|SIYE Time:5:43 on 22nd February 2018|
Characters:Harry/Ginny, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley
Genres: Drama, Romance
Warnings: Disturbing Imagery, Mild Language, Mild Sexual Situations
Summary: The year after the war was a confusing time for the teen warriors. They had fought against the greatest evil - what was next? Follow them as they try to find out. Canon pairings.
Hitcount: Story Total: 84123; Chapter Total: 3956
Awards: View Trophy Room
Sorry for the long delay. My health issues have not let me keep up with my writing. Hopefully I am on the home stretch. Thank you for sticking with the story! A special thanks to my wonderful betas StephanieO and seekers_destiny!
When Harry and the other Auror trainees arrived at Hogwarts for their weekly History of Magic lesson, they could feel the excitement for the upcoming Parents’ Weekend. The school was cleaner than Harry could remember seeing it in a long time. It rather reminded him of when the students from Beauxbatons and Durmstrang arrived for the Tri-Wizard Tournament.
In addition to the school being clean and the suits of armour gleaming in their alcoves, there were now signs labelling the corridors and arrows pointing towards common destinations. The Entrance Hall was being readied for the weekend. There was an itinerary of events and maps of the school for the parents.
“The parents can get a copy of their child’s schedule and meet the teachers,” Ginny explained as she showed Harry and Seamus the maps. “Professor Flitwick did some really complicated charms on the maps and every time a corridor or staircase changes in the castle in will change on the map as well.”
“This is amazing,” Seamus said as the three of them walked into the Great Hall. Each of the house tables were labelled and decorated in their house colours.
“Thanks,” Ginny said with a happy smile. “We’ve all worked really hard to make this a fun weekend. We’re having a Quidditch match on Sunday afternoon before the train leaves. It won’t count for Quidditch Cup standings, but it will show the parents what Quidditch is all about.”
“Is that new?” Harry asked. “I don’t remember you mentioning that before.”
Ginny nodded. “I can’t remember whose idea it was, but someone mentioned it. It will be Gryffindor and Hufflepuff. After the match, we will have broom races and Madam Hooch said she will help any parents fly who are interested. She and Professor Flitwick have been working on Charms that will allow even Muggles to fly briefly.”
“Professor Flitwick seems to be very involved in this weekend,” Harry commented.
“He’s been great,” Ginny said enthusiastically. She looked around to make sure she couldn’t be overheard. Lowering her voice she said, “Tomorrow night when we have the feast, we’ll be giving him and Professor McGonagall plaques from the students. It’s our way of thanking them for everything. We also have something for Madam Pomfrey and we are dedicating a garden to Professor Sprout. We want to thank them for everything they did last year and everything they’ve done this year.”
“That sounds great,” Harry said sincerely. He was so proud of Ginny. Not only for coming up with the Parents’ Weekend idea, but also for all of the hard work she’d put into it.
She blushed slightly. “Thank you. Would you two mind walking the corridors with me tonight? Bruce is taking the lower floors and dungeons and I have the top floors. We just want to make sure that everything is clean and labelled.”
“Of course,” both Harry and Seamus promised immediately.
Several hours later, Seamus headed back to Grimmauld Place leaving Harry alone with his fiancée. Harry looked at her admiringly. “I am so proud of you. You have put so much work into this.”
She blushed. “I didn’t do this by myself. A lot of people helped.”
Laughing, Harry wrapped his arms around her. “Someone, who if I recall correctly looks a lot like you, is always telling me to just accept the compliment, so I think you should take your own excellent advice.”
Leaning back into his arms, Ginny had to laugh. “You are right, love. Thank you. I’m just so nervous and want everything to go well. There are going to be so many Muggles here and I don’t want anything to happen.”
By this time the two of them had reached the abandoned classroom they had claimed for their own. “Kingsley is taking security very seriously,” Harry reassured her. “He’s increased the Auror presence for the weekend and he’s keeping an eye on the Pureblood supporters of Voldemort. Everything is going to go great!”
Sinking down onto the couch, Ginny smiled at him. “Thank you.”
“So both of your parents are coming?” Harry asked a bit too casually.
Knowing he was rather uncomfortable with the idea of her parents coming, Ginny settled on his lap. “They are. I think Mum is coming around. She’s been sending me letters every week and she sent some wedding planning articles last week. I think she’s really sorry for the way everything happened.”
Harry sighed and pulled her closer. “I just…it’s hard to know how to act around her anymore. I always used to think she liked me, but it turns out she likes me as Ron’s friend — not as your boyfriend. She made it perfectly clear she didn’t like Fleur, but she never asked Fleur to leave — only me.”
“I know, sweetie,” Ginny said sadly. She was rather upset with her mother on Harry’s behalf. Her mum just didn’t think things through. “I’m so sorry. I don’t know why she’s acting this way.”
Harry shrugged and decided to put it behind him for now. “What sort of wedding planning have you done?”
“I have decided for sure that I want to get married at the Burrow. Mum was a bit concerned that there wouldn’t be enough room, but I think I convinced her that we don’t want a huge wedding. Lee Jordan has a friend who DJs a lot of weddings and parties and such. I think we should check into that. I don’t want a band. One of my cousins had a band at her reception and all I can remember is shouting over the music to be heard.”
Harry smiled as he listened to her ramble on happily about their wedding. She had decided her colours would be red and green. “I’m thinking of having a green ribbon or some sort of green accent on my dress. Hermione thinks it should be all white, but I think it would be cool to have some green.” She held out her hand with her emerald and diamond engagement ring. “It just seems right to have some green. They can sometimes do ribbons or green embellishments. I’ve seen pictures in the bridal magazines.”
“That would be great,” Harry said with a smile. He had no idea what the hell embellishments were, but if Ginny wanted them he wanted her to have them.
“My mum is going on and on about Aunt Muriel’s tiara,” Ginny said making a face. “I’m not sure I want to use that. If I don’t use the tiara, she wants me to use her mother’s veil. I’m not sure if want to use it, either. It’s long and flowing and I can easily see it getting caught up in things.”
Ginny nodded. “Usually the bride wears a veil over her face up the aisle and once the ceremony is complete the groom unveils the bride.”
“Do you have to wear a veil?” Harry asked with a catch in his voice.
Ginny turned to look at him in confusion. Why on Earth would he care about a veil? The look on his face made her reconsider the sarcastic comment she’d been about to make. Understanding suddenly flashed through her as she recalled Sirius falling through the veil.
“Of course not, love,” Ginny replied tenderly. She kissed him on the cheek. “I saw this one hairstyle that involves threading pearls and diamonds in your hair. It looks like something Fleur would be good at. Maybe I should ask her.”
Harry’s face cleared. “That sounds pretty.” He ran a hand through her hair. “I can only imagine how beautiful your hair would look with diamonds and pearls in it. In my vault there is a chest of jewellery, maybe there is something in there that you could use. You can break them out of their settings or whatever.”
“That sounds expensive,” Ginny said a bit regretfully.
Harry smiled. “Love, I have lots of money sitting around in two or three different vaults. Use whatever you want, I don’t care.” A look crossed his face. “Actually we should visit Gringotts over Christmas and get you added to my vaults. That way you can take out whatever you want. Bill mentioned that I could set up a wedding vault so expenses could be taken right from there. I know your dad wants to pay for your wedding, but I don’t want you to miss out on something because you can’t afford it. Maybe your dad and I could both contribute to the wedding account and that way it’s not a matter of me paying or him paying, but both of us.”
“That’s actually a great idea,” Ginny said.
Harry laughed. “You don’t need to sound so amazed. I have been known to have good ideas before.”
Ginny snuggled into his arms, happy to be able to spend the time with him. She couldn’t believe the Parents’ Weekend was finally here.
It was past midnight by the time Harry headed down to the village. He was thrilled to be able to spend the whole weekend with Ginny. He was so proud of everything that she’d planned. As he headed down the lane, he caught sight of one of the Aurors patrolling the area. Nodding at the man, he continued to the Three Broomsticks.
As he entered the pub, he heard Madam Rosmerta’s voice raised. Turning he saw that she had Draco Malfoy at wandpoint. Drawing his own wand, he headed over to see what was happening.
“I’m not doing anything wrong,” Draco was protesting loudly.
“I don’t care,” Madam Rosmerta replied angrily. “You are not welcome in my establishment. Not now, not ever. After what you did — you should be in Azkaban just for using the Imperius on me! You used me to try to kill the Headmaster. If Katie or Ron would have died, it would have been partly my fault.”
Standing, Draco glared at the older woman who was not intimidated. “Fine, I’ll leave. It’s not like this place is all that good.” Looking past Rosmerta, Draco said, “Don’t worry, Potter. I’m leaving.”
“Trust me, you don’t worry me,” Harry said. “You never do anything unless you are surrounded by others who will back you up.”
Sending a look of pure hatred at Harry, Draco shouldered his way past the older witch and headed out into the night. After making sure that Rosmerta was okay, Harry immediately Flooed the Auror Department. Within a few minutes Williamson, Dawlish, and Robards had arrived at the Three Broomsticks.
Robards approached Harry and Rosmerta who were standing next to the bar. “What happened?”
“That little ponce thought he had the right to be in my bar,” Rosmerta burst out. “My bar! He put me under the Imperius Curse and tried to use me to kill Albus Dumbledore and he has the nerve to show up to my bar and then protest his innocence. That little wanker hasn’t been innocent since he showed up at Hogwarts.”
“How long was he here?”
Rosmerta sighed. “Longer than I realized. I’ve been working so hard on this Parents’ Weekend and I was going over the weekend bookings with my manager so I wasn’t out on the floor.”
“Was he with anyone?”
“That Parkinson chit,” Rosmerta replied bitterly. “I came out the office and saw the two of them all over each other just like every Hogsmeade weekend they were at school. It’s like he doesn’t have that damn tattoo burned in his arm.” She speared Robards with a glare. “I thought things were going to be different this time around, but Malfoys throw their money around and that boy is free to do what he wants.”
Robards shifted uneasily. Harry spoke up, “Can you sue him?”
“For what?” she asked in confusion.
“He used you and put you under the Imperius,” Harry said. “I was working with Kingsley over the summer and he explained that victims of Death Eaters had the right to sue the Death Eaters and their estates.”
“The boy’s right,” Robards said.
“I don’t think he’s a boy anymore,” Rosmerta said with a flash of her normal flirtatiousness.
Harry blushed slightly, but smiled at the woman before turning to Robards. “Do you think he is planning to do something to disrupt the Parents’ Weekend? Ginny’s worked so hard. I’d hate for something to ruin it.”
Williamson approached them and having heard Harry’s question and answered it. “I think he was testing how well protected the town is. Several Aurors have reported running into some of young Malfoy’s crowd tonight. Don’t worry, Potter. The road from the school to the town will be well guarded and there will be a large Auror presence here this weekend. We don’t want anything to happen either.”
Robards nodded his agreement. “The Minister has assigned extra security to Hogsmeade for this weekend. It is quite an important event and a rather historic event. This will be the first times Muggles have been welcomed at Hogsmeade and at Hogwarts.”
Relaxing slightly Harry said, “Good. I’d hate for something to go wrong.”
“You might want to keep an extra close eye on Miss Weasley,” Robards teased him. “Perhaps I should assign you as her bodyguard this weekend.”
“You don’t think anyone would target Ginny, would they?” Harry asked horrified.
“Don’t tease the boy,” came a deep voice from behind them.
Turning Harry was relieved to see Kingsley had arrived. He clapped a hand on Harry’s shoulder. “Don’t let Gawain get to you. We have a lot of security here this weekend, but as one of the organizers I don’t think Miss Weasley should be walking to and from town by herself. I’m thinking a strapping young lad like you would be just the person to accompany her.”
Harry blushed again, but agreed. “I would be happy to do that. I’ll let her know.”
Pansy looked up in relief when Draco returned to his London flat. “Draco, are you okay? I was so worried about you!”
She took a slight step back at the anger on his face. He ignored her for a moment, heading straight to his bar and pouring a healthy measure of Firewhiskey. He slammed it down and poured another. He swirled the alcohol in his glass, staring into the sparking liquid.
“That bitch Rosmerta kicked me out!” Draco finally bit out. “She’s taking a restraining order out against me. I’m not welcome in Hogsmeade. Me — a Malfoy! How dare they tell me where I may or may not go?!”
Pansy’s eyes widened. “How could they?”
“Potter! He was right there with his wand on me,” Draco said angrily. “I wanted to curse him right then and there. He was standing there so damn self-righteous. Like he wouldn’t have used that slag Rosmerta if he had the chance.”
Pansy’s eyes narrowed at his choice of words. She’d always had a suspicion that Draco had taken advantage of the compliant barmaid while she was under his control. Like most of the Hogwarts’ boys, Draco had made plenty of complimentary comments about the comely and curvy barmaid. She’d heard rumours about what Draco had done with the woman, but she’d always ignored them before. Realizing that now was not the time to confront him about it, she watched as he paced back and forth in front of the fireplace.
“I’ve talked to Nott and Goyle,” he said at length. “The security at the school and village are very tight. We won’t be able to get anywhere near them this weekend.”
“So they won’t get punished at all?”
“Don’t be foolish,” Draco reprimanded harshly. “We need to be careful. I won’t make the same mistakes my father made. We will get Potter and his whore; it will just take planning and cunning. We are Slytherin — we can do this.”
Ginny put in her earrings and checked the effect in the mirror. Sometimes it was hard to believe that little Ginny Weasley could actually look this good. It had taken her quite some time to decide what to wear for the Parents’ Weekend. In the end she’d decided on an oversized pullover that was dark with shades of violet, rust, silver, and black paired with black leggings. Fleur had sent her a beautiful necklace with large blocks of faceted purple glass and a pair of matching earrings. She finished off the look with a pair of high heeled knee high black boots.
As she surveyed herself in the mirror, Ginny felt quite grown up. She had to stifle a giggle at the thought of what Harry was going to say when he saw her. He’d talked to her last night on their mirrors and said he would meet her at the castle in the morning to walk her into town.
While she was glad that security for the event was being taken seriously, she hoped that it would prove to be unnecessary. She was heading into town early to oversee everything. Professor McGonagall had told her the evening before that the Hogwarts’ Express was scheduled to leave London at 9am and was expected to arrive at Hogsmeade by 11am.
Adjusting her head girl badge, Ginny headed down to the Great Hall. While eating breakfast with Hermione and Bruce, she reviewed the plans with them all once more. Bruce was staying up in the castle and overseeing the events in the castle while Hermione and Dennis were going to be overseeing an event in the afternoon that highlighted all of the clubs available to Hogwarts’ students. All of the clubs had prepared a poster explaining their purpose and what the students did. Many of the clubs had pictures and short presentations to explain their meeting and events.
As Ginny finished her breakfast, she looked up at the enchanted ceiling, glad to see that the sky was clear. She was glad the weather hadn’t turned terrible. They’d had snow before for their first Hogsmeade visit of the year, but this year was clear and cool with no chance of snow. Saying goodbye to Hermione and Bruce, Ginny headed to the Entrance Hall.
Harry was just entering the castle as she came into the hall. She smiled at him and was thrilled with the reaction she received. He stopped and stared at her. As his eyes raked over her, she felt a jolt of desire at the look in his eyes. He obviously liked what he saw. As she approached him, she turned in a circle so he could get the whole effect of the outfit. Her pullover was longer in the back than the front and she liked the feel of it swirling around her.
“You look amazing!” Harry said in a rather husky voice. He let his eyes wander over her once again. “Good Lord, those boots.”
He reached out and pulled her up against him. As she wrapped her arms around his neck, he pulled her close and she could feel his reaction pressed against her. It thrilled her that she could cause that type of reaction in him. Before she could say anything he leaned down and kissed her. She lost track of time as they kissed. Kissing Harry was always wonderful, the feel of his lips against her and the touch of his tongue against hers was intoxicating.
It was only the sound of other voices and giggling that caused her to pull away. Blushing she looked around the hall. Most of the faces were smiling at the pair of them and some of the younger girls seemed quite enthralled with the romance of it all. They received a few dirty looks and sour gazes from those jealous of their relationship, but neither of them really noticed.
“Sorry,” Harry whispered against her hair. “I didn’t mean to get so caught up. You just…let’s just say I really wish we weren’t due in Hogsmeade soon. You are incredibly sexy.”
She giggled and straightened her hair before pulling her cloak out of her bag and putting it on. “I’m glad you like it.”
As they headed down to the gate, Harry couldn’t keep his eyes from her legs. “Those boots make your legs look amazing. They are so tall.”
Ginny giggled. “You will have to make sure you are holding my hand because I’m still not great walking in them. I practiced wearing them in the dorms a bit, but I still stumble from time to time.”
“That won’t be a problem,” Harry said. “I will hold your hand as long as you want me to.”
She couldn’t help but stop and give him a rather thorough kiss. “I love you.”
Laughing she tugged on his hand and led him down to the gates. Unlike Filch who always made it difficult for students to leave, Miss Zumbrowski was happy to wave Ginny and Harry on their way through the gates and soon they were walking hand-in-hand down the road to Hogsmeade.
Squeezing her hand, Harry said, “I’ve wanted to take you to Hogsmeade for quite a while.”
She laughed. “I would have been thrilled to go with you — if you had asked me.”
“I know,” Harry said ruefully. “I was rather a blind prat.” He smiled down at her. “People keep asking me if there is anything I regret or anything I would have done differently and I always tell them no, but there is one thing I wish I had done differently. I wish I’d gotten to know you a lot earlier and woke up to what an amazing person you are. Can you imagine how much more fun the Yule Ball would have been if we’d gone together?”
Ginny smiled up at him. “It would have been wonderful, but I’m just happy that we are together now.”
As they continued towards the village, Ginny noticed several Aurors very conspicuously patrolling the road. Most of them nodded at the couple as they passed.
“I can’t believe Malfoy was here last night,” she said.
“Stupid ferret,” Harry remarked. “Madam Rosmerta was very upset with him.”
“I hope she follows up with your suggestion to sue him,” Ginny said. “It’s not fair that he’s not punished for what he did to her.”
“That hasn’t been totally decided,” Harry said. “The Wizengamot has been debating on the punishment for the Death Eaters. The hard core, long-term Death Eaters like Lucius, Dolohov, Lestrange, and the Carrows are all going to Azkaban, but the sentences for the newer Death Eaters is causing quite a bit of debate. Draco might yet see some jail time.”
“Good,” Ginny replied. “He deserves it. If he gets away with just paying a fine it would be like we didn’t learn anything.”
Harry nodded in agreement. “I can’t believe he was here with Pansy. I thought he was engaged to the Greenglass girl.”
Ginny giggled. “Greengrass, Astoria Greengrass.”
He shrugged. “Greenglass, Greengrass, whatever.”
“I think they have a very different expectation from their marriage than we do,” Ginny said thinking about the conversation she’d had with Astoria on the train. “She knows all about his relationship with Pansy and is just happy that he’s coming to her with ‘experience.’”
Harry made a face. “I’m sorry, but that is just wrong. Not to mention who the hell would want experience with Pansy. She looks like a pug and she’s a rude bitch.”
“You don’t usually say things like that about other people,” Ginny observed.
“Pansy was always one of those making fun of me and during the Tri-Wizard Tournament she was awful to Hermione,” Harry explained. “I can’t stand her.”
“I’m just glad she’s gone,” Ginny said. “She was awful last year. You know she was Head Girl and she just…I don’t know what she did other than keep the Head Boy happy and tell the other Slytherin girls they should be sleeping with the Slytherin boys. Actually she thought all Pureblood girls had a responsibility to ‘offer comfort’ to the boys fighting for their wonderful cause.”
“Stupid slag,” Harry muttered. “I’m glad I didn’t see her yesterday and we won’t have to worry about Malfoy. Madam Rosmerta took out a restraining order against Draco — he’s not allowed in or around her property. There are some sort of magical consequences if he breaks the order.”
“Really?” Ginny giggled. “That serves him right! Good for her.”
“Do you know what the consequences are of breaking a magical restraining order? We haven’t learned about them yet.”
Ginny nodded. “They will usually have some sort of provision for stunning and restraining the person once they cross the line stipulated in the restraining order. They are supposed to be quite effective.”
Harry was impressed. “That’s good. Stupid Malfoy won’t be bothering anyone here this weekend. Aberforth reported that Malfoy tried to get a room with him before he went to the Three Broomsticks, but Aberforth wouldn’t serve him either so Malfoy really isn’t welcome here.”
By this time they had reached the village. Ginny gasped as she caught sight of High Street. The shop owners had really gone all out. The store fronts were gleaming and all of the front windows had signs welcoming parents for the 1st Annual Parent’s Weekend.
Mr Dervish, the owner of Dervish and Banges was setting up a sign outside his shop describing what sort of items the shop sold and offering a 10% discount to all students and parents. He waved at Harry and Ginny as they walked by. A large map was set up at the edge of town showing where all of the shops were located.
“This is new,” Ginny said as she looked around.
Harry smiled at her excitement. “Madam Rosmerta told me that the shopkeepers are all thrilled with your idea of the Parents’ Weekend and wanted to do their part to make sure it succeeds. I mean it is to their benefit as well as they stand to make quite a bit more money with parents as well as students here. Rosmerta told me that there aren’t any rooms available in town at all. Some people rented out extra rooms in their homes for the weekend, so everyone is quite excited about it.”
“That’s wonderful!” Ginny enthused. “I’m so glad they are embracing the idea.” Giggling she pointed to a pink, glittery sign. “Look, love, Madam Puddifoot is having a special tea - do you want to go?”
Muttering a few curses under his breath, he shook his head. “No way.”
Scrivenshafts and Gladrags both had large signs in their front windows welcoming parents and announcing sales for the weekend. Harry grinned. “What do you want to bet this is the first shop Hermione brings her parents to?”
“Only because it comes before the book shop,” Ginny replied with a smile. The small book shop was in one of the alleys off High Street. It too was welcoming parents.
Looking down the street, Ginny suddenly gasped. “George?!”
Harry looked the direction she was looking and sure enough George and Lee Jordan were setting up a cart of WWW merchandise in front of the abandoned Zonko’s building. At Ginny’s call, the two boys looked up and waved.
Running over to her brother, Ginny threw her arms around him. “What are you doing here? Why didn’t you tell me?” She looked over at Harry. “Why didn’t you tell me?”
“Calm down little Fire Cracker,” George laughed. “I wanted it to be a surprise so I didn’t even tell Harry.”
“So this is why you wouldn’t tell me what you were doing this weekend,” Harry laughed. “This is wonderful!”
Gesturing at the building behind him George said, “I’m still in negotiations to purchase this building, but I got permission from the Hogsmeade Business Association to set up the cart here this weekend. Lee agreed to help me as Ron will be with Hermione all weekend. Verity and Angelina are running the main shop for us.”
Ginny looked up from the cart she’d been inspecting. “This is brilliant! You’re going to make bundles here.”
“It’s not just the money,” George said uncharacteristically serious. “I’m so proud of you for setting this up. I really wanted to support you.”
Throwing her arms around him, Ginny had to blink back tears. “Thank you, George!”
Harry smiled as he watched the siblings. He was so happy that George was so supportive of his sister. Lee was also smiling at the siblings; he turned and caught Harry’s eye.
“George worked really hard to get all the permits for this weekend,” Lee said quietly. “He’s so proud of her.”
“I’m glad,” Harry said. “Her mum hasn’t been as supportive as she could be, so it’s nice that her brothers are there for her.”
Lee nodded a bit uncomfortably. “I’m sorry for the trouble you’ve had. I think you and Ginny make a great couple.”
“Thanks,” Harry said with a smile. He was rather nervous about seeing Mrs Weasley this weekend, but he was pushing that to the back of his mind. He wanted to be there for Ginny, she was much more important that any discomfort he might feel.
Saying good-bye to George and Lee, the couple continued down the street. Mr Flume was setting up a sign outside his shop. The smell of chocolate was wafting into the street.
“Good morning, Mr Flume,” Ginny greeted him.
“Miss Weasley, Mr Potter,” the older wizard bowed slightly.
“Mr Flume, I wanted to thank you for donating the chocolates for the parent’s welcome bags,” Ginny said.
“You are quite welcome, my dear,” he replied. “This is a wonderful idea and I am glad to be able to participate. I hope you will come by later. We have some new flavours of fudge available this weekend.”
Ginny smiled. “I’m sure we will be back. This is one of our favourite shops.”
As they continued down High Street, Ginny squeezed Harry’s hand as she danced along at his side. “This is going to be great! I’m so excited. I was worried that no one would be excited about this weekend, but it seems like it’s going to be brilliant.”
The Three Broomsticks was decorated in Hogwarts’ colours with balloons and streamers. A large sign outside invited everyone in for a special luncheon special. Tables and chairs were being set up outside for outdoor seating. Madam Rosmerta waved as they walked past.
Harry had to smile at the sign warning people to avoid the most haunted house in Britain. The fact that the hated Professor Snape’s body had been found in the Shrieking Shack and that he was rumoured to have been killed by Voldemort himself had re-established the Shrieking Shack as the most terrifying house in Hogsmeade. Rumours had blood dripping down the walls of the building with ghosts of evil intent haunting the dilapidated house. The Hogwarts’ ghosts seemed to find the rumours entertaining and they embellished the stories, scaring those gullible enough to believe the stories.
Once they arrived at the Hogsmeade station, Harry and Ginny got to work decorating the station to welcome the parents. Madam Florence had volunteered to help with the welcoming committee. Some of the Hogwarts’ elves came down to the station and set up several long tables. They also brought down the boxes that held the welcoming packets for the parents.
The plan was for the parents to be checked in at the station and given a packet with information on the events of the weekend, their child’s or children’s class schedule, and where they were to stay for the weekend. Included in the packets were maps of the town, a map of the castle, and a small bag of chocolates. The Hogwarts elves had been extraordinarily helpful in arranging guest rooms for the parents.
Once the parents arrived and checked in, the parents of first and second year students would be taken to Hogwarts by boat just as the first year students were. Hagrid was thrilled to take part in the Parents’ Weekend and happy to oversee the boats. Students who were in their third year and up would meet their parents in Hogsmeade.
Hermione hurried out of the Hogwarts gates. It had taken longer than she’d planned to get everything set up. She thought she looked nice in a dark blue jumper and black trousers. What would Ron think? As much as she would love it, she didn’t think Ron would have the same reaction to seeing her that Harry did to seeing Ginny that morning.
She had to admit she was a bit jealous as she watched Harry’s reaction to Ginny. She didn’t understand how Ginny could so easily look so glamorous and even sexy. It was hard enough to just put together a nice outfit, much less a sexy one. Hermione didn’t even think she owned anything that was sexy. Of course she hadn’t realized that Ginny owned anything sexy either so it had been a bit shocking to see her friend that morning.
She was about half-way to town when she saw a familiar red head walking towards her. When she got closer, he caught sight of her and smiled. Running to him she threw her arms around him and kissed him. It was some time before she started thinking again.
“Ron! I’m so glad to see you. I’ve missed you so much.”
He smiled down at her and tucked her hand into the crook of his elbow as they continued Hermione’s trek into town. “I’ve missed you, too. I’m glad we have this whole weekend. I thought my sister was cracked in organizing this weekend, but wait until you see the village. Everyone there is very excited about this weekend.”
As the two walked into town, Hermione happily listened to Ron talking about his work and the cart his brother was operating in town this weekend. She had so missed hearing his voice, it wasn’t something she thought of on a regular basis, but listening to him now made her realize how much she’d missed him. She felt a spurt of jealously that Harry and Ginny were able to see each other every week. It really wasn’t fair that she and Ron were finally together and they were separated so much. Pushing that thought aside, she was determined to enjoy her time with him this weekend.
The sound of the train whistle broke into their conversation. Hermione sighed. “I guess we should head to the station.”
Ron looked down at her in confusion. “I thought you would be thrilled to see your parents.”
Blushing slightly Hermione sighed. “I am and I’m not. It feels so strange for them to be here — in the magical world. When I first started at Hogwarts…I would have given anything to have a weekend like this my first year. I was homesick and I missed my parents like crazy. I sent long letters home telling them about everything — the castle, my classes, the people. It helped connect us. As I’ve gotten older, this is my place and it seems a bit strange to be sharing it with them.”
She glanced up at him. “Not to mention I’d rather spend the time with you.”
Ron puffed up proudly at her words. “Maybe we can have my parents distract your parents.”
She laughed. “That might be a possibility.” Tugging on his hand she said, “There’s no sense in putting this off any longer. Might as well go and meet them.”
By the time Ron and Hermione arrived at the station, much of the crowd had dissipated. The parents of the first and second year students had already headed down to the lake and were being transported in groups across the lake. There were still a number of parents checking in. The welcome station was staying open until 4pm for any parents who planned to Apparate or Portkey into the town.
Hugh and Jane Granger were looking around in amazement as they talked to Molly and Arthur. Harry was leaning up against the building trying, rather unsuccessfully Hermione thought, to blend into the background. She could hear people whispering about Harry and some Muggle-borns trying to explain to their parents just who he was. Ginny was still helping to check in parents. Hermione looked between Ginny and her parents, but she couldn’t tell what was happening between them.
With a smile, she hugged both of her parents and in their embrace she felt a bit badly that she’d sort of wished they hadn’t come.
“I can’t believe the train managed the trip so quickly,” Hugh said. “I was looking out the window from time to time and couldn’t tell where we were or anything. One of the other parents said something about charms or something?”
“The train is hidden by charms,” Hermione said with a smile. “It doesn’t always follow what Muggles would call a normal track.”
“It was a lovely trip,” Jane said. “Everyone on the train was so nice. We’ve met ever so many people. We met one lovely couple who live just on the other side of town from us. Their son is in his first year, he’s in Hufflepuff. We’ve made arrangements to have dinner together.”
She smiled happily. “It’s so nice to be able to talk about you and to talk to other parents. I’ve listened to my friends go on about their children at school and have had to lie to change the subject. It’s nice to hear other parents just as bewildered as we were.”
For the first time it struck Hermione how hard it must have been for her parents all these years. Rather chagrined, she realized the Parents’ Weekend was an excellent idea. She shouldn’t have been so dismissive of Ginny’s ideas.
Ron greeted his parents and Hermione hugged both Mr and Mrs Weasley. Hermione thought Mrs Weasley looked ever so much better than she had over the summer. She still didn’t look like her old self, but she looked much, much better.
She froze when she heard her mother say, “I hear you have a wedding to plan, congratulations!”
To her relief, Mrs Weasley simply smiled and said, “Yes, we are planning for a Christmas wedding next year. It is very exciting.”
Mr Weasley smiled at them. “I’m sure you are excited about exploring the town and seeing the castle. We will see you around a bit later.”
Hermione realized with a start that her father was looking towards the town in a rather excited way. Upon reflecting she thought she shouldn’t be surprised. Her father loved travelling and seeing new things.
Saying goodbye to the Weasleys and waving to Harry, Hermione and Ron led her parents out into the streets of Hogsmeade.
Harry leaned back against the station building wishing for his Invisibility Cloak. Wizarding parents recognized him immediately while Muggle-born students had to explain to their parents who he was. It was all rather embarrassing. Only for Ginny would he have stayed there and just waited, but as he was there for Ginny he stayed and smiled at those passing by. From time to time Ginny would look over her shoulder and smile and blow kisses at him. That rather made it worth the aggravation of being talked about.
“Ginny!” Harry winced at the rather exuberant tones of Mrs Weasley. He watched as his fiancée stood and hugged both of her parents.
“Mum! Dad! Did you know George was here?” Ginny asked them excitedly.
“Georgie is here?” Mrs Weasley asked.
Ginny nodded. “He and Lee are here with a WWW cart selling merchandise this weekend.”
“I rather think he wanted to support his sister,” Mr Weasley said with a gentle smile for his daughter. He kissed her on the cheek. “You look lovely this morning.”
“Thank you, Daddy!” Ginny smiled delightedly. “I have to stay here for a bit longer. You can hang around the station or if you want to go explore the town, that’s fine.”
Mr Weasley exchanged a glance with his wife. “Molly, why don’t we head into town and what changes they’ve made?” He gave her a special smile. “After all, I haven’t taken my best girl to Hogsmeade in quite some time.”
“Oh, Arthur,” Mrs Weasley blushed, but looked pleased.
Once Ginny sat down to get back to work, Mr Weasley approached Harry. “Good morning, son.”
Harry happily returned Mr Weasley’s hug. “Good morning. I’m glad you could come.”
“I wouldn’t miss it,” Mr Weasley replied. “My beautiful daughter has done a wonderful thing in bringing this idea to life. I’ve heard people talking about it at the Ministry all week. People are so excited about visiting or others wishing they still had children here to see what the fuss is all about. The Aurors and Unspeakables all seem quite happy to be working overtime.”
“Unspeakables?” Harry was surprised, he hadn’t heard about Unspeakables being involved.
Mr Weasley nodded. “They are helping with the warding and repealing enough of the Muggle Repelling Spells to allow the parents here, but still keep other curious Muggles away. It’s been quite tricky. They’ve been quite excited with the challenge.”
“That’s great,” Harry said with a smile. “Everyone here in town seems excited about this weekend as well. I didn’t realize it was going to be such a big deal.”
"Oh my yes,” Mr Weasley said. “There haven’t been Muggles in Hogsmeade for over a millennium. It’s quite an historic event.”
Mrs Weasley was hovering in the background as her husband and Harry were talking. Finally she broke in and greeted Harry.
“Mrs Weasley,” Harry said a touch coolly. “Ginny is thrilled that you could make it.” Glancing over at his fiancée who was currently charming the parents she was checking in, he couldn’t help but smile. “She was telling me last night that you’ve been talking a lot about the wedding plans. Gin has lots of great ideas.”
“Yes she does,” Mrs Weasley agreed. She paused for a moment, but then rushed on. “Harry, I am so sorry that I hurt your feelings. I know I’ve said this before, but…I was feeling rather overcome with emotions and the thought that Ginny was suddenly grown up was a bit too much for me. I shouldn’t have reacted the way I did and I am truly sorry.”
Harry wanted to reply angrily, but he knew that if he was to belong to this family he would eventually have to make his peace with its matriarch. Biting back a sigh he said, “Mrs Weasley, it’s okay. I am hurt that you would think I would be using Ginny or hurt Ginny or whatever else, but I know you have her best interests at heart. I love Ginny and I hope you will be able to see that I will never hurt her or leave her.” He gazed at her for a moment before adding. “Please do me the favour of not believing every story you read about me or us. The papers have a rather unhealthy fascination with my love-life and are determined to print something. I might be pictured with another girl or gossiped about with another girl, but I promise you it will be false. I love Ginny and she is the only one I want to be with.”
“I will,” Mrs Weasley promised.
As he watched his future in-laws head into Hogsmeade, the cynical side of him wondered how long it would be before she broke that promise. While she hadn’t said anything to him, he’d heard from Ron how upset she’d been about the pictures of him with the girls at the Quidditch match. It had taken Mr Weasley’s intervention to prevent her from sending him a howler over the whole thing.
By the time Ginny was free to leave the station, it was long past noon. Ginny was thrilled with how well everything had gone so far and was chattering happily as they headed towards the Three Broomsticks.
A tug on his cloak had Harry whirling around quickly. He quickly stowed the wand he’d drawn when he saw a little girl standing in front of him. She couldn’t have been more than four or five he thought, but he wasn’t exactly sure. She had blonde hair pulled into two pony tails and she was very, very cute.
“Are you really Harry Potter?” she asked.
Harry laughed and knelt down so he was level with her. “I am. What’s your name?”
“Sarah,” she said as she looked him over. He had to smile as she reached out and pushed his fringe aside to see his famed scar. Running her finger over it, she looked at him with concern. “Is this where the bad guy hurted you?”
Harry nodded and her eyes grew wide. To Harry’s utter shock, she leaned in and kissed him on the forehead. “That should make it better.”
Harry laughed. “Thank you, Sarah. That was very nice of you.”
The little girl giggled and blushed. “You are nice. Thank you for saving all of us.”
While Harry had been thanked many times over the past months, somehow the little girl’s heartfelt thank you touched him in a way the other more polished thanks had not. Smiling he gently hugged the little girl. “You are very welcome.”
By this time Sarah’s rather mortified parents had shown up. “Sarah! Leave Mr Potter alone.”
Sarah looked up at her mother in confusion. “But mummy, you always say you wish you could thank him. That’s what I did.”
Standing Harry smiled at the woman. “It’s okay. She is very sweet.”
“Thank you,” the woman said. “For being so kind to her and for everything you’ve done.” She gestured behind her to where her husband stood with three other children, two who appeared Hogwarts age. “I have four children and last year…well I wasn’t sure I would ever see something as wonderful and peaceful as this. Thank you.”
Harry watched her as she re-joined her family. Sarah gave him a little wave before taking her older brother’s hand. Ginny reached over and took Harry’s hand. “That was very sweet.” She kissed him gently. “You are getting so much better with dealing with the attention.”
Blushing he ducked his head. “Thanks. I still wish they wouldn’t do that. If they were all cute little kids it wouldn’t be so bad.” He looked around. “I better not say that too loudly or Rita will suddenly employ tons of cute children.”
Ginny started laughing. “It’s sad, but she would do that wouldn’t she?”
To Harry’s relief, he was not approached by many people for the rest of the afternoon. He did greet the people he knew from the DA and he was introduced to Dean’s family, but for the most part he was able to spend the afternoon with Ginny. Together they wandered in and out of shops holding hands and occasionally stealing kisses.
The late lunch they had at the Three Broomsticks with the Grangers and the Weasleys was fun and thankfully everyone got along well. The Grangers were having a wonderful time exploring the town.
It was after curfew when Harry finally was able to follow his beautiful fiancée into their forgotten room at the end of the hidden passageway. As soon as he closed the door he turned and pinned her up against the wall kissing her passionately.
Ginny’s startled gasp soon gave way to an erotic moan that spurred Harry on. Reaching down he cupped her firm bottom in his hands and pulled her against him, his erection pressing into her.
“My God, Ginny,” he murmured as he pulled her jumper off and tossed it on the floor. “Do you have any idea what you’ve done to me today?” He kissed a hot trail down her neck. “You are so sexy and so beautiful and I’ve had to keep my hands to myself.”
She gave a husky laugh. “You don’t have to keep your hands to yourself anymore.”
Wrapping her arms around his neck, she jumped up slightly and wrapped her legs around his hips. He swore under his breath as she pushed up against him. Holding her up with one arm, he backed her up so she was up against the wall. Pulling his wand, he quickly divested both of them of their clothes.
Leaning down he kissed her deeply even as he shifted both of their bodies. Pulling back slightly, he looked into her eyes. “I love you,” he said as he thrust into her making them one.
Neither of them lasted long and soon he collapsed against her, sweaty and spent, but very happy. Dropping a kiss on her neck, he lifted her fully into his arms bridal style and carried her to the now permanently enlarged couch and laid her down before joining her.
Ginny rested her head on his chest, listening to his still rapidly beating heart. He ran his hand down her hair and dropped kisses on top of her head. “I am so proud of you, baby. You were so impressive today. Everything went so well and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.”
“I didn’t do it all myself,” Ginny said with a smile. “There was a whole committee and lots of people helping. It wasn’t even my idea. I just took what was originally Colin’s idea to Professor McGonagall.”
Harry laughed. “You are just as bad at taking a compliment as you always say I am. It might not have been your idea originally, but you are the one who made it come to life. You had the conviction to make everything work out and to enlist everyone to help you.”
“I don’t think I did as much as you think I did, but thank you.” She smiled up at him. Leaning up on one elbow she looked down at him. She reached out one hand and ran it through his hair, pushing it away from his face. “You helped me with that. You’ve been so encouraging and so positive that I would be able to work things out. I can’t tell you how much that means to me.”
Leaning down she kissed him briefly. “It has turned out well, hasn’t it?”
Her hand slid down and absently traced his newer lightning bolt scar on his chest.
“It has,” he said. “How is it that I fall a little more in love with you every single day? Every time I see you I think I can’t possibly love you anymore and the next time I see you or even just think about you — I love you even more.”
He reached up and cupped her cheek with his hand. “When you and your mum were talking earlier it hit me that this will be the last Christmas we will have to spend not married. We will be married in 14 months.”
“I sort of wish it was sooner,” Ginny said as she kissed the palm of his hand. “I know Mum wants us to wait until I finish school and I want to get married at Christmas, but I want to be married now.”
“Baby, I will marry you tonight…” he glanced at his watch. “Okay, I guess it would have to be morning. I will marry you whenever you want, wherever you want. I like the idea of getting married at Christmas, but if you don’t want to wait we can get married in the summer.”
“I’ve thought about asking Mum if we can move it up to this Christmas,” Ginny said. She moved up closer to him and resting arm on his chest and putting her chin on her hand. “I just don’t know if I want to put up with all of the…I don’t know… all of the hysteria that would go with it. Mum would assume I’m pregnant — well a lot of people would assume I’m pregnant. I’d still be at school and I’d miss you so much. It’s strange, but if we were married I think I’d miss you even more.”
Harry ran his hand down her hair and listened to her. He’d discovered that sometimes she just needed to talk everything out.
“I’m having fun looking at the bridal magazines and planning our wedding, but at the same time I want it over with so we can be married. Sometimes it seems like so much emphasis is put on the wedding day when the marriage is really the more important part.” She sighed. “What do you think?”
“I think that we just really miss each other,” Harry said after thinking it over for a minute. “I would love to be married right now, but I also want everyone to celebrate our wedding with us. You’ve been having fun planning and I don’t want you to miss anything. When you think about it, it’s only six weeks until Christmas. We will have a great time and then when you get back to school you’ll be caught up in studying for NEWTs and getting ready for try-outs. Once you finish we’ll be together.”
Twining his fingers with hers he said, “I don’t want to cause more problems with your mother, but I want you with me at Grimmauld Place. I know you’ll probably have training camp and all of that, but we’ll be together.”
Ginny smiled. “We will.”
Turning Harry slowly flipped her over so she was underneath him. “I can’t wait to have you in my bed every single night and just…I don’t want to be apart anymore.”
“We won’t have to be,” she whispered.
Leaning up she kissed him deeply. This time they made love slowly and joyfully. Harry took his time exploring her body and revelled in making her react. He loved watching her face as she orgasmed. It was an amazing feeling and an amazing sight. The two of them didn’t leave their secret room until almost dawn. Harry walked her to the Gryffindor Tower before calling Kreacher to take him back to the Three Broomsticks.
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