|SIYE Time:14:59 on 23rd September 2018|
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Category: Alternate Universe
Characters:Harry/Ginny, Hermione Granger, James Potter, Lily Potter
Genres: General, Humor, Poetry, Romance
Story is Complete
Summary: A collection of moments that Harry should have had with his parents. AU
Hitcount: Story Total: 1588
Disclaimer: Harry Potter Publishing Rights © J.K.R. Note the opinions in this story are my own and in no way represent the owners of this site. This story subject to copyright law under transformative use. No compensation is made for this work.
Parents, siblings, Sirius, Remus, Tonks and Fred are alive! This story has got all the feels. Love, laughter and tears of joy and sorrow.
“Uh-Oh,” said Rose Potter, reading the paper.
“What's up?” asked her brother Andrew.
“Mum and Dad are not going to like this. Harry made the papers,” she said, showing him the front page. He quickly perused it, his eyes widening the more he read.
“Good morning. Anything interesting in the paper?” asked their mother, Lily Potter, kissing Rose on her forehead before sitting next to Andrew.
“Nothing. Not worth reading,” said Rose, quickly putting the paper on the seat next to her. Andrew discreetly tried to remove it, but a hand snatched it away.
“Morning all,” said James, grabbing the paper and sitting on the chair it was just on.
“Morning Dad,” said Rose and Andrew together.
“Harry not down yet?” asked Lily. Rose and Andrew shook their heads.
“He was out with the boys last night, wasn't he? Neville and er, that Irish one, what's his name?” asked James, taking a sip of coffee and opening the paper.
“Seamus,” said Andrew. He and Rose watched their dad anxiously.
“I thought they were just going to hang around Neville's place,” said Lily.
“What the-Lily, read this,” said James, handing the paper to Lily. She read it and paled, turning to her other children. “Have you seen your brother this morning?”
Rose shook her head, but as she did, Harry came in. He seemed in a trance, not acknowledging them, or saying anything. Lily gasped when she saw him, but Harry seemed unconcerned. He poured himself a bowl of milk, and buttered his napkin.
“Harry, what happened to you. James, look at him! Harry, Harry, are you all right?” asked Lily, worriedly. ” His nose was swollen and he had two black eyes.
“Hmmm? Oh, morning all. Lovely day, isn't it,” he said dreamily. He picked up his spoon and ate a spoonful of milk.
“Harry, what have you got to say about this? I thought you were going to Neville's last night?” asked James, shoving the paper in Harry's face.
“I did, but then Seamus wanted to go to that new club, “Wrackspurts!” said Harry. He took another spoonful of milk, looking down and frowning as he realised he had no cereal in his bowl.
“Ooh, what's it like, I've heard it's good,” said Rose eagerly. Her mother shot her a look and she hunched back over her breakfast. She looked at Andrew out of the corner of her eye, and he winked at her.
“Oh, it's all right. I'm not one for those kind of places, but it was...it was amazing,” he sighed.
“Harry, look at me. Did you have anything to drink? Could someone have slipped something in it, do you think, a tainted potion? Oh James, he's not right,” said Lily, looking to her husband for answers.
“Harry, what happened last night? Who is this girl you got in a brawl with? The reporter says you were asked to leave,” asked James.
“We were going to get drinks, and SHE was sitting by the bar. It's all Seamus' fault, that wonderful, wonderful man,” sighed Harry happily.
“Harry James Potter, explain yourself,” demanded Lily.
Harry focused on his mother as if just realising she was mad. “Oh, morning,” he said to everyone again.
“Harry!” warned his mother. She pointed to the paper, then his face. “Explain!”
“Well, we got to Wrackspurts and we walked around. It was packed so it took us awhile. We decided to get a drink from the bar and that's when.I saw... HER,” sighed Harry.
“WHO?” yelled his frustrated family.
“It was Seamus' fault. He was the one who said check out her ass, er, rear,” said Harry, turning red and looking apogetically at Rose and Lily.
“So he forced you,” said Andrew, with a smirk.
“I couldn't help it. Once he said it, I just...did it,” shrugged Harry. His mother tsk'd, but his dad looked amused.
“Then what?” asked Rose.
“She, er, caught me. I tried to explain, tried to say it was Seamus' fault but I forgot one thing. The bar has mirrors on the wall behind. She saw me do it,” said Harry.
“Still, that's no reason to assault you,” said Lily angrily. “What did she do, punch you?”
“She turned around and told me off for being a pervy git. I went to apologise, but I, well, I tripped. I sort of put my hands out to stop my fall. You know, like this,” said Harry, putting his hands up.
“Yeah, so,” said James, perplexed.
“I kind of fell on her, and my hands may have landed on her...lady parts,” said Harry, cupping his hands to remember how her curves fitted perfectly.
James and Andrew snorted. “Lady parts!” They broke into laughter. Even Rose snickered.
“James, Andrew,” snapped Lily, sobering the two instantly. She turned her attention back to Harry.
“It was an innocent mistake. Then what happened?” she asked.
“She hexed me. A Bat bogey hex. Never saw it coming,” said Harry, in a dreamy haze. He rubbed his nose affectionately. “Then they asked us to leave, both of us.”
“Asked?” asked Andrew, his eyebrows raised.
“Ok, told us to,” admitted Harry. “So we went for coffee.”
“After all that you got a date with her. Way to go, Bro,” said Andrew, impressed. He held his hand up for a high five. Harry reciprocated, then Andrew got up to take his plate to the kitchen and try to con the family house elf into cooking an extra piece of bacon.
“Hope it's not too painful, Big Brother,” said Rose, grabbing his nose and squeezing it gently. Harry pulled away, wincing as it was still a bit tender. Rose laughed and took her plate to the kitchen.
“So this story is just a blow up,” said Lily, waving the paper.
“Let me see that. Is there a picture of her?” asked Harry eagerly, almost snatching it from his mother's hands.
“Just some hair flicking and then her hand comes down to cover the camera lens. At least we know she's not after publicity,” sighed James in relief.
“Mum, Dad...I have some news,” said Harry, glad his siblings had left them alone.
“Yes son?” said James. Lily was apprehensive.
“She's the one,” gushed Harry.
“Who?” asked Lily. Harry's dreamy gaze slid to the paper. “Her? The girl in the paper?” she asked, shocked.
Harry nodded, his face lit up. “I can't wait for you to meet her. She's amazing. Can I invite her to tea tonight?” he asked.
“Harry, are you sure? You just met her last night, and she assaulted you,” said James, gesturing to the paper.
“I know, great huh,” grinned Harry. “It'll be a great story to tell our kids. Hey, can I keep this?” He got up with the paper and carried his half full bowl of milk to the kitchen.
“Kids!” exclaimed Lily, looking at James. “He's talking about kids!”
“Relax, Lil. I know this is the first girl he's brought home to meet us, but he just met her last night,” said James, not fussed.
Harry came back out of the kitchen a couple of minutes later, eating a piece of bacon. “I just owled her, inviting her to tea. Thanks Mum, Dad, this means a lot to me. I can't wait for you to meet her, you'll love her as much as I do!” he said happily.
Lily looked at James. 'Love?” she mouthed, worriedly.
“Ginny's close to her family, too. She's got six brothers and she's the only girl, and the youngest. You're going to love her,” he said.
“So you've said,” said Lily dryly. “Well, we look forward to meeting her.” She wanted to meet the witch who hexed her son!
“I'm going to go upstairs and wait for her reply,” said Harry. “ I want tonight to go really well. Your opinion means everything to me, Mum, Dad.” He went upstairs, looking at the picture in the paper and sighing happily.
“Well, what do you think about that one?” asked Harry, pointing.
“I don't know,” sighed Neville, not really looking. He saw the largest one on display. “How about that one?”
Harry scoffed. “That's not Ginny's style at all. I really like that one,” he said, pointing to the one that had caught his eye.
“May I assist you, Sir,” asked the man behind the counter.
“Er, just looking, thanks,” said Harry, self consciously.
“He's looking for an engagement ring,” Neville told the salesman.
“I see, congratulations,” said the salesman. He gestured to the ring that Neville pointed out. “A good choice. Notice the clarity, the cut-”
“The cost,” said Harry, dryly. He shook his head. “It's just not Ginny. I want to give her a ring that's perfect. Money's no problem, but I'm not going to buy the biggest, gaudiest ring in the room.”
“You're right. I'm sorry,” said Neville.
“It's fine. Come on, let's go,” said Harry, giving the ring of his choice a final look. He followed Neville out of the store.
“Are you sure you don't want one of your friends opinions?” asked James, as Harry ushered him into the jewellery store.
“Well, I kind of asked Nev yesterday, but he doesn't get it. It doesn't matter about the cost, or the clarity or any of that other stuff. It just has to be perfect. You get it, don't you Dad?” asked Harry.
“Yeah, I do. You'll see the ring and it will instantly make you think of her,” said James, remembering dragging Sirius out with him to look for the perfect ring for Lily.
“Exactly. I knew you'd understand, Dad,” said Harry in relief. He led James to where he'd stood yesterday. “I think, no, I'm pretty sure I found it in there,” he said, pointing.
“Which one?” asked James, scanning the rows and rows of rings. “Ooh, I like that one. See the way the light hit it, and it reflected the colours. Kind of reminded me of Ginny,” he said.
“Dad,” said Harry, moved. “That's it. That's the ring I wanted to get yesterday.”
James hugged his son. “You know we've grown to love Ginny, but Harry, are you sure? It's a big step.”
“I love her, Dad. I look at her and she's my everything,” said Harry.
James looked proudly at his son. “Then let's buy you an engagement ring,” he said thickly, hugging him again. He gestured to the salesman to attend to them.
“Thanks for being here with me, Dad. I knew you'd know the right one,” said Harry, feeling ecstatic.
“I'm honoured to share this with you, son. However, I do draw the line at the actual proposing. You'll have to do that all on your own,” he teased.
Harry laughed as he handed over his Gringott's card to pay for it.
“Dad, can you come in here?” asked Harry, nervously.
“What is it, Son?” asked James, equally nervous.
“James, Harry, where are you?” asked an also nervous Lily.
“In here,” called Harry and James together. The grinned at each other and looked as Lily came in.
“Mum, you look beautiful,” said Harry.
Lily's eyes teared up.
“Now look what you did,” said James, sternly to Harry. Then he winked at him to let him know he was joking. He turned to Lily. “Come on Lil, don't spoil your make-up. He's just getting married, that's all.”
“That's all? That's everything! My baby, my firstborn,” sniffed Lily.
“Mu-um,” sighed Harry. He handed her his boutonniere. “Can you put this in for me, please?”
“You look so handsome,” sighed Lily, taking it from him and reaching up to attach it to his lapel. “Now, no second thoughts?”
“Never!” said Harry, firmly. “In fact, I can't wait to get to the church. I just hope Gin doesn't suddenly become too traditional and be late.”
“It's nice that she agreed to be married in our church here in Godric's Hollow,” said Lily. She patted his collar and sighed. “My little Harry.” She hurried out the room, sniffing.
Harry smiled at his Mum then turned to his Dad. “Can you help a man out with his tie?” He handed it over to his Dad, who stepped closer to his son.
James put it around Harry's neck. “I didn't want to say anything in front of your mother, but I know you snuck out last night and didn't get back till nearly two this morning,” he said.
“I went to see Ginny,” admitted Harry. “She owled me so I went,” he said.
“Everything's okay, right?” asked James, worriedly.
Harry smiled. “I think the craziness of the wedding preparations just got to her. Her Mum has been a little, shall we say, driven, when it came to the wedding,” laughed Harry. “Gin said she just wanted a reminder that, when all this wedding stuff is done, it's just me and her, and that's what's important, not napkin colours and who sits where and next to whom,” said Harry.
“She's right,” said James. “The wedding is one day. You've got the rest of your life together.”
Andrew knocked and peeked his head around the door. “Hey, it's time to go. Dad, Mum's crying again. Women!” He rolled his eyes and went back to the lounge to wait.
James finished tying Harry's tie. “There, perfect!”
“Thanks, Dad,” said Harry. “For everything.” Arm in arm, the two men went to get a weepy Lily and Andrew and floo to the church.
Jam es stood next to Harry as they watched Ginny walk down the aisle on the arm of her father. He heard Harry's intake of breath when he first saw his bride. James smiled at Lily, still dabbing her eyes and she smiled tearily back at him, that special smile he loved.
Before Arthur handed Ginny to Harry, she stopped to kiss her mother, then to Harry's delight, she also approached Lily, whispered in her ear and kissed her cheek. Then, with the blazing look he loved, she confidently moved to Harry's side. He took her hand and in clear voices that left everyone there in no doubt of their feelings, they made their vows to each other.
Later, at the reception, James danced with Ginny while Harry danced with Molly. Arthur was dancing with Lily and Rose, who had been a bridesmaid, was dancing with Andrew.
“You've made my son very happy, Ginny. Lil and I are proud of both of you today,” said James.
Ginny smiled. “Thank you, Mr, er, Dad,” she corrected. She laughed.“That may take some getting used to.”
“It's all going well, don't you think?” he asked. The meals had been brought out and eaten, Andrew had done his best to embarrass his brother with a speech, and James had spoken on behalf of him and Lily, welcoming Ginny and her family to theirs.
Truthfully, the two families had met many times and all got on well. Even Sirius and Remus and Tonks liked the friendly Weasleys, and got together most weekends.
Ginny looked around. “The main part is over, thank Merlin. All that formal stuff, ugh, I thought I was going crazy. I just wanted to get up and tell everyone what Harry means to me, say our vows, and that's it. We didn't need all this,” she indicated.
“Is that what you wanted to tell Harry last night?” he asked. At her look of alarm, he he quickly added, “It's okay, I didn't tell Lily Harry snuck out.”
“It wasn't cold feet or anything. Merlin, no! I just felt that everything was so focused on this one day, you know? Where, for me, it was about all the days after that.. I mean, Harry is my husband now. My husband! It's such a grown up thing to do, getting married. Yesterday my Mum was running around worrying about who was sitting next to my Aunt Muriel, my sister-in-law was still asking me to change colours of the stupid napkins and my best friend was telling me about Snorkaks! I just needed some me and Harry time to remind me it's not about the craziness of the day. It's about me and him, and how much we love each other. We can't help it if our friends and family are crazy!” She laughed.
James laughed too. In fact, Ginny had brought a lot of laughter to his home. She was exactly what Harry needed, for he tended to brood at times.
“So, who decided Sirius should sit next to Aunt Muriel?” asked James, having met the formidable witch before.
“Harry, of course,” grinned Ginny. “Sirius is always telling us how charming he is, so we thought we'd put him to the test. So far, he's lived up to his reputation,” she said, pouting. They both looked over to see Sirius smirk and lift his glass in a toast to them, while Muriel prattled on next to him.
“Dad, do you mind if I have my wife back?” asked Harry, beaming. He came next to them, dancing with Lily.
“Of course. Mrs Potter, a pleasure,” James said to Ginny, half bowing. He handed Ginny to Harry, and stepped back to take Lily in his arms.
“We're both lucky, Harry and I,” said Ginny suddenly. James and Lily stopped to look at her.
“We've both got wonderful parents who have been so supportive to us. That really means a lot, to both of us. You both love each other still, after many years together. You've given us a lovely example to follow. I hope Harry and I are as happy as you both and my parents,” said Ginny, tearfully.
Harry smiled proudly and pulled her closer, kissing her forehead. Lily and James, and Arthur and Molly who were dancing nearby and heard, smiled and nodded.
Rose rushed over. “It's time to toss the bouquet,” she cried, grabbing Ginny's arm. “Come on.”
Harry reluctantly let her go, watching as his sister dragged her off. James pushed Lily into Harry's arms and left the dance floor quickly. He found a quiet corner. Merlin, it was so hot in here he was even sweating from his eyes.
“Tears, Prongs?” asked Remus, amused.
“Don't you dare tell Padfoot,” sniffed James.” Nearby Tonks snorted.
Remus laughed and clapped James on the back. The two men toasted the happy couple.
“So, what do you think?” asked Harry, standing with his arm around Ginny. She smiled up at him then looked expectantly at James and Lily, Arthur and Molly.
“Needs some work, Son,” said James, looking up.
Ginny nodded excitedly. “We know, but like the realtor said, it has great potential,” she said. Harry leaned down to kiss her.
“Ah yes, the realtor's favourite word. Potential,” sighed Sirius, coming around from the back with Bill Weasley.
“It's really not that bad. A fixer upper,” said Remus. “Nice neighbourhood.”
“Exactly,” said Harry, nodding to Remus. He picked up Teddy. “What do you think, Teddy?”
Teddy Lupin waved his hands in the air. He was ten months old and just starting to walk. “Gah!”
“See, he said he loves it,” said Ginny, taking him from Harry and cuddling him. Little Teddy giggled and his hair changed to match Ginny. “He has good taste,” she said.
“Well, said Bill, putting his wand away, “the structure is sound. Even inside is pretty good. I'd think about taking a wall down here and there, make it more open. The kitchen looks like it needs updating too, but the rest is cosmetic, and we can all help out with that. Painting, moving furniture, that sort of thing,” Ginny hugged him.
“Nev will probably come over and do the gardens for us,” said Harry to Ginny. She nodded.
“We'll all help with the wards,” said Arthur, “and I can see about getting you hooked up to the floo.”
Ginny looked to Molly and Lily. “Mums, I'd love your advice in the kitchen. I was thinking...” The three women walked into the house discussing colours and storage space.
Bill and Sirius wandered around the back again, discussing Quidditch pitches and wards. Arthur followed the women into the house. Remus took Teddy for a wobbly walk around the neighbourhood.
“Dad, what do you think? Really?”asked Harry. The two men stood in front of the house, looking at it. Lily waved from an upstairs window.
“Well,I know it doesn't look like a lot right now, but...” said James. Harry held his breath. “It's got a good feel to it. I don't know who used to live here, but it's a happy house. You and Ginny will be happy here, I reckon,” said James.
“Will you help, Dad. I want to do a lot of the painting and stuff myself, but will you help?” asked Harry.
“Of course, Son. We'll get Andrew and Sirius and Remus on board, too,” said James, patting his back.
“I want it to be perfect for Ginny. Our home,” sighed Harry happily.
“Come on, we better get in there and discuss colours. Didn't you say one of Ginny's brother's room was painted orange?”teased James. Harry pulled a face, and they laughed.
The two men headed into the house.
“Mum, Dad, can you come over. Now!” yelled Harry through the floo.
“Harry, what's all the yelling. Ginny's not injured, is she?” asked Lily.
“No, it's, look, can you come over, you and Dad? Andrew and Rose too, if they're home,” said Harry.
“Well, I was just about to make tea, but I suppose I can-”
“Mum, please just get Dad and come NOW!” With that, the floo died down.
“Was that Harry I heard yelling?” asked James, coming out of his study.
“Yes, he wants us over there now,”said Lily.
“Ginny's okay, isn't she?” asked James. Ginny had been in St Mungo's from time to time, an occupational hazard for a professional Quidditch player.
Lily shrugged. “I asked him that too, but he said she's fine. Are Rose and Andrew back from Diagon Alley yet?”
“No. Well, shall we go and see what's got his wand in a knot?” asked James.
Lily nodded and they stepped into the floo, coming out into Harry and Ginny's large lounge. Molly and Arthur were there too.
“Hey Harry,” said James, hugging him. He kissed Ginny's cheek. “What's going on?”
“You might want to sit down for this,” said Harry, gesturing to where Molly and Arthur were. Lily and James joined them, then they all looked expectantly at Harry.
“Oh, did you get the promotion? I bet that's it,” said James, suddenly remembering Harry said he may be offered the Deputy Head Auror position.
“Well, you certainly deserve it, with the hours you put in,” said Arthur, nodding at James, then Harry.
“Is that it? I was hoping you were going to say you're having a baby,” sighed Molly.
James and Arthur snorted. Lily nodded at Molly. “Me too.”
“We ARE having a baby. Ginny's pregnant, we just got back from the healers!” yelled Harry, excitedly.
“Oh Harry, Ginny, that's the best news!” gushed Molly and Lily, rushing to them. Arthur stood, waiting his turn to congratulate the couple.
James sat there, shocked. His son was having a baby? He was going to be a grandpa?
“Dad, say something. Are-aren't you pleased?” asked Harry, faltering. Lily looked at James in surprise. Ginny looked worried.
James slowly stood up. “A baby, wow. I wasn't expecting...I didn't think...wow! My son is going to be a father,” he said, looking at Harry in a new light.
“I know, right! It's...Merlin, Dad, I'm going to be someone's Dad” said Harry, tearfully.
“You'll be brilliant, Harry. It's the best news ever. Congratulations. Congratulations, Gin,” said James, pulling them both to him to hug.
Molly and Lily pulled Ginny back to them to discuss nausea and cravings and such. Harry beamed down at his wife proudly.
Arthur patted James on the back. “The first time they tell you is the worst, when they tell you and call you Grandpa. I'm on my third one now, so I'm good with it. But when Bill and Fleur told me, I felt old. Started looking in the mirror, noticed every grey hair, every wrinkle,” he sighed.
“What did you do to get over it?” asked James.
“Took Molly away for a weekend, at some bed and breakfast We didn't leave the room all weekend, hell, we barely left the bed,” snorted Arthur. “We just needed to feel young again. The years have a way of going by so quickly.”
James smiled weakly and nodded. “Three now, you said.”
Arthur nodded, his face softening. “Bill, Percy and now George. Grandkids are the best. Sort of like a second chance, to remind you how great kids are. My eldest, Tori, she does dancing, and we go to her concerts and when she's at the Burrow she'll come find me and show me a dance she just made up. They're the important moments, I wouldn't want to miss any of them,” said Arthur happily.
Harry threw his arms around both Arthur and James. “So what are the Grandpa's talking about?”
James smiled. “Arthur was just telling me about a lovely little BnB he took Molly to. I thought your Mum and I could do with a weekend away.” Lily looked questioningly at him.
“Oh yeah, sure,” said Harry.
Arthur chuckled and moved to congratulate Ginny.
“Yes son, said James.
“I can't wait to meet my child. To teach him or her all the things you taught me when I was little. Remember how I used to ride Padfoot around on his back? Or when you taught me to fly and ride a bicycle. You'll help me, won't you Dad? You'll show me what to do?” Harry asked.
James looked into Harry's eyes, so like that of his Lily's. “Yes Harry. I'll always be here for you and your child.”
Both men hugged, and Ginny and Lily looked at each other in relief.
“What's taking so long?” asked James, looking at his watch for the umpteenth time.
“It's a baby, James, they don't have set times for being born,” said Lily, although she was nervous herself. Ginny's waters had broken several hours ago, and she was three weeks early. “Surely someone could come and tell us what's going on!”
Arthur kept his gaze firmly on the paper he was reading. No-one mentioned to him that he hadn't turned a page in the hours they'd been there.
“You know, we'll have to let the rest of the family know soon, no matter what Ginny said,” said Lily. “I know she didn't want a crowd hanging around for ages, but still...”
“Can you imagine both our families here, waiting?” asked James. “I think-”
The door to Ginny's room opened. Molly came out, smiling. “Harry wants you both to go in,” she told James and Lily. She went to sit next to Arthur, whispering in his ear.
James gulped and let Lily grab his hand and lead them both into the room. Ginny lay in bed, looking tired but happy. Harry held the baby in his arms.
“Mum, Dad,” he said tearfully, looking up. “Come meet my son. James Arthur Potter.”
Lily covered her mouth. “Oh Harry, he's so beautiful.”
James moved like a zombie next to Harry. He peered down at the tiny person in his son's arms. “He's so little.” He picked up one of James' hands. “Hi James, I'm James, too Grandpa James,” he said, making Lily, Ginny and Harry laugh.
The tiny hand grasped his finger, making James almost gasp out loud. “He-he's strong,” stammered James, trying not to cry.
“He's a Potter,” said Harry, proudly. He noticed his dad was emotional. “Dad?”
Tears ran down James' face. “I thought you were beautiful when you were born, but this...my son's son. It's wonderous, and I'm crying like a bloody baby,” he finished, laughing through his tears.
“Dad, watch your language,” teased Harry, covering his son's ears. He went over to Lily. “Mum, want to hold him?”
“Of course I want to hold my grandson,” she said, sitting on the edge of Ginny's bed. Harry handed little James to her, then perched next to Ginny, his arm around her.
“Oh my,” said Lily, tears in her eyes too. “He's perfect.”
“He's lucky he's already got so many people who love him,” said Ginny. “Do you like the name?”
“Are you sure? James Potter is a lot for this little guy to live up to, you know,” said James.
“We named him after the two best men we knew,” said Harry. “Little James, or Jamie.”
“Jem, cos he's so precious,” cooed Lily.
A knock on the door sounded. Molly poked her head in. “Sorry to interrupt, but we owled the rest of the family and they're starting to arrive. They're all anxious to meet the newest member of the family.”
“Harry, take him out to meet them all,” said Ginny.
Harry walked to the door, then hesitated. “Actually, Mum, Dad, can you take him out? I'd like some alone time with Ginny. I'll be out soon.
“Careful, we don't want another one just yet,” teased James. He held the door open for Lily and the baby.
“Wait, Dad, will you...”Harry hurried over and whispered in James' ear. He nodded and they left. Harry went back to cuddle with his wife.
“What did you tell him?” asked Ginny, curling into Harry's side. He stroked her sweaty hair.
“I asked Dad to take the baby to show your dad first, then to Sirius and Remus. I hope that's okay?” he asked her, holding her close.
“It's perfect. My dad knows what its like when its the first grandchild. And Sirius and Remus are going to be extra grandpa's to our kids anyway, “ laughed Ginny.
“I love you,” said Harry, kissing her tenderly. “I love my son, I love my family, I love my life. I'm the luckiest man alive right now.”
James opened the door and stuck his head in. “Oy, Harry, come and see. Sirius won't let go of the baby and he's howling like a mutt!”
“Go,” said Ginny,amused. “I want to see your memories of it later!”
Harry grinned and hurried out to his godfather.
Harry stared in disbelief as the Hogwarts Express rounded the corner, taking his three children with it. Where had the time gone? He felt someone clap him on the shoulder and he turned to look into his Dad's sympathetic face.
“I know how you feel. I felt exactly the same when it was Rose's first year,” said James.
Harry looked ahead to see his mother comforting Ginny, who was sniffling into a handkerchief.
“They're...all gone,” Harry said stupidly.
“They'll be fine, Harry,” said James.
“It's too soon. I need to get the train back. Lu's not ready, she's just a baby,” said Harry.
“Lily Luna had to be carried off the Hogwarts Express last year because she'd snuck on. She's been counting down the days to go since the boys got back in June,” chuckled James, thinking of his feisty granddaughter. “Your baby is eleven, Harry. It's her turn.”
Harry snorted. “Eleven going on twenty. I don't know if Minerva knows what she's in for. I think she may just break the Marauders record for most detentions. James came close two years ago, but I think Lu might be the one.”
James nodded proudly. “Can you believe James is Head Boy. He's really matured a lot this last year.”
“And Will is a prefect!” said Harry proudly. Their second son, William Orion was two years younger than James.
“You've got great kids, Harry, you should be proud. “Don't worry about Lu, I owled Hagrid yesterday, asked him to keep an eye on her.”
“I owled him too,” chuckled Harry. “ Say, you and Mum want to come to ours for tea? We'll just be sitting around, waiting to hear where Lu got Sorted.”.
“Harry, Harry, Harry. You're missing the best part of the kids all being at Hogwarts!” groaned James, shaking his head.
“What's that?” asked Harry.
“For the first time in a long time, it's just you and your wife at home. All alone. No kids barging in, interrupting,” said James, smirking.
Harry threw back his head in laughter. “Thanks for the advice, Dad!”
“You know, your mother and I made it a bit of a tradition. Every September the first, we'd see you kids off, then go home, close the floo, lock the door and just focus on the two of us. Merlin, I used to love September the first,” said James, dreamily.
“Well Dad, I'm all for family traditions,” quipped Harry, “and I hereby rescind your invitation to tea.”
James laughed and clapped him on the back. “That's my boy. Come on, I think your wife needs comforting. Tell her about the family tradition.” He winked and the two men walked over to their witches.
“No, I won't do it,” said Harry, in his bedroom.
“Damnit Harry, come out of there right now, it's time,” yelled Ginny.
“No,” called a stubborn Harry. He then waited for Ginny's response, but when there was nothing, he sighed and tugged at his tie.
There was a knock at his door. “Not gonna happen, Gin-oh, Mum, er, hi,” said Harry.
Lily slipped into the room and looked at her son. “You're being a prat, you know.”
“You and Ginny are starting to sound the same,” growled Harry, throwing his tie on the bed. “I'm not going out there.”
“What's the problem?” asked an amused Lily. “You've known about if for ages.” She'd been through the same thing with James many years ago.
“He's not good enough for her. She's too young. Mum, it's Lily, my baby. She CAN'T be getting married,” cried Harry, running his hands through his hair in frustration. He knocked his boutonneire off his lapel.
Lily picked it up and came over to him as she had done on his own wedding day. “There is a Muggle saying that might help. 'A son is a son till he takes a wife, but a daughter is a daughter for all all her life'. Its' true, Harry. Rose and I have never been as close as we are now.”
“Yeah,well, that's Rose. This is Lily, my little Lily Luna we're talking about,” said Harry, gloomily.
“Merlin, you're just like your father. 'He's not good enough for my Rosey-Posey' she mimicked, Harry snorted with laughter. Lily looked at him. “Sound familiar?”
Harry and Lily turned to see Lily Luna standing in the doorway, a vision in white. Harry tried to fight the tears that came to his eyes. “Lil, you look beautiful.”
Lily Potter smiled and left her son to his daughter. “Be gentle,” she whispered to her namesake as she passed her on the way out.
“Daddy, we're all ready to go,” said Lily Luna, coming towards him. She stopped to pick up his tie on his bed where he'd thrown it. “Are you okay?”
She put the tie around his neck and started to tie it up. Harry stared into her brown eyes, so like her mother's. “I'm being a prat, aren't I?” he asked.
“Yep, that's what me, Mum and Grandma reckon. You know, today is supposed to be about me, not you,” she teased, pulling his tie quite tight, making him cough.”Oops, sorry, not sorry,” she grinned.
“No, I'm sorry, Lil. I just...I want the best for you, Lil, You and your brothers mean the world to me. Tell me, does he make you happy?” asked Harry.
“Happier than I can even imagine. Daddy, you've known Frank since he was born, you're his godfather and Frank's dad is your best friend!” exclaimed Lily, amused.
“I know, I know,” sighed Harry. He turned to look at himself in the mirror, fiddling with his tie and trying to flatten his hair.
“I don't think we have that much time, Dad,” said Lily dryly, reminding Harry of his own mother. “Everyone is supposed to be looking at me today.”
Chuckling, he turned to his daughter. “You know you can always come to me and your Mum for anything, right? This is your home, always,” said Harry.
“Not if you and Mum move,” said Lily, looking around.
“No, I meant here,” said Harry tenderly, opening his arms.
Lily walked into them. “Oh Dad,” she sighed happily. He held her for a few more minutes. “I guess we should go,” she finally said.
Still Harry held her.
“Uh, Dad, you need to let go, you're kind of scrunching my dress here,” quipped Lily.
Harry let her go and Lily adjusted her dress. “How do I look?” she asked worriedly.
“Like an angel,” whispered Harry, teary again.
Lily rolled her eyes and grabbed his hand. “Come on, or Frank will think I've left him at the altar.”
She opened the door. Ginny, Lily and James quickly jumped back, with Ginny rolling up and Extendable Ear. “Everything all right?” she asked.
Everyone looked at Harry. “Yes, Dear,” he said to Ginny.
James snorted but Lily and Ginny looked relieved and pleased.
“All right, let's do this,” said Lily Luna excitedly, her eyes blazing just like her mother's. “Woohoo, I'm getting married!” she yelled.
As Harry walked past his dad, James handed him a clean handkerchief. “You'll need it,” he whispered knowingly.
Harry nodded and took it.
Harry stared numbly at the grave. People, friends, went past, offering condolences, but he heard none of them. Finally they were all gone.
An arm slipped around his waist, and he looked down. His Ginny, always there offering comfort and support. “Harry, we need to go.”
He looked back to the grave. “How can he be gone, Gin? I need him, I've always needed him.”
Ginny looked teary. “I know. Your devotion and love for your parents has always been something I've loved about you, Harry. From the first moment I met them, I could see how important they were to you.”
Harry nodded numbly.
“Although I think your Mum wanted to hex me when you introduced us. Don't you remember, it was the day after I hexed you in that club, what was it called?”asked Ginny.
“Wrackspurts!” said Harry, smiling despite himself.
“That's it. Your Mum was the one I had to win over, for hurting her precious Harry,” she teased gently.
Harry chuckled, looking over at his Mum's gravesite. It had hurt so much to lose her last year, but this, to now have lost his dad too, was almost unbearable.
“I don't want to leave them here. What do I do now? I can never call my Dad and ask his advice. I can never call Mum, ask her to make those biscuits I love so much,” said Harry.
“You can come here and talk to your Dad. And I can make those biscuits for you. I know they won't be the same, but you can tell me they're not as good as your Mum's and we'll have a laugh about it, or a cry, and that's still good,” said Ginny, leaning her head on his shoulder.
“I miss him already. I miss them both,” said Harry, leaning his head against Ginny's.
Harry and Ginny turned to see their granddaughter Mia standing behind them holding a small posey of flowers. “For Gweat Gwampa,” she said, holding them up. They still had the roots on them from where she'd just pulled them up. In the distance, Harry could see his son James holding his own son, Evan James. Harry knew James was shaken too, by the death of James Potter.
Euphemia Rose Potter (Mia) walked past and put the flowers on James' fresh grave. She then turned to Harry and said “Up.”
Harry picked up his granddaughter, needing her hug so badly.
“We can still talk about them with our children, and our children's children. James and Lily loved them all so much, we'll keep them alive in our memories. And Harry, we have so many wonderful memories of them, don't forget that,” said Ginny.
“Gwampa sad,” said Mia. She kissed his cheek. “Better?”
Harry smiled and held her close. “All better,” he said.
With one last look, he turned to go, with Mia in his arms and Ginny by his side.
“All right, Dad?” asked James. Lily and Will were waiting by the gates to the cemetery at Godric's Hollows, their partners and children waiting further up and talking to some friends who had lingered, including several Weasley's, Luna Scamander and Harry's best friend, Neville.
Harry nodded, looking at his children and his wife. “We buried a great man today, but his memory will live on in all of us.”
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