Okay, so I just randomly had this idea while I was having a little bit of annoying writer's block for an original story that I've been working on lately. I just finished this, it's just past three o'clock in the morning, and I'm actually very happy with this piece. Let me know what you think.

Oh, and I don't own Harry Potter. That wonderful universe belongs only to J.K. Rowling – unfortunately. I do, however, enjoy messing around with her characters.

And now that the technicalities have been taken care of, onto the actual story! I don't think there are nearly enough Harry/Ginny fics that include 1) the pair dealing with normal, everyday family issues and 2) a nice, healthy dose of unadulterated smut. So, on with it, then. The end is a lemon, however tasteful it may be, so if you don't like that kind of stuff, don't read it. Thanks in advance for all the reviews! :D

"Stop, Al!" James roared at the top of his voice. The sound echoed down the stairs and into the kitchen, where Harry was sitting at the table, reading a newspaper, and Ginny was cooking dinner.

Harry groaned, putting the paper down on the table, and pushed his hands through his untidy black hair. Seconds later, James thundered into the kitchen, Al hot on his heels.

"I told you five times!" James yelled, spinning around quickly so he was right in Al's face. James was slightly taller, but Al didn't look intimidated in the least. "Do NOT read my post!"

Harry saw Ginny turn around out of the corner of his eye. She seemed suddenly interested, which Harry couldn't seem to understand. He was just annoyed.

"Shut up!" Al bellowed. "You're just embarrassed because I found out about your girlfriend."

"She is not my girlfriend," James said. "I'm serious, Al. If you ever read my mail again I'm going to hex you into next year, and I don't care if I get expelled from Hogwarts."

"That's enough, boys," Harry murmured. His headache was begging him not to yell, and he hoped his position of authority would be enough to get them to stop their bickering.

"If you get expelled you won't be able to see Alice," Al taunted. "I bet you wouldn't like that much."

"Can it!" James shouted, finally snapping. His hands flew suddenly to Al's throat – as Al had hoped, no doubt – and the pair of them began to struggle, knocking violently into the kitchen table.

"I said ENOUGH!" Harry bellowed, making his voice heard over the ruckus. The boys stopped squabbling and looked at him, although neither one released his grip on the other.

"He started it!" James began. "He opened a letter of mine."

"I don't care who started it," Harry told them impatiently. "I'm about to finish it. If you two don't shut up right now, neither one of you are going to be allowed out of your rooms for the rest of the summer."

He looked at James. "Explain."

"Why does he get to tell his side first?" Al objected, whining loudly.

"Albus Severus," Harry warned, his voice dangerous. He didn't take his eyes off of James. "Go ahead."

"Albus read a private letter that I received early this morning. It was lying unopened on the desk in my room. I hadn't gotten a chance to read it yet, since I've been rather busy all day with my chores."

Harry frowned at his younger son. "Al?"

Al only frowned back at Harry.

"Albus, is that true?" Harry asked.

"Yes," Albus grumbled. "But James had no right to hit me when he found me reading the letter!"

"No," Harry admitted. "I suppose he didn't. But it was still wrong of you to read his letter."

"But, it was from a girl!" Al protested. "He's my brother. If he's going to go all loopy just for a lousy girl, then surely I have a right to know!"

"No," Harry corrected, aware of Ginny's eyes on him. She was watching him, appraising his parenting skills. Her speculation still never failed to make the back of his neck burn. "You do not. Your brother is fifteen years old, and if he wants to have a girlfriend, that will be up to him."

Ginny cleared her throat quietly from her spot in front of the stove.

"And your mother and I," Harry added quickly. "But not you."

"I do not have a girlfriend!" James protested.

"That's fine," Harry said. "All I'm saying is that, should you want a girlfriend some day, the decision will not be left up to Al. Al, you do not have permission to read your brother's mail. And James, the next time he does something wrong, don't hit him, come tell your mother or myself."

"All right," James murmured, seeming satisfied.

"Fine," Al pouted, frowning.

"Al, apologize to your brother and promise that you won't butt into his private business anymore," Harry demanded.

"Okay," Al said. "I promise."

"James, apologize for hitting your brother," Harry said.

"I'm sorry," James said.

"Okay," Harry said, feeling pleased with the outcome of the fight. No broken bones or teeth, no blood. They had reached an understanding that benefited both parties equally. "Now go upstairs and wash up for dinner. And tell your sister to do the same," he added as an afterthought.

The boys went upstairs, and came back down five minutes later, Lily following close behind. James seemed to have forgiven Al for reading his letter, but Al still seemed sullen at having effectively lost the argument. Lily just looked cheerful, as always.

"Did everyone wash up?" Ginny asked, putting the pot roast on the table, along with steaming bowls of roast carrots and potatoes.

"Yes," the three of them said together.

Harry tossed the Prophet onto an empty chair in the corner, and began slicing the pot roast into thin pieces, placing slices on each plate. Everyone took potatoes and carrots, and soon Ginny was talking to Lily about dress robes for the next school year as Harry told the boys about his day at the Ministry.

"So he ended up losing the eye," Harry finished, grinning as his sons as they watched and listened to their father in awe. The level of admiration they had for him was just so cool. "Of course, it's going to mean a mountain of paperwork tomorrow, but the son of a bitch had it coming."

"Harry," Ginny scolded quietly, glaring at him from across the table.

"I'm sorry, dear," Harry said, having the good grace to look ashamed. He winked at the boys as soon as his wife turned back to her conversation with their daughter.

"So," Al wondered, "the Healer's can't just...like...conjure a new eye?"

"No," James said. "Because it was destroyed by magic. Right, Dad?"

"Right," Harry said, proud of his son. "But like I said before, he had it coming. He used the Cruciatus Curse on Dean beforehand, so pretty much anything went after that."

Ginny gasped. "No he didn't!"

"Yeah," Harry told her, nodding as he swallowed a gulp of wine. "He did, actually."

"Is he all right?" Ginny asked, concerned.

"Yeah, 'course he's fine," Harry said, waving his hand as if vanishing her question from thin air. "He was pissed, that's all. Took out the guy's eye."

"Harry," Ginny warned him again.

"What?" Harry demanded, flustered. "I'm not allowed to say 'pissed' now?"

"Not at the dinner table," Ginny told him, giving him a look that plainly said: This conversation is over. Harry didn't argue. He didn't much fancy sleeping on the couch.

He rolled his eyes at the boys as soon as Ginny went back to talking to Lily about dress robes. Harry continued telling James and Albus about his stressful day as Head of the Auror Department at the Ministry of Magic. Soon, all of the food had been devoured, and all the dishes done. Albus flooed over to Malfoy Manor – he and Draco's son Scorpius had become good friends, though Scorpius was actually Lily's age. Lily was asleep in her room. James was lying in his bed, watching a comedy on a Muggle television, when Harry knocked on the door later that evening.

"Hey, Dad," James said, sitting up when Harry came into the room. "What's up?"

"Nothing," Harry said. "I just think that maybe...we need to talk about a few things before you go back to school next week."

"All right," James said, turning off the television with the remote control and setting it back on the table beside him. "What about?"

Harry looked down, rubbing the back of his neck, which was suddenly very warm. "First of all...I'd like to know who this girl is that wrote to you this morning. If you don't mind."

"Sure, Dad," James said. "It was Alice Longbottom."

"Alice?" Harry said, looking up. "Neville's daughter?"

"Yeah," James said. "She's in my year, remember?"

"Right," Harry said. "So...you've been writing her this summer?"

"Once in a while," James said, nodding. Harry noticed a faint blush in his eldest son's cheeks, but didn't comment on it.

"You, uh...you like her?" Harry asked awkwardly.

James shrugged. "Kind of, I guess. I dunno, Dad, she's Neville's daughter, you know? I've kind of known her forever, and I guess it might be a little strange for me to like her."

"She's a pretty girl," Harry said, watching James' face. He noticed the slightest change in his son's expression when he said that. A small smile crossed James' face for the shortest moment.

James shrugged again, and Harry realized that James was trying to make it seem as if he hadn't noticed Alice's beauty before, when Harry would have been willing to bet his life that Alice was all James had been thinking about for the past several months.

"You know, James," Harry sighed, swallowing his pride and his nerves, all in one giant gulp. "It's okay to like Alice, or any girl for that matter. Don't listen to Al. Everyone gets to that point in his life at a different time, because every person matures at a different rate. You have to remember that you're older than Al is, if only by ten months or so. You've always been a little more mature, anyway... Maybe your brother just isn't there yet. But he will be soon, so don't worry about it too much. If you like Alice, go for it."

"I kind of already have," James mumbled, barely moving his lips, blushing deeply.

"What does that mean?" Harry asked quietly. "James, I can't read your mind, buddy. You've got to help me out a little."

"At the end of last term, she, uh... Well, I was down on the Quidditch pitch, flying a few laps one last time before the end of the year, and I kind of just ran into her on my way out of the locker room. We got to talking, and then on the train, after everyone else had left the compartment...we sort of kissed." James looked away.

Harry clapped James on the back. "Nice!"

James was still blushing, scratching the back of his head. "Anyway," he sighed, "we've been writing back and forth quite a bit this summer, and I'm starting to feel pretty...you know, into her...and it's kind of confusing me. I was trying to keep it just between her and I, because I'm not exactly sure how she feels yet. I'm not even sure how I feel right now. How do I know what comes next? I've never done this before. How do I know if she even wants to be more than friends with me?"

"Well," Harry said, "who initiated the kiss? You or her?"

"That's the thing," James said. "It was kind of...an accident. It just happened. I was getting her trunk down for her and when I stood up straight again from putting it on the floor, there she was, not a foot from me, and I just sort of did it without thinking about it. I mean, it wasn't a big ordeal or anything...our lips just touched and I turned away, red-faced as usual."

"Yeah," Harry said, laughing. "That's a Weasley thing."

"Tell me about it," James grumbled. "The thing is, though...she hasn't mentioned the kiss at all, and neither have I, and I'm starting to wonder if she's forgotten about it by now."

"She hasn't," Harry promised him. "Trust me."

"Ah, Dad," James groaned, "I'm so confused."

"I know," Harry said. "Believe me when I say that. Uh...I have to ask, though, fatherly duties and all...are any of these feelings you've been having...um, of a sexual nature?"

James' eyes snapped quickly to Harry's face, as if he'd just been caught thinking about something that he never should have been thinking about in the first place. His blush deepened impossibly.

"It's okay, you know," Harry assured him, putting what he hoped was a comforting hand on his shoulder. "It's only natural. You don't have to tell me about it...I understand that you'd probably like to keep some things private, so don't worry. It's fine. I just wanted to let you know that if you have any...er, questions...that I'll always be there to answer them for you as best I can. And, you know...be safe if you do decide to, er, do anything, and I'll always back you one hundred percent. And if you, uh...need me to get you anything...just ask and I'd be happy to, erm...help."

Harry looked away, scratching the back of his neck, and got up, heading for the door. When he was almost to the door, James said, "Dad?"

Harry looked at him. "Yeah?"

"Thanks. And I'll...um...let you know...if I need anything, that is."

"Right," Harry said. "No problem, then. G'night, James."

"'Night, Dad," James said, a grin taking over the lower half of his face.

When Harry reached the room that he and Ginny shared, he lay in their bed, hands behind his head, wishing that the chair in his office at work were more comfortable, because maybe then his back wouldn't hurt so badly. Or maybe it was just his age catching up with him...

He opened his exhausted eyes when Ginny opened the door of their bathroom. She was wearing one of his big t-shirts with Gryffindor pajama pants. He cocked an eyebrow at her appearance and she stuck her tongue out at him.

"No," Harry sighed. "I like it. Very sexy."

She rolled her eyes before getting into bed beside him, sliding under the covers and snuggling up beside him.

"You couldn't even take your shoes off, could you?" she mumbled, obviously annoyed with him.

"Like it's a big deal," Harry sighed. "Who cares if I get a little bit of dirt on the quilt? I'll vanish it in the morning. I've got a good life lesson to teach you: Don't worry about it."

"Right," Ginny huffed, rolling away from him angrily and facing the other way. "Don't worry about it. You mean like you don't worry about anything? What would happen if I did what you did, Harry? The kids would never get their schoolbooks in time. Lily wouldn't be getting any dress robes. They would all miss the train on the first of September, because you'd probably forget what day it was. Just like you wouldn't even get up most mornings if I didn't pull your ass out of bed. But you're right, Harry. I should probably just take it easy...not worry about it for a while. I'm sure everything would be just fine if I did exactly what you did every day, and didn't worry about it. Gee, Harry, you were right. I really need to learn that life lesson, because life would be so much better if I just didn't worry about anything.

Harry shook his head at the ceiling. "You make it sound like I don't do anything around here, Ginny. In case you haven't noticed, I'm the one that gets up and goes into work everyday."

"Oh!" Ginny said, turning back over as she sat up and faced him. Her voice was hushed – she didn't want James or Lily to hear the argument. "Don't you even say that to me, Harry Potter. "You're the one that said to me, Stay home, Ginny. Take care of the kids. Let me take care of you! Don't even start with me, Harry."

"Then maybe you shouldn't start shit with me," Harry muttered, letting out a short gust of humorless laughter. He imitated her, "You couldn't even take your shoes off!"

Ginny sighed. "It's not even worth talking to you anymore. You don't listen to me, anyway. Just take a look at your behavior tonight at dinner. That pretty much says it all."

"What behavior?" Harry asked, finally looking her in the eye.

"Oh, I don't know, Harry," she said sarcastically. "How about when you told the entire family in graphic detail about how Dean Thomas took out someone's eye? Does that ring a bell?"

"Unbelievable," Harry said. "You used to love my stories about work. What happened?"

"I grew up!" Ginny said. "I became a responsible parent. Lily is twelve years old, Harry. She doesn't need to hear about that kind of shit!"

"No," Harry agreed, sarcasm dripping off his tongue. "You're probably right. You two should just stick to talking about dress robes for the rest of her life. Shelter her from the world, Ginny. Go right on ahead. Do you know what I saw when I was twelve? How about what you saw when you were eleven? It was the same God damned thing Ginny. Dig deep, and maybe you'll remember."

"You don't think I remember?" Ginny asked, tears glistening in her eyes now. "Damn it, Harry, I'd love to forget, more than anything in the world. But I can't, and all I'm trying to do is protect our children from the same kind of thing that made my life a living hell for most of my school years. I don't want them to have to think about things like that if they don't have to! Why is that so unbelievable to you?"

Harry realized that he felt guilty for making his wife cry. He hated seeing Ginny cry, especially when he was the cause of her tears. His anger ebbed, and the rational part of him understood her point of view. He didn't like to admit it, but she was right – about everything she'd said up to that point. Oh shit, he thought, putting his face in his hands, pushing them through his hair, as he looked up at her, fully ashamed of himself.

"Ginny..." he sighed.

"Don't," she said. "Don't even tell me I'm wrong. If you even try to feed me some bullshit about how the kids need to know about the true horrors of the world before they're forced to face them on their own, save it, because I'm not interested in listening."

"Okay," Harry said, softening his voice. He wanted desperately for her to know how sorry he was. "I get it. Not interested." He kicked off his shoes, cleaning the bedspread with his wand with a muttered incantation. He pulled off his socks as well; he'd never been able to sleep in socks.

"Playing nice isn't going to work, Harry," Ginny told him. "I'm serious, don't mess around with me on this. It's really important to me that the kids aren't scarred for life by horror stories of your job. Do you know what Lily asked me tonight? She asked me if you'd ever killed anyone. What was I supposed to say to a twelve-year-old girl?"

"I dunno," Harry murmured, scrubbing his face with his hands. "I'm sorry, Ginny."

"I'm sorry doesn't stop Lily from having nightmares where you come home from work one day missing an ear like Uncle George," Ginny sighed, lying back into the pillows again.

"I'll talk to her tomorrow," Harry promised. "I'll let her know that I'm fine, and that I plan on staying that way." He moved slightly closer to her, so he was leaning over her, looking her in the eyes. "I will, you know...I'll be fine. You know I'm in less danger now than I ever was, don't you?"

"I know," she murmured, blinking away a fresh round of tears and looking away from him, past him, out the window at the night sky. "It's just hard for me...because I remember when you were in more danger than ever. I remember when I wasn't sure if you were ever going to come back to me. I remember lying awake every night thinking about what you could be doing...where you might be...it was awful."

"I know," Harry said, gently pushing a lock of auburn hair behind her left ear. "I'm sorry. I wish I hadn't had to leave you. You know I would never have been able to do it if I wasn't absolutely sure that it was for your own good."

"I know," Ginny sniffed. "I do. It's just that...well, I know I've told you this before, but I missed you everyday you were gone. From the first day I saw you, I imagined us being married one day, with the perfect house and the perfect family and the perfect life. And it just kills me now to fight about stupid things when we do have that. Yeah, maybe you're a bit vulgar at the dinner table. Sure, you tend to forget some important things. You might even be a bit of an insufferable prick at times, but that doesn't mean that I don't love you every bit as much as I ever did. I can't imagine being with anyone else but you, Harry, and I can't imagine having any other life. We have a beautiful home and three of the most wonderful children in the entire world."

"Even you have to admit that they can be evil little beasts at times," Harry murmured, his lips brushing Ginny's nose as he spoke, his breath fanning across her face lightly. When had he leaned over this much?

"Evil," she agreed, smiling.

Harry pressed a kissed to her lips before pulling away a fraction of an inch. "Don't forget beasts," he joked.

"Shut up," Ginny murmured, wrapping her arms around his neck and twining her fingers in his soft, unruly hair. "Who are you to talk about my children that way?"

"Their father," he murmured, laughing quietly against her lips as he kissed her, pulling her bottom lip gently between both of his. He felt her heart beating rapidly against his chest as he slid his hands from her hips to her waist, and from her waist to her breasts. No bra. Yes.

"I love you, Harry," Ginny breathed, moving her hands around the collar of his shirt and pulling his tie loose.

"Mm, I love you too," Harry murmured, supporting himself on his elbows as she tossed his tie onto the floor and began unbuttoning his shirt. He groaned when she pulled shirt back off his shoulders, tossing it on the floor as well and running her hands down his back to rest just above his buttocks.

He untied the front of her pajama pants, pulling them down as much as he could with his hands and then working them off the rest of the way with his foot before kicking them off the bottom of their bed.

"I've always loved when you do that," Ginny said quietly, her voice breathy. She brought her hands back around to his front and he lifted his hips as he continued kissing her so she could unbuckle his belt. She didn't even bother taking it off, but unzipped his pants immediately, freeing his cloth erection.

Harry shuddered with pleasure when he felt her warm, small hand grip him firmly, rubbing gentle circular motions into him with her thumb. Harry quickly divested himself of his pants before moving down Ginny's body.

He lifted the shirt she was wearing slowly, revealing first a pair of scanty lace underwear, and then her smooth, flat stomach. Three children and he still got to enjoy the beauty of his wife's sexy tummy. How lucky could one man get? Gently, he lifted his shirt over her head and tossed it to the side.

Harry could have paid endless attention to Ginny's full, beautiful breasts, but – as it was – he simply kissed her nipples, teasing each of them into a hard little pebble, before kissing his way down her stomach, sucking here and there on his way to her panties.

"Harry," she gasped, wrapping her fingers in his hair when he dipped his tongue into her bellybutton. He continued downward, pulling her underwear from around her ankles and laying a leg on each side of him. Unable to wait any longer, he pulled off his own boxers and his throbbing member sprang forward eagerly toward her ready and waiting entrance.

When Harry settled himself over Ginny and entered her body with his, he felt as if he had just arrived home from the journey of a lifetime. He supported himself on his elbows, gripping chunks of the silky sheets on either side of Ginny's head. He heard Ginny gasp again, and she gripped his biceps.

Thank you for the muscles, job," he said to himself silently as he began to move inside his wife. I promise that I'll never complain about you ever again. His back wasn't even sore anymore, he realized. Making love to Ginny always made him feel like he was seventeen again.

In his mind, he'd just defeated Voldemort, and they were up in the boy's dormitory, in his old bed, scarlet curtains fluttering in the breeze around them. The red sheets were tangled around the pair of them. There was sweat covering his body as he held Ginny to him as if the world might end if he let her go. And then the two of them were falling together, and Harry's face was buried in her sweet-smelling hair. His hands were clutching desperately onto everything in reach, because he needed an anchor so he wouldn't fall off the face of the Earth. And he rolled off of her, chest heaving, his stomach still clenching, his heart still pounding.

And Harry lay in their big white bed next to Ginny, holding her tightly in his arms, swallowing thickly as he tried to catch his breath. He pushed her sticky hair off of her sweaty face, wondering for the millionth time how bad he smelled, but once again pushing the thought to the back of his mind.

"I think that was probably the best sex we've had in the last five years," Ginny sighed, tracing the line of dark hair that led from his navel downward. Harry felt her touch him again and closed his eyes at the pleasant feel of her hand on him, massaging him lightly. He would be able to get hard again tonight, and Ginny knew that. His recovery time wasn't what it used to be, just like his back wasn't what it used to be. And the damn thing was aching again.

"I agree," Harry mumbled, already half sleeping.

"What were you and James talking about earlier?" she asked quietly. "When you went into his room?"

"Girls," Harry murmured, stroking her hip absentmindedly, instinctively, so he barely even realized he was doing it. "Kissing. Sex."

Ginny stirred beside him. "Sex?"

"Relax," Harry said sleepily, a smile in his voice. "I figured I'd throw it into the discussion...just in case."

"Oh," Ginny said, calming down immediately. "All right. He's only fifteen though. He really has no business even considering having sex right now." She paused for a long while. Just as Harry began to slip into a wonderful dream, one where his need for recovery time was conveniently and entirely nonexistent, Ginny said, "Will you tell me if he tells you he's planning on doing anything?"

"Of course," Harry said, not really awake nor asleep.

"Okay," Ginny said, snuggling warmly against Harry's shoulder. "Goodnight, husband."

"'Night, wife," Harry murmured. He would have grinned if he hadn't been so damn exhausted.