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A/N: First of all, thankfs for the reviews! I read each and every one of them, even if I don't always reply to them.

if you were confused by the Interlude last posted, then good. It was meant to be confusing and I'm hoping some of you are trying to figure it out. But don't worry, it will be revealed soon enough. And yes, that was the last of the interludes. And yes, they do have meaning behind them. Just be patient and all will see.

I was hoping to finish this by the 23rd, when school starts for me, but that is looking very impossible. I guess I'll just have to see how much I can get done before school starts.

All right, well here's the next chapter. Enjoy and as always, read and review!!

DISCLAIMER: Never was mine, never will be no matter how much I wish upon a star. The words of the prophecy come straight out of the American version of Order of the Phoenix pg. 841. Though anyone who has read the book should not that those particular words are not mine.




Chapter Twenty Five


“Are you insane?”

Ginny glared at Harry as he looked at her as if she sprouted another arm on the top of her head.

It was the morning after the ceremony and they were due back at Hogwarts around dinner time. During breakfast, Harry barely touched his food and was in a brooding mood. Ginny had grown tired of it and dragged him up the stairs, telling her family they needed to tend to James. She told Harry off for his attitude and they had begun to fight. He had said something about him going after Voldemort on his own and she had told him that he wasn’t going alone. She would be with him. That statement alone caused him to give her an incredulous look and call her insane.

“I am not insane!” Ginny shouted back.

“Yes you are!”

“Lower your voice! You’re going to wake him up!” Ginny hissed at him. She glanced at the slightly opened door that lead to James’ room where he was still sleeping.

“You’re still insane. You are not coming with me,” Harry hissed back.

“Yes I am Harry and you can’t stop me,” Ginny replied.

“It is my duty as your husband to protect you!” Harry said, angrily.

“And it is my duty as your wife to protect you and there is no way I’m letting you face Voldemort alone,” Ginny said.

Harry sank onto the bed and buried his face in his hands. He didn’t want to let her go with him when the time came but he also knew he couldn’t stop her. He didn’t really have the energy to argue with her either. Bad dreams had plagued him once more the night before and he cursed himself now for forgetting to clear his mind and put his shields up. He had woken up at one point, his scar hurting him once more as images of seeing two people tortured in a large stone room came to his mind, and found himself worrying about Ginny. He had felt relieved to see her sleeping next to him. He had then tried to go back to sleep but he couldn’t, so he had gotten out of bed and went to James’ room where he had spent a good two hours watching his son sleep. When he finally returned to bed, he couldn’t help but think about the safety of his family and the words of the prophecy came back to him.

The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches. . . . Born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies . . . and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have the power the Dark Lord knows not . . . and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the others survives.

Since he heard the prophecy back in his fifth year, Harry rarely let himself think about it. He didn’t want to dwell on those haunting words. In fact, he didn’t tell anyone about it either. He kept it hidden in his mind, preferring not to have anyone overreact about it, which he knew would happen if he told anyone. He felt somewhat guilty for keeping it to himself, but he felt even more guilty that he kept it from Ginny. She had mentioned to him a few times that she had a feeling it would be up to him in the end, but he resisted the urge to tell her about the prophecy. He didn’t want to worry her like that. But whenever the prophecy did drift across his mind, the part that haunted him the most was the fact that he would either be a murderer or be murdered. He didn’t want to murder anyone, yet at the same time he didn’t want to be killed. But Harry knew he didn’t have a choice in the matter. It was one or the other. As he had lain there in bed, his arms holding his wife close to him and his son sleeping in the next room, he knew which one he had to be. If he wanted his family to be safe and have happy lives then he had to be the murderer.

Once he came to that conclusion, his exhausted mind was plagued with yet another part of the prophecy. What power did he have to vanquish Voldemort? How could he, a seventeen year old boy, beat a creature that was more than twice his age? But as he had held his wife close to him in the night and mulled over how he was different from Tom Riddle, he caught Ginny’s wedding ring glitter softly in the moonlight. And then it had hit him. Love. He was able to love others while Voldemort could not. Voldemort didn’t understand love and Harry did. Was that the power he had? Harry was not sure, but he had made a promise to himself to see Professor Dumbledore once they returned to Hogwarts. Harry’s mind had continued to roll over these thoughts and by the time he was able to get to sleep again, the sun had already begun to rise.

He sighed, coming to yet one more conclusion.

“I can’t stop you, though I wish I could,” he finally said and looked up at her. She sighed and sat next to him. She took his hand and squeezed it gently.

“I have this feeling that it’s gong to be down to you,” she said. Guilt filled him and he had the urge to confess to her about the prophecy, but he stopped himself and let her continue. “I won’t let you go through this alone Harry. I’ll be there every step of the way. I’ll always be there.”

Harry sighed again and picked up her hand. He kissed it and gently set their joined hands back on the bed.

Silence fell over them. Harry looked up and saw that James was sitting up in his crib, yawning sleepily. He let go of Ginny’s hand and went to tend to him.

Ginny watched as Harry got James dressed for the day. Her brief conversation with her mother the night before came back to her.

“Harry,” Ginny began, watching as he tried to put shoes on James, “love, I talked with Mum last night about James.”

Harry looked up at her.

“About what?” he asked, resuming his task.

“Well,” Ginny said, unsure of how to say it. “Harry, I asked her if she and Dad would be James’ guardians if . . . if something were to happen to us.”

Harry paused in tying a shoe and looked at her. He looked away.

“I don’t want to discuss this right now,” he said, continuing to tie James’ shoe.

“We have to discuss this, Harry,” Ginny said firmly.

“I don’t!” Harry shouted, startling James. He silently cursed himself and picked up his crying son. “I’m sorry James. Shh! It’s okay.”

“Give him here,” Ginny said, standing up and holding her arms out. Harry handed James over to her and she tried to soothe him. Harry sat down in the desk chair and crossed his arms moodily. After a few moments, James had reduced to sniffling and cuddled closer to his mother.

“Look, I don’t want to talk about this either, but we have to. We don’t know what’s going to happen. If something does happen to us, then I want him to be in the hands of someone who’s going to love him and care for him. I know most everyone in my family would do it, but Mum and Dad seem to be the best pick and I don’t want him to end up in an orphanage or with someone like the Dursleys. He deserves to have a happy childhood, with or without his parents. I just . . . I just want us to be prepared.”

She sighed and looked down at James. A few tears remained on his cheeks and he was staring at Harry. Ginny gently wiped them away and kissed the top of his head.

Harry watched them, rubbing the back of his neck with his hand. This wasn’t something he wanted to be thinking about. He was seventeen years old. He shouldn’t have to be thinking about who was to care for his son if he died. But the fact was, he did have a son and there was a big chance that when the time came, he could lose his life, and he had to think about the future of his son. He turned towards the desk and found a piece of parchment and a quill and picked them up.

“Do you have any ink?” he asked, searching through a drawer.

“In the trunk, why?” Ginny said. Harry stood up and went to the trunk. He found an ink bottle and returned to the desk.

“Because we need to have this in writing,” he said and began to write a letter.

Later that day, the four Gryffindors were getting ready to head back to Hogwarts. The family said their goodbyes and Ginny was very happy to hear that Charlie had broken it off with Cho completely.

“No one messes with my baby sister like that,” he had said to her. Ginny had just smiled and hugged him tightly.

As Ginny was saying good bye to Bill, she felt someone place a hand on her shoulder. She turned around and was face to face with Alice.

“Good bye Grandmother Weasley,” Ginny said as formally as she could. She expected a smart remark from her, but instead, her grandmother swept her into a hug.

“Ginny,” Alice said, and this surprised Ginny even more seeing as her grandmother thought nicknames for girls was unheard of, “your parents and I had a long talk last night and they’ve told me everything you’ve been through. I never realized how much you’ve gone through, especially since you’re married to Harry Potter. While I’m still set on how I think a witch should act, I want you to know that I do love you.”

Ginny smiled and hugged Alice back.

When Ginny let go of her grandmother, she looked over at Harry. His eyes caught hers and he gave her a questioning look. She smiled and walked over to him.

“I’ll tell you later,” she whispered. She glanced at her parents and back at Harry. “We better give that letter to them.”

Harry nodded. Ginny slipped her hand in his and they made their way to Arthur and Molly to say their goodbyes. As Ginny hugged her mother, she remembered the words she overheard Molly say last night. She pulled away and looked at her mother.

“Mum, I overheard what you said about me to Grandmother Weasley. Why did you say that?” she asked. Molly sighed and smiled softly at her.

“It was time that I stood up to her and defended my daughter. I am a Gryffindor after all,” Molly said. Ginny smiled and hugged her mother once more. This time before she pulled away Ginny pressed the sealed envelope in her mother’s hand. Molly looked down at it and back up at Ginny.

No words were exchanged. Molly threw her arms around both of them and hugged them tightly.

“Be safe,” she whispered, kissing their cheeks. “Please be careful.”

“We will,” Ginny promised and pulled away.

“For Merlin’s sake, I want to see you both back here in one piece in June,” she continued. There was a loud delightful squeal from James and the three of them turned to see him being tickled by Charlie and George. Molly smiled. “And we’ll have a late birthday party for James. Oh, I can’t believe he’s almost a year old.”

“Neither can we,” Harry said, wrapping an arm around Ginny’s waist and smiling fondly at James as his uncles continued tickle him.

After another round of goodbyes, the teenagers gathered around the Port Key, each placing a finger on the book and within moments, they were gone.


* * * * *


The last time Harry sat in Professor Dumbledore’s office alone like this was when he had asked to leave the castle to visit Ginny for Valentine’s Day while she was pregnant with James and stuck at the Burrow. He smiled fondly at the memory as he waited for the Headmaster to return. When they had arrived, they had arrived in Professor Dumbledore’s office. He had asked the elderly wizard if he could speak to him, earning a questioning look from Ginny. Professor Dumbledore had told him to wait in his office while he escorted the others out. And now that was where Harry found himself.

The door opened and Harry stood up. Professor Dumbledore had walked in and was smiling gently at Harry.

“Have a seat Mr. Potter,” he said, walking around his desk and sitting in his own chair. Harry sat down again and looked at the elderly wizard. Professor Dumbledore picked up a tin on his desk and offered it to Harry. “Lemon Drop?”

Harry shook his head politely. Professor Dumbledore took one for himself and set the tin down.

“Now, I believe you have something on your mind,” Professor Dumbledore said.

Harry took a deep breath and nodded.

“Sir, I’ve been thinking about the prophecy,” Harry began. The Headmaster nodded in acknowledgment and Harry continued, “and well I think I know what the power that I have is.”

“Ah,” Professor Dumbledore said and folded his hands together, placing them on his desk. “And what do you think that is, Harry?”

“Well, I think it’s my ability to love others. I know what love is and Voldemort doesn’t,” Harry explained. Professor Dumbledore made no inclination towards this. He kept his eyes on Harry, waiting for him to continue. “If that’s it, how do I use that to defeat him? I can’t use a Love Charm on him, can I?”

Professor Dumbledore stood up and began to pace in front of Harry. It made Harry impatient and nervous. He watched the elderly wizard, wondering if he should say something when Professor Dumbledore spoke.

“I believe that your ability to love is exactly what you need to destroy him and no a Love Charm would not do it.”

He continued to pace, his brow furrowed in concentration. After a few moments, he stopped and looked out the window.

“I believe what we need to do is get into his mind and let him into yours,” he said and looked at Harry. Harry frowned.

“How do I do that?” He asked. Professor Dumbledore smiled, his blue eyes twinkling.

“Simple. You learn Legilimency,” Professor Dumbledore said. He sat down and looked at Harry. “We begin now.”

An hour and a half later, Harry returned to the common room, feeling drained but good. Professor Dumbledore had spent the time teaching Harry how to do Legilimency and it was just as draining as Occlumency. The plan was for Harry to use Legilimency on Voldemort and try to get into his memories while keeping his own shields up. Once Voldemort caught on and tried to use Legilimency on Harry, Harry would lower his shields enough to let Voldemort in and quickly fill his mind with memories of love. Professor Dumbledore predicted that it would either destroy or weaken Voldemort. Harry hoped he was right.

He walked into the crowded room and immediately tried to look for Ginny. He spotted her sitting on a sofa with her friends, chatting cheerfully. She was holding James’ hands, letting him stand up in front of her on the ground. James was gazing up at her, calling her constantly and bouncing up and down on his feet as Ginny talked to her friends. He looked around and spotted Harry.

“Da!” he squealed and attempted to wiggle out of his mother’s grasp. Ginny looked up and smiled at Harry. She gave him a mysterious look and looked back at James, then let go of his hands. Harry grinned as James stood on his own for a few moments before falling onto his backside. The infant didn’t seem to really notice for he scrambled onto his hands and knees and crawled towards Harry. James stopped when he reached his father and looked up. Harry smiled a proud fatherly smile and picked him up. His kissed his cheek and looked at him.

“I’m so proud of you,” he whispered, kissing James on his cheek again and walking towards Ginny.

“He’ll be walking soon,” Ginny commented as Harry sat next to her and settled James in his lap.

“Merlin, have mercy on us,” Harry muttered and Ginny giggled. She smiled at her husband and son and turned back to her friends.

“Right. I’ll send Fred and George an owl. They would never forgive me if I didn’t include them in this,” Ginny said. Her friends eyed him carefully and exchanged glances with each other. Their cheerful and warm attitudes had turned cold very quickly.

“Brilliant,” Bridget said, ignoring Harry completely. “They’ll never know what hit them,” she said, a sly grin on her face. She stood up. “I better finish that essay for Sprout. See you girls later.”

Bridget shot Harry a cold look and left the common room.

“Yeah, I better do that too. See you in the morning Ginny,” Claire said and stood up. “Coming Melanie?”

The remaining girl nodded and stood up as well. “Night Ginny,” she said and smiled down at James as he squirmed in Harry’s lap, cuddling closer to his father. She glanced cautiously at Harry and back at Ginny before looking at Harry coldly.

“Good night Harry,” she said stiffly and left with Claire.

“I take it that they aren’t very forgiving,” Harry sighed as soon as Ginny’s friends had disappeared up the stairs.

“No, not really. They were pretty mad at you for what you did to me,” Ginny replied.

“But we’re back together now and I’ve apologized and everything,” Harry said with a frown on his face.

“Yes, but still. They think I shouldn’t have forgiven you so quickly,” Ginny said. “They don’t think you’re deserving of me.”

“I’m not deserving of you?” Harry questioned, raising an eyebrow at her. Ginny nodded.

“According to them, you’re not,” Ginny sighed. She smiled. “But it doesn’t matter what they think, now does it? They’ll get over it, just like my brothers will. And who cares what everyone else thinks, anyway? All that matters is you and me and our little boy.”

“That sounds familiar,” Harry grinned at her.

“I believe a wise wizard said it once,” Ginny replied. “Well maybe not such a wise one, but a wizard none the less.”

“Hey!” Harry feigned a hurt expression. “I’m wise.”

“You just keep thinking that, dear, along with that silly idea that you’re better in bed,” Ginny said and gave him a sly grin. Harry rolled his eyes and leaned over to kiss her cheek. Ginny scooted closer to him and watched James close his eyes briefly and opened them again. She smiled gently at him and looked up at Harry. “You were gone for a while. Everything all right?”

Harry sighed and looked down at James.

“It will be,” he said. Ginny frowned and turned her body to face him.

“What does that mean, ‘it will be’?” she asked. Harry wasn’t quite sure of what to tell her. He never did tell anyone about the Prophecy before and right now just didn’t seem like the time to tell her about it. He didn’t want to tell her in front of a room full of students and he certainly did not want to have her yell at him about it in front of everyone. He took her hand and raised it to his lips.

“It means just that,” he said and kissed her hand. Ginny’s frown remained on her face. She pulled her hand back and leaned closer to him.

“Don’t hide anything from me Harry. I’m your wife. You’re supposed to tell me everything,” Ginny said. Harry gave her a serious look.

“I know that, love. Right now, I don’t want to say anything,” he said, glancing around the common room.

“So what took you so long with Dumbledore? Why did you need to talk to him?” she asked again. Harry looked around the common room again and back at his wife.

“Listen, I’ll be spending more time with Dumbledore for a bit. We’re . . . working on something,” he said quietly. Ginny eyed him for a moment.

“Like what?” she asked.

“Like . . . something. It has to do with my lessons,” Harry quietly explained. Ginny gave him a severe look.

“Harry –” she began in a warning tone.

“Ginny,” he said quickly. “I’ll tell you why I had to talk to him and what’s going on. Just, not now. I promise.”

Her features softened and she sighed.

“Fine,” she gave in. “Just please, whatever it is, tell me when you’re ready.”

“I will,” he said and gave her a reassuring smile. She smiled back and they fell silent.

“So, what’s this about owling Fred and George?” he asked.

A mischievous twinkle came to her eye and she grinned slyly.

“Apparently while we were gone, the Slytherins decided to pull a couple of pranks on our house because of the match this weekend. They must have figured out that there is no way they can win against us,” Ginny explained.

“Right they are,” Harry agreed smugly. ‘They don’t have a chance against us.”

“Any way, it appears that everyone wants to get them back and I’m all for it. I want to see if the twins will help out and send me something that will really get them back,” Ginny said. “This ought to be loads of fun.”

“Such a wonderful role model you are for our little one here,” Harry teased. “Making plans to run amuck in school, pranking Slytherins, honestly Gin and you’re supposed to be a mother!”

Ginny rolled her eyes at him. “Can I count you in on this?”

“Absolutely,” Harry said and grinned. Ginny smiled back and leaned over to kiss his cheek. She glanced down at James and saw that he was rubbing his face with a hand and fighting off sleep. His little eyelids drooped and he quickly opened them again, only to have them close again.

“Bed time for that one,” she said gesturing towards James. Harry looked down at James and smiled.

“Definitely,” Harry agreed and picked up a sleepy James. He stood up and took him to their room.

Once James was put to bed, Harry watched him drift off to sleep for a few moments. He bent over the crib and placed a soft kiss on his son’s forehead and stood up again. He turned around and found Ginny sitting on their bed. She was sitting against the headboard, her knees drawn up to her and a book propped up on her knees, parchment on the bed next to her and a quill in her hand. Her brow was furrowed in concentration and she was biting her lower lip as she read. Her red hair was pulled up into a messy ponytail and a few strands were already escaping from the tie. She tapped her quill against the book and picked up the parchment to scribble something on it. The familiar feeling of love that he always associated with Ginny filled him and a thought came to him.

He needed memories full of love in his mind in order for Dumbledore’s plan to work, not to mention he did have a lot to make up for. Besides, he really didn’t want to study for his N.E.W.Ts; he wanted to study other things.

He quickly and quietly cast the necessary charms around James and the crib and then at the door. He went over to Ginny and sat down next to her on the bed.

Ginny was writing an essay for Herbology. He watched as she wrote another sentence and went back to reading. Harry put his arm around her shoulders and he felt her snuggle up to him.

“Were you going to tell me about what happened with your grandmother today?” he asked. He bent down and began placing feather light kisses on her neck, waiting for her reply.

“My parents had a talk with her,” Ginny explained, continuing to do her homework.

“Really?” he questioned, moving to kiss her shoulder. Ginny shifted a bit, titling her neck to the side and Harry moved back up to kiss the side of her neck once more.

“Yes. They somehow got her to accept me as I was,” Ginny said.

“I see,” Harry replied and nibbled on her ear then moved back down to kiss her neck. He heard her sigh and he knew it wouldn’t be much longer until she gave in.

“Harry, don’t. I have to finish this,” she protested, not bothering to move from him or push him off. She instead scribbled something else on her parchment.

Harry ignored her comment and slipped a hand under her shirt and slowly moved it upwards while he began to nibble on her ear once more.

Ginny was now having a very difficult time concentrating, for she had read the same sentence at least seven times now. She knew she had to finish this essay but what Harry was doing to her made her lose all coherent thought.

“I mean it,” she said, trying to sound firm and serious. Harry whispered something in her ear and she felt her face flush.

“You’re a very naughty boy,” she tried to scold.

“That may be,” Harry whispered. “But admit it my love, you love it.”

He did something next that made her let out a suppressed moan.

“Oh Merlin,” she muttered, feeling her breath quicken and her heart rate increase rapidly. All Harry had to do was look at her in a certain way and she would go weak in the knees, but what he was doing to her now, well she melted into a puddle instantly. Finally she gave in and threw her school things aside. She maneuvered herself around so that she pinned Harry beneath her. She gave him a wicked smile before crushing her lips to his.


* * * * * *


A few days later Ginny was trying to catch her breath. She felt Harry pull her close to him and she smiled. He kissed her shoulder and nuzzled her neck. It was before dinner and James was down for a nap, giving Harry and Ginny a chance to have some Mummy and Daddy time. Ginny turned to face Harry. He smiled at her and kissed her.

Ginny had been very surprised with Harry. After the incident at her father’s ceremony and his attitude the morning after, she expected him to crawl back into his shell and be moody and secretive again. But quite the opposite had happened. He spent every moment he could with her and James and was constantly trying to get her on her own and engage her in unmentionable activities. Ginny did not protest. She liked having her husband like this and she found herself falling in love all over again.

Ginny traced figures on his shoulder as they gazed into each other’s eyes and their hearts returned to their normal beating rates.

“You’re so beautiful,” he whispered. Ginny smiled softly at him but didn’t say anything in return. They just laid there, staring at each other and wallowing in this world that was entirely theirs. He leaned in to kiss her and Ginny began to lose herself again.

“Ugh! Not again!”

Harry pulled away from Ginny and shielded her with his body, while pulling up the sheet.

“Damn it Ron, can’t you knock!” Harry hissed, making sure that Ginny was covered up.

“Can’t you two knock it off? This is the third time in the past two days I caught you like this,” Ron hissed back, hiding his eyes behind his hand. “You know, I really don’t fancy walking in on my sister and best mate.”

“So knock!” Ginny half shouted and took her clothes that Harry was handing to her.

Ron sighed, his eyes still covered behind his hands. “Are you decent yet? Hermione was getting worried and wouldn’t let me eat until I found you two and I’m starved!”

“Get out Ron!” Harry ordered and threw a pillow at him. Ron scowled. He took his hand away from his face and groped around for the pillow with his eyes squeezed shut.

Harry sighed and after getting his trousers back on he went over to Ron and pushed him out the door. Ron let out a surprised yelp and Harry shut them door behind him.

They quickly dressed again and Harry gently woke James up. He grumpily looked up at his father and wore a scowl that represented Ginny’s very well.

“I’m sorry son, but you have to eat your dinner so you won’t get hungry in the middle of the night,” Harry apologized and lifted him up into his arms. Once they were all set they quickly made their way down to the Great Hall.

Ron was glaring at them as they sat down and Ginny put James in his high chair. He shook his head at them and immediately began to pile food on his plate.

“You two are like rabbits and that room of yours is your burrow,” Ron said, shaking his head. Ginny rolled her eyes and tied a bib around James.

Suddenly Harry burst into laughter.

Ginny, Ron, and Hermione turned to look at him with surprised looks on their faces.

“What?” Ron asked as he watched Harry continue to laugh and clutching his side.

Harry regained his composure momentarily.

“I was thinking that well rabbits live in burrows and have loads of babies and well, your parents live at the Burrow and they have loads of kids. Does that mean your parents are rabbits too?” Harry explained and launched into laughter again. Hermione began to giggle and both Ron and Ginny shuddered at the thought. Ron pushed his plate anyway in disgust.

“Thanks for the mental picture Harry. I just lost my appetite,” Ron said, sending a glare at Harry. Ginny giggled as a new mental image came to her mind.

“I have a different mental picture,” Ginny said and smiled innocently in Harry’s direction. Harry raised his eyebrows at her and smiled.

Ron groaned and buried his face in his hands, muttering something about out of control hormones.

A few moments later, Ron had regained his appetite and the four of them talked about other things. Ginny glanced in the direction of the Slytherin table as she gave James a small amount of peas and smiled.

“Anytime now,” she said. Ron and Hermione turned around to look at the Slytherin table.

“What did the twins send you?” Harry asked remembering the package she received the day before and the huge mischievous grin on her face.

Ginny smiled and fed James again.

“You’ll see,” she smiled secretively. “But I did talk Dobby into helping out.”

For the past few days there wasn’t a safe place in the castle except for the house common rooms. The prank war between Gryffindor and Slytherin was getting out of control. No one was safe in the hall and either bore witness to or was a victim of a prank. The Hospital Wing was constantly full of students and on a few occasions, teachers. The teachers were not happy about what was going on and the amount of points being taken from the two houses and the number of students earning a detention was sky rocketing.

The whole of Gryffindor table was constantly looking over at the Slytherins. All they knew was that something would happen at dinner time and that Ginny Potter was the mastermind behind it all.

And quite suddenly, it happened.

More than half of the table began to turn into a lovely and colorful mixture of tropical birds. Flamingos, parrots, toucans, and more.


The Great Hall burst into laughter and those remaining Slytherins who were still in human state stared at their classmates in horror . . . until more and more of them turned into some sort of bird. Soon, every last Slytherin student had become a bird and the students from the other three houses were roaring with laughter.

Neither Harry nor Ginny had seen their Head of House so livid, not to mention the entire teaching staff. There was a series of pops as Slytherins turned back into their original human forms. They looked completely shocked and stared around at each other. They soon figured out that they had just been pranked by the Gryffindors and were shooting daggers at their enemies.

“What did you give them?” Ron asked, grinning widely at his sister. Ginny smiled smugly and sat up straighter.

“New line of sweets the twins are working on. They’re variations of Canary Creams. I talked Dobby into slipping them into the food for the Slytherin table,” Ginny explained while catching a mouthful of half chewed peas from James’ mouth with a spoon expertly. She pushed it back into his mouth and smiled at Harry. “He was more than happy to assist Harry Potter’s Wheezy.”

“Brilliant!” Ron exclaimed.

“It doesn’t look like the teachers think the same way,” Hermione said. They glanced up at the High Table and saw that Professors Snape, McGonagall, and Dumbledore were in deep conversation which only meant trouble.

And trouble is where the houses of Gryffindor and Slytherin found themselves.

Professor McGonagall was eyeing each and every student as they were gathered in the common room after dinner. Her lips were pursed into a very thin line and she appeared to be shaking with anger.

“I have never been so ashamed of Gryffindor in all my years at this school. This rivalry between houses had gone too far this week, way too far. Your behavior has been absolutely horrid and enough is enough! Now, who is responsible for this prank at dinner?” she addressed the extremely quiet room.

Ginny looked around the room at her silent house mates. Some of their eyes darted to her briefly before looking back at Professor McGonagall. She glanced behind her shoulder at Harry who was holding James. James had his head on Harry’s shoulder and was watching Ginny with his bright green eyes. Watching her son look at her, Ginny felt compelled to do the right thing and confess. She felt like she had to do the right thing in front of James regardless of the fact that he was ten months old and didn’t understand right from wrong yet; it was the fact that she as a mother should be setting an example no matter how old her child was. With a sigh, she stepped forward.

“I am Professor,” Ginny admitted. Professor McGonagall’s eyes swept over the crowd of students and landed on Ginny. She seemed to be very surprised and went over to her.

“Mrs. Potter? I can’t believe you would take part in such activities,” Professor McGonagall said. Her eyes looked past her and focused on James for a moment before looking back at Ginny. “I would have expected you to stop this nonsense, not be part of it especially given your responsibilities.”

“Yes Professor,” Ginny said, looking down at the ground after finding it was hard to look Professor McGonagall in the eye.

“Well then, I appreciate you coming forward, however you must still be punished. Fifty points from Gryffindor and a week’s worth of detention,” she said. Ginny looked up, about to protest, but feeling it was useless, she bit back her tongue and nodded.

“As for the rest of you, Professor Snape, Professor Dumbledore, and myself have decided that it would be for the best that match this weekend be cancelled,” Professor McGonagall said. This announcement caused an uproar in the room, Ron being the loudest.

“You can’t cancel the match!” he shouted, marching up to Professor McGonagall. She gave him a very severe look.

“Mr. Weasley, I can and I have. You and your teammates will not be playing this weekend against Slytherin,” she said sternly. “In fact,” she turned away from him to address the entire room, “all students in Gryffindor and Slytherin have been placed on a two week suspension from any and all extra curricular activities.”

The uproar grew louder and Professor McGonagall became even angrier.

“Twenty points from Gryffindor!” she barked over the crowd of students.

“Professor, please! You can’t cancel the match! We’ve been practicing very hard,” Ron continued to beg.

“Twenty more points, Mr. Weasley,” Professor McGonagall snapped at him. Ron opened his mouth again. “Another word Weasley and it’ll be one hundred points and two weeks detention.”

Rom promptly shut his mouth and stalked away from Professor McGonagall.
“Now, if, and only if, the behavior between the two houses improves within the next two weeks, will the match be rescheduled. And no Mr. Weasley, the Quidditch team will not be allowed waviers to the suspension to practice! Do I make myself clear to everyone?”

Silence fell once more. Professor McGonagall looked over the students one last time before leaving the common room.

The silence remained in the room for a few moments after she left. That was until Ron decided to speak up.

“This isn’t fair! They can’t cancel Quidditch!” Ron shouted, running a hand through his hair.

Hermione sighed. “Look at it this way, at least you’ll have more time to study for your N.E.W.T.s.”

“That’s supposed to make it all better?” Ron asked. Hermione nodded as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. “Hermione, you can’t cancel Quidditch! Nothing cancels it. I’m gong to talk to her.”

And before anyone could say a word, Ron had left the common room in pursue of Professor McGonagall.

Harry and Ginny had decided to do some homework with Hermione in the common room and let James play in his playpen while they waited for Ron. An hour after he had left, Ron returned with a very unpleasant look on his face.

“I talked to her and Snape in the staff room,” Ron announced.

“Any luck?” Harry asked, looking up from his Charms book. Ron sank into a chair and crossed his arms.

“No. She won’t budge. Neither will Snape,” Ron said moodily. “Malfoy’s just as upset.”

“Of course he is,” Ginny said, reaching over to grab a toy out of James’ hand before he launched it across the room. “No throwing,” she scolded.

“He was insisting that they have the match this weekend, he was getting all hysterical about it, like he had a bet on it or something,” Ron said.

“Malfoy’s just upset that he can’t beat him earlier. His humiliation on the pitch is now prolonged,” Harry said, his eyes on James as the infant had another toy in his hand.

“I said no,” Ginny scolded again and took the toy from James. James looked at her for a moment and sat down in his playpen. Harry looked back at Ron. Ron had a thoughtful look on his face. He shrugged.

“I don’t know. He just seemed a little too upset about it. Snape had to escort him out of the room,” Ron said. He shrugged again and looked at Harry. “Up for some chess then? I have the urge to watch you lose.”

Harry pushed his book away. “You’re on.”

Just as Harry stood up, something soft hit his face.

“James!” Ginny shouted. “I said no throwing young man.”

Harry bent down and picked up the teddy bear.

“At least he has good aim. Maybe he’ll be a Chaser?”

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