Harry Potter was not a happy man. Right now he wanted to kill the man that had hurt his little girl’s feelings. Well, boy actually.
“Harry, Lily’s ten and this was her first crush. She’s going to have more broken hearts and she’s going to be the cause of some broken hearts. That’s the way it is,” said Ginny gently. Poor Harry, he was taking this as badly as Lily was.
“But why today, Gin? Why did he have to do it on Valentine’s Day. Lily worked so hard on the card she made for him, and I even went to Hogsmeade to get some special chocolates for him, because Lily asked me to. My poor sweetheart,” said Harry, shaking his head.
“I know, love. She even asked me to help her with a special charm to make it sing. I think Ron’s been telling her stories of our romance," chuckled Ginny.
“It was my first Valentine,” sighed Harry happily, pulling Ginny to him. He kissed her softly. “I still have the card you made me after that Quidditch game, you know. It still sings, too. You’re a powerful witch, Ginny Potter, to make a charm last this long.”
Ginny kissed him back. “Don’t you forget it,” she whispered. She reluctantly broke away from him. “Go on, back to work. I’ll think of something to cheer Lily up. Merlin knows, when the school owled me to come and get her, a broken heart was not what I was expecting,” she said.
“Well, I’m glad you called me home, but I should get back to the office. If you think of anything to cheer her up, let me know,” said Harry, reaching for his robes.
Ginny had a flashback of a Valentine’s Day many years ago. “Actually Harry, I do have an idea.” They looked up the stairs as the sound of the loo flushing reminded them Lily was in the house. Ginny whispered her idea in Harry’s ear, and he brightened.
“Gin, are you sure you don’t mind?” he asked her.
Ginny shook her head. “You can make it up to me,” she grinned.
“Definitely!” grinned Harry back. He kissed her again, then called out. “Lil, I’m going back to the office. I’ll see you later, sweetheart.”
“Bye, Daddy,” croaked Lily, her voice hoarse from crying.
Harry’s heart broke for his princess. He looked painfully at Ginny.
“Harry, go to work. I’ll arrange everything. Lily will be fine, I promise,” said Ginny gently.
Harry Flooed back to the Ministry, hoping Ginny could cheer their daughter up.
Back at home, Ginny took two glasses of pumpkin juice and two slices of Molly’s chocolate cake to Lily’s room. She knocked on the door. “Lil, can I come in?” she asked.
“Sure Mum,” said a despondent Lily.
Ginny entered and sat down on the edge of the bed. “You missed lunch at school so I thought you might be hungry,” she said, offering her daughter the cake.
“We were supposed to have a party at lunch, but I couldn’t stay, Mum, I just couldn’t,” said Lily dramatically. “I didn’t want to see her with his Valentine’s Day card and present.”
“I know, sweetheart. I know it hurts,” said Ginny.
Lily scoffed. “How could you know? You married Daddy and you’re perfect together. I thought we would be like that. Now, I hate him,” said Lily darkly.
Ginny sighed. Lily was so like Harry at times. “Well, yes, but Daddy and I didn’t start to go out till we were sixteen,” said Ginny.
“But you liked him when you were only ten,” argued Lily, nibbling on the cake.
“I didn’t even know him, Lil. I saw him at Kings Cross station and I had heard all the stories about him but I didn’t know the real Harry till we were older,” said Ginny gently.
“I don’t even know why he likes her,” muttered Lily.
“Well, sometimes it takes boys a little bit longer to see what’s right in front of them. Sometimes feelings can change just like that,” said Ginny, clicking her fingers.
“Boys are stupid,” agreed Lily, picking a cake crumb off her bedspread.
Ginny laughed. “I never said that, Lil. But I think you’re old enough to know the girl’s three golden rules for times like these.”
“What’s that?” asked Lily. She felt quite grown up talking to her mum about boys.
“You can always come to me. I’ll always be here to listen to you and to give you a hug. And I will always be on your side,” said Ginny.
Lily hugged her mum. “Thanks, Mum,” she said. Number two?” she asked.
“If there’s something you feel you can’t tell me, make sure you have a good girlfriend to talk to. For me it was your Aunt Luna,” said Ginny. Ginny and Lily shared a smile as they pictured their dear friend and Lily’s godmother.
“But that’s not the important rule. The number one rule is, when a boy breaks your heart, make sure there’s chocolate in the house. It really helps.” Ginny grinned as she got up and banished all the crumbs off Lily’s bed.
“Oh, and Lil, you’ll need to get dressed up for tonight. Your Dad’s got a thing,” said Ginny, leaving the room.
Lily sighed as she lay back on her bed and hugged her pillow to her. She often went to the many Ministry functions her parents were called on to attend, but she really didn’t want to go to one tonight. Did the Ministry really need to have something on tonight? Didn’t they know her heart was broken? Maybe she could owl Uncle Kingsley and ask him to cancel. Then she realised she’d have to tell him why, and she didn’t want any more people knowing he had picked her over Lily. She scowled. ‘Stupid boys’. She pondered whether to write to her cousin Vicki, or even Rose for some advice. Mum was great, for a Mum, but she was old, like, thirty something. She needed to talk to someone who really knew boys! Ah, Roxi! She pulled out some pretty parchment and found her favourite quill, a gift from Aunt Hermione. ‘Dear Roxi…’
“Lily, are you ready?” called Ginny.
“I’m coming, Mum,” called Lily, spraying some of her Mum’s perfume behind her ears like she had shown Lily to do. She took a last look in the mirror, then headed downstairs, just in time to hear a knock at the door.
“Lil, can you get that, please,” called Ginny from the kitchen.
“Okay, Mum,” called Lily. She went to the door and opened it. Standing there, with a small bouquet of roses, was her dad, all nicely dressed in a nice black suit with a red tie. “Hi, Daddy,” she said. “Mum’s in the kitchen. She’ll love them,” she said, nodding at the flowers.
“They’re not for your Mum, Lil. They’re for you,” said Harry. He handed them to her and bent down to kiss her cheek. “Happy Valentine’s Day, sweetheart.”
Lily was astounded. “F-for me? But Daddy-“
“No buts. Are you ready to leave?” he asked, holding out his arm.
“What about Mum?” she asked.
“It’s fine, Lil. Do you need a coat? I’m going to side-Apparate us to the restaurant,” said Harry.
“We’re going to dinner, just you and me?” asked Lily, still trying make sense of it all.
Harry nodded. “You’re my best girl, aren’t you?” Lily nodded and Harry continued. “Well, I want to take my best girl out for a special night. To let her know how special she is, to me, anyway.”
Lily hugged her dad so tight. “Oh, thank you Daddy. Is Mum okay with this?” she asked.
“I’m fine, love. Go and have a good time. I can assure you, your dad is a great date,” Ginny said, winking at Lily, who laughed. Ginny glanced at the family clock, frowning as it showed James was in detention right now. “Go on, you don’t want to miss your reservation.” She took the flowers from Lily. “I'll put these in a vase
Harry nodded, blowing a kiss to Ginny as he and Lily left the house. Harry wrapped his arms around Lily and Apparated them both close to Muggle London. He offered her his arm again and Lily linked her arm through his. They made their way to a restaurant Lily had heard her parent talk about favourably.
“Ah, Mr Potter, so good to see you again. How is Mrs Potter?” the maitre’d asked.
“Fine, thank you. This is our daughter, Lily,” said Harry, smiling proudly. Lily realised her dad was more open and comfortable in the anonymity of the Muggle world. Merlin knew why, but even the Potter family going to Diagon Alley to get her brother’s school supplies made the papers. Lily didn’t understand what the big deal was.
The maitre’d showed them to the table, allowing Harry to push Lily’s chair in for her. He then presented Harry and Lily with the menus and asked if they would like a drink first. He summoned a waiter. Harry requested a carafe of water and two glasses, and the waiter left to get them.
They perused the menu. “Anything take your fancy, Lil? You can have anything you want,” said Harry. “The food here is really good.” He and Ginny frequented it regularly with Ron and Hermione.
“I’m really not sure. What are you having, Daddy?” asked Lily.
“Hmm, I think I’ll have lasagne,” said Harry.
“Me too,” agreed Lily.
The waiter returned with their water and poured them a glass each. Harry told them they were ready to order, so the waiter turned to Lily, his pen hovering over his notebook. Lily felt quite grown up as she ordered her meal and smiled when her dad said, “Great choice. I’ll have the same.”
“Very good, sir, miss,” said the waiter, writing it down, then taking the menus from them. “I’ll return with some bread rolls,” he said. He left to put their order in.
Lily looked around. There were red balloons floating on the ceiling and little hearts scattered over the table. “I guess Valentine’s Day is a big deal, huh,” she sighed. At the other tables couples toasted each other, kissed and giggled.
“It’s just another day,” shrugged Harry.
“So you didn’t get Mum anything special this year?” asked Lily doubtfully.
“No, I don’t need one day to show your mum I love her,” lied Harry. “ I tell her all the time.”
“I know,” sighed Lily. “How did you feel when Mum gave you that singing Valentine when you were twelve?”
Harry hesitated. “Well, your Mum, she, erm, sent a dwarf to sing to me. It was in the corridor and a lot of other students heard and made fun of it. I was a bit embarrassed, and your mum was too. She ran away. I didn’t know what to do, I was rubbish with girls and romance, so I kind of ignored her,” admitted
Harry guiltily. Why hadn’t he found Ginny later and thanked her and explained? Maybe they would have been friends earlier and she might have confided in him about the Chamber of Secrets and he could have helped her with Riddle.
“That’s so mean, Daddy. Did you like someone else?” asked Lily, her chin resting on her hands.
Harry scoffed. “I barely knew your Aunt Hermione was a girl. No Lil, your old dad was a bit slow when it came to the girls. Luckily I got another chance with your mum,” he said.
“James has got a girlfriend and he’s only third year at Hogwarts,” said Lily, buttering a roll after the waiter placed them on the table.
Harry thought quickly. He had started noticing Cho Chang at the same age. “Sounds about right,” he said, nodding. He took a roll and buttered it.
“I owled Roxi for advice. At first I was going to ask Vicki, but she and Teddy have been together like, forever,” drawled Lily, rolling her eyes. “They’re practically married.”
“Not for awhile yet,” said Harry, although Teddy had been asking a lot of questions lately about how he proposed to Ginny, and if Harry had spoken to Arthur first. “It’s Vic’s first year in healer training and Teddy is still only an Auror trainee.” Hopefully they would consider a long engagement.
“Did you ever like two girls at once, Daddy?” asked Lily.
Harry shook his head. “I’m a one-witch man,” he said, making Lily laugh, then sigh. She looked at her dad.
“How can he like me one day, then her the next? Why couldn’t he have told me so I didn’t look silly?” blurted out Lily. She looked surprised at her own outburst. She crossed her arms over her chest. “Boys are stupid. I’m never going to have a boyfriend. I don’t need one.”
“Good! Erm, I mean, good for you,” said Harry weakly. He almost kissed the waiter for bringing their meals over right then.
They talked about their various family members while they ate and Harry was relieved to see the hurt expression on Lily’s face disappear as he told her of some of the fun things he and Ron got up to at Hogwarts. Before they knew it, they had finished their desserts.
“Mum’s right, chocolate does make you feel better,” sighed Lily in satisfaction.
“She usually is,” agreed Harry.
“You should be out with her tonight, not me,” said Lily, suddenly guilty. She had deprived her parents of a romantic night together.
“Lil, it’s fine,” said Harry, gently. “Tonight is about you, okay?”
“But it’s Valentine’s Day,” protested Lily.
“No, it’s Thursday and I’m out on a date with a very special lady,” said Harry.
Lily stared at him. “Thanks, Daddy,” she said softly.
“You’re welcome, sweetheart. Now, would you like to dance?” he asked.
Lily looked around at the couples dancing. She looked back to her dad and nodded. Harry stood and came around to her chair. he held out his hand and she placed her small hand in his. he led her to the dance floor and took her in his arms.
Lily lay her head on his chest, where she just reached. Together they swayed, unaware of the smiles they were getting from the other patrons.
A photographer came up to them. “Would you like a photo to commemorate the evening? Only ten quid, sir.”
“Yes, thank you,” said Harry. He and Lily smiled for the camera, the flash momentarily blinding them both.
“What do you say we finish our date with some ice cream? Do you have room?” asked Harry.
“I always have room for ice cream, Daddy,” giggled Lily. They returned to their table, gathered their things and Harry went to pay while Lily went to the bathroom. She met him at the door and he escorted her out.
Meanwhile, Ginny was bored at home alone. She got to thinking about Harry and Lily, and decided to go to the Burrow. She did a quick stop over then Flooed into her old home. “Hello?” she called out.
“Ginny love, that you?” It was Arthur from the lounge.
“Hi Dad, how are you? Where’s Mum?” asked Ginny, kissing his cheek as she sat next to him.
“Over at Percy’s, watching Lucy while they’re out for dinner. I thought you and Harry were supposed to be going out and Lil was coming here?” asked her Dad.
Ginny explained what had happened to Lily at school today. Arthur sighed. “Poor Lil.”
“I know. I got to thinking about that Valentine’s Day when it was just me at home. Ron was in his first year, do you remember, Dad?” asked Ginny.
“That boy from the village. What was it he called you again?” asked Arthur.
“Carrots,” said Ginny, smiling ruefully. “Said my hair was so red I’d never get a boyfriend who’d give me a Valentine’s Day present.”
“Ah yes. Then you bat-bogey hexed him, if i remember correctly,” said Arthur, chuckling.
“Yeah, I did,” grinned Ginny. “Then I came home and cried all afternoon, worried he was right.”
“I hated to see my little girl so upset over some silly boy,” growled Arthur.
“So you came and knocked on my door, inviting me downstairs to dinner. When I got there, you had candles and flowers and chocolates for me,” said Ginny tearfully. “So you can probably guess where Harry and Lily are right now,” she said.
It only took Arthur a minute to realise. “He’s a good father,” he said, nodding approvingly.
“He had some great examples,” said Ginny. “Happy Valentine’s Day, Dad. To my first Valentine,” she grinned, handing him a box of his favourite chocolates from Honeydukes. “Dad, will you dance with me, like you did that night?”
“It will always be my pleasure, sweetheart,” said Arthur. He took his daughter in his arms and waved his wand at the wireless. Soft music began to play and they swayed to and fro. “I love you, Dad,” said Ginny, her head on his shoulder.
“I love you too, Gin,” said Arthur, kissing her cheek. They swayed as the song continued.
Harry and Lily arrived home. Lily put her hand on the door knob to go inside but Harry coughed and she turned to look at him.
“It’s customary to receive a good night kiss from your date. You know, if you’re comfortable with that,” teased Harry.
Lily went to her dad and stood on tip toes to kiss his cheek. “I had a great time tonight. Thank you, Daddy,” she said.
Harry took her hand and kissed the back of it. “You were the perfect date, Lil. Thank you.”
Laughing, they opened the door and went inside. Ginny had left a light on low for them. Harry secured the house and followed Lily upstairs. She went straight to Ginny and Harry’s bedroom. Harry found his two favourite girls in there.
“Hi, how was the date?” asked Ginny, putting away a letter she’d just received.
“Wonderful,” said Harry.
“You were right, Mum. Dad was the perfect date. Thank you for letting me borrow him tonight,” giggled Lily.
“Did it cheer you up, Lil?” asked Ginny, cuddling her daughter close like she used to when she was little. She’d miss Lily when she left for Hogwarts in September.
“Yeah. I can’t wait to go to school tomorrow and tell everyone about my date with an older man,” grinned Lily. She kissed her mum’s cheek. “Night, Mum. Love you.” She hugged Harry as she went past and shut their door behind her.
“How was your evening, love? Enjoy the peace and quiet of an empty house, did you?” asked Harry.
“Actually, I had a date with an older man too,” grinned Ginny.
Harry thought quickly. “Arthur?”
Ginny laughed and nodded. “You see, I had a horrible Valentine’s Day experience when I was little, and I didn’t even know the boy. He called me ‘Carrots’ and said I’d never have a boyfriend to give me a Valentine’s Day present. I went home and cried, but my Dad made my day. We ate by candlelight and we
“Danced? Oh no! Gin, I’ll be right back,” said Harry, throwing his jacket back on and hurrying out.
Lily showered then went to her room to get ready for bed. As she dressed in her pyjamas, she sniffed the flowers her mum had placed on her bedside table. Propped against it, she found a letter. Curiously she opened it, excited to see it was from Auntie Luna. She snuggled into bed and opened it. Auntie Luna’s
letters always made her feel better.
“Dearest Goddaughter Lily. I hope this letter finds you by Valentine’s Day. I send you all my love, as does Uncle Rolf and Lorcan and Lysander. We hope to return home soon, and I’d love to spend some time with you. You are always in our hearts, whether it be Valentine’s Day, Christmas Day or Thursday. Love, Godmother Luna.
Two red hearts fell out of the letter. She opened them. They were handmade from the twins. ‘To Lily, love Lorcan’, read one. ’To Lily, love Lysander’, read the other.
Lily folded them carefully and put them on her nightstand. She wanted to read them again in the morning before putting them in her keepsake box. She snuggled into her bed and fell asleep with a smile on her face, for she knew she was loved.
Lily woke next morning. She stretched, feeling happy. She reached for Auntie Luna’s letter and smiled again. Next to the vase of flowers and the letter, there was the photo of her and her dad, from the night before. She picked it up and looked at it. Her dad had inscribed it. “To Lily. Happy Thursday. Love Dad.”
She read Luna’s letter again, and looked at the hearts from the twins. Maybe all boys weren’t stupid.
After all, her mum met her dad properly at Hogwarts, and so did Auntie Hermione and Uncle Ron, and Uncle George and Auntie Angie.
Maybe she wouldn’t give up on boys just yet.