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J'espère (I Hope) by LilyEvansPotter15

Format: Novella
Chapters: 7
Word Count: 26,728
Status: COMPLETED

Rating: 15+
Warnings: Scenes of a Sexual Nature, Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme,

Genres: Drama, Humor, Romance
Characters: Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, OC
Pairings: Bill/Fleur, Harry/Ginny, Ron/Hermione

First Published: 08/03/2006
Last Chapter: 10/20/2006
Last Updated: 10/20/2006

Summary:

*Thanks to Alohomora @ The Dark Arts for the amazing banner!* In J'espère, there is true love, tons of drama, a little bit of humor, and a touch of suspense as Harry is back at the Weasley's once again, but he's not returning to school this time, and you know Ron and Hermione are right there with him. But when Ginny comes into the picture again, let's just say Horcruxes aren't the only thing on Harry's mind.


Chapter 1: Surprises In A Bush And Revelations Of The Heart
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Chapter pic by anora tonks @ The Dark Arts






Ch. 1 — Surprises In A Bush And Revelations Of The Heart

Harry Potter had done a lot of things you might call noble, or even brave, in his life. He just called them stupid. Then there were the things they both agreed on. So, one sorrow filled night at the Dursley’s over the summer, he decided to write this list:

“Harry James Potter’s List of Stupid Things Done Over a Lifetime”

First Year

o Faced a ravenous three-headed dog, twice
o Jumped down through a trapdoor into dark, seemingly endless, blackness
o Replaced life-size pieces in a wizard chess game with Ron, Hermione, and myself
o Drank out of a potion bottle that had a likely chance of containing poison

Second Year

o Faced a 60 ft long serpent that can kill with just one look
o Jumped down a dark, stone chute, not knowing what was at the bottom (but sent that prat Lockhart down first)
o Stabbed afore mentioned deadly serpent without taking in account position of my arm, therefore getting stabbed with venomous fang in the process
o Got stabbed with said venomous fang
o Let Lockhart fix my broken arm, resulting in the loss of all the bones in my arm (couldn’t really prevent otherwise, though)

Third Year

o Thought the Grim was haunting me (just Sirius)
o Let Pettigrew escape (dirty, rotten, son of a b…)
o Almost killed Sirius
o Almost gave Snape just brain damage

Fourth Year

o Asked Cho to the ball (should’ve asked Ginny. Ginny…)
o Thought about Cho at all (Ginny…)
o Told Cedric we should both take the Triwizard cup (he ended up dying; why do I feel like it's all my fault?)
o Let Voldemort come back

Fifth Year

o Thought about Cho at all (Ginny…)
o Kissed Cho ( Like kissing some water animal)
o Let Umbridge get away with everything (well…almost. Centaurs had their fun)
o Went to save Sirius and almost got my friends killed for nothing
o Got Sirius killed trying to save him

Sixth Year

o Let Dumbledore weaken himself for no reason
o Let Dumbledore die
o Let Snape get away
o Broke up with Ginny (but I had to)
o Used a spell labeled “For Enemies” on a living person without knowing what it did

****

It was now the morning of Bill and Fleur’s wedding, and Harry was lying in bed, reading this list over and over again. Ever since he had broken up with Ginny, he had been miserable. As the sun rose over the lake behind the Burrow, he wondered what Ginny was doing right now. He couldn’t wait until he saw her at the wedding. She would look so gorgeous. But no. He couldn’t think like that. He gave up that right when he broke up with her. “But it’s okay just to think about it, right…” The monster in his chest roared with approval at the thought from the devil in Harry. But he couldn’t think of Ginny at all. It would just kill him, especially if thinking about her got her killed. He was broken out of his constant battle between his heart and mind when he heard loud voices floating in through the open window. He crept over to it, careful not to wake Ron. He was flat on his back, arms flailing everywhere, mouth open, and drooling. Harry smirked at the sight.

“FRED! GEORGE! ABSOLUTLEY NOT!” Mrs. Weasley’s shrieks were what had carried through the open window.

Looking out, Harry saw Mrs. Weasley standing in the garden, hands on her hips, yelling at two very determined looking twins.

“Come on Mum, we can get everything out here much faster if we just helped it along a bit!” Fred complained.

“I will NOT let you two levitate their wedding cake from the kitchen all the way out to the garden!” Mrs. Weasley said sternly, shaking her finger at them.

“Well, then will you at least let us donate a few sweets…” countered George.

That was about all Harry could make out before Mrs. Weasley really started screaming. Shutting the window, he saw that Fred and George were no longer in the garden. A loud CRACK! Behind him brought his attention to the center of the room, where they had just Apparated.

“Oy! Where’s my wand?” screamed Ron, looking around crazily, having been awoken by the sound of the twin’s Apparation.

“We only just got away…” explained Fred, who, along with George, was dressed in robes of dragon skin for the wedding.

“…didn’t think she’d flip that much when I suggested we donate some sweets,” George exclaimed, an innocent look on his face. “Would’ve been a great business opportunity for us.”

“You should’ve thought of other people’s well-being before you went around looking for ‘business opportunities’” grumbled Ron. “Now I’ll never get back to sleep,” he complained, sitting on his bed, which was covered with a Chudley Cannons bedspread.

“Oh, too bad Ickle Ronniekins can’t get his beauty sleep, George,” teased Fred. “He’ll never be able to get a kiss on the cheek from Fleur unless he gets his required ten hours of beauty sleep!” With that, they Apparated out of the room, cackling.

Almost seconds after the twins left, they heard a creaking outside the door that they knew to be Mrs. Weasley. Next moment, the door had been thrown open and she was yelling at them for not being dressed yet and how the girls had already started getting ready hours ago. When she finally left the room, steaming, they quickly got into dress robes for the occasion, Ron’s thankfully absent of all traces of lace.

****

Later, at the reception


“Ronald, what does it matter how much I’ve been drinking?!” Hermione exclaimed in a rage, almost dropping what was, truthfully, her fourth butterbeer.

“It matters because I don’t want you running around acting like some… some… drunk!” Ron yelled back at her.

They continued bickering back and forth for about fifteen minutes in hushed tones at one of the tables on the edge of the dance floor, and Harry had just had about enough when he didn’t hear them anymore. He turned around to see what had so abruptly stopped them and saw that they weren’t there any more.

“That’s odd,” he thought. “Maybe Ginny saw them leave.”

He looked over to where Ginny was standing, and saw that she was talking to Fleur and her parents. She looked so beautiful in her pale gold silk dress, with spaghetti straps that showed of her gorgeous shoulders, the deep V-neck showing off everything else, but tastefully. And her hair! Merlin, he loved her hair, the way it glimmered in the sunlight, its flame red color… He shook himself out of his reverie in time to see that she was done talking to Fleur and her parents, who had left. He grabbed her a butterbeer and walked over.

“Hey,” he greeted her, his traditional lopsided grin that she loved so much on his face.

“Harry! Hi!” she said, surprised, spinning around.

“Butterbeer?” he asked, gesturing towards her with the bottle.

“Thanks,” she replied quietly, taking the butterbeer from him.

They automatically started walking towards the lake as they talked, something they had done often at Hogwarts when they were dating. All thoughts of where Ron and Hermione were fled Harry’s mind when he talked to Ginny. She was making him laugh, but he could tell she was holding back, and thought he knew why. All of a sudden, he stopped walking.

“Ginny-” he started, staring out at the lake, unable to look at her. They hadn’t really talked much about their breakup before.

“Harry, I know what your going to say. That I’m not acting like myself. And I’m not. I admit that. Then you’re going to tell me that you don’t want me acting differently. How am I doing so far, Potter?” she inquired, setting her now empty bottle of butterbeer on the ground next to her, looking right at him.

“Pretty well,” Harry replied, looking at his shoes now.

“But how did you expect me to act? Did you expect me to go back to my normal self right away? When we had just broken up, I was heartbroken, Harry, but I didn’t want to let on. I was so confused…” she sobbed, tears streaming from her chocolate brown eyes.

“Gin…” Harry started feebly, reaching out for her. She stepped back, avoiding his touch.

“Harry, when you broke up with me, I didn’t know if you loved me or if you just cared for me deeply and didn’t want to see me hurt. I wasn’t even sure if you knew yourself. I still don’t kn-”

She never finished her sentence, due to the fact that Harry had put his hands on her waist and kissed her. At first she was surprised, then she put her arms around his neck and kissed back, at first slow, then they both released the passion for each other that they had been holding onto since the breakup. The kisses were soon deepening and they almost lost control when they heard a squeal. Yes, a squeal.

“Harry, did you just squeal?” Ginny asked cautiously from her position on the ground.

“I do not squeal,” he replied indignantly, rolling off her. “It came from over there,” he continued, pointing into some far off bushes and getting up.

“Well, let’s go see what’s over there,” she said with a smile as Harry gave her his hand.

****


As they walked hand in hand around the lake to a spot in the bushes about fifteen yards away from where they had been, not much could prepare them for what they were going to witness. Harry dropped Ginny’s hand and walked over to the bush, pulling out his wand as he did so and whispering Lumos, he carefully and quickly pulled back a section of it and couldn’t really muster up much of a reaction to what he saw, just plain shock. But the person behind the bush did. Or, the people in the bush, to be more exact.

“Bloody hell!” Ron hissed, looking from the wand in his face to Harry.

Hermione squealed, again. It was quite a different squeal, though. More like an angry cat.

“Harry?” Ginny asked, walking over.

“Ginny, you do not want to look in that bush,” he replied with his face buried in his hands, trying to control his laughter.

He thought that they would come to their senses at some point, just not this quickly. Poor Hermione, settling for a bush. “Well, she was a little pissed. Ginny and I just almost did the exact same thing on the ground. It’s probably a good thing she squealed.” He imagined Ron and Hermione catching them starkers in a bush together. Ron just might beat him to death, then tell his brothers, who would beat him to a bloody pulp. He shuddered at the thought. Ron and Hermione came out of the bush looking very rumpled, but dressed, at that moment.

“You’re wearing clothes now! What an improvement!” exclaimed Harry, desperate to get his mind off of possible future beatings.

“Ronald! A bush! Now really, is that any place to take a girl, especially Hermione?” teased Ginny. Ron went beet red and Hermione’s cheeks were tinged pink.

“Ron! Ginny! Harry! Hermione!” came Mrs. Weasley’s voice from the house, “It’s nearly midnight!”

“You lovebirds be good!” Ginny said, grabbing Harry’s hand and pulling him towards the house, pausing about a yard before it. She grabbed his other hand in hers. “So what’s going to happen now?” she asked softly after a long silence, not looking at him.

Harry sighed. He knew he loved her, but if she got hurt…

“I don’t know. Let’s talk tomorrow, when we have more time,” Harry told her, taking his hand out of hers and caressing her cheek.

“Okay,” she replied, disappointment thick in her voice. She turned away towards the house, but before she could get away, Harry caught her arm and swept her up in a kiss. Soft and innocent, but full of promise. The perfect good-night kiss.

He bent down and whispered in her ear, “I love you.” Ginny looked up and met his emerald green eyes, her own full of surprise and love. Then…

“I love you too.”


*********

Review, s'il vous plait!


Chapter 2: Consequences of Passion and Truth
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Chapter pic by anora tonks @ TDA
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Ch 2- Consequences of Passion and Truth



The next morning, Harry was finding it very hard to keep a straight face, seeing as Ginny was sitting next to him at breakfast. The main reason was the presence of her hand moving slowly up and down his thigh underneath the table. She seemed to be enjoying the silent torture he was under.



"Harry, dear? How long did Ron say he would be?" asked Mrs. Weasley, shocking him out of his thoughts about Ginny's hand rather abruptly. Harry chanced a mildly frightened glance at Ginny. Truthfully, he had been so wrapped up with thinking about her last night that he couldn't even say he remembered Ron coming to bed. He definitely didn't remember seeing him this morning.



"Er..." he started to reply, but Ginny cut him off.



"Actually, I heard him in the bathroom this morning. He's still a bit hung over from the reception," she lied, unblushingly, taking a bite from her breakfast.



"We didn't-"Fred and George started, taking seats at the table across from Harry and Ginny, before getting a look from her that said "continue-and-you'll-both-be-wishing-you-were-the-ones-not-at-this-table."



"Well, then I'll just leave him be," answered Mrs. Weasley, who sounded a little suspicious of them, continued over to the table, putting fried eggs and bacon on Fred and George's plates. "It's just odd that Hermione isn't up yet. She's usually up before everyone else."



"I checked on her this morning. She looked absolutely horrible," Ginny lied again. "I think I'll go check on her once more," she added, nudging Harry with her foot.



"Er, yeah, I think I'll go check on Ron, too," he said quickly, getting up and heading for the stairs with Ginny. Once they were far enough up the staircase, they almost collapsed trying to keep their laughter quiet. "Maybe we should start this search in the bushes," he whispered, trying as hard as he could to keep his laughter to a minimum, so as not to arouse the suspicions of the people in the kitchen. At this, Ginny had to clap a hand over her mouth to stifle her laughter.



"Come on Harry, we should probably find them before someone else does," she said between giggles, getting to her feet and giving him her hand.



When they got to Percy's old room, where Hermione was staying, they didn't bother knocking. They were probably both passed out by now any way, right? Wrong. So very wrong. Opening that door was like opening one of the boxes marked "Weasley's Wizard Wheezes" in Fred and George's old room. It was extremely stupid to open without asking what was inside first (should this be added to my list?) and when you did open it; bad things were bound to happen. When they opened her door, many things happened in quick succession. First, noises so loud they should have been heard with the door shut finally came to their ears. Then, they saw a head of messy red hair over the brown, bushy head of hair belonging to Hermione on her bed. Lastly, the worst thing happened. Mr. and Mrs. Weasley chose that exact moment to walk past the door. This time it was Ron who squealed at the sight of his parents, not noticing Harry and Ginny, who had slipped off into the corner at their arrival.



"RONALD WEASLEY!" bellowed Mrs. Weasley, who was standing, with her hands on her hips, in the doorway, looking ready to kill. "WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING? YOU ARE ONLY SEVENTEEN YEARS OLD! WHAT IF YOU GET HER PREGNANT?"



"Now, Molly, dear, I'm sure they took precautions, correct?" Mr.Weasley said through gritted teeth, trying to remain calm.



"Uh... yeah, about that..." Ron mumbled from his very bad position on Hermione's bed, with her next to him, the covers pulled up to her chin.



"What! You told me you cast the spell, you bloody prick!" hissed Hermione, turning to look at him.



"I did! I mean, I was going to... I got kinda distracted..." he trailed off feebly, causing more shrieks from both Hermione and his mother.



"Come on, Harry. We should probably go talk," came a soft voice in his ear. He nodded, taking Ginny's hand in his and leading her out past Mr. Weasley, leaving a screaming Mrs. Weasley in the middle of Hermione's room.



"Are you sure it's okay to leave them alone in there with your mother that angry?" he questioned, looking back at the door through which they had just left.



"Yeah. If worse comes to worse, dad will probably be dragging her out of there kicking and screaming," she replied nonchalantly. "But we really do have to talk," As she led him down the staircase and out to the bench in the backyard, he knew that she wanted to talk about the very dicey subject that was their future. He was not looking forward to it. They sat down on the gray stone bench surrounded by sweet smelling hyacinths and hydrangeas, which were her Ginny's favorite. She took a deep breath before beginning.



"Harry-"she started before he cut her off.



"No, Ginny. Let me be the one to talk this time. Will you let me do that?" He looked at her with an almost pleading look in his eyes, but there was love nonetheless. She nodded, never taking her eyes off of him. "Ginny, when I broke up with you, it wasn't something I wanted to do. I needed to do it. Voldemort has used the people I loved to lure me, to try to make me 'act the hero'. He used Sirius and trying to save him got him killed anyway. I can't stand the thought of, one night, getting a vision of you being tortured," he had his head in his hands now. "or already dead. I never want to have to go to your funeral. Not ever. But there's more to why I did what I did," He really didn't want to get into this. He hadn't really planned to even mention it. He just got started talking...



"Harry? What is it? What's the other reason?" came Ginny's voice from beside him. He looked up at her, seeing that she had tears in her beautiful eyes. There was no going back now. He took a deep, steadying breath.



"Voldemort split his soul to create Horcruxes. Six, in fact. Something no wizard has been able to do before. Because to make a Horcrux, to split your soul, you have to kill someone, and then use a complicated charm to separate and place a piece of your soul in an object."



"Harry? What exactly are Horcruxes supposed to do?" she asked, but he could tell in her voice that she already had an idea on the answer.



"They make you immortal," he told her, at which she gave a little gasp.



"So... Voldemort's immortal? She questioned, looking him right in the eyes. He could tell she was a little surprised at the prospect.



"For now. But out of six Horcruxes, two have been destroyed," he told her. "which brings me to my other reason. I didn't want you to have anything to do with the Horcruxes, because in two months, Ron, Hermione and I are to go searching for the remaining four and destroy them. His original plan was to create seven, and the last bit is inside him. You know that prophecy?" He was going somewhere from where he couldn't return now. "The one that smashed?" She nodded. "Well, that wasn't the only record. Dumbledore was the one it was made to, and he showed me his record at the end of fifth year. I'm the Chosen One, Ginny. I'm the only one with the power to kill him. That's the other reason why I broke up with you. I can't put you in that kind of danger," Harry finished, his head buried in his hands, which were running through his hair in frustration. She just wrapped her arms around him, and they sat like that for awhile, until Ginny finally spoke.



"You do know that Ron and Hermione are not indestructible, right?" she whispered in his ear, trying desperately to lighten the mood. He groaned.



"Do you think I like putting my friends in danger? I should be doing this alone!" he spat at her, his anger rising.



"Of course I know that you don't like putting your friends in danger! But you shouldn't be doing this alone, either! This means I'm going to be with you every step of the way, whether I'm here or standing right next to you." She said, her voice full of concern.



He just gave her a little nod, knowing that she wouldn't back down, no matter what he said. "I just don't want anyone else to die at my fault," he muttered, taking her hand and leading her inside, away from the growing darkness and cold air. If only he could lead her away from danger.



****


"Have they changed colors yet?" asked Hermione's anxious voice a month and a half later.



"Not yet," whispered Ginny, who was sitting cross-legged in front of two small cauldrons, each of which was a bubbling, clear, water-like color.



"Are you nervous?" Hermione asked while pacing around the room and wringing her hands, unable to look at the pair of cauldrons.



"Scared out of my mi-" she started, but was cut off by the potions' sudden change in color; one was a stony black, the other a frothy white. Hermione quickly consulted her potions book.



"Mine's negative. Thank Merlin," she said, breathing a sigh of relief.



Ginny was positive she knew what hers meant, but she took a glance at the potions book anyway.



"Ginny?" Hermione asked, her voice sounding miles away.



"Positive..." she said, her voice no more than a whisper, before fainting.



**********


Review, s'il vous plait!



Chapter 3: Secrets, Secrets Are No Fun, Secrets, Secrets Hurt Someone
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Chapter Pic By anora tonks @ The Dark Arts



Ch. 3- Secrets, Secrets Are No Fun, Secrets, Secrets Hurt Someone



Harry had suddenly pulled into a dive, his hand stretched in front of him, the cool breeze whipping through his hair. He had spotted the Snitch about a foot off the ground. He was so close, the tips of his fingers almost brushing the tiny, golden ball. "Just a little farther," he thought, urging his Firebolt forward. Then, with one final, triumphant swipe, he caught it.



"Good one, Harry!" Ron called out from the Keeper's end of the pitch, where they had enchanted crabapples to soar at him in intervals. They would have asked Ginny to play Chaser with them, but oddly enough, they couldn't find her. So Ron had to settle for enchanted crabapples for Keeper practice. Over in the lake, Fred was splashing around with Angelina Johnson, and he was pretty sure he had seen George sneak off into the surrounding wood with Katie Bell a little bit ago.



"It would be nice to do a little splashing around with Ginny," Harry thought. "If I could only find h-" His thoughts were cut off, though, by a scream coming from the Burrow. He whipped his head towards the house, as did Ron, and saw Hermione's sticking out of Ginny's bedroom window, which was thrown wide open.



"Ron! Harry!" Hermione shrieked, looking wildly around the yard until she spotted them. They both sped towards the house, and upon landing ran inside. On his way upstairs, Harry caught sight of the family clock. Ginny's hand was on the place labeled You're Late. "That's odd," he thought, frowning. But at the thought of Ginny, a wave of panic came over him, making him forget about the clock and run up the stairs. When he got to Ginny's room, Ron was already there holding Hermione, who looked as if she were in a state of shock. Ginny was unconscious on the floor next to her bed.



"Hermione, what happened?" Harry asked, walking over to Ginny and lifting her onto her bed. Hermione stepped out of Ron's embrace. Looking from Harry to Ginny, then back to Harry again with a nervous look on her face.



"Um... well, Ginny found out some rather shocking news that I can't exactly reveal to you right now... and she, well, fainted," she replied feebly, wringing her hands and trying not to look at Harry.



"I wonder if the twins have seen Mum. I think I'll go check," Ron said quickly, sensing the coming tension. His tall, redheaded form had just whipped out of sight when Harry got a bit frustrated.



"What do you mean, you can't exactly tell me?" he asked through gritted teeth, turning away from Ginny and looking directly at Hermione now.



"Well, it's just that seeing as Ginny's unconscious right now, and I don't exactly think I'm the best person to tell you she's - " she hissed back before slapping a hand over her mouth, looking angry at herself.



"What, Hermione? She's what?" demanded Harry.



"Nothing. She's nothing," she declared, her voice muffled behind the hand still clamped over her mouth.



"Harry..." came a weak voice from behind him, and he turned around to look at Ginny. Her skin was ghostly pale, yet still glowed in the sunlight. Her scarlet locks were fanned out over her pillows, and her chocolate brown eyes were locked with his green ones.



"Ginny..." he whispered, the weakness of her voice and paleness of her skin sending shivers up his spine. But their moment was soon broken by the shrieks of a concerned mother.



"Ginny! Oh my baby!" cried Mrs. Weasley, who was running through the doorway at her, with Mr. Weasley and Ron following close behind.



"Mum, gerroff me, I'm fine!" she said through her mother's arms, which were engulfing her in a hug.



"Molly, come on, you're suffocating her," Mr. Weasley said, gently pulling his wife off of his daughter. All of a sudden, Ginny sprang out of her bed; hand clamped over her mouth, she ran out of the door and into the bathroom, slamming the door shut. They all ran out after, surprised and confused at this sudden behavior. Well, all except for Ron and Hermione, that is. They had this odd, nervous look on their faces.



"Ginny, dear, is everything all right?" asked Mrs. Weasley, knocking on the door.



"Go away!" she yelled, and Mrs. Weasley raised her hand to knock on the door again, thought better of it, and left for the kitchen with Mr. Weasley, looking forlorn.



"Ginny?" Harry asked cautiously, knocking softly on the door. Ginny was in tears now.



"G-go a-a-away!" she sobbed, and they heard her collapse on the floor.



"Ginny? It's Hermione," she said in a soft, calming voice. "Will you let me in?" The door opened a crack and Hermione saw the ghostly pale face of her best friend.



"Is Harry out there?" she asked in a small voice.



"No. I told Ron to take him outside. He's a wreck, Ginny, he's so worried about you," she answered.



Ginny looked like she was about to burst into tears again.



"Can I come in?" she asked again, nodding at the door. Ginny nodded and opened the door wider to let her in. Once Hermione was in all the way, she turned and shut the door. Ginny went to take a seat on the floor, and Hermione took a seat on the edge of the bathtub. They sat in silence for awhile before Ginny spoke.



"Did you tell Harry? You know? That I'm... pregnant?" she whispered, the last word barely audible.



"No, Ginny, I didn't. But will you?" she questioned, looking at the distraught girl in front of her.



"Of course I can't tell Harry! In two weeks, all three of you are going Merlin knows where to destroy Horcruxes, and you're putting your lives on the line, and Harry doesn't need more to worry about!" she all but screamed. As a precaution, Hermione cast a silencing charm on the room. Harry didn't need to find out like this. "I can't tell Harry, because he'd kill himself if Voldemort killed the baby and me," she said, tears pouring down her face, her voice a mere whisper. "He can't know until you come back. Not until he's safe."



****



Ginny stood in front of her mirror in her bedroom at the Burrow, examining her reflection before she went down to help with Christmas dinner. Her flame red hair was in loose curls, nothing special. She was wearing a lilac cashmere turtleneck that Harry had sent her early for Christmas, a camel colored, knee-length, corduroy skirt and dark brown, round-toed boots. She was also wearing the gorgeous ruby, emerald, and platinum promise ring that he had given her on her sixteenth birthday, before he had left in September. He had promised her that he would come back to her. Her eyes came to rest on her swollen stomach. She had insisted on casting special enlarging charms on her regular clothing instead of buying maternity robes. The one trip to Madam Malkin's with her mother had been horrible enough. She had been four months pregnant when they went and she was still feeling self-conscious about the fact that she was showing. She ended up running out of Madam Malkin's in tears, her mother hurrying after her. Now, at five months, she's feeling a little better about it, but her hormones still sometimes get the best of her. Like now, when, standing in front of her mirror, her hand on her stomach, she felt her baby kick. She burst into tears; thinking "Harry's never going to get to feel his baby kicking." Her sorrowful thoughts and tears were soon interrupted by a soft tap, tap on her window.



"Hedwig," she whispered. It had been a long time since the snowy white owl of Harry's had brought her anything, seeing as he had to keep switching owls. She quickly wiped away her tears and crossed the room to the window. Upon opening it, she saw, clamped in the owl's beak, a small scroll with Harry's unmistakable scrawl on the front, reading Ginny. She took the scroll out of Hedwig's beak, and, after the bird had flown to the top of her wardrobe and settled in, she shut the window. She sat down on her bed, slit the scroll open, and began reading:



Ginny,


How are you? I hope you're okay. We've just reached our final destination in tracking the animal and its young. We've already captured and killed three young, just one more and the animal left. I hope to come back home soon. I miss you.



With love,



Harry





Ginny let out a little giggle at the mention of their code. Since Harry couldn't mention Voldemort or Horcruxes in his letters, before leaving he had devised a code where they would call Voldemort "the animal" and since the Horcruxes were pieces of his soul, they were deemed "its young". Hopefully, anyone who might intercept one of his letters would just think he was on the hunt for a vicious animal and its killer young. Which, in a way, he was. "Merlin," she thought, "I can't wait until he gets home," Hopefully it would be before she gave birth. It would probably be more of a shock to see a newborn with your hair and your girlfriend's eyes upon arriving home than to see a pregnant girlfriend. "Still a nasty shock, though. But I just can't tell him, not yet," she thought. She allowed herself to think back to the night it happened. The night that changed her life forever.




-July 15th, approximately five months earlier-



They had just come in from the garden, where they had been discussing a lot of things. Harry had told her almost everything he had been hiding from her since they had started dating. Horcruxes, the prophecy, everything. Upon entering the kitchen, they caught sight of Ron and Hermione having a rather heated conversation. They caught a few snatches here and there, like, "of course you're not going to get pregnant" and things like "insensitive prat" and "stupid berk" before the bickering stopped and Hermione burst into tears, causing Ron to wrap his arms around her, whispering comforting words in her hear. This was their cue to leave. They went up the stairs quickly and quietly, so as not to disturb them. The pair stopped in front of Ginny's door, where he took her hands in his and looked into her eyes.



"Goodnight," he whispered before bending his head down to kiss her tenderly. She kissed him back, taking her hands from his and lacing them around his neck. At first the kisses were soft and innocent; they quickly grew to be hungrier and full of passion. Ginny was soon pinned against her bedroom door, altogether forgetting that her parents were somewhere in the house.



"Damn door!" he hissed under his breath, and then found the doorknob.



"You know, Harry, if it hadn't have been for the door, we would be on the floor right now," she whispered seductively in his ear as he opened the door, "not that I would have minded." Harry raised his eyebrows at her as he walked inside her room and shut the door. Her comment seemed to sober him a little.



"Are you sure?" he asked her, moving closer. She just nodded her head. Those next moments were a blur for her to remember. Kisses on the neck. Hands running through hair. She remembers lying down on her bed at some point. She doesn't remember anyone casting any contraceptive charms, but they had, of course, remembered to cast a silencing charm, and the locking charm cast on the door would take a full grown giant to break through. But they had, in the heat of things, forgotten to cast a contraceptive charm. She woke up around two o'clock, exhausted, but extremely happy. Harry was lying next to her, still sleeping, his left arm draped over her waist, his right bent over his head. His hair was mussed, but that was how she liked it. Disheveled. Something caught her eye; it was on his right hand, on the back of it. It looked almost like...no, that's impossible. It was just a trick of the moonlight. But if she shifted up and over a touch she would be able to see it... She carefully maneuvered herself so as not to disturb Harry, and after a couple seconds, she had a plain view of the back of his right hand. She gasped. Etched in the back of his hand, shining white, were the words I must not tell lies. How had she not noticed this before? How many times had she held his hand? "Harry James Potter!" she whispered angrily. Harry's eyes flew open.



"What? What's wrong?" he mumbled, looking around, his eyes finally settling on Ginny. "Bugger," he whispered, seeing the angry look on her face.



"Harry, can you explain to me why you have the words 'I must not tell lies' etched into the back of your hand?" she hissed at him, grabbing his wrist and shoving it in his face.



"Um...well, see, you know when I had those detentions with Umbridge, back in fifth year?" he asked timidly, and when he heard her say something that sounded vaguely like "Umbridge", he took it as a yes. "Well, for detention she made me write lines using a quill that carved the words into the back of my hand and wrote it on the parchment in my blood," he told her in a rush.



"That evil, twisted, mad, toad!" she screamed, suddenly sitting up, her face the famous Weasley scarlet.



"Ginny, it's okay, calm down," he said, enveloping her in his arms.



"It bloody well is not okay! How come I've never seen or noticed it before?" she asked, wrenching herself out of his grasp and not bothering to cover up.



"Now Gin, you've got to understand me when I tell you why I was concealing it," he started, bracing himself for the worst.



"How long have you been concealing it?" she asked, giving him the death glare she was so famous for.



"Since we started dating," he mumbled, not looking at her anymore.



"What!" she shrieked, clearly outraged. "And why would you feel the need to conceal it in the first place?"



"Because I wanted to avoid this! I didn't want your pity! I didn't want to see the horror on your face! Okay?" he yelled, looking her directly in the eyes. She could see pain in the depths of those emerald green pools.



"Harry, why couldn't you just tell me about it?" she asked, calming down.



"Because I didn't want you to have to worry about it," he told her.





Ginny was brought back out of her thoughts rather harshly by the hooting of the owl atop her wardrobe. She looked up at Hedwig, realizing that Harry had probably told her not to come back without a reply. "Well, I shouldn't disappoint him, and dinner can wait a bit," she thought. She walked over to her desk and sat down, getting out parchment, quill and ink in the process. She thought of what she could possibly write about, writing about school was too painful, seeing as she had to lie because Harry didn't and couldn't know that she wasn't taking her classes at Hogwarts anymore. She was doing them through owl correspondence at the Burrow because of her pregnancy. Professor McGonagall, who was the new headmistress, had given her the choice between the two when her parents had written to her. She had chosen owl correspondence because she would pretty much be alone in the whole pregnancy thing at Hogwarts, what with Harry, Ron and Hermione gone, her true support system there was gone, too. It would have just been too painful to go back. After writing what she thought was an okay reply, telling him she missed him, loved him, wanted him home soon, and adding a little something about the Horcruxes in there, she added a P.S. saying she had important news for him when he got home. As she watched the snowy owl become a black speck on the horizon, she couldn't help but thinking that he might not get home in time.



********


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Chapter 4: That Damned Locket
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Ch. 4- That Damned Locket

Just three miles east of the village of Little Hangleton, Harry sat in the living room of the cottage that Ron, Hermione, and himself were renting, waiting for Hedwig to come back with Ginny’s reply. The three of them were here following a lead on the locket, which they thought that Voldemort might have hidden in his father’s old home, Riddle Manor. He had only sent Hedwig out a couple days ago, so he wasn’t expecting a reply anytime soon. He just really didn’t have anything better to do. He looked towards the window, searching for any sign of his beloved snowy white owl. At the sight of a black speck on the horizon, his heart leapt. Harry got up from the dilapidated couch and crossed the room to the window. A few moments after opening it, Hedwig flew gracefully in and onto his forearm. He saw the small scroll with his name on it and smiled, taking it out of her beak. As he unfurled the scroll and began to read, Hedwig flew over to the perch he had set up for her. Ginny’s letter read:

Harry,
It’s wonderful to hear that you’ve already killed three young. I’m assuming that you’ve yet to track down the one that you’ve set your mind on the most, and I’ve got an idea about where it might be. I think the tag you found on the other young has something to do with your godfather’s younger brother. Remember back when we did all that cleaning before you’re your fifth year? Anyway, I hope you can get home soon. I miss you so much.

Love,
Gin

P.S. I have some important news for you when you get home. I’d rather tell you face to face then in a letter.


Harry was stunned by the end of her letter. What did she mean, she had something important to tell him? His mind raced with possibilities of what she had to say, each worse than the last. But he pushed all those thoughts back as he thought about the other part of her letter. He knew at once that the tag she referred to was the note in the fake Horcrux, which he had told her about the day before he had left, but what did that have to do with Sirius’s younger brother? He thought back to the note, which he had memorized by now:

To The Dark Lord
I know I will be dead long before you read this but I want you to know that it was I who discovered your secret.
I have stolen the real Horcrux and intend to destroy it as soon as I can.
I face death in the hope that when you meet your match, you will be mortal once more.
R.A.B

Those words had haunted him ever since Dumbledore’s death. But now, instead of bringing him never-ending frustration, they gave him a new resolve and focus. He walked to the study where they were spending almost all of their time looking up possibilities of where the mystery person put the real Horcrux. He found Hermione sitting in a burgundy, forest green, and gold floral armchair, reading a book titled “The Dark Arts: Everything You Never Wanted To Know About Them” and Ron was poring over assorted sheaves of parchment at the ancient mahogany table in the center of the room. Upon entering, Hermione looked up, and when she saw him, put her book down and walked to the center table. Ron immediately stopped sifting through parchment and looked up.

“Ginny wrote back,” Harry told them, setting the letter down on the table. She immediately scooped it up and started reading it, Ron at her elbow. Her eyes got wider the farther she read. By the time she had finished, Harry swore they were the size of teacups.

“Harry, do you know what this means?” she asked him after putting the letter down.

“Um…well, not really. That’s why I came in here in the first place. I was wondering if you knew what Sirius’ younger brother’s name was,” he told her, taking a seat next to Ron.

“Harry, his name was Regulus Black!” she told him, exasperated. “Oh, this makes so much sense now! Why didn’t I see it before?” She was now beginning to rifle through the many sheaves of parchment on the messy table. It was all beginning to fit together for Harry as well. He remembered Sirius mentioning that his younger brother was a Death Eater, and that was pretty much the reason he had died. “No, he was murdered by Voldemort. Or on Voldemort’s orders, more likely… From what I found out after he died, he got in so far, then panicked about what he was being asked to do…” Sirius had told him this on his first day of cleaning Grimmauld Place. Curiously enough, that same day they had found a locket that no one could open…

“Of course! The locket’s at Grimmauld Place!” he announced in self- realization.

“What? Why would the locket be at Grimmauld Place?” asked Ron, looking from Harry to Hermione with a confused look on his face.

“Harry, what makes you think it’s there?” she asked, an interested look crossing her features.

“Look, we’re all agreed that it’s Regulus Black who wrote that note, right?” he started, looking around at them. “I mean, he was a Death Eater who was killed because he got in too far and left, right?” They both nodded. “So, if, for some reason, Voldemort actually trusted Regulus enough to tell him about the Horcruxes, or, more realistically, he accidentally found out about it, it might be enough to drive someone out of Voldemort’s ranks because they didn’t like the idea of Horcruxes! Regulus probably found out the location of the locket before he was killed, took the real one, and put it in the only place he knew no one would look: the drawing room at Grimmauld Place. It was already chock-full of dark objects, no one would think twice about a locket you can’t open. We didn’t,” he finished, looking at the both of them. On Hermione’s face was a look of disappointment, on Ron’s he saw a look of agreement and understanding.

“Harry, we threw that locket away, along with the rest of what was in the cabinet in the drawing room,” she told him apprehensively, but she barely got the words out before Harry disapparated.

“Damn,” Ron said under his breath before both he and Hermione apparated to Grimmauld Place, where they were sure Harry had gone to.

****

CRACK! Harry walked forward a couple paces until he was in front of houses eleven and thirteen. “The headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix may be found at number twelve, Grimmauld Place, London,” he thought, remembering the first time he had read these words in Dumbledore’s hand. It seemed like so long ago. A dingy house with peeling paint and silver serpent door knocker appeared out of nowhere seconds later, squeezing itself in between numbers eleven and thirteen. CRACK! CRACK!

“Harry!” came Hermione’s stern voice from behind him.

“Ron, Hermione, don’t start telling me how I can’t go into these things “half-assed” or without “consulting” with you two first,” he said, taking out his wand and tapping once on the door. “Because it’s not going to work. I want this locket destroyed now.” The door creaked open and he walked in, then turned to face them. “And I can do it with or without you. I would prefer to do it without you, but you two have this annoying little habit of following me around everywhere I go,” he joked, half serious, then made to shut the door but was stopped by Ron’s foot, which was wedged between the door and the jamb.

“Are you crazy, mate? Would we let you go into something like this half-assed?” he said, grinning.

“Ron, are you sure it’s a good idea to let him do this? What if he doesn’t find the locket here?” Hermione hissed in his ear as they stepped inside Order headquarters.

“Well, then, we can go from there,” he told her, and when she opened her mouth to protest, he gave her a look of desperation. “Come on, Hermione, this is the best lead we’ve gotten on where this stupid locket might be in along time,” he whispered back, taking her hand and dragging her towards the stairs. They were about halfway down the hall and had passed Mrs. Black’s screaming portrait, which was dormant now, when someone emerged from the door leading down to the kitchen.

“Harry! Ron! Hermione! What are you doing here? I thought you were supposed to be traveling for the Order?” Remus Lupin asked upon seeing them.

“We were. I mean, we are. Our travels brought us back here,” Hermione answered, casting a glance at Harry, who was trying to slip away unnoticed up the stairs.

“Well, what brings you here?” Lupin asked, interested.

“We were actually looking for a locket that is supposed to be in the drawing room,” Harry answered, looking anxious.

“I was just in the drawing room yesterday and I didn’t see any locket in there,” he responded, with a thoughtful look on his face. Meanwhile, Ron was staring absentmindedly up at the severed house elf heads on the wall.

“Hey! We could probably go check in Kreacher’s room, he might have nicked it at some point!” he exclaimed. Harry started making his way down to the kitchen, where Kreacher’s room was located. Ron and Hermione followed him, offering their words of thanks to Lupin as they passed. Once Harry got to Kreacher’s door, he wrenched it open without knocking and thankfully Kreacher wasn’t in there. He noticed that, inside, there was still the broken, framed photo of Bellatrix Lestrange, and the absence of the quilt Hermione had made him for Christmas fifth year wasn’t all that surprising. He shifted around some ancient trousers he suspected were probably Sirius’s father’s, some assorted Black family china and silver, and after not finding anything, he moved back farther into the “room”. After moving some molding newspapers, he saw a glint of gold. He rapidly dug around until he saw a chain, then pulled on it until it came loose and fell into his hands. There it was, right in his own hands, the true Horcrux. He turned the large, oval locket over. Right on the front was a serpent entwined into an “S”, Slytherin’s mark. Finally, the last Horcrux until he had to destroy Voldemort. In a way, it seemed almost too easy. But no, none of it was easy; too many people had been lost in the process, too many families ruined. It would all be closer to ending once he destroyed this locket.

“Harry?” came Ron’s anxious voice from the kitchen. “Did you find it?” He climbed out of the boiler room with a triumphant smile on his weary face. Once in the kitchen, he saw Ron with his arm around Hermione, who was biting her lip. He then held out the locket for them both to see. Ron’s eyes grew about four sizes, and Hermione let out a little gasp.

“Harry, are you sure?” she asked, picking the locket up gently out of his hands.

“Try to open it,” he told her, and when all he got back was a confused look. “The locket we found in the drawing room couldn’t be opened,” She gave him a reproachful look, but then turned her attention back to the locket, gently trying to pry it open. After a few minutes, she gave up and placed the locket on the table.

“Fine. Everything is pointing towards this being the locket, but how do you suggest we go about destroying it?” she declared, her usual know-it-all smirk playing across her face.

“I don’t know Hermione. That’s always been your area of expertise,” he told her, a hint of a smile flicking across his features. “So I guess we should be going to the library,” and he set off towards the stairs, grabbing the locket as he went, leaving Ron and Hermione in a small state of shock.

“Well, at least he’s calmed down a bit,” Ron said, trying to reassure Hermione, who looked utterly distraught. “Hey, what’s wrong?” Hermione turned her head away and looked at the spot on the table where the locket had just been laying.

“It just seems too easy, Ron. I don’t know what it is, but something just doesn’t feel right. I mean, we’ve been at this for, what, three months, and we’ve already found the last Horcrux?” she said, turning back to Ron, tears glistening in her eyes. “I just don’t want to build up this false sense of hope, thinking that we’re so much closer to the life we deserve, and then end up being twenty steps away,” she finished, wiping away the tears that were now streaming down her face. Ron racked his mind for something to say; anything to cheer her up. He hated seeing her so sad and worried, and he especially didn’t like to see her cry.

“‘Mione,” he said, gathering her up in his arms and wiping her tears away gently with his thumb, “remember Bill and Fleur’s reception?” She groaned and leaned her forehead against his chest. “You slapped me for calling you a drunk, then I dragged you over to the lake and told you that I had only called you a drunk because I loved you, remember?” he whispered, a grin sliding onto his face at the thought of that night.

“Ron, how could I forget? It was one of the worst admissions of love I have ever heard of. But I loved it because you were the one admitting it. But I have an admission of my own to make. It’s not horrible, really. It’s just that it’s a bit, well…dishonest. It might be a bit shocking. I, well, I only had one butterbeer that night. I only acted like that to get you to open up. You always seemed a bit, well, intimidated by me when I was all books and studying, so…” she told him, feebly finishing off when she saw the expression on his face. Ron’s jaw had dropped. He looked as if he was going to say something, but decided against it. After finally regaining his composure, he spoke.

“Well, alright. Anyway, I was going to give this to you then, but we got kind of…” he remarked, a bit surprised, while fishing for something in his pocket.

“Distracted,” she finished with a slightly wicked grin on her face.

“Exactly. So, I thought now would probably be as good a time as any to give this to you, so here it is,” he said, holding out a small, platinum, sapphire, and diamond ring. It had a thin band, with an oval cut diamond and small pear cut sapphires on each side of it.

“Oh, Ron,” she gasped, taking the ring from him. “It’s beautiful,”

“It’s a promise ring. And, you know… if after this is all over you want t-”he never got the rest of the words out, seeing as she had jumped into his arms and planted her lips on his. “I’ll take that as a yes, then?” he said, grinning. He took the ring from her and slipped it onto her left ring finger.

“I’ll keep you to that promise, Ronald Weasley,” she said, a smile spreading across her lips. They were about to kiss again when an explosion shook the whole house.

“Harry,” they said in unison, heading up the stairs and colliding with Lupin.

“”What was that?” he asked, looking at the both of them with a suspicious look on his face. “Where’s Harry?”

“Library, found locket, need to destroy locket, no time to explain,” Ron answered, rushing past him with Hermione close behind. Upon entering the library, they saw that it was in shambles. Pages from books littered the floor, were still floating amidst the air, there were scorch marks on the walls, bookcases were splintered in half, and some of the drapes were on fire. They saw a flash of gold and walked to the middle of the room, where they saw a twisted, melted, completely mutilated glob of gold. Next to it was Harry, who was lying on the floor, his glasses dangling off of his ear, wand held limply in his hand.

“I think I’ve finally destroyed it, don’t you?” he asked them, his voice weakening as he slipped out of consciousness.

“Ron, what do we do? We can’t bring him to St. Mungo’s, they’ll ask too many questions!” she said, a worried look on her face as she looked up at him.

“We’ll have to bring him to the Burrow,” he told her, walking over to Harry. “Come on, we’ll have to apparate,”

“Ron, we can’t bring him there, you know that!” she exclaimed, walking over to him.

“Okay, let’s just bring him to Hogwarts then, just get over here and help me,” he said in a slightly agitated tone.

“Do you think Madam Pomfrey’s not going to be asking questions, Ron?” she inquired, helping him get Harry to his feet, silently hoping he didn’t have any cracked ribs or spinal injuries. Just the Hermione thing to do at a time like this. Think back to the scholarly things.

“Honestly, right now all I care about is getting Harry healed,” and with that, he side-disapparated with Harry.

“Boys!” Hermione muttered angrily under her breath. “They never consider the consequences of their actions!” Then she apparated to just outside the Hogwarts gates.

****
“Hermione, let me see him!” Ginny yelled at her outside the doors of the hospital at Hogwarts.

“Ginny, you can’t! It would be too risky if he woke up and saw you. For Merlin’s sake, your eight and a half months pregnant,” she hissed back, doing all she could to keep her from bursting through the hospital doors and running to Harry’s bedside, who had been in a coma ever since he had successfully destroyed the locket. Ginny had only received this news about two weeks ago, since everyone had agreed that she didn’t need any more stress. Her mother had managed to keep her from coming here since she received the news until she had to run some errands that would take longer than usual, so she left her with Fred and George. As one can see, that was a bad idea. Ginny had been a complete wreck when she had stopped receiving letters from Harry, thinking he had been captured by Death Eaters or something of the like. But everyone seemed to think this was better than the truth. Ginny collapsed against the wall, her face buried in her hands, scarlet hair falling over her face like a curtain. She let out a gut-wrenching sob.

“What if he doesn’t wake up, Hermione? He’ll never have known and it isn’t fair! When will my life, all of our lives, go back to normal, not plagued by this stupid war?” she said, sobs wracking her body. Hermione looked over at her, thinking, “Will it truly ever end?”

“How is she?” came a familiar voice. Hermione looked up to see the messy red hair and sapphire blue eyes of the man she had fallen in love with at twelve.

“I think she could probably do with a good night’s sleep,” she answered, looking concernedly at the sobbing form next to her. “I think I’m going to bring her up to Gryffindor Tower.”

“Do you want me to see if Madam Pomfrey’s got any Dreamless Sleep Draught?” he asked her as she helped Ginny up.

“That would be really wonderful, Ron. I’m taking her up to the seventh year girl’s dormitory; it’ll be empty at this time. So just meet me in the common room,” she told him, taking Ginny gently by the arm and starting down the hall. As he watched Hermione walk down the corridor with Ginny, he couldn’t help but feel a bit responsible for what had happened.

Getting Ginny through the corridors was easier than Hermione had thought it would have been. Seeing as they had gotten lucky and most students were in class at the moment, the only people to make comments on Ginny as they passed were the portraits. The really difficult part was finding someone who would give her the password. She had already tried the whole “But Fat Lady, technically I’m still a Gryffindor even though I’m not attending school this year…” and the Fat Lady, amazingly, still wouldn’t let them in. It was right before Professor McGonagall appeared that she almost went back to the infirmary.

“Miss Granger! Miss Weasley! What are you doing out here?” she asked, startled to run into two Gryffindors that she had been so accustomed to seeing around the castle, standing outside of their own common room. So Hermione filled her in about not knowing the password, and bringing Ginny up here. When she was done, McGonagall cast a sympathetic look onto Ginny, who was sitting against the bit of wall next to the Fat Lady’s portrait, her hands on her stomach. When McGonagall had found out about her pregnancy, she had been oddly kind. Not that she wasn’t kind all the time; she was usually just a bit, well, strict. But it was like she understood that Ginny didn’t need discipline then, just understanding. Like now.

“I understand. Is Mr. Weasley still at the infirmary with Potter?” Hermione nodded in reply, and McGonagall continued. “Good. Oh, and the password is ‘Sherbet Lemon’.” She turned to walk back towards her office, stopped, and turned back towards Hermione and Ginny, saying. “Good luck, Miss Weasley,” with a nod of her head, before going back down the corridor.

****

“Ron should have been here by now,” Hermione thought, half worriedly and half angrily. She was doing her usual nervous pacing and wringing of the hands around the common room of Gryffindor Tower. She had left Ginny in her would-be dormitory, confident that she was fast asleep, though it was not dreamless and uninterrupted, it would do. "What if there’s something wrong with Harry?” she thought, a sudden bubble of panic growing inside her. Next thing she knew, a red-headed someone bounded through the portrait hole, looking around the common room. “Ron, what took you so long? You had me worried to death,” she scolded, walking towards him from near the window.

“Hermione, Harry woke up!” he told her in a relived voice. Hermione’s bubble of panic suddenly burst and was replaced by a thought that had rarely, if ever, occurred in her mind before: “What do we do now?”

************
Review, s’il vous plait!

A/N: I need to cite two sets of quotes, one is the note from the fake Horcrux (pg. 609, HBP, U.S. Edition, J.K. Rowling), and the last is the quotes I used that were said by Sirius (pg. 112, OoP, U.S. Edition, J.K. Rowling)
-LilyEvansPotter15


Chapter 5: Blessed Panic
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Ch. 5- Blessed Panic

“Ginny! GINNY!” Harry yelled in a panic, fear rising up in his chest and sweat dripping down his forehead as he ran through the completely empty corridors of Hogwarts. His eyes flicked past the open door of a classroom that was eerily empty, void of the usual chatting students and explosions of spells gone wrong. He had a bad feeling that something was very, very, wrong…

He was suddenly standing on a dank, stone floor and when he looked up, his stomach twisted in knots. What he saw were hundreds of serpentine columns flanking either side of a long, stone walkway, ending in the large stone face of Salazar Slytherin, which he hadn’t seen since his second year. His eyes fell to the form lying at the end of the walkway and he spotted a glimpse of red hair. “No…” he whispered, as he began running towards Ginny’s limp form…

Shrieks filled the air. He was now standing in front of Ginny’s twitching and convulsing form. His arm was held out in front of him, but it couldn’t be his arm, and the wand, it wasn’t his, but he recognized it…Cold, cruel, high-pitched laughter filled the cavernous space, and Harry realized whose laughter it was and with a sickening feeling, realized it was coming out of his mouth. Voldemort’s laughter…

He was now standing a couple yards away from Ginny, and Voldemort was standing right in front of her, his bone white wand pointed directly at her heart. “Crucio!” New shrieks filled the air with every twitch and jerk of her body, and Harry found that he couldn’t move an inch when he tried to run to her. “How does it feel, Potter? Knowing you can’t do anything to help? Not being able to do anything to be the noble hero,” Voldemort asked him with a sneer, “Knowing that at any point, I could just kill the ones you love most?” He just struggled harder against whatever magic was binding him, desperate to get to Ginny. But Voldemort was quicker. He pointed his wand back at Ginny’s heart, from whom he had already lifted the Cruciatus Curse, and said, “Avada Kedavra!”

“NO!” Harry screamed as he watched the green jet of light hit the only one he had ever truly loved.

****
Harry sat bolt upright. He was sweating all over, his scar was searing, and his heart was broken in two. “It had to be a dream. It just had to be. Voldemort has no means of getting in here, right?” he thought, panic flooding over him. His hand searched the side table frantically for his glasses, sending a water glass crashing to the floor in the process. When he finally found them, he put them on and leapt out of bed. He was seconds from reaching the door so he could leave for Gryffindor Tower when Madam Pomfrey came out of her office to see what all the noise was about.

“Mr. Potter!” she said sternly. “Where do you think you are going?” Harry didn’t even hesitate before answering.

“To find my girlfriend!” He knew that what he had seen had to have been planted in his mind by Voldemort, but seeing her being tortured and then killed nearly killed him. Right now he just needed to hold her and make sure she was safe.

“Oh, no you don’t. You only came out of a curse-induced coma a week ago, Mr. Potter. You’re not going anywhere,” she replied, walking over to him. She, of course, knew that Ginny was pregnant, because she was acting as her midwife. She also knew of her wishes to keep the pregnancy a secret from Harry until it was a better time for him to know, and was determined to uphold those wishes.

“You don’t understand!” he exclaimed in frustration. “If you won’t let me out of here, at least let me talk to Professor McGonagall,”

“Fine, but once I get her in here you only have five minutes, then it’s back to bed,” she replied in her usual stern tone, and then left the infirmary in search of McGonagall. But Harry had no intention of sitting here and waiting for McGonagall. Once he was sure Madam Pomfrey was gone long enough where she wouldn’t end up meeting him in the corridors, he got out of his bed, crept out of the doors and down the corridor, then, making sure there was no one coming, broke into a run towards Gryffindor Tower. Once he reached the portrait of the Fat Lady, though, he realized that he didn’t know the password and had no means of getting it. He sank down onto the floor, leaning against a piece of wall next to the Fat Lady. He put his head into his hands, thinking hard.

“How could I have let Voldemort find out about Ginny? Could he have been accessing my mind when I didn’t know it?” He hoped with all his heart that Ginny wasn’t lying dead in the Chamber of Secrets at that moment. At this thought, tears trickled out of his eyes, which he didn’t even bother to wipe away. He was just too worn and tired to even care.

“Harry! What are you doing out here? You’re supposed to be in the infirmary,” Hermione exclaimed, climbing out of the portrait hole.

“Hermione! Is Ginny in there?” Harry asked her, ignoring her question and getting up.

“Uh…Harry, why do you ask?” she replied, as if treading around something she desperately didn’t want to tell him.

“I just had a vision of her being tortured and killed by Voldemort, Hermione. Is she in there?” he declared, sounding scared and impatient all at the same time. Hermione’s eyes had gone wide at this declaration.

“Oh, Harry. Oh, dear. She’s not in there. She’s not here at all,” she replied, her voice timid. “I suppose I can tell you, considering, that she’s at the Burrow. But I can’t tell you anything else. I’m not the right person to do so.” Harry’s mind was spinning with this new information.

“What do you mean, she’s not here? Why can’t you tell me anything else?” he asked, extremely confused and suspicious.

“I’m sorry, Harry. I can’t tell you anything more,” she told him, looking sincerely torn. At this, Harry took off towards the opposite end of the corridor, so he could get outside of Hogwarts and apparate to the Burrow. Hermione didn’t even call after him. She had known him too long to not know where he was going. He was going to find the truth, albeit complicated. She knew she couldn’t stop him, and this one time, she wasn’t going to try. Ginny was in for the shock of her life.

****
No one really paid him much attention as he passed the Great Hall, where the majority of the students were still eating dinner, mostly because he wasn’t a student here anymore. No one actually had any power over him here; no one could put him in detention for anything. It was a wonderfully free kind of feeling. But he had much bigger things to think about. As he ran out of the main doors to Hogwarts and out into the cool breeze, he wondered if Ginny had been keeping a secret from him. “No,” he thought, “She wouldn’t do that, what reason would she have for doing that?” Once outside of the gates, he thought of the Burrow, and Ginny’s gorgeous face, and disapparated.

****

“Mum, where’s the tea? It’s not in the usual spot,” Ginny yelled upstairs, where Molly was cleaning out Fred and George’s old room for the new addition.

“Ginevra Molly Weasley, get your bum on the sofa and rest! You do not need to be searching for tea at almost nine months pregnant!” Molly told her sternly, coming down the stairs. “I will make you tea if you want it so badly.”

“Thanks Mum,” she replied with a smile, going into the sitting room and taking a seat on the sofa. Glancing out the window, she saw that a wall of thunder clouds had appeared over the otherwise blue sky, and noted that it was probably going to rain later. With a sigh, she subconsciously placed her hands on her stomach. She really wished her pregnancy would move along a little quicker; she was only about a week and a half away from her due date and she was sick of feeling like a whale. A large part of her didn’t want Harry to miss the birth, though. A few minutes passed, and then Ginny was startled by a CRACK! and the tinkling of breaking china. Curious, she slowly got up and headed towards the kitchen. “Mum, what’s the mat-” she started upon arriving in the kitchen, before noticing the identity of the other person in the room, and for once in a very long while, she was speechless.

Harry’s eyes traveled from her shocked face down to her swollen stomach. He was in shock. Here was his girlfriend, who he hadn’t seen in almost eight months, standing right in front of him, heavily pregnant. He didn’t know what to do. Yell, get angry? No, he couldn’t. Not at Ginny, never at Ginny. Was this what Hermione couldn’t tell him? His head was spinning, he needed answers. “Ginny, can I talk to you, in private?” he asked, trying to remain calm. Ginny just looked at her mum, who scurried out of the kitchen and upstairs. “When did this happen?” he let out in a slightly exhausted tone, taking a seat at the table.

“Harry, I think you know when it happened,” she replied with a serious look on her face as she took a seat as well. “It’s not like you weren’t there.”

“Ginny…you know what I mean. Why didn’t you tell me? Were you ever planning on telling me?” he declared, looking desperate and slightly confused.

“Of course, Harry!”

“Then why didn’t you?”

“Because I was scared! Scared of the future, scared of your reaction! You were just about to leave for Merlin knows where to hunt Horcruxes when I found out, and you were worrying about the fact that Ron and Hermione could die at any moment, and I didn’t think that you needed to worry about the health and well being of children, too,” she confessed in a rush, and even though she wasn’t facing him, he could see the tears falling down her face. It tore him apart to see her in so much pain over something they should be dealing with together. Then he realized something.

“Ginny, did you say ‘children’?” he asked her, a wary look on his face.

“What?” she responded, sounding slightly guilty. She still didn’t look at him, but absentmindedly wiped away her tears.

“Gin, you said ‘children’. Why would you say that?” he asked, his voice wavering a bit, nervous for her response.

“Uh…well…Harry, you know this kind of thing runs in my family…but it’s not like I’m saying its hereditary, or anything,” she rambled on nervously, not meeting his eyes. But Harry thought he had a pretty good idea of what she was talking about, and it scared him to death.

“Are you pregnant with twins, Ginny?” he declared, trying to keep his voice steady. He didn’t even think he was ready for one baby, but two? And there was still Voldemort to think about…

“Yes, Harry,” she told him, raising her head about an inch to look him directly in the eyes. She looked a little shaky and nervous, which worried him. This heightened amount of stress probably wasn’t good for her.

“When are you due?”

“A week and a half.”

All of a sudden, a massive bolt of lightening struck through the sky, flashing an intense light in through the windows. At that moment, a horrible image crossed Harry’s mind once again; the image of Ginny being tortured and killed by Voldemort with a single green jet of light, something he couldn’t get out of his head easily. It was as if it would be burned into a piece of his memory forever. Thinking about this, he knew he couldn’t let it happen, he couldn’t let Voldemort win another battle in this immense war. He also couldn’t let him take away the rest of the people he loved. Ginny was his family; she was his reason for breathing. But if Voldemort killed their children, too…

“Ginny, I have to go do something important,” he suddenly told her, taking her hands in his. “Just know that I love you, no matter what. And I hope I can be there for you in the future. That includes the twins,” he leaned over and kissed her, then bent down and kissed her stomach twice, once for each child. Then he stood up and disapparated out of the Burrow. But it was one moment too soon.

“Oh!” Ginny gasped, clutching her stomach. When it happened the second time, about four and a half minutes later, her heart sank. “No, not now,” she whispered. “Not without Harry.”

****
“Has it been done?” Voldemort asked of the person who had just walked into the rundown, three-room shack. Without looking, he already knew who it was. “Has the switch been made?”

“Y-yes, my lord. B-but are you sure it is wise? Can’t the Ministry track these kinds of things?” Wormtail asked timidly, coming into the light of the fireplace, his silver hand glinting.

“The Ministry? Ha! What can the Ministry do to me? No…this has been in planning for too long, nothing can or will stop me now.”

“My lord,” came a new voice, its owner emerging from one of the two doors leading off to other rooms. “If I may interrupt, I have reason to believe that you are not as strong as you think.”

“Ah, Severus,” Voldemort greeted him, his voice a cold whisper, obviously not happy with this new arrival. “What information do you have on this subject?”

“My lord, Potter has already destroyed several Horcruxes, I believe. More than we first thought,” he hesitated a little before going on. “I have information from outside sources that he has destroyed them all.”

“What?!” Voldemort snarled, standing up.

****
Ginny fought back a scream of pain as another contraction came on. “Mum!” she yelled. Molly came hurrying down the stairs moments later to see her daughter clutching the table.

“Ginny! Oh dear! It’s time!”

She only received a scream of pain in answer. Molly took her daughter’s arm and led her out of the kitchen and up the stairs. Halfway up, she asked Ginny a question that had only now occurred to her. “Love, where’s Harry?”

“Oh! Well, mum, we had a little discussion, and I told him we were having twins in a way I rather I wouldn’t have,” she paused as another contraction came on, and at that moment, a roar of thunder erupted through the sky, closely followed by a crash of lightening. “and then told me he had something important to do, kissed me, and disapparated,” she finished as they slowly approached her room. “I think he went after Voldemort.” Once Molly had helped her into her bed, she finally answered Ginny’s declaration, though she was disappointed with the answer she received.

“You mustn’t worry, dear. I’m going to floo Madam Pomfrey, your father, and your brothers. Just stay here and rest.” Ginny nodded solemnly, and then turned her head to look out the window. Rain was lashing at the window, and the sky was filled with huge, rolling, deep purple and gray thunder clouds. It almost made her feel as if Mother Nature was channeling the sorrow that she was too emotionally drained to express right now. But she had more important things to think about, like giving birth to twins. How could she have ever thought that she could’ve done this without Harry? She didn’t know what she would do if she lost him, how she could raise them on her own, explaining how great he was, explaining why Daddy wasn’t there. She would never be able to handle life without him. Her mother walked back into the room then, Madam Pomfrey at her side, who immediately went to Ginny, waving her wand and hooking her up to magical fetal monitors. “I’ve flooed your father, and he says he’ll be along as soon as he can. Charlie’s downstairs, waiting for Bill and Fleur. They’re going to take a little longer, since her midwife isn’t letting her Floo or Apparate this late in her pregnancy, so they have to get a special portkey. You know, the Ministry has to keep track of those, and all. The twins have to wrap things up at the shop, but they’ll be along soon,” Molly told her, trying to distract her from the pain. It worked a little too well.

“What about Ron and Hermione?” she breathed, another contraction just passing over.

“Well…I couldn’t contact them at Hogwarts, so I assume that they’re back wherever they had to go for the Order. I contacted Lupin, he said that they weren’t at Grimmauld Place, and I have no way of contacting them otherwise,” she explained, a bit apprehensive.

“I want Harry,” Ginny whispered, her hands on her stomach. Both women looked at her, their faces full of sadness, though not as much as Ginny’s.

“Time to check you, Miss Weasley,” Madam Pomfrey told her, waving her wand over Ginny’s stomach; glowing green light flowed out of the end of the wand. The light formed gracefully to read: 6 centimeters. “Just four centimeters to go. I would have expected slower progress for a first pregnancy,” she remarked, pocketing her wand, a thoughtful look on her face.

“Women in my family have always had quick labor,” Molly told her while walking over to Ginny and magically siphoning off the sweat from her forehead.

“Mum, what did you really think when I told you I was pregnant, and that it was Harry’s?” she asked a few minutes later, looking up at her mother. She had told her parents that she was pregnant about a week after Harry had left with Ron and Hermione. At first, her mother didn’t say anything, and her father just looked at the table, clearly disappointed. But when she mentioned her decision about not telling Harry, her mother had looked up and told her that her father and she would support her decision, and then they both had left.

“I was scared for you. I had been barely out of Hogwarts when we had Bill, and it was hard even with the support of your father. Yet here you were, my baby, pregnant with the child of someone who couldn’t be there for you, but you loved him anyway, and I knew he loved you, too. It broke my heart that you couldn’t tell him, because it meant that Voldemort won again,” she told her, a little surprised at the question.

“Mum, what if he doesn’t come…back?” she whispered, hot tears threatening to escape her eyes; she blinked them back.

“Dear, he would never leave you. He wouldn’t let anyone take him away from you now,” she told her, wrapping her arms around her baby girl. They sat there for what seemed like hours, until a particularly painful contraction came, causing Ginny to shriek out in pain. Madam Pomfrey rushed over and waved her wand over her stomach, which then emitted the same glowing green light, which shaped the following: 10 centimeters.

“What?” Ginny said in disbelief, looking at the luminescent green writing hovering above her stomach.

“Yes, it’s quite astonishing how quickly your labor has progressed. I believe you will be ready to push now,” Madam Pomfrey told her.

“Oh my!” Molly remarked, turning towards the open door. “Charlie! It’s time!” Next thing they knew, there was the sound of four people apparating into the room, and hurried, but cautious, footsteps coming up the stairs, “Arthur! Fred, George! When did you get here?”

“Just a few moments ago, mum,” George answered, walking over and giving her a hug, followed by Fred and Charlie. Meanwhile, Ginny was having an angry discussion with Madam Pomfrey, who was trying to get her to push.

“Not without Harry! He can’t miss this, he just can’t,” she told Madam Pomfrey, who was at the end of her bed.

“Dear, if you don’t push now, it could endanger the babies,” she explained in a concerned, but stern voice. Ginny couldn’t hold back the tears any longer and they rushed down from her chocolate brown eyes, curving down her jaw as they slid downward. “Are you ready to push?” she asked again. Ginny nodded in return. Once she started to push, everyone ran to her side except for Fleur, who was sitting in a chair by the door, and Fred, who was talking in hushed tones to Bill on the other end of the room. That is, until Bill raised the volume of the conversation.

“Well, why isn’t he here right now? What could possibly be more important than the birth of his children?” Bill asked Fred loudly, but it was Ginny who answered.

“How about destroying Voldemort, so that his children could… have a better future? He’s risking his life for them… for all of us…and all you can do is stand there and… call him a bad father!” she said as she continued to push, causing astonished looks from all her family, for none of them, save Ron and Hermione, who had yet to arrive, had known that Harry was the Chosen One. They had an idea, though, but to confirm it was another thing entirely.

“Ginny, you have to calm down. Now come on, just one more push, can you do that?” Madam Pomfrey asked gently. Ginny nodded, then tucked her chin to her chest, and with one final push, heard a cry that brought joy to her heart. Then Madam Pomfrey spoke again.

“It’s…” she started, but was drowned out by the baby’s cries.

****
“… not your decision!” Harry declared from the study at their rented cottage, where he had been rapidly digging through various books ever since he left the Burrow.

“Harry, we won’t let you do this alone!” Hermione told him as she followed him around the study as he searched for books, Ron close behind. When they hadn’t heard anything about Ginny to alert them, and when Harry hadn’t returned to Hogwarts after awhile, they had come here. They weren’t all that surprised to find him here; they had thought that after the baby “talk” with Ginny, he might want to destroy Voldemort. He was never good at just sitting and thinking about something, he always had to take action. But not this time.

“Fine. You won’t let us come with you. But will you at least sit down for two seconds and think about what you’re doing?” Ron countered. Harry would have expected Hermione to say something like this, not Ron. Never Ron. Ron always went along with his ideas; Hermione was the one who usually stopped the two before they did something really stupid. Surprised, he took a seat in the gold, burgundy, and forest green chair, and Ron and Hermione took seats at the mahogany table.

“Do you have a plan?” she asked him.

“Not really a plan. A fairly well thought out idea, though,” he answered, looking at the floor.

“Is it going to work? ‘Cause I would really appreciate it if I didn’t lose my best friend and nieces’ and/ or nephews’ father all in the same day,” Ron remarked, causing Harry to look up at him.

“Ron, don’t. Just don’t. I just found out that I’m going to be the father to twins in a week and a half, and I don’t need you making me feel guilty so that I’ll give you information,” he retaliated, his voice weary. “I just want you two to go to the Burrow and stay with Ginny. If anything happens, get her out of there immediately. I do not want you two coming back here under any circumstances.”

“Be careful,” was all that she told him. Ron gave him a defeated nod, then they both disapparated, leaving Harry to ponder his next move. Could he really have thought that he could have just gone chasing after Voldemort without thinking about?

“I mean, I don’t even know where he is,” he thought, completely frustrated with himself and the situation. He knew the spell he was going to use, though. If it worked, it would be more painful for Voldemort than any Killing Curse. But first, he had to figure out where he was; there were so many possibilities. There were the obvious places, of course, places where he had hidden before; Albania…Riddle Manor…couldn’t be Hogwarts…though that wasn’t so much hiding as acting as a parasite… Riddle Manor made sense, not many people knew he was once called Tom Riddle, making the birthplace of his namesake the perfect place to hide in. But what about that dream? Why would he want to plant a dream luring him to the Chamber of Secrets, if he was in Little Hangleton all along? The dream itself was too easy to see that it was, in fact, just a dream…his thoughts drifted back to what the nightmare Voldemort (was there really any difference?) had said, “…Knowing that at any point, I could just kill the ones you love most?” Harry saw it now. It was so obvious; he wondered why he hadn’t seen it before.

“Motivation,” he whispered. “Voldemort must be really desperate at this point, to want to plant a dream to lure me, to motivate me to want to kill him,” he thought. Probably to speed up the timing of Harry’s death, thinking that he wasn’t going to be prepared. But he was. And for once, he was going to go knowingly into a trap. But he wasn’t going to die. Voldemort was going to be destroyed.


****

“…a boy!” Madam Pomfrey announced to the room, just as Ron and Hermione were rushing up the staircase, having just apparated into the kitchen and hearing the commotion upstairs.

“Ron, you don’t think-” she started, giving him a wary glance, but he finished for her.

“- she’s in labor? Of course I do. I mean, why not? It’s perfect timing, what with the father off to destroy the most evil wizard ever to live,” he remarked with a sarcastic tone, giving her a weak smile as they walked in through Ginny’s open door. Upon entering, they saw a healthy sized baby, with a tuft of red Weasley hair, wrapped in a conjured blue blanket in Mrs. Weasley’s arms. Mr. Weasley was sitting in a chair next to Ginny’s bed, where she was in labor with the second baby. Fleur was talking in rapid, angry French to Bill, and Fred, George, and Charlie were all looking nervous, standing near their father.

“Ron, Hermione!” Molly whispered excitedly, a wide smile on her face as she hurried over to them with the new baby in her arms.

“So, this is my new nephew, right?” he asked, looking at the baby. “He certainly looks like a Weasley. Freckles and all,” Just then, the baby boy opened his eyes ever so slightly, as to reveal the emerald green sparklers that were reminiscent of his father’s and grandmother’s. “I guess a little of Harry in him, too.”

“Does he have a name yet?” Hermione asked, looking down at him with a soft expression on her face.

“No, Ginny wants to wait until Harry gets back to name them. By the way, where is Harry? He hasn’t really gone after Voldemort, has he?” Molly asked, a nervous look on her face as her eyes flicked back and forth between the two of them.

“Um…well, you see…” Ron started, glancing at Hermione as if pleading for help.

“You know how Harry is…” she said, aware that this would do anything but calm Mrs. Weasley, but what could she say?

****

Meanwhile, the rain that had been lashing at the windows of many homes and pounding down from thunder clouds in Ottery St. Catchpole had since lightened a bit, but had moved surprisingly fast and it was now raining so hard and rapidly in Little Hangleton, that it was as if the gun metal gray and dusty mauve clouds above had been pouring the rainout of them with several large buckets. Harry hadn’t noticed this rapid change in the weather until he stepped outside of the cottage. He didn’t care, though, a little rain he could deal with. He’d dealt with worse so many times before. As he started walking towards town, rain slipping down his forehead and onto his cheeks, his thoughts turned to, of all things, Ginny. He wondered how she was doing, and wished that he hadn’t had to leave her like he had. What if she went into early labor? “No, she couldn’t go into labor now,” he thought. But aren’t twins supposed to come early? He vaguely remembered a story shared earlier, back in the summer by Mrs. Weasley, about the fact that Fred and George were born two weeks early. She couldn’t be in labor now. What would make him think that? She would go into labor in a week and half, just as planned. But what if there were complications? What if she bled to death? He was going to be a father in a week and a half! The panic he felt now had nothing to do with the fact that he had just reached Riddle Manor. Shocked that he hadn’t really noticed where he was going, but still ended up here, he looked up to see that there weren’t any lights on in any of the windows in his path of vision. Withdrawing his wand from his pocket, he walked slowly towards the door, and once he reached it, whispered “Alohomora”. The doorknob shook a little in the blast from the spell, as if it wasn’t attached firmly to the door, but this was an old house, so Harry dismissed it. As he put his hand towards the doorknob to open it, he was surprised that there hadn’t been any wards on the house. Another reason this was probably a plan to lure him. Once he finally placed his hand on the doorknob, he felt a familiar and nasty tug from somewhere around his navel as the scene in front of him disappeared with a rush and was replaced, as he fell with a thud to the ground, by a vaguely familiar scene he was sure that he hadn’t seen since just after they had left to hunt Horcruxes. He opened his eyes a little wider to see Voldemort standing in front of the ruins of his parents’ house. He was in Godric’s Hollow.

************
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Chapter 6: Creation And Destruction
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Chapter Image by Alohomora @ The Dark Arts

Ch. 6- Creation And Destruction

“Ginny, the baby’s not coming down quickly enough,” a worried Madam Pomfrey informed her, glancing at the magical fetal heart rate monitor that was floating next to the bed. “The heart rate has dropped enough in the past few minutes to suspect an umbilical cord around the neck. The only way to get the baby out safely would for me to perform a Cesarean Charm.” Ginny looked from Madam Pomfrey to her mother and new baby boy, fear for her second child in her eyes. She turned back to Madam Pomfrey, her decision made.

“Okay,” she replied, nodding.

****

“Potter! How nice of you to join me. Unfortunately for you, you won’t be leaving tonight. You won’t escape me again,” Voldemort said in an angry tone, descending upon Harry the moment after the Portkey had landed him in Godric’s Hollow. Certainly not something Harry had been expecting. He opened his hand to see that he was holding a doorknob, with a serpent coiled around the shaft and engraved on the front of it.

“Voldemort must have had a Death Eater switch the doorknobs,” he thought. “His muggle ancestors probably never fancied snakes much.” He put the doorknob on the ground and shakily got to his feet; he was still a little off from the abrupt Portkey transport, but it wouldn’t keep him from doing what he had to do.

“I thought this would be the appropriate place to bring you,” he continued, ignoring Harry’s lack of response. “You can die in the same place your stupid father and filthy Mudblood mother did. Too bad your precious Ginny couldn’t be here, too.”

Harry restrained the extremely strong urge to curse Voldemort right at that moment. He needed to wait for the right time, when Voldemort was distracted, if he wanted to make it out of here alive. He cautiously tried to close his mind to Voldemort, something he had been practicing in the past three months out of necessity. He hadn’t really improved, but it was worth a try.

****

“Alright, I need everyone out of the room, please,” Madam Pomfrey declared to some very concerned Weasley’s, Hermione, and a new Potter back at the Burrow.

“Why? What’s wrong?” Mrs. Weasley asked, handing the baby to a startled Hermione.

“The baby’s heart rate has dropped and I need to perform a Cesarean Charm,” she answered quickly. “So, if you please, I need to do this now or the baby doesn’t have much of a chance.” At that moment, Molly put her hand to her mouth in concern, then rapidly rounded up everyone and led them out of the room, casting a last backwards glance at Ginny as she closed the door. As soon as the door shut, Madam Pomfrey pulled Ginny’s cotton and lace shift up to reveal her swollen belly. She then whispered “Abscedo” and tapped her stomach with her wand, making a white, iridescent glow emit from the end of it and surround her abdomen like an orb. The light faded, revealing Ginny’s stomach; you could now see the womb, and the lone baby with an umbilical cord wrapped around its neck.

“So I can see the positioning of the baby better,” she explained, seeing her astonished face. “Now, this might hurt a bit…”

She lowered her wand closer to Ginny’s stomach, steadied herself, and then whispered “Diviselenitis”, causing her stomach to change to the point where it looked like the womb was made of spun glass. She then whispered “Wingardium Leviosa” and slowly brought the baby out of the womb, as if it had just melted away. As the baby was just breaking the surface, Ginny let out a scream of pain, and was soon joined by the cries of her baby…

“It’s a girl.”

****

“Of course, why would anyone look for you here?” Voldemort went on, pacing the cobblestone and dirt pathway as Harry tried to close his mind. Surprisingly, Voldemort was oblivious to this. “I will finally get rid of the only thing standing in my way,” he continued, his voice a ragged whisper as he shook his head. “No Dumbledore, no parents… tsk, tsk, Potter, your luck is running thin.”

He gave up on trying to close his mind and focused instead on what he had come for. “We’ll just have to see how much ‘luck’ it takes me to destroy you,” he responded, hand gripped tightly around his wand, eyes locked on Voldemort.

“You think you can destroy me? Even being the clever little boy you are and destroying the Horcruxes, there is no spell to destroy me. Even if you try to attempt it, the Killing Curse cannot harm me anymore,” he snarled, stopping in his place to look at Harry.

“You only think of spells to kill.”

“There is nothing worse than death.”

Harry couldn’t stand this anymore. Believing there was nothing worse than death? Harry’s life before magic, life with the Dursley’s; life without love, it was all worse than death. Voldemort was a fool. Harry slowly raised his wand to point it directly at him, meanwhile summoning memories stored over a lifetime and new ones just gained. Distant ones of his parents, ones that had no image, but a definite feeling… memories of Ron and Hermione, just average normalcy and being cared about…summers at the Weasley’s…his first time kissing Ginny…giving her the promise ring…the first time they had made love…seeing her pregnant. Then, just as Voldemort was brandishing his own wand, he took a deep breath, and filled with memories of love, shouted “Expecto Patronum!” But instead of a silvery stag galloping out of his wand, a vaporous gold stag galloped out and towards Voldemort at full force. Harry watched the next moments unfold; he definitely didn’t think this would be happening. The Patronus, instead of hooking Voldemort with its antlers or something of the like and taking him away into the darkness, had stabbed Voldemort in his chest, the place where, had he had a heart, it would have been. Ginny had once confided in Harry that she thought instead of a regular heart, Voldemort had an eroded, completely corrupted, black heart. Voldemort let out a howl of pain at the moment the antlers pierced his pale skin and cut through the dark robes. Then there was a burst of blinding light and an explosion that sent Harry soaring in the air and landing about twenty feet away. As he rolled over to a seated position, a strange, relieved feeling came over him. He grabbed his glasses from where they had fallen on the ground next to him, and, wiping the dirt off the lenses, blurrily noticed a deep gash on his right forearm.

“I wonder what this brings the grand total up to now?” he wondered, accidentally swiping blood on his shirt as he put his glasses on. Then, out of the corner of his eye, he saw it. The light that had come from the Patronus stabbing Voldemort, who had been incinerated in the few moments between the light bursting forth and when Harry landed on the ground, had faded into a gray mist, almost fog like. The mist started to form into what he had, for one brief second, thought were faces; he actually took off his glasses and cleaned them again, making sure he wasn’t really seeing an odd smudge on his glasses. Putting them back on, he could plainly see that it was no trick; in fact, it reminded him vaguely of the Priori Incantem shared between Voldemort and himself in the graveyard fourth year. He slowly got to his feet, wand in hand, and made his way cautiously over to the strange, misty forms about twenty-three feet ahead of him. Once he was about three feet away from the steely gray shapes, he caught sight of what he was fairly sure was his mother’s ghostly form, closely followed in the swirling mass of ghosts by his father. But he was most surprised by what came next.

“We’re so proud of you, Harry,” the ghost of his mother said, reaching out to him, yet not touching, because she would have surely gone straight through him.

“I always knew you’d be the one to get him,” his father’s shadowy figure added, pride evident in his voice. Harry was so shocked that when he tried to speak, no words came out. Before he could try again, his parents were speaking.

“Harry, you need to go now,” his father told him in a slightly urging voice. Except Harry had been so amazed by the fact that his parent’s shadows were speaking to him, that he missed what James was saying.

“Uh?”

“Harry, you’re needed more at home than here right now,” Lily said, a slight smile gliding across her face.

But Harry was having trouble connecting the information. He turned away from them and thought. Well, home was Ginny. Ginny was at the Burrow. So he should go to the Burrow? But why? When he turned back to ask, he saw that the whole misty group of ghosts, well, shadows, had disappeared. Then it hit him. Voldemort was gone. Forever. And Harry knew the first place he wanted and needed to go. Home.

****

“They are the most precious things I’ve ever seen,” Hermione whispered to Ron as she stood in the doorway with his arms wrapped around her waist, standing behind her, and chin on her head. Ginny was lying on her bed with the newborn twins in her arms. Since Harry had yet to make an appearance, Ginny still refused to name them. So they just referred to them as the boy twin and the girl twin. For fraternal twins they looked pretty similar; both had their father’s green eyes, and their mother’s freckles. But the boy twin had Weasley red hair, where the girl twin had Harry’s raven black hair, yet it sat in loose, wispy baby curls atop her head, so she must have her mother’s hair texture.

“Have you thought about us at all?” Hermione suddenly asked, her voice cautious as she glanced down at the ring Ron had given her three months ago, and thinking about the promise he had made.

“Uh, well, of course I have. I think about us at breakfast, and um…when I’m playing Quidditch-” he started hastily, before she cut him off.

“No, Ron, I meant, have you though about our situation?”

“Situation?”

“Ron, we’ve been ‘engaged’ for three months and have yet to tell either of our parents, we’re not even sure if we’re getting married-” she began, turning to face him as she spoke.

“Not even sure? Hermione, when I promise you something, I plan to keep it,” he declared, looking her in the eye.

She nodded. “Let’s just hope that Harry finally gets rid of Voldemort.”

CRACK!

Ron and Hermione spun around and saw Harry standing right in front of them, one of the lenses of his glasses cracked, and a bloody gash on his right arm. He also happened to be covered in dirt, leaves, assorted twigs, and his hair was dripping wet.

“Where’s Ginny?” he asked in a rush, looking from Ron to Hermione.

“She’s in there,” Ron replied quickly, jerking his thumb behind him. “But I should probably tell you-” But before he could get out the rest, Harry was already making his way through the door.

****

Ginny looked down at the tiny, sleeping forms in her arms and couldn’t hold back a small smile. They were finally here! She absolutely couldn’t believe it. She was exhausted and sore, but in the end, she had two human beings that were just Harry’s and her own, no one else’s. But the next thing she knew, that happy feeling was being replaced by a rising panic and fear. A fear for Harry’s life. She had no idea where he was, only a vague idea of what he was doing, and the fact that no one had any answers for her was more than a little frustrating. Then, she heard someone talking in hurried tones, and, out of the corner of her eye, she spotted someone gesturing back towards her and looked up. She saw Ron and Hermione, their backs to her; talking to someone she couldn’t see. But she recognized his voice and she felt the panic subside.

“He’s okay.” she thought, breathing in a sigh of relief.

As he came through the door, the baby girl started waking up and yawned, stretching her little mouth as wide as it would go, then almost immediately closing it. Upon seeing this, and the baby boy, he got a bit of an awed look on his face and slowly walked to Ginny’s bedside as her eyes followed him, a smile on her face and in her eyes.

“They’ve got your eyes.”

“Really?” he replied, looking down at them. “Gin, I should have been here…I…” he trailed off, taking a seat in the chair previously occupied by Mr. Weasley.

“It’s okay. You had no way of knowing I was in labor, Harry.” she replied, a trace of laughter in her voice. “Do you want to hold one?”

“Are you sure?” he questioned, remembering, under radically different circumstances, the last time he had asked her that. The night she got pregnant.

“They’re yours too, you know. You were definitely there when it all happened,” she said, her light laughter filling the air. She then lifted her left arm slightly so he could pick up the tiny baby girl. As he proceeded to do so, he asked her a question.

“Have you named them yet?”

“No-support her head-I wanted to wait until you got back.”

This really didn’t register with Harry, as he was in awe of his daughter, bundled in a soft pink blanket in his arms, wispy, black curls neat atop her head. Freckles fell over a nose that looked almost identical to her mother’s like light snow and she had eyes that, now open, were undoubtedly her father’s.

“Harry?”

“Uh?” he replied, looking up at her from the tiny baby girl.

“Did you do it? Did do you destroy Voldemort?” she whispered, looking him directly in the eyes.

“Yeah, um…I did. Gin, he’s gone now. He’s gone forever.” he told her, returning the look. She could see the happiness even though he wasn’t smiling.

“How do you know?” she heard herself saying and felt tears dripping down her cheeks. She slowly tried to blink the tears away and couldn’t make herself open her eyes again. She heard the groaning of the springs and felt him sit down next to her, wrapping his free arm around her shoulders.

“Because I saw it. Trust me, he’s really gone.”

As soon as the words had left his mouth, they heard someone clear their throat by the door.

“Um…Mum says they need the twins’ names for the birth certificates,” Ron explained, both he and Hermione still standing in the doorway, an odd expression on their faces. Something between happiness and fear.

“Of course,” Harry thought. Now that Voldemort was gone, they had no excuse to postpone the wedding and they had to tell the Weasley’s and the Granger’s about the engagement. He couldn’t believe that they had gone three months without telling anybody. Well, save for Ginny and himself, once he came out of that coma. He knew that if he was engaged to Ginny, he would be shouting it at the top of his lungs. Now that’s a concept. Being married to Ginny was something he had pondered before, but they had never really discussed it together.

“Harry?” she asked, pulling him out of his thoughts.

“Yeah?”

“Do you have any preference on what their names will be?” she asked, a slight bite in her voice. In her arms, the little baby boy was just waking up.

“I haven’t really thought about it. But…um…maybe after my parents? Doesn’t have to be a first name or anything; probably better as a middle…” he trailed off, looking down once again at the twins. Ginny looked down at the baby girl as she was contemplating a name.

“Do you like ‘Lilia Alexandria’?” she questioned, tentatively looking up at him.

“It’s beautiful,” he replied, then looking at Ginny and their son. “Can I hold him?”

She nodded and carefully took Lilia and replaced the yet-to-be-named baby boy in his arms.

“Now what do we name you? ‘Sirius James’?” he asked the newborn.

“Harry, that’s a lot to live up to in a name,” Ginny stated jokingly. “Let’s go for a walk around the lake. I’ve been in this bed for way too long.”

They got up, twins in hand, and in about fifteen minutes were out walking around the lake. Well, it was more of a pond, really.

“What about ‘Jack’?” Harry wondered aloud as they walked slowly in the grass, still damp from the previous rain, around the small lake.

“No,” she responded, adjusting her hold on Lilia.

“Andrew?”

“No, something just doesn’t feel right about that name.”

“Christopher?”

“No.”

“Matthew?”

“Ummm…no.”

“Ok, what about…uh…‘Benjamin James’?” he said, truly desperate for a name now.

“‘Benjamin James Potter’. I like it,” she told him with a contemplating, then decisive look on her face. They walked in silence for a couple minutes, until Harry suddenly spoke.

“Did everything go okay?” he asked, looking down at her. From Ginny’s perception, the sun behind him gave him a sort of an aura, a glow. It took her a few heartbeats to figure out what he was referring to.

“The birth? For the most part…Ben made it okay…” she said, looking out at the lake.

“And Lilia…?”

“Well…it was a bit longer delivery with her.”

“Why?”

Ginny looked up at him and knew that she had to tell him. There was no way around it.

“Her heart rate was dropping because of the umbilical cord being wrapped around her neck. Madam Pomfrey had to perform a Cesarean Charm.”

“She’s okay now, right?” he inquired, a worried look on his face as he glanced down at the tiny form in Ginny’s arms. He hadn’t really noticed how truly small Lilia was. He looked back to Ginny. “Are you okay?”

“We’re both fine. The only risk with the charm is the fact that it is an adaptation from a Muggle surgery, and fairly new to the magical community. But we’re both fine, Harry.”

“I should’ve been here.”

“Harry there was no way you could have known I was in labor. You were out saving the world,” she assured him. She was feeling a little more rational now that she wasn’t trying to push two cauldrons out of a button hole.

“I wish that I could’ve somehow been doing more to help you with this. I mean, I know our situation was a little odd…”

“You’ve done as much as you could. Most importantly, you loved me, even from thousands of miles away,” she commented, looking up into his eyes. He wrapped the arm not holding Ben around her shoulders. “And Harry?”

“Hm?” he responded, twisting his head to look down at her.

“Thanks for getting me pregnant.”

She then rested her head against his shoulder and looked out at the lake, leaving Harry just staring at her, a bit of a smile on his face.

**************
Review, s’il vous plait!

A/N: Just one chapter to go!
-LilyEvansPotter15


Chapter 7: Keys, Letters, Rings, Oh My!
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Chapter Image by Flirtologist @ TDA

Ch 7- Keys, Letters, Rings, Oh My!

August 8th, 1998, approximately four months later

Ginny was awoken in the late hours of the night by the twins’ crystal-clear cries sounding from somewhere near her abdomen. She groggily opened her eyes and they flitted about, searching for the source of the noise. Her eyes finally rested on Harry’s left arm, which was draped loosely around her waist as he went on snoring next to her.

The cries were coming from the new wizarding watch her family had given Harry for his birthday. It had a brown leather strap, and three gold hands on it; one for Ginny, one for Ben, and one for Lilia. As an added safety feature for the twins, there was a charm placed on Ben, Lilia and the watch, so that the watch worked as a sort of baby monitor. Whenever they were crying, the watch registered the noise from the twins, and duplicated it. Along with being able to hear the crying, they were able to “see” it through the watch, as well. At the twelve o’clock, three o’clock, six o’clock, and nine o’clock places, there was a small ruby; whenever either of the children cried, the baby monitor charm picked it up. As the cries would raise or lower an octave, so would the intensity of the rubies’ color.

Her sleep deprived eyes saw that the intensity of the rubies was lessening, as was the volume of the babies’ wails.

“Mum must be in there,” she thought, trying to get out of bed a carefully as she could without waking Harry. Normally, she would have tried her hardest to disturb his sleep so he could help her, but since her mum was already in there, she figured that if she didn’t absolutely have to wake him up, then why do it?

Once she had gotten out of bed, she made her way to Fred and George’s old room, which was now serving as a nursery. They would’ve put the twins in Ginny’s room, but it was enough of a squeeze for one crib, let alone two. Upon reaching the nursery, she was surprised when she didn’t mum cooing to the twins. She quickly passed through the doorway and saw Ron in his pajamas, holding Ben in his left arm and Lilia in his right, rocking them gently side to side. He didn’t seem to have registered Ginny’s presence in the room yet.

“Ron, what are you doing here?” she asked, walking up to him. About a week after she had given birth, he and Hermione finally told mum, dad and her parents about their being engaged to be engaged. Two months later, they had moved into a flat in Diagon Alley together, a very early wedding present from Fred and George, because they “needed all the free help available” at their shop.

The look on her brother’s face spoke to her before he had opened his mouth. It was a look of sadness, confusion and slight anger, masked by a love for his niece and nephew.

“I got into a fight with Hermione,” he explained, looking briefly at her before turning his attention back to the twins.

“What about?” she questioned, taking a seat in the antique mahogany rocking chair in front of the window. She hoped it hadn’t been about anything too serious. Bickering was normal for them; they usually made up before the end of the day. But Ron had never come here after a fight with Hermione before; at least, not that Ginny knew of.

“I changed their nappies when I got here,” he told her, avoiding the question as if it was Aragog, come back from the dead and dancing in his living room to the Weird Sister’s latest album. He placed each infant in their crib, then after sufficiently tucking them in, he turned back to his baby sister. “I didn’t know mum was letting Harry sleep in your room. How’d you manage that?” he wondered, a forced grin crossing his face as he tried to deflect attention away from his issues.

“What happened with Hermione?” she asked, folding her hands in her lap and looking at him with an innocent look on her face. She figured that if he could play the “selective hearing” card, then it was fair game for her, as well.

A look of defeat flicked over her features, and his shoulders sagged. Upon seeing that there were no other chairs in the room, he took a seat on the floor, his legs tucked to his chest. Wrapping his long arms around his knees, he began explaining what had happened. She had never seen him give in so easily before.

“She was angry that I hadn’t told mum and dad whether or not we were coming to dinner on Saturday. She kept saying things like, ‘You are never considerate of other people,’ and ‘I asked you to do one simple task…’ Then she started crying; I went to go hold her, but she backed away, saying something about how we’re always bickering. I couldn’t really tell, she was sobbing so hard.”

By this point, Ginny felt like she was missing some key information. Like what he was doing here at The Burrow at midnight. She was also confused at Hermione’s behavior; for her to cry because Ron didn’t owl mum and dad was highly unusual. Hermione, of all people, should know by now that he isn’t a very good errand-boy. Unless her crying was caused by something else…but, that couldn’t be it…

“Ron, why aren’t you with Hermione now?” she asked him, hoping he wouldn’t cotton on to her suspicions. Of course, there was nothing for her to suspect…they wouldn’t actually…not after what had happened. Would they?

“She said she needed to think and that I should go,” he explained, a hurt look in his eyes. If it wasn’t this, she didn’t want to find out what was happening with Hermione. “I went to the twins’-Fred and George’s-I guess I should get used to calling them that,” he continued with a chuckle, “I went over to their flat when she told me to leave. I came here around a quarter to twelve, I think. I thought I would talk to Harry about it, but when I apparated into our room, he wasn’t there. I guess you’re the reason why.”

Ginny blushed slightly at this. Then she thought that since Ron had spilled his soul, she could maybe tell him about the room situation.

“It’s not that big of a deal, honestly. It’s more out of convenience, than anything; I didn’t see the point in trudging up two flights of stairs to wake him in the middle of the night when the twins needed to be changed, or fed. It’s much easier to just roll over and poke him in the ribs,” she explained, telling him the complete and utter truth. Well, almost. It was the “Ron” version of the truth; she didn’t think he would want to hear the real reason for her (and Harry) wanting to share a room. There was a “Mum and Dad” version, as well. It involved separate beds on opposite sides of the room as part of the deal.

“Makes-” Ron started, but was interrupted by a very groggy Harry entering the room.

“Ron? What are you doing here?” he asked with a yawn as he scratched his head. He looked over at Ginny with a questioning look, then back at Ron. “What did I miss?”

Then an idea struck Ginny.

“Nothing I don’t think Ron can’t fill you in on,” she told him, then looked at Ron. “Right?” He nodded slowly in response. “Hermione’s should still be at your flat, correct?”

“That’s where she was when I left. Why?” he answered, giving her an odd look.

“I need to talk to her.” She got out of her chair and went over to the pair of antique mahogany cribs against the wall and checked on the twins. “Harry, the twins are still asleep, and Ron changed their nappies around midnight. I shouldn’t be long, but you should be okay with them until I get back,” she explained to her dumbstruck boyfriend as she kissed each twin on the forehead.

"Bye Ron,” she said as she passed him, walking over to Harry. She tilted her head up and gave him a quick kiss before leaving to go change.

“What’s the matter with Hermione?” Harry asked, looking out the door through which Ginny had just left, then back at Ron in confusion.

Some morning.

****

“Hermione, I’m going to ask you something that may startle you…” No, no, and no. That wasn’t going to work. How do you ask someone this? She’d never been asked it, it’d just sort of…came out. Quickly. It’s not something you just blurt out-

“Ginny? Are you even listening?” Hermione exclaimed, startling her out of her thoughts. She had been listening, just not very intently. Hermione had been telling her side of the story at the moment Ginny thought would be a good idea to figure out what she was going to do. Unfortunately, she was caught more than a little off guard.

“Are you pregnant?” she blurted out, still caught in her previous thoughts. Well, it wasn’t exactly how she wanted to ask her about it, but at least it got the topic out in the air…

Hermione’s eyes opened wide with shock as she registered Ginny’s words, yet not saying a word herself. It seemed as if she were deciding if it were more logical at the moment to lie, or to tell the truth.

“No…o-of course n-not,” she finally responded. Apparently logic was with the liars today, because there was no way she was telling the truth. Ginny simply knew her too well. Hermione rarely, if ever, stuttered when telling the truth. Unless she was withholding information; she stuttered then. But then again, withholding information would be considered lying.

“You know as well as I do that Ron is far from perfect. So, if you’re not pregnant, why would you have a crying fit because he didn’t owl mum and dad?”

“I don’t have to be pregnant to cry!” Hermione retorted, looking embarrassed at herself for crying over something like that.

“Do you think I don’t know a pregnant woman when I see one? You can’t lie to me or Ron, Hermione.”

Hermione looked down into her lap, watching herself slowly wring her hands. Light from the fixture that hung over their heads glinted off her promise ring. Tears started to fall as she thought of when Ron gave it to her. She could remember the look of happiness on his face and of wonderment like it had just happened. She looked back up at Ginny, tears still fresh on her face.

“I’m not even sure. I have all the symptoms, but the thing is that they could all be caused by something else. If I told Ron that I thought there was even a possibility in my being pregnant, only to find out I wasn’t, he would be heartbroken. I would be heartbroken. Besides, how would we be able to afford a baby? All I have is my job at Flourish and Blott’s and Ron’s been seriously rethinking whether or not he wants to be an Auror since the end of the war,” she explained, her voice sounding small, but growing with the sound of fear as her panic grew.

Ginny and Harry had been in a similar predicament since the war ended, not so much as what to do for money, as Harry’s inheritances from both his parents and Sirius were still very abundant; in his six years at Hogwarts and year finding Horcruxes he had barely made a dent in them. It was more the fact that Harry wanted to prove himself after being “The-Boy-Who-Lived” and “The Chosen One”. But as was true for Ron, he just had his share of Dark wizards for a lifetime and wasn’t really interested in being an Auror anymore. Any hopes for Quidditch were soon dashed. Scouts for national teams came to the schools during the last three games of the season to look at potential players in their seventh year, and because Harry and Ron’s last Quidditch season was played during their sixth year, the scouts weren’t looking at them, and didn’t have a chance to.

At least that’s how Harry explained it when they were discussing the whole money situation. During the first couple of months after the twins were born, she couldn’t stand to be apart from them, and since it wasn’t necessary, she didn’t get a job. Now that she can stand to be apart from them for more than a couple seconds, she’s thinking of getting one so that she’s not just a house wife and so that they aren’t just living off of his inheritance.

“Hermione, I think we should at least go to the Healer’s to get you checked out, okay? Then we can figure out everything else later. Who knows? You could be doing all this worrying over nothing!” Ginny responded with a small chuckle, knowing that there was no way that she wasn’t pregnant.

****

A few hours of sleep later… (but most certainly not enough)

The crying would never end. He was absolutely sure of it. It was unbelievable; he had never seen his niece like this before. Bill had just stepped out of the fireplace with a shrieking four month old Jacqueline in tow. There was a look on his face that said bad news all over it. They all thought Fleur had finally come to her senses and dumped him. Well, at least he did.

“She’s making me baby-sit!”

“What? But-but Bill! Today was supposed to be a day just for us! Just us blokes! No kids! You promised!” Ron exclaimed, looking from Bill to Jacqueline and acting like a child himself.

“Ron, the only option we have is to take the kids with us,” Bill explained, referring to Jacqueline, Lilia, and Ben.

“Well, then I can’t go,” Harry stated. “Ginny won’t let me take the twins outside of Ottery St. Catchpole.”

“Why not?” Bill questioned at the same time as Ron.

“Several reasons,” he responded with a sigh, “two of which I agree with. The Daily Prophet, and the fact that even though Voldemort is gone forever, Death Eaters are still out there wanting to seek revenge on me. The only way we’ve been able to avoid the Prophet is because they-amazingly- haven’t found out that she was even pregnant to begin with. If they saw me with two kids that look a whole lot like Ginny and me, they would have a field day.”

“What about your invisibility cloak? You can fit you and the twins in there, can’t you…” Ron suggested hastily, trying desperately to save the trip. He needed a good excuse to run his errand, for which he needed all the help he could get.

“Of course Ron, no one’s going to notice invisible gurgling noises,” he retorted sarcastically. “Do you have something important you needed to do today? Is that why you want to…” Oh no. He had completely forgotten about his own errand. Of course, there wouldn’t be any wizarding press in the Muggle towns…but Ginny specifically said not to…but really, it’s for Ginny, so she wouldn’t get angry…what are you thinking, of course she would!

“I…er, have to go to the Granger’s to get Hermione’s mother’s engagement ring,” Ron mumbled, looking at the two.

“Wait. I thought you two were already engaged,” Bill asked him, a confused look on his face.

“Actually, we’re ‘engaged to be in engaged’. I want to do it properly and Hermione’s always loved her mother’s ring. I wrote them last week, by Muggle post to ask for the ring and their permission. I forgot that we don’t have a post box, so I never got the reply. I assume they said it was okay,” he explained, looking a bit frustrated with himself. “Harry what’s wrong?”

He had been debating whether or not he was going to take the twins out on his “errand”. When Ron had questioned him, he had just made up his mind.

“Nothing. But before we go to the Granger’s, we need to visit another place.”

“Where, Harry?” Ron asked, an air of unease in his voice. There were only two other places, besides Hogwarts, he could be talking about. Neither were exactly places he wanted to return to.

“I need to go back to Privet Drive.”

****

At around ten o’clock in the morning, St. Mungo’s was surprisingly busy. So far, from her position in the line at the front desk, she had seen at least six children of varying ages with wands stuck in ears and up noses. Ginny had seen several cases of magical damage, ranging from boils and pustules to a severely disgruntled man with a half-petrified face and an angry cat stuck to his head with a Permanent Sticking Charm.

She was also bearing witness to a very annoyingly nervous, possibly pregnant, woman. The woman wrung her hands; she pushed an errant curl out of her face. She looked like, if she had enough room, she would be pacing.

“Nervous, Hermione?” Ginny asked. Hopefully it would be their turn soon; there was only one person in front of them. Or rather, one space in front of them. Must have been a mishap with an invisibility spell.

“Next!” rang out the clear as a bell voice of the receptionist, who was sitting at the front desk, feet up, her blond head snapping gum.

Ginny and Hermione walked up to the desk, being careful, making sure the invisible man or woman had left already.

“What are you here for?” the blond receptionist asked, looking dumbly at the two. “Neither of you look sick,” she continued, taking her feet off of the desk and leaning over it to look at them.

“I’m here for a p-p-” Hermione started, so as to keep the odd receptionist from looking at her. She reminded her too much of Luna.

“She’s here for a pregnancy test,” Ginny told her when Hermione didn’t seem to break through her nerves enough to speak.

“Oh. So you two are…uh…together?” she questioned.

“What? No! Just give us the forms!” Ginny responded in an irritated tone.

“You can’t even get pregnant that way,” Hermione whispered, so shocked she had overcome her inability to string together a sentence.

The idiotic receptionist finally handed over all the necessary forms, and told them to take a seat, fill them out, and then hand them back in. Once they had done everything, they took their seats back in the waiting room.

Hermione just sat there, here hands on her flat stomach, looking down at the ground.

“Everything’s going to be okay. Voldemort’s gone, we’re safe now,” Ginny told her. After Voldemort had been destroyed, she finally felt comfortable saying his name and not “You-Know-Who” or “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named”.

“I know. It’s just…I’m pregnant. I know for sure now. I don’t know how or why; I just know,” she explained, turning her head to look at Ginny.

“Miss Granger?” the receptionist rang out.

Ginny looked at Hermione.

“Now you can find out for sure.”

****

“What could be important enough to make you want to go back there?” Ron questioned, looking at Harry in disbelief.

“Something I never told you about when we were at Godric’s Hollow last summer,” he began as he walked up the stairs to Ginny’s room. Ron followed, while Bill ducked outside where Mrs. Weasley was tending to the flowers.

“Look who’s here to see you Mum!” Bill stated enthusiastically, getting her attention before giving Jacqueline a kiss on the forehead and depositing her in his mother’s awaiting arms. He quickly ducked back inside before Jacqueline started screaming again, and then went upstairs to find the other two.

He found them in Ginny’s room, Harry holding a rosewood jewelry box with an engraving on the top. He walked into the room and closer to the box so he could see the engraving. It was a border of lilies and leaves surrounding a monogram reading: LPB, or Lily Briar Potter. There was a keyhole on the front of the box.

“It was my mother’s. I found it when we went to Godric’s Hollow last summer, among the remains of my parent’s house. I think she put some kind of spell on it to make it unable to be opened, except when you have the key, and also for it to be indestructible. It also has this inscription,” he explained, carefully turning over the jewelry box, revealing the inscription, “Petunia” on the bottom. “I think my mother sent her the key.”

“I think this classifies as important,” Ron concluded, staring at the box.

Within twenty minutes, they had the twins packed and were heading down to use the Floo. But when they got to the kitchen, they found it to be already occupied.

“Bill! Zere you are,” Fleur said, floating gracefully up to him and giving him a hug and a quick kiss. “But where is mon Petit Chou?” she continued, looking around.

“Fleur, it’s okay; Mum is watching Jacqueline,” Bill assured her. But sometimes, there’s no reassuring a half-veela new mother.

“Je ne peux pas croire que vous avez quitté notre enfant avec votre mère! Vous êtes celui qui est censé la regarder!” Fleur fumed in angry French.

Harry and Ron were beginning to see a slightly bird like quality to her, and it was getting a little frightening. As she continued to rage at Bill, Harry and Ron carefully and quietly snuck out the door with the twins and jewelry box in tow, figuring they could just apparate to Mrs. Figg’s instead.

Upon getting out the door, they soon saw Mrs. Weasley with Jacqueline in her arms, sitting out by the flowers.

“Where are you two bringing them?” Mrs. Weasley asked, getting up and walking over.

“Uh…er…” Harry replied, trying to come up with a believable answer, wrangle a squirming Lilia and not drop the twins’ bag all at the same time.

“We’re going to, uh, my flat. Yeah! Ginny and Hermione told us to meet them there,” Ron explained in an uncharacteristically believable lie. At the very least, Harry believed it.

But before Mrs. Weasley could voice her opinion, the two had given their quick goodbyes and apparated to Mrs. Figg’s, leaving a suspicious and slightly angered Mrs. Weasley in their wake.

“Ginny is not going to be pleased when she hears about this.”

****

“So, Miss Granger. It says here on your form that you haven’t been pregnant before, but this past summer holiday you suspected you were. Can you tell me about that?” asked Healer Marston, who was sitting in front of her. Hermione was seated atop the standard issue, padded, tissue-covered examining table. Ginny was sitting in a chair situated against the wall, nervously twirling a strand of scarlet hair around and around on her finger, debating in her mind whether or not Harry was really going to dare to take the babies out of Ottery St. Catchpole.

“Well, um, my boyfriend and I were…uh---” she started, but was cut off by Ginny, who rather bluntly filled in the blanks herself.

“She was having sex with my brother and he’s got a terrible memory.”

“Yes. He forgot to cast the Contraceptive Charm and I thought I was pregnant. Simple as that.”

“Alright,” the healer said, not wanting to press the issue any farther. He could see that it wasn’t something she liked talking about. “I just need you to give me some blood, and within about a minute we should know whether or not you’re pregnant,” he explained, procuring the needed materials. Upon seeing the needle, Hermione recoiled.

‘I-I don’t like needles,” she stuttered, looking warily at the sharp and pointy object in Healer Marston’s hands.

“It’ll be over in a second, Hermione. One second of pain in exchange for the knowledge of whether or not you’re going to need an extra room,” Ginny reasoned, getting out of her chair and walking over to the examining table she was sitting on. “I’ll be holding your hand the whole time,” she continued, taking her best friend’s hand in her own and giving it a small squeeze, the ever present parent mother that had surfaced in the past four months taking hold.

“Done!” Healer Marston announced. When Ginny was talking to Hermione, he had quickly and easily taken the blood he needed without her noticing.

“Wha-you’re done taking it already? You already took it?” she exclaimed as the healer was casting a spell over the blood, which was being contained in a test tube.

“Yes. And you are pregnant, Miss Granger.”

****

Arriving to Privet Drive was easy enough, once Mrs. Figg had gotten over her initial shock at seeing them there and seeing the twins. But getting into Number Four, Privet Drive would be a bit more difficult. Especially with two young children. Unfortunately, they had not thought that part out. Where was Hermione when you needed her?

“So we’re agreed that I should just ring the doorbell and hope to Merlin that Uncle Vernon doesn’t answer, correct?” Harry asked as they walked towards Number Four, Harry carrying the jewelry box and Lilia and Ron carrying Ben.

“That-sounds-good,” he replied. “Harry-your son is trying to stick his fist in my mouth!”

He turned around to look and saw Ron doing the duck and dive-head bob combo to avoid Benjamin’s flailing tiny fist as he tried to squirm out of his uncle’s grasp. Harry chuckled inwardly; Lilia, in contrast, was lying peacefully on his shoulder.

“Here, you can hold Lilia,” he offered. They carefully switched children and continued on to his aunt and uncle’s house, Ben not squirming in his father’s arms the whole rest of the way. Thankfully, neither did Lilia in her uncle’s.

Once they reached the house, he tentatively rung the bell, silently hoping Uncle Vernon had other, more important things to do than answer the door. He saw a massive shadow walk up to the door. But not quite massive enough to be…

“What are you doing here?” a snobby, nasty voice asked. Dudley’s voice. “Who are they?” he continued, pointing rudely at Lilia and Benjamin.

“I came to speak with Aunt Petunia,” Harry answered, completely ignoring his cousin’s reference to the twins as he hugged Ben closer.

“Duddykins! Who is it at the door, dear?” Aunt Petunia asked, her voice going from a yelling tone to a normal speaking voice as she neared the front door.

“No one, mum,” Dudley called back, a wicked smile appearing on his face as he began to shut the door. But he soon found that he couldn’t shut it, for two wands had been whipped out in breakneck speed and he was paralyzed with fear. Fear at ending up with a tail again, and fear at having a three foot long swollen tongue again, among other things.

“How would you like a nice new tail and some pretty pink ears to match, Dudley?” Harry threatened. He really didn’t want to have to resort to this, what with the twins around and all, but he was-dare he say it-desperate.

“What do you want to talk to my mum for, anyway?” Dudley questioned, looking at them oddly.

“I’m sure you won’t find out once we’re done talking about it,” he began. Dudley got this look on his face as if he were trying to figure out f he had been insulted in any way. “You don’t even have to let us in. I only need to talk to her. Just have her stand in the doorway here, and I won’t have even stepped foot in your parent’s cleanly home.”

“Dudley, what’s all the commo---” Aunt Petunia started, appearing, at least, being heard, behind Dudley at that moment. “What are you doing here, boy?” she asked Harry as she moved in front of Dudley, as if to protect him from Ron, Harry and the twins.

“Are these your …children?” she asked upon seeing the twins. Apparently she was quicker than Dudley when it came to the obvious.

“Yes,” he answered, “but they aren’t what I came here about.” He proceeded to take his mother’s jewelry box and hand it to her.

“W-where did you find this?” Petunia stuttered as she ran her bony fingers delicately over the carvings of lilies and leaves, ending as she traced each of the individual letters in the monogram. As soon as she had gone into it, she snapped out of her reverie and looked up at Harry, waiting for an answer.

“In the rubble of my parent’s home,” he answered quickly, wanting to get to the bottom of why she knew about it. After all, the monogram on the top of the box was of his mother’s married name. He didn’t think she had any contact with Petunia then. “How do you know about it?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about. I have never seen this jewelry box in my life,” she said, handing the box back to her nephew, returning to her usual stiffness and retracting everything she had just said previously. She started to close the door, but Harry stuck his arm out, trying his best to keep the door open without dropping Ben.

“Your name is on the bottom of the box, Aunt Petunia. I know you know something about it,” he hissed angrily.

“If I give you what she sent me, will you leave?” she asked, sounding desperate as she let go of the door.

“Yes.”

He didn’t even get an answer back; he just saw her retreat up the stairs. A few moments later, he saw her come back down the stairs with an envelope in hand. She walked over to the open doorway and handed Harry the envelope.

“My last favor to my baby sister.”

With that, she shut the door in their faces. This time, Harry didn’t protest.

****

“Pregnant. I’m not sure I can deal with being pregnant, Ginny! What am I going to tell Ron? What am I going to tell your mum?” Hermione wailed, placing her head in her hands. After she had gotten the results back, they had come to her and Ron’s flat.

“At least you’re out of school,” Ginny pointed out.

“I may be out of school, but my job alone won’t support this baby! And who knows when Ron will get a job. Our flat isn’t big enough for a child, let alone the being the place I want to raise one…” she rambled on, rocking her head back and forth in her hands.

“Hermione, everything’s going to be okay. Ron’s going to get a job eventually. As far as your flat goes, I’m sure there is something we can do about that,” Ginny assured her. “Now let’s go back to The Burrow so you can tell Ron.”

****

“Um, I’m here to ask for Hermione’s hand in marriage,” Ron started, trying to keep his eyes on the Granger’s and not his shoes, “and for your engagement ring, Mrs. Granger.”

“We were so pleased when you wrote us, Ronald. We would’ve written back, but I didn’t know where to send it,” Hermione’s mother, Jane, commented.

“We would love nothing more than for you and our Hermione to get married,” Mr. Granger started, “but we do have some concerns.”

“Like your living arrangements and your age. We’re particularly worried about Hermione getting married at too young an age. She’s only 18---”

Ron cut her off at this point. He had heard all of these things numerous times before, and they didn’t play in to why he wanted to marry Hermione, which was most important to him.

“These are all valid concerns, Mr. and Mrs. Granger, but I love Hermione. We want to get married as soon as possible, regardless of our age. After all we’ve been through, I just want to be with her for the rest of my life,” he explained. He looked at them, his eyes full of hope. “I would really like to propose to Hermione with her mother’s ring and your blessing.”

After more consideration and discussion, Ron found himself walking out of the Granger’s with a smile on his face and a ring in his pocket. A ring with an emerald cut diamond and thin gold band, to be exact. Now all he had to do was propose.

Like getting the blessing and ring wasn’t hard enough.

****

He had almost made it. If he had left only a minute sooner, he wouldn’t be getting screamed at by his girlfriend in the front yard of The Burrow. He had planned to Apparate there, and then make a casual entrance into the home. That, apparently, was not going to happen.

“I told you not to take them outside of Ottery St. Catchpole! You should know better than anyone what could happen if the Daily Prophet got photos of them,” Ginny explained, her face contorted in fury. Hermione just looked on, dying to stop the fighting before it got worse.

“Ginny! I took them to Privet Drive! Why would the Prophet be there?” he countered, and then mentally slapped himself when he saw the horrified look on Ginny’s face. She probably wasn’t going to feel better knowing that he took their children to his horrible Muggle relative’s.

“Wh-why would you do that? Why would you want to do that?”

Harry considered this for a moment. He wasn’t absolutely sure that his mother’s engagement ring was in the box; he hadn’t had a chance to open it yet. He hadn’t even had a chance to see what was inside that envelope yet, which he was certain contained the key.

“I can’t tell you, Gin. It’ll ruin the surprise,” he said to her, walking back into the house, leaving two very confused women to run after him and pelt him with more questions.

“Harry, where’s Ron? Wasn’t he with you?” Ginny asked out of concern for Hermione. She then proceeded to take Ben out of his arms.

“He’s, uh, running an errand,” he responded, handing Lilia to Hermione. “I have to go take care of something. Ron should be along in a half-hour or so,” he added, heading towards the stairs with his bag from earlier.

Once he got to the room he shared with Ginny, he took the envelope out of the bag and looked at it more carefully. It was addressed to Petunia Dursley, at Number Four, Privet Drive, and there was a Muggle postage stamp on the front. It didn’t give a return address, just “Lily Potter”. He carefully lifted the opened the envelope, which had been previously sealed with scarlet wax and stamped with what looked like the Potter crest.

He found inside a delicate golden key matching the keyhole on the front of the jewelry box. He also found something he knew he would treasure for the rest of his life: a letter written by his mother.

Dear Petunia,

As I write this, I am in fear for my life. I am fearful for my family’s lives. That is why I must ask of you a favor. You know that under normal circumstances I wouldn’t be asking you this, but you are the only one who can be trusted with it, as none of us are sure who’s on what side here. I need you to keep this key safe. If something should happen to James and me, and you somehow end up with Harry in your care, when he is of age, give him the key and this letter and tell him to go back to Godric’s. Despite everything, I wish we could have had a better relationship. I understand you not wanting to anything to do with the community, but do this as a last favor.

Love,

Lily

The date on the letter was October twenty-seventh, 1981. Just four days before his parents were killed. Harry quickly grabbed the envelope and flipped it over. The postmark was dated October thirty-first.

He put the envelope and letter aside and picked up the key, then carefully used it to unlock the jewelry box. What was inside gave him a bittersweet feeling. There were photos he had never seen before; photos from his first birthday party. He saw a photo of his mother holding him as they blew out the candles on his cake, his father, Sirius, Remus, and…Pettigrew clapping and cheering. There were more photos of him as his parents helped open gifts; it appeared he had gotten a toy broomstick from someone. Probably his father, he thought with a smile as a stray tear rolled down his cheek.

He impatiently swiped at the tear, then dug deeper into the rosewood box for what he was originally looking for. His hand brushed against something soft and he quickly grabbed at it in anticipation, withdrawing a deep burgundy velvet ring box. The engagement ring James had given Lily, put in here for safe keeping.

Harry gently opened the box, revealing a sparkling oval diamond in a cathedral setting surrounded by delicate pave diamonds on a white gold band. It was perfect for Ginny.

****
Later that day

“Ron, I need to talk to you about something,” Hermione began. They were both sitting on the bench in the garden after eating dinner at The Burrow. She had her head on his shoulder; he had his arm around hers.

“Okay…what about?” he responded. He was trying to be as easygoing as possible, because he didn’t want anything to ruin his plans for tonight. She would definitely be surprised. “Actually, l-let’s take a walk.”

“That sounds nice. Are you okay, Ron? You sound nervous,” she told him as she lifted her head off of his shoulder and stood up. “Are you coming?”

Ron was still sitting down, jingling something in his pocket. Once she had caught his attention, he mumbled something that sounded like, “Of course,” got up, and took he hand.

They walked for awhile, making their way around the lake and finally coming to a stop at the edge of the forest on the Weasley property.

“I don’t know Ron…it’s getting dark out,” she responded upon his questioning of whether or not to continue their walk in the forest.

“Come on, ‘Mione. I’ll make sure nothing happens to you,” he reassured her, gently pushing her towards the forest.

` “What about the spiders?” she questioned. “How are you going to protect me from the spiders?” She knew he was up to something if he would go somewhere that was bound to be crawling with spiders.

Using his best efforts, Ron ignored her spider comments. He desperately needed her to go into the forest for the surprise.“I should’ve blindfolded her,” he thought. “It would’ve made this so much easier.”

He tried everything to get her into that forest. Levitation (which got him screamed at), grabbing and Apparating (which got him kicked at), and trying more persuading (which got him nowhere). Finally, he just picked her up, slung her over his shoulder, and carried her into the forest. This got him screamed at, kicked at and fist-pounded at, but it actually got him somewhere.

“Oh my…” she gasped upon seeing where she had been carried into. All the kicking and screaming ceased. Tilting her head up off its position on his back, she saw that he had brought her into a clearing in the forest and there were fairy lights everywhere. Above them, all the way down to the bushes on the ground floor had fairy lights nestled in the foliage. Ron gently set her down onto the ground; she slowly turned in a circle to take everything in. It was so beautiful…it was the perfect timing.

“Ron, I’m pregnant,” she declared, turning around to see him. Or, the absence of Ron. Then she thought,“Oh no, he’s fainted.” Consequently, she looked down. Well, he was on the ground; just not lying down. He happened to be on one knee, with a diamond ring in his hands.

“You’re pregnant?” he asked at the same time she asked a similar question.

“You’re proposing?”

He picked her up, holding her close to him.

“I’m going to be a father,” he whispered in her ear. Then he spun her around, shouting, “I’m going to be a father!”

“Ron, shush! Someone could hear you!” she warned him while in a fit of giggles. She had expected a totally different reaction from him. “I want to wait to tell everyone. Oh! Except, Ginny already knows.”

“What? You told my sister before you told me?” he exclaimed, loosening his grip on her and looking her in the eye.

“I didn’t choose to, Ron. She went to the Healer’s with me,” she explained, hoping they wouldn’t bicker. Everything had been so, well, perfect.

“Why didn’t I go with you to the Healer’s? I would’ve gone with you.”

“Ron, please. Can we talk about this later? I mean,” she pleaded in a soft, gentle voice, “we’re having a baby. We’re bringing a child into the world. Can’t we focus on that now?”

She took his hand and placed it on her stomach. While trying to do so, the engagement ring fell out of Ron’s grasp and onto the ground. He bent down to pick it up, and instead of standing again, he got on one knee, Hermione’s mother’s ring in hand. Looking up at her, he did what he would forever consider the best decision he ever made.

He proposed.

“Hermione Jane Granger, you are the love of my life. I’ve always know that, I think. Ever since you stepped into our compartment, searching for Trevor, ever since you pointed out the dirt on my nose. I was probably too young to notice it for what it was, and here we are, seven years later. I’m more in love with you every day. I’m asking you to marry me. Say you’ll love me forever, as I will you.”

“Yes,” she replied tearfully. Ron carefully removed her promise ring and put it in his pocket, then placed the ring on the appropriate finger and swept her up in a kiss. When they separated, Hermione looked down at her ring, a smile growing on her face.

“How did you get my mother’s ring, Ron?”

‘I wrote her for it.”

“You did? Thank you, Ron. I love it. I love you.”

“I love you, too.”

****
August eleventh

“I think that’s all of them,” Ginny announced, looking around the crowded living room for unopened packages. They had just finished with her traditional birthday dinner of all her favorites, ending with a delicious cake, all made by her mother. Everyone had come save for Percy, who had yet to make amends with the family and had not yet seen his nieces and nephew. Charlie couldn’t get out of Romania because of his job. Fred and George were there with their girlfriends, Angelina and Katie, respectively. Bill and Fleur brought little Jacqueline. Ron and Hermione had come as well, the latter sporting a very classy and very Hermione-like engagement ring in place of the sapphire, diamond, and platinum promise ring she had been wearing in previous months.

“What about Harry’s gift?” Ron questioned.

“Yeah, Harry. Didn’t you get a gift for the mother of your children?” Ginny teased from her position on his lap.

“The best things are always made better when saved for last,” he explained, pulling out a small, rectangle, and burgundy box tied with a cream ribbon. He then handed it to Ginny.

“Harry, what did you do…?” she asked, untying the ribbon on the box, and then carefully lifting the lid off. She withdrew a medium sized key. “What does this go to?” she questioned, the excitement evident in her voice.

He bent his head and whispered something in her ear, making a smile cross her face and her eyes grow wide with shock.

“Who’s going to watch Ben and Lilia?” she wondered out loud.

“I’m sure Ron and Hermione wouldn’t have any objections to watching them for fifteen minutes, or so,” he figured, looking over at the couple.

“We would love to,” Hermione responded for them.

After they discussed where everything was and gave quick goodbyes, Harry and Ginny disapparated, key in hand.

****

“Harry, where are we?” Ginny asked upon arrival. The place had some houses that were, well, huge, but she didn’t see what they would be doing here…all he had told her was that the key opened the door to many surprises and good things.

“We’re in Godric’s Hollow,” he explained, moving in front of her to block her view. “But everything else is a surprise, so I want you to close your eyes.”

“Okay…” she agreed, trusting him completely and closing her eyes.

He went behind her and took her by the shoulders, carefully steering her in the direction of one of the most perfect houses there. It had a huge yard, lush and green, with ivy climbing up the brick of the front of the house. Once he got to the front door, he stopped.


“You can open your eyes now.”

Ginny obeyed and her eyes fluttered open.

“Harry…who’s is this?” she asked, gazing up at the house. “This can’t be ours, can it?”

“Why don’t you try the key and find out?” he suggested, pointing to her left hand, which was holding the key he had given her earlier.

She looked over at him; a small smile on her face, the she fit the key into the lock on the door and turned it. She then opened the door and stepped inside, Harry following behind.

Ginny looked in awe at the grand staircase that emptied into the foyer. To the left of the staircase was a hallway leading to the living rooms and kitchen; to the right a sunroom. She started slowly up the staircase to the second floor, but was interrupted by a flurry of feathers flying towards her. Hedwig landed on the banister in front of her, causing Ginny to look at Harry, raising an eyebrow.

“Looks like our first piece of post has arrived,” he pointed out, fingering the plush velvet box in his pocket. “You better see what it is,” he added, flashing a smile.

She proceeded to take the letter off of Hedwig’s awaiting leg. The letter was addressed to her, at the Potter residence. She slid her finger under the wax seal and pulled the letter out of the envelope.

“Harry James Potter’s List Of Hopes For The Future”

-I hope to have many, many more children with you, Ginevra Weasley.

-I hope to live in this house for many, many years to come and make it a home with our children.

-I hope you are the one I share my life with.

Ginevra Molly Weasley…

“Will you marry me?” Harry finished, walking up the stairs to where Ginny was, sitting on the steps, tears streaming down her face.

“Yes!” she told him through her tears. She dropped the letter and threw her arms around his neck, then gave him a heartfelt kiss.

When they broke apart, he opened the ring box to show it to her.

“It was my mother’s,” he explained, moving Ginny’s promise ring to her right hand and replacing it with the engagement ring.

“It’s beautiful.”

“Then it fits you perfectly,” he whispered to her, gathering her in his lap.

They held each other until it was time to go back to get the twins, thinking how, if not for Bill and Fleur’s wedding, they wouldn’t be together now, they wouldn’t have the twins. Maybe something like that would happen at their wedding for someone. You can only hope someone can find the love of their life again in their own backyard.

****

The End…for now.

*******
A/N: Okay, I need to cite some things, mostly lines from the proposals: “I hope you are the one I share my life with” (I think I changed this one a bit to work better) Daniel Bedingfeld; If You’re Not The One; Gotta Get Thru This, and “Say you’ll love me forever” (I inverted this) Anna Nalick; Forever Love (Digame); Wreck Of The Day. Look for the first chapter of the sequel sometime in the future.
-LilyEvansPotter15



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