Disclaimer: Everything belongs to the Queen. Not The Queen, the other one. And not Ellen, I mean the British One. Still nada? Okay. This is the Property of JK Rowling.
Of Syria, Sarah, and Snogging
The bed was cold on the other side. A familiar longing for Ginny, for her fiery hair splayed across the pillow and a dried string of drool hanging off her chin surged through him. It wasn't unusual nowadays, Harry waking up to find her side empty.
She'd been working so hard, leaving every night and coming back in the morning looking exhausted. Summer was Quidditch Cup time, and the Senior Correspondent for the Daily Prophet was busy attending all major games. The World Cup was in Australia that year, which meant all-nighters and sleeping all day back in England. That is, if not for the million other things Ginny Potter had set her mind to do that summer.
Harry sat up and stretched. His dear wife would come back soon, but he had to attend to the kids first. He checked his bedside clock. '7:00 AM' it announced in bright red letters. Groaning, he moved aside the blanket and stood up, wobbling to the bathroom. Gone were the days of lie-ins with his wife, maybe a round of love-making or two before a lazy breakfast. No, no he had to make breakfast for his three kids, each having their own reason for waking up so early on a beautiful Sunday morning.
Finishing his ministrations in the bathroom, Harry put on an old Holyhead Harpies T-shirt and descended the stairs to the kitchen. Predictably, James was already at the kitchen table, slumped over and snoring while holding a mug of coffee.
He shook his head fondly at the sight, and busied himself making some pancakes while periodically checking the wall clock for any indication of his wife's arrival. After a particularly loud snore, James jerked awake and blinked rapidly.
"Good morning, sleepyhead." Said Harry, chuckling over the stove.
James yawned. "Morning, dad." Just then he realized he had a mug of coffee in his hand, and cautiously took a sip. "What are you making?"
"Pancakes." Answered Harry, flipping the one in the pan. "This one's ready, please set the table for all of you."
He nodded and began doing as his father asked. In no time three plates, spoons, forks, knives and glasses were arranged neatly on the round mahogany table. When he was done, he plopped down in a chair again and continued sipping his luke-warm coffee.
"Say, James, you're going to the shop today, right?" Harry asked, stacking his eighth pancake on top of the pile.
The boy in question nodded sleepily, "It's the reason I woke up at this ungodly hour. Why?"
"Well…" began Harry, "I kinda was going to ask you a favour. You see…" he continued, grabbing the bottle of maple syrup, "I want you to get him back for yesterday."
James, bless him, understood immediately. He grinned, "You want me to prank the king of pranks?"
Harry nodded, "Don't forget, you're named after two of the most legendary pranksters that ever lived. I'm sure you can come up with something."
"Yeah, no pressure, dad," he muttered. But he was still smirking, "This is going to be awesome!"
Yesterday night had been a Weasley Family Dinner. Among the events that took place, George had thought it amusing to read aloud an old Witch Weekly article about Harry. It wouldn't have been too embarrassing, but that particular article was a list of reasons why The Boy Who Lived was the most eligible bachelor in the country. It had detailed Harry's, ahem, 'chiseled body' and 'mouth-watering ass' along with guesses as to how long his …'wand' could be.
Needless to say, Harry had not been happy and blushed till the roots of his hair. Bill, Ron and some of the children were in tears of laughter at the end, both over the contents and Harry's reaction. His own children had pulled disgusted faces. He was forced to hide in Ron's old bedroom for the rest of the evening, fervently wishing to sink into the floor.
Harry had just finished his last pancake when Lily walked in through the backdoor. Dripping sweat, broom in hand, in an Appleby Arrows T-shirt and compression shorts, with pulled back hair, she looked ready to collapse.
"Had a good practice?" asked Harry.
She nodded, grabbing a bottle of water from their fridge and gulping in down. Then she set her broom against the wall and dropped into a chair.
"I smell pancakes!" she exclaimed happily.
"So do I." Albus had also awoken and made his way into the kitchen. "Did any owls arrive yet?"
Harry shot him an amused look and shook his head. "You know I'll tell you if they do, right? You don't need to wake up so early every morning. You should be enjoying your summer."
He simply shrugged, "I have a feeling today is the day."
James rolled his eyes and muttered, "You say that every day."
"James," chided Harry, "I recall you being pretty nervous before your O.W.L. results as well."
"I wasn't as bad as this prat," he defended himself.
"Resorting to name calling so early in the morning, Jamie? You were just as nervous, come on, admit it," said Lily from her chair.
"Please, Lils, I didn't waste my precious sleep-ins."
"You were green in the face the day you got your letter. Your hands were shaking, Jamesy-poo."
"She's right, you know. You actually needed mum to make you a cup of tea before you could open that envelope," added Albus, all too happily.
"That's enough," Harry intervened, "Eat your breakfast now."
Albus sat down as well and loaded his plate with pancakes, maple syrup and chocolate syrup. Lily favored brown sugar and lemon, while James dove for the cheese.
Harry leant back against the counter, drinking in the sight of his children. He was so happy, every day, that they got the happy family he was deprived of for ten years. At first, he was afraid of being a bad father because he had never had one. But, he realized as he watched them bicker, he did have fathers. Arthur (that had been an adjustment), Sirius and Remus had all been like fathers to him, even Dumbledore and Hagrid. All the lessons he learnt from them, helped him with fatherhood.
Ginny always said that he did a great job. She knew how he felt, of course she did, and always encouraged him; like that time James was born and Harry was afraid he would drop the newborn, or when Albus fell from a tree at five and Harry was panicking over his broken leg, or when Lily suffered her first heartbreak at twelve and he wanted to simultaneously hunt down the boy as well as comfort his dejected daughter. Through all of that, Ginny had encouraged him to follow his instincts, for they were nearly always right. And if he still needed help, he could always go to her, or Molly, or Arthur.
But his most frequent source of advice was his godson. Since Teddy was both a kid yet mature enough to know what Harry was going through, he never failed to tell Harry what he should do or how he should approach a touchy issue. It was Teddy who told him how to handle James making the rounds at Hogwarts, how to deal with his baby girl growing up, and his son's relationship with a Malfoy.
Ginny's hand on the wall clock switched to travelling and put Harry out of his musings. Moments later, there was a pop outside the kitchen window as Ginny Potter appeared in her work robes and quill in hand. Harry watched as she recovered from the uncomfortable feeling of apparition and marched over to the backdoor and wrenched it open.
"Good morning, kids!" she greeted cheerfully as she strolled inside and made a beeline for her husband.
Three muffled "Morning's" later, she accepted a 'welcome home' kiss from Harry.
"How was your day?" he asked.
She groaned, "Bloody awful. You would think that after all those animals escaped in 2014, the handling would be improved, right? Wrong. A herd of thestrals got loose and nobody could see them so it took fucking ages to recapture them."
Harry shuffled uncomfortably, "Keep the swearing down in front of the kids, love."
She glared at him, "I will talk however the bloody fuck I want to. Besides, I'm sure these teens have heard worse, am I right?" she asked them.
James nodded enthusiastically, Albus shrugged, and Lily snorted out a "Yeah."
"See?" she stated, as if that proved her right.
Rolling his eyes, Harry decided to be the mature adult and let it go. "Which country has thestrals as mascots, anyway?"
"Syria." She replied, rubbing her tired eyes.
Albus spoke up at that, "Were they trying to make a statement? With the war going on there and all?"
She smiled sadly, "I think so. All Syrians could see them, including the players."
James whistled. Lily and Harry were digesting the sad fact when Albus posed his question they all knew were coming.
"Do you think my results will arrive today?" he asked anxiously.
James rolled his eyes again, "Bro, how can they possibly—" he was cut off by a sharp look from Ginny.
She started in a gentle voice, "Albus, honey, I think they will arrive next week."
"How do you know?" he asked, still anxious.
It was Harry who spoke, "I asked Professor McGonagall."
The three Potter children stared at him in surprise. He rarely used his connections to do anything for himself or his family. The fact that he asked her meant he cared a great deal about his son, and Albus was really touched by his gesture.
"Dad, you didn't have to—" he began, but Harry cut him off.
"I wanted to. I saw how hard you worked, and how worried you are. You earned yourself some peace of mind."
It didn't seem like much, asking about the O.W.L.s, but the only other time the Chosen One would use his status in the Wizarding Community was when any of his family members got hurt.
Even when James wanted a new broom that wasn't out yet for his birthday, or when Lily played reserve that one match last year, he dealt with it like any regular parents would; he waited it out. But he had gone to McGonagall and asked her for Albus.
Him and Albus hadn't always had the best relationship. When he got sorted into Slytherin in First Year, Albus thought Harry would hate him. So, he had distanced himself early on to spare himself heartbreak. It was only after Scorpius convinced him that his father wouldn't reject Albus that he allowed himself to break down his walls and grow comfortable around his dad. Albus knew that Harry had asked McGonagall to show that he cared, to make sure Albus never felt unloved again, and he appreciated it.
"Thanks, dad," he said, smiling.
"Woah, shit, I've got to rush," exclaimed James with a quick glance at his wristwatch. He was halfway out of his chair when Ginny shot him a pointed look.
"I'm sure George and Sarah can wait till you've finished your breakfast," she said firmly.
He huffed and started shoveling the cheesy pancakes in his mouth, not seeming to notice Albus' raised eyebrows and a wicked smirk spreading over Lily's face. Harry sensed a bout of James-ribbing coming up and shared a smug glance with his wife.
"So…" started Albus, "Sarah, huh?"
Lily picked up the thread, "Guess now we know why you have been rushing to the shop every morning for the past two weeks."
James seemed to realize what had come out of his mother's mouth and immediately turned red. "H-How did you find out?" he stammered.
Ginny laughed. "Honey, I'm a reporter. I have my sources."
"Meaning George told her," translated Harry. She elbowed him.
The poor boy looked mortified. "I'm going to prank him so bad…" he muttered.
"Wow, Jamie, I have never seen you this embarrassed. You actually like this one, don't you?" remarked Lily in wonder.
"No! I mean… maybe…" he said, rubbing the back of his neck awkwardly.
Lily looked delighted. "Finally! I have been waiting for this for a very long time."
James looked terrified. Albus took some pity on him and explained, "She's going to unleash the Weasleys on Sarah."
He shook his head rapidly, "Please don't Lily, you'll scare her off!"
"I think that's the point, son," said Harry, "A test of sorts. If she gets scared, it's no use chasing after her. If she doesn't, and fits right in, Merlin help you if you harm a hair on her head."
Ginny nodded. "Why do you think I married Harry? My brothers wouldn't have approved any other guy."
He looked at her, offended. "Is that the only reason?"
She sidled up to the man next to her. "Not the only reason. For example," she said in a flirty tone, ghosting her hand over his ass, "many of those reasons from the Witch Weekly article were pretty convincing."
Lily mock-gagged, Albus tried not to laugh, and Harry groaned, "Do you have to kill the mood?"
Ginny simply leaned in and made out with her husband quite thoroughly.
James was still trying to eat as much as he could. Though he was momentarily delayed by Lily's scare, he still hadn't forgotten his hurry to get away from his horny parents, annoying sister, and well… chocolate-eating brother. He finished quickly, grabbed his jacket and wand and was out the door before his parents came up for air.
"Bye!" and he was gone.
Albus and Lily, also sensing that their parents needed some alone-time, grabbed their plates and hurried off.
Meanwhile, Harry and Ginny were engrossed in their snog-fest. When they finally came up for air and noticed the empty kitchen, Harry laughed.
"Looks like we scared off the kids."
Ginny shrugged. "They have stuff to do. Albus probably has a date with Scorpius, and Lily will be heading over to Ron and Hermione's to practice with Hugo. Besides," she said, wrapping her arms around his neck and bringing their faces close together, "It was a very wise thing on their part to leave, because I am going to ravish you right here in the kitchen."
Blood racing at her words, Harry grabbed his wand and apparated them to the bedroom. "We, Mrs. Potter, have a lot of catching up to do," he said, dropping hot kisses down her neck.
His hands traveled under her shirt and up her sides when he felt her go limp in his arms.
"Ginny?" he asked, alarmed.
His only reply was a soft snore.
A/N: Finally a new fic out! For my lovely beta, goldensnitch0423,it's great to have you. Since you love Hinny, I decided to mix some in this. Also thank you for proof-reading this and your awesome feedback!
I hope you enjoyed this fic, it was totally fun to write, especially the part with the Witch Weekly article. Please tell me what you think in the review section!
And also an announcement: For anybody wanting more of LINNAH, I'm sorry, but I will be discontinuing that fic. RL wouldn't allow me to keep that up, and personally I'm not very happy with it either. I think I'll stick to occasional one-shots for the time being.