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Ginny couldn’t remember the last time she had been this nervous. Thinking back it must have been the first summer Harry had to come to visit Ron at the Burrow. She had had a terrible crush on him most of her life and all of her brothers had teased her mercilessly about it. Now old insecurities and shyness were bubbling up inside her.

On top of the fact that she once more felt like a teenager with a celebrity crush, that had resulted in an entire night of restless sleep; James had been a bit of a holy terror in the morning. He had refused to eat the Wizard-O’s she poured him at breakfast, stating Nanny Edgy always hexed them to shout OOOOOO as he ate them and if they didn’t say OOOOO then he wasn’t going to eat them. Then when it came time for the two to dress, James felt the need to wear a set of robes that were covered in paint stains from his artistic endeavors. Once Ginny settled him down with stern, if you do not behave from now on James Arthur Weasley – you will not be seeing your Uncle Ron playing Quidditch this evening and instead will be coming straight home and going to bed – she had to decide what to dress herself in. After going through what seemed like her entire selection of robes, she settled on a set of dark green robes that made her long, red hair seem redder and shiner than usual. After a few touch ups in the mirror, she and James left and made their way down to the park near their flat.

Harry saw them coming as Ginny and James made their way through the entrance of the park. He watched as she carried a large bag that seemed to be overflowing with toys, a blanket and of course, the makings of a picnic that she had mentioned in her response last night. She was wearing a set of dark green robes which that Harry noticed was complimenting her features and making the knot in his stomach grow more intense. With her free hand, Ginny was holding tightly to James – even from the distance he was at – Harry could see that Ginny was smiling widely and telling the small boy to calm down and they would be settled soon enough.

As they drew nearer, Harry began to get more nervous. How would she introduce him to his son? Would she introduce him at all? Or not acknowledge him until after James was occupied with the other small wizards on the jungle-gym or the swings? Harry’s thoughts were quickly diverted when Ginny looked up from watching James in front of her and locked eyes with him. Lowering her eyes back to James quickly, she murmured something to the boy that Harry could not make out and maneuvered him in his direction.

“Hello Harry.” Ginny said as they approached, hoping he wouldn’t hear the wobble in her voice. “I’m glad that you could come and spend the day with us.” She lowered her bag onto the ground and kneeled by her son. “James, this is Harry Potter. Harry is a good friend of Uncle Ron and Aunt Hermione and Mummy. Harry is going to spend the day with us, if that is ok with you? Harry, “she paused looking up at him, “this is James.”

James, naturally an up front little boy, decided to play shy upon introduction. As Ginny rose he hid behind Ginny’s robes, peeked up at Harry and said, “You’re the man that made Mummy cry at my birthday.”

Harry could not hide the look of surprise on his face. Obviously this boy didn’t miss a beat so he tried to cover up that incident as best he could. Kneeling down to James’ level, Harry looked into a matching set of bright green eyes. “Nice to meet you James.” He said sticking out his hand for the boy to take. “And yes, I am the man that made your Mummy cry at your birthday. I am really sorry about that and I would like to apologize to the both of you for that. Your Mummy hadn’t seen me in a long time and it was quite a shock to her. We used to be very good friends before you were born.” At the end of the sentence, Harry looked up from his position near the ground to look at Ginny. Trying to gauge if he had said the right thing, he searched her eyes for the right answer. She quietly nodded to him, holding his gaze for a moment; then turning her gaze on James and smoothing down his hair she said,

“Harry is right, it was a shock, but right now I am very hungry and I think we should set up for our picnic, what do you say about that Quidditch-bug?” James nodded to her and then hid himself in her robes once more.

Ginny attempted to pry James away from her so she could set up the blanket and get the picnic ready. It was already thirty minutes past his lunch and if he didn’t eat soon he was going to get cranky, but suddenly he was like a leech stuck to her. Ginny assumed it must be Harry’s presence that was making him shy. James was a very intuitive boy and he would have easily picked up on both of the adult’s nervousness. “James honey, Mummy can’t get lunch out unless you let go. “ This statement resulted in him pressing his face harder into the backs of her knees.

Harry took this site in and tried to hide his smile. “Ginny? What can I do to help? I can set out lunch if this is where you would like to stay.” They were situated under a large oak tree near the edge of the park and with a good view of the jungle-gym and the swings. It was the usual spot that she picked when she and James spent the day outside.

“Yes, this is fine. It’s actually where were usually set up. Good choice Harry.“ Ginny responded. “And it would be great if you could set up the lunch. I’m not sure what’s gotten into him, he’s not usually this shy.”

Harry laughed and grabbed the blue checked blanket out of Ginny’s huge bag. Unfolding it he set it down on the ground and spread it out. “Well, you know,” Harry said catching Ginny’s eye and holding it, “I seem to recall that I used to have that effect on his mother at one time.” Ginny felt her face grow hot, like she had just downed a piece of George and Fred’s fever fudge.

Once the blanket was out, Ginny was able to pry James away from her legs and sit cross-legged on a section of the blanket. No sooner was she settled when James scuttled into her lap, cuddling as close as he could to her. Ginny sighed and gave him a little squeeze and pressed a kiss on the top of his head. Of course she should have expected him to be shy and wary of Harry. The last time he had encountered this man, he had burst into the boy’s birthday party and then the two adults had been engaged in a shouting match in front of the Burrow.

Ginny watched Harry sink down on the opposite side of the blanket and pull her bag beside him. He had grown up a lot since the last time they had spent time together before he disappeared and re-joined the DA to fight the Death-Eaters. His eyes were a touch darker, possibly as a result of seeing so much death, his hands looked rougher than she remembered and his shoulders had filled out considerably.

“Ok – here we go. We’ve got some pumpkin juice.” Harry said pulling out the container and setting it beside him. “And some delicious looking chicken, salad, crisps and wait!” Harry exclaimed pushing his head in the bag. As he unpacked he was watching James pretending not to watch him. Determined to at least get a smile out of the little boy, he decided to play silly and not acknowledge the fact that he was being shy. Making a big act out of searching the bag, Harry produced what Ginny knew was James’ favorite lunch item – pumpkin chips. “What have we here now?” Harry asked with a silly smile on his face. “These look absolutely delicious! Ginny – how did you know I loved pumpkin chips?”

Ginny returned his smile and felt James look over at Harry. “You like pumpkin chips?” He asked in surprised tone. “Mummy says that only little boys and Weasley men like pumpkin chips. She says no one else would be as silly as to enjoy a food that Uncle George and Uncle Fred make!” Ginny laughed and thanked Merlin for the fact that Harry had just bonded a tiny bit with her son.

“Well you know James, your Uncles are pretty good friends of mine. What do you say we share these for lunch?” Harry responded and held the bag of them out to the little boy who was slowly easing himself off his mothers lap.

“Harry – have you ever tried pumpkin chips? “ Ginny asked, raising one of her eyebrows as she looked at him warily. “They’re not for everyone you know…”

“I’ve heard of them.” Harry responded. “Why do you ask?” Harry asked as he extracted a chip from the box and handed the rest of James.

“Well, they’re not for everyone. Fred and George put some kind of charm on them, so when an adult eats them, they well don’t taste the greatest. Unless of course, you are just big kids at heart, like Fred and George.” Looking from Ginny down to James who seemed to be watching Harry pretty intently, deciding that whatever happened to him would be worth it if he could win the affection of his son; Harry took a large bite of the chip in his hand.

It was like he had bit into a lemon that had its juice removed and replaced with the ear wax flavoured bean of Bertie Bott’s but still had its sour punch to compliment its waxy taste. Harry’s mouth twisted up into a sour puss face and his eyes began to water. Deciding it would be easiest to choke the piece he had in his mouth down his throat than spit it out, Harry swallowed. Resisting the urge not to cough it back up, Harry wiped his eyes and looked over at Ginny and James who were both clutching their sides and laughing madly. The box of pumpkin chips lay on the blanket beside James as he rolled around giggling like mad.

“Mummy! Did you see that! He acted just like Uncle Percy did when Uncle Fred gave him one! “ As he remembered the moment – he fell into a fit of giggles once more.

“Oh Harry!” Ginny said still laughing as she poured him a glass of the nearby pumpkin juice and handed to him, which he drank down quickly, trying to erase the taste from his mouth.

“Did you know that was going to happen?” He said, trying to fight the smile that was tugging at the corner of his lips.

“Well – I didn’t think you would have quite that reaction to it. As James said you did look like Percy the day Fred gave him one. Although when Percy ate it – he turned a wonderful shade of purple for the day!” She paused at looked at him closely. “Although – since you’re not as much of an uptight prat – I think you’ll stay your normal shade!” Ginny laughed again and wiped the tears away from her eyes. “How about we have some real food now?” She said reaching for the bowl of chicken.

After the pumpkin chip incident, James seemed to open up and began telling Harry about what seemed to be every little detail of his four year old life. Harry listening intently to him, taking in as much as he could of the little bundle of energy that talked a mile a minute as his hands flew back and forth as he told his stories. Ginny leaned up against the tree trunk and watched the two, letting herself fall into the moment and enjoy the fact that her son was enjoying talking to this man that was his father.

“Mummy! Can I go play on the jungle-gym? Please?” James said snapping her out of her reverie. Bouncing from foot to foot, Ginny teased him slightly, pretending she had to think about her answer. “Well – I don’t know… can Mummy had a kiss first?” Laughing as James launched himself at her and planted a big, wet sloppy kiss on her cheek, she could feel his sticky fingers in her hair, but she didn’t care, she was happy. “Ok – ok! Go play! But stay where I can see you.”

“Ok Mummy – I promise! “ James turned to Harry just before he ran off “Will you watch me climb to the top? Mummy says I’m the fastest climber ever!!” With that he took off towards the jungle gym his dark hair flying in every direction.

“And be careful!” Ginny sighed happily and turned to Harry, now that they were alone without the distraction of James between them, she suddenly felt awkward and nervous once more.

“Well.” She said at the same time Harry said “He’s great Ginny.” Followed by nervous laughter, Ginny insisted that Harry go first.

Feeling uncomfortable now that he was alone with Ginny, he plunged in –“ I was just going to say he’s great Ginny. You’ve done a wonderful job in raising him. “ Behind him he could hear an excited shout, turning he could see James scrambling up the jungle-gym to the top, waving madly and laughing. Harry raised his hand in acknowledgement and felt a rush of warmth move over him. He realized he loved his son more than he ever thought he could. He turned back to Ginny who was busy cleaning up the remains of lunch. “Let me help with that Gin –“ Harry said reaching for the empty salad bowl. Ginny immediately took it from him.

“Its ok Harry – if you could keep an eye on James for me – that’d be great! Sometimes he thinks he’s a monkey and tries to do things he shouldn’t.” She smiled up at him and Harry felt a knot grow in his stomach. Suddenly he wanted to tell her that he still loved her, never stopped loving her and beg her for forgiveness. But Harry knew that wouldn’t go over well with Ginny. He’d have to take things slow and getting to know his son had to be at the forefront.

“So where exactly did George and Fred come up with the idea for those pumpkin chips?” Harry asked as he watched James swinging off the top rung of the monkey bars.

“Me, actually.” Ginny said matter of factly. She chuckled softly when he looked at her surprisingly. “Don’t look so shocked. I was going on one day about James not eating his veggies when I wanted him too. George and Fred ran with the idea. The charm makes the pumpkin chips taste different each time you eat one. Kids love them. Adults not so much – as you know. Depending on how much “kid” you have in you the better they taste. George and Fred love them of course. I tried one by accident once and to me it tasted like tripe. They are working on a prototype for cabbage and carrots right now.”

“Ginny – that’s pretty amazing. “ Harry said, “On your part for coming up with the idea and George and Fred for making it a reality. So maybe some good can come of their talent.”

“Well Harry – if you hadn’t given them that start up money – they would probably still be trying to get enough cash together to buy their first shop. They’ve expanded you know – now they supply a vast array of Weasley Wheezes products to France and the United States.” Ginny smiled at Harry when he blushed at her compliment. Glancing at her watch she pushed herself up on her knees. “It seems like it is almost time for Ron’s Quidditch match over in Chudley. Are you heading there as well?”

Harry looked dumbstruck. He vaguely recalled Ron saying something about Quidditch this morning before he headed into London to meet with Ginny and now she was asking him if he was going. “I suppose I am – Ron did mention something this morning over breakfast, and what sort of best mate would I be if I didn’t go to his first match since I arrived home.”

“That is true.” Ginny said quietly. Spending this afternoon with Harry had made her almost forget that the past four and a half years had happened. Determined not to put a damper on an otherwise wonderful day, she stood and began to gather her things. “Would you mind watching this while I go fetch James? I’d call him over but he never listens when he’s on the jungle-gym. I’ll be a moment.” Harry nodded and picked up the heavy bag that she had carried into the park, surprised at the weight of it. Ginny was stronger than she looked it seemed. To him, she’d always been small and sweet. The perfect fit for him. She moved over to the edge of the monkey bars and called to James who had been playing with the other children. Harry couldn’t hear but she must have said the word Quidditch because he jumped off the side right into her arms. Squeezing him in a hug, she began to walk back to Harry.

“Harry! Harry!” James called to him as the two neared, “did you see me up on the monkey bars? I climbed all the way to the top!”

“Sure did! You’re a really good climber!” Harry responded reaching over to ruffle James’ hair, as he did so, his eyes met Ginny’s over the boy’s head. He stopped and looked at her, wondering if she was having the same sort of thoughts as himself. Harry was thinking how natural this all felt. Ginny, himself and James spending an afternoon at the park, picnicking and then watching James play on the monkey bars while the two adults talked. To be honest, he had pictured this scene in his mind a time or two when he was out on reconnaissance as an Auror. He had kept these thoughts close to his heart, although when he had played it through in his mind – it was a little girl that Ginny held in her arms. But now, after meeting James and falling in love with his son, he wouldn’t replace him for all the brooms in Northern London.

“Harry? Would you like to come up to the flat with us while I get James changed? Its just nearby and we can use my port key to Chudley – all of the players families get one. I would apparate but I am still afraid of James getting splinched.” Ginny set James on his feet and took his hand. “And if you come, then I won’t have to lug that bag back to the flat myself!” She laughed and caught his eye and smiled at him. All Harry could do was nod and return the smile, so together the three of them walked back to the flat.

*~~*

“Harry? “ James asked as they walked into the stadium at Chudley. “Are you going to cheer for Uncle Ron? Because if you don’t you can’t sit with us.”

“James!” Ginny cried in surprise. “Harry can cheer for whomever he likes and not just your prat of an uncle! However,” she continued, “if he doesn’t we may just have to perform my world-famous bat bogey hex on him!” James laughed heartily at this and looked at both of the adults holding his hands as he walked in between him. He had decided he liked this tall, quiet man that spent the day with him. Liked him very much indeed.

The group made their way up the stands where Hermione was waiting for them. “Harry! Ginny! I didn’t realize the two of you would both be coming. Although Ginny and James never miss a game if they can help it. Ron had been unsure of whether or not you were coming.”

“Hi Aunt ‘Mione! You know my new friend too? Harry Potter spent the whole afternoon at the park with me and Mummy! He made her cry before but he said he was sorry and then she laughed at him when he ate one of my pumpkin chips on our picnic!” Hermione laughed at James’ enthusiastic telling of recent events and gave him a big hug hello; looking from adult to the other as they sat down. Harry’s face remained impassive and Ginny murmured a quiet we’ll talk later.

*~*

During the first of the game – Harry teased the 3 of them – Ginny, Hermione and James - by stating that he was in fact NOT going to cheer for Uncle Ron – his reasoning was that his former Gryfinndor captain – Oliver Wood was manning the opposition’s goal. He shared with the group stories of Wood’s practices and drills – embellished of course – how he had made them train in the rain for days on end, in the rain, snow and sleet. Ginny and Hermione didn’t buy it of course – but James sat on the edge of his mother’s knee, wide-eyed at the stories. It wasn’t until Ginny drew her wand and mimed ‘bat-bogey hex’ to Hermione that he gave in and promised to cheer for Ron.

And so Harry cheered heartily at the game although his thoughts were elsewhere. Ginny was sitting entirely too close for his liking. Harry could smell her shampoo – lavender? – but when she glanced in his direction he averted his eyes – it was like they were back at Hogwarts and he was finally realizing she was there and was more than just the youngest Weasley. Or in the days following Voldemort’s demise – when he wrestled with ways to tell her that he still cared deeply for her and he wanted her to take him back. Merlin’s beard, Harry thought to himself, What am I going to do? I’ve hurt her twice – how will she take me back now?

He heard the screams of joy erupt around him when the seeker finally found the golden snitch. Harry thought to himself that it had taken her entirely too long to find. He’d seen it flit by at least 4 times and it made his hands itch to get back on the broom. Perhaps at the next Weasley Sunday Dinner he would see if the boys would like to get up in the air and let him stretch his broomstick. Harry wondered if Ginny would like to play as well – she had been a good little seeker in her day as well as a scorer. But now that she was a mother – did she spend her time in the kitchen with Molly? Did she spend the day watching the new batch of Weasley children with Bill and Charlie’s wives? What did she do now? He was still thinking of the possibilities when the witch that had been the centre of his thoughts for the past week invaded them bringing him to the surface and back to reality.

“Earth to Harry.” Waving her hand in front of her eyes – Ginny looked at him – he was definitely lost in his thoughts. Poking him with her wand she said in her best McGonagall impression. “Potter – if I catch you one more time daydreaming – you’ll be serving 10 detentions with Professor Snape!” Laughing as he snapped to and focused on her, Ginny patted his knee. “I knew that would get you. Come on – we’ve got to meet Ron down by the team room. Hermione’s already gone ahead with James. I swear the boy won’t stay still sometimes – keeps me on my toes for sure.”

Harry sat for a moment – stunned. She was patting his knee! Much to close for comfort – Harry was glad he was wearing his robes in addition to his muggle clothing. Ginny’s hand on his knee brought back memories of a time when they’d be sitting quietly together in her flat –and she would place her hand on his knee and then stroke his thigh – it had always been her way of inviting him to her bedroom. Clearning his throat – Ron in the shower, Snape in a bathing suit! Malfoy kissing Pansy Parkinson – he thought quickly trying to dispel the warm thoughts of Ginny.

“Sorry about that.” He said sheepishly as he blushed. “My mind wandered there for a moment.”

“That’s fine Potter – but next time – I’m leaving you behind!” Ginny hopped to her feet and with a final glace at him proceeded down the stairs to the Cannon’s team room.

*~~*

“Uncle Ron – you were great!” James said running over to where his uncle was signing autographs for his adoring Quidditch fans.

“Oy! Thanks mate! Made those saves for my best girl! Speaking of which – there she is!” Ron looked up to see Hermione running down the corridor.

“James Weasley! You were supposed to stay near me – when your mother finds out – “ Hermione’s tirade against her nephew was cut short when her husband grabbed her around the waist to plant a big kiss on her lips.

“EEEWWWWW” Came a young voice followed by retching sounds below the two. James moved in between them and pushed them apart. “Uncle Ron – don’t you know girls give you cooties?” He said in quite a matter of fact voice. “The only girl you should kiss is your Mum.” Earning a huge laugh from both his aunt and uncle – Ron scooped up James in a fierce hug.

“True you are mate! But every once in awhile I need to kiss my wife.” He responded jovially. “Otherwise I end up having to sleep on the couch in the sitting room.” He turned to Hermione to see her expression – she was fighting back a grin. “But James you need to stay with your Aunt Hermione – if your Mum has left you with her. Speaking of Ginny where is she?”

“She waited back for Harry. They arrived at the match together.” Hermione said – adding extra emphasis on the fact that Ginny and Harry had arrived together. Ron raised his eyebrows at this statement but was not able to garner an answer from his wife as the two in question rounded the corner to the left of him.

“Great game Ron!” Ginny said as she seen the three standing off to the side of the door. “I was a little afraid there for awhile. Almost felt I needed to pull out the old ‘Weasley is our King’ song. But once again you’ve surprised me!” She laughed and dodged out of the swing of her brother’s arm.

“Ginny – I swear – one of these days I’m going to catch you – and not even your hexes are going to save you!” Ron joked to his sister. Setting his nephew down – he gave her a hug and whispered in her ear. “What’s up Gin?” Ginny hugged him back and replied,

“Nothing.” Which in fact was the truth. Ginny couldn’t believe that she and James had just spent the entire day with Harry only to have nothing come about. Once they had gotten over their initial awkwardness – it was like they were old friends again. Well, friends that shared a son. And a pretty rocky past. They hadn’t even broached the subject of explaining to James exactly who Harry was to him. But of course that was easy when they had James between them to help distract them from the big white elephant in the middle of the room.

“Hey guys. Why don’t we head down to the pub for a quick butterbeer. Ginny – I know you would like to get James home but he’s so wired right now why not come down for a bit?” Hermione asked the group of them.

“Yeah! Mummy? Please can we go? I’ll be good and not be tired in the morning – I promise!!” James bounced in the middle of the loose circle of adults.

“How can I refuse?” Ginny said laughing – normally after the match – she headed home with James to make sure he was tucked into his bed at a normal time. But since today was not a normal day - he was likely not going to sleep right away anyways – she took his hand and followed Ron, Hermione and Harry out into the street outside the Quidditch stadium.

*~~*

“Ginny!” Came a cry from the side of the pub as they entered. Ginny turned her head to see Colin Creevey waving from a corner table where he sat with his younger brother Dennis and a gaggle of younger witches. The two Creevey brothers hadn’t been separated it seemed since Dennis became a member of Gryfinndor House in Ginny’s second year. The two made a great duo in the wizarding world of journalism. Colin had become a world famous photographer – finding himself in the deep trenches of the war. While Dennis reported to The Daily Prophet from the front lines. Being a close friend to Ginny, Colin had reported back to Ginny whenever he had caught a glimpse of Harry while he was on assignment, even though it was not often.

Colin got up and wandered over to the spot where the group was settling themselves. It was then his eyes fell upon Harry. “Harry Potter! Is it really you then? You’re back from the front? I never expected to see you back in Britain so soon!” Harry’s cheeks pinked from the adoration in Colin’s voice – even after all these years he hadn’t gotten used to having a ‘fan base’, contrary to what the general public thought.

“Hello there Colin – how are you doing? “ Harry responded – hoping not to answer his questions. The truth of the matter was that Harry was supposed to spend another 6 months at the front helping to repair and rebuild the areas damaged during the war – but as his sleepless nights had increased – Mad Eye Moody and Lupin had sent him home on leave. Telling him to recharge and releax. So far neither had been accomplished. The nightmares that plagued him were still hovering on the edge of his sleep and after seeing Tonks lying in the bed at St. Mungo’s – anxiety and worry about what could have happened kept creeping up at him when he least expected it.

“Not bad – not bad. Taking in Ron’s Quidditch match were you? Perhaps we’ll soon see you on the National Team. Talent like yours never disappears there Harry!” Colin responded making himself at home at the table.

“Erm – yes – well who would like a butterbeer? My treat.” Harry asked eager to get away from the table and Colin. His boisterous speech was causing eyes to turn in their direction.

“Make it four Harry and a pumpkin juice for James please.” Ginny responded, looking over at her son. Being as it was creeping up to his bedtime, James had gotten quieter and was snuggling up to his mother’s side. Ginny figured by the time she drank her butterbeer it would be time to head home.

Harry moved over to the main bar to place his order. Feeling someone approach his side he turned to see Ron. “Figured I’d help you out mate – somedays I can’t stand old Creevey myself. We should be glad Dennis was occupied with those witches. Otherwise you’d have been holding a press conference right here at the Creaky Broomstick.

“Yeah – heads were starting to turn weren’t they? That’s all I need is a press conference. What is he doing anyways – coming over like he’s a long lost friend?” Harry asked as he picked up two of the butterbeers and James’ pumpkin juice, leaving two of the mugs for Ron to carry.

“Colin? Well Harry you got to admit he is sort of a long lost friend. You’ve known him since he started at Hogwarts you realize.” Harry shrugged – that was true. “Plus – he and Ginny are pretty good friends. They get together once every two weeks or so to have dinner.” At that statement – Harry felt a twinge of jealousy start to grow in the pit of his stomach. Ginny – Colin? Good friends? They get together for dinner? Harry looked over at the two in question at the table. She was laughing at something Colin said her brown eyes lighting up and her head thrown back, she patted Colin on the shoulder and hugged James to her side. Maybe she has feelings for Colin now. Harry thought watching the two interact. It certainly seems like she does. Suddenly Ginny looked his way and caught his eye. She smiled and beckoned him. Getting a nudge from Ron – Harry followed.
*~~*

Two hours later, the group was once more alone without Colin. Finally his brother Dennis had come to fetch him. The witches that were at their table were preparing to leave and he wanted to follow. Reluctantly, Harry watched Colin hug Ginny and ruffle a sleeping James hair. Harry grinded his teeth in frustration, Colin was acting like the two were a couple! Harry watched Colin head to the door, waiting for it to shut behind him before he turned back to see Hermione watching him from the corner of her eye. She quietly slid over to him and gave Harry a quick squeeze around the shoulders. Leaning over she whispered “Harry – not everything is what it seems.” Smiling at her old friend she turned back in time to see Ron waving down the waitress to order another round.

“Well – I think I had better head home.” Ginny said laughing as she watched Ron and Hermione on the dance floor. “Little boys don’t believe in sleeping in. Try as I might to get him to do it – when James knows its morning its time to get up!” Ginny looked over at Harry who seemed to be brooding in his butterbeer or wait – was that firewhiskey? Try as he might to cover his feelings Ginny could tell that something was bothering him. “Harry? I’m just going to let those two know that James and I are heading home. Can’t have my poor baby sleeping the night away in a pub. We’ll wait until he’s at least 5 for that!” Ginny joked trying to get Harry to smile. “Would you mind watching him?” Ginny shifted James’ sleeping form from her lap to Harry’s arms.

“Not at all.” Harry said as Ginny moved onto the dance floor to catch her brother and his wife. James shifted in Harry’s arms and seemed to snuggle in closer to his chest. Looking down at his son, Harry took in his soft features. His hair was mussed – but then in the times Harry had seen him in the past week – it never seemed to take on any other form. Just like his own. He didn’t need James to open his eyes to know his own eyes would stare back at him. And although he had never seen any sort of baby picture of him save for the ones in the small scrapbook Hagrid had given him at the end of Harry’s first year – he knew without a doubt that James looked more like him than he looked like Ginny. Harry smiled to himself as he pictured taking the two to visit his awful relatives, the Dursley’s. He imagined Aunt Petunia would probably open the door and scream – shutting it quickly in their faces; only to have Uncle Vernon reopen the door to roar at them to get off their property. No doubt Dudley was still lurking about his parents’ home. Harry recalled the last summer he had spent time there – Dudley went on and on about how he would live with his mum and dad for as long as possible while Harry was out on the street – begging for a place to stay.

“Harry?“ Ginny snapped her fingers in front of his nose – rousing him out of yet another day dream. “My, my – you have been lost in your thoughts today. Ron and Hermione are planning to stay another round. May I have James please?” Ginny said holding out her arms. Harry rose gently but swiftly out of the chair he had been occupying while holding James.

“Let me carry him out. It’s quite crowded in here and since I’m taller I can move through without having him jostled too much.” Ginny watched as he started towards the door. Quickly gathering up her things she moved to follow. Yes – Harry was quite a bit taller than her. For some reason while every other Weasley in her family had inherited their father’s height – she was stuck with her Mother’s. Had to be something to do with being the only girl. As a result – Harry was almost an entire head taller than her – but when they had been together it was never a problem. She had seemed to fit in his arms perfectly – making her feel as protected as she imagined her son must feel at that very moment.

The cool air hit Ginny’s face as she exited the pub. Harry stood off to the side and watched her exit. Her cheeks were a rosy pink and her hair was curling at the ends as a result of the heat in the pub. She moved over to where he stood.

“Would you like me to give you a lift on Ron’s broomstick? It would be much easier than portkeying back to your flat wouldn’t it?” Harry said looking down at the small sleeping form in his arms.

“Oh no – using the port key is fine. James is quite used to it – I’d be surprised if he even wakes up before I lay him down in his bed.” Harry looked quite unsure of the whole thing – causing Ginny to chuckle. Laying a hand on his arm, she said “Don’t worry Harry, we’ll be fine. I’ve been port keying and flooing home with a sleeping baby for ages now. If Mum can be fine with it – well then we all should be.”

As her fingers lay on his arm – Harry felt a warmth flood through him. He wanted to stay with them for as long as he could – his idea to fly them home was only to keep them with him for a few more moments. Quickly he said, “Well if you are sure – perhaps I can port key with you to your flat? It would ease my worries just a bit.”

Ginny giggled – the butterbeer was making her lightheaded - and looked at him. “Why Harry Potter – if I didn’t know any better I’d think you were worried about me!” She declared flirtatiously and smiling wide when his cheeks turned pink. “Oy! Have I made you blush? I’m just teasing you – I’d be delighted if you would see James and me home. He turns into such a dead weight when he’s sleeping. And don’t worry – I figured you would do this – so I‘ve already told Ron and Hermione that you would be making sure we got home ok. Here’s the deal – I hold the port key and your arm. You hold James. Sound good?” Harry nodded as she began to rummage in her bag for the port key that took the form of a baby rattle. Pulling it triumphantly from her bag – she grabbed Harry’s arm tightly and squeezed up against him as she felt the familiar tug at her belly to signify that the port key was about to move them.


“Would you like me to take James from you?” Ginny asked as they stepped through the front door of her flat. Harry groaned a yes and allowed the sleeping boy to be taken from his arms. Ginny had been right – when he fell asleep he was heavier than a sack of potatoes. “If you would just like to have a seat – I won’t be long. Just have to take off his robes and get him in his jammies, you’re welcome to come down and see his room if you would like.”

Harry hesitated and then nodded no. He wasn’t yet ready to see his son’s room or be that close to Ginny’s bedroom for that matter. He’d dreamt about being in her room since he’d left it that last time. Slipping away from her arms – he’d left without saying good bye. At the time – it had seemed like the right thing to do. Looking back he wished he had known she was pregnant. Harry knew he still couldn’t have and wouldn’t have stayed but he’d have left differently. He sighed and looked about the living room. Ginny hadn’t changed much by way of her decorating styles but the walls were now peppered with photos of her and James throughout the stages of his life. Harry looked at them all with a bittersweet feeling – Ginny looked so happy in the photos – just the way a new mother should but every so often he would notice a melancholy wave pass over her smiling face as she waved to the camera and Harry knew he had been the one to put it there.

Looking down the wall – Harry noticed one of Ginny when she was still pregnant with James. A particularly intimate portrait - she was dressed in her finest robes with her shiny red hair falling around her shoulders – her arms lovingly cradling her protruding belly. Not once did the enchanted Ginny look out at the camera – she stayed in position while her hands moved over her stomach. Occasionally, Ginny would smile wistfully and Harry knew that her smile came from the baby kicking as he turned around. Looking closely he noticed a signature near the bottom in gold that kept rewriting itself over and over again - C.C. The jealousy Harry felt earlier in the evening once more reared inside of him. Colin had been there to share those things with Ginny – while Harry never had been.

“Oh don’t look at those pictures Harry – I was big as a house!” Ginny said with a soft chuckle as she approached the wall where he was standing. “Sorry it took so long – we had a bit of a stuffed snitch emergency. James won’t sleep without it and it was kicked far back under the bed. He did want me to say good night to you though…” Ginny trailed off as she met Harry’s eyes.

“Is there anything between you and Colin Creevey?” Harry said bluntly to her.

Surprised, Ginny opened and closed her mouth a few times trying to think of a response. “Me and Colin? Why goodness Harry – no! What makes you think that?”

Harry gestured towards the wall of photos as he spoke. “Well Ginny – most of these were shot by him. He wouldn’t leave you be tonight at the Creaky Broomstick. I’m surprised Dennis didn’t have to drag him away from you!”

“Harry – Colin and I – we’re just friends. He sometimes wishes there could be something more – but if we were really together do you think I’d have let him leave with 3 of the loosest witches in all of London?”

Harry stared at her and felt the jealousy ebb away ever so slightly. She was making sense. Merlin’s beard- she’s beautiful - Harry thought as he stared.

Ginny’s heart started to race as Harry looked down at her. He was jealous of Colin! A small voice inside her head declared. The means he still cares for me! Ginny looked back up into Harry’s face – feeling him move in closer.

For Ginny – Harry’s kiss did not last entirely long enough. She knew the exact moment when he’d decided to take the plunge, moving in he’d kissed her softly on the lips, as if testing the waters to see if it was safe for him to move deeper. Ginny felt Harry’s arms wrap around her as he deepened the kiss. Teasing her he nipped at her lower lip before running his tongue along it. Harry felt Ginny’s hands press up against his chest as she stood on her tiptoes and kissed him back. Then abruptly – Harry let go of her and dropped his arms to his sides.

“I’m sorry – I didn’t mean to – “ Harry said as he took in her slightly disheveled appearance. Here he had promised to himself to take it slow with Ginny and his first real moment alone with her he grabbed and manhandled her!

“Sorry? For what Harry?” Ginny responded – but it ended up being only to thin air. As quickly as Harry ended their kiss he disapperated from her flat. Leaving her standing by the wall of photos – shocked and speechless.

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