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Saturdays at the Burrow were always hectic – the entire family gathered on those days to enjoy a meal and catch up on the events of the week. This Saturday was going to be even more hectic as Molly set the dinner ham into the stove to cook. It was little James’ fourth birthday. How big he was getting! Molly Weasley watched her grandson out the window as he scrambled out of his mothers arms and ran straight for his Uncles Fred and George who were playing a game of stun the garden gnomes. Molly heard the front door close and felt her daughter’s presence behind her. Out of all her children, Ginny had inherited the Healer’s charm. She had a soft spot for every one of her children but as Ginny was her only girl she had a special place in her mother’s heart.

“Hello Ginny darling. I was just putting the ham in the oven so will be ready for dinner later. Are those presents all for little James?” Molly went over to help Ginny with the many packages in her arms.

“Hello Mum.” She said kissing her mothers soft cheek. “Yes – these are all for Mr. James. The Longworth's sent along something, as did Nanny Edgy, the nurses at St. Mungo’s and the list goes on. I passed a mountain of gifts on my way through the sitting room. I told you and Dad not to go crazy this year!” Ginny handed her mother the bags of gifts.

“I know, I know Ginny but I couldn’t help it – James is FOUR this year. Four is a very important year you know. A boy deserves the best at four!” Molly carried the bags out to the sitting room leaving Ginny to follow.

Chuckling to herself Ginny walked in behind her mother to watch her place the gifts in what seemed like a never ending pile. “Mum – you said that last year when he was three and the year before when he was two. I don’t want him to get spoiled. He’ll start to expect this every year!”

Molly Weasley embraced her youngest daughter in a bone crushing hug. “Ginny – he’s a special boy – we need to spoil him. After all, James’ the first Weasley in a century and a half that doesn’t have red hair!!” Laughing at what she thought was a wondrous joke Molly smoothed down Ginny’s bright and shiny red hair. “Now why don’t you go see if you can find the rest of the adults? You’ve seen George and Fred already – they’re trying to trick the little ones into giving their Uncle Ron some ton tongue candy and the rest are hiding.”

Ginny laughed and hugged her mum once more before heading out into the sunshine and fresh air of the Burrow.

*~~*

James opened gift upon gift after dinner was completed when he got to a small one from his Grandfather Arthur. Pulling off the wrapping paper with unequaled zeal he pulled out a box filled with an assortment of different muggle plugs from around the world. “Grampie?” He asked puzzled, “what are these?”

“Those, my boy, are MUGGLE plugs! They help make things work in the muggle world. When you’re older I’ll take you out to London so we can see them in action!” James giggled at his grandfather and his fascination of all things muggle. Too young to understand exactly why these plugs were so great but knowing that they were important to Arthur – James jumped up from the pile of presents surrounding him and hugged him fiercely.

“Thank you Grampie! They are my favorite ever!!” The older Weasley’s in the room laughed - they had grown up with their father’s fascination which never seemed to dampen over the years. At one point or another they had all received a box of muggle plugs from Arthur.

*~~*

Harry’s Firebolt touched down just outside the front door of the Burrow. He could hear the laughter and commotion inside. Ah it’s Saturday! He thought – family day! For as long as Harry could remember the Weasleys were like the family he never had. He loved spending time at the Burrow. Having Molly fuss over him, Arthur quiz him on muggle artifacts - since he spent his childhood in a muggle home, Harry was able to answer many of his questions like why do they use a fellytone to communicate Harry? Wouldn’t Owl’s and Floo powder be easier! Fred and George up in their room testing some new product for Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes. Ron and Hermione bickering over some thing or another. And then there was Ginny with her quiet nature and big expressive eyes. Over the years Harry had always caught her looking at him. Only to have her blush and then concentrate on whatever she was supposed to be doing. That memory brought a smile to his face. It was things like that that got him through those 5 terrible years of war. Harry knew he had neglected his surrogate family over those years – mainly out of concern for their protection – but he knew he could return at any time and they would welcome him with open arms.

Suddenly a great bubble of laughter floated out the open window next to him. Smiling, Harry knew – he was finally home. Placing his broom next to the door he turned the knob and stepped into the middle of utter chaos.

*~~*

What Harry seen next stopped him dead in his tracks with the smile still frozen on his face. He looked around the room and seen Bill and Fleur – who had gotten married just months before he had left to go to war, Ron and Hermione holding hands and laughing – he had read in the Prophet they had gotten married – seeing the gold bands on their fingers flicker confirmed it. Charlie, Fred and George were on the floor. And there on the floor in the middle of huge pile of presents was his Ginny. She looked more beautiful than he remembered. Her hair had gotten darker and was longer than she wore it when he left and her freckles weren’t as pronounced as they had been but they were still there. She was small and curvy and looked as warm and soft as he recalled most nights in his dreams. What stopped him dead in his tracks was the little person cradled in her lap. He was small – only about 4 or so – with dark black hair that stuck up every which way, and bright emerald eyes that were sparkling as giggles escaped him as a result of being tickled by Ginny. He would have thought it was a neighbour visiting the Burrow but when he looked closer he seen a smattering freckles across his nose….. Harry drew in a deep breath and the boy in Ginny’s lap looked up at the sound.

“Hello Mister. Who are you? It’s my birthday – did you bring me a present?”

“James!” Harry heard Ginny say “mind your manners” As she said this she looked up and lost her train of thought. It was him….. He’s here… right here… in the middle of James’ party! What was she going to do?

Harry just stared at the two of them. The noise that had been surrounding the Burrow was now gone. The Weasleys sat still waiting to see who would say what first. She called him James – he has black hair – he has my eyes – my mother’s eyes.

“Mummy?” James said looking from his mother to this new stranger that looked like him. Harry heard the word through the fog in his brain – Mummy. This little boy in Ginny’s lap was her son. He didn’t know what to say – with a short stutter of apologies to Arthur and Molly Harry backed out of the room to the front door he had left wide open in his excitement to greet those he cared most about.

*~~*

Harry stood outside the Burrow – his mind racing. He was home – his Ginny was sitting in the sitting room – cuddling a small version of him in her arms. Presents everywhere… the entire Weasley family staring at him. Harry flung his broomstick down to the ground. He didn’t know what to do. Sinking down to his knees on the front walk – Harry heard a noise behind him.

“Harry?” Ginny said as he swung himself around to face her. “Is it really you?” She couldn’t believe her eyes. Not in a million years did she expect this was how she’d see him again. But there he was – at the Burrow after nearly 5 years.

“Ginny? What’s going on? “ Harry said softly. “Is that little boy yours?” Before she could answer he continued, “Is he mine?”

Ginny took a deep breath – “Yes.” She answered. “Harry – I didn’t want you to find out this way….. I didn’t know you were going to be back so soon.”

“Didn’t want me to find out? Didn’t think I’d be back? Did you think I’d just abandon you? Ron? Hermione? Your Mum and Dad?” He didn’t wait for her answer. “How old is he? When did it happen? Why didn’t you send me an Owl? “

The pain in his bright emerald eyes was too much for Ginny. “No! I didn’t want you to find out this way! I didn’t think you’d just show up one day out of the blue. Yes I thought you had abandoned me! After you left you didn’t write to me and eventually stopped sending Ron and Hermione updates! All I had was Daily Prophet reports of dead Aurors – of course I thought you were never coming back!” She shouted through her tears – feeling the need to lash out at him, she continued. “James is 4. Today is his birthday. I found out not long after you had left to join the DA – I couldn’t bring myself to send you and Owl. I thought you had abandoned me. I was alone! Pregnant with Harry Potter’s baby! Do you know how dangerous it was at that time? If anyone would have realized who the father was? There were Death Eaters everywhere!”

Harry was speechless as she finished yelling. He suddenly looked over her shoulder at the small child standing in the Burrow’s door way. His green eyes were wide in his tiny face as he watched his mother yell at a man he had never met and a stuffed golden snitch clutched in his hand. The words he said sounded small and terrified, “Mummy? Why are you crying? Can we have cake now?”

Harry didn’t wait for a response. He picked up his discarded Firebolt and straddled it. Looking over – he seen Ginny scoop her, no THEIR, son up in her arms and hug him tight. Not knowing what else to do he kicked off the ground and soared up into the sky. Watching as the two got smaller the higher he went.

*~~*

“Mum – no we’re fine.” Ginny insisted as she gathered up James’ belongings to take home. Looking over at her mother’s worried expression she set down the play-broomstick Ron and Hermione had given her son and set her hands on Molly’s shoulders to look directly in the eyes. “I mean it Mum, we’ll be ok. I’LL be ok. Please don’t worry.”

“But what if you just stay here at the Burrow for the night? I can have your bed done in a jiff. James is already sleeping – you don’t want to disturb him do you?” Molly said, not believing a word that came out of her youngest child’s mouth.

Ginny embraced her mother and moved over to where James was napping on the couch – he was still clutching the stuffed snitch he’d been carrying around since he was old enough to walk. Scooping him up in her arms she set his sleeping head on her shoulder. “Mum – when has James’ sleeping stopped us from flooing before? “ She held up her free hand as Molly opened her mouth to protest. “If I stayed here every time James fell asleep after a wonderful day with his family – we’d live here!” Throwing some floo powder into the fireplace, she stepped inside the green flames with her son. “We love you Mum – say good night to Dad and I promise I’ll floo tomorrow and let you know how we are. “ She stepped deeper into the fireplace and shouted “number 18 blooming drive!”

*~~*

Ginny tucked James snitch in beside him and sank down onto the bed beside her. James stirred at the sudden movement. “Mummy? Are we home?” he asked sleepily.

“Yes we are. Now I want you to go back to sleep. You’ve had such a long day haven’t you? Turning four takes a lot out of a boy. Now go back to sleep my little Quidditch-bug.” Ginny whispered, leaning down to place a soft kiss on his cheek. She watched his eyelids flutter close making his long dark eye lashes brush against the freckles dusted across the bridge of his nose.

“Love you Mummy.” Ginny heard him say as he fell back into dreamland. Never ceasing to amaze her, she watched her little boy in his sleep. After a while Ginny rose to move to her room and prepare for bed.

As she tied her long red hair back in a ponytail – Ginny looked at herself in the bathroom mirror. Goodness, she thought, I look like a hag that would frequent Knockturn Alley. She leaned closer to the mirror – turning on the water and charming it to warm – she grabbed a wash cloth from the edge of the sink. Wiping the grime of the day away from her cheeks her thoughts drifted to the events of the day.

Suddenly Harry’s face swam up to the fore front of her mind. Ginny had suppressed his image for longer than she wanted to admit. Not that it was easy mind you – having a mini-version of him grow up in front of her eyes could be taxing on her emotions. Thankfully – St. Mungo’s had allowed her to borrow one of the employee pensieves for her to use. Shutting off the water and placing the used face cloth on the towel rack to dry she moved to her closet to take it down.

Dipping her wand in the silvery cloud she swirled her memories around to churn up the one she had locked away long ago.

“Ginny? Are you awake?” she heard him say. Smiling and keeping her eyes closed Ginny snuggled closer to the warm body beside her. She could feel his lips on her shoulder, kissing it softly.

“mmmm.. no, I’m sleeping Harry, let me be.” She sighed as his lips roamed along her shoulder to her neck. Opening her eyes she looked deep into his.

“I knew that would wake you” Harry smiled and kissed her on the lips. “We need to get up. I need to go back to Ron’s flat before he realizes I’m gone.” He looked down into her brown eyes and felt the need swell up inside his heart. Never had Harry felt such love for anyone. He loved Ron and Hermione like siblings and when he spent time with the Weasley’s he felt the comfort of being in a family that loved him even though he wasn’t theirs but with Ginny the feelings he had were different than what he felt before. He loved her – he knew they were meant to be together – but with the fall of Voldemort and the Death-Eaters being even stronger than ever he didn’t know how he was going to keep her safe.

“Knut for your thoughts.” He heard Ginny say as she sat up beside him pulling the soft cotton sheet around her.

“Hmmm? Oh – nothing…. Just thinking about how you used to be such a skinny little runt of a Weasley. Hey!” Harry jumped as Ginny pinched his side.

“Runt of a Weasley? Is that what you think of me Potter?” Ginny laughed and pounced on top of him pushing him down on the bed. Letting her red hair tickle his shoulders, she kissed him on his scar, moving her mouth down to his lips.

Harry looked into Ginny’s brown eyes and then down her body, his heart swelling with more love for her…”Well…. Not as skinny as Ron….”he trailed off as he appraised her, “but I suppose you’ll do.” Ginny opened her mouth to protest his comment but he covered it with his – kissing her more deeply, pouring as much love as he could into it.


Thinking she heard a noise come from James’ room she pulled her eyes away from her memory. Listening closely, she heard her son roll over in his sleep. Sighing she glanced back at the pensieve – of all the memories that hurt the most – that was it. It had been the one of the first times Harry had stayed with her and they had made love. Of course, the contraception charms she performed had been half heartedly; she had loved Harry so much that at the time she didn’t care if she got pregnant. At the time she had been so sure that Harry would never leave her – it was that particular night that James was conceived. Looking back when Dr. Finnigan told her she was pregnant she knew what night it had happened. And although her heart was broken with Harry’s abandonment Ginny knew at that moment she had a new life to think about.

Ginny wiped away a tear she hadn’t felt falling and closed off the pensieve. Placing it back in the open closet she closed the door and moved to the side of her double bed to turn down the covers. Most nights, she fell into bed content and with a smile on her face. And although today was the day her beautiful baby boy had turned 4, a weight was still on her shoulders. Climbing under the thick quilt Molly had made for her last Christmas, and whispering “Nox” she extinguished the light beside her bed.

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