|SIYE Time:5:41 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: 84115; Chapter Total: 4747
Awards: View Trophy Room
Thank you to my beta, StephanieO! Thanks for the Silver Trinket nominations! I really appreciate it :)
Ginny made her way through the crowded halls of the Ministry of Magic, following Seamus as he led the way to the lifts. As she walked, she could hear pieces of conversations. Everyone was talking about Harry and his testimony.
They got out on the first floor. Ginny looked around; it was much nicer than the floor where her father's office was. There was thick, plush carpet on the floors and thick, shiny, wooden doors to each office. There was a sign next to each door to indicate whose office they were about to enter.
Seamus led her past the long corridor of offices and the corridor opened out onto a large open area. It looked like a waiting room, but much more posh. There were comfortable looking chairs arranged in little groupings with small tables near the chairs. Against the far wall was another gleaming door, the plaque next to this door read 'Kingsley Shacklebolt, Minister of Magic.' A very efficient looking witch sat at a desk outside his door.
Adjacent to the secretary's desk was a wall of more doors. Ginny saw a plaque with Hestia's name before Seamus pushed open a door to a conference room. She saw Harry immediately. He was slumped in a chair with his head in his hands facing away from the door. Neville and Susan seemed to be standing guard over him.
She hurried across the room and dropped to her knees in front of him. "Harry."
He looked up, startled at the sound of her voice, "Ginny?"
His voice was very husky and Ginny got the impression that he'd been talking all day. "Hi, baby." She gently reached out for his hands. "Are you okay love?"
While the room was rather crowded, Ginny felt it was just the two of them in the room when he looked into her eyes. Misery was apparent in his expressive green gaze.
"I want to get out of here," Harry said softly. Ginny looked up over his shoulder to meet Neville's gaze. He nodded, so Ginny said, "Okay, sweetie."
Neville leaned over and put his hand on Harry's shoulder, "You're done for today, mate. Why don't you let Ginny take you home?"
Harry nodded, "Thanks, Neville."
Ginny got to her feet and helped Harry stand. He swayed briefly and Neville and Seamus were there immediately to steady him. A look passed between Neville and Seamus.
"I'll walk the two of you to the Floo," Seamus said.
Once again Ginny followed Seamus, but this time she was clinging to Harry's hand. Instead of heading to the fireplaces in the Atrium, Seamus was heading to the opposite side of the floor. Ginny could see an Auror standing guard in front of an archway. Seamus flashed his badge, but by that time the badge was unnecessary — the Auror had recognized Harry.
With a wave of her wand, she cancelled the charms to allow the four of them through the archway. Ginny discovered a large floo station awaiting them. On the wall across from the floo station was a beautiful water feature and over the fountain were the words — All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. Below the quote were rows and rows of names engraved on the walls.
Ginny gasped as she looked at the wall. She saw the names of Sirius Black, Colin Creevey in the first column. Seeing where her attention had wandered, Seamus said, "This is the private floo for the Minister and his staff. Minister Shacklebolt specifically asked for this to be installed so none of the senior staff will be able to come into work without seeing this and hopefully remembering what happened. All of the victims of the past two wars have been listed on there. They are working on something for the Atrium."
"It's amazing," Ginny said. She looked at the last row and her heart twisted a bit at the sight of her brother's name. Quickly tearing her eyes away, she saw the names of Lily and James Potter and her own uncles Fabian and Gideon Prewett. It was a powerfully emotional sight.
"Aye," Seamus agreed. "I think it is a great way to honour them."
Turning her attention back to her boyfriend, Ginny asked, "Where do you want to go, sweetie?"
"My house," Harry said softly. "I'm not up to heading back to the Burrow right now."
He looked at his friends, "Thank you for everything."
"No problem, mate," Seamus said easily.
"You'll be okay?" Neville asked.
Harry nodded, "Ginny will be with me."
The couple flooed to Grimmauld Place.
Kreacher popped into the kitchen. "Mistress Ginny, Master Harry."
"Hello Kreacher," Ginny said with a smile. "Harry's had kind of a rough day. Could we get some tea?"
"Of course, Mistress. The drawing room has been cleaned. Shall I bring it there?"
"That would be great," Harry said softly.
Harry stood, looking a bit steadier now that he'd left the Ministry. He led the way upstairs. The grand staircase was once more looking grand and Ginny was happy to see the progress Kreacher had made. The drawing room was on its way back to its previous state of elegance. The tapestry was gone and the two frosted glass cabinets were now empty. To counteract the dark of the furniture, Kreacher had replaced the tapestry with a cream and gold wallpaper.
Harry and Ginny sank down on the sofa. He immediately wrapped his arms around her. Ginny scooted over so she was sitting on his lap. He pulled her close and buried his head in her neck. She ran her fingers through his hair, letting him take comfort from her presence.
After a few minutes, he pulled away and Ginny was shocked to see tears glittering in his eyes. She shifted a bit so they could talk more comfortably. She was surprised to see a tea tray sitting on the table next to them.
"I didn't even hear him," she remarked.
Harry smiled, "He's changed a lot."
Pouring each of them a cup of tea, Ginny stayed on his lap, but leaned back into the arm of the sofa. Taking a sip of his tea, Harry looked over at her. "You smell like fruit. What have you been doing today?"
She smiled, allowing him to lead the conversation. "We went berry picking this morning. We found some raspberries, blackberries, and tayberries. It was great. When we got home, Mrs Granger, Charlie, and I made some jam. We still have tons of berries; I think I'm going to make some berry syrup. I've always liked fresh berry syrup and thick cream on my scones."
"That sounds good," Harry said as he reached out and helped himself to a small cake. "Hermione didn't help you make jam?"
Ginny shook her head, "No she was off with Ron. I think she was taking advantage of the fact that her mum was otherwise occupied. Hermione seemed fine this morning, though. We talked about Hogwarts and the plans for the parents' weekend and she didn't seem weird like she did the other day."
"Good," Harry said.
He sighed and put his tea cup down. Ginny followed suit and Harry reached out for her hands.
"It was awful," he said simply. "I didn't know they had moved up the trial."
Ginny leaned her head against his shoulder and he wrapped one arm around her shoulder. With his other hand, he played with her engagement ring. To her surprise, he pulled out his wand and cancelled the charms concealing her ring.
"I hope you don't mind," Harry said quietly. "I really just want to see this on your hand tonight."
"Of course, love." Ginny kissed him softly.
Taking her hand, he continued, "The morning was bad enough. I had to explain my connection with Tom and about the graveyard." He took a ragged breath, "I had to explain about S-sirius. The one good thing is they are going to clear him. I told them how Peter had framed him and Kingsley added his testimony that Sirius was helping to defeat Tom and Sirius didn't have a Dark Mark."
Leaning in, Ginny pressed a kiss on his cheek. He gave her a sad smile. "The afternoon was worse. I told them about sixth year and the attempts on Dumbledore's life. Maybe I'm really slow, but I just realized that he knew Draco was trying to kill him. If he had done something maybe Ron wouldn't have been poisoned. It still makes me a bit angry that I tried to tell everyone all year that Draco was behind it and no one would believe me."
"I never thought of that either," Ginny admitted. "He knew?"
"That's what he said on top of the tower," Harry shook his head. "Anyhow, I had to explain about Dumbledore's death. I had to explain about Snape — how he was in love with my mother and changed sides because of her. I still have a hard time with it and I had to testify in court."
"You decided to tell them?" Ginny asked gently. She knew he had been agonizing how much to share with the Wizengamot. He wanted to protect Snape's privacy, but he was tired of all of the secrets. He didn't want to be like Dumbledore and just assure people he was certain Snape had been on their side.
He shrugged a bit, "I'd already said a bit in the Great Hall when I was fighting with Tom, so I figured it was time to just come out with everything." He brushed a kiss on top of her head.
"I told them about Malfoy Manor," he shuddered a bit when he said that. "I feel so guilty for saying his name. I was so used to saying it and I just got carried away with making my point. I don't know that I can ever tell Hermione how sorry I am."
Ginny wrapped her arms around him. "I know, love."
When he pulled away, the tears had started coursing down his face. "It was so hard talking about Bellatrix torturing her. I told them how Malfoy seemed reluctant to identify us, but in the end he did identify Hermione. I explained how we escaped and how Bellatrix killed Dobby for helping us."
"I tried to recall all of the murders I saw Voldemort commit," Harry admitted. "I know there's nothing that can be done, but I wanted to make sure those people were honoured. I told them about the battle and everything I saw. I told them how Narcissa saved my life."
He trailed off. "It was so hard recalling it all. They would ask about what each person did or didn't do."
"Are you done testifying?" Ginny asked.
"For now," he replied. "I will probably be called to clarify things. Neville, Michael, and Seamus are all going to testify against the Carrows and the junior Death Eaters. Kingsley said he wants to avoid calling anyone who is underage so he's not going to call you. Luna, Dean, and Mr Ollivander are going to testify about what happened at Malfoy Manor. Unfortunately because I was there for parts of everything and saw so much, I'll probably have to testify again. Kingsley wanted to get the bulk of my testimony out of the way today."
"I'm sorry it's so hard for you baby," Ginny said softly. "At least he is making an effort to ensure that the Death Eaters pay for what they've done."
"I know," Harry replied. "I just don't want Ron to get mad at me again. I'm tired of fighting and…I don't think Draco is going to get any prison time. Katie told me that she talked to Kingsley and they are leaning towards a suspended sentence and probation for five years. He won't be totally free; he'll be restricted as to whom he associates with and where he goes. Lucius will probably get life in prison and the Malfoys will have to pay fines. The Lestranges' estate was given to Andromeda as next of kin. That seems only fair."
"Ron better not give you a hard time again," Ginny growled. "You just told the truth and you have nothing to do with the sentencing."
Harry smiled as he kissed her on the cheek, "That's my beautiful girl sticking up for me."
"That's right," Ginny said.
They stayed cuddled up on the sofa for a while, trading kisses and talking softly. After a time, Harry said, "I'm hungry. Do you want to go out to dinner? I really don't feel like cooking tonight or eating sandwiches."
"That sounds good," Ginny smiled. "I love going out with you."
Harry kissed her softly.
A pop heralded Kreacher's arrival in the room. "Master, Mistress, there is an owl for you."
Kreacher handed Harry a scroll of parchment and popped out of the room. Harry stared at the scroll, he didn't recognize the writing on the outside, but he knew that Kreacher wouldn't hand him something that was dangerous.
Hoping it wasn't bad news, Harry opened the scroll.
I hope this finds you well, I know that today was a really difficult day. I thought you did an amazing job and you were very thorough. What really impressed me was your dedication to ensuring that you didn't just blame them for being evil. Each instance you had specific examples and it was obvious that you were trying to be as impartial as possible. Sirius would have been so proud of you. There was nothing he hated more than Death Eaters, but he was also very passionate about not falsely accusing people for obvious reasons.
My sister-in-law, Meredith Wells, is watching Teddy while I am in the Wizengamot. I have left instructions with her that you may visit any time and you can take him with you if you would like. I would just ask that you let her know where you will be going and when you will be back.
Ginny read the letter over Harry's shoulder. She smiled, thankful that the older witch was taking the time to let Harry know what a good job he'd done. She peeked up at his face and was gratified to see a smile on his face.
"That was really nice," he said softly. "I think I'd like to see Teddy tomorrow. He's so sweet and he always puts me in a good mood."
"I'll go with you if you would like."
Harry smiled, "You are always welcome to join me."
He stood up and helped her up, "Come on, let's go."
The couple left Grimmauld Place behind and were soon strolling hand-in-hand among the shops and restaurants of Islington. "What kind of food are you in the mood for?" Harry asked.
"I have no idea," Ginny said as she looked around a bit overwhelmed by the exotic scents and looks of the street. "My mum has always made great food, but she's never made a lot of spicy, exotic food. I've never had Indian food or African food. I don't know if I'd like it."
Harry laughed, "Don't worry about it. My relatives were never much for ethnic food either. We'll explore some African food some other time. For tonight, why don't we have some pizza?"
She looked up at him with a little bit of doubt in her eyes, "Will I like pizza?"
"You'll love it."
Ten minutes later, Ginny was taking her first bite of pizza. Harry had ordered a relatively plain pepperoni pizza for Ginny's first pizza. Her eyes lit up, "This is amazing."
"Good," Harry smiled. "I knew you would like it." He laughed, "It's a good thing your brothers aren't here. Merlin only knows how many pizzas we would have needed to order. My uncle and cousin would each eat a whole pizza themselves, so I'm sure Ron could put away a whole pizza."
Ginny giggled, "I'm sure he could."
After a fun and rather low key dinner, Harry and Ginny decided to walk around looking at the shops. Ginny was fascinated by the electronics stores and Harry had fun trying to explain exactly what a computer and a DVD player did.
Harry was enchanted by her enthusiasm and curiosity. She had all of her father's enthusiasm about Muggles, but in what he thought was a much cuter package.
"I wish we could make these work," Ginny sighed. "They just look like so much fun."
Harry laughed, "I bet that we could somehow make something that would work the same. I don't know how to do it, but there have got to be some sort of charms that would do something similar."
"I bet some brilliant Muggle-born will figure it out someday," Ginny laughed.
They headed down the street and Harry revelled in the ability to walk down the street with his fiancée and no one looked twice at them. He had his arm around her shoulders and she had looped her arm around his waist. Leaning down he kissed her quickly. She laughed up at him, obviously enjoying their evening.
They stopped at a bookshop and Ginny surprised Harry by heading straight for the romance novels. Shrugging, he wandered around the shop. He'd never been much for reading for fun, but he thought he might like a mystery. He was certain he didn't want any book that had to do with war.
A few minutes later, he spotted Ginny with a few books in her hand looking at a rack of magazines. He grabbed the mystery novel he'd been looking at off the shelf and headed over to see what had caught Ginny's attention.
"What are you looking at?" he asked as he walked up behind her.
To his surprise, she blushed and held up the magazine so he could see the title. It was a Brides magazine. He smiled, "That's a good idea."
"Really?" Ginny looked up at him a bit hesitantly. "We don't know when we are getting married and we haven't even told anyone we're getting married. You don't think I'm being a bit foolish for buying a Brides magazine?"
Harry shook his head as he wrapped his arms around her, "No, I don't. I can't wait to marry you and I think it's wonderful that you want to read these magazines." He lowered his voice a bit, "Do witches wear wedding dresses?"
Ginny nodded, "Usually. Some wear robes, but I love the wedding dresses. Didn't you see Fleur's gown last year?"
He blushed a bit, "I really was just watching you."
Smiling, she kissed him on the cheek. "That was a good answer."
"So what are you looking at?"
Ginny opened the magazine to the page she had been looking at, "Isn't this dress beautiful?"
Harry listened as Ginny explained about cap sleeves and lace over satin. He thought the dress was nice and honestly, Ginny would look beautiful in anything. As long as she married him, she could wear whatever she wanted. Eventually he talked her into purchasing the magazine as well as the romance novels.
"Are you sure?"
"Of course," Harry laughed as he pulled out his wallet.
It was getting dark as the two of them returned to Grimmauld Place. Ginny sighed as they returned to the kitchen, "I guess we need to head back to the Burrow."
Harry smiled as he pulled her into his arms. "We do. I don't want to, though. I wish we could just stay here."
"I know," Ginny snuggled closer into his arms. "I wish we could just get married now."
"If that's what you want to do, we can go right now," Harry said half seriously.
Ginny seemed to consider it before she shook her head, "I want my family there. As annoying and crazy as they are, I want them there."
"Okay," Harry said. "I guess that means we need to head back."
A small frown crossed his face as he recast the spells to hide Ginny's ring. Lifting her hand, he kissed it gently. Together the two headed back to the Burrow.
_______________________________ ________________________________________ _____
Arthur smiled as his daughter and her boyfriend walked into the sitting room. While Arthur had spent most of the day with his wife, he'd heard enough about what happened at the Ministry to know it must have been a rough day for Harry. Ron and Charlie looked up from their chess game by the fire and greeted the couple. Hermione and her mother were both sitting on the couch reading, although Arthur had noticed Hermione seemed to be paying more attention to the chess game than her book.
Standing, he walked over to the couple. He clasped Harry on the back, "Did you have a good evening, son?"
Harry nodded as he smiled adoringly at Ginny. "I did. Ginny and I went out to eat and then we went walking."
The couple sat on the sofa near his favourite chair across from Hermione and her mother.
"Daddy, you need to come with us one time." With her eyes sparkling, Ginny told her father about her foray into the Muggle world. "We even bought you something."
Ginny handed her a plastic bag which he quickly reached into. He pulled out something long, black, and sleek inside a hard plastic package. He looked over at his daughter.
"It's called a remote control," Ginny said. "They use it with the televisions." She turned to Harry. "What does it do again?"
He smiled at the father and daughter, "It changes channels on the telly. So you can switch between different programing."
Arthur was delighted. He did love Muggle technology. Harry opened the package for him and handed Arthur the remote. "It's battery operated."
"So why is it that you don't use electronics?" Jane asked curiously as she watched Arthur delightedly push the buttons on the remote.
"Our magic interferes with the electronics," Hermione explained promptly. "In a house with only one witch or wizard, electronics might work, but the more magic there is the less likely the electronics are to work."
"Last summer, I made my aunt's microwave explode just by walking in front of it," Harry added. "It started sparking and looked like it was shorting out. Luckily they didn't realize it was me who caused it. My uncle was going on about poor craftsmanship."
"Really?" Jane was fascinated. "Hermione has never had that effect on electronics."
"It depends on the witch or wizard, their emotions, as well as their use of magic." Arthur explained. "Someplace like here where everyone is magical and all of our belongings are magical, Muggle technology would never work. Harry's relatives' house is Muggle, but had some very powerful enchantments placed on it to keep him safe. It's not surprising that as he grew in his magical powers he would affect the technology. Your house is Muggle with mostly Muggle belongings. The addition of one witch not using much magic shouldn't affect the technology."
Bill, who had joined them in the sitting room, added, "I've heard that the magical governments in America and Japan are looking into integrating technology or creating magical devices to do the same things."
"That would be brilliant," Harry said. "I don't know much about computers, but if we could do some of the same things with magic that would be great."
"It would be great to have some sort of phone," Jane put in. "I'm so used to being able to get a hold of people quickly that having to write a letter and wait for a response seems so old fashioned."
"I was saying to Harry it's going to take some brilliant Muggle-born who's really interested in technology to replicate some of these things," Ginny said. "We manage with magic for a lot of things, but we don't really have anything like the telly-vision and the computer ."
"I heard there is a company interested in creating an accompaniment to the WWN that will be similar to the television." Bill said. "Wouldn't that be brilliant to be able to watch the Quidditch matches from home?"
Ron perked up at that, "I'd never have to miss another Cannons' game."
"There isn't much to miss in a Cannons' game," Ginny teased her brother. "Now Harpies games — they would be amazing to watch."
Arthur laughed as he watched the conversation degenerate into a debate over the merits of their favourite Quidditch teams. Harry, he noted, was supporting Ginny in her support of the Harpies, Ron was arguing in favour of the Cannons, while Charlie and Bill were both in favour of Puddlemere.
___________________________ ________________________________________ __________________
Harry woke with a start, his heart racing. Laying his head back on the pillow he wiped his eyes with a shaking hand. It had been a while since he'd had a nightmare about the graveyard in Little Hangleton.
Even though most of those who had taken part in Voldemort's resurrection were dead, the horror of that night remained. He could still feel the bite of the ropes into his arms and the cool stone against his back. He wondered what Cedric would have done if he'd survived. Would he have joined in the fight against Voldemort? Harry imagined that he would have. Would he have stayed with Cho? Harry reflected that might have saved him from the worst date of his life.
Looking around the room, he groaned when he saw the time was 2:45. He wasn't sure he would get back to sleep. He closed his eyes, but all he could see were red eyes. After tossing and turning for another thirty minutes,he got up and pulling on his dressing gown, headed downstairs.
He resolutely passed by Ginny's door and headed to the kitchen. To his surprise, Mr Weasley was sitting at the kitchen table with a bowl of ice cream.
When he stepped into the kitchen, Mr Weasley looked up. "Harry." Looking more closely at the younger wizard he asked gently, "Nightmare?"
Harry nodded as he helped himself to a bowl of strawberry ice cream. "The graveyard."
After taking a bite of his ice cream, he looked over at his future father-in-law. "How is Mrs Weasley?"
Mr Weasley sighed, "She's a little better. I think now that she's not taking any potions everything is crashing down on her. She's so torn up about Fred and wondering if she could have done anything differently to prevent his d-death."
"I'm so sorry," Harry said softly. "I know after S-sirius I did the same thing. I kept beating myself up and thinking of all of the ways I could have done things differently. I was so angry with Snape and Dumbledore, I was even a little angry at Hermione because she had been right about it being a trap."
Mr Weasley chuckled softly, "I can imagine." He swirled around the last of his pumpkin ice cream around his bowl. Looking up, he said, "I have to say I'm a bit nervous about the meeting tonight."
"Why?" Harry asked.
"You might have noticed that most of my children have a bit of a temper." He smiled as Harry laughed. Mr Weasley continued, "I'm just afraid that a fight will start. Molly, Ron, and Charlie all have a tendency to speak first and think later. Percy tends to be a bit judgemental which doesn't go down well with the others. I have no idea what George will do."
"What about Ginny?" Harry asked after a moment.
Mr Weasley smiled, "Yes, my princess. She has a bit of a temper as well." He shook his head, "I'm honestly not sure about her either. While she is very sweet and nurturing, she tends to get upset when she is being babied and, as I'm sure you know, her mother tends to do that quite a bit."
"She knows how important it is for her mother to get better," Harry said earnestly. "I don't think she would do anything to get in the way of that."
"That's true," Mr Weasley replied. "I think I'm just thinking of all of the worst reactions everyone might have and then maybe I'll be happily surprised tomorrow."
Sending his now empty ice cream bowl to the sink, Mr Weasley eyed Harry. "What are you planning to do tomorrow? Do you have to testify?"
"Not tomorrow," Harry said with a touch of relief in his voice. "Neville, Seamus, and Michael will be testifying about the Carrows. I'm going to see Teddy tomorrow. Do you think it would be alright if I brought him here? I thought Ginny and I could have a picnic with him."
"That would be lovely," Mr Weasley said. "Ginny said that you are very good with the baby."
Harry blushed a little, "I think she might be exaggerating a bit, but I do really like being around him. He's so sweet. I hate that he lost his parents, but I want to make certain that he doesn't ever feel unwanted like I did as a kid."
The two sat quietly while Harry finished his ice cream. He sent his bowl to the sink and washed it.
"I have a question for you, Harry," Mr Weasley said before the younger wizard could leave.
"Of course," Harry said.
"I noticed something on my daughter's hand tonight."
Harry could feel the blood draining from his face. Mr Weasley smiled at him, "Don't look so scared, I'm not going to hurt you or anything."
"I'm sorry, Mr Weasley," Harry said softly. "I…I really love your daughter and…she…well she's it for me. When we went on holiday with Bill and Fleur I asked her to marry me."
"Why didn't you say anything?" Mr Weasley asked.
Taking heart that Mr Weasley hadn't kicked him out of the house or anything, Harry looked up. "Ginny wanted to wait until after her birthday to announce it. She didn't know how her mum would respond and didn't want to cause a scene."
He locked eyes with the older man, willing him to realize how important this was to them and how serious he was about Ginny. Mr Weasley seemed to be taking stock of his intentions and sincerity.
"When do you plan to get married?"
"I'm not sure yet," Harry admitted. "We probably won't get married for another year or two, but…I just…I want to be with her. She's not sure what she wants to do yet; she thinks she wants to play professional Quidditch and that would involve travel. I don't want to stop her from doing anything she wants to do; I just want to marry her."
Slowly Mr Weasley nodded. "I won't deny that I wish you were older, but I also know how happy you make her." He sighed, "She is also correct that her mother won't respond well to the announcement."
"I'm sorry," Harry said. He immediately clarified, "I'm sorry that she'll be upset. I'm not sorry that I asked Ginny to marry me. She really is the best thing that has ever happened to me. If you want to wait to tell Mrs Weasley, that's fine with me. We don't want to make anything worse."
Mr Weasley sighed as he rubbed his eyes under his glasses, "I think it would be in everyone's best interests to announce it at a later point in time. Who else knows right now?"
"Just Bill and Fleur," Harry explained. He looked curiously at Mr Weasley, "How did you know? I thought I recast the glamours on her ring correctly."
"You did," Mr Weasley assured him. "I felt something on her hand when she handed me the remote control. I didn't think much of it at first, but as I watched the two of you I realized what it must be. You can break through a glamour charm, especially if you have an idea of what you are looking for." He looked at the younger wizard over his glasses. "I will be talking to Ginny in the morning."
As the two men rose, Mr Weasley pulled Harry into an embrace. "I am very happy for the two of you and I certainly give you my blessing. As long as my daughter is happy, I am happy."
They headed upstairs together and this time Harry was able to fall back asleep much more easily.
A s Harry and Ginny jogged into the back garden, Mr Weasley called out to his daughter. While Harry finished his work out, Ginny headed into her father's shed. It had always been one her most favourite places in the whole world.
The shed was crammed with pieces of all sorts of mysterious Muggle items. When she was little, she used to come out and sit on her own little stool and play with whatever her father felt was safe for her to fiddle with. The shed was also the site of any dressing downs her father felt necessary to dole out. While that didn't happen often, all of her brothers had been pulled out here at one time or another. Ginny had never been called into her father's shed before, so she was a bit nervous.
"Good morning, Dad."
"Good morning, love." Mr Weasley hugged his daughter before gesturing her into his shed. As she sat down on one of the stools, he said, "I'm guessing that Harry talked to you."
She nodded, "I'm sorry I didn't tell you, Dad."
"I understand, love." He looked over at his baby girl.
After so many boys, his daughter had literally taken his breath away when she arrived. He hadn't been able to spoil her as he would have liked, but he tried to spend as much time with her as possible. He'd played tea party with her and would take her into work with him from time to time. He hated the fact that she was old enough to look to someone else, but he was truly happy that she'd found her true love.
Still he had to make sure. "You are happy, right?"
"I'm very happy," she confirmed. "When we were out last night I even bought a Brides magazine. I know we aren't getting married for a while, but…"
Mr Weasley started laughing, "I remember when your mother and I first became engaged. She had every bridal magazine she could get her hands on."
"I thought you eloped?" Ginny asked.
"We did," he replied. "But we didn't start out that way. We were planning on having a traditional wedding, but your mother and grandmother couldn't agree on anything. Finally we just had enough and eloped."
Ginny giggled, "I can understand that after seeing Bill and Fleur's wedding. We don't want a big wedding. I hope Mum will understand that."
"You might have a few arguments on your hands." Mr Weasley laughed. "I will try to help keep her calm, but there may be an argument or two in your future."
Ginny laughed. "So you're okay with Harry and me getting married?"
"I am," Mr Weasley affirmed. "I want to make certain you at least finish Hogwarts first, but I am very happy for you."
"I can't decide if I want a summer wedding or a Christmas wedding," Ginny said. She was glad to have someone to talk to about wedding ideas. "A summer wedding would be great because we could get married once I finish at Hogwarts and before I start working, but I've always liked the idea of a Christmas wedding. We could have a tent like Bill and Fleur did, but have it heated. We could have holly and ivy and mistletoe and we could have Christmas trees around the edge of the tent. Wouldn't that be brilliant?"
Mr Weasley smiled indulgently at his daughter. "That does sound lovely."
A knock on the open doorway caused them to look up. Harry was standing there, obviously having finished his work out. "Is everything okay?"
Ginny nodded, "Yes, Daddy and I were just talking. I think I've decided I want a Christmas wedding. Would you mind waiting until next December?"
Harry shook his head with a smile. "No, love. I told you, whenever you want to get married is fine with me. Christmas sounds great."
Ginny beamed, "Yeah!"
"Are we still waiting to tell everyone?" Harry asked.
Exchanging a glance with her father, Ginny nodded. "At least until my birthday; once I'm seventeen no one can say I'm too young or don't know what I'm doing."
Hugging her father, Ginny followed Harry into the house.
Close to noon, Harry arrived back at the Burrow with Teddy in his arms.
"Teddy!" Ginny swooped in and lifted him out of Harry's arms. Teddy giggled and his hair changed to a bright red.
Harry smiled as he set the baby bag down. "He seems happy to see you."
The back door opened and Ron and Hermione entered. Hermione gasped when she saw the baby. "My goodness, is that Professor Lupin's baby?"
Harry nodded proudly, "Yes, this is Teddy."
"He's gotten so big," Hermione said as she walked over to Ginny.
"How old is he now?" Ron asked.
"He's four months old," Harry said as he rubbed his hand over the baby's head. "Isn't he sweet?"
"He is," Hermione cooed.
Ron looked a little scared to get too close to the baby. "What is he doing here?"
"I'm taking him and Ginny on a picnic this afternoon," Harry explained.
Ginny handed the baby back to Harry and started packing up the lunch she'd made while he was getting Teddy. "So what was his aunt like?"
"She seemed really nice," Harry replied. "She reminded me of Mr Tonks — she's blond and a little plump, very friendly. She's moved in with Andromeda and Teddy for a while. Her husband is away in Belgium on some kind of consulting job for a few months, so she's helping Andromeda out."
"Is she a witch?" Hermione asked.
"She is, but her husband is a Muggle and I get the idea that she doesn't use much magic in her daily life," Harry said. "She works as a primary school teacher."
Ginny looked up from her packing, "Would you two like to come on our picnic?"
"Sure," Ron answered immediately.
"Are you sure?" Hermione asked. "We don't want to intrude."
"No, that's fine," Harry said. "We haven't had much opportunity to hang out this summer."
After applying the sunscreen charm to the baby, the four teens headed out to the pond. While Ginny and Ron spread out the blankets, Harry cast the charms Bill had taught him on the pond so Teddy couldn't fall in. Hermione watched with interest.
"Why are you casting the charms if Teddy doesn't even crawl yet?"
Harry looked over his shoulder at his friend, "Bill said it was a good idea to get used to casting the charms even before he can move so it becomes like second nature. That way I won't have to develop new habits when he gets older."
As they sat down on the blankets, Hermione remarked, "You seem like you have been spending quite a bit of time with Bill."
Harry nodded as he handed Teddy his favourite wolf rattle. "He helped me approach the goblins and work out the arrangement for me to work with them. He's great."
Ron had already piled his plate high with sandwiches and was settling in to eat as the other three grabbed their food. Hermione grabbed a turkey sandwich before asking, "What did you do with the goblins?"
"They were angry after the break-in so Kingsley and Bill helped broker a deal with Gringott's management. I released a statement that the goblins had helped in Voldemort's defeat — which they did in a way — and I helped repair the damage we caused in our escape. I had to pay a fine and I worked with a team of curse breakers and warders to repair the damage."
"Charlie is happy because you three inadvertently brought the plight of the dragons to public attention," Ginny put in. "Some of the experts from the Hebrides Dragon Preserve have been down in the tunnels helping to create better working conditions for the dragons."
The afternoon passed quickly for the teens. Harry felt relaxed and happy as he played with Teddy or just chatted with his friends. They stayed away from the emotionally laden topics of his testimony or Mrs Weasley, but Hermione and Ginny were talking about the upcoming school year and Ron and Harry were talking about their plans for the autumn.
"You should move into Grimmauld place," Harry was insisting. "It will be fun. Seamus will be staying there too."
"That does sound like fun," Ron admitted. "George is going to be staying with Percy and I certainly don't want to stay with Percy."
"Can you imagine what he would be like as a roommate?" Harry laughed. "I'm sure he'd fuss at you to clean your room and be quiet. I promise I won't do that. You can have your pick of rooms. Kreacher is redoing all of the rooms so you can have him paint one orange if you want."
"I'll talk to Dad," Ron promised. "If he thinks it's a good idea, I'll do it."
"Good," Harry smiled.
As the teens and Teddy returned to the house, Harry turned to Hermione. "What do you want to do this evening?"
"My mum wanted to call my dad so we were going to head into town," Hermione explained. "How about the three of us get some dinner while we're there?"
"What are you talking about?" Ron demanded. "We have to go see my mum this evening."
Hermione looked at Harry who seemed a bit taken aback. "It's a family meeting, mate. We aren't going."
"What?" Ron looked at his sister who seemed a bit uncomfortable.
"Dad said it was a family meeting," she said. "I think Mum might feel a bit uncomfortable with other people there."
"But it's Harry and Hermione, not some strangers," Ron argued.
"Ron, we'll be here when you get home," Hermione said softly.
Glaring at the others, Ron slammed out of the kitchen. Hermione sighed as she sank into one of the kitchen chairs. Charlie and Mrs Granger, who had been in the sitting room, came into the kitchen.
"What happened?" Charlie asked.
"Ron," Ginny explained what happened.
"I'll talk to him in a bit," Charlie said. "I'll give him some time to calm down.
Nodding, Harry said, "I need to take Teddy home. I'll be back soon.."
At five in the afternoon, the Weasley family was ready to head to Brighton. Charlie, as promised, had talked to Ron so he was a bit calmer. Harry kissed Ginny goodbye and watched as they all stepped into the floo one by one.
Hermione sighed, "I really hope everything goes well."
"Me too," Harry replied.
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