|SIYE Time:4:09 on 23rd November 2017|
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: 80825; Chapter Total: 4482
Awards: View Trophy Room
Sorry, as I was reading over Chapter 8, I realized that I had only posted half of the chapter. Oops here is the rest.
Harry gripped Ginny's hand tightly as they headed for Mrs Weasley's room. She smiled over at him, "It will be okay, love."
"I know," Harry replied. "I think I'm just a little nervous after…"
"After she tried to make someone else my boyfriend?" Ginny teased gently.
He nodded. She stopped short in the hall, pulling him to a stop as well. "I love you and she loves you, she just needs time to adjust to new ideas."
"Good morning, Ginny."
Turning around, Ginny saw Healer Sinclair. "Good morning."
"Is this your boyfriend?"
"Yes, this is my boyfriend, Harry. Harry, this is Healer Sinclair, she's been taking care of my mum."
Harry noticed Healer Sinclair's eyes flick up to his forehead, but she didn't comment on that. "It is nice to meet you, Harry. Mrs Weasley has been looking forward to talking to you."
The healer said goodbye as they reached Mrs Weasley's room. Ginny knocked on the door.
"Come in, dears." Mrs Weasley smiled at the young couple as they entered. She hugged her daughter and held out her arms to Harry. He hugged her briefly before sitting in the chair next to Ginny.
"Harry, I would like to thank you for all of your help over this whole summer. Ginny, Bill, and Arthur have all been singing your praises."
Harry blushed as his girlfriend smiled at him proudly. "I was glad I could help. You and your family have done so much for me."
Mrs Weasley beamed. "We have always been happy to have you. So tell me how is Auror training going?"
"I really like it so far," Harry replied. "I'm working part time. We've done a little of everything — helped at Hogwarts and Diagon Alley, we've taken classes and helped with the trials. There are six people in my class and we all get along well."
Mrs Weasley nodded. "I've seen your picture in the paper with several different witches so far this summer."
"No Ginny, I would like to hear what he has to say."
Harry squeezed Ginny's hand. "I can't help them taking my picture, Mrs Weasley. I love your daughter and I would never do anything to hurt her. She knows that and the pictures are really more of a nuisance than anything else. They crop the pictures to show what they want."
Mrs Weasley nodded, but Harry couldn't tell if she was satisfied with his answer or not. She continued. "You will be in London for most of the next year, how do you plan on maintaining a relationship?"
Glancing over at his fiancée, Harry could see she was getting angrier. "We will write back and forth and I plan on visiting her whenever possible. Plus I will be taking History of Magic at Hogwarts — I will see her at least once a week. This isn't just a fling or some summer romance."
To his relief, Mrs Weasley seemed satisfied with his answer. "Please just be careful. I don't want you rushing into anything."
She turned to her daughter. "So tell me what you have planned for your birthday."
While Harry could tell she was still a bit upset with her mother, Ginny started talking and Harry mostly listened. He was happy that Mrs Weasley seemed to at least accept their relationship. She wasn't as happy for them as Bill and Fleur or Mr Weasley, but she didn't come out and say she didn't think they should date.
Harry finished his third circuit around the Burrow and smiled at his fiancée as she finished next to him. In the garden, Ginny cooled down while Harry finished his work out with a series of push ups and sit ups.
As Harry sat up for the last time, he grinned over at Ginny. "You kept up really well."
"I did," Ginny said proudly. She leaned over and kissed him. "Come on, I'm hungry."
Laughingly he got up and followed her. "I certainly wouldn't want to get between a Weasley and their food."
She playfully shoved him. "Behave."
He opened the cold cupboard and pulled out some bacon. "No eggs."
Ginny made a face, "Okay. You have to come with me. I hate getting eggs by myself."
"Okay," Harry said with a bit of confusion. He grabbed a basket and followed her. "I've seen you get eggs plenty of times."
"I know, my mum always used to send me to gather eggs while the boys had to de-gnome the garden. I think it was her idea of gender appropriate jobs, but I've always hated it. Once when I was little, the rooster chased me out of the yard. I must have been pretty little because it seemed to me that he was half as big as me."
Harry smiled at the thought of a little Ginny being chased by a rooster. His smile was wiped away by her next statement.
"After my first year, it got worse. Every time I saw the rooster I could see me strangling Hagrid's roosters. I felt so incredibly guilty. I know a few times I just sat out in the yard and cried. It's gotten much better, but I still don't like coming out here by myself."
Ginny reached out to push open the gate to the chicken coop and Harry put his hand down over hers. He lifted her hand and kissed her palm. "You don't have to come out here by yourself anymore."
She smiled up at him. "Thank you."
Together they gathered eggs and by the end, Ginny was laughing as Harry pretended to be attacked by the chickens. They feed and watered the chickens together. Ginny talked Harry through the spell to clean the floor and he cleaned the floor while she spread a new layer of pine shavings.
"There," she said looking around in satisfaction. "That looks so much better. It's needed to be done for a while, but I didn't want to come out here by myself."
They picked up their baskets and headed back to the house. Ginny said, "When we were little, Mum would make us clean up out there without any magic. That was awful."
Harry laughed as he washed up. "I am so glad the Dursleys never thought to keep chickens. I am sure my aunt would have had me sleeping out there with them. Aunt Marge's bloody dog was bad enough. Luckily Aunt Petunia hated animals so I never had to take care of any animals."
Within a short period of time Harry had eggs and bacon frying while Ginny was making toast. Mr Weasley soon joined the young couple in the kitchen.
"Good morning, Dad." Ginny leaned over and kissed her father on the cheek. She automatically began making a plate for him.
"Thank you, dear." Mr Weasley smiled at his daughter. Picking up a slice of bacon, he asked, "What time do you expect people to start arriving?"
"Four," Ginny said. "We're going to go visit Teddy this morning, then start getting ready. The house is pretty clean and Charlie promised he'd finish picking up the sitting room. George and Ron are going to de-gnome the garden."
"Very good," Mr Weasley said. "I'll plan to be back before four. I'm going to visit your mother this morning and I'll be going into the Ministry for a short time. If you need anything, please let me know."
"Can you bring some ice cream home?" Ginny asked.
"Of course," he replied. "What else are you having to eat?" He looked over at Harry. "I understand you are cooking on that…what did you call it? Barbe?"
Harry laughed, "A Bar-be-que, yes. I thought I'd cook some burgers and sausages. Fleur is going to make some potato salad and Hermione is bringing some scotch eggs. It should be fun."
"Excellent," Mr Weasley looked pleased. "You two have fun today and I'll see you this afternoon. If you think of anything else you need, leave me a message at the Ministry."
After spending the morning with Teddy, Harry and Ginny returned to the Burrow to find her brothers already cleaning. Hermione arrived soon after Harry and Ginny returned.
She handed Harry a large tray. "These are the scotch eggs from my Mum. What can I do?"
Harry looked around the garden. "Do you want to help decorate a bit? Ginny thought maybe some ribbons and balloons would be nice."
"Sure," Hermione said. She headed off to confer with Ginny. Soon they had the back garden draped in multi-coloured streamers and balloons. Bill conjured up a pergola and strung fairy lights around the structure. Charlie set up tables and chairs while Fleur set the tables. She had small vases of flowers, brightly coloured tablecloths and serviettes for each table.
"It looks great," Ginny enthused to her sister-in-law.
"Merci," Fleur replied with a smile. "This is the part of parties that I always enjoy — the decorating and menu planning. I asked my mother to send some things across for this dinner. My mother is a party planner," she explained to Hermione.
They set up the food on one of the long tables with cooling or warming charms — which ever was appropriate. Fleur showed the two younger girls how to set charms to keep any insects out of the food.
George wandered over to the area where Harry had set up the grill. "So how does this thing work?"
Harry grinned as he showed George how to pile up the charcoal and apply the lighter fluid. "You need to be careful with this as it will cause anything to light up more quickly. I think they have some charcoal now that has the lighter fluid somehow in the charcoal, but I've never used that kind."
"You've cooked on one of these before?" George asked curiously.
"Yes," Harry said. "My uncle had one and he would cook on it sometimes. It's a popular way for Muggles to cook during the summertime. My uncle used to do the cooking himself, but in the last few years he would just light the fire and have me do the cooking." He shrugged. "I didn't mind, if I was cooking I didn't have do to as many other chores."
"Dad is going to go nuts for this," George warned.
Harry laughed, "I know. That's okay."
By four in the afternoon, the guests started arriving. Neville arrived first, quickly followed by Luna and Dean. Susan arrived soon afterwards accompanied by Hannah Abbott.
"You don't mind, do you?" she asked Harry. "Hannah's been staying with me for a while."
"No, of course not," Harry said. "She's more than welcome."
Alicia, Angelina, Katie, and Lee all arrived together. George immediately brightened up when they arrived. Demelza and another of Ginny's roommates, Julia, arrived together. Seamus was the last to arrive.
As early evening rolled around, everyone had eaten and everyone was mingling and having a good time. Bill had piped some music out and a few people were dancing and enjoying the music.
Charlie made his way over to where Harry and Ginny were talking to Ron and Hermione. "This is really nice. I'm glad you did this."
"Percy didn't seem to enjoy it much," Ginny said sounding a bit disappointed. "He disappeared into the house as soon as he finished eating."
"He's a prat," Ron said. "What do you expect? He doesn't like having fun."
"Ron!" Hermione scolded.
"He's right," Charlie said. "Percy doesn't like having fun."
Hermione shook her head, but didn't comment. Instead she asked, "How is Teddy?"
Harry brightened up. "He's great. He's so cute and playful. Andromeda says he's sleeping through the night now."
"I just realized who Teddy's mum was," Charlie said.
"Did you know her?" Harry asked eagerly.
"She was in my year at Hogwarts," Charlie said. "She was in Hufflepuff so we had some classes together. I didn't really know her well, just kind of to say hi — that sort of thing. She was into Defence and I was into Quidditch and dragons. We only had a few classes together our last few years. One of my friends had a huge crush on her though. He was going to take Defence just to be near her, but he changed his mind."
Harry looked at Charlie strangely. "Wait, does that mean you didn't take Defence?"
"Not after my OWLs," Charlie said.
Ginny started laughing at the look on her boyfriend's face. "I think you broke him, Charlie."
"I just can't imagine not taking Defence," Harry said.
Charlie shrugged. "It was a different time. It was after the first war and before the second war, so didn't really seem that important. Plus we never really had a good teacher so I didn't bother."
Shaking his head, Harry said, "That just seems so strange. I think everyone in our year took Defence."
"Most of them did," Hermione agreed. "I think there were a few people in Hufflepuff and a few in Slytherin who didn't continue with Defence, but all of the Gryffindors and all of the Ravenclaws continued on with it."
"I had to brush up on a lot of skills when I joined the Order," Charlie said. "I should have kept up with Defence, but when I was in school I just wasn't interested."
Seamus ambled over to join the group, butterbeer in hand. "It's too bad Terry and Michael couldn't make it."
"They already had plans," Harry said, "some family thing or something."
"They both had a family thing?" Hermione asked.
"It's Michael's family," Harry explained. "I guess Terry is seeing Michael's sister."
"Really?" Ginny asked. "Charlotte? Terry's had a crush on her forever."
"I think so," Harry said glancing at Seamus. Seamus nodded, "Charlotte, yes."
"I don't remember her," Hermione said. She asked Ginny "Is she in your year?"
"No," Ginny said. "She's not magical. Michael's dad was killed before Michael was born and when his mum remarried, his step-father was a Muggle. None of Michael's siblings are magical."
Ron who had wandered over to the refreshment table came back with a tray of drinks. "Here, try the punch."
Harry took a sip and felt a burn as he swallowed. Hermione started sputtering as soon as she took a drink.
"Ronald, is this spiked?"
Ron shrugged unconcernedly. "I don't know, maybe. George just added something."
"And you just drank it?" Hermione practically shrieked. "He can't do that."
"Calm down," Ginny said. "It's just a little Firewhiskey. Everyone here is over age."
"You're not," Hermione said.
Ginny rolled her eyes, "I will be in three days."
"I don't know," Hermione said as she looked over at the table.
Everyone seemed to be enjoying the punch. Ron said, "Don't worry about it Hermione. It will be fine."
Harry pulled Ginny away, "I don't particularly want to hear them bickering."
Ginny's eyes lit up as she pulled him to a more secluded part of the garden. Wrapping her arms around his neck, she pulled him down for a heated kiss. They lost themselves in the sensation of being in each other's arms. A loud bang caused them to stop and look around. Ginny lay her head against Harry's chest as she watched her brother shoot off fireworks for the first time in over a year.
Harry pulled her over to one of the benches and wandered over to the table to grab some more punch. He laughed when he saw Hermione. She seemed to have overcome her aversion to the Firewhiskey because he could tell how much she'd had by the way she was laughing and hanging all over Ron. He also seemed to have been drinking quite steadily as he was laughing and talking quite loudly. Harry laughed when he saw Bill point a wand at his brother and quiet him down.
"How did you do that?" Harry asked.
Bill shrugged. "It's a partial silencing charm. Mum used to use it if one of us was really fussy. It lets you still hear the baby crying, but it doesn't wake up the other kids. I thought it was appropriate for him right now."
He looked around. "Fleur and I are heading home. Dad and Percy are inside if anyone gets out of control." He laughed as he watched Charlie dancing a bit too enthusiastically with Alicia. "He won't be of much help."
"This was a great idea, though," Bill said. "I haven't seen George having this much fun since last summer."
The two fell silent for a moment as they watched him talking to Lee and Angelina.
"I'm glad," Harry said. "I can't imagine how he feels, but if there's anything we can do to help him…Did you hear he's going to be moving into Grimmauld Place with us?"
"Brilliant," Bill replied. "He needs to be around you guys. He really looks up to you, you know."
"What?" Harry looked thunderstruck.
Bill laughed. "You've handled everything that's been thrown at you with a grace that most of us couldn't hope to achieve."
Blushing, Harry mumbled, "I don't know about that."
Shaking his head, Bill drew Harry into a hug. "Go back to my sister and have fun tonight. Let her know I'm taking Demelza and Julia home for her."
Harry went back to Ginny with the punch and listened to Luna explaining her father's plans for the autumn. "The Healers have recommended he go to a warmer climate for his health. He's been…listless after Azkaban. He's going to go to Egypt and search for the Speckled Fire Scorpion."
By this time, Ron and Hermione had joined the group. Hermione rolled her eyes. "The Speckled Fire Scorpion? I've never heard of those before."
Luna shrugged, "I imagine they've never heard of you either."
As the rest of the group burst out laughing, Luna continued. "I was telling Bill about my father's plans. He gave me the names of some guides my father can contact once he gets to Egypt."
Luna stood and drifted over to the dessert table with Dean following her. Hermione shook her head. "Why would Bill encourage her?"
"Bill always had a bit of a soft spot for Luna," Ginny spoke up. "Luna's Mum, Selene, used to babysit for Bill and Charlie when they were little. If Mum felt like she needed to concentrate on the younger kids, Selene would watch Bill and Charlie. That's how I first met Luna. Even once they started at Hogwarts, they would go over and help her out doing chores that kind of thing."
"Really?" Hermione looked surprised.
"Selene was a lot of fun," George spoke up. "She would play games with us and teach us all kinds of silly things. We'd hunt for dust bunnies and search for all sorts of invisible animals. In the evening we'd hunt for fairies and put them in glass jars. If you're nice to them, they will light up the jar all night. I guess that's where Luna gets it."
"A fairy hunt!" Ginny exclaimed. "We should have a fairy hunt."
"I don't know," Hermione started. But everyone else thought it was a great idea. Charlie unearthed some glass jars from the shed and soon everyone was spread out over the garden searching for fairies. Harry and Ginny managed to catch two pixies. Harry laughed as they posed and postured in the jar. Ginny found some honey for them to eat.
As they headed back closer to the house, Harry could see Charlie had lit a bonfire and someone had arranged the benches around it. By this time more of the guests had left including Neville, Susan, and Hannah. Dean and Luna had decided to walk back to her house. Harry could tell by the look on Dean's face, he was looking forward to a bit of private time with his girlfriend.
He bumped Ginny's arm. "Seamus sure is putting the moves on Katie."
"He's had a crush on her forever," Ginny said.
"How do you know all this stuff?" Harry asked as he finished another cup of punch.
She laughed, "I don't know. I hear a lot of things."
Harry handed her another cup of punch. "You look so beautiful tonight."
When she laughed, he asked, "What don't you believe me?"
"I think you might be a bit pissed."
Harry shrugged, "Maybe a little, but you're still beautiful."
Giggling, Ginny rewarded him with a kiss. She looked around at the group still left by the fire. Katie and Seamus were flirting outrageously on one bench while George, Charlie, Lee, Angelina, and Alicia were talking and laughing on two other benches. Ron and Hermione were nowhere to be seen.
"I don't think they'd notice if we slipped away," Ginny whispered. Harry quickly agreed and the two made their way up to Harry's room.
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