SIYE Time:4:53 on 29th November 2021

By YelloWitchGrl

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Category: Alternate Universe, Post-DH/AB
Genres: Angst, Drama, Fluff, Romance, Tragedy
Warnings: Dark Fiction, Death, Disturbing Imagery, Extreme Language, Intimate Sexual Situations, Mental Abuse, Mild Language, Mild Sexual Situations, Negative Alcohol Use, Rape, Sexual Situations, Spouse/Adult/Child Abuse, Violence, Violence/Physical Abuse
Story is Complete
Rating: R
Reviews: 351
Summary: The battle is over, there is life to be lived, peace to be enjoyed and trouble following close at their heels.

Ginny hasn't seen Harry since the dust settled from the battles with Voldemort, but when an unexpected piece of news draws them together will they be driven apart or become bound?

Follows Canon to the best of my knowledge.

The warnings are just to be safe. I don't know that they're all needed, but I'm putting them up just to cover my bases. If you have any questions or concerns, please message me.
Hitcount: Story Total: 116197; Chapter Total: 6460
Awards: View Trophy Room

Author's Notes:
Thank you to Arnel for your help with the beta'ing and James for your support! Still not the awful chapter yet. I'm taking pity on you and letting you know that the awful chapter is the next one, chapter 19. I'm really nervous about it, and feeling pretty sick to be honest with you. I've been avoiding rereading it, so going for edits next week is going to be very hard on me.

I finished my original!!! I'm so excited about that, and trying to focus on that instead of my feelings on chapter 19.

I think this chapter is very sweet, though, and maybe a little funny. Calm before the storm. Anyway, let me know what you think. I know a lot of readers are hating what I'm doing. I get it. I've lived it three times, and I'd rather not have lived it even once, but it's a story that so many families live and I needed to get it out.



Wednesday July 22nd

“So she’s past twelve weeks?” Ron asked quietly as they stood Disillusioned near a stand of trees, watching Daniel Nichols’ mother’s house. She was in there, at that very moment baking bread. Again.

“Yeah,” Harry whispered back, focusing on the house. “Both Martha and Audrey said that’s a good sign.”

Letting out a long, relieved breath Ron shifted almost imperceptibly. “A girl…” he said, not for the first time. “I have a niece. A boy would have been easier.”

Harry glanced at him, forgetting for a second that he couldn’t actually see Ron. “Why’s that?”

“Well,” Ron said slowly. “Now we have to worry about keeping the boys away from her.”

A solid point, Harry mused. Then just like every day before Mrs. Nichols came out to hang laundry on the line. Then he saw it and it was so obvious that he couldn’t believe they’d been missing it for weeks. “That’s the same towel as yesterday.”

“Come again?” Ron asked and Harry knew he was focusing on it.

“Next she’s going to put out a white shirt with a yellow star on it, even though she didn’t wear a white shirt yesterday,” Harry said, getting excited. “This is an illusion.”

“It can’t be, Harry,” Ron said dismissively. “She’s wearing different clothes and her hair is different. Yesterday it was down; today it’s up in a bun.”

Harry thought about what he knew of illusions. Typically they were only set up for a few hours. “Maybe she’s resetting it every day and just using the same script but with different clothes?”

Ron was silent for another moment. “If she hangs up the voluminous lacy pink drawers next, I’m going to agree with you.”

Seconds later the questionable undergarments appeared.

“Let’s get back and report this,” Harry said. “We’ll need to get authorization for a raid.”

Later that day as they raided the house and they discovered Daniel Nichols hiding in his mother’s basement, his mother’s corpse was later dug up in the garden. In the interrogation room he admitted that he’d kept her alive only long enough to make the withdrawal from Gringotts.

One Death Eater down, Harry thought later that afternoon as he went through the paper and then looked at the dozens of still open cases and groaned.

“Potter, you’re needed in interrogation room four,” Collins called out, interrupting Harry’s train of thought.

He paused in his writing, looking over at the other man who was leaning around the wall of his cubical. “What’s up?”

“It’s the hearing for Goyle’s retrial,” Collins reminded him.

“Damn, I forgot,” Harry said as he quickly capped his ink and followed Collins to the correct room. He walked in and saw the same two women he’d seen at the trial, although for the life of him he couldn’t remember which was Goyle’s mum and which was Crabbe’s. He took his seat next to Robards with Kingsley at the head of the table.

“I have read through the petition, Mrs. Goyle,” the Minister said, looking down at the parchment in front of him. “Your contention is that son’s trial was illegal, is that correct?”

Harry watched the blonde with plain features and a rather squashed nose look to the striking woman next to her. Harry hadn’t been able to tell from across the courtroom, but Mrs. Crabbe was young and pretty. The only thing she shared with her dead son was hair color. Mrs. Crabbe nodded encouragingly. “Yes,” Mrs. Goyle answered carefully. “He didn’t have a choice. He had to plead guilty.”

“Your son is guilty,” Harry retorted firmly. “He would have killed me if he could have.”

Mrs. Crabbe gave him a calculating look, but it was Goyle’s mother who spoke. “You can’t prove that. It’s your word against his.”

“What Mrs. Goyle means,” Mrs. Crabbe interrupted evenly, “is that there is no physical evidence that Gregory Goyle did what he’s accused of.”

Robards folded his hands on the table. “The law is very clear on this. If we have the word of three or more credible witnesses then we don’t need physical proof.”

“It is our contention that Mr. Potter’s testimony is suspect,” Mrs. Crabbe interjected and Harry was amazed that this clearly intelligent woman could have produced someone as thick as her son. “They had a well-known rivalry during their school years. Mr. Potter has every reason to lie about their interactions.”

“Mr. Potter’s testimony has been honest,” Kingsley said flatly. “He testified for Narcissa Malfoy and on behalf of Draco Malfoy. I believe the animosity between Potter and Malfoy was even more notorious.”

Harry watched Crabbe’s mother’s face as it fell into an impassive mask. Mrs. Goyle began to cry. “I want… my son t-to have a retrial.”

“You haven’t given us a reason to retry him,” Robards explained, not unkindly. “We cannot retry him.”

“I want to see my son!” she cried as a strand of her blonde hair came loose from its bun. Harry handed over a box of tissues. She snatched one to wipe her running nose as she glared at him.

Robards and Harry turned to Kingsley who was looking thoughtfully at her. “I cannot let you see him now. If, however, he behaves himself in prison I will personally grant you permission to see him in six months.”

Mrs. Goyle blew her nose and nodded. “Thank you, Minister.”

“If he is anything but a model prisoner, however,” Kingsley added firmly, “then the deal is off.”

“I understand,” Mrs. Goyle said and she rose, knowing the meeting was over.

Harry watched her walk to the door and Mrs. Crabbe reluctantly stand and follow her, glancing back once at Harry. He couldn’t read her eyes, but as he had been with her son when he’d died, he imagined that she didn’t have anything good to say to him.

After they’d left he turned to the other two men. “Why was Mrs. Crabbe here?”

“She’s her sister,” Robards explained as he shuffled the parchment together into a stack. “She came for moral support.”

Harry’s mouth fell open. “You’re joking!”

Kingsley’s low voice was dry. “No. They don’t look alike, but they are definitely sisters.”

Harry got back to his desk and sat, tapping his quill absently as he thought. He didn’t see any reason why Crabbe’s or Goyle’s mothers would want to hurt him, but at the same time he needed to check. Quickly he scribbled out a note for Hermione, and went to find an owl.


Sunday July 26th

“I don’t want to move,” Harry said as he stared at their bedroom celling. “Let’s just spend the whole day in bed.”

“I spend every day in bed,” Ginny grumbled as she dabbed her quill into the ink pot and continued to work on the wording for the advertisement. “It gets old fast.”

She looked over when he touched her thigh. “You okay?”

“Yeah,” she assured him. “I just can’t get the wording right on this thing for George.”

“What’s it for?” Harry asked, propping himself on one elbow to look down at her clipboard.

Ginny reached over to the bedside table and grabbed a shiny pony. “It’s a unicorn that poops rainbow tarts.”

Harry stared at it. “Excuse me?”

“I don’t know,” Ginny shrugged. “It’s apparently a Muggle thing. You pull back the tail and it rapidly fires the tarts out of its arse at whoever you’re aiming at.”

Harry started to laugh. “That is hilarious.”

“It’s actually already selling really well. I just can’t figure out how to tell people they want to eat unicorn poo. Hmm…” her mind trailed off along the path of using ‘farts’ as part of the wording.


Ginny glanced over absently to see Harry studying her. “Yeah?”

“I love you,” Harry told her grinning.

“I love you too,” she said answering his smile with one of her own. “What’s up?”

“When I said I wanted to spend the day in bed, I didn’t mean with you working,” his grin turned mischievous. “I was thinking more along the lines of lots and lots of snogging.”

Ginny leaned over and put the clipboard and unicorn on her bedside table again. She scooted down so that she was lying flat, facing him. Her night shirt had bunched up some as she moved.

Harry put his hand on her hip, sliding it up her bare skin onto her back as he leaned in to kiss her.

Burying her hands in his hair, she practically purred with joy at the feeling of being this close to him. “It has been a month.”

“It’s been a really long month,” Harry agreed moving on to her neck. “More than the few weeks that Martha wanted us to try to wait. You can finish that thing for George tomorrow, right?”

Sighing heavily she nodded. “It can definitely wait.”


Friday July 31st

Harry yelled as he hit the ground hard, rolling once before looking up into a dark face. “Tag!” Neville yelled triumphantly, poking him with foot.

“You tripped me!” Harry groused, but Neville was already off to tag more people who were streaking towards his back door. Laughing he got up and made his way back to the house to find out who won. He walked into find Audrey and Ginny giggling madly at the kitchen table and most of the rest of the family standing around laughing and getting a drink. “Who won?”

“No one yet,” Ginny told him. “Neville has got everyone so far. It might be a clean sweep.”

“Who’s still not made it back?” Harry asked looking around.

“Luna and Percy,” Bill said with his arm around Fleur. “I have no idea how he did it, but he got me seconds after he came out to find us! We were well hidden.”

Ron ran his finger through the frosting from the leftover cake and licked it off.

“Ron!” Molly and Hermione admonished but he only grinned and shrugged.

“What? I’m hungry. Neville should be training to be an Auror.” Ron told them. “He’d be a natural.”

“His parents were Aurors,” Harry reminded him. “But I think he’ll be happier being a teacher.”

Percy slunk in seconds later. “I was tagged.”

A minute later Luna waltzed in and sat down at the magically expanded table. “Am I last back?”

“Did you get tagged?” Arthur asked her.

“No,” Luna said shaking her head. “Who won?”

They all just looked at her and burst out laughing.

The party broke up a bit later when Ginny started nodding off. Harry helped her up to bed and came back down to find that only Ron, Hermione, Percy and Audrey were left sitting at the table. “Is she asleep?” Audrey asked him.

“Yeah, she was out before I even got her all the way upstairs,” Harry told her. “She’s doing better.”

Audrey nodded. “It seems like it. She’s almost fourteen weeks now, and this would typically be the point where we’d declare her in the safe zone.”

“You aren’t going to?” Hermione asked curiously.

“We can’t,” Audrey told her, cupping her hands around a mug of tea that Kreacher had just brought her. “Because she was poisoned there are so many variables. I’ve not been able to find any recorders of a woman being poisoned this way while pregnant so we don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Ron grabbed a biscuit and shoved it whole in his mouth. “Is there going to be a point where you’ll be able to say that she and the baby are going to make it?”

“Birth,” Audrey answered regretfully and Percy squeezed her arm. “When the baby is born healthy, then we’ll know. I had a look at the baby and she seems to be fine right now; maybe a little smaller than I would otherwise expect, but Ginny is tiny and we tend to see tiny mums having tiny babies.”

Harry sat heavily. “You didn’t tell us that earlier.”

“I wasn’t going to say anything in front of Ginny,” Audrey reminded him gently. “The baby’s size is in the normal range. It’s probably nothing, so I’m not going to give her anything to worry about.”

Percy cleared his throat. “So, you wanted to talk to us about something?”

“Yes,” Hermione said coming back to it. “We need to know more about the poison and impregnating. Of the two which is the harder to do?”

“The poison,” Audrey said without hesitation. “The poison is well beyond mastery level.” At Harry’s blank look, she explained. “In potion making there are classifications that one can earn. You get your NEWT and that is the first level of classification as long as you get an O in potions. You can study further with a master as an apprentice and become an expert potion maker. It takes years to get that good unless you have a natural skill for it. After that you can become a master potion maker, but that will sometimes take one’s entire career. Snape, for example, was a master potion maker, but he only achieved that three or four years ago. Slughorn is also a master potion maker, but again he taught for a good number of years before he achieved the skill level to move up. There are only half a dozen masters in the country right now.”

Harry looked at Hermione who was frowning. “You’re saying that you’d need to be a master in order to make that poison? There’s no other way?”

“I tried to make it twice after we figured out you’d been poisoned,” Audrey said with a shrug. “I wanted to see just how hard it would be. Percy tried to help me as well. We failed. I have an expert potion maker’s standing.”

Stumped, Harry sat back, running his hands through his hair as he tried to think. “Do you think any of the potions masters would have made this for someone?”

“Not that I can see,” Audrey said honestly. “I know two of them, besides Slughorn whom I’ve only met the once after the final battle. I asked one of them about making the poison and he’d never heard of it. The other told me that he’d tried but never managed it. He said he only knew one man who had succeeded in making it and he’d died almost forty years ago.”

“What about impregnating?” Ron asked. “How hard is that to learn?”

Audrey shrugged helplessly. “It isn’t technically difficult, but the secret of how it’s done has been closely guarded because it’s so dangerous and it would be easy to abuse someone.”

A memory flashed back to Harry and he sat up. “But people do know how to do it. Fleur told me that many Veela have been impregnated over the years by wizards wishing to marry them.”

Everyone looked sick at that, but Audrey nodded slowly. “That doesn’t surprise me. I think that the knowledge of how it is done is out there, and probably not too difficult to obtain if you have the right connections. The only difficult part is that the person who did this likely induced ovulation in Ginny. That’s a charm that takes a certain finesse and a lot of practice. We practiced it on ourselves when we did our rotation in midwifery when we were training and it took me several months before I managed to get it right. A couple of my classmates never managed it.”

Ron let his head drop to the table. “When you think about it the whole thing just gets more and more effed up.”

Harry had to agree and thought of another question he’d wanted to bring up with Audrey. “Draco Malfoy told me that Bellatrix Lestrange had the recipe for the poison,” Harry told them, “if it’s the same slow killing poison. He told me it was called something like Door Tardus.”

Dolore Tardus, yes, that’s the same poison, but having the recipe won’t help you if you don’t have the skills,” Audrey countered.

Percy nodded. “We tried, Harry. It was way past our skill level. We didn’t even make it in a few steps before it failed.”

Hermione stood and started to pace. “But this could still mean that someone got the instructions for the poison from Bellatrix and is fulfilling her promise to poison Harry.”

“But why go to such an elaborate plan?” Ron said irritably. “Why bother with all of this?”

“I don’t know,” Audrey said. “I have been trying to quietly work through the list of people who could make the poison, but none of them is a good candidate. Potions masters are notoriously reclusive and after Voldemort took over most of them went in to hiding to avoid him.”

Hermione came back to the table and stood behind Ron, her hands on his shoulders. “I wish we could ask Snape. He’d know if any students showed that level of promise.”

“We could try Slughorn,” Ron reminded her, patting one of her hands. “Maybe it was an older person doing it.”

“Maybe,” Hermione said. “Probably. They’d have to be very skilled to get through all of it.”

Harry shook his head and sighed. “Maybe.”

Audrey and Percy stood. “We need to be getting home.”

Harry stood too. “Thanks for coming.”

“Happy Birthday,” Audrey wished him as they headed for the front door. After they’d left Harry came back to the table and fell heavily in his seat. “Did you find anything out about Crabbe’s mum, Hermione?”

“Yes,” Hermione said, going over to a bag that was sitting behind the sofa. She pulled out a wad of parchment and came back over, laying everything out on the table as she sat. “Her name is Isabella Crabbe. Her maiden name was Greengrass, and I dug more and found out that she’s the aunt to our former classmate, Daphne Greengrass. Her older sister, who is Goyle’s mum, is Fiona Goyle.”

Amazed, as always, at her researching prowess, he asked, “How did you find all of this out?”

“It was easy,” Hermione grinned. “I went to the hall of records in the Ministry and was told I couldn’t see anything. I went up to Kingsley’s office, waited a bit till he was free, and after I explained what I was after I got his go ahead to access anything I wanted.”

Harry chuckled appreciatively. “It’s handy having the Minister of Magic on your side. What did you learn about Goyle’s mum?”

“Not much,” Hermione admitted. “She got a few OWLs, but no NEWTs. I got the impression that she wasn’t very bright from the notes on her. Crabbe’s mum didn’t achieve any OWLs, but it didn’t give any further details.

“How old is she? She didn’t look like she was very old.”

“Let me look,” Hermione said as she flipped through her notes. “I know I wrote it down and she’s really young. She’s…” she paged through and then paused. “She’s 34 years old.”

They both stared at her. “But…” Harry said slowly. “She had a full grown son.”

“Bloody hell, she must have had him at…” Ron did the math quickly. “Fifteen? Or sixteen? That’s unreal.”

Hermione nodded slowly. “That throws her out as a suspect and explains why she didn’t have any OWLs. She’d have left school before the end of her fifth year because she was pregnant.”

“She wouldn’t have had the skill,” Harry agreed. “At least Ginny will be seventeen when Hope is born.”

“You know,” Hermione interjected. “I really like that name. It seems just perfect, somehow.”

Harry tried not to beam like an idiot but it was a close thing. “Every day that passes it seems like things are getting better. Ginny still can’t eat much without getting ill, but Martha said it wasn’t uncommon for women who get really sick to stay that way through their entire pregnancy. It was part of why the feeding line had been developed about ten years ago.”

Ron clapped him on the back. “I think she’s going to make it through.”

“She’s got such a cute little belly,” Hermione said happily. “I can’t believe she’s made so many changes in just a few weeks. She looked like she was going to starve to death right after your wedding and now she’s getting quite a round figure.”

Harry had spent a happy twenty minutes that morning nestled up to Ginny as she slept, with his hand on her rounding belly. She definitely looked pregnant now, although her stomach was still small enough that she could hide it if she wanted to.

“Are you nervous about being a dad?” Ron asked him.

“He’s already a dad,” Hermione corrected. “He just doesn’t have to change nappies yet.”

“That’s going to be a whole other adventure,” Harry said and found that he was quite looking forward to it. “Speaking of which…” he went over to one of the book cases that Hermione had insisted that they needed and from the top shelf pulled down the book that Rita had sent him. “Here.”

Ron read over her shoulder, “Harry Potter, The Savior? Why are you giving it to Hermione?”

“Because I can’t stomach the thought of reading it,” Harry said honestly as he looked pleadingly at Hermione. “Be a pal and read it for me, will you?”

Hermione stared down at it for a solid ten seconds before she took it. “I’m only going to do this for you because you already have too much on your plate.”

He swept her up into a hard hug. “Thank you.”

“Oh believe me, I’m going to figure out a way for you to pay me back for this,” Hermione grumbled.
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