October 2004

Six Months Later

Harry kicked his feet up onto the sofa in his living room as he began reviewing another case file on a lazy Saturday evening. After chasing a group of masochistic wizards across every corner of the country for the last month, this was a nice turn of events. Nothing in a case file ever put you in St. Mungo's overnight.

He checked his watch and had to wonder where everyone was. Ginny was supposed to be back from Holyhead hours ago, and it was already two hours past when Ron and Hermione said they would stop by. He sighed and went back to reading Marks's report about his investigation into a group of notorious wand thieves in Wales. He'd have to have yet another talk with Marks about proper case filing procedure given that his reports were still leaving half of the details out.

He threw the file to the side and checked his watch again. Ron should have gotten back from Paris by now. He must be taking his time to unpack and get settled, which was was all well and good, but Harry had been stuck here starving while waiting for everyone else to show up. He was ready to eat his hand at this point, and suddenly wondered if he should bother trolling the kitchen for something to tide him over. Luckily, a sudden knock at the front door made that decision for him.

He pointed his wand at the door. "It's open!"

"Do you ever lock your door?" Hermione asked as she and Ron entered. Their faces pink from the cold.

"Most of them," Harry said as he stood to greet them, "but Ginny left earlier and must have left it open. I haven't left the house all day."

"Where'd she go?" Ron asked, taking off his cloak and hanging it on a nearby hook.

"Um, to Holyhead to visit with her team's Healer," he said. "She hasn't been feeling well and all the home remedies haven't been working."

"Is she okay?" Hermione asked, sounding concerned as she handed him the bottle of wine she had promised to bring.

"It comes and goes," he said as he sat back down. "We're not worried. She just thinks she should get checked out before the season starts up again so that she doesn't get sick and have to miss anything." He smiled at Ron. "And you're back!"

He smiled. "And for good."

"It's not as if I didn't just see you last month," Harry said, "but it's good that you're officially back in all. None of this every other month popping into town crap."

"You can say that again," Hermione said as she sat down on the sofa. "If I don't have to take another Portkey to Paris, it'll be too soon."

Harry grinned. He was happy to see the two of them together again. Not that he hadn't seen them sporadically over the last six months as they tried their best to shuttle themselves back and forth across England and France to see each other, but it had to be a nice feeling to finally have each other back in the same place again. With Ron's work load as heavy as it was in Paris, and Hermione's transfer to into Magical Law Enforcement keeping her busier than ever, they hadn't had the chance to see each other in ages. Ron finally coming home had been all Hermione had talked about for the last two weeks.

"So," Harry asked as he sat down across from them, "where have you guys been all afternoon?" He glanced at Ron. "I thought your Portkey got in around four? I figured you'd be over here around five and it's," he checked his watch, "almost seven now."

"It did get in around four," Ron said as he sat next to Hermione.

"So?"

Ron gave Hermione a silly smile before turning back towards Harry. "I mean, I just got back, Harry. We hadn't seen each other in a month. We were," he gave Harry and obvious look, "you know, busy."

"Oh, Ron," Hermione said in an embarrassed tone. "You couldn't just say we were unpacking or something?"

"He doesn't care," Ron said.

"But I do," she said, glancing at Harry and shaking her head. She was blushing ever so slightly.

"I probably should have been able to figure that one out," Harry said before he stood up. "I mean, if Ginny and I went that long apart, I'd probably want to--"

Ron made a face. "Please don't finish that sentence."

"I was going to say, that I'd want to spend as much time alone with her as possible," Harry clarified. "Trust me, mate. I've got my limits on what I'm willing to talk to you about."

Ron smiled. "And I'm happier for it."

"Oh, Harry!" Hermione said, sitting forward. "Did you read the Daily Prophet today?"

He pursed his lips and sighed wearily. "Is there something about me in there?

"Probably," she said with a shrug, just as Ron draped his arm over the couch behind her. "When is there not? But that's not what I meant."

Harry turned and saw the day's paper sitting untouched on the end table. "Should I be worried?"

"For the future of wizard kind, perhaps," Ron said sarcastically as Hermione leaned back against him. "But that's only if they decide to procreate."

"What?" asked Harry curiously. He reached out and grabbed the paper and began flipping through it.

"The society section," Hermione said as she and Ron observed him. "You can't miss it. I don't even have to tell you, you'll just know."

Harry flipped the paper over onto the section in question and stared at the picture that met his face. It wasn't large, but he now knew exactly what Hermione had meant when she said he'd know it when he saw it.

"Malfoy's getting married?" Harry asked. He made a face and continued to read over the engagement announcement.

"And announcing it to the world apparently," Ron mumbled.

"It's so like his parents to go straight to the papers," Hermione said.

"Astoria Greengrass?" Harry mumbled. "Why does that name sound familiar?"

"I asked the same question and Hermione said I was being dense," Ron said, throwing Hermione a smug look.

"Her older sister was in our year at school," she said obviously. "Daphne?"

Neither Harry nor Ron seemed to find this information helpful.

"She was in Slytherin?"

They both stared at each other before shaking their heads in a clueless manner.

"Oh, honestly..." she said, rolling her eyes at the pair of them.

"Hey, Harry," Ron said, leaning forward to look over the picture with him. "Do you think Malfoy's losing his hair?"

"Here we go again," Hermione muttered, though Harry pulled the picture up to his face to get a closer look. "Ron's convinced he's balding."

"He might be," Harry said with a smirk.

"You two are just looking for any sort of fault," she said before she stood up and walked over to where Harry had placed the bottle of wine she had brought. She started to inspect it. "I hope this kind is okay."

"What?" said Harry in a clearly uninterested tone as he and Ron continued to scan the picture for any indication that Malfoy may be losing his hair. "Oh, yeah, she'll like it fine."

She smiled. "You're both idiots," she said as she walked into the kitchen and reappeared with glasses and a corkscrew. Just as she began pouring for the three of them, the front door opened and Ginny appeared. She looked exhausted.

"You're home," Harry said, finally looking up from the paper. "Where have you been?"

She smiled meekly as she took in the scene in her living room. "Sorry, I got caught up in Holyhead with some things."

"Everything is okay, right?" he asked.

"Um, yeah," she said rather quickly as she smiled at her brother. "Hey, Ron, you're back."

"That I am," he said as Hermione handed him a glass of wine.

Ginny glanced from him to Hermione before smiling. "And you two are together," she said happily. "How cute."

"Yeah, Gin, it hasn't been months or anything," Ron said sarcastically. Hermione merely smiled.

"I know, but now you're properly together," she said. "It was never quite right when the two of you only ever saw each other once a month, or whatever it was while you were away."

"We worked through it," Hermione said as she gave Ron a quick rub on the back.

"And things are good?" she asked.

Ron and Hermione both smiled at each other before nodding.

She went to sit next to Harry on the couch. "I'm glad to hear it," Ginny said, letting out a heavy sigh.

"Hey, Ginny," Ron said as he held up the newspaper for her to look at. "Do you think Malfoy is losing his hair?"

"What?"

Hermione snatched the paper away from him. "Can we stop talking about Malfoy?"

"It's just funny," Ron said as he tried to hide a laugh.

"All right," Harry said as he picked up his wine glass and held it up. "Let's talk about something different. Cheers for Ron finally getting his shit together and getting back."

"I'll drink to that," Ron said as the entire group picked up their glasses and clanked them together, though Ginny immediately placed her glass back down without drinking anything.

"So, what's for dinner?" Hermione asked.

"Well," Harry said, glancing at Ginny. "We were going to cook, but it's getting late. We can go out?"

"That's fine," Hermione said as she, too, chanced a look at Ginny. She was staring into empty space and drumming her fingers anxiously on the sofa.

"You're sure everything is okay?" Harry asked her again. "You seem stressed."

She forced an awkward smile.

"You didn't have any problems at the Healer did you?" Hermione asked.

Ginny bit her lip tentatively and pushed herself to the edge of sofa. "Well, there's nothing wrong with me."

"That's great," Harry said with a smile. "That's a real relief. Now you don't have to worry about missing the start of the season."

"Yeah," she said as she began watching Harry's face intently. "Well, I mean, I won't miss the start of the season." She wavered. "I'm going to miss the entire season."

Ron and Hermione exchanged confused expressions, but Harry continued to stare at Ginny. "Why?"

She sighed and cast a hesitant look at Ron and Hermione.

"Do you want us to leave?" Hermione asked, looking at Ron before back at Ginny. "If this is private, we can--"

"No, it's okay…" Ginny sighed before turning back to Harry. "Might as well just get it out."

"Get what out?" Harry asked, growing more and more concerned by her odd behavior.

"It turns out I'm not ill," she said slowly.

"You said that already," said Ron. Hermione elbowed him to be quiet.

"Gin, what's wrong?" Harry asked.

She hesitated before finally swallowing hard and taking a very deep breath. "Harry, I'm pregnant..."


A/N: The End :)

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