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Ginny stood in front of the antique cheval mirror in her parent’s bedroom and smiled at her reflection. Although the dress she wore was an old one, Ginny knew as she looked at herself that no other dress was going to suit her as well as this one. Grandmum Prewett’s dress was sleeveless with a fitted bodice and a skirt that skimmed down from a high waist to the floor. White in colour, intricate beading and lacework trailed across the bodice and down the along the skirt of the dress.

Ginny had vivid memories of being little and sneaking into the attic to stare at the dress she now wore. Up there, amidst the boxes of mementoes and old toys her mum was saving for the next generation of Weasleys, Ginny would imagine herself in her grandmother’s dress, preparing to marry a man she loved, one that would make her happy like her father made her mum.

She turned to where Molly and Hermione sat together on the bed. “Well, do you think this will work?” She asked, looking from one to the other. Hermione was sitting against the headboard, her hands rubbing her growing bump. She nodded at Ginny.

“It’s wonderful.” She said as smiled at her best friend. ”It suits you perfectly.”

Molly looked at her daughter, with tears brimming on the edges of her eyelids. “Ginny-darling- you were right. This is the dress.” She replied, rising to hug her daughter.

“So you don’t think Harry will run away from the altar if I wear this?” She joked, returning her mum’s hug.

“Oh Ginny! It really is beautiful. And we’ll have to find a cloak to match - You’ll need it for traveling on the day of the wedding.” Molly turned her daughter towards the mirror and gave her another small hug from behind as their eyes met in the reflection. “I can’t believe my baby girl is going to get married! You’re all grown up!” She cried; dabbing at her eyes with a handkerchief pulled from an apron pocket.

Ginny laughed and stepped away from the mirror. “Oh Mum! You always say that! I’ve been grown up for quite awhile ago. Becoming a mum will do that to a girl!”

Molly sniffed slightly and regarded her youngest. “But you’re my baby – my last. You can have ten babies and I would find it hard to believe you’ve all grown up.”

Ginny smirked, “Mum – come on now. You know some of your babies will never be grown up. You’ll always have Fred and George!”

The three women started laughing together. The truth of the statement made it funny because no matter how old Fred and George were they would always be big kids.

“You’re right there Ginny – I swear they’re worse now than when they were small. Now let’s get you out of that dress – I’ll place a cleaning charm on it and we’ll set it back in the attic for now.”

As Ginny turned to let her mother access to the back to undo the buttons, the sound of little feet tearing up the stairs made the two of them turn towards the door and hearing a shout, she watched James bound into the room.

He was about to launch himself at her when Molly cast a minor shielding charm to stop him. “James Weasley! You are covered in dirt - you know you’re not allowed upstairs in this state!” She scolded.

“Sorry Granmum – Grampie told me you were home.” He said, his cheeks blushing red underneath the dirt smudges. His hair was damp with sweat and flecks of dirt covered it as it stood up in different directions. Mud streaked his play clothes and Ginny noticed a new tear in the left knee of his trousers.

“Hi Quidditch-bug.” Ginny said, as she picked up her wand from the side table and performed a cleaning charm on her son. “There all clean. Now come and give me a hug. I haven’t gotten one from my favorite person yet today.” Ginny reached down and picked him up to squeeze him tightly.

“Hi Mummy!” James said, his small arms wrapping around her neck to return her hug. “Why are you wearing a fancy dress?” He asked, rubbing his fingers along the material on her shoulders.

Ginny placed him on the side of the bed beside Hermione and sat next to him. “This is Mummy’s wedding dress. Remember last week when we went to find you new robes for the big party we’re going to have when Daddy comes home?” She asked, stroking his hair as he nodded. “Well I’m going to wear this dress. And today Granmum and Aunt Hermione found new dress robes too.”

“You look pretty Mummy.” James said, as he turned towards Hermione and reached for a hug from her as well. “Hi Aunt Mione.”

“Hey there James, how are you today?” She asked as she hugged him.

“Good, Aunt Mione, your babies are growing.” He said, looking at her stomach.

“Right you are James. They are growing, soon they will be here. Would you like to touch them? “Hermione took his hand and placed it on her rounded tummy. “There we go. You can say hello if you like. I’ve told them all about you and your mum. I read about how important it is to talk to the baby, well in this case babies, before they are born. That way they know your voice when they are born.” She laughed when one of the twins pushed against James’ hand and he jumped back and looked at her.

“Your belly moved!” He said in awe, looking at her and then at his mum and granmum. “Mummy! Her belly moved!” He said, placing his hand back on Hermione.

“Wow – Quidditch-bug you are really special. I think your twin cousins are excited to meet you. One of them was saying hello to you.” Ginny stood and looked down at her son. “When you were in Mummy’s belly you used to move around all the time.”

“Really?” He asked, looking at his mum’s belly and she could tell by the look on his face that he was trying to figure out how he had fit inside of her. “How did I fit inside?” He asked.

“Really. You used to be a teeny tiny baby inside, and just like Aunt Hermione’s babies you grew in my belly until you were ready to come out and meet us. When Hermione has her twins they’ll be tiny like your cousin Amie was when she was born last year. Do you remember that?”

James nodded. “I do, but she cried all the time when she came.” He turned to Hermione, “Will those babies cry a lot too? Because if they do, you can’t visit me and Mummy.” He said, looking at Hermione seriously.

“James! All babies cry – you used to cry all the time.” Ginny scolded. “Now I want you to run downstairs and find your uncles. I think I can hear them down there.” She patted him on the back as he hopped off the bed.

As he left, Ginny turned to Molly who had been watching silently from the side of the room. Once again that day, Molly was feeling her eyes mist over. The exchange between her daughter and grandson reminded her of a moment when Charlie had asked the same sort of questions to her when she had been pregnant with Percy.

“Mum? Are you getting teary again?” She asked a smile on her face.

Molly quickly swiped at her eyes and placed her handkerchief back into her pocket. “Honestly Ginny – it’s just something in my eyes.” She responded as she moved over to where her daughter stood. “Now let’s get you out of that dress. I can’t be standing around here with you two all day. Dinner needs to get ready before the wolves downstairs start pacing.”

*~*

As the sun dipped lower in the sky, Ginny sat in the garden with Hermione. The area was free of gnomes as Molly had tasked her sons with removing them this afternoon. The air was starting to become crisp with the coolness of fall. She pulled the sweater tighter around her shoulders.

“Starting to get cooler.” She said simply, looking over at where James was playing a game of exploding snap with Fred and George.

“It is.” Hermione agreed, her hand absently going back to her belly. “He’ll be home soon Ginny.” She stated, watching as a flicker of melancholy passed over her sister’s face.

Ginny sighed and shifted in the comfy chair in which she sat. She reached towards the table that sat between the pair of them and picked up her cup of tea. Sipping it, she stayed silent for a moment. She looked at James and smiled slightly as he threw down his cards and started to laugh at Fred or George – she wasn’t sure which. She listened to the giggles float across the air to her and sighed again. “I know Hermione. It’s just lately I’m missing him more than the first time he left.”

“Well that’s perfectly understandable. Last time he left without a goodbye or a see you later. Ginny – he’ll be back.”

Ginny set down her tea cup in frustration. “I know he’ll be back. I’m not worried about that. I just miss him. Last time, there weren’t reminders of him everywhere I turned. I get up and get James ready for the day – I see Harry. I let Hedwig in from her nightly hunt – I remember him. I just want him back now!” She exclaimed, running her fingers through her hair, pulling the waves straight.

Hermione smiled softly as she allowed Ginny to rant. Reaching over, she rubbed Ginny’s shoulders. “You know it’s ok to miss him. And it’s ok to talk about it. You know I’m always here. “

“Thanks Hermione. And I know all of that. But you have better things to worry about than me and my life right now. Have you and Ron decided on whether or not you’ll move out of your flat when the babies arrive?” Ginny asked, attempting to change the subject.

Hermione looked at Ginny with an expression that said – nice try but we’re not finished with you but answered her question. “We’ve looked at some places, but as of yet nothing feels like a home to us. I want a place like here. Where the babies can grow up and everyone feels welcome. The way it’s going we may wait until after the twins are born. Quidditch will be finished for the season right before my due date so we’ll have a few months before Ron will have to go back on the pitch.”

“You’ll know home when you find it. Mum told me once that she and Dad spent a lot of time searching for The Burrow.” Ginny said offhandedly as her gaze went to the spot where James sat with his uncles. As she watched Fred pull out a jumbo bag of sugar quills out of the pocket of his robes she leapt to her feet. “One second Hermione - Fred! Do not give him that!” She yelled at her brother as she strode to where they sat.

“Oh come on Gin – it’s only sugar quills. He’s had them before. Honestly – some days you’re as bad as mum.” He replied, slipping the package back into his robe pocket. At that moment, George chimed in.

“You know Ginny, Fred is right – these days we can’t get anything by you. Honestly – how is our favorite nephew going to carry on the Weasley legacy if you won’t even let us give him a sugar quill or two?” He said, looking at her in mock shame as he threw his arm around her shoulder.

“You two can just quit it right now. You won’t make me feel guilty for putting my mum-hat on.” She said, watching as her two brothers grinning. “I’d like to think that someday when you have children of your own you’ll realize that giving a four year old a jumbo bag of sugar quills at 6 at night isn’t the brightest thing to do.” Ginny looked down at her son who was watching the exchange between his mum and her uncles.

“Ginny – when the world is graced with the brilliance of our children -“ George began,

“We can assure that we will practice utmost vigilance –“ Fred continued,

“And teach them everything we know.” They finished together.

Ginny had to shake her head and laugh. “Honestly, you two. I hope that the lot of you ends up with red-headed quadruplets and they drive you mad!” She joked back, giving the two of them a shove in the arm. “James – why don’t you go find Grandmum – she mentioned earlier that she had a new jumper for you.” Patting his head, she nodded towards the back door of the house. “I’ll be inside in a moment.” She watched as he took off at a trot, pausing to say hello to Hermione before calling out to Molly. Turning to her brothers, she pointed first at George and then at Fred. “Remember you two; I check his robes when he gets ready for bed. Don’t try to slip him some of those quills before we leave. I’ll know. And if I have to deal with a four year old with a sugar-high I will return the favour.” The twins nodded solemnly and although Ginny could see the twinkle in their eyes which she knew meant that although they may be agreeing to honour her wishes tonight – she wasn’t safe for the next go around. Sighing, she threw her arms around the two of them in a hug. “Now, I’m going to finish my tea and then find Mum and James.” She said, walking back to where Hermione sat.

*~*

Ginny sat in the chair by the fireplace and watched James playing on the floor beside her. He had wizards and witches strewn across the floor, most abandoned except for two. In one hand was a miniature of Dumbledore and in the other was a replica of Harry. Lost in his own world she listened as he talked to each of them. Looking at the clock on the mantle of the fireplace, she took note of the time.

“Almost time for bed Quidditch-bug. Can you start cleaning up your wizards?”

“Ok Mummy.” James said, looking up briefly before going to playing. Ginny smiled and went back to reading her copy of Witch Weekly. The headline on the page she opened to was entitled, “Getting married? Ten steps to a stress-free wedding.” Sighing, her eyes skimmed the article. Most of the tips included doing things that Ginny would never take part in. Like spending the week before on a deserted moor in the Scottish Highlands. It also suggested that wedding plans be started at least 6 months to a year before the actual day. Ginny snorted – she had maybe two months at most. Thank goodness I’ve got Mum. She thought to herself; Molly had been planning almost everything. She knew she should help more but Molly seemed so happy Ginny didn’t want to spoil her fun. Honestly, she didn’t know how one person could get so excited over flowers. Earlier this afternoon, she had gone into great depth outlining the reasons why Ginny needed what was called a fall ‘flower’ - which meant no tulips or daisies. Two flowers Ginny enjoyed quite a lot. After a bit of pleading, Molly conceded that she could have sunflowers if Ginny really wanted to.

Flipping through the last pages of Witch Weekly, Ginny took note that the wedding watch was on. Or as the featured reporter called it – days until the greatest bachelor since Merlin is taken from the wizarding world. As she read the article it included ways to save Harry from a life of servitude at the hands of the red-headed Weasley girl. She smiled as she read over them, knowing that steps 1, 4, 7 and 9 would never work on him.

Glancing up from her reading she noticed, the chaos in front of her was still there and James had made no move to clean up the mess he had made. “James, I thought I asked you to clean up your mess.” She said, setting the magazine on the coffee table.

“Ok Mummy – in five minutes. “ He said, not looking up at her as he continued to have miniature Harry and Dumbledore battle the giant stuffed snitch before it took over the miniature Hogwarts that it was hovering over.

“No James – not in five minutes. Now” She said, a warning tone entering her voice. As James heard the warning in her words, his concentration broke and the snitch fell to the floor with a soft plop,

“But Mummy – the snitch was about to take the castle.” He said, beginning to whine.

“Well the snitch can take the castle tomorrow. It’s getting past your bedtime. You’re getting tired, I can tell by your voice.” She kneeled next to him to pick up some of his wizards and place them into a box that her Dad had made for James to keep them in. They waved as she set them inside, each finding their own spot to sit down in. “How come the snitch was going to take the castle? Shouldn’t the good wizards win?” She asked, holding the box for James to set Dumbledore and Harry inside. She laughed as the Harry blew her a kiss and Dumbledore winked, as she closed the lid.

“I didn’t want them to win tonight. Sometimes bad wizards win.” He said, as he grabbed his stuffed snitch from the floor and stood close to Ginny.

Ginny sat back on her heels and looked at her little boy. She could see he was worried by the little furrow that had gathered on his brow. Smoothing down his hair, she laid a kiss on his cheek. “Now who told you that?” She asked, looking at his face closely.

“Billy told me on the playground. He said that bad wizards win all the time. “ James paused, his breath hitching as he tried not to cry. “He said that all the stories that Uncle Ron told me weren’t true. He said that Daddy was going to be eaten by a dragon!” He cried, fat tears running down his cheeks.

Pulling James into her arms, she sighed as she rubbed his back. “Oh Sweetie – I don’t think Billy knows exactly what he’s talking about. Bad wizards never win as much as they like to think they do.”

“But what if Daddy gets eaten by a dragon!” He exclaimed, as Ginny could feel his tears soaking through her shirt.

Squeezing him tighter, she tried to soothe him. “James, there’s no need to worry about Daddy getting eaten by a dragon. He’s in a place where it’s too cold for dragons. Remember what your Uncle Charlie told you about dragons? How they like the warm? And have I ever told you about when Daddy was younger, he had to battle a dragon? He had to capture a golden egg right from under a dragon’s nose. He shocked us all at how brilliant he was! If Daddy meets a dragon where he is – he’ll know how to get away.” Ginny paused and could feel his tears starting to slow down. Listening to the quiet crackle of the fire beside them, she rubbed his back some more.

“I miss Daddy.” James stated as she snuggled closer to his mum squeezing his stuffed snitch in the crook of his arm.

“I know Quidditch-bug. I miss him too. But he’ll be home soon.” She kissed the top of his head and rose to her feet. Feeling his little legs wrap around her hips; she carried him into his room. Setting him on the bed, Ginny went to fish a fresh pair of pajamas out of his dresser drawer.

“Alright then Mr. Weasley, let’s get you ready for bed!” Ginny exclaimed as she returned to his bedside with James’ favorite pajamas, which were dark blue and covered in little snitches that moved around on the material. She helped James pull his jumper over his head and held the top up for him to slip his arms through. Once he was fully changed, she shooed him off to the bathroom to brush his teeth while she turned down the quilt covering his small bed.

Ginny sat on the edge of the bed and listened to the sounds James made as he brushed his teeth for the night. She looked about the room and her eye fell on a picture that lay on the floor near his bookcase. Getting up, she went over and picked it up. As she looked at it a smile broke out on her face. It was a picture that James had drawn, but Ginny had not yet enchanted so the figures were stationary. There were two figures in the picture, both were identical in their dress and look, but one was smaller than the other. Ginny could tell it was supposed to be James and Harry standing together.

Hearing the enchanted mirror in the bathroom giving its approval to James on his teeth brushing, Ginny slipped the picture in her pocket and selected a book for them to read before bed and listened to his feet plod down the short hallway.

“All clean then?” She asked as she set the book on the edge of the bed and scooped him in up a hug. James nodded and smiled widely so Ginny could inspect his handy work. She returned his smile and kissed his quickly, before setting him onto the bed. As he snuggled down on the bed, Ginny pulled the covers over him. “Shall we read this tonight?” She said, holding up a tattered children’s book entitled Quidditch Charlie catches the snitch.

James shook his head. “No Mummy, I want to read that one.” He said, pointing at a book that sat on the shelf.

Ginny looked over and shook her head. “Are you sure? That one?” As James nodded she got up to replace the Quidditch Charlie book and pick up the other. Returning to the bed, she stretched on top of the covers beside James and waited for him to snuggle in beside her. “Ok then.” She said, opening the seldom read book. “Once upon a time, there was a boy who lived…..”

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