw my parents.' Just the other day, she had started to tear up after finding a sock she had lost long ago in the wash ('It's just that it looked so lonely and forgotten; poor little sock').
She was adjusting on the couch when she heard it. Those two pops of apparition that could only bring bad things.
Two identical bad things.
"Oh, Gin-Gin… We've come for you!"
"Bloody Hell," Ginny muttered to herself.
She knew this was going to happen, it was only a matter of time. Molly Weasley was not one to be messed with especially not when it came to her family dinners.
"Hello, little sister," George said as he strolled into her living room, Fred was an only a few steps behind him. They stopped between her and the TV. When she had first heard them come in she felt nervous, however that nervousness had somehow become an annoyance in the short time it took for them to cross in front of her. Perhaps it was the headache she'd had since the morning, or perhaps it was the fact she hadn't been able to keep down any real food or perhaps it was the fact that they were blocking the scene while the doctor was about to take a ride in the Tardis, either way, she wasn't in the mood.
"How the hell did you apperate in here? I have wards" she one hand on her hip while the other massaged her temples.
"Let's not ask silly questions Gin," said Fred as if it was ridiculous of her to even ask the question. He plopped down next to her on the couch, "I mean honestly we haven't seen you in almost a month and that's how you greet us? " he said with an expression of sincere hurt.
"That hurts Gin, right here", said George pointing to the middle of his chest.
"How did you get in my flat?" said Ginny she honestly didn't have the energy or patience for their antics.
George gave a dramatic sigh of exasperation "Ginny, stop wasting time" he stood tugging Ginny up with him, "Mom said she'd hold dinner, but the way Ron was eying the pudding worries me." said George, as he dragged her towards the floo.
"I know what you mean he had that glint in his eye, Charlie came and you know he only comes when he's really hungry or needs his clothes washed."
"Let me go," Ginny pulled her arm back from George. Her annoyance was very quickly becoming anger. How dare they enter her home, eat her crackers, and tell her what to do. Between her discomfort, her headache and the excess hormones coursing through her veins, the reserve of patience she normally kept for interactions with the twins ran out very quickly.
"Look! I don't feel well alright." She ground out sharply, "It's nothing serious" (I'm only growing a human being inside me) "I just need some rest. Tell Mum that I'll owl soon."
They were slightly taken back by the force in their sister's tone, and although they were wary to anger their sister, their mother wanted Ginny at dinner and Molly Weasley was much scarier. "Unfortunately, that's not an option mum said and I quote" he stuck out his hip and raised a finger to her face, "Fred, George, go and get your sister. I don't know why she feels the need to avoid her family but I will not allow it! I don't care how you do it but you bring her to dinner, don't even consider returning if she isn't with you."
"So you see Gin, you have to come with us or we don't get fed," Fred exclaimed as if it would be the worst thing that could possibly happen.
"And, you really must be sick if you think mum won't come down here herself if we tell her you haven't been feeling well for the past three weeks."
"Well then it's too bad I don't really care, Look, my head is killing me and I feel nauseous, I don't care what you tell mum, I'm not coming to dinner." She settled back into the couch pointing her wand at them but kept her focus on the television screen.
Having been on the painful end of his sister's wand George decided not to push the matter and headed towards the floo. "Right Fred, let's go, Ginny's sick"
Fred however, wasn't as easily turned away "We'll just have to say she wasn't — STUPIFY!"
Ginny recognized the incoming attack far too late. It struck her squarely in the chest knocking her back onto the couch unconscious. Fred walked over and swung Ginny's unconscious body over his shoulder. As much as he would have liked to leave her be, it just wasn't an option for him. Unlike the rest of his brothers, with the exclusion of Charlie, who had women in their lives to feed them, these Sunday dinners were the only time he could get a home-cooked meal, and if he had to stun his sister to do it so be it.
"I thought we agreed not stun her!" George exclaimed, "you do realize she's going to murder us when she wakes, right?"
"She obviously wasn't going easily and if we waited much longer Charlie and Ron would have devoured everything before we got there." He shifted Ginny on his shoulder and bustled towards the floo "Come on, she heavier than I thought she'd be."
"Can you two stop staring at the roast like that" Bill Weasley said to his brothers. He was reclining in the sitting room of his childhood home waiting to start Sunday dinner, surrounded by family. It was amazing how many people that word now pertained to. On his left, his sister in law Hermione and sister in law to be Angelina were discussing some ministry legislation, his dad and brother Percy were playing a game of chess, his daughter Victorie and nieces Molly and Lucy were toddling about somewhere, while their mothers assisted his with something in the kitchen. His attention, however, was set on his brothers Ron and Charlie currently seemed to be trying to banish the food on the dining room table directly to their mouths simply by staring at it intensely enough. "I mean honestly, it won't walk away if you take your eyes off it for 10 seconds."
"Shut it, yeah Bill? You couldn't possibly understand how hungry I am right now," huffed Charlie "I don't get why we have to starve because Ginny doesn't want to come to dinner."
"Because it doesn't really count as a family dinner if the whole family isn't here, does it?"
"Well, I say if she doesn't feel like coming we shouldn't force her" Ron chimed in.
"Well I think — " whatever it was he never got to say as the floo flared and out stepped the rest of his siblings. George tumbled through first, shortly followed by Fred who carried Ginny unconscious in his arms.
They must have made a bit of commotion because his mother suddenly appeared, but was slightly taken aback to see her daughter in her current state. "What did you two do? Why is she unconscious? All I told you was to tell her to come?"
George, who was upset at being scolded for following instructions as he was told said "No, you did not. You told us to get to her and not come back unless she was with us, she didn't want to come, said she wasn't feeling well, so we had to stun her to bring her with us. "
"We were simply following directions, now can you two move over, my arms are killing me," Fred said, indicating to Ron and Charlie who were sitting in the love seat.
"Is the hundred-pound girl too much for you Fred?" teased Angelina.
"She's heavier than she looks," he said as he set her down.
"Isn't stunning her a little extreme though?" asked Arthur.
"We wouldn't 've but mum said we weren't getting fed if we didn't come back with her." Fred defended as he rolled his shoulder. "So, who wants to wake her?"
Having seen the extent of Ginny Weasley's temper no one volunteered.
"You're the one who stunned her" Percy chimed in.
"Which means we should be as far away as possible when she gets up. Her temper was even worse than usual today."
"Well, we're not eating until someone rennervates her," said . If she had learned anything in the 35 years since meeting her husband, it's that if you want a Weasley to do something, bribe them with food.
And sure enough "RENNERVATE!"
She was going to have to kill them, there was no other option. The twins we going to have to die. Where the HELL do they get off breaking into her home, stunning her and dragging her somewhere she didn't want to go!? She was going to have to murder them. "Fred, George, you have exactly 3 minutes to get out of my range of sight, before I push my wand so far- " the destination of her wand would remain unknown as she was suddenly assaulted with the repugnant smell of the roast in the dining room, jumping from the couch she ran upstairs to the restroom and heaving into the toilet.
When she was done being sick she washed her mouth in the sink and stared at herself in the mirror. "Are you ok? You look horribly pale " said the mirror. She didn't appreciate being criticized by an inanimate object, but she had to agree. All color had drained from her face, her hair was dull and greasy. Where was her maternal glow that all pregnant women were supposed to have? She slid down against the door and put her head between her legs.
Three months ago, when she was in that bar, feeling like her life had lost all excitement, she could never have imagined it would lead to this. To her sitting on the floor of her childhood home, with puke on her jumper and her brother kidnapping her, since she had avoided her family too long and the smell of roast had sent her running for the toilet. Now she sat on the dirty floor trying to calm her emotions because she was pretty sure she was crying, which didn't make sense since she was pretty angry just 5 minutes ago.
The knock at the door made her jump, spooking her from her thoughts, "Ginny, are you ok in zere?" Rapidly wiping the tears from her face she opened the door and poked only her head out, beyond grateful that the voice belonged to Fleur and not her mother, who would have simply burst in.
"Yeah, I'll be down in a minute," the returning smell of the roast, however, had her once again dry heaving into the toilet. It wasn't until she felt the soothing rubbing on her back that she realized there was someone had come in. "Thanks, Fleur, I've just haven't been feeling well for a while"
"Maybe she would have bought that but you can't possibly expect me to." Shit, this is why she hadn't wanted to come to dinner, she knew that if she came and her mother saw her she would immediately be aware of her condition.
"I don't know what you mean mum," I mean honestly, it's not like she knew anything for sure. Sure, she was sick but that could have been for any reason. Her mother had no proof and she was confident in her ability to lie. "I just have the flu"
"Really? Then lift your jumper." After 22 years Mrs. Weasley didn't know why her children still tried to lie to her. She knew each and every one of their tells.
"I'm not a chi- "
"NOW Ginevra!" She couldn't help how much she felt like a child in that moment. She lifted her shirt as slow as possible, the camisole she wore under her jumper defined the swell of her stomach really well. "Oh, Ginny."
"Save it, Mum. I honestly don't need- " she had imagined how this conversation would go numerous times. She had prepared herself for the screaming, the yelling, for her mother to tell her how disappointed she was and how irresponsible she had been. She was prepared to be told how unprepared she was to raise a child. What she was not prepared for however was the warmth of her mother's arms as she pulled her into an embrace that made her feel completely ok for the first time in weeks.
"Are you ok?" she couldn't imagine what her daughter was going through. She remembered when she found out she was pregnant at the young age of 19. She was terrified and unprepared and constantly dealing with aches and nausea which only made her feel made her more terrified. She didn't tell her mother until it she absolutely had to. The hour-long lecture that followed only made her feel ashamed of herself. Now that her daughter was in a similar position she knew she didn't want to make her feel the way she had felt.
"I went to the muggle doctor and they smeared this blue goo on my stomach… I heard their heartbeat… I could barely hear but it was the best sound in the world Mum… and I feel sick all the time and my boobs are constantly aching. I LEAKED yesterday Mum! But he or she has fingers now and swore I felt them move this morning. I never know how I feel anymore, if I'm happy or mad, or scared, or excited or terrified. But I want to meet him or her, I want to be their mum." She was crying uncontrollably and she didn't care.
"I've known the feeling" Mrs. Weasley smiled "The father?" What about him? There were days when she constantly thought of him, and others when he was the furthest thing from her mind.
"He's not a part of the picture." Her mother obviously wanted to know more on that matter, unfortunately for her, and thankfully for Ginny, they were interrupted by the banging on the door.
"Mum, are we still having dinner?" someone yelled through the door.
"I swear those boys think of nothing but food" Molly grumbled. "Go ahead and get seated, we'll be down in a minute."
"I don't want to go out there, Mum."
Molly raised her eyebrow. "Don't tell me you care what they think. Ginny, you have never cared for the opinions of others. Now, is not the time to start. Everyone downstairs loves you and they will love the new member of this family, this isn't a secret you can keep for very much longer."
"That's not what I meant. The roast, just the smell of it makes me nauseous,"
"I remember that I think with each pregnancy there was something different I couldn't stand, except Ron he made me want everything". If she thought about it, with Ron the only time she could calm down was when she was eating. "Give me five minutes to get rid of it and the smell," right before she opened the door, she turned "It's probably best to just blurt it out, they're going to be shocked, either way, might as well get it over with quickly."
Ginny splashed some water on her face, stealing her nerves. Her mom was right, there was no easy way to tell them, might as well get it over as quickly as possible. Honestly, she thought her mother would take it badly but she had been nothing but supportive. Telling the rest of her family would be easy, right?
WRONG! so terribly wrong.
"WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY PREGNANT!?" Shouted Bill. So perhaps shouting 'IM PREGNANT!' as soon as she walked into the dining room was not the best idea, but that was still an awful reaction.
"I mean I'm currently forming a human being." Was there another meaning for the word pregnant?
"How did that happen?" blurted Percy.
"If you need me to answer that for you, then Audrey has some explaining to do." She said in an attempt to lessen the mood.
"How far along are you?" her father asked, an indecipherable expression on his face.
"What about the father?" she hadn't expected George to ask the question, she honestly expected him to be making jokes at this point, and it was always a bit unnerving when the twins used a serious tone.
"He's not in the picture" she repeated.
"You mean it's not Bridges?" Her relationship with Cleve Briggers was one of the more regrettable events in her life. She met him at Quidditch match. She was a reporter and he was a player on a failing team. The relationship was fun, filled with lavish dates and romantic surprises. It was all amazing before she realized the real reason he sought a relationship with her. He had been receiving a lot of negative media due to his bad boy reputation, so the best thing to fix that was obviously to date a sweet girl from a prominent wizarding family. "No, we broke up months ago."
"Then who's is it?"
Why can't they ever let things go? "Does it matter?"
"Yes, we need to know who knocked up our sister so we can kick his ass." Of course, only Charlie could say something that annoying.
"Could you be any more ridiculous?"
"Save me the lesson on feminism, I want his name," he slammed his hand on the table making everybody jump a little.
"Well then too bad I don't know what it is"
"What's that supposed mean, did someone force- "
"No!" Deep breaths. "I don't know his name because I didn't ask for it. I met him in a bar in France, we spent one-night together, and he was gone before I woke up. "I'm not going to try to find him so don't even ask."
"When did you become such a slag?" of all the thing she had expected them to say, that was not one of them.
"Fuck you Charlie" she practically ran to the floo wanting to get away before they saw the tears.
It was when she returned to her beloved couch that she truly let herself feel the weight of the day, once again letting the tears stream down. It was twenty minutes later that she felt him wrap an arm around her, and honestly, she was surprised it took him so long. Usually when one of them was upset the other was there only a few seconds later.
"I think Charlie regrets what he said," Ron tried to reassure her.
"Why, did you punch him?"
"No, believe it or not, Percy beat me to it. You know I don't believe that story for a second right? A one-night stand in France with a guy whose name you don't even know? I know I can be a bit daft sometimes, but give me more credit than that. Tell me the real story"
"I did meet him in Paris and I never asked him for his name "
"The whole story Gin."
Back to index
Chapter 2: Chapter 2
Author's Notes: wow, this took a lot longer than I thought it would very sorry about that.
special thanks to seekers_destny for his help
“What can I get you?”
What an interesting question thought Ginny Weasley, there were many things she would like to receive, a time turner to go back to 1996, a job where her work was valued, an idea where her life was going, she would have very much liked all of these things, but considering the person asking was simply a bartender at a beaten-up tavern in France she figured he didn’t have access to these things. So instead she settled for firewhiskey.
Maybe she was being a bit dramatic. Honestly, she was in good health now, and so were her loved ones. She had a decent job at Quidditch Weekly as a freshman reporter, something she’d been working toward for several years, so what if they only gave her the crappy assignments no one else wanted. She still got to travel even if it was for the tiny wizards Quidditch tournament,(a Quidditch ‘competition’ where all the player were under the age of 8 and brooms went no higher than 3 feet in the air). So what if all around her she saw her friends and family starting families and making a difference in their respective careers, while she was as alone as ever, she was only 22 and had plenty of time to achieve everything she wanted In life.
So why did she feel so empty?
She was jolted from her thoughts by a man about two seats away from her “Bartender, Why does the universe hate me so much? It's not like I'm a bad person, I've probably done more good than most of the people my age, why can't it just show me some favor?” She couldn’t help but smile a little at the fact she wasn’t the only on questioning life.
She found herself staring at the stranger. He sat hunched over the bar, running a troubled hand through his messy, dirty blonde hair. He had on a leather jacket and dark jeans, that and the bit of stubble on his chin gave him a bit of rouge look that suited him well. He was staring up at the bartender expectantly, waiting to have his question answered. Now that she saw someone else trying she understood why the waiter had ignored her earlier.
“You're barking up the wrong tree there,” she said, deciding to help the grey-eyed man, ”I’ve been trying to get this guy to answer my existential life questions for the last hour, he’s no help, just keeps asking for your drink order.”
“What may I get you? “ The bartender said as if on cue. He lifted his head and smiled at her just a slightly.
“Told you,” Ginny said
“That’s not right, doesn't he know that answering life's questions are one of the key responsibilities of a bartender?”
“My thoughts exactly, well apparently in France all they’re expected to do is serve drinks.”
He laughed, “So you’re here contemplating life too?” He seemed a bit more cheerful than he had just moments before and scooted down one seat, closer to her. He was rather handsome and for some reason, she couldn’t explain she, felt very comfortable around him.
“Yes, but now I'm starting to think I'm being dramatic, I mean I there's nothing particularly wrong with my life it's just-“, she gestured vaguely but he nodded, seeming to know exactly what she meant.
“Not going like you expected.”
“Yeah,” she stared into his eyes seeing complete understanding in them and scooted down into the one seat remaining between them.
And that’s how Ginny Weasley started talking to a stranger for the rest of the night, somehow talking about nothing and everything at the same time. About things that had no meaning and were more important than everything.
“So you don’t think I’m being dramatic?" Ginny asked, her new friend, they’d been talking for hours and Ginny was sharing her concern that she was being rather silly.
“No, I’d be a bit hypocritical if I did, wouldn’t it, I used to think that once I defeat-… Um… I mean finished school, I thought my life would just become exactly what I wanted to be, but now all I really want now is some type of reason to wake up in the morning other than to be awake.” She understood what he meant, the need for a purpose or motivation as you went through each day. The last time she felt it she was 16 but a lot has changed since then.
She was brought out of her musings by the touch of his hand against her thigh. His eyes staring intently into hers as his face got closer and closer until she could see the specs of hair against his chin. "You know I usually don’t have such deep conversations with strangers I meet in pubs in France.”
“Me either, I usually save these conversations for taverns in Spain.” She joked for one moment, before closing the distance between them in the next. She couldn’t describe that kiss to you, not because she didn’t remember it, they both probably would until their dying breaths, but because the proper words did not exist to describe a feeling so intense.
He pulled away from her slowly, “You know I just realized we don’t know each other’s names.”
“Let's leave it like that, I mean we've just spent the last 3 hours saying we're not quite happy with who we are, so if only for tonight, let's be somebody else. People who know where their lives are going and happy with where they are now. Whoever you were when you walked in, forget about them. You’re somebody new now.” She came up with the idea without thinking too much on it, she wanted to escape all the problems with her life for a bit longer. She wanted to extend the amount of time she wasn’t just Ginny Weasley.
“And who would that be?” her new friend smiled big seemingly enjoying the prospect of being a different person for a little bit. Ginny, however, was looking around rapidly trying to think of a name which was not as easy one might think.
Caught off guard by the question she looked wildly around for the room for help.“Uh, your name is…um… John …Glass.”
“I'm sorry, did you just name me after a cup+ and the toilet?” he seemed to be trying to look upset but the smile made it very unconvincing.
“Of course not! John Glass is a very respectable name. He’s a custom broom designer who is currently traveling the world looking for inspiration. He loves what he does and is a bold risk-taking individual.” She said dramatically.
“Really, well I don’t I sound like a very interesting person.” He joked “I don’t suppose I get to name you too?”
“I suppose it's only fair” she swirled the amber liquid in her glass, pretending to be indifferent.
“Good, then I think your name is Madeline Whiskey.” He responded with a smirk.
“Oh really, how creative,” she smiled, taking a swig of the whiskey in her glass.
“It’s a gift, Madeline is an aspiring magizooligist who believes she is on the edge discovering a new magical creature and is traveling in the hope of finding proof of its existence. Now, she's a bit vain but once you get past her tough outer shell, she’s really a big softy.”
“Aww, don’t I sound delightful,” her voice was laced with sarcasm. They spent the next 60 minutes flirting and trying cultivating each other’s alternate personas. “If you make Madeline hate Quidditch, then ’'ll make John allergic to chocolate.”
They were so engrossed in one another they didn’t realize how much time had passed until the bartender pointed out it was closing time.
“I can't believe how late it's gotten”, said Ginny as she gathered her bag and rose from her seat.
“Time flies in good company,” John said. They both stood there, glancing towards the door but not taking a step towards it. Both unwilling to end the night that had been better than so many before.
“So I guess once we walk out the doors that’s the end of John and Madeline.”
“Not necessarily, we could uh… I mean if you want… to keep talking I mean…we could uh… we could go back to my hotel room, just to talk.” Ginny had to pause at the offer.
It wasn’t the first time somebody had asked her to go home with them. Back when she had just finished Hogwarts, and she was ready and eager to face the world, her and her brother/best friend Ron spent most nights clubbing. Ron only really wanted to see friends and since he was already in a serious relationship with his now wife Hermione and often had school in the morning, but Ginny would spend lots of time dancing and would grab the attention of more than one person. Sure enough, eventually somebody would come up to her and start what she was sure they considered an interesting conversation, eventually they would comment on how noisy it is and suggest they head to his place so they could talk better. Never once did she actually believe that’s what they wanted, they always had a cocky smile and eager glint in their eye that only served to make Ginny annoyed more than anything else. Just talking to them in the bar for a few minutes was painful, and the only reason she did it was that she and Ron had made a game out of it where they would critique each guy as if they were at a Quidditch game.
The thing is that standing there in front of ‘John’ she honestly believed that if all he wanted to do was talk. She didn’t think he would be opposed to engaging in other activities but she didn’t believe that the prospect of those other activities was why he was inviting her back. He wasn’t cocky if anything he seemed really nervous like he was afraid he had done something terribly wrong. There wasn’t an uncomfortably sexual gaze in his eye. Only a friendly if slight hopeful look. The more she thought about it she realized she had no problem leaving with him. She had apparently been silent for too long and was shaken from her thoughts when ‘John’ said, “It is fine if you don’t want to honestly… I only asked because it seemed like you wanted to talk more, …” he continued to nervously ramble until Ginny stopped his lips with her own, savoring the returning desirable sensation.
“I’d really like that, besides you were about to tell me about my rebellious phase,” she smiles up at him.
“Oh, It was crazy, you wrote bad sonnets and charmed your hair blue.” He smiled back his body visibly less tense than it had been moments before. He took her hand and led her out the door.
Later on, as she drifted off, with his arms tight around her, pulling her flush to his bare chest she was far more peaceful than she had been in a long time.
It was the cold that woke her up the next morning, the loss of the wonderful warmth she had experienced all night.
Daring to crack open one eye she looked around the room, seeing if ‘John’ was there. She didn’t see him anywhere, neither did she see his suitcase that had been in the corner of the hotel suite yesterday either.
Obviously, her companion from the night before had left the middle of the night, she rose fron bed attempting to hold back the disappointment she felt when he wasn’t there. It wasn’t herself she was disappointed in, she had enjoyed herself last night, having felt a lot more content than she had in a long time. No, it was him she was disappointed in. The least he could have done was wait until the morning and say goodbye. Really, it was was just bad manners.
But honestly, she thought with a sigh, what was she expecting, she had spent her night with a stranger she meets in a bar (although it felt very strange to think of John as such). Isn’t this how these things normally go, with one person leaving before the other woke up to avoid an awkward conversation? She got up to use the restroom and maybe take a shower before she set out for her home and was startled by her reflection in the mirror. She'd forgotten that she had turned her hair black before traveling to France, to avoid the press who followed her because of her past relationship with Cleve Bridges.
She was wondering if she should shower now or take a port key straight home and shower there when the door banged open, and in walked John with two of hot drinks, a Breakfast tray and a velvet bag levitated in front of him. “Hey, you're awake, I was hoping to get back in time to surprise you’’. He set the food down on the small coffee table and came back up to her dropping a kiss on her cheek.
“I am surprised, honestly, I thought you ran off before I woke up.” But she was incredibly pleased that she hadn’t. She walked over to the coffee table to see what he had brought with him.
“Really? That’s ridiculous, why would I abandon my hotel room without my shirt,” she hadn’t thought about the fact the suite was his and hadn’t even realized that she still was wearing his dress shirt from last night, “especially when it still has such a stunning woman in it,” he joined her at the table where they enjoyed their breakfast.
He was staring at her intently his mouth fidgeting as if he wanted to say something but didn’t think he should.
“Is this how you wake all the girls in the morning?” She was only teasing and hoped that starting a conversation would give him a chance to say whatever was on his mind.
“No you’re the first I promise,” John said with a nervous smile, he made no effort to continue the conversation and started to fidget much like before if not even worse.
Ginny could only take about 2 minutes of it before she snapped, “Ok, what is it? You won't stop fidgeting.”
“Promise to keep an open mind.” she raised an eyebrow, curious to see where this was going. The look on his face was both excited and reluctant. “I’ve been thinking about everything we said last night and I realized that while we complain about not being happy the way things are but we’re not doing anything to change it so I thought... let's go to Greece.”
"What? I'm pretty sure I missed a step in your train of thought there.”
“Greece, let's go, let's live our lives the way you want them to be, for the rest of this week lets actually be John and Madeline, let's see what the world has to offer. You can search for magical creatures and I’ll make brooms,” he reached across the table for the velvet bag he had brought in with him. “The portkey in here leaves in 2 hours Madeline… come with me.”
The offer had come out of nowhere and it seemed like a ludicrous idea to travel around with a man whom she had just met while they both pretended to be people they weren't. All of that considered there was no way in hell she was going to say no so instead she said, “Yes.”
By noon they were all packed up and held onto a pair of safety scissors as they started to glow and reappeared in Athens Greece.
Ginny had never been passionate about astrology back at Hogwarts but staring up at the night sky in Rome, Italy she felt an immense appreciation for the glimmering stars above her. That being said if in each of professor Sinistra’s lesson a charming man had held her in his arms she might have continued it into her 6th year.
She and John were standing in on the balcony of there suite in Grand Hotel Palazzo Della Fonte. They only had a few hours left in Rome and she had no idea how she could go back to her life before this week. What had started as a trip to Greece had turned into a world tour packed with the most beautiful destinations in the world.
They’ve seen the colosseums of Greece, then swam the reef of Australia and skied the Alps in Switzerland. They'd hula-ed on the beaches of Hawaii and were currently relaxing after dancing the night away in Italy. They had one last port key that would take them back to France later that night.
“Stop it, Madeline,” said John, “Don’t think about it, just enjoy where you are now.”
“It all ends tomorrow. How am I supposed to go back to life before, when I've seen what life should be now?”
John sighed “I think we both need to learn a lesson from this week, I mean there's nothing stopping life from being like this all the time if we want our lives to be like that.” A silence followed his statement as they considered it. No, technically there wasn’t anything stopping her from traveling more, but she had responsibilities, a job, a mother who would hunt her down if she went more than 3 weeks without visiting, not to mention the fact that she could never afford it. John had covered most of their expenses, which Ginny wasn’t quite comfortable with and wouldn’t have allowed but he somehow managed to pay for everything before she could.
Besides, there was a big difference between Ginny and Madeline. Madeline had ambition and drive, she wanted to discover new magical creatures. Ginny had had those things once but that was a long time ago and she was just letting life happen to her at this point.
“I'm gonna miss you,” Ginny said. They had never told each other their true names rather submerging themselves in the pretend personalities of their imaginary personas. This was the only actually the first conversation that they acknowledged they were not John and Madeline and would have to return to their real lives.
“Stop acting like we're dying,” he laughed, “we’ve just experienced a week of adventure that most people will only ever dream of, we should be overjoyed.” Though John seemed to be trying to cheer her up the slight strain in his voice made him seem as unenthusiastic her.
Ginny realized her mood was ruining what had been a wonderful night. "Sorry I'm just not looking forward to leaving Madeline behind, she's far more interesting than the real me.”
“I'm sure the real you is more amazing than you realize,” turning her in his arms so she could look him intently in the eyes, she gave him a look that said she extremely disagreed.
“What makes you say that,” she asked.
“Lots of things, you’re kind, adventurous, gorgeous, just spectacular in the sack,” he listed, not moving fast enough to avoid her fist.
“I meant it as a compliment,’’ he said rubbing his arm where she’d struck, “I'm serious though, the other me he would never do any of this, he is more of the stay home and order in type, he would never have done half the things we’ve done this week,” He tightened his arms around her, bringing his chin to rest atop her head, and not for the first time she could have sworn he was sniffing her hair. “You made me want to, I don’t know what it is about you but you make me want to try to live the most lively way possible.” He dropped a kiss on her lips, and she could feel it in her toes.
There they stood passionately embracing under the stars of Italy until they heard the loud beeping letting them know that there portkey would be activated in 20 minutes.
They quickly changed their clothes and grabbed their bags before both picking up a small checkered notebook.
As they waited for the portkey to go off John said “We still have tomorrow, we have all of France to experience. Maybe we can experience it as ourselves, our real selves. And the moment he finished his sentence, they felt the now extremely familiar tug at their navels.
Her alarm went off at 10 am the next morning and John wasn’t next to her but that was to be expected they had developed a routine over the week. Every morning John woke up and went out to get breakfast for the 2 of them, they could have gotten room service but John said he liked the early exercise and it allowed them to try the local cuisine. Ginny usually woke an hour after John did and would have time to brush her teeth before John came in.
When it was an hour had passed and he hadn’t shown up she figured he was just trying to do something elaborate since it was their last day and decided to take a bath now to save time later. As she thought of what John said last night, about spending today as them, she considered that the real her didn’t have black hair and so she cast the quick counter-charm and watched as her hair slowly returned to its natural shades of red orange and gold.
So at 11:15 am she was fully dressed on the bed playfully annoyed waiting for John to arrive with breakfast so they could start their day.
It wasn’t until 12:45 that she noticed that all his things were gone.
It wasn’t until 3:38 that she actually considered he wasn’t coming back.
It wasn’t until 8:13 that she packed all her things.
It wasn’t until 2:27 am that she moved from that spot on the bed, to go to the magical republic of France offices for a portkey home. Leaving only a note on the bedside table, because she really believed he would have come back.
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Chapter 3: Chapter 3
Author's Notes: The next chapter is here and God do these things take longer than I thought they would. Really excited about a story it's my first one and I'm excited to see how it turns out. I hope you enjoy it and please pretty please please review PS I'm not JK Rowling
"So, look I'm not the type of girl who's goes crazy about a guy after one meet but, I feel this pull between the two of us, you know? Like it could be love. And I get it, I sound like a crazy person, but I just sense this connection, you feel it too right?"
It was at that moment that Harry Potter decided he would have to break his godfather's face. All week it was ‘come to dinner this Friday, you'll have fun' and ‘I promise not to set you up again' and ‘it’ll just be the family'. Why did he keep falling for it?
Whenever he came to a dinner that was 'just the family', Someone would show up with a friend or co-worker who just so happened to be his age and single, then him and said friend/co-worker would end up seated right next to one another. It used to be that they wouldn't even try to hide what they were doing, but since Harry had started avoiding big family gatherings because of it, they had to be more deceptive.
They wouldn't invite a girl to come meet him, oh no, instead they would just so happen to leave an important memo at work which their lovely secretary would so graciously bring home to them, and then the only polite thing to do was to ask her to stay for a meal. And that's how harry found himself outside alone with Tonk’s new assistant.
Merlin, why him?
"Sofia," Harry started.
"Stephanie,” she looked up at him, eyes wide, smile unwavering and took firm a step towards him. Harry took two steps back.
"Right, sorry, look it's not you, it's me I'm not looking for a relationship at the moment and I don't want to string you along. Maybe sometime in the future but for now I think we should go our separate ways." He was aware of how poor his excuse was but he didn't have the energy to come up with a better way of letting her down.
"Bu-,"she reached out to touch his arm.
"Let's not argue, this is what’s best for everyone," Harry interrupted, he was trying to get this over with as fast as possible. He placed a firm guiding hand on her back as he leads her towards the apparition point. He truly wasn't trying to be rude or mean, he just didn't want to drag this out. Once they reached the outside of the wards Stephanie, who apparently couldn't take a hint, realized that this was her last chance, and turned and launched herself at him bringing her lips down for a horribly wet kiss. It only lasted for the few moments he couldn't pry her off but was disturbing all the same.
He wiped his lips "Please leave, now, PLEASE, just go." He didn't wait to watch her off instead making his way back to the house. When he arrived everyone was still gathered and sat at the table.
His godfather, Sirius Black sat between his girlfriend of the last 7 years Valerie Freely and his uncle, in all but blood, Remus Lupin, sitting across from Remus was his wife, Tonks Lupin (her real name was Nymphadora but he preferred his face unbruised so he wouldn't call her that). In her arms was Harry's 3-year-old godson, Teddy Lupin, who must have come back downstairs after Harry stepped away to see Stephanie out.
Harry pulled out a seat and poured himself quite a bit of firewhiskey but before he could get in a sip, Teddy wriggled out from his mother's arms and toddled his way into Harry's, wrapping his arms around him and burrowing his head in Harry's chest without either of them ever saying a thing. Harry sighed set his drink back down, unwilling to get drunk while his godson rested in his lap.
That didn't mean he wasn't going to tear his godfather a new one, however.
He pressed a hand against Teddy's left ear and pushed the right one against his chest, "You promised not to set me up again." Harry was tired of it, he didn't like the way they kept butting into his romantic life. He was…fine with the way things were in his life. Sure he worked a lot but being an Auror was a very important job. He was a grown man who didn't need his aunts and uncles arranging his life for him.
That included his godfather who was currently wearing his most innocent expression, staring at the wine he swirled in his glass as if it was the most interesting thing in the world. "I haven't the foggiest what our referring to," said Sirius.
Squinting his eyes in irritation Harry clarified "I'm talking about the crazy brunette who was about ready to pick out baby names after spending one dinner with me!"
"You said this one wasn't crazy," Remus leaned over to ask his wife. Her dinner guest had the highest record of being, for lack of a better term, over-expressive.
"I didn't realize she was, she seemed very pleasant at work."
Harry pushed Teddy's head back against his chest "Why can't you just let me be? I don't want to be in a relationship," he said smoothly having trained his brain to believe it in the last couple of months "Why can't you just accept that?"
Sirius let out a frustrated breath, apparently tired of playing coy, "Harry you’re 23, and all you do is work. It’s all you've been doing since you were 18. It's not your responsibility to constantly watch over the wizarding world. You should be enjoying your life."
"I enjoy working," Harry said reflexively. It was an argument they'd gone over repeatedly. And Harry felt Sirius wouldn't be happy until he had dated a quarter of the female population of wizarding Britain.
"Bullshit, honestly Harry I thought you would've stopped trying to lie to me a long time ago." Sirius probably knew Harry better than he knew himself.
Harry was five when shady actions of two crooks that led to the reexamination, (well not reexamination since somehow, there was never an initial examination) of the Potters will. In it, there was a clear identification of Peter Pettigrew as the Potters' secret keeper. The news was shocking as everyone knew, or thought they knew, that Sirius Black was their secret keeper, he was the one who had sold out his best friend, he was the one from one of the darkest families in history, he was the one who killed 12 muggles and paralyzed Peter Pettigrew. But the information from the will was still there, and when it became known that Black didn't have the dark mark and had never received a trial, the public outcry was enough to force the ministry's hand.
And to be clear, the ministry did not hold the case to make sure that justice was served correctly, they did it to get the press off their back. They expected to drop a dash of veritaserum on Sirius Black’s tongue and and have the matter done with. No one expected the truths that escaped a convict’s mouth that day. The aftermath of the event left the wizarding world with one newly freed Sirius Black, desperate to find the boy he'd sworn to care for, one missing Peter Pettigrew, now known as a wanted murderer, and one Cornelius Fudge in need of a new job.
It took four months for Sirius to find Harry and it took every ounce of Sirius's self-control not to permanently disfigure or injure Vernon and Petunia Dursley for the state of neglect he found his godson in.
From that point on it was the two of them were a family, and would slowly and carefully add misfits and malcontents to their ragtag group. But it was Sirius was somehow a brother, father, mother, and inappropriate friend all at the same time. So if one detected a problem with the other, the way Sirius KNEW there was something bothering Harry, there was no letting it go. That didn't mean that the other wouldn't try to avoid the matter to the best of their ability.
Harry, refusing to let his godfather think he was right, but not sure of his ability to successfully convince anyone he wasn't, quickly diverted the subject, "Who are you to lecture anyone about relationships?"
"What do you mean? Me and Valerie are very happy" Sirius raised his eyebrows in confusion at Harry’s rebuttal. He was in a very enjoyable relationship and been for the last 7 years. He met Valerie during a search for a rare potion and the two became very close. The two had a lot in common and were basically the same person and were very committed to one another, but one of those things they hand in common was a fear of commitment.
And the family, Harry included, brought up that matter relentlessly, "You and Valerie have been 'very happy'," he said with air quotes "for the last 7 years."
"And?" Sirius drawled out, tilting his head and his in confusion as to what the actual problem was.
"And you’re 45!" Exclaimed Harry in part real frustration, the rest happiness at getting the attention off himself, "Get married, get engaged, do something!"
Valerie who had been silent up to this point, which was very unlike her, set down her firewhiskey and let out a long sigh tired of repeatedly explaining her and Sirius's relationship, she loved the man more than anything and nothing could make her happier than spending the rest of her life with him, but the concept of marriage seemed so regulating and binding, she was more than happy leaving their relationship the way it was. "Harry, me and Sirius aren't the 'marriage' type we’re happy the way we are." She said, earning an eye roll from most of the table.
"Exactly," agreed Sirius as he turned towards her. "Don't know why they keep making us explain that" he muttered reaching across the table to refill his glass with wine, and Valerie's with firewhiskey. They clinked glasses and focused their attention back to Harry, their gaze making it clear that their discussion of his love life was not forgotten.
Instead of meeting their eyes Harry looked down at Teddy who was had return to sleep, pressed tightly to Harry's chest. "Well maybe I'm, not the relationship type."
Sirius snorted and Remus let out a howling laugh "I repeat, BULLSHIT," said Sirius, "Harry you are just like your father" a glint in his eye as he recalled the friend he lost so many years ago.
"He didn't want a bunch of wild one nighters he wanted the one girl who could make his heart break out of his chest and he wanted it as fast as possible," said Remus watching as Harry shifted his son in his arms, when Harry was around his godson it was so simple to see why his family was so insistent that he find someone. "It was just 3 months ago you were telling me you wanted to find that one girl who could make the world stop with her smile, what happened to that?" Trying to understand what had changed so suddenly for the man he considered nephew.
Harry schooled his face into a neutral expression he had perfected over the years, letting none of the emotions he'd felt since he said that come through, "I realized I'm only 23 and don't need to be worried, besides girls like that don't exist no matter how hard you look for them." And he had looked long and hard.
Sirius squeezed Valerie's hand under the table, looking at his godson like a stranger "Yes they d- "
Harry let out loud sigh, wanting so dearly for this conversation to be over. "Look I'm just tired, I don't want to argue with you for no real reason. I haven't sworn off love or anything, I swear," he stood carefully as not to disturb his godson and transferred him to his mother's arms, " Relationships just aren't my priority right now, so I'd appreciate if stop introducing me to these crazy women," Harry tried to adopt a light-hearted tone to ease their concerns.
"We don't look for the crazy ones on purpose," Tonks joked and was rewarded by a deep chuckle from most of the table.
"Sure you don't" Harry gathered his things, "I'm going home, I've been working for the last 14 hours and all I want is to wash off the filth and brush the taste of Stephanie away."
Valerie stood quickly and ran up to Harry before he could reach the floo, “Wait, we're sorry for tonight, we shouldn’t have let tonks pick again,” she pulled him in for a hug, “personally I wanted to bring a guy over, see if that got a bit more reaction out of you.” she lowered her voice, “He just doesn’t want you to be alone. He knows how dangerous that can be, it's a wonder he managed to survive as long as he did without me.” She pulled back from him and stared off into space in mock wonder.
Sirius walked up behind her, and put an arm around her shoulder, “Whatever she’s whispering to you, about me it's a lie,” Valerie rolled her eyes,
“I was just explaining to Harry here how sensitive you are about your clearly thinning hair and that he shouldn't bring it up.” she quipped, and kept her eyes looking forward as he glared down at her.
Forcefully ignoring Valerie, Sirius turned toward Harry,"So, em, I managed to convince the Lupins spend the night. Why don't you stay too? We can all catch up in the morning.”
"Maybe next time, yeah?" Harry said without commitment, before stepping into the floo, "Potter's flat", and he was gone in an instant, reappearing a second later in his spacious flat in West London. He kicked off his shoes and tossed his coat on the loveseat and continued to toss his clothes off until the sting of a hot shower rained on his skin.
He eagerly awaited sleep, wondering where they would be in tonight's dreams.
"What were you able to find in Spain?", Gawain Robards asked Harry Potter twelve days later, they were discussing Harry's most recent mission, he had spent a week in Pamplona, Spain tracking the actions of Corban Yaxley, the last major death eater to escape capture. Most of the trip was spent integrating known affiliates and was extremely uneventful, up until the end where they found what was most likely his previous hideout.
This was a huge set back that meant that Yaxley had probably already left the country and at this point, the criminal had led them across most of Europe. Harry was in charge of this case like he had been for most of the major cases involving death eaters, since nothing put the public more at ease than knowing that the man who defeated the most evil wizard in history was at work protecting them.
They went through each second of the missions and once Robards managed to twist each of a Harry’s actions to look stupid, Harry was sent to his office to figure out his next move. As he walked across the atrium He heard someone call his name. "HARRY!", turning his head Harry saw Bill Weasley running up towards him. He met the thirty-something man at the start of the year when the Auror department needed a consultation on a case involving extremely advanced curses at a crime scene. Bill had been incredibly helpful and he and Harry had shared drinks a few times.
"Hey, how have you been," Harry asked the red-haired man.
Bill smiled wide, "Good, I was just visiting my dad, he's upstairs in muggle relations."
Harry nodded, mentally slapping himself for not realizing the connection between Bill and Arthur Weasley sooner. The two made pleasant conversation for a while. "Say, you got plans for tonight?" Bill asked.
Weary of making engagements Harry said, "No, but I’ll probably be working pretty late tonight."
Bill shook his head, "Still the workaholic I see."
"I do go home", Harry defended himself, starting to be offended by how often people commented on his work ethic.
"Yeah sure" Bill clapped him on the back "Well if you finish early you should come over for dinner."
"With your wife and kids?" Harry asked recalling Bill's mention of his family.
"Not exactly, its family night so, me, my siblings, our spouses, and children all get together at my parents’ house," Bill said reaching into his back pocket for a slip of parchment.
"Don't you have like 23 siblings?" Harry half-joked, wondering how you fit that many people at one table.
"Funny", Bill said without mirth, "I have six, here's the address," Bill stuck the slip of paper out towards him, "Come early if want to eat before my brothers inhale everything" Bill shook Harry's hand and started walking away.
"I'll see if I can make it," Harry called out.
Once in his office Harry set the paper slip down, he doubted he would go but figured he should to leave himself the option.
He labored the next 4 hours away researching and cross-examining all the information he had, to find predict Yaxley's next move. He was going on his 5th hour of non-stop research when Tonks, obviously on her way home for the day, came in. A serious injury during the war had brought an end to the more active parts of her Auror career and now she mainly investigated corruption.
"Wotcher Harry," Tonks said as she walked in, shoving papers aside on the desk to make room for her to sit, even though there was a perfectly good chair in the corner.
"Lo' Tonks do you need something?”, Harry said his eyes never lifting from the parchment he was studying.
"Not really, just here to remind you that your workday ended 30 minutes ago," she stuck her hand out, covering the text he was reading ", and dinner is in an hour. I'm responsible for making sure you don't try to skip." Her grin was far too pleasant.
Harry groaned as he was not looking forward to another dinner where some girl would be on display in front of him and his godfather would proceed to tell him that he doesn't shag enough women for his age. In desperate need of a way out Harry grabbed the slip of paper that Bill Weasley had given him earlier that day. "Oh no! I’d completely forgotten about tonight's dinner," Harry shook his head woefully, "I have plans with a friend, Bill Weasley, maybe you know him he was a year or two behind you at Hogwarts, anyway he invited me over for dinner with his family, and I promised I would come," Harry waved the parchment about, loudly displaying his proof "and I would cancel but it really has been forever since I've seen him." Harry laid it on thick covering his words in non-existent regret "You'll explain to everyone right?"
Tonks gave him a knowing smirk, "well-played Potter, but it's your loss, tonight’s girl is pretty hot." When Harry attempted to continue with his work she spoke again, "Well you better get going then."
Harry furrowed his brow, "What do you mean?"
"For this oh so important dinner of yours, if you want to get there on time you should leave now."
Harry swore under his breath. "Yes I guess I should." She was calling his bluff, he should have known it wouldn't be that easy. He grabbed his papers and put them in his work bag figuring he could finish his research at home. Getting his things he walks towards the door.
"And Harry, Remus gets on very well with Arthur Weasley, he'll be sure to ask how dinner went." Her words make Harry freeze in the doorway.
"You are the worst aunt ever," he said through gritted teeth.
She smiled so big Harry wondered if she'd made her mouth larger for a moment. As she squeezed around him in the doorway she pulled his face in to kiss him on the cheek, "I love you too."
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Chapter 4: Chapter 4
Author's Notes: A new chapter I'm so excited. Things are about to kick off. I'm very excited. Thanks again to everyone who reads this. Please review it helps to know what people are thinking as they read.
In the three weeks since Ginny had told her family that she was pregnant, only a few things had really changed. For one thing, she no longer avoided family dinners, in fact, now that the morning sickness stage had passed and she could tolerate food again, she looked forward to them. Also, she no longer confined herself to her home, realizing that doing so made no sense at some point whoever it was she was trying to avoid would see her pregnant or with her child.
Since that day at the Burrow, Ginny quickly stopped caring what others thought of her condition. Really it was what Charlie had called her. At first she was huwhenrt, the fact her brother would say that about her stung, then she was angry, if anybody in the Weasley family could be considered a slag it was Charlie, (and maybe Fred but he was a respectable slag, with class), he was the kind to spend all his nights at bars looking for women who wanted to 'meet his dragon', the audacity of him to judge her was unbelievable.
Eventually she had to deal with her embarrassment, because that was the reality, she was embarrassed. She was embarrassed that she spent so much time with a guy she knew nothing about, she was embarrassed that she barely had the resources to take care of herself much less another, and she was embarrassed that one day her son or daughter would ask her what their father’s name was and she would have to tell him/her that she didn't know. But as she considered the reality of her emotions, Ron, who had been with her while she ranted/sorted through her emotions, asked her if she wished she wasn't pregnant, and it took less than a millisecond for her to say no. When it came to the life growing inside her she felt a lot of things, fear, caution, excitement, but not regret, never that.
And it had been that moment of clarity that inspired her disregard for the opinions of others. And damn was it liberating, also well timed because she was five months pregnant and the swell of her abdomen was quite apparent. She hadn't been expecting to show so much for awhile, and while she wasn't enjoying the way people would just walk up and put their hands on her, she did enjoy seeing evidence of her child growing.
She was currently window shopping in Diagon Alley and while she had gone out with the intention of finding a gift for Bill's birthday at the end of the month, It hadn't taken long for her to abandon that task for the much more adorable task of baby blanket shopping. She was looking at a Holyhead Harpies themed blanket at Quality Quidditch Supplies when the entire store was disturbed by shouting from somewhere in the back of the shop.
"Why not, do you know who I am?" a man shouted as he marched out from a door behind the register. He was around six feet tall with a tan complexion and blonde hair that got darker towards the roots. He was followed by a woman in the quality quidditch supplies uniform robes. The two appeared to be in the middle of a disagreement, but that didn't surprise Ginny. She recognized the man as her ex-boyfriend and reserve beater for the Banchory Bangers (currently ranked 33 in the league) Cleve Briggers.
"Mr. Briggers, please, you're causing a scene," pleaded the woman who was clearly trying to avoid a commotion. She spoke quietly in an attempt to calm the man. Unfortunately for her Briggers liked attention however he could get it.
He glanced from side to side, taking notice that he had the entire shops attention. "Am I?," he spoke even louder than before, "Well I wouldn't have to if you would just give me what I asked."
"I'm not authorized to give anything for free, especially not the new cleansweep, sir," said the woman she looked young and was probably only a cashier.
Briggers rolled his eyes and patronizingly tilted his head "Yes you can, you little idiot, just consider it a... sponsorship arrangement" Ginny snorted, a company would have to be pretty desperate, to sponsor a beater that had once hit the quaffle instead of the bludger.
The witch with which he was arguing seemed to agree. "That's not how those arrangements are made and the company only makes sponsorships with SUCCESSFUL athletes, now leave, or I'll have security come escort you out!" spat the lady before turning on her heal and returning to the back.
Briggers sputtered at her retreating form, clearly embarrassed, “You know what? I will not allow you to treat me like this I'm leaving!" Ginny couldn't help but laugh at his embarrassment although she didn't try very hard not too.
But perhaps she shouldn’t have as on his way out Briggers suddenly turned towards her, his eyes lighting in recognition.
"Virginia! I haven't seen you in forever, how are you?" He came towards her arms spread for a hug that Ginny made no move to return, nor did she attempt to make any conversation, instead she turned around, heading for another exit, only to be cut off by Briggers once again.
"Hello Cleve," she said through gritted teeth, hoping to end this conversation as fast as possible. She honestly couldn't figure out how she could have ever dated the man, granted they had only dated for a little over a week, but the man was still a perfect personification of every annoying male trait combined. Perhaps it was a mixture of desperation, pride, and Valentine's day loneliness regardless, she didn't want to talk to him now and had hoped she would never see his repugnant face again.
Briggers smiled down at her for a second before his eyes went straight to the swell of her stomach which was particularly visible today due to the long-wrapped dress she wore. "Well, aren't you looking... Round."
Ginny was saved from even having to try and reply as the cashier from earlier came back out with two burly security guards and pointed at Briggers, who quickly shoved past her and went running out the door.
Ginny quickly paid for the blanket, apparated home and reclined on her side, no longer able to recline safely on her stomach, the was a dinner at the burrow in a few hours but she wanted to take a nap first.
She was only meant to sleep for two hours, unfortunately, she didn't set an alarm and she ended up sleeping for an extra hour and a half. Jumping out of bed, or more realistically rolling out, as fast as she could, Ginny quickly got ready and apparated to the field near the Burrow. As she walked into the kitchen through the back door the first person she saw was Hermione.
"There you are, we were starting to think you weren't coming," Hermione said. She was refilling a tray of glasses.
"I overslept, is mum angry?"
Hermione gave a small huff, "No, she has been pretty distracted" she gestured to the dining room door, "Bill invited a friend over."
Ginny took a small peep into the room to see what Hermione was referring to, and all her 11-year-old dreams came true. "Is that Harry Potter in our dining room?" she whispered loudly. Hermione nodded. "How does he know Bill," Ginny wondered how her brother could have possibly known one of, if not the most, famous wizard in England and not say something.
Hermione replied "Apparently he helped the Auror department with some hexes back in February. "He's actually pretty quiet, he looks kind of scared too really, but I suppose meeting all of us at once can be a tad bit overwhelming, also he keeps staring at your mum." Hermione spoke as if she was reporting on a wild animal.
Hermione lifted the tray of drinks but it was a bit wobbly, Ginny tried to take it for her but Hermione slapped her hand away. "No you’re not allowed to carry anything, oh and I should probably warn you that the twins told Harry about that crush you used to have on him."
Ginny followed Hermione into the dining room and everyone called out to her in greeting, she greeted back but her gaze went immediately to Harry Potter who was sitting between Percy and George. She'd never meet the man before but she'd seen him at a ministry function or two. He looked at her and became slightly pale and Ginny could only imagine that her brothers had told him some horror stories about her either that or he had an inexplicable fear of pregnant women. Ginny took her seat and started piling her plate.
Dinner was slightly less dysfunctional than usual, as was the case when there was a dinner guest. Said guest however probably wouldn't have noticed either way. Harry kept his head down and only spoke a few words at a time and only if directly spoken to. So, it was a bit unexpected when he came up to her while she was eating an extra slice of pie in the kitchen after dinner once everyone had retired to the sitting room.
“Ginny?" Ginny jumped, she hadn't heard him coming.
"Bloody hell Harry, you shouldn't sneak up on people you know."
He had his coat on and was carrying a brown bag, likely a plate of extras that her mom had forced on him. "Sorry, I didn't mean to I was just on my way out" he still looked pale and his voice was still shaky and Ginny was concerned he might faint.
Concerned, Ginny asked, "Are you ok? You look very- Ah" her question was cut off by the strongest kick she had ever felt, nothing like the small pops and flutters she had she had experienced before, making her double over a little.
Harry stuck out his hands to steady her "What is it? Are you ok?"
"Yeah, I'm fine it's just the little guy, he's actually never kicked this hard." She placed her hand on her stomach, on the spot that had just been kicked, hoping it would happen again.
Harry perked up slightly his hand clenching and unclenching "That must be strange I remember when my aunt was pregnant she said it could feel as light as a butterfly or as hard a punch to the gut. But she was pretty late in the game then, how far are you, if you don't mind me asking."
Ginny normally would have found his interest in the topic strange but at the moment she was just pleased to be having a conversation with Harry Potter, where he longer looked ready to faint "Its fine, um, well it’s November, this all started back in July so... five months." Harry nodded slowly.
"Do you want to get a coffee tomorrow?" He asked catching Ginny by surprise.
Her eyes widened "Oh! Um-no... I'm sorry, I'm flattered, truly, but um... I not looking for a relationship right now for obvious reasons." Ginny sputtered and gestured to her bump, this had not been where she thought the conversation was going. Oh, if her 13-year-old self could see her today, tuning down an offer to go out with Harry Potter. She had decided a long time ago that now wouldn't be too smart time to start a relationship, not that she had heaps of men pursuing her regardless.
"No- I- I didn't," his statement was cut off by the sound someone from the other room calling Ginny's name.
Ginny was very grateful for the excuse to leave what had quickly become an awkward situation "Coming, Goodnight Harry." She brushed past him, and he saw himself out.
She entered the sitting room and noticed there was no more room to sit, so she leaned against the side of the couch only to have half the room offer her their seats a moment later.
"Who called me?" Ginny asked as she claimed the comfy seat that was previously Bill's.
"I did. Just wondering what was taking so long in the kitchen," said Charlie without taking his eyes off the game of chess he was playing with his father.
Ginny rolled her eyes, she didn't understand why Charlie still felt the need to check up on her every 5 minutes but was too tired to fight about it at the moment "I stopped to talk to Harry on his way out."
Charlie didn't reply until his dad had captured his knight, both rooks and was one move away from capturing his queen. When the game was basically over he turned in his chair to Bill "What was up with that guy? He seemed really intense."
"And pale." Added Ron as he tickled his youngest niece.
Bill ran a hand through his hair, "I honestly have no idea, he's normally a lot more laid back."
"He was probably just overwhelmed by meeting everyone at once," voiced Hermione.
"You lot are a lot to deal with all at once," agreed Angelina.
George turned to his fiancé looking aghast "What are you trying to say? Why we're just your average nine-person, red-headed, spell casting family."
"He kept staring at mom then Ginny," said Fred. Ginny looked up apart from the first glance when he first came in she hadn't noticed him look at her more than anyone but she had been very interested in her slice of pie.
"Maybe he has a thing for redheads," joked Ron.
Charlie laughed as he reset the chess board "Including those in their mid-fifties?" he found it very unlikely that the savior of the wizarding world would be interested in his 53-year-old mother or pregnant sister.
Arthur looked up sharply "Your mother doesn't look a day over 22," he said earning him a kiss from Molly. Half the room swooned and the other half grimaced.
The conversation continued to flow around the room but it wasn't long before the entire family returned to their own homes.
The next day Ginny was sitting at her cramped desk trying her hardest to make the fourth annual senior citizens’ quidditch match seem interesting, and considering their brooms didn't fly faster than 4 miles an hour and the youngest player was eighty-eight, it was proving quite the challenge.
She worked until lunch, focusing not on the actual plays of the game but instead on the remarkable spirit of the players who refused to give up their favorite sport, despite their age. Once she was done she grabbed her things and dropped her article in the editor's office, and made her way to the Ministry of Magic where he was supposed to be meeting Hermione for lunch. When she reached the department of magical regulations office labeled Weasley, she knocked and heard a loud thump followed by furious whispering.
"Where are my pants, Ron?"
"How am I s'posed to know?"
"You took them off!"
"I didn't fold them and set them to the side!"
Ginny could barely hold back her laughter. Oh if she had a sickle for every time she had walked in on her brother and his wife in a 'private moment' somewhere they shouldn't be having a private moment. It used to be broom closets and her father’s shed but now that they were adults it was office desks and her fathers shed. After three more minutes of arguing Hermione opened the door just a bit likely to make sure Ron couldn't be seen. Her hair somehow more frizzy than it normal. "Ginny!" She said far too cheerfully, "Is it lunch time already?"
Ginny ran out of self-restraint. "It is actually, did you forget, I'd imagine whatever you and Ron were getting up to in there would build up an appetite." Hermione didn't blush, it had been a long time since she had let Ginny embarrass her about such things, instead she rolled her eyes.
Ron suddenly pulled the door open wider. "You know... I'm starting to think you do this on purpose," said Ron as he roughly tucked in his shirt.
"HA, I assure you I have no desire to see your freckled naked arse, are you ready Hermione?"
Hermione nodded and turned to Ron. "Do you want to join us?" she asked. Ron shook his head.
"I've got to get back," he kissed Hermione goodbye, and made his way to the door stopping in front of Ginny, he bent down on one knee, and placed a hand on her abdomen, "Don't let the big meanie get you down, Ronald Jr."
Ginny crossed her arms "I'm not naming her that."
"Well of course not, if it's her we'll name it Ronalda." He dropped a quick kiss on top of Ginny's head and left.
Ginny frowned Then she and Hermione went down to the cafeteria. Hermione wanted to go to a café but Ginny overruled, arguing that the waitresses at the ministry always gave her extra. In the middle of lunch Hermione suddenly paused in the middle of her sentence and pointed to someone behind her. "Oh look there's Harry we should invite him to eat with us." Ginny turned around to see Harry talking to one of the servers. Hermione stood to up to call him over and Ginny quickly pulled her back down. Hermione furrowed her brow at her in question.
"Yesterday, when we were in the kitchen, he asked me on a date."
Hermione' eyes widened. "What did you say?"
"I'm five months pregnant Hermione, what do you think I said?"
"Then what happened, was he upset?"
"He might have been but Charlie called me and I kind of ran out of the kitchen" Ginny whispered that last part.
"Well, why did you say no?"
Ginny sighed. "Hermione the last thing I need is the drama of a new relationship right now, maybe in a year from now when I'm no longer growing a person."
Hermione gave her a sheepish look and looked past Ginny’s shoulder. "So if he were to walk over right now, that would definitely be a bad thing?"
Ginny twisted in her chair and sure enough, Harry Potter was walking towards them. "Shite, I have to hide." Ginny looked all around in an attempt to find a route of escape.
"Hide where? He can obviously see you," whispered Hermione. She pulled on Ginny’s arms so she wouldn't be able to crawl under the table, "Ginny stop it, you're being- Hello Harry."
He looked tired, with bags under his eyes. "Hello," that was all he said to Hermione before turning and pointedly staring at Ginny. Hermione glanced between the two of them and began collecting her lunch "Well this was a lovely lunch Ginny but I really should get back to work," she spoke quickly wanting to get away as fast as possible, she gave Ginny an apologetic look and got only an angry glare in return.
Only seconds after Hermione left Harry took her seat across from Ginny. "How are you?" He asked
"Fine," she said shortly, she didn't want to be too mean but she had been clear yesterday.
"Good, I hope the morning sickness had passed by now. I did some research and most experts say it should slow down if not stop altogether by your second trimester, but of course, every pregnancy is different so you shouldn't be too worried if it hasn't. Also, I was looking at some texts last night and it those small flutters you said you usually feel are exactly what's to be expected at this time, as you get closer to your due date they should get stronger and happen more often. Now at this point the little guy is about the size of a honey melon the developing bones and blood vessels and he's about to go through his largest growth spurt which takes a lot out of him or her but it also takes a lot out of you so don't be afraid to eat extra if you feel you need to but there are definitely things you shouldn’t eat ever, Deli Meat, Fish with Mercury, raw Shellfish, Raw Eggs, Soft Cheeses, Pate, Caffeine, Alcohol, LIVER, but I’m sure you already know all of this. " The more he rambled, the closer Ginny's eyebrows got.
She wondered why in the world Harry was such an expert in all things babies. If he did it in the hopes that she would be impressed and give him a different answer in regards to going on a date with him then he was sorely mistaken because Ginny’s only thought of his long-winded rambles was that they were very disturbing. “The reason I came over here actually is that I was hoping you might reconsider getting that coffee. I don’t mean like a -” Harry forced to stop when a girl walks up to him. He grimaced “Stephannie, hi,” he didn't look at the girl as he spoke, and Ginny could easily tell he doesn’t want he’s not happy to see her.
“Hi Harry, how are you, I’ve been thinking about you,” she put her hand on his shoulder. Harry groaned and Ginny suddenly didn’t feel as bad for turning him down, she assumed that Stephannie was someone Harry used to date, and broke up with when she got too attached. “Can we talk?” Stephannie asked Harry.
Harry was going to say no but Ginny cut in, “Of course, I was actually just leaving.” She collected the trash from her lunch, Harry grabbed her wrist and looked at her pleadingly.
“Please don’t go”
“I told you yesterday, I'm not interested, I meant it then and I mean It now," Harry opened his mouth to interrupt her, "I’m sure there are lots of girls out there who would be more than willing to go out with Harry Potter, I'm not one of them." She got up and left the table and took the closest floo home where she sent a letter and howler to her oldest brother and ex-favorite sister in law, trying not to think about the fact that she had just very rudely told the savior of the wizarding world to bugger off.
But apparently not rudely enough.
She spent the first half of the next day at the Wimborne Wasps training facility. She'd heard some pretty suspicious things about there training regimen, that they might be using a prohibited potion to increase agility if it was true and then it would be the story of the year and cement Ginny’s career as a writer. Unfortunately the story was a bust, what was rumored as an illegal portion was no more than some muggle nutrient drink that the team seemed to be obsessed with. So as the sun set that evening Ginny went back to her office disappointed with the turn of events. When she arrived she immediately noticed Bonnie, the receptionist, waiting for her at her corner.
"Why didn't tell me you knew Harry Potter?" She spoke in one big burst.
"What are you talking about?" Ginny asked she wondered how Bonnie could have possibly known about her past interactions with the weird boy wonder.
"In talking about the dark-haired dreamboat who spent half the day waiting here for you. He actually only left less an hour ago. So what’s it about, are the two of you together?" Ginny groaned why the hell was Harry still pursuing her, did he not have other things to do, she thought about the years she had been obsessed with him. Who knew that one day he would be obsessed with her too and now she had the office gossip asking questions about a nonexistent relationship between the two of them.
Gods, she wished for the days when her life was boring.
Ginny put one hand on her lower side and the other in her temple. It was time to do some light damage control "Harry is one of my brother's friends he, we're working together to throw him a surprise party" Ginny said she put a hand on either of the girl's shoulders and pushed her away from her work area.
Bonnie seemed to believe her. Once Ginny had driven her back to the reception desk, Bonnie reached under it to pull out a slip of parchment "Oh, well he left you this."
Ginny took the parchment "It’s probably just a guest list". She considered throwing it away but curiosity got the better of her and read it once back at her desk.
I realized that I've probably given you the wrong impressions at this point. It’s really important I talk to you.
We need to talk about France.
Ginny set the slip down slowly. What did that mean? How could Harry Potter possibly know about France? The only people who knew about her mini world tour was her, Ron, and possibly Hermione. So how could Harry have found out? These questions continued to bombard her mind, making her think of outlandish possibilities. Maybe he knew John. Maybe she broke had accidentally broken some obscure french law. Maybe John had been a criminal who the aurors were investigating, and now she was being tracked as one of his associates. After an hour of brewing in her thoughts, she decided to just go home.
She wouldn't be brewing for much longer because from the end of the hall she could see Harry Potter sitting outside her door. Ginny pulled out her wand regardless of what he did or didn't know he had no right to stalk her like he was. She stormed down the hall ready to tear into him. Harry saw her coming and jumped to his feet.
She spoke in a strong voice "Where the hell do you get off thinking you can-" Harry waved his wand in rapid motion over his face and and all air was sucked from Ginny’s. Their hair was different not just in color but in length, but they had the exact same physique, Harry eyes though different colors were the same shape, and Harry's were maybe closer together. They stared silently each other for a while before Harry waved his wand and looked as himself again.
"When I'm in the field I'm too easily recognizable, so I use that disguise." He explained and Ginny could only barely hear him over the deafening sound of her own heart beating. That John didn't look how she had shown himself was not new information for Ginny. She had found out during their travels, in the middle of the night she had needed a glass of water, when she returned to bed she noticed that John”s face was almost blurry like she was viewing it through a translucent glass. She saw the effect before, the effect of a glamor charm, used back then to hide acne and love bites that had begun to fade. She wasn't upset about 'john' disguising his appearance, maybe she would have been in different circumstances but since they were already pretending to be somebody else she didn't let it bother her.
Harry took a step towards her and Ginny took a step back. They stood there, 5 feet between them, staring. Ginny broke the silence. "What do you want?" she said, her voice was no longer strong.
"You’re five months pregnant Ginny," he used those words but Ginny knew it meant 'you're having a baby and I think it's mine'.
Again there was silence and again Ginny broke it. "So what do you want?" she needed to know why he was here. What any of this meant to him. But he was pausing which meant he was uncertain which to Ginny that was unacceptable. "Don't you know what you want, why you're here, because you shouldn't have come if you don't, if you're not certain. You can't disappear on your children, it's better you were never there at all." Harry hadn't said a word or even tried to and Ginny took that as an answer. She shoved him out of the way and went inside her apartment. She slammed the door behind her. She felt like her heart was trying to batter its way out of her chest. It was only once she was able to sit down and take a breath did she realize the thumping was coming from a point slightly lower than her chest.
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Chapter 5: Chapter 5
Author's Notes: Hello we're back with another chapter. sorry for the long wait and the short chapter I wanted it to be longer but time got away from me I'll try and make the next one extra-long tell me what you think about the chapter I really love reading reviews on with the story
It was the middle of the night, Remus Lupin was sleeping in his bed, alongside his wife, when he heard a pounding at the door. Having never been a deep sleeper he jarred awake, the pounding continued. He turned to his wife unsurprised to see she had yet to even stir.
"Dora there's someone at the door," he said as he shook her shoulder.
Tonks groaned slightly, cracking only one eye open, "At this time of night?" She turned over, "You get it, it’s probably one of your friends."
Remus squinted at her, "I thought they were your friends too?"
The pounding got louder, "Not this late at night".
Remus rose from his bed grabbing his housecoat and wand, if this was Sirius again, waking him up to tell him something that he didn’t need to know, he was getting hexed, although he supposed he should just grateful that he knocked instead of simply bursting into his bedroom, again.
He'd prepared himself to be greeted by a loud, possibly drunk, Sirius Black, so it was so much more disconcerting when instead he saw Harry, hair limp, eyes void, standing in his doorway. "Can I come in?"
Remus stepped to the side and Harry slid past him to the kitchen. It took Remus a minute to process his nephew's behavior before he was able to move his feet and follow him in there, he was concerned, Harry was not the late night intervention type, he was organized and focused and driven. So seeing this strange, limp version of him made Remus shudder at what could have brought it on. When he did get to the kitchen he saw Harry toss back a glass then refill it and toss it back again. When he tried to refill it a fourth-time Remus snatched the bottle from him.
"Can I have that back, please?" Harry asked his voice was light and calm, its contrast from his body language made Remus uncomfortable.
"Maybe, once you've told me what’s wrong." He took the seat next to him. Harry's eyes sparkled.
"I got Ginny Weasley pregnant and she wants me nowhere near her or our child."
Remus nodded slowly and returned the bottle of mead, but not before taking a large gulp himself, he slid down in his seat. "I don’t suppose you could elaborate a bit."
Hary set down his drink. It wasn’t helping anyway, he could still hear her voice, could still see her face as stepped back from him. Red hair really did suit her better than black had, it contrasted more with her brown eyes, made them look brighter.
"Honestly Potter, I didn’t think you could be that stupid, we’ll be lucky if Yaxley hasn't moved completely underground now." Robards was red in the face, he was so angry, they had actually caught up to Yaxley this time, had been this close to shutting down his entire operation, he and his crew had been outnumbered and surrounded, yet once again they had gotten away because no one thought to lay down anti-portkey wards. "Take the week off Potter, don’t come back until your ready to use some damn common sense."
Harry sat and accepted his verbal beating from his superior, it was deserved, it was his job to make sure dangerous people were brought to justice, but because he had failed who knew how many more innocent people would be in danger. Things weren't supposed to be like this, this was all supposed to end with Voldemort half a decade ago, instead, here he was still chasing death eaters. It's not like it was anyone's choice but his own either way. He chose to be an Auror, sometimes that felt like a mistake but realistically he didn’t think it would have been possible for him to do anything else.
One quick shower and a change of clothes later harry left the magical Republique of France's headquarters, he wanted a quiet night so he kept his glamors on. The cobblestone streets were cold and empty ahead of him. There were lights and music coming from a pub ahead of him, he could use a drink right about now, and Sirius always said 'if you need advice, find a bartender'.
“That's where I met Ginny. We talked all night,” Harry threw his head back, stared up at the ceiling, “We started playing this game, where we pretended to be these imaginary people, eventually when the bar closed she came back to my hotel room with me, so we could talk more.”
"I'm sure that's why," said Remus.
"How can you say that the Wasps are better than the Harpies?" Madeline screeched. At this point, they were both sitting his bed, legs crossed beneath them, piles of junk food wrappers from room service around them.
"Because they’ve been in League cup more times, in the last ten years," harry said matter-of-factly. Madeline rolled her eyes, "and they've got the best seeker in the league, and everyone knows that the seeker is the most important player." Harry barely had time to register the pillow in her hand, before it smacked into his head. And like that it was an all-out war, neither side showed mercy. White feathers were thrown high into the air, and fell slowly around them, as Harry was able to pin Madeline down to the bed. "Admit the wasps are better."
"Never, you can't make me," she said defiantly.
"Wanna bet?" There might have been more conversation after that but his memories of it are drowned out by the sound of her moans.
"And that night was the last time you saw her until recently?" Remus said.
Harry squeezed his eyes shut.
He woke up at early the next morning, the sun had not fully risen yet. His reflex was to stretch, and he was startled by his inability to do so for a moment before he remembered the woman tucked into his side. He slid his arm out from beneath her extra slowly to avoid waking her. As he stared down at her, a wild idea started to form in his head. Could he actually suggest what he was thinking? There was a big difference between think pretending to be someone who travels and actually traveling. However, the more he tried to talk himself out of it the more emboldened he was to actually do it.
He got up and got dressed before he could lose the nerve, zipping his jacket all the way up over his whitre beater since Madeline still had on his dress shirt, if he really was going to do this he needed to get a few things first, hopefully, he'd get back before she woke, but in case he didn't he wrote a small note and set it on the comforter. He almost forgot to renew his glamors before he left, and realized how lucky he was to have woken before his new friend it wouldn’t have been good if she had fallen asleep in bed with 'John' and woken with Harry Potter.
Looking back, he felt guilty, she had no idea who he was, he knew that their game of pretend was part of the reason that was, but that didn’t change the fact that he was wearing a disguise and, she'd had no idea who he was.
"So what was this crazy idea of yours?" Remus asked. Harry's story was already surprised him.
"Remember how Sirius would say life after the war would be like?" Remus furrowed his brow, "I would be feeling down thinking that the war would never end, and he would come up to me that it would, that someday not too far off, I would wake up in bed someplace beautiful, in bed with a someone even more so, and my first thought would be what wonderful place should we go see next. So that morning it just seemed like, I don’t know, some sort of sign, so I went to the French Republique and got a portkey.
"Where did you go?"
"Well first we went to Greece"
"Yeah first then we went to Australia, after that it was Switzerland, Hawaii, and lastly Italy," Harry said with a shrug.
"You actually did all that traveling with a complete stranger?”
"I... at the time, she didn’t feel like a stranger."
Remus shook his head, he had never known harry to be the kind be so spontaneous, well, non tin this sense, "So how did this all end?"
"In France, the first Saturday of July."
A grave look came over Remus's face, "That’s when-"
"Yeah, I left to get us breakfast that morning and wasn’t able to go back until three days later. I looked for her after, but I didn’t even know her name so it a lot of it was guessing," For weeks he tried to tracking her down thinking every conversation they had, trying to guess what was real and what was a part of the game. He tried to remember if the name Ginny Weasley had ever come up in all his research, it wasn’t likely though, he had only been looking for women with black hair.
Remus ran a hand through his hair. "If you didn’t find her, how did you find out she was expecting?"
"I ran into her brother Bill, I've known him for a while, it'd been a long time since we talked, anyway, he invited me to dinner at his parents' house."
Harry knocked on the wooden door of the Weasley's lopsided home. The entire structure seemed liable to tip over at any minute. He knocked again, "Coming Gin!" came a shout from the other side. The door swung open to show a tall red-haired man, "You aren't Gin", he spoke with his mouth full, a buttered roll in his hands, he swallowed hard.
Harry offered his hand to the man," Uh, I'm Harry."
"I noticed that," he wiped his hands on his pants and shook harry. "Ron Weasley."
"Bill invited me over for dinner."
"Ah, well come in then," he stepped aside for Harry to come in. The home was very inviting with high warm lighting and cozy furniture. "BILL! HARRY POTTER IS HERE FOR DINNER!" As Ron walked to another room Bill came down the stairs" A small blonde girl was squirming in his arms.
"Harry," he said with a tone of surprise "I didn’t actually think you would come", he set down the small girl who immediately toddled off. "That was my daughter Dominique, come on I'll introduce you to everyone else"
The Weasleys were a very interesting, and diverse group, and thankfully, they didn't stare too much, but without a doubt, the one that caught his attention was Bill's mother, Molly Weasley. She looked so much like her, like Madeline, the hair was a different color, sure, but her nose, her height, her mannerisms, her eyes -especially her eyes- looked exactly like those of his mysterious friend from France. The two had to be related some how. And it hit him, Bill had a sister didn’t he, it could be her, he looked around the room, taking extra note of the family members smiling in pictures on the wall. His heart beating the slightest bit faster. There was a picture hanging on the wall near the stairs. In it, Bill and all of his brothers were standing around a teenage looking girl in a wheelchair. It was definitely her. Harry tried not to smile too big.
"Is Ginny still not here?" somebody asked. Ginny, her name was Ginny.
"No, but mom said that if she's not here in twenty minutes we can eat without her." One of the twins said, Harry wasn’t sure which. Is was then Harry realized that he might finally see her again today, she would be here and even if she wasn’t he had her name, and all the resources of the ministry, it wouldn’t be hard find her.
"I'm surprised she's so late I thought pregnant women were supposed to love food," said Charlie. Harry froze. Pregnant? Was their sister pregnant? Ginny/ Madeline was pregnant with some guy’s kid?
Bill snapped his fingers in Harry's face, "You alright mate?" Harry turned to face Bill who was concerned by how intently his house guest was staring off into space. Bill poured him and Harry a glass of something that was brown and alcoholic. "I'm really glad you came tonight, I was hoping you might help me with something," Harry set down the drink he had yet to take a sip of. "My sister, her name is Ginny, she's pregnant, about five months, anyway, she, uh, doesn't know who the kids dad is, said she met him at a bar in France, never asked for each other's name. The guy was gone in the morning before she even woke up, honestly, I don’t think that’s the whole truth but it’s the story she's sticking to. I was hoping you could help me track the guy down, Ginny says she doesn't want to find the guy, which makes me sure, there's some part of the story she’s leaving out. Either way, I think the guy should at least know that he has a kid out in the world, do you think you can help me?"
Remus set his glass down hard, "God damn Harry, what did you say?"
Harry snorted, "I didn’t say anything, I excused myself to the restroom and promptly had a heart attack, in less than an hour I learned that I found out I had most likely got a girl, I hadn't seen in 5 months, up the duff. I was pretty much catatonic throughout the entire dinner. And when she actually came in... my brain just shut off."
"Ok. But you talked to her right?"
"Ginny?" Ginny jumped, she hadn't heard him coming.
"Bloody hell Harry, you shouldn't sneak up on people you know." Harry thought for a minute of all the time he had snuck up behind her on purpose.
She didn’t recognize him, unfortunately, so he couldn’t make a joke about that, "Sorry, I didn't mean to I was just on my way out," he clutched the takeaway bag Mrs. Weasley had forced on him.
Ginny tilted her head slightly so, “Are you ok? You look very- Ah"
Harry stuck out his hands to steady her "What is it? Are you ok?"
"Yeah, I'm fine it's just the little guy, he's actually never kicked this hard." She put her hand on her stomach, and Harry had to consciously tell restrain himself from doing the same
"That must be strange, I remember when my aunt was pregnant she said it could feel as light as a butterfly or as hard a punch to the gut. But she was pretty late in the game then, how far are you, if you don't mind me asking." Bill had said five months but he wanted to be sure, he wanted to hear her say it.
"It’s fine, um, well it's November, this all started back in July so... five months." Exactly when he met her, his head was getting too jumbled, he needed to tell her the truth, he needed her to tell him if he was going to be a father. But not at this moment.
"Do you want to get a coffee tomorrow?"
Her eyes widened "Oh! Um-no... I'm sorry, I'm flattered, truly, but um... I not looking for a relationship right now for obvious reasons." Clearly, she had mistaken his intentions but before he could even really explain someone called her name and fled straight from the kitchen.
"So, You didn’t tell her."
"She didn’t give me a chance, she didn’t recognize me and I didn’t think she would react well to me blurting out 'I'm probably your child's father!" Harry rubbed his face despondently. " I went home tried to calm down so I could think clearly, I realized I knew pretty much nothing about babies and pregnancies and spent the rest of the night trying to change that.
The next day, I went into the ministry tried to find out everything I could about her, where she worked, where she lived, I was going to contact her, but then lo and behold she was having lunch at the ministry that day with one of her sisters-in-law. I tried to talk to her again but all I really did was ramble a bunch and make her think I was disturbed. Then as if the situation wasn't going badly enough Stephanie, yes the same one from dinner some weeks ago walks up to me, looking as crazy as ever."
"Take a breath Harry, your beginning to ramble," Harry took a sip instead.
"This morning, I decided that enough is enough. I knew where she worked so I was going to go there, force her to talk to me and tell her the truth."
"How did that go?"
"It didn’t, she wasn’t there but her receptionist said she might be back later, so I waited there until I got a Patronus from Auror Kight, telling me I was needed, I left a note with the receptionist and went to the ministry."
"Apparently, I'm not much help sleep deprived and unfocused so I was sent home. At this point, I was so beyond frustrated I needed to know what was going on and she need to know the truth. So I went to her apartment and sat outside the door until she came home."
"I don’t suppose you got a warm welcome."
"No, but I finally told her who I was, and she told me that it was better for our child if I wasn’t around." Silence reigned in the kitchen.
"Maybe this is for the best," Remus looked at Harry in alarm. "I mean ME, as somebody's dad? I barely take care of myself," Harry said with a laugh, he filled his glass before taking a large gulp. "He or She, really is better off without me, now that I think about it" When he reached for the bottle of mead again, Remus snatched it off the table and grabbed his chin.
"Do you remember the dozen awful things you called me when I said that?" his voice was forceful but restrained.
"A coward, a failure, a disgrace, I can go on," Harry hung his head, "Parents should never leave their children unless they have to those were your words, and not for a second do I believe that you, that the Harry Potter I know, would be comfortable knowing that he has a kid that he doesn’t take care of."
"So do what do I do," Harry asked in a voice much more feeble than you would expect from a man with his reputation.
"Go home, sober up, get some sleep, get your shit together, and talk to Ginny again, don’t stalk her at her home and work this time. Just owl her, ask her to sit down and talk with you, make it clear what you want, don't beat around the bush. I know Ginny, I have since she was 12, she's a kind person, she’s the same person you bounced over the globe with for a week, and right now you’re the guy who abandoned her in a foreign country,"
"I know that and you know that, but how is she supposed to?"
Harry Froze, "And if she still wants nothing to do with me?"
" Then you fight for your kid." Before Harry could respond loud clangs rang from the kitchen. When he went in he saw Tonks trying to shove all the pots back in to their cabinet.
"WHO DID YOU GET PREGNANT?"
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Chapter 6: Chapter 6
Author's Notes: Hi, it's me. I'm still writing this story, hopefully, at least a few of you out there still want to read it. If you are reading this, I hope you decide to review, I'm working on my ability to write and feedback really helps. Thank you to seeker's_destiny for his help,
Last thing I'm planning to go back and edit some chapters.
Dear Harry Potter,
I hope this letter finds you well, I'm writing to apologize for the way I reacted to seeing you. It was rude of me to not allow you to speak. I recognize how much effort you put into finding me. I would like to speak to you soon. I will be very happy once you tell me you're not interested in having a part in this child's life as I will be free from seeing your stupid sad face. Or more realistically you will pretend you want a role for a few days or weeks and then you will disappear. *poof* gone with no bloody explanation you bloody piece of —
"You can't put that the letter, Ginny," Hermione scolded Ginny as she looked over her shoulder at Ginny's 4th attempt to write to Harry.
Harry- the father of her child- was Harry Potter- moments like this made her miss scotch. Ginny took a long, slow, deep breath; this letter had very quickly strayed from the kind tone she was going for. She crumbled the parchment and tossed into the wastebasket with the others.
"Sorry, it slipped," Ginny mumbled.
"That excuse stopped working around the second time you used it. You have to take this more seriously."
"I know that, my mind is just still reeling from it all." She could remember all her emotions from the night before, the anger, and irritation at seeing Harry at her door, the heart-stopping shock when Harry became John, the resentment she felt with every word he said.
She wanted to feel bad about the way she had spoken to him, but every time she thought about last night, she felt angry. She tried to put herself in his shoes and commend him for continuing to seek her out after he found out she was expecting instead of keeping to himself, but then she considered that it was his fault that he found out the way he did. If... if hadn't left the way he had, if he had simply given her his name or just shown her his face, she would have found him and told him.
Her child did not need a father who wouldn't show up when he was expected to and liked to spend his time playing with women's feelings.
Yet while her brain continuously screamed that out at her, it and Hermione also kept whispering that he deserved a chance. So, she was going to write to him and very politely invite him to dinner where he would most likely tell her that he didn't really want a child in his life and she would his respect wishes.
"You agreed to reach out," Hermione reminded her.
Such a letter, however, was not coming together as simply as she would have liked. She set herself back to work.
I should start by apologizing for last night. I didn't expect to ever see you again, well, to see John, again. I was rude and I apologize. Like you pointed out last night, I'm pregnant, and you are the father of that child. We should talk about that, about what you want, what I want, and what best for
my our child. Please write back soon with a time and date you will be free.
"How's this?" Ginny asked Hermione who'd remained hovering over her shoulder.
"Good, a bit rigid but good." Hermione pursed her lips, "maybe you should wait few days before you send this, to give yourself some time to adjust."
"I don't need to adjust Hermione, I want him to say his piece so I can move on." She stood up and moved towards the floo. Hermione rushed ahead of her.
"You should stay for breakfast. I'm sure Ron will be home soon, we can all talk this through again."
"I'm tired, Hermione." She hadn't slept much before coming to her brother's home in the wee hours of the morning. The sun was only just rising, when she entered her flat and found a snowy owl grooming itself on her coffee table. Its back was turned to her, but with Ginny's startled gasp it turned its head two- hundred seventy degrees towards her. It stuck out its left foot, before giving a loud squawk to let Ginny know to hurry up and take the letter attached to it. Once she did it wasted no time in spreading its wings and flying out the window it had come in.
Dear Ginny Weasley,
I have no idea how I am supposed to start this letter, but now I suppose I already have. I should apologize for showing up at your home the way I did last night, in my sleep-deprived head it made sense but I understand how you might have interpreted it. When I asked you to dinner before It was so I could explain to you who I was, I tried to ask again when I saw you at the ministry, but we were unfortunately interrupted. I tried to find you at your place of work the next day, but you were out. I was getting desperate that's why I decided to camp outside your door. Again, I am very sorry, for the way I came across I hope my intentions can help you better understand my actions.
Last night, you asked me what I wanted and why I was there. Please give me a chance to answer, and to explain what happened in France, it's a long story that I would rather tell you in person. I'm hoping you can have dinner with me tomorrow at my flat. I realize its short notice, but I'm already 5 months late and I don't want to lose more time.
Please write back as soon as you can,
Ginny rubbed her temples and longed for the days when her biggest stress was work.
Harry looked around his flat triple checking for anything out of place. Everything was ready, the table was set, the chicken was out of the oven, and the rooms were all clean. Everything was ready, the only thing missing was Ginny but she wasn't due to arrive for another 15 minutes.
In his head, Harry went over the plan for tonight. Step one: greet Ginny warmly and make her comfortable, step two: engage in a light conversation over dinner and showcase his ability to be a fully functioning, articulate adult and not the mumbling, ranting mess she'd seen. Step three: move to the very clean living room and transition to the main topic of the night. Step four: explain the role he wants in his child's life and make it clear he isn't going anywhere. Step five: devise a plan for moving forward.
Harry nodded to himself he felt so determined. Come hell or high water this evening was going to go off without a hitch. He looked over the room again, flat swept: check, table set: check, chicken ready: check, wine chilled: check, wait, no, why would he put out wine, she can't drink that, she might find it inconsiderate if he drank it in front of her. He moved to replace the wine with some pumpkin juice in the pantry when a loud wolf whistle made him pause.
"My, my, my, is that my godson," said the fiery face of Sirius black from the fireplace. Harry mentally cursed himself for not blocking the floo, "I was going to invite you to dinner but it's clear you have better plans."
Harry rubbed his neck, he had yet to explain his situation to Sirius and right now was surely not the right time. "It's not what you think Sirius."
He rolled his eyes, "I don't understand why you feel the need to lie, I mean you cleaned the flat, brought out the good wine, you combed your hair into something bordering on neat, and Merlin... are you wearing pleated Dockers? No, a man doesn't bring those out unless he's trying to make a good impression on a special lady." He said with a waggle of the brow. There was a knock at the door. Sirius's eyes widened with glee, "Is that her? Let me say hello."
"No, I have to go," Harry closed the floo on Sirius's protest, before rushing to the door. Deep breath, time to make the most important second impression of his life.
Ginny knocked one more time, perhaps she had the wrong flat. She heard footsteps coming toward the door, and as they grew louder, she grew more anxious. Deep breaths, she was ready for this, she was sure. The door swung open.
Harry looked a lot better than he had the last time she saw him. He was clean shaven, and no longer had dark circles around his eyes, altogether he looked very normal, though, his clothes, Ginny thought made him look like he was going to interview for a job at the ministry.
She was staring at him and he was staring at her not unlike they had two days ago. What was the proper way to greet the person you had traveled with for a week before they left you pregnant in a hotel in Paris?
Hello, would have to do, he stepped aside and let her let her in. As he took her coat she glanced around his flat. It wasn't the bachelor pad she had expected in her head. It was a beautiful flat black and white walls and dark wooden floors, it was a very plain home, not much decoration.
"Thank you, for coming I realize it was short notice," Harry's voice drew her mind from its wanderings.
She gave him a restricted smile and shook her head, "It wasn't a problem I was actually going to invite you to lunch."
Harry smiled at that, she wanted to talk to him. There was that awkward silence again, neither of them really knowing how to engage with the other. She was glancing over the room again, scanning it like it would provide her with vital information. Trying to break the bubble of unease, Harry decided it was time for step two. "I, er, thought we would eat dinner first and talk after."
Ginny nodded and followed him to the table. "I thought you couldn't cook."
"In Greece, you said you couldn't cook."
"Oh," Harry thought back to that particular day. They'd been in a restaurant in Athens where Madeline, or Ginny, he should say, was telling him about the fantastic creatures that infested in the ancient ruins. When their food arrived, Ginny found it salty and when Harry had asked if she thought she could do any better she immediately said yes and challenged him to a cooking competition which he turned down citing his inability to cook. The call back to that day had made him remember that Ginny wasn't a stranger. "John couldn't cook, Harry, on the other hand, can follow the carefully written instructions of a house-elf who can."
"Well, the food is delicious," Ginny said after her first bite. Harry smiled, so far step two wasn't going too bad.
In truth, however, Ginny found the food bland, and dry, however, the tension was finally starting to lessen, and Ginny hadn't eaten before coming here, so she did her best to make it seem like she was enjoying it.
"So, how have you been?" Harry asked.
Ginny had to stop herself from simply saying 'pregnant', "I've been well, mostly." Harry nodded, "How have you been?"
"Good, been keeping busy with work mostly."
"Mhmm, how is the auror department?"
"Um... frustrating I suppose is the best word for it, nowhere near as glamorous as I imagine quidditch reporting would be," Harry responded.
Ginny snorted "Glamorous for some maybe but I only get tasked with the assignments the better-known writers don't want, and really their only job is to remember which teams are paying them to be nice."
Dinner passed amiably and awkwardly, and the tension that had been passing returned with full force. "Can I use your restroom? She's pushing on my bladder."
Harry looked up sharply from clearing the table, "She?"
"Oh, no, I just use whatever pronoun comes to my head. I don't know yet, he won't let the doctor see his bits or lack thereof and I don't like calling her or him it."
Harry seemed to understand, "The restroom is the first door down the hall to the left".
As she walked away Harry wiped his sweaty palms on his pants and tried to calm his nerves. When she returned he gestured for her to move to the couch, "Would you like something to drink?"
"I'd take some water." Harry brought her a glass and sat at the opposite end of the couch.
"Before I say anything else, I just want to apologize again, for showing up at your home the way I did before."
Ginny shook her head, "I understand why you did what you did, if I hadn't kept walking away from you we could have figured the whole thing out a lot faster."
"I think before we talk about anything else, I have to explain what happened in France."
Ginny looked away and her jaw flexed. "For the sake of things, I'd rather we just try to forget it." Her voice was tighter than it had been all evening, and Harry realized that what Remus had said was right - to her, he was the jerk who had abandoned her in a foreign country.
"I don't think you understand."
"It's fine Harry, let's just put it behind us," while she might be slightly curious as to what made him decide to leave the way he did, she'd rather not rehash her embarrassment.
"What exactly do you think happened?"
Ginny looked off and huffed, clearly annoyed that Harry wasn't letting the subject go,
"You thought the game was getting too personal so you left before you had to deal with any emotions. And while I was hurt, and embarrassed when it happened I've moved past it."
Harry shook his head and grabbed Ginny's hand, and pulled it to the back of his head, "You're wrong".
Harry woke to Madeline snoring softly in his ear. He took a moment to smile down at the way she was tucked into his side.
Today was supposed to be his last day with her and that thought made his heart hurt. The past week he had lived someone else's life, quite literally. 'John' was someone he would never have the liberty of being, he wasn't weighed down by his past as Harry felt he was at times. Harry cast that train of thought away before it could run over his good mood. It was time for him to get breakfast.
He gave Maddy (he had never called her that to her face only in his head, he didn't think she would like a nickname) a quick kiss before he got out of the bed, he shuffled through his bag for something clean to wear. None of his things seemed to fit which made sense considering wearing a week's worth of clothing for two. He carried his bag to the hotel laundry mat where a small wrinkled woman maid stood. "Excuse me," he said to her.
"Oui," the woman responded
Bringing forward his bag of clothes he asked "could you have these washed and brought to room E-
fourteen?", the woman looked at him in confusion.
"Je ne Parle pas l'anglais." Taking this to mean she didn't speak English, Harry tried to scrape together enough French to tell her what he wanted.
"portrait to er... lavage et bring a la chamber ee- cathorize," Harry was sure he said that wrong but the woman to understand and took his clothes from him. On his way out of the hotel took a brochure for a nice a nice café, since it was there last day he wanted to do something extra special for breakfast today. Also, he had to make sure that the food had put her in a good enough mood to stop her from hurting him when he told her he had been lying about his appearance this entire time. Hopefully, she would understand why, and that he hadn't done it to trick her.
As Harry walked down the road to the café he felt a telltale warmth coming from his watch, he glanced around in the search for somewhere secluded, before running to an alleyway. The watch had been issued to him by the DMLE and was worn by all Aurors as a means of urgent communication. They weren't required to wear them when on vacation but it was a well-known fact that Harry never took his off.
Harry considered the face of his watch, as the translucent face of his boss came in to view. "Potter, I hope you enjoyed your break because it's over. How soon can you get back to France?"
"I… I never left I stayed for my break."
"Really?" Robards said in a tone that made it clear he didn't believe him. "When I said take a break Potter I meant it."
Going along with the reprimand Harry nodded regretfully, "Get to the ministry, there's new information on Yaxley."
Harry paused for a moment thinking of Madeline in the hotel waiting for him to get back with breakfast he didn't want to keep her waiting but this could be really important, hopefully, it wouldn't take long and he would get a chance to explain things to her.
Ginny ran her finger across a jagged scar on Harry's scalp where no hair grew," I don't understand."
" I know I'm not explaining it well, there's a lot I just can't tell you," he rubbed his hand along his jaw, "The reason I was in France was that I was on a mission, we were tracking someone and they got away. That morning when I was getting breakfast my boss contacted me to tell me there was some new information and he wanted to see me at the French ministry, I thought it wouldn't take long and I was already planning to go there to get us a portkey anyway." Harry's eyes strayed to his lap, "The information we learned was time sensitive so I and 5 others were sent to a warehouse. It was a trap and we were soon surrounded, and falling fast. Fortunately, reinforcements from my own team arrived, unfortunately, not before a reductio sent a chunk of concrete hurling towards my head. I don't remember anything after that before I woke up the next day in a hospital bed."
Harry's words had slowed the pace of her heart and rearranged the gears in her head, this new information wanted to reorganize her brain, but her past presumptions wanted to keep things the way they were.
"When I was released I went back to the hotel, but you were long gone. I tried to track you down but I didn't know what parts of what I knew about you were real and it didn't help that I was looking for a woman with black hair," Harry squeezed her hand and looked beseechingly in her eyes. " I was going to come back, I was going to tell you who I was, and I'm sorry for lying about my appearance, to start with, I should've told you the truth from the start, and especially before we became… intimate."
Ginny interrupted, "I knew you were lying, I saw your glamours start to fizzle out when you were sleeping, figured that it didn't matter considering we were already pretending to be different people."
Harry gave her a small 'oh' in response, "Well I still should've told you."
Ginny nodded blankly, "It's fine…. "
Silence reigned as they both struggled to find a smooth transition to what really needed to be discussed, what Harry wanted his role to be in raising his child, before when Ginny thought Harry had left on his own volition, she assumed he wouldn't want a big role if any at all, but now that she knew that hadn't been the case, that he might not be the man she assumed him to be, she could only guess what he wanted.
Steps one — three were complete, next step four, explain the role he wants in his child's life. "I hope you can understand I didn't want to leave,"
"And now?", Ginny unconsciously moved her hands to her protruding stomach, "What do you want now?"
Harry wanted to put his hands over hers but decided against it. "I want to be my son's or daughter's dad."
"Meaning, I want to raise them and know them and care for them at every step. I want to be their dad, not their father, not the guy who took them to a Quidditch match two birthdays ago or who they see every other weekend of every other month, I want an active, present role in their life, and for them to know they're wanted by me. I know what it feels like to think your own family doesn't want you or care about you, I won't let my kid ever feel like that." Harry spoke all at once, spilling the thoughts that had been swirling in his mind for the past two days. He saw a tear fall down Ginny's cheek.
Ginny cursed inwardly at herself for crying, she wiped her eyes and smiled apologetically at Harry who was looking at her rather concerned. It seemed like every time he opens his mouth, she had to reconsider what she thought about him. "You're sure that's what you actually want, not what you think you should want?"
Ginny sighed and slumped against his couch, "I need time to think," Ginny said as she stood.
"Ok, did I say something wrong, I'm sorry." Harry started.
"Stop apologizing," Ginny said irritably with gritted teeth, before sighing at the confused look on Harry's face, "Please, You haven't done anything wrong, I just need time to think." Harry followed as she walked to the door attempting fruitlessly to convince her to stay, he couldn't help but feel troubled by her sudden reaction.
Though it had been years since it had been necessary Molly Weasley still woke up at 7 am to make breakfast. It was only her and Arthur now, there was no yelling, or rushing, or fighting, or stomping, even the ghoul in the attic seemed to have gone quiet at this point. And as lovely as it could be at times, Molly would be lying if she said she didn't miss it.
She had her grandchildren though, and they kept her plenty busy when she watched them. Still, perhaps she ought to get a crup puppy to keep her company. Or perhaps not, her children still visited plenty, like her daughter, who had just apparated into the yard.
Ginny greeted her mother, who was finishing preparing breakfast at the stove, with a kiss on the cheek, then sat at the table to pour herself some tea. "How 've you been dear, my granddaughter hasn't been bothering you, has she," Molly asked.
"I've been fine mum, and for all you know he could be a boy."
Molly shook her head, as she washed her hands and dried them on her apron, "Not with the way your carrying, not low enough to be a boy." She said as she started putting a plate together.
Ginny wasn't sure what her mother meant but didn't ask her to clarify, "Is that for dad? Is he in the shed? I can take it to him."
Molly questioned her eagerness for a moment but didn't object.
Ginny gave a soft knock on the door of the shed before she went in. Her father was tinkering away at what seemed to be an alarm clock but paused when he saw her to greet her with a smile.
"Ginny dear," he said as he took his plate, "To what do I owe a visit from my favorite daughter?"
Ginny cleared a small bench near him to sit, "That's not much of an accomplishment considering I'm your only daughter. Now if you said I was your favorite child, then I would feel like I had accomplished something."
Arthur chuckled, "Well, I can't say that or I'd have six angry sons at my door, wouldn't I?"
"Oh, who's got time for them, I'm sure they already know anyway. Just say it I won't tell." She leaned close to him like she was ready getting to hear a secret.
"Ginny," her dad said in a whispered tone, as he too got closer. "You are my favorite… biological female relative above the age of 6."
Ginny leaned back, with a pout "Is that the best I'm going to get?," nodded, "I suppose I'll take it."
After that she there was a gentle silence broken only by the sound of her father chewing and swallowing. When he was done he wiped his mouth with a conjured napkin before simply staring at her, with questioning raised eyebrows. Ginny looked at him with her own wondering look, which her father responded to by tilting his head farther and raising his brows higher.
This exchange continued with more and more exaggerated looks until Ginny finally gave up with a sigh, "I need some advice."
"Reeealllly?" said dramatically, making Ginny wondered if she was old enough to smack her father with a newspaper. "Well, what's this about?"
An anxiety Ginny wasn't used to when talking to her father rose in her stomach. "I had dinner with the father last night". The smirk on her dad's face was replaced with his trademark unreadable expression. That blank face of his was part of the reason why Ginny had come to her father for advice rather than her mom or Ron and Hermione, he asked questions but kept his opinions to himself until he had the whole story.
"I thought you didn't know who he was?" her father replied in a tone as neutral as his face.
"I might have left a good portion of that story out," Ginny admitted.
"Hmm, well, how did it go?"
Ginny bit her thumb " He wasn't what I expected at all. He was kind and calm and mostly awkward," she expected her father to ask a question here but he didn't so she continued, "I was prepared, almost eager, to hate him but I couldn't, he hadn't done the things I thought he did. He was a sweet man and at the end of the night he said he wanted an active role in our child's life."
Giving his neutral nod her father asked, "And this is all a problem because?"
"Because I'm still mad at him even though I know I have no right to be, I am. I don't know if I trust him, and how can I raise a child with somebody I don't trust?"
Mr. Weasley cleared his throat, " Ginny you know I love you, don't you?"
She nodded, "I do."
"You know I'd push the earth closer to the sun to keep you warmer, don't you?
"And you know that your not being fair, don't you?'
Arthur stood to hug his daughter. " I know you want to protect your son or daughter, but it seems rather cruel to keep a father away from his child for no real reason." Ginny went limp with a huff. " I'm assuming you came to me for advice because you wanted someone who would tell you that straightforward."
"Ron is indecisive, mom tells long stories, and Hermione uses too many analogies," Ginny mumbled into her father's shoulder. "Thank you, I should go."
"I'll walk you out."
"You and mum are going to gossip about me once I leave, aren't you?" Ginny asked her father as they reached the apparation point.
Arthur dropped a final kiss on his daughters head, "Like schoolgirls dear."
Ginny laughed "Well I have a letter to write to Harry Potter."
"Did I not say? He's the father." Ginny said one second and disapparated the next.
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