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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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