Blearily, Harry Potter punched his pillow in a vain attempt to refluff it. The morning sun streamed in through the window, persistently waking the comfortable house he shared with his wife of two years.
"Gerrup," Ginny mumbled, gently elbowing her husband. "Tea. Coffee. Something."
Two years of marriage had taught Harry, if nothing else, that it was best to comply with any of Ginny's early morning demands. It was, he thought with a smile, the path of least resistance.
"Okay, okay. I'm up," he sighed, kissing her before rolling out of the edge of the bed.
Although Harry was employed as an Auror ("Youngest department head ever!" his mother-in-law was prone to croon) and Ginny as a professional Quiddich player, their Saturday mornings were spent in less glamorous means: starting their day together in bed, sharing steaming mugs of tea and the weekend edition Daily Prophet.
Traditions, even as small as this, had been paramount to Harry's life after the Great War ended. Really, he mused, that's what new beginnings are intended for: starting small, building on habits until you establish a new normal.
On the thought, Harry's stomach flip-flopped. That new normal he'd fulfilled with Ginny—marriage, income, buying this house—all seemed insignificant compared to Ginny's recent piece of news.
As his heart rate increased, Harry forced himself to calm down. The baby wasn't due to arrive for weeks. He'd muddle through until then and…still not awake fully, Harry's thoughts trailed off.
Ridding the world of evil-doers? Not as terrifying as the thought of fatherhood. Not by a longshot.
Harry trod downstairs, rummaging through the cabinet to find suitable mugs, filling the kettle with water absentmindedly. It wasn't until he passed through the sitting room on his way to get the Prophet that Harry's five senses kicked into overdrive. He spun on the spot, drew his wand and prepared to meet the enemy whose face he'd glimpsed in a picture's reflection on the wall.
"Hey, easy kid. You can put that away, I'm not here to do anything but help."
Harry looked grimly toward the stranger, but did not relax his defense.
"Look, I know you're bound to be suspicious, but this is really just an opportunity. A weird one, but an opportunity," the stranger insisted.
"How do I know who you are?" Harry found his voice.
"Because it's me," the stranger replied succinctly.
Harry gazed steadily into the man's eyes. "Why are you here?"
"Like I mentioned, I'm here because Fate informs me you need a little…ah, guidance," he answered.
Fifteen minutes later, a freckled, redheaded pregnant woman traipsed down the stairs, somewhat ruffled Harry hadn't returned.
"Did you lose your way back…oh!" Ginny gasped.
Sitting in the living room, staring tensely at one another, were Harry and James Potter.