Chapter 14: You'll Figure It Out

"You dance divinely, my dear."

"Thank you." James smiled at the woman. "You don't move too bad, yourself. If I didn't have a girlfriend..."

The elderly woman laughed and patted him on the back. "Charmer. I hope you and Alice have enjoyed yourselves this week, even if my Milton...that contract..."

James effortlessly wheeled her around the dance floor. "Eunice, I told you, it's fine, really. At least you let Alice in the kitchen. You know the food..."

"Horrible, I know. Well, at least for someone your age, not to mention a professional athlete."

A camera flash went off, momentarily blinding James. Off in the corner the photographer assigned by Witch Weekly nodded, moved around a chair and headed off to another corner as a celebrity couple began to dance closer to James and the co-proprietor of Bluebeard's Island. A couple that had been deliberately omitted from the official pictures to go in Witch Weekly, the pictures that would fulfill James, and Alice's, obligations per contract. A couple that James knew quite well had reluctantly enjoyed themselves the last week on the island: his parents.

Harry tapped on James' shoulder. "Mind if I cut in, son?"

With a smile James let go of Eunice's waist and gave her hand to his father. He knew exactly what his Dad was doing, since his parents had been very private while on the island, staying in the cabin furthest away from everyone, only appearing once at the breakfast buffet. Harry was doing his 'public' thing, making sure that he let people know that he was there, doing his polite, public appearance.

"Don't you want to dance with your mum?" Ginny stood in front of her son.

"Of course." James took his mum and began to dance. Inwardly he braced himself for what he knew what was coming, and with history as his guide, he wasn't disappointed.

"You've made the people here, especially the ladies, very happy James."

"Thanks, Mum."

"And I've been very pleased with you and Alice. She's so much better than those other girls you've dated. And please tell me this will be the end of all those horrible stories in the papers about you being out all hours drinking with that kind of women. I told you..."

"Yes, Mum, you did. You were right. And I wouldn't hold your breath, those idiots in the press will do anything, you know." Right after saying that he heard his mum mumble something, catching only the words '...for Ron.' He blinked and turned her around gracefully. "What about Uncle Ron?"

Ginny tried, and failed, to keep her face impassive. Finally, after a few moments, she relented. "He and Hermione stopped over after the ball, Jamie. He knew things were going to get bad for you two, especially her, with the press. It was his idea to draft her into your unit."

"Mum!" James stopped dancing and stood there holding her. "Why the bloody hell did he do that?"

After tugging him along to get her son moving Ginny shook her head slightly. "You have protections from the press because of your unit, she didn't."

Slowly it began to sink in for James. The press was kept away from his unit, within reason, because of military law. If Alice was in his unit then...right. "Ah. And the fact that we'd mostly likely be paired together on things was his idea, too?"

"No." Ginny smiled. "That was Hermione. She took out a piece of parchment and crafted the letter to the Brigadier, specifically the suggestion that you two are together for publicity reasons. You know how she likes playing matchmaker."

"Great." James took a deep breath. "So now we're paired up together. Might as well go bother the goblins at Gringotts about about an appointment to go dig in the vaults for engagement bands."

"James Sirius Potter!" Ginny's brows narrowed as she stared at her son. "I was under the distinct impression that you quite enjoyed being 'paired' with Alice. What are you telling me?"

"That I want to do things on my own, not have everyone push me into things, that's what."

"You were always a difficult child." The music ended; Ginny took her son's arm in hers and began walking towards the refreshments. "And I hope you know that I didn't have any gray hair until you started dating those girls. Alice reminds me of..." She waved him off with her free hand. "Forget I said anything."

They stopped in front of the refreshments table where a beaming older gentleman handed them each a glass of punch. After a few sips James couldn't help himself.

"OK, Mum, out with it. Who does she remind you of?"

"I'm not sure I should say. I shouldn't have said anything."

"Come on, Mum, this is as bad as Hagrid. You know I won't leave it."

She chuckled and tilted her head. "You've always been that way, just like when your father accidentally mentioned one of your Christmas presents when you were seven. That's all we heard, you asking questions and pestering us until..."

"Dad broke down and gave it to me early." James grinned. "That was brilliant."

"And what about Christmas morning?" Ginny fixed him with a pointed glance. "Well?"

"That was awful. Al and Lils had presents to open but not me, because I'd already opened mine." He shook his head. "But I'm not seven anymore and this is about Alice. Who does she remind you of?"

"Well...oh hello." Ginny focused her attention on one of the older men from the resort that had stopped over to visit. "So nice to meet you."

There are several things that James Potter does well, such as Quidditch, but waiting is not one of them. It seemed like time seemed to stretch out for days as his mum answered questions from the American pensioner about Voldemort and the war. Even after being around them for ages it still surprised James how Americans could just launch into things, overstepping the politeness that seemed ingrained in the British DNA. Finally, though, the man moved along.

"Mum, please. Don't make me..."

"Don't make you what?" Harry walked up closely to his wife, slipped an arm around her waist and adjusted his glasses. "What's wrong?"

"Mum says that Alice reminds her of someone but she hasn't said; she was going to tell me but then she had to answer questions from some rude old American..."

"He wasn't rude, Jamie." Ginny shook her head. "He's older and was just curious. They only heard about things secondhand. Of course they're interested."

"Ginny..." Harry shook his head. "I don't think this is a good idea."

"You know?" James' mouth opened in surprise. "Dad? It's nothing horrible is it, like Moaning Myrtle, is it?"

Ginny looked at her husband. "Great. Now you've gone and done it."

Harry nodded. "Sorry. No choice, then?"

"Always a choice, love."

James inwardly rolled his eyes; he hated it when his parents did that, had one of their shorthand conversations with multiple meanings as if he and his brother and sister weren't around. "Come on, I'm not seven."

"Why seven?" Harry have him a confused look.

"I'll tell you later." Ginny nodded at him and then looked to James. "Ok, Jamie, I'll tell you, but not directly. Who else do you know that's protective of her family, has a tart sense of humour to go with a sharp tongue when needed, is the only daughter of the family, can get along with almost anyone if she has to and, to top it all off, is a wonderful cook?"

James blinked several times and began thinking. He immediately crossed off almost every woman he'd dated in the past, thought about his parents' friends and eventually just came up blank. "I...I don't know."

"You'll figure it out." Ginny patted him on the shoulder and turned to Harry. "I think we need to stop by and see a few more of the guests. Are you ready for our picture? Does my hair look..."

"You look wonderful, as always." Harry smiled at his wife. "Let's get the picture over. Do you want it to be a dancing picture or a 'look how wonderful we get on with everybody' snap?"

"Both." Ginny took his hand and led them away, leaving James still standing by the refreshments table.

It was still in that flummoxed state that Alice arrived on the arm of Harold Granger. "What's wrong with you?"

"They spike the punch?" Harold let go of Alice, took a glass from the table and took a sip. "No, dammit, they didn't. Bunch of duffers."

"It's not the punch." James shook his head. "Mum and Dad did their 'Mum and Dad' bit and now I'm confused."

Harold chuckled. "Parents prerogative. What we do best, son. So, what seems to be the trouble? It can't be that they don't approve of this wonderful young lady."

Without thinking, and in an odd voice, James responded. "No, that's not it, they love Alice. Say she's the best thing that's ever happened to me and I agree because I'm pretty sure I'm falling in love with her, it's just that they say she reminds them of someone and won't say." A few seconds later he realized what he'd said out loud. "Oh, bugger. Bugger me."

Harold smiled, tight-lipped to keep in his laugher. "Well, if that's what you two want I'm sure you'll find a way. You're young, creative, and they sell things in stores that will help that out, but I think that's my cue." He kissed Alice on the cheek and walked away, chuckling.

"James?" Alice took James' hand, realizing that he was still somewhat in shock. "Did you mean that?"

After his heartbeat began to slow a bit James finally mustered some Gryffindor courage and looked down at her. "Yeah, I did."

She turned to face him, let go of his hand and slid her arms around his waist. "Hopefully not about the buggering. Good."

With his chin resting on the top of her head James took a deep breath. "Which part?"

"I think you know which part, though I am happy that your parents approve. Mum's happy, but you know how Daddy is about our living arrangements."

"You don't care, though, right?"

"No." Alice shook her head slightly and nestled it into his chest. "It's my life and I'll do what I want."

It was right there, with Alice in his arms, that James finally put the pieces together. He finally figured out exactly who his mum thought Alice reminded her of and it hit him like a Bludger. Fiercely independent but protective of her family, sharp tongue definitely, but the cooking thing was what should have tipped him off. He was dating, no, falling in love with a woman just like his Granny Weasley.

-ooo-

The week they returned from Bluebeard's Island Resort was filled with activity for James and Alice. She spent most of her time with the 'Happy Squad' as Declan called it while James was thoroughly engrossed in Quidditch, leaving the two of them quite exhausted when they returned back to the flat. Alice even relented and they ordered takeaway, making the proprietors of the restaurants James usually frequented quite happy, as they had definitely noticed the lack of orders coming from a certain flat, even going so far as to throw in a few complimentary appetizers.

In the quiet spaces, though, James couldn't help but think back on what his mum had said on the island, that Alice reminded her of his Granny Weasley. If that was the case would she be expecting that many children? He could afford it, that was for sure with his Quidditch salary, not to mention his inheritance and the trust vault he hadn't touched in ages, not to mention that he was infinitely more well off than his Granddad Weasley when Uncle Bill was born, but...all those kids?

It was on Friday of the week back from the island that Alice left the flat early to report in and James had a lie-in. Flora had given them the day off since they'd been training so hard and James was reveling in the fact that he could just lie in bed when he heard a distinctive, loud knocking at his door. He knew that knocking pattern, as well as the fact that if he didn't answer the door he'd never hear the end of it and that would be the best result. He swung his legs over the side of the bed, pulled the dressing gown off of the hook and didn't bother to tie it up.

Not bothering to check to see who was knocking James opened the door. "Morning, George."

"Up at the crack of ten, nicely done. Is there tea?"

James left the door open and headed towards the kitchen. "There will be."

George walked in and shut the door, surprisingly not wearing his official garish purple triple-W robe. After a quick look around he nodded appreciatively. "Well done, it isn't your usual troll-level housekeeping. Mum would be so happy."

"I don't want to talk about Gran." James set the kettle on and turned back to his uncle. "So what brings you by today?"

"Your Floo."

"What about it? It's shut off."

"And that's the problem, boyo. Ran into Neville the other day at the Leaky."

"This oughta be good."

"Oh, it was. He nattered on for a surprisingly long time regarding your shortcomings as boyfriend potential, especially your former companions. I reminded him of a few he'd forgotten, of course. Eventually though he wound down and, in a moment of weakness, admitted there were worse people than you. I was going to tell him a few stories but then he started going on about how it was impossible to contact his daughter except by owl since your Floo's been disconnected so I got an idea."

"That can't be good."

"You sound like Hank Boyd, such optimism and faith in my skills! I am here, today, to pave the way for romance."

Most of the time George was James' favourite uncle. He definitely was when he was a kid, at Hogwarts, because George would slip him things from the shop that weren't on the shelves yet for 'advanced field testing.' But at that moment, in his kitchen, with the idea that Alice was like his Gran and George was 'paving the way for romance' he really just wished his uncle would go away. Realizing that would never happen, especially when George had an idea, he gave up.

"Fine. Whatever. What's the idea?"

"Ward Floos." George snapped his fingers. "Brilliant, even if I have to say so myself. Of course I had to consult an expert. Pull out another cup, he'll be here shortly."

"What?" James ran a hand through his untidy hair. "Who else have you pulled into this?"

"No need to get dressed, we've both changed enough of your nappies to be permanently scarred. Your Uncle Bill, of course. He might be a bit late, since he had to go talk to Hank about something called a 'don't you call' listing or something. You know how Hank is, one minute you're talking about one thing and the next he's off cursing and putting some horrible racket on for you to listen to and chewing your ear off about how this band was 'seminal' or something. Luckily for me I've only got one ear so he doesn't bother as much."

"Brilliant." James reached into the cabinet and took out another tea cup. "Just brilliant. Did any of you think about asking me if I wanted to do this?"

"And pass up a chance to make history? James, my boy, I'm so disappointed. If this works it will change Floo magic forever."

"If it works? What happens if it doesn't work?'

George made a dismissive gesture with his hands. "Oh, it'll work."

"George."

"Small chance of potential body part loss, memory issues, minor things."

Before he could react there was another knock on his door. George went to respond before James had a chance at moving from behind the kitchen counter, reminding him that it was at times like this that he wished he could have a normal family.

"James, up early, I see." Bill nodded at him and turned to George. "I think I've got everything. Theory's sound, double-checked it at breakfast."

"Splendid." George rubbed his hands together. "Now or after tea?"

"Now, if we could." Bill pulled out a piece of parchment from his robe. "I've got to get back to Gringotts. The security lot there are very interested; they think this could give them a very lucrative stream of Galleons. Provided it works, of course."

"It'll work, trust me." George clapped his older brother on the shoulder. "I can't think of any reason why it wouldn't."

"Your track record, for one." Bill rolled his eyes and turned to James. "So what'd he tell you?"

"He's paving the way for romance." James took the kettle off as it began to sing and busied himself making tea. Over the counter he nodded towards Bill. "But beyond that something about the Floo and wards and making Neville happy."

George leaned over and stage-whispered into Bill's ear. "Don't mention Mum for some reason. Quite tetchy."

Bill raised an eyebrow at his brother but didn't say anything. Eventually, though, he turned to James. "Floo magic's like a faucet; it's either on or off. Sure, you can restrict people from coming through but everybody can try to come through. George stopped by the other day, remembering something that Hank Boyd said about those mobile phones the Muggles use, how you can restrict who can contact you. That's where we come in. If we combine the magic used for the Floo with wards we can limit who can try to contact you, that way only the people you want can make it work."

"Much easier than maintaining a 'Do Not Floo' list." George nodded rapidly. "No milk or sugar please. Naturally sweet."

James poured tea into a cup and handed it to George. "And how is that paving the way for romance?"

George took a quick sip and raised a finger from his other hand. "Communication, my thick nephew. If Neville and Hannah, well, mostly Neville, think you've hidden away their daughter in your den of iniquity and they can't contact her they'll think the worst, and with your track record that's a distinct possibility. Let them Floo call her regularly and they'll realize that, despite your rather well-developed public persona, you are at heart a boring little git and they'll stop worrying. If that happens, well, less stress and more shagging."

"George, really?" Bill shook his head. "James, if this works, and despite George's eloquent assurances I think it will, it'll keep people from knocking on your door at all hours unexpectedly."

"Godric, what are we waiting for, then?" James shook his head. "Let's get started."

-ooo-

Arthur Weasley sat in his favourite chair, half-dozing, with a copy of Witch Weekly in his lap. It had been a very enjoyable morning, as Molly had made her typically wonderful breakfast, reminded him that she was heading off to HR and Lily's to see her great-grandson and his namesake, and left him to his devices. He had puttered around the shed, worked on trying to put back together the pieces of a toy Muggle aeroplane that he'd been given as a present for Christmas and had flown once, to disastrous effects, and listened to the wireless. After that he'd come inside for a cuppa, sat down and watched as the wizarding photos of his family danced and smiled at him from inside the pages of Witch Weekly. He was thinking that he would surprise Molly with a trip to that island for her birthday when he began to doze.

The rapping of the owl at the window brought him back to consciousness. Once the owl had been let in, and the requisite treat payment had been provided, he looked at the letter.

"Well, this is a nice surprise, a letter from James." He opened it up and, there on the parchment, was a rather intriguing statement.

The flat of James Potter and Alice Longbottom at number 10 has a working Floo.

"A working Floo, you don't say." Arthur slipped his shoes on and headed towards the fireplace. He looked at the large family clock, noticing that James' hand said 'At Home.' With a pinch of Floo powder in his hand he smiled and was off.

At the very moment Arthur threw down the Floo powder James was sitting on his sofa, watching WeasleyVision, but it wasn't comforting him. For some reason he couldn't find the remote and Alice had watched last night, so he was stuck on the channel she'd picked. It was one of those channels that showed cooking programmes, which normally he loved since she'd find something intriguing and he'd end up eating something wonderful later on, but at the moment the channel was showing something about brides. Brides who were very insistent upon their wishes for a perfect wedding and were being quite horrible about the whole situation, so he was quite shocked and a bit grateful when his Floo roared to life.

"Granddad?"

"James!" Arthur brushed off the Floo powder and siphoned the excess with his wand. "Reopened your Floo? I thought it was..."

"You have no idea." James shook his head, got up and manually turned of the WeasleyVision set. "Do you have all your parts?"

Arthur patted his arms, his thighs and then, with a wink at James, peered down the waist of his trousers. "Yes, yes, I believe I do. Is that surprising?"

"Well, George was involved."

"My word." Arthur paled a bit and took a few steps forward. "Perfect working order, I think."

"You're the first one."

James filled in his grandfather about what had happened, how George and Bill had devised a more secure, limited Floo connection, especially about how George had the idea to work in a Fidelius into the process. The default setting was that people on the approved list could contact them but not come through except by permission but those, such as their family, were granted a different level due to the Fidelius portion of the enchantments.

Arthur winced slightly. "I don't think I'll tell your Gran she can pop over at any time. Best for everyone." He noticed James' face pale. "Yes, that would be best. A young couple needs their privacy." When James didn't answer or comment Arthur looked at him with a bit more scrutiny. "Something wrong, son?"

"I probably shouldn't say anything, especially to you. Bugger, that's not what I meant. Shit."

"Why don't you try me?" Arthur sat in a chair and pointed to the sofa.

James sat on the sofa, dreading the conversation he definitely didn't want to start, but he knew his grandfather. He sighed deeply and then launched into it, explaining how his mum said that he was with a woman that was just like his Gran.

"Oh. Well that would have put me off." Arthur chuckled and took off his glasses, cleaning them on his well-worn cardigan. "Nobody wants to think of their Gran like that." He shuddered. "My gran was...let's just say she was a rather imposing old witch and leave it at that, shall we? I will say that Alice is not your Gran, that's for sure. There are similarities, that's for certain, but let me ask you a few things, and I want you to answer with the first thing that comes to mind. Can you do that for me?"

"Sure, Granddad."

"Right, then. Are you happy when she comes back to the flat?"

"Yes."

"Do you want to make her happy?"

"Yes."

"Are you trying to be a better man so you'll be worthy of her?'

"Yes." James sat back in shock. "I am."

"Mmm-hmmm...and are you interested in any other women?"

"No."

Arthur smiled. "Then ignore everything else. It can be quite beneficial to have a wife that can cook very well." He patted his stomach and smiled but the smile faded as he saw his grandson's face. "Oh, sorry, I didn't mean to marry you off so soon. You haven't been together that long. Ignore me, Jamie, I'm just an old man muttering things."

"But what about that?" James leaned forward. "How did you know you wanted to marry Gran?"

"Oh, my dear boy." Arthur sighed. "That's something you have to figure out on your own. I'm not saying you have to decide right here and now, take your time. Your Gran and I, well, we did things our way. I knew when she brought me one of her love potions..."

"Love potions? Are you kidding me?"

"Sorry, Jamie, old habits. It wasn't really a love potion; that's what I called her hot chocolates back then. She used to make them for me when we started dating and you know how good they are, you've had your fair share. It was a dreadfully cold winter, you know how drafty Hogwarts can be, and she had talked the house elves into letting her into the kitchens. I still don't know how she did that. Anyway, we were supposed to meet in the common room to study Transfiguration and when she met me she was levitating two of the biggest cups of hot chocolate you've ever seen in front of her. I realized right there and then that if she was willing to break the rules for me, to think of me and go to those lengths then I never wanted to let her go." He blushed immediately. "Of course your Uncle Bill came along not too long after that, so things move on their own accord."

"Wait a tic." James sat back, gobsmacked. "Are you telling me that Gran was pregnant at Hogwarts?"

"Only for the shortest amount of time, let's not discuss that and get back to you and Alice. Would it be so hard to think of a girl who has some of the best qualities of your Gran as...hopefully without the temper. That's been something else."

James laughed. "Yeah, the temper, so far I haven't seen anything or done anything stupid, touch wood." He reached out and touched the arm of the sofa. "But..."

"She's not your Gran, Jamie." He sat back for a moment, thinking. "Ah. Children?"

"How did you get so smart?"

"Trial and error, mostly. Have you talked to her about it?"

"Bloody hell, no!" James shook his head violently. "Not even after Gran came over..."

"I'm sorry about that." Arthur nodded. "But I hope it will set your mind at ease that this isn't the first time I've had this conversation. I've had it with all of my daughters-in-law and your father, actually."

"What?"

"Oh yes." Arthur nodded. "Each of them had the same worry, that the 'Weasley tradition' of rather large families would be expected to continue. Molly knows she's quite unusual with such a large family, but that's what makes her Molly. She just wants her family to be happy. Of course, she doesn't quibble when babies come about, but this is your life James and you make your own decisions. She just wants you to be happy. Of course, she's over the moon that you're with Alice and not those..."

"So's Mum." James ran a hand through his hair.

"I would expect so, but you did date some rather fit young things." Arthur winked. "Right, then. I'm glad to know your Floo works and I still have all my parts. As for Alice, take your time, do what you think is best. You'll work the rest out. I would suggest a modification to the Floo, though. Perhaps a ten minute delay? Have it give you some notification that a family member is coming through unless an emergency phrase is used?"

"That...that sounds good to me."

"Wonderful. I think I'll stop by George's shop and mention it to him. By the way, the pictures from that island were wonderful. Do you think I could get a discount, being your grandfather and all?"

James laughed. "Granddad, little Molly put it in the contract that my family members pay half price."

"Wonderful. She is like Percy in a lot of ways, but thankfully there's a lot of Audrey in there, too. Don't tell him I said that. Well, then, off to George's shop."

-ooo-

Alice Longbottom unlocked the door to the flat, entered and proceeded to fall face first onto the sofa.

"Long day?"

She lifted her face from the cushion and turned towards James' voice in the kitchen. "I hate the army."

"Basic training is horrible, that's for sure, but once you survive that it's clear skies." He walked around the counter in Alice's apron and knelt down near the end of the sofa and began unlacing her trainers. Once he'd pulled them off he scooted around towards her head and smoothed her hair away from her face. "I don't know about you but I sure had an interesting day."

"It has to have gone better than mine." Her voice was somewhat muffled by the cushion but the fatigue was evident in her tone. "What happened?'

"Well, we have the world's first Floo with a ward and a Fidelius, that's what."

For the next fifteen minutes James explained how George and Bill had shown up at the flat, following that by how the Floo worked and that it had been tested by his grandfather. He omitted the conversation with his grandfather, though.

Alice lifted her head off of the cushion. "Does that mean I can Floo Mum?"

"It does, but I think your dad would appreciate a call even more." James smiled and explained how exactly the whole concept of their new Floo system came about. "Oh, and we'll have some goblins here tomorrow, can't remember what time. I'll have to owl George. Wait, I can Floo call him, I keep forgetting. The goblins will be by to check things out and then, get this, George had the contract drawn up so that the goblins can do it for other people but we'll get a very small percentage of the fees. Something about being the 'pilot Floo' or whatever George said. There's a reason he's swimming in Galleons, you know."

"I will curse anyone who shows up before nine." Alice let her head drop back onto the sofa. "Thank Merlin I have tomorrow off."

"Well, it is Saturday. If this was the 'real' army and not the 'Happy Squad' you wouldn't get a day off."

"Don't remind me." She laid silent for a few moments. "So I can really Floo Daddy at Hogwarts?"

"Absolutely. Tell you what; I'll draw you a bath and then after that you should have time before supper's ready."

"You cooked? Should I be scared?"

"Funny. Got the recipe from Lily earlier today, after Granddad Weasley left. She said it was easy enough for somebody with my, what did she say? Lack of skills, right. That's it."

Eventually Alice returned from the bath and headed over to the fireplace. She'd taken a bit longer than she'd planned, as she'd called in James once to re-heat the water with his wand, and she didn't have much time to talk or else the meal would be 'utterly ruined' so with a quick wave of her wand she dried her hair and knelt down in front of the hearth. A few moments later, in the green flames, the head of Neville Longbottom appeared.

"Alice? Where are you? Did it all blow up, do you need me to come get you?"

She laughed. "No, Daddy. Do you remember complaining to George Weasley about how you couldn't Floo call me because of James' Floo issues? Well, George and Bill Weasley worked on it and now it's a special Floo. I can call out, you can call us and even stop over if you'd like."

"Really? You're not teasing, are you Allie?"

"No, Dad, I'm not taking the mickey. James agreed, because he didn't want you and Mum to think you weren't welcome."

"Now I know you're taking the mickey."

"Daaaaaaaad..."

"Fine, fine."

"Oh, you have to read something first. James sent you an owl. Have you read it yet?"

"Haven't even touched the post, I'm afraid. Too many things going on today. I'll read it, and then how about your mum and I schedule a visit sometime?"

"That sounds great."

"Splendid. Oh hold on a moment." Neville turned his head away from the fireplace and looked off in the distance. "Problem, Petal?" After a long pause he turned back to his daughter. "I'm afraid I will have to cut this short; apparently one of the Hufflepuff girls snuck a krup into school and it appears that the krup had puppies, puppies which are now roaming about the hallways and causing Filch's ghost to raise riot. At least I get to give Hank a hard time about this, it being his house and all that. We'll Floo you later. Love you, Allie."

"Love you too, Dad."

With that the connection ceased. Alice stood up, brushed off her knees and walked into the kitchen.

"He sounded happy." James pulled out her chair and handed her a serviette.

"I believe he was. Is. How about you?"

James leaned down and kissed her softly. "Very. You?"

"Love it. And you. Now what's for supper?"