It's been a while but this story was swimming around in my head so I started it. It is different to my others as it is a bit more family oriented with a bit of angst included, I had a bit of writers block for a while as I found it difficult when not just writing slushy romantic stuff!! I have kept it in mature rating for adult content but this is not just about Ginny and Harry! While not strictly a sequal to my other stories it does fit in with the story line as in my world that is where Harry went and I don't want to stray from the plot of his life as I see it! Please read and review!
Four year old Lily Luna Potter gazed up at the two most magical people in her world, her mum and dad. Lily thought they were amazing, her father was strong and handsome with dark hair and a strange scar on his forehead above one eyebrow, her mother was soft and pretty with long, curly red hair which she liked to play with when she sat on her knee. She thought they were so amazing because they always looked happy and they always smiled at each other, though she was only four years old she could never ever remember them being cross with each other. She had heard them get cross with her brothers, James and Albus, especially when they were being boisterous, which was most of the time, but she had never heard them get cross with each other. Her father seemed to worship the ground her mother walked on and Lily thought this was how all men should act towards women, however she knew this was not always the case. The little girl had lots of Uncles and they nearly all had wives and children of their own and although they were always happy they didn't seem to have that same sense of awe that her parents had for each other.
Her Uncle Ron and Aunt Hermione got angry with each other a lot, they shouted at each other sometimes too but they always seemed to make it up, her cousins Rose and Hugo, who were there children seemed to think it was normal and often said that Lily's Mum and Dad were weird because they didn't argue, but she could never agree with them. Lily thought that their parents were weird for being angry with each other a lot and that her parents were just perfect. Her dad smiled down at her as he walked over to the chair in the kitchen where she sat and picked her up, swinging her round in the air and making her squeal with delight, the raven haired wizard pulled his daughter into his arms and gave her a crushing hug, Lily noticed her mother watching them with that usual smile on her face and then it turned to a frown as they all heard a groan from the top of the stairs signalling a fresh argument brewing between her brothers.
"Why can't they be sweet and friendly like you Lily Potter?" her father chuckled in her ear as she watched her mother leave the kitchen, still wearing the pinny she had on to protect her clothes from the baking she was doing, "Look, Mum's gone Lily, shall we lick the bowl clean?" he added nodding to the large glass bowl full of chocolate frosting that her mother had just finished spreading on the top of her brother's birthday cake. Lily nodded eagerly and her father walked to the table still carrying her, he dropping her onto the table top next to the bowl and lifted it up to her so she could sweep her finger through the remaining frosting. Grinning childishly at her he followed suit and the pair of them stuck their chocolate covered fingers in their mouths and sucked the frosting off, the emerald eyes of the wizard sparkled at Lily as he made yummy noises and swiped his finger through the bowl again. Lily copied him and they laughed at each other as they listened to her mother scolding the two boys at the top of the stairs, "You two have one last chance today and then you'll be banished to your bedrooms and miss the party even if it is for your birthday Albus."
"Oh dear," Lily's father chuckled, "Albus will be rather upset if that happens, maybe you should go and rub off some of your goodness on them Lily and they might behave better!" She gazed at him in her usual awe as her mother re-entered the room and stopped in the doorway, "Oh-oh, busted," he said as he caught the blazing look in her mother's eyes, "I think we'd better go and clean you up little angel," he added sweeping her up in his arms again and heading cautiously to the kitchen doorway. "We'll...we'll be back soon," he said as he kissed her mother on the forehead sheepishly, Lily caught the look of amusement dancing in her eyes and smiled at her as she was swept from the room and up the stairs to the bathroom on the first floor.
"That was close darling, if she hadn't been so angry at your brothers we might have had it then," he said with a twinkle in his eye as he sat her down on the edge of the toilet and began to wet a flannel in the sink, "You've got chocolate everywhere young lady," he continued chuckling again, "It's a good job you haven't put that pretty dress on yet!" He wiped her face and hands before taking one of them in his own and leading her out of the bathroom towards the playroom on the same floor, there they found James and Albus playing a quiet game of wizard's chess on the carpet, their mother had evidently put the fear of Merlin into them about missing the party and they were clearly on their best behaviour. "Can I leave this little girl in your capable hands young men?" her father asked letting go of her hand. They looked up and nodded at him as Lily went into a corner of the room where she kept her box of dolls and found her favourite one to play with, the playroom door closed softly and Lily was left in the room with her siblings.
"Mummy was mad at you," the little girl said to the boys.
"Yeah, but we're good now aren't we James?"
"Yeah," he nodded in reply, "And we're playing chess, it's a boy's game so keep yourself with your dolls and let us play, Loony Lily!" She pouted at her eldest brother, he sometimes called her Loony Lily because he knew she had been named after one of their parents' best friends who used to be called 'Loony' at school. James had found out when he was evesdropping on a dinner party their parent had once had at the house. They were all supposed to be in bed but James had crept out and sat in the landing listening to the conversation in the dining room, he had first called Lily 'Loony Lily' the next morning and it had earned him a day in his bedroom alone after a severe telling off from their mother. James had been made to apologise to Lily and to Luna, the next time she visited, which he had found extremely embarrassing but when their parents were out of earshot he still referred to his sister as Loony Lily.
"You can't call me that," she scolded and he laughed at her, "Stop it or I'll tell Mum and you won't be able to go to the party!" James's face fell immediately and he eyed his sister warily, she may have been the youngest but she was not a silly girl, she was quite intelligent and could be as sneaky as the two of them when she needed to be. James knew that in the eyes of their parents, especially their father, Lily could do no wrong, but he and Albus knew different and were careful not to push her too far, "Okay, you can watch if you want to," he said smiling at her and Lily brought her doll to the little wooden table where they sat and began to comb it's hair as she watched the two boys ordering their chess pieces around. They never let her play chess but she watched them carefully and knew how the game worked, Albus was better than James as he had more patience and often beat the older Potter who could be a very sore loser but today James was playing well and after almost an hour of play he had called 'checkmate' and the game was over.
"Ha ha ha ha ha," he scoffed at Albus who didn't rise to the bait at all, "Another game?" ha asked but they were interrupted as the door flew open and their cousins Rose and Hugo bounded through into the room.
"Ooooo, chess!" Rose trilled at the boys, "Let me play."
"Girls can't play chess," James retorted.
"Say's who?" Rose replied putting her hands on her hips and glaring at James defiantly. Lily thought she looked an awful lot like her mother at that moment and she remembered the way her Aunt Hermione could shout at her Uncle Ron, she didn't envy James at all.
"Me," the oldest boy replied taking on the same stance. The other three children sat back and waited for the argument, James and Rose argued a lot when they played together, even more than James and Albus could argue. "Chess is a man's game Rose and girls don't play!"
"They do too, my Dad taught me how to play and I'm a girl"
"Well Uncle Ron's stupid then, he shouldn't have let you play."
"Don't say my Dad's stupid or else..." anger was blazing in her eyes and it was reflected in James's, Lily watched on in amusement but Albus and Hugo had already grown bored, they were rifling through the box of wizard toys in a large, oak toy box under the window.
"Or else what?" James retorted smugly.
"Or i'll..I'll...hex you, I can do some spells already you know!" she shrieked.
"Oh yeah? You still can't do them, you're not allowed, you'll break the rules and get into trouble," James was goading her and Rose was biting, he started to smile and her face was filled with fury.
"James Sirius Potter, I'll...I'll."
"You'll...you'll!" he reiterated wiggling his hips and smiling at her, Lily thought Rose's head might explode, her face was bright red and she was shaking uncontrollably. They were saved from the explosion however as the door to the playroom opened again and Lily's favourite Uncle stepped into the room.
"Uncle Ron," she called running up to him and he lifted her up into his arms to give her a tight squeeze, "What's going on in here?" he asked looking at his daughter whose face was now beginning to return to it's usual colour.
"James said girls can't play chess, that's not right is it Dad?" Lily's uncle looked down at the young boy with the dark messy hair and frowned, James didn't know which way to look and he began to turn the same colour that Rose had just been.
"Well now Rose, that's probably just because his dad never lets his mum play anymore, 'cause she always beats him!" he added as an aside, " He never was good at chess!" Rose smiled triumphantly at James and stuck her tongue out at him when her father wasn't looking. James knew he wasn't allowed to argue back with grown ups so he accepted it for now but still knew that he wouldn't let Rose play with his chess pieces.
"The party's about to start you lot, ready birthday boy?" he asked looking in Albus' direction, the younger Potter boy nodded and the five children trooped out of the playroom behind Ron making their way over to the living room where a crowd of people had gathered to celebrate the boy's eighth birthday. Lily looked around the room at all her favourite people who were gathered in this room for her brother's party, Albus was being crushed in a hug by their Grandma Molly while Grandad Arthur stood shaking his head behind them. Her father was stood in the corner talking to her Uncle Bill and cousin Victoire who was eleven and about to go away to school, her Aunt Fleur stood behind them listening to the conversation and looking, as usual, like the most beautiful thing Lily had ever seen. Uncle Percy had come with his daughter Molly and baby Lucy but stood uncomfortably in the corner of the room with Aunty Audrey, Lily noticed her mum trying to make him feel better but she gave up after a short while and walked over to where uncle George was now giving Albus his birthday present, Lily watched as he opened a huge box of tricks from Weasleys Wizarding Wheezes saw his eyes light up, "Thanks Uncle George," he trilled before delving into the box and pulling out trick wands, extendable ears and other magical items.
By the time Ginny Potter brought out the chocolate birthday cake the party had been swinging for hours, all the children were running around the house on a sugar high and the adults were collapsed in the living room from exhaustion, Harry called them all into the living room with them and ordered them to sit on the floor then he used his diluminator to turn out the lights. Ginny walked in with the cake and Harry caught his daughter's eye with his own winking at her as he recalled them cleaning out the bowl with their fingers earlier that day, she smiled back at him and he felt his heart melt as it always did when his pretty little girl smiled at him. From the moment Lily had entered the world he had been entranced by her, he loved his sons just as much as Lily and knew he would go through anything for any one of them but Lily was his baby and his girl, he had a special bond with her and every time she looked at him he felt completely overwhelmed.
"Happy birthday Albus," everyone chorused simultaneously as Ginny put the cake on the coffee table and Albus looked at the eight candles burning on the top, "One, two, three," everyone cheered as he took a deep breath and blew all the candles out in one go.
"Hip, hip..." shouted George.
"Hooray," everyone responded and Albus smiled for the camera his father was waving in his face. Harry was determined to capture as much of his life in pictures as he could, especially when it came to his children, he had no photographs of himself during his early childhood save one that he had found in Sirius' wardrobe which showed him as a baby with his mother and father. The Dursley's had covered their walls in pictures of their own son, Dudley, but of course they never displayed any evidence in their house that another boy lived there, in fact Harry was sure they had never even owned any photographic
evidence of his existence, they had never even bought his school photographs. He had a collection of photographs of himself and his friends taken during his time at Hogwarts along with a collection put together of his life since Voldemort was defeated but when he returned from Romania and discovered he had a new family he had bought himself the best wizarding camera out there and recorded every tiny detail that he could. Where the heads of the past house elves enslaved to work in the house of Black had once hung, were now pictures of his children giggling, waving and smiling down at everyone who climbed the stairs and a whole stack of shelves in the Potter-Black library were now dedicated to family photograph albums which Harry would often peruse when his children were asleep, marvelling all over again at the wonderful life he had never dreamed he would be able to have.
The gathering continued with cake, party games and music, Hermione and Harry had introduced some muggle party games like, pin the tail on the donkey and musical chairs which the children thought were amazing, most of the Weasley's were equally amazed by the games which they had never heard of before and George wanted to add a new element to musical chairs by having them hover around in the air while the children tried to catch them and sit down, but Hermione flatly refused to have her children jumping in the air to catch chairs ("Aw stop being a spoil sport Granger!" George had joked but her frown had shut him up quickly).
By eight o clock people were beginning to leave, the younger children were tired and wilting in front of the adults and when the house was empty of guests Harry had to carry a drowsy Lily up to her room to sleep, she had curled up with a cushion and blanket on the sofa and was sucking her thumb when he had noticed her. Albus was close behind but another hour of coaxing was needed to get James into bed, he was adamant that he did not need to go to bed as early as his siblings did, being almost nine meant he was much more grown up than them, or so he thought. Eventually Ginny had had to use her stern voice with him and he had beat a hasty retreat from the kitchen as her blazing 'Weasley' look had burned into his face.
She had then turned that gaze onto Harry who knew he was in trouble for not getting him to bed on time so he followed the boy upstairs and made sure he was tucked up and asleep before returning to help his wife clear up the mess. However by the time he had descended the last few steps and re-entered the kitchen Ginny had set her wand cleaning up the mess and was sat in a squashy armchair by the roaring fire with a large cup of cocoa in her hands and her feet up on a footstool. Gazing at her fiery hair Harry made his way towards the chair and placed his hand on her shoulder, giving it a gentle squeeze he whispered, "They're all tucked up and out for the count."
"Hmm, about time," she said gruffly but then turned to smile at him, Ginny Potter could not stay mad with her husband for long, no matter what he did and he grinned sheepishly back at her, "Need me to do anything?"
"No, the wand's taking care of it and Kreacher is doing the living room, come and join me," she gestured to the other armchair in front of the fire and Harry took a seat, using his wand to charm himself a cup of cocoa he settled down to relax with his beautiful wife. "It's been a good day," she sighed tiredly and Harry nodded his agreement, "I think Albus enjoyed himself anyway!"
"I think you're right," Harry agreed, "He was shattered, went down like a baby!"
"I can't believe he's eight already, and Lily's almost five, where has the time gone?" Ginny asked, "It barely seems like five minutes since I was here giving birth to James, never mind the other two!"
"It's gone on caring for them my darling," he answered sliding forward in his seat and placing his hands on Ginny's knees, she leaned forwards and put her hands on top of his.
"Time for another one?" she asked timidly and Harry's eyes flew wide open, he loved all his children dearly and would walk through fire for them all but they were a handful at the best of times and he had been quite content with just the three of them.
"Let's see what happens shall we," he answered vaguely and she smiled back at him, she too was quite content with her three little bundles of joy, although she had always imagined having almost as many children as her mother and father had had, the reality of looking after three all day every day had curbed her longing for the usual large Weasley family, "But we could always practice making them if you fancy!" he added winking at her with an impish look on his face as she stood up to wash her now empty cocoa mug. Gently taking the cup from her hands he placed it on the table next to them and pulled her onto his knee where he wrapped his arms around her and placed a passionate but soft kiss on her lips.
"Do you ever think about anything else Harry James Potter?" she chided softly and then kissed him back with the same passion he had shown her.
"Yeah, the kids and what they're going to get up to next!" he replied, "But when they are peacefully tucked up in bed then all I can think about is you," he brushed a stray strand of red hair from her eyes and stared into them deeply, contemplating as he often did about the fact that he had never, at any point in his life, thought he would be as happy as he was right now.
Life had not treated him that fairly up until he married Ginny Weasley and even after he had done that he had had it taken away from him for a while, he still worried sometimes that it was all just a dream and that he would wake up one day back in that murky cupboard under the stairs at number four Privet Drive, still living with his Aunt and Uncle. He shuddered at the thought and Ginny looked at him pensively but he shook his head at her and she ignored it knowing that he would sometimes reflect on his life with the Dursleys, before he had ever known that he was a wizard. It pained her to think of his childhood and how different it had been to her own, she had always had loving brothers to play with, they had often left her out because she had been a girl but she had proven on many occasions that she could give as good as she got and could join in with any rough housing that went on in the Weasley household. The only time she had ever been lonely was the year when Ron had gone to Hogwarts and she had been left at home alone with their parents, it had been a long year in the Burrow without her noisy siblings but it had been nothing compared to what Harry had suffered for ten years before that.
She gazed back into his troubled eyes and smiled at him, the twinkle in her eyes showed Harry that she was up to something and he realised she was trying to take his mind away from where it had just travelled, sliding her hand down to his trousers she began to unbutton them as she kissed him tenderly and nibbled at his lips, he responded to her touch and used it as a signal to loosen the buttons on the front of her shirt, sliding his hand inside it he unhooked her bra and began to softly stroke her bare breasts with his hands, she moaned gently and he echoed her when her hand began to stroke the quickly mounting bulge in his trousers. Within minutes they were laid on the fluffy sheepskin rug in front of the fire, Harry flicked his wand in the direction of the kitchen door and heard the lock click, if the children made a noise Kreacher would respond to them and if he saw the door was locked he would retreat back up the stairs. The lovers moved with each other as one until they were both filled with ecstasy and collapsed, still as one, on the floor where they had just made love to each other. Laying in silence until their breathing and heartbeats returned to normal, they stroked and caressed each other's bodies for a few minutes, Harry gazed at his wife lovingly and she smiled warmly back at him, "I love you Ginny Potter," he breathed in her ear, "And I still don't know what I ever did to deserve you!" she was used to this conversation with Harry now and simply continued to grin in his direction.
They stayed on the floor in front of the blazing fire for another half an hour before rising to dress themselves and sit back in the cosy armchairs, Harry flicked his wand to unlock the door and Ginny did a quick sweep of the children's bedrooms to make sure everything was alright upstairs. They had barely moved an inch since Harry had tucked them in and she returned to the kitchen content in the knowledge that all was well. She and Harry sat for another hour talking about the party and their family, sometimes they really did find it hard to believe that they were all grown up and married with children now, well all except Charlie who still had more interest in dragons than women, however much he liked to protest it. "It's so good to have such a large family around us," Harry said once again remembering the lack of one he had had as a child, "I love it when they all come to visit or when we all get together at the Burrow it gives me such a warm feeling!" Ginny nodded her agreement she too loved the large family they had and was warmed by the fact that all of the children seemed to get on so well too.
"I often wonder about my family you know," Harry continued a slight frown furrowinghis brow, "I mean I know I haven't seen any of them for about fifteen years but they were the only flesh and blood family that I have ever known, even if they were rotten." Ginny placed a hand on his knee as he continued to talk about the Dursley's, "When I think of all your brothers and their children I wonder about Dudley, I mean in the end he was strangely grateful to me and it's not that I want to have him in my life all the time like your family, he did spend fifteen years making my life a misery, but I suppose I'm curious about what he's doing now, what they are all doing." Harry looked down at his feet as if he was ashamed but Ginny lifted his chin and smiled at him.
"It's only natural Harry," she crooned, "However badly they treated you, they were still responsible for you and they brought you up, they were a big part of your life, I'd be inquisitive about it too. In fact I've always been strangely curious about meeting them, just because they were part of your life and from everything you've said about them I suppose I'd like to see what kind of people they are now," he looked at her in amazement, this was so Ginny and he loved her even more for understanding and supporting his curiosity.
"I once looked them up you know," he murmured looking down to his knees as if ashamed.
Harry looked up to see his wife's patient and understanding eyes looking back at him waiting for him to continue, "It was just after Lily was born, I was clearing out that far section of the library for the photo albums and I found a box of documents from the old order. I started looking through them and I found some parchments with the Durlsey's name on, Ginny gasped, "Why did they have documents on the Dursleys?"
"From when they moved them before my protection ran out."
"Of course," she nodded.
"There wasn't much but they were just detailing where they had taken them, I never knew because...well no one told me and I never really wanted to know back then."
"So where did they go?"
"Cornwall...St Ives to be exact, Aunt Petunia probably loved it she'd always wanted to go to Cornwall," he chuckled and Ginny smiled too. "I went there," Harry looked down again as if ashamed of what he'd done.
"Go on," Ginny added encouragingly patting his hand again.
"I apparated to the address that was there, I didn't go to the actual house or anything, I just...just watched it for a while from under the invisibility cloak, I saw Uncle Vernon going to work and Aunt Petunia waving him off, they hadn't changed at all she still had that scowl on her face and she had to check all the flowers were in line on the path after he'd gone! I was tempted to jump out at her just to see what she'd do but I didn't, I just continued watching the house all day from the cloak, I didn't know why I had to stay there, but I did and eventually a car pulled upon the drive, not a car I expected Aunt Petunia would allow on her drive but when it pulled up she came running out of the house with a smile on her face and I realised why when the door opened. It was Dudley. He lumbered out of the car as big as he ever was and headed into the house, the other door opened and a small, thin girl with long, lanky blonde hair hoisted herself out, she looked miserable like life had handed her a raw deal. Aunt Petunia however barely acknowledged her as she pulled open the back door and lifted a small child out of a child seat, he looked to be about as old as James was then and had the exact temperament that Dudley had had at his age. He squirmed hitting out at Aunt Petunia but I could hear her saying something about 'little boys' just like she would have done with Dudley then she tried to cuddle him as she walked inside still avoiding the young woman who was trailing slowly behind them. After that I left, thankful that I wasn't part of it any more and even more grateful for the wonderful family I have here," he looked at his wife again and she smiled as she leaned across to kiss him gently on the lips.
"Why didn't you tell me about it when you went?" she asked.
"I don't know, I think I was ashamed of myself for going, for being curious about the people who were no longer a part of my life, I just tried to forget about it, but every now and again I wonder about them, the child will be about nine I guess, like James, I wonder what he's like?"
"Probably like Dudley from what you said, a spoilt little brat."
"You're probably right," he replied and then looked at the kitchen clock on the wall, "I think we'd better go to bed, it's been a long day for both of us." Ginny nodded at him and rose form her chair, "Forget about them anyway, the Dursley's are no longer a part of my life, they haven't been for the last fifteen years and I'm not going back there again." Ginny leaned up to stroke his face with her hand and he smiled at her touch, every day Harry Potter felt like the luckiest man alive and he hoped that nothing was ever going to change that.