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Catherine or Cate

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Rabid Plot Fox

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No Approval Needed

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"I'm sorry. What?" James Potter asked his fifteen year old daughter as she sat, perched on the back of the lounge behind her eldest brother smirking.

"Sit down properly, Iris," Lily Potter declared sweeping into the room laden down with bowls of flavoured popcorn.

Iris did as she was asked, shoving both her older and younger brothers aside, none to gently, as she took her place between them in the prime, movie watching position.

"Iris!" James snapped. "What did you just say? About your brother."

Beside Iris on the couch, and behind her father, two pairs of emerald green eyes rolled while on her other side her little brother Charlie gnawed on a liquorice wand in true uncaring twelve year old fashion.

"Where's Rosie?" Lily asked, throwing blankets to various people and slapping Sirius' hand away from the popcorn bowl nearest to him. "Rosie! Movie!"

"Focus, Lily-flower!" James insisted. "Apparently our monk of a son has a girlfriend."

"Not a monk," Sirius disagreed from his corner of the room as Rosie hurtled around the corner and into his lap. "Just has a thing for smart girls like his father."

"No running," Lily added, disappearing back to the kitchen. "And no, not a monk."

"How do you know?" James shouted after Lily.

"Met her," Lily replied returning and handing bottles of Butterbeer to everyone in the room. "You're only hearing about this because and he's just turned 17 and he's a Potter. Think of this as us warming you up to the idea of Harry having met the woman he's going to marry.

"Thanks, Lils," Sirius declared accepting his drink and it was closely followed by a chorus of "Thanks, Mum".

"I'm not getting married," Charlie declared, receiving a thumbs up of approval from Sirius.

"Harry has a girlfriend. Our nerdy Harry who is in Gryffindor by the skin of his teeth. How do you not find this shocking?" James asked the room in general.

"Silly Daddy," Rosie said with five year old wisdom. "Harry has had a girlfriend for ages! Since at least Christmas. I helped him pick flowers to send. It was the biggest bunch of sunflowers you've ever seen! It was as big as, as big as the sun!"

"Don't exaggerate," Iris said rolling her eyes.

"It was big," Harry agreed. "One flower for every term we had been at school together."

"Twenty-two," Rosie declared.

"Is your maths getting better, Rosie-posie?" Sirius asked the girl reclined across his lap.

"No. I remembered," Rosie replied.

James huffed. "Harry has a girlfriend. How did I not know this?"

"Easy," Charlie said speaking up. "You won't like her because you're short-sighted."

"I'm long sighted," James countered, confused.

"Your son is trying to tell you that you are a bigot, darling," Lily declared. "Harry's polite, intelligent…"

"Stunningly attractive…" Sirius butted in.

"Rather attractive girlfriend is a Slytherin," Lily explained. "And in about twenty seconds your head is going to explode from sheer stupidity. Take it elsewhere James or you're sleeping on the sofa tonight. I want to watch my movie."

They were most of the way through watching the Star Wars characters gallivanting around Endor when James broke his silence.

"Who is she?"

The room groaned collectively.

"Daphne Greengrass, Dad. No, you won't be able to change my mind. Yes, I'm as serious about her as you were with Mum. No, we won't be getting married straight away, we both have career goals to reach. Yes, you were the last to know but we have all grown up listening to you rant on about Slytherins as if they were all evil and we know they aren't. Yes, Voldemort was a dick for murdering Nanna and Poppy. Uncle Regulus is a pretty cool guy when he is dragged out of that awful library and your friend Peter, a Gryffindor, turned out to be a bit of a jerk selling us out to the newspapers on a regular basis. That, in my eyes is the bigger betrayal," Harry ranted, having leapt to his feet and moved across the room towards his father. "Sirius, Plan B. Apparently my Dad is a bit of a dick."

"Nice work, James," Lily hissed as Harry stormed up the stairs.

"I didn't do anything," James protested.

Iris scoffed. "Like you weren't ten seconds from jumping down his throat. Good on him for beating you to the punch."

"Well, you didn't have to bring the subject up in the manner you did either, Iris," Lily admonished.

"We've been waiting over a month for Harry to tell Dad," Iris declared angrily. "I was getting sick of keeping the secret. We all were, even you Mum."

Lily pinched the bridge of her nose. "Have a little more respect for your brother. You're going out with a Longbottom. As if your father is going to do anything other than slap the poor boy on the back and tell him 'good job', Iris. Your brother was between a rock and a hard place."

"It was a bit of a dog move, Iris, but it was going to come out sooner or later. You've got James' impatient gene so it was to be expected," Sirius agreed depositing Rosie on the chair having stood up. "I'll keep an eye on him. Make him help me clean the house up a bit more. Teach him some other defensive magics from our library."

"Now, wait just a minute!" James declared as Harry charged back down the stairs packed.

"Nope," Harry replied rebelliously, moving about the room and kissing his siblings and mother goodbye. "I'll see you in a week if you can get your head screwed on Dad. For now I am gone."

And with a crack he apparated away.

III

The fire flared an hour later and a gorgeous woman with strawberry-blonde hair stepped out, wearing a muggle suit and heels.

"Mrs Potter," she said with a tight smile to Lily who grinned.

"Have at him," Lily replied, reclining back in her armchair comfortably. "You would think he knew better than to rile a red head by now."

"Thank Merlin, Harry takes after you," the young woman replied.

"Hey, Daph!"

"Hey Charlie. Hey Iris," she greeted two of the other Potter children.

"Didn't take you long," Iris noted.

"No," Daphne replied. "Of all the senarios we imagined this is the worst."

"How is this the worst?" James demanded.

"My parents accepted him without thought," Daphne said. "You, who have only ever told him you are proud of him when he has won a quidditch game got your back up at the idea of your son marrying a stereotype."

"I am very proud of my son," James defended.

"Sure. After quidditch," Daphne replied.

"He's on his way to being Head Boy," James began.

"You didn't even congratulate him on becoming prefect," Daphne snapped, her blue eyes narrowing. "You just said, my boy is going to be head boy."

James looked to Lily who shrugged her shoulders and nodded.

"Do you ever wonder why he loves going around to Sirius'?"

"Sirius is his godfather and father by blood-adoption. They love each other."

"Of course they do. But when Harry is visiting Grimauld Place Sirius helps him with his duelling. Shows him things that he likes. Shares experiences with him that he likes. And when Harry beat him for the first time in a duel, Sirius made a silly little plaque and put it on the wall of his office, then took both of us out for a fancy muggle dinner to celebrate."

"We've celebrated things," James declared.

"Quidditch doesn't count," Daphne retorted.

"We celebrated his OWLs," James snapped.

"What were his scores?"

"Straight O's," James said confidently.

"In how many subjects?"

James looked to Lily.

"Your son is a nerd, Mr Potter because he had the best OWL results in fifty years. He tested out of fourteen subjects. The only other person to do that is Professor McGonagall. Lily and Professor Lupin come close with twelve but none can top Harry," Daphne continued. "How many NEWTs is Harry taking?"

James sighed. "I concede your point."

Daphne looked down at him with thinly veiled distain. "You don't even understand my point, Mr Potter. You consistently belittle your son with comments that shouldn't hurt yet sting like a thousand paper cuts on his soul. All he has ever wanted is your approval, and your love. He has one, he knows that, but does he have the other?"

James shifted uncomfortably in his chair.

"Why would he want to open himself up to more hurt by telling you about me?"

The young woman wilted and turned back to the fireplace.

"In time, I will marry your son. He makes me incredibly happy and I hope I do the same for him. May I recommend attempting not to isolate him from you further."

"Bye, Daphne!" Iris called.

"Nice meeting you, Mr Potter. Good to see you again, Lily, Potter-spawns," the strawberry blonde declared with a devilish smile.

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