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Chapter Twenty Three


Harry found himself sprawled on the floor of the Burrow. His first thought was to see if James was alright and he quickly glanced around. He saw that Ginny was standing, talking to her mother cheerfully, and the carrier was set on the floor next to her. Harry peered in and saw that James was still fast asleep with no knowledge of ever leaving Hogwarts and he felt relieved that his son was unharmed from the quick trip.

Ginny glanced around and saw that Ron and Hermione were on their feet, Molly fussing over them. She was currently holding Hermione’s left hand and gushing over the ring on her finger. For a brief moment, Ginny felt a pang of jealously, but it quickly left. She shouldn’t be so jealous of her friend when her circumstances were completely different. She looked around, wondering where Harry had gone too and she looked down to see he was still on the floor, staring into the carrier where James slept peacefully.

“Oh, sweetheart, are you okay?” Ginny asked immediately helping Harry to his feet.

“Yeah, fine,” Harry grunted as he stood up and brushed himself off. “Bloody Port Keys.”

All talk had quickly stopped as the red heads in the room stared at him and Harry had the feeling that they had just noticed that he was there. He suddenly heard threats of five different Howlers screaming in his ears and he really wished he was somewhere far, far away; preferable in another century.

“What are you doing here?” Fred growled, glaring at Harry menacingly.

“I thought we made it clear of what we would do to you if you ever came near our sister again,” George added, his wand clutched tightly in his hand.

“Leave him alone,” Ginny said, glaring at her brothers.

“Mind explaining why he’s here,” Percy demanded.

“He’s family and seeing as this is a family event, he’s here,” Ron said, defending Harry which surprised him greatly.

“Let’s see how long he sticks around this time,” Bill replied.

“Oh honestly! You act like this a constant thing,” Ginny shouted, her face flushing with anger.

“Sure seems like it,” Charlie retorted.

Before Harry knew it, it was five siblings against two, arguing and shouting at each other in angry tones about Harry while he stood next to Ginny, unable to speak for himself. And surprisingly, James slept through it all.

“Quiet!” Molly shouted above her children’s voices and the room went silent. Everyone looked at her, angry scowls on the sibling’s faces. Molly stood in the middle of the group, looking at each of her sons before turning her attention on her daughter.

“Now, Ginny, please tell us what happened. The last I knew you had filed for divorce and I want to know what happened without anyone interrupting,” Molly said looking pointedly at her sons.

Ginny sighed and looked down at the floor. She looked back up at her mother.

“There isn’t going to be a divorce. I burned those papers,” Ginny began to explain. “Harry and I had a long talk last night and we worked things out. We love each other and we love our son and keeping our family together is important to us, especially in times like these.”

No one spoke. Everyone was looking at them. The Weasley brothers wore skeptical looks on their faces and Arthur was regarding Harry closely.

“Look, I know what I did was stupid and irrational. And trust me I punished myself for it. I’m sorry for what I did and I will do anything to make it up,” Harry added, hoping that he wasn’t going to be beaten to a pulp by the angry mob.

The silence was unbearable and Harry was very uncomfortable standing there under the scrutinizing looks of five tall, hot tempered, red heads. Harry was supposed to be a powerful wizard and the only one to take down Voldemort, yet when it came to Ginny’s brothers, he felt terrified and wanted to find the nearest hiding place.

Molly looked at Harry with an expression of relief and compassion. She threw her arms around his neck and engulfed Harry into a huge hug.

“I knew you would find your way,” Molly whispered. Harry smiled and hugged his mother-in-law back tightly. She kissed his cheek and after squeezing him tightly once more, she stepped back.

Arthur had pushed his way through his sons and was standing in front of his son-in-law with an unreadable look on his face. He held out his hand and shook Harry’s hand. Harry felt relieved.

“Congratulations, Minister,” Harry said.

“Thank you Harry,”Arthur replied. Arthur smiled briefly and his face took on a serious expression. He leaned close to Harry. “I want to have a word with you later.”

Harry nodded and Arthur stepped away, retreating to the kitchen.

No one else made a move towards Harry. All of Ginny’s brothers merely backed away and avoided looking at him, and Penelope had pulled Percy aside and whispered to him harshly. She shot a sympathetic smile at Harry which he returned. It very much reminded him of when they found out Ginny was pregnant with James and he felt like it was going to be a very long time until they would talk to him again.

Harry felt a small hand slip into his and he looked over at his wife.

“Don’t worry,” Ginny whispered, squeezing his hand, “They’ll get over it.”

Harry gave her a small smile and returned it.

“Well then, let’s get your things upstairs. Oh dear, we’ll have to rearrange things now. Now let’s see . . . ah yes. James will stay in his room,” Molly began. Ginny frowned and looked at her mother.

“His room? Mum, he doesn’t have a room,” Ginny interrupted.

“Hm, oh yes! It’s an early birthday present from your father and me. We added a small room next to yours for James, mind you it isn’t entirely finished, but it’s livable. There’s a door in your room that leads to it so you can get to him easily as well as one in the hallway,” Molly explained. Ginny smiled.

“Thanks Mum,” Ginny said and let go of Harry’s hand. She hugged her mother and kissed her cheek. “That’s a great gift for him.”

Molly smiled. “Anything for my grandson.”

Ginny smiled again and let go of Molly.

“Now where was I, oh yes, Ron, take Hermione’s trunk to your room and Bill take Ron’s to yours. Harry, take your things to Ginny’s room and I want the four of you to get ready for dinner. Hurry up! Hurry up!” Molly directed.

In a flash, her orders were followed. Harry picked up his trunk and was about to follow Ginny when he was stopped by the twins.

“This isn’t over, Potter,” George whispered quietly.

“Don’t think that just because Ginny forgave you that we do,” Fred added.

“No one hurts our little sister and gets away with it,” George said.

“Ever,” Fred concluded and Harry knew that for once, they weren’t joking.

Before either twin had a chance to say anything further, he hurried after Ginny.
As Harry walked down the hallway, trying to follow Ginny, Charlie was heading towards him. He stood in front of Harry, blocking his way, and leered at him.

“I mean what I said in my Howler, Potter,” he whispered, glaring murderously at him and he brushed roughly by him.

Harry hoped he would make it through the weekend alive now.

He sighed and went into Ginny’s room. He placed the trunk at the end of her bed and sat on the side of her bed, watching his wife and son. He saw the door Molly told them about on the opposite wall. He smiled. James having his own room would be a very good thing, not just for James but for Harry and Ginny as well; Mummy and Daddy could be completely alone for once.

“Well, that went well,” Ginny commented, lifting a still sleeping James out of his carrier.

Harry snorted. “Sure.”

Ginny frowned and walked into the new room. She smiled at the white walls and the large window where the sunlight from the sun set shone through. The room wasn’t very big, but there was enough room for the infant. She pulled the tiny crib out of her pocket and set it on the floor. She muttered a spell and the crib returned to its original size and settled James inside it, careful not to wake him.

“At least you’re not lying in a bed in St. Mungo’s right now with two broken legs,” Ginny reminded her husband. Harry couldn’t help but think that could be reality in only a matter of a few hours.

“At least not yet,” Harry replied and went into James’ new room. He leaned against the doorframe and watched as Ginny pulled a blanket over James and leaned down to kiss him. She smiled down at her sleeping son, stood up, and turned to leave the room.

“Well what did you expect from them?” Ginny sighed, looking at Harry. “In over a year you managed to get their baby sister pregnant, married her at the age of fifteen, got her pregnant a second time, and then broke her heart which caused her to nearly divorce you. Yes, you have an outstanding record with them.”

“I’m the perfect brother-in-law,” Harry said, his voice dripping with sarcasm and he followed her out of the room. He sat on her bed and ran his hands through his hair.

“Well they have a perfectly good reason to hate you,” Ginny continued, sitting next to him on the bed. “In fact I have even better reasons to hate you.”

Harry looked over at her and saw she was staring at her hands in her lap, fiddling with her wedding ring.

“I don’t even know why I forgave you, really. I should hate you for what you put me through,” she said. She looked up and turned to look at him.

“Even though my brothers hate you and they probably will for a long time, I don’t. I love you and I want our marriage to work,” she said, placing a hand on his cheek. Harry put a hand over hers and he leaned forward to kiss her softly.

“Me too,” he whispered. Ginny smiled and looked at the opened door. The crib was just visible from where they sat and she could see James sleeping peacefully. She frowned, realizing that he was sleeping for quite some time.

“He’s rather tired,” she commented to her husband. Harry watched James shift in his sleep and settle down again.
“He didn’t sleep today,” Harry informed her. “I reckon we can let him sleep up here and feed him when he wakes up.”

“Yeah,” Ginny agreed and sat up. “Might as well get ready for dinner then.”

They stood up and began to change their clothes when there was a knock on the door.

“Come in,” Ginny called after making sure that Harry and herself were decent.

The door opened and Molly stepped it.

“Sorry to interrupt, but Ginny you need to wear a nice dress and robes,” Molly said as she came further into the room. She stood in the doorway to James’ room and looked anxiously at her sleeping grandson.

“Why?” Ginny asked. Molly’s gaze was on her grandson for a few moments before she turned to Ginny. “Do you like the room?”

“Yes Mum, it’s lovely but why do I need to dress nice?” Ginny inquired, watching her mother carefully.

“Your grandparents are coming to dinner,” Molly said, sighing and looking apologetically at Ginny.

Ginny paled and nodded.

“It’ll be alright dear,” Molly said and smiled softly at her before leaving.

Ginny let out a string of curse words that Harry had never heard her say before.

“Ginny!” Harry reprimanded, glancing into James’ new room. “Language.”

“Oh bugger off, Harry. This is going to be an absolute disaster,” Ginny whined, marching to her closet and began looking for a dress.

She was muttering to herself as she rummaged through her clothes to find something. Harry watched her, wondering why it was so awful that her grandparents were coming. Harry had never met any one else in her family, but by the pale and anxious look on his wife’s face, he wasn’t sure if he wanted to now.

Ginny finally found a suitable dress and turned around.

“No one in my family knows about you or James, besides my parents and brothers. And I’m afraid that when it comes to me, my grandmother is rather old fashioned,” Ginny said softly. She bit her lip nervously. “I don’t think she’s going to like this too much.”

Harry sighed and pulled her into a tight hug.

“Don’t worry. It’ll work out,” he said.

“I hope so,” Ginny replied. He gave her an encouraging smile and she returned it.

Once they were dressed for dinner, they made their way back downstairs to the sitting room, where they found a very angry Ron. Hermione was sitting next to him, rolling her eyes and shaking her head at her fiancé. Harry noticed the absence of several people and was very glad of it.

“What’s with you?” Ginny asked. Ron glanced up at her, a scowl on his face.

“I have to stay with Bill and Charlie,” Ron said. “I can’t stay in my room because Hermione’s in there. I don’t know why I can’t be in my room with her!”

“Ron, Mum and Dad don’t need another grandchild from someone else quite yet,” Ginny reminded him.

Both Ron and Hermione turned red at this.

“But still! Why can’t I be in my room? There are three of us in Bill’s room, which leaves Charlie’s room empty. Who’s staying in there?” Ron continued angrily, pushing his sister’s comment aside.

“Grandmother Weasley and Granddad,” Ginny said quietly. Ron stared at her.

“Blimey,” Ron said. “This isn’t going to be pretty. She’s going to murder you!”

“Don’t remind me!” Ginny groaned and sat down in an armchair. Harry sat on the arm of it and took her hand in his.

“What are you going to do?” Ron asked. Ginny shrugged her shoulders.

“What can I do? Just have to take it I guess,” Ginny sighed, feeling her stomach tie in knots. Harry squeezed her hand.

Molly came in and smiled upon seeing the four of them in the sitting room, with Penelope following her.

“Oh good, you’re all here. Where’s James?” Molly asked, looking at Ginny.

“He’s still sleeping,” Harry replied.

Molly nodded.

“Probably for the best right now,” she muttered and smiled again. “They should be here soon. Boys! Boys get in here before your grandparents come!”

There was the thunder of footsteps as several red heads swarmed into the sitting room. They all pointedly ignored Harry, which Harry expected.

Molly fussed over them, making sure their shirts were tucked in and their hair was straight. She bustled about the room, shooting a few Cleaning Charms here and there and straightening up pictures. She looked about the room and sighed.

“Arthur!” she called. “Arthur hurry!”

“Keep your apron on, Molly, I’m here,” Arthur replied, coming in to the room. He looked around the room and smiled at his assembled family.

There was a knock on the door and Molly quickly hurried to it to answer it. She opened the door and an elderly woman with white hair pushed past her. Molly seemed a bit taken aback with this and she scowled at the retreating back of the woman. The elderly witch hurried across the room, ignoring Molly completely, and threw her arms around Arthur.

“Oh my little baby! The Minister!” she cried, showering Arthur’s face with kisses.

“Hello Mother,” he greeted her, smiling at his mother.

Harry looked over at Molly and saw an elderly bald man greeting her warmly.

“Ah, Molly, you get lovelier every time I see you,” the man said. Molly blushed and gently shut the door.

“Why thank you, Elijah,” she said.

“Oh my boys! Oh look at you all. You’re so grown up!” Arthur’s mother exclaimed and pulled each of her grandsons into hugs. “You’re father has raised you well.”

“I did have help Mother,” Arthur said, smiling at his wife.

For the first time, Mrs. Weasley looked over in Molly’s direction.

“Yes, well. Perhaps a little,” she said, all happiness gone in her voice. “Hello Molly.”

“Alice,” Molly replied stiffly.

Harry felt Ginny lean close to his ear.

“They don’t get along. Grandmother Weasley hates Mum,” she whispered softly. Harry gave a tiny nod and watched the family gathering, wondering how anyone could hate Molly like that. She was such a loving and caring woman, he couldn’t see why anyone would hate her.

He watched Alice greet Penelope and she gave Percy her approval of his choice in a bride.

“Keep a good house, do you?” Alice asked Penelope.

“Yes. Percy helps as well, you know since we both work,” Penelope replied, smiling at her. Alice’s smile disappeared and she frowned.

“You work?” Alice replied, slightly surprised.

“Yes, Grandmother Weasley, she does. You know until the children arrive. She has to have something to do,” Percy quickly replied, earning a glare from his wife and mother.

“I suppose you’re right. That is acceptable for now,” Alice replied. Harry frowned at this and looked over at Ginny. She gave him a look that told him she’d talk to him later.

“There’s my beautiful granddaughter!” Elijah exclaimed. Ginny turned around and her eyes lit up at the sight of her grandfather.

“Granddad!” she cried and hugged him. Elijah hugged her back. When he let go, he stood back, his hands on her shoulders and looked her over.

“You’ve grown into quite a pretty young woman. Any wizard would be lucky to have you,” he said. Ginny blushed.

“Thanks,” she said, smiling at her grandfather. She turned to Harry.

“Do you consider yourself lucky?” she asked.

“Very lucky,” Harry replied and smiled at her.

“Ah, I see you have yourself a lucky bloke then,” Elijah said, raising his eyebrows at Harry. Ginny nodded. “And who would you be, young man?”

He turned towards Harry and held out his hand to shake. Harry took it and shook his hand.

“Harry Potter, sir,” Harry introduced himself. He watched as Elijah’s eyes traveled up to his scar.

“My word,” he whispered, staring at Harry’s scar. He shook himself out of his gaze and smiled at Harry.

“Elijah Weasley,” he said finally. “Pleasure to meet you.”

“Likewise, Mr. Weasley,” Harry replied.

“Ginerva, come and give your grandmother a kiss,” Alice said, standing next to Ron and Hermione. Harry noticed that Ginny’s features darkened briefly. She put on a cheery smile and headed her grandmother’s command. Harry noticed that their greeting wasn’t very warm at all whereas with her grandfather he could see how much love there was. Alice looked Ginny over carefully, a slight frown on her face.

“Such a pretty little girl. You might make a good wife if you stop behaving like a boy,” Alice commented and looked at Harry. “And you are?”

Harry didn’t know why, but he suddenly felt nervous. He smiled at her.

“Harry Potter, Mrs. Weasley,” he introduced himself again.

“Oh yes, Arthur said you were a friend of the family,” Alice commented, smiling gently at him. She looked at Ginny. “Smarten yourself up and you might catch one like this.”

Ginny fought with herself to hold her tongue. She simply smiled sweetly. “Yes Grandmother Weasley.”

Suddenly, a cry came from upstairs. Elijah and Alice looked up the stairs curiously while the rest in the room froze.

The crying became more persistent and Harry and Ginny were looking at each other.

“I got it,” Harry whispered to Ginny. He excused himself and hurried up the stairs to tend to his son.

“Is that a baby?” Elijah asked, looking at Molly and Arthur.

“Er . . . yes, yes that is,” Arthur replied, looking nervously at his parents. Alice gasped.

“You had another child! Isn’t seven enough?” Alice said, glaring at Molly.

“Heavens no! We didn’t have another baby,” Molly quickly explained. “He’s our . . . our . . . our grandson. He’s our grandson.”

The elder Weasleys looked at each other then at their grandchildren questioningly.

“Percy?” Alice asked. Percy shook his head vehemently.

“No Grandmother Weasley. Penelope and I are much too young to have a child and we haven’t even been married long enough to think about having one,” Percy said, holding his head in pride. Ginny rolled her eyes at him. Of course he would say something like that.

“Yes, yes of course,” Alice said and looked at Bill and Charlie who both shook their heads. She turned her gaze on the twins who were both shaking their heads furiously. Alice frowned.

“Well I don’t know how you can have a grandchild when all your children who are of age don’t seem to admit to it,” Alice said, looking at Molly and Arthur again.

Harry returned, carrying a very cranky looking James in his arms. His head was cuddled against Harry’s chest and he yawned sleepily. Alice and Elijah stared at the infant both wondering where he had come from.

“It’s impossible,” Alice said, shaking her head.

Ginny took a deep breath. It was now or never. Either way, she couldn’t keep it a secret from them for much longer.

“It’s not impossible,” Ginny spoke up. Her grandparents tore their gaze from James and looked at her. Ginny went to Harry and took James from him. James laid his head sleepily on Ginny’s shoulder and cuddled close to his mother. Ginny looked down at him and looked back at her grandparents. “This is James. He’s my son.”

There was a strained silence as the grandparents took in the information that they were great grandparents. James was starting to nod off again and his eyes closed, perfectly content to sleep in his mother’s arms.

“How is that possible? You’re only sixteen,” Alice said, flabbergasted.

“I was pregnant when I was fifteen. I had him last June,” Ginny explained.

Alice looked livid. She strode up to Ginny in utter rage.

“And who is the father, young lady?” she demanded, hands on her hips.

“I am,” Harry stepped in. “I married Ginny over a year ago, before James was born.”

No one said a word. Alice was looking outraged with her granddaughter.

“How could you do this? You’re going to ruin your father’s image now! The Ministers’ sixteen year old daughter has a baby; oh I can see the headlines now! You little tart!” Alice shouted angrily.

This had startled James and he began to cry. Ginny rocked him in her arms, trying to soothe her son.

“Ginny is not a tart,” Harry defended his wife. Alice turned on him.

“How do you know that this child is yours?” she asked, motioning to James. “For all you know she could have been with a dozen others and not know herself.”

Harry did not like the way she was speaking about his wife.

“Harry is the only one Grandmother Weasley,” Ginny said, continuing to soothe James. “Sh. It’s okay, it’s okay.”

“Here,” Harry offered and took his son back. He rubbed his back, hoping to calm his son down.

“I should have known you would do something like this, you and your loose morals,” Alice continued to belittle her granddaughter. “This is not how a young lady acts! You are to finish school, get married, and then have children. You are not supposed to be a scarlet woman and get pregnant then ruin the lives of young men!”

“She did not ruin my life!” Harry shouted.

“Stay out of this young man. It’s not your fault that she did this,” Alice said.

“Ginny didn’t do–” Harry began but was cut off by the gently touch of Ginny’s hand.

“Don’t say anything. Just go and take care of him,” Ginny said softly to him.

“Gin,” Harry didn’t want to leave her to deal with this. Ginny wasn’t the only one involved in the whole thing

“Please, just go,” Ginny begged. Harry looked at her desperately. He wanted to stay with her and defend her, but the look in her eyes told him she didn’t want anyone to defend her. Sighing in defeat, he took James to the kitchen to give him a bottle.

“Maaaa!” James cried, reaching a hand out towards the sitting room that Harry had just left. “Maaaa!”

“Shh,” Harry tried, taking James to a high chair that his grandparents had set up for him. Harry tried to lower him in it, but James clutched onto Harry tightly. Sighing, Harry shifted him to one arm and tried to prepare him a bottle with one hand.

He listened as Alice screamed at Ginny, Molly and Arthur interrupting every now and then in defense of their daughter.

“It’s your fault she ended up like this! You should have taught her to be a proper young lady!” Alice’s voice rang shrilly.

“Now, Mother, don’t blame Molly for anything. This was Ginny’s decision,” Arthur shouted at his mother.

It continued in this manner for some time. Harry had managed to get James to sit in his high chair, the bottle in his hands and looking at the doorway where he knew his mother was. Harry had taken it upon himself to fix some tea and was just pouring a strong cup of it for Ginny, when she came in the kitchen. Her eyes were glistening with tears and she was looking very pale. Harry immediately stopped what he was doing and went to his wife. He pulled her into a tight hug and she clung to him.

“Ma!” James cried, desperate for his mother’s attention. Ginny pulled away from Harry and took a seat next to the high chair.

“Hello my sweet angel. Did you have a nice nap?” she cooed at him, taking the bottle from him and kissing his cheek. James seemed to understand that his mother was upset. He leaned over and gave her a very wet opened mouth kiss on her cheek. Ginny smiled at her son.

“Thank you sweetheart, but you’ll need to work on your kisses,” Ginny said.

James grinned up at her and reached for the bottle. Ginny gave it back to him and watched as he drank happily from it, satisfied that he had his mother nearby.

“Are you okay?” Harry said, setting a cup of tea in front of her. Ginny smiled weakly at him.

“I’ll be okay,” she sighed. “Grandmother Weasley and I never really got along anyway.”

Harry kissed her forehead and sat next to her. “I can tell.”

Molly and Arthur came into the kitchen and Ginny immediately jumped up.

“I’m sorry! I’m so sorry!” she apologized, flinging her arms around her mother’s neck. Molly hugged her daughter, whispering soothing words in her ear and gently rubbed her back. Harry watched the pair silently. Arthur sighed and kissed his daughter’s forehead gently when she had let go of her mother.

“You have nothing to be sorry for, you know that right?” he said. Ginny nodded and smiled at her father.

“Daaaa!”

Molly and Arthur turned to stare at James in surprise. James was holding the finished bottle up in the air, looking at Harry expectantly. Harry looked at him and took the empty bottle.

“He’s talking?” Molly asked Ginny. That proud motherly look came across Ginny’s face and she nodded and all traces of her previous grief gone. If anything cheered her up in a heartbeat, it was talking about James.

“He’s standing up now too, well while holding on to something, but he’s trying” Ginny added proudly.

“Oh how wonderful!” Molly exclaimed and rushed over to kiss her grandson. She smiled and went over to the stove where numerous steaming pots were being stirred by spoons. She picked up a pot with oven mitts and looked over at Ginny.

“We’re having dinner in the garden. You don’t have to eat with us if you don’t want to,” Molly said. Ginny sighed.

“I think I can handle it,” Ginny said. Molly nodded and began to spoon the contents of the pot into a bowl.

“Harry, dear, take this outside,” Molly instructed once she had finished and set the pot on the stove again. Harry stood up and took the bowl from Molly.

He went outside where two large tables were set up with fourteen chairs. All of the Weasley brothers, except for Ron, were surrounding it, setting the table and talking to each other. He noticed that they each looked up at him and fell completely silent. Wanting to make a quick appearance, Harry set the bowl on the table and made his way back to the kitchen.

He didn’t get very far.

He felt two pairs of strong arms seize him by his own. He looked up and saw that Bill and Charlie had grabbed him and they did not look very happy. Fred, George, and Percy came around and glared at him.

“You hurt our sister Potter,” Percy said in a low voice.

“No one hurts Ginny and you’re going to pay,” George’s voice matched Percy’s and Harry noticed that he was rolling up his sleeve.

Harry wasn’t sure who had struck first, but he felt a fist connect with the side of his face, while another came into his stomach, leaving him gasping for breath, and a third knocked his glasses off his face and hit him in the eye.

None of them noticed Ron stepping outside and he quickly darted back into the house.

“Ginny!” Ron shouted. Ginny turned around from her spot at the counter and looked at Ron who was panting out of breath.

“What?” she asked.

“It’s Harry!” he said. Ginny instantly dropped the knife she was holding and raced out of the kitchen, followed by Arthur and Molly, leaving Ron to tend to James.

Ginny gasped in horror at the sight before her eyes. Pulling out her wand, she ran towards her brothers, a furious look in her eyes.

“Leave him alone! Get off!” she shrieked. Fred turned and looked at her, ignoring the way she represented an angry lioness.

Ginny reached them and pulled Fred off of Harry. She raised her wand and pointed it at him.

“I said to leave him alone!” she shouted furiously.

“He’s going to pay for what he did!” Fred shouted back.

Well, if he was gong to act that way then Ginny wasn’t going to play nice and within a few seconds Fred found himself being attacked by giant bat bogeys.

This seemed to strike fear in the others. Percy and George had stopped their attacks and Bill and Charlie let Harry go. He stumbled forward and fell to his knees. Ginny dropped to her knees and examined her husband’s wounds.

“Sweetheart, are you alright?” she asked, looking him over and picking up his glasses. He was clutching his stomach and was sporting a black eye, a split lip, and several other cuts and bruises. She glared up at her brothers.

“Why did you do that?” she demanded, helping Harry to his feet.

“As your brothers we have the right to protect you and defend you,” Charlie said, plain and simple.

“I don’t need anyone to protect or defend me! I can handle myself, thank you very much. You had no right to do this to him,” she said, supporting Harry with an arm.

“He left you!” Percy shouted, cradling his injured hand in the other.

“You don’t even know the whole story, do you? Do you even bother to find out what happened? Of course not! You get this ridiculous idea that you have to protect me and go beating up on whatever crosses your path in defense of me. I don’t need it!” Ginny said angrily. “Don’t you dare touch my husband again, do you hear me?”

Without looking at her brothers, she helped Harry back to the house to tend to his wounds, letting Arthur and Molly take their turns in lecturing (and in Molly’s case screaming) at their sons.

Ron gasped when he saw Harry. He opened his mouth to question Ginny, but she gave him a glare that told Ron not to ask her quite yet. He simply stood up, gave Harry an apologetic look and left the kitchen.

Ginny forced Harry into chair and she immediately looked for Healing Potions. She found a small jar of purple colored ointment in a cupboard and took it out. She grabbed a kitchen towel and took it to the sink, running cold water over it. She folded the drenched towel, picked up the jar, and sat next to Harry to care for him, as James looked at his parents curiously.

“Hold that against your eye,” Ginny instructed, handing Harry the towel. He obeyed and she immediately began to apply the purple cream to his bruised and cut face. She muttered under her breath about her brothers and she tried to tend to Harry’s wounds.

He winced in pain as Ginny gently rubbed the cream over a large cut on his cheek.

“Ouch! That stings,” Harry whined.

“Stop being a baby and hold still,” Ginny said sternly.

“What is this anyway?” he asked, glimpsing at the jar with one eye. He saw a tiny hand reaching out for it.

“James, no,” Harry said, reaching out and grabbing his hand in his. James glared at him and Harry couldn’t help but think how much he looked like his mother at that moment.

“It helps to heal most cuts and bruises faster. Now stop talking so I can put this on your lip,” Ginny said, smearing the salve on his split lip. He hissed as he felt it sting, but otherwise said nothing. Once Ginny finished applying the cream, she gently moved Harry’s hand and examined his black eye. She frowned.

“I don’t think this stuff is going to work on that too well,” Ginny said, twisting the lid back on the jar and standing up. She put the cream back in the cupboard and turned back towards Harry. “I’m sorry about them,” she muttered.

“It’s not your fault, love,” Harry sighed.

An angry looking Molly came into the kitchen, carrying two full plates of food.

“I think it is best that you two eat in here,” she said, setting the plates on the table. “If you want more, there’s some in the pots on the stove. I don’t want either one of you out there tonight. You’ve been through enough today.”

She sighed heavily and looked at Harry. “Are you alright?”

Harry nodded, lowering the towel from his eye. Molly gasped and took the towel from him. She pulled out her wand and muttered something under her breath. Several ice cubes spilled out of her wand and into the towel. She wrapped the ice in the towel and handed it back to Harry. “Here you are. This should help much more.”

“Thanks,” Harry said and took the towel from her. She smiled at him and looked over at James.

“Is my precious grandson hungry?” she cooed at him, moving towards a cupboard. She pulled out a child sized plastic plate and went to the stove. She spooned out a small portion of peas and put it on the plate, then grabbed a piece of bread and shredded it into tiny pieces. She turned around and set the plate on the tray of the high chair. “There you are,” she smiled at him. James looked down at the plate in front of him and attempted to pick up the peas with his hand.

“Well then,” Molly said and looked at Harry and Ginny. “I’ll be outside if you need anything.”

They nodded and Molly left the Potters alone in the kitchen.

Dinner went on, with Harry and Ginny talking quietly, neither one mentioning the previous events of the night. James had tried to feed himself some peas but he only succeeded in squishing them all over the plate which turned out to be a great game. He squealed happily as he pressed his hand down on the plate, squishing several peas in the process. Ginny and Harry had grown tired of their son wearing his food, Ginny had resorted to feeding the peas to him as she ate her dinner.

They finished dinner and Harry had volunteered to clean James off while Ginny cleared the table. He was just wiping off his pea covered hands when the back door slammed opened and an angry figured stormed in.

“That woman!” Hermione shrieked.

“Who?” Harry asked, wiping off James’ mouth who was squirming in protest.

Hermione looked at Ginny who was standing by the sink and let out a frustrated growl. “How do you deal with her?”

“Who?” Harry asked again.

“Let me guess, Grandmother Weasley,” Ginny said. Hermione nodded and shot a glare at the back door.

“Evil woman! How dare she?” Hermione ranted.

“Hermione!” a voice called and Ron came into the kitchen. “Will you just calm down and get back out there?”

“I won’t sit there and let her say those things to me! Who does she think she is?” Hermione said, stomping her foot in protest. Ron groaned.

“Just come back out there, please?” Ron begged.

“No!” Hermione shouted. Ron looked at his wit’s end and he looked over at Ginny for help. Ginny sighed.

“Ron, I don’t blame her,” Ginny said and sat at the table again. She looked over at James, who was staring at something on the counter and sighed. “You know what she’s like. You heard what she said to me earlier!”

“Hermione, you’re making a big deal out of this,” Ron said, turning back to his fiancee.

“Oh and I suppose you agree with her then?” Hermione asked, crossing her arms and glaring at Ron.

“No! You know that I don’t,” Ron immediately said, shaking his head furiously.

“What did she say?” Harry asked finally succeeding in getting James clean. He sighed when he spotted traces of squashed peas in his hair and decided that James was going to need another bath before bed.

“She asked me when we were getting married and I said not for another year or so because we want to have established and steady jobs. Then she tells me that I shouldn’t work and that taking care of Ron was my number one priority. So I told her that I would take care of Ron but I wanted to work and then she starts to lecture me on what a good wife is,” Hermione explained. She let out another growl and sat at the table as well. “What is her problem with girls?”

Ginny and Ron exchanged looks and Ginny sighed.

“Grandmother Weasley is really old fashioned. A witch must be a proper lady at all times. She believes that a witch’s only priorities are taking care of her husband, cooking, cleaning, and raising the children. She doesn’t think a witch should work at all but lately she thinks that it’s okay for a witch to work for a little while, as long as it’s a low paying job and she should quit once she gets pregnant,” Ginny began to explain.

Harry frowned and thought about the interaction between Molly and Alice. If that was the case, then why did Alice hate Molly?

“So why doesn’t she like your Mum?” Harry asked aloud.

“Because Mum did the worst thing possible. She got pregnant with Bill too early. Grandmother Weasley said Mum should have waited until Dad was able to get a better paying job at the Ministry. He had to take the first thing available,” Ron said, crossing his arms and leaning against the counter.

“Wait, she was angry because your Mum got pregnant? But she can’t really help that, can she?” Harry was completely confused.

“She says Mum should have known and done something about it. She was okay once Bill was born but then she had all of us and well, she doesn’t really like Mum. Too many kids too fast. According to her, she ruined Dad’s chance of making a name for himself,” Ginny took over once more. She sighed, thinking of earlier on. “Now she thinks that it’s Mum’s fault that my life is like this. She thinks that Mum should have raised me to be a proper lady and shouldn’t have let me play with my brothers or ride broomsticks or play Quidditch or anything like that. Somehow all that caused me to rebel and get pregnant and ruin the life of Harry Potter.”

“You did not ruin my life,” Harry protested.

“According to her I did. I’m the one to blame for it because I roped you into it,” Ginny said, looking down at the table sadly.

“Love, you didn’t rope me into anything,” Harry said, reaching across the table and taking her hand. Ginny gave him a small smile, glancing at James briefly and saw that he was still staring at something on the counter, then looked back at Hermione.

“The point is, she is set in her ways and there is nothing you can do to change it,” Ginny said with a note of finality in her voice. Hermione sighed.

“I’ll get her to change her mind. She needs to realize that this is the 1990s and not the 1890s,” Hermione vowed.

“Sure Hermione and Harry is Snape’s favorite student,” Ron said, rolling his eyes. Hermione turned in the seat and glared at Ron.

“You don’t think I can do it, do you?” she accused, looking very angry.

“No, I’m saying it’s near impossible to get Grandmother Weasley to change like that,” Ron clarified.

“Oh, really,” Hermione said as she stood up and went to stand in front of Ron. Ron opened his mouth to retort, but he stopped and stared at something just beyond her. He looked over at Harry and Ginny and frowned.

“Did either one of you Summon that?” he asked, pointing at something. Harry and Ginny frowned and looked over to where Ron was pointing. A bottle was floating in the air, heading towards the table. Shocked, they both looked at their son. James wore a face of concentration, stretching his hands out as the bottle came towards him. It bobbed up and down in the air and started to fall onto the table. James let out an unsatisfied cry and screwed up his face even more. The bottle jerked back up into the air and flew quickly towards him. Finally the bottle reached his hands and James put his hands around it. He brought it to his mouth and began to drink from it.

“Blimey,” Ron whispered. “He did magic!”

Harry’s face broke into a huge grin and he beamed with pride. Ginny squealed in delight and kissed James on the top of his head. He looked up at his parents, wondering why they were so happy and continued to drink from his bottle.

“He’s too young to do magic though!” Ron said, staring at James in astonishment.

“Well look at who he has for parents,” Hermione pointed out, smiling at the excited parents.

“But still! Kids don’t usually show any magical powers until they are at least a year and half and he’s not even a year yet!” Ron said, clearing impressed with his nephew.

“Well then, I guess James is the exception,” Ginny said, beaming proudly.

The door opened and Molly stepped in. She looked at Hermione and sighed.

“Are you all right dear?” she asked. Hermione nodded, smiling at her.

Molly smiled back and looked over at her daughter and son-in-law.

“Do you two need anything?” she asked. Ginny shook her head.

“No Mum, we’re fine,” Ginny said. “Oh Mum, guess what James did!”

“What dear?” Molly prompted and Harry noticed just how tired she looked. Her wrinkles seemed like they had deepened in the last few hours and he swore he saw more wisps of gray hair. He realized what the day must have done to her between her sons taking their revenge out on Harry, having her mother-in-law over who despised her, having her daughter be screamed at by her mother-in-law, and having her soon to be daughter-in-law belittled, all while taking care of everything and offering her help to everyone. All in all it was not a good day for her and Harry thought for a woman like her, she didn’t deserve to have a day like this at all. After all she had done for him in the past, being the mother he never had, he didn’t think she should have a day like that. She deserved the best of the best and nothing less than that.

“He did magic for the first time!” Ginny announced. Molly smiled tiredly at her grandson.

“Well done James,” she said and sighed. She looked towards the kitchen door and then back at the group of teenagers.

“I’ll be out there if you need me. Ron, Hermione, are you two coming?” she said. They nodded and left the kitchen. Molly sighed and went to follow them. Harry stood up quickly and went after her. He placed a hand on her arm and she stopped, then turned to look at him.

“Yes Harry?” she said, looking up at him questioningly.

He looked down at her and pulled her into a hug. Molly seemed to be surprised at the gesture and hugged him back. Harry bent down and kissed her cheek.

“Thanks,” he said. “Thanks for everything, Mum.”

Her eyes lit up with love and affection upon hearing her son-in-law refer to her as his mother. She smiled at him, squeezing his hands lightly and left the kitchen.

Later that night, Ginny stood next to James’ crib, watching as the infant drifted into dreamland after she had another adventure with him in the bath tub. The events of the night drifted through her mind and she sighed. She felt Harry wrap his arms around her waist from behind and rest his chin on her shoulder.

“He looks peaceful,” he said, watching James as well. Ginny sighed again.

“Yeah. Not a care in the world,” she said. James shifted slightly, holding onto his blue bunny tightly as he slept on. “He doesn’t deserve this.”

“Deserve what?” Harry asked, frowning slightly.

Ginny gently stepped out of Harry’s embrace and turned to look at him.

“This. This life we’re giving him,” she said. Harry sighed.

“Not this again,” he muttered, knowing what she would say next. Ginny glared at him.

“Yes, this again,” she hissed, putting her hands on her hips. “Harry, you have to agree that having teenagers for parents isn’t the best thing in the world.”

“So what are you saying, are you regretting having him?” Harry asked and felt offended by her words.

“No! Of course not!” she said, throwing her hands in the air. She glanced and James and then at Harry. She grabbed his arm and pulled him out of the baby’s room and into their own. “I don’t want to disturb him.”

“Oh sure, but you’ll say that we’re not suitable parents for him,” Harry said, rolling his eyes.

“Look, I don’t want to fight with you!” Ginny nearly shouted, tears threatening her eyes. Harry immediately felt sorry for what he said and waited for her to continue. “It’s just, this isn’t fair to him. His own great grandmother doesn’t even want to acknowledge him because his mother is a bloody tart!”

“For the millionth time you are not a tart!” Harry exclaimed.

“I know that, but she doesn’t! I’m so tired of her hating me like this and I didn’t even do anything to her. She’s acting like James is going to ruin Dad’s future as the Minister because I did something ‘immoral’,” Ginny went on. She sat the bed and stared at the wall. “Did we make the right choice? I mean if we didn’t have him we wouldn’t have to deal with this. Grandmother Weasley wouldn’t hate me so much, not like she didn’t anyway. And my brothers wouldn’t hate you. Or if we had given him up for adoption? He would have someone who could give him the life he deserves.”

Harry sat next to her and pulled her close to him.

“Sweetheart, we made the right choice. I wouldn’t go back and change it,” he said.

“I know,” Ginny sighed. “Neither would I, but I just . . . oh I don’t know. I’m being silly.”

“You know what I think,” Harry said. “I think that we shouldn’t care about what everyone else thinks. If the whole bloody world wants to hate us, then let them. As long as we have each other and James, nothing else matters.”

Ginny smiled softly at him, feeling a bit better. Harry kissed her forehead. He pulled away and smiled down at her as she let out a yawn. She stood up and went to change into her pajamas.

“Now, you know what I want to do,” he said, watching as she changed.

“Sleep,” she suggested, pulling her nightdress over her head and picking up her brush. Harry stood up and stood behind her. He lifted up her hair after she had brushed it and let the fiery locks fall through his fingers.

“Not quite,” he said, leaning down and kissing her shoulder. He slowly trailed kisses up her neck. Ginny smiled to herself and set her brush down.

“Harry, no. Not with everyone here,” she said. He wrapped her arms around her, continuing to kiss her.

“Come on. Besides, you’ve already been called a tart, might as well live up to the name,” he said teasingly. Ginny smiled in spite of herself. “And besides,” he continued, “for once we have a room all to ourselves. It would be such a waste if we didn’t take advantage of it.”

Ginny turned around and wrapped her arms around his neck.

“Let’s take advantage,” she whispered and kissed him.

There was a knock on the door and the couple pulled away from each other, disappointed that their plans to taking advantage of having a room to themselves was interrupted.

“Come in,” Ginny called.

The door slowly opened and Elijah stepped inside.

“I’m not interrupting anything, am I?” he asked, taking in their flushed faces and their close embrace. Ginny blushed and shook her head.

“No. We’re just getting ready for bed,” Ginny said. Elijah raised an eyebrow at her and shook his head. He sighed and looked at her seriously.

“Ginny, I wanted to apologize for your grandmother,” he said. “You didn’t deserve any of that.”

“Thanks Granddad. I should have expected it anyway,” Ginny sighed. Elijah put a hand on her shoulder.

“She’s a good woman Ginny and she loves you, she just expects different things from girls,” Elijah said. “Don’t let what she said get to you. You just be a good mother to that baby of yours.”

Ginny smiled softly at him. “I think I can do that.”

Despite the fact that Ginny’s grandfather was there, Harry wrapped his arms around his wife, squeezing her lightly.

“I think you can do that too,” he said encouragingly. Elijah smiled at them and glanced around the room.

“So where is the baby?” he asked.

“Oh, he’s sleeping,” Ginny replied. Elijah looked disappointed by this.

“Oh, well I guess I’ll wait then,” he said and turned to leave.

“You can see him if you want to,” Harry said, “Just as long as he doesn’t wake up.”

Elijah looked at him. “Are you sure? I don’t want to intrude on him.”

“Oh no, it’s quite alright, right Gin?” Harry said. Ginny nodded and wiggled out of Harry’s hold. She went to the door and quietly opened it, motioning for her grandfather to follow.

Elijah followed her and stood over the crib where James was fast asleep. He smiled down at him and looked up at the young parents.

“What’s his name?” he asked.

“James Elijah,” Harry replied. The elder man looked surprised and glanced at his granddaughter.

“James for Harry’s father and Elijah for you,” she explained. Elijah looked delighted and hugged her.

“I’m honored Ginny,” he whispered. “He’s perfect. You did well my angel.”

Ginny smiled. “Thank you.”

He let her go and took a final glance of James before the three of them left the room.

“Well, I think I’ll leave you two. Good night,” he said, heading for the door.

“Good night,” Harry and Ginny chorused and he left.

Harry picked up his wand and cast a few Charms around the room. He turned back to Ginny with a wicked look in his eyes.

“Now can we take advantage?” he asked. Ginny smiled and nodded her head.

“We can.”

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