Chapter 1 : Chapter One
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A/N: I have included a small cheat sheet for you. Please refer back to it if you need to. This is supposed to just be a small, humorous account and as a woman, I take full rights to poke fun at PMS. It is fact that women who live together will eventually have periods at the same time. While some women do not suffer as much from PMS, others do although at the time, it is really not funny. I do hope you enjoy this and know that poor Harry only has to suffer a few times a year.
Thank you to my beta, Wolf’s Scream!
Harry age 34
Ginny age 33
Erik age 20… his wedding
Emily age 18
Nicole age 17
Serenity age 15
Nellie age 14
Amber age 12
Blythe, Brooke and Brandy age 11
Willow age 10
Molly age 9
James age 7
Ben is Emily’s fiancé
Jenna is Erik’s fiancée
David is the Best Man
Swimming With The Fishes
8:30am, Saturday July 19th, 2014
Harry cringed inwardly, wishing desperately that they had checked what week it would be before they had set the date for Erik’s wedding. Alas, it’s too late now, he thought as he sighed inwardly and watched in horror as yet another hairbrush went sailing through the air barely missing his eldest daughter’s head. Maybe I should try and break it up, he thought dejectedly as more yells added to the cacophony. No one had even noticed his entrance to the lavender colored sanctum that the girls had claimed for their own to prepare for the wedding.
“No one cares what you look like, Amber!” Nellie, age fourteen, yelled at her twelve-year-old sister as she flicked her long red hair over her shoulder. Harry suspected that the hairbrush had actually been meant for Amber’s head. “I need to look good! Have you seen Erik’s groomsmen? They are gorgeous and you’re still a baby!” He had to wince at that, his daughters weren’t supposed to be this boy crazy.
“I am not!” Amber spit back. “And you’re too young for them too, they were all in Erik’s year and that means they are all 20!” She stooped down in the large, brightly lit bathroom and grabbed the infamous hairbrush, running it through her short, red curls.
Harry decided to step in at this point, before they needed to take someone to St. Mungo’s. “Stop!” He pitched his voice so that it carried throughout the very spacious bathroom at their home that had been built on the site of the Burrow. All ten of his daughters froze and turned to stare at him.
“You can’t be here Daddy!” Nicole told him indignantly. At the ripe old age of seventeen, and heading into her final year of Hogwarts, Nicole was even surer of herself than she had been as a child. Harry marveled again, as he studied her pretty face that it never mattered to him that she, Emily, and Erik were adopted. They were still his children.
But then he sighed, realizing that even his most rational child was against him today. “Et tu, Nicole?” Bloody PMS, Harry thought and then groaned at his own bad pun.
Nicole’s brown eyes narrowed dangerously but Emily, the eldest of his daughters and a recent Hogwarts graduate, stepped in. Emily’s startlingly blue eyes alight with annoyance as she spoke. “We could have been changing Daddy!” Emily had always been the more mature and was, in fact, getting married in less than a month. She was currently putting one of the triplet’s hair up in what appeared to be a bun. Blythe, Brooke and Brandy were all, unfortunately, cursed with his messy black hair and he could see that Emily was struggling to tame it.
“Yes, but you weren’t changing and I did knock,” Harry told them reasonably praying that his calm manner would settle the high tension of the room. Why, oh why, do girls who live together always get their periods at the same time? Harry had been asking himself that question ever since Emily had gotten her first period and now he only had the two youngest of his daughters, who had not entered that wonderful stage of womanhood. Wonderful, my arse, he thought sourly.
“How is Erik doing? Is he ready to throw up?” Serenity, or Ren as the family called her, asked through the hairpins that she held in her mouth. She was struggling with her own messy black hair, attempting to get it up. She was a head above all of the other girls in the family, who had inherited Ginny’s short stature. Harry still couldn’t believe she would be in her fifth year at Hogwarts already and she was nearly at his eye level.
“Fine, just a bit nervous. He and the gorgeous groomsmen,” here Harry flinched slightly, “are dressing in Erik’s room.”
Emily bit her lip and asked softly, “Have you seen Ben, Daddy?”
Harry felt h brow furrow at the thought of Emily’s fiancé, Ben. “I believe Ben is down with Erik as well.” Emily nodded and went back to fixing her sister’s hair.
Under normal circumstances, Harry would have liked the nineteen-year-old lad very much but since he had proposed to Emily, Harry found that Ben was only a reasonably tolerable person. He knew he was biased but he had also known since the moment that Emily had walked into his life, that no one was good enough for his princess. He looked around at all of his girls, all clad in shorts and button up t-shirts and realized it would be the same way with all of them.
He shook his head, realizing he was reminiscing like an old man, which I’m not, he reminding himself as he caught a glimpse of himself in the long mirror that hung over several sinks. At thirty-four his face was more angular and there were a few lines beginning to appear around his eyes, but his hair was still jet-black and his body was as lean as ever. It was still odd to think about his twenty-year-old adopted son getting married, but Harry had married Ginny when he was seventeen so he knew he couldn’t say anything against it. “Your Mum sent me up here to check on you,” he finally admitted.
“Doubtful,” Nicole said, pinning a stray curl of Molly’s red hair into place. Molly was the youngest of his daughters, only nine years old. Her brown eyes winced as Nicole stuck another pin in. “I imagine you were driving her batty and she kicked you out.”
Just sometimes they are too perceptive for their own good, he admitted silently.
He hastily thought of a change of subject. “Well, I certainly think all of you are looking beautiful,” Harry told them, grinning broadly at their disgusted looks.
Nellie rolled her eyes. “You don’t count.”
“Your Mum thinks I count,” he countered her argument immediately.
“No she doesn’t,” Nicole said winking at him. “She only tells you that so that you can feel important sometimes.”
He had to chuckle at that, sure that only his children would jest at the famous Harry Potter not being important. It is truly a blessing to be with those who love you.
His second youngest daughter, Willow, sat on the floor next to Nicole and Molly, painting her nails, her black hair up in curlers. She looked up at him, her large brown eyes very serious as she asked, “Where’s Jamie at?”
James, his youngest child and only other boy, was only seven. He was the spitting image of Harry, down to needing glasses. “Jamie is currently hiding in his room. He said something about Blythe yelling at him and your Nana is trying to calm him down.”
Blythe looked over at him, via the mirror where she was applying what appeared to be lipstick, and frowned. “He was trying to sneak in here to mess with our stuff!”
“He wants to feel included,” Harry reminded her gently then scowled. “Does your Mum know you’re putting on make-up?”
Blythe rolled her eyes and sighed, in a way that told him he was acting like a man. He got that a lot these days. “It is lip gloss, Daddy, the palest pink and Mum said we could wear it for today.”
“Ouch! That hurt, Emily!” Brandy flinched and rubbed her scalp.
“If you would hold still, this wouldn’t be a problem!” Emily reminded her sternly.
Oh, this is bad. Emily is the peacemaker of the family, not a calmer soul amongst them and even she was grumpy today. Again, Harry regretted not checking the calendar before agreeing to this date.
It was like this every summer, except usually he, Erik and Jamie would leave on a ‘Boys Only’ camping trip with Ron and his four sons. It was a great excuse to escape the PMS filled house, although Ginny complained to him each time he did it. Still, it did keep his girls from killing him and it looked as if they were each contemplating it at this moment. The worst part had been having the triplets hit puberty; three at one time, last month. It was enough to make a sane man turn to the bottle.
“I need that, Blythe.” Brooke made a grab for the lip-gloss and would have had it, if Blythe hadn’t side stepped her. Brooke scowled at her and pushed her hard in the stomach.
“Oww!” Blythe smacked her sister’s arm away and went back to looking in the mirror. “I’m almost done with it! Just hold on for a minute,” she said mulishly.
Brooke shoved her again and lip-gloss went everywhere, causing Blythe to howl and Brooke to finally get the lip-gloss only to be hit on the back of the head by the brush. She dropped the make-up and turned to yell at Amber who was scowling and had her hands on her hips.
“That hurt Amber!” Brooke yelled.
Blythe started to cry and she rubbed the gunk off of her face with a tissue.
“You shouldn’t be stealing her things, Brooke!” Amber fired back.
“If she hadn’t spent ten minutes admiring her face in the mirror then it wouldn’t have mattered!” Brooke was turning red in her agitation.
“Daddy, break this up!” Ren bellowed over at him as she placed one last pin in her hair.
“What’s wrong with you?” Harry asked, hesitant to get into the middle of their fights. He always got yelled at when they were PMSing.
Ren shrugged, “I don’t want to mess up my hair.” She then went to do her own make-up.
Harry sighed and stepped over to pull Amber away from Brooke but he suddenly had Blythe in his arms, sobbing hard into his chest.
“She… she hit me and she thinks I’m vain Daddy! Bu-bu-but I’m not va-vain Daddy and,” here she paused to let out a very loud wail as more tears drenched his shirt, “I just want to-to look my best and she had to ruin it all!” More uncontrollable sobs escaped her as Harry kissed the top of her head and soothed her, rubbing her back and holding her tight. He hated when his little girls were upset, even though they weren’t all so little any longer.
“OH I SEE HOW IT IS!” Blythe yelled and stamped her foot hard, shattering the lip-gloss. She didn’t even seem to notice that she had destroyed it. “YOU ARE GOING TO TAKE HER SIDE!”
Blythe attempted to run past him and out the door but Harry snagged her arm and pulled her forcibly towards him until she fell into his arms, also crying hysterically.
“I am not taking anyone’s side. I love you all equally and I have enough hugs to go around.” Harry reminded them gently, and then he let out a slow breath. Today was going to be a very, very long day.
“Daddy, can I go play with Jamie?” Harry looked down at Molly, his baby girl. Her hair was still in curlers and their appeared to be a purple sort of jam on her face.
“It doesn’t look like you are ready yet, though.” He said softly and her large brown eyes, eyes identical his wife’s, filled with tears. Can I just not win today? He let go of Brooke to scoop Molly into his arms and then hugged Brooke back to him. Molly put his small arms around him and held on while the other two eventually broke away from him to hug each other, apologizing and crying.
“You can take Molly down to Jamie’s room, Daddy.” Emily informed him, finishing off Brandy’s hair. “We aren’t getting her ready in case she wants to eat or play. That way she can still get dirty.”
Harry nodded, realizing that made the most sense and marveling again that something that was so obvious to his eighteen-year-old daughter did not even occur to him. “Well, let’s go find Jamie then and you two can play.”
Molly nodded against his shoulder. “They’re all being silly,” she whispered into his ear.
“Yes,” he responded quietly as he left the bathroom, wincing as he heard someone yelling about taking too long with the nail polish. He carried her down to his son’s room, reveling in the feeling of still being able to hold her. The others, Jamie included, refused to let him pick them up. They all claimed that they were too old for that but Molly still enjoyed being babied, but for how long, he didn’t know. It was a depressing thought that was only lightened by the realization that he would likely be getting grandkids in the next few years.
Harry pushed open the door to Jamie’s room and saw him playing by himself with a set of dragons that had once belonged to Erik. “Hi Dad,” Jamie said without really looking up.
He set Molly down and ruffled Jamie’s dark hair. “Are you two going to be all right?”
“I want to be the princess,” Molly told Jamie, reaching under his bed snatch out a doll. Harry was, obviously, already forgotten.
He chuckled softly and turned to leave as Jamie said, “good, then my dragons will have something to eat.” Harry left, closing the door softly, decided that Molly was more than a match for her younger brother.
He walked slowly towards one of the secret passageways, the one that it had taken Fred and George less than two hours to find, and pulled on the apple in the fruit basket, which sat upon a small, glass table. Instantly the wall behind it slid open and Harry replaced the waxen fruit, before walking through the closing door. The tunnel was cool, despite the summer heat, and he strolled slowly along, savoring the peace. He knew he wouldn’t have any when he found his wife.
He exited the back of a painting of Sirius, who waved at him and winked, before heading straight across the hall to his and Ginny’s large room. Harry tentatively pushed the door open and saw that Ginny was still at her dressing table, where he had left her not half an hour earlier.
“Did they kick you out?” Ginny asked him, frowning at her own reflection.
He shrugged. “I was more in danger of being impaled by lip-gloss, whatever that is. I thought we agreed they couldn’t wear make-up?”
Instantly he knew he’d said the wrong thing to his hormonal wife. “I see, so you don’t trust me then?”
“What?” Harry had no idea where that had come from.
“Lip-gloss is not make-up but you wouldn’t trust me to give it the ‘okay’ for their brother’s wedding?” Now she was beginning to sound hysterical. “I don’t believe you, Harry! After all these years, how you doubt me?”
At that moment, Harry doubted that sanity and rational thought would ever come back into his life. Instantly he regretted it. Ginny had a gift for reading emotions in people; she was an Amulain and that meant she always knew what Harry was thinking. “I didn’t mean just you!” He assured her.
One of her eyebrows rose questioningly. “Is that supposed to make me feel better?”
“The girls were about ready to kill each other. I had to stop Blythe, Amber and Brooke from killing each other and I’ve already made two of them cry today.” He went and sat on the truck at the edge of their bed, burying his hands in his hair. “Do you see why I leave when they get like this?”
“I see that you leave me alone with all these hormonal teenagers,” Ginny reminded him grumpily.
“Yes, but…” he searched for the right words, praying they wouldn’t infuriate her more. “You’re just as pissy as they are so it isn’t quite so traumatic for you.”
She threw a pair of earrings back into her jewelry box and stood, her dressing gown billowing around her scantily clad figure. Harry couldn’t help but notice that she wasn’t wearing much and he grinned as he studied her.
Ginny threw her hands up into the air. “You are unbelievable, thinking naughty thoughts while I am mad at you and,” she pulled up her slip revealing white lace knickers and her stomach, “I still don’t see how you can get so excited about this stomach!”
“You only say that when you’re…” then he thought better about what he was going to say and stood to put his arms around her and look down at her body, barely noticing the stretch marks that told the tales of seven pregnancies. “How can I not want to be with you? You’ve only gotten more beautiful every year that I’ve been married to you.”
Ginny’s lip wobbled ominously. She ran her hands up his chest and gently tugged his mouth down to hers. “I love you, you’re an amazing man… but if you don’t leave me alone I might say something I don’t mean.”
Harry laughed and kissed, “yes dear. I’ll go down and see how Erik is doing.”
“Thank you,” she said as she stepped away from him. “Oh, and have Dobby send chocolate up to the girls. That will help them calm down.”
“Yes, dear.” Harry repeated himself and blew her a kiss as he left their room. He nearly ran into Dobby, who was hopping from one foot to the other outside his bedroom door. “Did you hear her, Dobby?”
“Yes, Harry Potter sir!” Dobby squeaked and rung his hands. “But sir, I is afraid the little Potters won’t be happy to see Dobby!”
“I think that all the time,” he said and winked. “Just drop some chocolate at the door and pop away before they can say anything to you.”
“Yes sir.” With a small pop Dobby was gone.
Harry shook his head, thankful that Dobby had offered to help out during the wedding, and horrified that the poor elf would have to put up with so much. He took off at a quick clip towards his eldest son’s room and found the younger men joking around and his son, smiling but silent, sitting on his bed. None of them were dressed, nor did it appear any of them had showered except Emily’s fiancé, Ben, who appeared to be nearly ready.
“Hey, Dad.” Erik greeted him and gave him a small smile. His face was very pale.
“Hello, all. I’ve been kicked out of my own bedroom, so I thought I might come down to join you.” Harry told them, as he studied Ben. “Why are you dressed already?”
“Emily told me to be ready by ten,” Ben told him morosely and all of the other guys in the room snickered.
“I see,” Harry replied slowly and thought that he might actually understand. “The wedding doesn’t start until two though. Why did she want you ready early?”
Ben shrugged. “I don’t know,” and he sighed the sigh of a very put upon man. “She barged into my room and woke me up at around seven am and told me I had overslept and that I was to be ready by ten. She didn’t even want to listen to the fact that it would take me about twenty minutes to be ready. She insisted that I get up at that instant. So,” he waved a hand around the room, “I came up here and hid from her.”
The groomsmen started to laugh again and Harry smiled, finally getting what was going on. “At least it’s only one week a month.” He walked over and clapped Ben on the back. His future son-in-law had gained new respect in his eyes.
Comprehension flashed across Ben’s face and instantly the other guys quieted. “That makes sense, she’s normally so easy going and this morning was… well I thought it was the stress of the wedding.” Ben then sat down next to Erik on the bed.
One of the groomsmen, David, laughed heartily. He was the bride’s older brother and Erik’s best friend and best man. “All I can say is we’re lucky that Jenna isn’t hormonally deranged at the moment. The bride is always crazy and adding in PMS would just be cruel.”
Harry and the others laughed hard, all except Erik, who only smiled briefly. “That was two weeks ago,” he informed them quietly. “It was right as I was getting fitted for my dress robes and…” Erik shuddered. “She cried for over an hour about something. I still don’t know what it was.” He looked over at Harry. “I miss our camping trips but I suppose it will be worth it in the end.”
“Imagine the professional Quidditch player afraid of a few tears!” Harry spun around to see Ron lounging in the doorway. His eye was blackened, and his lip was bloody.
“What the hell happened to you?” Harry asked, completely forgetting that he had given up swearing several years ago.
“Your daughter happened to me.” Ron told him, his tone of voice was half way between amused and annoyed.
“Which one?” He asked hesitantly, not really sure he wanted to know that answer.
“I bet it was Nicole,” Erik answered. Harry looked over his shoulder and was relieved to see that his son was starting to gain more color.
“Then you would have lost that bet. It was Emily.” Ron told them.
Ben went white. “What did you say to her?”
The tall redhead crossed his arms and winked. “Actually Ren hit me too but all I told Emily that she was going to be a beautiful bride next month as long as she doesn’t act like a nutter. Then she blackened my eye and when I turned to leave, Ren punched my lip.” He reached up to tentatively his bloodied lip and winced. “That girl’s got quite a right hook.”
“I better see if she’s okay,” Ben said as he stood and made for the door.
“Yes, Ren might have…” David began but then stopped and blushed. Everyone stared at him, including Harry who could not believe he had been so blind until this moment.
“She’s only fifteen,” Harry reminded the other man.
David faced him, defensively. “She’s almost sixteen and I won’t be twenty till next year.”
“Harry,” Ron came up and put his hand on his shoulder. “I do believe that Ren can handle herself. My lip is proof of that.”
Harry thought about his daughter, her pretty face and her sharp wit and even her right hook, which he had been working with her on since she was four. Could he trust her to this boy? He met David’s blue eyes and saw honesty, intelligence and nerves. He was obviously waiting for him to pass judgment.
Harry sighed heavily. “Well, go on then. She can be your problem now when she’s PMSing and good luck with that, she’s worse than her Mum.”
Harry spun on the spot and saw, to his horror, that Ginny was glaring at him through the doorway, several of his daughters behind her. He did note that she was now dressed. Ren was among them although she only had eyes for the best man.
He took in a deep breath, praying that he could say something right to make up for his comment, although he doubted it. Why, oh why, he thought fervently, couldn’t we have just gone camping?