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 A/N: As always thanks to everyone who's reviewed!! I love to hear your comments and find out what people think so far. Please continue to reivew and help me out! If you have questions, comments, or suggestions, please contact me!
Thanks to Casi for helping me out with a part! You're the best!!
I stole a line from the movie Nine Months. See if you can pick it out!

So now you all get to learn why Ginny is so protective....

DISCLAIMER: see previous chapters.

Italics indicate a memory.

Chapter Seven

The entire house of Gryffindor had taken it upon themselves to help Harry and Ginny take care of James. . .even though it was two days after he arrived. They had all began calling him their youngest member. Ginny hadn’t covered him up as much when they were in the common room and felt a bit more comfortable with her house mates looking at him, but she was still very wary about anyone holding him– touching him in any way for that matter. It seemed like everyone had fallen in love with the almost five month old infant and didn’t mind when he cried in the middle of the night. Ginny had apologized to everyone over and over again the first night he was there and cried in the early morning. Everyone understood and said they didn’t mind and that it was normal for a baby to cry. Ginny felt awful that her roommates had to endure it the most, but instead of yelling at her and telling her to leave the room, they would try to help her get him back to sleep. Ginny had had a heated argument with Dean at one point. He had wanted to know why she never been that close with him and accused her of leading him on. Ginny, still having her uncontrolled hormones had argued back reminding him that he broke up with her just a week into the summer holidays over idiotic reasons. He finally realized that he was being dumb about it and that since it did happen over a year and a half ago it didn’t matter and apologized.

Slowly the story of why Ginny and Harry had a baby with them leaked out to the other houses. Gryffindors often would accompany Harry and Ginny to class and tell others off for whispering and giving them looks. Most of the students who had found out tried to act pleasant towards the couple. Both appreciated everyone’s support. However, Ginny still didn’t want anyone to look at James outside Gryffindor Tower and insisted that he be covered with a blanket and in his carrier at all times. Harry had been fine with this but by the third day it was getting to be a bit aggravating.

They sat at breakfast talking to friends. James was on the table in his carrier and covered, like always, between Harry and Ginny. Harry looked over at Ginny, who was eating her usual bagel with cream cheese and talking to Hermione. James was making soft and happy baby sounds from beneath the blanket. Harry had the urge to snatch off the blanket and watch his son, but he knew that if he even raised a finger Ginny would unleash her fury on him. Most people knew anyway, so what was the point in hiding their son? To Harry, enough was enough.

“This is ridiculous Ginny,” Harry sighed.

“What is?” she asked, talking a sip of milk from her goblet and breaking her previous conversation.

“This,” he pointed to the carrier, “Keeping him covered like that.”

“I don’t want anyone–,” she was cut off.

“To stare at him. Yes Gin, I know but frankly it’s a waste of time,” Harry said, hotly. She glared at him. Ginny sighed and shook her head. She had to get away from him for a few moments, because she knew if she didn’t a very heated argument would come, and the last thing she wanted to do was argue with Harry.

“I’m going to go talk to my friends in Ravenclaw,” she stood up.

“Fine you go and do that,” Harry crossed his arms looking at her. She began to walk away then stopped.

“And don’t you dare take that blanket off of him Harry,” she warned before she continued to walk away. Harry watched her join her friends at the Ravenclaw table.

“She really needs to get over this protective stage,” Harry sighed.

“You can’t blame her. She is a new mother still,” Hermione reasoned.

“That’s no reason to hide your child like you’re ashamed of him,” Harry argued.

“Ginny isn’t ashamed of James,” Ron said, stabbing his fork at his tall stack of hot cakes, drenched in maple syrup. He shoved it into his mouth and chewed. Hermione gave him a disgusted look and shook her head.

“She’s acting like that,” Harry replied, frowning. James began to whine.

“Damn it,” Harry said, “no one’s fed him yet,” he reached for the diaper bag. He took out a bottle and under Ginny’s wishes, tried to feed him beneath the blanket. This was frustrating.

“How in the name of Merlin am I suppose to feed him like this?” Harry shook his head and talked to no one in particular. He glanced over at Ginny who was laughing with her friends. Harry snatched the blanket off of James in order to feed him properly. He could feel most of the Hufflepuff table staring now, craning their necks to get a look. James looked at Harry, sucking on his bottle, and put a hand on the bottle as Harry fed him. Harry smiled at the infant.

“What are you doing!” an angry voice said. Harry looked to see Ginny standing next to him, hand on hip, and looking extremely angry. Her eyes were dancing with fury and her jaw was set.

“Feeding our son. How do you except to feed him when you can’t see him?” Harry replied calmly, ignoring her obvious anger with him.

“He’s supposed to be covered up!” Ginny glared at him, reaching for the blanket. Harry stopped her with his free hand.

“Let me ask you something,” Harry said, looking up at her. Ginny sat next to him and glared.

“What?” she asked, annoyed.

“Are you ashamed of James?” he asked. Her eyes widened in slight shock and the students around them were silent.

“Of course I’m not!” she denied.

“You’re acting like it,” Harry scoffed. Ginny stared into his eyes trying to search for the words to say. She was hurt that he believed she would be ashamed of their son. How could she feel ashamed of something they created out of love? She loved him. If anything the one person she loved more than Harry was James himself and she could never be ashamed of the love she had for her baby.

“I’m protecting him,” Ginny replied, stiffly.

“You really need to get over this hormonal imbalance stage,” Harry said without thinking, returning his attention to James. Their friends stared at him and Ginny let out a small gasp, a hurt expression on her face. She couldn’t believe he said that.

“My apologies then,” she said coldly, keeping the tears out of her voice. Now the meaning behind Harry’s words hit him like a Bludger to the back of his head and he realized what a prat he was being to her. She couldn’t help any of that. It was part of nature. He glanced over and saw her normally cheerful and bright face hurt and fallen. He hurt her and he hated that he had done that.

“I didn’t mean it like that. You’re just so protective,” he sighed, trying to apologize.

“I’m his mother. I’m suppose to be like that over him. I worry about him,” she said, softly, staring at the table.

“If he’s with us, why do you have to worry like this,” Harry snapped at her suddenly. Ginny looked up at him angrily. And he had the nerve to say she was imbalanced? If he wanted to row with her, Ginny was going to give him one. So much for not wanting to argue.

“In case you haven’t notice Harry Potter,” she spat, “I was the one who had to dealt with being pregnant. I had to carry him for nine months, watching everything I did to protect him. I was the one who was in pain with him,” Ginny narrowed her eyes at him.

“I was in pain too you know,” Harry replied hotly, scowling at her. She shot daggers at him.

“You weren’t the one screaming and trying to squeeze something the size of a watermelon out of something the size of a lemon now were you? You didn’t have to deal with the pain that felt like someone was ripping your stomach apart and forcing your muscles to go in every way they pleased,” she spat, glaring venomously at him. He kept his stare on her.

“I was the one who was with him every night, watching him and running to him when he cried. I spent much more sleepless nights that you,” she went on. Harry thought that was unfair.

“You know perfectly well that it was difficult for me to do that! I was there when I could be,” he argued.

“Yes, just like a married couple acts,” Seamus suddenly commented. They both glared at him. Seamus suddenly became interested in his bacon.

“Look this isn’t a reason to fight. Why do you insist on keeping him hidden?” Harry looked back at her. Ginny looked at James sitting in his carrier, staring at them without a clue about what was going on, still sucking on his bottle.

“I just don’t like everyone looking at him,” she replied quietly, “And I really don’t want anyone in Slytherin looking at him. And then what happened over summer. I never want to go through that again. I have to protect him. It’s. . .it’s all my fault . . . ” her voice trailed off.

Harry took the bottle out of James’s mouth and set it on the table. He took Ginny’s hand.

“It’s not your fault and you know that Ginny. None of us could do anything about it,” he softly caressed her hand in his, “Don’t worry about the scum in Slytherin. If even one of them gives James a bad look, I’ll curse them right on the spot,” Harry said. His voice was comforting and soothing to her. She smiled softly, “We can’t keep hiding him. Pretty much everyone knows now anyway.”

Ginny sighed, “Maybe I’m still a little too protective of him,” she said. Harry nodded.

“You think?” he asked, grinning at her. She laughed softly, "Sorry love."

“Sorry,” Ginny said and kissed his cheek.

“You know Ginny, if I were you, I’d be showing off my baby to everyone.” Claire said, smiling.

“Oh?” Ginny let go of Harry’s hand and reached for her school bag to get some notes out, “Why is that?”

“Because he’s just so cute!” Lavender squealed. Ginny blushed slightly and smiled.

“Go show him off to those Ravenclaws,” Parvati said. Others nodded. Ginny simply shrugged.

“He’s not used to being around others,” she looked at him.

“Well he’s going to have to sooner or later,” Harry looked at her. Ginny looked at him and back at James. He was drooling. She took a blanket and wiped off his mouth smiling at him. Harry reached to take him out of the carrier. Ginny had to resist stopping Harry from doing so. He was right. She couldn’t keep him hidden forever. Harry raised James out of the carrier and immediately Ginny could feel heads turning to look. Harry lifted James in the air, making a funny face to make him laugh. Harry brought him back down and did it again. Ginny cringed.

“You’re going to drop him,” she looked on warily. She absolutely hated it when he did that.

“Gin, I’ve done this plenty of times,” Harry lifted him again. James laughed, “and besides he loves it. Don’t you James?” he turned to look at Ginny who wore an unamused look, “I won’t drop him Gin, I swear.”

“You know I almost did once,” Ron said in an undertone to Seamus.

“You what!” both Harry and Ginny exclaimed, staring at him. Ron gulped.

“What do you mean almost?” Ginny narrowed her eyes at him. Harry had stopped lifting his son in the air and looked at Ron. The color in Ron’s face drained quicky, making his freckles stand out.

“Well,” Ron said nervously.

“Out with it Weasley,” Harry shifted James to hold him properly.

“See,” Ron shifted uncomfortably in his seat. Their fellow Gryffindors fell silent to listen, knowing that he was about to feel Ginny’s wrath, “There was this one time where I guess you two had stayed up all night because he was crying and fell asleep on the couch the next day while watching him. He was about three weeks old at the time. Well, me and the others decided we wanted to spend some time with James, seeing as he is our first and only nephew. Percy took him and we went outside. Bill was saying he wanted to take James to a local pub to pick up a witch or two and Charlie wanted to take him to Romania to show off to all his friends. Percy said that you wouldn’t be too keen on their plans. Then Fred and George wanted to take him and test some of their newest pranks on him. I took James as Percy shouted at them for it. I wanted to do something fun with him so I found Bill’s old broom out in the shed and decided to take him for a ride. Well I was off the ground and lost my balance and nearly dropped him. . . about fifteen feet off the ground. But I landed right away because I knew it was dumb for me to do.”

Mother and father stared shocked at Ron’s revelation.

“And you wonder why I’m so protective!” Ginny snapped at Harry, quickly returning her attention to Ron, “I can’t believe the whole lot of you would do that!”

“I’m sorry Ginny,” Ron tried to apologize.

“Sorry? And what exactly would you have done if you did drop James?” Ginny glared, furious with him.

“I dunno,” he shrugged his shoulders.

“That is one of the most irresponsible things I’ve heard of Ronald Weasley, and you’re a prefect! How dare you endanger my child like that? How dare you even take him away from me without my permission! And after everything that happened! YOU WERE THERE!” she shouted at him. Half of the table was listening now. Ron flinched.

“I’m really, really, really sorry,” he attempted, his voice was quiet.

“I’m not going to forgive you that quickly,” she crossed her arms, “Now I have send a few Howlers to a few irresponsible red-heads.”

Ron gulped and looked down at the table sadly. Harry hadn’t said a word. He was angry that Ron would put James in danger like that, even if it was not on purpose. But something else bothered him as well.

“Ron– James stop that,” Harry said, prying James’s fingers away from the clasp on his cloak. Ron looked up guiltily, “There are two reasons why I’m furious with you. First because of your actions. And second, well do you remember what I told you when James was born?”

Ron thought for a moment and nodded sadly, “I do.”

“And what was that?” Harry asked.

“You wanted to take him in the air first, but–” Ron replied.

“You knew I was looking forward to take him on his first broom ride. You knew how much that meant for me to do. I’m his father Ron, I should be taking him on a broom first,” Harry cut him off. Ron was very quiet.

“But we only hovered in the air. We weren’t really flying Harry,” Ron tried to reason. Harry stared at him. Ron sighed and looked at them both, “Look I’m really sorry about it all. You guys know I would never do anything to hurt James and I wish I could take it all back.”

“Still not forgiven,” Ginny said, feeling slightly sorry for yelling at her brother.

“I understand,” Ron forced a smile on his face. No one spoke for a while.

“So are you going to show him off or not?” Hermione smiled at Ginny. Ginny looked at her.

“I’m not so sure about it,” Ginny looked over at James in Harry’s arms. All her friends stared at her, daring her to do so.

“Fine,” she gave in and stood up, “Come on James,” she took him from Harry. Harry handed her the notes she had dug out of her bag and she made her way to the Ravenclaw table. She tried desperately not to look at the stares she was getting. She glanced back at the Gryffindor table. Ron and Hermione were watching her carefully as were Seamus, Dean, Parvati, Lavender, and Neville. Harry smiled at her, slowly nodding his head. He was encouraging her. How she loved him for that. Ginny was holding onto James tightly, slightly hiding his face from prying eyes. She approached the Ravenclaw table to smiling faces.

“Sorry Luna,” Ginny tried to hand her the notes she had dug out, “I got distracted a bit.”

“Quite alright,” Luna smiled, talking in her usual misty voice, “distractions are welcomes in disguise. Embrace them when you can.”

Ginny loved Luna, she was a good friend, but she just didn’t make sense at times. Her other friends were smiling at her and many other Ravenclaws were staring at the infant in her arms. Ginny’s eyes wandered to each inquiring face, grateful that James back was facing them and not his face.

“So Ginny is this. . .” Juliet motioned towards the baby.

“Oh,” Ginny looked down and realized that James was staring up at her. She smiled at him and looked up, “Yes, this is my son, James,” the words were full of pride and happiness. She turned to give everyone a look at him and the response was almost like the one in the common room days before. James grip on her clothing tightened and she knew his sweet and curious look was turned into a fearful one. He began to whimper in her arms and Ginny knew he was about to break out into a terrified wail from all the attention.

“Don’t cry little one,” she said soothingly to him, “Mummy’s right here. Shh, it’s okay.” She began to lightly sway back and forth, kissing the top of his head. Harry watched his wife and son, arms crossed across his chest. The Ravenclaw table had made quite a noise when Ginny had shown them James and Harry was sure he was going to hear a fearful cry from the immediate attention. But Ginny had become such an expert on anticipating most of his sudden cries she was already soothing him. Harry smiled as she swayed back and forth no doubt talking sweetly to their son. She was so beautiful, and the way she was so tender to James, only enhanced her beauty. He often enjoyed just watching the two of them together. The night James was born, Harry hadn’t slept at all. He sat next to Ginny’s bed watching her sleep, sleep that was well deserved after what she had been through, and watched James drift in and out of naps. He remembered he kissed Ginny softly on the forehead telling her how much he loved her and thanking her. He knew it was stupid to talk to her when she was asleep, but he didn’t really care at the moment. Many times he would arrive at the Burrow and find Ginny sleeping, random baby things in her hand, James on the floor or in his bassinet. He felt sorry that he couldn’t be there more often and whenever he was there he would take over everything and let her catch up on sleep.

Ginny had caught his eye and smiled. Harry glanced over at the Slytherin table suddenly felt fearful for them. The students at the Ravenclaw table had been watching her carefully.

“Is he okay?” Rosemary asked, a concerned look on her face. Ginny nodded.

“He’s just not used to having anyone but his family around and it’s quite frightening for him to see a thousand faces and hearing all those voices at once,” Ginny explained. James had subdued to a soft whine, “See?” she smiled at him, “I told you there was nothing to be scared of.”

“Isn’t that adorable!” a second year girl squealed. Ginny blushed. Luna moved over to allow Ginny to sit next to her.

“Does he cry a lot?” a fourth year asked. Ginny shook her head.

“No, not really. Only when he needs something and when he’s scared. Doesn’t fuss much at all. He’s a good baby, aren’t you?” Ginny said, tickling James’s stomach. He laughed. She sat him on the table, facing her, supporting him to sit up with her hands.

“Aw, he has Harry’s eyes. Oo! And your hair! He’s so sweet!” Luna suddenly exclaimed. Ginny couldn’t help but smile. James eyes were fixed on something behind her. He let out an excited squeal, smiling. Ginny jumped a little.

“Goodness James!” she laughed, “What are you looking at?” she turned her head and saw Harry talking excitedly with his friends about something, “Ah of course,” Ginny turned back to James. He squealed again, “Sh! Yes James that’s Daddy now hush,” she turned back around and looked at Harry who was laughing with Seamus and Ron.

“So, tell us about him,” a fourth year asked. Ginny smiled. She loved to talk about her son.

“Well his name is James and he’s nearly five months old. Um, he’s just started teething so he has a tooth coming in, but just barely. And he hardly ever cries and he’s such a curious baby. Always putting anything he can in his mouth. Don’t know how many times I’ve had to take them of. Poor thing’s going to choke if we don’t keep an eye on him. Oh! He learned how to roll over onto his tummy! We’re so proud of him! He’s trying to go the other way but having no success. Quite funny really, watching him have a go at it. . .” Ginny stopped talking when she realized that she was rambling on and on and that no one really wanted to hear any of this, “Er, sorry. Got carried away.”

Everyone merely smiled politely at her. Michael Corner however was not even looking at her.

“You’re a proud mother. That’s good,” a seventh year she didn’t know said. Ginny smiled and kept him sitting on the table, letting him gaze around the Great Hall. She smiled as she watched her son take in the new surroundings. He seemed to be particularly interested in the bewitched ceiling. His head turned towards the staff table.

"See all those witches and wizards up there, they are your future teachers. You'll learn loads from them," Ginny whispered. She watched him look at each professor with renewed interest. His eyes landed on Professor Dumbledore and he smiled.

"And that is Professor Dumbledore. Best Headmaster Hogwarts has ever seen. You'll love him," Ginny whispered again, smiling at the curious infant. His eyes scanned the table again and he frowned. He looked utterly disgust and to Ginny's surprise, he blew a sloppy raspberry. Ginny nearly laughed out loud when she realized he was staring at Professor Snape.

"That's exactly how Daddy and I feel James," she giggled, "You learn quick little one."

Ginny tenderly kissed his forehead and watched him continue to gaze around the room.

“Starting so soon Weasley,” a cold and drawling voice spoke behind her. Ginny immediately scooped James into her arms and held him protectively against her.

“Sod off Malfoy,” she said, not bothering to look at him.

“Don’t think I will,” Malfoy replied, cooly, “Couldn’t wait to crawl into bed with Potter could you.”

“As a matter of fact,” Ginny still refused to turn around and look at him, “I couldn’t. But unlike some snakes, like yourself for example, I don’t slither into anyone’s bed.”

Malfoy was silent and Ginny felt satisfied with her remark.

“Hope he paid you well,” Malfoy hissed in her ear. Anger coursed through her veins, but she kept her composure. She wasn’t going to let him get to her. Ginny held onto her son just a little tighter, a small smile tugging at her lips.

“He did,” she replied and smiled, “With a beautiful son and marriage.”

“Is that so,” she felt him sit next to her, “Do you really think that he loves you Weasley?”

“Potter,” she corrected cooly.

“Potter,” he hissed at her, “Do you really believe it?”

“Jealous much?” she replied.

“Jealous? Yes that’s right, I want Harry Potter to be in love with me,” Malfoy scoffed.

“At least I know what love is. You on the other hand, never have and never will,” Ginny didn’t know where her sudden courage came from. Then again, the Sorting Hat did place her in Gryffindor, “You know Malfoy,” she finally turned to him, “I pity you.”

Malfoy jumped up, brandishing his wand and pointing it straight at her.

“Weasleys never pity Malfoys. You’ll pay for that comment,” he sneered at her. Ginny suddenly felt fear. Fear for the safety of her son, who had grown very still in her arms and she knew that the infant was sharing her fear.

“Leave. Her. Alone,” Harry’s angry voice was behind her. Ginny turned and saw Harry, wand pointing at Malfoy, his eyes looking dangerous.

“Why should I Potter?” Malfoy challenged, his wand never leaving it’s position on Ginny.

“You don’t want to mess with me Malfoy. Now leave my wife and my son alone or else,” Harry hissed. Ginny didn’t like that malevolent look in his eyes. Malfoy’s grey eyes stared into Harry’s emerald green ones. She knew that at any moment Harry would do something he would regret. Whether it was Malfoy or not she didn’t want to see Harry lose it like that and had to do something.

“Harry,” Ginny spoke softly, afraid that if she raised her voice she wouldn’t be able to stop him from doing his worse. The hall was growing silent, eyes fixed on Harry and Malfoy, all waiting for something, anything to happen. It seemed like centuries passed by in the uneasy silence.

“What is the meaning of this?” Professor McGonagall’s voice sounded. Neither boy took their menacing gaze off the other, “Wands away this instant or you’ll both have detentions!”

“Come on Gin,” Harry finally spoke, eyes and wand still on Malfoy, “I’ll walk you to class.”

Ginny slowly stood up and silently made her way back to the Gryffindor table, glancing at the stern look on Professor McGonagall’s face. Ron had put James’ bag in his carrier and helped Ginny slip her school bag on her shoulder. She held onto James, who was squirming to look at Harry.

“Do not make me repeat myself,” Professor McGonagall said, sternly. Harry dropped his wand from it’s aim on Malfoy and slowly backed away. He picked up his bag and the carrier.

“Let’s go,” he said to Ginny. As they walked, he slipped his free hand onto the small of her back, protectively, glancing around to make sure no one would attack them. Neither one spoke as they walked down the empty corridors. The only sounds were of their footsteps and James soft cooing.

“Brilliant,” Harry said, bitterly as they turned down a hallway, “Bloody brilliant.”

“What?” Ginny was confused.

“Parading him around as if he’s a trophy to been shown off,” Harry spat. Ginny stopped walking at his comment and shifted James around in her arms.

“You told me to!” she shouted.

“No, I said to stop covering him up!” Harry argued his side.

“You’re a bloody hypocrite!” she shouted back.

“A hypocrite?” Harry repeated, “I want my son to be safe! I don’t want the children of Death Eaters anywhere near him!” Harry exclaimed.

“Oh and I do? Do you really think that I want a repeat of last summer to happen?” Ginny’s eyes were full of fury. Anger danced in he depths of them and the look on her face made Harry feel very uneasy. He wanted nothing more than to disappear from her murderous gaze. Of course he knew she didn’t want that to happen again. That horrible day crept into his mind.

Harry sat on the couch of number four Privet Drive waiting for the time to come so he could Floo over to the Burrow. To pass the time, he looked through the pages of the photo album that Ginny had given him for his birthday. His eyes fell upon a picture of James sleeping peacefully in his bassinet and he smiled. Harry watched as the photographic image of his newborn son squirmed around in his sleep, his chest slowly rising and falling evenly.

“Who’s that?” a voice asked.

“My son,” Harry replied, pride and happiness swelling in his heart. It still felt odd to say that and still hard to believe he had a son.

“You have a son?” the voice questioned.

“Yes. With Ginny,” Harry replied.

“Who’s Ginny?” the voice asked again. Harry turned the page to reveal a picture of Ginny and himself, his arms wrapped around her and them smiling and both wearing dress robes. The photo was taking moments after they had exchanged their vows and were pronounced
husband and wife. He watched as the photographic Harry kissed the photographic Ginny.

“This Ginny. My wife,” Harry said.

“Your wife?” the voice was surprised.

“Yes,” Harry didn’t know why the voice did not know this and it was beginning to get annoying. Then it hit him. Dudley. He was at the Dursleys and voice belonged to Dudley. None of his so-called family knew any of these. How could he stupidly reveal such things? Harry slammed the album shut and turned to look at Dudley only to find no one there. Harry raced up the stairs and just as he was half way to his room an angry voice bellowed, rattling the pictures on the walls, almost causing them to fall.

“BOY!” Uncle Vernon’s voice cut through the silent air like a sharp knife. Harry froze on the stairs and slowly turned around. Dudley was looking very smug, but stood behind both of his parents. Aunt Petunia’s lips were in a very thin line and she looked at him in a disgusted manner. Uncle Vernon’s face was contorted in anger and nearly purple, his mustache twitching and the vein in his head pulsating.

“How dare you! After all we’ve done for you, you go and do something like this! How dare you bring someone like. . . like. . . yourself into this world!” Uncle Vernon yelled.

“Nothing you can do about it,” Harry crossed his arms, glaring at them.

“Ho! Ho! We bloody well can!” Uncle Vernon grinned evilly, “You’re not to go back there. You won’t see
them anymore,” speaking as if Ginny and James were terrible and dangerous creatures.

“You can’t keep me from my family!” Harry argued, his hands clenching into tight fists.

“A family?” Uncle Vernon laughed, “You have no family!”

Harry’s blood was boiling now and he itched to reach for his concealed wand. If only he could hold off for just a few minutes longer, the Floo would be open and he can flee.

“You’ll never see those freaks again,” Uncle Vernon snarled. That was the last straw. Harry’s wand was out and pointed at Uncle Vernon’s chest.

“Don’t you
ever call my wife and son a freak again,” Harry growled, eyes narrowing and shaking with rage. He savored the horrified looks plastered on their pale faces. Before they had a chance to react any further, Harry dashed up the stairs to his room. With a few flicks of his wand his trunk was packed and he floated it down the stairs along with Hedwig’s empty cage.

“You’ll not be going anywhere!” Uncle Vernon shouted, fear in his voice as he watched the floating trunk pass him.

“Think again,” Harry replied cooly, lowering the trunk in front of the fireplace, “I’m done. I’ve had it with the likes of you.”

“Incendio!” he flicked his wand at the fireplace and red flames leapt up into the empty fireplace. He loved how they jumped back from the little act of magic and the horrified gasp that escaped from Aunt Petunia. He threw the rest of the Floo powder into the fire, turning the flames to emerald green.

“Thanks for nothing,” Harry spat and pushed his trunk into the fireplace and got in himself.

“THE BURROW!” he shouted and with a whoosh he was engulfed into the flames and hurtling past fire grates.

“Harry!” a female voice exclaimed. In Harry’s rage, he had tripped over his trunk and his glasses flew off his face as he fell face down on the wooden floor. He saw a blurry figure kneel next to him, “Are you alright?”

“Fine,” he lied, pushing himself off the ground, ignoring the ache in his knee, “Where’s my glasses?”

“Here,” his glasses were in his hands. He put them on and saw Ginny kneeling next to him. He cupped her cheek in his hand and smiled at her.

“Are you staying?” she asked, placing a hand on his, gesturing to his belongings. He nodded.

“I can’t take the Dursleys anymore. I’m staying here, with my family now,” Harry said. She smiled and leaned over to kiss him.

“I’m glad you’re here now,” she said.

“So am I,” he smiled. He stood up and looked around, brushing soot off his robes. He chuckled at the random toys and baby belongings around the room, “Where’s James?” he asked.

“Out in the garden with Ron and Hermione. It’s nice out so I figured a bit of sunshine would do him some good,” Ginny replied, “I’m going back out there again. Care to join?”

Harry nodded, linking his arm in hers and they went into the garden. But there was no image of their son with Ron and Hermione, happily playing in the golden sunshine. Ron and Hermione were held by two Death Eaters a piece and their son lie helplessly on the ground, a single Death Eater peering at him with great interest. Somehow, the barriers around the Burrow were breached and they were in danger.

Ginny bolted away from Harry and to James, her wand drawn out. She snatched him off the ground and began running back towards the house. Harry’s wand was out and he made towards the Death Eaters. Suddenly Ginny froze, mid run and was forced back to the Death Eaters.

“Harry!” she screamed. Harry tried to walk forward but out of nowhere four more Death Eaters appeared, surrounding him and preventing him from going anywhere.

“Let them go!” Harry demanded angrily trying to break free.

“I think not Potter,” a familiar icy voice hissed. Lucius Malfoy. Harry’s eyes landed on the Death Eater holding Ginny hostage with his wand. Ginny was clutching onto James tightly.

“Please,” Harry head her voice, clearly full of fear, “Please don’t hurt my son. Please,” she begged.

“Son? Isn’t this a nice surprise,” Malfoy sneered, “Yes definitely a change in plans.”

“But Malfoy, we’re under orders,” a voice near Harry said.

“Oh the Dark Lord will not want us to continue with our plan Nott. No, he would be much more interested in this,” Malfoy said.

“Let them go now!” Harry bellowed, pushing himself through the crowd of Death Eaters and charging towards Malfoy. He pointed his wand towards Malfoy’s, “EXPELLIARMUS!”

The wand flew into the air and Ginny bolted to Harry.

“You okay?” he asked. She nodded, breathing heavily and trembling. There was a sudden commotion and Harry found himself throwing curses and hexes at Death Eaters, Ron and Hermione next to him all closed around Ginny. Ginny was trying everything she could to protect James and James was crying in her arms. Harry was determined not to let them get hurt. He saw Malfoy peer over his shoulder and turn back towards the four teenagers.

“All of you! Leave! Our work is done!” Malfoy shouted and suddenly they were all gone. Harry felt slightly relieved that they were now gone. He lowered his wand and a sudden icy sheet of bitter cold swept over him. It was cold, very cold and the happiness was being sucked out of him. He looked up and say a dozen dementors gliding towards them. They were closing in fast and Harry lifted his wand out towards the one nearest to him. He could hear their rattling breaths and see their rotting hands lurking from beneath the cloaks.

“Expecto Patronum!” he heard Ron shout. Hermione followed and then Harry. His heart sank when he heard James no longer crying. He had no idea how dementors could affect a newborn but he imagined it must have been worse for him. He heard Ginny slump to the ground. She was much weaker than she would normally would be from giving birth not more that two months prior.

“Expecto Patronum!” Harry tried, but a silver wisp of mist was all that was exerted. He slumped to the floor too. Hermione and Ron’s voice were heard no more. They were closer now. Screaming. Green light. Cruel laughter. The dementors were winning. Harry racked his brain for a happy thought, anything at all. Cedric's dead body. Red light. Sirius falling through a black veil. He slowly turned his head and saw Ginny’s head bent over James. James. He wasn’t moving.
No, he thought. A dementor closed in on Ginny, it’s hand reaching for James. Ginny was transfixed with fear and Harry knew that it was harder for her to fight. The dementor lowered it’s head, lifting it’s hood. No not my son, he thought again, Please not my son. His son. Happy thoughts flooded his mind instantly. The first kick he felt. The first cry he heard. The feeling of being a father. The first time he held James. The first smile he saw. The first laugh he heard. The fact that he and Ginny had such a deep love that they created something special like James. James.

“EXPECTO PATRONUM!” Harry bellowed and a bright silver stag erupted from his wand, galloping around them and forcing the dementors off. It was working. They were retreating. He heard more voices shouting the incantation and warmth flooding over him again. He didn't know how the Order got there or how long they were there for. All he thought about was James and Ginny. He shakily stood up. Not a dementor in sight. Ginny was very pale and her breathing was shaky. She stared down into her arms.

“H-He’s. . . he’s not breathing,” she said softly, her eyes watering with tears.

“Give him here Ginny,” Remus’s tender voice said. He knelt down next to Ginny, arms outstretched.

“My baby,” she sobbed, holding onto James, “They hurt my baby!”

“Give me him, Ginny. We need to make sure he’s okay,” Remus said more firmly.

“He’s not alright! He isn’t breathing!” Ginny shouted, bursting into tears. Remus was able to pry him out of her arms and rush him towards the other members of the Order of the Phoenix. Ginny stayed on the ground, rocking back and forth, crying into her hands. Harry knelt next to her, enveloping her in his arms.

“Harry,” she cried, clutching onto him.

“He’ll be fine Ginny. Don’t worry,” Harry wasn’t convinced himself, but rubbed her back and tried to comfort her. Someone handed him two large chunks of chocolate. Harry looked up and saw Tonks standing before him.

“Here you go,” she said and Harry took it.

“He’ll be okay,” Tonks said, “James will be just fine. You’ll see.”

“How do you know his name?” Harry couldn’t help but ask.

“Molly and Arthur told us, but we’re sworn to secrecy. Have to protect anything with the name Potter,” Tonks smiled weakly. Harry nodded at her and tried to force Ginny to eat the chocolate, finally getting her to eat a small bite after much convincing on his part.

“He’ll be fine Ginny. I promise,” Tonks said and smiled at her. Moments later Harry found himself on the couch with Ginny, no word on James yet. Ginny hadn’t spoken for some time now.

“I’m a horrible mother,” she whispered, hoarsely.

“No, you’re not,” Harry tried to reassure her.

“I left him. I left him and he. . . he almost. . .” and she burst into tears again. Harry had no idea of what to do, so he held her.

“He’s a strong one, he is,” Molly’s voice said. Harry looked up to see a bundle in her arms and walking towards them, “Of course, I always expected my grandson to be strong.”

“He’s alright?” Harry asked. Ginny’s head lifted and she jumped up.

“James! Oh my baby! My baby!” she shouted, taking James and holding him close.

“He’ll be fine. We have a potion for him to take, similar to chocolate. He’ll be back to normal in no time,” Molly smiled at them.

“Oh James. I’m so sorry I left you. Mummy won’t ever leave you alone again. Never, ever, ever,” Ginny spoke softly. She kept her promise. The following three days she hadn’t slept and she wouldn’t let anyone, not even Harry near James. Somehow, Harry didn’t know, the Order was able to catch the Death Eaters, including Malfoy and modify their memories of what happened. Harry felt a bit better about this. At least no one would know about James now. After the third night of Ginny keeping an eagle eye on James and no sleep, Harry had enough.

“Come to bed,” he begged, rubbing his eyes. He glanced over at the clock. Two in the morning.

“No, I can’t,” she replied, staring into the bassinet.

“Gin, wards are up and improved and the Order is standing guard. He’s fine,” Harry sat up trying to convince her. She shook her head.

“I failed Harry. I won’t fail again,” she said. He sighed.

“If you don’t get any sleep, you won’t have any energy to take care of him,” he tried to reason.

“But I– ” she began and Harry cut her off.

“You have to sleep. Look, you get some rest and I’ll watch him,” he suggested. She looked at him skeptically, “You can trust me you know. I am his father, or did you forget?”

She smiled weakly and finally crawled into bed. Harry wrapped his arms around her as she drifted off to sleep and Harry stayed up watching them both through the night, vowing to protect them no matter what it took.

“I’m sorry. I know you don’t want that happen again,” Harry apologized. Ginny sighed and shivered. They heard the sound of voices echoing off the walls.

“I’d better get to class now,” Ginny said. Harry nodded and followed her in the classroom. He helped her get settled and with a quick kiss, he left for his own class. Ron and Hermione caught up with him just as he turned the corner. As Harry walked towards the History of Magic classroom with his two friends, he passed by Malfoy. He felt an involuntary shudder run down his spine as they walked by each other. Something wasn’t right.

“You okay?” Hermione asked. Harry slowly nodded.

“Yeah. . . yeah I’m fine,” Harry lied.

“You don’t sound convincing,” Ron replied.

“No, I’m fine,” Harry reassured them. But there was something that Harry didn’t like. Something just didn’t feel right.

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