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A/N: I'm soooooooo sorry it's taken me forever to update. College has decided that it's important now. Act like I want a degree or something. Honestly!

The violence warning it very, very, very mild. So it's not like a flown blown raging fist fight or anything. Any way, enjoy this next chapter!

Thanks to all for reading! Lots more to come, I promise!

DISCLAIMER: All JK's. Of course.



Chapter Thirteen


“Maybe we should go back,” Ginny said, glancing back at the castle, and stopped walking. Harry stopped pushing the stroller and looked at her.

“Why?” he asked. Ginny bit her lip trying to find an excuse. To be truthful she was scared. Hagrid’s warning had struck something in her and she didn’t like it. She knew that Aurors would be there and Professor Dumbledore had given them an emergency Portkey just in case . . . still it bothered her. Was the village really safe? Or rather, what kind of reaction would they receive once they entered the village?

A cold wind whipped around them, causing Ginny to shiver. An idea struck her.

“It’s much too cold for him. He could fall ill,” Ginny grabbed the handle and began to turn the stroller around. Harry seized her arm and stopped her.

“He has his jumper on and he’s got his blankets. Not to mention you did put a Warming Charm on the stroller. He’s perfectly warm,” Harry replied. Ginny racked her brain for another excuse.

“You know how he gets around others. He could get frightened from all those people,” Ginny said. Harry’s eyes bored into hers for a moment. He crossed his arms and sighed.

“Ginny, there’s nothing to be afraid about. We already went through this once, we can do it again,” Harry said. Ginny hated how he always knew what she was thinking. It was rather annoying especially right now. She looked determinedly at James who was busy playing with his blue bunny and she tried to find a new excuse.

“Yes but those were our friends!” she finally gave up. “People we’ve known and gone to school with for years! These . . . these are strangers Harry. People we don’t know,” she tried to reason and attempted to get him to go back to the castle. She managed to get a hold of the stroller and push it in the direction of Hogwarts again. Harry grabbed her arm and whirled her around to face him. He sighed and put his hands on her waist and she rested her forehead on his shoulder. Ginny wrapped her arms around his neck and breathed in his scent. She could always find comfort in his arms.

“Love, they are going to find out soon enough. We’ve gone through this before. You’re a proud mum aren’t you?” he attempted to convince her. She looked up at him.

“Yes but–”

“And you love James?”

“Of course but–”

“Then don’t worry what everyone else thinks,” he whispered and softly kissed her. Ginny sighed and nodded her head.

“All right.”

“Good.” Harry smiled and kissed her again. He let her go and took control of the stroller. He turned it back around, gave James his pacifier and pushed it in the direction of the town. “Now, let’s go James. Loads of sweets waiting for you in Honeyduke’s!”

Ginny stopped in her tracks. She put her hands on her hips and glared at the back of his head.

“Harry James Potter you will not give him candy!” Ginny exclaimed. “He’s much too young! He barely has a tooth in! And not to mention–”

“He has a fragile stomach. Yes love, I know, I know. I’m only joking,” Harry cut her off, laughing at her sudden outburst. Ginny sighed and smacked him lightly on his arm.

“You’re horrible,” she said and joined his side. He chuckled at her some more and Ginny hooked her arm with his as they made their way to the town.

Despite the cold and clouds, the day was rather nice. Sunlight peeked through the grey clouds, bringing some warmth to the ground below. Birds flew through the sky, chirping their songs as they went. All in all, it was a nice day for a trip to Hogsmeade.

No one seemed to notice the young family much when they finally arrived in Hogsmeade. They walked just like any other student from Hogswarts would into the village. The only difference between the Potters and the other students was that they had a stroller and there was occasional babbling accompanying their conversations. Students that passed by greeted them and some girls cooed at James before going on their way. Everything was fine until they reached High Street.

Students were mixed with residents. Wizards and witches of all ages were about the town, talking to each other and shopping. Small children were following their mothers in the streets, begging for sweets and ice cream. Women stood on corners, gossiping to each other while older men discussed the latest Ministry disasters. It was just another normal Saturday afternoon in Hogsmeade.

As soon as Harry, Ginny and James joined the crowds, heads were turning and whispered conversations were heard. Older witches and wizards were giving them mixes of shocked, disapproving, and confused looks. Harry was determined to keep their conversation on their Quidditch match next week going. While Harry was calm and collected, Ginny, on the other hand, was glancing around nervously as they walked and looked anxiously at James. He didn’t seem to be aware of what was going on at all. He happily played with his blue bunny, pacifier still in his mouth and being his normal happy self.

“You know Gin, I really think we can fake Ravenclaw out if you Chasers pull a Parkin’s Pincer on them. They have all new Chasers this year, young too. They won’t be expecting something like that,” Harry attempted to engage her in their conversation once more.

“Yes dear,” Ginny said distractedly. She spotted a group of people trying to look at James, straining their heads and trying not to look obvious. How she hated this! She shot them a menacing glare and they quickly looked away, launching into a whispered conversation, no doubt it was about them. Ginny was regretting this now. They should have just stayed in the castle and taken the advantage of having most of their house mates gone for the day. Frustrated, Ginny looked down at James. He was now staring at his new surroundings, trying to figure where he was now and his toy was forgotten. Ginny reached for a blanket that was tucked around him so she could drape it over the stroller to hid him from prying eyes.

“Don’t,” Harry whispered. Ginny was surprised to see his hand on her arm, stopping her from grabbing the blanket. He pulled his hand away from her arm and she removed her hand, rather reluctantly, and tried to avoid the stares. “Just act normal, all right?”

She bit her bottom lip, looking at him. Harry’s green eyes pierced into her brown ones. There he went again, knowing what she was thinking. Ginny gave up and nodded her head. He smiled gently at her and they continued to walk and talk about their upcoming match.

As they walked down the street, Ginny looked at store windows, examining the displays. She listened to Harry rattle on and on about which play would be better. As much as she wanted to win her first match back on the Gryffindor team, she just wasn’t into talking about different plays with him. She glanced at a line of clothing stores and something caught her eye

“Oh Harry, look!” Ginny pointed to a window and walked towards it. All sorts of baby sized robes and cloaks were on display in different colors and designs. There were also Muggle style baby clothes amongst the wizarding ones. A sign hung above the window and read “Lil Wizard and Witch Wear” and was accompanied with a cartoon picture of a baby in a pile of clothes. Without waiting for Harry, Ginny went inside and began to look around, finding new outfits for James. Harry sighed and pushed the stroller inside the shop, trying to find his wife. He spotted her down an aisle of cloaks and approached her and glanced down at James. James was watching Ginny curiously as she held up a cloak to him. She frowned and shook her head, then turned around to replace the cloak on the rack. James had never seen his mother act like this before. He twisted to look up at his father for an explanation.

“Rule number one James. Never let a girl in a shop. You will leave with no gold and bags of things you will never see again,” Harry whispered to his son. James just looked at him and chewed on the ear of his blue bunny. Harry smiled down at him. “Of course you won’t have to worry about this now. You wait and see just how important this piece of advice will be when you get older.”

Ginny continued to search a rack of cloaks, trying to find the right size for James and an acceptable color. She immediately disregarded a bright orange colored one, knowing how horribly it would clash with James’ hair, and looked at the darker colors. She spotted one in a shade she liked and pulled it off the rack.

“Aren’t these just adorable? James needs some new clothes. He is growing you know,” Ginny said, looking at Harry and held up a tiny blue cloak. Harry merely smiled at her. Unlike Ginny, he did not enjoy shopping as much as she did. He hated being dragged along with her on these trips. However, he loved her with all his heart and went with her just to be in her presence.

“It’s nice dear,” he agreed, glancing at a small group of women who were staring at them.

“Should we get him a few things then?” she asked, examining a dark green cloak, the blue one draped over her arm. Apparently shopping kept her from noticing the stares of the other customers. Harry saw this as a good thing. At least she wasn’t worrying about people looking at James.

“Why not,” Harry agreed and watched her search the racks for some clothes. “Not too many mind you,” he added

“Of course not, just a few things. It’s awfully cold out and he could use some nice warm clothes,” she went down another aisle, leaving Harry with James. Harry sighed and pushed James around the store, allowing Ginny to shop to her heart’s content. He pulled James off to the side of an aisle and played with him. James laughed at the game of peek-a-boo that Harry was playing with him. He noticed that many people were staring at him. One older woman stood off at a distance and was watching Harry with James. She stood there for a while and it was rather annoying to him. Harry glared at her and the woman walked off. Harry sighed and continued to play with his son.

Ginny walked about the store, humming to herself as she picked out clothes for James. She was thrilled with the clothing and the prices weren’t so bad either. She happily picked out robes, cloaks and Muggle clothing for her son just like any other mother would do. Most of his clothes were hand-me-downs from her brothers. Ginny and Harry were only able to buy him a few items after he was born. Now that Ginny was in a shop, had the time, and a money bag full of gold, she was going to do some shopping for her son. He was going to be the best dressed baby around.

Deciding that she had enough new clothing, she looked for some new socks for James. It was cold out and the castle was drafty at times, and Ginny did not want his feet to get cold as well. She searched the shop and had no luck. She sighed and found Harry playing with James. She looked at her husband.

“Harry, do you see socks anywhere?” she asked, peering at a display behind him. Harry frowned and looked at the displays around him.

“No,” he replied slowly, standing up. Ginny frowned and looked around again. Harry noticed a small pile of clothes in her hands. It was definitely more than a few items. She sighed and furrowed her brow.

“Maybe in the back,” she mused aloud, looking behind her. “Here, give me your money bag and I’ll go pay for these after I found him some socks,” Ginny said and looked at him, holding out a free hand to him. Harry stared at her hand for a moment and sighed.

“Why are you buying him socks? You’ll only steal them,” Harry teased as he pulled out his money bag and handed it to her. She smiled sweetly at him and took off. Harry sighed and looked at the collection of pink clothes in front of him. He examined a tiny pink dress with a picture of a yellow duckling on the front. How different things would be if he had a daughter instead of a son. He wanted a daughter and he hoped that after Ginny had finished with Hogwarts they would have one. One of each would be nice. If they did have another son, then he hoped that Ginny would want to have more kids with him until they got a daughter. He knew she would agree. They had had a conversation on how many kids they wanted and both decided that they wanted a big family. But, of course, they wanted to wait until Ginny was done with school. Raising one child while still in school was hard enough, two would be too much.

There was a sudden wail behind him. Harry whipped around and saw James squirming in his stroller and crying loudly. Harry ignored the looks some older witches were giving him. He put the dress back and went to his son. Harry picked up the baby bag and searched for a bottle. He warmed it up quickly with his wand and gave it to James. James took it and looked up at his father gratefully. After a few moments had passed he pulled away from the bottle and Harry put it away. James smiled happily at Harry and Harry returned the bottle to his bag. He leaned over and kissed his son on the top of his head. James gurgled happily at him.

“Is he all right?” he heard Ginny ask anxiously. Harry stood up and looked at her. She wore a concerned look and was watching James, a shopping bag in her hand.

“Yeah. Just a bit hungry,” he said and took the bag she was carrying. He stowed in under the stroller. “I gave him a bottle.”

Ginny smiled down at James and tickled his stomach. He laughed and babbled at her. She stood up and Harry began to push the stroller towards the door.

“I can’t wait until he talks. I wonder what his first word will be. Maybe Mama?” Ginny thought aloud, smiling at the thought of James talking.

“One day at a time Gin. He’ll grow up soon enough and then we’ll wish he was a baby again,” Harry replied. Ginny sighed and thought of their son all grown up and off to Hogwarts for the first time. Maybe they would have a small group of other children around them, waving their eldest off. But as Harry said, one day at a time. There would be plenty of time later for more children. Ginny smiled at the thought of working on getting more children with Harry. That would be quite an enjoyable part.

“Found some socks,” Ginny informed Harry as she held the door open for him.

“Poor James. He’ll never see them again,” Harry sighed dramatically. Ginny rolled her eyes at him and followed him out the door.

“What? Just letting my son know his mother nicks socks. He must be prepared you know,” he said as they walked down the street.

“You keep talking like that and you’ll be prancing around the castle starkers,” Ginny said innocently. Harry gave her a lopsided grin.

“You’d enjoy that too much,” he replied. She giggled at the thought of Harry running around the castle with no clothes.

“Yes, yes I would,” she agreed. “I would throughly enjoy laughing my head off at you.”

“Hey!” he protested. Ginny giggled again.

“Well I would enjoy it more if neither one of us were wearing clothes,” she said seductively. Harry stopped walking and stared at her.

“I think that can be arranged Mrs. Potter,” he whispered, leaning towards her. Their lips were almost touching, the corners of their mouths turned up in smiles.

“Can it Mr. Potter?” she whispered and closed the gap between them.

They were lost in a chaste, yet passionate kiss.

“Wotcher Potter!” a voice said.

“Oi! That’s what got you a little one in the first place!” a second voice followed. The couple broke apart, much to their annoyance, to see who was interrupting their intimate moment.

Tonks and Fred were standing together and smiling at them.

“Fred!” Ginny exclaimed and threw her arms around her brother’s neck. They hugged each other tightly. Harry shook hands with Tonks as the siblings hugged. Once they let go, Ginny hugged Tonks and Harry made to greet Fred.

“Hullo Harry,” Fred greeted him and shook his hand. He turned to his sister. “You know you looked like you were enjoying that just a bit too much little sister.”

Ginny rolled her eyes and stood next to Harry. She slipped her arm around his waist and he draped an arm over her shoulders.

“That’s because I was,” Ginny said and pecked Harry on the cheek. Fred bent down to greet James.

“What are you two doing here?” Harry asked.

“Business . . .” Fred replied, standing up and smiled down at his nephew.

“Right,” Harry nodded, understanding with he meant. They were on Order business.

“Dumbledore has Aurors standing by just in case old snake face tries to pull something. Word’s gotten out that he’s planning something, but no one knows what yet,” Tonks explained. Ginny pulled the stroller closer to her and Harry.

“I just visited Honeyduke’s with George. We have a new product out and George and I went to see how it was selling,” Fred said, smiling.

“Where’s George then?” Ginny asked.

“Around here somewhere,” Fred looked around. “Ah there’s the handsome devil now!”

Ginny and Harry turned to see George bounding down the street. He greeted Harry and Ginny and looked down at James.

“Hey there Runt!” he exclaimed and bent down to kiss James on his forehead. Ginny tensed at the nickname. She then remembered what Ron had said. Ginny shrugged Harry off of her and pointed her wand at the twins.

“You two!” she shouted and before anyone could react Fred and George were sprouting green boils and rat’s tails. James laughed at his uncles, amused at their new appearance.

“Ginny! Have you gone mad?” Fred shouted and hissed in pain.

“First of all,” Ginny began and stood in front of them, “I told you not to call him that name anymore! He has a name, you know, USE IT!

“And another thing! How dare you two think you can take my child without my permission and then talk about using him to test your stupid inventions on him! If I ever catch you two even thinking of using him as a test subject, you’re going to get much worse than boils and tails!”

Fred and George looked baffled and horrified at their sister. And once again, Harry was glad he wasn’t on the receiving end of her anger.

They muttered apologies and tried to take the hexes off of themselves. Once Fred and George were back to normal, the group took off in different directions.

Harry and Ginny visited other stores, looking around and buying a few things here and there. Honeyduke’s was quite an adventure for them. James was fascinated with the colors of the different kinds of sweets and tried to grab anything that was close to him. He had managed to grab a handful of Pepper Imps and had tried to put them in his mouth. Harry had caught him and pried the sweets out of his tiny hand.

“Guess we’re buying these now,” Harry muttered as he grabbed an empty bag and put the candy in it. James turned over in his seat to look at Harry then back at the display. He reached over and grabbed some more of the sweets and Harry snatched it away from him and added it to the others. James, thinking this was a new game, did it again and much to Harry’s dismay. Once again he took the candy from him and added it to the bag. He sighed and pushed the stroller further into the store as he saw James reaching for the Pepper Imps again.

“What a sweet child you have there,” a woman said. Harry looked up to see one of the owners smiling at James.

“Thanks,” he smiled. The old woman bent down and talked to James in a baby voice.

“He yours?” she asked Harry. Harry nodded. “How old is he?”

“Five months,” Harry replied proudly.

“Just precious. Well, we’ll be seeing you back in here in about ten years won’t we, sugar,” she said and gently patted the top of James’ head. She smiled at Harry and went to help some younger students who had just entered the shop.

Harry eyed a display of freshly made fudge and suddenly felt very hungry for some. But he couldn’t finish all of it, he never did. So he looked for his wife, hoping she would share it with him. He spotted her near a display of new candy items and pushed the stroller towards her.

“Want some fudge?” he asked her. Ginny was examining a multi colored lollipop closely, frowning at it. She turned it over and smiled.

“Fred and George’s latest invention,” she proclaimed proudly and showed it to Harry. An elaborate design was on the wrapping around it and bore the words “Weasley Wizard Wheezes Sweets: Ever-Lasting Lollipops”.

“Ever-Lasting?” Harry asked. Ginny nodded and looked at him.

“Not just the lollipop. You too,” she explained and added it to their purchases.

“What do you mean ‘you too’?” he asked, confused.

“Once you start licking them, you change with the colors on the lollipop. But just because you finish it doesn’t mean you stop changing colors. The colors continue to change for a while,” she further explained. “I saw the twins working on them over summer for the shop.”

James made a type of urgent sound and Harry turned around. His son was holding out a handful of Ice Mice in his tiny hand. Harry sighed and took them from him and added it to the Pepper Imps. Ginny frowned at the bag.

“Harry you don’t like Pepper Imps,” she commented.

“I know that. But our little imp does apparently,” Harry explained and stopped James from grabbing more Ice Mice. Ginny smiled down at James.

“Anyway, did you want to share some fudge with me?” he asked. Ginny nodded and she pushed the stroller towards the fudge. She and Harry debated over what type of fudge they should get. They had narrowed it down to vanilla, pecan, and walnut.

“Okay, why don’t we get–” Harry was about to point to the walnut fudge.

CRASH!

Harry and Ginny whipped around to see the Sugar Quill display toppled over and James looking very frightened and wailing at the top of his lungs.

They rushed over, forgetting about the fudge, to calm him down and to pick up the display. Harry immediately began to pick up the fallen sweets while Ginny picked up a frightened James and tried to soothe him.

“We’re so very sorry!” Ginny apologized profusely as one of the owners came to the scene. The elderly woman smiled gently at Ginny.

“It’s quite all right dear,” she said, bending down to pick up the fallen Sugar Quills.

“We’ll pay for them. I’m really sorry about this,” Harry apologized.

“Nonsense. They are wrapped anyway my dear. No harm done,” the woman said and continued to pick up the Sugar Quills. She stood up, arms full of candy.

“I’ll take him outside,” Ginny told Harry. He nodded in acknowledgment and continued to help the owner pick up the candy. Ginny tried to soothe James all the way to the door, but to no avail. It was apparent that the infant was not expecting for the entire display to fall over like that and it frightened him greatly. Ginny paced back and forth on the pavement muttering soothing words to her child. Hogsmeade residents passed by, some giving her questioning looks and others trying to block out the wailing while a few older men simply looked at her before walking away.

“Shh. It’s okay James. Don’t cry sweetie, don’t cry,” she said over and over again. His crying persisted.

“Can’t you get that brat to shut up,” a voice said. Ginny turned and saw Michael and his friends behind her. She rolled her eyes and continued to soothe James.

“It’s okay angel. Mummy’s here. Shh.”

“And where’s Daddy then? Oh that’s right, you don’t know who the father is. Could be Snape’s for all I know,” Michael said and his friends laughed. Ginny ignored them, bringing all her attention to her son. Finally he began to calm down. Ginny stood in one place, rocking him back and forth gently. James had stopped crying and his eyes closed, indicating he was about to fall asleep. She sighed, thankful that he had calmed down. However she wasn’t.

Michael and his friends were still there. She turned her back to them and a few short moments later she heard footsteps behind her.

“Come on Ginny. Do you really think he loves you?” Michael whispered in her ear. Ginny walked away from him, glancing in the store to see where Harry was. He was two students away from the til, the stroller next to him. A small girl left and he was one person away now.

“He pities you, you know. He feels sorry for the poor Weasley girl and her fatherless child,” Michael went on. Ginny desperately tried to block him out. She rubbed James’ back as he tried to sleep.

“You’re nothing but a charity case to him. Everyone knows how he helps the less fortunate. That’s all he’s doing Ginny. Helping out the poor,” Michael continued. Ginny felt herself becoming angry. She tried to control herself from screaming back at him and reaching for her wand. She glanced in the store again. Harry was paying for the sweets. She wished he would hurry. However, Ginny was a Weasley and controlling her temper was something unheard of.

“Jealous are you Corner,” Ginny said.

“Me? Jealous?”

“Yes you,” Ginny spat and turned to glare at him.

“And why would I be jealous?” he asked, leering at her and crossing his arms.

“It’s obvious isn’t it. I mean, why else would you be acting like this,” she said in a indifferent tone. James stirred in her arms a bit and settled himself again and yawned.

“No Weasley–”

“Potter if you will.”

“Potter. Explain to me why you think I would be jealous.”

Ginny smiled sweetly at him.

“Ever since I started to date Harry, you’ve been nothing but a prat to us. And now that you find out that we’re married and have a beautiful son, you’re jealous. What’s the matter, not getting anything from Cho? Is she not putting out for you? Jealous that I have someone to shag on a regular basis? Or could it be that you’re jealous about who I’m shagging. Pining after Harry are you Michael? Figures you would,” Ginny said in a sickening sweet voice.

Michael didn’t speak. He stared at her, his eyes narrowing and obviously at a loss for words. She smiled inwardly.

Suddenly she found herself face to face with him, his hands gripping her shoulders tightly and pure hatred and fury in his eyes. Ginny was scared. Not for herself, but for her child that was in her arms and close to be being crushed by the Ravenclaw.

“He would never touch filth like you Ginny. You’re lucky he even knows you exist,” Michael sneered, shaking her a bit.

“You’re the only filth around here Corner,” Ginny said in a cold voice.

“Is that so Potter?” Michael replied, spitting her surname as if it gave him a bad taste in his mouth.

“Why are you touching my wife! Leave her alone!”

Michael let her go, his eyes fixed on Harry. Ginny took a step back and looked at Harry. He was glaring venomously at Michael, clutching onto the candy bag and the stroller left forgotten. Michael rounded on him. Harry dropped the bag and reached for his wand.

“Harry stop!” Ginny exclaimed, giving him a hard look. He looked at her.

“I’m supposed to let him grab you like that!” Harry exclaimed.

“Calm down,” she said and walked towards him. “I can handle this.”

“Gin–”

“Take James,” she handed the sleepy infant to him. He took his son who looked at his father drowsily and Harry gave her a questioning look. Ginny turned to look at Michael, smiling sweetly at him. She lifted her hand and smacked him across the face. His head whipped back towards her. His eyes were alight with anger, a red mark in the shape of her hand on his face, and he advanced on her again. Ginny was ready. In a few short seconds, he doubled over, gasping for air and had a black eye.

Harry looked down at his son who was nodding off into dreamland despite his mother’s actions and muttered quietly, “This is exactly why Daddy does everything according to what Mummy wants. Don’t you forget that.”

Ginny wiped her hands together and turned to face Harry again. James had dozed off now and Ginny took him back from Harry, ignoring the injured boy behind her. Harry gave her a very amused look and she simply smiled at him. She turned around to look at Michael again.

“Anything else?” she asked, smiling at him. He gave her a look and went down the street, his friends trailing behind him. Harry’s eyes followed them as they went. Ginny carefully put James back in his stroller, trying not to wake him.

“Remind me to never get on your bad side,” Harry said, grinning at her. Ginny glanced up at him.

“You do get on my bad side and you’ll get worse than he did,” she said and gave him a quick smile before returning her attention to her son. “Besides, growing up with six brothers and being the youngest and only girl, you do learn how to take care of yourself. Not to mention how to get a good punch in here and there.”

He picked up the candy bag and stowed it beneath the stroller. He studied her for a moment. Something was off. Her body was rigid and her usual cheerfulness in her face was not there. There was more than Michael calling her filth.

“What did he say to you?” Harry asked. Ginny tucked the blankets around James and stood up.

“Nothing Harry. Let’s just go,” Ginny said. Harry studied her for another moment. She walked around the stroller and took control of the handle before pushing it down the pavement. Harry trailed behind a bit. She seemed closed off. Michael had said something to her, he knew it but what is was, he didn’t know. Whatever it was, he didn’t like what it was doing to Ginny. He picked up his pace to join her.

They continued to explore the town, both deciding to skip Zonko’s this trip and went on a walk down a neighborhood. James continued to sleep soundly in the stroller and his parents were silent. They wandered down a neighborhood, leaving the crowds of Hogwarts students behind them.

“Harry, can I ask you something?” Ginny asked suddenly. Harry looked over at her. She was looking down at the top of the stroller, her hands slighting unclenching and clenching the handle.

“Of course love,” he said. She took a deep breath.

“Why are you with me?”

Harry was not expecting this. How could she ask him that? She knew that he loved her . . . didn’t she?

“Because I love you Ginny,” he said as if that was all the explanation he needed to give her. She fell silent, biting her bottom lip and contemplating her next question.

“Why did you marry me?” she asked.

“Because I love you,” he said again, emphasizing each word. Ginny stopped walking and the stroller came to a halt.

“Why did you stay?” she asked quietly. This greatly surprised Harry. “Do you feel sorry for me? Am I a charity case to you?’

“What? Of course not! Ginny you know that I love you and James,” Harry said, staring at her in surprise. “Why are you asking me this?”

Ginny didn’t reply. She was studying him intensely. She looked away and began to push the stroller again.

“Corner told you that didn’t he, that bloody prat,” Harry whispered. Ginny stopped walking.

“Don’t you dare go and find him. Harry, I can take care of myself you know. I don’t need you protecting me everywhere we go,” Ginny said firmly, her face flushing with anger. Harry sighed.

“I don’t want anything to happen to you Ginny. I love you and I have to protect you,” he tried to explain. Ginny smiled softly.

“I love you too Harry and that’s really sweet that you want to protect me, but not all the time. I can handle my own fights,” she said. Harry sighed again and looked at James in the stroller. He yawned and blinked sleepily at his father.

“What about James?” he asked, watching his son shift in the stroller and closed his eyes again.

“What about him?” Ginny asked softly, looking at Harry. Harry looked up at her.

“Are you going to protect him when he’s with you like that? Corner could have hurt him you know,” Harry said. Ginny snorted and shook her head.

“If anyone tries to touch my child in any way that I don’t like, well let’s just say they won’t be able to use that hand of theirs for a while, even if they take Skele-Gro,” Ginny smirked and gave Harry a wicked smile. He smiled at her and they continued to walk in the neighborhood.

Houses of all sizes were sprawled out on both sides of the street. They ranged in colors and styles, each having it’s own unique individuality. Children were playing in yards while adults tended to them and to their gardens. It was quiet and peaceful and perfect.

“You know, this would be a great place to raise James,” Ginny sighed. Harry watched two toddlers chasing each other in a yard.

“Yeah, it would be,” he agreed and silence fell again.

Ginny stopped in front of a cottage. It had only one floor and a beautiful garden, filled with magical and non-magical flowers. The house was painted white with green shutters on the windows and a dark brown roof. It gave off the feeling of a warmth and was very welcoming. It was perfect.

“Harry, look! Isn’t it perfect?” Ginny stared at the house, wishing that it she would have one of her own someday. Maybe even this house. She could just picture James running around in the front with other red-headed and black-haired children and her and Harry watching them.

Harry saw the look in her eye. She was in love with the cottage; there was no doubt about that. He looked at the house. It was just right for them.

“We’ll look for a place this summer love,” he said, leading her away. She looked at the house wistfully before allowing herself to be lead away.

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