Not Quite Happily Ever After
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter
Warning: DH Spoilers, Ginny bashing.
AN: Red wanted the back story to the ex-wife remark in Twenty Years Later. If you like Ginny then this story is probably not for you. I'm not a fan of the Harry/Ginny pairing and I write for my own amusement. :)
Harry settled back against the stone wall and opened the bottle as he began to speak: I need to talk and didn't think you'd mind listening. I have to make a decision. Lily started Hogwarts yesterday. All I really ever wanted was to be normal, to have a family, to be loved for me. I do have some of that. I have the family, I love my children and they love me. I have to believe that it's been worth it.
When I realized that Voldemort was really dead and that I was going to get to live, to have a life I thought then that I would get the Happy Ever After they talk about in fairy tales. It isn't that easy though. Happy Ever After doesn't just come. You have to work at it, to compromise on the small things in order to get along.
I guess it started in sixth year. Did you know that Ginny dosed me with love potion? I didn't know either. I got so jealous when I saw her with someone else and then we kissed and everything was great. I felt like I was normal but then everything happened, you know and then there were several days between the tower and the funeral. I hid out and didn't eat with the rest of them, with Ginny. I suspect that she must have missed giving me a dose or maybe it was the shock but I did one of the most cowardly things I've every done and broke up with her at the funeral. She surprised me then. She didn't make a scene.
She kissed me in the run up to Bill's wedding. It must have frustrated the hell out of her when I back off. Of course I thought about her off and on all during the Horcrux hunt but I don't think I missed Ginny as much as I missed the idea of Ginny. You know the idea that there might be someone out there that loved me and that I could love.
After Voldemort was gone I avoided her for quite awhile. I felt guilty that Fred died. Hermione was off tracking down her parents and Ron had gone with her. I was at loose ends so I ended up living with Andy Tonks to help take care of Teddy. I found I had a lot of money. I set up a trust for Teddy and helped Andy with the expenses. I dated a few muggle girls but having secrets doesn't make for a good relationship.
Kingsley asked for my help in reforming the Auror Department and I became an Auror. Rebuilt the Ministry. I made sure Snape got the recognition he deserved and tried to stay out of the public eye.
Then Ron and Hermione got married. I was best man and Gin was maid of honor. I remember at the reception Ginny smiling at me and handing me a glass of champaign, telling me I needed to make a toast. We dance the rest of the evening and I took her home with me. Everything was perfect, almost, Andy didn't like Gin, never had really warmed up to her. I was pretty stupid, she tried to warn me but I was in love. I moved out. Spent a couple of nights in Grimmauld, Gin started going on about fixing it up and the parties we could have. I hate that place, finally sold it off a few years ago. Then we looked at flats. She wanted a big one in Diagon Alley. I picked a smaller one in a muggle area near to Diagon. I figured since it was my money I should get to pick. We lived there for six months.
There were all these little things about Ginny that drove me nuts. She loves to spend money, my money never hers. She was working with George but anytime we went anywhere I paid, I bought the groceries, paid the rent and utilities. It wasn't that I couldn't afford it or even that I wouldn't have done it anyway it was the fact that she never, not once offered to help with the expenses. She had this habit of hitting when she got mad, too. After six months of her whacking me when she got mad I almost broke her wrist. I told her that I grew up with yelling and hitting and I wasn't going to put up with it. Then I walked out and stayed a couple of nights at Andy's.
She begged me to talk to her, we met for coffee in a little shop. She was sorry, she would do it again. Then the bombshell she was pregnant. I was shocked, as far as I knew she was on the potion to prevent that. She said it was the Weasley curse. That the potion didn't always work. That her mum had gotten pregnant twice when she was on the potion.
Well we got married, of course. She was upset I wouldn't pay for the wedding. There was no way I would have insulted Arthur that way. I explained that we'd try to get her parents to take some money later after we were married but that didn't make her happy either. I chalked it up to wedding jitters and hormones.
In the mean time I bought a little house just down the street from Andy's as I had missed Teddy and I wanted my children to be close to my godson. Gin was upset that I hadn't let her help pick it out. It was too small, too close to Andy, and in a muggle neighborhood. I warded the house, expanded a couple of rooms, connected to the floo and gave her a decorating budget.
When James was born I opened a trust for him. That started another fight. She wanted to know where the money came from. When she found out I had another vault she wanted access. I put my foot down. It was money from my parents and Sirius. We could live on my salary and investments. We did not need to use that money.
The money I gave the twins worked out well, they made me a partner and George kept adding profit to my account. I'd used some of the Potter and Black money to fund other start up business after the war. Some straight loans, some investments. I used it to fund Teddy's trust and would do the same for my own children. I also started smaller accounts for Ron and Hermione's kids..
After Al was born she wanted a bigger house in the country. She wanted an estate with elves and for me to go into politics. She wanted to be the Minister of Magic's wife. We've been having that fight for the last thirteen years off and on.
Ginny thought going into this that I should take advantage of my fame. She thought that we'd take our place in society. She wanted fancy dress parties and glitz. I'm happy to sit at home, have a nice dinner, play with the kids and watch a bit of telly. It funny now that I think about it. That's just what Vernon Dursley wanted too, only he got me disrupting his life.
There's only fourteen months between Al and Lily. Molly and the Healer both gave me hell when Gin found out she was pregnant again. She told them I wanted a large family. It was about that time I found out she'd been taking money out of James' trust. I denied her access to the accounts. She was sick with Lily though so I started dropping off both boys at Molly's every morning on my way to work and picking them up on the way home every evening. After Lily was born the three of them were a lot of work so the boys still went to Molly's. She started home schooling them with the rest of the grandchildren as soon as they were old enough. Al started a bit early, he's always loved books.
Then we were back to the bigger house issue. I took steps and went to the healer and had a vasectomy. Magical ones are easily reversible by a healer and I didn't want to put Ginny's health at risk. Three were enough. I was happy, mostly.
James is a prankster, he adores his Uncle George and plays quidditch, made the Gryffindor team second year as a chaser. Al's more serious, he doesn't really care for pranks, I think maybe because he's been the butt of too many. We were surprised when he was sorted into Ravenclaw but it suits him, I think. Lily is bright, outgoing and beautiful. Ginny hit the roof this morning when her owl came. She can't believe our Lils was sorted into Slytherin. I don't think it matters and said so. Ginny hit me and cursed. Blamed me. I can't for the life of me figure out why.
I walked out. I don't love Gin, I don't think I even like her much. I'm going to stop in at the castle and tell my daughter that I'm proud of her, explain to all three that I love them but not their mum. That I've decided to seek a divorce. Then I'm going to find a new place to live and see if I can find my happy ever after. Thanks for listening.
Harry stood and vanished the now empty fire whiskey bottle. He cast a sobering charm and removed the notice me not and walked determinedly away from the white tomb toward Hogwarts.