One week from the end of his 7th year at Hogwarts Harry Potter was sitting listlessly in the Gryffindor common room, just staring at the wall. Hermione and Ron were taking turns watching him. They were both worried. It had been 3 months since the final battle and Harry had taken the deaths of their classmates and friends very badly. It seemed, though, like this went far deeper than just depression, but Hermione couldn't place her finger on it. She was researching all the symptoms that Harry had told her he felt, and while some of them were symptoms of depression, most of them weren't.
The portrait opened and Ginny Weasley walked in. She saw Harry, sitting in silence, and stopped and stared. Her face betrayed irritation at Harry. She walked to the sofa and sat next to Harry. She didn't even notice Ron and Hermione watching her.
Harry looked at Ginny, nodded and looked at the wall again. Her face turned red, whether from embarrassment or anger, Hermione couldn't tell. She watched as Ginny placed her hand on Harry's cheek and turned him to face her. Hermione heard Ron's indrawn breath when Ginny put her lips on Harry's and snogged him for all she was worth. Harry didn't respond. Ron motioned to Hermione to stay put; he quietly crept up behind the sofa and listened to Ginny rant under her breath. Harry turned to look at the wall again.
"Why isn't it working? Mum told me that this would work! I wonder if I need to give him a stronger dose?" She pulled a piece of parchment out of her jumper and looked at it. Ron saw that it was the instructions for a love potion, and that it was written in his mother's distinctive loopy handwriting. He began to get very angry. Ginny put the parchment back in her pocket and pulled out a phial of bright red liquid. Before she could remove the stopper, Ron grabbed it out of her hand. Ginny turned, ready to yell at whomever had taken the phial, but, instead, paled when she saw it was her brother. Her very large, angry brother.
Hermione, finally realizing what was going on, pointed her wand at Ginny and murmured a spell. "Petrificus Totalus!" Ginny's arms immediately snapped to her sides and she fell off of the sofa, onto the floor. Harry watched her fall with an expression of mild interest. Ron walked around the sofa and reached into Ginny's pocket for the instructions for the potion. Hermione ran to the fireplace and, throwing a bit of powder into the flames, called out "Madame Pomfrey!"
The medi-witch's face appeared in the flames. "Yes, Miss Granger?"
"Please! Come quickly! Harry needs help!"
The medi-witch grabbed her wand and stepped into the flames. Moments later, she stepped out into the Gryffindor common room. She immediately went to Harry's side, ignoring the young witch on the floor, and began to run her wand over him. Harry paid her no attention. She gasped and turned very pale.
"Mr. Weasley, are you able to carry Mr. Potter?"
"Good! Pick him up and follow me to the hospital wing!"
Ron handed Hermione the parchment and the phial. He gathered Harry into his arms and followed the mediwitch. Hermione knelt down at Ginny's side and looked into Ginny's frightened eyes.
"Yes, you should be frightened. If you've done anything to hurt Harry, I will make sure I hex several of your body parts off so that you can't find them." Hermione stood. "Starting with your toes and working my way up." Leaving Ginny lying on the floor, Hermione followed Ron and Harry to the hospital wing.
After putting Harry into a deep sleep, Madame Pomfrey began to cast spells. The small mediwitch seemed to grow in size and strength, a sight that held both Ron and Hermione frozen in place. The witch pointed her wand in the direction of her office and they saw a bezoar fly into her outstretched hand. She placed the stone into Harry's mouth and they all watched as, while still asleep, he swallowed. The outline of the bezoar was visible as it traveled down Harry's throat and then disappeared into his stomach.
Madame Pomfrey was still chanting spells when the doors to the hospital wing opened and Severus Snape and Minerva McGonagall walked through. Poppy had summoned them when she had reached the hospital ward. They stopped at the foot of Harry's bed and watched, concerned, as the spells continued. Professor Snape drew his wand and, with Poppy's nod began to chant more spells in time with hers. The change in Harry's complexion was immediate. He had been very pale and sallow, and now his skin began to look more like it normally did, still very pale, but without the sickening yellowish tinge that had been there. After quite some time, his body relaxed and his chest began to rise and fall in a shallow, unsteady rhythm.
Both the witch and wizard stopped the spells and stood still on either side of the bed. "Poppy, what happened?" Professor McGonagall asked.
"He's been poisoned! I don't know with what yet, I'll need to do more tests to find out." She cast several monitoring charms that would sound an alarm if his condition worsened.
Hermione remembered the phial and parchment in her hand. "Madame Pomfrey? Ginny has been giving Harry this."
Hermione handed the phial and parchment to the mediwitch and stepped back. She took Ron's hand into hers, and was surprised that it was ice cold. She could feel the fear rolling off of him and, letting go of his hand, put her arm around his waist. Ron's arm snaked around her shoulders, pulling her into his side.
"She said that my Mum told her it would work...it's supposed to be a love potion, isn't it?" Ron was still rather red, but it was fading quickly. Right now, he was more concerned about Harry than he was angry with his sister.
The mediwitch read the instructions for the potion. "Merlin! It's a wonder he was still conscious, with this in his system! This is made for fully grown adults, not young people! What in the name of Circe was she doing with this?"
The mediwitch gave the phial to Snape. He pulled the stopper and sniffed. He held his hand out for the parchment. He sniffed the potion several more times while reading the ingredients. His eyes narrowed and he began to swear under his breath. "There is at least three times more Damiana in this potion than is called for. There is also too much Yohimbine, not enough Ginseng and several herbs that aren't even in the instructions, including wormwood. This isn't anything recognizable...except as a poison. It certainly isn't a love potion."
Ron spun away from Hermione and began to stalk the floor. His face was now rivaling his hair in color again. He spun around again. Professors McGonagall and Snape watched some unspoken communication pass between Ron and Hermione. She shook her head vigorously, Ron just held her gaze. He walked to the hearth, grabbed a handful of floo powder and tossed it into the hearth. He shouted "The Burrow!" and then stepped into the flames before anyone could stop him.
Hermione looked at Professor McGonagall. At her nod, Hermione followed Ron to the Burrow.
When she arrived, Ron was being held by both Fred and George, who were having difficulty keeping him from charging at their mother. "HOW COULD YOU? HOW COULD YOU GIVE GINNY A RECIPE FOR A POTION THAT COULD KILL HARRY? IF I HADN'T STOPPED HER SHE WOULD HAVE DOSED HIM AGAIN!"
Hermione walked over and placed one hand in the middle of Ron's chest. His breathing hitched, but he stopped yelling. Keeping her hand there, Hermione looked at Molly Weasley. "What you have done is one of the most morally reprehensible things I have ever heard of! What gives you the right to do something like that? If Harry doesn't want Ginny, he doesn't want her! You have no right to give her a potion that will cloud his mind. You could have killed him! Right now, he's lying in a bed in the hospital wing of Hogwarts, fighting for his life! Your daughter poisoned him!" She heard a strangled gasp from one of the twins. She assumed it was Fred.
"If it's made properly, it won't hurt him!" Molly ground out. Fred and George looked at her, disgust written plainly on their faces. That said a lot. Fred and George weren't exactly the most upstanding wizards in the world, and if they found what their mother did to be wrong...well then, it really must be. Bill and Charlie came in from the garden, talking, and froze in the doorway. They had just come home for a vacation and were trying to relax for a bit.
"Mum?" Charlie's voice was really quiet. Neither he nor Bill knew what was going on, but they could tell it wasn't good. The tension in the room was so thick it could be cut with a knife. Ron's struggles to get away from the twins might also have been a give away.
"I didn't do anything wrong! Albus gave me that recipe! He said that it would be perfect, once Harry matured. He promised that Ginny could have Harry once this was all over with. He promised!" Bill had to add his strength to the twins' and Charlie stepped in front of Ron, holding him around the waist.
"How long have you been dosing him up with potions?" Hermione's voice was low and dangerous. Charlie looked at her and backed up slightly. Hermione Granger, he had found out the hard way, was not someone you wanted to trifle with, especially not when she was angry.
"Years! Since the summer before Ginny's second year. That's when we reached the agreement. For my help, for getting Harry to trust me as a mother figure, Ginny was to have Harry. But Harry didn't want her...so Albus gave me potions for Ginny to give to Harry. After he died, I began to make the potions on my own. I've been making them stronger, but he seems to be able to resist them! I knew this one would be strong enough...but apparently, Ginny messed it up!"
Bill was pale and he looked as if he wanted to be sick. He turned his head away to whisper to the twins and Charlie. "We need to get Ron out of here...on three. One. Two. Three." All four brothers lifted Ron off of his feet and carried him out of the back door, Ron protesting and fighting them the whole way. Hermione heard Charlie cast a stunning spell at Ron. She assumed it reached its mark when he and Bill came back into the kitchen. Presumably the twins were staying with Ron.
She looked back at Molly. "How dare you do something like this to a man who trusted you like a mother? How can you live with yourself? You make me sick!" Bill and Charlie felt the surge of magic in Hermione and watched as she sent a stunning spell so strong that it threw Molly against the cabinets.
Hermione began to cry and when Bill turned her around, she clung to him as she wept. "He's lying there, possibly dying and she doesn't care! He loves her like a mother, the mother he never had, and she betrays that trust like this!" She felt a calloused hand rubbing gentle circles on her back. She straightened. "Charlie, please go get Ron's things from his room. He's not coming back here...I won't let him."
Charlie knew better than to argue. He went up the stairs to Ron's room and began packing up his brother's things, making sure to pull the Chudley Canons posters down. He carefully shrank everything to fit into a rucksack.
When he came back into the kitchen, he looked at his mother, still lying on the floor. He shook his head sadly, wondering when she had lost her mind. Bill was waiting. "We're going to apparate with them back to Hogwarts. We'll end up outside the gates, and we'll walk from there."
Charlie nodded and, shouldering the rucksack, went outside with Bill. Hermione saw them and released Ron from the spell. "Finite Incantum."
He sat up and shook his head to clear it. "I need to pack my stuff. I'm never coming back here."
"Already done...Hermione thought of that. Where are you going to go? School's almost over and after that, you're on your own." Bill crouched down to Ron and put a hand on his shoulder.
Hermione answered him. "I'm pretty sure if we explain it to Professor McGonagall, she'll let us stay there for a little while, just until we can find someplace else. I'm not going anywhere without Harry or Ron."
The twins looked at each other, then at Hermione and Ron. "You can always stay with us...we have the whole building and there's two flats above. We have the lower one right now, but we'll switch if you want us to." Fred looked at Ron. "Even if you don't want to right now, you'll always be welcome...remember that" Ron nodded and gave Fred and George each a quick hug. He noticed that Fred was very pale and shaking. He knew that Fred and Harry were more than just friends.
Fred and George watched the four of them disapparate and then went inside. George could feel the pain from his twin and hoped, with everything in him, that Harry was going to be alright. Molly was just beginning to recover from the stunning spell. "Where are you two going?"
The twins ignored her and went up to their old room. They began pulling out anything that was still there and shrinking it down to fit into a couple of bags. Then, they went into their father's study, wrote him a letter and went back out to the kitchen.
Molly was waiting, impatience and anger warred for prominence on her face. George turned to look at her, while Fred turned his back, fists clenching. "We are leaving...we are not coming back. What you've done to Harry is wrong, even we know that. Do not contact us, we will not return your owls. Goodbye." The twins walked out of the door and disapparated.
Once back at Hogwarts, Hermione, Ron, Bill and Charlie all went directly to the hospital ward. Harry looked a slight bit better...to Hermione and Ron, anyway. To both Bill and Charlie, it looked like Harry was going to die any minute. Ron saw their horrified expressions.
"He looks much better now than when we first got him here. At least he's not all yellowish anymore." They both turned even more horrified looks on Ron and Hermione.
"What the HELL did she give him?" Bill could barely choke the words out past the lump in his throat. Charlie just made a small noise in his throat, almost like a whimper.
"Poison, Mr. Weasley." Severus Snape walked into the hospital ward and sat by Harry's side, his robes fluttering to rest around him. "She gave him poison. Has been giving him poison for the last several months, apparently." He ran his wand over Harry's still form. Seemingly satisfied with the results, he sat back to look at them. "Veritaserum is a wonderful thing, when used for the right purposes. Ginevra admitted that she has been giving Harry this version of the poison since before the battle. I suppose that may be why Voldemort was unable to kill him...he was already half dead to begin with, and it wasn't of Voldemort's doing. It's a wonder that Harry was able to kill him, given the condition he was in."
Bill's legs gave out on him and he collapsed to the floor. Charlie locked his knees and held onto the bed frame, so that he didn't embarrass himself, too. Severus calmly looked at the brothers and realized that he had just stunned them, far better than any spell could have.
"Needless to say, your sister is in the custody of the Headmistress right now. Your father has been notified, and is on his way here." They just stared at him.
Hermione grasped at something that Snape had said. "This version? How many versions have there been?"
"At least three different reformulations and several small changes to the original recipe. She seemed to think, for some reason, that it would work better if she added things indiscriminately, instead of just a higher dosage of the original, correct potion. Once she added wormwood, however, it turned what should have been a love potion into a very powerful poison. If anyone ever wanted proof of how strong a wizard Harry Potter really is, they now have it. The fact that he is still breathing is, in itself, a miracle. That poison should have killed him with one dose."
Charlie just gave up at this point, and sat down on the floor next to Bill. Hermione was very pale and shaking, holding on tightly to Ron. Ron's lips were white from lack of blood flow, he was pressing them together so hard to keep from crying. Severus' attention was distracted by two more red-heads joining the group. George Weasley was leading his brother, an arm around Fred's waist. Fred was so pale, he was almost transparent.
Fred looked at Harry, and then at Snape. "Did you mean that? That she's been knowingly poisoning him for months?" Fred was visibly shaking and sweat dotted his forehead.
"No, she didn't seem to realize that what she was adding would turn it into a deadly poison. On that point, and only that point, is she innocent. She thought that, since Damiana and Yohimbine were already in the potion, it wouldn't hurt to increase the amounts. Then she added several other things, including the wormwood. When that didn't work, she simply gave him a higher dosage of the poison. As I said, one dose of that should have killed him."
Fred's eyes rolled back in his head and, if George hadn't caught him, he would have landed in a heap on the floor. George picked up his brother and gently laid him down in the bed next to Harry's, then sat down next to him. Hermione went over to George and gently hugged him. He was shaking so badly, his teeth were chattering.
Is there anyone in that family who isn't in love with Potter? Severus thought, a bit sarcastically. Severus didn't know it, but George was reacting for both himself and his twin. The bond between the twins was so strong that emotions flowed back and forth easily between the two.
"Is there any way to get the poison out of his system faster, but safely?" Ron looked the potions master straight in the eyes and held his dark gaze with his bright blue eyes. Bill and Charlie came out of their stupor and also looked at Snape.
Severus nodded, conceding that Ronald may have, at last, grown up. "There is...but it would require a huge commitment from someone whose magic was compatible with Harry's. It would require Harry and this other person to be bonded."
Hermione gasped. Bonding was permanent. Once Harry was bonded, there would be no way to end the bond.
George and Ron both looked at Fred. They knew that Harry and Fred had been dating before the battle, but broke it off because Harry hadn't wanted Fred to be harmed because of him. "Can the person be of the same sex?" George was curious if the bonding could be between two men.
"Yes, they can. In fact, it would probably be better in this case, as Mr. Potter is definitely not of a completely heterosexual persuasion." Hermione's mouth dropped open.
"You...you knew?" Bill and Charlie looked at Hermione...they hadn't known.
"I knew." Severus Snape prided himself in being very observant, and he had noticed the attention that Fred and Harry had paid to each other during Order meetings. Thinking back on it, he wondered how long they had been together...for quite some time, probably. Maybe not sexually, but most definitely emotionally.
"Can you...would you ask Madame Pomfrey to test each of us to see if any of us are compatible with Harry, please?" Ron held Severus' gaze again. "Provided, of course, that everyone wishes to be tested." Ron's eyes swept over his brothers and Hermione. They all nodded. George nodded twice, once for him and once for Fred, placing his hand on his twin's leg. He knew Fred would want to be tested.
Severus stood. "I will ask her now. Please wait here." They watched as he walked to the mediwitch's office and closed the door. Severus knew what the poison would do without the bond. Harry Potter would not survive. He would not just sit back and watch Lily's son die. There were several other ways to achieve the same goal, but they would take longer and were much more risky. The bonding would be the quickest and the best way to accomplish it.
Ron turned to look at Charlie. "Are you sure? You, George and myself are the only ones here who are completely straight." He then turned to look at George. "Can you do that, knowing that the bond has to be completed, that you have to have sex with Harry?"
"For Harry, I will. He's given so much to me already; I don't think I could ever repay that. But this would be a way to start." He thought for a minute. "Of course it would have to be a tri-bond." He held his hand out to Hermione and smiled gently. "I wouldn't want to be in a bond without you."
She smiled and took his hand. "Nor I."
Fred moved slightly and opened his eyes. George helped him sit up and quickly brought his brother up to speed. "So, we're all going to be tested?"
"Yes." Bill nodded. "If this will make sure that Harry is going to recover quickly and completely, we're all willing to do it. Are you willing, Fred?"
"More than..." Fred took a deep breath. "You should know that Harry and I have been seeing each other for well over a year." Charlie's jaw dropped. "It'll hurt like hell, if my magic isn't compatible, but for Harry, I'll deal with it." Charlie wondered why no one had thought to tell him or Bill about their brother and Harry.
Madame Pomfrey came out and spoke, "Alright then...I need you all to leave the room. I will call you one by one. I will test your magical compatibility, then you will rejoin the others. No one will know the results until I have tested everyone. Please join Professor Snape in my office." Everyone stood. "I will test you first, Ronald. Miss Granger, you will be next."
Ron stood and watched as she ran her wand over Harry several times. She then turned to him and did the same. She nodded. "Please send Miss Granger out."
One by one, they were all tested. Each of them kept their eyes on Harry as the testing was done. Each of them knew that this was right, that this is what would keep Harry alive.
After Poppy tested Bill last, she sent him to summon everyone out of her office. She walked over to the fireplace and called Minerva to come to the hospital ward. Everyone filed out of the office as Minerva arrived, followed by a very pale, shaken Arthur Weasley.
Arthur sat silently in a chair while Poppy explained to him and Minerva exactly what was being proposed and why. Arthur nodded and looked at his children. They saw the tears in his eyes and they all went to him, even Hermione.
"Dad, it'll be alright. Don't worry about any of us, you need to worry about you and what to do with...the others." Bill couldn't say their names right now. Because of their mother and sister, Harry was lying in a hospital bed, close to death...and before the day was out, one of them would be bonded to him. Arthur nodded and motioned to Poppy to continue.
She looked at the group. Only two of the people before her were not Weasleys, but Hermione might as well have been, and Harry would be, very soon. "After testing each of you, there are only two whose magic is compatible with Harry's. The first is George Weasley...and," She paused to look at Fred and George. "the second is Fred Weasley." Fred closed his eyes, and drew a shuddering breath. "I suspect, Mr. Weasley, that your magic is compatible because of the emotional bond you share with Mr. Potter. And, because you and George are twins, his magic changed to reflect yours. A wizard's magic will change slightly, to become more in tune with the person he shares an emotional tie with. I believe that, if I tested Ronald and Hermione, we would find that they are compatible only with each other. I will leave you all to figure out the best way to do this. Come Arthur, I want to have a look at you." She moved off, followed by Arthur, Minerva and Severus.
Bill walked over to the twins. He stood in front of Fred and put his hands on his shoulders. "Are you alright?" Fred nodded, trying hard not to cry. He had wanted to be compatible with Harry so badly, and, now that he knew he was, he almost couldn't handle it.
"How do we do this? Harry isn't going to be able to say the words for the bonding." Fred knew that the words were very important to the whole ceremony and that the bonding wouldn't be complete without them.
"We can have a proxy. Ron, do you think that you or Hermione could be Harry's proxy? For the words, anyway? The mixing of the blood can be done even while he's still unconscious." Ron nodded, as did Hermione. Bill looked at George, "Are you okay with this, too? You know the bond you share with Fred...this will affect you as well."
George put his hand on his twin's shoulder. "I'm sure...this is for Harry. Not only that, but I don't think Fred here would allow me to live, if I didn't agree." George smiled, and everyone laughed, lightening the tension somewhat.
There were all sorts of logistics to go through before the bonding could take place. Someone, who was not of the Weasley family, someone who loved Harry, had to give Harry into Fred's keeping, just as someone from the Weasley family had to give Fred into Harry's keeping. It was decided that Hermione, as she was 18, would act as in loco parentis for Harry and Ron would be Harry's proxy. Arthur, as Fred's father, would give Fred to Harry.
The ceremony itself would be performed by Severus, as a member of the Wizengamot. After the final battle, it had been determined, beyond a doubt, that he had been a spy for the Order and had been quickly appointed to that select group. Minerva McGonagall and Poppy Pomfrey would act as witnesses.
Everything proceeded perfectly. Hermione said what she was supposed to say and Ron said his part flawlessly. Severus made two small cuts, one in Harry's palm and the other in Fred's, with a small silver knife. Fred held Harry's hand as he pressed the two cuts together, to let the blood and magic flow from one into the other. A bright blue light surrounded the men, Harry unconscious on the bed, and Fred on his knees beside him. As the light faded, Fred swayed and fell to the floor.
Severus swooped down, picked up the younger man and placed him in the enlarged bed, next to Harry, making sure that Fred's hand covered Harry's. They had to be touching in some way. Poppy was already on that side of the bed, wand at the ready. She ran it very slowly down Fred's body, noting the changes already taking place. This reaction had been expected; as Fred had not been poisoned, his body was adjusting to help Harry clean the toxins from his system. The colour started to return to Fred's skin, but he did not awaken.
Poppy stepped away from the side of the bed after casting a few spells on Fred, to make sure his bodily waste would magically disappear, and putting monitoring charms on him, as well. She then guided a very pale, but conscious, George over to another bed, next to his twin. He immediately relaxed into sleep. Even though he was not, technically, a part of the bonding, George was still affected because of the close bond that the twins shared. This had surprised Severus, when he had been told. He had heard of such things, but had never witnessed it.
Everyone moved to the other end of the ward. Arthur sank into a chair and placed his head into his hands. His wife and his daughter had conspired to entrap Harry. Now, Harry was bonded to one of the twins. He really didn't know how to cope with the way his life was turning out. Bill, seeing his distress, sat on the arm of the chair and put his arms around his father. Charlie was next, on the other arm. Ron and Hermione each sat in front of him, leaning on his legs. Arthur looked at them and then down the ward, to where his other children and Harry lay. The tears he had held back finally started to flow. "How am I supposed to handle this? What do I need to do?"
"Just lean on us right now, Dad. We'll help you get through this." Bill felt that everyone was in agreement on that. No matter what, Arthur needed all of his remaining children to support him, to stand behind him when he faced the issue of Molly and Ginny.
Minerva knelt next to Arthur. "We, of course, will stand by you. Ginevra cannot stay here. When word gets out, and it will, she will not be safe. Many of the students, not just Ronald and Hermione, are protective of Harry, because of the sacrifices he's made for all of us. The unfortunate thing is that Aurors were sent to your house to collect Molly earlier, when you were in my office. I'm sorry, Arthur, I had to inform them. She is now being held at the Ministry of Magic. They will also take Ginevra into custody."
Arthur's face became hard. "I refuse to stand behind them. What they did was wrong, in far too many ways."Arthur then paled. "What will I do? I'll be judged based on my wife's behavior. I won't have a position at the Ministry anymore." His head dropped and he sighed heavily. "I'm ruined."
"No...Severus and I will not allow that to happen. We were both here after Harry was brought in; you and I spoke privately in my office. You knew about none of this."
Severus spoke up. "What will happen is this: They will subpoena your memories, both yours, Arthur, and Minerva's, mine, too, and possibly Poppy's. You will both be placed under the effects of Veritaserum, as will I, most likely. As long as you knew nothing of your wife's and daughter's behavior, I will make certain that you are not judged on that. Are you willing to, in essence, testify against your wife and daughter?"
"Yes." Arthur's voice was quiet, but hard, spoken through clenched teeth. "What they did was wrong. It could have killed Harry. Now my son is bonded to Harry, without Harry's knowledge or approval, to save his life. My daughter poisoned him, with my wife's knowledge and approval. I no longer wish to be associated with them." Hermione gasped, grabbing Ron's hand. Ron had gone white, as had Bill and Charlie, still on the arms of the chair.
Several Aurors came in to the hospital wing. Professor Snape moved toward them. "This is a medical facility. Harry Weasley-Potter is trying to recover from being poisoned. You will wait outside."
One Auror, with bright pink hair, pushed her way to the front of the group. "Did you say Harry Weasley-Potter?"
"I did, Auror Tonks. In order to save Harry's life, Fred Weasley agreed to be bonded to Harry. Their bodies are now working together, trying to fight off the poisons in Harry's body. It was the only way to save him quickly and avoid permanent damage to his brain and internal organs."
There was a hiss of indrawn breath from behind him. No wonder that he had been so agreeable to helping them find out if any of them were compatible with Harry. He had known what the poison could possibly do to Harry. They all wondered now, what, exactly, Ginny had been giving to Harry, if it could possibly harm him that badly. And could it harm Fred, too?
Kingsley Shacklebolt slowly walked up to Arthur and his children. "Arthur, we need to take Ginevra into custody. Will you fight us on this?"
"No. I want nothing to do with her, or her mother. Take them both." Arthur put his head in his hands again. "Please let me know when I will have to appear before the Wizengamot."
"Yes sir. Professor McGonagall? Please take us to where you are holding Ginevra Weasley."
Three days after the bonding, Arthur, Minerva, Severus and Poppy all appeared before the Wizengamot. Their memories of the incident were taken and placed into a pensieve, carefully examined, and then returned to them. Then, all four were placed under the effects of Veritaserum to ascertain the complete truth. Molly and Ginny were made to submit to the same process. Poppy was then released to return to Hogwarts, to care for Harry and Fred.
After several tense hours, the Wizengamot came back with its ruling. An elderly witch rose and began to speak.
"Arthur Weasley, please rise." He stood and moved forward, into the area indicated.
"Arthur Charles Weasley, it is the decision of this court that you had no knowledge of the acts being committed by your wife and daughter against one Harry James Potter, now known as Harry James Weasley-Potter." There were gasps from several of the onlookers, as well as from Molly and Ginny. Quills could be heard scratching frantically across parchment. "As you have suffered for their actions, we cannot help but to pity your situation. No action will ever be allowed to be taken against you for their actions. You have behaved nobly and honourably. The Ministry of Magic has held your position and you will continue to retain it. You have lost two children now, one to the war, along with your wife. One of your remaining sons is bonded for this life, and into the next, to Harry Potter, in order to save Mr. Potter's life. We can only hope that their bond will be a relatively comfortable one. This court recognizes the marriage and bond between Harry James Potter and Frederick Gideon Weasley. Any offspring will be considered legitimate and legal issue in any and all proceedings from here on out. This ruling will be made known to the general public, so that our wishes and decrees are known and acknowledged. You may stand down."
Shaken, Arthur resumed his seat next to Severus and Minerva. Now came the part that he was dreading.
"Margaret Weasley and Ginevra Weasley, please rise." They stood up.
"It is the decision of this court that you knowingly and willfully gave illegal potions and poisons to one Harry James Potter-Weasley, thereby threatening his life. You, Ginevra Margaret Weasley, being underage, will be kept in a separate facility until your 17th birthday, whereupon you will be transferred to the Azkaban Prison to continue serving a life sentence for malicious and detrimental poisoning of a wizard. You, Margaret Elisa Weasley, will immediately be taken to the Azkaban Prison, where you will serve a life sentence for malicious and detrimental poisoning of a wizard and for providing a minor witch with instructions and ingredients for said potions and poisons. It is the ruling of this court that you both shall be stripped of your magical abilities. May the Deities have mercy on your souls. The Wizengamot has ruled thus and it will be made public knowledge."
Severus paused outside of the doors to the hospital wing. He really didn't want to have to tell the Weasley children about the ruling of the Wizengamot. But, since Arthur was in no shape to tell them, and as he had been present at the proceedings, it fell to him. Taking a deep breath, he quietly entered the ward. He silently looked at the scene before him.
Harry's colouring was drastically improved, but he was still unconscious. Fred, next to Harry on the bed, was also still unconscious. His skin tone looked to be normal, pale with hundreds of freckles, making him look like a red leopard. Everyone was gathered around the enlarged bed. George on one side, holding his twin's hand and Hermione on the other, holding Harry's hand. Ron sat in a chair closer to Harry's head, and Bill and Charlie sat on the bed behind them.
Bill shot to his feet when he heard Severus' footsteps. Severus waved him back to his seat. "Please, you will need the support of the bed."
"What happened? What was the ruling." Bill subsided back onto the bed.
Severus drew a deep breath and began to tell them about the trial. They were relieved when he told them of their father's exoneration. However, when it came to the sentencing, Severus couldn't help but feel sorrow for the Weasley children. He told them, trying to make it as easy as possible for them. Bill got up from the bed and walked out of the ward. They heard him shout and then punch the wall outside the doors. Madame Pomfrey came out, took one look at Severus, then went and brought Bill back inside so that she could heal his hand.
Charlie just sat, staring at Severus, tears rolling down his face. Occasionally he would blink, but other than that, he had no reaction. Shock, thought Severus. Ron's reaction was much the same as Charlie's, until Hermione put her arms around him and started to cry. His arms encircled her and held on tightly. He started to rock her and whisper things into her ear, comforting her. He will make her an excellent husband.
George put his head down on his twin's hand and silently cried, his shoulders shaking. Severus looked at Harry and Fred, lying side by side, just their hands and arms touching. It was these two that Severus wanted to cry for. They were paying the price for Molly and Ginny's treachery. He wished that he had been able to do better for Lily's son, but the bonding was the only way. He felt a single tear make its way down the side of his nose. It was quickly followed by another. Ron stopped whispering to Hermione as he noticed that the potions professor was crying. Severus looked at Ron, and shook his head. Ron went back to whispering to Hermione...Severus' lapse would stay between them.
Seven days after the bonding, Fred began to stir. George and Bill came to his side. Hermione summoned Madame Pomfrey and Arthur, who was staying in Gryffindor tower with Ron and Charlie. All three of them hurried down to the hospital wing from the tower.
Fred was very weak, but coherent. "Harry hasn't woken up yet, has he?"
"No, Mr. Weasley-Potter, not yet." Madame Pomfrey was running all sorts of scans on Fred, to determine the state of his health. "You seem fine, just a little weak. You should be back on your feet in a day or two."
"Harry's going to wake up in a few minutes...Ron, you want to get ready?" Everyone knew of Harry's hatred of hospitals and laughed. Ron moved closer to Harry, to block any attempt at Harry trying to escape before Madame Pomfrey was ready to let him go. No one commented on how Fred knew when Harry would awaken.
They all waited. Harry seemed to be taking his time with waking up. Suddenly, his eyes popped open and he sat straight up in the bed. Ron gently put his arm around Harry and guided him back down to the pillows. "Not yet, mate. You need to recover your strength."
Harry was horribly confused. "How did I get here? I remember being in the common room. For some reason I think I found the wall really interesting, but I can't remember why." Harry turned to his left to see Fred lying on his side beside him in the bed. "Fred, what's going on? Why are you here? Are you hurt? Where are you hurt? Tell me where you're hurt!"
"Harry...Harry, calm down, love. I'm not hurt. You've missed a bunch of stuff in the last...how long has it been? I don't know."
"A week, Fred." George took Fred's hand again. "You've been out for a week."
Fred's eyes widened. "Shite! A whole week? What about the store?"
George chuckled. Ever the businessman, his brother. "We've been taking turns. It's Sunday, so the store is closed."
Harry slowly sat up and helped Fred sit up. The ordeal seemed to have taken more out of Fred than it did Harry. Just another sign of how powerful Harry really was.
"Why are you here if you're not hurt?"
"How much do you remember about that day, Harry? The one where you were staring at the wall." Hermione asked.
Harry looked at her. "I remember you and Ron, sitting at the table, working on something. Ginny came in and was talking to me, but I don't remember what about." Harry turned to Ron. "Ron, did you pick me up and carry me somewhere?"
"Yeah, mate. I carried you here." Ron's voice started to shake.
Hermione took a deep breath and began to tell Harry of everything that had gone on. His eyes grew wide, then wider. He paled and swore under his breath. When Hermione reached the part about the bonding, Harry turned to look at Fred.
"We're bonded?" Harry whispered, a hint of a smile playing about his lips.
Fred nodded. "Yup. You're stuck with me, now."
Harry blushed lightly and laced his fingers with Fred's. "More like you're stuck with me."
He looked at Hermione again, who picked up the tale, until it came to the trial. She paused, not sure how to continue. She looked at Ron, who turned to look at Bill. Bill came to sit on the edge of the bed. He told Harry what Severus had told them, occasionally glancing at Arthur for confirmation. He would nod silently and Bill would continue.
Harry's eyes closed and the tears began to fall. He didn't know exactly who he was crying for...for Arthur...for all the remaining Weasleys...for himself...but mostly he felt he was crying for the image of a mother. An image that, for the last several years, had been Molly Weasley. She had been, acted like, the mother he could not remember. She had treated him as one of her own, welcomed him into her family. This betrayal, this hurt, went far deeper than anything Voldemort had ever done to him. He felt Fred's arms go around him and he buried his head in Fred's shoulder. He wept for the mother he had never known, for the mother he thought he had gained, and for the mother Molly had never been to him.
Harry felt hands guiding him back down onto the bed. Heard a softly whispered spell and then...nothing.
It was another two days before Harry or Fred were allowed to leave the confines of the bed. They were allowed to use the loo, since the spells had been removed, and to walk short distances. Fred stayed near Harry. For some reason, they couldn't be apart for very long without becoming weak and disoriented. Harry asked Madame Pomfrey why this was happening.
"You and Fred are bonded, but you have yet to complete, or consummate the bond. Once you do, this effect will lessen with time. It is part of the old magic surrounding a bond. It was to keep members of a bond from straying, until a baby was conceived." Both Fred and Harry blushed bright red at this.
"But, because we're both men, that shouldn't matter, should it?"
"How much do either of you know about the physiology of pregnancy?" When both of them shook their heads, she sighed. This wasn't something that the curriculum at Hogwarts covered, and most wizarding families didn't think to include it when they gave their children 'The Talk'. "Alright, please bear with me. I need to refresh my memory about male pregnancy." She got up and walked to her office.
"Did she say male pregnancy? Can that really happen?" Harry was stunned. He hadn't given much thought to a family. Men didn't get pregnant, did they?
Fred shrugged. "If it can, it's not something I've ever heard of. Dad sure as hell didn't mention anything like that when he talked to me and George." He looked at Harry. "Do you want children?"
"Yeah, but I just figured that...providing you want kids, that is...I figured that we would have to adopt." Harry was blushing furiously now. Fred thought it was cute and leaned in to press his lips to Harry's. There was a jolt of magic and both saw a blue light surround them. They drew apart, staring at each other. Madame Pomfrey came back, two books in hand, and saw the glow before it faded. Oh Dear! she thought. Now I get to explain that, too. I thought that they had already...oh well, best to get it out of the way all at once.
She sat next to Fred and Harry and looked at them. "I see that you finally kissed. That's what that light is from. It only appears when one, or both, of the bond-mates is a virgin. We'll have to get you two to a private room for the next couple of days. From the moment that your lips touched his, you have 24 hours to consummate the bond."
Harry looked confused while Fred blushed again. "What do you mean?"
"The kiss in a Muggle wedding signifies the joining of two people into a matrimonial bond, but that's all it is, just a kiss. The kiss after a magical bonding ceremony is a little more complicated. It means that, so neither of the pair in the bond leaves the other for two full days, you must...ah...have sex to complete the bond." Now Madame Pomfrey blushed slightly. Nothing like having to explain the birds and the bees to two grown men.
"Oh. OH!" Harry looked at Fred. "So this is also to keep the members of the bond from going elsewhere? And we have to shag each other silly for two full days?" She nodded, blushing again. "Alright. So what's this about male pregnancy? Men don't get pregnant. They don't have the right...um...equipment to get pregnant and carry a child. I do remember at least that much from the school I went to before Hogwarts." Poppy thought that Harry was taking this rather well.
"Well, Mr. Potter, oh sorry, Mr. Weasley-Potter, this is something that I have been fighting with the Wizengamot about for years. I feel that this should be included in the curriculum here because, with the prevalence of bisexuality in the wizarding world, this is a real concern. Due to the magic you both possess, and the bond, it is possible for one or both of you to become pregnant. We're not really sure why this happens or how, but we can only assume it is because there are so few witches and wizards. It is for the continuation of our race, I suppose, and male pregnancy only occurs when two men are bonded together."
Harry and Fred stared at the mediwitch and then at each other. Harry felt a stab of something... lust, passion, he wasn't sure what. He knew he wanted Fred, had wanted him for a long time. Now, it seemed, he was going to get his wish. "Okay, so...uh...where do we go for this? Because it's not happening here."
"Let me arrange for a suite of rooms for you. It will take a little time, so I suggest that you talk about whether or not you want children." She bustled off, in search of Professor McGonagall.
Harry turned to Fred. "Do you want children? Tell me now, because the thought of one of us carrying the other's child is really...um...strange as this will sound, I think it's dead sexy."
Fred's answer was to snog Harry breathless. Well, that answered that question! They heard a quiet cough and slowly parted. Harry turned to the side of the bed. "Remus!"
"Harry. Are you okay, Pup?" Remus looked at Harry and Fred. "Well, I guess that what I interrupted should tell me you're alright. Tonks told me about the bonding."
Harry's brow wrinkled. "How did Tonks know? I mean, it's not like it's a secret or anything, but when did she find out?"
"The day it happened. She was one of the Aurors who came to take Ginny into custody." His eyes shot to Fred. "Sorry, didn't think."
Fred's mouth firmed to a thin line. "She's not my sister anymore. After what she did, what she has been doing to Harry for years, she's not my sister." Remus nodded, understanding.
"Was it a full moon recently? Is that why you only came here now? I really can't remember. I was keeping track, but then the battle happened and, after that, not too much is really clear." Fred had wanted to know how much the poison had affected Harry's mind, and for how long; he now knew. Remus was very dear to Harry and the fact that he couldn't say when the last full moon was told Fred a lot. He started to get angry again. Harry could feel it and, without looking, reached back and wove his fingers in between Fred's to calm him.
"Yes, just three days ago." Remus held Harry's eyes with his. "Are you happy, Harry? Fred? Not that anything can be changed now, but are you both happy with this?"
Harry looked back at Fred and, once again, felt that jolt of...something. "I'm happy, very happy. Fred and I have been together for over a year now...well, except for a little bit around the final battle. I didn't want him getting hurt because of me. I love him, so you don't have to worry."
Fred nodded at Remus. "I don't think I could be happier than I am right now. I finally get to be with Harry, whom I love very much." Fred leaned forward and kissed the back of Harry's neck. Harry's eyes closed and he leaned into to the touch, moaning slightly.
Remus, realizing what was happening and what the two younger men were reacting to, stood up. "When you've resurfaced, come by to see me and Tonks. She'll be glad to know that you're awake and doing well. She said that neither of you looked too good when she saw you that day." He leaned down to give Harry a hug and kiss on his forehead. He heard a slight growl from Fred and straightened. "He's yours now. But remember, I am his godfather." He held Fred's possessive gaze. "You take care of him, or you'll answer to me, understand?"
Fred nodded in reply, moving his head slightly to bare his throat, embarrassed that he had almost challenged the werewolf over a simple sign of affection. Remus saw the submissive action and Fred's embarrassment and chuckled. Apparently, Fred had done some studying up on werewolves. That boded well, since he and Harry were so close. "Don't worry, Fred. Right now, you can't help it. That will go away soon."
"Not bloody likely!" Fred shot back with a cheeky grin.
Remus laughed and then left as Madame Pomfrey came back in with Professor McGonagall. "Alright you two. Follow me. Harry, don't forget your glasses."
Harry stopped in the middle of standing up and put his hand to his face. "I haven't been wearing my glasses? But I can see perfectly."
Madame Pomfrey came over to him and had him hold still while she checked his vision. "Merlin! Your vision is perfect! How did that happen?" She looked at Harry and then at Fred. "I wonder if it has something to do with the bonding? I don't know how to explain this."
"I don't care!" Harry said, happily. "I can see without those awful glasses now! I'm happy." Harry smiled at the mediwitch, his green eyes glowing.
"Well, then! Let's get you two settled into your room. Harry, Dobby has requested that he be allowed to take care of your and Fred's needs while you are there. He seemed so excited, so I told him he could."
She led them down a small corridor off of the back of the hospital wing. "There is a suite prepared for you. If you need anything, you can use the floo or ring for Dobby."
She and the headmistress left Harry and Fred alone in a large suite of rooms. They explored for a few minutes, then Fred gently led Harry to the large four poster bed set against one wall. They climbed in and stared at each other for a long minute.
"Harry, love, I don't know how much you know, but I only have an idea of what's supposed to happen. I've been with one person, a girl, so I realize that things aren't going to be the same."
"You have more of a working knowledge than I do. I guess that I'm the one the blue light was for." Harry blushed and looked at the duvet covering the bed. Fred tipped Harry's head back up, so that he could look into his eyes.
"As much as it would be nice for one of us to have some knowledge about how to go about this, I'm glad that I will be your first...and only." The last words were said in a low growl. Fred's mouth captured his and the fight for supremacy was on.
Harry won. Lying on top of Fred, his mouth slid down Fred's neck, gently nipping at the tendons. "I may not be your first, but I will definitely be your last!" Their hands were almost frantic as they hurried to undress each other, not a difficult job, considering that they were both in hospital gowns.
Harry began to explore Fred's body. He snogged Fred senseless as his hands roamed Fred's chest. He ran his fingers through the light dusting of hair and found Fred's nipples. His mouth left Fred's, working its way down to meet his fingers. The sensation of Harry's mouth on his nipple caused Fred to arch his back, trying to get closer. Harry chuckled against Fred's skin, increasing the sensation for the redhead.
Fred began to skim his hands all over Harry's body, worshiping Harry with his touch. Harry squirmed down Fred's torso, covering it with kisses. He ran his tongue down the light line of hair that led to Fred's groin. He stopped only when he reached the part of Fred that he most wanted to see. Gently Harry touched Fred, learning him with a lover's touch. Fred bucked his hips off of the bed, thrusting himself more firmly into Harry's grip. Harry ran his tongue from the base of the shaft to the tip, hovering for a moment before opening his lips and taking Fred into his mouth.
Fred felt like he'd died and gone to heaven. Even with the one sexual experience he'd had, nothing had ever prepared him for this feeling. Harry began a slow bobbing motion with his head, his tongue swirling around Fred's length. Fred began to whimper and moan...Harry felt like warm, wet velvet around his shaft and he knew he wasn't going to last long. When Harry applied slight sucking to the rest of what he was doing, it drove Fred over the edge. He grabbed Harry's head with both hands.
Harry settled next to Fred and held him as the aftershocks from his orgasm faded. Fred opened his blue eyes and stared deeply into Harry's green ones. He leaned in for a slow, thorough kiss, tasting himself on Harry's tongue. He could feel himself getting hard again.
Keeping eye contact, Harry leaned over him and snagged a bottle of oil from the side table. He poured some on his fingers and gently spread Fred's legs so that he could see all of him. He rubbed his index finger over Fred's entrance and very slowly pushed the finger past the ring of tight muscles. Even though he had never had any sexual experience, Harry seemed to know exactly what he was doing.
After allowing Fred to become used to the feeling of that one finger, Harry added a second. Fred let out a low moan and tried to relax his muscles. Gently, Harry added a third finger and began to scissor his fingers, to loosen the muscles even further. With his free hand, he poured some of the oil over his cock and rubbed it over his length. At Fred's frantic nod, he positioned himself at Fred's entrance and slowly, carefully, pressed his hips forward. He felt the head slip past the ring of muscle and paused, shaking slightly, to allow Fred to adjust. When he felt Fred relax, he pressed further in, until he was fully seated. Fred was gasping and grabbing handfuls of the duvet. Fred wrapped his legs around Harry's thighs and raised his hips to signal that he was ready. Harry began a slow thrusting movement, withdrawing almost completely before sliding home again. That's how it felt to Harry, he was home, this is where he belonged. Knowing that it wasn't going to take very long, he began to fist Fred's cock in time with his thrusts. Fred was moaning non-stop, but didn't care, as long as the sensations never ended. Harry could feel Fred beginning to tighten up around him and sped up his thrusts. He grabbed Fred's hand and placed it around his shaft, so that Harry could lean over him and snog him as they both neared orgasm.
A bright gold light began to glow around them and Harry felt himself beginning to come. He felt Fred's channel pulse around him as he reached orgasm. This pulled Harry over the edge of reality into heaven. As the first pulses of his release touched Fred, the red light intensified and encompassed them.
Harry slowly withdrew and fell to one side. He pulled Fred into his arms and kissed him gently. They both fell asleep to the sound of each other's heartbeats.
For the next two days, they stayed in that room, each learning what the other liked and disliked. Fred found that Harry was ticklish when he ran his hands lightly up his sides. Harry found that Fred preferred to be looking directly into his eyes when they made love. They were both disappointed when the two days came to an end, but they knew they had to rejoin the rest of the world and start the rest of their lives together.
When they emerged from their suite, they found their family waiting for them in the hospital wing. They both blushed a bright red when the Weasleys and Hermione began to applaud their return.
"It's about time" George kidded them. "We thought you two were never gonna come out of there."
"George!" Arthur protested. "That's part of the bonding. They hadto stay in there for two full days."
"Um, Arthur?" Hermione giggled, "I really don't think it was much of a hardship for either one of them. They've been in love with each other for ages."
Arthur's eyes went wide. "Really? How long? And why didn't you tell me you two were together?" Arthur was a little hurt because they hadn't confided in him. He wouldn't have judged them, as long as they both were happy. That's all he wanted for his family now...happiness.
Harry explained. "It was for Fred's safety. If Voldemort had found out that I was dating Fred, he would have gone after him, to get to me. I wasn't about to put Fred at risk that way. I love him too much to have put him in harm's way."
"It was a mutual decision, Dad. We knew that we would get back together as soon as You-Know-Who was gone. It was just put off for a little while because of the poisoning."
They all fell into a discussion of where everyone was going to live. Ron and Hermione agreed to take the upper flat, above the store. George and his girlfriend, Angelina Johnson were going to live in the second floor flat. Charlie had asked for a transfer from the dragon reserve in Romania to the one in Wales, so that he could move back into the Burrow; he could apparate to the closer reserve from there. Bill had also requested a transfer to Gringotts in Diagon Alley, and he would be living at the Burrow, too. That only left Fred and Harry.
"I know it's really not a good way to start married life, living with your father, but we can redo the Burrow a little and you could have your own rooms there." Arthur hoped the boys would take him up on the offer. He really wanted as much of his family around him as possible.
Fred looked at Harry. George was surprised to 'hear' the unspoken communication between them.
Do you want to live there again?
I don't think it would be bad, just uncomfortable for a little while. Do you want to live with Dad?
Yeah, I don't think that he should be alone right now.
Fred noticed his twin's wide eyes and guessed that he had been privy to that conversation. It was going to be interesting to see how many of his interactions with Harry that George would be a part of. He had no interest in ending the bond with his twin. He and George were two parts of a whole...Harry made up the rest. Harry was looking back and forth between the twins, a mischievous grin on his face. He reached out and grabbed Fred. Looking quickly back at George, he snogged Fred deeply for a moment and then let go. He could almost feel George's reaction to 'feeling' that kiss.
George went pale and sat on one of the beds. "Guys, do me a favor...don't ever do that again while I'm in the same room, alright?"
Fred snickered at his twin while Harry had a difficult time controlling his laughter. No one else bothered to hide their laughter as they realized that Fred and George's bond now included Harry.
Harry turned to Arthur. "Yes, we will take you up on your offer, but on one condition. You allow me to pay for the refurbishing of the Burrow." He held up a hand to stop Arthur turning him down. "You are my family now, it's only fair that what I have should also help you. Trust me, there's plenty of it." He looked at George, Ron and Hermione. "That goes for you, too. You are all my family."
Ron's eyes grew wide and he smiled broadly. "We are family now, aren't we?" He gave Harry a quick hug. "Never thought I would actually have you as part of the family. Now you just have to learn to argue and fight like the rest of us."
Harry shook his head. "Uh-uh. No way am I going to get into arguments as often as you all seem to enjoy.
Harry and Fred took up residence in the twins' old room while the lower floors were being redone. There would still be a second and third floors and attic, but there wouldn't be the four or more floors there had been before. Harry, after talking with Fred, Charlie and Bill, had decided to have a workshop created for Arthur, so that he could play with his Muggle finds to his heart's content. He even found a way to have the shop wired for electricity. They had all agreed that the kitchen should be larger, along with the living room. Fred and Harry's rooms would be on the first floor, off of the back of the house. Arthur, Charlie and Bill would all have rooms on the second floor. The guest rooms would be located on the third floor.
As none of the other men could really cook well, Harry took over that domestic chore happily. He liked to cook, now that he wasn't forced to by the Dursleys. Since school was over and the war was over, Harry could spend his time how he wanted to...and Harry wanted to cook. Wanted to make Fred happy, wanted to show that he was more than just a damned scar.
Harry knew that Fred had never seen him as 'The Boy Who Lived'. But there was something inside Harry that wanted to prove to himself that he could be the best bond-mate that Fred could ever want. He became very domesticated, taking pride in the accomplishments around the house. There were very few, if any, signs that any woman had ever lived in the Burrow. It wasn't overly masculine, but what 'feminine' touches there were had been provided by Hermione and Angelina.
Remus and Tonks were frequent visitors. They came over at least twice a week to allow Harry to feed them. As neither of them were great cooks, they were happy to let Harry do this. It made him happy, and that was all that mattered.
Fred and Harry were settling into married life very well. Oh, there were the usual arguments, who would pay for what and who would do what, but, on the whole, it was bliss for both of them.
About four months into the bond, Harry woke one morning and felt ill. Nothing really bad, but just...ill. He ignored it, and the feeling went away. Might be catching a cold, he thought. His colds were horrible and Harry hoped it wouldn't last long.
The next morning, the same thing happened. Just a sick feeling and a little dizziness. He quietly made his way to the loo and splashed cold water on his face. The feeling, once again, subsided, but only after an hour or more...much longer than the day before.
The third morning, Harry almost didn't make it to the loo before becoming violently ill. He rested his head on the toilet seat and waited for the wave of sickness to go away. He heard a noise behind him and turned slightly to see Fred come into the bathroom with him.
"Love? What's wrong?" He ran a washcloth under the cold water and wrung it out. Harry tried to answer, but another wave of nausea hit him and he vomited into the toilet again. To Harry, it felt like he was trying to bring his toes up through his stomach. He hated being sick and this was just awful. Fred put the cool washcloth on Harry's neck and he moaned in appreciation.
Fred knelt down next to him and put his arms around Harry. This scared him, Harry was never sick. What if this was a residual effect of the poisoning? He wondered if he should call Madame Pomfrey over, just to see what was wrong. That thought solidified when Harry's next bout of vomiting hit. Fred held on to his mate and whispered comforting nonsense in his ear. Harry relaxed against him.
Hoping the nausea would go away now, Harry tried to stand, but needed Fred's help. He got out his toothbrush and almost violently attacked his teeth and mouth with it. It felt like he had swallowed the living room rug and a bunch of nasty little garden gnomes were hitting his head like a drum. As the nausea faded, Harry felt a little more human. He let Fred help him out to the kitchen, where he slumped into one of the chairs. Fred sat next to him.
"I'm going to see if Poppy Pomfrey can come by. I want to have her look at you. This isn't like you to be sick, love."
"I'll agree, on the condition that she doesn't try to take me back to Hogwarts with her. She told me, as we were leaving, that if I did anything else to end up in her hospital ward again, she wouldn't let me go." He smiled at Fred.
"Let me fire-call George to let him know that I won't be there today and then I'll go get Poppy." Harry nodded and admired his mate's arse when he bent over to talk to George through the flames. Fred really did have a nice arse. Harry shook his head. Great! Harry thought. First I'm puking my guts out in the loo, what a wonderful way to wake up in the morning. And now I'm ogling Fred's arse.
Bill walked into the kitchen and stopped when he saw Harry. "Oi, Harry! You look like hell!"
"Thanks, Bill. Looking great there yourself." Bill flushed slightly. His hair stuck up at odd angles and, because it was so long, it looked like a small animal had been using it as a nest.
"What kind of sick? Headache? Dizzy?" Bill was cautious. He knew that the possibility of after-effects from the poison existed, but it had been 4 months. He started making himself some breakfast, so that he could eat before going in to work.
"Puking, dizziness...just generally feeling like shite. Fred's going to get Madame Pomfrey to come over and have a look at me."
"Why don't you just go to Hogwarts?"
"If I go to her, she won't let me leave. She promised that, if I showed up in her hospital ward again, she would tie me to the bed until I was better." Harry gave Bill a weak grin. The nausea was returning. Bill was making himself something to eat and the smells were becoming overpowering. He stood unsteadily, and quickly made his way to the door. He was going to vomit again and the garden was closer than the loo.
He braced himself against the side of the house as he threw up again. He felt hands on his back and hip, holding him up upright. He was thankful; he didn't think he could keep his balance right now. He heard a murmur and a cool cloth was wiping the sweat from his face. He moaned as his stomach turned over, and he retched again. By this time, he was just bringing up bile and the taste was horrible. "Water, please!" he gasped.
Another murmur and a glass with a straw appeared beneath his nose. Gratefully, he sipped slowly. He rinsed out his mouth and spat into the bushes. He was really worried now. What if this was from the poison? He hadn't felt this bad since he'd woken up after the poisoning, but what if this was something with the poison that they didn't know about. Could it still affect him, even months afterward?
He heard Fred talking to Bill. "I'm going to get Poppy now. Can you get him back inside, to the sofa? I shouldn't be too long and Dad will sit with him until I get back." Harry felt the rumble of Bill's answer, but couldn't hear him as the nausea hit him again. In between bouts, he felt Fred's hand on his back. "Love? I'm going to get Poppy. Bill's here with you. He'll help you back inside, alright?" Harry nodded and felt the small kiss that Fred pressed on his neck. After a while the nausea seemed to fade a little, so he straightened slightly. When he didn't feel like vomiting again, he straightened completely. He reached back for the cool cloth and ran it over his face and neck.
Bill wrapped an arm around him, underneath his arms, and supported him as he walked back into the house. Arthur and Charlie were sitting at the kitchen table looking worried. Their expressions lightened a bit when Harry and Bill came inside. Bill maneuvered Harry around the table and took him straight into the living room, followed by Arthur and Charlie. After he made Harry comfortable on the sofa, he straightened.
"D'you want anything? Tea? Something to eat?
Harry grimaced. "Some tea might be nice, but nothing to eat yet. Don't think that my stomach could take it right now."
Arthur nodded and went to fetch some tea for Harry. Arthur had a pretty good idea of what was going on, but he wanted Poppy to confirm it. He smiled happily to himself as he made a cup of weak tea for Harry.
Bill and Charlie left for work and Arthur and Harry began a game of wizard's chess, with Harry lying on his side on the sofa. It didn't take long before Harry realized who had taught Ron to play. Arthur soundly beat him fairly quickly, to his consternation. "Never was very good at that. Maybe you could give me lessons."
Arthur beamed. "I'd love to Harry. Taught all the boys, but only two of them ever showed much interest, Ron and...Percy."
Harry felt the older man's sadness as he thought about his son. Percy had been killed in the final battle. Lucius Malfoy had cast the killing curse at Ron, but Percy had shoved him out of the way, taking the curse straight in the chest. Ron had turned on Malfoy. He had seemed to grow in size when he realized his brother was dead. Malfoy never stood a chance.
In that one act, Percy had redeemed himself to the wizarding world and, most especially, to his family. It made up for anything Percy had done to alienate them. Percy may have been a prat, but he hadn't deserved to die for it.
Clearing his throat, Arthur looked at Harry. "Are you and Fred happy? Not that I think you're not, but I want to be sure. I just want my family to be happy now."
Harry smiled. "Yes, Arthur, Fred and I are very happy. This is what we'd wanted, since before the battle. We just didn't expect it to happen so quickly. In a way, the poisoning achieved what I always wanted. It gave me Fred. It gave me a family."
There were the sounds of two people entering the kitchen. Poppy Pomfrey came out to the living room with Fred on her heels.
"Now then, Mr...um...Harry, let's have a look at you." She ran her wand over him, muttering a spell under her breath. Fred held Harry's hand, watching her with a worried expression.
"Well, well! Earlier than I would have thought, but not unexpected." She smiled slightly.
"What is it? What's wrong?" Fred was horribly worried that this had something to do with the poison. "Is it the poison? What's wrong?"
"Calm down, Mr. Weasley. Harry is fine. The poison is completely gone from his system. You would know if it wasn't, as it would affect you as well. No, this is something I had spoken to both of you about, while you were still at Hogwarts." She looked up at them. She saw Arthur's eager look and had to control her urge to laugh. "Harry, you're pregnant."
Dead silence greeted this pronouncement, then... "P-pregnant?" Fred's voice shook.
"Are you sure, Madame Pomfrey? You wouldn't say that just to get my hopes up, would you?" Harry looked like he was about to cry. His hands came up to cover his abdomen.
Poppy and Arthur watched as Fred scooted around the sofa to kneel on the floor, in front of Harry. His hands came up to join his mate's on Harry's belly. "A baby!" he breathed. "Love, we're going to have a baby!"
Harry threw his arms around Fred's neck as he leaned into Fred to snog him. Both men were crying and holding each other. Poppy sat back and had absolutely no worries that this baby would be loved very much.
"Now, let me run some tests Mr...Harry."
"You can call me Mr. Weasley-Potter if you want. It is rather a mouthful, so, if you'd rather, you can call me Mr. Potter or just Harry. Either one will work well for me."
"Alright Harry, lie back and let me run some tests."
Harry did as she asked. He caught and held Fred's gaze the entire time, letting his love for Fred shine in his eyes. Fred leaned over the back of the sofa to gently kiss Harry. Never in his life had Harry felt more loved than he did in that moment.
"Well, from the results of this scan, you are 8 weeks pregnant. The baby is fine and healthy. It's a little too early to tell the sex, but we can probably find that out the next time." Poppy paused for a moment. "Harry, I would be honoured if you would allow me to care for you during your pregnancy. I've gotten attached to you...you have been in my ward more frequently than anyone else ever has, after all. I won't make you stay there. I promise."
Harry laughed. "Alright. As long as you promise not to tie me to a bed like you said you would."
The next few months sped by and Harry found himself getting so large that it was hard for him to lever himself out of the sofa or armchairs in the living room without help. He took to going with Fred to the store, so that he would have something to do and someone to help him get around.
Arthur and Hermione had thrown a baby shower for Harry and Fred. It had been a surprise for both men, even George kept the secret from his twin. They had received all manner of things for the baby, baby grows, rattles, a complete set of books about male pregnancy and how to care for a baby. Ron and Hermione had given them a beautifully engraved IOU for babysitting services, so that they could have some alone time after the baby was born. The biggest surprise had come from a completely unexpected person. Draco Malfoy had set up a trust fund vault for the baby and presented them with the key at the shower. At first, neither Harry nor Fred had understood what the key was for.
"Draco? What's the key for?" Fred looked at the blonde with a confused look on his face.
"It is a key to a vault at Gringotts. A school trust fund, if you will. I, most likely, will not have any children and wish to give the traditional Malfoy gift to your child. I know that I wasn't exactly the nicest person while we were in school, but you have all accepted me and made me feel loved, for the first time in my life. I want to reciprocate." He looked down at his shoes. "You, all of you, have made me realize that people can change. Thank you for making me a part of your family."
Fred helped pull Harry out of his chair, so that he could waddle to where Draco stood. "You're welcome." He hugged the blonde wizard and whispered into his ear, "Whether you know it or not, you are loved. Go talk to Bill." Draco pulled back to look at Harry, who smiled and nodded at him. As Harry waddled back to his husband's side, he saw Draco look at Bill and walk over to sit beside him.
"Decided to give a helping hand, eh?" Fred whispered.
"Mmhmm. Draco deserves happiness and so does Bill." He looked at Fred. "Bill's been fighting that for a little while now, ever since Draco asked Minerva for asylum. It made him take a long, hard look at what Draco had been through. The feelings came afterward."
Fred leaned in and kissed his husband. "Have I told you recently how much I love you, Mr. Weasley-Potter?"
Harry smiled. "I think it's been several hours now. Why don't you tell me again?"
Ron looked at Harry and Fred, smiling into each other's eyes. He wrapped his arms around his fiancee and whispered into her ear. "Just to think, this all came about from poison."