Author's Note: Hi all. Here it is, the sequel to MMB. It's been a hectic few months for me, and I wasn't sure I was even going to get this ready in time, but it is. My plan is to update on Monday's, however, there might be some surprises along the way. We're only a few weeks past where MMB left off. Enjoy the family time and Quidditch. Thanks so much to Arnel and Seph for all their help. MNF
Harry Point Of View:
October 2, 1999
For a Quidditch match which had been going on for over three hours, the enthusiasm hadn't waned in the slightest in the stands. In fact, the only one of us who wasn't entirely enraptured by the match was Seph. Of course, at six months pregnant, sitting for over three hours in the sun wasn't easy. She'd stood up from the rows of seats and walked back into the suite, and then to the private loo in the far back.
Mischievously Managed Brewery had leased a luxury box at the various stadiums, and we'd entered into an agreement to have our products on tap where Holyhead played. We were in the former World Cup stadium today, the Harpies playing Ballycastle. Chaser's Choice was a particularly good seller now. From the cheering in the stands, I suspected the Chaser pictured on the bottle was a favorite of theirs too. One of the first string girls had taken a Bludger to the head at the match several weeks ago, and she was still unconscious. Ginny had been called up from the reserve unit, and she was proving herself today. She had scored 120 points, and currently had the Quaffle again. Her months of training with the Harpies had made her faster, stronger and much more daring. There were times I needed to look away, the Beaters from the Bats were going after her with a vengeance.
There was a sea of redheads in the box, punctuated by a blonde, brunette or raven head here and there. Usually there was more staff sitting with me, but given Ginny's starting status today, everyone else had graciously insisted her family have the prime seats. I purchased the best tickets I could to allow them all to be here as well. No one was cheering louder than the little guy seated next to me.
A year ago I didn't know Connor Sirius Weasley existed; now I couldn't imagine living without this little guy. Only a few months away from his third birthday, Connor was the spitting image of his biological father, my departed godfather, Sirius Black. Sirius had never known his long-time love was pregnant when he was killed and sent through the veil. Persephone had raised Connor on her own, hiding his existence from the world for the baby's safety. Only once the war was over did she come out of the shadows, come and find me and begin living again. I couldn't be happier that she had.
Persephone Gwendolyn MacPhearson had been a lifelong friend of my father's, and became very close to my mother when they shared a dormitory in Gryffindor while at Hogwarts. She was the youngest of seven, and had grown up being the perfect pure-blood daughter for them. When her marriage was set to a Death Eater, my parents and her other friends helped her leave the wizarding world and hide in the Muggle one. Having already planned to open a wizarding brewery, they added a Muggle one to it, and Seph took on the name Perri Gwynn and successfully left the threats to her health and safety behind.
When my parents were killed, it was Seph who should have been raising me. She and Sirius were left my care in specific instructions by my parents. Sirius was thrown in Azkaban, Seph was denied my guardianship. Now we were partners, and in the last year I'd seen her blossom and begin living again. She helped me heal. We had become the family we'd been denied in the past.
Seph had married Charlie Weasley earlier this year, and their baby was due just after the first of next year. Ginny and I were engaged and would be married in February, so the little ball of energy next to me would be both my surrogate little brother and nephew. I sometimes wondered if we were interbreeding too much in the Wizarding world. Might we all start having children with three eyes or something? I shook myself free of the bizarre image and turned again to check on Seph. She'd emerged from the loo, looking a tad overwrought and a bit peaky. I stood up and walked back to where she was charming a glass of ice water, she preferred it cold, very cold.
"You should be out there watching your fiancée," she said as I came closer. Seph then drank down over half of her water before she began searching through the snacks on a bit of a mission. I wondered what she was craving now.
"Ah, you'd think so," I commented, "but I'm quite certain I'd be in hotter water if she knew you weren't feeling well and I ignored it." I laughed a little even though this wasn't a joke.
"My sister-in-law is rather protective of me," Seph joked back. "She wasn't like this with Fleur."
"She doesn't like Fleur as well as she likes you," I answered back. Fleur and little Victoire were home, although Bill was here with the rest of the Weasley clan. Fleur didn't enjoy Quidditch, and the last time she came to a match, she complained about the weather, the food and the lack of wine. Charlie and Ron had to hold Seph and me down when she started ranting about how 'provincial' and 'uncivilized' beer drinking was. She must have forgotten the suite she was in was paid for a brewery. Bill agreed to not make her come to any more matches after that.
"Yes, well, I'm beginning to think Fleur had the right idea," Seph mumbled, still searching over the buffet.
"How do you mean?" Fleur and Seph were about as opposite as you could get, except in their love of well made and rather expensive clothes and shoes.
"Sitting for this long is for the bullfrogs." I chuckled at her comment, which made her smile, all the while she was still surveying the food.
"What are you looking for?" I finally asked. She'd picked up and then dropped five or six items.
"Bangers, and the spicy mustard to go on them, and... pickled pumpkins, and... licorice wands. I know I saw some of them here earlier." Seph seemed quite excited about it, my stomach rolled at the combination.
"Here are the bangers and mustard," I said while pointing. "Your son, however, ate the last of the licorice wands."
Seph had begun reaching for the plate of cooled bangers, the grease somewhat congealing on the platter. She then retracted her hand and sighed. "They won't taste the same without the licorice. I guess I'll just eat another pasty." Seph grabbed one of the berry pasties and went to sit on a sofa which was in the shade, away from the stadium and match. I summoned a high stool and settled it close to her, so that I would still able to watch should Ginny score or the Snitch be caught.
"I've gotta tell you, your cravings are pretty gross, Seph."
"Don't blame me, this is all the work of the baby. I swear, I thought I would be safe when the morning sickness abated, but the cravings are worse. Some of the things the baby wants nearly make me sick while I'm eating them. Connor never wanted anything this weird. With him it was all marshmallows and oranges. This one wants salty one day, sweet the next and heartburn inducing nearly all the time. Perhaps there's a reason Muggles don't give birth as late in life as we do, eventually you get too delicate to put up with the cravings." I laughed with her.
"So, are you ready to go on holiday?"
"Very much so," she answered. "Are you ready to move out of the farm?" I was, I really was, but I didn't want her to know how much I was looking forward to my six month, Wizengamot ordered and enforced visit to end. It had been fun living with my family for the first time, but I was ready to move out as I was now well past nineteen.
"While I am glad I'll be able to move into the house Ginny and I purchased, I've loved living with the three of you. I've never been treated so well," I told her and Seph blushed a little.
"You will always have a home with us. However, Charlie and I are definitely looking forward to our two weeks on the beach," she told me. "While I love my son, I'm also very happy he has grandparents now and that he loves staying at their house and getting spoiled. Charlie and I are looking forward to our week without him, and I'm sure we'll appreciate his presence for the second week."
"I'm just glad you're taking some time off. Honestly, do you ever take a break from working?"
"We've talked about this," she explained. "For the longest time work was all I had. It takes a long time to be broken of that habit." I saw her belly jump and Seph went cross-eyed for a moment.
"Are you okay? Do you need Charlie?" I asked, concerned.
"No, just a particularly strong kick or something. I swear this child has eight feet or something in there," she explained while rubbing her protruding belly. "Charlie was insane enough to tell me he wanted at least six children the other night. I told him he might need a second wife to accomplish the task." We both chuckled for a moment.
"One quick word of business, and then I promise I will drop it," she inferred she had a question, so I nodded my head that she could proceed. "Have you come up with the mix of spices for the holiday ale this year?"
"I think so," I answered. "I'm going to do a test brew on Monday and you'll be able to taste it before you leave. We're also going to finish up the Pumpkin ale for the Stag, Dragon and Flaming Crown for the Halloween bash this week."
"Okay, good. No more business talk," she said with a firm nod of her head. An occupational hazard of living with your business partners was the tendency to slip into work conversations at all times of the day and night.
"Yeah, Ginny!" a child's voice drew our attention back to the match. Ginny had scored again, but more importantly, had caused one of the Ballycastle Chasers to fly into their own Seeker. The Holyhead Seeker had used the distraction to go after the Snitch. A moment later half the stadium and everyone in our box erupted in excitement. Ginny flew over and was hovering in front of the box. I blew her a kiss and she winked at me, and then held steady as Charlie lifted Connor over the railing and onto her broom so they could take a celebratory trip around the pitch.
"Honestly, could you gush more?" Seph sarcastically asked.
"Only if I were Charlie looking at you," I replied in kind.
"Touché. Well, I'm ready to leave. My feet are killing me." I looked down, shocked to find Seph in a pair of trainers. I didn't know she even owned any.
"What are those on your feet?" I teased. "Wait, they're not your usual double as a lethal weapon heels?"
"Laugh it up, young man. I finally had to give in and admit I needed more sensible shoes. However, I will be leaving St. Mungo's maternity ward wearing the highest pair of stilettos I can find."
"I don't doubt you will," I said with a laugh. I could picture them, Connor on Charlie's shoulders, Seph carrying the baby and wearing her designer outfit and red leather pumps. "Come on, old lady, let's get you home."