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The black, unruly hair of Harry Potter stood blowing silently in the wind as he stood outside his family home in Grimmauld Place, staring intently between houses 11 and 13, on the careful lookout for a significant change in scenery. As the moon-lit sky focused on Harry, the magic began to do its work, and Number 12 was exposed in all its glory. The Fidelius Charm revealed the extra building to those whom had been blessed with the necessary information in order to get in; that is, being told by the Secret Keeper of the House where it was. The original enchantments used to protect the house against unwanted visitors and enemies alike were still in place, all those years after they had originally been assigned to the house, yet were constantly being updated and, in the case of the Fidelius Charm, removed and redone completely. As is such, the Secret Keeper of the House was now Harry Potter himself, and only those of whom he had direct and regular correspondence with were allowed in.

It had been a long, stressful day at the Ministry for Harry, as was most days, although never as hard as they had first been when he was first employed in the capacity of Auror. The War had only just ended, and the task that the Ministry for Magic faced was beyond anything ever attempted before. Not only did they have a massive damage-limitation task to deal with, yet they also had the ghastly assignment of rounding up every Death Eater and Voldemort sympathiser, in addition to the changing of how many hundreds of Muggles memories. Nowadays, he had a more important role to play in heading the Auror Office, permanently in conference with the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, as well as the Minister for Magic, discussing various foreign policies and defensive strategies, as well as conducting an assortment of raids and arrests around the country, imprisoning Dark Wizards and unearthing any information deemed necessary and of importance to the welfare of the magical community.

Harry smiled to himself as he walked slowly towards his house, where he knew on the other side would be his loving wife and caring children, all awaiting his return from work. Family life had hit him like nothing ever had before. As he never experienced love and happiness in this unique way before, all thanks to the Dursleys consistent nastiness and desire to make Harry’s life hell, he had done as best he could to not only become accustomed to actually having a family, but also to give his family the life and upbringing that he had so wished and longed for in those long summer days he spent, shacked up in Privet Drive.

Knocking twice on the door with his knuckles, Harry waited patiently as he saw the landing lights come on, and heard the faint sound of footsteps coming down the stairs. Another few seconds passed before the door swung wide open, and there stood Ginny, her fiery red-hair messily covering her shoulders, in a turquoise dressing gown and green slippers. Smiling widely at her husband’s return, she held out her arms, and Harry swooped her up in his, giving her a big hug before a long, drawn-out kiss on the lips. She could see right through his rounded spectacles into his brilliant green eyes, seeing her own face reflected from the blacks of his eyes. After what felt like several minutes, they broke apart. Harry looked down into the face of his wife, seeing Ginny beam back at him.

“I missed you,’ Ginny said, hardly keeping the longing out of her voice. ‘I don’t like the hours you work.’

Harry laughed, closing the door behind him. ‘I missed you too hunny; but I’ve got to work, get the money for the family. I want you guys to have a fantastic time, and how can we do that without money?’

‘Hmph,’ replied Ginny, a frown spreading across her freckled face, ‘I don’t care. I just want you around more. We all want you here.’

‘Well, I’ve got a few days leave starting tomorrow. Then the kids are off to Hogwarts, and I’ll be off for a few days after that too. Just me and you..’ Harry leant in and kissed his wife full on the lips, smiling broadly at her. They broke apart, quite breathless, at the arrival of their youngest child at the bottom step of the stairs.

‘Daddy!’ she cried, throwing herself at her father, her long, red hair, which deeply resembled that of her mothers, jumping with her, flowing in the air, hitting against her face as her father caught her.

‘Lily!’ Harry said loudly, wrapping his arms around his daughter, holding her head against his chest.

‘Finally, you’re back!’ she said, holding on tight to her father as if she hadn’t seen him for years.

‘I’m back, I’m back,’ he replied, now looking down at his daughters pale face. ‘And, by the looks of things... right in time for dinner!’ he looked expectantly at Ginny who grinned back at him.

‘Five minutes,’ she responded, walking down the hall towards the kitchen. ‘Five minutes.’ She repeated, before continuing, ‘you might as well call Al and James. Get them to lay the table, too.’

Harry put Lily down, before going up a few of the stairs. ‘Al! James!’ he called, ‘come down here and lay the table!’

There was a few minutes silence before a heavy thump was heard overheard. Eyebrows raised slightly, Harry was about to call out again, before James replied, ‘we’re coming!’ Nodding slightly, Harry retreated back down the stairs and hung his travelling cloak up on the coat stand. After stretching his arms up above his head, he proceeded down the hall and into the kitchen, where Ginny was holding her wand aloft, directing it at a pot of noodles that was bubbling on the stove. Moving carefully through the fog that had been produced because of the steam, Harry went over to one of the cupboards and withdrew a goblet. Whipping out his hand and flicking once in the air, a decanter of oak-matured mead appeared in thin air. Putting his wand down on the side, he poured a generous amount of mead, before getting another goblet from the cupboard and pouring a near enough equal amount into that, too.

‘Here you are,’ Harry said lovingly, taking one goblet over to Ginny, who smiled her thanks to Harry. ‘Mhmm...’ he said, taking a deep breath, ‘that smells... well, brilliant.’

Ginny blushed slightly, before bringing up her goblet in a kind of toast, and taking a swig of the mead. ‘Ah!’ she said, smacking her lips together. ‘That’s what I call good! Madam Rosmertas?’

‘Of course.’ Smiled Harry. ‘Only the best for my Ginny..’ he leant in and kissed his wife on the forehead. Hearing the chitter-chatter of his children coming down the stairs, Harry winked at his wife before retiring to the living room through a door that was pretending to be a brick wall.

‘Where’s Dad?’ asked Al, the middle child, as he walked through the door of the kitchen, stretching his arms.

‘Just gone in the living room.’ His mother replied, not taking her eyes off some carrots that were now being cut in mid air by a knife. ‘Lay the table.’

‘Oh, alright then...’ he replied, walking over to the draw with James, passing two pairs of knives and forks to him. They then proceeded to the dining room table, placing five places; one at the head, for Harry, and then two on either side.

Lily, on the other hand, was staring intently at her mother preparing the dinner. A culinary eye already shining through her, she has trying to pick up tips; not taking her eyes off the fluid motions of Ginny’s wand arm, and keeping in time with the gentle tempo of her mother’s head.

Meanwhile, Harry was lounging back in his favourite arm chair, goblet in one hand, and a book, entitled ‘Defensive Magical Combat’ in the other. Staring quite closely at the book, taking a sip from his goblet every so often. Turning the page slowly when he reached the end, he mumbled a few words of delight at the new chapter: ‘Defensive Magic in Law Enforcement’. A few pages into the book, however, Harry heard a shout of ‘dinner!’, and placing his book down upon the living room table, he slowly walked the long way around to the dining room, goblet in hand, before sitting down at the head of the table where his family already was. Beaming at Harry, then all waited for him to sit down before tucking into the meal that was in front of them.

‘So,’ said Harry, a few minutes later after all had began divulging into their scrumptious meal. ‘What have my children been up to today, then? Hmm?’

‘Well,’ muffled James, his mouth full of noodles. He put up his hand to tell everyone to wait, before sucking up the rest of the noodles dangling from his mouth. He gulped heavily, before continuing, ‘not much, really. Just getting some stuff ready for Hogwarts. Fourth year is quite big, you know. Start of OWLs and that. Need to be prepared.’

‘That reminds me,’ interrupted Ginny, taking a sip from her goblet, ‘we got the book lists today. Need to go and get a few things from Diagon Alley as well as,’ she paused, beaming at Lily, ‘Lily’s robes and equipment!’

‘I’ve tomorrow free, why don’t we go then?’ replied Harry.

‘Yea!’ said Al, earnestly, ‘you said you’d get me some new robes, too. Promised!’

‘I’m sure we can. We’ve also got to get Lily a pet. What do you want, darling?’

Lily stopped eating, and sat there, contemplating her decision. By the way she screwed up her face in concentration, not moving her eyes from a particular spot in the wall, you could tell that the decision she faced was exceedingly important to her. After several long minutes, she answered, ‘a cat.’

Harry and Ginny looked at each other, both raising their eyebrows simultaneously. A cat was a rather odd choice for a magical pet; it was common practise to have something of use, like an owl, so that the children can send letters not only to their parents, but also to anyone else they want, as well as ordering things through magazines, such as subscriptions to newspapers. After several long seconds of staring at each other, Ginny broke the silence.

‘A cat? Are you sure Lily? Not an owl, like you brothers?’

‘No, I’d like a cat.’ Said Lily firmly, her face arranged into a serious expression. ‘I want a pet that can be my friend, with me all the time. I can use school owls or else Al’s or James’ to send letters. But they’re not friends, those owls, are they?’

Harry grinned to himself. His daughter’s reasoning was, in his view, well done. She explained why she wanted a pet and gave reasons. Such knowledge, Harry thought, was all but lost in today’s modern society, but luckily Lily had a basic understanding. Hogwarts would serve her well, he told himself.

‘What is it?’

Harry, momentarily lost in his own thoughts, turned around to see his precious daughter glaring at him. ‘Nothing, nothing...’ he grinned. ‘I was just... thinking. If it’s a cat you want, it’s a cat you can get.’ He smiled towards his daughter, before looking around at all his family, the same look on his face. It was a gesture, however, lost in the moment, as the rest of his family had discarded the conversation and continued with their dinner. Not at all upset by this, Harry went back to his dinner, too, which he had scarcely touched due to their talking.

A few minutes later, the silence quite obviously becoming annoying, James started up discussion again, on a subject that Harry and Ginny were not too keen to discuss.

‘Dad, when did you first get a girlfriend?’

‘What?’ replied Harry, perturbed at his son’s inquisitive nature. ‘When did I do what?’

‘When did you get your first girlfriend?’ James corrected his father, his brown eyes boring into Harry.

‘Erm... well... I think back in-... why do you ask?’

‘N-no reason,’ stuttered James, who had now turned bright red. Albus had stopped eating, and now was staring intently at his brother, whilst Lily seemed to not have notice that anyone was talking and was carrying on.

‘Well,’ Harry said suspiciously, ‘in Fifth Year, if I recall correctly. But I didn’t have a proper relationship until the year after, with your mother.’

Ginny smiled at her mention before carrying on with her dinner, too.

‘Right. Do most people have girlfriends before my age?’

‘It depends on the person; but it doesn’t really matter. Whether you do or don’t... it’s just symbolic right now. Different people start relationships at different times, but it doesn’t matter if you don’t have a girlfriend until Seventh Year, really.’

James had now completely stopped eating, his face screwed up in deep consideration, his expression giving away the fact that he was deep in thought. The moment seemed to pass incredibly quickly, however, and James continued with his dinner. Albus, too, started eating once more, but now Harry and Lily had both finished. Harry, ideas roaming around in his head, was still contemplating his son’s earlier questions, but did not say any more.

‘Anyway,’ interrupted Ginny, who was now on the verge of finishing too. ‘Your cousins are coming round tomorrow. Ron and Hermione will be here at eleven...’

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