Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, nor do I have ownership of any of the characters. I am not affiliated with J.K Rowling, Scholastic Books, Warner Bros, or Bloomsbury Publishing in any way. However, the plot is my own.
A/N: I hope you all enjoy this chapter, I especially enjoyed writing this chapter.
Ginny could feel her heart pounding as Harry deepened the kiss. Her entire world was spinning and before she could think she felt herself pulling away, scared of what might happen if this continued. Slowly she moved away from Harry, trying to clear her mind as she distanced herself from him. Her body was screaming at her to run back into his arms, a place where she had always felt like she belonged, but her mind was telling her to distance herself. For a long time they stood there, staring at one another, neither sure of how to proceed, especially under the current circumstances. Ginny was just about to speak when Cho Chang came bursting into the room, an air of arrogance clouding around her.
“Harry, darling,” Cho called as she walked over to Harry, her eyes narrowing dangerously on Ginny. “What’s going on here?”
“Ginny and I were just having a private moment Cho,” Harry stated coldly. “If you will just let us finish up here please.”
“Sorry, dear,” Cho answered, an evil glint in her eyes. “I just wanted to spend time with my fiancé tonight. Not that Ginny can blame us dear, it’s not every night you get engaged.”
“Engaged?” Ginny asked as she desperately tried to remain composed. “What a shock..I mean congratulations, I guess. I’m sorry this is all such a shock, are you sure you want to marry her Harry?”
“Excuse me!” Cho screeched in anger, her eyes flashing. “Of course Harry wants to marry me, he asked me didn’t he? Not that I have to explain myself to you! It’s apparent that you are just a jealous, spiteful little tart who would like nothing better than to steal Harry away from me.”
“Let’s lay off the Firewhiskey Cho,” Ginny snarled back. “Listen, all I came her for was to get my daughter so that I can take her home where she belongs. Now how about you go back upstairs and drown your pathetic life in another cup of Firewhiskey Cho.”
“Enough!” Harry yelled, as both women fell silent. “Cho, go back to the bedroom, I shall be there shortly. Ginny, she is our daughter, and I will not let you leave this house until we have something settled.”
“Of course dear,” Cho replied with a fake smile.
Slowly she walked over to Harry, claiming his mouth as she leaned up against him and drew him into a kiss. Gently she wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him in closer, while Ginny looked away in disgust. She knew that Cho was bating her, and she wasn’t willing to make a mockery of herself in front of Harry, again. Finally Cho untangled herself and started heading for the door.
“Goodbye Ginny, next time try to keep that illegitimate daughter under control. Before you know it she could end up like you, an aging harlot.” Cho stated as she walked past Ginny.
Harry didn’t even have time to react as Ginny, in a fit of rage turned and lunged at Cho. Not even having a moment to formulate a plan Ginny did the first thing that came to mind and kicked Cho in the shin with her pointed shoe. Wands and magic were forgotten as the two women started fighting, using only their arms and legs as weapons.
“You take that back,” Ginny screeched as she kicked Cho again.
“Never,” Cho yelled as she grabbed a fistful of Ginny’s hair and pulled. “I make it a policy to always tell the truth.”
“Truth?” Ginny scoffed, as she slapped Cho across the face. “I am afraid you have no concept of that word.”
“At least I wasn’t a seventeen year old mother,” Cho screamed back.
All hell broke lose in the living room as Ginny lost all self control and tripped Cho to the floor. Cho fought back against Ginny, slapping her arms in protest, all the while screeching curse words under her breath. Ginny managed to grab a cushion of a nearby chair and repeatedly smacked Cho in the face with it, stunning her victim momentarily. Harry watched stunned as the two women continued to fight with each other, pulling hair and slapping one another. Finally he managed to gain composure and jumped in to stop the two fighting women, in the process receiving some slapping and hair pulling of his own. Eventually he managed to pull them apart, standing in-between the two panting women as they shot death glares through him, their faces red and their clothes in disarray.
“Mom?” Eloise asked horrified, as she walked into the room to find them all standing there. “What on earth is going on here? What are you doing here?”
“I came to get you,” Ginny answered as she tried to smooth her hair and straighten her clothes. “We were just having a friendly conversation here, airing out old issues.”
“Looks to me like you were having one hell of a friendly conversation,” Eloise responded with a raised eyebrow.
“Doesn’t matter now, here you are,” Ginny started, “Let’s head home now, I feel we have overstayed our welcome, and rearranged enough of your father’s belongings.”
“I’m not going home with you,” Eloise stated, a stubborn look crossing her face. A look that Ginny knew all to well, a look that only moments earlier she had seen crossing Harry’s face. “I want to live with Mr. Potter for the summer, if he will have me. I want to get to know my father.”
“No,” Ginny said, her heart breaking a little at the thought of her daughter not wanting to spend the summer with her. “My answer is no.”
“I have a say as well, have you forgotten Ginny?” Harry spoke up, his voice hard and emotionless as he looked at her.
“You never had a say Harry,” Ginny replied.
“I personally don’t think it’s a wise idea Harry,” Cho chimed in. “I mean we have a wedding to plan.”
“SHUT UP!” Harry and Ginny yelled at Cho.
“Get your belongs Eloise, we are leaving,” Ginny ordered. “Now!”
“No,” Harry demanded. “She will stay Ginny, until she is ready to leave. I never had the option of seeing my daughter, now I do, and she will stay with me. End of discussion.”
“Fine!” Ginny yelled. “Eloise, stay here, live with Harry, see if I care. I’m sorry I wasn’t a good enough mother for you. I’m sorry that I didn’t have enough money to give you a happy life. Apparently Harry is what you want now, I never was good enough for either of you!”
Eloise and Harry watched in shock as Ginny bitterly gathered her jacket and bag and stormed out of the Potter Manor. It wasn’t until she reached outside that the tears began to flow. She had given up her entire life for the two of them, and now she wasn’t needed anymore. Nobody wanted her, she had no one.
Hermione walked into the clinic the following morning and was shocked to find Ginny sitting at the front desk. She was sitting in a chair, her eyes staring blankly ahead, focusing on nothing. Hermione quickly set down her bags and her morning coffee and rushed over to Ginny.
“Ginny, are you alright?” Hermione asked gently.
“She wanted him, not me,” Ginny whispered. “She doesn’t love me anymore, she wants him, and that wench he’s marrying.”
“I’m so confused Ginny,” Hermione prodded. “Tell me what happened last night.”
“Eloise loves him now, she doesn’t love me anymore,” Ginny broke down. “She decided to stay with him for the summer. Him and his new wife, well not his wife yet, but soon. That tart is going to have my life Hermione. She is going to have my childhood dreams, with my Harry, and my daughter. I’ll just be that crazy person who used to be the mother. I wonder if she will offer to buy Eloise from me, those evil people in books always offer to buy people off. What do you think, Hermione?”
“Ginny, you need to sleep,” Hermione suggested nicely. “I’m not sure what happened last night, but it sounds like you had a night that rivaled mine.”
“What do you mean?” Ginny asked, jerking her head up abruptly. “What happened to you?”
“Nothing that needs to be discussed today,” Hermione assured.
“Does it have something to do with why you scheduled yourself an appointment with me today?” Ginny questioned, her mind clearing some as she looked into her sister-in-law’s stricken face.
“Now isn’t the right time for this Ginny,” she replied.
“Tell me Hermione,” Ginny persisted. “Tell me what was so important that instead of calling me you scheduled a Healer’s appointment with me.”
“It’s nothing medical Ginny,” Hermione insisted. “It can wait until later, until after you and Eloise are okay.”
“Hermione, tell me now, or so help me I will not be responsible for what I do to you,” Ginny instructed. “We have twenty minutes until we open, get talking.”
“Fine,” Hermione started nervously. “You know that when I first got my Healer’s license and we started this business that Ron and I decided to wait to have children.”
“Of course,” Ginny replied. “You both decided to wait until the clinic had taken off to have kids,”
“Right,” Hermione continued. “About a year ago we finally decided that we were ready, and by we, I mean Ron. He had decided that it was finally time to start trying, and I know how much he wants to have kids, everyone does. I wasn’t though, and I never stopped preventing it from happening Ginny.”
“Don’t you want children though?” Ginny asked confused.
“I’m not sure anymore,” Hermione answered.
“But you loved Eloise as a child, you still do,” Ginny said.
“I know, I do love Eloise,” Hermione insisted. “I’m just really scared Ginny.”
“Scared of what exactly?” Ginny questioned.
“Scared of losing my identity,” Hermione confessed. “Scared of losing my career, who I am. Most of all though I am scared of losing my husband. I am terrified that if we have a child, he will no longer love me, he will only love this child. It’s pathetic and juvenile, and worst of all, I fear that by not having a child I will lose him anyways.”
“Hermione,” Ginny started. “You have to talk to him, you have to be honest. I should have been honest from the beginning with Harry, none of this would have happened. Learn from my mistakes Hermione, you have to tell him the truth, make him understand.”
“Thank you Ginny,” Hermione said gratefully. “They love you Ginny, I know they do. They both do, and that will never change.”
Eloise woke up with a start, and it took a moment for her to figure out where she was currently laying. After the terrible scene with her mother last night, Harry had escorted her up to a guest bedroom, where he had uncomfortably said good night and headed off to bed himself. She had quickly fallen to sleep where she had been plagued with terrible dreams about the things her mother had said before she had stormed out of the house. She knew that her mother had been hurt by her actions, but Eloise also knew that she had made the right decision, she needed to get to know Harry.
Quickly Eloise dressed for the day and headed down to the dining room, praying she wouldn’t run into Cho on the way. Eloise had grown up seeing pictures of Harry and Cho in various newspapers and magazines, and had, as a child, formed her own opinion of the woman. It had been bittersweet last night, finding her father, only to hear that he was marrying a woman that Eloise despised and hated. Eloise had always respected her mother for never bad-mouthing Harry or Cho, even when she had no idea that Eloise knew the truth. Her mother was a very strong and independent woman, and Eloise had grown up admiring her, wishing someday that she could be half as incredible as her mother.
It took Eloise a few moments to find the dining room, and when she arrived she was pleasantly surprised to find Harry sitting at the table eating his breakfast and reading the paper. Quietly she crept into the room, not quite where she should sit down at the massive table that could have easily sat twenty people. Luckily Harry noticed her and motioned for her to come sit next to him.
“Good morning Eloise,” he said. “I trust you slept well.”
“Of course, thank you for letting me stay,” she replied, and he nodded. The room fell into an uncomfortable silence as Harry returned to his paper and Eloise focused on her hands, not quite sure what to say next.
“Excuse me Mr. Potter,” she started. “Where is the kitchen? I was thinking I could get some cereal.”
“Right, of course, you’re probably starving,” Harry stated nervously. “You know, you can call me Harry, Mr. Potter sounds so impersonal. I know that you may never be ready to call me father of dad, I have missed out on so much, but maybe someday you’ll want to call me that. As for the cereal, I’m not sure if we even have any, most days I just eat whatever the house-elves bring out to me. Shall we go explore the kitchen?”
“I would like that,” Eloise responded, not quite sure which of the statements she wanted to happen more. With a boyish grin Harry stood and headed for the kitchen, Eloise trailed behind him, excited to see her father in action, even if it was just a cereal hunt. Eloise almost knocked Harry over as he came to a screeching halt at the door to the kitchen. He stood there for a long moment, a sad look crossing his face before he turned towards her and spoke.
“You know, I have lived here almost seventeen years and I have never once entered this kitchen,” he confessed. “I cannot tell you how much I loved your grandparent’s kitchen at the Burrow, always full of life and laughter. I guess I never came into this one because I knew it wouldn’t be the same.”
“Yes it will,” Eloise declared as she moved past him and entered the kitchen. “We’ll just have to fill it with our own life and laughter.”
“That we will,” he replied as he followed his daughter, impressed once again by how amazing she was. Ginny had done a phenomenal job of raising her all alone, and for that he was grateful. Once inside the kitchen he found Eloise browsing through the cupboards, in search of the all elusive cereal, and he quickly joined her on the hunt.
“I found them,” Eloise squealed, and Harry rushed over to the cupboard where she was standing. In silence they both looked up, an oasis of cereal greeting them as they looked up in awe.
“I cannot remember ever eating a bowl of cereal in years,” Harry claimed. “I wonder why we even have cereal.”
“Does it matter why you have the cereal?” Eloise asked with a grin. “I think the important question is which kind are you going to eat?”
“I have a better idea,” Harry whispered secretly as he reached into the cupboard. “An idea courtesy of your Uncle Ron, something we used to do all the time in the Burrow, when Molly wasn’t watching of course.”
Eloise watched curiously as Harry searched through the remaining cupboards in search of bowls, and then instructed her to find some milk and spoons. Then she watched in delight as Harry filled up bowls with every cereal in the cupboard and then using his wand moved the bowls to a table in the middle of the kitchen. She joined him at the table, waiting for his instructions not quite sure of how to proceed.
“Now, we eat,” he told her with a grin. “This way we get to eat every cereal, your Uncle Ron was a creative man, he knew exactly how to eat the most. I sure have missed your Aunt and Uncle, how have they been?”
“They have been wonderful, I think,” Eloise replied, happy to be sharing this moment with Harry. “I have been away at school so I haven’t seen them since Easter.”
“Oh yes,” Harry nodded. “School, tell me about your life Eloise, how is Gryffindor been treating you?”
“Gryffindor,” Eloise started uncomfortably. “Well, actually Mr. Potter…I mean Harry, I’m not in Gryffindor, I’m actually a Ravenclaw.”
“Ravenclaw?” Harry asked shocked, then a look of understanding crossed his face. “When I see your Aunt Hermione I am going to give her a talking too, corrupting my only child, and making her a Ravenclaw.”
“That’s what Uncle Ron said when he found out as well,” Eloise laughed. “He always was positive that Aunt Hermione corrupted me from the moment she gave me Hogwarts: A History, as a birthday present.”
“She finally found someone to read that,” Harry chuckled. “I really have missed them all these years.”
“Why don’t you write them,” Eloise suggested. “Invite them to a game or something.”
“Why that is an excellent idea,” Harry said. “In fact why don’t you join them, I have a game tomorrow, here in town. We haven’t had the best season, but I would love it if you would come, and I will invite your Aunt and Uncle so you will not be lonely. I know that this is all awkward and we don’t really know each other, but it would be nice to have someone sitting in the box reserved for family for once.”
“I would love to come,” Eloise replied, touched that he would invite her. Then suddenly she was struck with a brilliant idea. “Would it be alright if I brought someone with me?”
“You have a friend you want to come?” Harry asked.
“My best friend,” Eloise stated. “The one person I always know I can trust no matter what.”
“Sounds like a lovely person,” Harry answered. “Of course, invite her, it will be wonderful to have you all there.”
“You are going to love her,” Eloise promised.
Their conversation was cut off as the kitchen door banged open and Cho marched into the room. Eloise had decided last night that marching around the house was Cho’s signature, as it was all she had done since Eloise had arrived.
“What on earth are you eating Harry James Potter?” Cho asked.
“Cereal,” Harry answered as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.
“Cereal?” Cho screeched. “That’s it, put the spoon down and head upstairs, you have to be ready to leave in half an hour.”
“I’ll be right up,” Harry responded as Cho huffed and stormed out of the kitchen.
“She’s quite a character,” Eloise muttered as she continued eating.
“That she is, now where was I?” Harry asked as he picked up his spoon and continued to eat. The laughter coming from the kitchen could be heard rooms away as Eloise and Harry continued sharing their first meal together.
Ginny was just finishing up with her last patient of the day when Hermione came running into the room, two pieces of parchment in her hands and a smile on her face.
“Ginny!” she exclaimed. “You have a letter from Eloise.”
“Thanks Hermione,” she replied as she peered at Hermione suspiciously. “What are you so happy about?”
“I got a letter as well,” Hermione announced, a smile still spreading across her face.
“From Eloise?” Ginny asked, a little annoyed by Hermione’s mysterious attitude.
“No,” Hermione answered. “I just received a letter from Harry.”
“Harry?” Ginny whispered, her face going pale. “You haven’t heard from him in years, what did he want?”
“He invited Ron and I to his game tomorrow, apparently Eloise is going as well,” Hermione said happily.
“Can I see my letter please?” Ginny asked politely.
“Oh, right,” Hermione replied as she handed Ginny the piece of rolled up parchment.
Ginny opened the letter and was overjoyed to see her daughter’s handwriting, of course she had known the letter was from Eloise, but something about seeing her handwriting made her feel better. She continued to read the letter, tears building in her eyes as she looked at what her daughter had wrote.
I am so sorry for what happened, I know that I should have told you that I wanted to meet Harry instead of just running away, but I felt I had no choice. I hope that you know that none of those things you said the other night were true. I had a wonderful life, and you were the most amazing mother anyone could have ever asked for, this was just something I needed to do. I hope you know how much you mean to me, because that will never change. Anyways I was writing because Harry suggested that I invite you to the big game tomorrow. I know it seems like it might be awkward, but Aunt Hermione and Uncle Ron have been invited, and I really want to spend some time with you. Harry will be playing most of the time, so you will not even have to worry about it feeling weird. I look forward to seeing you tomorrow.
I love you,
“Well Hermione, it looks like we are all going to the game,” Ginny announced.
“This is wonderful,” Hermione exclaimed again. “We will all be back together again!”
Harry was sitting nervously in the team locker room getting mentally prepared for today’s game. He wasn’t quite sure what he was more nervous about, the game, or seeing Hermione and Ron. They had sent him a letter back last night informing him that they would be coming to the game, and that they were excited to see him and Eloise.
Suddenly it was time to head out onto the field, and Harry couldn’t remember ever being this nervous. It was even worse than his first Quidditch game at Hogwarts, and he was positive that Quidditch had nothing to do with why he was nervous today. It had been so long since he had seen his friends, and he wasn’t sure if he should expect smiles or a fight. Harry swallowed back his fear and climbed on his broom, taking his spot before the whistle would blow to start the game. In the few moments he had before the game would start he looked over at his box, a box that had remained empty for years. What he saw took his breath away, inside seating on the seats, holding signs, was his family. Hermione, Ron, Eloise, and Ginny, were all sitting there, excitement on their faces as they waited for the game to start.
My family, Harry thought as the whistle blew. They are finally here. After all these years, my family has finally returned.
A/N: Just a quick note: I know we are super excited about what just happened, but don’t forget that we have a ways to go, things aren't quite happily ever after yet! Big thanks to all of you loyal readers, hope everyone enjoyed this latest chapter Thanks for taking the time to read, have a wonderful day. As always reviews are appreciated, thanks again so much, you all make my day! Just a friendly reminder, make sure those reviews are always 12+! Thanks again for reading!
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