Family Matters

A/N: I honestly don't know where this one came from.

Harry breathed in deeply, trying to suppress the stupid grin that was spreading across his face. He couldn't help it; no matter how old he got, Harry treasured every afternoon he spent in the Burrow's backyard. This particular afternoon was especially thrilling.

It wasn't every afternoon his oldest son turned ten, after all.

Harry watched from his seat at one of the picnic tables as James chased his godfather down the sloping hill that led to the pond.

"Uncle Ron!" the small boy bellowed at Ron's retreating back. "I meant a race on brooms, not on the ground!"

Harry couldn't help but laugh. He was glad he had fought with Ginny about the location for Jamie's birthday party. She had said there was no reason to trouble her mother, and it was about time they started celebrating birthdays in their own home. Harry had insisted that all Jamie's cousins that were not at Hogwarts gather at The Burrow. It was childish, he knew, but he wanted his children to celebrate their birthdays in the same place he always wanted to celebrate his.

Jamie finally caught up to Ron close to where their chase had began.

"Why didn't you say so?" Ron asked, as if the thought of a broom race had never occurred to him. He swiftly threw the skinny boy over his shoulder and carried him to the broom shed, Jamie protesting and pounding his fists on his Uncle's back the entire way. Harry watched as his son gave up, disgruntled.

When Ron finally put the boy's feet back on the ground, he folded his arms and grumbled about how unfair it was that he was being picked on- especially on his birthday, of all days. Ron ruffled Jamie's hair, and his scowl deepened.

Harry's eyes widened as he watched, struck by how much Jamie reminded him of someone else at that particular moment.

"He looks like Ron," Harry whispered, not even realizing he'd said it aloud.

"Who looks like Ron?" Ginny asked, joining him at the empty table.

Harry thought about changing the subject, but he turned toward Ginny and answered her.

"Jamie," he said, swallowing an irrational lump of emotion. "Jamie looks like Ron, when I first met him on the train."

Ginny tilted her head, taking in their son's facial features as he mounted an old broom Ron had handed him. They weren't identical by any means, but Harry's oldest son and his oldest friend shared the same long freckled nose and sheepish smile. If Harry squinted, he was sure he could picture a much younger Ron at their first flying lesson.

"They're certainly similar," Ginny admitted, "but I still think Jamie is more Potter than Weasley. Thank Merlin he's got your hair. Red's gorgeous on me and little Lil, of course, but you have to admit it looks ridiculous on my brothers."

She smirked. Harry chuckled, but his heart wasn't in it. Over the years he'd come to associate red hair with love, comfort, and a sense of belonging, and part of him would always wish his children had taken after their mother in that regard.

"What looks ridiculous on your brothers?" George asked through a mouthful of food, approaching the couple.

"Red hair, of course," Ginny replied, rolling her eyes at her older brother's manners. "Harry has just pointed out that if poor Jamie had inherited it, he would look remarkably like Ron." George took the chair on Harry's other side, his eyes traveling toward his nephew.

"He does resemble him," George said, ruefully. "Well, Harry, that's what you get for knocking up Ron's little sister. Maybe you should have thought about the consequences before you acted." Ginny's eyes narrowed. Harry laughed.

He wouldn't admit it to George, of course, but Harry found Jamie's resemblance to Ron strangely heartwarming.

"Must you be so vulgar?" Ginny asked.

"Who's being vulgar? I'm just pointing out to dear Harry here that he could have prevented this. Take me, for example. I was terrified of producing a child that looked anything like Ickle Ronniekins, so I married Angie. I'm hoping our kid gets her nose, and that the dark skin covers up the freckles."

"Charming, George," a very pregnant Angelina replied from behind him, lowering herself into an empty seat. "Just for that, I hope this kid pops out looking like Percy before he pulled his head out of his arse." George gave an exaggerated gasp.

"That's harsh, Ange. How could you wish that on our child?"

"How could you tell Harry that you sleep with me because of my skin tone?"

"Oh, we all have our ulterior motives," George replied, dismissively. "Harry was clearly so distraught when Ron chose to marry his other best friend that he threw himself at the only ginger girl he could find." Harry and Ginny both opened their mouths to protest, but Angelina shushed them.

"Don't mind him. He's just bitter because he knows I married him because he looks like a guy I used to date when I was a teenager." Harry squirmed in his seat, not sure how to take Angelina's reference to the late Fred Weasley and her brief romantic relationship with him. The four sat in silence for a minute before Angelina and George both burst out laughing.

"Merlin, you two will do anything to make everyone else uncomfortable," Ginny huffed. "That joke is never going to be funny. Can't you behave yourselves at my son's birthday party?"

"Behave at a party? Do you listen to yourself when you speak?" George asked between chuckles. "Anyway, back to the issue at hand- Harry, I am deeply sorry that your son looks like Ron, but I still maintain you could have prevented this by not shagging my baby sister." Ginny reached over Harry to smack her older brother on the arm.

"I, for one, find it disturbing that you choose to focus on how Harry and I conceived our children rather than the fact that we gifted you with two wonderful nephews and a beautiful little niece." George pursed his lips and raised his eyebrows.

"You act like you're the only witch in England capable of bearing The Chosen One's children," George said, shaking his head. "He could have produced little Potters with someone else, you know. Then I'd have nephews and a niece that didn't look like Ron."

Harry shifted in his seat, uncomfortable with the strange turn this conversation had taken. He supposed it didn't matter how old he got; he was never going to understand the pointless arguments Weasley siblings got into.

"If they weren't my children too, they wouldn't be your nephews and niece." Ginny argued. She was so petulant that Harry half expected her to cross her arms and tack a "so there!" onto the end of her sentence.

"Oh please," George replied, dismissing his sister with a wave of his hand. "Any sprogs that Harry ended up with would be my nephews and nieces regardless of who they popped out of. Harry was a Weasley long before you became a Potter."

If Ginny had an answer for George, Harry never heard it, for Mrs. Weasley chose that moment to burst out of The Burrow's kitchen. She was carrying a cake shaped like the newest Nimbus model, lit up with special edition Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes birthday candles.

Harry watched as his children, nieces and nephews crowded Molly and the cake as she placed it on the table at which Harry sat, but his mind couldn't help but wander to a birthday celebration nearly 17 years ago. He gulped and shut his eyes tightly, the words George had off-handedly uttered ringing in his ears.

Harry was a Weasley long before you became a Potter.

All of the sudden the cake in front of him was a golden snitch, not a broom. A troubled young man was blowing out birthday candles instead of a carefree young boy. Ginny reached for his hand and smiled at him as Al tried to push his brother's face into the broom's icing-covered tail.

Harry was a Weasley long before you became a Potter.

As he watched the charmed candles sputter and smoke before launching themselves into the air amidst a chorus of 'ooohs' and 'aaahs,' Harry realized his earlier observations seemed very silly. It didn't matter that James's hair was brown like his paternal grandfather's, or that Albus had his father's eyes. No one cared that George and Angelina's child would probably be born with skin a fair few shades darker than the rest of the cousins, that both of Fleur's girls looked just like their mother, or that Rose and Hugo had inherited Hermione's curls.

Harry was a Weasley long before you became a Potter.

He shook his head, feeling suddenly foolish. He knew that already, didn't he? He knew that the family who had rescued him time and time again, both from real danger and from his own unhappiness, would have accepted him with open arms even if he had not fallen in love with one of them. Somehow, though, hearing confirmation of that unconditional support fall so flippantly from the mouth of a somewhat unlikely source meant more than he would ever be able to tell George. Still, Harry felt the need to show his appreciation, so he did so in the only way he knew how. As the children scattered with plates full (and faces full) of cake, Harry leaned in to his brother-in-law.

"You know, I tried to take her name. Thought it would have been easier, you know? When people jump out at me on the street calling for Harry Potter I would have been able to deny it, claiming my name was Weasley, and that they must be looking for someone else. Ginny wouldn't let me." Harry smiled and shrugged. George's eyes lit up, and Harry thought he could almost see the joke forming behind them.

"That's because she's been writing 'Mrs. Ginevra Potter' on every scrap of parchment she could get her hands on since Mum taught her how to hold a quill."

"George!" Ginny exclaimed, protesting as if Harry hadn't been expecting that very response, and her brother had somehow let some big secret slip. Her tirade would have to wait, however. James was trying quite unsuccessfully to cut himself a third slice of his cake, and Ginny obviously feared for his fingers.

"You know, Ron tried to eat three slices of cake at his 10th birthday party too. Gin, this is more serious than we thought. I'm considering staging an intervention!" George called after her.

Ginny glared at her older brother and Harry couldn't help but laugh, as he was pretty sure a variation of that hard, blazing look is exactly what made him fall in love with his wife all those years ago. Laughing was clearly not the right response, however, as Ginny quickly shifted that glare from George to Harry. Harry sighed and rose from his seat at the table.

"Duty calls," he said to George and Angelina. "Wrestling knives out of the hands of a 10-year-old is nothing though. Just wait until your little one is two or three and gets its hands on your wand. Lil almost burned the house down a few years back. Lucky Hermione was visiting; it took the three of us nearly ten minutes to put out the flames. Ginny said Lily takes after you, George."

George forced a laugh at that comment, but Harry could see concern setting in his jaw. Angelina clutched her swollen stomach, as if holding their unborn child closer could prevent such bad behavior.

"George Weasley, if this child is half as mischievous as you were, I swear on your brother's grave, your ears won't be the only thing you don't have a complete set of-"

As Angelina continued to berate her husband, Harry almost felt bad for the low blow. Angie was so easily excitable in her very, very pregnant state, and it wasn't fair to take advantage of that. If confronted about it, though, Harry would swear his inappropriate comment wasn't entirely his fault. He couldn't help himself.

He was a Weasley, after all.