CH. 38 Ginny's Accident
George and Jane Jetson are, of course, from the Hanna Barbara TV show "The Jetsons'"
The third story ends on a "Happily Ever After" note, and since completing "Birth of the Potter Children" I wanted to go back and add a little to this chapter, to show Harry giving Ginny many years of "Happily Ever After," something Harry is happy to do.
Thanks to FriendofMolly for her continuing help with these stories.
Ginny never remembered the accident the end of September 2003 that ended her Quidditch career.
Harry was not at the start of the game. There were some things to take care of because of Lavender Brown's sudden absence from the department. The Brown family also needed some help from Harry getting Lavender to the clinic in Switzerland where she, hopefully, could heal. Most games lasted more than 2 hours, and he was not all that worried.
Donna was worried. Ginny had been a little distracted that morning. Maybe a lot distracted. Donna knew that Harry was seriously thinking of spending the spring at the San Francisco College of Witchcraft and Wizardry; it was an ideal time in his career to take some time off. He and the Ministry could use what he would learn. Harry was heir apparent to the head of the department, but Gawain was a few years away from retirement, and there was a good level of backup staff, finally, in place. Ginny as usual wanted two contradictory things; she really wanted to be with Harry, and she really wanted to finish out this year. Donna was not the only one who could get frustrated at Ginny frequently wanting to have everything right now, but Donna was worried as well. You could not afford to play Quidditch if your mind was elsewhere.
Donna had no idea that Harry and Ginny's friend Lavender Brown had almost killed herself the day before. Donna had no idea how many things were going through Ginny's head. Ginny really had not shared much of the week she took off to be with Harry and others. If Donna had any idea, and knew how distracted that was making Ginny, she might have asked Gwen Jones to take Ginny out of the game.
Most of the rest of the Weasley family was in the Potter/Weasley box. Hermione said to no one in particular, "Ginny knows Harry is not here, and that always makes her a little upset. I hope Ginny can focus on her game."
Normally Ginny would not have been put into the game early, as she was no longer a starter. One of the other chasers received a hard blow from a bludger early in the game, however, and Ginny was put into the game less than a half hour after it started; She had not been in the game more than a few minutes when she spotted the quaffle, and made a hard turn to grab it. She apparently did not see a bludger coming fast towards her. Ginny usually had an uncanny 6th sense about where each bludger was and where it was going to be, but something failed her, and she flew hard into the bludger. Without the protective charms that every Quidditch player was suppose to have on themselves and their brooms the bludger would have taken Ginny's head right off, the hit was so direct and hard. As it was Ginny fell off her broom and a waiting Witch Healer caught her fall, put her down on the portkey stretcher that was always ready at these games, and within 30 seconds had both of them at St. Mungo's.
Arthur Weasley took immediate command of the situation. He said, "Hermione, send a Patronus to Harry telling him to go to St. Mungo's right away, because Ginny has been hurt." Hermione went into the private room behind the outside seats so she would not disturb the others, and sent the Patronus to Harry.
Then he asked, "Who will take care of the children?" Audrey and Angelina both indicated they would. Fleur said, "I want to go to St. Mungo's. Maybe I understand what the healers say because of my medical training." Everybody nodded in agreement.
"Mum and I weel go NOW," Fleur said as she grabbed Molly's hand. Fleur led Molly to the private floo and took them to St. Mungo's.
Ron had been watching the game. Arthur told Ron, "Tell George, then meet us at St. Mungo's." Ron nodded in agreement and left.
Arthur looked at Andromeda Tonks. She looked like she was in shock. He took her by the hand, and led her to the floo so they could follow everybody else to St. Mungo's
Within 5 minutes a large part of the Weasley clan was at St. Mungo's.
Harry got Hermione's Patronus telling him that Ginny had been hurt and to please go to St. Mungo's right away. A Patronus was so unusual, and so urgent, that Harry quickly turned over what he was doing to the next in command and apparated to St. Mungo's. He was met at the entrance by a large crown of Weasleys. They all let him lead the way to the Traumatic Injury Wing where concussions and other head and facial injuries were treated.
When they got to the floor, they were met by a somber faced witch who recognized Harry and Molly from articles in the Prophet, pointing to Harry and saying "Husband?!" and then to Molly and saying "Mother?!" She then turned to the rest of the people and said "Ginny is alive but seriously injured. There is a lot we do not know, and it may be days before we have a good idea just how badly Ginny was hurt. It may help her if Harry and her Mum are in with her; no more right now!" She motioned for Harry and Molly to follow her, and they went into the room where Ginny was.
Ginny was lying face up in a bed. There was a sheet over her head, with an opening for the right side her face. The witch and wizard working on Ginny were doing something behind the sheet. It took what seemed like a very long time, although it was less than twenty minutes, before they stopped what they were doing and looked at Harry and Molly.
The wizard said, "Without the spells protecting her Ginny could have died or had her face so badly damaged that no amount of magic could make it look right. Ginny has a very bad concussion. We have no idea how bad. Usually with magic we can fix this type of damage rather quickly, and within a day or so a person appears rather undamaged. There are still some problems, and she'll need to take care and not injure her head further.
"We can detect some magic and damage that shouldn't be there, and we cannot figure out what is going on. We opened her skull to let the brain expand, which should allow the brain to swell but not become further damaged. It also lets us see what is going on better. That seems to have slowed or stopped the damage.
"Meanwhile hold her hands and tell you that you love her. Love and telling someone they are loved does seem to help to heal some brain injuries."
Harry asked, "Is Ginny going to recover?"
The wizard answered, "Her Quidditch playing days are over. She is going to have to be careful for the rest of her life to avoid another concussion. Beyond that we just do not know. She could wake up and not realize that anything has happened, although she will almost certainly not remember the injury. Or she could wake up barely able to function, although she got here so quickly I doubt she will be that bad. We have no idea."
"Just a concussion, then," Harry tried to confirm.
"Well, no" said the wizard. "The bludger hit her right on the ear. We have tried to restore the ear as best we could. Oh, it will look good enough. We are just not sure how badly she has damaged her hearing or balance. Whatever magic or damage is going on in her brain seems to be concentrated at the ear. The hearing or the balance could be fine, or ruined, or anything in between."
Harry just stood there stunned. Molly took her adopted son into her arms and held Harry for 10 minutes or so. Then Harry sat down and took Ginny's hand and caressed it and told her he loved her. Molly looked at her daughter and son-in-law and told the wizard in charge, "I will tell the rest of the family."
"No more than one additional person in the room at a time," the wizard said.
"May I stay with her?" asked Harry. "I really do not want to leave her. I do not want to take a chance and have her wake up without being here."
"Yes, you can sleep in this room and stay close to her," said the wizard in charge.
Harry was not at the game. He kept thinking that if he had been at Ginny's game maybe she would not have been distracted, would not have gotten hurt. Harry still had a tendency to blame himself for everything bad that happened. Ginny was talking like maybe this was going to be her last season; they were going to try for a baby after the season was over. How badly hurt was she? Were their dreams of having children over? Was he going to be spending the rest of his life taking care of a badly hurt Ginny?
Molly told the family what she knew, and they decided that they would have a couple of family members stay with Harry, taking turns so there would always be people there. "I don't think Harry is going to want to leave Ginny's side until she is awake," said Molly. Ron and Hermione wanted to take the first shift. The rest of the family went back to the New Burrow to plan on how they were going to cover the next few days.
Hermione came into the room and stood next to Harry. "I guess they have more to do, and they can't tell me how much," said Harry. "I wish I knew what the chances are that she is going to recover. I just feel so helpless and hopeless right now, Hermione." Harry was fighting back tears. Hermione said, "Ron is here with me. I will send him in and I will try and figure out something." Hermione told Ron, "Harry feels he needs more facts, and at least I am good at that. Sit down next to Harry while I try to find out more."
Ron did not say anything, just nodded to Hermione and went into the room. He sat down next to Harry, not saying anything, but just Ron's presence was a help.
Hermione found the wizard who was in charge of Ginny and started to ask questions. The head trauma was, if not treated, bad enough to cause serious damage or death, but between getting Ginny to St. Mungo's and the Wizarding treatments they thought that they had minimized the damage. Hermione found out that the chances were excellent that Ginny would make what seemed to be a full recovery of her memory. They were absolutely serious about no more Quidditch, however, no more anything that could cause her brain to rattle back and forth in her skull. There was some controversy in both the Muggle and Wizarding world as to just how fully you could ever recover from a massive head trauma like Ginny had received, and to be safe you did not want to risk even another small head injury.
"We are real worried about the ear," the healer said. "You can live quite well only hearing out of one ear, but if one ear gives you the wrong balance information all the time keeping your balance can be very difficult. There is some injury or spell or something going on there, and we cannot understand it.
"Even if you make what seems to be a full recovery," said the wizard "we find that you are several times more likely to have dementia as you get older. Each further concussion increases the risk of earlier and more severe dementia. I do not gather that Ginny is the kind of person to be real careful about her person, and she is going to have to be."
Hermione had a hard time imagining a quiet and careful Ginny. "What about children?" asked Hermione? She knew that both Ginny and Harry were talking about starting a family. "We are not totally sure," said the wizard, "but at this time there is no indication that there would be a problem." Hermione, as was her custom, wanted to know more, and in greater detail and in the end the wizard gave Hermione several documents to read about head trauma, and again cautioned her not to assume anything. Until the signs from Ginny's brain indicated that she was ready to be awakened from her induced coma they would not know anything.
When Hermione came back into the room the witch on duty did not ask Ron to leave; it was acceptable to have three or maybe even four people in the room at once, but not anything like the entire Weasley family. Hermione did her best to share with Harry the hopeful but still very uncertain prognosis.
A short time later Kingsley Shacklebolt and Gawain Robards came into the room. "Harry," Gawain said, "Kingsley and I agree that you are on personal leave until Ginny is awake and you can convince us that it is the right time for you to get back to work. Even then we do not expect you back full time. The department can function without you, at least for a while, and partly thanks to your training of the staff."
"Thank you," said Harry. "I don't feel I can leave Ginny until we know more, until she is awake and getting better."
Kingsley started to shake Harry's hand, but they ended up in a hug, as did Harry and Gawain. They both really cared for Harry and Ginny, and this was hard on them as well.
Saturday afternoon the medical staff put a feeding tube in Ginny so she could get some nourishment, and put up a chart to watch her vital signs. The only time Harry had ever seen a chart like that was when he was in the hospital room of the couple who had died in front of him, and he panicked when he saw this. It took a very long time to calm Harry down and explain that when someone was going to be unconscious for more than a day this was normal, and not a sign that she was dying!
Molly came back after dinner, and stayed until it was time for bed. From then on someone from the family was there all the time. Molly was there after breakfast until after lunch, and then came back after dinner until late in the evening. Arthur was usually there in the evening. Ginny's brothers and sister-in-laws tried to cover the remaining time. The Harpies all came in from time to time.
Harry felt that his life had been put on hold. He knew life was going on outside the hospital room, but not his. For the first time in a long time he had nightmares. He could not help but dream of Voldemort; the dreams, as much as he could remember, did not make any sense, but they were terrifying none the less. The other horrible dreams were of Ginny being like Bill Lionheart or worse, Ginny not remembering anything, not remembering him, not waking up but just lying there for years. He would wake up in a cold sweat. The worse part was that he kept thinking about all the horrible things when he was awake.
Wednesday they told Harry and Molly that they were going to wake Ginny up on Thursday morning. "We seem to have stopped whatever was damaging Ginny's brain, and we are not worried about her getting worse," the healer said."
When the time came much of the family was outside the room, and Harry, Molly, Ron and Hermione were in the room.
As Ginny started to stir Harry said, "Ginny, wake up. I love you. Wake up."
Ginny stirred and said, "Harry? … Harry? …" She looked around her. She grabbed onto Harry's hand and held on tightly enough to remind Harry that Ginny was a superb athlete. "Harry, what happened?"
"You tried to occupy the same space as a bludger, but your head does not make a very good bat," said Harry.
"A bludger hit my head? How hard?" asked Ginny.
"Real hard, hard enough to put you in St. Mungo's for the last 5 days," said Harry.
Ginny looked around, and quickly sat up. It looked like Ginny was very disoriented, and she grabbed onto Harry and said, "I'm dizzy. Oh, that was terrible!"
"Mrs. Potter, don't move so fast," the wizard said.
"How long before I can get back to the Harpies?" asked Ginny? "They need me! I have to get back."
"You have to get better, Ginny," said Harry. "There is nothing more important than you getting better."
"How long is it going to take to get back to the Harpies?" asked Ginny?
"The medical staff laid down the law on Quidditch, Ginny," said Harry. "You suffered a very serious head injury, and are lucky you are not worse than Bill Lionheart. No more Quidditch."
"Harry, I can't retire, not NOW!" said Ginny.
"You ARE now retired," said Harry. "The staff does not want you playing home Quidditch games or doing anything that could cause you to re-injure your head."
One of the healing witches was by Ginny's bedside, and she confirmed what Harry had just said. "No more Quidditch, Mrs. Potter. You suffered a very serious head injury."
"I've got to get out of this hospital," said Ginny as she tried to get up and leave the bed. "I'm not an invalid!" Ginny put her feet on the floor and immediately lost her balance. Harry and the witch healer caught her before she fell and helped her back on the bed.
"GINNY," shouted the wizard in charge. "Sit down. Slow down. If you do not want to be an invalid, for the rest of your life, listen to us!"
Ginny sat down with a sulky frown on her face. She glared at the wizard, then at Harry, and then looked down at the bed with an expression between anger and frustration and tears. She pounded her fist against the bed. "IT's NOT FAIR!" she shouted.
"Ginny!" her mother said. "I lost two children to Voldemort and his Death Eaters, and you are throwing a tantrum over Quidditch! I'm having a very hard time with you right now."
Ginny looked at her mother in shock, then Harry who looked frustrated and not very sympathetic, Ron and Hermione standing holding hands also looking very frustrated. "Listen to the medical staff," said Hermione and Ron nodded his head in agreement.
Ron said, "You turned right into the bludger, Ginny, and it almost took your head off. You're lucky you are alive."
Ginny looked around at everybody. "No more Quidditch?" she said. Everybody indicated no more Quidditch. She took a big breath. She looked at Harry and said, "DAMN, DAMN, DAMN, DAMN, DAMN," yelling and hitting the bed with each damn, then very quietly as she started to tear up, "Damn, damn, damn, damn, damn, garden gnomes, boggarts, bollox and boggarts and shit and Merlin's dirty underpants Oh DAMN! No more Quidditch, Oh Harry, no more Quidditch."
Ginny turned to Harry and held on tightly, eyes wide open, breathing deeply. She finally let go, looked at Harry and with utter disgust said, "Some fairy tale ending."
"The documents with the rings never promised a fairy tale ending, Ginny. You know that," said Harry.
"You're the hero of the Wizarding world, Harry," said Ginny. "You can't give me back my Quidditch?"
Harry shook his head.
Ginny took a big breath. She looked at the wizard in charge and said, "No Quidditch! Boggarts! All right, what do I have to do to get out of here?"
The wizard said, "We want to do some memory tests. We also need to check your hearing and balance. Everybody needs to leave so we can make sure no one is giving you answers. We want to keep you here overnight, but unless there is a problem you should be able to go home Friday."
"Everybody leave, please, let's get this done," said Ginny. "Garden gnomes, boggarts and Bollox, DAMN!"
Everybody including Harry left. Harry told the crowd, "Ginny's not happy, but she is as spirited as before. I think we are going to be all right."
After about an hour Harry was called back into the room. The wizard said, "Ginny's lost a couple of days due to the impact, but otherwise her memory seems to be intact. She can remember reasonably well, and her memory should be almost back to normal soon. Her balance is terrible, and we are not sure if that will come back. She cannot hear out of right ear either, and that may never come back either. The big danger is that she will feel too good too soon and try to push herself and get hurt again."
"How do I look?" Ginny asked when the healer left.
Harry looked at Ginny. Her face was a little bruised, mostly on the right side. The most noticeable thing that was different was that the healers had to shave Ginny's hair to work on her head. "You look a little rough on your right side," Harry said, "but the healers say the bruising will go away. You are going to look fine."
Ginny slowly looked around the room, and said, "I can't move my head fast or I get dizzy. Is there a mirror?"
There was a mirror in a drawer, and Harry got it out and gave it to Ginny.
"MY HAIR! MY HAIR! HARRY … HARRY … WHAT HAPPENED TO MY HAIR?" Ginny frantically yelled.
"They had to shave it off to work on your head" Harry said. "You had a lot of damage, Ginny. They were trying to save your life!"
"I WANT MY HAIR BACK!" Ginny yelled. "Make it magically grow back, please."
"I'll ask," Harry said. He peered out and saw Molly sitting there. "Can you sit with Ginny, Mum?" Harry asked. "I need to see a healer."
"I'd be glad to, son," Molly said. "I heard some yelling. Is everything all right?"
"Ginny just found out they had to shave her head," Harry said.
"Oh!" Molly exclaimed. "Oh Oh! Enough said. I expect she's not happy."
"Really not happy!" exclaimed Harry.
Harry saw the wizard in charge of Ginny and asked, "Can we use magic to grow Ginny's hair back?"
"I'd really rather not," the wizard said. "There is some magic in a bludger, and there is something going on with Ginny's balance that we don't understand. The less magic around her head the better for some time to come. The hair will grow out, it will just take time."
"No hearing on that side, no balance, no hair," said Harry.
"The hair will grow back," the wizard said, "and the memory, the most important thing, that's not bad."
Harry went back into Ginny's room.
"When can I get my hair back?" asked Ginny.
"When it grows back, and no sooner," Harry said. "We are NOT risking your memory for your hair."
"Well that stinks," Ginny said in disgust. "When did they say I'd get my balance back?"
"They are not sure you will ever get your balance back," Harry said.
"Well that stinks too. I'm just an ugly invalid," Ginny complained.
"You are NOT ugly, Ginny," Harry exclaimed.
"I'm an invalid," Ginny said in disgust, frustration in her voice. "I can't go use the loo without holding onto someone or something. It's no fun."
Harry stayed with Ginny all Thursday evening and night. Friday morning they had Ginny walking while holding on to a couple of bars, and then while using a walker. As long as Ginny could hold on to something with both hands she was all right. Ginny looked a little unsteady, like she had been drinking too much, but she could usually get from any place to any other place safely.
Late Friday morning they were met by a team of healers. "We think you need a house elf companion," one of the healers said. "We can adapt the house so you can get around more or less safely, but when you are out of the house you should have someone to be with you and help you maintain your balance. Falling is real dangerous with the severity of the brain injury you just sustained."
"I'm never going to get better?" Ginny asked unhappily. "I'm always going to be unsteady and ugly and unhappy?"
"You are not ugly now," Harry insisted.
"There is no reason for you to be unhappy either," a witch healer said. "We find that even with major life changing injuries people get used to the adaptations they have to make, and they are as happy as they were before. They are not happy for the injury, but they are not unhappy all the time."
"So I'm supposed to be a happy invalid, no hair and all," Ginny muttered. "Boggarts!"
"Will the undying love of a messy haired man make a difference?" Harry asked. "We must be quite a pair, me with my messy hair and you with less than a week's worth of hair on your head."
"Take me home, Harry," Ginny said. "I think I'll hide at home for a few years until my beautiful hair comes back."
"Not a good idea," one of the healers said. "You need to get back to living, just with the adaptations for your head injury."
"The healers come with us," Harry said as Harry, Ginny and four healers took the floo to Twelve Grimmauld Place.
The healers proceeded to install hand rails all over the house. "We hope you can graduate from the walker to hand rails soon," the lead witch said. The hand rails could disappear or almost disappear where they went over things like bookshelves and furniture.
"Why don't I just hang on to the furniture?" Ginny wanted to know'
One of the witches tipped over a chair and then grabbed onto a drawer, which promptly slid open. "Furniture is seldom safe, Ginny," she said.
"But the railings are ugly, and they remind me I was hurt!" Ginny said.
"If it reminds you that you were hurt, and that another concussion could put you in St. Mungo's for the rest of your life, then that is a good thing! STURDY RAILINGS until you can demonstrate you don't need them."
"Sturdy railings!" Harry agreed. Ginny glared at Harry, but he just stared back at her. Ginny followed everybody as they installed good, sturdy handicapped railings all over her pretty house, shaking her head but not saying much.
Everything went pretty well until they got to Harry and Ginny's bedroom.
"Please lie on the bed like you do when you sleep," one of the witches said.
"Starkers?" asked Ginny, a snarky smile evident.
"No, no, you can keep your clothes on," the witch said with a grin.
Ginny got onto the side of the bed she always used, and Harry onto the other side.
"Put your head down on the pillow, Ginny," the witch said.
Ginny put her good left ear down on the pillow, and looked towards the middle of the bed.
"Can you hear me?" the witch said.
"What?" Ginny said. She lifted her head. "What did you say?"
"You don't hear very well at all when your left ear is down on the pillow," the witch said. "If you want to be able to talk to Harry when you are in bed you and Harry are going to have to switch sides. The other problem is that you are probably going to want to be closest to the bathroom, and to do that you will have to move your bed."
"Boggarts," Ginny said.
The team of healers rearranged the bedroom, putting in railings that could appear and disappear, making the room easier for Ginny to move around in. They spent a lot of time as Ginny stumbled around the room. Finally Ginny looked at the team with bleary eyes and said, "I'm exhausted."
"We will be back in about three hours, Ginny," the lead witch said. "Take a nap, try to relax."
Mabel led the team downstairs to the floo.
Harry closed the bedroom door. Ginny said, "Hold me Harry." Harry and Ginny lay on the bed holding each other for some time.
Finally Harry said, "You are just as sexy on this side."
"I'm glad I can hear you say that," Ginny said. "Even if it's not true."
"You may be missing hair, but you have other attractions," Harry said, running his hands over Ginny's bottom.
"I don't think that was damaged," Ginny said with a frown.
Harry pulled back and ran his hands around Ginny's breasts. "It doesn't look like these were damaged either."
"I don't know," Ginny said, a snarky smile beginning to form. "We'd better look."
Harry and Ginny had a delightful better part of an hour gently verifying that all of Ginny's parts were undamaged and functioning. Ginny was able to function pretty well as long as she moved slowly on the bed and kept her eyes open. Finally both of them had to use the loo, and then they were both hungry. They got dressed and went down to the kitchen, Ginny holding on to Harry with one hand, the railings with her other hand.
Later that afternoon the healers came back and they made the rest of the house handicapped ready. Ginny was plenty strong enough, but she needed to be able to get support at any time if she lost her balance.
After the healers left Harry asked Ginny, "Do you want to go out to dinner?"
NO!" Ginny yelled.
"We can eat here. What do you want to do tomorrow, love?" Harry gently asked, as they sat next to each other in a love seat in the library.
"HIDE," Ginny yelled crying, pulling away from Harry. "Hide until my hair grows back and I can walk without wobbling and Oh Harry I've ruined it for us, haven't I."
"Ginny," Harry said gently. "We've talked about what would happen if I got hurt as an Auror, how we'd make it work. How Fleur married Bill even after his face was shredded. Bill really is sort of hard to look at sometimes. And Angelina, she married George even after he lost his ear."
"George's biggest flaw is that he's George," said Ginny, giggling, "not that he's missing an ear."
"Well you are still Ginny, and we are just going to make it work!" Harry exclaimed. "Lack of balance, short hair and all.
"You always said that when you had to quit Quidditch you were going to make lots of pretty babies with me. That sounds good to me."
Harry and Ginny held on to each other for a long time, not saying much, before going to bed.
Harry wondered how long it would be before he could go back to work. If Ginny really was going to be all right then she could go to San Francisco with him, and maybe they could start a family. Harry was worried about Ginny, but absolutely confident that she would adapt to anything. He has spent enough time talking to the healers to know that, despite the problems she would always fight, Ginny should be able to make a very happy and successful life for her and for Harry.
The head injury was a terrible way to end one portion of their life, but rescuing the captives alive and well felt very good. Harry felt very hopeful for Ginny, but very frustrated that being married to him had turned out to be so dangerous.
Harry was very gentle with Ginny, too gentle as far as she was concerned, as they made love before falling asleep. Ginny was not as convinced as Harry that everything was going to be fine. 'The worse part,' Ginny thought, 'was that it was my fault. I flew distracted and I turned and flew right into the bludger. Damn.'
Ginny never did get her balance back all the way. It was just something that she learned to live with. They were eventually able to restore some of her hearing in the right ear, with the aid of a Muggle hearing aid.
Ginny had over fifty years without any serious memory problems. She and Harry enjoyed being parents, grandparents and even great-grandparents. Ginny's Quidditch column was a great success and brought her much satisfaction, and even when she started to develop memory problems she was able to continue the column with help from Lily Luna. Harry had a very successful career as an Auror, both in Great Britain and around the world. He was always a key figure in the Worldwide Magical community. Harry and Ginny did not stay Regents in Switzerland; what happened is covered in the next several stories.
The damage that had been done to Ginny's brain started to catch up with her when she was old by Muggle standards, however. She was delightfully flaky in her eighties and nineties, still enjoying life but needing more help. Any pretense to writing or editing stopped as Ginny aged past 100, and although she always remembered her children she had a hard time keeping track of the grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Ginny took a bad fall when she hit 107, and she never recovered from it. Harry adapted, and as they aged past 110 they still enjoyed life, although Ginny didn't remember much of it.
George and Jane Jetson were going to have dinner with the Captain and the Potters, two weeks after joining the around the world cruise. Of course everyone knew of the Potters, and it was a thrill to be able to meet them. George knew that Harry was a hundred and eight, and Ginny a hundred and seven and they had been married ninety years this past summer. All the news outlets in the world, magical and non-magical, had big stories about the ninetieth anniversary of The Battle of Hogwarts, and of Harry totally retiring from his many responsibilities to spend full time taking care of Ginny.
They noticed Harry coming towards the table, Ginny holding on to his arm. Harry was a small man, about five foot four, a full head of messy white hair. Ginny had long red hair, and looked to be at most about four foot ten inches, although she was a little bent over, mostly because of her use of a walker to help with her balance. There was a female Elf on the other side of Ginny, and both Harry and the Elf were helping Ginny walk. A male Elf was accompanying the female Elf.
Harry helped Ginny to her seat, with the help of the little Elf. The Elf sat on one side of Ginny, and Harry on the other. Harry then introduced himself, saying "I'm Harry Potter, and this is my wife Ginny, and the Elf that has helped Ginny for years, Mitzi P/W and her husband Fritz P/W."
George put out his hand, saying "I'm George Jetson, and this is my wife Jane." Harry gave George a firm handshake, and when Jane put out her hand gave her a firm handshake as well.
Ginny gave George a surprisingly firm handshake but a sort of blank look, asking "Do I know you?"
"George Jetson, we've just met."
"Good to meet you, Mr. …, good to meet you."
Mitzi and Fritz also shook hands with the Jetsons.
After they sat down George said, "I'm retired from a manufacturing company, Sprocket Industries. I had a chance to tour one of the DPW factories. Fascinating! Seeing Goblins, Elves, and people using Magic, along with the most modern technology."
"Bill Weasley and Dudley Dursley did an excellent job putting together those companies," Harry said. "Lewis Weasley, Gregory Potter and Harry Vernon Dursley seem to be doing a fine job running the companies now."
"Did you both work for the Potters?" Jane asked Mitzi and Fritz.
"I am Mrs. Potter's personal assistant," Mitzi said. "I have helped her since before James their eldest was born."
Jane turned to Fritz.
"I was in finance for the P/W house elves." he said. "It's part of the long story of how Elves went from all but slaves to being part of large groups to being free. Most Elves are still more comfortable being part of what are sort of co-op's or large family groups than as independent as most non-magical people."
It was time to order food. Harry pointed out some items in the menu to Ginny and then asked "Do you feel like fish or beef today?"
Ginny thought some, Harry patiently waiting. Finally Harry said "Fish or beef, Ginny?" as he gently touched her arm.
Finally Ginny said "Fish?" Harry ordered one of the fish dishes for Ginny.
It looked like Ginny was trying to follow the conversation a little of the time, but much of the time she had a blank look on her face, almost like she was not there. There were plenty of moments when Ginny looked at Harry with joy and wonder, though, very touching moments, with the couple exchanging glances.
Jane very quietly asked Harry, "Magic can't solve Ginny's memory problems?"
"If it had not been for the best magic and medicines Ginny would have been much worse off much sooner," Harry said. "She is taking some of the best of the current medicine for dementia, and has been taking something for years. We had over fifty really good years after her accident before Ginny started to have memory problems. Well, her memory was never quite as good after the accident, but she took good notes and it was never much of a problem for well over fifty years. Then Lily covered for Ginny with the Quidditch column and the Elves, Mitzi in particular, covered for her in other areas, and Ginny functioned pretty well until about ten years ago.
"The last ten years have been ones of decline, though," Harry said with a sigh, "although she handled everything pretty well until a bad fall a few months ago." Looking lovingly at Ginny Harry said to Ginny as much as to anyone "She's still my beautiful bride. Ginny's the most beautiful woman in the world, and the best thing that ever happened to me."
Ginny giggled, and they exchanged a light but passionate kiss. Ginny looked longingly at Harry for a minute or two before getting a blank look on her face again. The couple was obviously very much in love.
The dinner passed very quickly. Harry was interested in everything, and George and Jane had a fascinating dinner. When it came time for dessert Harry gently asked Ginny "Tiramisu? You like that."
"I do?" asked Ginny.
"You do," Harry gently said. Ginny said nothing so Harry ordered the Tiramisu,
When the dessert came Ginny said "Harry, this is real good! Have I ever had it before?"
"Yes, Love. That's why I ordered it," Harry said.
When the dessert was finished Ginny said to Harry "That was good. What was it?"
"Tiramisu," Harry said. "I know you like it."
"Why?" asked Ginny. "Have I had it before?"
"Yes, Ginny," Harry said. Harry was so patient and gentle with Ginny. Ginny was obviously very confused all of the time, struggling to remember any scraps of conversation.
After dinner was over, Harry said, "Time to get Ginny back to our cabin." Mitzi the Elf got up and got ready to help Harry get Ginny up.
Ginny looked at Harry and said, "Cabin? Where are we?"
"We have been on an around the world cruise for the last six months. You have enjoyed it, but we are going home tomorrow, Ginny," Harry said.
"Oh," Ginny said, "We have?"
As they got up George and Jane noticed that Ginny was pretty thick around the middle and bottom. "Harry tries to get her to exercise," the Captain said. "He tries to get her to spend about an hour on the treadmill every day, with plenty of support, as he exercises. It's hard for her to do much, though. Harry says Ginny is about fifty percent heavier than when they were married.
"Harry is so patient and still so much in love with his Ginny it's a model for us all.
"They lost another great-grandchild to experiments in apparating during the cruise. Harry went to the funeral, but he left Ginny here. Their daughter Lily and her husband Bill came and watched after Ginny when Harry was gone.
"They have had so much sorrow, but Harry always emphasizes that there have been far more good times than bad."
"I thought Lily was their problem child?" asked Jane.
"Was," the Captain replied. "Harry has stories, and even Lily had a couple. She's grown up to be the one closest to her mother, writing the Quidditch column but also trying to include Ginny in as much as possible.
"I am going to miss them when they leave the ship tomorrow," the Captain finished up with.
Harry was finally alone in the bedroom with Ginny. He gently helped her out of her clothes and got her into bed. He crawled into bed and kissed her, and they hugged and cuddled and eventually gently made love. Ginny seemed to enjoy the love making, always enjoyed the physical closeness, and at least she had not lost that. 'Happily Ever After' thought Harry. Despite the sorrows they had come pretty close.
Harry was sitting in the love seat in the Drawing Room, and as usual Ginny was snuggled up next to him. He was reading one of the documents that Albus had sent him to review when Ginny stirred. She put her hand on the book in her lap, the one that read
Harry and Ginny
Married 92 years
And they lived happily ever after."
"Ninety-two years?" Ginny asked.
"Ninety-two years yesterday, Ginny," Harry said.
"How old are you?" Ginny asked.
"One hundred and ten years old," Harry said. "You are one hundred and nine."
"We are OLD!" Ginny said, astonished. "We must have grandchildren!"
"Grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren," Harry said. He opened the book to the pages that showed their children. The first page showed the family when they were young, Teddy, James, Albus and Lily in front of a very young, and very much in love, Harry and Ginny.
"We are grandparents to Teddy and Victoire's children too," Harry said. "Victoire did have twelve, just like she said she was going to have." Harry pointed out the pages that had the expanding brood of grandchildren and great-grandchildren that Teddy and Victoire had, and then went through the book showing their children, grandchildren, and on.
Ginny fell into a light doze before he was done, but then woke up again. "What time is it, Harry?" Ginny asked.
"A little after three in the afternoon," Harry said.
"We had lunch?" Ginny asked.
"We did," Harry answered.
She looked down at her substantial bust, and felt herself. She took Harry's hand and had him feel her, and when he gladly ran his hands around her bosom giggled, and smiled a most self-satisfied smile. "Was I always this big?" she asked, showing that she was referring to her bust by the way she wiggled.
"You were very thin when you were playing for the Harpies," Harry answered.
"I DID play for the Harpies, didn't I," Ginny said, then, looking worried, "Who is going to write the Quidditch column?"
"Lily Luna has been in charge for a number of years, Ginny, although her daughter Eileen Wood has been doing a lot of the work for quite a while. Oliver Wood was at Hogwarts with us, and Eileen married a grandson of Oliver's."
Harry didn't think Ginny remembered Oliver, but it was hard to tell.
"Have we had lunch?" Ginny asked, again.
"Yes, we did," Harry said.
"Did we make love after lunch?" Ginny asked.
"We did!" Harry said, remembering a most satisfying period in bed with Ginny. "And last night, and this morning,"
"Oh Harry," Ginny gushed, the happiest smile on her face, "we ARE living Happily Ever After!"
"Yes, we are," said Harry as he kissed Ginny. Ginny put her arms around Harry, opened her mouth, and they spend a pleasant few minutes in a passionate lovers embrace.. With the help of magic and medicine they were able to make love three times a day. Ginny was thrilled, and Harry had to admit it was a very pleasant way to spend your days.
Ginny didn't seem to remember, not often anyway, the battles, the losses, the very difficult moments. There really had been far more good times than bad, and Harry was content to spend his days giving Ginny her 'Happily Ever After.' Life was good.
The next story in this series is about the birth of the Potter children, and another one about raising Albus.
I have outlined another series of stories starting when Albus starts Hogwarts.